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Tuesday
Dec112018

Environmental Groups to Sue Trump Over Offshore Drilling Tests

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Environmental groups plan to sue the Trump administration over offshore drilling tests, launching a legal fight against a proposal that has drawn bipartisan opposition along the Atlantic Coast, two people with direct knowledge of the pending litigation told The Associated Press on Monday.

The lawsuit, which aims to stop the issuance of permits for the use of seismic air guns, will be filed by a coalition of environmental groups in federal court in South Carolina on Tuesday, according to the individuals. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the suit is filed.

 The Trump administration has authorized five such permits, which aim to find oil and gas formations deeply below the Atlantic Ocean floor, from Delaware to central Florida, an area where seismic surveys haven't been conducted in decades.

The blasts are conducted in preparation for potential offshore drilling, which the administration has proposed to expand from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to private development.

Survey vessels will be required to have observers on board to listen and watch for marine life and alert operators if a protected species comes within a certain distance, officials have said, and acoustic monitoring will be used to detect those animals swimming beneath the ocean surface. Surveys would be shut down when certain sensitive species or groups are observed and penalties could be imposed for vessels that strike marine animals.

The precautions aren't enough for environmental groups, who have said the blasts can disturb marine mammals. Industry groups say the surveys have been conducted around the world for decades, with little adverse impact.

The drilling issue has created strange political bedfellows along the East Coast, with Democrats and Republicans in some areas united over the issue. In South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, Republican Katie Arrington — a supporter of President Donald Trump who initially said she stood by his plans to open up Atlantic Coast drilling — later backed off that support amid a growing wave of drilling opposition in the coastal district she aimed to represent.

Monday
Dec102018

Study: Sleep More Important than Cramming for Good Exam Grades

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 -- It's a college tradition to pull "all-nighters" during final exams. But students may get better grades if they simply go to bed early, two new studies suggest.

Researchers found that students who met an "8-hour sleep challenge" during finals week did better on their exams than those who slept less.

The results prove that the college ritual of "cramming" is not necessary for success -- and may actually be counterproductive, the study authors said.

"The findings aren't shocking, on one hand -- but they are shocking relative to our culture," said Michael Scullin, a researcher at Baylor University who conducted both studies.

In general, he said, college students expect that finals week will involve staying up until 3 a.m., downing caffeine and poring over notes. It's all part of a wider societal attitude that values all-nighters over a good night's sleep, according to Scullin, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the Texas-based university.

Scullin pointed to a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation, where only 10 percent of Americans said they make adequate sleep a priority.

"We are widely underappreciating the importance of sleep," he said.

College students are particularly bad sleepers. They average around five or six hours of shut-eye per night, according to Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of the sleep and circadian disorders division at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston.

But the problem goes beyond sleep duration, said Czeisler, who was not involved in the new research.

To fully benefit from the "restorative" effects of sleep, he explained, people need a regular sleep schedule -- going to bed and rising around the same time every day. But college students generally have schedules that are all over the map.

"One of the most critical aspects of sleep is its regularity," Czeisler said, "and that's a problem for many students."

In a recent study of Harvard undergrads, his team found that those with regular sleep schedules had better grades, on average, than those with irregular sleep patterns.

And when the researchers measured the students' levels of the "sleep hormone" melatonin, they found a biological effect: In students with irregular sleep schedules, the "body clock" was shifted nearly three hours later, versus students with consistent sleep habits.

According to Czeisler, that means an exam at 9 a.m. would feel, to the body clock, like 6 a.m. -- a time when performance is relatively dulled.

The latest findings are based on two studies that tested the same "sleep challenge." One, reported recently in the Teaching of Psychology journal, included 34 undergrads in a psychology course.

The students were offered the chance to take or decline the sleep challenge -- where they could earn extra credit if they averaged 8 hours of sleep per night during finals week. To keep them honest, the students wore wrist devices that recorded their activity levels.

Overall, Scullin's team found, students who met the challenge fared better than those who either declined to participate, or tried and failed: Successful sleepers typically scored 5 points higher on their exams (not counting the extra credit).

The other study, published recently in the Journal of Interior Design, involved 22 interior design students who attempted the challenge, and 22 who did not.

As a whole, students who took the sleep challenge did just as well on their final projects as the comparison group -- even though they allowed themselves to get more rest. They slept for an average of 98 minutes more per night.

In addition, students who managed consistent sleep schedules performed better than those with irregular sleep habits during finals, the findings showed.

"You don't have to stay up until 3 a.m.," Scullin said. "You need to get better at prioritizing, and consolidating your study time during the day."

That advice is not just for college students, though. "We should all take an honest look at how we spend our time during the day, and see if we can manage it a little better," Scullin said. "Ask yourself, 'How much garbage time is there in my day?'"

Not surprisingly, that includes assessing your device time. According to Scullin, research shows that when college students are studying, they are typically interrupted by social media notifications every few minutes or so.

His advice is to put the phone away and go to bed earlier. "You'll probably find that it actually feels good to get more sleep," Scullin said.

Monday
Dec102018

Anderson School Dist. 5 to Run on 2-Hour Delay Tuesday 

Anderson School Dist. 5 will run on a two-hour delay Tuesday.

Other districts have yet to announce delays or closings.

Sunday
Dec092018

PAWS Offering $10 Dog Adoptions, Cat Adoptions Free

ANDERSON COUNTY – Imagine being alone, without loved ones during the holiday season. Hundreds of homeless animals will know that fate unless YOU help them find a forever-home. In order to remedy this situation, the Pets are Worth Saving (PAWS - Anderson County Animal Shelter) wants as many of their animals in loving, forever homes this Christmas as possible (and for years to come). Please consider adopting a shelter pet this year and giving them a home for the holidays.

Dog adoptions are $10 and cat adoptions are free from Dec. 10-31.
 
If you can’t adopt a pet this season, you can still help buyt dropping off  donations by the Animal Shelter during regular business hours.

HOURS TO ADOPT: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday, noon - 6:00 pm

Closed Wednesday

Saturday. noon - 4:00 pm 

The Anderson County Animal Shelter is located at 615 Hwy 28 Bypass. If you have any questions, please contact the Shelter at 260-4151.

What can you donate to the Animal Shelter?
In order to properly care for its “four legged friends” ACAS is in need of the following donations:

• Pedigree Dog/Puppy Food (canned & dry)
• Blankets
• Towels
• Newspapers/Shredded paper
• Bleach
• Dish Detergent
• Laundry Detergent
• Cat Litter
• Whiskas Cat/Kitten Food (canned & dry)
 
Many items will help care for animals housed at the shelter. ACAS also accepts monetary donations to help purchase products to care and provide clean quarters for the animals housed at the shelter.

Sunday
Dec092018

With 11.9 Inches, Spartanburg Tops Upstate Snowfall

Greenville County, S.C. (FOX Carolina) -- Western North Carolina and parts of the Upstate were covered in snow and ice by winter storm Diego. While Anderson County did not see more than an inch, some places saw up to six or seven inches.

In Cherokee County, Gaffney residents saw 7.0'' of snow, the National Weather Service reported online. Spartanburg County saw as much as 11.9'' of snow in Inman, while other parts such as Greer, only received 4.0''.

Oconee County saw around 7.0'', and Pickens saw as much as 5.0'', recorded the NWS. 

In North Carolina, residents saw a lot more. Buncombe County record 14.0'' of snowfall  this morning. Hendersonville saw a similar pattern and got 16.0'' of snow. McDowell saw just over 11.0'' of snow. While Greenville did not see more than 4.0'' of snow. 

Meanwhile,

As the Upstate and Western North Carolina thaw out from the winter storm, Duke Energy said crews are working to restore hundreds of thousands of outages across both states.

As of 6:04 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy reported 229,000 customers in the Carolinas were without power as winter storm Diego slammed our area.

Below is a list of outages by county in North and South Carolina (as of 1 p.m.):

  • Buncombe: 14,201
  • Haywood: 8,222
  • Henderson: 7,876
  • Jackson: 3,143
  • Macon: 3,917
  • McDowell: 1,346
  • Polk: 5,365
  • Rutherford: 11,078
  • Transylvania: 7,339
  • Anderson: 328
  • Cherokee (SC) - 2,180
  • Greenville: 45,539
  • Oconee: 24
  • Pickens: 1,569
  • Spartanburg: 21,312

A full list of Duke Energy outages can be viewed here.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE POWER

If your power goes out during severe weather, here are the numbers you're asked to call to report an outage for the following utility companies:

Blue Ridge Electric: 1-888-BLUERIDGE (258-3743) or 1-800-240-3400

Duke Energy: 1-800-POWERON, 1-800-769-3766

Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356

Laurens Electric: 1-800-942-3141

Sunday
Dec092018

Anderson County Offices on Two-Hour Delay Monday

All Anderson County Offices will operate on a two-hour delay Monday.

Sunday
Dec092018

Anderson County Schools Closed Monday; Dist. 5 E-Learning Day

Anderson County schools will be closed Monday due to the Winter weather. School Dist. 5 will operare on their e-learning schedule.

Tri-County Technical College has postponed final exams scheduled for Monday the 10th until Tuesday the 11th. Employees are to report at 10 a.m. Monday, or as conditions permit.

Sunday
Dec092018

Hope Abounds in Market Theatre’s Rambunctious ‘Annie’

By Paul Hyde/Anderson Observer

Hope and optimism are in abundant supply in the Market Theatre Company’s rambunctious “Annie.”

Charles Strouse’s 1976 show about an orphan who wants to find a loving home is a perfect treat for the Caption: The Market Theatre Company's "Annie" continues through Dec. 16. Photo Credit: Escobar Photography.Christmas season. It’s sweet, disarming and cheery.

Look a little deeper and you’ll find a great American musical with heart and decency, recalling a time – specifically the Great Depression – when Americans stuck together through thick and thin, looking out for each other.

That’s a welcome message at Christmastime and anytime.

Director Jessie Davis and choreographer Ryan Hewitt deliver an energetic, high-spirited production.

Those virtues are evident early in the show when the young residents of the Municipal Girls Orphanage attack the number “Hard Knock Life,” generating a satisfying ruckus with their foot stamping and vocal oomph.

This is a staging with gusto, and it’s a big cast, with more than 15 orphans.

Davis, the director, nimbly negotiates the Market Theatre’s challenging space, bringing clarity and momentum to the proceedings.

Daisy Bates is a spunky Annie with a sparkling smile and winning stage presence.

Kyle Caudell is a pleasingly gruff Oliver Warbucks who later exhibits a heart of gold and an appealing baritone.

Heather Mutolo, a standout, plays a fierce Miss Hannigan, the drunken matron of the orphanage, the harridan you love to hate. In the comic world of “Annie,” however, even the villains are not all that nasty. Mutolo brings a powerful voice to songs such as “Little Girls.”

Noah Austin and Victoria Cox are the two zesty schemers, Rooster and Lily St. Regis.

Kyle Heaten is adorable as the youngest orphan, Molly.

Ben Otto Sunderman is a likeable, forthright Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s scenes are played for laughs but they’re a reminder of a president who preached optimism, invested in people and brought Americans together. Those scenes gain added resonance in light of today’s divided political climate.

Hal Hunsinger is the chipper radio host Bert Healy.

Martha Upper and Carl Whitman offer solid contributions as, respectively, Warbucks’ secretary Grace and butler Drake.

The dog playing Sandy was uncredited in the program, but he (she?) did what Sandy usually does in “Annie” – completely steal the scene.

Michael Benitez does a good job with the musical preparation.

The entire ensemble makes a splendid sound in the relatively small Market Theatre. One caveat: At times, the cast could articulate Martin Charnin’s superb lyrics a bit more crisply.

This lively “Annie” continues through Dec.16. For tickets, call 864-729-2999 or visit the website www.themarketanderson.org.

Paul Hyde, a veteran Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Anderson Observer. Write to him at paulhydeus@yahoo.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.

Sunday
Dec092018

Mill Town Players Cancel Holiday Show

The Sunday production of the Mill Town Players' holiday production of "Plaid Tidings" has been cancelled today due to icy weather. 

The play, reviewed here, will resume Thursday night.

Friday
Dec072018

Regulators to Set Power Rates for SCE&G Customers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina regulators will meet next week to set new power rates for customers of a private utility stuck paying for two nuclear reactors that were never finished.

The Public Service Commission also plans to decide at the Dec. 14 meeting if South Carolina Electric & Gas proposed merger with Virginia-based Dominion Energy can go forward.

Regulators held nearly a month of hearings. The commission is setting rates after SCE&G's parent company, SCANA Corp., abandoned work on two reactors in the summer of 2017.

SCE&G customers paid more than $2 billion for the plants that never produced power. Consumer groups want electric rates rolled back to refund that money.

Dominion is offering to cut power bills by $22 a month. State leaders are backing the offer.

Friday
Dec072018

U.S. Marks 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day

Every year Americans observe a day of remembrance for the attack on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii

December 7, 1941 was famously declared by President Franklin D Roosevelt as “a day that will live in infamy,” and every year, Americans look back on the battle that cost thousands of American lives.

Friday will be the 77th anniversary of the attack on the Pearl Harbour Naval base, an event that was integral to events during the Second World War

What happened?

Just outside of Honolulu, the naval base of Pearl Harbour suffered one of the most deadly attacks on American soil. The Japanese Military sent hundreds of fighter planes to shoot at the island, destroying eight battleships, 12 other navy vessels, and more than 300 aeroplanes. Around 2,400 Americans died, 1,000 were injured, and President Roosevelt declared war on Japan the next day. 

Tensions had been building for almost a decade, with he US wary of what it saw has global expansion from Japan, of which gaining control of the Pacific would be a key component.

Why do Americans still honor the anniversary? 

The attack on Pearl Harbour was integral to the U.S. joining the Second World War and both navy personnel and civilians died. 

Observing Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day is in part about looking back on a defining moment in American history. Not only is the day commemorated for those who lost their lives, but also commemorates US efforts during the war. 

How is the day observed?

Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day is not a celebration as much as a solemn opportunity to honour the dead. All U.S. Government buildings should have their flags at half-staff, and the president typically asks citizens to lower their displayed flags as well. Some organisations have memorials and ceremonies.

Others focus on education. Public schools often implement curriculum to teach students about what happened, often showing the 2001 drama Pearl Harbour. Over the years, there have been several films, miniseries’, and TV specials about the attack. 

It also also a chance to educate younger generations about the internment and ill-treatment of Japanese-Americans during the war. The treatment was denounced by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 as “a policy motivated by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership”.

Is it a federal holiday?

Pearl Harbour Day is federally recognised but not a federal holiday, so it’s unlikely that your employer will offer you time off. Federal offices and services like buses and the post office will continue with their regular schedule. 

It is also a chance to remember a global conflict in which tens of millions of soldiers and civilians were killed in all the theatres of war. 

Thursday
Dec062018

Mill Town Players “Plaid Tidings" of Great Holiday Joy

Thursday
Dec062018

"Shock the Block" to Reveal Downtown Master Plan Tonight

For the past sever months, the City of Anderson has held a series of meetings, called "Shock the Block," to gather public ideas about the future of downtown.

Tonight, beginning at 6 p.m. in the city's econonic development offices at 102 N. Murray Ave. (the bottom of the parking garage), the results of those meetings will be revealed, along with a master plan for urban renewal downtown.

The public is invited.

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