Search

Search Amazon Here

News Links
Local



Wednesday
May052010

AIM Still Needs Volunteers to "Stamp Out Hunger"

Anderson Interfaith Ministries is still in need of a few volunteers for this Saturday for the Postal Carrier’s “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive this Saturday, May 8, from 3 pm – 6 pm.  Half of those volunteers will be stationed at the Main Post office & the others will be at the AIM food pantry. 

AIM also needs some volunteers to assist with the Manna truck on Saturday, May 15 at Orrville Baptist Church.  Volunteers should arrive around 8:00 – 8:30 & we’ll begin food distribution at 9am. These are both great ways to get in community service hours for students!

If you are available to help, please contact Angie Shaw at 965-9077 or email:  angie.shaw@aimcharity.org to sign up. 

Wednesday
May052010

Citgo Robbery Suspect Charged

On Wednesday, Anderson County sheriff’s deputies arrested an Anderson man suspected of committing two armed robberies in less than a week. Investigators charged Jamie Lee Smith, 35, of 400 Cason Drive, Anderson, with Armed Robbery and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime in connection with the robbery of the Citgo, 3207 South Murray Avenue, in Anderson on April 30.

He is currently in the Anderson County Detention Center where he is awaiting a Bond Hearing.  The Anderson City Police Department has placed a hold on him for the robbery of another Citgo, this one on Shockley Ferry Road, which occurred Tuesday morning.

When asked how the suspect was apprehended, Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said, “One of our astute deputies, Dustin Williams, spotted a man fitting the description of the robber, along with his vehicle, in the parking lot of a store at the intersection of Shockley Ferry Road and South McDuffie Street.  He got out with the man, identified him and notified our investigators.  Within minutes of the investigators’ arrival, the man was taken in to custody.”

Sheriff Skipper also commended those who called in tips to his office and to Crime Stoppers.  Three of the tips received when the robber’s image was made public by the media provided investigators with Smith’s name.  Skipper acknowledged that help from the community was an “invaluable resource.”

Wednesday
May052010

Students Honored for Diversity Efforts

In 2005, the Anderson County Human Relations Council (HRC) launched the search for a new logo by sponsoring an art contest open to all students attending high schools in Anderson County.  Cory Scott White, a student from Belton Honea Path High School, submitted the winning design that the HRC continues to use.

Unfortunately, Cory was in a fatal automobile accident before receiving recognition for his efforts.  The Anderson County Human Relations Council established the Cory White Diversity Award in his memory to honor individuals who exemplify the same qualities of inclusion and acceptance exemplified by this fine young man.  This year, the HRC decided to expand the award to recognize an outstanding student from each middle and high school in Anderson County. Faculty at 15 local schools each selected one student to receive the award for that campus.  The nominees are Anderson County residents who have positively affected peers, teachers, and/or school staff in the areas of human rights, special needs and disabilities, and/or cultural inclusion and acceptance. 

About 120 educators, the winning students and their families attended a recognition program April 3 at the Civic Center of Anderson. The Campbell Patriots presented the colors, while the White family led the participants in the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. Motivational messages were shared by Roy L. Mack, Clemson University professor Curtis White, and the winning students. Welcoming remarks were made by Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns, and closing remarks were made by HRC chairwoman Delores Green. 

Local students recognized for their character in 2010: Shaq Anthony of Wren High, Syxx Cowan of Lakeside Middle, JD Davis of Riverside Middle, Corey Dawson of Anderson County Alternative School, Joe Dorn of Belton Middle, Elizabeth Garber of B-HP High, Kensleigh Lee of Honea Path Middle, Victor Morales of Palmetto High, Aarti Patel of TL Hanna High, Naimik Patel of Powdersville Middle, Matthew Peck of Wren Middle, Greg Phillips of Pendleton High, Shaleesha Smith of Crescent High, Jada Walker of Westside High, and Reagen Welch of Starr-Iva Middle.

Wednesday
May052010

S.C. Legislature Oks Cigarette Tax Increase

South Carolina legislators have approved raising what is now the nation's lowest cigarette tax, but Gov. Mark Sanford promises he will veto it.

The state Senate voted 41-1 on Wednesday to approve the 50-cent increase previously passed by the House.

Supporters say the more important vote will come later, when they need a two-thirds vote in each chamber to override the veto. See full story here.

Tuesday
May042010

Council Oks Moving 911 Center, Emergency Management to Sheriff 

Anderson County Council unanimously approved the the Communications Department (911 Call Center) and its Technical Services wing, under the authority of the Anderson County’s Sheriff’s Office. 

"There is something wrong with 911 and I think the sheriff can fix it," said Councilwoman Gracie Floyd before the vote. "That’s why we need to move 911 under the sheriff."

In a split vote, council also approved the second part of the proposal which transfers Anderson County Emergency Management Department to the Sheriff’s Office. Despite strong objections from three council members, the resolution pased with the understanding that the Emergency Services Director would still report to the county administrator.

“There are only three other counties in the state that do this,” said Councilman Eddie More who opposed the move. “It’s about separation of power.”

Meanwhile, a resolution to temporarily suspend reimbursement for all out-of-state travel was approved, but an amendment to the motion by Councilman Tom Allen allowing council members to receive reimbursements for out-of-state travel for economic development and other situations, such as grants, was also approved, allowing such travel to continue within those parameters.

Earlier, council approved the final reading of a resolution revising of the policy to limit the number of county-owned vehicles which can be driven home at after work hours by county employees. 

Council was also asked by S.C. Rep. Don Bowen to move on changing the boundaries of of the special purpose district in the West Anderson Water District to coincide with the Anderson City limits. Bowen said after extensive investigation, it was made clear to him that county council held the authority approve the change. Bowen said people in that area in question, notably in the Loblolly Pines subdivision, were paying water rates significantly higher than those of their neighbors in the water district not living in the special purpose district. (As much as double the rates in some cases). Bowen said even though the city had asked for some time to review the information, he asked council to move ahead Tuesday night to go ahead and set the wheels in motion to move the the special district lines for water to reflect the city limits lines.

Bowen’s resolution was defeated, but council did agree unanimously to meet with city, citizens and other interested parties to pursue options for addressing the issue.

Only Tuesday night, council also:

Approved a bid of $297,996 from  Pickens Construction as a change order to increase the county paving contract to include City of  Belton and City of Anderson streets.

Approved the acceptance of Wakefield and Wren Tree Subdivisions into the county road system.

Agreed to form an ad hoc committee to look into recycling and solid waste issues in the county.

Tuesday
May042010

School Dist. 5 Returns to 1995 Funding Level with Layoffs, Cuts

In the wake of severe state budget cuts, the Board of Trustees of Anderson School District Five has approved a budget for the 2010-2011 school year that retrenches funding to 1995 levels. 

The budget cuts a total of 83 positions – 69 held by employees with teaching certificates and 14 non-certified support staff positions. However, with the district operating under a hiring freeze for most of the past two years, officials expect that all of the certified positions and most of the certified positions will be eliminated through attrition – in other words, employees either retiring or resigning to take jobs elsewhere. 

The displaced certified employees include specialists, coordinators and classroom teachers. At this point, all but about 10 of the certified employees affected have already been placed in other positions within the district. The district expects to place all of the certified employees before the start of the 2010-2011 school year. 

Of the 14 support staff employees, 8 have already been placed in other district jobs. District officials hope to place some if not all of the remaining employees over the summer. 

The $77.4 million district budget includes no cost of living or step increases for teachers or any other employees. In addition, it includes either furlough days or contract reductions for district personnel. The district budget approval is contingent on final state legislative approval of proposals to omit step increases for teachers and to allow districts to use the $275 per teacher materials stipend to help fund teacher salaries.

“For the past two years, our teachers, administrators and support staff members have, like most people in the current recession, faced the uncertainty and anxiety of wondering whether they would lose their jobs,” said District Five Superintendent Betty Bagley. “Already over the past two years, we have lost 54 certified teaching positions and a number of support staff positions as well.”

She added, “While we’re relieved that these numbers are not as high as elsewhere in the state, I know that fact is cold comfort to those who find themselves displaced. This is a painful situation for all of the people who work in our district, and for their families. I’m proud of the hard work and professionalism our people have displayed during this trying time.” 

State cuts forced the Board of Trustees to cut $7.4 million from the budget. In addition, another $855,000 in insurance increases and unfunded mandates also had to be funded. 

“It is the equivalent of running your household in 2010 on the same paycheck you brought home in 1995, when food, gasoline and most everything else was much less expensive,” Mrs. Bagley said. 

Personnel cuts in the 2010-2011 budget total just over $3 million. By area, they are: 

District Office - $604,000

Early Childhood - $67,075

Elementary - $1,004,106

Middle School - $454,909

High School and Extension Campus - $885,935

Other cuts in the district’s 2010-2011 budget include:

  •  $1.17 million in furloughs. The superintendent and her cabinet members will have 15 unpaid days of furlough. District administrators and District Office personnel will have 10 furlough days and teachers will have 5 days. 
  •  $500,000 in contract reductions, in which employees contracts are cut 5 days or more. 
  •  An increase in the pupil-teacher ratio in grades 1-3 that will add, on average, 3 students per classroom. Despite this change, ratios in the district will remain low compared to the state as a whole: Pupil-teacher ratios will move to 22 to 1 in non-Title I schools, and 19 to 1 in Title I schools.
  • $336,000 in savings from a 25 percent reduction in supply money.
  • $335,000 from the sale of the District Five Approved Curriculum to the State Department of Education for use by other school districts in the state.

A public hearing on the budget will be held on May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the District Five Administrative Office. The budget will be considered for approval by the Anderson County Board of Education in June.

Tuesday
May042010

Greater Anderson Rotary Raises $47,000 for Charity

The Greater Anderson Rotary Club distributed checks to five local charities at its Thursday April 29 meeting, proceeds from its fourth annual Dancing for Our Heroes event. Dancing for Our Heroes, which is based on thePictured from left, seated: dancer Yvonne Conover and Kathryn Smith, president-elect of the Greater Anderson Rotary Club. Standing from left: Todd Tillirson, representing the S.C. Military Family Care Association; Virgil Hobbs, who danced for the SCMFCA; Fay Brown, executive director of Foothills Alliance; Dennis Adams and Kathy Little, who danced for Hospice of the Upstate; Bill Forrest and Mary Ann McBride, who danced for the Cancer Association of Anderson; Libby Winkler, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Anderson; and Sue Tuten, club member and treasurer of the Cancer Association of Anderson.  hit television show “Dancing with the Stars,” was attended by more than 300 people and had a net profit of more than $47,000.

Celebrity dancers raised money for their favorite charity, and overall profits from the event were divided among the charities and the Rotary Foundation. Virgil Hobbs and his partner Lisa McGee won the Judges’ Choice award for their smooth and rhythmic cha-cha, while Bill Forrest and Mary Ann McBride won People’s Choice, raising almost $16,000 in “votes” for their waltz with a “surprise” – the Charleston.

 

 


Monday
May032010

Ride of Silence Scheduled for May 4

On May 4, 2010, the Ride of Silence (now in its eighth year) will begin in North America and continue to roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a slow, silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. 

Although cyclists have a legal right to Share the Road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves. The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks cyclists to ride no faster than 10 mph and remain silent during the ride. The Ride, which is held during National Bike Safety Month, endeavors to raise awareness of bicycle safety, while mourning those who have lost their lives cycling. 

The Anderson County ride, which will begin at the Ingle’s Parking Lot, 1900 North Main Street, will consist of participants of all ages and abilities. Riders are asked to meet at 6:30 pm and must wear a helmet.  Cyclists will proceed from Ingle’s going left on Boulevard then left onto Kingsley and right onto Front Street at Anderson University. A brief ceremony remembering family and loved-ones who have been injured or lost their lives while cycling, will be held in front of the University Chapel. After the ceremony, the procession will continue right onto Calhoun, then right onto Boulevard, returning to Ingles around 8:30 pm.

Monday
May032010

United Way Awards Dinner Honors Volunteers

The United Way of Anderson County held its annual meeting on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the Hilton Garden Inn. During the evening several volunteers and organizations were recognized and thanked for their participation during the annual campaign and the United Way fiscal year. Campaign Chair, Ben Hagood of Carolina First Bank, thanked the campaign cabinet and volunteers for helping to raise, $1.660,756 during this year’s campaign to match the amount raised last year. AnMed Health was recognized as having their best campaign year ever, raising $417,678, almost a 4% increase over last year. In recognizing companies and organizations with the highest giving per capita, Duke Energy with 100+ employees had a per capita gift of $249.33; Blue Ridge Security with 51-99 employees had a per capita gift of $276.42 up from $257.22 last year and also had 100% employee participation.  With 26-50 employees, John S. Rainey Generating Station had a per capita gift of $317.30 up from $286.42 last year. Maynard’s’ Home Furnishings rounded out the top campaigns in the 2-25 employees category with a per capita gift of $472.61 up from $432.17 last year.  Pat Patrick of Attaway, Inc. was recognized as the incoming campaign chair for 2010-11. Full Story here

Sunday
May022010

Council to Consider EMS, 911 Move; Vehicle Policy

Anderson County Council will give third reading to a revised vehicle use policy for county employees and will also reconsider a resolution transferring the authority for county emergency services and the 911 Call Center to the Anderson County Sheriff's Department. 

The meeitng is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the historic courthouse downtown. A full agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Sunday
May022010

Brown, Anderson, Craft & Young Featured at ECP

Carroll Brown, Sam Anderson, Clarence Young and Daniel Craft will perform live on the Electric City Playhouse stage for one night only. Known individually as highly regarded musicians, songwriters and artists, this powerful group of talent will be performing a festival night with select cover tunes and some originals from each of the members. Each will do a short solo set and then come together to play as one group after a short intermission.

General seating tickets are $10 and available now by calling the Electric City Playhouse Box Office at (864) 224-4248. n March 12 at 8:00PM

Sunday
May022010

Randall Bramblett to Perform at Electric City Playhouse

The Southern musician and singer-songwriter Randall Bramblett has been the go-to utility man for performers such as Steve Winwood, Widespread Panic, Gregg Allman, Traffic and Bonnie Raitt. His artistic abilities make him a legend within the musical community for both his songwriting and musical abilities. With the recent release of his new album, Now It's Tomorrow, Bramblett is clearly enjoying an artistic peak in his long and stellar career.

General seating tickets are $10 and available now by calling the Electric City Playhouse Box Office at (864) 224-4248. n March 12 at 8:00 pm

Sunday
May022010

Man's Death Ruled Homicide

Sheriff’s Office investigators are working to solve the homicide of a homeless man whose body was found late Friday evening.

A little before 6:00 PM on April 30, the body of Mark Napier Kirby, 45, was found in a wooded area at the intersection of S.C. 28 Bypass and New Pond Road in Anderson.  The discovery was made by someone walking in the area.

An autopsy was performed on the body earlier today and the death was ruled a homicide by the Anderson County Coroner’s Office.  Blunt force trauma was given as the cause of death.

No suspect has been identified. Anyone having information is encouraged to call the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office at 864-260-4400 or Crime Stoppers at 231-7867(STOP).