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S. Fant, W. Market Get Fresh Produce Grant

     Students at South Fant and West Market early childhood and education centers will be encouraged to boost their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables thanks to a federal grant making healthier eating easier during the upcoming school year.

     The two early childhood centers are among 51 South Carolina public schools taking part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The 51 schools will be sharing a $1,172,650 grant from the USDA in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

     Funds will go to purchase and serve a wide variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables, providing fruit baskets inside classrooms, kiosks in hallways and other innovative approaches to give youngsters a chance to grab a healthy snack throughout the school day. The aim is to create a healthier school environment.

     The SDE’s Office of School Food Services and Nutrition is partnering with the state Department of Agriculture to work with local farmers to purchase home-grown fruits and produce for the program.



Program Aims to Keep Kids in School

     The United Way of Anderson and Anderson School District Five are joining forces to help keep teenagers in school through a program called Graduate Anderson. On August 29, teams of school and community volunteers will go knocking on the doors of potential dropouts and invite them to return to school. The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at T.L. Hanna High School for training and information before making their way to local neighborhoods to visit both T.L. Hanna and Westside High School students.

     The program will target students who have not attended high school classes during the first 1 ½ weeks of school, said Tripp Dukes, District Five’s Assistant Superintendent for Planning & Analysis. It is patterned after the successful Graduate Greenville program operated by the Greenville County School District.

     To volunteer or for more information, contact Tripp Dukes at 231-1780.


3,000 Unique Visitors in 8 Days

     The Anderson Observer continues to attract attention from readers, even though we have not actually published a full edition. One more time: thank you for your interest.

     Please tell your friends, family and neighbors we are here. If you own a local business or know someone who does, encourage them to consider advertising in Anderson's source for news from people you trust.


Facebook Buys FriendFeed

     PALO ALTO, Calif., -- Just as The Anderson Observer signed up for Friendfeed, Facebook announced that it has agreed to acquire the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed's four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook's engineering and product teams.

     "Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends," said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. FriendFeed's founders played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they've brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers. FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product. Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.

     For other information, visit The Anderson Observer Facebook site.


Hot, But No Record

     As temperatures pushed 10 degrees above normal Monday, the high of 99 fell short of the August record of 106 set back in 1954, when only the drug stores and movie theaters boasted air conditioning. The average daily August temperature for Anderson in August is 89.

     Temperatures are expected to stay in the upper 90s for the next two days before giving way to thuderstorms and temperatures back in the upper 80s.


Bid Awarded for New Middle Schools


     Bids for the construction of two new middle schools in Anderson School District 5 have been awarded. Both schools are slated to open to students for the 2011-2012 school year.

     The low bid for the schools came in approximately $5 million below original estimates.

     Shelco, Inc., a construction company based in Greenville, was the low bidder for the two projects, with a combined bid of $32,542,400. The company was awarded the projects in a July 24th meeting of the District Five Board of Trustees.

      The District plans to construct Glenview Middle School on a site on Old Williamston Road, and Robert Anderson Middle School, named for the Revolutionary War hero, on Dobbins Bridge Road.

      The lower-than-expected bid was largely a result of the district’s cost-containment efforts, in addition to the current economic recession and the resulting increase in competition for such projects, according to district officials.

      The two new middle schools are scheduled for construction as part of the district’s $140 million building plan, which was approved in an April 2007 referendum by more than 60 percent of district voters. The $140 million in construction bonds authorized by the referendum can only be used for construction and renovation.

      Glenview Middle School will relieve overcrowding at the current McCants Middle School. Robert Anderson Middle School will replace the current Southwood Middle School and will draw students from both Southwood and Lakeside middle schools. The current Southwood school will retain its name, however, as it transitions to a 6-12 grade arts magnet school.

      The new middle schools are scheduled for completion by the start of the 2011-2012 school year.



Football Field to be Named after Jim Fraser


     A ceremony naming the football field at T.L. Hanna High School in honor of former head football Coach Jim Fraser is scheduled for Friday, August 14th at 6 p.m. at the field. 

     The field at Yellow Jackets Memorial Stadium will be named “Jim Fraser Field” at the event, which is free and open to the public.

     Coach Fraser led the Yellow Jackets to 15 winning season as their coach during his 17-year tenure from 1968 through 1984. With a record of 133-55-2, Coach Fraser has the most wins, the most championships and the most playoff appearances of any coach in the history of T.L. Hanna football.

     The decision to name the field after Coach Fraser was approved last month by the District Five Board of Trustees.


Pre-release Draws 2,100 Readers

The Anderson Observer thanks the 2,100 readers who have visited our newspaper in the past seven days as we prepare for our official release date.


Vision Problems Common In Students 12-17

     RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. -- Vision Care and Prevent Blindness America announced today the results of their joint nationwide survey of nearly 1,500 participants. The study revealed more than one in five 12 to 17-year-olds have difficulty seeing the classroom whiteboard/chalkboard, with more than one in four complaining of headaches. These complaints are noted even though nearly half of the children in this age group reported wearing some type of prescription eyewear.

     "The survey provides a clear example of why regular eye exams are so important as children progress in school," said Gary Brooks, VSP Vision Care President. "Most parents probably assume once a prescription is given, there isn't a need for further follow up. However, the survey results reinforce the need for regular eye exams as kids' eyes continue to change and adapt. There are growing demands on their vision as they advance academically. The headaches the older children are experiencing may be a natural result of their eyes experiencing more strain and stress but not receiving updated prescriptions to accommodate the changes."

     All five Anderson County school districts provide routine vision screening to students entering kindergarten in attempts to catch vision problems early.

     Additional findings of the survey show that: Almost two-thirds (66 percent) of children under the age of six have never had an eye exam by an eye doctor. One in four 6 to 11-year-olds wears prescription glasses. The prevalence of common eye conditions, as reported by parents, increases with the child's age. The most common vision problem in older children is nearsightedness, also called myopia. This is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away, like a chalkboard, appear blurred. As part of Children's Eye Health and Safety Month in August, VSP and Prevent Blindness America hope to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of vision care and encourage them to make their children's eye health a priority.


Cash for Clunkers brings record business

Record sales and on-lot traffic have Anderson-area car dealerships working overtime these days.

In fact, the government's "Cash for Clunkers" has more new cars leaving the lot than most who work in the business can remember.

"Our business was already good, but this is nothing short of amazing," said Lynn Smith, sales manager for Piedmont Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Anderson. "We've seen about a 70 percent increase in customers here." Smith said the time limits the government put on the program has created a sense of urgency which has contributed to the crowds.

In addition, Chrysler is matching the government's program dollar-for-dollar on many cars, trucks and Jeeps.

There are certain restrictions and there is a formula for determining how much cash a clunker can receive in trade.

Here is how it works:

1. The vehicle must be no more than 25 years old.

2. You must have owned the vehicle at least one year

3. To receive the $4,500 discount, you must purchase a new car or truck which is rated at least 10 mpg higher than your trade in

4. To receive the $3,500 discount, you must purchase a new car or truck which is rated at least 5 mpg higher than your trade in

5. The current deadline for the program is November 1.

Steve Henderson, used car manager for Ralph Hayes Toyota of Anderson, said the program has had a "huge, positive response" at his dealership.

"We have seen our best month in history," said Jeff Hawkins, general manager of Kia of Anderson. "This has been a great program for our customers and our business."

The used cars traded in under the program will be destroyed for scrap.



S.C. Association of Deaf to Meet in Anderson

The South Carolina Associate of hte Deaf Board of Directors will meet Aug. 6-8 at the Hilton Garden Inn In Anderson. The theme of the organization's 45th Biennial Conference is "Our Mission: Building Bridges."
August 6, 7, 8 2009

For more information visit:


No County Council Meeting Aug. 4

Just a reminder the Anderson County Council meeting scheduled for Aug. 4 has been cancelled.

The next meeting will be Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.on the second floor of the historic courthouse.


Tax-free weekend Aug. 7-9 in South Carolina

Back to school time is days away and once again South Carolina is offering a tax-free weekend, Aug. 7-9 to stock up on school supplies. The tax-free event includes clothing, footwear, all school supplies, computers and computer accessories.

Details and a download of items that are and are not tax exempt can be found at the state's tax website:

Here is an excerpt from the law governing the holiday. A full list of items is on the state site linked above.
Code Section 12-36-2120(57) exempts from the sales and use tax:
(a) sales taking place during a period beginning 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ending at twelve midnight the following Sunday of:
(i) clothing;
(ii) clothing accessories including, but not limited to, hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags;
(iii) footwear;
(iv) school supplies including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes, and calculators;
(v) computers, printers and printer supplies, and computer software;
(vi) bath wash clothes, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.
(b) The exemption allowed by this item does not apply to:
(i) sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches;
(ii) sales of furniture;
(iii) a sale of an item placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plan however described;
(iv) rental of clothing or footwear;
(v) a sale or lease of an item for use in a trade or business.