News Archive

(1908) Week of May 7, 2008

Block party celebrates Brookdale park renovation
Community participates in National Day of Prayer
Scott to run for mayor
Council considering improvement projects for town, cannon protection
Letter carriers to collect food May 10
Donated food items to stay in Piedmont
District One receives American history grant
Building design phase underway
District One Board approves personnel recommendations
Budget reflects District growth, increasing costs
Cooper to receive honorary degree during Clemson commencement
Candidate Interview - Cindy Wilson
Coins stolen from vacuum machine
Anderson County Sheriff’s Report
County Republicans to debate May 12
Dickson hearing May 23
Blue Ridge Fest this weekend
Register by Saturday to vote in primary
Capital project sales tax moves step closer to referendum
County Council discussions being held in early meetings
Spring Reunion being planned for USC alumni
Seems to Me . . . Brer Cindy’s briar patch

Block party celebrates Brookdale park renovation

A community block party was held at Brookdale Park in Williamston Saturday.

Sponsored by members of Valley Brook Outreach Baptist Church and other local churches, the event called Unity in the Community, included food, entertainment and on site information provided by SCDHEC, The Career and Technology Center Adult Education and others.

The celebration was also sponsored by Bethel United Methodist Church, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church,New Prospect Baptist Church and The Town of Williamston.

Valley Brook Outreach Coordinator Minister Michael Bond, who helped organize the event, said that the church uses the community block party model to help communities and to promote evangelism ministry.

Other programs the church sponsors is a homeless ministry, addition ministry, prison ministry, local and foreign missions. They have a group known as the nightfighters who minister to street people after 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, offering gloves, hat, blankets and other items.

They have been involved in building a kindergarten in Nigeria.

They will also sponsor block parties, in conjunction with Strong Communities, at Kingswood Subdivision and Cameron Crossing in Piedmont later this year.

“We just want to bless the community,” he said.

Bond said members of the church helped Walt Smith and town workers paint and rebuild sheds, clean out brush and improve the park area.

The park recently received new playground equipment which was being used continously by young children during the block party.

A group of about twenty young people ranging in age from about 5 to teens played a pickup game of kickball on the parks recreation field.

Entertainment was provided by Valley Brook members, the Henry family and the Carolina Mass Choir, made up of black, white and hispanics.

Bond said he would like to thank Councilman Carthel Crout, Mayor Phillip Clardy and Parks and Recreation Director Dale Martin for their support of improvements in the community.

Walter Smith presented plaques from the group to the town officials during the Council meeting Monday.  Smith was also recognized for his work on the project.

For more information on Valley Brook Outreach Baptist or any of their programs, call Bond at 864-275-3338 or Minister Reginald Sherman at 864-430-0113.

Curtis L Johnson is pastor at Valley Brook, which is located on U. S. Hwy. 25, Pelzer.

Community participates in National Day of Prayer

Members of the community joined the Williamston Prayer Group on the National Day of Prayer in Mineral Spring Park on May 1.

While people were welcome to come by during the day, a formal prayer time was held at 12 noon in the amphitheater with several area ministers leading prayers.  Participating Ministers included Dr. Norman Pearson of New Prospect Baptist Church, Rev. Kempie Shepard of Grace United Methodist Church, Rev. Mark Roberts of Calvary Baptist Church, Dr. Charles Strickland of Whitefield Baptist Church and Rev. Tony Edwards of Pelzer Church of God and Retired Pastor Mickey Gambrell.

Prayers were offered for the nation and the community. The participating ministers also shared personal information about themselves and the churches they serve.

The National Day of Prayer, created by the US Congress in 1952, is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The National Day of Prayer Task Force calls on the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: government, military, media, business, education, church and family.

The Williamston Prayer Group is a non-denominational, informal gathering of area men who assemble weekly to pray for needs in the community.

Meetings are held every Tuesday at 8 a.m. at B & R Restaurant. Area men who are interested are welcome to join the group, Ken McInnis said. For more information, call 847-5225.

Scott to run for mayor

By Stan Welch

Williamston Town Councilman Otis Scott has formally announced that he will be running for the post of Mayor in November’s general election.

“I’ve prayed a lot about this and I just feel like I could do a good job for the people of the town,” said Scott in an interview with The Journal.

One thing he pledges is that he will be available to the people seven days a week on the telephone, but more importantly, will be in City Hall five days a week. “I know if we hire a town administrator, the Mayor’s role will be reduced in half. But the Mayor still has the final say and someone who is in charge needs to be up here.”

Scott says the town has some fine employees and one of the best police departments in the state. “These folks do a great job for our town, and they could do even better if there was someone around who could make a decision when it was needed.”

Scott, who says recent health issues no longer concern him, is also interested in being involved in the downtown revitalization efforts of the town. “I’m going in front of the Anderson County Transportation committee next week to ask for the funds to relocate Pelzer Street, as part of that project. I would like to see that underway and making progress.”

Scott sees other ways to make the town run smoother as well. And he promises that the Town will be current on its bills when he is Mayor. “I am not saying that we are behind on our bills now, because we have made a real strong comeback from our problems a couple years ago. But if I’m Mayor, I promise you we will not get behind on our bills.”

Scott, who currently serves the Second Ward on Town Council, would risk that seat by running. “If I don’t get elected Mayor, I will lose my seat. But I really feel that the Lord has told me to do this, so I am. He has given me the health and strength to move ahead,” said Scott, who has undergone several cardiac procedures in the last year or so.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said today, (Wednesday) that he plans to make an official announcement next Tuesday, May 13 at 12 noon at Williamston Town Hall.

Councilman Carthel Crout also said this week that he intends to seek the position, making it a three way race.

Council considering improvement projects for town, cannon protection

By David C. Meade

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved a request by Pamela Owen of the Williamston Area Historic Commission, for $2000 to be used to finish scout hut renovations that will include additional flashing for exposed woodwork and rock underpinning.

Owen said that in addition to the metal roofing that will be placed on the structure, another $400 is needed to cover other exposed wood. The foundation will also be dug out and rock added to prevent moisture and termite damage.

Owen also asked for park benches to be placed at the Gray Drive walking track.

Council approved a request by Kelly Jo Barnwell of Anderson County Senior Citizens to use the town gym facility to allow a volunteer to teach line dancing to seniors.

Council approved a request by Judson James Taylor Riddle to allow an Eagle Scout Service Project in Mineral Spring Park. The project will include a wooden pergola with vines to be built over a concrete slab already in the park. The structure will provide additional shade, he said.

 Approximate cost for the project is $1500. Council will consider funding the project at their next meeting.

Council approved a request by Grace Methodist Church to use the Amphitheater for a gospel singing in June 28.

Council approved first reading on a zoning ordinance presented by Jim Simpson, Chairman of the town planning commission.

Simpson said the plan compliments the comprehensive plan recently submitted to council.

There was some discussion of the need for a zoning administrator or code enforcement person. Police Chief David Baker said he has talked with someone who has worked in that area who is being considered for the position.

As a technicality to receiving funds already approved by the ACTC, Council agreed to resign an updated resolution requesting the C funds for paving of Academy St.

Council approved first reading on an ordinance stating the town’s rental fee refund policy.

Council approved an appointment made by Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr. naming Rocky Burgess to the town election commission.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy told Council that the GWBA and Town will host members of the ACTC, Senator Billy O’Dell and others at a luncheon to present information about the town’s streetscape project and relocation of Pelzer Avenue.

The committee and the town are hoping the the ACTC will help with funding necessary for the relocation project which is vital to the downtown revitalization project.

Mayor Clardy presented information with proposals for refurbishment of the gym floor in town hall. Clardy said funding for the work could come from hospitality funds. The floor has some major sagging, according to the mayor. Councilman Middleton suggested additional work needs to be done on the building including possibly adding a ramp. The issue will be placed on the next agenda.

There was considerable discussion of an agreement spelling out the use of the town’s historic cannon.

Attorney Richard Thompson presented a rough draft of an agreement which spells out who can use the cannon, for what purposes and under what conditions.

The agreement designates who can use it and a required advance notice yet to be determined. The discusson was accepted as information.

There was also discussion of insurance liablility and damage on the cannon. Thompson said the town is covered now because there is no exclusion in the policy and the issue of a cannon has not come up with the insurer before. He said that may change.

He also said that the town is not covered for any property damage.

Clardy said the value of the cannon has been placed as high as $200,000 to $250,000 and that the insurance premium quote for coverage is $1500 per year.

The discussion was related to a request by Allen Ashley, SCV Camp 43, to display the cannon in Anderson this Saturday.  The cannon was displayed by the group, which has been instrumental in restoring the cannon, in Columbia over the past weekend.

Budget worksession dates will be announced when set.

Council is considering preventative maintenance contracts on the town’s AC units.

Council unanimously approved the request for $2000 which will come from the town’s recent pork funding from the State which is also known as the “pot of gold” fund.

Walt Smith presented Councilman Carthel Crout, Mayor Clardy and Recreation Director Dale Martin with a plaque recognizing their support for improvements in Brookdale Park. The plaques were presented to the town officials and one to Smith by members of the Valley Brook Church which sponsored cleanup and a community block party at the park Saturday.

Letter carriers to collect food May 10

This  Saturday, May 10, local letter carriers  CSRA letter carriers will again help CSRA letter carriers Stamp Out Hunger with your help.

Now in its 16th year, the Stamp Out Hunger! effort is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. 

To help simply leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to your mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on May 10. Donations are then delivered to community food banks, pantries and shelters.

Food items should be in non-breakable containers, such as boxes and cans. Local letter carriers will then collect donations from homes across the CSRA and deliver them to Golden Harvest Food Bank.

“This year, as fuel prices soar, food prices follow, and unemployment grows, more and more of our neighbors in the CSRA are turning to our member agencies for emergency food assistance,” says Golden Harvest Executive Director, Mike Firmin. The “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive has always been important to the Food Bank. This year, it is more important than ever, as family visits to our service area pantries are up nearly 5% so far this year, and our food acquisition costs are 30% higher than last year at this time!”

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger! effort in your community, ask your letter carrier, contact the post office or visit www.helpstampouthunger.com.

Donated food items to stay in Piedmont

Food collected by letter carriers in Piedmont on May 10 will stay in Piedmont, according to local officials.

The  National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 439 will donate all food collected in zip code 29673 to the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center (PERC), located in Downtown Piedmont. 

Non-perishable food donations can be left by mailboxes and in post offices to be collected by local letter carriers who will join nearly 1500 NALC  branches in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands for the 14th annual food drive.

The drive also relies on the backing of America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s food bank network; the United Way of America and local United Ways; and the AFL-CIO Community Services network.

Non-perishable food items collected will be taken to the postal station, sorted and delivered to the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center where it will be made available to needy families in the community.

Statistics show an estimated 30 million people face hunger every day in America, including more than 12 million children.  This drive is one way people can help those right here in Piedmont, said PERC spokesperson Jed Daughtry.

“PERC is very appreciative of the efforts of the letter carriers and will be good stewards with the food donated,” Dughtry said.

PERC helps the needy in 29673, 29669, 29697, and 29611.  In addition to being a working food pantry, PERC also provides information to refer clients to other agencies for additional needs, and is a host site for the community for Angel Food Ministry.

PERC is located in the Piedmont Community Building on Main Street and is open on Monday 10 am – 2pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 7pm; Friday 10 am – 2pm; and Saturday from 9am – Noon. 

For more information on the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center, see www.piedmonterc.org of call Daughtry at 906-7351.

District One receives American history grant

Anderson District One is one of four districts in the state to  receive an American History Grant in the amount of $989,550.

Director of Elementary Education, Jane Harrison, said “The grant process is very competitive and the grant team was persistent in their efforts to once again be a recipient of the money. The Teaching American History program offers teachers in grades four and five opportunities to work with college professors, libraries, museums and teams of specialists to learn more about our country’s history. We are excited about partnering with Anderson School District Four and Anderson Five and providing classroom teachers with quality staff development and materials.”

The Teaching American History grant program is designed to improve student achievement by enhancing teachers’ knowledge of traditional American history through intensive ongoing professional development in both content and research-based teaching strategies.

The Teaching American History Grant program is a discretionary grant program funded under Title II-C, Subpart 4 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Cathy Heath, who will serve as Project Director of the grant, said, “I am delighted that the grant will provide the means for our district to implement exceptional training and resources for the teaching of US History in our elementary classrooms. It is valuable to teachers to have on-going professional development and the grant will provide that for three years.”

History is one of the core academic subjects under the No Child Left Behind Act. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is commonly known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” shows some overall improvement in history performance at all three grade levels. However, less than one-quarter of America’s students in grades 4, 8, and 12 are performing at the highest, or proficient, level in American history.

Building design phase underway

A timeline for the School District One building program was recently given the go ahead by Board members.

The timeline schedule includes projected construction and completion dates for each of the eleven school projects approved by voters in the March referendum. The entire project is expected to be completed over a three year period.

Dr. Fowler said that he and his staff will initially focus on six projects over the next year.  Receiving priority will be the new Powdersville High School, improvements and additions to Palmetto High and Wren and Palmetto High athletic improvements.

Powdersville High - The design phase on the new high school is already underway and will take approximately twelve months. Once the design is approved by the Board, the bid process will take about three months. Construction is expected to begin in July of 2009 and take approximately 23 months to finish in time for the opening of the 2011 school year.

Wren High Athletic improvements which include facility improvements and resurfacing the track are in the design phase and should be ready for bid/approval by September of this year. The bid process is expected to take about three months with work beginning in November and taking approximately 10 months to complete.

Palmetto Athletic facilities improvements, which include expanding the field house, will be on the same schedule as Wren athletic facilities.

Palmetto High - Additions to Palmetto High will include six classrooms, a weight room and cafeteria expansion. Design will begin in December, taking approximately 10 months. Bid/approval is slated for September of 2009 with construction beginning in January of 2010 and taking approximately one year. Cafeteria improvement work will be done during the summer months.

Classroom additions and renovations at Wren Middle, Palmetto Middle and Concrete Primary will also be given priority with design work already underway.

Wren Middle improvements include an eight classroom expansion and interior renovations. Design work is expected to take approximately eight months with bid/approval between December and March. Work is expected to begin in March of 2009 with completion in 10 months.

Palmetto Middle work includes an expansion with eight classrooms and interior renovations. The timeline follows the Wren Middle timeline with an addition of one month in the process.

Concrete Primary work includes an expansion of eight classrooms, two kindergarten rooms and aditional offices, kitchen and cafeteria expansion. Design is set to begin in May and take ten months. The bid/approval period should be March to May of 2009, with construction beginning in June and taking twelve months. Office renovation will begin in June of 2010 and take about three months.

Spearman Primary and Palmetto Elementary will see design work beginning in July and August of this year. Spearman will have an expansion of  six classrooms and two kindergarten rooms, cafeteria, kitchen and restroom renovations..

Palmetto Middle will have an expansion of eight classrooms, two kindergarten classrooms, an office renovation and cafeteria expansion. With approval in May of 2009, work is expected to begin in September and be completed by August.

Powdersville Middle design work on expansion of eight classrooms and an athletic upgrade will begin in January of 2009 and take about eight months. With a three month period for bid/approval, construction should begin in December of 2009 and be completed by August of 2010.

Wren Elementary will see expansion of eight classrooms, two kindergarten, office renovation and careteria expansion. Design will begin in August of 2009 and take approximately 10 months. Following bid/approval, construction should begin in September of 2010 and take about  months.

Cedar Grove will see an expansion with five classrooms and two kindergarten classrooms and a cafeteria expansion. Design is to begin in November of 2009 and take approximately ten months. Following bid approval, construction is slated to begin in December of 2010 and be completed by August of 2011.

Security issues will be addressed at Hunt Meadows, Pelzer Elementary, Powdersville Elementary and West Pelzer Elementary under one bid and should be underway soon.

District One Board approves personnel recommendations

During their regular monthly meeting April 29, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved the following personnel recommendations submitted by Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler:

Request for leave - Karen Ashley, Palmetto Middle Health and Physical Education; Kirsten Gunter, Palmetto Middle, Grade 7 Science; JoEarle Roach, Palmetto Elementary LD Resource.

Transfers - Amanda Moore, Powdersville Elementay, Grade 4.

Resignations - Julia Bouldin, Palmetto Middle, Band Director; Casey Calhoun, Palmetto High Social Studies; Teresa Caplinger, West Pelzer Elementary, Grade 4; Dr. Charlotte McDavid, Pelzer Elementary, Principal; Allyson Stanley, Wren High, English Language Arts (.5FTE).

Retiring - Marshall Whitten, Palmetto High, Art.

Recommendations - Amy Allen, Palmetto Middle, LD Resource; Dana Atkins, Palmetto High, English Language Arts; Natalie Barker, Palmetto Middle, Grade 6 Science; Lisa Brundrette, Wren Elementary, Grade 2; Jodi Cowart, Powdersville Elementary, Grade 4; Emily Kim Craig, Concrete Primary, Grade 2; Matt Frazier, Palmetto Middle, Physical Education; Elizabeth Jordan, Wren Middle, Math, Science Grade 7; Rachel Junkins, Powdersville Elementary, Grade 4.

Also Ashley Murray, Wren Elementary, Science Grades 3 and 4; Brittany Roberts, West Pelzer Elementary, LD Self-Contianed; Lisa Robinson, Wren Middle, English Language Arts/Communications; Hannah Sharbo, Hunt Meadows Elementary, EMD Self-Contained (K-12); Elizabeth Syracuse, Hunt Meadows Elementary, LD Resource; Amanda Tinklepaugh, Wren High, Math; Kenia Warren, Palmetto High, Spanish; Ali Wienke, Wren High Science, Rachel Wines, Palmetto Middle, English Language Arts, Grade 6.

Administrative - Dr. Eunice Williams, Pelzer Elementary, Principal and Title 1 Coordinator.

During the meeting, board members were told that the District Nutrition program revenues had dropped approximately $40,000, primarily due to the increases in the price of food. Dr. Fowler said that some people are not able to buy the meals and additionals were off.

The Board also approved naming the new high school that will be built, Powdersville High.

A budget work session followed the regular meeting. Board members were presented finance projections and related budget statistics.

The budget was also discussed in a work session held May 6.

Budget reflects District growth, increasing costs

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees are in the process of working on the 2008-2009 budget.

During a budget work session held April 29, board members were presented Senate finance projections and related budget statistics. A budget work session was also held Monday, May 6.

Under current Senate finance projections, the District One budget will see an increase in revenue of $1,270,315. Based on enrollment projections, the District will see an additional $818,593 in funding from the projected EFQ base student cost which, will increase from $2,476 to $2,578 per student.

Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler said that the figures reflect a 3.85 percent increase for teachers, which translates to a south east average of $300.

Dr. Fowler said the District is expecting enrollment to increase by 279 students, to 9417. He said the District currently has one of the largest pupil to teacher ratios in the state and that class sizes are among the largest in the state.

He said the budget will reflect a 3 percent growth rate which means additional personnel are needed for the district.

Other costs are also increasing. Dr. Fowler said the District is expecting an 8 to 12 percent increase in utilities.

He said that more students are attending The Career and Technology Center and there is a formula in which a certain amount of money follows these students. Approximately 100 more students are expected to attend the CTC next year.

District One Finance Director Steve Uldrick said that he is looking to increase the insurance deductible from $2,500 to $5,000 in an effort to reduce costs.

He also said that the cost of operational supplies, fringe benefits, electricity and water are all expected to increase.

The District is also replacing four year old hardware and software at a cost of $31,000, he said.

Cooper to receive honorary degree during Clemson commencement

More than 2,000 candidates for graduation will don caps and gowns this Friday, May 9, for commencement exercises in Littlejohn Coliseum at Clemson University.

The first ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. and will feature the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to South Carolina Rep. Daniel T. Cooper.

Three colleges will confer degrees in the morning ceremony including the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; and the College of Engineering and Science.

The second ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. for the College of Business and Behavioral Science and the College of Health, Education and Human Development.

As chairman of the South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Cooper holds one of the key positions in state government. He has served continuously in the S.C. House of Representatives since 1991, where he has been a member of the Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs Committee; the Education and Public Works Committee; and the Ways and Means Committee, which he has chaired since 2005. He also serves on the Joint Bond Review Committee and is the only Upstate member of the Budget and Control Board.

“Receiving this honorary degree from my alma mater is more than an honor,” Rep. Cooper said. “It was a privilege to study at Clemson University, which equipped me to serve our great state, and it is a privilege to give back to South Carolina through my career of community service.”

A native of Anderson County, he studied community and rural development at Clemson University, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1984. He spent two years working for state and local governments before embarking on a career in the insurance industry. Having completed commercial property and casualty insurance schools through both the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of South Carolina and AutoOwners Insurance Co., Rep. Cooper earned his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2004. He became affiliated with Capstone Insurance Services LLC in 1997 and became a partner and vice president in 1999.

“Rep. Cooper is being recognized for his commitment to Clemson University and higher education in South Carolina,” said university President James F. Barker. “His support has enabled the state’s research universities to increase their research capability and advance South Carolina’s knowledge-based economy.”

In recent years, Cooper has helped secure funding for Clemson’s Baruch Institute in Georgetown, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), among others. He also has been a champion of Clemson’s Public Service Activities mission and the university’s support of the state agriculture industry, Barker said.

Rep. Cooper’s public service contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including being named Legislator of the Year by four separate state associations and councils. The Medical University of South Carolina and Coastal Carolina University have presented Rep. Cooper with honorary degrees, and the Anderson County Council recently named the newly opened Powdersville Library and Government Center after him.

Candidate Interview Cindy Wilson

County Council District 7

By Stan Welch

When contacted for this interview, Councilwoman Cindy Wilson laughed and said to just run her interview from the 2006 primary season.

“I’m running again for the same reasons I ran in 2006 and 2004 and 2002. I have failed to achieve my goal, which is open and honest government in Anderson County. So that is my reason for running this year too.” Wilson’s failure to achieve her goal can scarcely be attributed to lack of effort. Her relentless demands for access to public information and financial records essentially define her nearly eight years on the Council.

She is currently party to a writ of mandamus lawsuit against county administrator Joey Preston for his refusal to release financial records to Wilson in what she considers a timely manner. That suit is currently being considered by the S.C. Supreme Court, a level it reached only after nearly five years in the lower courts.

Wilson says she feels optimistic as she approached the primary, even though she faces competition from Doug Hooper, a paramedic, who is being funded in large part by another incumbent Councilman, District Six representative Ron Wilson.

“The big difference this year is that I have the benefit of having another determined and stalwart voice also calling for open and honest government in Mr. Waldrep (District One Councilman). There are also a number of candidates who have expressed their desire to see open government running in several other districts as well,” said Wilson.

Even more importantly she sees a much greater awareness of the issue in the general public, and in all the districts. “People have repeatedly approached me at various functions or even casual situations in various parts of the county, telling me they had no idea that public information was so difficult to get. After preaching this for years, it is refreshing and encouraging to see people finally realizing the truth about the administration and its posture on public information.”

Wilson does have other goals for her fourth term, should she be re-elected. “First of all, we have to do something about the roads and bridges in the county. Once we know the true picture about how our money is being spent, our next priority is to engage the public with the information. For example, we spent more money on buying asphalt ten years ago than we did last year, and that’s including the fact that the price of asphalt has tripled. And the state of our county roads clearly backs that up. We are simply not putting the money to work in the best ways.”

Economic development is another area Wilson sees as being very important. “We have too many voices speaking in the economic development arena. We need to establish one agency and staff it with proven professionals. This helter skelter approach we have now is not working. For example, there is documentation that Burriss Nelson, a veteran of such matters, was working with Clemson University to gain their assistance in making sustainable agriculture an element of our economic development strategy. Then, suddenly, Councilman Wilson’s daughter registered her consulting company with the State and was billing the County for her consulting services within a month. Clemson, whose credentials in this field are impeccable, would have worked with us for next to nothing, instead of the tens of thousands of dollars we are paying Mr. Wilson’s daughter.”

Another long time goal of Wilson’s remains on her agenda. “We need a strong comprehensive land use plan and strong equitable subdivision regulations. To establish these and enforce them fairly would remove a lot of the zoning controversy we seem to go through time after time.”

Coins stolen from vacuum machine

Williamston Police Officers investigated thefts from several area businesses. Among incidents investigated were:

Apr. 28 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo, Jr. responded to Nick’s Car Wash at 211 Main St. where Nichols Smith reported that someone had broken into four vacuum machines and stolen approximately $100 in coins.

Apr. 28 –Cpl. D. W. Bryant received a report from Main Street Motors who reported the theft of four chrome wheels and tires from a vehicle on the lot. The estimated loss was valued at $2500.

Apr. 29 – Cpl. D.W. Bryant was dispatched to the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Greenville Street, where he received a report that a black male had concealed 10 packages of Prilosec in his pants and left the store. He got into a late model Cadillac and left the store parking lot. Value of the stolen merchandise is $200.

Apr. 30 – Sgt. Z.E. Gregory was on duty at the Police Department when Sharon Miller, WF, 24, 5’8", 140 pounds, blond/blue, of Honea Path, came in in reference to an outstanding ticket. Gregory was aware that a bench warrant had been issued for Miller for failure to follow the directions of the court and she was taken into custody and transported to ACDC.

May 1 – Ptl. J.. Digirolamo was on patrol on East First St. when he stopped a vehicle with a badly cracked windshield. A subsequent check of the driver’s license revealed that Harley Edwards, WM, 28, 5’10", 195 pounds, brn/hazel had an outstanding bench warrant. He was taken into custody and transported to the WPD.

May 1 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo served two bench warrants on Chad Kelly, WM, 25, 6’2", 180 pounds, brn/brn, of 29 Payne St. Kelly was taken into custody and transported to the WPD.

May 2 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo Jr. and Cpl. D.W. Bryant investigated a complaint by Ivan Calvert that someone had forged one of his checks, drawn on SunTrust Bank, and written in the amount of $5000.

Anderson County Sheriff's Report

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the following incidents:

BELTON

Apr. 30 – M. Voigt responded to 125 Willingham Rd. where Billy Smith pointed out an abandoned trailer on the property. A book bag with clothing and food inside indicated that someone was living there. He asked that anyone caught on the property be put on trespass notice.

May 2 – K. Marzolf was dispatched to 1015 Traynum Rd. Where Rick Waldrop reported the burglary of his home. A riding lawn mower, two tool boxes, two ladders and other items were taken, with an estimated value of $8600.

May 2 – M.D. Campbell was dispatched to 510 Cheddar Rd where Chris Brooks, of Brooks Brothers Siding reported the theft of almost $2200 worth of materials and tools from the job site at that location.

May 2 – K. Marzolf responded to 110 Dr. Simmons Rd.. where Matt Kelly reported that someone had thrown rocks at the front of a house under construction at that location, doing approximately $600 in damage to the vinyl siding.

May 3 – P.D. Marter responded to the Fire Lake Fishing Park on Cheddar Road where Travis Rogers had caught two juveniles and an eighteen year old burglarizing the store and office. The three teenagers were read their rights by Marter and transported to the juvenile or adult facility that was appropriate. The eighteen year old was identified as Jeremy Whitfield, WM, 5’10", 140 pounds, of Seneca.

May 4 – R.D. Morgan received a report concerning an incident at Big Creek Road and Murphy Rd., where two employees of the public safety department, Capt. Keith Bowman and an employee named Hayes reported seeing a dark color Honda with SC tagv#225-6DH pull up with three men in it. One of the men reportedly got out and pulled up two political signs for candidate Doug Hooper and threw them in the trunk before driving off.

May 4 – M.D. Campbell was dispatched to San Lucas Lane where a 16 year old girl reported that her father  had struck her with a belt because she had gotten her ears pierced without permission. The father confirmed that he had disciplined both daughters for the same thing. The case was transferred to DSS. No action was taken at the time.

EASLEY

 April 30 – M.T. Szymanski was dispatched to Winding Slope Dr. where Michael Wright reported someone had stolen 10 sewer covers and ten storm drain covers from the subdivision he was having built. The loss was estimated at $2000.

May 4 – M.J. McClatchy responded to Hornbuckle Dr. where he found seven mailboxes vandalized. Total damage was estimated at $140.

PELZER

April 29 – C. Whitfield, while investigating another case, discovered that Dana Bahr, WF, 32, 5’7", 120 pounds, of Chaffin Rd., was wanted on eleven warrants for fraudulent checks. She was taken into custody and transported to ACDC.

April 30 – L. Finley responded to the Enel Energy plant where Derel Mann reported forced entry into the property and the theft of 550 pounds of copper valued at approximately $1550.

April 30 - M.T. Szymanski responded to the Executive Inn on Earle Morris Hwy, where the staff reported the theft of a television from one of the rooms. The loss was estimated at $100.

May 2 – M.D. Campbell was dispatched to Courtney St. in search of a possible stolen vehicle. He did locate the vehicle stuck in the mud down a dirt road and contacted the owner who came and retrieved the vehicle, valued at $9000.

 May 2 – M.J. McClatchy arrested Jermamie Aiken, WM, 29, 6’1", 200, of Easley, for outstanding warrants related to probation and parole.

PIEDMONT

May 3 – T.B. Dugan responded to 12 Monroe Court where David  Lowe reported that someone had broken out the driver’s side window of one of his vehicles. The loss was estimated at$150.

May 4 – M.J. McClatchy responded to River Rd. where Samuel Thompson reported that Michael Johnson, WM, 30-35, had car jacked Thompson’s Moped scooter while Thompson was giving him a ride.

Prior Week Sheriff Report

Anderson County Sheriff’s Report, week of April 30

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the following incidents during the last week of April:

BELTON

April 27 -  Doug Hooper, a candidate for the District Seven County Council seat, called the ACSO to report the theft of some of his campaign signs from several locations in the Belton area.

EASLEY

 April 23 – T.B. Dugan responded to 116 Cely Rd. where Andy Segars reported that someone had broken into his home and stolen two guns from his closet. The two guns, including a 20 gauge Marlin pump shotgun and a U.S. Army issue .45 auto were valued at $2300.

April 23 – J. Elrod was dispatched to 817 Hamlin Rd. where Ann smith reported the theft of her black 1995 Chevy pickup, valued at $8000.

PELZER

April 22 – R.D. Smith responded to the L’il Cricket Convenience Store at 7001 Hwy. 29 North, where Cathy Davis, an employee, reported that two black males came into the store and demanded money at gunpoint. A canine officer lost the trail about 200 hundred yards behind the store.

April 25 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 6859 Hwy. 29 N where Patricia Goldstein reported that her landlord had kicked the door to her house in following an argument over the rent. She said the door struck her in the hand. A witness verified her story but the landlord denied kicking the door open. Jacobs was going to confer with a magistrate. No charges were filed at the time.

April 26 – J.T. Bowers was dispatched to 118 Whitten Rd. where Christopher Shirley complained that someone had stolen his blue 2005 Honda VTX1300 motorcycle from behind his home. The bike was valued at $10,000.

April 27 –K.J. Winn responded to 113 Old Brickyard Rd. where Duncan Harvin II reported the theft of power and hand tools, as well as several neon signs, with a total value of $4370.

PIEDMONT

April 22 – W.B. Simpson investigated a series of forged checks, drawn on the account of Marie Howard, and on the BB&T bank. Seven checks, each for $50, were cashed.

April 22 – J.K. Billingsley and D.L. Barton responded to Carpenter’s Church at 3212 River Road where  Dustin Lee, a roofer working on the church, reported the theft of a total of 69 bundles of shingles and seven rolls of builders felt from the site. The total loss was estimated at $1100.

April 25 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 212 R.B. Court where Deanna Phillips reported that her neighbor, Dave Potter, BM, 56, had been beating on her door and coming over without being invited. Jacobs spoke with Potter and placed him on trespass notice, which Potter refused to sign. The next day, Jacobs was again called to the location, and arrested Potter for trespass after notice.

April 28 – J.D. Martin and J.J. Jacobs responded to 200 Etta Dr. shortly after midnight. Ann Hooker stated that her daughter had come home upset from an argument she had with her boyfriend. She then ran outside and her mother called ACSO because she was concerned for her daughter’s safety. The deputies searched without results, but were called back to the house ten minutes later because she had returned home and was causing trouble. They talked with her and she said she wasn’t going to hurt herself. Jacobs was again called to the house a little after 6 a.m. when Brian Hooker II reported that someone had broken the window of his GMC Yukon, doing $350 in damage.

WILLIAMSTON

April 22 – R.D. Smith was dispatched to 100 Crappie Dr. where Tara Ebert reported that her daughter, had taken her father’s Toyota Four Runner and left in it, despite not having permission and having a suspended driver’s license.

April 22 – M. Voigt investigated a complaint from Charles King, of 830 Big Creek Road that two people had taken several hundred dollars worth of scrap metal from his property and had almost run over him when he tried to stop them.

April 23 – K. D. Pigman responded to 126 Firetower Rd. where Thomas Elrod reported the theft of a Husky brand tiller and a Lincoln welder, estimated total loss of $900.

April 23 – P.D. Marter responded to 211 Turkey Trot Rd. where Kamara Wright reported the theft of a 1998 Ford Explorer, with SC tag # 427-WGN, valued at $8000.

County Republicans to debate May 12

The Anderson County Republican Party will present a debate between candidates for the Republican nominations for Anderson County Council Districts on Monday May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center of Anderson.

Due to the large number of candidates, there will be two one hour sessions. The first will include Districts 1, 3 and 4 with the second including Districts 5, 6 and 7.

The following candidates have committed to attending: District 1 Brooks Brown, Randall MacKay and the incumbent Bob Walldrep; District 3 the incumbent Larry Greer and Eddie Moore; District 4 Tom Allen and the incumbent Bill McAbee; District 5 Tommy Dunn, Skip Gilmer and the incumbent Michael Thompson, District 6 Rick Freemantle and the incumbent Ron Wilson; District 7 the incumbent Cindy Wilson.

A media panel consisting of morning talk show host Rick Driver of WAIM AM , Anderson Journal reporter Anna Mitchell and Editorial Page Editor of the Anderson Independent/Mail, Bonnie Williams will question the candidates.

Chairman Lee Rogers will serve as moderator. The debate is open to the public. There will a $5 admission fee to cover debate expenses.

For additional information on the Anderson County Republican Party, visit the ACRP website at www.andersongop.org.

Dickson hearing May 23

By Stan Welch

Nathan Casey Dickson,18,  charged with the murders of four family members, is scheduled for a bond hearing on Friday, May 23 at 10 a.m. in the Anderson County Courthouse.

Dickson was charged with the slaying last week of his father, Samuel Andrew Dickson, 46; Dickson’s wife, Martiza Hurtado Dickson, 46; her daughter Melissa Jilliam Salazar, 19; and Taylor Alex Dickson, 14.

While the circumstances of the crimes meet the criteria for seeking the death penalty, Tenth Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams has not yet officially announced whether she will seek the death penalty on the case.

Anderson School District One officials said Wren Middle is mourning the loss of Taylor Dickson, who was an 8th grade student at the school.

Last week friends and fellow students responded with hand written notes and special counseling was being made available.

The Powdersville community was in shock following the news of the shooting.

Blue Ridge Fest this weekend

Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op invites the community to be a part of the 11th Annual Blue Ridge Fest, May 9-10 in downtown Pickens.  Join in the fun and celebration as employees of Blue Ridge Electric and Blue Ridge Security donate their weekend to raise money for thirteen local charities.    

The fun begins on Friday night, from 6-10:30 p.m., when hundreds of collector cars of every model, color and vintage roll in for one of the largest cruise-in events in the Upstate.  The cruise-in will be surrounded by sounds of beach music and festival food that includes grilled hamburgers and cotton candy!         

Little Anthony and The Imperials will headline the Beach Night Show/Cruise In Event.  This legendary group from the ‘50’s will take the stage performing hits such as Tears on My Pillow, Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop, Hurts So Bad, I Miss You So, and Take Me Back. 

Two other bands will also appear on the Blue Ridge Fest stage. Sammy O’Banion and Mardi Gras, a high energy group that performs Motown from the 60’s and 70’s along with classic R & B hits, and The Flashbacks, a local group from Easley performing rock-n-roll and beach and soul.  Tickets prices are: $20/Adults; $10/Children 7-12 years; and children six and under are free.  Discounts are available on tickets purchased in advance.

On Saturday motorcyclists will gather for Blue Ridge Fest’s 11th Annual Charity Motorcycle Ride.  Beginning at 9:15 a.m., riders will cruise through 100 miles throughou South Carolina’s upstate. Following the bike ride, cash prizes will be awarded, ranging from $1,000-$250.  There is a $25 registration fee for the ride and additional hands may be purchased for $10.

Blue Ridge Fest is among the most successful charity events in the upstate.  “During the past ten years, $665,000 has been given to agencies that provide help to people in our communities.  I’m so proud that our employees give their time to this event.  Blue Ridge Fest is successful because of their dedication and hard work,” said Blue Ridge Electric President and CEO Charles E. Dalton.

A 2008 Ford Mustang Premium GT Convertible and a 2008 Harley-Davidson Fatboy are also being raffled off to raise funds for the charities.  Ticket sales are limited to 4,000 for the motorcycle and 6,000 for the car and cost $10 each.  Tickets are available from any Blue Ridge office or Blue Ridge employee.  The drawing for the Mustang will be held Friday, and the drawing for the motorcycle will be held Saturday.

The thirteen local charities benefiting from this year’s festival proceeds are Collins Home & Family Ministries, Foothills Alliance, Gleaning House Ministries, MARY’S House, Meals on Wheels (Anderson), Meals on Wheels (Pickens), Meyer Center for Special Children, Oconee Crisis Center, Inc., Oconee Presbyterian Service Fund, Rosa Clark Medical Clinic Association, Sabrina House Children’s Charity, SENIOR Solutions and United Christian Ministries.

Both events will be held at the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative’s covered outdoor facility located at 734 West Main Street, Pickens.   For more information on Blue Ridge Fest, call 1-800-240-3400 or visit the Fest website at www.blueridgefest.com.

Register by Saturday to vote in primaries

Saturday, May 10 is the final day to register to vote in the both the Republican and Democratic Primary Elections. In the state of South Carolina residents do not register by party.

To accommodate those who wish to register to vote in-person, the Voter Registration Office will be open additional hours on Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

To register bring a current photo I.D. and documentation that has your name and current residential address.  Accepted documents include a S.C. Driver’s license, current utility bill, or bank statement. 

Citizens may also register to vote by mail if applications are postmarked by May 10.

Required by the 2002 Federal Help America Vote act, mail registrations must include acceptable forms of identification:  such as a valid photo identification or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck stub, government document. If identification other than photo ID is presented, it must show your current and correct name and address.

Voters who have moved out of Anderson County or out-of-State and returned to reside in Anderson County must also re-register by May 10.

Any person that was previously registered in Anderson County who has moved within the county will need to update voter registration either by visiting the Anderson County Voter Registration and Elections Office located in the old Bailes Building, directly behind the old Historic Courthouse at 107 South Main Street, Room 101, or by mailing a change of address form to P.O. Box 8002 Anderson, SC  29622. This form is available for download at www.andersoncountysc.org/vote.

State Law requires that voters be registered at least 30 days prior to an election to participate in that election. Voters are allowed to cast their vote in only one of the Political Parties’ Primary election.

Registered voters, who qualify, and intend to cast absentee ballot by mail in one of the above Elections, may call 864-260-4035 to request an absentee ballot application. 

Capital projects sales tax moves step closer to referendum

By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Council gave unanimous second reading approval to the proposed capital sales tax Tuesday night. One more approval will ensure that the referendum question will be included on the ballot in November’s general election.

That referendum question will list 124 projects that will be included on the ballot. Those projects range from building the East/West Connector to renovating municipal buildings in several towns throughout the county. It will also, if approved in November, authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of the projected tax revenues to be collected. That amount is estimated at $148 million. 

Following a brief public hearing, at which two citizens spoke for the tax and two spoke against it, Councilman Bob Waldrep sought assurances from the county attorney that no changes can be made in the list of prioritized projects. County attorney Tom Martin provided those assurances, telling Waldrep that “There is zero wiggle room on this matter. The list cannot be changed as to priority or amount spent on any given project. The County Council can either vote the question up or down, as it was presented to them. But they cannot change it in any way.”

The Council also gave first reading approval to an ordinance authorizing the issuance of $2.8 million in special source revenue bonds, despite questions fromCouncil members Cindy Wilson and Bob Waldrep concerning the re-allocation of more than a half million dollars which had been slated for installing sewer lines at the new Flat Rock School that plan was abandoned and the money is now being designated for use in building a hangar at the airport.

The evening’s liveliest exchange came during the discussion, when Councilwoman Floyd tried to interrupt Wilson by seeking a point of order. Wilson objected to the interruption, saying that she had the floor, but was overruled by Chairman Michael Thompson. Floyd then asked if Ms. Wilson was in fact discussing the issue at hand, to which Wilson replied, “I certainly am. This is information on this question that was hand delivered to us last night.”

Thompson upheld Wilson and the discussion continued. The ordinance  eventually received first reading approval by a vote of 5-0-2, with Waldrep and Wilson abstaining.

Council also approved several resolutions, including one which extends the life of a tax currently in place to fund the construction of a parking deck at the corner of Whitner and Murray Streets by an additional six years.

In an act of optimism, the Council also approved a resolution declaring May Mental Health Month in Anderson County. May 13 was also declared Livestrong Day in Anderson County.

County Council discussions being held in early meetings

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council Chairman Michael Thompson’s efforts to reshape the manner in which the Council functions continued May 6, with a second special called meeting of the Council, held at 3 p.m., just three hours before the regularly scheduled Council meeting.

Thompson has touted his new plan as being intended to increase efficiency in the manner in which Council functions. He has cited both Greenwood and Spartanburg Counties as using the same approach, which he calls a “committee of the whole”.

According to the plan, items placed on the agenda are not intended for a vote at that time, but are presented for discussion. The agenda for the later, regularly scheduled meeting allows for items to be voted on.

Councilwoman Cindy Wilson clearly has a different view of the special called meetings. While she was granted two different time periods to raise issues concerning the County’s finances, she noted both times that she had originally requested that the items be included on the regular meeting’s agenda.

The difference is that the regular meeting is taped by a Charter communications camera and broadcast on local access cable the next night.

Wilson has said that the extra meeting, which is not taped, is intended to remove the discussion of difficult issues from the public view.

“I asked that these items be placed on the regular agenda, and I have also asked that arrangements be made to have Charter tape these meetings as well. But Clerk to Council Linda Edelmann has been unable to get the contact information for Charter from our assistant administrator Michael Cunningham.”

Wilson said it seems to be more than a coincidence that the new schedule, which involves one special called meeting to be held on the first Tuesday of the month, was put in place at a time when questions were being raised by herself, Councilman Waldrep and the media concerning the use of County credit cards.

“This is typical of this administration. When the light being shined on a topic gets too bright, they look for ways to get back in the shadows. The public deserves to have access to these meetings, and obviously, very few people can attend them since they are held during business hours when people work, “said Wilson. “We are violating our own ordinance about the formulation of the agenda, and we are sworn to uphold the laws of this state.”

Wilson raised a number of questions concerning financial records, including what she called her continued failure to receive information about various accounts of the County.

“I have asked about account number 5827, designated for matching grant funds for County Council, since December. I haven’t gotten an accounting yet. But we have managed to figure out that this fund is being used to pay one of our Councilmen’s daughters for consulting work. This is the kind of information that is so difficult to get from this administrator.”

“We also see where major expenditures have been made in allowing a Councilman and his associate to travel all over the country under the guise of economic development. I would once again ask that we have a proper and formal procedure for credit card use and documentation of that use.”

Councilman Larry Greer, speaking towards the end of the meeting during Council members’ remarks, offered a much different view of the information issue.

“A lot of people will bash me for this, and I’ll be talked about on the radio tomorrow. But my opinion is that this entire issue over access to information is a contrived, created and calculated effort to discredit this administration and this Council, and to influence this government.”

Greer continued, “I have never had any trouble getting information. My manner of seeking the information is different. I conduct myself as a gentleman, not a bull in a china shop.”

Greer referred to a February 6 incident at which Council members Cindy Wilson and Waldrep invited the media to accompany them when they went to review credit card records they had been seeking access to for several weeks. Greer said that was a media circus, calculated to create an incident.

“I know there’s a group of people out there who want me gone from Council. But there’s also a group that wants me to stay,” said Greer before offering a motion to instruct Mr. Preston to continue to comply with state law in responding to request for information and to provide information in a spirit of cooperation and not confrontation.

Ron Wilson seconded the motion, which was subsequently withdrawn when Councilwoman Floyd pointed out that the special called meeting format was intended for items to be discussed without votes being taken.

Greer did not reintroduce his motion at the later meeting.

Spring Reunion being planned for USC alumni

University of South Carolina alumni are invited to campus May 16 - 17 for a weekend of class reunions and checking out what’s new on campus.

Traditionally, Homecoming Weekend has been the time for class reunions and events that revolve around Carolina football. However, the increasingly tentative nature of kick-off times for football games has made planning events for alumni increasingly difficult. The Carolina Alumni Association has launched Spring Reunion 2008 to respond to alumni interest in reunions.

“The weekend is designed to give alumni the opportunity to see how campus has changed and to take part in classes, reunions, musical concerts, tours, social activities and many other programs,” said Lynn Bradley, assistant executive director of alumni engagement.

Many events will tie into events from schools and colleges. In addition to reunions for particular classes, a full list of events for all alumni is on the Carolina Alumni Association Web site: www.MyCarolina.org.

Special reunions are being planned by several classes and for Greek alumni. 

Early plans for Spring Reunion 2008 call for tours of new buildings on campus, a jazz concert by faculty and students from the School of Music, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Colonial Center, a fun run/walk through campus, a gala event and the South Carolina-Tennessee baseball game.

The weekend also will offer alumni the opportunity to head back to class for an array of educational offerings. In addition to the health sciences, topics will include media and politics and a culinary class taught by faculty in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

“The schedule will feature great fun and education,” Bradley said. “We hope alumni will make a trip to campus for what promises to be a very special weekend for everyone.”

Alumni are encouraged to visit the Web site: -www.MyCarolina.org- often for Spring Weekend 2008 updates

Seems to Me . . . Brer Cindy’s briar patch

By Stan Welch

When I was a child, in the days before the scourge we call political correctness came to be, I used to love to watch Uncle Remus, and to read the stories in the big colorful story book we had at our house. Uncle Remus and Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Possum, they were all wonderful characters who told tales that taught us lessons akin to those of Aesop’s Fables.

As a child of the South, those stories spoke to me in language that only a Southern heart could hear. Alas, the day came in this country when the rights of some to be consistently offended by every aspect of their world came to supersede the rights of others to be educated and entertained by these gentle stories of the South.

I don’t know who the first person was to decide that Song of the South was racist and harmful to black Americans, but it wasn’t anyone under the age of fourteen. I watched that Disney movie and television series, and read that book, for years, and the idea that racial attitudes were being ingrained in black and white children by those stories never even flitted across my mind. For that matter, I still don’t buy it.

One of the first gifts we received when my son was born was a beautiful copy of the book, “Uncle Remus’ Tales”, and a video of “Song of the South”. They are as beautifully written and produced as they ever were, and just as valuable for learning lessons of life.

But of all the characters in the book, or the film, or the television show, Brer Rabbit was the “most trouble getting into”est of dem all. Yassuh, Brer Rabbit stayed in trouble with his brash and sassy ways. Old Brer Fox and Brer Bear spent all dey time trying to trick that ol’ Brer Rabbit, even though most of de time he were just minding his own business.

It kind of reminds me of the antics of the County Council and Mr. Preston trying to get Brer Cindy in some kind of trouble. Why they have accused her of using inside information to help her family profit on a sewer project; they have told everybody in the whole woods that she cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic development because of her rascally behavior. Why, she apparently cost the county even more than they spent at Hooters and Hilton Head! Lawsy mercy, that’s most hard to believe, ain’t it?

(Author’s note: If this dialog gets confusing for any of you Nawthun folks out there, ask one of your Southern friends to explain it, alright?)

Oh, yassuh, they done censured Brer Cindy, a couple of times. They took her money from her and spent it themselves. They accused her of being involved in the dreadful harassment and stalking of Brer Joey. Brer Michael done tried to link her to a terrorist group!

Why she has reportedly shut down county operations single handedly, by making the plumb ornery request that state laws concerning the release of public information actually be complied with.

And Brer Joey and Brer Tom have done all they can to make sure people know what a low down nuisance Brer Cindy is. Brer Ron, and Brer Willie and Brer Larry and Brer Gracie have all done their share too. There have been other Brers before them that tried mightily to trap Brer Cindy.

The problem is that Brer Cindy, like Brer Rabbit, is mighty hard to trap and even harder to kill, metaphorically speaking of course. No one is suggesting that any of those Brers I mentioned would actually kill Brer Cindy. No, they just want to get rid of her, because she gets on their nerves and in their way with all those dadgum questions she keeps asking. Ain’t she got nuthin’ better to do?

And it’s not like none of the traps works. Why, Brer Cindy , she’s been stuck to more than one tar baby in recent years. She has spent thousands and thousands of her dollars trying to pull loose from that ol’ tar baby called the writ of mandamus. Brer Joey, he’s spent thousands and thousands of your dollars, trying to keep her stuck to it.

But stuck to a tar baby or not, Brer Cindy always seems to end up back in that briar patch, where any self respecting rabbit feels at home. I believe she calls it District Seven or sum such.

Yassuh, every time dat Brer Joey and Brer Tom decide they done hit on some way to embarrass and humilify Brer Cindy, dem simple folks that live in her patch of the woods decides that, whatever dem other folks say, Brer Cindy is their rabbit for sho’.

Why, right about now, she’s probably hoping that that ol’ Brer Five will do something to throw her in that briar patch again between now and June. And slow minded as dey is, dat’s probably just what they got planned.

Seems to me like June 10th  most likely goan be one zippedydoodahday in Brer Cindy’s briar patch.

 

 

 

 

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