(2105) Week of May 25, 2005
singer takes first place in FAMEUS competition
The 24th annual Pontiac GMC Freedom Weekend Aloft will feature four days filled with hot-air balloons, concerts, disc dog competitions, soccer, softball, great food and more during Memorial Weekend, May 27-30.
The annual event will feature 100 of the countrys best hot-air balloonists competing daily for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Featured concerts will be held three evenings in the William A. Floyd amphitheater and will be the only FWA attraction where attendees will be required to pay admission.
Organizers said the events goal is to provide high quality entertainment at very low prices through the support of corporate sponsors.
On Friday, southern rock superstars Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker Band and Charlie Daniels Band will join forces for the first show of the weekend sponsored by the Anderson Independent Mail and ROCK 101 FM.
Molly Hatchet will begin the show at 7 p.m. The groups 1978 debut album went multi-platinum as did their second album. The band struck gold status in 1991 with the release of their greatest hits album.
Fans will enjoy hits such as Flirtin With Disaster, Gator Country, Whiskey Man and more.
They will be followed by the Upstates own Marshall Tucker Band who have had seven gold and three platinum albums with hits including, Desert Skies, Cant You See, Heard It In a Love Song, Take The Highway, Fire On The Mountain and more.
The legendary Charlie Daniels Band will then take the FWA stage.
Daniels is a patriotic man which is evident in many of his songs. His career includes gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums.
The hit The Devil Went Down To Georgia won Daniels a Grammy and was an international phenomenon.
An endless list of other hits including The Souths Gonna Do It Again, Long Haired Country Boy, In America, This Aint No Rag, Its A Flag, Uneasy Rider, The Legend of Wooley Swamp, Still In Saigon, Simple Man and many more are staples for Daniels.
Commenting on his own music, Daniels stated; Its purely American music with something for everyone, at least thats what Ive hoped for in my 40 years in music.
On Saturday, May 28, B 93.7 FM will bring Ryan Cabrera and Gavin DeGraw to FWA. The Upstates Dezerays Hammer will open the show at 7 p.m.
The two hot new artists are lighting up charts with Cabreras current single True and DeGraws current single I Dont Want To Be.
Cabrera is described as a young singer-songwriter who is already receiving international acclaim.
He learned guitar in middle school teaching himself Beatles songs and credits The Dave Matthews Band as having a major influence on his acoustic based sound.
Cabreras debut album Take It All Away has produced the hit single True which is currently # 17 on Billboards Pop 100 Airplay.
Other hot singles on the album may include Lets Take Our Time and Exit to Exit and more.
Gavin DeGraw will follow. This New York based 26 year old rock artist is a compelling singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.
His debut album Chariot produced the hit single, I Dont Want To Be which has risen up the Billboard charts and currently is #11 on the Pop 100 Airplay.
Upcoming releases include Just Friends, Crush and Follow Through.
On Sunday at 8 p.m. Magic 98.9 presents John Waite and Edwin McCain.
Born in Northern England, Waite began his career founding the group The Babys in the UK. Hits followed including If Youve Got The Time, Isnt It Time, Back On My Feet and Head First.
Waite later left The Babys to embark on a solo career which brought more hits including Change, Missing You and more.
Edwin McCain was born in Greenville, and continues to call the Upstate home.
McCains style is a mix of southern soul and acoustic storytelling. His latest album A Scream and A Whisper came at a time when McCain said he had recaptured a passion for the music that he felt he had not had for some time.
He has reached both Gold and Platinum status with hits such as I Could Not Ask For More, Solitude, Ill Be, See The Sky Again and more!
Music fans may want to come early on Sunday as Oldies 106.3 presents a free Beatles bash at 4 p.m. featuring the tribute band The Return performing timeless and Beatles hits.
Memorial Day will also feature a free beach blast sponsored by Magic 98.9 FM featuring The Embers and The Catalinas beginning at 3 p.m.
Both groups are synonymous with sounds of the Grand Strand.
The Embers have been inducted into the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
The Catalinas have the #4 Beach Music hit of all time, Summertimes Calling Me.
Other favorites include Rainy Day Bells, Party Time Man, Miss Grace, Facts Of Love, and more.
As in previous years, beach music fans can literally get sand in their shoes as organizers bring the beach to The Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center.
There will also be contests including shagging, limbo, water balloon toss, hula hoops, six on six soccer competition and more.
General admission tickets for concerts are available in advance at area Bi-Lo stores through May 26 for $15 per person. After May 26, concert tickets will be $20.
Concert tickets will be available at the Civic Center Box office during the event from 12 noon to 10 p.m. All ages will require a ticket.
Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted. No coolers or pets are allowed on the event grounds.
Special amusement ride deals include $15 unlimited rides on Friday from 12-4 p.m. and Monday from 4-10 p.m.
General admission is free, parking is $6 per car.
For additional information call the FWA Offices at (864) 222-0051 Anderson or (864) 232-3700 Greenville or visit the events web site at www.freedomweekend.org.
Williamston Police Chief David Baker said he hopes to talk with Anderson County Emergency Preparedness officials soon concerning the 911 Central dispatch proposal and the current system the towns police department is using.
Baker said under the current set up, 911 calls are taken by Central Dispatch and once determined not to be for fire or EMS, are then transferred to the Williamston Police Department for police dispatch.
According to Baker, upgrades to Williamstons 911 equipment would cost $225,000 to bring it up to the current standards necessary to accept calls from the 911 Central Dispatch.
He said most of the cost is for a computer phone system that is needed as part of the upgrade to be in compliance with the County equipment.
Baker said he has several ideas to present to the County officials that he thinks will avoid having to spend the $225,000 and will meet the needs of the local police department and the safety needs of citizens.
Chief Baker said he believes the town can use an emergency preparedness radio the department already has, in conjunction with the County 911 program, for communications which will allow the County 911 dispatcher and Williamston dispatch both to be in communication with an officer at the same time.
Everybody then knows what is going on, Baker said.
He also said the response time will be quicker because calls will go directly to Williamston rather than through a 911 dispatcher who has to determine whether the call is transferred to the police department or other services.
He said the situation with the Williamston Police Department is different from other towns police departments in the County because Williamston has jailers/dispatchers.
They are on duty to handle jailing responsibilities 24 hours a day and to take fine money during regular hours.
He also said that having a jail saves time by not having to transport a prisoner to Anderson County Detention Center, which results in an officer being tied up for the period of time it takes to transfer a prisoner.
Most are released the next day, he said. We have to have personnel in the building.
Baker said his decision is not based on the cost of the project,
You cant put a price tag on this, he said. I think there is a simple solution.
Baker said he wants to allow Central Dispatch in Anderson to accpt 911 calls while continuing to accept emergency calls on the Williamston exchange number.
But instead of having a separated 911 computer terminal, the town will dispatch along with Central dispatch through the radio.
The Williamston Police Department will continue to take direct emergency calls due to what Chief Baker said is a low call volume and the fact that the department has to have personnel present to man the jail and to accept fine payments.
He said that the current program provides an effective and efficient use of personnel and that most emergencies are called in on the direct line or walk in. He said the current system allows the department to have personnel there to address things.
Out of 100 or more calls during a month, Chief Baker said that only 12-15 are emergencies.
A local Palmetto Middle School student may soon be famous or FAMEUS, that is.
Talya Hendrickson, 14, an 8th grader at Palmetto Middle School, recently placed first in a national vocal talent competition held at the Greenville Expo Center.
The FAMEUS Vocal and Dance competition was one of eleven competitions being held in cities throughout the country under the direction of Debbie Allen, of FAME fame.
Talya said she was told about the competition just days before and registered online. She registered so close to the April 23 audition that the program had her song listed as TBA (to be announced).
She was one of 67 participants to go before three judges, and placed first in her division.
It was her first time performing in front of judges, which she said made her nervous.
But, once she began her song, she said she lost her nervousness and even invited the audience to participate by clapping along, which they did. According to her mom, the interaction of the audience helped her performance.
I didnt think I would win, she said. There were a lot of good singers.
The top five out of the 67 who went before the preliminary judges came back to perform before the competition sponsor, Debbie Allen, who would choose the top 5 to go on to the FAMEUS challenge in California.
When they first called her name to go before the Allen, she said she was in shock and after about two minutes, finally got up on the stage to do her song.
She said though she was nervous going before judges in the preliminary, later that afternoon when she performed in front of Allen, she was not as nervous. I was excited, she said. I wasnt nervous at all.
Talya prefers to sing country music and performed Love Gets Me Every Time by Shania Twain.
To her surprise, and the surprise of her following which included her mom and dad, sisters, brother, boy friend and teachers, she won first place.
Her mom also said she didnt think her daughter would win.
It was her first time out when she won first place, Cindy said.
Talya said after receiving her first place plaque she had her photo taken with Allen and had the opportunity to talk with her.
According the Talya, Allen said she had a great career ahead of her and that she had enjoyed my song.
She also said she liked my personality and looks, Talya said.
The family plans to travel to California for the FAMEUS National Finals in Los Angeles August 8-10, where Talya will compete in front of a panel of judges made up of producers, talent agents, and celebrities.
She is excited about the opportunity though she said she hasnt really thought about the August performance.
A lot of people will be out there, she said. People I dont know, and personalities, she said. I will have to wait and find out, she said. There may be people out there who are really good.
At the finals, first, second and third place winners will be announced as well as an overall winner.
Talya will not compete on the first night because all first place winners advance automatically to the second night of competition.
Win or lose, she said she sees this as an opportunity.
There could be people who could see me, she said. There will be interviews celebrity judges and in attendance will be record producers, film directors and movie and tv people, she said.
Judges at the competition will include Paula Abdul, Diana Ross, Raven, Mauriece Hines, Stevie Wonder, and other celebrites who are scheduled to be in attendance.
There is ample opportunity to do something with this, her mom said. Were excited.
Talya said that since winning the competition she is practicing a lot more, working on voice training twice each week now, where she was only doing it once each week. She is also practicing every day now.
She said she has wanted to sing since she was 2 years old.
Since I was little I have said, Im going to be famous one day.
She has always wanted to sing, her mom said. Since she could walk.
The young and talented singer only began taking voice lessons last year.
She has three instructors at the South Carolina Institute of Vocal Training in Mauldin.
They are Ben Gantt, Allyson Cox and Robert Hoefer.
She said she began the voice training after Cox, a teacher at West Pelzer, told her the school was looking for students to audition.
She said she also enjoys being in the spotlight and on stage.
As far as experience, the young singer said she has participated in school talent shows, and recently performed at a private event at the Handlebar which was sponsored by the voice school to showcase some of their students.
She said that she missed her 8th grade prom to do the last minute competition in Greenville. But after taking first place, she said is was definitely worth it.
Im glad I missed it, she said.
Talya has one brother Tristan, and three sisters Autumn, Missa and Sonya. Her parents are Mike and Cindy Hendrickson of Williamston.
She attends new Life Baptist Church in Greenville where she has also enjoyed singing.
It is a great opportunity, she said.
The Fameus Vocal and Dance Competition was created by Debbie Allen, John Crutchman and Alan Sherfield.
The National Finals will be held in Los Angeles at the famed Renaissance Hotel.
According to the website, the all-star event will enable talent from around the nation to be viewed by the industrys leading agents, music producers, directors and industry elite.
For more information check out the Fameus website at: www.fameustalent.com.
The Williamston Police Department is participating in a state wide safety belt education and enforcement campaign May 23 through June 5.
According to Williamston Police Chief David Baker, local officers will team with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies across the state, for the 2005 Memorial Day Buckle Up South Carolina, Its the Law and Its Enforced, campaign which began Monday.
Through the highly visible statewide campaign, SCDPS officials and local law enforcement agencies will seek to raise awareness about the importance of using safety belts and properly installed child safety and booster seats, Chief Baker said.
Our officers will be looking for traffic violations and other actions leading to accidents. Seat belt usage will be secondary but will be strictly enforced, he said. The goal is to promote safety.
The public education portion of the campaign began Monday with television and radio public service announcements airing around the state.
The Memorial Day holiday starts the beginning of what is known as the 100 deadly days of summer. Our goal is to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and help keep residents and visitors safe on our states roadways during this time and throughout the year, said James K. Schweitzer, Director for the S.C. Department of Public Safety.
Through the BUSC campaign, we will seek to remind drivers and passengers about the importance of buckling up and focus our enforcement efforts on detecting traffic violations that are the leading causes of fatal and injury crashes across the state, he continued.
From May 23-June 5, law enforcement officers will also focus on specific enforcement zones throughout the state roads that have the highest frequency of traffic collisions resulting in death and serious injury in order to help reduce the number of traffic collisions involving death and serious injuries in South Carolina during the period.
During the enforcement period, law enforcement will be on the lookout for traffic offenses that are known contributors to serious collisions, said Max Young, Director of the Office of Highway Safety for the S.C. Department of Public Safety. This includes drivers who speed or drive too fast for conditions, drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as those who fail to yield the right of way and disregard a traffic sign or signal.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every hour, someone in America dies simply because they didnt buckle up. Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. South Carolina could save 80 lives and prevent 1,200 injuries every year if safety belt usage increased a mere 10 percent.
Williamston is participating as part of the Anderson/Oconee traffic task force, according to Baker.
The national campaign, which runs alongside the South Carolina campaign, will focus on drivers of pick-up trucks, who have a traditionally lower seat belt usage rate than drivers of passenger vehicles. Since non-use of appropriate vehicle restraints is most common in males aged 18-34, this group will be the focus for enforcement and educational efforts.
For more information about the South Carolina Department of Public Safetys Buckle Up South Carolina, Its the Law and Its Enforced, campaign, visit www.buckleupsc.com.
By Stan Welch
Two of the candidates for the West Pelzer Town council are political newcomers, and both have strong, but similar, views on the town and its future.
Pat Alexander has lived in West Pelzer for thirty five years, and with her husband Gary, has raised two sons. Like several other candidates, she says that the confusion and lack of cooperation on the current council is one of the main reasons for her running.
It just seems important to get all the people working together, instead of going at each other all the time, she said in a recent telephone interview. Alexander also sees addressing the water and sewer issues as her number one priority. I would also like to see the speed limits reduced on some of the side streets in town, or even putting in some speed bumps. The speed limits are just too high for a lot of the residential streets.
Alexander met her husband Gary while both were working at Union Carbide. We fell in love and weve been married ever since. We have two sons, David and Chris. Im a homemaker now. This is the first time Ive ever run for anything, although Chris ran for town council a few years ago and lost by one vote, I think. Thats why its important for everybody to vote.
Randall Ledford, also a political novice, has been interested in the town councils actions ever since he moved from Pelzer to West Pelzer about three and a half years ago. In all, he and his wife, who have two grown children as a result of their 22 year marriage, have lived in the West Pelzer area for seven years. I started going to Council meetings shortly after we moved to West Pelzer. Over that time, Ive seen a lot of things go past that could have helped the town. We need to attract new businesses and get the town upgraded some, in its appearance and parking, things like that, said Ledford.
Getting the towns water and sewer problems is the key to attracting both new residents and new businesses. Thats the first thing we have to do to grow. Business will not come where there is not an adequate sewer system. It will take a while. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Thats the approach we need on Town council.
He referred to a downtown beautification grant that the town council chose not to pursue a few months ago. That grant would have really helped the towns appearance, and would have addressed at least some of the parking problems we have.
Ledford also sees the dissension on council as a problem. Ive seen a lot of bickering among the council. I was approached by a member of council, whos not running this time, at the end of last year and they said they thought I would do well. I hope so. Ive always been a team player, and it will take everyone working together to help this town move ahead. One person cant do it.
Ledford is a machinist/fabricator but feels his previous work experience in restaurant management trained him to make decisions when they had to be made. I think I can do the town justice. We own a home here, and we arent planning to go anywhere. I want to be proud of my home town. I want people to know who we are in West Pelzer, not ask where that is.
Anderson County will host a Memorial Day parade honoring both military veterans and emergency response personnel Saturday, May 28 from 10 to 11 a.m. The parade route will begin behind Anderson Mall at the intersection of Mall Road and Camson Road. The parade will travel along Camson Road, turning left on McGee Road and finishing at the Anderson County Veterans Monument.
The parade will have historic and modern military vehicles. Local veterans groups will travel in convertible cars donated by Upstate Automotive. Law enforcement officers, fire fighters and emergency response personnel will represent their departments. The South Carolina Military Department will donate their horse-drawn Mounted Caisson Detachment. Major General Stan Spears, the Adjutant General of South Carolina will act as the Grand Marshal. Music will be provided by the Upstate United bagpipe and drum band from Clemson.
The Anderson County Veterans Association will sponsor their annual Memorial Day service beginning at 11 a.m. in front of the Anderson County Veterans Monument.
The Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home will hold thier annual Memorial Day Celebration to honor the memory of those men and women recently deceased over the past year who gallantly served the state and nation. A program will be held outside in the pavilion on the nursing home grounds. If rain the program will be moved inside.
American Legion W. A. Hudgens Post 14 will hold a tribute to Anderson Countys deceased veterans Sunday May 29 at 3 p.m. at 1301 East Greenville St. in Anderson. There will be a roll call of all known veterans who have passed away during the last year. The famillies of these men and women have been invited to the service and will be able to place a poppy on the cross in honor and remembrance of their loved one. T. L. Hanna High School NJROTC will assist in the service. Commander Buford H. Haynie, Jr. extends an invitation to the public to attend this service.
Greenville County Veterans Memorial Day ceremony will be held May 30 at 10 a.m. in front of the monument at the Greenville County Square. The Greenville County Veterans Affairs and the Greenville joint Veterans Counsel will sponsor the ceremony. Highlights will include recognition of former prisoners of war, veterans wall of remembrance extension, and music by the Greenville Senior Concert Band. Guest speaker will be Butch Kirven, Brigadier Gen. (RET) and Greenville County Council Chairman. Master of Ceremonies is WSPAs Tom Crabtree. Refreshments will be served.
West Pelzer citizen Faye Davis and business owner Pat Chandler continued to raise questions and concerns this week about recent incidents involving them and West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton.
Both women said they believe that Paxton has abused ethics guidelines by helping Council candidate Earl Brown with political flyers and labels for mailing.
Davis also said Paxton attempted to have a stalking warrant taken out on her husband, Councilman Terry Davis, after an incident in which the Davises stopped their vehicle in the road and took a photograph of Paxton at Earl Browns house.
Both Brown and the Davises live on Spring Street.
The issue involves a photo taken by Faye Davis of the mayors truck, which was parked in front of Earl Browns house at the time.
Davis said she took the picture because they wanted proof that the mayor was at Browns home and to show that the Mayor and Brown were working together and could be meeting illegally in a quorum.
The mayor admitted to being very upset by the photo incident, but said that the town judge, Roger Scott, approached her to try and settle the dispute.
Scott also confirmed that he attempted to help settle the issue by having the parties meet but that Councilman Davis had not returned his phone call.
Faye Davis also said that a County law enforcement official said there is nothing wrong with taking a picture.
Davis said she thought the warrant incident happened because the mayor didnt want Councilman Davis to be at a meeting in which the towns computer software representative was to speak.
Davis asked Mr. McCloney to appear at the meeting where he specifically stated that no incoming money had been entered in the towns computer since January.
Davis had asked for copies of the Towns financial reports for January and said he hadnt received anything yet.
Paxton also said that allegations that she attempted to have a warrant served on Davis husband, Councilman Terry Davis, for stalking is ridiculous.
I dont have the authority, she said and added that there is nothing to the issue.
I did have an incident report filled out noting that they took my picture, Paxton said. But she denied that she had talked with a local magistrate about taking out a warrant.
Paxton said that local magistrate Roger Scott did come to her and ask if there was anything he could do to clear up the situation and make it better.
Paxton said she agreed to sit down with the Davises, to discuss the situation. But Davis had not returned a call from Scott.
I would love to sit down with them she said. I want to end this.
Paxton said that she did not help council candidate Earl Brown with a political flyer or supply him with labels for mailing it.
I have not helped him, she said. I have not publically supported anybody.
Paxton said Brown had given her a flyer like he did everybody else. But she said that they were not printed at town hall and she has no idea where they came from.
Paxton said she did have a flyer in her vehicle which was given to her by Brown, but that she did not help him with the flyer.
Paxton made the statements after questions continued to be raised this week by West Pelzer citizen Faye Davis and business owner Pat Chandler.
Paxton said everyone involved should be considering what has happened, Where do we go? Where do we want our town to go and what to do when we get there?
Paxton said that she would like to see a resolution to the turmoil going in the town.
Paxton said several issues have come along that have caused people to question her actions.
There were no parkingsigns placed in front of several West Pelzer businesses by SCDOT, which she said she had nothing to do with.
She said SCDOT was advised of a safety concern and they decided to place the signs along Hwy. 8, which is also the towns Main St.
Paxton also said the judgment decision she made to put West Pelzer Chief of Police Bernard Wilson back in his patrol car was controversial because council had voted to stop allowing officers to drive their police cruisers home.
It may not have been the best decision, Paxton said about allowing Wilson to take his vehicle home. But she pointed out that at the next meeting of Council, they voted to allow officers to use their vehicles.
Paxton said she just wants the talking to stop and to deal with town business.
This is not what we are here for. It has been blown out of proportion, she said.
Paxton said business owners and citizens can come talk to her. I welcome people to come and I will sit down with them, she said.
I will do what I can to work together.
The last three days of the school year for Greenville County, Friday, May 27, Tuesday, May 31, and Wednesday, June 1, will be half-days for students. Students will not attend school on Monday, May 30, Memorial Day, which is a teacher workday.
Lunch will be served each day, and buses will pick up students on the adjusted half-day schedule.
Greenville County School hours will be: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. for Elementary schools, 8:15 a.m. - 1p.m. for Middle Schools and 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. for High Schools.
Woodmont High Graduation will be held Thursday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Expo Center. A special salute to Woodmont graduates will be published in the June 1 issue of The Journal. Be sure to pick up a keepsake copy for your special graduate.
Faye Davis said she was ordered to leave during the meeting, while Chandler said she left on her own.
Councilmen Terry Davis and Joe Turner said they did not receive any labels from the town.
Faye Davis said the mayor tried to have warrants for stalking served on her husband, Councilman Terry Davis, not on her.
The issue involves a photo taken by Faye Davis of the mayors truck, which was parked in front of Earl Browns house at the time. Davis says she took the photo to show that the Mayor and Brown were working together, and could have been meeting in a quorum illegally.
The mayor admitted to being very upset by the photo incident, but said that the town judge, Roger Scott, approached her to try and settle the dispute.
Paxton said she agreed to meet with Councilman Davis to discuss things, but that Davis did not return a phone call made by Scott.
Davis also said he did not return the call.