News Archive

Week of July 28, 2004

Board members updated on construction projects
Town records to be on display Monday, Tuesday
Lunch, breakfast program policy announced by District
Town making plans for Spring Water Festival August 28
Bannister announces for Council
Candidates begin filing August 2
The Jolly Turnip opens in Piedmont
Abused animals being abandoned on East First St.
Pride in Piedmont sees progress in local effort
Greenville County schools start August 23

Board members updated on construction projects

Board members updated on construction projects

Dr. Wayne Fowler, officially took over as Superintendent of Anderson School District One on July 1. He gave his first report, as Superintendent, to the District One Board of Trustees at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Board members were updated on financial department computer and software upgrades and the building and construction programs currently underway in the district.

Following introduction of new teachers, board members went into a 25 minute executive session to discuss personnel and contracts

Upon returning to regular session, Board chair Fred Alexander reported that no action was taken during executive session.

Superintendent Fowler then told board members that the County Board of Education had approved the District One Budget of $40,356,835.

Fowler also said that the change of accounts to First Citizens Bank had gone well.

Fowler reported that the District has a $3 million CD and $625,000 in invested funds which will be used later in the year to cover expenses until property taxes come in.

Fowler also told Board members that a changeover to new CSI financial personel software has been completed.

Director of Finance Steve Uldrick reported that staff members have received training and the district has run their first payroll and are writing checks on the new system.

Uldrick said the new Windows based software can provide consolidated or expanded reports as required by board members  who were presented district budget information from the system for the first time at this meeting.

The $172,000 upgrade included a new server and financial software which is the same software being used by four other Anderson County School districts.

In his financial report, Uldrick said the district has received $3,412,073 of the $53.8 million budget.

Uldrick said the district had spent $1,326,758 or 3 % of the $49,781,188 budget and has a remaining balance of $48,455,429.

Uldrick said the changeover to the new financial system “has been challenging” but has gone well with the personnel and financial package being converted to coincide with the beginning of the fiscal year.

During the instructional report, Dr. Fowler stated that PACT test results should be back to teachers and principals in time for the first day of school.

Fowler also told Board members that the district received part of a $1 million history grant along with District 4 and 5.

Fowler also said the EIA teacher grant returned $107,447 to the district, which he said amounted to 16% of the total funds awarded statewide.

Assistant Superintendent David Havird told board members that the District was able to add nurses through the Duke Endowment and AnMed.

The district was able to add four nurses last year and will add three more this year, he said. The grant will also allow two nurses to be added next year and another the following year, according to Havird.

Four school are participating in the South Carolina Healthy Schools program which brings new health activities to the schools.

“We are removing health barriers to allow our kids to learn,” Fowler said.

Representatives from participating schools including Wren Elementary, Concrete Primary, Palmetto Middle and Wren Middle went to Furman to formulate plans to gain the Healthy School status.

Fowler said the district plans to have four or five more schools participating next year.

Fowler also reported that both Palmetto and Wren High schools scored beyond the national expectations in all three areas tested by the Southern Regional Education Board. Wren received the Gold Network Award and was recognized for being among the top 2% of all participating schools, Fowler said.

The district nutritional services program finished with a $226,625 profit and was “an excellent year” according to Havird.

Havird said food options with more choices and health related aspects of the food items were reasons parents and students were supporting the program.

Havird said the Wren High food program was the only one to have additional personnel added due to growth at the school and there has been little turnover at the other schools.

Board members were told two new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were recently made available to the district and nurses and coaches have been trained on using the equipment.

The AEDs are currently at each of the two high schools and hopefully the program can be expanded to include the middle and elementary schools, Fowler said.

Board emmbers agreed 6-0 to terminate the ramaining four years on a lease on 1.83 acres of property  currently leased to the Cheddar Youth Club. Joey Carter of the Cheddar Youth Club made the request by letter to allow the property to be leased to Anderson County  to secure a $20,000 grant.

Board members then approved a request to lease the same property for 20 years to  Anderson County. The district and the county each have a one year option to get out of the lease, Fowler said.

The board approval included an amendment that under the new lease to the property will remain available for use by the Cheddar Youth Club.

Fowler also updated board members on  the district building program.

According to Fowler, the Cedar Grove addition will be ready in time for the first day of school next week.

Fowler said the project was 21 days behind about a month ago, but workers have put in double shifts and weekends to finish the project on time.

Fowler said the district was expecting to receive the occupancy permit following an inspection (today) Wednesday and expects to be moving in furniture, desks, chairs and teachers items by this weekend.

Fowler said the floors in the rooms have been waxed and the hall floors will be waxed this weekend.

Construction on the Palmetto High Freshman Academy addition has been running 7-10 days behind schedule but is expected to be ready for occupancy in January, Fowler said.

The existing building has received new paint and carpet has been replaced with new tile. Also new fire alarms, a new phone system, and bell system have been installed.

Science labs at Palmetto High will see upgrades in August and exterior doors will also begin to be replaced soon, Fowler said.

A baseball field at Palmetto High should be finished by mid August and a contract for lighting on a softball field is expected to be signed this week. The lights will be installed in December, according to Fowler.

Upgrades at Wren football field are also being made.

Acting upon a recommendation by Superintendent Fowler, board members unanimously approved an order reaffirming all procedures followed in carrying out the termination of a District employee in June.

Board member approved the following personnel recommendations:

Resignations - Shari Bobo, Concrete Primary, .5 FTE Academic Assistance; Betsy Bryan, Powdersville Elementary, .6 FTE Launch.

Retirement - Pam Brumbach, Palmetto Middle, science.

Transfers - Cathy Chapman - From Spearman Elementary to Spearman Elementary, Pelzer Elementary and West Pelzer Elementary Instructional Coach.

Iris Donnan, Powdersville Elementary Launch, from .4 FTE to .6 FTE; Amanda Smith, District ESOL from .5 FTE to .6 FTE.

Other recommendations - Leah Campbell, Hunt Meadows Elementary, Speech; Kimberly Groome, Concrete Primary guidance, .6FTE; Martsney Johnson-Williams, Pelzer Elementary ED; Janet Moore, Spearman Elementary 5th grade; Jessica Preisig, Powdersville Middle, 6th grade; Cathy Swafford, Powdersville Middle, science; Donna Yarborough, Palmetto Elementary, kindergarten.

Town records to be on display Monday, Tuesday

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy will have the entire records of The Town of Williamston, including records from the mayor’s office, on display for the  public to inspect during August 2 and 3 in the auditorium of the Municipal Center. Clardy said personnel records, which are confidential, will not be made public.

Clardy also said that he is planning to present a written report “comprised of the various issues currently related to the town, as well as any and all prior issues that do affect present and future matters and decisions.”

The report will be available to the public Monday August 2 from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Tuesday August 3 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. according to the statement issued by Clardy.

Clardy said the records to be displayed will include, “All records of the town,” including invoices and credit card statements.

In addition to having all town records on display, Clardy said town staff will be available to answer questions and help the public.  A copier will be made available for those who may want to copy documents.

Clardy said town records only go back about ten years.

Reading from a statement during the July 12 council meeting, Clardy said, “The mayor’s office at the Town of Williamston will present a written report to Williamston’s constituents entitled Williamston’s Status: Past, Present and Future.”

According to the statement, the exhibit in the auditorium will be divided into sections according to each year of existing records of the Town.

Each section will display all Town records which can be disclosed in accordance to the Freedom of Information statutes of the state of South Carolina, the Mayor said.

Clardy has continually encouraged members of the public to take advantage of his “open government” and to submit FOI requests.

Persons asking questions during the public comments portion of council meetings are often encouraged to put the questions in writing in the form of an FOI request.

The monthly Council meeting agenda states “Any specific questions or inquisitions may be addressed to Mayor or Town Council by requesting a Freedom of Information form provided by the Office of Clerk. This provides you the opportunity to inquire of the Mayor and Council, as well as providing the Mayor and Council the courtesy to respond to your inquiry.”

During the July 12 council meeting, Clardy said, instead of submitting FOIs, citizens could come to the town hall during regular business hours with questions, whenthe staff is available to help. He also encouraged those with questions to come sit down with him in his office.

Lunch, breakfast program policy announced by District

Anderson School District One recently announced its policy for free and reduced meals for children served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast program. Local school officials have adopted the following household size and income criteria for determining eligibility:

Income guidelines for free meals are as follows: Number in household, annual income, monthly income, weekly income:

1 $12,103 $1,009 $233

2 $16,237 $1,354 $313

3 $20,371 $1,698 $392

4 $24,505 $2,043 $472

5 $28,639 $2,387 $551

6 $32,773 $2,732 $631

7 $36,907 $3,076 $710

8 $41,041 $3,421 $790

For each additional family member add $4,134 annually, $345monthly or $80 weekly.

Income guidelines for reduced price meals are as follows: household size, annual income,  weekly income:

1 $12,104-17,224 $234-332

2 $16,238-23,107 $314-445

3 $20,372-28,990 $393-558

4 $24,506-34,873 $473-671

5 $28,640-40,752 $552-874

6 $32,774-46,639 $632-897

7 $36,908-52,522     $711-1011

8 $41,042-58,405     $791-1124

For each additional family member, add $5,883 annually or $114 weekly.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown may be eligible for free or reduced price meals.

For school officials to determine eligibility, the household must provide a food stamp or TANF case number certifying the household is currently eligible for either of the assistance programs and an adult household signature or  names of all household members, the name and social security number of the adult household member signing the application form, monthly income by source for each household member and a signature of an adult household member certifying the information provided is correct.

Households receiving free or reduced benefits must notify school officials during the school year of any decreases in household size and any increases of more than $50 per month or $600 per year. Household must also notify officials of any termination of benefits for children under the food stamp or TANF programs.

Foster children may also be eligible for these benefits regardless of household size.

Parents or guardians who are dissatisfied with the ruling of a reviewing official may discuss the decision with the reviewer on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Anderson District One Superintendent, Dr. Wayne Fowler, P. O. Box 99, Williamston S. C. 29697, for a hearing to appeal the decision.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes, the household should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for free or reduced price meals if the income falls at or below levels.

A complete copy of the policy is on file in each school and in the office of the District Superintendent where it is available for review.

Town making plans for Spring Water FestivalAugust 28

The 23rd annual Spring Water Festival will be held Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Williamston’s Mineral Spring park.

Town employee Bennie Hyder is coordinating the 2004 festival. This is the third year the town has taken responsiblilty for organizing the annual event.

Hyder said the festival will feature more than 40 craft exhibitors, food, an antique auto show and children’s rides and live musical entertainment.

Craft applications are still being accepted, however there are only a few spaces left, according to Hyder. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Crafters from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, along with local crafters, are expected to participate in this year’s festival.

Handpainted clothing and jewelry crafted of brass, silver, and copper will be available. Folk art and pastel paintings and art prints, ceramics, painted tinware, sand art, wreaths, and florals will also be offered.

Local artist Thomas Addison, who has contributed artwork for the festival throughout its history, has contributed artwork featuring the founder of Williamston, West Allen Williams, at the spring around which the town grew.

T-shirts featuring the art should be available soon, Hyder said. All sizes will be priced at $10.

Eudora Farms of Salley, S. C. will offer an interactive, hands on exotic animal petting zoo featuring 20 to 25 rare and exotic animals from around the world.

Cox Amusements of Greenville will return with kiddie rides, including an inflatable bounce, trackless train, castle moonwalk, inflatable obstacle course, kiddie swing and water wars games.

The Greater Williamston Business Association is sponsoring a prize drawing give-away.

A variety of businesses and other organizations are also expected to display at the festival. Anyone interested in participating should contact Hyder or Joel Vagen at (864)847-7473.

The 2004 festival will feature a variety of entertainment including gospel, bluegrass, country and rock.

Caitlin Tierce will organize a gospel stage and various entertainment will be offered on the amphitheater stage, according to Hyder.

A karaoke contest, dance exhibitions and a performance by Trilogy are also planned.

The historic depot will again feature bluegrass music. Jack Ellenburg is coordinating the bluegrass performers.

The Williamston Fire Department is again sponsoring the festival’s auto show, which will include 75 to 100 local antique and classic autos.

Owners may register their vehicles between 8 a.m. and noon. A $10 registration fee will be charged. Awards will be given to the top 50 vehicles. Five specialty awards, including best Chevrolet, best Ford, best truck and Mayor’s choice will be presented.

Persons interested in displaying a customized vehicle in the show should call 847-4155 or 847-4950 for more information.

The fire department will also be offering $1 rides on the restored 1936 Chevrolet fire engine.

The fire department is also giving away a scooter with a ticket donation.

Local non-profit groups will be offering a variety of food items including hamburgers, hotdogs, barbecue, hot wings and chicken fillets.

Williamston EMS will offer a handicapped shuttle service in addition to providing medical assistance during the festival.

A special 23rd anniversary Spring Water Festival program tabloid will be published by The Journal prior to the festival.

The Spring Water Festival began as a fundraising event for the Christmas Park in 1981.

Bannister announces for Council

Williamston resident Gary Bannister announced this week that he intends to run for the Ward III council seat currently held by David Harvell.

“With Williamston’s financial future in mind, I will bring proven leadership and sound judgement to the town Council,” Bannister, 52, said.

Bannister is a 1970 graduate of Palmetto High School and graduated from Clemson in 1976 with a degree in civil engineering and building construction.

He completed the required credit hours for a masters degree in business in 1979.

Bannister is a retired officer of the U. S. Military and a retired jumbo jet Captain with a major airline, flying all over the world.

He also worked with Daniel Construction and Duke Power Construction Department as a nuclear power plant engineer.

“I am taking an active role in the future of Williamston because it is obvious the town needs professionally trained, concerned, citizens (council members) to manage this town,” he said.

Bannister said in the business arena, he has been entrusted with millions of dollars in both liquid and non-liquid assets.

“I am going to attempt to run a professional, clean, campaign and will expect the same of any opponent of me,” he said. “Win or lose, I will always have Williamston’s best interest in mind.”

“However, if elected, I will honestly try to lead Williamston into the future and help get our town out of the huge financial debt it is in at the present time,” Bannister said. “Elected officials should always listen to the voting public and I would encourage any and all suggestions to me be mailed to P. O. Box 767, Williamston.”

Anyone interested in contributing to Bannister’s campaign fund can also mail checks, made out to the Bannister Election Fund, to the above address, the candidate said.

Candidates begin filing August 2

Offices to be filled during the November 2 general election include seats on the Anderson County Board of Education, Anderson County School Boards, Homeland Park Water District, Piedmont Public Service District and Watershed Conservation Districts. 

In Anderson County, School District One will have seat openings for Trustees in Areas 2, 3 and  6. 

In School District 2, Area 2 will have 2 seats to fill. 

The Anderson County Board Of Education will fill positions for Districts 2, 7, 8, and 9.

Filing will be open beginning 12 noon on  August 2 through 12 noon August 16. 

All candidates will file their Statement of Candidacy and Statement of Economic Interests in the Voter Registration and Elections Office at 107 South Main Street, Room 101. This is the green and white building located directly behind the Historic Courthouse.

Homeland Park Water & Sewer District Commission will have one seat to fill. 

Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners will have 3 seats open for the upcoming election.

Watershed Conservation District Directors will be elected for  the following watershed districts located solely within Anderson County:

Big Creek watershed district will have 2 seats to fill and Broadmouth Creek will have 3 seats. Candidates for these offices will file in the Anderson County Registration & Elections office.

There will also be Watershed Conservation District Directors for multi-county districts including: Brushy Creek, 1 seat; Three & Twenty, 3 seats; Wilson Creek, 3 seats. Multi-county Watershed Conservation District Directors will file with the State Election Commission in Columbia.

 

The Jolly Turnip opens in Piedmont

The Jolly Turnip, recently opened at 768 Piedmont Highway, (Hwy. 20), Piedmont.

Owner Lesli Winnette invites area residents, “to escape life’s hectic pace and the heat while searching for treasures in the cool, charming, fresh environment of the cottage like atmosphere at the Jolly Turnip.”

“The shop offers previously-enjoyed objects of envy including antiques, vintage, collectibles, glassware and articles for your home and home decor,” according to Winnette. “You will even see some small furniture pieces, all at affordable prices.”

If you need something for someone special or simply a card, The Jolly Turnip offers a selection of greeting cards and a new gift line.

New and unusual items will be added regularly, the owner said.

As a convenience for customers, the business will also offer postage stamps and notary public services.

Customers will also be able to order from Avon’s selection of personal products and gift items right in the store through the Avon independent representative.

An assortment of items will be added as the shop grows, Winnette said, and there will be a special wish list for customers who would like to see certain items.

Store hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p. m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“You’ll never have a dull moment. From the sublime to the riduculous, there’s something for everyone. You never know what will turn up at The Jolly Turnip!” Winnette said.

Driving toward Piedmont from Greenville, The Jolly Turnip is located on Hwy. 20, .5 miles on the left from the entrance of the 185 Southern Connector. From Piedmont on Hwy. 20 , it is on the right, .3 miles from the Piedmont Golf Couse Road near the 185 Southern Connector.

For more information call 845-9328.

Abused animals being abandoned on East First St.

Lynn Shaw resides on 4th Street in Williamston. She said she is an animal lover and especially likes cats.

She grew up on East First Street, where her mother still resides. Her mother’s house is the last house on the street which is located on the edge of the Williamston Town limits.

As East First Street passes her house, it leaves the Mill Village located behind Williamston Mill and passes through overgrown property belonging to Milliken.

There are no houses or other structures on this portion of the road, and for some it is apparently a good place to leave unwanted animals.

Shaw said when she was growing up, dogs and cats were always being abandoned along the road and many would eventually find their way to her mother’s house or to their neighbors.

“I have lived here all my life, and it has alway been a dumping ground,” Shaw said. “People drop animals here all the time.”

Unfortunately, the animals being dropped off along the road recently don’t have the chance to find a new home.

Grown cats, with kittens, are being found wrapped in plasic garbage bags and left for dead.

Shaw said she found one plastic bag containing several cats two weeks ago and another last week.

In one, live kittens were attempting to nurse on the dead mother cat.

But the story does have a happy ending as one lucky kitten has been rescued from a slow and sure death. A white kitten with one little gray spot was saved from one of the bags.

The kitten, at least for now, has found a home on East First Street.

Trey and Shea Wood, along with their grandmother, have given the kitten a home, though they haven’t named it yet.

Shaw said the cruelty to these animals caused her to call local law enforcement including the Williamston Police Department and the Anderson County Humane Society about the problem.

 

Twins Trey and Shea Wood, 13, with a white kitten that was abandoned along an overgrown area on East First Street in Williamston. The kitten, which hasn’t yet been named, currently has a home at the Woods’ grandmother’s home on East First.Rescued kitten.

Pride in Piedmont sees progress in local effort

After little more than a year of existence, a local grass roots organization is beginning to see the fruits of their efforts.

Pride in Piedmont’s mission “to enrich the community of Piedmont by providing an attractive environment and opportunity for the people to improve well being” is receiving a large financial boost.

With assistance from Rep. Dan Cooper, the local organization has received a $10,810 Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) grant to improve areas along the Saluda River.

Funds from the grant will be used to improve the fishing pier area with fencing around the wagon bridge to improve safety as well as fund the cost of picnic tables and park benches along the river banks, Michelle Anderson of Pride in Piedmont explained.

The 80/20 grant requires $2,000 in local matching funds. These funds were transferred to Pride in Piedmont by the now inactive Piedmont Business Association. Participating members voted to allow the funds to be released to Pride in Piedmont to be used for the local improvement project, Anderson said.

Since a governmental agency had to be involved, the grant was applied for through the Piedmont Public Service District. However, Anderson emphasizes that Pride in Piedmont volunteers will maintain and keep up the area once improvements are made, and that no local taxpayer funds will be used for the project.

The grant funds will allow the local organization to take the first step in what is considered to be a much larger plan for the area. Organizers hope to eventually add a park area, a playground and walking trails to the historic river area.

In addition, several environmental and history preservation groups in the Upstate are becoming interested in the Piedmont project.

Dr. Steve O’Neill, director of the Huff Center at Furman University, and five Furman students joined Pride in Piedmont volunteers Saturday in clearing areas along the banks of the river in Anderson County.

O’Neill and the students are involved in a summer program involving research on the history of the Saluda River which is part of a $1.5 million grant from Fuji Film and the Rasmussen Foundation in Greenwood.

The grant is administered by Upstate Forever – a nonprofit organization interested in balancing the environment and growth which is often referred to as “smart growth.”

The Huff Center at Furman is also part of a consortium on the Saluda River and Reedy River watershed area. The consortium seeks to support local community efforts such as the Pride in Piedmont initiative.

Pride in Piedmont is also setting up a local office this week. Faye Hudson of Hudson Agency has donated office space in a building on Anderson Street near Hardee’s to be used by the local group, Anderson added.

Persons interested in more information on the local organization and its efforts should visit the website at www.prideinpiedmont.org.

Greenville County schools start August 23

The new school year for all Greenville County students except 4K students begins Monday August 23 with a full day of classes. Teachers will report to work on August 16 for a week of preparation prior to the opening of school.

The first days for students in 4K are planned for September 2 and 3 with staggered schedules, and the first full day for all 4K students will be September 7.

The district will observe the Labor Day holiday on September 6. Election Day on November 2 will also be a holiday, and Christmas holidays will begin December 22 for all personnel and students.

Schools will operate on a staggered schedule to minimize bus delays. Elementary schools will begin the school day at 8 a.m. and end the day at 2:30 p.m. Middle Schools will begin at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. High schools will start the school day at 8:30 a.m. and end the day at 3:30 p.m.

Breakfast and lunch will be served at all schools. Elementary school students may buy lunch for $1.45 daily or purchase weekly tickets for $7.25. The cost for middle and high school students will be $1.50 daily or $7.50 weekly. Students may pay 75 cents daily for breakfast or purchase weekly tickets for $3.75.

Ellen Woodside Elementary will hold an orientation for parents new to the school on August 10 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The school will also hold a Back to School Celebration August 20 from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. The theme for the event will be a country fair with food and games as well as opportunities to meet teachers.

Fork Shoals Elementary will have a Meet the Teachers opportunity on August 20 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Meet Your Teacher Night at Sue Cleveland Elementary will be held August 20 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Woodmont Middle School will hold a Back to School Night on August 19 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. The school plans to hold its first Open House on September 20 at 7 p.m.

Woodmont High School was in the process of completing orientation plans at press time and will announce their plans at a later date.

Children who will be four years old on or before September 1 are eligible for the 4K child development program which is offered at the Riley Child Development and Family Learning Center located at 9122 Augusta Road in Pelzer. Interested parents should contact the center at 243-5662.

 

 

 

 

 

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