A group of 30 people interested in constructing a trail system for biking, hiking and equestrian use in the Williamston and surrounding area met Tuesday to begin preliminary planning for the proposed project.
Yon Lambert, assistant director of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation will make a proposal to Williamston officials and others involved in the project at the next meeting.
The proposal will include conducting preliminary research, mapping and grant writing to help with funding on the project.
The meeting Tuesday at the Williamston Municipal Center was the second to bring together persons interested in a trail system connecting Pelzer, West Pelzer, Williamston and Belton.
Users are expected to be mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians, officials said.
We really need to know the major use for the trail, Lambert told persons attending the meeting.
In addition to identifying a possible trail route, group members were asked to identify possible access points, points of historical interest and the primary users of the trails.
Endurance equestrian Sharon Anderson of Williamston said she would like to use the trail, which could be located along abandoned rail corridors, for horseback riding.
She said a surburban trail with people nearby to help if there is trouble, would be great.
Belton Mayor Rufus Callaham, said Belton already has a rail-to-trail type project underway.
A one mile section of a former rail bed is being converted to a trail from downtown Belton to Leda Poore park, located just outside the Town.
The proposed trail system could easily tie in to the Belton trail, officials said.
Williamston Town councilman Jimmy Rogers said he thought it could be used for exercise by people of all ages and would be used at all hours of the day.
It would be a plus for our Williamston citizens. Families of all ages could walk it for their health, Rogers said.
Lambert said a project of this type could include public lands and a network of trails and spurs if private land owners were to be involved.
A surburban trail connecting the towns of West Pelzer, Pelzer, Williamston, Belton and possibly Honea Path and Ware Shoals could also be a boost for eco-tourism, proponents said.
Harold Abercrombie, of the Pendleton Area Saddle Club, said in addition to equestrian use, he would like to see the proposed trail be wide enough for horse drawn wagon use.
Abercrombie said many horse drawn wagon enthusiasts travel to the lower part of the state for their outings.
Cyclists at the first meeting also agreed that it could be a tourism boost for the area.
Anderson County Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson said that funding is available for improvements to state roads which could be designated as spur trails primarily used by road cyclists and runners.
Wilson is proposing having the shoulders of certain roads along Midway Road and Hwy. 8, which are already heavily used by cyclists from the Electric City Cycling Club, widened for pedestrian and cycling use.
And for the safety aspect, Wilson said.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said there seems to be a broad interest in a trail project for the area.
Lambert said a multi-purpose, multi-jurisdicitional trail system would be one of the first in the state and could obtain major funding.
A Piedmont man, who was employed as a paramedic by the Pelzer Rescue Squad, was sentenced in Federal court last Thurday to 51 months in prison for possession of child pornography.
James Darrell Dalton, 40, of Piedmont, was sentenced in federal court Sept. 19 by Judge William W. Wilkins of Greenville, according to a press release from J. Strom Thurmond Jr., United States Attorney.
Evidence presented at the exchange of plea hearing indicated Dalton had traded pornographic pictures of children with an individual in California over the internet last year, the release stated.
Authorities arrested the Californian and were able to identify Dalton with computer records.
Authorities searched Daltons computer and allegedly found approximately 200 pictures of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U. S. Attornery Kevin F. McDonaled of the Greenville office handled the case.
Wren High School will crown a new homecoming queen during half time festivities Friday evening.
The theme for homecoming is Storming through 2002.
Students participated in spirit week activities including theme days, painting banners and performing a class cheer.
Elections to choose the queen were held Friday, Sept. 20 and will be announced during half time ceremonies as the Wren Hurricanes host the Travelers Rest Devildogs.
The homecoming queen is chosen from Wren students who sponsor the senior football players
This year 21 candidates vied for Wren High homecoming queen.
Candidates include: Abby Stansell, daughter of Mike and Pat Elgin of Piedmont sponsoring Matt Albertson.
Janna Merritt, daughter of Moochie and Debbie Merritt of Piedmont, sponsoring David Black.
Erin Jones, daughter of Dana and Terri Jones of Greenville, sponsoring Jace Bobo.
Leslie Davis, daughter of Eddie and Valerie Davis of Piedmont, sponsoring Joshua Center.
Melissa Whittaker, daughter of James and Debbie Whittaker of Piedmont, sponsoring Keith Darlak.
Lindsay Mahon, daughter of Rick and Jennifer Mahon of Easley, sponsoring Justin Dial.
Caroline Holmes, daughter of Mike and Barbara Holmes of Piedmont, sponsoring Ryan Duke.
Jamie Roach, daughter of Rick and Libby Roach of Piedmont, sponsoring Josh Gmerek.
Briana Hiott, daughter of Dan and Phyllis Hiott of Piedmont, sponsoring David King.
Elizabeth Reames, daughter of Ron Reames and Angela Bell of Piedmont, sponsoring Adam Lanford.
Sarah Upton, daughter of Doug and Sevena Upton of Easley, sponsoring Danny McCranie.
Amber Harris, daughter of Larry and Sherry Harris of Williamston, sponsoring Javon Mikens.
Jade Bellack, daughter of John and Jean Bellack of Easley, sponsoring Preston Morgan.
Nicholle Reshni, daughter of Don Reshni and Susan Whitehead of Easley, sponsoring Braxton Plyler.
Brookley Cromer, daughter of Greg and Kathy Cromer of Easley, sponsoring Nate Rampey.
Maggie Phillips, daughter of Larry and Susan Phillips of Easley, sponsoring Nathan Rookstool.
Heather Menghini, daughter of Bruce and Debbie Menghini of Piedmont, sponsoring Zachary Slaughter.
Caitlyn Boggs, daughter of Randy and Angela Boggs of Piedmont, sponsoring Chris Stevenson.
Whitney White, daughter of Marty and Jan White of Easley, sponsoring Brett Thomas.
Bleu Arrowood, daughter of Anthony Arrowood and Pam Wilson of Pendleton, sponsoring James Thomas.
Melissa Duncan, daughter of Cecil and Leslie Duncan of Easley, sponsoring Josh Tollison.
Each class at Wren High School selects a member to serve in the Queens Court. Representing the Freshman Class is Amy Boggs, daughter of Richard and Judy Boggs of Pelzer.
Representing the Sophomore Class is Kiana Robinson, daughter of Wilbert and Pat Robinson of Easley.
Representing the Junior Class is Kelly Anderson, daughter of Eldon and Jackie Anderson of Easley.
Representing the Senior Class is Leah Moody, daughter of Ed and Beverly Moody of Piedmont.