News Archive

(4006) Week of Oct. 4, 2006

Sewer treatment upgrades planned

Contract approval allows sewer upgrades to proceed
New Peebles store opening
Community asked for input on future
Sheriff names new Chief Deputy
Building purchase, clerk hiring topics of discussion
Shriners Hospital receives $10,000 donation
Pelzer receives grant
Woodmont homecoming
Woodmont principal resigns

Sosebee running for school board
Freemantle running for District 1 Board
NewSpring Church making a difference
Former Wren Coach King being honored
Coach Davis inducted into PHS Hall of Fame
Lions ready for Candy day
Democratic Party to meet October 7
Register by Saturday to vote
Voters to have many choices

Thieves strike area homes
Seems to Me . . .The Shriners

Sewer treatment upgrades planned

The Town of Williamston is moving forward on proposed upgrades to the town’s waste water treatment plant that may cost as much as $11 million. Citizens will have opportunity for comment and to obtain information on the proposed projects during a public forum scheduled for  6 p.m. on October 9 at the Williamston Municipal Center.

Funding in the form of a grant/loan for the upgrades will be obtained from the Rural Development Agency (RDA). Estimated costs are approximately $11 million in a phased project that will probably take a year to begin and three years to complete officials said earlier. The town is seeking a 40% grant and 60% RDA loan.

Planned upgrades include a 2.6 MG surge basin with aerators, cost approximately $1 million;modification to expand the plant treatment capacity to 1.3 million gallons per day, estimated cost of $1.2 million; a subsurface drip system to land supply to wastewater, estimated cost $8 million to $9 million; miscellaneous minor plant improvements, estimated at $.5 million and replacement of a sewage pump station at the former South Plant, $380,000.

Sewer rates under the RDA plan are estimated to be approximately $54 a month, and will be set by the term of the RDA grant/loan financing plan, accordign to Paul Lewis of Goldie & Associates, the engineering firm currently overseeing the town’s sewer plant.

The Land application option is land intensive and will require either relocation of the town’s WWTP or transport to a dispersion site.

The effluent, or treated wastewater is released through a subsurface drip system that would meet the conditions of a no discharge (ND) permit, instead of the current NPDES permit, with increasingly strict standards.

Council approved first reading on a contract with Goldie & Associates Monday night which will allowthe firm to begin preliminary work necessary for the upgrades at the town’s sewer treatment plant.

The agreement with Goldie & Associates authorizes the engineering firm to proceed with preliminary items required by DHEC and the Department of Natural Resources including permits, reports and other environmental issues and proceed with RDA funding, according to Goldie and Associates representative Paul Lewis.

The contract also authorizes the firm to proceed with construction drawings and specifications, to oversee construction, ensure proper DHEC guidelines are met, over see bidding, selecting a contractor, overseeing change orders and obtaining the final permit.

Contract approval allows sewer upgrades to proceed

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council unanimouly approved a contract for upgrades at the sewer plant, amended 2006 budget reflecting several adjustments and agreed to make an early payment on the BAN note due in December.

After hearing comments from citizens, Williamston Town Council went into executive session to meet with a water customer and to discuss a letter from the town’s labor attorney.

Upon returning to open session, there was no discussion or vote on either matter.

In business for the evening, Council approved first reading on a contract with Goldie and Associates allowing the firm to begin work necessary for upgrades at the town’s sewer treatment plant.

The agreement authorizes the engineering firm to proceed with preliminary items required by DHEC and the Department of Natural Resources including permits, reports and other environmental issues and proceed with RDA funding, according to Goldie and Associates representative Paul Lewis.

The contract also authorizes the firm to proceed with construction drawings and specifications, to oversee construction, ensure proper DHEC guidelines are met, over see bidding, selecting a contractor, overseeing change orders and obtaining the final permit.

A public forum on the proposed WWTP upgrades is scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 9 at the Williamston Municipal Center.

Council unanimously approved the agreement 4-0 without any discussion. Councilman Greg Cole was not present for the meeting. The reading will be the only one on the contract, town officials said.

Council then unanimously approved first reading on an amended 2006 budget. The new budget figures reflect changes in the leachate income, over estimates on sanitation, a drop in the sidewalk reimbursement, and other adjustments according to Appalachian Council of Governments advisor Joe Newton who is working with town officials on the budget.

The changes reduce revenues and expenses by $173,500. The reduction in expenses is primarily in the contingency fund Newton has recommended the town needs.

Newton said the changes will make the 2006 budget more realistic to date and when the auditors come in next year.

He also said it will help with the 2007 budget the town is now working on.

Council tabled a discussion on a request from an out of town resident to be allowed to stop receiving water from the town. Citing concerns that a decision would set a precedent for other out of town customers, Council decided to allow the town attorney to meet with an expert before making a decision.

Acting upon the recommendation of Newton, Council unanimously agreed to make an early payment on a BAN note that is due at the end of December. Newton said the principal and interest on the BAN is $191,000.

He recommended the town take $110,000 from the land sale account and place it on the BAN and make the $8,500 monthly installments, leaving the town with a $47,000 balloon payment at the end of the year. He also advised that the BAN not be rolled over.

“We may still need a TAN,” Newton said. “It looks as if we’re going to run short. Even with it Newton said, “It will leave you real close to the line next year.”

Newton said the TAN could be borrowed from a local bank and paid off by April 15. It is a short term loan, he said.

Newton recommended the town borrow the short term TAN to get through the end of the year, and pay it back with proceeds from the tax money that will be coming in.

“The town will be running so short it will not have much of a contingency fund,” Newton said. He recommended the town should borrow funds to operate until the tax money comes in.

There was discussion on a grant writer but no decision made. Mayor Clardy said he was not crusading for any particular individual. “The town desperately needs someone  in the position of writing grants,” he said. According to Clardy, grants are “becoming more and more a source for getting funds.”

“We need someone who is aware, qualified and takes initiative on grants,” Mayor Clardy said. He also mentioned several projects that are in progress.

Councilman Otis Scott said he didn’t see why the town had dropped the services of the best grant writer in Anderson County. He was referring to consultant and grant writer Rusty Burns whose salary was recently eliminated by council after Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr. included the cut as part of a motion to pay the initial costs of a proposed forensic audit.

Councilman Middleton said that the position, which is basically a lobbyist, should report to Council and possibly have a one or two year contract.

“Everyone needs to be informed,” he said. “Council needs to have a say. Let’s put something together and get back to work,” Middleton said.

Clardy suggested a reappropriation of funds and a wish list from council.

“He has done a tremendous job for many many years and I commend him for the service to this town,” Clardy said. No action was taken.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mike Looper to the election commission. He will  replace Olive Wilson who recently resigned because she relocated to Columbia. Clardy also said that Councilman Greg Cole will recommend a second appointment.

Council unanimously approved a recommendation by the mayor of Jackie Smith to the planning commission.

Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing the State debt set off program to be used to collect police fines and other delinquent fees owed to the town.

There was some discussion as to whether the program could collect delinquent taxes. Town Attorney Richard Thompson said it could not.

Williamstom Police Chief David Baker said the police department has on their books more than $200,000 in delinquent fines from as far back as 20 years that are still owed the town.

Councilman Scott asked that discussion on a proposed hospitality tax be added to the agenda for the next meeting which is tentatively set for November 6.

New Peebles store opening in Williamston on Oct. 12

Grand Opening of the new Peebles store at 17 Pelzer Avenue, Williamston, is set for Thursday, October 12 with a ribbon cutting at 8:45 a.m. With the opening, area residents will have easier access to a variety of name-brand apparel than ever before, company officials said.

Peebles has a reputation for bringing style, selection and value to neighborhoods and small communities across the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Midwestern states.

The newest Peebles store in Williamston will offer one-stop shopping convenience with apparel for the entire family, plus shoes, accessories, jewelry and home gifts, all under one roof.

Shoppers will be able to find their favorite brand names including Reebok, Haggar, Izod, Sag Harbor, Chaps, Levi’s, Dockers, Liz Claibourne, Carter’s, Nike and many more.

In addition to great prices on brand names, Peebles customers have access to a store branded credit card and a V.I.P. Rewards Program. 

Peebles credit card customers earn V.I.P. rewards such as invitations to exclusive savings events, free gift wrapping and more, based on annual purchases. Cardholders also receive bonus savings coupons via mail. Additionally, Peebles offers a special discount program for its customers age 50 and over.

Peebles will hold a four-day Grand Opening Celebration, starting Oct. 12.

All Peebles shoppers can enjoy a 15% storewide discount with a Grand Opening Shopping Pass. 

The first 150 customers, age 16 and older, to arrive at the store on Thursday and Friday will receive Free gifts. Thursday’s gift will be a canvas tote bag, and Friday’s will be a coordinating, compact umbrella.

On Saturday and Sunday customers will receive a Big Bonus Coupon Book offering five weeks of bonus savings. 

All shoppers who visit the new store at any point in the four-day festivities can register to win one of three $100 Peebles gift cards, plus a 7 inch portable DVD player, sportswear for misses and juniors, jewelry, handbags and fragrance for men or women. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend with great savings storewide.

Stage Stores, Inc., (NYSE:SSI) the parent company of Peebles, operates more than 600 stores in 31 states under the Peebles name throughout the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Midwestern states, and under the Stage, Bealls and Palais Royal names throughout the Southern Central states. For more information about Stage Stores, visit their corporate Web site at www.stagestores.com.

Community asked for input on future

Anderson County residents are being invited to share their ideas for planning the county’s future through an initiative called Imagine Anderson.

Community forums will be held  in the Powdersville/Piedmont area at Wren High School from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.  on October 10 and for the Willliamston, Pelzer, and West Pelzer area at Palmetto High School from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23

Additional forums will be held for the Pendleton/Townville area on October 9, at Pendleton High School; Starr/Iva on Oct. 16; Belton Honea Path on Oct. 17 and the City of Anderson at the City Rec. Center on Oct. 24.

Imagine Anderson is being led by a steering committee of Anderson area leaders who hope to gather input from as many of the county’s citizens as possible. The goal of the initiative is to involve and engage residents in planning the county’s future.

With broad based citizen input, project leaders hope to develop a vision for the ideal Anderson, as well as a plan for achieving goals identified during the imagining process.

The initiative will include one-on-one meetings with opinion makers and trendsetters from different businesses, churches, schools, communities and civic groups throughout the county, as well as focus groups and town hall meetings, officials said.

Citizens will also be able to share their ideas electronically by accessing the initiative web site at www.imagineanderson.com.

The town-hall meetings will be facilitated by consultants with Carpe Diem Community Solutions, Inc., a  Florida-based firm with experience in helping communities develop a shared image for their future, officials said.

Community forums will allow residents to discuss topics of interest and concern to them and their families in the areas of business and economic development, education, the arts, government, diversity and environment.

From the community input, Carpe Diem consultants will work with the steering committee to develop a list of goals, along with vision statements for each goal.  A proposed vision plan will be presented to the community in early 2007, officials said.

An implementation team will work with groups, churches, organizations and individuals who agree to support one or more objectives of the vision plan once it is approved.

The final plan is expected to be announced at a community celebration in February, officials said.

Sheriff names new Chief Deputy

By Stan Welch

Sheriff David Crenshaw has named Creed Hasshe as his new Chief Deputy,following the resignation of former chief Tim Busha.

Hashe is a twenty year veteran of law enforcement, with the majority of that time spent at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. “I came over to the ACSO shortly after Sheriff Crenshaw was elected. I am a resident of Anderson County.”

Hashe spent several monthsin the detective division, “ to get the feel for the operations of the department,” according to him. “The sheriff then relocated me tot he training unit where I was involved in the aviation unit, as well as being the SWAT team commander.”

Hashe says that the SWAT team has become a full capacity unit under Sheriff Crenshaw, an expansion of its capabilities over the previous sheriff’s approach.

 “We can handle most situations that might arise. Mainly, if an event were to be of some duration, we would probably require assistance from a sister agency, as is normal,” said Chief Hashe.

He says that he is eager to move forward with the Sheriff’s plans and policies. “Sheriff Crenshaw is the boss, and I am eager to fulfill and expand his plans for the department. For example, we are heavily involved in seeking our national accreditation as a department. That is very important to the department, for both tactical and administrative reasons. We’re working really hard on that now.”

Hashe says that efficiency is also a matter of importance. “We are looking for more ways to get the most bang for the buck out of our resources. For example, we track criminal patterns to see where we might need to shift some resources. You know, criminals watch us to see where and how we are working, so we have to do the same. The Sheriff s committed to providing the best service possible, such as reduced response times and case clearance rates.”

In response to a question concerning his qualifications, Hashe stated that he is a Class I certified officer. “I have never had a break in my certification, since completing the Justice Academy in 1985.”

Former chief deputy Tim Busha, who resigned following reports that he had been driving on a suspended license, was also found to have partial certification.

Building purchase, clerk hiring topics of discussion

By Stan Welch

Tuesday night’s County Council meeting, which lasted more than four hours, must have offered enough parliamentary maneuvering for even Chairman Larry Greer’s well known fondness for procedural details. At times, even the Council lost track of the motions and amendments to motions and motions to amend amendments.

Throw in a long and contentious public hearing on the Council’s now official decision to issue $7.3 million in general obligation bonds to purchase and renovate additional office space;  a wandering and disjointed discussion of whether to hire a deputy clerk for the Council, which lasted for more than a half hour and resulted in no decision; and it was a Council meeting only a mother could love.

The first major clash of the evening came as the Council heard a presentation concerning the issuance of $7.3 million in general obligation bonds, which will be used to purchase and renovate a vacant Kroger supermarket building on River Road in Anderson.

Daniel Draisen, an attorney retained by a group of citizens, whom he declined to identify, spoke to Council, raising a number of questions about the proposed transaction. Among the questions he raised were the issues of who was receiving the lease buyout, whether Council had actually seen a contract, and several aspects of how the appraisal was conducted. Draisen also questioned the absence of any financial documents or backup information related to the transaction. “Have any members of Council even seen the contract of sale? The terms of the contract are supposed to be used in performing the appraisal. Who’s getting the buyout of the lease? Bi-Lo has said they would give $400,000 to get out of the lease, which is approximately $238,000 per year.”

He also questioned the properties used for comparison by the appraiser, the state of the utilities at the Kroger site, and the role played by local realtor Marshall Carithers in the sale. “Is he getting the buyout? Does he have an option on the property? The questions we are raising are glaring, and should be addressed. What we’re asking is for Council to step back for thirty days, and take a breath. Make an informed decision in this matter.”

Following Draisen’s presentation, a procession of citizens came to the podium to speak on the issue. Several spoke of the value of revitalizing the area by locating the county offices there. Several citizens, black and white, spoke of the area’s history of being neglected, and the recent growth of town in the opposite direction. “Everything’s been running in one direction,” said Bowman Wakefield. “It’s about time it went in the other direction. What’s a million dollars for that property? If it’s not safe, make it safe.”

Brad Burdett, an appraiser who had reviewed the appraisal for the group Draisen represented, spoke, saying that no one had opposed the site, or even the purchase. “We simply ask that you perform due diligence. There are serious questions about the value of this deal. Take some time to get the answers.”

Following the public hearing, Council took a break before voting. Draisen, speaking in an interview held during the break, said that Council was voting to accept a contract they haven’t even seen. “How can you do that? The buyout money is unaccounted for. There are simply too many questions left unanswered.”

Draisen said he refused to identify his clients because they had asked him not to. “Many of them fear political or economic reprisal. They don’t want to be known at this time.” Asked if his group was considering legal action to halt the deal, Draisen said, “If we uncover evidence of fraud, we would certainly consider taking legal action.”Asked if he was investigating possible fraud, Draisen did not answer.

Council reconvened and began to discuss the third reading of the bond ordinance. Councilwoman Floyd, who represents the district that the Kroger building is in, called Draisen to the front and sharply questioned his presence there, as did District Four Councilman Bill MCAbee. Floyd asked Draisen where he was from, and seemed surprised to learn he was born in Anderson. She said that the delay sought wouldn’t matter because, “If we wait two thousand three hundred and thirty days, these people still won’t be satisfied.”

McAbee seemed upset that Draisen wouldn’t identify his clients, asking him if he was doing the work pro bono, or at no charge. Draisen quickly explained that he was being paid for his services, and that he was there as the legal representation for a group of concerned citizens. “They have asked to remain unidentified for political reasons. McAbee intimated that some of Draisen’s clients might have financial reasons for challenging the transaction, a claim Draisen said he could neither confirm nor deny.

During the discussion, Councilwoman Wilson asked to see a draft copy of the contract referred to by Robert Carrroll, County Director of Purchasing. County Administrator Joey Preston flatly refused to allow Carroll to comply with Wilson’s request. “We’ll be finished with that in a few days, Mr. Chairman. We’ll give it to Council when we’re done.”

Floyd stated that everyone knew that the objections to the transaction weren’t about the deal itself. 

“This is about those people on that side of town, and about Joey Preston. Joey Preston could try to put up a dog house and there would be people who opposed it.” She also stated that the requested 30 day delay would push the decision back past the elections. Floyd, who faces opposition for her seat this November, said, “Some of us up here might not be here after that. If one of them is me,  I want to get my lick in now.”

Following a lengthy discussion, during which Chairman Greer raised several issues as well, Council voted 6-0-1 to give third reading approval. Councilwoman Wilson abstained.

Greer explained that he felt more time was needed to study the issue, but by voting to approve, he retained his procedural right to raise the question for reconsideration, if further information warranted. “If I had voted on the losing side, I would not have that option, under parliamentary rule.”

That familiarity with parliamentary procedure would receive a stern test later in the evening, when the issue of whether to fill the vacant post of deputy clerk to county Council was raised by Councilwoman Floyd. The item was originally put on the agenda as an executive session discussion of personnel, but County attorney Tom Martin informed Council that such a generic discussion did not enjoy the protection of executive session status under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

Council, after amending the agenda to allow for it, then discussed the issue in open session. Tammy Shealy, who had filled the post of deputy clerk, had resigned amid charges that she was reporting on the Council’s activities to county administrator Joey Preston. Both Shealy and Preston have denied those charges. Nevertheless, her resignation vacated the post several months ago.

Councilwoman Floyd stressed that Clerk to Council Linda Edelmann needs help with the duties of the Clerk. “I want her to get some help, because I use her a lot. She needs help because I need help,” said Floyd.

Councilwoman Wilson made a motion to allow Edelmann to advertise the position, and conduct preliminary interviews of the candidates, before presenting Council with a short list of possibilities. Floyd seconded the motion.

Greer amended the motion by moving that the Council be involved in the interview and selection process. Councilman Dees then amended that amendment to state that the Chair, and the Vice Chair (Councilmen Greer and McAbee) appoint a third Council member to assist them in conducting the interview process. Councilman Fred Tolly seconded that motion.

Following Floyd’s declaration that she should be the third member of Council on the committee, Wilson then amended that amendment to the amendment to state that Floyd should be the third member.

Council voted 2-5 against that amendment with Wilson and Floyd voting for it. Floyd then made an amendment to the amendment that would make Wilson the third member of the committee. Council voted 2-5 against that amendment, with Floyd and Wilson voting for it.

Council then voted on the amendment to have the Chair and Vice Chair appoint a member. That amendment was defeated, sending the Council back to the next amendment, which would have involved the entire Council in the interview and selection process.

A 2-5 vote defeated that amendment, as well, returning the Council to the original motion to allow Edelmann to conduct the search for the deputy clerk candidates. That motion was also defeated 2-5, with Wilson and Floyd voting in favor.

At the end of the forty minute parliamentary exercise, the Council found itself in exactly the same position it held before the discussion began. 

Council also voted to reschedule the October 17 meeting, due to a conflict with the Imagine Anderson meeting in the Honea Path/Belton area that night. Councilwoman Wilson, who along with Chairman Greer, represents those areas, said that Imagine Anderson should reschedule, since Council was doing the people’s business. Floyd stated that five members of Council and the Vice Chair would still be present. “That’s why we have a vice chair, isn’t it? So we can meet without the Chairman if we need to?”

Despite Floyd’s opposition and Wilson’s opinion, as well as the advice from county attorney Martin that at least one public hearing would have to be rescheduled, the Council voted to reset the meeting’s date. They also cancelled the November 7 Council meeting due to the elections that day.

Shriners Hospital receives $10,000 donation

By Stan Welch

Last week, Ann Chapman, daughter of Reverend Lloyd Brown, who recently passed away, honored her father’s request that $10,000 be donated to the Shriners Hospital .

Chapman appeared at the Hospital in Greenville and personally presented a check to Deborah Williams, the hospital’s Director of Public Relations.

Chapman said that her father, who served as a Church of God pastor for 47 years before retiring in Ninety-Six, South Carolina, had been crippled as a child and had been helped by the Shriners. “Dad wasn’t a Shriner, but he never forgot their charity and generosity to him when he needed their help as a child. We are proud to honor his bequest of ten thousand dollars to help the Shriners continue their great work for children,” said Chapman. “My father always went the extra mile for his church members, and he’s going the extra mile again, this time for the Shriners.”

Chapman, whom Rev. Brown and his wife, the late IDA Brown, adopted in 1958, has lived in the Williamston area since 1978. She and her husband Roger Chapman have two sons, Kenneth Chapman of Greer, and Keith Chapman of Anderson. Her parents also adopted a son, James L. Browning, who with his wife Ruby, lives in Harris, N.C.

Rev. Brown began his ministry at Whitehall Church of God in Greenwood right after it organized in 1959. 

Ms. Chapman enjoys singing and visiting the area’s senior adults. She served as Junior Service Club Director of the Modern Woodsmen of America for ten years, as well as serving as pianist and organist for her church for twenty-five years. She and her husband recently moved to Pelzer.

Pelzer receives grant

Senator Billy O’Dell and District Seven County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson met with Pelzer Mayor Kenneth Davis Monday to present him with a check in the amount of $8000. The funds, obtained by O’Dell through the Parks, Recreation and Tourism grant program, are intended for related uses. Mayor Davis said the money might be put to use repairing the roofs on shelters in Monkey Park. O’Dell said, “These funds make it possible for our small towns to improve and maintain facilities without having to dig quite so deep in their own pockets. I’m always glad to be able to help these folks.” Ms.Wilson said, “This is just another example of our representatives in Columbia working with County and town officials in a cooperative manner. Sen. O’Dell is always available and ready to listen to our needs. He has always been so helpful to the people of District Seven.” The grant application was written by the town’s grant consultant, Rusty Burns.

Woodmont homecoming

Woodmont Senior Larry Johnson was named Homecoming King and Senior Tia Downs was named Homecoming Queen during ceremonies held during halftime of the Woodmont-Berea football game Friday. The Woodmnt High Senior Homecoming Court included (l-r) Shupeaku Lutta, Jovandra Patterson, Homecoming Queen Tia Downs and Rachel Rinehart. Also participating in homecoming at Woodmont were Freshmen  Canden Hicks and Alexander Japart; Sophomores Brandon Stroud and Jasmin Gantrell, Juniors James Lowe and Krisite Anders. Seniors competing for king included Larry Johnson, Niquel Torres, Quawntravios Walker and Jeremy Barnett. Female candidates for homecoming queen included Tia Downs, Shupeaku Lutta, Jovandra Patterson and Rachel Rinhart.

Woodmont principal resigns

Woodmont High School Principal Randy Reagan resigned September 25, five days after an incident described as an altercation occurred between him and a custodian at the school, officials said.

A statement issued by the The Greenville County School District states, “The district regrets the incident that led to this resignation. The decision to resign was Dr. Reagan’s.”

Assistant Principal Bradley Griffith is the interim principal.

According to the statement issued by district spokesperson Oby Lyles, the school district received a letter from Reagan stating he was “regrettably” tendering his resignation.

“The district respects his decision since he is best suited to determine the course of action most appropriate for him,” the statements said. “The district wishes him the best in his future pursuits.”

The principal was charged with simple assault two years ago in an incident involving a student being allegedly forced to the ground by Reagan during the breakup of a fight with another student. The charges were later dropped.

A show of support for Dr. Reagan was being organized by parents and students last week, but was cancelled after organizers realized he was resigning.

Sosebee running for school board

By Stan Welch

John Sosebee, Jr. has several reasons for running for the District One School Board. Two of those reasons attend Wren Elementary School. A third reason for his interest teaches at Wren Middle School.

But Sosebee’s main reason for running is to be a part of maintaining what he considers an excellent record of conservative yet effective education. “District One is one of the top five school districts in the entire state. They do a great job of providing quality education in a very efficient manner,” said Sosebee, in a recent telephone interview.

Sosebee has lived in the Powdersville area since he was seven and attended District One Schools, including Wren High School, where he graduated in 1983. He has lived in the area for thirty-four years, and been a businessman for eighteen years.

He has seen the area grow, explosively in recent years, and sees dealing with that growth as the greatest challenge facing the school district. “There will have to be decisions made in the near future about what to do about school buildings and facilities. I’m running so that I can be involved in those decisions, and learn as much as I can from the District staff about what is involved. “

He does not favor a countywide consolidation of the school districts. “I am definitely in favor of District One remaining District One. I think that the District does a great job. They spend the least money per student of any of the eighty-five school districts in the state, yet they consistently are in the top percentile in test scores and other indicators. That’s the combination every school district is looking for,” said Sosebee.

“I know at least one of my opponents is in favor of consolidation, but the results of that approach have been very mixed in recent years. District One is one of the best districts in the state, and I like the idea of the district taking care of itself. Sosebee pointed out that the District serves approximately 9000 students, yet has one of the smallest District offices of any school district in the area. “That’s efficiency. I see no need for major changes. I just want to be a part of maintaining such a fine tradition.”

Freemantle running for District 1 Board

By Stan Welch

The same conservative philosophy and fiscal concerns that led Rick Freemantle to an unsuccessful run in the June primary for a County Council seat have led him to seek the District One Area Seven school board trustee seat.

“Most of the folks on the Board have been there a long time. Ms. Upton, one of my opponents, has been there fourteen years. I just think a new outlook might be good. It’s time for a change,” said Freemantle in a recent interview.

Freemantle has been portrayed as being opposed to the public schools, a charge he answers by pointing out that two of his three sons are currently in the Palmetto schools. “I do think that as trustees of the school board, we should pay attention to the needs of all children, whether in private schools, public schools, or home schooled.”

He is quick to point out that he does not favor consolidation of the school districts in the county, but of the administrative services. “Let the districts maintain their political and territorial boundaries. The money should be spent where it is generated. But do we need five separate district offices, and five different superintendents? Surely, we could save money by consolidating some of the administration.”

Freemantle points out that sixty-five per cent of the taxes he pays are for schools. “The budget process is far too closed, and the flow of information is far too restricted by the school boards. I favor a more open process and letting the people know what’s going on. We need a few people like Cindy Wilson on the board.”

NewSpring Church making a difference

Good things are happening at NewSpring Church. On Sunday, October 1st, NewSpring had 413 people publicly declare Jesus Christ as their personal savior through baptism!

Executive Pastor Jason Wilson and Associate Pastor Jake Beaty performed the baptisms, which were done two at a time. The special baptism service was held after three regular Sunday services in which persons attending were invited to be baptized.

The prior Sunday, the growing church had 214 people come foward and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and had more than 8200 people in attendance.

The church has seen tremendous growth since the fall of 1996, when Perry Noble said God gave him a passion to one day plant a church that would seriously make a difference in the lives of the people who attended.

In 1998, Noble began a Bible study in his home for college students on Wednesday evenings. It grew from eight people to over 150 in less than two months. Through this Bible study a Sunday evening service was developed on the campus of Anderson College and sponsored by a local church.

After several adults began attending the service designed for college students, a core group began discussing planting a church that “did things differently.”

After much prayer a group of about 15 people began to meet and decided to begin NewSpring Church.  

NewSpring Church had its first Sunday morning service in the Sullivan building at Anderson College on January 16, 2000, with 115 people present. From that time until February 2006, NewSpring had to go to four Sunday services, at the Anderson College Fine Arts Center, with over 3500 people in attendance each week.  Today, NewSpring Church is one of the fastest growing churches in the nation. As a result of tremendous growth, NewSpring moved into its first permanent facility on February 12, 2006. The new facility is equipped with a state of the art, 2500 seat auditorium and children’s space. The first Sunday in the new facility over 6900 people attended.

NewSpring Church is located on the edge of the Hopewell/ Piercetown Communities, just off Hwy. 81 near the intersection of Hopewell and Concord Roads.

Former Wren Coach King being honored

Former Wren Hurricane Head Football Coach and Administrator at Wren High School, Jack King will be honored by former football players before the homecoming game on Friday, October 13th at the Wren High School football stadium. Former players who would like to participate and be recognized along with King are invited to meet at the field at 6:15 p.m. Coach King became Wren’s head coach in 1972 and coached for 27 years. He has serverd Wren High School for 35 years and will be retiring at the end of this school year.  There will also be a reception at Wren High School following the game. For additional information, email Danny Tollison at: dannytollison@yahoo.com

Coach Davis inducted PHS Hall of Fame

Former Palmetto Head Football Coach Tommy Davis was named an inductee to the Palmetto High School Athletic Hall of Fame during a special presentation at halftime of the Palmetto-Liberty game Friday. Davis was joined by family members as he was presented a plaque recognizing the induction. Davis is the Mustangs winningest coach, with more than 100 wins at Palmetto.

Lions ready for Candy day

The Williamston Lions Club will be celebrating their annual Candy Days and broom sale this Thursday and Friday, October 5th and 6th. Williamston Lions Ed Pascoe, Truett Casey and Bill Andrews will be among local Lions offering candy, taking donations and selling Lions Club brooms and mops at various Williamston locations from 8:30am till 5 pm. Proceeds will help pay for eye exams and glasses, hearing aids and research. Look for members and help the Lions help others, Williamston Lions Club president Elaine West said. The club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at MVPizza. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Lions in Pelzer, Piedmont and Powdersville are also expected to be participating in the national fundraising event.

Democratic Party to meet October 7

The Anderson County Democratic Party will hold its regular monthly breakfast meeting on Saturday, October 7 at 9 a.m. at Doni’s Under the Trees Restaurant on Clemson Boulevard. Plans for the last few weeks of the current campaign season will be discussed. The party would also like to carry forward the momentum gained this year into the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary, set for February of 2008, and the General Election that follows. All persons interested in information about the work of the party are encouraged to visit the headquarters at 115 N. Main St., call 864-332-0595, or send an email to andersonctydp@bellsouth.net

Register by Saturday to vote

This Saturday, October 7, is the final day to register to vote in the November 7 General Election.  The Anderson County Registration and Elections office will be open Saturday,  October 7 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Those voters who have, at some point, moved out of Anderson County or out-of-State and have returned to reside in Anderson County must re-register by October 7, to be eligible to vote in the General Election. To vote, persons must have been registered at least 30 days prior to an election. When registering by mail applications must be postmarked by October 7 to be eligible for processing for this election. Election Commission officials also remind persons who were previously registered in Anderson County who may have moved within the county, will need to update voter registration information by either visiting the Anderson County Registration and Elections Office located in the old Bailes Building, directly behind the Historic Courthouse, 107 South Main Street, Suite 101 or by mailing a change of address to P.O. Box 8002 Anderson, SC  29622. Registered voters, who qualify, and intend to cast absentee ballot in the November 7, General Election may call 864-260-4035 to request an absentee ballot application. Nov. 7 will mark the second time South Carolina voters in all counties will use electronic touch screen voting machines. All counties also used new machines in June.

South Carolina is one of the first states to replace the remainder of its punch-card, optical scan and older electronic systems with state-of-the-art electronic touch screen voting machines, in compliance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was enacted to upgrade election systems nationwide, protect the integrity of elections and promote public awareness and participation in the electoral process. 

Voters to have many choices

In the upcoming 2006 General Election, voters will choose who will represent them in the following offices: On the State level - Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Comptroller General, Superintendent of Education, Adjutant General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Representative in Congress 3rd District, House of Representatives (Districts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

On the County level - Probate Judge, County Council (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Soil & Water - 2 seats, Watershed Directors: Big Creek Watershed – 3 seats, Broadmouth Creek Watershed – 2 seats, Brushy Creek Watershed – 4 seats, Three & Twenty Watershed – 2 seats, Wilson Creek Watershed – 2 seats, Homeland Park Water Commissioner – 3 seats; Piedmont Public Service District – 3 seats.

 Also the County Board of Education Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6; School District Trustees District 1 Area 1, 4, 5, 7. In District 2 Area 1 (two seats to fill), 3, 4, At-Large District 3 Area 1, 4, At-Large District 4 Area 2, 4, 5 District 5 Area 2, 5, 6, At-Large. Williamston will decide on two council seats.

 A complete list of the candidates, and who is facing whom, will be in next week’s Journal.

Thieves strike area homes

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated several thefts from homes throughout the area and arrested one man for purchasing a stolen moped. Among incidents investigated:

BELTON  

Sept. 29 – J.W. Mills responded to 1506 Pinson Farm Rd. where Glenda Burkett reported the theft of  a refrigerator from a storage shed on the property. A red Murray lawn mower was also taken. The items were valued at $600.

Sept. 29 – R. D. Smith received a report of larceny at 4401 Midway Rd., where Mark Wolken reported that his mail had been stolen. Wolken had been on vacation and had asked the postal service to hold his mail during that time. The mail had all been delivered on the date of the incident but was not in the mailbox.

 Sept. 30 – E. S. Russell responded to Willingham Road and Cheddar Road where Gilberto Flores reported that he had been assaulted and property forcibly taken from him.

PELZER

Sept. 29 – T. M Christensen and M. D. Campbell responded to 126 Bent Creek Dr. where Johnny Adams reported that he believed his son, Donavon Adams, had brought home a stolen Moped scooter. The vehicle identification number confirmed that the Moped had been stolen from the Sheriff’s office, although the state of S.C. is listed as the victim on the incident report. The younger Adams admitted buying the scooter from a WM, 5’6", brown hair and brown eyes at Exit 39. Adams paid $50 for the Moped, which was valued at $1,300. He was arrested and transported to ACDC, after giving a written statement concerning the transaction.

PIEDMONT

Sept. 29 – M.D. Campbell responded to a location on River Road near Melonie Dr., where a vehicle had been left. A local resident called the number on the paper tag and got in touch with a local resident, Jerry Walton, who had reported the car stolen. Once that report was verified, the vehicle was released to Walton.

WILLIAMSTON

Sept. 29 – J. L. Bergholm received a complaint of theft from a construction site at 204 Paradise Vista Dr. Henry Beal of Beal Construction in Belton, reported that someone had stolen a twenty foot section of copper wire from the AC unit. The wire was valued at $350.

Sept. 29 – R. D. Smith received a report of auto breaking at 866 Greenville Dr. Robert Burrell reported that someone had broken into his van at the Trading Post store and stolen a Glock 22 handgun, umpire’s equipment and some prescription medicines. The total value of the items was approximately $2800.

Sept.29 – Thieves struck twice in one area, as W.T. Cunningham responded to two calls a few hours apart. The addresses were next door to each other on Rock Moss Drive. Donnie Aiken, of 129 Rock Moss Dr., reported the attempted theft of his Honda ST1300 motorcycle from his driveway. The bike had been moved about twenty feet, despite the steering column being locked. A moving dolly and wheel ramp had been used in the attempt. Approximately four hours later, at 2 a.m., Robert Campbell of 125 Rock Moss Dr., reported the theft of his FoxFire go cart, valued at $1100.

Sept. 29 – T. L. Chapman responded to a location on Page Road, where he found a grey primer truck with a white male in the passenger seat. Chapman ran the tag and VIN number and found the tag and truck to be stolen. The passenger told Deputy Chapman that he and a white male named Steve had been smoking crack all day. The vehicle was towed and the owner notified that it had been found.

Oct. 1 – J. L. Bergholm received a report of malicious damage from Dolly Leopard, of 103 Terrapin Dr. She reported that someone had scratched her vehicle with a key or other sharp object. Damage was estimated at $1200.

Seems to Me . . . The Shriners

By Stan Welch

Everybody knows about the Shriners, right? Bunch of guys with a secret handshake and a funny hat? Some of them ride around in funny cars or motorcycles in Christmas parades, or on a truck with an outhouse mounted on the back.

My grandaddy, Papa Carl, was a Shriner. In fact he was the head of the Hejaz Temple in Charleston for a long time. I think he was called the Potentate. I remember that funny hat, the fez, with the big jeweled crest on the front and the swatch of black string that falls from the fez along the neck.

I remember once being at a Shriners father and son banquet, and winning one of the many drawings of the evening. I won a brand new baseball glove, but my Dad and Papa Carl wouldn’t let me keep it. They said it would look wrong since Papa Carl was drawing the tickets. I was heartbroken; being about ten at the time, and the not so proud owner of a worn out ball glove. I didn’t really understand what Papa Carl and Dad were saying at the time, but I cheered up the next day when Papa Carl came by the house and brought me a brand new baseball glove to replace the one I’d given up. I’ve since come to value the lesson as much as I valued the glove at the time.

I always heard him talking about the Shriners Hospital in Greenville. Of course, back then Greenville was someplace far off where all the Baptists in the world lived in one place. I had never been to the Hospital until the other day, when I went to take a picture of Ann Chapman presenting a check to the Shriners in honor of a bequest her father made before he died recently.

For a long time, I thought it was the only Shriners Hospital, but it’s not. There are twenty-two of them. Twenty are in this country and one each is in Mexico and Canada. The first one was opened in Shreveport, LA, in 1922. That’s eighty-four years ago. These fellows in the funny looking hats have been at this awhile.

Since then, almost eight billion dollars have been spent on building and operating the hospitals. Approximately eight hundred thousand children have passed through those hospitals, and not one of them or their families have had to spend a single dime to receive medical care. Not one dime.

Just last year alone, more than twenty-eight thousand children were admitted to Shriners hospitals, and another ninety-five thousand received medical care. When you total all the children served by outpatient care, outreach clinics and telemedicine visits, the number soars above three hundred thousand.

The Greenville Shriners Hospital is a pretty impressive place, designed for kids and families, with animals and fountains and all sorts of stuff. Man, you never saw so many guys in funny looking hats! They were sitting on sofas and walking around and talking. Maybe they were even doing the secret handshake. I don’t know. How would I? It’s a secret.

I got to talking to a few of them while I was waiting around to take the picture. Two of them were from North Carolina, and I don’t mean just over the state line. I mean, they were from a couple hundred miles away. They were older gentlemen, retired. Both wore the funny hats. Both wore the ring. Both were obviously proud to be Shriners. It turns out they were driving a van that had brought four or five children to the hospital for outpatient care.

They are two of more than four hundred thousand Shriners in almost two hundred temples who donate money and provide services to help burned, injured, and crippled children all over North America and Mexico.

They told stories of bequests made by those who had been helped earlier in life, like Ann Chapman’s father. They told stories of children who received treatment funded by people they knew, but whose generosity was never made known. They spoke proudly, and frankly, just about non-stop, about the Shriners and their work. They wore those hats with pride and dignity, and the more they talked, it seems to me the less funny those hats looked. And I guarantee you, there are hundreds of thousands of kids and their families who smile every time they see one of those hats.

It’s not because they look funny either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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