News Archive

(4305) Week of Oct. 26, 2005

Week of Oct. 26, 2005

Town delaying information requested under FOI
Smart board technology impresses board members
Powdersville projects raise more questions
Katrina affects water line project
Harassment case gets second look
POW Knox tells story in book

Town delaying information requested under FOI

The Town of Williamston has been slow in responding to three FOI requests submitted by The Journal on August 15, 2005.

Under South Carolina Freedom of Information  (FOI) guidelines, government entities such as municipalities have 15 days to respond to an FOI request. To date it has been seven weeks since the original FOI requests were submitted in written form to the town.

Under FOI, The Journal has requested copies of statements (and related receipts) for two Town of Williamston credit card accounts. 

A separate FOI requested  invoices and other receipts from a trip in fall 2004 in which Mayor Phillip Clardy and other town officials including former Police Chief Troy Martin traveled to Washington D. C.

Also requested were invoices and receipts from another trip taken in May, 2005 in which Mayor Clardy and and other town representatives including councilman David Harvell (and some family members) traveled to Washington D. C.

The FOI requests were resubmitted on September 22 because the Town said the original requests were not specific enough or that there was not a trip during the dates originally stated in the FOI requests.

Joel Vagen, Director of Correspondence for the Town of Williamston, who is reponsible for gathering the materials requested under FOI, has repeatedly told The Journal that he has most of the requested materials which he said are sitting on the mayor’s desk.

On October 11, Vagen said that the request was being delayed because the mayor needed to go through a file and separate personal receipts from town receipts.

When asked why the receipts are together in the file, the response was that was the way the records were kept by the mayor.

The Journal requested that the cause of the delay be stated in written form. At that time The Journal also stated that all receipts (which were in the file) which were reimbursed by the Town in any way should be included in the FOI request.

Shortly thereafter, the mayor responded on the phone that he wanted to clarify the situation. He said that the town doesn’t pay for all of his meals and that he pays for some of the meals himself.

Though Vagen said last week that he thought he would have the materials ready by the end of the week, they were not available last Thursday or Friday. Vagen was not in the office Monday or Tuesday of this week.

After leaving messages Monday and Tuesday of this week, the mayor’s assistant, Josh Barnes, returned a call to The Journal on Tuesday afternoon. Barnes indicated that the requested information would be available Thursday and that the mayor wanted to meet with The Journal to explain certain things.

The town also officially responded by letter their intent to respond to 21 FOI requests presented by citizens during the October 3  meeting of Council.

A letter from the Town, dated October 11, which was sent to John Dacus, Sarah Dacus, Gary Bannister and Jane Chastain, stated that the town would answer the requests, which the town believes is mostly archived documents that will require staff research and  numerous copies.

The letter also states that the town intends to provide the infomation in a timely manner not to exceed sixty days from the date of the letter of intent.

Bannister responded by letter on October 20 that the citizens requesting the information “strongly disagree with your judgement that the requests will be comprised mostly of archived documents , and will require staff research and may produce numerous copies.”

The letter states that “the records that we are requesting are readily available on the town’s computer system. Indeed, the majority of the information we have requested is vital to the efficient operation of town government on a daily basis.”

The letter goes on to state, “We see no reason for any delay in the delivery of the requested information and continue to expect it to be available for pickup at town hall on October 26, 2005.

Officials not conforming to the state’s FOI laws are guilty of a misdemeanor and upon convictin can be fined up to $100 or imprisoned for up to sixty days. For a second offense, the fine can be up to $200 or 60 days in jail. For a third offense, $300 or 90 days in jail.

Mayor Clardy has repeatedly stated that his administration is an “open government” and that citizens are welcome to ask town officials about their government.

Clardy has also stated that citizens are welcome to come to his office and sit down with him about any questions they may have. 

He has also told many citizens that questions should be submitted to the town in written form under FOI. The town has official FOI request forms available at the front office of the Williamston Municipal Center.

Powdersville to get new recycling, sports complex

By Stan Welch

For the second time in a week, a major announcement was made concerning Anderson County’s future plans for the Powdersville area.

Part of the mystery surrounding the County’s purchase of a 47 acre tract on the banks of the Saluda River was revealed by Monday’s announcement that the site will eventually include a recycling center, a sports complex involving soccer and baseball/softball fields, as well as a park and walking trail. County Administrator Joey Preston said that the recycling education center would be the second one in the County.

The Park will be named for former state representative Milford June “Dolly” Cooper, a longtime fixture in the business, civic and political scene in Anderson County, a decision Preston said the County Council made. Cooper, now 85,  served in the state House for 15 years. He was instrumental in attracting and establishing medical facilities and services in the area, and has been active in veterans’ affairs as well. He served during WWII, receiving the Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star, the nation’s third highest military award.

Said Cooper, after being presented with a sign designating the site as Dolly Cooper Park, “I’m  very proud to be getting all of this. It’s great to be living in Anderson County. Thanks to everyone.”

 Rep. Dan Cooper, District 10 representative to the General Assembly, and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was on hand to help dedicate the park to his father. He was also instrumental in obtaining a $250,000 PRT grant to help develop the planned facility. “This is a great day for Dad, and for the Cooper family,” said Rep. Cooper.

According to County Administrator Joey Preston, the recycling center, also known as a convenience center, will come first, with construction set to begin in the early spring. The County’s recycling and beautification efforts received a great deal of mention and notice during the press conference.

Preston also announced that the Tri-County Soccer Club and the Wren Youth Association have agreed to partner with the County in developing the facility. Joe McCavitt, president of the of TCSC, spoke briefly, saying that TCSC was glad to be a part of the project. Forrest Thomas, whose purchase of the building that houses his ambulance business from the County has been touted by Preston as being the key to the County being able to purchase the library site, also spoke on behalf the Wren Youth Association.

“I don’t know much, but I do know youth sports, after five years as WYA president and ten years as TCSC referee,” Thomas said. “One thing is we never have enough room. This is a great project and I’m just really proud that WYA can be a partner in it.” Thomas has been active in the County’s recent efforts to promote the new project.

The announcement was the second in a week’s span. A press conference was also held at the Powdersville Water District’s site October 24 to announce the proposed construction of a new 18,000 square foot library/government center at a site adjacent to the water district’s building on Highway 81.

That site was cobbled together from approximately 1.8 acres provided by the Water District in exchange for future infrastructure assistance from the County, and the $425,000 purchase of an additional 2 acres from the Cely family, long prominent in the Powdersville area. Purchase of the two sites cost the County approximately $950,000.

Smart board technology impresses board members

During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved new band uniforms for Palmetto High and saw an interesting presentation on new technology smart boards being used at Palmetto Elementary School.

Board members unanimously approved a request by Palmetto High Band Director Kevin Lakin to purchase 50 new band uniforms at a cost of $14,127.60.

The uniforms will replace band uniforms which are 10 or more years old and according to Lakin, “have frayed sleeves and are not suitable to keep,” Lakin said.

Palmetto High Drum Major Kenny Minyard modeled the new uniform for board members who were meeting at Palmetto Elementary School.

The new uniform will feature black pants with a jacket that is red on one side and white on the other.

Lakin said it offers a “variety in show design and is like having two uniforms in one.”

The uniforms will also have a block P on the sleeve and a high plume on the hats. A sash can also be added, Lakin said.

Lakin said the new uniforms should last as long or longer than the old uniforms because the material is made of a polyester based material that can be washed if necessary. The old uniforms are all wool. “It is the one I liked best and the students really like it,” he said.

About 20 band parents in attendance, with a show of hands, stated they like the new design.

Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler recommended the purchase which was approved 4-0. Board members present included Sallie Lee, Fred Alexander, Dale Martin and Joe Pack.

The board meeting was held at Palmetto Elementary School in Williamston so board members could get a first hand look at new electronic “smart boards” being used in classrooms at the school.

Palmetto Elementary Principal Jerome Hudson told board members his school began using the smart board technology, which was funded in part through a history grant, last year.

The smart board is a large electronic screen which is connected to a lap top computer and the internet and allows interactive learning for students and teachers.

The school was one of the first in the District to embrace the new technology and went from 3 to 21 smart board units in less than two years.

While demonstrating the unit, fourth grade teacher Adam Dymond said, “It allows us to grasp students attention in so many ways we have not been able to before.”

According to Dymond, the screen allows hand written notes that can be translated to type.  Screens can be changed with a touch to the screen, and you can go back to a screen. Other highlights include being able to add, background galleries which can include paper, maps, diagrams, timers, clocks and many more options.

“It is interactive for the kids. They enjoy it. The kids love to use the board,” he said. “This has made it so much easier to get our kids attention.”

Math teacher Candy Sell demonstrated her use of the smart board for teaching mathematics including place value, money, fractions, probability and number lines.

In addition to a colorful learning tool, the smart boards can be used to show items such as protractors and rulers, and allow interactive measurements to be taken on the screen.

Fourth grade teacher Brandon Koon demonstrated how pictures and video can be captured or downloaded from the internet bringing social studies and science to life on the big screen.

“We are constantly teaching each other new things to do on these,” he told the board.

Using the smart board, Media Specialist  Eunice Canty explained research guidelines used by students when they come to the media room.

Board members were clearly impressed. “This is one of the most exciting things I have seen in education in years,” Board member Sallie Lee said.

The District has 42 smart board units being used at various schools. Half of those are at Palmetto Elementary, which has been the leader in embracing the new technology in the classroom. All classrooms in grades 3-5 at Palmetto Elementary have the smart boards.

“Some teachers have not used the white boards all year,” Hudson said.

Superintendent Fowler said, “They have been very resourceful at grants, using the after school grant, local money and supplies money to help purchase them. The teachers have to want to use this. At 21, they just kept wanting them.”

A complete unit including lap top ($1,600), LCD ($900) and board ($1,300) costs approximately $4,000.

Palmetto Elementary started the year with nine units. In addition to grades 3-5, the media center has one, gifted teacher has one, kindergarten has one and first grade has two and second grade has one unit.

Palmetto Elementary has 640 students.

In other business, board members unanimously approved reconsideration of selling the potato house property, .68 acres on Hwy. 8, by auction. At the recommendationof board member Sallie Lee, the minimum bid will be set at the appraised value.

Board members also unanimously approved personnel recommendations made by Dr. Fowler.

Included were leaves of absence - Barbara Dansby, Joel Murphy, Christi Rankin, and Rick Taylor.

Recommendation - Elaine Prarat, Wren High, Guidance, .5FTE.

Powdersville projects raise more questions

By Stan Welch

While a number of questions about a controversial land purchase by Anderson County along the Saluda River were answered by Monday’s press conference, a number of inconsistencies and questions remain.

The purchase involved approximately 47 acres of land along a bend of the Saluda River in the Powdersville area. The land was bought in April of this year for $527,620, from C.D. Spearman, since deceased. A poll of Anderson County Council members by The Journal disclosed that five of the seven members had no recollection of having voted to approve the purchase or its terms. The other two Council members, Larry Greer and Bill Dees, whose district includes the site, declined to comment on their recollections or the purchase.

In fact, both Dees and County Administrator Joey Preston, have consistently refused to provide any information or comments on the purchase, citing unspecified ongoing negotiations as their reason for doing so. What those negotiations might have entailed remains unclear, since both men were making that claim less than a week before this Monday’s press conference.

At a press conference held on October 17 to announce the construction of a new 18,000 square foot library/government center at a site adjacent to the Powdersville Water District offices, and again at a meeting of the County Council the next night, Preston refused to provide any information on the 47 acre site, claiming that additional negotiations were underway.

The only negotiations The Journal has discovered were held with Joe McCavitt, president of the Tri-County Soccer Club, which McCavitt says is prepared to partner with the County in the park. McCavitt was contacted for his commitment just days before the press conference. Also agreeing to partner on the project was Forrest Thomas, who spoke for the Wren Youth Association.

Thomas has been active in both transactions, according to sources familiar with the details of the deal. He purchased an existing building from the County which already housed his medical service.

According to Preston, it was Thomas’ purchase of that property in the Powdersville area that made the library project possible. As in other details, that claim raises new questions, since the funds for the purchase were supposedly contained in a general obligation bond approved by Council last October. The reference may be to the fact that the combined costs of the two purchases exceeded the GO funding by some $200,000.

District 7 Councilwoman Cindy Wilson has questioned the river site transaction’s validity, saying that Preston’s claim that the Council’s approval of a general obligation bond last October authorized his subsequent actions does not hold water. She has sought a legal ruling from Tenth Circuit Solicitor Crissy Adams as to whether the Administrator or Council Chair can add projects to a general obligation bond once it has been approved. She also asked whether those two officials can purchase real property without specific approval by Council.

Wilson may have cause for her questions. According to newspaper reports covering the 2004-2005 budget process, the general obligation bond monies were intended to cover the purchase of land for both a library and a recycling/education center in the Powdersville area; however, the reports state that the two facilities would be located at the same site. The projected cost for the recycling center was $200,000.

 No mention whatsoever of a park and sports complex appears in the list of items included in the GO bond issue. Sources close to the situation suggest that the establishment of the soccer facility was contingent upon the support of the two sports associations.

A review of minutes of County Council meetings held since the first of the year reflect no votes to pursue the additional projects; nor do they reflect any vote by the County Council to name the proposed park after Dolly Cooper, father of State Rep. Dan Cooper, despite Preston’s statement to the contrary.

Katrina affects water line project

By Stan Welch

More than a month after destroying virtually everything in her path, hurricane Katrina continues to have effects on people and places far away from the Gulf Coast.

Take West Pelzer, for example. Earlier this year, an extended family which fled New Orleans just before Katrina hit found their way to West Pelzer, where they stayed for several weeks with family. The Town raised money, collected furnishings and supplies, and helped move the family back to their new home near New Orleans.

Now, Katrina and the damage she wrought are having a much more impersonal and less pleasing effect on the town. The damage done to refineries and the petrochemical industry in the Gulf area has caused a severe spike in the cost of PVC water lines; a spike so severe that the engineer for the town’s proposed water line repairs and upgrades has suggested holding off until prices come down and availability of the needed supplies improves.

The town obtained funding for the $500,000 project earlier this year, and was preparing to start construction when Katrina came onto the scene. The resulting damage to coastal refineries and associated petrochemical facilities, as well as a tremendous demand for such products as water and sewer lines for reconstruction efforts, created an immediate problem which soon became West Pelzer’s problem as well.

Mayor Peggy Paxton said, “We should be in the middle of the project right now, but the problem with supply and cost is a very real one. Bill Dunn recommended that we hold off, since indications are that the problem should be short-lived.”

Dunn, the project’s engineer, recently suffered a bicycle accident, and is recovering at home. But Rusty Burns, a management consultant for the town who helped find the funding, confirmed the mayor’s statements. “The situation on the gulf has prices off the charts. Delaying the project is really the only thing to do, for the simple reason that we couldn’t even buy enough pipe to finish the project at the current prices. The problem should correct itself soon, and the project can go forward.”

Harassment case gets second look

By Stan Welch

An internal investigation into his department’s handling of a recent case initiated by Williamston Police Chief David Baker continues.

 The case involved a complaint by Sharon Allen that she was receiving harassing telephone calls from her estranged husband, Danny Allen. On August 16, Sgt. A.B. Singleton responded to Ms. Allen’s complaint. The incident report later filed by Singleton indicated that Allen had been receiving at least one call a day, calls described as threatening or intimidating. Singleton’s report also indicated his intention to speak to a magistrate about obtaining a warrant for Danny Allen’s arrest.

 According to his investigative notes, Singleton decided to seek the warrant in part because of a telephone log Sharon Allen had been keeping, which included the dates, times and content of the calls she was receiving. On the day he responded to the complaint, Allen had recorded a call in which her husband  threatened to have his lawyer take away her custody of the juvenile  child they share unless she signed the divorce papers his lawyer had prepared.

 The next day Judge Sherman Woodson did in fact issue such a warrant, and he was arrested. He was released on $1008 bond. Sharon Allen, who had filled out a victim’s assistance form indicating that she wanted to be informed of all hearings and proceedings, was notified that she should be in court on Sept. 13. She appeared; her husband did not. According to her account, Danny Allen was convicted in his absence, forfeited his bond, and was convicted of the charge of making harassing telephone calls.

That’s where the problem arose. On Sept. 20, a week later, Danny Allen appeared in court, without Sharon being informed, and the charges against him were dropped. Once she was made aware of that occurrence, Sharon Allen contacted the Governor’s Office, which began an investigation. Allen says that forced Chief Baker to reopen the case.

 Chief Baker respectfully disagrees with that assessment. “I have spoken with the Governor’s ombudsman, and they seem satisfied with my explanation,” Baker said.

That explanation is as follows. The confusion over the court date resulted from it being changed from Sept. 13 to the 20th. Sharon Allen’s written account, provided to The Journal, disputes that. She says she was notified by the Town’s Victim’s Advocate, Hollie Howard, on Sept. 13 to be in court at  2:00 p.m. for the hearing.

Chief Baker says that Sgt. Singleton changed the court date. He said one focus of his ongoing investigation is how the court dates got messed up. “I’m very concerned that one party showed up at one hearing, and the other showed up on another date entirely.”

 The situation was further complicated by Sgt. Singleton’s subsequent decision to drop the charges against Danny Allen. Said Chief Baker, “Sgt. Singleton researched the law Allen was charged under and found that it specifies that threats which constitute harassment must be threats of an illegal act, such as blackmail or assault or bodily harm. Danny Allen consistently threatened to pursue custody of the couple’s child, but that is not an illegal act. Based on his investigation, the sergeant decided he could not win a conviction in the case, based on the city ordinance Allen was charged under.” When Singleton and Allen appeared on the 20th, Singleton first learned that Allen had been convicted a week earlier. He explained the circumstances to the magistrate and the conviction was set aside and the charges dropped, according to Baker.

Again, Sharon Allen disagrees. She cites state law which gives a broader definition of telephonic harassment. She also states that Capt. Evatt, assigned to investigate the case’s handling, has been unresponsive and that the case has dragged on.

Chief Baker says that he is concerned  about how the case was handled, but is awaiting a thorough investigation. “We are here to protect the people of Williamston. I am concerned that this situation became so confused, and we are looking into it. When Capt. Evatt has completed his review, he’ll inform me of his findings. When all that has happened, I will speak with both the parties and explain to them what happened.”

POW Knox tells story in book

Ralph M. Knox has been angry for over 50 years about the American surrender of the Philippines to the Japanese in 1942.

He is angry with the treatment he and other POWs received at the hands of the Japanese and he is angry with the U. S. Government for letting it happen.

At the urging of his sister and to help cope with his feelings, he eventually  wrote a book about the war and his POW experience.

In his book, “The Emperor’s Angry Guest,” Knox, who now resides in Williamston, tells about the harsh treatment he and other American POWs received and how difficult it was to deal with his feelings after his return to the U. S. at the end of the war.

He criticizes U. S. leaders in the Pacific War as ill-prepared and incompetent. He states that lies, miscalculations of the enemy’s power, tactical errors and bickering among the leadership caused pain and suffering to millions of Americans in the 1940s. He also criticizes the U. S. government and other organizations for not helping former POWs receive compensation for their slave labor.

Knox was a prisoner of war along with 1000s of others, providing slave labor in Japanese steel mills, mines and railway construction projects for 40 months.

They were released shortly after the U. S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and on Nagasaki on August 9, resulting in the surrender of the nation known as “The Rising  Sun” on September 2, 1945.

“We became prisoners of the Rising Sun because of the bickering, blundering and deceit on the part of American leaders. They left us holding the bag, to be sacrificed,” he says in the book.

“I’m angry about that, and I’m angry at those American leaders who allowed it to happen,” Knox said. “It was wrong to desert us.”

“I wrote this book at the encouragement of my sister  Alice. She assumed the process of writing my story would purge the anger from my soul, but it hasn’t. The anger is still sharp within my gut. It boils and struggles to flare up nearly every day, as it has since May 10, 1942, the day I was captured.”

In the book, Knox chronicles what happened to him before and after enlisting in the Army at age 18 in September of 1940.

Knox was a mechanic and crew chief on a B-17 bomber based at Clark Field in the Philippines. 

At 19, he was one of the youngest prisoners of war captured by the Japanese when the Philippines fell. 

“We got hit the same day as Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor was hit at 7:55 a.m,” he said. “We were hit at noon the same day.”

Knox said when Clark Field airfield was evacuated, he was sent to Bataan and then Del Monte air field on Mindanao island on Christmas Eve, 1941.

Six months later, on May 10, 1942, Knox was captured by the Japanese on Mindanao.

“They sacrificed all Americans in the Philipines,” Knox said during an interview at his Williamston home. “There was no quinine, nurses, submarines. No nothing.”

In his book, Knox states, “We had been surrendered to the enemy by our military leaders in the Philipines. We were sacrificed to the Japanese because we were considered less important than Americans fighting in other parts of the world. For years, we suffered at the hands of the Japanese.”

He chronicles how he and other POWs were transported to Japan on a “hell ship” in what he describes as “deplorable conditions” and then forced to perform slave labor.

“We were sent on a hell ship to Japan, where I worked in a steel mill for 40 months in Kawasaki,” he said.

Knox said the guards often beat them, and prisoners who became ill or severely injured received barbaric medical treatment.

In addition to harsh treatment, there were very little rations for the prisoners. “We were given a cup of rice three time a day with warm watery soup.” Knox said.  “It was very barbarous in treatment of all prisoners of war.”

Knox said he was liberated on August 29, 1945, by the U. S. Marines commanded by Harold E. Stesson. Knox, weighing only 85 pounds, was taken out on a stretcher to a hospital ship. From that ship he could see the battleship Missouri, where the Japanese surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

Of the 20,000 soldiers captured in the Philippines, 10,000 died in a 65 mile death march on Bataan. Of the 10,000 who survived, 5000 died in prison camps. Today, only about 1000 of the men who were prisoners of war are still living, Knox said.

For his service, Knox received the Purple Heart, American Defense Ribbon, Victory Medal, WWII, American Theater Operations, Asiatic Pacific WW2 Bronze Star, Good Conduct with rank of Tech/SGT with 7 overseas war time bars, three Presidential citations, Air medal with O. L. C., Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, AAF Air Crew Member badge, Philippine defense, Distinguished Unit Badge (2) Bronze O. L. C., and P. O. W. medal.

 In 1967, he had an opportunity to meet President Harry Truman, who asked him to hand deliver a letter to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1967 during a special ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Bataan.

“It was probably the best honor I had,” Knox said.

He was also asked to consult on a feature story in the April 21, 1967 issue of Life Magazine which included photos recounting the 25th anniversary of the Bataan Death March and surrendering of the Philippines.

Another memorable event was having his portrait painted by Montgomery Wells, a well known portrait artist who had painted the beautiful blonds in the Breck Shampoo advertisements  and on the Breck Shampoo bottles.

Knox said the chance meeting with Wells occurred in 1947 while he was out with a girlfriend at a nightclub in Kentucky. 

“I thought he was trying to make out with my girlfriend,” Knox said when he saw Wells talking to her.

Knox said that Wells told him he wanted to do a portrait of him in full military dress.  Wells autographed and signed the portrait, which took two days to paint, Knox said. It now hangs in his office at home.

After the war, Knox became a business owner, supplying chrystals for military aircraft radio before the business was bought out by Magnavox, the company he was supplying. He retired in 1984.

The survivors get together to remember their ordeal and to remind others at a convention of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, an organization of which Knox is a lifetime member.

Knox continues to tell his POW story at schools, churches and book signings. He said he always gets a good response from high school kids.

“I get a good reaction,” Knox said. “Especially in high schools. They don’t know about Bataan and Corregidor. They don’t teach about the war,” Knox said.

He said the students have a lot of questions. “There are very  intelligent kids in the high schools.”

“The Emperors Angry Guest”is endorsed by the former governor of Indiana, 1969-1973, Edgar D. Whitcomb, who was also in the outfit taken prisoner with Knox. He also authored a book entitled “Escape from Corregidor.”

The title came from the welcome the prisoners received from the commander of the Kawasaki prison camp.

“You are not prisoners of war. You are guests of the emperor,” they were told. In the book, this fact was followed by the following statement.

“He was a lying son of a bitch!”

Knox said his book took 50 years to write.  In the book, Knox tells what he personally witnessed in the months leading up to the fall of the Philippines.

Knox was one of the servicemen to help load the B-17s which evacuated General Douglas MacArthur, his family and staff of 18 senior officers in March of 1942.

He said he helped load items including a fur coat, and tricycle belonging to little Douglas MacArthur. He reports that three B-17s actually left that night from Del Monte for Australia, not two as reported by historians.

According to Knox, a B-17 that had crashed on March 11, 1942 was repaired using the remaining spare parts left at the airfield.  It was filled with footlockers, crates of clothing, pipe tobacco, several straight back chairs, little Arthur MacArthur’s toys, one rocking chair and two heavy mattresses.

In his book he states, “I can’t help wondering even now why MacArthur and his party didn’t deem it more important to evacuate Americans instead of luggage and toys?”

The book is dedicated to his sister Alice who lives in Anderson. After coming to Anderson to  help his sister, Knox eventually moved to Williamston where he has resided for about one year.

Knox said that his sister encouraged him to write the book, to help him deal with the angry feelings he had from the experience.

Have his feelings changed? No he said. He feels “as strongly as ever.” 

“Hitler was more important. Everything was sent to Germany because they feared Hitler more than Japan,” Knox said.

The book, “The Emperor’s Angry Guest is available in paperback at Books a Million and other book stores. It is available from Knox personally, autographed for $15.





No delinquent tax sale for propertyWilliamston

Arts Center Warehouse readies for preview, benefit auction
Zoning, developmemnt issues raised at County Council
Property purchase price more than reported
Pelzer voters to decide on mayor
Grant awarded for new turnout gear
Watch sale to benefit victims
Officers investigate thefts
Thieves target Jockey Lot vendors
Museum to host Mistletoe Market



No property sale for delinquent tax

The Town of Williamston has decided not to conduct a delinquent tax sale this year for properties with outstanding amounts owed for 2004.

According to town clerk and treasurer Michelle Starnes, the town has 144 properties with overdue balances totaling approximately $8,000.

Muncipal and county governments are allowed to sell property bu auction to satisfy a delinquent tax bill. The auction is usually held in October or early November, just prior to the new tax notices being sent out.

If sold, the original owner of the property has one year to pay the delinquent tax. If not paid, the highest bidder at the auction sale becomes the rightful owner of the property.

The tax sale is not being conducted this year because the town missed the deadline for posting notices, Starnes said. Properties must be posted by the town prior to a sale. The properties with delinquent taxes due are then advertised in the local newspaper. The notice must be published three times (weeks) for the sale to be legal.

Starnes said usually only one or two persons show up for a delinquent tax sale. Most of the amounts due are small amounts though Starnes said there are “a few big ones.” Items on the list usually include boats, lots, and houses and other properties.

Last year six properties were sold. The owners of four of the properties eventually paid the outstanding balances due resulting in only two properties sold at the sale being redeemed, she said.

There is no requirement that a tax sale be held, it is only an option for governments to collect outstanding tax amounts. According to Starnes, the town attorney advised that the town “is not required to have one.”

Property owners with outstanding balances will see their tax bill increase if the amount is not paid and may face having the property sold next year should the town decide to conduct a sale.

Arts Center Warehouse readies for preview, benefit auction

The new Anderson County Arts Center Warehouse project is nearing completion, just in time for the annual benefit auction and the holidays.

The renovation of the 100 year old P&N warehouse building into an Arts Center showcase, has been a five year project.

Located behind the Arts Center and next to the farmer’s market in downtown Anderson, the warehouse building was purchased by the city approximately five years ago. It had to be stablilized and weatherized, Arts Center Director Kimberly Spears said.

The building had big holes and engineers said there were about six months to do something with the building before it would become unusable.

When completed, it will contain  a gallery, classrooms, a kitchen and office space. A private business could locate in the building and a restaurant is planned, according to Spears.

The building also features an atrium and a board room located in the center of the building.

“We wanted to keep the ambiance,” she said. The building was a freight depot on the front and a passenger depot in the rear, Spears said. “Alot of local businesses had warehouses here.”

The original warehouse bay areas of the 33,000 sq. ft. building will remain, Spears said. Bars from outside the original building will be used for the gates which will block access to the individual bay areas which are connected and accessed through brick archways that run through the structure.

Anything from the original building that could be saved and reused was, including old outside lights.

“Anderson was one of the first to have electricity,” Spears adds.

Wiring and lights that were saved from the building were original, electricians told her.

Original elevator equipment made by Park Manufacturers of Charlotte N. C.  that operated in the building will remain but will not be working.

A new elevator will make the building accessible to everyone. In addition to ground access, the building has ramps, making it handicapped accessible.

According to Spears, “It has the most access in Anderson. We wanted all barriers gone with this building which is for everybody,” she said.

Spears said the project is the first public, private partnership to be formed with help from the city and county.

The City of Anderson purchased the property which is being leased by the County for use as the Arts Center Warehouse.

“It is a textbook case for a public, private partnership,” Spears said. “We are real proud of that.”

The warehouse building has twelve 2,500 sq. ft. bays with six on each floor.

One of the bays will house an artisan’s gallery which is now being housed in the Sullivan shops.

“We help facilitate artists to the next level,” Spears said, “which is selling to the public. We are promoting the artists.”

The two story warehouse building will feature an interior stairway with special artwork designed by Anderson County school children.

Pendleton artist John Acorn took 100s of drawings from area pre-schoolers which were then traced onto the wooden landings and outlined with special ordered “trailer nails.”

Each of the nail holes had to be pre-drilled. Acorn estimates that he has contributed about three months to the project.

Twelve artisits have applied to display their art in the warehouse. “We want to represent local artisits and to promote local artists,” Spears said.

Three classrooms in the center will be used for after school programs, summer art camps, senior projects and evening arts classes for adults, according to Spears. There will also be artists guilds and drawing classes. The classrooms feature special cabinets and colors. There are also storage rooms.

“It will be a great asset for all of Anderson,” Spears said.

There is a multipurpose events room that can house themed birthday parties with arts related activities, It will also be used for workshops, luncheons, and it features a staging area.

A pottery showroom will feature an electric kiln.

Leaving the building, visitors can enjoy an outside area located between the warehouse center and the farmers market which will be a sculpture garden.

The “green space” will be used for concerts and as a place for people to gather, according to Spears. The center will focus on visual arts and will partner with other organizations for performances, she said.

Spears said the building will be open by the holidays and she hopes to feature a holiday walk. A dedication is being planned for the end of November.

On November 5, at 6 p.m., there will be a benefit auction at the Arts Center Warehouse. 

The fundraiser auction will be held in the newly renovated building offering patrons of the arts an opportunity to see the building and to purchase original artwork, unique items and entertainment and restaurant packages.

Eighty artists have contributed original artwork of all mediums.

Spears said the project is coming about because of the leaders in the community.

“We have a great relationship with some progressive thinkers in this community,” Spears said about the project. That kind of leadership on our board and in thsi community has made this happen.”

Spears said that diversity and getting people involved in the arts are priorities. “Everybody should feel comfortable coming here,” she said.

The Arts Center building which is on the national historic register, will be linked to the new Warehouse complex by the Farmers Market pavillion. The pavillion will be located between the giraffe pattern walls of the building next to the Arts Center on Main Street.

The area will be pedestrian friendly with an outdoor sculpture area for outdoor events, Spears said. “The pavillion links it all together,” Spears said. “I’m glad it came together.”

The Arts Center Warehouse grand opening will be at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by nationally known performance painter Brian Olsen performing at 6:45. A silent auction will continue until 9 p.m. and a live auction conducted by Meares Auctions, Inc. begins at 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the auction support the annual budget for programs including Artist in Education, art school, art camp and gallery exhibit programs offered through the Anderson County  Arts Center.

Area restaurants will cater the event.

“It is an exciting event every year and we hope to rise to the challenge of making the evening a memorable one” said Spears.

Dr. Robert G.  Austin is president of the Anderson County Arts Center Board of Directors.

Zoning, developmemnt issues raised at County Council

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council enjoyed a relatively quiet and productive meeting Tuesday night, despite the presence of several public hearings on the agenda. Several of those came and went without any public participation, leaving more time for the one rezoning request that drew a crowd.

Council heard from several citizens as well as the developer of a proposed planned unit development to be located on Edgebrook Drive, near the proposed route of the East West connector slated for a 2007 construction start. The plans had called for a total of 88 single family patio homes and 80 townhouses built in units of four.

The developer’s agent, Tony Cirelli spoke first, announcing that his client would agree to reduce the number of townhouses by 20%, reducing the number to 64.That offer was challenged later by a Ms. Becky Paris, who cited an earlier plan by Cirelli’s client which indicated that 8 acres of open space would be maintained at the 34 acre site, while the 88 patio homes would occupy an additional 22 acres. “How can you put 64 townhouses on the remaining four acres of land?” asked Paris.

Several residents, regardless of their position on the proposed zoning change, from R20 to PD, were unhappy with what they considered an attempt to intimidate them. Apparently, signs appeared in the area stating that if the proposed change failed, the alternative would be the construction of a double wide mobile home development, instead of the $200,000 – $245,000 homes slated.

One speaker asked if that were possible, and received no answer, until the change was before the Council, and Councilman Michael Thompson asked planning director Jeff Ricketson if it was indeed possible. He was told that it was. The proposed change was finally given first reading approval by a vote of 5-1-1, with District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson abstaining and Councilman Fred Tolly opposing.

One issue raised during the vote came up again later in the evening. Councilman Thompson, citing the County’s financial inability to maintain its current road system, asked if the developer would be willing to withdraw his intention to dedicate the roads to the county system and maintain them himself. Cirelli said that the developer would be willing to do that.

Councilwoman Wilson explained her abstention by saying that the issues of safe ingress and egress, as well as the project’s proposed density, concerned her. Later in the meeting, the Councilwoman asked that the county staff be instructed, via the administrator, to study the possibility of requiring plans for future developments to include acceleration and deceleration lanes to provide for safer access to those areas.

Councilwoman Gracie Floyd agreed, and asked if Wilson would like to make her suggestion a motion instead. Wilson said she would in deed, and the motion was not only made and seconded, but receive unanimous approval. Although Floyd used what she called the “nasty word, impact fee”,

Wilson disagreed later, while speaking to The Journal. “This really isn’t an impact fee idea. Impact fees are much broader in their reach and based on a number of factors in the community. This is simply a study to determine the best way to approach this problem. In many states, including Georgia, plans are required to include this kind of planning. The costs are simply passed on to those who buy homes.

Council also had a lengthy discussion of a proposed inducement agreement to be offered to S&T Enterprises, which proposes to build a hotel and convention facility . The agreement would provide infrastructure credits to allow the facility to build an access road. Several Council members had questions, including Councilwoman Wilson, who said that giving the developer one third of his taxes back seemed a bit extreme. Councilman Thompson asked how many jobs would be created, and was told that between 50-55 fulltime jobs and approximately 25 part time jobs would result.

Councilman Greer expressed his concern that the proposal indicated that as much as $5 million or as little as $2 million would be spent on the convention facility. He sought assurance that at least the $2 million figure was firm. Economic Development Director John Lummus assured him it was. Charles Wyatt, Director of the Civic Center, was on hand to say that there was room for both facilities in Anderson, saying, “I think we can live together. There will be some projects we have to turn down that they can handle, and vice versa.”

Council approved the resolution by a vote of 4-2, with Wilson and Greer opposing. Councilman Bill McAbee  recused himself on the advice of counsel, due to a prior business relationship with the company.

Property purchase price more than reported

By Stan Welch

Earlier reports of the cost of a tract of land along the Saluda River, purchased earlier this year by Anderson County, appear to have been significantly lower than the actual price.

A copy of the sale contract, provided to The Journal by District Seven County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, indicates that the actual price of the approximately 48 acres was in fact $609,120, and not the previously reported $527,620.

The lower figure appeared on the deed documents on file with the Anderson County Register of Deeds. The contract figures were obtained, without incident or delay, by Wilson just days after County Administrator Joey Preston was deposed in a case concerning a battle between Preston and Wilson over her right to see financial records of the County. That case is currently before the courts; Wilson and her attorneys have filed for a writ of mandamus to force the issue, but Judge Nicholson has so far declined to rule on the petition.

In addition to the higher sales price, it appears that an additional 10% “consulting fee”, as well as “reasonable out of pocket costs of the consultant” was paid to Carithers Real Estate Inc., a company with a history of real estate transactions with the County. The language of the contract, if accurate, would raise the cost of the land to at least $669,000+.

The transaction, which was closed on April 13 of this year, has raised questions and eyebrows on the Council, as well as across the county. While it appears that the procurement of an approximate 4 acre site next to the Powdersville Water Department was included in a general obligation bond approved by Council last October, this most recent purchase caught the majority of Council off guard, when it became public knowledge. Five of the Council members expressed no knowledge of any vote approving that purchase. Two members, Councilmen Dees and Greer, declined to comment when asked about the purchase and their vote on it.

Preston has contended that the GO bond did in fact authorize him to purchase the second tract. In fact, at the press conference called to announce the plans for the site, he said that it would have been wrong not to purchase the land and assure that children would have a place to play in the future.

The four acres, 1.8 of which was donated by the Powdersville Water Department in exchange for future infrastructure considerations, cost $425,000. It is slated for construction of a new 18,000 square foot facility that will include a library and several government offices. According to news reports published at the time of the GO bond’s approval, a recycling center was also to be built on that site, at an approximate cost of $200,000.

Plans revealed for the river site in recent weeks indicate that the recycling center will instead be the first thing built at that site. Plans, according to information provided by the County planning staff, also call for soccer and softball fields, as well as a park and nature trail at the Saluda River site.

Representatives of both the Wren Youth Association and the TriCounty Soccer Club appeared at a recent press conference to announce their participation in the proposed new facility. The press conference was called to announce that the park would be named after former state representative M. J. “Dolly” Cooper, father of incumbent Rep. Dan Cooper, whose obtaining of a $250,000 PRT grant was instrumental in the purchase being possible.

Also credited with helping make the project possible was Forrest Thomas, owner of the Northern Anderson County EMS, a private ambulance service which, according to recent newspaper accounts, has apparently agreed to buy the county building it currently occupies.

Pelzer voters to decide on mayor

Pelzer voters will have a choice between two candidates for mayor in an election scheduled for Tuesday November 8.  The race will feature Incumbent D. Page Henderson seeking re-election against challenger Kenneth E. Davis for the office of mayor.

Henderson and Davis faced off in 2003 in a hotly contested race that was disputed. Election results initially showed that Davis received 19 votes and Henderson received 18 votes.

Henderson formally protested the election on the grounds that two individuals who lived outside of the corporate town limits were allowed to cast ballots. Five citizens also protested the town council election due to confusing instructions on the ballot as well as how write-in votes were counted.

Election Commission Chairman Duncan Adams stated in hearings to decide the issue that he was not on site when the two individuals in question were allowed to vote in the election and that since their names were printed on the voter list, poll workers allowed them to vote.

The Municipal Election Commission (MEC) called for a new election for the town after results of the election were overturned as a result of the two protest hearings which challenged the election results due to irregularities in the election process.

The Town of Pelzer has 65 registered voter, according to the Anderson County Election Commission.

Polls will be at the Pelzer Community Building in the Pelzer Park. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on election day. Should a runoff be necessary, it will be held two weeks after the election on Tuesday, November 22. 

Grant awarded for new turnout gear

The Piedmont Fire Department learned this week that they will be the recipient of a $147,748 grant from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. The District will have a five percent match of $7,776 for the $155,524 cost of the project.

The Firefighter operations and safety grant will be used to purchase 30 sets of turnout gear, 24 self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) airpacks and one 60 minute rapid intervention team (RIT) pack, Piedmont Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Wallace said. The RIT pack is an extra breathing apparatus that may be needed for a trapped or downed firefighter.

The department will also purchase one thermal image camera which helps firefighters see through smoke and allows a firefighter to move more safely through a smoke or fire environment for the rescue of a downed firefighter. It also allows firefighters to find hotspots, Wallace said.

The Piedmont Fire Department had applied for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (FEMA) assistance to firefighters grant program for four years, Wallace said. “We are certainly happy about this award,” he said.

Watch sale to benefit victims

Williamston area residents now have the opportunity to purchase a town watch and help hurricane victims at the same time.

Williamston resident Robert Vaughn is working with the Town of Williamston on the fundraising project which will benefit hurricane victims in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

All proceeds from the sale of the watches will go to the relief fund for the hard hit barrier island town which has been adopted by Williamston.

Two different designs are available featuring the Town of Williamston (Springhouse) or the Williamston Police Department (patch) on the face plate. Watches are available with silver or gold trim. Each design is also available in men’s and ladies’ styles, Vaughn said.

Advance orders for the watches are now being taken at the Williamston Municipal Center or by contacting Vaughn. The watches are $20 each.

For information call the Municipal Center at (864) 847-7473 or Vaughn at (864) 847-8114.

Officers investigate thefts

The Williamston Police Department investigated several thefts and other incidents during October. Among incidents investigated were:

Oct. 20 - Belinda Marie Wade, 50, 1428 Greer Hwy. Travelers Rest, reported items valued at $2,200 removed form a storage building unit #21 at 100 Brown St., Williamston. Forced entry was gained by cutting a padlock. Missing items included Avon cosmetics valued at $1,500; $400 in change; and gold jewelry valued at $300. Sgt. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Oct. 17 - Hickory Point BP, 103 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported a light blue Ford Explorer SC tag 429CYC and driven by a white female drove off without paying for $47.77 in gas. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Oct. 17 - Terry Scott Griffen, 20, 411 Parker St., Williamston, was arrested for simple possession of marijuana and no S. C. drivers license in possession after a white Dodge pickup was observed on Anderson Drive with no tail lights. Griffen had an active bench warrant with West Pelzer police department. He was released to West Pelzer police Chief Bernard Wilson and transported to ACDC.

Upon arrival at the detention center, reports state he gave a very small amount of marijuana to Wilson and was issued a summons for simple possession of .01 grams of marijuana.  Sgt. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Oct. 18 - Amber Nicole Aiken, 24, 245 Old Hundred Rd., Pelzer, was arrested for no vehicle license, no proof of insurance and driving under suspension after a vehicle was observed on  Ida Tucker Rd. Lt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Oct. 15 - Christopher Lee Locklear, 24, 150 Maple St., Brunswick, N. C., was arrested for no drivers license after a red Nissan was observed crossing the center line on Main St. Sgt. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Oct. 15 - Jamie Doug Gambrell, 30, 102 E. St., Williamston, reported two bicycles valued at $100 removed from his yard. Lt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Oct. 16 - Ron Gilbert, 30, 146 North St., Williamston, reported a blue Schwinn bicycle valued at $150 missing from the residence.

Oct. 16 - Misty Renea Norris, 25, 216 Coker Rd., Anderson, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle after officers were dispatched to Oak St. in reference to a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle, a black Pontiac valued at $2,000, was reported stolen to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. C. J. Sanders, Sgt. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Officers investigated a complaint of two juveniles who painted a sidewalk outside of building #4 at Middleton Blvd., Apartments causing $500 in damage. Sgt. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Andy Ford, a teacher at Palmetto Middle School, N. Hamilton St., Williamston, reported $150 in damage to the windshield of his 2004 Ford truck. Reports state a juvenile who had earlier asked Ford if the truck was his, admitted to throwing an object at the vehicle causing the damage. D. W. Alexander investigated.

Oct. 10 - Marcos Arturo Illingworth Reyna, 24, 309 Burgess School Rd., Pelzer, was arrested and charged with no drivers license and driving too fast for conditions after a blue Dodge 4 door was observed traveling 50 mph in a 25 mph zone on Main St. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Oct. 12 - Edward D. Revis, 40 McAlister St., Williamston, reported collectible items including five Budweiser Christmas mugs valued at $100, and two Dale Earnhardt Mountain Dew bottles valued at $3 taken from the residence. Forced entry was gained by knocking out a piece of plywood nailed to the front door. J. T. Bauer investigated.

Oct. 3 - Carl Andrew Wardlaw, 42, 110 Gossett Dr., Williamston, was arrested for vandalism and public disorderly conduct after causing $500 in damage to a 1993 Saturn. The damage occurred during a fighing incident with his mother at Pecan Terrace Apartments, 100 Gossett Dr.. J. T. Bauer investigated.

Oct. 4 - After extinguishing a brush fire at the same location twice, the Williamston Fire Department reported seeing a suspicious person driving a burgundy Land Rover at the scene both times. J. T. Motes investigated.

Oct. 13 - Sharon Annett Allen, 27, 18 Mineral Park Drive, Williamston, reported two sets of golf clubs valued at $850 removed from an unsecured shed in the yard. P. D. Marter investigated.

Oct. 13 - Edwin Anthony Ellison, 44, 503 Forest Hills Dr., Williamston, was arrested for simple assault in connection with an incident that occurred at 205 Prince St. on Oct. 12. J. T. Bauer investigated.

Oct. 12 - Robert Lee Edwards, 38, 16 Tripp St., Williamston was arrested for public disorderly conduct after being observed slumped over at a concrete picnic table for sale at Williamston Curb Market., 508 Greenville Drt., Williamston. Lt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Oct. 8 - Deborah Elaine Alewine, 46, 2 West Third St., Williamston, reported $75 in cash stolen from her residence. Sgt. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Oct. 4 - Amber Nicole Sammons, 17, 32 Woodmere Ct., Williamston, was arrested for fighting with a 16 year old juvenile at Palmetto High School. D. W. Bryant investiagted.

October 8 - Joshua Nigel Finley, 22, 123 Old Field Circle, Williamston, was arrested for public drunkeness and no proof of insurance after a 1999 Acura was observed at 11 West Main St. Williamston. Sgt. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Thieves target Jockey Lot vendors

The Jockey Lot, Hwy. 29, Belton,  was the scene of a rash of burglary and shoplifting incidents over the weekend.

Sheriff’s Deputy J.J. Jacobs responded to shoplifting complaints from two vendors, resulting in an arrest in one of the cases. Brenda Taylor, 48, of Haywood, Va. was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Reports state the suspect in the second case, a black male, approximately 21, 6’ tall, in a gray hooded sweatshirt, dropped an amplifier he was stealing and jumped in a car with two others.

Deputy M.J. Gregory also responded to a complaint on Oct. 27 that someone had broken into the Walk About Restaurant and stole approximately $400 worth of food items.


 Oct. 27 – D.E. Tench responded to a complaint of grand larceny from Jerry Smith, of Smith Construction Co., who reported the theft of his concrete mixer from a job site.

Oct. 27 – D.W. Davis investigated a report of grand theft by Rodney Bolen, who stated that someone had stolen construction supplies from the site of the Cracker Barrel which is under construction on Highway 153. The materials were valued at $2550.


Oct. 27 – J.A. Frazier investigated a report of burglary and grand larceny from Johnny Chappell, of 460 Looper Road. Chappell reported that his home had been broken into and a number of firearms and other items stolen. He identified a 17 year old neighbor as the suspect, saying that the neighbor had broken into his house earlier, in a case that was still under police investigation. The total value of the items was $3400.

Oct. 28 – G.M. Hayden investigated a report of disturbing school. Robin Fullbright, the Principal at Wren Middle School reported that a parent had come to the school to discuss a disciplinary incident involving his child. During the discussion, he became agitated and slammed his hands down on the conference table, breaking the glass top. He eventually left the scene after being told to do so by Fullbright.


Oct. 27 – J.A. Frazier investigated a report of armed robbery at the Super 8 Motel at 546 McNeely Road. Dean Wright,of Midland, Va., reported that a black male, 25-30, 5’9", 200 lbs. with a short afro haircut asked him for a jump for his vehicle and then robbed him at gunpoint.

Museum to host Mistletoe Market

The Anderson County Museum will host ithe 3rd annual Mistletoe Market Nov. 4 and 5. Designed to promote local artisans and generate tourism within the county, the market will feature more than 25 vendors from across the southeast. Parking and admission are free.

Friday evening a “Sip and Shop” will provide adults with a leisurely stroll through the museum’s gallery while shopping at the various vendors from 5 to 9 p.m.  A book signing by Kate Salley Palmer to introduce her new book Francis Marion And The Legend Of The Swamp Fox will be held during the evening hours on Friday as well.   

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, shoppers will find gift-making events for children, hosted by Michael’s, as well as face painting. The Palmetto, TL Hanna, and the Westside high school bands will perform Christmas carols in the courtyard at the fountain during the morning hours. Carolina Parakeet Tea will offer a tea tasting throughout the day as great shopping continues—there will be something for everyone on your list, organizers said.

Local vendors will be present to display various talents and skills.  Some of the booths will feature wood working, basket making, books, knitting, pottery, jewelry, photographs, art work, metal works, food products, pocketbooks, and more.

Vendors will include - Anderson: Ann Friend (wooden toys), Split Creek Farm (delicious goat milk fudge and cheeses); Avenue of Oaks (unique Anderson items); Write Impressions (personalized stationery and gifts); Michelle Strange (cigar box handbags); Hands On Weaving (hand-woven chenille scarves, baby wraps, placemats and rugs); Kylie Yerka (handmade books); Little Sue’s Designs (fabric purses); Charlene Rhodes (watercolor pictures and prints); Rick Smith (baskets); Chrysler Studio and Starscapes (historical Anderson scenes and prints); Candy Kitchen (all sorts of yummy desserts, bread and candies)

Honea Path: John S. Williams (ink pens handcrafted from wood and deer antlers); Hughes Hollow (variety of handmade or artistically altered products); Hanks’ Make It Personal (handbags and silver and monogrammed items); Easley: Jackson Woodworks (woodcrafts and furniture); Westminster: MH Forge (hand forged iron and copper); Greenville: Simply Sweet Creations (candy arrangements); Travelers Rest: Elven Wreaths and Toggles (necklaces, earrings and glass Christmas boxes); Salem: Richard Potocnik (hand-turned wooden bowls); Iva: The Backyard Barn (carved and decorated gourds); Belton: Joda Snipes (wooden carvings); Townville: Michael Craig Designs (original hand-made jewelry); Starr: Angelic Lites Candle Company (handmade candles); Ware Shoals: Camak’s Corner (fine art and prints); Athens, GA: The Bag Lady (blue jean purses and Christmas crafts)

The Museum is at 202 E. Greenville Street, downtown Anderson. Regular business hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The Museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. 









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