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Daily Archives: 01/29/2019

New Day for the Green Wave

EHS picks high-octane NC coach to lead football team

EASLEY — Easley High School officials swung for the fences in their search for a new head football coach, and they appear to have hit a

Caleb King

home run.

The school announced in a press release Tuesday morning that Caleb King will be the new coach of the Green Wave after engineering the highest scoring offense in the state of North Carolina at his alma mater, Havelock High School, a season ago. The 35-year-old led the Rams to a 13-1 record in 2018, averaging 59 points per game, before being upset in the Class 3A state semifinal.

King will replace John Windham, who resigned in November after the Green Wave finished the season with a 4-6 record and missed the Class 5A playoffs. Windham finished his four-year tenure as Easley’s coach with a 20-23 record.

In four seasons as a head coach — two at Havelock and two at East

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2 face murder charges in Easley teen’s death

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Two teens are facing murder charges after an Easley 16-year-old was shot to death and his body left on the side of a busy road in Easley earlier this month.

Eric Silverio Mondragon, 19, of Walhalla, and 18-year-old Jalen G’Vonte Hines of Greenville are both charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to news releases from Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe.

The body of Robert Tyler Butler of Dayton Drive, Easley was found on the afternoon of Jan. 19 beside Saluda Dam Road in Easley.

Deputies and South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers were initially unable to determine if Butler had been struck by a car, but an autopsy conducted last week revealed that he had been shot with a

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Opioid addiction assistance program to launch in county

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County will be the first county in South Carolina to launch a program aimed at providing opioid addicts with hope and pathways to treatment.

During a special called meeting Monday night, Pickens County Council passed a resolution endorsing the Community Outreach by Paramedic Education (COPE) program.

The program will see community paramedics and peer support specialists from Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County visit residents who have recently received Narcan, which reverses opioid overdoses.

“If someone is given Narcan or treated for an overdose that’s opioid-connected, then within 72 hours of their receiving Narcan or going to the ER, a community paramedic and a peer counselor from

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Special election set for final seat on school board

PICKENS — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has scheduled a new election to decide who will represent District 7 on the Pickens County School Board.

Phillip Healy and Alice Hendricks Vander Linden will face off for the seat in an election on March 26, with voters in nine Pickens County precincts eligible to cast ballots.

The seat, which was created by an act of the state legislature in 2017,

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Legislators: No early start date for schools this year

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — Members of the Pickens County Legislative Delegation told School District of Pickens County officials recently that the uniform start date for schools passed more than a decade ago will remain in place at least for the foreseeable future.

“I can safely tell you that you won’t have flexibility in the 2019-20 school year,” said State Rep. Neal Collins, who represents the Easley area. “I expect it to get hung up in the Senate. There are undercurrents, and it would be false if I told you it would happen in 2019-20.”

Prior to 2007-08, local districts had the authority to set the opening date for schools. However, state law now mandates that schools cannot open prior to the third Monday in August. The only exception came at the start of the 2017-18 academic year, when South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a joint resolution allowing a waiver for

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Chapel, commerce parks, ‘basic services’ on council’s wishlist

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Pickens County Council members detailed their “wish list” for the future at a planning retreat at Prisma Health Baptist Easley Hospital on Thursday evening.

Chairman Roy Costner asked council members to detail their top priorities.

“We’re not making any decisions today,” he said. “We’re not voting on anything. We’re going to get back together in a year. What do you hope we’ve accomplished?”

Councilman Ensley Feemster said he’d like to see the room that will be used as a chapel at the county’s new jail be furnished.

“I hope that churches will help on that,” he said.

Councilman Wes Hendricks started out with two wishes.

“A new commerce park and get Mile Creek Park in tip-top shape,” he

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SWU project headed toward fall completion

Jericho Project will serve as disabilities and special needs community on campus

CENTRAL — Just as the walls of Jericho came tumbling down in the famous Bible story, The Jericho Project will be a place where walls that separate citizens with disabilities and special needs from the surrounding community will come down.

The Jericho Project is about preparing its residents to live more independent lives, while being part of a greater community dedicated to life learning experiences.

The Jericho Project is a collaboration of Southern Wesleyan University with disabilities and special needs boards in Pickens and Anderson Counties, along with the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

According to Elaine Thena, director of Pickens County Board of

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Pickens teacher nominated for national award

PICKENS — Pickens Elementary School second-grade teacher Karen McMinn has been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

McMinn was recognized as a LifeChanger for always putting her students’ best interests first, engaging them on an individual level to accommodate their learning style. She also maintains strong communication with families, making sure to speak up if she feels a student needs additional help.

McMinn was nominated by Bridgett Martin, the parent of a student, for sparking a passion for learning in her daughter.

“Ms. McMinn has proven to me that she is a life-changing teacher in many ways,” Martin said. “This is only the start of my daughter’s first year in her class, but I already see a stronger desire for learning in her. She truly cares for each child and wants to see them make a difference.”

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of

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Liberty student named Central’s top firefighter

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

CENTRAL — Dawson Smith had only recently turned 18 when he was named Central Fireman of the Year last month.

But Smith’s excitement about earning the honor was dampened and his faith in his fellow firefighters strengthened when his home was destroyed by fire two weeks later.

“It was heartbreaking, because you never really think your house will burn,” Smith said. “It was one of those things God intended to happen, and luckily my firefighter brothers were there and continue to be with me to this day, raising money and literally giving me the clothes off their own backs.”

The sense of family is what led Smith to the Central Fire Department. He had never thought about becoming a firefighter, but would hang around the department with Elijah Reynolds, now the battalion chief and the son of Central Fire Chief Ed Reynolds. Eventually, Smith began helping the fire department as a volunteer two years ago and decided to become

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Baseball, softball registration open

PICKENS — Baseball and softball registration is being taken now through Feb. 22 at the Pickens Recreation Center on Sangamo Road in Pickens.

Coed age divisions offered are instructional for 4 year olds, tee ball/coaches pitch for 5-6 year olds and pitching machine for 7-8 year olds.

Boys’ baseball age divisions are minors (9-10), O-Zone (11-12), boys (13-14) and majors (15-19), provided enough register.

Girls’ softball age divisions are darlings (7-8), angels (9-10), ponytails

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