Monthly Archives: February 2019

Why not go to the source?

Public schools face lots of problems in South Carolina. And there are lots of reasons for this situation. But one problem in our state is how those in charge come up with solutions.

If you have a car that isn’t running smoothly, do you try to fix it on your own? Or do you take it to a good mechanic?

If you need an operation, do you get a committee of elected officials together to perform surgery or go to a medical professional?

There’s no question our education system needs overhauling. But shouldn’t we get the people who know what the issues are

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South Carolina pensions still

The Legislature made an important stride two years ago when it agreed to pump more money into the state pension system, but it stopped short of shifting new employees to 401(k)-style retirement plans, a move most experts agree is the only way out of a multibillion-dollar hole that taxpayers would ultimately have to fill.

Though public agencies and their employees are plowing more money into pension funds, a process that will take five more years to be fully phased-in, unfunded liabilities — the projected gap between assets and future payouts — stood at an incredible $25.47 billion at the end of fiscal 2018. That’s closer to an abyss than a

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Injecting faith into our doubt

Soon after Jesus had resurrected, we find a beautiful passage in John chapter 20 that is a wonderful example of how much God loves us and wants to encourage us. The friends and family of Christ were gathered together after his horrific crucifixion and were still grieving over his death when all of a sudden, he appears in their midst!

Even though they remembered how he had promised to return, I’m sure they were still awestruck. Jesus stretches out His hands and reveals his wounds, and of course, they are overjoyed to see him again. He spoke peace and breathed on them, and

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Trash Bash at West End

The 18th annual Pickens County Traveling Trash Bash, an environmental education program that reaches every third-grader in the county, is only possible through generous support from county council. Pictured at West End Elementary School, from left, are employees from Pickens County Solid Waste, county administrator Gerald Wilson and county Councilman Chris Bowers.


Local program gets grant funding for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

CLEMSON — The Clemson Police Department has received federal funding to promote community awareness of crime victims’ rights and services during 2019 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 7-13).

The funding will be used to host a free self-defense class for women, co-host the second annual Tutu March for first responders and a community movie night, as part of a community awareness project in Clemson. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) through the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA).

First designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week increases general public awareness of and knowledge about the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime. The theme for 2019 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”

“The support from OVC and NAVAA for our 2019 National

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PCLA elects new officers

PICKENS — The Pickens County Literacy Association met recently to elect new officers.

Harry Holladay is the new president, while Vanessa Lee is vice president, Janie Day is treasurer and David Chamblee is secretary. Other board members include John and Mary Landers, Gordon Levy, Frank Porter, Pat Todd and Morgan Parker.

The organization was originally established in 1969 in an effort to improve reading and writing skills for adult Pickens County residents. Each year the group hosts spring and fall used book sales as fundraisers. Reading assistance is provided free of charge to willing adults who have a desire to read better.

The next book sale is scheduled for Friday, March 29, from 9

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Community Calendar

• PCLA plans spring book sale in March

The Pickens County Literacy Association’s annual spring book sale is scheduled for March 29-30 at the Pickens Presbyterian Church social hall.

This year, the PCLA has a large number of DVDs, cookbooks and fiction divided by popular authors. Hours will be from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, March 29, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. Grab bags of paperback books will be available once again, and Saturday will also feature a $5 box

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Courier Obituaries 2-27-19


PICKENS — Addie Lee Massingill Collins, 97, of Pickens, wife of the late Ernest Thelmer Collins, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

Born on July 29, 1921, in Pickens County, she was the daughter of the late James Randolph and Mamie Irene Lark Massingill. For many years, Addie co-owned and operated A and T Outlet in Pickens. She enjoyed being a homemaker, cooking for her family every possible moment. She was a member of Elljean Baptist Church.

Surviving are her two children, the Rev. Ken Collins (Lib) and Helen Simmons; one sister, Ruby Stancil; seven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Addie was also predeceased by one daughter, Sue Granger and her husband Gene Granger, one sister, Edna Ellenburg, and one brother, J.P. Massingill.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 25 in the Dillard Funeral Home chapel, with the Rev. Brandon Wimpey, the Rev. Ken Collins, and the Rev. Rex Simmons officiating.

A committal service followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park, with Dr. Boyce Whitman officiating.

Memorials may be made to Elljean Baptist Church at 605 Elljean Road, Easley, SC 29640.

Online condolences may be expressed to the Collins family by visiting


LEXINGTON, Ky. — JoAnn Simmons Koonce, age 80, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

She was born on Jan. 7, 1939, in Kinston, N.C., to Bruce Heritage Simmons and Sudie Harriett Simmons.

She met her college sweetheart and lifetime love, Roger William Koonce, at UNC Chapel Hill, and they spent 55 happy years together. While at UNC, Roger and his fraternity brothers gathered below her dorm window and serenaded her — pinning her the “1959 Sweetheart of Theta Chi.” The

Growing outreach helps homeless stay warm

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter


local effort to help the homeless stay warm in the winter is expanding to include more cities.

I Am Not Lost – Upstate S.C. began after Tammy Ferguson met Marline Sexton at a craft fair.

The two women both crocheted and had heard about efforts in Northern cities to provide homeless people with ways to keep warm, by placing homemade scarves in trees for them to pick up.

“We hit it off,” Ferguson said.

Sexton had the idea to try the outreach here in the Upstate, and

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Sierra Club to hear talk on water quality

CLEMSON — Members of the Sierra Club of the Foothills will hear a presentation next week about the quality of the water in the Upstate.

Clemson Extension water resources agent Charly McConnell will speak about how the public can get involved in monitoring the quality of water in local watersheds at Tuesday’s meeting.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute building at 100 Thomas Green Blvd. in Clemson.