Daily Archives: 04/09/2019

Officials concerned about mill

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — County officials hope to reverse a trend of rising costs and falling sales at the Hagood Mill and the Pickens County Museum of Art and History’s gift shop.

County council and county staff discussed the issue during Monday evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

“Our revenue stream’s not exactly what was anticipated,” county administrator Gerald Wilson said. “Our costs have risen. Our revenue is down by about two-thirds.”

County finance director Ralph Guarino agreed.

“Every year we’ve been losing money, and the sales haven’t picked up,” he said.

Guarino presented figures to council establishing that revenue

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Fun at the Festivals

The spring festival season has officially arrived in Pickens County, as Easley held its annual Spring Fling at Old Market Square and Six Mile held its annual Issaqueena Festival downtown on Saturday. The fun will continue later this month as Pickens hosts the Azalea Festival on April 20 and the Central Railroad Festival will take over downtown Central on April 27. Pick up next week’s issue of the Courier for more on both festivals.

Photos by Kerry Gilstrap and Rocky Nimmons


County budget proposal: Raises, no tax increase

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — After hearing a proposal for a 2019-20 fiscal year budget that would give all county employees a raise with no tax increase, Pickens County Council was set to begin discussing the budget during a work session Tuesday night.

During council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday evening, county administrator Gerald Wilson gave a brief overview of the budget.

“It’s a lean budget,” Wilson said. “It accomplishes some of our needs long-term. Overall, it’s balanced without a tax increase.”

Wilson said unincorporated areas of the county will see a

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Courier named one of state’s top newspapers

COLUMBIA — The Pickens County Courier was honored as one of the best newspapers in the state at Saturday’s annual South Carolina Press Association meeting.

Competing with the largest weekly newspapers from around the state, the Courier was awarded second place in the prestigious general excellence category in the SCPA’s annual news contest. General excellence is based on a set of criteria including every aspect of journalism, including content, writing, design, editing, headlines, use of photographs, editorial page quality, sports and lifestyle coverage. The Courier finished second in the weekly over 4,500 circulation division.

“I am so proud of our staff for all the hard work, dedication and diligence they have put forth to ensure Pickens County has one of the best newspapers in the entire state of South Carolina,” Courier publisher Rocky Nimmons said. “This is an award that we strive for with each and every issue we produce. We feel our subscribers, readers and advertisers deserve the very best newspaper to call their own.”

In addition to the general excellence award, Courier editor Zack

Head-on collision claims Easley man

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

LIBERTY — A 55-year-old Easley man died in a car accident last week.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley identified the victim as John Alton McDaniel Jr., of Winterwood Lane in Easley.

The two-vehicle collision occurred at 2:27 p.m. Thursday,

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The sensational story of Lady Liberty

Sometimes you can tell just by looking at somebody that they have a story or two to tell.

Particularly if they’re standing by the side of the road dressed like the Statue of Liberty, waving and grinning at everybody who drives by.

And especially if they look like they’ve carried this world’s suffering inside them for a long, long time and come out singing.

Let me introduce you to Margaret Smith of Pickens.

I’ve been seeing her out there on U.S. Highway 123 in Easley, in front of the Liberty Tax office, for months now, in all kinds of weather — rain and cold, mostly. I’ve seen her pumping her fist to get big trucks to honk their horn, like I used to do when I was a kid. Clowning around for folks who honk at her. If things get a

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30 years of service

Becky Wilkerson was recently honored by the Dacusville-Cedar Rock Water District and the Bethlehem-Roanoke Water District for 30 years of service. Board member Parker Haskett is shown presenting Wilkerson with a plaque during a special luncheon held in her honor on April 3.


Watermelon Crawl Festival coming to Pickens

Event moving from Belton

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The Hagood Mill Historic Site is the new home of the Watermelon Crawl Festival.

The festival, now in its second year, will be moving to the mill from Belton, officials announced over the weekend.

The July 27 festival is a partnership between the mill and the S.C. Entertainment & Music Hall of Fame. The festival is set to begin at 3 p.m. and will feature “music all day,” according to hall of fame executive director Justin Ray Williams.

“We’re very happy to be at this wonderful facility,” Williams said. “We have blues, a little bit of rock, a little bit of country.”

Blues musicians The Carolina Beggars and Nashville singer-songwriter Kyle Mercer are set to perform at the festival. The headliner is Zack Turner, who, along with Buddy Brock, wrote

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Sarlin Branch library to host auditions

LIBERTY — The Sarlin Branch library, in conjunction with Liberty High School’s Walking Shadows Improv, will host auditions for an upcoming production of “The War of the Worlds,” the classic tale of an alien invasion that threatens to destroy humanity, based on H.G. Wells’ novel.

Audition dates are 5-7 p.m. April 15 and 9-11 a.m. April 20.

The production needs various male and female roles. Monologues are welcomed, but not required to audition.

The production is a staged presentation of the original manuscript of the 1938 Mercury Theatre broadcast of “The War of the Worlds,” which literally caused a panic.

Rehearsal locations and times will be determined soon.

The Sarlin Library is located at 15 S. Palmetto St. in Liberty.


Work, work and more work

And then there was work. Lots and lots of work to keep me out of trouble, and did for the most part.

Looking back, I find that work should be required of all kids. It teaches you how to sweat, how to do tasks you thought were impossible. Most importantly, work inspires you with a sense of accomplishment.

Daddy was a hard worker, and expected me to be the same.

The first job that I recall doing was to carry water to Daddy as he plowed with a mule. I must have been four or five years old. I remember it to be a long walk carrying that mason jar through the woods and across the branch.

I usually found Daddy, however, and he would stop and sit on

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