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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Officials speak about Behavioral Health’s work, importance

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter
jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County has been serving the community for more than 45 years.
Executive director Angela Farmer spoke at a county council meeting last week.
“Several individuals have asked us to be more public about who we are and our services,” Farmer said.
Established in 1973, Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization.
Neither a county nor state agency, BHSPC has been deemed one of the 34 county authorities on substance abuse in the state.
“Our purpose is to provide affordable and accessible prevention, intervention and treatment services to the residents of Pickens County,” Farmer said. “We hope to help people through their journey to recovery.”
In Fiscal Year 2019, BHSPC served more than 2,500 clients, she said, and 772 of those were under the age of 18.
“We specialize in substance abuse treatment and behavioral health care,” Farmer said. “Sixty percent of our clients fall in behavioral health care, (and) 40 percent fall into the substance abuse treatment program.”
BHSPC treats trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence “and other behavioral

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Foundation signs contract with county to oversee mill operations

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Beginning next month, the Hagood Mill Foundation will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the mill.

Officials gathered at the mill Friday morning to sign the contract setting the terms of the agreement between the county and the foundation.

County Councilman Wes Hendricks said the agreement is “a win-win situation.”

“Everybody on both sides is excited,” he said. “The county is excited. The volunteers are excited. We’re looking forward to what it’s going to become, to see this place go forward, move forward, in the future. We’re looking for good things.”

The termination of former Hagood Mill director Billy Crawford last month drew a large crowd to the following county council meeting, where many expressed their concerns about the future of the mill.

Following that meeting, Rep. Davey Hiott and Pat Mulkey facilitated a meeting between county officials and former foundation chair Betty McDaniel, who resigned from the board following Crawford’s firing.

That led to McDaniel, county tourism director Jay Pitts and foundation board member David Hosea presenting a plan to county council members on May 20.

Under that plan, the board would request $134,000 from the county toward the mill’s daily operations, which the foundation would oversee. The foundation would be responsible for raising the funds for the rest of the mill’s budget.

That plan would save the county close to $60,000 annually, Pitts said.

Hosea offered to make up the difference in funding, if needed.

County administrator Gerald Wilson said the new agreement is similar to the one the county has at the Rocky Bottom Camp for the Blind.

“This is a public-private partnership,” he said. “The foundation has the ability to go after grants and funding that we as a county don’t qualify

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2 charged in armed robberies

CLEMSON — Two people have been charged in connection with a trio of armed robberies in Clemson last week.

Elijah Tahir Thomas, of Greer, was charged Wednesday with armed robbery in connection with an armed robbery at the Stop-A-Minit at 1014 Tiger Blvd. in Clemson a little after 2 a.m. June 17.

Clemson police then announced Friday that Thomas had been charged with two more counts in connection with two other robberies that happened early on the morning of June 15. The first was reported on College Avenue at 12:22 a.m., and the other was reported on Clemson Street just moments later at 12:35 a.m.

In addition to the charges filed against Thomas, police announced Friday that 17-year-old Elijah Keith Sweet of Taylors is charged

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Wilkins: Robber pointed gun at children

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — A 37-year-old Pickens County man was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week after authorities said he pointed a gun at two children and threatened their lives during a 2018 robbery.

Before the start of his June 17 trial, Kelsie Travan McMullen pleaded guilty to armed robbery, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said in a release.

Assistant solicitor Britni McCall presented evidence during the plea hearing establishing that McMullen unlawfully entered a home in Pickens County on March 15, 2018,

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Easley getting 2 new dining options on 123

By Ron Barnett

Staff Reporter

rbarnett@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Two new restaurants are taking shape along U.S. Highway 123 in Easley, bringing a new variety of spicy chicken and a new Asian-style eatery to town.

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is going in at the space formerly occupied by Blockbuster, and Hachi Grill will be taking up residence in the former Pizza Hut building, which was vacated after it was damaged by fire in 2017.

The old Blockbuster building has been demolished, and construction on the new 2,146-square-foot Popeye’s building is progressing

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Nuclear fallout

I don’t spend a lot of time brooding about such things as nuclear holocaust.

But when I found out last week that the federal government is looking to put South Carolina in the business of manufacturing plutonium pits — essentially doomsday triggers — it pushed my hot buttons.

This is a bad idea on many levels.

First, a little background.

About 20 years ago, the Russians agreed with us to get rid of some of the excess plutonium the two superpowers had built up over the years by foolishly racing to see who could make the most bombs. The plan was to convert the stuff into a form that could be used in nuclear power plants, a process called mixed-oxide fuel fabrication (MOX).

We would build our MOX plant at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County, where

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Dennis Chastain honored by state

Pickens County historian and naturalist Dennis Chastain was recently honored with a South Carolina State House resolution by Rep. Davey Hiott. The resolution honored Chastain for his outstanding work of history, research, articles and countless tours to help promote the Upstate region. Chastain’s knowledge of and understanding of this information is second to none, the proclamation said. Pictured are Chastain, center, with his wife, Jane, and Hiott, along with Pickens County Councilmen Wes Hendricks, left, and Roy Costner, right.

 

Officials honor Easley state wrestling champ


By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — County and city officials recently recognized an Easley teen for bringing home a state wrestling championship.

During a meeting last month, Pickens County Council passed a resolution in honor of Easley High School’s Joshua Hill for winning the Class 5A individual state wrestling championship, the first in Easley High School history.

Council chairman Roy Costner read the

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Courier Letters to the Editor

Every litter bit hurts

Dear Editor,

Everyone needs to do what they can to stop littering.

Instead of throwing trash out your window, you can keep a bag in your car to put your trash in. You can surely throw it out at the nearest convenience store.

You should also keep trash picked up in your yard and neighborhood.

County employees go out occasionally and do their part to pick up trash on our roads. Prisoners can go out and pick it up, too.

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Endless summer days on the farm

We ate our first watermelon of the season last week, and the first bite took me back immediately to Grandmama’s back porch in summer. It’s been a long time since a watermelon has come my way that could be rated as good as Uncle Jack’s, but this one made the cut.

We had the perfect climate — hot — and the perfect soil — sandy — to grow world-class watermelons. And that’s what Uncle Jack did. It wasn’t the main crop, but it could be counted on to bring in a respectable amount of income if the weather cooperated.

He only grew two varieties of watermelons— Congos and Charleston Grays. The Congos had a dark green skin with stripes that were even darker. The Charleston Grays were a lighter green. They were both large watermelons, and both had a delicious sweet and juicy flesh.

When watermelons started getting ripe, the hands would bring them up from the

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