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Daily Archives: 06/11/2019

Husband charged with killing wife

PICKENS — Police said a Pickens man was arrested after he shot and killed his wife on Tuesday morning.

Gregory Benson Nix, 63, is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in the death of his wife, Tracey G. Nix, 59.

He is being held without bond at the Pickens County Detention Center.

According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe, there was no one else at the couple’s home on Allgood Bridge

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PS&L buying Six Mile bank

PICKENS — After multiple ownership changes in recent years, the Six Mile branch of Select Bank & Trust Company is now set to become the first branch office of the only bank headquartered in Pickens County.

Pickens Savings and Loan announced last week that it has entered into an agreement to buy the Six Mile bank, located at 115 N. Main St.

“The acquisition of the new Six Mile branch will expand Pickens Savings and Loan’s presence in Pickens County,” the bank said in a news release.

Pickens Savings and Loan anticipates assuming the majority of deposits and purchasing selected assets associated with the branch,

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Changes on the horizon

Planning commissioners approve 288-acre, 324-lot development in Midway community

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Although some residents showed up to voice concerns, the Pickens County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a proposed 324-lot single-family gated community located along Midway Road north of Pickens.

The commission’s meeting Monday night drew a crowd with questions and concerns about the development.

William Findley, one of the three owners of the property, said Laurel Creek Plantation will be built on a 288-acre tract.

“It is a 55-and-older gated community,” he said. “We choose to do 55 and older, gentlemen, because we felt it was less intrusive on the

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Man sentenced for rapes, kidnapping

PICKENS — A Greenville man was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week after pleading guilty to crimes, including criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping, that occurred in Easley.

Antwon Marcees Rogers, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and armed robbery, 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said in a news release.

Assistant solicitors Doug Richardson and Brandi Hinton presented evidence establishing Rogers entered a woman’s room at the Quality Inn in Easley on July 27, 2015, pushed her onto the bed and raped her at knifepoint, Wilkins said.

He then forced her into a bathroom and robbed her of a cellphone and $250 cash, according to Wilkins, who added that video surveillance showed Rogers running from the room after the crimes.

A little less than two weeks later, on Aug. 9, 2015, a second woman was renting a movie

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SDPC trustees approve budget

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — By a vote of 6-1 Friday morning, the Pickens County School Board approved its $129 million fiscal year 2020 budget, which is about $6.2 million more than last year’s budget.

District executive director of financial services Clark Webb told trustees the budget includes an increase in the state teacher minimum salary scale base to $35,000, a 4 percent increase on each cell of the teacher state minimum salary scale, one step increase for certified teachers paid on the teacher scale who are not at the top of the scale, pay initiatives for other employees, including one step increase for bus drivers and nurses and a level increase for employees paid on the classified pay schedule who are not at the top of the scale.

The budget also includes a 3 percent increase for each year of experience on the bus driver pay scale, a 3 percent increase to the classified pay scale for each band and level and implementation of a new nurse pay scale.

Webb said the budget continues support from the district for having full-time school resource

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Honoring our heroes

Former Pickens County Councilman Tom Ponder, a leading figure in the Dacusville community and a guy I enjoy talking with, wanted to put a bug in my ear about the Quilts of Valor event coming up on June 22 at the Dacusville Community Center, and specifically about the devotion to our local veterans expressed in the quilt-making of a group of about 30 ladies who get together twice a month to ply the timeless art of quilting.

“They’re very dedicated to what they do,” Tom said. “It’s real apparent that their work makes a difference in some of these veterans’ lives.”

You may have seen something about this in last week’s paper, but they’ll be presenting six quilts of patriotic design to veterans — three from Pickens County and three from Oconee — on that day. There’s also going to be a “Ride for Valor,” led by the motorcycle honor guard group, the Patriot Guard.

Anyone with a motorcycle who wants to donate $10 and join the ride can take part. Motorcyclists will register at 9 a.m. and head out at 10 a.m. for a ride up Scenic Highway 11. They’ll return to the community center between 1-1:30 p.m. for the quilt presentation.

I hear there will be food.

I checked in with Linda Hall, who directs the quilting corps there, to find out what motivates these ladies.

“These quilts are to thank the veteran for his sacrifice for us,” she said. “And when I say us, I’m

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COPE program helping opioid users

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Fears that a Pickens County outreach program aimed at providing opioid addicts with hope and pathways to treatment would not have funds through the summertime have proved to be unfounded.

During county council’s June 3 meeting, Bowers Emergency Services CEO Randy Bowers updated council on the Community Outreach by Paramedic Education (COPE) program.

Announced in January, the program sees community paramedics and peer support specialist from Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County visit residents who have recently received Narcan, which reverses opioid overdoses.

During the visit, the officials encourage the resident to seek services.

Pickens County was the first county in the state to launch the program.

During the launch announcement, Bowers said the “whole focus” of the program is to let users know that people do care.

“I thought I was going to come to you and say the COPE program ran out of funds,” Bowers said June 3. “We knew we had funding through April 30 and that we had new funding starting in October. We were really worried about the

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Harold Alexander joins PS&L

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens has always been home for Harold Alexander.

One of the most successful players in the history of Pickens High School football, and a stalwart in the local banking community, Alexander built a reputation as one of the best of his trade in his decade and a half working outside of Pickens.

Now, after his appointment as senior vice president of Pickens Savings and Loan, Alexander is ready to make his mark in the community that built him.

“I was born and raised here in Pickens,” Alexander said. “I went through Pickens Elementary, Pickens Junior High and Pickens High School. My roots are planted here and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

Pickens High School is where things really started to take off for Alexander. A wide receiver for most of his career at PHS, Alexander’s fate changed during the third week of his senior year, when legendary Pickens coach Bill Isaacs held an open competition to find a punter.

“After practice one day, Coach Isaacs asked if there was anybody who could punt,” Alexander said. “Nobody really raised their hand, so he decided the next day to hold a little five-minute tryout. I knew how to kick a football from playing backyard football, and since I was already out there at receiver, I decided to give it a shot. Fortunately for me I was the only one to show up for the tryout and won the job.”

Alexander found his footing as a punter for the Blue Flame and used that success to earn a bid to the Shrine Bowl during his senior season. Following the season, he received offers from Appalachian State, Presbyterian and Wofford to continue his playing career on the collegiate level. Alexander picked App State, as the school promised to allow him to solely focus on punting, whereas the other schools wanted him to play another position in addition to his punting duties. The move proved wise

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Central looks close to home for new chief

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

CENTRAL — When Central officials began searching for a new police chief after Khristy Justice’s resignation earlier this year, they voted to stipulate that the hire must live locally.

The city couldn’t have found a much more appropriate candidate to hand over the department’s reins, as new chief Steve Thompson was born and raised in Central and has risen through the ranks of the Central Police Department over the past eight years.

Thompson rose to the top of the ranks last week, as Central Town Council unanimously approved his hiring as chief and he began his new duties on June 4.

Thompson, who will start out at a salary of $47,000, said he is excited about the opportunity to serve his hometown.

“I’m excited to see what we have in store for our community to help it grow,”

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Pickens resident LaPierre announces bid for Senate

PICKENS — Pickens resident Michael J. LaPierre has announced his candidacy for a United States Senate seat in the 2020 election cycle.

He has recently received his welcome packet from the Federal Election Commission. The Republican primary will be held on June 9, 2020.

LaPierre is a former business executive who specializes in Christian leadership training and development. Over a 32-year business career, he worked with top-tier companies spanning a range from Fortune 50 to Fortune 500 organizations.

A former minor league baseball player, his executive experiences include vice president of sales, global strategist, director of sales and marketing, director of sales strategy, entrepreneur, church servant/deacon and community leader. His diverse executive background and nonprofit experiences have allowed him to gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of leadership development. Those experiences include leadership positions with UPS, Arnold Industries, Lily Transportation and Roadway Express. He is the founder and current president of Christian Leadership Worldview International (clwi.org). He is also the author of four books: “A Covenant: Responsible Citizenship and Godly

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