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Daily Archives: 06/18/2019

Man wanted for attempted murder

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a Six Mile man charged with attempted murder after deputies say he attacked his ex-girlfriend.

Boyce Derek Lowrance, 39, of John Holliday Road, is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to a news release from Chief Deputy Creed Hashe.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a disturbance in the 800 block of North Old Mill Road in Easley at 7:15 a.m.

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Community turns out to greet service members

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — The community turned out Monday to welcome a special group of men and women serving their country.

This year marks the 11th year that the Keowee Key community has hosted service members for several days of rest and relaxation.

This year the program includes 18 “warriors” from the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and nine wives. Fourteen of the 18 are Marines from Camp

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Liberty schools to change next year

LIBERTY — The two Liberty-area elementary schools will share a single attendance pattern beginning in the fall of 2020 after a recent vote by the Pickens County School Board.

The board voted June 7 to unite the Liberty attendance area, with Chastain Road Elementary set to serve all Liberty students in Pre-K through second grade, and Liberty Elementary set to serve students in third through fifth grades.

District leaders cited two reasons for making the change — unity and specialization.

“For quite a while, community members have asked me why when Liberty Elementary was split and Chastain Road Elementary was built in 2011, the district didn’t go to a primary-intermediate model, and I never got a good answer,” said school board chairman

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Merck gets hefty raise, extension

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — School board trustees gave School District of Pickens County superintendent Danny Merck a two-year contract extension and a hefty pay raise last week.

The board extended Merck’s contract to 2025 and gave him a more than 11 percent salary increase to $150,000 a year. He will also receive an annuity equal to 10 percent of his base salary and a car allowance of $10,000.

The board extended Merck’s contract to 2022 and raised his salary from $123,600 to $128,544 in January 2018. Board chairman Brian Swords said language was later added to the superintendent’s contract to ensure he receives pay increases equivalent to the average percentage of leadership increase and or cost-of-living allowance annually. As of this year, his base salary was sitting at a

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Learning all about local lightning bugs

Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, or maybe it was because it rained every day at the beginning of this month, but I didn’t see the first lightning bug here in Easley until June 11. And even then, there weren’t that many.

I recall that we always used to start seeing them before the end of May, and by this time there were so many of them flashing their little yellow taillights that it was a nonstop light-show every evening at dusk.

Like most kids back in the early 1960s, my brother and I used to take couple of Duke’s mayonnaise jars and punch holes in their lids with a nail and go out in the backyard on summer nights and run around catching the little guys. We imagined that we might be able to get enough of them in there to have a little lantern. We never generated much candlepower, but it wasn’t hard to nab quite a few of them, they were so abundant.

It’s not just my imagination that the population of lightning bugs is diminishing. A

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Fans meet champ

Hundreds of fans turned out to meet former NASCAR Cup series champion and recent Hall of Fame electee Bobby Labonte during a grand opening event at the Clardy Law Firm in Pickens on Saturday. Pictured here, Clardy watches as Labonte signs a miniature car for a fan.

Rocky Nimmons/Courier

 

Celebrating new business

Officials exploring career center options

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

LIBERTY — Pickens County School Board chairman Brian Swords said at a recent meeting that the time has come for the district to consider adding second career and technology center.

While the comment was made in jest, Swords was serious when he said the popularity of the facility has resulted in more students than available space.

“Our career center is at capacity, and there’s more students who need to be served,” he said.

Not only is the career center at capacity with around 1,300 students from all four high schools in the district, Swords said approximately 400 more students are waiting to get in.

“We have several options,” Swords said. “One is to look at our high schools and possibly explore the idea of a comprehensive high

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Pulpwood, you’re no friend of mine

Pulpwood, mind you, is really not wood. It’s generally roundish concrete cylinders made to look like wood, sort of. It takes a lot of sweat, a lot of muscle and a lot of ambition to cut, load and haul pulpwood. Not to mention the fun parts of pulp wooding, like yellow jackets, snakes, chiggers, chainsaws that don’t cut, briars, rain, sunshine and several more.

I have said and heard it said many times that the hottest place this side of Hades is a pine thicket.

We were a far cry from today’s pulpwooders. With the exception of the power saw, we did it all by hand. Today, they have machines that do it all — the cutting, trimming, loading and hauling. We had our two hands. There was no such thing as a stick of

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Overcoming the desire to remain the same

I’m sure you will agree that most of us humans have very peculiar and quirky personalities. It’s strange how we are easily influenced and persuaded in certain things, and stubborn as a mule about others.

When it comes to admitting we are wrong in our views or that we are heading in the wrong direction, it doesn’t take long for us to reveal our contrary and rebellious attitudes. Most people seldom say it out loud, but are content with the way they believe and hope that everyone will leave them alone and mind their own business. Which by the way, explains why many individuals are not interested in going to church or reading the Bible.

However, when it comes to personal transformation, our spiritual relationship with God is not the only topic on the menu.

I was reminded the other day about my own defiant nature when I was on the phone with my mother the other day and the conversation turned to food. We were talking about how difficult it is to diet and how

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