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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Former officer, 2 others charged with conspiracy

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — A former Pickens County Detention Center officer arrested earlier this year is facing more charges.

S.C. Law Enforcement Division agents charged Zachary Keith Blanton, 23, with two counts of conspiracy on Thursday, according to a news release.

Blanton and two others were charged in connection with a scheme to provide methamphetamine to inmates at the Pickens County Detention Center, the release said.

Susan Lynn Maredy, 45, of Easley, is charged with conspiracy, as is 33-year-old

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Business set to expand, create nearly 50 jobs

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — Officials celebrated the announcement last week that KP Components Inc. will be investing more than $16 million to expand its Easley location, creating several dozen new jobs.

The manufacturer of complex and high-precision metal components has a facility on Sheriff Mill Road.

Officials announced the expansion Thursday afternoon at the Alliance Pickens office.

This marks the 50th anniversary of the company, “a great member of the Pickens County family,” county council chairman Roy Costner said.

In 2011, company officials announced the creation of the Easley facility, making Pickens County “their North

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Former interim police chief arrested

CENTRAL — A former Central police officer who served as interim chief for three months was arrested last week by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division after an arrest warrant accuses him of being a peeping tom.

SLED charged Mark Anthony Bolden with peeping on Thursday after a warrant alleges he recorded a woman naked while she was changing clothes between March 18-25.

Bolden, 54, served as interim chief for about three months last fall.

Central town administrator Phillip Mishoe told The Journal that Bolden had worked for the town as a police officer from June 2010 to December 2018. Mishoe said Bolden left the department on his own accord.

After discovering videos on Bolden’s work laptop, Mishoe said he asked

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Council approves increasing salaries for detention officers

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — Pickens County Council members approved raising the starting salary of county detention officers, but officials acknowledge nearby counties will still pay more for those positions.

County council held a special called meeting at the Alliance Pickens office following an economic development announcement Thursday afternoon.

Council voted to pass an enhanced recruitment plan presented to it by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

“The sense of urgency is, this is something we need to address as they come to the completion of the jail,” council chairman Roy Costner said. “It’s not completed as of yet … but they’re getting close.”

Earlier this month, Sheriff Rick Clark told council filling all the positions

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SDPC online learning emphasis gets boost

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — The School District of Pickens County’s increased emphasis on online learning received another boost Monday night when school board trustees unanimously approved a recommendation by administration to seek additional options and calendar flexibility.

The school district is seeking a waiver from several South Carolina Department of Education regulations that include removing restrictions for online and blended courses regarding seat time, class size and number of courses a teacher may teach. In addition, the district is seeking a waiver from certain teaching certification requirements to allow it to hire highly qualified teachers without a traditional teaching

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An open mind and a fresh economic outlook

First, a standard disclaimer: Anything you read in this column that ever delves into politics or religion or college football is entirely my own personal opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the Pickens County Courier.

That said, we here at the Pickens County Institute for Advanced Theoretical Engineering, Economics and Barbecue Arts & Sciences — my own personal think tank sometimes augmented with the brain power of my best buddy Allen Senn of Clemson — have been doing a fair amount of pondering lately about a concept that on its surface seems outrageously ridiculous. I am referring to something called a “basic minimum income.”

If you’ve been following the Democratic presidential nomination race — which here in Trump country many of you may have been doing purely for entertainment value — you may have heard of a lower-tier candidate named Andrew Yang who has made this concept a centerpiece of his campaign.

Now, I’m not endorsing Yang, or any candidate of either party for that matter, but I think there’s more to this idea than, “Vote for me and get

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Pickens girls take second in Nation Ford tourney

FORT MILL — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame were the runner-up in the 16-team Nation Ford Volleyball Invitational held Saturday in Fort Mill.

The Lady Blue Flame will square off against archrival Easley High School in a non-region volleyball match set for tonight (Wednesday) at the Peggy Harden Anthony Gymnasium at Pickens High School. The junior varsity match will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity.

Pickens High won five matches in the 16-team Nation Ford tournament before falling to Class 5A Rock Hill in the

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Pumpkin Fest set to be held on October 12

PUMPKINTOWN — The 41st Pumpkin Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Oolenoy Community Building in Pumpkintown.

The theme of this year’s Festival is “Fall, Festivities and Fun.” Festival activities will include a parade, 152 booths of quality arts and crafts, music, clogging, activities and rides for children, barbecue chicken lunch, barbecue sandwiches and other country foods. The festival will start at 9 a.m. with the start of the parade.

Barbecue lunch will be served around noon. Anyone who would like to help with the festival or who needs more information should call Buddy Cox at (864) 878-2045.

Anyone who would like to participate in the parade is asked to contact the Pumpkintown Fire Department at (864) 878-3473. Leave a message and someone will return your call.

 

Driving them Glazy

You Drive Me Glazy Mini Gourmet Donuts opened its doors at 317 E. Main St. in Pickens on Saturday. Michael Hine and Bettina Koepke cut the ribbon on their ‘50s-style donut shop, serving warm donuts where customers pick their glaze, topping and drizzle. Close family friends Sandra De Alemar and John and Chloe Grier helped create the one-of-a-kind donuts while guests waited in anticipation. In attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Lisa Turnick, Jacquelyn Gamble, Liza Holder, Lisa Bryant and Donna Owens from the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce, city administrator David Poulson, acting county administrator Ken Roper, Lake Hartwell Country’s Anna Chastain and other Pickens residents.

 

Good times at Twelve Mile Elementary

On a cool September morning in 1951, I debuted for my first year of formal learning at Twelve Mile Elementary School in rural Pickens County.

I was an ordinary, inauspicious child of 6 who had never been away from home alone for any extended period of time, and I was terrified. I think I was terrified mainly because my older sister had made me wear short pants to my debut. In my opinion, a man did not wear short pants in public. The attire of ALL the other boys proved me right. There were no other boys in the first grade dressed in sissy short pants. As I recall, I spent most of that first school day trying to hide myself from public scrutiny.

However, I did survive that first day of school and came to enjoy the daily get-togethers of all us guys. Besides, there were plenty of things to do to fill the gaps between book learning sessions.

All the students at Twelve Mile School were from the country. Some of us were not the cream of the crop intellectually. My memory reminds me of a couple of older kids who were as big

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