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Monthly Archives: September 2019

Man arrested in shooting

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

COUNTY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office charged a Taylors man last week with attempted murder in connection with a Sept. 7 shooting.

Phillip Brandon Barnes, 25, of Hudson Street in Taylors, was arrested on Sept. 17, Chief Deputy Chad Brooks said in a release.

He is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, Brooks said.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, the sheriff’s office received reports of a shooting that had occurred

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Easley shoe repair shop offers services from a bygone era

If you didn’t know better, you’d have to believe that Bud Grant was one of the last of the old-time shoe-repair men, standing behind the counter of his shop in his well-worn leather apron, with his silver hair and moustache creating the image of an amiable backcountry storekeeper of a bygone era.

You might be half right. He could be one of the last, but he’s not the long-time cobbler he might appear.

This is his second go-round in life. The Easley native who operates Foothills Shoe Repair at 1689-B E. Main St. in his hometown had never fixed a shoe in his life, or even taken a hand to leathercraft, before he bought the shop on March 1, 2016.

But now, it’s just as though he’s always been there, working amid the antique contraptions that are the tools of the trade.

“It’s fun to get up and go to work again,” said Grant, 61, who came to this

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School board votes to lower millage rate

EASLEY — Pickens County School Board trustees approved a millage decrease at their meeting Monday night in response to higher property values throughout the county.

The school board voted unanimously — with trustee Betty Bagley absent from the meeting — to drop the district’s operating millage rate from 114 mills to 108.9 mills, according to a news release from the School District of Pickens

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School officials seek early start waiver

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — The School District of Pickens County has applied for a waiver from the State Department of Education that would allow elementary, middle and high schools to start Aug. 4, 2020, and district officials said they won’t consider separate calendars if that waiver isn’t granted.

“We’re looking to do it all and don’t want to do a staggered start (where the elementary schools wouldn’t start before the state-mandated third Monday in August if the waiver request is denied),” school board chairman Brian Swords

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Inclement weather a concern at new Sassafras overlook

PICKENS — Acting Pickens County administrator Ken Roper shared concerns with county council last week over the safety of the road that leads to the Sassafras Mountain overlook, the highest point in South Carolina, during inclement weather.

The overlook opened earlier this year.

“If you haven’t been to the Sassafras overlook, it is incredible,” Roper said.

At one point during the project’s development, it was suggested that Pickens County would maintain

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Costner talks successes, future challenges

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Some people think of Pickens County “as this little rural county,” according to county council chairman Roy Costner.

“We’re not,” he said. “We’re a pretty vibrant county. We’ve got a lot going on.”

Costner spoke Thursday at the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce’s State of the County luncheon.

“In 2019, we are sixth in the state — out of all 46 counties — for new jobs,” he said. “We are eighth in the state for investment in dollars, out of 46 counties, just in 2019, for economic development.”

Established in 2002, the Pickens County Commerce Park now employs more than 1,700 people, Costner said.

“All the development costs are paid for, and it generates over $1 million in tax

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Leese running for city council

PICKENS — Edgar Leese has announced his candidacy for a seat on Pickens City Council in the November election.

Leese said he believes the job of every city council member is to hold government holistically accountable — both fiscally and morally — while properly representing and advocating for its citizens.

“Everyone I’ve seen has been working hard for their family and lifestyle, and we don’t need more taxes or regulation to lighten the wallets and bank accounts of those who live in the city,” he said. “My idea of fiscal responsibility is to keep spending down and keep taxes at a minimum.”

Although he acknowledges one way to garner a larger tax base is to expand city limits, Leese said the city can “learn from the mistakes of other towns as they grow, so we don’t make the same mistakes as well.”

“Growth is not a bad thing — we just don’t want to over extend ourselves and wind up ‘in the red,’” he said. “Greenville has displaced good people

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Flame open region play with wins

PICKENS — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame opened Region I play in the Peggy Harden Anthony Gymnasium last week and defeated familiar foes Wren and Walhalla.

In a match played Sept. 16, the Lady Blue Flame downed Wren in three sets, winning 25-14, 25-15, 25-20. The Walhalla matched was played Sept. 18, with the Lady Blue Flame prevailing in three sets 25-9, 25-12, 25-8.

“Everyone is getting to play and is contributing on the court,” Blue Flame coach Rikki Owens said. “We have so much talent and so much depth, and our girls support each other 100 percent. They get so excited for one another, like when Maddy (Gentry) had that big kill in the Walhalla game on the 10-foot line, and her teammates went crazy.”

In the Wren match, senior setter Kaylee Gillespie led in assists with 24, and sophomore middle hitter Caroline Lucas was the top blocker with

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Devils off to hot start

The 10-and-under Liberty Lady Devils recreation softball team is off to a hot start this fall softball season. The undefeated Devils beat Easley 5-1 on Sept. 16. The following night, the Devils added another victory over Wren behind the strength of a three-run inside-the-park home run by Payton Watson and a stellar pitching performance from Aubrey Moore for a 3-0 win. The Lady Devils, 5-0, took on the Clemson Orange team at home on Tuesday, but results were unavailable at press time. Up next, the Lady Devils will be off for a week before taking on the Clemson Purple team at Stone Field in Clemson on Oct. 1. Above: Moore pitches during the Devils’ win over Wren.

 

The legacy left by Grandpa Brezeale

My mother’s father was Perry Brezeale. He lived on Concord Church Road about two miles from our house. He remained somewhat of a mystery to me for several decades after his passing.

I was speaking with one of my cousins some time back and happened to mention that I had walked into what appeared to be Grandpa Brezeale’s work shop. It was not very large, maybe 12 feet by 16 feet, with a few tools laying around. Most appeared to be ready for the trash can.

Among them I found a ball-peen hammer with a broken handle, an old hand saw with gaps where teeth used to be and formerly used nails, along with some rusty wire. I would like to mention that back in Grandpa Brezeale’s day, nothing was thrown away. Nails especially were

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