Category Archives: Local News

Pickens Christmas Parade rescheduled until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15

Threat of heavy rain on Friday forces Pickens Christmas Parade to be moved.  It will now be on Sunday at 3 pm.


2 dead after moped wrecks

PICKENS — Two men died Sunday in connection with separate Pickens County moped wrecks 10 days apart.

Coroner Kandy Kelley said 59-year-old Timothy Wayne Stephens of Pickens died at the scene of a wreck on U.S. Highway 178 near Old Fox Squirrel Ridge Road around 12:50 p.m.

Stephens’ moped was slowing down to make a turn before being hit by a sedan, South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper David Jones said.

The driver of the car, Faye Cassell, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. Cassell was charged with driving

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Easley, school district partner to ease traffic

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The city of Easley will be providing funds to improve traffic flow around West End Elementary and Forest Acres Elementary.

City council voted on second reading Monday night to amend the city’s FY 2019-20 operating budget to provide for the funding request.

City administrator Stephen Steese said the first portion of the budget amendment concerned partnering with the School District of Pickens County

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Public urged to attend burial of local veteran

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Area residents are asked to come out Friday to pay tribute to a man who served his country.

The Pickens County Coroner’s Office contacted Pickens County Veterans Affairs officer Sherry Harris on Nov. 18 after William D. Rowland was found dead.

“That was how I first learned about him,” Harris said Friday.

The coroner’s office said Rowland was a veteran.

Rowland was homeless at the time of his death, Harris said.

He was born in Pickens 64 years ago, she said. He enjoyed camping and hunting.

“In 1972, Rowland enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country

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County welcomes Finnish educators

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

EASLEY — A little more than a year after School District of Pickens County superintendent Danny Merck visited schools in Finland, 14 Finnish professors have been visiting Pickens County over the past week.

School district spokesman John Eby said the purpose of the visit is for professors from the Oulu University Teacher Training School to exchange knowledge about education.

“During the visit, our guests will tour schools to learn more about the U.S. education system and innovations here in Pickens County and they will lead professional development sessions for our faculty,” Eby said.

The Finnish educators presented “Finish Strong: Lessons from World Education Leaders” at a public forum in

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Pickens school leader named SC Elementary Principal of the Year

COLUMBIA ­— The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has named Jessica Patterson the 2020 South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year.

Patterson is the principal of Chastain Road Elementary School in the School District of Pickens County.

“We are pleased to announce that Jessica Patterson has been named the SCASA Elementary Principal of the Year,” said Beth Phibbs, executive director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. “She is a visionary leader whose dedication to the students, teachers and community creates a positive climate and culture for students to succeed.”

“Mrs. Patterson has truly been a transformative principal at Chastain Road,” SDPC superintendent Danny Merck added. “She has led the charge to bring 3K and Montessori classes to her community, and she has been a steady influence as we begin to transition our Liberty-area schools to a primary and intermediate school model. In the midst of changes, she has guided her Title 1 school to an ‘Excellent’ report card rating and a Palmetto Silver Award. Her leadership has made a lasting impact on the Liberty community.”

Patterson was selected from an outstanding field of administrator candidates by a veteran panel of judges. The other finalist for 2020 SC Elementary Principal of the Year was Linda Norton, principal of Watkins-Nance Elementary School in Richland School District One. The criteria used in the selection of this award are set by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The state sponsors are Horace Mann and Herff Jones.

SCASA, the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, has more than 4,400 members.


Wesley Porter named president of Clemson Agriculture Alumni Board

COLUMBIA — Dr. Wesley M. Porter, a native of Pickens County and an alumnus of Clemson University, has been named president of the Agriculture Alumni Board of Directors of Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, according to John W. Parris, director of the SC Agri-News Service.

Porter will serve a two-year term at the helm of the organization. Porter, an honor graduate of Clemson University with a B.S. in agricultural mechanization in 2007 and an M.S. in agricultural engineering in 2010, earned a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University in

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Courier Community Calendar 12-11-19

• Wreath-laying is Saturday in Pickens

There are 273 known gravesites in Pickens Cemetery, including 37 confirmed veterans, most of whom are Revolutionary War veterans.

That number also includes the grave of Robert Pickens, a relative to General Andrew Pickens and captain of the South Carolina Militia.

Southern Wesleyan University acquired the cemetery and surrounding property through a generous donation by the Rev. Carl Garrison. The university is excited for the opportunities the property will provide to students as they research the rich and relatively unknown history of the Upstate of South Carolina.

Southern Wesleyan is partnering with Wreaths Across America ( to honor the service,


Local Christmas celebrations set to kick off this week

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — With the arrival of December comes the holiday season for Pickens County’s municipalities, with Christmas parades and other events beginning this week.

After Clemson got an early start to the parade season with its event on Tuesday night, Six Mile is set to kick off its holiday festivities Thursday with its annual Old Fashioned Christmas, with downtown shop owners providing refreshments during the lighting of the town’s Christmas lights at 6 p.m. The town will also host the 49th annual

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