Category Archives: Local News

Wilkins: Robber pointed gun at children

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — A 37-year-old Pickens County man was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week after authorities said he pointed a gun at two children and threatened their lives during a 2018 robbery.

Before the start of his June 17 trial, Kelsie Travan McMullen pleaded guilty to armed robbery, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said in a release.

Assistant solicitor Britni McCall presented evidence during the plea hearing establishing that McMullen unlawfully entered a home in Pickens County on March 15, 2018,

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Easley getting 2 new dining options on 123

By Ron Barnett

Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Two new restaurants are taking shape along U.S. Highway 123 in Easley, bringing a new variety of spicy chicken and a new Asian-style eatery to town.

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is going in at the space formerly occupied by Blockbuster, and Hachi Grill will be taking up residence in the former Pizza Hut building, which was vacated after it was damaged by fire in 2017.

The old Blockbuster building has been demolished, and construction on the new 2,146-square-foot Popeye’s building is progressing

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Nuclear fallout

I don’t spend a lot of time brooding about such things as nuclear holocaust.

But when I found out last week that the federal government is looking to put South Carolina in the business of manufacturing plutonium pits — essentially doomsday triggers — it pushed my hot buttons.

This is a bad idea on many levels.

First, a little background.

About 20 years ago, the Russians agreed with us to get rid of some of the excess plutonium the two superpowers had built up over the years by foolishly racing to see who could make the most bombs. The plan was to convert the stuff into a form that could be used in nuclear power plants, a process called mixed-oxide fuel fabrication (MOX).

We would build our MOX plant at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County, where

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Officials honor Easley state wrestling champ

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — County and city officials recently recognized an Easley teen for bringing home a state wrestling championship.

During a meeting last month, Pickens County Council passed a resolution in honor of Easley High School’s Joshua Hill for winning the Class 5A individual state wrestling championship, the first in Easley High School history.

Council chairman Roy Costner read the

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SWU president receives Duke Citizenship Award

CENTRAL — Southern Wesleyan University president Todd Voss received the Duke Energy Citizenship Award during the annual banquet of the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce on June 4.

The Duke Energy Citizenship Award is presented to a recipient who exemplifies the characteristics of good citizenship and selfless service. The annual award recipient has a deep concern and love for their community — someone who always steps up when there is a need, placing community over self. Their continuous contributions over time, often quietly, raise them to the stature of community icon for giving and doing.

Accepting the award for Voss, who was traveling outside the country, was his daughter, Emily Voss Slabaugh.

In presenting the award, Leigh Anne Puryear, community relations liaison at Duke Energy, said, “Southern Wesleyan University states that it is their goal to develop

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Hope for Homeless Bash set Saturday in Pickens

PICKENS — An event planned this weekend in Pickens will help raise money for a shelter to help Pickens County’s homeless population.

The Pickens County Hope For Homeless Bash, set for 2-8 p.m. June 29, will be held at the downtown amphitheater in Pickens, located at 114 W. Main St.

Hosted by Traci Walker and comedian Brandon Rainwater and presented by Dream Catchers, the event will include bounce houses, a

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Courier Community Calendar 6-26-19

• Youth cheer camp set at Pickens High

The Pickens High School varsity and JV cheerleaders are sponsoring a youth cheer camp set for Saturday, Aug. 3, in the cheer room at PHS from 9 a.m. until noon. The cost is $30 per child, and ages 6-12 may register beginning at 8:30 a.m. Cash or checks made payable to PHS will be accepted. There will be a showcase at 11:30 a.m., and all parents, families and friends are invited to attend. Contact or for more information.

• Soapstone set to host fundraiser

Soapstone Church invites everyone to a special fundraiser at the church, located at 296 Liberia Road in Pickens, on Saturday, July 20. The event will feature fine cooking and will be held from noon-8 p.m. Visitors will enjoy true Southern cooking, including a fish

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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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


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