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Category Archives: Local News

Pickens teacher nominated for national award

PICKENS — Pickens Elementary School second-grade teacher Karen McMinn has been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

McMinn was recognized as a LifeChanger for always putting her students’ best interests first, engaging them on an individual level to accommodate their learning style. She also maintains strong communication with families, making sure to speak up if she feels a student needs additional help.

McMinn was nominated by Bridgett Martin, the parent of a student, for sparking a passion for learning in her daughter.

“Ms. McMinn has proven to me that she is a life-changing teacher in many ways,” Martin said. “This is only the start of my daughter’s first year in her class, but I already see a stronger desire for learning in her. She truly cares for each child and wants to see them make a difference.”

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of

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Liberty student named Central’s top firefighter

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

goliver@upstatetoday.com

CENTRAL — Dawson Smith had only recently turned 18 when he was named Central Fireman of the Year last month.

But Smith’s excitement about earning the honor was dampened and his faith in his fellow firefighters strengthened when his home was destroyed by fire two weeks later.

“It was heartbreaking, because you never really think your house will burn,” Smith said. “It was one of those things God intended to happen, and luckily my firefighter brothers were there and continue to be with me to this day, raising money and literally giving me the clothes off their own backs.”

The sense of family is what led Smith to the Central Fire Department. He had never thought about becoming a firefighter, but would hang around the department with Elijah Reynolds, now the battalion chief and the son of Central Fire Chief Ed Reynolds. Eventually, Smith began helping the fire department as a volunteer two years ago and decided to become

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SWU named designated Military Friendly school

CENTRAL — Southern Wesleyan University’s commitment to veterans and currently serving military personnel was again recognized with the Military Friendly designation.

Southern Wesleyan exceeded standards in these categories: Academic Policies and Compliance, Admissions and Orientation, Culture and commitment, Financial Aid and Assistance, Graduation and Career and Military Student Support and Retention.

During his first year at Southern Wesleyan, Army PFC Victor Corrales of Eden, N.C., appreciates the supportiveness of faculty and staff members.

“Being a military student can have its challenges, whether it is

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PHS band honored in Columbia

The Pickens High School band was recently honored at the South Carolina State House for its Class 3A state championship. “Join me in congratulating these talented young men and women on this great accomplishment!” Rep. Davey Hiott wrote on Facebook. “They make us all proud!”

 

Volunteers needed as Guardians ad Litem

COUNTY — There are multiple ways everyday people can work to make a difference in their community by helping a child in need.

One opportunity where any adult can have an impact is to become a volunteer with the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program.

GAL volunteers dedicate a small amount of time to make huge differences in the lives of abused and neglected children. GALs are appointed by Family Court judges to represent every child who

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‘Traveling Trash Bash’ set to visit county elementary schools

COUTY — The Pickens County Traveling Trash Bash (TTB), now in its 18th year, will soon travel to all 14 Pickens County elementary schools.

In February and March 2019, the environmental education event will reach approximately 1,200 third-grade students and teachers. The event is presented by the Pickens County Beautification and Environmental Advisory Committee, Pickens County Stormwater, Pickens County Solid Waste and Recycling, Pickens County Sherriff’s Office, Clemson University Cooperative Extension,

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Community Calendar 1-30-19

• Special events set for local libraries

The Pickens County Library System locations in Pickens and Liberty are planning events.

On Feb. 2 from 10 a.m.-noon, the Sarlin Library in Liberty will host “Fun With Chemistry,” presented by the Chemistry Club at Clemson University.

On Fridays starting at 3:30 p.m. in Pickens, the library will host A.T.L.A.S. (At The Library After School).

A kindergarten readiness program will be held every Saturday at

Easley teen found shot to death on roadside

No arrests made in 16-year-old’s death

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — An Easley teen whose body was found on the side of Saluda Dam Road over the weekend was shot to death, according to authorities.

Pickens County Deputy Coroner Gary Duncan identified the victim as 16-year-old Robert Tyler Butler of Dayton Drive.

According to a release from Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe, a motorist called the sheriff’s office at 12:15 p.m. Saturday and reported a suspicious person on the shoulder of

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Man arrested on 10 child porn charges

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — An Easley man faces 10 child porn-related charges.

John James Fread II was arrested on Jan. 16, according to a release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

He is charged with seven counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a

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Collins’ bill may cut scholarships to help teachers 

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — State Rep. Neal Collins is cosponsoring a bill that, if passed, would use lottery funds for helping teachers, instead of funding HOPE and LIFE scholarships.

During the Pickens County Legislative Delegation’s recent annual meeting, grassroots education advocate Denni Clardy Alexander asked Collins about the bill.

“Why would the Education Lottery Bill support taking scholarship money away from middle-class families and higher, when these are the only funds they can get for their children?” she asked.

His pre-filed bill would divert lottery funding from HOPE and LIFE scholarships toward teachers, Collins said.

He said the retention rates for the scholarships are among the reasons he is supporting the bill.

“HOPE and LIFE, they only have a retention rate of about 20

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