2017 CLEMSON UNIVERSITY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AWARDS Clark honored for service to Soapstone

Top: Pictured at Clemson University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service last month at the Brooks Center on campus are, More »

Doodle Trail extension nearing completion

By Jason Evans Staff Reporter EASLEY — Easley officials are working to set a date for a ribbon cutting More »

Easley City Council gets first look at police department’s new K9 officers

Easley Police Department Officer Tay Brinston introduced his new partner, Lou, to city council members on Monday night. Lou is More »

Local players named to SC

PICKENS — Pickens County volleyball continues to be strong, as several area players were recently named to South Carolina All-State More »

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom

Part 1: Outsmarting the slaveholders By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr. Special to The Courier lavery kept black people illiterate and More »

Local kids win in state JAC club art contest

Five of the first-place state winners in the Junior American Citizens Club Art Contest. UPSTATE — The Junior American Citizens More »


Council honors Easley officer

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — A member of Easley’s police department was honored Monday night for his service to his country and his community.

Mayor Larry Bagwell presented Travis Evans with a key to the city in recognition of Evans recently being awarded the Purple Heart.

11-16 Page 3A.indd“It’s not often that you find a city that has a police officer who has earned two Purple Hearts,” Bagwell said. “Tonight the city is going to recognize him and tell him how proud we are of him.”

Cpl. Evans and fellow Marine Cpl. Alex Chapman, of Pacolet, were awarded their Purple Hearts during a special ceremony during the Clemson Tigers’ game against Syracuse, which was held during Clemson’s 23rd annual Military Appreciation Week.

Marine Gen. Glenn M. Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, awarded the Purple Hearts to Evans and Chapman.

“Both of these warriors did not receive their Purple Hearts while on active duty,” Clemson’s announcer told the crowd during the ceremony. “We are making that correction here today in front of their families and friends and fellow Clemson fans.”

“Cpl. Evans was wounded by an IED in Marjah, Afghanistan, on March 18, 2010, while assigned to the First Battalion, Sixth Marines, 2nd Marine Division,” the announcer told the crowd.

The award was Evans’ second Purple Heart. He was wounded twice during the deployment.

Evans and Chapman received a thunderous ovation from the crowd.

“This is the city’s highest award,” Bagwell told Evans as he presented the key to the city on Monday. “We just want you to know that we’re proud of you.”

The audience then gave Evans a standing ovation.


Consignment store caters to budget-friendly families

SIX MILE — A new family consignment store specializing in upscale resale, consignment and gifts for women, men and children opened its doors on Oct. 4.

Campbell’s Closet of Six Mile is located at 109 N. Main St. The new store features clothing and accessories for the entire family, along with toys, baby equipment, books and children’s furniture and bedding.

Owner Brooke Spencer, a resident of Central, jumped at the opportunity to fill the need for budget-friendly shopping in the town of Six Mile.

“The downtown Six Mile location is perfect,” she said. “We’re excited to provide area families, college students and other members of the community with a great resale shopping experience. We are looking forward to joining the local business community.”

Resale shopping has become extremely popular in recent years. It offers shoppers the thrill of the chase and the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind pieces all while saving money for everyone.

 A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The store plans on operating five days a week: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Walk-in consignments will be taken between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.  For information on how to consign, contact Campbell’s Closet at (864) 481-5140 or, or visit


PCLA book sale starts Friday

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Book and bargain lovers, rejoice: It’s almost time for the Pickens County Literacy Association’s Fall Used Book Sale.

The sale will kick off Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the All Saints Hall at Pickens Presbyterian Church. The sale will be open until 6 p.m. that day and resume from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Veterans Day event at Pickens Senior Center

The Pickens Senior Center held a special Veterans Day celebration on Friday. Members of he center who were also veterans were honored during the event. Recognition of veterans was presented by Gary Parsons and Karl Johnson. 11-16 Page 3A.inddA special flag retirement ceremony was held by former Pickens City Councilman George Boney (inset).

Veterans that are members of the center include Carl Porter, C.B. Hayes, Stanley Morgan, Ray Nix, Jim Pace, Donald Bolding, Ed Dawkins, John Turner, Evan Chastain, Ed Benton, Earl Reeves, Margie Reeves, Franklin Porter, Bobby Trotter, Earl Gravley, Charles Gill, Ron Day, Tommy Porter, Charles Pinion, Harry Moraska, Billy Hester, Guy Hester, Bruce Hester, Bob Stanford, George Edwards, George Boney, Sam Duval, Marion Aiken, John Howard, Harold Pace, Leroy Johnson, Terry Houston, Wally Williams, Lowell Smith, Harry Pitts, Jerry M. Jones, Vivian Gillison, Pat Patterson, John Munzert, Al Henderson, William Galloway, Walter Brown, Maxwell Wilson, Grady Blair and Donad Breazeale. Pictured above are some of the veterans who were in attendance.


Courier Letters to the Editor 11-16-16

The Pickens County Courier gladly accepts letters to the Editor. Letters must be no longer than 500 words. All letters must be signed, including first and last name, address and phone number in order to be considered for publication. Only the name and city where you reside will be printed. Submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. No slanderous or obscene material will be accepted. Letters to the Editor and columns do not necessarily the Courier’s opinion. Send letters to

Can summer really be over?

For a brief period each fall, we see the leaves. On the drive to work, school and town, we pass hundreds of trees wearing their most colorful clothes. The range of colors and varieties is infinite.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to collect the leaves before they turn brown and spread them about the house on walls and in vases to light the long, dark winter months?

Yes, winter is coming. This year it has felt like summer would never end. Summer weather went well into early November.

On Sunday when we saw a light sprinkle of rain outside, it puzzled me as to why I felt cold. I’d come outside as usual without a sweater or jacket. So accustomed have I become to sunny, warm weather that I didn’t realize the need for any kind of wrap. “What is wrong?,” I thought.

Well, nothing is wrong. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and we are experiencing our first cool weather in more than six months.

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddAnd some people say there’s no such thing as global warming. I’ve thought about this and decided, with no data to support this theory, that all the people who deny the existence of global warming spend their lives indoors with central air conditioning. They leave their cool and comfortable homes and offices and travel in their air-conditioned cars to other air-conditioned places.

There can be no other explanation, at least in my mind. I have to ask if they’ve ever been in a hayfield in summer, loading bales of hay onto a truck bed.

Have they ever walked the rows of a field of corn and pulled ears from the stalk? Have they ever plowed? Have they ever stood outside in the rain and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving when the parched earth soaks up the life-sustaining water?

I think not. For whatever reason, some people insist on denying as truth anything that disturbs their view of the world.

Even if you don’t think global warming is real, it would be difficult to deny that we had an extremely hot, dry summer that lasted for about six months. We’re all ready for the heat to end.

This year’s summer season bore a striking resemblance to the presidential campaign. Hot, dry with no relief in sight. Finally, it has ended. We may not be happy with the outcome, but we can feel enormous relief that it is over.

Winter is approaching. There are good things about winter, and other things that make us shake in our boots.

On the plus side, we can stay warm, and it isn’t nearly as much work as it used to be.

There aren’t many of us left who rely solely on wood to heat our homes.

Now we take so for granted every convenience that adds to our physical comfort we don’t often pause to notice.

One of the best things about winter is coming into the house after being outside in the cold and sitting beside the gas logs to warm my bones.

Every season that comes our way has its own special qualities. Eventually the rain will come. And when it does, I’ll listen to it fall upon the roof and imagine the azaleas sucking it up through their roots, getting ready for the spring.


Pickens’ Ford signs with Coker

PICKENS — Pickens High School baseball pitcher and infielder Jonathon Ford will be taking his talents to the next level following graduation.

Ford signed last week to be a Coker College Cobra next season.

“I went down there for a camp earlier this year and I really liked their campus and their coaching staff,” Ford said. “They made me feel welcome and wanted. It was kind of like Pickens in a way.”

Pickens baseball coach Blake Dyar said he is very proud of Ford for earning a scholarship.

11-16 Page 7A.indd

Rocky Nimmons/Courier
Pickens High School senior Jonathon Ford signed on Thursday to play baseball next season for Coker College in Hartsville. Pictured, standing from left, are Pickens coach Blake Dyar, Ford’s brother, Bryan Ford, and PHS athletic director Stan Butler. Seated is Ford flanked by his parents, Nancy and Todd Ford. Not picture are Pickens High Baseball Coach Matt Smith and Jay Reams of TNT sports.

“He has worked very hard. He has done whatever I have asked him to do,” Dyar said. “He has played infield, pitched and played outfield. He is just a great kid. I am proud of him for signing with Coker College. I think he will do a great job.”

Dyar spoke of how important it was for the Pickens program to have kids sign to play at the next level.

“It shows if you play at Pickens you are going to have a chance to go on and play at the next level,” he said. “I just wish Jonathon the best of luck. He deserves this and has worked very hard,” he said.

Ford said he appreciated all he has gained from his time at Pickens.

“The Pickens program helped me a lot and taught me a lot of things — not just baseball things, but to become a better person,” he said.

Ford has one more season for the Blue Flame before he is Hartsville-bound and then hopes to go into his freshman season at Coker and contribute right away.

“We will see how the next four years go,” he said.


Easley seniors ink with colleges

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier
Seven Easley High School seniors signed last week to continue their athletic careers on the collegiate level. Pictured, from left, are Austin Morgan, Mason Stewart, Trevor Weisner, Chase Stephens, Logan Chapman, Whitney McCollum and Sydney Patterson.

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Highlighted by five members of the Green Wave baseball squad, seven Easley High School athletes signed to continue their athletic careers in college during a special signing day ceremony last Wednesday at the school.

Oyster roast fundraiser a success

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — “Our desire is to help the children, to make their life as normal as possible,” said Tammy Aiken-Clark, chair of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Pickens County Guardian ad Litem. “We provide services to the children who are in the Guardian program. For a child to be in the Guardian program, they’ve got to have to have DSS involved in their life. They’re in a family court situation with DSS.”

The Friends board is made up of volunteers, community leaders and professional people. Next year, the group will celebrate its 15th year.

“Our mission is to support the Guardian program,” Aiken-Clark said. “To take care of the children while they’re in this situation.”

The organization helps meet requests from Guardians ad Litem concerning the children they are advocating for.

“The guardian says the child wants to go to camp, the child wants to go to a field trip and the foster family or the kinship family doesn’t have the money,” Aiken-Clark said. “So we pay for stuff like that.”

The group has paid for computers and bunk beds for children moving in with other family members.

“We pay for medical items that Medicaid doesn’t cover,” Aiken-Clark said. “Medicaid doesn’t cover but one pair of glasses a year. So, a child, being 2 or 3 years old, they can break a pair of glasses. So we buy glasses.”

The group has paid for a helmet to protect a child from a medical condition, as well as cochlear implants for children with hearing problems.


Contributed photo
Legendary former Clemson football coach Danny Ford attended this year’s Clusters for Kids Oyster Roast, benefitting the Friends of the Pickens County Guardian Ad Litem program. He’s pictured with Friends treasurer Nika Phipps.

The Friends have also helped cover costs for trips to medical centers for treatment.

The organization is celebrating the recent success of its largest fundraiser, the Friends of the Guardian Ad Litem Clusters for Kids Oyster Roast.

This year’s event, the third annual oyster roast, was held on Oct. 22 at Arran Farm in Easley.

“It’s been a success since day one, our first one,” Aiken-Clark said. “The third one was even more successful.”

Each year’s event has increased in both attendance and net profit for the program.

“This year we cleared over $23,000,” Aiken-Clark said.

The event’s silent auction is one of the largest such events in Pickens County.

Former Clemson University football coach Danny Ford attended this year’s oyster roast. He has donated footballs and luncheons to the group’s silent auction for years.

The oyster roast is the group’s largest fundraiser each year.

The generosity of the Pickens County community makes each year’s oyster roast possible — and successful — each year. This year’s sponsors included Acker, Lamber, Hinton, P.A., Issaqueena Pediatric Dentistry, United Tool and Mold, Foothills Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center, 5 Point Church, The Fee Family and Reliable Automatic Sprinkles Co., Alexander Law Firm, Blue Ridge Electric, Central Textiles, Inc., Jerry Cain Auto, MST Concrete Products, The Clardy Law Firm, The Hinton, Rep. Gary Clary, Imperial Die Casting, Liberty House Inn, Foster Family & Licensing, Pickens County DSS, Harper Collins Law, SC Youth Advocate Program, Palmetto Air Solutions, LLC, Law Offices of R. Scott Dover, Behavioral Health Services, Greenville Sports League and the Brian James Law Firm

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used toward the program’s “Heart & Sole” event, where it partners with Belk and Rack Room Shoes to provide back-to-school clothes and footwear for children in the Guardian ad Litem program. Students from 5K to 12th grade benefit from the event.

The event served more than 200 children last year.

New clothes can help build up a child’s self-esteem, Aiken-Clark said.

“We want these children to have the normal things that other children have,” she said.

Aiken-Clark hopes that one day the event can be expanded to help 4K students as well.

The Friends of the GAL also holds smaller fundraisers throughout the year.

“We need other funds throughout the year because we don’t want to be in a situation where a child (has a need),” Aiken-Clark said. “If our funds aren’t coming in, we’d have to send them somewhere else. It makes a difference.”

Other events include recognizing and thanking the Guardians ad Litem for their work advocating for their children.

“The Guardian program is a volunteer program,” Aiken-Clark said. “Everybody that serves a child is a volunteer in our community.”

Currently, around 80 people are serving as Guardians ad Litem in Pickens County. Officials would like to see that number rise to 120.

The group holds a Spring Fling for children around 15 and younger each year

“That’s just a fun day,” Aiken-Clark said. “We have hot dogs, inflatables, cotton candy, face painting — just a fun day for them.”

The group maintains and stocks a clothes closet at the Pickens County Department of Social Services for children in need.

“We have such a great relationship with DSS,” Aiken-Clark said.

Caseworkers and guardians can access the closet for the children they are involved with.

“When a child comes into custody, it could be eight o’clock in the morning or it could be two o’clock in the morning,” Aiken-Clark said. “You’ve got caseworkers who are bringing children in, and these children may be pulled out of dire situations, where they have no clothes. It’s traumatic for these children to come into a situation. They may come in with the clothes on their back. The DSS that has to bring a child in, they sign out clothes.”

Caseworkers can pick out three outfits per child. Toiletries, teddy bears and blankets are also available.

The group also provides gift cards to help meet children’s immediate needs.

For more information on the Friends of the Pickens County Guardian Ad Litem, visit or find the group on Facebook.


Soapstone set to host fundraiser

PICKENS — Soapstone Church invites everyone to a special fundraiser at the church, located at 296 Liberia Road in Pickens, this Saturday, Nov. 19.

The event will feature fine cooking and will be held from noon-8 p.m.

Visitors will enjoy true Southern cooking, including a fish fry, barbecue and fried chicken with all the fixings right from Mrs. Mabel’s kitchen.

For more information, call (864) 414-8470.


Hit Counter provided by Curio cabinets