Daily Archives: 12/18/2018

Reason for the Season

McKinney Chapel in Sunset hosted its annual Christmas pageant on Saturday to celebrate the reason for the Christmas season. The holiday tradition features festive fellowship and community members reenacting the night when Joseph and Mary welcomed the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Photos by Kelley McGaha

Police seek suspects in Easley store killing

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspects after a woman was shot dead at an Easley convenience store on Friday night.

Surveillance video released by Easley police showed two men with their faces covered entering B Pam’s Food Mart at 201 N. East Main St. around 8 p.m. The 20-second video shows two men entering the store, with one pointing a gun across the counter and another reaching across the counter. After gunfire apparently breaks out, the two men flee the store through the front doors.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said Stacey Regina Branham, 49, of Weeping Willow Road in Piedmont, died at the scene of a single gunshot wound. She said Branham was an employee of B Pam’s.

Easley Police Chief Tim Tollison later confirmed Branham exchanged gunfire with the men.

Tollison told media that though there was no definitive evidence Branham hit either of the men, “it is a possibility.”

In the surveillance video, one of the men appears to hold his stomach as he

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Healy loses appeal in school board District 7 election

By Bru Nimmons

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — A new election will officially be in order after the South Carolina Election Commission sided with the Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Pickens County to overturn the results of November’s District 7 school board election.

The race, which Phillip Healy appeared to win by less than two dozen votes

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County buries time capsule

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens County officials buried a time capsule in front of the county courthouse over the weekend as part of the county’s 150th birthday celebration.

County council chairman Roy Costner said the time capsule is sending “messages to the future,” and said he hopes he will be able to attend when the capsule is opened in 2068, when he would be 105.

The burial followed the county’s sesquicentennial Christmas parade, which was opened to entrants countywide in downtown Pickens.

Parade participants and attendees were encouraged to dress in period costumes representing either 1868 or 1968.

“What an exceptional, extraordinary Christmas parade,” Costner said. “What a great celebration of the past 150 years. But you know what? We can now begin to celebrate the next 150 years, because we’re all a part of that.”

County spokeswoman Jamie Burns said the capsule’s contents include items made in Pickens County, memorabilia from Southern Wesleyan University and Clemson University, letters written by residents, yearbooks, class rings and photos, as well as promotional materials from the sesquicentennial celebrations held throughout this year.

Burns said the capsule also holds letters written by the current mayors in the county.

“You’re going to want to go ahead and plan now to be here in 50 years,” Costner said. “They’ve packed it completely full.”

Members of the Pickens County Historical Society sorted through the many items dropped off by residents for possible inclusion in the capsule and helped make the final determinations of what the capsule would contain.

County Councilman Wes Hendricks said the work of “countless” people made the parade and time capsule burial possible.

On Oct. 1, the county’s time capsule buried in 1968 was unearthed. On Oct. 5, Gov. Henry McMaster helped officials publicly unveil its contents.

“That week became very special for many of us in Pickens County,” Hendricks said. “We got to relive memories of times past, of friends and loved ones, some of which are no longer with us. We laughed and we cried during that week.”

The new time capsule will give that experience to the children of today, he said.

“For the younger generation here today, you’ll know what the granite marker saying ‘Open in 2068’ means and you’ll know the priceless memories that will be relived in 2068,” Hendricks said.

He thanked those who contributed items to the capsule.

“You have preserved memories that will fade in time, yet resurface as this capsule will in 50 years,” Hendricks said.

Before the capsule was buried, residents were encouraged to sign the vault.

“Fifty years from now, you’ll be able to see your signature and that of your relatives,” Hendricks said.

Mountain View Funeral Home employees readied the capsule and its vault for airtight sealing and burial. The vault is guaranteed for 75 years.

“It’s time for us to make the opening line of our 2068 story,” Hendricks said.

Mountain View worked with county officials to bring the cost of the vault down, Costner said.

“They really did save the taxpayers a lot of money,” he said. “You look at the price of some of these vaults, it’s upwards of $20,000. They made a significant reduction in that so that we could preserve everything, guarantee it for 75 years and be able to look at those memories when we dig it back up again.”


Veterans honored, remembered at ‘Wreaths Across America’

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The threat of rain did not keep a crowd from taking part in a “Wreaths Across America” ceremony Saturday morning.

The ceremony, which saw wreaths placed upon veterans’ graves, was held at Robinson Memorial Gardens in Easley.

“We’re glad to have each and every one of you here,” American Legion Post 52 Commander Bones Wilson said. “Each and every individual, I thank you for coming out and supporting this, our mission and the families that are all buried here.”

The crowd assembled “a lot of work to do today,” he said.

“We have over 300 wreaths to place just in this one section,” Wilson said. “We’re placing 25 wreaths at the mausoleum. That’s up 100 wreaths from the time you were out here last year. Each year, it grows more and more.”

In addition to American Legion members, Girl Scout Service Unit 631, Boy Scout Troop 37, members of the Trail Guides and the Knights of Columbus

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No charges to be filed in shooting of escaped inmate

PICKENS — No charges will be filed against a homeowner who shot and killed an inmate who escaped from the county prison and broke into her home earlier this month, according to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe.

Hashe said Tuesday the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office had conducted a legal review of the investigation into the death of Bruce Webb McLaughlin Jr., 30, who escaped along with another inmate from the county prison shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 4.

“”It is the opinion of this office that (name redacted) would be immune from prosecution for any charges relating to the shooting death of Bruce

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Realtors pay off school lunch balances

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — A effort by group of Easley realtors to pay off outstanding school lunch accounts reached its goal and then exceeded it.

The staff of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices C. Dan Joyner Realtors began collecting funds in mid-November, according to broker in charge Jennifer Hicks.

After contacting School District of Pickens County director of student nutrition Jenaffer Pitt, Hicks learned that 5 Point Church had paid off the balances of the Easley-area schools.

The schools with the next biggest need were the Liberty-area ones, Pitt told

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Courier Obituaries 12-19-18

Judy “Cheryl” Anthony

GREENVILLE — Judy “Cheryl” Donahue Anthony, 75, wife of Darrell Roger Anthony Sr., went to be with her Lord and Savior Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, at her home.

Born in Greenville, a daughter of the late Walter R and Bertie Anglin Donahue, she was a member of Antioch United Methodist Church and of the Eastern Star.

Surviving, in addition to her husband of more than 20 years, are children Tina K. Panganiban, John Kancz (Kimberly), Faithe K. Silver, Tara M. Posey (Eddie) and Dawn M. Baker; stepson, Darrell R. Anthony Jr. (Dorothy); step-daughter Cathy A. Taylor (Rusty); 17 grandchildren; two

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Editor’s Note: In 1897, 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages. We offer the letter and editorial response to you in this week’s issue. Merry Christmas.

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect,

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Enough to warm the cockles of your heart

The fire in the old fireplace in the front living room was burning steadily, putting out the only warmth in the living room.

I lay on the rug before the fire with my stocking. We’d finished opening gifts in front of the tree, Grandmama in her chair wearing her green quilted robe, Uncle Walter fully dressed in his starched white shirt and grey sweater and Mama in her bright red cardigan. Grandmama had left and gone to dress, to prepare for kitchen activities, Uncle Walter had thumped down the hall with his walking stick to help, and Mama was busy picking up wrapping paper and throwing it into the fire, bustling around, straightening up the room.

I lay there in my pajamas with my stocking, choosing a piece of candy from it that was slightly fuzzy from spending a sticky night in the felt toe. It didn’t bother either of us to suck on fuzzy candy. It was the ribbon striped hard candy that only appeared at Christmas and tasted like wintergreen.

We lay there, listening to a broadcast on the radio of Charles Dickens’ “A

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