Daily Archives: 03/26/2019

Man charged in stepfather’s death

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — A Greenville man faces charges in the death of his stepfather after police allege he put the man in a chokehold during a fight early Thursday morning.

Richard Scott Hinds, 46, was charged with voluntary manslaughter, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said in a

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Long time coming

New Pickens County jail set to open this summer after rain slows construction progress

By Ron Barnett

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The rains of recent months have slowed progress on construction of the new Pickens County jail, but Sheriff Rick Clark said he expects the work to be finished around June 1.

Prisoners won’t move in until sometime over the summer, he said.

Opening had been scheduled for spring.

“Since we started construction we’ve had the most rain ever, probably,” Clark said.

The budget for the 73,500-square-foot facility, in a secluded area on South Catherine Street near the county administration building, is on track at

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Easley man gets life sentence in child sex case

PICKENS — An Easley man was sentenced to life in the South Carolina Department of Corrections, plus a consecutive 20-year sentence, for sexually assaulting a child.

A Pickens County jury convicted Aaron Benjamin Beach, 32, of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said in a news release.

Assistant solicitor Brandi Batson Hinton presented evidence at the trial that established that Beach sexually assaulted a 4-year-old in his Easley home on July 4-5, 2016, Wilkins said.

Beach recorded the assault on video and also took photos depicting the child in a sexually explicit activity, he said.

Beach sent the videos and photos to a woman in Virginia, who contacted

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Clemson officials conduct active

CLEMSON — At 10 a.m. on the morning of March 19, a call went out over radio channels about a suspicious man at Daniel Hall on the campus of Clemson University.

The call was followed almost immediately by another — “shots fired.”

The scenario was staged, part of an active-shooter training exercise involving university police, fire and emergency medical services personnel.

After the calls went out, police, fire and EMS personnel began converging on the building.

The day’s work began in the early-morning hours as EMS applied moulage — realistic-looking makeup — to volunteers playing the roles of shooting victims throughout Daniel Hall.

Clemson University director of fire and EMS Bill Daniel said the exercise demonstrated the rescue task force concept, “where our paramedics and EMTs go in quickly behind the law enforcement teams and start treating casualties as quick as we can.”

“The more we practice, the better we are when the real thing happens,” he said.

Daniel said 80 percent of his agency’s call volume is EMS calls.

“All our firefighters are cross-trained as EMTs and paramedics,” Daniel

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Be aware — you may meet a bear

And then somebody had to go and invent glazed croissants.

I can resist hot Krispy Kremes, as delightful as they are, since we don’t have a Krispy Kreme shop in Pickens County, but it’s hard to avoid the bakery aisle at Ingles, especially if you’re hungry.

Those things taste as good to me as Charles Aiken’s birdseed must have tasted to the bear that had taken to raiding the feeders in his yard in downtown Pickens recently.

Charles and his neighbors off Cedar Rock Street have been visited frequently by a bear — or perhaps by several of them — over the past couple of years, and regularly since last fall, except for a one-month hibernation nap, Charles says.

“That bear came on my porch four times this last week and created

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Harrelson named PHS hoops coach

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens High School has hired a new head boys’ basketball coach with hopes of getting the program going in the right direction.

Jeff Harrelson was named head coach of the Blue Flame on Monday following a two-year tenure as an assistant at Travelers Rest High School. Harrelson has more than 24 years of coaching experience, including head coaching stops at Berea (2000-2010) and Mauldin (2010-2016). Along with coaching in three Upper State championships, Harrelson has also won

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Board trustees vote to change start time for high schools

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

EASLEY — High school students in Pickens County will have an extra 10 minutes to get to class beginning next fall.

School board trustees voted unanimously Monday night to change the start time from 8:10 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. when classes start back for the 2019-20 school year in August.

“I presented three options (in December) and recommended in January to

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Fundraisers Saturday set to help Humane Society

LIBERTY — Now that spring is here, many bikers are itching to feel the wind in their game.

Saturday will offer them a chance to do so for a great cause at the first-ever Pickens County Humane Society benefit ride. The ride is sponsored by Ironmen of Freedom Biker Church.

The ride will start with registration at 10 a.m., and kickstands will go up at 11 a.m. at Farm Equipment and Supplies, located at 2920 Gentry Memorial Highway in Pickens. The ride will end at the Pickens County Humane Society at 500 Five Forks Road in Liberty.

To enter, bikers canshow up with a dog or cat item and/or monetary

County workers concerned with raises, vacation

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — While Pickens County employees seem satisfied with their jobs overall, they are concerned about pay raises and losing vacation days at the end of the year, according to results of an employee engagement survey.

County human resources director Lisa Bryant presented an overview of the 32-question survey’s results to county council members last week.

“If you study statistics about surveys, the more questions that you have, the greater the percentage of participation decreases,” Bryant said.

A total of 396 of the county’s 681 employees completed the survey, a 58 percent completion rate, she said.

“We had a great response rate,” she said.

She said one reason behind the high response rate was employees were

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Easley event to help address local residents’ health issues, concerns

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — An upcoming event offers residents a chance to get their health checked at no cost.

The Cancer Association of Pickens County will hold its Prevention Palooza this Saturday, March 30, at the Dream Center of Pickens County.

“We are super excited,” executive director Lisa Green said. “We have a lot of providers offering a lot of free, wonderful screenings.”

The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon.

“We’re packing a lot into three hours,” Green said.

There’s no need to register for the event.

“People can just show up,” Green said. “They don’t have to show an ID. They don’t have to have insurance. Everything is free of charge.”

Participants don’t even have to be a Pickens County resident.

“It’s open to the entire public,” Green said.

If transportation is an issue, the Easley Fire Department is working with the association to solve that problem.

“They’ll transport folks, go pick them up, but they have to call us first to

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