Daily Archives: 05/14/2019

‘Dark Days’

Supporters speak out in wake of mill director’s firing

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Supporters of former Hagood Mill director Billy Crawford packed Pickens County Council chambers Monday night to protest his firing.

Crawford was terminated May 2, and Hagood Mill Foundation chair Betty McDaniel resigned after the firing. During the public forum portion of Monday’s council meeting, several residents spoke in support of Crawford.

Dean Watson said these are “dark days” for the mill and Pickens County.

“It’s been two long, sad years seeing the corruption, the ineptitude, cronyism,” Watson said. “Nepotism. It’s called friends and family getting preferential hiring — and outright bullying and intimidation of employees.”

A tourism consultant, Watson said he’d offered to meet with county officials “to discuss solutions to problems at the mill,” but his offer had not been accepted.

He told council “the situation is dire.”

“It needs to be corrected, and you six men are the ones to do it,” he said.

Marianne Hoynes said she began volunteering at the mill after being “very, very impressed” when visiting the mill herself.

“But it was really hard to hear whenever Billy’s boss would come around, it was very hard to hear him being denigrated the way he was, talked

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PCSO: Kids shot loaded school bus

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

SIX MILE — A 15-year-old and an 11-year-old are facing charges after police said they shot a Pickens County school bus full of children with an air gun last week.

The two are each charged with malicious damage to property with a value less than $2,000, second-degree assault and battery and interfering with the operation of a school bus, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Hashe said in a news release Thursday.

The sheriff’s office was notified just before 4 p.m. on May 8 that a window on the bus was damaged as it was traveling on Bridwell

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Clary won’t seek re-election for State House seat

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

CENTRAL — State Rep. Gary Clary announced Friday he does not plan to seek re-election next year.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about since earlier this year,” Clary said. “The timing seemed right. Three terms seemed to be right in Columbia, but I’m proud of what I accomplished in Columbia.”

A retired circuit judge, Clary was elected to the House in 2014 after longtime incumbent B.R. Skelton decided not to run for another term. During his time in the General Assembly, Clary has worked with the Pickens County Legislative Delegation on a number of issues, including creation of a seventh school board seat in the county, resolving the county’s coal ash controversy and improving the relationship between the delegation and county council that led to the forming of Pickens United, which meets regularly.

“Those things have been very gratifying, and I think Pickens County is poised to continue to grow and develop and continue to be one of the leaders in South Carolina,” Clary said.

Clary’s legislative achievements include the creation of the Lakes and Bridges Charter School and the Tucker Hipps bill, signed last week by Gov. Henry McMaster, making permanent a law originally passed several years ago requiring fraternities and sororities

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Central closing in on police chief hire

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

CENTRAL — Two finalists have been named for the vacant Central police chief job, including one current department employee.

Town administrator Phillip Mishoe said last week that Central Police Sgt. Steve Thompson and Steven Miller of the Clemson University Police Department are the top choices to succeed former Chief Khristy Justice, who resigned earlier this year. Town council members were scheduled to interview the two on Monday night.

“We think we’ve got two really good candidates and want to go ahead and sit down and talk to them,” Mishoe

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Speeding tickets and story idea strikeouts

First, a shout out to Patrolwoman Lindsay Mason of the Pickens Police Department.

As I was roaring down Main Street one day last week at, according to her, 41 mph, in a section where I thought the speed limit was 35, she pulled me over and very politely informed me of my transgression.

Undeterred by the fact that I am a local celebrity and on a first-name basis with the mayor, and that I once taught guitar lessons to the current Pickens County administrator and went to high school with a current United States senator and have performed on stage with Percy Sledge and James Brown, she proceeded to write out a ticket. (No, I didn’t tell her all that, but I assume it’s common knowledge.)

She did have the compassion to mark it down to appear as though I was going only 32 mph in a 25 mph zone. But it was still a 2-point violation and a $76.50 ticket. That effectively doubled the cost of the project I was engaged in at the time, which was going to my stepson’s house to put together a raised-bed vegetable garden.

All kidding aside, I do think that section of Main Street, heading out of town toward the Flea Market, ought to be a 35 mph zone. I have learned my lesson and will be more careful in the future — but I think this being my first offense, a warning would have done the job just as well.

Now, let me hit on a topic I wanted to write about but that didn’t quite come together,You must be logged in to view this content.

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PS&L announces new leadership

PICKENS — A pair of familiar faces have been promoted to new leadership roles at Pickens Savings and Loan, the bank’s board of directors announced recently.

Roddey B. “Rod” Gettys is the bank’s new president and CEO, while Lauren M. Murphy is now executive vice president.

Gettys has worked at Pickens Saving and Loan since 2012, handling credit administration and treasury functions. Before working at PS&L, he served as a federal bank examiner with the Office of Thrift Supervision and its successor, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being in Pickens the past seven years — it has allowed me to develop new friendships and renew old ones,” Gettys said. “Pickens Savings and Loan has operated for 99 years and is the only bank headquartered in Pickens County. We are looking forward to our next century of operation and we will continue to meet the housing and banking needs of the county.”

A graduate of Easley High School, Wofford College and the University of South

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Confederate Memorial Day planned Saturday

‘PICKENS — Confederate Memorial Day will be celebrated this Saturday, May 18, at the Hagood-Mauldin House/Irma Morris Museum of Fine Arts, located at 104 N. Lewis St. in Pickens.

Jack Marlar will speak at the 11 a.m. event, which will continue a tradition started by “Miss Queen” Mauldin more than 100 years ago. Judge and Mrs. T.J. (Queen) Mauldin invited the veterans of the Confederacy to the lawns of their home to honor them and their families on the day chosen by the Ladies of the UDC in 1903 — June 3, Jefferson Davis’ birthday.

Honoring the veterans and the institution lasted for more than 40 years, until every old soldier in Pickens County had died. In 1935, only three Confederate veterans, all of them over 90 years old, were able to make it to the reunion. After a program on the front porch, dinner was served under some shade trees on the back lawn with about 75 UDC members, as well as the wives and widows of veterans attending the event.

The Pickens County Historical Society has continued the tradition of celebrating Confederate Memorial Day each May at “Miss Queen’s” home.

The house and gardens will be open all day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for tours.


Art show to kick off Saturday at museum

PICKENS — The Monday Night Painters will present “Artistic Impressions,” an art show opening at the Pickens County Museum this Saturday, May 18.

The Monday Night Painters are a group of Upstate artists who have painted together for more than two decades. The group includes Edith Hardaway, Carol Mann, Joe Merck, Julia Peters, Joan Potter, Jo Ann Taylor and Fred Wood. Two of the artists currently live in Pickens County, and Merck is a native of Pickens County.

The artists’ work includes watercolors, acrylics, collages, batiks and oils in a variety of sizes, subjects and techniques. Although they paint as a group, each artist has their own approach to painting. Their work has been featured at Centre Stage, Warehouse Theatre

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All-star softball game set

LIBERTY — The Foothills Fellowship of Christian Athletes will host its first annual FCA Softball All-Star Game on Monday at 6 p.m. at Liberty High School.

The game will feature players from Anderson County vs. Pickens-Oconee County high schools. The format will be a seven-inning game with a short break after the fourth inning for a speaker to share with spectators about FCA. The rain date for the game is May 21.

Pickens County players set to participate are Daniel’s Logan Craig, Haylee Rice and Makayla Sexton, Easley’s Aubrey Lewis and Addison Pitts, Liberty’s Abbey Huff, and Pickens’ Abby Hayes and Beth Hyatt.

Admission is $10, and no passes will be accepted. The event is a fundraiser to help athletes from the three counties attend FCA camps this summer.


Harden Scholarship winner named

The scholarship committee of the Cannon Memorial Hospital Auxiliary recently announced Micah Jordan as the winner of the 2019 Dr John Harden Scholarship. Jordan is a senior at Pickens High School and is ranked second in his class. He is involved in his school and community through sports, committees, church and work. He has been accepted to Clemson University for the fall. He plans to obtain an undergraduate degree in bioengineering. He plans to use the degree and further education as an innovative physician. Jordan exhibits excellence in academics, attitude and achievements, according to the committee, which wishes to congratulate Jordan and recognize all applicants and wish them all much success in their careers in the health care field. Pictured, from left, are Tom Cloer, Mary Beelow, Elaine Cloer, Jordan and Diana Hancock. Not available for the picture was Carol Burnikel.