Daily Archives: 05/28/2019

Wreck kills 6-year-old twins

Mother charged with DUI

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — A Seneca woman has been charged with two counts of felony DUI after a head-on collision that claimed the lives of her 6-year-old twin sons Sunday night.

Dylan and Camryn Clark died at separate hospitals after the wreck, according to Pickens County deputy coroner Gary Duncan. Duncan said Monday afternoon that one of the twins was pronounced dead at Prisma Health–Easley and the other died at AnMed Health Cannon Hospital.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis said the boys’ mother, Jennifer Lynn Knox, is charged with two counts of felony

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In honor of the fallen


Pickens County joined the country in celebrating Memorial Day on Monday. In addition the annual ceremony honoring those who have lost their lives in defense of our country at Sunrise Cemetery in Pickens, above, the American Legion hut in Pickens also hosted a dedication ceremony for a new wall bearing the insignias of each of the branches of the U.S. military. Other events were also held around the county.


Waffle maker bringing new jobs to Liberty

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

LIBERTY — A Greenville-based waffle and pancake manufacturer is moving its entire operations to Liberty.

U.S. Waffle Company’s $22.1 million investment in the former NCR building is expected to create at least 114 new jobs, county officials announced Thursday evening.

“We’re so proud that U.S. Waffle Company is choosing to make Pickens County your new home,” county council chairman Roy Costner said.

Costner said Pickens County hasn’t had “an announcement this big since 2005,” when Reliable Sprinkler announced it was coming to the Pickens County Commerce Park.

He said some county officials had toured the U.S. Waffle plant in Greenville.

“The coolest thing about your company is … all your employees, at all their different stations, were having a great time,” he said. “They were into their job. They loved what they were doing. It’s obvious that you care about the people that you work with.”

U.S. Waffle Company CEO John Symons said consumers see the company’s frozen waffles and pancakes in every supermarket they walk into.

“It doesn’t have our name on it, but we manufacture for almost all the national brand sellers of pancakes and waffles,” he said.

The company’s vision is to be “the highest quality and most efficient producer of specialty pancakes and specialty waffles in the industry,” Symons said.

“What does specialty mean?” he said. “It means we do high-protein. We do gluten free. We do organic. We do paleo. You name it, we do it.”

The company is just more than five years old and has seen an average

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Man’s body found in river

EASLEY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of man whose body was found floating in the Saluda River on Sunday morning.

Pickens County deputy coroner Gary Duncan said Monday morning that 38-year-old Steven Carroll Fletcher of Piedmont was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said the body was found floating near the 4700 block of Farrs Bridge Road near Easley at approximately 10:30 a.m. The sheriff’s office and personnel from local fire service and EMS responded to the scene after a local

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Kayakers found safe, one arrested

CENTRAL — Two kayakers were found safe Tuesday morning after going missing, but one was arrested shortly after they were found.

Daniel Timothy Falu, 40, was arrested on a probation violation charge from Oconee County, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Creed Hashe said in a news release.

Falu and a 13-year-old girl went missing from Cateechee Beach Park around 9:30 p.m. Monday. They were last seen kayaking on the Twelve Mile River.

Falu and the girl walked up to searchers on the river Tuesday morning. They were unhurt.


Fate of historic Pickens house up in the air

By Ron Barnett

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — For a whole generation of Pickens residents, the old white-frame two-story home at 118 Main St. was the local “Haunted House” — a place operated by the Jaycees to raise money from kids who enjoyed getting scared out of their wits at Halloween time.

To a pack of groundhogs that have been living underneath it for decades, it’s home sweet home.

But to members of the Pickens County Historical Society and many townspeople, the Bradley-Boggs House is a structure of great cultural significance and one of the few remaining relics of the past in a city that calls itself “Historic Pickens.”

So it’s no wonder that a furor arose when Charles Monks and his wife, Julia, who now own the place, told the city they wanted to tear it down and build a microbrewery there.

“The loss of this house to the community would be irrevocable and tragic,” said Wayne Kelley, senior vice president of the aforementioned historical society.

The Monkses have found themselves in the position of becoming the village villains in their adopted hometown if they demolish

Countywide cleanup nets 15 tons of trash

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

LIBERTY — Heat didn’t stop Pickens County employees from turning out in force Friday morning to do their part in making the county a little cleaner.

County council chairman Roy Costner and Sen. Rex Rice held a press conference on the side of U.S. Highway 123 about the county’s third “Team Up and Clean Up Anti-Litter Blitz.”

“This is one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen,” Costner said.

In addition to county employees, area municipalities, the Pickens County Legislative Delegation and the S.C. Department of Transportation “all came together for one day to clean up Pickens County,” he said.

More than 600 people took part in the cleanup.

“Within just the first few hours of cleaning up, we’re already close to 15 tons of trash picked up,” Costner said. “That’s an awesome thing.”

Costner said he was thankful for all the employee participation.

“This is the greatest place to live in the world,” he said. “We just want to keep it beautiful so that everybody can enjoy it.”

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from Palmetto Pride, the county will soon be able to hire a part-time litter control officer, Costner said.

“We are really excited about what Palmetto Pride has been able to bring to the table, with us having a litter officer onboard,” he said.

The litter control officer, a new position, will work with county staff and the magistrate’s office.

“It’s not meant to be that punitive,” Costner said. “If somebody’s dumping tires somewhere, go get them. The goal is to educate people who don’t understand or haven’t figured out why we keep having to come out here and pick up all this trash.”

During its May meeting, county council passed second reading of an ordinance providing remedies and penalties for illegal littering.

“We’ve got to be able to give him the ability to do his job,” Costner said of the litter officer. “That’s what that ordinance is enabling him to do. My personal goal, and I think I speak for full council, it isn’t meant to be punitive, it’s meant to be how do we keep from having to do this, to where people go ‘Man, Pickens County is the cleanest place in the world. I want to go visit there.’”

Litter education is just as important as cleaning up, Costner said.

“We don’t always want to go out here and do this,” he said. “We’re all happy to be able to do it, but if we can get people to understand how important it is cover up your vehicles when you go to the landfill — if that happens, that’ll save us a lot of trash.”

Palmetto Pride and the county are teaming up to offer residents tarps, Costner said.

“If people show up and they forget, we’re going to give them a tarp so they can cover up,” he said.

Incentives are being added to boost participation to the county’s “5 on Friday” campaign.

“If everybody in Pickens County picked up five pieces of trash (on Fridays), we’d pick up a half a million pieces of trash every Friday,” Costner said.

Thanks to a partnership with McDonald’s, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office will be “armed” with $10 gift cards, he said.

“If they catch you picking up trash on Friday, you might wind up with a $10 gift card to go grab something to eat at McDonald’s,” Costner said.

Rice said he’s been talking to county magistrates about the possibility of using those sentenced to community service to help fight litter as well.

Several years ago, Rice adopted a two-mile stretch of highway leading out of Easley toward the Greenville County line.

“The first time we picked it up, we picked up about 120 bags of trash,” Rice said. “Today we’re down to about 110 bags in a four-mile stretch, so it’s definitely working.”

Rice and Costner threw down a couple of challenges at the end of the press conference.

“I would encourage all the members of the General Assembly to adopt a two-mile stretch of highway,” Rice said. “I’m going to challenge each member of the Senate, each member of the House to get out and adopt a highway, put their name out on the roads and show what they need to do.”

Rice said he got involved after receiving a phone call from a resident who asked “Can you get somebody to pick up Highway 123?”

“I thought about it and said ‘That somebody probably needs to be me,’” he said. “So I got out and started picking up.”

Costner said he’s challenging every other county in the state.

“There’s 46 counties,” he said. “If all 46 counties can do what we’re doing, what the folks here in Pickens County are doing, we’ll make the state a much more beautiful place.”


Perry running for mayor seat

PICKENS — Just days after longtime Pickens Mayor David Owens announced he will not seek reelection, another longtime city official threw his hat into the ring to succeed him.

Fletcher Perry, who has been a Pickens city councilman for the past 11 years, has officially announced his candidacy for mayor.

“First, I would like to thank Mayor David Owens for his dedication and commitment as a public servant,” Perry said in his announcement letter. “Under his leadership as mayor, we have experienced a level of accomplishments that allows us to be proud to call Pickens our home.”

A lifelong resident of Pickens and 1972 graduate of Pickens High School, Perry and his wife, Lynn, have a daughter, two granddaughters and a great-grandson.

The current owner of P&F Lawn Care Service and Two Brothers and a Brush Auto Detail Shop, Perry also has more than 17 years of

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Welcome back

A ribbon-cutting was held last Thursday for the formal grand reopening of the Parkette in Pickens. Owner Larry Looper and his staff are familiar faces in the community to those who love good barbecue and country cooking. The Parkette had been a fixture in Pickens for decades until the restaurant was closed a few years ago. However, Looper continued to cater events following the closure. Recently, he saw a need to bring the restaurant back to a new location at 202F S. Catherine St. in Pickens. The Parkette will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and will continue to cater.


Tax assessor reviews reassessment process

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens County tax assessor David Day wants residents to know that if the value of their property increases due to reassessment, that doesn’t necessarily mean their property taxes will also increase.

Day spoke to county council during a recent committee of the whole meeting.

“Reassessment is not intended to raise property taxes,” he said. “It is intended to distribute property taxes fairly among the taxpayers.”

He said an increase in in the fair market value of property does not mean that the taxable value or taxes will increase at a proportionate rate.

“Taxes don’t increase just because the value increases,” Day said. “Historically, an increase in property value does not equal the same

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