Daily Archives: 03/17/2020

Power companies adjust in face of state pandemic

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Both Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and Duke Energy have taken steps to help both customers and employees in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  “Because we are a service provider for more than 67,000 members in the Upstate, our concern for our communities, our members and our employees is paramount in our decision process,” Blue Ridge said in a news release. “We know that keeping our workforce healthy and ready to respond to any situation that arises on our system is our priority.”

Both companies said they will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment. Duke officials said the company will continue to read meters and send bills

School district makes plans

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

COUNTY — On Monday, school district officials announced their latest responses to COVID-19, which includes student prescription medicine and Chromebook pickups, as well as plans to thoroughly clean school buildings.

School District of Pickens County spokesman John Eby announced late Monday that schools will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday to allow students to pick up medication and belongings. Students and parents will be accompanied by a staff member when entering the building and should be prepared for potential wait times, as the district limits the number of visitors in the building at a time. School staff will deliver medication directly to severely medically fragile students on

Businesses face uneasy future

COUNTY — As Pickens County residents were stocking up on groceries and other essentials early this week, sales were dropping off in many local businesses as shoppers wary of the spread of the coronavirus began trying to avoid crowds.

“I think it’s too early to tell what the economic impact is going to be,” said Cindy Hopkins, president of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, “but we know that it’s probably going to be significant.”

Perhaps hardest hit is the restaurant industry, with the White House urging Americans to avoid eating and drinking

Pickens Chamber, PRA hold awards banquet

The Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce and Pickens Revitalization Association held their annual awards banquets on Friday. With hand sanitizer available all around, chamber members got a chance to rub elbows and enjoy a great meal prior to the cancellation of many events around the county in the coming days. Above, longtime Pickens attorney Ken Acker was honored with Duke Energy’s Citizenship Award during the event. Acker is flanked by Pickens Chamber President Adam Lambert and Duke Energy community relations manager Emily DeRoberts.


Head-on collisions kill three

PICKENS — Three Pickens County men lost their lives in two separate head-on collisions over the weekend, according to authorities.

The first wreck happened on U.S. Highway 178 at Belle Shoals Road near Liberty at around 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Master Trooper Brandon Bolt of the S.C. Highway Patrol said a 2002 Honda driven by 74-year-old Doma James Cantrell of Liberty crossed the centerline and hit a 2012 Nissan.

Cantrell, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Prisma Health Greenville, where he was later

Election filing now available

By Bru Nimmons

Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Despite the threat of COVID-19, primary election filings opened as scheduled on Monday, March 16.

All who file in the March 16-30 window will be eligible for the South Carolina state primaries on June 9, with runoffs to be held on June 23. The winners will then take part in the general election on Nov. 3.

While any elections in March and April have been postponed in South Carolina due to the virus, candidates in Pickens County may still file for the following seats in the upcoming primary election

Official: Salaries make up bulk of county’s general fund budget

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Salaries and other personal services make up more than two-thirds of Pickens County’s budget each year, according to the county finance director.

County council held a budget discussion last month, early in the budget process.

“I wanted to have this meeting because of what we talked about in our council goals,” county council chairman Roy Costner said.

During a planning session in November of last year, council discussed looking at the budget in a different way than in prior years.

“We were talking about really taking a hard look at our budget in the sense of what percentage of

COVID-19 changes the game

On Sunday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced that all schools statewide would be closing from March 16-31 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With no school, high school athletics have also been shut down and with the South Carolina High School League cancelling all spring sports until April 5 on Monday, who really knows when or if high school sports will be allowed to come back this school year. With this decision, like any decision that affects and changes a great number of lives, there will be some form of derision.

I am no expert on disease and for that reason alone, I am not in a place to definitively say whether this ban is

Late Seneca surge proves costly

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — Following a walk-off loss to the Seneca Bobcats just two days prior, the Daniel Lions softball team looked for revenge against their heated foe on Thursday night.

That revenge never came though, as the Lions gave up two late runs in a 3-1 loss.

“We fought Tuesday when Seneca scored late on us,” Daniel head coach Mary Cate Garrett said. “But tonight, we just kind of laid down and that’s just not the kind of team we want to be.”

“I told them we have to change our attitudes — tomorrow is a new day, and we just have to bounce back by playing innning to inning.”

Things started off pretty slow in the first inning, with

Council debates declaring emergency

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Pickens County Council has yet to declare a state of emergency in the midst of a statewide coronavirus outbreak, but discussed Monday what might need to happen for it to do so.

“This is a very serious situation that we find ourselves in, but it’s not one that’s changing minute by minute,” acting county administrator Ken Roper said. “It’s something we can give some thought to. There are no bad ideas right now. We think we need everybody’s expertise.”

There were no coronavirus cases in Pickens County as of Monday.

Council voted to suspend discussion of the log numbers for its scheduled Committee of the Whole