Daily Archives: 05/19/2020

County up to 3 COVID-19 deaths

County still has one of SC’s lowest infection rates

COLUMBIA — The deaths of two more Pickens County residents were attributed to COVID-19-related issues last week, bumping the county’s death toll from the virus up to three.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Thursday that a middle-aged county resident had died of virus-related issues, and DHEC reported the death of an elderly resident on Friday.

Although officials have released no other details about any of the three local residents who have died of the virus, a DHEC spreadsheet with virus cases in county nursing home facilities over the past 30 days lists the

Absentee balloting now open, county officials urge voting by mail

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Every voter in South Carolina can vote absentee in the June primaries and any necessary runoffs, and officials are urging residents to stay at home and vote by mail.

The General Assembly passed legislation May 12 authorizing any voter to vote absentee in any election in June, and Gov. Henry McMaster signed it into law the following day.

The provision expires on July 1 and does not apply to any election after that date.

Travis Alexander, Pickens County’s new

Officials prioritize protecting seniors as county reopens

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — As more of the county reopens, Pickens County officials say it is the responsibility of everyone to take steps to protect the most vulnerable from the COVID-19 virus.

“How are we going to ensure the safety of the elderly population?” and “Is it smart to reopen even as COVID numbers in South Carolina continue to increase?” were questions fielded by county officials during a virtual briefing on Phase II of the Kickstart Pickens County plan held Thursday afternoon.

County Emergency Management director Denise Kwiatek said Gov. Henry McMaster telling the

School board passes second budget reading

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

EASLEY — During a special called virtual meeting Monday, the Pickens County School Board approved second reading of a proposed $128.1 million general fund budget for FY ‘21 that marks a little more than a $1 million decrease from the current budget.

School district chief financial officer Clark Webb told trustees the proposed budget featured a few changes since first reading.

Included in those changes are the removal of a contingency for workers compensation and increase in property insurance, since the budget allocation will be sufficient for both of those

Readers’ Choice Awards results scheduled to be announced this summer

PICKENS — Over the course of the past few months, our world has been in a battle with COVID-19.

Many area businesses have been closed and quarantined, and as a result, we at the Pickens County Courier have delayed announcing the results of the 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.

“Hundreds of ballots were cast earlier this year as local residents weighed in on their favorite businesses across the county, but we feel many of our local businesses that have earned the top honors in 2020 would prefer the awards be announced when they can best benefit from those incredible honors,” Courier publisher Rocky Nimmons said. “Not only is it a huge accomplishment,

Clemson introduces map to help food insecure families

By Michael Staton

Clemson University

CLEMSON — Clemson University faculty and staff in coordination with the United Way and Ten at the Top have created an interactive map that provides information on different food resources across the Upstate for individuals and families facing food insecurity.

Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences created the Food Access Map as part of its efforts to aid Upstate residents facing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map includes nearly 400 providers across 10 counties complete with information on the type of assistance they provide as well as operating hours and availability.

According to Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, the Food Access Map will make the process of finding reliable information on food resources that much easier for people in need. To find the map, visit

County council honors American Legion Post 52

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens County Council members helped members of American Legion Post 52 celebrate a milestone anniversary earlier this year.

During their March 2 meeting, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the alteration of public meetings around the country, council members unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Post 52’s 75th anniversary.

Following the vote, chairman Roy Costner read aloud the resolution, which recognizes the post for

Clemson public opinion poll reveals concern about COVID-19 response

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Palmetto Poll recently gathered data from South Carolina residents to gauge their concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the state and national response to it.

Steven V. Miller, an associate professor in Clemson’s political science department who designed the survey, said that in addition to providing a general glimpse into residents’ concerns with the pandemic, the survey revealed major differences in attitudes toward government response along partisan, racial and ethnic lines.

Analyses of the poll’s results suggest just over 75 percent of South Carolinians are at least moderately concerned about the pandemic in their area, and almost half of South Carolinians are

Blood Connection offering free virus antibody testing

COUNTY — The Blood Connection is offering free COVID-19 antibody testing for donors.

The antibody test will test a sample of each donor’s blood to see if it contains COVID-19 antibodies. The service is offered to TBC blood donors at all blood donation centers and mobiles across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, at no cost. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment

Restrictions take their toll

One day a couple of weeks ago, my wife Kathy started shivering for no apparent reason.

She’s one of those people whose internal thermostat goes haywire once in a while, so I wasn’t overly concerned. Until she told me right before she went to sleep that for an instant she had the thought that she might not wake up in the morning.

She wasn’t interested in rushing off to the emergency room, though, so there didn’t seem to be anything I could do but pray and hope it wasn’t anything serious.

The next morning, her right leg was swollen up and red and