Daily Archives: 08/03/2021

Man charged with murder after mother killed in fire

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

SIX MILE — A Six Mile man is facing murder and arson charges after his mother’s body was found in a burning home last month.

Eric James Harmon, 34, was arrested July 30 by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, according to a release from Chief Deputy Chad Brooks.

On July 1, emergency personnel responded to a structure fire at 191 Duncan Road in Six Mile, Brooks said.

As firefighters extinguished the fire, a body was found inside the home, Brooks said.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley identified the victim as 57-year-old Beverly Harmon,

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


School district honors top teacher and support employee of the year

COUNTY — Just days before the new school year kicked off this week, the School District of Pickens County named its 2021-22 Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year at a banquet on Friday.

At the event, which recognized support employees and teachers of the year for each of the district’s 23 schools, the Pickens County Career and Technology Center and the district’s alternative education program, Liberty High School teacher Zachary Arms and Central Services administrative assistant Jennifer Dailey took top countywide honors.


An innovative member of the Liberty High teaching staff, Arms has taught multiple subjects, including AP psychology, government, economics, psychology and law education. His creative thinking and passion is evident in the name of a course he recently created — “Psychology of Superheroes,” where students use psychological concepts to analyze popular heroes and villains in comic books. In addition to this, Arms also serves as the school’s assistant band director. Before joining the Liberty faculty, Arms taught at Midland Valley High School in Aiken County. He is a 2017 graduate of Clemson University, where he completed a double major to earn his Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and history.

In May 2021, South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis recognized Arms as the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program’s Educator of the Month.

“Personal finance is a crucial topic to understand, especially in this age of digital information,” Arms said. “Without proper knowledge and guidance, individuals can be led astray into poor financial decisions that can negatively impact their lives. I truly believe that there’s a strong correlation between the large amounts of consumer debt our citizens are accruing and the rate of depression in our nation. Knowledge of personal finance can save a person’s life.”

Liberty principal Josh Oxendine called Arms “one of the hardest working and most selfless teachers I have worked with in my career.”

“His positive attitude is contagious, and he has a great impact on our faculty, staff, students and community,” Oxendine added.

Dana Whelchel, a parent of two of Arms’ students, explained his impact in a recommendation letter for the award.

“I am very thankful to Mr. Arms and his support and leadership toward my children during their time at Liberty High,” Whelchel said. “He is full of school spirit and is a wonderful representative for the school.”

Arms was one of four finalists for the award, along with West End Elementary’s Leslie Flowers, Pickens High’s Lisa Furr and Liberty Primary’s Heather Reeves.

Each of the district’s 23 school-level teachers of the year will receive a $100 bonus this year, along with an additional $100 classroom supply voucher.

The finalists for SDPC Teacher of the Year each receive a $750 bonus, and Arms will receive a $1,500 bonus from the school district for the honor.



Dailey worked at McKissick Elementary as school secretary and bookeeper until making a move to Central Services. She assists in multiple areas, including massive responsibility of documenting the professional development for all certified staff in SDPC. She recently served on the implementation team for new software that help track all professional development districtwide.

“Her optimistic, friendly demeanor always provides much-needed encouragement for others.,” SDPC assistant superintendent for instructional services Sharon Huff said.

“When you think of the word sunshine, what comes to your mind? Warmth? Cheerfulness? Welcoming? Light? Have you ever met someone that was Sunshine in human form?” East End Elementary assistant principal Anita Richardson said. “That is exactly what Jennifer is and does. She makes it a goal to be happy and will do what she needs to, even if it isn’t in her job description, to make others happy as well. Everyone that comes in contact with Jennifer will tell you, her happy personality makes their day a little better.”

Another letter of recommendation for the award said Dailey “infuses positivity, joyfulness and enthusiasm for both work and life. Mrs. Dailey draws people to her light and makes others around her want to shine as well.”

Dailey was one of four finalists for the award, along with Liberty Elementary’s Sunshine Dennis, Liberty High’s Carrie Gregory and Daniel High’s Jill Roy.

Each of the district’s 31 site-level support employees of the year will receive a $100 bonus this year, while finalists for the district award each receive a $750 bonus, and Dailey will receive a $1,500 bonus.

Liberty in line for new mayor in November

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Election filings closed on Monday for Pickens County’s municipal elections, and big changes could be coming to the city of Liberty, in particular.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Brian Peterson did not file, leaving Councilwoman Erica Woods as the only person on the ballot for mayor in November.

Woods will likely not be the only person in a new role in Liberty, as

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Masks optional as kids return to class

COUNTY — After face coverings were mandated for the majority of last year and amid a spike in COVID-19 cases around the county and state thanks to the virus’ delta variant, students in the School District of Pickens County returned to this classroom this week with masks optional on school buses and in school buildings for students and teachers.

A seven-page guidance issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) featured nine layered prevention strategies the state agency deemed “essential to safe delivery of in-

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login

Clemson player faces reckless driving charge

Police: July wreck left mail carrier with ‘severe injuries’

By Riley Morningstar
and Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — Clemson football player Fred Davis turned himself in to police Sunday morning after being charged with reckless driving after authorities said he was driving 115 mph before hitting a U.S. Postal Service carrier last month.

Davis, 19, was booked in the city jail and released on a $500 personal recognizance bond after an investigation

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login


Current state law

Campos said current South Carolina law does not have an enhanced penalty for reckless driving that results in serious bodily injury, but the S.C. House of Representatives is looking to add “great bodily injury” as an enhancement.

CThese egregious and aggressive driving acts that result in serious injury to another need to have an appropriate penalty,T Campos said in a statement.   In most cases, the injured suffer much pain, multiple medical procedures, lengthy recovery times and whose freedom to live life injury free are taken from them. The offender, especially if they are not hurt, currently only have a few hurdles to navigate and get to live life freely, while the injured do not.”

Campos said with advances in modern medicine, many injuries do not meet the definition of “great bodily injury.” He is advocating for a more inclusive definition for the enhanced penalty.

“The legislature’s current proposed bill is a step in the right direction, but will not account for serious injuries that are not permanent,” Campos said.


Court date scheduled

A Clemson Municipal Court official told The Journal on Monday afternoon Davis is scheduled to appear before a judge on Sept. 1. If he requests a jury trial, the official said it will happen at a “much later date” due to a backlog in cases. | (864) 973-6685 | (864) 973-6687

Wreck claims Liberty woman

LIBERTY — A 60-year-old Liberty woman died Saturday after a two-vehicle collision.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley identified the victim as Cynthia Threatt, 60, of Cecil Road.

The collision occurred at 2 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 178 at Five Forks Road, two miles south of Liberty, according to Master Trooper Brandon Bolt with the

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login

Easley impact fees set to start next January

EASLEY — Easley City Council members voted recently to charge impact fees on new development, implementing an eventual charge of $3,340 per new house that council members say will help the city deal with growth.

Council passed second reading of the impact fee ordinance during its July 12 meeting, with the fees set to begin with a phased approach next January.

Mayor Butch Womack said city officials and staff “have really worked diligently over the last year and a half” to develop the proposed impact fees, the first of their kind in the Upstate.

Interim city administrator Tommy Holcombe said the impact fees are a one-time payment for growth and

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login

Crumpton named SC Middle School Coach of the Year

GREENVILLE — Pickens Middle School head volleyball coach Mellie Crumpton was recently named the 2021 Middle School Coach of the Year by the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association.

Crumpton accepted the award on Sunday evening, July 25, during a ceremony at the Greenville Convention Center.

“To be chosen as the recipient of this award is very exciting and thrilling,” Crumpton said. “I was all smiles Sunday evening as I walked across the stage to accept my award. It was amazing to look around the room filled with such dedicated, selflessly devoted, compassionate coaches and to be sitting there with them was a very humbling experience. It was certainly a moment that I will never

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login

Pickens’ Clarkson named Academic All-American

PICKENS — The AAU Volleyball National Executive Committee has announced the selection of the 2021 AAU Volleyball Academic All-American recipients, and a Pickens High School student is among the honorees.

The award recognizes student-athletes for their excellence in academics as well as athletics.

Faith Clarkson, daughter of Zander and Pamela Clarkson, has been named to the prestigious list. Ranked eighth out of 328 in her class and with a GPA of 5.063, Clarkson is a junior at Pickens High. She is a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and the National Technical Honor Society, is very active at Holly Springs Baptist

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login

Health officials change mask guidelines as delta worsens

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

COLUMBIA — As the delta variant of COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) have updated mask guidelines.

In addition, doctors in a Prisma Health update last week warned the delta variant is growing at an alarming rate.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the increasing threat of the delta variant, the CDC announced last week it recommended wearing masks indoors for everyone in schools and in areas with substantial and high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. DHEC

You must be logged in to view this content.

Subscribe Today or Login