Monthly Archives: April 2022

Middle school draws criticism for plans for student meetings

By Riley Morningstar
Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — A local middle school has drawn attention after a speaker was reportedly invited to come talk to minority students “about how to cope with being a student in a predominately white school.”

Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account with a following of nearly 1 million accounts, published a letter on Sunday night sent to certain parents from Pickens Middle School principal James King dated April 11 about what the profile described as “racially segregated lunch meetings.”

The letter said Adrienne Young would hold a virtual presentation for students April 15, and a special lunch would be

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A cultural celebration

County wants to adopt highways

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Pickens County administrator Ken Roper’s talking points about the county’s new anti-litter program included what he termed “a little bit of a rant” about the state’s Adopt a Highway program.

The county rolled out the new Pickens Proud program during a press conference April 20.

“We have the strong feeling as county staff that we can coordinate and run the voluntary Adopt a Highway program better than the South Carolina Department of Transportation is doing,” Roper said. “We think they can do better than what they’re doing. We think they can do better at SCDOT in picking up litter on our

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Springfest planned Saturday in Pickens

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The Market at the Mill will welcome spring this weekend with a special festival.

The second annual Springfest is set to kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Market at the Mill, located at 225 Pumpkintown Highway in Pickens.

Classic car, Jeep and motorcycle owners are encouraged to enter Springfest’s Cruise In.

Cruise-in participants are asked to arrive beginning at 4:30 p.m., as organizers would like entrants to be lined up before the 6 p.m. start. Participants should

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Clemson Park pump track in final stages

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — A pump track designed for all ages and skill levels is in the process of being completed at Clemson Park, part of the city’s effort to make its oldest park more appealing.

Clemson Park has sat mostly vacant since the parks and recreation department relocated its headquarters to Nettles Park more than 15 years ago. A community garden has been the primary usage since, but city officials have long sought ways to make the park located behind Clemson United Methodist Church on Frontage Road more of a destination.

Friends of the Green Crescent Trail helped the city in revitalizing the park. Group member Chad Carson said a pump track can be likened to “a playground for people with bikes.”

“It’s designed for users of all ages and skill levels and meant to be a fun learning tool that allows you to get some exercise,” Carson said. “The idea is to have a series of small asphalt hills, banks and turns that bikers can ride on and around.”

Carson added having a pump track at Clemson Park “will fit in nicely” with the overall Green Crescent Trail.

“This will be a hub and jumping-on point for Phase I of the trail,” Carson said. “Kids and adults will be able to come to Clemson Park to practice and use the pump track. Then, if they want a longer ride, they can keep going on the trail toward Clemson University, Clemson Elementary or other parts of the city as the trail expands.”


Funding and costs

Funding for the pump track, Carson pointed out, will come in part from a $10,000 Duke Energy Powerful Communities Grant, with a larger portion to cover the remaining costs coming from the city of Clemson. City parks and recreation director Jay Bennett said the overall project cost $140,000.

City horticulturist Tony Tidwell said this month the asphalt portion has been completed and 6,000 square feet of sod would be installed. Tidwell said children were already using skateboards at the track.

“You use a pumping motion so you don’t have to pedal on a bike,” Tidwell explained. “You go through a series of undulations and curves, and the better you get at it, the more you can do. You can kind of ride through it as a beginner, and then if you get really advanced, you can do all kinds of fancy tricks and stuff. You can also use a skateboard and a scooter, even though it’s more of a bike usage.”

Tidwell said he believes the pump track can play a huge role in making Clemson Park a destination for youth and adults.

“It will be a big part of it,” he said. “This asphalt pump track is really the first of its kind in South Carolina as far as the asphalt version goes. We feel it’s going to be a pretty good attraction, and judging by the number of folks already coming out and using it, that’s bearing out.”

Carson said he is glad to see the pump track becoming a reality.

“We hope it will be the first of many improvements that will breathe life back into Clemson Park, which has been neglected over the years,” he said.

Chamber Member of the Month

Bee Well Honey Natural Market Bagels and Coffee, located at 205 Hampton Ave. in Pickens, has been chosen as the Greater Pickens Chamber of Comerce April Member of the Month Pictured at center are owners Donna, Kerry and Stetson Owen, along with their staff, Lisa Thomas, Donna Leamey, Rebeka Holt, Adrian Looper, Pam Smith, Angie Bowen, Tanna Stewart, Kimberlee Turnbough, Pickens Mayor Fletcher Perry and members of the chamber board of directors, Bryan Owens, Anna Chastain and Debbie Gravely. Bee Well is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Your Honest Mechanic opens doors in Easley

Your Honest Mechanic LLC held its grand opening recently at 5108 Calhoun Memorial Highway in Easley. They are Master Certified Toyota technicians with more than 20 years experience, specializing in Toyota, Lexus, Honda and Acura service and repair. They also perform all manufacturer interval services, diagnostics and repairs and service all other Japanese imports. For more information, call (864) 760-5742. Pictured, from left, are Gaylene Coover, owner Kevin Fusco, Lindsay Coover, Gail Fusco and Brittany Chapman from Alliance Pickens.

Grief support group planned in Central

CENTRAL — An eight-week grief support group for adults will meet at 6 p.m. on Mondays starting May 2 at the Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, located at 108 Cross Creek Road in Central.

Topics of discussion are set to include Understanding Your Grief, Exploring Your Feelings Of Loss, How To Nurture Yourself and There’s Hope Out There.

Dr. Roger Lovette will be the group leader. Lovette was pastor at First Baptist Church Clemson for 13 years and has written often for local papers.

The group will meet for eight Monday nights. There is no charge.

If interested, call the funeral home at (864) 639-2411 or email

Analyzing the social construction of reality

Today’s lesson, class, is on “The Social Construction of Reality,” a subject that I think is probably more pertinent in 2022 than it was in 1966, when it was postulated by a couple of eggheads named Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann.

The only reason I know anything about this theory is because my wife, Kathy, wrote a paper about it in college that was so brilliant that her Clemson University sociology professor actually bowed in homage to her as they were

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Guess who’s coming to town

We are always eager to welcome newcomers to our region and hope their time here will be rewarding.

One of our newest residents is a well known couple formerly and currently from Virginia and North Carolina at the same time. This is a state of affairs I thought was impossible. Once again, my assumption was incorrect.

Perhaps everyone knew about this, but it came as a surprise to me and mine.

He is currently registered to vote in our own fair state, although he is also still registered to vote in Virginia. He recently lost his ability to also vote in North Carolina, as it was confirmed that he actually didn’t live there and

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