Category Archives: Local News

DHEC approves change for controversial landfill

LIBERTY — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has approved a major change to the permit for a landfill project near Liberty that has been the subject of a six-year legal dispute.

Courtesy Photo
Local legislators and manufacturers have expressed their opposition to a project that could bring a coal ash dump to Pickens County.

The change will allow the disposal of 175,339 tons of waste material per year at the site at S.C. Highway 93 and Cartee Road — more than twice the amount originally approved 14 years ago.

The additional tonnage will allow the landfill to accept waste from Greenville, Anderson and Oconee counties

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Man arrested after collision with SDPC bus

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — A man faces charges following a collision between a school bus and a pickup truck in Easley on Thursday afternoon.

Easley Police Department public information officer Sgt. Ashley Anderson said Drake Lesley is charged with driving under the influence and simple possession of marijuana. He was being held at the Pickens County Detention Center at press time Tuesday.

Lesley was driving a pickup on U.S. Highway 123 at 4:45 p.m. Thursday when he attempted to make the exit onto South Pendleton Street, cutting off the school bus, she said.

The truck clipped the front of the bus, causing the small pickup to overturn, Anderson said.

The school bus was carrying the driver, an aide and one student, according to School District of Pickens County spokesman Darian Byrd.

“They were getting ready to go to their last stop of the day,” he said.

No one on the bus was injured, Byrd said.

“They did get checked out as a precaution, but they were fine,” he said.

Lesley was not injured in the collision, Anderson said.

“He was very lucky he didn’t get hurt,” Byrd said.

The collision occurred near Silver Bay restaurant in the outbound lanes of Highway 123, he said.

“The bus was in the right lane right there at the exit,” Byrd said. “The truck wanted to make that exit and pulled right over in front of the bus. The truck was going very slow. It was almost like one of those police maneuvers. The bus hit it in just the right spot to cause it to overturn.

“We are very thankful for the way this driver and the aide handled this situation, staying very calm throughout the entire incident,” he continued.

The bus sustained little damage in the collision “other than popping the hood up and a few dents on the hood,” he said.

This week, the school district is celebrating Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Byrd said.

“We continue to be very appreciative of the hard work that our entire bus fleet does every day to safely transport students to and from school,” he said.

Varisian wins chair

The winner of American Legion Post 11’s Azalea Festival Adirondack glider chair fundraiser raffle was Jon Varisian of Marietta. Post 11 would like to thank all the people who stopped by the booth and took a chance to win the chair. All the funds raised will go to support the many activities of Post 11. This year, the post sent five boys to Boys State and six girls to Girls State. The post also sent one young man to Law Cadet Academy. Post 11 is a key supporter of the Pickens High School JROTC program.

Festival planned at mill Saturday

PICKENS — Hagood Mill Historic Site will host the Mountain Roots Herb Festival and Get Out and Play Day this weekend.

Set for Saturday, the event is a great time to take in all that the mill site has to offer in terms of recreation and nature, according to a news release.

The site will be active all day. Workshops including guided bird walks, nature photography, growing microgreens and fly-fishing demonstrations will be occurring throughout the day. There will also be musical entertainment on the historic stage. Helen Campbell, Big Eyes Parker and Rachel Van Slyke will be providing a musical backdrop for the day.

Other activities at the site will include operation of the water-powered 1845 gristmill, living history

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County may consolidate fire districts

Council considers millage funding for unified district

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Pickens County Council is considering adding the three millage-funded fire protection districts near the northwestern corner of the county into the county’s unified fire district and applying their funding model to the entire district.

“What we’ve got now is one fire district for the entire county, except for the few fire systems that are on millage,

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Effort underway to rename LEC for former sheriff

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Officials are considering renaming the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center after one of the longest-serving sheriffs in the country.

During their April Committee of the Whole meeting, Pickens County Council members discussed a recommendation to rename the law enforcement center in honor of C. David Stone.

First elected sheriff in 1969, Stone was re-elected 10 times, serving nearly 44 years until his retirement in 2012. At the time of his retirement, he was the second longest-serving sheriff in the United States.

Stone died on Dec. 15, 2020. He was 83.

Council brought the matter out of committee during its May 2 meeting.

County council chairman Chris Bowers had asked county attorney Les Hendricks to

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Gettys teacher earns national honor

Dr. Nicole Yemothy 1 of 15 Einstein Fellows

EASLEY — Gettys Middle School teacher Dr. Nicole Yemothy has been selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Teacher Fellow for the 2022-23 school year, the School District of Pickens County announced last week.

Yemothy is one of 15 K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States to receive the national award distinction. The fellows will spend 11 months serving in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office in Washington, D.C., engaged in the national STEM education arena.

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) program provides a unique opportunity for

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Clemson mayor asks county to help transportation study

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — Clemson Mayor Robert Halfacre told Pickens County Council last week he is hopeful the county will fund a portion of the $215,000 area-wide transportation study recommended by the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS).

Halfacre said the city of Anderson and Anderson County are already participating in the study at a cost of $25,000 each and he is hopeful Pickens County will also contribute that same amount. Halfacre said study participants will “have a steering committee

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Courier Community Calendar 5-11-22

• Veterans invited to American Legion

Veterans in the Liberty area are invited to the next meeting of American Legion Post 67 in Liberty. The Legion meets on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Scout Hut, circle off North Palmetto Street. All veterans are invited.

• Cleanup day set for Liberty cemetery

Westview Cemetery in Liberty, located on Old Norris Road, will be having a cleanup day on Saturday, May 14, starting at 9 a.m. The event is in preparation for a Memorial Day ceremony. Please bring your weedeaters and mowers and come join Pickens County Veterans Affairs, Liberty American Legion Post 67 and the

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Organizations recognized for response and recovery efforts


By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Many organizations that responded and assisted during and after a tornado that swept through an area near Pickens in March were recognized last week.

“I appreciate the opportunity to recognize these organizations that assisted with the county, and inside county departments, back on the tornado that happened on March 23,” county administrator Ken Roper said during county council’s May 2 meeting. “These organizations, inside and outside, private, public, charitable or otherwise, came together and without really a lot of drama about whose job responsibilities it is, where the boundaries are, they pulled together