Category Archives: Local News

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

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

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

Hendricks seeks reelection to county council District 3 seat

PICKENS — Pickens County Council District 3 Representative Wes Hendricks is seeking another term of office after what he calls a successful first term.

Since his election, Pickens County has come a long way in many areas, he said. In 2016, Hendricks campaigned to support Tri-County Tech, improve economic development and join Upstate Alliance. All were accomplished without a tax increase, according to Hendricks. The new detention center was also built and financed without a tax increase, protecting the general fund and keeping the county from going bankrupt, Hendricks said.

Many know Hendricks as a Pickens High School special education teacher. Hendricks said he is the only District 3

SCICU honors Hayduk for teaching excellence

CENTRAL — Southern Wesleyan University professor Dr. Steven Hayduk was honored by South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) as an Excellence in Teaching award recipient for 2020.

The award acknowledges superior teaching and an unrivaled dedication to students. Hayduk has been with Southern Wesleyan for 24 years and chaired the social sciences division from 2005-2012, and from 2019-2020. In his role as division

Alex Saitta files for Pickens County Council District 3 seat

PICKENS — Alex Saitta is a candidate for the District 3 Pickens County Council seat, representing the Pickens area.

Saitta says the county council wants to grow Pickens County at any cost, and in any way, shape or form. This will continue to harm our quality of life with more traffic, stressing our scenic beauty and wildlife, further raise home costs and increase litter, he said.

“I want to preserve our small-town feel, rural-ness and mountain heritage,” Saitta said. “My focus is on the people here and protecting their quality of life first.”

Although he says growth is not a four-letter word, Saitta thinks

Courier Comics 5-20-20