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Category Archives: Local News

School board OKs final budget with millage increase

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal
goliver@upstatetoday.com

EASLEY — During a special called meeting Friday morning, the Pickens County School Board voted 6-1 to approve third and final reading of a proposed $136.4 million budget that represents a more than $6.4 million increase from last year’s budget and includes a one-mill tax hike.

The FY ‘21-22 budget includes more than $7.5

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Library getting $3.4M in budget

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter
jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County Council members voted Monday night to locally fund the Pickens County Library System at $3.4 million in the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget.

That money is less than library officials had asked for from the county, but when combined with state funding and other sources adds up to the amount the budget originally called for, officials said.

Councilman Alex Saitta moved for the county to fund the

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School board awards Merck extension, raise

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter
jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — School District of Pickens County superintendent Danny Merck, who has been in his current position since 2014, is set to remain in place for at least five more years, with a salary increase to boot.

Following a positive evaluation, school board trustees voted unanimously Friday to extend Merck’s contract through June 30, 2026, and approved a salary increase to $168,000. The previous contract Merck was working

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DHEC expands homebound vaccination program to all South Carolina counties

COLUMBIA — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) expanded its homebound vaccination project to all 46 counties in the state last week.

The statewide program launched June 1 and will run through December, a release from DHEC said.

“We are incredibly excited to offer this service to the homebound members of our state,” DHEC public health director Dr. Brannon Traxler said in a news release. “Reaching herd immunity means removing any and all

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Blondeau gets top Clemson job

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal
goliver@upstatetoday.com

CLEMSON — After spending the past 17 months as acting city administrator, Andy Blondeau will now be able to remove the “acting” portion of his title.

Following executive session Monday night, city council unanimously voted to select Blondeau for the permanent position. Council also authorized Mayor Robert Halfacre and city attorney Mary McCormac to enter into contract negotiations with Blondeau.

Council gave a round of applause to Blondeau, who emerged as the top choice over Greer chief financial officer David Seifert and Jonathan N. Rorie, city manager for Peachtree City, Ga.

“Congratulations — well deserved,” Halfacre told Blondeau.

“Thank you for the honor,” Blondeau told council after its decision.

After serving as assistant city administrator for more than a decade, Blondeau was thrust into the role of acting administrator after Rick Cotton

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SC 7 expedition to visit Pickens County again

COUNTY — A campaign highlighting South Carolina’s natural wonders will continue this year after launching last summer.

Two of the seven wonders of South Carolina spotlighted in the S.C. National Heritage Corridor’s campaign are in Pickens County. County administrator Ken Roper discussed the South Carolina 7 campaign during a recent Facebook Live update video.

“The South Carolina 7 is an expedition that’s going on for the second year,” Roper said. “It follows the Palmetto Trail roughly and visits

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Pickens Presbyterian dedicates memorial to founding members

PICKENS — Pickens Presbyterian Church dedicated the Hollingsworth Memorial on May 15 to commemorate the vital role of Columbus Lafayette Hollingsworth and his wife Malinda McWhorter in the founding of the church in the new town of Pickens right after the Civil War.

C.L. Hollingsworth gave 2.4 acres for the church yard and was one of the three ruling elders. As a widow, Malinda, in her will, endowed a fund to maintain the church building and

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Pickens County FFA teams win state titles

COUNTY — Pickens County Career and Technology Center’s FFA chapter competed in the annual state competition and two teams received first-place state championship honors.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, both contests were held as virtual events.

The horse evaluation contest

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Who are they?

Officials at the Clayton Research Room at the Southern Wesleyan University Library have a collection of original pictures that they are attempting to identify. We at the Pickens County Courier thought our readers might be able to help. The two pictures include people from the Pickens County area. If you can identify any of these people, contact Mildred H. Brewer at wycar@aol.com or claytonroom@swu.edu with the name and image number under the picture.

Courier Community Calendar 6-9-21

• Soapstone to hold fish fry next weekend

Soapstone Church invites everyone to a special fundraiser at the church, located at 296 Liberia Road in Pickens, on Saturday, June 19.
The event will feature fine cooking and will be held from noon-8 p.m.
Visitors will enjoy true Southern cooking, including a fish fry, barbecue and fried chicken with all the fixings right from Ms. Mable’s kitchen.
For more information, call (864) 414-8470.

• Libraries offers reading program

This year’s summer reading theme at the Pickens County Library is “Tails and Tales.” The program began on June 7 and runs until July 31. All Pickens County residents will receive a postcard in the mail. The postcard will include a list of fun activities to complete and return to the library. To complete the program, participants can chose to read 10 books, complete 10 activities or a combination of both options to total 10. More postcards will be available at all library branches.

• COTU plans to host meeting on June 17

All are invited to join Conservatives of the Upstate for its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 17.
Scheduled to speak is Rep. Jonathon Hill of Anderson County. Hill will speak to the group about true conservative issues that are not being upheld by elected Republican leadership in Columbia, according to a news release from the group.
The Conservatives of the Upstate will meet at 7 p.m. at Cafe’ Connections, located at 319 E. Main St. in downtown Pickens.
To learn more about Conservatives of the Upstate, visit conservativesoftheupstate.com.