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Category Archives: Local News

Head-on collision claims man

PICKENS — An Upstate man died after a head-on collision near Six Mile on Monday afternoon.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley identified the victim as Brandon Scott Hammett, 35, of Adger Street in Spartanburg.

The accident took place at noon Monday on S.C. Highway 183, near

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New Central mayor, councilman take oath

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal
goliver@upstatetoday.com

CENTRAL — Longtime Central Mayor Mac Martin’s 16-year tenure officially came to an end Monday night as he ceded the seat to Andrew Beckner less than five minutes into the regularly scheduled town council meeting and departed council chambers amid handshakes and other well wishes.

Beckner defeated Martin and Rosa Grayden in a three-way election in November and officially took to the podium after being sworn in by town clerk Susan Brewer. Newly elected Councilman L.C. Hayes also took his council seat following the swearing-in ceremony, which also included incumbents Paige Bowers and Ken Dill, both elected to their fourth term on council in November.

“I’m glad the first meeting is out of the way, for sure,” Beckner said after the meeting. “It’s a big learning curve, but I’ve had a lot of wonderful people help out. I’m just excited to work with them.”

Becker said before taking office that one of his campaign goals was to give Central residents a voice and ensuring they are engaged in what is taking place in the town. Beckner, who works in communication and organizational leadership at Anderson University, wants to improve those areas in Central.

Hayes, a local businessman, said he is excited about getting started with his service on council.

“I’m ready to get to work for the town of Central and the people of Central,” Hayes said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Serving as the council representative on the tourism and economic development committee, Hayes said Central “is on the cusp of massive growth.”

“I want to make sure we’re prepared with our infrastructure and also that we foster small business growth and opportunities that are centrally and economically diverse,” Hayes said. “That’s what’s unique about Central — that we’re very socioeconomically diverse — so we want to retain that as we grow.”

Councilwoman Lynne O’Dell Chapman nominated Councilman Joe Moss as mayor pro tem, and council unanimously approved her nomination.

Keeping it clean

A group of local volunteers wanted the roads in the community to be a little cleaner entering the new year. The group picked up 18 large bags of trash on various roads throughout the city of Pickens on a very chilly Saturday morning Jan. 8. It was 28 degrees when they started. The project was organized by the Active Pickens Partnership, a group made up of various local organizations for the improvement of the community. Participating in the project from the partnership were members from Boy Scout Troop 51, Cub Scout Pack 51, Smith Chapel, Pickens Presbyterian Church and Grace United Methodist Church. The partnership will be hosting other community projects throughout the year.

COVID-19 numbers skyrocket

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter
bnimmons@thepccourier.com

COLUMBIA — With COVID-19’s omicron variant hitting Pickens County hard, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has reported monumental case numbers over the past week.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county rose by 4,425 last week, when the county’s number of confirmed cases reached 30,566 as of Monday. That rise represents an increase of more than 1,800 percent over the number of cases confirmed in the county in a one-week period leading up to Christmas last month, when there were 232 cases reported in the seven

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Prisma stops ER visitors

UPSTATE — Prisma Health, which operates Baptist Easley Hospital, stopped allowing visitors to its emergency departments on Saturday.

“Because of the steep rise in COVID-19 throughout the state and the high infection rates, patients coming to Prisma Health emergency departments will no longer be allowed to have visitors except

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Virus test sites swamped across South Carolina

STATE — Between the omicron variant, a holiday surge and updated isolation and quarantine guidance, waiting lines at COVID-19 testing sites are looking more like a line for an amusement park ride.

The Nettles Park testing site in Clemson collected 1,324 tests on Jan. 3, more than double the number of tests from previous record highs, Clemson physician Dr. Ted Swann said last week, and if traffic jams are any indication, the numbers are only increasing.

The drive-thru testing site offers free saliva PCR tests with 48-hour results, and over the past two weeks has had

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Administrator provides clarity on county’s use of road funds

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter
jevans@thepccourier.com

COUNTY — The difference between the county’s road maintenance fund and its road reserve fund is similar to the differences between a person’s checkbook and their savings account.

County administrator Ken Roper used that analogy during a discussion of those funds that took place during county council’s Jan. 3 meeting.

County council approved amending the county budget to create those two funds last year as a replacement for the

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Easley working on grass clippings fix

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter
jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Easley officials are working on a fix that will allow the city to begin picking up grass clippings once again.

Citing expensive damage to the city’s vacuum trucks caused by grass clippings, Easley City Council passed a resolution announcing the city would stop  picking up the clippings beginning Aug. 1 of last year.

Council members said the city would continue to work on a solution following the service’s discontinuance.

Councilman Kent Dykes discussed the issue during council’s December

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FPG DAR find new ways to honor area veterans

By Ann Warmuth
Special to the Courier
news@thepccourier.com

COUNTY — The Fort Prince George Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recently found another way to honor American Revolutionary War veterans.

On a cold and rainy winter day, they met at Pickens Chapel Cemetery with other South Carolina service organizations to dedicate an

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Community Calendar 1-12-22

• CRMHA Train Expo set for Feb. 18-19

The Central Railway Model and Historical Association will hold its annual train expo on Friday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 19. The expo will run from noon-6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Impact Center at Rock Springs Baptist Church, located at 207 Rock Springs Road in Easley. Admission is $8 for adults, good for both days. Children under 10 are free. The event will offer trains of all sizes, operating layouts, dealers, a kids’ zone and more. For more information, visit crmha.org.

• Local friends and newcomers to meet

The Tri-County Friends and Newcomers will meet the second Monday of each month through April 2022. The group has a new meeting location in the Powdersville Branch Library off S.C. Highway 81. Social time is 10 a.m. Business meeting is at 10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Barbara Cunningham at (864) 855-9570.