Category Archives: Community

Ambler fifth-grader wins SCBTMA’s top scholarship

COLUMBIA — A fifth grader at Ambler Elementary School has been awarded the top youth scholarship from the S.C. Bluegrass and Traditional Music Association (SCBTMA) for 2020.

Lilly Svrlinga of Pumpkintown received a $300 award for her singing and picking skills on guitar and two styles of banjo. She performed at Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor in West Columbia after receiving her scholarship there in December.

Svrlinga plans to put her Bill Wells Memorial Youth Scholarship toward the purchase of a new banjo. She credits her instructors, Don and

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Pickens Chamber Member of the Month

The Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce has announced its February Member of the Month — Cafe Connections, located at 319 E. Main St. in Pickens. Cafe Connections earned the honor as a hospitality ministry intent on sharing the gospel through simple acts of love and kindness. Cafe Connections ministers the love of Jesus Christ to all people and from all different walks of life. Cafe Connections will be celebrating its ninth year on Main Street on Feb. 28. Pictured are Ann and Steve Corbin, volunteers and the Praying in Pickens Prayer Group, along with the chamber’s Lisa Turnick and Bryan Owens.


Valentines for Vets

The Daughters of Fort Prince George Chapter DAR, along with several members of a local church, surprised the residents of the Richard Campbell Veterans Nursing Home with a Valentines for Veterans celebration. The gifts included an assortment of Little Debbie cakes, applesauce, pudding cups, juice boxes, room decorations, lap blankets, caps and cards. Due to COVID, they were not allowed to personally visit with the veterans residing there as they have done in the past, but had to leave the gifts at the door to be disbursed to the veterans according to the COVID protocol of the facility. If you would like to join the chapter in honoring veterans or learn more about the chapter, email Pictured, from left, are Anne Kilpatrick, chapter regent Carolyn Nations, Teresa Efant and May Headley.


Christmas Star coincides with Pickens native’s 106th birthday

Christmas Star coincides with Pickens native’s 106th birthday

A 106-year-old Pickens native, Ercel Pace, described by staff as “small but mighty,” celebrated her 106th birthday on Monday, Dec. 21, at Easley Place Senior Living. Pace was born and raised in Pickens. From the Spanish flu, through both world wars and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, she has witnessed her fair share of events over the last 106 years. Pace has been a resident at Easley Place since 2019, and in her spare time enjoys trying different types of chocolates. Her 106th birthday was made even more special by way of a rare planetary phenomenon that only happens every 800 years — Saturn and Jupiter aligning to create the “great conjunction,” more commonly known as the Christmas Star of 2020.


Legislative delegation’s annual meeting planned

EASLEY — The Pickens County Legislative Delegation will hold its annual public meeting at the Carr Center at West End Hall, located at 201 S. Fifth St. in Easley, on Monday, Jan. 11.

Reports from organizations and boards will be heard starting at 5:30 p.m. The floor will be opened for public comments at 6 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the meeting but encouraged to simply submit a letter in writing to express any thoughts or concerns and the delegation members will recognize them due to the rising cases

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Duke provides help paying heating bills

COUNTY — Through one of its programs, Duke Energy is providing more than $2 million in direct contributions and matched donations from customers to provide financial assistance for winter heating bills.

The company cited the COVID-19 pandemic harming many families’ finances over the past year and increases in energy bills as a

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County recycles for Santa

Above, Pickens County Councilman Wes Hendricks, along with county staff, deliver restored bicycles to Country Santa Buddy Cox prior to the holidays to be gifted to families in need this Christmas. Throughout the year, bicycles in good condition are recovered from Pickens County recycle centers, and county employees work to restore them to like-new condition. Hendricks got the idea for a bicycle restoration program to benefit the community after seeing so many bikes in usable condition being discarded. Since 2017, Hendricks has delivered dozens of bicycles to Country Santa and says he hopes the program will continue as he finishes his term on council. Country Santa typically delivers gifts to more than 1,000 households each Christmas, but because of the pandemic, the organization is operating with limited volunteers and has been forced to scale back to serving only Pickens County residents this year. Country Santa officials expected to serve around 550 households this year. For more information about Country Santa and how to get involved, visit


Pickens High teacher renews National Board Certification

PICKENS — Angela Smith Lucas Ed.D., an English teacher at Pickens High School, is one of thousands of teachers across the United States who recently renewed their certification as a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).

According to a news release, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is excited to celebrate these teachers, along with the more than 20,000 teachers currently pursuing board certification — seen as the profession’s mark

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MasterCare thankful for help

MasterCare Assisted Living employees Valarie Buchanan, left, and Lisa Gilstrap hold signs thanking the community for answering a call for help for residents and staff. MasterCare administrator Jimmy Masters said the community stepped up with an “overwhelming response” after a recent article in the Courier detailing the home’s dire need for supplies to help fight COVID-19.


Spivey – Smith engagement announced

Spivey – Smith

engagement announced

Mrs. Avis Spivey of Liberty

would like to announce the engagement of her daughter

Sheila Spivey


Donnie Smith

son of

Mr. Donald Smith, Sr. of Liberty

and the late Mrs. JoAnn Smith.

The bride is also the daughter of the late Mr. Howard Spivey.

The wedding is planned for December 31 and will be held at Potter’s Clay Fellowship at 5 p.m. Potter’s Clay Fellowship is located at 142 Grace Drive in Easley. Formal invitations will not be sent, but all friends and family are invited to attend.