Category Archives: News

Administrator: Rising COVID cases not only due to more testing

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Acting Pickens County administrator Ken Roper echoes recent messages from President Donald Trump and Gov. Henry McMaster about the importance of wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What I feel like my duty is, is to encourage wearing masks,” he said.

Roper gave an update on COVID-19 case numbers during a Facebook Live video Thursday morning.

“We still see numbers continuing to rise statewide, throughout the nation and particularly here in Pickens County,” he said.

Every day the South Carolina Department of Health and

No ‘big pushback’ on mask requirements in Clemson

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — Shoppers in downtown Clemson last week said they had no problem with wearing masks in public buildings, adding they want to do everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s just difficult to understand people (wearing a mask), but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” said Mike Sofarelli, a Clemson University graduate who lives in Florida. “I’m not going to fight it. I don’t think it’s a rights thing, but is the right thing to do.”

Last Wednesday marked a week since Clemson City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance requiring masks be worn in public buildings. Masks are not required for outdoor

Tax deadlines delayed for tornado victims

PICKENS — Pickens County residents affected by the April tornadoes may qualify to delay filing and payments to the Internal Revenue Service this year.

Following the disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS said affected taxpayers in certain areas would receive tax relief. In addition to Pickens County, other South Carolina counties where delays are allowed this year are Aiken, Barnwell, Berkeley, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee and Orangeburg.

The declaration allows the IRS to postpone some tax filing and tax payment deadlines for taxpayers who live or have a business in the disaster area. Deadlines falling on or after April 12, 2020, and before Oct. 15, 2020, are postponed to Oct. 15, 2020. This includes 2019 individual and business returns that, due to COVID-19, were due on July 15. It also means that affected taxpayers will have until Oct. 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions.

The Oct. 15 deadline also applies to estimated tax payments for the first two quarters of 2020 that were due on July 15 and the third-quarter estimated tax payment normally due on Sept. 15. It also includes the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30 and July 31.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after April 12 and before April 27 will be abated as long as the deposits were made by April 27, 2020.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief. Affected taxpayers who live in or have a business located outside the covered disaster area should call the IRS disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227 to request this tax relief.


AnMed reinstates no inpatient visitor policy due to surge in COVID-19 cases

PICKENS — In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases, AnMed Health has reinstated no visitation for any inpatient areas at its facilities — including AnMed Health Cannon in Pickens — with the exception of end-of-life and special circumstances “for the safety of our patients, community and staff.”

Effective this week, visitation will be limited to only one support person for end-of-life, labor and

Run-ins with the dangerous creatures of the Jocassee Gorges

My children and grandchildren always loved the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak.

The Jocassee Gorges here in our county are full of wild things. While these wild animals may not be as bad as imagined by the main character, Max, in Sendak’s classic, there are still some dangers.

My ancestors and my immediate family have spent many wonderful hours collectively camping, picnicking, exploring, fishing, hunting and photographing in Jocassee and other wilderness areas in

Family redeveloping historic Easley silos

I hate to admit it now, but I’ve never had much appreciation for the old grain silos on the west end of downtown Easley.

But then, I’m not a visionary like Stacey Desrosiers and her family, who own and operate Inky’s Authentic Philadelphia Cheesesteaks and Hoagies in the Easley Village Shopping Center.

Along with some other visionaries at the city of Easley, who also saw the potential for re-purposing the old Dixie Milling Company site, the Desrosiers family are developing a complex of neighborhood-oriented food and beverage venues to be called, appropriately, The Silos.
Think affordable craft beer, scratch-made ice cream, Neapolitan pizza and homemade pasta, authentic Mexican fare and, of course, authentic Philadelphia cheesesteaks.

This is just the latest iteration of an evolving family vision that goes

County COVID cases balloon to more than 800

COLUMBIA — Pickens County’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have been skyrocketing alongside the numbers across the state, as the county’s caseload grew by nearly 300 over the past week.
The county has had double-digit case increases every day over the past week, including a single-day record of 66 reported cases on June 24. According to the latest numbers released Monday by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the county was up to 805 confirmed cases, an increase of 276 confirmed cases over the 529 reported on the same day a week ago.
After hovering near the bottom among the state’s 46 counties in rate of infection for much of the spring, the county has also climbed those rankings and now sits at

AG, SLED weigh in on mask laws

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

STATE — With COVID-19 cases rising in South Carolina, several cities, including Clemson, Greenville and Columbia have passed ordinances requiring masks to be worn in public.
Central officials were set to consider an ordinance requiring masks on Tuesday.

Following the passage of mask ordinances around the state, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and the State Law Enforcement Division issued clarifications regarding the requirements.
Wilson issued a statement on June 24, saying his office received a number of calls about the ordinances passed by Greenville and Columbia “that concern the wearing of masks within those cities’ jurisdictions and under certain conditions.”

Wilson said he was providing “a general answer” and that his office “is not endorsing, defending or even attacking these ordinances.”

“The only question before my office is whether a city can lawfully pass this type of ordinance,” he said. “The short answer to that question is — yes, a city can

July 4 events scheduled across Pickens County


COUNTY — Independence Day is nearly here in Pickens County, but with the ever-present threat of COVID-19, community celebrations for the event will look very different this year.

Events will begin this Friday, July 3, with a celebration hosted by the town of Six Mile at Ponderosa Park. Unlike years past, there will be no food or entertainment, and it will be strictly a fireworks-only event. The park will be opened to the public at 7:30 p.m. after a sanitation period earlier in the day to allow the public ample time to get there before the show begins at around 9:15 p.m.

Attendees will be allowed to either watch the fireworks from their vehicles or from inside the park, where social distancing guidelines are encouraged.

Easley, Liberty and Pickens will all host events on Saturday.

The city of Liberty will host its annual Love my Liberty Fourth of July celebration from 6-10 p.m. at the Liberty Athletic Complex. The event features the Emma KAPPS bike parade, free hot dogs and

Table Rock Inn now open

Surrounded by friends and neighbors, owners Cynthia and Fred Rickenbaker recently cut the ribbon to officially open the Table Rock Inn and Country Store, which is located at 4515 Highway 11 in Pickens. The inn has six rooms, each with a private bath, front porch with two rocking chairs and an amazing view of Table Rock. The country store offers a beautiful community area and features arts and crafts from local artisans, toys for the kids, beverages and snacks, as well as necessities visitors may have forgotten to pack. Conveniently located not far from downtown historic Pickens, area lakes, Sassafras Mountain, Caesars Head and Table Rock, Table Rock Inn is the perfect place to stay while visiting Pickens County. For more information and rates, call (864) 633-6511.