Category Archives: News

Official: Blue Ridge Fest gone for good

PICKENS — After 22 years, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative’s Blue Ridge Fest is no more.

The decision to end the annual festival, which raises money for area charities, came from cooperative employees, according to Blue Ridge spokesman Terry Ballenger.

“We went two years without having anything because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “We decided to find out what our employees’ perspective was about the festival, because they volunteer to support the fest and put in a lot of their personal time and energy to do so. It became a big operation

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Honoring his memory

Race raises money for scholarship named after late Liberty runner

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

LIBERTY — After a year off due to COVID-19, the second annual Honor Abe 5K was held on Saturday at Liberty High School.

The event is held in honor of Abraham Balawi, known as Abe, who was a standout student-athlete at Liberty High School who earned all-state honors in cross-country and won the Class 2A state championship in the 1600-meter run during the 2014 track season.

Balawi earned both academic and athletic scholarships to attend Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and

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Southern Wesleyan Ed.D. student successfully defends dissertation

CENTRAL — Dr. Sandra McLendon, dean of Southern Wesleyan University’s School of Education, celebrated the success of SWU Ed.D student Jolene Smith recently.

“Congratulations to Amber Jolene Smith, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation June 28,” McLendon said. “Her dissertation is ‘The Effect of South Carolina’s Initial Mentorship Training on the Self-Efficacy of Mentor Teachers: A Cross-sectional Research Study.’ She defended to a packed

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Courier Obituaries 7-21-21


EASLEY — Donald Charles Raxter, 59, son of the late William Hugh Raxter and Margie Melanie Stewart Raxter, passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021, at St. Francis Downtown Hospital in Greenville.

Mr. Raxter was a skilled woodworker, and he loved collecting arrowheads.

Don is survived by his sons, Luke Raxter (Julie) of Easley and Nicholas Raxter of Easley; grandchildren, Aaron Raxter, Lillie Raxter and Riley Ann Raxter; a brother, Steve Stephens (Debbie) of Liberty; a sister, Irene Raxter Rigby (H. Cecil)

Potato Salad recipes are summer favorites

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

We’re all familiar with traditional potato salad in the South, and it is delicious. But there are  many variations on this delicious dish.

The one thing all of these recipes have is common is the humble potato. There is probably an interpretation of this old friend that will be a welcome addition to your kitchen.

As for the potatoes, some are peeled, some are not. The dressings vary from creamy to light. Some are tangy and some are slightly sweet. And some are hot and others cold.

But they are all recognizable as our old favorite, potato salad. Enjoy.

SC banning sales of invasive Bradford pear, 3 other species

Courtesy Clemson University

CLEMSON — South Carolina will become only the second state in the United States — and the first in the Southeast — to ban the nursery sale of Bradford pear trees and any other pear trees grown on the

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Easley woman charged with murder

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — An Easley woman is charged with murder  in the death of an Easley man reported missing last week.

Amber Christine Fernandez Cruz, 33, is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a release from Anderson County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Stephen Combs.

Deputies were called to a home on Poinsettia Drive in the Anderson County

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Upstate in midst of blood supply, donor shortage

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

UPSTATE — A combination of a high demand for blood and a low number of blood donors is creating a potentially dangerous situation in the Upstate, according to Delisa English, president and CEO of The Blood Connection.

English and officials with regional hospitals held an emergency press conference over the shortage Thursday morning.

“We simply cannot keep pace with the unprecedented need for blood,” English said. “It’s worsened by the fact that we are seeing the lowest donor turnout than we’ve ever seen before. At this moment in time, we need all blood types.”

Hospitals are seeing a higher need for blood, as the number of previously deferred surgeries has increased and trauma cases are climbing, she said.

Tropical Storm Elsa is “a reminder that things can change in

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Thinking Outside the House

What to know about outdoor living spaces

Home trends come and go. What was popular as recently as a decade ago may have lost some luster in the eyes of today’s home buyers. Though that’s historically been the case in regard to real estate, outdoor living rooms are one relatively recent home trend that figures to have a longer shelf life, especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic during which people were encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

Real estate professionals and organizations like the National Association of Home Builders note the popularity of outdoor living spaces among prospective home buyers, and how that popularity has grown in recent years. Outdoor living rooms not only appeal to potential buyers, they also serve as a means for current homeowners to get more out of their properties. Homeowners mulling outdoor living space projects should consider various factors before deciding to go ahead with a project.

  • Cost: The home renovation resource HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost of an outdoor living space is around $7,600. That cost can easily go up depending on where homeowners live and the features they want to have in their outdoor living spaces. For example, including a built-in fire pit in an outdoor living space will cost more than purchasing a stand-alone fire pit that can be picked up and moved. But many homeowners feel a built-in fire pit makes an outdoor living space even more special.
  • Return on investment: Return on investment is another factor for homeowners to consider as they try to decide if they should install outdoor living spaces and how to design those areas. Much conflicting data about the ROI on outdoor kitchens can be found online, but many trusted real estate organizations report that such additions do not mesmerize prospective buyers. Data from the American Institute of Architects indicates that outdoor kitchens are routinely ranked among the least desirable home features, which means homeowners should not expect substantial ROI when selling their homes. But that built-in fire pit? Estimates from the National Association of Realtors suggest fire features recover around 67 percent of homeowners’ initial investment. In addition, 83 percent of homeowners surveyed by the NAR who had installed fire features said they had a greater desire to be home after completing the project.
  • Space: An outdoor living space may only be as relaxing as the space allows. The proximity of neighbors may affect privacy levels, which can make it hard to enjoy movie night outdoors or curl up to quietly read a good book. In addition, landscaping also may need to be addressed if drainage is an issue in the backyard. That can add to the cost, and drainage concerns may limit the materials homeowners can work with.

Outdoor living spaces are popular. Homeowners must consider various factors before deciding if such spaces are for them.


How to keep gardens safe in summer heat waves

Summer is a season to relax and enjoy the warm weather. Basking in the summer sun is a great way to relax, but only when the temperatures are safe. Summer heat waves can compromise the health of human beings as well as their pets. Gardening enthusiasts also may need to go the extra mile to keep their plants and gardens from wilting under harsh summer sun.

Extreme heat stress can be very harmful to plants. The online gardening resource Gardening Know How notes that some plants can withstand

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Courier Comics and Games 7-14-21