Category Archives: News

Officials taking measures for virus

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Precautions are underway at the county, state and national levels to contain further outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to a Monday news release from community relations manager Jamie Burns, Pickens County is making changes to its operations to combat the virus’ spread.

Pickens County had no cases of coronavirus as of Monday evening, emergency management director Denise Kwiatek said.

“As of right now, we are just watching to see if we do get any cases in the county,” she said.

Her department is working closely with counterparts in nearby areas, as well as with the state Emergency Management Division.

“We’re just being vigilant in seeing what the surrounding counties are doing,” Kwiatek said. “We’re all working together and watching to make sure we don’t make the wrong move. Our main goal is to

Businesses face uneasy future

COUNTY — As Pickens County residents were stocking up on groceries and other essentials early this week, sales were dropping off in many local businesses as shoppers wary of the spread of the coronavirus began trying to avoid crowds.

“I think it’s too early to tell what the economic impact is going to be,” said Cindy Hopkins, president of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, “but we know that it’s probably going to be significant.”

Perhaps hardest hit is the restaurant industry, with the White House urging Americans to avoid eating and drinking

Pickens Chamber, PRA hold awards banquet

The Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce and Pickens Revitalization Association held their annual awards banquets on Friday. With hand sanitizer available all around, chamber members got a chance to rub elbows and enjoy a great meal prior to the cancellation of many events around the county in the coming days. Above, longtime Pickens attorney Ken Acker was honored with Duke Energy’s Citizenship Award during the event. Acker is flanked by Pickens Chamber President Adam Lambert and Duke Energy community relations manager Emily DeRoberts.


Cutting the ribbon

A formal grand opening and ribbon cutting was held last Thursday at Pickens’ newest attraction, the Market at the Mill. The market is located in the old Singer/Ryobi building and offers a great variety of storefront businesses, as well as well as tables of items from local merchants. The huge facility that has lot of room to grow even has a church on site. David Hosea, owner of the complex, said during the event that he was bringing much more to the site, including Pickens’ first skating rink. Pictured are members of the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce Board, along with Pickens-area S.C. State House Rep. Davey Hiott, along with Hosea (cutting ribbon) and market manager Barry Crawford.


Area hospitals set visitor restrictions

By Norm Cannada
Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — Area hospitals are taking extra precautions and setting new visitor restrictions in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.

New restrictions for visitors began this week at all Prisma Health facilities in South Carolina, including Oconee Memorial Hospital and Lila Doyle nursing and rehabilitation center in Seneca, as well as Baptist Easley Hospital in Pickens County, according to a Prisma news release.

AnMed Health officials are asking visitors to stay away from the system’s hospitals, including AnMed Health Cannon in Pickens, and are limiting hours and making other restrictions if they do come to see patients. Officials announced Sunday that two patients at AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson had tested presumptive positive for the virus.

Prisma restrictions

No visitors — including family members — are being allowed at Lila Doyle except in “special circumstances,” such as “end of life care,” according to the news release from Prisma Health. The

Lydia Branham of Troop 2831 earns Girl Scout Gold Award

EASLEY — Lydia Branham of Girl Scout Troop 2831 in Easley recently completed her special project at Pickens County Meals on Wheels and the McKissick Center.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award, Branham decided to work with the Young at Heart Program, which provides daily planned activities and a congregate lunch for seniors.

After finding out what the seniors were interested in and what they currently have, Branham created a craft closet full of grab-and-go craft packets that contain instructions and everything the senior needs to compete a project. She had more than 70 packets ready for the seniors when they arrived on

Clemson officials notified possible coronavirus case is negative


The following story has been updated to notify the residents of Pickens County that the possible coronavirus case in Clemson has been deemed negative following test results.

CLEMSON — A day after the first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus was confirmed in the Upstate, Clemson University officials announced Monday that they were monitoring a possible case of the virus in a non-student in self-quarantine at an off-campus residence.

The school is working in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, university spokesman Joe Galbraith said, and results from a test for the virus were set to come back within 24-48 hours.

DHEC announced on Sunday that a man in Spartanburg had tested positive for the virus, bringing the state’s total to seven

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Unraveling a mystery

When you give to the needy,” the Lord told his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”

That admonition seems to have been followed very well 30 years ago when two groups of volunteers from Pickens independently journeyed to the tiny Sumter County town of Dalzell to provide much-needed food and supplies to the previously overlooked victims of Hurricane Hugo living there.

There were no news stories at the time trumpeting the mission of mercy the people of one small Upstate town undertook to help the people from one small Midlands town in the fall of 1989. There was too much horrible news in the aftermath of the biggest natural disaster to strike South Carolina in a generation to give public praise to all those who sacrificed their time, efforts and material blessings to help the thousands left destitute in the wake of the storm.

But the residents of Dalzell never forgot the kindness that was shown to them — even though the

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‘Her rightful place’

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

For the last three weeks, we have been reviewing the book “Hush Now, Baby,” by Angela Williams from a wealthy, white South Carolina family in Berkeley County. We have reviewed this book because it focuses on an African-American nanny, Eva, in the Williams household during segregation, passage of laws giving civil rights to all and the integration of races in South Carolina and the United States.

Social Justice and Civil Rights

Social justice and civil rights are very recent phenomena, relatively speaking. The first of Eva’s African people were brought and sold at auction about 400 years ago in the United States. That’s when the very first black slaves were kidnapped in Africa. When we move forward to the American Civil War over slavery, and its conclusion on April 9, 1865, we see how recent the fight over social justice has been. Complete segregation, and all the recent federal laws requiring integration, have occurred in Angela Williams and my lifetimes, and also in the lifetimes of most people reading this.

If the Bible Belt has been slow to embrace social justice, civil rights and intermarriage, some of the reasons must be related to how recent these changes are. Attitudes, especially those that are

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Hagood Mill to host Kidsfest and Spring Fling March 21

PICKENS — Kidsfest is a cherished collaboration between the Hagood Mill Historic Site and the Young Appalachian Musicians, two beloved Pickens County nonprofits.

The event is a fun-filled day featuring performances from all participating YAMs programs in Pickens County, in addition to some guest performers from neighboring Transylvania County in North Carolina.

In addition to the children sharing their musical prowess, there will be an old-fashioned talent show and traditional games and activities throughout the day. Activities include a kazoo workshop, a jug band jam, creek critters, archaeological adventures, old-timey clothes washing, rock painting and

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