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Tuesday
Sep192017

Council Moves Ahead on New Company, Honors Nelson, Nixes Airport Ramp Fees

Anderson County Council approved on second reading financial incentives aimed at bringing 1,000 new jobs to the county during Tuesday night’s meeting. 

The $74 million investment will include the outright purchase of the 240-acre Anderson Technology and Manufacturing Center in Sandy Springs. 

Work could begin as early as October, according to Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns. Completion of the facilities, which Burns said will look like a campus, not a factory, is expected to be complete in early 2019.

The 20-year total economic impact of the company will exceed $1.2 billion, said Anderson County Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson. The annual payroll will exceed $40 million.

Council also recognized Nelson Tuesday night with a resolution honoring him for his work, and in recognition of his recent Local Economic Developer of the Year Award from the Upstate SC Alliance Local Economic Developers Group.

Nelson credited teamwork with his success.

Nelson, an Anderson native, has worked in economic development 25 years, representing Anderson and Pickens counties. Other major projects announced during his time in Anderson include First Quality Tissue, which invested more than $1 billion and created 1,000 new jobs since 2010, and continued investment from Electrolux, the county’s largest manufacturer, which has invested a combined $95 million through expansions in 2011 and 2014.

Also on Tuesday night, council passed a resolution to suspend collection of ramp fees at the Anderson County Airport.

Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn said though the fees have been on the books at least 15 years, it has only been enforced the last couple of years.

Ramp fees are charges added to any plane which lands at the airport. Dunn said Anderson is the only airport in the area with such a fee. He said that any money lost from collecting the fee should be more than made up by fuel sales and traffic. 

“No one else does it around here, so it’s really a negative at the airport,” said Anderson County Councilman Tom Allen.

Anderson County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson said that we should not be charging those coming into the airport seeking to do business here.

Council also approved request from the Anderson County Sherif’s Department for $132,000 upgrade to the hardware for the county’s 911 system. Another $14,659 was approved for the new UPS backup power system.

“We really need this for the protection of our citizens,” Dunn said.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Council Responds to Preston Appeal of Verdict

Anderson County has responded to the petition for a rehearing with the Court of Appeals filed by former Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston, who is challenging the rulings in the case.

In June, Anderson County Council moved ahead with the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget Tuesday night, and to pursue all legal options pursuant to last week’s South Carolina Court of Appeals ruling that former Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston must return the $1.1 million severance he received when he resigned in 2008. 

The county's challenge states:

"The Severance Agreement awarded to Preston was an unjustifiable abuse of power. In essence, it amounted to a collusive political exit strategy, not a reasoned piece of legislation for the public good. The Court of Appeals' decisicion voiding that Agreement was sound., and should be upheld as far as it went. However, Anderson County is entitled to have an equitable remedy fashioned in this case, including placing a contructive trust . on the Retirement System payments flowing to Preston fro the void Agreement.

For the reasons and the extent set forth in this petition, the Supreme Court should grant certiorari to give Anderson County a just and equitable remedy."

Preston's appeal maintained that the Court of Appeals erred when it invalidated Preston's severance agreement, asking tthat the court grant certiorari to "correct the lower court's errors."

Tuesday
Sep192017

WHNS: Charges Dropped in Death of Anderson Deputy

WHNS - An attorney for a man charged in the death of an Upstate deputy said he received a letter Monday indicating a state charge has been dropped.

Joseph Fleming, 37, was arrested in August after investigators said he was operating a boat when an incident happened, resulting in the death of Anderson County deputy Devin Hodges. Officials said Fleming was attempting to do a maneuver when all of the occupants were thrown from the 19-foot Pioneer boat, leading to Hodges' drowning.

Fleming, an employee of the Army Corps of Engineers, was charged with reckless homicide.

Beattie Ashemore, an attorney for Fleming, said he received a letter from the 11th Circuit Solicitor's office indicating that state charges had been dismissed against his client.

The solicitor's office on Tuesday released a letter sent to the presiding judge in the case dated September 15. In it, the solicitor's office stated they will not be able to prosecute the case due to the Supremacy Clause, a section of constitutional law which limits the abilities of states to prosecute federal workers for state law infractions that occur during the course of federal workers' duties.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Denver Downs Corn Maze Opens Saturday

Denver Downs Farm's Giant Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch opens Sept. 25, with this year's maze featuring a Clemson-USC Football theme. The fall family festival will be open every Saturday and Sunday ( and some Fridays) through Oct. 31, and includes activities for all ages including hay rides, farm football, a hay barn with giant hay bale climbing.

The annual Corn Maze & Giant Pumpkin Patch is held at Denver Downs Farm, a Century Farm on Hwy. 76 one mile north of Interstate 85 in Anderson. The Garrison family has owned and operated the 900-acre farm since 1872.

After finding their way through the 12-acre corn labyrinth, visitors can explore a variety of games and activities that include a cow train, duck races, corn ball volley, corn cannon, goat walk, a giant slide, children's zip-line, and a giant pick your own pumpkin patch. Special events planned during the month long festival include Clemson Day at the Maze on Oct. 17, and a Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 30 that features pumpkin bowling, the Pumpkin Princess Pageant and a Strong Man Pumpkin Wagon Pull.

Admission to the annual Corn Maze & Giant Pumpkin Patch is $15 per person. Children 24 months and under get in free. The festival is open Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 23 until Oct. 31, and the last three Fridays in October. Hours are: Saturdays 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Sundays 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.; and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Oct. 15, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.

For more information and a complete list of activities, visit Denver Downs Farm Website

 

Tuesday
Sep192017

Another Case of West Nile Virus Reported in S.C.

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - Another case of West Nile virus has been found in South Carolina. A confirmed case was reported in Anderson last month.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported a second case has been found in the city. The case was confirmed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The virus is spread through mosquito bites. DHEC says most people with the virus do not dev3elop any symptoms. About one in five people infected will develop a fever with some other symptoms. Fewer than 1 percent of those infected develop meningitis, which can be fatal.

A pest control company will spray for mosquitoes Tuesday night within a one-mile radius of the home of the person infected. Similar spraying was conducted in Rock Hill in another part of the city in August when the first case was confirmed.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Toys ‘R’ Us Files for Bankruptcy Protection Before Holidays

(Reuters) - Toys ‘R’ Us Inc, the largest U.S. toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday, the latest sign of turmoil in the retail industry that is caught in a viselike grip of online shopping and discount chains. 

The Chapter 11 filing is among the largest ever by a specialty retailer and casts doubt over the future of its about 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees. It comes just as Toys ‘R’ Us is gearing up for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for the bulk of its sales. 

“While today’s decision does not necessarily mean it is game over for Toys ‘R’ Us, it brings to a close a turbulent chapter in the iconic company’s history,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. 

Toys ‘R’ Us received a commitment for over $3 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from lenders including a JPMorgan-led bank syndicate and certain existing lenders, said the Wayne, New Jersey-based company, which also operates the Babies ‘R’ Us chain. 

The financing, subject to court approval, reassures its suppliers they will get paid for their Lego building blocks and Barbie dolls that are being shipped for the holiday season.

Monday
Sep182017

Anderson Democrats BBQ Fundraiser Sunday

The Anderson County Democratic Party will hold a BBQ fundraiser Sunday, from 4-7 p.m. at Doolittle's on North Main Street.
Tickets are $30 and include one adult beverage (Wine or Beer). Tickets can be purchased at EventBrite


The group is using the event to raise money to help future Democratic candidates in their run for office. 

Monday
Sep182017

Ex-NFL Player Langston Moore to Speak at TD Club Friday

Langston Moore, former defensive tackle with the Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions is thescheduled guest speaker for this week's Anderson Area Touchdown Club.

The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Anderson Couty Library. Visitors are welcome.

Moore, who also played at the University of South Carolina, joined the Gamecock IMG Sports Network in 2012 serving as the sideline reporter for football broadcasts.

For more information, call 226-7380.

Monday
Sep182017

Community Conversation on Addiction Thursday at Library

The United Way of Anderson County continues the current series of Community Conversations Thursday, with a panel discussion on addiction and its effects on the Anderson community.

The meeting will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Anderson County Library. The public is invited. 

The first session, which addressed mental health issues, drew a large crowd. The video of that event can be viewed here.

The final two topics in the series are: "Conflict Resolution" on Oct. 5 and "Gangs," Oct. 26.

Monday
Sep182017

United Way Names Mayor Roberts "Communitarian of the Year"

United Way of Anderson County on Monday announced Anderson Mayor Terence V. Roberts as the 2017 Communitarian of The Year. Mayor Roberts was chosen by the past recipients of the award for his commitment to the betterment of the community through his work and vision for the City of Anderson.

Roberts, an Anderson native, has been in the forefront of the business community for nearly 30 years. He has served on boards and commissions at nearly every level - from caring for displaced children to chairing the Chamber of Commerce Board. He has a judicious approach to decision making - seeking to build a consensus for the betterment of the Anderson community. He has been recognized for his leadership, community service and passion for education - particularly during the school readiness years.

“I was delighted with our Past Communitarian’s selection of Mayor Roberts as our 2017 honoree," said Carol Burdette, CEO of United Way of Anderson County. “He is a quiet leader who gets things done, and he has done a lot to support the work of United Way.”

Roberts is the 13th recipient of this distinguished honor. His life of servanthood epitomizes the qualities of one worthy of this honor. Past recipients are: Fred Foster, Dr. Becky Campbell, D. Kirk Oglesby, Jr, Lila Albergotti, James (JT) Boseman, Dr. Harold & Julie Morse, Dr. William “Mack” Burriss, Cordes & Clinky Seabrook, Rex Maynard, Greg Shore, David and Sheila King and most recently Dr. Evans Whitaker.

Monday
Sep182017

Anderson Area Crime Stoppers Launches New Website

Anderson Area Crime Stoppers has launched a new website at andersonareacrimestoppers.com.

The goal with the new website, according to a news release is to provide citizens with an easier way to learn about Anderson Area Crime Stoppers and to allow site visitors to browse information based on their needs.

The new website aims to give better access to citizens who are submitting and following up on anonymous tips, information about the organization and how people can get involved, quick access to ten partner agencies, information about cold cases and an interactive crime map that allows citizens to see what is happening around Anderson County. 

In addition, the site will allow the community to provide anonymous tips through an online form or get the status of a tip they may have previously submitted.

The site will soon be adding online donation options so individuals can contribute financially to support law enforcement agencies in Anderson County.

For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please email info@andersonsheriff.com.

Monday
Sep182017

Bus Route Could Help 23 Businesses in Belton-Honea Path Area

Observer Reports

Anderson County formally announced the launch of a new public transit route Monday morning, which will extend coverage to the Belton and Honea Path area.Click on Map for Full Brochure of Purple Route

"This will allow more of the citizens of Anderson County to get to education training facilities and open up more job oportunities," said Anderson County Councilwoman Gracie Floyd. "We couldn't do what we do without the cooperation of the city, who have worked tirelessly with us to provide this service to those areas," Floyd said.

The new routes are now marked with color-coded signs, which City of Anderson Transit Director Keith Scott will help peopel more easily understand the bus routes. Scott also said, one of the key features of the new route is that it will serve 23 industries and businesses in the new area served. Scott said this will help many employers who have been unable to fill jobs.

"We're opening doors to the citizens of Anderson County to get better jobs and provide better for their families," said Anderson County Councilman Ray Graham. "Anderson County is truly being blessed right now through our economic development, and we are bringing some of the best jobs to Anderson County we've had in a long time. We want to provide those opportunities to every citizen in Anderson County. This partnership with WorkLink will allow us to do that."

The new route is made possible by a $100,000 grant, awarded by the State Workforce Development Board – Department of Employment and Workforce, aimed at helping remove transportation barriers faced by jobseekers and those seeking training in Anderson County. The route will serve the approximately 30,000 people who live within one mile of the new Purple Route, and the expanded Gold Route which will include adding to the current Masters Boulevard bus coverage area.

"This project has so many partners, it's incredible that so many partners came together to make this happen," said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns. "When we all work together we get a lot more done."

The new routes will be in service starting tomorrow and will run twice daily with routes starting in Anderson at 6:20 a.m. and 8:20 a.m., and again at 2:20 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.  

"Twelve years ago, I started working on this," said Honea Path Mayor Earl Lollis Meyers. "We didn't have any public transportation in Honea Path, not even a taxicab. We have people trying to go to the doctor, students trying to go to Tri-County Tech, and now they can catch the bus and go right on. It's going to help those looking for jobs, and students coming out of high school. I think it's going to be a big success."

The new Purple Route will begin in downtown Anderson at the old McCants bus depot, and will follow S.C. 178 to S.C. 252 into Honea Path, and then picking up S.C. 178 in Honea Path continuing through Belton and back to Anderson. As a result of the brand new bus line, a number of employers will have direct access to employees with a reliable mode of transportation, and employees will have access to employers with higher wages, thereby changing the quality of life for the better for our citizens in Anderson County. 

The Gold Route, currently serving the Homeland Park area of Anderson, will be extended in a loop down Masters Boulevard to S.C. 29 to provide access to five medium and large employers. The companies directly impacted will be Electrolux, First Quality Tissue, Unaflex, Kravet Fabrics and Michelin North America. 

"This is a vital hand up to many seeking education training, cultural opportunities and a greater variety of job opportunties," said Anderson County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson.

Employers in the area are also excited about how the new transportation options will affect their ability to attract new employees and retain existing staff.   

"We have been in the transportation business since 1989, and we have seen ridership quadruple," said Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts. "I think that is because more people need the ability to get to more educational opportunities, health care, and to get better jobs."

The cost of bus ride in on the Anderson County Transit buses, is 25 cents for K-12 and senior citizens, 50 cents for adults, and free bus rides for students enrolled in higher education and for veterans.

"This is a good opportunity for the Town of Belton and the Town of Honea Path," said Belton Mayor Wendell Page. "I've had a lot of citizens come to me who want to further their education or increase their job opportunties, and I think this perfect for that."

Complete brochure of new Purple Route

For more information about the routes and the service times to specific locations, visit cityofandersonsc.com or call 864-231-7625.

Watch most of the ceremony on a Facebook Live Video shot at the ceremony this morning.

Monday
Sep182017

S.C. Has No Disaster Dedicated Funds in Budget

ATLANTA (AP) - A summer of natural catastrophes has exposed another peril in disaster-prone states: How to pay for the rescues, repairs and rebuilding.

The combined tab from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected to hit $200 billion or more. While the federal government is expected to pay most of that, the affected state and local governments have to start paying for recovery now and eventually could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars.

Florida and South Carolina, both hit by Hurricane Irma, are among the dozen or so states that do not have dedicated disaster funds and opt to cover the expenses after the fact.

Experts say such pay-as-you-go disaster funding can be risky, especially if the economy starts going sour.