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Wednesday
Nov082017

Southern Baptists to Pay for Funerals of Texas Shooting Victims

The North American Mission Board, the domestic missions agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, has offered to cover the funeral expenses for the families of the 26 people killed inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, at the hands of Devin Kelley on Sunday.

The NAMB confirmed the offer in a Baptist Press report on Monday.

SBC President Steve Gaines also confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that he, along with SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page, visited with Sutherland Spring's Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, who lost their daughter, Annabelle, in the massacre.

"Just spent a few hours with @RichardsJim@frankpagesbc with Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, here in Sutherland Springs. Godly people," Gaines said.

As the tragedy unfolded on Sunday, Gaines, who leads Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, said his congregation felt led to pray for the Sutherland Springs church and he felt a need to help in their time of grief.

"Yesterday as we prayed at Bellevue for the families of those slain and also the others who were wounded at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, I sensed the need to go there and try to minister to the pastor and his wife and their devastated congregation," Gaines said.

Full Story Here

Wednesday
Nov082017

Haven Needs Turkeys, Hams, Fixings for Thanksgiving Meal

The Haven of Rest still needs donations of turkeys, hams, shredded cheddar cheese, green beans, elbow macaroni noodles, cranberry sauce, sheet cakes and other desserts for their annual Thanksgiving Day community meal.

The Haven expects to serve more than 2,500 holiday dinners this year. Workers at the Haven will beging cooking several days in advance to prepare the made-from-scratch meals of homemade dressing, roasted turkey, slow-cooked green beans, and all the fixings. Any person in the area looking for a place to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast is invited to particiapte in the free meal.

Finanacial donations are also being collected at havenofrest.com.holidaymeals

For more information or to volunteer call 226-6193 or drop off donations at the Haven at 214 West Orr Street, Anderson. Volunteers are also still needed for the day.

Wednesday
Nov082017

Poll: Black Southerners More Likely to Be Religious

Southern black residents are more likely to be religious than white residents, according to the latest Winthrop Poll, but are less likely to believe that America was founded as an explicitly Christian nation.

The poll, which covered 11 Southern states, found that three-fourths of blacks surveyed said religion is important in their lives. Yet fewer blacks than whites agreed on the religious principles that the United States was founded on.

“African Americans, who tend to be more devout in their Christianity, may not connect their religious beliefs to their historical beliefs, or they may see the United States as founded on slavery, which is inherently unChristian," said Poll Director Scott Huffmon.”

The latest Winthrop Poll asked residents about their attitudes toward race, religion, Confederate monuments and the economy, among other issues. The Southern state residents contacted were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

CLICK HERE FOR POLL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. More extensive poll questions and poll results will be released in the next month.

RACE PERSPECTIVES

Overwhelmingly, respondents of all races across the South said all races should be treated equally, and that America should protect and preserve its multi-cultural heritage.

Yet both whites and blacks felt uneasy regarding their relative safety and position in the country. When asked if white people were under attack, 46% of whites agreed or strongly agreed. And more than three-fourths of black respondents said racial minorities are currently under attack in the United States.

When asked if America must protect and preserve its White European heritage, 30% of all respondents agreed, while more than half disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Interracial marriage seems to have grown in acceptance across the region. Half of the respondents strongly disagreed that marriage should only be allowed between people of the same race. Southerners also were united in saying that people of different races should be free to live wherever they choose.

Respondents seem frustrated that “political correctness” threatens the liberty of Americans to speak their minds. Around two-thirds of residents said they agreed or strongly agreed.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS

With hundreds of monuments standing across the country in parks and outside government offices, the majority in the South, many politicians have pushed for the removal of statues, memorials, and other monuments that celebrate Civil War era figures. The poll asked residents what should be done with the statues commemorating Confederate War “heroes,” or memorials to Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Forty-three percent of Southerners said to leave the memorials to those who died in the Civil War just as they are, while one-fourth said add a plaque for context and historical interpretation, while another one-fourth said to move them to a museum. Half of the black respondents said they should be moved to a museum.

As far as statues honoring Confederate war heroes, residents were less supportive. Forty percent said to leave them where they are, 24% said add a plaque and 27% said to move them to a museum. Nearly half of blacks said to move them to a museum, while a fourth said to remove them completely. 

SOUTHERN ATTITUDES

When poll respondents hear someone referred to as Southern, almost three quarters imagine that person to be close to their family. More than half think of the hypothetical “Southerner” as religious, though whites were more likely to say that than blacks. They also don’t think of Southerners as racists – only 15% said yes. A fourth of black respondents said they think of Southerners as racists.

ECONOMY AND OPPORTUNITY

More than 60% of Winthrop Poll respondents in the South said our country is headed in the wrong direction. Yet more than two thirds of Southern residents said our country’s economy is very good or fairly good.

More than half (54%) think the economic conditions in the country as a whole are moving in a positive direction, though 63% of blacks said they were getting worse and 57% of all respondents described their own financial situation as good or excellent.

Southerners said the most important problem facing our country is racism, followed by politicians/government, President Donald Trump, and the economy. Black residents were more than twice as likely to list racism as the most important problem, followed closely by Trump.

Black Southerners also think that all people in the United States do not have an equal chance to succeed if they work equally hard: 61% of whites said yes, while 65% of blacks said no. And 60% of blacks strongly agreed that generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.

POLITICS AND MOVEMENTS

Winthrop Poll respondents also were asked about political parties, movements and symbols as judged by a “feeling thermometer” where ratings closer to 100 mean you feel positive and warm whereas ratings closer to 0 mean you feel negative and cold toward groups or persons. Those responses below a 50 rating were regarded as unfavorable, 50 as neutral and above 50 were regarded positive or warmly.

Here are some highlights – mean “Feeling Thermometer” Score:

Republican Party, all respondents, 47.5; white, 52.1; black, 31.6
Democratic Party, all, 46.1; white, 41; black, 63.7
Antifa movement, all, 25.5; white, 21; black, 42
Black Lives Matter, all, 43; white, 35.4; black, 70
White supremacists, all, 7.5; white 6.6; black, 7.9
Confederate flag, all, 42.8; white, 49.9; black, 16.5

For this latest Winthrop Poll, callers surveyed 830 residents in 11 Southern states by landline and cell phones between Oct. 22 and Nov. 5. The Southern states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Results which use all respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.4% at the 95% confidence level. Subgroups have higher margins of error. Margins of error are based on weighted sample size.   

Wednesday
Nov082017

Democrats Win Big in Tuesday's Elections

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Progressive Democrats were big winners in Tuesday's nationwide elections -- signaling what some observers say is a referendum on President Donald Trump's administration.

In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in a race in which Gillespie, a lifelong moderate, adopted stances and tactics Trump successfully employed as a candidate. 

Gillespie offered tough positions on immigration, supported the retention of Confederate monuments and made football players' protest campaigns an issue. Northam, a moderate Democrat, won the election by about 9 percentage points.

Trump, who supported Gillespie in the campaign, quickly hedged his endorsement after Northam's win.

"Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for," he tweeted. "With the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!"

Tuesday's were the first nationwide elections under the Trump administration.

Democrats also made gains in Virginia's legislative House of Delegates, where all 100 seats were up for vote.

Winners included Dawn Adams, the state's first openly lesbian delegate; Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, Virginia's first Latina delegate winners; Kathy Tran, the first Asian-American delegate; socialist Lee Carter; and transgender Danica Roem, who defeated social conservative Robert Marshall. Roem called Marshall "a mirror" of Trump, and Marshall had referred to himself as the state's "chief homophobe" throughout the campaign.

The progressive cause also succeeded in New Jersey, where Democrat Phil Murphy easily defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno -- possibly hampered by her association with outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, who saw historic levels of unpopularity toward the end of his tenure. He is also a prominent member of Trump's circle of advisers.

Democrats will also hold, if not increase, their majorities in both of New Jersey's legislatures.

Republicans didn't lose any grip on their control in Congress, however. In an expected win, John Curtis easily defeated Democrat Kathie Allen in Utah's 3rd House District, a seat vacated by Republican Rep. and oversight committee chairman Jason Cheffetz.

Tuesday
Nov072017

Study: S.C. Among Fattest States in America

South Carolina is one of the fattest states in American, according to a study released today by Wallhub

“Fat” is becoming the new normal in America. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than seven in 10 U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. Rates are lower for children and adolescents but have risen steadily almost every year. So prevalent has America’s obesity problem grown that the weight-loss industry continues to expand. This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $68 billion just on programs designed to help them shed the extra pounds. The U.S. spends in total nearly $200 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity.

New findings by the Physical Activity Council suggest a need for more aggressive efforts to combat the issue. According to the report, nearly 81.5 million Americans aged 6 and older were completely inactive in 2016. Lack of physical activity is a leading cause of obesity, in addition to genetics, emotional instability and sleeplessness.

But the problem is bigger in some states than in others. To determine where obesity and overweight most dangerously persist, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 19 key metrics. Our data set ranges from share of obese and overweight population to sugary-beverage consumption among adolescents to obesity-related health care costs. Read on for our findings, expert commentary from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology. 

For a more local perspective on the obesity and overweight problem in the U.S., check out WalletHub’s Fattest Cities report. Also to help spread awareness about diabetes, WalletHub assembled an interesting infographic exploring the impact of the disease as well as what folks are doing to fight back.

Tuesday
Nov072017

Council Oks $75,000 to Examine Employee Salary Structure

Anderson County Council on Tuesday night approved $75,000 to allow the consulting firm Segal Waters, which was hired earlier to evaluate county employee salaries, to help evaluate employee job descriptions as part of adjusting salary structures for the county. 

The results will probably lead to the "collapsed structure" of current salary ranges, said Anderson County Finance Director Rita Davis. 

"This is nothing more than cleaning up our structures," said Anderson County Councilman Ray Graham, chairman of the county public service committee. "I think we all realize we have some issues, and we have to protect our most valuable resource, our employees."

On Tuesday night, Council also approved:

Second reading of an ordinance to adopt the Northeast County Area Plan as an amendment to the 2016 Anderson County Comprehensive Plan. In November of 2016, Anderson Cointy Council approved moving ahead with revision of the plan for that part of the county, said County Planning & Community Development Manager Michael Foreman, Planning & Community Development Manager.

Foreman said the area's population, listed asa 26,710 in the 2010 census, is expected to double by 2040, making it the fastest growing part of Anderson County.

A link to the full plan is here.

The recommendation of the Anderson County Public Service Committee to move ahead with a study outlining the process of planning a new corrections facility for Anderson County.

A proposal by the Anderson County Finance Committee to pay $8,000 for the funeral expenses of Anderson County Sheriff Deputy Devin Hodges, who was killed in the line of duty during a training exercise earlier this year. The money is likely to come out of Workman's Compensation Insurance.

Approved the distribution of the $422,473.92 in ATAX funds. A complete list of how the funds are being distributed can be found in the agenda packet for the meeting here.

Tuesday
Nov072017

Anderson Symphony's "Music of the Americas" Nov. 19

The Anderson Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Pettus, will open its 43rd season with "Music of the Americas," compositions inspired by South American rhythms and North American pride Nov. 19 at 3:00 p.m. in the Rainey Fine Arts Center at Anderson University.

The concert will feature the orchestra in a side-by-side performance with members of the Southwood School of the Arts Sinfonia Orchestra, and include a special appearance by the Electric City Big Band.
            
Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students. To purchase tickets in advance, please call the GAMAC office at (864) 231-6147.  Tickets will also be available at the door prior to the concert. 

Tuesday
Nov072017

Clemson Writers' Event to Benefit Upstate Food Pantry

CLEMSON — Some of Clemson University’s most-honored fiction writers and poets will read at Writers’ Harvest, a campus benefit for Loaves & Fishes and Paw Pantry at 6 p.m. Nov. 14  in Lee Hall 2-111.

The list of performers includes Keith Lee Morris, Caroline Young, Will Stockton and Mike Pulley. Faculty will be joined on stage by this year’s winners of the Writers’ Harvest Student Reader Awards.

Writers’ Harvest readings are staged each year during the holiday season by writers and poets throughout the United States. The benefits were first launched by Share Our Strength, a national organization that works hard to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Writers’ Harvest at Clemson is sponsored by the Pearce Center for Professional Communication and English Majors Organization.

To gain admission to this year’s reading, the writers request a donation of canned goods or cash. Checks made out to Loaves & Fishes Inc. will be accepted.

Lee Hall is located on the Clemson University campus at 323 Fernow St., Clemson, SC 29634.

For more information, contact Mike Pulley at wpulley@clemson.edu (864-656-3151), or Loaves & Fishes at www.loavesandfishesgreenville.org.

Monday
Nov062017

Parents Say Kids Healthier in "Good Old Days"

MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2017 -- The kids aren't alright, many American adults believe.

More than two-thirds of adults think children today are less healthy than previous generations of youngsters, and more than 75 percent believe kids' mental health is also worse, a new survey finds.

"Our findings clash with the American dream of expecting that the quality of life will continue getting better for future generations," said lead author Dr. Gary Freed, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

"We have made remarkable gains in preventing communicable diseases, advancing technology and developing cures that have significantly reduced children's illness and death over the last century," Freed added in a university news release.

"However, we are clearly falling short in addressing challenges affecting children's health today, including mental health, bullying, safety and obesity," he said.

Freed is also a member of the university's Child Health Evaluation and Research Center.

The study findings are based on an analysis of 2016 data from 1,330 adults nationwide who took part in a C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The respondents were asked their opinions about six factors that affect the health and well-being of children.

Compared to children of their generation, 64 percent of respondents said children today had a better quality of education, and 61 percent said children today had better health care.

But far fewer -- just 23 percent -- believed that emotional support from families was better now for kids. And only 18 percent thought kids' exercise habits and fitness were better today.

Just 17 percent thought kids' diets now bested those of yesteryear, and only 14 percent felt communities were safer now than in the past for children.

Only 15 percent of respondents said children today have a better chance of growing up with good mental health, the study revealed.

Among the survey respondents, the youngest generations had the most negative perceptions: only 10 percent of Generation Xers and 6 percent of millennials said that kids today will grow up to have good mental health in the future.

The results suggest that there's a need for policymakers and health care providers to consider the needs of children as much as those of adults, the researchers said.

"These findings should raise an alarm," Freed said.

"We need to work hard to make sure that children of today have the potential to be the healthiest generation America has ever seen," he said.

The study was published online in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

Monday
Nov062017

Clemson Gets Grant to Build Auto Parts from Trees

Trees could be turned into auto parts that are lighter, stronger and more environmentally friendly than the ones on the road now, as research based at Clemson University moves into its next phase.

Srikanth Pilla and his team are advancing the research with a new award of $346,332 from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. That comes on top of the $481,000 provided last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Both are focused on materials derived from trees.

Srikanth Pilla, right, and his team are advancing research that could help make auto parts lighter, stronger and more environmentally friendly than they are now.

Researchers are focusing on the glove box or fender, but the results could later be applied to a wide variety of automotive components, including bumpers and instrument panels. The parts would be biorenewable, so they could either be recycled or channeled to a composting facility instead of a landfill when their time on the road is done.

Pilla, an assistant professor of automotive engineering, said that if all goes as planned, the technology could be ready for the manufacturing plant in as little as three years.

“My philosophy is to advocate sustainability in all walks of life, and this project is included,” he said. “This research also helps the automotive industry meet some of its most critical needs and does so through public-private collaboration that maximizes resources. We have shown that the fundamental science works and are now focusing on the manufacturing technologies.”

Cellulose nanocrystals are central to the research. They are rod-like structures 20,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and suspended in liquid. They are made from trees removed during forest restoration projects that prevent wildfire.

Monday
Nov062017

Energy Lawyer Appointed to S.C. Board of Regulators

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has appointed a lawyer with extensive experience in the energy sector to an interim job on the state board of regulators.

McMaster said Monday that Robert Bockman joins the Public Service Commission immediately. He replaces Nikiya Hall in the seat that represents the 6th Congressional District.

Hall quit the board last month because she was going to work for a utility in Washington, D.C.

Bockman was a lawyer for the commission from 1977 to 1981, leaving to work as a lawyer for Carolina Power & Light Company. The 71-year-old has spent the past two decades as a private attorney specialilizing in energy work.

Monday
Nov062017

UGA's Scott Woener to Speak at Anderson TD Club

Scott Woener, former University of Georgia All-American safety and NFL player, will be the guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Anderson Area Touchdown Club on Friday. Woener played for the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints.

Due to the holiday, this week’s meeting will be held at the Anderson University’s G. Ross Anderson Student Center, with the meal line opening at 11:30 and the meeting starting about 12:10.  Players and coach who will be honored on Friday will be announced on Thursday.

Visitors are welcome. Call 864-226-7380 for additional information.

Monday
Nov062017

Study: Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Mental, Memory Lapses

Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Not getting enough sleep?

Sleep deprivation disrupts brain cells that can lead to temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception, including causing vehicle accidents, according to a study led by UCLA's Dr. Itzhak Fried.

"You have to remember not only you are sleep deprived but the brain is sleep deprived," said Fried, the study's senior author, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Tel Aviv University, in a video released by UCLA Health.

The research, published Monday in Nature Medicine, is the first to reveal how sleep deprivation disrupts brain cells.

"We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly," Fried said. "This leads to cognitive lapses in how we perceive and react to the world around us."

Fried said not getting enough sleep can be as dangerous as drinking too much.

"Severe fatigue exerts a similar influence on the brain to drinking too much," Fried said. "Yet no legal or medical standards exist for identifying overtired drivers on the road the same way we target drunk drivers."

In previous studies, he noted sleep deprivation was linked to a heightened risk for depression, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke.

In the new study, an international team of scientists studied 12 people preparing to undergo surgery at UCLA for epilepsy, which can be provoked because of lack of sleep.

Electrodes were implanted in their brains to find the origin of their seizures before surgery.

Each participant was asked to categorize images as quickly as possible. The electrodes recorded the firing of roughly 1,500 brain cells from all the patients. The scientists focused on neurons in the temporal lobe, which regulates visual perception and memory.

As the patients grew sleepier, it became more difficult to perform the task. Brain cells also slowed down.

"We were fascinated to observe how sleep deprivation dampened brain cell activity," said lead author Yuval Nir of Tel Aviv University. "Unlike the usual rapid reaction, the neurons responded slowly and fired more weakly, and their transmissions dragged on longer than usual."

This situation can occur when a sleep-deprived driver notices a pedestrian stepping in front of his car.

"The very act of seeing the pedestrian slows down in the driver's overtired brain," Fried said. "It takes longer for his brain to register what he's perceiving."

In the study, researchers noticed portions of the brain operated differently.

"This phenomenon suggests that select regions of the patients' brains were dozing, causing mental lapses, while the rest of the brain was awake and running as usual."

The research staff plans to explore the benefits of sleep and why the brain misfunctions because of the lack of sleep.