Looking Back – Year 2012 in Review

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The Year 2012 brought the following headlines and events:

Jan. 4, 2012 – Services were held for LaKeasha Monique Rutledge Draft, a Palmetto High and Clemson graduate, professional cheerleader for the Charlotte Hornets, who married NFL linebacker Chris Draft. Rutledge worked with Draft on his charitable foundations until she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton and newly elected Councilmen Blake Sanders and Robert Alexander were sworn into office. Paxton won her third term while Alexander and Sanders are first time Councilmen.

Piedmont Public Service Commission Chairman Ed Poore was released from the hospital after undergoing open heart surgery. Poore underwent two bypasses and a valve replacement.

Jan. 11 – Former Anderson County Sheriff David Crenshaw died while assisting at the scene of a traffic accident. Crenshaw served as the Anderson County Sheriff from 2004 until 2008.

Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry brought his campaign to Anderson, speaking to approximately 100 supporters and customers at a local restaurant.

West Pelzer Town Council gave first reading approval to an ordinance that would authorize the borrowing of up to $200,000 to complete construction of the proposed Chapman Park. Revenues from the town’s hospitality tax were to be pledged to repay the loan over a seven year period.

Congressman Jeff Duncan visited Williamston, meeting with Mayor Carthel Crout, Mayor Pro Tem David Harvell and Town administrator Phyllis Lollis.

Carthel Crout was selected to serve on the board of The Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Mayors Association, a group of mayors from around the state which lobbies the General Assembly on various issues of interest.

During their first meeting of 2012, Williamston Town Council approved a bid for the Brookdale Park Restroom project, gave the go ahead for a barbecue cookoff festival and announced plans for a new tax credit for businesses that improve their facade.

The Journal launched a new redesigned website which featured a blog style format, with facebook and twitter access directly from the site and a new page flip feature for the online edition.

West Pelzer Fire Department elected new officers. They are David Huff, Chief; Dale Mahaffey, Assistant Chief; Don Spruell, 1st Lieutenant; Justin Emery, 2nd Lieutenant; Daniel Bagwell, 3rd Lt.; Lee Blackwell, Captain.

Jan. 18 – The Anderson School District One Board approved a one year contract for Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler. Fowler has served as Superintendent for the District since 2004.

The Anderson County Planning Department confirmed that a WalMart SuperCenter is coming to the Powdersville area.

Megan Wilson was crowned Miss Palmetto 2012.

Instead of birthday presents, Alaina Dawson said she wanted shoes for the less fortunate and held a party at Williamston Town Hall. While Alaina and friends enjoyed a fun birthday party, one whole side of the auditorium was lined with shoes brought by those attending the party and others who just stopped by to drop off.

Jan. 25 – Groundbreaking was held for the Easley Baptist Medical Center of Powdersville. The proposed $8 million facility will offer a variety of medical services including walk-in and urgent care seven days a week.

Newt Gingrich decidedly won the SC Republican Presidential Preference. Eventual nominee Mitt Romney finished second, Rick Santorum third and Ron Paul fourth.

Construction of the AnMed Health Wren Family Medicine facility near the intersection of Highways 8 and 81 is completed and the 6624 sq. ft. clinic began accepting patients.

Local officials began laying the groundwork for an area wide economic development committee. The Palmetto Area Economic Development Committee will be comprised of local community leaders who have offered to bring their abilities to the committee’s goal of attracting an industry or industries to the Williamston – Pelzer – West Pelzer area. The committee is chaired by Williamston Councilman and business owner Dr. Mack Durham.

Feb. 1 – West Pelzer Town Council accepted the terms of a $183,000 loan for construction of Chapman Park

Approximately sixty people attended a town meeting hosted by District Six County Councilman Ken Waters in Powdersville. Residents voiced support for a proposed countywide hospitality tax to fund tourism and recreation related activities and projects.

The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved $72,500 in funding for the Wren Schools Safe Routes to School Project.

Feb. 8 – Former Mayor Phillip Clardy addressed Williamston town council with comments about a police department grant and questioned whether the town followed their purchasing policy. Following the meeting, Mayor Crout said that the allegations made were “unfounded.”

During the same meeting there was a heated discussion on a recommendation made by the town’s Park Committee concerning the Brookdale Park restroom project, during which Mayor Crout pounded his gavel several times to get the audience to calm down.

Williamston Town Council approved first reading on an ordinance to purchase approximately 70 acres of property located within the town limits and acted on a recommendation from the town’s Park Committee concerning the Brookdale Park restroom project.

Williamston Town Council approved first reading on an ordinance to purchase approximately 70 acres of property. Mayor Crout said that the two tracts of land owned by the Milliken/Pacolet company could be used for an industrial development site and an outdoor lab site.

Under Anderson County’s redistricting plans, the White Plains precinct, which had traditionally been in the Sixth District, will be a split precinct.

The Possum Kingdom Super Speedway hosted the DynoCams Tri-State Pro Series Kart Race, the largest in the country with more than 1000 entries.

West Pelzer Firefighter Dale Mahaffey was honored by Anderson County Fire as the Firefighter of the Year. West Pelzer Firefighter Chase Maddox was awarded the Courage and Life Saving Award.

Feb. 15 – Pelzer Mayor Kenneth Davis resigned his position. He stated his goals of restoring Pelzer’s recreational program as well as upgrading the Monkey Park and adjacent community building had been accomplished.

The Board of Trustees of Greenville County Schools began accepting suggestions for the name of the new high school to open in southern Greenville County in August 2017. The school, which will be located in Fountain Inn, will relieve overcrowding at Hillcrest, Mauldin, and Woodmont High Schools.

Woodmont High IB freshman Cedric Shell performed at the Piano Divisions Honors Recital as part of the SC Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference in Charleston.

During a town hall meeting in Powdersville, House District 10 Rep. Joshua Putnam explained several pieces of proposed legislation which he either sponsored or co-sponsored.

Pelzer Town Council dealt with several circumstances created by the resignation of Mayor Kenneth Davis and the death of Ricki Riddle, wife of Councilman Tony Riddle and who served on the election commission. The Council reelected Steve McGregor as mayor pro tem and without Davis’s opposition to opening the town pool, voted unanimously to do so. They also discussed acquiring approximately 70-80 rights of way along the proposed second phase of the town’s sewer project.

Piedmont (Moonville) Allstate agency owner Wes Porter received the 2012 Allstate Agency Hands in the Community Award for his commitment to helping others. The award came with a $1000 grant for the American Cancer Society Inc. where Porter volunteers.

Feb. 22 – Williamston Town Council approved second reading on the purchase of the Milliken/Pacolet property which will be used for an industrial development site and an outdoor lab site officials said.

More than 200 people attended The “Williamston’s Got Talent” show fundraiser held at the Caroline Community Center. Twenty-two performers from all over the upstate performed before an enthusiastic standing room only crowd and a panel of local celebrity judges. Austin Irby was the winner.

The Palmetto High School Air Force JROTC and the Palmetto High Student Council presented a check for $6,000 to Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina. Students at Palmetto High and Cedar Grove Elementary supported the fundraiser.

The Piedmont Public Service Commission was informed that construction had begun on their sewer rehabilitation and replacement project. The town’s aging sewer lines will be replaced and Metropolitan Sewer will assume operations of the system.

Feb. 29 – Bethany Fincher, of Easley, a student at Wren High School is nominated to represent SC as a National Youth Correspondent at the 2012 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.

Local and state officials joined members of the Palmetto Area Economic Development Committee (PAEDC) for a conference to discuss marketing and promoting the area to business and industry. The meeting was held at the administrative offices of School District One.

Charles Thorp, a young Marine from Williamston was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Afghanistan. Thorp, a 2009 graduate of Palmetto High School, was driving a USMC HumVee when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near the vehicle. Two other Marines were unharmed, but Thorp suffered a loss of consciousness and a concussion.

Cadets from the Palmetto High JROTC unit joined members of the Pelzer Heritage Commission to help clean up Pelzer’s historic cemetery.

Mar. 7 – Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper announced that he plans to run for re-election.

Nikki Anthony is named the new volleyball coach at Woodmont High School. Anthony is a former Pickens High School standout in volleyball and basketball.

More than 50 people including elected officials, members of the Anderson County Republican Women and the public attended a reception honoring County Council District Seven Representative Cindy Wilson Wilson said she was overwhelmed by the response from the community.

Only one candidate, mayor Pro Tem Steve McGregor, filed to be on the ballot for the Town of Pelzer election.

Williamston Town Council approved a resolution to continue allowing Anderson County to collect property taxes for the town, approved a Peace Officers Memorial Day proclamation and a change in the employees handbook involving insurance.

West Pelzer Town Council extended an agreement with the county to collect taxes, transferred property to a citizen and heard a report on Economic Development.

Mar. 14 – De Ara Craig, daughter of Claressa Craig, of Piedmont, is selected to take part in the Inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States and attending the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference taking place from January 19 – 23, 2013 in Washington, DC.

An effort is underway to find the burial site of Caesar, a black preacher who is said to have had considerable influence in the area during the 1800s.

The Textile Olde Timers met at the Piedmont Community Building. The event, sponsored by the Southern Textile Heritage Society, featured speaker Evelyn “Eckie” Jordan, Pelzer native and basketball and softball star.

The Big Creek Water District began replacing more than 24 miles of old water lines. General manager Chuck Cortez said that 128,000 feet of pvc line installed in the late Sixties and early Seventies will be replaced by iron pipe which should have a life of seventy to eighty years.

News and rumors began circulating about problems at Atlantic Bullion & Coin, the business owned by former County Councilman Ron Wilson in Powdersville.

The Journal confirmed that The South Carolina Securities Commissioner had filed a complaint against Wilson, accusing him of scamming people who thought they were investing in silver. The complaint against Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin, Inc., stated that he continued to offer fake investment opportunities to people in South Carolina and 24 other states despite a previous cease and desist order 16 years ago.

Mar. 21 – State and federal authorities took action to close Atlantic Bullion and Coin after SC Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a complaint in the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court alleging that Ron Wilson’s bullion and coin brokerage business was in fact a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Approximately 300 people attended a meeting in Anderson to hear about a potential classaction lawsuit against AB&C and owner Ron Wilson.

Dr. Mason Gary, Principal of Palmetto High School is selected the South Carolina Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Educational Office Professionals (SCAEOP). 

The Gray Drive railroad bridge in Williamston is temporarily closed for engineering assessment and repairs. It is expected to be reopened to traffic in November.

Thirteen eligible schools in School District One received Gold or Silver Awards by the State Department of Education for either general performance, closing achievement gaps or growth in achievement.

Eleven high schools, 14 middle schools, and 46 elementary schools in Greenville County School District earned state recognition for academic performance and/or closing achievement gaps.

Anne J. Thayer announced she will seek a second term representing the people of District 9 in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

The Greater Williamston Business Association offered to help fund the Palmetto High JROTC Cadet Leadership School, made plans for the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt and July 4th celebration.

The Piedmont Community Building had approximately $700 in damage done by someone in an effort to steal eight or ten

dollars worth of copper.

Mar. 28 – Anderson School District One Board approved personnel and heard preliminary budget information for the 2012-13 school year.

District One Teacher of the Year Kristen Hearn explained an initiative she is coordinating with other former District Teachers of the Year, to raise funds for a scholarship program for district one students who plan to go into teaching.

A small crowd gathered at the Powdersville Library to hear plans for the Dolly Cooper Park. Matt Shell, Anderson County’s recreation director, explained that the plans for the park are shifting away from ball fields and soccer fields towards expanded use of the river.

Apr. 4 – Former Williamston Councilman Otis Scott announced that he intends to run for the Ward 4 seat.

Williamston Town Council approved second reading on an employee handbook change, approved two budget revisions allowing funding for Brookdale Park project and matching funds for a CDBG grant and increased allowed wrecker service fees.

Williamston Town Council approved budget revisions allowing funding for a Brookdale Park restroom project and matching funds for a CDBG grant. Funding for the Milliken property purchase was tabled.

The two-year-old son of former Williamston Senior Airman Nick Alden, who was killed by a terrorist in Germany last year, tragically died when a dresser fell over on him.

Phillip Clardy formally announced that he is running for Mayor of Williamston.

Former State representative Dan Cooper, of Powdersville, is honored for his efforts to attract jobs and industry to Anderson County. Cooper served six years as Chairman of the SC House Ways and Means Committee prior to his abrupt resignation from the House.

Apr. 11 – Williamston Town Councilmembers Tony Hagood and Dr. Mack Durham graduated from the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government.

Ron Wilson was arrested and charged with mail fraud after turning himself in to U. S. Marshals in a Greenville court room. He was released on $1 million bail shortly after his wife used three properties in her name to secure the bail, officials said.

Mack Durham of Williamston participated in the Cooper River Bridge 10K run in Charleston. Durham was among more than 42,000 runners registered for the race and one of approximately 36, 000 who finished. He was in the top 41 percent of his class with a time of 74:16.

Firefighters from more than five fire departments battled a blaze overnight that engulfed a Pelzer warehouse filled with pallets. Hundreds of pallets were on fire at the warehouse located at the old lower mill site.

The Anderson County Transportation Committee approved $50,000 in funds to be used in repaving a section of Spring Street that runs through the Mineral Spring Park in Williamston.

Work is expected to begin on Chapman Park. Mayor Peggy Paxton told town council that the final contractual details had been worked out and the contracts delivered. The council continued struggling with the issue of outdoor burning.

Apr. 18 – Iva based Anderson School District 3 named Dr. Mason Gary as their next superintendent. Dr. Gary said he was not actively looking to make a change from his position as principal at Palmetto High School, but saw an opportunity to meet one of his educational career goals.

Pelzer Town Council took action on an appointment to the election commission, providing security fencing, and measures to raise fees and cut costs by reducing street lights, changing town hours and making changes at the town’s swimming pool. Steve McGregor was released from duties as a Pelzer councilman and sworn in as the town’s mayor.

After being closed for six months, The Clock in Williamston reopened in their new building. Owner John Davarinos said after working in tight quarters for nearly 30 years, the new facility takes some getting used to.

Anderson County Council gave approval to an incentive package for Duke Sandwich Productions, which plans to invest $5 million in the Powdersville area.,creating forty five jobs over the next five years.

Brad Orr of Rock Hill finished 94th overall in the 2012 Boston Marathon, running the 26.2 mile race in 2:42:33. The marathon race draws more than 20,000 runners. Orr, 25, was the top finisher from South Carolina. A 29 year old Kenyan won the race with a time of 2:12:40.

Apr. 25 – Anderson School District One began accepting applications for the principal position at Palmetto High.

Wren High and Woodmont Middle Schools experienced bomb threats thought to be “copy-cat” incidents of a bomb threat at Ware Shoals High School.

May 2 – Former Palmetto High, T. L. Hanna and Wake Forest tight end Cameron Ford was picked by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.

The Second Annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of North Anderson was held at Wren High School. Wes Porter, and Megan Selman were Co-Chairman for the event.

The Piedmont Public Service Commission moved ahead with efforts to produce a balanced budget, despite the possibility of a significant drop in revenues from Greenville County for the coming fiscal year.

May 9 – Williamston Town Council approved first reading to a budget amendment to fund a $150,000 purchase of a tract of land from the Milliken-Pacolet.

May 16 – A homeowner at 133 Meares Drive in Pelzer held a suspect fleeing Sheriff’s deputies at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

May 16 – The Pig in the Park Barbecue Cookoff was held in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park.

AAU and Pelzer basketball legend Evelyn “Eckie” Jordan was among eight individuals to be inducted into the SC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Anderson School District One named Ray Callaham as the new principal at Palmetto High School.

Terry W. Filippo, English Teacher at Wren High School was selected to participate in the College Board’s Annual AP Reading in English Language.

The Wren Hurricane Mud FLUD Run was held to raise funds for the Wren High School Athletic Program.

West Pelzer Town Council paid an emergency water repair bill of nearly $20,000, purchased a new computer for the Clerk’s office and approved ceiling repaired in Town Hall.

May 23 – The Boys Home of the South 12th annual Spring Soiree raised $173,630 for the Boys Home.

Williamston’s Historic Cannon, “Miss Annie Lee” was a key attraction in an event celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Noble Cannon in Rome, Georgia.

Information provided by the mayor and administrator as part of their budget presentation showed that the Town of Williamston had seen considerable savings during the last year and that the town was undergoing several large capital improvement projects. One of the biggest savings came by early closing on a loan for the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) upgrade, which saved the town $12,400 a year. The savings amounted to $496,000 over the life of the loan.

For only the second time in twenty two years, the Piedmont Public Service Commission voted to approve a budget that increases the millage for fire protection by two mills. The vote will result in an increase of eight dollars in taxes on a home valued at $100,000.

May 30 – The 3rd Annual Saluda River Rally was held at the Dolly Cooper Sports Complex in Powdersville. The event featured the first public ADA accessible floating kayak launch in the State of South Carolina.

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees unanimously approved a revised version of the 2012-13 budget reflecting revenue increases provided by the SC Senate. The funding provided by the Senate amounts to an additional $1,308,308 for the District One budget.

June 6 – Anderson County dedicated the first public ADA floating kayak launch in the state of South Carolina as part of the Saluda River Rally in Powdersville. Sandy Hanebrink and Ben Otto Sunderman, both of whom are mobility-impaired, had the privilege of being the first to use the new launch.

Williamston Town Council gave first reading approval to the 2012-2013 budget and amended the budget to transfer funds to purchase the Milliken property. A similar amendment was approved to spend $52,000 for the Town’s match for a Community Block Development Grant for a sewer upgrade project.

In addition to approving an updated version of the 2012-13 budget, The Anderson School District One Board revised several policies dealing with bullying and use of technology and approved personnel recommendations.The Palmetto High AA State Championship Softball team was also recognized

Eddie Martin returned as General Manager and Golf Professional at Saluda Valley Country Club.

Graduation services were being held for area seniors. Wren High Valedictorian was Alex Batson. Salutatorian was Joy Leftwich.

Palmetto High Salutatorian was Lauren Michelle Connelly. Valedictorian was Colton Hunt Smith.Woodmont’s Valedictorian was Hailey Dillingham. Salutatorian was Preston Barbare.

June 13 – The Town of Pelzer approved first reading on the 2012-13 budget of $792,345 which includes a $287,175 sewer budget and a $228,750 water budget and expenditures for parks and recreation. They also heard information on a cell tower proposal.

The South Carolina Cycling Road Race Championships were held in the Fork Shoals area of South Greenville. Justin Meade finished 11th overall in the Category 1/2 race. Mark Welch, who rides with the Greenville Spinners Bike Club and has family in the Williamston/Pelzer area won the Masters 55 plus race to claim the SC State Championship in his age group.

Anderson School District 4 named Brian Couch as the new Pendleton High School principal.

Work is under way on West Pelzer’s Chapman Park. Construction on the project is expected to be complete in mid to late August. Approximate cost is $175,000 and loan will be repaid from the town’s hospitality tax on prepared foods.

West Pelzer Town Council dealt with various ordinances, fires, chickens and truck brakes as well as giving first reading approval to the 2012-2013 budget. After months of amending and debating the Town’s leaf burning ordinance, final approval was given to the law.

Vandals and thieves broke into the Pelzer Gym, stealing historic trophies and damaging the storage cases they were in. Copper tubing was cut from the buildings plumbing system.

State Senators Billy O’Dell and Kevin Bryant both defeated their opponents in Primary races. State Representative Joshua Putnam defeated Hamp Johnson.

June 20 – A children’s bench designed by an internationally acclaimed artist was placed in Mineral Spring Park to honor the memory of teacher and community leader Doris Cole. The bench is formed by outlines of children’s faces, crafted in metal and based on sketches drawn of Cole’s granddaughter.

Williamston Codes Enforcement Officer Jesse Harris was very busy due to the amount of rain the area received, causing vegetation to grow quickly out of hand. Harris placed more than 25 notices on properties in the town in one month.

Col. Mike Creamer of the Palmetto High School AFJROTC thanked GWBA members for supporting the program. The school was able to send 18 cadets to a leadership program where many other schools had to cut back due to the cost involved, Creamer said.

June 27 – The Town of Williamston held their Independence Day fireworks celebration. The Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display sponsored by Pelzer and West Pelzer was canceled. Pelzer officials cited budget constraints and expenses associated with the town’s ongoing sewer project. West Pelzer officials said they received a list of certified “shooters,” but none of them were either able or interested in doing the job.

Trophies stolen from the Pelzer Gym were returned after word got out of a reward and no questions asked if they were returned. The trophies were returned, dented and scratched, in duffle bags.

The Anderson School District One Board heard an update on the budget, approved new and revised policies on harassment and use of technology resources, and approved personnel.

Dr. John Pruitt was recognized by the School Board for being named the Education Champion of the Year. Wren Principal Robbie Binnicker was recognized for being named the SC High School Principal of the Year.

The School District One Board of Trustees heard an update on the budget which according to Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler, could still need adjustments depending on the financing of the state budget. Two adjustments could amount to as much as $1.2 million for the district, Fowler said.

The Piedmont Public Service Commission gave final approval to a budget that raises the millage by two mills to address a deficit in the operation of the District’s fire department. Commissioner Ed Poore said in the past the District had purchased three fire trucks, an emergency generator, a grass fire truck, a rescue boat, a new field station, new radios, and new turnout gear without a millage increase. Much of that equipment was obtained entirely or in part through grants. The district had also paid for a new roof for the fire station, three defibrillators, and a new concrete pad in front of the main station.

July 4 – Williamston Town Council approved the 2012-13 General Fund budget of $2.223,900. The Water Department is budgeted at $1,072,500 while the Sewer Department has a budget of $843,000.

Several fire departments fought a structure fire on Highway 29 north at the intersection of Highway 20 Connector. The building was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Firefighters from Whitefield, Cheddar, West Pelzer, Broadway, and Williamston fought the fire.

Trinity Baptist Church in Williamston and the Powdersville Fire Department were among several locations across Anderson County that opened an emergency shelter for residents in need of relief from the heat. Temperatures reached more than 100 degrees over several days and went as high as 106 degrees.

This brings the first half of 2012 to an end. Highlights and headlines for the second half of the year follow:

Picking up with the second half of 2012, the following events took place between July 11 and December 31:

July 11 – William “Curly” Leach, who had announced plans to run for the office of mayor in Williamston, announced that he was dropping out of the race.

Former West Pelzer Mayor Bill Alexander and his wife Roberta, died within hours of each.

West Pelzer Town Council gave conditional approval to a budget that included a three percent raise for full time employees. The approval was conditional because the town failed to hold a public hearing prior to second reading of the budget, as required by state law.

Powdersville Middle School was named the Power of ICU Spotlight School of the Month.

Kate Brady, Wren High School freshman, won the Oratory Competition at the National Beta Club Convention in Greensboro, NC. Brady won first place in the senior division competing against 24 other high school students from across the nation.

Two contestants represented the area at the Miss South Carolina pageant in Columbia. Competing were Miss Piedmont, Amanda Styles and Miss Powdersville, Hannah Failoni.

July 18 – Pelzer Town Council entertained a proposal to buy property located on the river and agreed to begin accepting credit card payments. At the start of the meeting, Cheryl Boudreau was sworn in to her seat on council and councilmember Donna Ide was elected Mayor Pro Tem.

Rachel Wyatt, Miss Greater Mauldin Teen, was crowned Miss South Carolina Teen 2012 during the Miss South Carolina pageant. Wyatt is a 17-year-old from Piedmont and attends Wren High School. Another local teen, Cassidy Durham of Pelzer, participated in the pageant as Miss Powdersville Teen.

Danny Joy of Williamston was the winner of the GreenSouth Equipment “Try it Love it Win it” Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes winner was drawn from names registered at 13 John Deere locations in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

July 25 – The Anderson Districts I & II Career & Technology Center received a national Technology Centers That Work (TCTW) Gold Readiness Award based on the progress of center leaders and teachers in improving center practices and raising student performance.

Someone purchased a Mega Millions ticket from Hickory Point #36 at 2312 Easley Highway in Piedmont. The prize was worth $250,000. Had the ticket holder purchased Megaplier for an extra $1, the $250,000 Match 5 prize would have been an automatic $1 million.

Kubota Tractor Corporation recognized Rogers Outdoor Equipment of Piedmont with the company’s prestigious Kaizen award for outstanding performance. Rogers Outdoor was among the top 27 percent of Kubota dealers across the US to win the elite honor based on 2011 Kubota product sales, market share growth and branding success criteria.

A combination of bad weather and bureaucratic tangles slowed progress on Chapman Park in West Pelzer.

West Pelzer held a public hearing on its 2012-2013 budget two weeks after the budget received second reading approval. The budget as conditionally approved did not include proposed increases in several fees.

Aug 1 – The Smokin’ Pig restaurant held a ribbon cutting making their opening in Williamston official. The business opened June 8. K&M Dance House opened in Williamston.

The Anderson School District One Board approved a revised 2012-13 budget with reductions of $774,731. The budget cuts were necessary because of “Hold

Harmless” funding taken out of the State budget. To make up the difference, seven cuts were recommended by the Superintendent including: not replacing a maintenance person, an assistant principal and a teaching assistant; salary reduction, energy cost adjustment and cutting technology replacement funding.

The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees named Nichole Boseman as the new principal at Wren High School.

West Pelzer Town Council held a public hearing on their 2012-2013 budget and no one came. A final vote on the budget was to be taken at the August meeting. The new budget reflected several fee increases.

Anderson Regional Joint Water System received its fourth consecutive, and sixth overall, Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) award from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. The program was developed to help water systems meet more stringent regulations and achieve higher levels of water quality. Optimization emphasizes improving the operation of existing facilities rather than building new facilities.

Karen Ambrose, an eighth grade history teacher at Ralph Chandler Middle School, was named the 2012 South Carolina History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY, and Preserve America.

Aug. 8 – Anderson School District One received high marks on the state’s new Federal education accountability system for 2012. Anderson One received an A rating with the highest numerical score in the state.

Anderson School District One named Robbie Binnicker as the new Director of Secondary Education for Anderson School District One.

Williamston Town Council approved a recommendation from a five person committee to have a portion of Greenville Drive designated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Drive.

Phillip Clardy raised questions about the town finances, stating that statements posted on the town website show the town as more that $369,000 over budget for 2011-12 year ended in June. However, Town Administrator Phyllis Lollis said that the statement is a snapshot of the town’s finances and the year end figures will change as updates are made to close out the fiscal year. Lollis said allocation of some expenses, such as salaries and legal fees, to other departments make up a bulk of the amounts in question. Lollis said the budget may be over by approximately $150,000, however some revenues are still not showing in the figures.

Stephen Hill, a gospel singer and songwriter who regularly appeared in Bill & Gloria Gaither’s popular “Homecoming” series died Aug. 5, after a massive heart attack. Hill, 55, grew up on Moody Lane in Piedmont (Grove Station Community) and graduated from Woodmont High.

Rachel Yuki Wyatt, 17, of Piedmont, was among fifty-three contestants competing in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen (MAOTeen) competition in Orlando.

A line of heavy thunderstorms rolled across the Upstate dropping heavy amounts of rain, and causing power outages. Nearly 5000 Duke Energy customers were without power in the northern end of Anderson County and the adjacent parts of Greenville County.

Officials working on a Brownsfield Assessment on the upper and lower mill sites in Pelzer said that there were some low levels of contaminants and debris but the properties could be used for almost anything.

Aug. 15 – The Spring Water Festival will celebrate its 31st year in Williamton’s Mineral Spring Park. The festival featured a variety of activities and entertainment headlined by local blues legend Mac Arnold.

The Journal introduced the SPORTS EXTRA publication.

Pelzer municipal clerk Skip Watkins announced his retirement. Watkins was first appointed municipal clerk by a Council that included then mayor Bill Hopkins and future mayor Page Henderson. He has served two other mayors since then.

Watkins says the biggest challenge was the transition from a mill town economy where the mill provided such a large part of the financial infrastructure over to a financial structure based on tax revenues and other sources of funding, such as grants.

The Pelzer Town Council accepted Skip Watkins’ retirement. Watkins, who has served the town since 1992, announced that his retirement will be effective Nov. 1. He assured the Mayor and Council that he will remain available for consultation.

Pelzer Mayor Steve McGregor, with Council’s approval, signed documents to finalize the town’s arrangement with ReWa concerning the sewer system. Once the phase II forced main project is completed later this year, ReWa will begin closing down the town’s lagoons and treatment plant. The Council also heard complaints from the public concerning a problem caused by the contractor who picks up the garbage in the town. That contractor was former mayor Kenneth Davis.

West Pelzer Town Council gave official and final approval to the 2012-2013 budget. The third vote was necessary because a public hearing required by state law was inadvertently forgotten and had to be scheduled after the second reading, which usually would have been the final reading.

The Starr Iva recreation departments combined 12U fast pitch all-star team defeated Georgia to become the 2012 Dixie Youth Ponytails World Champions. Ellison Garren was one of the softball team members who participated in the win. Ellison is the daughter of Ricky and Angie Ellison Garren of Iva, formerly of the Cheddar Community.

The Palmetto Area Economic Development Committee (PAEDC) continued their organizational efforts with a meeting at the West Pelzer Town Hall. The group is comprised of approximately a dozen community leaders from the areas of government, business and education, and is dedicated to a wide ranging approach to both jobs creation and community improvement.

O’Reilly Auto Parts opened a new location in Piedmont. As part of their grand opening and ribbon cutting, they donated $200 to the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center (PERC).

An Abbeville County deputy was injured in an accident that occurred near the scene of a hit and run accident which involved Williamston’s historic cannon. The cannon, “Miss Annie Lee”, was being transported by Allen Ashley, of the SCV when a truck sideswiped him and continued south on Highway 20. The trailer was damaged, however the gun and carriage were not.

Aug. 22 – Williamston Police Chief Jay Grubbs submitted a letter of resignation.Grubbs said he was retiring from the position and had not been asked to leave by the town or any town official.

Woodmont High School drama teacher Will Ragland was named the 2012-13 Greenville County Teacher of the Year.

Williamston Councilman and candidate for mayor Dr. R. Mack Durham disagreed with the assessment of Mayor Carthel Crout in a recent news story published in The Journal. In the article Crout said that certain members of council attended nine hours of training on governmental finances and budgeting but still did not understand the process.

Dr. Durham, responded that “if anyone has a proven lack of understanding of how the budget works, it is Mayor Crout and our current Administrator.” Durham said that he is greatly concerned and angered by excess expenditures in all departments that are over budget and that there is a lack of supervision in the expenditures.

The Town of Pelzer announced that it will implement changes to the billing system, going to a monthly billing cycle.

Ken Kopera, of Powdersville, received the Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence at Tri-County Technical College. He is the physical plant director at Tri-County.

The Lewis & Clark Circus was at the Amercian Legion Grounds in Williamston. The one ring European-style circus is held under the Big Top and features continuous action in the center ring.

Mike Smith announced he intends to run for the Ward 3 seat on Williamston Town Council. Williamston Mayor Carthel Crout officially announced he is running for reelection.

Dr. R. Mack Durham filed a report with the Williamston Police Department alleging a violation of the Hatch Act in relation to the Williamston mayor’s race.

Cindy Boyd, Wren High math teacher, was selected the School District One Teacher of the Year .

Miss South Carolina’s Outstanding Teen 2012 Rachel Yuki Wyatt was crowned Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando, FL.

Aug. 29 – Festival goers and organizers of the 31st Annual Spring Water Festival enjoyed near perfect August weather during the two day festival held over the weekend in Williamston. Estimated attendance over the two days was more than 11,000. The car show was the largest ever with more than 200 entries.

The Anderson School District One Board recognized Kate Brady

and Rachel Wyatt, who were both in spotlight on a national level. Brady, was the winner of the National Beta Club Oratory contest. Wyatt, was selected the Miss SC Outstanding Teen and then the Miss Oustanding America Teen.

The school district is working with new federal regulations dealing with child obesity which reduce servings and protein causing some students, especially athletes, to still be hungry.

School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler reported that the opening of school was “one of the smoothest openings we have had.”

The Senate Ethics Committee has fined Steven Riley Harvell for failing to comply with reporting requirements in connection with his primary run for the District Four S.C. Senate seat in June.

Sept. 5 – For the fourth year in a row, Greenville County Schools’ seniors outperformed the state and national averages on the American College Test (ACT), one of two major college entrance tests.

The opening of Chapman Park was delayed by a decision to expand the park, continued changes to the design for the veterans memorial, summer rains and some bureaucratic tangles that delayed the issuing of permits.

Officials from the SCDOT Safe Routes to School Project, along with District One School officials, representatives from the county, and students from the Wren High School celebrated the completion of Phase II of the Safe Routes sidewalk system. The $180,000 project connects all three Wren area schools and the football field area.

Pamela Frady, 8th grade science teacher at Palmetto Middle School, visited NASA after she decided to follow NASA, USGS, and various other government agencies on Twitter.

Gracyn Moore of Honea Path celebrated her 16th birthday with a fundraiser for the Upstate Honor Flight.

Sept. 12 – Williamston Councilmen Mack Durham and Mike Looper expressed concerns about the town’s finances while Mayor Carthel Crout defended the town’s budgeting and purchasing.

Anderson District One schools were participated in Relay for Life, the volunteer-driven cancer fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. The schools raised $53,835 with school involvement growing from 64% involvement in 2011 to 100% in 2012.

Details continued to emerge after a story appeared in The Journal concerning a possible violation of the federal Hatch Act.

The complaint alleged a town employee provided a local businessman and political gadfly with politically motivated information against Durham. Unconfirmed rumors alleged the information concerned a series of financial judgments against Durham and his business and was the reason the police chief left or was fired.

Former police chief Jay Grubbs passed the information along to state and federal law enforcement for any further action. He subsequently decided to resume his retirement from law enforcement.

Grubbs later decided to expound on his decision to once again retire. He clarified that statement, and also recanted his claim that the decision to retire was totally his own.

Following minor changes to the design, the West Pelzer Town Council authorized Mayor Peggy Paxton to proceed with signing the contract for the construction of the veterans memorial that will be a key feature of the Chapman Park.

The changes included changing the language of the tribute wording to include all those who have given their lives in their country’s service, and not just those from West Pelzer.

Sept. 19 – The Cornerstone Laying and Dedication for the new Grove Station Lodge No.166 A.F.M was held. Grand Master, Most Worshipful Jay Adam Pearson of Masons of South Carolina along with other Grand Lodge Officers assisted in the ceremonies.

The Williamston, Pelzer and Piedmont communities were all touched by the loss of life from three fatal accidents in a three day period. Lacee Dial, 17, a Wren High senior, was fatally injured in a car accident on Saturday. Kristina Paige Ellison, 20, of Williamston was fatally injured in an accident in Belton late Sunday and Brent Edwin Waddell, 37, was killed in a traffic accident Monday on the Hwy. 8 bridge over the Saluda River in Pelzer.

The number of medical calls responded to by the Piedmont Fire Department soared in August, increasing by fifty per cent over the previous month.

Thirty eight calls were answered requiring medical assistance, up from twenty five the month before. The previous high for a given month was thirty one calls in January. March was the quietest month, with just eighteen medical calls.

A crowd of approximately sixty people gathered at the Williamston Municipal Center to honor Senator Billy O’Dell. The crowd included elected officials from the state, county, and municipal levels, as well as private citizens.

Senator O’Dell is the longest serving Senator in the history of the historic Pendleton District, a political and geographical district from which several Upstate counties were formed.

Mayor Carthel Crout presented the Senator with a resolution declaring the day to be Senator O’Dell Day in Williamston.

Sept. 26 – Students at Wren High and Palmetto High rank third overall in South Carolina on the nation’s most recognized college entrance examination, the SAT. With a total score of 1512, up from 1507 in 2011, District One scores topped state and national averages. 

Teachers, administrators, board members and elected officials gathered in the Palmetto High School Auditorium to see School District One Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler honored with South Carolina’s Order of the Silver Crescent.

Greenville County Schools’ average score on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) increased in 2012 by two points to 1455.

Former Williamston Mayor and candidate for mayor Phillip Clardy will undergo surgery to remove a benign pituitary tumor. He said he has not changed his intentions to continue to run for mayor of Williamston.

Watson Engineering Inc., a supplier of construction, agriculture and automotive components, announced that it will expand its existing operations in Anderson County. A $6.37 million investment is expected to generate 85 new jobs.

West Pelzer Town Council cautiously tiptoed towards awarding a contract for the second phase of the Town’s water system upgrade.

The Council voted to accept the bid of West Utilities Construction Inc. to do the project; but stopped short of awarding the contract, due to the lack of all the matching funds required for the Community Development Block Grant.

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees unanimously approved a construction bid for remodeling and upgrading of the District One office and a curriculum guide for gifted and talented programs in all of the schools.

Mallica Hoeung was named Homecoming Queen at Woodmont High School. Homecoming King was Chandler Thompson.

Oct. 3 – Greenville County Schools posted an increase in passage rates on the End-of-Course exams for students in Biology 1 and U.S. History while passage rates for students enrolled in English 1 and Algebra 1 dipped slightly from 2011 to 2012.

Passage rates among all middle school students taking Algebra 1 and English 1 were higher than the state and district averages.

Greenville County Schools’ students scored higher than the state average on all End-of-Course tests.

The Pelzer Heritage Commission planned the 1st Pelzer Fall Festival in the Pelzer Monkey Park.

According to auditors, the Town of Williamston has run a deficit for the last three years but still has a healthy general fund balance. Town officials were told that even though the town had seen a decrease of $152,000 in the fund balance, it still remains “a strong fund balance.”

Auditor Larry Finney also advised the town to revise conflicting purchasing and budgeting policies.

The report confirmed recent statements by Mayor Carthel Crout that the town was in sound financial shape despite budget overages which have been pointed out by Councilman Mack Durham. The report also reinforced statements by Councilman Mike Looper and Durham that the town was not following purchasing policies, mainly due to conflicting policies the town has for the Administrator and Council.

Henry Molded Products Inc., a manufacturer of sustainable molded fiber protective packaging products located in Piedmont, announced that it will expand its operations. More than $5 million in investment expected to generate 18 new jobs over the next five years.

A handful of citizens attended a public forum held by County Councilman Ken Waters at the Powdersville Library. The meeting are a regular event started by Councilman Waters as a way of keeping in touch with his constituents. Waters reported that four economic development projects were finalized in District Six in the last two years, producing a total of 200 jobs and fifteen million dollars in capital investments.

The Piedmont Emergency Relief Center recently made changes to their facility to better serve clients. They renovated adjacent office space to include a larger waiting room and interview area with private office space and a meeting room, allowing for additional food storage.

Oct. 10 – Students at Wren High, Palmetto High, and Powdersville High earned outstanding scores on the End of Course Assessment released by the SC State Department of Education.

Anderson One students were third in the state for Mathematics with 93.6% passing and fourth in the state on English Language Arts 85.8%. The result far surpasses the state passing rate.

Phillip Clardy was at home and recovering well from surgey. Clardy said he plans to continue to run for the office of Mayor of Williamston.

Thomas Leroy McDonald of Williamston was arrested for bank robbery after turning himself in to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. McDonald was charged with the robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank on East Greenville St., in Anderson.

The Anderson County Transportation Committee awarded the Town of Williamston $64,391.22, the amount needed in matching funds for a state DOT grant in the amount of $322,000.

The funds will finance the second phase of the Town’s Streetscape project, extending the existing sidewalk and landscaping project southward from McDonald’s across the bridge to Gossett Street.

In addition to hearing an audit report, Williamston Town Council had financial and other discussions that eventually turned political in nature.

Councilmen Mike Looper and Mack Durham raised numerous issues from handling of finances, contracts, adnimistrotor and the budget. Mayor Carthel Crout responded that he believes the two councilman are bringing up issues because they don’t understand the responsibilities and authority under the strong mayor form of government. He said that the comments and allegations made by Durham during the council meeting were political in nature.

Oct. 17 – Approximately one thousand people turned out for Pelzer’s First Fall Festival sponsored by the Pelzer Heritage Commission.

Oppermann Webbing, a maker of tie-downs and webbing for cargo transportation, announced plans to expand operations in Anderson County. A $2.1 million investment is expected to generate 20 new jobs.Oppermann planned to expand its facility in Piedmont with an additional 38,000 square feet of space, adding capacity to the weaving area and warehouse space.

The South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) named SC House Member Brian White and SC Senator Billy O’Dell recipients of the 2012 SC Economic Developers’ Association Legislator of the Year Awards.

With one of the contenders for Mayor sidelined by surgery, the race between the other two candidates began heating up, with the incumbent making charges that his challenger’s personal financial troubles reflect poorly on his ability to manage the town’s business.

Mayor Carthel Crout said that a history of liens, financial judgments and returned checks involving Councilman Mack Durham’s Palmetto Family Medical Center indicates that Durham would not do a good job of managing the Town’s resources and finances. The judgments and liens extend back several years. Durham acknowledges the difficulties but says that his business is solid and working its way out of the troubles.

Oct. 24 – Joseph Michael “Mich” McClellion, 25, of Anderson died after being struck by a vehicle on U. S. Hwy. 29 in front of the Jockey Lot. McClellion was helping with a situation in which a lady had run her car off the road when a vehicle driven by Christopher Alexander Martin, 28, of Pelzer, lost control and veered to the right striking him. Martin was later charged with driving under the influence.

A Williamston woman was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Jamye Leigh Sanders, 33, was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor after parents of a 15 year old male juvenile reported that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with an adult female.

Williamston Police Department booking officer/dispatcher April Stegall was injured in a head-on collision. Officer Stegall suffered multiple injuries when the 2002 Ford Crown Victoria she was driving on Hwy. 86 was struck head on by a 1997 Buick driven by Valtrez Leeshaun Lomax of 138 Pointer Ln., Greenville. Valvatrez Leeshaun Lomax, 23, of Greenville, was charged with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, hit and run and simple possession of marijuana.

Oct. 31 – In the Williamston mayor’s race, headlines and discussions centered on incumbent mayor Carthel Crout and challenger Mack Durham questioning each others handling of finances. Surgery sidelined the third candidate, Phillip Clardy, from the discussions. However, Clardy had recouperated enough from surgery to continue his campaign and said he is as committed as ever.

Three candidates are running for the Ward 4 seat on Williamston Town Council. They are Otis Scott, Elaine Wilson and Mike Looper.

A 28-year-old Williamston man was arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 13-year-old babysitter. Bradley Allen Neaves, charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Rick Bell and Brenda Sims Ellison faced off for the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees Area 6 seat.

The seat has been held by longtime school board member Joe Pack who announced he would not be running again.

Anderson County officials joined Ben Otto Sunderman for a dedication ceremony celebrating the completion of an Eagle Scout Project for the Dr. James A. Timmerman River Access Fishing Deck in Pelzer. The new ADA Compliant deck allows for at least four fishermen to cast safely.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue announced that approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers have been exposed in a cyber attack.

Councilman David Harvell was facing a challenge by businessman Mike Smith for the Ward 3 seat on Williamston Town Coucnil.

Organizers of Boo in the Park said it was a big success. The Williamston Police Deptartment estimated as many as 7500 people were in attendance.

Carolina Specialty Flooring held the grand opening of a new 3,500 square foot showroom on US Hwy. 29.

Dr. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent of Anderson School District One, announced his retirement at the Board of Trustees meeting. Board members very reluctantly voted to accept his retirement effective at the end of this school year, June 30, 2013.

Nov. 7 – Williamston Town Council approved two changes in ordinances dealing with collection of taxes on insurance premiums. Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending the town’s business license ordinance to reflect changes in federal law regarding insurance companies and non-admitted insurance brokers.

After winning a song writing contest more than one year ago and moving to Nashville, Williamston native Austin Webb is on his way to making it in the country music business.

Webb signed a publishing (songwriting) deal with Red Vinyl Music and a recording deal with Streamsound Records and was on a radio tour across the US promoting his first single, “It’s All Good” before the year is out. The song will make a major radio debut on December 17 and will eventually be followed with the release of an album which will be distributed by SONY Nashville.

Joe Pack was honoredby Anderson School District One and SCSBA for 44 years of service to education. A special reception was held in his honor at Palmetto High School and he was presented with a commemorative cup from Dr. Paul Krohne, Executive Director of SCSBA during the regular school board meeting.

Following an executive session, Pelzer Town Council unanimously voted to offer Skip Watkins a part time Town Administrator position beginning November 1. Watkins accepted.

When the votes were counted, incumbent mayor Carthel Crout and challenger Dr. Mack Durham found themselves in a runoff in two weeks that will decide the mayor seat.

Durham and Crout were the two top vote getters in a three way race that included former mayor Phillip Clardy. Less than 30 votes separated the three candidates and vote counting came down to

absentee and provisional ballots.

A runoff will also decide who will serve on the Williamston Town Council Ward 4 seat. Incumbent councilman Mike Looper and former councilman Otis Scott, were the two top vote getters in a race that included political newcomer Elaine Wilson.

In Anderson School District One, Mike Wilson and Moochie Merritt ran unopposed for the office of trustee, while Brenda Ellison defeated Rick Bell.

Incumbents Lib Pack and Rudy Rhodes ran unopposed for the Piedmont Public Service Commission.

Al Rentz was elected to the Big Creek Watershed Commission, while Adelaide Gantt and Eric McConnell were elected to the Brushy Creek Watershed commission. Mark Bishop, Phil Tripp, and W.H. McAbee III were elected to the Three and Twenty Watershed commission.

In County Council District Six, incumbent Ken Waters crushed challenger Ann Smith by a margin of four to one. Waters credited a strong support team for his impressive win.

In the national Presidential election, incumbent Barack Obama won reelection to a second term, defeating Mitt Romney for both the popular vote and the electoral vote.

Nov. 14 – Wren Elementary Principal Rhonda Rhodes was named Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina School Counselors Association.

The award is designed to recognize an outstanding administrator for the profound and lasting impact on the counseling and helping profession.

The Town of Pelzer held their 8th Annual Holiday Fair in the Pelzer Gym.

The University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications honored Michael Jeffrey Charney at their Annual Alumni Awards with The Distinguished Alumni Award. Charney is a native of Williamston and graduated Palmetto High in 1977.

Anderson District One maintained an excellent rating on the state report card for 2012 released by the South Carolina Department of Education. The district also earned excellent in 2010 and 2011.

Ten Anderson One schools (six elementary, two middle and two high) earned an excellent absolute report card rating. One primary school earned an excellent rating. Two schools earned absolute ratings of good.

AFJROTC cadets from Palmetto High School participated in a program and wreath laying ceremony honoring veterans in Williamston.

Nov. 21 – Dr. R. Mack Durham won the runoff election in Williamston by a total of 71 votes and will be the next mayor of the town. Otis Scott won the council seat by a margin of just five votes. Scott had 378 votes to incumbent Mike Looper’s 373.

West Pelzer Town Council voted to amend the Town’s sanitation contract and to approve an additional $4,000 expenditure to finally finish the veterans monument at Chapman Park.

Nov. 28 – The South Greenville Fire District held an Open House and Dedication service for a new fire station located in the MATRIX business park. The Station was dedicated to retired South Greenville Fire Chief William M. (Billy) Campbell.

Christian Men United in Prayer in cooked more that 225 turkey breasts in Mineral Spring Park. As part of a Thanksgiving outreach, volunteers cooked turkeys and packed boxes with canned good which provide a Thanksgiving meal for approximately 200 area families.

The Augusta Road Ruritan Club (ARRC) members planning a celebration for the Club’s 60th Anniversary at the ARRC Clubhouse at 7788 Augusta Road, South; Piedmont.

Albert Pressley Baskin, 71, suffered injuries to his head and face when he attempted to interrupt an armed robbery at the Dollar General in Williamston.

The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees held their November meeting in the auditorium at Powdersville High School.

Powdersville High band members and parents were present for the meeting which included recognition of the Powdersville High School Band, recognition of former County Board member Steve Garrision, a presentation by the American Cancer Sociey and the annual audit report.

During their audit presentation the Anderson School District One Board were told by auditor Larry Finney that the District “is in good financial condition.”

“You have been through some tough years and have done very well with that,” he said.

According to Finney, the General Fund Balance increased by $100,000 to $10.5 million.

Due to a financial commitment by District Six County Councilman Ken Waters, a long awaited restroom facility will be completed at Hurricane Park, adjacent to Wren High School. Waters agreed to allocate up to $35,000 from his paving and infrastructure fund as well to assure completion of the project. The County continued to pursue grants in an effort to make Waters’s allocation unnecessary.

Dec. 5 – The Piedmont and Williamston Christmas Parades were held. The Grand Marshals were the Piedmont Fire Commissioners. The Williamston Cemetery Committee held a Candlelighting Service of Remembrance at the Williamston Cemetery.

The Pelzer Heritage Commission prepared for a dedication service for a new marble marker placed at the historic Pelzer cemetery. Family members of two of Pelzer’s oldest and most prominient family names attended the unveiling and dedication including three great-great grandsons of John Wilson and the great-great grandaughter of Ellison A. Smyth.

Williamston Town Council heard from two people who reside on opposite sides of the Gray Drive bridge. The bridge has been an ongoing issue for more than 20 years and was actually open for about four years until the latest closure earlier this year.

Williamston mayor-elect Mack Durham began attempting to correct “overspending” on the town’s budget, starting with a cut in funding for the administrator’s position which did not receive enough support by council to pass. Council took action on several items including a business license change for insurance companies, rebidding of a sewer line project on Academy St., funding for an iron fence around the mineral spring .

Dec. 12 – A special unveiling and dedication service was for a new marker in the Wilson family cemetery in Pelzer. The marker was placed in the historic cemetery by members of the Gambrell family, descendants of John Wilson, with help from the Pelzer Heritage Commisssion.

John Wilson Jr., was a US Congressman and SC State House member, whose family owned the land on which Pelzer town and mills were built. He is buried in the family graveyard in Pelzer.Pelzer Heritage CommissionFamily members of Captain Ellison Adger Smyth, a co-founder of The Pelzer Manufacturing Company, which was located on the property, were also present.

The Pickens County YMCA purchased twenty two acres on Hwy. 81 in Powdersville, announcing plans to build a facility as soon as fund-raising makes it possible. Sid Collins, chief executive office of the Pickens County YMCA said that funding will essentially determine the scope and design of the facility, which will help relieve the stress on the area’s recreational capacity.

Williamston Mayor Carthel Crout presided over his last town council meeting last week.“I can leave here with my head high,” he said. “We did a good job. I improved the town financially and physically.”

Dec. 19 -Piedmont will soon have two less landmarks to grace its hilly terrain. Both of the town’s water tanks will be cut up and disassembled following the first of the year. The towers will be cut up piece by piece and dropped or lowered to the ground.

The West Pelzer Town Council received a clean audit for its finances during fiscal year 2011-2012. Jason White, representing the Town’s auditors, Bryerly, Payne, & White, told the Council that the Town had received an unqualified opinion, or the best report possible within the scope of the audit.

The Town currently has a $235,000 fund balance in the general fund, and saw an increase of five per cent, or $240,000 in the fund balance on the utility side.

Dec. 26 – The area celebrated Christmas and readied for the New Year.