Looking Back at 2014 – Williamston, Pelzer, West Pelzer, Piedmont

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    Part 2 – July throught December

    Looking Back at 2014  – Williamton, Pelzer, West Pelzer, Piedmont

    Entire Looking Back at 2014

    July 2 – The Town of Williamston and the Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) hosted a Freedom Celebration and Fireworks event which featured an expanded fireworks show and live music featuring Jukebox 45, a classic oldies and rock and roll band.

    Anderson Regional Joint Water System (ARJWS) users, including Williamston and Big Creek/Hammond, were asked to conserve water because of a problem with its water intake at Lake Hartwell. Because of a burst pipe, there was no water coming into the water treatment plant.

    The Pelzer Presbyterian Church and Williamston Presbyterian Church congregations voted to unify and establish a new church.

    The two churches had discussed joining as one church for about eight years and have been worshiping together as one congregation, alternating churches, since 2013.

    The Williamston Farmers Market in its second season continued momentum as an attraction for the downtown area as word spread about the offering of local produce and other handmade items.

    The Town of Williamston was awarded a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $445,000 to be used in upgrading sewer lines in the Pinecrest Circle area.

    An enthusiastic crowd was on hand at the historic Pelzer Auditorium July 1 for a Launch Party for the Mill Town Players.

    July 9 – Tommy Bolger was named principal at Wren Elementary School, filling a position vacated by former principal, Rhonda Rhodes, who accepted an administrative position with the Greenville County School District.

    Robby Roach was named the new Principal at Palmetto High School.

    Williamston Town Council named a new attorney, addressed bat problems in a shed in the park and approved Hospitality Tax funding for a new sidewalk project which was just completed in the park. Lee Cole was named town attorney.

    Councilmembers Rockey Burgess, David Harvell and Otis Scott all expressed concerns about the sidewalk project in Mineral Spring Park, stating funding was not approved prior to it being done. Mayor Mack Durham said the project was part of a series of projects in the park and there was some extra work done due to a “misunderstanding” with the contractor.

    Powdersville teen Hope Havard was crowned Miss South Carolina Teen 2014 during the Miss SC Pageant. She was a double-preliminary winner and performed a character dance on pointe for the talent competition. She will also compete in America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Fla. in August

    Anderson School District One created procedures to assist anyone seeking to petition for a diploma after the SC General Assembly approved legislation removing the exit exam as a requirement for graduation. The change is retroactive to the Class of 1990.

    West Pelzer Town Council approved the Town’s 2014-15 budget which included a number of cuts, including several in the police budget but did not include firing a police officer. The budget, for the first time in well over a decade, raised taxes by three mills.

    Someone in the Piedmont area purchased a $300,000 Pick 5 lottery ticket sold at a Piedmont convenience store. The ticket would have been worth a hundred thousand dollars, except that the buyer spent an additional dollar to qualify for the power up multiplier feature.

    Greenville County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a husband and wife in connection with a string of armed robberies in the Piedmont area. Tracy Lynn Tate, 40, and Stephen Mark Tate, 53, of Faith Drive, Greenville, were both charged with three counts of armed robbery and criminal conspiracy after they were taken into custody for questioning following a traffic stop.

    ARJWS officials said that all water samples drawn and tested confirm that water being delivered is free from contamination and meets all primary standards for health and safety.

    After being completely shut down, portions of the system were experiencing increased turbidity and increased color in the water as the system was refilled. ARJWS said sediments that are always present in water systems storage tanks and pipelines were being resuspended.

    West Pelzer established and continued a Crime Watch meeting held at the fire department.

    July 16 – Phil and Glenda Hughes returned from a trip to China where Phil was pictured on the Great Wall reading an English language edition of The Journal.

    Several Williamston area residents reported seeing a large black bear cross Anderson Drive near the new Family Dollar store in Williamston.

    Construction on the Mineral Spring Trail Project will begin in late August. Williamston Mayor Mack Durham had hoped the project would be underway and finished by the Spring Water Festival however the proposed timeline for contractors was too tight.

    Pelzer Town Council met with representatives of Greenville Water System to discuss a water supply agreement and with a representative of Utility Service Group to discuss maintenance of the town’s water tank.

    Organizers of the 33rd Annual Spring Water Festival announced that award winning country music singer/songwriter Lucas Hoge would headline the event.

    July 23 – Katherine Brady of Williamston, a student at Wren High School, was one of only 98 young women attending the 68th American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.,

    The Powdersville League for Athletic Youth (PLAY) began practice for four football teams.

    July 30 – The Town of Williamston and GWBA were reading for the Party in the Park. Fox Carolina 21 TV reporter Joe Gagnon was in Mineral Spring Park for a live broadcast.

    The Town of Williamston began flushing hydrants and draining the tank on Virginia Drive in an effort to clear up lingering effects of a foul odor and taste that had been present in the town’s water for about two months.

    The town also contracted with Utility Services Company to do a complete washout and sterilization of the town’s water supply tank.

    Williamston Councilman Rockey Burgess proposed a ten dollar credit on the water bills of the town’s citizens, in response to the extended problems involving the taste, smell and potability of the town’s water supply.

    Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison was presented with the National Society Fire Safety Commendation Medal during the National meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution held in Greenville. State Society President Daniel Woodruff nominated Ellison for the award based on the professionalism of the volunteer fire department. Williamston Fire Department ranks in the top 3.7 percent of all volunteer fire departments in the nation.

    The Town of West Pelzer had decided to issue a tax anticipation note (TAN) to ease cash flow problems and Council continued looking at a proposed deal with Greenville Water system to ensure the town’s access to a viable water supply well into the future.

    An 11-year-old Pelzer child was fatally injured by a gunshot. Anderson County Deputy Coroner Don McCown confirmed the death was a suicide.

    July 30 – Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved wording for a sales and use tax referendum and heard an update on the technology rollout of more than 7420 iPads planned throughout the district.

    The GWBA “Party in the Park” music series event featured Delvin Choice, a top five finalist on “The Voice” singing competition and Outshyne, whose single “Moonlight Crush” hit #1 on Sirius XM.

    Aug. 6 – Organizers of the Party in the Park were pleased with the response and overall success of their third and biggest event of the summer. Officials estimated the crowd of 3000-5000 came to Mineral Spring Park for the free event.

    West Pelzer Police Captain Chris Brewer was involved in a high speed car chase that ended with the perpetrator crashing just past the Saluda River bridge on Hwy. 20. The speed of the car when it passed Brewer was confirmed by radar at 104 mph.

    Williamston Town Council heard a report on water quality issues and were surprised when a motion was made by Councilman Otis Scott for a change in the town’s form of government.

    Scott and councilmember Rockey Burgess both said that the issue of changing the town’s current form of government came up primarily because “council is not being informed on certain things.”

    Council was in the executive session for more than half of the three hour meeting to discuss a contract and economic development issue. There was no detailed explanation given for either issue.

    Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor said the town will begin enforcing the town and state sign ordinance prohibiting temporary yard sale, business and political signs from being placed along roadways and in rights-of-way.

    Approximately 30 people attended a dedication ceremony held in Williamston for the designation of a portion of North Hamilton Street as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Drive.

    The program, held in the

    Palmetto High School auditorium, was as much about recognizing the African American community in Williamston as it was about honoring Dr. King and the civil rights struggle that he led.

    Approximately 80 people attended a community outreach meeting held at the Pelzer community building which revealed that crime in the area is the number one concern of those who live there. Pelzer Heritage Commission Dianne Lollis presided over the meeting.

    Aug. 13 – West Pelzer Town Councilman Robert Alexander officially resigned his seat on the Council, necessitating a special election later this year.

    The West Pelzer Town Council had just one topic, sewer project progress. Mayor Peggy Paxton and Town Clerk Paula Payton said that some right of way (ROW) issues were causing the delay, but the town’s engineering firm was in the process of addressing those problems.

    Students and teachers in Anderson School District One celebrated state PASS scores. 20 of 30 categories improved placing Anderson One’s scores among the top in the state.

    Anderson School District One also scored among the highest in the state on HSAP testing with Powdersville High School having the highest school score in the state.

    South Greenville firefighters and Greenville County EMS rescued a woman from the Saluda River just inside Greenville County at the Pelzer Dam.

    Following a presentation on the different forms of goverment, Williamston officials were told that they could not meet the requirements to have the issue placed on the November General Election Ballot without opening the town up to a lawsuit.

    The 33rd Annual Spring Water Festival kick off on Friday the Carolina Coast Band and a guest performance by five time CBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Rhonda McDaniel.

    A small crowd enjoyed a performance by Lucas Hoge who has recorded three country albums, a Christian EP, had songs featured on two TV shows, starred in an HBO TV series and entertained and supported military troops and their families.

    Piedmont residents, growing impatient with the condition of the roads due to the sewer update project were told they can expect awhile longer before seeing improvements. The extensive project included replacing and repairing approximately 9 miles of sewer lines.

    Tommi Rae Fowler, a Wren High Junior, received national attention for her culinary skills, winning the Food Networks’ “Chopped” teen competition.Fowler was among sixteen teens who competed over five episodes to win the tournament.

    Ralph Holloway, a former Williamston resident and Palmetto High School Athletic Hall of Famer, was honored for being inducted into the 28th class of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Hall of Fame.

    Aug. 21 – Newly elected Greenville County Councilman Lynn Ballard stopped by the Piedmont Public Service Commission and was introduced by PPSD Chairman Ed Poore, one of several candidates Ballard defeated for the District 26 Council seat.

    The PPSD voted unanimously to continue publishing an agenda in advance of their meetings, despite a recent state Supreme court ruling that would remove that requirement. The Commission also voted to give thirty days notice to the contractor responsible for cutting the grass at the ball fields and the fire houses after assurances that problems would be resolved went unfulfilled.

    Growth in the Powdersville area continued with projects including Wren Baptist Church site improvements for Phase I. The second phase will include a New Family Life Center in the near future. Grading permits were issued for 52 proposed residential lots in the Caledonia subdivision, located off of Three Bridges Road. The Hunt Meadows Subdivision, received a grading permit for 70 proposed residential lots subdivision located on Hunt Road/Highway 8/3 & 20 Road.

    In addition, plans for a proposed Chic-fil-A Restaurant were reviewed. Plans for retail shops located at Center Point Shopping Center located on Highway 153 were also submitted for review by county staffers.

    Anderson School District One ACT scores showed an increase for the 2014 school year with a composite score of 22.7, up from 21.8 the previous year. All content areas assessments, English, reading, math and science showed improvement. The five year trend for Anderson One students indicates improvement in all areas and reaching a new all time high.

    The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Volunteer Mounted Search and Rescue Team (MSaR) participated in a mock search and rescue in the Cheddar community.

    Williamston Recreation Department’s Mickey Stone retired after 31 years of service to the town. BJ Tompkins was asked to oversee programming for the Williamston Recreational Program.

    Farmers Market Organizer Rebecca McKinney said more vendors and shoppers were coming to the market each week.

    Aug. 28 – Jennifer Bertram, an English teacher at Wren High School was named the Anderson District One Teacher of the Year.

    Anderson School District One began introducing its Digital Innovation initiative which includes a technology rollout of more than 74230 iPads. The rollout began at Powdersville High School at the start of classes.

    District One Superintendent David Havird said the District had more than 9600 student enrolled. Havird said the District expected 160 to 200 this year.

    Organizers of the 33rd Annual Spring Water Festival said the event may have broken two records with a high temperature of 96 degrees and a heat index of 105, the festival was one of the hottest in recent memory. That heat in turn affected attendance, which was off considerably.

    Sept. 3 – A new “Welcome to Pelzer” sign was placed on Hwy 20 at Parker St and River Road. The sign, which features a picture of Mill #1 and the year it was built, was another project funded by the Pelzer Heritage Commission.

    ARJWS monitoring showed numerous algae blooms during the summer affecting water taste and odor increased at near exponential rates then dropped dramatically. While the treated water at all times met the standards for safe consumption, maintaining aesthetic quality was an ongoing challenge. An activated carbon treatment process was started to help alleviate problems. They also engaged Clemson University and Synterra Corporation to conduct research into additional treatment options.

    After working steadily for three years to make the all volunteer fire department one of the best in the state, the Williamston Fire Department received an ISO evaluation with a Class 3 rating making them the only all volunteer department in the state to receive a rating that high.

    During a council worksession, Williamston Mayor Mack Durham presented a water filter which he said he would like to consider making available to the town’s residents. Durham said the filter is an alternative to a one time $10 reduction in the water bill which Councilman Rockey Burgess wanted council to consider.

    The Town of Williamston Planning Commission was in the process of evaluating and reworking the town’s sign ordinance and how to best fit signs into the new Main Street program. The Commission also discussed way finding signs. Two businesses, the Pink House Antiques and All About Fabrics, were the focus of the effort.

    Sept. 10 – All types of Volkswagens including campers, restored, custom and rails were in Williamston for the Steve White Volkswagen Camp Out and Show.

    Sept. 17 – The Mill Town Players presented their first production, “Always Patsy Cline” at the Historic Pelzer Auditorium.

    Two Williamston men were among nine individuals arrested who were involved in a “Crime Ring” which committed offenses in the Belton/Honea Path area during July and August. The suspects were involved in at least 14 separate criminal incidents and netted over $43,000 in stolen goods.

    The Piedmont Public Service Commission Commissioner Lib Pack reported that the community building had generated $620 in rental revenues in August. Chief Tracy Wallace reported that the department received training in the areas of safety gear, and self contained breathing apparatus, while Assistant Chief Craig Lawless received training in FEMA grants.

    Sept. 24 – The annexation of five parcels of property into the Town of Pelzer earlier this year was rescinded after town officials were told there could be legal problems.

    The decision was made after Council members went into an extended executive session of well over an hour, to receive legal advice concerning the annexation of several pieces of property.

    Pelzer Town Council also approved an agreement with Greenville Water to ensure adequate future capacity as well as favorable pricing for the town’s water supply well into the future.

    The Pelzer Fall Festival was held in Pelzer’s Monkey Park. It was the third community festival the Pelzer Heritage Commission

    has sponsored.

    Hundreds of classmates and friends came to Bowman Field in Clemson for a vigil organized on social media for their classmate, Tucker W. Hipps, whose body was found in Lake Hartwell Monday. Hipps was a 2013 graduate of Wren High School where he was on the Principal’s List and a member of the football team.

    Oct. 1 – More than a dozen Anderson County deputies along with police officers responded to an incident on East Carolina Street in Williamston involving 40 to 50 people. A verbal altercation during a birthday party resulted in a divisive situation between two families. Due to poor radio reception in the area, Anderson County Deputies were dispatched and State troopers were summoned as backup but were canceled as the situation was brought under control.

    Anderson School District One Board members were updated on the District’s IPad technology instruction, a Mentoring program and the one cent sales tax referendum.

    The second annual Homesteading Festival featured a variety of free classes, demonstrations, music and more than 50 vendors. Vendors offered products for homesteaders, farmers, gardeners, and people interested in natural and local products.

    The Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center (PACAC) held the first annual West Allen Williams Old Time Musical Festival in association with the Homestead Festival with musicians and artists showcasing skills from the late 1800s.

    Scores were released by the State Department of Education. showed Anderson District One students performed well on all 2013-14 assessments. Students secured the third highest score in the state on the Algebra I assessment with 96.8 percent passing, up from 93.6 last year. This well surpassed the state average of 85.5 percent.

    Tops on the list for discussion during a Williamston council work sessin was the Gatewood subdivision entrance which had road damage from recent heavy rains. The damage occurred after heavy downpours resulted in backflow at the culverts where Big Creek flows under road of the Gatewood entrance.

    Oct. 8 – Williamston Town Council heard an audit report that shows the town is in very good financial condition, with the general fund increasing by $360,000. Water and Sewer funds are also in good financial shape auditors said. Auditor Ken Meadows, of Greene, Finney and Horton, CPA firm, said the town’s fund balance increased from $1.4 million in 2013 to almost $1.77 milllion in 2014.

    Students at Wren High, Palmetto High and Powdersville High ranked second overall in South Carolina on the SAT, with a total of 1515, up from 1492 in 2013. The scores topped state and national averages.

    Williamston Police Officers recovered a stolen item valued at $3000 after the victim saw the item listed on popular online classified site Craigslist. The dual turn table CD player, was stolen from a 2002 Cadillac Escalade in Williamston in October of 2011.

    Craft workshops were being offered at the Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center (PACAC).

    Oct. 15 – The Anderson County Transportation Committee turned down a request for $425,000 for improvements where the storm related washout was causing concerns for the town and residents of Gatewood Subdivision.

    West Pelzer Town Council filled two vacancies on the election commission, in advance of the upcoming November elections and the opening of filing for candidates in a special town election later this year. They also discussed ideas for several events.

    Pelzer Town Council gave second and final reading approval to an ordinance annexing the Pelzer Church of God. That addition made it possible to annex properties in the upper mill area that are now contiguous to the town. Council also gave second and final reading approval to the rescinding of the annexation ordinance that had added four pieces of town property and the residential site of Roger Scott after concern whether those properties were contiguous and eligible for annexation.

    Oct. 22 – The Piedmont Public Service Commission held a brief, meeting where Recreation committee chairperson Lib Pack reported that the community building generated $342.50, while the ball fields generated revenues that are paid on a monthly basis by the groups using the fields. The department responded to a total of sixty seven calls, the second highest monthly total for the year. Those calls were dominated, as usual, by medical assistance calls, with twenty nine medical responses.

    South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers arrested Jason Yeargin, of Piedmont, in connection with a fatal hit and run on Hwy. 86. The man who was killed, Varick Scott Kimbrell, had been released from the Anderson County Detention Center less than an hour earlier.

    The South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) has honored Teri Gilstrap with its Champions for Public Education award. Gilstrap is the Existing Industries Manager for the Anderson County Office of Economic Development and has been a key partner with local schools.

    The Mill Town Players’ presented their production of Dark of the Moon. The production was entered in the South Carolina Theatre Association Community Theatre Festival competition in Aiken in November.

    Williamston’s Ace Hardware was chosen to host the the Ace Neighborhood Tour celebrating the announcement that Ace was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores” for the eighth year in a row by J.D. Power.

    Anderson School District One was ranked number 5 among 11 districts in the state with Federal Report Card Rating of “A”. The district’s 2014 graduation rate increased from 86.9 to 91.8, the fourth highest in the state following York 4, Barnwell 29 and Calhoun.

    Homecoming Queens for the area’s four high schools were crowned: Alex Whiteside – Palmetto; Shelby Brown – Wren; Meredith Jacks – Woodmont; Mary Catherine Patterson – Powdersville.

    Oct. 29 – The 12th Annual West Pelzer Fall Festival was held at the Pelzer Ball Fields.

    Williamston Town Council held a work session in which Councilman Rockey Burgess reported that he is having difficulty in getting bids on some work to be done at the long shed at the Mineral Spring Park. The shed has a ceiling and bats have roosted in the enclosed area, making guano a real problem.

    Nov. 5 – After more than a year of discussions, Williamston Town Council finally approved a new sign ordinance and in a related vote, approved funding for three new wayfinding signs during their regular meeting Monday. Council also heard department and program updates, revised a sewer ordinance and passed several resolutions.

    In Williamston’s municipal election, incumbent Ward One Councilman Tony Hagood received 236 write-in votes to challenger Greg Cole’s 166 write-in votes to retain his seat on Town Council.

    In Ward Two, incumbent Rockey Burgess had 405 votes to challenger Joan Ragsdale’s 346.

    Anderson County voters approved the one cent sales tax referendum. The stated goal of the sales tax is to reduce property tax, reduce debt service and provide school improvement funds. In School District One, proceeds will also be used to install, maintain and improve security and public safety in each school in the district and make other capital improvements across the district.

    Delbert and Rachelle Hart were announced as the Grand Marshals of the Piedmont Christmas Parade. The parade, is sponsored by the Bonnes Amies Club.

    The Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center was offering “Mini-Quarter” winter session classes including pottery, jewelry, photography, quilling and Christmas ornaments at the Artory.

    An early season snow resulted in more than 1000 power outages across the area and a delay for Boo in the Park.

    Nov. 12 – Riley Christopher McDermott, an Anderson University assistant baseball coach, was facing charges of felony DUI resulting in death in connection with an accident in which three people were killed.

    The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office arrested Adam Ali Valipour, in connection with the stabbing of his mother multiple times, resulting in her death at Willimon Drive in Piedmont.

    West Pelzer Town Council declined three bids for repairs to the roof of town hall and will seek new bids. Council also learned that using magnesium hydroxide instead of lime in the town’s wastewater system will result in an increase in operating costs of $12,000- $16,000 a year. Mayor Peggy Paxton said that the increase will probably require some adjustments in the budget.

    The Mill Town Players production of “Dark of the Moon” won first place at the South Carolina Theater Association (SCTA) Community Theatre Festival held at the Aiken Community Playhouse. The production, the second for the newly formed theater group.

    As the winner of this year’s SCTA festival, the Mill Town Players advance and will represent South Carolina in the regional competition at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in

    Chattanooga, TN on March 4–8, 2015.

    A WorkReady Job Fair and Training Expo for the towns of Williamston, Pelzer and West Pelzer was held at Williamston’s Municipal Center. The expo was sponsored by a new local partnership initiative Helping Others Pursue Excellence (H.O.P.E.). Sixty-two people participated in the job fair with 35 candidates being referred for job interviews.

    Nov. 19 – Anderson School District One was one of seven districts in the state to earn an Excellent rating on performance and growth on the State Report Card ratings. It is the fifth year in a row to earn the Excellent rating and the District placed 5th in the state for student achievement. The district also earned an Excellent for growth. Thirteen schools in Anderson One earned excellent ratings, while one school earned a good rating.

    Greenville County Schools earned an Absolute rating of Excellent on its Report Card for the first time since the State has released the annual data.

    Jared Michael Williams was sentenced to three consecutive life terms after he pled guilty to charges related to the Pelzer shooting incident in March in which three people were killed.

    Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) members elected new officers to serve in 2015 including President-Robin Tucker; 1st Vice President-Mike Simpson; 2nd Vice President- Tammy Pitt; 3rd Vice President-Lee Cole; Treasurer- Nancy Sisk; Secretary-Paula Payton.Outgoing president Chris Trotter thanked the members for their support during his term as president.

    Pelzer Town Council discussed water rates and selling some town owned property. They also approved the annexation of two additional pieces of property. Meetings will be held on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Community Building to allow additional space for more people who are expected to attend.

    The Pelzer Heritage Commission members met with Anderson County officials and Brownfields Cleanup consultants about grants, cleanup possibilities and future use of the old Pelzer Mill landfill properties.

    Nov. 26 – Greenville & Western Railway Company held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its Big Creek Machinery Distribution Hub in Williamston. The facility offers heavy machinery manufacturers and dealers a way to ship new equipment from the Southeastern US to anywhere on the North American rail network.

    Four people filed to run for the West Pelzer town council seat vacated by Robert Alexander last month. They are Donnie Jeanes, Jim Riddle, Shyanne Webb, and David Odom. The special election is set for December 30.

    The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees held their November meeting at Powdersville High School where they heard the yearly audit presentation, discussed the penny sales tax and presentation the 2015-16 calendar.

    They also recognized the Powdersville High School Marching Band for their 2A State Championship.

    Auditors Kevin Tomas and Ken Meadows of the Accounting firm of Greene, Finney and Horton, CPA said the general fund balance in 2013-14 decreased $391,000, less than a planned decrease of $549,000. The district has an unassigned fund balance of $8.9 million. In summary the audit found the district in good financial condition and commended the district on weathering the recent economic downturn very well.

    Dec. 3 – Marlee Rhodes, a former All-State runner at Palmetto High School and a standout for the Erskine College Flying Fleet Cross Country Tream competed in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship Meet in Louisville, Kentucky on Dec. 6.

    Williamston Town Council recognized the Palmetto High Competition Cheerleaders with a resolution congratulating them for their 2nd place finish in the SCHL 3A State Championship Competition in Greenville. A video of the runner-up performace was shown during the presentation.

    Main Street Williamston Executive Director Caroline Alex announced two property achievement awards which were presented to local businesses for investment in the town and facelift on property. Alex presented Modern Supply and Fiesta Mexican Restaurant awards for their investment in Williamston.

    Council approved second reading on the new sign ordinance and first reading on the closure of a portion of Hospital Street and conveyance to abutting landowners.

    Dec. 10 – The Palmetto Area Cultural Arts Center offered a Victorian Christmas at the Artory with a dinner and theater event in which David Burke portrayed Charles Dickens in an original one man show.

    The Mill Town Players will presented “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 12-14 and Dec. 18-21 at the Pelzer Auditorium.

    Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two individuals in connection with eight burglaries in the Big Creek Road, Belton area and a burglary in Pelzer. Arrested wre Barry Dean Stone of Belton and Joshua Logan Davis of Williamston.

    Winners of the 2015 Miss Wrenicycle pageant at Wren High School were Miss Freshman; Abbie Freeman.Miss Sophomore, Ashton Bramlett.; Miss Junior; Mckenzie Davinna; Miss Senior, Chandler Neal and Miss Wrenicycle, Sara Sargent;

    A public outreach meeting held at the Pelzer Community Building to present information on a grant application also included discussion on dilapidated houses, crime and annexation.

    The main focus of the meeting was for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for cleanup work on a former dump site on the Pelzer Mills property.

    West Pelzer Town Council authorized a consulting firm to seek a wastewater waiver from DHEC. DHEC designated the town as an urbanized area, resulting in stricter permit requirements including the creation of nine different programs, related to storm water runoff, as well as submitting a variety of annual reports. The steps needed to attain compliance would cost the town approximately $30,000 per year. If the waiver is refused, county officials will design a specific program for the town.

    West Pelzer Police Chief Mike Clardy presented a badge and a certificate to Christopher Browning, Jr., making him an honorary police officer. Browning, a ten year old Cedar Grove third grader, is awaiting a heart transplant. As a classmate of Clardy’s son, Christopher has impressed the Chief, among many others, with his courage and determination.

    Dec. 17- Williamston’s Main Street Program Director Caroline Alex announced that she is resigning her position with the town’s economic development program. Alex served as the programs coordinator for one year and will be taking a position with Clemson University.

    Dec. 24 – As a result of a dispute with a neighbor, Williamston councilman Otis Scott appeared before a judge in Powdersville Summary Court. Scott will contest the charges and requested a jury trial during his court appearance. . Scott was charged with malicious damage to real property after moving a mailbox.

    Residents of West Pelzer went to the polls on the last Tuesday of the year for a special election to fill one vacant seat on town council. The seat was vacated by the resignation of Robert Alexander earlier this year.

    Dec. 31- The area prepared for for the new year, 2015

    Looking Back at 2014 . . . entire story Jan. – Dec.