Looking Back – 2022 Year in Review – Part 2 July through December


Part two of our 2022 year in review as reported in the pages of The Journal:
July 6 – Williamston’s Freedom Celebration featured a Freedom Market, golf cart parade, food trucks, cruise-in, antique fire truck rides, “Bobbers on Big Creek” race, “Freedom Games”, live music and fireworks. Envision Williamston and Palmetto Business Association also helped sponsor the event.
The Pelzer Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks were held at the Lower Mill Warehouse on the corner of Murray St. and McCauthirn St. with free hotdogs, candy, chips, drinks, cookies, popcorn, snow cones and door prizes and fireworks. The event was sponsored by the Town of Pelzer, Pelzer Heritage Commission, the Pelzer Light People, Pelzer Church of God, Pelzer First Baptist Church and Betty Boops Hair and Antiques.
The 1st Annual Skylaticspromo Indie Music Festival was held in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park.
Geologists studying an ongoing swarm of earthquakes in Kershaw County said it may be the longest period of successive earthquake activity in the state’s recorded history. The swarm began December 27, 2021, with a magnitude 3.3 earthquake centered near Elgin, SC. Since then, 44 low-magnitude earthquakes occurred in the Elgin-Lugoff area, with the strongest being a magnitude 3.6 on June 29.
Anderson School District One announced that Kyle Whitfield will take over the principal role at Wren High School beginning July 1. Whitfield served as an assistant principal at Wren High School for the past five years.
July 13 – A South Carolina man pled guilty to two felony charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election. George Amos Tenney III, 35, of Anderson, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding.
The first annual Williamston Juneteenth Celebration was held. The theme was “Stronger Together.” It began with a remembrance ceremony that included music and poetry commemorating the history of Black Americans, as well as remarks from several speakers.The event was sponsored by the Williamston Action Community Club and held at the historic Caroline Community Center.
After almost a year of negotiations with a developer, Pelzer Town Council decided not to proceed with the sale of the “Lagoon” property. Council voted unanimously 5-0 not to proceed with the agreements to sell the property to J. B. Ferguson Properties. Plans for the 90 acre property was for residential development.
Williamston Police Chief Tony C. Taylor resigned as chief of police “to seek better opportunities” according to a news release posted on the town’s social media page. Taylor assumed the role as Chief of Police in January, 2013 and served nine years
A body was found Friday morning in the Saluda River during a search for a missing 12-year-old boy, according to the Greenville County Coroner’s Office.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said a body found in the Saluda River was Ayden Chastain. His body was found about 450 yards from where he was last seen. The coroner stated cause of death was drowning and manner of death was accident.
Williamston Town Council approved first reading to rezone 149 properties within the town. Changes to the General Manner of Driving Ordinance reduced the current fine for violations in the municipality from $1087, which it is under state law, to $100 plus court costs.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Roberta Hamby reported that the Bobber’s on Big Creek Race and Freedom Games were well received and had great prizes.
July 20 – Anderson County Council recognized Crescent High School for being named the 2022 Palmetto Boat Center Tournament Trail High School of the Year. They also recognized Anna Kay and Elizabeth Pamphilon for winning the 2022 TBF High School Fishing Work Finals Top Female Team.
County Council heard a number of comments from residents opposed to a zoning change on property on Hurricane Road and Pine Lane in the Denver-Sandy Springs area. Plans for the properties by a Florida developer could add an additional 700 vehicles to the congestion in the area. Chairman Tommy Dunn said the county would do the right thing and indicated that the request would not make it through three readings. The County Planning Commission had recommended the zoning request be denied.
The U.S. Space Force welcomed Clemson University as an official member of its University Partnership Program (UPP) at a Memorandum of Understanding signing event.
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit arrested the half brother of 4-year-old Joanna Lockaby in connection with her death. Deputies responded to 112 Chevy Chase Blvd., Pelzer and found the girl’s body in a wooded area behind a home. William Micah Hester, 17 , was charged in connection with the death.
Officials with the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS) organization were in Williamston to receive input and answer questions about current and future transportation projects including road corridors, bridges, road widenings, intersections, turning lanes and bike paths. A number of current and future projects in the area are included in the study.
The Mill Town Players presented the musical biography of Hank Williams, Sr., Hank Williams: Lost Highway, at the Historic Pelzer Auditorium. The production featured a cast of 10 local actors and professional musicians, including Mitchell Smith as Hank.
July 27 – Anderson County recently held a ribbon cutting following a total renovation of the 1905 Robert Anderson Memorial Fountain. The fountain is located at the Anderson County Museum, 202 East Greenville St. in Anderson. Excluding the water basin, the fountain weighs in at about 5,500 pounds and is just over 16 feet tall.
An Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputy was transported to the hospital after a potential fentanyl exposure on a call for service at an address on Rock Moss Drive near Williamston.

Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office charged 18-year-old Jaquan Kayne Alston with two counts of Attempted Murder and one count of Possession of a Weapon during a violent crime following a shooting that occurred at 1326 Piedmont Highway in Piedmont. The investigation showed Alston shot two people after an argument ensued and then fled the scene on foot.

July 27 – During a worksession, Williamston Mayor Rockey Burgess updated Town Council on reorganization of the police department and several ongoing projects. Among them, renovation of the old restrooms in Mineral Spring Park, the new Pickleball Court and possible Mineral Spring Trail expansion.
Aug. 3 – Anderson County held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of eight new pickleball courts at Hurricane Springs Park , located at 395 Roper Road, Piedmont.
Rodney Waters of Williamston received the title of Kentucky Colonel. Waters was presented with the title at the Williamston Municipal Center.
Pelzer Town Council held an open forum with residents to go through the 2022-23 budget line by line and allow public comments from those in attendance. The new budget reflects the availability of funds including American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID money, funds from the sale of the sewer system to ReWa. Ragland said the budget also reflects lower water bills as a result of the ReWa sale.
Pelzer is receiving $348,803 from ARPA and has $352,963 in the Cell Tower bank account. Funding from both were included in the budget and will go toward renovation of the Community Building which is estimated to be approximately $566,000. The budget includes funding for Preservation South to help with Historical Tax credits of up to 45 percent of the cost of the renovations.
The Town also received $600,000 from the sale of the sewer system to ReWa, which is being placed in the Town’s Reserve Fund Balance.
Registered Voters in the Anderson County Piedmont Precinct or who vote in the Piedmont Wesleyan Church Center, were invited to find out more about zoning and planning. Anderson County District 6 Councilman Jimmy Davis presented information.
Aug. 10 – Pelzer Town Council failed to approve first reading on the updated 2022-23 budget. During discussion, Councilwoman Donna Ide said she wanted raises for town employees taken out of the new budget.
Williamston Town Council heard a presentation on the Town’s updated Comprehensive Plan. Jeffrey Guilbault AICP, of the Appalachian Council of Governments, who worked with the Town’s Planning Commission on the plan for several months, presented information.
The Town of Williamston was approved for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant CDBG and a $444,500 Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) grant to completely replace aging water lines in the town’s mill village. The Town will provide $345,500 for a required match for the grant funds for the project. Total cost for the project is $1,540,000.
Aug. 17 – Pelzer Town Council approved first reading on their 2022-23 budget during a special called meeting. No one spoke during a public hearing on the budget. A three percent raise for town employees was cut to 1.5 percent.
West Pelzer Municipal Clerk Paula Payton said the town is looking into a new way for citizens to connect by text messages through TextMyGov. Residents can report issues and find information. Council will have the opportunity to test the service before it is released to the public.
West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders and Councilman Jeff Lee spoke during a public hearing held on a new Annexation and Sewer/Water Service Ordinance.
Aug. 24 – The 41st Annual Spring Water Festival was held in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park. The festival featured free kids activities, amusement rides, craft and business vendors, antique and classic auto show, fire truck rides, festival food vendors and other special attractions including the return of the 5K run. New this year was axe throwing. It was the sixteenth year for the current organizing committee, the Williamston Springwater Committee. The Carolina Coast Band headlined entertainment.
Thomas Addison displayed drawings and an oil painting of his interpretation of a mythical creature called a “Williamston Naiad” at the festival.
Aug. 31 – ACE Hardware celebrated the opening of their new location at 105 North Hamilton Street in Williamston. The new store features an expanded line of items.
The business started almost one hundred years ago as the Williamston Gin and Lumber Company, which was located at the property on Pelzer Avenue. Through the years the business was also known as the Williamston Home Center, True Value Hardware and ACE Hardware.
The Anderson School District One Board sold a piece of property for a right-of-way, approved an updated emergency plan and contracted for additional mental health counselers. The District is also planning a new building program to deal with increasing enrollment. Ten day average enrollment was 10,874 students, 281 more than last year.
The enrollment numbers show the need for a new building program that will begin next year to relieve overcrowding in the District which just finished a $132 million building program that included construction of two new middle schools, classroom additions, renovations and safety improvements throughout the District.
The Board approved a $20 million bond issue which will be combined with $23.4 million from Local Option Sales Tax funding and $2.3 million from the General Fund to fund the new building program.
Plans are for a new elementary school in the Powdersville area to relieve overcrowding at Concrete Primary and Powdersville Elementary schools. Approximate cost is $35 million.
The 24th annual Celebrate Anderson festival included The Special Forces Parachute Team, Anderson Sings winner Kendall Lanford, Country Artist Craig Morgan and a patriotic fireworks finale honoring the armed services and local first responders.
Richmond Auctions of Greenville hosted a two-day auction showcase which featured a New Old Stock 48″ double side porcelain Musgo Gasoline sign with a total selling price plus buyer’s fee of $1,552,500. Local auctioneer, David J. Meares, called the bids for the record setting sale at auction.
The Piedmont Historical Preservation Society hosted a celebration of the purchase of the 1908 Piedmont Manufacturing Company YWCA building which is to become the Piedmont History Museum.
A request to rezone a parcel of land located at 602 Greenville Dr. from Office Commercial to Industrial-1 did not receive approval by the Williamston Planning Commission. The request was to allow for conditional use as a car sales lot/tow yard.
The property is located next to property on Greenville Drive that the Town is in the process of purchasing, which has been the site of a similar business for years.
Sept. 7 – Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, announced plans to expand operations in Anderson County. The company’s $200 million investment will create 350 new jobs.
The Cancer Association of Anderson held their 2022 Hot Air Affair: Rising Above Cancer event in Williamston over the Labor Day weekend. This was the fifth year for the balloon event which offers a fun weekend of activities, raises awareness of cancer and honors cancer patients. There were twenty-five hot air balloons, a kids-zone, food, vendors and more. Unfortunately unfavorable weather conditions prevented several scheduled balloon launches.
The Piedmont Historical Preservation Society hosted a celebration of the purchase of the 1908 Piedmont Manufacturing Company YWCA building which is to become the Piedmont History Museum.
Sept. 14 – from last year. (SC Ready) are statewide assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics given to students in grades 3 through 8 at the end of the school year.

In every grade level, Anderson School District One students ranked among the top 5 in the state on South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC Ready) scores In Grade 4 Math, Anderson One students’ scores were the highest in the state.

Anderson County Council held a Special Called Meeting to hold third reading on an Ordinance authorizing Anderson County to enter into an installment purchase transaction to provide for the construction, reconstruction, acquisition, installation, renovation, and equipping of a new detention facility. The ordinance authorizes the issuance of bonds not exceeding $55,000,000 by the Anderson County Detention Facilities Corporation.
During the Pelzer Town Council meeting, announcements were made for several items including new gym hours, a workday in the Monkey Park and a Parks and Recreation Planning Meeting for the Monkey Park. Council also approved three new streetlights to be installed on Fuller St.
West Pelzer Town Council approved final reading on their Annexation and Sewer/Water Service ordinance. The ordinance requires contiguous property owners to request annexation in the Town if water/sewer service is made available to them. Noncontiguous property owners will be required to request annexation within 90 days of becoming contiguous to Town limits.
The Town of West Pelzer held a public meeting for residents to receive information and provide input for a Comprehensive Master Plan for the Town.
West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders said those that attended represented all backgrounds, who wanted to hear more about growth, what to expect. A lot of new residents attended, Sanders said. Representatives of Bolton Monk presented information and spoke with residents.
Williamston Town Council approved a comprehensive plan, a development agreement on Brock Lane subdivision and recognized several members of the Police Department including former Police Chief Tony Taylor. Chief Taylor is the first African American to be named to the position and served the town for ten years.
Hot Air Affair organizer Angie Stringer said the event had 25 hot air balloons and the response from pilots was they loved Williamston and the hospitality that was shown to them. She also reported that the vendors were thrilled with the response they had. “The weather was not great, but they were able to tether and do a balloon glow,” she said.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Roberta Hamby said surveys taken during the Spring Water Festival provided “good feedback”, a breakfast is planned for local pastors and the Scarecrow Decorating Contest will begin next week. Work has begun on a new dog park and fencing is being installed.
Sept. 21 – The Anderson School District One Board approved a $20 million bond issue which will be combined with $23.4 million from Local Option Sales Tax funding and $2.3 million from the General Fund to fund a new building program beginning in 2023.
District One just finished a $132 million building program that included construction of two new middle schools, classroom additions, renovations and safety improvements throughout the District. According to Superintendent Robbie Binnicker, even with sixty-six rooms added since 2019, they are running out of space with three elementary schools already operating over capacity and some schools using portables.
Mineral Spring Park in Williamston was closed for roof repairs on park structures and other cleanup activities. Modern Roofing replaced shingles on the Long Shelter and Amphitheater and town workers did cleanup around structures and removed several dangerous trees.
New Pickleball and Basketball Courts are being installed. Paving for the courts has been completed and fencing, lighting and striping will be installed soon.
Kentucky-based industrial real estate development company Gray Development, will expand its footprint with construction of a new 408,000 SF speculative facility on a 38-acre parcel located at 1810 Easley Highway and fronting I-85.
The Pelzer Planning Commission officially met for the first time at the Pelzer Gym. Planning Commission members were introduced and members of the Anderson County Planning and Development Staff explained the role of the Planning Commission.
The Belton Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival was held in downtown Belton.
Sept. 28 – The Mill Town Players opened their 9th Season at the Historic Pelzer Auditorium with a new musical, The Bridges of Madison County.
Pelzer Heritage Commission President Larry Coker announced that PHC had sold four acres of property at the corner of Smythe St. and Anderson St. at the upper mill. Developer Chris Hill, Scout Builders, plans to build townhomes.
Developers of the planned Senior Housing Complex are waiting on the Senior Housing Tax credits to be released by the State Legislature. Developers Cadence and NHT are relying on State Housing Tax Credits to assist with the financing of the project.
During a work session Williamston Mayor Rockey Burgess updated council on several items including three requests for annexation of property located on Belton Hwy. 20 and an offer of $100,000 from a person interested in purchasing the historic depot.
The town is under a consent order by SCDHEC to fix a torn liner at the Williamston Waste Water Treatment Plant which could cost between $250,000 and $500,000 to fix.
Thye Anderson School District One Board recognized the Palmetto High FFA, a Wren High AP Capstone recipient and a Palmetto teacher for being named the South Carolina Association of Physical Education and Sport 2022 High School Teacher of the Year. The Board also approved several policy changes and the 2022-23 school calendar.

Oct. 5 – Anderson County Council approved several fee in lieu agreements, zoning change requests. Council also approved various funding requests from Councilmembers for the Anderson Free Clinic, Hope Missions of the Upstate, Anderson Arts Center, Town of West Pelzer, United Way operations, United Way Camp iRock, Piedmont Public Service District, City of Belton and Town of Starr.
Clay Adams of Piedmont, a local lineworker with Duke Energy, competed in the International Lineman’s Rodeo at the National Agriculture Center & Hall of Fame in Overland Park, KS.

Williamston Town Council annexed one property, bought two properties and approved a letter of intent for possible development of the old Water Treatment Plant and Historic Depot. Council also turned down an offer to purchase the Depot.
Council approved second reading on a Development Agreement with Hunter Quinn Homes, LLC for development of the Brock Lane Subdivision. Under the agreement, 31.49 acres belonging to the Town will be subdivided into two tracts, one containing 27.51 acres zoned Planned Development and a second containing 3.98 acres which the Town will retain for split zoned commercial use. The new subdivision will be known as Saratoga Villages and Saratoga Oaks and include 64 single family lots.
Council approved first reading on an ordinance to allow the town to purchase property at 26 Moorings Drive.
Oct. 12 – Pelzer Town Council heard an update on several property related issues including old swimming pool property, Church of God property, and PHC Overlook Park property. They also approved four new street light locations.
The West Pelzer Fire Department, and the area community, are mourning the loss of Daniel Bagwell, 29, of Pelzer. Bagwell was attempting to put gas in his vehicle when he was struck by another vehicle.
Oct. 19 – The Town of Williamston will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for 8 new lighted regulation-size pickleball courts and a new basketball court in Mineral Spring Park. The total cost for the project was $300,000, with funding provided by municipal hospitality tax.
Envision Williamston and the Williamston Police Department sponsored Bingo with the Blue. Piedmont Post Acute was also a sponsor of the event.
The first meeting for the Town of Pelzer Planning Commission was held at the Pelzer Gym. A new Comprehensive Plan was presented by the Anderson County Planning and Development Staff.
Williamston Town Council held a special called meeting to have second reading on purchasing the property located at 26 Moorings Dr. in Williamston. The property is being purchased from G. Richardson Boyd, Jr. and Dorothy Quillen Boyd, Trustees, for a purchase price of $210,000. The property is located just off Greenville Drive and adjacent to the Main Street Motors/Larry Smith property the Town also recently purchased.
The Palmetto Business Association (PBA) Annual Golf Tournament had 114 golfers participate in the tournament, along with 32 hole sponsors, 7 tent sponsors, 8 corporate sponsors, a closest to the pin sponsor, longest drive sponsor and lunch sponsor

Oct. 26 – The Anderson County Legislative Delegation approved the 2022-23 County Board of Education Budget, the Anderson County Alternative School Budget and PARD grant awards during their meeting. House District 10 Representative Westley Cox was also presented the Order of the Palmetto.
Anderson County received a $40,000 PARD grant for improvements at Hurricane Springs Park to begin implementing items in the recently approved Master Plan for the area. The funding will be used for a pavillion/shelter area at the new pickleball courts. The funding is being combined with a $25,000 Duke Energy grant which was recently presented for fencing at Wren Youth Association football field at the park.
West Pelzer was allocated $20,000 for Chapman Park improvements. The improvements are part of a master Plan for the entire town and include an expansion of the park. The expansion will include a picnic pavillion, playground structures and possibly a dog park.
The Town of Williamston was allocated $12,000 for basketball courts improvements at Brookdale Park. The project includes resurfacing, restriping and a new set of goals.
Anderson County has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the US Department of Interior Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The funds will be used towards the development of a new recreation facility on the Saluda River in Piedmont.
“This new facility will serve as a key anchor on the Saluda River Blue Trail and bring countless benefits to Piedmont and surrounding area”, said Anderson County Councilmember Jimmy Davis
The facility will be developed in the historic village of Piedmont on county-owned property located at 550 River Road at the confluence of the Saluda River and Big Brushy Creek, just north of Piedmont Dam.
Vendors gave out candy during Boo in the Park held in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park Saturday. Businesses and organizations joined the Town of Williamston in hosting the annual fall community event which included free candy stations, a costume contest and other fun activities. Co-organizer Dianne Lollis said, “It was one of the best ever.”
A FedEx delivery truck struck the GWRR train trestle over Gossett Drive in Williamston Monday. Gossett Drive was closed for several months earlier this year after being struck by another vehicle and was reopened in August. Railroad and Town officials have been working on adding yet more safety devices to alert vehicles to the low clearance, despite numerous signs already on West Main Street and Gossett Drive warning drivers that there is a 9 ft. clearance.
One person was killed and another injured in a single vehicle wreck on Anderson Drive near Walton Drive in Williamston. A pickup truck left the roadway and struck a mailbox before hitting a concrete culvert and utility pole.
Approximately 40 people attended a community input meeting in Pelzer for a draft Master Plan for Timmerman Landing on the Saluda River and the Monkey Park in Pelzer.

The Anderson School District One Board heard an update on the building program, state school report cards and approved funding for the Career and Technology Center. Dr. Wilson said that AD1 schools had a score of either “Good” or “Excellent”.
The Board approved a funding to help the Anderson Career and Technology Center modernize their firefighting facility. The new system will simulate what a real fire would be like. Total cost of the project is $200,000. The $150,000 recommended by Binnicker is equivalent to the proportion of students Anderson One has at the Career and Technology Center.
Nov. 2 – Anthony D. Dean was arrested and charged with assault and felon in possession of firearms after officers investigated a shots fired incident in the vicinity of East Carolina Street and Brown Street in Williamston.
Anderson County Council approved a resolution to accept a $40,000 PARD grant that will be used for improvements at Hurricane Spring Park, hired a design architect for the new county detention center and approved several fee in lieu agreements for capital investment in the county. Two people spoke during citizens comments, both regarding the abandonment and closure of a County right of way on Broyles Point Road on Lake Hartwell. The issue was tabled later in the meeting.
The Piedmont Historical Preservation Society’s final program of 2022 featured Dennis Chastain, a Pickens County naturalist, historian, and former tour guide. Chastain spoke on “The Cherokee Path”.
While some incumbents holding offices in Anderson County had challengers, most ran unopposed. Three incumbent candidates running for re-election to the Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners will continue to serve. They are Al C McAbee Jr., Ed Poore and Terry Yates. Lee Cole and Tony Hagood, running unopposed were re-elected to the seats on Williamston Town Council.
Williamston Town Council approved two property annexations, a match to a PARD grant for Brookdale Park and approved a big ticket purchase for required repairs at the town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). Council also approved traffic safety improvements for Gossett Drive and heard the annual audit report.
Total cost for the liner replacement liner at the WWTP is approximately $206,798.
Auditor Ken Meadows of Greene, Finney, Cauley accountants said that the Town received an “Unmodified Opinion”, which is the best it can receive on their audit. Meadows said the General Fund and Water Fund are in “very good financial condition” and the Sewer Fund is in “adequate condition”.
Nov. 9 – Pelzer Town Council approved first reading on a Comprehensive Plan and approved a proposal to help get State and Federal tax credits for restoration of the Community Building. The new Comprehensive Plan gives direction for future growth in the town.
Eight local Veterans were presented Quilts of Valor during a special presentation held at the Williamston Municipal Center on Veterans Day. The presentation was the first in the State for Quilts of Valor with multiple Veteran being wrapped with special hand sewn quilts.
Veterans wrapped at the event included James Barrs, Ronald Deglau, Connor Jewett, Victor Martin, Robert Roach, Paul Pierce, Neil Garren, Kenneth Cooley. Also receiving one, but not present for the wrapping ceremony were Thomas Turner, Jerry Babb, Claude Anderson, William Smythe, Robert Scroggs, Ronald Fowler, Phillip Howard, Charles Hopkins, Elvira Rayez.
Officer Christine Cauthen and Chief Scott Stoller of the West Pelzer Police Department were recognized by Governor Henry McMaster for their life-saving administrations of the overdose reversing medication, naloxone (Narcan) in several emergency situations.
West Pelzer Town Council appointed a new municipal judge, approved International Building Codes and their 2023 meeting schedule. Steven Turner will serve as the Town’s Municipal Judge.
West Pelzer Town Clerk Paula Payton announced that she has been appointed to the SC Municipal Finance Officers, Clerks and Treasurers Association (MFOCTA) Board. MFOCTA offers training programs throughout the year covering the wide range of responsibilities of finance officers, clerks and treasurers.
One of the Association’s main goals is to provide municipal elected officials and staff with the services that help them most efficiently and effectively operate their municipalities. Municipal clerks play a critical role in support of the mayor, city council and other administrative positions.
Nov. 23 – The Anderson County Coroner’s Office is investigating an incident in which illicit drug use resulted in two deaths and two other people being injured and transported to AnMed.
A retirement event for Probate Judge Martha D. Newton was held at the Bleckley Inn’s Carriage House. Newton, the longest serving Probate Judge in South Carolina and the longest serving elected official in Anderson County, was presented the Order of the Palmetto.
The second annual “Williamston Winter Wonderland” event included Christmas tree lighting at Town Hall, Lighting of the Christmas Park and Deck the Halls, free horse drawn carriage rides through the park, carolers, Santa in the Scout Hut, reading of “the Birth of Christ” and “Night Before Christmas” by the Mayor and a Holiday Market Fair.
The Williamston Christmas Parade was also held the same day.
The Piedmont Village Christmas Lights Winterfest event was held at Piedmont Wesleyan Church. Winterfest included lighting of a 25 foot Christmas Tree, lighting of the new Village Lights, Village Shops and Stores, Village Library, Filling Station, Free hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot apple cidar and hot boiled peanuts and a firepit.
Nov. 30 – The Anderson School District One Board elected board officers, approved second reading on four policies and heard the annual financial audit report. The Board also heard from two residents concerned with a pilot program being used in the District, which they claimed has connections to CRT and other Marxist agendas.
Board member and current Chair Nancy Upton was elected Board Chairman. Brenda Ellison was elected Vice Chairman and David Merritt was elected Board Secretary. Mike Wilson was chosen to continue serving on the Alternative School Board. Board members Wendy Burgess and Nancy Upton will continue to serve on the Anderson School Districts One and Two Career and Technology Center board.
Auditor Ken Meadows, of Green, Finney and Cauley Accounting, reported that Anderson School District One received an “Unmodified Opinion” on their financial statements which is “the best you can get”. The District fund balance increased by $3.1 million to $25.5 million. The non-spendable fund balance for inventory and prepaids has $600,000 in it.
Powdersville Elementary School was recognized as a Model Profession Learning Community At Work by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement. The school is one of about 200 schools and districts in the US and Canada to receive the Honor.
Dec. 6 – The Piedmont Christmas Parade and the West Pelzer/Pelzer Christmas Parade were held on the same day.
Renovation of the Pelzer Community Building is underway. Maintenance staff is removing the vinyl siding off of the Pelzer Community Building in order to apply for historic tax credits for the full restoration of the building, initially constructed prior to 1910 as an open air skating rink. The Town is working with Preservation South, a company that specializes in research, planning, and consulting services that preserve the architectural and structural history of properties
Dec. 14 – Pelzer Town Council approved second reading on a new Comprehensive Plan, approved a new auditor and heard an update on several ongoing property issues.

West Pelzer Town Council approved second reading on the adoption of International Building Codes, held first reading on an ordinance to rezone property for new Townhomes and heard a year end review of accomplishments for the Town.
Dec. 21 – The Town of Pelzer Planning Commission held a public hearing on several items including: Application for subdividing a parcel of land into 2 parcels for single-family homes located on Parker St.; Application for subdividing a parcel of land into 3 parcels for single-family homes located at the corner of Finley St., and Parker St.; Application for a variance for a reduction of setbacks from 15’ to 5’ for the construction of a single-family home located on Lot 124A Frost St.; Application for new construction of commercial car lot located on Hwy 20.
The Pelzer Planning Commission held a public hearing to review a recommended fee schedule for builders and new construction for projects in the Town of Pelzer. A copy of the “DRAFT” fee schedule is available for review at the Town Hall.
Dec. 28 – Area residents had a very cold Christmas Eve with temperatures as low as eight degrees and wind chills below zero. They readied to welcome a new year – 2023!