Contact us:

Phone: 864-427-2411

Fax: 864-429-2975

e-mail: chris@wbcuradio.com, mike@wbcuradio.com daniel@wbcuradio.com, linda@wbcuradio.com, ashley@wbcuradio.com tyler@wbcuradio.com, hannah@wbcuradio.com


Call 441-0066


Union County's Radio Station

Schedule for today:

6-9 a.m.--Union County's Morning Show with Daniel Prince

9-10 a.m.—Union Pennzoil Kwik Lube Hour

10-10:45 a.m.—Union County's Morning Show with Daniel Prince

10:45-11 a.m.--Swap N Shop

11-noon—The Gospel Show with Daniel Prince

Noon-1 p.m.--Noon Report with Mike Stevens

1-3 p.m.--The Clark Howard Show--Call 1-877-872-5275

3-5 p.m.--Today's best country and some hits from yesterday

5-5:30 p.m.--Union Pennzoil Kwik Lube Top 5 at 5

5:30-6 p.m.--5:30 News Report

6-8 p.m.--SC Sports Talk

8 p.m.-6 a.m.--Today's best country and some hits from yesterday


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO YOU!!!

Virginia Morgan is our Friday Birthday winner!

 

 

 

 

       

ABC News    South Carolina Radio Network

LOCAL NEWS

Have you liked WBCU on Facebook yet?

 


SON'S NEAR-FATAL ACCIDENT PROMPTS FATHER TO WRITE BOOK

Friday, February 5

An earthshaking and life-changing event occurred in July of last year that prompted the penning of a book. It all started as four Union boys decided to ride the trails near Jonesville on their dirt bikes. Two of the young men ended up in a head-on collision with life-threatening injuries. The circumstances surrounding the decision to ride dirt bikes that day and what followed spurred the father of one of the victims, Steve Lewis, to write the book titled, “God’s Got Your Number”. Lewis told how the book came to be.

 

The book is a compelling story that will capture and keep a reader’s attention. It is particularly interesting that all the events surrounding the story took place in Union County. A book signing is scheduled for Saturday, February 13, at the church known as Common Ground at the old theater location on the North Duncan Bypass from 12 until 3 p.m. The books are available now at Sheer Class Salon or online at Godsgotyournumber.com. Lewis is scheduled to appear on Union County’s Morning Show with Daniel Prince on WBCU Thursday, February 11th, at 9 a.m.

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TRUMP'S SC SUPPORTERS MAKE STOP IN UNION COUNTY

Friday, February 5

It would seem presidential politics is making its way into Union County. Several weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee came to Union for a rally at First Baptist Church. Huckabee has since dropped out of the race. Donald Trump, however, is a major figure in the race. Trump’s campaign people came to Union in their well-decorated RV and spoke to some well-wishers at Union County Stadium. One of the campaign workers traveling on the RV was James Epley, Regional Director for Trump’s Upstate South Carolina campaign. Epley stated the purpose for the stop in Union.

 

The campaign director for Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties is Greg Addison. Addison pointed out that Trump’s hot button issues are building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, repeal and replace Obamacare, annihilate ISIS and take their oil, and take great care of veterans. There was a hint that Trump himself might visit the county. 

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SCHOOL BOARD TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON SEARCH FOR SUPERINTENDENT, FOOTBALL COACH 

Friday, February 5

The first meeting for February of the Union County School Board of Trustees will take place tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. The agenda appears to be fairly light. Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks will talk about the 2016–2017 school calendar and will give an update of the search for a permanent superintendent and an athletic director/head football coach. Cindy Langley will give an update on AdvanceED. There are a number of field trips for students the board will address. Jeff Stribble will present the personnel report, and there is an executive session listed, if needed.

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ANOTHER CHURCH BREAK-IN REPORTED 

Friday, February 5

We have another church break-in to report. Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Voiselle responded to 3105 Jerusalem Road to Jerusalem Baptist Church last Thursday in reference to the break-in. Voiselle was accompanied by a UCSO investigator. The complainant and congregation member Fred Hughes stated that he came to the church and noticed that the door to the outside storage shed was open. He stated that nothing in the shed appeared to be missing or disturbed. Hughes then said that upon looking around the outside of the church, he noticed that the power meter had been pulled off of the power box and the back door to the church was pried open. That’s when he dialed 911 and waited outside with a few other members for law enforcement to arrive. Upon inspection of the inside of the church, it was discovered that a flat screen television was missing from the wall of the social room inside of the church. The power company was called out to fix the power box. The investigation into the break-in is continuing.

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SIMS ACADEMIC CHALLENGE TEAM DEFEATS LANDRUM

Friday, February 5

Congratulations are in order for the Sims Middle School 7th- and 8th-grade Academic Challenge Team for their win Friday. They went to Landrum and won, 34-27. Sims led the entire match. After round 1, the score was 11 to 9. The score at the end of round 2 was a neck-and-neck 24 to 23. Sims really started to pull ahead in the last round, outscoring Landrum 10-4 to seal the victory. Their next match will be Tuesday, February 23, against the winner of Monday's match between Blacksburg and Hughes. The seventh grade members are: Jillian Rebuck, Halen Lawing, Cheyenne Champion, Logan Betenbaugh, & Macie Gregory. The eighth grade members are: Spencer Woodall, Dallis Pierce, Katie Wagner, RJ Sanders, and Kirklyn English.

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BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC BOARD NAMES NEW CEO

Friday, February 5

Broad River Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees has announced the hiring of Terry Mallard, of Canton, Georgia, as the new president and CEO. Mallard will replace Broad River Electric interim CEO Richard Baines beginning March 7, 2016.

Board Chairman Norris Fowler of Union said, “We are very pleased and excited to bring an individual the caliber of Terry Mallard to lead our cooperative. He has extensive knowledge and experience in financial management, economic development, and other aspects of our industry that will be of great benefit to the members. We also know that he will continue Broad River Electric’s legacy of being involved in our communities.”

Mallard’s arrival at Broad River Electric extends his 24 years in the electric cooperative industry, the last 14 as a regional vice president for National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) in Dulles, Virginia. Originally from North Carolina, Mallard is a certified public accountant licensed in that state. He graduated magna cum laude from Campbell University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Mallard also graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Christian Education.

Mallard and his wife of 33 years, Vickie, have three grown children and six grandsons. He is an avid runner and has participated in the Boston Marathon three times.


LOCKHART OFFICIALS MEET WITH BROWN'S CREEK WATER DISTRICT BOARD

Friday, February 5

The Brown’s Creek Water District Board and officials of the town of Lockhart met in a joint session Thursday. The Lockhart group was there to present their appeal for the water company to take over the operation of the town’s water service. The Lockhart service has been facing financial problems in providing water to the town’s residents. They actually had an increase in the rate citizens pay, but it was not enough to give the desired relief. Another issue is the approaching retirement of the sole operator of the service, and town officials fear that they will not be able to find another person to perform the duties.

At the meeting, the Brown’s Creek Water Company was represented by Winnsboro attorney John Fantry, Jr. Fantry recommended that the meeting go into an executive session to discuss contractual matters. That session lasted about 50 minutes, and when they came out, they said there was nothing to report. Leaving the meeting, Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe said:

 

The Town of Lockhart has already approached Lockhart Power Company about the matter, and officials say the process will take longer than they expected.

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MAN POINTS SHOTGUN AT OFFICERS, is ARRESTED ON FIREARMS CHARGES 

Friday, February 5

On Wednesday, Lt. John Sherfield was contacted by Lt. Parker of the Union Public Safety Department who stated that Inv. Gregory and Capt. McGee, both of the Union Public Safety Dept., were out at 107 Lulu Green Road to follow up on an investigation and while there, an individual came out of the residence with a firearm.  

Lt. Sherfield and Sgt. Gilstrap then began to drive to that location. While en route, the officers were notified by Investigator Gregory that they had detained the suspect with the firearm, but asked the deputies to still respond.

Upon arrival, Lt. Sherfield spoke with Inv. Gregory, who stated that he and Capt. McGee came to the residence to speak with an individual regarding a possible straw purchase of a firearm. Gregory stated that he and McGee went to the door and knocked with no response. They then knocked again and yelled police. This time a male from inside the residence yelled, "Who is it?" Gregory stated he yelled back, "It's the police." Gregory then heard the male say something threatening. Gregory and McGee then took cover at ends of the mobile home and then observed 43-year old David Francis Baldwin, Jr., exit he mobile home through the door with a shotgun. Gregory stated they continued to identify themselves as police officers and even held up their badge, but Baldwin refused to put down the shotgun and began pointing it at both of the officers. Finally, Baldwin did put the shotgun down and was handcuffed and detained. Lt. Sherfield then advised Baldwin of his Miranda warning and he agreed to speak with him without an attorney. While speaking with Baldwin, Sherfield noticed he had a very strong odor of alcohol about his person and was unsteady on his feet and not very cooperative. Baldwin stated his mobile home had been broken into the day before by an unknown person and he stated he thought they were coming back. When asked if he had filed a police report regarding the break-in, Baldwin admitted that he had not, and further admitted nothing was stolen. When asked if he heard the officers knock and announce they were police, he stated he heard them knock but did not hear them say they were police. Baldwin kept telling Lt. Sherfield that he needed to talk to his wife, who was not present at the time of the incident. Lt. Sherfield seized a Mossberg Maverick 12-gauge shotgun that had two rounds of 2-3/4 inch shells in it. Baldwin was then placed under arrest for pointing and presenting a firearm and transported to Union County Jail by uniform patrol. Upon arrival, a criminal history showed that Baldwin has a previous conviction for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and is forbidden under state law from possessing firearms. Based on this information, an additional warrant charging Baldwin with possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent crime was signed by Lt. Sherfield.

An NCIC check showed no record of the firearm being reported as stolen; however, Lt. Sherfield will perform an ATF trace to determine the registered owner.

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SOUP MEAL PLANNED AT LOCAL CHURCH TO HELP THE HUNGRY 

Friday, February 5

It’s Super Bowl weekend, and plans are being made for parties and celebrations. No doubt many Union Countians will be glued to their TV sets Sunday night for the 6:30 kickoff between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. On the table for the game will be, in all probability, chicken wings, nachos, and what is said to be the most consumed food for the big game—pizza. Some events are planned before the game, such as the one at Union’s First Presbyterian Church. All are welcome to enjoy a bowl of vegetable soup following worship to help fight hunger in Union County. There is no charge, but you are encouraged to bring canned food or make a donation to help reach those who need help in our community. All canned goods will be given to the Feed My Sheep ministry, and all money will be shared between Feed My Sheep and Union County Meals on Wheels.


SHAG NIGHT TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Thursday, February 4

The Union County Health Care Foundation’s much-anticipated Shag Night event has been set for March 5th. It will take place at the Union National Guard Armory starting at 6:00 p.m. that evening. A favorite musical group, the Band of Oz, will be returning. In addition to dancing, they will have a live and silent auction. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets will be available for $40 and will not be available at the door. You can pick them up at the Health Care Foundation’s office in the Union Medical Center lobby, from WBCU, or from Paradise Home Center. For more information, you should call 864-301-2466.

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES DATE FOR ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET

Thursday, February 4

The date for the Union County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Banquet will be March 31st. No information about the banquet is available yet, but those planning to attend are encouraged to save the date. Invitations and additional information will be forthcoming.

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UNION MEDICAL CENTER OFFERS TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HEART

Thursday, February 4

While a cheeseburger and fries may make your heart swell with joy, a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat could also cause a heart attack.  
February is National Heart Month, bringing awareness to heart disease, which kills an estimated 630,000 people every year. You’ve got a lot of heart, so don’t let high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other risk factors stop your beat.

Heart disease comes in many forms, including high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, or diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Risk factors for heart disease include heredity, tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity and alcohol consumption.

Making healthy lifestyle changes can keep your heart beating, such as:
--Eating a healthy diet. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber. Limit sodium to lower blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. 
--Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
--Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease.
--Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which causes high blood pressure.

Not quite sure if you are at risk of heart disease? Attend the free Cardiovascular Risk Screenings at Union Medical Center on February 18th from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES CASE OF ASSAULT WITH HAMMER

Thursday, February 4

Early Wednesday morning, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Vaughan was dispatched to Whitlock Lake Road in reference to an assault with a hammer. As Vaughan travelled to the scene, dispatch advised that the subject, 53-year old Robert Hardy, of Dogwood Drive, was still assaulting the victim, 52-year old Rick Bell, with the hammer. Dispatch also advised that Hardy had a handgun and that Bell got the gun away from Hardy. Upon arrival, the deputy saw a black male walking down the road toward the West Springs Highway. Sgt. Roger Hill, who also responded to the call, then turned around to try to locate the male, but he was gone. The officers spoke to Bell, and he stated that when he and his girlfriend got home, Hardy came from behind the house and starting assaulting him. He stated that Hardy hit him with a hammer in the back of the head and then pointed a gun at him. Bell said that Hardy told him that there were no bullets in the gun, and that's when Bell fought with Hardy and got the gun away from him. It was determined that Hardy lives in Pacolet and possibly parked his car at the Kangaroo station and walked to the residence.

The vehicle was found in the parking lot of Kangaroo, but nobody was around it. The deputies noticed blood on the side of the trailer and on the ground. Bell said Hardy took his cell phone and left with it. EMS was advised that the scene was secure, and they arrived shortly after to check on Bell’s injuries.

Later, Sgt. Hill located Hardy on the side of the road on Highway 176 on the ground. He had several wounds on his head and was covered in blood. Hardy stated that Bell’s girlfriend invited him over and did not know Bell was coming home. He stated that Bell hit him and pulled the gun out and handed it to him and told him not to be pulling a gun on him. Hardy stated that he did not drive the vehicle, and that his brother dropped him off because he does not have a driver's license. Deputies called EMS to the scene to transport Hardy to the hospital. The hammer and handgun was collected as evidence. The case remains under investigation.


LOCKHART OFFICIALS TO MEET WITH BROWN'S CREEK WATER DISTRICT

Wednesday, February 3

A meeting has been set up for Thursday evening between officials of the Town of Lockhart and the Brown’s Creek Water District. The meeting was requested by the Town of Lockhart due to their seeking someone to take over their water service. Water rates were increased last year in an effort to stem the losses being sustained there, but apparently that has not helped the situation. Town officials have already met with Lockhart Power Company and discussed the possibility of a takeover. The meeting with Brown’s Creek is set for 6:30 at their office building on Highway 49 east of Union.

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JAMES GREGORY RETURNS TO BROAD RIVER'S ANNUAL HILARITY FOR CHARITY BENEFIT

Wednesday, February 3

Iconic stand-up comic James Gregory will return to the Broad River Electric Auditorium on Friday, February 19, for the 7th Annual Hilarity for Charity benefit comedy show. All proceeds from the event will go toward helping veterans in need in the area.

Gregory, whose wry sense of the absurd and master storytelling have earned him the reputation as the “funniest man in America,” first came to Broad River Electric in 2010 and again in 2011.

 “We’re very excited to have James coming back,” said Josh P. Crotzer, Member Services Coordinator for Broad River Electric. “His shows are not only hilarious, but also have raised a lot of money for the beneficiaries.”

Tickets are $27.50 for Section 1 (closest to stage) and $22.50 for Section 2. They can be purchased at the door, at Broad River Electric offices in Gaffney and Boiling Springs, the Union Oil Mill Farm & Garden, and online at broadriverelectric.com/h4c.

For more information about ticket outlets as well as sponsorship opportunities, contact Josh Crotzer, Member Services Coordinator at Broad River Electric Cooperative.

The event is presented by Broad River Electric Charities, a nonprofit subsidiary of Broad River Electric Cooperative, whose purpose is to raise and distribute funds to other nonprofits and charities in Union, Cherokee, and Spartanburg counties. Since 2010, Hilarity for Charity has raised over $85,000 for local charities and causes. 

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UCHS FRESHMAN MAKES VERBAL COMMITMENT TO USC

Wednesday, February 3

Bailey Beterbaugh, a freshman at Union County High School, has already made a verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina and coach Bev Smith to play softball as a pitcher and hitter in the SEC. She made the commitment this past weekend. After visiting Georgia, Kentucky, UNC, College of Charleston and South Carolina with multiple offers, she chose the Gamecocks. Bailey Betenbaugh will be a 2019 graduate at Union County High School. She plays travel softball with the Carolina Elite Gold Fisher team with Coach Josh Fisher and for Union County High School’s Coach Tommy Petty.

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JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE SET TO HOST DANCE

Wednesday, February 3

The Junior Charity League of Union County continues the tradition started by the Union County Recreation Department as they are set to host the annual Father-Daughter Dance. It will take place this Saturday, February 6, rom 6 - 8 pm at the Union County Recreation Department building on Thomas Street. The cost is $30 per couple and $5 for each additional child. A corsage and picture are included. You may purchase tickets at Ashley Turner State Farm, Personally Yours by Nicole, Bantam Chef, or from any Junior Charity League member.

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STOLEN TRAILER FROM SPARTANBURG RECOVERED IN UNION COUNTY

Wednesday, February 3

Monday around 5 p.m., Sheriff David Taylor advised that a stolen trailer from Spartanburg County was at a location on Buffalo-West Springs Highway. Investigators. Scott Coffer and Jeff Lawson went to the residence and spoke with a male there. He stated that a friend of his had left the trailer there and gave investigators the name and phone number of the person who left it. The investigation will continue. Spartanburg County was notified that the trailer was recovered.


SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS 20 AT PARTY

Tuesday, February 2

On Saturday, January 30, 2016, The Union County Sheriff’s Office received a tip of a live internet video feed showing a “party” at 103 Pine Street in the city of Union. While viewing the live feed, deputies noticed what appeared to be marijuana and cocaine on a table while several individuals were rapping, dancing, drinking alcohol and smoking. Based on this live video showing illegal activity, Lt. John Sherfield applied for a search warrant from the magistrate’s office. A search warrant was issued, and a team of officers from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union Public Safety Department, and Jonesville Police Department went to 103 Pine Street to execute the search warrant. Upon arrival, officers observed several individuals on the front porch area, and as the officers pulled into the driveway, some of the individuals ran off the porch and others ran into the residence. The individuals that ran behind the residence were apprehended and detained by a team of law enforcement officers assigned to the rear of the residence. Everyone was brought back to the residence and secured and searched. Deputies then began searching the residence, and while doing so, they located and seized 211 grams of marijuana, $2616 cash, and 9 handguns. The following individuals were arrested and booked into the Union County Jail. Each individual received 2 charges each, which were 1) Possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and 2) Possession with intent to distribute marijuana within ½ mile of a school (USC-Union).

 

Terance Jamal Jeter, 22, 230 Vaughan Road, Union

 

 

Joe Shon Kymond Spears, 18, 533 Union Blvd., Union

 

 

Michael Deshawn Smith, 22, 120 Aqua Lane, Union

 

 

Octavious Duquan Smith, 21, 411 Colonial Ave., Gaffney

 

 

Kardarius Keion Means, 22, 120 N. Boyce St., Union

 

 

Sacorie Kvon Webster, 22, 621 Sunny Acres Rd, Pacolet

 

 

Antuwan Marquise Shippy, 18, 421 E. Main St., Pacolet

 

 

Curtis Howard Garrett, 22, 205 Gault Ave., Union

 

 

Catorian Keishun Smith, 18, 300 Shadow Dr., Union

 

 

Brandon Keith Dawkins, 18, 107 Perrin Ave., Union

 

 

Keiston Rashad Smith, 20, 305 Lakeside Dr., Union

 

 

Wesley Devonte Jeter, 22, 103 Pine Street, Union

 

 

Michael Elijah McCants, 19, 101 East Hillcrest St, Union

 

 

Shunqual Dayshun Eison, 21, 300 Shadow Dr., Union

 

 

Demitrius Robert Epps, 19, 204 Fairway Dr. Union

 

 

Damion Dapri Jeter, 20, 123 Pine St., Union

 

 

Shaderiay Marquez Spears, 20, 503 Union Blvd., Union

 

 

Markecio Rashan Givens, 20, 533 Union Blvd., Union

 

 

Terence Enn, 19, 105 Woodruff Lane, Moore

 

 

Labrian Stephone Smith, 23, 204 S. Enterprise St., Union

 

Additional charges are pending in regards to the firearms seized during the raid. The Union County Sheriff’s Office jail van was called to securely transport the subjects. Sheriff Taylor commends the efforts of his department for their quick action. Sheriff Taylor states again that this is evidence of the continued drug dependency problem within Union County.

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AREA TEACHER WINS WYFF'S GOLDEN APPLE AWARD

Tuesday, February 2

A Union school teacher has been selected as the recipient of an award from an area television station. The station, WYFF in Greenville, gives the award periodically to teachers in their viewing area that exhibit outstanding teaching qualities. Lori Todd, who teaches at Union Christian Day School, told us how this came about.

 

Todd has been teaching for about 30 years and received her undergraduate degree from Clemson University. She continued her education at Converse College and the University of South Carolina. She was awarded the Golden Apple by WYFF personality Geoff Hart, about which she said:

 

Lori is also the Education Director for the First Presbyterian Church of Union.

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USC-UNION HOSTING UNITED WAY'S VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Tuesday, February 2

Union folks who qualify as a family making less than $54,000 a year and are planning to file their taxes for free through United Way's VITA program should contact Bill Moore at USC-Union. His number is 864-427-3681, extension 7737, and his email is moorebil@mailbox.sc.edu. You will need to make an appointment to get your taxes done. They will also have volunteers at the United Way Partnership Center in Union on the following dates from 9 to 3: February 3, February 16, March 2, or March 16.

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LOCAL CHURCH FIGHTING HUNGER WITH SOUP LUNCH

Tuesday, February 2

All are welcome to enjoy a bowl of vegetable soup following the morning worship service at Union’s First Presbyterian Church Sunday, February 7th, at noon. This event will help fight hunger in Union County. There is no charge, but you are encouraged to bring canned food or make a donation to help reach those who need help in our community. All canned goods will be given to the church’s “Feed My Sheep” ministry, and all money will be shared between “Feed My Sheep” and Union County Meals on Wheels. Organizers say, “Please invite your neighbor and come have lunch with us!”

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MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED

Tuesday, February 2

The Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, February 4, at the USC-Union gazebo. You are invited to come and join with fellow citizens of Union County, and with others in other places, to pray for our country, our community, our state, our world, and for the Church.  You are asked to pray for God’s guidance in the coming primaries and caucuses, as well as for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. All are welcome to attend. If you can't get to the gazebo, organizers ask that you take some time for special prayer during the day.

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AUTOMATION PERSONNEL RECRUITING FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS

Tuesday, February 2

Automation Personnel will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street, on Thursday, February 4th, from 9:00am to 12:00noon. The hiring event will be for various warehouse, quality inspector and machine operator positions. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


UNITED WAY DELIVERS TOYS TO UNION COUNTY PREGNANCY CENTER

Monday, February 1

Last Tuesday, the United Way of the Piedmont delivered a shipment of toys to the Union County Pregnancy Center (UCPC). The toys were donated by longtime corporate partner, Dollar General Distribution Center.

The Union County Pregnancy Center strives to make a difference in the lives of the individuals served. All services are free and confidential.

United Way is a proud community partner with the Union County Pregnancy Center. Through contributions from Union County donors to the United Way’s Community Impact Fund, they are able to provide financial support for UCPC’s “Baby Bucks” program. This program provides financial literacy education to the families served through the agency. Each time a family attends a course or meets one of their family financial goals, they get “baby bucks” to then spend on items at the center for their children. Some of the items they can get are maternity clothes, newborn and toddler clothing, safe car seats and Pack’n Plays to encourage safe sleeping habits.

For more information about receiving benefits or volunteering with the Union County Pregnancy Center, call (864) 426-2824 — or the option line at 1-800-395 HELP — or email lhartley_1@yahoo.com or unioncountypregnancycenter@gmail.com.

To make donations to United Way of the Piedmont’s Community Investment Fund, visit www.piedmont.org or contact Missy Kirby Wilkes by phone at (864) 606-9004 or by email mwilkes@uwpiedmont.org. All donations received by United Way of the Piedmont for Union County are reinvested back into programs and services in Union County, thus directly benefiting the local community.

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SHERIFF WARNS THAT IRISH TRAVELERS HAVE VISITED UNION COUNTY

Monday, February 1

Union County Sheriff David H. Taylor is warning the residents of Union County to be alert and aware that the Irish Travelers have recently been in Union County. The Irish Travelers are out of Murphy Village, just outside of North Augusta, SC, which contains the largest and most affluent population of about 2,500 in this area.  Sheriff Taylor received a phone call Monday night from a resident in the Cross Keys area that someone had left a business card on his front door while he was not home. The homeowner told Sheriff Taylor the business card was from Global Ace Asphalt at 1241 Edgefield Road, North Augusta, SC. The sheriff’s office looked up the name of the company on the web and found such a company, but at a different address. Upon further investigation, Taylor was able to identify one of the individuals out of Murphy Village. His initial rapport is to present a proposal to pave the driveway using the tar and chip method. He has in some incidents charged a victim as much as $10,000 over a normal estimate. In some incidents, the Irish Traveler would inform the victims that he had extra material, offering to pave a portion of the driveway and would then offer to continue paving at a discounted price. To gain credibility, Travelers will tell the victims they pave the pads around cell towers. Sheriff Taylor says that the Irish Travelers have many deceitful scams they use to prey on honest people. Some of those are: painting houses, surveying land next door, and posing as a maintenance repairman, just to name a few.  If anyone has been contacted in a similar incident, you are asked to contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1612 or call 911.

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FAIRVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH BURGLARIZED

Monday, February 1

On Thursday, January 28th, Deputy Jamison Taylor responded to an address on Neal Shoals Road at Fairview Baptist Church. Upon arrival, Taylor met with a man who stated that someone had broken into the church through a back door. He stated that he found footprints in the mud behind the church and found that someone had pried the back door open. The man said he entered the church to find that someone had broken into the pastor’s office and gone through his desk. In addition, the intruder also broke into the treasurer’s office. Deputy Taylor notified Union dispatch to have an investigator respond to the location.  He obtained pictures of the damage to the doors and of the footprints. Investigator Coffer responded and attempted to lift fingerprints from the pastor’s desk. The man informed Deputy Taylor that someone had also gone behind the church and removed one of the power meters from the box. Taylor obtained pictures of this and took the meter and cover in for evidence. It was determined that nothing was known to have been taken from inside the church.

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ANOTHER CHURCH ON NEAL SHOALS ROAD VANDALIZED

Monday, February 1

Also on Thursday, Deputy Taylor responded to Maple Ridge Baptist Church on Neal Shoals Road. Upon arrival, Deputy Taylor spoke with a woman who stated that she had come to the church and found that there was no electricity on at that time. She stated that she figured that the church was under a power failure. She stated that she then looked and noticed a Broad River Electric truck in the parking lot. She said that the employee advised her that there was no power failure in the area but that the meter had possibly been tampered with. The woman stated that she then found where it looked as if someone had gained entry by damaging the seals at the bottom of the glass front doors of the church. She stated that a small striker plate for a door latch from a bathroom was also found in the front part of the church. Taylor obtained pictures of the damage to the doors, the striker plate, and the meter. The electric meter and face plate were taken by the deputy to be turned in as evidence. The woman stated that she did not see anything missing from inside the church.

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WOMAN REPORTS CRAIGSLIST COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAM

Monday, February 1

Deputy Taylor was a busy officer last week as he met with a complainant at the sheriff’s office about an incident that occurred on Springdale Drive. A woman stated that she had a painting for sale listed on Craigslist and that she was contacted about a purchase. She stated that the intended buyer would text her, and she did finally receive a check via the United States Postal Service. The woman stated that when she went to the bank about the check, she was informed that the check was counterfeit. She stated that she contacted the bank the check was drawn on and they stated that they had no information about this check. She turned the check over to Deputy Taylor for evidence. The check was in the amount of $1,680.


CATALANO SHARES HIS VISION FOR USC-UNION

Friday, January 29

Last month, Dr. John Catalano was named the acting dean at USC-Union. On Wednesday, they held a meet-and-greet in the Student Center to welcome the new dean. Catalano was the former dean at USC-Lancaster and says he is excited to be in Union. He was asked about his vision for the school.

 

He said we have two of the most beautiful buildings in the university system, but we don’t have a campus. “That has to change,” he said. Catalano worked for 35 years at the Lancaster campus, 12 of those years as dean. He replaced Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert, who moved on to another position with the Palmetto College.

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MISS USC-UNION PAGEANT SCHEDULED ON MARCH 5TH

Friday, January 29

University of South Carolina Union will host the Miss USC Union Pageant in the auditorium on Saturday, March 5th.  The pageant is a community service project and also provides scholarships for the queen, as well as first and second runners-up.  Proceeds from this pageant will benefit the local Alzheimer’s Association.  The USC Union University 101 classes have raised more than $13,000 towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s since 2011.

This year’s theme, “Fifty Years and Going Strong” will blend in with USC Union’s 50th Anniversary. The pageant will showcase young women throughout the evening in casual wear, on-stage questions, talent and evening gown competition. 

Admission to the pageant is by ticket only. The tickets are $5 each and can be purchased prior to the pageant from the contestants, the USC Union Financial Aid Office or at the USC Union Laurens location. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Pageant Coordinator Bobby Holcombe is seeking former Miss USC Union queens. If you are a former queen or know a former queen, please contact Bobby Holcombe at (864) 424-8024.

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USC-UNION HOSTING FREE TAX PREPARATION SERVICE

Friday, January 29

USC-Union is offering a free tax preparation service through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at USC Union’s Founders House. The free service is a partnership between USC Union, the IRS, and United Way of the Piedmont.

Any household with a $54,000 or less income per year will qualify for the free service. Situations where real property has been sold or rented out as business income will not be handled with the service. Only 2015 taxes will be prepared. Please bring all W2s, photo identification and Social Security cards for any children or dependents you are claiming. This service is by appointment only.

The program will take place every Tuesday starting on February 2nd up until April 12th between 9:00am – 12:00pm. To schedule an appointment, please call USC Union’s Founders House office at (864) 424-8042.

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KIDS WILL CREATE MOSAIC MASTERPIECES AT arts council'S MINI MONET PROGRAM

Friday, January 29

Mini Monet is coming to the Union County Arts Council Gallery Saturday, February 20th, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. The fee for the program is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Mardis Gras will be the theme for this session, and Arts Council workers ask the question, what are you going to do with all those leftover beads? Their answer: create art! Children from kindergarten to fifth grade are invited to join them to create their very own mosaic masterpiece. You will need to register your child by February 10th by calling 864-429-2817.

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SC WORKS SPARTANBURG HOSTING THREE ENTREPRENEURIAL WORKSHOPS

Friday, January 29

SC Works Spartanburg has partnered with the Small Business Development Center to offer an entrepreneurial workshop series. The sessions will take place March 29-31 from 2-3 p.m.. The topics covered will be: 1) Basics of starting your own business, 2) Financial commitment, 3) Developing a marketing plan and identifying your customer base.

Those interested in starting their own business may register for the workshop by emailing jcrosby@scworksupstate.com. Space is limited.

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STATE ANNOUNCES THE SC WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ACT

Friday, January 29

Governor Nikki Haley, House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White, State Superintendent Molly Spearman, and business leaders from around the state Wednesday announced a collaborative and comprehensive effort to strengthen South Carolina’s workforce.

“We are moving forward on trying to make sure that we aren’t just a state that is great at attracting businesses, but also that we’re a state that has a solid workforce and one that puts people back to work,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. 

Since January 2011, 73,000 new jobs have been announced in South Carolina, along with over $18.2 billion in capital investment. The South Carolina Workforce Development Act will help to ensure that South Carolinians will be prepared to fill the positions created by the state’s growing economy by prioritizing job training and career development in order to meet the needs of the state’s businesses.

“I am proud to stand with Governor Haley, the General Assembly, and our business leaders as we strengthen the partnership between public education, our technical college system, and four-year universities, to ensure that we have college and career-ready citizens ready to lead our state,” said Education Superintendent Molly Spearman. 


TRANSMARTA STUDYING THE COUNTY'S POTENTIAL FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Thursday, January 28

As mentioned in yesterday’s news, the county is currently taking a look at public transportation. A company, Transmarta, has been retained to conduct the study of the area. Supervisor Frank Hart said of the study:

 

The focus appears to be finding a way to offer transportation assistance to people who do not have it, which in turn will give some citizens a way to get to their jobs, help seniors to get to shopping locations, and even college students to get to school.

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STATEWIDE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES LOOM NEXT MONTH

Thursday, January 28

Local officials are gearing up for the 2016 election year. Primary dates for both Republicans and Democrats have been set for next month. The Republicans will hold their primary on February 20th and the Democrats on February 27th. The deadline to register to vote in these primaries has already passed. Two primaries a week apart would seem to put a strain on the Union County Election Commission, but Darlene Pettit says not.

 

Voters can cast their absentee ballots now at the Voter Registration office.

Local offices that will be open in the coming election cycle later this year include:

US HOUSE DIST 5

SC SENATE DIST 13

SC SENATE DIST 14

SC SENATE DIST 18

SC HOUSE DIST 42                                       

SOLICITOR

SHERIFF

CLERK OF COURT

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 2

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 3

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 5

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 6

SOIL AND WATER COMMISSION

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 1

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 2

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 6

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 7

BROWNS CREEK WATERSHED

MAYOR – TOWN OF CARLISLE

CARLISLE TOWN COUNCIL – 2 SEATS

MAYOR

CITY COUNCIL DIST 3

UNION CITY COUNCIL DIST 4

UNION CITY COUNCIL DIST 6

SANTUCK FIRE – 3 SEATS

MONARCH FIRE – 3 SEATS

JONESVILLE FIRE – 2 SEATS

SOUTHSIDE FIRE – 2 SEATS

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UNION MEDICAL CENTER TO PARTICIPATE IN STATEWIDE SCREENING DAY FEBRUARY 18TH

Thursday, January 28

February 18th has been designated as a statewide screening day in observance of Heart Month. Greta Bailey of the Union Medical Center gives the details of what will be happening there.

 

For additional information you may contact Union Medical Center at 864-301-2000 or check out the website at StatewideScreeningDay.com

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SOLOMON GORE SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT ON WEAPONS CHARGE

Thursday, January 28

Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced Tuesday that a Union man was sentenced in federal court on January 13th. Solomon Maurice Gore, 25, of 134 Thomas Ranch Road, Union, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison by The Honorable Bruce H. Hendricks. Gore pled guilty to one count of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. The federal indictment was sought after an incident with Gore inside the city of Union in 2015. Sheriff Taylor says that the Union County Sheriff’s Office is continually pursuing convicted felons that repeatedly ignore state and federal laws. After Gore’s active sentence, he will be on 3 years of supervised federal probation.

 

 

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ROTARY CLUB DONATES $10,000 TO MIRACLE LEAGUE

Thursday, January 28

The Union Rotary Club applied for a 2015-2016 District Simplified Grant and was awarded $3000 in order to help purchase a piece of playground equipment for the Miracle League of Union County's All-Inclusive Playground at the Timken Sports Complex.  The club presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to Amy Austin, Director of the Miracle League of Union County, at their meeting this past Tuesday.  Union Rotarians will actually assist the Miracle League with the installation of playground equipment in the near future.  This playground will be located at the Timken Park in Union near Rotary Field, where teams have been playing ball for several years now.

In other matters of the Union Rotary Club, Rotarian John Gregory introduced Lori Dochterman and the Arthur State Bank Junior Board of Directors (JBD) to the club. The JBD talked about their background and their projects. They encouraged everyone to share kindness around Union. 

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LOCAL STUDENT GETS HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE through CO-OP AT AUSTIN REHAB

Thursday, January 28

For the third year in a row, Austin Rehab of Union has a sports medicine co-op student from the Union County Career Center. This year, senior student Sydney Lawson is learning firsthand the ins and outs of physical therapy. She has been working at Austin Rehab every other day throughout the school year. She assists with daily physical therapy routines and is gaining hands-on practice for skills she will need to pursue a career in sports medicine or physical therapy. “I like knowing that I am helping others feel better and seeing them get stronger each day,” Lawson said about her time at Austin Rehab. “I appreciate the opportunity to work in the field of physical therapy. They are like a second family.” After graduation, Lawson plans to attend USC Upstate and major in physical education and minor in physical therapy. Students who participate in the co-op must take Sports Medicine 1 & 2 and must excel in both classes to be recommended for it. The co-op counts for credit toward graduation requirements.


MULVANEY STOPS BY WBCU, TALKS ABOUT UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Wednesday, January 27

With Washington, D.C., shut down by record snowfall, Congressman Mick Mulvaney is using the time to visit in his district. The congressman stopped by the WBCU Studios Tuesday morning. With presidential candidates making the news these days, it was noted that Mulvaney has endorsed Paul Ryan. The congressman was asked for his thoughts on what appears to be the two hot-button issue in the campaign, Isis and immigration.

 

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TOWN OF LOCKHART WEIGHS OPTIONS FOR WATER SYSTEM

Wednesday, January 27

The Town of Lockhart is looking for someone to take over their water system. Mayor Ailene Ashe explains why.

 

The town has already been in talks with Lockhart Power Company and plans to meet with officials of the Brown’s Creek Water District next week. Councilman Donnie Adams reported on the progress a committee is making in trying to find a way to establish public transportation in Union County. Adams indicated he was pleased with the progress and hopes that a proposal could be forthcoming soon. The mayor noted that for whatever reason, AT&T does not distribute telephone books in Lockhart. Mayor Ashe has been successful in acquiring a large number of the newest directory and is making them available at the Town Hall. She says for residents to drop by and pick one up.

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TWO YOUNG CHILDREN TEST POSITIVE FOR METHAMPHETAMINE

Wednesday, January 27

On Friday, January 22nd, Lt. John Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from Union County DSS. The referral indicated that two minor children of Ethan Smith and Alaina Hines tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamines from hair specimens collected on January 11th from the two children. The two children, a 1-month old and a 2-year old, both live at the residence with their mother and father at 738 Fairview Church Road in Union County. A hair specimen was also collected from the father, Ethan Smith, on January 6th, which also indicated a positive result for amphetamines and methamphetamine. Lt. Sherfield will sign arrest warrants charging both Ethan Smith and Alaina Hines with 2 counts of exposing a child to methamphetamine.

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ANOTHER WORK-AT-HOME SCAM REPORTED IN UNION COUNTY

Wednesday, January 27

More “work at home” scams are in the news today. Sheriff’s deputies responded to 113 Polly Lane and spoke with complainant Juwan Stevens in reference to a scam. Stevens stated that he answered a help wanted ad on the internet concerning a work from home customer service job for MUFG.com. Stevens stated that he was told he would be making phone calls and sending emails, and he would be paid $27 an hour for this. Stevens stated that he began working with the company on December 17, 2015, but that he actually never did any work for them. Stevens stated that between starting the job with MUFG.com and now, he received two checks in the mail and was given specific instructions on what to do with them. Stevens stated that he followed the instructions and deposited the checks into his bank account. Stevens stated that he was contacted by his bank today and told that the checks did not clear because they were fraudulent. Stevens stated that this is when he contacted the sheriff’s office.

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USC UNION ANNOUNCES PRESIDENT'S AND DEAN'S LISTS FOR FALL 2015

Wednesday, January 27

USC Union has named 13 students to the President’s List and 43 students to the Dean’s List for the fall 2015 semester. To be named to the President’s List, a student must be full-time with a semester grade point average of 4.0. Those named to the Dean’s List are full-time students with a semester GPA above 3.5.

Named to the President’s List were:  

Angela B. Bennett

Grady Biggerstaff

Lindsey Elizabeth Dawkins

Karla Lynn Franklin

Tracy Delynn Gatliff

Kelsey E. Granger

Martha R. Grant

Rachel Ann Hughes

Julia Keppel

Dillon Shane Sailors

Tasha Dametric Spears

Timothy Scott Taylor

Alana Dion Wright

Named to the Dean’s List were:

Emma Hodge Addison

Brett Allen Ayers

Haleigh Miranda Babb

Brenasia Jenae Barber

Taylor Brackins

Braylin Kiere Brown

Amber Nicole Bumgarner

David Allen Burress

Chad Edward Cannon

William Corey Easterling

Dathan Floyd Flowers

Zachary Wilson Fraim

Quanita Lashay Frazier

Grayson Scott Garrett

Shemar Armonti Glenn

Satardra Renae Hall

Malik Shamar Harris

Marandra Byreana Hightower

Allen Hopkins

Elliott Widemon Hudson

Jameson Tyler Johnson

Sharron Don Kelley

Lea Kershaw

Mary Elizabeth Lancaster

Jennifer Lankford

Brittney Victoria Moss

Lauren Marie Mullis

Courtney Shaquana Myers

Hunter Allen Parks

Charles E. Pauley

Brittany Marie Pierce

Lindsey M. Quinn

Connor Nicole Randall

Michael Vershun Rodgers

Hope Marie Schreiber

Elisha Danielle Sinclair

Tiaja J. Smith

Briana Kiara Spencer

Kayla Bryana Vaughan

Abigail Taylor Vlock

Tiaja D. Williams

Ryan Earl Wright

Michael Young

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MARY HOOKER NAMED CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER's TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Wednesday, January 27

The Union County Career and Technology Center has named Mary A. Hooker as their Teacher of the Year. As Teacher of the Year for Union County Career and Technology Center, Mrs. Hooker said she was humbled and honored to have been selected. She has earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Western Governors University.  In addition, she has also advanced to plus-thirty from University of Phoenix in Information Systems.  She attended Limestone College and received a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration/Computer Science Software.  Mrs. Hooker currently serves as the head of the Business Department.  She also serves as the advisor of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a student-led organization, and as a faculty council of the National Honor Society.  Mrs. Hooker is married to Dewayne Hooker and has three children – Kendrick, Denzil, & Kimber.   She is an active member of Carlisle Christian Fellowship Church. Mrs. Hooker has been a Union County School District employee for fourteen years. 


SCHOOL BOARD HONORS STUDENT WHO HELPED A MAN HAVING A SEIZURE

Tuesday, January 26

Meeting for their second time this month, the Union County School District Board of Trustees honored a Union County High School student. Camron Tyler, 16, was credited with saving the life of a Union man at the Buffalo Dollar General Store just before Christmas. Tyler tells us what happened.

 

Tyler was given a certificate by the board for her heroic actions that, in all probability, saved the man’s life. She plans on going into nursing as a profession.

In other matters to come before the board, Les Marchant and Caroline Barger appeared representing the Salkehatchie project. Marchant asked the board for permission to use the facilities at Sims Middle School for the students that will be coming to town in June to do repair work on area houses.

Marchant told WBCU News:

 

The board gave their approval to the request. Interestingly, the Salkehatchie project was started some years ago by a Union pastor, Rev. John Culp.

The trustees heard a report from Barbara Palmer on reading levels in grade 3 through 5, and Cindy Langley introduced information on the AdvanceEd internal review. Four field trips were approved, as was the personnel report.

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MAN INVESTIGATED FOR KEEPING DONATIONS MADE IN THE NAME OF CUB SCOUTS 

Tuesday, January 26

Last Wednesday, Lt. John Sherfield was contacted by a woman via cell phone who stated that Jeff Henderson and his young son came to her residence soliciting money for his son on behalf of Cub Scouts of America. The woman stated that she offered to give him a check, but Henderson said he could not take a check, so she then gave him $20 cash. Henderson and his son then left in his pickup truck. The woman stated that minutes later, she found out through her husband that Henderson had been soliciting money from other individuals throughout Union County and stating that the money was for coupon books, and that people who had given him money were not receiving them. She stated she wanted to let Lt. Sherfield know so this matter could be looked at more closely.

During the next two days, Lt. Sherfield found that Henderson had solicited money from several other individuals in Union County on behalf of Cub Scouts of America and collected money from these individuals. There were at least five other victims that Sherfield could identify. Lt. Sherfield spoke with Cub Scout Pack leaders, secretary, treasurer, and the Executive Council of Cub Scouts, who all stated that they were not currently having a fundraiser and that Henderson should not have been collecting money and has not turned in any donated money to the pack.

They did say that the pack had been selling coupon books in September 2015, but that this fund drive ended in September and that Henderson never turned in any money from that fundraiser. Henderson was also found to have his young son with him on each of these occasions where he obtained money from the victims. Lt. Sherfield is sure there are many other victims in Union County and will proceed with the appropriate charges if more victims are located at a later date.

If there are additional victims in this case, you are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1612 or call 911.

SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR MISSING ROOSTER 

Tuesday, January 26

We have a missing rooster in the area. Last Friday, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Jamison Taylor spoke to Phillip Dan Poole about an incident that occurred on the Riley Road the day before. The incident report stated that Poole went out to feed his chickens, and they were all accounted for. The next day he went out, only to find that one of his roosters was missing. Poole told the officer that he had several people to ask him about selling this rooster, but he really thinks some neighborhood children may have taken it.

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TWO FALL VICTIM RECENTLY TO WORK-AT-HOME SCAMS 

Tuesday, January 26

Union County Sheriff David Taylor is warning people about “work from home scams” around the county. Since January 7, there have been two Union County citizens that have been lured into the scam.

One of the victims stated that she had been hired to work with “Company Shopping Bag” as a logistics clerk. Her job was to work from home and wait on packages to arrive, weigh the packages, repackage and change the shipping address to a shipping address that was mailed to the victim before packages started arriving at the victim’s home address.

The victims are told they will be paid $2500 per month plus $25 per package they ship out from their home. It sounds like a great deal, but you never get paid and every package that is shipped to you is purchased by someone’s stolen credit card.

On January 13, another report was filed by another victim that had fallen for a similar scam. This victim was hired by a package forwarding service where packages were sent to her, and she was instructed to relabel the packages and send them out to another person at another address. The victim had received 7 packages but became suspicious and contacted the sheriff’s office. The victim thought she was involved in reputable employment and had spent some of her own money, thinking she would be reimbursed.

The victim claimed she was to receive $2500 per month plus $25 per package that was to be shipped to another address. All packages that she received were to be combined and sent to another address.

Taylor said people are posting their applications and résumés online and with headhunter companies to seek employment from home, and most of the time this is how our citizens are becoming victims.

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USC UNION HOLDING MEET AND GREET FOR NEW ACTING DEAN 

Tuesday, January 26

Officials at USC-Union will hold a “Meet & Greet” Wednesday. The occasion is to welcome Dr. John Catalano in his new role as acting dean for the Union campus. It will be held from 4 until 6 p.m. in the USC-Union Student Center, which is located behind the bookstore at 311 East Main Street.


JONESVILLE MAN KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT OVER THE WEEKEND

Monday, January 25

The weekend saw a lot of activity, mostly on the part of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel. It all started Friday as winter weather moved into the area. First, sleet and freezing rain pelted the county with about a quarter inch of frozen precipitation coating the ground, streets and sidewalks. The storm caused numerous cancellations, delays and postponements. During the night Friday and early Saturday morning, 1 to 2 inches of snow fell on top of the ice, creating hazardous driving conditions. Local law enforcement assisted essential personnel to their work places. Most of those worked at The Union Medical Center. Numerous traffic accidents were reported, keeping police and Highway Patrol units busy. One such accident occurred Saturday. The Union County Coroner’s Office reported that Jimmy B. Thomas, 61, of 114 Booker St., Jonesville, was involved in a single-vehicle accident on SC Highway 9 in Union County.  He was transported to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center by Regional One, where he was pronounced dead at 2:16 PM.  An autopsy was scheduled for yesterday at Newberry Pathology Associates.  

Lance Corporal Tony Keller of the South Carolina Highway Patrol gives us additional information.

 

Thomas was driving a 2007 Ford and had his seat belt on.

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SCHOOL BOARD'S MEETING AGENDA INCLUDES INFORMATION ON ADVANCEED REVIEW

Monday, January 25

It’s time for another school board meeting. They will be meeting tonight in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. The agenda appears rather routine, as Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks will recognize some students. Les Marchant and Carolina Barger with the Salkehatchie Summer Service will speak to the board about their summer program. In past years, they have used a school facility to house the young people working in the project.

In other matters scheduled to come up, Barbara Palmer will discuss reading levels in grades 3 through 5. Cindy Langley will present information concerning the AdvanceEd internal review in preparation for the external review, which the district will host March 6-9, 2016. There are four field trip requests the board will consider, and the monthly budget report will be presented by Finance Director Lynn Lawson. Jeff Stribble will give the personnel report, and an executive session is listed to hear an expulsion appeal.

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FOUR FACE METH CHARGES

Monday, January 25

Wednesday, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap was contacted by Deputy Jamison Taylor, who stated he was at 216 Raymond Road in the county on a tip that Paul David Thomas was staying in a tent behind this residence. The UCSO had active warrants on Thomas for manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste. When deputies arrived at the residence, they went to look for the tent Thomas was allegedly staying in. When Deputy Taylor walked around behind the house, he observed in plain view a 20-ounce bottle that had a quantity of white residue in it that Taylor identified as an item used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. At this time, Deputy Taylor contacted Sgt. Gilstrap and Lt. Sherfield to meet with him at the residence. Deputy Taylor secured a written consent to search the residence of Tina Lipsey, which was audio and video recorded. Prior to the search, deputies located two more individuals at the residence and identified them as Steven Lipsey and Carlie Jane Cook. Both subjects claimed to live at this residence with Tina. During the search of the residence, two bags containing clothes and personal hygiene items were located under the house in a crawl space. Tina stated she believed they belonged to Thomas. Officers searched under the house, but Thomas could not be located. Sgt. Gilstrap and Lt. Sherfield opened the two bags to attempt to identify who they belonged to. When Lt. Sherfield opened the first bag of clothes, he found a small pipe cutter commonly used to cut open lithium batteries, hypodermic needles, and small plastic tubing also used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Sgt. Gilstrap opened the second bag and located a small camouflage phone case that contained a hypodermic needle and a coffee filter that contained a white residue. Sgt. Gilstrap also found a small purple dentek container that had a white residue in it. These items were taken into evidence. Lt. Sherfield also located under the house, in the same area as the two clothes bags, two small bags that contained a white crystal substance believed to be crystal drain cleaner. All the items located by officers are commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. While searching the area, a good number of other items were located that are associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Lt. Sherfield spoke with Tina Lipsey, Steven Lipsey, and Carlie Jane Cook, and all claimed no knowledge of the methamphetamine lab. Sgt. Gilstrap took all the items into evidence for further investigation. After reviewing all the evidence, Sgt. Gilstrap was to sign warrants on Paul Thomas, Tina Lipsey, Carlie Jane Cook, and Steven Lipsey charging them with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste.

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ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP FOR NATIONAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL FACTS WEEK

Monday, January 25

From Jan. 25-31, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is teaming up with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health, for the expanded National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). Now in its sixth year, this national health observance helps teens and their communities host local NDAFW events across the U.S. These community events provide an opportunity for teens to ask scientists and other experts for fact-based answers to any and all questions about alcohol and drug use. More than 1,000 NDAFW events in 40 states across the nation are already scheduled for this January.

By giving teens the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. This is especially important now, given the rising rates of daily marijuana use and e-cigarettes among teens, as found in NIDA's recent Monitoring the Future survey.

NDAFW events will include community-based activities and a web chat with NIH scientists, called Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day, on Jan. 26. Online resources, including the popular National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge, will be interactive and accessible on mobile devices, with videos of scientists answering the IQ Challenge questions to better illustrate the science behind the answers.

For more information about National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM, visit teens.drugabuse.gov.


COUNTY PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER

Friday, January 22

The weather continues to dominate the news today. A cold wind with gusts up to 21 miles an hour and rain have made for an uncomfortable day thus far. The conditions are expected to deteriorate this afternoon and tonight.  The forecast calls for a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow to develop this afternoon and continue through tonight and into tomorrow. There is a likelihood we’ll see an inch or more of snowfall before it’s all said and done. State Trooper James Miller said in conditions like this, it’s best to stay off the road.

 

The county has geared up in preparation for the winter weather. Supervisor Frank Hart tells us what they have been doing.

 

School for today was called off by 5:30 Thursday. WBCU will keep you updated on the weather forecast, closings and delays.

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UNION MAN DIES IN HOUSE FIRE

Friday, January 22

A fire that took the life of a Union County man is being investigated as suspicious. On Wednesday, Deputy Jamison Taylor responded to an address on Goldville Road. Upon arrival, Deputy Taylor along with Investigator Scott Coffer were advised that the fire department had gotten called to a structure fire at that address. Fire department members stated that once on the scene, they found the home owner in the front yard by the front porch. Invest Coffer notified SLED to respond to the scene. The body of 65-year-old Alfonzo Boyd was found in the burned house.

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COUNCIL COMMITTEE LISTENS TO NEED FOR REPAIRS AT TIMKEN complex

Friday, January 22

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance heard thoughts from Kevin Shropshire on needed repairs at the Timken Sports Complex. Shropshire had a laundry list of things that need to be done at the complex to maintain its value. He addressed issues such as erosion, the replacement of playground equipment, bleacher replacement, netting behind backstops and larger dugouts. That was not all he mentioned. District 3 Councilman Tommy Ford agreed that the need is there.

 

Ford said the improvement could be made for less than $200,000 and that money could come from the hospitality tax.

When the special meeting convened for the committee session, they agreed to spend $8500 for body cameras for police offices. In other matters, $27,293 was taken from the Capital Fund for the replacement of a motor on a Caterpillar. District 1 Councilwoman Joan Little brought up a matter for which she had received a complaint. As she explained, one of her constituents called EMS because of suspected heart issues. It was reported that the patient wanted to be taken directly to Spartanburg Regional, but that request was denied. As was explained, certain criteria exist that says the patient must be carried to the nearest hospital with an emergency department. The council agreed that EMS Director Ronnie Roberson should be call in to explain the policy, which can be changed by the council.

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MICHIGAN COMPANY'S ALERT LEADS TO DISCOVERY OF WORK-AT-HOME SCAM

Friday, January 22

Turn12 Distribution of Kalamazoo, MI, contacted the Union County Sheriff’s Office to report that a stolen credit card had been used to purchase car parts that were shipped to Union County to Scott Gaston at 138 Doe Jeter Road in Buffalo. A deputy went to the residence and contacted the owner of the residence on Doe Jeter Road, and he stated that his step-daughter, Cierra Anzonia Giles, had recently started working for a package forwarding service where packages were sent to her and she was instructed to relabel them and send them out to another person at another address. He was informed that this was a scam and that his daughter should contact the Union County Sheriff's Office immediately and bring all of the packages that she had in her possession with her. She came to the sheriff's office the next day (January 20th) with a total of seven packages that she had received. She gave a statement and provided information showing proof of what she believed to be employment with a package forwarding service. She stated that she had gotten suspicious on the second day that she had received multiple packages to her address, all with different names on them. Her instructions from her "employer" were to bundle the packages into one box and send them to another individual at another address. She states that she had sent the first box that she had received, but once she had received the other suspicious boxes, she had not forwarded any other packages despite the "employer" contacting her repeatedly about the delay. She provided copies of all of her correspondence with her "employer" and will bring a copy of the contract that she signed that outlined her duties and expectations as a work-from-home employee with the service. She is also considered a victim in this scam since she believed that she was involved in reputable employment, had worked hours and expended resources in those efforts, and had not/will not receive compensation.

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AMERICAN SERVICES RECRUITING SECURITY OFFICERS IN GAFFNEY

Friday, January 22

American Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Gaffney on Wednesday, January 27th, from 9:30 AM–12:30 PM and then again from 2:00 PM–3:00 PM.  They are recruiting for security officers. Job requirements include a high school diploma or GED, and recruits will be required to walk and stand for 8-12 hour shifts. A drug screening and background check will be conducted, and the minimum age requirement is 18 years of age. The pay rate is $8.50 per hour. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


COUNTY COMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE MEETS, FOLLOWED BY COUNCIL MEETING

Thursday, January 21

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance will be meeting at 5:30 this afternoon in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting is to review the capital project list for the Timken Sports Complex, discuss the purchase of body cameras, and talk about major equipment repairs. Following that meeting, the full council will meet in special session to consider any recommendations from the previous committee meeting and consider the second reading on an amendment to the ordinance for alcohol and drug abuse. The public is invited to attend.

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MAN BRIEFLY ESCAPES FROM PATROL CAR

Thursday, January 21

On Monday, a Union County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched in reference to a subject that busted the window out of a patrol car and jumped out. The deputy spoke to Public Safety Officer Dean Allen, and he stated that he arrested 26-year old Corwin Hemingway, of 24 Bruce Street, Greenville, for public intoxication and was transporting him to the jail. Officer Allen stated while en route to the jail, Hemingway got one hand free from the handcuffs and started hitting his back glass. He said that just before he got to the jail, Hemingway hit his back passenger window and broke it with his handcuffs. He then jumped out of his patrol car while it was still in motion in an attempt to flee. Officer Allen then stated that he got out of his patrol car, pursued and caught him and placed the handcuffs back on. Officer Allen valued the damage to the back window at $500. The deputy was to speak to the judge to obtain warrants on Hemingway for attempted escape and malicious damage.

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TWO ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL TATTOOING

Thursday, January 21

Lt. Johnny Sherfield was contacted Sunday by an operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office who stated that Johnny Weathers, 42, of 1555 Goldmine Road, Spartanburg, and his son Timothy Weathers, 23, were tattooing without a license or certificate in Union and surrounding counties. Through text messages with Timmy Weathers, the operative arranged to meet the pair on at the Kangaroo station on Main Street in Jonesville around 11am so that they could arrange for the operative to get a tattoo. Lt. Sherfield met with the operative and then wired him with audio and video equipment. The operative then drove to the Kangaroo station on Main Street in Jonesville, where the operative met with Weathers and his son as Lt. Sherfield did surveillance from a nearby location. The operative and the pair then discussed the operative getting a tattoo from Johnny Weathers. It was agreed that they would follow the operative to their residence, where Johnny Weathers would then do the tattooing. As the Weathers and the operative left the parking lot, Lt. Sherfield called the operative, who stated they had agreed to do the tattooing and that the pair had the equipment with them. Lt. Sherfield notified Sgt. Wright, who made a traffic stop of the Weathers’ white Isuzu SUV on S.C. Hwy 18 near Poplar Road. Neither of the Weathers were found to have a certificate from the Office of Safety and Health Administration to perform tattoos. Because of this and the fact that the Weathers were going to perform tattooing inside a residence, they were both placed under arrest for illegal tattooing. A black and silver case, which contained all of the Weathers’ tattooing equipment, was seized from inside the vehicle as evidence.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING MOONSHINE TO UNDERCOVER OFFICER

Thursday, January 21

We’ve got a moonshine case to report. Around 12:15 p.m. Monday, Lt. John Sherfield of the Union County Sheriff's Office met 66-year old Grover Evans, of 132 West Springs Ballfield Road, at the Buffalo Seafood parking lot. Sherfield was then able to make an undercover purchase of 8 quart containers of moonshine in exchange for $140 of recorded government funds. Evans was stopped by Sgt. Wright, a uniform deputy with the Union Sheriff's Office, on S.C. Hwy 215 shortly after he had left the parking lot. Evans was then arrested and charged with selling illegal liquor from a motor vehicle and transporting illegal liquor in a motor vehicle. When searched after the arrest, Sgt. Wright recovered the $140 cash of recorded government currency used during the transaction, along with $219 cash which belonged to Evans. The $219 cash was also seized, along with Evans’ 1995 Toyota pickup. After the arrest, Lt. Sherfield, Deputy Taylor, Deputy Lee and Sgt. Wright obtained consent to search Evans’ residence; however, nothing of any value to the arrest was located.


CITY COUNCIL BUYS MAIN STREET BUILDING TO HELP EXPAND MAIN STREET JUNCTION

Wednesday, January 20

Union City Council took up several items during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, one of which was hearing from accountant Terry Fant. Fant conducted the annual audit for the city and gave a good report. It showed total revenue at $5,478,479 and total expenditures at $5,424,320. The year ending in June 2015 showed a fund balance of $3,137,002. The council addressed a resolution to consent to the establishment of a multi-county business park designation for property within the city limits located at 155 Medical Sciences Drive. They also voted to continue Community Change, the heating and cooling assistance program that allows city utility customers to round up their utility payment to the nearest dollar. That change goes into the fund to assist citizens with their utility bills, one time in the summer and one time in the winter. Participants are limited to $100 twice yearly.

The city received bids on January 12 for the cleaning and television inspection on Evans Street and the Highway 49 area. The work will consist of cleaning and TV inspection of approximately 5,329 linear feet of sanitary gravity sewer and 24 manholes. Two bids were received, one from Southeast Pipe Survey, Inc., in the amount of $23,506.85, and the other from Bio-Nomic Services, Inc., in the amount of $20,957.95. The bid was awarded to Bio-Nomic Service, Inc., from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Council voted to go into an executive session to discuss a contractual matter  concerning property acquisition. Upon returning from the executive session, a motion was made for the city to purchase a building at 105 East Main Street for $5,000. The building belongs to Chris Woodson and sits adjacent to another city-owned building that will become known as Main Street Junction. Mayor Harold Thompson was asked how the newly-purchased building would be used.

 

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COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE WARN AGAINST SUBSTANCE USE DURING PREGNANCY

Wednesday, January 20

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant and want to have a healthy baby, Starlin Phelps, Prevention Coordinator with the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, says it’s very important to avoid drug use during pregnancy. Substance use can have lasting effects on an unborn child. Taking drugs while pregnant can cause birth defects. Birth defects are serious conditions that are changes to the structure of one or more parts of the body.

Birth defects occur in 1 of every 33 babies and are the leading cause of infant death. These problems exist at birth and are caused by genetics, the environment and other known and unknown causes. Environmental causes of birth defects include chemical and other exposures that occur during pregnancy, including exposure to alcohol and drugs.

While a few prescription and over-the-counter medications are considered safe during pregnancy, most drugs are not. If you are taking medications for medical purposes, please follow your doctor’s instructions

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 5.4% of pregnant women between ages 18-44 had used alcohol during their first trimester, 4.8% in their second trimester, and 2.4% in the last trimester of pregnancy. Similar numbers were seen with marijuana, cigarettes and binge alcohol.

Although substance use and abuse during pregnancy causes birth defects, it is not the only cause of birth defect; however, is it the one that can be prevented by not using substance during pregnancy.

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CLOSE TO $22 IN ELECTRICITY STOLEN FROM EMPTY HAYWOOD STREET HOUSE

Wednesday, January 20

Deputy responded last Friday to 224 Haywood Street and spoke with Beverly Carter with the City of Union in reference to stolen utilities. Carter stated that she was doing a check on the meter boxes when she came across the one at this address and found the seal on the meter box was cut. Carter stated that she checked and there were 96 kilowatts of power recently used, but the power has been disconnected since May 2013. No one was home at the residence, and it appeared that no one was living there. The dollar amount of the power used was $21.98. This will be turned over to investigations.

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POTTER'S STOREHOUSE CANCELS DISTRIBUTION AHEAD OF POSSIBLE BAD WEATHER

Wednesday, January 20

The Potters Storehouse food distribution has been canceled for Wednesday, January 20th, due to the possibility of inclement weather. The Wednesday night service at the Potter’s House Church will be held at 6:30 as usual, and dinner will be served.

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SHERIFF'S INVESTIGATOR JOINS HIGHWAY PATROL TO END PURSUIT ON LOCKHART HIGHWAY

Wednesday, January 20

This past Saturday, Investigator Scott Coffer was notified by 911 of a police pursuit by South Carolina Highway Patrol coming into Union County from Chester. Coffer met up with the pursuit on Highway 49 near Old Union Road and joined in the pursuit, at which time the suspect still was not stopping for the trooper. Due to the reckless driving of the suspect, the trooper made contact with the vehicle, at which time the suspect's vehicle spun around and landed in the yard of 4744 Lockhart Highway. Coffer assisted Cpl. Winburn with the arrest of the suspect, James Worthy, and then took photos and gathered information for the report at the request of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.


KING DAY SPEAKER FOCUSES ON THE PROBLEM OF ANGER

Tuesday, January 19

The Union County Chapter of the NAACP held their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration Monday night. The well-attended event saw a great deal of activity including a litany delivered by Hester Booker and greetings from Union County Supervisor Frank Hart and City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson. There were several highlights of the evening, one of which was the performance of a youth musical group called New Reason and the delivery of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Trey Lyles. The guest speaker for the program was Reverend Larry D. Black, Senior Pastor of New Salem Zion Baptist Church in Pacolet.  He chose as his topic, “Why Are We So Angry?” Reverend Black was asked why he chose that topic.

 

In that message, he said uncontrolled anger destroys the heart. He also called anger a major stumbling block. Blak said, “The time is right to do the right thing.” His address was interrupted numerous times with applause. A reception was held following the program.

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CITY COUNCIL TO AWARD BID FOR SEWER INSPECTION AT MEETING

Tuesday, January 19

The Union City Council will meet tonight at 6:30 in the Council Chambers of City Hall. Other than their normal activity, there are three items to take up. One will be a resolution to consent to the establishment of a multi-county business park designation for property within the city limits located at 155 Medical Sciences Drive. There will be a discussion and a motion to discuss the heating and cooling assistance program. The program began in 1993 and allows utility customers to sign on to allow their bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, and that change goes into a fund to assist those who need help in paying their bill. The program is administerd through Carolina Community Actions and the Salvation Army. Receipents of the assistance are allow to participate two times each year in the amount of $100—once for heating and once for cooling.

The city received bids on January 12th for the cleaning and television inspection on Evans Street and the Highway 49 area. The work will consist of cleaning and TV inspection of approximately 5,329 linear feet of sanitary gravity sewer and 24 manholes. Two bids were received: one from Southeast Pipe Survey, Inc., in the amount of $23,506.85, and the other from Bio-Nomic Services, Inc., in the amount of $20,957.95. The bid is expected to be awarded to Bio-Nomic Service, Inc., from Charlotte, North Carolina.

An executive session is listed to discuss contractual matters concerning property acquisition.

KAITYLNN GIST TO REPRESENT MONARCH ELEMENTARY AT REGIONAL SPELLING BEE

Tuesday, January 19

Congratulations to some outstanding spellers at Monarch Elementary School. School officials say they are proud to announce the winners of their 2016 spelling bee.  First place is Kaitlynn Gist, second place is Daniel Clark, and third place is Gabriel Gilstrap.  Kaitlynn will represent Monarch Elementary on March 19th at the USC Upstate Regional Spelling Competition. 

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JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE ANNOUNCES ANNUAL FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE

Tuesday, January 19

The 18th annual Father/Daughter Dance is set to take place on Saturday, February 6th. It will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Union County Recreation Department. The dance will consist of live music provided by a DJ, a father/daughter portrait, corsage and light refreshments. The tickets are $30 with a $5 charge for each additional child. Tickets may be purchased at Ashley Turner State Farm Office, Personally Yours and Bantam Chef, or from any member of the Junior Charity League. There could be an extra surprise or two for the girls. The Junior Charity League takes over the dance from the Union County Recreation Department.

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IMPRESSIONS OUTREACH HOLDING WINTER BALL

Tuesday, January 19

Impressions Outreach will host a Winter Ball February 13th. It will get underway at 7:00 p.m. at the Union County Recreation Department. Tickets are $10. This event is for middle and high school students. Impressions Outreach is promoting a “Night of Elegance” in a healthy, fun environment. There will be a DJ, and they will be crowning a king and queen as well as a prince and princess at 9:00 p.m. that night. For more information, you may contact Lakeisha McKissick at 466-7418.

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MEDI HOME HOSPICE ASKS FOR DONATIONS FOR BOX FULL OF LOVE

Tuesday, January 19

Medi Home Hospice is asking for your help to fill a “Box Full of Love” for their hospice patients and other elderly members of the community. They say some patients face long days alone without families, and the Valentine gift will remind them that they are loved by others. Items such as stuffed animals, lotions, crossword puzzles, sock, cards, etc., make a great gift. You may drop of your contributions at WBCU Radio, Grace United Methodist Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church and Medi Home Hospice. Additional information may be obtained by calling 427-8322.


CROWD GATHERS TO HEAR HUCKABEE, MANN

Monday, January 18

More than one hundred people turned out Saturday night to hear presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee received a warm reception as his talk was often interrupted with applause. He centered his comments on being a candidate who is ready to assume the responsibility of being the President of the United States.

 

He said the country is in trouble because we are protecting the rights of those who are opposed to the United States and not its citizens. Huckabee commented that the government has separated itself from common sense. 

South Carolina House District 42 Republican candidate Tommy Mann also spoke at the event. Mann called himself a “cheapskate”, and if elected will take that same value to Columbia to find ways to do things smarter and cheaper. He told the group that he supports second amendment rights and says every citizen should have the right to defend themselves. Mann said religious liberty is coming under fire, and added that if elected, he would introduce legislation that would, in effect, make abortion illegal in South Carolina.

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LIBRARY BOARD NAMES NEW DIRECTOR

Monday, January 18

The Union County Carnegie Library has a new director. Acting Director Mike Cassels announced that Rieta Drinkwine has been named to the position. She follows Ben Loftis who resigned last fall. Drinkwine holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University. She previously worked as campus librarian for Virginia College in Florence, South Carolina, and as branch manager for the Berkeley County Library System. On taking the position in Union, Drinkwine said, “As I embark on the new wonderful opportunity to serve the Union County community, I am excited to be able to use these experiences to meet local needs.”

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REV. LARRY BLACK TO HEADLINE ANNUAL KING DAY CELEBRATION

Monday, January 18

The Union County Branch of the NAACP will present their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration tonight.  The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Sims Middle School on Whitmire Highway. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Larry Black, senior pastor at New Salem Zion Baptist Church of Spartanburg. Music will be provided by the local student group, New Reason. The public is invited to attend.

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MISSING TAILLIGHT LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES FOR MAN

Monday, January 18

On Thursday, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Suber spotted a vehicle without a tail light. He initiated a traffic stop and approached the vehicle to ask the driver for his driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. The only occupant in the car was the driver, Joseph McMorris. He did not have his driver’s license with him but knew the number. After a check, it came back clear. He was asked to step out of the car, and he did. He then was asked to empty his pockets, at which time a set of digital scales was revealed. He said he used the scales in his work. As the deputy was patting the subject down, a bulge was noted. The deputy continued his pat down, and McMorris attempted to break away. Sgt. Hill at that point deployed his Taser, and the subject offered no more resistance. The officer shook down the pant leg of the subject where the bulge was noted, and a clear bag with a green plantlike material was in it. At that point, McMorris was placed under arrest and taken to the police car. That’s when the deputy noticed another bag on the ground, which contained two smaller bags. In the smaller bag was a clear crystal substance of which McMorris denied ownership. Reviewing video footage, it appeared the bag fell from the passenger side of the car as it was being stopped. The subject was transported to the Union County Jail. The deputies obtained information that McMorris was staying at the American Inn and went to that location. There, they found Brandy Russell, who told them that she and McMorris were staying there. She gave consent to search the room, where they found a small amount of a green plant material and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana. There was no indication in the booking report that Russell was charged in connection with the case.

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SOUTHERN BBQ NETWORK HOLDING A TRAINING CLASS FOR JUDGES IN UNION SATURDAY

Monday, January 18

In 2010 a group of persons who loved barbecue, not only for eating but also in the art of preparation, decided to form an organization that preserves southern barbecue through qualified trained judges, but also to improve communities through assisting charitable events. Thus the Southern BBQ Network (commonly known as SBN) was formed. The founders, having previous experience from other barbecue judging organizations, created a foundation based on the principles of fairness in judging by establishing training classes, a blind judging method, and a fair scoring system.  As a not-for-profit organization, the membership donates their time to support charitable events, with the satisfaction of providing support to local community charities through fundraising and the enjoyment of pigging out on some of the best BBQ in the region. Members cannot judge until they have attended a training class. This year, SBN will be holding four regional training classes, with the first scheduled this Saturday, January 23, at the South Carolina Works office at 103 West Main Street in Union.  Class is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with lunch provided. The fee for the class is $25, plus $35 for the annual membership, since you must be a member to judge. Persons interested in becoming a certified BBQ judge can sign up on the SBN website at http://sbbqn.com/ by clicking on the “Certification Classes” picture, or by contacting Mike Wright at 843-425-4186.


TANEYHILL RELEASES STATEMENT THANKING HIS PLAYERS AND COACHES

Friday, January 15

Former Union County High School football coach Steve Taneyhill released a statement Wednesday through his attorney, Ashley C. Story with the Columbia Law Firm of J. Lewis Cromer and Associates, thanking his players and others for their hard work. The statement, in letter form, says:

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JUVENILE ARRESTED AT JONESVILLE K-8 SCHOOL FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION

Friday, January 15

On January 13, Kathy Taylor, principal of Jonesville K-8 School, stated a juvenile student had in their possession what appeared to be marijuana. The student had a clear in color, zip lock bag containing a green in color, leafy substance under his shirt at the waistband and also had in his possession a purple and white pencil sharpener containing a green in color, leafy substance believed to be marijuana. The juvenile student was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. The juvenile’s parents were called to the school, where the juvenile was released to his parents. A DJJ complaint form and a custodial promise form was signed and the marijuana was taken into evidence.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE YEAR-END REPORT HIGHLIGHTS AREAS OF CONCERN

Friday, January 15

In his annual report, Union County Sheriff David Taylor says the crime pattern in the county has remained level or dropped in most categories in 2015. The report is just on county cases and does not include information on the City of Union or the Town of Jonesville.

He says the greatest concern is that in 2015, there was a sharp increase in murders. In 2014, there was only one murder reported, and in 2015 there were three murders, and one is still unsolved. The case that is unsolved has been turned over to the State Grand Jury for the nature of the crime.

The number of burglaries was down in 2015 by 20 cases. The total number of larcenies for 2015 was 249.

Assaults were also down for the year overall, but cases of criminal domestic violence and simple assault were slightly up by 7. The number of overall assaults for 2015 was down by 5 cases but still totaled 318 cases for the year.

The sheriff says there were 3 areas of the county’s crime stats that showed increases, and that is a growing concern. There was an increase in the number of vandalism reports in 2015 from the previous year. In 2014, there were 171 reported vandalisms, and in 2015 there were 196 cases reported. The sheriff commented, “The increase of 25 cases is a significant amount over a one-year period.”

The other 2 areas of increase go hand-in-hand with each other. One of them is the increase in the number of drug arrests and the quantity of drugs taken off the street. They made 221 drug cases in 2015. The sheriff commented that the following information “is scary for a county of our size.”

NARCOTICS REPORT QUANTITIES

        {2015}                                                                       {2014}

$5703.00

Currency seized

$15374.00

3

Vehicles seized

1

17

Meth labs discovered

12

275

Prescription pills seized

490

1255

Marijuana plants seized

60

32

Alcohol seized

20

70 grams

Crack cocaine seized

6 grams

30 lbs.

Mushrooms seized

10 grams

923.5 grams

Methamphetamine seized

61 grams

4

Stolen vehicles seized

2

The last area of increase is weapon violations, and that shows a considerable increase. In 2014, they made 18 weapons violation cases, and in 2015 there were 30 weapon violation cases that were made by the Sheriff’s Office. One of the reasons for the increase is due to the number of weapons being carried by the drug dealers in Union County.

Taylor said, “It is very evident that we have a drug dependency problem in Union County. The only reason people cannot get a job in Union County is because they are not looking or they cannot pass a drug test. We need to be proactive in breaking this trend of drug dependency, starting with the young children. We need to educate them on the dangers of drug addiction and we need to start TODAY!” Taylor continued, “We have got to be diligent in our fight against crime in our county. It’s not just for law enforcement but also for the citizens to keep us informed of unusual activity.”

The full report is below.

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FOSTER PARK, LOCKHART RECEIVE STEM GRANTS

Friday, January 15

In 2015, Foster Park Elementary School and Lockhart Schools each received $5,000 in grants for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education from the PPG Industries Foundation.

A news release stated, “PPG Industries Foundation is committed to investing in science, technology, engineering and math education programs that help communities develop a skilled workforce for today and a generation of innovators for tomorrow. This mini-grant program is designed to support projects related to science, technology, engineering or math championed by employees in partnership with local public schools, and spark student interest and achievement in these areas.

PPG employees in the U.S. have an opportunity to help their local schools apply for Innovative Classroom Grants up to $1,000. These grants are specifically to support projects designed to spark student interest and achievement related to science, technology, engineering and math.

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HUCKABEE TO PAY UNION COUNTY A VISIT

Friday, January 15

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will make a campaign stop in Union tomorrow night. He will be at Union’s First Baptist Church beginning at 7:00 p.m. With Huckabee will be Republican candidate for SC House District 42, Tommy Mann.

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COOPER STANDARD HIRING 2ND-SHIFT PRODUCTION OPERATORS TUESDAY

Friday, January 15

Cooper Standard will stage a job fair next Tuesday, January 19, from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and 2:00 PM-6:00 PM at Spartanburg Community College’s Tyger River Campus. It is located at 1875 East Main Street, Duncan. They will be recruiting for 2nd-shift production operators. A high school diploma or GED is required, and the starting wage will be $13.68, increasing to $14.67 after the successful completion of a 120-day probationary period. There is a $0.30 shift premium for working second and third shifts. Candidates must be available for any shift. A drug screen and criminal background check is part of the hiring process.


MIRACLE LEAGUE RAISING MONEY FOR PLAYGROUND THROUGH COMMEMORATIVE BRICK CAMPAIGN

Thursday, January 14

The Miracle League of Union County says you can write your love in stone for this coming Valentine’s day. As a fundraiser, the Miracle League is selling bricks that can be engraved with your message and will be placed at the all-inclusive playground at Timken Park. The bricks are available for a limited time for a $100 donation. The campaign is an effort to raise $75,000 for the construction and development of the playground. That amount will be matched by the Timken Foundation. You can check out the MLUC website or Facebook for more information and an order form. The order form can also be found on the community calendar page of our website.

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MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES FOLLOWING ALLEGED ASSAULT OF GIRLFRIEND

Thursday, January 14

Officers were dispatched to 4513 Buffalo West Springs Highway on Tuesday in reference to an assault. Upon arrival, officers spoke to the complainant, who stated that his neighbor came to his house stating that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, Kenny Allen Puckett.

Officers spoke to the alleged victim, who was visibly upset and crying. Officers could see injuries to her left eye and redness around her mouth, nose, and throat, and blood on both her pants and shirt. She declined any immediate medical treatment or examination.

A written statement was obtained and a victim’s form was issued. Officers collected photographs of her injuries.

Officers went next door to 114 Westwood Lane, and after knocking, Puckett came to the door very intoxicated and had difficulty standing up. He was placed under arrest, and officers located the victim’s cell phone in his pocket, along with four 12-gauge shotgun shells. Puckett was transported to jail. Upon entering the residence, officers located a loaded, single-shot, 12-gauge shotgun on the couch beside a silver mag light. Officers observed and photographed blood on the bedroom walls, bed sheets, floor, towels and clothing.

The shotgun and all 12-gauge shells were seized. The cell phone was returned to the victim. Officers were to see the magistrate to obtain warrants for 1st-degree domestic violence, rape, and kidnapping.

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LAWSON NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR AT UCHS

Thursday, January 14

Ralph Lawson, Jr., has been named the 2015-2016 Union County High School Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during a UCHS faculty meeting on Dec. 18. Lawson is currently in his 34th year of teaching. When the announcement was made, a video was shown with messages from dozens of Lawson’s former students.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONORS ITS EMPLOYEES

Thursday, January 14

Union County Sheriff David Taylor has announced the recipients of various employee of the year awards. From the Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Jermaine Smith received the Outstanding Service Award. Deputies Brandon Vaughan and Roger Suber were named Deputies of the Year, and Investigator Scott Coffer was named Investigator of the Year.

Also recognized for their years of service were: Retired Lt. Terry Humphries (24+ years), Retired Chief Deputy Roger Gregory (32 years), and Detention Center Director Neil McKeown (22 years.) Chief Deputy Perry Haney received the 2015 Courage Award.

From the Jail Division: Jennifer Nave, LPN, and Vickie Morgan, Administrative Assistant for the Jail, received the Employee of the Year awards.

Robert Colson was awarded the 911 Dispatcher of the Year award.

The sheriff has also released data on the activity in his office during 2015. Due to the length of his report, we will have complete details in tomorrow’s news.

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NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES DOWNPLAY IMPORTANCE OF BREAKFAST; LOCAL DIETICIANS DISAGREE

Thursday, January 14

Your mother always told you to eat a good breakfast, but now the federal government says that is not necessary. After years of suggesting that not eating breakfast is associated with excess body weight, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion dropped that recommendation in their new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released Jan. 7.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System registered dietician Kerri Lindberg disagrees, stating that the morning meal is important to starting our days. 
“People who eat breakfast are getting in more nutrients, which is beneficial,” Lindberg said. “People who don’t eat breakfast end up being very hungry at lunchtime and tend overeat. Breakfast is a good way to get in more nutrients and vitamins and provide you with more fuel to energize your morning.”
For Lindberg, the most alarming detail in Dietary Guidelines for Americans wasn’t any of the changes in recommendations, but the data and research on fruit and vegetable consumption by Americans in their diet each day.
People from age 14 to 50 are the biggest offenders when it comes to not including enough fruits and vegetables in their daily meals.
“The bottom line is that fruits and vegetables help manage and reduce risks for diseases,” Lindberg said. “If you eat hamburgers and French fries every day, it will make you feel very tired and not feel well. If you shift to a more well-rounded meal, you will feel much better. People don’t realize how bad they feel until they change their diets.”


NEW INDUSTRY, AN AFFILIATE OF GESTAMP, TO INVEST $6.3 MILLION and create 21 jobs

Wednesday, January 13

In Tuesday afternoon’s Union County Council meeting, the agenda was crowded with a number of people appearing, and there were several matters to take up. The council heard from Missy Kirby and Heather Witt with the United Way of the Piedmont. They went over the activities of the United Way and talked about the 211 system that allows area residents to call to get information on a variety of subjects.

Bennie Gilliam and Terry Worthy came to talk about the need for a fire department substation in the Goldville area of the county. Goldville is in the far reaches of the southern portion of the county and does not have access to a quick response from any fire department. The council agreed that there is a need and is something that will take additional work.

Council appointed Paul Sanders and Mark Garner to the Building Code Board of Appeals. The Appeals and Planning Commission added two new members to their group. They are Evans Crocker and Carlisle Oxner. Both commissions are supposed to have 7 members, but there were only two applicants. County Council agreed to advertise for applications to fill the other five positions on each commission.

A resolution was presented concerning a public hearing on the bond issuance for the Lockhart Fire Department to begin the procedure for purchasing a new fire truck.

In other business, there was a third reading for a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the Haemonetics Company, and a 1st reading for such an agreement for Gescrap. It was announced that Gescrap is a new industry in the county. Development Board Director Andrena Powell-Baker said this about the new industry:

 

The capital investment is $6.3 million, and they are expected to hire 21 people.

On another note, it was learned at the meeting that Development Board Director Andrena Powell-Baker will be leaving that job to take another position.

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TENANT REPORTEDLY LOSES EVERYTHING, INCLUDING TWO DOGS, IN HOUSE FIRE

Wednesday, January 13

On Monday, officers were notified of a house fire on Sonoco Road with possible entrapment. Upon arrival, Investigator Scott Coffer and Sheriff David Taylor were told by neighbors that a lady may still be inside. Coffer and Taylor gained access through the front door and made it right inside the threshold, but they were pushed back outside due to the flames. After the fire was extinguished, firefighters located two dogs that had perished in the fire. The dogs were taken by animal control. The tenant arrived shortly after and stated that she has had problems with her stove in the recent past. The owner of the building was listed as Guy Michael Scales of Wheatfield Drive. The unidentified tenant was said to have lost everything.

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WOMAN ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES FOLLOWING SPEEDING STOP

Wednesday, January 13

On Monday, Lt. Sherfield and Investigator Parker were on routine patrol when Sherfield learned that Miriam Holden had just purchased a box of 12 decongestants (Ephedrine) at Union’s Wal-Mart. At 11:35 a.m. while on the Whitmire Hwy., Sherfield and Parker met Holden, who was operating a 1998 Chevy Malibu heading east at 63 mph in a 55-mph zone. The officers then turned around and activated the blue lights to stop Holden for the speeding violation. Holden pulled to the shoulder of the roadway approximately 1/2 mile before Tinker Creek Road. Lt. Sherfield asked if she had anything illegal inside the vehicle, and Holden said no and stated that they were free to search the vehicle if they wished. Lt. Sherfield then asked her to exit the vehicle. She then stated "no", that she was not getting out, and she attempted to roll up the window. Lt. Sherfield stopped the window from going up. Holden then stated that she would get out of the vehicle. Holden was again asked if she had anything inside the vehicle, and she then stated "not that she knew of," but that the officers could search. While searching the vehicle, the officer notice a blue and pink lady’s plastic bag pushed up under the front of the console area. When the bag was removed and checked, it was found to contain a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, straws, digital scales, a plastic bag with white residue inside, another plastic bag containing a quantity of methamphetamine and Q-tips. Holden was then placed under arrest for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and transported to Union County Jail.

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MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES FOLLOWING WELFARE CHECK

Wednesday, January 13

On Monday, a sheriff’s deputy responded to Sugar Creek Road in reference to a welfare check. A DSS caseworker called 911 and stated that Brandon Williams had threatened to get a gun and shoot everyone in the residence. The deputy spoke with the caseworker, and she stated that Williams had been using methamphetamine and was hallucinating. On arrival, the officer spoke with Williams about the threats he had made. He started arguing with a woman there and was blaming her for deputies being called to the residence. Williams was asked to go seek some help and not to be made to go, and at that time he became irate. He started using profanity and was arrested for breach of peace. As Williams was being arrested, he stated to the woman, “Tell them about the drugs in the bedroom.”  Williams was then transported to jail. The woman gave consent to search the room for drugs. She went into the bedroom and showed the deputy a small bag with methamphetamine and a syringe with methamphetamine. She was asked to see her arms, and when she pulled up her sleeve she had bruises on them. The woman stated that on January 10th, Williams jumped out of bed, grabbed her by the arms, and started shaking her. She stated that he was saying she had someone in the closet, and what was it going to take for them to come out. She said that every time he did drugs, she was scared that he was going to harm her. Summons for breach of peace and possession of drug paraphernalia were issued for Williams.

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WOMAN REPORTS HER MOTHER'S ASHES STOLEN

Wednesday, January 13

On January 4th, Deputy Brad Woods met with Donna Johnson about the larceny of her mother's ashes. Johnson stated the ashes were last seen in her closet during the previous week, and she discovered them missing just prior to calling 911. Johnson states that the ashes were in a black box and labeled with the contents. The case was sent to investigators.


SEARCH ON FOR NEW HEAD FOOTBALL COACH/ATHLETIC DIRECTOR at uchs

Tuesday, January 12

The Union County Board of School Trustees held their first meeting of 2016 Monday night at Lockhart School.  The most notable news came after an hour-long executive session, in which there were eight personnel issues and one legal issue listed on the agenda. After returning from executive session, it was noted that no vote was taken. WBCU news asked Dr. David Eubanks what this no vote meant, and he stated the following:

 

WBCU News will continue to follow this story and bring you any further developments as they happen.

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SCHOOL DISTRICT APP, DECLINING GRADUATION RATE DISCUSSED AT BOARD MEETING

Tuesday, January 12

Several items were discussed during the school board meeting, one of which was the timeline to find a new superintendent to replace the vacancy left by the resignation of Dr. Kristi Woodall that took place last month. The timeline discussed is approximately 90-120 days, which will include advertising the vacancy, beginning immediately.

Director of Technology Tim Barnado spoke with the board about a new app for the Union County School District, which is part of the district’s Advanced Communication Initiative.  The app is called Union County Schools, and will include calendar and news information for all Union County Schools. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Director of District Accountability Cindy Langley addressed the board to discuss an increase in the dropout rate and decreases in the graduation and college enrollment rates. The dropout rate has increased to 3.7%, representing 46 students, while the graduation rate has decreased from 78.8% to 73.9% and college enrollment rates have decreased from 66% to 54%.  Langley emphasized that the district wants to reverse these trends. She stated they are losing students in the ninth grade and that more interventions need to be put into place to aid students who have trouble with attendance and reading. Traditionally, if the school district can get a student from ninth to tenth grade, the student can most likely graduate.

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ANTHONY ANNOUNCES HE WILL RUN AGAIN, PREVIEWS UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Tuesday, January 12

SC House of Representatives District 42 member Mike Anthony says he will be a candidate for reelection to that post. Anthony appeared on a WBCU News special Monday morning, where he made the statement.

 

On the program, Anthony discusses matters that he expects to come up the 2016 legislative session that begins today. South Carolina roads are expected to be one of the main issues brought up. He said it would take approximately $21 billion to put the roads in the state in perfect condition, money he said the state does not have. He expects money to be appropriated for repairs to the state’s highways but looks for patching work to be conducted. Anthony mentioned the bridge replacement project on Highway 49 in Lockhart, which is currently on hold. He explained that the Department of Transportation is requiring the town of Lockhart to pay for the moving of utilities before the project can begin. Anthony said he is working with Senator Harvey Peeler to have the money appropriated for the $300,000 project. That amount is three times the amount of Lockhart’s annual town budget.

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COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD FIRST READING FOR A FEE AGREEMENT FOR SPANISH COMPANY

Tuesday, January 12

The Union County Council will be meeting this afternoon in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Courthouse. The agenda appears to be crowded, with a number of people to hear from and several matters to take up. The council will hear from Missy Kirby and Paige Stephenson concerning the United Way. Robert Alexander will talk about the ISO rating in the Whitmire area of the county. Bennie Gilliam and Leroy Worthy will discuss the possibility of a fire department substation in the Goldville community, and there will be the consideration of appointments to the Building Code Board of Appeals and the Appeals and Planning Commission. Members of the Buffalo Fire Department will talk about a letter of credit for the purchase of a fire truck and plans for the district. There will also be a discussion of a 1-cent sales tax for property tax relief, and the council is expected to approve their meeting dates and times.

A resolution will be presented concerning a public hearing on the bond issuance for the Lockhart Fire Department and another concerning the creation of a Buffalo Fire District.

In other business, there will be a third reading for a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the Haemonetics Company, and a 1st reading for such an agreement for Gescrap, a company based out of Spain. An ordinance to amend the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse will be presented, as well as a bond ordinance for the Lockhart Fire Department.

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BMW PRODUCED MORE THAN 400,000 VEHICLES IN 2015 AT ITS SPARTANBURG PLANT

Tuesday, January 12

BMW Manufacturing recorded its largest annual production in 2015. Exactly 400,904 X-models rolled off the line last year, making the South Carolina plant the largest volume producer in the company’s global production network. This achievement represents a 15% increase over the production volume for 2014 (349,949). In 2015, the plant exported 70% (281,256) of the total volume to over 140 countries around the globe.

“2015 was another very successful year for Plant Spartanburg,” said Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing Co. “We have an outstanding team of dedicated associates that are highly committed to delivering premium quality vehicles for our customers to enjoy.”

In 2016, the company’s U.S. factory will continue its three-year, $1 billion investment that was announced in 2014. This expansion will further increase the plant’s overall capacity and add a fifth model to their vehicle lineup, the all-new BMW X7. By the end of 2016, the plant’s annual production capacity will increase to 450,000 units.

BMW began manufacturing vehicles in the U.S. in 1994 and has produced over 3.3 million vehicles in the last two decades. Presently, BMW Manufacturing produces over 1,400 vehicles each day. BMW Group has invested over $7 billion in the South Carolina plant.


SCHOOL BOARD HAS BUSY AGENDA

Monday, January 11

The Union County School District Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight in the library of Lockhart School. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. The new interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks will present information of school district employees making more than $50,000 per year. This information was requested several months ago by a board member. He will also present information on the search timeline for a permanent replacement to the recently resigned Dr. Kristi Woodall. Tim Barnado will present a new district app to the board. Cindy Langley will have information on the drop out rate, graduation rate and college enrollment for 2015. An executive session is listed on the agenda, which will include discussion on 8 personnel items and one legal matter. The meeting is open to the public.

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STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE FORMED TO LOOK AT IMPROVEMENTS FOR STADIUM

Monday, January 11

On Thursday, January 7th, the Union County Stadium Commission held a meeting. The hot topic was getting the stadium up to safety codes, and possibly building a field house. Representatives from Union City Council, Union County Council, the Union County Fair Board, the Union County School District, and the Union County Stadium Commission all agreed to select 2 members per committee to make up a strategic planning committee. WBCU News spoke to Tyler Shugart, chairman of the Union County Stadium Commission, about the committee.

 

The Union County Stadium Commission elected their two members at the meeting. Commission chair Tyler Shugart and J.C. Wilcox will represent the commission on the strategic planning committee. After all committees involved select their two representatives to the planning committee, a further meeting will be planned.

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TWO SOUGHT IN VIOLENT HOME INVASION AND ROBBERY

Monday, January 11

Two suspects are on the loose after a violent home invasion and robbery in Union. Police say around 8pm Wednesday, two men followed a woman into her home at gunpoint and stole her phone and cash. According to the police report, the woman’s friend, who was home at the time, managed to take the gun from the thieves, who proceeded to throw furniture. The report says the suspects ran out the back door after the incident. “When I come to the front door, I see two guys jump the fence and take off running,” said witness Adrian Smith. The woman was treated by EMS after suffering some head injuries.

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TWO ARRESTED IN MULTI-COUNTY GROUND FUEL SENSOR THEFTS

Monday, January 11

On December 31, the Union County Sheriff's Office received reports that sometime overnight three 8-foot ground fuel sensors were stolen from Valero stores at 1126 Main St., Buffalo, and 1241 S. Duncan Bypass, Union. The sheriff's office was also notified by 911 that Union Public Safety had 2 similar incidents during the same time frame at 2 Valero stores in the City of Union. Each sensor is valued at $1500.

On January 4, Sheriff David Taylor and Investigator Scott Coffer gathered information about the ground fuel sensors, including their purpose and what the market was for disposing of these type sensors. Sheriff Taylor and Investigator Coffer received a phone call from a vendor who installs the sensors and were told that each sensor contains its own individual serial number. They were also told of a select market that would purchase any gas sensors. The vendor provided contact information for a possible buyer of the sensors. Sheriff Taylor and Investigator Coffer reached out to this buyer and asked if they had recently purchased any gas probes. It was determined that they had purchased several, and the buyer provided the contact information of the seller. Through investigative techniques and video evidence, Donald Eugene Murray, 43, of 197 Suzanne Court, Gaston, SC, was named the suspect, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

On January 5, Murray showed back up at the same business trying to sell more sensors. The business contacted Investigator Coffer, and they had the business delay Murray until law enforcement in McDowell County, North Carolina, could arrive and take custody of him. Law enforcement from McDowell County arrived on scene, and he was taken to the McDowell County Jail, where he went before a judge and waived extradition. He was transported to the Union County Jail on January 7. Murray has since been charged with 2 counts of grand larceny and remains in the Union County Jail, where a hold has been placed on him for other agencies to make charges.

On January 5, Sheriff Taylor and Investigator Coffer went to the Lexington County Sheriff's Office and met with investigators to go to Murray’s residence. While there, they questioned Ryan Logan Murray, the son of Donald Murray, and he gave a statement to law enforcement that he and his father had been stealing ground fuel sensors. On January 7, Ryan Logan Murray turned himself into the Union County Jail, where 2 warrants for grand larceny were served on him.

During the course of the investigation, Sheriff Taylor and Investigator Coffer were able to determine that the individuals had stolen gas sensors from Union, Spartanburg, Laurens, Newberry, Lexington and Orangeburg counties. All agencies were notified by Sheriff Taylor and are expected to sign warrants on the individuals in the next few days. Sheriff Taylor says if other agencies have had similar thefts, they are asked to contact Investigator Scott Coffer at 864-429-1612. Some of the gas sensors have been recovered and will be returned to the original owners in the near future. This is an unusual crime, and Sheriff Taylor would like to thank all the agencies involved in this case, including SLED.

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INFORMATION MEETING PLANNED FOR THE AG + ART TOUR

Monday, January 11

The Ag + Art Tour has been scheduled for this coming summer. The Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union, York, and Horry County farms, with area artisans located at each farm site.  During this weekend event, visitors will have the opportunity to see firsthand where their food comes from, watch artists in action and purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folk songs, and learn more about rural life.  The tour is the largest free farm tour in the nation and has drawn over 16,000 visitors since it began in 2012.

The 2016 Union County Ag + Art Tour will take place on Saturday, June 25, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Sunday, June 26, from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. A farm site is defined as a business or farm that relies on natural resources of the land, such as family farms, vineyards, wineries, timber, breweries, and orchards. These sites produce food, fiber, unique crops or livestock, add value to traditional agricultural products, or are other farm-based activities, such as markets & roadside stands.

All interested farmers and artists are asked to please join organizers at an information meeting to be held at the Clemson Extension Office on January 26 at 12:00PM. Regional Tour Director Ben Boyles, along with Union County representatives, will be on hand to explain the tour and answer your questions.

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AMERICAN LEGION HOLDING ITS FIRST MEETING OF 2016

Monday, January 11

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting today at its usual location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Veterans Memorial Park in Union. A meal will be served at 6:00 P.M., with the business meeting to follow at 7:00 P.M. Post 22 meets on the second Monday evening of the month, and prospective members are always welcome to attend.


JUNE MILLER SWORN IN AS TEMPORARY CLERK OF COURT

Friday, January 8, 2016

Former Union County Clerk of Court June Miller was sworn in by Circuit Judge John C. Hayes, III, Wednesday morning as the temporary Clerk of Court.

 

Miller was named in an Executive Order from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to fill the unexpired term of Freddie Gault, who resigned to take a position with 5th-District Congressman Mick Mulvaney. In the swearing in ceremony held in the courtroom of the Union County Courthouse, Judge Hayes commented about Miller’s previous service by saying, “She taught me a lot.” He continued by saying, “Her pride and love of the job connected with me.” Miller commended the staff in the clerk’s office in saying if she didn’t have such a good staff, “I wouldn’t be here.” Her previous service included 30 years in the Clerk of Court’s office, 20 of which were in the elected position. The election to fill the office will be this coming November, and the new clerk will be sworn in January 2017.

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BOND NOT YET GRANTED FOR ALMAN, BUT SOME CONDITIONS ARE SET

Friday, January 8, 2016

Dabriada Alman appeared in court Thursday for a bond hearing. She is charged with delivery of a pistol to a person convicted of a violent crime and accessory after the fact to murder.  Judge John C Hayes, III, did not set a bond but took the matter under advisement and will rule on it after more information is gathered.  He did make it a condition that she not be allowed to live at the proposed address of 308 Meansville Road, due to that residence being next door to the deceased victim’s mother’s residence.  He also said that if a bond is set and she posts that bond, she would be required to be on GPS monitoring as a condition of the bond. Alman was charged in connection with the murder of Rebecca Tyler.

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COUNTERFEIT BILLS TURN UP IN JONESVILLE

Friday, January 8, 2016

Deputies responded Monday to 934 Forest Street (Park Sterling Bank) in reference to some counterfeit money. A deputy arrived on scene and spoke with Dorothy Land, who stated that when the bank workers were counting the deposits from the night before, they discovered two counterfeit $50 bills. Land stated that the bank’s counter system would not accept the two bills. Upon inspection, it was discovered that they were identical in every way, including the serial number. She stated that the bills were each in a separate deposit. One was a deposit from the Kangaroo gas station in Jonesville, dropped off at the bank in the night deposit box, and one was from the Dollar General store in Jonesville, dropped off at the bank in person at 5pm the previous day. Both bills were collected by the deputy.

MORE THAN $2500 IN ITEMS STOLEN FROM BLACKBERRY ROAD PROPERTY

Friday, January 8, 2016

On Wednesday, Union County Sheriff’s officers responded to 103 Blackberry Road in reference to a break-in that had already occurred. They spoke with the property owner, who said that he has not been on the property for about a month, but when he came Wednesday, he noticed that the back door to a building on the property had been broken into and some items were missing. Missing from the building was a 30-gallon DeWalt air tank worth $180, a finishing nail gun worth $100, a green table saw worth $200, a toolbox full of tools worth $400, a Lincoln 175 mig welder worth $600, an argon tank worth $100, and a pressure tester in a black case worth $100. The deputy inspected the back door and it appeared that someone pried it open and attempted to beat the doorknob off. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that another building on the property used for storage was also broken into. Missing from inside this building was a set of rims for a car valued at $700. The deputy observed that the hot water heater, valued at $200, was taken out of the building, and it looked as though someone had attempted to take the copper wire from the power box in the house but changed their minds and left. Damage to the electrical part in the building is valued at $300. The total value of the taken items is $2580.

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WELCOMES ANOTHER NEW MEMBER

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Union County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Ask and Receive, a full-service marketing company, to their organization. Stacey Belvill founded Ask and Receive, Inc., in 1999. She has expertise in web programming, design and web hosting.  She provides search engine optimization and social media marketing in addition to many other services.  She is known for her creative attention to detail in assisting her clients to achieve maximum results. She holds many web and graphic, advanced SEO and social media-related certifications in addition to being a Microsoft Master Instructor.  Stacey is an active volunteer and was awarded the Rotary International District Service Above Self award. Stacey has a master’s level certification in Marketing Strategy from Cornell and a bachelor’s degree from Lander University. She is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Leadership Spartanburg and the Women's Campaign School at Yale. Ask & Receive offers full service marketing and IT support, as well as the following: web design & development, hosting with free updates, SEO & pay-per-click, HTML email & newsletters, mobile websites & more. You may contact Stacey Bevill at 864-414-3598, email Stacey@askandreceive.net, or by fax at 866-304-1492.

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZER JOB IN SPARTANBURG IS OPEN

Friday, January 8, 2016

SC Works says there is a job opening in Spartanburg County for a community organizer. The pay is $15 per hour, and the successful candidate will work a maximum of 28 hours per week. This is a temporary position, and no experience is required. You must have your own transportation and a valid driver’s license. If you are interested in this position, apply in person for an information session/interview on Monday, January 11, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Spartanburg SC Works office located at 364 South Church Street.


TIMKEN FOUNDATION GIVES GRANT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ALL-INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND

Thursday, January 7, 2016

 

Officials with the Miracle League of Union County have announced the Timken Foundation of Canton Trustees approved a grant of $150,000 to be used to construct an all-inclusive Miracle League Playground. The grant includes a matching contingency. $75,000 is scheduled for payment in August 2016, with an additional $75,000 to be paid by the foundation if matching funds are raised by the Miracle League of Union County by the end of July 2016. Miracle League officials said they are immediately beginning efforts to raise the additional $75,000 needed by holding a kick off brick drive of sorts. Amy Austin says they will be selling bricks to be used at the entrance of the playground at Timken Park. These can be personalized and will include a heart in the corner of each one to commemorate this kick off. The bricks are available between now and Valentine’s Day for only $100 each. The board feels that there is no reason they can't have this playground by this summer. The reason: because Union County has come together to support their baseball league, and this playground is just another miracle. The Miracle League began the all-inclusive playground project last year and are continuing the fundraising efforts. They encourage you to like their Facebook page, as they will be sharing a different piece of equipment that will be featured on this playground each day over the next couple of weeks. 


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POSSIBLE RECORD NUMBER OF PATIENTS SEEN IN UNION MEDICAL CENTER ER SUNDAY

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What is believed to be a record number of patients utilizing the emergency room at Union Medical Center was set this past Sunday. CEO Paul Newhouse comments:

 

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LAND PURCHASED FOR NEW MEDICAL FACILITY

Thursday, January 7, 2016

There’s more news coming from the hospital. As was stated in the agreement for Spartanburg Regional Health Systems to take over the operation of what was then known as Wallace Thomson Hospital, a new facility is to be constructed. The land for the new hospital has been purchased. Again, Paul Newhouse gives us the details.

 

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING TIMKEN COMPLEX BURGLARY

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Union County Sheriff’s deputies are looking into a burglary and break-in that occurred at the Timken Sports Complex between 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday. As the complainant reported to work Tuesday morning, he noted that the front gate was open and the lock had been cut off. It was determined that a catalytic converter was missing from a 2005 Dodge truck that was parked near the front entrance. As they continued to check the property, two storage buildings had their padlocks removed. Taken from those buildings were 2 Stihl weed trimers, a Husqvarna chainsaw, a Stihl gas hedge trimmer, two Stihl blowers, a Lesco brand spreader, and a pressure washer. The case has been turned over to investigators.

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UNITED WAY PROMOTES "BAGS OF LOVE" FOR HOMEBOUND SENIORS

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The United Way of the Piedmont has begun a new campaign designed to help out lonely seniors in Union County. It’s called Bags of Love. Information from the agency states that there are hundreds of homebound seniors living alone in Union County and dependent on community agencies for food, socialization and basic human contact. They say you can Live United by remembering this during the Valentine season. Area residents can become involved by assembling a “Bag of Love” that will be delivered to a homebound senior recipient in the community. Simply pick up a standard size gift bag and fill it with a few items, such as: Valentine’s card, candy (including sugar-free), soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, bandages, antiseptic cream, cotton balls, wash cloths, nonperishable food items, lotion, hand sanitizer, stretch gloves, 2016 calendar, devotional books, eye drops, cough drops, tissue, books or magazines, peroxide, comb or brush, and other such items. The bags will be delivered between February 8th and 12th.


PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO MAKE STOP IN UNION JANUARY 16TH

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A presidential candidate will be campaigning in Union this month. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, will be here Saturday, January 16. South Carolina House District 42 candidate Tommy Mann is responsible for bringing Huckabee here.

 

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TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ANNUAL FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The 18th-annual Father/Daughter Dance will be February 6th at the Union County Recreation Department from 6-8pm.   As always, the dance will consist of live music provided by a DJ, portrait of father and daughter, corsage, and light refreshments.  Tickets will continue to be $30 a couple and $5 for each additional child. Tickets may be purchased at Ashley Turner State Farm, Personally Yours, and Bantam Chef. Organizers are hoping for a great turn out. There is an extra surprise or two planned for the girls this year that they should really enjoy.

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MAN CHARGED IN "DINE AND DASH" INCIDENT AT FAIRVIEW DINER

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On Tuesday, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Jamison Taylor responded to the Fairview Diner on the South Duncan Bypass. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the manager of the diner, who stated that 50-year old Ronald Dean Henderson came to the location, sat down, and placed an order.  The manager said he consumed the food and left without paying. Union Public Safety located Henderson and transported him back to the diner. The manager said she wanted Henderson placed on trespass notice and wanted him charged for not paying for the food. Henderson was charged with petit larceny and transported to the Union County Jail.

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MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED AT GAZEBO

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, January 7, at the USC-U gazebo. You are asked to come and join with fellow citizens of Union County, and with others in other places, as prayers are offered for our country, our community, our state, for the world, and for the church. Participants are asked to pray for God’s guidance in the coming primaries and caucuses. You are also asked to pray for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. If you can't get there, organizers ask that you take some time for special prayer during the day. All are welcome.


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SOUTHERN SPRING HOME AND GARDEN SHOW COMING TO CHARLOTTE IN LATE FEBRUARY

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Here's something many of you in our area will be interested in. It’s the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, coming up February 26-28 and March 4-6, at the Park Expo and Conference Center in Charlotte.

The Southern Spring Home & Garden Show Garden celebrates 56 years of ushering in spring. You can experience gardens filled with flowers, chic designer rooms and exhibits focusing on the best in landscaping, building, remodeling and decorating, all located under one roof.  The hours for the show each weekend will be Friday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.;  Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission for adults is $11 and anyone under 15 is free with a paying adult. Fridays is $5 admission after 5:00 p.m. at the door only.


UNION DAILY TIMES BECOMES UNION TIMES, WILL PUBLISH TWICE WEEKLY

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Union Daily Times is now the Union Times, according to a story published on the company's website. The reason for the name change is the six-day-a-week publication is changing to two days per week--Wednesday and Saturday. The change became effective January 1st.

Quoting from the story, “With the change in publication cycles will come a change in the way the news is presented. Moving from a daily publication to a twice-weekly product will give our staff time to do more in-depth stories about the community plus we are adding some features our readers will enjoy, like a Food page each week, a page highlighting Union County’s schools and a weekly photo page,” said Patricia Edwards, regional editor for Civitas Media’s South Carolina publications.

Edwards added that the comic pages, which also carry the TV grids, will continue to be a part of the paper, as will the editorial page, sports page and church page.

Additionally, the paper’s web address—www.uniondailytimes.com—will not change, and news of interest to Union County residents will continue to be posted to the website daily. The staff will also continue to use the paper’s Facebook page to push breaking news out to the public.

Kent Kilpatrick, regional director for Civitas Media’s publications in South Carolina, said the decision to change from publishing five days a week to two days was a difficult one to make, but one that will be good for the paper and the community.

“The Times has a rich history in Union County, and we as a company recognize its importance to the people who are our loyal readers,” Kilpatrick said. “This change will allow us to better utilize our strengths as a newspaper, which is telling the stories that matter to the people in Union County. We see this as a path to providing a better quality product for our readers and a way to strengthen our footprint.”

The Union Daily Times is one of five publications owned by Civitas Media in South Carolina. Civitas Media also owns The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel, The Newberry Observer, and The Herald Independent in Winnsboro. The Union Daily Times has been continuously published since 1850.

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ACCIDENT REPORT SHEDS LIGHT ON FATAL WRECK

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The accident report from the collision that killed two people Friday night has been released by the Union Public Safety Department. A diagram shows that a 2006 Ford SUV driven by Jimmy Dale Price, 40, was traveling east on West Main Street at a speed that was too fast for conditions. A 1999 Ford pickup truck, driven by Joshua Brook  Connelly, 30, of 313 Crest Drive, Inman, SC, had just entered the eastbound lane of East Main Street from Industrial Park Road. Price attempted to pass and struck the rear of the truck, sending him into a head-on collision with a 1997 Nissan SUV driven by Colton Michael Duckett, 19, of 3524 Cross Keys Highway. Price and a passenger, Tousha Smith, were killed in the accident. Price and Smith became the first traffic fatalities of 2016 in Union County.

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MERCHANDISE STOLEN FROM TRUCK AT BELK DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Saturday morning, Deputy Matthew Voiselle responded to 3805 Furman L Findley Hwy (Belk Distribution Center) in reference to a break-in that had already occurred. The deputy spoke with loss prevention employee DeWight Bradford. Bradford stated that the plant was shut down for the New Year's holiday from December 31st to January 2nd. Bradford stated that when the plant opened back up Saturday, they noticed that a truck trailer that was left in the lot during the shutdown time was standing open when it should have been sealed closed. Bradford stated that upon inspecting the truck trailer, it appeared that someone had cut the seal off, rummaged through the boxes of merchandise on the truck, and stolen some items. Bradford stated that a perimeter check of the plant was conducted, and it was found that the fence surrounding the plant had been cut in one spot. Near this spot, on the outside of the fence, there was a piece of merchandise from the truck--a black and gold colored dress--laying on the ground. An investigator was called to the scene to begin an investigation.

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STATE LIBRARY PLANS WEBINARS ON ELECTION AND LEGISLATIVE RESOURCES

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Plan now to become more involved in elections and legislation in the New Year. Two new webinars are scheduled by the State Library to help alert citizens to voting procedures and to learn about proposed legislation in the SC General Assembly.  

The first webinar, Getting Ready for the Elections, will be held on Monday, January 25, at 11:00 a.m.  Are you registered to vote?  Do you know the candidates and issues?  Will you vote absentee?  Will you be able to answer questions of your neighbors and friends to help them be prepared?  Join Elaine Sandberg, Information Services Librarian, as she explores the resources of scvotes.org, the website of the South Carolina Election Commission, to find just what you need to be prepared to vote.   If you would like attend the session in person at the State Library, contact Sandberg for information (esandberg@statelibrary.sc.gov).

The second webinar, Legislation Resources, will be held on Monday, February 22, at 11:00 a.m. Are you interested in a particular issue that will come up in the General Assembly this year?  Do you know how to contact your legislators before a crucial vote is taken?  How will state budgets affect your county?  Just how much money is really spent on education?   Join Elaine Sandberg, Information Services Librarian, as she explores some resources on the scstatehouse.gov site, the new scrfa.gov site and sccounties.org site that are freely available to help people learn about the legislature, the state budget and state spending, and resources to help keep track of important bills.  See more events offered by the South Carolina State Library at statelibrary.sc.libcal.com.


TWO KILLED IN FRIDAY NIGHT 3-VEHICLE WRECK

Monday, January 4, 2016

Union County Coroner William Holcombe has identified the two people who were killed Friday night in a three-vehicle crash in the 1300 block of West Main Street. Jimmy Dale Price, 40, last known address of Gault Avenue, died at the scene. The other victim was identified as Tousha Michelle Vinson Smith, 39, of 202 Hart Street. Smith was a passenger in Price’s 2009 Ford Escape. Details of the wreck have not been made available. At least one of the victims in the wreck was taken to a Greenville Hospital. The Spartanburg Regional Health Systems helicopter, Regional 1, was called to transport at least one of the patients but had to abort the mission due to a mechanical problem.

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QUESTIONS LINGER ABOUT STATUS OF TANEYHILL

Monday, January 4, 2016

On March 11, 2015, the Union County School Board of Trustees voted to extend Coach Steve Taneyhill’s  contract as head football coach at Union County High School until December 31, 2015. The matter has not been brought up in an open session of a school board meeting since the March 11th decision was made. That raises the question: at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve, is the coach still employed by the school district? We posed that question to School Board Chairperson Jane Hammett, who responded:

 

Hammett explained that the Taneyhill matter is not a board issue. She said that only the superintendent answers directly to the board. Apparently this issue will be taken up by the recently-appointed interim superintendent, Dr. David Eubanks. It would appear that the coach continues to work without a contract, and it also would appear that the school board is playing “hands off” on the matter. The next school board meeting is January 11th. We’ll see what, if anything, happens then.

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SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR ADDRESSES LAWSUIT

Monday, January 4, 2016

On the subject reported last Thursday that former Union County High School Principal Floyd Lyles has filed a lawsuit against the Union County School District and former Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall, Board Chair Jane Hammett had this to say:

 

Among other things, the suit charges that Woodall displayed animosity toward Lyles. He states that he believes the defendant and other political forces were trying to frustrate him into leaving. Lyles made the decision to resign from the post last March following accusations make by Woodall of improper behavior.  The assistant principal also resigned. The matter of the lawsuit is expected to be discussed in the next school board meeting, but in all likelihood, it will be in an executive session.

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BELIEVER'S INSTITUTE FOR BIBLICAL STUDIES BEGINS CLASSES AGAIN THIS MONTH

Monday, January 4, 2016

Individuals interested in improving their knowledge and understanding of the Bible have the opportunity to do so when the Believer’s Institute For Biblical Studies offers classes this January at Welcome Baptist Church.

The school year consists of Winter, Spring, and Fall semesters. Classes are set up on a five-year rotating schedule; therefore, students who want to earn a degree may enroll in the institute at the beginning of any semester. Classes are held on Monday nights from 6-9:20 p.m. each Monday night consists of three class periods, a break time with snacks, and a 30 minute chapel service. Students in the associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are required to do one teaching module outside of class each semester. This teaching module counts as one course. Each spring, a graduation service will be held and degrees will be given to students who have met the requirements.

For more information visit their website (www.bibsonline.org), email them (admin@bibsonline.org), or call the office of Welcome Baptist Church (864-427-3390).

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SPARTANBURG REGIONAL FOUNDATION'S EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN RAISES $1.3 MILLION

Monday, January 4, 2016

More than $1.3 million has been raised in 2015 through the Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Annual Employee Campaign. The funds raised by the foundation go to help SRHS patients and improve the health of the community.

Initiatives supported by associates in 2015 include:

The Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute for the Pelham expansion, raising $220,000, which will provide additional care options and cancer research for patients throughout the Upstate facing a cancer diagnosis.  

The Special Needs Fund is for patients receiving hospice, heart and cancer care. They raised $210,000 for the fund providing emergency financial support for patients.  

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, which provides therapeutic resources for children receiving speech, physical, and/or occupational therapy. These children will be assisted by the $31,000 raised. Other popular funds help underserved and low-income residents access cardiac rehabilitation, cancer screenings and primary care.    

With more than 6,000 associates, SRHS is one of the largest employers in Spartanburg County and has facilities throughout 11 counties, including Rutherford, Greenville, Cherokee, Union and Polk.

For more information about employee giving at Spartanburg Regional, visit RegionalFoundation.com.

The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is a charitable organization whose primary mission is to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through direct support of community programs and services that share Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s mission of providing quality health care to our community. 


WBCU NEWS LOOKS BACK AT 2015

Friday, January 1, 2016

Here is our WBCU News recap of some of the top stories of 2015 in Union County.

Taking a look at the first month of the year, we see there was a landfill fire that broke out in Chester County that caused trouble for the residents of Lockhart. There were residents of the town that were complaining of respiratory problems as a result of that fire, and it was several months before it would be contained. Also that month, the Union County Fire Chiefs Association met together for the purpose of coming up with an automatic aid agreement. Union County fire departments have long had what was termed a mutual aid agreement, where other departments agreed to respond to an emergency situation at a primary department's request. With the implementation of the upgrade the 911 system designated fire departments would be automatically notified in case of a fire or an emergency at a given location.

Also in January of this past year, Union County High School head football coach Steve Taneyhill was given the nod to lead the Yellow Jackets for at least another season. The matter came up as a result of talk that surfaced in the community that Taneyhill's contract would not be renewed for another year. The school board met and decided that they would renew the contract until December 31, 2015. 

Budget requests that began coming in January showed that the various county departments were requesting funding in the amount of $13,200,000. The issue was that the anticipated revenue totaled only $12,282,000, a difference of nearly $1 million. That set the stage for contentious discussions coming up later in the year.

There was some good news for the first quarter on the economic development front in Union County. It was announced that the county was getting a new industry. Vapor Apparel, a leader in performance apparel manufacturing and digital print-on-demand services, was planning to open a 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility here. The $1.3 million investment is expected to create 114 new jobs over a five-year period. 

In the second quarter of 2015, the official ribbon cutting for the new USC Union bookstore took place. The bookstore construction began about two years ago, and almost immediately, construction issues surfaced. Those were eventually worked out.  

The Union County legislative delegation held an event during March of last year in the auditorium of the USC-Union. Sen. Shane Martin and Sen. Harvey Peeler, along with House District 42 Representative Mike Anthony, took questions from the local government representatives. That meeting was moderated by Supervisor Frank Hart, and they heard from mayors from around the county. Roads were arguably the main topic of the conversation, and it was noted that Gov. Nikki Haley had sent letters to the House and Senate vowing to veto any legislation in its present form that may come from either body. There was also discussion concerning what is termed local government funds where by law, 4.5% percent of the money contributed by local governments is to be returned to them. This has not happened in a number of years. 

In what can only be described as a budget crisis for the County of Union, an entire department ceased to exist, at least as we know it. The proverbial axe fell on the Union County Recreation Department. The move added more than $400,000 back into the budget that was facing an $800,000 shortfall.

Democratic candidate Ralph Tucker was confirmed as the new county councilman as a result of a special election on May 12.

Again talking about that landfill fire in Chester, on May 27th, some good news came for the residents of Lockhart. Help came to work to extinguish the fire in the Bennett landfill. That fire had been producing smoke in the area since November of last year and was said to be the source of some chronic respiratory issues.

On June 10, the Union County Counsel gave a third and final reading to the 2015-2016 budget during their regular meeting, but not without Supervisor Frank Hart having to exercise his authority as a tiebreaker. The issue came up as the council considered an ordinance that would implement some fees on taxpayers as a result of the county having to take over the operation of the Emergency Medical Service. A $50 fee was added uniformly on all commercial properties and a $25 fee to residential properties. This move was made in order for the county to come up with an additional $800,000 for EMS operations, to bring their total budget to $2,802,317.

In July there was considerable discussion about the flying of the Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds. The issue came up following the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston in which 9 people were killed. As a result of the governor’s push to remove the banner from the grounds, the Union County Democratic Party issued a position statement regarding the issue. The statement said the “Union County Democratic Party strongly supports the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. It is far past time that this action be taken to remove a symbol of slavery and justice, racism and hatred." The flag was eventually removed from the Statehouse grounds. 

A very tragic story hit the news locally in July. On the 23rd, Coroner William Holcombe issued a statement regarding an investigation into the death of a juvenile who died as a result of drowning at the YMCA pool. The child was identified as seven-year old Miracle Smith. She was found unresponsive in the Union County YMCA pool. An autopsy revealed that the death was consistent with drowning, and as a result, the YMCA implemented new rules for those participating in swimming there.

Another major story for the year occurred in August, when Wallace Thomson Hospital officially became the Union Medical Center and Ellen Sager Nursing Home became Ellen Sager Nursing Center. The change came about on July 8th when the federal bankruptcy court in Spartanburg confirmed the Union Hospital District's chapter 9 plan as presented and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System took over operation of the Union facilities.

September this past year saw a meeting of the Union County Stadium Commission, who met with several other groups. Those in attendance discussed the need for upgrades at the Union County Stadium including, but not limited to, the need for a multi-use facility that can be used as locker rooms among other things at the stadium. Several of those in attendance stated that they had received negative feedback from people concerned with the lack of shelter for ballplayers, cheerleaders, and band members during a severe weather event during the Union County-Spartanburg game.

One of the top stories of this year would have to be the resignation of the Union County School District superintendent. Board Chairperson Jane Hammett made the announcement at the conclusion of a two-hour executive session on December 15. The statement basically said that Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall was resigning to pursue other opportunities. Judging from the number of executive sessions the school board had for several months prior to the resignation, it would appear that there were some contentious conversations going on between that board and the superintendent. 

There was some disturbing news that came out of the Union County School District. A case of whooping cough was identified at Union County High School, and notice was given advising anyone who attended or visited the school between the dates of November 5 and November 30 that they could have been exposed to the disease.  

October brought some distressing news for many in Union County. There was the revelation that Belk department store would be closing at the first of the year. The Union County Chamber of Commerce made an appeal to the company headquarters in Charlotte to ask for  them to reconsider the closing of that store. That appeal was to no avail. 

There was a leadership change in USC Union this past year. That change came when Dr. Alice Taylor Colbert announced that she would be moving on to other responsibilities with the University of South Carolina Palmetto College. The new dean for the university here in Union is Dr. John Catalano.

In October, a $22 million industrial expansion was announced for the Haemonetics company. This expansion is expected to create 40 new jobs over the next five years. 

And that is a look at some of the news that occurred in Union County during 2015. WBCU is committed this coming year to providing you with accurate newscasts to keep you well-informed.


FORMER PRINCIPAL SUES DISTRICT, DR. WOODALL

Thursday, December 31

Former Union County High School Principal Floyd Lyles has filed suit in the Union County Clerk of Court's office against the school district and former Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall. The suit was filed Tuesday by attorneys Donald Gist and Kiera Dillon, who represent Lyles. Lyles was employed by the school district in 1998 and was eventually promoted to principal at Union County High School. 

The suit alleges that Lyles took a poor performing school and began to see significant improvement in classroom scores and staff morale. During the 2013-2014 year, he requested a raise which he was denied, with the superintendent exhibiting a negative reaction to his request. He states that other principals and administrators had not been treated in a like manner. The suit charges that Woodall displayed animosity toward Lyles. He states that he believes the defendant and other political forces were trying to frustrate him into leaving. He charges that he later learned that the person selected for the Assistant Principal’s position at the Career Center, Michelle James, was a  personal friend of Dr. Woodall and one of the nine teachers he was previously forced to hire. The document says, “During the course of 2014-2015, Dr. Woodall created an expectation of privacy for the Plaintiff in his office as she knowingly allowed Plaintiff to change clothes in his office following his morning and evening workout.” It further states that on March 10, 2015, after months of harassment by the defendant, the plaintiff was confronted by Dr. Woodall and informed that a hidden camera had been placed in his office. Dr. Woodall, upon confronting Lyles, told him he had been caught on tape for improper behavior. At that point, the suit says Lyles was given the option to resign or be investigated by the Defendant for improper behavior. Further stated was Lyles' claim that he had done nothing improper during the performance of his job. He claims Woodall had been spying on him and invading his privacy while changing clothes in his office, which caused him a great deal of  embarrassment, mental anguish and humiliation. He says he felt he had no option other than to resign. Lyles is asking the court to find in his favor by awarding compensation for his mental anguish, pain and suffering, harm to his economic opportunities, any back pay, front pay, travel hardships and travel expenses and future earning with cost of living adjustments, prejudgment interest, fringe benefits and retirement benefits, and awarding punitive damages with respect to his cause of action for invasion of privacy.

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MIKE HUCKABEE TO MAKE A CAMPAIGN STOP IN UNION

Thursday, December 31

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will campaign with fellow Republican and SC House District 42 candidate Tommy Mann on Jan. 16. Mann announced this week that he and Huckabee will hold a campaign rally on Saturday, January 16, at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Union.

Mann said, “I respect him for his conviction and I support his conservative values,” going on to say, “He doesn’t change based on opinion polls. He’s governed by a higher power.”

Mike Huckabee served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Since leaving the governor’s office, Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination twice, the first time in 2008, and now this year.

Before entering politics, Huckabee was a Southern Baptist minister, serving as pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, from 1980 to 1986, and the Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, Arkansas. He is also a published author who has written or co-authored several books.

Huckabee was hired by Fox News in 2008 as a commentator and contributor to the network's coverage of the 2008 presidential election. He also hosted The Huckabee Report on the radio and the TV show Huckabee on Fox News, ending both shows in 2015 as he was preparing to run for president.

Tommy Mann is a native of Orlando, Florida, who moved to Union in 2008 to begin an eight-year tenure as Associate Pastor at Philippi Baptist Church. He resigned as Associate Pastor to run for the Republican nomination for the SC House District 42 seat.

Mann, a graduate of Arlington Baptist College in Fort Worth, TX, is also a published author whose latest book is “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids.” He and his wife, Alicia, have two children, Reagan and TJ.

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ROSE HILL INVITES YOU ON A FIRST DAY HIKE

Thursday, December 31

Tomorrow is January 1st, 2016, and everything is set on ready for you to start the new year out on the right foot with a First Day Hike at Rose Hill Plantation. First Day Hikes are special events held at more than 30 state parks across South Carolina to give people an invigorating start to the new year. You will meet with the ranger on Friday to hike the short nature trail at Rose Hill. Along the way, you will stop and explore the environment and history on the park. This walk promises to be refreshing for the mind and body. Meet at 10 a.m. at the picnic shelter. There is a $2 per person charge for age 16 and older. Age 15 and under are free. Please dress for the weather, wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring drinking water. Binoculars, insect repellent and a camera are optional, but you never know what you might see.

This year, the State Park Service is inviting all military personnel in South Carolina to compete in First Day Hikes to see which branch of the Armed Forces can hike the most miles in a single day.  The parks are inviting members of the U.S. Army, the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force to rack up miles for bragging rights. Military personnel can opt to join scheduled hikes or take alternate trails in state parks as long as they check in with rangers first. The winner will be announced on the Park Service’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SC.State.Parks. Admission to all state parks will be free on New Year’s Day. Military personnel should stop by the park office to pick up an Ultimate Outsider guide and tell the park ranger on duty which branch of service he or she represents. They can go on hikes and then report back the number of miles each person covers.

Rose Hill Plantation will also begin offering new mansion tour times on January 4, 2016. Throughout January and February, tours of the Gist mansion will be offered Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Beginning March 1, the mansion may be toured seven days a week at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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PUBLIC SAFETY LOOKS INTO FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY ON AGENCY'S CREDIT CARD

Thursday, December 31

Tuesday, Public Safety officer Timothy Gaston responded to 210 South Herndon Street, which is the location of the Union Alcohol and Drug Abuse Office, in reference to a report of larceny of money. On scene, the officer spoke with Nikkie Pyles, who said on December 23rd she received her credit card statement for the Drug and Alcohol agency and there were multiple charges that were transacted in Virginia from November 25th to November 29th. She said the card is always kept in the building. Pyles canceled the card and wanted a police report done. The case was turned over to investigators.

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NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS INVOLVED IN HARASSMENT COMPLAINT

Thursday, December 31

On December 29th, Public Safety Officer Douglas Spencer went on a call to Pine Street concerning a harassment complaint. There, he spoke with a woman who stated that her next-door neighbor had been greeting her with a hug and a kiss on the forehead. She also stated that the neighbor had been calling her with inappropriate conversation as if wanting to ask for sex. The woman said she wanted him to stop making any type of contact with her. The officer made contact with the neighbor and told him not to have contact with the complainant. He also informed the woman not to have any contact with the neighbor, and that if contact is made by either party, a warrant would  be signed for whomever initiated the communications.


WOMAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT IN STABBING INCIDENT

Wednesday, December 30

Union Public Safety officer Sgt. Shane Petrie was dispatched to Wedgewood Court Monday night to a report of a stabbing. Cpl. Nix actually arrived on scene just prior to Petrie and was advised that Chelsea Dawn Carroll, 22, was the individual with the knife used in the stabbing. Carroll was located in a back room of the residence and was placed in handcuffs. The knife used in the stabbing was located in the same room along with the victim, Ashley Nicole Hooper, 32. According to witnesses, Carroll was asked repeatedly to leave the residence but refused. When Hooper attempted to remove Carroll from the residence, she was stabbed in the left shoulder by Carroll. Carroll was charged with aggravated assault and transported the the Union County Jail. Hooper was treated and released from Union Medical Center's emergency room.

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MAN CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Wednesday, December 30

On Christmas Eve, Union County Sheriff's deputies  responded to 144 Gist Quarters Rd. in reference to a domestic violence dispute between Michael Gist, 53, and his live-in girlfriend. Upon arriving on the scene, deputies spoke with the woman, who stated that she and her live-in boyfriend/children's father assaulted her by slapping her in the face and threatening to kill her. She had dried blood on her shirt that she claimed came from her nose bleeding when Gist hit her. Gist stated to deputies that she hit him as well. The woman stated that she did push Gist when she was trying to get away from him hitting her. Gist seemed to be heavily under the influence of alcohol. Upon speaking with witnesses, it was determined that Gist was the aggressor, and the witness stated that he did slap her and threaten to kill her. Both parties declined medical attention. Gist was charged with 3rd-degree criminal domestic violence and transported to the Union County Jail.

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NOMINATION PERIOD FOR GT ARTS CLASSES COMING TO AN END

Wednesday, December 30

The nomination period for gifted and talented arts classes is now open, but the deadline is fast approaching. Gifted and talented art classes are offered in drama, visual arts and music. Students may be nominated by teachers, parents or friends, and students may nominate themselves. Forms may be picked up in your school's guidance office or from the school's fine arts teachers. The forms must be turned in to the guidance office at the nominee's school no later than 3:30 p.m. on January 5th. School screenings will take place during the week of January 19 – 22. The final district screening will be held February 13 at Union County High School. This arts screening is a four-step process, which includes nomination, art teacher screening, school audition, and a final district audition.

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CIVITAN CLUB COLLECTING EMPTY MEDICINE BOTTLES

Wednesday, December 30

The Union Civitan Club is in need of empty medicine bottles. This project calls for the bottles to be sent to Malawi. Physicians there have the ability to dispense medication but do not have the bottles to put it in. This is the reason the Union Civitan Club, as well as clubs across the nation, is doing this project. If you have old medicine bottles you would like to donate, please rinse them out and deliver them to the Union Daily Times, Dr. Gary Horvath's office or here at WBCU.

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NONDENOMINATIONAL BIBLE STUDY PLANNED FOR JANUARY

Wednesday, December 30

A new nondenominational Bible study, open to everyone, will begin on Wednesday, January 13, at 10:30 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church. This study will be led by Fran Love and will meet in the Clyburn-Whitener Classroom. The book, “Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith", written by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, will lead participants to explore the culture and customs of first-century Jews, enriching the understanding of the Bible and of Jesus. It is not necessary to purchase the book, but it is available through Christian Supply, Amazon and Cokesbury for $16.00. If anyone would like to have the book, please notify Grace United Methodist Church by January 15th.


ARSON CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST SMALL, GIBSON

Tuesday, December 29

Arson charges against two Union men have been dropped by Deputy Solicitor John Anthony. Robert Fred Small, 63, of 1818 Jonesville Highway, and William Howard “Wahoo” Gibson, 45, of 126 Foster Farm Road, faced two charges of 3rd-degree arson for the burning of two houses. Gibson faced a 3rd charge in connection with a fire at a house in the Meadow Woods section of the county. Charges against Small in the burning of houses on Thompson Boulevard were dropped last week, and Anthony said the charges against Gibson were dismissed some time back after a preliminary hearing. Because of the ruling in the Gibson case, the charges against Small were also dismissed. Based on the evidence presented by SLED, Anthony said he did not believe it to be sufficient to go to court.

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PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATes SHOOTING

Tuesday, December 29

The day after Christmas, Public Safety Officer Dean Allen was dispatched to 204 Enterprise Street concerning a shooting. Allen entered the house and found a male subject lying in the floor with a single gunshot wound to his left leg.  When asked what happened, Labrian Stephone Smith said he sat down in a chair after getting out of the shower, and the gun, apparently left in the chair, went off.   Smith, 23, told the officer that someone had left with the gun and he didn't know who it was. EMS was called to tend to Smith's wound. A shell casing was found on the floor next to the chair in which Smith was sitting. An investigator was called to the scene.

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DIETITIAN TO LEAD GROCERY STORE TOUR IN JANUARY

Tuesday, December 29

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Systems has announced their calendar of events for the month of January. Among them is an event scheduled for January 28th at Union's Bi-Lo store. Participants are invited to join dietitian Kerri Lindberg, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, for a tour of the grocery store. She’ll share what to look for on a food label, healthy cooking tips, recipes and general advice for navigating any grocery store. Reservations should be made in advance, as space is limited to six participants per tour. Register online at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-4472 for more information. The tour begins at 10 a.m.

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CONCUSSIONS TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY THAN IN THE PAST

Tuesday, December 29

As we are in the midst of football bowl games, you may witness a player taking a hard blow to the head. Previously, before new rules were implemented, a player may have felt dizzy and slightly nauseated but continued playing, not aware that he’s feeling the classic symptoms of a concussion. This is a common scenario physicians have worked to change over the last 10 to 15 years, according to Medical Group of the Carolinas Sports Medicine Institute physician John Lucas, MD.
“Ten years ago, if you took a hit to the head and you were a little bit dazed a few seconds, you may have been told to get up and shake it off,” Lucas said. “Now, we are a lot more serious of how we define and treat concussions."
 A concussion is a type of head injury that affects the way your brain functions. Symptoms of a concussion vary but may include a headache or pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or nausea.
“For the most part, the treatment of concussion is and has always been rest,” Lucas said. “Approximately 80 percent of concussions resolve within 7 to 10 days without any intervention."
The athlete should report symptoms and be removed from play for further evaluation. Standard concussion testing and a neurologic exam should be performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out more concerning injuries such as a brain bleed.
“There is a lot of debate about the high rate of CTE we are finding in NFL athletes,” Lucas said. “There is not conclusive evidence to date that concussions will cause long-term damage to the brain.  While autopsies have definitely made us more cautious about the possible implications of recurrent head trauma, it should be made clear that there is not clear evidence that repetitive head injuries equal CTE.” 


FIRST DAY HIKE TO TOUR SITE OF BATTLE OF MUSGROVE MILL

Monday, December 28

Making a New Year’s resolution to be active? You can begin your new year with a hike that takes you back in time to an American Revolutionary War battlefield. Join an interpretive park ranger who will guide you on a 1-½ mile hike to the site of a fierce fight that took place on August 19, 1780. The battle of Musgrove Mill was a battle between a small detachment of Patriot militia and the larger combined forces of Loyalist militia and Provincial Regulars.  After a brief and brutal contest, the Patriots scored a convincing victory, which was an important turning point in the war on the South Carolina frontier.  The hike will leave from the Horseshoe Falls area parking lot at 10 am and will be approximately 2 hours long.  Please be prepared for the weather and for hiking on uneven ground. It will take place January 1, 2016, from 10 am until 12 noon. This hike is appropriate for all ages, and there is no admission charge. Please register for this hike by calling the park office at  864-938-0100 or by email at mgmillsp@scprt.com.

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ROSE HILL OFFERS FIRST DAY HIKE

Monday, December 28

Here's another opportunity to start getting in shape after the holidays. You can  start out on the right foot with a First Day Hike at Rose Hill Plantation. Participants will meet with the ranger on Friday, January 1, 2016, to hike the short nature trail at Rose Hill. Along the way, you will stop and explore the nature and history on the park. This walk promises to be refreshing for the mind and body, so join them for an exhilarating start to 2016. Meet at 10 a.m. at the picnic shelter. There is a $2 per person fee for age 16 and older. Ages 15 and under are free. Please dress for the weather and wear good hiking shoes. Binoculars, insect repellent and a camera are optional, but you never know what you might see. Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is the antebellum home of South Carolina’s “secession governor,” William H. Gist. Visitors to the 44-acre park can learn about the lifestyle of a wealthy Upstate plantation family, Gist’s contributions to politics, and the importance of cotton in the South. Visitors also get an inside look at the role of enslaved African-Americans and tenant farmers in South Carolina’s history.

Normal hours of operation: Park grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year round. The mansion home is only accessible by guided tour. The grounds at Rose Hill Plantation may be rented for weddings and other events. It is located 8 miles south of Union.

The South Carolina State Park Service is a program of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, a state agency that serves as the leading marketing organization for South Carolina tourism. SCPRT also operates 47 state parks and administers federal and state grants for recreation development.

For information, call 427-5966, email rosehill@scprt.com, or visit them at 2677 Sardis Road.

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FREE INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE WILL BE AVAILABLE NEXT YEAR

Monday, December 28

Free income tax assistance for low-to-moderate income individuals and families is being offered. VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is available to individual and families earning up to $54,000 a year. The program is being offered at two locations in Union County beginning in February 2016 and running through April 12th. One of the locations will be USC Union, at 122 N. Church Street in the USC Founders House. To schedule an appointment at that location, call 864-424-8042. The other location will be the United Way office in the  Union County Nonprofit Partnership Center at 115 Thomas Street (inside the Union County Health Dept.) These locations will be open from 9AM until 1:30PM on February 3rd and 16th, as well as March 2nd and 16th. For an appointment, the VITA tax line is 864-582-2975.

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MAU WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS LOOKS TO HIRE PRODUCTION ASSOCIATES

Monday, December 28

MAU Workforce Solutions has a recruitment event slated for tomorrow, December 29th, from 8:30am to 12:30pm and from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the  SC Works office in Gaffney. That’s located at 133 Wilmac Road. They want to hire production associates for BMW in Greer. The pay is $15.30 per hour for day shift and $16.30 per hour for night shift. A high school diploma or GED is required, as is 1 year of experience.


DR. DAVID EUBANKS HIRED AS INTERIM DIRECTOR

Wednesday, December 23

Monday night a week ago, the resignation of Union County School Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall was made known. A week later, an interim superintendent has been named. Dr. David Eubanks was elected in a special called meeting Tuesday night to fill the post for the remainder of the school year. If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because Dr. Eubanks has served in that position on two previous occasions. Eubanks said it's good to be back in Union.

 

He will officially assume the position when school resumes after the winter break on January 4th. An official news release stated that Dr. Eubanks will serve out the 2015-2016 school year or until such time as the board has employed a new superintendent.  The release further stated that the board has not discussed when it will begin the search for a new superintendent. Once the process has been determined, the board will announce how the community can become involved in the search. Dr. Eubanks will play a part in the selection process.

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MAYOR, SUPERVISOR RECAP YEAR IN CHRISTMAS GREETING

Wednesday, December 23

It's Christmas time--a time when many pause to reflect on the blessings of the past year. Many of our public officials do just that. WBCU News had the opportunity to talk with Union Mayor Harold Thompson last week as he talked about the positives in the City of Union.

 

Likewise, Union County Supervisor Frank Hart gave his best wishes for the season.

 

We'll be taking a break from the news desk for a couple of days. This will allow you to enjoy the holidays with uninterrupted Christmas music on WBCU. We hope you enjoy the special programming and wish for you and your family a blessed Christmas.

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AREA NONPROFITS RECEIVE SHARE OF $90,000 FROM UNITED WAY

Wednesday, December 23

A total of $90,000 has been awarded to 15 local nonprofit organizations from the United Way of the Piedmont. A total of $2,251,500 has been awarded in Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union counties.

The United Way website says they “invest donor dollars from the Community Impact Fund through our Community Investment Process (CIP). The CIP is designed to provide funding for specific programs delivered by nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate measurable results and impact on specific community issues. Funds provided through CIP are intended to support the direct and indirect (management & general) costs associated with the delivery of a specific program within an organization. Community Impact dollars are not intended for capital expenses or an organization’s general deficit funding.”


SPECIAL BOARD MEETING CALLED TO DISCUSS HIRING AN INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT

Tuesday, December 22

A special meeting has been called for the Union County School Board of Trustees. It will take place tonight in the conference room of the Union County Schools District Office on Main Street. The time will be 7:00 p.m. The agenda only lists one item, and that will be in executive session. The subject matter will be a discussion of employment of an interim superintendent. Last week, the district's superintendent, Dr. Kristi Woodall, resigned the position in order to seek other opportunities. At that time, Board Chair Jane Hammett said an immediate search would be launched to find an interim, and if one could not be located by the time students come back from the winter break, Finance Director Lynn Lawson would assume the duties until such time an interim could be named.

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APPLICATION PERIOD OPEN FOR ANNUAL BPO DOES SCHOLARSHIP

Tuesday, December 22

The Benevolent, Patriotic Order of DOES #148 has been established in Union since 1957. They were organized on October 15, 1957, and had 40 members present to sign the charter at the Union Elks Lodge #1321 on November 15, 1957.

For over 20 years, the Does #148 of Union has presented a scholarship to University of South Carolina Union to support higher education. The scholarship is awarded annually to one male and one female who are new incoming freshmen. Last year, Alexander Davis and Abigail Vlock were the recipients of the Does scholarship.

The Does promote social activities among members, promote generous work in the community and they are active with their charity and social projects. Every year the Does have bake sales and other campaigns to raise funds for Meals on Wheels, Ronald McDonald House, and even more philanthropies.

The deadline to submit an application for USC Union scholarships is May 15, 2016. For more information about USC Union scholarships, please visit www.uscunion.sc.edu or call the school's financial aid office at (864) 424-8024.

(Pictured: DOES Sandy Montgomery and Becky Moss, Sandy’s grandson Mason, and USC Union Acting Dean Dr. John Catalano)

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REGISTRATION FOR USC UNION'S SPRING SEMESTER STARTS JANUARY 4TH

Tuesday, December 22

Registration for the spring semester at USC-Union will begin the first week in January. It is now set to begin January 4th, with extended hours until 6:00 p.m. at the Laurens location January 6th and the Union campus January 7th. Orientation for new students will be held at 10:00 a.m. on January 7th, and classes will begin January 11th.

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SOUTH CAROLINA DEEMED THE 37th MOST STRESSED-OUT STATE at the holidays

Tuesday, December 22

It may be interesting to note that according to the Del Monte Holiday Meal Census--which surveyed 3,000 Americans about their holiday habits and stress levels--South Carolina residents spend an average of 6.8 hours preparing for a family holiday meal, with many hours of additional time spent on cleaning the house and coordinating extended family members. Additionally, 40% of South Carolina residents report high stress levels related to holiday planning (defined as a level of "5" or higher on a 10-point scale), a figure high enough to rank South Carolina as the #37 most 'stressed out' U.S. state during the holidays.

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60-YEAR OLD MAN ASSAULTED AND ROBBED BY 24-YEAR OLD

Tuesday, December 22

Public Safety Officer Jason Nix went to Union Medical Center around midnight Saturday to check on an assault case. There he spoke to 60-year old man who told him that he had gone to a “get-together” on Tiffany Drive. He said while he was there, he went to his car to get something and while outside was struck by someone who was later identified as Lamarcus Devionne Thompson, 24. He also claimed the assailant took $600 from him. The victim said he was knocked out, and the next thing he knew, he came to in the middle of Meansville Road. Apparently, Thompson already had a record, and the victim was taken to the Union County Jail for a photo lineup. It was there he identified Thompson as the one who struck him. Warrants were placed on Thompson, and as of the time the incident report had been written, he had not been picked up by police.


WOMAN with no license ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGE AT TRAFFIC CHECKPOINT

Monday, December 21

On Wednesday, narcotics investigators with the Union County Drug Task Force, and with the assistance of the Union Public Safety Department, Jonesville Police Department, and the S.C. Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources, were conducting a traffic safety checkpoint in the Jonesville near the intersection of U.S. 176 and Sam's Road. State Constable Bennett observed a 2000 Honda traveling toward Spartanburg, and as it approached the checkpoint signs, the vehicle drove to the shoulder of the roadway, the female driver exited the driver's seat, and the male passenger exited the vehicle and raised the hood on the vehicle as if they had engine problems. Constable Bennett then radioed Lt. Sherfield about the suspicious activity and Sherfield pulled in behind the Honda. The officer explained that he knew they had switched drivers and needed to see both their driver's licenses. The female, identified as Leslie Diane Wilson, stated she had no identification with her and that she had never had a driver's license. At this time officer Palmer of the Jonesville Police Dept. pulled up and asked and received consent to search the vehicle from the owner and other occupant of the vehicle, who was identified as Jarred Seay. During the search, the officers located a glass container under the passenger's seat that contained a quantity of marijuana, less than 28 grams. Both Seay and Wilson were given their Miranda Warning by Lt. Sherfield. When asked about the marijuana, Wilson stated the marijuana was hers and that Seay knew nothing about it. Wilson was then arrested and transported to jail by Cpl. Cudd. She was issued a summons for no driver's license and a summons for possession of marijuana. Seay provided the officers with a valid N.C. driver's license, so he was released from this incident.

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COUPLE WITH OUTSTANDING WARRANTS IN KERSHAW COUNTY ARRESTED AT CHECKPOINT

Monday, December 21

As officers were conducting that checkpoint operation, Constable Bennett observed a vehicle approach the checkpoint sign on the southbound side of US 176. The vehicle pulled over, and a male occupant exited the driver's seat of the vehicle and went around to the back. He then got back in the driver's seat and made a left turn and cut across the median and headed back toward Spartanburg in the northbound lane of US 176. Constable Bennett relayed all this information to Sgt. Gilstrap. Sgt. Gilstrap caught up to the vehicle near US 176 and Cedar Grove Road and initiated a traffic stop.

Sgt. Gilstrap approached the driver and asked him why he turned around at the checkpoint. The male driver stated he was going to Columbia to pay a hunting fine and decided to go a back way. The driver gave Sgt. Gilstrap a driver's license but stated that the car belonged to the grandmother of his female occupant and didn't know where the registration or insurance was located. Once Sgt. Gilstrap had the driver's license, he observed that the picture did not look like the driver and asked what the address was on the license. The driver stuttered and stumbled and then stated 17 Misty Drive. The actual address was 117 Michelle Drive, and this raised Gilstrap's suspicion the driver may be lying about his identity. He then observed on the license the driver gave him the height and weight as 6 feet 1 inch tall and 263 pounds. This also did not match the driver of the vehicle. Gilstrap then and asked the female occupant for her license. She was identified as Heather Renee Thigpen. She was asked who the male subject was and she stated Christopher Micheal Williams, which was the name on the driver's license. She stated that they were just friends and he helps her grandmother out around the house. Gilstrap approached the male driver again and told him he appeared to be lying and needed to tell the truth. The driver then admitted that he lied about his identity because he was driving under suspension and was trying to go to Columbia to pay his ankle monitoring fees due to being on federal probation. He also stated that he may be wanted out of Kershaw County. The driver gave his real name as Arthur William Watts and provided his date of birth. A check of his license through dispatch showed that Watts was suspended for several violations of driving under suspension. He also had an active warrant out of Kershaw County. Watts was arrested and transported to the Union County Jail for booking. A check of Thigpen's license showed that it was also suspended, and she also had two active warrants out of Kershaw County. She was also taken into custody and transported to the Union County Jail to await Kershaw County to pick her up. While at the jail, it was learned Watts also had an active bench warrant out of Spartanburg County for DUS. Thigpen was also issued a summons for giving false information to police.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF A STOLEN VEHICLE AT CHECKPOINT

Monday, December 21

There was considerable activity at the checkpoint. At approximately 3:30 p.m., a Green 2001 Chevy Tahoe was observed traveling toward Union. As this vehicle approached the checkpoint signs, the vehicle quickly drove off the shoulder of the roadway and stopped. The driver then exited the vehicle and raised the hood briefly as if he had engine problems. The driver then got back into the Tahoe and drove approximately 150 feet and made a right turn onto Sam's Road. Upon completing his turn, the vehicle was met by Lt. Parker and Jonesville Chief Carl Jennings. The driver and only occupant, identified as Justin Martin, told Lt. Parker that he was trying to get to the interstate. When asked for his driver's license, Martin was only able to provide a S.C. identification card and admitted his license were suspended. A driver's license check confirmed that Martin's license was suspended and that this would be his 4th offense for DUS as well as being a habitual traffic offender. Martin was then placed under arrest for these violations. The officers also noticed a very strong odor of green marijuana from inside the vehicle. While checking it, the officers found a glass jar inside that Martin stated had marijuana inside earlier. Officers also located a plastic water bottle in a drink holder near the center console area that contained a brown liquid identified as liquor by Martin. A vehicle license plate check showed the vehicle was reported as stolen from Richland County on 12/08/2015. When asked about the vehicle, he stated the vehicle belonged to his friend "Andrew" from Columbia. Martin was unable to provided a last name or address for "Andrew". Martin later admitted that he had purchased the vehicle for $500 from an individual in Columbia who said he was going to scrap the vehicle and that he did not have a title or a bill of sale. Martin was transported to jail by Cpl. Cudd and issued summons for 4th-offense driving under suspension, open container, and habitual offender, and an arrest warrant was signed charging Martin with possession of a stolen vehicle valued at more than $2000 but less than $10000.

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SIMS MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND AND ORCHESTRA HOLD WINTER CONCERT

Monday, December 21

The sounds of Christmas have been filling the air in Union County as of late. Thursday night, the Sims Middle School band and strings offered their winter concert, which was filled with Christmas music. The director, who is affectionately called Mr. “K”, offered these comments.

 

The Sims Band and Orchestra says merry Christmas to all.

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MONDAY NIGHT MUSIC TO SPREAD CHRISTMAS CHEER

Monday, December 21

Monday Night Music at the Union County Arts Council will be a Christmas Jam.  Of course, you don't have to play a Christmas song.  Anything is good.  Organizers say they are planning to run a little longer this time, with a break around 7:30 for some refreshments and holiday cheer. Bring something to share if you are so inclined, but it is not necessary.  They are sure they will have plenty. It all gets underway Monday, December 21, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Arts Council on Main Street.  It is all acoustic, so all you need is you, your instrument(s) and your holiday spirit. 


BROKEN HEADLIGHT LEADS TO TWO ARRESTS ON DRUG CHARGES

Friday, December 18

Wednesday, Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling on Lockhart Drive and noticed a vehicle with a headlight out. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at the intersection of North First Street and Canal Road. He spoke to the driver, Tyler Henderson, and advised him as to why he was being stopped. Henderson agreed to step out of the vehicle and was patted down for weapons. He was then asked permission for the car to be searched, and consent was given. There was also a passenger in the vehicle identified as Bradley Jennings. During the search, a small wooden box was located, which contained a smoke pipe used to smoke illegal narcotics. In addition, there was a small yellow tube and four small bags with a white crystal material believed to be methamphetamine. Also found was a black glasses case with a used smoke pipe in it. Both the driver and passenger denied ownership of the items and they were placed under arrest for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were transported to the Union County Jail and the vehicle was turned over to a Henderson family member.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR SECOND TIME ON CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE

Friday, December 18

In the early morning hours Thursday, deputies were dispatched to Peach Orchard Road in reference to an assault. On scene, the deputies spoke with a woman who stated that she had been assaulted by her husband, Charles Solesbee. She said that while she was at home, Solesbee came home from work in a bad mood. She left the residence for a while, and when she returned, he was drunk and started calling her names. She said she went to their bedroom and locked the door. She continued that he busted through the locked door and he began to hit her in the face and attempted to choke her. The woman said she began to spit blood and she screamed for Solesbee to get away. She managed to push past him and went out the back door to a neighbor's house screaming for help, but no one came to the door. She continued to run down Peach Orchard Road to her father's home and called 911. The incident report stated she had a black mark under her left eye and several knots to her forehead. EMS was called to check her out, but she refused to be transported to the emergency room. Photos were taken of her injuries and she wrote a voluntary statement. The deputies went to 1418 Peach Orchard Road and placed Charles Solesbee under arrest and transported him to the Union County Jail. He was issued a ticket for domestic violence, 2nd offense. According to his criminal history, he had a CDV conviction in 2013.

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SHOPLIFTER CAUGHT AT WAL-MART

Friday, December 18

Wednesday, Public Safety officers responded to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifting incident. On scene, they spoke with the store's loss prevention officer, Benji Humphries, who stated a female subject identified as Jessica Latoya Motley, 30, had taken a tag off a black shirt and replaced it with a cheaper tag from a pair of shorts. Humphries was not in the view of the security camera, but he said he physically saw Motley take the tag from the shirt and drop it on the floor and then replace it with the one from the shorts. After she checked out, she was taken to the loss prevention room, where she did admit to switching the tags. At that point, Officer Kayla Garrett gave Motley her Miranda warnings. She ended up not purchasing the shirt but did buy a pair of pants that she switched tags on. She was allowed to return the pants and receive the money back that she paid for them. Officer Garrett advised her that she was being charged with shoplifting and was transported to the Union County Jail.

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WBCU STILL NEEDS COATS FOR ANNUAL COAT DRIVE

Friday, December 18

The Holcombe Funeral Home/WBCU coat collection drive is continuing this year. The program began years ago as a “Coats for Kids” project but quickly morphed into a “Coats for Winter” program. The project has been extremely successful over the years and continues to be; however, this year there seems to be somewhat of a shortage. WBCU officials say there is a need for donations, especially in larger sizes. If you have some gently used coats you would like to share, please donate them by dropping them off by the WBCU studios at 210 East Main Street.

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GT CHORUS PRESENTS christmas CONCERT

Friday, December 18

The Gifted and Talented choral students of Union County High School presented their Winter Music Program Thursday evening at First Presbyterian Church. The eclectic repertoire was well received by those attending. The group is made up of six students: Thomas Anthony, Maija Bays, Rebecca Comer, Kiana Gregory, Kayleigh Miller and Madison Phipps. The concert was a wonderful way of promoting the Christmas spirit.


HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO HOLD FINAL QUARTERLY MEETING OF 2015 ON SUNDAY

Thursday, December 17

The Union County Historical Society will be meeting on December 20th at 3:00pm. This will be the 4th quarter meeting and will be held in the meeting room of the museum.  All members are asked to please bring finger food to share, as they will have a Christmas social.

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KEEP YOUR PACKAGES SAFE FROM THIEVES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Thursday, December 17

There are only 8 more days to shop for the perfect Christmas present, but beware: this holiday season seems to be the season for people to steal packages from your porch. This is the last thing you want while you're trying to spread a little holiday cheer. Authorities are warning residents of holiday package thefts. They said residents should try to have delivery drivers put packages in a covered area on their porches or make sure someone is home to receive their purchases when they are dropped off.

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TWO CONGRESSMEN REMIND CITIZENS TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY

Thursday, December 17

Two South Carolina members of Congress are reminding residents to drink responsibly this holiday season. Congressmen Joe Wilson and Mark Sanford say: “This holiday season, if you plan to consume alcohol, we are asking you to drink responsibly. We all want the roadways of South Carolina to be safe for our friends and family. Designate a driver. Plan for a safe ride home and have a safe and happy holiday season.”  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drunk-driving fatalities have decreased 52% since 1982.

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TRAFFIC STOP NETS ARREST ON DRUG CHARGES

Thursday, December 17

Tuesday, Public Safety Officer Jason Nix stopped to assist Sgt. Shane Petrie with a traffic stop in the 200 block of Lawson Avenue. Petrie had made the stop because he knew the driver had a suspended driver's license. Petrie advised Nix that the passenger tried to get out of the vehicle and leave. The passenger was identified as Tyler Dean Hudson, 24, of Hicks Street. Nix asked Hudson if he had anything on him he shouldn't have and then asked if he would allow a search of his person. Hudson consented. As a result of that search, the officer found three glass pipes and an orange-colored pill bottle that was not labeled and contained 17 narcotic pills. One was a white pill identified as Tramadol and 16 white pills that were identified as acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hudson was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Union County Jail.

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AREA STUDENTS NAMED TO SCC DEAN'S LIST

Thursday, December 17

Spartanburg Community College has announced the names of students who have earned Dean's List honors for the 2015 fall term. The list contains a number of students from Union County, including:

From Buffalo: Michael D. Baldwin and Jeffrey A. Drew.

From Jonesville: Victoria P. Haydock, Casey McSwain and Autumn V. Millwood.

Union students include: Wendy L. Cooper, Gabrielle E. Cromer, Adam C. Gregory, Matthew A. Gregory, Dayne M. Jackson, Nicholas C. King, Jefferson Z. Martin, Loren Miladinovski, Edward E. Petty, Mitchell L. Ward, Nicholas A. Ward, Brittany N. White, Anita P. Whitney, and Dillan Williams.

Registration is ongoing for SCC's spring 2016 classes that begins on January 11. A complete listing of all class schedule offerings can be found on the SCC website at https://www.sccsc.edu/programs-courses. Individuals interested in applying to the college can contact the SCC Admissions Center at (864) 592-4800, or toll free at (866) 591-3700, or apply online at www.sccsc.edu.

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WINTHROP SPONSORS ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS

Thursday, December 17

There will be an Arts and Technology Professional Development No-Fee Workshop sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts at Winthrop University coming up next month.

The focus of this training will be on the use of the iPad, creative apps, and other related technologies, and will demonstrate the interrelationship of traditional and digital media, practical classroom logistics for using technology, and other relevant issues. This course will launch in January 2016 and will be offered to a group of 25 teachers who will take the course at Winthrop University for teacher re-certification credit. Fine Arts and Art Education professors will teach this pilot course. The new content developed for this course will build upon the 2014 Research Council Grant used to create an arts instructional website for using the iPad.

To register, please send an email with your name, teaching level, and school district to gardnerl@winthrop.edu. First 25 to register will be included on the list.

The workshop is a free service to educators and is offered with support of grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Winthrop Research Council.


SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT; TANEYHILL'S STATUS WITH THE DISTRICT IS UNCHANGED

Wednesday, December 16

According to a news release Tuesday morning from Board Chairperson Jane Hammett, the Union County School District Board has begun searching for an interim superintendent to serve for at least the remainder of the 2015-16 school year. They hope to name that person soon after the start of the new tear. The board will then discuss how and when it will begin the search for a permanent replacement for Dr. Woodall. In the event that the board has not found an interim superintendent by the time that school resumes in January 2016, current Finance Director Lynn Lawson will serve as acting superintendent. The release concluded by stating, The board wishes Dr. Woodall much success and happiness in her future endeavors. On behalf of the board, I hope that you and your families have a merry Christmas and a restful and safe winter break."

During the meeting of the Union County School Board of Trustees Monday night, Charlotte Dawkins appeared with a request. She wants the Union County High School commencement exercises to be held at Union County Stadium. Last year, the ceremony was held in the UCHS gym, and because of space, the number of persons attending was limited. Dawkins had a plan laid out as to how the program could be accommodated at the stadium. Following her presentation, she received no comment from the board.

The board voted to grant an easement to the Catawba Regional Council of Governments for water and sewer line improvements on Alman Street in Jonesville. An old sewer line runs under the former Jonesville Elementary School, and the COG was asking for a 25-foot easement to put in a new line that would go around the school. The old line would be capped off and decommissioned.

The question of the day concerns Union County High School Coach Steve Taneyhill. Last spring, Taneyhill's name was brought before the board to consider not renewing his contract. The board voted at that time to extend his contract to December 31st of this year, and agreed to, in their words, “revisit” the matter at that time. Board Chairperson Jane Hammett made this statement.

 

The Taneyhill matter was not mentioned at the Monday board meeting, and there is no other meeting scheduled for this year. This morning, the Union County School District issued this release concerning Taneyhill:

"Coach Steve Taneyhill is an active employee and continues to serve as Head Football Coach at Union County High School.  The district generally does not provide to the media specific information related to its employees.  Any additional information will be forthcoming from the Interim Superintendent." 

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THIRD ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION TO MURDER CASE

Wednesday, December 16

According to a release from the Union County Sheriff's Office, On Tuesday, investigators arrested Timothy Jay Tyler, 34, of 1211 River Road, Union, SC. Tyler was charged with delivery of a pistol to a convicted felon, in that he did deliver a Tanfoglio GT32 automatic pistol to Ashley Tyler through Dabriada Alman. This weapon was the weapon that was used in the death of his stepmother, Rebecca Tyler. Rebecca Tyler's body was discovered at her home at 1303 River Road, Union, on November 19, 2015.
Timothy Jay Tyler was also charged with 2 additional counts of delivery of a pistol to a convicted felon in that he did supply a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum and a Smith & Wesson Model 686 to Ashley Tyler. Ashley Tyler is a convicted felon and could not lawfully possess any firearms. Tyler is a teacher at Foster Park Elementary School and has served as a minister of music for at least one Baptist church.



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MAIN STREET JUNCTION PROJECT REMAINS ON SCHEDULE

Wednesday, December 16

The Union City Council met Tuesday evening in their regular monthly session and had a relatively short session. What could be considered a highlight of the meeting was the introduction of Union's Caitlin Russell. Russell was awarded the Vizcaya Swimwear title in Miami, Florida, this past weekend. As a result, the beautiful young woman will make a number of appearances during the coming year and will be the face of Vizcaya Swimwear for 2016.

Only three items were on the agenda for consideration. One was a second reading of an amendment to the Zoning Code to comply with state law for annexation and public notice. That was approved on a unanimous vote. Appointments were made to several boards. Named and elected to the Building Board of Appeals were Dennis Langley, Tradd Bruce, and Jackie Earls. Elected to the Zoning Board of Appeals was George Ashemore. In the final agenda item, Scott Lewis submitted the request for a crematorium at his funeral home located at 1247 South Duncan Bypass. It was noted that the highway is zoned at A-2 (highway commercial), and a mortuary is a permitted use. However, a crematorium is not listed in the zoning codes. It was determined that the city move to sponsor the appropriate changes to the zoning ordinance. The next step will be a public hearing.

Prior to the council meeting, what was described as a workshop was held concerning the Main Street Junction Project. Representatives of the Montgomery Company were on hand to give an overview and progress report on the undertaking. The building that is being remodeled and revitalized is what is known as the Super 10 building, and the plans call for it to be a multipurpose venue to host various functions from wedding receptions to business meetings.

Matt Mongomery, one of the company's representatives, was asked about the progress being made on the project.

 

The project is being done at a cost of $1.2 million.

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GT CHOIR TO HOLD CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN

Wednesday, December 16

The Gifted and Talented Choir from Union County High School will be in concert Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. The concert will take place in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church at 101 West South Street. The choir is led by Tom Mancine, the new choir and music teacher from New York. The public is invited to attend the event.


DR. WOODALL RESIGNS EFFECTIVE AT THE END OF 2015; BOARD HOPES TO ANNOUNCE INTERIM SOON

Tuesday, December 15

Union County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall has resigned. Board Chairperson Jane Hammett made the announcement at the conclusion of a two-hour executive session.

 

Hammett was asked following the meeting if Woodall's resignation had anything to do with reports that she came under fire from the board several months ago for reasons that have not been disclosed.

 

Woodall left before the meeting adjourned, presumably with her attorney. She offered no comment as she left the building.

Another matter taken up following the executive session was on a motion by Dr. Wanda All, where she said:

 

The matter of the lengthy email came up last month. It was unsigned and distributed to school board members. Board member Manning Jeter made a motion in that meeting that an investigation be initiated to identify the sender. Jeter said at the time that certain information in the email could have only come from someone included in an executive session.

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CITY COUNCIL SET TO HOLD WORKSHOP AND REGULAR MEETING TONIGHT

Tuesday, December 15

The Union City Council will be meeting tonight for what will probably be their last meeting for the 2015 year. The meeting is set for 6:30 in the Council Chambers of City Hall; however, before that meeting begins, there will be what is described as a council workshop in the same location at 6:00 p.m. They will be discussing the Main Street Junction project. When the regular session convenes, they have a couple of matters to take up. One will be a second reading of an ordinance to amend the zoning code to comply with state law for annexation and public notice. There will also be a discussion and possibility a motion offered concerning appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Building Board of Appeals. Another matter involves a request for a local mortuary to establish a crematorium in Union. As explained, Scott Lewis submitted the request for a crematorium at his funeral home, located at 1247 South Duncan Bypass. It was noted that the highway is zoned at A-2, which is highway commercial, and a mortuary is a permitted use; however, a crematorium is not listed in the zoning codes. It was determined that in order for the crematorium to be considered, amendments to the code are necessary.

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PUBLIC SAFETY ARRESTS WOMAN FOUND UNCONSCIOUS AT GAS PUMP

Tuesday, December 15

Union Public Safety officers were dispatched around 3:30 Sunday morning to Murphy's gas station on the Buffalo-West Springs Highway to a report of an unconscious female in a vehicle parked at a gas pump. A store clerk told the officer that the woman had been sitting in the vehicle at the pump for more than an hour and was not responding. The car was still running when the officer approached it, and he observed a white female, identified as Elizabeth Dawn Stephens of Hamm Street in Union. He also noted several white pills in her hand. The officer opened the door and collected the pills before he attempted to wake her. When he did wake her, he asked if she was okay and if she needed medical assistance. EMS was dispatched to the scene due to the appearance that she was under influence of some type of drug or alcoholic beverage. Stephens stated that she had been driving from Georgia and was tired and had stopped to get some gas. When ask about the pills, she stated they belonged to Tyler Hudson, but no one else was observed near the vehicle. The pills were identified as Hydrocodone and Xanax, which are a Schedule II controlled substance. Stephens refused to be taken to the hospital and was arrested. A handgun was found in the glove box, which she said belonged to her boyfriend, John Anderson, from Georgia. After being booked at the Union County Jail, she told a jailer that she had taken four 10mg Lortab pills. EMS was once again summoned, and Stephens was transported to the Union Medical Center to see if she had any other type of drugs in her system. The pills and the hand gun were placed into evidence.

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CHURCH HOLDS CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR ANGEL TREE CHILDREN

Tuesday, December 15

A Christmas party was held Saturday afternoon at First Presbyterian Church for the children enrolled in the Angel Tree program. Angel Tree is a campaign spearheaded by by Prison Ministries, where the names of children of incarcerated individuals are submitted for them to receive gifts from their imprisoned parent. Individuals in communities agree to sponsor a child and purchase the gifts for the youngsters. Heading up the program in Union this year was retired Presbyterian minister Reverend Sanders Read.

 

Read added God to his list of those to thank for help in making the program a success.


TRUCK FULL OF TOYS CAMPAIGN COMES TO AN END WITH DONATIONS BY HOSPITAL, HIGH SCHOOL

Monday, December 14

Contributions for the WBCU Truck Full of Toys continued to pour in over the weekend as promotion wraps up for another year. Friday morning was a perfect example of the community's generosity. Employees of the Union Medical Center donated two truckloads of toys, the same as they have done over the past number of years.

Greta Bailey explained how the toy campaign worked.

 

Bailey also wanted us to call attention to the Christmas Tree atop Union Medical Center. The tree has not been on for several years, but it was lit this year for all of Union County to enjoy.

Also contributing Friday morning were some students of Union County High School. The BETA Club and the Student Government Association joined forces to collect the donations. Ms. Robinson, the BETA Club sponsor, said:

 

Along with the Truck full of Toys, the Christmas Parades wrapped up for the year. Saturday, the Town of Carlisle Staged their parade, and Sunday afternoon, the Union Parade was held.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT AT CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Monday, December 14

The Union County School Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. On the agenda is Lakesha McKissick who requested to speak to the board in order to thank them for their support. Another parent has requested to speak concerning graduation. The trustees are expected to approve the 2016 board meeting dates. The Catawba Regional Council of Governments has requested a property easement for Alman Street to accommodate a sewer line improvement and upgrade. The monthly budget report will be given, and there is an Act 155 Diploma request. Barbara Palmer will present the 2015 ACT Aspire and SC PASS results for grades 3 through 5, and Tabitha Talley is to present the 2015 ACT Aspire and SC PASS results for grade 6 through 8 and the end of course for grade 8. An executive session is listed on the agenda to consider 2 personnel contractual matters and to receive legal advice related to a forensic computer contract.

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MAN ARRESTED ON WEAPONS CHARGE

Monday, December 14

Last week, Lt. Johnny Sherfield was contacted by Jonesville Police Dept. Chief Carl Jennings who asked for assistance in searching a residence with consent at 437 Pacolet Street in Jonesville. Upon arrival, the officers met and went to 437 Pacolet Street, which is the residence of Linda Toney. Toney then explained that she had concerns that Thomas Kirk and his girlfriend, who lives with her at this residence, may be using or possessing illegal drugs. Lt. Sherfield then got Toney to sign a consent to search form. While searching the residence, Lt. Sherfield located a chrome Rohm 22-caliber pistol in a bedroom drawer. While searching further, Thomas Kirk arrived at the residence. Lt. Sherfield advised Kirk of his Miranda warnings, and he agreed to speak. He then admitted that the pistol was his and that it was left to him by his deceased father. Kirk also admitted that he had previously been convicted of domestic violence and knew he was not allowed to possess a firearm. While examining the firearm closer, Lt. Sherfield then noticed that the serial number on the pistol had been filed or ground off. Based on this information, Lt. Sherfield signed arrest warrants charging Kirk with possession of a pistol by a person convicted of domestic violence and possession of a pistol with the serial numbers obliterated. Kirk was also found to be under suspension and will be charged accordingly when arrested on the above charges.

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NOMINATION PERIOD OPEN FOR GT ARTS CLASSES

Monday, December 14

The nomination period for Gifted/Talented Arts Classes is now open. Gifted and Talented Arts Classes are offered in Drama, Visual Arts, and Music. Students may be nominated by teachers, parents, or friends. Students may also nominate themselves. Forms may be picked up in your school’s guidance office or the school’s fine arts teachers.

The form must be turned in to the guidance office at the nominee’s school no later than 3:30 PM on January 5, 2016. School screenings will take place during the week of January 19-22, 2016. Final district screenings will be held on February 13, 2016, at Union County High School. This arts screening is a four-step process, which includes nomination, arts teacher screening, school audition, and final district audition.

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UCHS STUDENT USES HEALTH TRAINING TO HELP MAN HAVING SEIZURE

Monday, December 14

Over the Thanksgiving break, a Union County Career Center student, Camryn Tyler, helped a customer at the Dollar General in Buffalo. The customer had a seizure, and Tyler used the skills she learned in First Aid certification to support the patient's head and turn him on his side, preventing him from aspirating. Tyler stayed with the customer until EMS arrived. EMS told hr that she probably saved this man's life because of her quick thinking and actions. Tyler is a 16-year old Health Science Student at UCCC and was certified in CPR and First Aid last year in Sports Medicine. She plans to become a CRNA. Tyler is the daughter of Mindy Henderson Tyler, a surgical tech at Wallace Thomson for many years.


ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED AT USC UNION IN MEMORY OF DR. GILBERT GUINN

Friday, December 11

A $10,000 endowed scholarship in memory of Dr. Gilbert S. Guinn has been established at USC Union by Everett Hope Garner. Dr. Guinn was the Resident Director (Dean) and Professor of History at USC Union from 1966 to 1970. Afterward, he served in various academic capacities at Lander University until his retirement.

During his tenure at USC Union, Dr. Guinn nurtured the young branch campus and served as a willing mentor to numerous members of the student body. He had an abiding interest in history— especially military history—and authored a number of books and other papers on the subject. He was viewed as a mentor by Garner who was a student at USC Union from 1966 to 1968. Garner advanced to graduate with a degree in history from the University of South Carolina - Columbia and a JD Degree from the University of South Carolina Law School. He is a lawyer in private practice in Columbia.

Dr. Guinn was born in Camden, South Carolina, on March 27, 1929, and passed away April 30, 2014. He is survived by his widow, Dr. Susan Guinn of Greenwood, South Carolina.

The Dr. Gilbert S. Guinn Scholarship will help a deserving student attend USC Union by providing scholarship funds each semester. The scholarship award will be based on student ability and financial need.

For more information on USC Union scholarships, please contact the Financial Aid office at (864) 424-8024.

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SCHOOLS PARTNER WITH PREGNANCY CENTER FOR LITERACY PROGRAM

Friday, December 11

Union County Schools recently partnered with the Union Pregnancy Center for a literacy project. BJ McMorris, school board member, coordinated book donations at Wallace Thomson Hospital last year.  Employees of Union County Schools also donated children’s books.  Chris Ketterman, who teaches carpentry, designed book shelves along with Kevin Morrow, CATE Director.  Students in carpentry classes made the book shelves for distribution to new mothers.  Lisa Hartley chose recipients for the books and book shelves at the Pregnancy Center, where the importance of teaching early reading skills is emphasized with the new mothers.

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SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING PERMITS FOR THIRD QUARTER SLIGHTLY UP OVER LAST YEAR

Friday, December 11

Union County saw a slight positive change in the number of single-family dwelling permits issued in the third quarter of this year. Last year at this time, there were 6 permits issued, compared to 7 this year. Union had the lowest number in the Catawba Region, with the closest being reported from Chester County. They had 12 permits issued. By comparison, Lancaster County reported 255 and York County 545. The reason for those two counties showing such a high number is said to be their close proximity to the metro Charlotte area, which is listed as being one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. The Catawba Region tracks building permit activity as a means of monitoring growth. Most of the region's four counties (Chester, Lancaster, Union and York) experienced increases in single-family residential activity, which can equate to growth. Multifamily and mobile home permit totals were down, while commercial permit activity was generally up. Only York County had any industrial permit activity.

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CARLISLE AND UNION PARADES CAP OFF CHRISTMAS PARADE SEASON

Friday, December 11

The last Christmas parades for the season in Union County are set for this weekend. First, the Town of Carlisle will host their annual parade at 2 p.m. Saturday. Then, Sunday afternoon at 3, the Union Christmas parade will take place. There are actually five parades that take place during the season, in Buffalo, Jonesville, and Lockhart, plus the two previously mentioned.


UNION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SURPRISES COUNCIL ON AGING WITH GRANT

Thursday, December 10

The philanthropic activity of the Union Community Foundation continued Wednesday morning as they presented a $500 check to the Union County Council on Aging. Director Earl Black said the money is welcomed.

 

Black gave an overview of what the Council on Aging does, and among other activities is food distribution. He said they have partnered with Second Harvest of Charlotte that supplies 300,000-400,000 pounds of food, over-the-counter medications, and merchandise on a regular basis. These items are sorted for distribution by volunteers from churches and various agencies. Black said the contributions from Second Harvest have done much to help offset the budget cuts by the County Council this past year. The Senior Center program is available to people over 60 years of age. Black added a lot of what they do is not about money. As a side note to this story, Community Foundation President Pat Littlejohn was presented a plaque for his service. Littlejohn will rotate off the board at the end of this year.

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BLOCK GRANT FOR LIBRARY PROJECT AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HART'S MONTHLY REPORT

Thursday, December 10

In his monthly report to the Union County Council Tuesday evening, Supervisor Frank Hart noted that a $304,346 Community Development Block Grant had been received through the Catawba Regional Council of Governments. That money will be combined with a total project amount of $1,968,035 for the Union County Carnegie Library American Disabilities Act project. He also reported that work is continuing to have a boat ramp placed on the Broad River. He said this would help in the establishment of a Blueway project there. They are waiting for the Department of Natural Resources to designate the location for the ramp. Another summit was held at the SC Works office. There was discussion concerning the establishment of a Work Training Center. Hart said he has met with officials of Spartanburg Community College to discuss a Mechatronics Program for this coming fall. Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe and Hart met with representatives of the South Carolina Department of Transportation to discuss funding for the new bridge crossing the Broad River in Lockhart. DOT had originally said the Town of Lockhart would be responsible for moving the water lines to allow for construction to begin. The Town of Lockhart does not have the money. Hart reported that code enforcement is now in place in the town of Lockhart and Carlisle. The councils of both earlier petitioned the council to include them in code enforcement. Hart said plans are currently underway for the county to demolish condemned houses. Finally, Hart said that Kara Drane from the Council of Governments is in Union now on a regular basis to work on specific projects including procurement, code enforcement, and grant writing. It was also noted that she met with the Fire Chiefs Association last week and agreed to provide grant assistance for FEMA air to firefighters grants.

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AMERICAN LEGION TO HOLD ITS FINAL MEETING OF 2015 ON MONDAY

Thursday, December 10

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting on Monday, December 14th. The meeting will be held in its usual location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Veterans Memorial Park in Union. A meal will be served at 6:00 P.M., with the business meeting to follow at 7:00 P.M. Post 22 usually meets on the second Monday evening of the month, and prospective members are always welcome to attend.

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UNION MEDICAL CENTER ANNOUNCED AS SITE FOR YEARLONG DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAM

Thursday, December 10

Union Medical Center is excited to announce that it has been selected to serve as a site for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The original DPP was a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results showed that making certain lifestyle changes and continuing them over time can prevent type 2 diabetes. Libby Leonhardt and Jamie Lawson of Union Medical Center have been specially trained to facilitate this yearlong interventional program.

Lawson stated, “Hosting a DPP is an exciting and very worthwhile service to the community. Union County is home to a population that includes many diabetics and many residents that are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Persons with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels that are elevated but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. The DPP targets those with pre-diabetes. The program focuses on lifestyle interventions that are proven to prevent type 2 diabetes. Participating in the DPP offers a chance for people to have support and training in the development of new health habits that are truly life changing.”

The yearlong cohort begins February 16, 2015. A short screening process is required to participate in this free program. Please contact Libby Leonhardt at 864-301-2563 or Jamie Lawson at 864-301-2972 at Union Medical Center for more information.


COUNTY COUNCIL APPROVES BID TO REPLACE LIBRARY ROOF

Wednesday, December 9

The Union County Council covered a lot of ground during their Tuesday evening meeting. The council hard from Cassie Wright, who presented information on Safe Home services. She said they provide support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and she invited council to inquire further about their services. James Lancaster was on the agenda for the purpose of a discussion on tax fees implemented on nonprofit organizations, but he did not appear. A brief discussion was held concerning the upcoming vacancies on the Union County Fair Board. They agreed to advertise for applicants who might be interested in serving. A bid was approved from H & S Roofing from Charlotte, North Carolina, in the amount of $26,586 for the roof replacement at the Union County Carnegie Library. There is concern over logging trucks that are said to be damaging some county roads. Supervisor Frank Hart said there are no civil remedies to the problem. They may consider requiring a permit where a county road is used in connection with a logging operation. New rules could be forthcoming. Council also discussed the lection of county fire department board members. Under the current structure, the county would hold a special advisory election for the board members. Hart suggested that it may be difficult to get candidates, since they would have to file extensive reports with the state ethics commission. Hart indicated a better option might be to have county council appoint the board members. Airport Director Ronnie Wade presented for review a copy of the layout plan for the county airport. Wade emphasized the the plan is a 20- to 25-year project that could include a terminal building. Runway extensions are planned to be done in increments of perhaps 500 to 700 feet at a time. The ultimate goal is to have a 5000-ft. runway to accommodate corporate jets. Aubrey Morris addressed the council asking them to consider a designation for John Norris, Sr. Place on Peakeville Road. Norris was careful to say he was not asking for a name change but additional signage at a designated location. He point out that John Norris, Sr., was his great-grandfather, who made significant contributions to Union County.

 

Aubrey Norris said John was a good man, an educator and a merchant.

Supervisor Hart gave his monthly report to the council, which will be covered in depth in a later newscast.

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FOUR ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES

Wednesday, December 9

On Monday, Union County Sheriff's Deputies Brandon Vaughan and Sgt. Roger Hill were conducting a welfare check at 582 Eaves Road in reference to drug activity. The officers spoke with the homeowner, Donald Alexander, and advised him why they were there. Alexander was asked if he had knowledge of any illegal narcotics in the home, and he responded, “No.” He then gave permission for the deputies to search the house. In a back bedroom, normally occupied by Miriam Holden, they located a bag containing precursors to the manufacturing of methamphetamine.  Bradley Breakfield was asleep in the room. The deputies found coffee filters and tubing, propane fuel, funnels, cold packs, salt, burners, and sandwich bags. A smoke pipe used to smoke illegal narcotics was also located. A 2-liter bottle with a tube coming out of it with what appeared to be crystal drain cleaner was on the front porch. Alexander and Breakfield told police that the bag was not theirs. They said the bag in question must belong to Miriam Holden, who they said was in Newberry County. Both Alexander and Breakfield were arrested for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine and disposal of methamphetamine waste. A Rabbit Road street sign was also found at the residence. Also arrested in connection with the case was Miriam Holden and Brian William Lee. The charges range from drug or narcotic violations times two, attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, disposal of methamphetamine waste, and possession of a county road sign.

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FRESH SEAFOOD ON MAIN HOLDING RIBBON CUTTING FRIDAY

Wednesday, December 9

A ribbon cutting for a new restaurant is set for Friday. Fresh Seafood on Main will officially open that day at 200 South Gadberry Street. You are invited to come out and enjoy refreshments, including shrimp and grits. The ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m.

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STAFFMARK RECRUITING WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATES AT THURSDAY EVENT

Wednesday, December 9

Staffmark will hold a recruitment event tomorrow at the Union SC Works office from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The want to hire warehouse associates. All warehouse associate positions are temporary full-time with room for growth. There are no minimum education requirements. The positions available are for 6-, 10- and 12-hour shifts in a climate-controlled environment. Employees will be responsible for a variety of tasks related to warehouse operations. A drug screening, reference and background checks will be conducted. The rate of pay is $10 per hour.

Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and have a referral to attend the event.


COUNTY COUNCIL HAS BUSY AGENDA PLANNED FOR MEETING

Tuesday, December 8

The Union County Council is set to meet this afternoon at 5:30 in the Grand Jury Room of the courthouse. They have eight matters to take up plus a third reading of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes (FILOT) agreement. Cassie Wright will discuss Safe Home Services, and James Lancaster wants to discuss the tax fee on nonprofit organizations in the county. The council will consider upcoming vacancies on the Union County Fair Board and consider bids for the roof replacement on the Union County Carnegie Library. The damage done to roads by tractor-trailers is up for discussion, as well as a discussion concerning the process for the appointment of fire board members. Airport Director Ronnie Wade will talk about the new layout plan for the Union County Airport, and Aubrey Morris will request that John Norris, Sr. Place be added on in Buffalo on Highway 215. A third reading will be give to a FILOT agreement with Haemonetics Company.

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TRAFFIC CHECKPOINT NETS METH ARREST

Tuesday, December 8

Last Thursday, deputies with the Union County Sheriff's Office were at a traffic safety checkpoint along U.S. Hwy 176 near Crestview Church in the southbound lane when Angela Danielle Gregory, 30, approached Lt. Johnny Sherfield. Gregory was found to be the only occupant in the vehicle, and when asked for her driver's license, she provided a beginner's permit. While removing her permit from a wallet, Gregory acted very nervous and was shaking, not making eye contact, and had some slur to her speech. She also dropped several items from her wallet, such as papers, credit cards, and money that she did not even notice. When asked about the permit, Gregory stated that this was all she had and knew she was not supposed to be driving alone. Lt. Sherfield asked Gregory to step out of the vehicle and she complied. Lt. Sherfield explained to Gregory that she was acting very nervous and that her speech was slurred and she did not appear to be very coherent. She was asked if she was on any medication and initially stated no, then said she was taking Seroquel, but had not taken any that night. Sherfield asked for consent to search her vehicle and purse, and Gregory gave consent. During a search of her purse, Lt. Sherfield was able to locate a plastic bag that contained a quantity of crystal methamphetamine and a broken straw that is commonly used to snort illegal narcotics. The suspected methamphetamine was seized and later sealed for analysis at SLED. Gregory was then placed under arrest for the license violation and possession of methamphetamine and transported to jail by Lt. Sherfield.

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MAN CHARGED WITH MAILING CONTRABAND TO HIS GIRLFRIEND IN JAIL

Tuesday, December 8

Friday, Lt. Sherfield was notified that a supervisor had seized some contraband at the Union County Jail. The jail officer met with Lt. Sherfield and provided him with a sticker that came on an envelope addressed to Rebecca Parsons, and showed that it had a piece of a Suboxone strip attached to the outside. Suboxone is a schedule III narcotic and is considered contraband at the Union County Jail. The letter in which the contraband was attached to was sent by Paul David Thomas, who is the boyfriend of Rebecca Parsons.

Parsons was interviewed and at first denied any knowledge of the drugs, but then admitted that she had received one other letter where a Suboxone strip was concealed inside the envelope, and it was also mailed by Thomas. Parsons stated that Thomas had told her during a visit that he was going to send the Suboxone in and to be looking for it. Based on this information, Lt. Sherfield has signed an arrest warrant for Thomas, charging him with furnishing contraband to a prisoner.

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ASSAULT IN CARLISLE LEADS TO ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE

Tuesday, December 8

Deputies were dispatched Saturday to 126 Brooklyn Avenue in Carlisle along with medics concerning a head injury. Dispatchers were unable to get any additional information but did state it sounded as though there was a disturbance in the background. Upon arrival, the victim was located sitting in a chair in the driveway. He told the officers that he and “Mook” Nicholas Montrea Jeter had been arguing about football, and Jeter had stated he would “get” him. He said that Jeter walked off, but moments later struck him in the head with an object. He said Jeter continued to strike him repeatedly until he lost consciousness. Deputies collected a pipe nearby as the possible weapon used to strike the victim. None of the several dozen bystanders admitted seeing any of the incident. The man was transported to Union Medical Center. The deputies said his injuries included a deep jagged cut across his nose, a smaller cut on the bridge area of the nose, a cut above the left eye, and considerable swelling to his face. The incident report stated that Beasley was not able to see well enough to write a statement. After evaluation by the emergency room staff, the man was transferred to Spartanburg Regional Hospital for additional treatment. The report stated that Jeter would be charged with attempted murder.

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BELLFLEX LOOKS TO HIRE FORKLIFT DRIVERS TOMORROW

Tuesday, December 8

Bellflex Staffing Network will hold a recruitment event tomorrow, December 9, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the SC Works Spartanburg office located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking for forklift drivers at a pay rate of $10 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required, as well as one year experience. Several shifts are available.


[I CAN] CAMPAIGN PROMOTES SCHOOL READINESS IN SC

Monday, December 7

South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Thursday unveiled the “Profile of the Ready Kindergartner” – the new description of school readiness for the State of South Carolina and the [I CAN] public awareness campaign to promote it statewide.

Designed in collaboration with the South Carolina Board of Education, the “Profile of the Ready Kindergartner” describes what families and caregivers, communities, and schools can do to help children arrive at kindergarten ready for success.

“Preparing the state’s young children for school is a responsibility we all share,” said Ken Wingate, Chairman of the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees. “The idea that we all have an important role to play is also the cornerstone of our new, public awareness campaign, [I CAN]. Helping our children succeed in kindergarten begins at birth and takes all of us working together.”

“The message of [I CAN] is the message of First Steps,” said Catherine Childers, Executive Director of Union County First Steps. “It takes all of us, each playing a role to ensure our children have the best possible start in life. The public-private partnership that is Union County First Steps works collaboratively with families, schools and communities to support children’s readiness for school.”

In 2014, the SC General Assembly passed Act 287, which includes the state’s first-ever legal definition of school readiness. The law also charged First Steps with working in collaboration with the State Board of Education to develop a family-friendly description of the ready kindergartner.

For more information about First Steps, visit www.scfirststeps.com or find them on Facebook--Union County First Steps to School Success.  You may also call 864-429-1740, ext.134.

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TWO ARRESTED ON MARIJUANA CHARGES

Monday, December 7

Union Public Safety Officers served a search warrant  at a Meansville Road apartment Thursday and found that no one was in the dwelling at the time. The officers began the search and found a blue lunch-type bag on the dining table. Inside was a plastic bag containing a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana. Also located was another plastic bag containing a green plantlike material also believed to be marijuana. As the search continued, the residents arrived home. Taneshia Lucille Crawford, 22, and Markus Jamal Jeter, 24, were arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within 1/2 mile of a school. $200 was seized from Crawford and $191 from Jeter.  It was noted that a controlled buy had been made at the location on an earlier date.

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RED CROSS CALLS FOR YEAR-END DONATIONS

Monday, December 7

Several major disasters have impacted communities across the country in the last 12 months. The American Red Cross says because of people like you, they were ready to spring into action and help provide resources like food, clothing and shelter. As people begin the recovery process, it’s your generosity that helps them rebuild their lives.

The Red Cross reminds you that you have the power to change the lives of families in need this time of year. This holiday season is an opportunity to give thanks, but also to extend a helping hand to those facing disaster and emergency. Because of the generosity of their volunteers and donors, the Red Cross is able to be there for people in their darkest hours. You can make your tax-deductible year-end gift to the Red Cross before December 31 and be a lifeline for those who need it most. Visit www.redcross.org.

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SC ATTORNEY GENERAL, UBER TECHNOLOGIES, AND MADD TEAM UP TO END DRUNK DRIVING

Monday, December 7

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Uber Technologies and Mothers Against Drunk Driving will hold a press conference today to announce a new partnership called SC: Smart Choice. The goal of the partnership is to work towards a state where a safe, reliable ride is always within reach, and drunk driving crashes become a thing of the past. South Carolina has the 9th-highest drunk driving death toll despite being 24th in population. Uber is a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel, and in cities and states around the country, DUI rates have declined by as much as 18%, and drunk driving crashes have fallen up to 6.5% among drivers under the age of 30 since Uber has entered the market.


ROCK HILL MAN DIES IN SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT

Friday, December 4

A second traffic fatality has occurred in Union County within the week. Union County Coroner William Holcombe issued a press release stating that his office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating a single motor vehicle accident that occurred around 4:25 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of SC 9 and Highway 49 in Lockhart. The driver of the vehicle, 81-year old Robert P. Dansby, Jr., of India Hook Road, Rock Hill, was transported by Union County EMS to the Union Medical Center, where he died from injuries sustained in the accident. An autopsy was performed at Newberry Pathology Associates Thursday morning. The cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt force injuries as a result of the accident. This past Monday, 34-year old Leroy Dean Davis of Jones Ford Road died in a single vehicle accident on Highway 56 near Enoree.

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CHRISTMAS AT CROSS KEYS HOUSE CELEBRATION PLANNED THIS WEEKEND

Friday, December 4

The Union County Historical Society has announced Christmas at the Cross Keys House. That event will be coming up Saturday, December 5th, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Attendees are invited to tour the historic home and buildings, including the period kitchen, cabin, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, and tool shed. There will be a $10 per carload charge. Father Christmas will be in the parlor of the house, and you can have your picture made with him. There will be live period Christmas music and carolers.  The Boogaloo organization will perform an 1825 Christmas play in the Plantation Cabin, and there will be hot drinks and homemade goodies for sale in the kitchen. The gift shop will be open.

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ANNUAL VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION AT ROSE HILL SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND

Friday, December 4

Area residents are invited to travel back in time with a Victorian-style Christmas at Rose Hill Plantation. Ever wonder what holiday customs were practiced in the late 1800s? You can come see for yourself. The mansion will be decorated, and they will offer special Christmas-themed tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 5, and Sunday, December 6. Father Christmas will be there on Sunday afternoon, so bring the family.

Many of our familiar Christmas decorations and traditions were started in Victorian times. In addition to the special house tour, visitors can partake of hot drinks and homemade goodies in the plantation kitchen. You can warm your hands by the fire and craft your own decoration to take home with you.

Tours will begin on the front porch of the mansion on the half hour from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 per person, age 6 and older. Age 5 and under get in free. Tickets may be purchased in the kitchen the day of your visit. No reservations are required. The program is free with a S.C. Park Passport Plus. The mansion will remain decorated for the holiday season throughout the month of December.

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TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION'S CHRISTMAS GALA

Friday, December 4

The Christmas parade lineup continues this weekend starting with the Jonesville parade at 3. Then on Sunday, the activity moves to Lockhart when they will step off at 3:00 p.m. Other Christmas-type activities for the weekend include the Union County Healthcare Foundation's Christmas Gala. That event will will be held this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.  This is the first event of its kind, said Greta Bailey, who is the executive director of the foundation. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by DJ Motown Bobby, and there will be dancing.

There will be a silent auctions throughout the evening, and some of the auction items will be Carolina- and Clemson-themed Christmas trees, natural wreaths, and hand-crafted Christmas decor. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and for those Clemson fans attending, there will be a private viewing area where they will be showing the Clemson-North Carolina game that will decide the ACC Championship. Funds raised by the Christmas Gala will go to purchase equipment for the Union Medical Center.

Bailey said tickets to Christmas Gala 2015 cost $25 and can be purchased at Union Medical Center, WBCU, and Paradise Home Center. She said that tickets will also be sold at the door.

For more information about Christmas Gala 2015 and the Union County Healthcare Foundation, call 864-301-2466.

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MAN CHARGED AS FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE FROM ARIZONA

Friday, December 4

The Union County Sheriff's Office reports that a Ajamu Abdulrahman Yamini, 63, of 905 North Church Street, was taken into custody by Union Public Safety. A records check in NCIC indicated that he is wanted by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona on felony charges and outstanding warrants for two counts of sale or transportation of dangerous drugs and probation violations. Chief Deputy Perry Haney was to contact the magistrates office to sign a warrant charging Yamini with fugitive from justice in order to detain him for extradition.


AROUND 100 GATHER TO REMEMBER PASTOR DON MOORE

Thursday, December 3

Around 100 parishioners and friends of Reverend Don Moore gathered at the Potter's House Church in Jonesville to celebrate his life and what would have been his birthday. Pastor Don, as he was known, died in his sleep Tuesday night. Pastor Don founded the Potter's Storehouse food  ministry and has provided, at no charge, thousands of people with food products during his seven years as the organization's leader. Moore was remembered Wednesday for his faith, as many times it looked as though the food would not be available to give out. Just last week, a food distribution was planned for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and beginning that day, only around 140 turkeys were available. Don kept his faith that all would work out. At the celebration Wednesday night, they told of how, throughout the day, donations of turkeys kept coming in and when the day ended, 540 of the birds had been distributed.

Potters House associate minister Glenn Sparks had this to say about Pastor Don.

 

Sparks said during his remarks to those attending, “Don started something we plan to continue right on.”

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UNION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANT TO YMCA

Thursday, December 3

The philanthropic actions of the Union Community Foundation continued Wednesday morning as a $500 grant was awarded to the Union County YMCA. In the past few weeks, the organization has awarded $500 grants to Union Services and Meals on Wheels. During the presentation, YMCA Director Scott Sandor told those attending that in recent years the “Y” has increased its membership from around 1300 to 2700. They have no debt and soon hope to begin a capital project to raise an estimated $135,000 to $150,000 to replace every piece of the equipment in the facility. As far as how the donated $500 will be used, Sandor said:

 

As Sandor said, when the pool reopens this coming spring, every child under a certain height will be required to wear a life jacket. This move comes about as a result of the YMCA reevaluating their policies and procedures when six-year old Miracle Smith accidentally drowned in the pool on July 22.

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UNION WOMAN IS OUT $699 AFTER A COMPUTER SCAM

Thursday, December 3

A Union woman reported to the Union County Sheriff's Office that she had become the victim of a computer virus scam. She told the responding officer that on November 25, she found her computer locked, and in the process of getting it unlocked she was scammed out of $699. Rob Peake with Professional Help Computer Service in Union said there is not a whole lot you can do about it.

 

Peake said if you receive a call from someone offering to make repairs to your computer via the telephone, just hang up. He said repairs of any kind should be made only by a qualified service representative.

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SEVERAL EVENTS COMING UP IN THE TOWN OF CARLISLE

Thursday, December 3

There's an exciting event coming up Saturday at the Carlisle Town Hall. Carlisle children ages 10 and under are invited to come out and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. That will take place from 2 until 4 p.m. Gift bags will be given out to the children, and refreshments will be served. As a reminder, the Carlisle Christmas parade will take place the following Saturday, December 12th, and there will be a food distribution for the Carlisle community only on Tuesday, December 15.

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VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE TO serve AT TWO LOCATIONS NEXT YEAR

Thursday, December 3

The first of the year is still nearly a month away, but it's not too early to start thinking about filing your income tax returns. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will return to Union. The free service is available to low-to-moderate income individuals and families with two locations in Union County opening beginning in February 2016 and running through April 12th. One location is the USC Union Founders House, open Tuesdays from 9AM-noon. Participants may call to schedule an appointment at 864-424-8042. The second location will be the United Way office at the Union County Nonprofit Partnership Center, located at 115 Thomas Street inside the Union County Health Dept. That location will be open 9AM-1:30PM on February 3rd and 16th, as well as March 2nd and 16th. For an appointment, call the VITA tax line at 864-582-2975.


ASHLEY TYLER CHARGED WITH MURDERING HIS STEPMOTHER

Wednesday, December 2

Union County Sheriff David Taylor held a press conference Tuesday afternoon in reference to a homicide that occurred at 1303 River Road in Union County. The sheriff explained that on November 25, Captain James McNeil obtained a warrant for the arrest of Ashley Tyler for failure to register as a sex offender. He had been residing at 2206 Lockhart Hwy. and he had not been located at that residence for 3 days, as required by law. Mrs. Rebecca Tyler was his step-mother, and law enforcement was seeking to make contact with him in reference to her death. Several attempts were made, with no response from Ashley. On November 30, information was received that Ashley Tyler was at the residence of his daughter in Fountain Inn. Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain was contacted and asked for assistance in taking him into custody. Chastain was told that the sheriff's office was wanting to talk to him in reference to a homicide that occurred in Union County. He was taken into custody at approximately 3:00 am by Laurens County deputies and detained until Union County deputies took him into custody. Later in the day, after questioning Ashley Tyler and talking to his girlfriend, Dabriada Alman, 40, who is also the niece of Rebecca Tyler, Alman was charged with transferring of a weapon to a convicted felon and accessory after the fact of murder. Ashley Tyler, 40, has been charged with failure to register as a sex offender, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and murder. Sheriff Taylor told WBCU News:

 

Sheriff Taylor declined to elaborate on the case, saying there are several other people they want to talk with, and the case is still under investigation.

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MISSING UNION COUNTY MAN FOUND SAFE

Wednesday, December 2

The Union Public Safety Department says a 72-year old Union man who was missing since last Wednesday has been located. Willie Frank Simpson, aka "Preacher", was located on Medical Sciences Drive Monday night around 10:45. The police say that when located, Simpson appeared to be in good health and communicated well with them. As a precaution, he was treated by Union County EMS personnel and later returned to his family. The Public Safety Department issued a release stating they would like to thank the news media and the people of the community for their assistance in spreading the word about Simpson. They added, “It was your dedication and help that brought Mr. Simpson back to his family safely.”

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MORE DETAILS RELEASED IN FATAL WRECK

Wednesday, December 2

More information is now available concerning a fatal crash Monday afternoon. The Highway Patrol says the wreck occurred on Highway 56 approximately 5.6 miles west of the Town of Clinton in Union County. The Highway Patrol said Rhonda M Belue, 30, of Union, was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer and was injured. She was transported to Spartanburg Regional Hospital, where her condition is not known. A passenger in the vehicle was identified by Union County Coroner William Holcombe as Leroy Dean Davis, 34, of 1001 Jones Ford Road. Davis died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. State Trooper Lance Corporal Gary Miller offered a scenario that the vehicle was traveling east on Highway 56 and went off the right side of the road, then  overcorrected and went off the left side down an embankment, and overturned, striking a tree. The trooper said the accident remains under investigation.

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PASTOR DON MOORE, DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE POTTER'S STOREHOUSE, DIES

Wednesday, December 2

The driving force behind the Potter's Storehouse Ministries, Pastor Don Moore, has died. Pastor Moore started the Potter's Storehouse Ministry several years ago to provide food to people in the area suffering from difficult circumstances. Over the years, thousands have been assisted by the ministry. Recently, Pastor Moore moved the operation into a larger facility in Jonesville to better serve the recipients. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

A remembrance service will be held this evening at 6:30 pm at the Potters House to celebrate Pastor Don's life. 

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CASE OF WHOOPING COUGH REPORTED AT UNION COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

Wednesday, December 2

A case of whooping cough has been identified at Union County High School. Anyone who attended or visited Union County High between the dates of November 5–30, 2015, may have been exposed to whooping cough. Whooping cough is a contagious disease that affects the nose, throat, windpipe, and lungs. It spreads easily by coughing or sneezing. People with whooping cough may have coughing fits. They might throw up after coughing.  The severe cough can last for weeks or months.  Babies may have spells when they stop breathing. Whooping cough can be dangerous for babies and for people with lung diseases or weakened immune systems. Family members with whooping cough can spread it to babies. Should you or any member of your family display any symptoms of whooping cough, you should contact your health care provider.

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PUBLIC SAFETY HONORS SOME OF ITS EMPLOYEES AT ANNUAL CHRISTMAS DINNER

Wednesday, December 2

The City of Union Public Safety Department celebrated the Christmas season with their annual yuletide dinner. Public Safety officers and volunteer firefighters along with their families gathered at the Public Safety building on Thompson Blvd. Tuesday night and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal. There were a number of awards and recognitions handed out, including the service awards. Recognized for 5 years of service was Mark Smith, Dennis Howell and Joe Smith, who was also honored for his retirement. Receiving 10-year awards were Jerome Beaty and Kevin Powers.  Robbie Vanderford was recognized for 15 years of service, and receiving 20-year recognition was Larry Yarbourgh and Tommy Hart. Hart was also honored for his retirement. A 25-year service award went to Randy Canupp. The department's Volunteer of the Year award went to 30-year veteran Dennis Howell. Singled out as the Employee of the Year was Sgt. Eddie Williams. Williams had this to say on receiving the award.

 

The Chief's Award this year went to Investigator Jerome Beaty. The event concluded with the arrival of Santa, which pleased both young and old.


ONE KILLED IN SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 56

Tuesday, December 1

The Union County Coroner’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating a single-car motor vehicle collision that occurred on SC Highway 56 near Enoree, SC,  in Union County. The coroner’s office is investigating the death of 34-year old Leory Dean Davis of 1001 Jones Ford Road, Union, who was a passenger in the vehicle. An autopsy is scheduled for today at Newberry Pathology Associates.

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PUBLIC SAFETY ASKS FOR HELP IN SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN

Tuesday, December 1

The Union Public Safety Department requests your assistance in locating a missing person. Willie Frank Simpson, aka "Preacher", was last seen on November 23rd. Simpson walks the roads throughout the county picking up cans. Mr. Simpson has medical issues. If you see Simpson, please call 911 or Union Public Safety at 864-429-1713.

 

 

 

 

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CLEMSON CLUB ENJOYS RECORD TURNOUT TO ITS CHICKEN ROAST

Tuesday, December 1

The Union County Clemson Club enjoyed a tremendous success with its annual Chicken Roast Monday evening, as 192 fans gathered at the Veteran’s Lodge at Foster Park to enjoy food and fellowship with fellow Tigers and hear from keynote speakers Mickey Plyler and Reggie Merriweather.  Club president Virgil Childers reports that the crowd of 192 represents the largest ever at a club event. 

Sports talk show host Mickey Plyler of WCCP-FM 105.5 The Roar began the evening by providing an update on football recruiting and comparing the current state of the Clemson and University of South Carolina’s football programs.  Former Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather continued the evening by sharing his memories of playing football at Clemson.

The club also recognized two members through the presentation of the Super Tiger Award and the J. Net Berry Award.  Jerry Brannon received the Super Tiger Award, which recognizes a devoted Tiger fan that is truly supportive of Clemson University.  Frank Hart was the recipient of the J. Net Berry Award, presented to the Union County citizen who best exemplifies the true Clemson spirit and tradition and one who gives back to the community of Union County and Clemson University. 

Following the presentation of awards, the club hosted a raffle and auction of Clemson memorabilia to help raise funds for the club’s scholarship program.  Each year, the club awards scholarships to deserving students from schools in Union County to attend Clemson.  This year’s recipients are Tia Shantae Gilliam and Porsha Chantel Riley. 

The goal of Union County Clemson Club is providing academic scholarships for deserving students going to Clemson.  For more information about the Union County Clemson Club, contact club president Virgil Childers at 864-251-0094.

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BLOCK GRANTS AWARDED TO LIBRARY PROJECT AND DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE PROJECT

Tuesday, December 1

Two grants totaling more than $800,000 will be used to help finance a streetscape project in the downtown area and a project involving the Union County Carnegie Library.

Union Mayor Harold Thompson has announced that two Community Development Block Grants have been awarded for projects through the State of South Carolina’s Community Enrichment Program.

The first grant he said  is for $304,346 and will be used to help fund the Union County Carnegie Library Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)project, while the second is for $500,000 and will be used to help fund the N. Pinckney and N. Gadberry Streetscape [roject. He said the city applied for the grants earlier this year after learning of their availability.

The Streetscape project should  include new sidewalks around the city block from Main Street along the eastern side of N. Pinckney, along the southern side of E. Academy and returning to Main Street along the western side of N. Gadberry; landscaping with irrigation; reclamation and resurfacing of city-owned public parking within this area; the installation of 10 historic street lights; and ADA accessible sidewalk ramps.

The mayor said the streetscape project is part of the city’s efforts to improve the gateways into the downtown area, a process that will eventually be extended to include Church Street.

As for the library project, that too is in keeping with the city’s efforts to improve the downtown area and make it more convenient and attractive for all members of the public.

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TWO CASES REPORTED OF DISTRIBUTION OF OBSCENE MATERIALS

Tuesday, December 1

We have two separate cases involving the dissemination of pornographic material to report. While few details have been given out on either case, an incident report from the Union County Sheriff's Office states that Deputy Brandon Vaughan responded to a disturbance call. On arrival, the deputy spoke to the complainant in reference to pictures being posted on Facebook. Listed as the subject in the case is Brooke Morgan Floyd, 23, of Oak Grove Road. Another case goes back to November 11, when Master Sgt. Wendy Childers responded to a complainant who reported that someone placed a DVD containing pornographic material in her mailbox and in the mailboxes of two other family members. An additional DVD containing the same pornographic material was found on the ground next to the mailbox of a third family member. Listed as the charge in the first case is dissemination of pornographic material, and in the second case, extortion or blackmail and dissemination of obscene material A4.

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MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING SOUTH CAROLINA HOSTS NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE VIGIL

Tuesday, December 1

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) South Carolina will host the National Day of Remembrance Thursday, December 3rd, to honor those who have been killed or injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes and as a result of underage drinking consequences, as well as anyone who has been emotionally devastated by these violent and preventable crimes. MADD locations across the nation will host an event for victims and survivors to remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. A candlelight vigil will take place at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy to raise awareness of MADD victim services and to let victims know that they always have a place at MADD.

In 2014, 279 people in South Carolina were killed in drunk driving crashes. Nationwide, just less than 10,000 lives were lost due to drunk driving, and another 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving crashes. Each year, hundreds of families are left behind to pick up the pieces after a loved one is killed or injured as a result of drunk driving, drugged driving, or underage drinking. MADD wants victims and survivors to know that MADD is here to help. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP.


MEALS ON WHEELS RECEIVES DONATION FROM UNION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Monday, November 30

Union County's Meals on Wheels program received a welcome boost last Tuesday. The Union Community Foundation presented a check for $500 to Meals on Wheels Chair Lynn Mornane.

The presentation took place at the Union Medical Center where Meals on Wheels volunteers pick up the meals they deliver to the group’s elderly clients in Union and Buffalo. The meals, which the group pays for, are prepared by Nancy Smith of the Union Medical Center’s Food Services Department, who has them ready and waiting for the volunteers when they arrive to pick them up.

Mornane welcomed the donation, and said that all of it would be used to help pay for the meals the group delivers.

Mornane said that approximately 50 volunteers deliver meals Monday-Friday to approximately 70 senior citizens in Union and Buffalo.

Persons who want to make a donation to Meals on Wheels or volunteer should call 864-427-7974.

Persons interested in establishing a fund through the Union Community Foundation should call 864-391-1098.

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BUFFALO PARADE OPENS CHRISTMAS SEASON

Monday, November 30

Hundreds lined the Main Street of Buffalo Sunday afternoon to usher in the Christmas season for Union County. If you enjoy parades, there are more to come. The Jonesville parade is set for Saturday, December 5th, at 3:00 p.m. The following day, Sunday, December 6th, the Town of Lockhart will host their parade. The Town of Carlisle has scheduled theirs for Saturday, December 12th, at 2:00 p.m. The Union parade will be staged the following day, Sunday, December 13th, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The WBCU Radio Truck Full of Toys will be included in each of the parades and attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy and place it in the truck. The Truck Full of Toys campaign will wrap up with the Union parade on December 13th. All the parades will be broadcast on WBCU, 1460 AM and 103.5 FM. They will also be streamed at wbcuradio.com and on your smart phone with our Android and iPhone apps.

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TWO ARRESTED FOLLOWING HIGH-SPEED CHASE THROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD AND ONTO GOLF COURSE

Monday, November 30

Last Monday just before 1:00 p.m., Sgt. Jared Gilstrap was parked at the end of Pineland Avenue watching 215 Tate Avenue, the residence of Steven L. Harris. Narcotics agents had a search warrant for this residence and had been watching this residence for several days to identify when Harris would be there. On the report date, Sgt. Gilstrap observed a black 2008 Nissan Armada at the residence. Agents knew this to be the vehicle that Harris and his girlfriend, Whitney Q. Gist, travel in a majority of the time. Sgt. Gilstrap called for Lt. Johnny Sherfield to meet with him to serve the search warrant. While waiting on Lt. Sherfield to arrive, the black Nissan Armada pulled out of 215 Tate Ave. and headed toward Sgt. Gilstrap's position. As the Armada passed by, the driver's side window was down and Sgt. Gilstrap could plainly see that Harris was driving the vehicle and Gist was in the passenger seat. Sgt. Gilstrap knew that Harris's driver's license was suspended and pulled out behind them on Pineland Ave. The officer activated his blue lights in an attempt to perform a traffic stop on the vehicle. Harris then accelerated his vehicle, running the stop sign at the intersection of Pineland Ave. and River Hills Rd., and reached speeds of 65 mph in a residential area, almost striking a mailbox. Sgt. Gilstrap activated his siren and notified dispatch that the vehicle was not stopping. Harris then turned back onto Tate Ave. and accelerated again to the end of Tate Ave, which is a dead end. Harris then drove across a wooded area, through a ditch, and onto the River Chase Golf Course. Harris then took off up the hill toward Greenway Ave. in the Fairwood II subdivision. Sgt. Gilstrap could not follow Harris through the ditch in his patrol unit and turned around to head to Fairwood Blvd., which is where Harris would be trying to come out. Other Union County Sheriff's Office units were in the area at that time, and after a short search, Harris' vehicle was located abandoned on the golf course. The Sheriff's Office K-9 Tracking Team was called to the scene, and after a short track, Harris and Gist were located hiding in the woods near the river. Harris and Gist were placed under arrest, and the vehicle was towed. Harris and Gist were transported to the Union County Jail for booking. Their charges are as follows: Steven Laron Harris, 24, driving under suspension 2nd, failure to stop for a blue light, reckless driving, trespassing and resisting arrest. Whitney Q. Gist, 17, is charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

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SPARTANBURG REGIONAL BREAKS GROUND ON NEW IMMEDIATE CARE CENTER IN GAFFNEY

Monday, November 30

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) broke ground on Monday for the new facility, MGC—Immediate Care Center—Gaffney, on Floyd Baker Boulevard.  MGC – Family Medicine – Gaffney will become MGC—Immediate Care Center—Gaffney. The new practice will offer an array of healthcare services, including primary, urgent and specialty care.

“We are pleased to open the first urgent care facility in Gaffney,” said Mark Aycock, Chief Operating Officer for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.  “Immediate Care Center – Gaffney will expand access to primary and urgent care in the Gaffney community. Access to high-quality care is an important part of creating a healthy community.”

Future plans for MGC—Immediate Care Center—Gaffney include adding medical specialty care to the planned urgent and primary care services.

The Gaffney facility is MGC’s third immediate care center. The other two immediate care centers are located in Spartanburg and recently received Patient-Centered Connected Care RecognitionTM from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, recognizing MGC’s efforts in providing leading healthcare in an urgent care environment.

The new MGC—Immediate Care Center—Gaffney has walk-in hours.  Acute and urgent care hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Primary care hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building will be 13,000 square feet and include primary and urgent care, laboratory and X-ray features. The facility will have 12 primary and urgent care exam rooms, two procedure rooms and five specialty care rooms.


UNION COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS "CHRISTMAS AT CROSS KEYS" EVENT

Friday, November 27

The Union County Historical Society has announced Christmas at the Cross Keys House. That event will be coming up December 5th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Attendees are invited to tour the historic home and buildings including the period kitchen, cabin, smokehouse, blacksmith shop and tool shed. There will be a $10 per carload charge. Father Christmas will be in the parlor of the house where you can have your picture made with him. There will be live period Christmas music and carolers. The Boogaloo organization will perform an 1825 Christmas play in the Plantation Cabin, and there will be hot drinks and homemade goodies for sale in the kitchen. The gift shop will be open.

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FIRST PRESBYTERIAN INVITES COMMUNITY TO ITS HANGING OF THE GREENS SERVICE

Friday, November 27

Union's First Presbyterian Church has invited the community to a special service Sunday. It is the “Hanging of the Greens” service at 11:00 a.m. Church officials say decorating for Christmas is a tradition in most homes and also in most churches.  The “Hanging of the Greens” service incorporates decorating the sanctuary and a look at why we decorate the way we do.  Each element used to adorn the sanctuary is chosen for its symbolism, and the goal of using these symbols is to direct our minds toward the worship of the Savior. 

From the candles to the Chrismon tree, each item has significance; each item holds a message. 

Congregational hymns, special music, Scripture readings, and participation from the congregation will make this a memorable service.

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LOCAL ARTWORK FEATURED FOR SALE AT ARTS COUNCIL

Friday, November 27

Local artists are currently showcasing their work at the Union County Arts Council Gallery. It is an opportunity for citizens to view the works and see examples of their creativity but also an opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. The works will remain on display through the end of December. There is a variety of art on display, such as paintings, hand-painted shoes and handbags, handmade pens, handmade cards, long and short handmade scarves, and crystal and wooden handmade Christmas ornaments. All the art work is for sale.

The UCAC Arts Gallery is located at 116 E. Main St., Union, and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information about the Local Artists Showcase and other activities sponsored by the Union County Arts Council, call 864-429-2817.

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AMERICAN SERVICES will recruit SECURITY OFFICERS AT TUESDAY EVENT

Friday, November 27

American Services will hold a recruitment event Tuesday, December 1, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.-3 p.m.  They are looking to hire security officers. A high school diploma or GED is required. The pay rate is $8.50 per hour. Candidates will be required to walk and stand for 8-12 hour shifts. A drug screening and background check will be conducted, and the minimum age requirement is 18 years of age. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.

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BEL-FLEX STAFFING NETWORK IS LOOKING FOR FORKLIFT DRIVERS

Friday, November 27

Bel-flex Staffing Network will hold a recruitment event Wednesday, December 2, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the SC Works Spartanburg office located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking for forklift drivers. The rate of pay is $10 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required, as is one year of experience. Several shifts are available.


LOCAL AUTHOR TO HOLD MEET AND GREET AND BOOK SIGNING AT the LIBRARY NEXT MONTH

Thursday, November 26

Local inspirational author and University of Pittsburgh Masters of Social Work student Yalanda Glenn, whose pen name is Y. Deonna, released her debut Urban Christian Fiction novel “Deception Has A Name” on November 20, 2015. There is a meet and greet and book signing that will be held on December 18, 2015, at the Union County Carnegie Library. The event runs from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.  Her love affair with books started when her first-grade teacher gave her a book that she cherishes to this day.  Fascinated by how writers weave words into masterpieces, she knew she would one day do the same. Y. Deonna wants to be that author that speaks to the heart of the reader. She wants readers to completely connect with each character and feel their emotion as they flip each page. Y. Deonna believes it is important to use writing as a platform to promote and educate others about critical issues that so many face. It is her desire to bring awareness to issues that are hard to talk about. Y. Deonna says, "I write because I care, and for me, writing is my way of serving my community. My debut novel is an edgy Urban Christian Fiction that follows a teenage girl as she deals with abuse, neglect, death, and loss, but also her triumph, her resilience and ability to overcome through the power of Christ and love. The “Deception Has A Name” eBook can be ordered on Amazon.com, and a paper copy can be purchased anywhere books are sold.

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BUFFALO CHRISTMAS PARADE USHERS IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Thursday, November 26

The Christmas season is being ushered in beginning this weekend as the Buffalo Christmas Parade kicks off Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The Jonesville parade will follow on Saturday, December 5th, at 3:00 p.m. The following day, Sunday, December 6th, at 3 p.m., the Town of Lockhart will host their parade. The Town of Carlisle has scheduled theirs for Saturday, December 12th, at 2:00 p.m. The Union parade will be staged the following day, Sunday, December 13th, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The WBCU Radio Truck Full of Toys will be included in each of the parades, and attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy and place it in the truck. The Truck Full of Toys campaign will wrap up with the Union parade on December 13th. All the parades will be broadcast on WBCU, 1460 AM and 103.5 FM. They will also be streamed at wbcuradio.com.

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GIBBS CANCER CENTER USES NEW TOOL IN FIGHT AGAINST PROSTATE CANCER

Thursday, November 26

Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men. Radiation therapy is among the most effective and common forms of treatment for prostate cancer, but radiation therapy for prostate cancer can sometimes result in undesirable side effects due to the proximity to other delicate tissues.
Now, a new technology at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute protects prostate cancer patients from the potential adverse effects of radiation therapy, including diarrhea, inability to control bowel movements, and rectal bleeding.
Gibbs is one of the first cancer centers in the United States to use a new tool called the SpaceOAR® System, the first FDA-approved method for placing a ‘spacer’ to protect the rectum of men undergoing prostate cancer radiotherapy. SpaceOAR painlessly and temporarily moves the prostate away from the rectum, allowing delivery of radiation to the prostate while reducing the dose to the rectal area.
SpaceOAR consists of a water-based hydrogel administered by a physician in a simple procedure. The gel is injected through a needle into the body as a liquid and quickly solidifies into a soft gel that expands the space between the prostate and rectum. The hydrogel spacer maintains this separation until radiotherapy is complete. The spacer then liquefies and is absorbed and eliminated from the body. . Most patients report that they have little or no discomfort from the procedure.
Combining the cutting-edge SpaceOAR and CyberKnife technologies can give prostate cancer patients faster, safer and more accurate radiation therapy. For more information, call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.

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WEIRD NEWS: BACON SCENTED UNDERWEAR now FOR SALE ONLINE

Thursday, November 26

There's a new item on the market these days that...well...may interest you as well as titillate your taste buds.

J&D’s Foods, makers of Bacon Salt®, has announced the launch of Bacon Scented Underwear™, the world’s first underwear that looks and smells like bacon. Yes, this is real.

Marrying the ultimate in comfort and cured meat, J&D's Bacon Scented Underwear represents the gold standard of meat-scented luxury undergarments. Each pair is handcrafted in the USA to offer the support of briefs, the freedom of boxers and the smell of breakfast cooking in your pants. You really can have it all.

Featuring state-of-the-art moisture-wicking, scent-emission technology stolen from NASA, they’ve embedded the smell of everyone’s favorite smell into the fabric of your pants. This intoxicating scent will last through multiple wash cycles and wearings - depending on the (ahem) strength of your own scent, your underwear should continue to smell like bacon for up to 6 months or even a year.

Their legal team has advised them to post the following serious warnings:

• J&D's Bacon Scented Underwear is not recommended for people in the following professions: mail carriers, zookeepers, veterinarians, dog catchers and walkers, and circus performers (especially lion tamers).

• If you have a large dog with razor sharp teeth, please do not fall asleep in J&D's Bacon Scented Underwear.

• If you are hiking in the woods where bears are known to roam, please do not wear Bacon Scented Underwear without also carrying a firearm.

J&D’s Bacon Scented Underwear is available exclusively at www.baconunderwear.com for $19.99 per pair and comes in men’s and women’s styles and sizes.


LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL HEARS ABOUT PROPOSED TRANSIT STUDY

Wednesday, November 25

During the Lockhart Town Council meeting Tuesday night, attendees heard a report from Councilman Donnie Adams on a meeting he attended that addressed a transit feasibility study. The county has taken up the matter and agreed to hire a firm that will conduct the study. Adams said more information should be forthcoming in the next few months. He said a transit system in Union County would be most beneficial.

 

It was disclosed by Mayor Ailene Ashe that the finale of a science fiction movie will be filmed in Lockhart as early as December 7th. Much of the filming is already taking place in Chester County. The film is an HBO production titled “The Outcast.” We’ll have more information on this as it becomes available. In other action, the council agreed to hold their Christmas party on December 15th.

Following the regular meeting, the first session of the Community Crime Watch program was held. Master Sgt. Wendy Childers presented the first of three sessions to those attending and highlighted a number of items that go into crime prevention. Last month, the council set the time and date for future crime watch meetings to follow the regular council meeting each month.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE SEEKS INFORMATION LEADING TO ARREST IN MURDER OF UNION WOMAN

Wednesday, November 25

Union County Sheriff David Taylor is asking for the public's help in finding the person or persons that may be responsible for the death of 61-year old Rebecca W. Tyler. The investigation is continuing as the Union County Sheriff's Office, the Union County Coroner’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division look into the case. Tyler's body was found by coworkers Friday morning at 1303 River Road. A press release stated the case had been classified as a homicide and that her death occurred sometime after she returned from work Thursday morning. Gunshot wounds were stated as being the cause of death. The sheriff said  anyone with information about the case should call either the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1612 or Union County Crimestoppers at 864-427-0800.

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SPARTANBURG TOUCHDOWN CLUB HONORS UCHS FOOTBALL TEAM

Wednesday, November 25

The Spartanburg Touchdown Club honored the Union County High School football team with its Game of the Week award against Belton Honea Path. On hand for the presentation was Touchdown Club guest speaker and former UHS Head Coach Shell Dula, UCHS Athletic Director Michelle James, and Touchdown Club member and retired Union County High School Assistant Football Coach Billy Jack Moore.

 

 

 


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TOMMY MANN RELEASES "ASLEEP IN HEAVEN'S NURSERY FOR KIDS"

Wednesday, November 25

Author Tommy Mann explains the loss of a baby sibling to young readers in his new children’s book, “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids,” which is set for nationwide release this week.

More than half a million babies are lost in the womb each year. In many cases, the parents have to try to explain this tragedy to their children.

In January 2013, Mann had to explain to his daughter why her brother was no longer in her mommy’s tummy. “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids” is a poem that contains the words he shared with her. Meanwhile, the year 2013 ended with the miracle birth of Mann’s son, TJ.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

Mann is the author of six books, including “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids.” He lives here in Union with his wife, Alicia, and their children, Reagan and TJ. Mann is the father of four children in heaven. Mann recently resigned as the associate pastor of Philippi Baptist Church as he seeks to run for the SC House seat currently occupied by Rep. Mike Anthony.


CLERK OF COURT TO RESIGN AND WORK FOR CONGRESSMAN

Tuesday, November 24

Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault has announced that he will be leaving that post effective December 4th. Gault has accepted a position of District Liaison with 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney. Gault said:

 

Gault's first day on the job with Mulvaney will be December 7. Gault said he has already talked with Governor Nikki Haley's office concerning appointing someone to the job. His term will not expire until January of 2017. The governor has the option of making a temporary appointment and then later naming someone to fill out the term. Gault said he did not make any recommendation to the governor as to who might finish the term.

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SCHOOL BOARD GETS CLEAN AUDIT RESULTS

Tuesday, November 24

The Union County School Board of Trustees met Monday night in another near-marathon session. The meeting lasted nearly four hours, with almost three hours of that time spent in executive session. Appearing on the agenda for executive session was a discussion and legal advice related to the superintendent's evaluation and contract terms. Including the superintendent's evaluation several months ago, this is the third time the issue has come up. Board Chairperson Jane Hammett was asked why it continues to appear on the agenda with no apparent resolution. Her answer was that it takes time to work out the details, and being a personnel matter, she would not be allowed to discuss it.

In other matters, Leslie Kelly with McGregor and Company presented the fiscal year 2015 audit result. Kelly reported an unmodified or clean audit. Finance Director Lynn Lawson explained what that means.

 

The board heard from Cindy Langley about the ACT and End of Course data, and Union County High School principal Betsy Trakas discussed the school's academic efforts.

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ANGEL TREE HELPS LOCAL CHILDREN OF PRISONERS

Tuesday, November 24

Help is needed on behalf of children in Union County who have a parent in prison. Fifty children in Union County have been registered in Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree ministry.

Prison Fellowship is one of the world’s best ministries to prisoners. They conduct Bible studies and witness and minister in various ways to inmates and their families.

Through Prison Fellowship’s contacts in the prisons, inmates have an opportunity to arrange for Christmas presents to be given to their children. Each present is given in the name of the parent, with a personal greeting from the parent. These gifts often lead to healing of family relationships, and even to members of the family coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

If you would like to participate, the name of one or more of these children will be provided to you. There will also be the age and suggestions for gifts from the parent in prison. Your part is to shop for the child. It is suggested that about $20-$25 be spent on each child. It may be that a Sunday School class or youth group or other group in your church would “adopt” a child.

If you would like to participate, please contact Sanders Read at 864-441-2317. He will then give you more information.

The gifts need to be delivered by December 6, and they will be distributed at a party for the children in December, to which you will be invited.

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CITY TO HANDLE THURSDAY TRASH PICKUPS THIS WEEK ON WEDNESDAY

Tuesday, November 24

The holiday schedule for trash pick up has been set by the City of Union Sanitation Department. All pickups remain the same, with the exception of Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Pickups that normally occur on Thursday will be collected on Wednesday. The Sanitation Department ask that your carts be rolled out to the curb before 7:00 am Wednesday.

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PALMETTO PROJECT OFFERS ASSISTANCE IN ENROLLING IN HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

Tuesday, November 24

If you need assistance enrolling in Affordable Care Act health insurance, remember that open enrollment for 2016 began on November 1, 2015, and will end on January 31, 2016.

The Palmetto Project, a non-profit organization, is providing free, confidential, in-person assistance to help individuals and families enroll in qualified health plans that meet their medical needs and family budgets. Appointments are available at the Union County Museum, 127 West Main Street, on Tuesdays: December 1, and December 8. To schedule an appointment, please contact Mary Peeler, Certified Navigator with Palmetto Project, at (864) 978-8464.

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AUTOPSY TO BE PERFORMED ON WOMAN FOUND DEAD AT BERRY FARM RD. RESIDENCE

Tuesday, November 24

Saturday around 11:35 pm, Union County Sheriff's deputies responded to 3134 Berry Farm Rd. in reference to the death of Timika S. Land, 36. The coroner was called to the scene and stated that an autopsy would be performed to determine cause of death. There was no predetermination as to the cause of Land's death.


WOMAN'S DEATH RULED HOMICIDE

Monday, November 23

The following is a joint statement from Union County Sheriff David Taylor and Union County Coroner William E. Holcombe:
Following an autopsy conducted early Saturday morning on 61-year old Rebecca W. Tyler, the Union County Coroner’s Office, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) have classified Mrs. Tyler’s manner of death as homicide.
Mrs. Tyler was found at her home 1303 River Road, Union, by co-workers Friday morning (November 20, 2015). Her death appears to have occurred sometime after Mrs. Tyler returned home from work early Thursday morning (November 19, 2015). These agencies are working to determine the circumstances leading to her death. At this time, no other information is available.
WBCU will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest as details become available. If you have any information regarding this case, call the Union County Sheriff's Office at 429-1612 or Union County Crimestoppers at 427-0800.

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SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET AT MONARCH

Monday, November 23

The Union County School Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7 pm at Monarch Elementary School. Following the formalities of opening the meeting, auditors from McGregor and Company will present the fiscal year 2015 audit results. Following that, the board will enter into an executive session for a discussion and legal advice related to the superintendent's evaluation and contract terms. Also discussed in the closed-door session will be an expulsion appeal hearing, and an applicant has requested to speak to the board. After the executive session concludes, the board will be informed of the meeting dates for the year 2016. Cindy Langley will present ACT and End of Course data to the board, and Betsy Trakas, UCHS principal, will discuss Union County High School's academic efforts.

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DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEETING SET

Monday, November 23

The Union County Democratic Party will meet tonight at 5:45 p.m. The location of the meeting is 201 Porter Street, and it is open to the public.

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COUNTY COUNCIL LOOKS TO REstructure EMS

Monday, November 23

The Union County Council met in a special session Thursday night and conducted several items of business. Supervisor Frank Hart gives this report.

 

In other business, they set December 4th as the date for the county Christmas party.

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CHAMBER WELCOMES FRESH SEAFOOD ON MAIN AS ITS NEWEST MEMBER

Monday, November 23

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has welcomed its newest member. The business is called Fresh Seafood on Main, and the store is located at 200 South Gadberry Street, the former location of The Lunchbox and Tubozzz. They opened for the first time on Friday, and their normal business hours will be Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm. Saturday will be from 10 am until 3 pm. Seafood on Main offers daily lunch specials from 10 am until 3 pm. Their telephone number is 441-0029. An official ribbon cutting will be announced soon.

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TRAFFIC VIOLATION LEADS TO CHARGES

Monday, November 23

Early Friday morning, Public Safety Officer Hunter Davis observed a gold in color BMW fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of West South Street and West Main. The vehicle traveled along West Main and turned south on the South Duncan Bypass. Davis initiated a traffic stop and the car turned onto East Hillcrest Avenue and sped up before coming to a stop at Evans Street. Two of the subjects jumped out and ran toward Westview Dr. A third subject got out and stopped at the front of the car. PSO Davis attempted to obtain a visual on the other two suspects but lost sigh t of them. He spoke to the third suspect and identified him as 19-year old Leshaun Jaydee Dunn of Cogdill Plaza. Dunn told the officer that he did not know who the other two people in the car were, saying they had just picked him up on the Mill Hill. As they were waiting on a tow truck, Ronald Carter showed up and claimed that someone had stolen his car from the Family Dollar on Main Street. Officer Davis found on the ground on the passenger side of the vehicle a Newport cigarette box that contained a razor blade and three white rocks believed to be crack cocaine. At that point, Dunn was advised that he was under arrest. The was no other mention of the two suspects that fled the scene in the incident report.

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WOMAN CAUGHT SHOPLIFTING AT WAL-MART

Monday, November 23

Union Public Safety Officer Chris Fleming was dispatched Thursday afternoon to the Union Wal-Mart store, where it was reported that a shoplifting suspect was still in the store. The suspect was described as a blonde female wearing a black tank top whose car was parked in a handicap parking space in front of the greenhouse section of the building. The suspect was observed leaving the store and was detained by the officer and the store’s loss prevention officers, who asked her to step back into the building. The loss prevention officers stated they had observed her placing items into a black and brown bag that she had in her possession. The woman was identified as 33-year old Virginia Louise Phillips of Bishop Road, Union. When questioned, she admitted to the shoplifting and said she was doing it for a friend in need. Phillips was placed on a trespass notice for the Wal-Mart store and transported to the Union County Jail. While there, officer Fleming looked in a green pill bottle that Phillips said belonged to her son. Inside the bottle were found several pills, one of which was identified as a schedule 2 narcotic. She was charged with possession of a schedule 2 narcotic, shoplifting 2nd offense, and driving under suspension.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING SHOOTING IN JONESVILLE

Monday, November 23

The Union County Sheriff’s office is investigating a shooting on Franklin Street in Jonesville Saturday. The call about the incident came in around 11:30 a.m. Reports from the scene said there was a fist fight between two half-brothers when one pulled a gun and shot the other. He then pointed the weapon at a woman and threatened to shoot her. Robert Owens, 25, was arrested by deputies and charged with two counts of attempted murder. 22-year old Darren Jefferies was taken to Spartanburg Medical Center, where his condition was not known.


HUNDREDS ATTEND DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE

Friday, November 20

Hundreds turned out Thursday evening for the Downtown Christmas Open House. The event is staged each year as the official kickoff of the holiday season in Union County. There were a number of groups and individuals entertaining the attendees, as well as vendors selling food items. Everyone seemed to enjoy the open house, including Union Daily Times Reporter Charles Warner.

 

The Downtown Christmas Open House was sponsored by Davis Services, Founders Federal Credit Union, Hospice Care of South Carolina, and Lockhart Power Company.

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SLED INVESTIGATING MONEY MISSING FROM FUNDRAISER

Friday, November 20

Last week, a complainant, Mark Williams, came to the Union County Sheriff's Office and reported an incident that occurred on or about August 8th, 2015. The Union County Medical Service employees sponsored a benefit fundraiser to help Williams and his wife with medical expenses incurred due to a recent medical issue. The idea for the benefit came from William Michael Hawkins, Jr., 41 of Union. The fundraiser called for selling 800 tickets at $5 each, which would yield $4000. The winner of the raffle would receive a Glock handgun, and the monetary proceeds would go to Williams' family. Hawkins stated that he used some of the money for his personal use and turned in approximately $2500 to Robert Martin, who is a supervisor with EMS. The fundraiser was conducted by the employees of EMS and not in the name of Union County. The case has been turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division for further investigation. No arrest has been made.

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ROSE HILL HOSTING VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS EVENT NEXT MONTH

Friday, November 20

Area residents are invited to travel back in time with a Victorian-style Christmas at Rose Hill Plantation. If you have ever wondered what holiday customs were practiced in the late 1800s, you can come see for yourself. The mansion will be decorated, and they will offer special Christmas-themed tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 5, and Sunday, December 6. Father Christmas will will be there on Sunday afternoon.

Many of our familiar Christmas decorations and traditions were started in Victorian times. Christmas was also an important holiday for the enslaved people on the plantation. In addition to the special house tour, visitors can partake of hot drinks and homemade goodies in the plantation kitchen. Warm your hands by the fire and craft your own decoration to take home with you.

Please note that tours begin on the front porch of the mansion on the half hour from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 per person (age 6 and older). Age 5 and under get in free. Tickets may be purchased in the kitchen the day of your visit. No reservations are required. The program is free with a S.C. Park Passport Plus. The mansion will remain decorated for the holiday season throughout the month of December.

For more information, call 427-5966 or email rosehill@scprt.com. Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is located at 2677 Sardis Road, Union.

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THANKSGIVING DAY EVENTS PLANNED IN CARLISLE

Friday, November 20

There is a Thanksgiving Day event coming up Thursday in Carlisle. The Mobley family there will host their 13th-annual Thanksgiving Community Breakfast at the Carlisle Town Hall. They will be serving from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Following the breakfast, the Carlisle Christian Fellowship, located at 4513 King Kennedy Highway, will be serving their annual Thanksgiving dinner from 11 am until 2 pm.

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JOB IMPULSE LOOKS TO HIRE PACKAGERS

Friday, November 20

Job Impulse will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street, on Monday, November 23rd, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. The hiring event will be for packaging positions. The is an entry-level position for packaging associates. The first shift is available from 7 am to 5:30 pm, and the pay is $7.50 to $8.00 per hour. Immediate work is available.


DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON TONIGHT

Thursday, November 19

Union's holiday season officially kicks off tonight with the Christmas Open House in downtown Union. It will take place from 6 until 9 p.m. It is being sponsored by Davis Services, Founders Federal Credit Union, Hospice Care of South Carolina, and Lockhart Power Company. An abundance of entertainment is planned, as well as several food vendors. Other organizations have been invited to participate with their fundraising activities, such as bake sales. For those who can't attend the event, it will be broadcast on WBCU on 1460 AM and 103.5 FM, as well as streamed online at wbcuradio.com and on our Android and iPhone apps.

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CATALANO NAMED ACTING DEAN AT USC UNION

Thursday, November 19

There has been a change in the leadership at USC-Union. In an email release Wednesday morning, news outlets were informed that Dr. John Catalano has been named the new acting dean. The release noted that Dr. Catalano has served with distinction as Dean of USC Lancaster for the past decade. We were informed that Dr. Alice Taylor Colbert and Dr. Steve Lowe have been named to new roles with the USC Palmetto College. Dr. Susan Elkins, Chancellor of the Palmetto College, and Victoria Hollins of Palmetto College HR called a meeting with the dean's council and faculty Wednesday morning to introduce Dr. Catalano and answer questions. There will be more on this story as it develops.

 

 

 

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COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD MEETING TONIGHT

Thursday, November 19

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance will meet this afternoon at 5:30 in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Courthouse. They will be discussing a capital request from the Union County Detention Center. The committee also plans to enter into an executive session to a discuss a contractual matter related to county facilities, a personnel matter, a contractual matter related to economic development, and a contractual matter as it related to workforce development. Following the committee meeting, the full council will meet to consider the recommendations from that committee regarding county facilities and staffing. There will also be a discussion to finalize the county Christmas party and parade.

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BROAD RIVER EMPLOYEES, COBANK JOIN TO DONATE TO UNITED WAY

Thursday, November 19

Broad River Electric Cooperative employees have been donating a portion of their monthly wages to the United Way of the Piedmont for decades, and the cooperative annually matches those dollars. Thanks to one of its cooperative allies, an additional $5000 has been added to this year's gift.

CoBank's "Sharing Success" program matches contributions by their cooperative customers to nonprofit organizations. In 2014, Broad River Electric employees donated $3001.50 to United Way of the Piedmont, an amount matched by the cooperative. CoBank's maximum match is $5000.

"What begins as a few dollars per month out of each employee's paycheck has now grown to over $11,000," explained John Brown, Broad River Electric's United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator. "We're proud to be able to deliver this money to the United Way, an organization that shares our mission to empower the community and improve the quality of lives."

CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.

United Way of the Piedmont is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union counties.

Broad River Electric Cooperative provides services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina, and Cleveland, Polk, and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.

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STATE SENATOR HARVEY PEELER ASKS HALEY TO NOT ALLOW REFUGEES IN THE STATE

Thursday, November 19

SC Senate District 14 Sen. Harvey Peeler has asked Governor Nikki Haley to protect the state from terrorism by not allowing refugees from the Middle East and Africa to be settled here.

In a letter that he said was hand-delivered to Haley Monday morning, Peeler cited the recent terrorist attack in Paris, France, in urging Haley to cancel an agreement that would allow the settlement of refugees in South Carolina, including the Upstate.

"South Carolina’s willingness to accept international refugees has got to stop. The people in Senate District 14 did not like it when they first heard that “refugees” from jihadist strongholds in the Middle East and Africa were being “welcomed” to Spartanburg County. With the bombings and shootings in Paris this weekend, we need to be even more vigilant about protecting the State of South Carolina and her citizens. We do not want potential terrorists in our state."

The terrorist attack in Paris comes amid the ongoing influx of refugees from the predominantly Islamic Middle East and areas of Africa that are also predominantly Islamic. The influx of refugees has raised concerns in Europe and elsewhere that groups like ISIL will have their members pose as refugees in order infiltrate them into France and other countries they are seeking to attack.

On Monday, Haley’s office announced that she’d sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry asking that no Syrian refugees be resettled in South Carolina.

Both City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson and Union County Supervisor Frank Hart were asked Tuesday if there had been any communications concerning the possibility of any of the Syrian refugees migrating into Union County. They both said they had not, but because of the availability of housing here, it is a situation that would have to be watched. Peeler's Senate District 14 is made up of Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and York counties.


CITY RECEIVES GRANT FOR UPGRADES IN AND AROUND PROPOSED PINCKNEY STREET PARK

Wednesday, November 18

Union Mayor Harold Thompson announced at Tuesday's City Council meeting that a $500,000 grant will be received for the upgrading in and around a proposed park on North Pinckney Street, one block off Main Street. The total project will cost $558,700, and the city will have to match the grant with $58,700. The money will be used for parking lot paving, lighting and sidewalks.

The council took up and passed the second reading of an ordinance for the annexation of 103 Medical Sciences Drive. Another ordinance, a 1st reading, passed the council to amend the City of Union zoning code to comply with state law for annexation and public notice. City Attorney Larry Flynn said the ordinance allowed for what he called “some house cleaning” to allow for transparency. A resolution was approved to change the name of Copper Jim Road to Quest Place. Another resolution passed that calls for the establishment of a multi-county business park at 155 Medical Sciences Drive. This is to accommodate a recently announced $16-million expansion at Haemonetics, which has been given the code name “Veruca Salt Project.”

The last business item on the agenda was a request for participation in the WBCU Radio promotion, Operation Stocking Stuffer. This is a project where gifts are collected for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They voted to make a donation of $600.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING STOLEN MEDICATION

Wednesday, November 18

A Union County sheriff's deputy responded to Peach Orchard Rd. and spoke with the complainant in reference to a larceny of medication. The man stated that he left his house for a little while and no one was there. He stated that when he returned home, he noticed that his four medication bottles that he kept underneath his dresser were missing. He said that the medications missing are one bottle containing 120 pills of Norco 10mg, one bottle containing 30+ pills of Opanian 30 mg, one bottle containing 140+ pills of Tramadol 50 mg, and one bottle containing 30+ pills of Xanax 2 mg. Certain medication are targets for thieves who know you have them. This is just a reminder not to talk about your medications where the conversation can be overheard by a potential thief. Always secure you medicine in a locked container if possible.

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GINGERBREAD HOUSE DISPLAY RAISES MONEY FOR MEALS ON WHEELS AND HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Wednesday, November 18

Area residents are invited to come and see the Episcopal Church of the Nativity's Gingerbread House display. For just $1 admission, you can enter the Gingerbread Wonderland and view the houses and choose your favorite one to win the People's Choice Award.  All proceeds will benefit Union County Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.  The times are for this Thursday, Nov. 19, from 4-8 pm, Friday, Nov. 20, from 4-8 pm, and Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 am -12 noon.

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ANIMAL SHELTER NEEDS CEDAR WOOD AND HAY BALES

Wednesday, November 18

Donations of bedding are being sought for the Union County Animal Shelter. Leah Lenox says most of the animals are outside on the ground and have empty plastic kennels that do nothing but keep the rain out. A local tree company has volunteered to bring wood chips to the area, but Lenox says there is a need for cedar wood, in that it is the best and warmest for the animals. Those willing to donate either cedar wood or hay bales should contact her at 980-388-2920.

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RAILROAD TIE REPLACEMENT PROJECT CONTINUES

Wednesday, November 18

Ray Porter with Benchmark Consulting, Inc., a company that represents Norfolk Southern Railroad, says the company is proceeding with the replacement of cross ties at area intersections. The project was running a bit behind Monday, but they were hoping to make that up yesterday.

He says the forecast of rain shouldn't slow the railroad project down. It could impact paving, depending on how much rain we get. The crossings are closed as they get to them, and there will be multiple crossings down at the same time. Today, the railroad will be working at the crossings of Sonoco Rd., Lone Oak Rd., Edgewood Dr., Pineview Rd., Kelly Rd., Barnado Rd., N. Pinckney St., and Old Buffalo St.

Thursday, the schedule calls for them to be working at: Arthur Blvd. Pinckney St. (Wallace Ct.), N. Academy St., N. Mountain St., Main St., S. Church St., Wallace St., Foster St., Union Blvd., Sims Ave., Boyd St., Railroad St., Short St., Shetley Rd. and Mckanic Rd..


SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO HOLD WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE TRAINING ON MONDAY

Tuesday, November 17

The Union County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a Female-Only Self Defense Training on Monday, November 23, from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Union County Recreation Department on Thomas Street. Sheriff David Taylor says the training could come in handy while doing holiday shopping.

 

This class is open to females ages 15 and up.  Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to Kim Bailey at 864-466-3627 or kbailey@countyofunion.com. This is a free training.

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UNION SERVICES SURPRISED WITH CHECK FROM UNION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Tuesday, November 17

Workers and clients at Union Services received a surprise Monday morning when members of the Union Community Foundation showed up for a scheduled tour of the facility. Just prior to the start of the tours, Foundation Chairwoman Lisa Morris presented Union Services Executive Director Amy Smith and Director of Day Services Carol Whitener with a check for $1000. The Community Foundation was founded in 2006 under the leadership of the late Col. Jack Whitener. Their mission statement says the foundation is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the development of a community tradition of philanthropy by assisting individuals, families, corporations, businesses and charitable organizations to establish funds in support of the organizations and entities that will provide for the mental, moral, intellectual and physical improvement, assistance, relief and well-being of the citizens of Union County. Executive Director Amy Smith said the gift was unexpected.

 

The Union Community Foundation makes such grants from time to time to such organizations. Their brochures states that they are your premier local source for comprehensive charitable gift planning. To learn more about establishing a fund, you may contact them at 207 South Herndon Street or call 864-391-1098.

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CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

Tuesday, November 17

The Union City Council will crank up their evening at 6:00 today with a public hearing. The hearing will be to receive public comment on an annexation petition for 103 Medical Sciences Drive. That matter will be voted on during their regular session that begins at 6:30 in the Council Chambers of City Hall. Another ordinance the council will consider will be the second reading to amend the City of Union zoning code to comply with state law for annexation and public notice. There is a resolution that, if passed, will change the name of Copper Jim Road. The resolution calls for the street name to be changed to Quest Place. There is another resolution to establish a multi-county business park at 155 Medical Sciences Drive for the Veruca Salt Project. The council will also discuss participating in WBCU's “Operation Stocking Stuffer” promotion.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE CHARGES BUFFALO MAN WITH CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

Tuesday, November 17

Union County sheriff's deputies are looking into a case of sexual assault of a minor. The case is reported to have occurred November 7th. The officers spoke with the complainant, Doug Gilliam, who is the JROTC instructor at Union County High School. Gilliam told officers that the juvenile student told him she had been raped and wanted to know with whom she needed to speak. Upon speaking to the juvenile, the responding deputy asked her to give a sworn written statement as to the events the night in question. Investigator Roxie Belue took over the case. Ernest J. Favors of 402 Tight Circle in Buffalo is charged with criminal sexual conduct.

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GIBBS CANCER CENTER OFFERS SPECIAL HELP TO MASTECTOMY PATIENTS

Tuesday, November 17

The Gibbs Cancer Center offers special help to women who have had mastectomies. A mastectomy can save the life of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. But once she completes the remainder of her cancer treatment, the changes to her body can damage her self-esteem and emotional well-being. The certified mastectomy fitter (CMF) at That Special Look, located in Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, can help women through these challenges. A mastectomy fitter measures a patient and properly fits, dispenses, and adjusts external breast prostheses, bras, and related supplies. Trained and certified mastectomy fitters are integral to the physical and emotional well-being of patients, providing instruction and training on how to properly use and maintain post-mastectomy devices.

A mastectomy fitting helps a woman with her self-image, along with the straightness of her back,” said Caroline Henson, a CMF. “Female bodies were meant to have breasts. When one or both are removed, it may cause the shoulders to sit in a strange position.”
Henson is the only full-time certified mastectomy fitter in Spartanburg County. She recently completed the rigorous process to earn the certification from the Board for Certification/Accreditation (BOC). The folks at the Gibbs Cancer Center understand that cancer treatment and its side effects affect the way a person looks and feels. A boutique in the cancer center, That Special Look, offers products to make cancer patients feel more comfortable during and after treatment.

For a free consultation to discuss your needs, please call 864-560-7080.


RAIL TIE REPLACEMENT PROJECT BEGINS TODAY; AREA CROSSINGS WILL BE CLOSED

Monday, November 16

Norfolk Southern will be replacing cross ties along their rail line in Union County beginning today. The replacement project will cover about 20 miles. The dates for the work and the locations are approximate. A company representative says the crossings may be closed for one to two days. They say they would like to thank motorists in advance for your understanding and cooperation during the project. Please follow the posted detours or seek alternate routes, and add additional time for your commute. Closings today will take place in the Jonesville area, to include:

- Connector Rd. (Old Spartanburg Hwy.) Jonesville, SC

- Pulpwood Yard Rd. Jonesville, SC

- Little John Rd. Jonesville, SC

- Pine Needle St. Jonesville, SC

The closings Tuesday will also be in the Jonesville area and include:

- Gilead St. Jonesville, SC

- Church St. Jonesville, SC

- Depot St. Jonesville, SC

- Little Field Rd. Jonesville, SC

- Poplar Rd. Jonesville, SC (Both Crossings on Poplar Rd.)

- Peachshed Rd. Jonesville, SC

- Bob Little Rd. Jonesville, SC

Closings Wednesday will affect the Union area and will include:

- Sonoco Rd. Union, SC

- Lone Oak Rd. Union, SC

- Edgewood Dr. Union, SC

- Pineview Rd. Union, SC

- Kelly Rd. Union, SC

- Barnado Rd. Union, SC

- N. Pickney St. Union, SC

- Old Buffalo St. Union, SC

Thursday closings will affect the downtown area and Monarch. Those closings include:

- Arthur Blvd. Union, SC 

- N. Pickney St. Union, SC (Wallace Ct.)

- N. Academy St. Union, SC 

- N. Mountain St. Union, SC

- Main St. Union, SC

- S. Church St. Union, SC

- Wallace St. Union, SC

- Foster St. Union, SC

- Union Blvd. Union, SC

- Sims Ave. Union, SC

- Boyd St. Union, SC

- Railroad St. Union, SC

- Short St. Union, SC

- Shetley Rd. Union, SC

- Mckanic Rd. Union, SC

- Carem Rd. Union, SC

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CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE SET FOR THURSDAY FROM 6-9 P.M. ON MAIN STREET

Monday, November 16

The highly anticipated Christmas Open House in downtown Union will take this Thursday evening from 6 until 9 p.m. on Main Street. Among the activities will be carriage rides down "Memory Lane". Miss Union County Fair Overall, Kylie Gregory, will make an appearance. Santa Claus will be at Wells Fargo, w/ photos by Timeless Treasures. There will be local artists showcased at the Union County Arts Council Gallery, and appearances by Homer with the Miracle League and Frosty. The Friends of the Library Book Sale will take place at the former Green’s Salvage building.

There will be plenty of great music and dancing, too. Heath Walker will be performing at Keepsake Jewelers. The Childers will sing at Arthur State Bank. The Monarch School Chorus will be at the School District office, and Unique Steps Dance Studio and Twist & Shout will perform at the courthouse. Union County School's Orchestras will play at the Union County Museum, while Miss Elaine’s and Pooh’s Playhouse Karate & Dance will showcase their talents at Graham’s Flowers, and The Bullman Trio will be at Graham Cash. The Buffalo Elementary Chorus will perform at the Park Sterling Bank. Food vendors include Big Daddy’s BBQ, Fat Sam’s, the Buffalo Peanut Company, and Davis Peanuts.

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GAMECOCK CLUB ANNOUNCES THEIR ANNUAL TIGER BURN

Monday, November 16

The Union County Gamecock Club will hold their annual Tiger Burn on Tuesday, November 24, at 6pm at USC Union's Truluck Activity Center. This year's event will be headlined by 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers. Other speakers will include former Gamecock baseball player and current radio personality Tommy Moody, and Gamecock writer and Union native Super Fan, Glenn Snyder. The event will be catered by Midway BBQ, and the menu will include: country style steak or sliced pork loin, mashed potatoes, macaroni pie, green beans, and choice of dessert. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children 4-10. Children 3 and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available from the USC Union Bookstore on East Main Street, Faye at Union Family Pharmacy, Studio 201 on Depot St. in Jonesville, call 426-0464, or email uniongamecocks@gmail.com. All money raised by the Union County Gamecock Club goes to support athletics at the University of South Carolina.

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PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCES ARRESTS OF greer couple ACCUSED OF SHOPLIFTING FROM WAL-MART

Monday, November 16

The Union Public Safety reports from Friday morning included a “thank you” note. It said thank you to the media outlets that published the photos of the shoplifting suspects at Wal-Mart. As a result, Union Public Safety was able to identify and arrest the two suspects. Arrested were Bruce Karron Middleton, 38, of Greer, and Adriana Rose Martinez, 32, also of Greer. The shoplifting incident took place August 31st. The two were also implicated in a shoplifting case in the Greenville area.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATEs SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE FIRE

Monday, November 16

Deputy Brad Woods responded Thursday night, at the request of the Southside Fire Department, to the scene of a suspicious vehicle fire at 194 Peacewood Drive. On arrival, the deputy spoke with a woman who said she was awakened by her son telling her the vehicle was on fire. The vehicle was burned on the inside, with the heaviest damage centered around the driver's seat. It was also observed that all four tires were flat with punctures in the side wall, but there was no sign of fire damage there. There was also a long scratch around the car. Due to the damage, the vehicle is considered to be a total loss. Investigators were called to the scene and had the car towed to a sheriff's office facility for processing.


COACH SHELL DULA VISITS UNION ROTARY CLUB

Friday, November 13

The Rotary Club of Union welcomed a special guest Tuesday. Rotarian Mike Cassels introduced former Union High School Coach Shell Dula to the club meeting. In 1990, Coach Dula took the Jackets all the way to state and won the 4A State Football Championship, along with other titles as the coach. In 2004, he was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He resides in Greenwood with his wife, Mary. He is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association.

 

 

 

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CHARLOTTE MAN FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES IN UNION COUNTY

Friday, November 13

Wednesday, Sgt. Jimmy Johnson received a call about a suspicious person at the Dollar General store in Jonesville. He was advised that the suspect was a black male hanging around inside the store and acting in a strange manner. Upon Johnson's arrival, he was advised that the suspect was driving a blue Ford car, and it was parked in front of the store. As the deputy exited his patrol unit, he noticed a blue Ford Crown Victoria with a black male driver, and the individual had cranked the car and was attempting to leave. Johnson stopped the individual and identified him as Martell Kennedy, 31, from Charlotte, NC. Kennedy was very reluctant to offer his ID at first, but then he did admit that he did not have a driver's license. He gave two separate stories about why he was there. During this time, Johnson called for backup before removing Kennedy from the vehicle. Before he could, Kennedy turned the ignition of the car and advised Johnson to keep the ID. Johnson told him that if he attempted to drive away that he would be under arrest. Kennedy proceeded to flee the scene in the Crown Victoria with a paper tag. Johnson pursued Kennedy until the suspect lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of Victory Lane and Sunny Acres Trail in the Pacolet area. There, he struck a state highway sign and proceeded to back the vehicle down a nearby nature trail for approximately 150 yds. This is where he was located and taken into custody. Sgt. Johnson was assisted by Deputies Cudd, West, and Sheriff Taylor.

When the VIN number on the 2005 Crown Victoria was checked through the SC DMV, the vehicle came back stolen out of Richland County. Also, an NCIC check on Martell Kennedy showed that his license to drive in SC was suspended and he has outstanding warrants in Forrest Acres, SC, and Irmo. He is being held on those charges, and he is also being charged by the sheriff's office with driving under suspension, failure to stop for a blue light, resisting arrest, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

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TOWN OF CARLISLE HOLDING FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT NEXT WEEK

Friday, November 13

The Town of Carlisle will be holding a food distribution event Tuesday, November 17th, from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. This is being advertised as an event for the Carlisle community only. Participants are asked to bring a picture identification and plastic bags. A representative with First Choice VIP Senior Care Plus will be on hand to speak with citizens about the program. In addition, a representative from the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse will also be there. Volunteers are needed for the event, and you can obtain more information by calling 427-1505.

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BELFLEX RECRUITING FORKLIFT DRIVERS NEXT WEdnesday

Friday, November 13

Belflex will hold a recruitment event next Wednesday, November 18th, from 9:00am until 12:00pm at the Spartanburg SC Works office, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking to hire forklift drivers at a pay rate of $10 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required, as well as 1 year of experience. Several shifts are available.


CHILDREN, ADULTS LINE MAIN STREET TO SALUTE VETERANS

Thursday, November 12

Throngs of school children crowded Union's Main Street Wednesday morning to take in the annual Veterans Day Parade. The parade lineup included Union elected officials and law enforcement, the Union County High School JROTC and drill team, National Guard vehicles, the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department Rifle and Drill Team, and the Union County High School Marching Band. A group of enthusiastic group of school kids were asked:

 

Following the parade, a Veteran's Day program was held at the intersection of Main and Mountain streets. The program included pre-service music by the Union County High School Chorus and recognition of the the Gold Star Mothers and Blue Star Families. Recognition of a Veteran of the Year and a guest speaker was not part of the program this year. Instead, the committee chose to honor all Union County World War II veterans, and the Spartanburg Sherriff's Office Honor Guard performed a salute to a fallen soldier. A 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" concluded the program.

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BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC CHARITIES DONATES TO FLOOD RELIEF

Thursday, November 12

The Broad River Electric Charities Board chose South Carolina flood victims as the beneficiaries of $20,000 in Operation Round Up funds. The American Red Cross and the South Carolina Cooperatives Care Foundation each received $10,000 from Broad River Electric members who participate in the Operation Round Up program. 

All of the money will go towards helping victims of last month’s historic floods in the Midlands and Coastal regions of South Carolina. 

"Whether you live in the affected area or have a loved one that does, we are all impacted by the floods," said Barbara Whitney, chair of the Charities Board. "When a historic tragedy like that happens, you want to help in any way you can."

Tax-deductible donations to aid South Carolina flood victims can be sent to: 

S.C. Cooperatives Care Foundation, Attn: Chris Koon, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC, 29033-3311.

American Red Cross, http://www.redcross.org/local/sc/south-carolina-flooding

Operation Round Up funds accumulate when the monthly balance of participating members' accounts are rounded up to the nearest dollar. That extra change goes to the benevolent fund that assists individuals, organizations, and goodwill missions in and around Broad River’s service area. Board members representing the cooperative’s territories select the recipients of the funds each quarter.

Broad River Electric Cooperative is one of 20, not-for-profit, member-owned electric co-ops in South Carolina. Headquartered in Gaffney, SC, the distribution utility serves Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union, and Newberry counties in South Carolina and portions of Cleveland, Polk, and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.

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SPARTANBURG REGIONAL FOUNDATION RAISING MONEY FOR A NEW CANCER CENTER IN GREER

Thursday, November 12

The Upstate has relied on Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute since 1999 for personalized medicine and cancer care. Now, Gibbs is ready to take the next step and bring cancer care to a new level. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System announced the investment of $65 million into a new cancer center in Greer. With a $15 million capital campaign co-chaired by Marsha Gibbs, Lindsay Webster, and Drs. Jay Bearden and Julian Josey through the Spartanburg Regional Foundation, efforts are well underway towards a world-class cancer center that is projected to become a destination center for cancer care.

To date, $9.5 million has already been raised through this campaign effort, which is the largest in the Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s history. Four local families have made seven-figure gifts, accounting for $7 million of the total $9.5 million. Construction of the 198,000 square-foot, seven-story facility is scheduled to begin early 2016, with a completion date of mid-2018.

Anyone can make a gift to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation to support this exciting initiative. Visit RegionalFoundation.com or call 864-560-6727 to make a gift today.


JONESVILLE RESIDENTS COME OUT FOR COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING

Wednesday, November 11

A healthy crowd gathered Tuesday evening at the Jonesville Town Hall for the opportunity of airing their concerns and making comments to the Union County Council. Supervisor Frank Hart established the policy of taking the meetings on the road to the various communities shortly after his installation into the office. The matters brought up for discussion were not particularly surprising, in that many wanted answers about the fees showing up on the property tax bills. To have enough money to fund the Emergency Medical Service operations, a $25 fee was set for residential properties and $50 for commercial property. Although well-publicized at the time of implementation, the outcry did not occur until tax notices were mailed. Hart took great pains to explain the reason for the fees. Mentioned as a possibility to alleviate it in the future is a one-cent local option sales tax. A referendum would be required to get the one-cent sales tax, but it would generate approximately $1.25 million annually, more than enough to remove the current fees and finance EMS. Hart likes the idea of the local option tax but said he did not believe it would pass. A poll was taken by a show of hands of the people attending the meeting, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the tax. It would be more than a year before the question could appear on a ballot.

Jonesville Mayor Ernest Moore praised the idea of having the county council meeting in the communities.

 

In actual council action, a unanimous vote gave approval to retaining a firm named Transmarter to conduct a feasibility study to determine if there is sufficient need for public transportation here. The results of that study should be in by next May.

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SIMS HONORS VETERANS AT SPECIAL PROGRAM

Wednesday, November 11

The students and faculty of Sims Middle School presented a spectacular Veterans Day program Tuesday. The program included the presentation of the colors by the Union County High School JROTC, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the Sims 8th-grade band and orchestra. Veterans and their service branches were recognized, with the band and orchestra performing the marches of the armed forces. The guest speaker for the program was retired Command Sgt. Major Doug Gilliam. During his remarks, Gilliam thanked those attending, “for what you have provided for us." Sims Principal Mickey Connolly said:

 

The JROTC drill team performed, and the 6th-grade Sims Singers gave their beautiful rendition of “Song for the Unsung Hero.”

The program concluded with "Taps".

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AMERICAN LEGION HONORS VETERANS WITH BANQUET

Wednesday, November 11

In addition to all the other Veterans Day activities today, Union's American Legion Post 22 will have a banquet tonight to celebrate the event. The banquet takes the place of their regular monthly meeting. It will get underway at 6:00 P.M. in the Veterans Memorial Lodge in Foster Park in Union. The banquet will offer catered food, live music, and appropriate ceremonies. The post will also sponsor a “Chinese auction” as a fundraiser. The banquet will be free to all current Post 22 members and their spouses, and delinquent members will be able to pay to update their memberships at the door. Other guests may pay a fee of $10 at the door in order to attend this unique event.

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STATE SENATOR HARVEY PEELER TO INTRODUCE ALL AMERICAN FLAG ACT

Wednesday, November 11

SC Senate District 14 Senator Harvey Peeler plans to honor America’s veterans by introducing legislation that, if passed, will require the state of South Carolina to purchase American flags made in America. In a statement announcing his plans, Peeler stated that this Wednesday is November 11, Veterans Day, a day designated by Congress to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

I, too, want to take this opportunity to thank our veterans for their service and to honor our country,” Peeler said.

Peeler said that he will introduce the All American Flag Act, which requires the state of South Carolina to purchase flags made in the United States. The legislation includes the purchase of both the United States flag and the South Carolina state flag. The flags shall be manufactured in the United States from articles, materials, and supplies entirely grown, produced, and manufactured in the United States. In announcing his plans, Peeler pointed out that in 2014, approximately 94% of American flags were made in China.

I am disturbed that we are using products produced in other countries to show our patriotism and honor our veterans,” Peeler said.

In June 2015, Florida joined several other states in enacting a similar law. Since 2014, the United States Department of Defense requires all flags purchased by the US military to be wholly sourced from the United States.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION APPROVING LOW-INTEREST DISASTER LOANS IN SC

Wednesday, November 11

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $50 million in low-interest disaster loans for 1,707 businesses and residents in South Carolina affected by the severe storms and flooding on Oct. 1-23, 2015.

The SBA is committed to providing the financial support South Carolina businesses and individuals need as they rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating floods,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. She continued, “We have a lot of work ahead of us in the days, weeks and months to follow, but SBA will be here as long as it takes to help South Carolina recover and rebuild.”

SBA disaster loans help make recovery more affordable with rates as low as 4% for businesses, 2.625% for nonprofit organizations, and 1.875% for homeowners and renters. Survivors are encouraged to submit their applications before the deadline to be considered for financial assistance.

Additional details on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 4, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 5, 2016. Union County was included as one of the contiguous counties eligible for the loans.


SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO INVESTIGATE ORIGIN OF ANONYMOUS LETTER

Tuesday, November 10

The meeting of the Union County School Board of Trustees Monday night was fairly routine, with the exception of an agenda item where a board member called for a discussion of an anonymous letter. Board member Manning Jeter called for that discussion concerning the reportedly 15-page letter that was circulated to the trustees about the same time that District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall was up for her annual evaluation. The letter reportedly was detailed and very complimentary of the superintendent. Jeter said he wanted a legal team from the outside to investigate and determine where the letter came from. He put that in the form of a motion, which passed with two dissenting votes. We caught up with Jeter following the meeting and asked him just what it was about the letter that bothered him.

 

It was suggested that the Union County High School IT department might be equipped to do the research on the matter, but it was pointed out that legal action may be necessary to gain the information from Google. Whether the investigation will take place internally or by an outside source was not made entirely clear.

In other action, the board elected a new chairperson and vice-chairperson for the coming year. Jane Hammett was named chairperson, and the former chair, Dr. Wanda All, was was elected the vice-chairperson.

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COUNTY COUNCIL HAS BUSY SCHEDULE AT MEETING IN JONESVILLE

Tuesday, November 10

The Union County Council has a busy afternoon beginning at 5:15 at the Jonesville Town Hall. The council periodically will have their monthly meeting in the various municipalities around the county. They will start with a public hearing concerning a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes ordinance that will provide certain infrastructure tax credits and the placement of the project in a joint county industrial park.

At 5:30, the session will be an open forum for public comments, and at 6:00, the regular monthly meeting will convene.

The agenda lists a discussion for a Transit Feasibility Study contract with Transmarter and Associates. The proposal request states the county is seeking a qualified consulting firm to develop a transit feasibility study to determine the viability of public transit here.

Other matters listed includes a discussion concerning improvements to county facilities and consideration of appointments to the Union County Building Code Board of Appeals and the Union County Planning Commission.

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QUESTIONS ARISE ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY FEE ON PROPERTY TAX BILLS

Tuesday, November 10

Property tax notices have been going out, and Union County Supervisor Frank Hart says his telephone has been ringing. The calls have been concerning a public safety fee that has been added to the tax bill, which reflects a $25 charge for residential property and a $50 charge for commercial property. Hart explains what that fee is all about.

 

One possibility mentioned as a possibility to alleviate the fee would be a local option sales tax, which would have to be approved by a referendum during a general election.

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GAULT GIVES REPORT ON GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

Tuesday, November 10

Court was in session last week, and Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault gave this report.

 

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WORLD WAR TWO VETERANS TO BE HONORED at veterans day observance

Tuesday, November 10

Veteran's Day observances will take place in Union tomorrow, starting with a parade at 10:30 a.m. That will be followed by a program beginning at 11:00 at the intersection of Main and Mountain streets. The honorees for this year's event will be the attending World War II veterans.


SCHOOL BOARD TO ELECT OFFICERS AT TONIGHT'S MEETING

Monday, November 9

The Union County School District Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet tonight. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. The first order of business for the board to take action will be the election of officers. As explained in the published agenda, board policy states that the board elects officers at its organizational meeting the second Monday in November. The superintendent will preside and act as the temporary chairman until such time as a chairman is elected. The officers are elected by a majority vote of the board. The board officers consist of a chairman, vice-chairman, and other officers as the board feels necessary. They will serve one-year terms, and current officers can be reelected. Nominees will not leave the room during the election process. A motion and second are not needed to close the nomination process; however, it is allowable.

Another matter to be taken up by the board is a request from a board member to discuss an anonymous letter. The report will be given on the top 20% ACT performance. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will provide an update on the tennis courts. There are several matters listed for an executive session. The agenda states that a citizen has requested to speak about a concern at Union County High School. There will be a discussion and legal advice related to the superintendent's evaluation and contract terms, two legal updates, and one hiring discussion. Following the executive session, Jeff Stribble will present the personnel report.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVOLVED IN EFFORT TO GET SHOES TO KIDS IN NEED

Monday, November 9

The Union County Sheriff's Office and DJJ have combined forces to provide shoes for school children that need them. Union County Sheriff's Deputy Jimmy Johnson explained the purpose.

 

There are collection boxes for your donations of gently used shoes of any kind. They are located here at WBCU, the Union County Sheriff's Office, DJJ, and Union Public Safety. Last year, over 300 pairs of shoes were donated.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER AFTER SHOOTING AT VEHICLE

Monday, November 9

An arrest has been made in a case that we reported on Friday.

A sheriff's deputy spoke with a complainant last Wednesday, Larry Lawson, who said that his grandson, Christian Lawson, called saying that two vehicles were following him home. Larry Lawson went on to say that when his grandson pulled into the driveway, the two vehicles stopped several driveways away. Lawson reported that he did pull his sidearm, but it misfired.

While at that address, the deputy was informed that a second party had called stating that Christian Lawson had shot the tire on his vehicle. The deputy changed locations to 117 Francis Avenue and spoke with Dereck Gensel, Jr. Gensel did say he followed Christian Lawson to Pinewood Acres, but he stopped before getting to the residence. He said while turning around, Christian pulled out a rifle and fired in the direction of his vehicle. He said he did not realize his tire had been hit before arriving at Francis Avenue. Both Lawsons were advised of their Miranda rights, and the rifle was taken as evidence. As a result, David Christian Lawson, 17, has been charged with attempted murder, discharging a firearm, and malicious damage. Lawson was taken to the Union County Jail.

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AUTUMN RAINS HURTING FARMERS

Monday, November 9

Rain is generally considered a good thing, but a month after the historic rain and floods in South Carolina, farmers remain washed out of fields during a critical period for harvesting and winter planting.

Rainfall topped two inches in parts of the Upstate, Midlands and Pee Dee just last week, according to the S.C. Climatology Office, and more rain is coming. On Wednesday, flood warnings from the National Weather Service were in effect in parts of the Midlands, Lowcountry and Pee Dee regions. Forecasts through the weekend showed rain likely throughout much of South Carolina.

The bottom line is you can’t get in a field right now. If you get off the pavement, you’re in trouble,” said Clemson University Extension agent Charles Davis.

Forecast rain will further delay harvesting that is already behind schedule and likely prevent farmers from planting winter wheat as well, Davis said. Winter wheat production was valued at $74 million in 2012, according to the latest data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Pending rains are concerning to late-season soybeans that will be maturing this month, said Extension agent David DeWitt. Those crops will need to be harvested quickly, weather permitting, so they are not susceptible to stress from mold and disease.

Financial losses will cut into farmers’ ability to invest in next year’s crop with fertilizer and pesticide, he said.

Additionally, flood waters likely stripped soils of nutrients needed to feed next year’s crops. Farmers should collect soil samples when fields dry and submit them to their local extension offices to be analyzed for nutrient content.

I will never say it can’t get any worse. After this summer’s drought, I think a lot of us said that,” she said. “We were wrong.”

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AUTOMATION SERVICES RECRUITING WAREHOUSE WORKERS IN SPARTANBURG TOMORROW

Monday, November 9

Automation Services, Inc. will hold a recruitment event tomorrow, November 10, from 9:00am until 12:00 noon at 364 South Church Street in Spartanburg. They will be hiring warehouse workers. Multiple shifts are available, and the pay is $8-$8.25 per hour. Order picker trainees are needed at a pay rate of $9.50 per hour. Industrial technicians are needed for Saturdays 7pm - 7am or Sundays 7am – 7pm. The pay is $10 per hour.


MAN SHOOTS TIRE OF VEHICLE THAT FOLLOWED HIM HOME

Friday, November 6

We have a number of crime reports for you today.

Union County Sheriff's Deputy Elizabeth Bishop was dispatched Wednesday to 120 Pinewood Acres in reference to a disturbance. There, she spoke with the complainant, Larry Lawson, who stated that he had received a call from his grandson, Christian Lawson, that two vehicles were following him on his way home from school. Lawson went on to say that when his grandson pulled into the driveway, the two vehicles stopped several driveways before getting to his. Lawson reported that he did pull his sidearm, but it misfired.

While at that address, Deputy Bishop was informed by dispatch that a second party had called stating that Christian Lawson had shot the tire on his vehicle. The deputy changed locations to 117 Francis Avenue and spoke with Dereck Gensel, Jr. Gensel did say he followed Christian Lawson to Pinewood Acres, but he stopped before getting to the residence. He said while turning around, Christian pulled out a rifle and fired in the direction of his vehicle. He said he did not realize his tire had been hit before arriving at Francis Avenue. Both Lawsons were advised of their Miranda rights, and the rifle was taken as evidence.

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CARLISLE WOMAN REPORTS SEVERAL SHOTS FIRED NEAR HER HOUSE

Friday, November 6

In another story about shots being fired, Wednesday around 2:20 p.m., a Carlisle woman reported that an unknown person shot approximately 7 times in the vicinity of her residence, striking her home once. She said while in her residence, she heard two shots that sounded fairly close to her home. Then about 3 minutes later, she heard four or five additional shots, one of which struck her front door. At that point, the woman said she laid down in the floor. She further said she did not look outside and does not have any suspect. The bullet fragment was not retrievable. Damage to the siding is estimated to be $100.

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TWO ARRESTED ON OUTSTANDING WARRANTS, ADDITIONAL DRUG CHARGES

Friday, November 6

A Crime Stoppers tip stated that Cody Ingle and Erica Brown were at a home on the Gaffney Highway, and it was determined that both had active warrants. Deputies went to 628 Gaffney Highway in Jonesville, which is the residence of Paul Mitchell. Upon knocking on the door, deputies noticed someone looking through the window blinds. After knocking again, a male voice responded, asking who was at the door. The officers identified themselves, and they were informed that the front door would not open and they needed to go to the back. Mitchell admitted to Ingle and Brown being at the residence. When the deputies entered, they found Brown coming out of a bathroom and placed her under arrest.

Ingle was located hiding under a bed and was also placed under arrest. During a search of the bedroom, the officers found a 380 hellcat pistol, a pack of Newport cigarettes, and 2 bags containing a clear crystal-like substance, along with several empty smaller bags and a set of digital scales. A tote bag and back pack was located, which Brown claimed as hers. Inside the backpack, a pill bottle was found containing 31 round yellow pills that Brown identified as muscle relaxers that she got from a friend. Also inside the bottle were three rolling papers and several more small bags. All the items were taken as evidence, and a warrant will be sought on Cody Ingle for distribution of meth and possession with intent to distribute within ½ mile of a school. Erica Brown is facing the same charges, along with possession of prescription drugs.

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WOMAN CALLS POLICE ON HER GRANDSON AFTER HE PULLS KNIFE

Friday, November 6

The City of Union Public Safety Department had an incident report that stated that an Arthur Street woman had called and said that her grandson, Andrey Hall, Jr., 23, began cursing her and calling out her name because she told him to get out of her refrigerator. She said she told him to leave her residence, and he refused. She said he came back a second time and did the same thing. At that point, she said Hall began asking for his food stamp card. She gave it to him, and he began cursing her again. At that point, she said Hall pulled out a knife on her juvenile grandson. That was when she called 911. Hall is being charged with aggravated assault.


WORKKEYS TEST TO BE ADMINISTERED SIX TIMES IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS

Thursday, November 5

There are some events coming up starting today that should be of interest to many Union County residents who may be job hunting. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is promoting an opportunity to take a nationally recognized test that shows you are ready and qualified to work. It is called the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate. The certification is earned by taking a test called WorkKeys. The test measures applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information. These three subjects help identify your work skills for employers, and many companies are requiring this for employment.

Antonio Johnson of the Department of Employment and Workforce explains the program.

 

The testing will be conducted on Thursdays at the Union County Technology Center. On November 5, 19, and December 10, the test will be given at 1:00 p.m., and on November 12, December 3, and 17, it will take place at 4:30 p.m. Referral to attend the event can be obtained from the SC Works office or the Union County Carnegie Library.

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AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 INVITES VETERANS TO ITS ANNUAL BANQUET

Thursday, November 5

Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Instead of a regular monthly meeting, American Legion Post 22 will have a banquet to celebrate the occasion. It will start at 6:00 P.M. in the Veterans Memorial Lodge at Veterans Memorial Park in Union. The banquet will offer catered food, live music, and appropriate ceremonies. The post will also sponsor a “Chinese auction” as a fundraiser. The banquet will be free to all current Post 22 members and their spouses, and delinquent members will be able to pay to update their memberships at the door. Other guests may pay a fee of $10 at the door in order to attend this unique event.

The post also hopes that members will participate in as many other Veterans Day events that are open to all veterans as possible. This would include the veterans breakfast at Augsburg Lutheran Church at 8:30 A.M., the Veterans Day parade starting at 10:30 a.m., and the Veterans Day ceremony at the Union Main Street War Memorial at 11:00 A.M.

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TWO CHARGED WITH ASSAULT AND BATTERY

Thursday, November 5

Back on October 25th, Union Public Safety Officer Douglas Spencer answered a call to 175 Industrial Park Rd. and upon arrival spoke with a man there. The man told the officer that he was getting in his car when two black males approached him. He said their names were Scott Brannon and Tuttie, later identified as Gerald Hughes. He said Hughes told him to give him $2 or get beat up. He said he gave Hughes the money out of fear. According to the incident report, someone named AJ told him to go get his money. He said when he attempted to do so, Hughes punched him in the nose, causing it to bleed. Scott Brannon is reported to have held the man down while Hughes continued to punch him. A 13-year old juvenile in the car corroborated the story. The initial call was given out as strong-arm robbery, but after speaking with the victim it became an assault and battery, and Hughes and Brannon were charged with that offense.

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SPARTANBURG'S HEART CENTER HONORED

Thursday, November 5

Spartanburg Medical Center (SMC) is one of 319 hospitals in the United States to be awarded the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2015. The award recognizes SMC for excellent cardiovascular care.

The award recognizes SMC’s commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients. SMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating patients to the level of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

The Heart Center at Spartanburg Medical Center was ranked No. 1 in the state for overall heart care by Healthgrades in 2013 and 2014, and recently received the Surgery Excellence Award by Healthgrades in 2015.
This is the second consecutive year for SMC to receive the GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award.

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SC RANKS HIGH ON LIST OF "FATTEST STATES"

Thursday, November 5

With the holidays coming up, no one likes to hear a story about people being overweight, but we have one anyway. A recent survey by WalletHub shows South Carolinians to be among the fattest in the nation. Here is the way that survey stacks up. South Carolina ranks:

  • 10th – % of Adults Who Are Obese

  • 8th – % of Children Who Are Overweight

  • 2nd – % of Children Who Are Obese

  • 18th – % of Residents Who Are Physically Inactive

  • 4th – % of Residents with High Cholesterol

  • 5th – % of Adults Eating Less than 1 Serving of Fruits/Vegetables per Day

  • 7th – % of Residents with Diabetes

  • 3rd – % of Residents with Hypertension

Now don't shoot the messenger, but it is information you may want to keep in mind while you are preparing (and eating) your Thanksgiving dinner.


PARADE, CEREMONY TO HIGHLIGHT ANNUAL VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, November 4

Veterans Day is just a week away, and plans have been made for the annual observance. As always, it will be held Wednesday, November 11th, with the parade beginning at 10:30 a.m. Union County Veterans Affairs Officer Cindy Fore says the program will be a little different this year.

 

Following the parade, the program will begin at 11:00, which commemorates the signing of the armistice ending World War I on November 11th, 1918, at 11 o'clock. In 1954, Armistice Day was incorporated in Veterans Day. A special feature of the program will be an exhibition by the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department Rifle Team performing a Tribute to a Fallen Soldier.

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HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW CHRISTMAS EVENT

Wednesday, November 4

Halloween just wrapped up, but the coming holiday season is making its presence known as activities are being planned. Coming up will be the Union County Health Care Foundation's Christmas Gala.

Greta Bailey with the Health Care Foundation tell us about what is going to happen.

 

The foundation often conducts fundraising activities to benefit the Union Medical Center.

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PUBLIC SAFETY SEEKS HELP IN IDENTIFYING SHOPLIFTERS

Wednesday, November 4

The Union Public Safety Department is seeking the public's help in identifying two shoplifting suspects that took more that $1200 worth of merchandise from the Union Wal-Mart. An incident report states says two suspects, a male and a female, entered the store at 9:00 p.m. and exited at 9:10 p.m. on October 29th. Using a shopping cart, they collected a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, a deep fryer, five JBL Bluetooth speakers, three external hard drives, two TB port HDs, a router and a KNB org 35. The total value of all the items combined is $1,267.

The suspects that are in the photos also shoplifted from the Union Wal-Mart on August 31, 2015. According to the asset protection manager at the Union Wal-Mart, these same two suspects have shoplifted twice at the Wal-Mart on Woodruff Road in Greenville. Anyone with information concerning the identity of the suspects is asked to contact Investigator Mark Gregory at 864-429-1713, extension 113, or email  magregory@cityofunion.org.

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MAN GRABS CASH FROM FOOD MART CASHIER

Wednesday, November 4

A black male entered the D&D Food Mart at 803 South Pinckney Street Monday night around 9:30 and got a Black and Mild cigar and some candy. He told the clerk, Cassidy Austin, that all he had was a $100 bill. As she started to make change, the suspect told her to wait because he had the correct change in his car. Before she could put the store money in the cash register, he reached over, grabbed it, and ran from the store. He got into a silver Malibu and left, traveling north on South Church Street. Austin attempted to get the tag number but couldn't because it was dark and a piece of plastic covered the tag. The store owner came in and looked at the video surveillance, which showed the black male but was not able to identify him.

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TWO CASES OF UTILITY THEFT REPORTED

Wednesday, November 4

We have two cases of utility theft to tell you about. One case goes back to August 20th when power at 815 Linersville Road was turned off. On August 20th, the usage of power was detected and the meter was removed. A City of Union utility employee notified the sheriff's office that a meter had been removed from 608 Toney Road and was placed in the meter box on Linersville Road. The investigating deputy spoke with the resident, Adam Liner, who said that his roommate, Jamie Brown, told him that he had the power turned back on and he was unaware that the meter had been stolen. Liner told the officer that he had not seen or heard from Brown since he was arrested. After speaking with the judge about this incident, the officer charged Jamie Brown for the theft of the meter from Toney Road and the theft of electricity from the Linersville Road location.

In another case that goes back to September 23rd, A city employee told police that the power meter at 120 Westville Road had been bypassed to gain electricity. He said the power had been turned off on August 15th, and $61.61 worth of electricity and $20.63 worth of water had been used since the termination of the service. The report stated that a warrant would be sought from the magistrate concerning the case.


UNITED WAY PLANS FOCUS GROUPS ON COMMUNITY FINANCIAL STABILITY

Tuesday, November 3

Two events are planned this week by the United Way of the Piedmont that are hoped to help the local community become more financially stable.

Coming up Wednesday, the United Way of the Piedmont will hold two focus groups — one for members of the community and another for local service providers to discuss ways to become more financially stable. Then, two events will be held at the Union County Advanced Technology Center, located at 1401 Furman L. Fendley Hwy., Union.

The first focus group for local service providers will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Wednesday. United Way of the Piedmont is asking local service providers to come and discuss challenges they face when trying to help the community become more financially stable. Those who live or work in Union County, work with individuals and families who struggle to make ends meet each month, want to see more opportunities to help people thrive in the community, and are passionate about making the community more financially stable are encouraged to attend.

At 6:30 p.m. the same day, there will be a focus group for members of the community. Residents are being asked to discuss barriers faced when trying to become more financially stable, and the participants will be entered in a raffle to win a $50 Visa gift card.

Persons interested in being a part of these discussions should contact the United Way of the Piedmont at (864) 582-7556, or visit their website at www.uwpiedmont.org.

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PRESIDENT OF UNITED WAY OF THE PIEDMONT ANNOUNCES HIS RESIGNATION

Tuesday, November 3

The Chairman of United Way of the Piedmont announced today that President and CEO Doug Eberhart has tendered his resignation, effective late November. Eberhart was named CEO and President of the United Way of the Piedmont and began his tenure in Spartanburg in September 2014.

United Way Board Chair Alex Evins said retired Milliken executive Richard Dillard will oversee the organization as interim president, working with Eberhart to ensure a smooth transition.

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CIVITAN CLUB INSTALLS NEW OFFICERS AND GIVES YEARLY AWARDS

Tuesday, November 3

The Union Civitan Club held their annual installation of officers on October 29.  Mr. Bill Tolleson, South Carolina Civitan Governor, challenged the new officers for 2015 – 2016 with the “We Are The Key Challenge.”

Mrs. Amy Austin was named Officer of the Year; Mrs. Barbara Rippy was named Civitan of the Year; Mrs. Becky Cobb, Treasurer, accepted the award for Project of the Year (Union Miracle League); and Ms. Donna McMurray, Secretary, accepted the award for Fundraiser of the Year (Pancake Day).

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CLEMSON CLUB ANNOUNCES ITS ANNUAL CHICKEN ROAST

Tuesday, November 3

The Union County Clemson Club will host its annual Chicken Roast on Monday, November 23, at Veterans Memorial Lodge. Doors will open at 5:00 PM, with a dinner catered by Park Lane Seafood being served at 6:00. The program will begin after dinner and will feature keynote speakers Mickey Plyler, morning show host on WCCP 105.5 The Roar, as well as former Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather. Tickets for the event are $17 for adult club members and $10 children ages 5-11, with children four and under admitted free. Non-members can purchase a ticket for $22, and anyone who decides to join the club at the meeting will receive a refund for the difference in ticket price.

The Chicken Roast is one of several events the Union County Clemson Club hosts each year. Annual membership in the Union County Clemson Club is $25 per family. The goal of the Clemson Club is to award academic scholarships to deserving students graduating from Union County High School and Union Christian Day School who will be attending Clemson. For more information about the club or the event, contact club president Virgil Childers at (864) 251-0094.

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COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED THURSDAY

Tuesday, November 3

The monthly community prayer meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, November 5, at the USC-U gazebo. Citizens are asked to please come and join with fellow citizens of Union County, and with others in other places, as they pray for our country, our community, our state, our world, and for the Church. Please pray for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. All are welcome. Organizers say if you can't make it to the gazebo, please take time for special prayer during the day.

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TRAFFIC CHECKPOINT LEADS TO SIMPLE POSSESSION CHARGE

Tuesday, November 3

Sunday around 2:00 a.m., Sgt. Roger Hill was assisting the Highway Patrol on a traffic stop on Buffalo-West Springs Highway. As a driver's license check was conducted on Shareika Monique Land, 23, of Spartanburg, Sgt. Hill advised that he could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He asked Land if there were any illegal narcotics in the car, and she said no. She did say she had smoked a blunt earlier. Hill determined the odor was too strong for the time frame the driver had given, and consent was obtained to search the vehicle. During that search, a green Crown Royal bag was found containing approximately 9.75 grams of a green plant material. This was seized and would be tested. The driver was ticketed for the crime of simple possession of marijuana.


TOWN OF LOCKHART READY FOR CRIME WATCH GROUP

Monday, November 2

An organizational meeting for the formation of a Crime Watch group was held Tuesday as a part of the regular monthly meeting of the Lockhart Town Council. Sheriff David Taylor and Master Sgt. Wendy Childers were on hand to explain the program and answer questions. The idea of the program was met with enthusiasm by the overflow audience. So what is the next move? Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe has a plan.

 

CrimeWatch USA, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that provides an easy-to-use, secure, yet incredibly powerful tool for law enforcement, emergency management and community program leaders. It assures neighborhood protection and community involvement through quick communications, widespread dissemination of information, and community interaction.

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TWO LOCAL TEACHERS FINISH NEW YORK CITY MARATHON

Monday, November 2

Two local school teachers were in New York Sunday participating in the annual New York City Marathon. Buffalo Elementary School teachers Melissa Mitchell and Jennifer Jansen were in the event that was aired live on ESPN2. Jansen finished the race in 4:35:15, while Mitchell's time was slightly faster at 4:33:34.

The New York City Marathon has grown from a Central Park race with 55 finishers to the world’s biggest and most popular marathon, with 50,530 finishers in 2014.

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1, and the total event budget was $1,000.

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ROTARY CLUB WELCOMES FREEDOM AND HOPE FOUNDATION MEMBERS

Monday, November 2

Union Rotarians welcomed Gerald Moore and Terry Cotney to the club meeting this past Tuesday. Cotney is the director of "Freedom and Hope Foundation--Honoring Fallen Heroes" based out of Prosperity, SC. The foundation is a nonprofit benefitting wounded warriors and children with life-threatening diseases. It provides hunting and fishing activities as recreational therapy. The foundation was part of an Emmy-winning report featured on WIS News 10. All donations are graciously accepted and appreciated. For more information, please contact Terry Cotney at scubeco@bellsouth.net, call 803-271-1861, or visit their website at www.freedomandhopefoundation.com.

 

 

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PUBLIC SAFETY RESPONDS TO SHOOTING INCIDENT

Monday, November 2

This past Thursday, Union Public Safety officers were dispatched to the area of South Church Street and South Pinckney Street to a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers found no one in the area. They did speak to a woman who told them that one of the black males ran down East Henrietta Street wearing a camo jacket and pajama bottoms. The other black male ran down West Henrietta Street wearing a blue jacket and khaki pants. Officers checked the traffic island at that area and found one full round bullet and one round that had been fired. Investigator Jerome Beatty was on the scene and view video surveillance footage from a nearby store. At this point, officers have neither a suspect or a victim.

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GIBBS CANCER CENTER FIRST IN COUNTRY TO USE NEW CYBERKNIFE SYSTEM

Monday, November 2

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is the first in the United States to treat cancer patients using the CyberKnife® M6™ with  the next-generation InCise™ Multileaf Collimation System.

The CyberKnife is a noninvasive radiation treatment device which uses advanced imaging and robotics to accurately treat tumors. 

InCise uses tiny radiation-blocking “fingers”, or ”leaves”, which reduce the dose to surrounding healthy tissue while maintaining an effective dose to the target tissue.  Using this technology, treatment times are cut in half, dose to patients’ vital organs is reduced, and the CyberKnife is capable of treater larger lesions. 

"This community now has something else in which to pride ourselves,” said David Church, Ph.D., Vice President of Oncology and Support Services for Gibbs. “The InCise system is a great example of how our physicians and staff are leading the nation in the advancement of cancer care."

In additional to treating brain and lung lesions, Gibbs Cancer Center currently uses the CyberKnife to provide low- and  medium-risk prostate cancer patients with a fast, non-invasive, and accurate treatment option. It delivers a complete treatment in 5 treatments instead of the traditional 44 treatments.

“This is an example of the continual progress that Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute makes in treating cancer,” said Gibbs physicist, Jacob Gersh, PhD. “We are raising the bar once again; providing our patients with faster and clinically superior treatment.”

Call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS to find out if you are candidate for CyberKnife treatment.

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is a nationally recognized cancer treatment and research facility associated with the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center program and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services.


THREE KILLED IN EARLY MORNING WRECK ON HIGHWAY 9

Friday, October 30

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a single-vehicle, triple-fatal wreck that occurred during the early morning hours today. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Tony Keller said the crash happened on Highway 9, 4.6 miles west of Lockhart. According to the Union County Coroner's Office, the driver of the Chevy Camaro, 35-year old Michael Lee Crocker of 210 Long Twelve Street, Union, was unrestrained and was pronounced dead on the scene. One of the passengers, 27-year old Jonathan Daniel Griffin of 1418 Peach Orchard Road, Union, was also unrestrained and pronounced dead at the scene. 34-year old Paul Nicholas Davis was transported by Union County EMS to Spartanburg Regional Hospital, where he later died. He was ejected from the vehicle. The trooper said the vehicle was traveling east on Highway 9 when the driver ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree.

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THREE TREATED FOR POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO RABIES, INCLUDING TWO IN UNION COUNTY

Friday, October 30

Three people are being referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies.

The first two exposures occurred in the Union area of Union County, and the third occurred in the Roebuck area of Spartanburg County. All three exposures are associated with skunks that tested positive for rabies, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.

The Union County exposure occurred on Oct. 16, 2015. The two victims were potentially exposed to rabies while handling the skunk’s carcass after the skunk, which was captured and put down, attacked a puppy. The skunk tested positive for rabies on Oct. 20.

The Spartanburg County exposure occurred on Oct. 18. The single victim was potentially exposed while handling a skunk’s carcass after the skunk attacked three dogs. During the attack, the skunk was killed by the dogs. The skunk tested positive for rabies on Oct. 21.

The threat of rabies is still present after an animal is deceased,” said Sandra Craig of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services (BEHS). “Please keep this in mind if you find yourself in a situation where you have the potential to be exposed to the saliva, brain, or body fluids from an animal — dead or alive. The only way to determine if an animal has rabies is to test the brain in a laboratory.”

The best way to protect your pet and your family from this fatal disease is to keep your pets up-to-date on their vaccinations.

During 2014, there were 139 confirmed cases of animal rabies in South Carolina. Statewide this year, there have been 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of rabies in animals. The skunk from Union County is the first animal here to test positive in 2015. There were none that tested positive in Union County last year. The skunk from Spartanburg is the fifth animal there to test positive in 2015. There were six animals that tested positive in Spartanburg County last year.

For additional information on rabies, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/rabies.

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STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SEEKS COMMENTS ON NEW TEXTBOOKS

Friday, October 30

The public is invited to review textbooks and instructional materials that have been proposed for use in South Carolina’s public schools. The materials will be recommended to the State Board of Education for adoption on December 9, 2015, by the Instructional Materials Review Panels appointed by the board. The instructional materials are on display at 20 locations throughout the state. The materials will be on display through November 16, 2015, with instructions for submitting comments available at each site. State Board of Education members will review citizens’ comments before a final decision is made on adopting the instructional materials. Nearby locations where the materials may be examined include:

University of South Carolina Upstate, Health Education Complex, USC Upstate, Spartanburg, SC, 29303;

Winthrop University, College of Education, 307 Withers Hall, Instructional Technology Center, Rock Hill, SC, 29733; and

Wofford College, 429 North Church Street, Daniel Building Education, Spartanburg, SC, 29303.

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STORE MANAGER ASSAULTED WITH COLOGNE

Friday, October 30

Union County Sheriff's Deputy Tyler West was dispatched Wednesday night to the Kangaroo store in Jonesville, where he spoke to the manager, Doug Lanier. Lanier told the deputy that there were three black males trying to sell cologne out of the trunk of their car while in the store parking lot. As one of the men was talking with someone else, Lanier told him that they couldn't sell the product on store property. He said the suspect kept talking and was told once again that he couldn't sell the product there. At that point, the suspect turned toward him and sprayed the cologne in his face and walked toward his vehicle. The vehicle was described as a white Volvo with a temporary North Carolina tag and was traveling toward Union. Neither the suspect nor the car have been located.

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SPARTANBURG REGIONAL REMINDS ADULTS AND KIDS TO BE CAREFUL DURING HALLOWEEN

Friday, October 30

Spartanburg Regional Medical Center says that while trick-or-treating allows you to show off your amazing costumes to neighbors, make sure your children are safe and that you pay attention to drivers in the neighborhood. Children will spend hours in close proximity to cars as they navigate through neighborhoods gathering candy on Halloween. Pedestrian safety should be a top priority for both drivers and parents, and drivers should be even more alert.

“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” said Penny Shaw of Safe Kids Spartanburg. “We’re asking drivers to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction.”

To ensure trick-or-treaters stay safe, Safe Kids recommends that costumes be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you and your children can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers. While pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents and kids should also be careful when dealing with candy.

"While kids never want to wait to dive into their candy, it is best to check sweets for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them,” Shaw said. “Remind children to only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers.”


RED RIBBONS AROUND TOWN HELP SHOW SUPPORT for A DRUG-FREE AMERICA

Thursday, October 29

The red ribbons you are seeing around the county are for a purpose. It is to call attention to Red Ribbon Week, which is being observed this week. The theme of this year's campaign is “Respect Yourself...Be Drug Free." The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when a drug trafficker in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began a tradition of displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance toward the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug-free America.

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DENTIST AND AUTHOR OFFERS TIPS TO AVOID DENTAL PROBLEMS AT HALLOWEEN

Thursday, October 29

With Halloween coming up Saturday, here are a few sweet tips your children probably will not want to hear. These tips come from Dr. Susan Maples, author of Blabber Mouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You To Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life.

--Avoid sticky or chewy treats: Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, gummy worms, and caramel-filled candies are treats no parent should give out and that no child should eat, even in small quantities, on Halloween or any time of the year. They become easily lodged in the grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth and are hard to remove, which leads to tooth decay.

--Avoid sour candy: Here’s a wakeup call--some candies’ pH levels are close to those of a car’s battery. The acidity in one piece of sour candy is enough to potentially start the tooth erosion process. Add that touch of sourness to a hard or chewy candy that can get stuck in the grooves in your teeth, and before you know it, tooth enamel starts to disappear.  

--Find alternatives to candy: Halloween can still be plenty of fun without the dangers of tooth decay. Instead of candy, consider giving out something non-edible, such as pens, pencils or other school supplies, or maybe a bottle of bubbles, bottle of water, a toothbrush, floss aids, coloring books, rubber balls, or other small inexpensive toys.

--If you must hand out candy, the first best option is sugar-free gum that is naturally sweetened with xylitol that won’t attract bacteria and plaque in the mouth and may actually help prevent cavities.  The next best choice is a non-sugary treat such as peanuts or popcorn.

Dr. Maples has been named one of the top eight innovators in U.S. Dentistry and says if you do it right, Halloween can still be lots of fun without causing all kinds of dental problems. For more information, go online to www.blabbermouthbooks.com.  

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HALLOWEEN DOWNTOWN TO BRING MANY TRICK-OR-TREATERS TO MAIN STREET

Thursday, October 29

Speaking of Halloween treats, the annual Halloween Downtown event is set to take place tomorrow from 4:30 to 5:30 on Main Street. This is a time when merchants and businesses treat kids to the sweet stuff mentioned in the previous story. Youngsters are invited to dress up in their costumes and come downtown for the activity. The Union County YMCA will have games for the children, and other organizations will be participating.

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USDA ISSUES DISASTER DESIGNATION FOR FARM OPERATORS IN NUMEROUS COUNTIES

Thursday, October 29

Governor Nikki Haley announced Wednesday that United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack has issued a disaster designation for counties in South Carolina that suffered damage and losses due to heavy rains and flooding. The governor requested the disaster designation in an October 19 letter.

A secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.

This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties, which include both primary and contiguous counties, have 8 months from the date of a secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.

Local FSA offices, administered by the South Carolina State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, can provide affected farmers with further information.

The following 29 counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chester, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter and Williamsburg

The counties named as contiguous disaster areas are: Abbeville, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Chesterfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, McCormick, Marlboro, Spartanburg, Union, and York.

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CAPSTONE LOGISTICS HIRING UNLOADERS FOR DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Thursday, October 29

Capstone Logistics is holding a recruitment event today from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at the SC Works office in Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking to hire unloaders. The job calls for the manual loading and unloading of trucks at a large distribution center in Jonesville. There are several shifts available.


CRIME WATCH PROGRAM IN LOCKHART WILL DEPEND ON ITS CITIZENS' SUPPORT

Wednesday, October 28

A standing-room-only crowd turned out Tuesday evening for the regular monthly meeting of the Lockhart Town Council. The council has been discussing the possibility of the formation of a Crime Watch group in the community, and Union County Sheriff David Taylor appeared there to discuss the possibilities. The need of such a group was pointed out by Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe when she displayed a beacon from atop an elevated water tank in the community that had been taken off by vandals who had cut the lock off a gate to gain access. Sheriff Taylor commented that if vandals were brazen enough to climb the water tower and take the red beacon, they could also contaminate the water supply. He made a number of points as he went through his presentation, one of which was pointing out that graffiti is a sign of gang activity. Reportedly, there are two gangs that are known to exist in the Lockhart community.

The sheriff introduced to the group Master Sgt. Wendy Childers, who administers the Crime Watch program in the county. She said the program needs to expand.

 

Sgt. Childers said the program is dependent on the community's participation.

 

Sheriff Taylor said his department will provide the methods, the means and the program. He urges the citizens to participate. Taylor also announced that with the coming of the holiday shopping season, his department would be offering a safety program for women. Details on that will be forthcoming.

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UNITED WAY NAMES MISSY WILKES as RELATIONSHIP MANAGER FOR UNION COUNTY

Wednesday, October 28

Missy Wilkes of Union has been hired by United Way of the Piedmont as the Relationship Manager for Union County. She will be devoting up to 20 hours per week managing and expanding partnerships in the Union Community. Alex Evins, United Way of the Piedmont Board Chair, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Missy to our team in Union County.  The United Way’s commitment to our partners in Union is stronger than ever, and we know that Missy’s efforts will only help us better serve the needs of this growing and vibrant community.”

Missy is a graduate of Union High School and achieved her undergraduate degree in psychology at Limestone College. She started her career at the Union County Chamber of Commerce, and more recently served as program director at the YMCA.

Her office is located in the Union County Nonprofit Partnership Center, at 115 Thomas Street, which is managed by United Way of the Piedmont. She can be reached at 864-606-9004 or mwilkes@uwpiedmont.org.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES SHOOTING OF COLUMBIA MAN

Wednesday, October 28

On Monday around 6 p.m., Sgt. Roger Hill was dispatched to 3570 Santuc-Carlisle Highway in reference to a gunshot victim. Upon arrival, Hill was advised by a woman that she and her family was awakened by the sound of someone beating on her door. She said when she went to the door, there were at least four black males in her driveway, and three of them were helping a gunshot victim to her porch. She said the three males stated that the victim would be OK but they didn't know where a hospital was located. As she was getting her phone to call 911, the other male subjects were getting back into the car. They said they couldn't stay and left the victim on her doorstep. She said she heard the victim say he was from Columbia. EMS arrived on scene and transported the victim to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Investigator Al Black was called to the scene, and clothing items were collected as evidence. Lt. Black proceeded to the Spartanburg hospital to follow up on the investigation. No other information was provided in the incident report.

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WOMAN LOSES MONEY IN LOAN SCAM

Wednesday, October 28

Last Thursday, a woman appeared at the Union County Sheriff's Office to file a report with Chief Deputy Perry Haney in regards to telephone fraud. She told Haney that she received a text message offering her a personal loan in the amount of $10,000. She called the provided telephone number, and the individual she talked with asked for information, which she provided. That included her Social Security number and password to her bank account at Wells Fargo. The person with whom she spoke advised her to send a moneygram in the amount of $1699 to Ricky Joseph in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. They told her it was to verify that she could be trusted and that it would improve or upgrade her credit rating. On Friday, she went to Wal-Mart in Union and sent the moneygram as requested. Three checks were direct deposited into her account, and she was instructed to use that money to purchase the moneygram. She went to Wells Fargo to see if the checks cleared and was told they had shown up as stolen. The woman then went to Wal-Mart to try and stop the moneygrams but was told they had already gone through and the money had been picked up. She estimated she sustained a loss of around $1900. This is a fairly common scam, and citizens are warned to never give your personal information to someone over the phone.

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BELLFLEX STAFFING NETWORK HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT TODAY

Wednesday, October 28

BellFlex Staffing Network will hold a recruitment event today from 1-4pm at the SC Works Spartanburg office, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking for forklift drivers. The pay is $10 per hour, and a high school diploma or GED is required, as is 1 year of experience. Several shifts are available.


HISTORICAL SOCIETY REQUESTS MONEY; COUNTY COUNCIL APPROVES CODE ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS

Tuesday, October 27

The Union County Council met in a special session Monday afternoon and heard from Buddy Smith, who is president of the Union County Historical Society. Smith enumerated the attributes of the organization, to include the operation of the Union County Museum and the Cross Keys House. Smith was asking for the council to consider the reestablishing of $35,000 in funding. The issue began during the budget hearing last spring when the council voted to defund all outside agencies and organizations. Up until that time, the county had allocated $69,000 to the organization, with $59,000 going to the operation of the museum, and $10,000 going for operations of the Cross Keys House. After that, it was decided that money for the hospitality and accommodations tax could be use to help fund some of the organizations with a tourism tie. The Tourism Commission was charged with the responsibility of distributing those funds to the qualifying groups. The commission allocated $30,000 to the Historical Society, leaving them with a shortfall of around $35,000. Smith suggested if the funding did not come, certain activities of the museum and the Cross Keys House may have to be cut. Smith was asked if the organization is in trouble without this funding.

 

Union County Council took no action on the matter since it was not an agenda matter. Supervisor Frank Hart asked the members of the body to be thinking of a possible solution to the situation and perhaps have something to report at the November meeting. The only other matter brought was the original purpose of the session, and that was to consider the third and final reading of an ordinance amending Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 7, pertaining to Building, Construction and Technical Codes; Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 2, Article XI, pertaining to boards and commissions; and Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 17, Article III, which pertains to Law Enforcement Officers of the county. Following a unanimous vote on that matter, the council went into an executive session to discuss an economic development issue.

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SCHOOL BOARD GETS ACT SCORE REPORT

Tuesday, October 27

The Union County School Board of Trustees met Monday night for the third consecutive week, this time in a regular session. A parent had requested to speak to the board regarding an issue at Union County High School. The board went into an executive session before hearing him. Following that session, he was asked if he got any satisfaction from the board, and he responded he did not. While executive session conversations are regarded as privileged, he did disclose that he believes metal detectors would be good at the school. The board had no open reaction to his comments during the open session.

Board member Jane Hammett made a motion asking for additional information regarding the expenditure for the new fire alarm system installed over the summer months at Union County High School. She did not disclose why she wanted the information.

Cindy Langley gave a report of the 11th grade ACT scores. The results showed that students statewide came in under the benchmark scores set by the state. Union County students came in under the statewide scores. As was the case last week concerning 12th grade scores, there was concern about the low showing. Langley explained this is the first year this particular test has been given, so there is nothing to compare. Board member Manning Jeter said, in effect, that more preparation is needed to help the students in this type of testing. In other action, approval was given for additional water activities for a field trip to Costa Rica.

Finance Director Lynn Lawson reported that as of Monday, revenue for the school district amounted to about $4.2 million, and expenditures totaled $5.8 million. That leaves a net loss of $1.6 million. Lawson says that's really nothing to be worried about.

 

Following Lawson's report, the board went into an executive session to discuss a contractual issue involving guidance support services.

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CITY PROCLAIMS RESPIRATORY CARE WEEK; FOUNDATION MAKES DONATION TO HOSPITAL

Tuesday, October 27

Two special presentations were made Monday afternoon at Union Medical Center. Union Mayor Harold Thompson read a proclamation designating this as Respiratory Care Week. Cindy King, who is with the Respiratory Care department at Union Medical Center, explained the meaning of the observance.

 

The second presentation was made by Greta Bailey, who heads the Union County Health Care Foundation. She presented a check to the hospital in the amount of $17,138.85. Bailey told how the money is expected to be used.

 

The foundation exists principally as a fundraising organization for specific purposes related to the hospital.

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LOCKHART, CARLISLE TOWN COUNCILS BOTH MEET TONIGHT

Tuesday, October 27

The Lockhart Town Council will be meeting tonight. The time for that session is 7:00 p.m. at the Lockhart Town Hall. The public is invited to attend. The Carlisle Town Council will also meet in regular session at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Carlisle Town Hall.

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SMX STAFFING HIRING WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATES AT THURSDAY EVENT

Tuesday, October 27

SMX Staffing will hold a recruitment event Thursday, October 29, at the Spartanburg SC Works office from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. They are looking to hire warehouse associates. Multiple positions are available for seasonal work with Amazon. There are no minimum education requirements, and all shifts available are available. Candidates must be available for overtime and be able to lift up to 49 lbs. Applicants should demonstrate a willingness to learn industrial equipment. Drug screening and background checks will be conducted. The rate of pay is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Please apply online at http://apply.smjobs.com to complete the employment application (JOB CODE: 7C1S). Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend event.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER ALTERCATION AT WOMAN'S HOUSE

Tuesday, October 27

Saturday, a woman reported that she had been receiving threatening and harassing text messages from Jason Hyatt, so she called her friend over to stay with her at 1208 Linersville Rd., Lot 10. The woman and her friend both gave written statements saying that Hyatt eventually showed up at the residence, repeatedly threw rocks at the home, and proceeded to kick at both of the doors. At some point, the woman's friend went to the front door to peek out and see if he could see Hyatt, and this is when he forced his way into the residence and got into a physical confrontation with her friend. This resulted in furniture being broken, along with a liquor bottle that Hyatt had when he entered the residence. The man also stated that Hyatt struck him in the head with part of the wooden table that was broken when Hyatt attacked him. Hyatt also made verbal threats toward the woman as he fought with her friend. Following the altercation, Hyatt fled the scene on foot but was located a short time later at his residence, 1014 Linersville Rd., by deputies. They observed a laceration over one of his eyes. He was advised of his Miranda Warnings at that time. He stated that he was invited to the incident location by the woman, and that he had been there for approximately 30 minutes before her friend showed up. He said he answered the door and the man attacked him with a screwdriver. He was insistent that the deputies look at his phone messages and see where the woman had invited him to her home, but when Sgt. Jimmy Johnson did, the only messages he saw from her were the ones of her telling him to stay away from her.

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UNION COUNTY'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINES AS MORE FIND WORK

Tuesday, October 27

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.7% from 6.0%, recording its lowest level since February 2008. This is the fourth consecutive month in which the rate has declined. The unemployment rate has dropped 1.1% since May. This is the largest four-month drop since the unemployment rate dropped 1.7% from June to September 1983. Employment hit a new high with 2,121,326 people working. Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1%. In Union County, the unemployment rate continued to decrease to a rate of 7.5%. That means that out of a labor force of 11,782, 10,894 are working. That reflects 26 more people counted in the labor force, and 56 more people with jobs. Last month's rate was 7.8%, and a year ago it was 8.6%.


COUNTY COUNCIL TO MEET TO DISCUSS CODE ORDINANCE

Monday, October 26

The Union County Council will hold a special meeting this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room at the Union County Courthouse. They will consider the third and final reading of an ordinance amending Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 7, pertaining to Building, Construction and Technical Codes, and Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 2, Article XI. That section pertains to boards and commissions. The ordinance would also amend Union County Code of Ordinances Chapter 17, Article III, pertaining to Law Enforcement Officers of the county, and other related matters. An executive session is slated to discuss an economic development issue. The public is invited to attend.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS AT FOSTER PARK

Monday, October 26

The Union County School District Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight in regular session. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at Foster Park Elementary School. The agenda states that a parent has requested to speak with the board regarding an issue at Union County High School. The board will also consider approving additional water activities as was discussed in the October 12th meeting concerning an approved trip to Costa Rica. There will also be information concerning the 11th grade ACT scores and a personnel report. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will give the monthly budget report. There is an executive session listed concerning an issue involving guidance support services.

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FIRST "COFFEE WITH A COP" EVENT WON'T BE THE LAST

Monday, October 26

Union County Sheriff David Taylor hosted Coffee with a Cop Friday morning at Bojangle's restaurant. The event was designed to give area citizens an opportunity to chat with their local law enforcement officers and express their concerns or receive information on matters important to them.

Taylor said:

 

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THREE ARRESTED IN ARMED ROBBERY IN BUFFALO

Monday, October 26

Early Friday morning, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Vaughan was dispatched to Katelyns Way in Buffalo in reference to a disturbance. Vaughan was advised while en route to the scene that the call may be an armed robbery. They were also advised that the suspect's vehicle had already left the location. A public safety unit spotted the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.

The officers called the subjects out of the vehicle and detained them. A search was conducted, and two open containers of beer were found, and a 9 mm handgun was found in the glove box.

It was noticed by the officer that when the driver got out, a bullet fell from his lap. The deputies then left to speak with the victim, who said she heard a knock at her door and the person identified himself as her child's father, Cedric Brown. She said before she could open the door, he kicked it in and pointed a handgun at her. It was then she said she went to her room and shut the door. According to her account, Brown then busted into her room, and she inquired as to what was wrong. Brown reportedly said he knew the woman had flattened his tires. She denied his accusation, saying she had been in bed asleep. She said he then poured a Coors beer into her hair and on her shirt. She said Brown then grabbed two cell phones and left. She went to a ne ighbor's house and called 911. The two phones were later recovered. Two other subjects, Charles Boyd and Heyward Worthy, came into the home with Brown. A written statement was taken from the victim. The handgun found in the automobile, which Worthy said was his, was seized, as well as the two cans of beer. The vehicle was towed. Cedric Brown, 25, of Carlisle, is charged with domestic violence, high and aggravated, along with first-degree burglary, armed robbery and open container. Heyward Worthy, 23, of Chester, and Charles Boyd, 24, of Rock Hill, are charged with first-degree burglary, armed robbery and open container. All subjects were transported to the Union County Jail.

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MS COMPANIES HIRING QUALITY INSPECTORS AT EVENT TUESDAY

Monday, October 26

MS Companies will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. They are looking to hire quality inspectors. A high school diploma or GED is required, and the pay will depend on experience. All three shifts are available. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and have a referral to attend the event.


CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OFFICE TO CLOSE NEXT WEEK FOR RENOVATIONS

Friday, October 23

Due to renovations, the Union County Chamber of Commerce office will be closed the week of October 26th-30th. Chamber Executive Director Torance Inman tells us why.

 

The office will not have access to phones or email during this time, but if you need immediate attention, you can reach Inman at 864-426-0883. Responses to any emails or voicemails will be on Monday, November 2nd.

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COUPLE WITH OUTSTANDING WARRANTS ALSO CHARGED WITH RESISTING ARREST AFTER FLEEING

Friday, October 23

The Union County Sheriff’s office incident reports show two cases of resisting arrest. Wednesday, a tip was received that two subjects, 41-year old Paul David Thomas and 39-year old Rebecca Jeanine Parsons were at 1410 Pineland Road, and both had active warrants for their arrests. The responding officer confirmed the warrant information and went to the residence to attempt to locate the subjects. Upon arrival, the officer found Thomas standing in the back yard, and he was advised that he was under arrest for active warrants. Thomas turned and ran into the woods behind the residence. There were two other people there, including Parsons. She was placed under arrest, and the K-9 unit was called to help locate Thomas. Parsons continued to ask the officer to use the restroom, and she was advised that a female officer was on the way and she could use it when she arrived. Parsons then advised the officer that her request to use the restroom was of an urgent nature. She was walked inside and one handcuff was removed so as to allow her to handle the matter at hand. The deputy was being called to assist with the perimeter, but his handheld radio was not working well so he stepped over to a side door in an effort to get better communication. Parson left out of the restroom and went out the front door. The K-9 arrived and started tracking Thomas. The dog located him hiding under trash in a gully about a quarter of a mile away. The K-9 then started tracking Parsons, and she was found over a mile away in a cutover. Both subjects were arrested, and in addition to the outstanding warrants, they were charged with resisting arrest.

Related to that case, on the same day, Captain Robbie Hines went to the Pineland Road address to serve a warrant. There, he found several bags and plastic containers containing items belonging to Paul Thomas. The owner of the house said Thomas had been staying there for several weeks. Hines said he would seek a warrant for failing to change his address as a sex offender.

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EPISCOPAL CHURCH HOSTING GINGERBREAD HOUSE BUILDING CONTEST

Friday, October 23

We are beginning to see some indications that the holidays are not too far off. The Episcopal Church of the Nativity will be holding a Gingerbread House Building contest. There are three age level categories: Children 12 and under, Youth ages 13 to 17, and Adults 18 and older. Cash prizes will be awarded, and there is a $15 entry fee. For entry information and an entry form, email nativitychurchunion@gmail.com or call the Gingerbread Hotline at 864-429-5653. The deadline to enter is November 2nd, and the entries will be on display November 19-21.

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TYGER RIVER CORRECTIONAL FACILITY HOLDING A RECRUITMENT EVENT NEXT WEEK

Friday, October 23

The Tyger River Correctional Facility will host a recruitment event at SC Works in Spartanburg on Tuesday, October 27th, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. A high school diploma or GED is required, and no experience is needed as the employer will train. These are 12-hour shifts with no rotation, and you will work 14 days per month with 2 weekends off. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to undergo a background check, drug testing and screening, a reference check, and a motor vehicle check. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and have a referral to attend the event.


SPECIAL EVENT WILL RAISE MONEY FOR MARISHA SHARAY JETER SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Thursday, October 22

A special event is coming up Sunday. It is a fundraiser for the late Marisha Sharay Jeter scholarship fund. Marisha's mother, Maretta Jeter, explains what is going to be happening.

 

Sadly, the 16-year old Union County High School cheerleader and junior class president was murdered on January 3, 2008. Charged with her death were Pernell Clayton Thompson and Yolanda Dee Thompson. Both are serving life sentences.

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MIKE CASSELLS APPOINTED INTERIM DIRECTOR OF THE LIBRARY

Thursday, October 22

Union County Carnegie Library Board Chairperson Anita Maness has announced the appointment of Mike Cassels as interim director of the organization. In making the announcement, Maness said, “I am pleased to announce that Mike Cassels will serve as the interim director of the Union County Carnegie Library as a result the departure of Ben Loftis on October 16, 2015.  Mike’s interim appointment carries the full support of the Board of Trustees of the Union County Carnegie Library. Mike will continue as interim director while the search for a new director is ongoing. Cassels is well known in the Union area for his career in the field of education.

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2ND GRADERS HAVE FUN LEARNING WITH OREOS

Thursday, October 22

Students at Foster Park Elementary School have discovered an interesting way to learn. The students in Jennifer Roark’s 2nd grade class at Foster Park Elementary School participated in Oreo Day on Thursday, October 15th. To begin, students guessed how many mini Oreos were in the Oreo Estimation Jug. The student who guessed the closest without going over won the jug of mini Oreos. Next, students voted on their favorite way to eat an Oreo: just eat it, split it apart, or dunk it in milk. A class graph was made and students analyzed the graph. Oreo math was next. Students practiced their problem-solving skills by solving word problems about Oreos on their markerboards. Earlier in the week, the students constructed bridges using toothpicks and gumdrops. Now it was time to test their bridges to see which group’s bridge would hold the most Oreos without crashing. The winning group’s bridge held 20 Oreos. After lunch, the students rotated through the following Oreo stations: measurement, weighing, durability testing, sink or float testing, and distance testing. The last activity of the day was the stacking contest. As students waited their turn to stack, they completed their Oreo Day writing activity. Of course, their writing snack of the day was ….. Oreos. The winning stacker was Jacoby Castle with 23 Oreos. At the end of the day, there was an Oreo Day Awards Ceremony, in which the winning stackers received a certificate, trophy, and Oreos. The results of the stacking contest were sent in to be compared with other classes around the world as part of an online project.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR BUYING HYDROCODONE FROM OPERATIVES

Thursday, October 22

Tuesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield and Sgt. Gilstrap met with and searched operatives of the Union County Sheriff's Office. The operatives stated they had been contacted by Terry Mayfield, 59, who wanted to purchase a quantity of hydrocodone, and the operatives had agreed to meet Mayfield at the Kangaroo store in Jonesville. The operatives were then wired with audio and video equipment and given a quantity of hydrocodone sealed in a plastic container to sell to Mayfield. The operatives then met Mayfield and sold him the quantity of hydrocodone in exchange for $42 of his currency. The operatives and Mayfield then left the parking lot. Narcotics officers then made a traffic stop on Mayfield's vehicle and found him to be the only occupant. He was then placed under arrest for purchasing a Schedule II narcotic. His vehicle and dog were released to his girlfriend. The hydrocodone was recovered from Mayfield and he was transported to Union County Jail.

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MORE DETAILS RELEASED ON WHAT LED UP TO SHOOTING INCIDENT AT LAKESIDE GARDEN

Thursday, October 22

We have a follow-up on the story of shots fired Tuesday that caused Union County High School to go on lockdown for several hours. The Union Public Safety incident report states that around 7:40 a.m., Cpl. Shane Petrie answered a call to Lakeside Garden Apartments in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, Cpl. Petrie spoke with a witness who said as she was getting ready for work, she looked through her front window and noticed two vehicles that were not supposed to be there. One of the vehicles was a silver Jeep, and the other was a blue or black Nissan Altima. The woman said she could see what appeared to be drugs being passed between the two vehicles. She also noted that one of the vehicles had a high school sticker on it. She sent her two sons out to see what the subjects were doing. That was when, according to one of the sons, the two subjects began arguing. As the vehicles were leaving, the woman said shots were fired into the air. She said one of the vehicles turned right in the direction of the high school. The woman's other son was seen walking away from the parking lot, and she did not know where he was. Police were able to locate one of the automobiles, a silver Jeep, in the student parking lot of Union County High School. When the woman's son was located, he would not provide officers with any information. Public Safety Chief Sam White said neither of the vehicles were being driven by the subjects involved but by female students at the high school. Only Jesse Cole Harris, 19, has been charged in connection with the incident.


CITY TAX LEVY REPRESENTS A TAX REDUCTION FOR NEXT YEAR

Wednesday, October 21

Union City Council had a number of items on the agenda for their regular monthly meeting. Some good news coming out of the meeting is that the tax levy for the city is set at 84.17 mils. That actually translates into a tax reduction for fiscal year 2015–2016. Someone with a $100,000 home will pay $33 less than last year.

The council agreed to remove from the table a proposal from the Community Vibrancy Committee. During a workshop on October 7th, some questions arose concerning the planting of trees on Union Main Street, with the concern that they might conflict with the movement of emergency vehicles. Public Safety Chief Sam White told the council that he and several others had looked at the situation and did not believe it would be a problem. The plan calls for the planting of Japanese Maple trees and several flowering plants and hanging baskets. Mayor Harold Thompson expressed his enthusiasm for the project.

 

The council agreed to approve the plan, and the planting of the trees could begin as early as next month.

The council gave first reading to an ordinance that petitions property at 103 Medical Sciences Drive for annexation. Planner Robby Moody with the Catawba Regional Planning Commission said upon checking out the property, it was discovered that the owner had been purchasing a city business license for some years.

They had a discussion concerning Main Street Junction that is known as the old Super 10 building, which is being renovated for public use. At issue was a restroom that is proposed to be constructed on the back side of the building to accommodate users of a park area, which is also part of the project. Councilmen Ricky Harris and Yates Giles balked at the addition construction cost. The estimate for the restroom was $52,602, and there would be an additional expenditure of $49,918 for fencing around the park area. The total project would be at a cost of $1.2 million. The council voted to approve the expenditure. An expenditure of $900 was approve for participation in the WBCU Truck Full of Toys campaign. Toys are purchased each year for distribution to needy children. Utility Director Joe Nichols threw out an idea for rerouting and establishing more parking around City Hall. Nichols made a point of saying his presentation was not a proposal, but just some thoughts on what might be done to improve traffic flow. Should his idea become reality, traffic on Sharpe Avenue would be reversed, with vehicles entering from Pinckney Street and exiting onto Herndon.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE RELEASES DETAILS ON APARTMENT SHOOTING THAT LED TO LOCKDOWN

Wednesday, October 21

The Union County Sheriff's Office has issued a news release concerning an incident Tuesday morning that brought about a lockdown at Union County High School. It states that on October 20, Lt. John Sherfield of the Union County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Union Public Safety Department investigators to be on the lookout for Jesse Harris and another white male, because they were allegedly involved in a disturbance at 720 Lakeside Drive (Lakeview Garden Apts.) involving a discharge of a firearm.

Lt. Sherfield contacted Jonesville Police Chief Carl Jennings with the same information, and Chief Jennings stated that he had just observed the two males in a blue Dodge pickup truck just prior to Lt. Sherfield’s phone call. Chief Jennings started looking for the vehicle, and minutes later he located the vehicle at the Lil’ Cricket in Pacolet, SC. Chief Jennings watched the vehicle, and minutes later, the vehicle pulled out and started north. Chief Jennings followed the vehicle and requested assistance from Spartanburg County and Pacolet Police Department. Officers initiated a traffic stop at Hwy. 176 and West Main Street, Pacolet, and detained them until additional units arrived. During the stop, Lt. Sherfield noticed that Jesse Harris was the driver. Lt. Sherfield asked the occupants if there was a firearm in the vehicle, and Harris stated that he had a pistol under his driver's seat. Harris was arrested and charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with unlawful carrying of a pistol. Another subject was detained by Union Public Safety investigators for questioning regarding the shooting but was later released.

The case is still under investigation by the Union Public Safety Department.

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COUNTY COUNCIL HEARS APPEAL TO ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL

Wednesday, October 21

During Monday afternoon's special Union County Council meeting, Saundra Ligon with the South Carolina Commission of Human Affairs made a presentation asking them to consider establishing a Community Relations Council. Ligon explains.

 

The proposal was turned over to Councilman Ralph Tucker for further study.

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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT CHARGED WITH ASSAULT FOR PUSHING AND CURSING A COACH

Wednesday, October 21

A Union County High School student has been arrested and charged with assault and battery after he pushed a coach and told him, "Get the (expletive) off of me," according to an incident report.

The report said on Monday, two students were "having words" with one another in the school gym. It said one of the coaches was in the gym and walked over to stop the two students from fighting, and Zachary Dillon Smith, 18, pushed the coach and cursed at him. The report said Smith pushed the coach a second time.

Smith was taken to Union County Detention Center.


ONE IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING APARTMENT SHOOTING THAT LED TO HIGH SCHOOL LOCKDOWN

Tuesday, October 20

An individual has been taken into custody by Union County sheriff's deputies following a report of shots being fired at Lakeview Garden Apartments. Union County Sheriff David Taylor says that deputies were involved in a pursuit of the suspect, and it ended in Spartanburg County at Highway 176 and W. Main St. in Pacolet.

Union County High School was place on lockdown early this morning as a result of that report. Union Public Safety Chief Sam White said it was reported that two vehicles were in the parking lot, and a subject was asked to leave. As the vehicles were leaving, four shots were heard. As a result of the reported gunfire in the area, Union County High School was placed on lockdown. Students were allowed to change classes but were not allowed to go outside. The lockdown is standard protocol in situations such as this one. No injuries have been reported as a result of the shooting incident, and the lockdown has been lifted. The suspect in the case has not been identified.

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CITY COUNCIL MEETS TO CONSIDER SEVEN ITEMS OF BUSINESS

Tuesday, October 20

The Union City Council will be meeting tonight at 6:30 in the council chambers of City Hall. There are seven items on the agenda that will be acted on or discussed. The first is a motion to remove from the table a proposal from the Community Vibrancy Committee. During a workshop on October 7th, some questions arose concerning the city doing work on what is, in essence, private property. The council wanted advice as to the legal ramification of such actions. The matter is also listed as an agenda item. They will also give first reading to an ordinance that petitions property at 103 Medical Sciences Drive for annexation. A discussion and motion is expected concerning Main Street Junction, and whether or not the city will participate in this year's “Truck Full of Toys” campaign sponsored by WBCU. Parking modification for City Hall and Sharpe Avenue will be discussed, and the property tax reassessment tax levy for fiscal year 2015 – 2016 will be discussed.

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SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR EXPLAINS REASON FOR MOST RECENT EXECUTIVE SESSION

Tuesday, October 20

There were two special called meetings Monday that captured the attention and even speculation on the part of the public. One of those meetings was a special called session of the Union County School Board of Trustees. The meeting was announced at the conclusion of last week's regular meeting that included a three-hour executive session. At that session, Board Chairperson Dr. Wanda All announced that an evaluation of District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall had been conducted. All stated that Dr. Woodall's evaluation was satisfactory and that she had met all her goals. No other information was given. The agenda for Monday's meeting stated that it would be a discussion and legal advice related to the superintendent's evaluation and contract terms. Two attorneys, Andrea White and William Freeman, were there and spoke during the executive session. There was no word on what they had to say. White had been on hand for two recent meetings, and those discussions were also held in executive session. Board Chairperson Dr. Wanda All explained what the discussion and vote was all about.

 

Woodall's contract is scheduled to end in June of 2019. The board will be meeting again this coming Monday.

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COUNTY TAX MILLAGE STAYS LEVEL

Tuesday, October 20

Union County Council met Monday afternoon for a public hearing and special session. The public hearing was to receive comments from the public on the proposed resolution to set the tax levy for fiscal year 2015-2016. No one showed up to make any comment on the subject. Immediately following the public hearing, the council went into the special called meeting to take up that matter of the tax levy. While there were increases in the levy for three county fire departments, the amount of the levy for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year is the same as last year, 139.7 mills. Auditor Brad Valentine explained.

 

The council also held discussions to consider the proposed changes to the Building Codes Ordinance. There was little discussion, and the council will meet again next Monday, October 26th, for the 3rd reading of the ordinance.

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SUMTER COUNTY SHERIFF THANKS UNION COUNTY FOR FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS

Tuesday, October 20

Union County Sheriff David Taylor has received a thank-you letter from Sheriff Anthony Dennis of Sumter County for the contributions made during the recent flooding event in the Midlands and along the coast. The letter stated in part, “Please know that we were deeply touched by your outpouring of love and support that you shared so openly with our law enforcement family. It was humbling to hear how many of you had us in your prayers. It is through the grace of God that we have been able to move Sumter County forward to triumph over the recent losses."

The Union County Sheriff's Office spearheaded a campaign to collect bottled water and other commodities for several of the flooded areas. The sheriff had earlier thanked the people of Union County for their generous contributions.

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JUVENILE CHARGED WITH MALICIOUS DAMAGE AFTER SPRAY PAINTING BUILDINGS IN BUFFALO

Tuesday, October 20

Saturday, Union County sheriff's officers were dispatched to Main Street, Buffalo, in reference to a suspicious person. The officers were advised that there was a juvenile spraying paint on the Buffalo Community Center and ran across the street and sprayed red paint on the side of Buffalo Baptist Church. A road sign was also sprayed. The juvenile was located, and the deputies spoke with his mother. The eleven-year old admitted to spraying the building and had red paint on his hands. The juvenile was transported to the Union County Sheriff's Office, where a booking sheet and DJJ complaint was filled out. He was charged with malicious damage and released to the custody of his mother.

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CAPTAIN D'S RECRUITING WORKERS FOR ITS NEW RESTAURANT IN SPARTANBURG

Tuesday, October 20

Captain D's restaurant will hold a recruitment event for its new locations that will be opening soon in the Spartanburg area. The recruitment event will take place tomorrow, October 21, from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the SC Works office in Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They will be hiring for several positions, including guest services – cook/cashiers at a pay rate of $7.50 - $8.50 per hour, depending on experience. Six months' experience is required, and part-time positions are available.

They want an assistant manager at a pay rate of $10.50 - $11.50 per hour. That, too, depends on experience. 1 year of experience is required, and part-time positions are available.

A restaurant manager is needed. The pay for that job is $32,000 - $38,000 per year, again, depending on your experience. Two years of experience is required, and hours will vary.


SCHOOL BOARD HOLDING SPECIAL MEETING

Monday, October 19

The Union County School Board of Trustees have scheduled what they termed a special called board meeting for tonight at 6:00 p.m.. The agenda lists only two items, and it appears that once the meeting is called to order, they will immediately go into an executive session. The stated reason will be discussion and legal advice related to Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall's evaluation and contract terms. They list an open session to follow for any action as necessary based upon the executive session discussions. The Freedom of Information Act prohibits any vote or action to take place during an executive session, and all votes must be in public.

Last Monday's regular meeting of the trustees saw a three-hour executive session that concluded with Board Chairperson Dr. Wanda All stating that the session involved the superintendent's evaluation, and they concluded that all of her goals had been met and her performance was satisfactory. Just why the additional discussion in an executive session is prompted is unknown.

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COUNTY COUNCIL TO MEET TODAY

Monday, October 19

The Union County Council will also meet this afternoon at 5:30. A third reading was to be given to an amendment to an ordinance pertaining to the Building, Construction and Technical Codes during last Tuesday's meeting, but Councilman Ben Ivey moved to table the action until such time that it can be discussed. Ivey said there had been no discussion on the subject, and some of the changes in the ordinance should be openly talked about.

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NEWBERRY WOMAN REPORTS IDENTITY STOLEN BY UNION MAN

Monday, October 19

Identity theft continues to show up in the police reports, and this one has an unexpected consequence. A Newberry woman reported by phone to the Union County Sheriff's Office that she had been the victim of identity theft. She said she had gone to a location in Columbia where she had applied for credit. Her credit application was denied, and she was told that someone had been using her Social Security number. They told her that it had last been used at Rent-a-Center in Union. It appeared on the credit report that the individual, identified as Terry Thompson, had been using her number for about 10 years. This case points out the necessity of checking your credit report periodically for any unusual activity.

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MUSIC, AUTHOR AT ARTS COUNCIL'S MONDAY NIGHT MUSIC EVENT

Monday, October 19

If you love the blues, you'll want to come out to the Union County Arts Council Gallery on Monday, October 19, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.. You can come and enjoy an evening of music as UCAC’s Monday Night Music group performs. You'll also have a chance to meet author Clair DeLune.

DeLune is a music history professor and blues radio host. In her book, she dusts off neglected nuggets of history, drawing on archival photographs and rarely seen memorabilia from a generation of musicians’ personal collections. Readers will learn not only new information about some famous players who left their musical mark on history, but even more about the not-so-famous ones, as well as modern masters who carry on the rhythms of their predecessors and are truly keeping South Carolina blues alive. For more information, contact the Arts Council at 429-2817.

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IH SERVICES RECRUITING WORKERS AT EVENT IN SPARTANBURG

Monday, October 19

IH Services will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office Thursday, October 22, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. There are several positions available, including general cleaners. Applicants must be available to work 12-hour shifts and every other weekend. The day shift hours are 7am—7pm, & night shift hours are 7pm-7am. They will also be interviewing for fork lift operators. Candidates must be available to work 12-hour shifts and every other weekend. The day shift hours are 7am—7pm, & night shift hours are 7pm-7am. Pallet sorters are wanted. Individuals must be available to work 3rd shift hours 7pm—7am and every other weekend. Drug screening and background checks will be conducted for all positions which are located in the Spartanburg area. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at SC Works.


SUPERVISOR GIVES YEARLY REPORT ON THE COUNTY

Friday, October 16

During Tuesday's Union County Council meeting, Supervisor Frank Hart gave a report on the various projects and activities of his office. Here is a portion of that report.

 

Hart also reported that an agreement has been reached on the general location for the Lockhart Boat Ramp. He also said proposed improvements to Union County Stadium will be coordinated with a school board representative, with whom they will discuss the next step for capital improvements. The school board representative will be Mike Massey who was designated at Monday night's meeting of the trustees.

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ERNIE TREADWAY RODEO A HIGHLIGHT OF THE FAIR

Friday, October 16

Today is School Day at the Union County Fair. Admission is free to students with a valid identification. A highlight of the fair tonight and Saturday night will be the Ernie Treadway Rodeo. It will get underway at 8:00 p.m. in the arena area where cowboys will be riding bulls and horses. The Ernie Treadway Rodeo Company is based in Liberty, South Carolina, and since 1972 has presented rodeos that provide plenty of exciting, family-friendly entertainment. Included in the rodeo will be barrel racing, bull riding, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding.

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WOMAN FOUND IN STORAGE ROOM AT COURTHOUSE charged with public intoxication

Friday, October 16

Wednesday, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Tyler West was at the Magistrates Office, when he tried to enter a storage room that he found to be locked. He got a key to the room, and when he unlocked the door, he found Jessica Gardler, 22, who had been doing community service at the courthouse. Deputy West began questioning her as to why she was in the room, and she said she didn't know the door would lock when she closed it. West informed her that the lock was the deadbolt type and would not have locked on its own. The deputy reported that the subject was very uneasy on her feet and her speech was slurred. He asked her if she was under the influence of anything, and Gardler told him that she had taken Clonazepam, for which she had a prescription. She had the prescription bottle with her, which had 4 Clonazepam pills in it and had just been filled with 90 pills. Gardler was placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Jail, where she was charged with public intoxication.

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ARTS COUNCIL HOSTS MINI MONET CLASS FOR KIDS

Friday, October 16

There is still space available if you are looking for a unique and fun class for your kids. Mini Monet will take place tomorrow from 9:00am-11:00am. This class is for kindergarten through 6th grade. They will be making their own Spooky House. The cost is $15 for Arts Council members and $20 for nonmembers.

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HALLOWEEN DOWNTOWN SET FOR OCTOBER 30TH

Friday, October 16

Halloween Downtown has been set for Friday, October 30th. Area youngsters are invited to come to Union's Main Street from 4:30 to 5:30. You are encouraged to wear your Halloween costumes and pick up on the abundance of candy and treats the merchants will be handing out. The event is sponsored by The Union County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Union, and the YMCA.


FIVE CHARGED WITH MURDER OF GAFFNEY MAN AT SHELBY, NC, MOTEL

Thursday, October 15

Five suspects have been arrested in the early Monday morning murder of 35-year-old Travis Wallace, of Gaffney, at the Super 8 Motel in Shelby, NC.

46-year old Timothy John Clark of Buffalo, along with 37-year old Willa Jean Hucks, 26-year old Brint Ray Davis, 26-year old Karrie Roach, and 36-year old Michael Anthony Dinneen, all of Union, are charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. All five are currently being detained in Union County and will remain in the custody of South Carolina law enforcement.

This investigation was a collaboration between the Shelby (NC) Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union Public Safety Department, and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff David Taylor said more charges and more arrests are expected in this case.

Union County sheriff’s deputies received a call of a stolen vehicle from 1810 Main Street, Buffalo, at 4:49 am on October 12th. The vehicle was recovered near the scene of the murder in Shelby, NC. Deputies were told that Willa Hucks, Timothy Clark, and Karrie Roach had left in the vehicle. With this information, law enforcement agencies were able to link these individuals to the murder in Shelby. When officers were at 1810 Main Street, Buffalo, they saw in plain view marijuana and drug paraphernalia, which led to the arrest of Jessica Brooke Smith.

The suspects in the case are being held with no bond in Union County Jail at this time, and it is unknown when extradition would take place.

Sheriff Taylor, when asked about the circumstances of the murder, said, "There was a robbery. Drugs were present in the room, but we do not know to what extent.” Wallace was found at 4:30 a.m. on Monday at the Shelby Super 8 motel, located at 1716 East Dixon Blvd. A 911 call was made from inside the room, according to officials. Wallace was found in room 218 suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Three people entered the room looking for something,” Taylor said. “As a result, Wallace was shot.”

Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

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ADDITIONAL DETAILS RELEASED ON HAEMONETICS EXPANSION

Thursday, October 15

The South Carolina Department of Commerce has issued a news release on the Haemonetics expansion, announced at Tuesday night's Union County Council meeting, stating:

Haemonetics, the global leader in blood management solutions, is expanding its existing operations in Union County. The company is investing more than $20 million in the expansion, which is expected to create 40 new jobs over the next five years.

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Braintree, Mass., Haemonetics operates facilities on four continents across the globe, employing almost 4,000 workers worldwide. The company has a comprehensive portfolio of devices, information management and consulting services, serving each facet of the blood supply chain – from plasma and blood collectors to hospitals.

Haemonetics recently celebrated 20 years at its current Union County site, which is located at 155 Medical Sciences Drive in Union, SC. In this latest investment, the company will be expanding the existing facility by 3,000 square-feet, as well as making significant upgrades to plant equipment and infrastructure.

Products manufactured at the Union County site are required for plasmapheresis, during which the raw material in lifesaving plasma therapies is collected. Therapies treat a variety of disease states including immune deficiencies, hemophilia, and other blood disorders.

Improvements to the facility and hiring for the 40 new positions is already underway. Those interested in joining the Haemonetics team should visit the company’s careers page online. For more information on Haemonetics Corporation, visit www.haemonetics.com.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $400,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Union County to assist with the cost of real property improvements. The council has also approved job development credits related to the project.

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JONESVILLE MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER SHOOTING INCIDENT AT APARTMENT

Thursday, October 15

A Jonesville man is facing charges of discharging a firearm into a building, stalking, and attempted murder following an incident on October 5th. A City of Union Public Safety incident report says that on that date, Officer Rusty Young was dispatched to Brittany Manor Apartments on Meansville Road for shots fired. There, he spoke to a woman who said while she was watching TV, she heard a loud pop and noticed that her back door glass had been shot. She immediately called 911. She told the police that Brandon Lamont Harris, 28, of 1248 Gaffney Highway, Jonesville, had been calling her all day on Saturday, October 3rd, and making threats. Green's daughter told officers that she and Harris had been in a relationship but had broken up. She said Harris had also been calling her and making threats. Officer Young and Investigator Jerome Beaty viewed the video surveillance and observed a black male suspect, believed to be Harris, arrive at the apartment building in a brown vehicle, get out and go behind the building and a few minutes later return to the vehicle. Investigator Beaty was able to recover the bullet from inside a closet in the bedroom.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE HOLDING "COFFEE WITH A COP" EVENT NEXT WEEK AT BOJANGLES'

Thursday, October 15

Here's an opportunity for you to have a chat with your local sheriff's deputies. An event that's being called “Coffee with a Cop” is set to take place next Friday, October 23rd, at the Bojangles' restaurant from 8 until 10 a.m. Sheriff David Taylor came up with the idea of having such an event after talking with other sheriffs around the state who touted the success of such events in their jurisdictions. The sheriff said he wants citizens in our community to have the same opportunity. He says there are no agendas or speeches. It is just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood. It is being sponsored by the Union County Sheriff's Office and Bojangles' of Union.

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SMX STAFFING RECRUITING WAREHOUSE WORKERS FOR AMAZON IN GAFFNEY

Thursday, October 15

SMX Staffing will host a recruitment event at the Gaffney SC Works office Monday, October 19, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. They are looking to hire warehouse associates. Multiple positions are available for seasonal work with Amazon. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, and all shifts are available. Candidates must be available for overtime and be able to lift up to 49 lbs. In addition, you should be willing to learn industrial equipment. A drug screening and background check will be conducted. The rate of pay is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Please apply online at https://apply.smjobs.com to complete the employment application. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


HAEMONETICS TO EXPAND, ADD 40 JOBS

Wednesday, October 14

A $22 million expansion was announced at Tuesday's Union County Council meeting for Haemonetics, Inc. The expansion is expected to create 40 new jobs for Union County. In making the announcement, Supervisor Frank Hart did so in conjunction with an inducement resolution and the first reading of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes ordinance for the corporation. In making the announcement, Hart said:

 

Kevin Mason, plant manager, explained what the new expansion would entail.

 

City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols commented:

 

In other activity at the council meeting, a third reading was to be given to an amendment to an ordinance pertaining to the Building, Construction and Technical Codes. Councilman Ben Ivey moved to table the action until such time that it can be discussed. Ivey said there had been no discussion on the subject, and some of the changes in the ordinance should be openly talked about. A special meeting is scheduled for Monday afternoon, at which time the ordinance will be up for discussion.

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CHAMBER ASKS PUBLIC TO PETITION BELK TO RECONSIDER CLOSING UNION STORE

Wednesday, October 14

The revelation that the Belk department store in Union will be closing at the first of the year has prompted the Chamber of Commerce to make an appeal to the company headquarters in Charlotte. Torance Inman, Executive Director of the Chamber, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying:

“There is much concern over the proposed closing of the Belk Department store in Union.  We have received many calls and inquiries about the closing.  Although we understand Belk’s position, it is still hard to imagine Union without a Belk, as it has been a huge asset to this community.  Belk should be made aware of the community’s desire for them to stay.  We urge each of you, including family members, friends, co-workers, and as many Belk customers as you know, to simply write or call and express your concerns and pledge your support of Belk.  The letter doesn’t have to be long, just short and to the point expressing your desire for Belk to stay.”

The address and phone number for the company is: Belk, 2801 West Tyvola Road, Charlotte, NC, 28217. Their phone number is 704-357-1000.

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SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTS MASSEY TO REPRESENT THEM ON STADIUM COMMISSION

Wednesday, October 14

The Union County Stadium Commission is considering the possibility of constructing a field house there to provide a place of shelter for athletic and support personnel, especially during inclement weather. The possible move came about as a result of a severe thunderstorm that hit Union on the night of Union County High School's football game with Spartanburg. The rain and lightning storm has prompted the Union County School Board to issue a new protocol for such events that call for the stadium's evacuation. The consideration of building a field house may be contingent on the school board making a commitment to utilize the stadium for the school's sports activities into the future. The issue of stadium usage came up several years ago over the amount of money the county would charge for the school district to utilize the facility. That matter was worked out, but there was a mild threat that an out-of-town facility would be used if the county did not negotiate the fee. The stadium commission has requested school board participation as they move forward in making the field house decision. At Monday night's school board meeting, board member Mike Massey was chosen to represent them at the commission's meeting. Gene “Doc” Lipsey was selected as an alternate.

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BUFFALO TEEN CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT

Wednesday, October 14

An incident report from the Union County Sheriff's Office states that a Buffalo man has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault. The report was taken from a Wellford man who came to the sheriff's office and said his 13-year old son had been sexually assaulted. Very few details were given, but the man charged is identified as Ty Anthony Peters, 18, of Buffalo-West Springs Highway.

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MUSGROVE MILL HOSTS ARCHAEOLOGY DAY

Wednesday, October 14

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is set to offer visitors a perspective on the past at the park’s Archaeology Day this Saturday, October 17th, at 1 PM.

Park Interpreter Bobby James will be on site showing some of the artifacts that have been found and the methods that led to their discoveries. Tours of past archaeological excavations and hands-on activities will be conducted by park staff. There will be hiking involved with the program, so participants are advised to dress appropriately.

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is located at the site of a Revolutionary War battle. The battle took place in August of 1780 and was a patriot victory. The park was established to interpret and protect the battle site.

There is a $2 per person charge for the event. Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is on S.C. 56 between Clinton and Cross Anchor, and not far from Interstate 26.

For more information, contact the park at (864) 938-0100, or e-mail bjames@scprt.com.
 


SCHOOL BOARD HEARS REPORT THAT TEST SCORES ARE DOWN

Tuesday, October 13

Following a three-hour executive session, the Union County School Board of Trustees returned to open session Monday night and Chairperson Dr. Wanda All announced that an evaluation of the district's superintendent, Dr. Kristi Woodall, had been conducted. She stated that Dr. Woodall's evaluation was satisfactory and that she had met all her goals. No other information was given.

A part of the open session was a report from Cindy Langley that test scores were down. The scores about which she was speaking were the AP, Dual Credit, SAT, ACT, Work Keys, and the ACT for 11th graders. Langley was asked if the lower scores were something to be worried about.

 

Langley also told the board that there is a shortage of math teachers statewide, and not having an adequate number of teachers to teach the course may have affected the test scores in that area.

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COUNTY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS "PROJECT VERUCA SALT" AT ITS MEETING

Tuesday, October 13

The Union County Council is set to meet this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Court House. Three people are listed as having requested time to appear before the council. Michael Taylor wants to talk about county government, and Jim Pittman want to discuss the airport. Ben Loftis has also requested to to speak. Loftis recently announced his resignation as director of the Union County Carnegie Library. Other action expected to come up at the meeting will be an inducement resolution for something called Project Veruca Salt. Third reading should be given to an amendment to the ordinance pertaining to the Building, Construction and Technical Codes. Another third reading will be given to an amendment to an ordinance pertaining to revenues from park agreements, and a first reading is expected of an ordinance pertaining to a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreemtn for the previously mentioned Project Veruca Salt.

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NEW CARLISLE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO HOLD RIBBON CUTTING SATURDAY

Tuesday, October 13

There is a major event taking place in Carlisle Saturday. Mayor Mary Ferguson Glenn tells us about it.

 

That event is set to take place at 11:00 a.m.

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ARTS COUNCIL CALLS FOR ENTRIES FOR ITS ANNUAL LOCAL ARTISTS SHOWCASE

Tuesday, October 13

The Union County Arts Council (UCAC) is calling for entries for the 2015 Local Artists Showcase to be held at the UCAC gallery from November 9 through December 31.  This annual showcase features the work of local artists in a variety of media. 

This show gives our local artists a chance to show their work in a gallery setting, as well as allowing them the chance to sell their work.  Many Union County residents come in during this show to purchase unique Christmas gifts from the works on display,” said UCAC president Bennie Giles.

We’re looking for all types of art for this show,” continued Giles.  “We usually have painting, charcoal drawings, photography, wood working, fabric art, knitting, quilting, jewelry making, pottery ... just about everything.  The more variety we have, the better.”

All artists wanting to take part in this exhibit are asked to drop off their work during UCAC’s normal business hours on  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00-4:00. Special arrangements can be made for after-hours or weekend dropoffs. All local artists are encouraged to participate in this showcase. 

If you are interested in doing a live demonstration of your work at UCAC on November 19, please contact Coordinator Amber Ivey at 429-2817.

The UCAC Office/Gallery is located at 116 E. Main Street in Union.  For more information about the Local Artists Showcase, please call 864-429-2817 or email www.facebook.com/UnionArts.

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CLERK OF COURT REPORTS ON GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

Tuesday, October 13

We have a report from Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault concerning last week's General Sessions Court.


 

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ROSE HILL PLANTATION TO HOST ITS ANNUAL "TALES OF UNION COUNTY AND BEYOND" OCTOBER 24TH

Tuesday, October 13

Union residents are invited to experience Rose Hill Plantation in the dark with an evening of legends and ghostly tales. It is set to take place Saturday, October 24, and is called Tales of Union County & Beyond. The event is promoted as being a mysterious evening with ghost stories and creepy tales told by regional storytellers. There is a new cast of raconteurs this year, so you can feel spooky in a whole new way.

The eeriness begins at 6:30 pm behind the kitchen at the rear of the Gist Mansion. Relax around the campfire and enjoy a marshmallow roast, s’mores, hot drinks and other goodies while the storytellers enthrall you.

Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair, a blanket or some other form of portable seating, and to dress for the weather to ensure comfort. Lighting will be limited and the ground is slightly uneven, so decent walking shoes are recommended. Participants are asked that you bring your own mug so that they can reduce styrofoam waste.

In the event of inclement weather, the program will not be held.

Please email or call in your reservation by October 22 so that they know how much food to prepare. Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is located at 2677 Sardis Road in Union. Call 864-427-5966 or email rosehill@scprt.com

The cost is $7.50 per person age 6 and older. Age 5 and under are free. This is a S.C. Park Passport Plus program.


HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER PLACED ON LEAVE PENDING SLED INVESTIGATION

Monday, October 12

It was confirmed Friday afternoon that a Union County High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave because of allegations of inappropriate conduct with a student. Names have not been released, but the case was referred to the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Union Public Safety Chief Sam White said the case was first referred to his department, but due to the alleged circumstance of the case, it was sent on to state authorities. He said he does not expect to hear anything from the state agency until next week due to their involvement with the flooding situation in the midlands and on the coast.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS FOR FIELD TRIP APPROVALS, EXECUTIVE SESSION

Monday, October 12

The Union County School Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight. That meeting will take place in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center at 7:00 p.m. The board is expected to select delegates to vote at the Legislative Advocacy Conference set for December 5. The board has requested that Katie Haney update them about the upcoming Costa Rica trip, where snorkeling and other water activities are to take place. In addition, there are two overnight field trip requests that will be considered. There is an executive session listed on the agenda. One of the items to be discussed will be an expulsion hearing. Two personnel issues are to be considered, as well. One is a salary request, and the other is an employee evaluation. One contractual matter concerning facilities is also listed.

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RIPPY HONORED AT FOUNDER'S DAY CELEBRATION

Monday, October 12

Longtime Union resident Barbara Rippy was honored Friday during the University of South Carolina–Union Founder's Day observance. A number of dignitaries and political leaders were on hand for the event. Rippy was praised for her dedication and contributions to the school and community. She said she was overwhelmed by the recognition.

 

A portrait of Rippy will be displayed at the institution. Comments printed in the program for the event stated, “Barbara Rippy is an outstanding proponent of and ambassador for both USC-Union and Union County. She is a example for all of us to follow.

 

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UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Monday, October 12

Also celebrated Friday during the Founder's Day event was a special anniversary for the institution. It was 50 years ago that the University of South Carolina–Union was established. In recognition of the milestone, Dean Alice Taylor-Colbert said:

 

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UNION COUNTY FAIR OPENS TUESDAY

Monday, October 12

The annual Union County Fair will open tomorrow and will begin a week of fun and activities for the entire family. The gates open daily at 5:00 p.m. and close at 11, except for Friday and Saturday. Gates will be open Friday from 3-midnight and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Union County Fair Executive Director Paul Winters told us what to expect this year.

 

Advance ride tickets are available at a number of locations, including WBCU. The advance tickets are $13.

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AMERICAN LEGION HOLDING ITS MONTHLY MEETING

Monday, October 12

Union American Legion Post 22 will hold its monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will be held in its usual location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Veterans Memorial Park in Union. A meal will be served at 6:00 P.M., with the business meeting to follow at 7:00 P.M. Post 22 welcomes as guests to this meeting the young men who received grants from the post to attend Boys State earlier this year. Post 22 usually meets on the second Monday evening of the month, and prospective members are always welcome to attend. Next month, the post will not have a regular meeting but rather their annual banquet, which will take place on Veterans Day, November 11, 2015, at the Veterans Memorial Park Lodge at 6:00 P.M.

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FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS CONTINUING

Monday, October 12

The effort to aid the victims of this past weekend’s floods continues in Union County with cases bottled water, care packages filled with some basic necessities, and a $10,000 donation.

A local company has made a significant donation to the Midlands relief effort. The monetary donations include $10,000 from Lockhart Power Company to the American Red Cross of Central South Carolina to aid in the flood relief efforts across the state.

In a statement released Wednesday, company officials pointed out that, in addition to several renewable energy generating plants in the Upstate, Lockhart Power also manages and operates the Columbia Canal Hydroelectric Project on the Broad River on behalf of the City of Columbia.

Anyone wanting to donate to the relief efforts should visit www.redcross.org/SC.

The disruption of basic services in the Midlands and coastal areas of the state prompted SLED Chief Mark Keel to communicate with county sheriffs in the Upstate about the desperate need for bottled water there and elsewhere and ask for their assistance in getting it to the people in the affected areas.

In response to Keel’s request, Union County Sheriff David Taylor, along with Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright, Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Casteen, and Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller, organized collection efforts in their respective counties. The collection effort in Union County got under way Tuesday when the sheriff’s office set up a collection point in the parking lot next to Hardee’s. The sheriff’s office along with volunteers collected more than 2,000 cases of donated bottled water on trailers, pickup trucks, and the Union Emergency Services Mobile Command Unit. They also collected some other donated items as well as monetary donations.

While bottled water remains a priority, the collection effort has expanded to include other basic necessities needed by the flood victims. Those items include: food items, personal care/hygiene items, household items, pet care items, and adult and children’s clothing.

For more information about making donations, call the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1612.


FIRE PREVENTION WEEK CULMINATES IN PARADE, SPECIAL EVENT

Friday, October 9

The Union County Firefighters Association has big plans this weekend as they continue their observance of Fire Prevention Week. Starting off, there will be a parade of firefighting equipment on Union's Main Street at 11 a.m. Saturday. From there, they will proceed to the Wal-Mart parking lot, where they will set up equipment and displays that promote fire safety. Among the activities will be a firefighter's corn toss tournament, gifts for the kids, a smoke house demonstration for the kids to walk through, a tour of the command bus, the Regional One helicopter, and free hotdogs, chips, and drinks. Their theme this year is, “Hear the beep where you sleep.” Association Vice-President Mark Wade explains what that means.