Contact us:

Phone: 864-427-2411

Fax: 864-429-2975

e-mail: chris@wbcuradio.com, mike@wbcuradio.com daniel@wbcuradio.com, linda@wbcuradio.com, borabb@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

5:30-5:55 p.m.--5:30 News Report

5:55 p.m.--Miami Marlins at Atlanta

After the game-6 a.m.--Today's best country and some hits from yesterday


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO YOU!!!

Lee Ann Arthur is our Monday Birthday winner!

 

 

 

 

       

ABC News    South Carolina Radio Network

LOCAL NEWS

Have you liked WBCU on Facebook yet?

 


LOCAL TEACHER COMPLETES SCIENCE P.L.U.S. INSTITUTE TRAINING

Friday, August 28

The Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville has announced that Kayla Sue Sprouse, a teacher at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School, attended the Science P.L.U.S. Institute during the summer of 2015. The institute, 100% funded by a South Carolina Education Improvement Act grant, gives intensive training in science teaching methods and activities to public school teachers from throughout the state. The institute emphasizes the center's belief that all students deserve a good science education. Each school district that submitted applicants is represented by at least one teacher chosen to attend. In the institute's 23-year history, over 4000 public school science teachers have participated in Science P.L.U.S. classes. The South Carolina Education Improvement Act Funds are generated by the fifth penny of sales tax on each dollar. The Science P.L.U.S. Institute is only one of many programs throughout the state supported by these sales tax funds.

-

FREE BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL COACHING OFFERED TO UNION COUNTY RESIDENTS

Friday, August 28

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control is partnering with the South Carolina Pharmacy Association and a network of community pharmacists to provide free blood pressure control coaching to adults age 18 years and older diagnosed with high blood pressure in 15 counties, including Union.

High blood pressure contributes to 30% of heart disease deaths each year, and nearly two out of every five adults in South Carolina has high blood pressure,” said Rhonda Hill, Director for DHEC’s Division of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health. “Recent data shows that self-measured blood pressure monitoring plus additional support is effective in lowering blood pressure among adults with high blood pressure. Through this program, we hope to reduce deaths related to high blood pressure and develop effective community partnerships that support blood pressure self-management.”

Community pharmacists will provide education to help over 1,000 clients manage their blood pressure during the next three years. Clients will be offered training and support in: Properly measuring their blood pressure; Taking blood pressure medication as directed; and Increasing physical activity and making healthier eating choices.

To find out how you can receive one-on-one help in controlling your high blood pressure, please contact: The South Carolina Pharmacy Association, Katharine Stafford, katharine@scrx.org, or call (803) 354-9977.

-

SMX STAFFING HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENTS for amazon

Friday, August 28

SMX Staffing will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office on Thursday, September 10th, from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. They will be hiring to fill positions for warehouse associates. Multiple positions are available for seasonal work with Amazon. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. All shifts are available, and applicants must be available for overtime and be able to lift up to 49 lbs. They are looking for people who are willing to learn industrial equipment. A drug screening and background check will be conducted. The pay rate is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Interested individuals are asked to please apply online before attending the event at http://apply.smjobs.com (JOB CODE: 7C1S). Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.

There will be another recruitment event for Amazon the following week. On Monday, September 14th, SMX Staffing will hold the recruitment event at the Cherokee SC Works office from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The will also be hiring to fill positions for warehouse associates. Multiple positions are available for seasonal work with Amazon. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. All shifts are available, and applicants must be available for overtime and be able to lift up to 49 lbs. They are looking for people who are willing to learn industrial equipment. A drug screening and background check will be conducted. The pay rate is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Interested individuals are asked to please apply online before attending the event at http://apply.smjobs.com (JOB CODE: 7C1S). Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


ROSE HILL HOSTING 3RD-ANNUAL "LABORS" PROGRAM SEPTEMBER 12TH

Thursday, August 27

Saturday, September 12, Rose Hill Plantation Historic Site will host the third-annual Labors program. Through interactive exhibits, visitors will learn about the daily work of the enslaved African-Americans at Rose Hill. Visitors are invited into the past and into the world of the enslaved, such as Vardy Gist and Allen Gist and their families. Born into slavery, Vardy was a blacksmith at Rose Hill. Allen Gist, born in 1834, was an enslaved carpenter at Rose Hill.

Labors is ongoing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with activities at various locations on the park. Special performances by guest interpreters, Kitty Wilson-Evans as “Kessie,” Tyrie Rowell as “Cato,” and Dontavius Williams as “Adam,” will take you back in time to experience what life might have been like for enslaved workers on the Gist plantation.  Visitors will examine their everyday life through the labors that they would have carried out as well as activities they would have done in their own time. 

No registration is required. There is a $2 fee per person age 16 and older. Those 15 and younger are admitted free. The park also offers gardens and a nature trail. A picnic shelter with several tables is available for those who would like to bring their lunch.

 An extra option will be special tours of the Gist mansion beginning at 10 a.m. on the front porch and will emphasize the duties of enslaved African-Americans assigned to work in the mansion at Rose Hill. Tickets may be purchased in the office 15 minutes prior to the tour.

For further information, contact Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site at 2677 Sardis Road, Union, SC. Call 864-427-5966 or email rosehill@scprt.com.

-

TWO ARRESTED FOLLOWING UNDERCOVER DRUG BUY

Thursday, August 27

Last Thursday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield and Sgt. Jared Gilstrap met with and searched an operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office. The operative was wired with audio and video equipment and given recorded government currency to attempt to purchase methamphetamine from Edward Eugene Boulware, 49, of 105 Partridge Road, Lockhart. The operative then went to 101 Toluca Street and met with Boulware and was able to purchase a quantity of methamphetamine using the recorded government funds. The operative then met back with the officers and was searched once again, and all the evidence was collected and sealed for analysis at SLED. This incident location is within a 1/2 mile of Monarch Elementary School, as well as Veterans Park. Also arrested was Andres Morris Murphy, 49, who was charged with possession of narcotics.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HOSTING MARCH OF DIMES GOLF TOURNAMENT

Thursday, August 27

The Union County Sheriff's Office March of Dimes Team will be hosting a golf tournament on September 11th. It will be held that day at the Creek Golf Course with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m.. The cost is $200 per team, which will be a four-man captain's choice. The funds raised will go to the March of Dimes for research in preventing birth defects and premature births. For additional information, you may contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-466-3657.

-

TYGER RIVER CORRECTIONAL FACILITY RECRUITING CORRECTIONS OFFICERS

Thursday, August 27

Tyger River Correctional Facility of the SC Department of Corrections will hold a recruitment event Monday, August 31, from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon. The event will be held at the Union SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions for corrections officers. A high school diploma or GED is required. No experience is required, and training will be provided by employer. The jobs are for 12-hour shifts with no rotation. You will work only 14 days per month, with 2 weekends off monthly. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and will undergo a background check, drug testing and screening, reference checks, and a motor vehicle check.

-

SC AND KANSAS GOVERNORS VOW TO STOP ANY DETAINEE TRANSFERS to their states

Thursday, August 27

Governor Nikki Haley and Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas Tuesday signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter strongly opposing the transfer of terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay to either South Carolina or Kansas.

In a letter to Secretary Carter, Governor Haley and Governor Brownback said, “We will not be part of any illegal and ill-advised action by this administration, especially when that action relates to importing terrorists into our states.  Please know that we will take any action within our power to make sure no Guantanamo Bay detainees are transferred to South Carolina or Kansas.”

Last week, during a Statehouse news conference, the governor said, “It is extremely concerning that we are now getting word that they are looking at us and one other state to move terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Let’s be very, very clear, this is a violation of federal law…We are absolutely drawing a line that we are not going to allow any terrorists to come into South Carolina.”

Gov. Haley continued, “My job is to protect the people of this state, and I take that very personally. I will take that very personally the entire way so that the President, and Congress, and anyone involved in this decision understands that they are not wanted, they are not needed, and we will not accept them in South Carolina.”


BLUE WAY COULD help REVITALIZE COMMERCE AND TOURISM IN LOCKHART

Wednesday, August 26

A Blue Way Summit was held Tuesday morning at the Lockhart Power Building in Lockhart. The event was staged by the Union County Tourism Commission and the Lockhart Leadership Task Force. The Lockhart Town Council has long talked about finding a way to take advantage of the Broad River for recreational commerce and tourism. The Blue Way project could be the answer. Attendees heard Matt Shell of the Anderson County Saluda River Blue Trail that now runs from Pickens County to Saluda County. Shell talked about how the trail has expanded since its inception in 2006 to create a 127-mile corridor. The section of the trail in Anderson County encompasses 48 miles in 6 sections and negotiates 6 dams. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart talked about the project leveraging the Broad River, and Lockhart being a waterfront town. Discussion was also given concerning making the trail handicap-accessible. Shell said that aspect of the Blue Way has been a plus for their project. He said the project could become a reality within six months of the start.

At the Lockhart Town Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Ailene Ashe said her community could embrace the project.

 

The Department of Natural Resources has already approved a boat ramp to go in the community. The start date to construct the ramp has not been set.

-

LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL GIVES FIRST READING TO ADOPT COUNTY CODES ORDINANCE

Wednesday, August 26

A major item on the agenda of the Lockhart Town Council Tuesday night was giving first reading to adopt the Union County Building, Construction and Technical Codes. There will be a second reading next week and then a public hearing before the county will have jurisdiction to enforce the codes in the town. State law requires that every municipality in the state have a building and construction code, but as Mayor Ailene Ashe explained, being a very small town, they do not have the financial resources to implement their own codes. In other matters discussed during their meeting, they announced that Bobby Harris was the highest bidder on a 2004 Ford Ranger truck the town was selling. His bid was $1,262.50. The mayor also applauded the move for Spartanburg Regional Health Systems to take over the operation of the former Wallace Thomson Hospital. A note on the agenda stated, “Thanks to the hospital administration, hospital board, county council and the legislative delegation for all of the hard work to make this happen.”

-

SC WORKS HOSTING WORKSHOPS IN SEPTEMBER

Wednesday, August 26

SC Works has scheduled several workshops in the Upstate the first two weeks in September. On the 2nd, there will be a workshop at the Union SC Works office for computer beginners from 9 until 10, and another the same day on networking from 10:30 to 11:30.

Other workshops for computer beginners will be held September 4th, 9th, and 11th from 9 until 10 a.m. On September 4th, attendees can learn to write their résumé from 10:30 until 11:30, and on the 9th, during the same time you can learn about writing cover letters. On September 11th from 10:30 to 11:30, participants can learn some interview tips.

-

RESOURCE MFG HOSTING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN SPARTANBURG TOMORROW

Wednesday, August 26

Resource MFG will host a recruitment event tomorrow from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the SC Works Spartanburg office. They will be looking to hire production operators at $11 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required. Applicants must be available for rotating shifts. They will also be hiring material handlers at $13 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required, as well as 3 years' experience. All shifts are available.

-

UNIQUELY UNION, ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION AMONG ARTS COUNCIL'S SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

Wednesday, August 26

The Union County Arts Council has released their calendar of activities for the month of September. Painting with Coffee is held every Tuesday morning at 10:00.

September 3rd will be Jam at Lunch from 11:00-1:00. It's a chance to enjoy the musical talents of local members of our community.

A local Writers Group meet will Tuesday, September 8th, at 6:00. This is open to everyone.

Monday Night Music will take place September 21st at 6:30pm for a night full of local musical talent.

Corky Canvas may be a fun night out on September 18th at 6:00pm. All you need are a few friends, a favorite drink, and the Arts Council will provide the rest.

Toddler Time will be held Friday, September 25th, from 10:30-11:30 and will be all about the little ones. Any child 4 years old or younger is invited to join in for a morning full of fun art exploration. Each child must have a parent in attendance. Cost is $10.

Don't forget Uniquely Union--the gallery will be open Saturday, September 12th, from 10:00-4:00pm, and everyone is invited to stop in and see what fun activities they have planned.

The annual 2015 Art Exhibition is scheduled for Thursday, September 24th, in the USC-Union Main Building. It will take place from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.


SCHOOL BOARD RESCINDS DISNEY FIELD TRIP APPROVAL PENDING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Tuesday, August 25

The Union County School Board of Trustees opened their meeting Monday night at the Jonesville Elementary Middle School and immediately went into an executive session to receive legal advice. The session lasted 1 hour and 34 minutes, and no information was disclosed about just what was discussed. They continued with the open session by hearing from Finance Director Lynn Lawson concerning a South Carolina Association of Government Organizations resolution. The resolution involved a bond issue that goes back to 2006. Those monies were the original funds used to pay for the construction of Sims Middle School and Jonesville Elementary Middle School. The board voted to approve the resolution. Tim Barnado gave the trustees a report on the Children's Internet Protection Act and stated the district was in compliance. The board also gave approval for participation in the State Digital Device Pilot Project.

Permission for a field trip that was already approved by the board was rescinded until additional information could be obtained. The trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, was being planned for 7th- and 8th-grade students. Concerns were expressed about children who may not be able to afford the $500 trip. The board is expected to take up the matter at their next meeting.

During the personnel report by Jeff Stribble, board member Manning Jeter asked the question, “Are you and the superintendent working on anything to keep our students in Union County?" Jeter was asked about his question following the meeting.

 

Stribble's response to Jeter's question was, “It is something we can look at.”

-

RICK ALVITI, ROOT DOCTORS TO HEADLINE UNIQUELY UNION FESTIVAL

Tuesday, August 25

The 20th-Annual Uniquely Union Festival is set to come to downtown Union. The festival will begin at noon on Friday, September 11, through Saturday, September 12, at 10:00 p.m. It is a free event.

Live music, arts and crafts, food and merchandise vendors, and a Kidz Zone are among the attractions of this year’s festival. Friday night’s headlining act on the Main Stage is Elvis impersonator Rick Alviti. He is back by popular demand, and his high energy show is a crowd pleaser. The Root Doctors will take the Main Stage Saturday night with their sound that will keep everyone on their feet.

The barbecue cook-off is always a big attraction, along with the ever-popular Tasters’ Choice event. Tasters’ Choice allows ticket holders to sample BBQ from each cooker and vote for their favorite sample. Tickets for the Tasters’ Choice event may be purchased at one of the Welcome Centers for $5. One ticket is good for samples from every cooker.

Organizers are currently looking for volunteers to help out with various parts of the festival. If you would like to volunteer, send an email to kmlawson.68@gmail.com. For more information or for sponsor, vendor, or cooker applications, go to www.uniquelyunion.com.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES UTILITY THEFT

Tuesday, August 25

Friday, a Union County Sheriff's Office deputy was dispatched to 208 Tinsley Road concerning the theft of electricity. The deputy spoke with an employee of Broad River Electric, who said the service had been terminated on June 30th, but the meter had a higher reading than it did when it was turned off. They found the meter had been tampered with and would have to be replaced. They found several parts of the meter damaged, and with a mandatory tampering fee, the violator would have to pay a total of $515.68. When the deputies went back to the home, they found 41-year old Alberry Fleming staying there. Fleming denied any knowledge of the electric theft but was informed he was benefiting from it. The incident report stated that a warrant would be sought for theft of utilities.

-

CARLISLE AND LOCKHART TOWN COUNCILS HAVE MEETINGS TONIGHT

Tuesday, August 25

Carlisle Town Council will meet in regular session tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Carlisle Town Hall. Also tonight, the Lockhart Town Council will meet at their town hall at 7:00 p.m.

-

EATON HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT TODAY FOR MATERIAL HANDLERS

Tuesday, August 25

Eaton is holding a recruitment event today from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm at the SC Works Spartanburg office located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are hiring to fill material handler positions for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shifts. The starting pay is $11.53 per hour plus a shift premium. A high school diploma or GED is required, and 6 months of warehouse experience is preferred. A criminal background check and drug screen will be conducted.

Next week, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, Inc., will hold a recruitment event. That will take place Thursday, September 3rd, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. They will be hiring to fill positions of pickers and packers in Union and Laurens. This event will be held at the Union SC Works office. The company will conduct drug screening, background check, and a reference check.

Prior to the events, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org.

-

SC WORKS POSTS INFORMATION ABOUT 116 NEW JOB ORDERS

Tuesday, August 25

SC Works has announced that as of Monday, 116 job orders have been added or updated in SC Works Online Services in the last 14 days. Each of these jobs are located in Cherokee, Spartanburg, or Union counties. To get more information about these jobs, including how to apply, sign in to your account in SC Works Online Services, do a job search by job number, and review all of the job order information. Before you apply for any job, be sure you meet or exceed all of the posted qualifications for the position. If you are unsure or have any questions, please ask one of the SC Works Employment Specialists. Check out the list of jobs below, or online at www.scworks.org.


TONY'S PIZZA AND SUBS OPENS TODAY

Monday, August 24

A new restaurant is opening today in Union. Tony's Pizza and Subs is opening at 11:00 in the BI-LO Shopping Center. Tony's Pizza and Subs is a locally owned group of restaurants founded by Tony and Fatimah King on October 13, 2005, in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. District Manager Brian Shelton told what could be expected with the opening of the new store.

 

Their website says founders Tony and Fatimah King graduated from Hillcrest High School and live right in the Upstate of South Carolina. It continues, “Being locally owned and operated has allowed Tony and Fatimah to build a brand you can trust with great quality products, unrivaled customer service and fast deliveries.”

The company now has 11 locations. Four of the stores are company-owned, and five are owned by franchisees.

-

SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET TONIGHT

Monday, August 24

The Union County Board of School Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Jonesville Elementary Middle School. The agenda appears to be a bit crowded, with a number of items up for discussion. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will present an additional SCAGO board resolution and will also give the monthly financial report. Tim Barnado will recommend that they approve the district's participation in the State Digital Device Pilot Program. Also covered will be the public notice of the Union County School District's compliance with the Children's Internet Protection program. There will be a review of the 6th-grade survey from instructors and their usage of the Pilot Year 1 Digital Devices in their classrooms. Jeff Stribble will give an accreditation update and will present a personnel report. An executive session is listed for the purpose of receiving legal advice.

-

BLUE WAY PROJECT MEETING SCHEDULED TOMORROW

Monday, August 24

There will be a meeting for the Blue Way Project in Lockhart tomorrow. That meeting will be held at the Lockhart Power Company office located at 420 River Street. The starting time is 11:00 a.m. and is being held in conjunction with the Lockhart Leadership Task Force meeting. Not much is known about the Blue Way Project, but it is believed to have something to do with recreational activity along the Broad River, which forms the boundary between Union and Chester counties at Lockhart.

Matt Schell will be the guest speaker for the event. Matt is a member of the Anderson County Parks and Recreation Department and will give insight on how to put together the Blue Way Project for Union County.

Curtiss Hunter of the Union County Tourism Commission said, “At this point, the Blue Way Project is in the development stage.  We are working on a Blue Way Project for Union County.  The young man that is going to be the guest speaker at the Summit will provide information on how Anderson County put theirs together.”  A number of communities across the nation have partnered to launch a community-oriented project promoting the beauty and benefits of their rivers. Many have a comprehensive canoe trail running through their areas and strives to increase education, recreation, economic opportunity and visibility of the area. It is reported that Blueways will promote outdoor recreational opportunities on the river, while linking greenways, parks, preserves and historic sites in the region. 

-

STATE, COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES GO DOWN

Monday, August 24

Governor Nikki Haley has issued a statement regarding the news that South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent in July from 6.6 percent in June.

According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, there are over 59,000 more people working today than in July 2014.

“When we invest in our students and workforce, strengthen our infrastructure and make government more efficient and accountable to the people and businesses it serves – as Team South Carolina has done over the last five years – the results speak for themselves: businesses flourish, the economy grows and unemployment drops. The fact that our unemployment rate is down for the second consecutive month is another reason to celebrate across South Carolina, and we have to keep the momentum going.”

In Union County, the unemployment rate dropped 0.5% from 8.9% in June to 8.4% for July. A year ago, the unemployment rate in Union was 9.1%.

-

ONIN STAFFING HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN GREER NEXT WEEK

Monday, August 24

Onin Staffing will be holding a job fair at the Goodwill Job Connection in Greer, located at 1333 W. Wade Hampton Blvd. It will take place Tuesday, September 1st, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They will be hiring: production associates, machine operators and material handlers. The jobs are located in Greer, Simpsonville and the Greenville area. A high school diploma or equivalent is not required. The hours may vary depending on the season. Current production hours are 2nd- and 3rd-shift Monday-Friday, and you will train for 2 weeks on 1st shift from 9am-5pm. Applicants must bring a résumé, and you are asked to dress professionally and come prepared for an interview.


ARMED ROBBERS POINT GUNS AT CHILDREN

Friday, August 21

Union County Sheriff's Deputy Brad Woods met with a Jonesville man at 1217 West Springs Highway on Wednesday who stated he was watching three children while two people were at the hospital. He said three men, dressed in all black and wearing masks, kicked in the front door, pointed guns at the children, and made him empty his pockets. The subjects locked the man in the bathroom and left after ransacking the home. He stated the subjects were black males in their 20s, and they stole his wallet, which contained several items, off an entertainment center. He said they took $60-$70. The report stated that the subjects used a chair to block the bathroom door and told him if he came out they would shoot the children. After they left, he said he he called his roommate who was at the hospital with someone else and called law enforcement. The juveniles, a 6-year old boy, a 4-year old boy, and a 4-year old girl, were there at the time of the robbery. The 6-year old told the deputy he and his siblings were in the living room when the subjects kicked in the door. He said two of the subjects had handguns, and the third subject had a metal baseball bat with writing on it. He said the subjects pointed their guns at them and told them to close their eyes or they would shoot them. He said they eventually left through the front door.

-

SPONSORS NEEDED FOR MUSIC MONTH IN DOWNTOWN UNION

Friday, August 21

The Union County Chamber of Commerce continues to make plans for the 2015 Music Month in downtown Union. Three nights of musical events are planned, starting on September 3rd and continuing on September 17th and 24th. The events will be held in the downtown area on Herndon St. between the courthouse and the school district office. There will be a different performer on each of the Thursday nights. September 3rd will feature “A Night With Carl”, a one-man crowd pleaser who fills the house at the State Fair each year. The Weatherman Band will return to the Union stage on September 17, featuring Union native and News Channel 7 personality Jack Roper. The Carolina Rhythm Band will take the stage on September 24 with a long list of both current and older hit songs. The Chamber of Commerce is seeking several levels of sponsorship for the event. The fee for a band sponsor is $500, a stage sponsor is $300 and a music sponsor is $200. It is important to have all sponsorships confirmed by August 24th. Several sponsors have already signed up, and Chamber officials are encouraging participation. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Chamber of Commerce at 427-9039.

-

DRILLS STOLEN FROM HIGH SCHOOL OVER THE SUMMER

Friday, August 21

The City of Union Public Safety Department is investigating a theft at the Career and Technology Center, located on the campus of Union County High School. School Resource Officer Michael Nance spoke with the center's director, Kevin Morrow, about the theft of four Dewalt drills. The drills were locked in the tool room by the shop teacher at the end of the school year. The teacher, Chris Ketterman, went to the tool room at the beginning of the school year and found the door unlocked. That is when he discovered the drills were missing. It was reported that several people were in and out of the room during the summer. Some of them were from out of town working here on a new fire alarm system. The drills are valued at $100 each, and the case has been turned over to investigators.

-

TRUEBLUE STAFFING HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT NEXT WEEK IN SPARTANBURG

Friday, August 21

TrueBlue Staffing will hold a Recruitment Event next week. It will take place Friday, August 28, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon. They will be hiring to fill positions for: industrial sewer, cloth cutter, floater with packing, cloth cutting and inspecting experience, an administrative assistant, and material handler with forklift experience. Drug testing, a background check, and reference checks will be conducted.

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


WOMAN REPORTS BREAK-IN ON THORNRIDGE ROAD

Thursday, August 20

Tuesday, a woman reported that someone broke into her residence on Thornridge Road. Deputies said the back door was pried open and inside the house was torn upside down. Food was pulled out of the refrigerator and cabinets, and a 50" Emerson television was taken off the wall. In the bedroom, the mattress was flipped off the bed and drawers were pulled out. Daniels reported that $5000 worth of miscellaneous jewelry was taken from the bedroom. The deputies reported that there were very clear tire marks in the grass where the subject backed a vehicle up to the back door. The said the food on the floor had defrosted, and it would appear the incident took place earlier in the day. An investigator was called to the scene to begin an investigation.

-

TATE ELECTED AS CHAIRMAN OF SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD

Thursday, August 20

Gaffney resident Gregory M. Tate has been elected to serve as chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical & Community Education, the governing body of Spartanburg Community College. He is the first commission chair from Cherokee County, and replaces Mr. W. Bruce Johnson, who has served as chair since 2011.

Tate is a 1971 graduate of Limestone College with a business management degree and retired from the construction industry after working as chief financial officer and controller for more than 30 years. He is currently self-employed as a financial consultant for contractors.

Representing Union County as an officer is Stanley O. Vanderford.

-

SUMMIT MEETING ON EMERGING YOUTH WORKERS SCHEDULED NEXT WEEK

Thursday, August 20

A summit meeting entitled “Solving the Aging Workforce Challenge with Emerging Youth" has been set for next Thursday, August 27th, at the Spartanburg Marriott. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., and breakfast will be at 8:00. Representative Rita Allison will be the keynote speaker. Door prizes will be awarded, and several local school superintendents will inform participants of the many initiatives in the area schools to prepare students for local companies.

-

"BLUE WAY SUMMIT" PLANNED IN LOCKHART NEXT TUESDAY

Thursday, August 20

Something called the Blue Way will be held in Lockhart this coming Tuesday, August 25th, at the Lockhart Power Company office located at 420 River Street. The starting time is 11:00 a.m. and is being held in conjunction with the Lockhart Leadership Task Force meeting. Very little is known about the Blue Way project, but it is believed to have something to do with recreational activity along the Broad River, which forms the boundary between Union and Chester counties at Lockhart.

Matt Schell will be the guest speaker for the event. Matt is a member of the Anderson County Parks and Recreation Department and will give insight on how to put together the Blue Way Project for Union County.

Curtiss Hunter of the Union County Tourism Commission said, “At this point, the Blue Way project is in the development stage.  We are working on a Blue Way project for Union County.  The young man that is going to be the guest speaker at the summit will provide information on how Anderson County put theirs together.  A number of communities across the nation have partnered to launch a community-oriented project promoting the beauty and benefits of their rivers. Many have a comprehensive canoe trail running through their areas and strive to increase education, recreation, economic opportunity and visibility of the area. It is reported that Blue Way will promote outdoor recreational opportunities on the river, while linking greenways, parks, preserves and historic sites in the region. 

-

TOWN OF CARLISLE SPONSORS COMPUTER CLASSES NEXT WEEK

Thursday, August 20

The Town of Carlisle will sponsor a couple of computer classes next week. On Tuesday, August 25th, and again on Thursday, August 27th, the classes will be held at the Carlisle Town Hall from 3:30 until 5:00 p.m. Those desiring to take the classes should call 427-1505 for additional information.


CITY TAX MILLAGE RATE FOR NEXT YEAR UP IN THE AIR

Wednesday, August 19

One of the matters briefly discussed at the Union City Council meeting Tuesday night was the property tax reassessment and the 2015-2016 tax millage rate. According to information provided by the city, due to reassessment, the General Tax Millage Rate will not be set until the process is complete. The base millage rate is 84.17 once the surcharge of 8.33 mills is removed. State law allows for a tax increase based on the Consumer Price Index and population growth, if any. A 1.46 Consumer Price Index and no population increase would allow the city to increase property tax by 1.22 mills, but this increase would be delayed until 2017. City Finance Director Walker Gallman said all the figures are yet to come in, and therefore a detailed discussion at this time would not be possible

The council approved a recommendation to authorize Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into contract negotiations with the Montgomery Company for a design-build service not to exceed $1,999,995. The design build service is for the Main Street Junction project. The project calls for the renovation of the former Super 10 building on Main Street into a multipurpose community use facility. The plan also calls for the construction of a park area just behind the building on the site formally proposed for an Events Center. Councilman Ricky Harris expressed concern that no restroom facilities were planned for the outdoor area. The mayor said this is something that could be looked at during the design phase.

The Union County Coon Hunters Association and the Union County Tourism Commission received a $17,500 donation to help facilitate the staging of the Southeastern Treeing Walker Days in February of next year. The Tourism Commission landed the event following negotiations with the United Kennel Club to bring what has been termed an “economy-boosting” event to Union County for the next five years. The event was previously held in Salisbury, North Carolina, where it was reported that over 15,000 people from all over the United States attended. The $17,500 donation will come from the Accommodations and Hospitality Tax Fund.

Ten at the Top, an organization that promotes business growth in ten Upstate counties, received a $1000 donation to help support their cause.

Beth Hyder of the Union County Dog Club appeared before the council asking for a donation of property and construction assistance for a dog park. Hyder stated the needs for such a park would require, among other amenities, a six-foot fence on a two-acre site. She also mention lighting and a seating area. The mayor said he would like to form a steering committee to study the feasibility of the project.

-

DOLLAR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION AIDS BROAD RIVER WITH BACKPACK DRIVE

Wednesday, August 19

Combined efforts from Broad River Electric Cooperative members, employees, and one of  its industrial accounts have provided 3000 book bags, with school supplies, to students across the upstate of South Carolina.

The backpacks contain a notebook, a pack of paper and an encouraging note from Broad River Electric Cooperative. Additional school supplies were also delivered to elementary students in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties last week.

The more than $20,000 to purchase the packs came from Broad River Electric’s Operation Round Up® program, in which the cooperative’s members round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. The extra change accumulates into a benevolence fund and is distributed quarterly by the Broad River Electric Charities Board to local charities and causes. This is the third consecutive summer that the fund has provided supplies and necessities to local students.

The spiral-bound notebook and a pack of paper inside each bag was donated by the Dollar General Distribution Center in Jonesville. The facility is one of Broad River Electric Cooperative’s industrial members and a strong supporter of local schools.

With cooperative members providing the bags and supplies, Broad River Electric employees, Charities Board members, members of Boy Scout Troop 145, friends and family assembled at Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney on August 10th to stuff the 3,000 backpacks. Since then, Broad River Electric representatives have been hand-delivering the bags to the dozens of schools and community centers in the area.

We are thankful to the community, Jonesville’s Dollar General Distribution Center, our members and our employees for being a part of this effort. They truly embody the cooperative spirit,” said Josh Crotzer of Broad River Electric.

Broad River Electric Cooperative is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing 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 in order to improve the quality of their lives.

-

UNION COUNTY MARCH FOR BABIES KICKOFF SCHEDULED NEXT TUESDAY

Wednesday, August 19

Time is fast approaching for the Union County March for Babies kickoff. Tuesday, August 25th, organizers will meet at 12 noon in the Community Room of USC-Union. Participants are ask to RSVP if you are planning to attend and let them know how many team members will be with you. The number to RSVP is 864-551-2641.

-

REMEDY INTELLIGENT STAFFING HIRING FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS SEPTEMBER 1ST

Wednesday, August 19

Coming up September 1st, Remedy Intelligent Staffing will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. They will be hiring to fill positions of order fulfillment specialist, production associate, quality assurance, technician inspectors and sorters, forklift/cherry picker operator, and machine operator.

Drug testing, background check, and reference checks will be conducted. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT AT 6:30

Tuesday, August 18

When the Union City Council meets tonight, one of the matters they will discuss is the property tax reassessment and the 2015-2016 tax millage rate. According to information provided by the city, due to reassessment, the General Tax Millage Rate will not be set until the process is complete. The base millage rate is 84.17 once the surcharge of 8.33 mills is removed. State law allows for a tax increase based on the Consumer Price Index and population growth, if any. A 1.46 Consumer Price Index and no population increase would allow the city to increase property tax by 1.22 mills, but this increase would be delayed until 2017.

The council is expected to approve a recommendation to authorize Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into contract negotiations with the Montgomery Company for a design-build service not to exceed $1,199,995. The design build service is for the Main Street Junction project. The project calls for the renovation of the former Super 10 building on Main Street into a multipurpose community use facility. The plan also call for the construction of a park area just behind the building on the site formally proposed for an Events Center.

The Union County Coon Hunters Association and the Union County Tourism Commission are asking for a $17,500 donation to help facilitate the staging of the Southeastern Treeing Walker Days in February of next year. The Tourism Commission landed the event following negotiations with the United Kennel Club to bring what has been termed an “economy boosting” event to Union County for the next five years. The event was previously held in Salisbury, North Carolina, where it was reported that over 15,000 people from all over the United States attended. The recommendation is to approve the $17,500 donation to come from the Accommodations and Hospitality Tax Fund.

Ten at the Top, an organization that promotes business growth in ten Upstate counties, is requesting a $1000 donation to help support their cause. The recommendation is to approve the donation. The City Council meeting will begin at 6:30 at City Hall in the council's chambers.

-

CLEMSON CLUB'S ANNUAL KICK OFF EVENT SCHEDULED TONIGHT

Tuesday, August 18

The Union County Clemson Club will be hosting its annual Kick-Off Event tonight at Veterans Memorial Park. Doors will open for the event at 5:00 PM, with dinner at 6:00 before the evening’s program begins. Keynote speakers include former Union High School and Clemson defensive lineman Rashaad Jackson, as well as Don Munson, the radio Voice of the Clemson Tigers. The club will also hold a raffle, with Clemson-related prizes including a corn toss set, two tickets to the Clemson-Notre Dame game, and the club’s traditional prize, a tailgate package.

The club would like to remind attendees to send in their membership. Entry to the event is free with a club membership, which is available for $25 per family. Membership is open to all Clemson fans. Dues can be mailed to UCCC, PO Box 54, Union, SC, 29379. The goal of the Clemson Club is to award academic scholarships to deserving students who will be attending Clemson. For more information about the club or the event, contact club president Virgil Childers at (864) 251-0094.

-

STAFF ONE PLUS RECRUITING FORKLIFT OPERATORS

Tuesday, August 18

Staff One Plus will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office next Tuesday, August 25, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. They will be hiring to fill positions for forklift operators. There are multiple positions available, and the job requires 6-12 months of manufacturing forklift experience. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, and the rate of pay is $10 an hour. Drug testing, background check, and reference checks will be conducted. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


MAN REPORTED MISSING ON A CANOE TRIP FOUND SAFE

Monday, August 17

A man missing on a canoe trip on the Tyger River has been found safe.

Stewart Bagwell of Durham, NC, was found by a Fairfield County Deputy. He was picked up at the Fairfield/Newberry county line.

Union County Sheriff's officers were dispatched to the Lil Cricket in Carlisle Sunday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. in reference to the missing boater. On scene, officers spoke with Mike Milligan who said he has been canoeing on the Tyger River with a friend. Milligan told officers that his friend became very tired and complained of hip pain shortly after passing the Highway 72 bridge. He said he left him and proceeded to where his car was parked with the understanding he would come back and pick Bagwell up at the Tuckertown bridge in Newberry County. Milligan said his friend never arrived at the bridge and he feels that he may have been too tired to make it that far before it got dark. He said his friend did have a tent, camp stove and other camping gear. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources responded with deputies and rescue personnel and the decision was made to wait until daylight so the DNR airplane could check the area before additional resources could be put on the river. Milligan told officers that a large part of the river was so shallow they had to drag their canoes.

-

EXERCISE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING THIS SCHOOL YEAR

Monday, August 17

The new school year opens today in Union County. Remember there will be increased traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian. Motorists are reminded to exercise caution, especially in and around school zones.

-

USC UNION LAUNCHES BRICK CAMPAIGN FOR BOBBY RIPPY STUDENT CENTER COURTYARD

Monday, August 17

USC Union has announced the launch of their $50 for 50 brick campaign in honor of their 50th anniversary. Area citizens are invited to be among the first to become a permanent part of USC Union by purchasing a commemorative brick to support the school's 50th anniversary. The bricks are only $50, and they can be engraved with your name or that of a loved one.

The commemorative bricks will line a portion of the new courtyard behind the Student Center. Mrs. Barbara Rippy provided $100,000 for the project. It will be named in her husband’s memory. It will be called the Bobby Rippy Student Center Courtyard. The landscaped area will include benches and seating for students and visitors, and a trellis will provide shade.

Dean Alice Taylor-Colbert remarked, “Purchasing a commemorative brick for your family will provide a lasting tribute to your loved ones and help us complete the funding needed to design and build the new student space. We appreciate your support for USC Union. You will always be remembered as a generous supporter of our 50th Anniversary.”

To request a form, please contact Annie Smith at 424-8055 or alsmith@mailbox.sc.edu.

Giving annually makes a difference in the lives of all students by supporting the traditions that make them Gamecocks.

-

UNITED WAY SPONSORS DISASTER PREPAREDNESS SEMINAR

Monday, August 17

A disaster preparedness seminar has been scheduled for next month in Spartanburg. The United Way of the Piedmont is sponsoring the event September 29th from 8:00 a.m. until 12 noon at Cleveland Park. The presenters for the seminar will be Doug Bryson, Spartanburg County Emergency Preparedness Manager, and Jeff Straub, Spartanburg Regional System Safety Officer and Emergency Manager. All non-profits (both funded and unfunded) and faith-based organizations are invited to take part in learning to be better prepared for disaster. Participants need to register by September 22nd to Molly Rankin at 864-582-7556.

-

USC PROVIDES SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SEVERAL UNION COUNTY STUDENTS

Monday, August 17

Each year, USC provides scholarship opportunities for mature students over the age of 25 who have a cumulative GPA of no less than a 3.0. The Admissions Office identifies the potential students, and the Financial Aid Office mails the students a letter and scholarship application. In addition to the application, an essay is required.

The scholarship is awarded through USC Continuing Education/Extended Studies with a committee of three Columbia professors making the selection. This scholarship is only for the two-year USC regional campuses. The following USC Union students received a scholarship for 2015-2016:

Joseph C. Allen, Associates - Union, SC

Angela B. Bennett, Associates - Union, SC

Temeka T. Briggs, Associates - Union, SC

Angela Henry, Palmetto College/Bachelors of Liberal Studies - North Charleston, SC

Dawn M. Schrieber, Associates - Union, SC

Terry Emerson Thorp, Palmetto College/Bachelors of Organizational Leadership - Columbia, SC

-

LIBRARY RECAPS SUCCESSFUL SUMMER READING PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS

Monday, August 17

Union County Carnegie Library Director Ben Loftis says, “The Summer Reading program is probably the biggest, and certainly the longest, program hosted by the Carnegie Library each year. It provides an opportunity to encourage reading at a time when many patrons, both young and old, have a little extra time.”

The children’s Summer Reading program offers the library the opportunity to reach children at a particularly vital period in their education – summer breaks. Research has revealed the potential of the “summer slide” in which students who do not engage in educational opportunities often fail to retain a part of their learning and fall behind students who remain active educationally throughout the summer. Summer Reading programs offer a great opportunity to combat this phenomenon as well as to reach new patrons through fun activities.

This year’s theme of superheroes allows children to discover that “every hero has a story,” while teens were able to “unmask” many new ideas and discover new authors. Programs centered on this hero theme, focusing both on local heroes such firefighters, police officers, and medical workers, as well as fictional superheroes through a variety of fun and interactive programs such as superhero themed crafts and a mini-training camp for young future superheroes.

The children’s program wrapped up with a finale that encouraged students to dress as their favorite superheroes and have the opportunity to win prizes.

Grand prizes were offered in two age groups, with Kenlee Beaver winning an InnoTab3 learning tablet and Robert Alan Hill receiving a Kindle Fire. Other participants also received a variety of superhero-themed prizes including craft supplies and coloring books, as well as other books to add to their collections. In addition to the art grant mentioned earlier, funding for the 2015 children’s Summer Reading program was provided through another grant from the State Library as well as a grant from Dollar General. The State Library grants were offered through the LSTA program, while Dollar General annually offers Summer Reading grants. Loftis said, “The Carnegie Library is greatly appreciative of the support provided by the State Library and by Dollar General.”

-

PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES ARMED ROBBERY OF UNION MAN

Monday, August 17

City of Union Public Safety Officer Chris Fleming was on duty Thursday night at the Waffle House when 41-year old Paul Kirk came into the restaurant. The police report stated he was visibly upset and informed the officer that he had just been held up at gunpoint on Green Street, near Blassingame. He said he was walking to work when a dark-colored vehicle, possibly a Nissan, pulled up beside him. Kirk said a black male put a 45-caliber handgun to his head and ask Kirk to give him whatever he had. The victim said he gave the man $28 and a full pack of cigarettes. Kirk stated that he never saw the vehicle or the man before. City units were not able to locate the vehicle that matched the description, and the case has been turned over to investigators.


LARGE CROWD GATHERS AT FAIRGROUNDS FOR ANNUAL UNION COUNTY PEP RALLY

Friday, August 14

Hundreds of people turned out Thursday evening to the Union County Fair Grounds for the Union County Pep Rally. The annual event is sponsored by Holcombe Funeral Home and WBCU Radio. It featured the introduction of the fall sports teams and entertainment.

William Holcombe of Holcombe Funeral Home said he was pleased with the turnout.

 

Amanda Knowles, Josh Lydia and the 2015 winner of long as supplies lasted.

-

FOSTER PARK STAFF AND STUDENTS PLAN MEMORIAL FOR MIRACLE SMITH

Friday, August 14

After raising more than $5000 to help pay for the funeral of Miracle Smith, the staff and students at Foster Park Elementary School plan to do more. The seven-year old drowned July 22nd in the YMCA pool. She would have been a second-grade student this year. The fundraising effort began with a hot dog sale in the school's cafeteria on July 25th. In addition, an account was set up at Arthur State Bank for persons wishing to make donations. There was a total of $6,084 raised, $5000 of which went to help pay funeral expenses. The remaining $1,084 will go toward a fund to honor the memory of the child. The memorial would either be some playground equipment, a tree or even a bench placed there in her memory. There will be future fundraising efforts.

-

ANOTHER HOME SECURITY SYSTEM SCAM REPORTED

Friday, August 14

There is another report of a scam where a subject shows up saying they are there to change the batteries in a home security system. Deputy Michelle Gregory spoke with a Sardis Road woman about such an incident that occurred on July 25th. She told the deputy that Marion Douglas Young, Jr., came to her home and changed out a battery and then demanded money. She said he did not have permission to change the battery. When he demanded the money, she told him she did not have any, but her daughter paid him just to get him to leave. The case is being sent to investigators.

-

UNION MAN REPORTS METAL POLE STOLEN, TAKEN TO SCRAP YARD

Friday, August 14

A Union man reported to the Sheriff's office that someone had taken a 20-foot metal pole from property he owns on the Whitmire Highway. He also reported that a lock had been cut off a building there, but nothing was determined to be missing. He called Lucky's Scrap Metal and asked them to be on the lookout for the pole, and they told him they had already received it. They were not able to identify who brought it in but did offer to give it back at no charge. He was advised to notify the sheriff's office should he get any additional information about the matter. The man asked for extra patrols in the area.

-

DEPUTIES RESPOND TO BURGLARY AND LARCENY AT JONESVILLE TRAILER

Friday, August 14

On Thursday just before 1:00 a.m., sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Peach Shed Road in Jonesville in reference to a burglary that had already occurred. Once there, they spoke with a man who stated that he went by the property around noon on Wednesday and noticed that an outside air conditioning unit was missing. He did not call authorities at that time. He returned to the property around 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning and he said he heard some movement inside. He went to the back door of the trailer and stepped inside to find the place all torn apart. He then saw a figure as it went out the front door. Howell made his way through the clutter and also went out the front door, but didn't see or hear anything. He said after about 10 minutes, he saw a car pull up at a stop sign and sit there about a minute and a half. The car took off and Howell pursued the vehicle, which was determined to be a gray Chevrolet Cobalt, while talking with the 911 operator. The operator advised him to back off. He returned to Peach Shed Road and waited on deputies to arrive. He told them he was on the property about three weeks ago, and everything was fine. It was determined that someone had made entry to the building by prying open the back door.

Deputies noticed a panel missing from a wall and some copper wire had been cut. There were several holes in the floor. Howell said several items were missing, including a stove, a refrigerator, inside and outside air conditioner units, toilet, fixtures, insulation, a water heater, and a tub. The value of the missing items was placed at $3000.

Deputies spoke to the driver of the Chevrolet who stated he was in the area leaving a friend's house.


MAN RUNS FROM POLICE AFTER STEALING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND'S CAR

Thursday, August 13

On the above date and times, a woman reported that following an argument with her ex-boyfriend Jamie Eugene Brown, 27, he took and drove away in her 2000 Honda Accord that did not have a license tag. A short time later, Deputy Tommy Cudd located the suspect vehicle driving along Buffalo-West Springs Hwy. Before Cudd could perform a traffic stop on it, Brown turned into the Lil Cricket store, located across from the Buffalo Seafood restaurant, and fled on foot. The K9 unit was called to the scene, but Brown was not located at that time. A warrant was signed on Jamie Brown for use of vehicle without the owner's consent, and he will also be charged for driving under suspension.

About two hours later, Deputy Matthew Voiselle responded to a 911 hang-up call at 634 Riley Rd. This residence was known to be the residence of Jamie Brown. Voiselle and another deputy arrived at the residence and observed Brown running through the back yard into the woods. Both deputies yelled for Brown to stop running, but he refused. The K9 tracking team was called to the scene and a track was done, but Brown could not be located. A warrant was to be sought against Brown for resisting arrest.

-

UNION COUNTY PEP RALLY SCHEDULED TODAY AT THE FAIRGROUNDS

Thursday, August 13

The Union County Pep Rally is being held this evening at the Union County Fair Grounds. The annual event is sponsored by Holcombe Funeral Home and WBCU Radio. It will feature the introduction of the fall sports teams and entertainment. WBCU General Manager Chris Woodson says the pep rally is a way of celebrating the new school year.

 

Amanda Knowles will perform at 5:00 p.m., and Josh Lydia at 6:00 p.m. The 2015 winner of the WBCU Country Showdown, Brianna Bailey, will be on stage at 6:30. The Childers will perform at 7:30. Free hot dogs and t-shirts will be given out as long as supplies last.

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES DOWNTOWN CONCERT SERIES NEXT MONTH

Thursday, August 13

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has announced plans for the 2015 Music Month in downtown Union. Three nights of musical events are planned starting on September 3rd and continuing on September 17th and 24th. The events will be held in the downtown area on Herndon between the courthouse and the school district office. There will be a different performer on each of the Thursday nights. September 3rd will feature “A Night With Carl”, a one-man crowd pleaser who fills the house at the State Fair each year. The Weatherman Band will return to the Union stage on September 17th, featuring Union native and News Channel 7 personality Jack Roper. The Carolina Rhythm Band will take the stage on September 24th with a long list of both current and older hit songs. The Chamber is seeking several levels of sponsorship for the event. The fee for a band sponsor is $500, a stage sponsor is $300, and a music sponsor is $200. It is important to have all sponsorships confirmed by August 24th. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Chamber of Commerce at 427-9039.

-

SENATOR TIM SCOTT RECRUITS INTERNS

Thursday, August 13

U.S. Senator Tim Scott said Monday that he is accepting applications for congressional internships in his Washington, D.C., North Charleston, Columbia and Greenville offices for the fall of 2015. The intern program is open to undergraduate and graduate students who have strong interest in public service, government and press. All internships are unpaid, but provide students valuable work experience and an opportunity to work with professionals in legislative, constituent services, and press roles. In Washington, interns’ responsibilities vary and include answering phones, researching legislation, attending Congressional hearings and briefings, assisting with press tasks and assisting with constituent letters on issues.

In the South Carolina offices (North Charleston, Columbia and Greenville), interns will take an active role in the community, working on state-based projects of importance, while also answering phones, completing research and other projects, and being an integral part of day-to-day office functioning.

Internship hours are flexible to accommodate students’ course schedules, but can generally run 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Interested South Carolina students should contact the internship coordinato r at internships@scott.senate.gov or (202) 224-6121.


COUNTY COUNCIL RECEIVES UPDATE ON JAIL RENOVATIONS

Wednesday, August 12

The Union County Council met in an abbreviated session Tuesday afternoon, but they covered a lot of ground in the process. The first action came when they appointed Adolphus Ray Jones to fill a vacancy on the Union County Stadium Commission. There are two positions that will be opening soon on the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, and the council agreed to advertise for individuals who might be interested in serving. Also approved was a request for funds from the Capital Expenditure Account for a vehicle for the sheriff's office. Second reading was given to amend an ordinance pertaining to the building, construction and technical codes. Another ordinance that received a second reading pertained to revenues from multi-county park agreements. These are industrial parks in which various counties share an interest.

Sheriff David Taylor gave a report to the council concerning renovations and improvements being made to the Union County Jail. He said they were just before going to bid for the replacement of a heat exchange unit. When the work is completed, the sheriff said it should be up to standard.

 

One other matter mentioned by the sheriff was the agreement between the county, the Town of Jonesville, and the City of Union, where each of those municipalities pay a fee of $51 per day to house prisoners. Taylor said nothing was wrong with the fee, but the agreement itself is outdated. He told the council that he has made revisions to the agreement and asked permission for it to be reviewed by attorneys. That permission was given.

-

ERADICATION FLIGHT LEADS TO DRUG ARREST

Wednesday, August 12

Monday, investigators with the Union County Drug Task Force were conducting marijuana eradication flights throughout the county. During the operation, marijuana plants were seen from the aircraft behind the residence of 204 River Ridge Rd. on the Union County side of Pacolet. Investigators went to this residence and located the owner, Kellon Bahr Dewes, 48, who was at home at the time. Dewes was advised why investigators were there and was given her Miranda warning by Lt. Johnny Sherfield. Dewes agreed to talk with investigators and stated that it was her property and no one else lived with her. Dewes claimed knowledge of the plants being grown on her property and also told investigators that she had another marijuana plant inside her camper that was drying. Lt. Sherfield and Jared Sgt. Gilstrap entered the camper with Dewes and located the drying plant.

Sgt. Gilstrap also observed in plain sight a pizza rack that had marijuana drying on it inside the camper. Investigators also seized drug paraphernalia and 4 firearms. All items were taken and entered into evidence. Dewes was placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Jail by Lt. Sherfield. Sgt. Gilstrap was to seek warrants for manufacturing marijuana for the 5 plants found on her property, and possession With intent to distribute marijuana because the drying marijuana inside the camper was weighed and had a field weight of 111.5 grams.

-

CARLISLE COMMUNITY BACK TO SCHOOL BASH SET FOR SATURDAY

Wednesday, August 12

The 11th annual Carlisle Community Fun Day cookout and back to school bash is set for this Saturday. It is being promoted as a family event and will take place from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Carlisle Playground. Organizers say there will be a fashion and talent show, along with food, games, music, and more. There will be school supplies handed out, and an opportunity for ladies to sign up for mammograms. Representatives of Save the Children will also be on hand. Donations are still needed for the school supplies, as well as volunteers. For more information, call 427-1505.

-

ARTS COUNCIL HOSTING RECEPTION FOR CONVERSE FACULTY EXHIBITION

Wednesday, August 12

The Union County Arts Council will host a reception Thursday for their latest exhibit. That exhibit is the Converse Art and Design Faculty Exhibition. The reception will be held from 6-8pm, and all of Union County is invited to attend. There are fourteen Converse professors contributing to the show.

In other news from the Arts Council, they have released their calendar of events for the month of August. Among the activities scheduled is Monday Night Music. Council officials say whether you are a lifetime musician or just picked up an instrument for the first time, Monday Night Music is for you. No matter what your skill level, area residents are invited to join them on Monday, August 17th, at 6:30pm. This all-acoustic jam session is just the place to let go after a long Monday. All are invited to join in. Also coming up is Toddler Time. This is for all children ages 4 and under, with parents, to come to the gallery August 28th from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. and explore art in a creative way. There is a charge of $10 per class.
 


WOMAN ARRESTED FOR USING BIBLE TO SMUGGLE CONTRABAND

Tuesday, August 11

Union County Sheriff David Taylor says that a Union woman has been arrested and charged after she was trying to smuggle contraband inside the Union County Jail. Sheriff Taylor said that a female subject had brought a Bible to the jail around 2:25pm on August 7th and informed the jail supervisor that she wanted the Bible to be given to an inmate that was currently serving time. The jail supervisor noticed the Bible didn’t look or feel right, so he contacted Captain Robbie Hines, who oversees the jail operations. The Bible was taken and x-rayed, and during the x-ray it was noticed to have a green plant material inside the binding of the Bible. The jail supervisor opened the bottom binding of the Bible and found loose tobacco, white paper, and 3 marijuana cigarettes inside. The evidence was collected and a warrant was issued for Monkia Marie Ryans, 24, of 281 Belue Road, Jonesville. Ryans was taken into custody after she was spotted hiding in a car in the jail parking lot during Sunday visitation. Sheriff Taylor commended the jail officer for quick thinking and thorough inspection, which is what led to this arrest.

-

SCHOOL BOARD HOLDS SHORT MEETING

Tuesday, August 11

It's not known if the length of the meeting of the Union County Board of School Trustees was any kind of a record, but it only lasted 16 minutes. The session, presided over by vice-chair Jane Wilkes, had only two items listed on the agenda, and one of those regarding a waiver request was resolved before the meeting. The only other action was the personnel report by Jeff Stribble. There was a procedure discussion when board member Mike Massey stated he wanted the district's attorney to appear at the next meeting. Unsure as to whether or not the attorney could attend, he changed his motion, calling it a request.

The new school year opens next Monday, and Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall says they should be ready.

 

Teachers reported yesterday for the beginning of their new year.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS THIS AFTERNOON

Tuesday, August 11

The Union County Council will meet this afternoon in regular session at 5:30. The meeting will take place in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Court House. Agenda items include considering an appointment to the Stadium Commission and considering two upcoming vacancies on the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. Donald Lyles wants to discuss roads in the Maybinton area, and there is a request for funds from the Capital Expenditure Account for Sheriff's Office vehicles. The council is expected to give second reading to an ordinance pertaining to Building, Construction and Technical Codes and also a second reading to an ordinance pertaining to revenues from park agreements. In other business, they will review and approve audits and financial statements for the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, the Bonham Fire District, the Carlisle Fire District, the Cross Keys Fire District, Kelly-Kelton Fire District and the Philippi Fire District.

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT PROVIDING FREE SCREENINGS FOR AGES 3-5 ON FRIDAY

Tuesday, August 11

This coming Friday, Union County Schools will provide free screening for vision, hearing, speech and other developmental problems for children ages three to five years old. Other children not presently enrolled in the public schools may also participate. This screening program will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon and again from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the District Office Annex, located at 120 Lakeside Drive. A parent or guardian must accompany the child. For more information, you may call 429-1735.

-

STUDENTS FROM UNION COUNTY NAMED TO DEAN'S LIST AT SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Tuesday, August 11

Several Union County students have earned Dean's List honors for the summer term 2015 at Spartanburg Community College. These include:

From Buffalo: Brittaney L. Davis and Brittany L. West.

From Jonesville: Brandon P. Smith.

Union County students included were: Jeff S. Martin, Katelyn M. O'Shields, Dennis A. Presnell, Latoyia D. Smith, Kang Song, Lisa S. Stickel and Nicholas A. Ward.

Registration for the SCC fall semester classes is going on now. Fall classes begin on August 17, and individuals interested in registering for classes can apply online at www.sccsc.edu, or contact The Union County Advanced Technology Center in Union at 864-466-1060.

For a complete listing of fall class schedule offerings, visit www.sccsc.edu.


NEW INITIATIVE HOPES TO ALIGN STUDENTS' EDUCATIONAL PATHS WITH CAREER GOALS

Monday, August 10

Spartanburg Community College, in partnership with Wells Fargo, the RBC Heritage Classic Foundation, and numerous local and statewide partners, launched an educational initiative Thursday in hopes of prompting students to think about their future careers and what education is needed for those jobs.

At a news conference on SCC's central campus in Spartanburg, college, business, and state leaders unveiled a video entitled "Aligning for Success." It will be shown to students in schools throughout Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties, and is available statewide at www.aligningforsuccess.com. Printed collateral materials will also be available to guidance counselors in local schools.

S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said, "South Carolina has done a tremendous job bringing business and industry to our state, but we are still finding that we need to do more to inform students, parents and educators about these exciting career opportunities. I commend the work of Spartanburg Community College and their partners in helping to create pathways to careers for all our students."

In September 2014, a workforce study led by Spartanburg Community College found that Upstate manufacturers are struggling to fill open positions, a challenge that is likely to increase as aging employees retire. An estimated 1,500 people will be needed each year to fill the jobs vacated by retirees in the Upstate, and that doesn't factor in expansion by existing companies. All of the companies surveyed reported having difficulty filling vacancies.

The Aligning for Success educational initiative is designed to prompt students to think about their future careers and to align their educational paths with those goals.

-

GUILTY PLEAS AND SENTENCES HANDED DOWN IN GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

Monday, August 10

A judge heard guilty pleas and handed down sentences in General Sessions Court last week. Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault gives us this report.

 

-

SCHOOL BOARD SCHEDULED TO MEET TONIGHT

Monday, August 10

The Union County School Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Career and Technology Center. The agenda appears to be short, as only two items are listed for action. There will be a waiver request and a personnel report. An executive session is listed if needed.

-

JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE TO TAKE OVER FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE IN FEBRUARY

Monday, August 10

For people concerned that some popular activities would go away with the reorganization of the Union County Recreation Department, not to worry. The Union County Junior Charity League says they will be taking over the Father-Daughter Dance slated for February. Jessica Turner told WBCU News:

Tickets will go on sale closer to the February 6th event, and it will be held at the recreation building on Thomas Street.

-

POST 22 HOLDS REGULAR MEETING TONIGHT

Monday, August 10

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting today. 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 meets on the second Monday evening of every month except July, and prospective members are always welcome to attend.


INDUSTRY JOB FAIR DRAWS MORE THAN EXPECTED

Friday, August 7

A much-anticipated job fair was held Thursday at the Union County Advanced Technology Center. The fair was a collaborative effort on the part of Spartanburg Community College, The Union County Development Board and SC Works. Turnout was greater than expected, as more than 150 people had registered in an hour and a half. According to Kathy Jo Lancaster, Site Coordinator for the Technology Center, everybody attending had a selfie taken to be posted on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the attendees were offered a free hot dog meal served by the mayors of the various towns in the county. To be announced today is the winner of the most professionally dressed job seeker. That selection will be made by the various companies represented at the fair. The winner will receive two tickets to Biltmore House in Asheville. Dewayne Hatchet, Work Force Solutions Manager, said events such as the one held Thursday are very important to the companies and well as those looking for a job.

 

Hatchet said the attendance exceeded what they expected.

-

SALES TAX HOLIDAY UNDERWAY ACROSS THE COUNTY AND STATE

Friday, August 7

The popular sales tax holiday weekend in South Carolina began at 12:01 a.m. today and will end Sunday, August 9th, at midnight.

During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, shoppers will benefit from an exemption of the 6% state sales tax and any applicable local taxes on the purchase of school supplies. In addition to shoppers saving approximately $2 million to $3 million over the course of the weekend, the Sales Tax Holiday benefits in-state businesses by encouraging taxpayers to do back-to-school shopping in the state.

During this time, sales tax will not be imposed on items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, book bags, computers, printers, bedspreads and linens. Non-exempt items include the sale of jewelry, cosmetics, eye wear, furniture, or items placed on layaway.

-

PHYSIC GARDEN HOSTING CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP SATURDAY

Friday, August 7

The Piedmont Physic Garden and the Union County Carnegie Library will welcome award-winning poetry and nonfiction writer Maureen Ryan Griffin on Saturday, August 8th. Griffin will be offering a creative writing workshop at the Piedmont Physic Garden from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon. Tickets are $20, and more information can be obtained by calling 427-2556.

-

USC UNION OFFERS BASIC COMPUTER SKILLS COURSE MONDAY AND TUESDAY

Friday, August 7

USC-Union is giving area residents an opportunity to learn basic computer skills in a two-evening course for entry-level users. Students will learn how to access the internet and how to create and send emails. You will also learn how to save and attach pictures and documents. There will be a one-night overview of Microsoft Word, including how to create, save, attach and access Word documents. The date and time for the class will be Monday and Tuesday, August 10th and 11th, from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. It will take place in the USC-Union computer room in the Central Building, located at 309 East Academy Street. The cost for the two nights of instruction is $50. To register, contact Bill Moore at 864-424-8037.

-

TALENT FORCE PLANS RECRUITMENT EVENT IN GAFFNEY NEXT WEEK

Friday, August 7

Talent Force will hold a recruitment event at the Cherokee SC Works office Friday, August 14th, from 9:30 a.m. until noon. They will be hiring to fill positions for packagers that will be packing, labeling, and shipping out finished products, and will also load bags and cartons on pallets manually as needed. The hours for the job are from 8:00AM until 4:30PM. The starting pay is $8 an hour.

They are also looking to hire industrial sewers. The shift for these jobs are Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-4:30PM. The pay is based on experience, and raises will be based on performance.

Drug screening, background checks, and reference checks will be conducted.

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

-

CLEMSON CLUB CONTINUES PREPARATIONS FOR ITS KICKOFF EVENT

Friday, August 7

The Union County Clemson Club continues to prepare for its Kickoff Event scheduled for August 18th at Veterans Memorial Park. Doors will open for the event at 5:00 PM, with dinner at 6:00 before the evening’s program begins. Keynote speakers include former Union High School and Clemson defensive lineman Rashaad Jackson, as well as Don Munson, the radio Voice of the Clemson Tigers. The club will also hold a raffle with Clemson-related prizes, including a corn toss set, two tickets to the Clemson-Notre Dame game, and the club’s traditional prize, a tailgate package.

Entry to the event is free with a club membership, which are available for $25 per family. Membership is open to all Clemson fans. Dues can be mailed to UCCC, PO Box 54, Union, SC, 29379. The goal of the Clemson Club is to award academic scholarships to deserving students who will be attending Clemson. For more information about the club or the event, contact club president Virgil Childers at (864) 251-0094.


CIVITAN CLUB HONORS CHRISTIAN PETTY AS YOUTH VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Thursday, August 6

General Tommy Sinclair with the Union Civitan Club presented Christian Petty with the Union Civitan Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.  Christian volunteered with the Civitan Annual Pancake Day in March 2015.  He was praised, not only by fellow Civitans, but also the guests.  Christian is a 2015 graduate of Union County High School, where he was an outstanding student-athlete. He has also volunteered with the Jerusalem Project since 2011. Christian will be attending the Citadel and majoring in electrical engineering.


 


 

 

-

COUNTERFEIT MONEY SHOWS UP AT DOLLAR GENERAL IN BUFFALO

Thursday, August 6

There has been some counterfeit money to show up once again in Union. Tuesday, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Elizabeth Bishop was dispatched to the Dollar General Store in Buffalo. There, store manager Jessica Taylor told the officer that the bank had returned a $20 bill to them, saying it was counterfeit. Taylor said she couldn't be sure when the bill was returned by the bank, but it was several days before the incident was reported. The currency was seized and placed into evidence.

-

TWO ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER

Thursday, August 6

We have two cases of individuals failing to register as sex offenders. The Sheriff's Office incident reports state that Harvey Wallace Inman, 42, of 131 Wildlife Drive, Union, and William Franklin Brandon, Jr., 47, of 746 Sardis Road, Union, both failed to register. Their deadline was July 31st. The periodic registering is a requirement under South Carolina law.

-

ALARM COMPANY SCAM HITS AGAIN

Thursday, August 6

Here's another scam alert of which you need to be aware. Tuesday, a Cottage Avenue woman reported that a male subject came to her house and stated he was with the home alarm company and needed to change batteries in her unit. She said he did not tell her up front there was a charge, but once he was done, he demanded $30 from her. Greer gave the man the money, but later she found out that he was not with the alarm company. This is a scam that has been reported before, and the sheriff's office warns residents that it is not likely that an alarm company will show up at your home unannounced to do maintenance work. Should that happen, be sure to demand identification and call authorities.

-

INDUSTRY JOB FAIR SCHEDULED TODAY

Thursday, August 6

The Union County Industry Job Fair is being held today from 2 until 7 p.m. It is taking place at the Union County Advanced Technology Center, located at 1401 Furman Fendley Highway. Belk Distribution, Construction Resource Group, Dollar General Distribution, Gestamp, Haemonetics, Milliken, Standard Textile, Union County Schools and Vapor Apparel are participating. If you have questions about the job fair, you may call 864-427-4119 or visit www.scworksupstate.com. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-

FOOD GIVEAWAY PLANNED SATURDAY

Thursday, August 6

Oscar Gist, Jr., says there will be a food giveaway this weekend at 313 Old Buffalo Road, across from Fat Sam's Restaurant. The location is behind the First United Pentecostal Church, and will take place Saturday at 4:15 p.m. Following Saturday's giveaway, there will be others every two weeks. There are no requirements to receive the food.


TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARRESTS

Wednesday, August 5

Around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling on Highway 9 toward Lockhart when he noticed a vehicle being driven erratically. He noted the vehicle crossing the center line and speeding up and then slowing down. Vaughan initiated a traffic stop and spoke with the driver of the vehicle, 27-year old Jeremy Lamar Sweeny, of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Sweeny said he had an ID but no driver's license. He then spoke to the vehicle owner, 23-year old Kelly Mandela, also of Bowling Green, and asked for consent to search the car. She refused, saying there was no reason to search. A K-9 sweep of the vehicle was conducted, and the dog alerted on the driver's side. A small amount of marijuana was found and what was believed to be a marijuana cigarette was located. Also found was a Crown Royal bag with an off-white, rock-like substance believed to be crack cocaine. Sweeny stated that the crack and everything else was his. Mandela admitted to smoking some of the marijuana. Both subjects were placed under arrest for simple possession of marijuana, and Sweeny for possession of crack cocaine and no driver's license.

-

HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRATION GETS UNDERWAY TODAY

Wednesday, August 5

Registration for the new school year has started, with Union County High School beginning theirs today. Twelfth-graders will register from 8:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Eleventh-grade students will also register today from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 6th, tenth-grade students will register from 8:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m., and the ninth-graders register from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. School officials note that students should come at the scheduled time only and be sure to bring all necessary items that was explained in the letter sent home.

Sims Middle School and Jonesville Elementary Middle School did a drive-by packet pick-up yesterday. Actual registration will be held August 12th from 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

At the elementary schools and Lockhart Schools, parents are asked to pick up registration packets at the child's school from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM through August 6th. Registration will be held August 12th from 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

-

STATE SUPERINTENDENT TO UNVEIL "ALIGNING FOR SUCCESS" INITIATIVE TOMORROW

Wednesday, August 5

Spartanburg Community College and the Honorable Molly Spearman, South Carolina's Superintendent of Education, in partnership with Wells Fargo, the RBC Heritage Classic Foundation, and numerous local and statewide partners, will unveil the "Aligning for Success" educational initiative at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 6th, at SCC's central campus in Spartanburg.

Designed to prompt students in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties to think about their future careers and to align their educational paths with those jobs, multiple public and private entities collaborated on this comprehensive initiative.

The launch coincides with the preview of a new video - "Aligning for Success" - which will be shown to Upstate students and available statewide on line at www.aligningforsuccess.com.

-

UNION DAILY TIMES NAMES NEW GENERAL MANAGER

Wednesday, August 5

Union's daily newspaper has named a new general manager. David L. Spencer, when asked his goals as the new manager, citiedan expanded digital presence on the internet and a stronger relationships with the local business community. The newspaper is owned by Civitas Media, and they appointed Spencer to the position July 23. With his appointment as general manager of The Union Daily Times, he said Monday that he is quite happy to be in Union County and has been received warmly by the local community.

I’m excited to be part of The Times. I’m excited to be here,” Spencer said. “The people I’ve met so far have been really welcoming and inviting.”

As general manager, Spencer said his responsibilities are to build up advertising in The Union Daily Times and the revenue it generates for the newspaper and to build strong relationships with local and area businesses. To achieve those goals, Spencer said he wants to see The Union Daily Times enhance its presence on the internet and improve communication and cooperation with the community. Spencer is married to his wife Tiffany, and they are the parents of two children, Daveah and David Jr.


SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING VANDALISM AND THEFT OF ROAD SIGNS

Tuesday, August 4

Deputy Matthew Voiselle was patrolling the area of Hwy. 49 in Cross Keys on Sunday night when he noticed that a good number of the road name signs were missing. In some cases, the pole was still standing and the sign was broken off. In the others, the sign was broken off and the pole was removed from the ground and left lying there. The missing road name signs are Police Club Rd., Bombing Range Rd., Bishop Rd., Country Rd., Jones Ford Rd., Meadow Woods Rd., Terrapin Rd., Compton Circle, Old Buncombe Rd., and Red Barn Rd. No additional information concerning the vandalism is available at this time.

-

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Tuesday, August 4

This past June, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap found that Sharon Moore, 42, of 1204 Old Buncombe Road, attempted to obtain a controlled substance. According to the report, she attempted to purchase a quantity of decongestant 12 hr. Max, which contains 2.4 grams of ephedrine. The attempted purchase was at the Union Walmart, located at 513 N. Duncan Bypass. This transaction was blocked because Moore was attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine within 30 days. Based on this information, Sgt. Gilstrap signed an arrest warrant charging Moore with attempting to purchase a controlled substance. Ephedrine is a key ingredient in manufacturing methamphetamine.

-

ARTS COUNCIL OFFERS PROGRAM TO MAKE FOOTBALL DOOR HANGERS

Tuesday, August 4

Football season is coming soon, and area residents are invited to join the folks at the Union County Arts Council this Saturday, August 8, from 10:00-2:00. They will be making wooden door hangers. Participants may choose their hanger, paint, and favorite team. Brandi Ketterman will be there to assist with anything you need. For questions on this event or any others, contact Amber Ivey at 429-2817. You can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UnionArts. The fee for the program is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

-

TRIMAC TRANSPORTATION LOOKS FOR LONG HAUL DRIVERS

Tuesday, August 4

Trimac Transportation will hold a recruitment event next Thursday, August 13, from 12-4 p.m. at the Spartanburg SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions for long haul drivers. Those hired will make at least $65,000 a year driving long haul routes. They will be hauling various chemicals throughout the lower 48 states. A CDL Class A license is required with tanker and hazmat endorsements. Two years of verifiable tractor-trailer experience is required, and a passport and TWIC is preferred. A Department of Transportation drug screen and physical will be conducted. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event. This is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program and auxiliary aids are available upon request for individuals with disabilities.

-

MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED THURSDAY

Tuesday, August 4

The monthly community prayer meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, August 6th, at the USC-Union gazebo.  Area residents are asked to please come and join with fellow citizens of the county, and with others in other places, as they pray for our country, our community, our state, and also for our world, and for the Church.  Please pray for our military and our police who risk their lives to serve and protect us.


WALLACE THOMSON HOSPITAL IS NOW UNION MEDICAL CENTER

Monday, August 3

Yesterday, Wallace Thomson Hospital officially became Union Medical Center, and Ellen Sagar Nursing Home became Ellen Sager Nursing Center. The changes came about on July 8th when the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Spartanburg confirmed the Chapter 9 plan as presented.

In a news release earlier this month, it was stated: “Affiliation with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will allow healthcare services to be delivered in Union for the long term. The many benefits of belonging to a large health system include: coordinated care for medical services, access to multi-specialty physician groups, increased efficiencies and access to the most advanced technologies.”

Chief Executive Officer Paul Newhouse said Friday they were ready for the transition.

 

Plans call for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System to purchase land in Union County to relocate Union Medical Center with the building of a brand new facility. Once the new facility is completed, the release stated, they will provide enhanced services and clinical capabilities, higher quality care and a better patient care experience to the residents of Union County.

-

USC UNION ANNOUNCES PRESIDENT'S LIST AND DEAN'S LIST

Monday, August 3

USC Union has named 17 students to the President’s List and 42 students to the Dean’s List for the spring 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 Bennett

Grady Biggerstaff

David Burress

Akeela Dendy

Maisie Fisher

Kayla Goudelock

Erin Harris

Maggie Jo Hellams

Rachel Hughes

Emily Kingsmore

Kanani Lodge

Beverly Morris

Christopher Spencer

Brenda Tester

Emily Touzel

Brenda Williams

Alana Wright

Named to the Dean’s List were:
Joseph Allen

Regina Bolden

Michael Brewington

Braylin Brown

Amber Bumgarner

Timya Burton

Alexis Cockfield

Damiana Collins

Jasmine Craig

Brittany Davis

Gage Eaves

Rebekah Edwards

Karla Franklin

Grayson Garrett

Tracy Gatliff

Peggy Glenn

Kelsey Granger

Erica Hall

Alex Henderson

Zaria Hill

Allen Hopkins

Emily Ivey

Whitney Ivey

Trevor Jennings

Heather Johnson

Robert Lammey

Latisha Mann

Lauren Mann

Michael Mann

Brittney Moss

Jonathan Mullins

Lauren Mullis

Adam Parkins

Dawn Schreiber

Samuel Shumaker

Briana Spencer

Elliot Trammell

Kinsleigh Wade

Collin Walker

Rachel Ward

Clay Webb

Annie Willard

-

ADULT SUMMER READING WINNER ANNOUNCED

Monday, August 3

The Summer Reading Program is probably the biggest, and certainly the longest, program hosted by the Union County Carnegie Library each year. It provides an opportunity to encourage reading at a time when many patrons, both young and old, have a little extra time. The Carnegie Library’s Summer Reading program features components for both children and adults.

Each week, adult participants had the opportunity to enter drawings, and this year’s theme of Escape the Ordinary offered the opportunity to recognize some of the local heroes. This year’s program was a huge success. Seventy participants combined to read 338 books, including top readers Amy Richardson, Pam Vaughan, and Sue Prince. Sue Prince also won the Grand Prize drawing, receiving a Nook.

-

ARTS COUNCIL HOSTING JAM AT LUNCH ON THURSDAY

Monday, August 3

The Union County Arts Council will be hosting Jam At Lunch this coming Thursday, August 6, from 11:00am until 1:00pm. Organizers say if you are looking for a fun lunch break, this is the place for you. Whether you want to join in or simply sit back and surround yourself with the talent this group has to offer, you are invited to come. This is one jam session you do not want to miss. For more information, contact UCAC at 864-429-2817 or www.facebook.com/UnionArts.


TIMKEN COMPLEX EMPLOYEES HAVE EXPANDED DUTIES AFTER REORGANIZATION

Friday, July 31

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart says all of the programs formally administered by the Union Recreation Department are still in place.

 

Two employees of the Timken Sports Complex now have expanded duties. Hart explains.

 

As a result of a vote by Union County Council Thursday evening, Timken Sports Complex employee Kevin Shropshire now becomes Parks and Recreation Facilities Director and a second employee, Dalton Williams is the Parks and Recreation Program Director.

-

INVESTIGATORS ARREST TWO FOR TRAFFICKING HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS

Friday, July 31

This past Tuesday, investigators with the Union County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at 302 Hart St., which was identified as the home of Michael and Crystal Ham. Upon arrival, Crystal Ham answered the door and Sgt. Jared Gilstrap advised her why investigators were there. She was served with the search warrant and then read her Miranda Rights. She declined to answer any questions at this point. Michael Ham was not home at the initial contact at the residence; however, Crystal called him at work and she stated he was on his way. During the search of the residence, investigators located a large psilocybin mushroom grow lab in the basement of the residence. Investigators also located two dehydrators that were drying out a large quantity of harvested psilocybin mushrooms in the bedroom of Michael and Crystal, along with a large ventilation hood designed to be used to make a finished product of psilocybin mushrooms. Investigators seized all items involved with the manufacturing process including the dehydrators, totes used for the growing process, white Tyvek-type suits, breathing mask, fertilizer and other instruments of the lab, along with several mason jars of finished product. While investigators were still on scene, Michael arrived at home from work. He was advised why investigators were there, and he was also read his Miranda Rights. He agreed to speak with Sgt. Gilstrap. Ham admitted growing the psilocybin mushrooms and stated his wife knew what he was doing but did not know exactly how he was doing it. During a conversation with Michael, Sgt. Gilstrap heard Crystal state that she did know about the mushrooms.

During the execution of the search warrant, there were 3 minor children present, and the Department of Social Services was called to the scene. DSS placed the children with family members and initiated an investigation along with a safety plan. Michael and Crystal Ham were transported to the Union County Jail for booking. Sgt. Gilstrap planned to sign warrants with the Magistrate's Office charging the Hams with trafficking psilocybin mushrooms and 3 counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

-

PUBLIC SAFETY LOOKS FOR THREE PEOPLE WHO STOLE COMPUTERS FROM WAL-MART

Friday, July 31

Union Public Safety officers were dispatched to the Union Wal-Mart store Tuesday night. On scene they spoke with Benji Humphries, the Loss Prevention Officer, who stated that around 11:00 p.m., two black males and a black female entered the store. Humphries said the three walked around the store and then went to the electronics department, where they selected four computers and placed them in a shopping cart. They then pushed the cart to the garden center. The left the cart there and exited the store. At around 11:45, the female re-entered the store and went directly to the garden center emergency door. She pushed the shopping cart and merchandise out the emergency door. The two males were waiting outside. They loaded the merchandise into a black 4-door vehicle, possibly a Nissan, and left the parking lot. Humphries provided the officers with still photos of the suspects (below). If you recognize any of these people, you are asked to contact the Union Public Safety Department or Crimestoppers. The value of the computers was placed at $2116.

-

STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS CENTER TO DEBUT AT USC UNION THIS FALL

Friday, July 31

USC Union’s fall semester will begin in August, and with it comes a new Student Academic Success Center for students. The center will provide tutoring, workshops, advising support, financial literacy programs, and other services to meet the needs of all students.

A $67,000 allocation was included in the 2015-2016 South Carolina State Budget with help from State Rep. Mike Anthony, per USC Union Dean Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert. The money allocated will help fund a director’s position, equipment, workshops, and other programs for the center. Palmetto College has also provided one-time funding to assist with the start-up of the program.

Mrs. Martha (Packie) Whitener and her family have established an endowment in memory of her late husband, Col. William J. (Jack) Whitener, who served as the dean of USC Union from 1977-1984. The endowment will provide funding for annual leadership development workshops for their students. The workshops will be sponsored by the Success Center.

USC Union’s Assistant Professor of Sociology, Dr. Maggie Aziz, will assist with the center, and a director will be hired as soon as possible. The new center will play a vital role in student academic success in and outside of the classroom.

-

SPARTANBURG DISTRICT FIVE HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT

Friday, July 31

Spartanburg School District 5 will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office on Tuesday, August 4, from 9:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m. They are hiring to fill positions for general cleaners. The job requires the candidate to clean classrooms, offices, bathrooms, common areas, gym and locker rooms. There may be other duties as assigned. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, as is a valid driver’s license. You must be able to lift up to 50 pounds. The part-time hours are from 3:30pm to 7:30pm (20-25 hours a week).

They are also looking to hire a lead custodian. The successful candidate will be required to perform a variety of custodial tasks at an assigned school and be responsible for directing, monitoring and inspection of all other custodial staff at the facility. A high school diploma or equivalent with 12 months of experience is required. You must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. This is a full-time position from 12:30PM-9:00PM.

The job locations are in Lyman, Duncan, Reidville and Wellford. Please bring 2 forms of identification to the recruitment event. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


YMCA POOL REOPENS TODAY WITH NEW RULES

Thursday, July 30

The Union County YMCA swimming pool will reopen this morning. The pool closed last week following the drowning death of seven-year old Miracle Smith. The child died after being transported to Wallace Thomson Hospital following the incident at the pool. YMCA Director Scott Sandor told a group of reporters Wednesday:

 

Among the new guidelines is one that requires a swimming test for all participants under the age of 14 in order for them to utilize the entire pool. Non-swimmers that do not meet height requirements must wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest. Non-swimmers under the age of 10 must be within arm’s length of their responsible adult, and one adult can be responsible for no more than 3 children.

Sandor pointed out that the pool must have a minimum of two lifeguards on duty, but they usually have three to four and sometimes five.

-

238 NEW JOBS COMING TO WHITMIRE

Thursday, July 30

There is some good economic news for the neighboring community of Whitmire.

Sea Pro Boats, a renowned brand in the boating industry, is returning to the market with ‘The Next Wave’ – an all new line of bay boats and center console offshore fishing boats. The company is investing $5.5 million in the new Newberry County manufacturing facility, generating 238 new jobs in Whitmire, S.C.

Originally founded in 1987, Sea Pro Boats, a Midlands-based company, was purchased by Brunswick Corporation in 2005. Recently, Jimmy Hancock, one of the original owners of Sea Pro, along with Tidewater Boats’ founder Preston Wrenn, decided to relaunch the company, planning an all-new incarnation of the Sea Pro brand – ‘The Next Wave.’ The line will feature seven new models, which are expected to be introduced by the end of this summer.

Sea Pro’s new Newberry County facility, a 200,000-square-foot building to be located on Highway 121 in Whitmire, will house the company’s headquarters, as well as its manufacturing operations. The location is in the former Renfro plant.

Expected to be fully operational in the third quarter of 2015, hiring is anticipated to begin in early fall 2015. At that time, those interested in joining the Sea Pro Boats’ team should contact SC Works. For more information on the company, visit www.seapromfg.com.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set Aside grant to Newberry County to assist with costs of acquisition and real property improvements. The council also approved job development credits related to the project.

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES REGISTRATION SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 30

The new school year is fast approaching, and registration for Union County High School is set for next week. Twelfth-graders will register Wednesday, August 5th, from 8:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Eleventh-grade students will register the same day from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 6th, tenth-grade students will register from 8:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m., and the ninth-graders from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. School officials note that students should come at the scheduled time only and be sure to bring all necessary items with you that was explained in the letter sent home.

Sims Middle School and Jonesville Elementary-Middle School will be doing a drive-by packet pick-up on August 4th from 9:00 AM - 12 PM. Registration will be held August 12th from 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

At elementary schools and Lockhart Schools, parents are asked to pick up registration packets at the child's school from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM during the week of August 4-6. Registration will be held August 12th from 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT TO PROVIDE FREE SCREENINGS

Thursday, July 30

Friday, August 14th, the Union County Schools will provide free screenings for vision, hearing, speech, and other developmental problems for children ages three through five years old. Other children not presently enrolled in the public schools may also participate. This screening program will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the District Office Annex located at 120 Lakeside Drive (behind the YMCA). A parent or guardian must accompany the child. For more information, call 429-1735.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING THIS AFTERNOON

Thursday, July 30

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance will meet this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room at the Union County Courthouse. They will be discussing organizational changes to the Timken Sports Complex and the Recreation Department and will also discuss council committee projects for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Union County Council will hold a special meeting immediately following the Council Committee on County Administration and Finance. At that time, they will consider recommendations from that committee regarding the organizational changes to the Timken Sports Complex and Recreation Department. They will also to hold first reading of an ordinance, in title only, amending the Union County Building, Construction and Technical Codes. The public is invited to attend.

-

TRIMAC TRANSPORTATION LOOKS FOR LONG HAUL DRIVERS

Thursday, July 30

Trimac Transportation will hold a recruitment event Thursday, August 13, from 12-4 p.m. at the Spartanburg SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions for long haul drivers. Successful candidates will make at least $65,000 a year driving long haul and will be hauling various chemicals throughout the lower 48 states. A CDL Class A license is required with tanker and hazmat endorsements. Two years of verifiable tractor-trailer experience is required, and a passport and TWIC is preferred. A Department of Transportation drug screen and physical will be conducted. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.


LOCKHART MOVES CLOSER TO GETTING COUNTY TO ENFORCE CODES IN THE TOWN

Wednesday, July 29

The Lockhart Town Council moved a step closer to having the County of Union assume jurisdiction for code enforcement in the community. The procedure calls for the town to ask the county for the service by making a motion to do so and then sending a copy of the minutes of the meeting to the County Council. That motion passed Tuesday night. Mayor Ailene Ashe explained that state law requires every town in the state to have a code enforcement officer, and as she stated, “We can't afford one." Councilman Donnie Adams who voted to make the request said, “We can't ask the people to abide by these codes until the town comes into compliance." We asked Adams what he meant by that statement.

 

In other matters, the mayor announced that they are currently accepting bids on a 2005 Dodge truck that is no longer in use by the town. The sealed bids will be opened next Wednesday, August 5th, at 10 a.m. at the Lockhart Town Hall.

-

FIRST STEPS ANNOUNCES BOARD MEETING

Wednesday, July 29

The Union County First Steps Partnership Board will hold its regular meeting on Monday, August 3, at 5:15 p.m. at the Union County Schools District Office Annex, located at 120 Lakeside Drive in Union.  The public is invited to attend.  Anyone wishing to attend that requires special assistance due to a disability is encouraged to contact Mrs. Catherine M. Childers, Executive Director, at (864) 429-1740, ext. 134, prior to the start of the meeting.

-

INDUSTRY JOB FAIR SCHEDULED AUGUST 6TH

Wednesday, July 29

The Union County Industry Job Fair will be held August 6th from 2 until 7 p.m. It will take place at the Union County Advanced Technology Center, located at 1401 Furman Fendley Highway. Belk Distribution, Construction Resource Group, Dollar General Distribution, Gestamp, Haemonetics, Milliken, Standard Textile, Union County Schools and Vapor Apparel are participating. For more information about the job fair, you may call 864-427-4119 or visit scworksupstate.com. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-

TOWN OF CARLISLE SETS DATE FOR COMMUNITY FUN DAY

Wednesday, July 29

The date for the 11th Carlisle Community Fun Day Cookout & Back to School Bash has been set for Saturday, August 15th, from 2 until 7 p.m. It will take place at the Carlisle playground. It is being billed as a family event. There will be a fashion and talent show, along with food, games, music, and more. Donations are needed for school supplies, and volunteers are also being sought. For more information, call 427-1505.

-

UNION MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER IN MYRTLE BEACH

Wednesday, July 29

Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced Tuesday that the Union County Sheriff’s Office and SLED's Fugitive Task Force arrested a Union man on an attempted murder charge and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. These charges stem from an incident that occurred on the north side of Chapin Park at 1501 North Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach around 10:30 P.M. on July 18th.

On July 22nd, Sheriff Taylor received a call from investigators with the Myrtle Beach Police Department inquiring about the possible suspect. They named Waylon Wesley Waldrop as the suspect and inquired if officers in this area were familiar with him and if the sheriff's office knew if he was possibly in our area.

On July 24th, Sheriff Taylor received word from Myrtle Beach Police Department that they had obtained arrest warrants for Waldrop, and the information they had received was that he was back in the Union area driving a gray 2007 Chevrolet Impala, and they considered him armed and dangerous.

Yesterday, the SLED Fugitive Task Force contacted Union County Sheriff's Office Captain James McNeil and said that they were en route to Union due to receiving additional information on a possible location of Waldrop. Officers from both agencies went to 2959 Santuc-Carlisle Hwy. around 2:30 P.M., where Waldrop was located and taken into custody without incident. Waldrop was taken to the Union County Jail, where he will remain in custody awaiting the Myrtle Beach Police Department to transport him to their facility.

-

THREE MORE ARRESTS ANNOUNCED IN "SUMMER SIZZLER" OPERATION

Wednesday, July 29

The Union County Sheriff's Office says three more arrests have been made in connection with their “Summer Sizzler" campaign. The round up began last Wednesday and continues. The latest arrests include that of:

Crystal Haney Garner, 35

870 Lee Road, Union

Possession of s Schedule IV Narcotic

 

William David Lawson, 55

792 Sugar Creek Road, Union

Distribution of a Schedule II Narcotic

 

Chadwick Shane Lawson, 47

106 Duncan Ave., Buffalo

Distribution of a Schedule II Narcotic


SCHOOL BOARD ASKS FOR LEASE INFORMATION ON DISTRICT PROPERTIES NOT IN USE

Tuesday, July 28

The Union County Board of School Trustees met Monday evening at the Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. The agenda listed several items to be considered. Finance Director Lynn Lawson presented the SCAGO resolution for approval. This is done annually and allows for the sale of bonds, the proceeds of which generates around $3 million that will be used to help retire the debt incurred with the building of Sims Middle School and Jonesville Elementary Middle School. The new principal at Foster Park Elementary School, Renee Pryor, requested GCA Services to take over janitorial services at the school. That request was approved. Lawson presented, for information, that a request had been made to purchase an awning from the now closed Carl-San School. He explained that selling property without first advertising it for bid is not consistent with district policy. The board did ask Lawson to prepare a packet to inform them as to what properties not currently being used by the district are currently under lease by other organizations.

-

LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL TO MEET TONIGHT

Tuesday, July 28

The Lockhart Town Council will be meeting tonight. That session will take place in the Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

-

UNITED KENNEL CLUB SIGNs FIVE-YEAR AGREEMENT BRINGING EVENT TO UNION

Tuesday, July 28

On Saturday, July 25th, a delegation from the UKC (United Kennel Club) came to Union County Fairgrounds and held their board meeting. At the meeting, it was decided to bring the Southeastern Treeing Walkers Day event to Union, SC, in February 2016. The event has previously been held in Salisbury, NC. Over a three-day period, the event has drawn more than 15,000 attendees from all over the country, as well as locals.

A five-year agreement was signed by members of the UKC. Members of the Union County Coon Hunter Association, Mayor Harold Thompson, members of city council, county representatives, Union County Tourism Board and Director and Union County Fair board members were on hand for the signing.

Established in 1898, the United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. More than 60 percent of its nearly 16,000 annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training and instinct. UKC prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events. The UKC has supported the "Total Dog" philosophy through its events and programs for over a century. As a departure from registries that place emphasis on a dog’s looks, UKC events are designed for dogs that look and perform equally well.

The Union County Tourism and Union County Coon Hunters have worked on bringing this event to Union for several months.

-

NINETEEN ARRESTED IN "SUMMER SIZZLER" OPERATION

Tuesday, July 28

Yesterday, the Union County Sheriff’s Office conducted “Summer Sizzler”, taking more drug dealers off the streets of Union County. These arrests are part of ongoing investigations by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The following arrests stem from individual drug buys and search warrants. Sheriff David Taylor commended his Narcotics Officers. The event began with the arrest of Brint Ray Davis on Wednesday and has continued through today. Also, a search warrant was served at the residence of Steven Redmon on Thursday by Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Narcotics Officers. More arrest could be pending.

The following were arrested:

Christina Hope Adams, 30

257 Pea Ridge Hwy., Union

Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Justin Delouis Barfield, 34

706 Santuc Dr., Union

Distribution of Crack Cocaine and Distribution of Crack Cocaine within ½ mile of Park

 

Megan Denise Cooper, 31

302 Canal Road, Lockhart

Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Zedrick Demarcus Crosby, 28

1216 S. Pinckney Street, Union

Distribution of Marijuana

 

Brint Ray Davis, 25

805 Linersville Rd, Buffalo

Distribution of Methamphetamine

 

Cordero M. Dillard, 28

344 Pineneedle Road, Union

2 counts Distribution of Marijuana and Distribution of Marijuana within ½ mile of Park

 

Cynthia Donahue, 48

1222 Arthur Blvd., Union

Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Travis Ray Duncan, 22

616 Browns Creek Road, Union

Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Sch. II Narcotic

 

Kinsley Marie Gray, 18

175 Farm Hill Road, Jonesville

Distribution of a Schedule II Narcotic



Michelle Renee Haney, 44

127 Eubanks Street, Union

Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Dalton Michael Johnson, 18

411 Pineland Road, Union

Possession of Marijuana & Distribution of Marijuana to a Person under 18

 

Brian Richard Lawson, 43

234 Pea Ridge Hwy., Jonesville

2 counts Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Dustin Eugene Puckett, 29

114 Pineland Road, #1, Union

Distribution of Schedule 3 Narcotic and Distribution of Schedule 3 Narcotic within ½ mile of Park

 

Steven James Redmon, 48

1454 Peach Orchard Road, Union

Attempting to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine Waste

 

Derrick Jerrod Rice, 24

101 Cornwell Street, Union

2 counts Distribution of Crack Cocaine and 1 count Possession of Marijuana

 

Daniel Kyle Smith, 28

742 Fairview Church Circle, Union

2 counts Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Shannon Nicole Sanders, 31

118 C. Vaughan Road, Union

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine within ½ mile of Park

 

Christopher Gerald Turner, 30

122 Rainbow Lane, Jonesville, SC

Attempting to Purchase a Controlled Substance

 

Jonathan Frank Walden, 33

118 C. Vaughan Road, Union

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine within ½ mile of Park

-

TRESPASSING CALL LEADS TO DRUG ARREST

Tuesday, July 28

On Friday, Officer Randy Cannup was dispatched to the Fairforest Apartments in reference to a trespasser. There he spoke to the complainant, Tracey Johnson, who is the manager of the apartments. Johnson told the officer a subject has been tampering with the vending machines and was also suspected of pulling the fire alarm. Cannup located the subject, Michael Jason Linder, 23, of Lakeview Heights, behind the apartment building. He approached Linder, read him his Miranda warning, and questioned him about the fire alarm being pulled. He said he had pulled one near his aunt's apartment because her medical alert light was going off and he believed he could get attention for her by pulling the alarm. Linder and the officer went to the apartment to check on the woman and found her to be OK. Because of some physical indications, Cannup believed the subject was under the influence of drugs. He placed him under arrest because he was intoxicated. A search of Linder revealed three white pills in his left front pocket, believed to be morphine. He was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication.


SCHOOL BOARD HAS SEVERAL AGENDA ITEMS SCHEDULED TONIGHT

Monday, July 27

The Union County Board of School Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. The agenda list several items to be considered. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will present the annual SCAGO bond resolution for approval. The principal at Foster Park Elementary School has requested GCA Services to take over janitorial services in the school, and there is a community request to consider the sale of property. The agenda did not list the property involved. There will be two requests for overnight trips and a request for the approval of the personnel report. An executive session is listed for one personnel matter.

-

COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY holdS MEETING THIS AFTERNOON

Monday, July 27

A meeting of the Union County Democrats will be held this afternoon at 5:45 p.m. The location for that meeting will be at 201 Porter Street. The meeting is open to the public.

-

UNION MAN ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES

Monday, July 27

This past Thursday, Union County Sheriff's Office deputies executed a search warrant at 1454 Peach Orchard Rd., which is the home of Steven J. Redmon, 48. During the search, officers located precursors for the production of methamphetamine in a "one pot" or "shake and bake" method. Officers also recovered an already used "one pot" meth lab in a white trash can just off the back deck of Redmon's residence. Redmon denied any knowledge of the meth lab; however, officers located two packs of ephedrine, the main ingredient in the meth production process, on the front seat of his locked truck. Sgt. Jared Gilstrap also had prior knowledge that Redmon had bought ephedrine at CVS on Boyce St. the Sunday prior to the report date. Redmon's girlfriend also bought ephedrine the same day from Walmart Pharmacy. Redmon was arrested and transported to the Union County Jail for booking on charges of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine and unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine Waste. A further search of the residence turned up a marijuana smoking pipe that appeared to have burnt marijuana residue in it, a silver spoon with a small piece of cotton in the middle of it, a notebook with phone numbers inside of it, and a white LG cell phone that belongs to Redmon. All items were logged on the return page of the search warrant and a copy was left with Redmon at the jail.

-

ASSAULT WARRANT SOUGHT AGAINST A FEMALE JUVENILE'S FATHER

Monday, July 27

An arrest has been made in a case that goes back to April of this year. On April 2nd, Deputy Matthew Voiselle responded to 384 Jeffries Farm Rd. in reference to an assault taking place upon a female juvenile. Voiselle and other deputies arrived on the scene and spoke with the female juvenile complainant who stated that her father, Michael Thompson, age 34, assaulted her. The juvenile female stated that she and her brother went downstairs to get something to eat, and that is when she and Thompson got into a verbal argument. The juvenile female stated that Thompson then grabbed her around the neck and placed her in a headlock. She stated that Thompson then pushed her numerous times and knocked her in the floor. The juvenile female stated that she then ran upstairs and called 911, and that is when Thompson came upstairs and grabbed her phone away from her and started pushing her around again. The juvenile female states that Thompson at one point put his finger into her mouth and told her he would break her jaw. The girl then stated that Thompson left the house because he knew that 911 had been called. Some of this incident was captured by audio on the 911 call. The female's brother, who is also a juvenile, was present and observed this entire incident. Both the female and the male wrote statements about this incident. A victim's form was issued, and the juvenile's aunt, Kathy Gallman, was listed as an adult contact. No physical injuries were observed on the juvenile female. A warrant will be sought against Michael Blaine Thompson for 3rd-degree assault and battery.

-

CORONER'S OFFICE ISSUES REPORT ON MIRACLE SMITH'S DEATH

Monday, July 27

Union County Coroner William Holcombe has issued a news release concerning the death of a seven-year old Union girl. The release states: “The death of 7-year old Miracle Smith is still under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division – Child Fatality Unit, Union Public Safety Department and the Union County Coroner's Office. An autopsy on Thursday, July 23rd, confirmed that young Miracle's death was consistent with an accidental drowning. Further statements may be forthcoming after SLED Child Fatality completes their investigation." Miracle Smith was pronounced dead Wednesday, July 22, at Wallace Thomson Hospital after being found unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Union County YMCA.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE OFFERS SECURITY TRAINING FOR CHURCHES AND BUSINESSES

Monday, July 27

Union County Sheriff David Taylor is offering the services of his office in preparing churches and businesses for security threats. A news release issued Friday stated, “In light of recent tragedies in our country, Union County Sheriff David Taylor would like to stress the importance of safety in churches and businesses in Union County. Sheriff David Taylor would like to reach out to local churches and business to offer security training so that everyone is more prepared in the unfortunate event that we have a mass shooting or other attack in our community. If you would like to schedule a training at your church or business establishment, please contact Kim Bailey at the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1612 to schedule this important training."

-

WHITMIRE HIGHWAY HOUSE SUFFERS DAMAGE IN SUNDAY AFTERNOON FIRE

Monday, July 27

Several fire departments responded to a house fire Sunday afternoon. Roger Bailey, Public Information Officer for the Southside Fire Department, gave this report:

 


BENEFIT HOT DOG AND BAKE SALE PLANNED TO HELP COVER FUNERAL EXPENSES OF MIRACLE SMITH

Friday, July 24

A benefit hot dog and bake sale has been set for Saturday to help the family of 7-year old Miracle Smith. Miracle died Wednesday as a result of an apparent drowning in the Union YMCA pool. The benefit will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Foster Park Elementary School Cafeteria. Money derived from the benefit will go to help with the funeral expenses of the child.

The YMCA issued a press release Thursday morning, saying in part: “The Union County YMCA was established in 1987 and has a long history of providing a safe environment for our members and the community to enjoy. We are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures in an effort to improve safety. It's important for you to know that, as is our custom, we will investigate the incident immediately. Further, we are cooperating with the local authorities in their investigation. Based on the outcome of the investigations, we will further examine our procedures and act accordingly.”

The YMCA pool closed following the incident Wednesday and remained closed Thursday. An employee there said they did not know just how long the the swimming pool would remain closed.

-

PUBLIC SAFETY GIVES TIPS TO SECURE YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY

Friday, July 24

Noted in the incident reports Thursday from the Union Public Safety Department were four cases of burglary/breaking and entering. The incidents appeared to be fairly widespread across the city, with one occurring on Horseshoe Circle, one on South Boyce Street, another on the North Duncan Bypass and one on South Herndon Street. We spoke with Lt. Troy Wright of the Union Public Safety Department who offered these tips for keeping your home and property safe.

 

-

MUSIC CLUB HOSTING YARD SALE TO BENEFIT SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Friday, July 24

The Union Music Club will be having a yard sale tomorrow starting at 8:30 a.m. It will take place in the parking lot across from the Grace United Methodist Church at the corner of South Church and South Street. They will accept donations for the sale through 4 p.m. today. All the proceeds will go toward music scholarships for deserving Union County students.

-

JONESVILLE TOWN FESTIVAL LOOKS FOR VENDORS

Friday, July 24

Folks in Jonesville are gearing up for their town festival, which will be held September 19th from 12 noon until 10 p.m. They are looking for vendors, and if you would like to participate, call 864-426-6317.

-

BOOSTER CLUB TO ELECT NEW OFFICERS NEXT WEEK

Friday, July 24

The new school year will be starting soon, and that means football season is coming, too. The Union County High School Booster Club will be meeting Tuesday, July 28, at 6 p.m. at the high school to elect officers for the 2015–2016 year. They will also be making plans for a scrimmage against Westside High School on August 7th at 6 p.m. There will be a $5 charge for the scrimmage. For additional information, contact Jerry Williams at 580-0465.

-

MUSGROVE MILL HOSTING COLONIAL CRAFT AND MARKET FAIR

Friday, July 24

This is the weekend when Musgrove Mill Historic Site will host the Colonial Craft and Market Fair. Take a step into history tomorrow as Musgrove Mill State Historic Site hosts the Colonial Craft and Market Fair where volunteers will demonstrate the different aspects of life during the colonial period.

The event will feature skilled craftsmen that will be offering wares for sale representing the colonial time period. There will be demonstrations throughout the day by these individuals and you can hear the colonial stories from local authors. Their books will be available for purchase.

The event will be held from 10 am–4 pm, with demonstrations occurring throughout the day.  There will be a $2 admission charge for adults. Children 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.   

In conjunction with the State Park's statewide Hunger Takes No Vacation food drive, admission to this event will be waived with a donation of nonperishable food items.  Please help “Pack A Park Truck” on July 25, 2015 to help those in need.


7-YEAR OLD DROWNS IN YMCA POOL

Thursday, July 23

A news release late Wednesday afternoon from Union County Coroner William Holcombe stated that his office, along with the Union Public Safety Department and the State Law Enforcement Division's Child Fatality Division are investigating the death of a juvenile who apparently died as a result of drowning. The child, identified as Miracle Janay Smith, age 7, was found unresponsive at the Union County YMCA swimming pool. An autopsy is being scheduled at Newberry Pathology. The Union Public Safety Department also issued a news release late Wednesday saying they too are investigating the incident. The release states the victim was pulled from the water at around 2:40 p.m., and the lifeguard on duty began administering CPR. EMS arrived on scene and also began medical treatment and ultimately transported the child to Wallace Thomson Hospital. Attempts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Miracle was at the YMCA pool with a group of other children from the Union Housing Authority. Public Safety stated that there is no indication of foul play at this time. They added, “The Public Safety Department would like to express its deepest condolences to the family and all involved."

-

DETAILS REVEALED ABOUT "MAIN STREET JUNCTION" PROJECT

Thursday, July 23

If plans come together for the Main Street Junction project, as discussed by Union City Council Tuesday night, it should be quite an undertaking. The project began several years ago when the city and the county obtained joint ownership of what was referred to as the old Super 10 building, which before that was a Rose's store. For whatever reason, the county decided they did not want ownership in the building and deeded their portion to the City of Union. From there, various uses for that structure, located at 107 East Main Street, were discussed, including turning it into a children's museum. That idea was dropped, and the Main Street Junction concept was born. The anticipated uses for the building would be as a venue for wedding and rehearsal dinners, class and family reunions, and meetings and conferences. Mayor Harold Thompson said he would like to use the facility to attract statewide gatherings of municipal organizations. On the second floor, the proposed plan calls for the Tourism Board Office to be located there as well as providing space for local artists. It was noted to the mayor that some of the uses are similar to those proposed for the former concept of an Events Center. The mayor shunned that thought. Even so, the building improvements does list the construction of a performance area with a movable stage and risers, lighting, and audio equipment. $120,000 was set aside Tuesday night that the mayor will use to negotiate for a design service to be performed by the Moody Company. It is estimated the total cost of the project will be around $1.2 million. Included in that will be a large plaza area, which will be an extension of the Main Street Junction project for outdoor events on the site of what was to have been the Events Center. A projected timeline for completion of the project is April of next year. One concern expressed by some council members was that at a pre-bid meeting and walkthrough, there were 11 firms represented. Only two of the eleven submitted bids, and the council wanted an explanation of why so few responded. Robby Moody of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, who made the presentation to council, offered no answer to the question. Kingsmore Construction was one of the two firms submitting a bid, and that was in the amount of $1,700,000. The Montgomery Company was awarded the design contract based on 10% of their bid of $1,199,995. The design phase is expected to be completed in two months. Funding for the project will come from an insurance settlement of the former Union High School fire.

To read Moody's presentation on Main Street Junction, click here.

-

ARREST MADE FOLLOWING APRIL DRUG BUY

Thursday, July 23

On April 6th, Lt. Johnny Sherfield met with and searched an operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office. The operative was then given recorded government funds to attempt to purchase a quantity of methamphetamine from Brint Davis, 25, of 208 Long Twelve Street, with whom the operative had already arranged to meet. The operative then met with Davis and was able to purchase a quantity of methamphetamine using the recorded government funds at a location in Union County. The operative then met back with Lt. Sherfield, where all the evidence was collected and sealed for analysis at SLED. Lt. Sherfield has signed an arrest warrant charging Davis with distribution of methamphetamine.

-

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER OFFERS STARTUP WORKSHOP FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Thursday, July 23

The Small Business Development Center in conjunction with the Union County Chamber of Commerce, SC Works, and the City of Union will present an Entrepreneurs' Startup Workshop next month. The workshop is being offered to business owners to help them increase sales and grow their business through creative, free, or almost free means and resources. Materials will be provided. The workshop will be held August 5th at the SC Works office from 12 noon until 2 p.m. The cost is $15 for the public and $10 for Chamber members. Participants need to register by Monday, August 3rd. You may do so by calling the Chamber office at 427-9039, or Lewis Jeter at the SBDC office at 427-8864. Seating is limited for this event.

-

UNION COUNTY INDUSTRY JOB FAIR PLANNED FOR AUGUST 6TH

Thursday, July 23

A job fair that is being called “unlike any other” is set to take place at the Union County Advanced Technology Center August 6th. A spokesperson for the event said, “We have built a unique agenda and activities around interactions and helping industries gauge what and who is out there with the right skills, the right experience, and is the right fit.”

That agenda will include on-site interview opportunities between job seekers and representatives of the companies participating in the job fair. There will be nearly 20 companies represented. The job fair will run from 2-7 p.m., and is being sponsored by Spartanburg Community College, SCWorks Upstate, and the Union County Economic Development Board.

For more information on the Union County Industry Job Fair, call 864-466-1060.


MAYOR TO NEGOTIATE DESIGN SERVICES for "MAIN STREET JUNCTION" PROJECT

Wednesday, July 22

Mayor Harold Thompson was authorized by Union City Council Tuesday evening to enter into contract negotiations with the Montgomery Company for design services on a project called "Main Street Junction". That is the location of the former Super 10 building. There is a limit on the design services of $120,000.

Intended use for Main Street Junction on the first floor will be: wedding and rehearsal dinners, class and family reunions, meetings and conferences. The second floor is proposed to be utilized for board room meeting space, offices for the Tourism Board and others, and studio space for local artists. The proposed park space will include a plaza and lawn area for outdoor gatherings and serve as an extension of Main Street Junction. Mayor Thompson talked about the timeline for the project.

 

In other action, the council approved a $67,220 bid to Howard Engineering of Marietta, SC, for Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition services to monitor the natural gas system. The systems will monitor five stations and be expanded to the additional industrial meters.

City Council also agreed to give support to the Union County AA Machine Pitch All Stars who will be heading to North Myrtle Beach next month to participate in the 2015–2016 Dixie Youth World Series. That tournament will be held August 2-6. The monetary support will help pay for food and lodging. The council agreed to donate $1,000.

-

KELLY-KELTON FIRE DEPARTMENT SEEKS NEW CHIEF

Wednesday, July 22

A new chief is being sought for the Kelly-Kelton Fire Department. Greta Bailey, a board member with the Kelly-Kelton Fire District, said that the Kelly-Kelton Volunteer Fire Department is seeking applicants for the position of fire chief. The department is directed by a six-member board of fire control made up of district residents. The department has been overseen by an interim chief since April.

An announcement states: “The board seeks to appoint a chief with a minimum of 5 years' experience in fire service and be certified as Firefighter I.” It further states that an applicant “must also be an active firefighter in good standing with the SC Fire Academy and must have the ability to effectively command an active fire scene. Applicants will be required to possess superior management and supervision skills, knowledge of OSHA and NFPA guidelines, experience in grant writing and administration, as well as the ability to restructure the department and improve services for the residents in the area. The board would prefer to appoint a chief who lives within the district.”

The applicants must be willing to submit to a criminal background check, as well as a motor vehicle records check. Résumés can be mailed to: 968 Jonesville Lockhart Highway, Union, SC, 29379, or emailed to kwhorne2002@gmail.com, or gretasbailey@live.com. The deadline for submission is Aug. 3, 2015.

-

SANTUC PRECISION TO TAKE ON A YOUTH APPRENTICE

Wednesday, July 22

Apprenticeship Carolina, which is part of the SC Technical College System, has announced that Santuc Precision has established a registered youth apprenticeship program for machinists. An apprenticeship is a time-tested method of employee development that combines supervised on-the-job learning and job-related education. A program “registered” with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) shows an employer’s visible commitment to developing a high-quality workforce that meets nationally recognized training standards. Registered apprenticeship programs also enable employees to receive incremental wage increases as they demonstrate new competencies throughout the training program. The youth apprenticeship program at Santuc Precision will combine on-the-job learning and job-related education through the Union County Career and Technology Center and Spartanburg Community College in the area of machine tool technology. Initially, the program will sponsor one youth apprentice. Santuc Precision has produced and delivered superior metal stamped and machined parts by deadline for more than 35 years.

-

STATE TO REVIEW SAFETY AT NATIONAL GUARD INSTALLATIONS

Wednesday, July 22

As a result of the shooting at Chattanooga Armed Forces recruitment centers, Governor Nikki Haley and Major General Bob Livingston, working together with law enforcement including South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, are undertaking efforts to ensure the safety and security of service members, their families, and South Carolina National Guard facilities across the state.

Gov. Haley said, "In the wake of the shootings in Chattanooga, I have ordered a full review of all South Carolina National Guard facilities and installations statewide. The safety of our men and women in uniform is paramount, and I fully expect that this rolling review, starting this week, will result in the arming of some of our guardsmen. I will continue to work directly with General Livingston and Chief Keel to make sure we are doing everything in our power to confront the threats facing South Carolina."

Steps the governor has authorized General Livingston and his team to undertake, which ensures safety while balancing public access to facilities, include:

-- Over the next week, Guard officials will conduct site-by-site visits for vulnerability assessments of all Guard recruitment stations, facilities and installations across the state.

-- Based on vulnerability assessments, designated officials will be armed at recruitment stations, facilities and installations across the state as necessary.

-- Continue active shooter exercises with local law enforcement.

-- Continue active coordination and training with law enforcement.

-- Provide a method of instant contact with law enforcement.

-- Improve all physical security measures at all Guard facilities based on vulnerability assessments.


OFFICERS CHARGE UNION WOMAN WITH UNLAWFUL STORAGE OF LIQUOR FOR SALE

Tuesday, July 21

In recent weeks, narcotics officers with the Union County Sheriff's Office have received several complaints regarding alcoholic drinks being made and sold by Jonnica Lindsay, 23, at 308 South Church Street in Union. Officers had also noticed a Facebook post on her page about drinks being sold for $7, and information on when she was selling the drinks. On Saturday, July 11th, officer noticed a white female buying two mixed drinks, referred to as fishbowls, from Lindsay inside her residence. Based on this information, Lt. Sherfield was able to obtain a search warrant for the residence. This past Friday, narcotics officers with the Union County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at Lindsay's residence at 308 South Church Street. Forcible entry was made, with minor damage to the front door. Upon entry, the officer located 25 bottles of mixer, 3 bottles of liquor, a blue and white cooler, 10 frozen/cut pineapples, 3 whole pineapples, a pineapple cutter, and 11 hydrocodone pills. All the above property was seized by the officers, and Lindsay was to be charged with unlawful storage of liquor for sale. No one was at home during the execution of the search warrant.

-

JONESVILLE MAN ARRESTED FOR GROWING MARIJUANA

Tuesday, July 21

This past Tuesday, a concerned citizen in the Jonesville community reported to Sgt. Gilstrap and Lt. Sherfield that there were marijuana plants being grown at a residence on Worthy St. in Jonesville. The citizen described the scene, stating the plants were behind the residence near an outbuilding with some dogs around. Sgt. Gilstrap and Lt. Sherfield identified the residence as 317 Worthy St., Jonesville. On Friday, the officers went to the residence to talk to the people living there. While walking up to the back door, Sgt. Gilstrap could see marijuana plants growing in a small fenced-in area directly behind the residence and in between an outbuilding. Gilstrap knocked on the door, but no one answered. After a few minutes on scene, John E. Rogers, Jr., 48, arrived at the residence. He was advised they were there to talk about the marijuana plants, and he fully cooperated with officers and admitted that he had been cultivating them. Officers seized 6 marijuana plants, and Rogers was allowed to turn himself in at the jail at 5pm due to his cooperation in the investigation. The 6 marijuana plants were transported back to the Task Force, where Sgt. Gilstrap took a sample from each plant for testing. Gilstrap planned to sign a warrant on Rogers for manufacturing marijuana.

-

CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT AT 6:30

Tuesday, July 21

The Union City Council is set to meet tonight at 6:30 in the council chambers. One of the items on the agenda will be to authorize Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into contract negotiations for design-build services concerning the completing of the renovations of the Super 10 building on Main Street and the design of a park area on what was to have been the site of an events center. The request for action states the design-build approach was used for two important reasons. The first is to ensure that the design phase is seamlessly implemented during the construction phase. Second, a team-based approach was recommended that includes the contractor from the beginning to help reduce the potential for conflicts and costly change orders. Two bids have been submitted for the project: one from Kingsmore Construction in the amount of $1.7 million, and the other from the Montgomery Company in the amount of $1,199,995. The cost of the design service is being limited to $120,000.

-

ROSE HILL HOstING INTRODUCTORY NATURALIST COURSE

Tuesday, July 21

Insects! Mammals! Birds! Amphibians! You might be surprised to find out that wildlife is everywhere at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site. Places that are set aside to preserve history often provide a location that preserves and protects wildlife, as well.

If you have wanted to learn how to find and identify wildlife but are not sure how to get started, there is a program coming up at Rose Hill State Historic Site that will be perfect for you. On Saturday, August 1st, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., there will be an introductory naturalist course. Visitors will explore the outdoors to see what animals can be found. Participants will learn how to use field guides to identify what is found.

You are advised to wear comfortable clothes. Closed-toe shoes are required since you will be exploring outside. Rose Hill will provide a magnifying lens, cold water to drink, and a complimentary notebook to start a wildlife journal. If you have them, you can also bring a camera, any field guides, and binoculars.

The program is for ages 12 and older. Reservations are required because space is limited to 20 people at $4 per person. Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is at 2677 Sardis Road in Union. For information, you can call 864-427-5966 or email rosehill@scprt.com.

-

FEDEX GROUND HOLDING INFORMATION SESSIONS TOMORROW

Tuesday, July 21

An information session will be held Wednesday, July 22nd, at the Cherokee SC Works office in Gaffney. The session is being held by FedEx Ground. There will be three such sessions, at 9AM, 9:30AM and 10AM. They will be looking to hire part-time package handlers at a starting rate of $10.60 per hour.


MORE TO BE OFFERED AT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Monday, July 20

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart reported to County Council last Tuesday evening that the Advanced Technology Center is working with Spartanburg Community College to expand their course offerings at the facility, as well as holding preliminary discussions with the school district about a technology-based early college program.  Working through SCC and USCU, a memorandum of understanding agreement is going forward.  They will be meeting this week.  As part of these discussions, they are investigating a program in neighboring counties that provides free tuition for graduating seniors to attend local institutions, which in our case would be the Spartanburg Community College Advanced Technology Center Campus and USC Union.  More information will be forthcoming next month.

-

COUNTY LOOKS TO AUCTION OFF SARDIS ROAD HOMES

Monday, July 20

Looking for a good deal on a home? Your may find it during an auction of houses on August 3rd. The houses are being sold by Union County and were acquired through the Union County Airport during a recent clear zone project. The house are located at 448, 458, 464, and 488 Sardis Road. There is also a manufactured home located at 450 Sardis Road and a three-car garage at 464 Sardis Road. There is also another home and property up for auction, located at 403 Poplar Road, Jonesville. The stipulation is that all the houses must be moved. For more information, interested individuals should contact the Union County Airport at 429-1680.

-

LIBRARY BOARD MEETS TOMORROW AT TABERNACLE BAPTIST

Monday, July 20

The Union County Carnegie Library Board of Trustees will be meeting tomorrow. That meeting will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center of Tabernacle Baptist Church. The meeting is open to the public.

-

JOB FAIR FOR UNEMPLOYED OFFENDERS COMING TO SPARTANBURG NEXT MONTH

Monday, July 20

There will be a job fair coming up on August 14th for unemployed offenders in Spartanburg. In addition to the fair, they will be providing an expungement workshop that date at 10:15 a.m. and again at 12 noon. For offenders with transportation issues, there will be two vans available with a total capacity of 28 offenders. They will be leaving Union at 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. For additional information, you should contact your probation officer.

-

RASHAAD JACKSON, DON MUNSON HEADLINE CLEMSON CLUB KICKOFF EVENT

Monday, July 20

A former Union High School and Clemson University football standout will be returning to home when the Union County Clemson Club hosts its annual Kick-Off Event on Tuesday, August 18th, at Veterans Park. Doors will open at 5:00, with dinner beginning at 6:00 and a program featuring former Union and Clemson defensive lineman Rashaad Jackson and the Voice of the Clemson Tigers, Don Munson. Admission is free to all Clemson Club members. Club membership is available to all Clemson supporters, regardless of alumni status, for $25 per household. The event will also feature a raffle with Clemson-related prizes including a tailgate package, tickets to a home football game, and a souvenir item from Clemson Variety and Frame.

Rashaad Jackson had a distinguished career at Union High School, capped off with a senior season in which he accumulated 132 tackles, including 42 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks. He participated in the 2003 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas before entering Clemson as a member of the 2004 recruiting class. Jackson red-shirted in 2004 but went on to play in 43 games, amassing 91 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss, and five sacks.

Don Munson began working with Clemson in 1994 as a part of the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows. In 2003, he began handling women’s basketball and baseball broadcasts as play-by-play announcer. In 2014, he served as play-by-play announcer for Clemson football.

Annual membership in the Union County Clemson Club is $25 per family. Membership is open to all supporters of Clemson athletics. The goal of the Clemson Club is to award academic scholarships to deserving students who will be attending Clemson. Dues can be mailed to the club at: UCCC, PO Box 54, Union, SC, 29379. For more information about the club or the event, contact club president Virgil Childers at (864) 251-0094.


NEWHOUSE DISCUSSES CHANGES COMING TO HOSPITAL DISTRICT

Friday, July 17

Paul Newhouse, Chief Executive Officer of the Union Hospital District, appeared Thursday morning on a WBCU News special to answer questions about the imminent changes coming to that facility. Officially, on August 2nd, the hospital will become Union Medical Center under the auspices of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Systems. Newhouse said the first five months of the operation would be a time of evaluation and determining just how the community can best be served. One of the main realizations will be the ability to serve the community with more specialty physicians. Evaluations will be made to determine just what the need and demand will be. The biggest part of the takeover is Spartanburg’s commitment to build a new facility. Newhouse says this is a good thing.

 

The future of the present hospital is still uncertain. SRHC did not acquire the building but will lease the facility until the new building is constructed. The old hospital building will remain under the management of a new board of trustees. Under the terms of the chapter 9 bankruptcy, that building could, at some point, become the property of the creditors to whom money is owed by the Union Hospital District.

-

MIRACLE LEAGUE RECEIVES DONATION FROM HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS

Friday, July 17

The Miracle League has received a check in the amount of $27,000, which was raised raised by the Wallace Thomson Hospital Volunteers. This money will go toward the the construction of the Miracle League's all-inclusive playground. They will have a check presentation ceremony around the first week in August. The project for the playground began six months ago, and so far they have raised $70,000. Miracle League Board member and coach Greta Bailey said:

 

Anyone wishing to make a donation may contact any Miracle League Board member, or call Amy Austin at 426-7870.

-

MUSGROVE MILL HOSTING COLONIAL CRAFT AND MARKET FAIR

Friday, July 17

Take a step into history on Saturday, July 25th, as Musgrove Mill State Historic Site hosts the Colonial Craft and Market Fair, where volunteers will demonstrate the different aspects of life during the colonial period.

The event will feature skilled craftsmen that will be offering wares for sale representing the colonial time period. There will be demonstrations throughout the day by these individuals, and you can hear the colonial stories from local authors. Their books will be available for purchase.

The event will be held from 10 am–4 pm, with demonstrations occurring throughout the day.  There will be a $2 admission charge for adults. Children 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.   

In conjunction with the State Park's statewide Hunger Takes No Vacation food drive, admission to this event will be waived with a donation of nonperishable food items.  Please help “Pack A Park Truck” on July 25th to help those in need.

For more information, contact Musgrove Mill State Historic Site at (864) 938-0100, e-mail mgmillsp@scprt.com or go to www.SouthCarolinaParks.com.

-

INDUSTRY JOB FAIR COMING TO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Friday, July 17

A Union County Industry Job Fair will be held August 6th from 2 until 7 p.m. at the Union County Advanced Technology Center. That's located on the Furman Fendley Highway. They will be interviewing for a number of jobs, including: supervisors, bio-tech staff, waste water construction, general warehouse workers, bus drivers, production and machine operators, sewing operators, forklift drivers, material handlers and technicians. Veterans and preferred pass holders may enter one hour earlier. To qualify for a preferred pass, contact your local SC Works office.

-

MACHINE PITCH ALL-STARS RAISING MONEY FOR WORLD SERIES

Friday, July 17

The 7- and 8-year old Dixie Youth Machine Pitch Team will be playing in North Myrtle Beach for the World Series in their division next month. They will be playing Virginia. They are looking to raise around around $10,000 to help pay for lodging and meals. An account has been set up at Arthur State Bank, and donations can also be dropped off at Wade's Employment.


BLACK BEAR SIGHTED IN LOCKHART

Thursday, July 16

A black bear has been spotted in Union County. Lockhart resident Leroy Worthy called WBCU Wednesday morning to report the bear was spotted near his back yard. Worthy related the experience to us.

 

An official with the Department of Natural Resources said there have been reports in Union County of people spotting bears, but none have been confirmed.

-

CLERK OF COURT REPORTS ON PLEAS AND SENTENCES in GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

Thursday, July 16

General Sessions Court concluded last week, and Clerk of Court Freddie Gault has this report.

 

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING CASE INVOLVING POSSIBLY LACED MARIJUANA

Thursday, July 16

Around midnight Wednesday morning, Union County Sheriff's Office deputies were summoned to Pineland Road to assist EMS on a call for a possible overdose. Upon arrival, deputies found a 15-year old subject who stated he had a rapid heart rate. After being examined by EMS personnel, the subject was transported to Wallace Thomson Hospital. He told deputies that he had smoked marijuana with “the guy across the road.”

While still investigating the call, they were advised of another possible overdose just across the street. The subject there, Dalton Michael Johnson, 18, had a similar medical complaint as the 15-year old. Johnson told deputies that he had purchased the pot in the Foster Street area and he thinks it was laced with some other drug. For now, the case is being treated as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

-

HIGH SCHOOL'S HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE SEEKS NOMINATIONS

Thursday, July 16

The Union County High School Hall of Fame Committee is seeking nominations of individuals to be considered for that honor to be awarded during the high school football season. They are asking if anyone would like to nominate an individual from any of the county's former high schools or Union County High School, please do so by contacting Michelle James by phone at 429-1765, extension 16, or email mjames_uhs@union.k12.sc.us.  You should provide the name and mailing address of the nominee no later than July 27, 2015.

-

NEWHOUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THIS MORNING ON WBCU

Thursday, July 16

On August 2nd at 7:00 a.m., Wallace Thomson Hospital will officially become Union Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and the name of Ellen Sagar Nursing Home will be changed to Ellen Sagar Nursing Center. This comes about through several years of negotiations and exploring options for the hospital to avoid liquidation. The Federal Bankruptcy Court gave approval last week to the plan submitted to become a part of the Spartanburg Healthcare System. As a method of informing citizens exactly what is going on, WBCU will present a news special where hospital CEO Paul Newhouse will appear to answer questions. The program is scheduled to air at approximately 9:15 a.m. this morning.


cOUNTY COUNCIL ADOPTS AUTOMATIC AID AGREEMENT AMONG FIRE DEPARTMENTS

Wednesday, July 15

The Union County Council met in regular session Tuesday afternoon. Among the matters on the agenda was to considered filling two vacancies on the Stadium Commission. Only one application was received, and that individual, John David Wilcox, Jr., received the appointment. The other position remains open, and the county will advertise for applicants.

Airport manager Ronnie Wade gave an update on that facility and reported that $305,891 in grant money had been received. That goes with another approximately $166,000 already received. The money has been used for clear zone work. As a result, the county has purchased property, which includes several houses that will be sold by auction on August 3rd. The ultimate goal is to have a runway extension at the airport. Wade explains.

 

The council voted to adopt an Automatic Aid Agreement with Union County fire departments. A part of that agreement states that when a department is dispatched to a fire, two of the closest departments, geographically, will also be dispatched. This will allow for additional equipment and manpower to be on scene without the primary responding department having to call for backup. Michael Lancaster, who is chief of the Southside Fire Department, said the citizens are the ones who will benefit.

 

The council voted to hire a mechanic to support EMS equipment as well as perform maintenance on other county vehicles. Supervisor Frank Hart said he believes this will save money in the long run, since work on the ambulances is currently being done by a North Carolina firm.

In other action, they reviewed and gave approval to the financial statements for the Southside Fire Department, Veterans Memorial Park, the Union County Carnegie Library and the Clemson Extension Service.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING STOLEN AIR CONDITIONER

Wednesday, July 15

The Union County Sheriff's Office is investigating a burglary. On Monday, an employee with Sailors Mobile Home Park reported that someone had stolen a 10,000 BTU window air conditioning unit from a lot at 212 Kissy Creek Circle. The mobile home was vacated by Sharon Moore on July 10th. Around 11:00 p.m. that same day, a neighbor stated that he was walking back to his residence at 216 Kissy Creek Circle when he said he was certain that he could hear Moore's voice coming from inside of that mobile home. Deputies continue to investigate the case as a breaking and entering.

-

TYGER RIVER CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION LOOKING FOR CORRECTIONS OFFICERS

Wednesday, July 15

Tyger River Correctional Institution will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office on July 20th from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon. They will be interviewing for corrections officers. The starting salary is $26,583 annually. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. No experience is required, and the employer will train. Candidates will undergo drug testing/screening, background/reference and a motor vehicle checks. These positions are 12-hr. shifts (no rotation), and successful applicants will work only 14 days per month, with 2 weekends off monthly. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Please bring your résumé with you and come properly dressed for an interview.

-

HCR MANORCARE HOLDING EVENT TO HIRE FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS

Wednesday, July 15

On Tuesday, July 28th, HCR Manorcare will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon. They are looking to fill several positions, including CNAs. These are for full-time and part-time schedules, and the pay is a minimum of $9.55 per hour. They are also looking for RNs and LPNs. These jobs are for full-time schedules, and the pay depends on experience. Part-time dietary aides are wanted at a pay rate of $7.25 per hour. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org.


COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS THIS AFTERNOON

Tuesday, July 14

The Union County Council will be meeting this afternoon at 5:30 in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Court House. Among the matters on the agenda to be considered will be filling two vacancies on the Stadium Commission. They will also hear an airport update from Ronnie Wade and consider the Automatic Aid Agreement with Union County fire departments. Part of that agreement will cause three departments to automatically respond to a fire when dispatched by 911. The logic behind the policy will be to have additional fire departments responding rather than waiting for a single department to respond and then have to call for backup. The fire department responding in a service area can cancel the other departments if it is determined additional help is not needed.

Other considerations will be to negotiate a contract for SC Works, adding a mechanic to support ambulance service and vehicle maintenance, and reviewing and approving financial statements for the Southside Fire Department, Veterans Memorial Park, the Union County Carnegie Library and the Clemson Extension Service. They do have an executive session listed on the agenda for a personnel and contractual matter related to the EMS building.

-

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HOLDING PUBLIC HEARING ON SCE&G JENKINSVILLE CONSTRUCTION

Tuesday, July 14

The Public Service Commission of South Carolina has scheduled a public night hearing regarding the Petition of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company for updates and revisions to the capital cost schedule and schedules related to the construction of a nuclear base load generation facility at Jenkinsville, South Carolina.

The public hearing will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the Public Service Commission Hearing Room on Tuesday, July 21st. The room is located at 101 Executive Center Drive, Saluda Building, in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina Electric and Gas serves a portion of Union County.

-

ANNUAL CHEER CAMP BENEFITS SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Tuesday, July 14

The Marisha Sharay Jeter 2015 Cheer Camp is scheduled to take place July 30th through August 1st. It will be held each of those days from 9 a.m. until noon at the Twist and Shout Cheer and Dance Center, which is located in the old Owens Lawn and Garden Building at 409 Union Blvd. The charge is $20 per child, and all proceeds go toward the Marisha Sharay Jeter Scholarship Fund. The registration will be held at 9 a.m. on July 30th. Should you have any questions, call Jessica Sherbert at 864-427-0740.

-

POTTER'S STOREHOUSE NEEDS DONATIONS TO MOVE INTO NEW BUILDING NEXT MONTH

Tuesday, July 14

Pastor Don Moore of the Potter's Storehouse says they are hoping to be able to move into their new building on Jonesville's Main Street sometime in August. The building was donated to the food distribution ministry, but some renovations were needed. It is those renovations that is causing the delay. Money has run short to complete them, and the ministry is hoping to receive donations to help complete the process. Some changes can be expected in the food distribution program, but the normal dates of the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month will remain in place. They are also looking to make better provisions for their handicapped clients. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the renovations or make a donation should contact Pastor Don Moore at 864-680-3465, or by mail at P. O. Box 248, Jonesville, SC, 29353.

-

DOLLAR TREE ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN CHEROKEE AND SPARTANBURG

Tuesday, July 14

Dollar Tree, Inc. is establishing new distribution operations in the Upstate Corporate Park located in both Cherokee and Spartanburg counties. The $104.4 million investment is expected to create 400 new jobs over the next five years.

Dollar Tree operates more than 13,600 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces. Its stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree Canada and Deals. The company is supported by a coast-to-coast logistics network and employs more than 145,000 associates.

A Fortune 500 company, Dollar Tree has served North America for more than 28 years. The company’s store support centers are located in Chesapeake, Virginia, and Matthews, North Carolina.  With more than 100 store locations in South Carolina, Dollar Tree continues to grow and is reaching new customers online at www.DollarTree.com.

Dollar Tree will locate its Upstate South Carolina distribution operations at a new facility in the Upstate Corporate Park, situated off of Interstate 85. Construction of the 1.5-million-square-foot facility is expected to begin this month, with hiring for the new positions expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

The job opportunities presented by this project are expected to benefit persons in Union County seeking employment.

Those interested in joining the Dollar Tree team should visit the company’s career center page online. For more information on the company, visit www.DollarTree.com.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $1.5 million Set Aside grant to assist with the cost of real property improvements, as well as job development credits related to the project.


HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME TO GET NEW NAME ON AUGUST 2ND AS PART OF SPARTANBURG TAKEOVER

Monday, July 13

The Union Hospital District issued a news release Friday concerning their Chapter 9 plan being confirmed. The release stated:

"During a hearing on July 8, 2015, held at the Bankruptcy Court in Spartanburg, SC, the Honorable Judge David R. Duncan, based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law stated on the record, confirmed the Chapter 9 plan as presented.

A Hospital spokesperson stated, 'This is an exciting time for us. At 7:00 am, August 2nd, the hospital will officially become Union Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and the name of Ellen Sagar Nursing Home will be changed to Ellen Sagar Nursing Center.'

Hospital CEO Paul Newhouse said, 'It’s been a long time coming, and we’d like to thank the community for your continued support. There were a lot of people involved over the past two years working to make this transaction successful. We had help from our elected officials, Senator Harvey Peeler, Senator Ronnie Cromer, Senator Shane Martin and Representative Mike Anthony. The county has worked with us along the way providing financial assistance and support at critical times. The Union Hospital District Board of Trustees spent countless hours examining various options to ensure the best solution for the future of healthcare in Union County. The staff and employees of the district remained vigilant and committed to the patients of our community during the stressful days we went through. They all played an important part in the process to make this happen. Affiliation with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will allow healthcare services to be delivered in Union for the long term. The many benefits of belonging to a large health system include: coordinated care for medical services, access to multi-specialty physician groups, increased efficiencies and access to the most advanced technologies. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System will be purchasing land in Union County to relocate Union Medical Center with the building of a brand new facility. Once the new facility is completed, we will provide enhanced services and clinical capabilities, higher quality care and a better patient care experience to the residents of Union County.'"

-

FARMERS' MARKET HOLDS GRAND OPENING

Monday, July 13

Although the new Union Farmers' Market has been open for around a year, the official grand opening was held this past Saturday. They decided to forego the usual ribbon cutting for such events and celebrate with a watermelon slicing. Watermelon slicings have been a part of southern culture for ages, and organizers thought it would be a good way of drawing attention to the fresh fruits and vegetables available there.

Longtime farmer and horticulture instructor Cleveland Jackson said the event was important to the community.

 

Farmers Allen Mull, Dennis Pridemore and Mike Robinson did the official slicing as a good crowd of produce shoppers enjoyed slices of the melon.

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR THROWING FLAMING BOTTLE AT A COUPLE

Monday, July 13

Following the sentencing of Herman Phillip Farr Thursday in General Sessions Court, a sheriff's deputy responded to a call to 308 Aetna Street. They met with Richard Farr, the father of the subject that was sentenced to seven years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. Farr reported to the officer that Jamie Tyler Whitlock, a relative of the deceased victim in the case, had thrown a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid with a burning cloth in it at his wife and him while driving by. Whitlock was said to be yelling statements such as “burn in hell.” He is charged with two unrelated traffic offenses, one of which is failure to yield right of way. A sheriff's office spokesperson said Whitlock will also face charges of attempted murder and possession of an incendiary device.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING MISSING HORSE

Monday, July 13

Wednesday, Pat Burton reported that her horse was missing from their property, located at 735 Lemonade Rd. in the Pacolet area of Union County. She stated that the horse was there at 6:00 pm on July 8th, but was missing when they returned around 10:30am on July 9th. Burton also said that they had walked all of the fences, and there were no cuts in the fences, nor any signs that the horse escaped. The horse is a 23-year old gelding, red in color, with black mane and tail, white face, and a white snipet on one foot.

-

ALEXIS GARRETT HOLDING FUNDRAISER TO GET TO JUNIOR OLYMPIC GAMES

Monday, July 13

Alexis Garrett, a rising senior at Union County High School, has participated in track for six years at UCHS. This summer, Alexis has been running with the BSYAA AAU team. In June, she participated in the Region meet, placing 2nd in the 100-meter hurdles and high jump, and setting her personal record at 15 feet 11 inches and 5 feet, respectively. This meet qualified her in the 2015 Junior Olympic Games, which will be held in Norfolk, Va., August 1-8. In order to raise funds, Alexis will be having a fundraiser held at the School District Office on Main Street, Union, Thursday, July 16th, at 11 am. Fish, hot dogs, leg quarters, baked beans, cold slaw, and sweet tea will be sold. The fundraiser starts at 11am.

-

COMFORT KEEPERS HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT TUESDAY IN UNION

Monday, July 13

Comfort Keepers will hold a recruitment event tomorrow at the Union SC Works office from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. They will be hiring to fill positions of personal assistant and CNAs. A minimum of 6 months' experience as a personal caregiver is preferred but not required. 2nd, 3rd, and weekend shifts are available. Full-time and part-time positions are available. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. The minimum salary is $8.25 per hour. The jobs requires drug testing, background, reference and driver’s record checks. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Please come properly dressed for the interview.


SPARTANBURG REGIONAL TAKEOVER TO BRING CHANGES TO UNION HOSPITAL DISTRICT

Friday, July 10

Starting August 2nd, Wallace Thomson Hospital will become Union Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Health Systems. That move became official Wednesday when the Federal Bankruptcy Court approved a plan that, among other things, allows for the takeover of the hospital by Spartanburg Regional. Chief Executive Officer Paul Newhouse, who will retain his position with the hospital, tells WBCU News what will happen next.

 

The board meeting Thursday night was the last for the group as it is now known. Attorney Paul Zion said the Union Hospital District will remain intact, and a board of directors will still be needed. Under the agreement, the district will retain ownership of the hospital building and will be charged with the responsibility of maintaining it. There will come a time when the physical plant could become the property of the creditors.

One change coming before the August date is that Wallace Thomson will discontinue labor and delivery services in the OB department. That change takes place July 27th. Babies will be delivered at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Newhouse said the reason it that the service has not been profitable since it began several years ago. There are many questions to be answered, and WBCU News is working to set up a special program to air one day next week. We will keep you posted on the exact date and time.

-

JUDGE UPHOLDS STINSON'S TEN-YEAR SENTENCE

Friday, July 10

Judge Mark Hayes said Tuesday that if he reduced the sentence of Kevin Stinson, it would not be significant. The judge handed down his decision Thursday afternoon upholding the original 10-year sentence. Kevin Stinson, 26, of Union, went back to court Tuesday just two months after he pleaded guilty to trying to have sex with a 13-year old. The motion for the reduction in sentence was made by Stinson’s attorney, Benjamin Stitely, who presented Hayes with letters from Stinson’s family supporting him. Stitely said that Stinson had pleaded guilty and had accepted responsibility for his actions. He pointed out that Stinson had never done anything like this in his past.

Deputy Solicitor John Anthony described Stinson as an “internet predator”, and said that while the reduction in sentence is being requested out of concern for Stinson’s daughter, the court has a responsibility for all children. He said that the best thing that can be done is to keep Stinson in prison, adding that while the state is asking the sentence to remain as it is, if any change is made, it should be in the form of an increase rather than a reduction.

In presenting the state’s case to the court, Anthony also reviewed Stinson’s criminal record, which he said included petty theft, burglary, and fraudulent use of a credit card. He added that the victim and her family appreciated the sentence Hayes originally handed down and, along with the state, would like to see it remain in place.

-

UNION MAN SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER

Friday, July 10

A 19-year old Union man was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday morning in General Sessions court. Herman Phillip Farr received the sentence after entering a guilty plea to charges of voluntary manslaughter. The case stemmed from an incident on September 28, 2014, when Union Public Safety officers were summoned to a call about an altercation on Blassingame Street around 2:30 in the morning. Upon arrival, they found Chad Anthony Whitlock lying unresponsive in the roadway. Whitlock was transported to the hospital, where he later died. His death was attributed to injuries he received in a fight with Farr. Farr was originally charged with murder, but that was reduced to voluntary manslaughter through a plea arrangement with Deputy Solicitor John Anthony. Farr’s seven-year sentence was reduced by 132 days for the time he has already spent in jail. He will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence.

-

LOCKHART RESIDENTS HEARD BY EPA AND DHEC OFFICIALS

Friday, July 10

Lockhart-area citizens were able to ask question and express their concerns Thursday about the Bennett Landfill fire in Chester County. Smoke from that blaze infiltrated the Town of Lockhart and is said to have caused some respiratory issues for residents. The fire, which started in November of 2014, burned until May of this year when the Environmental Protection Agency was called in to assist the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. EPA On-Scene Coordinator Matt Husyer explained the reason for the gathering.

 

While the fire was believed to be out, Husyer would not conclusively confirm that. He would only say that no smoke is being detected coming from the site. He said there are several wells on site that are designed to detect any such emission. Seven monitoring sites were set up in Lockhart by DHEC at the height of the smoke problem, and three still remain. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry earlier issued a statement saying that “breathing volatile organic compounds and other chemicals in the air should not cause health problems for people.”

-

FARMERS' MARKET CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING WITH A WATERMELON CUTTING

Friday, July 10

The Union County Farmers' Market will celebrate their grand opening tomorrow with a watermelon cutting. It will take place Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. The Farmers' Market is located at 529 East Main St., between the Union County YMCA and the Union County School District’s Adult Education Center. The market was previously located on North Mountain Street but relocated to its new location after the City of Union built a new facility for it on Main Street to give it increased visibility and additional parking space. The market opens at 6 a.m., and this will give the public ample time to shop for locally grown produce before the Grand Opening and Watermelon Cutting ceremony begins.

-

FAMILY CHOICE CENTER HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT NEXT THURSDAY

Friday, July 10

Family Choice Center will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg on Thursday, July 16th, from 10:00AM–12:00PM. Family Choice Center is recruiting direct support staff , care coordinators, and a house manager. SC Works Spartanburg is located at 220 E. Kennedy Street, Spartanburg.


SOURCES: BANKRUPTCY COURT ACCEPTS HOSPITAL DISTRICT TAKEOVER

Thursday, July 9

Informed sources have told WBCU News that the Federal Bankruptcy Court approved the proposal Wednesday that sets the stage for Spartanburg Regional Health Systems to take over the operation of the Union Hospital District. Just how the operation of Wallace Thomson Hospital may change have not been revealed. The Union Hospital District’s Board of Trustees is set to meet tonight in the conference room of the hospital. Additional details are expected to be released at that meeting.

-

STINSON BACK IN COURT FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION HEARING

Thursday, July 9

Kevin Stinson, 26, of Union, was back in court Tuesday just two months after he pled guilty to trying to have sex with a 13-year old. He was asking that his 10-year sentence be reduced.

Stinson was arrested by Union County Sheriff’s deputies on July 8th at Foster Park where he’d gone to meet with a 13-year old girl for a sexual encounter. The meeting was the result of a series of text messages between Stinson and the girl, who told Stinson from the beginning that she was 13. When the girl learned that Stinson was 25, she gave the phone to her mother who, pretending to be her daughter, continued to communicate with Stinson.

When Stinson arrived at the park, he made his way toward the bathrooms where he thought the victim would be waiting for him and was placed under arrest by deputies.

The motion for the reduction in sentence was made by Stinson’s attorney, Benjamin Stitely, who presented Hayes with letters from Stinson’s family supporting him. Stitely said that Stinson had pleaded guilty and had accepted responsibility for his actions. He pointed out that Stinson had never done anything like this in his past.

Deputy Solicitor John Anthony described Stinson as an “internet predator”, and said that while the reduction in sentence is being requested out of concern for Stinson’s daughter, the court has a responsibility for all children. He said that the best thing that can be done is to keep Stinson in prison, adding that while the state is asking the sentence to remain as it is, if any change is made, it should be in the form of an increase rather than a reduction.

In presenting the state’s case to the court, Anthony also reviewed Stinson’s criminal record, which he said included petty theft, burglary, and fraudulent use of a credit card. He added that the victim and her family appreciated the sentence Hayes originally handed down and, along with the state, would like to see it remain in place.

Judge John Hayes said he would review the documents presented by Stitely. He added, however, that if there were any reduction in the sentence, it would not be substantial.

-

LOCKHART RESIDENTS CAN MEET WITH DHEC AND EPA OFFICIALS TODAY

Thursday, July 9

People in and around Lockhart will have the opportunity to meet with officials of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about concerns over the recent Bennett Landfill fire. That fire was finally extinguished last month after eight months of burning. During that time, Lockhart citizens complained about smoke from the fire infiltrating the town and causing some respiratory problems. A report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was released several weeks ago concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs) coming from the Bennett Landfill fire. The report stated that breathing volatile organic compounds and other chemicals in the air should not cause health problems for people. It also said that asbestos had not been found in the air samples, and people who breath the VOCs in the air should not have a higher risk of getting cancer. People who question that report or those that have concerns are invited to the meeting at the Lockhart First Baptist Church Family Life Center, which is located just off Highway 9. There will be two opportunities to meet with the officials, the first beginning today at 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., and the second from 5 until 7 p.m.

-

JONESVILLE WOMAN REPORTS INSURANCE CHECK STOLEN FROM HER MAILBOX

Thursday, July 9

Tuesday, a Jonesville woman went to the Sheriff's Office and reported that she had a check possibly stolen from her mailbox. The check was to come to her from her insurance company. She said that she was expecting the check, and when she inquired about it, the agency said that it was already mailed and cashed. She advised the company she didn't cash it. It was determined that the check was cashed at Regions Bank on Columbiana Drive in Columbia. The check was made out to the woman and was an accident reimbursement.

These cases come up from time to time, and citizens are reminded to keep an eye on your mailbox when expecting something of value. A similar case was reported to the sheriff's office Monday.

-

DEPUTIES INVESTIGATE HARASSING PHONE CALLS

Thursday, July 9

Deputies were dispatched Tuesday to Wild Life Drive in reference to a harassing phone call. Upon arrival, they spoke with a woman who said she had received a call from a blocked number. She said when she answered the phone, an unknown female subject advised her that she was outside and was looking at her through the door. Hughes said she went to the door to possibly see the caller but did not locate anyone. About a minute later, she received another call from a blocked number, but she did not answer it. They left a voice mail message that said the next time she called was going to be when she kills her. Hughes told the officers that she has never had a problem with anyone and does not know who might be calling her. The case was turned over the investigators.


HOSPITAL OFFICIALS EXPECTED TO PRESENT TAKEOVER IN BANKRUPTCY COURT TODAY

Wednesday, July 8

Officials of Wallace Thomson Hospital are expected to be in federal court today as they make their presentation for the proposed takeover by Spartanburg Regional Health Systems. The hospital filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy last year and soon after adopted a resolution that outlines the transfer. The resolution stated, “Whereas Spartanburg Regional Health Systems has proposed a transaction whereby the operations of the Union Hospital District would be taken over by SRHS and a new health facility constructed...” It also states, "It is the judgment of the Board that the proposal by SRHS is in the best interest of the citizens of Union County and should be approved." The plan was submitted to the bankruptcy court several months ago, and today was set as the time to hear arguments. If the plan is approved, the takeover could take place as soon as next month. In anticipation of the move, Spartanburg Regional officials have already been on site putting in place their systems for a smooth transaction. Although the plan is expected to be approved by the court, the resolution does authorize the District's board to explore and consider alternative actions and plans should it be disallowed by the Bankruptcy Court.

-

THREE MORE INCIDENTS OF VANDALISM REPORTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

Wednesday, July 8

Vandalism apparently continues to be an issue in the city and county. An incident report from the Union County Sheriff's Office shows yet another case of vandalism to a vehicle. A resident on Strother Road reported that someone had slashed four tires on his car. The value of the tires was placed at $1200. There were two cases reported to the Union Public Safety Department. One was a case on South Church Street where the victim reported that deep scratches and some words were found etched into his vehicle. The damage estimate was placed at $1500. Another city case involved a vehicle that had both front and rear windows broken out. That incident took place on South Mountain Street. Damage there was estimated to be $500. A burglary and breaking and entering was reported at a Jonesville address. This incident involved a storage building where $1800 worth of tools and equipment were taken.

-

BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC CHARITIES PURCHASES BACKPACKS TO HELP SUPPLY DRIVES

Wednesday, July 8

Broad River Electric Charities has already purchased 3,000 backpacks to be distributed to local elementary schools, including Union County. They would like to coordinate with existing supply drives and inspire new ones by offering the cooperative headquarters as a drop-off point. Supplies can also be delivered to Mon-Aetna Baptist Church in Union. Broad River will stuff the backpacks with your donations and deliver them to the schools. Typical needs for students include spiral-bound or marble notebooks, binders, paper, and pencils. For more information on how you can participate, please feel free to contact Josh Crotzer at 864-206-7128 or jcrotzer@broadriverelectric.coop.

-

BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC WILL BE SITE OF UPSTATE JOB FAIR NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, July 8

SC Works Cherokee will host an Upstate Job Fair on Wednesday, July 15th, at Broad River Electric from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans and Preferred Pass holders may enter at 8 a.m. The doors will open to the general public at 9 a.m. There will be 18 potential employers on hand for this event. Be sure to come dressed for an interview and bring your résumé. For assistance in preparing for the upcoming job fair and to obtain a Preferred Pass, visit your local SC Works Upstate office.

-

COMFORT KEEPERS HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN UNION NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, July 8

Comfort Keepers will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office on Tuesday, July 14th, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. They will be hiring to fill personal assistant/CNA positions. A minimum of 6 months' experience as personal caregiver is preferred but not required. There are 2nd, 3rd, and weekend shifts available, and these are full-time and part-time jobs. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. The minimum salary is $8.25 per hour. The positions requires drug testing, background, reference and driver’s record checks. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Please come properly dressed for the interview.


UNION COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ISSUES STATEMENT SUPPORTING CONFEDERATE FLAG REMOVAL

Tuesday, July 7

The Union County Democratic Party has issued a position statement regarding the Confederate Flag controversy. Lawmakers have returned to session in Columbia to take up the issue as well as handle Governor Haley's budget vetoes.

The statement says: “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, injustice, racism, and hatred.

South Carolina must not continue to be seen around the world as the last state in the union to govern justly for all of the people and not the privileged few. 'All of the people matter', especially blacks and minorities.

We strongly urge our state representatives to move swiftly to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol and place it in a museum where all historic state flags are located.

'All Lives Matter.'”

The controversy erupted following the massacre of nine black Charleston residents while attending a Bible study at their church.

-

MOTION TO RECONSIDER MAN'S SENTENCE FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH A MINOR TO BE HEARD TODAY

Tuesday, July 7

The attorney for a Union man sentenced last May in General Session Court has filed a motion to have that sentence reconsidered. Kevin Dustin Stinson entered a guilty plea at the time to a charge of 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.  He was accused of attempting to lure an underage female to the Foster Park area to have sex. He was apprehended there by police. The motion will be heard this afternoon at 2:00 in the courtroom.

-

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO METH CHARGE

Tuesday, July 7

Friday, Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling on Highway 49 east of Union and noticed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Activating his radar, he clocked the car traveling 69 miles per hour in a 55 zone. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Johnny Ray Ross, 60, of Laurens, South Carolina. Although a check of his driver's license came back clear, the officer noticed that Ross appeared very nervous. Ross was asked if there was anything in the vehicle, and he said no. Vaughan then asked Ross if he would give consent to search the vehicle, and the subject said yes. Located during the search were a number of items associated with manufacturing methamphetamine. Ross told the deputy that he was transporting the items to another location in the county for someone to make meth. He was arrested and transported to Union County Jail and charged with attempting to manufacture meth and speeding.

-

SEVERAL INSTANCES OF VANDALISM REPORTED OVER HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Tuesday, July 7

Notable in the incident reports from the Union County Sheriff's Office for the holiday weekend were seven cases of vandalism to property. All the cases involved damage to vehicles, with a monetary estimate of $8,860. The cases were spread out across the county and did not appear to be related. There were also two cases of breaking and entering. The sheriff's office continues to investigate.

Noted in the City of Union Public Safety Department's reports were three cases of vandalism, two cases of breaking and entering, and three incidents of disorderly conduct.

-

FIRE DESTROYS COUPLE'S MOBILE HOME IN JONESVILLE

Tuesday, July 7

Fire completely destroyed a couple's mobile home Sunday. The call was received around 6:55 p.m. The dwelling, on Wedgewood Road in Jonesville, was declared a total loss. The owners, Cindy Roberts Smith and Jimmy Smith, were not home at the time of the blaze. It is reported that the couple did not have insurance on the dwelling, and both are on disability. There were no injuries reported, and the blaze appeared to be electrical in nature. In addition to the Jonesville Fire Department, the Bonham and Kelly-Kelton departments responded.


LARGE CROWD ENJOYS MUSIC, FOOD, AND FIREWORKS AT LIGHT UP THE LAKE EVENT

Monday, July 6

Falling short of calling attendance at Saturday night’s Light Up the Lake a record, organizers declared it a grand success. Ronnie Wade, who coordinated the celebration, was pleased with the outcome.

 

In addition to a spectacular fireworks show Light Up the Lake featured 60’s music by the group Juke Box 45 along the vendors selling a variety of food and wares. This was the first year in many that the event was not put on by the Recreation Department which for all intend and purposes does not exist any more. For a video of the fireworks display, check out our Facebook page.

-

UNION COUNTY'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASES IN MAY

Monday, July 6

South Carolina’s economic progress continued to impact employment and labor force estimates in May. The number of working South Carolinians reached another historic high, to an estimated 2,109,984 people. 65,006 people have found work since May 2014.

The labor force increased by 7,459 people in May to 2,263,293, extending a growth trend to sixteen consecutive months. Over the last twelve months, the labor force has expanded by 84,003 people.

The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.8 percent in May from 6.7 percent in April, as the number of unemployed persons increased by 1,856 to 153,309. Since May 2014, the number of unemployed people has increased by 18,997 people.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 5.4 percent in April to May’s estimate of 5.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in Union County went up by 6 tenths of a point during the month of May. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reported that out of a labor force of 11,838, 10,788 were working. That yields an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, as opposed to the 8.3 percent reported in April. The county's labor force saw an increase of 78 people, with 1 less person working than in April.

-

MONEY IN STATE BUDGET TO HELP USC UNION FUND A STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS CENTER

Monday, July 6

USC-Union has received a $67,000 allocation, which was included in the 2015–2016 South Carolina Budget. South Carolina House District 42 member Mike Anthony is credited with the effort to acquire the funding. The funds will be used for a new computer and tutoring lab.

USC Union Dean Alice Taylor-Colbert said that the $67,000 allocation will enable USC Union to fund a Student Academic Success Center. Anthony was quoted as saying the allocation for USC Union is the first earmark he has ever personally had included in the state budget in the 13 years he has been in the SC House of Representatives. He pointed out that the last earmark included in the budget specifically for Union County was funding for renovations at the Union County Carnegie Library. Those funds were first earmarked by Sen. Harvey Peeler in the SC Senate, and Anthony helped get it through the House through an override of Governor Haley’s veto. The Student Academic Success Center will be located in a classroom on the second floor of the Central Building of the campus. The dean said plans are for the Student Academic Success Center to be in place and ready to begin serving USC Union students by late August.

-

ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT GROUP TO MEET AGAIN TOMORROW

Monday, July 6

The Alzheimer's Support Group will be meeting tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church. Anyone caring for a loved one with alzheimer's is invited to attend. Another session will be held on August 4th. For additional information, call Ann Canada at 864-429-0505.

-

DAVID FANT BUILDING RENOVATIONS COMPLETED

Monday, July 6

There’s a new venue available in Union for people looking to hold an event. After seven years of trying to conform to the City of Union's Building Code, local businessman Robert Small has officially opened the David Fant building on North Pinckney Street. Formerly the location of a Gulf Oil distributorship, Small completely remodeled and refurbished the building, turning the old oil-stained floor into a high-gloss showpiece. The building features a deck on the back side that will accommodate around 60 people. Inside the building is a small service kitchen, restrooms, a gas log fireplace and tables and chairs. The open area will handle 168 guests. Small was asked just how he planned to utilize the building.

 

Small locked horns with city officials several times, calling their demands unreasonable. Nonetheless, he relented and installed a sprinkler system, adjusted a handicap ramp to meet ADA requirements, as well as renovating restrooms also to meet ADA standards. Small calls the building one of the nicest in town and invites area residents to come by and see for themselves.


UNION COUNTY GETS AN EXTRA $2.5 MILLION FOR ROAD REPAIRS

Friday, July 3

SC Senate District 14 Sen. Harvey Peeler announced Tuesday that an extra $2.5 million in state funding is coming to Union County this year to fix local roads.

Peeler stated that earlier in June, the SC General Assembly approved a supplemental appropriations bill that puts an extra $216 million in the county transportation committee funds. Peeler said that this money is to be used to fill potholes and to resurface and improve state-owned roads. He said that the Union County Transportation Committee will be responsible for deciding which projects will be funded. Peeler pointed out that, typically, Union County’s portion of this gas tax money is around $822,000.

Peeler said, “I remain hopeful the legislature will come up with a statewide roads plan, but at least for Union County, this is a good start.”

County Transportation Committee funds are derived from 2.66 cents of the gasoline tax. The money is distributed to the 46 counties based on a formula of square miles, population and rural roads.

Union County Transportation Committee Chairman Don Shetley said, “That’s almost three times what we normally get. This can help us address approximately 25 percent of our needs."

There are currently 10 road and sidewalk repair projects underway in the county that are at least partly funded with allocations from his committee. A total of $2,359,174.32 has been allocated to those projects, of which $25,899.06 had been spent as of the end of May.

-

FIREWORKS TO "LIGHT UP THE LAKE" AT FOSTER PARK SATURDAY NIGHT

Friday, July 3

An event many people look forward to is coming up Saturday. It's the annual Light Up the Lake program. Thousands are expected to gather at Foster Park Lake beginning at around 6:00 p.m. for an evening of music and food. Some of the food items to be featured includes BBQ sandwiches, chicken on a stick, funnel cakes, Fried Oreos, roasted corn and fresh lemonade. The Juke Box 45 Band will be performing from 7 until 9 p.m. At dark, the time arrives that most people anticipate...the gigantic fireworks show. Local sponsors for the event include: Lockhart Power, Founder's Credit Union, the Union County Development Board, Zaxby's, Premier Color, Hart Insurance, Gestamp, the Union Rotary Club and Kingsmore Construction. WBCU Radio will be broadcasting live from 6 until after the fireworks show.

-

BUFFALO COMMUNITY CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE WITH ANNUAL PARTY AT THE POND TONIGHT

Friday, July 3

Tonight, the Buffalo community will hold their annual Independence celebration. It's called Party at the Pond, and it will begin at 6 p.m. There will be music and vendors on hand, and they will have a fireworks display at dark.

-

BEN LOFTIS IS NEW PRESIDENT OF UNION'S ROTARY CLUB

Friday, July 3

The Rotary Club of Union had a packed meeting Tuesday, which included a speaker, new member inductions, installation of the new Board of Directors, and check presentations.

President Lewis Jeter presented Rotary donations to Dr. Melinda Moretz with the Union County Healthcare Foundation, Lynn Mornane with Meals on Wheels, and Scott Sandor of the YMCA.

New members inducted include Isaac McKissick and Wayne Wallace.

Rotarian John Knox introduced guest speaker Ben Ivey to the club. Ivey is a Union native that has been a self-employed contractor for 42 years and is serving his 2nd term on the Union County Council. He talked to the club about the importance of housing, jobs, and more industry in Union County. He ended his presentation by saying that he wants Union County to grow with jobs and families.

The new president is Ben Loftis, who is the Director of the Union County Carnegie Library.

Beth Belue and Lewis Jeter are Past Presidents 2013-2015. Lewis Jeter handed the gavel over Tuesday to Union Rotary Club’s new president, Ben Loftis. In addition to Loftis, the 2015-2016 Board of Directors includes: Torance Inman-President-Elect, Lewis Jeter - Immediate Past President, Annie Smith – Vice President, Lynne Burnett – Secretary/Treasurer, Glenn Ivey and Lynn Mornane – Membership, Lisa Morris – Service Projects, Scott Sandor – Rotary Foundation, Robbie Littlejohn – Club Admin, Annie Smith – Public Relations, Evans Crocker – Sergeant at Arms.

-

ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES SPECIAL EVENTS IN JULY

Friday, July 3

The Union County Arts Council has announced their lineup for programs and events for the month of July.

The Writers Group with local writers will meet Tuesday, July 14th, at 6:00. This is open to everyone.

If you are a lifetime musician or just picked up an instrument for this first time, no matter your skill level, you're invited to Monday Night Music. It will be held on Monday, July 20th at 6:30pm. This all-acoustic jam session is just the place to let go after a long Monday.

The Art Camp with Brandi Ketterman is scheduled for July 13-17 and will be an exciting week for campers. The organizers say from exploding paint to flower pots, there will never be a dull moment.

Toddler Time is for all children ages 4 & under (with a parent) on July 24th from 10:30-11:30. They will explore art in a creative way. The fee is $10 per class.

Saturday July 25th, between the hours of 10:00-2:00, is just for teachers. Educators are invited to come and create a door hanger for your classroom door. This event is just in time to welcome your students back to school. The cost for this class is $20. You are ask to please call UCAC to reserve your spot.

A new exhibit, "A Town of Talent", will showcase the many talents of Union County Arts Council members. Everyone is invited to visit the exhibit and see the amazing works that will be displayed. The Arts Council is now booking birthday parties at their gallery location on Main Street.


REPORT SAYS NO HEALTH PROBLEMS EXPECTED BECAUSE OF LANDFILL FIRE

Thursday, July 2

The meeting of the Lockhart Town Council Tuesday night revealed that a report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has been released concerning volatile organic compounds (VOC) coming from the Bennett Landfill fire. That fire broke out last November and released smoke into the town. A number of residents complained of breathing issues, and the Environmental Protection Agency was summoned to help put the fire out. The report stated that breathing volatile organic compounds and other chemicals in the air should not cause health problems for people. It also said that asbestos had not been found in the air samples, and people who breath the VOCs in the air should not have a higher risk of getting cancer. A meeting has been set up for July 9th in the First Baptist Church Family Life Center to receive comments and questions about the fire, which was extinguished last month. There will be two sessions that day: the first from 9 until 11 a.m., and another from 5 until 7 p.m. Representatives from DHEC and the EPA will be on hand to field those questions.

-

UNION MAN INVESTIGATED IN ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ARSON CASE

Thursday, July 2

Officers and fire departments were dispatched Tuesday around 2:40 a.m. to Countryside Drive in response to a structure fire. They spoke with Joseph Crowe, who said he was in bed and awoke to the smell of smoke. When he went outside to investigate, he found a fire against the side of his residence. He said he had nothing that would have started the blaze, so he fired his gun into the air and could hear someone in the woods running away. A K-9 unit was brought in and tracked a suspect to another residence on Countryside Drive. The K-9 stopped at a mattress on the ground, where they found the suspect, 38-year old Walter Anthony Gregory, under a sleeping bag. Gregory was advised of his Miranda rights. Officers reported that Gregory was very evasive and his answers did not match the facts. Officers had already responded several times to that address in reference to Gregory harassing an ex-girlfriend. The report stated that after several minutes, Gregory admitted walking through the woods to take pictures of Crowe shooting. When asked if he started the fire, he said he was smoking at the time, so he possibly could have. Gregory was placed under arrest for harassment in reference to another case and transported to the Union County jail. His ex-girlfriend told officers that Gregory came to her house around 2:30 a.m., and she immediately told him to leave, which he did. She said she did not know he was outside on the mattress. The matter is being investigated as an attempted murder and arson case.

-

HART TALKS ABOUT RECREATION DEPARTMENT AS NEW FISCAL YEAR BEGINS

Thursday, July 2

Because of budget constraints with the County of Union, the Recreation Department was not funded for the new fiscal year. The last day for the department as we know it was Tuesday. That does not mean the doors to the building are being locked, however. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart had this to say.

 

-

BRAD VALENTINE, DIANE WILKINS SWORN IN FOR A NEW TERM IN OFFICE

Thursday, July 2

 

That's Union County Auditor Brad Valentine being sworn in a for a new term. This will be Valentine's fourth term. Also sworn in was Union County Treasurer Diane Wilkins. Wilkins said there have been a lot of changes in her 24 years of service as Union County Treasurer.

Wilkins went to work in the Union County Treasurer's Office in 1981.

Most of the county's elected officials are sworn in at the first of the year, but the auditor and treasurer serve on a fiscal year calendar.

-

FARMER'S MARKET ANNOUNCES 2015 GRAND OPENING AND WATERMELON CUTTING

Thursday, July 2

The Union County Farmer's Market will have their official grand opening on Saturday, July 11th. To celebrate the event, they will host a watermelon cutting, where patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy a slice of the melon. The market will open at 6:00 a.m., with the grand opening and the watermelon cutting at 11:00 a.m. Union Countians are invited to visit the local farmer's market and experience the local produce.


LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL APPROVES BUDGET, CHANGES SANITATION SERVICE PROVIDER

Wednesday, July 1

The Lockhart Town Council gave second and final reading to their budget for the 2015–2016 fiscal year during a special called meeting Tuesday evening. The total budget calls for an expected expenditure of $338,000, which is a decrease of $5,700 over last year.

In other action, the council agreed to change sanitation service contractors. They say that numerous complaints about the current provider, Johnson Sanitation of Spartanburg, brought about the change. The council accepted a proposal by EZ Waste of Union to perform trash pick up in the town at a rate of $10.25 per house, per month. Johnson was charging $11.25 per month. The town charges residents $14. The council extended a 5-year contract to the new company.

Code enforcement was another subject that was discussed. The town council wants the county to enforce codes in Lockhart and voted last night to move forward with that request. One other item was mentioned during the session. People who have concerns or questions about the Bennett Landfill fire can present them to representatives of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Environmental Protection Agency on July 9th. A meeting will be held in two sessions at the Family Life Center of the Lockhart First Baptist Church. The two sessions are from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and again from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

-

LEGISLATORS TO RETURN TO COLUMBIA MONDAY TO TAKE UP VETOES, FLAG ISSUE

Wednesday, July 1

Legislators are expected to return to the statehouse Monday to take up Governor Nikki Haley's vetoes to the state budget and begin debate on the removal of the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds. A survey shows there is enough support to make that happen if all supporters cast votes. The survey was done by the Charleston Post and Courier, The South Carolina Press Association and the Associated Press. Lawmakers were asked how they intended to vote. According to that survey, 33 Senators and 83 House members said the flag should come down. As is, that would be the two-thirds majority needed from both chambers to move the flag. The latest flag controversy came following the shooting deaths of nine people in Charleston on June 17th. The governor called for the flag's removal when she said on the Friday after the shooting that it is a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.” It is uncertain the exact number of votes it will take for the flag to be removed. The two-thirds majority requirement applies only to whoever is present and voting at the time. Union's House District 42 Representative Mike Anthony said last week that he would support the removal of the flag.

-

FORMER JONESVILLE RESIDENT IS MISS SOUTH CAROLINA 2015

Wednesday, July 1

A former Jonesville resident who made history in 2013 as the first African-American to be crowned Miss Clemson University did it again Saturday when she became the third African-American to be crowned Miss South Carolina.

Daja Dial, 22, a senior at Clemson University, was crowned Miss South Carolina 2015 during the Miss South Carolina pageant at Township Auditorium in Columbia Saturday evening. As Miss South Carolina, Dial will represent the state in the Miss America pageant at Atlantic City, NJ, on Sept. 14.

Dial is a former Jonesville resident and attended elementary school there. She now lives in Spartanburg and went to the Miss South Carolina pageant as Miss Greenville County. It was her second time competing for the Miss South Carolina crown. In 2014, she was second runner-up.

-

MAN CHARGED WITH DUI AFTER HITTING A MOPED ON THE BYPASS

Wednesday, July 1

A 32-year old Union man has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence following an accident Monday night in the 700 block of North Duncan Bypass. Public Safety Officer Timothy Gaston responded to the call around 9:30 Monday night. Upon arrival, he found a man identified as Charles Cornwell laying in the roadway near a moped. EMS responded to the scene and transported Cornwell to Spartanburg Regional Hospital. Several witnesses were interviewed and stated that a silver Buick had passed them at a high rate of speed and struck the moped. The driver of the Buick, Anthony Lawson Painter, told the officer that he did not know where the guy came from and that he didn't hit anything. The officer detected the odor of alcohol coming from the subject and asked him if he had had anything to drink. He ultimately said he had 2 or 3 beers. Painter was administered a field sobriety test, which he failed to complete. He was taken to the Union Public Safety Department to undergo a Datamaster test. There, he told officers that he didn't see the moped. Painter refused to give a breath sample or to sign any of the paperwork. Painter was transported to the Union County Jail and booked on a charge of driving under the influence.

-

COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING PLANNED TOMORROW

Wednesday, July 1

The Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, July 2nd, at the USC-U gazebo. Residents are invited to 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, and also for our world, and for the Church. Participants will be asked to pray for our military and our police, who risk their lives to serve and protect us.  Organizers say, “Let us gather and give special thanks for our country as we approach our 239th birthday on July 4th.” All are welcome. If you can't get to the gazebo, organizers ask that you please take some time for special prayer during the day.


CITY AND COUNTY OFFICES TO BE CLOSED FRIDAY, RECYCLING CENTERS CLOSED SATURDAY

Tuesday, June 30

Independence Day is Saturday, but Union City and County offices will be closed Friday, July 3rd, in observance of the day. It should also be noted that the county's recycle centers will be closed on Saturday for the 4th.

-

LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL TO VOTE ON BUDGET, WASTE COLLECTION CONTRACT

Tuesday, June 30

The Lockhart Town Council will be meeting tonight in a special session. The primary reason for the meeting will be to give second reading to the town's 2015–2016 budget. They gave first reading to the $338,000 budget during last Tuesday's regular monthly meeting. The other reason for the gathering will be to review a proposed contract between the town and waste collection contractor Joe Woods. The council says they have received numerous complaints about the current service provider, Johnson Sanitation of Spartanburg. The council has stated a desire to replace that service, and Woods said he would do the job for $1 less per month, per residence, than the current provider. Council asked Woods to come back for the special meeting tonight and go over the terms of the proposed agreement.

-

JONESVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER IN APRIL SHOOTING INCIDENT

Tuesday, June 30

Union County Sheriff's Office Investigators along with SLED agents have arrested a Jonesville man for the attempted murder of Cornelius Crawford. The shooting incident took place around 11:30pm on April 15, 2015 in the 100 block of Horseshoe Circle in the City of Union. Sheriff Taylor states that 19-year old Quenterous Dominique "Lil' Drew" Jeter was taken into custody on Friday, June 26, and bond has been denied. Sheriff Taylor says that this is just the beginning of the investigation and more charges are expected in this case.

 

-

GREENVILLE MAN IN UNION COUNTY JAIL CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF CONTRABAND

Tuesday, June 30

Saturday night around 9:00 p.m., Sgt. Roger Hill of the Union County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the night shift Jail Supervisor about contraband. Upon arrival at the jail, the officer spoke with a jailer who stated that as he was conducting a search of the cell of Jeremy Lee Jones, of 245 Earle Street, Greenville, he found a metal object approximately 1.5" long under a mat inside the cell. The deputy was advised that there are two subjects sharing the cell. Hill took photos of the object and advised a report would be made. He was later advised that the subject admitted to the supervisor of the jail that the object belonged to him. The jail administrator was contacted and advised to seek a warrant for contraband.

-

EARLY MORNING DISTURBANCE AT WAFFLE HOUSE LEADS TO ARREST

Tuesday, June 30

On Sunday around 3:50 a.m., Deputy Russell Roark was working security at Waffle House on the Duncan Bypass when one of the employees advised him of a problem with a customer. The subject, Robert Garvin, Jr., of 196 Santuc Drive, was arguing with one of the employees, and Roark asked him to quiet down. Garvin appeared to be intoxicated and continued to be loud and boisterous. The deputy then advised him that he was under arrest and attempted to place him in handcuffs. The subject began to walk backward, and a struggle ensued. When the two fell against the jukebox, Garvin turned and ran out the door. Roark gave chase and and attempted to spray Garvin. The spray affected both the deputy and the subject. The foot chase continued around in the parking lot and the bank next door. Several other police units arrived and were able to place the subject under arrest. He was charged with disorderly conduct, and a warrant was being sought for resisting arrest. He is also wanted on charges in New Jersey, but authorities there declined to extradite him.


MODEST INCREASE IN BUILDING PERMITS IN UNION COUNTY SINCE LAST YEAR

Monday, June 29

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments tracks building permit activity as a means of monitoring growth in the region. They have just completed the report showing building permits activity throughout the region for the first quarter. Union County showed a 33.3% increase in single-family dwelling permits over last year, but that only amounts to a total of four. In 2014 for the first quarter, there were just three permits issued. By comparison, Chester County reported 9 single-family dwelling permits issued for the first quarter, while Lancaster County reported 290, and York County 484. There were no multi-family permits reported in Union, but 10 mobile home permits were issued. There were no commercial or industrial permits issued during the first quarter.

-

BUFFALO'S PARTY AT THE POND SET FOR FRIDAY NIGHT AT BUFFALO MILL POND

Monday, June 29

The Light Up the Lake celebration is set for Saturday at Foster Park, but one day before that the Buffalo community’s annual independence celebration, The Party at the Pond, will be held Friday, July 3rd. The Party at the Pond will begin at 6pm and finish with a spectacular fireworks display at dark. Organizers say, as always, there will be great music, fireworks and vendors. They are seeking vendors for the event, and the vendor fee is $35. For more information or to be a vendor,  contact the Buffalo Festivals Committee at 864-426-4457.

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR DAMAGING CHURCH PARSONAGE

Monday, June 29

Around midnight Friday morning, deputies were dispatched to assist the SC Highway Patrol in reference to a possible wreck on the Buffalo-West Springs Highway in the vicinity of the West Springs Baptist Church. As Deputy Brad Woods was driving past the church, he saw a male individual on the front porch of the church parsonage flagging him down. The subject, identified as Caleb Roberts, 28, of Bailey Road in Buffalo, walked across the yard and tossed down a tire iron. He told the officer that he had broken the window of the home in an attempt to attract attention. Roberts was placed under arrest for malicious damage to property and transported to the Union County Jail. The vehicle in question was located by the Highway Patrol in Spartanburg County, apparently broken down. No one was at home in the parsonage, and the property was secured by a church member. The estimated damage was place at $100.

-

MAN RESISTS ARREST ON BENCH WARRANT

Monday, June 29

Thursday at around 1:30 p.m., Deputy Russell Roark was traveling west on Mt. Joy Church Rd. when he noticed a subject by the name of William Earl Allen, 53, sitting on the side of the road in a chair. The deputy had a Family Court bench warrant on the subject. Roark pulled into a private driveway, exited the patrol car, and advised Allen he had a warrant for his arrest. Roark attempted to handcuff Allen, who began struggling and was able to jerk away from the deputy and run away. K9 was called to track the subject, but he could not be located. A warrant will be sought for resisting arrest.

-

OFFICER TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES AFTER STRUGGLE WITH SUSPECT

Monday, June 29

A City of Union Public Safety officer had to be treated at Wallace Thomson Hospital Thursday night as a result of injuries sustained Thursday night during an altercation with a suspect. PFC Jason Nix was dispatched to 202 North Gadberry Street around 10 p.m. Thursday on a disturbance call. Officer Nance saw the subject, Dennis Earl Byrd, 32, running along North Gadberry Street and ordered him to stop. Byrd then began to run down Main Street and Nix pursued on foot. Cpl Nance joined in the chase into Sharpe Avenue behind Fair Forest Apartments. At some point, Byrd stopped and turn to face Nix. Nix told Byrd to stop or he would be tazed. The subject ran toward the office and hit him hard enough that he dropped his tazer. Both were thrown to the ground, where a struggle ensued. The subject was said to be very uncooperative and refused orders to put his hands behind his back. Officer Nance arrived and assisted in getting Byrd in handcuffs. Officer Young also responded. When Nix went to retrieve his tazer, a black .32 caliber stub-nosed pistol was found lying on the ground. The pistol was placed into an evidence bag, and Byrd was arrested and transported to the Union County Jail. The officers then went to the location of the disturbance, where they spoke to a woman who stated that Byrd had come to her apartment and was beating on a locked outside door and throwing rocks. She said Byrd apparently broke through the outside door and entered the apartment through an interior unlocked door. She said he was mad about an issue concerning a cell phone. That's when the police were called, and Byrd left the apartment. Due to the assault by Byrd, Officer Nix had to receive treatment at the hospital due to pain in his left shoulder and an abrasion on his right elbow. Byrd has been charged with a weapons law violation, simple assault, trespass of real property and resisting arrest.


BOOGALOO FOLKLIFE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS AN ORIGINAL MURDER MYSTERY THIS WEEKEND

Friday, June 26

In a bit of a departure from its true-to-life roots, Boogaloo Folklife Productions presents an original murder mystery written by Dr. Dan O’Shields, “Murder on Apple Road”. The play will take place in the USC Union Auditorium this weekend. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m., and the Sunday matinee will be at 3 p.m.

O’Shields and Director Kathy Stepp talk about the premise of the play.

 

Stepp says the audience will have a chance to participate, as well.

 

After the show, they will draw for a basket of sweet treats among all those who voted for the correct culprit. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and are available from cast members, at the Arts Council, Something Special, and at the door. Plans are already underway for Boogaloo to participate in Uniquely Union and to present a Christmas show later in the year.

-

ROTARY CLUB WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS

Friday, June 26

Union Rotarian Lynn Mornane welcomed guest speaker Amber Ivey to the club Tuesday. She is director of the Union County Arts Council, and she spoke about the various children's programs they have been offering, summer camps coming up, Corky Canvas, and the way the Arts Council has been growing.

The club also inducted three new members this week. Robert Guess, John Knox, and Melinda Moretz were inducted as new Rotarians to the Rotary Club of Union.

-

JOB FAIR, EXPUNGEMENT WORKSHOP ANNOUNCED FOR AUGUST

Friday, June 26

The Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole Services will host their 2nd annual Job Fair on Friday, August 14th, from 10am to 2pm. In addition to the job fair, they will be providing an Expungement Workshop presented by representatives from the department and the Spartanburg Solicitor’s Office. Identical workshops will be held at 10:15am and 12pm. The department extends an invitation to unemployed offenders in Union county. 

For those offenders with transportation issues, they will have two vans available to transport to and from the job fair.  Both vans will pick up at 9:00am and 11:15am and have the ability to transport 28 offenders between the two vans for each time frame.  For additional information contact your parole officer.

-

ORGANIZERS CALL FOR VENDORS AT JULY 4TH EVENT

Friday, June 26

Organizers with the Light Up the Lake event planned for July 4th at Foster Park say they are looking for vendors. There is a vending fee of $50. A city permit will be required and can be obtained at the Union City Hall. They note that limited space is available. Anyone interested in becoming a Light Up the Lake vendor needs to contact Ronnie Wade or Sue Cudd by Wednesday, July 1st, for more information.

-

COUNTY SELLING HOUSES ON SARDIS ROAD TO CLEAR THE WAY FOR AIRPORT EXPANSION

Friday, June 26

Union County has some houses for sale. The county acquired the house as a result of being purchased for an airport expansion project. All the houses are located on Sardis Road and will be available for inspection through July 9th. All of the homes must be relocated within 90 days of the sale date. For additional information, interested persons should contact the Union County Airport at 429-1680.

-

ACTIVITY FUN CAMP SET FOR NEXT WEEK AT USC UNION

Friday, June 26

An activity fun camp will get underway Monday, July 29th, and run through July 3rd. The camp will operate from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. It is designed for ages 7–12 and will be held in the USC Union Founder's House, which is located at 122 North Church Street. The cost is $70 per child and includes lunch, snacks, drinks and all activities. To find out more about the camp, contact Bill Moore at 424-8037.

-

ARTS COUNCIL HOLDING CRAFT EVENT SATURDAY

Friday, June 26

There's a special opportunity at the Union County Arts Council tomorrow. If you would like to have something nice to hang on your door, and most people do, you'll have a chance to make one Saturday. Brandi Ketterman will have all the materials necessary to make a door hanger for only $20. There are several designs to choose from. You do not need to sign up--just show up at the Arts Council building on Main Street between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

-

COMPANY LOOKS TO FILL SOLAR CONSTRUCTION POSITIONS

Friday, June 26

CLP Trueblue Energy & Industrial will host a recruitment event at SC Works Cherokee, 133 Wilmac Road, Gaffney, today and Tuesday, June 30th, at 9AM, 11AM & 1PM.  They are seeking to fill 40 solar construction positions (laborers, journeymen electricians, electrician helpers and machine operators) for the Shelby, York and Kings Mountain areas. The pay rate is $12-$20 per hour depending on experience. There are no education requirements, but drug screening and background checks will be conducted. Candidates must have the flexibility to work varying shifts and schedules. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org to receive a referral to attend this event.

-

WEIGH IN ON THE FLAG DEBATE MONDAY

Friday, June 26

Much support has been generated by Governor Nikki Haley's call to take down the Confederate Flag from the SC State House grounds. Some local legislators have joined in with support of the governor's call. Not everyone agrees, and the matter very well may be debated in the South Carolina House and Senate next week. So what are the thoughts on this subject locally? Monday morning at 9 a.m., WBCU will present a talk show that will ask what you think? In addition to being live on the air, the show will also be streamed at wbcuradio.com.


MAN ARRESTED IN COURT FOR PRACTICING LAW WITHOUT A LICENSE

Thursday, June 25

Last Thursday, a subject identified as Thomas Eugene Harris, 52, of 2502 Santuc Carlisle Highway, came into Magistrate Court dressed in a suit, carrying a briefcase, and presenting himself as the legal representation for a defendant in a traffic case. Magistrate Judge Bailey questioned the subject several times as to his standing with the court and the defendant in an effort to determine his qualifications for representing a defendant at trial. It is believed that the subject gave responses to the court that were intended to mislead, and at one point even stated that he was the defendant's legal representation. When questioned by the prosecuting Highway Patrol officer as to what law firm he represented so that he could forward the information to the proper law office, the subject stated that he declined to reveal that information. Once the court had initiated the formal proceedings of the trial and it became apparent that the subject was not qualified, trained, or certified to practice law in the State of South Carolina, Judge Bailey directly asked the subject if he was a lawyer, to which the subject replied that he was not. The court proceedings for the defendant were halted by Judge Bailey, who then reported to the Sheriff's Office the situation and recommended that charges be brought over the incident. The Solicitor's Office was consulted and agreed the elements of the crime of "practice of law without a license" were present and concurred in pursuing charges. A warrant affidavit was prepared and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Harris. The subject was arrested at the scene and taken to the Union County Jail.

-

UNION MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON

Thursday, June 25

An arrest has been made and a Union man has been charged with arson in connection with a house fire that occurred last Friday. The fire was reported just after midnight on June 19th by a neighbor who was awakened by a passing truck driver informing him the house was burning. The neighbor notified 911, and several fire departments responded along with Union County Sheriff's deputies. The fire was determined to be of a suspicious nature because there was no electrical or water service to the house. An investigator was called to the scene. Arrested and charged Tuesday was Donald Wayne Alexander, 33, of Eaves Road. Alexander was charged with arson and lodged in the Union County Jail.

-

UNION CHRISTIAN DAY SCHOOL HOSTING OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEKEND

Thursday, June 25

Union Christian Day School will be holding an open house this coming weekend. The school is touted as being one of the top 5 private schools in South Carolina. A flyer from the school states they offer an outstanding academic program, a state championship level sports program and a recognized fine arts program. The open house and registration will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Interested individuals are invited to visit the school between now and June 26th between 10-12 p.m. or 5-7 p.m., and teachers will be available to show you around. In addition, you may call 864-427-4268. Summer office hours are 9:30 to 12 p.m.

-

REGIONAL GROUP CALLS FOR COMMUNITY VIBRANCY GRANT APPLICATIONS

Thursday, June 25

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Community Vibrancy Grants, which are designed to provide communities in the Upstate with seed money to help develop a local initiative that promotes community or economic vibrancy.

The grant program was established in 2013 by Ten at the Top (TATT) utilizing a funding commitment from Phil Hughes and Hughes Investments, Inc. In 2015, two grants will be awarded, with each project receiving up to $5,000 in grant support.

Organizations eligible to apply for the funding support include neighborhood associations, civic or community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations or local governments that are committed to developing and implementing programs designed to increase local vibrancy in communities within the Upstate.

Applicants must be located in and do their work within communities in one of the 10 Upstate counties, which includes Union. Torance Inman with the Union County Chamber of Commerce said this could be of interest for organizations in Union County. Interested candidates are asked to complete an interest form by Aug. 1st, and the completed applications are due by Sept. 15th.

Ten at the Top works with regional partners to foster collaboration and strategic planning to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for Upstate residents, both today and as the region continues to grow. For more information, visit www.tenatthetop.org.

-

REP. MULVANEY WEIGHS IN ON FLAG DEBATE

Thursday, June 25

In a statement issued Tuesday, 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney stopped short of calling for the immediate removal of the Confederate Flag from the state house grounds. Mulvaney said, in part,

I would like to start by saying that I am disappointed that the conversation in South Carolina -- largely driven by those outside our state -- has been focused on a flag, rather than the victims of a heinous crime and their courageous and forgiving families.  While I always welcome debate on a divisive issue, I prefer that debate not come on the heels of a tragedy before the victims have even been laid to rest. 

In part because of those concerns, I will admit that I have not been as quick to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds as some others.  I remember that the flag is where it is as the result of something that is becoming all too rare in politics: compromise.  Indeed, moving the flag from the dome to the grounds in 2000 — and the concomitant establishment of the African-American monument — could be considered as a high point in South Carolina politics: a time when people got together and worked through their differences in a way that all could accept with pride. “

Congressman Mulvaney's entire statement can be viewed below.

“I would like to start by saying that I am disappointed that the conversation in South Carolina -- largely driven by those outside our state -- has been focused on a flag, rather than the victims of a heinous crime and their courageous and forgiving families.  While I always welcome debate on a divisive issue, I prefer that debate not come on the heels of a tragedy before the victims have even been laid to rest. 

In part because of those concerns, I will admit that I have not been as quick to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds as some others.  I remember that the flag is where it is as the result of something that is becoming all too rare in politics: compromise.  Indeed, moving the flag from the dome to the grounds in 2000 — and the concomitant establishment of the African-American monument — could be considered as a high point in South Carolina politics: a time when people got together and worked through their differences in a way that all could accept with pride.

And my initial reaction to calls to summarily remove the flag was that such an action would be tantamount to admitting what is not true for many South Carolinians: that the flag is a symbol of hate.  Yes, it was for Dylann Roof.  In fact, for him it was something even more evil than just hate.  But we typically do not allow such people to define what our symbols mean.

But in speaking with many people over the course of the last few days, it has become clear that the flag does in fact mean different things to different people in our state.  And I blame myself for not listening closely enough to people who see the flag differently than I do. It is a poor reflection on me that it took the violent death of my former desk mate in the SC Senate, and eight others of the best the Charleston community had to offer,  to open my eyes to that.  And because of those very different — and very valid — impressions of what the flag represented, I admit that the flag has become a distraction: something that prevents us from talking about all that is good about South Carolina.  It strikes me as particularly disappointing, for example, that we have spent more time talking about the flag for the last few days than we have talking about the extraordinary display of faith, love, and forgiveness shown by the families of the victims of the shooting in Charleston.  If the flag has become an excuse for people to ignore things like that, then perhaps time has come for a change.

I hope that the Legislature can do the same thing now that they did 15 years ago:  take the time and effort to fashion a compromise that removes the flag in a way that all South Carolinians can rally around with pride and respect — and with the sense of community that has been on display for the world to see in Charleston in the aftermath of last Wednesday evening.  By doing that we will once again have the opportunity to show everyone what is special about our state.  Maybe with the flag removed, people will listen.

Finally, I will say this: there is no Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Missouri, yet Ferguson had race riots; there is no Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Maryland, yet Baltimore had race riots.  There is a Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol in South Carolina, yet Charleston set an example for the world to marvel at in its response to this atrocity.  And of that, I am extraordinarily proud.  Perhaps those who are now trying to focus attention on the flag are spending their time on the wrong things.”


REP. MIKE ANTHONY AGREES WITH THE GOVERNOR'S CALL TO TAKE DOWN THE CONFEDERATE FLAG

Wednesday, June 24

Years of controversy have dominated the issue that has resurfaced since the murder of nine individuals last week in Charleston. That controversy has centered around the flying of the Confederate flag on the SC State House grounds. It was moved from atop the state house dome in the year 2000 and place at a designated location in front of the capitol building. Even that sparked debate and controversy, with the NAACP calling for organizations to boycott the state. Monday, Governor Nikki Haley said it is time for the flag to come down. The governor said, “The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is a something we cannot stand.  The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds – it is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.”

Representative Mike Anthony agrees with the governor.

 

The governor was adamant that she wants the issue dealt with immediately. She said, "As governor, I have the authority to call them back into session under extraordinary circumstances.  I have indicated to the House and Senate that if they do not take measures to ensure this debate takes place this summer, I will use that authority for the purpose of the legislature removing the flag from the Statehouse grounds."

The full text of Governor Haley's address is below.

"This has been a very difficult time for our state.

We have stared evil in the eye and watched good, prayerful people killed in the most sacred of places.

We were hurt and broken.

We needed to heal.

We were able to start that process not by talking about issues that divide us but by holding vigils, hugging our neighbors, honoring those we lost, and falling to our knees in prayer.

Our state is grieving. But we are also coming together.

The outpouring of love and support from all corners and all peoples in our state and nation has been amazing.

The families who lost loved ones have been unbelievable pillars of strength and grace. Their expression of faith and forgiveness took our breath away. They truly have shown the world what South Carolina looks like at our best.

And the Mother Emanuel church re-opened its doors yesterday.  Michael and I were there.  We took our two little ones, Rena and Nalin.  

My children saw what true faith looks like. 

My children saw that true hate can never, never triumph over true love. 

My children saw the heart and soul of South Carolina start to mend.

I want to talk a little about the heart of our state.  I want to talk about the people of South Carolina I am so proud to serve.  The country and the world have watched our strength and resilience over the last few days. 

We are strong people who love God, our families and have a deep faith. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors.  We are a state that has held tight to our traditions but continues to grow and change in ways that move us forward.

We were recently named the friendliest state in the country, and the most patriotic state too.  American flags fly proudly from home to home across South Carolina.

In just the last few months, the nation watched our state go through another time of crisis, when we dealt with the betrayal of one of our own in the tragic shooting of Walter Scott. 

South Carolina did not respond with rioting and violence, like other places have.  We responded by talking to each other, putting ourselves in each other's shoes, and finding common ground in the name of moving our state forward.  The result: both Republicans and Democrats, black and white, came together and passed the first body camera bill in the country.

And I stand in front of you a minority, female governor, twice elected by people of South Carolina.  Behind me stands my friend, Senator Tim Scott, elected by these same people as one of just two African-American members of the United States Senate.

Five years ago, it was said that in the last fifty years, South Carolina is the state that has changed the most for the better.  That was true when I quoted it at my first inauguration in 2011.  It is even more true today.  We have changed through the times, and we will continue to do so.

But that does not mean we forget our history.

History is often filled with emotion, and that’s more true in South Carolina than in a lot of other places.

On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history.  We all know that.  Many of us have seen it in our own lives, and in the lives of our parents and grandparents.  We don’t need reminders.

In spite of last week’s tragedy, we have come a long way since those days, and have much to be proud of. 

But we can always do more. 

That brings me to the subject of the Confederate Flag that flies on our Statehouse grounds.

For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble.  Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry.  The hate-filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag.  In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect, and in many ways, revere it.

Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty.  They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during a time of great conflict.

That is not hate.  Nor is it racism.    

At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. 

As a state, we can survive, and indeed we can thrive, as we have done, while still being home to both of those viewpoints.  We do not need to declare a winner and a loser.  We respect freedom of expression, and for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way. 

But the Statehouse is different.  And the events of the past week call upon all of us to look at this in a different way.

Fifteen years ago, after much contentious debate, South Carolina came together in a bipartisan way to remove the flag from atop the Capitol dome. 

Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds.  One hundred fifty years after the end of the Civil War . . . the time has come.

There will be some in our state who see this as a sad moment.  I respect that.  But know this.  For good and for bad, whether it is on the Statehouse grounds or in a museum, the flag will always be a part of the soil of South Carolina.

But this is a moment in which we can say that the flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.

The murderer now locked up in Charleston said he hoped his actions would start a race war.  We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening.  My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move our state forward in harmony, and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in Heaven.

The General Assembly wraps up their year this week.  As governor, I have the authority to call them back into session under extraordinary circumstances.  I have indicated to the House and Senate that if they do not take measures to ensure this debate takes place this summer, I will use that authority for the purpose of the legislature removing the flag from the Statehouse grounds.

That will take place in the coming weeks, after the regular session and the veto session have been completed. 

There will be time for discussion and debate.  But the time for action is coming soon.

I want to make two things clear. 

First, this is South Carolina’s Statehouse. It is South Carolina’s historic moment.  And this will be South Carolina’s decision.  To those outside of our state, the flag may be nothing more than a symbol of the worst of America’s past.  That is not what it is to many South Carolinians.  This Statehouse belongs to all of us.  Their voices will be heard, their role in this debate respected.  

We have made incredible progress in South Carolina, on racial issues, yes, but in so many other ways.  The 21st century belongs to us, because we have chosen to seize what is in front of us, to do what is right, and to do it together.  I have every faith that this will be no different.  It is what we do in South Carolina, it is who we are. 

Second, I understand that what I have said here today will generate a lot of interest.  What I ask is that the focus still remain on the nine victims of this horrible tragedy.  Their families, the Mother Emanuel Family, the AME Church family, the South Carolina family – we all deserve the time to grieve and to remember and to heal.  We will take it.  I ask that you respect that. 

We know that bringing down the Confederate flag will not bring back the nine kind souls taken from us, nor rid us of the hate and bigotry that drove a monster through the doors of Mother Emanuel that night.  Some divisions are bigger than a flag.  The evil we saw last Wednesday comes from a place much deeper, much darker.

But we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer.  The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is a something we cannot stand.  The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds – it is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.

July Fourth is just around the corner.  Soon we will once again celebrate the birth of our nation and our freedoms.  It will be fitting that our state Capitol will soon fly the flags of our country and of our state, and no others.

Thank you, and God bless the great people of South Carolina."

-

LIGHT UP THE LAKE EVENT SCHEDULED JULY 4TH; WEST SPRINGS CELEBRATES THIS SATURDAY

Wednesday, June 24

For years, the Recreation Department has coordinated efforts for the Fourth of July Celebration at Foster Park. Some have worried whether or not there would be a program this year with the demise of the Recreation Department as we know it. Ronnie Wade, who was dubbed the individual to head up the effort, said the event would go on as it normally has over the years.

 

The Union County Sheriff's Office will provide traffic control and security for the event. The City of Union dropped its participation in the celebration several years ago.

Prior to the event at Foster Park, the West Springs community will be holding a celebration this coming weekend. Jeff Lawson tells us what will be going on.

 

-

LOCKHART COUNCIL APPROVES FIRST READING OF NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET

Wednesday, June 24

The Lockhart Town Council gave first reading to their 2015–2016 budget during their regular meeting Tuesday night. The budget actually saw a decrease of $5700 over last year's. The total for the new fiscal year is $338,000, as opposed to last year's $343,700. A second reading will be held during a special called meeting next Tuesday, June 30th.

Jason Vance of the Council of Government gave a presentation on a Memorandum of Understanding concerning a $5.6 million program that will be divided among four counties. Union County's portion will be approximately $1.4 million and will be used to purchase and demolish dilapidated houses. Lockhart resident Charlie Gill appeared before the council to discuss the possibility of appealing to the county for code enforcement in the area. Gill told the council about houses in his neighborhood that were run-down and overgrown with grass. It was on the agenda to vote on asking the county for code enforcement assistance, but council decided to put that off until they could have a conversation with the county supervisor about the matter.

The Lockhart Council said during last month's meeting that they plan to change sanitation service providers. Johnson Sanitation of Spartanburg came under fire by the council because of numerous complaints. Joe Woods, owner of E Z Waste of Union, made a proposal for his company to take over the service. Contingent on a contract of five years, Woods told the council his company would perform the service for $1 less than what they are currently paying. His rate would be $10.45 per customer, per month. Woods was asked to provided the terms of the proposed contract by next Tuesday when the council meets in special session.

In other action, County Councilwoman Joan Little presented the town a check in the amount of $1003.24, which was half the balance left in her account in district allocation. Due to budget constraints, the allocation has been removed from the county budget next year. The other half of Little's contribution went to the town of Jonesville.

-

DYCOS SERVICES HIRING PACKERS AND PACKAGERS FRIDAY IN UNION

Wednesday, June 24

Dycos Services, Inc., will hold a recruitment event Friday, June 26th, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Union SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill packer and packager positions. Successful candidates will pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials. A high school diploma or equivalent required. The positions are full-time (30 hrs. or more per week) on rotating shifts. The rate of pay is $10 per hour. Applications will be provided at the event. Work Keys testing is preferred, and applicants are asked to please provide your National Career Readiness Certificate at the event. The company will conduct drug screening and background and reference checks. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Please come properly dressed for the interview.


MAN TAKEN FOR MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION AFTER INCIDENT AT LOCAL CHURCH

Tuesday, June 23

With the Charleston Massacre last Wednesday night still fresh in everyone's mind, an incident at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church could have caused some anxious moments there. Sunday, just before 10:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to the church in reference to a suspicious person who showed up carrying a book bag and asking to speak to the minister and another church member. The deputies met with several church members who stated they were aware that the individual had previously been charged with disturbing another church service nearby several weeks ago. The officers had knowledge that the subject has a history of mental illness and had recently been released by a treatment facility. The subject was located in a side room, where he told the officers he was there to attend the church service and was hoping to get a ride to his mother's house in Gaffney. He also told the deputies that he wanted to get into the law enforcement profession. The police report stated that after several minutes, the subject suddenly said, “There are some people I would like to kill,” and then followed that by telling them if the police would give him a badge and a gun, he would wipe out all the evil in the world. At that point, he was placed into protective custody and taken to Wallace Thomson Hospital for a mental evaluation. The report stated that the subject would be transported to a mental health facility when a bed becomes available.

-

LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL TO HAVE FIRST READING ON THE TOWN'S BUDGET TONIGHT

Tuesday, June 23

The Lockhart Town Council will be meeting tonight at Lockhart Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. During that meeting, they will give 1st reading to the budget for the 2015–2016 fiscal year. A report is also expected on the progress of extinguishing the Bennett Landfill fire. That fire began last November and has plagued the community with noxious smoke since.

-

22 UNION COUNTY STUDENTS NAMED TO SCC DEAN'S LIST

Tuesday, June 23

A total of 22 Union County students are on the Dean's List at Spartanburg Community College. The school released the names of the students who earned the honor for the 2015 spring term.

Buffalo: Matthew S. Barnett, Brittaney L. Davis, Chelsey K. Smith

Carlisle: Diaudra L. Smith

Jonesville: Mitchell Q. Cooper, Cassie L. Gaines, Christina McBeth, Reginald M. Means

Union: Erik B. Allison, Gabrielle E. Cromer, Cory Dyer, Matthew A. Gregory, Dillon D. Ivey, Loren Miladinovski, Samantha J. Miladinovski, Michael L. Palmer, Amos Sartor, Jr., Larry T. Tyler, Mitchell L. Ward, Anita P. Whitney, Tyler N. Wilburn, Dillan Williams.

-

SCC FALL REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY

Tuesday, June 23

Registration for the SCC fall semester classes is going on now. Fall classes begin on August 17th, and individuals interested in registering for classes can apply online at www.sccsc.edu, or contact any of the following SCC locations for assistance:

•Central Campus, Spartanburg - (864) 592-4600 or toll free (866) 591-3700

•Cherokee County Campus, Gaffney - (864) 206-2700 of toll free (800) 922-3679

•Tyger River Campus, Duncan - (864) 592-6200

•Union County Advanced Technology Center, Union - (864) 466-1060

-

ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES DATE, JUROR FOR ITS ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION

Tuesday, June 23

Union County Arts Council has announced that they will hold their annual Art Exhibition on Thursday, September 24th, at USC-Union, starting at 5:30.  Artists will have the opportunity to show and sell their work, and over $3000 in prize money will be award to this year's winners. All artists are invited to submit their pieces and participate in what is hoped will be the biggest show yet. The competition is open to artists 18 years of age or older. This year's Juror will be Columbia artist Toni Elkins.

-

COMFORT KEEPERS ANNOUNCES RECRUITMENT EVENT AT THE END OF THE MONTH

Tuesday, June 23

Comfort Keepers will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office located at 220 East Kennedy Street from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30th. They are looking to hire personal assistants or CNAs. A minimum of 6 months' experience as personal caregiver is preferred but not required. 2nd, 3rd and weekend shifts are available for full-time and part-time positions. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and the minimum salary is $8.25 per hour. The job requires drug testing, as well as background, reference, and driver’s record checks. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must receive a referral to attend the event.


MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR CHARLESTON VICTIMS DRAWS TOGETHER MANY IN PRAYER

Monday, June 22

A well-attended memorial service was held Friday at Union’s First Presbyterian Church for the victims for what is now being called the Charleston Massacre. Prayers were offered for the world, the church, peace, our enemies, the government and those in sorrow. Led by pastor Keith Morrison, the prayer included those who were killed in the shooting.

 

The service was attended by members of many churches in Union, as well as a number of local officials.

-

AG & ART TOUR HAS SUCCESSFUL KICKOFF IN UNION COUNTY

Monday, June 22

The Ag + Art tour kicked off Friday evening in downtown Union. A good number of folks turned out for the entertainment and food. Local farmers were on hand with displays of their products, but one of the most popular attractions was the air-conditioned Arts Council building, where they hosted a wine tasting. The actual tour will take place this coming weekend. One of the exhibitors, Sandra Kay Eubanks of Simple Times Farm, talked about the importance of the tour.

 

The Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of farms and artisans. During the 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.
Founded in York County in 2012, the tour expanded into Lancaster County in 2013. Chester and Fairfield counties began participating in 2014. This year, Union County was added. The tour is coordinated by a leadership team and county-level planning teams. The Tour is the largest free farm tour in the nation with over 16,000 visitors participating since 2012.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES SUSPICIOUS STRUCTURE FIRE

Monday, June 22

During the early morning hours Friday, a deputy was dispatched to a structure fire at 6423 Whitmire Highway. Upon arrival, Sgt. Roger Hill spoke with the complainant who stated that he was awakened when a truck driver passing by notified him that the house next door to him was on fire. The complainant stated that he looked and saw that the structure was burning and called 911. Firefighters were also on scene and attempting to put out the fire as the officer arrived on scene. After speaking with the complainant and finding that the structure had no power or water, Sgt. Hill notified Investigator Coffer with the Sheriff's Office. This case has been turned over to Coffer for further investigation.

-

KELLY SERVICES RECRUITMENT EVENT DATE CHANGED

Monday, June 22

The date for a recruitment event conducted by Kelly Services has been changed from June 25th to tomorrow, June 23rd, at the Union SC Works office. It will be held from 9:30 AM until 11:30 AM. They are looking to hire production operators, chemists, a cost accountant, a laboratory supervisor, maintenance technicians, and microbiologists. The company will conduct drug test/screening and a background check. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org

Coming up after this event will be one at the Spartanburg SC Works office. This one is being put on by SMX Staffing. It will be held Wednesday, June 24th, from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. They will be hiring to fill warehouse associate positions. Multiple positions are available for seasonal work with Amazon, and all shifts are available. Applicants must be willing to learn industrial equipment in a fast-paced environment and be able to lift up to 45 lbs. The pay rate is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour, and you must be available for overtime. Drug screening and background checks will be conducted, and a high school diploma or equivalent is required. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org to receive a referral to attend this event.

-

UNION COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEETS TODAY

Monday, June 22

The Union County Democratic Party will be meeting this afternoon. The meeting will take place at 210 Porter Street beginning at 5:45. The public is invited to attend.

-

MUSGROVE MILL HOSTING GEOCACHING PROGRAM SATURDAY

Monday, June 22

Coming up Saturday, June 27th, Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will present an opportunity to learn about geocaching. The park staff will be introducing the basic guidelines for geocaching to the public. The program will feature GPS usage, geocaching etiquette, finding existing caches and establishing a new cache, as well as the guidelines for establishing a cache in a state park. A small number of GPS units will be available for use by those attending the program, and anyone that has a GPS unit or a GPS app on their smart phone is welcome to bring them. The cost of the program is $5 per person and will begin at 1:00 PM at the park’s visitor center and last approximately three hours. They will be hiking during the program, so please dress appropriately. Reservations for this program are required by June 25th. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Musgrove Mill State Historic Site at (864) 938-0100, e-mail mgmillsp@scprt.com or go to SouthCarolinaParks.com.


PRAYER SERVICE SCHEDULED TO REMEMBER SHOOTING VICTIMS AT CHARLESTON CHURCH

Friday, June 19

Outpourings have been numerous in response to a shooting in Charleston Wednesday night at a Charleston church. The shooter, now in custody, and identified as Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Eastover, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina. The shooting is believed to be racially motivated and took the lives of nine people, including that of State Senator Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emmanuel AME Church where the shooting took place. Reverend Keith Morrison of Union's First Presbyterian Church announced Thursday that a memorial service for those killed will be held today at the church on South Street at noon.

 

-

UNITED WAY HONORS SEVERAL UNION COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Friday, June 19

United Way of the Piedmont held its 78th Annual Meeting last night at the Chapman Cultural Center at 5:30 pm. This event highlights companies for their involvement in the community, recognizes volunteers for their contributions and serves as a business meeting to elect new board members.

Included in those recognitions were a number of Union companies, organizations and individuals. The Chairman’s Award is given to a corporate leader who is a catalyst for significant change that results in greater investment in the community. Receiving that award was Bob Hart, of the Timken Company, Tyger River plant. The Timken plant was also one of six given a Campaign Committee Award. This is awarded to committees that demonstrate exceptional teamwork in their efforts to both educate their associates on community issues and raise funds to address those issues.

One of the four Campaign Spirit Awards went to the Dollar General Distribution Center. This award goes to companies whose employees exemplify the highest level of team spirit during their campaign.

Gestamp was one of four to receive the Community Partner Awards, which is for community organization(s) that exemplify true partnership with United Way to address community needs in keeping with the United Way mission.

Two companies received the Union County Employee Giving Awards, given to the company with the highest percentage increase in employee giving. Recognized were Lockhart Power Company and the Dollar General Distribution Center.

Union County Schools were among five that received the Imagination Library Special Recognition.

United Way of the Piedmont is a community-based nonprofit organization that seeks to connect, engage and inspire people to transform our community. United Way of the Piedmont is governed by a local board of directors and serves Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union counties.

-

DOLLAR GENERAL CASHIER ARRESTED FOR BREACH OF TRUST

Friday, June 19

Wednesday, Sgt. Roger Hill of the Union County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Dollar General store in Monarch in reference to employee theft. Upon arrival, Sgt. Hill spoke with District Manager Kenneth Linder, who stated that the subject, Virginia Patricia Ann Rice, 24, of Tillman Street, had been working for the company since May of this year, and that several shortages had come up during her shifts. Linder stated that the company then began to audit and watch the subject very closely. The complainant stated that during the investigation into the shortages, it was found that the subject was using her card key to void products out but still allowed the consumer to leave with the merchandise, and that she had been doing this since shortly after coming to work for the company. The officer and district manager then went into the store, where the subject and store manager were located, and the store manager handed the the deputy a statement written by the subject that stated what she had been doing. The officer spoke with the subject and asked if she understood that she had committed a crime, and she stated "yes", at which point the subject was placed under arrest and transported to the county jail. The statement was taken as evidence, and the store will provide video evidence. The subject was charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

-

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES SET TO DEDICATE NEW BUILDING THIS WEEKEND

Friday, June 19

A Union church congregation will be holding dedication services and an open house this weekend for their new worship facility. The new building for the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses is located at 1672 Monarch Highway. Construction began in December of this past year and was completed by February. The work was done completely by volunteers from across the state and other areas. Elder Arthur Stevens tells us about the upcoming dedication and open house.

 

Leon Weaver, Chairman of the Branch Committee of Jehovah Witnesses from New York, will be on hand for the dedication and will speak to the congregation Sunday.

-

ELKS LODGE DONATES TO LIBRARY FOR LARGE PRINT BOOKS

Friday, June 19

The Union Elks Lodge #1321 presented a $2,000 check to the Union County Carnegie Library.  This donation was made possible by a Gratitude Grant through the Elks National Foundation (ENF).  The ENF is an arm of the national Elks Organization.  Each Elk member is asked to donate an amount set by the National President to his/her local lodge.  The ENF chairman in turn sends this amount in to the national organization.  The Union Elks Lodge met the goal this year of $4.60 per local member.

The ENF Chairman Jim Cunningham informed the library personnel of the potential of the $2,000 grant for the 2014-2015 year, and they identified large print books as a pressing need.  These books enable adults the opportunity to read novels and nonfiction books if they have difficulty reading regular print material.  These books are also available to all patrons.

The Elks National Foundation nationally provides grants to many local communities for many different projects.  In addition, ENF provides scholarships to many worthy students who would not be able to continue their educational pursuits past high school.  ENF also supports the veterans who have given their time and energy to protect those of us who enjoy the freedom of the United States of America.

With 60 books displayed on tables in the library, ENF Chairman Jim Cunningham presented Library Director Ben Loftis with the $2,000 check.  Also in attendance were Trustee and past state president Terry Wade, member Darwin Allen, and Treasurer Jimmy Kimbrell.


UNIQUE STEPS DANCE STUDIO WINS THREE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES, OTHER AWARDS

Thursday, June 18

A local dance studio has brought home some nationally-recognized honors.

Unique Steps Dance Studio, in its first year of existence, attended the Boogie Fever USA National Dance competition this past weekend and walked away with 3 national championship titles for "Jamming Leather", "Price is Right", and "Cowboys and Indians". In addition, they also brought home 6 first-place trophies,  8 2nd-place trophies, one third-place award,  and one 6th-place award. WBCU News spoke with Unique Steps Dance Studio owner Stacy Vaughn about the studio and this year's success.  

 

For more information about Unique Steps Dance Studio or how you can register for classes, contact Stacy Vaughn at 426-6628.

-

SUPERVISOR COMMENTS ON BUDGET PROCESS, VOTE

Thursday, June 18

The Union County Council spent around 4 months trying to come up with a balanced budget for fiscal year 2015-2016. Those discussions were not without controversy, especially concerning fees that will be tacked on to the tax bills. In addition to the millage, a fee of $50 will be charged for each commercial property in the county and a $25 fee for residential property. In addition, a $15 fee per vehicle in the county will be charged. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart appeared on a WBCU News special Wednesday morning and explained the logic behind those fees.



The county council voted last week to approve the budget, even though that vote was split and Hart had to break the tie.

-

CATAWBA REGIONAL AG & ART TOUR HOLDS UNION COUNTY KICKOFF FRIDAY NIGHT

Thursday, June 18

The 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art tour will kick off Friday, June 19th, at 6:00 pm in downtown Union. Libby Oliver, who chairs the tour in Union, tells us about it.

Founded in York County is 2012, it expanded into Lancaster County in 2013. Last year, the tour included Chester and Fairfield counties. This will be the first year Union County has participated.

-

UNITED WAY OF THE PIEDMONT HOLDS ITS ANNUAL MEETING TONIGHT

Thursday, June 18

United Way of the Piedmont will hold their 78th Annual Meeting this evening at the Chapman Cultural Center. This event highlights companies for their involvement in the community, recognizes volunteers for their contributions and serves as a business meeting to elect new board members. There are several Union companies and individuals who will be recognized, and we will have a full list of those in a later newscast.

-

SANTUCK HEBRON WATER COMPANY PRESSES CHARGES AGAINST MAN FOR UTILITY THEFT

Thursday, June 18

Tuesday, an employee with the Santuck Hebron Water Company went to the Sheriff's Office to report a utility theft. She said that when they went out to check the meters, they found one laying on the ground. She said the subject, Audie Epps, took the meter out of the box and put in a straight pipe leading to his house. She stated the pipe was supplying two homes. She spoke to Epps, who said he paid Mark Ayers $100 to put the pipe in the ground in order to fill his pool. Ayers, a former water company employee, has not worked for them since February. Just how long the pipe has been supplying water to Epps' house is not known. The employee said the water company wants to press charges against Epps for utility theft.


CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BUDGET, BANKRUPTCY AGREEMENT WITH HOSPITAL

Wednesday, June 17

The Union City Council met Tuesday evening and gave a 2nd and final reading to the 2015–2016 budget ordinance. That budget amounts to $45,309,640, which reflects a 2% decrease over last year. The General Fund budget calls for expenditures of $5,915,150, which is a 4% increase over last year.

The council also gave second reading for an amendment to the sewer ordinance and a second reading to a Sardis Road annexation ordinance.

The body gave approval to a resolution for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Catawba Regional Development Corporation. The MOU was presented and acted upon last week by the County Council, which will allow for the purchase and demolition of substandard dwellings.

The council authorized Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into the Victim’s Assistance Agreement with the county. The agreement is known as the Victim’s Bill of Rights.

A bid was awarded to Utility Service Group in the amount of $145,000 to clean and paint the 300,000-gallon Sonoco water tank.

A bid in the amount of $379,456 was awarded to IPR Southeast, LLC, for sewer improvements for the May Street area rehabilitation.

City Council gave approval of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy resolution proposal by attorneys representing Wallace Thomson Hospital. The resolution basically states that the City of Union will accept whatever amount the bankruptcy court decides to recoup as much of the more than $248,000 owed by the hospital for utility services.

The hospital bankruptcy and the turning over of that operation to Spartanburg Regional Health Systems is expected to be completed next month.

-

RED CROSS OFFERS TIPS ON BEATING THE HEAT

Wednesday, June 17

The long, hot days of summer such as we are experiencing can bring dangerously high temperatures. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe when it’s hot outside.

Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.

  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. You can find out more by going on the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.

-

SMX STAFFING HIRING FOR AMAZON FRIDAY IN GAFFNEY

Wednesday, June 17

SMX Staffing will hold a recruitment event at the Cherokee SC Works office Friday, June 19th, from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. They are looking to hire warehouse associates. There are multiple positions available for seasonal work with Amazon. All shifts are available, but applicants must be willing to learn industrial equipment in a fast-paced environment. You should be available for overtime and can lift up to 45 lbs. The pay rate is $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Drug screening and background checks will be conducted. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org to receive a referral to attend this event.

-

KELLY SERVICES HIRING AT RECRUITMENT EVENT NEXT WEEK IN UNION

Wednesday, June 17

Kelly Services will hold a recruitment event next Thursday, June 25th, at the Union SC Works office located at 103 W. Main St. from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. They are looking to fill several positions including production operators, chemist, a cost accountant, a laboratory supervisor, a maintenance technician and a microbiologist. The company will conduct drug test/screening and a background check. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Please apply at the event and come properly dressed for the interview.

-

LIBRARY HAS FUN WITH HERO SUMMER READING THEME

Wednesday, June 17

In his weekly blog, Union County Carnegie Library Director Ben Loftis said, “One of the great aspects about Summer Reading is the yearly theme. The nationwide Cooperative Summer Learning Program plans out themes several years in advance, first selecting a general topic and then narrowing it down into a specific theme for the year. This year’s themes are especially exciting.

Adults are invited to “Escape the Ordinary” by reading and teens are encouraged to “Unmask”, while children are reminded that “Every Hero Has a Story.”

The hero theme makes for some great programming opportunities as many children’s programs focus on different types of heroes, either the superheroes of novels and movies or more local heroes who serve the community. Already, children have had the opportunity to make superhero capes and color their own superheroes, as well as hearing from different local heroes in law enforcement and fire and rescue.

Adults have their own program to enjoy. Review forms are available at the front desk of the Library which patrons are encouraged to take when they check out a book. By completing and returning the review forms, participants are entered into a drawing for prizes donated by local vendors. During the event’s finale, drawings will be held to select a grand prize winner who will receive a tablet. Already, local hero Mike Nance of Union Public Safety has drawn this summer’s first two adult winners – Cathy Wood and Pam Vaughan. The Summer Reading programs will continue throughout June and July, so there is still plenty of time to participate."


HARRIS TURNS HIMSELF IN TO FACE MURDER CHARGE

Tuesday, June 16

A second arrest has been made in connection with a fatal shooting Sunday night.

Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the scene of the shooting that left one woman dead on Sunday night at approximately 11:30pm. Once officers arrived on scene, they discovered the victim, Vickie Diane Curtis, 54, lying in the entryway of a mobile home at 156 Wildlife Drive, Union, with a gunshot wound to the face.

Deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office along with EMS personnel were dispatched to the scene of the shooting just after 11:30 p.m. When they arrived, they found a visibly upset female standing on the front porch. The woman stated that someone had shot her friend in the face. The female told deputies that she’d been in the kitchen when the shooting happened, and the victim and two small children were in the home. She said she heard approximately three gunshots, and when she came running around the corner, she saw the victim was on the floor bleeding from her face. The female said her friend, the victim’s daughter, came running in the house and called 911. The victim’s daughter then went in the bedroom with the children.

Deputies then entered the home and spoke with the victim’s daughter, who stated that Cody Lynch came over to her home. She said Lynch was on the porch and Cortez Harris was in the yard. She said she told all of them to leave. The victim’s daughter said she next heard a shot from her front porch where Lynch was standing, and then a shot went off near her side where she was with Harris. She said that everyone then took off running. She then noticed that her mother, Vickie Diane Curtis, had been shot and she took off to check on her.

The victim’s daughter told deputies that Lynch had fired first and Harris had fired back at him. She said that Lynch had a black pistol with white/pearl looking handles. She said she saw Harris’ gun but did not get a good look at it. She said nobody else did any shooting. Descriptions of both subjects were given to all units en route to the scene.

While en route, Sheriff David Taylor spotted a white male meeting the description of one of the suspects walking along S.C. 49 near Lovers Lane Rd. Sheriff Taylor stopped and detained the subject, who was identified as Cody Wayne Lynch. Lynch told Sheriff Taylor he was dehydrated, and Sheriff Taylor called for EMS to respond. He was escorted to Wallace Thomson Hospital, where he was treated for dehydration before being booked into the Union County Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Tracking Unit was called in and attempted to track Cortez Harris but could not pick up a scent. Sheriff David Taylor also contacted SLED's Crime Scene Unit to assist in processing the scene. Sheriff David Taylor states that Cortez Harris was taken into custody by Sheriff’s Office investigators around 11:40 am Monday, after he turned himself in.

Union County Coroner William Holcombe responded to the scene and stated that an autopsy on Curtis’ body was scheduled today (Tuesday) at Newberry Pathology Associates.

Cody Lynch is charged with the attempted murder of Cortez Harris and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Cortez Harris is charged with the murder of Vickie Curtis.

The case is still under investigation. Sheriff Taylor says that this is another unfortunate situation where people had guns and an innocent person lost their life.

-

SALKEHATCHIE SUMMER CAMPERS BEGIN WORK ON FOUR HOMES THIS WEEK

Tuesday, June 16

The Salkehatchie summer camp has started up. Camp Director Reverend Don Brown tell us about it.

 

The Salkehatchie project was founded by Union native, Rev. John Culp.

-

80 FARMER'S MARKET VOUCHERS REMAIN AND WILL BE GIVEN OUT NEXT WEEK

Tuesday, June 16

There are some Farmer's Market coupons left over from last week’s giveaway at the Union Senior Citizens Center. Center Director Earl Black tells WBCU when and where they will be available.

 

The coupons are redeemable at local farmer’s markets and are available to seniors 60 years of age and older who meet certain income requirements. The coupons are made available through The US Department of Agriculture, The SC Department of Social Services and the Council on Aging.

-

CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT TO GIVE FINAL READING ON BUDGET

Tuesday, June 16

The Union City Council meets tonight in City Hall at 6:30. Their first order of business will be to give a second and final reading to the 2015-2016 budget. The budget must be approved prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year July 1st. In other expected action, the council will give a second reading for an amendment to the sewer ordinance and a second reading to a Sardis Road annexation ordinance. The body will give consideration to a resolution for a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Catawba Regional Development Corporation. The MOU was presented and acted upon last week by the County Council, which will allow for the purchase and demolition of substandard dwellings. The council will also consider a resolution authorizing Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into the Victim’s Assistance Agreement with the county. The agreement is known as the Victim’s Bill of Rights.

There are several bids to be awarded, and a couple of matters where groups are seeking sponsorship. They will also consider filling three vacancies on the Union Planning Board.

The City Council will also discuss the approval of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy resolution proposal from Wallace Thomson Hospital. The hospital bankruptcy and the turning over of that operation to Spartanburg Regional Health Systems is expected to be completed next month.

-

REMEDY INTELLIGENT STAFFING PLANS RECRUITMENT EVENT IN SPARTANBURG TOMORROW

Tuesday, June 16

Remedy Intelligent Staffing will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works Office tomorrow from 9:30-noon. They will be hiring to fill positions for forklift and cherry picker operators, production associates, machine operators, CNC operators and order fulfillment specialists. The positions require drug testing, background check, and a reference check. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend.


ONE IN CUSTODY, ANOTHER SOUGHT IN GUNFIGHT THAT KILLED A UNION WOMAN

Monday, June 15

A Union woman died Sunday night as a result of gunshot wounds to the face. The Union County Coroner's Office identified the victim as 54-year old Vicki Diane Curtis. According to the police reports, the Union County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at 156 Wildlife Drive, located off Highway 49. When deputies arrived, they found Curtis lying dead in the doorway of the mobile home. There they spoke with a witness in the house who said someone had shot her friend. She said she was in the kitchen, and the victim and two small children were in the home. She said she heard about 3 gun shots and came around a corner to find the victim on the floor bleeding from the face. Deputies also spoke with the victim's daughter, who said Cody Lynch was at the home and Cortez Harris found out he was there. Harris is said to have wanted to fight Lynch. The report states she told them to leave, because they were not fighting at her home. The next thing she knew, she heard shots. She said Lynch shot first from the porch, and Harris fired back at him from the yard. She said she saw her mother had been shot, and she ran to check on her. Lynch and Harris both ran. Lynch was later spotted by deputies walking along Highway 49. The report said EMS had to be called for him, but no further details were given. He was arrested and has been charged with attempted murder. A K-9 tracking unit was called to the scene but was not able to pick up a scent. The State Law Enforcement Division was called to process the scene. Harris remains at large.

-

CHIEF WHITE TALKS ABOUT IMPACT BODY CAMERA LAW WILL HAVE ON HIS DEPARTMENT

Monday, June 15

In North Charleston on Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law a bill requiring law enforcement to wear body cameras. The bill's passage comes after the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a police officer earlier this year. The law requires police agencies to create a policy for who will wear the cameras, when they should and should not be recording, and how video from the cameras is stored.

The Union Public safety Department has already been experimenting with the cameras and are poised to move ahead with the purchase of the units. Chief Sam White said:

 

Interestingly body camera footage is not subject to public record requests, but it can be obtained by attorneys, family members, or subjects of the recording through court order.

-

RIPPY MAKES DONATION TO CRIMESTOPPERS

Monday, June 15

Well-known Union resident Barbara Rippy continued with her philanthropic actions Wednesday when she made a donation to Union County Crime Stoppers.

Union County Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization led by area citizens and community leaders against crime. Crime Stoppers may offer cash rewards to persons providing anonymous information that leads to the arrest of criminals and fugitives. Information is obtained through anonymous Crime Stoppers tips that are received through a secure tip line manned by a professional program coordinator. Each caller is assigned a code number for the purpose of ensuring anonymity. Sheriff David Taylor said that as tips increase, donations to CrimeStoppers are very important to the county.

Mrs. Rippy has become known in recent years for her contributions to charitable causes.

Pictured with Mrs. Barbara Rippy are some members of the CrimeStopper committee, including: Union Public Safety Department Investigator Mike Gregory, Mayor of Carlisle Mary Ferguson-Glenn, Letitia Wages of the Union Chamber of Commerce, Union County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Perry Haney, Evans Crocker of Crocker Insurance Group, Union County Victims Advocate Michelle Shugart, Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault, and Union County Sheriff’s Office Captain Robbie Hines.

-

BRIANNA BAILEY WINS WBCU COUNTRY SHOWDOWN

Monday, June 15

The 5th-annual WBCU Country Showdown concluded Friday evening with the naming of 11-year old Brianna Bailey as the first place winner. Brianna, a student at Sims Middle School, took home a $200 cash prize and won the right to advance to the state competition, which will be held at a location yet to be announced. She told us about her performance Friday that won her the local title.

 

The second place prize went to Tracy Wilson, who performed two original compositions and won a $100 cash prize.

 

 

-

HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION GIVES GRANT TO BEAUTIFY AREA AROUND VIETNAM MEMORIAL

Monday, June 15

Last month, a ceremony was held at Veterans Park for the memorial dedicated to the men from Union County killed in action during the Vietnam War. That memorial features black granite monuments with the picture of each man etched in. A beautification project for that area will soon begin, thanks to a $5000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation. Torance Inman of the Vietnam Veterans of America local chapter explains what will happen.

 

-

DOLLAR GENERAL WILL HOST RECRUITMENT EVENT AT ITS DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Monday, June 15

The Dollar General Distribution Center will hold an on-site recruitment event Monday, June 29th, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The distribution center is located at 1451 Spartanburg Highway in Jonesville. They will be hiring to fill general warehouse positions. These are full-time positions, and a high school diploma or equivalent is required. The pay rate for the day shift is $12.25, and the night shift is $13.25.

The workers will support all areas of the warehouse as needed and be responsible for the handling of merchandise into and out of the warehouse facility. Candidates must have the ability to work with an automated tracking system in a fast-paced environment. The company will conduct drug testing/screening/background checks/credit checks/reference checks.

You may apply online prior to the event at https://dollargeneral.com/careers. When applying in person, enter through the front entrance of the facility and follow directions to the event area. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Please come properly dressed for the interview.

-

RECRUITMENT EVENT FOR GENERAL LABORERS AND SANDBLASTERS SCHEDULED TOMORROW

Monday, June 15

Job Impulse, Inc., will be holding a recruitment event tomorrow from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM at the SC Works office in Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They want to hire general laborers and sandblasting help. 2 years of experience is required. A criminal background check and pre-employment drug screen will be conducted.

They are also looking to hire entry-level packaging associates. 6 months of experience is required, and a criminal background check and pre-employment drug screen will be conducted.

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


SPARTANBURG REGIONAL TAKEOVER LOOKS MORE LIKELY; HOSPITAL DISTRICT HAS GOOD MONTH

Friday, June 12

The probability of Spartanburg Regional Health Systems taking over the operation of Wallace Thomson Hospital has grown significantly stronger, as reported by Hospital District CEO Paul Newhouse during their regular monthly board meeting Thursday evening. Newhouse told the board that a disclosure hearing was held in the Federal Bankruptcy Court June 1st, and the plans for the takeover were made known. The creditors, he said, are generally in support of the plan. So, what happens next? Newhouse explains:

 

Newhouse said that many people from Spartanburg Regional have already been visiting Wallace Thomson in anticipation of the takeover.

The financial report for the month of April was of a positive nature. Chief Financial Officer Cindy Gault said it was the best month of the year. The hospital posted a positive bottom line figure of $362,619. The doctor's offices operated by the district continued with a negative posting of $213,651. Ellen Sagar Nursing Home and EMS both had a positive month, with an overall district bottom line of $261,128.

-

WBCU PARTNERS WITH MIRACLE LEAGUE FOR COUNTRY SHOWDOWN

Friday, June 12

WBCU’s annual Country Showdown competition is set for this evening. This year’s local event, sponsored by WBCU, will be held in the USC Union Auditorium beginning at 5:30. Seven contestants will perform country music at the local competition, vying for a chance at the state finals this fall. WBCU General Manager Chris Woodson said they are looking forward to an exciting event.

 

A partnership has been formed with The Miracle League of Union County, which will involve a portion of proceeds going to benefit the organization's current project of an all-inclusive playground at Timken Sports Complex. In addition to the artists who will compete to win the local round of the Country Showdown, there will also be performances by Miracle League players Gabby Hornsby, Dennis “Hilltop” Crisp, and Rylee Harris.

There will also be raffles for a $50 Exxon gas card and an acoustic guitar signed by Miracle League players at the competition.

This year marks the 34th-annual Country Showdown and will include 450 local contests from across the nation. The local contests are sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the U.S., and winners advance to their respective state competitions held at leading fairs and expos. Acts then compete for a $1,000 prize, the state title and an opportunity to advance to one of five regional finals. Those regional winners will compete for the grand prize of $100,000 and the national title on state at historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Tickets to the event are $5 each, and children age five and under will be admitted free. Tickets are still available at WBCU, located at 210 East Main Street, Union, or from any of The Miracle League of Union County board members. Tickets will also be available at the door.

-

TWO ARRESTED FOR ANIMAL ABUSE AFTER DOG HAS TO BE PUT DOWN

Friday, June 12

Two people were arrested for animal abuse after Union police found a dog covered with sores, no hair, and lifeless at the couple's home Tuesday.

According to the police report, Animal Control called an officer of the Union Public Safety Department around noon Tuesday to come to a home on Westview Drive for an abused animal. Officer Wilkins of Animal Control told Sgt. Williams that he went to the home for a welfare check on a dog. When he arrived, the owner of the home, Sharon Foster, wanted to give up the dog because she could not afford to take care of it anymore. In the report, Officer Wilkins and Sgt. Williams took a look at the dog and noticed the lack of care the dog had received. Officer Wilkins put the dog into a cage and took it to Triangle Veterinary Clinic for treatment. Foster was arrested for animal abuse and taken to the Union County Jail for booking. A warrant was also issued for the husband, Willie Foster. When Sgt. Williams went to arrest him, Mr. Foster waived his Miranda rights and wanted to tell the officer everything. Mr. Foster told the investigating officer that he had taken the healthy dog to a friend's house for a few days, and when he picked him up, he was in bad shape. Mr. Foster explained that he could not afford to take the dog to the vet. They charged Foster with animal abuse and took him to the Union County Jail. According to the report, the dog's health problems were too severe and it had to be put down.

-

TEN AT THE TOP REGIONAL GROUP PREPARES TO TAKE BUS TOUR OF UNION

Friday, June 12

The Ten at the Top organization is set for another bus tour next week, and this time they are coming to Union. The tours are billed as “Getting to Know Your Neighbor” and will be stopping in Union next Thursday, June 18th.

Organizers say their first stop on the tour took them to Greenwood and was a great success.

They say, “It's a great opportunity to spend the day in Union County and learn about what the county has to offer.” Space is limited to 33 people.

Participants will have the opportunity to take a riding tour of economic development sites in Union County as well as visit several key locations including: The Union County Museum, University of South Carolina Union campus, Veterans Park and the Advanced Technology Center of Union.

Cost for the day is $25, including transportation, program and lunch.

The bus will leave for Union from the Ten at The Top offices at 8:30 am. They will make a brief stop at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce to pick up anyone that would like to join the group from that location.

-

EXEL RECRUITING MODULE OPERATORS AT EVENT IN SPARTANBURG

Friday, June 12

Exel will hold a recruitment event Monday, June 15th, from 9:00AM until 2:00PM at the SC Works office in Spartanburg. That's located at 220 East Kennedy Street. They are looking to hire module operators for the 2nd shift and weekend shift. The 2nd shift is Monday through Thursday (5:30PM - 4:00AM), and the weekend shifts are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (6:00AM - 6:30PM). The pay is $11.45 to $12.10 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend.


HART EXPRESSES DISPLEASURE WITH VOTE ON BUDGET AND FEES

Thursday, June 11

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart says he was not pleased with the vote taken Tuesday by County Council concerning additional fees being imposed on the taxpayers and the new budget.

 

The vote by council was evenly divided, which caused Hart to have to break the tie. He did vote to approve the fees and the budget. Hart will give additional information on the matter next Wednesday during a news special on WBCU at 9:00 a.m.

-

UNION COUNTY TO PARTICIPATE IN CATAWBA REGIONAL AG & ART TOUR

Thursday, June 11

The Union County Tourism Commission will showcase the 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour with a kickoff for Union County, June 19th, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the block of 116 E. Main Street (Arts Council block). The kickoff will set the tone for the upcoming Ag + Art Tour, Saturday, June 27th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, June 28th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be local artisans, farmers, barbecue, dunking booth (with local leaders in the booth), music, corn toss, local bee keepers and much more.

The Ag + Art Tour originated in York County in 2012 and expanded into Lancaster County in 2013. Chester and Fairfield counties began participating in 2014. This will be Union County’s first year to participate. It will give Union County’s artisans and farmers a chance to showcase their talents and farms.

The 2015 Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour, a free, self-guided tour of South Carolina's Catawba Region's Farms, features local artisans, farms, and farmers' markets.  During this weekend-long event, participants 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 with over 16,000 visitors participating since 2012.

Information will be available at the Union County Tourism Commission Office at 322 E. Main Street in Union. Call 864-466-4711 or 864-762-7808, or stop by the Union County Arts Council, Union Oil Mill, City Hall or the Union County Court House.

 

-

ORIGINAL SIX FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH LOCAL NONPROFIT FOR WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER

Thursday, June 11

The Original Six Foundation, founded by Governor Nikki Haley in 2011, is partnering with Open Your Eyes, a non-profit in Union County, to establish a workforce training center to open this fall.   Local companies received an email from the foundation asking them to partner with employers in and around Union County to establish a curriculum for the center and train people for actual jobs that need to be filled.  The foundation will offer soft skills training to the program enrollees, but it is hoped the center will be utilized to train people specifically for the potential employers.

The email stated, “Basically, we want you, the employer, to tell us exactly what you need and then we will train the residents in that area for that specific job.  Then we can help you fill any openings you have with actual program graduates of the county in which you operate.” They are asking that area employers be willing to meet with them to discuss the possibility of partnering together. If you would like more information on the program, call 864-941-6747, or email victoria@theoriginalsixfoundation.org.

The Original Six Foundation is a non-profit organization created by Governor Nikki Haley soon after she took office in 2011 as a major statewide initiative to empower and lift up rural communities in South Carolina.  The foundation serves as a connector, a funding mechanism, and a facilitator in uniting outside resources with needs in the counties it serves.  

-

MCDONALD'S GIVES HAPPY MEALS TO HUNGRY CHILDREN

Thursday, June 11

McDonald’s restaurants in the Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and Asheville area launched a new program that empowered customers to give a meal to a local child who does not know from where his or her next meal is coming from, with McDonald’s picking up the tab. In January, the U.S. Census Bureau released that 16 million—or one in five children—were on food stamps in 2014, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008. McDonald’s “Buy One, Give One Happy Meal” program inspired families to purchase a Happy Meal, and with that purchase, McDonald’s donated a second Happy Meal to local nonprofits to give to children that are food insecure.

“In our area alone, 1 in 6 people struggle with hunger—this is alarming, and we are doing something about it,” said Terry Shugart, GSA Co-Op President. “We have selected community organizations that are committed to putting food directly into the mouths of those who need it most. Through ‘Buy One, Give One Happy Meal’ program, we at McDonald’s can do our part in providing these children in need with a meal.” The “Buy One, Give One Happy Meal” program took place on Mondays this past May at all participating area McDonald’s restaurants. For each Happy Meal purchase made on the designated days, McDonald’s donated over 31,000 Happy Meal redemption cards to several local non-profit organizations that collectively reach all parts of the Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and Asheville area including the United Way of Greenville, United Way of Asheville and United Way of the Piedmont, which includes Union County.

-

FARMER'S MARKET VOUCHERS ISSUED TODAY

Thursday, June 11

In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the Union County Council on Aging will be issuing free coupons to low income individuals age 60 and older that may be used to purchase fresh produce at local participating farmer's markets. The coupon will be issued today at the Council on Aging building, located at 237 North Gadberry Street. They will begin the distribution at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. There are income restrictions on who may receive the coupons. Proof of identity and residence is required.


SUPERVISOR CASTS DECIDING VOTE ON FEES TO HELP FUND EMS AND ROAD REPAIRS

Wednesday, June 10

The Union County Council gave a 3rd and final reading to the 2015-2016 budget during their regular meeting Tuesday, but not without Supervisor Frank Hart having to exercise his privilege as a tie-breaker. 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 is being added uniformly on 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.

A road user fee is also being added. That amounts to $15 per commercial and personal motorized vehicle. Councilman Tommy Ford objected to the fees, saying he was being a voice of the people he represents, and the amounts are too much.

 

Both fees were included in the one ordinance and had to be voted on as such. It was revealed that the elimination of either of the fees would have reduced the projected revenue by about $400,000. The question then presented itself as to how that money could be made up. Saying they had already cut as much as they could, Supervisor Hart said the money would have to be made up either through a millage increase or the elimination of additional employees from the county payroll. 12 positions have already been cut from the budget, and he said to balance the budget, an addition 12 to 13 would have to be eliminated.

When it all came to a vote, Councilpersons Joan Little and Ralph Tucker agreed with Ford and cast negative votes. Council members Ben Ivey, Randall Hanvey and Kacie Petrie voted in favor of approving the ordinance. That vote left Hart in the position of breaking the tie for the first time since taking the position in January. He became the deciding vote to approve the ordinance.

The total county budget amounts to $15,038,122.

In other council action, 3rd reading was given to an ordinance that transfers property located at 112 North 1st Street in Lockhart to the Town of Lockhart.

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES ADMINISTRATOR CHANGES

Wednesday, June 10

Union County School District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall announced Tuesday morning some changes in the assignment of school principals and administration. She stated in a news release that Barbara Palmer, former principal at Foster Park Elementary School, will be the Coordinator of Evaluation and Effectiveness, working on the new teacher evaluation system being implemented by the State Department of Education next year.  Rene’ Pryor, formerly of Jonesville Elementary Middle, will be the principal at Foster Park Elementary School.  Kathy Taylor will be the new principal at Jonesville Elementary Middle School.  Eric Childers will be the principal at Lockhart Schools.  Glenn Wile will be the principal at Buffalo Elementary School.  Wile has over ten years of experience as a principal in Greenville County Schools.  Jeff Stepp will be an assistant principal at Union County High School.  Erica Russell will be the assistant principal at Jonesville Elementary Middle School. 

Woodall said, “We are happy to have strong school leaders in Union County, and we encourage the rearrangement of assignments to maintain fresh perspectives in order to best serve our students.  Our school level administrators are able to work well in a variety of settings to create positive learning environments.  We look forward to a very successful 2015-16 school year!”

-

ALLIANCE TRACTOR-TRAILER TRAINING CENTERS TO OPEN LOCATION IN UNION

Wednesday, June 10

A North Carolina-based company that provides trained drivers to more than 300 companies nationwide plans to open a training center in Union by the end of June.

A Union-area representative for Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers said the Alliance Training Center in Union will be located next to the old Winn-Dixie building in the West Towne Plaza. The representative said the center will offer classes for full-time students Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Training courses will include a combination of classroom and field instruction and training on the road. The classes will last 10 hours a day, and the duration of each course will be 50 hours of classroom time, 75 hours in the field, and 75 hours on the road.

Alliance has been training truck drivers for the past 34 years, and during that time they have trained more than 85,000 drivers.

Persons interested in enrolling in the Alliance Tractor-Trailer Centers program in Union may come to the school when it opens.

Tracy O’Neil, National Director for Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers, said Monday, “We are excited to be opening a training facility in Union. We also want to invest into the Union community, and by providing jobs create a sustainable long-term relationship in Union.”

Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Center was established in October 1981, beginning training operations in Arden, North Carolina. The company then opened its second training center in Wytheville, Virginia. Earlier this year, Alliance partnered with Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC, and Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC, to offer training at those locations.

For more information about Alliance Tractor-Trailer Training Centers, go online at www.alliancetractortrailer.com or call 828-684-4454.

-

USC-UNION ANNOUNCES NEW DATES FOR KIDS' ACTIVITY FUN CAMP

Wednesday, June 10

USC-Union will be hosting their Activity Fun Camp in the latter part of this month. They say participants can have fun and learn. Each day will be filled with a new set of fun and learning activities. It will take place beginning June 29th and run through July 3rd from 9:00am-3:00pm each day. The camp is for ages 7-12 years old and will be held at the USC Union Founder’s House, located at 122 North Church St. The cost of the camp is $70 per child and includes lunch, snacks, drinks & all activities. To register, call Bill Moore at USC Union, (864) 424-8037.


SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES BUDGET, 14-PASSENGER BUSES

Tuesday, June 9

In Monday's session of the Union County School Board meeting, District Finance Officer Lynn Lawson and the board members discussed spending for the operating budget for the 2015-2016 school year. This year's overall budget is $27,192,371. Lawson recommended to the board that the amount of the budget increase should be spent on the salary and benefits of full-time employees who are non-teachers, such as administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria workers, etc. WBCU News asked Lawson about the decision to recommend the funds for that purpose.

 

After much discussion, the board approved Lawson's recommendation.

Another order of business discussed at the meeting was Lawson's recommendation that the board approve funds to purchase two 14-passenger buses to solve transportation scheduling issues. WBCU News asked Lawson for the reasoning behind that recommendation.

 

After some discussion, the board approved Lawson's request.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING, FINAL VOTE ON BUDGET TONIGHT

Tuesday, June 9

The Union County Council has a full afternoon of activity slated today, starting with a 4:00 p.m. meeting between the Committee on County Administration and Finance and the Union County Tourism Commission. Several weeks ago, it was suggested in a council meeting that, since all outside agencies were cut from the county budget, perhaps a portion of the Hospitality Tax could be transferred to the Tourism Commission, which could then designate monies to go to some of the outside agencies that are tourism-related. The commission had asked for guidance in accomplishing the mission.

5 p.m. has been set as the time for a public hearing to receive comments on the 2015–2016 County Budget. They will also receive comments on the proposed Public Safety Fee and the Road User fee.

At 5:30, the regular monthly meeting of the full council is set to take place. It will be during that session that council is expected to give third and final reading to the new budget.

-

MAN CHARGED WITH STALKING AFTER MORE THAN 100 PHONE CALLS AND TEXTS

Tuesday, June 9

Sunday at around 11 p.m., a Union woman reported to the Union County Sheriff's Office that she was being harassed by her estranged husband, 45-year old Joey Lee Rice. According to the police report, Rice had called her phone in excess of 100 times and sent her 100+ text messages. Most of the text messages were reported to be threatening in nature, stating he was going to kill her, kill her son, burn down her house, and sneak up behind her when she least expected.  She also stated that she called law enforcement on Saturday night to have an escort to her residence on Peacewood Drive after an altercation with the subject inside the city limits. When she and the officer arrived, Rice was inside the residence, hiding in a closet. He jumped out of the closet and allegedly threaten to kill her, but the responding officer was outside checking the perimeter of the residence and was not inside when this happened. A warrant for Joey Lee Rice is being sought on the charge of stalking.

-

MONARCH elementary HOSTS COMMUNITY PARENT/CHILD GROUP

Tuesday, June 9

Monarch Elementary School hosted the First Steps Community Parent/Child group on June 2nd.  Dr. Kelli Johnston, a local pediatrician, was the featured speaker.  Mrs. Christy Latham and Mrs. Laura Weeks, Early Steps to Success Coordinators, followed up with a parent activity and a gift of free books to all children attending.  Family reading activities will be held each week at Foster Park Elementary and Monarch Elementary.


SCHOOL BOARD TO RECOGNIZE SOFTBALL TEAM, VOTE ON BUDGET TONIGHT

Monday, June 8

The Union County Board of School Trustees will hold their next regular meeting this evening at 7 p.m. at the Union County Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. At the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall will recognize the UCHS Lady Yellow Jackets state championship softball team. The board will take action on two overnight field trip requests, the personnel report, and the 2015-2016 budget. An executive session is scheduled to deal with a contractual matter and a matter of student discipline. As always, the public is invited to attend.

-

AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 MEETS TODAY

Monday, June 8

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will be held in its usual location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Foster Park in Union. A meal will be served at 6:00 P.M., there will be a speaker at 6:30, and the business meeting will follow at 7:00 P.M. Post 22 meets on the second Monday evening of every month except July, and prospective members are always welcome to attend.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD FINAL READING ON BUDGET AND FEES TOMORROW

Monday, June 8

Union County Council will meet Tuesday to hold third reading on three important items. First, at 4 p.m., the committee on county administration and finance will meet with the Union County Tourism Commission at 4 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room at the Union County Courthouse to discuss administrative and financial matters. At 5 p.m., council will hold a public hearing in the Grand Jury Room to hear comments on the proposed ordinance to impose an annual Public Safety Fee and Road User Fee; the proposed budget for 2015-2016; and the proposed ordinance to donate a vacant lot in Lockhart to the Town of Lockhart. The public is invited to attend and participate in these meetings. The regular meeting of Union County Council will convene at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room. If anyone requires special assistance to attend, contact the Supervisor’s Office. In addition to the budget ordinance, ordinance about fees on property taxes and vehicle taxes, and donating the lot in Lockhart, council will consider vacancies on boards and commissions. They will hear from Donald Lyles about roads, recycling, and recreation. Cole McKinney with the Catawba Regional Council on Governments will discuss the Neighborhood Initiative Program. The public is invited to attend.

-

WOMAN FALLS VICTIM TO IRS SCAM

Monday, June 8

A Union woman fell victim to an increasingly popular scam. The woman received a call from a woman claiming to be from the IRS. She told the victim she owed $4467 from a 2008 tax return, and if she didn’t pay that amount, the IRS had a warrant for her arrest and someone from the Sheriff’s Office would come and pick her up. The victim gave the woman on the phone information from her debit card. She also talked to a man claiming to be a lawyer for the IRS, who confirmed the transaction with her. The victim called her husband, who contacted the Sheriff’s Office to see if a warrant had been issued for his wife. They informed him it was a scam. He then called the bank to cancel the transaction and to cancel their debit card. The couple was advised to monitor their credit reports and bank statements for any transaction they did not make. The Union County Sheriff’s Office advises citizens that this scam is on the increase in the area, and that if you get such a call, hang up and contact law enforcement.

-

6-YEAR OLD TAKEN FROM HER MOTHER AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR METH

Monday, June 8

A 6-year old girl is now in her grandmother’s custody following a DSS investigation of possible illegal drug use by the girl’s mother around her daughter. The DSS worker investigating the case reported that a hair strand drug test was conducted on the child, which came back positive for methamphetamine. A second test was conducted on the child’s mother, 38-year old Brandi Northern, which also came back positive for meth. Northern was arrested and charged with unlawful neglect to a child.

-

SENIOR FARMER'S MARKET VOUCHER PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

Monday, June 8

Many have called WBCU asking about the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers to use at the Farmer’s Market to low income seniors age 60 and older. The Union County Council on Aging is partnering with the SC Department of Social Services to provide the vouchers this year. It allows each eligible person to use $25 worth of coupons at participating farmers’ markets through October 15th. The coupons will be given out on Thursday, June 11th, from 10-2 at the Union County Council on Aging office at 237 North Gadberry Street. Applications must be submitted in person. Proof of identity and residence in Union County is required, and applicants must meet household income eligibility limits. Information regarding the income of all household members will be required. Those who want to apply on behalf of homebound seniors must provide a statement from the senior granting permission to submit an application on their behalf. Proof of identity and income for the homebound senior must be presented at the time of application. For more information, call the Union County Council on Aging at 429-1682.


COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITS TO FINDING MONEY IN BUDGET TO HELP COUNCIL ON AGING RECEIVE GRANTS

Friday, June 5

Three County Council members sat down with Supervisor Frank Hart Thursday afternoon to hammer out some last-minute details for the proposed 2015-2016 county budget. Tommy Ford, Ben Ivey, Ralph Tucker, and Hart discussed two major items during the budget work session. The first dealt with the Union County Council on Aging. As funding to outside agencies was cut out to help balance the budget, the county’s senior centers faced the possibility of having to close their doors. According to Hart, a major portion of the council’s funding comes from federal and state grants that require a partial match by the county. If the county cut those funds from the budget, the seniors group would be unable to get the federal and state money. A total of close to $60,000 in matching funds from the county is needed, though Hart said much of that could be made up by counting the various buildings’ rents and utilities. All told, the supervisor said County Council would need to come up with $10,764 in the budget to allow the Council on Aging to receive the state and federal money. The group still faces a large budget cut that will affect staffing and some services, but it would not have to completely shut down services. Ben Ivey suggested using some existing money from his special projects account from this year to help towards the goal, and Hart said they can look at this year’s budget for other unspent money that might be found to use towards the Council on Aging. The council members said they are committed to finding the money to help the seniors group retain its grants.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL LOOKS TO EMS BUDGET TO FUND RESCUE SQUAD

Friday, June 5

The other budget discussion centered on the Union County Fire & Rescue Squad. Supervisor Frank Hart said he met with the chairperson of the group to discuss their needs. Hart said while a firm figure was not fully defined, it looked like the group might need around $15,000 to operate. He said that according to conversations he has had with EMS leadership and personnel, the Rescue Squad is vital to its operations, saying that they would have difficulty with extrications and some of the other things the rescue squad handles, and that could potentially put lives in danger should the rescue squad be disbanded. Council member Larry Ford expressed concern about the group’s fundraising efforts, saying they should put more effort into that before asking the council for money. He also was concerned that by trying to find money to fund these two efforts, it would open the door for questions as to why such efforts weren’t being undertaken for other groups. In the end after much discussion, the members agreed to contract the Union County Fire & Rescue Squad through the existing proposed budget for Union County EMS. No new money would be added, but EMS would have to find a way to pay for the rescue squad’s operations within their budget for the coming year. There was also discussion about trying to cut the budget for EMS, but Hart said with the county never having operated EMS, to try and cut their budget this year could set them up for a shortfall later in the year. He advised taking a close look at the EMS operations and budget over the coming year, and then they would have a better handle on the situation in the next budget year.

-

COUNCIL VOTES TO FILL OPEN POSITIONS ALREADY FUNDED IN BUDGET

Friday, June 5

After the budget work session and a short personnel committee meeting, Supervisor Frank Hart called the special meeting into session. Union County Council voted to fill four positions that were already budgeted for the coming year but that were either already vacant or soon would be. One is for an equipment operator and truck driver in the Public Works Department. Another is for an equipment operator and mechanic in the equipment shop. A Recreation Department employee will be leaving soon, and that position will be filled, as will another equipment operator position.  Following the vote to fill those positions, council voted to go into executive session to discuss contractual matters. No action was taken following the executive session. County Council will have their next regular meeting Tuesday, at which time they are scheduled to have the third and final reading on the budget ordinance and on the proposed fees on houses and cars to help fund EMS.

-

SANTUCK HEBRON WATER COMPANY LIFTS BOIL WATER ADVISORY

Friday, June 5

Santuck Hebron Water Company customers no longer have to boil their water. The water company repealed its boil water advisory after they flushed their water lines and samples of the water came back free of contaminants and at safe drinking water levels. If you have any questions or concerns, call the Santuck Hebron Water Company at 429-0807. The original advisory was put in place following an 8” water line break at the intersection of Strother Road and Santuc Carlisle Highway on June 3rd.

-

SCHOOL BOARD'S NEXT MEETING SET FOR MONDAY

Friday, June 5

The Union County Board of School Trustees will hold their next regular meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Union County Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. At the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall will recognize the UCHS Lady Yellow Jackets state championship softball team. The board will take action on two overnight field trip requests, the personnel report, and the 2015-2016 budget. An executive session is scheduled to deal with a contractual matter and a matter of student discipline. As always, the public is invited to attend.

-

UNION MAN ARRESTED FOR DISCHARGING FIREARM IN THE CITY

Friday, June 5

A Union man who claims he was shooting at birds was arrested for discharging a firearm within city limits. Public Safety officers were sent to 417 Pineneedle Road to the home of 75-year old Kenneth Henderson for a welfare check. Someone reported hearing shots fired from that location. When they got there, they saw Henderson sitting at the kitchen table and a handgun on the table. After securing the weapon, officers asked Henderson what he was doing with the gun. Henderson said he was shooting at black bill sparrows that were killing other birds. One of the officers saw bird feed piled up on a table on the back porch, and a picket on the porch appeared to have a bullet hole in it. Williams was taken to Union County Jail on the firearms charge, and he was released on bond.

-

TOWN OF CARLISLE SET TO BEGIN FREE SUMMER LUNCH AND ACTIVITIES PROGRAM

Friday, June 5

The Town of Carlisle will again host their free summer lunch and activities program for children age 18 and under. The program will take place Monday through Thursday from 11-1 starting Monday, June 8th, and going through Thursday, July 30th.  On Tuesday, June 16th at 10 a.m., the Town of Carlisle will host their community food distribution for Carlisle residents only. Those needing food will need to bring a picture ID and plastic bags. The Town of Carlisle also reminds women that they can preregister for mammograms at the Carlisle Town Hall, as well. Volunteers are needed for these programs. For more information, call the Carlisle Town Hall at 427-1505.


COUNTY COUNCIL gathers TODAY FOR BUDGET WORK SESSION, special meeting

Thursday, June 4

As budget work is in the final stages, the Union County Council has scheduled a budget work session this afternoon, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex. Then the council will hold a meeting of the Committee on Personnel, County Offices and Departments immediately following the budget work session to discuss personnel matters. Following that session, The Union County Council will hold a special meeting to consider any action taken by the committee and discuss other matters. The public is invited to attend.

-

UNION MAN FACES CITY AND COUNTY CHARGES IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS

Thursday, June 4

A Union man faces charges from Union Public Safety and the Union County Sheriff’s Office in separate incidents.

22-year old Christopher Lynn Bradburn was arrested by Union Public Safety on forgery charges. According to the arrest warrant, Bradburn forged his brother’s name on several medical documents while at Wallace Thomson Hospital. He was taken to Union County Jail, and has been released on bond.

In a separate incident Monday, a man reported that Bradburn, who is his step-son, took the debit card out of his wallet the night before and used it to get over $362 out of his bank account. He was ask how Bradburn got the card and he stated that it probably happened while he was asleep. He stated he went to the bank on Monday to get some money and they told him that his account was overdrawn. They gave him a copy of a recent transaction history which shows the card being used at the ATM at 1412 Lockhart Hwy four times between 1:37 and 1:41 a.m. The man could not explain how Bradburn knew or got his PIN number. The card was also used at a liquor store in Spartanburg at 02:02 a.m. The man said he wishes to have Bradburn prosecuted. 

-

DEPUTY RESPONDS TO APPARENT ROAD RAGE INCIDENT

Thursday, June 4

A Sheriff’s deputy responded Tuesday to the yield sign at Bob Adams Rd. and Tinker Creek Rd. for an apparent road rage incident. The victim stated that as he pulled up to the yield sign, a black in color z71 truck pulled up behind him and began yelling out the window for him to learn how to drive. He stated that the driver of the truck yelled, "Stay off my road!", and then rammed his truck into the back of the victim’s 2002 GMC Yukon. He stated that the driver then drove off. Estimated damage caused by this incident was $600.

-

BOIL WATER ADVISORY STILL IN EFFECT FOR SANTUCK HEBRON CUSTOMERS

Thursday, June 4

A boil water advisory is still in effect for customers of the Santuck Hebron Water Company. A water line broke at the intersection of Strother Road and Santuc Carlisle Highway. The resulting drop in water pressure raises the possibility of contaminants entering the system, which is the reason for the boil water advisory. Santuck Hebron Water Company customers are advised to vigorously boil their water for at least a minute prior to drinking or cooking. The company notes that there has been no confirmed contamination of the system. They are waiting for water samples to be tested, and they will alert customers when the boil water notice is lifted. For more information or questions, call the company’s office at 429-0807.

-

ALLIANCE TRACTOR TRAILER TRAINING CENTER HOLDING INFORMATION SESSIONS TODAY 

Thursday, June 4

Alliance Tractor Trailer Training Center will hold another informational session for truck driver candidates at the SC Works Union office at 103 West Main Street. Two sessions are scheduled today, with the first this morning from 9:30-11:30, and the other one this afternoon from 1:30-4 p.m. Candidates have the potential to earn $40,000-$50,000 annually upon completing training. A high school diploma or GED is required. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license. Résumés are welcomed but not required. Candidates will undergo drug testing and screening, as well as background, reference, and motor vehicle checks.

-

SMX STAFFING LOOKING FOR AMAZON WAREHOUSE WORKERS IN GAFFNEY

Thursday, June 4

SMX Staffing will hold a recruitment event Friday, June 12th, from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Cherokee County SC Works office located at 133 Wilmac Road in Gaffney. They will be hiring to fill warehouse associate positions. There are multiple positions available for seasonal work with Amazon. All shifts are available, and successful candidates must be willing to learn industrial equipment in a fast-paced environment. They must also be available for overtime and be able to lift up to 45 lbs. The pay rate ranges from $10.75 to $11.25 per hour. Drug screening and background checks will be conducted. A high school diploma or GED is required. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org to receive a referral to attend this event.


SANTUCK HEBRON WATER COMPANY ISSUES BOIL WATER ADVISORY FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS

Wednesday, June 3

A water line break has resulted in the Santuck Hebron Water Company issuing a boil water advisory for their customers. The water line break occurred at the intersection of Strother Road and Santuc Carlisle Highway. The resulting drop in water pressure raises the possibility of contaminants entering the system, which is the reason for the boil water advisory. Santuc Hebron Water Company customers are advised to vigorously boil their water for at least a minute prior to drinking or cooking. The company notes that there has been no confirmed contamination of the system. Water samples will be collected as soon as possible, and they will alert customers when the boil water notice is lifted. For more information or questions, call the company’s office at 429-0807.

-

CHEERLEADERS HOLDING CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT AND 5K GLOW RACE

Wednesday, June 3

The Union County High School cheerleaders are planning an evening fundraiser on June 19th. The event, titled "Glow Hard or Glow Home", takes place Friday, June 19th, at the Timken Sports Complex. It will start at 5 with vendor sales and the corn hole tournament registration. The corn hole tournament will begin at 6. A photo booth will also be available starting at 6. At 8:15, they will have a raffle drawing and a “glowfit” contest. The contest will award prizes to the best glowing outfits. At 8:30, the Glow Hard or Glow Home 5K run, walk, and roll will begin. Registration for the race is $30 and includes a t-shirt if you register by June 12th. It also will include a few glowing items to get you started with your outfit. Registration for the corn hole tournament is $20 per team, with the winner receiving a set of custom UCHS corn hole boards.  Vendors are needed, as well, and the vendor fee will be $50. Applications are available from the UCHS JV and varsity cheerleaders, or online at http://unioncountyhighschool.shutterfly.com/84/49.

-

HISTORICAL SOCIETY WILL HEAR ABOUT NEW MEMORIAL AT THEIR MEETING

Wednesday, June 3

The next meeting for the Union County Historical Society will be on Sunday, June 14th, at 3:00pm in the meeting room of the museum.  The guest speaker will be Lewis O'Shields, who will speak on the recent memorial dedicated to the Vietnam soldiers killed from Union. 

-

WBCU PARTNERS WITH MIRACLE LEAGUE FOR NEXT WEEK'S COUNTRY SHOWDOWN

Wednesday, June 3

WBCU’s 5th annual Country Showdown is coming to USC Union’s auditorium in a week and a half. The musical event takes place Friday, June 12th, at 5:30 p.m. This year, WBCU is partnering with the Miracle League of Union County for the event. Several Miracle League players will showcase their singing talents at the event, and a portion of the proceeds of the show will go to the Miracle League’s proposed all-inclusive playground.  The Miracle League will raffle off a $50 Exxon gift card at the event, as well. Tickets are on sale for $1 each or 6 for $5. They are available at WBCU and from any Miracle League board member. As always, several contestants will be competing for a chance to win the local competition and advance to the NC/SC finals this fall. That winner goes on to regional competition, and the regional winner advances to the national finals in Nashville for the chance to win $100,000 and the title “Best New Act in Country Music”. Tickets to the WBCU Country Showdown are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and free for age 5 and under, and again, a portion of the ticket sales will go to the Miracle League. Tickets are available at WBCU or from any Miracle League board member.

-

PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES DAMAGE TO APARTMENT building

Wednesday, June 3

Union Public Safety is investigating damage found at Rose Hill Garden Apartments on Industrial Park Road. The maintenance man inspected apartment #3 and found that sometime between 5:30 p.m. last Friday and 8:15 a.m. Monday, several bricks had been knocked off the building. He also found damage to the siding of the apartment. Two gutters were also damaged, and a light fixture was knocked loose from the ceiling outside the apartment near the stairway. There was also evidence of several eggs thrown at the side of the apartment. Damage was estimated at $850.

-

SANTUC PRECISION HIRING CNC MACHINISTS

Wednesday, June 3

Santuc Precision, LLC, will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office located at 103 West Main Street. It will be held Tuesday, June 9th, from 9:00 until 11:30 a.m. They are looking to hire CNC machinists. A high school diploma or GED is required, and 3 years of experience is preferred. Experience in set-up and running is a plus. The beginning pay is $14-$18 per hour, and the shift is Monday through Thursday, 7:00 AM– 5:00 PM. Applicants will undergo drug testing and screening as well as a background and a reference check. Please bring an updated copy of your résumé. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event. Please come properly dressed for the interview.

-

STAFFMARK LOOKS TO FILL WAREHOUSE POSITIONS

Wednesday, June 3

Staffmark will be holding a recruitment event Wednesday, June 10th, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Union SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions for warehouse associates. General warehouse positions will vary from picking and packing with an RF scanner to lift operation to cycle counting/inventory control. These are full-time jobs, and all shifts are available. Applications must be submitted online prior to the event at http://www.staffmark.com. The company will conduct drug screening, background, and reference checks. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org.


HIGHWAY PATROL INVESTIGATING FATAL WRECK SUNDAY ON HIGHWAY 72

Tuesday, June 2

The Union County Coroner's Office and the SC Highway Patrol are investigating a single-vehicle accident on SC Hwy. 72 in Union County that occurred around 7:20 p.m. on May 31st. Andrew Jason Burdette, 35, of Anderson, SC, was a passenger in a 2008 Dodge pickup truck that ran off the left side of the road and overturned on Hwy. 72 approximately 1/4 mile outside of Carlisle. Mr. Burdette was unrestrained and was ejected from the vehicle. He was transported to Wallace Thomson Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Another vehicle was struck by debris from the truck, but no one was injured. An autopsy was planned for yesterday at Newberry Pathology Associates.

-

UNION MAN ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF ARSON AND ATTEMPTED MURDER

Tuesday, June 2

A Union man was arrested on two counts of 3rd-degree arson and attempted murder. According to the arrest warrants, 55-year old James Crawford, of 205C West Henrietta Street, set fire to a house at 110 Cornwell Street following an argument with the homeowner, knowing that four people were inside at the time. The fire also destroyed the homeowner’s 1992 Chevy Camaro. No further details were revealed at this time.

-

BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC CHARITIES ANNOUNCES NEW ROUND OF GRANT RECIPIENTS

Tuesday, June 2

Broad River Electric Cooperative will celebrate its 75th anniversary of incorporation on June 10th, and to celebrate, Broad River Electric Charities has given out $75,000 in grants over the past three grant cycles. The latest $25,000 in grants came from the Operation Round Up fund. Each month, participating members’ account balances are rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the extra change going to assist organizations and goodwill missions in and around Broad River’s service area.

Organizations receiving Operation Round Up® funds this cycle include Jerusalem Project of Union County, Miracle League of Union, SC Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, Salkehatchie Summer Service in Union, Union County Crimestoppers, Union County Foster Parent Association, and Union County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, as well as six other charities and organizations in Cherokee County.   

The Miracle League of Union County will receive $2000 towards their all-inclusive playground.

South Carolina Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, which coordinates the distribution of venison from hunters to hungry people, got a $1,500 grant to improve their storage capabilities.

Jerusalem Project of Union County and Salkehatchie Summer Service each received $2,000 to repair homes in Union County. Union County Crimestoppers will put their $500 grant toward rewards for tips to law enforcement that result in arrests. A $750 donation to Union County Foster Parent Association will support education and training for foster children and their parents. The Union County Disabilities and Special Needs Board received $750 to purchase equipment and supplies for their non-ambulatory clients. 

Grants from Broad River Electric Charities are distributed quarterly. Organizations wishing to request funds can contact the cooperative to begin the application process.

PHOTO:  FIRST ROW, l-r: Shelba Cook (CAVA), Carolina Barger (Salkehatchie), Donna Proctor (Cherokee Pregnancy Center), Sara Setzer (CAVA) Lyn Paschal (CAVA), Sandra G. Miller (Cherokee Children’s Home), Nancy Jordan (Broad River Electric Charities), Susan Harris (Cherokee Children’s Home), Sheriff David Taylor (Union Co. Crimestoppers). SECOND ROW l-r: Amy Smith (Union Co. DSN), Beth Holifield (Dist. 5 Family Ministries), Wayne Powell (SC Hunters for the Hungry), Jim Cudd (CAVA), Mack Davis (CAVA) Mike Hollified (HALTER), Ron Cope (CAVA), Tangie Rosebor (We Girlz Rock, Inc.) and Captain Robert Hines (Union Co. Crimestoppers).

-

SEATS STILL AVAILABLE FOR ROSE HILL MUSICAL PROGRAM SATURDAY

Tuesday, June 2

Organizers of Saturday’s musical evening at Rose Hill say there are still a few seats available. Park visitors are invited to come and enjoy an early evening musical performance in the ballroom of the Rose Hill Plantation mansion, the former home of secessionist Governor William H. Gist and his family. Participants will be transported to the 1800s as they listen to pieces that for the Gists and their contemporaries would have been new. Today we consider them classics. Some you will recognize, and others may be a surprise. The concert will take place Saturday, June 6th, from 6-7:30 p.m. 

Dr. Brennan Szafron, organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, is returning this summer for this special musical program. The recital includes music by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn and von Weber. There will be a 15-minute intermission with light refreshments available. At the end of the performance, there will be a brief period for questions and discussion.

Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, June 4th. Seating is limited to the first 35 registrants. Admission is $7/person (age 16 and older) and $5/student (age 6-15). You should contact: Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, 2677 Sardis Road, Union. Phone: 864-427-5966 or email: rhillsp@scprt.com.

-

UNION COUNTY CARNEGIE LIBRARY LAUNCHES SUMMER READING PROGRAM

Tuesday, June 2

The Union County Carnegie Library kicks off their summer reading program today. This summer’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story”, and kids will have a chance to meet some of our community heroes through the summer. Tomorrow, June 3rd, the Santuc Fire Department will be at the library from 10-noon. Thursday, June 4th, from 2-4 p.m., kids can meet a police dog. Friday, June 5th, Union County EMS will be at the library from 10-noon. Thursday, June 18th, Union County Sheriff David Taylor will be there from 2-4 p.m. Finally, on Wednesday, July 15th, kids can tour Spartanburg’s Regional One helicopter from 10-noon. For more information on these or any other activities at the Union County Carnegie Library, call 427-7140, extension 302.

-

USC UNION HOSTING KIDS' FUN CAMP NEXT WEEK

Tuesday, June 2

USC Union will host their annual summer camp for ages 7 – 12 on Monday, June 8th, through Friday, June 12th, from 9:00am – 3:00pm. The cost is $70 per child, and that includes lunch, snacks, drinks and all activities. Each day will be filled with a new set of fun and learning activities. To register, please contact Bill Moore at USC Union 424-8037 or moorebil@mailbox.sc.edu.


WOMAN CITED FOR CHILD SAFETY SEAT VIOLATION AFTER CHILDREN FOUND UNATTENDED IN VEHICLE

Monday, June 1

This past Thursday, Sgt. Scott Ruby of the Union County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to 1301 Lockhart Highway in reference to a welfare check on some small children. Reportedly, the children had been left unattended in a running vehicle while the adult was in the store shopping. Upon arrival, the deputy observed the vehicle leaving the parking lot and a traffic stop was initiated. The driver was identified as Alaina Hines, 24, of Fairview Church Road. Also in the car were a five-month old girl in a car seat and a 2-year old girl and a 4-year old girl riding in the front seat with no restraints. The officer spoke with the initial complainant who stated this was not the first time this had happened, and she had been warned. Hines advised the deputy that all three children were hers and she did not think all of them needed car seats. Ruby stayed on the scene until a relative could bring additional car seats to the location, and Hines was issued a ticket for the child safety seat violation. The report was left active for follow-up by investigator Belue, and further action could be forthcoming.

-

MAN FALLS OUT OF TREE WHILE TRYING TO ELUDE DEPUTIES

Monday, June 1

Around 11:30 Thursday night, deputies went to 347 Pineland Road with arrest warrants for a Marcus Terrell Spencer, age 30. Upon arrival, deputies encountered a 16-year old female subject that had been reported as missing in the City of Union, along with Jaran Harris, the brother of Spencer, and a 16-year old male. The officers informed the subject they had warrants for Spencer and knew he was at this location. While inside, the deputies were informed that Spencer had jumped out of a window and fled into the woods. Sgt. Scott Ruby said he heard noise on the side of the house and saw Spencer when he was illuminated by his flashlight. Ruby told Spencer not to move and that he was under arrest. At that point, the suspect turned and ran into the woods. Perimeter units found him hiding in a tree. While climbing down, Spencer fell about four feet and started to yell that his back was hurt. EMS was called and transported him to the Wallace Thomson Hospital emergency room. While there, Spencer was caught attempting to escape by climbing into a false ceiling. The deputies spoke to the previously mentioned female, who said she did not know Spencer but did admit that her mother did not know where she was. She was turned over to her 20-year old sister. The deputies found a picture of Spencer and her together on Facebook, as well as comments made about him by her. These were downloaded for evidence. Spencer was transported to the Union County Jail and served with the outstanding warrants. Officers planned to meet with the Magistrate and obtain warrants charging Spencer with resisting arrest and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

-

LIBRARY KICKS OFF SUMMER READING PROGRAM THIS WEEK

Monday, June 1

Summer reading programs are getting ready to be kicked off at the Union County Carnegie Library. Library Director Ben Loftis said in his weekly blog:

"As school begins to wind down for the year, talk of vacation and activities planned for the summer begins to increase. In education circles, particularly schools and libraries, fear of the 'Summer Slide' also begin to pick up. The Summer Slide is the term used to describe the potential regression of skills seen from students during the summer months when school is not in session. Students who do not continue to apply skills they have developed in school often forget a portion of what they have learned, putting them behind when the new school year starts. Over time, this 'Summer Slide' can leave a student several years behind some of their classmates. The Union Carnegie Library’s Summer Reading program is a way to both avoid the Summer Slide and participate in fun activities over the next few months. Programs are available for all ages, both children and adults. Students should have received information through their teachers about the program, while adults can stop by the library in the coming weeks to participate. More information and a schedule of events is posted in the 'Library News' section of the newspaper and the community calendar on WBCU, or you can stop by the library to pick up an event sheet."

-

COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED THURSDAY

Monday, June 1

The Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, June 4th, at the USC-U gazebo. Area residents are invited to come by and join with fellow citizens of Union County and with others as they pray for our country, our community, our state, and also for our world, and for the Church. You are asked to please pray for our military and our police, who risk their lives to serve and protect us. All are welcome. If you can't get to the gazebo, you are asked to please take some time for special prayer during the day. 

-

COUNTY COUNCIL SCHEDULES FINAL BUDGET WORK SESSION, SPECIAL MEETING THURSDAY

Monday, June 1

As budget work is in the final stages, the Union County Council has scheduled a budget work session on Thursday, June 4th, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex. Then the council will hold a meeting of the Committee on Personnel, County Offices and Departments immediately following the budget work session to discuss personnel matters. Following that session, The Union County Council will hold a special meeting to consider any action taken by the committee and discuss other matters. The public is invited to attend.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UP SLIGHTLY IN UNION COUNTY DESPITE 53 MORE PEOPLE FINDING JOBS

Friday, May 29

The number of employed South Carolinians broke a major barrier for the first time in April, exceeding the 2.1 million threshold. The number of South Carolinians working in April reached 2,104,590 people, an increase of 8,106 from March. During the first four months of 2015, people across the state entered the labor force at historic levels and found employment opportunities as the state’s economy continued expanding at a robust pace.

The labor force (people working and searching for work) was estimated at 2,256,118, an increase of 9,875 over the month, marking a record as well.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.7% as the labor force expanded for the 15th-consecutive month. The estimated number of unemployed persons was 151,528, showing a modest increase since March of 1,769 people.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined from 5.5 to 5.4%.

Unemployment in Union went up in April by 0.1%. The SC Department of Employment and Workforce reports out of a workforce of 11,762, 10,789 are working, which yields an unemployment rate of 8.3%. Last month that rate was 8.2%. Union County's labor force increased by 63 in the last month, and 53 people found jobs. Since April 2014, Union County's unemployment rate has risen by 0.7%, with the labor force increasing by 412 people, and 298 people finding jobs.

-

GOVERNOR CALLS ON LEGISLATORS TO BE RESPONSIBLE WITH EXPECTED BUDGET SURPLUS

Friday, May 29

Governor Nikki Haley has called on members of the General Assembly to spend the expected budget surplus of $400 million on tax relief, paying down debt, or fixing South Carolina’s roads and bridges.

During a Tuesday morning news conference with SC House members and Senators, including Senator Tom Davis and Representative Tommy Stringer, the governor said, “We are looking at a situation that is a great problem to have–the BEA is going to meet on Friday, and we think they’re going to announce an additional $400 million in estimates. What I will tell you is that our state didn’t get to this point by just throwing money out--we got here by being smart. And what I will also tell you is that I strongly believe this won’t be the only year we have this much new money.”

-

FIRST STEPS SPONSORS FREE SUMMER STORY TIME PROGRAM

Friday, May 29

Beginning June 8th, Union County First Steps will be sponsoring a free preschool summertime reading program. The programs will be held on Mondays at Foster Park Elementary School at 11:00 a.m., and at the Union County Carnegie Library on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, the program will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Monarch Elementary School and Thursdays at the Carlisle Town Hall at 10:00 a.m. The program is designed for children under five years of age, and a parent or guardian must attend. The activities will conclude July 30th. For more information, you should contact the school principal or Union County First Steps at 429-1740, extension 134.

-

DEFENDER SERVICES HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN GAFFNEY

Friday, May 29

Defender Services will be holding a recruitment event next Thursday, June 4th, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Cherokee SC Works office, located at 133 Wilmac Road in Gaffney. They are looking to hire spinners at a minimum hourly rate of $9.95 per hour. Can transporters are also needed at an hourly rate of $8.90 per hour, and card cleaners are also wanted. That job also pays $8.90 per hour. There are no minimum education requirements for any of the positions. The jobs do require drug testing and a background check. All applicants must register at www.scworks.org and you must receive a referral to attend the event.


PLANS CONTINUE TO DEVELOP FOR YMCA AND TIMKEN COMPLEX TO TAKE OVER UCRD FUNCTIONS

Thursday, May 28

As a part of the Union County Council's efforts to trim the new budget, the Union County Recreation Department as we know it will dissolve at the end of this fiscal year. As part of the plan to keep recreation and special programs in place, the council has engaged in talks with the YMCA. Under the proposed plan, the YMCA would take over such things as the after school program, and the Timken Sports Complex would assume responsibility for some sports-related activities. Supervisor Frank Hart says the plans for the takeover are shaping up.

 

Hart said he hopes to have the details worked out by the end of this month or early June. The dissolving of the Recreation Department and the merger with the YMCA is expected to save the county in excess of $180,000. One Recreation Department annual activity that could have been in jeopardy is the July 4th “Light up the Lake” program. Hart said that program will be staged, and plans are currently being developed for that to happen.

-

TRIGGIANI AND JACKSON TELL UNION COUNTY'S STORY IN PICTURES

Thursday, May 28

Telling a story in pictures is Union County, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of Modern America series. The book by Peter Triggiani with the help of Amber Jackson is set to release on June 22, 2015. The book boasts many vintage images that have never been published, and showcases memories of days gone by.

Few other Upstate counties can boast as much history as South Carolina’s Union County. It is known as the birthplace of the Confederacy, with Revolutionary War battles fought at Blackstock’s, Musgrove Mill, and Fish Dam. It is home to the writing desk upon which the Article of Secession was drafted, and Confederate Pres. Jefferson Davis spent two days in Union during his flight after the War between the States. Early 20th-century Union offered the world’s largest cotton mill and multiple “mill village” communities, with Main Street serving as a cultural center bustling with large early hotels, opera houses, and numerous fine examples of antebellum architecture.

Peter Triggiani holds a master of science degree from NJIT and a bachelor of arts degree from Farleigh Dickinson University. He has served as an employee of the Union County Historical Society and is working to restore the historic Dawkins House, South Carolina’s last Confederate capitol.

Amber Jackson is currently seeking her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from USC-Union. The Union County Historical Society has opened its vast photo archives to present Images of America: Union County. A treasury of rarely seen images from local architecture, mill village culture, the Civil War, and assorted Americana are presented within.

The book will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. The mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Visit http://www.arcadiapublishing.com.

-

FOUR VOLUNTEERS SWORN IN AS GUARDIANS AD LITEM

Thursday, May 28

Four volunteers have been sworn in as Guardians Ad Litem. They are court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children. The new volunteers join 15 others who have been trained in representing foster children in the Family Court system. Their mission is to ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.

There are no specific qualifications for becoming a GAL volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing 30 hours of training.

Another training session for Union County begins Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a GAL volunteer should contact Stephanie Kitchens at 864-427-1984, or e-mail skitchens@oepp.sc.gov.

-

STAFFWORKS RECRUITING FORKLIFT OPERATORS IN UNION MONDAY

Thursday, May 28

Staffworks Group will hold a recruitment event Monday, June 1st, at the Union SC Works Office located at 103 West Main Street. They are hiring to fill forklift operator positions. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, and a knowledge of Work Keys is a plus. The pay is $12 per hour, and 3-5 years' experience is preferred. The shifts are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM. The company will conduct drug screening, physical, and background check. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org. Applications will be provided during the event. Please come properly dressed for the interview.


EPA HIRES CONTRACTOR TO BEGIN WORK ON EXTINGUISHING LANDFILL FIRE

Wednesday, May 27

Good news for the residents of Lockhart and surrounding areas: work to extinguish the fire at the Bennett Landfill should begin today. The information was revealed at the Lockhart Town Council meeting Tuesday night. That fire has been producing smoke in the area since November of last year and is said to be the source of some chronic respiratory issues there. The Environmental Protection Agency, working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has contracted with a company to do the work. EPA says the first phase of the work will focus on preparation of the site, such as reestablishing access roads and stockpiling cover soil. The second phase will be to directly address the fire, which should come about the first week of June. They say the work is not expected to adversely affect nearby communities or businesses, but they are asking area residents, for safety reasons, to please stay off the property site.

Complaints continue to pour in to the Town Hall about the trash pickup service there. The town contracts with Johnson Sanitation of Spartanburg, and the council is not happy with the service. As a result, they are actively seeking another company with whom they can contract. Mayor Ailene Ashe asks if anyone knows of a reliable contractor to please contact her at the Lockhart Town Hall. It was noted in the meeting that, as approved by the council, town residents will see the $5 increase on their water and sewer bills reflected this month.

Mayor Ashe took time during their meeting to reflect on the life of the late Pacolet Mayor Elaine Harris, who died this past week. Mayor Ashe praised Harris as someone who helped and advised the Town of Lockhart on many occasions.

-

MAN CLEANING UP RENTAL PROPERTY DISCOVERS EXPLOSIVE DEVICES

Wednesday, May 27

Officers responded Sunday to Tinsley Road in Jonesville in reference to someone finding some explosive devices. Upon arrival, the man told officers that he and his girlfriend had just rented the house and were there cleaning up the property. He said he began cleaning out a small building and found a small plastic container inside that contained what he believed to be the tops of fire extinguishers. The man pulled the pin on one of the objects and it exploded in his hand, causing some minor pain and ringing in his ears. He showed the deputies where the objects were, and they observed what appeared to be tops to grenades or "flash-bangs" with blasting caps and pins attached to them. The responding officer called Investigator Scott Coffer, who arrived on scene and took over the investigation. The scene was documented, and the devices were disposed of by the State Law Enforcement Division's bomb disposal team.

-

TWO ARRESTED AFTER LEAVING SUSPICIOUS BOOK BAGS AT LOCAL CHURCH

Wednesday, May 27

There was a bit of a scare for members of Lockhart's First Baptist Church Sunday. Officers were dispatched Sunday morning in reference to suspicious packages left at the front of the church in the pulpit area by a white male and a black male. The responding officers were advised that both individuals had left the building. A Department of Natural Resources officer was on the scene and removed the packages from the church to a grassy area about 100 feet away. The two subjects returned to the church. Sheriff David Taylor and Investigator Scott Coffer were called to the scene. The two subjects were detained and place in the back of the two responding patrol cars. Deputies spoke with the DNR officer, 1st Sgt. Jason Plemmons, who stated the two subjects came into the church and sat in the two chairs on the pulpit. Both subjects put a black and blue book bag in the respective chairs, and as they were leaving, they told some of the church members to watch the bags. It was stated in the incident report that their behavior caused some of the members to become worried. The report also stated that no one knew the subjects. The area was taped off and the street closed. The subjects were read their rights. An examination of the bags revealed there was nothing harmful inside. The white male was identified as Jayden Johnson, 20, of Wesley Chapel Road. The black male was identified as a 15-year old juvenile. Both subjects were taken to the Union County Jail, and the juvenile was later transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice. A warrant was being sought charging Johnson with disturbing a house of worship.

-

SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES INVESTIGATING SHOOTING INCIDENT IN JONESVILLE

Wednesday, May 27

A shooting incident Sunday caused deputies to be dispatched to an area in front of 922 Forest Street in Jonesville. Upon arrival, a deputy spoke with Nicholas Brian Woody, 24, of Woodruff, who waived his right to have an attorney present during questioning. He said just prior to leaving his home in Woodruff, Jeremy Jones and Ashley Hunter arrived there and appeared to be intoxicated. He advised them to stay at his house and he left for work. Woody told officers he works as an armed security guard at a location in Laurens County. He said shortly after leaving for work, he received a call from his roommate saying Jones and Hunter had taken his money and was believed to be headed for a location in Jonesville. Woody said he located their vehicle on Highway 176 and followed them onto Forrest Street. He said he passed the vehicle and stopped in the roadway. Woody said the the vehicle pulled up next to him in the other lane, and they started shooting at his automobile. The alleged assailants' vehicle pulled away from the scene. It was then Woody said he drew his 40-caliber pistol, and once he determined it was safe, he discharged his weapon toward the rear of the fleeing vehicle. He said he fired 15 or 16 rounds. When officers arrived, they secured Woody's weapon, along with a 12-gauge shotgun they found in his car. Woody's car was towed and photographed with two bullet holes in it. Partway through the investigation and after providing a written statement, Woody told officers he wanted to contact an attorney before the questioning continued. The vehicle was seized and taken to the Task Force building until a search warrant could be obtained. His cell phone was also taken as evidence. He was given a victim's form and transported to his home by the reporting deputy. The case has been turned over to investigators.

-

FIRST STEPS PARTNERSHIP BOARD ANNOUNCES MEETING MONDAY

Wednesday, May 27

The Union County First Steps Partnership Board will hold its regular meeting on Monday, June 1st, at 5:15 p.m. at the Union County Schools District Office Annex located at 120 Lakeside Drive in Union.  The public is invited to attend. Anyone wishing to attend that requires special assistance due to a disability is encouraged to contact Catherine M. Childers, Executive Director, at (864) 429-1740, ext. 134, prior to the start of the meeting.


LARGE CROWD TURNS OUT TO DEDICATE VIETNAM KIA MEMORIAL

Tuesday, May 26

A larger-than-expected crowd turned out Monday morning for the annual Memorial Day observance. The program this year had a twist from previous years' observances. The venue was changed from the monuments on Main Street to the Veterans Park Lodge in order to accommodate the dedication of the KIA monuments that were recently placed there. The guest speaker for the service was retired Command Sergeant Major Phillip V. Hawkins. Hawkins, a Vietnam War veteran, had a special message for his fellow veterans here.

 

Special certificates and medallions were presented to the families of the Union County men killed in action in the Vietnam War. The men whose families were recognized, in order of their sacrifice, were: Belton Lyles, Henry Lankford, Everette Thompson, Frank Barbee, Curtis Jeter, Toney Barnett, Troy Puckett, Walter Brannon, Leroy Johnson, Leonda Sarter, Harry Sims, Roy Bratton, Wallace McMakin, Curtis Good, Olan Coleman, and Larry Lawson. Black granite monuments are placed in front of the Veteran’s Lodge with each individual monument engraved with a photograph of the person killed, along with pertinent information about that individual. There is a newly-installed concrete pad that holds the 16 new monuments, which was provided by the Veterans Memorial Lodge, and it also includes a 50-foot flagpole donated by the Milliken Company, with an open area around it. The flag was presented by Woodmen of the World. Organizers said, “It is hoped that this area will also be used for other future ceremonies.”

Coordinated efforts also honored each of these persons buried in Union County with a gravesite wreath for Memorial Day.

-

CARLISLE AND LOCKHART TOWN COUNCILS SCHEDULE MEETINGS THIS EVENING

Tuesday, May 26

The Carlisle Town Council will hold a public hearing on the budget this evening at 6:00 p.m., followed by the regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. The Lockhart Town Council will also meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. That meeting will take place in the Lockhart Town Hall.

-

RENEE ALEXANDER TO LEAVE THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Tuesday, May 26

A familiar face at the Union County Chamber of Commerce is leaving her job. Renee Alexander has resigned her position there to become affiliated with the Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. Alexander said, “I have enjoyed every minute that I have been a part of this three-man team. There is never a dull moment here and there’s no telling who may walk in the door, what task we may have to perform, or what adventure we will encounter.” She has served in her Chamber position for 8 years. Mrs. Letitia Wages will replace Alexander.

-

USC-UNION ANNOUNCES ITS ANNUAL ACTIVITY FUN CAMP FOR KIDS

Tuesday, May 26

An Activity Fun Camp is being planned at USC-Union. It’s set to take place in the USC-Union Founder's House June 8th through the 12th. Organizers say each day of the camp will be filled with a new set of fun and learning activities. It will take place each of the days from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is designed for children 7 to 12 years of age. The cost of the camp is $70 and includes lunch, snacks, drinks, and all activities. To find out more and to register, contact Bill Moore at USC-Union by calling 864-424-8037.


SHERIFF'S OFFICE REQUESTS MONEY TO BUY BOOKMOBILE TO USE AS SPECIAL RESPONSE VEHICLE

Monday, May 25

During the Union County Council's budget work session Thursday afternoon, the formalities of bringing the Emergency Medical Service under the county's jurisdiction were acted on. The action establishes an additional county department. As already stated, the county is taking over the EMS operation as a result of it not being included in the Spartanburg Regional acquisition agreement. The agreement has yet to be approved. That approval is expected next month when the federal bankruptcy court hands down their decision on Wallace Thomson Hospital's Chapter 9 filing. In anticipation of the county takeover, council will implement designated fees to be assessed when they give third and final reading to the budget next month. Those fees are expected to generate some $800,000 to make up for the difference needed to operate the service. Some $2,000,000 is already being generated by a 9 mill tax assessment, bringing the total EMS budget to $2,804,241.

In other council action Thursday, a presentation was heard by Sheriff's Office Captain Robert Hines. Hines told the council that the Union County Carnegie Library wants to sell their bookmobile, which is no longer in use. The Sheriff's Office wants to buy it for use as as a special response and emergency management vehicle. The purchase price is $10,000, and Hines asked the council to fund that purchase, which would be reimbursed by grant money. The council agreed to Hines' proposal.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING FIGHT AT LOCKHART SCHOOL

Monday, May 25

The Union County Sheriff's Office says they are still looking into a case where it is reported that a 12-year old girl was taken to a hospital earlier this month after allegedly being beaten by a boy in her sixth-grade class.  The assault was reported as happening at Lockhart School. According to the Union County Sheriff's Office report, classmates watched as the girl was assaulted by a 12-year old boy. The Sheriff's Office report does not say what may have led to the alleged attack, but the victim told deputies that she "has been having issues from this individual for a couple of years, and this wasn't the first time it became physical." It was reported that administration at Lockhart School decided to suspend the boy for five days, and he has since returned to school. The family is reported as having said their daughter will not be returning to the school. The Sheriff's Office says the assault is still under investigation.  The family has already hired an attorney.

-

ALLIANCE TRACTOR TRAILER TRAINING CENTER HOLDING INFORMATIONAL SESSION JUNE 4TH

Monday, May 25

Alliance Tractor Trailer Training Center will hold an informational session for truck driver candidates coming up Thursday, June 4th, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Union SC Works Office. The earning potential is $40,000 to $50,000 annually upon completion of the training. A high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license is required. Résumés are welcomed but not required. Candidates will undergo drug testing and screening, background and reference checks, and a motor vehicle check. Alliance Tractor Trailer is expected to announce soon the establishment of a training facility here in Union.

-

AMERICAN SERVICES RECRUITING SECURITY GUARDS THURSDAY

Monday, May 25

American Services will hold a recruitment event this coming Thursday, May 28th, at the SC Works Spartanburg office located at 220 East Kennedy Street. It will start at 10:00 AM and conclude at 2:00 PM. They are looking to fill full-time and part-time security guard positions. The shifts are flexible. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend.


Mail to chris@wbcuradio.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 08/31/2015