Contact us:

Phone: 864-427-2411

Fax: 864-429-2975

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


Call 441-0066


Union County's Radio Station

Schedule for today:

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

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

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

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

11-noon—The Gospel Show with Daniel Prince

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

1:05 p.m.--Atlanta at Chicago Cubs

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

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

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

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

5:55 p.m.--UCHS Softball--Seneca at Union County--First Round AAA District 3 Playoffs

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


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO YOU!!!

Pat Hollingsworth is our Friday Birthday winner!

Jason and Katherine Yarbrough are our Friday Anniversary winners!

 

 

 

 

       

    

ABC News    South Carolina Radio Network

LOCAL NEWS

Have you liked WBCU on Facebook yet?

 


SCHOOL BOARD WILL GET SURVEYs AND APPRAISALs OF VACANT PROPERTIES

Tuesday, April 26

The Union County School Board of Trustees met for their regular bimonthly meeting Monday evening, and the top order of business was the recognition of some outstanding students. Seventh grade students that were recognized as Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) Scholars were: Nicholas Hall of Lockhart School, and from Sims Middle School were Anna Gregory, Ethan Balkum, Madeline Gilstrap, Halen Lawing and Hunter Senn. The eighth grade Junior Scholars included: Dayton Caldwell from Jonesville, and from Sims Middle school were Trey Best, Chaniah Brown, Garrison Hendrix, Austin Millwood, Robert Sanders, Katherine Wagner and Spencer Woodall.

Finance Director Lynn Lawson led a discussion about the district’s vacant properties. The three properties include Carlsan School, the Adamsburg School and what was Excelsior Middle School. The board voted to proceed with getting a survey and appraisal of the properties. Lawson explained it this way when asked if the recommendation would be to dispose of the old school buildings.

 

The board also heard from Wade Crow of the Crow Engineering firm, who discussed the need for the HVAC system at Monarch and Buffalo Elementary schools and Union County High School. Crow gave an hour-long presentation, in which he gave his evaluation of the systems, citing multiple needs. Crow told WBCU News:

 

The opinion of cost was said to be around $1.5 million, with the replacement of the high school’s cooling towers taking precedence.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD FINAL WORK SESSION BEFORE VOTING ON BUDGET

Tuesday, April 26

The Union County Council will hold a budget work session tomorrow afternoon beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the conference room at the Union County Annex.  Following that meeting, the council will hold a special meeting at the same location to give a first reading in title only of an ordinance pertaining to the Buffalo Fire District. They will also have a first reading of the budget ordinance for fiscal year 2016-2017. A second reading of an ordinance to levy and impose a 1% local option sales and use tax is also scheduled.  The public is invited to attend.

-

COMMUNITY FORUM ON TRANSIT SYSTEM SCHEDULED IN CARLISLE

Tuesday, April 26

A Community Forum is scheduled for this evening at the Carlisle Town Hall. The purpose of the Community Forum is to discuss the feasibility of implementing a transit system in Union County. Transmarter will give an overview of what has been done and solicit feedback for a transit system.  Organizers of the forum say, “This is about improving the quality of life for the citizens of Union County to meet the travel demands of your life from home, jobs, school, and everyday needs.” The gathering is set for 6:00 p.m.

-

COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE SOLICITING BIDS FOR BUILDING RENOVATIONS

Tuesday, April 26

The Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse is planning some renovations at their building located at 201 North Herndon Street. Licensed contractors who may be interested in submitting bids for the job should go by the office and pick up a worksheet and do their own measurements. The bidding process for the project will end at the close of business on May 13th.

-

WOMAN CHARGED WITH CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AFTER LEAVING DOG IN ABANDONED HOUSE

Tuesday, April 26

This past Thursday, Sgt. Eddie Williams of the Union Public Safety Department responded to a call for an animal welfare check at 108 Hicks Street. He was advised that the subjects had moved out of the house. When he arrived, he observed that the dwelling appeared to be vacant with the exception of a dog that had been left inside. He observed through a window animal waste on the floors and carpet that had been torn up. A neighbor told the officer that she had seen a male subject coming from a blue house on Green Street to walk the dog, but she had not seen him since the previous Saturday. Sgt. Williams managed to identify the individual that had been living in the house as 28-year old Whitney Shari Norman. He contacted the landlord, who stated that she had been evicted. Williams had Cpl. Hood to respond to the Hicks Street address with the animal control truck and asked for assistance from County Animal Control Officer Nathan Burdine. They were able to capture the dog and document the scene. Norman is facing charges of cruelty to animals, abandonment of animals, and an inoculation violation.


WEDDING, REENACTMENTS AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS AT LIVING HISTORY EVENT

Monday, April 25

The weather cooperated with the Union County Historical Society Saturday and Sunday for their 9th-Annual Living History Event. The crowd appeared to be enjoying the temperatures as well as the occasion. The odors of 1865 were in the air, as several wood fires smoldered on the property of the Cross Keys Plantation. The displays were numerous, as visitors got to see a working 19th-century kitchen, blacksmithing, and reenactments of clashes between Union and Confederate troops. A highlight of Saturday was a wedding. This was not a reenactment, but a real wedding conducted by Reverend Carroll Caldwell, who pastors the nearby and historically significant Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church. The wedding guests witnessed the joining of Scott Robertson and Anita Hawn in matrimony. The now Mrs. Robertson told how the idea to be married at the Cross Keys Plantation came about.

 

Another highlight both days was a reenactment of the April 30th, 1865, arrival of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis and his entourage were served lunch that day by a gracious hostess.

-

SCHOOL BOARD TO DISCUSS HEATING, AIR CONDITIONING, AND VACANT BUILDINGS

Monday, April 25

The Union County Board of School Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. The agenda appears fairly light. The superintendent and board will recognize the 7th-grade Duke Tip Scholars and 8th-grade Junior Scholars. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will give the monthly budget report. There will be a discussion concerning the heating and air conditioning needs, as well as a discussion about vacant property. A scheduled executive session will include three contractual issues and one personnel issue.

-

TIMKEN FOUNDATION PROVIDES FUNDS FOR STADIUM SIGN

Monday, April 25

A drop-in was held Friday as an opportunity for attendees to see and thank the Timken Foundation for their contribution to place a new sign at Union County Stadium. Ronnie Wade, who manages the property, told WBCU News how the new sign would be used.

 

The new stadium feature is described as a full-color electronic LED sign. The Timken Foundation grant allowed for the purchase of the sign at a cost of $31,000.

-

WOMAN REPORTS STRONG-ARMED ROBBERY

Monday, April 25

Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, a 17-year old woman notified the Union Public Safety Department that she had been the victim of a strong-armed robbery. She told officer Mark Smith that she was walking with her child on North Church Street, and that an unknown black male wearing all black and his face covered demanded she give him everything she had. The woman said she tried to walk away, but the suspect grabbed her by her hair. She said the suspect told her if she did not give him the money he would take her child. The suspect took $40 from her and left in a black Ford Crown Victoria traveling toward Arthur Blvd. The woman said she could not recognize the subject, and added the vehicle had been parked on Abrams Street earlier in the day. The case has been turned over to investigators.

-

SHERIFF TAYLOR AMONG sheriffs PLEDGING TO ADOPT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INITIATIVE

Monday, April 25

Union County Sheriff David Taylor is one of the sheriffs from across the state that has pledged to adopt an initiative that will improve officer response and create a baseline standard of uniformity statewide for domestic violence crimes by the end of the year.

Recognizing that law enforcement plays a critical role in the lives of domestic violence victims, each sheriff's office will implement an internal policy specifically for domestic violence aimed at ensuring victim safety, offender accountability, and officer safety and accountability.

At a minimum, the internal policy will include five standards, which were identified by the Governor’s Domestic Violence Task Force as being critical to law enforcement response to domestic violence:

  1. Requiring officers to file incident reports on every domestic violence call;
  2. Mandating supervisory review of all domestic violence incident reports;
  3. Designating an individual to obtain copies of orders of protection from family court;
  4. Requiring officers to conduct a wanted check at the scene of a domestic violence call;
  5. Providing officers with a one-page reference guide, including key points of law and a basic checklist for a general lethality assessment.

Each sheriff’s office will also conduct a needs assessment for responding to and investigating domestic violence incidents for the purpose of developing a plan to obtain resources and improve services. 

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WELCOMES ITS NEWEST MEMBER

Monday, April 25

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a new member. Sparrow Family Chiropractic, which is owned and operated by Dr. Kat Sparrow, has opened at 109 Hames Avenue in Jonesville. Their hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. They are open on Thursdays 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A ribbon cutting for the new practice will be announced at a later date.

-

GEORGIA PACIFIC HOSTING A RECRUITMENT EVENT IN UNION THIS WEEK

Monday, April 25

Georgia Pacific will host a recruitment event at SC Works Union, located at 103 West Main Street, on Wednesday, April 27th, from 9:00am to noon and from 1-3 p.m. The hiring event will be for production technicians for their Spartanburg plant. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


STUDENT PLEADS GUILTY IN CELL PHONE CASE

Friday, April 22

The Union County High School student who took nude pictures from a teacher’s cell phone and sent them out pled guilty in court Thursday. The solicitor’s office says the charge for aggravated voyeurism was dropped. According to the solicitor’s office, the 16-year-old will receive community evaluation from the DJJ and will return to Family Court to receive his sentence. The victim, Leigh Anne Arthur, filed a lawsuit last month against the Union County School District, where she had worked since 2003. Arthur is suing the district and interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks, claiming breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and defamation.

-

CROSS KEYS PLAYS HOST TO JEFFERSON DAVIS AT LIVING HISTORY EVENT

Friday, April 22

The 9th Annual Living History Event will get underway at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning at the Cross Keys House, which is located at 163 Buncombe Road. It is an informative and fun-filled event. Frank Hart, president of the Union County Historical Society, explains why they put the event on each year.

 

The event will feature reenactments, including one of when Confederate President Jefferson Davis visited the Cross Keys House on April 30, 1865. That will happen at 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will be food, vendors, carvers, a blacksmith, and a sutler, which is an army camp follower who peddles provisions to the troops. The event will go on from 10 until 5 on Saturday and 10 until 4 on Sunday.

-

MUSGROVE MILL HOSTS REVOLUTIONARY WAR ENCAMPMENT

Friday, April 22

Another event taking place nearby will be the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site’s annual Revolutionary War Encampment on April 23-24. Visitors are invited to come experience what life was like on the South Carolina frontier during the American Revolution. Activities will highlight the battle fought at Musgrove Mill and will feature interpretive talks, demonstrations, and exhibits presented by reenactors. The demonstrations include: flintlock weapons demonstrations, tactical military demonstrations, camp life demonstrations, period children’s games, colonial art, colonial medicine, blacksmithing, and more.

The event will begin at 10:00 AM and end at 4:00 PM each day.  Admission for this event will be $3 for adults, $1 for children age 6-16, and free for ages 5 and under. For more information regarding this event, you can contact Musgrove Mill State Historic Site at (864) 938-0100, e-mail mgmillsp@scprt.com, or go to www.SouthCarolinaParks.com.

-

WOMAN REPORTS MAN ASSAULTED, THREATENED TO KILL HER

Friday, April 22

On Wednesday, Sgt. Roger Hill was dispatched to Fairmont Street in reference to an assault. Upon arrival, Hill spoke with the victim, who stated that she was at her residence and that the subject, Robert Bradley Dawkins, had come to her residence and started accusing her of having relations with her child’s father. The woman stated that she asked the subject to leave. She stated she then went outside on the porch, and the subject went toward his car but then turned around and started toward her, so she ran toward the neighbors. The victim stated that the subject had a pistol on his side and he had stated that he would kill her, and she ran to the neighbors and fell going up the steps. She said the subject then grabbed her by her hair and began pulling her back toward her residence. She stated that she asked the neighbor to call 911. The subject then let go of her and went to his car and stated to the victim’s daughter that she had better not write a statement against him or she would be next. Sgt. Hill took a written statement and issued a victim’s form.

-

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO MAN'S ARREST ON DRUG CHARGES

Friday, April 22

During the early morning hours Thursday, Deputy Brandon Vaughan received some information that a subject the city has warrants on might be in a white, 2-door Chevrolet Trailblazer with tinted windows. As Vaughan was patrolling the North Duncan Bypass, he noticed a white Trailblazer in the Lil’ Cricket parking lot with 2 male subjects inside the vehicle. Vaughan then observed the vehicle leaving the Lil’ Cricket parking lot heading toward Cross Keys. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle around the 1700 block of Cross Keys Highway. When Vaughan walked up to the passenger side, he noticed that the subject in the vehicle was not the one the city was looking for.

The officer then spoke to the driver and explained to him what was going on, and he stated that he has not seen the subject in a couple of weeks. Vaughan noted that the passenger would not make eye contact and appeared to be nervous. The passenger was asked for his name, and he stated Paul Smith. The deputy then went around to the driver’s side and asked the driver if anything was in the vehicle, and he stated no. He also stated that they could search the vehicle.

Smith was asked to step out of the vehicle. While he was stepping out, the deputy noticed what was believed to be a half-smoked marijuana cigarette laying in the front passenger seat.

Smith was patted down for weapons, and the deputy noticed that he had something in his mouth. He was asked to spit out what he had in his mouth and he refused. Vaughan then grabbed Smith in attempt to get what he had out of his mouth to keep him from swallowing it. Smith was fighting with Vaughan, and he had to take him to the ground to detain him. After Smith was detained, a baggie of a green plant material believed to be marijuana was found on the ground. Vaughan also found in Smith’s possession a baggie with a clear rocklike substance believed to be meth. Also found in his front pocket was a small baggie with a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana. The deputy asked Smith if he had anything else in his mouth, and he stated no, that he only had the baggie of marijuana. Deputy Vaughan then called for EMS to respond to check out Smith. When EMS got to the scene, Smith refused to be seen, stating that he did not swallow anything and he was ready to go to jail. The deputy then placed Smith under arrest for possession of meth, simple possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest, and transported him to the jail.

-

TWO MORE RECRUITMENT EVENTS SCHEDULED NEXT THURSDAY

Friday, April 22

MPW Industrial Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street in Spartanburg. The event takes place Thursday, April 28th, from 9:00am to noon. The hiring event will be for industrial cleaner and forklift driver positions in Greer. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.

Staffing Associates will host a recruitment event at SC Works Gaffney on Thursday, April 28th, from 9:00 AM – noon.  They are recruiting for several production and forklift operator positions in the Gaffney area.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event.


IVEY NAMED USC UNION's DISTINGUISHED TEACHER OF THE YEAR FOR THE SEVENTH TIME

Thursday, April 21

The University of South Carolina Union Distinguished Teacher of the Year Committee has announced that Professor Randy Ivey has been named as 2015 – 2016 Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Ivey has taught English at the University of South Carolina since 1990, starting out as an adjunct instructor.  He has also taught at the main campus in Columbia, the USCU operation in Laurens, and at Spartanburg Technical College, now SCC.  On six occasions he has been named USCU's Distinguished Teacher of the Year:  1996, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2013.  He is the author of a new novel, Where the Streets Are Paved with Gold, two story collections, The Shape of a Man and The Mutilation Gypsy, and a book for children, Jay and the Bounty of Books. Twice he received the SC Fiction Project Award for the short story, in 2004 and 2007. His latest work is a novel, Those Who Knew Him, which is now beginning to market.

USC Union Distinguished Teacher of the Year first runner – up is Senior Biology Instructor Tara Fetemie, and second runner-up is Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Majdouline “Maggie” Aziz. The 2015 – 2016 Distinguished Adjunct Teacher of the Year is Brad Greer.

-

TWO JUVENILES CHARGED IN ARSON CASE

Thursday, April 21

On Saturday, April 2, Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 113 Munro Street at the request of the Monarch Fire Department. Arson Investigator Scott Coffer responded at the request of Deputy Jamison Taylor due to the suspicious nature of the fire and the location of the fire on the property. The victim told deputies that there was power to the shop area of the building but not the apartment area of the building, and it was believed that the fire started in the area with no power. The fire damage is estimated at $15,000. A witness told deputies that 2 juveniles had been seen leaving the incident location. SLED arson investigators were called to the scene on Sunday morning, and a search warrant was obtained for the property. The scene was processed, and SLED K-9 alerted on a possible accelerant.

After determining the identity of the 2 juveniles, they were interviewed and admitted to setting the fire. The 2 juveniles, both 14, were taken into custody Wednesday and transported to DJJ in Columbia, where they will be held until a Family Court hearing is held. One is a student at Sims Middle School, and the other is a student at Union County High School.

Sheriff Taylor said this is the second arson case solved in Union County this month by Sheriff’s Office investigators and SLED arson team. Sheriff Taylor said he wants to commend Monarch Fireman Donald Larry Robinson, III, for making the quick decision to photograph the scene of the fire upon his arrival on scene. With his photos as evidence, investigators were able to make this case against the juveniles. Sheriff Taylor also stated that Union County should be proud of the dedicated men and women who serve as volunteer firefighters in this county, and he is proud of the working relationship between them and his officers.

-

LITTLE INFORMATION PROVIDED ABOUT PEPPER SPRAY INCIDENT

Thursday, April 21

Tuesday around 7:45 p.m., Union Public Safety Officer Rusty Young was dispatched to West Henrietta Street at South Pinckney Street for a disturbance, with the understanding that someone had been pepper sprayed. As Young arrived on the scene, he observed a black male sitting in a chair and a female trying to wash his eyes out with a rag. The officer knew the subject as Reginald Smith, also known as “Hen”. The officer asked Smith what happened and who sprayed him, but he would not tell him anything. He asked the female about the situation, and she would only ask if EMS was on the way. Young stated they were. He also asked bystanders what they knew, and again, no information was divulged. Personnel at the emergency room said that once Smith arrived, he got up and left without being seen by a doctor. Officer Young said that while talking with the subject, he noted that he had been drinking and was highly intoxicated.

-

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO A WOMAN'S ARREST ON RICHLAND COUNTY CHARGE

Thursday, April 21

This past Tuesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield observed a 2015 Red Ford Escape stopped at the North Duncan Bypass in the turn lane with the left turn signal on. When the light turned green, the vehicle went straight through the light, cutting off two vehicles in that lane of traffic. Lt. Sherfield made a traffic stop on this vehicle, which turned in the parking lot of Paradise Home Center. Lt. Sherfield found 31-year old Cornelia Glenn to be the driver and only occupant of this vehicle. A license check showed her Delaware license to be valid; however, a warrant check indicated she had an active arrest warrant out of Richland County, SC, for failure to appear on an assault charge. The warrant was confirmed to still be active, so Glenn was taken into custody and transported to jail by Deputy Matthew Voiselle. The Ford Escape was a rental vehicle from Avis, so Lt. Sherfield contacted them, and they stated that Glenn was not on the contract as a driver. They requested their vehicle to be towed to a local impound lot.

-

ALLEGIANCE STAFFING RECRUITING FOR PRODUCTION AND DRIVER POSITIONS

Thursday, April 21

Allegiance Staffing will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg on Tuesday, April 26th, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  They are recruiting for several production and driver positions in the Greer area. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event. 


CITY COUNCIL TO GIVE LOCAL MATCH TO BLOCK GRANT FUNDS FOR FOSTER STREET SEWER PROJECT

Wednesday, April 20

The Union City Council met Tuesday evening in the council chambers.

During that session, Corey Barnes of First Class Promotion made an informative presentation about an event coming up at the Union County Dragway on May 7th. There will be, in addition to the racing, a lot of family-oriented activity. Barnes explain what it is all about.

 

Council took up six agenda items. One was a first reading of an ordinance to rezone an area located at 208 South Church Street and two other areas at 307 and 309 South Mountain Street. The Union County Carnegie Library made that request to allow for expansion. Another first reading of an ordinance was given for the annexation of a portion of Stutts Avenue into the city. The owner of the property petitioned the city for the annexation. The council took up a resolution for local matching funds for a sewer project in the Foster Street area. The request for council consideration stated that the sewer lines there have reached the end of their lifespan and need to be upgraded. The city is in the process of applying for a Community Development Block Grant. The estimated cost of the improvements is $743,948, and they intend to submit an application for funding through the Community Infrastructure Program in the amount of $675,000. The local match to cover the cost of the project is $68,948.

Another resolution authorized the mayor to execute a natural gas emergency mutual aid agreement. This will allow the city to offer mutual aid to any one of the 21 cities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia that are members of the Carolina Public Gas Association.

The council granted an audit contract extension with Terry R. Fant. The contract extension goes through June 30th, 2016, and will be at a cost of $32,210. Fant has indicated that he plans to reduce his workload and will not seek future contract engagements.

The council voted to change the date for the June meeting due to a conflict with their normal date of June 21st, when they are expected to be attending the municipal association meeting. The new meeting date will be June 7th.

An item that was added to the agenda was the awarding of a bid for a design service for the streetscape project. There were five proposals that were presented, but the bid was awarded to the Land Plan Group of Columbia in the amount of $60,590.

-

MAN WIRES MONEY TO SCAM ARTISTS POSING AS PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE EMPLOYEES

Wednesday, April 20

A Union man came to the Union County Sheriff’s Office Monday to make a report about a scam. He stated that on Saturday, April 16, around noon, he received a phone call from a lady stating her name was Shakale Smith, that she was with Publishers Clearing House, and that he had won $980,000. She told him that he needed to wire them $480 and they would bring the money to him at his bank, Wells Fargo, on Monday morning. The man went to Bi-Lo and wired them $180. and then went back later that day and wired them another $300.

The man went to his bank Monday morning to wait on them. He stated they called him and said they were on the way but he needed to wire them $300 more. He stated he told them he was at his bank with a police officer beside him waiting on them. They told him they were turning around and heading back to Georgia. The man stated the telephone number they were calling him from was 876-498-9421.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING SHOOTING INCIDENT

Wednesday, April 20

Deputy Brad Woods was dispatched to Union Medical Center in reference to a patient there with a gunshot wound. Upon arrival, Woods spoke with the victim, who initially stated he was in front of a residence on Drugstore Street when he heard a gunshot and saw what he believed to be a bullet striking the ground next to him. He said he then heard another gunshot and he fell to the ground. He said he looked up to see a white Honda driving away, and he then found out that he had been shot in the left leg, below his knee.

Fisher gave Deputy Woods the names of subjects that he said were in the Honda. The deputy took a sworn written statement from the victim and photographed his injury. Officer Woods contacted the on-call investigator.

-

BRAD VALENTINE SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT OF STATE ASSOCIATION

Wednesday, April 20

Union County Auditor Brad Valentine was sworn in as president of the South Carolina Association of Auditors, Treasurers and Tax Collectors. The election took place on April 14 at their spring conference in Myrtle Beach. Valentine will become president of the organization on July 1st and will serve until June 30th, 2017.

-

TWO RECRUITMENT EVENTS COMING UP NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, April 20

Xtra Homecare Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Union on Thursday, April 28th, from 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM.  They are recruiting for in-home caregiver positions. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and to attend the event.

Tyger River Correctional will host a recruitment event at SC Works Union on Friday, April 29th, from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM.  They are recruiting for correctional officer positions.  Again, qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and have a referral to attend the event.


CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER REZONING AND ANNEXING PROPERTIES AMONG OTHER BUSINESS

Tuesday, April 19

The Union City Council will be meeting tonight at 6:30 in the council chambers. They have six items on the agenda. One will be a first reading of an ordinance to rezone an area located at 208 South Church Street and two other areas at 307 and 309 South Mountain Street. The Union County Carnegie Library has made that request to allow for expansion. Another is the first reading of an ordinance for annexation of a portion of Stutts Avenue into the city. The owner of the property has petitioned the city for the annexation. The council will take up a resolution for local matching funds for a sewer project in the Foster Street area. The request for council consideration states that the sewer lines there have reached the end of their life span and need to be upgraded. The city is in the process of applying for a Community Development Block Grant. The estimated cost of the improvements is $743,948, and they intend to submit an application for funding through the Community Infrastructure Program in the amount of $675,000. The local match to cover the cost of the project is $68,948.

Another resolution to be considered is one that will authorize the mayor to execute a Natural Gas Emergency Mutual Agreement. This would allow the city to offer mutual aid to any one of the 21 cities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia that are members of the Carolina Public Gas Association.

The council will consider an audit contract extension with Terry R. Fant. A contract extension that goes through June 30th, 2016, will be at a cost of $32,210. Fant has indicated that he plans to reduce his workload and will not seek future contract engagements.

The council is expected to change the date for the June meeting due to a conflict with the dates of June 19-22 when they are expected to attend the municipal association meeting. The new date will be June 7th.

-

ANNUAL MARISHA SHARAY JETER SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER ANNOUNCED

Tuesday, April 19

What has become an annual event is slated for Sunday. Maretta Jeter tells us about it.

 

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER IN STABBING

Tuesday, April 19

Sunday at approximately 10:50 p.m., Union County sheriff’s deputies were notified by Chester County Sheriff’s Office personnel that a stabbing victim had been located in Chester County, and the incident was believed to have occurred in Union County. Investigators were called out to assist in the investigation. The victim had been transported to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill. Investigators were able to briefly speak with the victim, who identified William Todd Byars, 42, of 194 Country Side Drive, Pacolet, as the suspect. Investigators and deputies responded to 194 Country Side Drive to attempt to speak with Byars to get his statement on the events that had led up to the stabbing. After numerous attempts, Byars finally came to the door but didn’t want to open the door to allow officers to speak with him without a warrant. Lt. Al Black then advised the subject that he would return with a warrant. Deputies stayed on scene at 194 Country Side Drive to ensure that Byars did not flee as Lt. Black obtained a warrant for Byars’s arrest and a search warrant for the property. While deputies were on scene, they noticed several strange actions carried out by Byars, including covering the front glass door with some type of stain, drinking beer and singing as if deputies were not there, reports of loud thumps inside the residence as if he were attempting to barricade himself inside the home, and he seemed to be stretching and preparing himself for a physical altercation. At that time, deputies contacted the Special Response Team to respond to the location. Byars was then spotted walking out on the front porch of the residence, where he lifted the lid of a BBQ grill and began to light something on fire. Fearing that Byars was attempting to burn potential evidence, and after being advised that the arrest warrant was in hand, deputies approached Byars and informed him that he was under arrest. He attempted to flee officers and made an attempt to reenter the residence, but he was taken into custody. A search warrant was executed on the residence and evidence was collected.  Evidence collected at the scene as well as information given by the victim indicated that the stabbing occurred at 194 Country Side Drive. The investigation is pending, and it was unknown at the time of the report what events may have led to the stabbing. The victim is still in the hospital being treated for his injuries.

William Todd Byars was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He is currently awaiting a bond hearing at the Union County Jail.

-

ANNUAL STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE COMING NEXT MONTH

Tuesday, April 19

Saturday, May 14th, marks the 24th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving: the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. They say that letter carriers walk through the community every day and often come face-to-face with hunger, which is a sad reality for many. As a result, each year on the second Saturday in May, the NALC conducts the food drive at the local level.

Last year, the carriers collected 71 million pounds of food, which fed an estimated 30 million people. Over the 23-year history of the drive, over a billion pounds of food have been collected. It’s simple to give to the campaign on May 14th—just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mail box. There will also be a hamper in the post office where you may drop off the food. These donations go directly to local food pantries and organizations to provide food to the people in Union County who need the help.


BASEBALL TEAM ESCAPES INJURY IN BUS WRECK

Monday, April 18

Members of the Union County High School baseball team escaped serious injury when the bus in which they were traveling was involved in a near head-on collision. The team was returning from a baseball game they had played Saturday afternoon against Camden Military Academy when the collision occurred. The wreck happened about 5:30 p.m. on Highway 176 on the south side of the county near Hebron Baptist Church. The accident occurred when a 2004 Nissan driven by Trisha Taylor of Whitmire veered left of the center line, striking the bus. The bus driver, Bryce Duckett, was credited with taking evasive action in order to keep the crash from being worse. Two occupants of the Nissan were taken to Union Medical Center for treatment. Highway 176 was shut down for around 2 hours as Union County sheriff’s deputies, SC Highway Patrol, EMS, and the Southside Fire Department worked to clear the scene. None of the players or coaches were injured.

-

WOMAN ARRESTED ON ARSON CHARGE

Monday, April 18

On April 3rd, multiple Union County fire departments responded to a structure fire at 280 Cudd Lane in Union County. Fire personnel believed the fire was suspicious in nature, and the Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office as well as SLED processed the crime scene. As a result of the investigation, an arrest has been made. Donna Kay Johnson, 42, was arrested on April 15th and has been charged with arson and burning personal property under lien to defraud insurer. She was booked in the Union County Jail, where she was awaiting a bond hearing.

Sheriff David Taylor states that even though one arrest has been made, the case is still under investigation.

 

-

ROTARY CLUB RECEIVES PRESIDENTIAL CITATION

Monday, April 18

The Rotary Club of Union has been notified that they have been awarded the Presidential Citation. To qualify for the Presidential Citation, the club must complete two mandatory activities and additional activities as described in each category. Some activities were verified by the information entered in Rotary Club Central. Other activities were verified automatically when the club initiated a specific action.

The Union County High School Interact Club led the meeting on Tuesday, April 12th.

The UCHS Drama Department showed off their vocal skills with samples from the musical The Little Mermaid. The Rotary Dinner Theater will be held on Thursday, April 21st, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased at the Union County Arts Council or Union County High School.

Non-dinner performances will be Friday and Saturday, April 22nd & 23rd, at 7pm, and Sunday, April 24th, at 3pm.

-

ONE ARRESTED IN ARMED ROBBERY INCIDENT

Monday, April 18

This past week Public Safety Officer Thomas Willingham was dispatched to Erwin Avenue in reference to a larceny of a gun. On scene, Willingham spoke with a man who stated that someone had taken his gun. He said he had gone to Lawson Avenue around 5:00 p.m. that day and there were several individuals there. He said he was approached by two subjects that took his gold necklace from around his neck. The necklace is valued at $200. The victim said he went to his car and got his gun, which was not loaded. He said the subjects beat him with their gun, and he let go of his. The victim stated his gun was valued at $300. He identified one of the assailants as someone known as “Bump”, and he said he did not know the other subject. Warrants have been signed against Allen Edwards, Jr., for possession of a firearm during a violent crime and armed robbery. The case has been turned over to investigators.

-

LIVING HISTORY EVENT AT CROSS KEYS SCHEDULED

Monday, April 18

The stage is being set this week for a much-anticipated event. It’s the 9th Living History Event at the Cross Keys House. It will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24th, beginning at 10 a.m. each day. The Union County Historical Society is inviting folks to come out and enjoy a fun-filled weekend. Featured will be food, vendors, carvers, a sutler, and a blacksmith, along with reenactors and demonstrations. There will be a reenactment each day at 2 p.m. of President Jefferson Davis’s visit to the house, which occurred on April 30th, 1865.

-

PEACE AND COMFORT CARE RECRUITING CNAS

Monday, April 18

Peace and Comfort Care will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg on Wednesday, April 20th, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  They are recruiting for certified nurse aide (CNA) positions.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and be sure to attend the event. 

-

SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO HOST OPEN HOUSE EVENT

Monday, April 18

Spartanburg Community College (SCC) will host a Discover SCC open house event on Tuesday, April 19th, from 4:00-7:00 pm in the Dan Lee Terhune Student Services Building at the SCC central campus in Spartanburg. The event is free and open to students, parents, and career seekers interested in SCC's academic programs.

Anyone interested in attending college, starting a new career or gaining professional development skills is invited to attend Discover SCC to learn about their academic programs and why SCC is a great place to attend college. Attendees will be eligible for door prizes, including SCC t-shirts and a $500 scholarship from the SCC Foundation.

Representatives from BMW and Michelin will also be available to provide information and answer questions about SCC's Technical Scholars Program, which is a unique opportunity that allows students to work part-time while attending classes full-time at SCC.

For more information about the event and to register online, visit www.sccsc.edu/discover/ or call (864) 592-4122. The Dan Lee Terhune Student Services Building is located at the main entrance of SCC's central campus, off Business I-85 and New Cut Road.

Registration for SCC's summer and fall semester classes is going on now. Summer classes begin on May 16, May 31, and June 1. Fall classes begin on August 15, September 20, October 10 and October 26. Individuals interested in registering for classes at any of the campuses, including Union, can apply online at www.sccsc.edu or contact the admissions center at any SCC location for more assistance.


MEALS ON WHEELS HONORS VOLUNTEERS AT LUNCHEON, DETAILS NEED FOR MORE DONATIONS

Friday, April 15

A luncheon was held Thursday to honor the people who make the Meals on Wheels program work.  Nearly all of the sixty or so drivers that deliver the meals in Union were on hand to enjoy the barbeque meal. At that gathering, it was revealed that during 2015, 17,859 meals were delivered at a cost of more than $74,000. This breaks down to about $6200 per month. 99% of the organization’s budget goes to procure the meals, with 1% going for mailing and postage. There is no other overhead. The $74,000 yearly cost has exceeded the receipts of $63,600, leaving an $11,000 deficit. Meals on Wheels co-chair Kathy Stepp sounded confident that the deficit would be made up.

 

Anyone desiring to make a donation to Meals on Wheels can do so by mailing it to Treasurer Jim Stepp at 109 West South Street or to P.O. Box 951, Union, SC, 29379.

-

LIBRARY STAFF HOSTS MEETING SEEKING INPUT INTO THE LIBRARY'S NEEDS

Friday, April 15

The Union County Carnegie Library is seeking input from the public in order to help develop features and programs for the library. Public meetings are being held across the county to gather that input. On such session was held Thursday evening at the University of South Carolina–Union auditorium. As they are just about to enter into an extensive remodeling, Library Director Rieta Drinkwine said the meetings were being staged to make sure “we didn’t miss something.” The questions had a broad spectrum, in that they asked questions not only about the library but the county. When asked about the needs for Union, the group attending nearly all said a restaurant. There was even a suggestion that a coffee shop could be included in the library building. The need for mentors was also mentioned.  As far as the library is concerned, a meeting room was mentioned as a need, along with a children’s section and a kitchen.

WBCU News asked Drinkwine what is the next step after hearing the suggestions.

 

One meeting has already been held in Jonesville and another is scheduled for Lockhart May 24th. Carlisle will also host a meeting on a date yet to be announced.

-

USC-UNION GRADUATION SLATED FOR APRIL 30TH

Friday, April 15

The date has been set for the University of South Carolina – Union commencement exercises. They will take place Saturday, April 30th, at 6:00 p.m. in the main building auditorium. Admission is by ticket only, and a reception will follow the ceremony.

-

ROTARY CLUB RECEIVES HONOR; DRAMA DEPARTMENT PREVIEWS SHOW

Friday, April 15

The Rotary Club of Union found out that they have been awarded the Presidential Citation, and their Union County High School Interact Club led their meeting on Tuesday, April 12th.

The UCHS Drama Department showed off their vocal skills with samples from the musical The Little Mermaid. The Rotary Dinner Theater will be held on Thursday, April 21st, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased at Union County Arts Council or Union County High School.

Non-dinner performances will be Friday and Saturday, April 22 & 23, at 7pm, and Sunday, April 24, at 3pm.

-

SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS RECRUITING PART-TIME FACULTY

Friday, April 15

Spartanburg Community College (SCC) will hold a job fair to recruit qualified part-time faculty members and provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet with SCC's hiring managers. The job fair will be held on Tuesday, April 26 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at SCC's central campus in Spartanburg.

SCC is seeking part-time faculty from various educational backgrounds and experience for future vacancies with the college. Attendees are encouraged to bring transcripts and résumés.

Individuals who meet the requirements are encouraged to complete an online application at www.jobs.sc.gov and attend the job fair to learn more about the part-time faculty positions.

SCC's Part-Time Faculty Job Fair will be held in the Commissioners Dining Room in the Dan Lee Terhune Student Services Building on SCC's central campus at 107 Community College Drive in Spartanburg, just off Business I-85 and New Cut Road. For more information about the job fair, please contact Mary Whitener at (864) 592-4615 or toll-free (800) 922-3679 or whitenerm@sccsc.edu

Registration for SCC's summer and fall semester classes is going on now. Summer classes begin on May 16, May 31, and June 1. Fall classes begin on August 15, September 20, October 10 and October 26. Individuals interested in registering for classes can apply online at www.sccsc.edu or contact the admissions center at any SCC location for more assistance.

-

MUSGROVE MILL ANNOUNCES THEir ANNUAL REVOLUTIONARY WAR ENCAMPMENT

Friday, April 15

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will be presenting their annual Revolutionary War Encampment on April 23 and 24. Visitors will experience what life was like on the South Carolina frontier during the American Revolution. Activities will highlight the battle fought at Musgrove Mill and will feature interpretive talks, demonstrations, and exhibits presented by reenactors. The demonstrations include: flintlock weapons demonstrations, tactical military demonstrations, camp life demonstrations, period children’s games, colonial art, colonial medicine, blacksmithing, and more.

The event will begin at 10:00 AM and end at 4:00 PM each day.  Admission for this event will be $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 16, and free for children age 5 and under.  

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


CITY LOOKS FOR WAYS TO CLOSE GENERAL FUND AND UTILITY FUND DEFICITS

Thursday, April 14

On Tuesday night, Union City Council met to discuss the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. As of this meeting, the general fund has total expenditures of $6.1 million, leaving the fund $429,000 over budget. To balance out that overage, property taxes may be raised, but that is not set in stone and will be determined at a later date. On the utility side of things, to date they have spent $37.2 million, making them $2.9 million over budget. You may notice rates going up in the near future to balance the utility fund, but again, that is not set in stone. WBCU News was able to catch up with Mayor Harold Thompson after the meeting, and here is what he had to say about the budget.

 

-

COUNTY COUNCIL FACES $350,000 budget DEFICIT

Thursday, April 14

More budget discussions were heard Wednesday afternoon as the Union County Council met in a special workshop session. Work has been done to trim the county’s budget for 2016-2017, and it was reported that projected expenses now stand at $15.7 million. The projected revenues at this point are $15.4 million, leaving an overage of around $350,000. Three possibilities were mentioned as ways to make up the deficit: make additional cuts to the budget, take it from the fund balance, or raise taxes. Raising taxes by 6 mills would generate the $350,000 to make up the expected deficit, but the idea of a tax increase was not very well received. Last year, the county put fees on to cover the cost of road maintenance and to fund a shortage in operating the Emergency Medical Service. The fees were met with considerable displeasure, but to eliminate them would take a 12-mill tax increase, again not a popular thought. The council gave a first reading to an ordinance Tuesday night that, if approved in subsequent readings, would place a 1-cent local option sales tax on the November ballot. Supervisor Frank Hart said that one-cent sales tax would generate enough to take care of the fee for EMS operations.

Another matter at hand concerning the budget is the fact that county employees have not had a raise in a number of years and are not likely to see one this year. That issue is being coupled with the fact that insurance is going up on the employees for family coverage. An additional $80 to $90 will be added to the $360 now being paid for family coverage. That means the county employees would take home less than they are currently making, a point that troubled Councilman Randall Hanvey. He said the employees would, in effect, have a pay cut. The session Wednesday afternoon lasted about 2-½ hours, and Supervisor Hart said it could be described as agonizing.

 

The budget hearings are not finished, as the council plans to meet again to try and find an answer to the financial woes.

-

UNION MAN FACES DRUG, WEAPON CHARGES

Thursday, April 14

A Union man is facing several charges covering a variety of offenses. According to warrants, Marcus Lashawn Gist of Foster Street was charged Tuesday with unlawful carrying of a handgun. He is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of crack cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The circumstances surrounding the arrest was not made known.

-

WOMAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL NEGLECT AFTER SHE AND HER CHILD TEST POSITIVE FOR COCAINE

Thursday, April 14

Tuesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from the Union County Department of Social Services Office regarding a positive cocaine test for a minor child and his mother. The report indicates that a hair specimen was obtained from the minor child and his mother, 38-year old Rhonda Johnson of Cudd Lane, on March 31st while at Accurate Diagnostics in Spartanburg The analysis of these indicates that both tested positive for cocaine.

This test was certified by Scientist KSKP04 of Quest Diagnostics in Lenexa, Kansas.

Based on this information, Lt. Sherfield will sign an arrest warrant charging Rhonda Johnson with unlawful neglect of a child by parent because she did place her minor child at an unreasonable risk of both physical and mental harm by exposing her child to cocaine.

-

MAN FACES DRUG CHARGES AFTER RUNNING RED LIGHT

Thursday, April 14

Tuesday, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Lockhart Highway at Arthur Blvd. and Main Street and noticed a moped run the red light. Vaughan then noticed the moped turn into the Li’l Cricket parking lot and stop. The deputy then initiated a traffic stop on the moped. He spoke to the driver, Richard Hodge, and advised him why he was being stopped. Hodge stated that he thought if he looked both ways and nothing was coming, that it was okay to run the light. He also stated that he had a brake problem on the moped. Hodge was asked if he had anything on him, and he stated no and gave the deputy permission to search him. The deputy patted down Hodge and found an American flag Zippo lighter in his pants pocket. The officer looked at the lighter and noticed that it would not light. He then pulled the metal piece out and noticed a baggie with an off-white substance and an orange pill hidden inside. Hodge was asked what all the items were, and he stated that the baggie had meth in it, and the pill was an Adderall (identified as amphetamine 30mg). Asked if he had a prescription for the Adderall, he stated he had one at one time but does not have one now. Deputy Vaughan then placed Hodge under arrest for possession of meth and possession of controlled substance. He was also charged with disregarding a traffic control device.

-

COOPER STANDARD AUTOMOTIVE SEEKS MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATES

Thursday, April 14

Cooper Standard Automotive is seeking manufacturing associates. Open positions need to be filled immediately. Top qualified candidates will have the opportunity to interview with Cooper Standard HR representatives this month at the SC Works office in Spartanburg. 2nd- and 3rd- shift jobs are available with the opportunity to obtain overtime. The entry rate of pay is $14.09 an hour and $15.11 after 120 days. There is a $0.30 shift premium.


MAN KILLED IN KOREAN WAR LAID TO REST WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS

Wednesday, April 13

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced last week that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, Army Pfc. Aubrey D. Vaughn, 20, of Union, had been identified and would be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. That funeral service was held Tuesday with those honors. Vaughn was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 5th Regimental Combat Team, when his company’s position was overrun by the Chinese Communist forces near Undamjang, North Korea. After the battle, Vaughn was reported missing in action. Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Vaughn died while in captivity at POW Camp 1 in 1951. The U.S. Army subsequently declared Vaughn deceased on July 7, 1951.

The burial took place at Rosemont Cemetery with a great number of people attending, included the motorcycle group known as the Patriot Guard.

Earlier in the day, the Vietnam Veterans Post 644 and American Legion Post 22 laid a wreath at the Korean War memorial in honor and memory of Pfc. Aubrey Dean Vaughan.

While serving in the US Army in Korea, Vaughan was awarded numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

-

LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX COULD BE ON BALLOT IN NOVEMBER

Wednesday, April 13

A joint meeting of Lockhart Town Council and Union County Council took place Tuesday afternoon at the Lockhart Power Building in Lockhart. The session began with both councils hearing comments from the public on matters important to them. One such matter was the subject of better litter control. That conversation became rather spirited at times, with the matter being referred to as a huge problem in Union County. Supervisor Frank Hart told the group that a grant had been received and they anticipate hiring a full-time individual as a litter control officer. One of the attendees asked the question of why the county was facing financial difficulties. The short answer was that tax revenues keep going down while expenses keep going up. This led to a discussion concerning the possible implementation of a one-cent local option sales tax. The general consensus was the majority of people there were in favor of the tax, in that it gives property tax relief and eliminates the fee placed on taxpayers last year for EMS operation. Interestingly, Union County Council gave a first reading to an ordinance that will place the issue on the ballot in the November general election.

In other council action, a resolution was approved that designates May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day.

-

BENNETT, YOUNG, QUEEN, AND HILL ELECTED TO JONESVILLE TOWN COUNCIL

Wednesday, April 13

Citizens in the Town of Jonesville went to the polls Tuesday to elect four people to the Town Council. Preston Bennett was the top vote-getter with 118 ballots in his favor. Ronald Young received 92 votes, Ann Queen received 76 and Robert Hill got 64. There were eleven candidates in the race. The winners will be sworn in next month.

-

MAN SHOOTS AT ANOTHER FOLLOWING DISPUTE OVER MONEY

Wednesday, April 13

Monday, Deputy Michelle Gregory was dispatched to 108 Anderson Road in reference to an assault. Once on scene, she spoke with Rahim Jeter who stated that Cordoza Hill, 28, of 204 Hicks Street, continued calling him wanting to dispute that he owed him $50. Jeter stated that he did some work for Hill, and Hill's complaint was that he overcharged him. He stated that he told Hill that he didn't see how he owed him $50 and hung up. Jeter stated shortly afterwards, Hill showed up at his business. He stated that he got out of a vehicle in a rage and came towards him and that they started scuffling.

He stated that his father, Manning Jeter, told Hill to leave, and then Hill stated, "I got something for you," and proceeded to his car. Jeter said when Hill was in his car, he could tell that he was reaching for something, so he hit him and tried to jam his door so that he couldn't. He said at this point they were scuffling again, and Hill pulled out the gun and shot it towards his head. His cousin Allen Robinson came out and intervened, and Jeter went for safety because he thought he had been shot. The incident report said the victim was in fear for his life and safety. Investigator Wendy Childers located a spent 40-caliber shell casing at the scene, and it was photographed and collected for evidence. Jeter did not require medical attention at the time of the call but did complain that his left ear was ringing. The deputy was planning to seek a warrant through the Magistrate’s Office charging Hill with attempted murder.

-

PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN HOSTING OUTDOOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP

Wednesday, April 13

The Piedmont Physic Garden will be hosting a Watercolor Workshop Saturday. The workshop will be conducted by Betsy Skipper at the garden located at 301 South Street in Union. The workshop is being called a Plein Air Painting event, which means “outside.” The cost is $20, and registration is desired by calling 864-427-2556 or email info@piedmontphysicgarden.org. If you become a member, you can receive a discount on this workshop as well as others.


COUNTY COUNCIL TO MEET WITH LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL

Tuesday, April 12

The Union County Council goes on the road again tonight. They will be meeting in the Town of Lockhart beginning at 5:30 in the Lockhart Power Company’s conference room, located at 420 River Street. County Council will receive comments from members of the community at 6:00 p.m., and then a joint meeting between the two councils will convene. The meeting is open to the public. County Council will be meeting again Wednesday in the conference room at the Union County Annex. This will be a budget work session that will begin at 4:30 p.m. This meeting is also open to the public.

-

CITY COUNCIL TO CONTINUE WORK ON BUDGET

Tuesday, April 12

The Union City Council has scheduled a meeting for this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. The meeting is being called a budget work session and is open to the public.

-

BURGLAR HELD AT GUNPOINT, ARRESTED

Tuesday, April 12

Sunday afternoon, Deputy Jamison Taylor, Corporal Randy Manus, and Sheriff David Taylor responded to an address on Jonesville-Lockhart Highway. Upon arrival, deputies and the sheriff located Thomas Brett Burgess, who had James David Taylor detained at gunpoint. Upon arrival, Taylor was detained, and Corporal Manus advised him of his Miranda rights. When asked why he was at the residence, Taylor stated he was there looking at the residence. Deputy Taylor spoke with Burgess, and he stated that he was passing by and noticed a white vehicle parked behind the residence. Burgess stated that he went back home, dropped off his camper, and came back.

He stated that he found Taylor inside the residence, and he had a pink plastic tote that contained 2 pry bars and several other things that came from inside the residence. Burgess stated that the door to the basement had damage, and a window was broken out. A door jamb had been damaged that goes upstairs to the main residence from the basement. Corporal Manus asked Taylor how he got to the residence, and he stated that he drove there. Deputy Taylor checked Taylor’s driver’s license and found it was suspended. Estimated damage to the residence is around $1000. Corporal Cudd transported the suspect to the Union County Jail for booking. Deputy Taylor was to seek warrants on the suspect from the magistrate for breaking and entering and driving under suspension, 3rd offense.

-

MAN REPORTS IDENTITY THEFT

Tuesday, April 12

Deputy Matthew Voiselle spoke with a man about an identity theft. The man stated that Thursday at 11:00am, he noticed that his phone was not working. He stated that he continued to try and use his phone throughout the day, and it would not work. He said that he later went to the Verizon store to see what was the problem with his phone. Verizon informed him that his phone was deactivated because an upgrade had been done on his account for a new phone. The victim said that he told Verizon that he did not do this, and they conducted an investigation.  He said that Verizon then told him that someone had gone into an Apple Store in the state of California and used his identity to purchase two brand new iPhones on his account. The man stated that Verizon told him the phones would be charged to his account on his next bill in the amount of $900.


WOMAN SETS HER HUSBAND ON FIRE

Monday, April 11

On Saturday, Deputy Jamison Taylor responded to Union Medical Center in regards to an incident that occurred on Tinker Creek Road. Upon arrival at the hospital, Deputy Taylor located the victim, Dewayne Antonino Hardy, who was undergoing treatment for burns to his neck and back area of his body.

The deputy was able to obtain pictures of the injuries. The victim’s shirts were also taken while at Union Medical Center and will be placed into evidence for further examination. Hardy stated that he was in the bed when his wife, Lashawn Stevens Hardy, poured gasoline on him and set him on fire. This also caused the bed clothing and mattress to burn. He was transported via helicopter to the Augusta Burn Center for his injuries.

Deputy Taylor and Corporal Tommy Cudd responded to the address on Tinker Creek Road. Upon arrival at the residence, they found the front door to the residence was open. A male was found asleep on the couch in the living room. Deputies knocked on the door, and the male finally woke up. Corporal Cudd had to open the screen glass door partway to be able to speak clearly with the male on the couch. Upon opening the door, Deputy Taylor could smell the smoke and gasoline odors inside the residence. The male allowed deputies to enter into the residence, and then he left out the back door to look for his sister-in-law, Ms. Hardy. While inside the residence, deputies located the bedroom where Mr. Hardy had been and found the mattress and bed clothing burned. Ms. Hardy returned home, and Deputy Taylor advised her of her Miranda rights. Ms. Hardy then admitted that she poured gasoline on her husband, Mr. Hardy, and set him on fire. Deputy Taylor then advised her that she was under arrest and transported her to Union County Jail.

Warrants were being sought on Lashawn Stevens Hardy for attempted murder.

-

MAN ARRESTED ON WEAPONS CHARGES

Monday, April 11

The City of Union Public Safety Department has made an arrest in a case involving a firearm. Officer Thomas Willingham was dispatched to West Henrietta Street Wednesday night in reference to a person with a gun. Officer Willingham and other officers searched the area for a suspect matching the description they had been given. They were unable to locate the suspect. The officer spoke with the victim in the case, who told the officers that she was coming from the store with her daughter and god-daughter when Stevens Lamont Smith, 34, called her name. The woman said she just kept walking while sticking her middle finger up at him. She said her son had observed Smith calling her name and walked up the road to him. She said she did not know what her son and Smith were talking about, so she walked by in their direction to get him. She told police at that point Smith pulled out a gun, pointed it at them, and told them not to come any closer or he would shoot them. Smith was arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful carrying of a weapon, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

-

DOLLY PARTON'S NIECE VISITS LOCKHART

Monday, April 11

The Town of Lockhart was abuzz Friday as the Union County Tourism Commission hosted a luncheon at the Lockhart Power Building honoring the niece of a country music superstar. Heidi Lou Parton was in the community for the weekend, and she told us why.

 

Heidi said the one thing that impressed her most was:

 

There was something of an ulterior motive in giving Heidi the royal treatment. The Tourism Commission and the community of Lockhart are in hopes of getting Heidi Lou, herself an entertainer, and her aunt Dolly to come to Union and do a concert sometime this year.  We’ll be interested in seeing how that plan works out.

-

AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 MEETS

Monday, April 11

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting this evening. 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 the month, and prospective members are always welcome to attend.

-

KELLY-KELTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES MEETING

Monday, April 11

The Kelly-Kelton Volunteer Fire Department will be meeting tonight. That session will take place at the fire department building at 6:00 p.m. It is open to the public.

-

SPARTANBURG MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES BLUE DISTINCTION CENTER DESIGNATIONS

Monday, April 11

In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® Health Plan of South Carolina announces Spartanburg Medical Center as one of the first hospitals in South Carolina to receive the Blue Distinction® Center and Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designations under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
This new maternity care recognition program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments, such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers while also meeting requirements for cost efficiency. 
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services.

-

DEADLINE APPROACHES TO APPLY FOR WORKING CAPITAL DISASTER LOAN

Monday, April 11

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations located in South Carolina that May 9th is the deadline to apply for a working capital disaster loan as a result of excessive heat and drought that began on May 1, 2015. Union is listed as one of the South Carolina counties eligible for the disaster loans. Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than May 9, 2016.


FUNERAL SERVICES ANNOUNCED FOR KOREAN WAR SOLDIER

Friday, April 8

Funeral services for a Union man who died while serving in the Korean War have been announced.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Tuesday that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, Army Pfc. Aubrey D. Vaughn, 20, of Union, SC, had been identified and would be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Vaughn was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 5th Regimental Combat Team, when his company’s position was overrun by the Chinese Communist Forces near Undamjang, North Korea. After the battle, Vaughn was reported missing in action. Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Vaughn died while in captivity at POW Camp 1 in 1951. The U.S. Army subsequently declared Vaughn deceased on July 7, 1951.

The funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday at the SR Holcombe Funeral Home Chapel, with burial to follow at Rosemont Cemetery.

While serving in the US Army in Korea, Vaughan was awarded numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

-

UNION LISTED AS 8TH-MOST AFFORDABLE PLACE TO LIVE IN SC

Friday, April 8

Remember the days when your lunch might only cost you a few dollars a day, gas prices were under a dollar, and everything seemed cheaper? Well, those days still exist, depending on your address.

Although not everyone has a choice in the matter, it’s always important to know where your money is going. And believe it or not, the price of living in one city or another, even in the same state, can be like day and night depending on which side of the line you live on.

The career experts at Zippia have come up with places that leave your wallet full even after all the bills are paid. Places where the necessities of living, raising a family, and paying your bills aren’t so bad, after all.

After Zippia crunched all the numbers, they were left with a set of places in South Carolina where your dollar goes a little further every week as compared to the rest of the cities in the Palmetto State.

The community of Parker in the Greenville area was listed as number one. Neighboring Gaffney came in fourth, and Union was number eight.

1.    Parker

2.    Chester

3.    Homeland Park

4.    Gaffney

5.    Lake City

6.    Abbeville

7.    Bennettsville

8.    Union

9.    Laurens

10. Cheraw

-

THIS IS WORLD ALLERGY WEEK

Friday, April 8

While the growing foliage and warmer temperatures are paradise for some, the allergies created by pollen-producing plants can be a source of endless discomfort to those with allergies.
“Tree pollens are the main culprit in early spring, followed by grass pollens in late spring and summer,” said allergist Robin Go, MD, of Medical Group of the Carolinas—Medical Affiliates—North Grove. World Allergy Week, recognized from April 4 through April 10, increases awareness of pollen allergies and climate changes affecting allergies and the body. Sniffling, sneezing and itchy eyes are a byproduct of spring weather for those who suffer from allergies and sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses. Tearing, runny nose, sneezing, congestion and cough are very common. Allergies are also a disorder of the immune system. Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness and runny nose. Pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites can contribute to allergies. How does one find relief?

· Limit your exposure to what triggers your allergies.
· Wash your face and hands after spending time outdoors.
· For indoor allergens: remove carpeting from bedrooms, wash rugs and curtains, and vacuum regularly.
· Antihistamines will help block the histamines that cause the tissues to swell.
· Wear a dust mask while mowing the lawn or cleaning your house.
· Change the air filters in your home regularly.
 
When over-the-counter medications and avoidance are not working, it’s time to consult your physician. For more information on how to cure your allergies, call the Medical Group of the Carolinas—Medical Affiliates—North Grove at 864-585-5433.


UNION MAN SOUGHT IN CONNECTION WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER CASE

Thursday, April 7

Tuesday morning around 12:30, Deputy Matthew Voiselle went to Union Medical Center to speak with a woman about an assault on her friend and roommate. The woman stated that she lives at 402 North 1st Street with the victim. She told the officer that a man was at the house also, visiting the victim. She said that Malcolm Jalmar Harris, another friend of the victim’s, came over to the house and wanted to speak with her. The woman stated that Harris went into the victim’s bedroom to speak with her, and the other man came out of the room and went into the living room. She said that she heard the victim and Harris arguing and then heard some banging around. She said that she went into the room to check on the victim but Harris pushed her back out. The woman stated that she then left the residence and stayed gone for around 3-1/2 hours. The deputy spoke with the victim, who had numerous visible injuries on her face, head, and neck. She said that she could not remember the details about what happened, but all she remembered was that Harris beat her up, and then later her roommate carried her to the hospital. The victim stated that she remembered fearing for her life during the incident. Her roommate stated that when she returned home, she discovered that her roommate had been assaulted and transported her to the Union Medical Center. The victim was unable to give a written statement at the time of report. Charges are to follow. The incident is listed on the report as an attempted murder. Malcolm Jalmar Harris is described at a black male, 27 years of age, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and weighing 225. Anyone seeing Harris or having knowledge of his whereabouts should contact the Union County Sheriff’s office at 429-1612 or call 911.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR WHOEVER SHOT INTO MOBILE HOME ON LOVER'S LANE ROAD

Thursday, April 7

The Union County Sheriff’s Office is looking for someone who shot a bullet into Robert Austin’s mobile home on Lover’s Lane Rd. The incident report states the bullet entered through the front wall and into the kitchen, striking a china cabinet and exiting the cabinet into the back wall. The copper jacket of the bullet was found on the top shelf of the china cabinet. Investigator Jeff Lawson was called to the scene. Damage is estimated at $400.

-

TWO CHARGED AFTER REPORT OF SHOTS FIRED OUT OF CAR NEAR CHAMBERTOWN

Thursday, April 7

Tuesday night, Corporal Russell Vinson was advised to be looking for a gold Chevrolet Impala because someone had just shot a gun out of the vehicle’s window in the Chambertown area. Vinson observed the vehicle turn onto Lawson Avenue and turned around to make a traffic stop. The vehicle stopped in front of a residence in the 200 block, and a black male with a white shirt and white shirt covering his head came out of the passenger side of the vehicle and ran around the residence.

The driver, a black male with a grey coat, exited the vehicle and started walking to the back of the vehicle. When the deputy was getting out of his patrol vehicle, the male took off running through the yard of the residence. Corporal Vinson called for backup, and after a few minutes, the two males came walking from behind the residence and back towards him. Both males were detained, and when other deputies arrived, Vinson began looking behind the residence for anything they may have hidden. A Taurus .45 auto and a Colt .38 police special was found under the house behind the residence. Also, the white t-shirt that the passenger had on his head was found behind a bush in the back yard. The deputy looked in the vehicle, and in plain view was an open can of Bud Light in the center console. The officer could also smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was searched, and a marijuana blunt and the open container was found. Vinson advised the driver, Sylister Jeter, and the passenger, Allan Edwards, Jr., that they were both under arrest. Jeter’s vehicle was towed, and they were transported to jail. Summons were issued to Jeter for possession of marijuana and open container. Warrants were to be signed on Jeter and Edwards for unlawful carrying of a pistol.

-

MAN REPORTEDLY POINTS GUN AT A WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN

Thursday, April 7

The City of Union Public Safety Department also had an incident involving a firearm. Officer Thomas Willingham was dispatched to West Henrietta Street Wednesday night in reference to a person with a gun. Officer Willingham and other officers searched the area for a suspect matching the description they had been given. They were unable to locate the suspect. The officer spoke with the victim, who told him that she was coming from the store with her daughter and god-daughter when Stevens Lamont Smith, 34, called her name. The woman said she just kept walking while sticking her middle finger up at him. She said her son had observed Smith calling her name and walked up the road to him. She said she did not know what her son and Smith were talking about, so she walked by in their direction to get him. She told police at that point Smith pulled out a gun, pointed it at them, and told them not to come any closer or he would shoot them. Officer Willingham advised her that a warrant will be signed on Smith.

-

UV TECHNOLOGY USED AT SPARTANBURG MEDICAL CENTER TO HELP CLEAN ROOMS

Thursday, April 7

A new technology at Spartanburg Medical Center causes some onlookers to compare it to a Star Wars character or a robot from “Lost in Space.” Rather than being a resident of outer space, the machine is the latest in healthcare disinfection: The Steriliz UV Light Disinfection System, a new technology at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System that aids in the disinfection of rooms and creates a more “green” environment. This is an extra layer of protection against germs. SMC started training associates to use the device in November 2015 and has purchased additional UV disinfection systems for Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Pelham Medical Center.  SRHS’s Hospitality Services implemented this new technology through a $78,497 grant received from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation in June 2015. The foundation grants support nonprofits and health system programs that work to make Spartanburg a healthier community. One germ the UV Light is especially adept at eliminating is C. difficile, one of the most dangerous and difficult bacteria to get rid of. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. Steriliz, LLC, is a leading manufacturer of UV disinfection technology, with headquarters in Rochester, NY, and offices in Franklin, TN. The Rapid Disinfector is the only UV-C disinfection system available with the ability to measure, record and report the actual UV-C doses delivered.


LOCAL KOREAN WAR VETERAN'S REMAINS IDENTIFIED AND WILL BE BROUGHT HOME

Wednesday, April 6

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Tuesday that the remains of a local serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Aubrey D. Vaughn, 20, of Union, SC, will be buried April 12th in his hometown. On April 23, 1951, Vaughn was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 5th Regimental Combat Team, when his company's position was overrun by the Chinese Communist Forces near Undamjang, North Korea. After the battle, Vaughn was reported missing in action.

Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Vaughn died while in captivity at POW Camp 1 in 1951. The U.S. Army subsequently declared Vaughn deceased on July 7, 1951.

In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. The remains they were unable to identify were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”

In 1999, due to advances in technology, the Department of Defense began to re-examine records and concluded that the possibility for identification of some of these unknowns now existed. The remains designated X-14176 were exhumed on May 18, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.

In the identification of Vaughn’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence, as well as dental and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched Vaughn’s records.

Today, 7,819 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered by American recovery teams.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.

-

MARIANA GLENN-TOLAND WILL REPRESENT UNION AT WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR

Wednesday, April 6

Broad River Electric Cooperative will be sending four local students to the nation’s capital this June to be a part of the Electric Cooperative Washington Youth Tour.

Jonathan Baldwin of Cowpens, Anna Hensley of Blacksburg, Zyria Rodgers of Gaffney, and Mariana Glenn-Toland of Union are among an outstanding group of high school juniors from across the country that will converge upon Washington, D.C., June 11-16 to learn about government, electric cooperatives, leadership and each other. All four students excel in the classroom and are active in their schools, churches and communities. An independent panel selected them after submission of applications, recommendation letters, and interviews.

The tour is coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). Broad River Electric is among 20 local cooperatives that select students to represent their service area as well as the entire state of South Carolina during the trip. South Carolina’s electric cooperatives have participated in the Washington Youth Tour since the 1960s.

During the tour, delegations of students follow state-planned itineraries, which include time with their state’s Congressional delegation. The students learn more about government, the cooperative form of business and the business of rural electrification.

Broad River Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative that serves members in Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union Counties in South Carolina.

-

FOUR ARRESTED IN MARCH HOME INVASION AND ROBBERY

Wednesday, April 6

Four people have been arrested in a home invasion incident that occurred March 23rd at 2299 Browns Creek Church Road. According to Sheriff David Taylor, the victim heard a knock at the back door and asked who was there. The person at the door stated his name was Keith. However, the victim recognized the voice as being that of Jaran Harris and told him to come back. Fifteen minutes later, someone knocked at his front door. The victim stated that he went to the front door and saw 3 black males with "do-rags" covering their faces. The victim opened the door, and one of the males pushed the door open, knocking the victim to the floor. The victim stated that one of the males was holding him down on the floor, and that is when he was able to pull the "do-rag" down and saw that it was Jaran Harris holding him down. The victim stated that Harris then pointed toward his pillow, and the other 2 males went to his pillow and took his wallet, which contained $1500. The victim stated that all the male subjects took off running out of his residence. During the incident, the victim's TV, valued at $300, was knocked to the ground and damaged.
Investigators were called to the scene the night of the incident and spoke to the victim. EMS was also called to observe the victim to make sure he was not injured. Investigators processed the crime scene and collected evidence, which included blood located inside of the front door, and a toboggan that was on the living room floor.
As a result of the investigation, the following arrests have been made:

Jaran Harris, 28, 202 Buffalo St., Buffalo: burglary, petit larceny, common law robbery, sex offender registry violation (Harris had moved and failed to change his address).

 

 

 

Tarik Menelik Bryant, 19, 108 Wayside Dr., Union: burglary and common law robbery.

 

 

 


Gary Haskell Lee Dawkins, 23, 117 Walker Heights, Union: burglary and common law robbery.

 

 

 

 

Timothy Lamar Smith, 24, 406 S. Mountain Street, Union: burglary and common law robbery.

 

 

 

-

MONARCH FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL HOST ITS third COLOR RUN NEXT MONTH

Wednesday, April 6

The Monarch Fire department has announced that they will have their 3rd Annual Color to 5k Run/Walk on May 7th. It will be a festive atmosphere, and there will be music, vendors and much more. Area residents are invited to come out and support your local volunteer firefighters. For additional information, contact Melissa Flood at 864-426-0888 or email monarchfd@drive.com. You can also see any Monarch Fire Department firefighter.

-

XTRA HOMECARE SERVICES to HOST RECRUITMENT EVENT

Wednesday, April 6

Xtra Homecare Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg tomorrow from 9:00 AM-noon.  They are recruiting for in-home caregiver positions. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event. 


UNION COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE NETS SEVERAL DRUG ARRESTS OVER THE WEEKEND

Tuesday, April 5

Drug arrests appeared to be the order of this past weekend, as Union County sheriff’s deputies were occupied by a number of cases. One of the cases occurred Friday when Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling in the 100 block of Linersville Road and noticed a male fishing at the Buffalo Mill Pond. The deputy stopped and asked the man his name, and he said his name was Ryan Riddle. The deputy knew the man was not who he said he was and asked for identification. The man was identified as David Keith Paige, and he said he lied because he knew he had a warrant. While being patted down, a glass pipe was located and a package of what appeared to be meth was on the ground nearby. He first denied any knowledge of the meth, but while being transported to jail, he admitted it was his.

Another case occurred when deputies were dispatched to an area of Sims Avenue and the back alley of 2nd Street for a suspicious vehicle. While investigating the vehicle, a female, 30-year old Megan Cohen, came up and said she thought she could park the car there. The deputies reported that she appeared to be under the influence of something. She told the officers that she had “shot up” about six hours earlier. She gave permission to search the vehicle, and a bag of a clear, crystal-like substance was found near the steering column, along with two used hypodermic needles in the center console. A vehicle check showed the car did not belong to Cohen but to Mike Quinn. Quinn could not be located, and the car was towed. Cohen was taken to the Union County Jail and charged with possession of meth.

Sunday around 1 a.m., Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling on Highway 9 and noticed a vehicle sitting in a car wash. Vaughan noticed a subject walking to the front of the vehicle and asked him what he was doing. The subject was identified as 42-year old Christopher Williams. Williams said he was waiting for another subject to come back and pick him up. Deputy Vaughan asked Williams if he had any weapons on him, and he responded no. While patting him down, the deputy felt what he thought was a baggie and was given consent to go into his pocket. There he found two small baggies containing a crystal rocklike substance believed to be meth. Williams also gave permission to search the vehicle, and in it the deputy found a green, plantlike material believed to be marijuana and a rolled cigarette with the same substance. A glass smoke pipe was also located. In addition, four small baggies were found with the same substance that appeared to be meth, along with $108 cash. Williams was placed under arrest for possession with intent to distribute meth, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Early Monday morning, Deputy Vaughan was patrolling on Sims Avenue and noticed a vehicle without brake lights. Vaughan initiated a traffic stop and spoke to the driver. He advised him why he was being stopped and asked where he was headed. He said he was going to his uncle’s house, which was located right where the traffic stop had been made. The driver was asked who his passenger was, and he said he did not know, that he was just giving her a ride. The driver stepped outside the vehicle and was patted down for weapons. He said there was nothing in the car and gave consent for it to be searched. Nothing was found in the vehicle. He then spoke to the passenger, who was identified as 47-year old Anita Groves. She gave consent to have her purse searched. During that search, a small piece of aluminum foil was found containing a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana, and a small bag containing a crystal rock substance believed to be meth. Groves was placed under arrest and asked if she had anything else on her. She stated that she had another bag of meth and a glass smoke pipe in her pants. Deputy Vaughan charged Groves with possession with intent to distribute meth, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

-

RECKLESS DRIVER TURNS OUT TO HAVE FIVE PREVIOUS DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION CHARGES

Tuesday, April 5

On Friday, Deputy Jamison Taylor and Sheriff David Taylor responded to a call about a reckless driver. Sheriff Taylor was able to locate the vehicle at Osbourne St. Sheriff Taylor stopped the vehicle at the Lockhart Power station on Lockhart Highway. Deputy Taylor arrived moments later to assist. The driver stated that she did not have her driver’s license with her but did provide the name "Tracy Thames". The sheriff gave that name and date of birth to Union dispatch, and it came back with no record. The driver was later identified as being Stacy Lynn Tisdale. Upon finding this information, Union dispatch tried that name and date of birth, and Tisdale driver’s license came back suspended. Deputy Taylor then placed Tisdale under arrest for driving under suspension. Upon a check of her driver’s record with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Tisdale has 5 prior driving under suspensions within the last 5 years. Deputy Taylor transported her to the Union County Jail for booking. Upon further review of her history, a warrant was to be signed for habitual offender. Tisdale was charged with driving under suspension, 6th offense, and giving false information to law enforcement.

-

UNION MUSIC CLUB RAISING SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS WITH ORGAN CONCERT

Tuesday, April 5

The Union Music Club will present Dr. Brennan Szafron, organist/choirmaster of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, in concert on Thursday, April 28th, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in the sanctuary of Grace United Methodist Church, at 201 South Church St.  Szafron, a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, will present a program entitled “Spring Has Sprung; New Life Begun”. It will include some familiar hymn tunes and showcase the recent additions to the Grace 2 manual, 30 rank Casavant pipe organ.  Tickets for this fundraiser are $10 and may be purchased in advance from any Union Music Club member, the Grace Methodist church office, or at the door that evening.  A reception will be held for Dr. Szafron following the concert.  All proceeds will go toward music scholarships.

-

CDL TRUCK DRIVERS SOUGHT AT WEDNESDAY RECRUITMENT EVENT

Tuesday, April 5

Trimac Transportation will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg on Wednesday, April 6th, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  They are recruiting for CDL truck driver positions.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event. 

-

MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED THIS THURSDAY

Tuesday, April 5

The monthly Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, April 7th, at the USC-U gazebo.  Organizers ask that you please come and join with fellow citizens of Union County, and with others in other places, as they pray for our country, our community, our state, our world, and for the Church.  They will also pray for God’s guidance in the coming primaries and caucuses.  They also ask that you pray for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. They note that all are welcome, and say if you can't get to the gazebo, please take some time for special prayer during the day. 


INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT TALKS ABOUT DECISION TO HIRE DR. ROACH

Monday, April 4

Last Thursday evening, the Union County School Board unanimously voted for Dr. William F. Roach, Jr. to become the next superintendent of the Union County School District. WBCU News spoke to Roach and asked him how he found out about Union and the job here.

After the meeting, WBCU News asked Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks what it was about Roach that led the board to select him.

Eubanks will remain with the school district through the end of May and said he would make himself available to assist Roach in the transition into the new job.

-

WHITMIRE MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IN CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT CASE

Monday, April 4

General Sessions Court was held in Union County this past week, with the honorable R.  Knox McMahan presiding. Assistant Solicitor John Anthony prosecuted Cleveland Edward Young of Whitmire, SC, before a jury in reference to a 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor case. The trial lasted 3 days, and a guilty verdict was rendered late Wednesday evening. Young was sentenced on March 31st to two consecutive life sentences without parole. The victim was 7 years old at the time of Young’s arrest. The victim disclosed that this had been happening for several years. The Union County Sheriff’s Office was the lead agency in bringing this case to court.

The 16th Circuit Solicitor's Office issued this release regarding the case:

-

MAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE

Monday, April 4

Thursday, Cpl. Russell Vinson of the Union County Sheriff’s Office responded to Lemonade Road in reference to a domestic dispute. On arrival, Vinson spoke with a woman who stated that her live-in boyfriend, Randy Gay, hit her in the throat after they had been arguing. The woman stated that she was at a friend's residence helping her remove wallpaper, and she called Gay to tell him she would be home soon to cook. She stated that when she got home, Gay started calling her names, and she called him one back. She said that Gay then came towards her and hit her in the throat, knocking her into the kitchen table. She said that she then called 911. The deputy spoke with Gay, and he stated that when his girlfriend got to the residence, she started calling him names and she called the police. Vinson observed red marks on her throat, so he advised Gay that he was under arrest for domestic violence. While searching his person, Vinson found four white round oxycodone 5mg pills and 10 Xanax 2mg pills in a silver pill container. He was asked if he had a prescription for the pills, and he stated that he did. The deputy then asked the woman if he had a prescription, and she stated that he did for the Xanax and for oxycodone 10 mg. She stated that the 5mg oxycodone were hers and he must have taken them from her bottle. Gay was asked again if they were his pills, and he stated that they were his girlfriend’s and she gave them to him. While taking photos, Cpl. Vinson observed the woman’s pill bottle in the trash can, and it was empty. She said that she had it filled on March 29th, and he must have taken them and threw the bottle away. Gay was issued a summons for 3rd-degree domestic violence and a warrant for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.

-

DEPUTIES INVESTIGATE BREAK-IN AT UNOCCUPIED HOUSE

Monday, April 4

Deputies responded to 308 S. 7th Street and spoke with a complainant in reference to a break-in that had already occurred. She stated that she owns the residence at this address, but no one has lived in it for a while. She said that she keeps some items stored in the house and that she comes to the house periodically to check on it and make sure things are okay. She reported that she came to the house around 3 months ago, and everything was as it should be. She stated that she then came to the house a month ago and noticed that that the back door to the residence, estimated at $120, was missing, and some items inside were missing. She stated that inside the house, there were three wall electrical outlets missing valued at $20, along with two wooden end tables valued at $50, one Amish-made heater valued at $150, one queen size bed valued at $400, one large fish tank valued at $100, and the screen door at the front door of the residence valued at $120. The woman reported that there was also damage done to the residence that was not there before. She said that the toilet was removed from the floor, and most of the windows around the house were broken. Damage to the windows and toilet was valued at $1000.

-

COMPANY RECRUITING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS AT THURSDAY EVENT

Monday, April 4

Xtra Homecare Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg on Thursday, April 7th, from 9:00 AM–12:00 PM.  They are recruiting for in-home caregiver positions.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event.


WILLIAM ROACH NAMED NEW SUPERINTENDENT OF UNION COUNTY SCHOOLS

Friday, April 1

In a special called meeting Thursday evening, the Union County School Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. William F. Roach, Jr. to be the district’s next superintendent. Roach’s contract is for 3 years at a salary of $145,000 a year. Roach comes to Union from Pickens County, where he is currently serving as the Pickens County School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Administration. Roach, who attended the meeting with his wife, told WBCU News what he is looking forward to most about coming to Union.

 

Roach will assume his duties on June 1st. In addition to his work in Pickens County, he has also served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal in various Greenville County schools. He graduated from Furman University and got his Ph.D. in Education Administration from USC.

WBCU News spoke to board chair Jane Hammett, who said she is excited to have Dr. Roach come to Union.

 

-

WBCU HONORED AS SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AT CHAMBER BANQUET

Friday, April 1

Around 200 people gathered in the Philippi Baptist Church Family of Faith Center Thursday evening for the annual Union County Chamber of Commerce Members’ Banquet. The guest speaker for the event was DeePal Eliatamby with Alliance Consulting Engineers, Inc. Eliatamby spoke on the subject of economic development in South Carolina. He said as far as South Carolina’s economic development is concerned, we’re in good shape.

 

The highlight of the evening was the awarding of honors to area businesses and individuals.

Receiving the 2016 Friend of the Chamber award was Charles Warner of the Union Daily Times.

The Shining Star award went to the Union County Coon Hunters Association.

WBCU Radio was the recipient of the Small Business of the Year award, and Timken was named the Industry of the Year.

The prestigious Volunteer of the Year award went to Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe, and named the Service Group of the Year were the Union County Sheriff’s deputies, the Union Public Safety officers and the Jonesville Police officers.

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING HIS GIRLFRIEND

Friday, April 1

Deputies were dispatched to 156 Wildlife Drive in reference to a 3rd-party call of a domestic dispute. Officers located the victim at a neighbor’s house. The woman stated that her live-in boyfriend, 28-year old Donavan Robinson, became enraged during an argument and assaulted her. She stated that during the assault, Robinson punched and kicked her about the head and body and choked her about the neck until she nearly passed out. In addition, she said he poured a cleaning solvent in her mouth and on her body and threatened to kill her. She said that she feared the assault would not stop until she was dead or seriously wounded, so she yelled for her children to run to the neighbor's house. She stated that when she did this, she was able to get away from Robinson, and she ran to the neighbor’s house for safety. She said that Robinson then took her vehicle and fled the scene.

The reporting deputy spoke with the neighbor, who said she was in her bedroom when she heard beating, banging, and screaming coming from next door. The neighbor stated she has witnessed the woman’s injuries from past abuse, and suspected that it was occurring again, so she went into the living room. That is when the children, followed by the woman, ran up to her door. The neighbor stated that as she was letting them in, she saw Robinson drive away in the woman’s vehicle.

The reporting deputy observed and photographed numerous visible injuries to the woman. Inside the residence, the deputy observed and photographed a nearly empty bottle of floor cleaner, which the victim said was the cleaning solvent that Robinson poured in her mouth and body. The reporting deputy also noticed the strong smell of a cleaner in the bedroom, the fumes of which were strong enough to cause the deputy's eyes to water and caused his breathing to be difficult. Robinson was taken into custody Thursday morning.

-

AG AND ART TOUR COMING TO UNION COUNTY IN LATE JUNE

Friday, April 1

The South Carolina Ag & Art Tour is coming up in June. This is a free, self-guided tour of farms and artisans. Libby Oliver, who coordinates the event in Union County, tells us what we can expect.

 

There are nine counties included in the tour, and you can get more information by going to www.AgandArttour.com.   


COUNTY COUNCIL OPENS BUDGET PROCESS

Thursday, March 31

The Union County Council began their budget process Wednesday morning by hearing county department requests for funding in the 2016-2017 budget year. Supervisor Frank Hart said representatives of the department are coming in with what they believe their needs are. The total budget figure for the current year is $15,038,122. The total projected for the coming year is $16,970,608, which computes to be nearly a $2 million increase. Hart said, “I assure you that will not be the case when the budget is complete.”

There was a brief discussion about the proposed local option sales tax. The supervisor said if the local option sales tax referendum is going to be on the November ballot, they will need to have a first reading at the next meeting, which is scheduled for April 13th in Lockhart. By law, a minimum of 71% of whatever is collected by the local option tax must go to tax relief.

One of the departments to make their budget request Wednesday was the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff David Taylor is asking for a $115,000 increase from the $1,784,133 he has for this year. One of the things he would like to do is give a salary increase to his employee. He said he believes this would help the morale for his office. Revenue projection for the county are expected to be available at the next budget meeting.

-

CITY COUNCIL LOOKS TO CLOSE BUDGET GAP WITH SPENDING CUTS AND TAX, UTILITY INCREASES

Thursday, March 31

City of Union residents will likely see a tax increase in the coming fiscal year and utility customers will be paying more for services. The Union City Council spent Tuesday and Wednesday in budget hearings, where they heard budget requests from municipal departments and outside agencies. Near the conclusion of the sessions Wednesday, council took the time to go through the requests to see what could be trimmed. When they began that process, they were facing a $718,000 budget deficit. That number was trimmed a good bit, especially when combined with the proposed tax increase and utility rate increase. The council agreed to a 2.6 mill tax increase, which should yield $32,360 to the city’s coffer. Initially, Utility Director Joe Nichols recommended a 5% increase in electric rates, a 10% increase in sewer rates, and a 5% increase on water rates. There was no recommendation for an increase in gas rates. Later in the session, those figures were adjusted when Councilman Ricky Harris said, “I gave in to you on the millage, but I’m not going to agree to the utility rate increase.” A compromise was reached when they voted to a 2.5% increase on water and a 5% increase on sewer rates. There was no increase approved for electric rates. The council also agreed to a 2.3% pay increase for city employees. After considerable discussion, it was decided the money for the pay increase would come from the Economic Development Fund. Finance Director Walker Gallman emphasized that the budget figures derived from the two days of meetings was only a preliminary one. Even so, Mayor Harold Thompson said he believes they will come up with a good budget.

 

-

FILING CLOSES FOR JUNE PRIMARIES

Thursday, March 31

Filing for the June primaries in Union County closed yesterday at noon. Both Democrats and Republicans are offering, and in the case of the GOP, their slate is probably the largest they have had in the history of Union County. Filing to run for State House District 42 are Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann. Jeff Bailey filed to run for sheriff as a Republican, and Amy Austin filed for Clerk of Court. David Sinclair is running for County Council District 3, which is currently held by Democrat Tommy Ford. Ford has opposition in his own party in the form of Howard Wahoo Gibson. Mike Anthony is seeking his 8th term in the SC House of Representatives and will face off against the winner of the Cathcart-Mann race in November. Incumbent David Taylor has filed for reelection to his third term as sheriff, and Melanie Lawson will face her Republican opposition in November. John Glenn, James R. Rice, and incumbent Ralph Tucker will face each other in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Randall “Chump” Hanvey has opposition from former City Councilman Tommy L. Hill. District 6 Councilwoman Kacie McCall Petrie has no opposition for her seat from either the Democratic or Republican side.

-

MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES FROM NOVEMBER TRANSACTION

Thursday, March 31

Back on November 11, 2015, Lt. Johnny Sherfield 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 27-year old Adam Liner of Gregory Street. The operative went and met Adam Liner at a location within the City of Union. The operative purchased a quantity of methamphetamine from Liner using the government funds. The evidence was collected and sealed for analysis at SLED. This location is within ½ mile of USC Union. Liner was arrested Tuesday and charged with distribution of meth within ½ mile of a school.


SCHOOL DISTRICT NAMES FINALISTS FOR SUPERINTENDENT POSITION

Wednesday, March 30

As a result of an executive session at Monday’s Union County School Board meeting, the names of the 3 finalists for the job of Union County School Superintendent have been made known. The three are: Dr. James E. Winbush, who is currently serving as the associate superintendent for Charleston County Schools; Dr. Marc G. Zachary, who is the principal at Mary H. Wright Elementary School in Spartanburg; and Dr. William F. Roach, Jr., who is serving as the assistant superintendent for administration in Pickens County. One of the three is slated to be announced as the new superintendent at the regular April 25th school board meeting.

-

HILARITY FOR CHARITY RAISES $8000 FOR LOCAL VETERANS' GROUPS

Wednesday, March 30

Broad River Electric Charity’s benefit comedy show Hilarity for Charity, featuring iconic standup comedian James Gregory, raised $8,000 for local veterans in need after over 500 people attended the event on Friday, February 19.

It was Gregory’s third time headlining Hilarity for Charity at Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney.

“It was a hilarious show for a good cause,” said Josh Crotzer, Member Services Coordinator for Broad River Electric. “These men and women have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. We are proud to be able to assist some of them in this small way.”

The funds were distributed to Disabled American Veterans chapters in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, to Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters in Cherokee and Union counties, and to Spartanburg’s Upstate Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.

 In addition to ticket sales, the event also received support through corporate sponsorships, Union County News, and WBCU Radio.

Over the last seven years, the event has raised nearly $90,000 for local charities.

Broad River Electric Charities is a nonprofit subsidiary of Broad River Electric Cooperative, whose purpose is to raise and distribute funds to other nonprofits and charities in Union, Cherokee, and Spartanburg.

-

CITY COUNCIL BEGINS BUDGET PROCEEDINGS FACING POSSIBLE DEFICIT

Wednesday, March 30

The Union City Council began the process Tuesday of trying to come up with a budget for the 2016–2017 fiscal year. They began by hearing a budget overview and revenue projections presented by Finance Director Walker Gallman. Gallman pointed out that all the elements have not yet been plugged into the projections, but as of now, that amount for the General Fund is $5,455,160. On the other side, expenditures are expected to be $6,173,320, leaving a negative amount of $718,160. Gallman listed several ways that amount could be made up, if necessary: raising taxes and fees charged by the city, implementing a local option sales tax, using money from the hospitality and accommodations tax, and reducing expenditures. If the need for the money is still there when they finish the budget, a deficit could be made up by dipping into the Fund Balance. Gallman pointed out that at this juncture, it would be inappropriate to use any of the projections as final figures. Finishing the Tuesday session, the council heard requests from outside agencies and will resume Wednesday with city department requests.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL OPENS BUDGET MEETINGS TODAY

Wednesday, March 30

Along the same line, the County Council will begin their budget process this morning, with their meeting taking place in the County Annex building.

-

SCHOOL BOARD HOLDING SPECIAL CALLED MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT

Wednesday, March 30

There will be a special called meeting of the Union County School Board tomorrow night beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the conference room at the School District Office on West Main Street. The only item of business is an executive session. There is no indication as to what the meeting is about, other than to say it is personnel-related. As is always the case, no one will be allowed in the executive session except those associated with the discussion.


RALPH LAWSON NAMED DISTRICT TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Tuesday, March 29

The highlight of the Union County School Board meeting was the recognition of the Teachers of the Year from the eight schools in the district. Introduced to the board were: Allison Caviness of Buffalo Elementary School, Jennifer Roark from Foster Park Elementary School, Brandi Ketterman from Jonesville Elementary Middle School, Diane Drum of Monarch Elementary School, Dawn Wheeler of Sims Middle School, Ralph Lawson from Union County High School, Mary Hooker from the Career and Technology Center, and Seth Whitehead from Lockhart School. Named as the District Teacher of the Year was UCHS drama teacher Ralph Lawson. He was introduced by a video featuring former students, some of whom have gone on to become professional actors. Lawson said the honor has special meaning to him.

 

The board took up several other matters, which will be reported on later.

-

REP. ANTHONY OFFICIALLY FILES FOR REELECTION

Tuesday, March 29

State House District 42 Representative Mike Anthony announced Monday that he would seek his eighth term as a Democratic house member. Anthony filed the paper Monday to make his candidacy official. He told WBCU News:

 

The terms for the House of Representatives are two years, and if reelected to the post, it would advance Anthony’s tenure 16 years. So far, no other Democrat has filed for the seat, but two Republicans have filed for the nomination from their party. If nothing changes, Anthony will face either Mark Cathcart or Tommy Mann in the November general election.

-

MULVANEY TO ATTEND EVENT HOSTED BY COUNTY'S YOUNG REPUBLICANS

Tuesday, March 29

The Union County Young Republicans are hosting an event Friday they are calling the First Annual Conservative Re-Union. It will get underway at 6:00 p.m. at the Shrine Club on Lockhart Highway. The special guest that night will be 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney, as well as other federal, state and local officials. A barbeque dinner will be served. For tickets, contact Brett Shugart at 426-2417 or Tiffany Littlejohn at 426-6511.

-

MAN AND HIS DAUGHTER ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

Tuesday, March 29

Friday at around 9 p.m., Cpl. Chris Fleming was dispatched to 103 Woodlawn Avenue in reference to an armed robbery. On scene, the officer spoke to a man and his 13-year old daughter. The man reported that he and his daughter were riding hoverboards on Columbus Street when two black males came from behind the building and demanded that they give them everything. He and his daughter said one of the assailants pulled a gun and held them there. Eventually, the man was struck on the head with the gun, knocking his glasses off. He said he gave the men his watch and chain, and they grabbed the two hoverboards and took off running back behind the apartment building there. Additional city units arrived on scene and began looking for the two suspects. Failing to locate them, the investigation was turned over to Investigator Mickey Parker.

-

PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES SUSPICIOUS FIRE

Tuesday, March 29

Around 3:30 Friday morning, Union Public Safety officers responded to a structure fire at 101 3rd Avenue. Upon arrival, PFC Dean Allen and Sgt. Eddie Williams observed the siding burning off the right side of the house. The officers reported that they could smell a strong odor of some type of fuel. The fire was out when they arrived, but they did see smoke still coming from the siding. They checked inside the home for hot walls but found none. The officers spoke with Sharon Young, who said she had been on the couch and saw what appeared to be light flashing outside the window, apparently from the fire. Young said she woke everyone up and walked outside, thinking the house next to them was on fire, only to realize it was their house. That’s when she called 911 and reported the possible arson. Investigators Mickey Parker and Mike Gregory took over the scene.

-

TIP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST IN LOCKHART

Tuesday, March 29

While at home Thursday night, an informant called Sheriff David Taylor and gave him information about drug transactions taking place in Lockhart. The sheriff passed on the information to Deputy Brandon Vaughn and gave the location for him to watch and monitor the area. Shortly after watching the area, Deputy Vaughn observed a white SUV without a tag light, and he initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver was asked to exit the vehicle and patted down for weapons. He then was asked for consent to search the vehicle. The driver agreed, and the deputy went to the passenger side, where Christopher Robert Williams was removed from the vehicle and patted down for weapons. When he exited the vehicle, Deputy Vaughn observed a black spare key holder inside the storage area of the door. The deputy opened the key holder and found a small bag containing a crystal rock substance believed to be meth and a small bag of green plant material believed to be marijuana. Deputies also found a flashlight with 6 different kinds of prescription pills inside. Deputies also found drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. The deputy asked Williams if the drugs belonged to him. Williams took ownership of all the drugs in the car. Deputy Vaughn also asked for consent to search Williams' home, and he gave consent. No drugs were located in the residence. There was $140 seized at the residence, and Williams turned it over to Deputy Vaughn. Christopher Robert Williams of 113 South First Street, Lockhart, was arrested and charged with: possession with intent to distribute meth, 3 counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

-

CARLISLE TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

Tuesday, March 29

Carlisle Town Council will meet in regular session tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Carlisle Town Hall.

-

UNIVERSAL PROTECTION SERVICE ANNOUNCES RECRUITMENT EVENT FOR SECURITY OFFICERS

Tuesday, March 29

Universal Protection Service will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street. The event will take place tomorrow from 11:00am to 2:00pm. The hiring event will be for security officer positions in Spartanburg. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


SCHOOL BOARD TO ANNOUNCE DISTRICT TEACHER OF THE YEAR TONIGHT

Monday, March 28

The Union County School Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet tonight in the library of Union County High School. The highlight of the evening will probably come when the District Teacher of the Year will be named. Teachers of the Year from all eight of Union County’s schools will be on hand, and the district winner has been chosen from that group.

In other activity, the board will hear an update on middle school course changes, as well as information on scheduling at Union County High School. The Strategic Plan will be presented for approval.

The board will also consider approving a field trip that involved water activity, and there will also be the monthly budget report.

-

CITY AND COUNTY COUNCILS BEGIN BUDGET WORK THIS WEEK

Monday, March 28

It’s that time of year when municipal and county governments begin work on their budgets. The City of Union will start with their budget hearing Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. The first thing they will hear will be a budget overview and revenue projection. City Attorney Larry Flynn will talk about economic development and transfers. After that, the parade of what is referred to as outside agencies will commence, as various organizations make the plea for allocations of money from the city. Day two of the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30. That day, they will be hearing budget requests from city departments. If needed, the budget hearing will be carried over to Thursday.

The Union County Council will hold a budget work session on Wednesday, March 30, beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex.  The public is invited to attend.

-

ROSE HILL PLANTATION OFFERS "MANSION BY MOONLIGHT" TOUR

Monday, March 28

Looking ahead a couple of weeks, you are invited to visit Rose Hill Plantation for one of their most popular programs on Saturday, April 16, from 7-9 p.m. Attendees can participate in a rare opportunity to tour the William H. Gist mansion and plantation grounds in the twilight hours.

In an era before electricity, television and computers, what went on in the evening? Imagine what life might have been like after the sun went down. Where did people go? What did they do? Tour by lantern and candlelight as they discuss and participate in some of the evening activities for both the plantation owner’s family and the enslaved people who lived at Rose Hill Plantation.

Please note that lighting will be limited and the ground is slightly uneven. Good walking shoes and comfortable clothing are recommended. The event will go on rain or shine.

Space is limited to 16, and reservations are required by Wednesday, April 13. The cost is $7.50 per person age 6 and up. To reserve your spot, call 427-5966 or e-mail rosehill@scprt.com.

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is the antebellum home of South Carolina’s “secession governor,” William H. Gist. Visitors to the 44-acre park can learn about the lifestyle of a wealthy Upstate plantation family, Gist’s contributions to politics, and the importance of cotton in the South. Visitors also get an inside look at the role of enslaved African-Americans and tenant farmers in South Carolina’s history.

Park grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year round. The mansion home is only accessible by guided tour. Groups of 15 or more must call to schedule a special tour. The grounds at Rose Hill Plantation may be rented for weddings and other events.  They are located at 2677 Sardis Rd., 8 miles south of Union.

-

SPARTANBURG REGIONAL FOUNDATION RAISING MONEY FOR COLONOSCOPY SCREENINGS

Monday, March 28

Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death and can be detected and treated earlier through colonoscopy screenings. In honor of their mother who passed away from the disease, John Moore and Anne Brady Moore Carlson were moved to create the Betty Ann Moore Colon Cancer Fund within the Spartanburg Regional Foundation. They wanted the funds raised to provide screenings that would help others catch the illness earlier than their mother was able to. John and Anne Brady, along with friends of the family, have made a challenge matching gift of $35,000 to grow the Betty Ann Moore Colon Cancer Fund to serve more people in need. All gifts and commitments to the fund over the next six months up to $35,000 will be matched one-to-one through this challenge gift. Donations to this fund go to underinsured and uninsured people. 
“Since its creation, the Betty Ann Moore Colon Cancer Fund has provided more than 200 free colonoscopy screenings,” said Kristy Caradori, foundation executive director. “This fund has been instrumental in our community by creating awareness for cancer screenings.”
John and Anne Brady feel the fund is an important way to aid the community while honoring their mother. To donate to the Betty Ann Moore Colon Cancer Fund, visit RegionalFoundation.com.
The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is a charitable organization whose primary mission is to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through direct support of community programs and services that share Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s mission of providing quality health care to our community.


TRAFFIC STOP YIELDS ARRESTS ON MARIJUANA CHARGES

Friday, March 25

On Wednesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap, and Investigator Mickey Parker were on patrol when they observed a white Ford Crown Victoria make a right turn onto East Henrietta Street from South Church Street without using a turn signal. The officer then made a traffic stop for this violation on East Henrietta Street. The officers found Rashad Green to be the driver, Octavius Smith was the front passenger, and Jonathan Collins was seated in the rear seat on the driver’s side. As the officers approached the vehicle, they observed Collins moving around in the back seat, turning around and watching the officers to see how close they were. Lt. Sherfield then began to speak with Green and explained to him why he was being stopped and detained. While talking with Green, Lt. Sherfield could smell a very strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. At about the same time, Sgt. Gilstrap stated that he also smelled the marijuana odor. Lt. Sherfield then leaned toward the window and the smell appeared to be coming from the back seat area where Collins was seated. Lt. Sherfield then asked Green to turn off the ignition and for Collins to open the rear door. While talking with Collins, Lt. Sherfield observed digital scales in a front pocket of the hoodie that Collins was wearing. Lt. Sherfield then removed the scales, and after questioning him about marijuana, Collins finally admitted that he had marijuana hidden inside his pants. Three large bags of marijuana were seized from Collins’s pants, and he was then placed under arrest for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Lt. Sherfield also seized $49 in cash from Collins.

Sgt. Gilstrap spoke with the passenger, Octavius Smith, who then admitted that he had a small jar that contained a small quantity of marijuana. Smith then gave the marijuana to Sgt. Gilstrap. Inv. Parker also located another digital scale inside the vehicle seat that none of the occupants claimed to own.

Smith was issued a summons for possession of marijuana and released. Collins was then transported to the Union County Jail by a uniformed Public Safety officer. The driver, passenger, and vehicle were then released from this incident.

-

MAN ARRESTED AT LOCAL HOTEL FOR POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Friday, March 25

Wednesday night, Sgt. Roger Hill saw Johnny Carrol Roller of Whitmire at the Magnuson Hotel located at 1235 South Duncan Bypass, and he appeared to have conducted a drug transaction with another male subject. Hill approached the subject and began a field interview, and Roller was advised as to why the officer was speaking with him. The subject was asked about the transaction he had observed and asked if there were any narcotics in the room. The subject turned around and picked up a pill from the nightstand as if he was going to hand it to the officer, but instead he placed it in his mouth in order to consume it. Hill asked him why he did that, and Roller said he would be charged with it because he didn’t have a prescription. Hill then placed the subject under arrest and transported him to Union County Jail and will seek a warrant from the magistrate for possession of controlled substance.

-

WOMAN CHARGED WITH BREACH OF PEACE

Friday, March 25

Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Woods met with woman Wednesday who stated she had trouble with 2 female juveniles. She stated that as she was driving down Hunter’s Run Road, the females threw sticks at her car, causing negligible damage. The woman requested that Woods speak with the children's parents or guardians, which the reporting deputy did, and cleared the scene.

Shortly thereafter, Woods was again contacted by the woman, who stated that the mother of one of the juveniles, Alesha Gossett, pulled her vehicle down the roadway, rolled down her windows, and played obscene music with the volume turned up loud for about 10 minutes. The woman video recorded the incident with her cellphone. Deputy Woods planned to meet with a magistrate and seek a warrant charging Gossett with breach of peace.

-

MUSGROVE MILL SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR ITS ANNUAL PARK DAY CLEANUP

Friday, March 25

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is seeking volunteers for Park Day. On Saturday, April 2nd, history buffs, community leaders, and preservationists will team up with more than 125 sites in 29 states to answer the call to service on Park Day. 

Park Day at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will begin at 8 a.m. with volunteers picking up roadside litter. Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is situated in Laurens, Spartanburg, and Union counties.  They would like to have a team for each county. Volunteers will be picking up on state and county roads that run through the park. The teams will meet at the Visitor Center for assignments, and safety vests, gloves, and trash bags will be provided.

Registration for this event is required.  Please call the park office at 864-938-0100 by March 30th or email at mgmillsp@scprt.com.  Please include the subject line “Park Day”.

Participants for both the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. worktimes are required to wear sturdy, closed-toe footwear and dress for the weather.   Hand trimmers or loppers are helpful.  Water will be provided. The event will go on rain or shine.

This event is sponsored by the Civil War Trust.  The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds.  Through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the trust seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, as well as the work they have done preserving Civil War battlefields.  To date, the trust has preserved close to 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states.  For a complete list of participating Park Day sites, visit Civilwar.org/parkday.

-

FOSTER PARK STUDENTS AND PARENTS DONATE PET SUPPLIES FOR ANIMAL SHELTER

Friday, March 25

Katie Prince’s second grade class at Foster Park Elementary School gave back to their community by sponsoring a schoolwide pet supply drive to benefit the Union County Animal Shelter. Students created posters, read stories about stray animals, wrote paragraphs encouraging other students to donate to the drive, and read their paragraphs on the morning announcements as a way to spread the word about animals in need at the animal shelter.  As a result of their hard work, Prince’s class had over $400 worth of pet supplies donated by the students at Foster Park Elementary School and their parents.  Foster Park officials say they are proud of how their Eagles think about others and care about the well-being of their community.

 

-

FOSTER PARK 2ND GRADERS LEARN ABOUT COMMUNITY WORKERS

Friday, March 25

On Friday, March 4th, Foster Park Elementary School’s 2nd-graders had Career Day. This was a culminating activity to their Community Workers study. Each student made a poster at home highlighting what they want to be when they grow up. They dressed up as that person and presented their poster to the class. In addition, several community workers visited Foster Park to talk about their careers with the students. Those visitors included: City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson; Police Officer, Lt. Kevin Powers; EMS Workers: Mark Wade, Amber Manus, and Jason Garrett; and Department of Transportation Workers: Minnie Jones and Tina Laymon. The teachers thanked the visitors for sharing so much with the students, and they said that Foster Park Elementary School’s 2nd graders love their community workers.

 

 


COUNTY COUNCIL VOTES TO BUY EMS BUILDING RATHER THAN FACE BIG RENT INCREASE

Thursday, March 24

Meeting in a special called session Wednesday afternoon, Union County Council voted unanimously to purchase the building now occupied by the Emergency Medical Service. EMS has occupied the building since 2007 at a rate of $4000 per month. They had already been notified by the owner, Hope S. Small, that the rent payment would soon go up to $6500 per month. The purchase price of the structure located at 1262 South Duncan Bypass is $300,000. The money for the purchase will come from two sources. Almost $109,000 will come from the proceeds of the sale of the old school bus shop, and $191,000 will come from what is known as the Multi-County Park Fund. EMS Director Ronnie Roberson said the purchase will not change the way they currently operate.

 

As mentioned by Roberson, plans for changes to the building are on the table for consideration. The council met last week to discuss the renovation options. It was estimated the cost of putting the building in a desirable condition would be around $404,000. Supervisor Frank Hart said that is something they would look at after the 2016– 2017 budget comes together. The council is in hopes of wrapping up the purchase by the end of April.

-

STUDENT CHARGED WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT AFTER REPORTEDLY THREATENING TEACHER

Thursday, March 24

Last Friday, School Resource Officer Randy Canupp spoke with art teacher Shannon Farr, who told him that one of her students, 17-year old Monesha Tucker had come to her class to pick up her report card. While there, the teacher advised Tucker that she would not be sitting in her normal seat and then told where she would be sitting. Farr said the student became angry and stated that she would “smack you in the mouth.” Farr said that two other teachers, Ms. Paschall and Ms. Hooker, heard the threat. Farr said she was having the student sit elsewhere because of some problems before the threat was made. She said that she wanted to press any charges in this matter that would be proper. Monday, Farr told SRO Mike Nance that because the incident took place in her room at the high school, she wanted Tucker to be charged with simple assault. It was Officer Nance’s intention to serve that warrant on Monesha Tucker.

-

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR CHAMBER'S ANNUAL BANQUET

Thursday, March 24

The Union County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet is set for next week, and if you have not already reserved a table or purchased a ticket, you should do so ASAP. The banquet will be next Thursday, March 31st.  This event is open to not only members but any business, industry or individual who is interested in Union County.  Plan to join them March 31st for a celebration of this past year and the recognition of those who have made tremendous contributions to the success of Union County.  Make your reservation right away by contacting the Chamber office at 864-427-9039, or by email chamber@unionsc.com.

-

ARTS COUNCIL OFFERS SEVERAL ACTIVITIES IN APRIL

Thursday, March 24

The Union County Arts Council has released their list of activities for the month of April. Every Tuesday morning, artists are invited to join the group for Painting with Coffee. This program is designed for beginners as well as lifelong artists.

Jam with Lunch is a fun activity that will take place on April 7th from 11 to 1. Members of the community will come together to play and sing for a two-hour jam session.

The Local Writers group will meet Tuesday, April 12th, at 6:00. This is open to everyone.

If you are looking for something new to do, Monday Night Music could fit the bill. It will be held April 18th at 6:30pm and will be a night full of local, musical talent.  

Toddler time is set for Friday, April 22nd, from 10:30-11:30 and will be all about the little ones. Any child 4 years old or younger is invited to join them. There is a $10 fee.

Mini Monet is a popular activity at the Arts Council Gallery. Youngsters are invited to come in on Saturday, April 16th, for a morning full of creativity. They will explore the art of mixed media. This class is open to all students from kindergarten-5th grade. Cost is $15 members/$20 nonmembers.

If you are ready for a night out with the girls, Corky Canvas is an activity that could be the perfect thing for you. The Arts Council folks say to grab some friends and your favorite drink and they will provide the rest. The talented teacher Brandi Ketterman will walk you through how to paint the perfect piece. You don’t have to be an artist to join in on the fun.

There is a special activity coming up soon. It’s the Elementary School Awards & Reception. Everyone is invited to attend this event. These students were selected by their teachers to exhibit their work in the Arts Council Gallery. These talented students will be honored on Tuesday, April 19th, from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m.  The Arts Council want to thank Gestamp, LLC, for supporting the youth shows.

Looking ahead to the month of May, the Mommy & Me Tea Party will be held. This will be an afternoon of tea, cookies, and creativity. Moms and daughters will spend the afternoon together creating their very own tea cup flower pot. Space is limited for this class, so you are encouraged to call UCAC and reserve your spot. The event will be held May 7th from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m., and the cost is $25 for mother & daughter. They advise that paint is messy, so you should dress for that, but the best hat will win a prize.
Invite everyone you know.

If you haven’t joined the Arts Council yet, now is the time. All members receive special pricing on camps, classes, and events.  For more information, contact Amber at 864-429-2817.


MAN ARRESTED IN 35-YEAR OLD MOLESTATION CASE

Wednesday, March 23

A molestation case that goes back 35 years has been solved by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff revealed that a Union man, James Craig McMillian, 62, was arrested at his home Tuesday morning on charges of committing a lewd act on a minor. The case began to develop on February 23rd of this year when one of the victims went to Victim’s Advocate Michelle Shugart to seek help with the trauma being experienced all these years later. Shugart went to the sheriff with the information, and they interviewed the victim. Two additional victims have been identified. The sheriff fears that there are other victims of the crime, and if so, he is urging them to come forward. During the news conference, Taylor answered the question why it took 35 years for the case to surface.

 

The victims ranged in age at the time of 7-12 years old and included both male and female. The alleged assaults took place between 1981 and 1986. McMillian is being held at the Union County Jail.

-

BOND FOR MCMILLIAN SET AT $15,000

Wednesday, March 23

James McMillian went before Union County Magistrate Buck Sprouse Tuesday afternoon for a bond hearing. Judge Sprouse told McMillian:

 

The magistrate set McMillian’s first court appearance for June 13th.

-

COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM UNVEILED TO UCHS SENIORS

Wednesday, March 23

Union County High School seniors heard about the Community Scholarship Program Tuesday in a special assembly there. According to the brochure they have distributed, Union County, along with its partners, the Union County School District, the University of South Carolina at Union and Spartanburg Community College, proposed to provide access to post-secondary education and training programs to ensure businesses have skilled workers and residents have the knowledge needed to compete for the jobs of today and careers of tomorrow. In response to what they described as a critical issue, Union County leaders partnered to create the Union County Community Scholarship Program to address barriers to post-secondary education and critical shortages in Union County’s workforce. Bob Hart, who manages the Timken Company Plant here, said the program would benefit his industry.

 

The program is designed to allow students to participate tuition-free. For a student to take advantage of the program, they first must be a resident of Union County and must have graduated from Union County High School, Union County Adult Ed, Union Christian Day School or an approved Union County Home School Program. Other requirements are listed in the brochure that can be obtained at the supervisor’s office, the Union County Campus of Spartanburg Community College, or USC-Union. The Union County Council has set aside $65,000 to fund the program. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart said he was pleased with the response from the students, and they will be working to compile and forward the information received during the session to USC-Union and SCC.

-

MIRACLE LEAGUE RAISES $2000 AT BUFFALO SEAFOOD FUNDRAISER

Wednesday, March 23

The Miracle League of Union County says they have raised an additional $2000 to be applied to their fundraising effort to build an all-inclusive playground at Timken Park. The money was raised through a chicken strip plate sale at Buffalo Seafood. Amy Austin, who heads the organization, said:

 

The Miracle League will continue with their fundraising efforts to meet their $75,000 goal. The Timken Company made a $75,000 contribution to the fund and will give another $75,000 if the Miracle League can match that amount. Austin says she is confident they will meet that goal.

-

DNA EVIDENCE LEADS TO ARREST IN YEAR-OLD BURGLARY CASE

Wednesday, March 23

Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced Tuesday that an individual has been arrested for a burglary of a residence in Lockhart that occurred more than a year ago. In a news release from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the arrest was made based on evidence that was recovered from the scene that yielded DNA singling out the suspect. “Because of the level of effort required locally and other outside agency involvement, some of the cases that we work take can take more than a year to result in charges,” stated Sheriff Taylor. He went on to say that this case is a great example of the hard work the deputies and investigators do at the incident scene collecting evidence and information that is followed up by months of behind-the-scenes coordination with other agencies to produce results. Although most of the evidence that requires additional scrutiny and analytical effort are sent to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for analysis, the York County Sheriff’s Office Forensic laboratory was used in this case. Taylor says that decision was based on the existing backlog of cases under review by SLED and was an attempt to speed up the analysis of the evidence through the use of another fully accredited law enforcement laboratory to provide closure in this case. The laboratory analysis provided a positive match-up of the DNA from the burglary scene and other evidence provided through this investigation and has led to the arrest of Jack Jenkins Rowland. Rowland has been charged with grand larceny and 1st-degree burglary of the house at 203 South First Street in Lockhart in February 2015. In the robbery, more than $11,000 worth of jewelry was reported stolen.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL TO MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS PURCHASING EMS BUILDING

Wednesday, March 23

The Union County Council will hold a special meeting this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room at the Union County Annex. They will discuss purchasing a facility for EMS. The public is invited to attend.

-

SOME LOCKHART STREETS TO BE RENAMED SOON

Wednesday, March 23

The Lockhart Town Council met in a regular session Tuesday evening. Noteworthy was the announcement that work would soon begin on changing street names in the town. EMS and police have complained that the way the streets are laid out now is confusing, which often slows response time in an emergency. Not all the street names will be changed, only those that create the confusion. April 12th has been set as the date that the Union County Council and the Lockhart Town Council will meet together. It will start with a public forum at 5:30 that day.


MAN ADMITS TO SWALLOWING BAG CONTAINING METH WHILE BEING PURSUED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

Tuesday, March 22

This past Wednesday, Lt. John Sherfield and Sgt. Jared Gilstrap were on patrol in the Lockhart area of Union County when they observed Charles Lee Thomason, 42, operating a vehicle on Highway 9. The officers knew that Thomason's driving privileges were suspended, so they attempted to stop Thomason by activating the blue lights on their patrol vehicle. Thomason continued to drive away and then drove on the opposite side of the roadway for a short distance. He then turned onto South 1st Street, so the officers then activated their siren, as well. Thomason continued to drive along South 1st Street, and then made a left turn onto Summit and a right turn onto Mill Street. During this time, the officer could clearly see that Thomason was continuously drinking something from a cup. Thomason finally stopped on Mill Street and was placed in handcuffs. Lt. Sherfield could see that Thomason had spilled liquid all over his shirt and pants area. When questioned, Thomason said he was a diabetic and was very thirsty. After several minutes of questioning, Thomason finally admitted that while being pursued by law enforcement, he had actually ingested a plastic bag that contained a quantity of methamphetamine. The vehicle was released to his wife and father, and the officers then transported Thomason to Union Medical Center for treatment. Upon arrival, Thomason was treated in the emergency room but was later transferred to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center because the physician was unable to get his heart rate to a safe level. The officers were planning to charge Thomason with driving under suspension and failure to stop for a law enforcement officer upon his release from the hospital. This incident was captured on video, and a DVD was made for evidence purposes.

-

TOWN OF CARLISLE ANNOUNCES EASTER EGG HUNT AND EASTER FASHION WALK

Tuesday, March 22

An Easter Egg hunt has been planned for the Carlisle community this coming Sunday, March 27th, at 3:00 p.m. It will take place at the Carlisle Town Hall and is designed for children 10 years of age or under. Please note that the child must be accompanied by an adult, and an adult must be accompanied by a child. Please bring your own container for the eggs. There will also be an Easter Fashion Walk. Refreshments will be served, and donations and volunteers are needed.

-

TWO ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES FOLLOWING TRAFFIC STOP

Tuesday, March 22

Early on Sunday morning, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Thompson Blvd. and noticed a vehicle turn onto Harwood Heights without using a turn signal. The deputy caught up with the vehicle at the Duncan Bypass and initiated a traffic stop in the parking lot of McDonald’s. Vaughan spoke with the driver, Jason Austin, 41, and advised him why he was being stopped.

The officer noticed that Austin appeared to be nervous and then noticed a medicine pill carrier tube. He asked Austin what was inside it and he stated Lyrica, which is a schedule 5 controlled substance. The deputy asked if could see what was inside the tube, and Austin agreed. A pink round pill was there, which the suspect identified as oxycodone, a schedule 2 controlled substance. Once Austin was outside the vehicle, he was patted down for weapons and the deputy felt a change purse in one of his pockets. Inside the purse was a small bag with a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana. Vaughan then requested that Investigator Belue respond to the scene because there was a female passenger in the vehicle.

Austin was placed under arrest and placed in the back seat of the patrol car. When Investigator Belue arrived, she patted the female down for weapons. The deputies then searched the vehicle and found a clear plastic bag with a crystal rocklike substance believed to be meth. At first, Austin denied the substance was his, but a short time later, he tried to claim it. Investigator Belue reported that she found 2 smoke pipes under the passenger seat. The deputies also found a digital scale in the vehicle. Vaughan then placed the female passenger, Victoria Trantham, under arrest. Both subjects were transported to the jail.

While at the jail, officers advised that they found a broken needle and a round pill identified as carisoprodol 350mg, a schedule 4 controlled substance. Austin was charged with possession of meth and possession of controlled substance, 2 counts, possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple possession of marijuana.  Trantham is charged with possession of meth, possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The deputy was also advised that Trantham had a warrant for forgery. That warrant was served on Trantham while at the jail.

-

LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL WILL MEET TONIGHT

Tuesday, March 22

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

-

MONARCH FIFTH-GRADERS GET HANDS ON WITH WORLD WAR TWO ARTIFACTS

Tuesday, March 22

Fifth grade students at Monarch Elementary held history in their hands last week during Brooke Johnson’s & Ginnie Ponder’s Social Studies classes.  A soldier’s footlocker was delivered from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA, full of actual artifacts from the war. These items included: sand from Omaha Beach, ashes from Iwo Jima, steel pennies, ration tokens, gas masks, and much more.  The students were even able to hear recorded messages from soldiers to their families back on the home front.  To go along with their WWII unit, students have had to ration electronics and sweets, create propaganda posters, and they will soon be helping plant their very own Victory Gardens.  These lessons are a part of Monarch’s initiative to incorporate project-based learning into their curriculum. 


SHERIFF TAYLOR WILL SEEK A THIRD TERM

Monday, March 21

Union County Sheriff David Taylor has issued a release stating that he will seek his third term as the County’s chief law enforcement officer. In making his announcement, Taylor said, “Eight years ago we launched a campaign for the office of Sheriff of Union County. The mission was to change the direction of law enforcement in Union County and bring it into the 21st century. In that campaign, we set forth important goals that we wanted the Sheriff’s Office not only to reach but also maintain for the future. In the past seven years, we have accomplished many of these goals.” He says more challenges are ahead as “we face the future.” He went on to list his accomplishments as sheriff, which can be read in their entirety below. Taylor concluded by saying, “I am asking for your prayers and continued support to re-elect David H. Taylor, Democratic Candidate for Sheriff of Union County.

Sheriff Taylor and his wife Betty Jo are the parents of 4 children and 8 grandchildren. They attend West Springs Baptist Church and Foster’s Chapel United Methodist Church.

SHERIFF TAYLOR SEEKS RE-ELECTION ON RECORD OF SUCCESS

Eight years ago we launched a campaign for the office of Sheriff of Union County. The mission was to change the direction of Law Enforcement in Union County and bring it into the 21st century. In that campaign we set forth important goals that we wanted the Sheriff’s Office not only to reach but also maintain for the future. In the past seven years, we have accomplished many of these goals. Even so, today there are more challenges that we face for the future. Just a few of our accomplishments over the last 7 years include:

Crime prevention and law enforcement:

--When I took office in 2009 the drug problem in Union County was rampant, particularly drug trafficking. Since then we have arrested 1934 people on drug charges alone (as of December 2015) and seized $215,549.00 in drug money. These arrests also resulted in 34 federal indictments. We have been able to shut down several major drug suppliers that were bringing drugs into Union County from as far away as Mexico.

--We have increased our visibility by putting investigators on shifts during peak hours of service to help cover calls and patrol needed areas.

--We have identified a gang violence problem in Union County that we continue to work on the local level as well as Upstate region. We have specifically assigned a deputy to the Federal Upstate Gang Unit task force, where he has been a part of 215 federal indictments and was named the South Carolina Gang Investigator of the Year for 2014.

--We made a commitment to work with our youth and we have done that by going into all of our schools and warning children of the dangers of drugs and how important it is not to have criminal records.

--One of the most important accomplishments was fulfilling our pledge to protect our senior citizens. We are living in a society where our elderly are constantly under attack by fraud, scams, and people going door-to-door. We have worked diligently with our local and state-wide media circuits to keep our community abreast of any new scams or threats.

--We have actively sought federal, state and local grants to help the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management and CrimeStoppers. All of these grants are non-matching funds for Union County. The Sheriff’s Office has obtained nearly $280,000.00 in grant money over the past 7 years while Emergency Management received $349,000.00. The Union County E-911 center received $770,000.00 from reimbursement funds.

Safety for deputies and the public:

--We have increased more safety for our officers and for the public by providing TASER and body worn-cameras.

--We established a policy and procedure manual for the safety of our deputies as well as the safety of the general public. When I took office there was no policy manual. We now have one that continues to be updated as we add TASER policies, bodyworn camera policies and the constantly changing Criminal Domestic Laws.

--We have been able to access a much needed Employee Assistance program. In 2011, we had an officer involved shooting where this type of program was very beneficial in offering counseling not only to that deputy but to our department as well.

Technology:

--Upon taking office we aggressively searched for new technologies used by other agencies that would improve our abilities in the Sheriff’s Office, Jail and 911, while keeping our citizens better aware.

--We installed new user friendly software for the Sheriff’s Office and Jail Division to improve record keeping and investigative abilities.

--We created a Sheriff’s Office Facebook page with nearly 3000 followers that allows us the ability to update the public of crimes happening in our area.

--We have a new Emergency Management Division app and Facebook page of about 1200 followers.

--We created a user friendly Sheriff’s Office website that allows the public to see the Sex Offender Registry, current jail inmates and links to other important law enforcement resources.

--We installed a training simulator with three training lab master instructors who can operate the interactive simulation system. This simulator can produce any environment, lighting conditions and repeatable training scenarios that are court defensible and an acceptable evaluation tool.

--We have rejuvenated the stagnant CrimeStoppers program and transformed it to an active crime-fighting tool that has received 1,828 tips leading to 538 arrests and has paid out approximately $27,431.00 in rewards.

Jail Division:

--We took over a county jail facility that was below standard conditions of the South Carolina Department of Correction Inspectors, had no commissary, no in-house medical service or mental health provider. We have upgraded the facility and added much needed technology to better operate the facility and bring it up to standards, having received a 98 score from our last inspection.

--We, along with the support of county council, have been able to make physical improvements to the jail by installing a new roof, a new HVAC system, ventilation system, upgrades to showers and water supply lines, and updated to a gas-powered, industrial strength washer and dryer.

--We have installed technology that allows us the ability to fingerprint an individual and identify them within a few seconds after submitting their prints to SLED and the FBI.

Emergency Management and 911:

In the fall of 2009, county council gave the responsibility of Emergency Management and 911 to me, without any salary increase. I was willing to do that because I wanted to bring unity to all public safety entities that use 911. This has not come without growing pains but has been an opportunity to bring all emergency services together. Through this process, we have been able to make major upgrades and improvements in the 911 center and operations. We were able to remodel and update the 911 operations area with Computer Aided Dispatch, newer consoles, more acoustic walls, and new laptop computers through grant funding and reimbursed funding that was NOT an added burden to the taxpayers. When I took over 911, there had been NO progress to move forward to comply with Narrowbanding, which was federally mandated. We had to move quick to put together a leading team to help comply with this expensive mandate which included modifying all of our federal licenses for all emergency services mandate and upgrading our radio system with 6 satellite receiver sites.

Creation of Special Emergency Response Team:

As a result of the deadly violence we face today in our country, with domestic terror and workplace killings to name just a couple of those dangers, we have put together a Special Emergency Response Team to be prepared in the event of terror threats and active shooter situations in the workplace, schools and churches. In my platform, I made it known that I would be aggressive when protecting our community from the type of tragedy that occurred during the Charleston massacre last year. Last year, we put together a PowerPoint presentation for churches and work places to help prepare them in cases of an active shooter event. Our goal is to be proactive law enforcement and not just a reactive agency. We want to prevent tragic events before they occur in our county. We also are doing this through crime prevention programs and individuals who seek a residential safety plan.

Experience Matters

My past experience as a city police officer, a jailer, a dispatcher, a deputy, a criminal investigator, and a DARE officer has given me firsthand knowledge of the needs to the people who now hold those jobs. I’m not a “behind the desk Sheriff,” and I actively assist my deputies from the start of the initial call through the prosecution of the case in court. I have testified in Magistrate Court, State Court, and Federal Court cases and can help my staff prepare as they do so themselves. I have attended and graduated the FBI National Academy. This experience provided me with new ideas and cost effective methods to stay abreast of the latest developments in law enforcement. As I represent you as your Sheriff, I focus equally on all residents and areas of Union County. I also serve as Sheriff to all towns and municipalities that ask for my or my department’s assistance with their needs. And despite a county-wide budget cut of 10% across the board last year, which cost our department 2 deputy positions, 2 jailer positions and 1 dispatcher, we have proved in the county that we can work together and accomplish goals.

In the next four years we will continue to face challenges, such as Next Generation 911 and other mandated upgrades. I will continue striving to make this department better as well as making our county a better place to live. It is time to move on from sour grapes and past elections and do what is best for ALL Union County residents. As election time draws near, citizens need to ask themselves one simple question: Do you want law enforcement to continue to move forward, as it has the past seven years, or do you want to go back to the “good ol’ boy” system of the past? Please consider that simple question when you go to the polls to Re-Elect David H. Taylor as your Sheriff for the next four years. I am experienced and I have delivered on my campaign promises to the best of my ability, and will continue to do so in the future. I am asking for your prayers and continued support to Re-Elect David H. Taylor, Democratic Candidate for Sheriff of Union County.

Sheriff Taylor and his wife Betty Jo are the parents of 4 children and 8 grandchildren. They attend West Springs Baptist Church and Foster’s Chapel United Methodist Church.

-

ARTHUR ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT

Monday, March 21

In a statement made to news agencies outside of Union County, a teacher at Union County High School said she has filed a lawsuit after a student spread a nude picture of her, according to school officials. Leigh Ann Arthur said in that statement: "I can confirm that my attorneys, John Read, IV, and Jessica Salvini, filed a lawsuit at Union County Courthouse this morning (Friday) at 9:00 am. The lawsuit is against Union County School District and David Eubanks (individually and as a representative for Union County Schools). I can also confirm the lawsuit is based on the false accusations made by Dr. David Eubanks against me along with policies and due process not appropriately followed by Union County School District." Arthur resigned after a student spread a nude picture of her through text messages and social media, according to Union County School District interim superintendent David Eubanks.  Eubanks said a student got hold of Arthur's phone and took a picture of a nude picture that was on her phone. 

-

TOMMY MANN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES AS CANDIDATE FOR SC HOUSE DISTRICT 42 SEAT

Monday, March 21

A former Pastor of Students and Associate Pastor Tommy Mann made it official Friday morning that he is a Republican candidate for South Carolina House District 42. Mann had announced his intention earlier in the year but made it official during a press conference. As stated, Mann served as a Pastor to Students for six years and an Associate Pastor for 2 years at Philippi Baptist Church. He served a church in Texas for three years prior to coming to Union. Mann said his intention to run for the office is:

 

Mann will face off against fellow Republican Mark Cathcart in the June primary. One of the two Republican candidates will be facing the Democratic incumbent, Mike Anthony.

-

4K AND 5K REGISTRATION COMING NEXT MONTH

Monday, March 21

It’s that time again—time to register your child for four- and five-year old kindergarten. To register your child for 4K, your child will need to be four years of age on or before September 1, 2016, and the same is applicable for the five-year old kindergarten.  Registration at Buffalo Elementary School will take place on April 19. For Jonesville and Foster Park Elementary Schools, the date will be April 20. 5K registration will be held that same day at Lockhart School. Monarch Elementary School will register students on April 21st, and Lockhart 4K may register at any location. Registrations will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and again from 1:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. each day. Academic screening will be provided during the registration. The screening will take around 45 minutes. You will need to bring: your child’s official certificate of immunization, your child’s Social Security card, as well as the birth certificate with the state seal. Proof of residency will also be required—something such as a tax receipt or power bill.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE RESPONDS TO JUVENILE THREATENING HIS PARENTS

Monday, March 21

A Union County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched Thursday to a Forest Street address in Jonesville. The incident report stated that a 16-year old was making threats to his parents. They stated that the juvenile was out of control and threatened to kill both parents and burn the house. The juvenile was transported to the sheriff’s patrol office and the Department of Juvenile Justice was contacted.

-

MAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE DRUG CHARGES AFTER SLEEPING IN A CAR IN THE ROADWAY

Monday, March 21

During the early morning hours Friday, Union County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Bishop Road and Cross Keys Highway in reference to a car stopped in the road for over thirty minutes with the blinkers on and a white male inside. The vehicle was reported as still running.  Upon arrival at the scene, the deputy knocked on the window of the vehicle. There he observed a white male apparently asleep. When the subject woke up, the incident report states he was disoriented. The driver, who was the only occupant of the car, was identified as Richard Lee Gilliam, 46, of Police Club Road. The report states that he did not know what time it was or what road he was on. Gilliam reported that his license was suspended. He was placed under arrest, and a pill bottle was located in his pocket, which he said belonged to his girlfriend. Inside the pill bottle was a small Ziploc bag that contained a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, a piece of a small bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, and fifteen white pills later identified as Alprazolam. Several other illegal drugs were also located. Warrants were being sought against Gilliam for possession of meth, possession of cocaine, and possession of a Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substance.

-

COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM TO ROLL OUT TO SENIORS TOMORROW

Monday, March 21

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart says he and others will be rolling out the Community Scholarship program to Union County High School seniors on Tuesday. Participants in the rollout will be representatives from University of South Carolina – Union, Spartanburg Community College, Union County Schools, and local industry. The presentation will get underway at 8:30 a.m. The program was initiated by Hart and seeks to give high school seniors who may not be able to further their education the opportunity to attend USC-Union or Spartanburg Community College tuition-free. It is designed in part to train the students in order to fill a gap in industry that is seeking qualified applicants.


MANN TO OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE HIS RUN FOR HOUSE 42 SEAT

Friday, March 18

Tommy Mann will make it official today that he is a candidate for South Carolina House District 42. Mann made his intentions known several months ago, but he has called a news conference for 10:30 this morning to make the official announcement. The conference will take place at his campaign headquarters at 119 East Main Street. Mann will be facing off in the June primary against fellow Republican Mark Cathcart. Whoever is successful there will go up against incumbent candidate Mike Anthony.

-

ALCOHOL COMPLIANCE CHECKS NET TWO VIOLATIONS

Friday, March 18

On March 15th, agents with the Union County Drug Task Force, along with agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, performed alcohol compliance checks throughout the county using a 19-year old undercover operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office. Agents completed compliance checks on 15 stores, and the operative was able to purchase beer or wine in 2 of the 15 stores. The clerks who sold the alcohol in the 2 stores were written citations by Sgt. Jared Gilstrap, and both stores were given administrative citations by SLED. The evidence was collected and entered into evidence by Sgt. Gilstrap and will be kept until the disposition of both cases.

-

MAN FACES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND KIDNAPPING CHARGES

Friday, March 18

Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Woods reported meeting Wednesday evening with a woman at Union Medical Center. The woman stated that during the early morning hours Wednesday, her husband, James Colby Johnson, 29, came into the bathroom where she was and grabbed her phone from her. She stated that he then demanded she tell him the code to unlock the phone. The woman said when she refused, Johnson grabbed her and shoved her into the bathtub, where he choked her. The victim stated that while doing this, he told her he was going to drown her, and turned the water on in the bath tub while holding her head down and choking her. She told the officer that the assault continued, with Johnson punching her about the head and body. During the assault, she said James hit her in the legs with a metal baseball bat. She was able to get away from him and ran outside and down the street to find help, but he caught her, put her in a head lock, and choked her again while dragging her back into the house. She stated she told Johnson she needed medical attention because of her legs hurting, and when she did, he slapped her injured leg. She stated she was finally able to get out of the house on the pretense of going to Bible study, because she would be missed if she didn't show up. She said he allowed her to leave, and she drove to Union Medical Center and contacted law enforcement. The victim was on crutches due to the injury to her right leg. In addition to the visible injuries, she stated that she had pain in her neck and back from the assault. Deputy Woods was to meet with a magistrate and obtain warrants charging James Colby Johnson with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and kidnapping.

-

UNION COUNTY ORCHESTRAS COMPETE AT SC CONCERT FESTIVAL

Friday, March 18

Union County orchestra students attended the SC Concert Festival at Chapman High School on Wednesday, March 16th. Orchestra in Union County was represented well with the Union County High School Orchestra receiving a rating of excellent from the judges. The seventh and eighth grade orchestra, comprised of students from Sims, Lockhart, and Jonesville, received a rating of good from the judges, and the sixth grade orchestra, also comprised of students from Sims, Lockhart, and Jonesville, received a superior rating from the judges. This superior rating is the first superior rating ever received by any Union County orchestra. Union County orchestra is directed by John Kvasnicka and Erin Chastain.

 

 

-

REP. MICK MULVANEY WEIGHS IN ON OBAMA'S SUPREME COURT nominEE

Friday, March 18

Fifth District Congressman Mick Mulvaney issued a statement Wednesday concerning the president’s announcement of his nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia.  Mulvaney said, “I’ve given a good bit of thought to whether or not the Senate should take up consideration of the nominee.  After some research, it seems that the political precedent — established by ALL political parties (even those that pre-date modern Democrats and Republicans) — is that the Senate, under a divided government, does not take up such consideration in an election year.  I have no problem with the Senate following their own precedent here, and I will defend their decision to not take up confirmation hearings.  The right to nominate for the vacancy should — as it has for 200 years — fall to the incoming president.”

-

MAGNOLIA EXPERT TO HOLD WORKSHOP AT PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN

Friday, March 18

Your magnolias may not be as happy as they are beautiful. You will be able to learn the proper care for existing magnolias, and the necessary TLC for new ones, at a March 26th workshop hosted by the Piedmont Physic Garden (PPG).

PPG welcomes a true magnolia expert, Kevin Parris, arboretum director at Spartanburg Community College. “We’ll share tips and information on caring for existing magnolia, or for finding just the right magnolia,” Parris said. “If you thought you knew everything about magnolias, you’re in for a treat. Some species are more compatible for our gardens than others.”

A PPG spokesperson said Parris brings a wealth of knowledge to the event, with a wide range of work experience across the Upstate. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and a Master of Science in Plant and Environmental Sciences from Clemson University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Plant and Environmental Sciences.

-

JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE HOSTS 2ND-ANNUAL SPRING MARKET TOMORROW AT FAIRGROUNDS

Friday, March 18

Area residents are invited to come out and enjoy a day of shopping while supporting the Junior Charity League of Union. Their Spring Market is taking place tomorrow at the Union County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be around 40 vendors on hand with everything from jewelry to turkey calls. It will be a great opportunity to do some unique shopping and contribute to the charities supported by the Junior Charity League.


COUNTY COUNCIL HEARS PROPOSAL TO REMODEL EMS BUILDING

Thursday, March 17

Union County Council met Thursday afternoon for what they called a workshop to hear a presentation by their building official, Brad Jolly. Jolly said he had been charged by County Supervisor Frank Hart to come up with a potential proposal for remodeling the Emergency Medical Service building on the South Duncan Bypass to better facilitate the needs there. Jolly introduced plans that call for the interior of that building to be upgraded with new sleeping and work areas. He estimated the upfitting of the building would cost $1.4 million. The county currently rents the structure from Small Enterprises at a cost of $4,000 per month. Under this plan, the building would be purchased at a price yet to be determined. Ultimately, Ronnie Roberson, who directs EMS, said he would like to have another station on the south end of the county. Currently, there is an auxiliary station covering the north end of the county in Jonesville.

-

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO NARCOTICS CHARGE

Thursday, March 17

Monday, a Union County sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop on a 2004 Ford Taurus in the parking lot of Jimmy’s Fresh Air Galaxy. The traffic stop was made on the vehicle because it did not have any lights displayed from the rear of the vehicle. The officer spoke with the driver and passenger of the vehicle and explained the reason for the stop. During the conversation, the driver gave consent to search the vehicle. The passenger also had no objections to the search. As they searched, a handgun was found improperly secured and an amount of narcotics was also found. Both the driver and passenger were placed under arrest for the narcotics and transported to the county jail. This case is still under investigation.

-

FIREFIGHTERS CALLED TO ELLEN SAGAR FOR SMOKE IN LAUNDRY AREA

Thursday, March 17

There was a scare at Ellen Sager Nursing Center Tuesday when firefighters were called to the scene. Bonham Fire Department Chief Scott Austin fills in the details.

 

Austin was very complimentary of the quick reaction on the part of the nursing home’s administrator and staff. He said they knew just what to do.

-

SCHOOL BOARD BEGINS INTERVIEW PROCESS FOR NEW SUPERINTENDENT

Thursday, March 17

The Union County School Board of Trustees started the interview process yesterday for a new district superintendent. They will continue the interview process on March 22 and March 24. The office of superintendent was vacated this past December with the resignation of Dr. Kristi Woodall. The interview sessions will be held in executive session.

-

MUSGROVE MILL HOSTING EVENING LANTERN HIKE

Thursday, March 17

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will present a guided lantern hike of the British Camp Trail on Saturday, March 26th. This hike will be led by the interpretive ranger. Along the trail, there will be visitors from the 18th century that will tell you about life during the Colonial period at Musgrove Mill.  The event will be held from 7 PM to 9 PM.  Tours will depart from the visitor center at 7:00 PM, 7:45 PM and 8:30 PM. Reservations for this event must be made in advance.  Admission to the event is $5 per person. 

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is located on Highway 56.  For more information or to make reservations, please contact Musgrove Mill State Historic Site at (864) 938-0100. You may contact the park by e-mail at  mgmillsp@scprt.com or go to www.SouthCarolinaParks.com.

-

BEWARE OF SCAM ARTISTS POSING AS IRS AGENTS

Thursday, March 17

A local tax service, Dudley Lawson Tax, has forwarded information to WBCU News about a new scam taking place that could impact your tax refund or otherwise obtain your personal information. The message says, “Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but now the IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone. The latest variation being seen in the past few weeks tries to play off the current tax season. Scam artists call saying they have your tax return and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scammer tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number, or personal financial information such as bank numbers or credit.” If you receive one of these calls, you are advised to hang up and notify local authorities.

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WELCOMES TWO NEW MEMBERS

Thursday, March 17

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has welcomed The Montgomery Company and Kirby’s Cake Shoppe as their newest members. The Montgomery Company is operated by Matt Montgomery, President, and Erin Montgomery, Director of Interiors. They are currently managing the Main Street Junction project in downtown Union. Kirby's Cake Shoppe is owned and operated by Ann & Wayne Comtois and is located at 1222 S. Duncan Bypass.


CITY COUNCIL ALLOTS MONEY TO DEMOLISH BUILDING NEXT TO MAIN STREET JUNCTION

Wednesday, March 16

Meeting Tuesday evening, the Union City Council voted to allot $192,642 for the demolition and revitalization of the building located next door to the Main Street Junction project. The property was purchased last month at a cost of $5000 because of its adjacency to the current project. Since then, it was determined to be in too much of a dilapidated state to salvage. Under the proposal, the building at 105 East Main Street would be razed and ultimately would become an outdoor sitting area to compliment the Main Street Junction. A total of $1,341,780 has already been appropriated for the project. The funds for both projects will or have come from bonds and insurance money derived from the old Union High School fire.

In other action, the council gave a 2nd reading to an ordinance that will allow for the establishment of a crematorium to be a part of Lewis Funeral Home on the South Duncan Bypass. A public hearing just prior to the meeting saw a discussion of the needs assessment list. The list is required to be established and approved by the council in order to become eligible for Community Development Block Grants. The council did approve that list. Finally, approval was given for the City of Union to be a sponsor in WBCU’s 18th-Annual Senior Expo coming up in May. The council agreed to a $300 expenditure.

-

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DISTURBING SCHOOL AT SIMS

Wednesday, March 16

On Monday, School Resource Officer Scott Griffin at Sims Middle School observed Tronda Lorraine Land being disorderly. The police report states she was very loud and boisterous, refusing to leave the building when asked to by administration. The officer asked several times for the subject to leave the building. She continued to refuse to leave, stating in a very loud, boisterous voice, "You can't make me leave! I ain’t going nowhere! And you can't make me!" At this time, Griffin told Land she was under arrest for disorderly conduct. She became aggressive, pushing the officer in the chest and hitting him in an attempt to avoid the arrest. She was told if she continued to resist arrest she would be sprayed. She continued to resist arrest by pushing and hitting. The subject was then sprayed and restrained. Land was transported to the county jail and was charged for disturbing a school and resisting arrest. A trespass notice was also issued to her for Sims Middle School.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE FRAUDULENT CHECK CASHING

Wednesday, March 16

A sheriff’s deputy responded recently to the Park Sterling Bank in Jonesville and spoke with bank manager Beverly Smith in reference to someone trying to cash a check

fraudulently. Smith stated that Ami Rhodes came into the bank and attempted to cash a check payable to herself, written on another woman’s personal account, and signed by the woman, for the amount of $900. Smith stated that they contacted the victim to ask her about the check, and she informed them that she had not approved for the check to be written for that amount or in that way. According to the woman, Rhodes is her personal healthcare worker hired through Elite Home Care. She stated that she has been giving Rhodes a signed personal check for her to use to pay for groceries and other items

when she went shopping for her, but not for her to write out to herself and get cash in return. A check of the bank records show that Ami Rhodes has cashed a total of 9 checks made out to herself, totaling $7900 since October 26, 2015. There are also two additional checks written out payable to Elite Home Care in the amount of $741.58 and $595.98 that were cashed by Rhodes. Investigation is ongoing.

-

EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT TOMORROW

Wednesday, March 16

Express Employment Professionals will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg office, located at 220 East Kennedy Street, tomorrow from 9:00am to noon. The hiring event will be for delivery drivers, creel operators, punch press operators, MIG welders, HR generalist, data entry operators, cafeteria workers, woodshop workers and vehicle handler positions. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL HOLDING WORKSHOP TODAY TO DISCUSS FACILITIES

Wednesday, March 16

The Union County Council will hold a workshop this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex Building. They will be discussing county facilities and will also hold an executive session to discuss a contractual matter.  The public is invited to attend.


SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO SPEND $9000 TO STUDY AGING HVAC SYSTEMS AT THREE SCHOOLS

Tuesday, March 15

The Union County School Board of Trustees met for their first of two regular meetings for the month Monday night. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart, along with USC-Union Dean John Catalano and Spartanburg Community College President Henry Giles, presented the Community Scholarship Program. The program, which these three along with interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks explained on a WBCU News special last week, will allow students that may lack the opportunity to further their education after high school to do so at no charge. The program is mainly designed to train the students to fill the gap that exists in many companies that have a hard time filling positions.

Finance Director Lynn Lawson gave a budget update on the 2016-2017 budget. He also gave some millage comparisons with other counties in the state. He explained what this is all about.

 

The board voted to spend $9000 for an engineering firm to study the aging HVAC systems at Monarch Elementary, Foster Park Elementary, and Union County High School. In some cases, the systems are 35 years old and will soon need replacing.

The board met the newly hired football coach and athletic director, Bradley Adams and his wife Jen. Adams described his feelings about coming to Union.

 

-

CITY COUNCIL HOLDING PUBLIC HEARINGS AND REGULAR MEETING TONIGHT

Tuesday, March 15

Union City Council will be meeting for their regular monthly session today. They will start with a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. They hope to solicit comments concerning the needs assessment for the city. Following that, another public hearing will be held to take comments in connection with the May Street project review.

When the regular meeting convenes at 6:30, the council will consider a 2nd reading of an ordinance that would allow for the establishment of a crematorium as an accessory use, subject to a special exception by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The needs assessment will come up for discussion. The recommendation is to prioritize the projects on the Needs Assessment list so the city will be in a position to apply for Community Development Block Grant funding in April of this year.

The 18th-annual WBCU Senior Citizens Expo is coming up May 26th. It will be held in its usual location of the Tabernacle Baptist Church Family Life Center. The city has participated in this event in years past, and the request is being made to participate again at a cost of $400.

Another item up for discussion concerns the matter that City Council acquired the dilapidated building at 105 East Main Street in January of this year. In order to stabilize the surrounding properties and to incorporate this building into the adjacent Main Street Junction renovation project and new park space on North Pinckney Street that is underway, certain demolition and construction matters will need to be addressed. The project committee asked the Montgomery Company to prepare cost estimates based on the certain proposed scopes, which changed considerably once the decision to demolish the building was made. The part of the company’s proposal that is recommended is to create an open air seating area at a cost of $157,642. Under the proposal, the Montgomery Company would still be used as the design-build team.

-

MAN FACES MARIJUANA CHARGE AND TRAFFIC TICKETS

Tuesday, March 15

Last Friday, Union County sheriff’s deputies were assisting the SC Highway Patrol with a driver’s license check at the intersection of Meansville Road and Linersville Road. They noticed that a car traveling towards Union had stopped in the road prior to the checkpoint and turned into a driveway, located at 951 Meansville Road. Highway Patrol Trooper Tanner Hamrick immediately following the car into the driveway and observed a red Lexus still running with two occupants. Trooper Hamrick identified the driver as Naquawn Rice. Hamrick noted he could smell marijuana smoke coming from the passenger compartment.

Sgt. Scott Ruby joined Trooper Hamrick, and when the driver’s license showed as suspended, Mr. Rice admitted to smoking a marijuana blunt.

The front seat passenger, Hollie Smith, stated that Rice had just picked her up from work and was taking her home. Both subjects were advised of their Miranda rights.

Trooper Hamrick located a small book bag containing 10 sandwich bags, each filled with marijuana. inside the book bag, officers also located a marijuana grinder. Inside a shoebox, officers located an opened box of sandwich bags consistent with the type the marijuana was packaged in, digital scales and an empty Crown Royal bag.

Investigator Jared Gilstrap was called to the scene to assist. He took possession of the drugs and paraphernalia and will sign a warrant on Rice for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Trooper Hamrick issued Rice traffic tickets for driving under suspension and possession of an expired driver’s license.

The passenger in the car was not charged and escorted home.

-

UNIVERSAL PROTECTION SERVICE RECRUITING SECURITY OFFICERS TOMORROW

Tuesday, March 15

Universal Protection Service will host a recruitment event at the Spartanburg office of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, located at 364 South Church Street. The event is scheduled for tomorrow, March 16th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The hiring event will be for full-time and part-time security officer positions in Spartanburg. Full-time and part-time positions are available, and the starting pay is $10 per hour. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


SCHOOL BOARD TO HOLD REGULAR MEETING TONIGHT

Monday, March 14

The Union County School Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight for the second time in less than a week. They met in a special called meeting Wednesday to hear a report on the AdvancED visit and to announce the name of the new head football coach and athletic director for Union County High School. The Monday meeting is their regular bi-monthly session, and it will be held at the Career and Technology Center on the campus of Union County High School. It will take place in room 600 at 7:00 p.m. There are several items on the agenda, including the introduction of the new coach, Bradley Adams. Anna Kelly has requested to speak to the board concerning the rededication of the UCHS stage. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart, along with representatives of USC-Union and Spartanburg Community College will present some scholarship opportunities. The board will also discuss topics from their annual convention.

Cindy Langley is scheduled to present what is called the strategic plan for the purpose of information. She will also present three field trip requests. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will give a 2016 – 17 budget update and present engineering cost information for repairs or replacement of a new heating and air conditioning system at Union County High School. Jeff Stribble will present the personnel report, and if needed, there will be an executive session.

-

WBCU'S PERSONAL POCKETBOOK PROJECT RECEIVES MANY DONATIONS

Monday, March 14

The Holcombe Funeral Home and WBCU annual project of providing coats to those in need in the county has expanded to include pocketbooks. The idea was the brainchild of WBCU’s Ashley Graham, who explains how it came about.

 

Ashley has spent hours collecting the pocketbooks and filling them with personal hygiene items. A number of the pocketbook items were donated by the UCHS Interact Rotary Club and the UCHS Future Business Leaders of America. Also assisting with the project are Sandra Duckett and Jacqueline Lott. The pocketbooks are available at no charge to those who meet the criteria to receive a coat.

-

UNION MEDICAL CENTER ANNOUNCES "SPRING INTO HEALTH" EVENT NEXT MONTH

Monday, March 14

The Union Medical Center has an event coming up next month that should be of interest to many. It’s called “Spring Into Health” and will be held on Wednesday, April 13th, from 7 to 10 a.m. They are encouraging area residents to make a commitment to your health. They will be offering reduced cost screening and bloodwork. Blood pressure checks are free, but there will be minimal charges for the cholesterol check, the chemistry panel, men’s PSA screening, thyroid panel, complete blood count, hemoglobin, and A1C. More information can .be obtained by calling 864-301-2000.

-

COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE BOARD TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TOMORROW

Monday, March 14

The Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Board will meeting tomorrow at their office on North Herndon Street. The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. It is open to the public for anyone who desires to attend.

-

SEVERAL RELAY FOR LIFE TEAMS HOLDING FUNDRAISERS IN THE COMING WEEKS

Monday, March 14

Relay for Life tams have kicked off their annual fund raising events for this year and there are many. Coming up on March 19th, the Corinth Baptist Church Relay Team will hold a Fish Fry and Yard Sale at the Union County Fairgrounds from 7:30-12:30. Then the next day, Sunday, March 20th, the Bethel Baptist Church Relay team will hold a dinner at Virginia's Restaurant. Participants will receive 1 meat & 2 sides for $7.50. This event will begin at 12:30 p.m. If you are one who enjoys a famous southern delicacy, you will want to attend the event coming up on April 2nd, when the Corinth Baptist Relay Team will have a chitterling dinner. It will take place from 11am-until on Windbush Lane. Plates are $8. Not everything is about food, though. On April 23rd, the Dollar General Relay Team will have Shayna Marie from Crunk for Cardio to do a workout session. That will take place at the Jonesville Gym at 5pm. You may participate for a $10 donation.

-

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ANNUAL NAACP FREEDOM BANQUET

Monday, March 14

The Union County NAACP has announced their 35th Annual Freedom Banquet will be held on Saturday, May 7th. It will take place at the Pacolet River Baptist Association Center. This year’s theme is Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Justice. The guest speaker for the banquet will be Sharon Brown Harriott, Director of TRIO and Community Support Programs at Midlands Technical College and the South Atlantic Regional Director for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and journal ad information can be obtained from any NAACP member or contact them at P.O. Box 69, Union, SC, 29379.


STANDARD TEXTILE ADDING JOBS IN ITS UNION AND GEORGIA PLANTS

Friday, March 11

Fox Carolina is reporting that new jobs are coming to Union County thanks to a partnership between Standard Textile and Marriott to put “Made in the USA” towels in the hotel chain’s US hotels. Standard Textile said its plants in Union County and Georgia will make towels and bath mats for the chain’s 3,000 US hotels. Standard Textile will produce 2.6 million bath towels and 4.9 million hand towels for Marriott each year.

“The commitment to manufacture these textiles in the US reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating more than 300 oceangoing container shipments annually,” said a representative of Standard Textile.

A total of 150 new jobs will be created in the Union and Georgia plants. The company is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH.

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT GETS HIGH RATINGS FROM ACCREDITATION COMMITTEE

Friday, March 11

Representatives of AdvancED were in Union the first half of the week taking a look at the Union County School District. In addition to observing classrooms, teachers, administrators and board members were interviewed. The team presented their findings at a special called school board meeting Wednesday afternoon. The six team members gave glowing reviews from all Union County schools.  According to Dr. Joy Mackelmann, the ratings for the Union County School District were higher than the national averages. She explains:

 

A report in greater detail will be released at a later date.

-

REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN TALKS ABOUT CANDIDATE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Friday, March 11

Union County, for more than 150 years, has voted Democrat; however, there are signs that may be changing. During the 2012 election cycle, a Republican took the Clerk of Court’s office, the first to win a county office since Reconstruction. This cycle, three Republican candidates have already announced, the latest being Jeff Bailey, who said Wednesday that he will seek the office of sheriff. The week before, Amy Austin announced that she would be a candidate for Clerk of Court and David Sinclair announced that he is a candidate the District 3 seat on County Council. Mike Fowler, Union County Republican Party Chairman, explained what it means to have this many candidates announce so far:

 

Fowler said there are as many as three more Republican candidates yet to announce.

-

DON'T FORGET TO "SPRING FORWARD" THIS WEEKEND

Friday, March 11

This is a weekend that most everybody loves, or in some cases, hates. It’s time to move your clocks forward one hour. It all boils down to getting an extra hour of daylight in the evening. Officially at 2 a.m. on Saturday night, or Sunday morning if you prefer, move your clock setting forward one hour. It should read 3 a.m. once you do. The change to Daylight Savings Time is also a good time to remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

-

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CARLISLE FOOD DISTRIBUTION TUESDAY

Friday, March 11

Volunteers are needed for a food distribution at the Carlisle Town Hall on Tuesday, March 15th, from 10:00 a.m.–noon. This event is for the Carlisle community only. Please bring a picture ID.  More information can be obtained by calling 427-1505.

-

UNIVERSAL PROTECTION SERVICE ANNOUNCES RECRUITMENT EVENT NEXT WEEK

Friday, March 11

Universal Protection Service will host a recruitment event at SC Department of Employment and Workforce, located at 364 South Church Street in Spartanburg, on Wednesday, March 16th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The hiring event will be for full-time and part-time security officer positions in Spartanburg. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


BRADLEY ADAMS NAMED UCHS HEAD COACH AND ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Thursday, March 10

Union County High School has a new head football coach and athletic director. He is Bradley Adams and is coming to Union from Georgetown High School.

The announcement was made during a special called meeting Wednesday afternoon of the Union County School District Board of Trustees. Following a presentation from the AdvancED Committee, the board voted to go into an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. When they returned from the session, Trustee Gene Lipsey made the motion to accept the personnel report, at which time the district’s HR director, Jeff Stribble, announced:

 

Adams is the all-time winningest coach in Georgetown High School’s history and had the longest serving tenure there. It was said about Adams, it isn’t just about the final score, it is about teaching young men the skills and character traits they will need to be successful in life and become contributing members of the community.

Coach Adams is married to his wife Jennifer and has two step-daughters: Gracie, 17, and Sunni, 15. They say they are looking forward to making Union home and becoming part of the community. Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks said Adams's duties begin immediately.

-

JEFF BAILEY ANNOUNCES RUN FOR SHERIFF

Thursday, March 10

A good number of people turned out at the USC-Union bookstore and student lounge to hear Union Magistrate Jeff Bailey announce his intentions to run as a Republican for the office of Union County Sheriff. In making the announcement, Bailey said a part of his position is to work to eliminate the negativity here, and he said, “We need to start with new leadership.” He told WBCU News:

 

Bailey said he sent a letter to Governor Nikki Haley Tuesday resigning his job as magistrate. He pledged, “I will be one of the best sheriffs in Union County."

-

UNION MAN FACES MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGE

Thursday, March 10

Last Thursday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield and Sgt. Jared Gilstrap were on patrol and drove behind the Shooters Bar, located at 1226 South Duncan Bypass, into the rear parking area. As theY drove into the parking area, they observed a vehicle parked with the interior light on inside and the rear passenger door open. After looking further, Lt. Sherfield noticed that there were two white females in the front seat of the vehicle, and 27-year old Justin Stevens was seated in the rear seat. Before the officers could stop and get Stevens out, he exited the vehicle and fled on foot into the woods. When the officers walked up to the vehicle to speak with the two females, Lt. Sherfield noticed a plastic bag of marijuana in plain sight on the rear seat near the middle of the seat where Stevens was seated. The marijuana was collected by Lt. Sherfield and secured as evidence. Lt. Sherfield then recorded a statement from both females inside the vehicle also indicating that Justin Stevens was inside the vehicle and that the marijuana was his. Later, Stevens called one of the witnesses by cell phone and wanted to know if the police were still there. When the witness began telling him that he needed to turn himself in, Stevens hung up the phone. The witnesses were then released, and an arrest warrant will be signed charging Stevens with possession of marijuana.

-

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION DELAYED DUE TO CAMPUS FACELIFT

Thursday, March 10

USC Union is pushing their 50th anniversary celebration back a few months because they are giving the campus a facelift. The improvements started in February 2016 with landscaping, gazebo renovation, Student Center Courtyard, and Patron’s Park. USC's main campus is handling the project work and using local contractors within a 20-mile radius when possible. The bids are open to local contractors if they are in the SCBO system. Phase I began in February and Phase II will begin this month.

Phase I includes: Pressure washing flat working entrances; mulching and edging all the beds; cleaning windows inside and out; cleaning all carpet areas, Truluck gym floor, auditorium stage, and wood flooring; heavy cleaning of all bathrooms; removing unhealthy trees and grinding stumps; planting 2 white oaks in front of the Main Building; awnings are being recovered and reinstalled with black canvas; and curbing and sidewalk installed beside the Truluck Gym.

Phase II will include: Renovation of the gazebo in front of Central Building; additional entrance/sidewalk; replacing the roof; fixing loose and old boards; and window sash replacement in Central Building’s Community Room.

In the next few months, architects and engineers will start work on Patron’s Park and the Student Center Courtyard which includes the $50 for 50 engraved bricks. More information about the 50th celebration will be sent out via radio, newspaper, the USCU website, and social media later in the year. If you are interested in purchasing a $50 for 50 brick, please contact Annie Smith at 424-8055 or via email alsmith@mailbox.sc.edu. The brick form is also located on the website http://uscunion.sc.edu/

-

LAUREN MULLIS NAMED MISS USC UNION 2016

Thursday, March 10

 “Fifty Years and Going Strong” was the theme of the Miss USC Union Pageant on March 5th, where nine contestants competed for the crown. The nine contestants began the evening with their opening number and introduced themselves. The pageant included talent, casual wear with an onstage question, and evening gown competition.  Each young lady selected her own wardrobe and talent performance. Also in attendance were many past Miss USC Union queens. The winner of the pageant was Lauren Mullis.

USCU staff member Bill Moore and Miss USC Union 2012 Kaitlyn Wade co-hosted the pageant.  The judges for the evening were Dr. Susan Elkins – Chancellor of USC’s Palmetto College; Jonathan Trivette – LED Miss Spartanburg Pageant; and Michelle Holcomb – Miss Spartanburg Pageant Board Member. The pageant included a vocal performance by 2015 Miss USC Union, Alana Wright.

The proceeds from the Miss USC Union pageant will go towards the Upstate Alzheimer’s Association, which includes Union, Cherokee, and Spartanburg counties.  Aundi Hunter, Upstate Development Director, was in attendance and spoke briefly about how the funds raised from the pageant benefited Alzheimer patients.

This year’s contestants were Tori Rochester, Hailey Sherbert, Abigail Vlock - Miss Photogenic, Lauren Harger - 1st Runner Up, Satardra 'Speedy' Hall - 2nd Runner Up, Miss Congeniality, Highest Interview Score, Makayla Hutzell, La'Juan Payne, and Brittney Spencer.


SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TO RECEIVE ADVANCED INFO, VOTE ON NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Wednesday, March 9

The Union County Board of School Trustees will have a special called meeting this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. That meeting will take place in the Council Chambers of the Union City Hall. The purpose of the meeting will be to receive information concerning this week’s visit of the AdvancED accreditation group. The agenda also lists a personnel report to be offered. Dr. David Eubanks said last Friday that following the meeting, the board will go into an executive session where the recommendation will be made for the person who will become the head football coach and athletic director at Union County High School. The three finalists' names were released Monday, and they were:

Bill Owens – Athletic director at Chesnee High School

Bradley Adams – Head football coach and athletic director at Georgetown High School

Greg Porter – Head football coach at Hillcrest High School

As soon as the name of the new head coach is made known, WBCU will have it on the air and on our Facebook page.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL FILLS BOARD POSITIONS, EXPANDS NUMBER ON FIRE CONTROL BOARDS

Wednesday, March 9

The Union County Council spent part of their meeting Tuesday afternoon naming people to several boards and commissions. Named to the Planning Commission were Marsha Jordon and William Jeter. The Union County Development Board saw the appointment of Dr. John Catalona and Andrena Powell-Baker. Both are filling unexpired terms. They gave a first reading to an ordinance changing the number of members on their fire control boards from six to seven. The reason given was that sometimes a tiebreaker is needed. The council gave a third and final reading to an ordinance that will allow the Lockhart Fire Department to issue bonds in order to purchase a new fire truck. The cost of the truck will be $231,000. Leroy Worthy and Ted Trantham appeared before the council to impart information about their organization known as The Union County Action Network.  Among other things, they are proposing the possibility of consolidating the city and county governments. The Finance Committee recommended the expenditure of $21,377 to do roof work on several buildings. The bid was awarded to TBA Construction. An expenditure of up to $15,000 was authorized to do repair and replacement work on smoke and fire alarms.

-

UPCOUNTRY LITERARY FESTIVAL COMING TO USC UNION NEXT WEEKEND

Wednesday, March 9

USC Union will be the host to the 6th-annual Upcountry Literary Festival this year on Friday, March 18th, from 1:00pm until 5:00pm, and Saturday, March 19th, from 9:00am – 1:00pm in the Main Building Auditorium. The two-day event will showcase a number of nationally and regionally renowned authors, poets, and musical artists as part of the free public event. The USC Union Campus Shop and Bookstore will be open during their regular hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm) to purchase books that will be presented at the festival. They will also open on Saturday of the festival from 10:00am – 1:30pm. The festival and USC Union say they would like to thank their sponsors: The Switzer Foundation, City of Union, and The Humanities Council. A full schedule and participant list can be found on USC Union’s website: http://uscunion.sc.edu  For more information, please call Randy Ivey at (864) 424-8057. You can also follow the festival on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/upcountryliteraryfestival 

-

AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 MEETS NEXT MONDAY

Wednesday, March 9

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

-

HISTORICAL SOCIETY PLANS FUNDRAISER IN TWO WEEKS

Wednesday, March 9

On March 23rd, the Union County Historical Society will hold a fundraiser. Area supporters are invited to come out to El Poblano, where a portion of the cost of the meal will go to the organization. You can dine in or carry out.

-

YOUNG REPUBLICANS PLAN NEW EVENT WITH REP. MULVANEY AS SPECIAL GUEST

Wednesday, March 9

Union County’s Young Republicans will host what they are calling the First Conservative Re-UNION on Friday, April 1. The event will take place at the Union Shrine Club located at 2731 Lockhart Highway. They say it is an opportunity for attendees to eat, meet and greet. The tickets are $15 each, which will include a meal of barbecue, baked beans, slaw and dessert. Special guests for the event will be 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney, along with other federal, state and local officials. For tickets, you should contact the Union County Young Republicans Facebook page at facebook.com/UCYoungGOP. The tickets are also available from Brett Shugart at 864-426-2417 or Tiffany Littlejohn at 864-426-6511.

JEFF BAILEY EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE A RUN FOR SHERIFF

Wednesday, March 9

Politics continues to heat up in Union County. Another announcement will happen this morning, when Jeff Bailey announces his intentions to seek the office of Union County Sheriff. Bailey currently serves as one of the county’s magistrates and expects to ultimately face off against incumbent Sheriff David Taylor in the November General Election. Bailey is running as a Republican. He will announce his intentions to run at the bookstore of USC-Union, located at 311 East Main Street. Actual filing for Union County offices will begin on March 16 and conclude at noon on March 30th.

-

EIGHT STUDENTS NAMED SC JUNIOR SCHOLARS

Wednesday, March 9

Eight Union County students have qualified for the South Carolina Junior Scholar Award for the school year 2015-2016.  The qualifying the students include:

Jonesville Middle School:

Dayton Caldwell, son of Vicki Caldwell and Martin Caldwell

Sims Middle School:

Trey Best, son of Hope Cates

Chaniah Brown, daughter of Reggie Walker and Catrina Brown

Garrison Hendrix, son of Kevin and Heather Hendrix

Austin Millwood, son of Jason and April Millwood

Robert Sanders, son of Robert and Angel Sanders

Katherine Wagner, daughter of Stewart Wagner and Christy Kincheloe

Spencer Woodall, son of Tim and Kristi Woodall

The students were selected as South Carolina Junior Scholars by scoring 550 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the PSAT/NMSQT or by scoring 530 or higher on the Math section. Additionally, Duke TIP participants who were identified and recognized at either the Grand Recognition Ceremony or the State Recognition Ceremony during their 7th-grade year automatically qualified to become a 2015-16 SC Junior Scholar.

As recipients of this honor, the students will be recognized in local award ceremonies and will receive an Award of Merit from the State Department of Education. 


KELLY-KELTON BOARD REMOVES FARR AS CHIEF, APPOINTS PRUITT AS INTERIM CHIEF

Tuesday, March 8

The chief of the Kelly-Kelton Fire Department, Bryan Farr, has been removed from his position. The move came about as a result of a four-hour meeting, 3-1/2 hours of which was spent in an executive session with the board hearing from numerous witnesses. The complaint against Farr was that he challenged the command authority at a house fire in Lockhart in early January. Their decision was based in part on a letter that came from the Union County Fire Chief’s Association, which stated that Farr would “not be welcome at any fire” where the Kelly-Kelton Department was called to assist. It stated that all other members of the department would be welcome. Farr was asked if he thought he had been treated fairly.

 

The motion to remove Farr came on a motion by board member Eddie Williams and passed unanimously. Wesley Pruitt was named the department’s interim chief.

-

FINALISTS FOR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR/FOOTBALL COACH POSITION ANNOUNCED

Tuesday, March 8

Interim Union County School District Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks has released the names of the three finalists for the position of the school’s head football coach and athletic director. The search for the new head football coach and athletic director began last December when Coach Steve Taneyhill’s contract was not renewed. The three named in the news release Monday morning are:

Bill Owens – Athletic director at Chesnee High School

Bradley Adams – Head football coach and athletic director at Georgetown High School

Greg Porter – Head football coach at Hillcrest High School

When Coach Taneyhill was named head coach, he did not get the title of athletic director. In the search for the new individual, it was made clear that the duties of athletic director would be included in the area of responsibility.

Dr. Eubanks said the announcement of who the head coach will be should be made known Wednesday afternoon. The board is having a special called meeting that day to hear comments about the AdvancED evaluation group that has been in Union since Sunday. Eubanks said at the conclusion of that meeting, the board will go into an executive session to consider the three candidates, and the vote on the board's recommendation should be forthcoming. The meeting begins at 3:00 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.

-

AREA LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTS INCREASED ACTIVITY OVER THE WEEKEND

Tuesday, March 8

Police activity was high over this past weekend, as a total of 32 items were listed in their daily report. The majority of the cases involved criminal domestic violence, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and driving under the influence. Likewise, the Union County Sheriff’s Office reported a fairly high level of activity over the weekend. Many of the cases could be considered routine.

-

SHERIFF SUED OVER ALLEGED EXPLICIT TEXTS

Tuesday, March 8

A lawsuit has been filed against Union County Sheriff David Taylor accusing him of texting sexually explicit messages. Newberry attorney and Union native Chad Jenkins filed the suit Friday in the Union County Clerk of Court's Office on behalf of a Jane Doe. The fictitious name is being used to protect the plaintiff from “further embarrassment”. Taylor is said to have received the complaint filed by Jane Doe on Friday. Taylor is quoted as saying, “Given the timing, I can’t help but think there is some underlying political agenda at work here." Taylor will be seeking his third term as sheriff and reportedly will have opposition.

-

SPARTANBURG 4K TEACHER CHARGED WITH DUI IN UNION COUNTY

Tuesday, March 8

An Upstate kindergarten teacher from Union County has been placed on administrative leave from her Spartanburg District Three job. Kathy Bishop, 57, was arrested after she was pulled over on Jonesville-Lockhart Highway near Peach Shed Road shortly before 4 p.m. last Friday. After being informed of the arrest of a district teacher, the superintendent immediately placed her on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.  Bishop is listed as a 4K teacher at Cannons Elementary School, and it was her 26th year of teaching. According to the incident report, a driver called the police about a possible intoxicated driver. The caller said the driver was traveling from one lane to the other and was unable to stay in the proper lane. According to the incident report, deputies said after pulling her over, they could detect an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath. A cup of wine was in her vehicle, according to the police report. According to reports, Bishop refused to submit to a breath test. Deputies charged Bishop with driving under the influence and open container.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL DISCUSSES POSSIBILITY OF LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX

Tuesday, March 8

Union County Council members and other local officials spent time in a workshop Monday afternoon learning the “ins and outs” of a local option sales tax. Four representatives from the State Department of Revenue were on hand to provide information and answer questions. The idea of a local option sales tax comes as a result of outcries about the fees implemented this year to help fund the Emergency Medical Service and for repairs to county roads. A referendum would be required before such a tax can be implemented and would go into effect on May 1st following a November election. According to the law, a minimum of 71% of the tax collected must go for property tax relief and 29% for the county’s use. The idea would be to use the money to eliminate the fees. The question is would 29% of the $1.23 million that is anticipated from the local option tax be enough to cover the current fees that are being charged. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart said:

 

It was noted that only six of the state’s 46 counties do not have a local option sales tax of some form. It was discussed that such a tax can also be used for capital projects, but Hart says none are currently in the works.


STUDENT ARRESTED, SUPERINTENDENT RESPONDS TO CELL PHONE INCIDENT AT UCHS

Monday, March 7

In a news release Friday afternoon, the Union Public Safety Department said that a 16-year old juvenile has been arrested and is facing two charges related to an incident at Union County High School involving a teacher. State law prohibits the release of a juvenile's name. The case involved a teacher, Leigh Anne Arthur, who says she was forced to resign from her teaching position at the Career and Technology Center after the student is alleged to have taken pictures of photos on her cell phone and disseminated them to other students. Arthur said the student did not have permission to view her cell phone and did so while she was out of the classroom. The police news release stated the student was charged under the Computer Crimes Act and also faces charges of aggravated voyeurism. The computer crime charge comes as a result of the juvenile accessing the personal information of a cell phone without authorization. The voyeurism charge was leveled because the subject allegedly copied and disseminated the teacher’s photographs.  A forensic investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division revealed the photos were stored in the student's phone in a separate passcode-protected file. The SLED report said the pictures were of a sexual nature. He was being detained at the Department of Juvenile Justice Center in Columbia.

Union County School District Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks said in a prepared statement, “It is truly unfortunate that a teacher charged with proper supervision and care of students failed to fulfill that responsibility in her classroom.” He continued, “Ms. Arthur has used the media to transmit false information obviously intended for the purpose of deflecting the incident totally to the student. The evidence available points to the extent of her false statements.” Eubanks said the student will now face possible expulsion from the school district.

For the full release, click here.

-

KELLY-KELTON FIRE BOARD expected TO TAKE ACTION ON LEAVE STATUS OF their CHIEF TONIGHT

Monday, March 7

Kelly-Kelton Board of Fire Control will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight at 6:00pm at their main station located at 130 Pea Ridge Hwy. in Jonesville. Their agenda calls for a financial report, followed by a discussion of the proposed Drug and Alcohol Policy for the all-volunteer department. The need for such a policy arose about a month ago when their fire chief, Bryan Farr, was asked to submit to a breathalyzer test while on the scene of a blaze in Lockhart. That test did not reveal any degree of intoxication, but Farr was placed on administrative leave in order to investigate the allegation.  An executive session is listed in order to receive information in reference to the internal investigation. The agenda also lists a discussion and action on the leave status of Chief Farr.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS THIS AFTERNOON TO DISCUSS LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX

Monday, March 7

Union County Council will hold a workshop this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the classroom at the Union County Annex Building to meet with representatives from the Bureau of Economic Advisors and the South Carolina Department of Revenue to discuss the local option sales tax. The council has been thinking about the possibility of a local option sales tax for some time, but the subject surfaced during last year's budget hearings. It came as a result of fees implemented on taxpayers to pay for road repairs locally and to subsidize the Emergency Medical Service operation. A referendum would be required to implement the tax. The public is invited to attend the workshop.

-

UCHS WRESTLER PLACES THIRD IN STATE

Monday, March 7

Congratulations are in order for a Union County High School wrestler.  Junior LaBrayon "Debo" Woods took home the bronze medal at the state wrestling championship on Saturday, February 27.  He entered the competition ranked fifth in the state.  In competition, Woods was pinned by the wrestler from Swansea, who won the state championship, and by the wrestler from Myrtle Beach.  He pinned the wrestler from Darlington in the second period, and the wrestler from Eastside in overtime, finishing third in the state.  Coach Jon Langenfeld said, "We are proud of him and can't wait for next year where he is expected to win gold."

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES LUKESVILLE ROAD BREAK-IN

Monday, March 7

On Wednesday, a Union County sheriff's deputy spoke with a complainant about a break-in at 735 Lukesville Rd. The man stated that no one has lived in the residence since October of last year, when his elderly mother moved out due to her needing around-the-clock care. The man stated the house is owned by his elderly aunt, and he and his brother keep a check on the place and get the mail from time to time. He stated that he came to the residence Tuesday night and went inside to find that someone has been staying in the house. He said the kitchen was a mess and that there were cigarette butts and beer cans on the table. He also stated that the telephone and the remote control had been moved and it looked as though someone had been sleeping in one of the beds in the spare bedroom. He said there is approximately $200 worth of frozen food missing from the chest freezer in the kitchen and also the freezer above the refrigerator. A .38 special revolver was missing from the house, as well. An investigator was called to the scene.

-

APPLICATION PERIOD OPEN FOR HEAD START

Monday, March 7

Carolina Community Actions, Inc., Head Start is now accepting applications for children ages 3 and 4 for the 2016–2017 program year. Head Start serves children from low-income families and children with disabilities. Children with disabilities, including emotional, intellectual and physical, are eligible regardless of their family income level. They are also accepting applications for infants and toddlers from birth to 3 years for the Jonesville program. Early Head Start programs begin serving children before they are born by offering services to their pregnant moms. The purpose is to ensure that the pregnant woman remains healthy throughout her pregnancy. A legal birth certificate, certificate of immunization and proof of income for the 2015 calendar year and the Social Security number of all persons in the household must be provided when you apply. The Head Start Center in Union County is located in Jonesville at 514 Alman Street. For additional information, you may call 864-674-6014.

-

CIVITAN CLUB'S ANNUAL PANCAKE DAY SET FOR MARCH 24TH

Monday, March 7

The annual Civitan Club Pancake Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 24. It will take place in the Mon-Aetna Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. A pancake breakfast will be served from 7 until 9 a.m., with lunch from 11 to 1:30 and dinner from 5 until 7. This is an “All you can eat” event. The day will feature, in addition to pancakes, Midway’s famous sausage and bacon, along with juice, coffee and milk. Carryouts will be available.

-

MIRACLE LEAGUE TO HOLD CHICKEN STRIP FUNDRAISER ON MARCH 21ST

Monday, March 7

Another opportunity to enjoy a good meal and help out a great cause is coming up Monday, March 21st. Buffalo Seafood will sponsor a chicken strip dinner that day from 5 until 8 p.m. The proceeds will go to the Miracle League of Union County. That organization is currently involved in fundraising to build an all-inclusive playground at Timken Park. The plates are $8 and will include chicken strips, fries, slaw, a roll, and a drink. Baked goods will be available for an additional donation. Carryouts are available.


STUDENT FACES CHARGES IN CELL PHONE INCIDENT AT UNION COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

Friday, March 4

-

INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT RELEASES DISTRICT'S RESPONSE TO CELL PHONE INCIDENT

Friday, March 4

-

COON HUNTING EVENT SEEN AS A BIG BOOST FOR UNION COUNTY

Friday, March 4

Union County Tourism Director Curtiss Hunter indicated it would be almost impossible to give an accurate number of the people who attended the Southeastern Treeing Walker Days this past weekend. She touts the event as being a great boost for Union County. People travelled from as far away as Canada to attend. One visitor mentioned that he had never missed this event, wherever it took place, in 40 years. Hunter mentioned the one-cent hospitality tax that is paid by patrons to local restaurants and other establishments that should have felt the impact. As far as actual numbers are concerned, Hunter said:

 

She said the event this past weekend would surely lead to other happenings. She mentioned the Sumter National Forest as a resource for events related to hunting. She said she is currently working on one event but would not reveal what that was. Hunter said, “Sometimes you can say something too soon.”

-

FIREFIGHTERS QUICKLY EXTINGUISH FIRE AT MAIN STREET JUNCTION BUILDING

Friday, March 4

Firefighters with the Public Safety Department responded to a blaze on Main Street Thursday morning. The location was the Main Street Junction building currently being renovated. Fire Commander Larry Robinson said the blaze occurred in a stairwell and was called in by workmen in the building. He said the cause of the blaze has not been determined and is still under investigation. Robinson called the damage minimal. Three trucks and personnel responded, and they pumped around 2000 gallons of water on the fire. With three trucks out of the fire station, the Monarch Fire Department was called to stand by at the Union Department. Firefighters were on scene about an hour.

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR GIVING FALSE INFORMATION TO POLICE

Friday, March 4

Union County sheriff’s deputies were attempting to serve a warrant at the address of 301 Richards St. 37-year old Roderick Nathaniel Peake answered the door and told deputies that the subject they were looking for was not there. Deputies were given permission to search the residence and found the subject they were looking for hiding under the laundry in the laundry room. The warrant was served on that subject, and Peake was arrested and charged with giving false information and transported to the Union County Jail.

-

SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP ITS WARRIOR LOUNGE

Friday, March 4

Spartanburg Community College says they can better serve veterans today thanks to a grant from America's Warrior Partnership (AWP) to the college's foundation. The $16,720 grant will be applied toward SCC's services for military and veteran students in partnership with the Upstate Warrior Solution, Inc.

"Working with America's Warrior Partnership and the Upstate Warrior Solution has been an invaluable opportunity for SCC and the military and veteran students we serve throughout Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties," explains Henry C. Giles, Jr., SCC president. "The mission of both organizations aligns perfectly with SCC's—to connect, educate, advocate and collaborate with veterans, service members-our country's warriors-and their families. And, day-in and day-out, that's exactly what our faculty and staff do—connect, advocate, and collaborate with all students by providing educational and training opportunities for a better future for themselves and their families.

The funds come from America's Warrior Partnership, a non-profit organization that financially supports community-level agencies providing holistic services to veterans.

"These grant funds will be used to staff SCC's Warrior Lounge, which is a dedicated area on the college's central campus, exclusively for military, veteran students and their dependents where they may seek refuge to study, rest and connect with fellow student veterans," explains Lynn F. Dale, SCC's associate vice present of enrollment management and retention. Two students with military service experience will be hired as SCC ambassadors; their responsibility will be to manage the Warrior Lounge on a daily basis.   

SCC will begin enrolling for summer semester classes on March 21. Individuals interested in applying to the college for classes that begin on May 16, May 31, and June 16, may contact the SCC Admissions Center at (864) 592-4800 or toll free (866) 591-3700 or apply online at www.sccsc.edu.

-

SLIGHT INCREASE IN SINGLE-FAMILY BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED IN UNION LAST YEAR

Friday, March 4

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments shows only a slight change in the number of single-family building permits issued in Union County during 2015. The 2014 report listed 13 permits being issued, while 2015 showed an increase of five to 18. By comparison, neighboring Chester County listed 40 for the year, while Lancaster County had 1083 and York had 1,937. The high numbers from Lancaster and York counties are said to be related to their close proximity to the fast-growing Metro Charlotte area. Union County stayed the same in the number of mobile home permits at 22. There were no commercial or industrial permits issued in 2015.


CELL PHONE INCIDENT AT UCHS MAKES NATIONAL CONVERSATION

Thursday, March 3

Union County has once again been thrust into the national spotlight, this time over a Career and Technology Center teacher who was forced to resign over having inappropriate photos on her cell phone. Her story has shown up nationally on talk radio and at least one nationally syndicated television program. On Wednesday, the topic was discussed on the CBS show “The Talk.” The personalities on the program bantered about whether or not Leigh Anne Arthur’s privacy was violated when a student managed to gain control of her phone and revealed the compromising pictures. She says she was forced to resign by the school district because their position was that by the photos being on the phone and having it on school property, it gave the student the opportunity to see them. Arthur claims her rights were violated because the student took the phone without her permission. She filed a police report on the student and that case is said to be under investigation by the City of Union Public Safety Department and SLED.

-

COUNTY COUNCIL TO HOLD A WORKSHOP MONDAY TO DISCUSS LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX

Thursday, March 3

The Union County Council will hold a workshop on Monday, March 7, at 2:00 p.m. in the classroom at the Union County Annex Building. They will meet with representatives from the Bureau of Economic Advisors and the South Carolina Department of Revenue to discuss the local option sales tax. The council has been thinking about the possibility of a local option sale tax for some time, but the subject resurfaced during last year’s budget hearings. It came as a result of fees being implemented on taxpayers to pay for road repairs locally and to subsidize the Emergency Medical Service operation. A referendum would be required to implement the tax. The public is invited to attend the workshop.

-

DOLLAR GENERAL RECRUITING WAREHOUSE WORKERS MONDAY

Thursday, March 3

Dollar General will host a recruitment event at their Jonesville Distribution Center, located at 1451 Spartanburg Highway in Jonesville. It will be held on Monday, March 7, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. The hiring event will be for warehouse worker positions. No previous experience is required. Candidates may apply online via www.jobs.scworks.org to apply online and then attend the recruitment event.

-

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR JAMES H. HAMPTON SCHOLARSHIP

Thursday, March 3

It’s that time of the year when the Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department will begin taking applications for the James H. Hampton Scholarship. That scholarship will be awarded to a recipient that lives in the BVFD service area. It is available to a high school senior or adult that is seeking an advanced degree. The degree may be pursued at a technical school, college, or university.  Applications are available at UCHS, Andy's, or by calling
427-5739. The deadline for applying for this scholarship is April 29.

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SETS DATE, SPEAKER FOR ITS AWARDS BANQUET

Thursday, March 3

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has set the date for its annual awards banquet for March 31st.  This event is open to not only members but any business, industry, or individual interested in Union County. The invitation reads as follows: “Plan to join us March 31st for a celebration of this past year and the recognition of those who have made tremendous contributions to the success of Union County.  Make your reservation right away by contacting the Chamber office at 864-427-9039 or by email at chamber@unionsc.com.” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Torance Inman tells us about this year’s speaker.

 

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES STOLEN MONEY

Thursday, March 3

Tuesday, a Union deputy responded to 3491 Buffalo-West Springs Highway in reference to a larceny of money. Upon arrival, he spoke with the complainant, who stated as he exited his vehicle, he did not realize that he dropped money onto the ground. A person he knows as Kevin walked up to him and spoke with him. He said Kevin bent down beside him and picked up the money on the ground. The man stated he told Kevin thank you for picking up his money. He stated Kevin threatened to assault him if he did not get back into his vehicle and without returning the money. The man said the subject then got into some type of company truck and left the parking lot. A victim’s form was issued, and a written statement was given by the victim.

-

TEEN FORGOES BIRTHDAY PRESENTS TO RAISE MONEY FOR CANCER FUND

Thursday, March 3

14-year old Ginger Dailey has created a yearly tradition: raising money through birthday presents to donate to cancer patients. For the third year in a row, Dailey has told her friends and family to forego birthday gifts and give money to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Cancer Special Needs Fund for Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. Ginger turned 14 on February 6th.
Ginger said, “I had a birthday party with my family and with my friends from dance and school. They were a little shocked when they heard I didn’t want presents. They kept asking, ‘Are you sure?’”
Ginger was moved by the death of her maternal grandfather, “Papa,” who passed away in September 2013. Ginger’s grandfather was cared for at Spartanburg Medical Center.  She wanted to bring comfort to other patients who were battling the disease.
This year, she raised more than $1,300, which supports special needs of cancer patients, such as medication, transportation and unexpected expenses.
To donate to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation, visit RegionalFoundation.com.
The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is a charitable organization whose primary mission is to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through direct support and also through support of community programs and services that share the Spartanburg Regional mission of providing quality healthcare to our community.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. 


HART, SCHOOL LEADERS TOUT NEW TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Wednesday, March 2

The Tuition Assistance Program was discussed Tuesday during a WBCU News Special. The purpose of the program was to introduce the initiative to the public and explain how students might participate. On hand for the discussion were: Dr. David Eubanks, Interim Superintendent of the Union County School District; Dr. John Cantalona, Interim Dean of the University of South Carolina–Union; Dr. Henry Giles, President of Spartanburg Community College; and Frank Hart, Union County Supervisor. The way the program works is that a student who under normal circumstances may not be able to afford a college education would apply for all available assistance through the South Carolina Educational Lottery and the Life Scholarship. According to Dr. Cantalona, on average, once obtained, that would leave a balance of $140. Under the program, Union County would pay that fee. Around $65,000 has been set aside to fund the program. That money is coming from economic funds in the belief that training local students for jobs that may be currently available would greatly impact and fill the void that currently exists. Supervisor Hart says it is all about giving the young people of the community an opportunity to further their education.

 

The program will be rolled out March 22nd when it is introduced to students at Union County High School. The program is limited to Spartanburg Community College and USC-Union.

-

SCHOOL BOARD ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR ADVANCed VISIT

Wednesday, March 2

The AdvancED meeting for Union County School District board members is set to begin this coming Sunday, March 6th. The opening session will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Career and Technology Center with an appetizer and dessert reception. Following that, the District Leadership Team will meet and there will be an Executive Summary Presentation. Monday, March 7th, there will be a Self-Assessment Presentation, and following that, the District Leadership Team will once again meet in the Union City Hall. That afternoon, the AdvancED team will begin interviewing the district’s board members individually in the District Office, and that is expected to go into Tuesday. The agenda lists the board interviews as being a required attendance session. It will all wrap up on Wednesday with a called board meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall. The AdvancED meeting is a part of the accreditation process.

-

ARTS COUNCIL schedulES AWARDS RECEPTION, WINE TASTING IN MARCH

Wednesday, March 2

The Union County Arts Council has announced their monthly activities that will be taking place at their gallery on Main Street. They will have their normal monthly activities, but there are two events that stand out on the list. The middle/high school awards & reception will be held on Thursday, March 15th, from 5 until 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to the awards reception. These students were selected by their teachers to exhibit their work in the gallery.

The Arts Council’s 2016 Wine Tasting will be held Friday, March 11th, starting at 6:00pm. Area residents are invited to come and enjoy an evening with friends and Biltmore Wine. A limited number of tickets are available. If you have not purchased yours yet, please contact UCAC, or any of their board members. Tickets are $10 each.

You are also reminded you can join the Union County Arts Council. All members receive special pricing on camps, classes, and events.  For more information, contact Amber at 864-429-2817.

-

COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING set for THURSDAY

Wednesday, March 2

The monthly Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, March 3, at the USC-Union gazebo. Organizers ask that you 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 our world, and for the Church. They will also pray for God’s guidance in the coming primaries and caucuses. They also will ask participants to pray for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. All are welcome. If you can't get to the gazebo, they ask that you take some time for special prayer during the day.


FORMER CITY COUNCIL MEMBER TO RUN FOR COUNTY COUNCIL SEAT

Tuesday, March 1

A second person has announced that he will be a candidate for a Union County Council seat. Former City Councilman Tommy Hill says he will be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the District 5 position on the Union County Council. That seat is currently held by Randall “Chump” Hanvey. Hill served two terms on the Union City Council and is a former Public Safety Officer for the City of Union.

“I am a passionate supporter of our current county councilmen and will totally commit myself to working with them and also bring new ideas that will be of great benefit to the people of Union County,” Hill said. “Being a former two-term Union City Councilman has allowed me to become knowledgeable and experienced in how the two bodies — city/county —work together for progress. One the greatest assets I can offer is the ability to work as a team member in order for positive changes to take place within our county for its people.”

Last week, David Sinclair announced that he would be a Republican candidate for the District 3 County Council seat.

The next primary will be June 14, and if any runoff elections are necessary, that will be held June 28. Again, voters will have to choose which primary they want to vote in, just as in the past two weekends. The deadline for filing for office in either the Democratic or Republican primary is March 30th.

The Jonesville town election will be held on April 12th. Voters there will elect four council members and a water commissioner. Eleven people have already signed up for the council seats. The last day to register to vote in the Jonesville election will be March 12.

-

KELLY-KELTON FIRE BOARD CLARIFIES SITUATION REGARDING CHIEF FARR

Tuesday, March 1

Kelly-Kelton Fire Chief Bryan Farr has been placed on a two-week administrative leave while the fire board investigates allegations that Chief Farr challenged the orders given by the incident commander at a fire scene in the Lockhart Fire District. Chief Farr will be allowed to continue his office duties at the department during this leave; however, he will not be permitted to drive the trucks or respond to any fire scenes during this time.  Kelly-Kelton Fire Department responded to a structure fire on South 5th Street in the Lockhart community during the early morning hours of February 8th. According to a statement by the board, they have received information that Chief Farr argued with the incident commander over the course of action he had chosen to take in fighting the fire. Over the next two weeks, they said their board will gather as much information as possible concerning this report. They will then meet and go over what they have and speak to the individuals who witnessed the incident. They say they are not interested in rumors, hearsay or assumptions and plan to base any decision that must be made on facts.

The board’s statement continues: “As you know, there have been numerous reports alleging that Chief Farr was under the influence of alcohol while driving Engine 601 to the scene of the fire. The Union County Sheriff’s Office responded to the fire scene and Chief Farr willingly left the scene with a deputy and agreed to undergo a breathalyzer test. At no time was Mr. Farr ever handcuffed or placed under arrest. The test was inconclusive and no charges were filed against Mr. Farr.  Sheriff Taylor is the top law enforcement official in this county; as such, he and his deputies are trained to investigate allegations of this nature. We support our law enforcement and their ability to effectively determine when and if charges are necessary. We ask that all residents of this county extend that same courtesy. That being said, our board does intend to review, revise and add any policies necessary in an effort to prevent situations of this nature in the future.

We would like to assure the residents of our district that even though this department is going through many struggles, the district maintains fire protection. While Chief Farr is on leave, our other firefighters will continue to run calls in the district and in accordance with the Union County Automatic Aid Agreement. Our neighboring departments will also be available to assist as needed, and we extend our thanks to those departments. We ask for your support and understanding as we move through this process. Our greatest concern is that we make the best decisions possible for our fire district and all those living in it.”

-

UNDERCOVER DRUG DEAL LEADS TO ARREST OF UNION MAN

Tuesday, March 1

On October 14, Sgt. Gilstrap met with, searched, wired with audio and video, and provided recorded government funds to an operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office. That was done in an attempt to purchase a quantity of marijuana from James Anthony Worthy. The deal was already prearranged by the operative. The operative went to a location in the 200 block of Long Twelve Street in the City of Union, as instructed by Worthy, and was able to purchase a quantity of marijuana from Worthy, who is also known as "Young Buck." The operative then met back with Sgt. Gilstrap and turned over the marijuana and audio and video equipment. The marijuana was placed in evidence to be tested by a UCSO Marijuana Analyst. Sgt. Gilstrap plans to sign warrants on Worthy for distribution of marijuana and distribution of marijuana within a 1/2 mile of a school or park because the transaction took place within ½ mile of City Park. Worthy was arrested this past weekend.

-

PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN TO HOLD MAGNOLIA WORKSHOP ON MARCH 26TH

Tuesday, March 1

Your magnolias may not be as happy as they are beautiful. You will be able to learn the proper care for existing magnolias and the necessary TLC for new ones at a March 26 workshop hosted by the Piedmont Physic Garden (PPG).

PPG welcomes a true magnolia expert, Kevin Parris, arboretum director at Spartanburg Community College. “We’ll share tips and information on caring for existing magnolias, or for finding just the right magnolia,” Parris said. “If you thought you knew everything about magnolias, you’re in for a treat. Some species are more compatible for our gardens than others.”

A PPG spokesperson said Parris brings a wealth of knowledge to the event with a wide range of work experience across the Upstate. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and a Master of Science in Plant and Environmental Sciences from Clemson University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Plant and Environmental Sciences.

The “These Ain’t Your Mama’s Magnolias” workshop will be held from 10 am – noon on that date. Space is limited and advance registration is required. The early registration price of $15 applies until March 18. Registration costs $20 per person afterwards. PPG is located at 301 East South Street in Union. Please call 864-427-2556 for more information, or e-mail: louiseunti@piedmontphysicgarden.org.

The Piedmont Physic Garden is a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to exhibit and promote the medicinal, economic, cultural and environmental importance of plants to the people of Union County and the surrounding Piedmont region of South Carolina.

-

VAPOR APPAREL RECRUITING WORKERS TODAY

Tuesday, March 1

Vapor Apparel will be holding a recruitment event today at the Union SC Works office. The time will be from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

They are looking for sewing operators. The job required that you have a knowledge of sewing apparel with a single needle, overlock and/or cover stitch.

They also want inspector/packers. Successful candidates will inspect, trim and perform other tasks related to product preparation.

They are seeking candidates who can communicate openly, actively listen and work well with others.

Apply immediately online at www.sctechjobs.com.  

You are encouraged to take advantage of the “Portfolio to Work” session to prepare for this, as well as all future recruitment events. Contact SC Works Union, 864-427-4119, for more information.

Remember to always enter appropriately dressed. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org.


CLINTON WINS UNION COUNTY, STATE

Monday, February 29

Just as last week in the Republican Presidential Primary, Union County Democrats mirrored the statewide results. Hillary Clinton was declared the winner by a wide margin early on in South Carolina. The same was true in Union, as Clinton jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Clinton garnered 1690 of the votes cast. Bernie Sanders had 332. The other two candidates, Martin O’Malley and Willie Wilson, had 2 and 3 votes, respectively. The Republicans had a larger turnout for their primary last week, with a total of 3639 votes cast to the Democrats’ 2036. There were no major issues reported in the election; however, Election Commission Chairman Keith Vanderford did caution that people who have moved or otherwise changed their address will need to correct that in the registration office before the June primary. Failure to do so could cause your vote not to be counted.

-

MELANIE LAWSON ANNOUNCES RUN FOR CLERK OF COURT

Monday, February 29

A candidate for the office of Union County Clerk of Court four years ago has announced her intention to seek that office once again.

Melanie Lawson said in a prepared statement, “The Clerk of Court’s Office plays an important role in the judicial system in Union County.  In addition to overseeing Family, Common Pleas, and General Sessions courts, the office is also responsible for recording legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, tax liens, foreclosures, plats and a host of other items.  In order for this office to operate effectively to serve the people of Union County, it is important that the Clerk of Court have the necessary experience to coordinate all of these various operations.” Lawson touts her experience as being key in seeking the office.

 

She said she has 20 years of experience working in the Union County Clerk of Court’s Office in various positions. She added that she has worked in all of the areas under the responsibility of the Clerk of Court.  

Lawson is a lifelong resident of Union County and says if elected she will be a “hands-on” Clerk of Court who will come alongside the staff and work diligently to provide excellent service to the citizens of our county.  

Lawson, a Democrat, lost the election four years ago to Republican Freddie Gault.

-

STILL WAITING ON FINAL NUMBERS From COON HUNTING EVENT

Monday, February 29

While the final numbers have yet to come in, thousands of people were expected in Union County Friday and Saturday to check out the best hunting dogs around. It was expected the Southeastern Treeing Walker Days event would bring in people from all over the country to Union County.

There were vendors, field trials, and even a dog show. Organizers said they expected around 15,000 people for the three-day event at the Union County Fairgrounds.

“It’s a wide sport that a lot of people don’t see,” said Stephen Stone of the Union County Coon Hunters Association. “It was obvious at the fairgrounds that it is a very popular sport.”

-

HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES ITS QUARTERLY MEETING

Monday, February 29

The Union County Historical Society will have their quarterly membership meeting at the Union County Museum on Sunday, March 20, at 3:00 pm.  The back door will be open for everyone to enter the Meeting Room.

-

RECRUITMENT EVENT PLANNED IN UNION THURSDAY

Monday, February 29

Aerotek will host a recruitment event at SC Works Union, located at 103 West Main Street. It will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 9:00am to noon. The hiring event will be for machine operator and forklift operator positions in Union. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.

-

UNION MEDICAL CENTER HOSTING BLOOD DRIVE WITH EXTRA REWARD POINTS

Monday, February 29

Union Medical Center will be hosting a blood drive by The Blood Connection on Wednesday, March 2, at the hospital between 2 and 5 p.m. Normally, blood donors receive 200 TBC points, but for this occasion, 500 points will be awarded. These points are redeemable for gift cards for a number of establishments. A donor card or photo ID is required to donate blood.

-

SHERIFF TAYLOR, INVESTIGATOR SCOTT COFFER HONORED BY LITTER CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Monday, February 29

Union County Sheriff Sheriff David Taylor and Investigator Scott Coffer were recognized this past Thursday by the South Carolina Litter Control Association at their annual conference in Myrtle Beach.  Sheriff Taylor was recognized for a leadership award by the Upper Region Group of the South Carolina Litter Control Association. He was cited for the dedication of his office’s assistance to other agencies in the enforcement of illegal dumping and litter in the upstate region. He thanked his office for all the cooperation they continue to do assisting other agencies in all aspects of law enforcement.

Investigator Scott Coffer was recognized for a state award as he was presented the Senator David L. Thomas Award. Investigator Scott Coffer was recognized for his dedication and devotion to Union County and the state of South Carolina in the continued battle against litter. The award is named after former State Senator David L. Thomas, who was appointed the Litter Czar for the state of South Carolina when South Carolina Football Coach Lou Holtz complained about the trashy highways coming into the state. Senator David Thomas was named Czar and founder of the Governor’s Litter Force. Sheriff David Taylor also served on that task force in 1999 while he was employed with Spartanburg County. Investigator Scott Coffer said he was honored to receive this award from his peers from across the state of South Carolina.

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES BURGLARY IN LOCKHART

Monday, February 29

A Union County sheriff’s deputy responded last week to 203 South 1st Street in Lockhart in reference to a burglary that had already occurred. Upon arriving on the scene, the deputy spoke with complainant, who stated that he went to the residence the night before to winterize the plumbing, because no one is living there. He stated that when he left, everything in the house was in order. When he went back to the residence, he noticed that someone had broken in. A window on the porch appeared to be the point of entry, because some items in front of the window had been moved, the window was unlocked, and the screen on the window had been removed. Upon closer inspection, it appeared that numerous items inside the residence had been moved around and gone through. A locked cedar chest containing a large amount of jewelry had been broken into, and some of the jewelry was missing. An investigator was called to the scene, and fingerprints and other evidence were gathered. This case was sent to investigations.


THOUSANDS EXPECTED AT COON HUNTING EVENT

Friday, February 26

The Southeastern Treeing Walker Days is in town this weekend. Steven Stone, who heads the local coon hunter group, tells us what we can expect as far as the crowd is concerned.

 

It will be the 42nd year for the event, and this year they chose Union as their location. It had previously been held in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is considered to be one of the three major coon hunting events of the year. Stone compared it to a triple crown, much like you would have in horse racing. He said all the hotels in Union are sold out, and a majority of the ones in a 30-mile area are, too. There should be a large number of vendors and exhibitors.

 

There is a $2 fee to enter the event at the Union County Fairgrounds. Those 12 and under are free.

-

POLLS OPEN SATURDAY FOR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

Friday, February 26

The polling places in Union County will be open at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow for the Democratic Presidential Primary. Voters statewide will be selecting who they would like to be on the General Election ballot in November. Appearing on the ballot for Saturday’s primary will be: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Willie Wilson. The Democratic Presidential Primary will be held at the same polling locations as the Republican Primary which was held last week. As a reminder, you cannot vote in both primaries. If you voted in last week’s primary, you will not be allowed to vote in the one Saturday. The polls will close at 7:00 p.m.

-

KELLY-KELTON CHIEF ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE PENDING INVESTIGATION

Friday, February 26

Fire Chief Bryan Farr of the Kelly-Kelton Fire Department has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted. Kelly-Kelton Fire Board Chair Kendra Horne confirmed they are investigating Farr for how he dealt with an incident as commander on the fire scene.

The night of the Lockhart fire on February 8th, the Union County Sheriff’s Office took Farr in for a breathalyzer test while on scene fighting a fire. Farr’s test was inconclusive. There were some indications that Farr had been drinking, which he confirmed, but he said that it had been about eight hours earlier.

The Kelly-Kelton Fire Board currently doesn’t have an alcohol policy in place; they are currently looking at adopting one. Farr will remain on administrative leave until the next board meeting on March 7th. Farr is not allowed to respond to any fire calls in the area. Horne said more information would be forthcoming in the form of a news release later.

-

WINDS DOWN TREES, CAUSE SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES

Friday, February 26

High winds Wednesday created havoc for utility workers throughout the upstate. The extraordinary winds were associated with a weather front that moved through the area, with gusts of in excess of fifty miles per hour. The biggest problem were trees and limbs that were broken and, in many cases, blocked roadways. In Union, those incidents were quickly remedied by city workers. Parts of the county that are served by the City of Union Utility Department were spared any significant power outages. Utility Director Joe Nichols described the few outages as scattered.

-

FOREST SERVICE TO EMPLOY TEENS FOR SUMMER WORK

Friday, February 26

The US Forest Service, Enoree Ranger District, is looking for young men and women, ages 15-18, who are interested in summer employment with the USDA Forest Service. Crew members will earn minimum wage ($7.25/hr.), working 40 hours a week for eight weeks (May 31-July 22).

“The YCC program teaches young adults about the forest environment by engaging them in the management of its natural resources,” said Enoree District Ranger Beth LeMaster.

Applicants must be prepared for hard physical work in an outdoor environment under potential adverse weather conditions and rough terrain. Crew members are responsible for their own daily transportation to the Enoree district office.

The district will conduct a random drawing from the applications received and select an equal number of men and women. Applications must be submitted in “hard copy” form to USDA Forest Service, 20 Work Center Road, Whitmire, SC, 29178, by April 12. E-mails will not be accepted.

Interested persons may pick up an application from guidance counselors at Union, Newberry, Chester or Laurens county schools. The Enoree district office also has applications at 20 Work Center Rd. in Whitmire. For information, call (803) 276-4810.

-

STAFF ONE PLUS HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN SPARTANBURG THURSDAY

Friday, February 26

Staff One Plus will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street in Spartanburg. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, from 9:00am to noon. The hiring event will be for production worker positions. Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.

-

GIBBS CANCER INSTITUTE OPENS GAFFNEY LOCATION

Friday, February 26

When the word “cancer” is mentioned, visions of hospital beds and overnight stays come to mind. However, cancer treatment has migrated to an outpatient setting over the last 20 years, including infusion treatments such as chemotherapy. Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, focuses on providing a comfortable, convenient and calming place for patients during an already difficult time. Gibbs recently made cancer treatment more convenient by extending outpatient infusion services to Cherokee County through Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute—Gaffney.

“There is already added stress when a patient is seriously ill or has a chronic condition,” said Lynn Foster, director of Medical Group of the Carolinas—Hematology Oncology. “The infusion center allows patients to be flexible with their schedules and maximize time for their daily life activities.”

The new center will treat patients with both chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy medications, as directed by their physician, through intravenous lines and catheters that administer medicine directly into the bloodstream.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute offers infusion services at multiple other locations including: Medical Group of the Carolinas—Union; Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute—Pelham, located in Greer; Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute—Spartanburg; and Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute—North Grove. The Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute—Gaffney is located at 724 Hyatt Street in Gaffney. For more information, please call 1-855-DNA-GIBBS.


DR. SHELBY STEPHENSON WILL HEADLINE THIS YEAR'S UPCOUNTRY LITERARY FESTIVAL

Thursday, February 25

USC Union will be host to the 6th-annual Upcountry Literary Festival this year on Friday, March 18th, from 1:00pm until 5:00pm, and Saturday, March 19th, from 9:00am – 1:30pm. The two-day event will showcase a number of nationally and regionally renowned authors, poets, and musical artists.

Spokespersons for The Upcountry Literary Festival say they are honored to announce the keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Shelby Stephenson. After leaving the farm for college, he graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (B.A. 1960) where he also studied law, University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1967), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D. 1974), and worked as a radio and television announcer, salesman, right-of-way agent, and farmer. He was professor of English and editor of Pembroke Magazine until his retirement in 2010. The state of North Carolina presented him with the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature, and he has received the Bellday Poetry Prize, the Oscar Arnold Young Award, the Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize, and the Playwright's Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize. He was installed as North Carolina’s eighth Poet Laureate by Governor Pat McCrory in 2015. His recent book is a reissue, Fiddledeedee, Press 53.

The event is free to everyone and will be held in the auditorium at USC Union’s Main Building. A full schedule and participant list can be found on the USC Union website: http://uscunion.sc.edu or on the Festival’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/upcountryliteraryfestival

The Switzer Foundation, City of Union, and The Humanities Council are sponsors for the event.

-

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR GIVING FALSE INFORMATION

Thursday, February 25

This past Monday at around 8:20 p.m., sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a possible assault in the 200 block of the Whitmire Highway at the request of EMS. The emergency medical personnel also advised deputies that there was possibly a second victim. When the officers arrived on scene, they talked with Angela Christine Sinclair, 52, of Police Club Road, as she was being evaluated by EMS. She told officers and the EMS personnel that she and a female friend had been at the Magnuson Inn with Sinclair’s husband when they were assaulted by a man known as “Taye Diggs.” She said she was able to get away and was attempting to flee to a friend’s home when she was found. Sinclair said the female friend had also managed to escape and was hiding in the woods. K-9 officers were dispatched to the scene along with investigators. The K-9 was unable to pick up a track of the other victim. After investigators arrived and began interviewing the alleged victim, it was determined that Sinclair gave EMS and law enforcement false information. She was booked into the Union County Jail on Tuesday and charged with giving false information to law enforcement.

 

-

JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR THIS YEAR'S SPRING MARKET

Thursday, February 25

The Junior Charity League of Union County is planning their Spring Market for March 19th. It will be open that day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Exhibit Building of the Union County Fairgrounds. They will be selling men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, jewelry, makeup and skin care products, custom turkey calls, baked goods, and more. Organizers say, “Mark your calendar to come and shop with the JCL as we help support charities in Union County and scholarships for high school seniors in Union County.”

-

TORAY CARBON FIBERS BUILDING NEW FACILITY IN MOORE

Thursday, February 25

Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc., a world leader in the manufacturing of carbon fiber, is building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Moore, SC.  They seek those who would like to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment and possess the motivation to incorporate new ideas into practice. If you want to find out more, company representatives will share information about Toray, answer questions about the new facility, discuss projected hiring timelines and how you can join the Toray team. Informational sessions will be held March 4th from 9 to 10, 10 to 11, and 11 to noon. The sessions will begin again that day from 3 until 4, 4 until 5, 5 until 6 and 6 until 7. The sessions will be held at the Tyger River Campus of Spartanburg Community College, located at 1875 East Main Street (Highway 290) in Duncan.

-

MULVANEY RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT'S GUANTANAMO PLAN

Thursday, February 25

Fifth District Congressman Mick Mulvaney released a statement concerning President Obama’s intention to close Guantanamo Bay. The congressman said: “The news out of the White House today (Tuesday) that the president plans to close Guantanamo Bay is especially concerning for those in South Carolina.  Though his proposal did not specify where the detainees would be relocated, a facility in South Carolina has been evaluated by the Pentagon in the past.  While the president touts ‘bipartisanship’ for his proposal, he ignores the bipartisan agreements in Congress that have barred the transfer of these detainees to U.S. soil.  This seems to be a pattern for the president.  Bipartisanship is good when it favors his idea, but it’s to be ignored when he disagrees with Congress.  The bottom line is that Congress passed legislation that was signed into law in November that bans the transfer of detainees to U.S. soil, and that is the law of the land.” 

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, along with other governors across the country, have voiced their opposition to the president’s plan.


REPUBLICANS WILL CONTEST CLERK OF COURT, COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT THREE SEATS

Wednesday, February 24

The political field is beginning to become a bit congested as Republicans say they now have four people in the county seeking various public offices. Tuesday, the Young Republicans staged a press conference where two people announced. Local community leader Amy Austin and automotive service center owner David Sinclair made their political intentions known. Appearing in the USC-Union student lounge, Austin said she would be a candidate for the office of Clerk of Court. That office is currently being held by interim Clerk June Miller, who was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley following the resignation of Freddie Gault, who won the office just four years ago. At the press conference, Amy Austin said:

 

Offering at the same press conference for the office of County Council District 3, David Sinclair said:

 

Sinclair is owner of David Sinclair Automotive in Union. He has extensive automotive factory training in the fields of technician, marketing and management. The District 3 seat is currently being held by Democrat Tommy Ford.

Two other Republicans have already entered the political arena. About a month ago, local minister Tommy Mann said he would seek the South Carolina House District 42 seat. A candidate two years ago, Mark Cathcart says he will make a second run at the same seat. The SC House seat is currently held by incumbent Mike Anthony, who has already said he would be running again.

-

AUDIT HIGHLIGHTS THE MONEY LOCKHART IS LOSING ON WATER AND SEWER SERVICE

Wednesday, February 24

Highlighting the Lockhart Town Council meeting Tuesday night was the annual audit report presented by accountant Brown Fant. Fant said the audit was presented as an unqualified opinion, which in accounting terminology is good. Perhaps most significant is that the numbers show a reasonably consistent loss in the water and sewer service of around $17,000 per year for the past five years. To correct that, Fant said “theoretically” the town needs to go up on the amount they charge for the service. Mayor Ailene Ashe said this is the reason they are considering trying to find someone to take over the service. They have been involved in talks with Lockhart Power Company and the Brown’s Creek Water District about taking over the operation. The matter has become controversial, with not everyone agreeing with such a move. For that reason, the council has decided to back away from the idea, at least for now. The only matter that was agreed on Tuesday night that regardless of who operates the system, rates will have to increase. Prior to the start of the regular meeting, a public hearing was held to receive comments on the proposed Blue Way project. That project calls for the building of a walking trail along the banks of the Broad River. The comments received were positive.

-

FOSTER PARK LIBRARY RECEIVES COPIES OF INSPIRATIONAL BOOK ABOUT RUNNING

Wednesday, February 24

Foster Park Elementary School Librarian Sally Summers recently received two copies of the book Born an Angel for the school library. The donation came from Stephanie Kitchens, representing the Brat Pack, a local running group. 
This inspiring true story was written by the loving sister of an amazing young girl confined to a wheelchair. Having an innate desire to spend joyful moments with her sister Ainsley, who had an extremely rare progressive genetic nerve condition, Briley was introduced to Rick and Dick Hoyt and road race running. The story of sibling love will warm the reader’s heart and invigorate them to change someone's world for the better.
All proceeds from the sale of Born an Angel are pledged by the author to the Ainsley’s Angels of America Foundation. (www.AinsleysAngels.org)

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES BURGLARY

Wednesday, February 24

Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Woods met with a woman about a burglary at her home. She stated she was the last one to leave the house around 4:15 am, and that she locked the deadbolt when she left. She said that upon returning home, she found the door unlocked, the couch in the living room pulled away from the wall, the window behind the couch broken, and items missing from the bedroom. Deputy Woods contacted the on-call investigator, and Lt. Jeff Lawson came to assist. The woman turned over an iPod, which she stated was found several days after a previous burglary that occurred under similar circumstances. The case was turned over to investigations.

-

SPARTANBURG MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES CHEST PAIN CENTER ACCREDITATION

Wednesday, February 24

Spartanburg Medical Center received full Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI (percutaneous catheter intervention) with Resuscitation Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) in 2016. Spartanburg Medical Center is the first to receive PCI and resuscitation accreditation in both North and South Carolina.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than 5 million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s (CPC) evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Accredited facilities better monitor patients when it is not initially clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. Accredited facilities are able to decrease readmissions by 20 to 50 percent.

SCPC’s CPC Accreditation process was developed as greater numbers of facilities in the United States sought to establish standards and adopt best practices in the quality of care provided to patients experiencing chest pain.


TWO TO ANNOUNCE CAMPAIGNS FOR LOCAL OFFICES

Tuesday, February 23

Union County Republican Party Chairman Mike Fowler says an announcement scheduled for tomorrow will see two Union Countians enter the race for Clerk of Court and County Council. In a news release, Fowler stated Amy Austin will make the announcement that she will be a candidate for the office of Clerk of Court, and David Sinclair will offer for County Council District 3.

Austin has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Limestone College and has spent the last several years with her husband as they have worked together to grow the family business.  This experience includes managing people, resources, budgets and marketing. She said, “I’ve had many experiences that I am proud of, but the one I am most proud of, other than my husband and children, is bringing a team of volunteers together as we all worked together successfully toward a common goal of building a Miracle League field in Union County.” Amy is the daughter of Rev. Bob & Erma Cato.

Sinclair is owner of David Sinclair Automotive in Union. He has extensive automotive factory training in the fields of technician, marketing and management. He is a 1991 graduate of Union High School and has earned an associate of biblical studies degree. A lifelong resident of Buffalo, Sinclair and wife, Sonya, have a daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Phillip Quinn.

The official announcement will come today at noon in the USC-Union Campus Shop & Bookstore at 311 East Main Street, Union, and will be hosted by The Young Republicans of Union County.

-

TICKETS ON SALE FOR MISS USC UNION PAGEANT

Tuesday, February 23

Coming up Saturday, March 5th, University of South Carolina-Union will host the Miss USC Union Pageant at 7:00pm in the auditorium. This year’s theme, “Fifty Years and Going Strong”, will blend in with USC Union’s 50th anniversary.

The pageant is a community service project and also provides scholarships for the queen, as well as first and second runners-up.  Proceeds from this pageant will benefit the local Alzheimer’s Association.  The USC Union University 101 classes have raised more than $12,000.00 towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s since 2011.

Emcees for the evening will be Bill Moore and Kaitlyn Wade, Miss USC Union 2012.  Alana Wright, Miss USC Union 2015, will perform a vocal solo and end her year’s reign.  Past queens and local dignitaries will attend and be recognized.  Aundi Hunter, Upstate Director of Development for the Alzheimer’s Association, will be in attendance and briefly speak on behalf of the organization.

This year’s contestants are: Satardra Hall (Union), Lauren Harger (Buffalo), Makayla Hutzell (Jonesville), Lauren Mullins (Union), La’ Juan Payne (Union), Tori Rochester (Jonesville), Hailey Sherbert (Buffalo), Brittney Spencer (Union) and Abigail Vlock (Union).

Admission to the pageant is by ticket only. The tickets are $5 each and can be purchased prior to the pageant from the contestants, the USC Union Financial Aid Office (424-8024), or at the USC-Union Laurens location. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

-

OFFICERS MAKE DRUG ARRESTS AFTER INVESTIGATING A SEPARATE INCIDENT

Tuesday, February 23

On Saturday around 9:15 p.m., Sgt. Roger Hill with the Union County Sheriff’s Office went to 124 Bates Avenue to speak with a person of interest in relation to another case. On arrival, Hill spoke with the homeowner and asked if the subject was there. At first, the homeowner was reluctant to answer, but then stated "yes". Hill and another deputy went inside the residence, and there were several individuals inside. For officer safety issues, a protective sweep of the residence was conducted. He then spoke with the person of interest, and as he was doing so, he noticed a male subject pushing something under a table with his foot and noticed a set of digital scales on the coffee table with a powdery residue on them. The responding officer then spoke with the homeowner again and asked if there were any illegal narcotics in the residence. The homeowner said he didn’t know of any. The homeowner gave permission for the house to be searched. The officer then found a small metal plate under the table with a small bag of a green leafy substance and a small bag containing a clear crystal-like substance. John Anthony Taylor, Jr., 35, of Sweet Water Drive, Buffalo, was charged with drug violations and transported to the jail. Gena Marie Gregory, 31, of Buffalo-West Springs Highway, was written a citation for possession and released.

-

MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES FOLLOWING TRAFFIC STOP

Tuesday, February 23

On Saturday, deputies were at a location on 2nd Street in Ottaray dealing with a separate incident and noticed a white male knock on the door. The homeowner asked who it was, and the subject stated “Slope”, known as Chad Allen. Deputies had prior knowledge that Allen sells illegal narcotics. One of the deputies then walked out on the porch and noticed Allen driving down the road without his headlights on. The deputy then got into his patrol car to stop the vehicle. Allen turned onto East Cohen St. and would not pull over. The officer initiated his siren, and Allen pulled onto Union Blvd. and then made a right onto Cherokee Ave. The officer noticed that Allen threw something out of the driver’s side window and then pulled halfway down Cherokee Ave. and stopped. He was placed   under arrest. Officers with the City of Union arrived on scene to assist. The deputy then went back to where Allen threw something out the window and found a large bag with a green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana, on the ground near the stop sign at Cherokee Ave and Union Blvd.  The vehicle was searched, and a pipe used to smoke illegal narcotics and a needle was found in the vehicle. Allen was transported to Union County Jail. While at the jail, a search of his person revealed 8 yellow pills believed to be oxycodone, and 2 white in color pills believed to be hydrocodone. Officers also found a small bag with a clear crystal material believed to be methamphetamine, and a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana that was packaged for sale. Deputies also seized $1304. Allen is charged with failure to stop for a blue light, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of meth, possession of controlled substance 2 times, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 


UNION COUNTY, STATE SELECTS TRUMP

Monday, February 22

Voters in Union County have mirrored voters statewide in saying they want to see Donald Trump on the General Election ballot in November. What began as a crowded field narrowed by the time of the South Carolina primary that was held this weekend. Trump outpolled the other candidates in all precincts with the exception of four. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio each won two of the boxes. Overall, Trump unofficially got 1403 votes in Union County, with Cruz getting 884 and Marco Rubio getting 752. Jeb Bush received 260 to Ben Carson’s 189 and John Kasich’s 114. There were a total of 3637 votes cast in the Saturday primary. Election Commission Chairman Keith Vanderford said the turnout was good.

 

Democrats will go to the polls this coming Saturday to choose between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as their choice for the nomination. Polls thus far show Clinton as the leader.

-

FIREFIGHTERS EXTINGUISH BLAZE AT CEDAR HILL PLANT

Monday, February 22

Saturday morning around 6:15, Bonham, Jonesville, and Kelly-Kelton fire departments were dispatched to the Milliken Cedar Hill plant for an electrical fire. Bonham Fire Department Chief Scott Austin lives close by, and he said he could see smoke drifting across the road, so he drove by the mill on the way to go get the fire truck and noticed there were flames coming out of the roof. Jonesville had a truck on the way, and Austin radioed them and advised they had a working fire. Bonham firefighters led an interior attack on the fire. The City of Union was called, as well as the city volunteers. They requested the city bring their platform truck, and they took care of the roof operations. The fire started on the number 4 slasher machine and spread to the roof through and around the exhaust duct work. Several holes had to be cut in the roof to extinguish the fire. Chief D.J. Long from Jonesville and Chief Scott Austin from Bonham split the command duties. No injuries were reported, and there was minimal damage because of the quick response. Austin said the fire departments worked as one and got the job done. The quick response came from D.J. Long, who was already at the Jonesville station because of having to unlock the doors for the primary.

-

LARGE CROWD EXPECTED AT COON HUNTERS' EVENT

Monday, February 22

A big event is coming up this week that could have a major economic impact on our community. It called the Southeastern Treeing Walker Days. Steven Stone, who heads the local coon hunter group, tells us what we can expect.

 

It will be the 42nd year for the event, and this year they chose Union as their location. It had previously been held in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is considered to be one of the three major coon hunting events of the year. Stone compared it to a triple crown, much like you would have in horse racing. He said all the hotels in Union are sold out, and a majority of the ones in a 30-mile area are, too. There should be a large number of vendors and exhibitors. There is a $2 fee to enter the event at the Union County Fair Grounds. Those 12 and under are free.

-

SCHOOL BOARD SET TO MEET

Monday, February 22

The Union County School Board of Trustees is set to meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Sims Middle School Library. On the agenda is an informational presentation by Cindy Langley, who will answer questions regarding the accreditation report that was provided at the February 8th meeting. She is also to present an AdvancED update. There is one field trip request that is up for approval, and the monthly budget report will be presented. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will give a Capital Funding Review, and Jeff Stribble will present the Personnel Report. An executive session will be held to review the applications for the position of superintendent.

-

AMERICAN LEGION NEEDS VOLUNTEERS FOR BASEBALL TEAMS

Monday, February 22

American Legion Post 22 is currently looking for enthused volunteers to help carry the proud tradition of American Legion baseball forward in Union County. If you love baseball and working with teenagers, or just like helping out in your community and are able to contribute in any way at all, please consider volunteering. There are many ways to contribute your time, from being one of the coaches for the regular or junior teams, to just helping out for a few hours at a time. To volunteer yourself, please give the head of the Post 22 Baseball Committee, Joe Tracy, a call at 931-249-9686, or email him at crazy_joe46@yahoo.com.

-

BUFFALO MAN ARRESTED FOR SECOND TIME ON CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH A MINOR CHARGE

Monday, February 22

Investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office have arrested Ty Anthony Peters and charged him with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Peters, 18, of 3585 Buffalo-West Springs Hwy., Buffalo, was booked into the Union County Jail on February 18. The 12-year-old victim told investigators the incident took place in July 2015.

Peters was also arrested in a separate incident on October 9, 2015, for criminal sexual conduct with a minor and is awaiting trial on that charge. He is still in the Union County Jail. He went before a Magistrate Court judge on February 18, and his bond was denied. Peters will now have to go before a Circuit Court judge to have his bond set.

 


MAN REPORTS ILLEGAL DRUGS IN HIS WIFE'S POSSESSION

Friday, February 19

On Sunday, February 7th, deputies were dispatched to 4804 Jonesville-Lockhart Highway in reference to a domestic dispute. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with Kelvin Queen, who stated that he had found some illegal drugs in his wife's, Amanda Queen’s, possession. Kelvin stated that Amanda was asleep on the couch and there was a purple box next to her. He opened the box and there was a marijuana joint and 2 small bags containing a clear glass-like substance. The purple box and contents were seized from Kelvin. Amanda stated the box and contents were hers. The case will be turned over to the narcotics division.

-

MONARCH STUDENTS AND STAFF CONTRIBUTE TO MIRACLE LEAGUE PLAYGROUND

Friday, February 19

Monarch Elementary School students and staff contributed to the Miracle League for the new playground to be built at the Timken Sports Complex. Accepting the donation was Heather Vinson, a Monarch teacher and Miracle League board member.  Janet Eubanks, Students Record Clerk, and Amy Davis, Computer Lab Instructor, made the donation on behalf of MES.

-

POLLS OPEN SATURDAY FOR REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

Friday, February 19

The polling places in Union County will open at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow for the Republican Presidential Primary. Voters statewide will be selecting who they would like to be on the general election ballot in November. Appearing on the ballot for Saturday’s primary will be: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rubio Marco, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and John Kasich. The Democratic Primary will be held next week, February 27th, at the same polling locations as the Republican Primary. On that ballot will be Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Willie Wilson. As a reminder: you cannot vote in both primaries. Voters must choose either the Democratic or Republican primary. The polls will close at 7:00 p.m.

-

JROTC HOLDS SECOND PROMOTIONS OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Friday, February 19

The Union County JROTC Yellow Jacket Battalion held the second promotions of the 2015-2016 school year on January 26th and January 27th.  C/1LT Sarah McGee reports this promotion followed the issuance of the second quarter report cards and was the second opportunity for cadets to pin on rank.  As always, each promotion-eligible cadet had to obtain the concurrence of each of his/her teachers to ensure that cadets are performing in every class, not just JROTC.  Many parents and other family members attended and participated in the ceremonies.

The following cadets were promoted based on their academics, physical fitness, conduct, and leadership:

From Alpha Company: C/ PFC Xavier Nelson, C/ PFC Matthew Roberts, C/ PFC Destiny Fowler, C/ CPL Deanta Spencer, and C/ 1SG Bobby Bedore. From Bravo Company: C/ PVT April Shugart, C/ PFC Daniel Revis, C/ PFC Anna Lipsey, C/ PFC Randy Riddle, C/ PFC Bary Taylor, C/ CPL Latiza Gray, C/ SSG Dillon Earls, C/ SSG Blake Johnson, and C/ SSG Dimitri Dean.

- 

CLEMSON EXTENSION HOSTING COYOTE CONTROL WORKSHOP

Friday, February 19

Clemson Extension, NRCS, and SCDNR will host a coyote control workshop on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Pete’s Family Restaurant on Main Street in Jonesville to learn about controlling the coyote population in Union County and adjacent counties.

Jay Butfiloski, SCDNR, will provide basic information on coyote biology, trapping, hunting, and other management options.

Coyotes are present in every county in South Carolina and have had a significant impact on wildlife and domestic animals. Landowners, hunt club managers, farmers, and outdoor enthusiasts from Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union counties are encouraged to attend.

The workshop is free, but please bring money for the meal catered by Pete’s Family Restaurant of Jonesville. Please RSVP to (864) 489-3141 x114 today.

-

SC SETS EXPORT SALES RECORD FOR 6TH-STRAIGHT YEAR

Friday, February 19

For the sixth consecutive year, the State of South Carolina has set a record for total export sales. Today, Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Ports Authority announced that the State’s 2015 export sales totaled $30.9 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure represents a more than 4% increase over the 2014 total.

 “Companies continue to trust the people of South Carolina to build their products because they make up a workforce that has built a remarkable reputation as one of the best in the world,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. With more than $4.4 billion in export sales, China remained South Carolina’s top export partner in 2015. Rounding out the Palmetto State’s top ten export partners were Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Belgium and Korean Republic.

“South Carolina companies continue to produce top-quality products, and the world is taking notice,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Looking ahead, the continued growth and development of our international trade footprint is critical as we seek to keep our state and its economy moving forward.” 


CITY COUNCIL GIVES FIRST READING TO ALLOW LEWIS TO ESTABLISH CREMATORIUM

Thursday, February 18

The Union City Council voted Tuesday evening to give a first reading to amend an ordinance to allow for a crematorium to be established here. Until recently, crematoriums have been scattered about, and persons who expressed a desire to be cremated had to have their bodies sent to one of the out-of-town, and in some cases, out-of-state locations. Scott Lewis, owner of Lewis Funeral Home, said there is a growing demand for the service.

 

Under the ordinance when the second reading is held, a crematorium must be a part of a mortuary operation. It cannot be a stand-alone business.

-

GAULT NAMED TO RUBIO'S SC LEADERSHIP TEAM

Thursday, February 18

Freddie Gault, a Congressional liaison and former Union County Clerk of Court, has been named to US Senator Marco Rubio’s grassroots leadership team in South Carolina. In a statement released Monday, the “Marco Rubio for President” campaign announced its South Carolina Grassroots Leadership Team, with Gault selected as the campaign’s leader for Union County. Gault served as Clerk of Court until December 2015, when he resigned to become district liaison for US Fifth District Rep. Mick Mulvaney. Gault is also an executive committeeman of the Union County Republican Party. Gault said he is supporting Rubio because of his positions on defense, law enforcement, immigration and border security.

-

HOSA STUDENTS SPONSOR BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY EVENT

Thursday, February 18

The Health Occupation Students (HOSA) are sponsoring a bone marrow donor registry event to be held at Wyatt’s Chapel Baptist Church. There will be educational information shared Sunday morning, February 21st, at 10:30 a.m. in the morning worship service. Then on February 28th at 12:15, there will be a cheek swabbing to put people on the donor registry. There is a great need for African-American and mixed-race donors. Patients need to have their donation genotyped to their ethnicity.

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ITS ANNUAL AWARDS

Thursday, February 18

The Union County Chamber of Commerce Annual Members' Awards Banquet has been set for March 31, 2016. Invitations will be mailed out soon. The Chamber is beginning the selection process for this year’s awards and are now taking nominations for:

  • Industry of the Year
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Service Group of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year

If anyone would like to recommend a business or an individual for these respective awards, send your nomination to the Union County Chamber of Commerce no later than Friday March 4, 2016. A short written summary should accompany your nomination. 

To be eligible for an award, the nominee should be a Chamber member of at least one full year in good standing and have been actively involved in Chamber-sponsored events and activities. The nominee must have shown noteworthy growth and continuous improvement in their respective business, industry or field.  They must have also shown significant contributions to the betterment of Union County through business, industry and community.

The volunteer of the year does not necessarily have to be a Chamber member but must be in Union County serving business, industry and/or the Union County community.

Mail your nomination to 135 West Main Street, fax to 427-9030, email to chamber@unionsc.com, or contact the Chamber office at 427-9039.

-

TRUMP TO VISIT GAFFNEY

Thursday, February 18

As voters in South Carolina get ready for the state’s presidential primaries, electric cooperatives have extended invitations to all candidates in both parties to take part in community forums across the state. Republican candidate Donald Trump has accepted the invitation and will be at Broad River Electric Cooperative Auditorium in Gaffney this evening.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m.; however, participants are encouraged to arrive early. Tickets can be obtained at https://trumpgaffney.eventbrite.com/

These “3E” Community Engagement Forums, Energy, Education and Economic Development, allow candidates to share their views on these critical topics with electric cooperative members. Candidates that participate in these forums will have an opportunity to present their views on these important topics and will also have a chance to field questions from the audience if they choose.

The “3E” Community Engagement Forums are part of co-ops’ ongoing efforts to engage and educate members.

They point out that a cooperative’s role as host of a forum does not imply support for any particular candidate or political party.

-

UNITED WAY OF THE PIEDMONT NAMES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO

Thursday, February 18

The United Way of the Piedmont has selected Paige Stephenson as its next president and CEO.

Alex Evins, Chairman of the Board of United Way of the Piedmont, said, “I am excited to announce that Paige Stephenson is the next president and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of the Piedmont.  Paige has served United Way for almost fifteen years, most recently as Vice President of Resource Development.  We look forward to much success under her leadership.  Simply put, Paige is the right person at the right time for United Way of the Piedmont.”

Richard Dillard, retired Milliken executive, served as interim president/CEO while the search committee performed its duties.  “I am blessed to have this opportunity to serve my community with a staff and board of directors that are second to none,” said Stephenson. This is an exciting time for our community, and I look forward to serving as president and CEO of an organization that will help impact our community’s future.”

The United Way of the Piedmont is governed by a local board of directors and serves Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union counties.  For more information, please visit www.uwpiedmont.org .


CITY COUNCIL HEARS PRESENTATIONS ON GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION, BACKYARD HOMESTEAD

Wednesday, February 17

The Union City Council meeting Tuesday night ran the gamut on subject matter as they heard comments on the establishment of a crematorium, a suggestion that the city and county governments should become one, a bid approval on sewer improvements, and a lady who wants chickens in her yard. The council began by hearing a presentation from the Union County Action Network. Leroy Worthy, who heads the organization, explained what the group is about.

 

Worthy said they have been doing some investigation concerning job descriptions in the city and county government. He said they decided that more information is needed and have asked the administration at USC-Union to partner with them in obtaining what they need. Ted Trantham, who is also with the group, suggested it may be time for the City of Union, The Town of Jonesville, and the County of Union to merge in order to save money by the consolidation of services.

Robby Moody with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments gave an explanation of the requirements to allow the establishment of a crematorium on the property of Lewis Funeral Home. The owner of the mortuary, Scott Lewis, made the request last month. Moody said if approved, the crematorium would be a part of the funeral home and would not be allowed as a standalone business. The council voted to give a first reading to the amended ordinance.

A bid was awarded for sewer system improvement to the Union Mill Village Phase III project. The bid in the amount of $477,122.50 from Smith Backhoe and Construction was approved.

Jessica Wise appeared before the council to share information about what is called a backyard homestead. She explained just what that is.

 

The reality of her appearance is that she wants to have 4 to 6 chickens on her East Main Street property. She says the neighbors she has talked with are fine with the idea; however, the City of Union has an ordinance that calls for a 300-foot separation between her and her neighbors. Mayor Pro Tem Robert Garner told Wise they would take her request under advisement.

-

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY SET

Wednesday, February 17

The South Carolina Republican Party Primary is set for this Saturday, February 20th. Darlene Pettit of the Union County Election Commission says you should vote at the precinct where you would normally cast your ballot.

 

There are 23 precincts plus the absentee box, which is located at the Election Commission office on South Duncan Bypass. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. The same procedure will follow the next Saturday, February 27th, for the Democratic Primary.

-

ARTS COUNCIL HOSTING CHILDREN'S EVENT

Wednesday, February 17

Saturday, February 20th, the Union County Arts Council will host what is called Mini Monet. The children’s event will take place from 9 until 11 a.m. at the Arts Council Gallery. The fee is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. It is billed as a Mardi Gras celebration, and they invite area kids to join them and create their very own mosaic masterpiece. To register for this event, you should call Amber Ivey at 864-429-2817 or email ucac@bellsouth.net.

-

ESPECIALLY OURS HOSTING PRESENTATION BY EDUCATION LAWYER

Wednesday, February 17

Especially Ours, a local family support group, invites the community to come and hear Barbara A. Drayton. She practices law in the area of education with an emphasis in the area of legal issues related to students with disabilities. Drayton has served as Deputy General Counsel for the South Carolina Department of Education since 2003 and was staff counsel from 1997 through 2002. She will be speaking in the Mon Aetna Baptist Church Social Hall on Thursday, February 25. The event will take place between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. If you are planning to attend, contact Lauri English at 864-427-7700, extension 303.

-

FOSTER PARK STUDENT NAMED TOP 4TH-GRADE READER IN THE STATE

Wednesday, February 17

Foster Park Elementary School students recently took part in the Read With the Gamecocks reading contest.  Over three thousand students from schools all across South Carolina participated.  Students had to record the number of pages they read during the contest.  Foster Park 4th grader Tristan Yi read 7,117 pages, making him the top fourth-grade reader in the state.  Tristan will be recognized on February 18th at a Gamecocks’ basketball game.

-

MAN REPORTS ASSAULT AND ROBBERY

Wednesday, February 17

Deputies were dispatched early Saturday morning to the Lil Cricket at 100 North Duncan Bypass and spoke with a complainant, Allen Walker, 19, of Bailey Road. Walker stated that earlier, when he got off of work, he was given a ride by Tabitha McGowan. He stated that two other males were present in the vehicle, along with an unknown female. He said that Tabitha drove to Spartanburg and took the female home. He asked Tabitha to take him to his girlfriend at the Lil Cricket store. Walker asked McGowan to stop by Lockhart first due to needing to pick something up. He said that while in Lockhart, he was assaulted by 25-year old Tommy McGowan of Francis Street, Union, and 21-year old Stephen Colt Ammons of Jeffries Street, Union. Walker stated that a knife was pulled by both, and they took all his possessions. Walker, along with Tabitha McGowan, were instructed to drive to Union and withdraw money from an ATM. He said that he did so and they kept driving toward Wal-Mart. Walker then stated that he told both subjects he needed to use the restroom. At that time, Walker escaped from both subjects and called 911. Investigator Scott Coffer was notified and arrived on scene. The investigation is ongoing.


CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING, MEETING

Tuesday, February 16

The Union City Council has scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. tonight, just prior to the regular monthly meeting. The hearing will concern updating an ordinance to allow for the establishment of a crematorium at Lewis Funeral Home. Scott Lewis petitioned the council last month for the ordinance to be amended to include a crematorium at his South Duncan Bypass location. The matter will come up for consideration later in the regular meeting, where it is expected to be approved.

As reported in last week’s story on the county council, the time for budget requests and hearings is fast approaching. Likewise, the city council is expected to set the dates for their budget hearing for the latter part of March.

One bid is expected to be awarded for sewer system improvements to the Union Mill Village Phase III project. A bid in the amount of $477,122.50 from Smith Backhoe and Construction is expected to be approved.

-

PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES SUSPICIOUS FIRE ON SOUTH PINCKNEY STREET

Tuesday, February 16

Around 10:15 Saturday night, the City of Union Fire Department was dispatched to 415 South Pinckney Street for a small fire on the left side of the front porch. Public Safety Officer Gaston tried to stomp the fire out before the fire truck arrived. He noticed that some type of material was burning, possibly paper or rags. The fire was described as being approximately one foot in length and six inches wide. Gaston noted that every time he stomped on the fire, it would blaze up. The caller to 911 stated that someone walked up on the porch and set the fire. When Sgt. Dell Mitchell arrived on scene, he noted the smell of some type of accelerant. Upon arrival of the fire truck, the blaze was extinguished; however, officers saw fire behind the metal siding on the building and smoke was coming from the attic. They made entry into the house and extinguished the blaze in the wall. The house was occupied during the event, and Sgt. Mitchell called for an investigator to come to the scene.

-

UNION COUNTY COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE GIVES ALCOHOLISM STATS

Tuesday, February 16

Starlin D. Phelps, Prevention Coordinator for the Union County Commission on Alcohol & Drugs, says living with a non-recovering alcoholic in the family can contribute to stress for all members of the family. Each member may be affected differently. Not all alcoholic families experience or react to this stress in the same way. The level of dysfunction or resiliency of the non-alcoholic spouse is a key factor in the effects of problems impacting children.  Children raised in alcoholic families have different life experiences than children raised in non-alcoholic families. Children raised in other types of dysfunctional families may have similar developmental losses and stressors as do children raised in alcoholic families.  Seventy-six million Americans, about 43% of the U.S. adult population, have been exposed to alcoholism in the family.  Almost one in five adult Americans (18%) lived with an alcoholic while growing up.  Roughly one in eight American adult drinkers is alcoholic or experiences problems due to the use of alcohol. The cost to society is estimated at in excess of $166 billion each year.  There are an estimated 26.8 million children of alcoholics in the United States. Preliminary research suggests that over 11 million are under the age of 18. If you would like to learn more facts about alcoholism, contact Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at 201 S. Herndon Street or call 864-429-1656.

-

UNION MEDICAL CENTER TO HOST BLOOD DRIVE IN EARLY MARCH

Tuesday, February 16

Union Medical Center will host the Blood Connection March 2nd. They will be there to accept blood donations from 2 and 5 p.m. Donors will receive 500 TBC points. That number is usually 200. Donors can redeem the points for gift cards to a number of businesses.


FRANK HART ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR UPCOMING BUDGET PROCESS

Monday, February 15

Budget time for city and county government is fast approaching and Union County Supervisor Frank Hart has announced the tentative schedule for the process. The budget and requests from county department heads are due by February 19th and should be in the hands of the council by the 26th. Presentations and requests by department heads and agencies will take place on March 2nd and March 7th. On March 14th, they will be compiling all the numbers and begin the reconciliation process against the revenue forecast. The following week, the council will be reviewing the budget and making necessary adjustments with the intention of presenting a balanced budget for review and input. A council retreat is being planned for early April to discuss the budget, administration, and strategic planning.

-

THREE FACE DRUG CHARGES AFTER DEPUTY INVESTIGATES CAR PARKED IN ROADWAY

Monday, February 15

Thursday evening around 7:15, Union County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Union Blvd. and noticed a vehicle sitting on Weber Street in the roadway with the park lights on. Vaughan then turned around and got out with the vehicle and went to speak to the driver and 2 passengers and advised them why he was there. As the deputy was speaking to all subjects, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He also noticed that the back seat passenger was acting very nervous and said they picked him up because it was cold and were giving him a ride home. That passenger was asked if he would step out so he could be patted down for weapons. As the subject was getting out of the vehicle, he took off running, brushing against the deputy and causing him to get off balance. Vaughan then chased the subject down Union Blvd. but lost him between the houses. He then came back to the location. Sgt. Roger Hill was on scene by that time and advised that they found a bag containing a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana on the ground where the subject ran, and they also found a set of digital scales. Vaughan spoke to the front seat passenger, 24-year old Kevin Strunk, and he said he did not know the subject and that they were only giving him a ride. He then spoke to the driver, 24-year old Patricia Sorrell, and she stated that she knew him as Mike but did not know his last name. Both subjects were placed under arrest and transported to jail. While at the jail, it was later discovered that both Sorrell and Strunk were trying to buy marijuana from the subject that ran. Sorrell and Strunk were charged with attempting to purchase marijuana, and Sorrell for parking in the middle of the roadway. The subject that ran was identified as Michael Elijah McCants, 19, of 210 Hillcrest Street.

-

SEN. TIM SCOTT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR INTERNSHIPS

Monday, February 15

US Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is accepting applications for congressional internships in his Washington, D.C., North Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville offices for summer 2016. 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. Internship hours are flexible to accommodate students' course schedules, but they can generally run 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Interested South Carolina students should contact the internship coordinator at internships@scott.senate.gov or call 202-224-6121 for information on how to apply.

-

SPARTANBURG MEDICAL CENTER NAMED ONE OF AMERICA'S 50 BEST HOSPITALS FOR CARDIAC SURGERY

Monday, February 15

When a patient comes to Spartanburg Medical Center suffering from a heart attack and needs surgery, numerous people work diligently to help them on the road to recovery. From EMS to the doctors, nurses, and lab technicians in the Emergency Center, catheterization laboratory, operating room, and the heart care and recovery units, a large group of people is involved in the care of each patient. This teamwork is the reason Spartanburg Medical Center was named one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery by Healthgrades in 2016 and is in the top 5% in the nation for cardiac surgery. A spokesperson said, "This recognition confirms that Spartanburg Medical Center delivers superior outcomes in heart bypass surgery and heart valve surgery. Patients having surgery at nationally recognized hospitals like SMC receive better recovery rates and a lower risk of complications and death."

SMC president Phil Feisal said, "This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the staff that care for some of our most seriously ill patients and their families."

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


INFORMATION ON BANK ROBBERY RELEASED

Friday, February 12

We now have more information about the robbery Wednesday at Founder’s Federal Credit Union on North Duncan Bypass. A City of Union Public Safety report states they were dispatched at 9:48 a.m. to the location. PFC Mark Smith spoke to a teller there, Tracey Gibson, who said an unknown white male came up to her window and demanded money. She said he was wearing sunglasses and had on brown pants. The suspect is reported to have told Gibson that he had a weapon and that “this was a holdup and to give him all the money she had.” She said the suspect asked her for a bag to put the money in. Gibson told the officers that she never saw a weapon. It was reported that the suspect left the bank carrying the money towards Waffle House next door, got into a gray vehicle, and then traveled toward the bypass. Late Wednesday afternoon, it was reported to the press that the suspect had been apprehended in Ashburn, Georgia, by the FBI and the Georgia State Patrol. The Union Public Safety Department identified the suspect as Glen Berry Roth, and added that extradition protocol would be instituted to bring him back to South Carolina.

-

AG & ART TOUR EXPANDS TO FEATURE NEW COUNTIES AND MORE TOUR DATES

Friday, February 12

The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is returning in June this year with nearly double the number of counties participating as last year.  Billed as the nation’s largest free farm tour, it continues to grow in 2016 as farms and artisans from four new counties—Chesterfield, Darlington, Horry and Kershaw—are expected to come on board. They will be joining Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York counties that have participated in past years. The number of tour days will also increase, as events will take place each weekend in June 2016.  The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free self-guided farm tour that will feature local artisans and many farmer’s markets. During this month-long event, visitors will have the opportunity to see firsthand where their food comes from, watch artists in action, purchase something special, and learn more about rural life. The tour has welcomed over 16,000 visitors since it began in 2012.

-

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST

Friday, February 12

Wednesday at around 11:30 p.m., Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Hebron Church Road and noticed a red vehicle sitting in the roadway with the lights off. The deputy pulled up on the vehicle and noticed a male sitting in the driver’s seat. Vaughan spoke to the driver, identified as 18-year old Devin Vanderford of Magnolia Circle, and asked him why he was sitting in the roadway without his lights on. He stated that he pulled over because he had to use the bathroom and could not hold it anymore. As the deputy was speaking to Vanderford, the officer could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Deputy Vaughan then asked him if there was any marijuana in the vehicle, and he stated no. Vanderford was asked if he would step out, and he agreed. He was patted down for weapons and again was asked if he had any marijuana in the vehicle. Vanderford stated not that he knew of. The officer then detained Vanderford and placed him inside the patrol car. The vehicle was searched, and 2 baggies containing a green plantlike material believed to be marijuana were concealed under the center console. A grinder was found behind the seats of the vehicle. Vanderford was placed under arrest for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was then transported to the Union County Jail.

-

DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASES CALENDAR OF IMPORTANT DATES

Friday, February 12

Ann Stevens, Chairperson of the Union County Democratic Party, has released election dates and other important dates to the county’s Democrats. The county party will hold a meeting February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. at 201 Porter Street.

On Saturday, February 27, the Democratic Presidential Primary will be held. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

On March 12th at 10:00 a.m., the Precincts Reorganization Day will be held in the Union County Courthouse’s Law Library, and the Union County Democratic Party Convention will be held March 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Union County Courthouse. The state convention will happen on April 30th at 9:00 a.m. in Columbia. For additional information, contact:  Ann Stevens, Union County Democratic Party Chair, at 864-429-1108.

Other dates of note:

May 14, Voter Registration Deadline, June 14 Primaries.

June 14, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., South Carolina Primaries.

June 28, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., South Carolina Primaries Runoff.

July 25 - 28, National Democratic Convention, Philadelphia, Pa.

October 8, Voter Registration Deadline, November General Election.

November 8, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., General Election.

-

ROTARY CLUB GIVES GRANTS TO FOUR ORGANIZATIONS

Friday, February 12

The Union Rotary Club has had a tradition of giving back to the community, and this past Tuesday at their weekly meeting was no different. They made check presentations to four different organizations. Receiving a $300 check were Tori Rochester and Erica Byrd, representing the Union County Dixie Youth Girls. The Union County Healthcare Foundation, represented by Greta Bailey, received a $250 donation, and James Townsend of the Boy Scouts Palmetto Council, Three Rivers District, serving Union and Cherokee received a $250 gift. The Union County Dixie Boys, who were represented by Tommy Ford, were given a $400 donation.


BANK ROBBER ARRESTED IN GEORGIA

Thursday, February 11

WBCU News was notified late Wednesday afternoon that the suspect in the robbery of Founder’s Federal Credit Union on North Duncan Bypass has been apprehended. The Union Public Safety Department says that Glen Berry Roth was taken into custody by the FBI and Georgia State Patrol officers in Ashburn, Georgia. The robbery occurred at around 9:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not made known. Union Public Safety will be seeking extradition papers to have Roth returned to South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

-

SUPERVISOR REVIEWING INITIATIVES TO ADDRESS DECLINING POPULATION IN THE COUNTY

Thursday, February 11

During his monthly report at the Union County Council meeting Tuesday, Supervisor Frank Hart said he wanted to review short-term initiatives to address the declining population in Union County. When asked, he elaborated on the subject.

 

It is expected the supervisor will report his findings to the full council at a future meeting.

-

SHERIFF ADDRESSES DRUG DEPENDENCY PROBLEM AT SPECIAL PROGRAM

Thursday, February 11

At the beginning of the year, Union County Sheriff David Taylor issued a report of the activity in his department during 2015. In that report, he stated crime patterns have remained level or dropped in most cases. An area of concern as stated by Taylor is what he terms a drug dependency problem in the county. Taylor appeared on a WBCU News special Wednesday morning, during which he said that other problems arise from the drug issue—one being criminal domestic violence.

 

The sheriff said teaching the dangers of drug use is one of the keys to help eliminate the problem.

-

TWO HOUSES DESTROYED BY FIRE LAST WEEK

Thursday, February 11

Two Union County homes were destroyed by fire last week.

The Union Public Safety Department reported that a fire Saturday involved a house at 105 Lybrand Street. Public Safety firefighters were dispatched to the scene along with personnel and fire trucks from the Monarch Fire Department. The house appears to be a total loss. The blaze was said to be electrical in nature.

Another blaze occurred around 2 a.m. Monday. The Lockhart Fire Department along with the Kelly-Kelton, Monarch, Buffalo, Philippi, and Jonesville fire departments and the Union County Rescue Squad were dispatched to the fire, which involved a house at 309 5th Street in the Town of Lockhart. When firefighters arrived on scene, they reported that fire was coming out through the roof of the house. The house, which had an estimated value of $35,000, is a total loss.

-

PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN HOSTING WORKSHOP

Thursday, February 11

The Piedmont Physic Garden will host a workshop entitled, “Exploring Cherokee Culture through Plant Lore and Remedies.” Dr. Alice Taylor-Colbert, cultural historian, is the featured speaker. This workshop will be held on Saturday, February 20th, from 10 until 12 noon at the Piedmont Physic Garden, located at 301 East South Street in Union. Dr. Taylor-Colbert will guide the audience in learning about Cherokee culture through exploring the place of plants in their mythology and world view. As a cultural historian, she will provide sources of information about herbs and plants used by the Cherokees that can be explored by the audience in greater detail. In addition, she will discuss specific plants and how the Cherokees used them to balance their lives. Space is limited and registration is required. The cost is $20. However, if you register and pay by February 12, the cost is $15. For more details, call 864-427-2556.

-

LIBRARY HAS LIMITED NUMBER OF TAX FORMS AND BOOKLETS

Thursday, February 11

If you are getting ready to do your taxes, the Union County Carnegie Library has limited quantities of the following forms: 1040 EZ, 1040 A, and the 1040. Booklets are also available with all forms. These are the only forms the library will be receiving.  Once the free forms have been depleted, copies may be made from the IRS website using the public computers at the library at ten cents per page.


THIRD READING ON CHANGES TO UNION COUNTY ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE COMMISSION FAILS

Wednesday, February 10

The Union County Council meeting Tuesday evening began on something of a contentious note with a public hearing. It was a matter that was to come up late in the regular meeting concerning changes to the Union County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission ordinance. It was never made clear what the amendment or changes were, but representatives of the commission and office staff from the agency appeared in protest to the move. When the matter came up in the latter portion of the session to give a third and final reading to the ordinance, the words of those opposed to the move were apparently heard. The motion failed but will probably be revisited in a later meeting. In other action, David Belue, Roger Bailey, and Amanda Black were appointed to the Union County Fair Board. Vacancies remain on the Building Code Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission and the Development Board. The council agreed to advertise for applicants to serve on those boards.

Sheriff David Taylor told the council he would like to have a license protocol for door-to-door salesmen and panhandlers in the county. The council agreed they would look at the matter. Scott Austin and Mike Lancaster, representing the Fire Chief’s Association, talked about safety issues and concerns about 911 dispatchers. In making their case, the bottom line is that additional dispatchers are needed to handle the volume of traffic. Greta Bailey of the Union County Health Care Foundation told the group about their annual Shag Night fundraiser that’s coming up soon.

Grazier Rhea with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments discussed the Lockhart Trail Project. She said the COG would be applying for two $100,000 grants to fund the project. There is a 20% matching requirement, which can be covered by in-kind services. There was other action from the meeting, and we’ll report that in a later newscast.

-

SCHOOL BOARD RECEIVES ADVANCED ACCREDITATION UPDATE

Wednesday, February 10

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Cindy Langley presented an update on the AdvancED meeting slated for March 6th through the 9th. Langley explained what AdvancED is.

 

As part of the evaluation, school board members are required to be interviewed by the accreditation group.

-

ELECTION COMMISSION OPEN SATURDAY FOR ABSENTEE VOTING

Wednesday, February 10

The Union County Election Commission office at 1246 South Duncan Bypass will be open Saturday, February 13th, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for absentee voting for the upcoming Republican and Democratic presidential primaries. They say they are taking every step possible to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to vote in the primary of their choice.

-

DIANE DRUM NAMED MONARCH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL'S TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Wednesday, February 10

Mrs. Diane Drum is Monarch Elementary School’s 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year.

Faculty members selected Drum based on her many qualities as a teacher, leader, and community member.  Drum is a graduate of Union High School, earned an Associate of Arts in Education from University of South Carolina - Union, and an Education Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina.

Drum has been serving children of Union County for over thirty-one years.  She currently enriches the lives of 4K students by providing loving, caring, and enriching lessons that will prepare them to become 21st-Century Prepared graduates. Prior to teaching 4K, Drum enhanced the lives of first and second grade students.  Teaching during a regular school year was often not enough for Drum, so she taught summer school for over ten years at Monarch, Foster Park, Buffalo, Jonesville, and Sims Middle School.

Drum is married to fellow educator, Terry Drum. They have two daughters: Foster Park Elementary teacher Barclay Arciniega and nurse Rebecca Stanley. Life wouldn't be complete without grandson and Monarch student, Jack Arciniega. Drum has been recognized for being a member of Who's Who in American Education and was chosen as an educator who greatly influenced students' academic success.

When not teaching, Mrs. Drum enjoys traveling, reading, walking, cross stitching, and spending time with her family.

Monarch Elementary School Principal Anita Maness says, "Mrs. Drum is a fabulous teacher. She is the first teacher our parents and pre-k students see, and she establishes the family atmosphere we value here at MES.   Our school is honored to have her on our staff."

-

CARLISLE SENIORS INVITED FOR BINGO SATURDAY

Wednesday, February 10

Carlisle senior citizens, age 60 and older, are invited to play Bingo at the Carlisle Town Hall Saturday, February 13, from 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. This event is for the Carlisle community only. Participants can play bingo and win prizes. You are asked to bring a covered dish. Dessert and drinks will be provided. Transportation is available if needed.

-

CONTINGENT RESOURCE SOLUTIONS SEEKING WORKERS

Wednesday, February 10

Contingent Resource Solutions will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street in Spartanburg, on Thursday, February 11th, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The hiring event will be for concrete production, concrete production supervisors and general mechanic positions. Qualified candidates should apply online at www.scworks.org and attend the recruitment event.


EUBANKS UPDATES BOARD ON TIMELINE FOR HIRING SUPERINTENDENT, FOOTBALL COACH

Tuesday, February 9

Interim School District Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks gave an update Monday night at the board meeting on the progress being made to find a permanent person to become the district superintendent. He reported that currently there are 23 applicants from across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. He said there will be a lot of checking of references. He continued that the board would be asked to evaluate the characteristics they would like to see in a new superintendent. He extended that invitation to members of the community to share what their thoughts may be on the characteristics of a school superintendent and even make recommendations of individuals for the job. The timeline for the process calls for the trustees to review the applications and determine which ones would be interviewed. The date for the interviews would be set at that time. All this should take place in the board meeting on February 22nd. After that, the board would select the final three names for consideration and release those names to the press as required under the Freedom of Information Act. Following that, references would be checked and a contract negotiated. That should be done by April 15th, and action would be taken at the April 25th meeting.

On the matter of the search for a new head football coach and athletic director, a reviews of applications and interviews should be complete by February 29. On March 12, there will be reviews of game film, and background checks should be complete. A recommendation for the new coach is expected to go to the board on March 14th.

Eubanks said there are currently 40 applicants. He commented that, “if you want a winner, you hire a winner.”

-

SUSPENDED LICENSE STOP LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES FOR MAN

Tuesday, February 9

Sgt. Jared Gilstrap was patrolling SC 18 on Friday, headed north, when he came upon a green 1995 Ford Explorer that was also heading north on SC 18. Gilstrap immediately recognized this vehicle as one belonging to Brian Lawson, because every window except the two front passenger doors and the windshield are busted out. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle because he had previous knowledge that Lawson's driving privileges were suspended.

Lawson stated to Gilstrap that he, in fact, did not have a license. Lawson was placed under arrest for driving under suspension. A search of his person turned up a glass methamphetamine smoking pipe in his left jacket pocket and a small opaque bottle with a metal lid that contained 4 prescription pills in his left pants pocket. The subject was asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, and he stated there was not.

Gilstrap also interviewed the passenger, identified as Erin Solsbee. She was asked if

there was anything illegal in the car, and she stated yes, a marijuana pipe in the center console.

The vehicle was searched due to probable cause due to drug paraphernalia being in the center console and also to inventory the vehicle for towing.  They found a small amount of marijuana in a console tray. They also found a box of ephedrine that Solsbee stated she bought for Lawson at CVS. Lawson has a history of attempting to purchase ephedrine convictions, and since Solsbee stated she bought it for Lawson, the ephedrine was seized as well to keep it from being used to manufacture methamphetamine. Lawson was read his Miranda rights, and they asked him if the marijuana and marijuana pipe was his, and he claimed them both. Lawson was transported to the Union County Jail for booking. Solsbee was released from the scene when a family member came to pick her up. It was confirmed the tag on the vehicle was expired and did not have any insurance since May of 2015. Charges on Lawson are as follows:

3 counts of possession of a Schedule 2 drug

Possession of marijuana 2nd offense

Driving under suspension 2nd offense

Expired tag

Operating uninsured

-

WOMAN TICKETED AFTER BEING FOUND ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Tuesday, February 9

Early Monday morning, Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Roger Hill was dispatched to the Hot Spot in Lockhart in reference to a subject being in the parking lot asleep behind the wheel. Upon arrival, Hill found the subject behind the wheel of her vehicle with the engine running. He spoke with the female, 25-year old Brittany Ann Gregory, and she stated that she had been drinking earlier and that she had smoked a little marijuana. As the deputy was speaking with the subject, he could see in plain view a small, partially smoked marijuana cigarette and a pipe used for smoking narcotics. Gregory was then placed under arrest and transported to Union County Jail. There, she was written a ticket for public intoxication and for simple possession of marijuana. The vehicle was released to the subject’s mother.

-

FOSTER PARK HONORS jennifer ROARK AS ITS TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Tuesday, February 9

Foster Park Elementary School has recognized Jennifer Roark as their Teacher of the Year.
Roark is a 1997 graduate of Union High School and a 2003 graduate of Limestone College.  She recently earned a Master's Degree in Elementary Education with Gifted & Talented Endorsement from Converse College.
This year is Roark's eleventh year of teaching.  Asked what she loves most about teaching, Roark replied, "It's simple.  I want to make a positive difference in the lives of children.” 
Besides being an outstanding teacher at Foster Park, Roark also serves on the School Improvement Council, mentors new teachers, serves as a new teacher evaluator, and serves as the yearbook advisor.
Roark is also very active in the community.  She holds the position of First Vice-President of the Sigma Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators.  She is also an active member of Philippi Baptist Church, where she teaches a 2nd grade Sunday School class and serves as a Vacation Bible School Teacher.
In addition, Roark is a member of the BPO DOES, the Union County Yellow Jackets Booster Club, and serves on the Union County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board.
Roark is married to Gerald Roark and is the daughter of Kathy Bryson. Foster Park officials say they feel very blessed to have such a wonderful teacher on their faculty.

-

4K AND 5K REGISTRATION SET FOR APRIL 19-21

Tuesday, February 9

Registration for Four and Five-Year-Old Kindergarten in the Union County School District has been set.

To register for 4-year-old kindergarten, children will need to be 4 years of age on or before September 1, 2016. To register for 5-year-old kindergarten, children will need to be 5 years of age on or before September 1, 2016.

The registration at Buffalo Elementary School will take place Tuesday, April 19th. Registration for Lockhart (5K only), Jonesville and Foster Park Elementary schools will be held Wednesday, April 20th. Thursday, April 21st, the registration will be held at Monarch Elementary School. Lockhart 4K may register at any other location. Registration will be held from 8:00 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm at each school.

Academic screenings will be provided during registration and will take about 45 minutes.

Bring your child’s official certificate of immunization (white card), child’s Social Security card, child’s birth certificate with state seal, and proof of residence (tax receipt, power bill, etc.) Immunizations are given by appointment only at the Union County Health Department.  You may call 864-424-8004 to schedule an appointment.

Copies of birth certificates are available upon request.


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

Monday, February 8

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

 

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

-

TRUMP'S SC SUPPORTERS MAKE STOP IN UNION COUNTY

Monday, February 8

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

 

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

-

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

Monday, February 8

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

-

ANOTHER CHURCH BREAK-IN REPORTED 

Monday, February 8

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

-

SIMS ACADEMIC CHALLENGE TEAM DEFEATS LANDRUM

Monday, February 8

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

-

BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC BOARD NAMES NEW CEO

Monday, February 8

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

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

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

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


LOCKHART OFFICIALS MEET WITH BROWN'S CREEK WATER DISTRICT BOARD

Friday, February 5

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

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

 

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

-

MAN POINTS SHOTGUN AT OFFICERS, is ARRESTED ON FIREARMS CHARGES 

Friday, February 5

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

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

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

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

-

SOUP MEAL PLANNED AT LOCAL CHURCH TO HELP THE HUNGRY 

Friday, February 5

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


SHAG NIGHT TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Thursday, February 4

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

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES DATE FOR ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET

Thursday, February 4

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

-

UNION MEDICAL CENTER OFFERS TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HEART

Thursday, February 4

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

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

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

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

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES CASE OF ASSAULT WITH HAMMER

Thursday, February 4

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

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

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


LOCKHART OFFICIALS TO MEET WITH BROWN'S CREEK WATER DISTRICT

Wednesday, February 3

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

-

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

Wednesday, February 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

UCHS FRESHMAN MAKES VERBAL COMMITMENT TO USC

Wednesday, February 3

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

-

JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE SET TO HOST DANCE

Wednesday, February 3

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

-

STOLEN TRAILER FROM SPARTANBURG RECOVERED IN UNION COUNTY

Wednesday, February 3

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


SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS 20 AT PARTY

Tuesday, February 2

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

 

Terance Jamal Jeter, 22, 230 Vaughan Road, Union

 

 

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

 

 

Michael Deshawn Smith, 22, 120 Aqua Lane, Union

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Wesley Devonte Jeter, 22, 103 Pine Street, Union

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Demitrius Robert Epps, 19, 204 Fairway Dr. Union

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Terence Enn, 19, 105 Woodruff Lane, Moore

 

 

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

 

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

-

AREA TEACHER WINS WYFF'S GOLDEN APPLE AWARD

Tuesday, February 2

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

 

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

 

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

-

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

Tuesday, February 2

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

-

LOCAL CHURCH FIGHTING HUNGER WITH SOUP LUNCH

Tuesday, February 2

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

-

MONTHLY COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED

Tuesday, February 2

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

-

AUTOMATION PERSONNEL RECRUITING FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS

Tuesday, February 2

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


UNITED WAY DELIVERS TOYS TO UNION COUNTY PREGNANCY CENTER

Monday, February 1

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

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

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

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

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

-

SHERIFF WARNS THAT IRISH TRAVELERS HAVE VISITED UNION COUNTY

Monday, February 1

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

-

FAIRVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH BURGLARIZED

Monday, February 1

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

-

ANOTHER CHURCH ON NEAL SHOALS ROAD VANDALIZED

Monday, February 1

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

-

WOMAN REPORTS CRAIGSLIST COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAM

Monday, February 1

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


CATALANO SHARES HIS VISION FOR USC-UNION

Friday, January 29

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

 

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

-

MISS USC-UNION PAGEANT SCHEDULED ON MARCH 5TH

Friday, January 29

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

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

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

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

-

USC-UNION HOSTING FREE TAX PREPARATION SERVICE

Friday, January 29

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

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

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

-

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

Friday, January 29

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

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

-

SC WORKS SPARTANBURG HOSTING THREE ENTREPRENEURIAL WORKSHOPS

Friday, January 29

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

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

-

STATE ANNOUNCES THE SC WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ACT

Friday, January 29

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

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

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

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


TRANSMARTA STUDYING THE COUNTY'S POTENTIAL FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Thursday, January 28

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

 

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

-

STATEWIDE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES LOOM NEXT MONTH

Thursday, January 28

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

 

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

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

US HOUSE DIST 5

SC SENATE DIST 13

SC SENATE DIST 14

SC SENATE DIST 18

SC HOUSE DIST 42                                       

SOLICITOR

SHERIFF

CLERK OF COURT

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 2

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 3

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 5

COUNTY COUNCIL DIST 6

SOIL AND WATER COMMISSION

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 1

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 2

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 6

SCHOOL BOARD DIST 7

BROWNS CREEK WATERSHED

MAYOR – TOWN OF CARLISLE

CARLISLE TOWN COUNCIL – 2 SEATS

MAYOR

CITY COUNCIL DIST 3

UNION CITY COUNCIL DIST 4

UNION CITY COUNCIL DIST 6

SANTUCK FIRE – 3 SEATS

MONARCH FIRE – 3 SEATS

JONESVILLE FIRE – 2 SEATS

SOUTHSIDE FIRE – 2 SEATS

-

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

Thursday, January 28

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

 

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

-

SOLOMON GORE SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT ON WEAPONS CHARGE

Thursday, January 28

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

 

 

-

ROTARY CLUB DONATES $10,000 TO MIRACLE LEAGUE

Thursday, January 28

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

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

-

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

Thursday, January 28

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


MULVANEY STOPS BY WBCU, TALKS ABOUT UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Wednesday, January 27

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

 

-

TOWN OF LOCKHART WEIGHS OPTIONS FOR WATER SYSTEM

Wednesday, January 27

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

 

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

-

TWO YOUNG CHILDREN TEST POSITIVE FOR METHAMPHETAMINE

Wednesday, January 27

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

-

ANOTHER WORK-AT-HOME SCAM REPORTED IN UNION COUNTY

Wednesday, January 27

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

-

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

Wednesday, January 27

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

Named to the President’s List were:  

Angela B. Bennett

Grady Biggerstaff

Lindsey Elizabeth Dawkins

Karla Lynn Franklin

Tracy Delynn Gatliff

Kelsey E. Granger

Martha R. Grant

Rachel Ann Hughes

Julia Keppel

Dillon Shane Sailors

Tasha Dametric Spears

Timothy Scott Taylor

Alana Dion Wright

Named to the Dean’s List were:

Emma Hodge Addison

Brett Allen Ayers

Haleigh Miranda Babb

Brenasia Jenae Barber

Taylor Brackins

Braylin Kiere Brown

Amber Nicole Bumgarner

David Allen Burress

Chad Edward Cannon

William Corey Easterling

Dathan Floyd Flowers

Zachary Wilson Fraim

Quanita Lashay Frazier

Grayson Scott Garrett

Shemar Armonti Glenn

Satardra Renae Hall

Malik Shamar Harris

Marandra Byreana Hightower

Allen Hopkins

Elliott Widemon Hudson

Jameson Tyler Johnson

Sharron Don Kelley

Lea Kershaw

Mary Elizabeth Lancaster

Jennifer Lankford

Brittney Victoria Moss

Lauren Marie Mullis

Courtney Shaquana Myers

Hunter Allen Parks

Charles E. Pauley

Brittany Marie Pierce

Lindsey M. Quinn

Connor Nicole Randall

Michael Vershun Rodgers

Hope Marie Schreiber

Elisha Danielle Sinclair

Tiaja J. Smith

Briana Kiara Spencer

Kayla Bryana Vaughan

Abigail Taylor Vlock

Tiaja D. Williams

Ryan Earl Wright

Michael Young

-

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

Wednesday, January 27

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


SCHOOL BOARD HONORS STUDENT WHO HELPED A MAN HAVING A SEIZURE

Tuesday, January 26

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

 

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

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

Marchant told WBCU News:

 

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

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

-

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

Tuesday, January 26

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

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

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

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

SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR MISSING ROOSTER 

Tuesday, January 26

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

-

TWO FALL VICTIM RECENTLY TO WORK-AT-HOME SCAMS 

Tuesday, January 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

USC UNION HOLDING MEET AND GREET FOR NEW ACTING DEAN 

Tuesday, January 26

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


JONESVILLE MAN KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT OVER THE WEEKEND

Monday, January 25

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

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

 

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

-

SCHOOL BOARD'S MEETING AGENDA INCLUDES INFORMATION ON ADVANCEED REVIEW

Monday, January 25

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

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

-

FOUR FACE METH CHARGES

Monday, January 25

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

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

-

ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP FOR NATIONAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL FACTS WEEK

Monday, January 25

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

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

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

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


COUNTY PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER

Friday, January 22

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

 

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

 

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

-

UNION MAN DIES IN HOUSE FIRE

Friday, January 22

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

-

COUNCIL COMMITTEE LISTENS TO NEED FOR REPAIRS AT TIMKEN complex

Friday, January 22

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

 

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

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

-

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

Friday, January 22

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

-

AMERICAN SERVICES RECRUITING SECURITY OFFICERS IN GAFFNEY

Friday, January 22

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


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

Thursday, January 21

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

-

MAN BRIEFLY ESCAPES FROM PATROL CAR

Thursday, January 21

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

-

TWO ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL TATTOOING

Thursday, January 21

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

-

MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING MOONSHINE TO UNDERCOVER OFFICER

Thursday, January 21

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


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

Wednesday, January 20

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

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

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

 

-

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

Wednesday, January 20

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

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

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

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

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

-

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

Wednesday, January 20

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

-

POTTER'S STOREHOUSE CANCELS DISTRIBUTION AHEAD OF POSSIBLE BAD WEATHER

Wednesday, January 20

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

-

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

Wednesday, January 20

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


KING DAY SPEAKER FOCUSES ON THE PROBLEM OF ANGER

Tuesday, January 19

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

 

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

-

CITY COUNCIL TO AWARD BID FOR SEWER INSPECTION AT MEETING

Tuesday, January 19

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

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

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

KAITYLNN GIST TO REPRESENT MONARCH ELEMENTARY AT REGIONAL SPELLING BEE

Tuesday, January 19

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

-

JUNIOR CHARITY LEAGUE ANNOUNCES ANNUAL FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE

Tuesday, January 19

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

-

IMPRESSIONS OUTREACH HOLDING WINTER BALL

Tuesday, January 19

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

-

MEDI HOME HOSPICE ASKS FOR DONATIONS FOR BOX FULL OF LOVE

Tuesday, January 19

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


CROWD GATHERS TO HEAR HUCKABEE, MANN

Monday, January 18

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

 

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

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

-

LIBRARY BOARD NAMES NEW DIRECTOR

Monday, January 18

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

-

REV. LARRY BLACK TO HEADLINE ANNUAL KING DAY CELEBRATION

Monday, January 18

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

-

MISSING TAILLIGHT LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES FOR MAN

Monday, January 18

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

-

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

Monday, January 18

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


TANEYHILL RELEASES STATEMENT THANKING HIS PLAYERS AND COACHES

Friday, January 15

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

-

JUVENILE ARRESTED AT JONESVILLE K-8 SCHOOL FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION

Friday, January 15

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

-

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

Friday, January 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

NARCOTICS REPORT QUANTITIES

        {2015}                                                                       {2014}

$5703.00

Currency seized

$15374.00

3

Vehicles seized

1

17

Meth labs discovered

12

275

Prescription pills seized

490

1255

Marijuana plants seized

60

32

Alcohol seized

20

70 grams

Crack cocaine seized

6 grams

30 lbs.

Mushrooms seized

10 grams

923.5 grams

Methamphetamine seized

61 grams

4

Stolen vehicles seized

2

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

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

The full report is below.

-

FOSTER PARK, LOCKHART RECEIVE STEM GRANTS

Friday, January 15

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

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

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

-

HUCKABEE TO PAY UNION COUNTY A VISIT

Friday, January 15

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

-

COOPER STANDARD HIRING 2ND-SHIFT PRODUCTION OPERATORS TUESDAY

Friday, January 15

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


MIRACLE LEAGUE RAISING MONEY FOR PLAYGROUND THROUGH COMMEMORATIVE BRICK CAMPAIGN

Thursday, January 14

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

-

MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES FOLLOWING ALLEGED ASSAULT OF GIRLFRIEND

Thursday, January 14

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

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

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

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

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

-

LAWSON NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR AT UCHS

Thursday, January 14

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

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONORS ITS EMPLOYEES

Thursday, January 14

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

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

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

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

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

-

NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES DOWNPLAY IMPORTANCE OF BREAKFAST; LOCAL DIETICIANS DISAGREE

Thursday, January 14

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


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

Wednesday, January 13

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

-

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

Wednesday, January 13

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

-

WOMAN ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES FOLLOWING SPEEDING STOP

Wednesday, January 13

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

-

MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES FOLLOWING WELFARE CHECK

Wednesday, January 13

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

-

WOMAN REPORTS HER MOTHER'S ASHES STOLEN

Wednesday, January 13

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


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

Tuesday, January 12

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

 

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

-

SCHOOL DISTRICT APP, DECLINING GRADUATION RATE DISCUSSED AT BOARD MEETING

Tuesday, January 12

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

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

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

-

ANTHONY ANNOUNCES HE WILL RUN AGAIN, PREVIEWS UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Tuesday, January 12

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

 

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

-

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

Tuesday, January 12

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

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

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

-

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

Tuesday, January 12

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

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

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

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


SCHOOL BOARD HAS BUSY AGENDA

Monday, January 11

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

-

STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE FORMED TO LOOK AT IMPROVEMENTS FOR STADIUM

Monday, January 11

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

 

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

-

TWO SOUGHT IN VIOLENT HOME INVASION AND ROBBERY

Monday, January 11

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

-

TWO ARRESTED IN MULTI-COUNTY GROUND FUEL SENSOR THEFTS

Monday, January 11

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

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

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

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

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

-

INFORMATION MEETING PLANNED FOR THE AG + ART TOUR

Monday, January 11

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

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

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

-

AMERICAN LEGION HOLDING ITS FIRST MEETING OF 2016

Monday, January 11

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


JUNE MILLER SWORN IN AS TEMPORARY CLERK OF COURT

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

 

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

-

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

-

COUNTERFEIT BILLS TURN UP IN JONESVILLE

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

MORE THAN $2500 IN ITEMS STOLEN FROM BLACKBERRY ROAD PROPERTY

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

-

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WELCOMES ANOTHER NEW MEMBER

Friday, January 8, 2016

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

-

COMMUNITY ORGANIZER JOB IN SPARTANBURG IS OPEN

Friday, January 8, 2016

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


TIMKEN FOUNDATION GIVES GRANT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ALL-INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND

Thursday, January 7, 2016

 

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


-

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

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

 

-

LAND PURCHASED FOR NEW MEDICAL FACILITY

Thursday, January 7, 2016

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

 

-

SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING TIMKEN COMPLEX BURGLARY

Thursday, January 7, 2016

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

-

UNITED WAY PROMOTES "BAGS OF LOVE" FOR HOMEBOUND SENIORS

Thursday, January 7, 2016

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


PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO MAKE STOP IN UNION JANUARY 16TH

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

 

-

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ANNUAL FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

-

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

-

MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED AT GAZEBO

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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


-

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

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

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


UNION DAILY TIMES BECOMES UNION TIMES, WILL PUBLISH TWICE WEEKLY

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

ACCIDENT REPORT SHEDS LIGHT ON FATAL WRECK

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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

-

MERCHANDISE STOLEN FROM TRUCK AT BELK DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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

-

STATE LIBRARY PLANS WEBINARS ON ELECTION AND LEGISLATIVE RESOURCES

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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

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

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


TWO KILLED IN FRIDAY NIGHT 3-VEHICLE WRECK

Monday, January 4, 2016

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

-

QUESTIONS LINGER ABOUT STATUS OF TANEYHILL

Monday, January 4, 2016

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

 

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

-

SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR ADDRESSES LAWSUIT

Monday, January 4, 2016

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

 

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

-

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

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

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

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

-

SPARTANBURG REGIONAL FOUNDATION'S EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN RAISES $1.3 MILLION

Monday, January 4, 2016

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

Initiatives supported by associates in 2015 include:

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

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

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

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

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

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


WBCU NEWS LOOKS BACK AT 2015

Friday, January 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FORMER PRINCIPAL SUES DISTRICT, DR. WOODALL

Thursday, December 31

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

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

-

MIKE HUCKABEE TO MAKE A CAMPAIGN STOP IN UNION

Thursday, December 31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

ROSE HILL INVITES YOU ON A FIRST DAY HIKE

Thursday, December 31

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

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

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

-

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

Thursday, December 31

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

-