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 hannah@wbcuradio.com


Call 441-0066


Union County's Radio Station

Schedule for today:

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

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

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

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

11-noon—The Gospel Show with Daniel Prince

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

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

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

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

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

6-6:20 p.m.--SC Sports Talk

6:20 p.m.--Atlanta Braves baseball--NY Mets at Atlanta

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


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO YOU!!!

Ken Avery is our Friday Birthday winner!

Jimmy and Virginia Morgan are our Friday Anniversary winners!

 

 

 

 

       

    

ABC News    South Carolina Radio Network

LOCAL NEWS

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CATHCART WINS LAURENS COUNTY, BUT MANN GETS MORE VOTES OVERALL

Thursday, June 16

Sometimes Union County voters forget that SC House District 42 includes a small portion of Laurens County. In the primary race Tuesday, Tommy Mann won the Republican primary over challenger Mark Cathcart by a substantial margin. The six precincts from Laurens County that cast ballots in the race demonstrated a different direction. Cathcart won those by a slim margin. He received 415 votes, or 50.73%, to Mann’s 403, or 49.27%. With Union and Laurens counties reporting, the total for Cathcart was 782, and for Mann, 1245. Mann thanked his opponent.

 

The other election that drew attention was that of County Council District 2. Speculation was that there would be a runoff there, but unofficially, that was not the case. The three-person field included John Glenn, James Rice and Ralph Tucker. Glenn received 150 votes, or 31.78%. Rice received 84, or 17.80%, and Tucker got 238 votes, or 50.42%. That was enough to avoid a runoff. Law requires that a winner receive 50% of the vote plus 1.

These are all unofficial numbers. The primaries will be certified today.

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BOOGALOO'S SUMMER PRODUCTION, "CHANCE CONNECTIONS," HITS THE STAGE

Thursday, June 16

Nearly 20 performers will take to the stage Friday and Saturday for the play “Chance Connections.” Written by Dr. Dan O’Shields, he tells us what it is about.

 

The play will be performed at 7:00 p.m. both days (June 17th and 18th) and will be repeated the following Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th, at the same time in the USC-Union auditorium. The opening night presentation will include wine and cheese, and the admission is $15. All other performances are $10 each, and tickets can be obtained at Something Special, Union County Arts Council, or WBCU, or from any cast member. Tickets are also available at the door.

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FIRST STEPS LOOKs FOR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Thursday, June 16

Union County First Steps is looking for a new executive director. At last Monday’s school board meeting, the current director, Catherine Childers, was named Career Development Coordinator to work between the Jonesville and Lockhart schools. The Career Development program is basically a preparation process to help students enter the work place when the time comes.

The job purpose for the First Steps position is, as stated, “Working with the board of directors, planning and managing activities related to the goals and objectives of Union County First Steps.” The qualifications include, among others, a bachelor’s degree (preferably in business management, business administration, human services, or nonprofit management) with a minimum of five years’ experience in developing and managing human service programs or experience in nonprofit leadership.  Candidates must demonstrate experience in community and grassroots development, fiscal management, and fundraising experience.  They must have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to establish an effective working relationship with the Board of Directors, State Office of First Steps, partner organizations, and diverse populations represented in the community. 

Candidates that meet these qualifications and are interested in this position should send an up-to-date cover letter and résumé along with three professional references by email to cmchilders@union.k12.sc.us or by mail to: Union County First Steps, 130 W. Main Street, Union, SC, 29379. The deadline is June 23rd.

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OFFICERS RESPOND TO POSSIBLE ASSAULT

Thursday, June 16

Back on June 8th, City of Union public safety officers responded to Lipsey Street for a report of an assault. They spoke to a woman there who said her 16-year old daughter had been assaulted by her boyfriend. She said she saw him strike the victim, knocking her to the ground. The officers interviewed the victim, who told them that she was getting out of the car and he was grabbing her arm and she hit him. The report stated that she told the officers that he then slung her on the ground and got on top of her. Her mother came out and removed the alleged assailant from the girl. She was not injured. The victim said that earlier, he removed her from a friend’s car and made her get into a vehicle with him. She said that he then drove her to a dead end road somewhere in the vicinity of the high school. There she said she started fighting with him. The victim said she was trying to break up with him because he had been cheating on her.

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WOMAN REPORTS SCAM INVOLVING SOMEONE CLAIMING TO BE WITH CATTLEMAN'S ASSOCIATION

Thursday, June 16

On Tuesday, Union County sheriff’s deputies spoke to a woman about what she believes is an attempted scam. She said she had received a call from a man identifying himself as Francesco, who said he was with the Union County Cattleman’s Association. He said he wanted to talk with her about her policy. She told the man she did not have a policy, but she had applied for one a few years ago and never heard anything back. She said the man had all of her personal information, and even had an updated address that she had never given to the Cattleman’s Association. She said she told the man that she wanted to cancel everything she had with the company. He stated he would come to her house on Wednesday around 5 or 6 p.m. She said she told the man not to come, but he insisted he would see her then. She said she had tried to call back at the number he gave her, but her calls went to voicemail. The woman contacted the Cattleman’s Association, and they stated they do not know anything about this. The case will be looked into further by investigators.


MANN, TUCKER, FORD, AND HILL WIN THEIR PRIMARIES

Wednesday, June 15

 

SC House 42 TOTALS Failsafe Absentee Adamsburg Black Rock Bonham Buffalo B1 Carlisle Cross Keys East Buffalo Excelsior J'ville B1 J'ville B2 Kelton
                             
Mark Cathcart 782 4 25 13 6 30 9 3 21 5 18 24 17 20
Tommy Mann 1245 1 55 93 5 45 29 3 29 9 53 27 45 52
                             
  TOTALS Lockhart Monarch B1 Monarch B2 Putnam Santuck Ward1 B1 Ward1 B2 Ward2 Ward3 Ward4 B1 Ward4 B2 W. Springs Laurens
                             
Mark Cathcart 782 8 34 7 22 5 22 16 17 9 14 0 18 415
Tommy Mann 1245 68 76 15 34 15 30 26 19 21 61 7 24 403

 

County Council District 2 TOTALS Failsafe Absentee Black Rock Carlisle Cross Keys Jonesville B2 Putman Santuc West Springs
                     
John Glenn 150 1 23 19 59 5 5 0 36 2
James Rice 84 0 7 4 2 57 6 0 8 0
Ralph Tucker 238 0 23 37 75 7 8 0 85 3

 

County Council District 3 TOTALS Failsafe Absentee 1 Buffalo Box 1 Cross Keys East Buffalo Excelsior Putman
                 
Tommy Ford 159 0 12 49 9 1 62 26
Howard Wahoo Gibson 61 1 3 17 4 0 27 9

 

County Council District 5 TOTALS Failsafe Absentee 1 Excelsior Monarch B1 Monarch B2 Ward 1 B1 Ward 1 B2 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4 B1 Ward 4 B2
                         
Randall Chump Hanvey 113 0 18 9 2 4 2 3 66 4 1 4
Tommie Hill 199 2 25 11 5 2 3 16 81 33 6 15

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, RECREATION DEPARTMENT RAISING MONEY FOR JULY 4TH CELEBRATION

Wednesday, June 15

A letter sent out by the Union County Chamber of Commerce states:

“The Union County Recreation Department and the Union County Chamber of Commerce are, once again, co-sponsoring the County’s Annual 4th of July Celebration.  From the band and the vendors, to the kid’s games and the grand finale fireworks presentation over the lake, this celebration of our American freedom requires a considerable amount of resources.  In order to lessen the burden on local government, we have asked for sponsorships from businesses and individuals for the past several years.  If you have sponsored us before, we hope that you will invest in Union County and help us celebrate our freedom as we “LIGHT UP THE LAKE” at Veteran’s Park. The goal is to raise $6,000, and suggested contributions are incremental in the amounts of $500, $300 and $200, or any amount a contributor may wish. Checks should be made payable to: Chamber of Commerce, 135 W. Main St. Union, SC, 29379.”

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PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES STOLEN TV

Wednesday, June 15

Just before 9 p.m. Monday, Public Safety Officer Willingham was dispatched to 111 Woodlawn Avenue in reference to the larceny of a television. When he arrived, the officer spoke with the victim, who told him that he left his home around 7:00 p.m. and the TV was on the computer stand at that time. He said all the doors were locked and he did not know how anyone could have entered the premises. The man said he left to go to a friend’s house, and when he returned around 8:45, the TV was missing. He told the officer that he had no idea who would have taken it.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES STOLEN GOLF CART

Wednesday, June 15

Union County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the theft of a golf cart. On Sunday, deputies were dispatched to 1034 Peach Orchard Road, where they spoke to a man and his wife about the incident. He told police that when they arrived home from church Sunday, his wife noticed the garage was open and someone had stolen their 2006 yellow and black Club Car golf cart. They said they left for church a little after 10 but did not notice if the garage was open. It appeared that a glass window had been forced out to gain entry to the garage. The value of the cart was placed at $4500.

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SURVEY SHOWS 11% OF ADULTS fall victim to PHONE SCAMS

Wednesday, June 15

Almost nine out of ten Americans (89%) receive unwanted calls each month according to a recent survey, which has also revealed the top 5 types of scam people have fallen victim to.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by call blocking specialists CPR Call Blocker, also showed that 11% of US adults have been a victim of a telephone scam. Of those who have been scammed, 20% said they had lost between $500 and $10,000 as a result.
The survey revealed that from a list, victims have been scammed most by:
 

  • IRS scams (33%)
  • Credit/Loan scams (31%)
  • Lottery/Sweepstake scams (27%)
  • Banking scams (22%)
  • Automated message scams (16%)

While not all unwanted phone calls are scams, the shocking statistics show that many US consumers are regularly bombarded by unrequested calls from people and organizations for commercial purposes. From long-distance call providers to robocalls, consumers are continually being targeted over the phone, with 14% of people receiving over 30 unwanted calls each month. There are products that can block these calls, and you can find more about one of them at www.callblockerusa.com.


PAY INCREASE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES PART OF NEXT YEAR'S school district BUDGET

Tuesday, June 14

Newly appointed Union County School District Superintendent Dr. Bill Roach had his first meeting with the Board of Trustees Monday night. The first order of business was for Dr. Roach to make comments to the board. One of the highlights of his comments was that the district will no longer sponsor international field trips.

 

The only other matter of business was the adoption of the 2016-2017 district budget. The budget will total $27,855,640, which reflects a 2.4% increase over last year’s budget. Included in that was a state-mandated 2% increase for teachers. Finance Director Lynn Lawson said they took the increase a step further.

 

Following the approval of the budget, the board voted to go into an executive session for a single personnel issue.

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PRIMARY ELECTION INFORMATION RELEASED FOR THE VARIOUS RACES

Tuesday, June 14

Here’s some information for those of you planning to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries today.

On the Democrat side, for County Council District 2, the precincts of Black Rock, Carlisle, part of Cross Keys, Jonesville Box 2, part of Putman, Santuc and West Springs will be choosing between John Glenn, James Rice and Ralph Tucker.

For County Council District 3, the precincts of Buffalo Box 1, Cross Keys, East Buffalo, part of Excelsior and Putman will be choosing between Tommy Ford and Howard Wahoo Gibson.

For County Council District 5, the precincts of part of Excelsior, Part of Monarch Box 1, Part of Monarch Box 2, part of Ward 1 Box 1, Part of Ward 1 Box 2, Part of Ward 3, part of Ward 4 Box 1 and part of Ward 4 Box 2 will choose between Randall Chump Hanvey and Tommie Hill.

On the Republican side, the precincts of Adamsburg, Kelton, Lockhart and part of Monarch Box 1 will choose between Harvey Peeler and Kenny Price in the SC Senate District 14 race.

All precincts will be open for Republicans to choose between Ray Craig and Mick Mulvaney. All of the precincts will be available for those choosing to vote in the Republican House District 42 contest featuring Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann.

The polls will close at 7:00 p.m. and WBCU will be bringing you full local coverage of the returns.

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PUBLIC SAFETY DEALS WITH SEVERAL DISORDERLY CONDUCT, SHOPLIFTING CASES

Tuesday, June 14

The City of Union Public Safety Department appeared to be busy over the weekend, with a number of arrests being made for different violations. The top violation was disorderly conduct, with 8 cases made for that, and four for shoplifting.

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SC PROMOTES RAILROAD SAFETY WITH "SEE TRACKS? THINK TRAIN!" MESSAGE

Tuesday, June 14

The U.S. will be one of 40 countries worldwide observing ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day)Along with safety professionals around the world, South Carolina Operation Lifesaver is partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Union County Sheriff’s Office, during the week of June 10-19 to educate the public about the need for increased awareness when approaching railroad tracks whether in a car or on foot.

The focus of this year’s campaign in South Carolina is promoting safe decisions for patrons walking home from bars and restaurants.  More than 50 percent of the people who die while walking on railroad tracks have alcohol or drugs in their system.  Participating enforcement agencies will spread the railroad safety message to bars and restaurants in their communities providing them with posters, bar coasters, and koozies with our “See Tracks? Think Train!” message.

In addition, departments will be stepping up enforcement at railroad crossings and along tracks to watch for violators during these days.  Being on tracks at locations other than a designated crossing is trespassing. International Level Crossing Awareness Day began in 2009 in Europe to highlight the importance of public education on railway safety issues. Learn more at http://www.ilcad.org/History.html.

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WENDY'S, TYGER RIVER HOSTING RECRUITMENT EVENTS IN GAFFNEY

Tuesday, June 14

Wendy’s will host another recruitment event at SC Works Cherokee, located at 133 Wilmac Road in Gaffney, on Thursday, June 16th, from 2-4 p.m. The hiring event will be for part-time crew members for their newly remodeled Gaffney location. Candidates should apply online via www.jobs.scworks.org. They are asked to apply to job order 666176 and to please attend the recruitment event. This job order requires no previous experience, and the minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

Tyger River Correctional will host a recruitment event at SC Works Gaffney on Friday, June 17th, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and then again from 2-4 p.m.  They are recruiting for correctional officers.  Qualified candidates need to apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event.


LIBRARY DIRECTOR GIVES DETAILS ON SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM

Monday, June 13

Free lunches will be served this summer at the Union County Carnegie Library to patrons under the age of 18. Library Director Rieta Drinkwine tells us what is all about.

 

Drinkwine says the program is also designed to promote healthy eating habits. The lunches will be served from 11 until 1. She says all are welcome, and children under 12 need adult supervision         

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS ON BUDGET

Monday, June 13

The Union County Board of School Trustees will be meeting tonight in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center at 7:00 p.m. It will be the first meeting for newly hired Superintendent Dr. Bill Roach. Dr. Roach will make comments to the board and those attending the meeting during that time. The agenda lists the approval of the 2016-2017 budget as the primary order of business. Recent budget figures show the anticipated total expenditure for the new fiscal year to be $27,192,371, a slight decrease over last year’s budget. An executive session is planned for one personnel issue.

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AMERICAN LEGION PLANS MEETING

Monday, June 13

Union American Legion Post 22 will have its monthly meeting on Monday, June 13th. The meeting will be held in its regular location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Veterans Memorial Park in Union. A meal will be served at 6:00 P.M., followed by guest speaker Bob Scherer, new Commander of the American Legion Department of South Carolina, at 6:30 P.M. The business meeting will start at 7:00 P.M., and will include Russ Cantrell, South Carolina American Legion District 10 Commander, swearing in the newly elected Post 22 Officers. Post 22 meets on the second Monday evening of every month except July, when there is no meeting. Prospective members are always welcome to attend any meeting.

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SEVERAL RACES TO VOTE ON IN PRIMARIES

Monday, June 13

Polls will be opening at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning for the Republican and Democratic primaries. A reminder that voters cannot cast ballots in both primaries but must choose one or the other. There are several races on the Republican side. For SC House District 42, Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann are running for the GOP nomination. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Mike Anthony in November.

In US House District 5, incumbent Mick Mulvaney is being challenged by Ray Craig. The winner will face Democrat Fran Person and the nominee of the American Party.

Only a portion of Union County will vote in the SC Senate District 14 race, where incumbent Harvey Peeler is being challenged by Kenny Price. No Democrats are running for the seat.

There will be a total of six contested races—three Democrat, three Republican—on the party ballots on Tuesday, but some precincts will not have Democratic ballots. This is because they fall outside the Union County Council districts where there are contested races for the Democratic Party nominations in those districts. Those districts include: Adamsburg, Bonham, Jonesville Box 1, Kelton and Lockhart.

Contested Democratic primary races include:

Union County Council District 2—Incumbent Ralph Tucker is being challenged by John Glenn and James R. Rice.

Union County Council District 3—Incumbent Tommy Ford is being challenged by Howard “Wahoo” Gibson. The winner of the Democratic nomination for District 3 will face Republican David Sinclair in November.

Union County Council District 5—Incumbent Randall “Chump” Hanvey is being challenged by Tommie Hill.

For more information, you should contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.

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FIVE FROM GEORGIA FACE CHARGES

Monday, June 13

Sheriff David Taylor said that deputies were dispatched to 102 Post Office Drive at the Jonesville Dollar General store in reference to a possible stolen debit card. Prior to arrival by deputies, the store notified 911 that the vehicle had left and was being driven by a black male. The store clerk told deputies that the black male attempted to purchase several Lowe’s and Home Depot gift cards in the amount of $500 each. The black male had several bank cards with him, and he attempted to use 3 different cards before one finally worked. He made 2 Lowe’s gift card purchases and wanted to make more, but the clerk told him he would have to wait an hour to purchase more cards. At that point, the black male got in the truck and proceeded into the Town of Jonesville. County and city police were advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle. A deputy called the Dollar General in Lockhart to make them aware of what was happening, and the clerk stated that a black male was in the checkout line as they spoke. The deputy proceeded toward Lockhart, but the truck had left the Lockhart store in an unknown direction. A short time later, Sgt. Russell Vinson saw a truck in Monarch occupied by what he thought was 5 black males. The vehicle was leaving Dollar General in Monarch. Sgt. Vinson waited until he had some additional police units to back him up, and then he activated his blue lights. The vehicle pulled over in the 1200 block of West Main Street in the City of Union. The vehicle was being driven by JaQuan Page. Officers noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, and all occupants were removed from the truck. As Page was exiting the vehicle, Sgt. Vinson observed him trying to hide a bank card between the seats. A Swisher Sweet pack with marijuana inside was found in the backseat. At that point, all five individuals refused to talk and asked for a lawyer. All subjects were charged with possession of marijuana and transported to the Union County Jail. Also taken for evidence were numerous credit cards and cell phones.

On June 7th, Captain James McNeil started investigating the case in more detail. During the investigation, it was discovered that Andre Francis Hamb had stolen a credit card number from Amalgamated Sugar Company in Idaho. After review, the purchasing manager told Captain McNeil their account was hit for approximately $8000, and $1500 was in Union County. They are aware of at least one store in Spartanburg that was hit the same day, as well. 

Arrested were:

Andre Francis Hamb, 21, of Kennesaw, Georgia—charged with simple possession of marijuana and 2 counts of financial transaction card fraud

 

 

Jaquan Anthony Page, 20, of Ackworth, Georgia, charged with simple possession of marijuana

 

 

Michel Reginald Lee, 28, of Marietta, Georgia, charged with simple possession of marijuana

 

 

Keyshawn Lee Henderson, 17, of Marietta, Georgia, charged with simple possession of marijuana

 

 

Marshae Giovanni Henderson, 19, of Ackworth, Georgia, charged with simple possession of marijuana

 

 


ELLEN SAGAR, UNION MEDICAL CENTER AMONG RECIPIENTS OF SPARTANBURG REGIONAL FOUNDATION GRANTS

Friday, June 10

Several Union health care entities will benefit from a $695,000 grant from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation.

The organization awarded the grants to Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and to community organizations committed to the health and wellness of Upstate residents. The Spartanburg Regional Foundation recognized 27 recipients at a ceremony held June 8th at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg.

The Union County organizations to benefit include: Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, which will receive $53,234. This grant will provide funds for an outdoor courtyard for 113 residents. Ellen Sagar Nursing Center is a long-term healthcare center and provides physical, occupational and speech therapy.

The Children's Security Blanket received $2,500 to support a feasibility study on expanding their services into Cherokee and Union counties. The Children’s Security Blanket provides financial support to families with a child who is diagnosed with cancer.

The Union Medical Center—Emergency Department will receive $13,000 to support the purchase of 10 televisions for exam rooms and the Emergency Department waiting room.

Union Medical Center—Pharmacy has been awarded $54,623. This grant will support the purchase of one Acudose cabinet in the after-hours pharmacy area.

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

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GESCRAP ESTABLISHES OPERATIONS IN UNION COUNTY

Friday, June 10

As reported several months ago, GESCRAP, a multinational corporation engaged in metal recycling and other auxiliary services for the manufacturing industry, has established operations in Union County. They are investing $6.3 million in the facility, and the company is expected to generate 21 new jobs over the next five years. 

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Spain, GESCRAP strives to be a leader in the complete and sustainable recovery of waste materials. Serving the global industrial market, the company operates facilities across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

To establish its first facility in the Southeastern United States, GESCRAP constructed its Union County facility to house its GES Recycling operations. Hiring is ongoing for the new facility, located at 1723 Jonesville Highway in Union. Those interested in joining the GES Recycling team should contact hiring-us@gescrap.com.

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HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOLDS QUARTERLY MEETING

Friday, June 10

The Membership Quarterly Meeting for the Union County Historical Society will be held on Sunday, June 12th, at 3:00pm at the Union County Museum. They note the Cross Keys House will be a site on the upcoming Ag+Art tour on June 25 and 26. 

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LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER INVOLVED IN WORKSHOP

Friday, June 10

Union-area residents are invited to come learn how to capture beautiful scenes in an introductory photography workshop at the Piedmont Physic Garden on Saturday, June 11th. The class will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the garden located at 301 E. South Street in Union.

Local landscape photographer Everett Leigh and his partner, Thia Beniash of the SC Photography Workshops, will lead the class.

Both artists have been featured by OnlyInYourState.com and SouthCarolinaLiving.com for their stunning pictures. Together, they will share their tips, techniques and tricks that have made their photographs popular on sites such as Facebook, Flicker and 500 PX.

During this mini-workshop, Everett and Thia will teach photography basics such as camera settings, framing and composition. They will also give a brief overview of digital photo editing software. All of this will be followed by a hands-on photography session in the garden.

The cost of the workshop is $20. Space is limited. To reserve your spot, please call 864-427-2556 or email info@piedmontphysicgarden.org.

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LIBRARY OFFERS FREE SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM

Friday, June 10

The Board of Trustees of the Union County Carnegie Library will have a board meeting on June 28th from 5-6 p.m. at the library.  The meeting is open to the public. They offer free lunches all summer for anyone 18 and under, Monday-Friday from 11-1. All are welcome, though they note that children under 12 need adult supervision. 

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ARRESTS MADE IN BURGLARIES OF TWO BUSINESSES

Friday, June 10

Sheriff David Taylor announced Thursday that deputies have made arrests in the burglaries of 2 local businesses that occurred over the weekend. On Sunday, June 5, deputies were dispatched to the scene of “From the Ashes Up Salvage Food Store,” located at 219 North Duncan Bypass. Once on scene, a worker told deputies that when he came to open up the store, he noticed that someone had taken items from the store. Items missing included a cash drawer containing $12, a tote, approximately $60 in change, two loaves of bread and a Gatorade. Investigator Scott Coffer was called and processed the scene. While on scene, Investigator Coffer was approached by the owner of Gene’s Fine Foods, who said when he opened up that morning, he noticed some items missing from his restaurant located at 217 North Duncan Bypass. He told Coffer that he noticed that some equipment was not working, and he noticed that the breakers from the breaker box were missing. Upon further inspection, the owner noticed a change jug missing that contained approximately $400, and several containers that were at the cash register to collect money for various charities were emptied.

Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspects were Karell Harold Thompson, 18, of Union, and Silmario Deantwon Coleman, 29, of Chester. Both subjects were arrested on June 8th and remain in the Union County Jail.


COUNTY COUNCIL CUTS FUNDING TO OUTSIDE SOURCES

Thursday, June 9

Union County Council gave approval to a resolution Wednesday afternoon that will allow the Buffalo Fire Department to move ahead with the purchase of a new fire truck. The move took place in a special meeting. In essence, it allows the county to finance the project until such time that the department’s financing arrangements are in place. The amount should be around $280,500. Approval was also given for the county to purchase a Caterpillar for $72,398 and an excavator for $60,632. That is a total of $133,030. It was noted that they currently have $132,000 in what is called the scrap metal fund to go toward the purchase. That leave an actual cash outlay of $1030 to pay for the purchase.

The council adopted two resolutions concerning fireworks shown in the county. The two communities involved are Buffalo and West Springs, who put on a consumer-grade show each year. Under a recently passed state law, the county is required to approve the show.

A first reading was given to an ordinance that repeals an old one requiring that the county’s special district fire board members be selected through an advisory election. Persons elected to these boards were being required to submit to the state election law, which was said to place an undue burden on the persons in these unpaid positions.

Council members gave considerable discussion to the 2016-2017 budget. Much of that discussion centered around the funding of outside agencies. During the budget sessions last year, the council cut out funding to outside agencies. Later, they went back and appropriated $125,000 and charged the Tourism Commission with the task of distributing the money to those agencies that could be tied to tourism. The amount being appropriated this year has been cut to $70,000, and the Tourism Commission will again have the responsibility for distribution.

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NEW ONLINE FARMERS MARKET AVAILABLE

Thursday, June 9

It was revealed at Tuesday’s Union City Council meeting that there is a new way to shop for your fruits and vegetables. This market is online at Catawbafreshmarket.com. The way it works is you place your order online for the produce that is grown in the area, including in Union County. Coordinator for this project is Libby Oliver. She told WBCU News about the effort.

 

The produce will be dropped off the next day at the Union County Carnegie Library. Payment is made via your debit or credit card online.

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SALKEHATCHIE SUMMER SERVICE TO BRING YOUTH WORKERS TO THE AREA

Thursday, June 9

The United Methodist Conference says they would like for Union to welcome the Salkehatchie Summer Service campers.  Salkehatchie Summer Service is a mission outreach of the United Methodist Conference.  They repair homes of the less fortunate.  This year, under the direction of Rev. Don Brown, the Union camp is comprised of 75 youth and adults who will work on five houses--two in Jonesville, one in Carlisle, and two in Union.  The campers will arrive on Saturday, June 18th, and they will be housed at Sims Middle School through June 25th. They invite residents to visit their website, Salkehatchie.org, for a more in-depth explanation of the organization.

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OFFICER INJURED WHILE ARRESTING MAN ON DRUG CHARGES

Thursday, June 9

On Tuesday, Department of Natural Resources Officer Kevin Smith saw Melvin Porter pulling small bags of what looked like marijuana from a container while driving down the road. Sgt. Vinson was waiting for Porter at New Hope Church Road and Highway 176. Vinson and Smith made a traffic stop, and Porter started reaching under the seat. He was asked to exit the vehicle, and after doing so, he jumped back into the vehicle and reached under the seat. Vinson began to fight with Porter and force him to pull his hand out from under the seat. He was placed in handcuffs and placed outside the vehicle. Vinson saw a white rock substance on the road and under the vehicle. While Vinson was trying to collect the evidence, Porter jumped onto the officer’s back, driving his shoulder into the vehicle. Porter then stepped on the white rock substance, trying to destroy it. Vinson called Lt. Sherfield to come and collect the evidence in the vehicle. Sherfield found several bags of what looked like marijuana and two blunts in the vehicle. He also found a white rock substance on the road under the vehicle. Sherfield will follow up on the investigation. Vinson had to go to Union Medical Center to be treated for his shoulder injury.

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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR NEGLECT WHEN HER INFANT TESTS POSITIVE FOR THC

Thursday, June 9

On Monday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from Union County Department of Social Services. In the referral, it was noted that on April 13th, Tabitha Owen gave birth to a son while at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. On April 15th, a meconium specimen was collected from the baby. This analysis indicated the presence of THC, a byproduct of marijuana. Owen was not immediately tested; however, a hair specimen source was collected from her nearly a month later, which indicated the presence of THC, as well. A report was generated documenting this analysis. The referral noted that Owen admitted to DSS that she had, in fact, smoked marijuana throughout her pregnancy. Based on this information, 29-year old Tabitha Owen will be charged with unlawful neglect of a child by a parent for placing the infant at an unreasonable risk of both physical and mental harm. A copy of this report will also be provided to Union County Dept. of Social Services.

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OFFICERS FIND MARIJUANA WHILE ARRESTING MAN ON UNRELATED CHARGE

Thursday, June 9

On Tuesday, Sgt. Lee Chambers with the Union Public Safety Department and Officer Davis went to 221 East Main Street, Apartment 406, to serve a warrant on 25-year old Raymond Xavier Antigua. Antigua opened the door, and officers could smell the odor of marijuana in the apartment. The officers asked if he had been smoking, and he denied it. He was advised that he was under arrest for malicious damage to property. Officers attempted to place him in handcuffs as he lay on a couch with his hands under him. The officers were finally able to get the handcuffs on him. In the process, they observed a smoking pipe and marijuana grinder in plain sight. They then looked under the bed and located a clear plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. After collecting the evidence, Antigua was transported to the Union County Jail for the warrant.


PRIMARY ELECTION PRECINCT INFORMATION

Wednesday, June 8

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

All precincts:

US House District 5–Ray Craig vs. Mick Mulvaney

SC House District 42--Mark Cathcart vs. Tommy Mann

 

Adamsburg, Kelton, Lockhart, Monarch Box 1 (partial):

State Senate 14–Harvey Peeler vs. Kenny Price

 

DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Black Rock, Carlisle, Cross Keys (partial), Jonesville Box 2, Putman (partial), Santuc, West Springs:

County Council District 2--John Glenn, James Rice, Ralph Tucker

 

Buffalo Box 1, Cross Keys, East Buffalo, Excelsior (partial), Putman:

County Council District 3: Tommy Ford vs. Howard "Wahoo" Gibson

 

Excelsior (partial), Monarch Box 1 (partial), Monarch Box 2 (partial), Ward 1 Box 1 (partial), Ward 1 Box 2 (partial), Ward 2, Ward 3 (partial), Ward 4 Box 1 (partial), Ward 4 Box 2 (partial):

County Council District 5: Randall "Chump" Hanvey vs. Tommie Hill

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WBCU Candidate forum: UNION COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

Wednesday, June 8

 

WBCU Candidate forum: UNION COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3

Wednesday, June 8

 

WBCU Candidate forum: UNION COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

Wednesday, June 8

 

WBCU Candidate forum: sc house district 42

Wednesday, June 8

 

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES 2016-2017 BUDGET, STUTTS AVENUE ANNEXATION

Wednesday, June 8

The Union City Council met for their regular monthly meeting about two weeks early due to a conflict with a statewide meeting of municipal officials that fell on the meeting date. During the meeting, the council heard from Kelsey Allen with the Community Health Team who explained the Eat More, Move More program. She said the mission of the program is to facilitate sustainable initiatives to create a healthy, active and engaged community for everyone who works, plays and lives in Union County. She said:

 

In other matters, the council agreed to remove from the table a second reading of an ordinance concerning the annexation on a lot on Stutts Avenue. Some confusion about the annexation came up during last month’s meeting, where some residents of the area were not sure just what the annexation means. Robby Moody with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments explained the ordinance involved one lot there, a part of which is already in the city and part is in the county. The motion was approved to annex the county portion into the city.

Second reading was given to the city’s 2016-2017 municipal budget. The council agreed to the second reading. The amount of the total budget is $45,155,360. They also gave a second reading to an ordinance that raises the mayor’s salary from $48,000 to $57,800. In addition, he will receive an additional $4200 for a phone and car allowance. The raise will not go into effect until after the November election.0001pt"> In other action, City Council named Eugene Thomas to an additional term on the Housing Authority and Mary Norman was named for another term on the Planning Commission. One vacancy still exists on the commission.

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COUNTY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER LEASE FOR FIRE TRUCK, EQUIPMENT PURCHASES, AND MORE AT MEETING

Wednesday, June 8

Union County Council will hold a special meeting tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in the Grand Jury Room at the Union County Courthouse to consider a resolution on the lease for a truck for the Buffalo Fire District. In addition, they will consider a recommendation from Public Works on equipment purchases, consider a resolution on community fireworks displays, discuss the budget, and hold an executive session to discuss personnel matters.  The public is invited to attend, and anyone requiring special assistance to attend should contact the Supervisor’s Office.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS FIVE ON MARIJUANA CHARGES AFTER TIP ABOUT POSSIBLE STOLEN DEBIT CARD

Wednesday, June 8

On Monday, Union County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Post Office Drive in the Jonesville community in reference to a subject possibly using a stolen debit card. Prior to the deputies’ arrival, the subject had left the store driving a red Chevy Silverado truck. Upon arrival, the officers spoke to an employee who said that a black male came in the store and attempted to purchase several Lowe’s and Home Depot gift cards in the amount of $500 each. The subject had several debit cards with him. He attempted to use three different debit cards before one finally worked. He made two Lowe’s gift card purchases. He wanted to make several more purchases, but the clerk told him that he had to wait an hour to purchase more. The subject left the store and got into his vehicle. The truck was headed towards the city limits of Jonesville. The clerk attempted to get the tag number, but she could only see that it was a Georgia tag. The officer asked the clerk to call the Dollar General in Lockhart. As she was on the phone with them, the clerk there stated that the subject was in her line now. She was advised to call 911 when they left. The clerk in Lockhart called 911 and she stated that the guy had just left and he was headed towards the Hot Spot. The deputy checked the roadway and store lots as he was on his way to Lockhart, and once there, he spoke with the clerk. She advised that the subject purchased 1 Lowe’s gift card for $500. As the responding officer was speaking with the clerk, he was advised by Sgt. Vinson that he was behind the Chevy in the Monarch area near Dollar General. The deputy left Lockhart and he headed toward Monarch.

A traffic stop was made in the 1200 block of West Main Street. Jaquan Page was driving the vehicle. Sgt. Vinson asked everyone in the vehicle for an ID and advised why he made the traffic stop. A strong smell of marijuana was coming from the vehicle, and Page was asked to exit the vehicle. Michel Lee was on the passenger side. In the back seat was Marshe Henderson, Keyshawn Henderson, and Andre Hamb. As Page was exiting the vehicle, the officer saw him trying to hide a bank card between the seats. While searching the vehicle, Sgt. Vinson found two bank cards with Andre Hamb's name between the seat. A Swisher Sweets pack with marijuana was found in the back seat of the vehicle. All five of the suspects were arrested. While searching Andre Hamb, he had three Mastercard cards with his name on them. Page had the same kind of card in his pocket. The suspects were transported to jail and issued summons for simple possession of marijuana. While at the jail, Hamb had eleven more of the same Mastercard cards inside his pants.

Sgt. Vinson read all the suspects their rights, and they refused to talk about the cards. All suspects were clear in NCIC.

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VANDALS CAUSE MORE THAN $15,000 DAMAGE TO A HOUSE

rmal" style="line-height: normal; margin-bottom: .0001pt"> Wednesday, June 8

On Monday, sheriff’s deputies responded to a vandalism call at 128 Southwood Drive. Upon arrival, the complainant stated that between June 3 and June 6, someone entered the residence and vandalized it. Deputies observed several broken windows, broken mirrors, a hole in the living room wall, and paint had been poured out in the carpet. The sinks in the kitchen and hallway bathroom had been stopped up and the water left running. The bath tub in the hall bathroom had also been stopped up and the water left running. This flooded the entire house, causing very heavy damage. Profanities were painted on the windows and walls. The damage to the residence was valued by the complainant at $15,000 or more. The investigator on call was called to the scene and started the investigation.


CITY COUNCIL CALLS JUNE MEETING A WEEK EARLIER THAN NORMAL

Tuesday, June 7

Union City Council will be meeting tonight in council chambers at City Hall. It’s a week earlier than their normal meeting date. The reason is that it is possible that many, if not all of the council and the mayor may be out of town for an annual Municipal Association meeting. The agenda for tonight’s meeting does not look too crowded. They will hear from Kelsey Allen about something called Eat Smart, Move More Union County. Kim Lawson will also discuss the annual Uniquely Union festival. A motion was taken off the table at the last meeting due to conversation that erupted concerning an ordinance to annex a portion of Stutts Avenue. Several citizens appeared to express concern as to how the annexation may affect their property. There will be a second reading of an ordinance to increase the mayor’s salary and other related matters. A discussion and a motion is expected on filling one vacancy on the Housing Authority and two vacancies on the Planning Commission.

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MAN CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND KIDNAPPING

Tuesday, June 7

Last Friday, Deputy Matthew Voiselle spoke with a 21-year old woman, who stated that on that morning, she and her boyfriend, Christopher Gist, were at a friend’s house and were arguing. She stated that she attempted to leave during the argument and Gist pulled her back in the house and started assaulting her. She stated that during the assault, she was hit in the head with a liquor bottle. She said Gist choked her to the point that she lost consciousness. The deputy observed numerous marks on the woman’s legs, arms, and neck. She stated that Gist took her phone from her and would not allow her to call anyone, and that he would not let her leave. She said she laid down in the bed with Gist so he would leave her alone, saying she wanted to him to fall asleep. She said that he fell asleep around 9:45, and she was able to get her phone and sneak out of the residence. She then called her grandfather to come get her. She stated that she hid in the woods until her grandfather came, and he brought her to the police department to file a report. She said that she felt like she needed medical attention, so she was carried to Union Medical Center for evaluation. Warrants were to be sought against Christopher Gist, 23, for 1st-degree domestic violence and kidnapping.

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WOMAN CHARGED AFTER INFANT TESTS POSITIVE FOR AMPHETAMINES/METHAMPHETAMINES

Tuesday, June 7

Back in May, Lt. Johnny Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from Union County Department of Social Services worker Michelle Hames. In the referral, it was noted that on May 18, Kayla Murphy gave birth to a baby at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg. After the infant’s birth, a meconium sample was taken for drug screening. The drug analysis performed on the sample by Spartanburg Regional Medical Center Lab indicated the presence of amphetamines/methamphetamines in the infant. A copy of the drug analysis was included in the report. Based on this information, the mother, Kayla Murphy, will be charged with unlawful neglect of a child by a parent because she exposed this infant to an unreasonable risk of mental and physical harm by using amphetamines and/or methamphetamines during her pregnancy.

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WENDY'S RECRUITING WORKERS FOR GAFFNEY LOCATION

Tuesday, June 7

Wendy’s will host a recruitment event at SC Works Cherokee office, located at 133 Wilmac Road in Gaffney, on Thursday, June 9th, from 2-4 p.m. The hiring event will be for part-time crew members for their newly remodeled Gaffney location. Candidates should apply online via www.jobs.scworks.org. The job order is 666176, and applicants need to attend the recruitment event. This job order requires no previous experience, and the minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

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DON'T IGNORE SIGNS OF STROKE

Tuesday, June 7

Many people ignore stroke signs, thinking they will go away. “We hear it all the time. Someone’s left side went weak, but they didn’t want to worry anyone or bother the busy EMS workers,” said John Pilch, MD, Medical Group of the Carolinas—Neurology—Pelham. “If you are experiencing any stroke symptoms, that is an emergency and you need to go to the hospital.” Receiving treatment within the first two hours of stroke symptoms, patients may be able to return to normal activity within a relatively short period of time.

What’s the difference between a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and a stroke? You may have a loved one who suffered from a TIA. This is commonly called a “mini-stroke,” where the blood flow stops for a short period of time, causing stroke symptoms. “Really, a TIA is a stroke that almost happened,” Dr. Pilch said. “It has the same symptoms and is a warning of a stroke.” A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is cut off. This can either be due to a blood clot blocking the flow, which is called an ischemic stroke, or when a blood vessel bursts and stops the flow, which is called a hemorrhagic stroke. “A TIA should be taken just as seriously as a stroke, and you shouldn’t treat it any differently than a stroke,” Dr. Pilch said. “If you or a loved one has experienced any stroke symptoms, call an ambulance immediately, even if you feel it may be just a TIA.” It’s important to go to the hospital after a TIA, because more TIAs or a full stroke could occur later.

Symptoms of a TIA include: face drooping, where one side of the face is drooping or numb; arm weakness, where one arm is weak or numb; and speech difficulty, where speech is slurred or a person is unable to speak or be understood. If you have any of the symptoms, it’s time to call 911.


RECREATION DEPARTMENT AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ASKS FOR SPONSORSHIPS FOR JULY 4TH CELEBRATION

Monday, June 6

The Union County Recreation Department and the Union County Chamber of Commerce are once again co-sponsoring the county’s annual 4th of July Celebration.  From the band and the vendors, to the kid’s games and the grand finale fireworks presentation over the lake, this celebration of American freedom requires a considerable amount of resources. Organizers say, “In order to lessen the burden on local government, we have asked for sponsorships from businesses and individuals for the past several years.  If you have helped sponsor the event before, we hope that you will invest in Union County and help us celebrate our freedom as we ‘LIGHT UP THE LAKE’ at Veteran’s Park.”

They hope to raise $6000 through sponsorships. Suggested contribution amounts are in increments of $500, $300, $200, or any other amount you may wish to give. Checks should be made payable to: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 135 W. Main Street, Union, SC, 29379. Additional information may be obtained by calling 427-9039.

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LIBRARY ANNOUNCES BOARD MEETING, ADULT SUMMER READING CONTESTS

Monday, June 6

The Board of Trustees of the Union County Carnegie Library will have a board meeting later this month. It will take place on June 26 at the library from 5-6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

The Summer Reading Contest for adults has begun at the library. Grownups can enter a drawing for a chance to win weekly prizes. The Grand Prize drawing will be held July 20 from 4:00-5:00pm.

In order to be fair to all readers, organizers decided that last year’s grand prize winners will not be eligible to enter the Grand Prize drawing this year.

Other Adult Summer Reading contests include movie reviews. Once a week, you can review a movie and return the review the following Monday for a chance to win prizes.

For the children and teen Summer Reading events, no sign up is necessary, but children under 12 will need adult supervision. This program will run through July 28th. For more information, contact the Union County Carnegie Library at 864-427-7140 or online at unionlibrary.org.

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YORK MAN REPORTS SOMEONE TRIED TO STEAL GAS AND ITEMS FROM HIS TRUCK

Monday, June 6

We have a theft from a motor vehicle to tell you about. A York man reported to the Union County Sheriff’s Office that someone had taken some items from his truck, which at the time was parked on Gin Circle in Buffalo. He said when he started to go to work on Wednesday morning, he noticed someone had taken the gas cap off the vehicle in an apparent attempt to steal gas. He said he found a water hose and a plastic gas can that had the odor of gas in it. He wasn’t sure if any of the tools were stolen.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER REPORTEDLY SMOKING MARIJUANA AT UNION MEDICAL CENTER

Monday, June 6

We have another case to report—this one for simple possession of marijuana. This one was at Union Medical Center, where the security officer said that he could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the public restroom in the emergency room waiting area. The suspect, 39-year old Andrew Lee Epps of Longview Heights, admitted to having the weed and turned it over to the officer without incident. He had a half-smoked cigarette containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and also a small plastic bag containing the same. Epps was placed under arrest and charged with possession of marijuana.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REMINDS BUSINESSES OF DISASTER LOAN DEADLINE

Monday, June 6

The U.S. Small Business Administration reminds small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations in South Carolina of the deadline to submit disaster loan applications for economic injury caused by the severe storms and flooding from October 1-23, 2015. The deadline to apply for a working capital disaster loan is July 5th. Low-interest disaster loans are for a number of counties, including Union.

Applications and program information are available by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 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.


AG AND ART TOUR BEGINS THIS WEEKEND; UNION COUNTY FEATURED THE LAST WEEKEND IN JUNE

Friday, June 3

The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour begins this weekend. The focus this week will be on Chesterfield, Darlington, and Horry counties. We still have three weeks before Union County will be featured. Those date are June 25th and 26th. Libby Oliver tells us what we can expect to see.

 

To find where the sites are in Union County:

 

The Ag + Art Tour for Union County will actually kick off on Thursday, June 23, with a farm-to-table dinner at the Veteran’s Lodge at Foster Park. The dinner will consist of fresh food provided by all participating farmers and will be prepared by an area catering company. Tickets for this event are $25 per person and includes one complimentary glass of beer or wine. For tickets and information, stop by Sander’s Garden Center at the corner of Highway 215 and Times Boulevard or call 427-3367.

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MAIN STREET BEAUTIFICATION PROJECTS CONTINUE

Friday, June 3

Union’s Main Street continues to see beautification projects completed as a result of a Master Plan by the Community Vibrancy Committee. The latest addition is the placement of hanging baskets on the street light poles. According to Vibrancy Committee spokesperson Torance Inman, there is more to come.

 

In addition to the placement of trees and flowers, a general cleaning of the downtown area is planned. The committee is also exploring the possibility of beautification projects along the Duncan Bypass.

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PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN TO HOST PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Friday, June 3

Officials of the Piedmont Physic Garden ask the question, have you noticed the rolling green hills of the Piedmont this time of year? Or what about the flowers blooming in your own backyard? Area residents can come and learn how to capture these scenes in an introductory photography workshop at the Piedmont Physic Garden on Saturday, June 11th. The class will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the garden located at 301 East South Street in Union.

Local landscape photographer Everett Leigh and his partner, Thia Beniash of SC Photography Workshops, will lead the class.

Both artists have been featured by OnlyInYourState.com and SouthCarolinaLiving.com for their stunning pictures. Together, they will share their tips, techniques and tricks that have made their photographs popular on sites such as Facebook, Flicker and 500 PX.

During this mini-workshop, Leigh and Beniash will teach photography basics such as camera settings, framing and composition. They will also give a brief overview of digital photo editing software. All of this will be followed by a hands-on photography session in the garden.

The cost of the workshop is $20. Space is limited. To reserve your spot, please call 864-427-2556 or email info@piedmontphysicgarden.org. All workshop participants will be eligible for a 25% discount on Leigh and Beniash’s next workshop offered by SC Photography Workshops, to be held in July here in Union.

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CANCER ASSOCIATION GRANT BENEFITS MAMMOGRAPHY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Friday, June 3

Early detection of breast cancer is crucial to successful treatment, but some women aren’t able to afford yearly mammograms. Through Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s (SRHS) Mammography Assistance Program at Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, women can make their health a priority. The Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties, Inc., recently awarded a $25,000 grant to the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, directly benefitting the Mammography Assistance Program.
“We are very appreciative of this grant that will provide opportunities for a service that many women otherwise couldn’t afford,” said Mary Mabry, Director of Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health. “It’s so important that these women add these screenings to their continuum of care so breast cancer can be detected early.”
The Mammography Assistance Program helps uninsured and underinsured women throughout the Upstate.  Since the Mammography Assistance Program began in 2009 with a grant from Susan G. Komen, it has funded more than $650,000 of care in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties. Mammograms funded by the program have helped diagnose 83 cases of breast cancer. While the breast cancer mortality rate in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties has decreased, Union County’s mortality rate has increased and is above the state and national average. Grants like this allow the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health to help women tackle the financial hurdles of getting a mammogram.
Please call 864-560-6144 for assistance or 864-560-7777 to schedule a mammogram.


USC-UNION PLAYERS PRESENT MURDER MYSTERY PLAY "TRIFLES"

Thursday, June 2

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, you might want to check out the play being put on by the USC-Union Players. Producer Dawn Shriver give us a hint of what it’s all about.

 

The players are set to take the stage at 8:00 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, and 3:30 Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $5 each, and students and faculty get in for $3. Small children are free. The proceeds will go back into the fund for future productions.

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LEAH LAWSON REPRESENTS SOUTH CAROLINA AT MISS USA PAGEANT

Thursday, June 2

A Union woman is set to take to the runway Sunday night as a contestant in the Miss USA Pageant. 22-year old Leah Lawson, daughter of Greg and Kim Lawson, was born and reared in Union. Lawson was a finalist on Season 14 of American Idol and was honored to be among the top 75 finalists at Hollywood Week. She is an honors graduate of Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. While at PC, Leah was a member of the PC Cheerleading Squad, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and conducted honors research on gold nanoparticles her senior year. She is currently a realtor assistant for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services while pursuing a career in music. She has been an active member in her community, working with organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Big Brother/Big Sister Program, Relay for Life, and Children’s Miracle Network. In her free time, Leah enjoys singing and writing original music, hot yoga, traveling the world, and living a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.

The Miss USA beauty pageant has been held annually since 1952 to select the American entrant in the Miss Universe pageant. The Miss Universe Organization operates both pageants, as well as Miss Teen USA. The pageant was owned by Donald Trump from 1996 to 2015, and was previously broadcast on NBC. In September 2015, WME/IMG purchased the pageant from Trump. Currently Fox holds the broadcast rights for the pageant.
The current Miss USA is Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma who was crowned on July 12, 2015, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The 2016 Miss USA pageant will be aired at 7:00 p.m. live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the Fox Television Network. That’s channel 21 in our area.

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WBCU PRESENTS CANDIDATE FORUMS AHEAD OF JUNE 14 PRIMARY ELECTION

Thursday, June 2

On Monday, the WBCU News Department will begin what has become a tradition here of attempting to inform our listeners of important events in the county. Just after 9:00 a.m. Monday, we will begin a series of WBCU News specials that will feature the local candidates vying for their party’s nomination in the June primaries. June 6th will feature the Republican candidates running for the SC House District 42 nomination. They are Mark Cathcart and Tommy Mann. Tuesday will be County Council District 2 Democratic candidates John Glenn, James Rice, and Ralph Tucker. County Council District 3 Democratic candidates will be featured Wednesday, June 8th. They are Tommy Ford and Howard Gibson. Thursday, June 9, will feature Democratic candidates for County Council District 5, Randall Hanvey and Tommie Hill. While other names will appear on the June 14th primary ballot, none face primary opposition.

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TOWN OF CARLISLE OFFERS FREE SUMMER LUNCH AND ACTIVITIES PROGRAM

Thursday, June 2

A free summer lunch and activities program is being offered in the town of Carlisle. It will take place at the Carlisle Town Hall and will include a swimming field trip. The summer program will be held June 8th through July 28, Monday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. for children under 18. If you need more information, please call Carlisle Town Hall at 427-1505. 

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ARTS COUNCIL HOSTS DOOR HANGER CLASS

Thursday, June 2

Here’s an interesting activity set to take place Saturday at the Union County Arts Council—a door hanger class. Participants will be creating a one-of-a-kind door hanger for special occasions or just to decorate an otherwise plain door. Brandi Ketterman will be on hand to help with any idea you may have. The class will be held Saturday from 10-2 in the Arts Council Gallery. The fee is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR DUI WANTED IN VIRGINIA ON THREE WARRANTS

Thursday, June 2

The Union County Sheriff’s Office reports that 58-year old Charles Dennis Hargett, of Kershaw, South Carolina, was arrested by Deputy Brandon Vaughan this past Sunday on a charge of driving under the influence. A records check indicated that Hargett was wanted by the Fredrick County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office on three outstanding warrants. Those charges are failing to stop for an accident, driving while intoxicated, and dumping trash on private property. Chief Deputy Perry Haney will sign a warrant charging Hargett as a fugitive from justice in order to detain him for extradition by Virginia authorities.


ARTS COUNCIL PLANS ART CAMPS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS

Wednesday, June 1

The Union County Arts Council has several camps planned for this summer, the first of which is called the 2016 Camp of Clay. That will be running June 13th through the 15th. Just what is the Camp of Clay? Amber Ivey of the Arts Council explains.

 

There will actually be two sessions: one for 9th to 12th graders from 10 a.m. until noon, and the other for 6th to 8th graders from 1 until 3 p.m. The charge is $50 per student, and all materials will be provided. You can register for the Camp of Clay by calling Amber Ivey at 864-427-2817.

The Arts Council will be offering two additional camps later on this summer. There will be one for July 11, 12, 14, and 15, and is designed for kindergarten through the 2nd grade. They will be learning about Artistic Science, featuring such things as Rainbow Paper, Magnetic Slime, Crystal Letters, Exploding Paint and Egg Shell Geodes. The sessions will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Then, on July 18, 19, 21, and 22, Abstract Adventures will take place for grades 3 - 5. They will study Wall Art, Paint and Loom, a 3-D project and Mason Jar Tea Lights. Lunch will be provided each day, and the fee is $40 per student. Again to register, contact Amber Ivey at 429-2817.

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ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENTER TO BECOME SCC-UNION COUNTY CAMPUS

Wednesday, June 1

Come July 1st, the Union County Advanced Technology Center will become Spartanburg Community College's official footprint in Union.

The facility will become the Spartanburg Community College Union County Campus. Opened in 2009, the center was originally a partnership between SCC and the University of South Carolina Union.

“This is a bigger opportunity for the college to have a facility to operate from that's not a shared facility. That automatically doubles the amount of space you have to work in,” said SCC President Henry Giles. “We see it as a chance to show the college is committed to supporting the facility and the community.”

The Union County School District will continue to serve as the facility's fiscal agent for the 2016-17 academic year. After that, SCC will take over financial operations.

Kathy Lancaster, who is the site coordinator at the soon-to-be SCC Union Campus, said the facility will continue to focus on technical training and workforce development.

In addition, Union County Adult Education, run by the Union County School District, will move to the building, located on Highway 176 in Union.

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BOOGALOO ANNOUNCES NEW SUMMER SHOW

Wednesday, June 1

Boogaloo Folklife Production have performances coming up this month for a play titled “Chance Connections”. It will feature vignettes about flags, trains, snakes, and cotton mills. The opening night performance will take place on June 17th and will feature a wine and cheese night. Tickets for that performance will be $15. All other performances are $10 and will take place on June 18th, 24th and 25th at 7:00 p.m.

In other dramatic activities, the Union County High School Drama Department’s Drama Camp will take place June 20th through the 24th. The camp is open to children in the first through eighth grades. The will participate in theatre games, creative dramatic activities, and will present a short play for parents and guests on June 24th on the UCHS stage. Parents can register their children at the main office of Union County High School. The registration deadline is June 15th, and the fee is $40. Additional information can be obtained by calling 427-1709.

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SC DSS PLANS INFORMATION SESSION ON BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT

Wednesday, June 1

Area residents are being asked to consider becoming a foster parent. You are invited to join others at the Union County YMCA on June 11 from 11 to 1 p.m. Organizers with the Department of Social Services say their goal is to help more than 4000 children find a family. They say foster families get training and support from DSS to provide nurturing, stable homes to children in foster care. Individuals or couples can be licensed as foster parents. For more information, visit scfamilies.org or call 888-828-3555.

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COMMUNITY PRAYER MEETING SCHEDULED

Wednesday, June 1

The Community Prayer Meeting will be observed at noon on Thursday, June 2, in front of the USC-U gazebo (currently closed for repairs).  The community is invited to come and join with fellow citizens of Union County and with others in other places as they pray for the country, the community, the state, and also for our world and for the church. You are asked to pray for God’s guidance in the campaigning and elections, as well as for our military, our police, EMS personnel, and others who risk their lives to serve and protect us. All are welcome. Organizers say if you can't get to the gazebo, please take some time for special prayer during the day. 


BROAD RIVER CHARITIES MAKES DONATIONS TO LOCAL GROUPS

Tuesday, May 31

Broad River Electric Charities has distributed $30,000 to 18 local charitable organizations and programs in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties that strive to improve quality of life for the people of the upstate. Those from the Union area receiving contributions include:

Salkehatchie Summer Service of Union to purchase building materials; 

Jerusalem Project of Union to purchase construction materials; and

Union Disabilities & Special Needs to fund summer camp experiences for seven clients.

“These organizations and volunteers do so much to help our communities and citizens,” said Broad River Electric CEO and Charities Board member Terry Mallard. “We hope the funds, generously donated by the cooperative members, will help their cause and inspire more support for them throughout the community.” 

Donations to the selected charities come from Broad River Electric’s Operation Round Up® program. Each month, participating members’ account balances are rounded up to the nearest dollar. That extra change goes to the benevolent fund that assists organizations and goodwill missions in and around Broad River Electric’s service area.

Funds from Operation Round Up® are distributed through Broad River Electric Charities, Inc., which is governed by a 7-member board representing the cooperative and the three counties it predominantly serves – Cherokee, Union and Spartanburg. Since its inception in 2010, the program has allowed Broad River Electric Charities to donate nearly a half-million dollars to dozens of organizations and entities across the upstate. Organizations wishing to request funds can contact the cooperative to begin the application process.

Pictured:

l-r: Don Brown (Salkehatchie Union),  Caroline Barger (Salkehatchie Union), Harmony Greer (Union Disabilities), Alison Coker (Jerusalem Project) and Carol Smith (BRE Charities Board member). 

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MORE FARMERS MARKET VOUCHERS TO BE DISTRIBUTED JUNE 9TH

Tuesday, May 31

Officials with the Union County Council on Aging say there will be another distribution of food coupons coming up soon. A distribution was held several weeks ago at the Senior Center on North Gadberry Street. The event is call the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, and they say you may qualify to receive coupons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers this summer. Out of the number of vouchers allotted to Union County, there are 170 left, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The vouchers have a value of $5 each, and recipients are eligible to receive up to five for a value of $25 at the Farmer’s Market. The next distribution will take place Thursday, June 9th, from 1 until 4 p.m. at the Senior Center, located at 237 North Gadberry Street. Guidelines to receive the vouchers include being 60 years of age or older with low income. You must provide proof of identity with a driver’s license or ID card, and provide proof of residency in Union County.

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DR. BRENNAN SZAFRON TO GIVE ANNUAL SUMMER CONCERT AT ROSE HILL

Tuesday, May 31

Enjoy an early evening musical concert in the beautiful ballroom of the Rose Hill Plantation mansion, the former home of Governor William H. Gist and his family. You are invited for a concert titled “The United States and Her Neighbors: 19th-Century North American Composers” on Saturday, June 4, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Dr. Brennan Szafron, organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, is returning for his fourth-annual summer concert. Szafron gives intimate and engaging recitals, introducing his audience to musicians and melodies that may be new to the ear or treasured favorites. His concerts, held in the ballroom that resonated with live music in the 19th century, are truly unique. There will be a 15-minute intermission, with light refreshments available. At the end of the performance, Dr. Szafron will host a brief period for questions and discussion.

Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, June 2. Seating is limited to the first 35 registrants. Admission is $7.50 per person age 6 and older. For more information, call 864-427-5966 or email rhillsp@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. Tours are held daily from March through October at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Winter tours, from November through February are scheduled Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. 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.

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EXEL is RECRUITING MODULE OPERATORS IN SPARTANBURG

Tuesday, May 31

Exel/DHL will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 East Kennedy Street in Spartanburg, on Thursday, June 2, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The hiring event will be for module operators in their Spartanburg facility. Qualified candidates are asked to register in SC Works Online and complete the application process through Job Order #643480. Once candidates have completed their Exel application online, they should attend the recruitment event.


YMCA POOL OPENS WITH NEW RULES

Monday, May 30

The YMCA swimming pool opens tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. There are some changes this year, and YMCA Director Scott Sandor tells WBCU News about them.

 

He says other measures are being taken to ensure safety.

 

Sandor asked if a group comes to swim to please bring some life jackets with you. While the YMCA does have some life jackets on hand, there is a good chance there may not be enough, especially for smaller children.

Many of the safety measures being put in place this year are as a result of the accidental drowning of a young child last year.

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MIRACLE LEAGUE BREAKS GROUND ON NEW PARK

Monday, May 30

Last Tuesday, The Miracle League of Union County held their ground breaking for their new all-inclusive playground, called “ALLstar Park.”  The event was designed to create awareness of the new playground and honor their current donors, who include the Union Medical Center Volunteers, Barbara Rippy, Timken Foundation, Union County, City of Union, Rotary Club of Union, Union County Chamber of Commerce, and Harper General Contractors. This new all-inclusive playground will allow everyone to participate and not have to just watch others, while making new friends and memories.  Currently, the Miracle League is on the final leg of this project. The Miracle League needs to raise $32,000 more to achieve their first goal. Once this money is raised, Timken will match the funds, bringing the total amount raised to $225,000.  The Miracle League is accepting contributions and donations to complete this project. For more information, call 466-7879, contact any Miracle League Board Member, find them on Facebook, or visit their website www.miracleleagueofUnionCounty.org. You can send checks to Miracle League of Union County, PO Box 425, Union, SC, 29379. WBCU News spoke with Doretha Salter, who is a parent of a Miracle League player, and Amy Austin about the Miracle League of Union County, “ALLstar Park,” and their supporters.

 

 

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TOWN OF CARLISLE HAS BUDGET WORKSHOP PLANNED

Monday, May 30

The Town of Carlisle is beginning to wrap things up for this fiscal year. As a result, they will have a budget workshop on Tuesday, May 31st, at 6:30 p.m. That will be followed by the regular Town Council meeting at the Carlisle Town Hall. State law requires that local governments present a balanced budget by the beginning of the new year.

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MAN ARRESTED ON ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE

Monday, May 30

The Union Public Safety Department issued a report Friday on an incident that occurred a while back. It states that Officer Dean Allen was dispatched to Union Medical Center concerning an assault. Once there, Allen spoke to a man who told him that a young black male came to his house to hang out and watch TV. After a while, he asked the subject to leave. The subject became upset but left. A short time later, the man returned. The victim said that when he opened the door, he was struck by something in the throat. He said he realized he was bleeding and drove himself to the hospital. He did not know the subject’s name but knew the area in which he lived. On May 26, a warrant was issued for Andrey Darnell Hall, Jr., of 203 Lakewood Drive. He is charged with attempted murder.

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MAN WHO LED POLICE ON CHASE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING TO BUY TOO MUCH EPHEDRINE

Monday, May 30

This past Wednesday, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap found that Lacy Dwayne Beasley attempted to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in a 30-day period. Beasley went to Wal-Mart’s pharmacy and attempted to purchase 12-Hour Max Decongestant, which contains 2.4 grams of ephedrine. This transaction was blocked because Beasley was attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in a 30-day period. Sgt. Gilstrap will seek a warrant with the Union County magistrate for attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine. As a result of the attempted purchase, Beasley ended up being pursued more than ten miles by Union County sheriff’s deputies. He was arrested in a wooded area north of Union after being tracked by police dogs.

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WOMAN CHARGED IN SEPARATE CASE OF ATTEMPTING TO BUY TOO MUCH EPHEDRINE

Monday, May 30

In a similar case, 44-year old Michelle R. Haney is also charged with attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in 30 days. The incident occurred on February 12, as she went to Wal-Mart’s pharmacy and attempted to purchase 12-Hour Max Decongestant, which contains 2.4 grams of ephedrine. That transaction was blocked because she was attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in a 30-day period. A warrant will be signed on Haney for the offense. Investigators have also requested surveillance photos of the transaction from loss prevention at Wal-Mart.


SPAGHETTI DINNER BENEFIT FOR CONNOR RANDALL PLANNED FOR JUNE 4TH

Friday, May 27

A spaghetti dinner to benefit Connor Randall is set for next Saturday, June 4th, at the Jonesville Baptist Church Christian Life Center. It will get underway at 5:00 and run until 7:30 p.m. The charge will be $8 a plate for adults and $4 for children. The menu, in addition to the spaghetti, will include salad, bread, dessert and drink. You can dine in or take out. Associated with the event will be a silent auction, free face painting, bouncy house, bingo, and a 50/50 drawing. “Connor Strong” t-shirts will be available.

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AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

Friday, May 27

Union County veterans’ organizations will have their annual ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th, at 10:30 a.m. It will take place at the Memorial site on East Main Street. American Legion Post 22 is in charge of the program. WBCU’s Daniel Prince will be in charge of the prelude music and will sing, along with Hester Booker of McBeth Baptist Church. The speaker will be 1st Vice-Commander of the American Legion State Department, which is located in Irmo. He is a resident of Boiling Springs. Post 22 Commander Thomas L. Sinclair will be the moderator. The Post 22 committee planned the program, with Vice-Commander Charles Lott serving as the coordinator. The committee welcomes all veterans, family members and the community to attend. You are asked to please bring a folding or lawn chair, sunglasses, and headgear for protection against the sun. After the program is over, a meet and greet at Veterans Memorial Park Lodge will be held until 12:30p.m.

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MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG, WEAPONS CHARGES

Friday, May 27

On Wednesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap, Lt. Mickey Parker with Union Public Safety and Sgt. Cudd executed a search warrant at 1418 Peach Orchard Road. Officers first knocked on the door two times and then made forcible entry into the residence. Once inside, the officers located and secured 28-year old Trenton Zane Ray. They secured the rest of the residence and began their search. Lt. Sherfield located a marijuana cigarette beside the bed where Ray was when entry was made. Sgt. Gilstrap located digital scales, a marijuana grinder, 2 shotgun shells, and a sawed-off 12-gauge Winchester pump shotgun. Lt. Parker located 22 long rifle ammunition in the back bedroom area and a plastic bag containing a quantity of a clear crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom in the front portion of the residence. Ray was then placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Jail by Sgt. Cudd.

The evidence was taken to the Task Force Office, where Lt. Sherfield measured and photographed the shotgun barrel, which had a length of 15-½ inches in length. Based on the evidence that was recovered, Lt. Sherfield will sign an arrest warrant charging Ray with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. He was also issued a summons for the marijuana violation. An NCIC check showed no report of the firearm being reported stolen; however, Lt. Sherfield will perform an ATF firearms trace to attempt to determine the firearm’s owner.

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WOMAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING TWO OTHER WOMEN OVER $1.25

Friday, May 27

Union County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Voiselle was dispatched to 274 Oakland Rd. in reference to an assault. He spoke with a woman who stated that 21-year old Grace Ann Beaver came to her house and was acting upset. She stated that Beaver started yelling that the woman’s daughter, who is eight months pregnant, owed her $1.25 and she wanted it now. The woman stated that she went in the house to get the money and came back out. She said that Beaver shoved her as she was giving her the money. The woman stated that she shoved Beaver away from her, who then punched her in the face, causing her to fall down.  She said that her daughter then pushed Beaver away and told her to stop. She said Beaver then punched her daughter in the face, as well. The complainant said she tried to hit Beaver back, but she lost her balance and fell. Beaver then left. Voiselle observed some red marks on the women’s faces. He took pictures and obtained written statements from the women. They both declined medical treatment.

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MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER FLEEING TRAFFIC STOP

Friday, May 27

Deputy Brad Woods was contacted by narcotics investigators, who advised that there were 2 subjects in Wal-Mart buying pseudoephedrine and that they possessed an arrest warrant on one of the subjects. Woods was advised that the subjects were getting into a dark blue hatchback car parked on aisle 4. Woods saw a vehicle matching that description, and pulled in behind it as it drove around the parking lot.

He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle as it was approaching the intersection with SC 215. Woods saw the driver, a white male with a bandana on his head, look at him through the rear view mirror and abruptly accelerate going toward Meansville Road.

The deputy initiated a vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, the driver, later identified as Lacy Dwayne Beasley, 39, turned onto Meansville Road, then left onto West Springs Hwy. Beasley stayed straight onto Sulphur Springs Road, then turned left into the driveway of 1080 Sulphur Springs Road, which is a hunt camp, in an apparent attempt to lose the officer.

Woods located the vehicle parked on a food plot down a tractor trail. The passenger, Terry Dillard, 37, was still near the vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident, but Beasley had already run into the woods.

The K-9 tracking team came to assist and located Beasley several hundred yards from the vehicle and took him into custody, as well. Narcotics investigators also came to assist.

Inside the vehicle was an open Bud Light and a quantity of narcotics-related items. Deputies also noted that the tires on the vehicle were well past their service life, having no tread left, and the property that Beasley entered upon was clearly marked with "no trespassing" signs.

Dillard and Beasley were transported to the county jail.

A check of the tag on the car, a blue Ford Focus, showed that it was supposed to be displayed on a 1989 Lincoln Town Car owned by Beasley. He was issued tickets for:

improper vehicle license, open container, unsafe tires, and trespass after notice. Additionally, a warrant will be obtained charging Beasley with failure to stop for a blue light.

The case was turned over to narcotics investigators for further investigation of both Beasley and Dillard. The pursuit covered a distance of 10.6 miles, and no property damage or personal injury was sustained by any party.

The improper tag was seized, photographed, and entered into evidence, while the open container was seized, photographed, and destroyed.


REPAIRS COMPLETE AT JAIL AND DETENTION CENTER; COUNCIL HEARS FURTHER BUDGET REQUESTS

Thursday, May 26

Union County Sheriff David Taylor appeared Wednesday afternoon before the County Council Committee on Law Enforcement, Judiciary and Recreation. Taylor reported that all projects at the jail and detention center had been completed. He said all cell blocks are now open, plumbing issues have been resolved, and heating and air conditioning units have been repaired or replaced. He said on a recent inspection by the state, the Union County facilities scored a 98. However, there were other things on the sheriff’s mind, and he told WBCU News.

 

Following that meeting, a budget work session was held, and Supervisor Frank Hart told WBCU News what that was about.

 

Appearing with requests were the Union County Tourism Commission and the Council on Aging. Tim Black of the Council on Aging reiterated the agency’s need for a van to transport seniors. Currently, no van is available to fulfill the need.

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BODY FOUND BEHIND HOUSE USED AS HUNT CAMP IN JONESVILLE

Thursday, May 26

Monday night, Sgt. Roger Hill was dispatched to the Gaffney Highway in Jonesville along with medic units to a welfare check and possible death. Upon arrival, the deputy found a victim, deceased, laying behind what appeared to be an “A”-frame residence that was used as a hunt camp. Hill notified the on-call investigator, who responded to the scene, and an investigation was started. This case is under investigation and will be followed up by Lt. Black.

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LIBRARY PARTNERS WITH OTHERS TO BRING BASIC GARDENING PROGRAM TO JONESVILLE

Thursday, May 26

The Union County Carnegie Library, in partnership with the Town of Jonesville, the Clemson Extension Service, and True Value Hardware of Jonesville, will be presenting a Basic Gardening program at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, June 4th, at the Jonesville Town Hall. The class size is limited to 20, and you may register by calling 427-7140, extension 105. Bring your library card and receive a $2 discount ticket for True Value of Jonesville on a minimum $20 purchase.

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TWO ARRESTED ON WEAPONS CHARGE

Thursday, May 26

Tuesday, Lt. Johnny Sherfield received information from a reliable confidential operative of the Union County Sheriff’s Office that there was a black male from Chester in possession of a handgun. The operative said the male was in a brown Cadillac with rims parked behind the old Napa store on S. Pinckney St. The operative also stated that the subject did not have a driver's license.

When the responding officer drove by the location, there did not appear to be anyone sitting in the vehicle. The officer drove around the area and came back to the front of the old Napa store to watch the vehicle. A few minutes later, the deputy observed the same brown Cadillac pull out from behind the building. Based on the information from the operative, a traffic stop was initiated on Shadow Drive near S. Pinckney St. As soon as the vehicle came to a stop, the driver, identified as Tron Minter, got out of the driver's seat and began yelling at the officer about why he was stopped. Minter was given several commands to get back in the vehicle, but he ignored those commands and attempted to enter the residence at 300 Shadow Dr. The deputy grabbed Minter, placed him into custody, and explained why he had been stopped. While he was dealing with Minter, an unidentified black male got out of the front passenger seat, went around the front of the vehicle, and let the driver's side back seat passenger out of the vehicle. That passenger was identified as Bryant Thompson. The unidentified front seat passenger then left the traffic stop area before the officer’s backup could arrive.

The officer asked Minter if he had a license, and he stated that he did not and they were suspended. A check of Minter's license through dispatch showed he was, in fact, suspended. The deputy then conducted an inventory of the vehicle prior to it being towed, and he located a black KelTec 9mm in a center console between the front seats. Both Minter and Thompson denied any knowledge of the gun, because both stated they could not possess a weapon due to previous criminal history. The gun was taken as evidence, and both Minter and Thompson were arrested for possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and transported to the Union County Jail by Deputy Roark. Warrants were sought with the Magistrate Office on both subjects.

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WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER BABY TESTS POSITIVE FOR OPIATES

Thursday, May 26

Tuesday at approximately 9 a.m., Lt. Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from Union County Department of Social Services worker Michelle Hames. In the referral, it was noted that on May 2nd, Tracy Lancaster gave birth to a baby at Mary Black Hospital in Spartanburg. After the infant’s birth, a meconium sample was taken for drug screening. The drug analysis performed by Medtox Laboratories on the sample indicated the presence of opiates (Hydromorphone) in the infant. Based on this information, Lancaster will be charged with unlawful neglect of a child by a parent, because she exposed this infant to an unreasonable risk of mental and physical harm by using opiates during her pregnancy.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REMINDS BUSINESSES OF DISASTER LOAN DEADLINE

Thursday, May 26

The U.S. Small Business Administration reminds small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations in South Carolina of the June 28th deadline to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) as a result of excessive rain and flooding that began on Oct. 1, 2015.

“Businesses that suffered economic losses as a result of the disaster and want to apply for low-interest loans from the SBA are urged to do so before the deadline.

The disaster declaration includes many South Carolina counties, including Union.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 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.

The completed loan applications should be submitted to the SBA no later than June 28, 2016.


LOCKHART COUNCIL MEETING DEALS WITH LIBRARY, PROPOSED MOBILE HOME ORDINANCE

Wednesday, May 25

Lockhart Town Council met Tuesday night for their regular monthly meeting. On hand for the meeting was Rieta Drinkwine, Director of the Union County Carnegie Library. Drinkwine said she was there because she wanted to hear from the council and community about things the library might be able to initiate or participate in to help improve things in Lockhart. She heard numerous comments from the well-attended meeting. One item mentioned was perhaps some computer classes. Mayor Ailene Ashe said there is a need to learn how to operate a computer. The possibility for GED classes was also mentioned. Someone in the group asked about the bookmobile. Drinkwine explained that the bookmobile no longer operates in the county, but they are seeking ways to get book distribution in the various communities. Coincidently, library worker Bev Weed was on hand for the meeting and had brought a new supply of books for distribution there.

The mayor distributed copies of a proposed mobile home ordinance to the council for them to take home to study and make any changes they deem appropriate. One of the audience members, Lockhart resident Ray Duncan, took exception with some of the wording. At that point, others attending chimed in expressing concerns in the community. That open discussion went on for about 25 minutes. Ashe asked the council members to take all the comments under advisement and make changes in the ordinance where they thought there needed to be.

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TEN TEACHERS AND STAFF ADDED AT SCHOOLS

Wednesday, May 25

The Union County School Board meeting concluded Monday night with an executive session. During that time, Jeff Stribble delivered the personnel report, in which ten teachers and staff were added to the faculty. They included:

Everett Orr – Mechatronics teacher at the Union County Career and Technology Center

Jeffrey Whisenhunt – Agriculture teacher at the Union County Career and Technology Center

Michael Johnson – Digital Art and Design teacher at the Union County Career and Technology Center

Sherrie Callahan (Retired)– Science teacher at Sims Middle School

Melissa Gregory (Retired) – Science teacher at Sims Middle School

Indrasena Bandela – Math teacher at Union County High School

Haley Wofford – teacher at Foster Park Elementary School

Courtney Franklin – teacher at Buffalo Elementary School

Jake Walton – Athletic Fields and Grounds/Coach – Union County High School

Andrew Preston – Orchestra teacher at Foster Park Elementary School, Lockhart School and Jonesville Elementary Middle School

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CHARLOTTE CHURCH SPONSORS EVENT IN CARLISLE june 4th

Wednesday, May 25

Summerfest has been set for June 4th at Carlisle Park in Carlisle. This is an outreach to Carlisle and the surrounding area and is sponsored by The Victory Christian Center in Charlotte. Plans call for there to be food, fun, music and ministry for the entire family. If additional information is needed, call 704-533-2219.

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USC UNION SCHEDULES FUN CAMP FOR KIDS JUNE 13-17

Wednesday, May 25

A Fun Camp is scheduled to be held at USC Union this summer. This year’s camp promises to be interesting as well as educational. Attendees will learn science and lab techniques, CSI techniques such as fingerprinting, footprint casting, evidence collection, and DNA extraction. There will be games and team activities each day. The camp will be held June 13-17 from 9AM-3PM. Lunch, snacks, activity costs, and drinks are all included in the $80 fee. The camp is for ages 7-11. For additional information, you should call Bill Moore at USC Union at (864) 424-8037 or email moorebil@mailbox.sc.edu.

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GOVERNOR HALEY PETITIONS FCC TO ALLOW CELL PHONE JAMMING IN PRISONS

Wednesday, May 25

Governor Nikki Haley and fellow governors from across the country Tuesday signed a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler requesting a reevaluation of regulations regarding contraband cellphones in prisons.

In a letter to Chairman Wheeler, the governors said, “Correctional officers across the country work in an environment many will never see or fully understand in terms of threats to staff and public safety. Contraband cellphones in the hands of prisoners dramatically increase these threats to witnesses, the public, the officers, their families, and even other prisoners.” 

Last month, during a FCC field hearing held in Columbia with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, Governor Haley asked that cellphone jamming restrictions be lifted and that states be granted permission to use the blocking technology. The governor said, “This is something that has a solution to it. Allow us to jam our prisons ... Something has to change.”

“We need the FCC to allow us to streamline processes,” said Gov. Haley. “In corrections, a lot of times I don’t have fixable problems, but this one…but it requires the FCC, it requires Congress, and it requires the Telecom industry to step up.”


SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO CHANGE GRADING SYSTEM NEXT YEAR

Tuesday, May 24

Monday night’s Union County School Board meeting was the last for interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks. Dr. Eubanks has served in that position since shortly after the resignation of former superintendent Kristi Woodall last December. Eubank’s comments to the board and those attending the meeting were, in part, a reflection on his brief tenure.

 

In other matters, the board gave approval and second reading to the District Proficiency Plan. The vote was unanimous.

The board also voted to go onto a 10-point spread grading system for next year. A score of 90 to 100 will be an “A”, 80 to 89 will be a “B”, 70 to 79 will be a “C”, and 60 to 69 will be an “E”. All numerical grades below that will be a “F”. The former grading system utilized a 7-point spread. Finance Officer Lynn Lawson presented the district’s 2016–2017 budget. It calls for an expenditure of $27,855,640. That reflects an increase of $663,269.

On hand for the Monday night meeting was incoming District Superintendent Dr. Bill Roach. Roach is coming to Union from Pickens. On his coming to the Union County School District, he said:

 

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COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEE PLANS MEETING, FOLLOWED BY BUDGET WORK SESSION

Tuesday, May 24

The Union County Council Committee on Law Enforcement, Judiciary and Recreation will meet on Wednesday, May 25th, at 4:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex building to discuss a hawker/peddler ordinance and a municipal jail agreement. A budget work session will follow at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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AMERICAN LEGION POST 22 ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

Tuesday, May 24

Union County veterans’ organizations will have their annual ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th, at 10:30 a.m. It will take place at the Memorial site on East Main Street. American Legion Post 22 is in charge of the program. WBCU’s Daniel Prince will be in charge of the prelude music and will sing, along with Hester Booker of McBeth Baptist Church. The speaker will be 1st Vice-Commander of the American Legion State Department, which is located in Irmo. He is a resident of Boiling Springs. Post 22 Commander Thomas L. Sinclair will be the moderator. The Post 22 committee planned the program, with Vice-Commander Charles Lott serving as the coordinator. The committee welcomes all veterans, family members and the community to attend. You are asked to please bring a folding or lawn chair, sunglasses, and headgear for protection against the sun. After the program is over, a meet and greet at Veterans Memorial Park Lodge will be held until 12:30p.m.

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SISTERS ARRESTED AFTER FIGHT FOLLOWING GRADUATION

Tuesday, May 24

A fight broke out following the Union County High School graduation Friday night. The Union Public Safety Department incident report states that officer Shane Petrie arrived on scene and spoke to School Board member Jane Wilkes. She said that two females were fighting but had left the area. She added they needed to go to jail. Sgt. Chambers was able to locate the two in front of the building. They were identified as sisters Nicole Hill, 44, and Kaitlyn Brown, 27. Both were placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct. The report stated that UCHS Principal Betsy Trakas also witnessed the fight.

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WELFARE CHECK LEADS TO ARREST ON DRUG CHARGES

Tuesday, May 24

Saturday, a woman called 911 and requested that a welfare check be conducted on her estranged husband, Scott Darling. She explained that he was at her house earlier in the morning to get some property, and he showed her a syringe and a baggie that he claimed was meth. The woman stated that Darling made the statement, "I got the stuff that's killing everyone, so I am going to take it and hope I die, too." The woman requested the welfare check on Darling to make sure he was okay.

Deputy Matthew Voiselle went to 238 Haywood St., and observed Scott Darling getting out of the passenger side of his vehicle. Voiselle spoke to Darling and informed him about why he was there. Darling stated that he had no intention of hurting himself. He stated that he did not have anything illegal in his possession. When searched and nothing illegal or possibly dangerous was found on his person, he did say there was a bag of marijuana in the car. He went to the car and reached in and took out a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana. He stated that it was his, and he hoped he wouldn't go to jail for it. The deputy observed Darling reach into the cup holder of the car and place something inside of a $20 bill and ball it up in his hand. The deputy asked him what he had in his hand. Darling turned facing away from Voiselle, where he could not see his hands anymore. The deputy advised him to put his hands behind his back to be cuffed, and he refused. Voiselle took hold of Darling’s wrist from behind him and attempted to pull his hands back to cuff them, and the subject started pulling away and trying to get free while fumbling with whatever he had in his hands. He was told several times to place his hands behind his back, and he kept refusing and pulling away. Voiselle was able to maintain control by holding him against the vehicle and then placed him in handcuffs.

During the vehicle search, a syringe was found underneath the passenger side seat. Darling stated that it was his. He was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


DR. EUBANKS TO LEAD HIS FINAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

Monday, May 23

The Union County Board of School Trustees is set to meet tonight in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. The agenda calls for comments from Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks. This will be Dr. Eubank’s last school board meeting before the new superintendent takes over. In other matters, Cindy Langley will provide an update on the dual credit courses with Spartanburg Community College. There will be a second reading of the District’s Proficiency Plan, as well as a second reading of policy IKA, which deals with grading and assessment systems. Langley will present the Administrative Rule, IKA-R. The board will give first reading to the proposed 2016 – 2017 budget. An executive session is planned to take up 2 personnel items and 2 contractual matters.

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CORONER'S OFFICE POSITIVELY IDENTIFIES WHITE AS APRIL 30TH WRECK VICTIM

Monday, May 23

Union County Coroner William Holcombe has announced the results of DNA test conducted on a 20-year old wreck victim. He said the testing at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Headquarters and additional testing by Newberry Pathology has been completed, and as a result, the Union County Coroner’s Office can positively identify the victim as Alexus Iashaye White of Newberry County. White was killed in a single-vehicle accident April 30th while traveling on Highway 72 near Jeter Chapel Road. She was a student at Winthrop University and was traveling home from school when the accident occurred.

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UNION MAN SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT ON GUN CHARGE

Monday, May 23

Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced Friday morning that Willie Mack Walton was sentenced in federal court May 17th to 15 years in prison with 5 years of probation. Walton was indicted and arrested on April 16, 2015, on a federal gun violation--felon in possession of a firearm. This indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Union County Gang Investigator along with the Upstate Gang Task Force.

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ROTARY CLUB HONORS TWO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AT ITS LATEST MEETING

Monday, May 23

The Rotary Club of Union recognized Mariana Glenn-Toland and Macy Scarborough at the club meeting last week. Glenn-Toland, a junior at the high school, is the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) recipient. Scarborough, a graduating senior at the high school, was awarded a Rotary Scholarship which she will use at the College of Charleston.

Also at last week’s meeting, Rotarian Lynn Mornane introduced Kathy and Jim Stepp to the club. Both Kathy and Jim are retired school teachers and are heavily active with the Union County Meals on Wheels. The volunteer organization delivers 1 hot meal per day, 5 days a week to Union county residents. In 2015, 17,859 meals were served in Union County. To volunteer or make a contribution, please call (864) 427-1598.

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COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS MEETING SCHEDULED TONIGHT

Monday, May 23

The Union County Democratic Party will be meeting tonight, May 23rd, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the City of Union Council Chambers at 101 Sharpe Avenue.  The meeting is open to the public.

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ABSENTEE VOTING FOR JUNE PRIMARY ELECTIONS IS NOW OPEN

Monday, May 23

Absentee voting can now take place for those wanting or needing to cast their ballots prior to the June 14th primaries. Union County Election Commission Chairman Keith Vanderford announced last Monday that the absentee precinct had opened at 8 a.m. that morning and would remain open through June 13.

There will be a total of six contested races — three Democrat, three Republican — on the party ballots on June 14, but some precincts will not have Democratic ballots. This is because they fall outside the Union County Council districts where there are contested races for the Democratic Party nominations in those districts. Those districts are: Adamsburg, Bonham, Jonesville Box 1, Kelton, and Lockhart.

All precincts in the county will have Republican ballots, as the races for the GOP nominations for SC House District 42 and US House District 5 are countywide. The third race is for the GOP nomination for the SC Senate 14 seat, which will be on the ballot in only part of the county’s precincts.

Voters who go to the polls June 14 must choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries. For more information about the primaries, contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.

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RECRUITMENT EVENT FOR CNAS SCHEDULED WEDNESDAY

Monday, May 23

Peace and Comfort Care will host a recruitment event at the SC Works Spartanburg office on Wednesday, May 25th, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  They are recruiting for certified nurse aide (CNA) positions.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event.

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BMW ANNOUNCES ITS 3.5 MILLIONTH VEHICLE MADE IN SC

Monday, May 23

BMW Manufacturing announced today that it has produced the 3.5 millionth BMW made in South Carolina.  The mineral white metallic BMW X4 xDrive20i is powered by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine and equipped with mocha Nevada leather interior.  The sports activity coupe is headed to a customer in Fuyang, China, about seven hours west of Shanghai.  

“This achievement is due to the outstanding commitment and dedication of our associates to produce premium quality vehicles for customers,” said Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.  “Customers around the world love our products, and our X models are an important part of the company’s success.” 

Vehicle number 3,500,000 will be sent by rail to the Port of Charleston and start its journey overseas. Currently, the plant produces more than 1,400 vehicles each day.

The plant is in the middle of a $1 billion expansion. This expansion will increase the plant’s annual capacity to 450,000 units and add a fifth model to the vehicle lineup – the all-new BMW X7.

For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.


245 GRADUATE FROM UNION COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

Friday, May 20

Union County High School seniors will be walking across the platform tonight to receive their diplomas for 12 years of hard work. The ceremony is scheduled to be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Union County High School Gymnasium. Union County School Principal Betsy Trakas said there would be 245 graduates. The Valedictorian is Payton Martin, and the Salutatorian is Cara Phillips. Both Martin and Phillips are members of the UCHS softball team.

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HIGH SCHOOL ART TEACHER HONORED WITH SHOWCASE, RECEPTION

Friday, May 20

A Union County High School art teacher was honored Thursday afternoon with a reception at the Union County Arts Council Gallery. Shannon Farr’s art is currently showing at the gallery and features a multitude of works in several different mediums, including acrylic, watercolor and oil. Farr’s artistic yearning goes back to her younger years, when she said she always liked to draw. She says this show, while not her first, is the first to which she has been invited.

 

Arts Council Coordinator Amber Ivey expressed her pleasure over having Farr’s work displayed there. The council promotes these types of shows periodically to spotlight the abundance of talent in Union County.

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MIRACLE LEAGUE TO BREAK GROUND FOR ALL-INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND

Friday, May 20

Miracle League officials have announced that they will be breaking ground soon on a special project on which they have been working. The public is invited to join them for the groundbreaking ceremony for what will be called ALLstar Park. This is the all-inclusive playground that will be constructed at the Timken Sports Complex. The event will be taking place at the Timken Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. The groundbreaking will be streamed live on Facebook.

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VIETNAM VETERANS CHAPTER MEETS

Friday, May 20

The monthly meeting of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 644, is scheduled for Thursday, May 26th. The meeting will be at its usual time, 7:00 P.M., and will be held in its usual location, the Legion Hut at 120 Scenic Drive in Veterans Memorial Park. Chapter officers will be reporting on their trip to the Regional VVA Conference in West Virginia. Vietnam veterans interested in becoming members are always welcome as guests to meetings, as well as any others interested in becoming associate members.

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DR. BRENNAN SZAFRON TO GIVE ANNUAL SUMMER CONCERT AT ROSE HILL

Friday, May 20

Enjoy an early evening musical concert in the beautiful ballroom of the Rose Hill Plantation mansion, the former home of Governor William H. Gist and his family. You are invited for a concert titled “The United States and Her Neighbors: 19th-Century North American Composers” on Saturday, June 4, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Dr. Brennan Szafron, organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, is returning for his fourth-annual summer concert. Szafron gives intimate and engaging recitals, introducing his audience to musicians and melodies that may be new to the ear or treasured favorites. His concerts, held in the ballroom that resonated with live music in the 19th century, are truly unique. There will be a 15-minute intermission, with light refreshments available. At the end of the performance, Dr. Szafron will host a brief period for questions and discussion.

Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, June 2. Seating is limited to the first 35 registrants. Admission is $7.50 per person age 6 and older. For more information, call 864-427-5966 or email rhillsp@scprt.com.

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SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE ANNOUNCES SPRING DEAN'S LIST

Friday, May 20

Spartanburg Community College has announced the names of students who have earned Dean's List honors for spring term 2016. Those from the Union area include:

Buffalo—Alexandria V. Crider, Eddie W. Newton and Brittany L. West.

From Jonesville—Mitchell Q. Cooper, Victoria P. Haydock, Christopher A. Kerr, Casey McSwain, Autumn V. Millwood and Brandon P. Smith.

Names of those from Union include—Wendy L. Cooper, Gabrielle E. Cromer, Matthew A. Gregory, Nicholas C. King, Devin Knowlton, Jeff S. Martin, Jefferson Z. Martin, Loren Miladinovski, Edward E. Petty and Dustin T. Weltman.

Registration for SCC's summer and fall semester classes is going on now. Summer classes begin on 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 information.

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SUNSCREEN IS KEY TO AVOIDING SKIN CANCER THIS SUMMER

Friday, May 20

Memorial Day is less than two weeks away, and many are eager to get outdoors as the weather gets warmer. Whether playing baseball, going for a jog, or fishing with your buddies, your outdoor activities place you in the sun; make sure you are lathered with sunscreen before you go out. The sun’s warmth may feel nice on your skin, but the longer the sun’s rays beat down on you, the more damage your skin endures. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun reach the inner layers of skin. This produces more melanin, or skin pigment, making the outer layer tan or red. These color changes are a response to injury and do not indicate good health. Excessive UV exposure over time could lead to skin cancer. There are approximately 3.5 million skin cancer cases, and 2.2 million people are diagnosed with a form of skin cancer each year. Skin cancer is curable if diagnosed and treated early. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. However, the most serious type of skin cancer is melanoma. Should you have a suspicious spot on mole on your body, consult with your primary care physician.


SUPERVISOR TALKS TO CITY COUNCIL ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONSOLIDATION

Thursday, May 19

Union County Supervisor Frank Hart appeared before the Union City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting to propose that both entities could probably benefit by consolidating some services. Hart presented a verbal list of possibilities for the consolidated services, including the maintenance shop, law enforcement and animal control. The supervisor recognized that efforts toward consolidating some services in the past have failed. The one area he mentioned that could be accomplished right away was that of animal control. The county currently has a certified animal control officer, and the city employs a part-time officer. He said that void in the city could be filled by utilizing the county officer along with the city officer. Hart suggested that the two bodies sit down together to explore the possibilities. Mayor Harold Thompson agreed with Hart.

 

The mayor said he would appoint several members of Union City Council to serve on a committee with a like group from Union County Council.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL NEGLECT AFTER BABY TESTS POSITIVE FOR MARIJUANA

Thursday, May 19

Back in February, Lt. Johnny Sherfield received a law enforcement referral from Union County Department of Social Services regarding 35-year old Ralnada Athena Ridings and her newborn child. The referral indicated that on January 29, 2016, Ridings gave birth to a daughter. After the birth, a sample of the meconium of the child was collected and sent for testing by Spartanburg Regional personnel. This test indicated a positive result for THC, which is the active ingredient found in marijuana. According to DSS notes, she refused a drug test at the time she gave birth to her baby girl. However, Ridings did test positive for THC while 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant with the child.

Based on that information, Lt. Sherfield believes that Ridings committed the crime of unlawful neglect of a child, in that she placed her daughter at an unreasonable risk of both physical and mental harm by using marijuana during her pregnancy. Therefore, Lt. Sherfield intends to sign an arrest warrant charging Ridings with this violation.

While reviewing Ridings’s criminal history, Lt. Sherfield found that she has a prior conviction for unlawful neglect in Spartanburg County and also has pending drug charges in Cowpens, SC. A copy of the report will be provided to Michelle Hames, the Union County DSS worker assigned to this case.

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HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA DEPARTMENT BEGINS SIGN-UPS FOR ANNUAL DRAMA CAMP

Thursday, May 19

The Union County High School Drama Department will hold its annual drama camp June 20-24 from 9 AM until noon each day. The camp is open to students in 1st-8th grades. Students will participate in theatre games and creative dramatic activities, and they will present a short play for parents and guests on Friday, June 24, on the stage at Union County High School.  The camp is taught by UCHS drama teacher Ralph Lawson.  Assistants are Caroline Gallman, Courtney Garner, Kayleigh Miller, and Claire Pridemore.  Parents can register their children at the main office at Union County High School; the registration deadline is Wednesday, June 15.  The fee is $40 per child.  For more information, call 427-1709.

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COBANK ADDS TO BROAD RIVER EMPLOYEES' CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNITED WAY

Thursday, May 19

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

CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program matches contributions by their cooperative customers to nonprofit organizations. In 2015, Broad River Electric employees donated $3,124 to United Way of the Piedmont, an amount matched by the cooperative. CoBank matched that total with their maximum donation of $5000 to the United Way for the third consecutive year.

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

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

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


OPERATION "KICK OFF TO SUMMER" NETS 21 ARRESTS ON DRUG CHARGES

Wednesday, May 18

Sheriff David Taylor said that “Operation Kick-Off to Summer” got underway at 7:00am Monday, May 16th. The operation started when Union County, Chester County, and SLED conducted a search warrant for drugs at 460 Sonoco Road in Union County. Upon entry, the officers located Tiffany Kershaw, Walter Spencer, and Shaquelle Barber, along with another female and a small child. Everyone was secured, and the residence was searched. During the search of Shaquelle Barber and his bedroom, narcotics officers recovered a quantity of marijuana and seized a Nike shoebox containing $34,833 in cash. Barber is not gainfully employed. He also told deputies about a quantity of marijuana in a rental truck in the yard, which deputies seized. Narcotics officers seized a Springfield .45 caliber from Walter Spencer, who is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. Officers also seized a quantity of marijuana from the bedroom that is shared by Spencer and Kershaw. The officers also seized $522 cash from Spencer, who is also unemployed. Deputies also arrested Tiffany Kershaw and charged her with possession of marijuana. In all, a quantity of marijuana, $35,355 cash, digital scales and a firearm were seized from the house and truck.

After the search was completed, officers started the roundup. Sheriff Taylor stated that overall, 21 of the 28 people have been arrested on 46 drug-related charges. Taylor stated that this is a continuing effort to fight the drug problem in Union County. Nearly half of those arrested in this roundup are unemployed, and it is not because there are no jobs available in Union County.  Taylor went on to say that there have been several recent deaths that may be linked to drug overdoses, pending toxicology results to confirm those deaths. “These arrests,” Taylor said, “may help to aid in the prevention of future deaths.”

Those arrested as part of this round-up are: 

 

1-Christopher Scott Rogers-Attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in 30 days

 

 

2-Rose Mary Childers-Distribution of Schedule 4 and distribution of Schedule 4 within ½ mile of a school

 

 

3-Brandy Darlene Waddell-Distribution of Schedule 4, distribution of Schedule 4 within ½ mile of a school, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

 

 

4-Kimberly McGowan-2 counts of distribution of methamphetamine, 2 counts of distribution of methamphetamine within ½ mile of a school, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute within ½ mile of a school, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute

 

5-Dennis Deese, Jr.-Attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in 30 days

 

 

6-Cameron Gory-Distribution of marijuana, distribution of Schedule 4

 

 

7-Mark Leiske-Attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in 30 days

 

 

8-Colson Miller-Distribution of marijuana, distribution of marijuana within ½ mile of a school, possession with intent to distribute marijuana 

 

 

9-James Littlejohn-Distribution of Schedule 4

 

 

10-Betty Gladden-Distribution of Schedule 2

 

 

11-Robert Jason Waddell-Distribution of methamphetamine, Distribution of methamphetamine within ½ mile of a school 

 

 

12-Gail Allison Williford-Distribution of Schedule 3

 

 

13- Samantha Weaver-Attempting to purchase more than 9 grams of ephedrine in 30 days

 

 

14-Jamie Brannon-Distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine within ½ mile of a school, trafficking methamphetamine

 

 

15-Shanna Bailey-Possession of marijuana

 

 

16-Amanda Queen-Possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana

 

 

17-Tiffany Kershaw-Possession of marijuana

 

 

18-Walter Spencer-Possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent crime 

 

 

19-Shaquelle Barber-Possession with intent to distribute marijuana 

 

20-Thomas Miller-Possession of marijuana

21-Bailey Kingsmore-Possession of marijuana

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CITY COUNCIL VOTES FOR SMALLER PAY INCREASE FOR MAYOR

Wednesday, May 18

The regular monthly meeting of the Union City Council was held last tonight. Just prior to that session, council gathered for two public hearings. One was to hear public comments on the 2016–2017 proposed city budget, and the other was to take comments from the public on the annexation of property located at Stutts Avenue. That matter hit a snag, as residents of the neighborhood appeared seeking answers to questions about what was going on. It was stated that the owner of the property in question wants to build some houses there. The residents want much more detailed information. As a result, when the 2nd reading of the ordinance came up in the regular meeting, it was tabled until more information could be provided.

Following the hearing, the council convened their regular meeting. The agenda called for the reading of several ordinances, including a 2nd reading of a rezoning ordinance for 208 South Church Street and 307 and 309 South Mountain Street. That action coincides with improvements being made at the Union County Carnegie Library. A first reading was held for the 2016-2017 city budget. The total amount for a balanced budget for the new fiscal year is $45,155,350, which includes the utility department’s budget.

An ordinance that would have raised the mayor’s salary to $65,000 annually hit a road block, as a motion by Councilwoman Pamela Sloss to give the second reading failed. Another motion to increase the mayor’s salary to $57,800 and also to allot him a monthly $450 car allowance and a $150 monthly telephone allowance passed. Adding the allowances and salary together comes to a total of $65,000. The increase is set to become effective after the general election in November. The salary increase was discussed in an executive session during the 2015–2016 budget hearings. That budget was passed June 16, 2015. The previous salary was $48,000 annually. In other action, the council approved a resolution to adopt the Victim’s Assistance Bill of Rights and agreed to participate WBCU’s upcoming Miracles and Music event by donating $500.

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WARRANT ISSUED ON WOMAN TRYING TO BUY TOO MUCH EPHEDRINE IN A MONTH

Wednesday, May 18

In a case that dates back to December of last year, a City of Union Public Safety report states that 22-year old Chelsea Dawn Carroll, of Peach Orchard Road, entered Wal-Mart and attempted to purchase a box of 12-hour Max decongestant. The purchase was blocked because it would have exceeded the 9-gram-per-month limit as described in the SC Code of Law. The report stated that this type of decongestant contains ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which is a precursor for manufacturing methamphetamine. Lt. Mickey Parker advised Lt. Johnny Sherfield of the Union County Sheriff’s Office that he would obtain a warrant on Carroll for the violation. Sherfield stated that Carroll had called him and asked if she had a warrant for having the purchase blocked. She said someone else had used her ID. Lt. Parker went to Walmart and reviewed the video surveillance and could see Carroll enter the store and attempt to make the purchase at the same date and time she was blocked. The officer is able to receive notification from a 3rd-party source when a person purchases or attempts to purchase products containing ephedrine. The report stated a warrant would be issued for Carroll.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES BREAK-IN

Wednesday, May 18

On Monday, a Union County sheriff’s deputy spoke with a complainant about a suspected break-in at her Sedgefield Drive residence. The woman stated that she left the house at approximately 6 am to go to work. She said that she later received a call from her nephew that someone had kicked the door in at her residence. He stated that he lives at the residence with his aunt. He said he arrived home around 8am and went in through the front door. He said that when he walked into the kitchen, he noticed that the side door was standing open and the door frame was broken. That is when he called his aunt and told her to come home from work. Both stated that nothing in the house appears to have been messed with and nothing is missing.

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MAN ON DRUGS CLAIMS SPARTANBURG SHERIFF WAS HIDING IN TREES WATCHING HIM

Wednesday, May 18

Monday, Deputy Jamison Taylor responded to an address on South Jonesville Highway. Upon arrival, Deputy Taylor spoke with Department of Natural Resources Officer Dean Adams, who stated that he was at the Jonesville Tire shop when he was approached by a truck driver who was getting his truck serviced. Adams stated that the driver informed him that a white male, identified as 47-year old Jeff Sizemore, of Pacolet, was telling him that Sheriff Chuck Wright was hiding in the trees watching him. The truck driver said Sizemore was apparently intoxicated on illegal narcotics. Taylor then placed Sizemore into custody and asked what he could possibly be on. Sizemore stated that he had used LSD “Chuck Wright style" and that he worked for Chuck Wright in the narcotics division of the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. Taylor then transported Sizemore to the Union County Jail for booking on a charge of disorderly conduct.


RELAY FOR LIFE OFFICIALS CONFIDENT THEY WILL MEET AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY GOAL

Tuesday, May 17

Relay for Life officials are reporting that they have raised $66,129 so far through their efforts. The annual Relay event was held this past weekend at the Union County Fairgrounds and saw several thousand come through to participate. Relay for Life Co-Chair Torance Inman said he believes the event was a success.

 

Over the 21-year period the local Relay for Life event has been going on, a lot of money has been raised.

 

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CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON BUDGET, POSSIBLE SALARY INCREASE FOR MAYOR

Tuesday, May 17

The regular monthly meeting of the Union City Council is slated for tonight at 6:30. Just prior to that session, the council will gather for two public hearings. The first will be to hear public comment on the 2016–2017 proposed city budget. The second will be to take comments from the public on the annexation of property located at Stutts Avenue.

Following the hearing, the council will convene their regular meeting. The agenda calls for the reading of several ordinances, including a 2nd reading of a rezoning ordinance for 208 South Church Street and 307 and 309 South Mountain Street. A second reading will be given to the rezoning ordinance that was discussed in the public hearing. A first reading will be held for the 2016-2017 city budget. The total amount for a balanced budget for the new fiscal year is $45,155,350. An ordinance will be considered that, if passed, will raise the mayor’s salary to $65,000 annually. Because salary increases cannot become effective for one year after the matter is taken up, the council will consider it now. The salary increase was discussed in an executive session during the 2015–2016 budget hearings. That budget was passed June 16, 2015. The previous salary was $48,000 annually. If passed, the mayor will receive a car allowance of $450 per month and a $150 allowance for his cell phone. In other anticipated action, the council will approve a resolution to adopt the Victim’s Assistance Bill of Rights and will consider participation in the WBCU Miracles and Music event.

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MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

Tuesday, May 17

This past Friday, Union County sheriff’s deputies were patrolling River Street in Lockhart when they noticed a vehicle on the side of the road. They spotted two people fishing nearby. One was a male identified as Henry Douglas Edwards, III, of Sharon. During questioning, the deputies asked and received permission to search the vehicle and their personal property. Drug paraphernalia and a rocklike substance believed to be meth was uncovered. Edwards claimed all the material to be his. He was transported to the Union County Jail.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG CHARGE

Tuesday, May 17

Saturday around 7:30 p.m., Union County Sheriff David Taylor was travelling on Mud Bridge Rd. and saw a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Sheriff Taylor turned around and conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Hwy. 215 and Mud Bridge Rd. Upon speaking with the driver, 17-year old Nathaniel Cole Smith, the sheriff noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Sheriff Taylor then called Sgt. Roger Hill to assist in the traffic stop. Smith was asked if there were any narcotics in the vehicle, and he voluntarily handed over a bag containing a glass jar, a bag containing two bags of a green leafy substance, a set of digital scales and a small container containing several different size plastic baggies.  Smith was then placed under arrest and transported to Union County Jail. Warrants were to be sought for the crime of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.


STUDENT ARTWORK FEATURED ON ANTI-DRUG AND anti-VIOLENCE CALENDAR

Monday, May 16

Solicitor Kevin Brackett is in his second year as sponsor of the Union County Solicitor's Office Anti-Drug/Violence Poster Contest involving fifth grade students in the elementary schools in Union County.  The winning posters have been selected and will be printed on calendars that will be distributed for free throughout Union County in August 2016.  The winners are as follows:

From Foster Park Elementary School, Karen Gibson’s work will be appearing on the cover. Also from Foster Park are Madison Knox, Annie Wang, JaBryant Carter, Caley Ingle, Cortney Hicks, and Payton Riley Burnett.

From Buffalo Elementary School: Jasmine Humphries and Kaitlyn Cornelison.

Monarch Elementary will be represented by Shonta Wicks and Gabriel Parker.

Kirsten Foster will represent Jonesville Elementary.

Chloe Black is featured for Lockhart Elementary.

The awards ceremony for the winners of the Anti-Drug and Violence Calendar will take place tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Kirby’s Cake Shoppe, 1222 South Duncan Bypass. Solicitor Brackett says he is very happy to be involved in this project that will bring awareness to others of the dangers of drug use, alcohol abuse and the effects of violence in our community.  If you have other questions regarding the contest, please call Ouida Dest at 803-909-7575.

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BUFFALO SECOND-GRADERS STUDY EMBRYOLOGY THROUGH 4-H PROGRAM

Monday, May 16

Second grade Buffalo Elementary School students had a unique experience Friday morning. They were allowed to see and hold baby chicks. They have been involved in a study of embryology through the 4-H program. Ann Brock, who heads the 4-H program through Clemson Extension, explains how it works.

 

Local farmer Mark Cathcart has been involved in the project and was at Buffalo Elementary School Friday morning and brought the hatched chicks for the students to experience.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PHYSICALS TO BE GIVEN THIS THURSDAY

Monday, May 16

It’s time for all Union County High School athletes and potential athletes to get their physicals in order to participate in sports activities this coming year. Potential athletes who play or who are even considering playing sports and missed the middle school day may come to Union County High School to get their physical for $15 on Thursday, May 19th, during school hours. That physical will be good for the rest of summer and all next school year. The deadline is today to turn in the physical packets.

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KELLY KELTON FIRE BOARD TO HOLD REGULAR MEETING

Monday, May 16

The Kelly Kelton Fire Department Board of Fire Control will hold a regular monthly meeting today at 6pm at their main station, located at 130 Pea Ridge Hwy. in Jonesville. The public is welcome to attend.

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DR. BRENNAN SZAFRON TO GIVE ANNUAL SUMMER CONCERT AT ROSE HILL

Monday, May 16

Enjoy an early evening musical concert in the beautiful ballroom of the Rose Hill Plantation mansion, the former home of Governor William H. Gist and his family. You are invited for a concert titled “The United States and Her Neighbors: 19th-Century North American Composers on Saturday, June 4, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Dr. Brennan Szafron, organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, is returning for his fourth-annual summer concert. Szafron gives intimate and engaging recitals, introducing his audience to musicians and melodies which may be new to the ear or treasured favorites. His concerts, held in the ballroom that resonated with live music in the 19th century, are truly unique. There will be a 15-minute intermission, with light refreshments available. At the end of the performance, Dr. Szafron will host a brief period for questions and discussion.

Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, June 2. Seating is limited to the first 35 registrants. Admission is $7.50 per person age 6 and older. For more information, call 864-427-5966 or email rhillsp@scprt.com.

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INMATE SPITS ON JAILER WHILE RESISTING BEING RESTRAINED

Monday, May 16

On Thursday, Deputy Jamison Lee Taylor responded to the Union County Jail. Sgt. Melinda Haney of the Union County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division asked him to come and assist in placing an inmate into the restraint chair. Upon arrival, Taylor spoke with Sgt. Haney, who stated that inmate Soloman Gore was attempting to destroy the fixtures inside the holding cell. Deputy Taylor, along with jailer Barefoot, Cpl. Valles, Sgt. Haney, and Jailer Wentz approached the holding cell where Gore was located. Gore was advised to place his hands outside the cell door by the food flap so that he could be secured. Gore refused to comply with the lawful orders of the jail staff. He was advised that he was going to be restrained and placed into the restraint chair. Gore then turned around and faced the wall away from the jail staff, and jailer Barefoot placed him in handcuffs. Cpl. Valles then placed leg restraints onto Gore’s feet at his ankles. Gore then refused and resisted attempts to place him into the restraint chair. Cpl. Valles and Jailer Barefoot assisted Gore into the restraint chair. He then started fighting with the jail staff and Deputy Taylor by pushing the restraint chair backwards and attempting to get out of the chair. Gore started resisting and attempted to fight the jail staff. Sgt. Haney was able to get the left shoulder strap secured on the restraint chair. Jailer Barefoot attempted to get the right shoulder strap behind Gore, but he started clinching his right arm to his side to prevent application of the shoulder strap. Cpl. Valles then applied the infraorbital pressure point to Gore in an attempt for compliance. He did comply and allowed Barefoot and Taylor to secure the right shoulder strap to the restraint chair. Barefoot then started to secure Gore’s feet with the straps to the restraint chair, and Gore stated that he was going to spit on the officers. He then started clearing his throat as if he was going to spit on the jail staff. Sgt. Haney advised Jailer Wentz to locate a spit hood to place over Gore’s head and face to prevent him from spitting on the staff. Taylor left the room and assisted Wentz in looking for a spit hood. Taylor then turned around and Barefoot came out of the holding cell covered in spit, stating that Gore had spit in his face. Dep. Taylor will speak with the magistrate about charges on Gore for assaulting Barefoot. Gore has been in jail since January 14th as he faces a charge of attempted murder.


RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR CANCER RESEARCH

Friday, May 13

The big annual Relay for Life event will get underway this evening at the Union County Fairgrounds beginning at 6:00 p.m. with the survivor’s reception. There will be the usual teams, many that will be selling various items and food. There is also something new this year. Beth Lancaster, co-chair of the Relay for Life event, tells us about it.

 

Beth says there are a total of 30 teams this year, with a goal of raising $100,000. That money is used for a number of purposes, including research.

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UNION COUNTY DRAGWAY HOSTS WEEKEND EVENT

Friday, May 13

There is another event going on this weekend—this one at the Union County Dragway. Tony Brown, manager of the dragway, explains what is going on.

 

There will be vendors on hand selling parts, T-shirts and other items. There will also be musical entertainment throughout the day. The gates open today at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

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MIRACLE LEAGUE RECEIVES DONATION FROM COON HUNTING ASSOCIATIONS

Friday, May 13

Tuesday night was a special night for The Miracle League of Union County. Before their 6:00 p.m. game, the Southeastern Treeing Walkers Association, along with The Union County Coon Hunters Association, presented a $1000 check to the league. Amy Austin said, “We are incredibly grateful for what the Coon Hunters and Treeing Walkers Associations have done for our small community as a whole, but to be the recipient of such a generous donation for our association is more than we could have imagined.  It is simply a blessing to know that our mission to provide an opportunity for everyone is shared by so many others. We were delighted to have these gentlemen come enjoy our games and see what their donation means to the players and their families who thought they may never have had this opportunity.”

 

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USC UNION ANNOUNCES SUMMER CAMP

Friday, May 13

USC Union will host their annual summer camp for ages 7–11 on Monday, June 13th, through Friday, June 17th, from 9:00am–3:00pm. The cost is $80 per child, and that includes lunch, snacks, drinks, and all activities. Each day will be filled with a new set of science and lab procedures, games and team activities. To register, please contact Bill Moore at USC Union 424-8037 or moorebil@mailbox.sc.edu.

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SPARTANBURG WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO BUY TOO MUCH EPHEDRINE IN A DAY

Friday, May 13

Incident reports from the Union County Sheriff’s Office state that on April 5th, Samantha Gray Weaver, 21, of Spartanburg, committed the crime of attempting to obtain a controlled substance. It said that she attempted to purchase a 20-count box of CVS 12-hour Decongestant containing 2.4 grams of ephedrine at the CVS Pharmacy located at 599 Rice Avenue. Ephedrine is used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. This transaction was blocked because Weaver had just purchased a 20-count box of Sudafed 12-hour containing 2.4 grams of ephedrine at Wal-Mart just prior to the CVS purchase. There is a limit of 3.6 grams of ephedrine within a single day.  This is in violation of the SC Code of Law.

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POSTAL CARRIERS PARTICIPATE IN STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE

Friday, May 13

US Postal Service letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food items on their routes tomorrow. Postal patrons are asked to donate to their Stamp Out Hunger food drive by leaving some non-perishable food by your mailbox on Saturday. All the food collected will be distributed locally. Should you need additional information about the drive, you may contact Phillip Hughey at 864-706-7424, or Amy Garrett at the Union Post Office at 864-427-7638.

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USC-UNION STUDENTS TARGET OF STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS facebook SCAM

Friday, May 13

A Facebook notification says many USC-Union students can qualify for student loan forgiveness. Be aware the posting is not true. USC-Union officials say this site has been floating around Facebook. Please be advised that this is a scam and it has been reported. They urge students and former students not to click on this site.

 

 

 

 


ROTARY CLUB HONORS TOP ACADEMIC STUDENTS

Thursday, May 12

The Union Rotary Club celebrated Rotary Scholars Day at their Tuesday meeting this week. Throughout the year, the club hosts the scholars at one of their weekly meetings. These young people are considered to be the top academic students in their respective schools.

Union County High School 9th grade students recognized include: Makayla Dyer, Delaney Duckett, McKayla Grady and Benjamin Stone. From Union Christian Day School, the scholar was Tashure Lott.

10th grade students from UCHS include: Ashton Cody, Anthony Esposito, Madison Fowler, and Katelyn Petty. From Union Christian Day School was Keely Messer.

11th grade students from Union County High School were Lyra Mercado, Kasie Roark, Jacob Sanders, and Brooke Smith. The Union Christian Day School 11th grade student was Lori Hart.

Seniors from UCHS included: Reid Bailey, Payton Martin, Cara Phillips and Morgan Pittman. Tyler Heatherly represented Union Christian Day School.

Bobby Holcombe from USC-Union addressed the students and asked them to remember, “Without a test, there is not a testimony.” He challenged them to work hard but also realize that along the way there would be difficulties or tests.

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SUPERVISOR'S MONTHLY REPORT INCLUDES ANIMAL SHELTER, COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENTS

Thursday, May 12

During the Union County Council meeting Tuesday evening, Supervisor Frank Hart gave his monthly report to the council. In that report, he said he has sent a proposal to the City of Union for an improved city/county partnership for animal control efforts in our community.  He says he will present it to Union City Council at their next meeting. He continued to say there have been several improvements at the Animal Shelter in terms of cleaning up the area.  A lean-to shed has been constructed at the back for additional animal housing.  They are working on a new entrance to the shelter and parking to improve the appearance and efficiency of operation.

A project is underway to construct a community park in the Ottaray community with a shelter and ballfield.  In addition, they will be purchasing and installing playground equipment in the Carlisle community.  That should be completed at the end of this month. 

Hart reported that they are close to finalizing the resurfacing road list for 2016. Plans are to resurface 54 county roads this cycle (just over 25 miles).

Brad Jolly is now the interim Public Works Director, Hart said.  In this new role, he will be responsible for solid waste, road/bridge maintenance, and the county equipment shop.  These duties will be in addition to his building official role.

A Bachelor of Science Registered Nurse program is in the making at USC-U. Hart said he has met with Dean Catalano multiple times regarding this program.  In addition, Hart says he has met with Union Medical Center leadership, the Union County Healthcare Foundation Board, and other industry representatives to discuss the process to move the program forward.  The program will require USC-U partnering with one of the USC system Nursing Colleges.  There is a tentative industry commitment of $75,000 to support the startup of the program.  He says he has a goal of the fall 2017 for enrolling freshman students to matriculate into the program.

Hart concluded by saying he is planning a number of informational sessions to promote the local option sales tax.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CARLISLE FOOD DISTRIBUTION NEXT TUESDAY

Thursday, May 12

Volunteers are needed for a food distribution at the Carlisle Town Hall. The distribution will be for Carlisle community only. It will take place on Tuesday, May 17th, from 10:00 a.m.-noon. Participants need to bring a picture identification. For more information, call 427-1505.

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SENATOR HARVEY PEELER ANNOUNCES ANOTHER REELECTION BID

Thursday, May 12

Senator Harvey Peeler announced Tuesday his reelection bid for Senate District 14, which comprises Cherokee County and parts of Spartanburg, Union and York counties. Peeler stated: “If reelected, my priority will continue to be on improving the quality of life for every family in District 14. I will build on past successes to bring jobs to our area, improve public education, and strengthen our infrastructure – roads and bridges, as well as water and sewer services.

He says he led the SC Senate this year in creating a major highway and road improvement initiative without raising taxes and adopting meaningful ethics reform. Peeler mentioned his Read to Succeed initiative, which was signed by Gov. Haley in 2014. He says it focuses on making certain that third graders are able to read at their grade level before being promoted—a critical skill they must have to succeed in school and beyond. Peeler says he will be your strong and effective voice in state government if you continue to give him the privilege of serving as your senator.

Peeler will be opposed by Kenny Price of Boiling Springs in the Republican primary. If re-elected, it will be for his 10th term.


COUNTY COUNCIL HEARS ABOUT FLOODING AT OLD COUNTY JAIL

Wednesday, May 11

During Tuesday’s Union County Council meeting, Sheriff David Taylor gave a report on a flooding issue that is affecting a county building known to most as the old County Jail. The sheriff said the major flood occurred on May 1st when a deluge of rain hit the area. He said there was 14 inches of water in office areas that resulted in an equipment loss of $3155. He pointed out the problem occurred as a result of a gutter pipe and a drain being stopped up. He also said guttering had been pulled loose from the building, causing the fascia board to rot. The sheriff and the council were at a loss as to how to address the matter but turned it over to County Maintenance Director Kenny West.

During the budget woes last year, the council cut all outside agencies from funding. They then decided that money from the accommodations tax could be shifted to the Tourism Commission for distribution to outside agencies that are related to tourism. The agenda called for a discussion of how that would be handled this year. It was decided that the matter would be discussed in an upcoming budget work session.

In other action, the council voted to do a bridge loan for the Buffalo Fire Department so they can go ahead and accept delivery of a new fire truck. The council is in the process of passing an ordinance to create a Buffalo Fire District. That was explained by saying the matter is to simply clear up some language in the old ordinance. The amount of the bridge loan is for $281,000 and is for a period of 60 days. A second reading was given to the ordinance during the meeting.

One of the last items on the agenda was to give a second reading to the budget ordinance for 2016-2017. The second reading passed unanimously. The new budget is now at around $15 million.

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LOREE ROBINSON CELEBRATES 103RD BIRTHDAY WITH MOTORCYCLE RIDE DOWN MAIN STREET

Wednesday, May 11

Loree Robinson celebrated her 103rd birthday Monday. She did so by allowing Josh Lawson to give her a ride on his 2008 Harley Springer. WBCU’s Chris Woodson chatted with Ms. Robinson.

 

She said her secret to longevity was hard work and relaxing later. She asked for the motorcycle ride after several friends suggested it.

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INTERRUPTED BURGLARY LEADS TO CHARGES FOR THREE

Wednesday, May 11

On Monday, Union County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 237 Kissy Creek Circle in reference to a burglary that had just occurred. As deputies were en route, they were advised that the suspects had left in a white or light color U-Haul truck. Upon arrival, the deputies spoke with a man who stated that he was contacted by a neighbor, who told him that someone was in his trailer. When he got near the property, he saw a white male coming out the front door. The white male had a bag in each of his hands. The man told the male to drop the bags, and he did. The male got into the truck with a white female driver and a white male passenger and left. The victim stated that he is missing tools, fishing rods, toys, dishes and several other items from the trailer. It had been about 2 weeks since he had been inside the trailer. Deputy Brandon Vaughan spotted the U-Haul truck at a gas pump at Walmart- Murphy's Gas. As the deputies talked with the male, identified as Robert Lewis, he seemed very nervous. The other male passenger was Jeffery Davis. Lewis denied having anything illegal on him and agreed to let the deputies search him. As deputies were checking his shirt pocket, they pulled out 4 round, blue pills. The driver, Destiny Shetley, gave them permission to search the truck. In the truck, deputies found 2 clear baggies containing a crystal-like substance. The smaller baggie was found behind the passenger’s seat, and the larger baggie was in the overhead sunglass holder case. There was also a plastic bag containing 8 Hot Wheels toys. Lewis said that the toy cars belonged to him, and he had purchased some items from Wal-Mart. The sales receipt showed he purchased 2 items, but there were 3 items in the bag. The 3rd item was taken back to Walmart, and the store’s personnel stated that the male did not purchase the item. The City of Union will follow up on the charge.

After talking with the 3 suspects about the drugs found in the truck, no one claimed them. All 3 suspects were placed under arrest. Davis stated that he had 3 pill bottles in a red bag in the truck. The officer took the bottles from the bag. Inside a pack of cigarettes, there was 4 cigarettes and 2 baggies that contained a clear, crystal-like substance.

All 3 were transported to Union County Jail.

Destiny Shetley, 35, was charged with possession of meth and accessory to burglary. 43-year old Jeffery Davis was charged with possession of meth. 42-year old Robert Lewis was charged with possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance, and burglary.

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TWO CHARGED WITH METH TRAFFICKING

Wednesday, May 11

Sheriff David Taylor announced on Tuesday that his Narcotics Office has made arrests for trafficking meth.

On April 19th Union County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Officers received information that a prearranged methamphetamine delivery was being made to Union. The operative contacted Lt. Sherfield and told him that Jeremy Ginn, 38, of Simpsonville, was in Cross Anchor and that he was driving a white Lexus. Lt. Sherfield and Sgt. Gilstrap were at the Lil’ Cricket in Cross Anchor in an undercover vehicle. They observed a white female pumping gas into the vehicle. Officers observed the white Lexus proceed east on Hwy. 49 toward Union.

Lt. Sherfield had contacted deputies with marked units to stop the Lexus near Cross Keys Fire Department. The vehicle was stopped and was being driven by Jeremy Michael Ginn. Ginn was driving under suspension, 2nd offense, and was arrested. 18-year old Lauren Danielle Whitmire from Gray Court was the passenger in the car, and she was read her Miranda rights and later arrested at the scene.

Whitmire had a large bag of meth on her person and also marijuana in her bag. As officers searched the vehicle, they discovered a grocery sack with approximately 16 grams of methamphetamine and a glass meth pipe, a book bag with 1 gram of meth inside, a can of cutting agent in the back seat, scales and an unknown powder in the console.

The two individuals were arrested and transported to the Union County Jail. The Lexus and $1413 in cash was seized by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle and the cash were signed over to the sheriff’s office by Ginn. When Ginn was arrested, he also had 15 Clonazepam and 12 pills of Alprazolam in a pill bottle.

Sheriff Taylor commended his officers involved in this case and stated that this continues to prove the kind of massive drug problems we battle every day in Union County. The street value of the methamphetamine, marijuana, and pills total approximately $5,200.

Jeremy Michael Ginn was charged with trafficking meth, 2 counts of possession of Schedule 4 narcotics, and driving under suspension.

Lauren Danielle Whitmire was charged with trafficking meth and possession of marijuana.

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REGISTERED DIETITIAN OFFERING FREE GROCERY STORE TOUR

Wednesday, May 11

Most people think they know how to shop for groceries, but Registered Dietitian Kerri Lindberg may have some tips you never thought of. Area residents are invited to join her for a free and interactive tour of Bi-Lo Friday, May 13th. She will be sharing what to look for on a food label, healthy cooking tips and recipes, and how to eat better on a budget. The first tip, Kerri says, is never visit a grocery store on an empty stomach. Space is limited to six per tour, so spots must be reserved in advance either online or by phone. Call the Joe R. Utley Heart Resource Center with questions at 864-560-4472. To register online go to: spartanburgregional.com/community/events.

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TWO RECRUITMENT EVENTS SCHEDULED IN THE COMING WEEK

Wednesday, May 11

Allegiance Staffing will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg Thursday, May 12th, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  They are recruiting for several production and forklift driver positions in the Greer and Spartanburg areas.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event. 

Another such event is coming up next week, as American Services will host a recruitment event at SC Works Gaffney on Tuesday, May 17th, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and then again from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM.  They are recruiting for security officers.  Qualified candidates should apply online via www.scworks.org and attend the event.  


MULVANEY PRESENTS FLAG FROM CAPITOL BUILDING TO AUBREY VAUGHN'S FAMILY

Tuesday, May 10

5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney was in Union Monday to make a special presentation. Many will remember a few weeks ago, Pfc Aubrey Dean Vaughn was laid to rest after his remains were identified by The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. His funeral service was held April 12 with 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. Congressman Mulvaney went to the home of Vaughn's daughter, Myra Heatherly, Monday to make the presentation of a United States flag that had flown over the US Capitol building. Heatherly stated this and other flags had a lot of meaning to her.

 

Congressman Mulvaney commented that making presentations such as this is one of the nicest parts of his job.

 

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SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO MOVE union ADULT ED TO aDVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Tuesday, May 10

Two significant items were approved at the Union County School Board of Trustees meeting Monday night. One of those is an incentive for teachers to obtain their Master’s degree. The board voted and approved a Master’s degree reimbursement program. The program calls for the reimbursement to teachers for a Master’s degree in the field of teaching, a high or critical needs area, a related field, or an area approved by the Director of Personnel. Programs not in the approved area will not be reimbursed. The reimbursement program calls for an obligation of five years of service upon the completion of the degree. The state has allocated $9 million, of which around $200,000 will be Union County’s share this year. Additional information may be obtained from the Director of Personnel. Board members expressed the belief that the program would improve the quality of teachers and serve as a recruiting tool.

The other major vote was approving the moving of the Adult Education school from its present location on East Main Street to the Union campus of Spartanburg Community College. The move would be in full force by the 2017–2018 school year. Dr. Henry Giles, President of SCC said,

 

While the move would come right away, Union County High School would still be the physical agent until 2017. High school diplomas would still be issued by Union County High School, since state law requires a diploma to be issued by a high school.

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CITY COUNCIL AWARDS ASBESTOS REMOVAL BID

Tuesday, May 10

The Union City Council met in a brief session Monday morning to award a bid for the removal and disposal of asbestos at 105 East Main Street. The structure is one that was recently purchased to complement the Main Street Junction project next door. Mayor Harold Thompson said when complete, the recently purchased building would be like a breezeway that will connect the Main Street Junction building and the park area behind the building. The bid in the amount of $32,600 was awarded to Webb Harrell Construction Company.

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COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS TODAY FOR SECOND READING OF BUDGET, AMONG OTHER ITEMS

Tuesday, May 10

Union County Council will be meeting this afternoon in regular session in the Grand Jury Room of the courthouse at 5:30 p.m. Among the items they will take up will be the consideration of appointments to the Building Code Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission. They will also look at filling vacancies on the library board. Sheriff David Taylor will talk about flooding issues and repairs in one of the buildings under his jurisdiction. The Hospitality and Accommodations Tax will be discussed as funding to the Tourism Commission for outside agencies. The council will consider a bridge loan for a Buffalo Fire Department truck, and Curtiss Hunter and Tony Brown will give an update on the Union County Dragway. Second reading is slated to be given for the 2016 – 2017 county budget, and a second reading will be given to an ordinance creating the Buffalo Fire District.

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CHANDLER AUSTIN WINS MEDALS AT SC SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Tuesday, May 10

This past Friday, a torch bearer, joined by several law enforcement officers from all over the state, began running a 7-mile course from the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. Their destination? Fort Jackson, for the opening ceremonies of the South Carolina Special Olympics. A parade of the athletes, cauldron lighting and musical entertainment followed at the Solomon Center.

Saturday, competitions for aquatics, badminton, masters bocce, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting and softball were held at Fort Jackson facilities and Blythewood High School.

Award ceremonies were held throughout the day at each venue after competition was completed.

Local Sims Middle School student Chandler Austin was among the many athletes from across the state who qualified and participated in the Summer Games. Chandler is proud to have represented Union County and Area 12. This is something he looks forward to and hopes that many more of his friends and fellow students will join in and participate this fall for competitions that will begin at the beginning of 2017. 

Chandler was excited to place in every race he competed in, bringing home a gold medal and two bronze medals.  Earning gold in a very close and competitive 25-meter freestyle race, Chandler fought hard, winning by just a hand's length.  In another close race, Chandler earned bronze in the 25-meter backstroke.  Along with his teammates from Area 12, the foursome participated in the 100-meter relay, winning another bronze. 


SCHOOL BOARD TO TAKE UP GRADING POLICY AND MASTERS DEGREE PROGRAM AT ITS MEETING

Monday, May 9

The Union County School Board of Trustees will be meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. The agenda lists a number of intriguing items. Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks will propose a Masters Degree Program. We are unsure just who the program is for, but we’ll find out tonight. Adult Education will be discussed as it relates to Spartanburg Community College, and there will be a first reading of the District Proficiency Plan. There will also be a first reading of policy IKA, which deals with grading and assessment systems. There is one field trip request, and there will be a budget discussion.

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CITY COUNCIL TO AWARD BID ON ASBESTOS DISPOSAL FROM MAIN STREET BUILDING

Monday, May 9

Union City Council will hold a special meeting this morning. The only item listed on the agenda is the awarding of a bid for the removal and disposal of asbestos from a structure at 105 East Main Street. The meeting will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Council Chambers.

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MAN FLEES TRAFFIC STOP, DAMAGES FENCE

Monday, May 9

Around 2:30 Thursday, Highway Patrol Trooper Millwood was patrolling Highway 176 north when he clocked a silver 2001 Ford Crown Victoria traveling at a high rate of speed. Trooper Millwood activated a traffic stop near Chapman Road. As Millwood approached the vehicle, the driver pulled away. Trooper Millwood ran back to his patrol car and pursued the driver of the Ford Crown Vic. The vehicle traveled north on Highway 176 and made a U-turn traveling south. The suspect then turned left onto Chapman Road and pulled up into a driveway at 305 Chapman Road. The vehicle continued up the drive behind a trailer and crashed into a hog wire fence, causing damage to the fence and post. The driver of the vehicle fled into the nearby woods. Trooper Millwood requested assistance from the Union County Sheriff's Office and their K-9 division. Once the K-9 was on scene, a track was begun. After approximately 20 minutes, the suspect was located and taken into custody. The suspect that was arrested was identified as Antyone Tarza Lee, 37, of Spartanburg. The entire traffic stop and crash was recorded on the trooper’s in-car video system. The owner of the fence and post was contacted, and he met officers at the scene. He examined the damage and explained that the damage was valued at $500. Lee was charged with failing to stop for a blue light and driving under suspension.

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MONARCH STUDENT NAMED TO ADVANCED READER TEAM FOR UPCOMING BOOK

Monday, May 9

Monarch Elementary School's 4th grade student Emma Garner was chosen to be on the Advanced Reader Team for the published book Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty. This book is a sequel to the first book, Serafina and the Black Cloak. Both are set at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  Emma's teacher, Mrs. Heather Wilson, completed a novel study with her 4th grade class on Serafina and the Black Cloak, which inspired Emma to enter the contest for the Advanced Reader Team. Serafina and the Twisted Staff is set to be released on July 12th.

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WORKFORCE SUMMITS AIM TO PROVIDE SKILLED WORKERS FOR UNION COUNTY

Monday, May 9

An article that appeared on www.ourupstatesc.info featured Union County. It starts out by saying, “One of the challenges of drawing business to a county that lies between more populous counties with larger cities is making sure that there is a skilled workforce to meet the staffing needs of local industry, but Union County officials are meeting that challenge head on with ongoing workforce summits initiated by Frank Hart, Union County Supervisor.

Individuals from a wide range of agencies and organizations in the county—representatives from the public school system, DSS, local industry, vocational rehab, the United Way, SC Works, Spartanburg Community College–Union Campus, and other entities—were asked to join in the effort last spring. According to the initial summit invitation, the group was being convened for a specific purpose: “Many different institutions and agencies play a key role in the workforce development process. The purpose of this summit is to discuss and identify ways in which they can improve collaboration, cooperation, and coordination of workforce development efforts in Union County.”

The committee on barriers to employment found that the main roadblocks encountered by potential workers were transportation, a lack of education, access to daycare, substance abuse, and having a criminal record. The first barrier that the group decided to tackle was the criminal background issue, as this is a segment of the population that often has difficulty finding an open door to employment. The third committee on general community awareness surveyed county agencies to gather information about services provided, and handed that information off to the newly formed Union County partners group. The partners group will host a public event in June to spotlight all of the partner agencies. The article was authored by Sharon Purvis, a freelance writer and editor from Duncan.


COUNTY COUNCIL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES GATHER FOR DEBATE

Friday, May 6

Union County Democrats gathered in the USC-Union auditorium Thursday evening for what was billed as a debate. The event was moderated by USC-U Professor Randy Ivey. Candidates attending and participating included, for County Council District 2, the incumbent Ralph Tucker and challengers John Glenn and James R. Rice. For County Council District 3, there was incumbent Tommy E. Ford and challenger Howard “Wahoo” Gibson.  In the District 5 race, the incumbent, Randall “Chump” Hanvey, was not present due to another commitment, but his challenger, former City Councilman Tommie L. Hill, was on the panel. The candidates fielded a large variety of questions, from taxes to their vison for the county. They also responded to a question about the use of tax dollars for private schools. Union County Democratic Party Chairperson Ann Stevens said she believes events such as this are good, in that they help voters decide for whom they wish to vote.

 

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POST 22 SELECTS DELEGATES FOR BOYS STATE AND GIRLS STATE

Friday, May 6

American Legion Post 22 selected 2 delegates from Union County High School to participate in Palmetto Boys State 2016, and American Legion Post 22 Auxiliary selected 4 delegates to attend Palmetto Girls State 2016.

Delegates attending Boys State will be Kolby Riddle and Robert Bedore.  The Post 22 selection committee headed by Mr. Al Black conducted interviews with participants on April 19th.  Palmetto Boys State will be hosted at Anderson University June 5-11. American Legion’s Boys State program is a way for young men to learn about the American system of government and politics by participating in a mock governmental system.

The Post 22 Auxiliary selection committee chaired by Mrs. Gloria Northern conducted interviews in March and selected Ivanna Bell, Skylar Senn, Kayleigh Miller and Sarah McGee as delegates for Palmetto Girls State 2016.  Palmetto Girls State will be hosted at Presbyterian College June 5-11. American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program is to educate our youth in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.  The young ladies will learn about government and the political process.

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MAN FACES SEVERAL CHARGES AFTER RUNNING FROM TRAFFIC STOP

Friday, May 6

Around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Highway 18 and noticed a vehicle without a tag. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at Hunt Drive and Barnado Road. As Deputy Vaughan was walking up to the vehicle, he noticed the passenger get out of the vehicle and walk toward an apartment. The deputy spoke to the driver and advised him as to why he was being stopped. Vaughan noticed an open beer in the center console and asked the driver who the beer belonged to. He stated that it had to be the passenger. The officer then walked up to the apartment and asked a female where the male went, and she stated that he was inside the apartment. He asked her to go in and get him to come out. As the deputy was standing at the door, the female walked back out and stated that he must have run out the back door. Deputy Vaughan then went to the back and saw the male running behind the apartments. The subject was advised to stop, but he kept running. Vaughn pursued the subject on foot behind the apartments and advised him to stop several times. He caught him across Highway 18 placed him under arrest. The subject was identified as 30-year old Travis Bates of Brockman Heights. Bates stated he ran because he was on probation. Deputy Vaughan also found an open bottle of liquor on Bates. Bates was transported to jail, where deputies found a packet containing 7 Xanax half pills. Deputy Vaughan charged Bates with open container, an ABC violation, resisting arrest, and possession of controlled substance.

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CORONER'S OFFICE CAN'T OFFICIALLY CONFIRM IDENTITY OF WRECK VICTIM YET

Friday, May 6

After airing a story Thursday that identified the victim of a fiery car crash last Saturday, the Union County Coroner’s Office issued a news release, which stated, “It is the policy of the Union County Coroner’s Office to positively identify all victims of a fatality as quickly as possible for the sake of family members. Despite circumstantial evidence indicating a likely identification, additional scientific testing is sometime required to make a positive identification. This is the case with the motor vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 72 on April 30, 2016. The Union County Coroner’s Office has not officially identified the deceased. DNA test are being conducted. The media will be informed of the identify after family members have been notified.” The information used by WBCU was obtained from posted reports by Fox television and WBTV in Charlotte. That report quoted state troopers as identifying the victim as Alexus White of Newberry.

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STORM SPAWNS REPORT OF A FUNNEL CLOUD SIGHTING

Friday, May 6

An alarm was sounded Thursday afternoon by Union County Communications that a funnel cloud had been sighted east of the City of Union on the Monarch Highway. A caller to the 911 office reported the sighting. A far as could be determined, the funnel never touched down nor caused any damage. The storm that reportedly spawned the funnel was moving toward Chester County where it broke up.


400 SET TO GRADUATE FROM SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Thursday, May 5

Approximately 400 students are expected to cross the stage at Spartanburg Community College's (SCC) 2016 graduation ceremony tonight at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Spartanburg County Council Chairman Jeffery A. Horton will address graduates as the commencement speaker, congratulating those in attendance. A total of approximately 800 graduates have completed degrees, diplomas and certificates at SCC for the fall, spring and summer 2016 terms. The ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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BLOOD LEFT BEHIND WHEN TRUCK IS VANDALIZED

Thursday, May 5

Tuesday Cpl. Russell Vinson responded to Boat Landing Road in reference to damage to a vehicle. On arrival, the deputy spoke with the victim, who stated that while he was fishing on Broad River, someone vandalized his vehicle that was parked at the boat landing. The man stated that the side window was busted out, and everything in the vehicle had been thrown out onto the seat. He said that he didn't have anything missing from the truck. The was also a dent in the side of the truck. A shovel that he had in the back of the vehicle was apparently used to bust out the window and make the dent. Vinson saw fresh blood on several places of the vehicle. Investigator Coffer was called to come and take samples of the blood.

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FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY HOSTING SPRING TEA

Thursday, May 5

The Union County Carnegie Library has their annual Mother, Daughter and Friends Spring Tea coming up. It will be this coming Saturday, May 7th. The table viewing will be at 12:30 p.m., with the tea beginning at 1 and going through 3 p.m. The event will benefit the Friends on Main Bookstore and their roof fund.

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FAMILY AND COMMUNITY LEADERS OFFERS SCHOLARSHIP TO UNION COUNTY ADULT

Thursday, May 5

Union County Family and Community Leaders is offering a scholarship to a Union County adult resident who has been or is in the workforce and is raising a family. The award will be paid out in two installments of $375. The first will be made in time for the recipient’s first semester and the second in time for the second semester. The award will be made directly to the qualified institution of the recipient’s choice, including a technical school, a community college, or a four-year college. Applications and instructions are available at the Clemson Extension Office, 120 Kirby Street, Union. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Their telephone number is 864-427-6259, extension 114. Completed applications are due on or before June 1st. The Union County Family and Community Leaders is a non-profit organization.

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SPARTANBURG REGIONAL HOLDS RN GRADUATE RECRUITING EVENT

Thursday, May 5

Spartanburg Regional Health Systems is hosting a new RN graduate recruiting event. They suggest that since you entered the health care field to make a difference, you can fulfill that goal with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS). Recent graduates are invited to join a cutting-edge, team environment. Having achieved top honors, SRHS makes it a priority to remain on the forefront of health care. And, recognizing that top honors are a result of top professionals, they offer competitive salary and benefit packages, a nationally recognized child development program, and more. The event is being held today, and pre-registration is required. The time for the event is from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. To register for this event, you must apply prior to the event at spartanburgregional.com.

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SPARTANBURG MEDICAL CENTER NAMED BLUE DISTINCTION CENTER IN KNEE REPLACEMENT

Thursday, May 5

Spartanburg Medical Center recently received a national designation for quality in knee replacement. One in five adults experience knee pains, aches and injuries that may eventually lead to the need for a knee replacement. Knee replacements are becoming more common, with an estimated 3 million knee replacements expected to be performed by 2030. To help ease this pain, Spartanburg Medical Center provides medical expertise for knee replacements to help patients live a more comfortable life.
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has named Spartanburg Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center in knee replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care, which expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety. The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community, and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. Spartanburg Medical Center has met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.


MULVANEY ADDRESSES USC-UNION GRADUATES

Wednesday, May 4

USC-Union’s commencement speaker, Congressman John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney, addressed the graduates on April 30th. He reflected on the Declaration of Independence and the importance of the words “...and the pursuit of happiness”. He stated, "You live in the only country in the history of the planet that was created specifically so that you could be the best teacher, the best mother, the best preacher - the best all of the above. That is what it means to be American. That is what it means to be exceptional. We are the only people ever to have started a nation just so you could be the very best.”

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DEMOCRATIC COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO DEBATE

Wednesday, May 4

The Democratic candidates for Union County Council will face off in a debate tomorrow night, May 5th, at 7:00 p.m. in the USC-U Auditorium. The County Council District 2 seat is being contested. That seat is currently held by Ralph Tucker and is being challenged by James R. Rice and John Glenn. The District 3 seat, which is held by Tommy Ford, is being challenged by Howard Wahoo Gibson, and the District 5 seat held by Randall Chump Hanvey is challenged by Tommie L. Hill. USC-Union Professor Randy Ivey will be the moderator, and the public is invited.

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PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN TO HOST SPECIAL WEEKEND EVENT

Wednesday, May 4

Fireflies in the Garden is the name of an event scheduled for this coming weekend at the Piedmont Physic Garden. It will take place Saturday, May 7th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at 301 East South Street. The event will feature music by the Carolina String Quartet along with drinks and heavy hors d’ oeuvres from the Aberdeen Catery. The cost is $50 per person. More information is available at  info@piedmontphysicgarden.org

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COMMUNITY FORUM SCHEDULED MONDAY ON PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM

Wednesday, May 4

A community forum is set for Monday, May 9th, at the Union Municipal Building at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of this 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. They say this is about improving the quality of life for the citizens of Union County to meet the travel demands of life from home, jobs, school, and everyday needs. Lockhart-area citizens are also encouraged to attend this meeting. The City Municipal Building is located at 101 Sharpe Avenue.

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER OBSERVED THURSDAY

Wednesday, May 4

The National Day of Prayer will be observed on Thursday, May 5.  Participants will gather in front of the courthouse at 6:00 PM.  Please note the time change from noon as in the past to 6:00 PM.  It is hoped that this will enable more people to attend than can leave work at noon. The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held each year on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture. The theme for 2016 is “Wake Up America”, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our fathers in reverence for His holy name. To further highlight the theme, they have chosen Isaiah 58:1a as the scripture for this year: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.

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DISRUPTIVE STUDENT FACES CHARGES

Wednesday, May 4

On Monday, Cpl. Scott Griffin was called to assist Sims Middle School staff in regards to a disruptive student. Cpl. Griffin spoke with Mr. Cooper, who stated that the student was throwing items in the nurse’s office and being belligerent and uncooperative. While walking back to the office, the student broke free from Cpl. Griffin and Mr. Cooper, who attempted to stop the student, and she struck him in the facial area. Cpl. Griffin and Mr. Cooper were able to get the student in custody and called for DJJ to respond to the office. The student is being charged with assault on public official and disorderly conduct. This case will be forwarded to DJJ for further action.

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UPSTATE JOB FAIR BRINGS 68 EMPLOYERS REPRESENTING 2200 JOB OPENINGS

Wednesday, May 4

SC Works-Upstate will host an upstate job fair on Thursday, May 5th, at SC Works Spartanburg from 8-noon. Veterans and Preferred Pass holders may enter at 8:00AM. The doors will open to the general public at 10:00AM. The event is sponsored by AFL, Contingent Resource Solutions, Michelin North America and Sitel. 68 employers are registered to attend, representing more than 2200 current job openings. Participants are reminded to come dressed for an interview and bring several copies of your résumé. For assistance preparing for the upcoming job fair and to obtain a Preferred Pass, contact the SC Works Spartanburg office or visit their Facebook page (SC Works Upstate) for more details. A listing of employers registered to attend are available online at www.scworksupstate.com


MAIN STREET JUNCTION PROJECT PROGRESSING

Tuesday, May 3

Main Street Junction will be the location for weddings, receptions, family reunions, corporate meetings and other special events, such as dances, comedy shows, and fashion shows when it opens this summer.

Located at 107 East Main St., the building once housed a Rose’s 5 and 10 store and later a Super 10 store. Between 2011 and 2012, the South Carolina Department of Commerce provided the City of Union with nearly $100,000 in seed money to convert an existing downtown building for use as a business. A committee comprised of members from the Union County Development Board, Union County Tourism Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Union City Council chose the building for renovation. The money was spent on a new roof, removing asbestos and lead-based paint.

“Main Street Junction” was chosen for the name, playing off a mural painted on a nearby building depicting the Buffalo, Union-Carolina Railroad. The Main Street Junction project has evolved into what is now the completion of a charrette plan approved more than a decade ago, which involved converting the old Union High School auditorium into a performing arts center. Fire destroyed the building, but the city had a $1 million insurance policy that could be used for an events center project, along with a $1 million bond that could only be used for a multi-purpose facility.

Downstairs will feature a catering kitchen, restrooms, and a banquet area. Accordion glass doors at back of building will open onto a covered veranda. Stairs on both ends of the deck will allow access to the fenced-in garden area.

A reception area at the front of building will have two flat screen TVs, chairs, sofa and tables. An elevator inside the reception area will take people to second floor. There is also a stairway beside the building allowing entry from the sidewalk to upstairs.

Upstairs are two offices, a kitchenette, a conference room with a flat-screen TV, restrooms, bridal dressing room, and a large meeting area in back.

The Main Street Junction Committee is working on rental prices for the downstairs “Great Room,” the veranda, the ornamental park, the upstairs conference room and the two offices.

Anyone interested in renting all or part of Main Street Junction may call Debbie Woodard at the City of Union, 429-1700.

Licensed, professional caterers are needed for a preferred catering list being drawn up for Main Street Junction. For more information, call Curtiss Hunter at 466-4711.

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PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT WARNS OF MOVIE PROP MONEY BEING CIRCULATED

Tuesday, May 3

The Union Public Safety Department has issued an advisory for fake money that’s being circulated in the area. A $100 bill has shown up, but clearly marked on it is “Motion Picture Use Only.” The advisory says businesses have mistaken it to be real money, and they are hoping to raise awareness of this “prop money.” They are saying that business owners and managers should alert their staff and cashiers that the fake $100 bills are circulating.

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WOMAN REPORTS DAYS OF ABUSE; MAN CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND KIDNAPPING

Tuesday, May 3

Sunday at around 6:45 p.m., deputies and EMS were dispatched to 124 Magnolia Circle in reference to an assault that occurred at 215 Kissy Creek Circle. Upon arrival, EMS was loading a female into the ambulance. The female was visibly upset and crying. She had several bruises on her facial area. She told deputies that she was assaulted by 28-year old Chris Austin, and said she did not know where he was because she had run away from him. EMS transported the female to Union Medical Center. Deputies checked several trailers for Austin, but he was not located. The officers went to Union Medical Center to speak with the victim, and she stated that Austin had been assaulting her since he came home from Tennessee on Tuesday. The assaults continued until Sunday, when he left to go to the store. When he returned, he fell asleep and woke up angry. Fearing what he might do, she ran to a neighbor's house and called 911.

While at the emergency room, photos were taken of the woman. The incident report stated she was covered with bruises and she had a gash in her head. She also had marks on her back, which were said to be from a broom handle. She also complained of stomach pains from where she was kicked. Warrants were being sought on Chris Austin for 2nd-degree domestic violence and kidnapping.

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TWO ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE

Tuesday, May 3

Saturday night, 33-year old Amanda Young called dispatch and stated she had been assaulted by her boyfriend at 651 Jeffries Farm Road in Jonesville. The deputy arrived and spoke to the boyfriend first, identified as 42-year old Kenneth Charles Lee. Lee was outside waiting on the officer to arrive with his father, who witnessed the incident. Lee stated his girlfriend that lived with him was very upset and had thrown food and other items all over the residence. He advised the officer that she had a drug problem and he had flushed the drugs down the toilet, and that was one of the reasons she was so upset. Lee’s father was at the residence when the incident took place. He stated Young came after his son, and it took all he had to keep her off of him. He said she was cursing and yelling at him and making verbal threats to him. The deputy then walked inside the residence to speak to Amanda Young. She stated they had been in a verbal dispute, and the subject grabbed her by the hair and pulled her around the house. The report stated neither subject had any real visible injury, but both stated the other assaulted them. Both subjects were determined to be aggressors in this case, and they were placed under arrest for 3rd-degree domestic violence and taken to Union County Jail for booking.


VEHICLE CRASH, FIRE CLAIMS THE LIFE OF ONE

Monday, May 2

The South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Union County Coroner's Office is investigating a fatal wreck that occurred on Highway 72 near Jeter Chapel Road in Carlisle at approximately 3:45 PM Saturday, April 30th. Both agencies are working together to positively identify the victim. An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday, May 2nd, at Newberry Pathology Associates. State Trooper Bill Ryme told WBCU News:

 

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LIGHTNING STRIKES STEEPLE OF HEBRON BAPTIST CHURCH

Monday, May 2

A major catastrophe was averted at a Union County church Sunday morning. Roger Bailey, Public Information Officer for the Southside Fire Department, told WBCU that a call was received to respond to Hebron Baptist Church at 9:53 a.m. Sunday. He said a Sunday School teacher arrived at the church and noticed debris in the yard and looked up to see smoke coming from the steeple. Lightning from a storm earlier in the morning is believed to have struck the steeple, causing the fire. Multiple departments responded to the call, including Santuc, Monarch, the City of Union platform truck, and Southside. Bailey gave a special “thank you” to the Union Fire Department for their assistance in providing the platform truck, because, he said, “that was the only way we had to reach the steeple.” He continued by estimating the damage at $10,000, but in his words, “We probably saved a million-dollar building.” Saving the building was credited with the fire occurring at church on Sunday morning. “If that weren’t the case, it would have been a disaster,” Bailey said.

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BUFFALO MAN ARRESTED ON FOURTH CHARGE OF COMMITTING A LEWD ACT

Monday, May 2

This past Thursday, a Buffalo man was arrested again for committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. The female victim came to the Union County Sheriff’s Office and stated that when she was approximately 13 years of age, James Craig McMillian did grab her in a sexual way and did so for his own personal gratification. The victim’s age is currently 46 years old, and this incident occurred approximately 33 years ago.

Sheriff David Taylor says this is the 4th known victim with similar allegations made against McMillian. McMillian was previously arrested on March 22nd on similar charges against 3 separate victims. Sheriff Taylor went on the say there still may be more victims that have not come forward, but encourages that if there are more victims, to please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office. This case is still open in the event that there are other victims to come forward in the matter.

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DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR COUNTY COUNCIL TO DEBATE THURSDAY AT USC-UNION

Monday, May 2

The Democratic candidates for Union County Council will face off in a debate on Thursday, May 5th, at 7:00 p.m. in the USC-U Auditorium. County offices that are challenged include County Council District 2, currently held by Ralph Tucker and being challenged by James R. Rice and John Glenn. The District 3 seat is held by Tommy Ford and is being challenged by Howard Wahoo Gibson, and the District 5 seat held by Randall Chump Hanvey is being challenged by Tommie L. Hill.

USC-U Professor Randy Ivey will be the moderator, and the public is invited.

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SCHOOL BOARD AWARDS CONTRACTS, APPROVES PERSONNEL REPORT

Monday, May 2

The Union County School Board of Trustees released the results of an executive session held at the conclusion of last week’s board meeting. Following the session, the board voted on the following: for the personnel report, Board member Kakie White made a motion to approve the personnel report, seconded by Mike Massey.  The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion.  Manning Jeter abstained.  The personnel recommendations were Deidre Jeter-Gregory, science teacher at Union County High School; Roger Whitt, music teacher at Foster Park Elementary School; and Russell Austin, Business Teacher/Coach at Union County Career and Technology Center.

There were two contractual matters. One was where Dr. Wanda All made a motion to award a contract for an independent auditor to McGregor and Company.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Manning Jeter.  The vote was 9-0 in favor of the motion.

The other contractual matter was when Trustee Jane Wilkes made a motion to award the cleaning contract for Buffalo Elementary School to GCA.  The motion was seconded by Ms. Betty JoAnn McMorris.  The vote was 8-1 in favor of the motion.

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PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN HOSTING SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEKEND

Monday, May 2

Fireflies in the Garden is the name of an event scheduled for this coming weekend at the Piedmont Physic Garden. It will take place Saturday, May 7th, from 4-7 p.m. at 301 East South Street. The event will feature music by the Carolina String Quartet, along with drinks and heavy hors d’ oeuvres from the Aberdeen Catery. The cost is $50 per person. More information is available at  info@piedmontphysicgarden.org

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COMMUNITY FORUM AT CITY HALL SEEKS FEEDBACK ON POSSIBLE TRANSIT SYSTEM

Monday, May 2

A community forum is set for Monday, May 9th, at the Union Municipal Building at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of this 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. They say this is about improving the quality of life for the citizens of Union County to meet the travel demands of life from home, jobs, school, and everyday needs. Lockhart area citizens are also encouraged to attend this meeting. The City Municipal Building is located at 101 Sharpe Avenue.

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APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR WORKING CAPITAL DISASTER LOANS

Monday, May 2

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 31, 2016, is the deadline to apply for a working capital disaster loan as a result of the drought that began on Aug. 4, 2015.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million, with interest rates of 2.625% for private nonprofit organizations and 4% for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX, 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than May 31.


UNION COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HOLDS WOMAN WANTED FOR A PROBATION VIOLATION IN FLORIDA

Friday, April 29

The Union County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by law enforcement in Washington County, Florida, in regards to an outstanding warrant on Tammy Rena Stewart.  Stewart, aka Tammy Butler, is in violation of probation in the state of Florida. Authorities sent a copy of the warrant to the sheriff’s office for service. Stewart was located and taken into custody at 508 Wilson Street in Union by sheriff’s deputies. Chief Deputy Perry Haney will sign a warrant charging her with fugitive from justice to detain her for extradition by Florida authorities.

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Woman OVERDRAWS ON HER GRANDMOTHER'S BANK ACCOUNT WITHOUT PERMISSION

Friday, April 29

Back on April 13th, a complainant allowed her 19-year old granddaughter to use her Visa debit card to go to the store and get her some Kool-Aid freeze pops. The subject didn't return until the next day, and she was in and out so fast the complainant didn't have time to find out what was going on and why she had not returned her card. The complainant called the subject’s telephone multiple times and left messages and had other people call, as well. The complainant stated she had a balance of $165.24 in the bank at the time she allowed the subject to go to the store. The subject would not answer the phone or call back. On April 16th, the complainant received mail from her bank advising her account was in the negative by $595.81. The complainant stated she will contact her bank and have the account stopped and advise them she has filed a report for breach of trust. The complainant stated she did not wish to press criminal charges on the subject at this time. She was advised by the deputy if she changed her mind, she could let them know and the subject would be charged with breach of trust. Total amount of money taken with overdraft fees was $765.

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J.A.K.E.S. EVENT COMING TO FOSTER PARK MAY 21ST

Friday, April 29

The popular J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics, and Sportsmanship) event is being planned again the year to take place at Foster Park Lake on Saturday, May 21st. The event is billed as a Public Safety/Kids Fun Day. They say young people will be able to meet public safety officers, forest service officials, and community service agencies. One of the most anticipated activities is the fishing for tagged fish to win prizes. Participants can register to win prizes donated by Academy Sports and Outdoors and other great organizations. Other attractions will include the camo station, BB guns, the smoke house, games, a rock wall, and the recycling trailer. A reptile exhibit will be open at 9:15 and 10:15 that day. There will be a free Child ID program offered, and the Elks Lodge will hold a raffle. Lunch will be served to all children at noon, provided by the Union Public Safety Department. Just remember, this event is for children 15 years of age or younger. Adults will not be allowed to fish until after 12:00. Registration for the event will begin at 8:00 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., with activities starting at 9:00.

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER TO BE OBSERVED MAY 5TH AT 6 P.M.

Friday, April 29

The National Day of Prayer will be observed on Thursday, May 5.  Participants will gather in front of the courthouse at 6:00 PM.  Please note the change from noon as in the past to 6:00 PM.  It is hoped that this will enable more people to attend than can leave work at noon.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held each year on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.

The theme for 2016 is "Wake Up America", emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our fathers in reverence for His holy name. To further highlight the theme, they have chosen Isaiah 58:1a as the scripture for this year: "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."

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UNION COUNTY HUMAN RESOURCES ASSOCIATION TO MEET MAY 11TH

Friday, April 29

The Union County Human Resources Association has set their meeting date for Wednesday, May 11, at noon. The meeting will take place at the Union County Advanced Technology Center located at 1401 Furman Fendley Highway. Attendees will hear Katherine Pendergrass of the Union County Workforce Development Board on the subject of behavioral styles. She will give an overview on behavioral styles you have with others, and style differences that play a key role in your interaction. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Monday, May 5th, to Letitia Wages at the Chamber of Commerce by calling 864-427-9039.


COUNTY COUNCIL DISCUSSES ELIMINATING SPECIAL FEES WITH RAISED TAX MILLAGE

Thursday, April 28

The Union County Council met for a budget work session Wednesday afternoon and threw around what some consider to be confusing numbers. We will try to explain it all. The discussion started when Supervisor Frank Hart suggested the council may want to consider a 6-mill tax increase to replace one of the fees implemented last year. Hart said he would like to see the $25 Public Safety fee removed. That fee goes to help fund the Emergency Medical Service. He added that a 12-mill tax increase would eliminate both the Public Safety fee and the Road Fee. The benefit for the taxpayer would come with the passage of a 1% local option sales tax. By law, that money would be used to reduce the amount of property tax paid. Speaking of the local option sales tax, the council gave second reading to an ordinance that would place the question on the November ballot. You’ll be hearing more about that in the days ahead.

The council also gave first reading to the 2016–2017 budget ordinance. There is a deficit in the budget as it now stands, but as stated, that can be made up by taking funds from the fund balance.

Another 1st reading was given to an ordinance concerning the Buffalo Fire District. The new ordinance only serves to correct some discrepancies in the old ordinance.

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PREGNANT WOMAN REPORTS NEARLY BEING RUN OVER BY HER HUSBAND

Thursday, April 28

During the early morning hours Wednesday, Union County sheriff’s deputies and the Emergency Medical Service were dispatched to 230 Putman Road in the Buffalo community. The call was in reference to a domestic dispute involving an assault on a pregnant female. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with a woman who stated that her husband, Robert Cody McGill, tried to run her over with his GMC Yukon. The victim stated that she got home from work around 3 a.m. McGill jumped in the shower as soon as she got there. She got in the shower after he was done. While she was in there, she said McGill decided to take her car keys so he could drive to Honea Path. She got out of the shower and followed him outside to get her keys. He wanted to drive her car because it is better on gas. He went back inside and got his keys. While inside, he picked up a 6-pack of Pepsi. The report stated that he threw the bottles at her, striking her in the head twice and in her back. He then got in his white GMC Yukon and tried to run her over. She was standing at the rear of her white Nissan Sentra. She said McGill stomped on the gas and attempted to hit her. She jumped out of the way, and he struck the rear driver’s side of her car, causing major damage. He then sped out the yard, causing his Yukon to make ruts in the lawn and black stripes in the roadway. Since the woman is 8 months pregnant, EMS transported her to Union Medical Center to be evaluated. Photos of the car and lawn were taken. A warrant is being sought on Robert McGill for 2nd-degree domestic violence.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES incident of A CAR TOWED FROM ANOTHER COMPANY'S LOT

Thursday, April 28

Monday at around 7:20 p.m., Union County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Lockhart Towing, at 604 Canal Road in the Lockhart community, in reference to a vehicle being stolen from the impound lot. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with Raymond Duncan, who stated he came to check on the lot and he noticed a Honda he towed about 2 weeks ago was missing. Duncan stated that he did not have a key to the car, so he disabled it from cranking. He also blocked the Honda in by parking a Kia in front of it. Duncan found drag marks where the Kia was sitting. He also found scrapes on the asphalt. The scrapes looked like a wrecker boom may have caused them. He also found drag marks where the Honda was sitting. He stated that he installed some new cameras at the business, and he had a camera fixed on the Honda. Duncan said that he had been having problems with the owner of the Honda since he towed it. He said the owner refuses to pay the tow and storage fee. As of April 25th, the total fee is $639, and there is a $30 per day storage fee.

The deputy reviewed the camera system, and at approximately 4:40 p.m., the video shows the Kia being moved from in front of the Honda. It also showed a white male identified as Shannon Huffman hooking chains to the Honda and pulling it out of the camera’s view. Duncan stated that he has not talked to Huffman about the Honda or any car that he had impounded. The deputy called Huffman, and he stated that he heard that a car was repossessed in Lockhart, but he had not been in Lockhart that day. The officer asked him if he was sure, and he stated yes. Huffman was informed that they had him on video removing the Honda. Huffman then stated that he may have been in Lockhart on the day in question. The deputy told Huffman to man up and admit he took the car. Huffman stated that he had repossession papers on the car. He said he got a call about it being at Lockhart Towing. He stated that the car was in an unsecured lot, so he took it. The deputy told Huffman that he could not take the Honda from another towing company’s impound lot. Huffman said that he took the car to WT's in Jonesville. It was confirmed that the Honda was inside the fence at WT's car lot. Duncan was highly upset that Huffman came onto his property and took a car without informing him. Duncan stated that he wanted something done about it. He was told the deputy would speak with the magistrate and would get back with him.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO ARREST ON METH POSSESSION CHARGE

Thursday, April 28

Tuesday around 7:00 p.m., Deputy Brandon Vaughan was patrolling Lukesville Road and noticed a vehicle that did not come to a complete stop at the stop sign at Duncan Avenue. Vaughan then initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, 27-year old Adam Liner, and advised him why he was being stopped. Liner was asked if there was anything in the vehicle, and he stated no. The deputy then spoke to the passenger that owned the vehicle and asked him if anything illegal was in the vehicle, and he also stated no.

The passenger was patted down for weapons and then asked if he could search the vehicle, and he gave consent. Liner was asked to step out of the vehicle and was patted down. During that process, the officer felt a bulge in his pants pocket, which Liner said was eye drops. Upon further investigation, Deputy Vaughan found a small baggie with a clear rocklike substance believed to be meth. Liner was detained and placed in the back seat of the patrol car. The vehicle was searched and nothing else was found. Liner was placed under arrest for possession of meth and transported him to the jail. The owner of the vehicle had a friend come to pick the vehicle up.


LOCKHART STREET RENAMING PROJECT TO BEGIN SOON

Wednesday, April 27

Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe told her council that they would soon be taking up the matter of street names being changed in the community. The need to make the changes is due to confusion that exists for the Emergency Medical Service and law enforcement. There have been a number of cases where emergency personnel were delayed in responding to a scene because of the confusion. Mayor Ashe says they are anticipating getting started on the project soon.

 

The council is currently reviewing an ordinance establishing rules for mobile homes and trailers in the town. The council was asked to review the ordinance so that it might be taken up at the next meeting. In other action, the council approved a proclamation in support of Fair and Equitable Housing. April is recognized as being Fair Housing Month.

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FIREFIGHTERS CALLED TO MUSEUM BUT FIND NO FIRE

Wednesday, April 27

There was a bit of excitement on Main Street last night as Union Public Safety officers and firefighters responded to an alarm at the Union County Museum. The call came in between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., but apparently there was no fire. Officers were checking the building to try and find out what triggered the alarm. They surmised it may have been activated in one of the apartments above the museum.

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COUNTY COUNCIL HOLDING BUDGET WORK SESSION, MEETING

Wednesday, April 27

Union County Council will be holding a budget work session this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex.  Following the work session, 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 and 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 will be offered.  The public is invited to attend.

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FIGHT AT SIMS LEADS TO CHARGES FOR TWO STUDENTS

Wednesday, April 27

On Monday, two juvenile students were fighting in the main hallway at Sims Middle School, drawing a large crowd of student onlookers. The juvenile students had to be pulled apart by school staff. They were escorted to the main office and continued disrupting the operation of school. Juvenile subject #1 took his shoes and shirt off to fight. After being placed in an office, the juvenile came out of the room in an attempt to continue fighting with the other juvenile. Both were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, and their parents were called to the school. A DJJ complaint form and a custodial promise was signed releasing them to their respective parents. Both subjects are 13 years of age.

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MAN ARRESTED ON BENCH WARRANTS AND DRUG CHARGES

Wednesday, April 27

Monday, deputies received a tip that Fred Greene was at an address on Countryside Drive. There were two active bench warrants for his arrest. The caller stated that Greene was aware of the warrants, and he was planning on leaving the state the next day. Deputies went to the location and found Greene in a back bedroom. He was advised that he was under arrest. Deputies noticed a smoking pipe with a green plant material in it lying on the night stand, along with rolling papers and more green plant material in a clear bag. The top drawer was open on the stand, and inside the drawer, deputies could see a small bong and another smoking pipe. Greene claimed the items as his. He was asked if there was anything else in the bedroom. He stated no, that was it. All items were seized and taken as evidence. Greene was transported to the Union County Jail. He was issued a ticket for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia along with the 2 bench warrants.

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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR STABBING A MAN

Wednesday, April 27

Public Safety Officer Rusty Young was dispatched shortly after midnight Monday to a reported stabbing at 111 Woodlawn Avenue. Upon arrival, Young noticed a white female, identified as 31-year old Cassie Nicole Fox, sitting on the steps of the residence. As the officer was exiting his patrol vehicle, Fox came to him yelling that a man had hit her. As Officer Young talked to Fox, the man came from the side of the house and was bleeding from his side. He stated that Fox came to his house looking for him and started swinging a knife and cut him on his side. The officer spoke to a witness who said she was in the backyard when Fox came up cursing and looking for the man. She said he turned to walk away, and that was when Fox cut him. Officer Young placed Fox under arrest and charged her with criminal violence and aggravated assault. The victim refused medical treatment.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT RELEASES DISTRICT'S RESPONSE TO CELL PHONE INCIDENT

Friday, March 4

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 candida