Contact us:

Phone: 864-427-2411

Fax: 864-429-2975

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


Call 441-0066


Union County's Radio Station

Schedule for today:

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

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

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

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

11-noon—The Gospel Show with Daniel Prince

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

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

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

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

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

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

8:55 p.m.--Atlanta Braves baseball--Atlanta at LA Dodgers

8-8:55 p.m. and after the game-6 a.m.--Today's best country and some hits from yesterday


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO YOU!!!

Jessica Weaver is our Wednesday Birthday winner!

 

 

 

 

       

ABC News    South Carolina Radio Network

LOCAL NEWS

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EPA HIRES CONTRACTOR TO BEGIN WORK ON EXTINGUISHING LANDFILL FIRE

Wednesday, May 27

Good news for the residents of Lockhart and surrounding areas: work to extinguish the fire at the Bennett Landfill should begin today. The information was revealed at the Lockhart Town Council meeting Tuesday night. That fire has been producing smoke in the area since November of last year and is said to be the source of some chronic respiratory issues there. The Environmental Protection Agency, working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has contracted with a company to do the work. EPA says the first phase of the work will focus on preparation of the site, such as reestablishing access roads and stockpiling cover soil. The second phase will be to directly address the fire, which should come about the first week of June. They say the work is not expected to adversely affect nearby communities or businesses, but they are asking area residents, for safety reasons, to please stay off the property site.

Complaints continue to pour in to the Town Hall about the trash pickup service there. The town contracts with Johnson Sanitation of Spartanburg, and the council is not happy with the service. As a result, they are actively seeking another company with whom they can contract. Mayor Ailene Ashe asks if anyone knows of a reliable contractor to please contact her at the Lockhart Town Hall. It was noted in the meeting that, as approved by the council, town residents will see the $5 increase on their water and sewer bills reflected this month.

Mayor Ashe took time during their meeting to reflect on the life of the late Pacolet Mayor Elaine Harris, who died this past week. Mayor Ashe praised Harris as someone who helped and advised the Town of Lockhart on many occasions.

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MAN CLEANING UP RENTAL PROPERTY DISCOVERS EXPLOSIVE DEVICES

Wednesday, May 27

Officers responded Sunday to Tinsley Road in Jonesville in reference to someone finding some explosive devices. Upon arrival, the man told officers that he and his girlfriend had just rented the house and were there cleaning up the property. He said he began cleaning out a small building and found a small plastic container inside that contained what he believed to be the tops of fire extinguishers. The man pulled the pin on one of the objects and it exploded in his hand, causing some minor pain and ringing in his ears. He showed the deputies where the objects were, and they observed what appeared to be tops to grenades or "flash-bangs" with blasting caps and pins attached to them. The responding officer called Investigator Scott Coffer, who arrived on scene and took over the investigation. The scene was documented, and the devices were disposed of by the State Law Enforcement Division's bomb disposal team.

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TWO ARRESTED AFTER LEAVING SUSPICIOUS BOOK BAGS AT LOCAL CHURCH

Wednesday, May 27

There was a bit of a scare for members of Lockhart's First Baptist Church Sunday. Officers were dispatched Sunday morning in reference to suspicious packages left at the front of the church in the pulpit area by a white male and a black male. The responding officers were advised that both individuals had left the building. A Department of Natural Resources officer was on the scene and removed the packages from the church to a grassy area about 100 feet away. The two subjects returned to the church. Sheriff David Taylor and Investigator Scott Coffer were called to the scene. The two subjects were detained and place in the back of the two responding patrol cars. Deputies spoke with the DNR officer, 1st Sgt. Jason Plemmons, who stated the two subjects came into the church and sat in the two chairs on the pulpit. Both subjects put a black and blue book bag in the respective chairs, and as they were leaving, they told some of the church members to watch the bags. It was stated in the incident report that their behavior caused some of the members to become worried. The report also stated that no one knew the subjects. The area was taped off and the street closed. The subjects were read their rights. An examination of the bags revealed there was nothing harmful inside. The white male was identified as Jayden Johnson, 20, of Wesley Chapel Road. The black male was identified as a 15-year old juvenile. Both subjects were taken to the Union County Jail, and the juvenile was later transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice. A warrant was being sought charging Johnson with disturbing a house of worship.

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SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES INVESTIGATING SHOOTING INCIDENT IN JONESVILLE

Wednesday, May 27

A shooting incident Sunday caused deputies to be dispatched to an area in front of 922 Forest Street in Jonesville. Upon arrival, a deputy spoke with Nicholas Brian Woody, 24, of Woodruff, who waived his right to have an attorney present during questioning. He said just prior to leaving his home in Woodruff, Jeremy Jones and Ashley Hunter arrived there and appeared to be intoxicated. He advised them to stay at his house and he left for work. Woody told officers he works as an armed security guard at a location in Laurens County. He said shortly after leaving for work, he received a call from his roommate saying Jones and Hunter had taken his money and was believed to be headed for a location in Jonesville. Woody said he located their vehicle on Highway 176 and followed them onto Forrest Street. He said he passed the vehicle and stopped in the roadway. Woody said the the vehicle pulled up next to him in the other lane, and they started shooting at his automobile. The alleged assailants' vehicle pulled away from the scene. It was then Woody said he drew his 40-caliber pistol, and once he determined it was safe, he discharged his weapon toward the rear of the fleeing vehicle. He said he fired 15 or 16 rounds. When officers arrived, they secured Woody's weapon, along with a 12-gauge shotgun they found in his car. Woody's car was towed and photographed with two bullet holes in it. Partway through the investigation and after providing a written statement, Woody told officers he wanted to contact an attorney before the questioning continued. The vehicle was seized and taken to the Task Force building until a search warrant could be obtained. His cell phone was also taken as evidence. He was given a victim's form and transported to his home by the reporting deputy. The case has been turned over to investigators.

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FIRST STEPS PARTNERSHIP BOARD ANNOUNCES MEETING MONDAY

Wednesday, May 27

The Union County First Steps Partnership Board will hold its regular meeting on Monday, June 1st, at 5:15 p.m. at the Union County Schools District Office Annex located at 120 Lakeside Drive in Union.  The public is invited to attend. Anyone wishing to attend that requires special assistance due to a disability is encouraged to contact Catherine M. Childers, Executive Director, at (864) 429-1740, ext. 134, prior to the start of the meeting.


LARGE CROWD TURNS OUT TO DEDICATE VIETNAM KIA MEMORIAL

Tuesday, May 26

A larger-than-expected crowd turned out Monday morning for the annual Memorial Day observance. The program this year had a twist from previous years' observances. The venue was changed from the monuments on Main Street to the Veterans Park Lodge in order to accommodate the dedication of the KIA monuments that were recently placed there. The guest speaker for the service was retired Command Sergeant Major Phillip V. Hawkins. Hawkins, a Vietnam War veteran, had a special message for his fellow veterans here.

 

Special certificates and medallions were presented to the families of the Union County men killed in action in the Vietnam War. The men whose families were recognized, in order of their sacrifice, were: Belton Lyles, Henry Lankford, Everette Thompson, Frank Barbee, Curtis Jeter, Toney Barnett, Troy Puckett, Walter Brannon, Leroy Johnson, Leonda Sarter, Harry Sims, Roy Bratton, Wallace McMakin, Curtis Good, Olan Coleman, and Larry Lawson. Black granite monuments are placed in front of the Veteran’s Lodge with each individual monument engraved with a photograph of the person killed, along with pertinent information about that individual. There is a newly-installed concrete pad that holds the 16 new monuments, which was provided by the Veterans Memorial Lodge, and it also includes a 50-foot flagpole donated by the Milliken Company, with an open area around it. The flag was presented by Woodmen of the World. Organizers said, “It is hoped that this area will also be used for other future ceremonies.”

Coordinated efforts also honored each of these persons buried in Union County with a gravesite wreath for Memorial Day.

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CARLISLE AND LOCKHART TOWN COUNCILS SCHEDULE MEETINGS THIS EVENING

Tuesday, May 26

The Carlisle Town Council will hold a public hearing on the budget this evening at 6:00 p.m., followed by the regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. The Lockhart Town Council will also meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. That meeting will take place in the Lockhart Town Hall.

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RENEE ALEXANDER TO LEAVE THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Tuesday, May 26

A familiar face at the Union County Chamber of Commerce is leaving her job. Renee Alexander has resigned her position there to become affiliated with the Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. Alexander said, “I have enjoyed every minute that I have been a part of this three-man team. There is never a dull moment here and there’s no telling who may walk in the door, what task we may have to perform, or what adventure we will encounter.” She has served in her Chamber position for 8 years. Mrs. Letitia Wages will replace Alexander.

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USC-UNION ANNOUNCES ITS ANNUAL ACTIVITY FUN CAMP FOR KIDS

Tuesday, May 26

An Activity Fun Camp is being planned at USC-Union. It’s set to take place in the USC-Union Founder's House June 8th through the 12th. Organizers say each day of the camp will be filled with a new set of fun and learning activities. It will take place each of the days from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is designed for children 7 to 12 years of age. The cost of the camp is $70 and includes lunch, snacks, drinks, and all activities. To find out more and to register, contact Bill Moore at USC-Union by calling 864-424-8037.


SHERIFF'S OFFICE REQUESTS MONEY TO BUY BOOKMOBILE TO USE AS SPECIAL RESPONSE VEHICLE

Monday, May 25

During the Union County Council's budget work session Thursday afternoon, the formalities of bringing the Emergency Medical Service under the county's jurisdiction were acted on. The action establishes an additional county department. As already stated, the county is taking over the EMS operation as a result of it not being included in the Spartanburg Regional acquisition agreement. The agreement has yet to be approved. That approval is expected next month when the federal bankruptcy court hands down their decision on Wallace Thomson Hospital's Chapter 9 filing. In anticipation of the county takeover, council will implement designated fees to be assessed when they give third and final reading to the budget next month. Those fees are expected to generate some $800,000 to make up for the difference needed to operate the service. Some $2,000,000 is already being generated by a 9 mill tax assessment, bringing the total EMS budget to $2,804,241.

In other council action Thursday, a presentation was heard by Sheriff's Office Captain Robert Hines. Hines told the council that the Union County Carnegie Library wants to sell their bookmobile, which is no longer in use. The Sheriff's Office wants to buy it for use as as a special response and emergency management vehicle. The purchase price is $10,000, and Hines asked the council to fund that purchase, which would be reimbursed by grant money. The council agreed to Hines' proposal.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING FIGHT AT LOCKHART SCHOOL

Monday, May 25

The Union County Sheriff's Office says they are still looking into a case where it is reported that a 12-year old girl was taken to a hospital earlier this month after allegedly being beaten by a boy in her sixth-grade class.  The assault was reported as happening at Lockhart School. According to the Union County Sheriff's Office report, classmates watched as the girl was assaulted by a 12-year old boy. The Sheriff's Office report does not say what may have led to the alleged attack, but the victim told deputies that she "has been having issues from this individual for a couple of years, and this wasn't the first time it became physical." It was reported that administration at Lockhart School decided to suspend the boy for five days, and he has since returned to school. The family is reported as having said their daughter will not be returning to the school. The Sheriff's Office says the assault is still under investigation.  The family has already hired an attorney.

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ALLIANCE TRACTOR TRAILER TRAINING CENTER HOLDING INFORMATIONAL SESSION JUNE 4TH

Monday, May 25

Alliance Tractor Trailer Training Center will hold an informational session for truck driver candidates coming up Thursday, June 4th, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Union SC Works Office. The earning potential is $40,000 to $50,000 annually upon completion of the training. A high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license is required. Résumés are welcomed but not required. Candidates will undergo drug testing and screening, background and reference checks, and a motor vehicle check. Alliance Tractor Trailer is expected to announce soon the establishment of a training facility here in Union.

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AMERICAN SERVICES RECRUITING SECURITY GUARDS THURSDAY

Monday, May 25

American Services will hold a recruitment event this coming Thursday, May 28th, at the SC Works Spartanburg office located at 220 East Kennedy Street. It will start at 10:00 AM and conclude at 2:00 PM. They are looking to fill full-time and part-time security guard positions. The shifts are flexible. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Prior to the event, all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend.


ONE MORE READING REQUIRED BEFORE COUNTY BUDGET BECOMES FINAL

Friday, May 22

The Union County Council continued to chisel at the 2015–2016 budget Thursday afternoon. They gave second reading to that budget during a special meeting that came about at the conclusion of a budget work session. The second reading is in essence a formality, and the budget will not be final until the third reading, which is expected during the regular June meeting. Supervisor Frank Hart says he believes they are close to finalizing the budget.

 

When they started work, requested funding exceeded revenue expectations by some $800,000. They cut all outside agency funding and asked department heads to reduce their budgets by 10%. As a result of that process, 13 positions have been eliminated from the county. The lack of funding for outside agencies is still a matter. The council is searching for a way to provide funding to the Council on Aging and Union County Fire and Rescue. There was some discussion that the fire and rescue operation could be absorbed by EMS. That's another hurdle, as the county is being required to fund Union County's Emergency Medical Service. Council gave a second reading to the Fee Ordinance, which calls for $50 to be assessed from owners of commercial property, and $25 from residential property owners. This is in addition to the 9 mills already being assessed for EMS operations. The reason for the additional fee is because of the proposed takeover by Spartanburg Health Systems of Wallace Thomson Hospital. Spartanburg did not want to take over the EMS operation. There is another fee to be levied for road maintenance and improvements, which also includes parking lots and related drainage. That calls for $1 to be levied on all personal and commercial vehicles registered in the county.

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GOVERNMENT OFFICES, BANKS CLOSING FOR MEMORIAL DAY

Friday, May 22

The observance of Memorial Day is coming up Monday, and as a result, most governmental offices will be closed. In addition, financial institutions will also be closed for the day. As a reminder, the county's recycling centers will be closed Monday. Schools will operate on a normal schedule.

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SPECIAL CEREMONY PLANNED TO DEDICATE VIETNAM KIA MEMORIAL

Friday, May 22

A special ceremony is planned for Union County for this Memorial Day. Instead of the usual Main Street ceremony, this special memorial ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. in front of the Veterans Memorial Park Lodge in the City of Union, and will include the dedication of new individual monuments to those from Union County killed in action during the Vietnam War.

Considerable support from organizations in Union County and individual contributions from all over the United States have gone into making this new Vietnam KIA Memorial a reality. The county's veterans organizations have worked together, as have the City of Union, Union County, Union County Veterans Affairs Office, Union County Chamber of Commerce, and Union County Schools. In addition to organizations and businesses, many individuals have contributed both time and money, and the Union County churches were also particularly large contributors to the fund-raising process. The National Guard will be contributing by participating in the special dedication ceremony on Memorial Day.

Anyone interested is invited to attend this ceremony, which will pay tribute to those from Union County who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam. In order of their sacrifice, starting from 1965 up through 1973, the following sixteen individuals are honored: Belton Lyles, Henry Lankford, Everette Thompson, Frank Barbee, Curtis Jeter, Toney Barnett, Troy Puckett, Walter Brannon, Leroy Johnson, Leonda Sarter, Harry Sims, Roy Bratton, Wallace McMakin, Curtis Good, Olan Coleman, and Larry Lawson. Each individual monument also has a photograph engraved in the stone of the person who was killed in action, which it is hoped will help everyone remember that sacrifice for many more years to come. Coordinated efforts will also honor each of these persons buried in Union County with a gravesite wreath for Memorial Day.

The new black granite monuments are placed in front of the lodge, next to the existing Gold Star Mothers monument, with a view overlooking the Foster Park Lake. A newly-installed concrete pad that holds the 16 new monuments was provided by the Veterans Memorial Lodge, and it also includes a 50-foot flagpole donated by the Milliken Company, with an open area around it. It is hoped that this area will also be used for other future ceremonies.

After the Memorial Day dedication ceremony is complete, light refreshments will be served inside the lodge, and all the public is invited to this, as well.

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UNION MAN CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING

Friday, May 22

A Union man has been charged with kidnapping in connection with an incident that goes back to May 19th. While details are not available, the arrest warrant states that Bryan Scott Wade did commit the crime of kidnapping in that he did force a woman into his vehicle and held her against her will. Another arrest warrant states that Wade is facing charges of criminal domestic violence, in that on the same date he did strike her about the body, causing redness. The incident occurred on Gage Avenue. At last report, Wade was being held at the Union County Jail.

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HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT SCHEDULED FOR TONIGHT

Friday, May 22

Union County High School will hold their commencement exercises tonight. They will take place at the high school starting at 7:00 p.m. There will be 236 students receiving their diplomas. The valedictorian is Shreay Shah, and Maisie Fisher is the salutatorian. There are three additional students receiving academic recognition. They are Marissa McNease, Matthew Haney and Mark Ivey. For the remaining students at Union County High School, their last day will be next Friday, May 29th.

Union Christian Day School held their graduation ceremonies last evening. There were four girls to graduate. The valedictorian was Casey Stepp, and salutatorian was Isabella Spencer.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH ARSON AND ILL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

Friday, May 22

This past Tuesday at approximately 11:45am, a call came in to 911 of a reported structure fire at 117 Magnolia Circle inside Sailors Mobile Home Park. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the mobile home fully engulfed in flames. The home was being rented to April Lynn Hudson at the time of the incident. Deputies and the arson investigator arrived on scene at the request of firefighters. When officers arrived on scene, Hudson stated to officers that she had left her home to take her child to school and received a call a short time later that the home was on fire. The SLED Arson Team and the Sheriff’s Office Arson Investigator later interviewed Hudson again, and she admitted that she had set the mobile home on fire. Hudson also admitted that she left animals in the home with the knowledge that she had set fire to it. One of the animals did perish in the fire, and the other was able to escape. Hudson admitted that she had renters' insurance on the mobile home’s contents, and that due to financial troubles, she decided to set fire to the home to collect the insurance money. Hudson was charged with 3rd-degree arson, burning personal property to defraud insurer, and ill treatment of animals.

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WBCU SENIOR EXPO DRAWS CROWD

Friday, May 22

For more then fifteen years, WBCU has been sponsoring and producing the Senior Expo at the Tabernacle Baptist Church Family Life Center. Thursday saw yet another of the long-running event being staged. WBCU Program Director Daniel Prince said he estimated the crowd to exceed 300. The expo is staged with a number of vendors who have products of service beneficial to senior citizens. In addition to taking in this information, at least one senior said she was there to have fun.

 

The attendees were served a free lunch of Bojangles' home-style chicken tenders, dirty rice and biscuits.


COMMUNITY VIBRANCY MAIN STREET PROJECT MOVING FORWARD

Thursday, May 21

The Community Vibrancy Committee made a report to the Union City Council Tuesday night, and it would appear that their plans for the Main Street beautification project are moving forward. Torance Inman told the council that the committee is recommending a project that calls for the planting of some trees, putting up hanging baskets and placing planters along the street. Inman explained just how soon all this can happen.

 

The project is being paid for by several sources, and it is all subject to the approval of City Council. The Vibrancy Committee is working with John Burnett of Roebuck Greenhouse and Stewart Winslow of Pacolet Milliken. Burnett is noted for having placed planters and hanging baskets for the City of Spartanburg and the Grove Park Inn in Nashville.

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COUNTY COUNCIL EXPECTED TO WRAP UP WORK ON 2015-2016 BUDGET TODAY

Thursday, May 21

The Union County Council will hold a budget work session this afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Union County Annex. They are expected to wrap up work on the 2015–2016 county budget. When they started work, requested funding exceeded revenue expectations by some $800,000. They cut all outside agency funding and asked department heads to reduce their budgets by 10%. Another hurdle is being required to fund Union County's Emergency Medical Service. Council has already given a first reading to the fee ordinance that calls for $50 to be assessed from owners of commercial property and $25 from residential property owners. This is in addition to the 9 mills already being assessed for EMS operations. The reason for the additional fee is because of the proposed takeover by Spartanburg Health Systems of Wallace Thomson Hospital. Spartanburg did not want to take over the EMS operations. There is another fee to be levied for road maintenance and improvements, which also includes parking lots and related drainage. That calls for $15 to be levied on all personal and commercial vehicles registered in the county.

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JONESVILLE MAN FACES DRUG CHARGES FOLLOWING ARREST FOR SHOPLIFTING FROM BELK

Thursday, May 21

A Jonesville man was arrested and charged Wednesday with shoplifting and narcotics violations. The Union Public Safety Department incident report that the shoplifting incident occurred at Belk Department Store on North Duncan Bypass. It stated that Michael Cleveland Trantham, 28, of Lancaster Road, Jonesville, entered the men's fitting room with a pair of Sperry flip flops, a pair of blue jeans and a blue and white shirt. According to the report, Trantham came out of the fitting room with the jeans and shirt in his hand and proceeded to lay them in a chair. He then exited the store and jumped into a waiting vehicle. A Department of Natural Resources officer, Kevin Smith, saw the subject come out of the store and get into the car as it was moving. Smith followed the vehicle and notified dispatch of the direction of travel. When the car was stopped, officers observed a pair of Sperry flip-flops in the rear floorboard. Under a book bag that Trantham identified as being his was found a glass pipe and a package of syringes. The driver of the car was identified as Gregory Ochiltree. He gave officers permission to search the vehicle, and more drug paraphernalia along with a crystallike substance believed to be methamphetamine was found. Trantham told officers that all the drug-related items belong to him. He was arrested and charged with shoplifting, a narcotic violation, and drug equipment violations.

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STAFFMASTERS HOSTING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN UNION TODAY

Thursday, May 21

A job fair is slated today at the Union SC Works office on Main Street. Staffmasters will be hiring Weavers, forklift drivers, machine operators, and textiles maintenance personnel. Candidates are asked to apply online at staffmasters.com. Interviews will be held on site. The fair will be going on from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. at 103 West Main Street.


CITY COUNCIL GIVES FIRST READING TO NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET

Wednesday, May 20

The Union City Council gave first reading to the 2015-2016 budget ordinance during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening. The total budget is for $45,309,640, which reflects a 2% decrease over last year's budget. The reason for the decrease is because of the projected decrease in power cost. The General Fund budget calls for an expenditure of $5,915,150, which is a 4% increase over last year. The evening led off with a public hearing on the budget. No one appeared to make comments on the matter, but City Finance Director Walker Gallman did give a budget overview. The budget will need one more reading before it is finalized.

The council will also gave a first reading to an amendment to the sewer use ordinance. The amendment is being made to comply with EPA and SC DHEC requirements.

A first reading was given to an ordinance to annex 103, 110, 120 and 126 Sardis Road into the city limits. This is being done per the execution of a water and/or sewer agreement. The four properties are contiguous to the City of Union boundary.

The council reappointed Genelle Alexander to the Housing Authority Board of Union.

William Sims, who heads local basketball travel teams, appeared before the council to ask permission to use the basketball courts at City Park for a fundraising event. He explained his plan calls for a three-on-three tournament to be staged on July 18th, provided there is no conflict with other activities. The council gave their approval to the activity.

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FIRE ON MAGNOLIA CIRCLE DAMAGES MOBILE HOME, KILLS CAT

Wednesday, May 20

A fire at 117 Magnolia Circle caused around $7000 damage to a mobile home. The home, owned by Caroll Sailors, was occupied by April Simmons Hudson. The call came into the Southside Fire Department at 11:56 a.m. Also responding were the Monarch, City of Union, and Buffalo Fire Departments, as well as Lockhart Power Company and EMS. Firefighters were on scene approximately 6 hours. As a result of not being able to determine the origin of the blaze, the Union County Sheriff's Department and SLED were called in to investigate. It was noted by Southside Fire Department Public Information Director Roger Bailey that a dog inside the dwelling managed to escape, but a cat perished.

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MAU WORKFORCE RECRUITING WORKERS IN GAFFNEY TOMORROW

Wednesday, May 20

MAU Workforce Solutions will hold a recruitment event tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at the Cherokee County SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions of:

Production associates- Gaffney $10/hr

Production associates- Spartanburg $9/hr

Sewers workers - Spartanburg $9/hr

Chemical operators- Inman $14.21/hr

Successful candidates will work primarily 2nd- and 3rd-shift positions in Gaffney. 6 months of manufacturing experience in a fast-paced environment is desired. Associates may operate presses and sanders. Some bulky lifting is required. Training will be on the first shift. Drug testing, background check, and reference checks are required, and all applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org and must have a referral to attend the event.

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DOLLAR GENERAL LITERACY FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS TO ADULT EDUCATION AND LIBRARY

Wednesday, May 20

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has announced that it has awarded Union County Adult Education $10,000 and Union County Carnegie Library $3000 in grants to support local literacy programs. These local grants are part of better than $5.8 million awarded to approximately 720 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states the company serves. These grants bring the total impact of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to over $100 million in to assist nearly six million people improve their lives through literacy and education since the foundation’s inception in 1993.

The announcement stated that the recipients of the grants will use Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds to support programs aimed at enhancing summer, family, and adult literacy programs. The grants will be used to help promote childhood summer reading or help adults learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, or learn English.

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TRAVELERS REST MAN ARRESTED IN DEATH OF INFANT

Wednesday, May 20

A Travelers Rest man has been charged in the death of a 4-month old child who has ties to Union County. According to a media report, police said 23-year old Kyle David Hitchcock was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse. Police said he was the stepfather of the infant.

The incident occurred on Red Holly Way in Travelers Rest on Sunday. The warrants accuse Hitchcock of inflicting serious harm to the 4-month old male victim, "causing traumatic injury to his brain resulting in the death of the infant child." Police said they were called to the home for an infant who was not breathing and unresponsive.

Coroner Parks Evans said the child was transported to the Pediatric Emergency Department in Greenville with what appeared to be non-accidental injuries. According to Evans, the child died at 3:20 p.m. on Monday. He said the cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results. The coroner's office identified the child as Kyle Bentley Hitchcock, whose grandparents live in Union County.


USC UNION PARTNERS WITH UNITED WAY TO HOST THREE-DAY GRANT WRITING WORKSHOP

Tuesday, May 19

The United Way of the Piedmont and USC Union will host a three-day Grant Writing Workshop to deliver an approach to grant writing. The workshop will be held at USC Union’s Central Building from 5:30pm–7:30pm on June 1st, 2nd, and 4th. The cost for the three-day workshop will be $90.

The grant writing workshop will address the skills required for grant writing, how to identify funding sources, and the differences between writing for government versus non-profit. The course will also explain key elements such as planning, organization, identifying funding sources, need statements, contributions, and other basic topics. The workshop will also incorporate experiences and advice for those considering grant writing possibilities.

For more information, please contact Bill Moore at (864) 424-8037 or email moorebil@mailbox.sc.edu.

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GORE ARRESTED IN APRIL SHOOTING AT DIXIE CURB MARKET

Tuesday, May 19

Warrants have been issued on a 24-year old Union man for attempted murder and related firearms charges. According to a report from the Union Public Safety Department, Solomon Maurice Gore, of 309 South Church Street, has been charged following an incident that occurred at the Dixie Curb Market on April 28th. Details of the incident were not released, but according to the arrest warrants, Gore did shoot a Steve Harris several times while at the Dixie Curb Market. Gore is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Gore was arrested and charged Sunday, and at last report he remains in the Union County Jail.

(The original story below on this incident aired on April 30th)

Union Public Safety officers are investigating a shooting incident that occurred Tuesday night around 8:45. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Dixie Curb Market at 503 South Church Street. A witness told officers it appeared that one person was shot in the leg and that a black male wearing a white t-shirt ran from the scene and got into a black Ford Crown Victoria. They said he left the scene driving north on South Church Street. The victim went to Wallace Thomson Hospital for treatment. He told officers he was coming out of the Dixie Curb Market after purchasing some beer and was getting in his vehicle when he heard shots fired. Harris said he jumped into the back seat of a blue Honda and was shot as he got in. At the hospital, police asked Harris if he saw who shot him and he said he didn't--he only heard the shots being fired. A victim's advocate form was filled out, but Harris refused to sign it. The black Ford was located at 101 Horseshoe Circle. Solomon M. Gore, 24, of 309 South Church Street, is listed as a wanted suspect on the police incident report.

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SENATOR HARVEY PEELER HONORED BY FRIENDS OF SC LIBRARIES

Tuesday, May 19

Sen. Harvey Peeler has been named Outstanding Public Official of the Year by the Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL) for 2015. Union County Carnegie Library director Ben Loftis presented Sen. Peeler with the award on Wednesday in Sen. Peeler’s office in Columbia. The award, selected by a committee of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, recognizes an elected official whose efforts in the political arena have contributed to public libraries throughout the state and is announced during the annual meeting of FOSCL.

Sen. Peeler was nominated for the award by the Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library for his efforts in securing state funding for the Carnegie Library’s renovation project, “Renovate – Restore- Complete.” The library received $1.25 million from the State Legislature, over half of the needed funding, because of the effort led by Sen. Peeler and also supported by other members of the Union legislative delegation. Sen. Peeler, along with fellow Union County delegation members Rep. Mike Anthony, Sen. Ronnie Cromer, and Sen. Shane Martin, were previously honored for their work in securing the funding at a November 2013 reception held at the library. The FOSCL award provides statewide recognition for the work performed by Sen. Peeler for the Union County Carnegie Library.

Carnegie Library Director Ben Loftis added, “We are excited that Sen. Peeler was named Outstanding Public Official of the Year, an award he truly deserves. His work and leadership in securing the funding for the building project has helped us tremendously in the fundraising process and made our goal of expanding our library facility a possibility.”

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CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON BUDGET TONIGHT

Tuesday, May 19

The Union City Council will be meeting tonight, first at 6:00 p.m. for a public hearing to take comments on the proposed 2015–2016 municipal budget. Then, during the regular meeting beginning at 6:30, the council will give first reading to the budget ordinance. The total budget is for $45,309,640, which reflects a 2% decrease over last year's budget. The reason for the decrease is because of the projected decrease in power costs. The general fund budget calls for an expenditure of $5,915,150, which is a 4% increase over last year.

The council will also give a first reading to an amendment to the sewer use ordinance. The amendment is being made to comply with EPA and SCDHEC requirements.

A first reading will be given to an ordinance to annex 103, 110, 120 and 126 Sardis Road into the city limits. This is being done per the execution of a water and or sewer agreement. The four properties are contiguous to the City of Union boundary.

The council will also hear discussion concerning the filling of a vacancy on the Housing Authority Board of Union. Three names have been submitted for consideration.

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GAULT RECEIVES TOP HONORS AT WOFFORD COMMENCEMENT

Tuesday, May 19

Commencement exercises were held at Wofford College Sunday, and a Union man is one of two to receive the top honors. The prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was presented to Jon Nicholas Gault, a chemistry major with a minor in government, from Union, S.C., and Scott Jackson Neely, a pastoral executive at First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg.

Gault, the son of Freddie and Melodi Gault, is a Dean’s List student who has served in the Campus Union student government organization, the Orientation Staff and the Reformed United Fellowship. In the summer of 2014 he participated in an internship in the office of U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. Gault is a graduate of Union County High School.

Wofford College is one of 61 colleges and universities, most of them in the South, authorized to present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.


COUNTY COUNCIL SCHEDULES ANOTHER BUDGET WORK SESSION THURSDAY

Monday, May 18

The Union County Council is still working to resolve budget issues, and as a result they have scheduled a budget work session for Thursday, May 21, at 4 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Union County Annex.

They have already eliminated 11 county positions and funding to outside agencies, leaving the budget for fiscal 2015-2016 just under $14.8 million.

As they began the budget process several months ago, the council found that the county was facing a projected $800,000 deficit. State law requires all governments within the state to balance their budgets, and to accomplish that, the council asked all county department heads to cut their budgets by 10%.

As a result, 11 county positions were eliminated, including five in the Union County Sheriff’s Office, four in the Union County Public Works Department, and two in the Union County Recreation Department.

The elimination of the 11 county positions and funding to outside agencies has eliminated the projected deficit.

During their regular monthly meeting this past Tuesday, council voted to approve first reading of the budget, which projects a total of $14,780,332 in expenditures. A budget work session will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Union County Annex. Council will then hold a special meeting immediately following the work session to consider second reading of the proposed budget.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES ASSAULT ON MEANSVILLE ROAD

Monday, May 18

Deputies responded to 1019 Meansville Road on Thursday around 9:20 p.m. in reference to an assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the complainant, who stated that he was visiting a friend at this residence. He said that as he was leaving, he saw a car pull into the driveway in front of him. He told deputies that he got out of the car to ask what was going on, and that is when Kevin Boyter and Donovan Robinson got out of the other vehicle and came towards him. The man stated that Boyter punched him in the face and threw him to the ground. He said that Boytor and Robinson then began hitting him while he was on the ground. He said that $90 was missing out of his wallet after the altercation, but he never saw anyone take the money. The victim sustained what appeared to be minor injuries to his lip and also to his left shoulder. He declined to be seen by a medical professional. A warrant was sought for Kevin Boyter and Donovan Robinson for 3rd-degree assault and battery by mob.

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MUSGROVE MILL OFFERING A PROGRAM TO LEARN ABOUT COLONIAL SURVEYING

Monday, May 18

Saturday, May 23, 2015, Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will offer a hands-on program for visitors to learn about and experience how the colonies would have been surveyed. Local historian and author Walter Allen will demonstrate the use of historic surveying equipment, after which time visitors will have the opportunity to try their hand at some real survey work on the park. The public is invited to come and join the fun and learn a new skill to enjoy with your family. The cost of the program is $2 per person. The program will begin at 10 AM and space is limited. Reservations can be made by phone or email.

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

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SENATOR GRAHAM SIGNS ONTO LEGISLATION TO FIGHT SYNTHETIC DRUGS

Monday, May 18

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has signed onto legislation to help fight synthetic drugs. The Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale and distribution of new synthetic drugs that are “analogues” – or substantially similar to current illegal drugs.

“Synthetic drugs are illegal and dangerous,” said Graham, “But because of the wording in the statute, it is easy for people to get around the law and continue to sell these harmful substances. Our bill will give law enforcement the flexibility it needs to make sure individuals who sell these drugs can’t skirt the law by changing a label.”

Current law provides the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with a mechanism to prosecute the sale and distribution of analogue drugs. However, the law specifically says that an analogue drug does not include any substance “not intended for human consumption.” This makes the prosecution of offenders difficult, as synthetic drugs often explicitly state that they are “not intended for human consumption.”

This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to require consideration of a number of factors when determining whether a controlled substance analogue was intended for human consumption, including the marketing, advertising, and labeling of a substance, and its known use. The bill also says that the existence of evidence that a substance was not marketed, advertised, or labeled for human consumption, should not stop prosecutors from being able to establish based on all the evidence that the substance was, in fact, intended for human consumption.

While synthetic drugs have been a major issue in the past, Union Public Safety Chief Sam White says it's not as much a problem now. He continued to indicate his department would be vigilant to the possibility that such drugs might resurface.


SLED ISSUES ENDANGERED PERSON ADVISORY FOR MAN LAST SEEN IN JONESVILLE

Friday, May 15

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ANNUAL JAKES EVENT SCHEDULED AT FOSTER PARK LAKE SATURDAY

Friday, May 15

A highly-anticipated event is set to take place Saturday at Foster Park Lake. It's the annual JAKES Event. JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, and is designed for youngsters 2 to 16 years of age. It will get underway from 9 a.m. until 12 noon, and participants will have the opportunity to catch tagged fish to win prizes. Also featured will be a camo station, BB guns, smoke house, games and the rock wall. Lunch will be served at noon and is being provided by the Union Public Safety Department. Participants are asked to bring their own fishing gear and bait, though a limited amount of bait will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. Adults may help their registered children, but you are asked to remember that the JAKES event is for the children.

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CARLISLE TOWN HALL NEEDS VOLUNTEERS FOR FOOD DISTRIBUTION NEXT WEEK

Friday, May 15

Volunteers are needed for a food distribution that is coming up at the Carlisle Town Hall on Tuesday, May 19th. It will begin at 10 a.m. Recipients are asked to bring a picture identification and plastic bag in which to put the food. For more information or to volunteer to help with the event, call 864-427-1505.

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ROSE HILL TO HOST EVENING CLASSICAL MUSICAL PERFORMANCE JUNE 6TH

Friday, May 15

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

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

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

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STATE TROOPERS GIVING OUT COUPONS IN "CLICK'N FOR CHICKEN" CAMPAIGN

Friday, May 15

Troopers will be on the lookout this summer for motorists who are obeying the state’s primary seat belt law. It is well known that buckling up saves lives and can save you a ticket, but now, a simple click may also mean a free chicken sandwich or frosted lemonade, courtesy of Chick-fil-A restaurants.

Click’n for Chicken – a light-hearted way to bring attention to a serious issue – the program began Wednesday as part of the department’s annual Buckle Up, South Carolina. It’s the Law and It’s Enforced! campaign.

As a partner and safety advocate for the Click’n 4 Chicken initiative, 70-plus Chick-fil-A restaurants statewide have provided 55,000 coupons to be distributed by troopers as a thank you to motorists who are properly buckled and motorists who have their children in proper child restraints. The goal is zero traffic fatalities.

For three years in a row, South Carolina has experienced over a 90% safety belt compliance rate, but the number of unbelted fatalities remains high. As of May 12th this year, there have been 311 highway fatalities, compared to 270 on the same date in 2014; 112 of the 228 people with access to safety belts died unrestrained.

SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said, “It’s a fun way to kick off summer and bring attention to a simple act that could prevent hundreds of fatalities each year on our roadways.”  

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UNION MAN ARRESTED WITH DRUGS IN HIS POSSESSION

Friday, May 15

Wednesday around 6 a.m., Sgt. Kevin Powers with the Union Public Safety Department came upon a suspicious vehicle parked on Industrial Park Road. It is an area known for drug activity. The driver of the car, identified as Alphonso Lamont Cheek, 38, of 116 Lybrand Street, appeared to be asleep. Sgt. Powers called for back-up before he approached the car. When awakened, Cheek told Powers that he was driving back from Spartanburg and became sleepy and pulled over for a nap. As Cheek was trying to get his wallet from the center console, one of the other officers noticed he was apparently trying to conceal something. The officers noted Cheek's eyes were red and glassy and his speech slightly slurred. He was given a field sobriety test, which he passed. He was asked if there was anything illegal in the car and responded “no”, but he did give the officers permission to search the vehicle. A plastic bag containing a green leafy plantlike material believed to be marijuana was located along with a digital scale. Also located was a black container with several white rocklike items believed to be crack cocaine. There were about 15 of the rocklike items. Cheek was then placed under arrest and charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Union County Jail.


INTERNET PREDATOR SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IN PRISON THIS WEEK

Thursday, May 14

An internet predator was sentenced to ten years in Union County this week. Kevin Stinson of Union admitted to engaging in a series of text messages last July in which he agreed to meet a 13-year old girl at Foster Park Lake for a sexual encounter. Stinson had these conversations over the Hang Outs messaging application.

At the beginning of the text conversations, the victim told Stinson she was 13 years old. After she learned Stinson was 25 years old, the victim gave the phone to her mother who continued to talk to Stinson, pretending to be her daughter. Stinson discussed meeting the victim and made references to performing oral sex on her along with having a threesome with the victim and one of her friends.

The victim’s mother contacted the Union County Sheriff’s Office, where an investigator continued messaging Stinson. Arrangements were made for Stinson to meet the victim on the afternoon of July 8, 2014, at Foster Park Lake in Union. After he arrived, Stinson was apprehended by undercover deputies as he approached the bathrooms where he had been told the victim was waiting. Stinson took three children, ages six, eight, and eleven, with him to the park to meet the victim. The six-year old was his child; the other two were his girlfriend’s children.

We hope that this sends the message to those that would try to take advantage of our children that society will not tolerate such behavior,” said Deputy Solicitor John Anthony, who prosecuted the defendant.

Stinson pled guilty before Judge Mark Hayes to attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Stinson’s sentence requires him to serve 85% of the ten years in prison and to register as a sex offender upon his release.

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RELAY FOR LIFE 2/3 OF THE WAY TO THEIR FUNDRAISING GOAL

Thursday, May 14

So far, Union County Relay for Life has brought in over $67,000. They reported the amount Saturday morning at the conclusion of their overnight celebration. The goal set by the American Cancer Society for the local event was $82,000. More money is expected to come in over the next few weeks that should bring them closer to that goal. This year’s local relay had 19 veteran teams and seven newcomer teams. Team awards were presented Saturday morning in both categories.

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HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARS HONORED AT ROTARY CLUB MEETING

Thursday, May 14

Junior scholars were recognized Tuesday at the regular weekly meeting of the Union Rotary Club. Students in the 9th through 12th grades from Union County High School and Union Christian Day School are honored annually by the club.

Ninth grade honorees from Union County High School this year include: Jennie Allen, Ashton Cody, Anthony Esposito and Katelyn Petty. From Union Christian Day School was Keely Messer.

Tenth grade students from UCHS were: Lyra Mercado, Kasie Roark, Jacob Sanders and Brooke Smith. From the day school was Lori Hart.

Eleventh grade students for UCHS were: Reid Bailey, Payton Martin, Cara Phillips and Morgan Pittman, and from UCDS was Polly Shetley.

The seniors from Union County High School were: Maisie Fisher, Kadin Ivey, Marissa McNeace and Shreya Shah. The Union Christian Day School representative was Casey Stepp.

Linda Lybrand was the guest speaker for the program. Mrs. Lybrand is a collector of Wizard of Oz memorabilia, and she used her love of the movie as the focus of her comments and related it to the students and their successes in life.

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SCHOOL BOARD NAMES TRAKAS AS PRINCIPAL OF UCHS NEXT YEAR

Thursday, May 14

During Monday night's meeting of the Union County School Board, a personnel report by Jeff Stribble was approved on a 6–2 vote. Included in that approval was the appointment of Betsy Trakas as principal of Union County High School. Trakas had already been serving as the interim principal following the resignation of then-principal Floyd Lyles in March.

Trakas was already serving as a District Coordinator of High School Initiatives at the school two days each week. Trakas also served as Lockhart Schools Principal for five years, and prior to that, she was a district instructional facilitator for three years. Trakas also has a total of 28 years of experience as a classroom teacher in both Spartanburg School District 3 and Union County.

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FIREFIGHTERS RESPOND TO FIRE AT AN OUTBUILDING

Thursday, May 14

The Southside Fire Department responded to what was first reported as a grass fire on Mt. Vernon Road Wednesday morning. Upon arrival, firefighters found an outbuilding engulfed. The building belonged to C.B. Jolly at that address, who said he parked his lawnmower in the building and noticed it was on fire about twenty minutes later. The amount of the loss was estimated to be $6000. Firefighters were on the scene for about three hours. Responding in addition to the Southside Department was Monarch, Santuc and the Forestry Service. EMS also responded to aid Mr. Jolly, who was reported to be having breathing problems.

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AT&T HIRING TECHNICIANS IN SPARTANBURG TOMORROW

Thursday, May 14

AT&T is hiring technicians in Spartanburg. The company will pay for training for these full-time positions. The notice of the event says, “If you’re passionate about connecting people with the latest technology, take a look at the wire technician opportunities. They offer competitive wages, not to mention the amazing benefits and career potential."

A special technician hiring event will take place Friday, May 15th, from 12:30 PM until 3:00 PM. For the fastest experience, please apply online prior to the event, which will take place at SC Works Spartanburg, 220 E. Kennedy Street, Room 113.


COUNTY COUNCIL APPROVES FIRST READING OF BUDGET, TRANSFERS HOSPITALITY TAX MONEY TO TOURISM COMMISSION

Wednesday, May 13

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance met with the Union County Tourism Commission Tuesday afternoon and took up discussions on a proposal by the County Council that was made during a budget work session last week. The proposal was that the commission be allotted money from the Hospitality Tax, which would be redistributed to some of the outside agencies that were cut out of the county budget. The stipulation is that the agency must, by law, be tourism-related. Acting Tourism Commission Director Curtiss Hunter said to the council that if this is done, they would like to have input concerning which agencies would be included. The council said the responsibility would be that of the commission. Councilwoman Kacie Petrie pointed out that if the agencies she believes are tourism-related receives funding at the same level as last year, it would take $99,700. Such agencies might include, but are not limited to, The Union County Museum, the Cross Keys House, The Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce. The finance committee agreed to recommend to the full council to take $125,000 from the hospitality tax money, which has been accumulating in a bank account, and transfer it to the Tourism Commission for the stated purpose. The full council voted to do that in their meeting that followed.

Councilman Tommy Ford, who chairs the Finance Committee, explains what happens next.

 

As the full council met, they appointed several members to various boards and commissions. Jay Ford was reappointed to the Stadium Commission. There remains two vacancies on the commission, for which the county will advertise to fill. Margie Ruff was appointed to fill one position on the Tourism Commission, and the Kelly-Kelton Fire Control Board saw the appointment of two new members, Eddie Williams and Kenneth Adams. Wayne Kersey, from Lancaster, representing the Silver-Haired Legislature, gave a presentation on that organization. He explained the group serves as an advocate for senior citizens. Clary Woodsby appealed to the council to address the issue of a large oak tree on Hancock Street that is in danger of falling. In other action, County Council gave a 2nd reading to an ordinance that transfers ownership of a vacant lot in Lockhart to the Town of Lockhart. They gave first reading to adopt the 2015–2016 budget, and also a first reading to to an ordinance pertaining to fees of property tax and fees on vehicles. The money raised will go to fund EMS at a cost of around $800,000. The council passed a resolution designating May 15th as Peace Officers' Memorial Day. Flags on county property will fly at half-staff on that day.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE HOLDING COMMUNITY CRIME WATCH MEETING IN MONARCH NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, May 13

The Union County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a Community Crime Watch meeting at the Monarch Fire Department in the Monarch/Ottaray Community of Union County on May 19th at 6:30pm. All citizens are invited to attend.

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WELLS FARGO DONATES HOUSE TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Wednesday, May 13

Wells Fargo has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Union County and donated a house to help a family in need. Wells Fargo’s Housing Foundation’s vision and commitment to reach out to the community in which it serves is greatly demonstrated by its generosity to support nonprofit housing organizations such as Habitat for Humanity in order to build or renovate homes for local families who would not otherwise be able to obtain home ownership.

All friends of Habitat for Humanity are invited to the dedication, sponsored by the Habitat for Humanity Board and the Union County Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday, May 14th, at 10:00 AM at 218 Walker Heights.

Habitat for Humanity Union County is a volunteer-driven organization and has built 3 homes and renovated 2 in Union County since 1998.

Habitat for Humanity relies on support from business organizations, community volunteers and locally-raised funds to ensure the program is successful. Many people are unaware that Habitat doesn't give houses away; it’s a “hand-up, not a hand-out.” Partner families who are chosen receive a no-interest mortgage, making homeownership a reality for hardworking families of moderate income. Partner family members also donate hundreds of hours of their time along with many volunteers to build their home and the homes of others.

Habitat welcomes residents of Union County to get involved by volunteering or making a financial contribution to show support towards affordable home ownership for local families in need.

If you wish to participate in the renovations or make a contribution to Habitat for Humanity Union County, please contact Rev. Keith Morrison, Chairman, at 864-427-2155.

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TUCKER OFFICIALLY ELECTED COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT TWO REPRESENTATIVE

Wednesday, May 13

Democrat Ralph Tucker was confirmed as the new county councilman in District 2 as a result of a special election yesterday.

Tucker won the Democratic nomination for the District 2 seat in an April 7th runoff that was held when none of the three candidates running in the March 24th primary won a majority of the vote. No Republican ran for the District 2 seat, leaving Tucker the only candidate on the ballot.

The special election was held because it is required by state law. This is because write-in votes may be cast in a general election but are not allowed in a primary.


SCHOOL DISTRICT LOOKS AT HOW TO UTILIZE PROJECTED BUDGET SURPLUS

Tuesday, May 12

The budget for the Union County School District for fiscal year 2015-2016 is a little over $101,000 from being balanced. What is unusual about that is it is not a deficit, but just the opposite. During Finance Director Lynn Lawson's budget presentation, he said based on his projections, the district needs to find a way to spend that $101,000.

 

Lawson said it is a situation they have not had in a number of years, and the objective is to find what is in the best interest of the school district. The money could go into the fund balance, which has dwindled to a little less than $2 million over the past several years. Board member Jane Wilkes suggested that some of that money could be utilized for professional development of the teachers. That means allowing funds for the teachers to go to conferences and seminars that would enhance their classroom presence. Another suggestion was increasing the pay of noncertified personnel by 2 percent. Lawson was charged with the task of coming back to the board with some recommendations as to how best to utilize the money.

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DR. HENRY JORDAN NAMED PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR

Tuesday, May 12

Wallace Thomson Hospital is observing National Hospital Week through Thursday. Tuesday morning in the hospital's courtyard, the physician of the year was named. Dr. Henry Jordan was selected for that honor.

 

A number of other activities are planned for the week, including service awards, an ice cream social and an employee appreciation meal.

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COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

Tuesday, May 12

The Union County Council Committee on County Administration and Finance will meet with the Union County Tourism Commission at 5:00 this afternoon in the Grand Jury Room of the courthouse. They will discuss tourism and financial matters. Following that meeting, the full council will hold their regular monthly meeting beginning at 5:30. They will consider filling vacancies on several boards and commissions. They will hear from Wayne Kersey concerning the Silver-Haired Legislature, and Clary Woodsby will talk about an oak tree that is said to be in danger of falling.

The council will have first reading of the Union County Budget Ordinance for the 2015–2016 fiscal year. There will be a second reading of an ordinance donating a vacant lot to the Town of Lockhart, and a first reading of an ordinance pertaining to property tax and fees on vehicles. They will also consider a resolution designating May 15th as Peace Officer's Memorial Day.

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EIGHT TO REPRESENT UNION COUNTY AS DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES TO GIRLS STATE

Tuesday, May 12

 

The American Legion Auxiliary has selected eight outstanding rising seniors to represent Union County as delegates and alternates to the 69th session of Palmetto Girls State.

Palmetto Girls State brings together 500 of the most outstanding female rising high school seniors in the state for an intensive, week-long session in local and state government. It will be held at Presbyterian College in Clinton from June 7th through 13th. Girls State includes seminars with local, state, and federal government officials. During the week, attendees participate in mock campaigns, caucuses, and run for office in mock elections. Additionally, Girls State emphasizes the tenets of the American Legion Auxiliary, such as the concepts of “God and Country” and respect for the American flag.

2015 American Legion Auxiliary Palmetto Girls State primaries are Akire Clowney, Shania Jeffries, Anna Kelly, and Leah Parrish. Alternates are Lennah Farr, Meredith Foster, Morgan Pittman, and Kayla Vanderford.

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WARRANT SOUGHT AGAINST MAN FOR STRONG-ARMED ROBBERY

Tuesday, May 12

A deputy responded to 1126 Main Street, Buffalo, to speak with a complainant who stated that she was hanging out with a male friend all day long. She stated that the male friend brought her to the Buffalo Mill Pond so that she could meet up with her boyfriend, Adam Fisher, 26, of Linersville Road. The woman stated that Fisher told her everything was OK between them, but as she turned around to walk away, he hit her in the back of the head, causing her to fall. She stated that Fisher then continued to hit her and push her down into the ground. She stated that he then took her cell phone from her and $25 cash. The woman stated that Fisher then ran away. She declined to be seen by a medical professional. The cell phone was a dark blue Samsung and is valued at $100. A warrant is being sought against Adam Fisher for strong-armed robbery.


SEVERAL SCAM ATTEMPTS UNSUCCESSFUL IN UNION COUNTY

Monday, May 11

Scam attempts are still prevalent in Union County. An attempt to scam money from an individual occurred Thursday, when the victim said he received six calls stating he needed to pay $300-$600 to keep him from going to court. The bogus charge was for egging and toilet-papering his neighbor's house. The victim attempted to call back the number listed on his caller ID, and a recording stated the number had been disconnected.

Another scam attempt involved a telephone call by someone claiming to be the victim's grandson who stated he was in the Spartanburg County Jail. The caller stated he needed $3000 to get out of jail. The victim informed the caller that she didn't have that kind or money, nor did she have a credit card. The caller hung up. She called her grandson, who stated he was at home and not in jail. There was another report about a lost or stolen ATM card. This one had a $539 unauthorized charge on it. A report was taken.

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FREDDIE GAULT GIVES GENERAL SESSIONS COURT REPORT

Monday, May 11

General Sessions Court was held last week. Clerk of Court Freddie Gault files this report.

 

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HOSPITAL DISTRICT PLANS SPECIAL EVENTS AS PART OF HOSPITAL WEEK

Monday, May 11

A busy week is on tap for the Union Hospital District. Ellen Sagar Nursing Home is celebrating National Nursing Home Week. The activities there included a Mother's Day celebration yesterday, with an upcoming car show, a display of the Regional One helicopter, a fire truck, hillbilly cars, a cookout and ice cream social. The Wallace Thomson Hospital will celebrate hospital week. The Physician of the Year will be named this morning, and service awards will be given out tomorrow. They will have an ice cream social Wednesday, and an employee appreciation meal Thursday.

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LIBRARY BOARD ANNOUNCES ITS NEXT MEETING

Monday, May 11

The Union County Carnegie Library Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday, May 19th, at 5 p.m. in the parlor of Grace Methodist Church. The meeting is open to the public. Also, the library will be closed Monday, May 25th, for Memorial Day, and Tuesday, May 26th, for a staff workday.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Monday, May 11

The Union County School Board meets tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Career and Technology Center. Cindy Langley will offer information on IKF-R, which is code for an administrative rule dealing with graduation requirements, and Jeff Stribble will give the personnel report. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will offer the first reading of the 2015-2016 budget. An executive session is listed to consider a student discipline matter.

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BIG CROWD CELEBRATES SURVIVORS AND RAISES MONEY FOR RELAY FOR LIFE

Monday, May 11

The Relay for Life event was well-attended Friday night, as hundreds gathered to celebrate cancer survivors as well as the fundraising efforts of all the teams. The American Cancer Society set a goal of $82,000, but the local goal is $100,000.

Torance Inman, a co-chair for Relay for Life, explained why this is done each year.

 

It will be several weeks before all the reports are in to find out if they reached their goal.


HOSPITAL DISTRICT POSTS LOSS, THOUGH WALLACE THOMSON SHOWS POSITIVE FIGURE

Friday, May 8

The Board of Trustees and Finance Committee of the Union Hospital District met Thursday for their monthly session. First on the agenda was a presentation from the Dixon Hughes firm with a draft of the Audited Financial Statements for 2014. The firm reported the audit was clean or unmodified. The board approved what is termed the Nursing Plan of Care. The plan is, as the name implies, an outline of nursing procedures for the hospital. The financial reports appeared somewhat improved for the month of March. The hospital actually showed a positive figure of $150,562. That compares to a loss of $109,091 last month. Chief Financial Officer Cindy Gault explained why the financial report showed improvement.



Districtwide, a loss of $66,932 was posted. EMS showed a $6,000 loss, while the physician's offices lost $308,613.

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BUFFALO MAN CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

Friday, May 8

A 25-year old Buffalo man has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. According to the arrest warrant, the incident occurred sometime between July 1st and August 28th of 2014. The details of the incident are far too graphic to be reported on the air, but the warrant does say that Brint Ray Davis did commit a lewd or lascivious act with the 11-year old victim. The case has been sent to investigators.

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DISTRICT TEACHER OF THE YEAR RECEIVES MORE HONORS

Friday, May 8

The Union County School District Teacher of the Year received another recognition Tuesday. At an after-school faculty meeting on Tuesday, Elizabeth Wilson Ireton, who currently teaches special education grades 9-12 in the KEYS program and AP Psychology for grades 11 and 12 at Union County High School, was presented with the Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence by Gil Moss, an agent with Horace Mann Insurance. Moss, the company's representative for Union and Cherokee counties, as well as Spartanburg districts 3 and 4, presented Ireton with a crystal apple and a Belk gift card.

Following that presentation, interim Assistant Principal Jeff Stepp presented Ireton with the Jostens Most Inspirational Teacher Award.

Ireton is a 1995 graduate of Jonesville High School and attended Wofford College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and completed her Teacher Education Program in 1999. Soon after, she began to pursue National Board Certification, which she earned in 2005. In 2008, she earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Converse College.

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MUSIC CLUB SELECTS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Friday, May 8

The Union Music Club has selected three area students to be the 2015-2016 recipients of the Cornelia Greer Walker Scholarship for music study.

Evan Haney is a sophomore at Presbyterian College, where he is pursuing a degree in music with a concentration in organ, and a second degree in political science. He is the organist and choir director at First Presbyterian Church in Union. Evan is the son of Mark and Joanne Haney.

Ryan West is a freshman at Charleston Southern University, where he is pursuing a degree in music education. Ryan is studying both percussion and piano. He is pianist for the Charleston Southern University’s jazz ensemble. Ryan plays snare drum in the CSU marching band. He is also in the CSU wind ensemble, the CSU symphonic band and the CSU percussion ensemble. His parents are Gene and Tammy West.

Maisie Fisher, who was also chosen as the recipient of the Boinest Morgan Medal, is a senior at Union County High School, and a member of the National Honor Society, the GT Music Class, Interact, and the Arthur State Bank Junior Board of Directors. She has given 302 hours of community service in the last year. She will attend Presbyterian College in the fall to major in biology (pre-med) and minor in music. Maisie is the daughter of Frank and Tammy Fisher.

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RELAY FOR LIFE SET FOR TONIGHT AT THE FAIRGROUNDS

Friday, May 8

The annual Relay for Life event is scheduled to begin tonight. Torance Inman tells us what we can expect.


HOSPITAL BOARD SET TO MEET TONIGHT

Thursday, May 7

The Union Hospital District Board of Trustees and Finance Committee will meet tonight. They will gather in the board room at Wallace Thomson Hospital at 6:00 p.m. Possibly up for discussion will be information that employees have received a notice under the Warn Act. This is often referred to as a notice of layoff, which is required by law due to the strong possibility that the hospital will be taken over by Spartanburg Regional Health Care System. That is something that is not yet carved in stone. Wallace Thomson filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy several months ago, and the court is set to hear arguments for the plan to affiliate with Spartanburg. That hearing will take place on July 2nd. Hospital spokespersons said the court could either approve or disapprove the plan. The spokesperson said a worst-case scenario, should the plan not be approved, would be to begin a liquidation process, which translates into the facility closing. Hospital officials appear to be optimistic that the plan will be approved.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSIBLY COOKING METH AT FOSTER PARK

Thursday, May 7

Tuesday around 8 p.m., Union Public Safety officers were advised that a subject was possibly cooking meth at Veterans Park. Information was also received that the subject was riding a bicycle. Officers went to the area and located a bicycle behind the Veteran's Lodge building. An officer said he could hear the sound of glass bottles hitting each other coming from somewhere in the woods. They waited for the subject to come out of the woods and spotted the individual on the bicycle carrying two plastic grocery bags. As the officers approached the subject, identified as Ryan Lonnie Lanning, 24, of South Church Street, Spartanburg, he dropped the bags and bicycle and ran back into the woods. The officers lost sight of him and called a K-9 to the scene. Lanning was tracked and apprehended on Pineneedle Road. The two grocery bags were found to contain items used for making methamphetamine. Lanning was taken to the Union Public Safety Department for questioning and then to the Union County Jail.

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SUSPECT IN 7 ARMED ROBBERIES IN SPARTANBURG ARRESTED

Thursday, May 7

Monday, officers with the Union County Sheriff's Office were asked to assist the Spartanburg Sheriff's Office with the arrest of Ryan "Bear" Gist, 29, of Spartanburg, who was wanted for a probation violation and was a suspect in approximately 7 armed robberies that had occurred within Spartanburg County. The officers found that he was living with his girlfriend, Megan Walters, at 368 Fleming Road in Union County. Sheriff Taylor and Union deputies met with a Spartanburg detective at the Pacolet Police Dept. while Lt. Sherfield and Sgt. Johnson did surveillance on the residence.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., the officers went to the residence and secured the premises and then knocked on the door. Walters came to the door and stated that Gist was her boyfriend and that he did live at this address, but was actually at work in Greer at that time. Lt. Sherfield spoke with Walters and received written consent for officers to search her residence. During the search, the officers photographed, seized and collected various items of evidence, including 3 pairs of jeans, 2 "hoody" shirts, a black cell phone, 2 marijuana plants, a Highpoint 380 pistol and clip, and a black head wrap. These items were identified as items possibly being used in one or more of the robberies in Spartanburg County. An itemized list of the seized items was provided to Walters before the officers left the residence.

All the above listed items were collected by Lt. Sherfield, then photographed by Lt. Lawson, and the evidence was turned over to the Spartanburg detective on scene. Ryan Oneil Gist was arrested at his work place in Greer by deputies with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.

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AMERICAN LEGION CHANGES LOCATION FOR MONDAY'S MEETING

Thursday, May 7

Union American Legion Post 22 will be having its monthly meeting on Monday, May 11th. The meeting will not be held in its usual location, but rather in the Veterans Memorial Lodge at the top of the hill in Foster Park in Union. The meeting schedule will also vary slightly. There will still be a meal served at 6:00 P.M., but the business meeting will forgo the usual speaker, and start early at 6:30 P.M. This leaves sufficient time for the annual election of officers without having the meeting run long. As always, prospective new members are welcome to attend.

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FOSTER PARK LAKE TO BE STOCKED WITH FISH FOR UPCOMING JAKES EVENT

Thursday, May 7

There's something interesting to see this afternoon. The Foster Park Lake will be stocked with fish around 5pm. They are getting ready for the JAKES Event, which will be coming up May 16th. The event is an opportunity for youngsters to fish the lake with the chance to catch tagged fish for prizes. The event is always well-attended, and the thousands of fish being poured into the lake this afternoon is well worth witnessing.


MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY TO COINCIDE WITH VIETNAM KIA MEMORIAL DEDICATION

Wednesday, May 6

The Union County Vietnam KIA Memorial Committee is inviting area residents to a Memorial Day Ceremony and Vietnam KIA Memorial Dedication. It will take place Monday, May 25th, at the Veterans Memorial Park Lodge, located at 322 Veterans Drive. The guest speaker for the event will be Command Sergeant Major Phillip Hawkins (retired). The ceremony begins at 11:00am, with a reception to follow.

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HOSPICE CARE OF SC SALUTES NURSES

Wednesday, May 6

Hospice Care of South Carolina is joining the American Nurses Association in celebrating "Nurses: Ethical Practices, Quality Care" as part of National Nurses Week, which is held starting today. The purpose of the weeklong celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people. 2015 is designated as the “Year of Ethics.” A news release stated all nurses have a critical responsibility to uphold the highest level of quality and ethical standards in their practice to ensure the delivery of superior health care to patients, families and society.

In honor of the dedication, commitment, and tireless effort of the nearly 3.1 million registered nurses nationwide to promote and maintain the health of this nation, Hospice Care of South Carolina is proud to recognize registered nurses everywhere during this week for the quality work they provide seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Hospice Care of South Carolina employs over 37.5% of all certified Hospice and Palliative-care licensed nurses in South Carolina. 

Hospice Care of South Carolina is South Carolina’s leading hospice provider, with 32 local offices that serve all 46 counties.

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RAMIREZ AND WENTZ TO REPRESENT UCHS AT BOYS STATE

Wednesday, May 6

The General Harry M. Arthur American Legion Post 22 has selected two outstanding rising seniors at Union County High School to represent Union County at Palmetto Boys State, to be held at Anderson University from June 7th – 13th. Boys State brings together approximately 800 of the most outstanding male high school students in the state for an intensive, weeklong session in local and state government. The week includes seminars with local, state, and federal government officials. Attendees are assigned to fictitious cities, counties, and political parties. They participate in mock campaigns and caucuses, and run for office in mock elections.

2015 American Legion Palmetto Boys State delegates are Francisco Sanchez Ramirez, Jr., and Patrick Lester Wentz, Jr.

Les is the son of Patrick L. Wentz, Sr., and Shana P. Burchelle, and Francisco, known to his friends as Paco, is the son of Francisco and Martha Ramirez.

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ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES SUMMER ART CAMPS

Wednesday, May 6

The Union County Arts Council has announced their 2015 Summer Art Camps. There will be three separate camps, with the first beginning June 15 and running through June 17th. This class will focus on landscape and still life art. The students will have the opportunity to work with several mediums, including charcoal, watercolor, and colored pencil. This camp is for 6th to 12th graders, and the fee is $40 for Arts Council members and $45 for non-members. Then on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the week of June 22nd, there will be a Native American art camp. Lauren Gratenstein will help students create traditional Native American art, including dream catchers, loom weaving, & beading. The fee for this camp is $25 for members and $30 for non-members and is designed to appeal to ages 8 through 11. The summer camp season will wrap up with a Summer Art Camp July 13th through the 17th. The students will spend the week learning and creating several different pieces of art. From tie dyeing to creating metal designs to erupting paint, this is a week packed full of excitement. UCAC will provide lunch for the students each day of class and will hold a Parent’s Night at the end of the week. The fee is $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Space is limited in each camp, so the Arts Council encourages you to sign up early. They can be reached by calling 864-429-2817.

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OLD SCAM STILL MAKING THE ROUNDS

Wednesday, May 6

Apparently scammers don't give up, even if it is the same old routine. Union County Sheriff's deputies spoke with a subject yesterday who said she had a message on her answering machine that stated the caller was from the IRS. They left a telephone number for her to call and said if she didn't, they would begin civil action against her. The lady's husband went online to the IRS website and found information about similar scams. We pass this information along just to let you know the scammers are hard at work trying to take your money.


URGENT CARE FACILITY TO REOPEN NEXT WEEK

Tuesday, May 5

Next Monday, Union residents will see the return of a much-needed service. Union Medical Associates will reinstitute an urgent care facility at their office, located at 128 Medical Sciences Drive. Dr. Lance Miller explains.

 

The practice operated an urgent care facility up until about five years ago. They ceased the operation due to their rapidly expanding family practice. Miller said another nurse practitioner is being employed to help handle the additional patient load.

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PUBLIC SAFETY MAKES ARREST IN DECEMBER ARSON CASE

Tuesday, May 5

The City of Union Public Safety Department has arrested a 36-year old Union woman and charged her with arson in a case that goes back to December 2014.

On December 1, 2014, a structure fire was reported at 102 O’Shields Street. The police report stated that a bystander said he saw who started the blaze. The fire was extinguished, and the State Law Enforcement Division Arson team was called in to investigate. As a result, Lacarla David of 102 O’Shields Street has been arrested and charged with second-degree arson and use of an incendiary device.

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ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES CLASS, EXHIBIT

Tuesday, May 5

The Union County Arts Council has released the calendar of events for the month of May. Two new activities are listed. One of those is a Jewelry Making Class with Ashley LaPierre. If you love jewelry and want to learn to make your own, this is the class for you. It will be held Saturday, May 16th, at 9:00am. Ashley LaPierre will teach you how to create a piece of jewelry you will love to show off. This class is for students, ages 10-14. The fee is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited, and participants should contact the Union County Arts Council at 429-2817 to register. The deadline for registration is May 15th.

An exhibit called George Ligon Journey Down Under is now on display and includes a large body of landscape photography produced by George Ligon during a summer trip exploring the islands of Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand. Ligon began his career in New York City, specializing in commercial and fashion photography for twenty-seven years. He has since become an active member in the artists' community in Greenwood, South Carolina, continuing to ripen his photography and shift his focus to fine art. The exhibit will run through June 28th, and a reception will be held Thursday June 11th, from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

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TYGER RIVER CORRECTIONAL FACILITY RECRUITING OFFICERS IN UNION MAY 19TH

Tuesday, May 5

Tyger River Correctional Institution will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works Office, which is located at 103 West Main Street, on Tuesday, May 19th, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

They are looking to hire corrections officers at a starting salary of $26,583. A high school diploma or GED is required, and candidates must have a valid driver’s license. No experience is required, as the employer will train. Successful applicants will undergo drug testing and screening. There will be a background and reference check, along with a motor vehicle check.

These positions are 12-hour shifts with no rotation, and successful applicants will work only 14 days per month, with 2 weekends off monthly.

Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Please bring your résumé with you and come properly dressed for an interview.

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COMFORT KEEPERS RECRUITING CNAS, CAREGIVERS, AND PERSONAL ASSISTANTS

Tuesday, May 5

Comfort Keepers will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works Office from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13th.

They will be hiring to fill CNA positions. 2nd and 3rd shifts are available, as well as weekend shifts. A high school diploma or GED is required, as is a Valid Class D driver's license. They also want to hire caregivers and personal assistants. A minimum of 6 months' experience as a personal caregiver is preferred but not required. A valid class D driver's license is required.

The company will conduct drug screening, a criminal background check, a motor vehicle record check and reference check. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Come properly dressed for an interview.


SPANISH OFFICIALS VISIT UNION COUNTY AS PART OF SC TOUR

Monday, May 4

Personnel from the Spanish embassy and executives of two Spanish companies doing business in the United States were in Union County this past Wednesday. Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker explains why they were here.

 

During their visit to Union County, the embassy officials, along with Hidral and Indra USA executives, met with local officials including Powell-Baker during a luncheon that was also part of the visit. It was during this luncheon at the Union County Advanced Technology Center that Powell-Baker said she was able to learn from the visiting delegation just what challenges Spanish firms face and the resources they need when considering whether or not to locate in a community.

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FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY RAISE MONEY AT BOOK SALE

Monday, May 4

Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library held one of their periodic book sales Thursday and Friday. Friends volunteer Steve Broadbent told why the book sales are conducted.

 

Should you like to make a donation to the Friends of the Library, those contributions will be accepted at the library on South Street.

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LIBRARY CONTINUES NEWSPAPER CONVERSION TO MICROFILM

Monday, May 4

Several years ago, the Friends of the Library made a donation to get several years of newspapers converted to microfilm. This year, the Friends are making a similar donation. While the newspapers will soon be permanently available on microfilm, issues through April 30, 2015, will be unavailable while they are being converted to microfilm. The process will take approximately 3 months, and papers from May 1st onwards will remain available during that time. This conversion will include papers from April 2013 through April 2015. Issues dating from March 2013 and before are already available in the library on microfilm, with papers dating as early as the mid-1850s.

The Carnegie Library features a large microfilm collection. In addition to local newspapers, the collection includes older editions of newspapers from Spartanburg, as well as a variety of Union County property records.

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SOLICITOR'S OFFICE ANNOUNCES POSTER CONTEST WINNERS

Monday, May 4

Solicitor Kevin Brackett is in his first 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 in August 2015.  The winners are as follows: Elainie Lee- cover, Buffalo Elementary; Chloe Rector, Buffalo Elementary; Abby Williams, Buffalo Elementary; Kayla Sinclair, Foster Park Elementary; Emma Scott, Foster Park Elementary; Mary Kathryn James, Foster Park Elementary; Halee Chambers-Yount, Foster Park Elementary; Carley Sumner, Foster Park Elementary; Shakiya Hughes, Foster Park Elementary; Alazia Jeter, Monarch Elementary; Jameir Jones, Monarch Elementary; Jay Sherbert, Monarch Elementary and Lora Homan, Monarch Elementary.

Also, the Awards Ceremony for the winners will take place Tuesday, May 5th, at 4:00 p.m. at Kirby’s Cake Shoppe, located at 1222 South Duncan Bypass.

A spokesperson said, “The Solicitor’s Office 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.


county BUDGET appears to be BALANCED; ADDED FEES MAY HELP FUND EMS

Friday, May 1

The Union County Council is still struggling with budget matters, as a number of representatives of outside agencies appeared for a budget work session Thursday afternoon. In trying to balance the proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the council eliminated funding for these outside agencies, and there was little indication Thursday that the decision would change. One area where some of the funding could be restored came on a proposal by Supervisor Frank Hart. He told the group that a portion of the money in the Hospitality Tax fund, which amounts to approximately $800,000, could be taken and placed in the hands of the Tourism Commission. Those funds can only be used for tourism-related activities. The Tourism Commission could then disperse money to the outside agencies that have tourism ties. Cited as examples were the Union County Museum, the Cross Keys House, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Arts Council. Councilman Tommy Ford said he would like to have a meeting with the Tourism Commission to discuss the mechanics of that proposal. All the proposed cuts in the budget have had the objective of balancing it. Supervisor Hart said as the budget stands today, it is balanced.

 

The county obligation to fund EMS came about as a result of the agreement with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Systems to take over Wallace Thomson Hospital. It is estimated the cost to fund EMS will run around $800,000 annually. Hart first proposed implementing a Public Safety Fee of $55 per parcel to cover the cost. Some council members balked at that figure and recommended that a fee of $50 for commercial properties be implemented, and a $25 fee be imposed on residential properties. In addition, a $15 per vehicle fee would also be implemented. That would produce around $790,000 in revenue. Hart pointed out that the $800,000 estimate does not not include funds for ambulance replacement. None of the budget figures are carved in stone, but council seems to be moving in that direction.

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FESTIVAL IN LOCKHART, USC UNION GRADUATION AMONG THIS WEEKEND'S ACTIVITIES

Friday, May 1

There is a lot going on this weekend in Union County. One of the activities will be the Down to the River Festival in Lockhart. Mayor Ailene Ashe tells us about it.

 

The University of South Carolina Union will hold their commencement exercises tomorrow. It will get underway at 6 p.m. in the Truluck Activity Center. Admission is by ticket only due to space restrictions. House District 42 Representative Mike Anthony will be the speaker for the event.

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UNION'S NAACP BRANCH HOLDING 34TH FREEDOM FUND BANQUET SATURDAY

Friday, May 1

The Union Branch of the NAACP will be holding their 34th-annual Freedom Fund Banquet tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. It takes place at the Pacolet River Baptist Association Center. The guest speaker for the event will be Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries, who is a native of Union. Dr. Jefferies attended Jonesville High School and received his bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of South Carolina. He also obtained a Master in College Administration and a Master's degree from Hood Theological Seminary. He was awarded a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. He has taught at the University of Tennessee and Western Carolina University. He has taught at Davidson College for the last nineteen years, where he serves as Assistant Dean of Student Life. Tickets for the Freedom Fund Banquet can be obtained by contacting Robert Hill at 466-5988, Mattie Glenn at 674-6337, Audrey Robinson at 424-9069, or Joe Walker at 427-5701.

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TWO SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

Friday, May 1

Union County Family and Community Leaders are offering a scholarship to a Union County adult resident who has been or who is in the work force and is raising a family. The award will paid out in two installments of $375, with the first payment being made in time for the first semester and the second for the second semester. The payments will be made directly to the qualified institution. Applications and instructions are available at the Clemson Extension Office, located at 120 Kirby Street. Their office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The applications are due on or before June 1st.

There is another scholarship being made available by the Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department. This one is the James H. Hampton scholarship, and it will be awarded to a recipient living in the Buffalo Fire Department service area. It is being made available to a high school senior or an adult seeking an advanced degree. Applications are available at Union County High School, at Andy's Restaurant, or by calling 427-5739. The deadline is next Friday, May 8th.


PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTIGATES SHOOTING AT DIXIE CURB MARKET PARKING LOT

Thursday, April 30

Union Public Safety officers are investigating a shooting incident that occurred Tuesday night around 8:45. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Dixie Curb Market at 503 South Church Street. A witness told officers it appeared that one person was shot in the leg and that a black male wearing a white t-shirt ran from the scene and got into a black Ford Crown Victoria. They said he left the scene driving north on South Church Street. The victim went to Wallace Thomson Hospital for treatment. He told officers he was coming out of the Dixie Curb Market after purchasing some beer and was getting in his vehicle when he heard shots fired. Harris said he jumped into the back seat of a blue Honda and was shot as he got in. At the hospital, police asked Harris if he saw who shot him and he said he didn't--he only heard the shots being fired. A victim's advocate form was filled out, but Harris refused to sign it. The black Ford was located at 101 Horseshoe Circle. Solomon M. Gore, 24, of 309 South Church Street, is listed as a wanted suspect on the police incident report.

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COUNTY COUNCIL CONTINUES BUDGET WORK, HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING TODAY

Thursday, April 30

The Union County Council will hold a budget work session on Thursday beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Union County Annex. The Union County Council Committee on Personnel, County Offices and Departments will meet immediately following the budget session to discuss personnel matters. The council will hold a special meeting immediately following the meeting of the Committee on Personnel, County Offices and Departments to receive a report from that committee and discuss other matters. The public is invited to attend.

Expectations are the council may have more discussions concerning the demise of the Recreation Department as we know it. Supervisor Frank Hart appeared on a WBCU News special Wednesday where the matter was discussed. Hart talked about the budget cuts the council has already made, with more expected. Addressing the issue of the Recreation Department, Hart said:

Hart said everything is in place for a partnership to be formed with the YMCA, where they would take over many of the programs currently conducted by the department. The Timken Sports Complex would take over the Stinger Football program. The supervisor indicated not much, if anything, would change in the programs and services offered by the Recreation Department.

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FIRST STEPS PARTNERSHIP BOARD ANNOUNCES ITS REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, April 30

The Union County First Steps Partnership Board will hold a called meeting Monday, May 4th, at 5:15 p.m. It will take place at the Union County School District Office located at 120 Lakeside Drive. The meeting is open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend that requires special assistance due to a disability should contact Catherine Childers at 429-1740, extension 134, prior to the meeting.

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TONY'S PIZZA AND SUBS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO COME TO UNION THIS YEAR

Thursday, April 30

According to a website post, Union will be getting a new restaurant. Tony's Pizza and Subs made their intentions known by posting a notice on their website that they would be locating here this year. Tony’s Pizza and Subs is a locally-owned group of restaurants founded by Tony and Fatimah King on October 13, 2005, in Fountain Inn, South Carolina.

Their website says, “Being locally owned and operated has allowed Tony and Fatimah to build a brand you can trust with great quality products, unrivaled customer service and fast deliveries.” It continues to say they now have 11 locations. Four of the stores are company-owned, and five are owned by franchisees.


LOCKHART TOWN COUNCIL HEARS ABOUT PROGRESS ON RENAMING STREETS IN THE TOWN

Wednesday, April 29

The meeting of the Lockhart Town Council Tuesday night saw the swearing in of two incumbent councilpersons. Donnie Adams and Connie Porter were administered the oath of office by Union County Magistrate Jimmy Crocker. The meeting quickly moved on to other matters, as the council heard a presentation from June Gregory, who heads a committee for the renaming of the streets in the town. The way the streets were originally laid out has caused confusion on the part of emergency responders who may not be familiar with the community. Once complete, the 911 office will be responsible for changing the street signs. No timeline was given for the competition of the project, with Gregory saying it would be done a section at a time. The council voted to give approval to the project.

The council also gave an OK to a fair housing proclamation. The proclamation paves the way for future grants for which the town may apply.

One of the main concerns of the town has been smoke from the Bennett Landfill fire. The Department of Health and Environmental Control and the EPA hosted a meeting in Lockhart last week where the issue was discussed. Mayor Ailene Ashe said since that meeting, she has heard from both agencies that gave assurances the matter would be dealt with. She said extinguishing the fire will cost around $2 million and will take approximately 3 months. The Mayor said, “EPA is going to get it done."

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FAMILY HOPES INVESTIGATION WILL SHED MORE LIGHT ON OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING

Wednesday, April 29

The family of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Boiling Springs earlier this month say they still have unanswered questions as to what led to his death.

Phillip Michael Burgess, who is a Union native, was shot and killed by Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies in his Boiling Springs home earlier this month. An investigation is ongoing. The Anderson-based Allen and Allen Law Firm announced Monday it had been retained by the family of Phillip Michael Burgess regarding the shooting.

Burgess, 28, was shot and killed inside his Belcher Road home April 9th while Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a search warrant for anabolic steroids. Two officers who fired shots had been placed on administrative leave, but a review panel made up of the Sheriff’s Office command staff and firearms instructors cleared them of wrongdoing. They were placed back on duty this week.

Burgess’ family is hoping that a State Law Enforcement Division investigation shines light on the case and provides answers. Burgess was shot five times — twice in the back, once in the head, once in the groin and once in the neck. Deputies fired a total of 17 shots, attorney Josh Allen said in a statement Monday.

Burgess, a husband and father of two children, was a specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves and employed as a technician at Mary Black Hospital in Spartanburg. He was also a National Physique Committee body builder. SLED spokesman Thom Berry said the investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing. He did not provide a timeline for when the state agency might reach a conclusion.

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SCHOOL BOARD ASKED TO PURCHASE 14-PASSENGER BUS

Wednesday, April 29

During Monday night's meeting of the Union County School Board, Finance Director Lynn Lawson made a recommendation to purchase a 14-passenger bus to replace an aging fleet. Lawson explained the logic behind the purchase.

 

The board did not act on the matter but took the recommendation under advisement. The bus would be paid for out of what is called the repair and replace fund. This account generally increases throughout the year as a result of the mileage fees charged for the use of the vehicles.

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TWO BRING HOME MEDALS AT SPECIAL OLYMPICS SWIM COMPETITION

Wednesday, April 29

Union County and Sims Middle School was well-represented Saturday at the Special Olympics Swim Competition held at the Rock Hill, SC, Aquatics Center.
Rylee Harris won silver in the Unified 4x25 Meter Relay and bronze in the 25-Meter Freestyle. This is Rylee's first year competing in Special Olympics Swimming. She's been practicing with the team since this past fall. Rylee is also a Twist & Shout Dream Team Competition Cheerleader and plays Miracle League Baseball in Union. Rylee will also be making her debut on stage as a singer in June, with more information to be announced on WBCU this week.
Chandler Austin took home a silver medal in the 25-Meter Freestyle and a gold medal in the Traditional 4x25 Meter Relay. This is Chandler's second year on the competition swim team. Chandler is also on the competition cheer team at Twist & Shout and plays baseball for The Miracle League of Union County.
Anyone interested in being a part of these teams may call:
The Spartanburg Piranhas Swim Team-(864) 457-6122
The Twist & Shout Competition Dream Team-(864) 427-3001
The Miracle League of Union County Baseball Team-(864) 466-7879

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ARTS COUNCIL HONORS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ARTISTS

Wednesday, April 29

Last Thursday, the Union County Arts Council held the Elementary School Art Show Reception and Awards. With over 200 people in attendance, the students were honored with refreshments and awards. The winners were:

For kindergarten, first and second grades,
1st place, Kaden White, 2nd Grade, Union Christian Day School;
2nd Place, Emily Henderson, 2nd Grade, Foster Park Elementary School;
3rd Place, Camora Crosby, 1st Grade, Monarch Elementary School.

For the third, fourth and fifth grades,
1st Place, Dylan Davis, 3rd Grade, Monarch Elementary School;
2nd Place, Caleb Thomas, 5th Grade, Lockhart Elementary School;
3rd Place, Natalie Garner, 3rd Grade, Union Christian Day School.

Best in Show, Kaden White, 2nd Grade, Union Christian Day School.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE HELPING JAIL EMPLOYEE WHO LOST HER HOME TO FIRE

Wednesday, April 29

An employee who works at the Union County Jail lost her home and all belongings due to a fire Monday morning. The Union County Sheriff's Office is taking donations and clothing if anyone is able to help. Their clothing sizes are:

Him:  32/32 pants, XL shirts and size 9-9 ½ shoes.

Her: 12/14 pants, Large shirts, size 8 shoes.

These items can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office, and they will make sure they get to this family in need.


SCHOOL BOARD HONORS MIDDLE SCHOOLERS, VOTES TO RESURFACE TENNIS COURTS

Tuesday, April 28

Meeting in their regular monthly session Monday night, The Union County School Board of Trustees recognized Junior Scholars and students that qualified for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP). The Duke TIP program recognizes 7th-grade students from Sims Middle School who are already eligible to take the ACT and SAT.

Those honored are:

8TH GRADE JUNIOR SCHOLARS

Lockhart School

Daniel Grant

Jonesville Elementary Middle School

Makayla Dyer

Jonesville Elementary Middle School

Jayda Canada

Jonesville Elementary Middle School

Kayla Means

Jonesville Elementary Middle School

Haley McDade

Jonesville Elementary Middle School

Delaney Duckett

Sims Middle School

William Balkum

Sims Middle School

Grant Berry

Sims Middle School

Zykeria Dawkins-Willingham

Sims Middle School

Latavia Foster

Sims Middle School

Carson Hickson

Sims Middle School

Makayla Grady

Sims Middle School

Jakob Lawson

Sims Middle School

Jordan Lawson

Sims Middle School

Lewis McBeth

Sims Middle School

Macy Petty

Sims Middle School

Benjamin Stone

7TH GRADE DUKE TIP SCHOLARS

Sims Middle School

Trey Best

Sims Middle School

Chaniah Brown

Sims Middle School

Garris Hendrix

Sims Middle School

Robert Sanders

Sims Middle School

Katherine Wagner

Sims Middle School

Spencer Woodall

In other action, the board heard a presentation on the Health Science 3 class. Health Occupation Instructor Donna Pendleton explained what the program is about.

 

Lynn Lawson gave the financial report and also gave information on some old business. He explained that two of the six tennis courts at Union County High School need to be replaced at an under-budget cost of just under $60,000. He also noted that all of the courts need to be resurfaced at a cost of around $19,000. Lawson told the board that several other related projects had come in under budget, which yielded a savings of around $16,000. He asked the board to approve $3500 that would be added to the amount saved on the other projects to pay for the tennis court resurfacing. The board approved his recommendation.

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WBCU NEWS TO TALK TO SUPERVISOR ON THE AIR TOMORROW ABOUT BUDGET

Tuesday, April 28

Since it was revealed last week that the Union County Recreation Department as we know it will be closing down, much conversation has been generated, especially on social media. In an effort to get to the bottom of the controversy, WBCU News will present a special program Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart will be the guest on the program and will be taking calls concerning the matter. Other budget questions will also be posed to the Supervisor. The program will be broadcast on WBCU on 1460 AM and 103.5 FM. The program can also be heard online at wbcuradio.com and on your smart phone via our iPhone and Android apps.

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CARLISLE AND LOCKHART TOWN COUNCILS HAVE MEETINGS TONIGHT

Tuesday, April 28

There are two town council meetings tonight--one in Carlisle and the other in Lockhart. The Carlisle meeting will take place at 6:30 in the Carlisle Town Hall. The Lockhart Town Council will gather at 7:00 in their town hall. Both meetings are open to the public.

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DEPUTIES MAKE TWO ARRESTS WHILE ATTEMPTING TO SERVE BENCH WARRANT

Tuesday, April 28

On Sunday, Union County deputies received a tip that Dontey Gory, who had a Family Court bench warrant filed against him, was staying at a residence located at 105 Partridge Road. Sheriff's Office deputies along with two Union Public Safety officers went to that location, where they encountered Kayla Leree Murphy, 24, who told them that Gory was not at the residence. She told the officers that Gory was staying at a motel in another county. She gave consent for the officers to search the house. Upon searching the house, they found Gory hiding inside a cabinet. He was served with the warrant and transported to jail. Kayla was arrested and transported to the Union County Jail and will be charged with hindering police.

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ROAD ALTERCATION LEADS TO GUNS DRAWN AT LOCKHART HOT SPOT

Tuesday, April 28

An incident in Lockhart Sunday began as what might be considered road rage. The report stated that Robert Lee Young told officers that he and his wife had just turned off of Hwy. 105 onto Hwy. 9 when they got behind what they described as a golf cart that was moving slowly. As they went by, they said they yelled out the window for the subject to get out of the road and then proceeded to the Hot Spot store to get a drink. The subject on the golf cart, Joseph Cecil Allen, then pulled into the parking lot a short time later and began yelling at Young about the previous incident. At some point, both subjects produced weapons. There was no mention in the report of any verbal threats being made.

The deputy spoke with Allen and asked him if he had a concealed weapons permit, and he stated he did not. He was placed under arrest at that time for unlawful carrying of a handgun and pointing and presenting a firearm at a person. He was transported to the Union County Jail for booking.

The incident report stated that based on the totality of the circumstances, the deputy did not charge Young because he was in a place he had a right to be and was already in his vehicle when approached by Allen, and due to his disabilities, he felt his life and safety were in jeopardy and therefore had a right to protect himself.

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MONARCH 5TH-GRADERS TOUR CHARLESTON

Tuesday, April 28

Monarch Elementary School 5th-graders recently visited Charleston on a fun-filled, educational field trip.  They relived part of history by participating in the camping program aboard the WWII aircraft carrier Yorktown.  The students became shipmates as they participated in science and social studies programs geared directly to their state standards. They were Coast Guard investigators solving the mystery of an oil spill on the Ashley River, and they worked as navigators, code-talkers, and operators to successfully complete a mock Doolittle Raid on Japan. Students also met with marine biologist Jim Koening on Sullivan's Island, where they used a net to investigate their catch of jellyfish, starfish, and other ocean life.  This trip provided an excellent review of the year's studies as the students prepare for their end-of-year testing.

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RL ENTERPRISE RECRUITING FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS TOMORROW IN UNION

Tuesday, April 28

RL Enterprise & Associates, LLC, will hold a recruitment event Wednesday, April 29th, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Union SC Works office. They will be hiring to fill positions for repair and alteration operators. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, as is 1 year of experience. They are also looking to hire a production manager and a production supervisor. A degree in management or textile is preferred for those positions, and 5 years of experience is required. The starting salary for both positions is $55,000 annually, depending on experience. The company will conduct a drug screen and a background check. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and apply in-person at the event or call (864) 234-8788 for further application instructions. Please come properly dressed for the interview.


COUNTY ELIMINATES FUNDING FOR UNION COUNTY RECREATION DEPARTMENT

Monday, April 27

In what can only be described as a budget crisis for the County of Union, an entire department may cease to exist as we know it. The proverbial axe has fallen on the Union County Recreation Department, as the council agreed this past week to eliminate funding. The move will add more than $400,000 back into the budget that was facing an $800,000 shortfall. Buyouts have been offered to the department’s longtime employees, Becky Cobb and Sam Phipps. Both were already on the TERA program. Union County Council Vice Chairman Tommy Ford was the only councilman to vote against the move. Ford said it’s still too early to tell just what the fallout will be, but he did express optimism that the department’s program could be taken over by other departments or organizations. The council will be meeting Thursday in a budget work session, at which time some of the mechanics of the move may be discussed.

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SATURDAY'S RAIN DIDN'T KEEP MANY AWAY FROM SPECIAL EVENTS

Monday, April 27

The rainy weather did not hamper several events from taking place Saturday. The annual First Steps Touch a Truck event took place at the Union County Fair Grounds in spite of the precipitation. Catherine Childers, Executive Director of First Steps, said everything took place as planned.

Touch a Truck is staged each year to allow youngsters an opportunity to interact with the vehicles as a learning experience.

Attendance was hampered Saturday for the 8th-annual Living History event at the historic Cross Keys House. There were various exhibits with a theme that focused on the War for Southern Independence, as well as vendors. One of the highlights was the reenactment of the visit Confederate States President Jefferson Davis made to the house during his flight from Virginia following the conclusion of the war. We caught up with President Davis who commented that the troops did not look forward to fighting in inclement weather, and at other times too.

The weather cleared for Sunday to salvage the event.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Monday, April 27

The Union County School District Board of Trustees will meet tonight. The gathering will take place at 7:00 p.m. in room 600 of the Career and Technology Center. Junior Scholars and Duke TIP students will be recognized, and the board will hear a report about the Health Science 3 class at the CATE Center. There are three overnight field trip requests, and one such request involves a water activity. Finance Director Lynn Lawson will give the monthly budget report and will also discuss vans and tennis courts. An executive session is listed on the agenda in case it is needed.

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REP. MIKE ANTHONY WILL BE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER AT USC UNION

Monday, April 27

University of South Carolina Union will welcome Rep. Mike Anthony as the commencement speaker for the university’s Commencement Exercises that will be held on Saturday, May 2nd, at 6:00 p.m. in the Truluck Activity Center.

Anthony is a Union native and graduate of Union High School, and in 2003, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. Representative Anthony was named Legislator of the Year in 2003 by the South Carolina Education Association and was named Champion of Public Education in 2004. He has served on several legislative committees, including the House Ways and Means Committee, Educational Oversight Committee and Rules Committee. Rep. Anthony currently serves on the Public Education and Special Schools Committee.

Mike Anthony is a member of the Rotary Club of Union. He is married to the former Kathy Dale Owens. The couple has three sons and four grandsons.

Due to limited seating, admission into the USC Union Commencement Exercises is by ticket only for everyone except the platform party, faculty members and graduating students.

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UNION MAN ARRESTED ON LARCENY CHARGE

Monday, April 27

A 49-year old Union man has been arrested and charged with larceny following an incident last weekend. A Union County Sheriff's Office incident report says last week deputies spoke with a man who said that someone entered his shop on the Jonesville Highway and took several items valued at $400. He said he had a chain padlocked around his tool box that had been cut off. The report says Glenn Fuller Berry, 49, of Peach Orchard Road, has been arrested and charged. Berry was booked into the Union County Jail last Thursday.

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AMERICAN SECURITY LOOKS FOR SECURITY OFFICERS IN GAFFNEY WEDNESDAY

Monday, April 27

American Security will hold a recruitment event at the Cherokee SC Works office April 29th from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. They are looking to hire 4 security officers for permanent part-time positions. The job requires use of a 2-way radio and computer. These are weekend shifts: 6am-6pm or 6pm-6am. Security experience is preferred, and a high school diploma or GED is required. Successful candidates must complete CPR & first aid training once hired. Beginning salary is $8 to $8.40 per hour. The position requires drug testing, background check, and a reference check. All applicants must be registered at www.scworks.org.


EPA TO ENTER FIGHT AGAINST LANDFILL FIRE

Friday, April 24

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has entered the battle against the Bennett Landfill fire. That fire has been burning for nearly six months, and although located in Chester County, smoke from the blaze has been infiltrating the Town of Lockhart. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control hosted a meeting in Lockhart Thursday evening to inform residents of what is being done about the smoke issue and to take questions from those living there. An overview of the situation was given by Daphne Neal with DHEC, who explained that the agency has no responsibility for firefighting. She then turned the meeting over to the EPA officials who addressed the issue. Matt Huyser of EPA told the group, which numbered nearly 100, what they had been waiting to hear.

While there were numerous questions, a large number of them dealt with health concerns. Air quality monitors that have been set up in the community show a level that is described as being unhealthy for a sensitive group. Several citizens who spoke told of having breathing issues since the fire erupted and questioned if there would be any recourse for medical expenses incurred by the situation. DHEC and EPA officials were not able to give any advice concerning that matter. Upon questioning, it was noted that there is no threat to the water supply, which comes from the Broad River. The landfill sits just across the river from the town of Lockhart. Asbestos is also a concern, and while the landfill does contain the substance, there have been no fibers detected in the air. The first step for the EPA to address the fire is to seek money for the project. Agency officials present for the meeting were very optimistic that funding would be obtained and work could begin on permanently extinguishing the blaze. It is estimated the cost of putting the fire out will run in excess of $1 million.

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UNION MAN INDICTED ON A FEDERAL GUN CHARGE

Friday, April 24

A Union man has been arrested and charged with a firearms violation. Union County Sheriff David Taylor says that on April 16th, Willie Mack Walton, 26, of 101 O’Shields Street, Union, was arrested and taken into custody on a federal indictment for a federal gun violation, felon in possession of a firearm.

The charges stem from an incident that happened in Union County that was in violation of Title 18, of the United States Code. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of 15 years to life.

This indictment stems from an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the FBI Upstate Gang Task Force.

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TOUCH A TRUCK AND CROSS KEYS LIVING HISTORY EVENT HIGHLIGHT THIS WEEKEND'S SCHEDULE

Friday, April 24

Here's a reminder of several activities coming up this weekend. The annual Touch a Truck program will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday when there will be an array of trucks, including ambulances, a fire truck, a military vehicle and a helicopter. Children will be allowed to get in the vehicles and learn what they do and how they operate. It will all take place at the Union County Fairgrounds. 9-10 a.m. has been set aside as siren- and horn-free due to the sensitivity of some children to loud noises.

The 8th-annual living history event takes place at the Cross Keys House Saturday and Sunday. It will get underway at 10 a.m. each day and will feature reenactments of skirmishes between Union and Confederate soldiers. There will also be a reenactment of the historic arrival of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis at the Cross Keys House, where he and his men enjoyed lunch on his flight from being captured by Union troops. There will be food vendors on hand. Visitors are encouraged to attend and to bring a lawn chair in order to enjoy all the activities.

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LETTER CARRIERS PREPARE FOR ANNUAL STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE ON MAY 9TH

Friday, April 24

The National Letter Carriers Association will soon be conducting their Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It has been set for Saturday, May 9th. This is the 23rd year they have been holding the drive. Letter carriers in Union will be participating in the campaign that nationally last year collected over 72 million pounds of food, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Organizers say the timing of the drive is crucial, in that food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need. The letter carriers are asking that area residents leave a donation of non-perishable food by your mail box on May 9th. The carriers will pick up the donation while on their routes. A hamper will also be placed in the lobby of the post office a couple of days prior to the drive for those who utilize post office boxes or who will not be at home the day of the drive.


CITY RESIDENTS MAY FACE UTILITY RATE INCREASES IN FUTURE YEARS TO HELP DEAL WITH DEFICITS

Thursday, April 23

The word from the City of Union for the upcoming budget year is no new taxes and no increase in utility rates. That sounds like good news, but a deficit of more than a half-million dollars remains. To make up that deficit, the city will have to dip into the fund balance, a source that has been dwindling since 2007. At some point in time, the monies taken from the fund balance will have to be made up, and while city taxpayers will not be paying more in the coming year, fiscal year 2016–2017 could be a different story. Traditionally, the fund balance has been in place to cover unexpected expenditures such as those that may come about as a result of a catastrophic storm. In 2007, the fund balance exceeded $3.5 million, but now it is at the $2 million mark. To feed money back into the fund, citizens will face paying more in several ways, the most obvious being a tax increase. Increases in utility rates could also be factored in. Mayor Harold Thompson appears to be bracing for the issue by saying, “We don't want the fund balance to drop below $2 million." Projections indicate that is close to happening. A major reason for the drop, according to the mayor, is the loss of businesses and industries. The utility department depends on selling electricity, water, and gas to industrial customers. It is estimated that water rates need to increase by 23% and sewer rates should go up 67%. Just how the city will deal with these issues will depend greatly on the growth of the community and industrial usage of utilities. It's a situation well worth watching in the coming year.

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TOUCH A TRUCK, LIVING HISTORY EVENT AMONG THIS WEEKEND'S ACTIVITIES

Thursday, April 23

There are several activities coming up this weekend, beginning with the annual Touch a Truck program. That will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday when there will be an array of trucks, including ambulances, a fire truck, a military vehicle and a helicopter. Children will be allowed to get in the vehicles and learn what they do and how they operate. It will all take place at the Union County Fairgrounds. 9-10 a.m. has been set aside as siren- and horn-free due to the sensitivity of some children to loud noises.

The 8th-annual living history event takes place at the Cross Keys House Saturday and Sunday. It will get underway at 10 a.m. each day and will feature reenactments of skirmishes between Union and Confederate soldiers. There will also be a reenactment of the historic arrival of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis at the Cross Keys House, where he and his men enjoyed lunch on his flight from being captured by Union troops. Frank Hart of the Union County Historical Society tells about some of the things that will be going on.

There will be food vendors on hand. Visitors are encouraged to attend and to bring a lawn chair in order to enjoy all the activities.

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DHEC HOLDING MEETING IN LOCKHART REGARDING LANDFILL FIRE

Thursday, April 23

A meeting has been set up for tonight in Lockhart to hear discussion about the Bennett landfill fire in Chester County. The fire ignited in November of 2014 and has been burning since. It is said to be getting larger, and attempts to extinguish it have been futile. The fire does not blaze up in the manner in which we normally think of a fire but smolders underground. Lockhart and DHEC officials are hoping the Environmental Protection Agency will become involved, because they would have the resources and access to the equipment to extinguish the fire. Since the fire ignited, smoke from it has infiltrated the Town of Lockhart and is believed to be creating a hazardous condition. Seven air quality monitors have been set up in and around the town. Although the landfill is located in Chester County, it sits just across the Broad River from the Town of Lockhart. Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe said the Department of Health and Environmental Control is hosting the meeting that will be held at the Lockhart Power building beginning at 6 p.m. Lockhart residents are urged to attend the meeting in order to receive information and make comments concerning the situation.

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ALANA WRIGHT CROWNED MISS USC UNION IN MARCH

Thursday, April 23

Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was the theme of the Miss USC Union Pageant in March, where seven contestants competed for the crown. The seven contestants began the evening with their opening number and introduced themselves with trivia about baseball. The pageant included talent, casual wear with an onstage question, and evening gown competition. Each young lady selected her own wardrobe and talent performance.

The proceeds from the Miss USC Union pageant are going 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 Union County residents and families could receive assistance if a family member was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

This year’s contestants were Calie Scoggins, Brianna Spencer, ig, Kayce Edwards, Kami Edwards, Makayla Hutzell and Alana Wright. Makayla Hutzell was selected as Miss Congeniality; Alana Wright won Miss Photogenic; and Kayce Edwards won Highest Interview Score. Makayla Hutzell was 2nd runner-up; Kayce Edwards was 1st runner-up; and Alana Wright was selected Miss USC Union 2015.


DESPITE BUDGET DEFICIT, NO TAX OR UTILITY INCREASES EXPECTED

Wednesday, April 22

Meeting prior to the regular City Council meeting, a budget work session was held. Finance Director Walker Gallman gave an overview that follows the budget hearing held last week. There are no new taxes and no increases in utility rates proposed for the 2015–2016 budget year. There is a deficit figure of $555,870 that will in all probability be made up from the fund balance.

In the regular session, the Union City Council changed some language in an ordinance that deals with variances not permitted for businesses. The second reading calls for a 600-foot separation between certain businesses and residential dwelling and churches. The mayor said there were some gray areas in the ordinance that needed to be cleared up.

In other action, the council gave a first reading to an ordinance that will annex property located at 1021 South Duncan Bypass into the city limits.

The council authorized Mayor Thompson to sign a Landfill Notation to Deed. The Department of Health and Environmental Control requires owners of landfills to signs such documents so future owners of the property will be informed of its prior use.

In another resolution, the mayor has been authorized to execute an amendment to the PMPA Union billing agreement, which was originally signed April 18, 1985. The amendment deals with the methodology in dictating the calculating of the purchased power factor.

South Carolina House of Representatives bill H3490 has stirred concern by many small municipalities, in that it would cap the amount the local governments could charge for business licenses. The cap would be set at $100 regardless of how big or small the business might be. The council agreed to a resolution opposing the passage of this bill.

Two bids were awarded, one for electrical substation maintenance in the amount of $42,225.38 to L & L Contractors, Inc., and the other bid was awarded to Strickland Waterproofing Company for the cleaning and painting of light poles on Main Street in the amount of $22,620.

The Council agreed to support Caitlin Russell as she heads to the Miss South Carolina Pageant in Columbia this June. Caitlin was crowned Miss Union County Fair last October. She will be the first contestant to represent Union since 2010. The council appropriated $1000 to help with her expenses, contingent on finding the proper source for the funding. Caitlin's platform is domestic abuse.

The City of Union will be a participant in the upcoming Country Showdown, which is slated for June 12th in the USC-Union auditorium. The participating fee for the WBCU-sponsored event is $500. Another annual WBCU event coming soon is the Senior Citizens Expo. It will be held May 21st in the Family Life Center of the Tabernacle Baptist Church. City Council agreed to participate in the event with a $300 contribution.

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BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC ANNOUNCES ITS ANNUAL MEETING

Wednesday, April 22

Broad River Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting of members will take place on Saturday, May 2nd, at the Broad River Electric Auditorium (811 Hamrick Street) in Gaffney.  In addition to the normal business proceedings, the event is also a birthday party in celebration of the cooperative’s 75th anniversary. Broad River Electric was incorporated on June 10, 1940.

Registering members will have an opportunity to win a 2003 GMC truck, along with several other door prizes, including a $75 bill credit. In addition, this year’s early bird prize, given to one winner among those who register between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., will be a 50-inch high-definition LED television. A $1,000 scholarship will be given away to a high school senior (member parents or grandparents can register on their behalf).

Doors to the auditorium will open at 8 a.m. The business meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Prize drawings and the drawing for the truck will take place at the end.

Annual meeting registration tickets are on the cover-wrap of the April issue of South Carolina Living. Bring these cards, the attached prize stubs, and valid identification to the meeting on May 2.

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MAN WITH OUTSTANDING WARRANTS ATTEMPTS TO FLEE FROM DEPUTIES

Wednesday, April 22

Monday afternoon, Deputies Tommy Cudd, Russell Roark, and Lt. Terry Humphries went to a location on Meansville Road on a tip that William Jeffery Sinclair, 43, was at the location and had two outstanding family court bench warrants for his arrest. Officers approached the residence where Sinclair was reported to be and saw him running into the woods. Other UCSO officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter and called for the UCSO K-9 Tracking Team to respond. Before the K-9 team arrived, Sinclair was spotted walking through a field on Linersville Road and was taken into custody by Sheriff Taylor. Deputy Cudd and Roark transported Sinclair to the UCSO for booking. While en route to the jail, Sinclair told Deputy Cudd and Roark that he knew he had the warrants and probation violation and was not ready to go to jail yet. He stated he saw them coming up the driveway and knew they were there for him and ran into the woods in an attempt to avoid being arrested. A warrant will be sought for resisting arrest.


MAN ARMED WITH KNIVES ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND RESISTING ARREST

Tuesday, April 21

Saturday, Sgt. Roger Hill was dispatched to Old Buncombe Road in reference to an assault. Hill was advised that the complainant had contacted dispatch and stated that her neighbor, Jason Lee Compton, 46, of Old Buncombe Road, had come to her residence and asked if she would call 911 for him. She said he told her that his wife was no longer alive, that he would be waiting on deputies at his residence, and to not come alone, because he would not be taken into custody alive. Hill notified the investigator on call along with the special response team. The officers gathered at the Cross Keys Fire Department. Deputies then went to the residence of the subject and found Compton standing in the front yard and being very belligerent with deputies. The deputies were advised by the stepdaughter that the subject had several weapons on his person. The investigator began to speak with the subject, and deputies were able to surround the subject to prevent escape. As the investigator was speaking with Compton, they could see that he had something in his right hand, and he was instructed to drop the object. The subject refused several times but finally complied. The investigator and other deputies could then see the object was a red spray nozzle. As the investigator and other deputies moved in closer to the subject, he pulled a steak knife from behind his back and drew it in the direction of the investigator. The investigator advised the subject several times to drop the knife, but he did not comply, at which time a deputy beside the investigator deployed his taser, sending the subject to the ground, where he was handcuffed. A search of Compton revealed the he had a number of items on his person, including seven steak knives aligned across his back. The subject was then placed in an upright position, where he was checked for injuries and the taser probes removed. Compton was then placed in a patrol unit and transported to Union County Jail. During the standoff with the subject, deputies were advised that the subject's wife was alive and not present at the home during the incident. The deputies then met with the wife and stepdaughter, where photos and statements were taken. A warrant for criminal domestic violence was being sought and a citation written for resisting arrest.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO NUMEROUS CHARGES FOR UNION MAN

Tuesday, April 21

During the early morning hours Sunday, Deputy Brandon Vaughan clocked a vehicle on radar traveling on Highway 49 at 73 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. The vehicle turned on Police Club Road, where Vaughan initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle slid to a stop and pulled to the side of the road. The driver was identified as Matthew Arnold, 31, of 1932 Whitmire Highway, Union. Deputy Vaughan noted that as Arnold jumped out of the car, he appeared to throw something in front of the vehicle. The deputy stated he could smell a strong odor of alcohol. He said he also knew Arnold’s driver's license was suspended. As Vaughan was attempting to place Arnold under arrest, he jerked away and attempted to get away. The deputy took the suspect to the ground and place him under arrest. Captain Robert Hines arrived on scene and assisted Vaughan. The suspect was placed in the patrol car, and the deputies located a BC Powder pack, and inside was a plastic bag containing an off-white crystal-like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine. Also located was an open can of beer. As the deputy was transporting Arnold to the jail, the report stated Arnold became very irate and started tearing up the back seat and kicking the window. At one point while transporting the subject, Vaughan had to call for assistance by a city Public Safety unit to help calm the suspect down and keep him from kicking out the window. In addition to kicking the window, Arnold started head butting the center divider glass. At the jail, Arnold was uncooperative. He was ultimately charged with driving under the influence, 3rd offense; resisting arrest; open container; habitual traffic offender; giving false information; littering; and a warrant was also signed on Arnold for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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THREE ARRESTED ON DRUG AND GAMBLING CHARGES

Tuesday, April 21

Sunday afternoon, Sgt. Roger Hill, along with other deputies, was attempting to serve a warrant at 3rd Street, Ottaray. The officer knocked at the front of the residence and the door was opened, and in plain view was a table with playing cards and money.

Two other subjects then came from the rear of the residence, and Hill advised them as to why the deputies were present. He then asked about the illegal gambling. Hill noted he could smell the odor of marijuana. The occupants stated they were the only three people in the house. The deputies then conducted a protective sweep of the residence and saw in plain view in different rooms various items of drug paraphernalia. The subjects were then placed under arrest for illegal gambling. The suspects were asked if any illegal narcotics were at the residence, and the subjects stated "no". During the protective sweep, the officers could smell a very strong odor of marijuana coming from a heating vent. The suspects again denied any narcotics were in the house.

The officers pulled a cover from the heating unit, where a gray and black bookbag was located. Inside the bag was a large plastic bag containing a green leafy substance. The owner of the house was advised of the findings, and he stated that it was his marijuana.

As the RO was doing this, a search of the subjects incident to arrest was being conducted. The owner had in his possession a smaller bag of green plant material believed to be marijuana. The second subject was also searched, and a small baggie containing two pills were found in his possession. The subject stated they were Adderall. Subject #3 was also searched incident to arrest and a small baggie containing a powder substance along with a single pill was located. When asked what the substance was, the subject stated it was Xanax. Other deputies conducting a search of the residence also found a Smith & Wesson .380 caliber pistol underneath a couch. Another small bag of green plant material and a set of digital scales were found on top of a dresser under a decorative cloth in a bedroom. Several other sets of digital scales and a plastic wrap were found in the kitchen area, along with other paraphernalia. While at Union County Jail, all the subjects were informed again that their money would be confiscated due to the illegal gambling.

Caleb Kyle Revis, 19, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and unlawful games and betting.

Joseph Demetrius Jennings, 31, and Adrian Brett Garner, 24, are both charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful games and betting.

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CITY COUNCIL HOLDING BUDGET WORK SESSION AND REGULAR MEETING TONIGHT

Tuesday, April 21

Union City Council will be meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall. There are quite a number of items on the agenda to be taken up. There are two ordinances that are set to receive a second reading, four resolutions that need to be dealt with, and two bids to be awarded. Prior to the meeting, there will be a budget work session beginning at 5:30 p.m. The agenda is calling the session a 2015-2016 budget review. The council finished up hearing budget requests last week and are now in the process of making adjustments so that the projected revenue and expenditures match.


DHEC HOSTS MEETING IN LOCKHART THURSDAY ABOUT LANDFILL FIRE

Monday, April 20

A meeting has been set up for Thursday in Lockhart to discuss the Bennett Landfill fire in Chester County. The fire ignited in November 2014 and has been burning since. It is said to be getting larger, and attempts to extinguish it have been futile. The fire does not blaze up in the manner in which we normally think of a fire but smolders underground. Lockhart and DHEC officials are hoping the Environmental Protection Agency will become involved, because they would have the resources and access to the equipment to extinguish the fire. Since the fire ignited, smoke from it has infiltrated the Town of Lockhart and is believed to be creating a hazardous condition. Seven air quality monitors have been set up in and around the town. Although the landfill is located in Chester County, it sits just across the Broad River from the Town of Lockhart. Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe said the Department of Health and Environmental Control is hosting the meeting that will be held at the Lockhart Power building beginning at 6 p.m. Lockhart residents are urged to attend the meeting in order to receive information and make comments concerning the situation.

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THREE SCAM ATTEMPTS REPORTED IN ONE DAY

Monday, April 20

There appears to be no shortage of scam attempts in the county, with three being reported to the Sheriff's Office in one day. One involved a telephone call to the victim who was told someone would be out to her house to look at her septic tank. The victim told the caller she did not want anyone on her property and did not need any work done on her septic tank. The victim called authorities to document the incident.

Another case involved a call from someone who identified themselves as an attorney. The caller told the victim she needed to send $500 or they would sign a warrant on her. The caller said they were representing a local bank where she had written a check for $6000. The victim told the caller she hadn't had an account with the bank in over three years. The bank confirmed the call was bogus.

Then, there was another case when a caller identified themselves as being with the South Carolina Treasury Fund. They told the victim they were eligible for a $7,000 grant but she needed to send $250 to India in order to receive the money. These scams appear to be rampant in the county, and residents are urged to be cautious when dealing with someone on the phone or if anyone shows up at your home and tries to lure you outside.

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FIRST STEPS PRESENTS TOUCH A TRUCK ON SATURDAY

Monday, April 20

The annual Touch a Truck event is scheduled for this Saturday. The event is put on by Union County First Steps and is sponsored by Lockhart Power Company. Touch a Truck allows youngsters to interact with all kinds of vehicles, including a fire truck, a mobile command bus, an ambulance, a motor grader, dump truck, humvee, helicopter, and a number of others.

There will be several booths set up, as well as a bouncy house and blowup slide. The program will be staged from 9 until 12, but the hours of 9 to 10 have been set aside as siren- and horn-free because of children that may be sensitive to the noise. This is a free family event.

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USC UNION ANNOUNCES COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

Monday, April 20

It is nearing the time of the year when graduation exercises will be held. USC-Union has announced their commencement exercises will be held on Saturday, May 2nd. USC-Union officials say due to limited seating, admission is by ticket only for everyone except the platform party, faculty members, and graduating students. Anyone who would like to attend the commencement should contact Kim Lawson at 864-424-8098 by tomorrow, April 21st, to reserve a seat.

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SCC COMMISSION MEETS TO HEAR BUDGET REQUESTS FOR ITS CAMPUSES

Monday, April 20

The meeting of the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical and Community Education will be held today at 4:30 pm in the Benjamin Snoddy Board Room, located on the third floor of the Dan L. Terhune Student Services Building on the SCC central campus.

During that meeting, the commission will be hearing budget requests for the fiscal year 2015/16 for the Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union County campuses.


JONESVILLE MAYOR SUES SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Friday, April 17

A lawsuit has been filed in the Clerk of Court’s office against the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The suit, filed Wednesday by attorney Albert V. Smith on behalf of Jonesville Mayor Ernest Bernard Moore, Jr, asserts that:

“On or about April 18, 2013, agents or servants of the defendant acting within the course of the scope of their authority did formulate and execute a sting operation against the plaintiff along with a female operative that was designed to entrap and lure the plaintiff into a scheme whereby he was attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with a female operative in exchange for money. Subsequent to the sting operation, the plaintiff was arrested and charged with violating the prostitution laws and statutes of South Carolina and booked into the Union County Jail.”

The charges were later dropped, and Moore is claiming them to be false, and he asserts audio surveillance will substantiate his claim.

The plaintiff is asking for an award by the court from the defendant, as to each cause of action, "in the amount sufficient to compensate the plaintiff for his injuries, deprivation of freedom, losses and damage past, present, and future, in an amount sufficient to impress upon the defendant the seriousness of his conduct and to deter such similar conduct in the future, together with the costs of this action and such other relief as the court deems just and appropriate."

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MAN JUMPS INTO RIVER TO AVOID ARREST

Friday, April 17

Wednesday, deputies were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Jack Jenkins Rowland, 49, of 44 Pinckney Road, Chester, who was reported to be at a residence in Lockhart. Initially, the deputies were unable to locate the subject but were advised he was on the bridge that connects Union and Chester counties. At that location, deputies approached Rowland and advised him he was under arrest. At that point, Rowland jumped over the guard rail and into the river. K-9 units were brought in from Union and Chester. The subject apparently got out of the river on the Chester County side. A search of the surrounding area was conducted, but Rowland was not located. A warrant will be issued for resisting arrest.

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USC UNION BOOK STORE AND STUDENT CENTER OPENS

Friday, April 17

The official ribbon cutting for the new USC Union book store took place Thursday afternoon. Coinciding with the grand opening was a well-attended Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. The bookstore construction began about a year and a half back, and almost immediately, construction issues surfaced. Those were eventually worked out and yielded the results seen Thursday. The bookstore features an assortment of USC memorabilia, and, believe it or not, there are a few Clemson items. In the rear of the building is a well-appointed student center that features plush furniture and several study rooms. USC Union Dean Alice Taylor Colbert says this is only the beginning.

The book store is open to the public

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TYGER RIVER RECRUITING CORRECTIONS OFFICERS IN SPARTANBURG

Friday, April 17

Tyger River Correctional Facility will hold a recruitment event at the Spartanburg SC Works office Tuesday, April 21st, from 9:00AM-12:00PM. They are looking for corrections officers at a starting salary of $26,583. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. No experience is required, and the employer will train. Applicants will undergo drug testing, screening, background, reference and motor vehicle checks. The positions are 12-hour shifts with no rotation, and work only 14 days per month, with 2 weekends off monthly. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Please bring your résumé with you and come properly dressed for an interview.

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EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS RECRUITING WORKERS WEDNESDAY

Friday, April 17

Express Employment Professionals will host a recruitment event at SC Works Spartanburg, located at 220 E. Kennedy Street, on Wednesday, April 22nd, from 8:30AM-11:30AM. The company is recruiting for multiple manufacturing and logistics positions. Candidates should visit www.scworks.org and search by employer name, Express Employment Professionals, to view job orders prior to the event.


28-YEAR OLD MAN SHOT AND KILLED AT HIS RESIDENCE

Thursday, April 16

Union County Sheriff David Taylor says his officers are investigating the first murder of 2015 in Union County.

Sheriff’s Deputies received a 911 call around 12:23am of a report of shots fired around Haas Street in the Monarch community of Union County. As officers were en route to the scene, they were advised that a subject had been shot.

The victim, 28-year old Christopher Lee Rhinehart, of 227 Haas St., Union, was found unresponsive by Sheriff’s Deputies beside his car at his residence.

EMS personnel responded and transported Rhinehart to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Investigators are still working this incident and SLED was called in to process the scene. An autopsy is being conducted this morning in Newberry. At this time, no motive has been established. Investigators are working several leads, but no arrest has been made.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-427-0800 or 911.

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COUNTY COUNCIL WORKS TO SLASH BUDGET WITHOUT CUTTING EMPLOYEES

Thursday, April 16

Members of the Union County Council met Wednesday for a budget work session that was attended by a number of the county's elected officials. Their attendance was because the council had asked for them to try and trim an additional 10% from their budgets. Their request for additional funds over last year's budget had, for all intents and purposes, been turned down. When work began several weeks ago, the projected expenditures over the anticipated revenue yielded nearly a $1 million deficit. The biggest concern on the part of the county officials was that the cut would affect personnel. Out the group, Sheriff David Taylor was the only one that came up with a true 10% cut. Most of that would come about through attrition and eliminating the need to purchase additional vehicles. There were discussions concerning eliminating all outside agencies from the budget and the possibility of the addition of a one-penny sales tax. The penny sales tax would require a referendum and could be a possibility for next year. The council still has much work to do. Supervisor Frank Hart agreed that cutting employees should not be an option.

 

After the county officials left the meeting, the council went back to work to find ways of balancing the 2015–2016 budget. There will be more meetings on the matter, and WBCU will continue to follow the developments.

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JONESVILLE MAN CHARGED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT

Thursday, April 16

A 21-year-old man from Jonesville is accused of sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman in an off-campus apartment near the University of South Carolina Upstate early Friday morning.

Spartanburg County deputies were called to Campus Evolution Apartments on Valley Falls Road by two women who said they witnessed the man, later identified as Jacob Painter, sexually assaulting a woman with whom they share the apartment at about 4 a.m. Investigators considered the woman incapacitated because she was "unable to articulate consent." Deputies said the corroborating witness accounts led them to arrest Painter on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Investigators did not say whether Painter knew the woman or if they had any prior interaction.

According to Union County School District Superintendent Kristi Woodall, Painter had served as a volunteer coach but is no longer affiliated with the football program.

Painter was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on Monday.  He has since been released.

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CITY MAY USE FUND BALANCE TO ERASE ITS DEFICIT

Thursday, April 16

Budget hearings have wrapped up for the City of Union, and now the process of balancing it begins. Monday, when the work sessions began, City Finance Director Walker Gallman reported that based on revenue projection and anticipated expenditures, the budget reflected a more than $500,000 deficit. Outside agencies were the first to make their funding requests. Mayor Harold Thompson said they would be funded at the same level as last year due to the overall deficit. In spite of the negative budget figures, the mayor said there would be no increase in fees or services. He said he believes the budget will be in good shape.

 

Thompson said they could draw from the fund balance to make up any deficit. The fund balance has been drastically reduced over the past few years. In 2007, the fund balance was a little over $3.5 million and is now just over $2 million.

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SHERIFF WARNS ABOUT ROBBERS LURING PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR HOUSES

Thursday, April 16

Thieves are apparently continuing their criminal activity by attempting to lure people out of their houses under false pretenses and then robbing their homes. An elderly Jonesville woman is the latest Union County resident to become a victim.

An incident report filed last week with the Union County Sheriff’s Office states that a Union woman’s home was robbed earlier that day by a team of thieves who lured her out of her house by claiming to be working on septic tanks and needing her help. The report states the victim told deputies that an older white male with gray hair came to her door and told her he was there doing some work on some septic tank lines. The victim said that after he spoke with her for several minutes, he got her to come outside and help with some measurements. While the woman was outside, the report states another individual entered the victim’s house and stole both cash and jewelry.

On Monday, Sheriff David Taylor said that the thieves are believed to have robbed a Jonesville home the same day they robbed the one in Union. Taylor said that the Jonesville victim, a 97-year-old woman, told deputies that sometime between noon and 4 p.m. that day, an older white male knocked on her door, asking her about the location of her property line. The woman said the man who knocked on her door was accompanied by another older white male. She said that after talking about property line locations for a few minutes, the men left in what she described as a white pickup truck.

The sheriff cautioned citizens to be wary of anyone who comes to your door and attempts to get you to leave the residence.


COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS WITH LOCKHART COUNCIL TO DISCUSS THE TOWN'S CONCERNS

Wednesday, April 15

The regular monthly meeting of the Union County Council was held in Lockhart last evening. Supervisor Frank Hart mentioned taking the meetings to various parts of the county during his campaign. The council heard from Lockhart Town Council members about some of their concerns. The construction of a boat ramp on the Broad River was mentioned as an attraction that could foster tourism in the community. Mayor Ailene Ashe said she is hoping the project will soon become a reality, as it has already received approval by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Another discussion revolved around the need, according to the mayor, for a code enforcement officer for the Town of Lockhart. That has been the subject of numerous discussions at Town Council meetings. The town does have codes on their books but lacks the funds for enforcement. It was suggested that the County of Union may be able to provide that enforcement, but the town would first have to pass a resolution requesting the service. The County Council appeared favorable to such a move, but county attorney Sammy Diamaduros cautioned that ordinances of this nature could have more gray areas than black and white. Nonetheless, Mayor Ashe says she is encouraged by the prospects and also said she found the meeting very promising.

 

In the supervisor's report during the council meeting, Frank Hart reported that the Board of Spartanburg Regional Health System gave their approval Monday night to the resolution passed last Thursday by the Union Hospital District Board of Trustees. That resolution allows for the Spartanburg health care organization to take over the Union Hospital District.

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COUNTY COUNCIL SCHEDULES BUDGET WORK SESSION THIS AFTERNOON

Wednesday, April 15

The Union County Council will hold a budget work session this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Union County Annex. Then on Thursday at 5:00 p.m., the council will hold a special meeting in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Court House. The purpose of that meeting is to go into an executive session to discuss a contractual matter and other matters. Interestingly, the public is invited to attend, but you will not be allowed in the executive session portion.

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COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

Wednesday, April 15

The Union County Republican Party held their county convention Monday night at the Union County Court House. Elections were held for party officers amid some controversy about the advertisement of sign-ups and the advertisement of the convention. The following people were elected to the various offices:
Mike Fowler was re-elected chairman. The 1st Vice Chair is Tyler Shugart. Elected 2nd Vice Chair was Tommy Sinclair, and 3rd Vice Chairman is Nick Fowler. The Secretary/Treasurer is Randy English and the Executive Committeeman, Freddie Gault.
Those in attendances also heard from Sally Atwater, representing South Carolina GOP Chair Matt Moore.  The party also elected 7 people to represent Union County at the state Republican convention on May 2nd.
The Union County Democratic Party will hold their monthly meeting Monday, April 27th, at 5:45 p.m. The meeting location is 201 Porter Street and it is open to the public.

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MAU WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS LOOKS TO HIRE LOGISTICS PERSONNEL APRIL 28TH

Wednesday, April 15

MAU Workforce Solutions will hold a recruitment event Tuesday, April 28th, from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Spartanburg SC Works office. They will be hiring logistics personnel. Candidates should have at least 6 months forklift experience in the past 5 years in a high-volume environment. You will need proof of a GED or high school diploma, and applicants must be 18 years of age or older. All applicants must be able to work flexible hours. The day shift salary is $15 per hour, and the night shift salary is $16 per hour. Applicants will be required to undergo a drug screening and background check. You must be registered at www.scworks.org.

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CNA TRAINING INFORMATION SESSION PLANNED TOMORROW AT UNION SC WORKS

Wednesday, April 15

Ellen Sagar Nursing Home will hold an informational session for certified nursing assistant training tomorrow at the Union SC Works Office from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Expenses for the training are covered by Ellen Sagar Nursing Home and will last six weeks with signed agreement. There are only 16 slots available. Requirements for the training include a minimum of a 10th-grade education, and you must have a valid South Carolina ID. During the informational session, they will go through application process. Successful job candidates will undergo drug testing, screening, background and a reference check. Interested individuals must be willing to commit to full-time employment with Ellen Sagar Nursing Home, after successfully completing the course, for a minimum of 6 to 12 months.  Please come properly dressed and interview-ready to this event.


CITY LOOKS TO AVOID BUDGET SHORTFALL

Tuesday, April 14

Budget hearings began Monday morning for the City of Union and are expected to possibly run until Wednesday. It would appear this will be another tight budget year as the council heard an overview from City Finance Director Walker Gallman. The General Fund summary showed anticipated income at $5,359,280 and expenditures at $5,874,660. According to the report, that would leave a $515,380 loss. Gallman gave several suggestions as to how that loss could be recovered. Among the suggestions was to raise taxes. The millage rate for 2014 was 92.5 mills, and one mill yields $13,540. Other suggestions included raising other fees and possibly implementing a local option sales tax. This would required a referendum. Also suggested was the utilization of the Hospitality and Accommodations tax, reduce expenditures and reduce or eliminate outside agency funding. The other option would be to draw from the fund balance, which has been dramatically reduced over the years. In 2007, the fund balance was a little over $3.5 million and is now just over $2 million. Following the overview portion of the session, the council began hearing budget requests from the outside agencies. The were 19 agencies set to ask for funding.

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NEW HOSPITAL COULD BE BUILT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS

Tuesday, April 14

Union could be getting a new hospital in three to four years. If the bankruptcy court approves a plan set forth in a resolution adopted by the Union Hospital District Board of Trustees last Thursday night, the new health care facility could become a reality on a site yet to be determined. Spartanburg Regional would bear the cost of constructing the new facility. So what would happen to the current Wallace Thomson Hospital? That, too, is yet to be determined, and the matter very well also may fall into the lap of the bankruptcy court. The plan for the Spartanburg Regional Health System takeover must satisfy the court, and the creditors should also have some influence regarding the money they may receive to satisfy the debt incurred by Wallace Thomson. While not a “done deal”, hospital officials appear to be very optimistic that it will come about. Wallace Thomson Chief Executive Officer Paul Newhouse said he sees the district coming under the control of Spartanburg Regional in four to five months. He says from his perspective the affiliation is a good deal.

 

Newhouse said the plan is scheduled to be presented to the court tomorrow, and a hearing will be set for May. He say he believes the court will hand down their decision in June or July, and if approved, the takeover would come soon after. Part of the plan calls for the absolute control of the Union Hospital District by the Spartanburg Board of Directors, and the Union board would be dissolved. Newhouse said he does not expect the jobs of health care workers to be affected, but some administration personnel could be.

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SC LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION DISCUSSION CENTERS ON ROADS, EDUCATION, AND LOCAL FUNDING

Tuesday, April 14

A meeting of the Union County Legislative Delegation was well-attended last night at USC Union, as Senators Shane Martin and Harvey Peeler and House District 42 Representative Mike Anthony took questions from local government representatives. The meeting was moderated by Supervisor Frank Hart. The legislators heard from mayors Mary Ferguson Glenn of Carlisle, Ailene Ashe of Lockhart, Earnest Moore from Jonesville and Harold Thompson of Union. In addition, from the field of education was Dr. Alice Taylor Colbert from USC-Union, Henry Giles of Spartanburg Community College, and Dr. Kristi Woodall, Superintendent of the Union County School District. Roads were arguably the main topic of conversation, and it was noted that Governor Nikki Haley had sent letters to SC House and Senate members vowing to veto any legislation in its present form that may come from either body. The roads issue is apparently still up in the air. There was also discussion concerning what is termed the local government fund, where, by law, 4.5% of the money contributed by local governments is to be returned to them. This has not happened in a number of years, and local mayors were in effect demanding that the money come back to their areas. There were also questions from the local educators on the subject of education.

Following the 1-1/2 hour gathering, Senator Harvey Peeler was asked what he was taking away from the meeting.

 

Representative Mike Anthony stated that he hopes such meetings could be held in the future. Representatives from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control were on hand to give a report on the landfill fire in Chester County. The fire, which has been burning for five months, is affecting the town of Lockhart with sometimes heavy smoke and creating health concerns. The DHEC officials said they are looking to the Environmental Protection Agency to provide resources to extinguish the blaze.

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COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS IN LOCKHART TONIGHT

Tuesday, April 14

The Union County Council goes on the road tonight, as their regular meeting will be held in Lockhart in the Lockhart Power Company's conference room. The activity will get underway at 5:00 p.m. when the council will receive comments from citizens in the Lockhart community. Then from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m., the council will hold a joint meeting with the Lockhart Town Council. The regular meeting of the county council will take place from 6 until 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL NEGLECT OF A VULNERABLE ADULT

Tuesday, April 14

Sunday, Union County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a call for assistance from Union County EMS. They requested the assistance due to a belligerent person interfering with their ability to provide care for a victim, who was reported to be possibly having a stroke. When the deputy arrived on scene, Cpl. Addis and Cpl. Manus were already there and speaking with the 911 caller and the victim's caregiver, Angela Sinclair. Cpl. Addis advised the responding officer that Sinclair appeared to be under the influence of some type of medication. He listened as Cpl. Manus talked with Sinclair, and it was evident to him that she was under the influence of some type of medication.

The victim is bedridden and is paralyzed on her left side due to a previous stroke. The personnel stated that when they got to the scene, they also realized something was wrong with Sinclair. It was stated that the victim had recently been to the doctor and she was given an antibiotic to take, but according to the amount of medicine in the bottle, she had not been receiving her medication. EMS personnel suggested that the victim be taken to Wallace Thomson's emergency room for further treatment.

Neighbors all stated that the "caregivers," Angie Sinclair and Carla Hill, do not take adequate care of the patient on a daily basis. The officer determined that the patient was being neglected and took her into emergency protective custody and notified DSS to respond to the Wallace Thomson emergency room. DSS representative Stacie Eison responded. The deputy and Eison agreed that emergency protective custody was in the best interest of the patient because she was not being given adequate care from her caregivers.

A warrant was signed on Angela Sinclair for unlawful neglect of a vulnerable adult.


DETAILS UNCLEAR FOR HOSPITAL'S AFFILIATION WITH SPARTANBURG REGIONAL

Monday, April 13

The Union Hospital District has adopted a resolution that is likely to consummate an affiliation with the Spartanburg Regional Health Care System. It all hinges on the approval of the bankruptcy court. Following a lengthy executive session Thursday, the Hospital District Board of Trustees approved the resolution that apparently sets the ground rules for the affiliation. The resolution states the Union Hospital District would be taken over by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and a new health facility constructed. Weather the new facility would replace Wallace Thomson Hospital or if it is in addition to the present facility was not made clear. The resolution states, “It is the judgment of the Board that the proposal by SRHS is in the best interest of the citizens of Union County and should be approved." According to the resolution, the chief executive officer of the district along with the chairman and the vice-chairman of the board are authorized to complete negotiations on a final lease and operations transfer agreement with such changes and modifications as they deem appropriate. The terms of the lease and operational transfer agreement were not make known.

It would appear that the future of the plan will be in the hands of the bankruptcy court. The hospital filed for protection under Chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code last year. That was said to be a posturing move to hold off creditors until the board could come up with a solution to the hospital’s financial woes. It was reported the hospital’s debt exceeded $19 million. This is a still developing story with many details not yet known. WBCU will continue to follow developments.

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LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION MEETING TONIGHT AT USC UNION

Monday, April 13

The Union County Legislative Delegation will be meeting tonight in the USC-Union auditorium at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will include all three senators that represent portions of Union County: Harvey Peeler, Shane Martin and Ronnie Cromer, along with Representative Mike Anthony. Union County Supervisor Frank Hart said in an email notice about the meeting, “It is important that we get a good turnout from folks in Union to reinforce that people in Union are interested in what is going on in Columbia.” The purpose of the meeting according to Hart will be to present issues on behalf of Union County which need to be addressed at the state level. While the email was addressed to Union County Boards, Commissions and Councils, the public is invited to attend.

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SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECRUITING PART-TIME FACULTY MEMBERS

Monday, April 13

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 Thursday, April 16th, 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. "Our goal is to meet local educators--active and retired--who are interested in teaching in higher education," said Mary Whitener, employment and training manager for SCC human resources. "This job fair allows SCC hiring managers to speak with applicants and discuss qualifications and potential vacancies. These rewarding positions offer flexible schedules (day, evening and weekends) and convenient locations with classes offered at SCC's five campuses in Spartanburg, Gaffney, Duncan and Union, as well as online." Attendees are encouraged to bring transcripts and résumés.

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LIBRARY OFFERS NEW GENEALOGY TOOL ON ITS WEBSITE

Monday, April 13

A new genealogy tool is available on the Union County Carnegie Library website. Library Director Ben Loftis tell us about it.

 

The library's web site is www.unionlibrary.org. Loftis said currently they only have death records for the year 1940, but the site is being updated constantly. 


AFFILIATION WITH SPARTANBURG REGIONAL HINGES ON THE COURT; NEW HEALTH CARE FACILITY PROPOSED

Friday, April 10

The Union Hospital District is nearing an affiliation agreement with the Spartanburg Regional Health Care System. It all hinges on the approval of the bankruptcy court. Following a lengthy executive session Thursday, the Hospital Board of Trustees approved a resolution that states:

Whereas, the Board has investigated numerous options and proposals for the preservation of the Union Hospital District (“the District”) and the services it provides for the citizens of Union County; and,

Whereas, Spartanburg Regional Health System (“SRHS”) has proposed a transaction whereby the operations of the District would be taken over by SRHS and a new health facility constructed in Union County; and,

Whereas, it is the judgment of the Board that the proposal by SRHS is in the best interest of the citizens of Union County and should be approved;

NOW THEREFORE, after discussion and consideration of all issues involved, the following resolutions are hereby adopted:

RESOLVED, that the transaction with SRHS outlined in a proposed Lease and Operations Transfer Agreement, a draft of which was presented to the Board, be and the same is hereby approved.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the CEO of the District along with the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board are hereby authorized to complete negotiations on a final Lease and Operations Transfer Agreement with such changes and modifications as they deem appropriate.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that a “plan and disclosure statement” consistent with the Lease and Transfer of Operations Agreement be finalized and filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court.

RESOLVED FURTHER that the CEO of the District along with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board be authorized to explore and consider alternative actions and plans should the proposed “plan” be disallowed by the Bankruptcy Court.

WBCU will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.

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HOSPITAL DISTRICT CONTINUES TO LOSE MONEY

Friday, April 10

The Union Hospital District met for their regular monthly session Thursday evening and spent some of the time going over the Lean program. The Wallace Thomson Hospital signed onto the program some months back as an effort to find ways to be more operationally efficient as well as to cut costs. Mark Reynolds is the director of the program, and he explained the effort.

 

Reynolds said the objective is to improve quality and cut costs.

The Hospital District continues to show losses, with the overall amount being a negative $103,879. The largest portion of the losses came from the physicians' offices operated by the hospital. That amounted to a $339,770 loss. EMS showed a $17,775 loss, while Ellen Sagar Nursing Home had a positive figure of $144,575. During the financial report, it was noted that $60,000 had been spent during February in legal fees dealing with the Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Chief Financial Officer Cindy Gault said while the fees are not necessarily $60,000 per month, legal fees are a recurring expense.

On the subject, the bankruptcy was viewed as a posturing move as part of the district's efforts to affiliate with another healthcare organization. The board went into an executive session to discuss “negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements relative to possible affiliation opportunities and to receive legal advice regarding pending, threatened and potential legal matters.”

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KELLY-KELTON FIRE DEPARTMENT'S CHIEF OUSTED BY BOARD

Friday, April 10

The fire chief of the Kelly-Kelton Fire Department has been ousted as a result of a vote by the district's fire board Tuesday night. The meeting lasted nearly four hours and saw more than 30 people attending.

The primary discussion at the meeting was in regard to the department’s chief, whose credentials were questioned following a house fire last week on Bobby Faucette Road. Following public comments, board members entered into executive session, and when they returned to open session, a motion was made to remove Ben Hauser as chief. The vote was 3-2 in favor of Hauser being removed. Some of the firefighters then walked out of the meeting and resigned but later returned to the department and apologized after talking with some of the other firefighters.

We just want to move forward and help this department be the best department it can be for all the taxpayers in the district,” said newly-appointed Kelly-Kelton Fire Commissioner Kindra Horne. “I think we are on the right track, but it will be a process.”

Horne said neighboring departments have committed to helping the Kelly-Kelton Fire Department. Horne also said she is looking for the Union County Council to appoint someone to the vacant sixth seat on the fire board in May.

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BIG BUCK RACE SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND

Friday, April 10

The GNCC Big Buck Races return to Union this weekend. This is a nationally recognized event held each spring.

The Big Buck course presents the standard GNCC obstacles: everything from tight woods, to fields, creek crossings, rocks and hill climbs. It’s a fast, wide-open course, but it's definitely not easy. The field sections are very fast, and they get chopped up and rough as the weekend goes on.

Usually, course designers Jeff Russell and Barry Hawk create a spectacular creek jump where the riders launch off of a bank and over the water (with a path around the jump for those who aren’t as comfortable with air time).

The Big Buck facility is owned by Henry Turner and his family, and they are big fans and supporters of GNCC Racing. Even the town of Union gets behind Big Buck big time.

Since the course gets rough, riders need to be smart. New lines often open up throughout the race, so constantly scanning the terrain for a smoother route can save energy and reduce risks. Most of the tough sections, the hills and mud, are pretty basic, which means the winner will be the rider who runs through the trees fastest.

The soil at Big Buck is unique. It isn't a sandy soil that people associate with South Carolina. It's more of a clay base that can get slick when it's wet, and gets very silty and almost feels like sand when it's dry. The course is winding and can be tight. In fact, the quads usually have a section of tight trail, and the bikes have their own section of even tighter trail. If you're not a single track expert, don't worry, the sections are short and multiple lines open up.

The Big Buck course about 10 miles South of Union just off of Highway 49. There will be plenty of signs to direct you to the location. Admission is $20 for Adults 12 and over, and $10 for Kids ages 6 to 11. The ATV races will be held oN Saturday and the motorcycles on Sunday. The gates will open at 6:00 a.m.

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COOLING ASSISTANCE APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED AT CARLISLE TOWN HALL NEXT tuesday

Friday, April 10

Carolina Community Action representatives will be at the Carlisle Town Hall Tuesday, April 14th, to accept applications for cooling assistance. To qualify, you must bring proof of income, your identification card, and the Social Security cards for you and each household member. You also need to bring a bill or statement from your power provider. The time to make an application on that day is from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon.


OFFICIALS RESPOND TO NORTH CHARLESTON SHOOTING

Thursday, April 9

A North Charleston police officer was charged with murder Tuesday after city officials viewed a video of him shooting a fleeing man several times in the back. The incident has brought national attention to the state. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced the charges in a hastily-called news conference, saying the officer, Michael Thomas Slager, made “a bad decision.”

Governor Nikki Haley issued a statement Wednesday saying, “We have many good law enforcement officers in the field. What happened in this case is not acceptable in South Carolina, nor is it reflective of our values or of the way most of our law enforcement officials act, and I assure all South Carolinians that the criminal judicial process will proceed fully. This is a sad time for everyone in South Carolina, and I urge everyone to work together to help our community heal.”

Senator Lindsay Graham also issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Walter Scott.  The horrific video is very difficult to watch and deeply troubling on many fronts. I have full confidence this incident will continue to be investigated by the relevant authorities, the legal process will proceed, and ultimately, justice will be done. I also know the actions of the officer in this situation do not accurately reflect on the many valuable contributions made by thousands of law enforcement officers in South Carolina and across our nation."

The question comes to mind as to just how well are police officers in Union are trained and evaluated to hopefully prevent such an occurrence here. City of Union Public Safety Chief Sam White say becoming a police officer in the city of Union involves extensive testing.

 

White says no system is perfect, but the extensive testing and evaluations are designed to identify an individual that may not be suitable for the job. He says the process of being hired as a city officer can take as long as three to four months. He noted that the psychological test alone costs the department $200, but it has in the past eliminated prospective officers from being hired.

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GENERAL ELECTION MUST BE HELD DESPITE NO REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION FOR TUCKER

Thursday, April 9

There will be one more election before the Union County Council District 2 seat can be filled. Ralph Tucker won the Democratic primary nomination Tuesday, but there still has to be a general election to settle the matter. Even though Tucker's name will be the only one on the ballot and is statistically assured of winning the seat since there was no Republican to file, the election must be held to allow for write-in votes. Keith Vanderford say the special election will cost the county.

 

The need for the special election was caused when Frank Hart resigned the seat to become Union County's Supervisor. The date for the special general election in district 2 is May 12th and is being held to fill Hart's unexpired term.

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HOSPITAL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Thursday, April 9

The Board of Directors and Finance Committee of the Union Hospital District will be meeting tonight. They will gather in the Board Room of Wallace Thomson Hospital at 6:00 p.m. The monthly financial report is expected to be brought up, as well as additional discussions concerning the possibility of consolidation with another health care entity.

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BROAD RIVER ELECTRIC TO HONOR ITS LINEMEN

Thursday, April 9

On Monday, April 13th, Broad River Electric Cooperative will honor the hardworking men who often work in challenging conditions to keep the lights on.

A resolution, which the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Board adopted unanimously, says in part, "We proudly recognize all electric linemen for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to keep power flowing and protect the public’s safety."

Electric linemen do not often receive the recognition they deserve,” said Cary Johnson, Manager of Operations. “They work all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions far from their families, going above and beyond to restore power to their communities. Our linemen, as well as linemen from across the nation, truly deserve this special day of recognition.”

To honor the twenty-five linemen, Broad River Electric plans to publish a “Lineman Appreciation” video with footage of each lineman in honor of their hard work and commitment to the cooperative and the community. This video is dedicated to the memory of a former co-op lineman, Mr. Joe Reid Howard. The video will be presented to the men at a luncheon held in their honor and will also be available on various Broad River Electric social media forums.

Broad River Electric invites members to take a moment to thank a lineman for the work they do. Use #ThankaLineman to show your support for the men and women who light our lives on social media forums.


RALPH TUCKER WINS DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FOR COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT TWO SEAT

Wednesday, April 8

Ralph Tucker has become the Democratic nominee for County Council District 2. The primary runoff election took place Tuesday and involved 7 precincts plus an absentee box. In the race between Tucker and Steven Stone, Tucker received 57 votes more to win the runoff. Totals were 283 votes for Tucker and 226 for Stone. Tucker naturally was elated with the results of the election.

 

The results at this point are unofficial, and the election will be certified Thursday at the County Election Commission office located on the South Duncan Bypass. Tucker will be the only name on the ballot in the special general election May 12th, since no Republican filed for the seat. Write-ins will be permitted.

The District 2 seat became vacant when Frank Hart resigned the position and was sworn in as Union County Supervisor January 6th. The resignation required a special election be held to fill the seat.

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USC UNION BOOKSTORE TO HOLD ITS GRAND OPENING RIBBON CUTTING NEXT THURSDAY

Wednesday, April 8

The new USC Union Bookstore and Student Center has been open for about a month. Inside the new location, they have coffee, snacks,  jewelry, and Carolina and Clemson items. In addition, they feature a large selection of tailgating items, shirts, shorts, homewares and more. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 8am-5:30pm, and Friday from 8am–2pm. There will be a Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the USC Union Bookstore and Student Center, as well as a Business After Hours event on Thursday, April 16th, from 5pm-7pm. During the grand opening celebration, there will be a drawing for a Gamecock Tailgate camp chair. The bookstore is located on the 300 block of East Main Street in a building that once served as a print shop, a newspaper, and car dealership.

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FIRE CHIEFS CLOSE TO AGREEMENT ON AUTOMATIC AID

Wednesday, April 8

Union County firefighters are in the process of putting the finishing touches on what is called the Union County Fire Service Automatic Aid Agreement.

The plan will be geographical in nature as to the 3 closest fire departments responding to structure fires, both residential and commercial, and fire alarms, both residential and commercial.

This means when a fire is reported, the 911 dispatch will alert, or tone out, the primary department as well as the two closest departments. It is believed this will give greater manpower and equipment coverage to a blaze without the primary department arriving on scene first and then requesting additional help. Should the primary response department arrive on the scene of a fire and determine the additional help is not needed, they can then terminate the response from the other departments. The agreement was first introduced to the 11 county fire departments and the City of Union Fire Department several weeks ago in a meeting of the fire chiefs. As the chiefs scrutinized the document, it was determined that there were several elements in need of clarification. Once approved by the fire chiefs, the document will be presented to Union County Council for approval.

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MAU WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS RECRUITING WORKERS IN UNION APRIL 21ST

Wednesday, April 8

MAU Workforce Solutions will be hosting a recruitment event at  the SC Works Union office, located at 103 W Main Street, on Tuesday, April 21st, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The company will be recruiting production associates and control equipment technicians. Prior to this event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org, view the job order, and fill out an online application at www.mau.com. A staff referral is required for the positions.

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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PRESENT SHREK: THE MUSICAL APRIL 23-26

Wednesday, April 8

The Union County High School Department of Visual and Performing Arts will be presenting SHREK: The Musical this month. Based on the DreamWorks film and the original book, SHREK tells the story of an ogre who find true love. There will be a dinner theater performance sponsored by the Union Rotary Club at 6:30 PM on Thursday, April 23rd. Advance tickets are required, and they are available for $15 from local Rotarians. Non-dinner shows will run Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th, at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 26th, at 3:00 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $7 at the Union County Arts Council and at Union County High School. Tickets at the door for non-dinner shows will be $8.


TWO ARRESTED FOR SALE OF GUN IN WAL-MART PARKING LOT

Tuesday, April 7

This past Saturday Lt. John Sherfield and Investigator Roxie Belue used an operative of the Union County Sheriff's Office to make an undercover purchase of a Highpoint 9mm pistol from 17-year old Nathaniel McAbee while in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 513 North Duncan Bypass in Union. The operative purchased the firearm from McAbee using $125 of recorded government funds. After the transaction occurred and McAbee got back into his vehicle, Lt. Sherfield made a traffic stop in the parking lot. He found that Jonathan McAbee actually had the recorded government currency in his hand from the sale. While examining texts on the cell phone of Jonathan McAbee, the officer noticed that there were texts where he was asking his younger brother Nathaniel if he trusted the informant to not get him in trouble. Texts from Nathaniel McAbee to the operative also indicated that Nathaniel would not have been able to meet the operative if Jonathan had not picked him up and provided him with transportation to meet the operative. While searching Jonathan McAbee, Lt. Sherfield also located two 9mm bullets in his front pocket. Based on this information, he was arrested and jailed for criminal conspiracy, and Nathaniel McAbee was arrested and jailed for possession and sale of a pistol by a person under 18 years of age. The recorded government funds were recovered during the traffic stop, and the firearm was not reported stolen per NCIC; however, Lt. Sherfield will perform a gun trace for owner information on the firearm.

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MAN TICKETED WHEN GRASS FIRE SPREADS TO HIS NEIGHBOR'S PROPERTY

Tuesday, April 7

The Monarch Fire Department and a sheriff's deputy were dispatched Saturday to a grass fire at 1362 Monarch Highway. On scene, the deputy spoke with Scott Bowser, who said he was burning trash and went inside his house to get something to drink. When he returned, the fire had spread to the wood line and onto his neighbor's property. The blaze damaged a fence and trees. The neighbor stated that she wanted a report to be made, as this was the second such incident. She said she was worried the fire could possibly get out of hand if there is a next time. Bowser was issued a ticket for burning during unsafe conditions and allowing the fire to spread to the land of another without consent.

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DEADLINES LOOM AS RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT NEARs

Tuesday, April 7

Plans for the annual Relay for Life event are being firmed up. A reminder has gone out to all participants who have raised $100 or more that they must be registered online in order to receive a t-shirt. For more information, call 864-426-5400. April 14th will be the last team captains' meeting of 2015. That will take place at 6:30pm in the Tabernacle Baptist Church family room. Also, April 15th is the deadline for $1000 and $500 sponsorships. Those may be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce office.

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PROFESSIONAL STAFFING LOOKS TO HIRE HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN UNION TOMORROW

Tuesday, April 7

Professional Staffing Solutions will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works Office Wednesday, April 8th, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. They are looking to fill several medical-related positions. One of those is a CNA position, and a high school diploma or GED is required. They are also seeking licensed practical nurses, and a South Carolina License is required. Nurse positions are open, and you must possess an associate's degree. Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Please bring a résumé and come properly dressed for an interview.

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ELLEN SAGAR GIVING INFORMATION ON CNA TRAINING NEXT WEEK

Tuesday, April 7

Ellen Sagar Nursing Home will hold an informational session for certified nursing assistant training (CNA) at the Union SC Works office April 16th from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Expenses of the training will be covered by Ellen Sagar Nursing Home. Candidates will undergo six weeks of training with signed agreement. Only 16 slots are available, and you must have a minimum of a 10th-grade education. Applicants must have a valid South Carolina ID and undergo drug testing, screening, and background check. References will be checked. You must be willing to commit to full-time employment with Ellen Sagar Nursing Home, after successfully completing the course, for a minimum of 6 to 12 months.


SENATOR TIM SCOTT WEIGHS IN ON BUDGET, IMMIGRATION REFORM

Monday, April 6

Last Thursday, United States Senator Tim Scott was in town to address the Union County Chamber of Commerce at their Annual Awards Banquet. During his speech, Senator Scott touched on what he believes is the need for a balanced budget. He told WBCU News:

 

Another topic that's been in the forefront of the news of late is the subject of immigration reform. He believes the reform should start on the border.

 

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DISTRICT TWO VOTERS TO DECIDE BETWEEN STEVEN STONE AND RALPH TUCKER TOMORROW

Monday, April 6

District 2 voters will be returning to the polls Tuesday to decide on the Democratic candidate for a May 12th special election for Union County Council. A Democratic primary was held March 24th, which saw a field of three candidates: Ann Stevens, Steven Stone, and Ralph Tucker. None of the candidates received a clear majority, but Stevens was eliminated. That leaves Stone and Tucker to face off tomorrow. The seat has been open since Frank Hart resigned the position January 6th to be sworn in as Union County Supervisor. In all likelihood, whoever wins the Democratic primary runoff will become the District 2 representative, since no Republican or any other opposition party filed to run for the seat. The voting precincts are located in West Springs, Carlisle, Santuc, Black Rock and a partial number of registered voters in Jonesville Box 2, Putman and Cross Keys. The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. For additional information concerning the District 2 special election, you may contact the Union County Election Commission at 864-429-1616.

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FUND ESTABLISHED TO HELP FAMILY OF BABY BORN WITH HEART PROBLEMS

Monday, April 6

A fund is being set up to benefit a family who has a child with some very serious medical issues. Emah Yarbrough was born last Wednesday and weighed in at 5.7 pounds. It was determined that she has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The problem occurs at a rate of 4 out of 10,000 live births. Her parents, Eric and Amber Yarbrough, will be in Charleston for the next seven weeks, and as a result, they will not have any income for that period of time. This fundraising drive is being sponsored by Janice Maness and Wade's Employment Agency. If you would like to contribute to this cause, you may do so by making a contribution to the Emah Yarbourgh fund at the Arthur State Bank.

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MONARCH ELEMENTARY RECEIVES MONEY FOR BOOKS FROM READING IS FUNDAMENTAL AND DOLLAR GENERAL

Monday, April 6

Reading is Fundamental, the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, selected Monarch Elementary School to receive $3168 to provide books and spark a lifelong love of reading.  The grant was made possible by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which has raised more than $118,000 to support children's literacy since partnering with RIF in 2005. "Books have the power to show children new perspectives on their lives and inspire them to imagine bigger futures," said Susan Gilstrap, RIF Coordinator.  "RIF and Dollar General are not just giving kids the tools to succeed in school, but are motivating them toward a lifetime of reading and achieving." "We appreciate the grants we have received from Dollar General for our RIF  program here at Monarch Elementary School.  We tell our students to READ, READ, READ each day!"  said MES Principal, Anita Hart Maness. "Dollar General shares our vision of a literate America and understands the transformative power of reading," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF.  "With their support, we are taking books that will open new doors to the children who most need them."


TIM SCOTT DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT ANNUAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BANQUET

Friday, April 3

United States Senator Tim Scott addressed a capacity crowd at the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, held at Philippi Baptist Church Thursday evening. He challenged the group with a motivational speech. Scott was asked several questions following his talk, one of which was his reaction to the announcement Thursday that an agreement had been reached between the United States and five other countries with Iran in regard to their nuclear capabilities. Iran agreed to give up 2/3 of its nuclear capability. Scott is concerned about the remaining 1/3.

 

The evening saw the giving out of several awards. Named the Industry of the Year was Standard Textiles. Receiving the Small Business of the Year recognition was Kingsmore Construction. The Service Group of the Year is the Union County Detention Center, and the Friend of the Chamber is the Winters Law Firm. The Shining Star award was given to Carlisle Mayor Mary Ferguson Glenn, and the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year and the President's Choice award was Graham Williams of the Union County News. Three new chamber board members were introduced: Mrs. Lou Stackhouse, Mr. Lynn Mitchell, and Mrs. Dale Palmer. Paul Winters was installed as the new chamber president for the coming year.

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LOCKHART POWER ANNOUNCES THE OPERATION OF LANDFILL GAS-TO-ENERGY FACILITY

Friday, April 3

Lockhart Power Company and Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc., has announced the start-up of the new landfill gas-to-energy renewable energy (LFGTE) facility at the Republic Services, Inc., Upstate Regional Landfill located near Cross Anchor in Union County, South Carolina. Lockhart Power Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Lockhart BioEnergy, LLC, owns and operates the facility, which consists of two reciprocating combustion engines that produce 3,200 kilowatts of useful electric power capable of supplying approximately 1,800 average size homes. The facility is connected to the electrical grid, and its output is being purchased by Duke Energy.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), three megawatts of energy produced from landfill gas is equivalent to preventing carbon emissions generated by the consumption of 16.6 million gallons of gasoline. Based on EPA methodology, the carbon emissions prevented by the Upstate Regional LFGTE project from entering the air is equivalent to the consumption of roughly 900,000 gallons of gasoline each year.

We are pleased to bring another renewable energy facility to South Carolina,” said Bryan Stone, chief operating officer at Lockhart Power. “The facility not only generates renewable clean energy for customers in Union County and surrounding areas, but it’s also a great economic development tool for attracting industries tailored for green initiatives to our area. This project is a win-win for our community.”

The Upstate Regional Landfill also has excess landfill gas available for other beneficial uses. One such potential use would be to pipe the excess gas to the Midway Green Industrial Park, a nearby site that is being developed for large industrial companies. The gas could be used for on-site power generation or direct thermal use for industrial heating, with residual heat used to produce low-pressure steam and hot water. A company spokesperson said the availability of this renewable landfill gas helps make this site ideal for manufacturers that are large energy consumers and who are concerned with minimizing their environmental footprint. This project represents the sixth renewable energy facility Lockhart Power has developed or purchased throughout the last seven years. Lockhart Power currently owns and operates a similar landfill gas-to-energy facility in Wellford through a partnership with Spartanburg County.

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MONARCH FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES 2ND-ANNUAL RACE COLOR TO 5K RUN/WALK

Friday, April 3

The Monarch Fire Department will hold their Race Color to 5K run or walk Saturday, May 2nd. Registration for the event will begin at 8:00 a.m. at Monarch Fire Department, located at 1508 Lockhart Highway. The walk and run starts at 9:00 a.m. The registration fee is $35.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES BURGLARY ON MAN'S HUNTING PROPERTY

Friday, April 3

On Wednesday, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap responded to a burglary that had already occurred. Upon arrival, the victim stated that sometime between March 1st and April 1st, someone kicked in the front door of his hunting property and ransacked the residence. The subject or subjects also attempted to pry open the back door and pried open an outbuilding door. In addition, they beat the lock off a cooler door behind the residence, causing approximately $700 worth of damage in total. At the time of report, nothing appeared to be missing from the residence. Gilstrap called for an investigator to meet with him, and a short time later, Lt. Humphries and Capt. McNeil arrived on scene to process any evidence. The scene was photographed, and the victim was issued a Victim's Form.


FIRE ON BOBBY FAUCETTE ROAD NOT THOUGHT TO BE SUSPICIOUS

Thursday, April 2

Tuesday evening, a deputy was dispatched to 720 Bobby Faucette Road in reference to a structure fire. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the fire chief of Kelly-Kelton Fire Department, who stated that he wanted to speak with an investigator in reference to the fire. Investigator Scott Coffer was contacted and arrived on scene. Investigator Coffer spoke with the homeowners as well as the fire chief, and he also did a walkthrough of the structure. The fire was undetermined as to the cause, but a point of origin was located and deemed nonsuspicious in nature. Investigator Coffer took photos and will follow up with a report.

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ANNUAL CHAMBER BANQUET IS TONIGHT AT PHILIPPI BAPTIST

Thursday, April 2

The Union County Chamber of Commerce will be holding its annual awards banquet tonight. It will start at 6:30 in the Family Life Center of Philippi Baptist Church. The keynote speakers will be United States Senator Tim Scott. The event is held to honor companies and individuals for outstanding contributions to the community.

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APPLICATION PERIOD OPEN FOR BUFFALO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP

Thursday, April 2

The Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department's James H. Hampton Scholarship will be awarded to a recipient that lives in the Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department  Service Area.  This scholarship 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 May 8, 2015.

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MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING HELD AT THE GAZEBO TODAY

Thursday, April 2

The monthly Community Prayer Meeting will be held today at noon at the USC-U gazebo. Area citizens are invited to come and join with other Union Countians for a short time of prayer for the church, community, state, nation, and the world.  You do not have to pray out loud.  If you can't get there, organizers ask that you please take some time for special prayer during the day.  All are welcome.

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ARTS COUNCIL RELEASES ITS APRIL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Thursday, April 2

The Union County Arts Council has released its April calendar of events. In addition to the normal schedule of events, there are three new ones. The first is called Corky Canvas. It is being called a fun night out and will take place every Friday night at 6:00pm. The notice says, “All you need are a few friends, a favorite drink, and they will provide the rest." The teacher is Brandy Ketterman, and she will help participants create a masterpiece to take home. Each week they will have a different theme. The fee is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. You are asked to pre-register.

Mini Monet will be Saturday, April 18th, and is another exciting class just for kids ages 4k-14. Participants will discover the world of art in a hands-on, fun, and educational environment. You may call the UCAC for more details.

Then on April 23rd at 5:30pm, the Union County Arts Council will host a reception for the opening of the 2015 Elementary School Art Show. Patrons are encouraged to take this opportunity to support the children of Union County.

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MEN OF UNION COUNTY UNITING IN CHRIST RALLY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 1ST

Thursday, April 2

A nondenominational event is planned for the men of Union County May 1st. It's called “Men of Union County Uniting in Christ.” It will start at 5:30 at the USC-Union Gazebo, with a march to Union County Stadium. A tailgate supper will be held at 6:00 p.m., with the rally beginning at 7:00. The program will feature music by the Childers and the Union County All-Male Chorus. Testimonials will will be given by Bass Pro Hank Parker and Bill Randall. The main speaker will be Mike Minter, former All-Pro Safety with the Carolina Panthers.

Union County Baptist Association Director of Missions David Blanton explained what the event is all about.

 

This is a free, nondenominational event, and door prizes will be given out.


COUNTY COUNCIL LOOKS TO TRIM NEARLY $800,000 FROM NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET

Wednesday, April 1

The Union County Council met Tuesday in a budget work session, with a personnel committee meeting and a special session that followed. They began with the budget, and they appear to still be struggling with just how to balance it. The projected revenue for the 2015–2016 year is $12,240,924, while the proposed budget stands at around $13 million. Budget increase requests have already been eliminated, and there was discussion about the possibility of taking out the total allocations to what is termed outside agencies. If that happens, it would mean that agencies and organizations such as the Arts Council, the Rescue Squad, the Chamber of Commerce, the Union County Museum, and 14 other groups would receive no funding from the county. As of now, the consensus of the body was to go back to department heads and ask them to find a way to trim another 10% from their budgets. The next work session is now slated for Wednesday, April 15th.

In the personnel meeting, it was decided to recommend to the full council to hire two people as equipment operators. In the full council meeting, the Needs Assessment list was tweaked and approved. Eliminated from the list was the expansion of the business incubator program, renovation of the remaining portion of the From building and the idea of working with Wallace Thomson Hospital to purchase and equip a mobile mammography unit. Added to the list was to investigate the possibility of another water source for the county. The proposed Patriot's Lake was mentioned as a possibility for this purpose. They also opted to explore public transit possibilities for the county. The Needs Assessment has been referred to as a “wish list” for county and city government.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR STEALING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM ANOTHER MAN'S TRUCK

Wednesday, April 1

Monday Lt. John Sherfield was contacted by a man who stated that over the last few days he has had some of his prescription medication, Hydrocodone, to go missing from his work truck on at least two different occasions. He stated that he has a valid prescription for the medication, that he only brings a few to work with him, and that he keeps them in the pill bottle in a green bag in the floorboard of the front seat of his truck.

The man stated that he feels sure that Ronald Eubanks, 39, who works for him, is the person who is taking the pills. Lt. Sherfield met with and wired the man's work truck to see who was actually stealing the medication. While viewing the video, it was found that at approximately 10:30, Eubanks opened the driver's side door and stole the medication from the green bag. Based on this video evidence, Lt. Sherfield will sign an arrest warrant for Ronald Eubanks for theft of prescription medication.

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR SUSPECTS IN BURGLARY

Wednesday, April 1

Monday, Sheriff's officers were dispatched to a Country Side Drive address in reference to a burglary. Upon arrival, Sgt. Roger Hill spoke with a male subject who stated that the building that he and his girlfriend live in had just been broken into by at least three subjects. As Hill was talking with the male subject, the complainant was walking back toward the residence from the roadway and stated that she went to locate the subjects that committed the break-in at her property. The woman stated that she was inside the main residence taking a shower, and when she came back out, she noticed that her curtain had been pulled down from the window. She asked her boyfriend about it. She then stated that she noticed her purse was missing and that she had her medication along with a large sum of money in her purse. She said she found her purse dumped out at the edge of the roadway, and the medication and money was missing. Hill then spoke with the male subject, who stated that he was outside behind the main residence gathering some limbs and wood and was placing them on a fire he had in the yard. He said he noticed his dog barking and saw a large white dog was in his yard. He was attempting to run the dog off when he noticed a male subject standing at the end of his driveway urinating. He stated that he told the male subject to move on down the road. As he got closer to the building, he could see that there were three people in the roadway, two males and a female. Moments later, he said his girlfriend noticed the curtains and her purse missing and found the window to the building open. Parris stated that the subjects in the roadway were headed toward a residence at the end of the road. The deputy contacted the investigator on call, and a K-9 unit began a search of the area. Lt. Terry Humphries will follow up with the investigation.

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TOUCH A TRUCK COMING TO FAIRGROUNDS APRIL 25TH

Wednesday, April 1

Touch a Truck, a free family event, has been scheduled for April 25th. It will take place at the Union County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. until noon. A multitude of trucks will be there, and the children will be allowed inside the vehicles. Organizers say they realize some children may be sensitive to the loud sirens, so they have set aside the hours of 9 to 10 as a noise- and siren-free time. This event is sponsored by Lockhart Power Company.

Another event for children is set for Thursday, April 30th. Spring Time Story Time will take place at the Community Center located at 210 Porter Street, starting at 11 a.m. The story time is designed for preschool children up to 5 years old. In addition to the story time, there will be a craft time. A small gift will be given to each child.

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USC UNION ANNOUNCES CHAPTER OF HONOR SOCIETY FOR NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS

Wednesday, April 1

USC Union has announced that they now have a chapter, Upsilon Zeta, of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society for non-traditional students. USC Union has the second-highest number of eligible students among the Palmetto College campuses.

A press release describes Alpha Sigma Lambda as “the oldest and largest student honor society for the non-traditional student in the United States." Student eligibility is based on a set of specific criteria, including age, number of hours attempted, overall GPA, and so forth.

It further states that, “USC Union’s nominees are Annias Gaffney, Britney Sheppard, Candice Owens, Tim Black, Jeremy Infinger, Janice Crumley, Robert Johnston, Jeremy Brown, and Gary (Kent) Suggs. The induction ceremony will be Wednesday, April 8th, at 4 p.m. in the Gressette Room on the Horseshoe.”


DEPUTIES ARREST WHITMIRE MAN FOR STALKING

Tuesday, March 31

Last Thursday, Investigator Scott Coffer and Reserve Deputy Kenny West responded to a call at the Whitmire Dollar General Store. Once there, they talked with the complainant, who stated she had been stalked and harassed by Greg Lyles of Whitmire. She said customers had been telling her that Lyles has been waiting in the parking lot on numerous occasions and had been watching her. She said she had received numerous electronic messages from Lyles on her phone. Coffer reviewed the messages and found that Lyles had indeed been stalking her as determined by his language in the messages. Investigator Coffer met with officers from the Whitmire Police Department and went to Lyles' residence, where he was placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Jail.

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OFFICERS INVESTIGATE ARMED ROBBERY IN CARLISLE

Tuesday, March 31

Saturday, Cpl. Russell Vinson responded to a Carlisle address in reference to an armed robbery. Once on the scene, he spoke with a man who stated Rodney Whitner stopped by to see if he still had his house for sale. He said shortly after Whitner arrived, he heard a noise and saw a hand with a white glove attempting to push the door open. The man said he tried to close the door, but the subject pushed it in. He said there were two males wearing jump suits and a mask. One of the males hit him in the head with a pistol and started beating and kicking him. He said they took his wallet containing $9200. Statements were taken, and a K-9 unit was called to try to locate a track. The case has been turned over to an investigator.

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SCAMMER POSES AS REPRESENTATIVE OF SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Tuesday, March 31

Also on Saturday, Sgt. Jared Gilstrap received a call from a man stating he was the target of a scam. The man stated that someone called him and identified themselves as a representative of the Union County Sheriff's Department and wanted to know why he had not responded to a citation he was given by the Sheriff's Department. The man stated that he had not received any citation for any violation and did not give the caller any further information. Lawson stated the number on his caller ID was 864-270-2194. The caller never gave a name to the man. Gilstrap did a reverse look-up on the phone number and it came back as a Greenville, SC, cell phone number with Verizon Wireless. He said he just wanted the Sheriff's Office to be aware of the scam.

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REP. MIKE ANTHONY TO GIVE UPDATE ON SC LEGISLATURE THIS MORNING

Tuesday, March 31

So what all is going on in the state legislature this year? There's been a lot of debate on how to fix the roads in South Carolina. Ethics legislation is another topic. A WBCU News special this morning will feature State Legislator Mike Anthony, who will have a discussion and answer questions about what is going on in Columbia. That news special will commence at 9:00 a.m. It can be heard on WBCU-AM and FM, as well as online at wbcuradio.com.

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COUNTY COUNCIL HAS FULL DAY PLANNED WITH BUDGET WORK SESSION AND OTHER MEETINGS

Tuesday, March 31

It'll be another busy afternoon for members of the Union County Council. They will convene at 4:00 p.m. in the County Annex building on East Main Street for another budget work session. Last week, when the council heard all the budget requests, they found they were about $1 million over the anticipated revenue. They have already trimmed more than $200,000 from the budget but still have a ways to go. Following the budget work session, the council's Committee on Personnel, County Offices and Departments will meet. After that, the full council will meet in a special session to discuss the Needs Assessment Priority List, consider a resolution, and other matters. The public is invited to attend.

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NURSES AND NURSING ASSISTANTS SOUGHT

Tuesday, March 31

Professional Staffing Solutions will hold a recruitment event at the Union SC Works office Thursday, April 2nd, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They are looking to hire certified nursing assistants. A high school diploma or GED is required.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are also wanted, and a South Carolina license is required for that position.

Nurses with an associate's degree are being sought.

Prior to the event, all applicants must register at www.scworks.org and view the job order. Please bring a résumé and come properly dressed for an interview.


WAGES HONORED AT CAREER AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING

Monday, March 30

The Union County Career and Technology Center recently held its spring Advisory Committee Meeting. During the meeting, Ben Wages was honored with a plaque for having served on the Machine Tool advisory committee for 41 years. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to serve as a valuable resource and sounding board for the Career and Technology Center (CATE) teachers and administrators. The members of the committee make significant contributions by consulting with the faculty regarding business and industry needs. They also assist the school in planning and implementing relevant educational programs for students. Some of the members also come into the CATE center as guest speakers and coordinate field trips for students to tour their facilities.

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ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENTER HOLDING OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW

Monday, March 30

Area residents are invited to learn more about Spartanburg Community College (SCC) at the Union County Advanced Technology Center’s Open House tomorrow from 4:00–7:00 pm. The center is located at 1401 Furman Fendley Highway in Union. While attending the open house, visitors are encouraged to meet with faculty and staff to discuss SCC’s academic programs and also learn about financial aid opportunities. There will be an opportunity to register for a $500 scholarship and other door prizes. For additional information, call 864-466-1060.

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HIGH SCHOOL INDOOR PERCUSSION TEAM PLACES SECOND IN STATE

Monday, March 30

The Union County High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble won second place in statewide competition on Saturday, March 22nd. Last year, the group placed first in that competition. The ensemble’s show for this year is entitled “The Last Goodbye” and is a narrative that follows the relationship of a father and son from the son’s first day of school through adult life. Band Director Matt Chastain said this show is very different from previous shows because it requires a much more mature performance quality from students.

“Contemplation and remorse are much more difficult to convey than anger or happiness,” Chastain said. “This has really pushed the students to expand their performance vocabulary.”

Several weeks ago, the ensemble finished first in its class at a Carolina Indoor Percussion Association event at Laurens High School.

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ON-THE-JOB TRAINING OFFERED FOR THREE POSITIONS

Monday, March 30

If your are unemployed, this could be an opportunity for you. There are three jobs being offered with on-the-job training. On-the-job training provides individuals an opportunity to earn and learn at the same time.

The jobs are:

Sanitation in Spartanburg County at a rate of $12 per hour;
Press operator in Cherokee County at a rate of $14 per hour; and
Order selector in Spartanburg County at a rate of $14.44 per hour.

Interested candidates should contact Yvonne Roberts at 864-764-1967 for more information. All eligible candidates will be considered.

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EXEL LOGISTICS HOLDING RECRUITMENT EVENT IN GAFFNEY TOMORROW

Monday, March 30

Exel Logistics will hold a recruitment event at the Gaffney SC Works office tomorrow from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. They are looking to hire module operators. 6 months of warehouse experience is preferred. The job requires opening, verifying and scanning returned merchandise. Applicants should have the ability to read, understand and follow instructions. You must be able to lift 50 lbs., use a pallet jack, and stand long hours. 2nd shift and weekend shifts are available.

The minimum salary is $11.25 per hour, and a high school diploma or GED & computer experience is required. You will receive full benefits after 3 months. Candidates will undergo pre-employment tests, which includes math, accuracy, and aptitude testing. A pre-employment drug screening and background check will be administered. All applicants must register at www.scworks.org and must receive a referral to attend the event.


Mail to chris@wbcuradio.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 05/27/2015