Bond issue a hot topic for Dist. 50 winner

November 8, 2006

Index-Journal managing editor

Greenwood County District 50 school board meetings may be about to become the hottest ticket in town, a new board member hinted Tuesday night.
Dan Richardson defeated Krystal F. Bryant and T. Michelle Shaw to win Seat 6 on the nine-member, nonpartisan board.
Unofficial results show Richardson received 832 votes to Bryant’s 518 and Shaw’s 175.
He won the seat held by Jennie Thompson, who did not seek re-election.
Richardson said he is firmly against District 50’s school facility bond plan. He’ll join Lary Davis as voices of dissension when it comes to the controversial plan.
District 50, along with Superintendent Darrell Johnson and board chairwoman Dru James, is being sued by Henry Johnson, a Rental Center employee, over the bond plan that would provide tens of millions of dollars to build, modify and renovate schools and facilities.
Bonds are typically sold by government agencies to the public and investors to fund large projects. The money derived from the bond sale is given to the issuing agency and paid back over an established amount of time.
The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the bond installment plan and the district’s procurement process. Procurement is how the district is required to spend taxpayers’ money.
“A lot of times people vote against something instead of for something. Maybe they voted against the school bond,” Richardson said, explaining his successful bid.
“There’s a lot of folks that’s dissatisfied with the way things are going. A lot of people .... thought (bonds) should’ve been put before them in a referendum.”
Richardson said he realizes he and Davis can’t stop the process by themselves.
“It takes five out of nine to stop it. Right now, it looks like there might be three votes, unless we could sway two of the existing members to change their votes,” Richardson said. “We need the fourth and fifth votes. It’s not likely that Debbie Miller, Dru James or Tom Pritchard will change their votes.
“I was counting on Curtis (Hensley) to win. Anyway, we’ll try to do what’s right. I think it’s gonna get real lively at board meetings.”
Hensley unofficially was defeated 601-420 by Tom Pritchard, who won his second Seat 8 term. The cardiologist said he’s “for” District 50’s facility bond plan.
“I think the schools we have now are below state standards,” he said. “We need to improve those areas and update technology so students can get a better education.
“I think everybody’s for better schools.”
Pritchard said the current fervor surrounding the plan is because “people are concerned that the school bond program was done in a manner that was quick and they didn’t feel like they were informed.” “But we went to the Chamber of Commerce and they endorsed it, and we went to Brewer Middle School and had a public meeting,” he said. “And people can address the board in open forums at every board meeting. People have had plenty of chances to speak up about what we’re doing.”
Hensley congratulated Pritchard on his victory.
“Tom’s a good man, and he’ll continue to do the best he can for the board,” Hensley said. “I commend him.”
As for the bond plan’s fate, Hensley said, “Well, I think the bond thing is left up to the Supreme Court right now and there’s not really anything anybody can do about it. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
James G. Williams unofficially defeated Sarah J. Hartung by a scant nine-vote margin, 232-223, to win Seat 2. Alice C. Phillips received 155 votes.
Williams declined to comment on the facility bond plan.
“I’m not going to respond to that, because I have not been to any of the deliberations,” he said. “I don’t know that much about it to actually speak on that subject. I’ve read the newspaper, but as far as being there and working on it ... I don’t really know.”
He said he was “surprised” by his slim margin of victory.
“It feels good. I believe that I can really make a difference,” he said. “I was a teacher for 20 years in the school district, and my children attended public schools.”
Williams said he wants to “bridge the gap” between teachers and students to improve test scores. Hartung congratulated Williams on his win.
“Well, you know I am more passionate about the children of Greenwood County and the children’s education than I am about the politics of the voters,” Hartung said. “I wish Mr. Williams the best. I was truly an honor to run .... and I would sincerely like to think all of those who supported me.”
She declined to address the bond plan.
LeVerne Fuller won Seat 1 by an unofficial 345-199 tally over Willie Evans, who withdrew from the race. Fuller could not be reached for comment. She won the seat held by Patricia Tolbert, who did not seek re-election.
Tuesday’s results are unofficial pending a canvass of the votes to be conducted at a later date.



New sales tax gets Greenwood’s support

November 8, 2006

Index-Journal senior staff writer

Greenwood County voters showed overwhelming support in Tuesday’s midterm election for the county-wide proposed 1-percent capital project sales tax.
The local question, which asked voters if they were in favor of using the limited-time tax to fund two major projects within Greenwood County, received 12,381 “yes” votes from residents, or 76 percent, compared to 3,946 “no” votes, or 24 percent.
The special 1-cent tax can be imposed no more than seven years and is estimated to raise enough funds to cover the cost of federally and state-mandated repairs to the Lake Greenwood dam, fuse plug and other components, as well as the construction of a new main branch of the Greenwood County Library.
The total estimated cost of both capital projects is $40 million, with an estimated $8 million in interest on the bonds, bringing the net proceeds raised by the tax to about $48 million.
Greenwood County Council Chairman Robbie Templeton said the staggering support for the sales tax by voters was a delight to see.
“I’m extremely pleased. I think we’ve spent a lot of time in getting the word out and trying to explain to people what we are trying to do,” Templeton said.
“People understood that it (the projects) had to be done, and this was the best way to do it,” Templeton added. Templeton has said the tax can only be used for seven years, though it could disappear sooner if the projects are paid off in a shorter amount of time.
About $30 million of proceeds raised by the tax will go to fund the dam project, leaving about $10 million for the library’s construction. Private funds will be added with the library’s $10 million portion, Templeton said, to cover the full cost of construction.
Though voters gave their approval of the tax, they won’t be footing the bill entirely on their own. Templeton said about 40 percent of the money raised by the tax will come from out-of-county shoppers and tourists.
The sales tax will allow council to avoid raising property tax to pay for the government-mandated repairs to the Lake Greenwood Dam, a fact Templeton said should be good news for residents to hear.
“This was absolutely the best thing we could have done for Greenwood County. This was a way to get these big projects done as painlessly as possible,” he said.
Templeton said he thought the team work between the county, city, local press, the Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greenwood Partnership Alliance and other community groups helped gain popularity for the sales tax option.
“That (the large response) is what happens when the community works together,” he said.



Tim Childs

HICKORY TAVERN — Timothy “Tim” Martin Childs, 50, of 14337 Hwy. 76, died Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006.
He was born in Belton, S.C., a son of Martin H. and Bertha Davis Childs. He was self-employed.
Surviving besides his parents of Waterloo are one daughter, April Childs Hughes, Simpsonville; one brother, Randy Childs, Waterloo; one sister, Wanda C. Cooper, Spartanburg; and two grandchildren, Kellett Hughes and Addison Hughes, Simpsonville; and his girlfriend, Gina Traynham, Hickory Tavern. He was predeceased by a brother Jeff Childs.
Graveside service will be conducted Thursday at 1 p.m. at Greenwood Memorial Gardens, conducted by Mr. Jessie Lee Weathers.
Active pallbearers will be James “Scatter” Satterwhite, Lee Malloy, Wade Barrett, Steve Christie, Leonard “Shakey” Stewart and Don Traynham.
The family will be at the home of his parents, Martin and Bertha Childs, 2771 River Fork Rd., Waterloo and will receive friends Wednesday, 6-8 p.m. at Parker-White Funeral Home.

Hester Clem

FOUNTAIN INN — Hester L. Clem, 104, of 114 Blue Ridge, Fountain Inn and formerly of Greenwood, widow of Ernest L. Clem, died Monday, Nov. 6, 2006 at Rosemond Living Center, Pickens.
Born in Princeton, she was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Rodger Boyce. She was a member of Lowell Street United Methodist Church, Greenwood.
She was twice married, first to the late Wallace Prescott.
Surviving is a daughter, Doris Marbert of Fountain Inn; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Edgewood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Lowell Street United Methodist Church, 300 Lowell Street, Greenwood, SC 29646.
Harley Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Phil Crawford

DUE WEST — Phil Crawford, 91, of 262 Crawford Road, died Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, at Hospice Care of the Upstate in Anderson.
Services will be announced by The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home, Abbeville.

Leman Greene

ABBEVILLE — Leman Edward Greene, Sr., 83, resident of 720 E. Greenwood St., husband of Nora Odon Greene, died Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006 at his home.
Born Sept. 30, 1923 in Immanuel County Georgia, he was a son of the late Daniel Edward and Flora Greenway Greene.
After graduating from Summerville High School, he served in the United States Navy, two years spent in overseas duty, attended North Carolina University and East Carolina College, and retired from Milliken Mills, Abbeville Plant after 33 years as Department Manager.
He was a member of Main St. United Methodist Church since 1950, served as President of The Methodist Men, many years on the Pastor/Parish Relations Committee, Administrative Council, President of The Men’s Bible Class as well as Secretary and Treasurer of same. In the past, he taught Sunday School in the Youth Department and the immediate past, taught in The Men’s Bible Class. Leman was selected in 2006 for the United Methodist Men Life Time Achievement Award for his faithful years of service to God and his church.
He delivered Meals on Wheels for 9 years locally. He was also an avid fisherman, but God and his family always came first in his life.
He is survived by: his wife of 61 years, Nora Odom Greene; four children, Jane Greene, Lee Greene and his wife, Trudi, Jim Greene and wife, Susanne, Daniel and his wife, Tracy; grandchildren, Carl Hitchcock and his wife, Jennifer, Ed Greene, Krista Hitchcock Fox and her husband, Josh, Emilie Summer and her husband, Jake, Steven Greene, Courtney Greene, Zan and Coby Greene; one sister, Vivian Ruiz of Savannah, Georgia, and one brother, Robert Greene of Spartanburg.
He was predeceased by brothers Claude Greene, Clyde Greene, Ira Edenfield, and sisters Maude Burgess and Doris Dotson.
Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006 at 2 p.m. from Main St. United Methodist Church with the Revs. Randy Taylor and Jerry Pickens and Dr. Robert Whaley officiating. The burial will follow in Long Cane Cemetery.
The body is at The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home, where the family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening. The family is at the home, 720 E. Greenwood St., Abbeville, SC.
Active pallbearers will be Mike Allen, Bob Glace, Mike Shirley, Steve Stanley, Davis Wilson and Bill McNeill.
Honorary pallbearers will be John Kay and The United Methodist Men of the church.
Memorials may be made to Main St. United Methodist Church, PO Box 655, Abbeville, SC 29620 or to Hospice of The Piedmont, 408 West Alexander Ave.,Greenwood, SC 29646.
Online condolences may be made to the Greene family by visiting
The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home, Abbeville, SC is in charge of arrangements.

Luceil P. Hackett

Luceil P. Hackett, 93, of 235 Florida Ave., Apt. 23, died Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, at Hospice Care of the Piedmont.
The family is at 324 Ashcroft Drive, Country Homes.
Services will be announced by Percival-Tompkins Funeral Home.

Eddie J. Parks

Eddie J. Parks, 44, of 18 Westpointe Drive, husband of Carrie Bell Parks, died Nov. 2 at Self Regional Medical Center. He was born in Greenwood County, a son of the late Edward Parks and Helen Parks.
Surviving are his wife of the home, two sons, Eddie Martin and Litonio Parks of Greenwood, two daughters, Moneak and Keisha Martin of Greenwood, three brothers, Willie Edward Parks, Leroy Parks and Elbert Parks, Jr. of Greenwood, two sisters, Betty Jean Parks of Greenwood and Helena Parks of Callison and 7 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. from Second Damascus Baptist Church with Rev. Roosevelt Brooks officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The body will be placed in the church at 1. The family is at the home of a sister Betty Jean Parks, 802 Taggart St., Greenwood. Percival-Tompkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Martha Pickell

Martha Nabors Pickell, 82, resident of 212 Beechwood Circle, widow of J. Frank Pickell, died Nov. 7, 2006 at the Saluda Nursing Center.
Born in Greenwood County, Oct. 13, 1924, she was a daughter of the late Drayton Oscar and Margaret Nickles Nabors. She was retired from Nantex and was a member of South Main Street Baptist Church.
Mrs. Pickell was predeceased by a daughter, Elizabeth “Lib” P. Buckner; a grandson, Charles Wayne Blackwell, Jr. and three brothers, Oscar L. “Buddy” Nabors, Drayton Nabors and Albert Lee Nabors, Sr.
Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Sam (Elizabeth) Vines and Mrs. Claude (Bernice) White, both of Greenwood and Mrs. Irby (Gladys) Ouzts of Kirksey; four brothers, Billy C. Nabors, Robert D. “Bobby” Nabors and James F. “Jim” Nabors, all of Greenwood and William Carl Nabors of Ninety Six; nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Thursday from the Blyth Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Phil McMinn officiating.
Burial will be in Greenwood Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be nephews along with Charles W. Blackwell.
The family is at their respective homes and will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 to 8:30 Wednesday evening.
For online condolences please visit
Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the Pickell family.

Elizabeth Meece Tester

BUNDABERG, Australia — Elizabeth “Libby” Meece Tester, of Bundaberg, Australia, died Nov. 6. The daughter of James Edward and Vaudie Meece of Ware Shoals, she was a 1956 graduate of Ware Shoals High School and was formerly employed by Pro-Med in Greenwood.
Surviving are three daughters, Debbie Gear and her husband, Keith, and Amy Tester, all of Australia, and Mary Beth Lloyd and her husband, Tommy of North Carolina; two brothers, Edward Meece of Greenwood and William Meece and wife, Betty, of Ware Shoals; three sisters, Margaret Brown of Laurens, Ruby O’Dell and husband, Don, of Ware Shoals and Faye Kirkland of Fountain Inn; two grandsons and one great-grandson, all of Australia and two granddaughters of North Carolina; seven nephews; seven nieces.
Arrangements will be announced at a later date. Siblings will be at the home of Ruby and Don O’Dell in Ware Shoals.

Marion Thompson

Mrs. Marion Duff Thompson, 95, resident of 1414 Woodlawn Road, widow of William Clayton Thompson, died Nov. 6, 2006 at Self Regional Medical Center.
Born in Westminster, Nov. 13, 1910, she was a daughter of the late Henry S. and Heppie Hancock Duff. She was a graduate of Greenwood High School and was formerly employed by Greenwood Mills-Mathews Plant. Mrs. Thompson’s greatest pleasures in life were being a wife, mother and grandmother.
She was a devoted member of South Main Street Baptist Church. Surviving are a son, William Clayton Thompson, Jr. and wife, Rebecca of Greenwood; six grandchildren, Rebecca Thompson, Clayton Thompson, III, Cynthia Payne, Mark Jones, Stephen Jones and Robert Thompson; six great-grandchildren, Heather Thompson, Pres Payne, Clay Payne, Cameron Jones, Isabella Jones and Adriana Jones.
Funeral services will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Thursday from the Blyth Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Phil McMinn officiating.
Burial will be in Greenwood Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be grandsons along with David Johns.
The family is at the home of Clayton and Rebecca Thompson, 1412 Woodlawn Road and will receive friends at the funeral home from 2:30 to 3:30 Thursday afternoon.
For online condolences please visit



Eagles vs. Raiders, part II

Greenwood set to open Class AAAA playoffs against regular season-ending foe

November 8, 2006

Index-Journal sports editor

Last Friday, the Greenwood High School football team shined in the full-contact dress rehearsal. Now, the Eagles look for the same stellar performance this Friday on opening night when the curtain unfolds the beginning of the Class AAAA, Division II playoffs.
Greenwood (9-2) will open first-round action against the same team as last week’s regular-season finale and at the same time and location, as well ... just seven days later.
Laurens (4-7) will return to J.W. Babb Stadium for a 7:30 Friday night kickoff only a week after suffering a 31-10 loss to the Eagles.
Despite the loss, the Raiders qualified as the 16th and final seed in the AAAA, Division II playoffs. As for Greenwood, the win, combined with a Westside loss to T.L. Hanna, helped the Eagles earn the playoff’s top seed, which means the team won’t have to hit the road unless it makes it to Williams-Brice Stadium Dec. 1 for the state title game.
“That certainly is a great honor for our football team and our coaching staff,” Greenwood coach Shell Dula said. “We messed up against Westside. But we told our kids if they kept working hard, something positive will happen. And, lo and behold, it did.
“It shows that when you work hard, good things happen.”
Despite the recent familiarity between the two squads, Dula doesn’t necessarily see an edge for either team in playing a rematch this soon.
“I think you can make a case for either side having an advantage,” Dula said.
Advantage, maybe not. But it might make things easier to prepare for.
“We have seen them. So, we’ve seen their game speed up close,” Laurens coach J.R. Boyd said. “You don’t have as much preparation. It’s just about evaluating and correcting mistakes from the previous game. I would rather play somebody again.”
Looking back on the game, the two coaches agreed that the three-touchdown differential might be a little deceiving. The Eagles turned two critical Laurens turnovers into 14 points, getting a blocked punt recovered in the end zone and an interception that set up another score.
“The main thing we told our kids is that you take away turnovers and it’s a 14-8 football game,” Dula said. “When a person picks up the paper and sees 31-10, they think it was sort of a blowout, but it certainly wasn’t. We had two good drives and they had one good drive.”
That also can become a motivating factor for a struggling Laurens team, which has dropped three straight contests.
“You take away their quick points off our turnovers and it’s a different game,” Boyd said. “I know we can correct two of them and that’s 14 points. We can’t let those things affect us this game.” The Greenwood defense has been opportunistic like that all season.
The three turnovers picked up against Laurens brought the Eagles’ tally to 31 (12 fumble recoveries and 19 interceptions) in 11 games.
Senior strong safety Josh Norman, a North All-Star, has three interceptions and three fumble recoveries, while senior cornerback James Rappley has two picks and 12 pass break-ups.
Greenwood has been equally as stingy on defense, allowing only nine touchdowns. The Raiders’ two-point safety, which came when a Greenwood punt was blocked out of the end zone, were the first points allowed since giving up a touchdown to USC commitment Brian Maddox in the Oct. 13 win over T.L. Hanna.
“It hurt our guys that they scored on us the other night. It made them mad, and that’s what you want as a coach,” Dula said. “Everyone of our guys on defense has made some big plays for us.”
The defense will once again be focused on Boyd’s son, Tyler, the Raiders’ junior quarterback.
Through 11 games, Tyler Boyd, in his first season as a starter, has thrown for 1,100 yards and rushed for 550 more.
His fourth-quarter touchdown pass to leading receiver Travion Cook gave him seven TD-passes on the year.
Greenwood, like Laurens, also had a first-year varsity quarterback leading the offense. Jay Spearman had a pair of rushing touchdowns against Laurens, bringing his season total to 12 scores on the ground and six through the air.
Despite his success running the ball, Spearman, the Eagles’ leading rusher with 736 yards, has had his troubles with the passing game. The junior is averaging just 88 passing yards a game, 36 more than he did against Laurens, while completing just 47 percent of his passes.
“We’ve got to make some plays in the throwing game,” Dula said. “We need to put together where we’re throwing and catching the ball. We’ve thrown some beautiful ball and don’t catch them, and then we’re open and we’ve thrown something that isn’t that pretty.
“We’ve got to develop that consistency.”
But Dula said Spearman said threw ball well at Tuesday’s practice. And the coach said his first-year QB should get some more help, as senior tailback Marcus Carroll is expected to have the cast on his right arm off today.




Cosby tells it straight; does anyone ever hear?

November 8, 2006

Actor/comedian Bill Cosby has never been one to shy away from controversy. He’s taken his licks for being critical of black parents, black educators and the educational establishment in general when it comes to failing black children. As harsh as some of his critics have been, though, they haven’t kept him from keeping the public focus on the same old problems that continue no matter what anyone says or does.
Once again he has criticized teachers and parents at a conference in Los Angeles, telling them they don’t do enough to help kids. They don’t involve themselves enough in their children’s education and don’t know what their children are doing, he said.
“We’ve got parents who won’t check the bedrooms of their children to see if there’s a gun.” That is likely to be applicable anywhere, including Greenwood and any other community in South Carolina.

COSBY, WHO HAS A MASTER’S degree in education, also faulted teachers for not giving clear explanations to children who ask why courses such as English and algebra are necessary.
“If you teach English and you can’t answer this child, then you’re in trouble, and we’ve been in trouble,” he said. “We can’t answer these children because nobody’s given them any goals.”
Cosby has, at times, criticized some black children for not knowing how to read or write, has said some have squandered opportunities the civil rights movement gave them, and has said that whites are unfairly blamed for problems in the black community, such as teen pregnancy and high (school) dropout rates.

NOT ALL BLACK PARENTS AND/OR leaders have taken issue with what Cosby has had to say over the years. Many have supported his efforts to bring about improvements. Others, though, have joined the chorus of critics.
Nevertheless, Cosby goes on with his often lonely crusade to make education for black kids what it should be: the one thing that makes opportunity equal for every American. Cosby knows what education can do. So do thousands of black and other minority Americans who have taken advantage of the chances they’ve been given to get an education instead of wasting it for whatever reason.
Oh, yes. There’s a lot that many white parents can learn from what Cosby says, too.
Too many of their kids also are falling by the wayside these days while they remain in denial.