Mining operation is under review - AND a rabid raccoon.





The State is reviewing plans for a mining operation 4 miles northwest of Clinton.

A public notice says the application has been submitted by Specialty Vermiculite, LLC to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. The site is 1147 Mt. Vernon Church Rd., and a plan has been submitted to restore the tract to grassland. Documents are available for review at:

The state agency is conducting a technical review. It might conduct a public meeting if there is interest shown. Written comments can be submitted through April 29.

The “Public Notice of Intent To Mine” says, “ Public comments may impact DHEC’s permit decision by giving staff additional information to consider and could also be used when determining specific terms and conditions the company must follow if a permit is issued.”

Information for the Project Manager (written comments, DHEC Application 1-002331) is: Joseph M. Koon, DHEC-BLWM, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201, Phone: (803) 898-1371, e-mail:


North of Clinton, rabid raccoon is reported


Authorities are reporting that one person was exposed to a rabid raccoon near Hwy 56 north of Clinton. The animal was sent for testing last Tuesday, and rabies was confirmed on Wednesday.

The exposure happened between Countryside Circle and Springdale Drive, a report said. 

“It is very important for you to seek medical attention if you have been exposed to a wild, stray, or domestic animal. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite, scratch, broken skin, and the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth,” DHEC’s Rabies Program Team Leader, Terri McCollister, said.

The exposed person was referred for treatment. 

This is the first rabid raccoon exposure reported in Laurens County in 2021.

Four of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in the state were in Laurens County in 2020.

The SC Department of Health & Environmental Control advise for people exposed is wash affected area with soap and water, and contact a nearby DHEC office for further guidance. Pets which appear to have been bitten or scratched by this raccoon, or found with unexplained wounds, should be referred to DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Greenwood office at 864-227-5915 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Pets should be kept up to date on their rabies vaccinations, the health agency says.



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