By Sterling McGinn

Newberry’s industrial park will soon be home to servers designed for datamining.

According to Georgia Tech, “data mining” can be simply described as “the process of analyzing dense volumes of data to find patterns, discover trends, and gain insight into how that data can be used.” It is commonly used to study people using data about them to create individually-optimized sales campaigns.

In the March/April edition of Cloverland Connections, Cloverland Electric Cooperative’s President and CEO Mike Heise recently explained how data mining benefits Cloverland.

“Data mining is attractive because when implemented correctly, it can grow electric use, or demand, in a positive way,” Heise wrote. “Many rural cooperatives are experiencing a decline in electricity demand, causing negative impact to their members and rates.”

The Luce County Board of Commissioners held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Luce County Government Building.

One of the items on the agenda that afternoon was the sale of two lots of the Luce County Industrial Park.

Luce County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Director, Tammy Henry, was present to make a request for the board to sell portions of the land in the vicinity of lots 3 and 4 to Infiniti Mines-Riverton, LLC.

“It is a data-mining company wanting to buy property to run servers out of,” said Henry.

The area that will be purchased is approximately three to five acres and is near the Luce County Road Commission Facility.

Henry told the board that the company would eventually place a permanent structure on the land, which is an EDC requirement. She also said that the company would install a fence around the area for security.

After discussion, the board voted to allow for the sale of the two lots.

In other business, the board voted to adopt a resolution authorizing the entry of a participation agreement in a partial settlement of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation.

This is an entry of a state and local government intrastate agreement concerning allocation of settlement proceeds.

The county entered the lawsuit to address the opioid epidemic several years ago and it has been ongoing.

The four defendants in the lawsuit are prescription opioid manufacturers or distributors. The four include: Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Allergan Finance, CVS Health Corp. and CVS Pharmacy and Walmart Inc.

According to the board resolution document, the settling defendants have negotiated proposed national settlement agreements with the State Attorney General.

A plaintiff executive committee-designated negotiating committee is representing approximately 4,000 local governments that have brought on lawsuits similar to the Luce County Board.

The proposed settlements contain significant equitable and monetary relief, which includes: an agreement to pay up to $3.4 billion of the next 13 years by Teva; up to $2.02 billion over seven years by Allergan; $4.9 billion over the next ten years by CVS and $2.74 billion within six years by Walmart.

A majority of the payments will be dedicated to funding abatement and prevention strategies associated with the opioid epidemic.

Also included in the settlement agreements would be strict limitations on marketing, promotion and sale of opioids.