News Archive

Looking back at 2002

Week of Jan. 1, 2003 

Looking back at 2002 

2002 may be the year of remembrance for Williamston and Pelzer residents as several groups or organizations planned to preserve history by restoring old buildings and other activities were held including the Sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of Williamston.

These are the events that stood out in the pages of The Journal during 2002:

Jan. 9 - Former Williamston Town Clerk Donna Ellis withdrew her lawsuit against the Town of Williamston, which alleged the Town ignored its own employee procedures and insinuated she was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the Town planned to move to dismiss the lawsuit, citing that Ellis was an officer, not an employee, of Williamston and was subject to different procedures.

A spokesperson for the 10th Circuit Court Solicitor’s Office said that they had completed the review of an investigative report compiled by SLED on the finances of the Town of Williamston. The spokesperson would not say if or when any charges may be made.

During the first meeting of 2002, Williamston Mayor and Town Council were presented with a request for a bike helmet ordinance, guidelines for the fire department and a list of questions by a Williamston citizen.

Anderson County Council elected Larry Greer Chairman and Gracie Floyd Vice-Chairman during their first meeting of the new year. A large portion of the meeting focused on the EMS situation in Pendleton and the effects on other EMS providers in the County.

Area residents enjoyed approximately three inches of snow which extended the holiday break one extra day for students and closed many area businesses.

Jan. 16 - Community Columnist Nadine G. Williams, who wrote a news column for The Journal for more than 40 years, died Jan. 13. At age 90, she was still writing her weekly columns. She continued writing her columns until she suffered a stroke several months back.

An investigation conducted by the  State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) into the finances of The Town of Williamston resulted in the arrest of former Mayor Marion Middleton and former Town Clerk Donna Ellis. Middleton and Ellis turned themselves in to SLED officers at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 11 and were booked at the Anderson County Detention Center. Both were released on bond.

The State Department of Commerce awarded $1.9 million to Anderson County which will be used to help pay for sewer lines in Northern Anderson County. $1 million will go to build an 11,500 feet gravity sewer line at S. C. Hwy. 8 and I-85 in an area targeted for future expansion of the Alliance Industrial Park.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced the Town and The Heritage and Arts Council Museum Committee received a $50,000 check from the State for the Town’s museum project. The funding will allow work to begin on converting the old town hall building on Main St. into a museum, Clardy said.

Approximately 20 community leaders participated in a planning session held at the Williamston Municipal Center sponsored by Partnership for a Healthy Community.

USC runningback Derek Watson was dismissed from the Gamecock football team following news of a marijuana possession charge made by the Greenville Police Department.

Jan. 23 - Amber Sanders was named Miss Palmetto during the Miss Palmetto Pageant.

Williamston EMS officials asked County officials to consider an increase in funding to allow the squad to better serve residents of  Hopewell, Piercetown and Williamston.

Jan. 30 - The Williamston Area Historic Commission announced their first official organizational meeting to adopt by-laws, elect officers and appoint committees to be held on Feb. 21.

A major step in restoring Pelzer’s railroad station was taken as officials met to begin laying the groundwork for the effort being spearheaded by DeWitt Stone, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Clemson University, along with local officials.

Anderson School District One Board members approved reinstating a policy of having no attendance zones in the District and heard preliminary plans for a health initiative that will include a health fair and walk/run.

Feb. 6 - The Palmetto Athletic Hall of Fame committee honored five new inductees during a special ceremony Feb. 8. Hall of Fame inductees included: Karen Ashley, Randy Boggs, Ray Callaham, Ronnie Cobb and Eunice Williams. 

David Rogers, a freelance news photographer for The Journal received a first place spot news award from the South Carolina Press Association for his photograph of the July 4th,  2001 fire which destroyed Cedar Grove Baptist Church.

Anderson County Council adopted resolutions requiring all EMS providers in the County to conduct criminal background checks prior to hiring EMS responders, adopting a tiered response emergency dispatch program and a resolution in support of a bill that will extend health benefits to nonprofit corporations that receive public funds to provide EMS services in the County.

Williamston Town Council approved use of Mineral Spring Park for a bike safety rodeo, recognized two firefighters and approved a walking track.

Former Williamston Mayor Marion Middleton and former  Clerk Donna Ellis, facing charges of embezzlement and conspiracy, will each see their cases presented to a grand jury. Magistrate Jerry Mullikin ruled evidence presented at the preliminary hearings on Feb. 1 was enough for the cases to be bound over for consideration by the Grand Jury. Charges against Middleton included embezzlement of public funds, breach of trust, breach of trust with intent and criminal conspiracy. Ellis is facing charges of  embezzlement under $5,000, embezzlement over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Feb. 6 - Fork Shoals area residents  opposed the construction of three proposed power plants in south Greenville County.

Anderson County Council decided to divide applications for state loans for sewer projects so that the Beaverdam Creek line sewer project is separate. The move will allow work on a phase which connects sewer lines along Hwy. 81 north to the Six and Twenty Wastewater Treatment Plant while legal challenges proceed on the Beaverdam sewer project.

Travis Boggs was presented the Donnie Clardy during awards ceremonies held at Wren High School.

West Pelzer Mayor Bill Alexander said the Town is facing a possible crisis concerning their aging sewer system and is awaiting word on the progress of the joint sewer project with The Town of Pelzer, which has been on hold while property right of ways were being obtained.

The Williamston Post Office celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the local post office.

Feb. 20 - The Piedmont Chapter of The Bonnes Amies Club were making plans for the 2002 Footbridge Festival.

Renovations at the ballpark which included a new ball field, lights, walking track, concession and restroom facilities. 

Anderson County Council recognized County veterans with several resolutions and entertained a question and answer session on County finances. Members of the Palmetto High School AFJROTC Color Guard presented colors at the beginning of the meeting.

Feb. 27 - The Williamston EMS and Anderson County Safe Kids Coalition are planning a Child Safety Awareness Day to include a bike rodeo, clown and puppet safety team, 911 simulator, fire safety smoke house and other special activities including landing of the Med Trans helicopter, organizers said. Steve Collopy of Williamston EMS and Safe Kids Coordinator Dwayne Smith of AnMed Health coordinated the event.

Mar. 6 -  Williamston EMS introduced the Guardian Angel Program in conjunction with Safety Awareness Day.

Persons opposing the planned expansion of the Anderson Regional Landfill by another 100 acres, expressed their concerns  during a public hearing at the National Guard Armory in Belton.

Mar. 13 - Williamston officials approved second reading on an ordinance authorizing the Town to join the Anderson County Joint Municipal Water System in the purchase of the Duke Water System. Residents of Shorebrook subdivision in Williamston were again asking the Town to help get sewer service to the subdivision.

The United States Department of Agriculture designated all 46 counties of the State of South Carolina as a primary disaster area due to  farm production losses because of ongoing drought conditions.

Auction sale of property in the David Roberts estate prompted Williamston officials to take a closer look at property located on Cherokee Road that was deeded to the Town by Roberts in 1989.

Anderson School District One Board Member Fred Alexander announced he is hoping to preserve an old school building located in Piedmont by moving it to a location, possibly in Williamston, where it will be restored and become a living history display. The school served the black community in the area during the 1890s until approximately the 1940s, according to Alexander.

Williamston Town Council approved ordinances allowing the Town to join the Anderson County Joint Municipal Water System, and to refinance water works and sewer system bonds at a lower rate providing $28,825 in interest savings.

Mar. 20 - A dedication ceremony was held for the newly renovated Piedmont ball park on Mar. 19. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting for the park and unveiling of a memorial marker recognizing the facility as the Tom C. Pack, Jr. Memorial Park and designating it as the former Buchanan Field.

Williamston Police officers made two arrests in connection with a methamphetamine lab on Tripp St. that had been under surveillance for several weeks.

Members of the Greater Williamston Business Association were introduced to Miss Williamston, updated on downtown revitalization plans and finalized plans for their annual Easter Egg Hunt promotion.

Mar. 27 - Robert G. Austin announced his candidacy for the Anderson County Council District 7 seat.

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of two new fire trucks for the Piedmont Fire Department. Commissioners approved the $290,520 purchase of two pumper trucks at a special called meeting on Mar. 29.

Apr. 3 - Former Palmetto High School Band Director and Williamston resident Loy  Eugene Wagner was presented the Order of the Palmetto at his home Mar. 29. Senator Billy O’Dell of Ware Shoals made the presentation.

The Williamston Heritage Players presented “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” at the Pelzer Auditorium. Lynn King was co-director

Additional four-laning of U. S. Highway 29 was placed on a list of projects to be funded in the next five years officials said during the Anderson County Council meeting.

Apr. 10 - Miss South Carolina Jeanna Raney appeared at the Williamston Municipal Center along with Miss Williamston, Leslie Mazzara and others.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy and Town Clerk Hala Cochran presented Loy E. Wagner with a proclamation and key to the city.

Anderson County Council approved several requests by Council representative Bill Dees for funding of Piedmont area projects including improvements at Hurricane Springs Park.

Stephen Haloulos was selected Mr. Wildcat at Woodmont.

Approximately 45 Williamston  residents participated in a Town sponsored trip to the State Capitol on April 16.

Apr. 17 - The Piedmont Public Service District held second reading on the budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. Changes to the proposed budget reflected a 3.3 percent cost of living salary increase for District employees. The budget reflects estimated revenues for all departments at $1,070,522 with total expenditures of $1,056,396, for a surplus of $14,126.

Anderson County Council tabled their noise ordinance to get additional information, but not before considerable discussion on the proposed ordinance. Piedmont area residents appeared before Council again to ask their help with a noise problem and what they say are health and safety concerns over the use of property in their neighborhood as a gun range.

The Palmetto Baseball team defeated Crescent 7-4, giving them the Region AA Skyline Championship. The Mustangs finished regular season play with a 12-7 overall record, 8-2 region.

Apr. 24 - Williamston Police officers arrested a 33-year-old Williamston man after a bizarre incident  in which he attacked a 15-year-old female in the restroom of a Williamston restaurant.

Members of the Piedmont Incorporation Committee decided to move forward on the issue of incorporating and to secure signatures on a petition necessary to have the issue placed on the Nov. general election ballot.

Williamston’s first annual Diamond Days celebration was held Apr. 20 to celebrate the start of Little League baseball and softball play. Williamston Recreation Department head Dale Martin was recognized for 39 years of service to the community.

The 2002 Footbridge Festival is held Apr. 26 and 27 in downtown Piedmont.  The 13th annual event was sponsored by the Piedmont Chapter of The Bonnes Amies Club.

May 1 - Area high school seniors are readying for upcoming graduation ceremonies.

The Wren Hurricanes had an impressive showing at the Region I-AAA track meet held at Clemson University Apr. 27, with the boys track team finishing in a tie with Daniel for first place and the girls team finishing in third place.

May 8 - Anderson School District One sponsored a health fair for the community and District employees including a four mile run/walk and a one mile fun run at Spearman Elementary School.

F. L. Gilreath of Williamston was featured for a tool that he invented to help contol fire ants.

Members of the steering committee for Williamston’s Sesquicentennial anniversary celebration were named and included: Mr. and Mrs. David Ford, Thomasina Anderson, Bobbie M. Mackey, Mr. and Mrs. James Pressley, Mr. and Mrs. Elmo Sims, and Lt. Col. Mike Creamer.

Williamston Town Council heard a report on the Town’s financial situation and a request to take over operations of a privately owned sewer lagoon serving the Forest Hills subdivision.

May 15 - Palmetto High School held graduation on May 17 at the Anderson Civic Center. Wren High School graduation ceremonies were held Sat. May 18. Woodmont High School graduation was held May 31 in Timmons Arena at Furman University.

Williamston Planning Commission member Jim Simpson presented a proposed zoning map for Council and the Zoning Appeals Board members to consider.

Celebrating 150 years, the Steering Committee began planning events for the sesquicentennial celebration.

May 22 - The Town of Williamston held a Memorial Day program to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and community.

The Piedmont Public Service District held second reading on the budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. The budget included a 3.3 percent cost of living salary increase for District employees and reflects estimated revenues for all departments at $1,070,522 with total expenditures of $1,056,396, for a surplus of $14,126.

Anderson County Council approved several requests for funding of area projects including scraping, priming and painting the public swimming pool at Pelzer, a sewer project in West Pelzer, improvements in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park, matching funds for a Williamston Fire Department grant and communication equipment for the Williamston Fire Department.

Council also approved a request by Councilman Bill Dees for $6,520 from the District 6 paving account to resurface a portion of Old Powdersville Rd. Council also approved second reading on the County’s proposed $91 million budget.

May 29 - The cost of mailing a first class letter went from 34 cents to 37 cents. Postal officials say a slow economy and the ongoing impact of electronic mail have caused a $1.6 billion revenue loss.

The Town of Williamston held a special Memorial Day Service program at the Williamston-Pelzer War Memorial located at Middleton Field.  Williamston Councilman Dr. Harold J. Mackey, Mayor Phillip Clardy and Dale Harper and others participated in the program.

Balloons filled the air over Anderson with color during a mass ascension held at Freedom Weekend Aloft.

June 5 - Anderson County Council approved third reading on the $91 million budget without making any cuts to the proposed 2002-03 budget. The budget was approved 6-0 with Council member Cindy Wilson abstaining.

Williamston Town Council decided not to take responsibility for a privately owned sewer system serving the Forest Hills subdivision.

June 12 - A Williamston native, Jeff Charney, premiered a new feature length film, “Home Movie,” which he co-produced. The film debuted in Los Angeles and New York.

County Council District 7 incumbent M. Cindy Wilson edged challenger Dr. Bob Austin by only eight votes in the Republican primary. In Council District 6, Bill Dees won his bid for a second term representing the Powdersville and Piedmont area, defeating challenger Charles Crowe.

Members of the Piedmont citizens group that forms the nucleus of the Piedmont incorporation committee chose Norma Hedstrom, a local businesswoman, to chair the group. The committee drafted and circulated a petition necessary to put the incorporation question on the general election ballot.

Heather Hand was to represent Piedmont in the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Pageant in July. The Clemson senior management major is a graduate of Wren High School.

Despite an ongoing question concerning where he resides, West Pelzer Councilman Wendel Trotter said he will remain on Council.

June 19 - Members of the Piedmont citizens group hoping to see the Piedmont incorporation question on the Nov. ballot began facing opposition.

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners discussed an upcoming dedication at the Piedmont ball park. Fire Chief and Administrator Butch Nichols said the new fire trucks should be ready in late August.

Commissioners unanimously approved third reading on the 2002-2003 budget which becomes effective July 1.

With restructuring of the water and sewer bills, West Pelzer citizens did not see as large an increase in their sewer rates as originally expected.

June 19 - West Pelzer Town Council approved second reading on the 2002-2003 budget during a special called meeting June 18. The General Fund budget includes revenues and expenditures of $239,991 and the Water and Sewer Fund budget includes revenues and expenditures of $287,438, for a total budget of $527,429.

June 26 - Justin Martin of Pelzer and teammate Lee Ford of Pendleton recently won the S. C. High School Rodeo Team Roping Championship in competition held at the T. Ed Garrison Arena in Clemson.

West Pelzer Town Council held a special called meeting July 2 to decide whether Councilman Wendel Trotter will remain on Council. Despite an ongoing question concerning where he resides, Trotter said he will remain on Council. The decision  led to a threat of resignation by West Pelzer Mayor Bill Alexander, who said Trotter should resign.

Williamston Mayor Phillip E. Clardy officially filed with the Department of Health and Environmental Control a request for disinterment on behalf of the Town of Williamston and descendant relatives of West Allen Williams, the founder of Williamston.

July 3 - The area celebrated the birth of the nation. The Town of Williamston sponsored a day long July 4th event including games, entertainment, food and capped off with a fireworks show, co-sponsored by the Williamston Fire Department. New Hope Baptist Church will host a 4th of July fireworks display and concert featuring a nationally known Christian recording artist at the New Hope Sports Complex.

The Bonnes Amies Club held a dedication service June 30 for playground equipment they installed at Thomas C. Pack Jr. Park in Piedmont.

Spring Water Concessions opened in Mineral Spring Park, offering various concessions during the summer.

July 10 - Wendel Trotter said he would follow the wishes of fellow Councilmembers after a vote was taken to officially remove him from his position as West Pelzer Town Councilman.

Piedmont residents and officials were shocked over the loss of their Piggly Wiggly grocery store which burned to the ground during an early morning fire July 7.

July 17 - Anderson County mailed out approximately 1,100 letters to residents and businesses notifying them of address changes  necessary to assist in efforts to speed up response times to 911 calls.

July 24 - Arrangements were being made for the 21st annual Spring Water Festival. For the first time, Town officials were taking responsibilty for the event. Jamie Carter coordinated the festival which had been organized by individuals since it began as a fundraising event for the Christmas Park in 1981.

A Wren Youth Association 12 and under girls fast pitch softball team  coached by Johnny Allison won the state tournament played in Summerville, defeating two teams by a margin of 10 runs. 

The Possum Kingdom Super Speedway opened gates for the first night of kart racing July 27.

July 31 - Anderson School District One students readied to return to classes Aug. 7. Registration and orientation programs for area schools were being held.

A fire at an animal crematory business located just off U. S. 29 North last Friday was caused by radiant heat from the incinerator, according to West Pelzer Fire Chief Ken Taylor.

John Bradley Turner, 26, Little Valley Rd., Piedmont, turned himself in to Anderson County Sheriff’s investigators after a murder warrant was issued Friday morning in connection with the shooting death of 31-year-old James Ray Snyder,  Archie St., Piedmont.

Aug. 7 - The Williamston Sesquicentennial Committee sponsored a Back to School Dance in Mineral Spring Park.

The Williamston Heritage Players presented “Hansel and Gretel.”

Aug. 7 - Williamston Town Council presented municipal judges James M. Cox, Jr. and John C. Neel, III, with judges robes and gavels.

Aspiring amateur and professional Olympic hopefuls from across the United States converged on Clemson University, Pendleton and near Williamston when the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) 2002 Junior/Espoir National Road Championships were held in the area. A time trial was staged on Hampton Rd., Welcome Rd., and Midway Road near Williamston.

Aug. 14 - Golfer Brandi Jackson was welcomed back to her home course at  Saluda Valley Country Club with a reception following her 2nd place performance in the U. S. Women’s Amateur Championship golf tournament held at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N. Y.

The West Pelzer Fire Department  was awarded a $5,184 Firefighters Grant Award for fire operations and fire safety from the United States Fire Administration, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.   The grant will be used to purchase communications equipment including radios and pagers, according to West Pelzer Fire Chief Ken Taylor.

Groundbreaking for the S. C. Hwy. 8 and I-85 Sewer Project was held at the White Plains Community Building.

Members of the Piedmont Incorporation Committee announced that 400 signatures were collected for petitions to have the incorporation question placed on the Nov. ballot.

Former Williamston Mayor Marion Middleton gave up his right to a jury trial and pled guilty to embezzlement and criminal conspiracy charges during proceedings Aug. 9 at the Anderson County Courthouse.

 Judge Wyatt Saunders, presiding for the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court, sentenced Middleton to six years, suspended to 90 days and probation for five years on the embezzlement charge. Middleton must also make restitution of the $76,275 he admitted taking from the Town of Williamston coffers.

Aug. 21 - Piedmont residents were told they will have to wait at least six months to decide if the Piedmont Public Service District should incorporate. State officials said a letter must be sent to municipalities within five miles of the proposed district, in this case Pelzer and West Pelzer, at least six months prior to the issue going to a vote.

The 21st Annual Spring Water Festival featured a variety of local talent, including actors, singers, dancers and musical groups in addition to crafts, a car show and much more.

The Town of West Pelzer held a question and answer session for residents during a special public meeting.

South Carolina Representative Dan T. Cooper, R. Williamston was selected  Legislator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of Counties.

Anderson County Council discussed requiring EMS providers in Anderson County to conduct criminal background investigations.

Aug. 28 - Marion Middleton was serving his 90 day sentence at the Anderson County Detention Center.

Derek Watson continued to make headlines, being released from jail  pending appeal of a 10-day sentence related to a marijuana possession charge earlier this year. 

A trail system that could be used by hikers, bikers and horseback riders was envisioned by a group of interested individuals who met at Williamston’s Municipal Center to discuss a Rails-to-Trails type project that could eventually connect seven municipalities in Anderson County. The project would include trails connecting Williamston, Pelzer, West Pelzer and Belton with additional expansions to Honea Path where it could connect with a current rail to trail system extending out of Greenwood.

The Cheddar Fire Department completed a remodeling project that included bricking the fire station building.

Sept. 4 - Advance Auto Parts celebrated the Grand Re-opening of a new store in West Pelzer.

Anderson County Council approved a resolution honoring Williamston resident David R. Chastain for his service and dedication to Anderson County and approved requests for funding of several projects in the area. Council also heard a comprehensive economic development strategy presentation concerning road, sewer and water projects in Anderson County.

Sept. 11 - Siloam Christian School fourth grader Jay Gwinn had the opportunity to cover 9/11 memorial events on a national level for the popular  Weekly Reader publication.

Williamston Town Council heard a request on placement of a Sept. 11 memorial plaque, recognized D. R. Chastain and discussed reinterment of West Allen Williams.

West Pelzer Town Council approved a resolution that would allow the Town to proceed with the intermunicipal agreement with Pelzer on the Western Carolina joint sewer project.

Citizens of Williamston, Pelzer and West Pelzer came together to remember those who lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001 during a three-hour-long Community Memorial Service at Palmetto Stadium which featured remarks from a number of local leaders and pastors, as well as recognition of community servants.

Approximately 75 people attended a Sept. 11 community memorial service at the Piedmont Fire Department. In addition to remembering the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the service recognized Piedmont firefighters and ended with the dedication of two new fire engines.

Sept. 18 - Governor Jim Hodges appointed Stephen Dale Loftis, of Greer sheriff of Greenville County following the tragic death of sheriff Sam Simmons. Loftis graduated Crescent High School and worked for the Anderson Police Department.

D. R. Chastain was named honorary mayor of Williamston for the day on Sept. 19.

Anderson County and the state Department of Transportation were cleared of any liability in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Jack Webb, whose wife Doris was killed in a collision with a train in Pelzer in June 2000.

Ginger Pottorff was named Palmetto High School homecoming queen. 

Sept. 25 - An Anderson County jury awarded Jack Webb $4.1 million in damages after finding CSX responsible for a train crash in June, 2000 that killed his wife. Susan Webb was a passenger in a car struck by a CSX train at a crossing in Pelzer.

The Wren Fire Department received a $23,328 Assistance for Firefighters Grant Award for fire operations and fire safety from the United States Fire Administration, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

A group of 30 people interested in constructing a trail system for biking, hiking and equestrian use in the Williamston and surrounding area met to begin preliminary planning for the proposed project.

Oct. 2 - Circumstances surrounding Derek Watson’s high school academic career attracted the attention of the NCAA. Anderson District One spokesperson Dr. Joanne Avery confirmed that an NCAA representative interviewed five teachers at Palmetto High School. Palmetto football coach Tommy Davis, Principal Mason Gary and District One Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher were also interviewed.

Anderson County officials broke ground on the Powdersville sewer project. The $773,498 project includes six new sewer line sections installed near Hwy. 153 in Powdersville that will tie into existing sewer lines in the area, officials said.

The Piedmont Public Service District Commissioners discussed wording in a Federal sewer mandate and other items. Attorney John Pruitt presented a revised Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contract relating to Piedmont’s sewer system, however commissioners decided not to sign the contract until they looked it over again.

Wren High School crowned Melissa Whittaker, daughter of James and Debbie Whittaker of Piedmont, homecoming queen.

Oct. 9 - Newly elected West Pelzer council member W. E. Bud Brown was sworn into office by Municipal Judge Roger D. Scott. Brown was elected Oct. 8 to fill the unexpired term of Wendel Trotter.

Williamston Town Council approved the purchase of a 1993 E-One Rescue Pumper with a custom cab at a cost of $115,000. The vehicle was purchased from the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. in Maryland.

Oct. 16 - Happy Cow Creamery, a unique on-the-farm milk bottling operation opened offering high quality farm fresh milk to the local community through an on site store. Tom Trantham, Jr. and his son, Tom Trantham III, built the bottling operation into a harvest store silo, probably the only operation of its kind in the world. 

Council member Cindy Wilson received approval for $3500 to be used to help restore the Williamston Depot.  At the request of council member Bill Dees, the council approved $3000 for Piercetown Fire Department improvements.  A joint request from council members Fred Tolly and Clint Wright resulted in approval of a total of $60,000 to assist in repairing the Brown Road Bridge.

The remains of the three family members of West Allen Williams were reinterred in a private ceremony in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park.  Reinterred were Mary Williams, West Allen’s mother, brother Samuel Williams, Jr., and father, Samuel Williams, Sr.

Oct. 23 - During a budget work session held Oct. 17, Williamston Councilman Wade Pepper questioned apparent budget deficits caused by overages in salaries in four of the town’s departments and in other areas. Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy defended the overages, saying they are the reflection of true expenditures of the town for the year. Council also heard reports from Town Department heads.

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners decided to take a wait and see approach until the negotiation process has ended before signing an agreement under negotiation with the Environmental Protection Agency and Western Carolina.

Oct. 30 - South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges visited with students at Wren Elementary School.

Former Palmetto Middle student Christopher “Chris” Edward Dixon, 13, of  2601 Gordon Road, High Point, NC was missing from his home since Oct. 24.

West Pelzer Fall Festival was held at the Pelzer ball field.

The Town of Williamston sponsored a community costume ball at The Municipal Center.

Nov. 6 - Rudy Rhodes joined  incumbents Al McAbee and Fred Glenn who were reelected to their seats on the Piedmont Public Service Board Nov. 5.

Sesquicentennial pageant judges chose Kayla Walters as the Junior Queen and Amy Stubbs as the Senior Queen during ceremonies at Palmetto High School Auditorium. Highlight of the event was the crowning of Williamston’s Miss Sesquicentennial by Martha Phillips Poore of Mauldin.

Williamston Town Council members were introduced to Williamston’s Sesquicentennial Queens. Council went into a 2.5 hour closed door executive session to discuss contractual agreements and personnel matters.

Nov. 13 - Longtime incumbents Dr. Harold Mackey and Jimmy Rogers each faced a runoff election to decide if they would continue to serve on Williamston Town Council.

Voters in Anderson County Council District 7 returned incumbent Cindy Wilson as their representative.

In what may have been the closest race of the election, incumbent C. Dale Martin defeated challenger J. Doug Atkins by one vote for the Anderson School District 1 Area 5 Board seat.

A man first identified by authorities as Saloman Ventura Reyes, 45, was  killed when Williamston officers fired multiple shots as he approached them with a kitchen type knife. The police officers were responding to a domestic dispute in which a woman’s hand was slashed and a house gutted by fire.

Nov. 13 - Anderson School District One Cross Country teams finished second, third and fourth in the State Championship Cross County meet at the Clemson  Sandhills Research Center Saturday. Sunday Ford (Wren) and Ben Sherard (Palmetto)  won their races to earn the title of State Champions and Brad Orr (Wren) was runnerup.

Duke Power announced the closing of the Main Street Williamston office.

The Williamston Fire Department was awarded a $53,100 grant from the 2002 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Fire Chief Steve Ellison said the grant will be used  to purchase a breathing air compressor, air cascade units and an emergency power generator for the fire station.

The name of William D. Watkins was added to the list of names at the Williamston-Pelzer War memorial as area residents remembered veterans during a special Veterans Day program.

Nov. 20 - Williamston residents voted to seat two new members to town council. Greg Cole defeated veteran council member Harold Mackey for the Ward 1 seat and Cecil Cothran defeated Jimmy Rogers for the Ward 2 seat in the runoff election.

Approximately 200 persons attended the historical reinterment service for West Allen Williams.  A group of about 30 persons walked behind a horse drawn caisson along a 3 mile processional route from Big Creek Baptist Church to the memorial gravesite located in Mineral Spring Park.

Palmetto High School Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Tommy Davis achieved his 200th career win over the Chapin Eagles during the second round of 2A playoffs.

District 7 Council Member Cindy Wilson presented the Saluda River Valley Trail proposal to Anderson County Council. Wilson received the council’s unanimous approval for $5000 to fund the study with Councilmembers Clint Wright and Gracie Floyd adding $1000, for a total of $7000.

Two Williamston police officers involved in the shooting death of a man who charged at them with a knife were going through counseling and returned to work. Tenth Judicial Circuit Court Solicitor Druanne D. White announced that her review of the SLED investigation showed the officers acted in self defense when they shot Salomon Ventura-Reyes.

The Williamston Heritage Players presented the comedy “Dearly Departed” at the Pelzer Auditorium.

Nov. 27 - Williamston Town Council approved first reading on the 2003 budget along with an ordinance concerning insurance benefits of the mayor and council during a special called budget meeting held Nov. 22.  Mayor Phillip Clardy said the purpose of adding the insurance state ment section to the budget ordinance is to have Council approve a continuing practice of providing insurance benefits for the Mayor and Council members.

Dec. 4 - West Pelzer residents enjoyed their very own Chirstmas parade, the first in the town in 40 years. Peggy Paxton organized the event.

Williamston Town officials said they were not ready to make a decision on a request to provide sewer services to residents of the Forest Hills subdivision. Approximately 33 homes in the  Forest Hills area are on the system, which is out of compliance with DHEC guidelines.

Williamston Town Council approved second reading on a $2.2 million general fund and a $1.36 million water and sewer enterprise fund budget for 2003.

Stephen Webb was named Mr. Palmetto.

Gerber Childrenswear, Inc., a division of Kellwood Company, announced the decision to discontinue knitting and distribution operations at its Pelzer facilities by the end of  February 2003.

Robert Bosch Corporation announced a $200 million investment creating 200 new jobs for Anderson County.

Dec. 11 - West Pelzer Town Council approved a zoning change request by trailer park owner Jerry Adkins to allow five year old mobile homes in trailer parks within the Town limits.

Dec. 18 - District 7 Councilmember Cindy Wilson encouraged fellow council members to look carefully at spending and posed several questions for public disclosure to County Administrator Joey Preston at Anderson County Council’s last meeting of 2002.

Dec. 25 - Area residents celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ and readied for 2003.






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