News Archive

Week of Jan. 14, 2004

Woodmont Town Meeting focuses on district initiatives
Night on the Town forum invites revitalization input
Pelzer proceeds with police protection plan
King to run for state house seat
Board shepherds District One through tough budget year
West Pelzer officials hear audit recommendations
Pelzer’s Timmerman receives honorary degree from Clemson
SHARE accepting energy assistance applications
Alcohol, drugs top list of arrests
Turner grievance hearing held

 

Woodmont Town Meeting focuses on district initiatives

Greenville County Superintendent Dr. William E. Harner painted a promising picture for Greenville County schools in a town meeting held at Woodmont High School on January 8.

Approximately 50 students, parents, and school personnel were on hand at the second in a series of six town meetings to be held in high schools across the district this year. School Board Trustees Roger Meek and Crystal O’Connor were also present at the meeting to answer questions and offer explanations.

Harner’s presentation explained the five aspects of the district’s educational plan: advancing student achievement, hiring quality personnel, building new schools, improving financial posture, and improving communication.

Improvements highlighted by Harner included an emphasis on improving teacher quality by devoting $2.7 million to training and staff development for the district’s 4,300 teachers. Harner also reported that salaries in the district are now the 3rd highest in the state compared to 32nd highest four years ago.

Harner also touted the decision to fund a 4K program quoting statistics showing that 99% of students attending the program passed 1st Grade.

Harner also explained a middle school initiative offering Algebra I to 7th and 8th graders and correlated this initiative to an increase in the number of students who pass the PACT test.

Scholarships for 2003 graduates amounted to $54 million district-wide while seven of the district’s 14 high schools scored above the national average on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT), Harner added.

Harner documented a 21% cut in district personnel since 1999 and gave statistics showing that the ratio of administrative staff and central office staff to students has increased and exceeds the state average.

During the time for questions, Harner confirmed that the district has funded a new middle school for southern Greenville County to be ready by the spring of 2006. “Land is the only issue,” Harner added explaining that the district is still looking for land for the project.

A teacher questioned rumors of a district policy to eliminate veteran teachers or teachers with higher degrees to reduce costs. “Not true,” Harner answered and explained a district move toward “site-based decisions by principals regarding personnel dollars.” This would leave decisions as to how money for personnel at individual schools is spent in the hands of each principal according to Harner.

A former assistant principal asked why former Woodmont High School principal Jeannie Monson was moved to the district office in the middle of the school year and replaced with an interim principal. Harner said that this was a personnel matter and that he could not speak about it publicly. He did confirm that the district is currently recruiting a new principal for the school.

A media specialist applauded the district’s initiative to fund new library books. Harner indicated that the average age of library books is now 1991 as opposed to 1974 a few years ago.

Harner also discussed plans for having a district-wide database of all books in the libraries which would be easily accessible by parents and students. He added that there are plans to have libraries open during the summer for year round access.

 

Night on the Town forum invites revitalization input

The Town of Williamston and the Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) are planning a “Night on the Town” for citizens, business owners and others with an interest to exchange ideas and suggestions regarding future development of the town.

The informal forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, and will include a display of two different Main Street drawings, a short video presentation on the town, and other  items.

The informal gathering will also offer an opportunity for business and property owners and citizens to express likes or dislikes, ideas or suggestions for their vision for the town.

“We would like to light some fires, to turn on some lightbulbs concerning input for the town,” GWBA president Dave Maddox said,.

Maddox said he hoped local leaders will be able to draw on input from the meeting to “get some direction and organization’ and to use that to qualify for grants.

The Greater Williamston Business Association has about $25,000 available for matching grant funding, according to Maddox.

Maddox said he sees the gathering as a way for ideas to come together and for individuals to form a natural committee to help organize a plan for Williamston’s downtown.

He said he hopes for a good representation of the town at the forum who will offer input that can be use in coming up with a downtown revitalization plan.

“The ideas and drawings that we have are just suggestions by people with no vested interest,” Maddox said. “The ideas might work, they might not.”

Maddox said he hopes to hear a lot of different ideas.”It’s not like we have to pick this one or that,” he said.

Maddox said the input offered at the meeting could be very helpful in determining which direction the town and the GWBA go.

“It will depend on what kind of input we get and if people are interested,” he said.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said invitations and questionnaires are to be sent to business owners and churches in the community prior to the meeting next week.

The mayor said he and council will base their decisions on revitalization efforts for the town on the public input generated during the forum.

Municipal consultant Rusty Burns will represent the town and offer information concerning grant availability and on other items, Clardy said.

Burns will be available to discuss options that may be available to business owners, the mayor said.

Belton Mayor Rufus Callaham has also been asked to present information on the downtown revitalization project Belton recently undertook.

Clardy said Callaham has been asked to offer a briefing on what Belton officials would do differently concerning their two phase project.

Clardy said the downtown revitalization project is not limited to the downtown square area but involves other areas of the town as well.

He said town officials are looking at the dilapidated properties, economic growth, and East Main, West Main and Greenville Drive.

Clardy said the meeting is the continuation of a vision that had its start several years ago.

“We have been wanting to do something for the growth of Williamston for some time,” he said.

Clardy said he sees the meeting as “bringing more focus” to what has been talked about in meetings over the last few years.

“This is the first time for going to the public,” he said. “It needs to be something the whole community is involved in.”

“We want to be conscious of public wants and needs in the direction we want to go,” Clardy said.

Questionnaires being sent out by the town will offer specific questions such as: Where do you go out to eat? or Where to you shop? If not in Williamston, why?

From the responses, Clardy said the group can focus on options to see what can be provided.

Clardy said he sees the meeting as focusing on past, present and future of Williamston.

After the Night on the Town meeting, the mayor said he hopes key persons involved can sit down to discuss specific ideas brought out at the meeting.

He said he also plans to send a specific questionnaire to all Williamston residents as a followup.

From there, Clardy said the town and GWBA will develop a plan for actual downtown development and begin applying for grants.

The Night on the Town forum is open to the public and will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Municipal Center auditorium. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

Downtown proposal - cutline: A computer rendering of Williamston’s Main St. buildings with different paint and awnings is one of several proposals that will be available for review next Thursday at a forum sponsored by the Greater Williamston Business Association and The Town of Williamston. The drawing is part of a proposed revitalization plan designed by Bob Bainbridge of Clemson University with the help of Clemson students last year. The design includes adding a landscaped parking area behind the Main St. businesses and allowing a passageway somwhere in the center of the business district. This portion of the design also includes closing a portion of Mineral Park circle and making it a brick paver walkway and adding a new connecting street to access the rear parking area. Other plans for Main St. and a new Town Square area call for adding turning lanes into the shopping center, adding a median and brick crosswalks and providing for a park, grassy area in a portion of the current parking lot. Approximately 15 ft. of the parking lot would be used to add trees and decorative street lights along sidewalks in front of the Main St. buildings. Suggestions included painting the buildings a brick or red color and adding colored awnings to add color to the plan. Also, highlighting architechtectural details of the brick work and adding wooden doors to the buildings. Other plans for the downtown area call for a town square area possibly including a clock tower, grassy area, trees and fountains of some type. Other Information and drawings will be presented at the “Night on the Town” which will be held at 5:30 p.m. January 22 at the Williamston Municipal Center. Anyone interested in the future of the town is invited to the forum.

 

Pelzer proceeds with police protection plan

The Town of Pelzer is moving ahead with plans for a contract with the Town of West Pelzer to provide police protection, Mayor Page Henderson reported at the town council meeting January 12.

Henderson reported that he along with Council member Steve McGregor and Municipal Clerk Skip Watkins met with West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton, Council member Earl Brown and attorneys to discuss a 12-item checklist of concerns. “Some legal gray areas still need to be worked out by attorneys,” Henderson advised.

Henderson also reported plans for a codification of town ordinances. Municipal Code Corporation of Orlando, Florida would meet with Town Attorney Jimmy King and perform the legal research and cross-referencing necessary to systematize the ordinances.

Though Henderson admitted that he was not sure of the cost or complexity of the project, he estimated a cost ranging from $5,000 to $18,000 to develop a set of ordinances for the town using state ordinances as a guideline.

Henderson reported that the town received an estimate of $8,000 to prepare the gymnasium for painting and to apply two coats of paint. He also reminded the council that the estimate for installing a new roof on the gymnasium was $13,500.

According to Henderson, Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) permits have expired on the sewer project so the Rural Development grant will need to be redone to reflect new permits.

Henderson advised the council that he had sent a letter to Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor about the lack of enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit in Pelzer.

The town had an expenditure of $13,842.99 to the state Budget and Control Board for liability insurance, Henderson reported. He also announced plans to send out quarterly newsletters to town residents to keep them informed on town issues.

King to run for state house seat

Jack Herbert King of Piedmont has announced his candidacy as a Republican for the State House of Representatives for District 10, the seat currently held by Dan Cooper.

A 32-year veteran educator, King served as athletic director and head football coach at Wren High School as well as teaching U. S. History and Driver’s Education. He currently serves as an assistant principal and has worked in administration for five years.

A 1970 graduate of Clemson University, King played football for Coach Frank Howard from 1966 through 1969 and was a graduate assistant for two years for Coach Hootie Ingram before going to Wren in 1972.

“The legislature has done a disservice to education in this state,” King contends. More testing and accountability is required with less and less funding to support it according to King.

King says that he is also interested in sufficient financial support for law enforcement so that there are enough officers to keep towns and communities safe. “Small stuff tends to grow into larger stuff” without proper policing, King says.

King would also like to see a fairer tax base created in which property taxes will not have to be raised by local municipalities and school boards to get the revenue they need to operate. He believes that other tax revenue options should be explored. “If the state legislature does their job to support the services demanded by the people, then it will not be passed down to the property owners,” King says.

Support for the elderly and filling the gaps for prescription medications that will be omitted by the federal programs is also a concern for King. Having an elderly mother in a nursing home, he says that he has seen the effect of recent decisions on senior citizens.

The 55-year-old King has been married to the former Lynn Rogers of Piedmont for 33 years. They have two sons, James and Berkeley, who live in Piedmont and are employed with Rogers Outdoor Equipment. He is a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church where he is a deacon and Sunday School teacher.

Board shepherds District One through tough budget year

By Stephanie Summerlin

Anderson School District One experienced a year marked with highs and lows – from top test scores and multiple grants to continued blows to the budget.

January 2003--The January meeting of Anderson School District One Board of Trustees offered the opportunity to spotlight the hard work and excellence demonstrated by district schools.

Anderson One was honored as one of only three schools statewide which achieved an excellent rating on the 2002 South Carolina Report Card.

The board presented seven district schools with Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards banners. The awards, which also include grant monies, honored schools for academic excellence.

The board also handed down approval of a $435,488 downward adjustment to the budget in light of the $980,000 cuts by the state.

February--Hiring freezes, the elimination of several academic programs and spending delays were just some of the ways Anderson School District One wrestled the round of state education budget cuts in February.

The district’s board of trustees heard where fiscal adjustments would be made to reduce the blow of a 3.73 percent cut handed down from Columbia. Such adjustments included eliminating summer school at four Anderson One elementary schools as well as the CREATE program; cutting district-related travel; a hiring freeze for instructional coaches; and cutting the instructional supply budget, among others.

Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher asked the board to consider taking part in TAN – the Tax Anticipation Notice program – allowing the district to borrow money against anticipated tax revenue to aid in cash flow.

Christopher also noted that state spending per pupil took a significant hit  – dropping it to 1994 levels.

“(The state) has set the student base cost at $1,643, which is $290 below what we started with this year,” he said. “We have lost $3.2 million in the last two years.”

March--The district’s budgetary woes didn’t seem to lighten in March. Up against a 3.73 percent cut handed down from the state, District One was forced to shave off millions normally earmarked for a myriad of student programs.

According to Christopher, the district had to find funds or make cuts in order to fulfill spending increases mandated by the state, such as a step increase on salaries plus a .66 percent raise for teachers. That mandate would cost the district $529,829.

Another thing troubling Christopher was the state’s plans to cap the number of students funded statewide in 2003-04 at 827,036 – numbers achieved by the 135-day point of the school year. That left no room for District One to grow its student population – an inevitability, the superintendent says.

“We expect to grow 303 students next year,” Christopher said. “In our calculations so far, we have not included those 303 students. If we include 50 percent of that, we would receive an additional $309,000 if they didn’t cap the total statewide weighted pupils.”

April--April saw most District One students in or preparing for standardized testing. At that month’s board meeting, Dr. Wayne Fowler, assistant superintendent, offered the board some good news on the budget front.

“You know we’ve been talking about the budget, the lack of money and things like that,” he said. “And I know it’s going to be a difficult year financially. But our teachers never cease to amaze me the way they work with Dr. John Pruitt to acquire grants.  They have submitted for consideration $325,000 worth of grants to the state.”

In other budget news, Christopher said the state Senate Finance Committee had announced a preliminary expenditure of $1,904 per student. The amount marked an increase from the House version of the budget, which appropriated $1,644 per student.

“It’s probably going to be compromised between the House and Senate, and I predict that it will be somewhere in the $1,780 category per student,” Christopher said. “That’s still not near what we need, but if that’s what it is, that’s what we’ll try to work with.”

May--The end of the academic year brought new challenges to District officials – namely in how they would fund the need for more teachers and keep student-to-teacher ratios at current levels despite a 23.7 percent decrease in base student spending.

Especially problematic, said district officials, was sustaining those ratios in light of an anticipated 303-student increase.

“There are several of our schools that will need to fill growth positions,” said Christopher. “Cedar Grove Elementary will need 2.7, Concrete Primary, two, Powdersville Elementary, 2.5, Hunt Meadows Elementary, 1.7, and Wren High, four.”

July--District One eased some of its 2003-04 budget woes with more than $112,000 in Education Improvement Act (EIA) grants, Fowler announced at the July board meeting. Fourteen Anderson One schools landed grants.

“This comes at a good time, when money is in short supply,” Fowler said. “We had extraordinary results. At Pelzer Elementary, there are nine classrooms. Seven out of the nine received grants. That has to be a record. And Wren Middle was our top grant recipient, with $20,000 awarded.”

The district’s total grant dollar amount increased from $82,000 in 2002-03 to $112,804 this year.

More news in terms of student funding came from Christopher, who reported that $1,777 has been set as the base student cost within Anderson County schools.

He also noted that Anderson One  would welcome an estimated 8,000 students to its classrooms at the beginning of the school year – up a predicted 303 students from 2002-03.

August--Citing that more students are attempting the SAT in order to land  scholarships, Fowler announced at the August Board of Trustees meeting that district scores on the test dropped slightly in 2003 to 1012 – down from 1037 last year.

The district did exceed the state average by 23. And the top 10 percent of Anderson One’s students taking the SAT surpassed the state’s and nation’s top 10 percent.

Numbers continued to be the focus of the school board meeting, as Christopher announced yet another budget shortfall from the state. According to the superintendent, the State Department of Education announced it had “sequestered 1 percent of EIA funds.” The result was $170,000 less in District One’s coffers this school year.

Christopher also noted that the Anderson County School Board recently approved a millage increase for District One – up .5 mils to 4.5.

September--With another year under their belts, the freshman academies at Palmetto and Wren high schools were once again celebrating academic success.

In a presentation to the board in September, Wren High’s Kelly Pew and Robbie Binnicker and Palmetto High’s Brian Couch offered more good news concerning ninth grade performance for the 2002-03 school year.

One piece of good news lay in the effect on dropout rates. Citing that freshman year performance is often indicative of whether or not a student will stay in school, Pew and Couch noted that without the Academy, the results could be dismal.

“With dropout rates at a national average of about 20 percent, and with 420 ninth graders at Wren, that would mean 84 of them would dropout,” Couch said. “At Palmetto, with 249 ninth graders, that number would be at 50.”

The number of freshmen failing two or more courses also dropped from 28 percent in 2000-01 to 6.6 percent in 2002-03. And discipline had been impacted, with Palmetto decreasing disciplinary references from 471 in 2000-01 to 50 in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Wren also saw its disciplinary references drop from 528 in 2001-02 to 408 last year.

October--The district’s biggest news story of the year came out of the October board meeting, when superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher announced his retirement – marking the end of a 40-year education career.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been a good ride, the reason being that I have surrounded myself with good people,” Christopher said.

Dr. Wayne Fowler, who currently serves as assistant superintendent, was approved by the board as the new superintendent effective July 1. The district’s other assistant superintendent, David Havird, was promoted to associate superintendent.

Answering another budget shortfall, Christopher also asked the board to authorize the use of TAN up to $800,000 for the purpose of meeting the district’s financial obligations, such as meeting payroll.

November--Owning a $100,000 house within the boundaries of Anderson County School District One will cost you an extra $14 on your tax bill, thanks to a millage increase last fall.

According to Christopher, what began as a 4.5 mil increase his board requested last summer rose to 7 mils after crossing the county auditor’s desk.

“The auditor was operating on different information than what we had,” Christopher said. “The Bosch Corporation’s assessment was down $2 million. The auditor also had a letter from the state saying we had only collected 88 percent of our taxes in this district. So she assigned 7 mils.”

Taxes will go up 22 to 33 percent this year on residential property due to reassessment. Christopher said the millage increase beyond that reassessment was paramount in a time when deeper cuts are being made to school district budgets.

“We’ve lost over $3 million from the state in the last couple of years, and it has put us in a tough time,” he said. “The legislators come riding in on their white horse – (Gov. David) Beasley did it with tax relief. When they took away the car tax, they knew it was going over to the residential side because we had to have the money. They pass all these laws reducing taxes knowing that they’re going to make the school boards the bad guys.”

The superintendent said he and his board were simply trying to do their jobs.

“The school boards have an obligation to educate the children in the community,” he said. “And we have an obligation as taxpayers to do that. People say we need to cut back when times are lean. We have cut way back. But the legislature could have cut back. They spent $49 million on the Education Accountability Act on testing. They could have said they were going to forego the testing this year – saving $40 million and putting it into basic services.”

West Pelzer officials hear audit recommendations

West Pelzer officials received the audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003 and heard recommendations for accounting improvements at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

Robert Daniel of Greene and Company in Anderson presented the formal report to Mayor Peggy Paxton, the Town Council, and a large group of citizens that were present.

According to Daniel, the Town of West Pelzer received an unqualified or “clean” opinion although there were several recommendations that he discussed which were outlined in the audit management letter to the town.

Daniel said that the “crude manual system” which was in place could be transferred to computer programs which could better track and reconcile town transactions. Although some shortfalls were discovered in the current and past audits, neither Daniel nor Town Attorney Carey Murphy recommended a formal investigation. “There is no evidence to warrant an investigation,” Murphy contended.

Recommendations outlined in the management letter proposed more separation of duties in the handling of transactions. This would require that the Mayor and Town Council be involved in more administrative oversight in order to assure proper control over transactions.

The letter also recommended that property tax records which were kept manually be transferred to the computer and that daily collections be deposited in the bank each day.

Controls over water and sewer collections need to be strengthened according to the letter. Reconciliation of the water and sewer collections to billing was short by $8,967 for the year 2003. Daniel reported that this was an improvement over 2002 when a shortage of $14, 264 was present. Again, auditors recommended utilizing a computer program that would allow better tracking of transactions due to inadequacies in the manual system.

The letter also recommended that the practice of employees paying for items purchased through the town by withholding from paychecks be discontinued.

All expenditures should have an approval from the Mayor or the Town Council before being paid, the letter stated.

The management letter also recommended that all police fines be recorded on a formal docket which shows the amount of each fine that is due to the state, to victim assistance, and to be retained by the Town.

Delinquent tax notices should be reviewed on a yearly basis to determine whether or not to hold a tax sale or to write off the delinquent taxes, the letter proposed. A total of $13,817.88 in delinquent taxes still shows on town books since 1995.

The letter also mentioned that the problem of the Town paying the employee and employer portion of retirement was discontinued by the end of the year but was present during a portion of the year.

Daniel noted an improvement over three or four years ago in the books when “there was not enough to do an audit.” Paxton emphasized that many of the current audit recommendations had already been implemented by the town.

Pelzer’s Timmerman receives honorary degree from Clemson

 In recognition of “his untiring service to the citizens of South Carolina and his relentless zeal and enthusiasm for natural resources conservation,” Clemson University recognized Dr. James A. Timmerman, Jr. at December graduation exercises by presenting him with the honorary Doctor of Science Degree.

“Dr. Timmerman has an unparalleled commitment to preserving the natural beauty of South Carolina and academic excellence at Clemson University,” Clemson President James F. Barker said. “This makes him an excellent choice to receive an honorary degree from our university.”

“My wish is that you enjoy and cherish your Clemson experience just as I have,” Timmerman told the graduates after receiving the honorary degree from Barker.

Timmerman, Director Emeritus of the S. C. Department of Natural Resources, was born in Pelzer in 1935. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree (1957) and a Master’s Degree (1959) in Zoology from Clemson and a Ph.D. from Auburn University in 1963.

In 1961, he joined the faculty of The Citadel and was appointed as the youngest department head ever to serve the military college as head of the new biology department in 1967

Timmerman served as acting director and then as permanent director of the Marine Resources Division of the S. C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Department from 1970 to 1974. During this time, he was instrumental in the development of the Marine Center at Fort Johnson in Charleston.

In 1974, Timmerman was appointed executive director of the S. C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Department.

The S. C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was formed in 1994 unifying six former state agencies under one mission, leadership, and organization. The SCDNR Board unanimously named Timmerman as agency director. Upon his retirement in 1997, the board named him director emeritus.

In appreciation for the role he played in the state’s acquisition of the 32,000-acre Jocassee Gorges property, the S. C. General Assembly passed a resolution to name the area in honor of Timmerman. The Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area was dedicated on December 7, 2000.

Timmerman’s dedication to natural resources conservation has earned him wide recognition. He has received the Order of the Palmetto from the state of South Carolina, the 1997 Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from the S. C. Wildlife Federation, and the 1990 Seth Gordon Award from the International Association of the Fish & Wildlife Federation.

Timmerman was also on the Presidential Transitional Team for President George Bush during 1988-89 and was appointed by the U. S. Secretary of Commerce to the Advisory Board of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

For Clemson, Timmerman has served on the Board of Visitors, the Bioengineering Committee, advisory boards for the School of Forest and Recreation Resources, and the Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology.

Timmerman was instrumental in forming a cooperative relationship between the SCDNR and Clemson University which fostered the development of a strong wildlife and fisheries program and led to the establishment of the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Co-op Unit at Clemson.

The son of James and Marguerite Smith Timmerman, Timmerman grew up at 74 Main Street in Pelzer and was a member of the last graduating class from Pelzer High School in 1953.

He is married to the former Jo Anne Brock who grew up in the Cheddar community.

Timmerman’s sister Mary Hoyt Murphy lives in Maine. His brother Tommy now lives in the Timmerman home on Main Street in Pelzer.

SHARE accepting energy assistance applications

Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc. (SHARE) will accept applications for its Direct Home Energy Assistance Program through April 30.

The program helps low income families meet their energy needs during winter weather and is a part of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Block Grant administered by the Office of the Governor, Office of Economic Opportunity.

Eligibility for the program is based on total monthly income. The amount of assistance is based on: total household income, the household energy burden, age of household members, and the number of disabled and/or elderly household members.

To apply, applicants must have: documentation of all household income during the past 30 days, a social security card for each household member, proof of identification, and the most recent energy bill if the primary heating source is electricity or natural gas.

Applications will be taken at the Belton Community Center, 303 Zion Street, on Wednesday January 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Applications will also be taken on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at SHARE in Anderson at 400 East River Street. Applicants who are age 70 or older may apply on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information, contact the SHARE office at (864) 224-7028. 

Alcohol, drugs top list of arrests

Williamston police officers had several arrests involving drugs, alcohol and suspended licenses this week. These and other incidents investigated include:

Jan. 12 - Lonnie D. Dean, Jr., 37, 18 Brown St., Williamston, was arrested for assault and battery in connection with an incident occurring on Pelzer Ave. in which he allegedly drove a vehicle toward Terry W. Buchannan, of Williamston, who was walking along Pelzer Ave. J. L. Barnes, Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Jan. 10 - McArthur Sanders, 53, 222 East Carolina St., Williamston was arrested for possession of crack cocaine and an outstanding bench warrant. Reports state .3 grams of a white rock type substance which field tested positive for crack cocaine was found in his possesion. B. L. Wilson investigated.

Jan. 9 - Stacy Smith, 34, 101 Bigby St., Williamston, was arrested for shoplifting and warrants served after being observed leaving ERS Video, 514 Greenville Dr., Williamston. Reports state a RCA stereo amplifier valued at $63 was found in his possession. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Jan. 8 - Walter E. Duke, 64, 218 Waterford Dr., Williamston, reported $220 in damage to a mailbox which was broken off at the ground. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Jan. 7 - Clinton Wallace Tucker, 28, 230 Hyman Rd., Fountain Inn, was arrested for no vehicle license, operating an uninusured vehicle and driving under suspension after a Ford Bronco was observed on Greenville Dr. with no license. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Jan. 6 - Rolando DeLa Tiorre Maldonado, 21, 1619 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, was arrested Nov. 28 for speeding, no S. C. drivers license and operating an uninsured vehicle after a 1992 Ford Explorer was observed traveling at a high rate of speed on Cherokee Rd. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Jan. 6 - Jamie Ann Barnes, 23, 2322, Hwy. 252 Belton, was arrested for driving left of center, driving under suspension (more that 1st), improper vehicle license and operating an uninsured vehicle. D. Munger investigated.

Jan. 5 - Christopher Neal Simmons, 18, 1036 Dean Springs Rd., Belton, was arrested for muffler violation and minor in possession of beer after a 1990 Nissan Maxima was observed on Anderson Dr. with a loud or defective muffler. D. Munger investigated.

Jan. 5 - Marvin Eugene Scott III, 32, 24 Chapman Lane, Piedmont, was arrested for speeding and driving under suspension after a 1995 Mazda was observed on North Hamilton and Wilson St. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Jan. 5 - David Abelardo Villalobos Ruiz, 26, 110 Terrapin Rd., Williamston, was arrested for unreasonable noise after officers responded to a complaint involving loud music coming from a 1994 Ford van at 310 E. Main St., B. L. Wilson investigated.

Jan . 3 - Patrick Joshua Ray, 26, 401 Stone Rd., Williamston, was arrested for outstanding bench warrant with Anderson County family court after a red Oldsmobile was observed without a license plate. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Jan. 1 - Gary Craig Patterson, 43, 336 Wesley Ellison Rd., Williamston, was arrested for an outstanding warrant after being observed in Winn Dixie parking lot. B. L. Wilson, Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Jan. 1 - Andrew Mueth Patton, 20, 112 Browing Rd., Piedmont, was arrested for failure to give proper signal, driving under suspension and simple possession of marijuana after a Pontiac Grand Prix was observed on Harper St. Reports state officers found a  brown wooden container containing approximately one gram of a green leafy substance which field tested positive for marijuana. B. L. Wilson investigated.

Turner grievance hearing held

A grievance committee for The Town of Williamston found that Chief Troy Martin acted within the “bounds of his authority” in terminating former Williamston Police Sergeant Stephen Turner.

A closed door grievance hearing requested by Turner was held December 16.

After reviewing the evidence and arguments of both parties, the committee voted 3-1 that Martin acted within the “bounds of his authority” in terminating Turner on grounds of “insubordination.”

The committee also recommended that disciplinary actions be documented in writing, a copy of actions be placed in the employee’s personnel file and a copy be given to the employee. The committee also recommended that an independent witness be present during disciplinary actions.

The committee “strongly recommended” that the policies and procedures handbook be updated to cover employees from hiring to termination.

A written response by Mayor Phillip Clardy’s stated: “It is and will continue to be the position of the Town of Williamston to provide a safe, beneficials, and fair employment opportunity to our workers and staff. As always, the Town of Williamston wil give careful consideration to those recommendations suggested by the committee.”

 

 

 

 

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