News Archive

Week of Jan. 28, 2004

Winter weather brings ice
Sylvia Brown retires from Piedmont Fire Department
Ongoing topics remain focus for revitalization“Night on the Town”
Two vehicles reported stolen

Winter weather brings ice

Old Man Winter made his presence known this week as freezing temperatures and compatible weather conditions led to icy roads and hazardous driving as well as some power outages across the area.

Fortunately, the Upstate received a much lighter dose of the winter storm than predicted.

A last-minute movement of moisture southward left areas such as Greenwood and Columbia bearing the brunt of the storm.

George Acker, Duke Power District Manager, reported “very few weather–related problems” in the area.

Approximately 7,000 customers in Piedmont, Pelzer, and Powdersville experienced a brief power interruption Monday night, but Acker says the outage was not directly related to ice.

Acker reports that the outage which occurred around 10:30 p.m. was a mechanical transmission problem which may occur in extreme cold or hot temperatures. Full service was restored to all customers by 6 a.m. Tuesday morning according to Acker.

Municipalities in the area reported no major accidents or fires as a result of weather conditions. Several minor traffic accidents were reported, but no serious injuries occurred.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) reported that over 1,300 employees were working to clear roads and bridges as of 5 p.m. Monday. SCDOT personnel started working around the clock Sunday morning to keep interstates open, clear primary roads and assist motorists.

A total of 528 equipment units including salt spreaders, plows and motor graders were out on the highways spreading salt or clearing roads.

By late Monday, SCDOT officials reported that 5,237 tons of salt, 25,735 gallons of calcium chloride, 12,000 gallons of salt brine, and 6,691 tons of sand had been used to melt ice on roads and bridges.

SCDOT also opened the toll-free call center at noon on Monday to assist travelers with information about road conditions. By calling 1-888-877-9151 or by accessing the SCDOT website at, motorists were able to receive the most current information available.

Due to continued high call volume, SCDOT extended the hours of operation for the toll-free call center until 6 p.m. Tuesday. SCDOT advises motorists to continue to use caution while traveling since items such as fallen tree limbs continue to create hazardous conditions.

Mail delivery continued despite the adverse circumstances. The United States Postal Service reported that mail delivery was provided in all areas where it was safe to do so during the icy conditions. Postal personnel continuously assessed road conditions across the state to ensure that mail could be delivered.

Some customers on secondary roads may not have received mail if the roads were impassable or unsafe for postal drivers according to a spokesperson.

“We will do our best to make delivery to all addresses as we usually do in bad weather. At the same time, we must ensure the safety of our carriers along their routes,” said Greater South Carolina District Manager Larry Jones.

 Sylvia Brown retires from Piedmont Fire Department

The Piedmont Fire Department loses a familiar face this month as Sylvia Dill Brown officially retires after 10 years as administrative assistant.

Commissioners, firemen, and family had an early retirement dinner in November to honor Brown and to present her with a clock plaque and gifts to acknowledge her years of service.

Hiring the soft-spoken minister’s widow in 1992 was “the best thing we’ve done” says Marsha Rogers, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Her experience in tax preparation, accounting and bookkeeping gave Brown excellent training for her job at the fire department which she describes as “a little different.” Yet she confesses that she has enjoyed the job more than any other she has had.

Brown set up office procedures and converted all records to a computer system in 1993. Chief Administrator Butch Nichols summarizes the impact she has had on the department by saying, “She has made my job 100% better.”

Finding herself the only female in an office of mostly young males led Brown to become somewhat of a mother figure to the group. She admits that she will miss seeing the employees every day who have grown to be like a family to her but she plans to drop in to visit them often.

Fireman Craig Lawless who lives in Williamston has been training over the last few months to assume Brown’s duties for the 17-employee operation. Lawless will also remain available for emergency, medical and dispatch duties in the department.

Brown grew up in Piedmont and attended Sue Cleveland Elementary until the Dill family moved to Greenville when she was 12 years old. She graduated from Parker High School and married Alton Brown in 1959.

She and her husband served in upstate churches in Ninety Six, Ware Shoals, Sandy Springs and Abbeville until her husband’s death in 1991.

Finding Piedmont a “lovely, quiet place to live,” Brown returned to her roots and settled into a home next door to her mother Lavonia Smith Dill McCurry on Golden Grove Circle just off Highway 20. There she is able to enjoy the countryside and the convenience of living only a mile from town as well as care for her mother, Brown says.

Over the years Brown says she has learned “how to trust in God and live for Him” as well as learning to be a good mother to her children.

According to Brown, retirement will give her more time for her family which includes son Stephen in Lexington and daughter Susan in Knoxville, Tennessee as well as other pastimes. Reading, painting in oils, ceramics, traveling and activities at the Fountain of Life Worship Center also will keep her busy.

After completing annual paperwork for the fire department, Brown reports that she is already beginning to enjoy her retirement. “It’s wonderful to have the government support me,” she smiles.

Ongoing topics remain focus for revitalization at “Night on the Town”

Approximately 50 people showed up for the “Night on the Town” forum cosponsored by The Town of Williamston and The Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) last Thursday.

An open invitation was offered to anyone interested in revitalizing the town of Williamston and planning for the future.

Among those in attendance were several residents, members of several church congregations and others. Only five Williamston businesses were represented.

A historical video featuring faces of residents in Williamston in the 1930s was shown at the beginning of the meeting.

A video presentation featuring less appealing images around the town was also shown during the meeting.

Drawings of two different Main Street proposals were also available for inspection.

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

Some residents suggested they would like to see a bowling alley, skating rink, movie theatre and Ryan’s restaurant in Williamston.

Others in attendance pointed out things they see daily on Greenville Drive including  junk vehicles and drug problems as needing attention by the town.

There was very little discussion by the audience related to actual plans for downtown revitalization.

Municipal consultant Rusty Burns said one of the first things that has to be done to receive grant funding for a downtown project is to define the area. “A lot of towns start with the core and work their way out,” he said.

Burns said the town has the opportunity to make something that will have a tremendous impact.

“Williamston is a beautiful town. You can do somthing spectacular that will spur new businesses and people with property to do something with their property,” he said.

Burns suggested the next step is to hire a landscape architect, then bring a plan before a group for consensus.

Mayor Phillip Clardy cited several projects that are underway including the renovation of the depot, museum, new sidewalk project,  and adding street lighting along Bigby, Longview and Middleton Blvd.

GWBA president Dave Maddox said there has not been enough structure and direction within the GWBA to plan for downtown revitalization.

He said input from the group would help the GWBA decide on the direction to go.

“We don’t feel Williamston has an identity,” Maddox said. “Williamston doesn’t know who they are.”

Mayor Clardy said he planned to follow up the meeting with a questionnaire to be sent to all Williamston residents.

Two vehicles reported stolen

In separate incidents, vehicles belonging to two area residents were stolen over the weekend.

Donnie Ray Hyder, 36, of 708 Osteen Hill Road in Piedmont reported a gray 1998 Chevrolet Silverado extended cab truck valued at $16,000 missing.

In a separate incident, Holly Mildred Cape, 19, of 101 Brookview Circle in Pelzer reported that someone removed her black 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier valued at $15,000 from her yard.

The vehicle was located and towed to Cothran’s Towing by the Williamston Police Department. Michael Gary Perry, 24, 109 Gilbert Drive, Pelzer, was arrested and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle by the Williamston Police Department.

In attempted robberies, four businesses in the same strip mall in Piedmont were broken into in the early morning hours on Friday.

Deputies responded to alarms that had been activated on Anderson Road to discover that the front glass doors of Powdersville Family Chiropractic, Hair Port, Ltd., New Images Golden Tan, and Nik Naks all had been broken out. A cash register was thrown on the floor and smashed at Hair Port, Ltd.

Inventory is pending on any missing items from the businesses, but the total estimated damages amount to $1,550.

Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents this week:

Jan. 26 – William Loskoski, 68, 206 Summer Way, Williamston, reported that someone took a black regal dog box containing hunting items and valued at $500 from the back of his truck while it was parked at Palmetto Feed & Seed. R. W. Miller investigated.

Jan. 24 – Anner Rodriguez Morales, 26, 825 Joe Black Road Lot 32, Williamston, reported that a female went into his wallet on the kitchen table and took a spare key to his 2000 Toyota truck. According to Morales, she entered the truck and stole $2,100 that he was going to send back to Mexico out of the dash. When contacted by officers, the female denied that she had taken the money. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Jan. 24 – Ronnie Ellison’s Used Cars, 615 Parker Street, Williamston, reported that a male customer wanted to test drive a vehicle. The customer left and returned 20 minutes later with the car and then left the premises. When Ellison got in the car to put it back on the lot, he noticed that the radio was not working. He then realized that a different radio was just sitting in the slot and that the original JVC CD AM/FM car stereo valued at $300 was gone. T. A. Caron investigated.

Jan. 24 – Moorhead Oil, 3200 Pelzer Hwy., Easley, reported an alarm activated at 3 a.m. Deputies arrived to find the front glass door broken causing about $500 in damage. They observed a lottery dispenser sitting in front of the door. Reported missing was one dispenser of lottery tickets. Store personnel provided the beginning and ending numbers on the missing tickets which were placed in the state computer system and marked as stolen. S. F. Jones investigated.

Jan. 22 – Tina Marie Coleman, 25, 101 Massachusetts Bay Drive Bldg. F, Piedmont, reported that someone stole a red 2000 Suzuki Katana motorcycle valued at $4,000 from the parking lot in front of her apartment. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Jan. 22 – Home Express, 113 Hwy. 20, Pelzer, reported that someone stole a tailgate valued at $332 from a 2003 white Chevrolet S10 truck in the parking lot. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Jan. 20 – Daniel Ray Clark, 30, 615 H. I. Taylor Road, Williamston, reported that a witness saw two men at his garage window prying open the screen. The men ran toward a car on the road when they realized someone saw them. W. Cunningham investigated.

Jan. 19 – Sonya Steadman, 22, 109 Rock Moss Drive, Williamston, reported that someone stole the license plate valued at $25 from her vehicle. R. W. Miller investigated.

Jan. 19 – Michael Starnes, 47, 116 Smith Drive, Piedmont, reported that someone entered his vehicle and stole an IBM Thinkpad laptop computer, a Pioneer CD player, and a purse valued at $2,840. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Jan. 19 – Nick Denmark, 66, 228 River Road Circle, Piedmont, reported that someone removed two books of checks and grocery items valued at $30 from his home. J. Johnson investigated.

Jan. 19 – Carolina Crème, 3121A Earle E. Morris, Jr. Hwy., Piedmont, reported that someone entered the business when it was closed and stole $75 from the cash drawer. A. Digirolamo investigated.

Jan. 18 – Paul F. Mills, 33, 143 Longwood Lane, Easley, reported that someone removed a chair valued at $150 from his back porch. F. Wooten investigated.

Jan. 18 – Sean Arledge, 27, 103 Andrea Circle, Easley, reported that someone forced entry to a storage unit at Hwy. 81 Self Storage and removed a mountain bike, a futon, a stereo and games valued at $2,200. D. C. Fouts investigated.

Jan. 18 – Wilma Colvin, 53, 122 Roger Drive, West Pelzer, reported that someone took electronics, recordings and a Nintendo and games valued at $1,425 from a vacant residence. K. Fowler investigated.

Jan. 18 – Barbara Millette White, 36, 101 Wallace Drive #B-101, Easley, reported that someone stole a license plate and a CD player and CDs valued at $284 from her vehicle parked at the Anderson Jockey Lot. D. O. Hill investigated.

Jan. 18 – Little General, 1601 Anderson Road, Williamston, reported that a customer took one case of Bud Lite and a 6-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade valued at $22.98 and left without paying. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Jan. 18 – Pistol Creek West, 423 Oak Road, Piedmont, reported that someone forced open the front door causing $1,500 in damage and took two cash drawers containing $478.91 from behind the counter. J. M. Durham investigated.

Jan. 17 – Dustin S. Crawford, 22, 110 Whitten Road, Pelzer, reported that someone broke the front passenger window to his vehicle and stole a stereo, an amp, a CD player and a purse valued at $905. A. R. Hyslop investigated.

Jan. 17 – Kimberly Anne Spearman, 28, 920 Old River Road, Piedmont, reported that someone entered and ransacked her residence carrying away jewelry, electronics, and alcohol valued at $1,090. S. F. Jones investigated.

Jan. 17 – James Kenneth Atkins, 225 Ellison Lake Road, Williamston, reported that someone removed a tool chest and assorted tools valued at $600 from a work bench inside his barn. D. C. Fouts investigated.

Jan. 15 – Alberta Lynn Thomason, 38, 221 Butler Road, Williamston, reported that someone entered a vacant residence and stole furnishings and electronics valued at $14,000. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Jan. 14 – Steve Young, 52, 107 Ross Street, Piedmont, reported that someone removed tools valued at $1,250 from his carport. F. Wooten investigated.

Jan. 14 – Marty Keith Crawford, 56, 401 Anderson Street, Pelzer, reported that someone entered his garage and stole a chain saw and ratchet set valued at $140. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Jan. 14 – Linda Faith Bell, 52, 524 Woodcock Road, Pelzer, reported that someone forced entry through the front door by pushing the lock open and ransacked her house. Money missing from the bedroom totaled $1,340. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Jan. 14 – Foothills Motorsports, 104 Halter Road, Piedmont, reported that someone removed a red and white Honda XR-100 dirt bike valued at $2,099 which was parked beside the business. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.






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