News Archive

Week of Feb. 4, 2004

Town receives drug control, system improvement grant
District One School Board approves 2004-2005 calendar
County Council receives financial report card
Taylor will not seek re-election
Crenshaw announces candidacy for sheriff
Officers recover stolen vehicle
Area stores report armed robberies

Town receives drug control, system improvement grant

The Williamston Police Department has been awarded a Drug Control and System Improvement Grant which will allow the department to provide computer generated copies of incident reports.

The grant will pay for software that is State and SLED mandated, according to police chief Troy Martin.

Martin said the $24,000 grant will provide updated computers and software including a server, a desktop computer and five lap tops for the department.

The new software handles traffic tickets and accident reports, incident reports, bench warrants, municipal court and related finances, victims advocate files, personnel reports and files, certifications, jury, dispatch logs, jail records and other administrative functions.

 Martin said the grant requires a 25% match which town officials will have to approve.

 Total cost for the upgrade will be approximately $32,000, with approximately $8,000 coming from the town. The state grant is funded through the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced the grant Monday during the regular monthly meeting of Council. Clardy also updated Council on the status of several grants the town has received for projects that are either underway or about to begin.

Clardy told Council members the museum committee has approved a replacement window project as part of the museum renovation currently underway.

The building will get 16 new windows which are similar to those installed on the town Municipal building, Clardy said.

Town employees have gutted the building to the original floor, ceiling and walls, according to Clardy.

The building will be restored  to the original copper plated ceiling which Mayor Clardy described as “very ornate.

Clardy said that after removing the old carpet, it was discovered that the original green and black checkered tile flooring could still be used.

Clardy also said the original plaster walls will be patched and painted.

Restroom facilities will be converted to a single restroom which will be handicapped accessible, he said.

The town has also received a Heritage Corridor grant for $50,000 which will go toward displays and other items, Clardy said.

Clardy said that a renovation project on the old restroom building in Mineral Spring Park  had been completed approximately $4,000 under budget. and that he had requested a change of scope for the project to utilize the remaining funds.

The town received a $23,000 grant for the original project.

The $4,524 will be used to provide 14 permanent mounted grills, 16 permanent mounted trashcans and four bike racks, according to the mayor.

The town has also received a Palmetto Pride grant which includes $3,995 for a memorial plaque and decorative fencing for the gravesite of West Allen Williams located in Mineral Spring Park.

Mayor Clardy said paperwork has been submitted and approved for a sidewalk project for the town.

Bill Dunn and Associates will set specs for the project and handle the bidding process, according to Clardy.

Clardy said the town is about halfway through completing studies for runoff and a sewer project for the textile mills and nearby residents. The town has applied for Federal grants and state representatives are working on additional funding for the project, Clardy said.

Clardy pointed out that Council will need to approve a color and logo for the Virginia Drive water tower which will be refurbished this year.

Council accepted as information a proposed land use ordinance submitted by the town planning commission.

The proposed ordinance makes town guidelines comparable with County land use guidelines, Clardy said.

Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison reported to Council that the fire department has applied for a $59,300 grant as part of a $100 million Federal program. “All neighboring fire departments that have applied have got no’s except us,” Ellison said. Ellison said the program is in the final stages of announcing recipients. “We hope that we are in it,” he said.

Council lowered the minimum bid amount they will accept on several vehicles the town has offered for sale and heard an update on grants the town has recently received during their regular monthly meeting Feb. 2.

After considering the additional costs including towing and auction fees to carry vehicles to a car sale, Council, at the suggestion of Police Chief Martin, lowered the bid minimum to half of what they were. Council also approved extending the bid process for 30 days.

Council also went into executive session to receive legal advice.

Upon returning to regular session, Council unanimously approved a resolution to seek any or all avenues, including legal action, to repair the Gray Drive bridge.

District One School Board approves 2004-2005 calendar

Anderson County School District One Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 2004-2005 school year calendar during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday. The meeting was rescheduled due to inclement weather Jan. 27.

The new calendar sets August 2-4 as staff development days with the first day of classes for students on August 5.

According to District One Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher, the calendar includes three mandatory snowdays which are built in to be either snow days or holidays for the district. The dates are Feb. 21, Mar. 25 and May 26.

The calendar must still be approved by all five Anderson  County School Districts before it becomes official.

District One Director of Finance Steve Uldrick reported year-to-date revenues of $33,632,676 (56%of budget) and expenditures of $29,287,386 (49% of budget).

Dr. Wayne Fowler, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, announced that a 16-member team comprised of educators, businessmen and technical team members will be visiting Palmetto and Wren High Schools and the Career and Technology Center.

The teams will review 10 key practices and make recommendations and challenges for the schools as part of an effort to raise student achievement levels for all high school students in the district.

“I commend the two high schools and the Career Center for efforts like this,” Fowler said.

Assistant Superintendent David Havird noted in his nutritional report that the district  showed revenues of $193,212 and expenditures of $153,458 resulting in a profit of $39,754 during the month of December. 

The district served over 82,000 meals in December, according to Havird.

The district nutritional services has a $164,329 profit for the year, Havird said. “We had an excellent month,” Havird added.

Board members went into executive session for a student discipline hearing.

Board members also went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter and a student discipline matter.

Upon returning to regular session, the board voted unanimously to uphold an administrative decision.

In other  business, board members unanimously approved the following personnel requests: Resignation - Brenda Patterson, West Pelzer Elementary speech, effective Feb. 2.

Administrative - John Pruitt, Director of Staff Development; Steve Uldrick, Director of Finance; Debbie Joye, Director of Student Nutritional Services; Dr. Brian Keith, Director of Special Education.

Teacher recomendation - Laura Sudbeck, West Pelzer and Pelzer Elementary LAUNCH (.4 FTE).

Requests for leave of absence - Vickie S. Cothran, Palmetto Middle grade 6 , 6 weeks medical leave beginning Feb. 2 - Mar 12; Debbie Walker, Palmetto Elementary grade 5, 3 weeks medical leave beginning Feb. 2 - Feb. 20.

County Council receives financial report card

The Anderson County Council received copies of the annual audit and heard a brief report on the document and the audit process at their regular meeting February 3.

Representing the accounting firm of Elliott Davis, Gray Suggs and Laurie Smith explained that the county received an unqualified opinion – the highest opinion that could be received – for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003.

Comparing budgeted figures to actual figures, the county collected 2% more than projected and spent 95% of the budget according to the report.

Smith reported that no problems were found regarding internal structure or adherence to laws and regulations. She also reported a healthy fund balance of $10.7 million which is equivalent to three months of operating expenses.

Addressing suggestions by Council member Cindy Wilson that a forensic audit should be performed, Suggs emphasized that there was “nothing found to drive a forensic audit.”

Both Suggs and Smith commended the “incredible job done by the Finance Department” as well as the Transportation Department which had proactively provided infrastructure documentation on 1,550 miles of county roads.

Suggs and Smith reminded the council that they would be available at any time to answer questions they might have once they had time to completely review the lengthy document.

In other business, the council voted unanimously in support of the second reading of an ordinance prohibiting certain vehicular traffic on Airy Springs Road, Browning Road, and Paulan Road. Residents of Airy Springs Road and Paulan Road addressed the council in previous meetings about traffic concerns on both thoroughfares.

Wilson received the council’s approval to appoint Dan McKinney to the Planning Commission and Lawton McIntosh to the Assessment Appeals Board. The Council also approved Wilson’s request for $4,730 to be used for a drainage project in the Pelzer Park.

In closing remarks, Wilson reminded County Administrator Joey Preston that February 9 would be the deadline for receiving the legal expense vendor file information she requested. Wilson presented a formal freedom of information request for the information at the last council meeting and produced a sample printout from the Department of Commerce of the type of information she expected to receive.

Council member Larry Greer used his closing remarks to restate his “passionate” position on the QRV (Quick Response Vehicle) issue. Greer encouraged all parties to put personal involvement aside and “do what is right and best for all the people of Anderson County.”

Greer also encouraged the council to develop another option to the private contractor/bidder in the county. “We’re at their mercy when contract time comes,” he cautioned.

 

Taylor will not seek re-election

Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor announced recently that he will not run for re-election saying that “it is time for new ideas, a new face, and new beginnings.”

The 16-year law enforcement veteran will be turning his attention to two projects which are joint ventures between government and the private sector. “I will be heavily involved in law enforcement issues as soon as I leave office,” Taylor says.

Due to developmental confidentiality agreements, Taylor is able to reveal very little about his future plans. “One effort has to do with officer safety and is in the patent process and in development with a California technology company. The other is a homeland defense related intelligence program being developed in partnership with a software company in Washington state,” he explains.

According to Taylor, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has made great strides during his tenure. “When I was elected, officers had to buy their own bulletproof vest if they wanted one. Most had to buy their own guns. Patrol cars often had nearly a half million miles on them. There was not one personal computer in the building,” he explains.

“Now we are respected across South Carolina. Our training division is recognized as among the best in the state, and our aviation division is among the best in the southeast. Our communications system is state-of-the-art and will get even better. Within a year, our office should become the fifth Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina to be nationally accredited. Our deputies are the best ever, and employee turnover is a fraction of what it used to be,” Taylor says.

In 1988, Taylor was the first Republican ever elected to a county-wide office in Anderson County. A four-term sheriff, Taylor has faced strong opposition in every election. “I thank the voters who put their faith and trust in me. I also thank the folks at the Sheriff’s Office who have dedicated their lives to law enforcement and to our county,” he says.

A graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and the FBI National Academy, Taylor also has a Master of Criminal Justice Degree from USC and currently serves on the Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Task Force. His term as Anderson County Sheriff ends in January 2005.

Crenshaw announces candidacy for sheriff

David L. Crenshaw, former deputy sheriff, law enforcement administrator, and summary court judge announced recently that he will seek election as Anderson County Sheriff in the June 2004 Republican Primary.

Crenshaw, who currently serves as vice president for Crenshaw Electronics, a family owned and operated business in Pendleton, and as Pendleton Fire Chief began his law enforcement career in 1969 as an officer for the Pendleton Police Department.

Later, he worked 15 years at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office rising through the ranks to become an administrative assistant to the sheriff. As administrative assistant, Crenshaw’s responsibilities included management, planning, budgeting, and acting as liaison to federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Eventually he became a summary court judge before retiring from that position after 28 years of service as a criminal justice practitioner.

If elected, Crenshaw pledges to responsibly manage all of the human and fiscal resources of the Sheriff’s Department, to be accessible and accountable to all Anderson County citizens, to cooperate with all levels of government, and to provide a professional and speedy response to crime.

In his announcement speech, Crenshaw highlighted current deficiencies in leadership at the Sheriff’s Department that have impeded the efficiency of the agency’s response to burglaries, hindered cooperation with other area law enforcement agencies, and failed to ensure that the public received “a dollar’s worth of service for every tax dollar we spend.”

“Criminals pay no attention to political boundaries. The Sheriff’s Office needs to work hand-in-hand with other enforcement and emergency services as well as the Solicitor’s Office, the courts, human service agencies and the schools,” Crenshaw commented.

During his announcement, Crenshaw declared that the importance of ensuring that the department continues to be progressive could not be underscored enough. Advanced law enforcement technology used for crime detection and administration should be maintained and enhanced to the highest industry standards and will be a priority in his administration, he said.

Crenshaw’s first priority will be to put as many officers on the street as possible. “Properly trained and equipped police officers with the right attitude are what solve and prevent crime,” he emphasized.

In 1992, Crenshaw ran for sheriff against incumbent Gene Taylor and was defeated by the narrow margin of 401 votes.

A lifelong resident of Anderson County, Crenshaw and his wife Lynn attend the Pendleton United Methodist Church. Lynn Crenshaw works as nursing coordinator for School District Four.

The Crenshaws’ daughter Jennifer works as a reference librarian for the Pickens County Library. Their son Ben works as a firefighter EMT for the Clemson University Fire Department and is a lieutenant in the Pendleton Volunteer Fire Department.

 

Officers recover stolen vehicle

Williamston Police officers recovered a stolen vehicle and investigated vandalism in Mineral Spring Park during the week. These and other incident investigated include:

Feb. 2 - Harold Maurice Dean, 47, 9 Washington Ave., Williamston, was arrested for open container after being observed on Washington Ave. with an open container of King Cobra beer. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Jan. 23 - Willie Harold Grier, 61, 207 Bigby St. Williamston, reported a tag valued at $70 taken from a 1977 Chevrolet truck. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Jan 17 - Hardee’s, 1520 Anderson Dr., Williamston, reported a customer threatened to strike two employees in the restaurant. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Jan. 24 - James Alfred Dotson, 31, 501 Boyd Ave., Simpsonvile, was arrested for driving under suspension and no tag lights after a green Pontiac was observed on Prince St. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Jan. 23 - Elias Garcia Govea, 24, 1215 Dorchester Rd., Belton, was arrested for no drivers license and issued a ticket for speeding after a 1994 Dodge Intrepid was observed on Belton Dr., and Ragsdale Dr., B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Jan. 24 - Michael Gary Perry, 24, 1101 Cherokee Rd., Pelzer, was arrested for public disorderly conduct, simple possession of marijuana and possession of stolen automobile after being observed in a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in the parking lot at 310 F East Main St. Reports state approximately 5.7 grams of a green leafy-like substance field tested positive as marijuana was found by officers. The vehicle, valued at $15,000, was reported stolen to the Anderson County Sheriffs office. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Feb. 1 - Teresa Riggs, 2120 Cheddar Rd., Belton, reported $250 in damage to a parked 2004 Toyota which was struck by a red Chevrolet Cavalier which left the scene. M. Abramson investigated.

Jan. 24 - Patricia Ann Gibbs, 41, 8 Lopez St., Pelzer, was arrested for driving under suspension after being observed driving a 1979 Chevrolet truck on Mattison St. D. W. Alexander investigated.

Jan. 25 - Vandals caused $40 in damage to toilet paper dispensers in restrooms in Mineral Spring Park. D. W. Alexander investigated.

Jan. 29 - Cash Time Check Cashing, 8 Greenville Dr., Williamston reported a forgery involving two checks cashed at the location for $323.17 and $465.21. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Jan 17 - Alexander Maurice Hill, 17, 17 Mattison St., Williamston, was arrested for failure to display vehicle license, driving with no S. C. drivers license and driving an uninsured vehicle after a 2002 Suzuki was observed on Roberts Blvd. and Middleton Blvd., with no license displayed. M. Abramson investigated.

Jan. 29 - Claence Jay Burns, 25, 118 Clearview Dr., Belton, was arrested for public disorderly conduct after being observed walking on Main St. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Jan. 25 - Lemuel Wayne Shuler, 32, 191 Moores Ct., Athens Ga., and James Lee Beasley, 33, 445 Holiday St., Pelzer, was arrested for open container after a vehicle was observed on Main St. and green St. with an inoperable tag light. D. Munger investigated.

Ja. 15 - Sean Roger Roberts, 17, 8 Allen St., was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after a red Ford truck was observed onHamilton St. One gram of a green leafy like substance field tested postive for marijuana was found in the ashtray. A 16-year-old female in the vehicle was release to parents. D. Munger investigated.

Area stores report armed robberies

A convenience store and a liquor store both reported armed robberies to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department last week.

Candice Vinson, a clerk at Southern Convenience Store located at 3000 Hwy. 153 in Piedmont, reported that she was stocking shelves around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday when a male suspect entered the store. Reportedly, he told Vinson that he had a gun and needed her to open the cash register.

According to Vinson she opened the register and gave him $7. He left the store and drove away in a red Saturn station wagon.

In a separate incident, Richard O’Shields reported a robbery at RC One Stop located at 2462 Anderson Highway in Williamston just before 1 p.m. on January 29. O’Shields and Thomas Brooks, a witness to the incident, reported that a suspect fled in a teal green Honda Accord after taking $200 in cash and $491.20 in liquor.

Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents:

Feb. 2 – Gary Robert Parnell, 42, 32 Spring Meadow Court, Piedmont, reported that someone forced entry through the front door to his residence and removed Playstation and video games and a Nintendo game cube valued at $400. D. C. Fouts investigated.

Feb 2 – Piedmont Petroleum, 11201 Anderson Road, Piedmont, reported that a customer left without paying for 9.9 gallons of kerosene valued at $16. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Feb. 2 – Sonny Cooley, 60, P. O. Box 97, Williamston, reported that someone entered a business which had burned at 7201 Hwy. 29 North in Pelzer and removed an ice machine, two beer coolers, 10 tables, 30 barstools, and a heat pump valued at $10,350. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.

Feb. 1 – Susan Goforth, 21, 128 White Oak Drive, Easley, reported that someone removed medications valued at $250 from her vehicle. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.

Feb. 1 – Exxon-Hickory Point, 2 Main St., Pelzer, reported that three males walked out of the store with an unknown amount of beer. Reportedly, the men were confronted by customers and walked back inside the store with two cases of Bud Light. The customers reported seeing another case of beer in the car, but the men said they did not steal that case from the store. The men left with the beer valued at $15 in a gold Ford Explorer. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Feb. 1 – Gallery of Homes, 3200 Hwy. 153, Easley, reported that someone forced entry into two model homes by prying open the doors and removing a GE refrigerator and range valued at $2,000. D. C. Fouts investigated.

Jan. 31 – Scott A. Mills, 44, 109 Cely Road, Easley, reported that someone removed a gray and black 1997 Dodge Ex-cab valued at $10,000 which was parked at the back of his residence. F. Wooten investigated.

Jan. 31 – Daniel Steven Smith, 17, 209 Reidville Road, Williamston, reported a burglary in progress to authorities. When deputies arrived and cleared the residence, the suspect had escaped through a bedroom window. Efforts to track the suspect were unsuccessful. M. D. Campbell investigated.

Jan. 31- A First Step Erosion Control, 182 Garret Road, Piedmont, reported that someone broke a window beside the front door, attempted to kick out another window, and kicked the side of the business breaking the vinyl siding. The suspect also scratched lines on the hood and side of a 1992 Ford F-450 and took the key out of the ignition. The suspect then went across the road to the home of the father of the owner of the business, broke out a porch light and scratched lines on the hood and sides of a 1999 Ford F-150. Total damages amounted to $1,176. J. M. Durham investigated.

Jan. 30 – Andrea Griswold, 102A Dayton Drive, Easley, reported that she was dealing with a customer in the back of her place of employment and left cash from her paycheck in a money bag in the front of the store. When the customer left, Griswold reported that someone had taken $227.25 from the bag. J. M. Durham investigated.

Jan. 30 – Piedmont Motor Sports, 104 Halter Drive, Piedmont, reported that a male customer was acting suspiciously. Video surveillance showed the customer take a pair of Fox motorcycle gloves valued at $20 out of a pack and walk around the store. When the customer left the store, store personnel found the empty pack for the gloves on the shelf. J. M. Durham investigated.

Jan. 29 – James William Spoone, 45, 17 Adger St., Greenville, reported that three males entered his yard and stole a Craftsman riding lawn mower, a patio set, a Whirlpool washer, a cedar chest, a 16 x 10 metal building unassembled, and fencing valued at $2,250. D. B Anderson investigated.

Jan. 29 – Little General, 1601 Anderson Drive, Williamston, reported that a male suspect picked up two cases of Budweiser valued at $30, ran out the door, and left in a small green car with a female driver. D. Mitchell investigated.

 

 

 

 

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