News Archive

(0705) Week of Feb. 16, 2005

Hunting/fishing Expo in Piedmont Feb. 19
Williamston Fire Department on scene within six minutes or less
West Pelzer Council discussions get heated
Planned village project proposed on Saluda River
County Council split over use of paving funds for West Pelzer grant match
Drivers license lawsuit settled
Williamston police report few incidents
Anderson Sheriff’s Office report
Survivors Gym opens in new location
Teal photography opens new studio
Learn CPR and help break a world record
Teens injured
Wooodmont sweethearts named

Hunting/fishing Expo in Piedmont Feb. 19

Outdoor enthusiasts in the area will  want to check out the Piedmont Area Hunting and Fishing Expo in Piedmont from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 19.

Co-sponsored by the Piedmont Public Service District and the Greenville County Recreation District, the Expo will bring together exhibits and demonstrations from top hunting and fishing vendors, the department of natural resources, clothing outfitters, and other products at the Piedmont Community Building.

The S. C. Department of Natural Resources wil be providing children’s activities trailer and hunting and fishing licenses gratis for senior adults 65 and older.

Vendors will include 4-H Shooting Sports with the Clemson University portable air rifle shooting range; Augusta Road Marine, fishing boat display; Bucks and Bass of Anderson, hunting and fishing gear and clothing; Carolina Fishing and Hunting Supply of Williamston; The Fishing Hole of Piedmont, displaying fishing gear; and Foothills Animal Rescue, wildlife rehabilitation group.

Also Foothills Motorsports, ATV display; Hartwell Lake Fishing Guide Stan Bagwell, offering an auction for a guided fishing trip on Lake Hartwell; Primos Hunting Calls, turkey calling contest and demonstration; Shane Chandler, taxidermy and Kathy Varadi, Master Gardner, wildlife and fish cooking demonstration.

Recreation District event planner Nancy Callihan said that the Expo is part of the Recreation District’s new direction to offer activities that are of interest to individuals who enjoy recreation centered around nature and the outdoors.

Vendors will also be selling products at the Expo, organizers said.

Food will be offered at the Expo, including hot dogs, funnel cakes, fried Oreos, boiled peanuts and homemade pork rinds. The Piedmont Fire District is serving a delicacy called “Kush.” The recipe dates back to the early 1900s and is listed in the SC Historical Society Archives in the State Museum.

Strong Communities for Kids will have a booth and the Greenville County Recreation District will provide a children’s craft tent.

Admission is $3. For more information call (864) 288-6470.

Williamston Fire Department on scene within six minutes or less

The Williamston Fire Department is among the nation’s best in response times, consistently having an onscene response time under six minutes when responding to fire calls.

The statistic has recently received national attention as the result of a national fire response study done by the Boston Globe, which showed problems for many areas.

The study was based on statistics from the National Fire Incident Reporting System.

According to the NFIRS statistics, the local volunteer department is among the nation’s elite fire departments who are onscene within six minutes on 92 percent of the calls they responded to.

On many of the calls, firefighters  were on scene within four minutes, according to Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison.

The information is compiled on fire departments on a state and national basis, according to Chief Ellison. The report did not include all fire departments in the state and did not include Anderson County fire departments.

Ellison said he is proud that the all volunteer Williamston Fire Department ranked among the best in the report.

“Once a call is placed to 911, the national standard is for the fire department to be on scene within six minutes,” Ellison said. “We try to do that or better each time we are called out,” he said.

“The Williamston Fire Department has 25 dedicated volunteer firefighters who provide fire protection to Williamston 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The results of this study shows the quality of the firefighters at Williamston,” Ellison said.

During 2004, the all volunteer department answered 150 fire calls.

Williamston has a Class 4 ISO insurance rating, one of the best in the state for an all volunteer department. The department achieved the Class 4 rating in 2000 under the direction of Chief Ellison. Since that time the department has strived to continue to improve.

Some of the recent improvements include adding a  E-1 Rescue Pumper in 2003 with a capacity to pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute.

Also the addition of a 5 inch hose, adapters, a back up power generator for the station, moving the antenna and communications center to the water tank on Virginia Drive, the addition of new breathing apparatus, and the addition of a breathing air compressor for the station.

“These are just a few of the improvements that have been made since we were graded five years ago,” Chief Ellison said.

“At the present time, we are planning for a mutual aid frequency repeater to be added to our radio so that we will have walkie to walkie radio coverage county wide,” Ellison said.

The Williamston Fire Department has received two FEMA U. S. Department of Homeland Security grants in the last three years, totaling more than $143,000.

The most recent grant of $64,844 was used to purchase new Scott Breathing Apparatus equipment for 16 firefighters at a cost of $3,834.75 each. Anderson County, through Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson, provided a required 10% match for the project.

Ellison said the department was “extremely fortunate” to be able to obtain the highly competitive grant.

The new equipment helped bring the department up to OSHA compliance, which Ellison said the town had not been able to meet until now.

The breathing equipment includes an air pack, air bottle and extra air for firefighters who enter a burning building and replaced outdated equipment the department was using, according to Chief Ellison.

It also includes a PAS device that sounds an alarm when a fireman is down and not moving.

The department has also trained as part of a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) which has been formed to rescue downed firemen.

The RIT team includes firefighters from Williamston, Belton and Honea Path. Teammembers respond from one town when a neighboring town has a major fire, providing backup and taking care of a 2-in-2-out OSHA requirement, according to Ellison.

Ellison said the department plans to apply again in 2005 for additional FEMA assistance.

“Williamston residents are encouraged to visit the fire department and see the improvements. After all it belongs to the people of Williamston,” Chief Ellison said.

The department has recently placed their own website online at

According to Ellison the site is updated regularly with information and photos related to the fire department.

West Pelzer Council discussions get heated

By Stan Welch

The West Pelzer Town Council meeting Monday night was a lively one with several spirited exchanges between the Mayor, Council Members and citizens in the audience.

All went smoothly during the first half of the agenda, as Council gave second reading  approval to the annexation of the Sav-Way property on Highway 20; first reading approval to a police protection agreement with the Town of Pelzer, and voted to table a discussion of a rate increase from Greenville Water works.

Shortly after that, things began to get contentious. 

Dale Mahaffey, recently elected Chief of the West Pelzer Fire department, addressed Council, requesting that Mike Mahaffey, head of the town’s water and sewer department, be allowed to respond to occasional fire calls and to significant structure fires.

Mahaffey’s extensive experience in running the pumper truck, as well as the shortage of manpower during business hours, were cited by Chief Mahaffey as reasons for the request.

Several fire department members spoke in support of the request, but some Council Members pointed out that Mike Mahaffey has a job to do.

“We’re trying to run a town here,” said Councilwoman Maida Kelly. “That’s not under us. That’s not our problem. Mike needs to be here, especially at those times when (town clerk) Beth has to be away.”

Chief Mahaffey retorted that Kelly didn’t have any problem with Mike coming to her house to fix a flat tire on her lawn mower. 

Following several more minutes of discussion, Kelly made a motion to allow Mahaffey to respond only to structure fires. Council approved the request.

 Kelly  also raised the issue of marking the town’s police cars and maintenance vehicles with decals identifying them. Council approved that motion as well.

Councilman Terry Davis then asked that the town staff provide a complete accounting of expenditures and receipts each month for the council to review.

“This bank statement we have just tells who the checks were written to and how much, but we need to see the complete picture. That’s what I’d like,” said Davis.

Mayor Peggy Paxton then asked if anyone in the capacity audience had anything to say.

Mitchell Hawkins commented on the leaking and substandard water lines to his and nearby homes on Eighth and Stephanie streets. He stated that there is not enough water pressure to take a shower. “We’ve been waiting for forty years for this situation to be fixed. That’s long enough,” he said

Mayor Paxton explained that a $500,000 grant to upgrade water lines has been approved and told Hawkins that construction would start within 120 days. He expressed his skepticism about that several times. “I’ve heard all that before, Mayor, but I still haven’t seen anything happen,” he said.

Paxton explained that she had worked very hard with Representative Dan Cooper and Senator Billy O’Dell to get the grant and that the construction  was going to take place.

“Why would I lie to you? Just watch. Things are moving forward. We don’t have the money to do this as a town. We have to use grant money,” the Mayor said.

The discussion continued for several minutes, becoming more heated. 

At one point, Councilwoman Kelly told Chief Mahaffey that the town’s water woes were none of his business. Finally Hawkins attempted to calm things down, saying that everyone there had the town’s best interests at heart.

“I don’t see any rednecks or idiots in here. But  a town council meeting should never reach the point of accusing and pointing fingers. We need to stop this right now. I can remember coming to a town council meeting when I was 21, and they actually adjourned to go outside and fight. We don’t need that kind of thing,” he said. Soon after the meeting adjourned.

In a conversation with Mayor Paxton the next day, she apologized for the way the meeting went.

“The water line issue is ridiculous. That’s coming and everyone knows it. I know Mr. Hawkins has a valid complaint, but I have worked very hard to get that grant money. It will be spent to upgrade the water lines in town. Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but last night, the meeting got out of hand, and I can’t apologize enough for that. I shouldn’t have let it go that far, but sometimes, it just does. A lot of people showed their true colors last night, people who might do better to keep their mouths shut until they know what they are talking about,” Paxton said.

She added that she is at the town hall “every day,” even though being mayor is a part time job.

“I have seen at least one council member drop his water bill payment in the mail slot and not come in to pick up his mail. I have made the other council members’ jobs much easier. They don’t have to type up ordinances or other documents, because I do it. They don’t have to attend meetings with agency heads or elected officials, not that they would, because I do,” she said. “They talk about changing the form of government from the Mayor/council form, because some changes were made in the staff, as well as the way we do our work now. Let them. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll still be mayor.”

She concluded by saying, “I love West Pelzer and I love all these people. I’d do anything for them, but I work hard at being mayor, and I’d just like a little credit for it. “

Planned village project proposed on Saluda River

By Stan Welch

An upscale development designed as a small, fairly self  contained village may be in the future for the Piedmont area if developer Caleb Freeman has his way.

Freeman, with the assistance of Greenville County Council Vice Chairperson Judy Gilstrap, made the announcement recently to an audience of approximately 60 area residents at the Piedmont Community Building.

The proposed development will be located between Exit 40 at Hwy. 153 and the Southern Connector in Greenville County. It will border approximately .75 miles of the Saluda  River just south of the Southern Connector.

The village, to be called Acadia, will cover approximately 292 acres of land and will include a variety of housing choices, both in style and in cost.

There will also be housing units for rent, as well as purchase, he said.

Freeman, who has lived in the Anderson/Greenville area all his life, made it plain that he envisions a development that will fit its surroundings.

“I want this to be a place to work, a place to play, and a place to live,” said Freeman, who held the meeting to seek public support for his upcoming effort to change the area’s zoning.

The proposed change, from its current designation as industrial to planned development would allow the creation of the mixed use project.

“This land, which runs along the river, is hilly and wooded and very beautiful. It seems to me that a mixed use residential development is a much more attractive use of the land than to put plants in on it,” said Freeman, who added that he has often hunted or fished or walked this tract.

“I intend to be one of the first to build a home in the village, and to move my family there,” he said.

Freeman painted a picture of a development reminiscent of a small village or town. “I see a restaurant there, but not twenty restuarants,” he said. “There will be no gas stations. It has been designed on a small scale. I want Acadia to have the character and charm of the old neighborhoods many of us remember,” he said.

 The planned development designation is the best for such a project, according to both Freeman and Council member Gilstrap.

Gilstrap pointed out that planned development applications require very specific conditions as to infrastructure and number and style of housing units, as well as density of housing.

“The best thing about planned development is that once a project is approved, any changes or additions have to go all the way back through the entire process. We don’t get any nasty surprises down the road,” she said.

Freeman agreed saying that he could receive approval for a maximum of  774 housing units.

“I don’t want that  many, but I will ask for 700 units so that if the project exceeds my expectations, I can add those units without a major hassle. But my plan is to build approximately 550-600 dwelling units,” he said.

According to the preliminary site plan, those units will be divided in this way: On 18 acres of land designated multi-family, he would build 180 units.

On 20 acres of multi-use land, he would build 160 units, to include apartments and possibly townhouses or condos.

Single family housing will be of three densities: four homes per acre on 60 acres of land, two homes per acre on 28 acres,and six homes per acre on 23 acres.

In addition, there will be a village pavilion, as well as a River House, which Freeman describes as “a place to sit and watch the river, or eat barbecue and listen to bluegrass. It will be a community building,” he said. There will also be a non-denominational chapel on the property.

Freeman clearly sees the river as the keystone to the village. “The Saluda River is a beautiful and unusually clean river. I want people to go fishing, or canoeing or just walk along the banks. This will not be a gated community, but a welcoming one,” he said.

 “Our door to the river will be open. Our construction, in the great majority, will be done on the high land, of which there is plenty. I have no intention of coming in and clearing everything. We will have 91 acres of green space, where passive recreation can take place. We’ll also have 5 acres for active recreation, such as soccer fields. There are 12 acres of wetlands and 35 acres of right of way,” Freeman said.

Some residents at the meeting raised concerns about construction traffic and inadequate roads. Freeman acknowledged and even shared those concerns. He offered to work with those in the area in addressing those problems, but added, “It is what it is. It will be a fairly large 5-10 year project and there will be some problems.”

A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on February 21 in the Greenville County Council Chambers. First reading may be given to Freeman’s application for the zoning change at the next night’s County Council meeting, on Feb.22. The Planning Commission meets on the 23rd to review the project. Second reading could come on March 15, and third and final reading on April 5.

“I hope to begin site preparation within six months,” Freeman said.

County Council split over use of paving funds for West Pelzer grant match

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council gave first reading  approval  to an ordinance that will change the way citizens address the Council; accepted the prestigious Governor’s Cup for Travel and Tourism; and in a split vote, approved funds for a matching grant for West Pelzer; all in the course of a two and a half hour meeting Tuesday night.

Ordinance 2005-007, allows citizens to address agenda matters in the first few minutes of the Council meeting, but would move public input on non-agenda items at the end of the agenda, following the administrator’s report.

The change could cause citizens to wait for two hours or more to address the Council. After much discussion, and a couple of defeated amendments, the ordinance passed first reading approval with minor changes. Two more readings are required for the ordinance to pass.

Council members Cindy Wilson and Michael Thompson both spoke in defense of the citizens’ rights to address their government and exercise their freedom of speech.

County Attorney Tom Martin agreed with Thompson that citizens have a guaranteed right to a redress of grievances, but drew a distinction between the various forms that redress could take.

“Public input is a gift from the Council, not a Constitutional right,” said Martin. Wilson and Thompson were the two dissenting votes.

The Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center was honored with the awarding of the S.C. Governor’s Cup for Tourism and Travel. The award, presented to County officials by Marion Edmonds, is the most prestigious award given by the state in the area of tourism.

ASEC was selected on a number of criteria, including economic impact, as well as effect on the quality of life in the community. The economic impact of the Center last year was calculated at $18.22 million dollars last year, with $21 million projected for 2004-05

Council also entertained an unusual request by Council District 7 Representative Cindy Wilson. Wilson asked that a paving fund appropriation, of $29,000, be rescinded and returned to the District 7 paving fund.

The money had been approved at the last meeting of Council, and was slated for paving work to be done on Railroad Boulevard in West Pelzer.

Wilson explained that she had  been contacted earlier in the day by West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton who recounted a town council meeting held on Monday night (see related story elsewhere in this issue) during which an bitter discussion of the town’s ongoing water problems dominated the meeting.

As a result, Mayor Paxton requested that the road funds be withdrawn and made available for use towards $50,000 in matching funds to retain a grant of $500,000 the town has been awarded for water line upgrades and repairs.

Wilson had no trouble “unappropriating” the funds, as County Attorney Tom Martin put it. The problem came when she made a motion to allow the use of the money as matching funds.

Councilman Larry Greer said that he had no problem voting to return the funds to the District 7 paving fund. “But I do have a problem with using those funds as matching funds. When I needed such funds a while back for a very similar purpose in Belton, I used money from the recreational fund, which is a little more discretionary,” Greer said.

Greer, however, voted during the January 18 Council meeting to approve Councilman Bill Dees’ use of $40,000 in paving funds as a match for a SCDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant for sidewalks at Wren School, as did the rest of the Council, including Wilson. (See related story in January 19 issue of The Journal.) Councilman  Tolly was absent at that meeting.

Tolly, as a matter of individual policy, said he will not vote to use paving funds for any other purpose, even in his own district.

 Wilson stressed that the town was in dire straits, with a bad situation concerning the water lines, and a chance of losing the grant for lack of meeting the matching funds requirement.

Councilman Dees said he would approve transferring the amount used in paving during the project, but Wilson said such a figure is not known at this time.

Chairperson Floyd asked Wilson if the request could wait until such a figure was available, but Wilson once again stressed the urgency of the situation.

Finally in an unusual vote which included abstentions by Councilman Fred Tolly, and Chairperson Floyd, the measure passed by a vote of 3-2-2. Councilmen McAbee and Thompson voted with Wilson to allow the use of the funds. Councilmen Dees and Greer voted against.

 In other action, Council gave final approval to a fee in lieu of taxes agreement with the Budweiser distributorship locating in Piedmont. Final approval was also given to the sale of county property to the North Anderson County EMS.

A request to rezone 2.08 acres on Old Williamston Road was denied, while a request to rezone 2.2 acres from C1-N to C-2 was approved.

An ordinance to appoint standing committees was tabled after considerable discussion, since some of the language in the existing ordinance is so vague and ambiguous.

Cub Scout Packs 215 and 987 were honored with a resolution for their achievements, including the earning by a number of members of the Arrow of Light award. The award is equivalent to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout award.  

County administrator Joey Preston sought and received Council’s blessing in attending a special training course in Washington, DC. The Reserve Components National Security Course is concerned with the national security process and the many trends that influence it. Preston is the only South Carolina public official to be selected for this program so far. The course will run from Feb. 28 - March 11. Duke Power is covering the county’s entire costs for Preston’s attendance.

Drivers license lawsuit settled

By Stan Welch

 One of the lawsuits involving Anderson County Administrator Joey R. Preston and County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson was recently settled.

The suit, brought by Preston in US Circuit Court, charged Wilson, the Town of Williamston, Robert E. Stansell and  Steven Lovelace with conspiracy to illegally obtain personal information and violations of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

The lawsuit was the result of a case filed in federal court on September of 2004. That case, in turn,  grew out of a case in the Court of Common Pleas that was filed in November of 2003, and later dismissed.

The first lawsuit, in the Court of Common Pleas, sought damages from Robert Stansell, and later in an amended form, from Steven Lovelace, for defamation and libel.

Those charges stemmed from the two men’s personal investigation into Preston’s ownership of a 1996 BMW Z-3 automobile. 

That search began casually, according to Lovelace, when he was “browsing” the Anderson County tax access web site. According to documents filed with the court by Stansell’s attorney in response to the Plaintiff’s (Preston) interrogatories, Stansell and Lovelace had initiated “a search of the Anderson County Public Access web site for any prior year taxes paid by Joey R. Preston for the BMW Z-3. At the time the search was conducted, no record of taxes paid could be located.”

 On or about October 30, 2003, according to court documents, Stansell called a morning radio show on local station WRIX, while Preston was on the air as a guest. He asked Preston on the air about the status of the Z-3 and who had purchased it.

Rumors were circulating at the time that Preston had received the vehicle as a reward for his part in Allied Inc’s purchase of the Big Creek Landfill from Anderson County. That purchase was finalized in November of 1997.

The rumors persisted. In a March 2002 deposition of Claude Graham, who helped broker the sale of Big Creek, the question of whether Preston received the car as compensation for his efforts was again addressed to Graham. He was asked if he had made a statement in front of other county employees to the effect that Preston “ got that car as a result of the sale of the landfill to Allied?” Graham responded, “Absolutely not.”

That on air question, as well as subsequent activity by the two men who picketed at the Anderson County courthouse with signs questioning the ownership of the Z-3, apparently led to the lawsuit, which was filed later that year.

Originally, only Stansell was named in the suit: Lovelace was added as a defendant in July of 2004.

In his complaint, Preston also cited the alleged connection between his ownership of the BMW Z-3 and the sale of the landfill to Allied.

In September of 2004, the federal lawsuit against  both men, Cindy Wilson and the Town of Williamston was filed.

Soon after, Lovelace’s attorney moved to dismiss the state case, on the basis of economic prudence and the interest of justice, arguing in effect that the defendant had an avenue to pursue his case in the federal courts.

Judge Willams agreed and dismissed the case in the Court of Common Pleas. That ruling has recently been appealed  by Preston’s attorney, in an effort to revive the state case. The appeal has been argued before the judge, but no ruling had been handed down at press time. 

Sources familiar with the case explained that the settlement offer in the federal case was essentially a tactic, which would freeze any future award of attorney’s fees at the point at which those fees stood at the time of the offer.

That figure was reportedly a total of $3,500, split between the four defendants.

When contacted for comment, Wilson stressed that she had been removed from the decision making process.

“The attorneys for my home owner’s insurance made the settlement. I demanded to be removed from the process. I had no intention of settling. I wanted to go to court.”

Preston said he could not comment on the matter.

A second unrelated lawsuit involving Preston and Wilson continues to wind its way through the courts. Wilson filed a writ of mandamus against Preston in an effort to obtain certain invoices presented to the county for legal services in recent months.

Efforts to obtain the records under the South Carolina Freedom of Information act had failed, as Preston, citing client/attorney privilege,  refused to provide the information without the direction of the entire council.

Council refused to direct Preston to comply with the request. Wilson has recently filed a supplementary complaint over her inability to obtain other records she was seeking.

That supplementary complaint is scheduled  to be heard in March.

Williamston police report few incidents

Williamston Police Department investigated the following incidents:

Feb. 12 - Kevin David Johnson, 32, 100 Hampton St., Pelzer, was arrested for driving under suspension, after a 1992 red Ford F-150 truck was observed on Greenville Dr. with the tag light out. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Feb. 11 - Jose Antonio Velazquez, 39, 417 N. Maple St., Simpsonville, was arrested for improper head lights, open container and no drivers license after a vehicle was observed on Main St. with improper headlights.

Feb. 11 - Sandra Sparks Owen, 55, 43 Cannon Rd., Williamston, reported a Roseti purse valued at $50 removed from a vehicle parked at 517 West Main St. The purse contained a Nokia phone, credit cards, checkbook and payroll check for a total value of $1,101. J. T. Motes investigated.

Feb. 7 - Melinda Rose Fox, 40, 27 Woodmere Ct., Williamston, reported an 18 speed Huffy mountain bike valued at $60 taken from the rear of the residence. The bike was later returned and left in the front yard. K. P. Evatt, A. B. Singleton investigated.

Feb. 7 - Clyde Alton Bishop, 57, 14 Dacus Dr., Williamston, was arrested for public disorderly conduct after officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol in the hallway next to the entrance of Council Chambers during a public meeting in Town Hall. His moped, which was parked on the sidewalk in front of the Municipal Center, was towed following the incident. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Feb. 7 - Cindy Sutton, 6 Moorings St., Williamston, reported items valued at $3,800 stolen from the residence.

Feb. 7 - Michelle Lee Lyles, 27, 101 Middleton Blvd. Apartments, Williamston, reported a front window of the apartment broken. Reports state the damage appeared to have been caused by a bullet which shattered the window and then struck the frame of a mirror in the bedroom causing $85 in damage. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Feb. 4 - Keystal W. Prater, 34, 1123 Prater Lane, Townville, reported a $25 check from a closed account had been cashed at Cash Time Check Cashing, 8 Greenville Dr., Williamston on Jan. 7. The checks were reported stolen to Anderson County Sheriffs office on Jan. 6. D. A. Baker investigated.

Feb. 5 - Gladys E. Ross, 67, 208 Crawford St., Williamston, reported two envelopes containing $900 in cash were removed from her pocketbook. Captain D. A. Baker, Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Feb. 9 - Thomas Canairad Wooten, 47, 21 Gray Dr., Williamston was arrested for concealed weapon, no tag, and no insurance after a 1990 Chevrolet was observed on Anderson Dr. with the driver known to have outstanding warrants (5). Reports state a 22 cal. revolver and a switchblade pocket knife were found in the vehicle. Z. E. Gregory, Capt. D. A. Baker investigated.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office report

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the following incidents:


Feb. 1 - A vacant mobile home at 109 Pierce Rd. was broken into. Cabinets were damaged, holes knocked in the walls, and obscenities written on the walls. J.M. Durham investigated.

Feb. 6 - James Melton Brown, 500 Sumter St., Berea, was arrested for receiving stolen property after deputies were dispatched to his location on the side of the road. The car he was in was reported stolen. B.W. Parker and T.B. Dugan investigated.

Feb. 6 - William Donahoo, 523Willingham Road, Williamston, was arrested for simple and aggravated assault after threatening a woman with a knife. B.W. Parker and T.B. Dugan investigated.


Feb. 10 - A Bravo 3 Mercruiser boat outdrive, used on inboard/outboard motors, was reported stolen from 122 Crumpler Dr. It was valued at $700.

Feb. 9 - A 1995 Ford was reported stolen from 508 Woodcock Dr. The car was valued at $3000. SC Tag 616SGK. D.W. Alexander investigated.


Feb. 7- A 1998 Red Ford Ranger pickup was stolen from The Shop on Hwy. 183. SC tag # 746DFG. T.A. Caron investigated.

Feb. 6 - The hood from a 1991Mustang was stolen from the vehicle which was located at 4407 Earle Morris Hwy. Reports state the owner, Chad Taylor, of Piedmont, was working on it at work during his spare time. S.A. Alexander investigated.

Feb. 4 - Wallace Simmons was found walking along the road at the intersection  of Sandy Rd. and Cramer Rd. He reported that his girlfriend, without his permission, had left with his car and his wallet, containing $300. He told investigator T.B. Dugan that she had done this before.

Feb. 2 - Timothy Pierce of Road Runner Automotive, 3430 Earle Morris Hwy., reported that someone had gone on the lot and put a car up on blocks, then stole a set of Komo Tires, and a set of 17” Razor alloy wheels valued at $1,800. B.W. Parker investigated.

Feb. 2 - Todd Hembree reported the theft of hand and power tools, valued at $620, from his truck at 402 Wild Marsh Road. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.

Feb.  9 - A Miller Bobcat welder and the trailer it was on were reported stolen from 100 Hollywood Dr. The equipment was valued at $4,350.

Feb. 9 - An enclosed cargo trailer, valued at $6000, and containing $10,000 worth of dance props and costumes, was reported stolen from Upstate Carolina Dance Center on Hwy. 81. J.M. Durham investigated.

Survivors Gym opens in new location

Survivors Gym is celebrating the grand opening of their new location at 31 Pelzer Avenue, Town Square Center, Williamston.

The new 4,200 sq. ft. facility offers  more than 1000 sq. ft. of workout space than the previous location, according to owner Mikki Free.

Free said in addition to more space, the new location includes additional free weight and cardio equipment and other equipment being added soon.

More workout machines including a back squat and standing calf raise machines will be added, he said. The gym is also planning to add a punching bag and speedball area. and will be adding a smoothie shop soon, according to Free, who owns the business with his wife Tammy.

A ribboncutting was held Monday to officially mark the grand opening of the new location. The original location opened on Hwy. 29 in 2002.

Survivors Gym currently has 225 members and can easily handle as many as 1,000, Free said.

They are offering a grand opening special for new members, with the first 25 to join at the new location for $25 month, a $5 savings off the price of a regular monthly menbership. Corporate discounts are available.

The gym specializes in power lifting yet they are open to fitness and health enthusiasts, Free said. They also offer training and consulting in the areas of powerlifting, health and fitness, and nutrition.

“We have had tremendous success with weight loss,” Free said. “One guy on our staff lost 146 pounds.”

Several members have lost between 50 and 125 pounds on the diet and exercise program, he said.

In addition to the physical workouts, they also touch on the spiritual side, offering daily devotions, according to Free.

Free has been involved in weightlifting for 21 years, beginning at the age of 14. He will be 35 in Sept.

He said his focus is helping the younger guys learn proper techniques for strength training.

Free currently holds the S. C. State record in the submasters, 308 lb. weight class for bench press.

He will be defending the title, on his home turf, when Survivors Gym hosts an American Powerlifting Association National World qualifying event March 5.

Powerlifters from across the nation will descend on the Williamston area to compete in the “Battle of the Iron Barbarians” event.

The public is invited to attend and watch some of the best powerlifters around. There is a $5 admission charge.

The Survivors Strength Team will also compete in the event. The team is made of 15 to 40-year-olds, some of whom will be going for records, Free said.

Survivors Gym hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday. - Thursday; 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“I am really excited about being in the new location and helping the community,” he said.

For more information call 847-4332.

Teal photography opens new studio

Cheryl Teal, formerly of Teal Photography On Main in Williamston,  now has opened a studio on Hwy. 86 in Piedmont.

The new studio is a converted house, with a gallery, office, camera room, presentation room, a large bridal dressing room, and a photo lab in the back. Teal now prints a lot of her work herself, to have more control.  

Some of the services provided are professional portraits for businessmen and women, families, children, brides, and her favorite, infants and “mother and infant” portraits.

A new service is “photo restoration” of old scratched and damaged photographs. 

Another new service is what Teal calls the “face lift with no pain”.  

“If you are like me, now pushing 50,  and age is making its mark with crows feet on the eyes etc., we offer and do our own retouching at a reasonable price, to soften or remove wrinkles, remove scars, acne,” Teal said.

She has a passion for portrait photography, and genuinely loves people, she said.

 “It’s more than just parking people up in front of the camera and getting them to say “cheese”. I think a lot of people still have memories of feeling like they were in front of a firing squad. Once they get here, many have stated that, “this is actually fun”!” she said.

 “I take my time, paying close attention to lighting, posing and detail, keeping things simple and keeping my clients relaxed to bring out the best in them. I want the session to be an enjoyable experience.”

 “Toddler’s are a little more challenging. One I am always up to. You have to be quick,” she said. “I prefer to let them play with something, and catch them by surprise with nice results.”

Teal has been a professional photographer for 23 years. She is a graduate of New York Institute of Photography, and attends workshops around the country annually, with the Professional Photographer’s Of America Association..

“Never stop learning and growing at any age,” says Teal. “I enjoy my work, but with any job, you have to keep it fresh or it will become mundane. I don’t want that to happen. I am always coming up with new ideas.”

 “Our portraits are reasonably priced for growing families, with no gimmicks to get you in, or high pressured sales,” Teal said.

Cheryl and her husband Richard have a daughter, Sarah, 13 and a son John 11.  

Teal Photography is located at 1715 Highway 86, Piedmont. (near McDonalds at I-85) The area is growing commercially with a new Budweiser distribution center, Allstate Insurance, and possibly a shopping strip coming soon.

All sessions are by appointment only. (sorry no walk-ins)  Morning, evening and weekend sessions available by appointment. From Pelzer call 314-0787. From the Greenville, Easley area call 845-3464. For more information, their website is on the internet at

Learn CPR and help break a world record

If you are interested in learning CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and/or would like to be part of a world record attempt, then an event being held Saturday, February 26 at the Anderson Civic Center may be of interest to you.

More than 2,200 people are needed to help break a world record for the most number of people at one time to be trained for CPR.  Proceeds from the event will be given to the American Heart Association. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with CPR training beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The event will be held in conjunction with a two-mile Walk for the Heart in celebration of National Heart Month, which is in February. It’s being coordinated by AnMed Health, the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center, Anderson County and other community organizations.

Anyone age eight or older may register and participate in the world record attempt, which will be sanctioned by the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Attempting the world record will not only be fun, but it represents the American Heart Association’s mission in action,” said Anne Genevive Gallivan, the AHA’s Director of Corporate Relations. “Cardiovascular diseases are the most common killers of men and women in this region, and the frequency of heart attacks is high. The more people who are trained to administer CPR, the more lives we can save,” she said.

The current world record for most people learning CPR in one day is held by a community in Los Angeles, California, where 2,121 people participated.

As an incentive for groups to participate, an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) will be awarded to the school that has the most number of participants, and one will be given to the business that has the most participants.

AEDs are lifesaving devices that are used to revive someone whose heart has stopped beating after suffering cardiac arrest. The average cost of an AED is $2,500.

Cost to participate in the world record attempt is $5 for adults and $3 for children, and you do not have to live in Anderson County to participate. Likewise, anyone may participate in Walk for the Heart, but to receive a T-shirt and be considered an official “walker,” a person must solicit donations for every mile walked.

“The walk is how we’re really going to raise the money that the American Heart Association so desperately needs,” says Johnna Reed, Senior Director of AnMed Heart Care and Walk for the Heart event co-chairwoman. “Getting donations from people is simple and walking is really fun, especially in this type of group atmosphere. We really need widespread support from everyone throughout the region.”

To register for the CPR World Record attempt or to register for the Walk for the Heart, call AnMed Heart Care at 864-222-8777.

Teens injured

Two teenagers were injured Monday afternoon in a single car accident on Courtney Street between Williamston and Pelzer. According to authorities a Honda was traveling east when the car ran off the left side of the roadway and struck a tree. One of the two occupants was airlifted by MedTrans One helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital while the other one was taken by Pelzer EMS. West Pelzer and Williamston fire departments responded. West Pelzer assisted EMS at the scene while Williamston set up a landing zone on Courtney Street near Highway 20 for the helicopter.

Woodmont Sweathearts

Winners of the Junior and Senior Sweeheart pageant at Woodmont High School are (l-r) Junior Class 2nd runner up Morgan Bell; 1st runnerup Stephanie Campbell; Miss Junior Class Sweatheart Lindsay Stevenson; Miss Woodmont, Crystal Davis. Senior Class: Miss Senior Class Sweetheart, Rachael Cox; 1st runner up Amber Owens; 2nd runnerup Miranda Collins.






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