Week of Mar. 12,
family send off local guard unit
Company C 151st Signal Battalion of the South Carolina National Guard stationed in Williamston were greeted by as many as 150 people last Thursday who braved a rainy morning to stand along Main St. to see the local guard unit off.
The 151st Signal Battalion has been deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the code name for the initiative in the war against terror launched after the September 11 attacks on the United States, officials said.
The Williamston unit gathered Mar. 4 for a meal with their families and fellow guardsmen and took Wednesday off to spend time with their families before leaving.
Williamston officials encouraged citizens to meet in front of the Municipal Center as early as 5:45 a.m. to send off the guardsmen and to wish them a safe return. Many of those attending carried banners, posters or American flags to show their support.
Family members of the guardsmen joined area residents and town officials in front of the Municipal Center.
Flags and banners were waved as the two buses carrying the guardsmen made their way up Main St. with a Williamston police escort around 7 a.m.
The Town placed flags and yellow ribbons along Main St. last week in honor of the local unit. The flags and ribbons will be a part of Main Street until the unit returns home safely, according to town officials.
Area businesses were also provided with an American flag poster last week for display in support of the Armed Forces men and women of the area.
Company C consists of about 100 members from across the upstate including Williamston, Anderson and Easley.
They will join Belton, Greenville, and Laurens units heading to Southwest Asia to support military buildup in that area, according to guard spokesperson Lt. Col. Pete Brooks.
The 151st Battalion is an army communications unit trained to provide radio, telephone and internet access to soldiers.
The unit received orders on March 3 that they were to leave at 6 a.m. March 6 for a base in Indiana, then proceed on to Southwest Asia.
The orders mark the first time that the battalion has been called into active duty as a whole, officials said.
Williamston police officers made several marijuana possession charges recently. Among incidents investigated were:
Mar. 5 - Charles Jason Henderson, 26, no fixed address, was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after being placed under arrest for outstanding warrants. An incidental search allegedly turned up a plastic baggie with 2.5 grams of a green leafy substance field tested positive as marijuana. M. D. Clardy, D. A. Baker investigated.
Mar. 11 - Harold Maurice Dean, 46, 9 Washington St., Williamston, was arrested for open container and public disorderly conduct after being observed walking on Greenville Dr. with an open bottle of beer. M. D. Clardy investigated.
Mar. 8 - Larry Smith, 610 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported a Chrysler New Yorker valued at $3,000 stolen from the property. The vehicle was later recovered behind a mobile home on Tripp St. R. S. Turner investigated.
Mar. 9 - Earl Steven Brooks, 54, 329 Depot Rd., Pelzer, was arrested for assault and battery in connection with an incident occurring at the athletic field at Palmetto Middle School, North Hamilton St. J. T. Motes, Sgt. D. B. Brooks investigated.
Mar. 4 - Christina Miles, 25, 423 Mill St., Williamston, reported a 40 gallon trash can valued at $5 stolen and damage to a mailbox amounting to $20. M. L. Sailors investigated.
Mar. 6 - Winn Dixie, 22 Pelzer Ave., reported a check forgery amounting to $396.55. Sgt. R. S. Turner investigated.
Mar. 3 - Hickory Point Amoco, 103 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported a check forgery of $100. Sgt. D. B. Brooks investigated.
Mar. 10 - Joshua Ray Sullivan, 1149 Brown Rd., Belton, was arrested for unsafe equipment, operating an uninsured vehicle, no proof of ownership and simple possession of marijuana after a Suzuki SUV with numerous cracks on the windshield was observed on Carolina St.
During the incident, officers allegedly observed Sullivan throw a baggie filled with 54 grams of a green leafy substance under the officers vehicle. A passenger in the vehicle, Matthew Israel Martin, 17, 2204 Standridge Rd., Anderson, was also arrested for possession of marijuana in connection with a baggie containing approximately 5 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana which was allegedly found. A 14 year-old female juvenile in the vehicle was transported to the Williamston Police Dept. and released to her parents.
Anderson County sheriffs deputies investigated the following incidents this week:
Mar. 9 Landscape Development Group, 727 Cooper Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone cut a gate and pried open two storage units and stole two generators and an air compressor valued at $4200. C. Diaz investigated.
Mar. 9 Scott Rodriguez, 31, 23 Burts St., Pelzer, reported that someone pried open a door and stole various household items valued at $585. D. Hodges investigated.
Mar. 8 Mountain Springs Baptist Church, 327 Mountain Springs Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone broke into the church and took $200 from the office. D. Patten investigated.
Mar. 6 George Martin, 58, 1618 Easley Highway, Pelzer, reported that someone removed household goods valued at $300 from a mobile home. W. Cunningham investigated.
Mar. 6 Ed Hudak, 47, 19 Spring St., Williamston, reported that someone cut a padlock off a storage unit at the Anderson Jockey Lot and stole a number of knives with value to be determined after inventory. W. Cunningham investigated.
The Town of West Pelzer is currently in the process of taking bids to remove a tree from property located along a town alleyway and has received a promise of $10,000 to help with a replacing a water line.
Mayor Bill Alexander said that Anderson County officials have promised $10,000 to help with a water line along Hwy. 8, however the Town must still come up with approximately $50,000 for the proposed project.
The Town is hoping to install a four inch line to improve pressure to approximately 15 structures on Stephanie Drive.
Council is also looking for someone to remove a tree which has already caused damage to a nearby residence.
We need to do something, Mayor Bill Alexander said.
Several bids have already been submitted, town officials said. Council agreed that the person contracted to remove the tree should be bonded.
Several additional tree services companies will be contacted before making a desicion, council decided.
Councilman Joe Turner made a motion, which was approved 5-0, to table the topic until additional information could be obtained.
Council also agreed to begin accepting bids on a 1995 patrol car. Police Chief Anthony Smith said the vehicle needs some work including possibly a motor and transmission but that the body is in good shape. The front end has also been completely rebuilt, he said.
Acting on a motion made by Turner and a second by Councilman Earl Brown, council agreed to accept bids.
Council turned down a request to rezone residential property located at 86 Main St. Zoning administrator Charles Ellenburg for the second time recommeneded that the property be rezoned to light commercial.
Mayor Alexander said, We should know exactly what he will put in there before approving the change.
The request was turned down by a unanimous vote by Council.
A question was also raised concerning zoning for a mail order business located next to town hall. Councilman Turner said he has questions about the business, which does have an approved business license from the town.
Council also discussed the impact of the Charter Cable office slated for closing.
Mayor Alexander said at one time the cable company paid the town as much as $37,000 in franchise fees. That amount now amounts to less than $2,000, he said.
Peggy Paxton told Council she was recently recognized with an award presented by the Anderson County Keep America Beautiful program.
Paxton was awarded the Volunteer Pride Award for 2003 for efforts as a community volunteer and to improve West Pelzer.
I was very honored and glad to see the town recognized, Paxton said. Paxton said that the award was dedicated to the town and to the community participation of citizens.
She also announced that she will be running as a candidate for mayor in the Towns June 3 election.
Council also discussed a resident who is refusing to pay garbage pickup fees.
Mayor Alexander said the fee is paid by all residents of the town and appropriate action will be taken if the Towns bill is not paid.
Actions may include cutting off water and sewer service to the residence, according to Alexander.
The Town of West Pelzer will hold a general election on Tuesday, June 3 to elect two council positions and a new mayor.
West Pelzer Mayor Bill Alexander said he will not be running for reelection when his term ends in June.
Councilman Joe Turner said he is considering running for the mayors position and will face Peggy Paxton, who announced this week that she plans to seek election to the mayors office.
Council seats held by Maida Kelly and Bud Brown, along with the mayors seat, will be open for election in June. Their terms will expire July 1.
Persons interested in running for the offices may file at West Pelzer Town Hall beginning March 20. The books will remain open for registration until noon, April 4, officials said.
There is a $25 filing fee for the office.
Polling for the election will be held at the West Pelzer Primary School with polls opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. on June 3.
Should a runoff be necessary, it will be held two weeks after the election on June 17.
The election is nonpartisan and will have no party affiliation.
An official ceremony this week celebrated recent pavement and parking improvements at Concrete Elementary School in Anderson School District One.
Anderson County officials, school personnel, and Concrete Elementary Students of the Month participated in the ceremony and ribbon cutting.
Anderson County Council Chairman Bill Dees said that the project has greatly improved the safety factor involved in leaving and picking up children at the school.
The improvements are the result of a cooperative effort among Anderson County, the school district, and the S. C. Department of Transportation working with Sloan Construction Company to improve traffic flow and parking around the school.
The $233,000 project was funded by the Anderson County Transportation Committee, designed by the Anderson County Engineering Department, and constructed by Sloan Construction Company. Additional right-of-way for the project was donated by Siloam Baptist Church and Betty Cartee who donated property for a teacher parking lot..
The project was completed several months ago after School District One sought assistance from Anderson County to relieve traffic congestion and improve traffic flow on Powdersville Main.
The project was constructed in eight weeks and was completed for about $30,000 less than originally estimated.
Improvements include: adding left turn lanes at the school entrance and at Siloam Road, reconfiguring the front entrance and parking to provide more room for waiting vehicles, adding a bus turn around and faculty parking off Siloam Road, adding additional faculty parking on the north side of the school, resurfacing all of the existing parking areas, improving the parking area drainage facilities, and resurfacing and drainage improvements along 1700 of Powdersville Main.
In a move to improve customer service while reducing costs, Charter Communications will close the payment center located at 18 Holiday Street, West Pelzer, and consolidate operations into their facility located at 520 Hwy. 29 Bypass North in Anderson, effective March 28.
Charter customers will now be able to make payments at Western Union Convenient Pay Centers in the West Pelzer and Williamston area.
Charter has added several options to make it more convenient for our customers to pay their bills, said Robin Forstrom, Vice President and General Manager. Were especially pleased to be partnering with Western Union because this allows Charter to offer expanded payment hours and locations to our customers.
Customers may continue to pay their bils via mail. Other payment options include e-billing, credit card billing and automatic withdrawal from customers checking accounts.
In order to control our costs as much as possible, Charter is always looking for ways to make our operations more efficient, said Forstrom. By creating several convenient payment options, we are able to reduce our expenses while providing customers with more convenience and more choice.
Customers still have access to Charters new call center in Mauldin, which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-955-7766. Local technicians will still be available for service calls including an exchange of equipment if necessary according to Forstrom.
With more than 6.7 million customers in 40 states, Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR), a Wired World Company, is among the nations largest broadband communications companies.