Week of Mar. 17, 2004
Piedmont to develop
community food bank
The Strong Communities initiative is working to develop a food bank to be located in the Piedmont Community Building and run by local churches, Chief Administrator Butch Nichols reported at the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Piedmont Public Service District Monday night.
Very receptive to the idea, Chairperson Marsha Rogers described the plan as a natural extension of our Christmas drive.
Nichols invited the board members to attend a meeting on March 31 at 12 noon to work out the details of the project.
Rogers reported that the ball park is in good shape now with a lot of teams practicing on the field. Rogers added that she hoped Anderson County would help with some lighting improvements in a couple of dark areas.
Nichols reported that Zacks Pit Stop wants to tap on to the sewer and would pay all the fees involved. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the request, but the county also has to give consent for the approval process to be complete, Nichols added.
Nichols reported that a computer upgrade is needed at the fire station in order to file fire reports on line. Nichols estimated that the cost of the upgrade would range between $2,000 and $2,800 but added that he would get quotes for the board to review.
Nichols presented a quote from Greenville Awning on two vinyl awnings for the front of the fire station and one large aluminum awning to cover the two back doors. Concerned about the durability of vinyl awnings, the commissioners requested that Nichols get quotes on metal awnings before they made a decision.
Nichols presented a quote of $3,400 for repairs to the substation, and the board also requested that Nichols get other quotes before they made a decision.
Commissioner Al McAbee reported a total of 36 calls to the fire department in February which included: 5 structure fires, 1 grass fire, 1 vehicle accident, 19 medical calls, 2 gas leaks, 2 mutual aid calls, 1 sewer call, 4 street light calls, and 1 hazardous material call.
The board recognized 11 members of Scout Troop 247 Pack 717 and their leaders who meet at the Piedmont Presbyterian Church. The group was attending the meeting as part of the requirements for citizenship merit badges. Officials answered questions from the group and took them on a tour of the fire station after the meeting.
The board scheduled a budget workshop for April 13 at 7 p.m. before the next regular meeting on April 19 and adjourned.
A touch of Ireland came to Piedmont Sunday as the community celebrated its heritage and its 131st birthday with a luncheon at the Piedmont Community Building in honor of the communitys founding father David Garrison.
Sponsored by Pride in Piedmont and Strong Communities, the Founders Day Luncheon featured traditional Irish fare - corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and beef stew.
Pots of gold, leprechauns and shamrock souvenirs decorated tables manned by young shamrock-aproned servers. Music for the occasion even included Irish favorites sung by a talented tenor, of course.
The occasion provided an opportunity to appreciate the rich past and the promising future of the historical community.
Looking back, Don Roper provided a brief history of the area to the gathering of dignitaries and Garrison descendants. Harnessing the water power of the river, Garrison Shoals became Piedmont on March 15, 1873 according to Roper.
Spearheading the Pride in Piedmont initiative last May, Michelle Anderson discussed recent accomplishments in Piedmont through community clean-ups held the third Saturday of every month.
Pride in Piedmonts mission is to enrich the community of Piedmont by providing an attractive environment and opportunity for the people to improve well being thus instilling pride in the community, Anderson stated.
Describing the river as a gem we havent polished yet, Eddie Anderson outlined visions of parks, boardwalks, and a nature wildlife center along the banks. Anderson also mentioned the possibility of moving the CSX depot into Anderson County to be a part of the Heritage Corridor project.
Pride in Piedmont plans to continue the work it has begun with an Easter Extravaganza on April 3 at Piedmont Presbyterian Church. An old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration is also planned this summer, organizers said.
The group welcomes input or ideas from the community on any projects to create a better Piedmont, a spokesperson added.
Anderson County Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson announced Tuesday she will seek reelection to the position she has held since taking office in January 2001.
Wilsons District includes the Anderson County municipalities of West Pelzer, Pelzer, Williamston and Honea Path and rural areas surrounding each town.
Wilson made her announcement to small gatherings of supporters in Honea Path, Williamston and West Pelzer.
Wilson is the first official elected to sit on one of two new seats on the expanded county council in 2001.
Her district was redrawn for the 2002 election to include all of Pelzer, West Pelzer, Williamston , which were split districts and Honea Path. The district inlcludes rural areas surrounding the municipalities including.
She said she plans to continue to push for honest, open, accountable local government, which according to Wilson, includes pushing for a line-by-line audit of the Countys finances and a real budget process resulting in more wise government spending.
She said she plans to continue to work for improvements for the area she represents. Wilson said that residents and the legislative delegation have been very instrumental in focusing on solutions to problems in the district.
I am looking for a continuation of the team work in District 7, she said.
Wilson said many of the questions she receives from her constituents are well thought out.
She praised the legislative delegation for their efforts in finding funding for projects and helping solve problems in the district she represents.
Our legislative delgation have been extremely helpful to the citizens of this district, she said.
Wilson said she plans to continue to focus on needs in the area. Some of the needs already being addressed include water needs in Honea Path, and aging water and sewer lines in Pelzer, West Pelzer and Williamston.
Wilson pointed out recent meetings with Congressman Gresham Barrett, whom she said told her, is working to get grant money to help with the infrastructure problems facing the municipalities.
Most of the funding for projects in the area is coming from grants and outside sources.
Most of the funds come from other sources. We need to focus on fire and police protection which is funded the same as it was 10 years ago.
Wilson also pointed out the soccer field complex project in Williamston.
Wilson said $25,000 was designated from her discretionary paving fund, to be used for the complex which is now being planned for an area behind the depot just off Main Street.
Wilson said the county spent $52,000 on engineering studies to determine that a site selected on Mill Street was not usable after it was discovered that it was located on bedrock.
Starting and ending with citizens. Help put me in office for another two years.
Wilson said she plans to focus on clean air and economic development issues.
She points out industries such as the Walgreens distribution center as the environmentally friendly type industry she would like to see locate in the County.
She said she is also focusing on projects such as paving lanes for foot and bike traffic in the district and will focus on tourism and promoting the Heritage Corridor, which runs through the area.
Countywide issues Wilson said she will continue to focus on include stricter accountability for the county administrator and taking Allied Waste back to the negotiation table.
She also said that an expansion permit issued to Allied Waste about 18 months ago, is a justifiable reason to bring Allied back for renegotiation.
A new general election for mayor and four council members for the Town of Pelzer will be held March 23 according to the Pelzer Municipal Election Commission.
Pelzer voters will have a choice between two candidates for mayor in the election, choosing between incumbent D. Page Henderson andchallenger Kenneth E. Davis for the office of mayor.
Tony Riddle along with incumbents Steve McGregor and Betty Edens have filed for three of the four council seats available. The fourth council seat is open for any qualified write-in candidate according to Skip Watkins, municipal clerk.
Authorities called for a new election for the town after results of the November 4 election were overturned as a result of two protest hearings which challenged the election results due to irregularities in the election process.
Unofficial election results showed that political newcomer Kenneth Davis received 19 votes while incumbent Page Henderson received 18 votes for the office of mayor.
Council results showed that incumbents Betty Edens and Steve McGregor along with Tony Riddle and write-in candidate Sandra Ragsdale received the most votes.
Henderson protested the election for mayor on the grounds that two individuals who lived outside the corporate town limits were allowed to cast ballots in the election.
Five citizens protested the town council election due to confusing instructions on the ballot as well as how write-in votes were counted.
Pelzer Town Attorney Jimmy King worked with the governors office to order a new election after being cleared through the Department of Justice.
Voters who were registered by October 5, 2003, and who are still residents of the Town of Pelzer are eligible to vote in this election.
All candidates who qualified for the November 4 election will be listed on the ballot.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pelzer Community Building in Pelzer Park.
The election commission will hold a hearing at noon on March 25 to determine the validity of any ballots which are challenged in this election. If a run-off election is required, the election will be held April 6, authorities stated
A Piedmont woman was arrested last week in connection with the shooting of a man late Friday afternoon at a home in Pelzer.
According to incident reports, Anderson County Sheriff Deputy D. C. Fouts was responding to a call about a shooting incident on Allen Street in Pelzer when he encountered one of two vehicles matching the description of vehicles involved in the incident traveling north on Hwy. 20.
Fouts performed a traffic stop of a white Ford F-150 at the intersection of Hwy. 20 and Anderson Street and reportedly removed a .22-caliber Marlin semi-automatic rifle from the truck and placed it into evidence.
The driver of the truck, Vickie Elaine Gresham, 50, of 161 Effie Drive in Piedmont was arrested and transported to the Anderson County Detention Center in connection with the incident.
Reports stated that Pelzer EMS transported John Tim Sprague, 42, of 8 Allen Street in Pelzer to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a single gunshot wound to his left shoulder. Investigation of the incident continues by Anderson County authorities.
Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents this week:
Mar. 16 Robert Todd Campbell, 32, 111 Ida Dacus Way, Williamston, reported that someone entered his vehicle and stole credit cards, keys, and a bill of sale valued at $65. W. Cunningham investigated.
Mar. 15 Palmetto Wireless, 120 Lebby St., Pelzer, reported that someone broke the front door glass causing $250 in damages. W. Cunningham investigated.
Mar. 14 Als Auto Sales, 6738 Hwy. 81 North, Piedmont, reported that someone removed three 20-inch chrome wheels containing tires valued at $2,500 from a vehicle parked inside a fenced area at the rear of the business. D. C. Fouts investigated.
Mar. 14 Mark Williams, 35, 308 Rockford Drive, Easley, reported that someone stole a Nokia 5161 cell phone and a Compaq palm pilot valued at $650 out of his vehicle. D. Lindsey investigated.
Mar. 14 Cathy Brown Jackson-Burgess, 48, 34 Lyman St., Pelzer, reported that someone took a tool box containing two Nokia cell phones, a gun and miscellaneous papers from the cab of a truck along with a Honda XR70R dirt bike valued at $1,625. G. G. Diaz investigated.
Mar. 12 Michael Edward Mason, 42, 124 Grover Lane, Easley, reported that someone entered a residence by kicking open the front door and removed tools valued at $600. J. A. Burdette investigated.
Mar. 11 Kenneth Koenig, 49, 4091 Six and Twenty Road, Williamston, reported that someone stole a pistol valued at $300 from his residence. D. B. Anderson investigated.
Intuition paid off for a Williamston Police officer who thought a man walking in a residential area of town was suspicious.
Mar. 13 - Ronald Thomas Cape, 18, 10 Circle Dr., Williamston, and Jeffrey David Rogers, 17, 119 Page Rd., Pelzer, were arrested for burglary second degree after officers observed them at a Williamston residence.
Officer J. L. Barnes and State Constable J. Griffen were on patrol along Gossett St. when they first observed a man walking on W. Fourth St. The man told the officer that he lived on the street.
Thinking something wasnt right, the officers went to Fifth St. and observed the two men at the 3 W. Fourth St. residence.
Upon returning to 3 W. Fourth St.,the officers observed a dark red Honda parked in the driveway. Cape was observed in the residence arguing with the owner, Annie Mae Maw, 69, who had just returned home, about him being in the residence without permission.
Several jewelry items including rings, watches and a masonic charm were found in his pockets. Maw identified the items as hers. The officers met Rogers in the yard. Both men were arrested and may be facing additional charges by Anderson County Sheriffs Office.
Mar. 11 - Robert Edward Reid, 40, 213 Oak St., Piedmont, was arrested for fighting and public disorderly conduct after being involved in a fighting incident at 1 North Hamilton St. Sgt. D. Munger, D. Alexander investigated.
Mar. 8 - Robert Andrew Burleson, 49, 20 Langley St., Pelzer, was arrested for improper vehicle license, driving an uninsured vehicle and possession of marijuana after a 1981 Chevrolet pickup was observed on Tripp St. and Pinecrest Dr. with a defective rear light. Reports state a rolled cigarette containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found in the vehicle. M. Abramson investigated.
Mar. 12 - Timmy Mattison Brooks, 17, 133 Harper St., Williamston, Phillip Conway Bigsby, 17, 1110 Brown Rd., Belton, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested after a 1990 Honda was observed on S. Hamilton St. and Hwy. 20 with a defective headlight. Reports state that all three were charged with underage possession of beer and possession of marijuana. The juvenile was also charged with driving under the influence. Four bags containing 51.4 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana were found in the vehicle.
Feb. 22 - Officers observed a front window open at Martins Fireworks Stand, 934 Anderson Dr. The window was forced open but nothing appeared to be taken. D. L. Wilson II investigated.
Feb. 26 - Anthony Leroy Snyder, 34, 241 Longview Dr., Williamston, was arrested for failure to give a proper signal and possession of crack cocaine after a 1993 Ford was observed turning onto Washington St without using a turn signal. Reports state 2 white rocks, weighing a total of 2 grams, were found in his pockets.
Feb. 20 - Harvey Lonnie Morgan, 49, 1399 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, was arrested for failure to give proper signal and no SC drivers license after a blue Dodge truck was observed on Academy St. turning onto Mahaffey St. without giving a proper turn signal. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.
Feb. 26 - Charles Edward Hall, 44 10 East 4th St., Williamston, was arrested for driving under suspension more than 1st and outstanding warrant after officers serving a warrant observed him drive up in a Jeep Cherokee. D. Alexander, Sgt. D. Munger investigated.
Feb. 25 - James Dwight Sullivan, 52, 106 Bigby St., Williamston, was arrested for failure to give proper signal, violation of habitual offender act and failure to accompany officers, after a 1987 Chevrolet truck was observed turning from Hamilton St. onto West Caroline St. without using a turn signal. Sgt. D. Munger, D. Alexander investigated.
Feb. 25 - Tommy Walker, 18 Austin St., Williamston, reported a rock thrown through the windshield of a 1973 C65 dump truck causing $200 in damage. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.
Feb. 19 - Billie Jo Ebe, 26, 13926 Hwy. 20, Belton, was arrested for failure to display vehicle license, failure to surrender license and driving under suspension after a 1997 Chevrolet pickup was observed on Hwy. 20 Williamston. M. Abramson investigated.
Feb. 24 - Nicholas Chad Turner, 24, 221 B South Blvd., Anderson, was arrested for reckless driving after a Mazda was observed traveling at a high rate of speed on Greenville Dr. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.
Feb. 22 - Samuel Lee Roberts, 30, 112 Hampton St., Anderson, was arrested for disregarding a stop sign and operating an uninsured vehicle after a 1988 Jeep was observed on Bigby St. D. Munger investigated.
Feb. 17 - Dale Martin, Belmar Enterprises, 5 S. Hamilton reported $150 in damage to a window at 5 S. Hamilton St. J. T. Motes investigated.
Feb. 20 - William Adams, 56, 709 Mill St., Ext., Williamston, was arrested for failure to register a motor vehicle, improper vehicle license, altering a vehicle license and no proof of insurance, after a 1972 Ford truck was obsrved on Mill St. and Knight St. K. P. Evatt investigated.
West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton set the record straight and asked for the resignation of Councilman Joe Turner in a statement issued after the regular meeting of the town council March 9.
Its an absolute fact that we all must be team players in order for this town to prosper. I personally feel that our team is being brought down mostly by the actions of one person, and I would like to go on record at this time and ask for Councilman Joe Turners resignation, Paxton said.
I use this position as a tool in getting everything that I possibly can for this town, and I feel that Ive shown this in the past eight months. Sometimes I feel that I cannot get anything accomplished from having to defend myself to council members who have their own hidden agendas &ldots; those who are more concerned with &ldots; satisfying their own friends than showing responsibility for their actions, Paxton continued.
Paxton stated that Turner had attended only four meetings during her eight months as mayor and did not attend any of the budget workshop sessions even though he had been advised of problems with town finances by Bob Daniels of Greene & Co. a month before Paxton took office.
It is unacceptable that we cannot come together for the benefit of others when we are specifically here to do a job the best we can. I will not accept non-participation or lack of respect in this office &ldots; I will no longer allow someone to attack my integrity &ldots;with no form of recourse, Paxton emphasized.
So that everyone understands, it is not the responsibility of the mayor to appoint the town attorney, the auditor, the town judge, or the town clerk &ldots; Regardless of what youve heard, this entire council has been in every decision pertaining to this town, Paxton concluded.
All members of the town council remained after the meeting to hear Paxtons statement except Councilman Turner. Several attempts to reach Turner for comment on this issue were unsuccessful.
The past comes alive this weekend as the Williamston Area Historic Commission (WAHC) sponsors Heritage Weekend March 19 and 20.
The event features a Southern Ball planned for March 19 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Williamston Municipal Center. McGowans Band of Spartanburg will fill the gymnasium with live music for dancers to enjoy the Virginia Reel and other period dances.
Some WAHC members are having ball gowns made to add to the bygone atmosphere of the special occasion. Even visitors who do not dance are sure to enjoy listening to the music as well as watching others dance.
Light refreshments will be served from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Door prizes will also be awarded to lucky attendees
Photographer Jeff McCoy will also be on hand to make pictures with a portion of the photography fees going to the WAHC.
Tickets are available from WAHC members and will be available at the door at a cost of $7 single, $10 couple and $3 student.
On March 20, Company B 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Unit of the War Between the States Re-enactors will present a guided lantern tour through the historic Williamston Cemetery.
Known as the Butler Guards, the group is a non-political historical re-enactment unit attached to the Palmetto Battalion in South Carolina who participate in battle re-enactments and living history programs throughout the southeast.
A guide in 1860s period dress will escort guests through the cemetery to witness short scenes depicting life in the most interesting and tragic time in American history, the War Between the States.
Renactors go to great lengths to recreate the dress and mannerisms of this period to give the visitor an accurate look back into time and to learn what history books may have left out about the past.
Visitors will witness a scene depicting a recruiting station from the beginning of the war where young men flocked in droves to take part in the grand adventure.
The tour will progress to scenes where the horrors of war hit home, to scenes demonstrating that medical procedures were primitive at best, to an old general reminiscing on his experiences in the war and then on to the re-unification of America.
Although the tour takes place in a cemetery, it is not intended to be a frightening experience but a serious portrayal of life in the 1860s.
Tours will begin at 7 p.m. with a ticket charge of $5 adult, $3 student and no charge for children under age six.
For more information on either event, call the Williamston Municipal Center at 847-7473 ext 222 or Carolyn Duncan at 847-1583.
The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Anderson County Library, in association with Attorney Richard C. Otter, are planning to publish a collection of oral histories entitled, Anderson County: 20th Century Memories and Reflections.
Compiled by Otter, a former mayor of Anderson, the book contains interviews with 38 Anderson County residents. Among those who shared their memories of growing up in the area were Marion Middleton and Earl Martin of Williamston, Arthur M. Llugh, Jr., and Marshall Fant.
According to Beth Spann, Friends board president, all proceeds from the books sales will be used to support the Anderson County Library system.
This is an extraordinary look at the fascinating history of this area and the lives of some of its residents, Spann said. We are extremely grateful to Rich Otter for his dedication in completing this massive project.
Publication date for the book is late April. Pre-publication orders for the book are now being taken at the Main Library in Anderson or the Williamston branch library on Greenville Dr. for $25 each. Following publication, the cost will be $35 each.
For more information contact Marybeth Evans, librarys Community Services Coordinator at 864-260-4500.
Week of Mar. 24, 2004