News Archive

Week of Mar. 31, 2004

Moss named Wren football coach, AD
Board approves Wren coach, district personnel for 2004-05
WACC  Founders’ Day event planned for April 3
Thieves hit area homes, businesses
Hunter Thompson kidnapping case remains under investigation
Local 911 operator takes call from missing boy

Marcy arrest photos

Moss named Wren football coach, AD

Michael (Mickey) Moss from Lake City High School has been named the new head football coach and athletic director at Wren High School for 2004-2005.

The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved Moss for the position during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Moss is a veteran educator and coach with 24 years of experence as a head football coach and athletic director.

He has coached at Lake City High School in Florence County for the past thirteen years where he had an 85-63 overall record which included ten trips to the playoffs and the school’s  first region championship.

Moss has also taught and coached at East Clarendon High School in Clarendon County and Saluda High School.

His overall record as a head coach is 149-107. While at East Clarendon he won a State Championship and four Region Championships. His teams have finished number one in the state, number three in the state twice and number seven in the state four times.

Moss has coached the state’s single season rushing record holder, the single season touchdown leader, and the single game receiving leader.

Thirty-eight of Moss’s players have signed football scholarships and two have participated in the NFL.

Coach Moss has been named the South Carolina State Coach of the Year, was an assistant coach at the Shrine Bowl in 1998 and was head coach of the North-South All Star Game in 1999.

He served as president of the South Carolina Coaches Association 2001-2002.

“Coach Moss is the type of teacher/coach I would choose for my children,” Bert Guerry, Principal at Lake City High School said. “He has a unique ability to push students to higher levels of excellence both on and off the field.”

Wren High School Principal Robbie Binnicker said, “We feel very fortunate to have Mickey coming to Wren High School. He not only is a great football coach, but has made a positive impact in the lives of so many young people.”

After being introduced to District One Board members Tuesday, Moss met with players, parents, teachers and coaches at a reception at Wren High School.

Moss and his wife Kathy, a kindergarten teacher, have two sons and two grandchildren.

Coach Moss will replace Tommy Bobo as head football coach and athletic director at Wren for the 2004-2005 season.

Bobo has accepted the position of head football coach at Union High School.

Board approves Wren coach, district personnel for 2004-05

During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board of  Trustees approved a new head football coach and athletic director for Wren High School and heard about a new HSAP test that is replacing the BSAP tests across the state.

During the meeting, Palmetto Middle School received special recognition as the recipient of the prestigious Palmetto’s Finest award. More than 30 Palmetto Middle teachers joined principal Barry Knight at the meeting.

Palmetto Middle has been among the top four contenders for the state award for the last three years. The school is the first in District One to receive the honor, Superintendant Dr. Reggie Christopher said.

Knight, who was recently named S.C. Middle School Principal of the Year,  also received special recognition during the meeting.   He said that the award recognizes the outstanding, caring staff at Palmetto Middle which makes the school “Palmetto’s Finest.”

Board Chairman Fred Alexander said, “We are very proud of the effort Palmetto Middle put forth. That is what it takes to make School District One what it is, the finest district in the state.”

Knight thanked board members for their support which he said, “allows us to lead without micromanagement.”

Mike Moss was then introduced as the new head coach at Wren. “I am very proud to be coming here. It was not a hard decision,” Moss said.

Moss said he is looking forward to meeting everyone in the Wren community and working with the young people and athletes and promised to “do the best job we can do.”

During his financial report, District Director of Finance Steve Uldrick  said the district has received revenues of $44,947,165 or 74.59 percent of budget. Expenses so far this year amounted to $40, 338,400, or 66 percent of budget.

“We are right on target,” he told board members.

Dr. Christopher told board members the district will be switching to a windows based system to replace a current lease for computer hardware and software the District has used for about 13 years.

The new product is easier to work with and is offered by a company in Easley, Christopher said.

In his instructional report, Dr. Wayne Fowler  told board members that District students will begin taking a new test this year.

Fowler said students in grade 10 will be required to pass the new HSAP test which replaces the BSAP test that is being phased out. Students in the 11th and 12th grade will be taking the BSAP test April 20-22.

Fowler said the new test is based on higher standards and includes a writing and mathematics portion.

Ninety percent of District students passed the BSAP testing which is based on minimum 8th grade standards, according to Fowler.

“It will be a challenging test for our students,” Fowler said. “I will be surprised if ninety percent meet the true 10th grade standards.”

The new test will allow educators to better evaluate students because the test will be based on true 10th grade standards and will include breakdowns on how a student actually performed rather than being based on minimum standards.

The test will be a part of state requirements that include 24 units  necessary for graduation, according to Fowler.

“It will be a bigger challenge for our students,” Fowler said.

In his student nutritional report, Assistant Superintendent David Havird reported that the District nutritional service continues to show a profit for the district due to the increasing participation.

 Havird said the progam had monthly revenues of $269,563 and expenses of $229,916, resulting in a $39,646 profit. The program has a $248,104 profit for the school year, Havird said.

Havird said  there will be a $100,000 depreciation cost for facilities and equipment, resulting in approximately $92,000 coming back to the district at the end of the year.

In other action, board members unanimously approved a resolution to oppose a tuition tax credit bill legislators are currently considering.

Christopher recommended opposing house bill H.4908, or the “Put parents in charge” bill, which offers public funding credits for private or home schooling.

“It is a back door voucher plan and is not good for public education,” Christopher said.

Board members also decided to keep a school choice policy the district already has in effect seperate from a federal policy for Title 1 schools.

After some discussion, Dr. Christopher said he would reevaluate combining the policies to avoid confusion.

Under the new federal policy, parents with children in schools not meeting the “No Child Left Behind” act requirements for three years in a row have the opportunity to choose another school for their children to attend. Under the guidelines, the district must furnish transportation.

The new policy relates to Title 1 schools, which are classified by the number of free lunch and reduced price meals served. Palmetto Elementary, Pelzer Elementary and Spearman Elementary are classifed as Title 1 schools, according to Christopher.

The district already has a policy with no attendance zones, allowing students to choose the school they wish to attend. If the school is outside the transportation system available , students must furnish their own transportation.

Board members will hold second reading at the next meeting.

The following personnel recommendations were unanimously approved by the board:

Requests for leave of absence - Caroline Ellison, Palmetto Elementary, physical education, requesting a six-week medical leave March 3 - April 14; Tammy Darity, Concrete Primary, Grade 1, six-week medical leave April 5 - May 14; Pat Russell, Wren Elementary Assistant Principal, six week medical leave April 22 - June 4; Stacy Turner, Concrete Primary, Powdersville Elementary, music, six week maternity leave June 30 - August 11.

Resignations: Ellen Abramo, Spearman Elementary, Kindergarten; Brittany Foerster, Wren High, math; Kelly Hall, Palmetto High, Spanish; Robert Hargrove, Wren Elementary, music; Ben Morgan, Palmetto High science; Susan Page, Wren High, math; Martha Sabadie, Hunt Meadows Elementary, grade 3.

Retirement: Carol Leggett, Wren High Media Specialist. 

Transfers: Jane Harrison, Concrete Primary School Principal to Director of Elementary Education; Jennifer Smith, Palmetto Middle as a 1.0 LD teacher to Palmetto High; Ashley Dilworth, Wren Middle, math to Palmetto Middle, math.

New teacher recommendations include: Matt Lalli, Concrete Primary and Powdersville Middle, speech; Mickey Moss, Wren High, Athletic Director and football coach.

Faculty recommendations made by Dr. Christopher for the entire school district for 2004-2005 were also approved.

WACC  Founders’ Day event planned for April 3

The Williamston Action Community Club (WACC) will hold a Founders’ Day Celebration Banquet on April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Caroline Community Center.

The banquet is the club’s major fundraising event and also represents the conclusion of a major fundraising program to support the center and its activities.

Former Mrs. USA contestant Bonita G. Young will be special guest speaker. Luther Johnson, Jr., will act as master of ceremonies for the event. A donation of $15 per person is requested.

Young is involved in school and church. She is a former Mrs. South Carolina International and a cancer survivor.

Presently, the Caroline Community Center is operated using dues and donations, building use fees, programs sponsored by club members and the Founders’ Day Rally. No funds are received from United Way or any special grants according to club members.

Located at 1 School Street, the center operates a Summer Enrichment Program each summer for youth ages 5-14. An after school program serves 15-20 children daily.

The VFW uses the building for meetings and the Anderson Oconee Teen Pregnancy Prevention program meets weekly at the center with children from the community.

The WACC  is in the process of trying to get some type of medical services operating out of the center to benefit the community.

Directors are hoping to offer a computer lab at the center with computer skills training for adults.

“Our goal is to serve the needs of this community as well as reach out to surrounding communities,” Board member and vice president Willie J. Wright said.

The club is requesting that friends, business owners and corporations consider becoming patrons or sponsors in order to continue the work at the center.

A donor may become a Silver Patron by contributing $100-$500. The name of the donor will be placed on a list of patrons in the center.

Gold Patrons contribute $500-$1000 and will have their names placed on a patron list in the center. They will also receive a certificate and two tickets for the Founders’ Day Banquet.

Full Sponsors contribute $1000 or more. The name of the individual or business will be placed on a sponsor plaque in the center as well as on a personal plaque. Full sponsors receive a reserved table for six at the Founders Day Banquet as well as a listing on the program as a full sponsor.

Donations for the organization are needed by April 1and commitments by April 3. 

The WACC is an incorporated tax-exempt organization and emphasizes that all funds will be used for the center and to finance the Youth Enrichment Program. For further information, contact secretary Dorothy Smith at 847-7929 or president Theodore Mattison at 847-8685.


Thieves hit area homes, businesses

Anderson County deputies investigated the following incidents this week:

Mar. 25 – Ronnie Kay Center, 57, 430 Addison Circle, Pelzer, reported that someone cut the master lock on the gate to his business and carried away three trailers valued at $5,360. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Mar. 25 – Angie Denise Owens, 32, 330 H. I. Taylor Road, Williamston, reported that someone took the tag valued at $15 off her Ford F150. S. F. Jones investigated.

Mar. 25 – Ingles, 10903 Anderson Dr., Piedmont, reported that a customer attempted to carry two 24-ounce King Cobras and four metal magazines valued at $23 out of the store. Jared Stephen Williams, 23, 312 Timbrook Way, Easley, was arrested and transported to the Anderson County Detention Center. S. F. Jones investigated.

Mar. 24 – Albertson Construction Co., 110 Greenleaf Lane, Easley, reported that someone observed a male and female in a Ford Explorer back into a driveway at 110 Garlington Court and carry out a stove valued at $2,000 from the residence. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Mar. 24 – Thomas Chandler Everett, 18, 303 Lebby St., Pelzer, reported that someone entered his vehicle and took a Pioneer stereo, a Sony CD player, and a Whistler radar detector valued at $626. A. B. Singleton investigated.

Mar. 24 – Luke Raeckelboom, 4214 Hwy. 86, Easley, reported that someone removed three wooden signs from the front yard valued at $100. C. R. Mize investigated.

Mar. 24 – Harvey Ray, 62, 131 Harper St., Williamston, reported that someone forced open the sliding door to a garage and removed tools valued at $500. C. R. Mize investigated.

Mar. 22 – Chris Swords, 50, 301 Grace Ave., Easley, reported that someone removed a pocketbook containing cash, a checkbook, driver’s license and ATM card valued at $146 from a buggy in the Bi-Lo parking lot. M. D. Campbell investigated.

Mar. 22 – Mid-South Consultants, 223B Siloam Road, Easley, reported that someone unlocked the front door to the business and stole a Dell laptop computer and a direct TV receiver valued at $2,100. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.

Mar. 22 – Olson, Smith, Jordan, Cox, P.A., 3427 Earle E. Morris, Jr. Hwy., Piedmont, reported that someone unsecured the back door, damaged a Dell laptop computer and a Mita copier valued at $1,500. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Mar. 19 – J R Construction, 16 Glenwood Ave., Williamston, reported that someone stole a Quincy air compressor valued at $250 that was sitting on the outside of the garage area. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Mar. 22 – Carolina Crème, 3121 Hwy. 153 Suite A, Piedmont, reported that someone forced open a rear door and carried away $75 in a coin tray. S. F. Jones investigated.

Mar. 20 – James Edward Thomason, 73, 1 Anderson St., Pelzer, reported that someone stole $1,000 in currency and a handgun valued at $200. G. G. Diaz investigated.

Mar. 20 – Tambralyn Edwina Bergholom, 44, 155 Lot 8 Hollywood Dr., Piedmont, reported that someone broke into her home and stole medications valued at $9. K. J. Burns investigated.

Mar. 19 – Terry Puleo, 45, 422 Hattie Road, Easley, reported that someone went into the trunk of his vehicle and took a battery drill valued at $100. B. J. Andreas investigated.

Mar. 19 – Jeffrey Wayne Lindsey, 40, 426 Hattie Road, Easley, reported that someone entered his vehicle and carried away approximately 150 men’s and women’s Bulova sample watches valued at $10,150. S. F. Jones investigated.

Mar. 18 – Wren High School, 905 Wren School Road, Piedmont, reported that someone forced entry into a drink machine located at the field house and took an undetermined amount of money and soft drinks. G. M. Hayden investigated.

Mar. 18 – Michael Clayton Landrum, 50, 104 Merritt Road, Piedmont, reported that someone took an API deer stand from his front porch and two sets of 4-wheeler ramps totaling $700 from inside a fence in the rear of his home. J. M. Durham investigated.

Mar. 18 – Patty Porter, 610 Old Anderson Rd., Greenville, reported that someone pulled into her yard and took an aluminum ladder valued at $100. J. T. Owens investigated.

Mar. 18 – Joseph Cannon, 34, 403 Elaine Way, Williamston, reported that someone removed a Murray push mower and a gas trimmer valued at $340 from the front lawn of his residence. D. C. Fouts investigated.

Mar. 16 – Wilma Hudson Cooley, 78, 1508 Old Mill Road, Easley, reported that someone took a trumpet valued at $900 out of her carport. K. J. Burns investigated.

Mar. 15 – Bi-Lo, 330 Lebby St., Pelzer, reported that a customer picked up a can of snuff valued at $2 and concealed it in his pants pocket. Jeffery Lee Blackwell, 18, 23 Goodrich St., Pelzer was arrested and transported to Anderson County Detention Center. D. Hodges, Jr. investigated.



Williamston man arrested
Hunter Thompson kidnapping case remains under investigation


Anderson County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jonathan Craig Marcy, 31, at approximately 12:30 p.m. last Thursday, March 25, at a home at 108 Academy Street in Williamston, in connection with the abduction of Hunter Thompson, an Anderson County boy who disappeared March 22 from an Anderson Kmart.

According to Captain Dale McCard of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Marcy was renting the home and had been in the Williamston area since October, 2003. Marcy had no prior record that authorities knew of and he lived by himself.

A bond hearing has been set for 2 p.m. Monday April 5, authorities said Wednesday.

Capt. McCard said the case is still under investigation and there is still a lot of investigation to be done. Additional charges may result, McCard said.

Williamston residents Keith and Beth Watkins lived just down the street from the house Marcy lived in on Academy St.

Keith Watkins described Marcy as “reclusive” and said that neither he nor his family saw him very much in the neighborhood.

Beth Watkins drove to Anderson last Tuesday following the kidnapping to volunteer in the search for Hunter.

That same morning, Keith said that he was taking out his recycling when a feeling came over him about the missing boy. He reports that he went back in his home, turned everything off and said a prayer for the child.

Within a couple of hours, he heard that the child had been dropped off at a Winn-Dixie in Anderson.

The house Marcy was renting is located next to Calvary Baptist Church. Marcy did attend worship services at the church a couple of times according to the church’s music director, Tim Brooks.

Fran Broome, director of the kindergarten program for the church, said that she had no contact with Marcy. According to Broome, the children at Calvary’s day care play in an enclosed courtyard and that at least two adults accompany the children when outdoors. All exterior doors to the church are kept locked routinely, Broome said.

Marcy has been charged with kidnapping and no other charges have been filed, according to Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor.

During a news conference Thursday following the arrest of the suspected kidnapper, Sheriff Taylor said, “It was as good an outcome as we could possibly have.”

Sheriff Taylor said that the local media, the Amber Alert system, the detailed descriptions given by the kidnapped child and a tip from an alert citizen were all very instrumental in finding the alleged kidnapper.

“What we do know is that he (Hunter) saw himself on TV,” Taylor said. “We don’t know why he (Marcy) took him but he did fit the geographic profiling and the description,” Taylor said.

Marcy was arrested after Captain John Skipper of the Anderson County sheriff’s office received a call from a regular customer at Hardees in Williamston, who asked not to be identified. The caller said there was a person working there, with scratches on his face, who fit the description of the suspect in Thompson’s kidnapping.

Captain McCard said that the quick arrest was “the direct result of the description put out by the news media.”

After receiving the tip from the alert citizen, Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies talked to Marcy around 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

“He had some things he lied about. His alibi didn’t check out,” Sheriff Taylor said.

The Sheriff also said a white car, which fit the description of the suspect vehicle, “was hid behind the house.”

“After talking with him a second time, he did confess,” Sheriff Taylor said.

Taylor said the man is being charged with kidnapping and didn’t say whether additional charges may be forthcoming. There was no indication Hunter had been assaulted, according to Taylor.

Thursday afternoon, forensics investigators were processing a white 1992 Mazda Protege for evidence. The vehicle was parked behind the Academy St. home Marcy was renting.

Other investigators were waiting for a search warrant to enter the home late Thursday.

Investigators were also sent to the Anderson Regional Landfill to attempt to retrieve trash that had been picked up by The Town of Williamston earlier Thursday morning.

Williamston Police Captain David Baker assisted in trying to locate the trash.

“It is an active investigation and is not over by far,” Captain McCard said during the news conference.

Sheriff Taylor said that the Amber Alert system definitely did help. He said that in this case, the local broadcast media had the kidnapping information on by 11 p. m. and the newspapers had it the next morning. “It could well have helped,” he said.

Taylor said the Amber Alert system went into effect in about two hours.

 Though he would have liked for it to be faster, notice of the kidnapping was being spread nationwide within hours.

“The Amber Alert system is wonderful for spreading the word widely.” In this case, as long as the local media knew, it worked out,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the investigation was hampered because the store where the kidnapping took place had turned off their video cameras about two hours before the incident took place.

“We had no video to put out,” Taylor said. “Nobody saw what happened.”

Taylor said because there was no video, authorities had to check the house and search the entire Kmart store to be sure the missing child report met the criteria to be placed on the Amber Alert system.

He cited a recent incident in Greenville in which a missing child was found sleeping in the store.

 “At 11 o’clock we were ready to send the Amber Alert,” Taylor said. “It took about two hours. We did follow protocol.”

Taylor encouraged businesses with cameras to keep them running 24 hours a day.

Taylor said Hunter was in the electronics section of the store, possibly at a video demo setup when he was approached by Marcy.

“He may have offered money or video games,” Taylor said. “He said, “come with me” and Hunter went with him,” Taylor said.

According to the sheriff, Marcy fits a lot of the profiles. He said there is some concern that Marcy may have had contact with other youth because he was involved in activities involving youth through organizations in the county.

“He was involved with youth,” Taylor said. “He was involved in mentoring type roles with very young people.”

Details of the man’s background and how long he had been in Williamston were unclear Thursday.

He worked at Hardees approximately 3 months, authorities said. 

Sheriff Taylor said authorities believe the man is a native of the area though he told Hunter he is from Florida. “We don’t believe it is true,” Taylor said Thursday.

Taylor said the forensics investigation at the home and on the vehicle were routine and were being conducted to prove Hunter was there.

When asked about motives, Taylor said authorities didn’t have any. “There is no indication he (Marcy) has done anything like this before. We don’t know why he took him.”

Authorities are sill investigating the case and will be for some time, Taylor said.




Local 911 operator takes call from missing boy

When Anderson County 911 operator Julia Nichols answered an emergency call Tuesday morning and realized she was talking to missing 7-year-old Hunter Allen Thompson, she said she thought to herself, “I’m talking to a miracle.”

Nichols, a Williamston resident, took the call at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, from Thompson that alerted authorities he was at the Winn Dixie grocery store on Greenville St. in Anderson.

Nichols said the boy sounded “real grave” when he called 911 after his abductor left him at the Anderson grocery store. Though details of the call have not been released, Nichols said he gave her a description of the suspect and the vehicle. “He is a very smart little fellow,” Nichols said. “I couldn’t believe it was him.”

Nichols said she is proud to be a part of the 911 system that is usually the first agency involved in an emergency situation.

“We start with the information and then notify law enforcement, fire or emergency personnel,” Nichols said.

 “911 starts the whole process,” according to Nichols. “I was excited that I got him,” she said. “There was a lot of celebrating last night, a lot of rejoicing and gratefulness that he was safe.”

Thompson was reported missing at 8:20 p.m. Monday, after he could not be found in the K-Mart store he was shopping in with his parents, Troy and Debbie Thompson.

After it was determined that the incident met the criteria, it was placed on the Amber Alert system. Amber Alert stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

The nationwide Amber Alert system in South Carolina issued a notice on the abduction at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to the State Law Enforcement division’s intelligence and missing person information center.

It was the county’s first and only the third issued from the state of South Carolina in the history of the system, which began in 1996.

To meet the criteria, officers must believe the child has been abducted and all other possibilities for the disappearance must be eliminated.

The child must be 16-years-old or younger and in serious danger of being hurt or killed. If the person is 17 or older, there must be an immediate danger because of a physical or mental disability.

Also there must be sufficient information to give to the public to assist in locating the missing person.

Before issuing the alert, officers closed Kmart and brought dogs in to search the store.

According to a Sheriffs Office news release, Hunter walked into the Winn-Dixie at 1520 E. Greenville St. shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday and was recognized by employees who called 911.

Reports state he was taken to Anderson area Medical Center for evaluation.

Authorities are looking for a white male, approximately 5’10” weighing 240 lbs. with a large belly, short brown hair, gray short sleeve shirt, possibly a T-shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

The vehicle is described as possibly white or light colored 4 door with gray interior which was last seen in the Greenville St./Hwy. 81 area.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the case along with SLED and the FBI. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (864) 260-4400.

Marcy arrest photos

 Search for evidence

Investigators ready to search for evidence in a 1992 Mazda Protege found behind the house at 108 Academy St, Williamston where Marcy was arrested.

Hidden vehicle

The vehicle was parked behind the house which Marcy was renting in Williamston.

At the scene

FBI, SLED and Anderson County Sheriff's Deputies at the scene.

Under arrest

After being arrested, Marcy was placed in a vehicle for transport to Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

At Dentention Center

Marcy being booked at the Anderson Count Detention Center.

Wait for warrant

Investigators wait for a search warrant before entering the house Marcy was renting.

Parents at hearing

Troy and Debbie Thompson Thursday during bail hearings for Jonathan Marcy, who has been charged with kidnapping in the abduction of their son Hunter.





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