News Archive

(1906) Week of May 10, 2006

Middleton wins Council seat
Williamston officials working on 2006 budget
Council hears good, bad news
Letter previews steps to recovery for Williamston
West Pelzer sewer department head resigns
Pelzer streets to be renamed, renumbered
Pelzer residents hear information on annexation
Capital projects commission to forward recommendations
Postal food drive donations to stay in Piedmont area
Letter carriers to collect food
Register by May 13 for primary voting
Event to help pay medical expenses for 8-year-old transplant patient

Stabbing suspect in custody
Robbery suspect in custody
Police officers, deputies investigate local incidents

Middleton wins Council seat

By Stan Welch

In a race considered by many to be a referendum on the Town’s financial condition, Marion Middleton Jr. handily defeated Tim Williams for the Ward Two Town Council seat.

“This means the world to me,” said Middleton, Jr., after being declared the winner by a margin of 394 votes to Williams’ 226. Those results will be certified by County Election Commission officials on Thursday, but the margin of victory appears unquestioned. “ I grew up here, and these people know me. To be elected in my own home town is almost indescribable.” Middleton says that winning the election also means “a lot of work. The first task is to begin preparing the 2007 budget. We need to send our millage increase to the County in August. To do that, we need to have some idea of the 2007 budget. In fact, we need to review the last several years’ budgets.”

Unofficial results show in the City precinct, Middleton received 277 votes to Williams 112. The mill precinct results showed Williams received 108 votes and Middleton’s 105. Absentee voters were 10 for Middleton and 2 for Williams. Cedar Grove precint voters were 4 for Williams, 2 for Middleton.

Middleton Jr., son of former Williamston mayor Marion Middleton, Sr., was a vocal critic of the current Council and administration in recent months, as the Town Council and Mayor first acknowledged, then tried to address, the town’s financial problems. Mayor Phillip Clardy has frequently pointed to Middleton Sr.’s administration as the cause of many of those problems. Middleton Sr.’s conviction and subsequent imprisonment on fraud charges is well known, but clearly did not hinder his son’s chances in seeking office.

Clardy said “I certainly respect the will of the people, and look forward to working with Mr. Middleton for the next six months. Councilman David Harvell said, “We have to work with whoever was elected, and they have to work with us.”

Middleton Jr. expressed his concern with the effects of imposition of new fees, increases in old fees and anticipated tax increases on the Town’s elderly population. “I understand the need for the money raised through these measures, but they are having a tremendous impact on the people of the Town, and especially the elderly. We have to find ways to be more efficient, so that this burden can be eased.”

Williams, who won the vote in the old mill hill part of town, thanked God, his family and his supporters, in that order. “I would also like to thank Marion for running a clean race. We stuck to the issues, and hopefully showed the people of Williamston that you don’t have to resort to hate and anger. You can agree to disagree. I wish Marion, and the town of Williamston, well.”

Middleton, Jr. returned the compliment. “Tim and I both ran hard, but without resorting to personality issues. We simply debated and discussed the issue facing the Town. Because of the way that this election was conducted, and not because of who won it, this election is one of the best things that has happened to this town in a while. We must pull together to save our Town, and I appreciate Tim’s efforts in that regard.”

Middleton, Jr. stated that he will be a candidate for the Ward two seat in November, pointing out that he only won the special election to fill the seat vacated by Cecil Cothran for health reasons.

Williamston officials working on 2006 budget

Williamston officials working on 2006 budget

By Stan Welch

During the Tuesday, May 9 work session, Williamston Town Council continued to close in on a budget. The proof is in the increasingly shorter workshop sessions the Council has held recently, as the weekly attempts to hone the document continue.

This week, the budget draft itself was virtually unchanged, except for a separate worksheet reflecting police department expenses. After an explanation by Chief David Baker of the way that the Town used to pay holiday pay, the Council voted to rescind a reduction in costs for that line item in the amount of $25,000.

The Town at one time paid for five of the ten paid holidays, and allowed the taking of five days comp time for the balance of the holidays. Chief Baker said that worked when the department had enough employees to accommodate the use of the comp time. “Now that we have only fifteen people, these folks can’t use the comp time. It’s just too hard to schedule it.” He recommended simply paying for the holidays. The $25,000 which such a plan would cost was originally deducted from the salaries line item, but was restored by adding it to the overtime line item, for greater accountability.

Another issue preventing the finalization of the Police Department’s budget is the question of whether to turn over the department’s dispatching duties to the county, or try to retain those duties under the Town’s control. The estimated cost of transferring the duties to the County’s central dispatch facility is a little over $40,000, including both equipment and the salary for a dispatcher.

The Council has asked for a more precise estimate, and is awaiting those figures from the County, according to Joe Newton, ACOG representative.

Newton also showed the Council a chart that shows the upcoming spike in the Town’s projected revenues. “The revenue side of things is going to look really good over the next few weeks. Do not be fooled. That spike will go away soon, and money will be very tight for the rest of the year. In a couple of cases, things could be precariously low in the revenue department. So despite the many good things you’ve done, do not relax. Do not get cocky. There are hard times still ahead.”

He urged the Council members to ask any questions, and for department heads to report any problems with the budget during the next week. “We’re going to have to run with this thing sooner or later. So let’s start pulling it together.”

The next work session is May 16, at 9:30 a.m.

Council hears good, bad news

By Stan Welch

“Good news, bad news” was the theme of the budget workshop held by the Williamston Town Council on Wednesday, May 3.

The good news is that IRS has been paid $200,000, of which part came from the proceeds of the sale of the Gossett Street property. The IRS has also agreed to abate approximately $100,000 in fines and penalties, and may even return a little bit of money to the Town. All proceeds from the land sale are being kept in a special account and are earmarked for repayment of delinquent taxes and associated costs.

The bad news is that the remainder of the land sale proceeds has not been received yet. According to Mayor Phillip Clardy, the closing agent used by the auction company has been overwhelmed by the volume of transactions. As a result, the original deadline for buyers to close the transactions is being extended by thirty days, if necessary. Buyers are also being allowed to use their own attorneys if they wish.

The old Town Hall property should close by May 16, said the Mayor, “despite rumors to the contrary.”

The amount of delinquent payments to the SC Retirement fund has been increased to $116,000 to include payments due for the water and sewer department.

Joe Newton, ACOG representative who has been overseeing the Town’s efforts to address its financial problems, suggested that the $100,000 (currently budgeted) in abatements from the IRS be spent to reduce the principal of the $350,000 BAN  (bond anticipation note). “If you can continue to meet the monthly payments (which are $8500 a month) I would put that hundred grand against the principal. It will reduce that balloon payment in December (which is projected currently at $280,000) and save you on the interest in the meantime. (Parenthetical information inserted by editor.)

Newton also reported that the Town had received $51,000 in FEMA reimbursements for expenses inccurred during the winter ice storm. The bad news is that the $15,000 in state reimbursements has not been received by the Town. According to Newton, there are some questions about the claims. “That money will be late. In fact, it may be reduced or it may not be reimbursed at all.” The reimbursed funds are kept in the general fund and can be used for whatever purpose the Town decides on.

The good news is that the Council has voted to hire an auditor to review the Town’s finances. The expense for the audit will be $5000.

The good news is that the Mayor reported that he has been negotiating with DHEC over the terms of a consent order related to the Town’s wastewater violations. Those terms included $20,000 in fines, which the Mayor says have been reduced to $10,000. The bad news, according to Newton, is that they are still $10,000. Mayor Clardy said that efforts are underway to get the legislative delegation involved in seeking further reductions in those fines. Said Newton, “The town doesn’t need to be paying those fines. It needs the money.”

The good news is that the Council is very close to having a budget document to present to the public and to put to a vote. “We’re almost there. This draft comes very close to reflecting the town’s actual situation,” said Newton. The bad news is that later this summer, there will be a tax increase. “We’re not trying to fool anybody about that. It has to be done for the Town to continue to recover,” said Newton. The next workshop was scheduled for Tuesday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Letter previews steps to recovery for Williamston

A letter now available to Williamston residents explaining the town’s poor financial status and steps being taken to correct the problem also gives a preview of what Williamston residents can expect in coming months.

Among steps to be taken by town officials are presenting a balanced budget for 2006 in the next 30-45 days and a tax increase for 2007.

The letter states:

“During the past four months, the Mayor and Council have conducted numerous public meetings and have taken and will be taking a number of important steps to resolve the financial crisis: 

1. The Town will be enacting a balanced budget within the next thirty to forty days.  Expenses have been severely cut.  Revenues have been increased to pay debts and establish a small cash reserve.  The budget period will cover January – December 2006.  A public hearing will be conducted before the budget will be passed.  The Town will eventually change its fiscal year from the current January- December to July – June.

2. The 2006 budget does not contain a property tax increase.  However, a tax increase will be recommended for the 2007 budget, and if enacted by Council, the millage will be reflected on tax notices sent out this October.  Any tax increase will require a public hearing before passage.  The recommended tax increase will be used to pay off some remaining debts and will be used to build a much needed cash reserve.  If Council passes a 2007 tax increase, Council will also consider a decrease in the monthly sanitation fee.

3. The Town will likely borrow additional money this summer through a short term Tax Anticipation Note (TAN).  The TAN will be paid back before April 15, 2007 from 2007 taxes.  Municipalities without cash reserves are often forced to borrow through TANs in the second half of the year as revenues slow down.  If the Town had reserves, this might not be necessary.  The Town must build a cash reserve to break its annual borrowing cycle.

4. The Town conducted a land auction selling a large number of publicly owned parcels.  The Town will receive approximately $475,000, all of which will be applied to debts.  At least $200,000 will go to the Internal Revenue Service, approximately $109,000 will go to the Regions Bank for an early payment of the outstanding $350,000 Bond Anticipation Note and the remainder will be paid to the SC Department of Revenue, the SC Retirement System, and the SC Treasurer’s Office.  The sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay all debts.

5. The Mayor and Council have voluntarily forfeited their pay and benefits for the remainder of 2006 (March-December). Salaries will be reviewed in 2007.

6. Approximately a third of the Town’s workforce was laid off.  Employee medical benefits have been reduced by having deductibles increased to $1,250 per employee.  All Town departments have been affected and some services have been reduced.

7. Town salaries have been frozen and vacated positions may not be filled without a majority vote of Council.

8. Fees and rates have been increased.  Water and Sewer rates have been increased by 20%, Business Licenses by 30% and a new $14 per month sanitation fee was initiated.  Sanitation fees must be maintained in a separate account and may only be used for sanitation-related expenses.

9. The Town has had much difficulty hiring an auditor.  The Town is negotiating now and will likely have someone hired in the next two weeks (Council hired an auditor at their May 1 meeting).  The Town hired an accountant, Mr. Bob Daniel, to close out last year’s financial books and to give Town officials some much needed reports and summaries.  Mr. Daniel’s work will be given to the new auditor to help expedite the completion of the 2005 audit.  The final 2005 audit should be ready in May or early June (the Town typically receives its audits anytime from April – June).

The letter goes on to say, “We, as a community, will work through these problems.  The Town will continue to provide the services and support you demand and deserve.  Most importantly, we must work with you to ensure that we never let ourselves get in this kind of trouble again. 

We ask for your help and patience in the next few months in doing what is best for our community.” 

West Pelzer sewer department head resigns

By Stan Welch

Following a contentious meeting of the West Pelzer Town Council, sewer department head Brad West resigned, leaving the Town without a certified wastewater operator. West resigned before the entire Council shortly after the meeting, during which Council delayed authorizing the purchase of a replacement pump for one of the town’s wastewater lift stations.

West, speaking to The Journal the day after his resignation, said that he had been unhappy at his job for some time. “It has been building up for some time. I’ve put in some applications in other places, because it got to where I was miserable at my job. There’s always bickering going on, and when you try to get some equipment you need, they treat it like it’s a joke. We’ve been trying to get a used dump truck forever. We shouldn’t have to beg, borrow or steal from other towns to be able to do our jobs.”

West, who holds three certifications in wastewater and water distribution, and was working towards lab certification, had asked the Council to approve the purchase of a pump, which had gone out. He was seeking a new pump, while planning to rebuild the broken unit to use as a backup in the event of future problems. He had priced a pump with the same company that the Town had bought one from about five years ago. The price of the new pump is just a few hundred dollars more than reworking the old one, according to West.

Instead of approving the purchase, Council voted 4-1 to have the old pump pulled and reworked while Councilman Pete Davis, who works for the Greer Wastewater Department, scouted around for prices on a new pump. “It never hurts to look around,” said Davis during the discussion of the motion.

“Pete Davis and Marshall King know we need that pump. We’re down to one at that lift station, and these things aren’t sitting on a shelf nearby. We’ll have to ship it here, and if the other one gives out in the meantime, the town will be in real trouble,” said West in a later interview.

Mayor Peggy Paxton agreed, saying “Things will be a mess if that other pump goes out. It just upsets me that we have lost such a valuable employee over nothing.” Still, Paxton said at Monday night’s meeting that she didn’t think the pump failure met the standard for calling an emergency meeting of the Council when it happened more than a week ago.

Apparently, the pump issue, as well as a chance remark by Councilman Joe Turner concerning some road repairs on Dendy Street was the catalyst for West resigning. The repairs would require several tons of asphalt, and West asked how the crew was supposed to get the asphalt to the location. Turner, in an apparently joking mood, said “Use a wheelbarrow.”

West later told The Journal that he knew Turner was joking around, but added, “That just hit me wrong. We beg and plead and make do and get by without proper equipment, and then to hear that. It just made my decision easier.”

Paxton said Wednesday that what she calls “the constant hassles and bickering” could cost the Town the services of other employees as well. “The morale is very low. The employees feel like they have no support from the Council. The Council, including me, is not doing their job. If you look at what actually went on at the meeting, we didn’t really accomplish anything. The citizens deserve better than this. We lost Brad West over nothing, and it really bothers me.”

In other business, Council voted to prohibit police officers who live more than five miles from town from driving the police cars home. The officers were given a week to make other arrangements. Chief Bernard Wilson’s request to allow the officers to have a certain mileage charge deducted from their paychecks instead went unanswered. Council also voted to mark all the Town’s police cars.

The Council voted to reinstate the comprehensive planning commission, which also requires the existence of a zoning appeals board. Four former members of the board have agreed to serve again.

Members of the Council raised questions about the use of the Town’s credit card, and were told by Mayor Paxton that complete records of the card’s use, which she described as rare, for anyone to see. She said later in an interview that one member of the council came and reviewed the receipt from the local gas station that the town uses. “There are three different pieces of paper for each transaction, showing the amount of money and the number of gallons used. These receipts are printed at the station. After looking at them for awhile, this Council member told the Town clerk that she should be writing down how many gallons are being used. Apparently, he couldn’t see what was on the receipts, but he questions our record keeping. Does that make any sense?” said Paxton, who declined to name the Council member.

The Council also asked why a financial statement isn’t available for review. Paxton reminded them that the new software program isn’t fully operational yet because Town Clerk Beth Elgin is still entering all the data needed, including every check written by the Town since last August. “If you remember, we told you when we bought the new software that it would take six months or so to get it in place. In the meantime, we have all the bank statements and checks for the Council’s review.”

Councilwoman Maida Kelly said that she visits Town Hall almost daily. “I have never had any trouble seeing what I wanted to see. I just want to say that for the record.”

A number of people in the standing room only crowd spoke about the finances of the Town, including at least two people who don’t live in town. Paxton finally stopped the discussion and moved on to an extended executive session concerning personnel. No other details were given.

Under the citizen’s agenda, Beverly Atkins read a prepared statement taking issue with several aspects of both the Mayor’s and The Journal’s account of the un-permitted installation of a water line several years ago which was the subject of a recent DHEC enforcement conference.

Atkins is the mother of Lee Atkins, whose residence the line was run to provide service to. Atkins stated that she was tired of the subject and wanted it to die down. “The stress on Lee is very bad. If something happens to him because of this stress, this is not over.”

Pelzer streets to be renamed, renumbered

By Stan Welch

Confusion as to the names of several streets in the Pelzer area, as well as the accuracy of the addresses of some homes on those streets will be addressed by a plan to rename and renumber the confusing addresses.

Rhonda Moody, of the County’s GIS and E911 Addressing Division of the Planning Department, explained that some of the mistakes in addressing were quite serious in terms of emergency services being sent quickly to the right locations. “There are some significant problems in the Pelzer Mill area. For example, we had two homes side by side on Paul Street. One was number 2 Paul Street, and the other was number 28. We even had one woman whose address on Langley Road was listed as Landers Street in Williamston. That kind of confusion is obviously very risky when emergencies arise.”

Green Street, which crosses the railroad track, contained a short stretch called Fuller Street. In addition, there were addresses out of sequence. Fuller Street was renamed Green Street, and the homes were renumbered sequentially. Langley Street is now Capers Street and those numerical problems have been corrected.

Pelzer residents hear information on annexation

Over 100 residents filled the Pelzer Community Building last Thursday evening to gather information and express their opinions on the possibility of having their unincorporated neighborhoods annexed into the existing town limits.

Residents of the town’s unincorporated area have expressed concern, and even outrage, in recent weeks over their lack of a political voice in how they are governed by  those who live inside the town limits.

As they steadily filed into the Community Building, a number of those seeking annexation recalled several such attempts that had failed in the past, while expressing confidence and determination that “it’s going to get done this time.”

“Skip” Watkins, the Municipal Clerk for The Town of Pelzer, called the meeting to order and welcomed all of those in attendance, then introduced long-time town attorney Jimmy King, who would preside over the session.

King likewise offered words of welcome and thanked all of those who were instrumental in organizing the meeting.

He then explained the various methods of pursuing annexation, including outlining “all the footwork and paperwork” involved in such a move.

“It will take a lot of footwork, volunteers will be called on to go door-to-door to distribute information, answer questions, and get signatures on petitions,” he said.

He also pointed out, “there will also be a lot of paperwork to be filled out, not only for the local governing body, but for state and federal agencies as well.”

“It’s a lengthy process,” he cautioned, “Even if you got started today, it would still take close to a year before the actual annexation process would be completed.”

He assured the residents that he wasn’t trying to discourage them from seeking annexation.

“If annexation is what you really want, it will take a lot of time and hard work, but it would be worth it in the long run,” he noted.

After completing his explanation of the annexation process, Attorney King asked the three town council members in attendance if they had any comments to add, with all three declining to offer any remarks.

He then opened the floor for questions from the residents, with the first speaker also proving to be the only person expressing any outright opposition to the proposed annexation.

The remaining residents who spoke mostly asked for further clarification of the overall annexation process, with several also expressing their dissatisfaction with the various services they receive from Anderson County.

Residents in the unincorporated areas of the town depend upon Anderson County for police protection and similar support services.

A number of residents voiced complaints with the lack of service, and/or the quality of service they’re getting from the county, and were therefore hoping that with annexation the town could provide better service to the community.

Annexation could bring about the creation of a police force, as well as expand recreational programs and other services, according to the plan’s supporters.

Mr. King may have best summed things up when he told the residents, “This is a golden opportunity for you and your town, you need to take advantage of it.”

Capital projects commission to forward recommendations

By Stan Welch

The work of the Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission has been completed, pending the next meeting of the State Infrastructure Bank Board, which will determine which of several scenarios the commission will have to follow.

The commission voted unanimously this week to forward its recommendation concerning the imposition of a $.01 sales tax to the Council so that it could receive first reading approval at the May 16 meeting. That approval, if it comes, will be given to a necessarily vague proposal, since the Commission has received no firm commitment from the SIB Board as to the amount of funding that may or may not be available. The SIB Board has delayed any announcements due to uncertainty as to their level of funding in the budget for FY2006, which the General Assembly has yet to adopt.

The various scenarios include the full funding of a $150 million grant that would include three major projects, as well as a number of local projects. That scenario is one of two included in the Commission’s recommendation; the other would reflect the SIB’s decision to provide no grant funding at all. In that case, the commission would recommend that the sales tax, which is projected to raise $130 million over its seven year life, be enacted and spent entirely on a list of more than 40 local projects.

Either approach would involve the issuing of up to $30 million in general obligation bonds, at a cost of approximately $7 million.

Other funding possibilities could be $50 million or $100 million, or any amounts in between. Those scenarios would require considerable adjustments in both the projects constructed and the manner in which they would be constructed, as well as in substantial financial details such as the county’s match percentage to receive the grant funds.

Should the Commission’s recommendation receive first reading approval, second reading would be scheduled for June 6, 2006. It is anticipated that the SIB Board would meet within a short time of that date, and release its funding plans for the various projects and Counties that are seeking funds. At that time, the Commission would meet and refine the actual recommendation to reflect the amount of funding received, before Council considered third reading approval.

County Transportation Director Holt Hopkins, who has expressed his disappointment in the SIB’s delays in announcing its intentions, thanked the Commission members for their “hard work and passion. It isn’t often that we get to work with people of this caliber. It has been a pleasure.”

Postal food drive donations to stay in Piedmont area

Food collected by letter carriers in Piedmont on May 13 will stay in Piedmont.  National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 439 will donate all food collected in zip code 29673 to the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center (PERC). 

Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to PERC this year.  Nearly 1500 local NALC  branches in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are involved in this 14th annual food drive.

Campbell Soup Company and the U.S. Postal Service are major supporters of the drive.  The drive also relies on the backing of America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s food bank network; the United Way of America and local United Ways; and the AFL-CIO Community Services network.

Citizens can place a box or can of non-perishable food next to their mailbox before their letter carriers deliver mail on Saturday, May 13.  The carrier will do all the rest.  The food is taken to the postal station, sorted and delivered to the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center.  There it is available to needy families.

An estimated 30 million people face hunger every day in America, including more than 12 million children.  This drive is one way people can help those in Piedmont.

NALC president William H. Young said, “We simply MUST have a successful drive, the best ever.” 

PERC is very appreciative of the efforts of the letter carriers and will be good stewards with the food donated.  PERC helps the needy in the 29673, 29669, 29697, and 29611 zipcodes. 

In addition to being a working food pantry, PERC also provides information to refer clients to other agencies for additional needs, and is a host site for the community for Angel Food Ministry.

The Piedmont Emergency Relief Center is located in the Piedmont Community Building on Main Street and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 7pm and Saturday from 9am – Noon. 

For more information on the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center, see www.piedmonterc.org. 

Letter carriers to collect food

On Saturday, May 13, you can make a difference for South Carolina’s hungry by donating food as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) 14th annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.  Nearly 229,000 letter carriers are preparing for the world’s largest one-day food drive in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America.

 In South Carolina, 2,616 Rural and City Letter Carriers will gather food donations that will remain in food banks in communities across the state.  “The past two years, we have collected just over three-quarters of a million pounds of food,” said Ed Martin, state NALC president, “we’re hoping for an increase this year.”

Since the NALC Food Drive began in 1993, letter carriers and other Postal Service employees have collected and delivered 695 million pounds of food to help feed America’s hungry.  In 2005, 71.3 million pounds of food was donated nationwide. The U.S. Postal Service and Campbell Soup Company will once again partner to produce and mail 105 million postcards during the week of May 8 to encourage Americans to participate.

Hurricane Katrina’s devastation impacted food banks all across the nation as evacuees spread out to other states, including South Carolina.  “The need by America’s food banks this May will be enormous,” said NALC President William H. Young.  “Many are already desperate for help.  From experience, we know donations made in holiday food drives are usually gone by late Spring, even under normal circumstances.”

Making a donation is easy. Customers can leave their non-perishable food donation in a bag near their mailbox Saturday, May 13, before their letter carrier arrives. Letter carriers will collect the donations during normal deliveries.

“It is a source of personal pride and pleasure to express the full support of the Postal service for the 14th annual NALC National Food Drive and to participate as a cosponsor,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter.  “This activity exemplifies the public service contributions of the Postal service and its employees, and illustrates the power and reach of universal delivery in this country.”

Additional long-time supporters of the drive include Campbell Soup Company, America’s Second Harvest, United Way and the AFL-CIO Community Services Network and Valpak Direct Marketing Systems.

Register by May 13 for primary voting

Saturday, May 13 is the final day to register to vote in the June 13 primary elections.  The Anderson County Registration and Elections office will be open Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. for persons interested in registering to vote. Voters who have moved out of Anderson County or out-of-state and have returned to reside in Anderson County must re-register by May 13 to be eligible to vote in the June 13 primary, officials said.

To vote, you must have been registered at least 30 days prior to an election. When registering by mail, applications must be postmarked by May 13 in order to be eligible for processing for the election. Persons who have previously registered in Anderson County but have moved within the county will need to update their voter registration.

The Anderson County Registration and Elections Office is located in the old Bailes Building, directly behind the Historic Courthouse, 107 South Main Street, Suite 101, In Anderson.

A change of address can be mailed to P.O. Box 8002 Anderson, SC  29622. Registered voters, who qualify, and intend to cast absentee ballot in the June 13 primary election may call 864-260-4035 to request an absentee ballot application. 

Event to help pay medical expenses for 8-year-old transplant patient

A special fundraising event will be held Saturday, May 20 to assist with medical expenses for Isaac Clary, age 8, who has had a liver transplant and a bone marrow transplant. All funds generated as a result of the community musicfest and hotdog supper will go to transplant related expenses. The event which will be held from  5 p.m. to 10p.m. at the Pelzer Community Center, intersection of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 20 behind Bi-Lo, in Pelzer.  There will be a raffle and door prizes organizers said. 

Bands performing will be The Barons (50s & 60s music), George Hyder (bluegrass), and Stillwater Band (country).  There is a $5 cover charge and children 8 and under are free. 

Anyone who would like to contribute items for the raffle and door prizes is asked to contact June Fowler, Public Relations Coordinator/Grandmother at (864)901-1459 or (864)859-8757.

Born on December 27, 1997, Isaac was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, and doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center performed a life-saving liver transplant in December, 2001.  In 2004, he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare bone marrow disorder. 

On April 21, 2006, Isaac received his second gift of life, a bone marrow transplant.  He remains hospitalized at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he has been a patient since November 27, 2005.  An estimated $65,000 is being raised by volunteers to assist with his transplant-related expenses.  Isaac is the son of Sammy and Melissa Clary of Easley and the grandson of Ron and June Fowler, and Ray and Sandra Clary of Easley.

Isaac’s favorite hobby is N-Scale model trains which he collects and designs the layout, his mother said.  He spends many weeks at a time in the hospital and the N-scale train is portable and allows him to have it in the hospital room.  He is able to lay it out and play with it when he feels well enough during his hospital stays.  His dream is to get well, return home and enjoy his new train room which is soon to be under construction.  All aspects of railroading bring great joy to Isaac.  When at home, his parents and grandparents have spent many hours with him sitting on Main Street in Easley waiting for the train to come through.  Anyone who meets him is in awe of his level of intelligence and understanding of trains.

Funds are needed for Isaac’s transplant-related expenses and post-transplant care.  All donations are tax-deductible. Isaac’s family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a national charity based in Bloomington, Indiana, that is dedicated to organizing and guiding families and communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients. 

COTA’s priority is to assure that no child is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds.  100% of all funds raised are used for transplant-related expenses.  Find out more about COTA at www.cota.org or call 800.366.2682. For more information, please visit Isaac’s web site at:  www3.caringbridge.org/sc/isaacsjournal 

Stabbing suspect in custody

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies take Thomas Ray Osborne, Jr. into custody Monday afternoon. Osborne was arrested in connection with a stabbing incident which occurred at approximately 4 pm Monday. According to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, James Payton, 26, was stabbed three times in the chest while at his home on 426 Pine Trail, Williamston. He was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he was in stable condition. His injuries are not life threatening, officials said. Payton identified his alleged attacker as Osborne, Jr., 20. After a brief manhunt, Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies found Osborne on Breazeale Rd. where he was arrested. Osborne was transported by EMS to the Anderson Area Medical Center where he was treated and was expected to be released and will be held at the Anderson County Detention Center. Osborne isfacing charges of  assault and battery with intent to kill and armed robbery and petit larceny. The sheriff’s office also arrested Brittney Lee Bolt, 19, who was allegedly with Osborne at the time of the incident. Bolt will also face charges of armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill and petit larceny.

Robbery suspect in custody

Cardelle T. Washington, 20, turned himself in to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday in connection with an armed robbery at Burger King, 3001 Highway 153, Powdersville on April 22. Washington is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center on a charge of armed robbery.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against Washington as well as other suspects in connection with a string of armed robberies in Anderson County over the past several months, according to Anderson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Susann Griffin.

Police officers, deputies investigate local incidents

From driving under suspension to shoplifting, Anderson  County Sheriffs Deputies investigated the following incidents:

PELZER

April 18 – A. Digirolamo stopped Connie Henderson, 32, for speeding and driving erratically. She was found to be driving under suspension and using a stolen license plate. She was arrested and transported to ACDC.

April 25 – D. P. Hodges received a complaint of a stolen license tag SC#204-SGL from the car of Janet Pack of Joe Black Road.

April 26 – M.D. Creamer responded to an incident of malicious damage to property reported by Arthur Cummings, 33 Adger St. The back window of his Ford F-150 pickup had been shot out, apparently with a BB gun.

May 3 – M. D. Creamer received a report of stolen license tag SC #518TWR from a vehicle belonging to Jawars L. Smith, of Pendleton. The tag was stolen while the vehicle was on I-85 at the 32 mile marker.

PIEDMONT

April 18 – W.T. Cunningham investigated a complaint of counterfeit money at the Raceway station on Hwy. 153. A black subject driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee pumped $10 worth of gas while a white subject, 30-35 years old paid for it and a soda with a twenty dollar bill that turned out to be counterfeit.

April 19 – J. J. Jacobs stopped a car for no license plate light. He found that the driver, Jason Vernon Scott, 30, of 150 Daisy Drive in Easley, was driving under suspension for DUI and possession of drugs. He had three prior DUS convictions in the last five years. He was arrested and transported to ACDC.

May 3 – J. M. Roberts responded to 129 McNeely Road, where William Holloway reported that someone had stolen a weed eater and hand tools valued at $625 from his carport.

May 3 – M. D. Creamer responded to the Save Way Gas Station on Hwy. 86 where the clerk at the store reported that someone had driven off with $46.37 worth of gas. She couldn’t describe either the subject or the car.

May 4 – T.B. Dugan responded to 11 Prospect Street where he found a truck stuck in the front yard at that location. Anthony Todd Adkins, WM, 18, 5’9", 160 pounds, blue and brown, of 117 Orr Street said he had wrecked his truck, hitting a fence and gotten stuck. The truck had suffered severe damage to the front end, a flat tire and the deployment of both air bags. Deputies J. Barnes and D. Davis were sent to the home of Mary Lou Wilson, of 6 Hindman Street, where he informed her that her truck had been stolen, wrecked and recovered. She stated that she didn’t know it was missing. Adkins was arrested for possession of stolen property, as well as on two active warrants which were later served on him at the ACDC.

Williamston Police officers investigated the following incidents during April:

April 1 – Sgt. A.B. Singleton and Ptl. T.A. Call observed Mack Elijah Williams walking up Main Street. He was known to be out on bond and to be prohibited by the terms of that bond from drinking. He was seen to have two bottles of wine and two large cans of beer in his possession. He also smelled strongly of alcohol and stated he had had several beers earlier. He was arrested.

April 2 – Ptl. R.S. Creamer observed a WM, 10, kicking the door of the stage in Mineral Spring Park. While Creamer was trying to conduct a juvenile referral to avoid arresting the child, the boy began to fight with Creamer, and continued to do so even after being handcuffed and taken to the WPD. He was referred to the DJJ and released to his grandmother.

April 6 – Sgt. A.B. Singleton responded to the Eckerd’s on Main Street where he arrested Julia Holiday Prosser, 42,  for shoplifting more than $300 worth of cosmetics.

April 6 – Cpl. D.W. Bryant was conducting a search with a K-9 unit at the Career Center when the dog alerted on a vehicle belonging to a 16 year old WF. A small amount of marijuana and a knife were found in the vehicle. The minor, whose name was withheld, was arrested, suspended and referred to DJJ.

April 7 – Ptl. J.R. McCauley responded to the McDonald’s Restaurant on Main Street to investigate a report of an intoxicated person. Several juveniles told him upon his arrival that the subject had offered to sell them drugs. Reports state the subject, Christopher John Coward, 17,  313 Pinehaven Drive in Belton, was found in line waiting to order . He was arrested and found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and several pills. He was arrested and transported to WPD.

April 10 – Sgt. A.B. Singleton was transporting subject Jason Lee Hunter, 27, of 508 Grambrell Road, Townsville, to the WPD after arresting him on several active warrants, when he broke from the patrol car and attempted to flee on foot. A warrant was being sought for the escape charge.

April 10 – Ptl R.S. Creamer observed and stopped a white truck for speeding. He learned that the driver, Jorge Nieto, a Hispanic male, 38, had no license. He was arrested and transported to the WPD.

 April 12 - Ptl. J.R. MacCauley responded to the BP Gas station on N. Hamilton St. where he received a report from Brian Mitchell that Steven Ray Haynes, 32, had assaulted him. A witness, Haynes’ former girlfriend, supported Randall’s account and a warrant was obtained for Haynes arrest.

May 4 – David Munger observed a red Ford van stopped in the road. He investigated and found two subjects trying to conceal four open containers of beer. One subject was Reginal Quinteros, a Hispanic male of 30 years of age. The other subject is not described in the police report. Both men were arrested for open container and transported to ACDC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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