News Archive

Week of Aug. 6, 2003

Information to be  presented at public forum August 12
Authorities investigating possible homicide
Council names assistant judge, hears from citizens
Spring Water Festival to offer new activities
Wren’s Sara Lynn Brown named Teacher of the Year in Anderson District One
Vandals spray paint Palmetto High School, stadium 


Information to be  presented at public forum August 12

Before Williamston voters decide if they want to change the town’s form of government, they will have the opportunity to hear a presentation on the forms of government a town can operate under in South Carolina.

At the request of Williamston Town Council, a public forum will be held Tuesday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at the Williamston Municipal Center.

Howard Duvall of the Municipal Association of South Carolina and Joe Newton of the Appalachian Council of Governments have been invited to participate and will present information and answer questions from the public.

According to Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy, the presentations are “not to be biased or partial” and will allow Williamston residents to hear information and make up their own minds concerning the proposed change in Williamston’s form of governement.

All four of the town’s Council members have indicated that they would support the change if the residents vote to have it changed.

Mayor Clardy said he opposes the change because he believes the mayor council form of government the town currently operates under works best.

When the petition requesting the referendum was presented,  Mayor Clardy indicated that he would oppose the suggested change in government and would fight it by educating voters on the advantages and disadvantages of the three types of government municipalities in the State can operate under.

Clardy also maintains that the proposed change is in response to decisions he has made recently which have been controversial.

Williamston residents will go to the polls for the referendum vote on Tuesday, August 19.

If the referendum to change the form of government is approved, the town will still need to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department before the change takes effect.

Town attorney Richard Thompson said Justice Department officials said pre-clearance is usually just a formality.

Williamston currently operates under a strong mayor, weak council form of government.

Instructions on the official ballot for the special election state: Those in favor of the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word “YES,” and those woting against the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word “NO.”

Wording on the ballot states: “Shall the municipality of Williamston change its form of government from Mayor Council form of Government pursuant to Section 5-9-20 to the Council form of Government pursuant to Section 5-11-20?



Fourteen Williamston residents who are registered voters in the Cedar Grove precinct will cast their ballot at the Williamston National Guard Armory (Mill precinct) on Gossett St.

Williamston Town Clerk Hala Cochran said the residents will be sent certified letters notifying them of the change, which will be for this special election only.

There are 1,299 Williamston residents registered to vote in the Town precinct, located at Palmetto Middle School Auditorium, according to Cochran.

There are 711 registered voters in the Mill precinct and 14 registered voters in the Cedar Grove precinct.

Authorities investigating possible homicide

The Williamston Police Department and State Law Enforecment Division agents are investigating the death of a Williamston man  Wednesday morning which Williamston Police Chief Troy Martin described as a possible homicide.

Relatives discovered the body of William Ricky Loskoski, 41, at his home at 120 Davis St. Wednesday morning after he did not show up for work at a mulch company near the Jockey Lot, law enforcement officials said.

According to Martin, Williamston EMS received a call of a possible heart attack. Upon arrival they realized that it was not a coronary, but possibly a homicide, and notified the police department.

Williamston police officers were dispatched to the residence at 10:22 a.m. Wednesday morning, and immediately secured the scene.

Martin said the victim’s throat appeared to have a large cut, but declined to release any additional details.

The SLED forensic team was called in to assist with processing the scene and with evidence, Martin said, because they have better resources and technology.

Officers were still investigating the scene as of 2:15 p.m. and Martin said he had requested a search warrant for the residence because of possible evidence associated with a computer and a lap top which he said may or may not be relevant to the investigation.

Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said the man’s throat had been cut and that he probably died sometime Tuesday.  Additional details were unavailable at press time.

Council names assistant judge, hears from citizens

Williamston Town Council heard from a number of citizens and approved several requests during their regular meeting August 4.

Council and mayor held a 10 minute work session to go over the agenda prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

Persons attending the meeting  found that the front five rows of chairs in Council Chambers were reserved for Williamston residents only.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Phillip Clardy introduced Guardsman  Jason Anderson, who recently returned from Iraq.

Anderson, who received a standing ovation from those in attendance, said the flags and ribbons in Williamston meant so much to him. “It makes me happy to see so much support,” he said.

During public comments at the start of the meeting, Council heard questions from several individuals.

Prior to hearing comments, Clardy said speakers would be limited to three minutes and that he and council are not obligated to respond.

Clardy recommended that questions be submitted in writing during regular business hours, “where appropriate time can be given.”

Francis Skelton, of Mahaffey Rd., Williamston, asked  how many council meetings will it take to get one pot hole filled and how often council will have to meet in an attempt to micromanage the Town’s business if the present form of government is changed.

He also asked if those promoting the change of government are concealing the need to hire an administrator and why there has been no previous attempt to change the form of goverrnment.

Connie Strom, Dickens Ave., Williamston, addressed Councilman Wade Pepper and Cecil Cothran about responses she received to questions submitted to them at an earlier date.

Ann McClellion asked several questions about the town’s fiances including whether the town has enough funds to operate for the remainder of the year and if the mayor anticipated borrowing any additional money. She also asked about costs to bury West Allen Williams in the park and if it was voted on.

Clardy responded that Council voted on the issue  and that associated costs were donated. “It didn’t cost the town’s people anything,” he said.

Elaine West asked Council to consider allowing the First Christian Church in Anderson to use the park amphitheatre for a drama presentation in October..

John Brannon, Belton Dr., asked council if the form of government is changed, will the town have to pay for an administrator and whether a change would assure future deficits will not occur. He also said that the FOI requests to the town should be a priviledge but if excessive may be an attempt to distract the office.

Larry Rachels, of Belton Dr., commented on the proposal to change the form of government. “Is this proposal to change our form of government an attempt to reverse the outcome of the mayoral election two years ago?”

“Is the proposed change the best for our community or self-serving for some individuals,” he asked.

He also asked if the proposed change was an attempt to prevent full disclosure of more corruption of past years that hasn’t been discovered yet and if the change wil result in more executive sessions and less open government.

Ken Marshall of Mauldin St. said that kids don’t want to play in the park anymore because of the graves being there.

He also pointed out costs associated with the project including cement blocks, wages and time employees could have been doing other work.

He also said that providing birthday cakes for some town employees and not others is discrimination.

Council then went into a lengthy executive session to discuss contractural and personnel matters, according to Clardy.

Returning to regular open session at 8:05 p.m., council approved several items including second reading on a drought ordinance, gave approval for use of the park for a Men’s United Festival on Oct. 11 and approved the request made earlier by Elaine West.

Council also approved a request by pastor Richie Stoddard, of New Mt. Bethel Outreach Ministries for a community wide gospel festival and fellowship event in Brookdale Park Sept. 6 and 7.

A tabled request to put limits on the town credit card was rescinded from the agenda by Councilman Cecil Cothran who made the original motion at the last meeting. Cothran declined to comment on why he was dropping the proposal.

Acting on a motion by Councilman Cothran and a second by Councilman Wade Pepper, Council approved appointment of County Judge Sherman Woodson as the assistant municipal judge for the town by a 4-1 vote.  Councilman Harvell opposed.

Clardy said because Woodson  is also a County Magistrate, the town would have to contract with the County for his services.

Clardy abstained from the 3-1 vote to enter into the contract with the county. “I am abstaining because I am entering into the contract,” Clardy said. Councilman Harvell opposed.

Clardy read a list of roads which were presented to the County for paving.

Clardy said the town needs  two appointments to the Disabilities Committee. He said the committee is looking at several projects including the possibility of a sidewalk from Hardees to Burger King which will be handicapped accessible.

The committee is chaired by Elaine West. West said that the committee will look at the issues in the Town of Williamston that are important to people with a disability.

Person interested in helping can find out more by stopping by a booth at the Spring Water Festival or contacting Town Hall, West said.

Councilman Harvell requested the town look at an ordinance placing a cap on towing and storage fees for  vehicles towed at the request of the town.

Spring Water Festival to offer new activities

Jaime Carter, chairperson for the 22nd Annual Spring Water Festival said she is excited about new attractions lined up for the August event.

New this year will be a petting zoo featuring a variety of exotic animals, according to Carter.

Eudora Farms of Salley, S. C.  will offer an interactive, hands on exotic animal petting zoo featuring 20 to 25 rare and exotic animals from around the world.

 Animal ambassadors such as “Little Joe” (the wallaby), “Juliet” (the Scots Highlander), “Humphrey” (the camel), “Rascal” (the Fennec Fox) and “Kevin Bacon” (the pot belly pig) bring smiles to all who meet them, the owners say in a publicity release.

Camel rides will offer a once in a lifetime experience. Bubba the camel has over 30,000 rides and entertains crowds by drinking Diet Coke, the owners state.

His popularity has resulted in Eudora Farms adding two other camels to assist. Rides will be priced at $3 for pony rides, camel rides $4 and pictures will be available for $3 each.

Family fun will continue with a variety of rides offered by Cox Amusements, Inc. of Greenville.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to provide amusement rides and devices for the festival for the past three years,” owners Donny and Ginny Cox said.

The company will bring a wayout swing ride, spinner ride, giant slide, obstacle course, rock climbing wall, water wars game, trackless train and other attractions. They will also offer a kiddy swing for small children.

“Another new attraction at this year’s festival will be Grandma’s Kettle Corn in which the workers dress like “hillbillies” and cook their kettle-corn for festival goers in big cast iron pots,” according to Carter.

The Spring Water Trolley will also be returning to provide transportation to and from the park area.

Carter said the festival has space for 63 craft exhibitors and is still accepting applications for crafters interested in displaying at the festival. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis, Carter said.

Crafters from North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia are expected to participate in this year’s festival.

Handpainted clothing, jewelry crafted of brass, silver, and copper will be available. Folk art and pastel paintings and art prints, ceramics, painted tinware, sand art, wreaths, and florals are among the many items that will be offered.

Local artist Thomas Addison, who has contributed artwork for the festival throughout its history, will offer limited and signed prints.

Addison is also contributing artwork featuring a tribute to Palmetto Mustang Football. The design will include artwork depicting the first Palmetto High football team in 1953, the 1970 championship team and the 2002 team, which finished as upperstate runner up and captured the 200th career win for Coach Tommy Davis.

T-shirts featuring the design are available at ERS Video and at Town Hall, organizers said.

The shirts are $10 for sizes small to xl, $12 for XXL and XXXL. Youth sizes are $8 each.

The Sesquicentennial committee will also be offering souvenirs of the town’s 150th year including limited edition, numbered souvenir plates and prints.

The Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) is again sponsoring a prize drawing give-away at the festival. Tickets are now available at GWBA locations, according to president Dave Maddox. This year’s grand prize will be a John Deere lawn tractor from V&V Equipment.

A variety of businesses and other organizations are also expected to display at the festival.

The 2003 festival will feature a variety of entertainment on the Amphitheatre stage and the Historic Depot stage.

The depot stage will primarily feature old time bluegrass music, organizers said.

Carter said the entertainment schedule for the festival is almost complete and said there will be a karaoke contest and a songwriters contest again this year. Those interested should contact Town Hall.

A festival pageant will be held on the main stage at 9 a.m.  for contestants in age categories 0 to 18 years.

Entry fee is $30 and must be turned in by August 16. Late entries will not be accepted, organizers said. Registration forms can be picked up at The Journal, Color Fast Screen Printing or the Magic Dance Academy. For more information call 847-7827.

The Williamston Fire Department is again sponsoring the festival’s auto show, which will include 75 to 100 local antique and classic autos.

Owners may register their vehicles in advance by calling 847-4155 or  847-4950 for more information or can register at the festival between 8 a.m. and noon. A $10 registration fee will be charged. Awards will be given to the top 50 vehicles. Five specialty awards, including best Chevrolet, best Ford, best truck and Mayor’s choice will be presented. 

The car show is also sponsored by Foothills Ford and McDonalds.

The fire department will also be offering $1 rides on the restored 1936 Chevrolet fire engine.

Local non-profit groups will be offering a variety of food items including hamburgers, hotdogs, barbecue, hot wings and chicken fillets.

Carter also said the food vendors, comprised of primarily local non-profit organizations, is full. Most of the food vendors are repeat organizations, she said.

The 22nd annual Spring Water Festival will be held Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Williamston’s Mineral Spring park. The event is always held on the fourth Saturday of August. For the second year, The Town of Williamston is coordinating the event.

Crafters, entertainers, non-profit groups or businesses interested in participating in the festival should contact Carter or Joel Vagen at Town Hall at (864) 847-7473.

A special 22nd Anniversary Spring Water Festival tabloid program featuring complete information about festival activities and performers will be published by The Journal prior to the festival.

The tab will also include special festival advertising from most area businesses.

Wren’s Sara Lynn Brown named Teacher of the Year in Anderson District One

Wren Middle School’s Sara Lynn Brown was named Anderson District One’s Teacher of the Year.

Announcement of Brown’s selection was made during Anderson One’s opening day festivities at Wren High School on Tuesday. 

Also recognized were Palmetto High’s Kelly Hall and Spearman Elementary School’s Rebecca Bridges for being named district finalists in this year’s Teacher of the Year program. 

Co-sponsored by Anderson School District One and the Anderson County Education Association #1, Brown will compete for 2004-2005 state honors to be announced in May 2004. 

This year’s state winner will receive $25,000 and the use of a BMW Roadster for one year. Four state finalists will be awarded $10,000 each with all district winners receiving a $1,000 award.

“Receiving the distinction of Teacher of the Year is an honor earned by those select educators who bring the highest quality of instruction and caring to their classroom,” said Dr. Reggie Christopher, superintendent of Anderson School District One.

“Brown’s genuine love and acceptance of each young person is a shining example of what effective teaching demands.  Her tireless efforts, animated style of instruction, and encouragement get the best out of her students, far beyond what they ever thought they could achieve.”

“As an educator, I have the unique privilege to help students find their path in life,” said Brown. “Families can provide children with a sense of who they are. Educators guide students to determine who they can be. Through teaching, I provide opportunities for the students to explore, create, define, and develop their own individual talents and strength. By intentionally connecting with my students, their parents, and teachers, we accomplish our purpose. Students learn and I know I have had an impact on them as they prepare for their future.”

Brown began her teaching career in District One at Wren Middle School in 1981 where she continues to be an integral part of the Hurricane’s faculty.  Brown is a special education resource teacher for grades 6-8.

“I do believe I make a difference in the lives of my students,” she said. “I have dedicated my life to helping students with learning disabilities and other special needs. I help them to learn and understand their needs and teach them how to compensate for their learning difficulties. The students realize I care about them and the events in their lives.”

Brown has served as a workshop presenter, co-author of articles and as a consultant on projects involving service learning and inclusion.

She has been a mentor for beginning teachers and supervised practicum students as well as university student teachers during her teaching tenure.

Brown received a Bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University in 1981 and a Master’s degree in 1987 from Clemson University. She currently holds membership in the Southeast Regional Service Learning Peer Mentor program through the National Dropout Prevention Center, Palmetto State Teachers Association and Alpha Delta Kappa, an International Honorary Education Sorority for Women Educators.

Teachers selected as their school’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-2004 include:  Billie Moody, fourth grade teacher at Cedar Grove; Tammy Darity, first grade teacher at Concrete Primary; Ashley Rebecca Forry, Art teacher at Hunt Meadows Elementary; Gail Craddock, Special Education teacher at Palmetto Elementary; Susan McAbee, sixth grade teacher at Palmetto Middle; Kelly Hall, Spanish teacher at Palmetto High.

Also Tanis Veres, Title I Language Arts teacher at Pelzer Elementary; Cheryl Lanford, fifth grade teacher at Powdersville Elementary; Monique German, Media Specialist at Powdersville Middle; Rebecca Bridges, Media Specialist at Spearman Elementary; Julie Cole, Media Specialist at West Pelzer Elementary; Claire Hawthorne Mundy, fourth grade teacher at Wren Elementary; Sara Lynn Brown, Special Education teacher at Wren Middle; Ann Bishop, Art teacher at Wren High School.

All candidates completed an in-depth application essay over the summer, which was judged by a panel that included retired teachers who were former District One Teacher of the Year recipients, a business representative, and a former Teacher of the Year from another district.  In addition, the three finalists participated in a panel interview. The 2003-2004 district winner, district finalists, and all Teacher of the Year candidates were honored at a luncheon following the awards presentation. 





Vandals spray paint Palmetto High School, stadium

 Williamston Police Officers investigated vandalism at Palmetto High School and Palmetto Stadium last week, recovered a stolen vehicle and made arrests in an unrelated paintball/break-in incident in Williamston last week. Among incidents investigated were:

July 26 - Randy Alexander of School District One, 801 N. Hamilton St., Williamston, reported malicious damage to property at the Palmetto Stadium located behind Palmetto Middle School.

 Vandals spray painted WHS in pink paint on bathroom doors, sidewalks, lamp post, bathroom building walls, a Peppy Steppers sign on the fence, a monument, the walking track, a door on the field house and the side of the field house building.

Several traffic signs in the area were also spray painted WHS in blue paint, reports state.

The vandals also spray painted WHS in pink letters at Palmetto High School on several windows, doors and the side of the building. Sgt. J. T. Motes, D. W. Bryant investigated.

Other incidents investigated by Williamston officers include the following:

Aug. 3 - Chera Fields, Griffin Farms Rd., Belton, reported $80 in cash taken from a pocketbook in a vehicle at 20 Bruce St.,Williasmton. Z. E. Greglry investigated.

Aug. 1 - Debbie Thompson, 612 Greenville Dr., Williasmton reported an amp valued at $180 taken from a vehicle. Warrants are pending. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

July 28 - Two individuals and a juvenile were arrested and are facing several charges after a 1992 Ford Van was observed by Williamston officers on West Main St. and Academy.

Williamston police reports state that a van with multiple passengers was stopped at a traffic light at S. C. Hwy. 20 and Academy St., and remained stopped after the light changed to green.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle which then failed to stop for blue lights and proceeded at a high rate of speed. After attempting to make an evasive left onto Cherokee Rd., the driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with a chain link fence causing damage.

Reports state that three to five males exited the vehicle and ran in different directions.

Anderson County Deputies later arrested two men fitting the description of persons involved in the incident.

Rodriguez Rashen Jones, 17, 116 E. Franklin St., Anderson, was arrested and charged with failure to stop, no S. C. driver’s license and has pending warrants for leaving the scene of an accident and possession of a stolen vehicle. He is also facing pending charges by Anderson City in connection with a robbery incident.

Delacions Kison Thompson, 18, 1614 S. McDuffie St., Anderson,  was also arrested and charged with failure to stop on command and possession of a stolen vehicle.

A fourteen-year-old juvenile was also arrested and placed into custody with the Department of Juvenile Justice at the Belton Police Department. The juvenile was charged with failure to stop on command, possession of a stolen vehicle and giving false information to officers. P. D. Marter investigated.

July 26 - Norman S. Stanton, 53, 304 Crawford Rd., Belton, was arrested and charged with driving left of center and open container after a red pickup truck was observed on West Main. An open bottle of liquor was found on the passenger side of the vehicle. D. W. Alexander investigated.

July 25 - Joshua Edward Duncan, 18, Durham Rd., Williamston, and Griffin Sarsfield, 25, 117 Middleton Blvd., Williamston, were arrested for fighting in connection with an incident at 17 Middleton Blvd. Duncan was also charged with falsification of a license. Sgt. D. Munger, K. P. Evatt investigated.

July 12 - Officers responding to an ADT alarm activation at 24 Ridge Ct., Williamston reported the residence shot with yellow paint balls and a sliding glass french door broken out resulting in $1,000 in damage.

Randy Harold Manley, 17, 26 Ridge Ct., Williamston, was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of stolen goods in connection with the incident after a vehicle was observed driving into the driveway at 26 Ridge Court during the investigation.

The vehicle was later stopped by officers and reports state officers allegedly found a green paint ball gun in the floorboard.

Manley gave written consent for officers to search the vehicle and his residence at 26 Ridge Court, where they allegedly found a smoked blount containing a green leafy substance field tested positive for marijuana and a bamboo pipe containing a green leafy substrance. Also recovered were five bottles of open liquor allegedly taken from 24 Ridge Court.

A third person, Zachery Wayne Thompson, 21, 2 Coker Rd., Pelzer and a 15-year-old juvenile were charged with malicious damage to property in connection with the incident.

Reports state that Thompson and the juvenile forced entry into 24 Ridge Court by breaking the glass door. with a rock and then took five bottles of alcohol.

Manley and Black were also charged with accessory after the fact.

July 24 - Teresa Fortner, 35, 108 Green St., Williamston, reported malicious damage to property in which someone let air out of her vehicle tires, took flower pots from the porch and threw dirt on the vehicle. J. L. Barnes, Sgt. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

July 24 - Kimberly Lenora Bailey, 32, 111 River Hill Ct., Piedmont, was arrested for no vehicle license and violation of beginners permit after a Ford Tempo was observed on Greenville Dr. with an expired paper tag. Sgt. D. Munger, K. P. Evatt investigated.

Jason Edward Price, 18, 600 N. Hamilton St., Apt. 1Y2 Williamston reported two 400 watt speakers valued at $200 taken from a 1970 Volkswagen.

July 24 - Steven Alan Byrum, 32, 257 Longview Dr., Williamston, was arrested and charged with failure to give proper signal, driving under suspension and operating an uninsured vehicle after a white Chevrolet was observed traveling at a high rate of speed on Academy St. Sgt. D. Munger, K. P. Evatt investigated.

July 23 - Water G. Brown, 104 Longview Dr., Williamston, reported 3 puppies valued at $150 stolen.

July 23 - John R. Mullikin reported a break-in at  East Main Auto Sales, 603 Greenville Dr.. Missing items included a cordless phone system, $180; one Canon camera, $50; keys to a 1995 Plymouth Van; keys to a 1998 Jeep; cell phone, $100; and the 1995 Plymouth Van. Total value of the items was $3,300. J. L. Barnes investigated.

The van was later recovered by Anderson City police.



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