News Archive

(3307) Week of August 15, 2007

West Pelzer officials reflect on actions, proceed as usual
Piedmont museum could be a reality
Williamston awarded ATCT funding for streetscape project
Limited edition paper weights offered   
Festival has new, expanded items
Firefighters battle blaze, high temps
Recycle Center Fire
Landuse planning subject for new County committee|
Vandals hit area school, church
Thieves strike homes, businesses
National cycling event returns to Greenville
Welcome Back Festival at Clemson
Special events set for first game weekend
Seems to Me  . . .The Good Old Boys

West Pelzer officials reflect on actions, proceed as usual

By Stan Welch

 Mayor Peggy Paxton opened the West Pelzer Town council meeting with a plea for greater tolerance and cooperation between the members of Council. “I include myself in that. What I saw at last week’s County Council meeting was nothing but a struggle over who’s going to do what. It was backstabbing and slanderous. But it occurred to me since then that we are behaving the same way. We obviously have differences but we need to not take it out on the citizens, the town’s employees, or our families.”

Paxton went on to say that the manner in which a majority of Council members behaved in distributing District Seven Councilwoman’s recreation funds without her approval was totally wrong. But she went on to say that the Town council was not there to judge each other or the town’s people. “We need to bridge this communication gap we have between the various commissions and boards. We need to start accomplishing some things or we won’t have any reason to be here at all.”

She then moved to amend the agenda to allow each council member to speak on her comments. Councilman Marshall King said, “We need to look at each other and what we’re doing. We’re all trying to do the best thing for the majority of the people.” Councilman Jimmy Jeanes said the council has a lot of work to do. “We just need to put one foot forward and keep pushing.”

Councilman Mike Moran said that the town needs to begin addressing its problems using the resources at hand. “We have a surplus in our budget each year. Grants are fine and we need to pursue them, but we can start on some things without waiting on large grants. We also need to get past the pettiness and start judging on performance and not personalities.”    

Councilman Joe Turner offered no comments.    

Despite all the pleas for, and promises of, action, the Council adjourned two hours later without having given first reading approval to a budget, and after tabling the debris removal ordinance for the second meeting in a row. They did agree to amend the town ordinances to allow election of a mayor pro tem before the current legal date of January. Former mayor pro tem Maida Kelly had to resign her Council seat to run for mayor in June, and her defeat left the Council without a mayor pro tem.

A special called meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 7 p.m. to give second reading approval to the amendment, and to elect a mayor pro tem.         

Councilman King suggested another budget work session to try and reach an agreement on the budget, despite the Council having had multiple sessions so far, with no substantive changes made in the budget from last year.

Mayor Paxton reported that a $41,000 surplus currently exists in the general fund alone, funds which could be used for capital projects, such as expanding the town hall. She asked for suggestions but none of the council members offered any.

The work session is scheduled for Saturday, August 16 at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public but is not open to public comment.

Council continued to struggle with its attempts to produce an enforceable ordinance dealing with debris and appearance issues within the town. That struggle continues to center on the means, if any, to be used to enforce the ordinance. The options are to fine those who don’t comply, or to have the town do the work and bill the owner. If the bill isn’t paid, it is added to the property taxes and collected as part of those taxes when the next come due.              

After more than an hour of discussion, during which town attorney Carey Murphy repeatedly explained that simple fines don’t address the problem because absentee property owners are impossible to serve with the summons, the Council voted 3-2 to defeat a version that would have involved billing the property owner. That version would also have given the town council the authority to hear any appeals from property owners. After that version was defeated, no other options were presented, and the issue was again tabled. 

The question of the hiring of a town clerk was next on the agenda. As in the past two meetings, discussion became heated. After several exchanges between the mayor and council members, Councilman Marshall King moved to throw out all the applications, wait two weeks, and start over. That motion was amended to a motion to review those applications already on hand, since the town spent $800 advertising the position. Councilmen King and Moran, and Mayor Paxton voted in the affirmative. Councilmen Jeanes and Turner voted in the negative.   

A special meeting comprised of an executive session to review the applications and schedule interviews will be held on August 25, at 10 a.m.  The public is not allowed to attend executive sessions.                                                                                        

Council approved the purchase of a new lawn mower for the Town, at an estimated cost of $4000. The John Deere X-340 is a commercial model mower.

Piedmont museum could be a reality

By Stan Welch

Don Roper worked in a Piedmont mill for fifty years, four months and nineteen days. He spent many of those years gathering and collecting memorabilia and artifacts of the textile industry as it changed, and finally, as it died in the Upstate.

Now, he and others in the community, want to display part of his collection in the Piedmont Community Building, itself a remarkable relic of the days when the mills and the life they defined gave birth to the town.

“I want to help show the history of the town,” says Roper, who is now seventy three years old. “But to do that you have to show the history of the mills, because without them, Piedmont wouldn’t even be here.”

Marsha Rogers, one of the Piedmont public service commissioners, hopes to see the museum become a reality. “We’ll have to start on a small scale for now, but Don has so much material. We want to tell the history of the town, the mills, and Piedmont high school. We can use the game room in the community building.”

Roper says he has lots of framed photos that can be placed on the walls. “Not too many, though, because those beautiful pine walls are too pretty to cover up,” says Roper, whose job gave him the chance to “bird dog” items he thought were of historic value over the years.. “Then we could use display cases to line the walls with items inside. If the community will give me the walls, I’ll give them back the room, so that it can still be used for other activities.”

Among the items he would display are autographed baseballs from the days when the mills ran leagues and kept teams. “I saw Shoeless Joe Jackson at a ball game once. He was older then, but when he got banned from baseball, he played mill ball.”

He also has parts from the machines used in the mills and hundreds of other items. He has a cotton mill toy collection he takes around to local schools and shows the children. He would like for the museum to become a resource for the schools, a means of preserving the history of a way of life that has all but vanished.

“We’re just in the planning stage, but I don’t think this should cost much to get started. A window air conditioner and about five sets of blinds, and I’ll have a museum in there in a couple of hours.”

Williamston awarded ATCT funding for streetscape project

By Stan Welch

The Town of Williamston received $40,000 from the Anderson County Transportation Committee Monday. The funds will be used in conjunction with an ISTEA grant that is being used for the Town’s Streetscape project.

Mayor pro tem Otis Scott and Rusty Burns, the town’s grant writer, attended the meeting of the Committee, which dispenses funds to various municipalities in the county.

Also on hand was Senator Billy O’Dell, who has been instrumental in helping the town obtain additional  funding. “This is bringing some of those federal dollars back home, so that always makes us happy. We get back a lot less than we send up there, so it’s always good to see some find its way home,” said the Senator.

O’Dell also helped obtain $170,000 for Iva to use in completing their streetscape project. Iva town clerk Tim Taylor thanked the committee for their appropriation of $45,000, saying that it would let the town put on the finishing touches to the project, which both increased safety and beautified the downtown area.

The committee got good news, learning that SCDOT had returned almost $800,000 that was not needed for a resurfacing project. The committee wasted no time in releasing the funds to be used by the county in funding a series of five projects that would otherwise have been put on hold.

The committee also recently approved $6800 to install flashing lights at the Williamston Fire Department on Main Street to allow the trucks to safely leave the fire station during runs.

Limited edition paper weights offered   

The West Allen Williams Memorial Committee will offer a very special limited edition paper weight at the Spring Water Festival on Aug. 25. 

The paper weights are cut from white marble obtained from the Samuel Williams home site, with the Williamston emblem embedded in the center. It is showcased in a glass case on a wood look base. Each piece is numbered and will come with a limited edition card and history.

Only 21 pieces will be made available to persons who make a $100 donation to the committee, which will be placed in a perpetual fund for care and upgrades to the town founder’s memorial site.

The WAWMC is a non-profit group under the auspices of the Williamston Area Historic Commission. 

Williamston is rich in history and was founded on education and tourism, committee member Connie Barnwell said. “As you enjoy the Spring Water Festival, take some time to read the historical markers that can be found in the park and various places in town.”

The committee will also offer the community the opportunity to sponsor a brick in memory or honor of a loved one, to be placed at the West Allen Williams Memorial site. The bricks were made by hand from mud along the Saluda River in the early 1800s for Samuel Williams, father of Williamston’s founder, West Allen  Williams. One brick can be purchased for $30 or five for $100.

A plaque will be placed at the memorial site with the honored person’s name engraved on it. For more information on either item, call Connie Barnwell at 221-5855.                                                                                                          

Festival has new, expanded items

The Spring Water Festival will be held Saturday, August 25 in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park.

This year’s festival will feature expanded hours, beginning at 10 a.m and going until 8 p.m. A special opening ceremony will be held at 9:30 featuring presentation of colors by the State Guard, Singing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance led by Catlin Tierce and a message by Pastor Kempie Shepard of Grace United Methodist Church.

The first official activity will be the Spring Water Run. The 5K open race will begin at 7:45 a.m. and the one mile fun run will be held at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the race. Persons interested in participating in the run can call Chris Bradberry at 864-420-3282 or go to the festival website for additional information.

A new activity this year will be a ride and bike show for motorcyclists. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. behind the Williamston Municipal Center with first bikes out at 10 a.m. Register to ride and show off your bike. Registration fee is $25 for single and $30 for double and will include a free T-shirt. Trophies will be awarded for best in show, most unique, most original and 2nd and 3rd place. Motorcycles will be on display on Main St. in front of The Journal beginning approximately 2 p.m. For information call Todd Creamer at 314-6687 or Catlin Tierce at 608-0257.

A variety of entertainment will be offered on the amphitheater stage during the early hours of the festival including Janie Turner, a  new event, the Spring Water Festival Junior Miss Pageant at 11am, followed by 418 Line Dancers, Anderson Senior Follies to Go and Kenny Breazeale.

Late afternoon musical entertainment  from 4  p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature three local groups, Krawfish, The Saluda River Catfish and The Royal Scotsman Band.

A variety of gospel music will be featured on the parks center stage throughout the day.

Persons attending the festival are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and enjoy the variety of free entertainment. 

Thomas Addison is providing artwork for the festival T-shirt which is now available at ERS Video and Color Fast and will be available at the festival. The 2007 design features the park and is available in three different colors. The T-shirts are  $10 each.

The food area is being expanded and  will include 19 food vendors, offering festival favorites and items never before offered at the Spring Water Festival.

Vendors will offer barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fillet sandwiches, hamburger steaks and chili cheese fries.

New vendors will make eating at the festival this year a real treat. One lowcountry vendor will  specialize in shrimp and another will offer Italian sausages, bratwurst, and chicken k-bobs. There will be cheese steak, blooming onions and more.

If you are looking for something cool or sweet, there will be sno-cones, shaved ice, ice cream, cotton candy, smoothies and baked goods.

More than 45 crafters are expected with a variety of special handmade items.

Other features include business and non-profit displays, kids activities, special artisan displays and a variety of arts and crafts.

There will also be rides offered by Palmetto Amusements.

The festival will again feature one of the upstate’s largest antique and classic auto shows, being sponsored by the Williamston Fire Department. To register contact Steve Ellison at 864-847-4950.

The Fire Department will also offer rides on the antique fire truck, a festival favorite.

The Williamston Police Department and the State Guard will provide traffic control and security.

Additional infomation  is available on line, along with application forms at

Complete festival information will be published in a special program tabloid next week in The Journal.

Firefighters battle blaze, high temperatures

Firefighters from 10 Anderson County Fire Departments were dispatched  Saturday to a fire at Ace Recycling Solid Waste Processing on Cherokee Road.

West Pelzer Fire Department was first on the scene. Firefighters from Whitefield, Cheddar, Piercetown, Wren, Three & Twenty, Piedmont,  Powdersville, Broadway, and Hopewell Fire Departments also responded to the fire which was reported at approximately 12:15 on Saturday.

Two large piles of debris including mostly pallets, trees, plywood and other materials caught fire, according to West Pelzer Fire Chief Dale Mahaffey.

Firefighters had the blaze under control in about an hour and a half but most remained on the scene until about 5 p.m. 

To make sure the fire stayed under control and to hit hot spots, West Pelzer firefighters remained on the scene overnight until approximately 10 a.m Sunday, Chief Mahaffey said.

The huge blaze caused some health concerns as smoke filled the air for miles surrounding the site on Saturday and Sunday.

Officials from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) tested the  air quality after the fire and did not  find anything toxic in the smoke, Mahaffey said. Residents who are sensitive to smoke were advised to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed.

This is the second fire in recent months at the facility, which also goes by Phillips Recovery. (See video at

Recycle Center Fire

Anderson County firefighters were called to 508 Cherokee Road in Williamston at approximately 12:17 p.m on Saturday in response to a fire at Phillips Recovery.

Anderson County 911 received a call stating that Phillips Recovery, a compost recycling center compiled of mostly wooden pallets, was showing smoke and signs of fire. West Pelzer Fire Department was the first department on the scene.

Chief Dale Mahaffey of the West Pelzer Fire Department stated, "Additional stations were called to assist with water supply and man power when we realized what we were faced with."

Volunteer firefighters from nine other stations arrived on scene to assist with the fire. For those firefighters battling the blaze in over 90 degree weather, Williamston EMS responded to the scene to assist those firefighters with any injuries and extreme heat exhaustion. The American Red Cross was also on hand to hand out food and drinks to all persons helping with the incident. 

In battling the fire, nine fire departments worked to try and extinguish the large hills of compost. However, because of the extreme size of the fire, firefighters were called off due to water conservation concerns. Residents of the immediate area may experience low water pressure in their homes due to the large amount of water used for the fire.

Residents of in the Highway 29 area near Williamston will experience a large quantity of smoke in the air. Those residents who have respiratory problems are asked to avoid any outside activity and remain inside, temperature permitting, with their windows closed until the smoke clears. Chief Billy Gibson of the Anderson County Fire Department stated that there is no need for evacuations at this time.

Firefighters monitored the fire through-out the night by working in shifts with other fire departments. Anderson County Emergency Services is also on scene with the Unified Mobile Command Post for incident command and will remain on scene until the fire department terminates command and deems the fire is no longer a threat.

Anderson County Fire Departments have been called to Phillips Recovery three times for fire since August 2006. Once the fire is extinguished, fire officials will try and determine the cause of the incident.

Landuse planning subject for new County committee

By Stan Welch

While the members of the newly formed committee to review the county’s zoning ordinance and land use plan agree that their efforts are needed, they aren’t overly optimistic about their prospects.

Appointed by Chairman Bob Waldrep in July, the committee consists of Council members Cindy Wilson, Ron Wilson and Michael Thompson. 

The committee, chaired by Mr. Wilson, is charged with reviewing the zoning ordinances in the county, as well as the land use plan developed by the county planning department.

In recent meetings, zoning requests have revealed an inclination by Council to sometimes contradict the recommendations of the citizen advisory and planning commissions, which perform the preliminary study of the specific requests that come before them.

In his letter to the three appointees, Chairman Waldrep expressed some concerns about that inclination. “I am concerned with some issues which amount to ‘special’ zoning and the extraordinary pressure to rezone in opposition to out citizens board of review. A point to be considered is the reliance of property owners on the applicable zoning laws and how changes affect them.”

Waldrep also expressed concerns about the issue of urban sprawl, as development continues at a rapid pace in the rural areas of the county, thereby scattering the population, which leads to several results, including extended infrastructure, longer drives to workplace and to services, and geographically larger school districts.

District Six Councilman Ron Wilson, whose district is experiencing some of the county’s fastest growth, agrees that a review and a change in philosophy are in order.

“Almost all of our planning and zoning ordinances right now encourage sprawl, if not making it inevitable. We need to rethink this whole issue very carefully. In my district, these are real problems needing real solutions.”

“I’m a big advocate of land use and zoning. My area is exploding in new growth and we need to get started on this. I am concerned about greenspaces, for lack of a better term, and conserving our quality of life while accommodating the rate of growth that we want to see. We have almost no farm land left in the Powdersville area. They have sold it and the ones who bought it are waiting for some developer to make them rich. That’s fine, but it certainly changes the land use equation in my area.”

Wilson sees an irony in the makeup of the committee. 

“Mr. Waldrep appointed the only three Council members who see any need for this kind of approach. Ms. Wilson has long been a supporter of land use planning, and Mr. Thompson is clearly aware of the challenges his district faces. The question is whether this committee, or this Council, for that matter, can function on behalf of its citizens. I’m not sure that Mr. Thompson and Ms. Wilson can be in the same room together long enough to accomplish anything.”

Wilson refers to the recent struggles on the Council, led by Thompson against Councilwoman Wilson, whom Thompson accuses of being involved in a campaign of writing crude and salacious letters to various Council members in 2005.

A lengthy SLED investigation produced little or no evidence of wrongdoing, and named no subjects, leading Solicitor Chrissy Adams to press no charges.

Soon after that decision, a majority of Council began voting together to wrestle control of Ms. Wilson’s discretionary recreation funds from her; first by defeating each appropriation she proposed, then by making appropriations from her funds to various recipients in her district.

Thompson has stated that the votes were made in an effort to chastise Wilson, and force her to name those who wrote the letters. Wilson has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the letters or their authors.

Thompson also made a presentation to the Council last week again attempting to link Wilson to the letters, and also attacking the Anderson County Taxpayers Association as terrorists for what he said was their role in encouraging the letter writing.

Councilman Wilson denounced the Council majority’s efforts to control Ms. Wilson’s funds, saying he doesn’t know where the magic line is that he would be punished for crossing.

“It appears that the four who brought all this on have reached a point where they just want to punish Ms. Wilson. Now, as a Council, how do we work out of that? We’re a totally dysfunctional group at this point. I’m very excited to see these land use issues getting some attention, but I am very discouraged about this Council’s ability to work together,” said Wilson.

Ms. Wilson traces her interest in land use planning back to before her first run for office, in 2000. “Of course my opposition to the Beaverdam sewer project is well known, but that is what sparked me to run for office. The people in that area received virtually no information about the project in advance, and they were allowed no input. I thought the project was wrong then, and I still oppose it. But we must plan the use of our land better. If we do that properly, the need for zoning is greatly reduced, because we address these issues based on sound business and environmental bases. We need to enhance what we have instead of destroying it.”

Asked about the controversy surrounding her in recent weeks, and its effect on her ability to work with the committee, she said, 

“Well, you know there’s never a dull day in Anderson County. I am honored to be selected by the Chairman, especially considering all the controversy going on right now. But I intend to do my best to serve my constituents and the people of Anderson County. These are serious questions and they deserve our best efforts.”

“We have to start following our zoning ordinance. We have advisory and citizen committees, and we contradict them too often. These developers threaten and bluster and the council gives in. I don’t like being threatened. I tend to dig my heels in when I am.”

As one part of his concern about air quality, Councilman Thompson has established an open burning task force, involving DHEC and the Forestry Department. “We had so many people in the Homeland Park area burning leaves that it just hung in the air like fog. I received calls from a lot of people who suffer from respiratory problems, and they were seriously impacted. So we try to educate people about the issue. I appropriated $2000 to put up three billboards which say, ‘Call before you burn. Preserve  Anderson County’s air quality.’ DHEC is reimbursing me for one of those.”

He sees the preservation of greenspace as part of the solution to the air quality issue. “We cut too many mature trees in Anderson County, which is known all over for its beautiful trees. It makes no sense to continue just bulldozing and building with no awareness of what is going on around us.”

He says the current land use plan doesn’t qualify as a plan. “A plan addresses specific problems and offers possible solutions. The current plan we have does not do that. If we need to introduce some ordinances to put some teeth in this plan, I’m prepared to do that. I volunteered to serve on this committee and I intend to serve as usefully as possible.”

Vandals hit area school, church

Williamston police officers were busy during the last week of July and the first of August. Among incidents investigated were the theft of almost $13,000 of computers and related equipment taken from Palmetto Middle School and vandalism amounting to $10,000 in damage to a local chuch.

Aug. 6 - Catalina Velez, 35, Gusto Inc., 523 Williamston reported an invalid internet related check attempting to be cashed. The item was place into evidence. Sgt. A. Digirolamo Jr. investigated.

Aug. 6 - Bryan Chad Dunlap, 33, 10 W. 4th St. was charged with malicious damage to city property after attempting to flood a jail cell with a sheet. He was transported to Anderson County Detention Center. Sgt. M. D. Creamer, J. Digirolamo investigated.

Aug. 4 - Bryan Chad Dunlap, 33, 10 West 4th St., Williamston, was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and arson after throwing an incendiary device at a home in Williamston.

According to Police Chief David Baker,  after a verbal incident with Robert Jeffery Farmer, 33 of 14 Academy St., Dunlap left and returned with a bottle of gas with a rag stuck in it. He lit the rag and threw it at the house. Damage was limited to minor scorching of the brick house, Chief Baker said. Dunlap was charged with damaging by means of an explosive/incendiary device.  Sgt. Z. E. Gregory, M. W. Ritter investigated.

Aug. 4 - Jamie Lee Galloway, 31, 811 Broadmouth Church Rd., Honea Path, reported a forged check in the amount of $41.35 on a BB&T account at 309 E. Main St., Williamston, with her forged signature. The incident remains under investigation. Sgt. T. A. Call investigated.

Aug. 4 - Reginald Lee Holloway, 48, 30 Market St, Williamston, was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, failure to dim headlights and no proof of insurance after a vehicle  was stoped on Williams St. for failure to dim headlights. Reports state a small crack pipe  and 6 small white rock like substances were found in the vehicle. The rocks amounted to 1.2 grams which field tested positive as cocaine. Sgt. Z. E. Gregory, M. W. Ritter investigated.

Jamie Tywanya  Dotson,  37, G-4 Pecan Terrace reported four  tires, valued at  $300, punctured. Cpl. D. W. Bryant investigated.

Aug. 3 - Barry Knight, 803 North Hamilton St, Williamston, reported computers and related equipment valued at $12,938 taken from  Palmetto Middle School. Entry was gained through a computer lab window. Item missing included 14 Dell computers, a 17 inch monitor, ten mouses and four keyboards.

Aug. 3 - Sherri Marie Smith, 18, 206 Shebnandoah Dr., Easley, was arrested for driving under the influence, no proof of insurance and possession of illegal liquors after a red Chevrolet Camaro was observed driving left of the center lane on Academy St. Two passengers in the vehicle, Bristol Autumn Henrickson, 17, 229 Johnson Rd., Pelzer, and Cassandra Lynnet Bryant, 18, 1313 Brooks Pointe Circle, Travelers Rest, were issued summons tickets for open container in vehicle. Ptl. J Digirolamo investigated.

Aug. 3 - Officers investigated a suspicious fire at 121 W. 2nd St. Williamston after M. W. Ritter observed the house on fire. Reports state the house had been on fire in December of 2006 and has been unfit to be occupied. M. W. Ritter, Sgt. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Aug. 2 - Carlos Daniel Gaytan, 34, 8 Shaw Dr., Williamston, was arrested for no S. C. drivers license after a blue Honda Civic was observed traveling faster then the posted speed limit on East Main St.. Ptl J. Digirolamo, Sgt. M. D. Creamer investigated.

July 31 - Benny Ray Pelfrey, 47, 239 Belton Dr., Williamston, reported items valued at $800 belonging to David Randall McCrory, 22, of the same address. stolen. Missing items included a Sony VCR/DVD player valued at $300 and a stereo system valued at $500. Sgt. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

July 29 - Jeffrey Chad Bradberry, 32, 506 Joe Black Rd., Williamston was charged with criminal domestic violence after allegedly assaulting a female passenger while in a blue pickup while in the police department parking lot. Sgt. A Digirolamo, Jr., M. A. Semones, Jr., investigated.

July 28 - Freddie Eric Wyatt, 28, 211 Woodlawn Dr., Piedmont, was arrested for driving under suspension for failing to pay a parking ticket after a black Saab 900 was observed on Main St. with an improper license plate. Sgt. A. Digirolamo, Jr. investigated.

July 28 - Jennifer M. Darby, 28, 200 Lester Ashley Rd., Honea Path, was arrested for criminal domestic violence aggravated assault after an incident at 129 Crown Ct. in which she allegedly  struck Robert Chad Darby, 28 of 129 Crown Court with a wooden stick with a chain and ball attached to it. J. Digirolamo, M. W. Ritter investigated.

July 30 - Robert Lee Edwards, 40, 9 Washington St., was arrested for larceny after a refrigerator valued at $100 was taken from the yard of Bonnard Roache, 12 Rockwood Dr. Williamston. Sgt. T. A. Call, Cpl. D. W. Bryant investigated.

July 27 - Shieka Shantezs Howard, 19, 128 Old Tabernacle Rd., Belton was issued a summons to appear in court for simple assault and placed on trespass notice after allegedly striking Bobbie Elizabeth Crone, 38, of 1 B Anderson St., Piedmont. The incident occurred at 416 Belton Dr., Apartments. Ptl. J. Digirolamo investigated.

July 26 - William Alfred Keisiah, 9 Gray St., Williamston reported a rock thrown through a stained glass window of the Williamston Church of God, Gossett St, Williamston, Another window appeared to be shot with a pellet gun. The two windows were valued at $5,000 each. Sgt. T. A. Call investigated.

July 25 - While on patrol on South Hamilton St., Ptl. J. Digirolamo  struck a deer that had run into the roadway causing approximately $200 damage to a patrol car.

July 24 - Holly Marie Owings, 23, 708 Dean Springs Rd., Belton was charged with no tail lights, improper vehicle license and operating an uninsured vehicle after  a black Saturn was observed on Main St., with no tail lights operating. The tag was registered to a 1987 Ford Taurus. Ptl. J. Digirolamo investigated.

July 24 - James Harold Jernigan, 40, 108 L. Street, Lot A, was arrested for driving under suspension after a blue Olds Cutlass was observed on Greenville Dr. making a sudden left turn without using a signal. Additional charges of failure to give propert signal, no proof of insurance and no vehicle registration were added. He was also found to be a fugitive from justice from Florida. Sgt. A. Digirolamo, Jr. Ptl. M. A. Semones, Jr. investigated

July 22 - Stanley Eugene Mackie, 52, 110 Gossett Dr., Apt. F2, Williamston, was arrested for driving under suspension after a vehicle was obseved on West Main St, with no tag displayed. According to reports, a dark colored dealer tag was on the vehicle but the driver, Mackie,  had a suspended license. Sgt. Z. E. Gregory, D. C. Dill investigated.

June 12 - Officers investigated a counterfeiting/ forgery incident at Dollar General, 526 West Main St., in which a forged check was presented in exchange for merchandise in the amount of $68.63. The incident remains under investigation. Capt.. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Similar incidents occurred at P&M Store, 620 Greenville Dr., in the amount of $42.06; Ace Hardware, 29 Pelzer Ave. for $48.02; and Corner Bargain Store, 31 Pelzer Ave., for $25.32.

May 21 - A Williamston Police officer was dispatched to Town Hall  at the request of  (Councilman) Otis Scott concerning  a verbal altercation between John A. Dacus and (Williamston Mayor) Phillip Clardy.

According to the incident report,  Clardy had been involved in a talk with Dacus’ wife when she got upset and left to find her husband. Dacus returned and allegedly threatened to hit Clardy.  A witness stated Dacus was at the office doorway, approximately 10 to 12 feet from Clardy during the verbal altercation.

Thieves strike homes, businesses

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the following incidents: 


August 2 – J.R. McClellan was dispatched to 206 Edgewood Dr. where Kathy Buchanan reported that Bradley Cole, WM, 40, 5’9", 170 pounds, brn/blue, had struck her brother Timothy Chandler, in the face for no reason. After further investigation, McClellan confirmed that the assault had taken place and placed Cole under arrest and transported him to ACDC.

August 2 – J.M. Collins responded to 705 Wright School Rd. where James Simmons stated that two men had come to his home and offered to insulate his walls to help lower his utility bills. The older man, approximately 60, entered the house and began measuring walls. Simmons, 82, said he never saw the second man, approximately 25, enter the house. He finally got the first subject out of the home. He later checked a chest in his room to be sure everything was there and found a coin collection and other valuables missing. The two men were white and were driving a black car. The total loss to Simmons was $3000.

August 2 – M.J. McClatchy was dispatched to 744 Rector Rd. where Dennis Sutherland reported that someone had entered his storage building and stolen a Sears Craftsman toolbox and a selection of hand and power tools with a total value of $2000.

August 3 – J.C. Wright was dispatched to Elliot’s Exxon at 4751 N. Hwy. 29. He investigated a case of forgery involving a check owned by Jamie Galloway, of Honea Path, but which was used to purchase merchandise in the amount of $39.47. Galloway signed an affidavit of forgery, which was entered into evidence along with the check.

August 4 – R.J. Payne responded to 102 Keaton Rd. where Samuel Strickland reported that a storage building at that location had been broken into and a Miller Cricket 130amp welder had been stolen. The welder was valued at $200.

August 5 – R. J. Payne responded to 17840 Brown Avenue Ext. where he received a report of burglary from Jennifer Henderson, who was checking on the residence for her parents. She found some things out of place and found some drawers open. Two shotguns, a .410 and a 12 gauge, were found to be missing. The total loss was $1500.

August 5 – R.J. Payne responded to 139 Blount Rd. where Thomas McCall reported that someone had stolen the ground and the power lead cables from his welder. Each lead contained about 250 feet of copper cable, and were valued at $2000 total.


August 2 – D.W. Davis was dispatched to 119 Hampton St. where Cathy Masters reported a cabinet containing a number of smaller items removed from the residence. The cabinet and items were valued at $1000.

August 3 – J.J. Jacobs was dispatched to Sword Heating and Air, at 7201 Highway 29N where James Fitzgerald reported that someone had stolen the copper and internal parts from an air conditioning unit. The loss was estimated at $2000.

August  4 – T. L. Chapman was en route to 11 Ballard Rd. on a domestic disturbance call when he encountered  a truck with the tail gate about to fall off. He stopped the truck and asked the driver, Donnie Ray Phillips, Jr., WM, 21, 5’7", 145 pounds, blk/brn where he was coming from. Phillips said he was leaving the Ballard Rd. address. He said that two women there had beaten him up during a fight they had. Chapman spoke with Sonya Jackson, WF, 35, 5’6", 130 pounds, blond/brn, and a juvenile. They reported that Phillips became angry when he was asked to pay a bill for Sonya Jackson. He allegedly hit her several times in the head, and pushed the juvenile down when she tried to intervene. Phillips then drove his truck into the poles supporting the carport, knocking them down, before driving around back and ramming a storage building, destroying it as well.

Phillips subsequently was arrested for assault and battery and malicious injury  and transported to ACDC.

August 7 – R. K. Holliday received a report of forgery of a check owned by James Presley of Honea Path, which was presented at the SavWay at that location. The check was used to purchase $42.50 worth of merchandise. Presley signed an affidavit of forgery.

August 8 – T.L. Chapman was dispatched to 429 Johnson Rd. where Rodrigo Velazquez reported that a generator belonging to Velazquez Painting had been stolen. The generator was valued at $600.


August 5 – W.E. Gregory responded to 6738 Hwy. 81, to Chastain Motors, where Richard Chastain reported the theft of a 1995 Honda Accord .

August 6 – R.M. Cooper was dispatched to B&M Heating and Air at 1812 Hwy. 86 where Michael Harris reported the theft of a lawn mower trailer valued at $1800. The trailer was black with a wood floor and a fold down tailgate.

August 6 – R.M. Cooper received a report from Erinn O’Brien that her boyfriend had damaged her father’s VW Jetta during an argument they had over a bill. She said the man stood on the hood of the car to keep her from leaving his residence, scuffing and denting the hood.

August 6 – J. F. Parker was dispatched to 104 Halter Dr. in reference to a stolen motorcycle. Troy Smith stated that William Dixon had left a 1992 Suzuki GSXR 750 to be worked on. Smith discovered the motorcycle missing on August 6 and reviewed his surveillance tape. That tape shows  a white male, 20/30 years old, 5’11", 200 pounds, brn/blue, wearing a green T shirt and blue jeans enter the lot in a white Dodge Ram pickup truck with toolboxes on each side of the bed, and an amber light and ladder rack on top. The driver spoke to another white male and then drove the motorcycle away.

August 8 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 104 Patrick Court where Sonya Lyons reported the theft of a go cart from her home. It was valued at $500.

August 8 – B.G.. Hill received a telephone report from James Maiden, of 117 Hwy. 183 who reported that someone had stolen a dog kennel from the front of his business 1-800-RADIATOR at that location. The kennel was valued at $150.


August 2 – S. E. Mauldin was dispatched to 903 Cheddar Rd. where Gregory Graham reported the theft of his black 6X10 utility trailer with a John Deere mower and a weed eater on it. The items were valued at approximately $5000.

August 3 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 429 Highview Rd. where James Winchester, the maintenance manager for Canteen, Inc. of Greenville, reported that thieves had broken into the building and stolen a large quantity of copper, including the water lines in the building. They also broke through walls and stole the copper wiring, stole one air conditioner entirely, and stripped two others of the copper. They also stole six industrial evaporators. The total loss was estimated at $12,300.

August 6 – J.F. Parker responded to 142 Breazeale Rd. where Pamela Vannelli, WF, 41,  reported that a man she lived with had assaulted her and threatened her with a knife. She was found to be bleeding from her right eyebrow. He allegedly stabbed a knife into the wall. She fled to a neighbor’s house and called 911. She provided a written statement and declared her intentions to prosecute.

National cycling event returns to Greenville

Over 150 of the nation’s best professional cyclists will race for two national titles on the streets of Greenville during the Labor Day weekend.

Along with the spectacle of road racing in the 2007 Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships is a full schedule of events for the huge crowds of over 70,000 who are expected for Labor Day weekend.

Piedmont resident Nancy Upton  will be singing the National Anthem on September 2 in downtown Greenville for the USA Pro Cycling event. 

Upton has been representing the National Guard at events all over the state and the Southeast for years and is a member of the Anderson District One school board. She recently had the honor of singing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves baseball game..

Events for Friday, August 31 from 6-9 pm include a silent auction at the Peace Center Amphitheater. The event is open to the public and will benefit Zest Quest and the USA Cycling Foundation. Items will include autographed items, professional sport tickets and more. From 7-8 pm WYFF 4 will broadcast a live preview show.

Included will be interviews with some of the top professional athletes, including defending champions Dave Zabriskie (Time Trial) and George Hincapie (Road Race). A special segment is also planned to allow cycling fans to interact with a panel of athletes. WYFF News 4 Sports Director Geoff Hart will serve as host.

The USA Cycling Professional Individual Time Trial Championship will be held Sat., Sept. 1. at 11 a.m. 

The event will begin at the Cliffs at Mountain Park to the Cliffs Valley for the finish. The event is free for spectators.

There will be a Public Festival at 7 p.m. in downtown Greenville with food and entertainment

For more information, visit or call Medalist Sports at 770-631-1239.

On Sunday, September 2, the Palmetto Peloton Project – “Stars and Stripes Challenge” will begin at 7 a.m.

There will be a Fundraising Ride for GHS Oncology Research Institute and Lance Armstrong Foundation in downtown Greenville. Registration is required

A Health & Wellness Expo, presented by Greenville Hospital System will be held at 11 am

Centered around Broad & Main streets in downtown Greenville at 6 p.m. will be interactive displays, big screen TV, food/beverage vendors and event merchandise

USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship will begin a 1 p.m. with the awards presentation at approximately 5:30 pm.

The USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship, a one-day road race which began in 1985, will be defended by Greenville resident and ProTour rider George Hincapie.

More than 100 cyclists will climb Paris Mountain four times during the race. New for 2007 will be the addition of three start circuits to the three finish circuits of the 110-mile race.

Spectators watching in downtown Greenville will see the peloton pass a total of 10 times. The finish line will be along Main Street, near the intersection of Broad Street, with the cyclists expected to finish between 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, depending upon the average speed of the peloton. The road race is a free event, and hospitality tickets are available for $125 each.

Route maps and details for each professional race can be found at the official web site, In addition, the web site offers online volunteer registration.

Welcome Back Festival at Clemson

Downtown Clemson will be the place to enjoy food, games, giveaways and music as students kick off the new school year at the Welcome Back Festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, on College Avenue.

More than 60 local businesses and university organizations will have tables at the festival with samples and prizes that can be exchanged for tickets. Tickets can be purchased for 50 cents each, with proceeds going to the Student Alumni Council Endowment Fund, which helps fund scholarships. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public.

The Clemson Rally Cats, the Tiger mascot, the cheerleaders, Clemson student-athletes and other special guests will provide entertainment on the stage, and disc jockeys from radio station Hot 98.1 will play music. Clemson University President James F. Barker and Clemson Mayor Larry Abernathy will also be on-hand to welcome the crowd.

The Welcome Back Festival is sponsored by the Clemson Student Alumni Council and Clemson Alumni Association with support from the city of Clemson and area businesses.

The fun will spill across the street on Bowman Field, with the Bowman Block Party from 6 p.m. to midnight, hosted by CLEMSONLiVE and Clemson’s student media. This free concert will feature performances from five artists and bands: Elf Power, Rosebuds, Five Times August, David Dondero and Anthony David.

Special events set for first game weekend

Clemson fans coming to campus for the first football game on Labor Day can enjoy two outdoor shows for $10 each at Littlejohn Coliseum.

See 10 bands for $10 on Saturday, Sept. 1, at B93.7’s Last Chance Summer Dance. The show will feature “American Idol” contestant Elliot Yamin, hip hop/reggae artist Sean Kingston and eight other artists. The show also will feature inflatable games and other activities. Gates open at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, Clemson will go coastal with beach music at Tiger Shag 2007. The show will feature General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, the East Coast Band and the Out of Towners playing classic beach music. There will be games, prizes, rides, food and beverage and music. Gates will open at 2 p.m., and the show will begin at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance and are now on sale at the Littlejohn Coliseum box office, at TicketMaster outlets and online at Tickets the day of the show will be $15. The first 500 people to buy tickets for Tiger Shag at the Littlejohn box office will receive a free Tiger Shag T-shirt.

Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted at both shows, but coolers and outside food and drinks are not allowed.

Seems to Me  . . .The Good Old Boys

By Stan Welch

Once upon a time in South Carolina, as in much of the South, there existed a political and governmental phenomenon called the good old boy system. So pervasive and  deeply rooted was this “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”, and “Don’t I know your momma?” approach to conducting state, county and local business that it became synonymous with crooked and inefficient government.

The system was in large part a reaction to the carpetbag era of Southern politics, when Yankee imports and bureaucrats used their power to punish the rebellious and defeated South. In many ways, its roots were growing from a once benign soil, that of doing business with your neighbors, and of rewarding one’s friends; of spending local money locally; of protecting those you knew against those you did not know.

But, with the passage of time, rewarding one’s friends saw a counterpart grow up, that of punishing one’s enemies. Corruption and arrogance and greed became the fruits of the system, and the quality of government and services one received became a direct result of one’s political and personal connections.

Donate money to the right people’s campaigns, and you soon found yourself with a guvmint contract , be it for paving, or grading, or providing firewood to the county jail. Get crossways with those same people, and you’d find out pretty quick how soon the wolf could be back at your door. It wasn’t a lesson many needed to learn twice.

This system prevailed for decades in South Carolina, and Georgia and Virginia. The state legislature and the governor ruled the counties, holding the purse strings and making all the appointments, and busily building little kingdoms in the shadows where few people would notice.

But it finally became a system that was simply too corrupt and inefficient to fool the people any longer. So the General Assembly, in their wisdom, passed the Home Rule Act, which ushered in a whole era of professional administration, and raised bureaucracy to an art form.

In many ways, Home Rule both reflected and encouraged a new approach to government, one which saw more and more resources sent to the federal government, and then doled back out to the States, like some sharecropper’s child waiting for a piece of candy from the shopkeeper’s jar.

While the State governments claimed to hate this new approach, saying it made them subservient to the federal government, they nevertheless adopted the same model for their dealings with their own county governments. As quickly as possible they made them subservient to the State. That sharecopper’s child was now waiting for an even smaller piece of candy.

Now, the folks in the General Assembly knew two things. One, they knew that the good old boy system had just about reached its end. More and more newspapers and television and other media were growing in the state, and they were paying attention to the shenanigans that were once chuckled over and mildly cursed, and generally accepted as the way things were. In short, folks were getting fed up.

Two, they knew that if they didn’t make a major change in the way government at the local level was structured and conducted, the destruction of the good old boy system would destroy them as well. So Home Rule was implemented, giving hired administrators levels of authority that had always before been granted to those the people elected. Some administrators used the minimum of authority they needed to do their jobs, while others sought to expand and consolidate their power, so that they, in effect, became the good old boys they were hired to negate. They grew their budgets and size accordingly, seeking deeper and deeper sources of largesse with which to fund the construction of their kingdoms in the shadows.

Soon, some elected officials, who were the ones at risk every two or four years, began to chafe under this yoke of responsibility without authority. In honesty, many elected officials didn’t chafe at all, but gladly accepted the reduced burden of actual involvement, while enjoying the increasing rewards for their enlightened attitude about professional government. It wasn’t long before those who chafed and questioned the arrangement were accused of messing up a good thing for everyone. Their motives and their integrity were challenged, often by those in the weakest position to do so.

In many ways, Home Rule allowed progress where it had been delayed, and growth where it had been stunted. Great advances were made in many areas of governmental function. But soon, the new system fell prey to many of the same flaws the old one had. Friends began to be rewarded for their friendship and loyalty, rather than their experience and ability. Contracts were awarded without competition, and favors were required in return for favors.

Arrogance grew among the ruling class, and those without the proper connections became more and more the target of scorn. The system put in place to reconnect the people to their government instead pushed them further away, allowing only a supportive inner circle to prosper, or to participate. The main difference is that those in charge are no longer those responsible. That is the greatest disconnect of all.

Seems to me you can take the good old boy out of the system, but you can’t take the system out of the good old boy. Or girl.








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