News Archive


(3508) Week of August 27, 2008

Festival may have been biggest yet
School Board gets first look at new Powdersville High
District One seniors among State’s best on SAT
Public meeting planned about ethanol facility
DHEC lagging on ethanol guidelines|
Watermelon queen in Belton Labor Day
Don’t get caught in  fraudulent Internet Scam
Out of gas moped stolen from road
Police officers make alcohol, drug arrests
New studio offers more than karate instruction
Upstate Federal Credit Union breaks ground on Williamston location
Athletic programs to see facility upgrades

Seems to Me . . .When the alarm goes off
Pro cycling returns to Greenville

Festival may have been biggest yet

Williamston’s 27th annual Spring Water Festival may be the biggest yet, organizers said after near perfect weather and a large turnout for the event on Saturday.

Preliminary figures and crowd estimates of 12,000 to 15,000 show the festival was one of the largest in recent years, if not since the festival started in 1981.

Williamston Police Chief David Baker said the town’s two main parking lots, the soccer fields and behind the municipal center, were full to capacity most of the day. “Up until about 5:30 they remained full,” he said. He also said that festival goers were parking in other areas thoughout the town including Town Square Center and behind area businesses.

“There was more than typically come,” he said.

Chief Baker said that even with a larger crowd, things seemed to go much smoother than usual.

“We had no calls and no one was locked up,” he said. “Ususally we have one or two situations in which someone is arrested.”

He said one vehicle that was in the car show was almost towed when Main St. was reopened at 4 p.m. and the owner had not returned, but he showed up just before the tow truck. Two lost children were quickly reunited with parents, he said.

Baker said there were no major traffic problems. “Traffic went well.”

Williamston EMS responded to several heat related calls during the festival. Hillcrest Baptist Church handed out 3000 bottles of water.

Spring Water Run organizer Chris Bradberry said the 5K and 1 mile fun run had a total of 220 participants, 70 more than last year.

Bradberry said that word has gotten around among runners about the quality of the race organization and hospitality of the town and they are responding and the race is continuing to grow. (winners are listed in this edition of The Journal)

Bradberry praised the 30 or so Palmetto High AFJROTC members and other volunteers who helped with the race.

Craft organizer Ellen Harvell said a total of 55 crafters participated in the festival. Most were new and most had a fantastic day, she said. “Seven have already signed up for next year,” she said.

?????Robbins of Forest City, N. C was the winner of a drawing for items donated by each of the craft vendors.

Mark Pitts said that only about 20 festival souvenir shirts remained unsold by the end of the day. The traditional design by Thomas Addison almost sold out and the bright pink and green shirts with the new logo sold out in the first two hours, he said.

“The design and colors appealed to festival goers,” he said. Anyone interested in purchasing a 2008 festival shirt can do so at Color Fast in Williamston.

Catlin Tierce, organizer of the gospel stage entertainment on the park’s center stage said there was a crowd around it all day.

With 17 gospel groups, including the final group, the Melodyaires, gospel music fans had plenty to enjoy.

Food vendors had a great day, according to organizer Jim Riddle. Most were sold out by 3 to 4 p.m. One food vendor, selling gourmet nuts, complained that her business was slow, but most did well, he said.

Car show organizer Steve Ellison said the car show entries were some of the nicest he had seen and made judging the top 50 a very difficult job.

Chairman David Meade said overall the festival was the one of the biggest and the smoothest he had seen.

“The weather was near perfect, there was a large crowd throughout the day supporting the festival and no major problems,” Meade said.

The Spring Water Festival Committee faced the challenge, that was running the festival until 8 p.m.

“There was a lull around 5 to 5:30 but, as we hoped, area residents came out to see country music star Julie Roberts perform.”

Meade estimated approximately 1000 to 1500 people enjoyed the singers show.

Roberts seemed genuinely appreciative of the crowd and the opportunity to perform at Williamston’s festival.

It may have been because she had been here before. Roberts said that she had performed at the festival 13 years earlier, as a teenager and years before she hit it big with her multiplatinum debut CD and her hit song “Break Down Here.”

“You believed in me then,” she said before belting out another of her country songs.

Roger Welborn and Greg Paige had the duty of driving Roberts and her band to a meal served at the Gossett St. School.

After her performance she signed autographs for 150 to 200 appreciative fans.

“It was a great day for Williamston,” Meade said.

School Board gets first look at new Powdersville High

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees got their first look at a preliminary schematic design for the new Powdersville High School during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Stan Anthony and Rick Brown of the MBAJ architectural firm presented a three dimensional video of their architectural design for the new building.

Anthony said, “It is a fine building, very conservative, a 21st century school which folks in your community would be proud of for years to come.”

Rick Brown said the design was based on planning goals and to meet the needs of the conservative budget requested by the District. He said it provides a distinctive and inviting entrance and a plan for the future with teaching in mind.

According to Brown the sloping terrain, a 250 ft. Duke Energy easement for a power line and another 250 ft. OSF setback requirement presented some challenges.

“The site is challenging. It is very beautiful and slopes to the rear. There is a 90 degree turn of typography,” he said while showing the footprint of the school on the property.

The current athletic field located behind Powdersville Middle and Elementary will be upgraded to a 3000 seat stadium and there will be a track, field house and concessions. A concourse will connect the school and the athletic field, with parking located between the stadium and building for use with either facility.  Baseball and softball fields are to the right rear of the school.

Student parking and bus dropoff is in the rear of the two story L-shaped building and a visitor entrance is in the front.

According to Brown, space in the new school is comparable to other high schools at 184,600 square feet. The design includes a 700 seat auditorium with tiered seating and a 1500 seat gym.

The lower level provides for a large auditorium with tiered seating. Players will enter the gym from the lower level. Fans will enter from the upper level.

The proposed design is organized around a central commons space which serves as the lobby for the auditorium, gym and cafeteria. It includes structural bays and two elevators.

The academic wings will be on two levels. One wing will house the freshman academy with its own administrative suite, classroooms and labs.

The brick building features glass at the stairwells and a media center which features a large bay window. The media center will be prominent from the outside entrance and inside lobby and is designed to be the beacon of the school and will especially stand out at night, Brown said.

A large column at the entrance will also offer an opportunity for a mozaic or other design, possibly using school colors, Brown said,  and will be developed further.

Brown said the next step will be to interface with the tech department of the school and begin to outline specifications for materials and finishes.

Sitework bid should be let by February of 2009 and the building bid let by June of 2009. From there plans call for a completion date of two years.

“We made the footprint of the building as tight as we could possibly make it,” he said.

The school is being designed for 800 students, but could accommodate more than 900, Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler said. It is about the size of Palmetto High School. The design also allows for expansion with the two academic levels being extended.

Board member Tom Merritt said he was “very impressed” with the design. “I love the look,” he said. Other board members agreed.

Tony Wilson of MB Kahn  construction management was also present. He said they are currently working on thirteen District One building projects. Seven are started and more are coming soon, he said. He updated the board on each project.

The last time District One built a high school was in 1972 when Palmetto and Wren High were built, according to Dr. Fowler.

District One seniors among State’s best on SAT

Anderson School District One students remained fifth overall among South Carolina’s districts on this year’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a composite score on the Critical Reading and Math sections of 1044.

A score of 536 on the Math section placed District One at the  top for the state, according to Director of Education Jane Harrison. A score of 508 on the Critical Reading section placed Anderson One sixth. 

Of the districts with a higher composite score on the test, only two tested a higher percentage of students than District One, Harrison said.

“Usually when a higher percentage of students take a standardized test, scores go down,” said Anderson District One Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler.  “Even with our high percentage tested, 43%, our students’ scores improved.  This demonstrates our schools’ push to establish a true ‘college going culture’ for more students.  The high expectations established in elementary and middle school and continued through high school are affirmed when one sees the sort of success our students had on both this year’s SAT and ACT.”

Anderson One’s score of 1044, a nine point advance, placed the district 59 points better than the improved South Carolina state score of 985 and 27 points beyond that of the nation at 1017.  The state’s score improvement trend over the past ten years, at 34 points, ranks first in the nation.

John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education for Anderson One added, “Our students, teachers, and administrators are to be congratulated for the effort put into our goal of continual improvement in this area.  With the current economy, scores on the SAT and ACT become even more valuable as our state and many private entities attach great value to these in determining scholarship eligibility.”  

Palmetto High in Williamston and Wren High School in Piedmont are the two student bodies responsible for the outstanding achievement.  

“We are excited by this school record score set by the Class of 2008,” said Dr. Mason Gary, Principal of Palmetto High School.  

Robbie Binnicker, Principal of Wren High School added, “This is a fine reward for the hard work and diligent effort put in by our seniors and the teachers of the district.  We realize this is a team effort that begins in the elementary grades.”

South Carolina seniors’ average composite score for critical reading, math and writing was 1,461, up two points from 2007. The national average stayed at 1,511. Critical reading was 488, math was 497 and writing was 476, compared to national averages of 502, 515 and 494.

The College Board, which tracks 10-year SAT trends, said the state’s 34-point improvement since 1998 in reading and math (the writing test is only in its third year) remained the nation’s best among states where more than half of the high school seniors take the SAT. Vermont was second with a 30-point improvement, while North Carolina was third with a 25-point improvement.

Public meeting planned about ethanol facility

By Stan Welch

As questions and some opposition continues to arise about the proposed closure of the Lewis Road railroad crossing and the location of a tanker storage yard in the Cheddar area, a public meeting has been scheduled for area residents on Labor Day evening, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Cheddar Fire Department. All who are interested are welcome officials said.

Questions being looked at include safety issues and the process of closing the road.

A resident of the area, Steve Chapman, whose property abuts the proposed ethanol facility, continues to add signatures to a petition opposing the closure. He has also begun to ask questions about the wisdom of even locating the facility near so many homes.

“I know the tank farm has been here a long time, and they have done a pretty good job on safety. But this ethanol is a different thing. It is much more volatile and our local firefighters just don’t have the equipment to handle it if something happens. We have dozens and dozens of people living within a thousand feet of this site, and that just isn’t safe.”

Joe Pack, vice president of the Cheddar Fire Department’s board of directors, says that the situation is very troublesome. “It’s not just that we may lose two to three minutes in response time to that area,” said Pack, “but the whole situation is bad. We aren’t prepared to handle anything close to a worst case. We’ll do the best we can with what we have, but a department this size with the equipment we have is at a real disadvantage.”

Pack is also a member of the District One School Board, and says that the closing could have an impact on bus routes as well. “We are meeting Tuesday night and I think we need to address this. But I won’t say anything else right now because we act as a board.”

Some of the questions are about the process itself. There is some confusion about whether County Council can close the road. They cannot. A circuit court judge makes that determination. Council votes essentially not to contest the judicial abandonment, and basically removes themselves from the fray.

The decision to close can be challenged in court when and if the party seeking abandonment appears in court. The court basically clears the title to the right of way involved, but many who seek abandonment don’t finish the process, but simply proceed on the results of the Council vote.

The path to this road closure began  May 11, 2007 with a re-zoning request. Stephen Kay, owner of the 38.8 acre tract applied to have it rezoned from RA (residential agriculture) to Industrial 1. According to documents provided to The Journal, on May 14, the Greenville & Western Railroad paid the $400 charge for that rezoning request, and not Kay.

The charges are used to pay the costs of advertising the rezoning proposal and the attendant public meetings involved. Advertisement of those meetings is required by state law.

A letter dated May 22, 2007, and issued by Senior Planner Bill West, and addressed simply to ‘property owner’, lists three rezoning requests to be considered at a meeting of the Anderson County Planning Commission on June 12. The Kay request is listed. Such letters are required to be sent to any resident within 1000 feet of a property proposed for rezoning.

Chapman says that he has found virtually no one during his petition drive who received such a letter, and he questions whether it was sent. Included in the documents provided to The Journal is a list of 85 property owners required to be notified.

In a letter to Lincoln Oil Company, Inc. president Jim Farish, West informs Farish that the property was in fact rezoned on August 23, 2007. That letter also references the legal advertisement and notification concerning the planning commission meeting as well as the public hearing before county Council. The rezoning received three readings and approvals, on the following dates: July 17, 2007, August 8, 2007 and August 23, 2007.

It was just a matter of weeks before the railroad’s intentions to close the crossing were made known. Apparently, the company first sought to follow the established procedures for abandonment of a road by the County.  Once the railroad’s representatives discovered what they claim to be a prior right of way, they essentially informed the County of their intention to proceed with the closing.

DHEC lagging on ethanol guidelines

By Stan Welch

Representatives of the Lincoln Oil Company, Inc. and  DHEC officials will meet in Columbia Thursday, August 28, to continue trying to establish guidelines and regulations for the burgeoning ethanol industry in South Carolina.

Paul Wilkie, of the Belton DHEC office, says he and others in the local office will participate via conference call. “We will conference with those in Columbia. We’ll be talking about the Lincoln Company’s operations in the state, how many sites and operations they have, where they are going with this, things like that,” said Wilkie.

Lincoln Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Lincoln Oil Company, Inc. has recently begun transporting and storing ethanol at various sites in the area, apparently while waiting to construct their proposed facility on 39 acres adjacent to the tank farm in Belton. (See related story elsewhere in this issue.)

Tankers have transported ethanol offloaded at a dump panel constructed along Greenville & Western Railway’s tracks just South of Belton to storage tanks at the old PCA plant on Youth Center Road, as well as the P&M gas station in Williamston.

The railroad is currently attempting to close a railroad crossing at Lewis Road so that a switching station can be built to allow for tank cars to be stored there, adjacent to the Lincoln Energy facility.

But DHEC officials have conceded that the sudden surge in interest in ethanol, and the appearance of such companies as Lincoln have caught them a bit off guard. “We are basically going to be talking about the ground rules and details with these folks,” said Wilkie,  “ so we can do a better job of not only working with them but to insure public safety.”

The company was offered an incentive package to locate their facility in Anderson County. District Four Councilman Bill McAbee played a key role in attracting the company to the area.

Watermelon queen in Belton Labor Day

The 2008 SC Watermelon Queen, Amanda Turner of Blue Ridge, will kick off the Watermelon Olympics’ festivities at the Historic Belton Depot, Monday, Sept. 1, beginning at 4 p.m..  One of several activities being held in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit Key Ingredients:  America by Food, this fun-filled event will be enjoyable and tasty for the whole family.

Turner, a twenty-three-year-old graduate of Lander University, was crowned in January at the annual convention of the SC Watermelon Association.  She serves as an ambassador for the watermelon industry and appears at events, supermarkets, and festivals across the state. 

“I try to focus on the health benefits of eating watermelons,” stated Turner.  “Most people don’t know that a portion of fresh watermelon contains more lycopene, an important anti-oxidant that prevents cancer, than any other fruit or vegetable.” 

In addition to eating lots of healthy watermelons at the event, free to the public compliment s of the SC Watermelon Association, there will be games and contests that put watermelons in the forefront.  A seed spitting contest, a watermelon carving contest, and a watermelon relay race are all part of the festivities.

Attendees are also encouraged to visit the Smithsonian exhibit which chronicles the history of food in America and examines how culture, ethnicity, landscape, and tradition influence the food and flavors enjoyed across our nation.  In addition to the curated Smithsonian exhibit, BAMA Director Shirah Heller has also gathered interesting artifacts on display that are specific to this area and its food culture. 

Belton is one of only five sites in South Carolina and the only one in the upstate that is hosting this exhibit.  The exhibit may be viewed Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 AM – 4 PM.  For more information or for group tours, please contact Ms. Heller at 864-338-7400 or beltonmuseum@bellsouth.net. 

For a complete listing of events to be held in conjunction with this exhibit during the months of September and October, visit www.beltonsc.com.

Don’t get caught in  fraudulent Internet Scam

By Hayley Meade

Since the introduction of the Internet in the early 90s, people have been able to connect with one another on a worldwide basis. This connection allows anyone to access public and private information all with the quick click of a mouse.

With constant advancing technology, the Internet has made finding personal account information relatively easy. This easy access has led to Internet identity theft and fraud to become the fastest growing crime in the world according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.

In a presentation given by the Williamston Police Department, statistics show that Americans lost $6,152,070 last year in Internet scams. These scams involve anything from claiming false lottery or sweepstakes winnings to bogus investment pitching.

Williamston Chief of Police, David Baker stated that “today it’s really easy to get anyone’s email address which is how most of these scams get started. The Williamston Police Department puts on a couple of Internet Fraud Seminars a year because it’s so easy to become a  victim of Internet fraud.”

The most common internet scams typically involve an auction site such as e-Bay. With this particular scam an individual will bid extremely high, and then send a check to the seller that is well over the bid price. The seller will be instructed to cash or deposit the check, and then send back the difference to the buyer. The check is typically fraudulent and is usually counterfeit.

Other common scams involve job related sites. With these scams the victim will have some type of resume or general information about them on a job search site on the Internet.

The “scammer”, also known as a “phisher”, will give a work from home offer. This “job” usually requires the victim to cash checks that a false buyer will send them. The victim is then instructed to take out a service fee for themselves and mail out the balance to the subjects. Similar to the auction scam, these checks will be fraudulent

Other scams involve lottery or sweepstakes winnings and false investment pitching. The lottery and sweepstakes scam typically involves a victim who is notified that they received a “free” cash prize. The victim is usually advised that once they receive their winning check, they are to send a smaller amount back to the lottery company for “taxes due on the winnings.” The check that is received will be counterfeit.

The false investment pitch usually begins with an e-mail that informs the victim of a high-stake and high-profit business. These emails  usually contain stories of the government seizing the businesses and that an outside investor can help them regain their business.

These scams require the “outside investor” to lend the company money and once the company is regained by the original owners, the “outside investor” will be rewarded. Typically the victim loses money and in some cases is faced with criminal charges.

Another common scam is known as The Nigerian “4-1-9”. The Nigerian letter is an advanced scheme in which a letter, typically mailed from Nigeria, offers the victim an “opportunity” to earn millions. The sender of the email usually describes himself/herself as a government official who is trying to transfer money out of Nigeria.

Chief Baker describes these scams as “an attempt to pull on people’s heartstrings.” The Nigerian scams usually describe the payment of taxes and legal fees in great detail and promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are spirited out of Nigeria.

The reality of the situation is that the “millions of dollars” do not exist  and the victim eventually ends up with “nothing but loss.” In many cases the criminals have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim and drain their accounts completely

Identity theft and fraud is relatively easy to spot and to prevent. Phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in their e-mails to get people to respond immediately. Phishers ask for personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. These emails are typically not personalized therefore are easy to set aside from valid messages from your bank or e-commerce company.

The Williamston Police Department advises to protect yourself by confirming contact details, including physical addresses, phone numbers, and localities of incorporation. The police department advises to not do business with organizations that won’t freely provide this information.

In situations involving auction sites, it is important to understand all the rules of an auction before bidding and to confirm an auction seller’s track record and contact details before bidding on their item. It is also advised to never deposit a check you’ve received for an amount exceeding the price you’ve negotiated.

Other tips include simply using good judgement when responding to offers of easy money. 

Chief Baker urges to always “be aware and cautious while making Internet purchases and deals. Most of the time when Internet fraud is committed it could have been prevented and by the time it is reported to us it’s really hard to find who is behind it.”

 Chief Baker suggests contacting any of the following sites to report Internet fraud, The Securities and Exchange Commission, Scambusters.org, Internet Crime Complaint Center, The US Postal Service, and The US Secret Service.

Examples of actual internet or print scams

PART TIME JOB/HOME WORK - Advert Description: As part of our expansion programmer, a small company is looking for Part time Job/Home Work from home representatives, it pays 3000$ a month plus benefits and takes only little of your time. Please contact us for more details. Requirements -Should be a computer Literate. 2-3 hours access to the internet weekly. Must be over 25yrs of age. Must be Efficient and Dedicated. If you are interested and need more information,Please send e-mail to:

Another - Attnear Friend, It is my pleasure to let you know about my success in getting those fund transffered under the cooperation of a new partner from paraguay. I didn’t forget your past efforts to assit me in transffering those funds. Now contact my secretary Mr. ANI MARTINS . his email is ( ) ask him to send you the total 1.5musd cheque which i raised for your compensation . so feel free and get intouched with him and give him your address where to send the cheque: (Asks for personal information) Do Let me know immediately you receive it okay so feel free to get intouch with him.

Out of gas moped stolen from road

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the theft of copper, vehicles and a moped among other incidents recenlty.

BELTON 

Aug.11 – J.F. Marano responded to 499 Landfill Rd. where employees of the landfill reported the theft of $6000 worth of copper from the site. In a related incident at the same time, almost $3000 worth of power tolls were stolen from a trailer used for storage by Allied Waste.

Aug. 12 – J.T. Bowers responded to 808 Dorchester Rd. where Ralph Mitchell reported the theft of a white 1982 Nissan SX 2000 and a white 1964 Chevrolet Impala. The two vehicles were valued at $3100.

Aug. 12 – W.T. Cunningham responded to 833 Breazeale Rd. where Melissa Hanna, 41, 5’1", 170pounds, brn/blue, was arrested for public disorderly conduct.

Aug. 17 – R.C. Swafford was dispatched to 780 Mt. Bethel School Rd. where Cheryl Owenby reported that she returned home to find that it had been broken into and trashed, with furniture broken and windows broken.

EASLEY

Aug. 11 – E. S. Russell responded to West Church Rd. and Ridge Rd. where John Martin, an area resident, gave him a cylinder he had found while he was walking. Inside the cylinder were several large bills of currency as well as several sheets of what appeared to be uncut counterfeit money.

Aug. 12 – C. Pridemore responded to Bradley Auto at 2831 Pelzer Hwy. where Keith Bradley reported that the catalytic converters had been removed from five vehicles on the lot. The total loss was estimated at $1500.

Aug. 12 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 325 E. Church St. to assist EMS personnel on a call.

Aug. 12 – J.J. Jacobs was dispatched to 212-A Three Bridges Rd. where Donna Ramirez reported being assaulted by her boyfriend. She had a serious laceration to her forehead and was transported to Easley Baptist Medical Center by Pelzer EMS. Jacobs planned to seek a warrant against the boyfriend.

Aug. 17 – M.T. Szymanski responded to 215 Wrentree Dr. where Thomas Crowe reported the theft of a 6 foot by 12 foot dual axle dump trailer valued at $5000.

Aug. 17 – M.T. Szymanski was dispatched to 360 Shenandoah Dr. where EMS had responded and found Nathan Elvin Williamson, 54, deceased. ACSO investigators are currently investigating the death and no further information is available.

PELZER

Aug.11 – J.J. Jacobs was dispatched to the Bi-Lo in Pelzer in reference to a suspicious vehicle. He observed John Outlaw, WM, 35, 5’4", 155 pounds, brn/brn to be entering the store when he arrived. A records check indicated there were two active warrants out on Outlaw. Outlaw was arrested and a subsequent search produced a bag of marijuana. He was transported to ACDC on a warrant for grand larceny, a warrant for first degree burglary, and simple possession.

Aug. 12 – R.D. Smith was dispatched to the Bi-Lo in Pelzer where he found John Carlton in front of the store yelling at some employees. He was found to be grossly intoxicated and was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Aug. 16 – R.D. Smith responded to Courtney St, in reference to a suspicious person. He found Mack Ragsdale, WM, 68, 6’, 180 pounds, grey/blue and arrested him for public disorderly conduct.

Aug. 16 – J.T. Bowers responded to 406 Holiday St. where Ann Hubbard reported that someone had broken into her home while she was out of town and had stolen a number of items, valued at $750.

Aug. 17 – J.T. Bowers was dispatched to 500 Campbell Rd. where Susan McMahan reported the theft of her blue 1985 El Camino. 

PIEDMONT

Aug. 11 – R.D. Smith was dispatched to Hurricane Creek Rd. in reference to a person going door to door asking for gas money. Upon arrival, he found Sally Rhodes, WF, 29, 5’7", 190 pounds, brn/green, of Williamston. A records check indicated she had three active bench warrants from Greenville County. She was arrested and transported to Hwy. 153 where GCSO deputies took custody of her.

Aug. 12 – J.J. Jacobs responded to River Road where Chris Hall reported the theft of his 2008 VIP Moped, valued at$700. He had run out of gas and while he was gone, someone stole the moped.

Aug. 14 – K.D. Pigman responded to Plymouth Dr. where Mark Keys reported the theft of his 1989 Ford Bronco from the parking lot at that location. The vehicle, valued at $1500, is blue and beige and has SC tag# 223 TNF.

WILLIAMSTON

Aug. 11 – J.J. Jacobs was dispatched to 106 Foster Rd. where Amber Williams, WF, 27, reported being assaulted by her roommate.

Aug. 13 – M.D. Campbell was at 248 Longview Dr. on a call when he ran a records check on suspect Teresa Strickland, WF, 27, 5’9", 171 pounds, brn/green, of Anderson. She was found to have two active bench warrants and she was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Aug. 16 – L.E. Meador received a report from AnMed that a four year old girl had been sexually assaulted by a five year old boy. Laws protecting juveniles prohibit the release of any further information.

Aug. 17 – J.T. Bowers was dispatched to 108 Oldfield Circle, where Kathy Sellers reported that a shot had been fired into her home. She said she had been going out her front door earlier when her juvenile son and some friends came running in shouting, “He’s got a gun”. She said she saw a black male on a four wheeler with a rifle and heard a shot. She thought he fired in the air until later when she discovered two holes in her bedroom walls, and a single hole in the vinyl siding of her house.

 According to the incident report, Bowers spoke with Xavier Johnson. BM, 19, 5’9", 150 pounds, who stated he had argued with the boys earlier about something that had happened previously but he denied firing a shot and denied having a gun at all, except for a BB gun.

Police officers make alcohol, drug arrests

Williamston police officers investigated the following incidents:

Aug. 10 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter was running radar on Greenville Street when a vehicle approached doing 46 in a 35 mph zone. He turned on his blue lights and the car sped away on Belton Drive at a high rate of speed. The pursuit continued along the Belton Highway at speeds exceeding 100 mph. The driver finally stopped at Cheddar Rd. Erika Richardson, WF, 24, 5’6", 106 pounds, brn/hazel, of Piedmont, was charged with speeding. Her six month old child was found in the back seat of the car. She was also charged with failure to stop for a blue light and possession of marijuana found in the car. The child was released to his father at the WPD.

Aug. 11 – Capt. K.P. Evatt entered the Quick Point convenience store and found the owner asking Carl Wardlaw to leave. Wardlaw refused and was placed on trespass notice by Evatt at the owner’s request.

Aug. 13 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter was dispatched to 228 Williamston Court where Michelle Shockley reported the theft of her 1997 burgundy Ford Mustang. He received word from dispatch that a vehicle of the same description was in a ditch on Minor Street. The car was found to be the same vehicle and was recovered.

Aug. 13 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo and Cpl. D.W. Bryant received a report of a vehicle being driven erratically on Greenville St. They found the vehicle in the parking lot at Mitchell’s Car Wash. Several passengers were observed to not be wearing seat belts and the vehicle was stopped. The driver, Sandra Smith, WF, 47, 5’6", 150 pounds, brn/brn, of 16 Dendy St. in Pelzer, was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for public disorderly conduct. A passenger, Joshua McCullough, was found to have an active warrant and he was also arrested.

Aug.13 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer stopped a 1986 Oldsmobile with a headlight out. The driver, Kenneth Mullinax, WM, 52, 5’8", 179 pounds, brn/brn of Belton, was unable to provide registration, or proof of insurance. The tag came back as belonging to a different vehicle. Mullinax was arrested and transported to WPD for booking.

Aug. 14 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo responded to Mineral Spring Park to a report of a van driving around with the driver yelling at girls in the park. A van matching the description was stopped at Main Street Motors and the driver, Stanley Phillips, Jr. was found to be driving under suspension. He was arrested and transported to WPD for booking.

Aug. 14 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo observed a burgundy Mazda turning into apartments on Church St. He knew the driver, James Chastain, WM, 5’6", 6’, 156 pounds, red/blue, of Pelzer, to have a suspended license, and stopped him. Chastain was uncooperative and kept saying he had not taken his insulin in two days. He was arrested and transported to WPD. EMS was called and confirmed that his blood sugar was extremely high. He did not have his insulin with him, so the officers wrote him four tickets and released him to EMS to be transported to the hospital. A family member arrived with his insulin and he was allowed to leave with them.

Aug. 15 – Sgt. T.A. Call responded to 108 Market St. where John Browning reported the breaking and entering into the home of Sharlene Dean who was hospitalized at the time. The front door was kicked in and the back door removed. Electronic items and small appliances valued at $280 were stolen.

 Aug. 15 – Cpl. R.G. Alexander and Ptl. M.W. Ritter were dispatched to Duckworth and Hardy Streets in response to a report of a possibly intoxicated person. Marvin Caceres, Hispanic male, 28, 5’4", 150 pounds, of Miami Florida was arrested and transported to WPD on a charge of public disorderly conduct.

Aug. 16 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter and Cpl. R.G. Alexander, in support of Constable Smith, stopped a silver Buick with tag # 699NVU, which Smith had reported as being clocked at 78 mph in a 35 mph zone. Billy Joe Brown, WM, 57, 5’8, 180 pounds, brn/brn, of Pelzer, was field tested for sobriety and arrested for driving under the influence and transported to WPD for booking.

Aug. 17 – Sgt. T.A. Call and WPD Chief David Baker responded to 1191 Keys Dr. where Shannon Aiken reported that her home had been burglarized and her prescription medications stolen.

Aug. 17 – Cpl. R.G. Alexander responded to 803 N. Hamilton Dr. where a juvenile female reported that three girls had assaulted her at the football jamboree as she was going to her car. She had several minor injuries.

Aug. 19 – Cpl. D.W. Bryant was dispatched to 14 Edgewood Drive where someone had driven into a concrete wall in the yard, damaging about six feet of the wall. The damage was estimated at $300.

Aug. 19 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer was on patrol when he saw Dwight Sullivan, BM, 50, 6’, 175 pounds, riding a bike. He knew that Sullivan had a bench warrant active so he stopped him and arrested him. He also found some crack cocaine and a half full bottle of liquor. Sullivan was arrested and transported to WPD for booking.

Aug. 22 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo responded to 232 Prince St. where John Crowder reported that someone had thrown a brick bat through his front window, causing $200 in damage.

Aug. 22 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer observed Garry Patterson, WM, 19, 6’, 150 pounds, brn/grn, as he was driving on Tucker Street. Aware that Patterson was driving under suspension, Creamer stopped him and arrested him. During the booking process Patterson informed officers of marijuana in two locations on his person. He was also charged with simple possession.

Aug. 23 – Ptl. R.S. Creamer was dispatched to an area of East First St. in response to a report of a person passed out on the roadway. Upon arriving, he found Jose Tomas, a Hispanic male, 23, 5’5", 150 pounds, face down in the road. There were several unopened cans of beer around him. He was awakened, arrested, and transported to the WPD for booking.

Aug. 24 – Ptl. R.S. Creamer and Sgt. M.D. Creamer were on patrol when they saw Paul Vosburg, WM, 42, 5’9", 165 pounds, brn/brn riding a moped. Both officers knew that there was an active warrant on Vosburg so they stopped him. He was arrested and during a subsequent search, the officers found amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana. He was arrested on drug charges as well as the outstanding warrant.

Aug. 24 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer responded to 106 W. Main St. at the request of Ptl. R.S. Creamer. He found a newspaper rack for The Journal and approximately 40 newspapers scattered in the road. Publisher David Meade was contacted and came to the scene. The papers and the rack were a total loss, estimated at $140.

New studio offers more than karate instruction

A new karate studio is opening in the area this week. Tiger Paw Martial Arts is having a grand opening of their new location at 107 East Main St. in Williamston this Saturday, August 30.

They will have an open house Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with demonstrations and food for persons interested in karate instruction or self defense.

Owners are Mike Hine, Administrator and Master Mike Logan, a 3rd Dan blackbelt who is the Master teacher. 

Master or Sensei Logan formerly operated two karate studios in the Greenville area and competed in more than 50 toughman competitions.

He offers instruction in the art of Shotokan karate which focuses on form and American Karate, which is more of a fighting discipline, Master Logan said. Both are based on the Japanese Karate.

According to Master Logan, martial arts originated in the Orient and Americans took the Japanese and Chinese forms and came up with their own version.

In American Karate the placement of hands and feet are different and closer to the body, the Sensei said.

The master teacher is a graduate of Isothermal College in Forest City, NC, and studied under instructor Hardin Jeffers and Master Zachery Jardao.

He is a former sparring partner of three time World Champion kickboxer Ray Rice.

He has competed in numerous toughman competitions when they were held in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium and competed in the last competition there which allowed fighters to kick.

For five years he was an announcer on Greenville’s WHYZ radio station. He has operated two karate schools, one in Mauldin and one on Wade Hampton.

During that time he said he was compelled to work with youth, to give them something to do and in the process learning respect and positive environment.

He would go to Greeville’s west side apartments, one of the worst sides of town, and would practice his dicipline on the local playground.

He said eventually kids would become interested in what he was doing and gather around asking questions, eventually leading up to about 20 kids becoming interested in his teachings.

A local barber and ice cream shop sponsored him to come regularly to the area.

He said many years later a young man came up to him and asked if he was the man who came to the playground those many years ago.

When Logan told him he was, he said “Thank You. I am one of those little boys. And I really appreciate what you did.”

Logan said he teaches discipline and the word of God. The instruction  is Christian based and for the community he said. 

The facility is also available for birthday parties for kids with or without karate experience which include a half hour of lessons for everyone attending. They are looking at having a movie night during which old karate movies will be shown.

He also does lectures on awareness, especially for women and children. Students learn to be alert and not become a victim.

According to Logan, someone is attacked every 15 seconds. He offers a Say No class and teachers kids and adults to be aware of their surroundings to protect themselves at all times.

 

Tiger Paw Martial Arts offers an introductory price of 19.95 which includes half hour of private one on one instruction, one week of night classes and a free martial arts Gi or uniform.

They offer classes for eight years and above and adults. A little ninja program, for under eight years old is offered two nights each week. There are no contracts.

Students must maintain a C average to be promoted. It takes three years to get a black belt and approximately three months of instruction for each of the belts leading up to the famous black belt.

They may offer aerobics. Adult classes will start Sept 1 and Little Ninja classes on Sept 4.

Jackson Clark of Williamston was the new studio’s first Little Ninja.

Kids classes are offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Adult classes are Mon., Wed, and Fri.,  6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

Adult belt classes are $89 per month; two or more family members is $69 each per month and the kids classes are $49 per child. For more information call 864-363-8283 or 864-933-6504.

Upstate Federal Credit Union breaks ground on Williamston location

Area residents will soon have a new place to save and borrow money while owning a part of the financial institution.

Upstate Federal Credit Union recently broke ground on a 3000 square foot building to be located at the corner of Hamilton St. and  Roberts Blvd. in Williamston.

The full service branch will be the fifth location in Anderson county and will offer loans, savings, and checking like a bank, but with one major difference, according to Business Development officer Patti Buchanan.

“A credit union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. We exist for the benefit of our membership.”

Anyone living, working or going to school in Anderson County can be a member, Buchanan said.

Deposits are made by members into a share account, also known as a savings account. The members’ deposits are then loaned out to the membership.

The earnings from the loans are used to provide services to members including teller and other staff services, a free website with online account access and more. Loan earnings are credited back to the depositors in the form of dividends and service, Buchanan said.

The institution is owned by the members. “There is no select group of stockholders who benefit from the credit union operations,” Buchanan said. “At Upstate Federal Credit Union the goal is to provide service to the members while maintaining the long time stability of the financial institution.”

The institution has a long running track record. Upstate FCU was chartered in 1965 as Orr Mill Credit Union by the SC Banking Commission serving employees and families of Orr Mills. Charter members were asked to contribute $1 each, Buchanan said. A few months later, the charter was amended to include employees and families of M. Lowenstein & Son in Anderson County.

This included Orr-Lyons, I and II and Chiquola in Honea Path. The name was changed to ML&S Employees Credit Union. The Joseph Lyons Plant was added when Lowenstein bought it, bringing in more members.

In the late 1980s, Lowenstein sold their plants to Springs Industries. The charter was again expanded to include select employee groups and in 1989 the name was changed to Upstate Credit Union. In 1993 they became Upstate Federal Credit Union.

The final name change reflected the financial institution being chartered and operating under the rules and regulations of the National Credit Union Administration.

They  are located at 1303 N. Murray Ave. in Anderson and the administration office building  located at 207 E. Highlands Ave.

In March of 2000, a branch was opened at 430 N. Main St. in Honea Path and in March 2006, a branch office was opened in the Electrolux plant in Anderson. They also have a branch staffed by Anderson University students, at the Fusion Warehouse in Anderson.

In 2002 they requested a community charter from the National Credit Union Administration and upon approval were allowed to serve persons in Anderson and Abbeville counties.

During 2004 and 2005, Upstate FCU added new products and services, new policies and procedures and additional staff.

The Williamston location is the latest effort to reach out and provide services to the surrounding community.

Buchanan said the Williamston location will be “really nice” with a children’s room and a coffee bar in the lobby. It will have four lanes with one designated for a drive up ATM. The building will include four offices, handicap access and teller stations. “It is a full service hometown credit union,” Buchanan said. “It will be something Williamston can be very proud of.”

Paulette Kirkpatrick will be the branch manager. The building is expected to be finished by February of 2009.

Staff members are already accepting new members and providing loan services in Williamston, with a temporary office at the School District One Administrative office on Hamilton St.

Buchanan said the Upstate Federal Credit Union will offer lower loan rates and higher service to their members.

“That’s how we are able to help the community. I think we will do great.”

For more information contact Buchanan at 864-328-0302 or email pbuchanan@upstatefcu.org

Athletic programs to see facility upgrades

By Hayley Meade

Both Anderson District One high schools will be undergoing renovations for new athletic facilities in the fall. 

According to Anderson District One Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler, Palmetto High will receive a new field house, new weight room, and undergo renovations on the ticket booth and entrance to the football stadium.

Wren High School will recieve a new training facility and field house to provide more practice room for athletes. Improvements will also be made to the entrance of the Wren High School football stadium.

The public approved the renovations in the district’s referendum that  in March.  Both schools were asked what improvents were needed concerning the athletic department, Dr. Fowler stated.

Palmetto has already started renevations by cutting down the trees surrounding the high school, middle school, and football stadium. Fowler stated that “the reason the trees were cut down is to provide more room for the upcoming additions to the high school and athletic facilities. We plan to add more handicap parking beside the entrance to the stadium which is why those trees were removed. Also we did not want to risk branches falling on the new facilities and possibly harming the buildings. Once the renovations are complete we do plan to replant trees to surround the entire stadium.” Fowler also stated that, “the stadium will have a new look and be brought up to a whole new standard.”

Palmetto will begin construction in October starting on the new field house that will be located behind the stadium to the side of the Palmetto practice field. The field house will have male and female facilities. It will include a training room and coach’s offices. The old field house will also be upgraded. Palmetto plans to add a weight room to the main gym at the high school. The 24,000 sqare feet weight room will contain new equipment and be “brought up to today’s standards,” said Dr. Fowler.

Wren High School will also begin construction in October on a new practice facility. Fowler stated that “Wren has different needs because they have twice as many students as Palmetto.” The new facility will be attached to the field house and have a gable (slanted) roof which will make the building a multi-purpose room. Fowler stated that any athletic team will be able to  use the building for practice time.

Dr. Fowler explained that the public, principals, and coaches all voted on the improvements to both schools’ athletic facilities and expects these changes to be a great improvement for Anderson District One.

Seems to Me . . .When the alarm goes off

By Stan Welch

 Most of the people who live in the Cheddar community would rather live there than just about any place you could mention. Many of them are from families who have spent generations on their land; others are lovers of the country life who like nothing better at the end of a long work day than driving back to their home in the country, where they can relax and be among friends

In an ideal world, or even a fair one, these folks could count on living out their lives in such rural contentment. Unfortunately the world we live in is neither ideal, nor fair. And so it is that the plans of those who could care less about the people of Cheddar are becoming a real problem.

The Greenville and Western Railroad has finally made known its intentions to close the railroad crossing at Lewis Drive and build a switching station there, to be able to divert and store ethanol tank cars for use at the proposed Lincoln Energy blending facility.

Now, the railroad appears to have one main customer, and that appears to be Lincoln Energy. I’m sure the railroad has other customers but they have really been bending over backwards to accommodate Lincoln. (Never thought you’d hear that phrase in these parts, did you?)

Ever since District Four Councilman Bill McAbee and his economic development guru Amy Plummer started maneuvering to bring the GWRR to the area two years ago, the circumstances that now face the people in the Cheddar area have been building towards this point. Mr. McAbee, despite representing District Four, which includes no portion of the Cheddar community, has worked very hard to locate this railroad and to help it thrive. He also helped Lincoln Energy to find the site of their proposed storage facility. Ms. Plummer, who assisted in that effort, and shared in the spoils, recently purchased a home adjacent to the proposed crossing closure site, apparently on behalf of the GWRR, which she represents in matters of economic development.

How much spoils that generated and who shared in them is a bit cloudy at this time. But, hey, five new jobs are five new jobs, right?

But the Councilman and his Svengali are not the only ones who have been bending over backwards to entice and assist the railroad and the ethanol site. Anderson County has only too gladly offered far more in incentives than would seem reasonable.

The railroad is of considerable value to the economic health of the county as a whole. So valuable is it that Mr. McAbee continues to nurture it and take it under his wing, rushing across the county when a leaking tanker car drew the attention of the local fire department last year, and helping out during last year’s Santa Train tour along the thirteen miles of track owned by GWRR.

What Mr. McAbee hasn’t done, nor any other members of County Council, for that matter, is to ensure that the means are readily available to control any unfortunate scenarios related to the transport, handling, or blending of ethanol.

This is a fuel which is essentially pure alcohol. It is very volatile and burns with a tremendous heat. Water just makes it mad. County and area fire officials say that the equipment, chemicals and training available are totally inadequate should a fire or explosion take place at the site. Add to that the immediate proximity of dozens of huge gasoline and diesel storage tanks, and the potential for disaster becomes worthy of a Discovery Channel disaster special.

Yet no one at the county level, elected or hired, ever raised one concern, except for Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, who asked that the Lincoln company pony up ten grand towards a foam buggy, to be used in applying a special foam needed to extinguish high temperature fires. (Reportedly, BP, which is located at the quaintly named Belton tank farm, has already come up with ten grand.)

The normal foam used on fires cooks off before smothering ethanol fires, according to County Fire Chief Billy Gibson. 

Now, see, here’s the rub for me. I know firemen. I don’t know the Cheddar guys personally, but I know firemen. When that alarm goes off, they jump on a truck and head for the smoke, or the red glow in the night sky. They do that because they’re firemen, and that’s what firemen do.

But those Cheddar boys, and the Williamston guys, and the Belton department, and the West Pelzer fellows, and all the others who come to back Cheddar up, are going to be faced with problems and dangers they are not prepared nor equipped to handle.

They are going to be placed in harm’s way to a point far beyond reasonable expectations, and it’s going to happen because nobody cared that they were under-trained and ill-equipped to face the challenge that an ethanol fire in the middle of a tank farm presents. No, they just wanted that economic development dollar.

So maybe the next time the County Council is voting to offer incentives to someone to bring a dangerous industry to the area, they could vote a couple hundred grand to make sure those who keep us safe are prepared to keep us safe.

Seems to me that’s not a lot to ask, especially if you’re one of the guys who jumps on the truck when the alarm goes off.

P. S. Thanks, Fay.

Professional cycling returns to Greenville

The Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships will be held in Greenville  August 30 and 31, for the third year. The dual championship features the USA Cycling Professional Individual Time Trial Championship and the USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship.

The prestigious Stars and Stripes jerseys will be awarded to the best male professional athletes in each discipline. The event is sanctioned by USA Cycling Inc., and is licensed to Medalist Sports. Greenville Hospital System is the title sponsor. Over $60,000 in prize money will be awarded.

The start/finish lines for the dual championships will be held in downtown Greenville. The Time Trial will offer a new course in the downtown area, and the road race will again include several circuits over Paris Mountain.

Defending champion of the Professional Individual Time Trial is David Zabriskie (Slipstream Chipotle) of Salt Lake City, UT, who won in 2006 and 2007 in Greenville. The defending champion of the Professional Road Race is Levi Leipheimer (Team Astana) of Santa Rosa, Calif. Other past winners of the USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship include speed skating Olympic champion Eric Heiden (1985), Lance Armstrong (1993), George Hincapie (1998, 2006) and Fred Rodriguez (2000, 2001, 2004).

The Stars and Stripes Challenge is a recreational ride, not a race, that is open to all levels of cyclists on Sunday, Aug. 31, prior to the pro race. Over 600 cyclists participated in 2007, riding the same route as the pros, including an option to try the famous Paris Mountain climb! Registration is a minimum of $50, with proceeds benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Oncology Research Institute of the Greenville Hospital System. More information is available at www.palmettopelotonproject.com.

Start/finish for the USA Cycling Professional Individual Time Trial Championship will feature a new course in downtown Greenville; starting at 11 a.m. and includes a staggered start at one minute intervals for competitors. More than 50 athletes are expected in the field.

On Sunday, August 31, the Stars and Stripes Challenge will begin at 8 a.m. The recreational bicycle ride on the same road course as the pros! $50 advance registration, with proceeds going to The Lance Armstrong Foundation and The Oncology Research Institute of the Greenville Hospital System

The family fun ride will begin at 10 a.m. – start of Family Fun Ride, and is free for participants 

USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship will start at approximately  12:30 p.m. and finish between 4 and 5 p.m. 

It features more than 110 miles of racing with 10 downtown laps; over 100 athletes expected in the field. The event is free with a  downtown expo during the race, including a big screen TV with live race coverage. For more information check the website at www.usacyclingchampionships.com

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Printing Services About Us www.sc.edu www.clemson.edu www.espn.com Weather Powdersville Piedmont Pelzer / West Pelzer Online Bookstore Community Williamston Anderson County Bulletin Board Classifieds School News Sports Obituaries Opinions Happenings Index Front Page News