News Archive

(3707) Week of Sept. 12, 2007

Future issues for county include zoning, planning
Wilson remains relentless in seeking county information
Payton named West Pelzer Clerk
Palmetto Soccer club dedicates new fields
Williamston Council updated on projects
Grant to fund pump station improvement
Davenport recognized by Shriners
Students to help in cemetery project
Seems to Me . . . Not much has changed
Pelzer man arrested in Piedmont break-in
Officers investigate local incidents

Future issues for county include zoning, planning

By Stan Welch

A joint meeting of the County Planning Commission and the County Council planning committee was held last Thursday. 

The stated purpose of the meeting was to encourage communication between the two groups.A number of zoning decisions made by Council lately have raised issues of consistency, as well as whether or not the recommendations of the planning staff and the citizens’ boards have any weight in such decisions.

The Planning Commission expressed their concerns, both individually and collectively, concerning the lack of guidance and detail in the comprehensive land use plan.

Wes Hulsey, who was appointed by Ron Wilson, said that the current arrangement allows no room for the exercise of individual judgment. “Right now, let’s face it, we’re a rubber stamp. The Planning Commission has no freedom to interject our personal judgment on any of these things. We need more aggressive standards, more detailed and specific standards. We should listen to, but also, educate the public.”

Planning Commission Chairman Russ Vickery essentially agreed. “We look at what the staff has recommended in any given case, and we tend to support that. Our concern is the highest and best use of the land, but basically, if what is sought is legal, we go along with it.”

Bob Martin, County Council Chairman Bob Waldrep’s appointee to the commission, said that the lack of universal zoning allows tract builders to “eat up the assets of Anderson County. They are basically building the slums of the future, ten years from now.” He also referred to the ‘Mexican village” in Pendleton, a reference to the Pendleton Station project that has been the target of controversy and ridicule in recent months. “If you allow a project like that, you need to have an inspector on that site every day.”

County Planning Director Jeff Ricketson conceded that the County contracts to conduct inspections for the town of Pendleton, but added, “This was a failed business deal. We have no authority over that.”

Commission member Rusty Garrett agreed, saying that the banks had the responsibility to assure that standards were met. “They were the ones providing the money.”

Garrett also took issue with Martin’s description of tract homes as future slums. “Not everyone in Anderson County can afford a three or four hundred thousand dollar home. Do they not deserve a chance to own a home? These tract builders, as you call them, are trying to provide affordable housing.”

Councilman Michael Thompson repeated his earlier statement that the comprehensive land use plan presented by the county is essentially not a plan at all. “It has goals, but it has no teeth. It does not set us in a direction, which is what a plan should do.” Councilman Ron Wilson agreed, saying there is no land use plan or zoning in Powdersville.

Councilwoman Cindy Wilson questioned the County’s planning in recent years. “How can you not provide something as essential as drinking water, and yet build twenty million dollars of sewer lines that won’t pay for themselves for many years?”

She also challenged several decisions by the County staff, including one  to change a requirement by Council that a developer have two exit lanes from the development. He was later allowed to reduce that to one lane, which transportation director Holt Hopkins said was actually safer. Ron Wilson, chair of the Council planning committee, chided Ms. Wilson, saying, “When are we going to work together? When will you quit harping on the problems in the past? You’re very good at it.”

Ms. Wilson responded, saying, “Thank you. I take that as a compliment. Sometimes figuring out what was done wrong helps us to do it right in the future.”

As the meeting wore on, it became clear that the ‘Z’ word, zoning, was no longer taboo. The majority of the planning commission favored zoning countywide, and felt that it could be accomplished, “if it’s done right.”

Council Chairman Waldrep, during a discussion on countywide zoning in Greenville, pointed out that the mountain region of the county was not zoned. “There’s a different culture in the mountains. Those folks are well armed.”

Wilson remains relentless in seeking county information

By Stan Welch

Despite, or perhaps because of, the turmoil on County Council in recent weeks, District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson continues to press her case for access to public information, and her persistent demands for increased accountability in the County administration.

In an apparent shift in tactics, she presented a motion at a recent Council meeting calling for a federal investigation into the harassment/stalking allegations involving county administrator Joey Preston and various members of County Council. Her motion to involve the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspectors failed by a vote of 3-3-1.

Two weeks later, she made a presentation to the Council in which she addressed her concerns about campaign contributions being made to council members and other candidates by individuals and companies which routinely do business with the County. While conceding that legal opinions support the concept of such contributions as free speech, she challenged the Council to pass a resolution declaring their intent, individually and collectively, to accept no further contributions from those doing business or seeking to do business with the County.

Chairman Bob Waldrep asked that she have the motion written up in the form of a resolution so that the Council could consider it in the future.

Wilson’s new approach is part of an initiative she calls The Way Forward, and it sprung, at least in part, from the actions of a majority of Council to restrict or deny Wilson access to her District’s discretionary funds. Those actions were in turn spurred by the Council majority’s perception that Wilson had some involvement in the harassing and threatening letters, a charge which she denies and which SLED found no evidence of.

District Five Councilman Michael Thompson stated at the time that the actions taken were intended to make Wilson tell who had sent the letters.

Two weeks after denying Wilson’s appropriations requests, all four mayors from Wilson’s district appeared before Council to express their displeasure with the Council’s actions. Following their appearance, Councilman Thompson presented a prepared “rebuttal” which included the use of a normally forbidden expletive.

Following Thompson’s presentation, Council changed tactics by having several members of the majority bloc actually appropriate Wilson’s funds to the municipalities in her district against her wishes. Wilson told them at the time that such actions would deplete her funds and prevent her from meeting future needs in her district.

At the most recent Council meeting, Wilson’s prediction came true, as she asked each council member to contribute to the Watkins Civic Center in Honea Path to buy supplies for the summer arts program there. She asked each of the six for a contribution from their recreation funds, since hers had already been allocated. Only Chairman Waldrep responded to her request.

Wilson continues to seek information concerning the county’s finances. She has in fact stated that administrator Joey Preston is in violation of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act due to his failure to respond to a FOIA request made in August.

The information requested included legal expenses paid under the categories of professional services and management consulting. Wilson, in a letter to Preston dated August 23, stated that her attorney and FOIA expert Jay Bender said that legal expenses paid under those categories are not entitled to client/attorney privilege and are a matter of public record.

Wilson and Preston have struggled over the issue of legal vendor information for more than six years. The case is scheduled to be heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court in the next few weeks.

Wilson, however, has continued to pressure Preston and his staff for financial and other information. 

Recently, she sought and received the job qualifications for the positions of construction site inspector and storm water manager. The storm water manager’s position is in the process of being filled, according to Preston, who responded to a direct question from Wilson at the last Council meeting.

Wilson stated her concerns that the position might be filled by the female county employee who was reported to be seen in a compromising position with Preston at a public lake in March of 2006. Preston stated that no decision had been made concerning the position of storm water manager.

While the employee in question was recently certified as a storm water sedimentation and erosion control inspector, the requirements for the manager’s position are much more detailed, including the need for a bachelor’s degree in environmental or civil engineering, or in public health, environmental science or a related field from an accredited college, as well as five years experience in testing, sampling, and analysis.

There are various other technical abilities and skills mentioned in the job description. Wilson’s efforts to obtain information concerning the employee’s educational and technical credentials have been denied by Preston under the personnel protection provisions of the FOIA.

Again, attorney Jay Bender challenges that, saying that only certain aspects of an employee’s records, such as medical information are exempt from disclosure. Those exemptions do not extend to professional or educational qualifications, according to Bender.

Wilson, speaking in a recent interview, said, “How can you possibly hire someone without knowing whether they are educated or trained for the job they are seeking? We are establishing a new department to deal with the storm water programs the state has mandated. We must be sure that the person who heads the department is the right person for the job.”

Payton named West Pelzer Clerk

By Stan Welch

Following weeks of controversy and contention over the hiring of a Town Clerk, the person chosen has begun work at the West Pelzer Town Hall.

Paula Payton, whose original selection sparked debate over the process followed by the town in narrowing the field, has been at work since Monday of this week. Her original selection, which included a vote taken during an executive session, was delayed by several weeks, as the Mayor and council battled over the procedures used in selecting and interviewing candidates.

Payton’s name was originally removed from consideration, based on her level of training and experience. Later, following the interviews of a number of other candidates, her name was returned to consideration by Councilman Jimmy Jeanes, who said openly that he had promised her the job, and that she was going to get it, no matter what. Following those statements, issues arose over the efforts by some Councilmen to avoid the legal requirements to make the list of finalists for the position available to the press.

Eventually, the Council voted to begin the process all over, which apparently had the same result which Jeanes had promised.

According to Mayor Peggy Paxton, Payton will receive some training in the day to day operations, but will be limited in her duties until the sessions scheduled for October, when the town employees will be introduced to the new software the town has installed.

“She seems very nice and willing to learn, but until we get the software training done, she can only do so much. Mike Mahaffey will be working with her on the water bills and day to day operations, but it’s going to be a very busy time for her, and all of us. Our annual audit will be starting soon, which will require the new clerk to provide a great deal of information to the auditors.”

While the authority for appointing a Town Clerk falls to the council itself, Mayor Paxton is responsible for the hiring of the court administration clerk, who was hired to assist in the new court administration program implemented by the state. She has hired Shane Black, who had also applied for the position of town clerk.

“Shane is well qualified and has a degree in accounting. He can begin his duties immediately, because the court administration software, which the county is expected to deliver any day now, isn’t as crucial to his work as the software for the town’s operations,” said Paxton. Black’s primary duties are to administer the record keeping of the town court, managing and accounting for the disposition of cases and the fees and fines collected.

He is currently working twenty hours a week, as Council voted in establishing the position. When his primary duties do not require his attention, he has been instructed by Council to assist the town clerk in her work.

 “The town has two people who seem willing to work hard and to learn their duties. I am going to do everything I can to help them in that, and to make sure that the results are good,” said Mayor Paxton.

Palmetto Soccer club dedicates new fields

The Palmetto Soccer Club and Town of Williamston held a ribbon cutting and dedication Monday for new soccer fields located in the center of town. Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Mark Roberts dedicated the field with prayer.

Beverly Greenway, president of Palmetto Soccer Club welcomed parents, players and others to the ribbon cutting.

Fomer president Ken Scales, who started the movement to find the local soccer club a home field also participated in the ribbon cutting. Scales was president of the club when they began searching for a home field in 2000.

After plans for a field on Mill St. extension fell through because of grading issues associated with rock at the location,the club approached the Town about another location.

Town officials agreed to allow property along Big Creek, behind the historic Depot, to be the new site.

With funding from Anderson County though District Seven Representative Cindy Wilson and the efforts of many volunteers and the town, “the club now has a place to call home,” Greenway said.

The club, which has approximately 200 participants, has practiced and played at New Hope ball fields and Palmetto High School fields through the years.

“This is a coooperative effort with city, county and volunteers,” Greenway said.

Joel Hammond has donated considerable time and equipment to held grade the fields and Professional Landscaping/David Havird helped with irrigation.

In Williamston, the club fields two under twelve teams, two under 8 teams and one under 6 team, Greenway said. Including Belton, there are 6 U-6 teams, 9 U-8 teams and 7 U-12 teams participating.

The Palmetto Soccer Club is organized under the South Carolina Youth Soccer organization and includes teams in Belton.

The first games on the new field were played Monday following the ribbon cutting, which included hot dogs and drinks for those attending.

Williamston Council updated on projects

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard a report on money saving insurance options, the RDA/sewer facility upgrade, and they discussed the downtown streetscape project and garbage pick-up.

Sonya Harrison of Goldie and Associates said two things, finding land for application and rock under the existing plant, are holding up the sewer facility upgrade and the RDA funding.

Harrison said the consulting company is in the process of finding land for the proposed sewer treatment application process. She said there is land approximately one half mile from the treatment facility that is tentatively under a contract and they are looking at another 180 acres located approximately 3.35 miles from the facility.

The second site has an old water line that could possibly be used to pipe the treated water to the site to be dispersed, she said.

Harrison said the process has been a long one and the state has looked at both options that have been presented for the town.

She said the cost is significant if they have to go with a sub-surface drip. The spray application process which they are pursuing is less costly.

She said the town of Pelzer has also been asked to participate in the treatment process and the town has 100 acres which could be used.

She said Goldie and Associates will address the State’s comments and a financial liability report is in the process of being completed.

Evaluation of the treatment lagoon determined that there are rock issues. According to Harrison, rock is located 10 ft. below the surface of the lagoons, but a basin could be put in.

She also said the consultants are looking into the possibility of funding by RDA for replacement and repairs to a pump station on Cherokee Rd.

Other issues the consultants are looking at include moving chlorine gas storage, using ultraviolet light for treatment, replacing pumps, evaluating a substation, inflow and infiltration and work done in conjunction with Milliken.

She said they should have these items completed by October.

Following the report, Council unanimously approved money needed for a match of $15,100 for  necessary  repairs and electrical improvements for the Cherokee Road pumpstation. (See seperate story) The match will come from the Town’s contingency fund.

Council unanimously approved selling the generator located at the town’s old water plant. Bids will be accepted for 30 days for the equipment which town officials say is valued at approximately $49,000. The town will reserve the right to refuse any and all bids.

There was considerable discussion on Downtown Redevelopment Design.

The original streetscape design plan which included decorative lighting, buffers and a water structure is being reworked and will be re-submitted, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy.

Discrepancies over who is responsible for paying an invoice for an initial survey involving the Pelzer Avenue relocation have delayed progress on the Main St. project. Clardy said a second survey is necessary for the streetscape project and that the town is looking to recent grant funding as a resolution to paying the outstanding invoice.

Councilmen Carthel Crout and Marion Middleton, Jr. have both said they support the Pelzer Ave. relocation project but want reassurance that grant money can be used to reimburse the town if the town pays the bill.

Clardy then made a motion to pay the outstanding invoice which died for lack of a second.

Council heard a presentation by Harvey Mathias of the S. C. Municipal Association, on insurance options.

After hearing the presentation, Council unanimously agreed to change the current $500 deductible for town employees to a $1000 deductible, saving the town money. The town will provide employees with reimbursement match up to $500. A benefit coordinator will also be brought in to help the town employees decide on other options that are available.

Council also unanimously agreed to  set up a pre-tax 125 plan which will be set up through the benefits coordinator.

Mathias said that a cafeteria plan, flexible spending and other voluntary options can be added later.

Council discussed a 3 percent and a 5 percent pay raise for employees.

Annual cost to the town at 3% is $28,518 and at 5 % is $47,530 according to information presented during the discussion.

After discussion of changing the raise to 3.2 % or 3.5%, the item was tabled by a 3-1 vote with Crout opposed. Clardy made the motion with the provision that whatever was decided would be retroactive to July 1 and that it be postponed until Councilman David Harvell could be present.

Council unanimously approved a motion by Councilman Crout to purchase flags for all town owned flag poles including the new pole at the cemetery.

Council decided to return to meetings on the first and third Monday of each month beginning Oct. 1 and 15. The vote was 3-1 with Mayor Clardy opposed.

Discussion and vote on agenda items including administrator job description and advertisement, internet policy and policy manual updates were tabled.

Council agreed to allow work on the town’s 1994 packer truck to bring it up to current safety standards. Department Head John Owen asked council to consider allowing additional work on the truck to add a cart tipper, but council decided to postpone the add on and go with the safety modifications that are presently needed.

A new packer the town is planning to purchase later this year will be outfitted to handle the  96 gallon carts, which town officials said they will be looking at in the future.

The item led to considerable discussion about the town’s trash ordinance which states that garbage should be in plastic bags, garbage containers should not be larger than 32 gallons and should have a drain hole in the bottom.

Following an executive session, Council unanimously agreed to allow Ragsdale’s Decks to perform repair work estimated at $2,500 to the covered wooden bridge in the park. Work will include repairing safety bannisters and ornamental wood carvings and treating the structure with a graffiti proof surface.

During citizens comments, Robert Vaughn of Hamilton St. referred to overgrown property adjacent to his. Vaughn said it’s causing a problem with rats and property in the town should be subject to  the ordinances of the town.

Pamela Owens suggested council consider a memorial for Dr. Smith, flags for the new flag pole at the Williamston Cemetery, no truck signs for Gray Drive and asked about progress on getting a grocery store. Owens said that trucks are using the new Gray Drive bridge causing nails to come loose and that she does not use it now because of safety concerns.

Judy Ellison said that articles in the Aug. 29 issue of The Journal were disappointing, stating that there was not enough evidence involving a recent SLED investigation. She also said there was a slant to Stan Welch’s story.

Ellison said she had trusted the town’s business until she learned how it would affect her pocketbook. She also said that the mayor had chosen to spend the money, hire friends, pay them well and took advantage of the benefits of being mayor while the town’s taxes and other fees went unpaid.

She thanked council members, specifically Middleton and Crout, for checking the facts and for providing a Christmas meal for town employees.

Ellison’s comments were cut short by Mayor Phillip Clardy at the three minute time limit set for citizens comments.

Doris Downs of Fountain Inn speaking for Valleybrook Outreach Baptist Church offered the church’s help in renovating Brookdale Park in Williamston.

She said the church wanted to assist with unity in the town and provide children a place to play.

Dianne Lollis asked permission to use the park for Boo in the park on Saturday, Oct. 27. Rain date will be Oct. 30 she said.

The event will include games and activities by a number of local organizations, fire truck rides and other activities.

She also requested the Municipal Center be available as a possible back up if needed. Council moved the number six agenda up and approved the request 4-0.

Council also approved a request by Lollis to allow carriage rides during the holiday season based on meeting required traffic laws. Council also agreed to waive the business license fee because the company conducting the rides agreed to allow 10 percent of their  ticket sales to come back to the organizing committee to be used in the Christmas Park.

Grant to fund pump station improvement

By Stan Welch

The Town of Williamston, through the efforts of Senator Billy O’Dell and Representative Dan Cooper, received a $29,900 grant this week, to be used in replacing the Cherokee Road lift station, and the associated wiring at that station.

The funds came from the state Budget and Control Board. The Town is required to match those funds with $15,100, for a total cost of the project of $45,000,

At Monday night’s Council meeting, the Town Council appropriated the matching funds from the town’s recently established sewer contingency fund, which is designed to provide funds for unplanned expenditures for repairs and other occurrences.

Senator O’Dell, speaking in a telephone interview, said that he and Rep. Cooper were glad to be able to obtain the funds. “Like most small towns, Williamston faces serious challenges in their infrastructure. But this will certainly help. While we intend to continue pursuing funds for such uses, this was all we could do at this time. It is good to see the town council recognize this need as well, by acting to secure the matching funds.”

Mayor Phillip Clardy said that the station’s replacement is long past due. “That station has been there for more than twenty years. It has been a constant source of trouble and concern the last few years. I have already instructed Tim Hood and David Rogers to begin assembling the parts and materials needed to do the job, and considering their experience with that station in recent years, I expect that they will move very quickly on this project.”

The grant is a reimbursement grant, meaning that the town will spend the entire $45,000 and submit its invoices to the state for reimbursement in the amount of the grant.

Rusty Burns, the town’s grant writer, said that the assistance of Senator O’Dell and Rep. Cooper, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was invaluable. “Both these legislators are always ready to assist the people of their district whenever they can. This upgrade in the Williamston system is an important step in the ongoing improvement of that system.”

Davenport recognized by Shriners

George Thompson, Director of the Hejaz Shriners, presented a trophy to Brian Davenport for his support and contribution. Davenport was recognized for collecting $9000 over the past year for the  Shriners Childrens Hospital in Greenville. He presented the donations he collected from local citizens during a special gathering held Saturday. Anyone interested in making a donation can see Brian at Larry’s Used Cars on Hwy. 20 near Williamston whee he can be found each day with his Shriners donation bucket.

Students to help in cemetery project

Students at Palmetto Middle School will walk to the historic Williamston Cemetery on Gossett St. this Friday, arriving at approximately 9:30 a.m. After a brief program, they will work in the cemetery as part of a project headed by Palmetto Middle Assistant Principal Ivan Kershner.

Palmetto Middle received a $6,000 grant for the project entitled “Marking the Past,” from the Milken Family Foundation. Competition for the grants, which are open to award-winning Milken Educators and Milken Scholars, is highly competitive.

 In addition to repairing the physical appearance of local cemeteries and preserving historical headstones, the students will incorporate academic activities as they learn about the persons interred and their place in South Carolina’s history. This service learning project will involve approximately 250 students, 11 teachers, and several local and state historic preservation organizations.

Greg Gallagher, the Program Administrator for the Milken Festival for Youth, will travel from California to participate. Palmetto Middle is one of only 22 schools in the nation receiving a Festival for Youth Grant during the 2007-2008 school year. The school was able to apply for the grant because Kershner, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction at Palmetto Middle, is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator (Colorado, 1995).

Seems to Me . . . Not much has changed

By Stan Welch

On Tuesday of this week, we observed the sixth anniversary of the attacks on America. Such passage of time absolutely floors me. It is beyond my comprehension that I had a ten year old son when that happened; that I was still married; and that I owned a newspaper in Horry County and was in the process of exposing the crooked dealings of the local solid waste authority at the time.

Much has changed since then, both for me personally and in this country. We have gone to war to punish those who attacked us, only to find that it isn’t quite that simple. Thousands of our countrymen and women have died, and Osama bin Laden still runs free. Our enemies seem more determined than ever, and our allies sometimes resemble enemies.

I remember, as I’m sure you all do, exactly where I was when the first plane flew into the tower. I remember without dilution the pain and horror and anger that I felt as I watched the second plane fly in.

I remember something else from the days and weeks that followed. I remember the feeling that came over this country, the sense of being American, of being united in a cause. I know that people of another generation have felt that sense of mission during World War II as well. I recall a similar sense of unity during the early days of the space program, and later when the Challenger exploded. But the feeling has never been as strong in my lifetime as it was just after September 11, 2001.

I’m glad I have that memory, because that sense of unity is well behind us now. I guess it lasted until a little after Baghdad fell, until we thought we had settled a score, instead of realizing that we were just running up a score.

Within a year of the attacks on America, that special feeling that, regardless of political and social and religious differences, we all stood together for something, had floated away on the turbulence that is life in this country. Will it take another attack of even greater scope to bring that feeling back?

We have survived six years without another attack on our home soil, so we no longer need to march together. We can return to our divisions, our political self-righteousness. We can use the words conservative and liberal as curse words again; a means of describing the poor deluded fools who dare think differently than we do. There have been no clouds of poisonous gas or anthrax spores settling on us during rush hour, so we can get along very nicely without the Democrats, or the Republicans or the New World-ers or the America First-ers. Better to cement the friendships and alliances we have than to create new ones, since there’s been no attack lately.

We can once again afford to distrust and despise our fellows because of the way they dress, or look, or adorn themselves with tattoos and piercings. It’s so convenient to forget that those same people stood in line to give blood, just as we did, when no one knew how much blood we might need in the days following those horrific attacks.

No mushroom cloud has risen from an American city, so the black and the white and the brown and the yellow shades of Americans can once again separate, to seek our own particular version of the American dream. The Jews can return to their isolation, while the Christians and Muslims circle each other warily. The fundamentalists can again strive to save the moderates from their own folly and weakness.

It has always been the miracle of America that so many can find a common cause, a shared dream. It is that freedom to pursue a common goal through uncommon means that defines this nation, that makes America the shining city atop the hill that people from across the planet come to seek.

As the anniversary of the attacks that, even if briefly, united this country once again, ask yourself how we can be so lazy and so complacent just six years later. Ask yourself how we can surrender our greatest strength, our sense of mission in exchange for the petty squabbling and divisiveness that we somehow consider to be our right.

 Seems to me not so much has changed since September 11 after all.

Pelzer man arrested in Piedmont break-in

A Pelzer man was arrested on August 31, and charged with housebreaking and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. James Anthony Nabors, of 3 River Street in Pelzer, was arrested by ACSO deputies in relation to an investigation of an incident that took place on August 23 in Piedmont.

 At that time, Deputy William Gregory responded to 422 Pine Rd. in Piedmont, where Clinton Hopkins and his daughter, Tammy Pearson, who lived next door, reported that she had seen two unknown white males at her parents’ house. When she confronted them, they ran towards the woods behind the location. She pursued and grabbed one of them by the shirt. The suspect, who is alleged to have been Nabors, turned and punched her, knocking her to the ground. She gave police artists a description, and a sketch was released to the media. As a result, the ACSO received a tip as to Nabors’ identity and location.

Nabors remains in custody at the Anderson County Detention Center, where he is under $10,000 surety bond on each of the two charges. A second suspect, described as a white male around 22 years old, six feet tall, weighing 160 pounds with blond hair, is still being sought.

PELZER

Sept. 8 – K.D. Pigman responded to 3 Spring St., where Jason Simmons reported receiving a series of threatening telephone calls, some of which threatened his life. He said he would be contacting the telephone company about the incidents.

PIEDMONT

Sept. 7 – M.A. Whitfield was dispatched to 1104 Hwy. 86 where Greg Candler reported the theft of a number of used car batteries and a set of steel rims from a Toyota at his place of business. He said he had visited several salvage yards and had located the one where the items were taken and sold. The location was MSM Scrap Metal on Hwy. 20 in Greenville County. A possible suspect had been identified. The attendant at MSM also identified the suspect and said that he brought something to the junk yard almost daily for sale. Whitfield stated his intent to seek a warrant in the report.

Sept. 7 – S.E. Mauldin received a report at the ACSO headquarters from Jeanne Thompson and her husband, of 1156 Tall Oaks Circle, who stated that a woman named had been making obscene and threatening phone calls to Jeanne Thompson. The two had become friends over the internet, until Thompson learned that the other person had a drug and alcohol problem and tried to move away from the relationship. Mauldin listened to some of the phone calls and confirmed their content. Thompson was seeking documentation of her complaints to help her in seeking a restraining order.

Sept.8 – P.D. Marter was dispatched to 101 Woodson Rd., to the location of N.W. White Company, where Jason Ducworth reported that eleven trucks at the site had been broken into. Of the eleven, seven had CB radios removed, and all suffered broken windows. The total cost of the damage and the lost radios was approximately $2150.

Sept. 8 – R.K. Holliday was sent to 2514 River Rd. where Charles Reichenbach, of Seneca, reported that his former business partner, from Arden NC, had forged Reichenbach’s name on a contract with Charter Communications.

Sept. 8 – P.D. Marter responded to the Sav-Way on Highway 86 where the clerk advised that Sonya Reynolds had come to the store and put approximately twenty dollars worth of gas in her car. An unidentified male companion entered the store with a checkbook, but was told that due to a prior check being bad, they would have to pay cash or some other method. The two fled without paying, and Marter was going to pursue warrants.

Sept. 9 – P. D. Marter was dispatched to the Red Snapper Seafood restaurant on Hwy. 29N. The owner, James Hawkins reported that a WM, 5’10’, 250 pounds, with short dark hair, and wearing blue jeans and a short sleeve shirt, had stolen a spare air conditioning unit from the rear area of the business. A surveillance tape caught the theft in progress.

Correction - In the Sept. 5 issue of The Journal, wording in an incident in the sheriff’s report stated that Ralph Hollingsworth was the live in boyfriend of Francis League of 103 Pine Dr. Belton. Hollingsworth is not a live in boyfriend of League. The Journal regrets any confusion or misunderstanding this may have caused.

Officers investigate local incidents

Williamston police officers investigated the following incidents:

Sept. 1 – Ptl. W.M. Ritter stopped a red Chevy pickup traveling at a high rate of speed on Greenville Dr. The driver, Porfirio Ramirez, Hispanic male, 18, 5’5", 120 pound, blk/brn, was found to have no driver’s license. He was arrested and transported to the WPD.

Sept.2 – Ptl. W.M. Ritter and Sgt. Z.E. Gregory observed a white Toyota on the  roadside with the lights off and four passengers. The driver was asked to step from the car and when he did, a bag of green leafy material was observed by the officers. The driver, a juvenile, was transported to WPD to be released to his mother.

Sept. 2 – Sgt. Z.E. Gregory stopped a truck on Anderson Drive for pulling a trailer with no lights. Joel Douglas Beitel, WM, 32, 5’11", 215 pounds, brn/brn was found to have a suspended license. He was arrested and transported to WPD.

Sept.2 – Ptl W.M. Ritter observed a car disregard a traffic sign at the corner of S. Hamilton St. and Greenville Dr. He found that Corey Derrell Willingham, BM, 21, 5’10", 210 pounds, blk./brn had a suspended license. He was arrested and transported to WPD.

Sept. 3 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo, Jr. and Ptl. M.A. Semones, Jr. responded to 23 Jehue St. where a disturbance was reported. Rudolph Mosley asked that Tevin Lindsey, BM, 17, 5’8", 125 pounds, and a 14 year old BM, juvenile, be placed on trespass notice for his property. The two were located across the street, where they continued to yell loudly and curse people across the street. Lindsey was arrested for disorderly conduct, and he and the juvenile were transported to WPD. The juveniles mother signed a custodial promise and her son was released to her. Lindsey was held on the charge of public disorderly conduct.

Sept.6 – Sgt. T.A. Call responded to the Williamston City Cemetery where John Tillman Fraiser reported the theft of silk flowers, an angel statue and a plaque from the grave site of his wife.

Sept. 7 – Ptl W.M. Ritter and Sgt. Z.E. Gregory responded to the SavWay where the clerk reported that a black male had placed two beers in his pants pockets and attempted to leave the store. When he was stopped, he paid for one beer and said the other one in his pocket was something else. The clerk identified him from a photo lineup as Thomas Price, BM, 36, 5’4", 135 pounds, blk/brn. Warrants were issued for the shoplifting and for two violations of a trespass notice for the store. On Sept. 10, he was arrested on those warrants and transported to WPD.

Sept. 9 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer and Ptl. J. Digirolamo responded separately to the soccer field. Digirolamo had been summoned to the scene by complaints that a blue Chevy truck was driving in circles on the soccer fields. He found Forrest Holdbrooks, WM, 25, 6’, 145 pounds, brn/blue, of 405 Osteen Hill Rd. in Piedmont, sitting in his blue Chevy truck. Sgt. Creamer was called to the scene, and spoke with Holdsbrooks as well, trying to explain why he was being questioned. Holdsbrooks reportedly called Creamer a smart a** several times and threatened to beat him up when he caught him off duty. After being given back his license and registration, he then exited his truck with his fist balled up and was arrested for public disorderly conduct.

Sept. 9 – Sgt. A Digirolamo Jr. responded to 108 Market St. where John Browning  reported that someone had stolen several items from his front porch, including a McCullough chain saw and a black and grey toolbox with tools. Total loss was estimated at $300.

 Sept. 10 – Sgt. T.A. Call investigated the theft of a 2000 Suzuki motorcycle, silver and black, with a dented gas tank and broken headlight lens. The bike was stolen from 7 Woodmere Court and was valued at $3400.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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