News Archive

(3708) Week of September 10, 2008

Water, sewer and other infrastructure getting closer look
Gossett family offers cemetery assistance
Mill warehouse burns
Hurricanes can affect local gasoline supply
Downtown grant awarded toWest Pelzer
WP Planning Commission official; fund balance increases
News from Historic Pelzer, SC
Waldrep reports on GOP national convention
Two arrested in Palmetto concession stand break-in
Jockey Lot fight turns up guns
Seems to Me . . . When it comes down to it  . . .

Water, sewer and other infrastructure getting closer look

During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard updates on water and sewer upgrade costs, approved second reading on the International Property Maintenance Ordinance, received an opinion on an issue that could affect water rates and authorized repair of an outdated bridge.

Sonya Harrison, of Goldie and Associates, updated council on costs for work the company is doing for the town.

Harrison said that a sewer engineering project would be $26,000 and an evaluation would be $11,000. The numbers were inadvertently switched  in the town’s budget figures, she said.

According to Harrison, an engineering study on Main St. utilities will cost $25,000. The cost includes the preliminary study and RDA grant proposal with half of the amount, $12,500, coming from the water department budget and the other half from the sewer department budget.

She said the town is waiting on the Phase 1 grant approval and the Phase 2 grant application will include the Main St. utilities improvements.

Phase 1 includes the sewer facility upgrade and land application option being pursued by the town.

The company is also in the process of revising water and sewer maps for the town’s systems. The mapping will be $2,500 for the water department and $2,500 for the sewer department, Harrision said.

She said these costs were not in the budget.

Property Maintenance

Council approved second reading on the International Property Maintenance Ordinance. Out of the many issues the new ordinance addresses, the topic of high grass again was the main discussion.

Currently the ordinance allows grass to reach 12 inches before a problem or complaint is addressed by the police department. The department sends out certified letters requesting the property owner to abate the nuisance, or the town will, charging the owner and levying a fine.

Under the ordinance the town will have to go through the process for each complaint. Currently the town has 10 to 15 situations being addressed, Chief David Baker said.

“It is expensive and cumbersome for the department,” he said.

Council is considering allowing action to be taken when there are multiple complaints on a specific property. Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr.  said the issue will be discussed in a future work session.

Parks and Recreation

Council approved the purchase of two benches, at a cost of $1,088, for the Gray Drive walking track. The benches are similar to the ones in Mineral Spring Park and will be mounted in the ground, Parks and Recreation Director Dale Martin said.

Council authorized the parks and recreation department to take bid offers on a 1984 Kubota mower with a 5 ft. deck. Bids will begin at $1,500 minimum.

Council approved $1,000 to grind 27 stumps located throughout Mineral Spring Park.

Council approved a request by Mayor Phillip Clardy to authorize Duke Energy to survey and make recommendations for steet lights on Randall St.

Council approved a resolution regarding safety and risk management for the town which will be included in the town’s personel manual.

Paving and bridge

A number of paving requests for streets throughout the town will be submitted to the Anderson County Transportation Division for consideration. Mayor Clardy suggested the county should evaluate and prioritize the  paving requests. Council agreed.

Council also authorized the repair of the Cherokee Rd. bridge.

According to Mayor Clardy, the structural estimate to upgrade the aging bridge was $10,000 to $11,000. According to Clardy, Councilwoman Cindy Wilson recently reallocated $35,000, which could be used toward the project.

Christmas Parade

Williamston Christmas Parade chairman and organizer Walter Smith requested Council approve the date of the Christmas Parade as the second Saturday of December, Dec. 13. The town has $999 budgeted for the parade. The item was approved.

Smith also requested use of a shelter in the park for a campaign meeting  on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. No action was required by Council.

AJRWS proposed project

Councilman Middleton presented an opinion from Site Design Engineering on two options being considered by the Anderson Joint Regional Water System.

One option being proposed by the AJRWS uses gravity lines, the other proposed by Clemson and Anderson, uses forced pump flow. The first option has a higher initial capital cost of $17 million with costs going down afterward, while the second has a $5 million initial cost with increasing costs in the future. There is also concern of water that does not turn over within a recommended three day period in two tanks in Anderson which is not addressed by the second option.

The opinion stated by Site Design recommended the AJRWS proposal. While initially costing more, the opinion stated the gravity flow design is the better design for Williamston.

Mayor Clardy said the issue will have to be addressed at some point and the town will have to officially make a choice, which he said will impact residents water bills.

“Your rates will be reflected in the decision that is made,” he said.

Council unanimously agreed to begin looking for a new auditor.

The town’s current auditor Greene, Finney and Horton, has notified the town that their current work load may prevent them from doing the work.

Williamston’s new town administrator Phylis Lollis was introducted at the start of the  meeting. Lollis will officially begin her new job on Sept. 15.

Cemetery fund donation

Johnnie Bell of the Williamston Cemetery Committeer asked council for assistance to meet a matching fund donation by grandsons of James Gossett who is buried in the Williamston cemetery.

The Gossett family offered a $10,000 gift to help with expenses and a 4 to 1 match of funds provided by the town up to $10,000 for the rest of his lifetime.

Following his death the town will receive a $15,000 gift.

Bell asked the town to set up a special account to place the funds in with the hopes of making it a perpetual care cemetery.

Currently the town provides grounds maintenance services from the town operational funds, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy. “it is an obligation as a town to our cemetery,” Clardy said. Repair and replacement of headstones is what is needed now, according to Clardy.

Councilman Carthel Crout suggested the town attorney Richard Thompson contact Dalton directly to get details of any wishes or instructions for the funding he his offering.

Public comments

During public comments Ken Marshall brought up a continuing problem of cars not stopping for pedestrians at the crosswalk on East Main St., even though the crosswalk has seen improvements as part of the ongoing streetscape project currently underway in the area.

Marshall suggested additional law enforcement or tickets. He also pointed out that the area is still experiencing drought conditions and the town was watering the new soccer field even as rain was falling recently. He pointed out a house on Mauldin St. where trash is not being picked up by the town because there is no water or sewer.

Roger Welborn requested use of the town auditorium for a womanless beauty pageant sponsored by Hillcrest Baptist Church to be held on Oct. 17. The request was approved unanimously.

Marsha Calvart requested use of the park amphitheater for a fundraising event on October 31st from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The event will include puppet shows, drama, singing, games and hot dog plates.

Spring Water Committee Chairman David Meade thanked the town for supporting the Spring Water Festival and requested the release of funding allocated for entertainment for the recent festival which featured a nationally known entertainer. Meade also presented a framed autographed photo of singer Julie Roberts to the town.

Council approved a request for use of the park on October 25 for the annual Boo in the Park event sponsored by members of the Spring Water Committee and the Greater Williamston Business Association.

Gossett family offers cemetery assistance

The Williamston Cemetery Committee is in discussions with descendants of James Pleasant Gossett (1860-1936), a pioneer in the cotton industry and president of Williamston Mills, who are interested in perpetuating the memory of Gossett and other family members by providing financial assistance for the Williamston Cemetery. Gossett and other relatives are buried in the historic town cemetery.

A grandson of James P. and Sallie Brown Gossett, James Pleasant Gossett Dalton, has offered to help establish a fund that could provide perpetual care for the site, according to cemetery committee member Johnnie Bell.

Bell appeared before Williamston Town Council Monday to ask their assistance and committment to a match for the offer.

Dalton is offering an initial gift of $10,000 to a fund that will help provide for care of the cemetery. He is also offering additional gifts to the fund on a challenge matching basis of 4 to 1 on funds or grants provided by the town.

Dalton has offered up to $10,000 each year for a match of $2,500 made by the town each year.

According to Bell, Dalton plans to continue the match program through his lifetime but will reserve the right to discontinue or alter his challenge match.

He may also consider a gift of $5,000 annually for three years following his death, according to Bell.

The funds are to be used for physical improvements to the cemetery and for maintenance and care, but not to reimburse the town for work and service normally provided.

Bell asked the town to set up a special account to place the funds in with the hopes of making it a perpetual care cemetery.

Currently the town provides grounds maintenance services from the town operational funds, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy. “It is an obligation as a town to our cemetery,” Clardy said. Repair and replacement of headstones is what is needed now, according to Clardy.

Town attorney Richard Thompson will contact Dalton directly to get details of any wishes or instructions for the funding he is offering.

The Williamston Cemetery Committee has sponsored several cleanup days at the site, replaced a sign, added a flag pole paid for by the Williamston Area Historic Committee, and are working toward other improvements, Bell said.

Mill warehouse burns

West Pelzer Firefighters work to bring under control a very intense fire at a warehouse storage building at the old Pelzer lower mill site Tuesday. The heat from the burning wood structure burst windows, melted blinds and flower pots located inside a home just across the street. Outside vents, underpinning and vinyl siding were also melted by the heat, according to West Pelzer Fire Chief Dale Mahaffey. The Cheddar Fire Department also assisted. Investigators said the fire is being considered suspicious and remains under investigation. A similar structure separated by a brick firewall (still standing) burned just over a year ago, officials said. The recent building contained old papers, trash and some cotton bales and remnant cotton, according to Pelzer Mayor Ken Davis. It is owned by a brick salvage company, which purchased the upper and lower mills sites several years ago.

Hurricanes can affect local gasoline supply

By David C. Meade

Though rumors of a possible gas supply shortage could not be confirmed today (Wednesday), there is some evidence to support them.

A spokesperson for Colonial Pipeline Co., based in Alpharetta Ga., said Tuesday that the company is currently operating at normal capacity, but has been operating at reduced rates as a result of power outages caused by Hurricane Gustav recently.

According to their website, Colonial is an interstate common carrier of petroleum products which delivers an average of 95 million gallons of gasolines, kerosenes, home heating oils, diesel fuels and national defense fuels to shipper terminals in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The 5519-mile Colonial system transports the fuels from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to 267 marketing terminals located near the major population centers of the Southeast and Eastern Seaboard.

The Belton “tank farm”  which supplies gas to stations throughout the upstate, is one of those terminals.

As of Sept. 8, The Department of Energy (DOE) reported that infrastructure assessments in the gulf area were continuing and that there had been no reports of damage to pipeline or production infrastructure.

The Minerals Management Service reported that approximately 80 percent of oil production and 70 percent of natural gas production in the Gulf remained shut down on Sunday morning, down from 100 percent of crude and 95.4 percent of gas production that was shut down after the storm.

According to the report, even without damage, shut-down refineries can take a week or more to return to normal operations.

Because of the consequences of Hurricane Gustav and the pending shortages expected from Tropical Storm Hanna, the Environmental Protection Agency and the DOE issued an emergency fuel waiver on Sept. 5, removing the 7.0/7/8 RVP maximum and ethanol additive for the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina through Sept. 15.

The DOE reported that six refineries in Louisiana remained shut down on Sept. 6, representing more than 300,000 barrels per day of gasoline output and 200,000 barrels per day of distillate fuel output. Another six refineries had reduced their crude output.

In the States of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, as of  Sept. 3, there were 1,329,878 customers reported without power. 

As of Sept. 3, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) onshore and offshore operations remained suspended. According to the Association for Oil Pipelines, the Capline and LoCap crude lines and Centennial pipeline remain shut down.

The Colonial and Plantation pipelines, which supply the East Coast, were both operating at reduced rates. 

 According to the US Minerals Management Service as of Sept. 2nd, 7,062 million cubic feet per day of the Gulf’s natural gas production remains shut-in, equivalent to 95.4 percent of the Gulf production. MMS reported 1,300,000 barrels/day of the Gulf’s crude production remained shut-in, equivalent to 100 percent of the Gulf’s crude production. A total of 632 production platforms, or 88.2 percent of the Gulf’s 717 manned platforms, were  evacuated. Personnel from 110 rigs, representing 90.9 percent of those operating in the region, had been removed.

Companies have been assessing damage to their Gulf of Mexico production facilities, refineries, pipelines, and terminals following the storm. Thirteen refiners were shut down, totaling 2.5 million barrels per day of capacity. Ten refineries in the Gulf Coast region also reduced runs.

 As of last week, Colonial’s main distillate line between Houston and Greensboro resumed service after being idle for several hours due to a lack of supply. The main gasoline line continues to operate at reduced rates as do stub lines on the Colonial system. Colonial is assessing damage at three pumping stations impacted by Gustav - - Krotz Springs, Baton Rouge and Felixville  in central Louisiana.

According to MMS, there were fourteen natural gas pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico that had complete shut down of their systems. Eight pipelines posted notices to their shippers informing them of reduced supply from offshore production, shutdown of processing plants and compressor stations along their systems. Six pipelines have notified their customers of no operational impacts from Gustav.

A strong Hurricane Ike is expected to move into the Gulf this week and could further affect the gas situation, officials said.

Downtown grant awarded toWest Pelzer

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer’s proposed downtown improvement program became a reality this week, as the Town was awarded a $200,000 ISTEA grant.

The funds, which are federal in origin, are used for improvements and beautification projects in small towns. West Pelzer and Iva both received identical awards this week, said Rusty Burns, grant writer for both towns. “Senator Billy O’Dell and Rep. Dan Cooper were very helpful in obtaining the West Pelzer funding, even though it is federal in nature. Their cooperation and assistance were vital, as well as the role played by Highway Commissioner Charles Dalton,” said Burns.

Senator O’Dell credited the teamwork displayed by the town for their success. “The Mayor and Council worked closely on this application and that is the kind of thing that gets noticed by those awarding the grant. I’m just very pleased for the folks in West Pelzer that they will be able to put this money to good use in sprucing up their town.”

Mayor Peggy Paxton was thrilled to learn of the award. “I am so excited that we will be able to make such improvements in the appearance of our downtown business sector,” said Paxton. “This will be such a boost for our town, allowing the thousands of people who pass through our town weekly to see that we are on the move. I think this will spark new ideas for our town and new businesses as well. As we continue to improve our infrastructure, this is a perfect complement, letting people know that we are on the move in West Pelzer. I couldn’t be more excited.”

She added that the Town will make application to the Anderson County Transportation Committee, which allocates C Fund revenues for use by various municipalities in the county. “We’ll be asking them for $40,000 to use as matching funds for this grant. We have to put up twenty per cent as a match. But we have never asked for anything like this before and we are very optimistic that our application will be approved. This is just tremendous. It will transform our downtown area. The new Rescue Squad building is going up and it’s just beautiful. This is just such an exciting time for our town.”

The funds will be used in constructing brick planters and pillars in various locations along the business section of Main Street, as well as curbs and a brick cross walk near the police station. The town’s beautification committee has already been busy preparing ideas for the project. Siemen & Whiteside landscape architects have also been at work. Bids and proposals will be accepted soon, and completion of the project could come as soon as the end of next summer.

WP Planning Commission official; fund balance increases

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Council formally and legally established its Planning Commission Monday night, despite the fact the Commission has been in place and active for many years.  

A second reading approval of the ordinance creating the Commission was approved by a unanimous 4-0 vote, as Councilman Jimmy Jeanes was not present. Council also gave first reading approval to the proposed weed and grass ordinance, after amending the language of the ordinance.

Councilman Mike Moran questioned a $150 per acre limit on what the Town would charge the property owner if they had to clean the lot and then charge the owner. “Why do we have a limit? I don’t know that a single employee can clear an acre in one day. Then, we have equipment costs, fuel costs, and other possible expenses. What if it costs $185 to do it? The Town will be paying the difference.”

Moran also questioned language which allocated any surplus generated by the cleanup fees charged to the general fund and the town’s beautification committee. “If we’re charging actual costs, how can we have a surplus for the committee to use?”

Following further discussion, the Council amended the ordinance to remove the cap on cleanup costs and set them at the actual amount, a change which rendered the language concerning a possible surplus moot as well.

Councilman Marshall King presented a sample decal for use on the Town’s water and sewer vehicles. The decals would be placed on both sides of the trucks and Councilman King would donate them to the town at no cost. Council accepted his offer and approved the decal.

That led to a resumption of discussion about the issue of uniforms for the town’s workers. 

Mayor Peggy Paxton said that last week an employee was out with the tranquilizer gun used to capture stray nuisance animals. “Someone saw this employee, who was not wearing a recognizable uniform, with this tranquilizer gun and they called the Sheriff’s office. They described the gun as a shotgun. So a deputy shows up looking for an armed man wandering around town. It’s kind of funny now, but it wasn’t funny at the time.”

Council asked the Mayor to get some costs for uniforms and present the information for a vote at the next meeting.

Mayor Paxton then moved to go into executive session to discuss a request by a citizen for a tax abatement, under the protection afforded to legal matters under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. The Journal representative covering the meeting asked how such a request qualified as a legal matter, and then asked that the Town Attorney be consulted as to whether an executive session would be appropriate. Mayor Paxton and town attorney Carey Murphy consulted for several minutes in private and agreed that such matters are public and not subject to the protection of the SCFOIA.

Mayor Paxton explained that when the Town recently turned over its tax collection duties to the County, and provided the tax records of the town as part of that arrangement, the county found that the taxes on two lots had not been paid to the town in 1997 and 1998.

“I have reviewed the records and based on the history of payment, and the statements of the citizens involved, I firmly believe that the error is ours, and that we failed to keep appropriate records. Therefore, I would move in this one case, to offer the abatement of those taxes for the two years in question.”

Council voted 4-0 to do so.

Mayor Paxton presented some highlights of the town’s 2006-2007 audit. Among those highlights were the facts that the town’s fund balance had increased by more than $47,000, or 17%. That equates to a budget surplus of the same amount.

The net assets of the water and sewer enterprise fund increased by more than $475,000, due in large part to the improvements made to the system last year. Total assets of the town increased by more than a half million dollars, or 58%.

Mayor Paxton announced the Council members would meet two at a time with the auditors for a full explanation of the audit. More than two members meeting together would constitute a quorum and require public notice, under the SCFOIA.

Mayor Paxton also proposed that the town terminate its business relationship with Greene & Company, its auditors and accountants for many years. “Our new accounting software system gives us the capability to do our own bookkeeping and audit preparation. I would move that we eliminate the expense of Greene & Co. altogether.”

Council voted unanimously to do so, at which time Paxton made a motion to contract with a payroll service for the preparation and payment of the town’s payroll.

”We have been paying accountant prices for payroll services. This new vendor will save us several thousand dollars a year,” said Paxton. 

Again council voted unanimously to approve the arrangement.

News from Historic Pelzer, SC

By Beth Rostron

We, of the Community of Pelzer Historical Society, invite you to take another look at the Pelzer, SC area. There is a great deal of history here to preserve! With this in mind, our group visited the Ashtabula Plantation near Pendleton, SC several months ago. Our goal in that visit was to embrace and experience the shared history between Pelzer and Pendleton. Francis Joseph Pelzer, of whom Pelzer, SC is named after, lived in Ashtabula, and was said to have been responsible for establishing the electricity there. In addition, there are several interesting historic artifacts of the Pelzer family currently on display inside. The Pendleton Historic Foundation, through Ellen Harrison, graciously opened their arms and offered a 9ft display area in a hall for promoting and honoring these historic connections.

In response, we are moving forward with plans to display artist Judy Young’s wood work views of Pelzer’s historic buildings in that space. These pieces are hand crafted and individually hand painted. Judy is a well regarded artist from Easley, SC. In the work that she continued with these buildings, she uses her art to explore her own mill village heritage. Additionally, she has an extensive portfolio of mural work across South Carolina, as well as other painting and designing experience. Our collection should be on display in the plantation beginning next week. It was estimated last year that 7,000 visitors explored the plantations. Our excitement and enthusiasm for this project is boundless, and we think that it is very beneficial to everyone involved! We are thrilled to fulfill our mission in this way.

There are also other ways that we are fulfilling our mission to preserve, restore, and publish when advisable Pelzer, SC history. Several months ago we announced a goal to open up membership opportunities through our historic society. Here, today, we are doing just that. We are now offering several levels of membership. They include examples such as Individual, Family, Student, Business, Life, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Heritage Legacy. Further information on dues amounts and benefits may be obtained by contacting Will Rostron in our group. Every contribution counts and is vital to supporting our efforts in the community and beyond.

Through the avenue of memberships and contributions, we are able to proceed further in the plans for our various preservation projects. Some further examples of them include achieving tax exempt status, publishing a website, and an on-line outreach project, Phase I and forward of a Pelzer Museum project, and providing access to our archival collections on a regular basis. Other examples include further voiced support for the Pelzer National Historic District, and we are also looking forward to addressing a Pelzer cemetery project. Finally, we have been pursuing the possible nomination of Captain Ellison Adger Smyth into the hall of fame of the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA. Some of you may not know of or remember Captain Smyth, the pioneer behind one of the most important points of Pelzer history. As a result of his action, Pelzer, South Carolina was the first place in the world to ever have electricity generated at a distance specifically for manufacturing purposes.

If you or someone you know wants to give back to this community in a meaningful way, please consider doing so today by contributing to our efforts through memberships and donations. While you are deciding at what level to give think of the lasting impression you are leaving to this area and beyond. This action is about recognizing your identity in this community and its place in the world we live in. It is about lasting impressions left for your children and their children. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a mark, shine your support, and build our efforts in preserving Pelzer, SC history. Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kind Regards, Beth Rostron, President, Community of Pelzer Historical Society, 1 Reed St., Pelzer, SC 29669. For more information call 864-947-8817.

Waldrep reports on GOP national convention

By Stan Welch

Attending the Republican National Convention as a delegate last week ranks as a high point of his long political career for County Councilman Bob Waldrep. It was also a heck of a long trip, Waldrep said in an interview earlier this week with The Journal.

“The day started with me catching a six a.m. flight to Memphis, where we laid over a couple of hours, then flew on to St. Paul, which is where the airport is in the Twin Cities. Then we rattled along on a shuttle for thirty minutes or so before arriving at the hotel. We got to relax for a little while, but the agenda for the convention was pretty full, so we stayed busy.”

At a reception held by the South Carolina delegation, Senator Jim DeMint’s fifty-seventh birthday was celebrated. “The food was great and the camaraderie within the delegation was just really nice. We all enjoyed that evening very much,” said Waldrep.

A breakfast meeting which was addressed by billionaire businessman T. Boone Pickens really got Waldrep’s attention. “Of all the people I spoke to or heard speak, I believe his goals are totally public spirited. His expertise and his grasp of the energy issues, not just in this country, but globally, gives him an almost Biblical authority when he speaks. He talked about the 700 billion dollars a year that leaves this country to purchase oil. That is the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the planet. He just has such a sense of events. When John McCain is elected, he should make Pickens his Secretary of Energy.”

Waldrep, like everyone else at the convention, found the naming of Alaska Governor Sara Palin to be both surprising and energizing. “We stayed at the Hilton in Minneapolis, where the McCain people also stayed. We were in the lounge when Governor Palin came in after giving her acceptance speech. The whole crowd stood and chanted ‘Sara! Sara! Sara!’ while she just waved and grinned.”

“She is a very real person and she too seems totally public spirited in terms of her agenda. She is gritty and genuine, with a real family and a real sense of the world most of us live in. I think she will be a great asset to Senator McCain and to the country,” said Waldrep. “I mean, for McCain to get a twelve point bounce in the polls coming out of the convention is huge. He couldn’t have asked for anything better. Just a brilliant move by him and his advisors. You know, all us politicians like to think we’re a bit of a pundit or a predictor, but I admit I never saw that coming.”

“The Iraq war, of course, was much discussed, both in the convention and outside the convention. We had some demonstrations and a number of people were arrested. But the fact is that the surge is working, and working so well that even Senator Obama has conceded the fact. Of course, he doesn’t seem too happy that it’s working” said Waldrep.

“Sen. McCain was a lonely voice for quite awhile in support of the surge. But he stood his ground, which proves his character, and the surge worked, which proves his judgment,” said Waldrep.

The appearance of Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic Senator who lost his party’s primary after the party turned on him for his support of the war in Iraq, then ran as an independent and won, at the Republican convention was a bit odd, said Waldrep. “But when you look at his history in the Senate, he was one of the few Democrats who took on the Clinton administration when all that was going on. So he and McCain have that in common, that they will tackle whoever is doing wrong, and not just the other guys. I think Lieberman is a man of extraordinary character, and I think his obvious commitment to Israel and her welfare finds a great deal of support among the evangelical conservatives of the party. There is a strong sense in the party that we have a real interest in Israel’s continued security.”

Would Waldrep recommend including Lieberman in a McCain cabinet? “That is very dicey work. I know how easy it is to lose your troops once you start rewarding those who stood against you or your party. So that would be a tough and delicate call to make. Luckily, I won’t have to make it.”

All in all, Waldrep says the experience was a once in a lifetime one. “It was just such a wonderful experience, and a great honor to be selected to represent the South Carolina Republican Party at their national convention. It is something I’ll never forget.”

Two arrested in Palmetto concession stand break-in

Williamston Police officers arrested two men in connection with a break-in at the Palmetto High stadium concession stand, arrested a man on a moped for failure to stop for a blue light and investigated other incidents including the following:

 Aug. 24 – Sgt. M. D. Creamer conducted an interview on Sept. 2, with a juvenile subject who was suspected of damaging a newspaper rack and newspapers belonging to The Journal at 106 Main St. on August 24. The subject admitted throwing the rack and papers into the roadway because she was mad about losing her job at McDonald’s. She was charged with malicious damage to property.

Aug. 25 – Ptl. D.E. Whaley was dispatched to 5 Pinecrest Dr. in response to a reported larceny. Tommie Grant, Jr. reported the theft of several items from his car port. The items included a tree stand, a chain saw, a weed eater, and miscellaneous hunting gear, with a total value of $1370.

Aug. 25 – Capt. K.P. Evatt responded to 104 Market St. to assist EMS with a victim. Luella Brown, BF, 91, was found by two members of her church who came to check on her. She was transported to AAMC and placed under protective adult custody.

Aug. 31 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter and Ptl. D.E. Whaley observed a black moped traveling on Greenville St. with no taillights. The driver ignored the blue lights of the officers and continued to travel despite the siren being activated. The driver, after making several turns, finally ran off the side of the road on Middle School St. The subject, John Hammond, WM, 43, 5’8", 190 pounds, brn/blue, then abandoned the moped and fled into the woods where he was located and taken into custody.  As the officers tried to handcuff him, he began to resist arrest. He was charged with public disorderly conduct, failure to stop for blue lights, unsafe equipment, and resisting arrest. He was also found to have a warrant from the ACSO for failure to stop for blue lights.

Sept. 1 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo Jr. was dispatched to 102 Kilgore Ave. where Jonathan Wood reported someone had broken the two mirrors off his Honda motorcycle. The damage was estimated at $200.

Sept. 1 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer observed a truck with a Georgia tag on it on Tripp Street. The tag was run and came back as not on record. It also had the year decal torn off. He stopped the vehicle and found that the driver, Terri Almond, WF, 46, 5’, 160 pounds, brn/brn, of 327 E. Carolina St. was driving under suspension. She was taken into custody.

Sept. 2 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer was traveling on Greenville St. when a car ahead of him made an abrupt turn without a signal. He stopped the vehicle and found that the driver, James Dwight Sullivan, BM, 56, 6’2", 215 pounds, was driving under suspension. He was taken into custody and transported to WPD.

Sept. 3 – Ptl. D.E. Whaley and Ptl. M.W. Ritter responded to the football field at Palmetto Middle School, where it was reported that several witnesses had seen two male subjects leaving the concession stand with athletic bags and that they had apprehended one of the subjects. Williams Duso, WM, 21, 6’2", 175 pounds, brn/brn, of 106 Gillam Rd. in Pelzer, admitted breaking into the concessions stand. He had been drinking. Two bags containing two hundred dollars worth of merchandise were recovered. Damage to a drink machine was estimated at $100. Duso was charged with burglary, vandalism, and petit larceny and transported to WPD. Timothy Atkins, WM, 18, 6’, 155 pounds, brn/brn, of 15 Middleton Blvd. was later located and questioned. He provided officers with a written statement confirming his role in the break-in. He was arrested on similar charges.

Sept. 3 – Chief D.A. Baker and Sgt. T.A. Call were traveling into the Mineral Spring Park when they saw a male exiting the park restroom. He was staggering and appeared to be bleeding from his forehead. He was identified as Harold Slokes, WM, 44, 5’6", 195 pounds, of Anderson. He said some friends dropped him off and he had fallen while walking, cutting his head. He was arrested for public disorderly conduct and transported to WPD.

Sept. 6 – Sgt. A. Digirolamo, Jr. responded to a complaint at 39 Middleton Blvd. Marie White, WF, 18, 5’, 108 pounds, brn/green, was at that address in violation of a trespass notice. The officer confirmed the notice and arrested White and transported her to WPD.

Jockey Lot fight turns up guns

An incident at the Anderson Jockey Lot involving several men who were in a fight could have turned out much worse, since two firearms were eventually confiscated from the site.

ACSO Deputies C. Whitfield and M.W. Hunnicutt responded to a call concerning a fight inside the Jockey Lot. Upon arriving, they heard from several witnesses that there had been a fight during which a subject had his shirt torn off, and then fled outside with two handguns which he threw in the trunk of a black Honda, SC tag#22492BJ. Rufus Clinkscales, security guard at the Jockey Lot, said when he reached the Honda, the windows were down and the engine running. He reached in and turned the car off and pushed a button to pop the trunk open. There he found the two firearms.

While the deputies were investigating, Lina Baker, BF,23, of Anderson, came up and asked what they were doing around her car. She was told two guns were found in her car. She said she had lost her keys earlier and had called someone to come pick her up. She didn’t know how someone matched her keys with her car and she knew nothing about the guns.

Another witness to the fight said he saw the suspect get his shirt torn and leave with the guns. He also reported that the others in the fight had left in a red Ford F-150, SC tag # FM72981, and a silver Nissan Maxima, SC tag # 307PZB. The Maxima pulled up and a black female and two black males got out. The woman, Mildred Pickens, said she owned the Maxima and it had been damaged, and that her son, Khalil Robinson, BM, 18, 5’, 110 pounds, of Anderson, was one of the victims in the fight.

Robinson said that the suspect, whom he said he thought was named Channing Chester, started the fight and also pulled one of the guns and threatened to shoot him. Robinson, Cornelious Belchman, also involved in the fight, and Lina Baker were all placed on trespass notice for the Jockey Lot.

 Sept. 2 – P.D. Marter was dispatched to 3929 Hwy. 29 N . where Greenville Evans stated that the 1969 Ford 3000 tractor located at that site belonged to him and had been stolen on August 15. Evans had moved from the Lewis Rd. address and left the tractor behind until he could retrieve it. In the meantime, it made its way to an address off of Hwy. 413 where Marshal Hanvey, WM, 65, of Williamston, bought it for $940 and put an additional $1200 into repairs. He later placed it at the Hwy. 29 address to sell it, where Evans found it. It was returned to Evans and Hanvey was advised to seek a civil remedy from the fellow who sold him the tractor. No arrests were made.

Sept. 2 – C. Whitfield and M.W. Hunnicutt responded to 1420 Big Creek Rd. where James Robinson, Jr. reported the theft of three push mowers and a logging chain, with a total value of $200.


Sept. 1 – T.B. Dugan responded to 516B  Roe Rd. where Francisco Nunez, WM, 39, reported that his roommate Emilio Pacheko, Hispanic male, 46, had cut him with two broken beer bottles during an argument. Nunez had severe lacerations to the left side of his face and to his left forearm. Pacheko had fled prior to the arrival of Dugan.

Sept. 6 – M.D. Campbell responded to the Greenville Memorial Hospital in response to a complaint of assault against a juvenile child, age 14, who reported that her mother had struck her with a hot iron, as well as with a hair brush. She also pushed her down and kicked her according to the report. Her brother separated the two and the father was on the scene at the hospital. With the father’s permission, the iron was retrieved from the incident scene and placed into evidence. Based on the report, no arrest was made at the time.


Sept. 2 – M.J. McClatchy responded to a call reporting assault. He met Jennifer Barber at 16 Parker Street where she told him that her live-in boyfriend and father of her child had assaulted her. She had left the home at 20 River St. and had later returned to get her son. William Alexander, her boyfriend, WM, 29, 6’5", 200 pounds, brn/blue, locked the door behind her and struck her in the face as well as choking her until she was blacking out. Her friend who came with her came in through the back door and Alexander quit the assault. McClatchy interviewed Alexander who admitted putting his hands around Barber’s throat. He was arrested for criminal domestic violence, 2nd offense, and transported to ACDC.

Sept. 6 – M.J. McClatchy responded to 16 Finley St. where Zachary Earl Taylor reported that his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend, Eric Smith had come to his father’s home and struck him, Taylor,  with a silver object , after threatening him about harassing Beth Vaughn. McClatchy was unable to locate Smith at his residence. Approximately three hours later, M.D. Campbell responded to 19 Langley St. where Lauren Vaughn reported that her ex-boyfriend, Earl Taylor, WM, 22, 5’5", 180 pounds, had come to her current boyfriend, Eric Smith’s residence when she was there and struck her in the face and pushed her down. Taylor was located at his father’s house and arrested for criminal domestic violence. He was transported to ACDC.


Sept. 2 – P.D. Marter responded to Davis Steel Manufacturers at 205 Iler St., where Bill Davis reported the theft of several items and a significant amount of scrap metal from the business. The loss was estimated at $3800.

Sept. 3 – K.J. Winn was dispatched to Exit 40 on I-85, where David McKinney, BM, 53, 6’5", 300 pounds, reported that his vehicle had been stuck by another during a road rage incident. No injuries resulted and no arrests were made.

Sept. 5 – C. Whitfield and M.W. Hunnicutt responded to the McDonald’s at 108 Frontage Rd. where the manager reported that a white female had tried to buy food with a counterfeit $100 bill the previous day. She was in a dark van.


Sept.7 – P.D. Marter responded to the Saluda Quick Stop at 583 Beaverdam Rd. where he found Jose Trejos to be unsteady on his feet. Trejos was arrested for public disorderly conduct and transported to ACDC.

Seems to Me . . . When it comes down to it  . . .

By Stan Welch

Well, the political conventions are over and the campaigns are in the final weeks. Both parties have had a chance to make their case and have their big show and try to convince the undecided and the uninspired that their candidates have something different to offer.

Speeches have been made and promises promised and heartwarming stories of single moms and sons and daughters in uniform have been told. All those things were intended to sway voters one way or another.

Coincidentally, just a couple weeks after the conventions ended, another event is coming up, one that has an awful lot to do with my decision about the Presidency. That event is the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by radical Muslim terrorists; the worst attacks ever launched on United States soil.

By the way, is there any other kind of terrorist except a radical one? What would a moderate terrorist do, jump out of an alley and scream at people walking by?

But I digress.

I’m glad to say that I can spare myself the anguish of watching the next three months of speeches and appearances and debates. I have made up my mind about my choice for President, and the issue that I base it on is irrevocably tied to the anniversary of September 11, 2001.

As Barack and Sarah and John and Joe rail about taxes and health care and illegal immigrants and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I can safely change the channel from CNN or Fox to all my favorite cooking shows. I can blithely watch Vanna turning those letters and Emeril whipping up some killer dish. Sean Hannity and that reptilian looking dude, Holmes, won’t darken my TV screen. Bill O’Reilly? I don’t think so. Wolf Blitzer? Puleeeze!

No, after spending years of looking at both sides of issues, I have reached a conclusion based on one very simple fact. I don’t trust Barack Obama. It has nothing to do with his views on taxes, health care, energy issues or the war in Iraq. I don’t care about those things. I don’t worry about those things right now. What I worry about these days is being sure that my son will get a chance to worry about those things.

All I hear politicians talking about is how the children are our future. Running for office? Do it for the children, baby.  

We need to protect the environment for our children. We need to become less dependent on foreign oil for our children. We need to secure our borders for our children. All those things are true. But they are all long term steps that need to be taken, policies that need to be crafted and implemented over the next few years.

But right now, what we need to do to protect our children is TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. Protect them from suicide bombers, and biological weapons and suitcase bombs. Protect them from their own fears about how short their futures may be.

 Don’t kid yourselves, folks. If you have children of college age or younger, you should talk to them. And I don’t mean talk to them about sex or drugs or the company they keep. Those are standard issue topics of conversation that every parent should have with their children. If your children are older than twelve, you should have been having that conversation with them for some time now.

No, what you need to make a special effort to talk about is how they see their future and the future of this country, in this time of terrorism and random violence for religious and political purposes.

As a child, I went through bomb drills, those ludicrous drills where we were taught to crouch under a wooden desk to protect ourselves from atomic blasts. The idea, of course, was to give us some sense that we could influence the outcome of the cold war, or of a nuclear attack on America. It was about peace of mind, not protection.

Even the pretense of that peace of mind is lacking today. Young people know there is no guarantee that they will even be alive in a year, much less long enough to build a career or create a family. They accept that idea, but they aren’t happy about it.

They want their own futures, no matter how unprepared we as parents may think they are to take on those futures. And the greatest gift that our government could give them, and us, is the sense that we can and will have something to say about that future.

There are many things that government tries to do for us, things that are really none of their business. Equally, there are many things government tries to do to us, and those are things that are none of their business. Much of what we will hear during the coming weeks will be about which is which and what part government should play in our lives.

But it seems to me that doing everything in its power to keep its people and its country safe is the one certain and justifiable function of government. And when it comes down to it, I just don’t trust Barack Obama to do that as well as I trust John McCain to. I have looked in both men’s eyes, albeit through a television screen, and there is still more than the shadow of a warrior’s spirit in McCain’s eyes. In Obama’s eyes, I just don’t see that.

And right now, at this point in my country’s history and my teenage son’s life, that is enough for me to decide on how I will cast my vote in November.











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