Week of Oct. 1
One Academies report continued success at Palmetto, Wren
By Stephanie Summerlin
With another year under their belts, the freshman academies at Palmetto and Wren high schools are once again celebrating academic success.
In a presentation to the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees, Wren Highs Kelly Pew and Robbie Binnicker and Palmetto Highs Brian Couch offered more good news concerning ninth grade performance for the 2002-03 school year.
We asked ourselves why we needed to change from the traditional high school setting for ninth graders, says Pew, who pilots Wren through its second year of offering Freshman Academy. There are lots of reasons out there to support what were doing.
One major reason, according to Pew and Couch, is the effect the Academy has on dropout rates. Citing that freshman year performance is often indicative of whether or not a student will stay in school, both noted that without the Academy, the results could be dismal.
With dropout rates at a national average of about 20 percent, and with 420 ninth graders at Wren, that would mean 84 of them would drop out, Couch says. At Palmetto, with 249 ninth graders, that number would be at 50.
Couch also noted that since Palmetto High established its Freshman Academy, the number of students failing two or more courses has dropped from 28 percent in 2000-01 to 6.6 percent in 2002-03.
Discipline has been impacted, with Palmetto decreasing disciplinary references from 471 in 2000-01 to 50 in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Wren also saw its disciplinary references drop from 528 in 2001-02 to 408 last year.
Further enhancements have been made to the program, which include beefing up after-school tutoring efforts, pairing students with adult mentors, involving students in service learning projects and emphasizing reading outside the classroom.
(Freshman Academy) has been a very positive move for our district, says Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler. This concept has proven to be very beneficial. Our teachers and principals continue to look at every aspect of it to make adjustments, evaluations and changes.
On the districts financial front, Director of Finance Steve Uldrick reported year-to-date revenues of $9,271,967 and expenditures of $10,444,467.
In his student nutritional report, Assistant Superintendent David Havird posted August numbers, with an average of 5,347 students eating in Anderson One cafeterias daily. District nutritional services saw $262,311 in expenditures and $238,906 in revenue in August. Havird also announced a 5 percent increase in free/reduced lunch patrons this year.
Anderson One Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher updated the board on the building progress of the Wren Freshman Academy facility, noting that the building should be in the dry this week.
Christopher also presented IDEA (Individual Disabilities Education Act) budget numbers. The annual federal grant, earmarked to fund salaries and benefits for teachers as well as classroom supplies, will supply over $1.2 million for special education in District One. One out of seven students in District One are considered special need.
The following personnel motions were also accepted by the board:
Requests for leave of absence Kathy Simpson, Wren Middle, leave extension to Oct. 16.
Resignations Laura Archer, West Pelzer Elementary, LAUNCH; Jane Jones, Wren Middle, sixth grade.
Recommendations Nicole Roper, West Pelzer Elementary, LAUNCH; Lisa Stokes, Wren High, Wren Middle and Powdersville Middle, ESOL.
The Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test (PACT) scores are in, and Anderson District One ranks first in the state in the area of English language arts.
According to Dr. Reggie Christopher, Anderson District One superintendent, the district had the highest percentage of students scoring basic and above in the state in ELA with 86.2 percent.
Third graders increased their percentage of students scoring basic and above by 4.9 percent. Grades 4-9, however, declined by 1.5 to 5.5 percent.
In mathematics, 86.9 percent of District One students scored basic and above placing Anderson One fourth in the state. Grades 3-7 posted an increase of .5 to 8.5 in the percentage of students scoring basic and above. Only eighth grade saw a decline of .7 percent.
In the scoring categories of proficient and advanced, Anderson One students once again ranked in the top five districts in the state. In the district, as well as statewide, there was a decline in most grades in those categories in English language arts. Mathematics did, however, see an increase.
The greatest gains were posted in mathematics, where 43.7 percent of students in third grade, 55.4 percent of sixth graders and 53.2 percent of seventh graders scored proficient and advanced. Grades 4, 5 and 8 showed a decrease between 4.6 percent and 5.1 percent.
I am extremely pleased that we continue to rank high in academic achievement in the state, says Christopher. Our ELA scores were down somewhat, but they were down all over the state.
The superintendent believes the PACT system has its faults.
I firmly believe that there is a flaw in the testing program, especially in the area of English language arts, he says. Additional flaws in the PACT are that it does not give our teachers and principals diagnostic information about the strengths and weaknesses of our students, and the turnaround time of receiving scores is ridiculous. We are in a world that can give instant feedback, and it takes South Carolina five months to get the scores back to us.
West Pelzer Town Council held a special meeting September 24 to discuss and subsequently rescind the ordinance involving the proposed change in the form of government.
Town Attorney Carey Murphy explained that the ordinance was introduced with a first reading held in May followed by a second reading in June without his legal advice or involvement.
Murphy said that he would have preferred to have been notified prior to any action by the town council so that he could have sought legal advice from the Department of Justice on the issue as well as approved the written form of the ordinance.
Murphy further explained that information on the ordinance mailed to him by the town was either lost by the mail service or misplaced in his office.
Murphy said that he had advised the mayor of the situation about three weeks ago when she called to check on the status of the ordinance. The net result is that nothing has been done on it, Murphy advised the council.
Murphy had an opportunity to review the ordinance prior to the meeting and offered his legal opinion to the council. I do not believe it is legal because it doesnt provide for a public election. The town has to allow the public to vote on the issue before making any changes, Murphy stated.
Murphy further advised that if the council wanted to proceed on the issue that he be allowed to prepare an ordinance to comply with the law. Murphy also advised that the town consider having a public hearing to address public concerns before submitting any proposal to the Department of Justice for approval.
Council member Maida Kelly who originally supported the ordinance said that she had spoken with several members of the municipal association and now felt that the town was doing the wrong thing and that it would be too hard to get anything done with a council-mayor form of government.
Kelly made a motion with a second by Earl Brown to disregard the previous decision by the council which supported the ordinance. Murphy explained that the council cannot change a vote and advised Kelly that her motion would have to be to rescind the ordinance to make it null and void.
Kelly made a motion to rescind the ordinance, and Earl Brown seconded the motion. A council vote supported Kellys motion with Council member Joe Turner casting the only opposing vote.
Murphy then explained that a petition signed by 15% of the towns registered voters could still lead to a referendum on the issue if citizens chose to pursue the issue.
Paxton emphasized that she wanted citizens to know she had no part in the hindrance of the effort on the ordinance. Murphy confirmed that Paxton had done nothing to hinder the ordinance and restated his position that the ordinance could not have been approved anyway because it was not valid as it was written.
Turner who originally proposed the ordinance explained that he did so because employees talked about a change in government to provide job security.
Paxton offered that it is not the form of government but the people who are doing the governing who can make the difference.
Murphy explained to the council that he was not at every council meeting due to the expense to the town of his being present at every meeting.
This is a tricky area of the law. I would prefer to have knowledge ahead of time in order to research issues such as this. Im on call and available when you need me, he added.
The council then voted to move into executive session to discuss personnel matters and then adjourned the meeting.
Organizers are getting ready for the 14th Annual Footbridge Festival which will be held October 18 in downtown Piedmont.
Three new activites have been added, organizers said.
The 6th annual BAC Street Car Show will be featured at the 14th Annual Footbridge Festival Oct. 18. Piedmonts Main street will be filled with street rods, classics, customs, antique cars and trucks. Top 20 awards will be given as well as specialty awards and other prizes. Preregistration is $10, day of show $15. To preregister call Larry Helms at 277-7264 or 845-5458 or register day of show from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Footbridge Festival will feature an antique show and appraisal fair on October 18 and 19 in the gymnasium of the Piedmont Commuity Building. Several dealers will display and sell pieces during the event. Also persons with family heirlooms or other possessions can have them appraised by the experts during the event.
For more information on the antique fair or the festival, contact Jane McClain at (864) 845-6605.
Organizers are also planning to offer a chili cookoff during the festival on Saturday. Three well known personalities from the Upstate area will judge the event. Persons interested in participating in the chili cookoff with their own special recipe can contact Sandi Garrison at 845-3404.
Organizers are looking for additional food vendors for the Oct. 18 festival. Being a festival food vendor offers any civic organization, church or other group in the area interested in providing a food item an opportunity to raise funds.
We want our local groups to be able to meet their goals and we would like to see you do this by being a food vendor in the Footbridge Festival, Concessions Chairperson Maxie Freeman said.
Any individual or civic organization, churchor the surrounding area that may have a delicious food item or items they would like to share with others is welcome, Freeman said.
For more information contact Freeman at either 864-845-6372 or 864-244-3435.
Organizers also announced that the name of the LittleMiss/Master Piedmont Contest will be changed to Little Princess/Prince Piedmont Contest.
All other aspects of the contest wil reamin the same, organizers said.
The child collecting the most money (a penny a vote) will be crowned in two different age groups.
Age birth to 2 years old will be crowned Tiny Princess and Tiny Prince Piedmont and ages 3 to 6 years old will be crowned Little Princess and Little Prince Piedmont. Proceeds from the contest will go to improvements in the community of Piedmont.
All winners will receive a crown, trophy and carnival bracelet that entitles them to free carnival rides all day at the festival.
Application deadline has been extended to Sept. 30. Application can be obtained at the Piedmnt Fire Department or by contacting Kay Stover at 845-5449 or 430-4621.
Members of the Williamston Lions Club met with Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy to officially declare Sept. 29 through Oct.4 as Williamston Lions Sight and Hearing conservation Week. The week will end Oct. 2-4 with the annual Lions Candy Day. Local Lions will be at area banks and other locations offering candy and brooms. Candy Day funds help provide funding for the Lions Mobile Health Screening Unit, fund eye examinations and eyeglasses and helps purchase hearing aids for people in need and supports two blind camps in South Carolina. Pictured are Lions Bill Andrews, Truett Casey, Bill Pascoe and Greg Cole.
Williamston police officers investigated the following incidents recently:
Sept. 29 - Walter Glenn Fowler, 41, 1103 Cheddar Rd., Belton, was arrested for driving under suspension, driving an uninsured vehicle, expired vehicle license, altering a vehicle license and simple possession of marijuana after a 1994 Mitsubishi was observed on Greenville Dr. with tailights not in operating condition. Reports state officers allegedly found a rolling paper with one gram of marijuana. K. P. Evatt, P. D. Marter investigated.
Sept. 29 - Cassie Tyler Moon, 19, 201 Autumn Drive, Williamston, reported a front tire punctured on a Mazda 626 causing $75 in damage. B. L. Wilson II investigated.
Sept. 27 - Brett Daniel Peacock, 22, 445 Cate Rd., Sevierville, TN., was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after a 1986 Chevrolet was observed travelling at a high rate of speed on Greenville Dr. Reports state a pill bottle containing one gram of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found in the vehicle. K. P. Evatt investigated.
A 30-year-old Pelzer man reported he was beaten by two black males after he came upon a car stopped in the middle of Jehue St with several people standing around it. Reports state that when he blew the horn, the subjects began calling him names. The man stepped from the car and two persons jumped him from behind, punching and kicking him. The man was advised by officers to see the magistrate for a warrant. J. L. Barnes investigated.
Sept. 18 - Ruth Lawrence, 2 Whilden St., Williamston, reported items valued at $1,500 removed from the residence. D. W. Alexander investigated.
Sept. 28 - Larry Raines, 24, 115 Pinecrest Dr., Greenville, reported being threatened by a man at Town Square Center parking lot. J. L. Barnes investigated.
Sept. 25 - Dollar General, 526 West Main St., Williamston, reported a shoplifting incident in which 5 boxes of a nasal congestion medicine valued at $10 was removed from the store by two females who left in a Green Ford Ranger Truck.
Sept. 24 - Reginald Brad Garrett II, 22, 370 Brooks Rd., Belton, was arrested for operating an uninsured vehicle, no vehicle license and no drivers license after a 1984 Ford Ranger was observed on Academy St. with no tag. The owner of the vehicle, Adam Kane Selman, 25, 708 Dean Springs Rd., Belton, who was a passenger, was arrested for allowing operation of an uninsured vehicle. B. L. Wilson investigated.
Sept. 21 - Sean R. Roberts, 17, 8 Allen St., Pelzer, was arrested for disregarding a traffic signal and simple possession of marijuana, after a green Chevrolet was observed running a red light at the intersection of Academy St.
During a search of the vehicle officers allegedly found two grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana rolled into a cigar paper. Reports state they also found four grams of a green leafy like substance believed to be marijuana, 24 beers and 4 bottles of wine in the trunk.
Also arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana was Joshua David Wood, 17, 431 Old River Rd., Pelzer. D. Munger. K. P. Evatt investigated.
Sept. 20 - Brian Lee Belford, 21, 11 Thomas Dr., Williamston, was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after a traffic stop on a 1991 Ford. Reports state that a box of cigars in his possession contained a green leafy substance rolled into a white rolling paper. K. P. Evatt, J. D. Munger investigated.
Sept. 20 - A 1985 Pontiac valued at $800 was reported stolen by Gwenna Lesnea Rowe, 19 Jehue St., Williamston. The vehicle was recovered by the S. C. Highway Patrol after being involved in a traffic accident off of I-85 and S. C. Hwy. 24. K. P. Evatt investigated.
Sept. 20 - Ediles Coj Hernandez, 24, 715 Conner Ave., Apt. 3 B, Hendersonvile, N. C. was arrested for speeding and no drivers license after a 1992 Toyota pickup was observed on Greenville Dr., travelling at a high rate of speed. J. T. Motes investigated.
A passenger, Oilvaris Marales Marcelina, of the same address, was arrested for public disorderly conduct. J. T. Motes investigated.
Two professional profilers recently provided their expertise in the homicide investigation into the death of Williamston resident Ricky Loskoski.
Williamston Police Chief Troy Martin said State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) profiler Mike Prodan and a profiler from Canada, Pierre Nezan were in Williamston last Wednesday to help with the case.
Some suspicions investigators had concerning the case were confirmed by the profilers according to Martin.
Martin said the profilers can look at a crime scene and determine certain features and mannerisims of the person involved.
Martin said the investigation is moving slow but it is a long way from being a cold case.
SLED is still assisting with the investigation three or four days each week, Martin said. We are still in the process of administering polygraphs and interviewing, Chief Martin said.
Mike Smith of Williamston Curb Market located on Greenville Drive reports a number of recent winners in the South Carolina Education Lottery.
A Piedmont resident who preferred not to be identified bought a ticket on August 30 at the local store. Although it took about a week to finally locate her, she won the face amount of $100,000. Because she paid an extra dollar to power play, the amount was then tripled to $300,000.
Kenneth Looper of Piedmont won one of five Harley Davidson motorcycles valued at $15,000. Looper has been the only winner in the Upstate with two winners reported in the lower part of the state and two motorcycles still unclaimed.
Smith also reported that there have been two $1,000 winners in the month of September.
The ticket selling location receives 1% from the state of any winnings over $10,000.
According to state authorities, the Williamston Curb Market is the leading seller of tickets in Anderson County.
Confusion has developed concerning services provided to the Town of Pelzer by Kenneth Davis who is currently running for mayor against incumbent Page Henderson.
Davis reports that when he picked up his check last Friday that he was informed by Municipal Clerk Skip Watkins that he needed to turn in all keys and equipment belonging to the town. Davis believes that he has been essentially fired because he is running for mayor.
Davis, who owns and operates Quality Lawn Care and Maintenance, says that he has provided contract services to the town for the last eight years. Services he has provided have included reading meters, cutting grass, and general maintenance duties.
Pelzer Mayor Page Henderson says that Davis has been given no official notification about discontinuing services for the town. Henderson explained that less grass-cutting services will be needed with the beginning of the fall season but that the town would need Davis help with the meter reading cycle.
Henderson added that the town is also looking at money-saving issues such as possibly hiring a full-time person who will be a town employee.
According to Henderson, this has nothing to do with the election or something would have happened as soon as Davis filed to run for mayor. Instead, Henderson reports that Davis has been paid over $2,700 since he announced his candidacy in August.
Henderson said that he has not spoken with Davis and that Davis should make an appointment to discuss things with him if he has questions or issues about the situation
The congregation of Cedar Grove Baptist Church held a groundbreaking ceremony after worship service Sunday for their new facility.
Pastor Dean Webb and church leaders were excited to officially break ground and begin the building process for the resilient congregation. The churchs sanctuary and education wing were totally destroyed by a fire on the night of July 4, 2001 which authorities believe may have been caused by lightning.
Rev. Jimmy Smith, a former interim pastor, commended the church for not stopping ministry during this critical time and carrying on with weekly services and the work of the church even under adverse circumstances.
As important as the building is, we must never sacrifice ministry for the building, Pastor Webb added.
The churchs fellowship hall was expanded, educational rooms were added, and the gymnasium became the sanctuary after the fire.
The new 17000-square-foot facility will include an octagon-shaped sanctuary with an elevator to a balcony area with gallery seating as well as office and classroom space. A separate 5000-square-foot building will house the churchs day care center.
Pastor Webb who came to the church last February from Southside Baptist Church in Honea Path sees endless opportunities for the ministry of the church in the area. According to Webb, Cheddar Fire Department records show 2,700 addresses in the area. The current five churches in the area only provide a total seating capacity for about 1,000 persons.
Cedar Groves new sanctuary will seat more than 550 individuals. The desire of Cedar Grove Baptist Church is to be a community church in every way. We want the community to know that we are here for them, Pastor Webb explained.
Planning for growth, the church moved the pastors residence which was located next to the old sanctuary. The congregation also purchased some nearby property for a parking lot.
Harper Construction estimates that 10 months will be needed to complete the building process on the facility. With cooperation from the weather, the facility should be ready for use some time next summer.
All in all, Webb sees what the church has gone through over the last two years as a positive thing. This is a stronger church today as a result of everything that has happened. Webb concluded.
Leaders of Cedar Grove Baptist Church break ground for their new facility which should be completed some time next summer. Pictured left to right are: Rev. Jimmy Smith, former interim pastor; Roger Ellison, Building Coordinator; Bill Smith, Steering Committee Chairman; Joey Carter, Building & Grounds Committee Chairman; Jay Howard, Chairman of Deacons; Acey Watson, Capital Funding Program Director; and Rev. Dean Webb, Pastor.
A local service station was reportedly robbed at gunpoint Monday night around 8:30 p.m. by three male suspects.
They entered Powdersville Exxon at 101 Cooper Road in Easley as the clerk was making fresh coffee. Dont turn around Ive got a gun, one man instructed the clerk.
The clerk followed instructions and only saw a portion of what appeared to be a gun.
The suspects opened coolers to remove beverages and went behind the counter to remove cigarettes. They left with approximately $190 in merchandise.
In a separate incident, vandals entered a classroom at Wren High School Monday afternoon and caused about $1,000 in damages. They trashed the classroom, drew a pentagram on the floor, and scribbled profanity on tables and a podium in the classroom as well as benches outside. They poured window cleaner on two computer monitors and paperwork in the classroom. Several lockers were opened and the contents dumped in the hallways.
In a shoplifting incident, Freds Store in Pelzer reported that a customer placed two Mossimo wristwatches and cosmetics valued at $69 in her purse and attempted to leave without paying on Sunday. The theft detector alarm alerted store personnel who detained the customer until Deputy Brock Ellison arrived. The deputy arrested Eugenia Dawn Glenn, 27, 311 Brookhaven Drive, Anderson and transported her to the Anderson County Detention Center.
Anderson County deputies also investigated the following incidents this week:
Sept. 29 Dion Orville Ingram, 700 Elrod Road, Piedmont, reported a red 1995 Olds Cutlass valued at $5,000 stolen from his driveway. C. Diaz investigated.
Sept. 29 Valdez Septic Tanks, 281 Langston Road, Piedmont, reported that someone removed a Caterpillar 312 Excavator valued at $40,000. D. Hodges investigated.
Sept. 29 Lonnie MacMillan, 119 Connie Dr., Easley, reported that someone took furniture valued at $2,400 from his residence. D. Hodges investigated.
Sept. 29 Orlondous Brown, 27, 103 Woodhaven Ct., Easley, reported that someone had broken into his home and that checkbooks valued at $20 were missing. F. Wooten investigated.
Sept. 29 Powdersville Dependable Hardware, 100 Powdersville Main, Easley, reported that someone removed $700 that was located in bank bags in a filing cabinet in the office. D. C. Fouts investigated.
Sept. 29 Kenneth Williams, 43, 205 Saluda St. Apt. 33, Piedmont, reported that witnesses observed someone loading electronics valued at $1,375 from his residence into a vehicle. F. Wooten investigated.
Sept. 28 Dwayne Albert Truex, 46, 126 Crawford St., Piedmont, reported that someone broke locks on two utility sheds and removed a lawn tractor, a mower, and saws valued at $5,939. D. C. Fouts investigated.
Sept. 27 Michael Perry Major, 47, 239 Major Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone took a Murray mower valued at $180 from his garage. A. R. Hyslop investigated.
Sept. 27 Julie Wedgewood Bryant, 28, 1213 Old Mill Rd. Easley, reported that someone removed a wallet and contents valued at $100 from her mini-van in her driveway. A. R. Hyslop investigated.
Sept. 27 David Landing, 59, 1506 Durham Rd., Piedmont, reported that someone removed stereo equipment valued at $760 from a storage trailer. D. C. Fouts investigated.
Sept. 27 Citgo, 3000 Pelzer Hwy., Easley, reported that a customer grabbed beer valued at $16 and left without paying. W. Mills investigated.
Sept. 27 K & K Truck Service, 308 Frontage Rd., Piedmont reported that someone broke into a truck and stole a CD player valued at $200. D. B. Anderson investigated.
Sept. 25 Christopher Clemons, 21, 117 Kimberly Dr., Easley, reported that someone removed dirt bikes valued at $6,500 from his back yard. M. D. Campbell investigated.
Sept. 25 Nancy Diane Epps, 52, 107 Youth Center Rd., Belton, reported that someone entered a barn and took a Craftsman air compressor and a battery charger valued at $600. M. B. Sloan investigated.
Sept. 25 Sundee Ray Wright, 33, 102 Dewberry Ct., Easley, reported that someone entered her vehicle and stole a pocketbook and its contents valued at $20. D. B. Anderson investigated.
Sept. 25 Missie Jernigan, 94B Pelzer Ave., Williamston, reported that someone took furniture valued at $2,150 that was stored in her previous residence. R. K. Scogins investigated.
Sept. 24 Dean Townsley Construction, 109 Lakeview Dr., Williamston, reported that someone removed 26 bundles of shingles valued at $275 from a construction site. J. A Burdette investigated.
Sept. 24 Griffin Thermal Products, 100 Hurricane Creek Road, Piedmont, reported that someone broke the chain on a scrap aluminum bin and removed 4,000 pounds of scrap aluminum valued at $2,000. C. Diaz investigated.
Sept. 24 Little General, 901 Anderson St., Piedmont, reported a cash shortage of $2,361.71 after an auditor checked store records. C. Diaz investigated.
Sept. 24 Exxon, 101 Cooper Lane, Piedmont, reported that a customer carried out a case of Budweiser valued at $15 without paying. J. R. Jones investigated.
Sept. 24 Jennifer Ballew Ethridte, 27, 107 Mill Pond Rd., Easley, reported that someone took her purse and credit cards valued at $70. D. M. Patten investigated.
Sept. 24 Betty Waverline Darnell, 29, 2002 River Road, Piedmont, reported that someone stole her drivers license valued at $12 from her vehicle. D. B. Anderson investigated.