News Archive

(4007) Week of Oct. 3, 2007

Textile heritage being celebrated
WP Councilman says he is in compliance with SCDOR
W. Pelzer Planning Commission reappointed
Town approves packer purchase
Safety concerns close Gray Drive bridge
Pageant, music benefit Saturday
Clemson, VT game to honor military
Councilmember relates taxpayers association actions to terrorism
Schools awarded Federal grant
Charges dropped in alleged incident involving price changing
Piercetown farm recognized for 100 years
Sheriff’s report
Williamston Police investigate incidents
Seems to Me . . .What does a terrorist look like?

Textile heritage being celebrated

Textile Heritage is being celebrated throughout the area this week.

The event kicked off Saturday with the grand opening of The Up Country History Museum, located on College Street in Greenville.

 Museum hours are 9 to 5 weekdays and 1 to 5 on Sundays. 

The Pelzer Manufacturing Company will be one of several  featured during an all day celebration Saturday, Oct. 6 in Greenville at Dunean Baptist Church, 21 Allend St., at the Dunean Mills complex.

The Community of Pelzer Historical Society will have a historic display and live conversation along with others. Society secretary Tina Mackey, whose family worked for the Pelzer mills will be one of the speakers.

“I remember my grandmother and mother telling stories of how much the mills meant to them. My great-grandfather moved to Pelzer, SC to provide a better life for his family,” said Mackey.

“I worked for the Pelzer Mill as as a teenager, from 1982-1986 , in the shop on the weekend shift. I always enjoyed working in the mill with my neighbors and hearing Mr. Coleman on Sunday mornings singing gospel music,” said Pelzer Mayor Kenneth Davis. “That’s what I remember most about the Pelzer Mills.”

“When I grew up, I didn’t realize the kind of promise these mills provided for people until after I studied the history of the Pelzer Mills and the textile industry in the South,” said William C. J. Rostron, project consultant for the Community of Pelzer Historic Society. “I now see how the mills gave that first generation a vital economic opportuinty for the time. It also gave subsequent generations an opportunity for personal growth, and a work ethic, with a value reaching far beyond a direct economic benefit,” Rostron said.

“We are thrilled to be a part of these efforts, representing the Pelzer area and expecially the history of the Pelzer Manufacturing Company,” said Beth Rostron, President of the society.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, entertainment will feature the Back Porch Gang, and debut of the Textile Heritage Society Band. In addition to music, there will be antique cars, story telling, food, vendors, historic displays, Veteran recognition and Textile Sports displays. For information contact Don Harkings at 864-0201-5875.

The celebration will continue on Sunday at Emmanuel Baptist Church at Mills Mill, where an old time singing and fried chicken dinner will be held. Gospel singing will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by dinner on the grounds at 12:30 p.m. For information, contact Marshall Williams at 864-235-1106.

Many area mills will have historical displays set up on Saturday including Pelzer and Piedmont. The newly organized Greenville Textile Heritage Society is coordinating the event. Call 201-5875 for more information.

WP Councilman says he is in compliance with SCDOR

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Town Councilman Jimmy Jeanes said this week that he is in compliance with South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) though he does not have a valid license for West Pelzer and has not had such a license for at least two years.

According to records obtained from both towns under the South Carolina Freedom of Information act, Jeanes has purchased a business license in neighboring Williamston in each of the last three years, but has not had the license in West Pelzer.

Town Clerk Michelle Starnes explained that Jeanes does not sell signs in Williamston, but provides contract labor to install signs, usually for the Town itself. “I don’t think he would have any sales to report in Williamston since his business is located in West Pelzer. I think he mostly hangs signs for us.”

SCDOR representatives in Columbia would only confirm that they have held conversations with Jeanes, but would not reveal details or the content of those conversations. They stated that there had been no formal meetings with Jeanes so far.

Under the SCFOIA, the information concerning whether a license has been purchased is considered public information, while the sales figures are not.

Business license fees in both towns are based on the sales figures submitted by each business. The greater the sales, the higher the license fee. Once a year, SCDOR sends the towns a list of businesses located within their corporate limits which  reported sales taxes, so that the Towns can calculate whether they are charging the proper amount for the individual licenses.

While comparing the lists from SCDOR with their list of licenses earlier this year, West Pelzer staff  discovered that Jeanes, who was elected to Council earlier this year, does not have a business license in the town. Despite being made aware of the situation, Jeanes has not acted to obtain a business license for the town on whose Council he sits.

According to the new town clerk, who began work two weeks ago, Jeanes has not purchased a license since she began handling that aspect of the town’s business. Mike Mahaffey, who filled in on the clerk’s duties while the town searched for a new clerk, said he did not sell Jeanes a license either.

Jeanes says he builds and sells very few signs. “My business is called Jimmy’s Sign Service, not Jimmy’s Signs. I mostly hang signs. I have two or three boom trucks I use to set signs. So while I build one every now and then, that’s not really what I do.”

 Jeanes says he has a license in Williamston because he hangs signs and banners for the town. “I put up the signs at the West Pelzer city limits, because I wanted to help out. But I didn’t get paid.”

 Jeanes says he has spoken with the SCDOR and is in compliance with their requirements. “I don’t know why this has come up. I hadn’t even heard about the business license. I guess it’s because I’m on the town council now.”

 

W. Pelzer Planning Commission reappointed

By Stan Welch

The West Pelzer Planning Commission met last Thursday and basically decided to all seek reappointment to the board, per the request of Town Councilman Marshall King who attended the meeting.

Newly elected Councilman Jimmy Jeanes will have to be replaced, since he cannot hold two positions at once. Former Councilwoman  Maida Kelly was suggested by King as a possibility. Linda Lozano was elected chairperson of the planning commission, pending her reappointment, while current chairman Doris Turner accepted the vice chairperson’s position.

Also discussed was the requirement for an additional three hours of training at the ACOG facility in order for commission members to remain certified. That training is scheduled for October 16, between 1 p.m and 4 p.m. Recently hired Town Clerk Paula Payton will also be attending. Other town officials may also attend.

The planning commission, consisting of six members, meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the town Hall. The meetings are public.

Town approves packer purchase

During a four hour meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council decided to purchase a new packer, reestablish the Miss Williamston pageant and to proceed with a downtown revitalization project. Before that, they hammered out the details of a job description for a future employee.

Council spent an hour and a half working on details of the job description for an administrator. taking line by line votes on wording. The  wording was from job descriptions provided by the towns of Easley and Cheraw, which both have an administrator.

Council agreed to authorize the draft job description which will be finalized and presented to Council for first reading by the Oct. 15 meeting. The majority of the wording accepted was from the Easley version with minor changes.

Council then agreed to allow organizers to reestablish the Miss Williamston Pageant with funding provided by the town.

Funding of $2,000 will sponsor the local pageant and establish a Leslie Mazzara scholarship.

The pageant will be under the Miss America program and fees will include insurance and legal fees.

The pageant is tentatively set for Dec. 8 and will be limited to contestants within a 50 mile radius.

The winner will go on to compete in the Miss South Carolina pageant next year.

Council unanimously agreed that the $2000 will come from the contingency fund and be reimbursed from the hospitality fund on Jan. 1.

Council then went into a brief executive session to discuss a legal matter involving a payment for a survey bill.

Upon returning to session, David Meade, chairman of the GWBA downtown streetscape committee, asked council to authorize payments for a survey for relocating Pelzer Avenue, a new survey needed for the streetscape project and a design proposal fee.

Meade said that Council needed to authorize the projects to allow the streetscape project to proceed.

Funding will come from Anderson County Transportation Committee funding and from a SCDOT grant, both of which have already been awarded to the town, officials said.

Council unanimously agreed to pay the oustanding invoice of $10,000 with C-funds already awarded; and to authorize the second survey of $5,000 and the $12,590 for design work.

Council also agreed to a request by the GWBA to appoint a councilman to the five person committee. Councilmembers will serve on the committee on a rotating basis each quarter, starting with Councilman Otis Scott.

Council unanimously agreed to instruct Rusty Burns to apply for a $25,000 PARD grant for new playground equipment for Brookdale Park.

Burns also stated that the town can apply for a competitive grant of approximately $200,000 in October or early Feburary which could be used for almost anything.

Burns recommended applying for one project which could be for sidewalks, downtown revitalization or a generator.

Councilman Carthel Crout said that he would like to see the town consider a sidewalk project on Greenville Drive and possibly a nice gateway sign to Williamston.

Boo in the Park coordinator Dianne Lollis asked council to provide funding for a DJ for the event on Oct. 27. Lollis said there will be games, candy and entertainment for children 12 and under from 5 pm. to 8 p.m. and they would like to have a dance on the tennis courts for older teens.

Council unanimously agreed to provide $350. Proceeds from admission at the dance will reimburse the town.

Lollis also updated council on renovation work of the Scout Hut located in Mineral Spring Park.

Lollis provided  Council with three proposals for metal and shingle roofing and repair, and one for bracing and placing siding on the structure.

Council unanimously agreed to  allow David Eaton to apply the metal roofing and Ragsdale’s Decks to do the siding work.

Council also agreed to stay with the green metal roofing to match other park structures.

After some discussion, Council tabled pay raises for town employees until accountants can run numbers for them. The numbers will be based on a 3.4 percent increase.

Councilman Crout then made a motion to reduce the sanitation fee from $10 to $7.

Mayor Clardy said that the sanitation fee was reduced from $14 to $10 and that the budgeted equipment purchases for the sanitation department are based on those fees until January 1.

“Anything before Jan. 1 is premature,” Clardy said.

Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr.  indicated that the town is facing increases in water bills.

“It is our intention to give our residents some relief he said.

The motion failed 3-2 with Mayor Clardy and Councilmen David Harvell and Scott opposed.

Crout then made a motion to purchase a new garbage truck. Clardy provided a second.

Treasurer Michelle Starnes said the town had approximately $140,00 in the sanitation fund from collections through June and she projects about $25,000 each month coming into the account.

Department Head John Owen said  a 2008 model packer, including tax, will cost the town  $103,000. After November, if purchased, the packer will be a 2009 model and will be $16,000 more, he said.

Clardy said the sanitation account was to set aside funds and not have to borrow for equipment. He said he supports the purchase but is not comfortable with it until after January 1. He also indicated that additional manpower may be needed for the department.

Crout said the town will have approximately $110,000 left in the fund after the purchase.

“We need to give our residents something for our money,” he said.

After the discussion, the motion to buy the packer passed 4-1, with Clardy opposed.

Council then agreed 4-1 to allow the agenda to be amended for discussion of hiring a person and creating a new position. Middleton opposed.

Dept. Head John Owen said that his 8 man department is down by one full time person and two part time persons who are injured. Council unanimously agreed to hire two temporary persons for 90 days to help out in the department.

Council agreed to a request by Christmas Parade organizer Walt Smith for $150 to pay for a band for the parade, which will be held on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

During public comments, Willie Wright asked about placing ward numbers on the water bills and efforts to get a grocery store.

Councilman Middleton responded that the town has experienced some billing problems related to new software that has been installed and indicated the town may look at another program. Mayor Pro Tem Otis Scott responded that the town is doing “everything possible” to get a grocery store and that the effort falls on the owner of the shopping center.

Five additional items on the agenda were tabled for later discussion. 

Council will hear from the labor attorney at the next meeting on Oct. 15. That discussion will be the main item on the agenda.

Council then went into executive session to discuss a billing discrepancy with Big Creek Water Company.

Upon returning to regular session they adjourned.

Safety concerns close Gray Drive bridge

By Stan Welch

Less than a year after  reopening after being closed for fifteen years, the Gray Drive Bridge has been closed once again.

Mayor Phillip Clardy, after receiving several complaints from citizens, and conducting an inspection of the bridge, decided to close the bridge temporarily in the interest of safety. “There were a number of spikes and nails that were backing out of the timbers and causing a hazard to vehicles,” said Mayor Clardy. “I contacted several members of Council on Sunday, Sept. 16 and sent them a memo the next day informing them of the bridge’s closing.”

Several citizens have complained that the bridge is being used by trucks that should not be on it.

The bridge has stated weight limits and The Town of Williamston banned trucks from using certain streets in the Gray Drive area unless the driver lives there.

The bridge was first closed in 1991, and had remained closed until last December when a ribbon cutting ceremony  was held.

The bridge has been a source of controversy, as some citizens would like to see it remain closed due to traffic and safety concerns, while others say that emergency vehicles have to travel a circuitous route to the areas served by the bridge.

The 12.74 mile rail spur which the bridge spans was abandoned last year by CSX Railroad, but was soon purchased by Steven Hawkins, CEO of Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation, through its subsidiary Greenville & Western Railway Company, LLC.

When asked if there was a timetable for the needed repairs, Mayor Clardy referred The Journal to Anderson County Transportation Director Holt Hopkins, who referred  The Journal to Hawkins. Telephone calls to Hawkins went unanswered.

Pageant, music benefit Saturday

A benefit day to help a local woman who has extensive medical bills will be held this Saturday, Oct. 6.

Proceeds from the Miss Sunshine Pageant and a Beach Music benefit will go to a fund for Kisha Hyde, a 28 year old single mom who was diagnosed in Sept. 2006 with Takayasus Arteritis. The disease is a rare auto-immune disease that affects one in 10 million white women.

The Miss Sunshine Pageant will be held at 11 a.m. at the Williamston Municipal Center. Registration will be held at 10 a.m. on the day of the pageant.

Pageant categories are Baby Miss and Mr. (0-11 months), Wee Miss and Mr. (1-2 years), Tiny Miss and Mr. (3-4 years), Petite Miss and Mr. (5-6 years).

Also Junior Miss (7-9 years), Preteen Miss (10-12 years), Teen (13-16 years), and Miss (17-19 years).

Fees for the beauty pageant are $40 with optional categories including photogenic, $10; natural photogenic, $10; prettiest hair $5; prettiest smile $5; prettiest eyes $5; best dressed $5; and fun wear $10. Pageant and all 6 are $80.

Hot dog plates including chips and drinks will be available for $3.

Later that same day a benefit beach music and shag dance will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Municipal Center Auditorium. The musical benefit will include The Royal Scotsmen Band, Kenny Brazeal and singing sisters Celeste Davenport and Larissa Whiteside.

There will be door prizes every half hour with a $1 donation to enter.  Door prizes include dinners, DVD player and a one night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anderson.

Auction items include a set of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and Jr. knives, a one night stay at the Westin Poinsett Hotel and $50 gift certificate to California Dreaming and a 26 inch HD color TV.

A silent auction will be held at 8 p.m. Barbecue and hot dogs will be available.

Donations may be made to a non-profit checking account for the Sharmala Kisha Hyde fund which has been set up at Wachovia Bank.

Clemson, VT game to honor military

Saturday’s football game between Clemson University and Virginia Tech is about more than first downs, touchdowns and ACC title hopes. The day has been designated Military Appreciation Day 2007.

Clemson’s Army and Air Force ROTC personnel, in collaboration with the Clemson Corps, the athletic department and Tiger band sponsor the event each year.

“Clemson has a proud military tradition that dates back 118 years and more than 10,000 Clemson alumni have served in the armed forces,” said Col. Sandy Edge, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force and is chairman of the Clemson Corps. “We must pay tribute to these dedicated Americans and all those who have served in the defense of this great country.”

The event this year focuses on military families and their contributions to the nation and serves as the kickoff of the fund-raising campaign for the Memorial Stadium Scroll of Honor monument.

These events are planned for the day: Beginning at 9 a.m. there will be a past and present military equipment display on Bowman Field, including a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter and the U.S. Air Force NASCAR No. 21 car; Members of the 101st Airborne Division will have a parachute with the game ball; The Virginia Tech Color Guard and the Clemson Pershing Rifles will present the colors at the game; There will be F-16 fly-overs of the stadium; At half-time, the Army Cannon Salute Battery will honor fallen service personnel with a 21-gun salute, followed by a fallen comrade boot and helmet ceremony by the Clemson Ranger Club; There will be a veterans parade down Fort Hill Street at 5 p.m.

Construction on the Memorial Stadium Scroll of Honor monument is planned to begin later this year along Williamson Road across from the east entrance of the football stadium. To date 470 Clemson alumni have died serving in the line of duty.

“Since 1942 when Memorial Stadium was named to honor Clemson alumni who had made the ultimate sacrifice for our country there is no mention of these alumni on or near the stadium,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Hap Carr, who is past chairman of the Clemson Corps. “It is time we recognize these heroes who have made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms we so richly cherish.”

This year’s Military Appreciation Day involved elementary and middle school students from Pickens County who wrote “America Supports You” postcards to military personnel overseas. During the Clemson marching band pre-game military salute, a wagon full of the postcards will be used to dot the “i” when the band spells out “Tigers” on the field.

Military Appreciation Day commemorative T-shirts are available in various Clemson shops for fans to purchase and wear on game day. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Clemson University Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Information is available at www.clemsontigers.com.

 Councilmember relates taxpayers association actions to terrorism

By Stan Welch

 The highlight, or lowlight, depending on one’s view, of Tuesday night’s County council meeting came as District Five Councilman Michael Thompson renewed his attacks on a local taxpayers’ watchdog group. Thompson, who earlier this year called the Anderson County Taxpayers’ Association terrorists, repeated those charges, linking the group to al Qaeda.

Thompson did refrain from actually naming the group this time, but he played an audio clip of a well known member of the group, Charles Crowe, as he was speaking on The Rick Driver Show, a local conservative radio show which frequently criticizes Council.

Thompson then cited several statements made by Crowe, which he considered threats and efforts to intimidate him and the rest of Council. Thompson also displayed dictionary definitions of al Qaeda and of terrorism, and said that the actions of the taxpayer’s association passed the duck test.

“If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck,” said Thompson. “You can decide for yourselves if this is terrorism.”

Following his presentation, which was scheduled under the agenda as domestic terrorism, District Two Councilwoman Gracie Floyd asked county attorney Tom Martin if it was illegal to make threats against elected officials. Chairman Waldrep, an attorney in private practice, intervened, saying, “I think it would be for the courts to decide what is a threat, or intimidation, or perhaps free speech, for that matter.”

Martin agreed saying that it would be up to law enforcement to determine if a threat had been made. Floyd then suggested that the matter be turned over to SLED, which recently completed a year long investigation into the alleged harassing and threatening letters that Thompson referenced in his first attack on the taxpayers’ association without finding any actionable offenses. Floyd’s suggestion found no support among the council, or among the audience, several of whom laughed out loud when Floyd made the suggestion.

The majority of Council later voted to deny Dan Harvell, the current president of the Anderson County Taxpayers’ Association (ACTPA) the right to speak in that capacity during the citizens’ comments portion of the agenda.  Again, Thompson led the charge. He claimed a point of order and stated that the State of South Carolina does not recognize the ACTPA. “The state does not recognize this group. As a subdivision of the State, Anderson County should not recognize them either,” said Thompson.

Harvell later explained to The Journal that the organization does not collect dues, which was a conscious decision on its part. “That’s why we aren’t registered with the state, but I promise they know who we are. When we organized this association, we decided to do it that way so we wouldn’t be subject to so much government regulation. There’s nothing wrong with that, as Mr. Thompson tried to infer.”

Chairman Waldrep denied Thompson’s request and eventually ruled him out of order when he continued to insist on making his point. Thompson then invoked a parliamentary challenge of the Chairman’s ruling. His challenge was supported by four other members of Council, leaving only Waldrep and District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson in opposition.

When Harvell attempted to speak as “an individual taxpaying citizen of Anderson County” instead, Floyd tried to prevent that as well, saying that the vote to overrule the chair in effect denied Harvell the right to speak at all.

Harvell was allowed to speak, and called the Council’s actions absurd. “I am appalled that this Council would try to squelch free speech in this chamber. We haven’t had a full audit in ten years, no matter what this crowd says. That is illegitimate. But for you to point at this group and make such an accusation is absolutely absurd.”

Harvell expanded his comments for The Journal following the meeting. “If there was any doubt that Anderson County has the worst county government in this state, it was dispelled tonight. If there is any act of intimidation being committed in Anderson County it is being committed by this Council against the citizens of this county. We have not had an audit in ten years, and this staged presentation tonight was nothing more than an act of intimidation against those who won’t toe the line that the administration wants them to.”

In other business, Councilwoman Cindy Wilson presented USMC Sgt. Travis Tollison with a resolution recognizing his service and courage under fire. Tollison recently returned from Iraq where he won two Purple Hearts in three days. His family was present as the audience and Council gave him a prolonged standing ovation.

Council also took the solid waste fee off the table and gave it first reading approval. That ordinance will increase the annual solid waste fee per household from forty to sixty dollars. Commercial fees will increase to seventy dollars. Those figures will serve as the base figures for any future cost of consumer price index increases to the fee. The required public hearing on the ordinance will be held just before third and final reading of the ordinance.

Council also voted to extend a fee in lieu of taxes agreement with Michelin for ten more years. Michelin recently announced expansions at both their Starr and Sandy Springs plants, totaling an investment of $25 million.

Ms. Floyd asked the Council for help in addressing crime and drug use in her district “This is the area where we rehabilitated all those homes. They were so beautiful and the flowers were beautiful. But something has gone very wrong.” She suggested imposing a curfew in the Susan Street Park, but was uncertain as to the legality of the idea. County attorney Tom Martin said he would have to research the matter.

Council also selected its three appointees to the capital project sales tax commission, which is being formed to study the question of a one cent sales tax for the County. Council selected Vance Clinkscales, Dick Bales, and David Jones.

Schools awarded Federal grant

Anderson School District One, in collaboration with Anderson School District Five, will receive a Smaller Learning Communities grant. 

The grant from the United States Department of Education is specifically designated for Anderson One’s Wren High School and Anderson Five’s T.L. Hanna and Westside High Schools and will continue work begun at all three sites through grants received in recent years. 

The Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) program awards discretionary grants to local educational agencies to support the implementation of SLCs and activities to improve student academic achievement in large public high schools with enrollments of 1,000 or more students. SLCs include structures such as freshman academies and/or multi-grade academies to personalize the education process in order to improve achievement and increase graduation percentages.

John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education in Anderson One said, “The receipt of this grant comes at an especially opportune time when all schools are considering the addition of activities and personnel that will work to raise graduation levels.  Both districts contribute greatly in these efforts, but the amount of the grant will go a long way towards solidifying some very important initiatives that will mean a lot to the futures of many students and our districts overall.  The grant calls for two new specific positions at each of the recipient schools: an academic coach who will work with teachers leading professional development on research-based best practices for classroom use and a graduation coach who will work with students to lead interventions enabling them to remain in school, receive additional help before and/or after school and during the summer months.  All students and faculty within these schools will benefit.”

“We are especially happy about the receipt of such a special grant.  Smaller Learning Communities is a program that better personalizes education for the students in the recipient schools.  Those students’ opportunities for academic growth, on-time graduation, and plans for future education and career goals are greatly enhanced by involvement with this program,” stated Dr. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent of Anderson School District One.

The grant covers a period of five years beginning this October through September of 2012.  Each of the three schools will receive approximately $250,000 per year over this period for a grant total of approximately $3.75 million.

Charges dropped in alleged incident
Involving price changing

By Stan Welch

Despite videotape evidence of a uniformed employee of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office changing price tags on a number of items at the Hamrick’s Department store, no arrest was made after the store manager decided not to press charges.

According to a police report by the Anderson City Police, who responded to a call from the store on September 25, a female employee of the sheriff’s office was videotaped while changing price tags from higher amounts to lower amounts on various items of merchandise in the store. In the report, the suspect is described simply as a white female from 20-30 years of age. No other information is included in the report. However, various law enforcement sources have confirmed that she was in uniform at the time of the incident.

Anderson County Chief Deputy Creed Hashe informed The Journal that the employee has been terminated following an internal investigation into the incident for violations of department policy. “She was an employee at the detention center, not a certified deputy. Her shift had gone off duty at 7 p.m. that night, and she was in uniform at the time of the incident. My understanding is that the store staff did not confront her but allowed her to leave. The shift supervisor on duty at that time was Lt. Rusty Garrett and he was summoned by the Anderson Police to verify that (she) was in fact a county employee.”

According to the report, an employee of the store, saw the suspect enter the store and proceeded to watch her as she replaced high price tags with lower ones. She then called police at 7:27 p.m. according to the report. Officer Chris Brewer was dispatched at 8:23 p.m. , or almost an hour later, according to the report.

When contacted by The Journal, the store employee refused to comment on her decision to not press charges, despite videotaped evidence. “I have nothing to say to you about that.” Asked if any pressure were brought to bear on her to drop the matter, she again said, “I have nothing to say to you.”  When asked to confirm that a uniformed county employee was indeed observed behaving as reported , she again refused any comment.

Piercetown farm recognized for 100 years

The Owen Cattle Farm in the Piercetown community was recently recognized as a Century Farm, which is one that has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years. Martin Owen and his wife, Mary Ellen, operate the beef cattle farm on more than 200 acres of land. Owen grows some of the feed and hay used in the operation. When his parents, Ralph and Sue, and sister Miriam were alive, the family ran a dairy operation. During the ceremony unveiling the sign, which bears the Century Farm designation, Dr. Tom Dobbins of Clemson University presented Owen with an FFA jacket to replace the one his mother accidentally threw away years ago. Owen was a member of FFA at Wren High School, which no longer has a chapter.

Sheriff’s report

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the following incidents:

BELTON

Sept. 30 – Deputy D.L. Barton was dispatched to 1036 Dean Springs Circle where Susan King reported that her son had gone out to the car and had heard a loud noise from behind the house. His yells for her to come out caused a suspect to run off through the woods behind the house. A garage door had been damaged by kicking it. Damage was estimated at $100.

PELZER 

Sept.28 – S. Jolly and J.J. Jacobs responded to the Bi-Lo store at 330 Lebby St. where Joann Davis reported damage to her car suffered while she was in the store. The vehicle had been scratched. Damage was estimated at $100.

PIEDMONT

Sept.28 – J.A. Frazier responded to 2 McElrath St. where Ralph McClain reported that someone had siphoned gas from his Ford pickup.

Sept. 28 – J.A. Frazier responded to 106 Wilson Place Court where Joye Jagels reported that her garage had been broken into, and her car gone through. Several CDs were stolen as well as a yellow and black 4.5 hp pressure washer and a cordless drill.

Sept. 29 – N.J. Peluso was dispatched to 332 Hwy. 17 where he found a large outdoor party underway, with loud music that he reported exceeded the county noise ordinance. Barry Davis, the homeowner, was informed of the violation and announced to the guests that the party was over.

Sept. 29 – W.E. Gregory responded to the 900 block of Old River Road where he spoke with Christopher Herman who said loud yelling in front of his house had awakened him. He found two white males out front yelling at each other and told them to hold the noise down. They cursed him and he called the police. Gregory subsequently located the two nearby. Jason Whitmire, WM, 17, 5’1", 165 pounds, blond/blue was arrested for public disorderly conduct and a white male juvenile, age 15, was detained as well, after being found to be grossly intoxicated, according to the report. He was eventually released to his mother’s custody.

Sept. 29 – W.E. Gregory was dispatched to a convenience store located at 2501 River Road where he found Jason Scott, WM, 23, 5’8", 140 pounds, brn/brn asleep at the in his car at the gas pumps. After trying to wake Scott for fifteen minutes, Gregory found a sliding rear window of the truck open and unlocked the truck with a broom stick. He discovered Scott to be grossly intoxicated and also discovered a bag of marijuana in plain view on the floor board at Scott’s feet. He also found a case of beer and a pair of Xanax pills in his pocket. Scott was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Sept. 30 – T. L. Chapman was dispatched to 3001 Earle Morris Hwy. where Christina Foreman, WF, 27, of Central, reported that while at the location to retrieve her child following a visitation with her father, the father’s sister had struck her in the face. A witness at the location confirmed that report.

WILLIAMSTON

Sept. 29 – S. Jolly and J.J. Jacobs responded to 314 Mahaffey Rd. where Beth Garner reported that her storage building had been broken into and $2500 worth of Barbie dolls had been stolen.

Sept. 30 – S. Jolly and J.J. Jacobs were dispatched to 332 HI Taylor Rd. after receiving information from a Greenville bail bond company about the possible presence of a fugitive at that address. Subsequently, Larry Dean Jr., WM, 30, was arrested and taken into custody in regards to a warrant for his arrest in Baldwin County, Alabama.

Oct. 1 – T. L. Chapman responded to 3001 Earle Morris Hwy. where he found Donald Thomas, WM, 23, 6’2", 220 pounds, red/blue asleep in his vehicle. Upon awakening he found him to be grossly intoxicated and charged him with public disorderly conduct.

Williamston Police investigate incidents

Williamston Police Officers investigated the following incidents :

Sept. 26 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo and Ptl. M.A. Semones, Jr. responded to Bigby and E. Carolina Streets to an assault complaint. Lela Blanding reported that a juvenile had beaten Reginald Holloway on the side of the road. Holloway reported that the juvenile, along with two others, approached him and said Holloway owed him $20. He tried to search Holloway who pushed him away. The 14 y/o black male, 5’3", 163 pounds struck Holloway and knocked him down. He then kicked Holloway several times in the side before leaving. Holloway said that only the one juvenile assaulted him. The subject, who is not identified in the report, according to state law, was located and taken to the police department where a referral was done to the Dept. of Juvenile Justice and was later released to his mother.

Sept. 28 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo and Ptl. M.A. Semones, Jr. were dispatched to 128 G. St. where Dorleen Nalley reported that Kayla Nalley, WF, 18, had taken her car without permission and driven it to Piedmont to see her boyfriend. The officers contacted the boyfriend who advised that Kayla Nalley was on her way to Anderson. The officers were subsequently told that Kayla had called the police station and they contacted her and told her to bring the vehicle directly to the station, which she did. She was placed under arrest for using a motor vehicle without permission.

Sept. 28 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter and Sgt. Z.E. Gregory ran a license tag check on a vehicle on Parker St. and were informed that the tag was suspended. They executed a traffic stop and subsequently found that the driver, Shannon Strickland, WF, 35,  5’8", 180 pounds, brn/blue was also driving under suspension for cancellation of insurance. She was arrested and transported to WPD.

Sept.28 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter stopped a Jeep for failure to use a turn signal and discovered that the driver, Guillermo Salcido, a Hispanic male, 24, 5’2", 150 pounds, had no driver’s license, except for one from Honduras. He was arrested and transported to WPD.

Sept. 29 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter and Sgt. Z.E. Gregory observed a man stumbling along the roadway on Mill St. He was carrying an open liquor bottle and smelled strongly of alcohol, according to the police report. Brandon Sanderson, WM, 21, 5’10", 145 pounds, brn/brn, of 17 Woodmere Court, was arrested for open container and public disorderly conduct.

Sept. 29 – Sgt. T.A. Call was dispatched to a vehicle accident in the parking lot of the West Main Shopping Center. Upon arrival, he found a black Mercedes with heavy damage parked on the sidewalk. The driver, Adam Pinyan, WM, 20, 5’8", 175 pounds, brn/brn, of 126 Crown Court, offered the owner’s manual in place of his insurance information. He subsequently was arrested for DUI and open container and later blew a .24 on the Data Master unit at the WPD.

Sept. 30 – Ptl. W.M. Ritter and Reserve Ofc. D.C. Dill initiated a traffic stop on a white pickup parked on the sidewalk  on E. Main St. The driver, Joe Hedden, WM, 53, 5’11", 202 pounds, of Abbeville, was found to be unsteady on his feet and to exude a strong smell of alcohol. He was arrested for public disorderly conduct.

Sept. 29 – Sgt. Z.E. Gregory and D.E. Whaley were running radar on Anderson Dr. when a car approached which was clocked at 51 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone. They stopped the vehicle and discovered that the driver, Jose Martinez, Hispanic male, 24, 6’, 184 pounds, was charged with speeding, open container, and no driver’s license. He was arrested and transported to WPD.

Seems to Me . . . What does a terrorist look like?

By Stan Welch

If there has ever been a more classic example of the ridiculous and the sublime than what I saw at Tuesday night’s County Council meeting, I hope to never see it.

It is impossible to envision a more perfect juxtaposition of courage and cowardice, of character and ethics deficit than the extremes presented Tuesday night.

The sublime?  A United States Marine, at home on leave, recovering from injuries suffered during combat in Iraq. He was there to accept a resolution from District Seven  Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, honoring him for his bravery and service to his country.

The ridiculous? A County Council member so bereft of any of the character needed to hold public office that he continues to whine about how people talk about him; and more tragically, who continues to try and soil his critics by equating them to terrorists. He is hallucinatory in his hyper-sensitivity to criticism. As one person at the meeting said, anyone that paranoid must be doing a lot of things wrong.

The Marine? He was shot in the back on June 27 of this year. Thank God and kevlar that his protective gear turned the bullet enough to spare him.

The Councilman? He shot himself in the foot a couple months ago, when he presented chapter one of “Honey, why don’t they like me? They must be terrorists!”

You remember, don’t you? Who could forget the night Michael Thompson, of District Five, or as his posse is known, the Distraught Five, dropped a word on the audience at the Council meeting that George Carlin probably would have pantomimed in such company. Thompson used the barnyard language in a clumsy and ill-conceived attempt to paint the critics of Joey Preston and the concocted Cater Gate story with the tag of terrorist. Salacious letters became car bombs.

He and his fellow Council members followed that performance up with a vindictive and childish seizure of public funds from Ms. Wilson, refusing to approve her requests for expenditures within her own district. Two weeks later, they added insult to injury by allocating her funds against her wishes. Much like the September 11 attacks, their actions only ensured swift and certain retaliation by the people they attacked.

The Marine? He basically shrugged off being shot in the back and returned to duty, only to be seriously injured just three days later when an improvised explosive device damaged his leg and gave him two compression fractures of his back. Two Purple Hearts in three days. Remarkable.

The Councilman? He decided shooting himself in one foot wasn’t enough. Why dance in a circle, right? So he shot himself in the other foot Tuesday night, by again trying to link his critics, most especially the Anderson County Taxpayers Association, to al Qaeda. He was either more cowardly or better informed legally for his second attack, when he avoided naming the organization. Probably got some legal advice after naming them the first time. Two self inflicted wounds in three months. Remarkable.

Please understand. I couldn’t care less about the Taxpayers Association. I think they are a one trick pony that lacks a good deal of political sophistication. And while, as Mr. Thompson put it, the state of South Carolina doesn’t recognize the organization, because they don’t collect membership dues, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution fully recognizes the group, and tens of thousands like it. It comes under the free speech clause of the Bill of Rights, which the majority of Council voted to suspend in Anderson County Tuesday night.

You know, I couldn’t help thinking Tuesday night, as I watched Thompson implode, that if he were stuck in a septic tank up to his chin, he would bend over and tie his shoes.

The scary part of Tuesday night was that District ‘Me’ Too Councilwoman Gracie Floyd jumped right in on that bandwagon. And right on cue. She too thought that several pointed but innocuous remarks made by a well known member of the ACTPA on a local morning talk show were also threatening. She seemed especially concerned about a remark that Mr. Thompson should check his homeowner’s policy. Clearly missing the reference to the fact that such policies are often the source of protection for individuals from lawsuits, Floyd obviously saw arson conspiracies or something equally sinister in the words of the broadcast. Apparently so did Thompson.

Floyd did make several people on the inside of the railing in the Council Chambers flinch, however, when she suggested turning these “threats” over to SLED. Clearly, Joey Preston and the majority of Council have had all the SLEDding fun they want.

The Marine? He was there with his extremely, and rightfully so, proud family. He told the audience that the Purple Heart was one medal no Marine wanted to receive. He was dignified and he was grateful for the expression of our gratitude.

The Councilman? He and his  four cronies would  vote to deny the right to speak during citizen’s comments to the president of the “watchdog” group that Thompson had been attacking earlier. They did so after challenging the Council Chair’s ruling that Thompson’s objection was out of order. Again, the actions of the majority were clearly orchestrated, since at least two of them aren’t quick enough on their feet to make such decisions in the heat of the moment.

The Marine? He has seen terrorists, in front of and behind him, but mostly over his rifle sights.

The Councilman? He sees terrorists everywhere, and has no idea what they really look like.

The Marine? He made everyone in that room proud.

The Councilman? If he’d made his presentation while the Marine was still there, maybe he would have found out what terrorism is from one who has really faced it, and had more than his feelings hurt.

As it was, he made me ashamed – of him and the four who banded together with him in their ugly, tawdry effort to suppress what is nothing more than the political diversity that that proud Marine, and thousands of others, fight to ensure.

The Marine? Semper Fi.

The Councilman? Pack of lies.

Freedom is the ultimate target of terrorists, and there were five of them in those Council chambers Tuesday night. Their names are in the minutes of the meeting. They won’t be hard to find – now or next November.

As another who was in attendance said, I was grateful that that Marine had left the Chambers before Thompson and his band of terrorists besmirched everything that soldier stands for.

Seems to me, five members of that Council should be ashamed of themselves tonight. And  tomorrow. And for a good while to come. I know a lot of people who will be ashamed of them.

 

 

 

 

 

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