News Archive

(4307) Week of Oct. 24, 2007

Boo in the Park set for Saturday
Town’s water bill remains in dispute
WP Council addresses water infrastructure
Sign up now for Piedmont Miss/Master contest
Williamston police investigate incidents
Copper wire continues as item of interest for thieves
Seems to Me . . . Just for thought . . .

Boo in the Park set for Saturday

Boo In The Park will be held Saturday, October 27 in Mineral Spring Park in Williamston with activities planned for all ages. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. children ages 12 and under can enjoy entertainment on the Amphitheater stage by the Williamston Church of God Clown Ministry, New Prospect Church Praise & Dance Team, and Palmetto High School Dancers. There will also be a Halloween costume contest and a Jack O’Lantern Contest. Pumpkins for the Jack O’Lantern Contest must be pre-carved, organizers said. A variety of games will be provided and candy will be given out to children ages 12 and under.

From 8 p.m. to 11p.m. there will be a dance for teens ages 13 to 18 on the tennis court with a DJ from Life of the Party providing music. Admittance fee is $3 per single or $5 per couple.

Spook rides will be offered on the Williamston Fire Dept Antique Fire Engine from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 Organizers of the event include members of Strong Communities, Palmetto High School Student Council, Williamston First Baptist Church, New Prospect Baptist Church, Williamston Springwater Committee, the South Carolina State Guard and the Williamston Police Department, the Williamston Area Historic Commission (WAHC) and Hillcrest Baptist Church.

Mineral Spring Park will be closed to vehicle traffic from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for security purposes. Parking will be at the rear of the Williamston Municipal Center and in the lot beside McDonald’s.

For more info call co-organizers Dianne Lollis at 847-5743, Ellen Harvell at 847-5588 or Barbara Davis at 847-4357. Rain date will be Tuesday, Oct 30th.

Town’s water bill remains in dispute

A billing discrepancy between the Town of Williamston and Big Creek Water & Sewage District that has been ongoing since 2005 remains a point of contention.

The matter was discussed in an executive session at the Williamston Town Council meeting October 15 and town officials had considered a special called meeting Monday to decide on the issue, but Mayor Phillip Clardy decided not to hold the meeting.

The town has withheld payment amounting to  $37,831.50 for 75,663,000 gallons of water that Big Creek officials say was transferred from their system into the town’s system.

The water was transferred through a meter originally installed at the request of the town to help the town supply water and increase water pressure to the Ridgecrest Subdivision.

The Subdivision has experienced low water pressure since it was first constructed in the 1970s.

According to a letter sent to the town from Big Creek Water Company, the original cost of the water was billed at a reduced rate of .50 cents per thousand gallons as compared to the rate of $2.70 per thousand charge to regular customers.

According to Big Creek Water District manager Chuck Cortez, the District has offered the town a payment plan on several occassions and offered to waive all penalties.

Since payment of the bill has been ignored, Big Creek has added a penalty and as of September the outstanding bill is set at $73,965.

The Big Creek Water District Board of Directors met October 2 to discuss the matter. Cortez stated in his letter that he would recommended the matter be turned over to a collection agency.

The matter was brought up for discussion by Councilman Carthel Crout at the September meeting of Williamston Town Council. Councilman Crout and Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr. both wanted the issue discussed in open session, but Council voted 3-2 to discuss it in executive session.

The matter was discussed again in executive session on October 15, but no action was taken during the meeting.

It was stated at the close of the meeting that a special called meeting may be held on Monday, October 22 to discuss the issue.

According to Crout, the town has received documentation from the town’s water and sewer consultant Goldie and Associates indicating that the town’s water consumption provided by the Anderson Regional Water Association was indeed lower during the period in question. According to Crout, the documentation leaves no doubt that the town was receiving water from the Big Creek System during the peiod.

When the valve was shut, the town’s water consumption with Anderson Regional returned to the level prior to the valve being installed.

WP Council addresses water infrastructure

By Stan Welch 

In a special called meeting that lasted just fifteen minutes, the West Pelzer Town Council, meeting with a bare quorum, voted to accept the low bid for running water lines to six houses on Burkett Street, and also voted to spend $80,000 over the next five years to bring the Town’s water tower up to DHEC standards.

Mayor Peggy Paxton, Councilman Jimmy Jeanes and Councilman Joe Turner approved a bid of $12,712 from Tommy Owens Company for the installation of six bores across the street to resolve low water pressure problems at six homes along Burkett Street. The homes had been left without adequate pressure despite the town’s recent expansion of the water system.

Two other bids, one by Tommy West Construction for approximately $17,000 and one from Surreault’s Plumbing for  approximately$12,000 were rejected due to cost. Councilman Jeanes was concerned whether the town had the money and was assured by Mayor Paxton that there was approximately $130,000 in the town’s water and sewer account.

That amount is also adequate to pay for the refurbishing of the town’s hundred thousand gallon water tank, although it will be paid for in monthly installments of $1508.00 The annual amount due is just over $18,000 for the first four years of the contract and $7642 for the final year, bringing the total contract to $80,046.

The work to be done, including sandblasting and painting the interior of the tank, as well as the exterior, will require draining the tank for between four and six weeks. Mike Mahaffey, water department director, said that no one will be without water, but fire protection will be affected somewhat. “We won’t have that 100,000 gallons sitting there in reserve, but we’ll do our best to work around that.”

Lee Smallwood, representative for Utility Service company, said he hopes that the actual job will take less than a month, but added that four to six weeks is the standard estimate. “The interior paint takes a week to ten days to cure out so we always start inside so we can work on the outside while the interior cures. We hope to be through as quickly as possible,” said Smallwood.

Councilman Marshall King was sick and Councilman Mike Moran did not return from business in Columbia in time for the meeting.

Sign up now for Piedmont Miss/Master contest

The Bonnes Amies will also sponsor the Miss/Master Christmas contest for children up to 6 years old with a boy and girl winner in each category.

Categories are birth to 2 years; 2 to 4 years; and 4 to 6 years.

Winners will be invited to ride in the parade.

Votes will be a penny per vote. Parents are asked to get their child’s entry forms in early and get the jars out as soon as possible.

For more information or application forms, contact Paige Crawford, Chairman at 864-244-3435 or Maxie Freeman at 864-845-6372. Applications are also available at the Piedmont Fire Department.

The Piedmont Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, December 8 at 11 a.m.

The parade will be sponsored by the Bonnes Amies club and will have the theme of “Season of Light.”

Organizers invite individuals, families, churches, schools, organizations and businesses to begin planning an entry now.

Entry forms are available at the Piedmont Fire Department or can be mailed out by contacting Maxie Freeman at 864-244-3435.

Williamston police investigate incidents

Williamston police officers investigated the following incidents during recent weeks:

Oct. 9 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter and Sgt. M.D. Creamer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for driving left of center. While talking with the driver, the officer observed an open beer bottle in the back floorboard. A subsequent license check revealed that the driver, Dennis Link, WM, 59, of Abbeville, had a suspended license. He was arrested for DUS and open container.

Oct. 10  - Sgt. M.D. Creamer stopped Jonathan Martin, WM, 19, 5’8",135 pounds, blk/brn, of 215 Old Tabernacle Rd., Belton for driving left of center. A subsequent search revealed 10.2 grams of marijuana and an unopened beer in the vehicle. Martin was arrested for possession of marijuana , and possession of beer by a minor.

Oct.10 – Chief D.A. Baker met with Susan Long of Williamston who informed him that her son, Brian Long, 31, 6’7", 275 pounds, of Liberty, had stolen and forged four checks from her, totaling 314.22. According to Chief Baker’s report, Brian Long did admit forging and cashing the checks.

Oct. 10 – Sgt. A.  Digirolamo, Jr. and Capt. K.P. Evatt responded to the Dollar General Store where a clerk said there were two suspicious people. One of the men left the store and was followed to a white Ford Explorer. Also in the vehicle were Stacey Hobson, WF, 35, 5’5", 130 pounds, blond/green from 110 Ramshead Court, Townsville, and Brent Branham, WM, 18, 5’4",160 pounds, from the same address. Branham was found to be under the influence, allegedly of crack cocaine. He was arrested, as was Hobson, who was found to be a fugitive from Kentucky. Also arrested was the black male from the store, Michael Carson, 48, 6’4", 195 pounds, black/brn, from 204 Overlook Dr. in Belton. It was later determined that he had given police his brother’s name and he was later charged with giving false information to a police officer.

Oct. 11 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo and Sgt. M.D. Creamer responded to 19 Pelzer Ave. to a report of a suspicious vehicle. They found a white Ford truck running at the scene. The driver was slumped over the wheel and took several minutes to awaken. He was swaying and slurring his speech. A search of the vehicle found two open bottles of liquor, one almost empty. Charles B. Barkdale, IV, WM, 6’5", 250 pounds, brn/hazel, of 251 Shackleburg Rd., was arrested for public disorderly conduct and possession of illegal liquor.

Oct. 11 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer and Ptl. J. Digirolamo responded to 402 Green St, following a report of the theft of a go cart. Kenneth Middleton reported that someone had removed it from his porch. A neighbor reported seeing four subjects in the field across the street with a small car and the go cart next to it. When he returned from calling the police, the go cart was no longer visible and the car was leaving.  The go cart was found behind some high bushes. While the investigation continued, a small dark car approached, then turned around to leave the scene. It was stopped by Ptl. Digirolamo, and the three occupants were questioned. They said they had been riding around and were heading to the driver’s house. The driver was Jesse Stone, WM, 20, who was found to have an active warrant in Greenville County. He was taken into custody. The two passengers in the vehicle, Jeffery Rogers, 19, and Mark Linton,17, were not taken into custody, but went to the WPD station and gave written statements.

Oct. 11 – SRO R.G. Alexander and Sgt. A Digirolamo, Jr. responded to a complaint of assault at 602 N. Hamilton St. Apt. 191. They found Johnny Chandler, WM, 72, beaten and bleeding.

He said that subject Kendrick Nesbitt, BM, 35, 5’8", 135 pounds, of 105 Green St. had come to Chandler’s home and laid down on the bed. He then fell off and Chandler said he thought he was suffering a seizure and called 911.

Nesbitt then reportedly beat Chandler around the head and face with the phone, and left. He was located nearby and gave the police officer a false name. Chief Baker had arrived at the scene and correctly identified the subject, who had blood on his clothes and small cuts on his hands. He was placed into investigative detention and returned to Chandler’s house, where both Chandler and another witness identified him as Chandler’s assailant. Nesbitt was arrested for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and giving false information to police. Chandler was treated and transported to the hospital by the Williamston EMS.

Oct. 15 –Sgt. M.D. Creamer reports that Dale Berube came to the WPD and turned himself in. A check revealed that he was wanted in Florida. He was taken into custody to await extradition.

Oct. 16 – Capt. K.P. Evatt spoke with Carolyn King, WF, 73, 5’2" with gray hair, about the possible forgery of two checks. The checks totaled  $2900 and, according to the report, were presented for processing by Tonya Darby, WF, 35, 5’7", 185 pounds, of 124 Holland Ford Rd. in Pelzer. The bank would not issue an affidavit of forgery because they said King was also in the car at the time of the checks being cashed. King claims it is her sister who was in the car. The report indicates that there is a noticeable similarity between the two.  Capt. Evatt was to retrieve the banks surveillance tapes. The investigation continues.

Oct. 17 – Sgt. Z.E. Gregory responded to 529 W. Main St. at the Pagoda Chinese restaurant. Naomi Edwards reported that someone had stolen her purse from her car while she was in the restaurant picking up her order. She heard her grandchildren screaming and ran outside. The children said a white male took the purse and left in a gray and black car. The purse contained $650 cash, a cell phone, house keys and several other items.

Oct. 19 – Capt. K.P. Evatt responded to 19 Jehue St. where he received a report from Rudolph Mosely that someone had stolen a blue Huffy bike valued at $200.

Oct. 19 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo was dispatched to 35 Market St. where Ida Mae Sullivan reported that someone had thrown rocks through one of the windows of the residence at that location. There also were apparent BB holes in two other windows as well. Damage was estimated at $500.

Oct. 19 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo responded to the Enmark convenience store where he found Patrick Ellenburg, WM, 26, 5’10",150 pounds, brn/brn in an intoxicated state. It was learned that he had been placed on trespass notice at that location, and he was arrested for drunkenness and violation of a trespass notice.

Oct. 20 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo responded to the SavWay where the clerk said that Harold Dean had tried several times to enter the store, even though he was told he was not allowed on the property. It was found that he was on a trespass notice for that location and he was taken into custody.

Oct. 21 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer was dispatched to 609 N. Hamilton St. where Tommy Lewis reported that someone had driven over one of his apple trees and he had found the vehicle at an apartment complex on North St. They went there and found an Audi with serious front end damage and an apple tree sitting behind it. Contact was made with the registered owner, Joseph Hogg, of 2109 Easley Hwy. He said he had wrecked the night before and left the car in that parking lot. He came to the scene and was issued a summons to appear for malicious damage to property.

Oct. 21 – Sgt. M.D. Creamer was on patrol when he observed a vehicle speeding on Anderson Dr. He stopped the driver some distance further down the road, and asked Sheron Wardlaw, BF, 47, 5’7", 240 pounds, blk/brn to exit the vehicle. Reports state she was found to have glazed eyes, and slurred speech. She was unsteady on her feet and smelled of alcohol. She was placed into custody and transported to the WPD.

Oct. 22 – Cpl. D.W. Bryant responded to 13 Calhoun St. where Kristi Evatt reported the theft of a Next Mountain bike from her yard. The bike is purple with a black seat and white lettering.

Oct. 23 – Ptl. W.M. Ritter and Sgt. Z.E. Gregory responded to Anderson Dr. where Sherry Swett reported an assault. She said a man had knocked on her door and asked for a ride home. Since he was “extremely intoxicated”, according to her report, she decided to give him a ride. During the trip to his house, she says he touched her inappropriately and made unwelcome sexual advances to her. Warrants are pending.

Copper wire continues as item of interest for thieves

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated shoplifting, fraud and drug related incidents. Among those investigated were:

BELTON

Oct. 16 – J.R. McClellan responded to 1903 Amity Dr. where Jonathan Coleman reported the theft of an entire air conditioning unit from the property. The loss was estimated at $2500.

Oct. 16 – K.D. Pigman responded to 1771 Cannon Bottom Rd. where Mike Baker reported the theft of two unidentified olive drab objects valued at $615.

Oct. 17 – M.J. Burns responded to 6129 Belton Hwy. to the Planet Ford dealership where Kathy Shedd reported that Wallace Moses of Newberry had purchased a 2007 Ford SUV on Feb. 21 of this year. The vehicle was financed through  a bank in Michigan. The bank contacted Planet Ford on Oct. 17 asking about the vehicle. Shedd said that Moses sent an affidavit stating that he returned the vehicle three days after the purchase. The vehicle, valued at $38,000 is not on the lot.

Oct. 17 – C. Holbrooks responded to 120 Woodfern Circle where Chikara Williams reported the burglary at her home and the theft of items valued at $4500.

 PELZER

Oct. 16 – T.B. Dugan was dispatched to 476 Bryant Rd. where Wendy Watson, of SLC Management, reported the theft of the copper wire out of an air conditioning unit. The unit will have to be replaced at a cost of $2500. Another unit next door at 472 Bryant Rd. was also stripped of copper wire and was also a $2500 loss.

Oct. 17 – L. Finley responded to the BiLo where Jimmy Thompson reported that Harry Rutledge, a black male, 49, 5’9", 190 pounds, black/brn had taken a whole beef ribeye worth  $97 and tried to leave without paying. Once he realized he had been seen, he threw the meat down and went to a car which he entered. Thompson told the driver, Furman Williams, not to move, which Williams obeyed. Williams said Rutledge had told him to drive off after getting in the car.  Rutledge then left the car and walked away. Williams said Rutledge asked him for a ride to the store but never stated his intentions.

PIEDMONT

Oct. 16 – T.B. Dugan responded to Hurricane Springs Park adjacent to Wren High School, where Guy Folkman, president of the Wren Youth League reported finding a selection of prescription drugs hidden at the base of a tree in the park. There was also a small knife and a small amount of a leafy green substance in the bag which was confiscated and placed into evidence.

Oct. 17 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 2100 Hwy. 86 to the Century Farms store where the owner, Peter King, reported that two black females had entered the store and stolen four cases of beer valued at $66. They then got into a late model white Oldsmobile Intrigue bearing a “Johnny’s” paper tag. While leaving, they struck a store employee with the vehicle. Another witness verified the account. Surveillance tapes were to be reviewed seeking more information.

WILLIAMSTON

Oct. 16 – T.B. Dugan was dispatched to 238 Paulan Rd. where Lonnell Richardson reported that a man had punched the back window of his 1989 Ford van, breaking it. The man was found sleeping under the carport, with a strong smell of alcohol about him, and several small cuts on his arm. Richardson declined to press charges after speaking with the owner of the home, who was the man’s brother. Damage was estimated at $200.

Oct. 16 – K.D. Pigman responded to the Walgreen’s distribution center where Jody Daniel reported that a container of 100 Hydrocodon pills had been stolen from a shipment destined for a different location.

Oct. 16 – K.D. Pigman responded to 114 Ridge Dr. where Gene Cromer reported that someone had stolen an air conditioning unit from a vacant residence. The unit was valued at $1200.

Oct.17 – Mark Nickleach contacted the ACSO to report threatening and harassing phone calls from a former employee. The caller made threats and used foul and abusive language in the calls, which Nickleach recorded.

Oct.17 – J.J. Jacobs responded to 255 Tripp St. where Stacy Bryant reported that a former tenant had stolen approximately $100 worth of copper tubing from the house she evicted him from.

Seems to Me . . . Just for thought . . .

 

By Stan Welch

I have lived in many parts of this country in my life. I have lived in Texas, Maine, California, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, and both Carolinas, to name a few places. But nowhere that I have lived has the word “tax” evoked such visceral knee jerk reactions from all segments of the political spectrum.

Of course, the political spectrum in Anderson County skips all the colors that normally make up the middle of the spectrum and pretty much breaks down into red or blue. But where else in America would the name of an organization with the word taxpayers in it be so sought after that one group would literally hijack it from the other?

Still, despite almost three years of intensive indoctrination into the error of my moderate ways, I have recently hit on a tax that I can easily live with. I don’t know how this will be funded, or how much it will cost, but I am on board as of now. The tax I propose is designed to get anyone who can no longer drive at least forty miles an hour off the roads, and certainly off the interstates.

Wait! Don’t start screaming yet. It is not my intention to strand those who really aren’t in any particular hurry to get where they are going anyway. Hear me out. (Ordinarily, I would explain to you all what specifically happened to get me started thinking about this tax, but at my age, spikes in my blood pressure aren’t good for me. Let’s just say that this isn’t an idle whim, okay?)

First, the state would buy every one of these velocity challenged citizens’ cars from them at blue book price. That money, plus whatever tax revenues would be needed to fill the pot, would go into a fund that would pay for each of these people to be able to summon a taxi at no cost whenever they wanted to go somewhere. All they would have to do is show their bill of sale for their car and the cabbie could submit his bill to whoever we decide to let handle all that. I don’t care about the details. I just want to be able to get where I’m going. And I want those folks to be able to do the same.

This would enable the elderly and the handicapped to retain their independence, and would allow the rest of us to go about our business at a reasonable pace. If after a year, we find that the revenue is insufficient, raise the tax! Time is money. Quit whining and fork it over! I’m not the one who built roads too narrow to pass on. Why should I suffer?

Speaking of handicapped drivers, I just want to say that if you can whip a van in and out of traffic on Highway 81 or Clemson Boulevard at fifty or sixty miles an hour, I don’t think you’re handicapped. You should have to keep your medical records in the glove compartment.

On another matter, I have recently seen figures that indicate that the Anderson County Civic Center and Sports Complex attracted 775,000 visitors last year. Whoa! That’s about one out of every six people in South Carolina. Now, my Daddy taught me never to call someone a liar unless I could prove it or unless I was ready to fight them. So I’m not calling anybody a liar about this, but I’d love to see the documentation on that claim. That just seems like a huge number to me. If it was drawing those kinds of numbers, it should have been left as an enterprise fund.

The figures I saw said that 175,000 of those visitors were involved in soccer and softball and stuff like that. The figures also said that the Civic Center itself had 300 event days. To my untrained accounting, that means that each of those events had to draw an average of 200 people to produce the 600,000 visitors that athletics didn’t account for. Two hundred people isn’t anything if you’re talking about a concert. But if you’re talking about a luncheon or something, two hundred people is huge. I mean, Mr. Preston’s roast didn’t draw half of that.

Another figure I recently saw that caught my eye stated that the public safety division had obtained $600,000 in grants for homeland security uses. I’m guessing this is for such high tech uses as communications, and emergency responses in case of terrorist attack or natural disaster. I expect the division has trucks and command centers and emergency equipment that can be from Iva to Powdersville before you can say Osama. That is, unless they get stuck behind somebody driving twenty eight miles an hour. See what kind of homeland security you’ve got then. Priorities, people, priorities!

I wonder sometimes if the local fixation on taxes misses the point just a bit. Seems to me the point is to get value for the money spent. That’s what my new tax would accomplish, and that is why I expect your full support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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