News Archive


News Archive

Week of Nov. 6, 2002

Martin, Upton remain on School Board

Nov. 19 runoff to decide
Town Council seats in Williamston

McAbee, Glenn, Rhodes to serve Piedmont 
Short regular meeting preceeds closed session
Two officers on leave following fatal shooting

Nov. 19 runoff to decide
Town Council seats in Williamston

Williamston voters will go back to the polls for runoff elections Nov. 19 to decide who will serve on two seats of Williamston Town Council.

Longtime incumbents Dr. Harold Mackey and Jimmy Rogers both faced two challengers and a runoff election will decide who will serve on Williamston’s Council.

A recount was underway Firday to officially decide if Dr. Mackey or  John Sherard will face Greg Cole  in the Ward One Seat runoff.

Cole received 325 votes and will either face Mackey, with 291 votes, or Sherard, who received 287.

Williamston election official Hala Cochran said the ballots were being recounted due to the close count and to include 8 to 10 failsafe ballots.

Cole campaigned on recruiting high paying industrial jobs and expansion of jobs already in place. He also stated he would also like to see a more open government.

 Sherard said he has an interest in “the future of the town,” and campaigned on responsible and informed leadership.

Dr. Mackey has been a member of Williamston town council since 1976.

He says he plans to work for job creation and other continued improvements in Williamston.

Incumbent Jimmy Rogers will also have his seat decided in a runoff.

Rogers with 404 votes, will face Cecil Cothran (288 votes) who was one of two challengers for the Ward 2 seat. Challenger Tony Cooley receive 196 votes.

Cothran, retired from a position in management with Milliken Cushman Plant, said he feels that it is time for a change and for fresh ideas in Williamston’s city government.

He said his training in management and cost control would be an asset to the council position.

Rogers has been in management with Bi-Lo for 30 years and has held the Town Council Ward 2 seat for 24 years.

Rogers said he has been a part of the growth and improvements in Williamston through the years and there are numerous projects in progress that he would like to see through completion.

The nonpartisan runoff election is set for Nov. 19.

Williamston Town Council members serve four-year staggered terms, with two seats coming up for reelection every two years. The two four-year terms will run from Jan. 1, 2003 to Dec. 31, 2006.

Martin, Upton remain on School Board

Voters in Northeastern Anderson County chose to return incumbents to  school board, county council and state house seats.

In what may have been the closest race of the election, incumbent C. Dale Martin apparently defeated challenger J. Doug Atkins by one vote for the Anderson School District 1 Area 5 Board seat.

Unofficial election returns Wednesday showed Martin with 3,813 votes to 3,812 for Atkins. Fail-safe ballots had not been counted and a recount is likely, Anderson County election director Patsy Brown said.

Martin, 64, is the parks and recreation director for The Town of Williamston. He ran on his 25 years experience in education and the district’s success  reflected in student test scores and school report cards.

Area 7 Trustee Nancy O. Upton defeated challenger Greg Balog 5,535 to 2,012. 

Upton, an accountant with Upton and Upton CPA firm, is a 12-year District 1 School Board member. She said she would continue the district’s progress while keeping up with the growth the district is experiencing. 

Anderson District One school board candidates run for area seats, with voters across the district voting for all seats.

Other races of interest in Anderson County include:

In the state House District 6 race, Republican incumbent Brian White defeated challenger Chuck Allen. White had 5,162 votes to Allen’s 4,022.

White, 35, an Anderson real estate agent, said he wanted a second two-year term to give the people a voice in Columbia on industrial development, education and health care. 

Incumbent state Rep. Ronny Townsend defeated Democratic challenger Ron Gilreath for the District 7 seat in southwestern Anderson County. Townsend received 4,455 votes to Gilreath’s 3,224 votes.

Cindy Wilson,  retained her District 7 seat on Anderson County Council, defeating Democratic challenger T. Carroll Parker 3,855 to 2,367.

Wilson, 52, pledged to continue work on road and water line projects in her district and to call for open, accountable spending in county government.

Other Anderson County Council incumbents also retained their seats.

District 3 representative Larry Greer survived a challenge by Eddie Moore, receiving 3,382 votes to Moore’s 2,290.

District 5 incumbent Mike Holden  defeated challenger Chad Hicks 3,518 to 2,709.

McAbee, Glenn, Rhodes to serve Piedmont

Incumbents Al McAbee and Fred Glenn were reelected to their seats on the Piedmont Public Service Board and newcomer Rudy Rhodes will fill the third open seat on the board.

The Journal incorrectly reported Dan Thomas as the third winner in the Wed.  Nov. 6 edition of the newspaper.

Eight candidates vied for the three seats on the board which serves Piedmont residents in Anderson and Greenville Counties.

The top three vote getters, were McAbee, with 588 votes, Rudy Rhodes, with 483 and Glenn with 510.

C. E. “Ed”Poore Jr. received 293 votes and was the only incumbent running which was not reelected to the position.

Other candidates running for the board included: Rudy Rhodes, 483; Frankie Garrett, 400; Ronald Hedstrom, 217 and Dan Snider, 155.

In the Dunklin Fire District, Everett Camp, Willie Dee McAbee and Loretta C. Wood were elected to fill three seats.

In the races for Greenville County Council, Judy Gilstrap, a Democrat, unseated Republican Bunk Johnson in the Westside’s District 26 which includes southern Greenville County and Piedmont.

Gilstrap, a real estate agent, focused her campaign on what she called a once-proud community that has fallen into a slump, partly due to county government’s neglect.

She worked as a legal secretary for former Gov. Dick Riley and pledged new jobs, better schools, a growth plan and a  Saluda River clean-up.

Republican Eric Bedingfield won southern Greenville County’s District 28 in a three-way race.

Bedingfield received 4,914 votes to Dan Moravec’s 3,801 and Ienoa Crouch’s 564.

Bedingfield, an electromechanic for Fuji Photo Films, replaces Bob Cook, who stepped down in a failed attempt to win a seat in the state House of Representatives.

Bedingfield’s past became a campaign issue. He was convicted on a 1993 fraudulent check charge and a 1995 simple assault charge, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division records.

”It’s plain and simple: All of those things are gone,” he said after all the votes were counted Tuesday. “They’re nearly a decade old. They have no relevance in this campaign.”

His top issues included bringing water lines to residents who need them, controlling growth and upgrading fire and ambulance service in rural areas.

Incumbents Council members with no opposition included  Joe Dill, a Republican, and Democrat Xanthene Norris. Each won another four-year term.

Incumbent Mark Kingsbury bested Democrat Pam Shucker in District 19, covering the Berea and Slater-Marietta areas.

Greenville County voters returned Incumbent Crystal Ball O’Connor to the District 28 School Board.

O’Connor said she feels she has played a part in developing the district’s long-range Educational Plan, in increasing teacher salaries, and in helping to equalize facilities throughout the district.

Roger Meek will serve on the Greenville County School Board District 26.

Short regular meeting preceeds closed session

The Nov. 4 meeting of Williamston Town Council was one of the shortest regular session meetings since Phillip Clardy became Mayor. However an executive session following the regular session lasted for more than 2.5 hours.

During the regular session meeting, which lasted less than 20 minutes, Williamston Town Council members were introduced to Williamston’s Junior and Senior Sesquicentennial Queens. They were crowned during a special Sesquicentennial celebration pageant held Saturday at Palmetto High School Auditorium.

Junior Queen Kayla Walters and Senior Queen Amy Stubbs were recognized at the meeting.

Mayor Clardy said it was a very special occassion to have Centennial Queen, Martha Phillips Poore, in attendance at the pageant to help crown the Sesquicentennial Queens.

Also during the meeting, Mayor Clardy reminded Council of a Veterans Day Program planned for 10 a. m. Nov. 11 at Middleton Field Veterans Memorial. In addition to special activites including the Palmetto High School ROTC, the program will include the unveiling of the addition of a name to the plaque recognizing veterans from the area who have died in service to their country. The name of William D. Watkins will be added, Clardy said.

Clardy also reminded council of a re-interment service for Williamston’s founder, West Allen Williams, to be held on at 2 p.m. Nov., 17 in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park. The event will begin with a processional from Big Creek Baptist Church at 12:45, and culminate with the reinterment of Williams and a memorial service for  the Williams family members relocated to the memorial burial site in the park.

Clardy said he expects numerous family descendants of the Williams family to be in attendance.

Clardy announced that a holiday open house will be held at the Municipal Center on Nov. 30, which is also the opening night for the Christmas Park.

Town Hall will be decorated for the holidays including a parade of Christmas trees along the interior corridors.

Clardy also reminded Council of the Williamston Christmas Parade, which will be held on Sat. Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.

Parade organizer Walt Smith said that members of the Centenial Pageant will lead the parade which will begin at Hamilton St. and end with judging at the Williamston Fire Department.

There is no fee for entries other than bringing candy to pass out along the parade route.  Smith said he hopes a number of the Piedmont parade participants will participate in the Williamston parade also.  The Piedmont parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Dec. 14.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade may sign up in advance by calling Walt Smith at 847-7929 or Annette Drake at 847-5599 or register the day of the parade.

Smith said 1st and 2nd place trophies in 24 categories will be awarded.

Council members agreed to meet for first reading of the 2003 budget ordinance and any other pending ordinance readings in a special called meeting on Nov. 21.

Council then went into a 2.5 hour closed door executive session to discuss contractual agreements and personnel matters.

Two officers on leave following fatal shooting

A man was shot and killed by two Williamston police officers responding to a domestic dispute early Saturday morning, in which a woman’s hand was slashed and a house gutted by fire.

The man, first identified by authorities as Saloman Ventura Reyes, 45, was  killed when officers fired multiple shots as he approached them with a kitchen type knife, Williamston Police Chief Richard Turner.

Turner said the incident began when three officers responded to a call at approximately 1:40 a.m. Saturday in which a victim’s fingers had been cut.

Officers responding to 121 W. 2nd St. in Williamston spoke with Rosa Marie Acosta, 46, who stated through an interpreter that a boyfriend had cut her and threatened to set their house at 117 W. 2nd St.on fire.

As officers approached the front door of the residence to see if anyone was inside, they could smell gas and saw an orange glow of flames inside the residence, Chief Turner said.

A man came from around the side of the house and confronted the officers with a kitchen type knife according the Turner.

Turner said the man was repeatedly told to drop the weapon.

As the man kept coming toward the officers, they backed up and then fired multiple shots to protect themselves, Chief Turner said.

“He was ordered to stop,” Chief Turner said. “The man got pretty close to the officers with the knife before the shots were fired.”

Reyes, a Honduran immigrant, was killed by a shot to the chest and died at the scene, according to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore. Acosta received several stitches for her injuries at Anderson Area Medical Center, were she was treated and released Saturday morning, officials said.

Williamston Fire Department arrived on the scene within minutes and shortly thereafter brought the fire under control, Turner said.

Considerable damage was done to the residence, according to Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison.

State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was notified and will investigate the incident, a standard procedure when there is a shooting involving police officers, according to Turner.

Turner said two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave with pay while the incident is under investigation.

One of the officers was a seasoned veteran with 9 years experience and the other officer had less than one year experience, Chief Turner said.

Turner said the officers responded correctly to the situation.

“We regret the loss of life,” he said. “They responded correctly with the training they have received.”

“You hope that the day doesn’t come, but if it does you go back to your training,” Chief Turner said.

“We are trained to protect lives and ours are included,” he said. “I think they reverted to their training in the stressful situation they were in.”

“I’m sure the officers would rather have had a different ending to what happened,” Chief Turner said.

Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said Wednesday that the name Saloman Reyes was an alias being used by Jose Virgilio Enamoradeo, 48, of Santa Barbara, Honduras.

Shore said he found out about the alias Tuesday when Enamorado’s distant family in Williamston contacted his family in Honduras to plan his funeral.

Why the man was using an alias was unclear at presstime.




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