News Archive

(4506) Week of Nov. 8, 2006

Revenues less than expected
Park decorating, development issues addressed to Council
Williamston Council gets down to business
Work underway on decorating park
Police officers make arrests
Thieves strike across the area
County plans Veterans parade
Wright, Crout in runoff
Cindy Wilson retains her council seat
Moore has concerns with election process

Mustang cheerleaders host AA State qualifier
Palmetto CC Girls  State Runner-up
3.1 Miles of smiles
Thefts, drugs among incidents

 

 

 

Revenues less than expected

Williamston Town Council approved a revised 2006 budget Monday which reflected approximately $174,000 in reduced revenues and expenses.

Reduced revenues are primarily from an expected reduction in the amount of a sidewalk reimbursement; reduced insurance payment from MASC; lower revenues from Duke Energy franchise fee, because of the delay in getting it implemented; and reduced  sanitation fees, due to a miscalculation on the number of homes for the number used in the earlier budget version of the budget.

Also, a state FEMA reimbursement which is not expected to be received.

On the expense side, the new budget version reflects achanges in accounts, mainly the contingency fund; a transfer in the water/sewer fund made available due to leachate payments.

The budget is still dependent upon borrowing  $250,000 on a TAN note, according to Appalachian Council of Governments advisor Joe Newton.

Newton said that the town is currently operating on 2007 tax revenues and will continue to do so unless a short term tax anticipation loan (TAN) is made available.

The TAN was included in the budget plan to establish a $600,000 contingency reserve fund. With  the TAN, the town shows a $179,000 contingency fund on the revised budget

Without the TAN, the budget shows a $71,000 deficit.

Council unanimously approved second reading on the revised 2006 budget 5-0.

Council will hold a 2007 budget work session on Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m.

Park decorating, development issues addressed to Council

Williamston Town Council discussed decorating the park for the holidays and heard comments concerning economic development at the beginning of their regular monthly meeting Monday.

Springwater Committee members Ellen Harvell and David Meade spoke to Council concerning the Christmas Park.

Harvell updated council on decorating the park for the holidays. Business, churches, members of the AJROTC and National Guard  and the Williamston Fire Department held a work day Saturday, Harvell said.

The committee is expecting many new displays to be placed in the park this year including a new one provided by them.

Meade requested a committment from Council as to what the town  could do.

Of the $2500 budgeted for the Christmas Park by the town, council unanimously decided to allow $1250   to be allotted for labor by town employees and the remaining $1250 for materials and supplies.

Jim Simpson, representing the GWBA, urged council to reconsider Rusty Burns as the town’s grant writer, pointing out that he has been involved in ongoing downtown revitalization plans and has been instrumental in securing grants in the past.

The GWBA and Town received a joint grant of $105,000 to begin work on the downtown revitalization plan.

 Simpson , who is also the town square center developer, addressed council concerning plans for the old city hall building purchased by him when it was sold at auction earlier this year.

Simpson said there were no immediate plans but urged town officials to make a decision soon on whether to relocate the building. He assured Council that it was his intent to work with them on the project. He also noted that future development may require him to move quickly.

He also urged the town to relocate the time capsule buried on the property soon.

Simpson stated that Tip Pitts, who is working on downtown redevelopment plans is working with surveyors on relocating Pelzer Avenue to align with the traffic light on Main.

He said that funding assistance will be needed and asked help in making the necessary inquiries.

Mayor Phillip Clardy responded that a vote on the old town hall building will be set for December.

He also stated that only one bid had been acquired on the project and that former grant writer Burns had been in the process of seeking funds.

Clardy also said that a vault had been donated by Gray Mortuary for a new time capsule. The new capsule will contain items from the sesquicentennial and other items citizens may want to include.

Clardy asked that any citizens who would like to suggest or donate items to include to contact him.

Simpson again urged council to reconsider Burns’ position. “Every day without a decision puts us further and further behind.”

Simpson, as the town’s planning commission chairman,  also stated that zoning and other ordinance violations are occurring within the town.

He also said that Council will need to consider changing the zoning on properties sold at auction, which were designated as municipal properties. The properties will be zoned according to the owners intent and immediate area, he said.

Council heard from citizen John Rutland who complained about a problem with a stop sign at Dickens and Hardy St. Rutland stated that as traffic study had been done by the County which showed three times a much traffic on Hardy St. and recommended that the stop sign be moved back to the dead end of Dickens St.

There was also discussion about not allowing left turns on Minor St. between the hours of 7-9 am and 2-3:30 p.m. on weekdays and other situations. Council agreed to look at the situations.

Council also heard from Willie Wright, who pointed out several issues.

Judy Ellison asked about the 2005 audit, grants obtained by Rusty Burns over the last 2 years and a name plate for Councilman Middleton.

The Mayor responded that the audit was public information and that he will supply grant information requested. The name plate is also forthcoming he said.

Williamston Council gets down to business

Williamston Town Council approved an amended 2006 budget Monday which reflected approximately $174,000 in reduced revenues and expenses during a 3.5 hour meeting Monday.

Council unanimously approved first reading on an amendment to a bond ordinance related to refinancing by the Anderson Regional Joint Water System. The changes will allow the bond attorney to swap policies allowing the organization to save money.

The swap allows a 30 year fixed interest rate instead of a variable rate,which should save about 10 percent of interest cost, according to ARJWS representative Scott Willett.

Council unanimously approved  allowing $1250 of  the $2500 budgeted for the Christmas Park, to be alloted to labor by town employees and the remaining $1250 for materials and supplies.

Council approved a budget work session to be held Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m. for discussion and second reading on the 2007 budget.

Council voted 3-2 with Councilman Otis Scott and David Harvell against a motion to approve the recommendation of Anderson County Traffic Engineers to move a stop sign from Hardy St. to Dickens St.

An executive session scheduled with Goldie and Associates was moved to the end of the agenda.

In old business, Council heard a report from Appalachian Council of Governments advisor Joe Newton, who said that the 2006 budget was being revised to reflect a decrease in expected revenues, and related expenses. The changes reflect a $174,000 change, a break out of some items.

Only one person spoke during the public hearing on the budget, asking about funding for the Spring Water Festival, Christmas park and the parade which is included in the budget.

Upon the recommendation of Newton, Council unanimously approved the amended budget.

A vote to release a water customer was postponed again, until after the mayor could meet with the town attorney on Dec. 11 or 18 about the situation.

Acting on a motion by Councilman Scott, Council agreed to create a position of grant writer for the town but failed to appoint one until a job description could be prepared and the position advertised.

Newton will provide a sample job description.

Under new business, Council discussed adding a two percent hospitality tax on prepared food items. The topic was accepted as information and tabled to be discussed and voted on at the next meeting.

Newton stated that the funds can only be used for a specific 5 or 6 items that are tourism related.

Councilman Greg Cole asked Jim Simpson to check with GWBA members to see how the tax might affect them and report back to council.

Clardy said the issue was discussed earlier this year as a way to have an additional source of revenue.

Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr., who serves on the adhoc sewer committee, reported  the town has county capacity currently in use which is valued at $61,000.

According to Middleton, Anderson County has agreed to allow the town to pay $2100 for the current capacity and a $900 month  payment for past capacity being used.

Once upgrades are complete at the town’s treatment facility, the $2100 could be applied toward the 

County bill, Middleton said.

Council unanimously agreed to accept the payment tems offered by the County.

There was also discussion about capacity obligated for unbuilt subdivisions. According to Sonya Harrison of Goldie and Associates, mainlines that were constructed are located near some proposed subdivision that have not materialized. The town will consider an unused capacity charge to developers who have not completed houses but are tying up capacity at the facility.

There was additional discussion about setting up recurring invoice payments to be excluded from regular Council review.

Work underway on decorating park

Work is underway for the annual celebration of lights and unique displays erected in Mineral Spring Park during the holidays and this may be the biggest year yet.

According to display organizer Dianne Lollis, 60 spaces have been reserved so far and more are expected from businesses, churches and other organizations.  Many of the displays will be new including one being specially made for the Springwater Committee. The Town of Williamston is also placing decorations in the park this year.

Members of the Springwater Committee, which coordinated the 2006 Spring Water Festival, will be coordinating special events and displays for the 2006 Christmas Park.

Committee members are asking for support from area businesses, churches and other organizations in making it a community effort to “Celebrate the Season.”

Anyone interested can participate by placing a lighted display in the park or by volunteering to help set up displays and lights prior to opening night, which will be Saturday, November 25.

During December, individuals, choral groups or other entertainers can participate by providing holiday related entertainment for the amphitheater stage and/or providing free hot chocolate and/or coffee, cider, etc., organizers said.

“We plan to offer a schedule of events each Saturday evening during December and at other times during the week if a group or organization would like to be involved,” coordinator Dianne Lollis said. Time and date is up to the group.

“The committee will organize and schedule entertainment, with the participants being responsible for any necessary sound or other equipment,” Lollis said.

If your organization would like to participate -  to reserve a display space - call Dianne Lollis at 864-847-5743; to sign up a choral group, choir or other entertainment - call Catlin Tierce at 864-608-0257 or Dianne Lollis at 864-847-5743.

Anyone interested in placing a decorated tree in the Hall of Lights at the Williamston Muncipal Center is also asked to contact Lollis.

Police officers make arrests

Williamston police officers investigated the following incidents:

Oct. 11- Sgt. D. W. Alexander received a complaint from Kristi Greer that she had been struck by a small red truck while returning to her vehicle after walking at the school track. She said the truck knocked her down while backing up and pulled over like the driver was going to stop. Instead, she said the driver left the scene. Greer, who suffered minor injuries to her knee and shoulder, says the truck is often at the track, as if the driver is a regular walker too. Sgt. Alexander planned to try to make contact with the driver.

Oct. 11 – Ptl. A. Digirolamo, Jr. responded to the Hickory Point convenience store and arrested Thomas Leo Price, 35, BM, 5’4", 135 pounds, of 6 Crescent Drive for shoplifting two King Cobra beers. Shown the surveillance video, he admitted taking the beers.

Oct. 12 – Ptl. J. Digirolamo, along with Reserve Officer J.R. Scott, observed a subject vehicle leaving the SavWay Convenience Store after almost hitting a parked car, and driving over the curb. After observing several incidents of weaving and crossing the center line, the patrolman tried to stop the vehicle which fled on Anderson Drive at approximately 60 mph. It finally wrecked and hit a culvert. The driver, Marino Ledezma Arroyo, 54, Hispanic male, 5’6", 197 pounds, was arrested and transported to ACDC on several charges.

Oct. 13 – Ptl. M.W. Ritter was dispatched to Main Street Motors, 612 Greenville Dr. where he received a report that a Chevy Silverado had been broken into and a CD player valued at $50 was stolen. Also, $40 worth of gas was siphoned from the truck.

Oct. 13 – Ptl. T. A. Call responded to a location on Pelzer avenue where John Kilby, of Monroe, reported that someone had broken the windshield on his car.

Oct.15 – Sgt. Z.E. Gregory observed a truck driving without its lights. Stopping the truck at the Hardee’s, he asked for identification from both the driver and passenger. Neither could provide it. After writing several tickets for the driver, he asked him to exit the vehicle and allow a search. The driver agreed. Sgt. Gregory asked the passenger, Clyde Banister, WM, 19, 5’11", 130 pounds, brn/blue, of Anderson,  to exit the vehicle. During the search, a Star .22 automatic pistol was found, loaded. The passenger claimed the gun, saying that the driver did not know it was in the vehicle. He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

Oct. 17 – Ptl M.W. Ritter observed a female walking in the middle of Belton Drive. When he stopped her for ID he noticed a strong smell of alcohol. Andrea Hawisher, of Columbia, was arrested for public disorderly conduct.

Oct 21 -Ptl. James Digirolamo observed a Jeep driving on Greenville St. without a license plate light. He stopped the vehicle and learned that the driver, Tammy Lovelace, of Myrtle Beach, had a suspended license. There was also no insurance on the vehicle. Traffic tickets were written and the vehicle towed.

Oct. 23 – Sgt. D.W. Alexander responded to Tripp Street and Mattison Street, where he found Richard Keith Willamson, WM, 24, 5’9", 150 pounds, brn/brn, going door to door trying to use a phone, and acting strangely when told to leave. Sgt. Alexander recognized him as having been put on trespass notice at a local store for begging for money. He was arrested for public disorderly conduct.

Thieves strike across the area

Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated a number of thefts and other incidents recently. Among them were the following:

A dangerous domestic situation, which occurred on the evening of November 4 in Williamston, ended well with no one injured or harmed. Jerome Honeycutt, WM, 36, 6’1", 170 pounds, was arrested for criminal domestic violence and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, after several Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Honeycutt residence at 114 Oldfield Circle. When Deputy P.D. Marter along with several other deputies arrived, the suspect was arrested and handcuffed, and transported to ACDC.

BELTON  

Nov. 2 – J.W. Mills responded to 550 Crawford Rd. where he received a complaint from Daniel Koontz that someone had stolen his red 400EX Honda 4 wheeler. He had heard noise in the yard and had gone out in time to see the 4 wheeler being ridden away from his house. A black Mag light and a woman’s white tennis shoe were found at the end of the drive. The 4 wheeler was not found despite a search of the surrounding area.

EASLEY

Nov. 1 – E.F. Kelley received a complaint of malicious damage to property from Norman Quinney, of 112 Planter’s walk. Dr. Quinney reported that someone had damaged his mailbox during the night.

Nov. 3 – M. Voigt responded to 448 Hall Road where Tony Hart reported the theft of a license tag from one of his vehicles. The SC tag was number 269VLW.

PELZER

Nov. 1 – W.T. Cunningham was dispatched to Campbell Road in response to a report of a naked man running along the road. Campbell found Tony Alexander II, WM, 25, 5’8", 160 pounds, brn/blue running naked along Bent Creek Road near Spearman Elementary school. He was arrested for public disorderly conduct and taken to ACDC.

Nov. 1 – J. F. Parker was dispatched to a location at Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 8. He found a suspicious vehicle at 4005 Hwy. 29, which later proved to be stolen. 

Nov. 4 – W. E.Gregory received a report from Katrina Leitz that while she was stopped at the intersection of Palmetto Road and Hwy. 8, a gold minivan pulled up behind her. The driver, whom she could not identify, walked up and punched out the driver’s side window, causing cuts to Leitz. He then slapped her on the right side of her face and returned to his van. Leitz drove to her home and called the police.

Nov. 4 – M.D. Creamer responded to 113 Pine Circle where Summer Cook reported that her husband, Jeff Barbare, and she had been fighting. Barbare was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Nov.5 – M.D. Creamer was dispatched to 3 Marguerite St., where Manuel Miranda reported the theft of a dark brown 1995 Chevy van from the residence. The van also contained tools Miranda uses in his work. The total value of the stolen items was approximately $8000.

PIEDMONT

Nov. 1- -R.D. Smith stopped a vehicle on River Road which was traveling without tail lights. The driver, Eli Satcher, 18, WM, of 105 Missy Drive, was found to have an active warrant out from Iva. He was arrested and transported to ACDC.

Nov. 1 – P. D. Marter received a report of burglary from George DuPont, of 125 Poore Rd. DuPont stated that his home had been entered and a number of items stolen, including a musket, tools, recordings and meat from the freezer. Total value of the items was $2040.

Nov. 1 – T. L. Chapman responded to 205 Siloam Rd., where two victims reported the breaking and entering into their trucks. Kevin Orr’s 1993 Chevy pickup was entered and speakers, CDs, and a camera cell phone worth a total of $2320 was taken. Michael Hill also reported that his 1991 Chevy truck had been entered and a CD player and CDs valued at $665 had been stolen. The two had parked their vehicles and walked to a nearby supermarket when the theft occurred.

Nov. 1 – E.F. Kelley received a complaint of credit card fraud from Ronnie McAlister, of 104 Center Street in Williamston. McAlister reported that on two occasions, someone presented the number of his Visa Check card to two different gas stations and received a total of $163.28 in money and merchandise. He filed affidavits of fraud.

Nov. 1 – R. M. Cooper responded to the Fred’s store where he was told that someone had broken into a storage trailer and stolen approximately $355 worth of merchandise.

Nov. 5 – W. E. Gregory received a report of theft from an auto. Ricky Galloway, of 25 Haynes St., reported the theft of sound system equipment valued at approximately $280 from his car.

WILLIAMSTON

Nov. 3 – M.D. Creamer responded to Quality Motor Company at 1105Anderson Rd. where he investigated the attempted theft of a vehicle from the lot. A car had been hot wired but had not been removed.

Nov. 4 – M.D. Creamer investigated a complaint of damage to property at 121 Martin Ct. where Saskia Porter reported that someone had shot the home with a paintball gun while she was away. Damage was estimated at $100.

Nov.5 – M.D. Creamer investigated the theft of approximately $700 worth of copper pipe from a construction site at 109 Harbison Dr. A red Chevy truck was seen in the vicinity around the time of the theft.

County plans Veterans parade

On Sunday, November 12th at 3 PM, Anderson County will host the annual Veterans Day Parade in Downtown Anderson. Military vehicles, marching bands, and floats will honor the service to our natin of thousands of Anderson County residents. The parade will be followed by a celebration and commemoration on the Anderson County Courthouse Square. The parade will highlight the sacrifices of soldiers who were either killed in action or spent time as a prisoner of war. Servicepersons who were POWs will ride in a place of honor, exemplified by the Parade Grand Marshalls, James Bailey and Robert Fant. Immediate family members of those killed in action will also be recognized by riding in the procession. Anyone who is a POW or a parent, spouse, or sibling of someone who was KIA, is asked to contact a parade organizer to participate in this ceremony.

Anderson County has a strong reputation for supporting the military, both active soldiers and veterans alike. Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston said it is “&ldots;not only important to thank people for the sacrifices and efforts they have made, but it is equally essential to emphasize those actions so others may be inspired to do the same.”

For more information, contact Michelle Strange (Anderson County Community Relations Division Director) at (864) 260-1004 or Elizabeth Peace at (864) 225-2205. Information for groups who are interested in joining the procession may be obtained by calling Bud Putnam at (864) 226-9425.

Greenville County Veterans Day ceremony will be held Friday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Greenville County Square in front of the veterans monument.

The Greer High Schol band and selected veterans services organizations wil participate. Refreshments, donuts and coffee, will be served.

Wright, Crout in runoff

Williamston voters will go back to the polls in two weeks, on Tuesday, November 21, to choose their representative for the Ward 1 seat on town council. Carthel Crout, running as a write-in candidate received 382 votes, Willie Wright had 275 and Tommy Walker had 176 votes. Top two vote getters Crout and Wright will face off in two weeks.

Running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat, Marion Middleton, Jr., will continue two more years in the seat he won in a special election earlier this year to fill a seat vacated by Councilman Cecil Cothran.

Crout of 104 Shorebrook Dr., Williamston, is a 25, year resident of the town, and decided to run for the seat because he wants to “give residents of Williamston other options.”

He said he is concerned about other issues facing the town including the sewer situation and the fee for trash pickup. He wants to keep the street department intact and said he would like to modernize and update equipment and make sure the town has the personnel to better serve the citizens. He also wants to help guide the town through the financial crisis.

Crout said he will see that proper procedures are followed and will implement a requisition and purchase order system as well as a new check writing policy. He is a retired school teacher and coach, and was head football coach at Palmetto High School for 10 years.

Willie Wright of 23 School St., Williamston, has been a resident of Williamston most of his life and is a member of Bethel United Methodist Church.  He is a retiree of Roadway Express, Inc after 27 years in the administrative department and is currently employed in special education at Palmetto Middle School and was a teacher in public elementary and high schools for 14 years,

Wright said his number one issue is “getting the town out of financial debt and back on par with the normality of living.”

Wright’s platform includes getting a grocery store in Williamston, providing more activities for youth, providing a cleaner and healthier environment and adding cement sidewalks where needed.

He wants to look at ways of reducing the amount citizens have to pay on their water bills, not spending more money than is taken in and said he will listen to concerned citizens and do something about those concerns.

Wright said he will find a way of providing all citizens with a physical map of the wards in which they live.

He will look at providing more safety measures in  and around the public schools such as traffic lights and at rehiring laid off city workers in the sanitation and street departments.

Cindy Wilson retains her council seat

By Stan Welch

In a race that wasn’t as close as some expected, District Seven County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson retained her seat, handily winning a fourth term over challenger Ed Jean.

Wilson, the Republican candidate, who won by a margin of sixty-four per cent to thirty-six per cent, wasted little time in putting county administrator Joey Preston on notice that her persistent pursuit of a full accounting of the county’s operations will not only continue, but intensify.

Asked what her first initiative in the new term will be she said, “Once seated, we’ll have a quorum for a full audit of the County’s operations. Then, we’ll take that information to the people. We can also have a true budget process once we have the full story on the county’s finances.”

She also hinted at what many anticipate will be a shift in power on the Council. Asked by a reporter who the fourth vote would be, assuming that newcomers Bob Waldrep and Ron Wilson will support the audit, Wilson smiled and said, “There will be some discussions, but I think you’ll find some members of the current Council being more willing to support certain objectives.”

Wilson thanked everyone who braved cold and rainy conditions, whether to vote or to work in the polls. “I know one woman who sat at the National Guard Armory in Williamston  all day sending voters to the new polling place so they could vote. She said more than three hundred cars came to the old location. That’s the kind of great citizens we have in District Seven and in Anderson County.”

A call to Ed Jean for comment went unanswered. His wife reported that he was busy running his usual Meals on Wheels route.

Ron Wilson ran unopposed after defeating incumbent District Six Councilman Bill Dees in the June primary, while Waldrep defeated John Owen for the District One seat vacated by Fred Tolly’s decision not to seek reelection.

In the only close Council race of the night, District Three incumbent and current Council Chair Larry Greer defeated Eddie Moore who ran as a petition candidate. Greer won by 55.4 per cent to 44.5 per cent. Greer had previously won a very narrow nineteen vote victory in the Republican primary.

District Two  Councilwoman Gracie Floyd also easily won reelection, defeating newcomer Marshall Mitchell by a three to one margin. Incumbents Michael Thompson and Bill McAbee both ran unopposed after winning in the June Republican primary.

In the race for the District Seven State House of Representatives, Republican Mike Gambrell defeated Ron Gilreath by a margin of fifty six percent to forty four per cent. Gambrell said after the final tally, “I am very happy and very humble. I would like to thank all the folks who voted, and I would especially like to thank Ron Gilreath. He ran a clean and dignified race, as I hope I did also. I told him earlier tonight that this is how politics should be. I truly feel like I made a good friend while running against Ron, and I know I can call on him if I need to in the future. I’m ready to get to Columbia and make the folks who voted for me proud.”

Don Bowen won the District 8 State House of Representatives seat, defeating Michael Carmany with seventy-nine per cent of the vote. Incumbents Michael Thompson (District 9), Brian White (District 6), Paul Agnew (District 11) and Dan Cooper (District 10) all ran unopposed.

In District One School Board of Trustees elections, the results were as follows: Area One: Wendy Tucker defeated John Sosebee and Phil Landreth. Tucker received 40 per cent of the vote, while Sosebee totaled almost 35%, and Landreth received 25 per cent in the three person field. Area Four saw Fred Alexander win reelection by a margin of 57 per cent to 43 per cent over Mary Ann Woodson.  In Area Five , challenger Doug Atkins squeaked by incumbent Dale Martin by forty-six votes, and a bare 50.19 per cent plurality. Area Seven saw incumbent Nancy Upton win handily over challenger Rick Freemantle, 72 per cent to 28 per cent.

The election for the Piedmont Public Service Commission was extremely tight. At the time of publication, final results were still unavailable. Four candidates were vying for three seats. Voters in both Anderson and Greenville Counties cast votes in that election.

Due to large voter turnout and late returns, the following results are based on complete returns from Greenville County, and on two-thirds of the precincts reporting from Anderson County. Those numbers are then totaled for the results shown here.  As of 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning was Bobby Stover, 693 votes, Al McAbee, 683, Ed Poore, 613, and Rudy Rhodes, 606 votes.

Incumbent Judy Gilstrap defeated Republican challenger Dan Rawls in the Westside’s District 26 County Council race by a count of 3239 votes to 2957.

Of the seven constitutional amendment questions on the ballot, Amendment One, banning gay marriage in South Carolina was approved by eighty-five per cent of the voters.The other results were as follows: Amendments Two A and Two B, allowing both houses of the General Assembly to adjourn, passed with eighty-two and seventy-nine  per cent of the vote, respectively. Amendment Three A, allowing state retirement funds to be invested in overseas companies was approved by seventy four per cent of the voters, while Three B, eliminating a retirement investment advisory board received seventy one per cent approval. Amendment Four, capping the rise in real property assessments to fifteen per cent was approved by seventy three per cent, while Amendment Five, limiting the state’s use of eminent domain, received eighty-nine per cent approval.

Overall voter turnout, despite cold, windy and rainy weather conditions, was at approximately forty-seven per cent.

Moore has concerns with election process

By Stan Welch

Before the first vote was cast in the 2006 Anderson County Council elections, reports of improprieties and concerns about election day shenanigans filled the air.

Aside from the usual complaints about the removal or destruction of roadside campaign signs, or improper behavior by various supporters at the polling places, there were serious and formal allegations raised by at least one of the candidates.

Eddie Moore, who was running as a petition candidate for District Three, contacted the State Election Commission via a letter dated November 6, in which he expressed several concerns. Among those concerns was Moore’s discomfort with the fact that the voting machines to be used were being sent to the homes of the respective polling managers. “I find this to be highly irregular since the election is not until November 7,” said Moore in the letter.

Mr. Gary Baum, of the S.C. Election Commission, speaking in a telephone interview said that such a procedure is not unusual, nor improper. “In a number of the larger counties, especially, it is easier to distribute the machines early so that they can be set up in plenty of time. I see no problem with that.”

Moore was also concerned over the fact that he was denied a list of the numbers of the seals placed on each of the machines. Again, Baum says that keeping those numbers secret is a key part of insuring the security of the machines and the results of the voting. “If the numbers were available before the election, what would prevent someone from printing their own and then replacing the seals after tampering with the machines?”

For his part, Moore asked that an inspection be made of the District 3 machines “to make sure they have not been compromised.”

Concerns over the use of electronic voting machines, which do not produce a paper record of the votes to be used in a possible recount have risen all over the country. News articles and reports have made front page news in major newspapers, as well as on television about the potential for hacking into the machines, as well as data base problems that could lead to widespread denials of voter’s qualifications to vote.

Ms. Cathy Smith, director of the Anderson County Election Commission, denies any allegations that the integrity of the machines has been compromised. “These concerns arise at every election, but the proper procedures are followed.”

Moore’s greatest issues have to do with the reported conduct of one Gail King. Ms. King is the director of the county’s MIS services, and oversees the tallying of the votes at the Civic Center on election night.

In his letter, Moore states that she was present at the recent fall festival in Starr on November 4, and that she was wearing campaign buttons and stickers supporting incumbent Council Chair, and Moore’s opponent, Larry Greer.  Moore calls that “ a complete violation of my rights to a fair and equal election process” and goes on to promise that affidavits in support of the allegations will follow.

Indeed, at least one such sworn affidavit was obtained, from a woman named Sue Bean, who confirmed King’s presence at the Greer campaign booth, where Bean said she tried to put Greer buttons on Bean, who declined.

Moore was defeated Tuesday by a vote of 2962 to 2374.

Mustang cheerleaders host AA State qualifier

The Palmetto High School Competition Cheerleaders took first place in the Region Saturday at the Mauldin High School competition. It was their seventh first place finish in competitions this year.

The Mustangs will host the Upperstate qualifying competition at Palmetto High School at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8. There is a $5 admission charge to see the top 16 cheerleading squads in the upstate.

The teams will compete for eight qualifying positions to compete in the AA State Meet on Saturday, November 18, at the Colonial Center in Columbia. The Mustangs are the defending State AA champions, under coach Sheri Alexander.

AAAA Upper State qualifier will be held at White Knoll High School at 6 p.m.  November 6.

AAA Upper State qualifier will be held at Blythewood High School at 6 p.m. Nov. 9.

All lower state qualifiers will be held at Sumter High School on Nov. 11.

Palmetto CC Girls  State Runner-up

By Mark Rainwater

Led by senior Ashley McClellion, the Palmetto girls cross country team completed a stellar season Saturday with a second place finish at the State AA Championship in Columbia.  McClellion claimed the individual state championship by posting a winning time of 19:46, a lifetime best. 

Her teammates were on a mission of their own and out battled all but Bishop England of Charleston who posted a winning score of 64 points to Palmetto’s 109.  However, the Mustang girls outpaced the remainder of the 24 team field by a wide margin with Pendleton coming in third with 165 points, Gilbert with 200 and Walhalla with 203. 

Sophomore Jillana Darby rose to the occasion after a week of nagging health problems to claim the team’s number two spot with a time of 21:28 and 19 points.  The sensational eighth grade trio of Sierra Vargas, Candace Owens, and Marlee Rhodes scored the next three team spots to round out the scoring for Palmetto.  Vargas ran 21:31 for 21 points, Owens 22:04 for 32 points and Rhodes a lifetime best of 22:14 for 36 points out of a field of 173 2A/1A girls.  Junior Shannon Burgess placed a strong 41st place with a time of 22:23.  Seventh grader Breannah Tompkins was pulled up to varsity after a season ending injury to junior Carmen Scales.  Her place of 102 at the state meet and time of 24:16 show that this program has a bright future. 

In just three seasons, Coach Kellie Eaves has led the Palmetto girls program to an eighth place finish in 2004, a fifth place in 2005, and a historic school best 2nd this year.  With six of the top seven runners returning for the 2007 season; the Mustangs should once again be a force in South Carolina cross country.

3.1 Miles of Smiles

There is an age-old adage among distance runners regarding the key to success, “Miles of trials, trials of miles.”  Anyone fortunate enough to witness the performance of Ashley McClellion at the state championship cross country meet at Sandhills Research Park in Columbia would never have believed that saying.  McClellion’s demeanor during the intense five-kilometer race threatened to render the old runners creed obsolete.  Judging by the beaming grin on her face for nearly twenty minutes the saying should be rewritten to, “Miles of smiles, smiles for miles.”  At every turn of the course, on the straights and curves, up the hills, and to the finish, Ashley flashed an award-winning smile that belied the effort of a lifetime personal record of 19:46.  In doing so, she realized a long time goal of winning the girls 2A individual state championship.  On Ashley’s right hand, Coach Kellie Eaves had written “I feel great” and a smiley face.  Eaves has a penchant for writing inspirational sayings, split times and goals on the hands of her runners.  What she wrote on her state champions hand that morning could not have been more prophetic.  McClellion looked and did feel great.  After holding back the pace and trailing her main four rivals through the first mile, McClellion made a move that would not be answered.  She took the lead just after passing through the first mile in 6:13 and it was never relinquished.  “I just took it easy the first mile,” said McClellion.  What was easy to her was obviously not easy to her rivals as evidenced by the strain on their faces. Unfazed, McClellion cruised through the remainder of the race in her graceful, powerful, and effortless style.  In her sixth trip to Columbia she walked away victorious.  And, with a huge smile.

Thefts, drugs among incidents

Sheriff’s Deputies investigated counterfeit currency, thefts and drug related incidents recently. Among incidents investigated:

BELTON  

Oct. 18 – M. Voigt responded to 160 Baker Rd. where Justin Mullinax reported that someone had stolen his car the night before. The vehicle is a 2003 silver Jeep Liberty with SC tag # 823VCX. The vehicle, valued at $17,000 has two Masonic stickers on the back window.

Oct. 19 – M.D. Creamer investigated a report of burglary at 1514 Cannon Bottom Road. Harry Greene reported that someone had stolen approximately $1000 worth of copper pipe from a storage building.

Oct. 19 – M.D. Creamer received a report of an attempt to pass counterfeit money at the Moorhead Oil gas station on Hwy. 29. An unknown subject tried to use the $100 bill to purchase gas. He left when told that the bill was fake and that the law had been called. He left in a green four door vehicle with SC tag # 882VRS. The serial number on the bill was DK11001465A.

Oct.20 – R.D. McElrath investigated a report of two suspicious men entering a residence at 223 Rushton Rd. A neighbor reported the entry, and the doors of the house were found to be open when McElrath responded. The victim, Danita Hollowfield, later discovered a CD player and some movies and games to be missing.

 Oct. 21 – R.D. McElrath responded to 534 Griffin Rd. in reference to a domestic dispute between Gary Jones and Joseph Andres Jones, WM, 30, 5’11", 170 pounds, brn/brn. McElrath checked the name with central dispatch and discovered two outstanding warrants on the subject. He was also advised that Jones was considered extremely dangerous. According to reports, McElrath waited for Deputy R.J. Payne to assist, then attempted to take Jones into custody. Jones resisted both chemical spraying and three shots with the taser. Four more deputies arrived to assist in the arrest. Jones cut three deputies with a pair of scissors, and struck two others with an electric razor. He was finally subdued and transported to ACDC, where the charges of resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, and assault and battery with intent to kill were added to the existing charges.

EASLEY

Oct. 17 – J.L. Harris received a complaint of grand larceny from Jerry Tripp at 3709 Pelzer Hwy. Tripp reported that someone had stolen a purple single axle utility trailer with the initials JT welded into the frame. Also taken were a blue 10kw generator and a set of Craftsman tools. Total value of the stolen goods is $3750.

PIEDMONT

Oct. 20 – R.M. Cooper responded to 210 Old River Rd. where Brian Bishop reported the theft of a black utility trailer valued at $1000.

Oct. 20 – J.F. Parker was on patrol near Guyton Rd. and Cherokee Rd. when a Honda Accord passed him. The passenger side windows were broken and a paper tag was attached to the rear of the car. The driver, described as a white male with a pale face and medium length dark hair, threw several plastic baggies out of the car and sped off at a high rate of speed. He turned onto Hembree Road and then onto Welcome Road, which he followed to Hwy. 29 N.

He then followed it to I-85 North. Parker and another deputy, as well as State Trooper continued the pursuit. An attempt to use stop strips at I-85 and River Road was unsuccessful because the suspect changed lanes. The pursuit was discontinued at the county line.

Oct. 21 – J.F. Parker was driving on Highway 8 at Hwy. 29 when a white Buick turned in front of him, causing him to have to hit the brakes quickly. He stopped the vehicle and subsequently discovered a large zip lockbag of marijuana. Both  the driver, Sean Robinson, BM, 25 from La Quinta CA, and the passenger, Larry Mack, BM, 26, of Anderson, were arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

 

 

 

 

 

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