News Archive

(5006) Week of Dec. 13, 2006

Cannon incident remains under investigation
Public hearings set for 2007 budget, moving old city hall
2005 audit reflects towns financial woes
11-year-old charged with CSC
Anderson One scores among top on HSAP
Anderson One near top on End-of-Course tests
Journal holiday deadlines

Seems to Me . . .A white Christmas

Wilson looking into ARL host fees
Investigate shooting

Cannon incident remains under investigation

An incident involving Williamston’s historic civil war cannon remains under investigation and will possibly result in a military JAG investigation local officials said this week.

The Journal reported last week that after the town questioned the whereabouts of the cannon, it was returned to the town defaced.

According to Mayor Phillip Clardy, the bronze cannon was returned to the town spray painted and with a piece of wood corked in the barrel.

However information provided by a former guard member close to the situation paints a slightly different picture.

According to retired guard member, Johnny Shaw,  who has been involved with the restoration and care of the cannon since it was under the custody of the local guard unit, the cannon was returned with black paint placed on it as a protective coating to keep it from being scratched. The paint can easily be removed with paint thinner, he said.

As far as the wood placed in the barrel, Shaw said any gun in the custody of the military that is turned over to the public must be demiled, or rendered unusable.

Clardy stated last week that two town employees were sent to the armory to inquire of the whereabouts of the cannon after several citizens had asked about it after they mistakenly went there to vote in the recent election and did not see it.

Clardy said the town was trying to determine where the cannon was located since it was not on display at the local guard unit.

“We weren’t expecting to get it back at all and just wanted to know where it was,” Clardy said. “We were hoping it was stored somewhere other than in the armory.”

Clardy said that he last saw the cannon in the armory during the 2004 mayoral election.

According to Shaw, the cannon had been in storage at the National Guard Armory.

He said it was once mounted on a temporary display stand at the armory, but had been removed because the wooden stand was leaning to one side and was becoming a possible hazard.

The cannon was placed into storage in the boiler room of the building until an expensive hand built carriage could be crafted for it, Shaw said. This was just before the local unit was deployed to Iraq.

Prior to this, Shaw said a craftsman in Greenville had been contacted about building an authentic carriage, but the cost was estimated at $20,000 plus. Those responsible for the cannon said they had hopes of finding a grant to pay the cost.

Shaw said most people expected the cannon to look the way it did when it was on display and fired at the dedication of the veterans park and the Spring Water Festival in 1997.

At that time, the shiny bronze cannon had been refurbished by Sergeant Larry Arflin, Shaw and other guard members after being pulled from a scrap metal heap at the town’s water treatment plant.

Guard members asked the town for permission to keep it in the custody of the local guard unit took and having it refurbished.

With the help of the Palmetto Light Artillery Sons of Confederate Veterans , the refurbished cannon was placed on a borrowed carriage to be on display at the dedication ceremony of the veterans park located behind the armory and also at the 1997 Spring Water Festival.

According to an article published in The Journal on August 27, 1997, issue of The Journal,  the rare cannon features bronze rifling and is the only known surviving of its type from the Civil War period according to Jack Marlar, of the Palmetto Light Artillery.

It was cast by Nobles Brothers Foundry of Rome, GA.  in 1862. The cannon fired shells with timed fuses and sometimes percussion detonators, case shot, solid shot and cannister.

The article states local Guardsmen and other volunteers hand sanded the bronze gun, had metalwork custom made and fashioned an oak base for the cannon.

The 1997 article also states that the Town of Williamston retains ownership of the cannon, valued at approximately $50,000 

Another article published a few weeks earlier about the veterans park dedication states, “The 993 pound cannon was purchased in 1940 for about $24 by the Williamston American Legion  Post #52.

According to the article, local post Commander R. L. Hadden requested the cannon and U. S. Senator James F. Byrnes enlisted the help of U. S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson in securing the cannon for the local post.

It was shipped form the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois in October of 1940. Post 52 paid $20.26 for shippng, a $3 handling charge and a 41 cent reimbursement fee.

The cannon was on display in Mineral Spring Park until about the mid 1970s, when it was removed and placed into storage until guard members saved it from the scrap heap.

A copy of the agreement recently made available states that the town had an agreement with the National Guard Armory allowing them to lease the historic cannon and have it refinished and placed at the armory.

The agreement stated that both parties acknowledge that the Town is the owner and allows the cannon to be stored in the armory. It also states that the guard agrees to keep the cannon in a secure and safe storage area inside the armory and agrees to be responsible for all maintenance, repair and upkeep of the cannon.

The agreement states that the guard agrees to not remove the cannon from the site  without written agreememnt of the town and that if it is removed for cleaning purposes or inspection, the guard will first obtain written consent of the town. The copy of the agreement was unsigned by town or guard officials.

Mayor Clardy said this was his issue with the incident, in addition to the condition of the cannon when it was returned to the town.

“We are not pointing fingers or accusing anyone,” Clardy said, stating that the town has no issue with the local guard unit.

“The problem is how it was returned and the manner we found it.”

Clardy also said there was no truth to the rumor that the cannon was being sold to a museum.

Public hearings set for 2007 budget, moving old city hall

Williamston Town Council will hold a public hearing before having second reading on the 2007 budget at their next meeting Monday, Dec. 18.

Council unanimously approved first reading on the 2007 budget during their Dec. 4 meeting and agreed to make adjustments to the 2006 budget to pay out end of year bonuses to town employees

Though the town is not experiencing a cash flow problem due to tax money that is coming in, the town is expected to end the year with a 2006 budget deficit of approximately $70,000.

The problem is that the revenues currently being used are for operations in 2007, resulting in a dilema the town has faced for a number of years, using next year’s tax funding to finish this year’s operations.

Town officials are also expected to make a decision on the old town hall building after they get additional input from town citizens. A public hearing on the matter is also set for the Dec. 18 meeting.

At the last meeting of Council, Mayor Clardy said estimates received indicate the building can be moved at a cost of $50,000 to $75,000.

Councilman Marion Middleton, Jr. said that if it is not moved, the ceiling, wood and bricks could be salvaged and possibly sold as souvenirs or used in some other way.

Clardy said that funds could be available to help preserve the building though none has been obtained at present.

Developer Jim Simpson, who purchased the property at auction indicated that he is not presently under pressure to have something done but has urged council to begin making a decision on what to do with the building.

Saturday, January 13 is the tentative date for unearthing and reburial of a time capsule that was buried July 4th 1976. The capsule will be moved from the old city hall property and placed, along with a new sesquicentennial time capsule, in the ground at the Municipal Center. The original time capsule is to be opened in 2076. The new capsule is to be opened in 2052.

2005 audit reflects towns financial woes

Williamston Town Council recently finalized the 2006 budget and is putting the final touches on the 2007 budget.

Under scrutiny of the public, Council members have been working through the town’s financial situation for almost the entire year.

Not suprisingly, the results of the 2005 audit reflect many of the figures that have been brought out and discussed in numerous budget work sessions and meetings held during the year.

Officially for 2005, according to the audit, revenues were $2,420,905, considerably less than expenditures of $3,020,879. The town brought in $216,000 more money than budgeted, and it also spent $816,000 more than budgeted.

Accountant Bob Daniel did preliminary work on the town’s finances before the auditing firm of Francis M. “Bud” Branyon, CPA of Anderson, was brought in to finish the audit.

The draft copy of the audit was first submitted to the town in June of 2005. Town officials initially delayed making the audit public pending a review by State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), though preliminary financial information was released as the town worked through the financial situation leading up to the approval of a 2006 budget midway through the year.

According to the auditors report, the town experienced five years of fund deficits and had a negative fund balance of $188,476 as of December 31, 2005.

The town had liabilities of $1,171,922 of which most were past due and only $983,446 of assets to cover them.

The conditions raised substantial doubt about the ability of the town to continue as a going concern, the report said.

The financial highlights of the audit state the total  net assets at the close of the year were $6,599,418 of which $349,149 was unrestricted.

The net assets decreased by  $386,394 or 5.53 percent.

Long term debt decreased by $278,141 or 10.24 percent.

The total assets of the government fund were less than its liabilities at the close of the 2005 year by $188,476. The fund balance decreased by $599,974.

Revenues were $2,420,905, compared to expenditures of $3,020,879.

Total net assets decreased $386,394 during 2005, from $6,985,812 to $6,599,418.

Total net assets unrestricted which are supposed to be used to meet the towns obligations to citizens and creditors, was at a deficit of $349,149. $302,574 was for government activities and $46,575 was for businesse type activities.

General fund revenues and other financing sources totaling $2,420,905 exceeded budget revenues of $2,204,543 by $216,362 or  9.81 percent.

Expenditures totaling $3,020,879 exceeded budgeted expenditures of $2,204,543 by $816,336 or 37.03 percent.

 The increase in revenues included a federal grant for capital projects of $297,394.

Of the increase in expenditures of $816,336, general government had $171,224; public safety had $205,723; and grant expense had $319,700.

At the end of the year the town had liabilities including: accounts payable $325,183; payroll liabilities of $393,763; penalties of $23,374; police fines due of $89,602; notes payable of $350,000.

The report includes the town’s plans regarding to deal with the problems including: reducing the town employees by 18 or 34%; stopping the mayor’s and council’s pay and benefits; implementing a sanitation fee of $14 per month; increasing water rates by 20 %; selling excess land for $481,485; increasing franchise fees from 3% to 4%, and increasing business license fees by 30%.

Four material weaknesses were reported.

The town was delinquent in paying legal obligations including payroll taxes, state retirement and state portion of police fines for 2005.

Invoices did not have appropriate approval for payment and a signature stamp was used on a significant number of checks. There were a large number of voided checks, many of which had been signed for payment and invoices were not timely recorded into the computer accounting system.

There was significant overtime and comp time incurred without appropriate approval. Some employees were paid for vacation, which is not authorized by Town policy. Some salaries were paid in advance of earning the salary.

The accountants noted that the town faced a financial crisis during 2005 without being aware of the condition because accurate financial information was not available.

With the numerous cuts and close budgeting, 2006 finances for the town are in considerably better shape, though the town is still expected to have a budget shortfall of approximately $70,000.

A public hearing and second reading on the 2007  budget and theis set for Monday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m.

11-year-old charged with CSC

By Stan Welch

Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies recently investigated a case in which an eleven year old boy was charged with criminal sexual conduct, involving a three year old girl.

Chief of Detectives Creed Hashe confirmed that the incident, which occurred in  Piedmont, resulted in a  criminal charge against the boy, who was subsequently placed with a relative, in a home where no other children are present. According to the ACSO media report, which is published twice weekly, the incident occurred on December 8, at approximately 1:00 p.m.

Hashe was sparing with information, as is often the case in such a sensitive situation, involving not only a minor victim, but a minor subject, as well. Originally, the ACSO records office, upon instructions, declined to release the full incident reports, though they were referenced on the twice weekly media report that the department issues. That report indicated that two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor were originally alleged, as well as a charge of committing a lewd act on a minor, and a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

After contacting ACSO Public Information Officer Susann Griffin, The Journal was in turn contacted by Chief Hashe, who provided the information provided in this article. He explained that one of the original charges, of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, did not indicate a violent attack of any sort, but a level of sexual conduct beyond a certain level. “That was originally coded by the officers as assault and battery, but eventually, as the investigation continued, a single charge of criminal sexual conduct was brought instead,” said Chief Hashe.

The subject will undergo full psychological testing, said Hashe. “He will be examined and an effort will be made to determine whether this was an isolated incident, or part of something that will require a more long term approach.” The other child will also be examined.

Anderson One scores among top on HSAP

Scores on the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) for Anderson School District One show  Palmetto and Wren high schools far exceeded the aggregate average for the state. 

In English Language Arts, 91.3% of district students met the standard, compared to 85% statewide. In mathematics, 88% of Anderson One students met the standard, a 1% increase from 2005. 

The 88% compares to 80% of students statewide passing the math section.  Students passing both the English and Math sections on their first attempt, a measure often used as a reference by the SC State Department of Education when comparing districts, found almost 86% of Anderson One students succeeding with both compared to about 75% passing both across the state.  The scores place Anderson One among the top five districts in the state.

“Credit for our outstanding results should go to the students, teachers, and administrators of our schools as scores of this quality reflect a climate of high expectations for success.  We are obviously very proud of the great job being done in our district’s schools based on the quality of these test results,” said Dr. John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education for Anderson School District One.

 “This is far beyond a test of the basics as we had for many years.  This test is based on South Carolina’s rigorous standards, considered by many to be among the toughest in the nation.  These scores are indicative of the work being done from kindergarten through the secondary grades by the dedicated teachers of our district,” Pruitt concluded.

“When high percentages of students pass both sections of this exam on the first attempt, it should serve as an indication that we can expect higher percentages of students to graduate from our schools in a timely fashion,” stated Dr. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent of Anderson School District One.

 “In a time when so many people outside of education are focused on statistics, it is great to supply them with these that reflect outstanding academic achievement.”

The High School Assessment Program (HSAP) is a battery of tests administered to all SC high school students completing their second year in high school.  HSAP assesses the student’s academic achievement on high school standards in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002 and fulfills the similar requirement of the South Carolina Education Accountability Act (EAA) of 1998 that each public school student pass an exit examination in order to receive a South Carolina high school diploma.  HSAP replaced the Basic Skills Assessment Program (BSAP).  Unlike BSAP, HSAP is fundamentally focused on required state curriculum standards and measures far beyond basic skills. 

 The HSAP is broken down into essentially two portions, English Language Arts and Mathematics.  The ELA portion assesses reading, writing, and research skills.  The Mathematics portion assesses understanding of numbers and associated operations, algebra, measurement and geometry, data analysis and probability, and problem solving.  Students who do not pass one or both sections of the test have the opportunity to take another version of the test in succeeding years prior to their time of graduation.

Anderson One near top on End-of-Course Tests

According to results recently released for the 2005-2006 Education Accountability Act mandated end-of-course tests, Anderson School District One students again scored near the top in the state and demonstrated great progress in Algebra and English. 

Results in both of the areas showed a 3% increase of students scoring in the proficient and advanced range.  According to school officials, the tests that measure student achievement in the benchmark courses of Algebra 1/Math for Technologies 2, English I, Biology I/Applied Biology II, and Physical Science are among the most rigorous content standards based tests of their kind in the country.  The scores are used to assess student progress while at the same time count as 20% of the student’s final grade in the courses.

“We are very pleased with our results in Algebra and English but know we have great improvement to make in our science scores,” stated John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education for Anderson One.  “Though our scores in both the science areas place us among the best in the state, we need to find ways to make major improvements.  Something must be done in these areas when the mean score statewide is a low “D” or an “F.”

Superintendent, Dr. Wayne Fowler said, “Though we are proud to once again be counted among the top districts in South Carolina based on our mean scores, we continue to look for ways to improve student achievement.  With over 65% of our students scoring A’s and B’s in Algebra and over 42% doing as well in English, we believe we know the capabilities of our students and simply must find a way to translate this to the sciences.” 

Anderson One’s mean scores are among the top five districts in the state in Algebra 1, English I, and Physical Science, and rank 9th in Biology.

“These are tough tests and measure skills far beyond basic areas as they thoroughly assess the SC Curriculum Standards,” stated Pruitt.  “We are essentially happy with our scores at the upper end of the spectrum but see that there is still much to be accomplished.  Just as with PACT at the lower grades, we fully expect our scores to improve each year as teachers become more familiar with the SC Standards.  Test results in these key areas in effect measure the student’s entire educational career to this point as many of the standards for these courses are refinements of those being taught from kindergarten on.  This is a vertical team effort of all teachers with all demonstrating high expectations for continuous progress.”

In District One, English 1 test results last year also beat the baseline mark, going from a mean scale score of 75.4 to 76.1.  Students had more A and B equivalent scores and fewer D and F equivalents this year as compared to the previous year.  Second-year biology scores fell one-half-point below the baseline – 72.3 in 2005-2006 versus the previous mark of 72.8.  Biology was the only subject to see a higher percentage of failures in 2005-2006.

“This year’s results remind us that these new tests are tough – like all of our state assessments – and they need to be taken seriously,” State School Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum said.  “We’ll keep working with our teachers to make sure they cover the academic standards that are going to be measured on the exams.”

The Education Accountability Act of 1998 mandates the end-of-course tests.  In math, students enrolled in Algebra 1 courses and Mathematics for the Technologies 2 take the algebra end-of-course test.  Content standards for both courses are the same.  Similarly, students enrolled in Biology 1 and Applied Biology 2 take the same end-of-course test in biology; content standards for both courses are the same.  U.S. History and Constitution tests will be added in this current school year but will not be used as a student accountability measure until the following year.

Tenenbaum said a rapid scoring system enables schools to include the test scores in students’ final course grades.  Students’ scores are posted on a secure password-protected website within 36 hours after answer documents are received by the scoring contractor.

Journal holiday deadlines

Due to the holidays, The Journal will observe early deadlines for the December 20 and December 27 issues and the January 3, 2007 issue. 

Deadline for news and advertising for the Dec. 20 issue will be noon Monday, Dec. 18. Deadline for the Dec. 27 issue will be noon Wednesday, Dec. 20.

The Journal office will be closing at noon on Friday, Dec. 22. The office will remain closed Dec. 22 - Dec. 28. 

The Journal office will be open Friday, Dec. 29 to accept news, advertising and classifieds for the January 3, 2007 issue. 

The Journal will be closed New Years Day, Monday, January 1. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2. Anyone wishing to place an ad or other news item in the Jan. 3 issue is asked to please submit the item by Friday, Dec. 29. Items can be mailed, faxed or emailed anytime during the holiday period and will placed in The Journal at the earliest possible publication date.

Seems to Me . . .A white Christmas

By Stan Welch

Ah, ‘tis the season. Of all the wonderful Christmases I’ve had, there are two that really stand out. Oh, sure, there was the Christmas where I got my first bike, which, back in the days before all these sports bikes and stuff, was taller than I was.

The weeks after Christmas were filled with my Mother’s efforts to teach me to ride this huge two-wheeled conveyance, which had pedal blocks attached so that my stubby little legs could reach them. Mom would run alongside and get up to a nice, lethal speed, then push me and yell, “Pedal! Keep it straight! Look Out! Omigod, he’s dead!” Ah, those were the days. Love you, Mom.

One of my most memorable Christmases came while I was living at Windy Hill in North Myrtle Beach. It was in 1989, the year a fair sized hurricane, named Hugo, rolled through the area in September. Maybe you’ve heard about it. Our end of the Grand Strand fared better than most, though the damage was extensive.

Still, I remember that white Christmas just as clearly as I do Hugo and its aftermath. A storm formed off the coast just as a real cold front moved down from Canada. It began snowing about noon on December 23, and it snowed hard and steadily for the next thirty six hours or so, as that ocean moisture was fed relentlessly into that cold front and turned into snow.

It was beautiful, and the Myrtle Beach area was totally unprepared to deal with it. When it finally stopped, the snowfall measured sixteen inches, and to make it worse, the temperature didn’t break freezing for three days. That’s not good when your primary method of snow removal is the sun.

My wife and I had planned to go to Charleston and spend Christmas with my folks, but sometime during the day on Christmas Eve, I called and told Mom she’d have to teach somebody else to ride a bike that year. We weren’t going to make it.

Of course, since we had planned on going out of town, we had no Christmas dinner supplies in the house, and you literally couldn’t get anywhere. So Christmas morning we called around and finally found a hotel, the Kingston Resort, which was serving a Christmas buffet. The Kingston resort was about two miles from our house. It took us an hour to get there. But the food was great and the wine was good, and we moseyed on home in due time.

The other thing I remember about that storm was that the plumbing on our house, which was a true Carolina beach house, and not some vinyl sided monstrosity that you see today, connected up just outside the kitchen wall. The drain lines were about a foot and a half off the ground.

We had lost power, so we were leaving the water dripping in the kitchen sink so the supply line wouldn’t freeze and burst.. But the drain lines froze each night because they were exposed. The sink would fill up and be within a half inch of overflowing by the next morning. So every morning, for three days, I would have to go outside and build a little charcoal fire under the intersection of the pipes to thaw them. When that ice plug broke loose, you could hear the sink drain from outside. Thank goodness we didn’t have a gas grill in those days.

During the entire time I lived on the coast of South Carolina, first in Charleston, and then in the Grand Strand area, there were two major snowfalls.

The first came on the evening of December 26, 1980. I was to be married on December 27, at the Charles Towne Landing on the site of the original Charles town settlement. More than a hundred people were invited and the ceremony was to be outside.

As my friends and I exited an adult beverage selling place where my bachelor party had gotten off to a rousing start, on our way to another adult beverage selling place, it began to snow. “How delightful!” I said. “What a wonderful omen”, said my best man, whom I no longer speak to. “I’m sure it won’t last for long.” What a moron.

By the time the snow stopped, it measured fourteen inches deep. I know because I dropped the wedding band during the ceremony (it was cold, man! I was shaking.) and it took me about two minutes to find it in all the snow.

Still, snowstorms, like marriage, aren’t for the faint hearted. So we completed the ceremony (in an act of genius that had mixed results, I had opened the bar an hour early to allow those who got there to thaw). We then proceeded to celebrate both the union, and the weather, with several hours of hand picked live blue grass music, the best barbecue in the coast of South Carolina, and a generous selection of adult beverages.

So forgive me if, when people start talking wistfully of a white Christmas, I seem less than enthusiastic. Seems to me they’re overrated.

Wilson looking into ARL host fees

By Stan Welch

County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson has apparently extended her area of interest in the County’s operations to include those of the solid waste and animal control divisions of the environmental services department.

In a letter dated December 11, she asked county administrator Joey Preston for an “update concerning the reported $143,000 embezzled at the Animal Shelter. Isn’t this department under the management of Vic Carpenter? How could the losses go unnoticed for so long?”

She also asked that the videotapes of garbage trucks going in and out of the Anderson Regional Landfill, which Carpenter referred to at the Dec. 5 County Council meeting be made available for her viewing. That reference by Carpenter was in response to Wilson’s charges that there is no accountability concerning the host fees paid to the County by ARL for the garbage dumped there each month. 

Wilson raised the issue during debate on a proposal by Preston to increase the percentage of fee in lieu of taxes revenues withheld from the schools from the current fifteen per cent to thirty per cent. The increase was slated to help address a deficit in the solid waste fund. Wilson contended that the solid waste fee was being used as a ruse to cover enormous cost overruns in the sewer fund, which she says have occurred due to the current construction of the third phase of the Beaverdam line.

Wilson has long been a critic and opponent of that sewer project, saying that it ran lines through areas that did not and would not offer sufficient users to generate the revenues needed to pay off the bonds that fund the construction.

Despite the FILOT measure being defeated, Wilson continues to seek an explanation of how the host fee is accounted for and calculated. She raised the issue of trucks entering the landfill at night, and Carpenter responded that video cameras recorded each truck, thereby providing accountability for the amount dumped.

In her memo of December 11, she asked that those videos, which Carpenter said go back for years, be made available for viewing. She also questioned the role of Claude Graham in the County’s solid waste operations. Graham was a key player in the deal that resulted in the sale of the Big Creek landfill.

“Mr. Carpenter has been observed numerous times talking with Claude Graham during Council meetings and afterwards drinking and dining with Graham at Sullivan’s Grill. He has been observed setting up meetings with Graham. Why would he be discussing Solid waste matters with Graham. Claude Graham stated in sworn testimony that he receives royalties from the garbage buried at Big Creek, and is paid to lobby the County. He also states that he brings checks to the County Administrator. What are those checks for and in what amounts?” reads the memo.

Wilson goes on to ask for complete details on the host fee’s accounting including the amount per ton and the mechanics of insuring that the county receives its due. She goes on to ask whether the County should “consider bidding out its waste hauling since we are losing so much money in solid waste dealing with AWIN and Carolina Container Corporation?”

Editor’s note: AWIN is the symbol for Allied Waste on the NYSE, while Carolina Container Corporation is the subsidiary of Allied which contracts with the County to haul its solid waste.

Said Wilson in a recent interview, “It seems clear that the County made a poor deal on the original sale of the landfill. The numbers involved simply don’t add up. With the amount of garbage going into the Big Creek landfill, it just seems strange that we should be faced with having to reduce funding to the schools in Anderson County to keep an enterprise fund, like Solid Waste, which is supposed to pay for itself, afloat. What happened to all the money we were supposed to save by getting out of the solid waste business,and selling the landfill?”

Investigate shooting

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office responded Tuesday evening to a residence located at 1008 Camelot Forest Dr. in the Belton area, and found two men dead, apparently from gunshots.  According to ACSO sources, Sheriff David Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Creed Hashe were the first to reach the scene. Chief Hashe described the men as black males, in their twenties or thirties. Media outlets later identified the two men as Shandon Putnam, 25, and Carrol Vincent Martin, 36. Both men had been shot. The Anderson County Coroner’s Office could not be reached to confirm a cause of death or the names of the victims at press time. According to witnesses at the scene both bodies were located inside the house. No resuscitation efforts were undertaken by medical responders. ACSO public information officer Susann Griffin said that the Coroner’s Office had been designated to release the victims’ identities, and declined to do so. She did note that the murders bring to a total of twelve the murders committed in Anderson County so far this year. Reportedly, a neighbor across the street heard people arguing and shots fired. The neighbor called 911. A search warrant was sought but had not been provided as of 9:30 Tuesday evening. A potential witness, however, had been taken to the ACSO for questioning. His identity had not been released at press time either. 






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