News Archive

Week of Dec. 24, 2003

Local teen polishes leadership skills in national conference
Christmas wish comes true for former resident
County task force to develop legislative recommendations
Mad cow causes concern

Week of Dec. 31, 2003

Looking back at 2003
Officials to answer questions at January town meeting
Christmas gifts assist local military families
Officers busy during holidays

Local teen polishes leadership skills in national conference

Anna Crawford recently attended the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. with students from across the nation. The Williamston teen describes the trip as a truly “stretching experience.”

The unique leadership development program invites high school students – based on scholastic merit, community involvement and leadership contributions – to interact with today’s leaders. NYLC scholars work through many issues facing the country today in a series of simulations and meet face-to-face with members of the U. S. Congress or their staff as well as other influential personalities.

Crawford soon found herself somewhat unique among the over 400 students who attended the conference since she was one of only four students who actually raised the money for the trip themselves. Crawford said she chose to raise the money herself since she was going to represent the community and wanted the community to be a part of the experience.

Interacting with students from many areas of the nation was a learning experience in itself for Crawford. Having the “biggest problem with keeping my mouth shut,” Crawford said she soon felt designated the “premier Southern belle” by her fellow students who were very accepting and fascinated by her accent.

Mud dogging, tractor pulls and the correct pronunciation of “y’all” soon became topics of conversation during the little free time that was available. A true Southerner, Crawford admits she even let an “ain’t” slip in front of her roommates from New Mexico, Michigan and Alabama.

One of only six students from South Carolina attending the conference, Crawford was the only student from the Third Congressional District. Due to a last-minute change in speakers, she was asked to give the introduction for U. S. Representative J. Gresham Barrett of the Third Congressional District of South Carolina on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The conference participants filled the chamber where the State of the Union Address takes place – an honor usually reserved for members of Congress and their special guests. Crawford had only overnight to prepare to introduce Barrett to the group but soon found that her excitement overshadowed any nervousness she had.

Barrett told the students, “I have always considered myself a small town guy. I once thought that it was impossible for someone like me to have an impact on my country, but I started making small contributions within my community which have led to my being here in the House of Representatives where I can help my country on a large scale. I’d like to ask you two questions about your qualifications and commitment to be leaders. If not you, who? If not now, when? If I can stand here as a member of the U. S. Congress, each of you can do the same and help secure a bright future for our country.”

After his speech, Barrett invited Crawford to visit his office and meet his staff. Crawford said that her favorite thing about the entire conference was the 45-minute personal interview she had with Barrett in his office where he spent time talking to her about paging and internship opportunities.

“By participating in the National Young Leaders Conference, students like Anna Crawford become better equipped to address the challenges facing communities around the world,” said Mike Lasday, executive director of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the organization that sponsors NYLC. “Rarely does someone so young come to our nation’s capital to interact with today’s elected officials, presidential appointees and nationally recognized opinion makers. This program offers young leaders Washington, D.C. as their classroom.”

Now Crawford describes herself as “passionate about history and all that it holds.” She feels that the conference helped her confirm her goals for the future. She hopes to get a double major in political science and history and to go on to law school.

“People behind the scenes in government don’t get the recognition they deserve. I’d love to be one of those people,” she concluded.

A junior at Palmetto High School, Crawford is a member of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, and Helping Hands. She is the daughter of Stanley and Linda Crawford who live on Camelia Circle in Williamston.

Crawford was able to raise the $1,264 tuition for the conference through generous support from the local community. Contributors included: R & R Equipment, Palmetto Family Medicine, Subway, Regions Bank, Gray Mortuary, Pelzer Lions Club, Bunton Exterminating, Bi-Lo, Philip E. Williams, Eye Care Center, Steve Sears Garage, Betty McClain, Becky Sears, David and Teresa Meares, Susan Wolfe, and Don Lovelace.

Christmas wish comes true for former resident

Wishes are the stuff that Christmas is made of since wishes seem to come naturally with the season that offers all of us the promise of a better future.

For one former area resident, a longtime wish came true a little early for Christmas and at a very special time in her life.

Through conversations with Renee Patterson who is terminally ill, caregivers learned that she wanted more than anything to have a brand new living room suite – something she had never had in her life.

Keaty Woods, a worker with Adult Protective Services, set out to secretly make that wish come true. Wood made phone calls to some local businesses to explain Patterson’s situation and her lifelong desire.

The result was that a completely new leather sofa with two chairs, tables and lamps were delivered to Patterson’s home in Slater on December 5 courtesy of Tolly Furniture in Greenville.

“Something she (Woods) said when she called led us to act on the request. We knew that we would get more blessing from the gift than anyone,” says Zeke Tolly whose business family decided to make fulfilling the wish their Christmas project.

Forty-eight-year-old Patterson said she was in disbelief when the Tolly truck pulled up in front of her house. She dissolved into tears when she realized that the truck was full of furniture for her.

The daughter of Homer and Violet Riddle, Patterson grew up on Hindman Street in West Pelzer and attended Pelzer Elementary. Her brother James still lives on Hindman Street, and some of her grandchildren have attended Pelzer Elementary.

Patterson is the mother of three children – Heather Holcombe of Pelzer, Steven Patterson of Belton, and Tralaine Harless of Dacusville – and eight grandchildren.

Explaining that she used to run five miles every morning, Patterson says that she began experiencing numbness and falling episodes in 1992.

After many medical tests, Patterson said she grew tired of going to doctors as the news began to get worse and worse.

She was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997 with the added complications of diabetes and cancer.

Patterson decided to move to Slater five years ago where she has several dogs she has rescued.

According to Patterson, her cocker spaniel Sassy has saved her life on more than one occasion when Sassy pressed her lifeline button for her when she was not able to do so herself.

With her health declining and under the care of Hospice for the last three months, Patterson is rarely alone for any length of time now.

“Life for her is an ongoing battle every day,” says her friend Glenn Spivey. “It is sad and joyful at the same time to see her fight so hard to keep alive,” Spivey explains.

“God’s keeping me here for some reason - there’s an ultimate plan,” Patterson adds.

Yet for today, one thing is for sure for the determined fighter. “This is the best Christmas ever,” Patterson says as she enjoys her new sofa and furniture. “It makes me feel good that people cared enough to see that I had a Christmas like this,” she beams.

Readers who know Patterson or readers who would like to contact her may write to her at P. O. Box 355, Slater, S.C. 29683.

County task force to develop legislative recommendations

A task force appointed by Anderson County Council Chairman Bill Dees will continue work begun at a county tax meeting Dec. 1.

Calling the meeting an “example of things we need to be doing in this country to take a proactive stance in healing,” Dees appointed the task force to tackle concerns over reassessment, property taxes, school funding, and government services.

Dees appointed the task force a day after the Anderson County Legislative Delegation, the Anderson County Council, and the Anderson County Board of Education came together to seek solutions and hear citizen concerns at a “historic” county-wide meeting at the Civic Center.

Dees along with Rep. Ronnie Townsend and Dr. Keith Cole, chairman of the Anderson County Board of Education led the meeting.

Each entity spent agenda time reviewing and explaining their positions to the less-than-expected crowd that was present. County Administrator Joey Preston outlined “increasing expectations with a decreasing revenue stream” faced by the county.

Preston along with county employee Gina Humphries cited decreasing revenue from the vehicle tax, video poker and the state Local Government Fund as a growing concern. Humphries documented a tax shift in real estate from 44% in 1996 to 58% in 2003.

County Attorney Tom Martin reviewed the reassessment process and described it as a “re-leveling of the playing field as to who pays taxes.” Martin also emphasized that the state governs much of the process which is mandated every five years by state law.

Cole explained the process by which the County Board of Education oversees the finances of the five school districts as well as the Alternative School. Cole emphasized the scrutiny in the process and said that the frequent question to the districts is “What can you cut out of this?”

Cole encouraged citizens to attend board meetings, become involved and consider running for office. “If you’ve got better solutions, we want to hear them,” Cole said.

Townsend emphasized that state cuts had to be made due to decreasing revenue. Rep. Bob Waldrep reminded the audience that the vehicle tax program was voted on by the people.

Though few solutions were offered at the meeting, officials seemed pleased that a dialogue had begun among the three entities. Dees saw the appointment of the task force as a natural way to continue the dialogue and the process.

Appointments to the task force include: Townsend, Rep. Dan Cooper, Council members Larry Greer and Gracie Floyd, Anderson County Taxpayers Association President Dan Harvell, School District One Trustee Nancy Upton, School District One Director of Finance Steve Uldrick, county representatives attorney Tom Martin, assessor Mike Freeman, and auditor Anna Marie Brock, as well as Ed Jean, David Rogers, and Amos Wells.

Dees requested that the task force develop recommendations for the legislative delegation by the beginning of February.

n Services and Professional Development in School District Four in Pendleton on July 1.

Mad cow causes concern

Williamston Police officers were asked to help with a mad cow that had busted out of a moving trailer and was roaming free in an open field located on Minor St. in the Town of Williamston.

Dec. 14 - Reports state a cow that had busted out of a moving cattle trailer on Minor St. was extremely agitated and would not let any person get close. The owner advised the officer to put the cow down for safety of the public fearing it may damage vehicles or injure persons. B. L. Wilson II, Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Dec. 14 – William Cooper Holcombe, 40, 104 Griffin Ave., Belton was arrested for driving under suspension after officers were dispatched to 22 Pelzer Ave. in reference to a domestic situation. Reports state he also had outstanding family court warrants in Greenville County. P. D. Marter investigated.

Dec. 12 – Walter E. Duke, 64, 218 Waterfront Drive, Williamston, reported that someone caused $300 in damage to a mailbox at his residence. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 11 – Kathy Ann Lopreste, 39, 199 Mill St. Apt. G-5, Pelzer, was arrested for possession of stolen goods and passing a stolen lottery ticket valued at $63 at Fast Fuel #9, 207 West Main St. Williamston. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 10 – Duncan Carter Joy, 17, 127 Robinwood Lane, Pelzer, was arrested for assault and battery and disturbing school after being involved in an incident at Palmetto High School. D. W. Bryant investigated.

Dec. 10 – Eckerd Drugs. 201 E. Main St., Williamston reported a shoplifting incident in which 20 rolls of Kodak 35mm and 5 rolls of Polaroid film valued at $355 was taken from the store. M. S. Abramson investigated.

Dec. 9 – Lloyd Ray Davis, 42, 188 Dunlap Road, Belton, was arrested for driving left of center, open container in vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of controlled substance after a 1993 Ford van was observed crossing the center line on Anderson Drive. B. L. Wilson II, Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Dec. 8 – Randall Lee Byrum, 18, 107 Parker St., Williamston, was arrested for operating an uninsured vehicle, no S. C. driver’s license and no vehicle license after a 1985 red Honda 3-wheeler was observed on Parker St. and Academy St. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 8 – Cynthia Denise Moore, 28, 18-2 Marguerite St., West Pelzer, was arrested for simple possession of marijuana, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, no registration, defective tail lights, and no driver’s license in possession after a 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was observed on Greenville Drive with a broken brake light lens. 5.6 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found in a small plastic bag. B. L. Wilson II and Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Dec. 7 – Frank Scroggs, 30, 38 Woodmere Court, Williamston, reported that someone removed a Fire & Ice grill valued at $250 from his side porch. P. D. Morter investigated.

Dec. 7 – Lucas Anthony Papadopoulos, 29, 1023 Beaverdam Road, Williamston, was arrested for improper vehicle license, concealed weapon, and possession of a hazardous material after a 1989 Nissan was observed on Main St. with a tag with no expiration date. Reports state officers found a cooler with two glass containers believed to be associated with chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine. Anderson County Forensics determined that it contained a dry form of a chemical which made the containers to be of a hazardous nature. D. Munger, B. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 7 – Judy Todd, 79 First Street. Williamston, reported that someone took a Remington pump shotgun and a Stevens single-shot shotgun valued at $150 from a vehicle parked at the address. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 6 – David Martin, Knight & Martin Storage, 100 Brown St., Williamston, reported that someone removed a Poulan chain saw, a Lincoln portable welder, a DVD player, and a VCR valued at $550 from a storage unit belonging to Jackie Phillips. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 6 – Sonya Bolden Jackson, 31, 20 Bruce St., Williamston, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and simple possession of marijuana after a 1989 Honda was observed with improper lights on Cherokee Road. Reports state officers found a clear plastic paper containing a white substance believed to be methamphetamine and 1/2” rolling paper with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in the vehicle. A passenger, Noe Ellis Miranda, 21, was arrested for open seal, open container and simple possession of marijuana. Reports state Miranda had a clear plastic bag containing 8 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuan. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Dec. 3 – James Todd Richards, 36, 1 Edith Drive, Taylors, was arrested for no S. C. driver’s license after a 1993 GMC was observed speeding on Minor St. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 2 – A 16-year-old male student at Palmetto High School was arrested for assault and battery after allegedly pushing a 16-year-old female in the face several times. D. W. Bryant investigated.

Dec. 2 – Angela Evatt, 110 Gossett St. Apt. A-3, Williamston, reported a window broken valued at $150. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Dec. 2 – Coy Mitchell McCarty, 21, 119 Beech Springs Road, Pelzer, was arrested for no vehicle license, unsafe tires and operating an uninsured vehicle after a 1992 Mercury Cougar was observed on Hamilton St. Ext. with an expired tag. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Dec. 1 – Nicole Gambrell, 20, 110 Gossett Drive, Apt. C-2, Williamston, reported that someone removed a S.C. license plate valued at $35 from her residence. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Dec. 1 – Gregory Osborne Allen, 811 Eastwood Drive, Anderson, reported that a 9mm handgun valued at $150 was taken from 403 Greenville Dr.. Sgt. D. Munger investigated.

Nov. 30 – Williamston Curb Market, 508 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported $1,000 in damages to a drink machine which someone had attempted to pry open. Sgt. D. Munger investigated

Nov. 28 – Rolando De La Torre Maldonado, 21, 1619 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, was arrested for speeding, no S. C. driver’s license and operating an uninsured vehicle after a 1992 Ford Explorer was observed traveling at a high rate of speed on Cherokee Road. J. T. Motes investigated.

Nov. 27 – Tim Gentry, Town of Williamston, reported that a Werner extension ladder valued at $250 belonging to Jadeco Electrical, 278 Old Hundred Rd., Pelzer, was taken without permission. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Nov. 26 – John Chris Ricks, Sr., 37, 204 Willingham Road, Williamston, was arrested for failure to give proper signal, no tag light, concealed weapon, possession of methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine, after a 1989 Chevrolet Camaro was observed on Anderson Drive with no tag light. A 15” knife, a white cooler with several glass jars containing unknown liquids were allegedly found in the vehicle. Anderson County Forensics processed the vehicle. Sgt. D. Munger and P. D. Marter investigated.

Nov. 23 – Alan McFalls, 47, 212 River Dr., Williamston, reported that someone took an RCA stereo valued at $100 from a storage unit at 100 Brown St. J. T Motes investigated.

Nov. 22 – Gary Lee Murphy, 34, 6 Finley St., Pelzer, was arrested for unlawful use of a telephone in connection with a verbal threat left on the answering machine of Roy Blume, 117 Pelzer Ave., Williamston, on November 16.

 

Week of Dec. 31

Looking back at 2003
Officials to answer questions at January town meeting
Christmas gifts assist local military families
Officers busy during holidays

Looking back at 2003

The following news items made headlines in The Journal during 2003:

Jan. 8 - Newly elected council members Greg Cole and Cecil Cothran were administered the oath of office and officially took their seats on Williamston Town Council. Councilman David Harvell was name mayor pro-tem.

Bill Dees was sworn in to his District 6 position and Cindy Wilson for her District 7 position on Anderson County Council

 The family of 13-year-old James David Watkins celebrated a 10-year milestone, holding a reception in his honor at First Baptist Church. Watkins had a heart-lung transplant when he was 3.

The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services confirmed that Marion Middleton had submitted an application for pardon in November 2002.

Anderson County Council elected  District  6 Council member Bill Dees as its 2003 chairman. Cindy Wilson continued her questions regarding  budget and financial matters. Closing comments from Chairman Dees and Council member Wright emphasized the need for the Council to focus on budget issues and finalizing the Land Use Ordinance this year.  

Jan. 15 - West Pelzer Town Council approved second reading on a zoning change request by trailer park owner Jerry Adkins to allow five year old mobile homes in trailer parks within the Town limits.

Newly elected Piedmont Public Service Board Commissioner Rudy Rhodes was administered the oath of office and officially took his seat during a meeting held Jan. 13.

Local officials attended the inauguration of Mark Sanford as the new governor of South Carolina Jan. 15 in Columbia.

Jan. 22 - Members of the Greater Williamston Business Association heard from Bob Bainbridge of Clemson University, who presented preliminary designs for a proposed downtown project for Williamston’s Main St.

The Williamston Museum committee planned to visit other small town museums in the area for ideas before making major decisions concerning the interior of the building that will house the area’s history.

Palmetto High will choose a new queen as 11 contestants vied for the title of Miss Palmetto 2003. Competing for the crown were Amy Blume, Nikki Boggs, Rebecca Edens, Nicole Haulbrook, Stephanie King, Nichole Martin, Audrey Mulherin, Mandy Prater, Stacy Smith, Amy Stubbs, and Catherine Whitten.

Anderson County School Health Improvement Partnership unveiled plans to improve the health of the county’s school children by increasing the number of school nurses. The Duke Endowment awarded a $350,000 grant to the partnership as first year funding of a four-year request exceeding $1 million. Additional funding from AnMed Health, the five school districts and the S. C. Department of Education will also be used.

Eleven nurses were to be added to Anderson County schools in March  with funding for four more nurses to come from the school districts.

Jan. 29 - The two new members of Williamston Town Council, Cecil Cothran and Greg Cole, toured town facilities and met with department heads this week.

Dedication ceremonies were held for Pleasant View Wesleyan Church, located on Hwy. 20 in the Cheddar community. Rev. W. Herbert Taylor was to pastor the new church.

Palmetto High School chose Amy Blume as Miss Palmetto 2003. Rebekah Edens was named 4th runnerup; Catherine Whitten was named 3rd runner up; Nikki Boggs was 2nd runner up and grand talent winner and Amy Stubbs was named 1st runnerup. Stacy Smith was chosen Miss Photogenic.

A young Greenville mother was found safe after being abducted from a parking lot at a Piedmont motel. Christy Olivia Fricks, 27, showed up at her sister’s home after she was shot at twice and taken from a car at the Super 8 motel on S. C. 153 in Piedmont.

Feb. 5 - Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved a proposed start date of Aug. 7, 2003, with a May 20, 2004 finish date during their Jan. meeting.

Williamston Town Council approved the reappointment of both municipal judges and passed a resolution stating the official position of the town concerning a request for pardon by former mayor Marion Middleton.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the town is in the process of evaluating employee compensation and working to provide clear job descriptions for town employees.

Feb. 12 - A trial was still pending for former Williamston Town Clerk Donna Ellis who was charged  with breach of trust and embezzlement of funds from the Town of Williamston.

Casey Tomberlin was crowned Miss Woodmont 2003. Winners included:  Kandi Gilliam, 3rd Runner Up; Paige Houston, 1st Runner Up, Grand Talent, and Miss Smile; Crystal Davis, 2nd Runner Up; Nikki George, Miss Congeniality. 

Personnel policies, major purchases and a new community initiative highlighted the meeting of the Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners.

The Town of West Pelzer decided to wait until they received their next billing from the Greenville Water System to decide if the town will be forced to increase water rates for their customers. Greenville Water notified the town in December of a rate increase for water service on bills mailed on or after February 1.

Feb. 19 - Ralph Leonard Jones, Jr., pled guilty Feb. 12 to assaulting a 15-year-old female in the restroom at Subway in Williamston on April 18, 2002. Jones was nude at the time of the attack.

The Williamston Sesquicentennial Committee sponsored a dinner to commemorate the ending of a year long campaign celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the town.

SLED investigators were looking at additional information concerning Easton Press books allegedly purchased with Town funds by former Williamston Mayor Marion Middleton., according to Assistant Solicitor Kathy Hodges. A number of books reflected in invoices obtained from Easton Press are still unaccounted for, officials said.

Senator Strom Thurmond enjoyed a birthday card signed by citizens of Williamston. The oversized card was placed in Williamston’s Town Hall for residents to sign and was taken to  Edgefield Mayor Bob McKie for presentation to Thurmond on his birthday.

Rebekah Edens of Belton was recognized as the grand prize winner of the Junior Achievement Inc., national poll drawing.

The death of an area native generated information and questions about the life of the remarkable centenarian. It appears that Mattie Lee Arnold Elrod Owens known to many as “Miss Mattie” may have been the oldest person in the world. A letter from the Social Security Administration shows her date of birth as October 15, 1883 making her 119 years old when she died Feb. 6 in Island Park, New York.

Company C 151st Signal Battalion of the South Carolina Army National Guard located in Williamston began preparing for deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom, the initiative in the war against terror launched after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Williamston’s Street Supervisor Joe Sullens announced his retirement from the town effective Mar. 7.

Feb. 26 - Anderson Regional Water Authority was in the process of building a new water tower off Hwy. 29 north on McAlister Road in Williamston. The composite structure will consists of a concrete pedestal and a 40’ steel water tank which will hold one million gallons of water.

Cheddar Christian Fellowship, was meeting in the old Bigelow manufacturing facility.

Robin McFall of Piedmont, a Tri-County Technical College English instructor, was named Educator of the Year among the State’s 16 technical colleges at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) conference in Myrtle Beach.

Fred’s held a grand opening for its new Williamston retail store Feb. 28. The store is located between Pelzer and Williamston.

Palmetto wrestlers Stephen Webb, Stephen Williams and Wesley Gaston traveled to The Citadel in Charletson to compete in the state A-AA meet.

Mar. 5 - In response to the announcement of deployment of the Williamston Company “C” 151st signal Battalion National Guard unit the Town of Williamston urged citizens to show their patriotism by gathering along Main St. in front of the Williamston Municipal Center.

The Bonnes Amies Club of Piedmont announced that the date of the annual Footbridge Festival, which has been held in April during each of the 13 years, was to be changed to October 17-18.

An apartment complex was being built by John A. Cox at the corner of Minor St. and Middleton Blvd. in two phases. The first phase includes 32 units containing two bedrooms, one bath. Cox was also developing Mill Creek subdivision on Williams Street. The development consists of 45 lots with two-story homes ranging from 1250 to 1500 square feet.

Williamston Town Council decided to proceed with donating a town owned lot to Habitat for Humanity.

County Administrator Joey Preston introduced a resolution authorizing an inducement agreement between the County and Fraenkische USA involving an investment of at least $8 million by the company and the creation of 50 or more new jobs within five years.

Members of the Piercetown Fire Dept. received a new rescue truck donated by Piercetown residents Jerry and Kris Trotter.  County Council members Clint Wright, Bill Dees and Cindy Wilson provided funding for equipment while the community helped by donating equipment.

Mar. 12 - Anna Hanks of Belton will compete in the National Miss USA pageant in San Antonio, Texas. Hanks, 21, is a professional model in New York City and was second runner-up in the Miss South Carolina pageant in 2000.

Company C 151st Signal Battalion of the South Carolina National Guard stationed in Williamston were greeted by as many as 150 people who braved a rainy morning to stand along  Main St. to see the local guard unit off.

West Pelzer Mayor Bill Alexander said that Anderson County officials have promised $10,000 to help with a water line along Hwy. 8, however the Town must still come up with approximately $50,000 for the proposed project.

Alexander  also announced that he will not be running for reelection  when his term ends in June.

Councilman Joe Turner said he is considering running for the mayor’s position. Peggy Paxton also announced that she plans to seek election to the mayor’s office.

A ceremony celebrated $223,000 pavement and parking improvements at Concrete Elementary School in Anderson School District One.

Charter Communications announced the company will close the payment center located at 18 Holiday Street, West Pelzer, and consolidate operations into their facility located at 520 Hwy. 29 Bypass North in Anderson.

Mar. 19 - The Greater Williamston Business Association began talking of hosting a “Night on the Town.”

Mar. 26 - The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners discussed vandalism and improvements at the ballpark and equipment purchases. District Commissioners were considering placing security cameras at the ballfield/walking track to monitor activities and prevent vandalism at the facility.

Two area young men competed in the 2003 Golden Gloves of South Carolina Boxing Event at Westside High School. Williamston’s Shane Garner competed in the Light Heavyweight Division and Sam Miller in the Heavyweight Division.

Palmetto High School announced plans to publish a Palmetto High School Alumni Directory. The directory will contain information on approximately 6,325 graduates of Palmetto since 1953.

The Heritage Players of Williamston presented Cheaper By The Dozen in April at the Pelzer Auditorium.

Apr. 2 - S. C. Attorney General Henry McMaster announced that his office has launched an investigation of Carolina Investors, its subsidiaries and related companies. Carolina Investors closed its upstate offices suddenly on March 24. 

The Town of Williamston had a $402,760 deficit for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2002, according to information presented to Williamston Town  Council members during an   audit worksession.

The Town of Williamston is updating accounting software to get better financial reporting for the Council and Mayor, officials said.

The Williamston Action Community Club (WACC) held a Founders’ Day Celebration Banquet on April 5 at the Caroline Community Center. Singer Loretta Holloway was special guest.

Chuck Johnson of Anaheim, California, made his way through Williamston carrying a 20-pound plastic cross on his way across America.  He relies on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter.

Anderson County Council voted unanimously to delete the section of the Land Use and Development Standards dealing with gun ranges after almost 20 advocates and adversaries addressed the council on the issue.

Apr. 9 - Williamston Police Chief Richard Turner was given an ultimatum by Mayor Phillip Clardy to retire or resign or be fired from the position he had held for 21 years.

The meeting of Town Council was relocated from Council Chambers into the Municipal Center Auditorium due to a large crowd which showed up looking for answers as word spread thoughout town that Police Chief Richard Turner and Lt. Danny Hart had been suspended from duty.

Council approved a request by Jeff Ellison for the Town to accept the water rights and to provide water to property adjacent to Forest Hills subdivision.

Public presentation of the 2002 audit to Williamston Town Council was postponed due to what Mayor Clardy described as discovery of a bank account which was not in the general ledger and not included in the Town’s recent audit.

The Greater Williamston Business Association sponsored its annual Easter Egg Hunt in Mineral Spring Park.

Williamston’s Brandon Stone was the 2003 Easter Seals South Carolina Representative for Anderson and Oconee counties. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Stone is a 4th grade student at Palmetto Elementary.

West Pelzer Town Council handled bids for a patrol vehicle and discussed plans for a spring cleanup.

Apr. 16 - A Community Easter Sunrise Service was held April 20 in the Williamstons Mineral Spring Park amphitheatre. Rev. Phillip Clardy was speaker.

According to information provided to The Journal, The Town of Williamston was over budget for 2002 by approximately $320,845 for general fund expenses. The 2002 budget was the town’s first budget presented by and administered under Mayor Phillip Clardy. Actual total revenues for the year amounted to $2,356,226 while actual total expenditures amounted to $2,526,894, resulting in a cash flow deficit of $170,668.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said he will present a revised 2003 budget to Town Council which he said is more accurate than the original 2003 budget he presented in October and much more accurate than the 2002 budget the Town operated under.

Sgt. Brent Brooks was named acting chief of the Williamston Police Department following the resignation of acting chief Max Sailors. Sailors resigned on Friday, stating that he did not want to be a part of the politics involved with the firing of Chief Turner.

The firing of Williamston’s longtime police chief, Richard Turner and suspension of Lt. Danny Hart resulted in a major controversy for the town. Many residents support the actions of the mayor and trust that he is making the best decision. Others are looking for answers as to why the action was taken. Clardy refused to comment on the situation other than to say that the mayor council form of government gives him the authority and that the decision is in the best interest of the town. He also said that what can be made public will be made public when it can.

Anderson County Council approved Land Use and Development Standards and had a first look at a proposed budget for next fiscal year.

Apr. 23 - Richard Turner indicated that he will file a grievance in accordance with Williamston Town policy concerning his firing.

Organizers of a petition drive in Williamston said they are obtaining signatures of registered voters in the town as the first step in an effort to change the town’s strong mayor, weak council form of government to a council form of government.

A 6-month-old baby girl suffocated at her Allen Street home in Pelzer when she apparently rolled off her mother’s bed and into a laundry basket head first according to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore.

Apr. 30 - Williamston Town Council expected to be presented with the final results of the 2002 audit on the town’s finances during their regular monthly meeting May 5.  The original audit presentation was to be made at the April 7 meeting of  Council, but was postponed due to an account that had been left out of the auditing process, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy. Clardy stated that the account was a drug fines and forfeitures account for the Williamston Police Department which neither he nor the town’s treasurer knew about.

A political newcomer and three candidates with experience on the town council are running for the two seats available on the West Pelzer Town Council in the election to be held June 3. Candidates include Terry Davis, Maida Kelly, Linda Lozano and Johnny Rogers.

The Board of Commissioners of the Piedmont Public Service District discussed vandalism, sewer problems, and a proposed budget.

Colonial Pipeline Company donated a truck to the Cheddar Fire Department and added a check for $1000 to the donation.

Organizers are finalizing plans for a Freedom March scheduled May 10 in Williamston. The purpose of the march is to show support and appreciation for current and former soldiers, Organizer Debbie Jenkinson said.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced he hired a new interim police chief. Troy Martin was sworn in to the position by Town Clerk Hala Cochran. Acting Chief Brent Brooks was also present.

May 7 - President George W. Bush delivered the commencement address at the University of South Carolina  May 9.

Relatives of two men killed in an accident in 2001 are suing the town of West Pelzer and a West Pelzer police officer who was pursuing their car at the time.  Families of Justin Craig Harrison, 21, and James Robert Wise III, 20, filed a wrongful death complaint in connection with the incident.

The Class of 2003 at Palmetto and Wren high schools held baccalaureate services  May 11 at each school. Commencement exercises for both schools were May 16 at the Anderson Civic Center.

Williamston Town Council was presented with the final results of the 2002 audit on the town’s finances and approved first reading on an amended budget.

According to Larry Finney, of the auditing firm Greene, Finney and Horton, LLP., the town’s general fund balance decreased $399,000, leaving the town with an $890,000 fund balance. Finney said that the $399,000 decrease was the result of revenues overestimated by $60,000; expenditures underestimated by $160,000 (after lease proceeds) and failing to budget $80,000 for long term debts. The balance of approximately $100,000 included a lot of small items and reclassification between the general fund and the enterprise funds. Finney pointed out two issues the town needs to address: getting back to a balanced budget and increasing fund balances.

The $2.14 million budget shows anticipated expenditures of  $2,142,440 to income of $2,142,440, a decrease of $79,718 from the original budget approved in Nov. 2002. The budget was based on 120 mills.

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of the budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004 at their monthly meeting Apr. 28.

After a public hearing and a lengthy discussion Anderson County Council approved an $88 million proposed budget for fiscal year 2003-2004. Council members Cindy Wilson and Larry Greer cast opposing votes with remaining members supporting the proposal.

After serving area residents for 53 years, G. F. Tolly & Son Furniture Company began closing their Williamston store.

May 14 - A hearing concerning the pardon request made by Marion Middleton was rescheduled for July 16.  The hearing, originally scheduled for June 10 was rescheduled at the request of Middleton.

Jury selection in the criminal trial against former Williamston clerk Donna Ellis began. Ellis was indicted for embezzlement, conspiracy and accessory to embezzlement.

School District One’s Helen Gillard, a Special Education teacher at Spearman Elementary School was awarded the Golden Apple Teacher of the year award. Gillard has taught 34 years and attended school at Spearman.

The 22nd annual Pontiac GMC Freedom Weekend Aloft promises to be four days of hot-air balloons, concerts, disc dog competitions, improved satellite stages, children’s area, great food and more.  The event was scheduled for May 23- 26 and was FWA’s fifth year at The Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center. 

Organizers of a petition drive to change the form of government in Williamston said they obtained the necessary signatures and turned them in to Williamston’s town clerk to be forwarded to the County Election Commission for certification.

The Town of Williamston was in the process of revising portions of its policy and procedures and evaluating job descriptions, pay scales and ranges to bring consistency to the town’s positions.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said he has faith in the abilities of the newly hired interim police chief Troy Martin. Clardy said Martin was hired as an interim chief to restructure the department.

Wren brought home four state championships and Palmetto came away with another in the  State AAA and AA track Meets held at Spring Valley High School in Columbia. Palmetto’s Justin Meade finished first in the AA Boys 1600-meter run for the state AA Championship Title. Wren’s Sunday Ford finished with state titles in the 1600 and the 3200 meter runs. Wren’s Brad Orr claimed top honors in the State AAA 1600-meters competition, and the Wren 4x800 relay team breezed to victory in its State AAA event.  Competing on the 4x800 with Orr were Daniel Eils, Steven Craig and Steven Dickey.

Four candidates are running for the two seats available on the West Pelzer Town Council in the election to be held June 3. They are Terry Davis,  Maida Kelly, Linda Lozano, and Johnny Rogers.

May 21 - Former Williamston Town Clerk Donna Ellis was sentenced to 90 days in jail, payment of $2,300 in restitution, and five years probation by Circuit Court Judge Alex Macaulay, after a jury found her guilty of embezzling $2,300 in town funds to buy state retirement credits and for conspiring with former Mayor Marion Middleton to embezzle $75,000 in town funds.

Members of Williamston’s grievance committee met behind closed doors reviewing the firing of former police chief Richard Turner. The committee of five heard testimony from Turner and Mayor Phillip Clardy for approximately two hours and 40 minutes.

The committee ruled that the Town’s policies and procedures were followed by the Mayor when he fired the police chief.

Anderson County officials including County Auditor Anna Marie Brock, Mike Freeman, County Council District Seven Representative Cindy Wilson and County Attorney Tom Martin, were featured speakers at a forum in Williamston to answer questions and discuss reassessment and budget issues facing County residents.

A split vote approved the $88 million budget for fiscal year 2003-2004 at a called meeting of the Anderson County Council to handle third reading of the budget ordinance.  A large number of citizens filled council chambers to voice their opposition to the proposed budget and the reassessment process.

West Pelzer Council member Joe Turner proposed an ordinance calling for an election to be held to determine the form of government to be used by the Town.

May 28 - Woodmont High School held graduation ceremonies May 29 at the Palmetto Expo Center in Greenville.

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners unanimously approved second reading of a budget. The revised budget shows estimated revenues at $1,087,395 for all departments with total estimated expenditures of $1,064,270 leaving an estimated surplus of $23,125.

The Anderson County Election Commission confirmed that it has certified signatures of registered voters on the petition to change the form of government in Williamston.

Anderson County Council approved a reallocation of $10,000 for the Town of West Pelzer after a special called meeting for third reading of the budget ordinance.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced that Troy R. Martin was named Chief of Police of the Town of Williamston, putting an end to questions of whether the chief was hired on a temporary basis.

June 4 - West Pelzer voters elected political newcomer Peggy Paxton as their new mayor on Tuesday. Maida Kelly and Terry Davis were also elected to two open seats on council.

The old Williamston depot was the site of a bluegrass festival that organizers hope is the beginning of an annual event that will draw large crowds of music lovers.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy announced the town is planning a July 4th Freedom Celebration and that  restoration work will begin soon on the old restroom building located in Mineral Spring Park.

Williamston Town Council approved second reading on a budget amendment, received a petition from the town election board and heard details of an anticipated increase in insurance rates for employees.

The Town was looking at $2.3 million to $2.5 million in improvements to alleviate overflow and infiltration problems with the town’s sewer system, according to a study report presented to Council by Bill Dunn, of Dunn and Associates Engineering Inc.

Anderson County Council supported a resolution to execute an agreement setting in motion $33 million of sewer improvements over the next five years. The agreement allows for sharing the cost of improvements to treatment plants at Generostee Creek and Rocky River with the city of Anderson and Homeland Park based on the capacity that each entity would receive. The county plans to pay its portion through a .003 sewer levy.

June 12 - Wren High School’s Jack King is to be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame during the 11th annual awards banquet set for July 27 at the Palemetto Expo Center in Greenville. Coach King posted a 176-131-1 overall record, had 20 winning seasons and took 15 of his teams to the state playoffs during a 28-year career that still ranks as the most successful in school history. Retired from athletics, King continues to serve as an assistant principal at Wren.

Williamston Police Lt. Danny Hart was officially terminated from employment with the town. Hart, a 20 year veteran of the Williamston Police Department, had been on suspension with pay since April 7.

The thirty-eighth graduating class of Woodmont High School received diplomas May 29 at the Palmetto Exposition Center in Greenville.

June 19 - Palmetto, Wren, and Woodmont will all switch athletic conferences under the South Carolina High School League’s proposed realignment for the 2004-2006 school years. Palmetto will move to Appalachian Conference II-AA, joining Carolina, Chapman, Chesnee, Broome, and Woodruff; Wren will climb up to Region I-AAAA with Easley, Hanna, Westside, Laurens, and Greenwood; and Woodmont will shift to Western Conference I-AAA which also includes B-HP, Berea, Daniel, Seneca, and Pickens. All three schools will remain in their current regions through the upcoming 2003-2004 school year, then make the proposed changes beginning with the 2004-2005 school year.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy criticized three members of Town Council for stepping outside of the town’s governmental structure by sending a letter to two agencies requesting that they not become involved in a political debate over changing the town’s form of government. The Councilmembers signed letters asking representatives of the Appalachian Council of Governments and the State Municipal Association not to come to Williamston to provide information on the issue.

Former Williamston Police Lt. Danny Hart said this week he is following the Town’s policy and procedures guidelines by asking for an informal meeting with his department head, new police chief Troy Martin.

Martin & Martin Cattle Company announced the business is moving to a new location. The location on Highway 81 North was purchased by Robert Bosch Corporation for future expansion.

Council member Cindy Wilson continued her lone opposition to past and future sewer projects at the regular meeting of the Anderson County Council. A vote at the June 3 council meeting supported a resolution to execute an agreement setting in motion $33 million of sewer improvements over the next five years.

High winds during a severe thunderstorm toppled two trees in the Williamston area. An oak tree on Tower St near Mt. Vernon Mill was blown over. The tree, which  measured 23.5 ft. around the trunk, was probably one of the oldest in the Williamston area, area residents said. A second large oak fell on East Main St. knocking out power to homes and businesses in the area for several hours.

June 26 - The Williamston Police Department is calling on State Constables for extra security for special events being held in the town. The new policy of having constables present for festivals and other events will also save the town money, according to Chief Troy Martin.

Sgt. Steven Turner was terminated from employment with the Williamston Police Department. Martin declined to make public details leading to the action other than to say he was terminated on grounds of insubordination and that it is a personnel matter involving the department and Turner.

The Town of Williamston planned a Freedom Celebration for June 28 which included a free fireworks show, a teen dance with a DJ, an old fashioned community cookout in Mineral Spring Park and a cruise-in at a local restaurant.

The last performance of the South Carolina Children’s Theater production of the “Wizard of Oz”on June 22, featured Piedmont’s Lisa Crisp who portrayed Glinda (the good witch) in the production.

Dr. Joanne Avery, Director of Recruiting and Communications & Webmaster with School District One, announced she will be leaving the district this week for a position as Director of Human Services and Professional Development in School District Four in Pendleton on July 1.

Avery began working with the local district in 1988 as Tutoring Coordinator, became Director of Public Information in 1991 and was promoted to her current position in 1998.

The second half of 2003 will be recounted in next week’s issue of The Journal.

Officials to answer questions at January town meeting

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said he will have the town auditor and attorney at the Jan. 5  meeting of Council to answer any questions council or the public may have on the budget process.

The Town is looking into whether it is required to have public input in determining whether to keep the “windfall”

Clardy said that based on legal advice given by town attorney Richard Thompson and past records on how reassessment was handled, he sees no problem with the way the town has handled the windfall/rollback situation.

The 2004 budget approved by Council will give Williamston taxpayers a rollback on their tax notices next year, reducing the millage rate from 120 mills to 106 mills.

The 2004 General Fund budget shows anticipated expenditures of $2,292,202 to income of $2,292,202, an overall increase of $149,762 over 2003.

With the windfall, property tax revenues for the town will be approximately $112,000 more than the budget reflects.

The 2004 budget includes an extension on a $100,000 tax anticipation note from last year that was due in October.

The ordinance also authorizes the mayor to borrow up to $500,000 in tax anticipation notes, with Council approval, if the need arises.

Williamston Town Council approved second reading the general fund budget and a $1.475 million enterprise fund budget during a special meeting Dec. 11.

The 2004 budget does not include expected windfall revenue resulting from property reassessment in Anderson County this year even though the town’s tax bills for 2003 will bring in the revenues between now and January.

There has been no official action taken by council on what to do with the reassessment windfall.

The town has the option of keeping the “windfall” or granting a rollback to taxpayers on their 2003 tax bill.

As it stands, the town will receive the windfall of approximately $112,000, which is not included in either the 2003 or 2004 budget.

Clardy said the revenue was not included on the 2003 budget because there was no way of knowing the effect of reassessment when the 2003 budget was approved in December of last year.

The revenue will not be included in the 2004 budget, “until we can determine whether to use it,” Clardy said.

Christmas gifts assist local military families

The Christian Motorcycle Club made this Christmas a memorable one for families and loved ones of the local 151st Signal Battalion of the Army National Guard by helping make some of their holiday wishes come true.

Less than a week before Christmas, the club notified the local military family support group to come to Greenwood to pick up items for the children of the families. By the way, they added, bring several pickup trucks.

Members of the support group were overwhelmed when they arrived and realized the club members had purchased more than 230 gifts as well as 14 bicycles for the children of the military families.

All the items were quickly transported to Hillcrest Baptist Church in Williamston which became headquarters for hours of wrapping, labeling and sorting by volunteers to match the needs of individual families.

In true North Pole fashion, all the toys were distributed to some very grateful families just in time for Christmas.

Officers busy during holidays

The Williamston Police Department investigated the following incidents during the Christmas holiday period.

Dec. 22 - Officers discovered a Ford F-250 construction vehicle had damage amounting to $600 done to the windshield by vandals. The truck belonging to Able Cont. of Greenville was parked at the Bonyar plant on South Mill St. P. D. Marter investigated.

Dec. 25 - Cathy Lovella Yound, 41, 2207 Wade Hampton Blvd., Apt. #306B, Greenville, was arrested for failure to register a motor vehicle, operating an uninsured vehicle and bench warrant served after a 1996 Ford Taurus was observed with a tag applied for taped to the rear bumper. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Dec. 25 - Robin McAlister Shoen, 32, 508A Floyd Wright Drive, Belton, was arrested for driving under suspension, driving an unsafe vehicle and operating an uninsured vehicle after a 1996 Ford was observed on S. C. Hwy. 20. M. Abramson investigated.

Dec. 24 - Paul Cothran Used Cars/East Main Auto Sales, 603 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported a 1988 Ford F-150 XLT pickup valued at $3,800 was not returned after being taken for a trial drive. M. Abramson investigated.

Dec. 26 - John Chris Ricks, 37, 502 Garren Rd., Belton, was arrested for driving left of center, possession of ice, crank, crack cocaine, driving an unsafe vheicle, possession of a controlled substance and concealed weapon after a 1991 Pontiac was observed on Anderson Drive. Reports state a small plastic baggie with approximately 4 grams of a white powdery substance believed to be crank and 33.1 grams of a white powdery substance unknown was found. Reports state a 10.5 inch knife was also found in the vehicle. B. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 24 - A 1989 Ford Taurus was recovered by officers at East Main Auto Sales after being left at the location. The vehicle was reported missing as the result of a breach of trust in Greenville County. M. Abramson investigated.

Dec. 24 - James Lewis Heard, 43, 21 W. Carolina St., Williamston, was arrested for active warrant with Anderson County Sheriffs Dept. after Williamston officers were dispatched  to West Carolina St. in reference to a suspicious person. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Dec. 24 - Gary Craig Patterson, 43, 336 Wesley Ellison Rd., Williamston, was arrested for disorderly conduct, failure to accompany officers and malicious injury to municipal property after becoming loud and boisterous in the Williamston Police Department and slamming a door into a trash can. B. L. Wilson II, Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 24 - Tyler Wade Porter, 23, #4 East 5th St., Williamston, was arrested for speeding, simple possession of marijuana and unsafe equipment after a 1994 Chevrolet truck was observed on Parker St.

Reports state the vehicle had a cracked windshield and that officers found approximately .2 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. B. L. Wilson II investigated.

Dec. 23 - Shannon Copeland, 37, 1028 Mills St. Ext. reported $3,000 in damage to a 1990 Lincoln. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Dec. 23 - Paul Cothran’s Used Cars, 620 Greenville Dr., Williamston, reported wheel lugs taken from a 1995 Ford F-150 parked at the lot. M. Abramson investigated.

Dec. 17 - Officers responded to a accident on Ida Tucker Rd. involving a car and a deer. Williamston city employees were dipatched to take care of the deer carcass after officers fired upon the injured animal which appeared to have a broken back. J. L. Barnes II investigated.

Dec. 17 - Shana Ray, 228 Williamston Court, reported an attempted burglary in which the front door knob was broken by someone who attempted to pry it. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Dec. 13 - Amanda Joyce Fowler, 21, #1 3rd St., Williamston, was issued a summons for driving an unsafe vehicle and arrested for an outstanding warrant in Greenville County after a vehicle was observed with a right brake light not working. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Dec. 19 - Tammy Renea Galloway Morales, 39, 1 Holt St. West Pelzer, was arrested for disorderly conduct after being observed walking in Williamston. J. L. Barnes, D. Alexander investigated.

Dec. 19 - Lakimbus Makeyba Simmons, 25, 609 B Salem St., Anderson, was arrested for speeding, driving under suspension and simple possession of marijuana after a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass was observed traveling at a high rate of speed on Anderson Dr. Reports state a bag containing 10 grams of a green leafy substance field tested to be marijuana was found by officers. D. W. Alexander investigaged.

Clarification: A report on the following incident in the Dec. 24 issue of The Journal should have read - Dec. 7 - Lucas Anthony Papadopoulos, 29, 1023 Beaverdam Rd., Williamston, was issued a warning ticket for improper vehicle license in connection with an incident in which a 1989 Nissan 300 ZX was observed on East Main St. with a paper tag with no issue date or expiration.

Papadopoulos was charged with concealed weapon after he consented to a search of the vehicle in which officers allegedly found a switch blade knife.

Mike Miller of the Anderson County Haz-Mat team was called in reference to suspected chemicals in the vehicle. Miller advised officers that two glasses in a cooler in the vehicle contained a dry form of a chemical which made the containers of a hazardous nature that had to be disposed of properly. Harbouson Company of Atlanta was notified for disposal of materials found in the vehicle. Items disposed of included an igloo cooler, air pump, three bags of dry ice, two glass containers, one leatherlike jacket, a pair of rubber gloves, one pair of eye goggles and one rubber hose with pipe fitting.

There were no charges in connection with the alleged hazardous materials. J. B. Wilson II, D. Munger investigated.

The Journal regrets any confusion that may have been caused by the previous wording on this incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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