News Archive

(5204) Week of Dec. 29, 2004

Looking back at 2004
Williamston approves 2005 “tax rollback” budget
Williamston Council approves budget revisions
Bond Anticipation Note to be finalized Thursday
December arrests minimal
Suspicious fire investigated
Breazeale Road fatality

Looking back at 2004

Jan. 7 - Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy suggested the windfall revenue the Town was expecting could be used to begin building back the town’s fund balance or for other reasons town officials feel are necessary. At the time, the town was expected to receive a windfall of approximately $112,000, which was not included in either the 2003 or 2004 budget.

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved a $2 million bond issue request by Dr. Reggie Christopher for classroom additions at Cedar Grove Elementary and Palmetto High School.

Anderson County Council began the New Year  by approving a resolution authorizing a Fee in Lieu of Tax Agreement (FILOT) between the county and Walgreen Co. The Fortune 500 company was to build a distribution center at Alliance Industrial Park creating up to 450 jobs and representing an investment of at least $140 million over the next five years.

Pelzer Presbyterian Church celebrated their 120th anniversary.  The historic area church was founded in 1883 and continues to hold services in the original building constructed in 1886.

Jan. 14 - Greenville County School Superintendent Dr. William E. Harner painted a promising picture for Greenville County schools in a town meeting held at Woodmont High School.

A grievance committee for The Town of Williamston found that Police Chief Troy Martin acted within the “bounds of his authority” in terminating former Williamston Police Sergeant Stephen Turner.

The Saluda River Valley Rail-Trail feasibility task force committee met at the Williamston Municipal Center, to discuss whether the primary focus area for the feasibility study should be on the CSX or Norfolk Southern lines.

The Town of Pelzer began moving ahead with plans for a contract with West Pelzer to provide police protection.

Jack H. King announced his candidacy as a Republican for the State House of Representatives for District 10.

Former Comptroller General and Lt. Governor Earle E. Morris, Jr., Chairman of Carolina Investors, was indicted by the state grand jury on 24 counts of securities fraud.

West Pelzer officials received an unqualified or “clean” opinion although there were several recommendations and shortfalls were discovered in the current and past audits. No formal investigation was recommended.

Jan.21 - Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor announced that he will not seek reelection.

West Pelzer officials voted to pursue annexation of several areas which already receive town services.

Anderson County Council resumed debate on whether county personnel should staff the Quick Response Vehicle (QRV) after Council member Larry Greer unexpectedly moved to activate a resolution that was tabled in the November 4 council meeting.

The Piedmont Fire Department lost a familiar face as Sylvia Dill Brown officially retired after 10 years as administrative assistant.

Jan. 28 - Approximately 50 people showed up for the “Night on the Town” forum cosponsored by The Town of Williamston and The Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA). A historical video of Williamston in the 1930s was shown at the beginning of the meeting. A video featuring less appealing images of the town in 2003 was also shown.

Freezing temperatures led to icy roads and hazardous driving as well as some power outages across the area.

Feb. 4 - The Williamston Police Department announced it had been awarded a Drug Control and System Improvement Grant which will allow the department to provide computer generated copies of incident reports. Chief Troy Martin said the $24,000 grant will provide updated computers and software including a server, a desktop computer and five lap tops for the department.

David L. Crenshaw, former deputy sheriff, law enforcement administrator, and summary court judge announced he will seek election as Anderson County Sheriff in the June Republican Primary.

The Anderson County Council received copies of the annual audit and heard a brief report on the document and the audit process. The county received an unqualified opinion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. The county collected 2% more than projected and spent 95% of the budget according to the report. Auditors reported a healthy fund balance of $10.7 million.

Feb. 11 - Williamston Town Council approved a resolution authorizing the town to use legal means, if necessary, to get the Gray Drive Bridge repaired or replaced.

The West Allen Williams and family memorial grave site located in Mineral Spring Park will soon receive beautification improvements including a memorial plaque and decorative fencing, funded by a $3,995 Palmetto Pride grant.

Hearings on a misdemeanor assault and battery case against former Williamston Police Chief Richard Turner are scheduled. The hearings will focus on motions filed by Turner’s attorney Bruce Byrholt in December asking for a speedy trial and change of venue.

The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed a Williamston related investigation had been completed and that a report was sent to Spartanburg-based 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy’s office for review. Solicitor Gowdy confirmed that the report involved an audio tape but also included a broader investigation by SLED. Gowdy said his office began reviewing a several-hundred page SLED report in January, which detailed events as recent as 2002.

The possibility of annexation drew a large crowd of citizens who live outside the town limits to the regular meeting of the West Pelzer Town Council.

Pelzer officials authorized an expenditure of $24,000 to begin needed repairs on the Pelzer Gymnasium.

Feb. 18 - Williamston Municipal Judge James M. Cox decided that an out-of-town jury will hear proceedings on a misdemeanor assault and battery case against former Williamston Police Chief Richard Turner. The town hired attorney Bill Mayer of the Mayer Law Firm in Laurens to prosecute the case.

The Williamston Heritage Players  presented their latest production,  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, at the Pelzer Auditorium.

Feb. 25 - Anderson School District One Superintendent Dr. Reggie Christopher told board members that a $2 million general obligation bond was awarded to Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, Inc., the lowest of eight bidders, at an interest rate of 2.144 percent. The five year bond will cover building additions at Cedar Grove Elementary and allow the district to begin an addition at Palmetto High School.

West Pelzer officials voted to hire an additional officer to provide round-the-clock police protection.

Sgt. Maj. (ret) Foster McLane was recognized by families and officers of the 151st Signal Battalion at a surprise reception at the Williamston Municipal Center for his efforts as a military advocate and liaison.

Approximately 30 residents posed tough questions to county planning personnel at the Powdersville meeting, one of two community planning meetings which focused on tough issues in the fast-growing northeast corner of Anderson County. Hosted by the Anderson County Planning Division, the meetings were held at

Week of Dec. 22, 2004

Former police chief files $1 million lawsuit 
No charges to be made in SLED investigations of Williamston mayor
Williamston Town Council expected to approve budget
Target zero holiday campaign will focus on deadly January
Duke to upgrade Lee Steam plant
Vehicles reported stolen
Officials reexamining costs of joint sewer project

Former police chief files $1 million lawsuit

Former Williamston Police Chief Richard L. Turner has filed a $1 million lawsuit against The Town of Williamston.

The Town of Williamston was served with papers citing five causes of action on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Town Clerk Hala Cochran signed for the summons after Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy refused to.

In the summons, Turner’s Attorney Bruce A. Byrholdt of the Law firm of Chapman, Byrhodt & Yon, LLP, Anderson, gives the town 30 days to respond.

In the summons, the first cause of action alleges that Turner’s arrest following a verbal altercation between Sgt. Zach Gregory and Turner in the Williamston Police Department parking lot on June 23, 2004, resulted after the Anderson County Sheriff and Tenth Circuit Solicitor informed the town that there were no grounds upon which to execute the warrant for Turner’s arrest. It also cites that the criminal action was dismissed because the warrant issued was not properly secured under the laws of the state and the United States.

It goes on to state, as a result of the actions of the Town, Turner was subjected to an assault and battery, false arrest, false imprisonment, deprivation of liberty and invasion of his privacy and damage to his reputation.

The second cause of action states that the arrest and detention of Turner by the Town was done unlawfully, intentionally and maliciously without just or probable cause for the express purpose of trying to justify the illegal arrest and assault of Turner

It also states the arrest and detention violated Turner’s rights under the Constitution of the State and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution.

A third cause cites the arrest, assault and imprisonment of Turner were carried out with the gross negligence, and/or wanton and reckless disregard of the consequences as to show the Town had a conscious indifference to the harm to Turner and the intent to inflict injury upon him.

A fourth cause of action cites Turner’s right to be secure in his person to be free from unlawful seizure and arrest and to be allowed due process and equal protection of the law.

In the fifth cause of action, Turner asserts he was fired in violation of the Town’s Code of Ordinances which states that a municipal officer, such as the Chief of Police, could be discharged by a vote of the Town Council. It states Turner was fired by the mayor in violation of the ordinance.

It also states because of the unlawful termination, Turner has suffered economic loss, suffered mental anquish, been subjected to ridicule and will have to continue to suffer economic loss and mental anguish in the future.

No charges to be made in SLED investigations of Williamston mayor

Spartanburg Solicitor Trey Gowdy’s office has completed a review of four separate State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigations into alleged public corruption and misappropriation of funds in the Town of Williamston and no charges are to be filed.

Seventh Judicial Circuit Deputy Solicitor Donnie Willingham stated in a December 16 letter sent to SLED that after reviewing a 304 page report of approximately 26 allegations of misconduct by Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy, he believes the allegations are without merit.

According to Willingham, Gowdy’s office received a request in early 2004 by 10th Circuit Court Solicitor Druanne White to review the SLED report. White asked for the review of a SLED report to avoid any apparent conflict of interest.

Willingham states in the letter to SLED that the allegations were made by former and current employees of the town who are either actively pursuing or admittedly considering civil action against the Town of Williamston.

Of the 26 allegations, only nine involved potential criminal liability if proven true Willingham said. SLED was asked to investigate the nine items on March 15, 2004.

On April 21, after further investigation, SLED provided 219 pages of additional documentation showing the majority of the allegations to be without merit.

On June 15, SLED was again asked to further investigate three more allegations.

On July 6, SLED provided a third report showing the final allegations to be without merit as well.

According to Willingham, Gowdy’s office received three additional letters detailing further concerns with the mayor of Williamston.

Again, SLED was asked to  investigate the three issues. “On November 5, 2004, SLED provided a 105 page report showing these concerns to be without merit as well,” Willingham said.

Among allegations investigated were suggestions that the firings of former police chief Richard Turner and Danny Hart were made in exchange for a $50,000 donation to the mayor’s church; questions about the mayor buying flowers and meals for his family with town money or the town credit card; and use of town workers to move a tree for his brother, a Williamston police officer. One allegation was that the mayor took his family to Hilton Head.

Willingham said that his office and SLED had done an exhaustive investigation and did not find anything criminal.

It turned out that the trip to Hilton Head was for government business, a meeting of the South Carolina Municipal Association, he said.

“There was no evidence that he took his parents. The investigator talked with the people who took down the tree and it was not paid for by the Town,” Willingham said. “The investigator talked with the CPA who does the church books.There was no evidence of a gift to his church.”

Willingham said that after one year of looking through allegations, he received three more letters from one of the parties asking for investigation. All were negative he said.

“Special agent J. L. Kindley did a very professional and very thorough investigation,” Willingham said. “He didn’t leave any possible lead unfollowed.”

Willingham stated that he met with two of the complainants on December 16 and explained the matters were more political than criminal in nature.

“It appears that the Town of Williamston has a very stong mayoral system of government. As such, the mayor is able to exercise a great deal of discretion in conducting government business. In order for such a system to be changed to a strong city council form of government, the complainants should lobby their council for a change,” Willingham stated.

“After an exhaustive investigation, the majority of the allegations are not criminal in nature. Of the few allegations that are potentially criminal in nature, none are supported by evidence. The allegations appear to be nothing more than mere speculation and rumor. Accordingly, no charges will be filed in this matter and the investigation should be considered complete. Should evidence come forward, we will consider reopening the investigation at that time,” he said.

Williamston Town Council expected to approve budget

Williamston Town Council was expected to hold first reading on the 2005 budget at the December 20 meeting of Council. Details of the meeting will be published in the Dec. 29 edition of The Journal.

Council is expected to approve the budget presented by Mayor Phillip Clardy which will include items requested by department supervisors at earlier budget meetings.

First reading on the 2005 budget was postponed from both the Nov. 22 and the December 6 meetings of Council.

At the Dec. 6 meeting, Clardy said supervisors were still in the process of getting estimates and finalizing figures for their department needs.

Since June of this year, there have been several called meetings of council that were announced as budget worksessions, though very little discussion of the budget or the approved Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) has taken place.

Williamston Town Council began discussing borrowing as much as $565,000 as early as June 28 to meet a financial shortfall.

In September, Council approved first reading on a bond anticipation note of $400,000.

Mayor Clardy said he has met with several banks in an attempt to get the best rate, but as of Dec. 8 had not finalized a loan with a borrower.

Due to an early presstime, Clardy could not be reached for comments on the borrowing or the proposed budget.

Clardy said the amount approved by Council earlier this year will allow the town to get caught up on current debt amounting to $280,000 and provide $120,000 in operating capital to get the town through the end of the year.

Clardy said even though the BAN was approved in September, there is a 60 day waiting period for issuance of bond notes.

He also said the town will move forward and will get through the difficult financial period.

Target zero holiday campaign will focus on deadly January

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement throughout the state announced plans to bring down the fatality rate in January with a  long-range concentrated enforcement/education effort called Target Zero.

January 2004 represented one of the bloodiest beginnings to the year ever recorded with 88 fatalities compared to 46 the year before and 20 fatalities above the average for that month.

“This carnage on our highways began on New Year’s Eve weekend this year and didn’t slow down until the summer,” said SCDPS Director James K. Schweitzer. “We want the public to know that we are concentrating every enforcement muscle we have – state and local – to prevent such tragedies again this January. Losing a loved one is no way for families to start their new year.”

Target Zero is also a long-range plan that is being adopted by local law enforcement, along with the state effort, to eliminate highway tragedies one town, one county, one highway at a time. “One fatality is one too many,” Schweitzer said.

The Highway Patrol, State Transport Police and local law enforcement agencies will team up to focus enforcement efforts on roadways of specific concern using such tools as saturation enforcement, reallocation of manpower to high-crash areas and public safety checkpoints to combat fatalities.

The primary targeted violations will be DUI and speed, which contributed to a disproportionate amount of collisions last January.

Participating local law enforcement have identified a specific corridor that has led their areas in DUI/Speed-related collisions in the past three years.

The Highway Patrol will work with the State Transport Police focusing on specific times/dates, counties and roadways for their enforcement effort.

“We are letting our data guide our enforcement efforts,” said Highway Patrol Colonel Russell F. Roark. “Problem areas don’t just crop up typically. If there is a pattern of problems in January, most of the time these are the same areas, that for a variety of reasons, present problems all year.”

While enhanced enforcement will take place all over the state throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, specific high-crash areas can expect to see extra enforcement throughout January, particularly on weekends and other times of the day considered to be high-risk.

The DPS Office of Highway Safety will also unveil two new federally funded BAT Mobiles, which are mobile breath alcohol testing units, as well as its South Carolina Law Enforcement Networks, which are working toward creating more uniformity and partnering throughout law enforcement on safety initiatives.

The SCDPS will also continue its safety education program by showing its highway safety curriculum DVDs, particularly focusing on industry in January. Radio spots promoting Target Zero will begin hitting the airwaves in December and posters promoting the effort will be pushed out to schools to remind students of the effort as they return from the holiday break.

2003 was the first time in five years that the state had finished the year with less than 1,000 fatalities.

So far this year, there have been 956 fatalities compared to 913 last year. 

For more information, log on to: http://www.scdps.org/

Duke to upgrade Lee Steam plant

Duke Power has entered into a voluntary agreement with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control to install additional nitrogen oxide emission controls on its coal-fired Lee Steam Station in Williamston. The controls support the Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson Early Action Compact to reduce smog-forming emissions in Upstate South Carolina.

“We are pleased to have come to an agreement with leaders in South Carolina’s Department of Health & Environmental Control to further reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at Lee Steam Station,” said Ellen Ruff, group vice president of power policy and planning at Duke Power. “The new controls are expected to cost about $7.2 million and follow an earlier investment of $6.2 million in 2001 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant. When the new projects are completed by mid- 2006, we will have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions at Lee Steam Station by 60 percent since 1997.”

Duke Power’s Lee Steam Station has a generating capacity of 370 megawatts and is the only coal power plant the company operates in South Carolina.

At full capacity the plant can provide electricity to approximately 370,000 homes.

Duke Power will be investing $1.5 billion to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions at its seven coal plants in North Carolina to comply with the state’s “Clean Smokestacks” legislation, which was signed into law in June 2002 with Duke Power’s full support.

The partnership between Duke Power, environmental organizations and state regulators and elected officials was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its Clean Air Excellence Award in March 2004.

The series of construction projects Duke Power will undertake to comply with the legislation represents the largest capital project in North Carolina over the next decade.

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity and value-added products and services to more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2004, Duke Power celebrates 100 years of service.

The company operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: http://www.dukepower.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company.

Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in North America and selected international markets.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: http://www.dukeenergy.com.

Vehicles reported stolen

Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the theft of several vehicles across the area. Among incidents investigated:

Dec. 13 - Mike Cantrell, 43, 3127 Earle E. Morris Jr., Hwy., Piedmont, reported a 1996 Chevrolet 1500 Extended cab belonging to Horrace Auto Sales, 205 McAlister Rd., Easley, stolen from the lot. T. A. Caron investigated.

Dec. 13 - Martin Lewis Sift, 46, 113-HH Wedgefield Dr., Piedmont, reported a 1990 Honda Accord valued at $3,000 taken from the location. T. A. Caron investigated.

Dec. 13 - Joshua Christopher McClain, 21, 120 Belview Circle, Pelzer, reported a tow truck hooked to his 1994 Mustang and left the location, returning after about 5 minutes and leaving the vehicle in the front yard.  Reports state there was $1,000 in damage done to the front and rear bumper. D. B. Anderson investigated.

Dec. 13 - Faye Bagwell, 68, 911 Cheddar Rd., Belton reported a Commanche .38 handgun valued at $180 taken from the residence. J. A. Burdett investigated.

Dec. 12 - Pascal Yearta, 854D Piedmont Hwy., Piedmont, reported items valued at $305 missing from a storage unit at Stegall Rd., Pelzer. J. Johnson investigated.

Dec. 12 - Robert Lahmann, 24, 608 Bonanza Circle, Piedmont, reported baseball cards valued at $7,500 taken by a man who also cut the top of a 1971 MGB causing $500 in damage and punched a hole in the wall causing $100 in damage after being asked to leave the residence. R. S. Turner investigated.

Dec. 12 - Samuel Paul Campbell, 39, 300 Wilderness Trail, Liberty, reported tools valued at $1,244 taken from a storage unit #52 at Anchor Storage, 7300 Hwy. 8 Pelzer. R. S. Turner investigated.

Dec. 12 - William Joe Tesner, 64, 1801 Camelot Forest, Belton, reported 5 boxes of scrap aluminum stolen from 1110 Orr St., Pelzer. R. S. Turner investigated.

Dec. 11 - Debra Culler, 39, 307 Irby Rd., Piedmont, reported a 2003 Dodge Caravan valued at $23,000 stolen from the residence. Reports state the vehicle was unlocked with keys in the ash tray. J. A. Burdette investigated.

Dec. 11 - Mike White, 60, 600 Robin Hood Ln., Anderson, reported forced entry into a barn located at 501 Martin Rd., Williamston. A 4x8 utility trailer and items valued at $4,000 were taken from the location. J. A. Burdette investigated.

Venesa Thurmond, 41, 112 Mattison St., Williamston, reported someone entered her vehicle and stole a leather jacket and pants valued at $275. R. S. Turner investigated.

Steve D. Childers, Jimmy George, Inc., reported 20 bank checks taken from the company. R. W. Meller investigated.

Dec. 12 - Valarie L. Canada, 37, 102 Browning Rd., Piedmont, reported a 1997 Ford Escort valued at $5,000 taken from the location. The vehicle belonging to Lashon J. Canada, 34, was started and left to warm up when it was taken. J. L. Beraholm investigated.

Officials reexamining costs of joint sewer project

After more than four years of hashing out legal issues and dealing with delays, West Pelzer officials are considering backing out of a joint agreement with Pelzer to hook onto the Western Carolina sewer system.

The project was supposed to provide answers to ongoing sewer treatment problems facing both towns and would replace the sewer lagoons currently being used.

West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton and Pelzer Mayor Page Henderson met with representatives of Rural Development in June to resolve some remaining legal terminology of the closing papers and were very close to signing the final paperwork, they said.

“It is a miracle that the work hasn’t begun,” Paxton said at the Dec. 13 meeting of West Pelzer Town Council.

At that meeting, Paxton said that recent improvements being made to the West Pelzer sewer treatment lagoons have encouraged her to consider making additional improvements to keep the system in use.

Since the original agreement and grant was approved in 1999-2000, treatment fees being charged by Western Carolina have increased tremendously, according to Paxton.

She said with water infiltration in the sewer lines, the town would be paying triple what it should.

Improvements to the town’s current sewer treatment system now look more feasible.

Paxton said she plans to meet with state officials and engineers after the first of the year to look at possible upgrade plans and costs

Paxton has met with DHEC officials  several times since taking office to discuss problems found during DHEC inspections.

“We have had a 100 percent improvement,” Paxton said.

Since her meetings with DHEC officials, the town’s sewer facilities have passed recent DHEC inspections. “We have done everything they have asked us to do,” she said.

According to Paxton, DHEC representatives have indicated that with improvements, the current lagoons would be large enough to handle both the Town of West Pelzer and Town of Pelzer’s treatment needs if necessary.

Paxton said she believes making  improvements to the lagoon and keeping it functional will be better for the town in the long run than paying the higher fees that are expected to be charged by Western Carolina.

Final approval on the joint sewer project  has been on hold waiting for USDA Rural Development, according to Paxton.

Driven by Environmental Protection Agency requirements, plans for construction of a sewer line to connect Pelzer and West Pelzer to Western Carolina Sewer began over 10 years ago.

A $1.852 million grant was awarded to the Town of Pelzer in 1999 for the project which will fund 45% of the project. The Town, which is responsible for the balance of the cost, was forced to start collecting funds in advance to assist in paying for the project.

 West Pelzer was awarded a $495,000 grant from Rural Development, along with a $441,000 loan to be paid back over 40 years. West Pelzer officials also began collecting fees in anticipation of paying for the project.

Both mayors have said that water and sewer rates will increase and continue to increase every year as a result of the sewer project.

Wren Middle School and Powdersville Middle School to gather citizen input on periodic, state-mandated updates of the county comprehensive plan.

Honea Path town councilman Theodore Carroll Parker, Jr.,was among three area men who pled guilty in federal court to charges involving counterfeit currency.

Mar. 3 - A new general election for mayor and four council members is set for the Town of Pelzer. Results of the Nov. 4 election were overturned as a result of two protest hearings which challenged the election results due to irregularities in the election process. Kenneth Davis received 19 votes while incumbent Page Henderson received 18 votes for the office of mayor in the Nov. 4 election.

Williamston officials set Nov. 2 as the date for an election to fill two council seats and the mayor’s seat and discussed eliminating a petition requirement for candidates for mayor.

The Upstate received another full dose of winter as snow blanketed the local area and threatened to turn into ice overnight as temperatures dropped.

Air quality control issues and county initiatives to meet the federal standards of the Clean Air Act consumed much of the regular meeting of the Anderson County Council.

Mar. 10 - Palmetto Middle School principal Barry Knight was named S.C. Middle School Principal of the Year.

Pelzer officials finalized plans for limiting access to the Pelzer Park to the Hwy. 20 entrance.

West Pelzer officials faced frustrated representatives of businesses who voiced their objections to changes in parking policy along Main St.

Palmetto Middle School captured the prestigious Palmetto’s Finest award. A group of almost 200 students, parents and faculty were in Columbia to accept the award and celebrate the honor for the school.

Anderson Sheriffs Deputies searched for two men who robbed the CCB branch office in Piedmont.

Mar. 17 - Bob Austin announced  that he will seek the Anderson County Council District 7 seat. Austin lost by seven votes to incumbent Cindy Wilson in the 2002 Republican primary. Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson announced she will seek reelection to the position she has held since taking office in January 2001.

The Strong Communities initiative began working to develop a food bank to be located in the Piedmont Community Building and run by local churches, Chief Administrator Butch Nichols reported at the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Piedmont Public Service District.

A touch of Ireland came to Piedmont as the community celebrated its heritage and its 131st birthday with a luncheon at the Piedmont Community Building in honor of the community’s founding father David Garrison. Sponsored by Pride in Piedmont and Strong Communities, the Founder’s Day Luncheon featured traditional Irish fare - corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and beef stew.

West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton  asked for the resignation of Councilman Joe Turner in a statement issued after the regular meeting of the town council. Turner responded one week later that he would not resign.

The Williamston Area Historic Commission (WAHC) sponsored a Heritage Weekend event with a Southern Ball featuring the McGowans Band of Spartanburg playing live music for dancers to enjoy the Virginia Reel and other period dances.

Mar. 24 - Anderson County 911 operator Julia Nichols took the call from Hunter Thompson, an Anderson County boy who disappeared from an Anderson Kmart. Later that week, Anderson County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jonathan Craig Marcy, 27, at a home at 108 Academy Street in Williamston in connection with the abduction.

The Battle of Anderson County, a reenactment of the last Civil War skirmish between the organized forces east of the Mississippi which took place in Anderson County in May 1865, was held.

The Town of Pelzer saw no changes in leadership from a new election. Forty of the town’s 57 registered voters cast votes in the special election. Incumbent Page Henderson received 21 votes while Kenneth Davis received 19 votes for the office of mayor. Also elected were Steve McGregor, incumbent Betty Edens, Tony Riddle and Terry Mitchell, who received 17 write-in votes to capture the fourth seat.

Mar. 31 - Jane Harrison was named Director of Elementary Education for Anderson School District One. Harrison was a Principal at Concrete Primary and taught in the district since 1976.

Michael (Mickey) Moss from Lake City High School was named the new head football coach and athletic director at Wren High School for 2004-2005.

Construction is underway on the new Sue Cleveland Elementary School located off Woodland School Road and Bessie Road.  Greenville County school officials made the decision to relocate the school after the acreage at the present site in Piedmont was determined to be less than what is needed to support a new or renovated school.

The Williamston Action Community Club (WACC) held a Founders’ Day Celebration Banquet at the Caroline Community Center.  Former Mrs. USA contestant Bonita G. Young was a special guest speaker.

Apr. 7 - Work began on a new addition at Cedar Grove Elementary School. The addition increased student capacity at the school from 500 to 650 and is the second at the school since it was constructed in 1991.

“Not enough &ldots;” were the words the Williamston Town Council heard more than once as they were presented with the results of the financial audit for fiscal year 2003.

Though the Town received an unqualified opinion based on the audit and had improved record keeping and internal financial controls, auditor Larry Finney described the financial condition of the town as “weak” and emphasized a “growing concern with the Town’s decreasing fund balance over the last three years.” The Town has suffered significant reductions in fund balance that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern, the report stated.

The possibility of a professional baseball team in Anderson was the main topic of discussion at the Anderson County Council meeting.

Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston and members of the county staff presented two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to Mayor Phillip Clardy at the Williamston council meeting. Representing a total value of $4,400, the life-saving equipment was received through the South Carolina Rural Health Association.

The man accused of taking Hunter Thompson from an Anderson Kmart remained in jail after being denied bond.

Anderson County authorities were searching for a man who robbed a bank in Powdersville.

Apr. 14 - Wren clinched the Western Conference I-AAA Baseball Championship with a 10-0 bashing of Berea.

West Pelzer officials worked to resolve questions about sewer funds and trash collection.

Members of the 151st Signal Battalion were standing by waiting on a plane to transport them home after more than a year of deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom. Family members expected to learn that the local unit was on its way to South Carolina.

Newly-elected Pelzer officials heard an engineering recommendation which proposed over $250,000 in renovations to the Pelzer Gymnasium.

Apr. 21 - Greenville County Recreation District announced day camps will be held at the Piedmont Community Center, Chairperson Marsha Rogers announced at the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners for the Piedmont Public Service District.

The Saluda River Valley Rail Trail committee and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation hosted a public meeting in Williamston to gather input on a study to determine the feasibility of a potential 20-mile trail corridor  through the area.

Company C of the 151st Signal Battalion were returning to Williamston after more than a year of deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom. Local officials were in the process of finalizing plans for a homecoming celebration for the returning soldiers.

Anderson County Council member Cindy Wilson continued efforts to receive specific information on county finances. Wilson stated that she had been attempting to review information in legal expense vendor files for three years.

Apr. 28 - Gladdis Kroll, 82, of Cannon Bottom Rd., Belton, was fatally injured when she was struck by a vehicle as she was attempting to cross East Main St. in downtown Williamston.

Company C of the 151st Signal Battalion returned to a real homecoming celebration in Williamston. Two buses carrying the local unit traveled from Columbia through the main streets of Pelzer, West Pelzer, and Williamston and into the Mineral Spring Park for the official homecoming ceremony. Citizens of all ages lined the streets along the way waving flags and showing signs of support from the local community.

Palmetto High School Class of 1954 celebrated the school’s 50th Anniversary with a 50th class reunion and Fifties Celebration for all students who attended Palmetto in 1953-1954.

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved construction bids for the new Palmetto High Freshman Academy addition. The construction management division of M. B. Kahn was awarded the bid of $2,919,224.

May 5 - The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners held first reading of the 2004-05 budget. The budget shows estimated revenues at $1,118, 494 for all departments with total estimated expenditures of $1,113,998 leaving an estimated surplus of $4,496.

Williamston Town Council approved second reading on a land use and planning ordinance to bring the town’s standards in line with county standards and took the first steps in updating the town’s comprehensive plan.

The Williamston Police Department was investigating an incident in which a Williamston man died after he was allegedly struck by a pipe during an altercation that happened on East Carolina St.

The first reading of a proposed budget for the new fiscal year met with mixed responses from Anderson County Council members

May 12 - The Strong Communities organization honored four Piedmont area organizations for their contributions to the community. Receiving awards for their work in the Piedmont community were Kim Carnes YMCA, Mamie Reid, Shady Grove Baptist Church, Micheelle Anderson, Pride in Piedmont, and Marsha Rogers, Piedmont Public Service District.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy met with Main Street business owners to discuss options to improve safety in the downtown area.

West Pelzer Town Council focused on continued delays in the replacement of water lines along Main Street and discussed possible solutions to the problem.

Baccalaureate services were held for graduates of Anderson School District One.

May 19 - Firefighters from across Anderson County attended a funeral for Michael Martin, 18, of Belton, who died when he crashed his truck responding to an emergency call. Martin was a volunteer for the county’s Ebenezer station.

Country music artist and host of the LPGA Franklin American Mortgage Championship, Vince Gill, caddied for Brandi Jackson after Jackson reminded him of a promise made  while signing autographs at a concert at Clemson University in 1995. 

Greenville County District 26 Council member Judy Gilstrap faced about two dozen frustrated citizens at the first town meeting in recent memory at the Piedmont Community Center.

The Board of Commissioners for the Piedmont Public Service District unanimously approved second reading of the annual budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. Millage rates remain unchanged.

A portion of South Carolina Secondary Highway 77 from S.C.  Hwy. 20 to Beaverdam Road (S. C. Secondary Hwy. 75) was named the “David R. Chastain Highway” in honor of David R. Chastain.

The Town of West Pelzer announced it is applying for a Community Development Block Grant which they plan to use for replacement of water lines in the town.

During a special called meeting members of West Pelzer Town Council took on several sewer related issues and were updated on the USDA Rural Development loan and grant which is the financial basis for a joint sewer project with Pelzer.

The Class of 2004 from Palmetto High School and Wren High School readied for commencement exercises at the Anderson Civic Center.

May 26 - Freedom Weekend Aloft,  one of the largest Memorial Day Weekend, hot-air balloon and entertainment festivals in the Southeast,  returned to the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center for Memorial weekend.

One of the stories of faith in a book released and edited by Oliver North, entitled “Friends in War,” features former local resident Sammy Horne, Jr. and his friend Chris Huggins from Bangs, Texas.

School District One Board of Trustees approved a resolution authorizing a TAN borrowing program of up to $1.7 million and approved  a policy change to make honor graduate guidelines uniform within the district.

Pelzer Mayor Page Henderson reported Pelzer and West Pelzer ready to close the contract on a joint sewer project. The mayors and attorneys of both towns were to meet with Rural Development to resolve legal terminology of the closing papers.

June 2 - Approximately forty citizens of West Pelzer attended a meeting to offer input on community needs and priorities for the town as the first step in a grant application for a Community Development Block Grant which West Pelzer officials hope to use to replace aging water lines in the town.

A split Anderson County Council approved the third and final reading of a $94 million budget for the new fiscal year.

June 9 - The Woodmont High School Class of 2004 observed commencement exercises at the Palmetto Exposition Center in Greenville.

Voters returned incumbent Cindy Wilson to the local seat on the Anderson County Council after she overcame a challenge from Bob Austin in the Republican primary.

State House District 10 Representative Dan Cooper soundly defeated challenger Jack King in the Republican primary.

A runoff election was necessary  between David Crenshaw and John Skipper in the Republican sheriff primary. Bob Appell captured the Democratic nomination and will face the winner of the runoff election in November.

Ace Hardware and Rental celebrated a grand reopening. Formerly True Value, the business is one of the oldest in the area and is a historic part of the Williamston business community. The business had its beginnings in the area when J. L. Simpson operated the Pelzer Oil Mill from 1911until 1924.

Williamston Town Council heard questions from several Williamston citizens and heard a request by Attorney James M. Cox for the town to  relinquish any interest it may have on property on Williams Street that was formerly used as a library.

The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed a followup report on a Williamston related investigation had been completed and sent back to Spartanburg-based 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy’s office.

June 16 - The Town of West Pelzer was facing a penalty from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) after failing to meet environmental regulations in the town’s waste water treatment facility. Mayor Peggy Paxton said the town could expect a fine by DHEC between $8,000 and $60,000 as the result of the town ignoring the problems with the system.

Officials announced the assault and battery case against former Williamston police chief Richard Turner will be heard by Saluda Judge W. Frank Partridge.

Charter Communications contractors Guy Rimel and Don Spinner were instrumental in catching a bank robber who was hiding under a house where they were installing cable.

More than 50 youth and adults of all ages from across the state were working as volunteers in the Salkehatchie Summer Services of the South Carolina United Methodist Church.

United States District Judge Henry M. Herlond, Jr., of Greenville sentenced William M. Mattison, Theodore Carrol Parker, Jr.,  and Coree Reeder, 53, to four years probation with certain conditions after finding them guilty of conspiracy to possess and pass counterfeit currency.

June 23 - Pelzer officials unanimously approved first reading of a new fiscal budget showing an estimated total income of $435,219 and estimated total expenses of $391,141. The $44,078 surplus will be paid to Dunn & Associates for engineering fees associated with the sewer project, Mayor Page Henderson said.

The Anderson County Board of Education approved the School District One budget of $40,356,835 for school year 2004-2005 without changes. The budget includes additional training and certification, materials and adds 12 new teachers for the District.

Dr. Randy Reagan was named the principal of Woodmont High School.

West Pelzer Town Council unanimously approved first reading of an ordinance establishing a new schedule of rates and fees for the town.

David Crenshaw captured the Republican nomination for Anderson County sheriff in the runoff election.

June 30 - The Town of Williamston Freedom Celebration featured a free fireworks show, a dance with a DJ, an old fashioned community cookout in Mineral Spring Park and a cruise-in at a local restaurant.

Officials of the Town of West Pelzer unanimously approved the first reading of a proposed budget. Officials estimated that general fund revenue and revenue from the operations of the water and sewer departments would amount to $605,269.91 for the coming year.

The Greater Williamston Business Association appointed a five member committee to make recommendations for a downtown redevelopment project the organization is spearheading.

Piedmont residents were planning an old fashioned street dance at the Piedmont Community Center. The event was to be reminiscent of similar events held in the community years ago, organizers said.

Among the 40 young women competing for Miss South Carolina were three local representatives including: Miss Powdersville Felicia Welch of Irmo, Miss Travelers Rest Jamie Roach of Piedmont, and Miss Duncan/Lyman/Wellford Nina Gilliam of Pelzer. Williamston did not have a contestant in this year’s pageant.

The Town of West Pelzer held a 4th of July Celebration at the Pelzer ballfields.

The second half review of 2004 will continue in the January 5 issue of  The Journal.

Williamston approves 2005 “tax rollback” budget

At a special called meeting held Dec. 21, Williamston Town Council approved first reading on a $2.2 million general fund budget for 2005 based on a 106 mil tax levy, a roll-back from the 120 mils last year.

At that meeting, Mayor Phillip Clardy said the budget was based on discussion with the town treasurer and information from previous town spending. Anticipated income information came from the Anderson County auditor’s office.

The General Fund budget does not include a $350,000 Bond Anticipation Note which the town is expected to enter into on Dec. 30, 2004.

In response to an inquiry from Councilman Cecil Cothran, Mayor Phillip Clardy said sale of property owned by the town will be used toward repayment of the note. He did not give an estimate of the property’s value. He added that the town’s auditor and attorney will present another possible avenue to the new council in January.

After paying outstanding debts, the town will know how much of the $350,000 it will carry forward to 2005.

“We will have a challenge in paying back the $350,000 in one year,” Mayor Clardy said. “The banks were puzzled why we chose a note to be paid back in one year,” he added.

The budget could be re-visited and cuts made, if necessary, the mayor said. 

The balanced budget for the Water & Sewer Department totals $1.4 million and estimated revenues are expected to cover expenses, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy’s figures.

The budget reflected no increase in water and sewer rates. Anticipated income totaled $1,398,891.15. Clardy noted that town water rates were not increased when the town joined others in Anderson County in the Duke System, although many had to increase rates.

“We renegotiated debt in the water department, and savings on a reduced interest rate kept us from charging residents more when we went with the Duke system,” he said.

Councilman David Harvell recused himself from voting on the fire department budget since he is a member of the department.

The mayor said he would clarify some items listed on the budget which raised questions from council members. Those changes would be made before final reading.

Employee salaries and benefits were major expenses for each department.

Administrative expenses include - salaries: $243,678; payroll taxes $20,546.02; retirement exp. $1,345.82; health ins. $34,884. Supplies and expense is budgeted at $53,474; utilities $33,425.

Street Department expenses include: salaries $248,103; payroll taxes $18,930.26; retirement $12,863.44; health insurance $26,062. Supplies and expense $17,355; utilities $44,707; uniforms $7,490.

Police Department expenses include: salaries $615,473.23; payroll taxes $44,064; retirement $52,889; health insurance $57,240. Supplies and expense $45,000; utilities $35,875; uniforms $6,200; repair and maintenance $20,000. Also Capital lease (police vehicles) $45,298, principal $2,072; vehicles $19,348.

Parks and Recreation expenses: salaries $73,183.03; payroll taxes $6,022.37; retirement $45,255; health insurance $7366. Supplies and expense is budgeted at $15,294; utilities $12,567; uniforms $1,800; Spring Water Festival $5,072; Christmas Park $1,300; Little League $14,150; parades $2,000; July 4th celebration $3,350.

Fire Department: salaries $24,000; supplies and expense $13,768.48; uniforms $3,116.62; utilities $5,274.

Professional fees, budgeted at $55,078.55, includes attorney, auditors and services by agencies.

In the Enterprise fund budget, Water Department administration salaries amounted to $47,201.28; payroll taxes $3317.01; health insurance $3310.80; retirement $3506.21.

Water (Street): salaries $242,465.97; payroll taxes $19,443.11; retirement $13,363.35; health insurance $9271.50.

Other expenses include professional fees $17,468.49; depreciation $242,465.97; vehicle expense $53,275.11; uniforms $4,541.11; utilities $8,011.54; lab fees $1,760; permits/DHEC fees $8,479; professional fees (sewer) $23,350, supplies and expense $45,855.65.

Estimated total expenses by department are:

Administrative: $393,212.84

Street: $394,246.70 

Police: $943,459.73 

Parks & Rec.: $199,459.40 

Fire Dept.: $50,446.58 

Non-Departmental expenses amounted to $223.717.75 (this includes bank payments and charges; insurance/bond; a portion of professional fees)

Included are: Clyde Savings Bank (fire truck) principal $17,164; Clyde Savings Bank (fire truck) interest $10,983; GO bond payment $68,000; GO bond interest $3,257; Insurance bond $65,158; MASC dues $1,728; professional fees $55,078; national graud $810; bank charges $974; municipal building repairs $565.

(Some of these figures were revised on second reading Dec. 28. See separate story)

Williamston Council approves budget revisions

At a special called meeting Tuesday, Williamston Town Council approved second reading on a revised $2.2 million general fund budget for 2005 with a 4-0 vote.

Councilman Wade Pepper abstained from the vote, citing that he had just received his copy of the budget at the meeting.

The budget is based on a 106 mil tax levy, a roll-back from the 120 mils the town operated on last year.

The General Fund budget does not include a $350,000 Bond Anticipation Note which the town is expected to enter into on Dec. 30, 2004.

Mayor Phillip Clardy said sale of Cherokee Road property owned by the town will be used toward repayment of the note. He did not give an estimate of the property’s value.

After paying outstanding debts, the town will know how much of the $350,000 it will carry forward to 2005 and the amount can be added to the budget, he said.

Total expected revenues are $2,204,543.  Included are: state fund revenue $99,796; motor vehicle taxes $159,114; property taxes $799,779; prior year taxes $3,120; tax costs $3,905; payments in lieu of taxes $673; homestead exemptions $83,096; merchants inventory taxes $7,027; manufacturing exemptions $90,004; business license $37,672; MASC insurance $238,737; franchise fees $350,000; MASC telecommunications $702.

Also police fines $182,539; SRO officers $71,000; little league fees $8,315; park fees $8,530; Christmas/Spring Water $9,000; other revenue $24,913; solid waste fees $7,650; dumpster/metal sold $18,914; interest income $57.

Administrative expenses include - salaries: (revised) from $243,678 to $225,343; payroll taxes (revised) $17,238 from $20,546; retirement expense (revised) $14,203 from $1,345; health insurance (revised) $47,203 from $34,884. Supplies and expense is budgeted at $53,474; utilities $33,425.

Street Departmentexpenses include: (revised) salaries $239,553 from $248,103; payroll taxes (revised) $18,325 from $18,930; retirement (revised) $16,050 from $12,863; health insurance (revised) $42,912 from $26,062. Supplies and expense $17,355; utilities $44,707; uniforms $7,490.

PoliceDepartment expenses include: salaries (revised) $592,681 from $615,473; payroll taxes (revised) $39,838 from $44,064; retirement (revised) $53,638 from $52,889; health insurance (revised) $77,241 from $57,240. Supplies and expense $45,000; utilities $35,875; uniforms $6,200; vehicles $19,348; repairs/maintenance $20,000.

Parks and Recreation expenses: salaries (revised) $87,185 from $73,183.03; payroll taxes (revised) $6,669 from $6,022.37; retirement (revised typo) $4,820 from $45,255; health insurance (revised) $17,164 from $7,366. Supplies and expense is budgeted at $15,294; utilities $12,567; uniforms $1,800; Spring Water Festival $5,072; Christmas Park $1,300; Little League $14,150; parades $2,000; July 4th celebration $3,350.

Fire Department: salaries $24,000; supplies and expense $13,768.48; uniforms $3,116.62; utilities $5,274; repairs and maintenance $1,509 and vehicles $2,778.

Estimated total expenses by department are:

Administrative: $369,931

Street: $412,779

Police: $937,193

Parks & Rec.: $183,473

Fire Dept.: $50,446 

Non-Departmental expenses amounted to $223,717 (this includes bank payments and charges; insurance/bond; a portion of professional fees)

Included are: Clyde Savings Bank (fire truck) principal $17,164; Clyde Savings Bank (fire truck) interest $10,983; GO bond payment $68,000; GO bond interest $3,257; Insurance bond $65,158; MASC dues $1,728; professional fees $55,078; National Gaurd $810; bank charges $974; municipal building repairs $565.

The sidewalk grant and bond anticipation note figures are not included but are on the budget.

Mayor Clardy said the sidewalk grant will be kept in a separate account and will be audited seperately. He also said  the bond anticipation proceeds will not be included until the town’s debt is paid from the $350,000 loan and exact figures if anything is left over, can be determined.

The balanced budget for the Water & Sewer Department totals $1.4 million and estimated revenues are expected to cover expenses, according to Mayor Phillip Clardy’s figures.

The budget reflected no increase in water and sewer rates. Anticipated income totaled $1,398,891.15. Clardy noted that town water rates were not increased when the town joined others in Anderson County in the Duke System, although many had to increase rates.

In the Enterprise fund budget, revenues are budgeted at $1,398,891 to expenses of $1,398,891.

Revenues include water and sewer $1,371,607, tap fees $13,800, reconnect fees $7,822 and other revenue of $5,661.

Water Department administration salaries amounted to $47,201.28; payroll taxes $3317.01; health insurance $3310.80; retirement $3506.21.

Water (Street): salaries $242,465.97; payroll taxes $19,443.11; retirement $13,363.35; health insurance $9271.50.

Other expenses include professional fees $17,468.49; depreciation $242,465.97; vehicle expense $53,275.11; uniforms $4,541.11; utilities $8,011.54; lab fees $1,760; permits/DHEC fees $8,479; professional fees (sewer) $23,350, supplies and expense $45,855.65.

Also, BB&T bond $70,670; Fica taxes $11,182; state retirement $3,701; and insurance bond $46,563.

 

Bond Anticipation Note to be finalized Thursday

The Town of Williamston will receive $350,000 from a Bond Anticipation Note which is expected to be finalized this Thursday, Dec. 30.

The loan will bring in revenue to pay outstanding debt the town has accumulated and will bring the town’s health and workers compensation insurance up to date.

The one year repayment term of the BAN was the topic of discussion during a special called meeting of Williamston Town Council, in which town officials approved second reading on a revised $2.2 million general fund budget for 2005.

The budget is based on a 106 mil tax levy, a roll-back from the 120 mils the town operated on last year.

With the rollback of approximately $100,000 and other reductions, the new budget is approximately $200,000 less than the 2.4 million budget the town operated under during 2004.

The General Fund budget does not include proceeds from the $350,000 Bond Anticipation Note which the town is expected to sign Thursday, nor does it include paying it back.

Mayor Phillip Clardy said sale of Cherokee Road property owned by the town will be applied toward repayment of the note. He did not give an estimate of the property’s value.

After paying outstanding debts, the town will know how much of the $350,000 it will carry forward to 2005 and the amount can be added to the budget, he said.

Clardy said the town also has the option of increasing property taxes, borrowing from the water fund, or issuing bonds to pay back the bond anticipation note.

Clardy said when the note is approved Thursday, “every cent will be applied to any debt, including any local debts.” He also said the Municipal Association insurance will be paid in full, with a wire transfer.

Clardy said the final general obligation bond payment will be made in May and the final police vehicle lease payment will be made in January, freeing up additional funds for the town. “The only debt the town will have is the fire truck payment,” he said.

The budget reflects a reduction in state revenues, vehicle and property taxes and police fines.

The new budget reflects increases in health insurance and retirement costs. It also includes depreciation of $247,000.

Mayor Clardy also said the budget does not show a grant for sidewalk improvements, which he said will be kept separate from the town’s general fund. He also said no funds have been received and will not until the bidding process is completed and actual expenditures are incurred.

(An exact comparison of the new 2005 budget to the 2004 budget will be in next week’s Journal.)

December arrests minimal

Mid-December was a slow period for Williamston officers with only a few incidents reported. Among incidents investigted were:

Dec. 18 - Heyward Preston Scott, 28, 1479 Harris Bridge Rd., Easley, reported a CCB check card taken from a vehicle at Sav-Way, 309 E. Main St., Williamston. The card was later used in two fraud incidents. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated. The check card was used for a $14.50 withdrawal at EnMark, 934 Anderson Dr., Williamston and a $300 withdrawal from the ATM at CCB, 1 N. Hamilton St., Williamston.

Dec. 18 - Derek Henry Bracken, 38, 165 Middleton Blvd., Williamston reported a Smith and Wesson .357 handgun valued at $525 removed from his residence. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 22 A “Children at Play” sign located at Parker St. and Academy St. was vandalized by what appeared to be a black marker causing $50 in damage. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 18 - John Ricky Gambrell, 51, 1143 Cheddar Rd., Belton, was arrested for unsafe tires, driving under suspension and no proof of insurance after a 1987 Honda Accord was observed at the intersection of Middleton Blvd. and N. Hamilton St. with extremely worn tires. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Dec. 23 - Rodney Lamar King, 33, 645 Cherokee Rd., Pelzer was arrested for breach of peace after being observed harassing customers at Sav-Way, 309 East Main St. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Dec. 19 - A manager at JT’s restaurant, 908 Anderson Dr., Williamston reported being pushed and struck by an employee. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Nov. 27 - Ronald Mellott, 712 Anderson Hwy., Williamston reported a trailer valued at $1,900 missing from the location. B. L. Lewis investigated.

Dec. 8 - Cindy Sutton, 6 Moorings St., Williamston reported tools valued at 1,600 removed from a storage building at 100 Brown St., Williamston including a chainsaw, tool chest, car buffer, air compressor, 3 automotive paint guns. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Suspicious fire investigated

Piedmont firefighters worke to extinguish a house fire late Monday night on Beam Road in South Greenville County. As firefighters searched the burning house they discovered the body of forty-one year old Wanda Gail Romine. Greenville EMS treated a neighbor for smoke inhalation after he tried unsuccessfully to enter the burning house before firefighters arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Piedmont Fire Department, Greenville County Sheriff’s Department, and SLED.

Breazeale Road fatality

A twenty-two year old Williamston man was killed early Monday morning in a single vehicle accident on Breazeale Road. According to authorities, Mark A. Couvilier, Jr. was driving east when the truck ran off the roadway and struck two trees sometime before 2 a.m. Couvilier, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected,officials said. According to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, alcohol and spped were factors in the crash. A 2000 graduate of Palmetto High School, Couvilier lived in Beaufort, where he worked for his uncle. Williamston EMS along with Medshore Ambulance Service and Whitefield firefighters responded to the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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