News Archive

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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