Laurens Raiders @ Clinton Red Devils Football Replay

Laurens @ Clinton Game Podcast

Originally Broadcast 8-26-16 on WLBG

Armed Robbery, Indecent Exposure

A Laurens pharmacy was struck by an armed robber yesterday. A man with a gun reportedly robbed Drug Lo on Fleming Street around 9:30 yesterday morning. Laurens City Police later arrested a suspect in connection with that case. 22-year-old Iquill Morrison of 120 Terry’s Park Drive, Laurens was being held overnight, pending a warrant.

Meanwhile, he was served with a warrant from another alleged incident nine days earlier. That charge is Indecent Exposure. Officer Gallo states that an investigation indicates that Mr. Morrison committed Indecent Exposure on August 14th by pulling his pants below his genitals and exposing himself, then masturbating for the purpose of sexual gratification in front of the victim. This was also allegedly in the presence of her two juvenile children, who were asleep at the time during the incident in an apartment at 309 Exchange Drive.

Iquill Morrison was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center.

Rooftop Marijuana Garden?

A report of Marijuana plants being observed on a roof dispatched Clinton Public Safety Sgt. Phillip Wicker to Clay Street at 6:12 last evening. The complainant escorted the officer to a nearby roof, where Sgt. Wicker reported locating two plants on the roof beside the back door of an apartment. He knocked on the J-Press apartment door and met the resident, who reportedly did not reply when asked about the marijuana plants. On entering to talk further with the woman, the officer reported observing a strong smell of marijuana. A small amount of marijuana was reportedly located in a window sill with a digital weighing scale beside it. Rolled marijuana cigarettes were reportedly located in a bedroom. Officers stood by until someone arrived to secure a small female child who was in the apartment. DSS later transferred custody of the child to a relative. When officers were placing the woman under arrest, she reportedly began to yell and pull away from Officer Wilkes. A short time later he gained control and placed her in handcuffs.

21-year-old Belinda Andrea Leake of Apt 203 at 125 East Main was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, pending charges expected to include Manufacturing and Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Resisting Arrest.

Officers reported confiscating marijuana, two marijuana plants and a digital scale.

Can’t Put Guard Rails on a Dam

A recent fatal accident where a woman died after landing in a pond was discussed this week at County Council. Rob Russian, Laurens County Director of Public Works, updated council regarding a fatal accident that occurred recently on Whelon Road, where the vehicle went into a pond.

Russian said that after checking with South Carolina Department of Transportation about the possibility of installing guard rails to prevent any further fatalities, he was informed that the section of road involved is actually a dam, and that installing guard rails could compromise the dam.

Russian told council that SCDOT and the DHEC are looking alternative plans that would ensure the safety of the dam.

Child Neglect Alleges Shoplifting with Kids

A woman was served with three Child Neglect charges yesterday following her arrest Wednesday on a shoplifting case. Laurens City Police arrested 27-year-old Gina Lee Tucker, booked with a Joanna address. Warrants indicate she lives at 801North Sloan Street, Clinton. Officer Michael Gainey states that an investigation indicates that on August 24th Gina Lee Tucker knowingly and willfully concealed multiple items of merchandise in a diaper bag and purse, then passed all points of sale and attempted to exit Wal-Mart with intent to deprive the merchant of full value of the items.  In three warrants charging Unlawful Conduct toward a Child, Officer Gainey states that on August 24th Ms. Tucker did knowingly and willfully place victims at unreasonable risk of harm and mental anguish by shoplifting in the presences of her three children.

Cash or surety bonds on the four charges were set totaling $15,652. Gina Lee Tucker remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning.

Flight of the Dove

After a combination Event welcoming PC Students & the final Town Rhythms of the summer with the Swinging Medallions last night, the City of Clinton will have personnel at the Depot again this evening. They’ll be joined by Hospice of Laurens County personnel from 5:00 this afternoon handing out registration packets for tomorrow’s 11thAnnual Flight of the Dove. The cycling event helping Hospice of Laurens County serve the community begins at PC’s Bailey Memorial Stadium with last-minute registration at 7:00 Saturday morning. The rides begin at 8:00. Official events include a Metric Century, a 50 mile and a 30 mile course. There will also be a 14 mile Family Leisure Ride.

Participation is $35 with pre-registration through today; $40 for registration tomorrow morning.

Economic Development….or Just Daffodils?

Laurens County Development Corporation Director Jonathan Coleman appeared before County Council this week, asking council to approve the use of up to $250,000 in money from the Hunter Industrial Park Fund for improvements to the Interstate Exit near the park. He said the money would be used to landscape and install signs at Exit 9 off Interstate 385. That’s the Laurens exit onto US 221.

Coleman said the goal of the project is to encourage economic development in the county, improve aesthetics of the area and to promote the Hunter Industrial Park for new industrial plants to locate there.

Referring to the discussion on extra money for Fountain Inn fire coverage held earlier in the meeting, Chairman Joe Wood responded to the request: “30 minutes ago we argued over $5,000 for fire safety, and now we want to spend $250,000 for a bunch of daffodils.”

Councilman Pitts added that he didn’t see how this could spur economic development and suggested the Hunter Industrial Park funds be used to upgrade the classification of the park itself.

Other members of council seemed to support the idea, though, as well as Laurens City Administrator Gary Coleman, who was in attendance at the meeting along with CPW General Manager John Young.

Chairman Wood deferred the project to a special committee he chairs, and also includes Council members Keith Tollison and Garrett McDaniel.

Joe Wood added “We have heard both sides of this issue. The committee will discuss a figure for this project that we can afford.”

Last Weekend to Campaign for City Council

This is the final weekend of campaigning for the special election for Laurens City Council seat 2. Four people have filed as candidates to serve the remainder of the current term of office of the late Richard Griffin, who died May 31st.  The special election is set for next Tuesday. Candidates seeking election are Sara Lenahan, Tomika Craig, Alicia LaTrina Sullivan and Wayne Glenn Neal.

Where Have You Been?

State Probation yesterday charged 52-year-old Mary Cozette Harris Lee of 102 Garth Road, Fountain Inn with Violation of Probation. She’s accused of not reporting since May 1st, 2014 and of not providing proof of where she has been living, as well as not making required payments. She’s also accused of not obtaining gainful employment. Mary Lee was being held in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Are You Engaged?

Each Laurens County District 56 School Board meeting has a theme that focuses on one of the District Goals. At the August meeting Monday the focused goal was to “engage all stakeholders in the support of quality education and continuous improvement.” That got Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields started.  He addressed the board and all in attendance with numerous examples of how District 56 engages students, parents and the community at large. From participation with the United Way’s school supplies drive to the Clinton Coalition for Youth summer camp operating at the former Bell Street Middle School to the inspiration and energy evident at this year’s opening convocation, he said District 56 was striving to engage all who have an interest in the success of the students the district serves.

District 56, he said, will continue seeking ways to engage individuals and organizations both inside and outside the walls of the classroom.  “Everyone has a role to play” he said.  “Will you accept yours?”

Hit with Broom, Bit Leaving Teeth Marks

Domestic Violence 3rd Degree from an assault earlier this month was the charge the Sheriff’s Office yesterday served on 21-year-old Caitlyn Rose Marko of 222 Kimbark Lane, Gray Court. She’s accused of hitting the victim over the head with a broom and biting him above the right breast, leaving teeth marks and bruising. Ms. Mako was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing today

13 Charges – Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

The State Law Enforcement Division yesterday arrested a Laurens man for multiple charges alleging sexual exploitation of children.

Tomas Michael Jones

Tomas Michael Jones

40-year-old Thomas Michael Jones of 538 Starfrost Road. Laurens was served with thirteen counts charging Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The warrants state the case was investigated by Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. The investigation apparently culminated with a search warrant issued at Jones’ residence yesterday.

Eight warrants charging Mr. Jones with 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor state this was done by distributing, transporting, exhibiting, receiving, selling, purchasing, duplicating or soliciting materials that contain a visual representation of minors engaged in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity. The defendant allegedly did this at his residence through use of a file sharing network on July 10th, 17th, 24th, 30th and 31st and August 12th, 16th and 17th.

Five warrants alleging 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor allege he did knowingly and willfully possess material that contained visual representation of minors engaged in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity. These warrants state that this material was located on the defendant’s computer during execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s residence at 538 Starfrost Road, Laurens on August 24th, 2016.

Thomas Michael Jones was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, pending a bond hearing today.

New Round of Airport Improvements Coming

Laurens County Council was updated on the next round of improvements for the Laurens County Airport this week. Sammy Wham, Airport Commission Chair, noted that the first phase was completed in 2013. He said Phase Two of airport pavement rehabilitation includes a concrete overlay of the existing asphalt Taxiway A, rejuvenation of existing taxiway B pavement and asphalt reconstruction of the existing asphalt hangar taxi-lane pavement.

He said Phase Two is a $1,020,060 project. Most of that – $918,054 – is being covered by a grant from the Federal Aviation Agency. The remainder is divided between the state and county, each responsible for $52,003.

Soil Texting Needed at Wilder Stadium

During Monday night’s meeting of the Laurens County School District 56 Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields recommended that the board approve funding for a topographical study and a soil density test around Wilder Stadium.  The board approved the request by unanimous vote.

After the meeting, WLBG asked Dr. O’Shields if he could clarify why the study and the test were needed at the stadium.  He explained that the district was well aware that there were problems at Wilder Stadium.  He said the bathrooms, especially on the visitor’s side, were in serious need of major repair and renovation.  In fact, he said, it might be best to simply demolish those structures and rebuild. However, he explained, the district could not begin any such work without first assuring itself that none of that work would cause damage to the stadium in any way.  The only way to be sure of that is to complete the topographical study and soil density test. O’Shields said “This is sort of the beginning of some things that the district has to do to undertake part of its responsibility to Wilder Stadium.” He also said that the Wilder Stadium Improvement Committee has done a great job and has made recommendations for work on the stadium.  The district, said Dr. O’Shields, may be unable to undertake everything that has been recommended but there are some issues that the district simply must address sooner rather than later.  This is the beginning step for addressing those critical needs.

Kidnapping & Resisting Arrest Charged

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bryan Willard went to a Jared Drive, Laurens address yesterday morning after learning that someone wanted for multiple Bench Warrants was at another man’s residence there. There was no response to knocks on the door. Meanwhile, the resident of that address had communicated through texts that the wanted man was preventing him from coming to the door, reportedly grabbing him and threatening him. Officers called out on loudspeaker but received no response. Deputies obtained a search warrant and used it to enter the residence, reportedly finding the wanted man in a back bedroom.

Joshua Allen Knight

Joshua Allen Knight

After arrest 28-year-old Joshua Allen Knight of 15 Bright Morning Lane, Fountain Inn was charged with Kidnapping, Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth and Resisting Arrest. Sgt. Willard stated that Joshua Allen Knight unlawfully seized, confined or kidnapped a victim at the Jared Drive location, that he possessed less than a gram of meth and that he resisted his lawful arrest.

Mr. Knight was also served with five Bench Warrants from three courts. He has two Bench Warrants from General Sessions Court issued Monday on the first day of the current session of court, citing Failure to Show on charges of Possession of Meth and Possession of a Controlled Substance Monday. He was served with a Magistrate’s Court Bench Warrant showing a July 19th conviction for Giving False Information with a sentence of 30 days or $465. He was served with two Laurens Municipal Court Bench Warrants showing convictions July 19th, on Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He has sentences on each of those charges of 30 days or fines totaling $1115.

Joshua Allen Knight was to face arraignment today on his new charges which include Kidnapping.

Man Served with 2013 Charges

The man arrested early yesterday after allegedly running from a Deputy outside Laurens has been served with Bench Warrants and new charges from Clinton Public Safety. Clinton warrants from almost three years ago show 27-year-old Antonio Marcus Cheeks as a resident of 105 North Bell Street, Clinton. Sgt. Kennith Prather states that on October 19th, 2013 the defendant possessed an open container of beer in public in front of building 2 at 100 Clinton Manor. Lt. Casey Jones states that when advised he was under arrest, Cheeks fled from the front of building 2 at Clinton Manor.

While PR bonds were posted on these two 2013 charges from Clinton, Antonio Marcus Cheeks was also served with a Bench Warrant citing him for Failure to Appear for a Rule to Show Cause on November 6th and December 11th, 2013 on a charge of Manufacture or Distribution of Cocaine Base. Cheeks remained in the Johnson Detention Center, pending his next appearance before General Sessions Court.

Jail records showed no charges served from allegedly running from officers early yesterday morning.

2013 Breach of Trust

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested 36-year-old Ketoria Nicole Lindsay on a charge of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent. In a warrant showing her 2013 address at 4474 Harris Springs Road, Cross Hill, Deputy Paterson states that on September 9, 2013 Ms. Lindsay received in trust personal property valued at less than $1,000 and appropriated the property to her own use with fraudulent intent to deprive the owner of the said property. Ketoria Lindsay was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing on the charge today.

July, 2016 Breach of Trust

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday served a Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent warrant charging a woman in connection for alleged actions last month. 37-year-old Kierre Monique Parker of 127 Orr Street, Piedmont is accused of receiving personal property of another valued at $2,000 or less on the 29th of July and that she then appropriated the victim’s property to her own use with the fraudulent intent to deprive the owner.

Kierre Parker was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

Malicious Damage Alleged Last Month

27-year-old Rashaun Lionel Parks of 8790 Highway 560, Mountville was charged yesterday with Malicious Damage last month. He’s accused of throwing a rock from another person’s window, doing under $2,000 in damages on July 14th. Rashun Parks was released yesterday on a $1,092 personal recognizance bond.

Drug Use Cited in Probation Violation

State Probation yesterday arrested 35-year-old Karen Lynn Lewis of 225 Susan Lynn Drive, Laurens on a Violation of Probation warrant. It states that she failed to refrain from substance abuse, failed to pay fees and other charges and failed to follow instructions of her agent. Karen Lewis was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing today.