Multiple Hammer Strikes to Her Head

An assault to the head with repeated blows from a hammer was alleged with an arrest this past Friday. Laurens City Police arrested 40-year-old Johnny Blackwell III of 21 Bub Avenue, Laurens and charged him with 1st Degree Domestic Assault. Officer Bryant Cheek states the defendant committed 1st Degree Domestic Violence Friday by striking the victim in the head with a hammer, multiple times, causing severe trauma. He also allegedly struck the victim about her face with his fist. The warrant states that Mr. Blackwell and the victim are married, have children in common and reside at the same address.

With a cash or surety bond set at $50,000 on the 1st Degree Domestic Assault charge, Johnny Blackwell III remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Burglary, Kidnapping, Assault

A Burglary, Kidnapping and Domestic Assault last fall were alleged with an arrest

last Friday by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. 33-year-old Jason Leon Herbert Sr. of 211 Green Acres Lane, Simpsonville was charged with 1st Degree Burglary, Kidnapping, Domestic Violence 2nd Degree and Malicious Damage.

Warrants state that on October 17th of 2016 Mr. Herbert entered a dwelling on Carver Street, Joanna without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein, entering at night and causing physical harm to the victim. A second warrant states he then unlawfully confined and kidnapped the victim from the Carver Street residence. A third warrant states that the defendant caused or threatened to cause physical harm under circumstances that would reasonably cause fear of imminent peril. A fourth warrant states that he willfully and maliciously did damage of $2,000 or less to personal property of the victim by breaking her cell phone, during the October 17th incident in Joanna.

No bond was set for either of the four charges. Jason Leon Herbert Sr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Final Financial Report Draws Applause

Applause is not something generally associated with a financial report, but Retiring District 56 Finance Director Dr. Gerald Robinson was applauded last Thursday evening in his final report to the School Board. Dr. Robinson served the local school district for 15 years.

He expressed disappointment in the money received from local tax collections this year, saying the net revenue from local collections was the lowest received in three years. Robinson noted there had been no change in the millage rate during that time. Still, due to a conservative projection of revenue in the 2016/17 budget and some pleasant surprises in revenue from the state, he said the overall revenue should end the fiscal year at the end of June about 2% ahead of what was forecast.

Expenses, meanwhile, should end the year a bit lower than expected.  That combination of higher revenue and lower expenses should leave the district with a year-end surplus of $500,000 to $600,000.  Dr. Robinson said he’s happy with the financial condition of the district as he departs.

Gerald Robinson did have a word of warning for the District 56 School Board. He referred to the shortfalls in South Carolina’s state retirement system, noting it is now seriously underfunded.  As a result, the District 56 required contribution into that fund is increasing by 2% in the 2017/18 fiscal year and 1% each year for the next five years.  That may not sound like much but Dr. Robinson warned that if salaries remain completely static over that period, the resulting increase would be roughly $1,000,000 per year.  He said that’s scary, because the district just does not have the capability to generate that kind of money at the local level.  Robinson said District 56  would be entirely dependent on funding from the state.

To put that in perspective, in what Dr. Robinson called a “fortunate fiscal year” that is about to end, the district realized an estimated surplus of just over $500,000.  Subtract that additional contribution to the retirement system and this ‘fortunate year’ would have had a half million dollar deficit.

So, with his last financial report, Dr. Gerald Robinson leaves District 56 in good financial shape with a word of warning for the future.  Even with those ominous words about the future, people, including the board, stood and applauded his 15-years managing District 56 finances.

Burglary & Attempted Murder

An attempt to murder another person was alleged following an arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office this past Friday. Detention Center records noted that 22-year-old Phillip Brandon Barnes of 42 Hudson Street, Laurens was later served with warrants charging him with Attempted Murder and with 2nd Degree Burglary. The warrants were not available this morning.

No bond was set on either charge. Phillip Brandon Barnes remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Assaulting Two Police Officers

Two charges of Assault on a Police Officer were served Friday following the arrest of a woman last Thursday night. Laurens City Police arrested 47-year-old Kimberly Moss following an incident at 126 Park Street, Laurens. Officer Lindsey issued a ticket charging Ms. Moss with Public Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest at 8:07 Thursday night. Ms. Moss reportedly gave an Irby Avenue address while being booked.

In the first warrant served charging her with Assault on a Police Officer, she is accused of grasping the wrist and fingers of one officer, resulting in the tearing of skin tissue between the thumb and index finger. Also during the incident at 126 Park Street, the defendant allegedly pulled the officer to her person with a tight grasp while attempting to kick and cause serious bodily injury.

The second Assault on a Police Officer warrant states that she grasped this officer’s left wrist and maliciously twisted and contorted the body limb in an unnatural manner, causing injury during the Park Street incident.

Kimberly Moss was released from detention this weekend on cash or surety bonds totaling $21,500.

Breach of Trust, Theft of Bank Card

Fountain Inn Police Friday charged 50-year-old Marvin Gerald Smith of 136 Joney Avenue, Wellford with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent and Financial Transaction Card Theft. Officer Brian Dantzler states that on April 7th of 2017 the defendant received a 2007 Ford in trust and refused to return the vehicle after several days. He’s accused of appropriating the property to his own person use. A second warrant states he took a financial transaction card with intent to deprive the same victim, this also on April 7th.

Marvin Gerald Smith was released on cash or surety bonds totaling $15,000.

Drug Charges Follow Police Chase

Fountain Inn Police arrested two men on drug charges following an early Sunday morning police chase.

Officer Kunz issued tickets charging 27-year-old Davon Tyrease Nance of 708 Chesley Drive, Simpsonville with Driving under Suspension 2nd offense, Open Container and Failure to Register a Vehicle. The tickets were issued on the I-385 off-ramp at Old Laurens Road, Fountain Inn at 1:29 Sunday morning.

Nance was served with warrants also charging him with 3rd Offense possession of Cocaine and with Failure to Stop for a Blue Light. They state that on June 25th Davon Tyrease Nance possessed multiple off-white rock-like objects weighting .4 gram that field tested positive as cocaine. He is also accused of knowingly and intentionally driving a motor vehicle and failed to stop when signaled by means of flashing light and sirens on a law enforcement vehicle.

Cash or surety bonds on the 3rd Offense Cocaine and the Failure to Stop warrants were set totaling $27,500. Davon Tyrerase Nance remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Officer Kunz also charged 26-year-old Dominie Tobias Anderson of 2 East Cliff Way, Greenville with Possession of Cocaine. He’s also accused of being in possession of .4 gram of cocaine Saturday. Anderson was being held with a bond set at $7,500.

Violation of Probation

An Atlanta-area resident was booked in the Laurens County Detention Center Friday. 39-year-old William Torriunno Young Jr. of 1409 Rock Park Street, Forest Park, Georgia is charged with Violation of Probation.

He is accused of failing to report on August 31st, 2016 or afterward. He’s also accused of failing to refrain from the use of controlled substances, as evidenced by testing positive for cocaine July 12th, 2016. He’s further accused of failing to attend substance abuse counseling and failing to work diligently at a lawful occupation and failing to pay required fees.

With a cash or surety bond set at $75,000, William Torriunno Young Jr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center.

Improvements to Wilder Stadium in Clinton Coming Soon

At last night’s meeting of the Laurens County School District 56 Board of Trustees, second and final reading was held for a resolution to approve a bond issue totaling $1.4 Million. The money would be restricted to the purpose of improving Wilder Stadium and could be spent for no other purpose.

Mr. Theo Dubose of the Haynsworth, Sinkler and Boyd law firm presented the proposal to the board. He told them the terms of the bond require that the project be under contract within six months and all of the proceeds of the bond must be spent within three years.

On second and final reading, the vote to issue the bonds was unanimous.

Four Counts of Unlawful Neglect Alleged Against Belton Woman

Sherrick Nikita Strong, age 29 of 204 N Major Rd. Belton was booked into the Johnson Detention Center Thursday charged with 4 counts of unlawful neglect of a child, Driving Under Suspension, Driving Under Influence and Public Disorderly.

Four separate Warrants allege that Sherrick Nikita Strong did commit the crime of unlawful conduct toward a child on June 22nd by placing her child in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by knowingly and willingly operating a motor vehicle while being heavily under the influence of alcohol. The defendant did almost collide while in transport with another motor vehicle and proceeded to maneuver out of the designated roadway in an unsafe manner on North Harper Street in the city limits of Laurens. She was ticketed for DUS, DUI and Public Disorderly. Sherrick Nikita Strong remains in the detention center on $42,519 bond.

Attempted Murder, Burglary & Larceny Charges

57 year old Robbie Griffin Bagwell of 851 Bolt Rd. Gray Court was booked into the Johnson Detention Center Thursday charged with Petit Larceny, Burglary and attempted murder.

A warrant alleges that on June 21st  she did commit the crime of Assault/Attempted Murder in that she did intentionally strike the victim with her motor vehicle. The victim required medical treatment. A further warrant alleges that on June 8th, along with two other subjects, did break and enter a building belonging to a victim in Gray Court without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein. A further warrant alleges that along with two other subjects she did take and carry away scrap metal and antiques with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property which is valued at $2000 or less and is the property of the victim. She remains in the detention center awaiting bond.

Greer man Charged With Domestic Violence High & Aggravated

56 year old Jeffrey Cornelius Gaffney of 118 Forrest Street Greer SC was booked Thursday into the Johnson Detention Center charged with Domestic Violence High and Aggravated and malicious injury to personal property. A warrant alleges that on April 21st he did commit the crime of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to value of the human life and would reasonably cause a person to fear either great bodily injury or death in that he rammed the victims car and struck her in the face. A further warrant alleges that he did willfully unlawfully and maliciously do damage in the amount of $4k to the personal property of the victim by ramming the victims vehicle with his vehicle. He remains in the detention center awaiting bond.


DHEC Offers Free HIV Testing

National HIV Testing Day is Tuesday June 27, 2017, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging South Carolinians to get tested for HIV and other STDs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in seven people living with HIV in the United States don’t know they have it. That means they are not receiving the care and treatment necessary to help improve their health and prevent transmission.

CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Knowing your HIV status allows you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy. National HIV Testing Day promotes HIV testing and early diagnosis. Through DHEC clinics and partnering community providers, testing services in 2016 helped diagnose and link more than 230 people to HIV medical care who otherwise might have not known their status until much later.

Participating local health departments will be offering free testing on June 27.  Please contact your local health department to schedule your free test.  For more information about HIV testing, as well as local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit DHEC’s website at . You can also visit DHEC’s health department finder web page at




Armed Robbery Alleged

Arthur Lee Williams III age 27 of 1045 AB Jacks Rd. Clinton was booked Thursday into the Johnson Detention Center charged with Armed Robbery. The warrant alleges that on June 17th he did with intent to deprive the victim take and carry away money while armed with a semi automatic hand gun, a deadly weapon. He remains in the detention center awaiting bond.



Charges of Grand Larceny

21 year old Christopher Chase Cash of 338 Bar B Villa Rd. Clinton was booked into the Johnson Detention Center Thursday charged with grand larceny. The warrant states that on June 14th Cash allegedly did take and carry away cash money with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property which is valued AT $2700 and is the property of the victim. He remains in the detention center awaiting bond.

Newberry County Sheriff Issues Scam Alert

There have been reports that unknown caller(s) have been seeking donations on behalf of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association via the telephone.

Please be reminded that the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association does NOT ask for donations via the telephone. The Honorary Membership program of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association is conducted exclusively through a direct mail campaign, not through telephone conversations.

Any request for funds via telephone claiming to be from the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association is fraud.

More information available here:

Banking Fraud Sentencing

43 year old Kenneth Burnside of 313 Walnut Crest Court Fountain Inn was booked into the Johnson Detention Center on a bench warrant Thursday charged with Banking Fraud. The sentence imposed was $500 or 30 days plus restitution of $1000. He remains in the detention center.

Domestic Violence 3rd Degree Sentencing

Dennis Dwayne McClendon age 46 of Open Door Ministries Clinton was booked Thursday into the Johnson Detention Center on a bench warrant for previous charges of Domestic Violence 3rd. He was sentenced to $5,187.50 or 89 days and remains in the detention center.


Charges of Assault and Battery 3rd Degree

27 year old Timothy Jermaine Butler of 225 Captain Guy Rd. Clinton was booked Thursday into the Johnson Detention Center ticketed with 2 counts of assault and battery 3rd. He remains in the detention center awaiting bond.


City of Clinton Announces Electrical Rate Decrease

The City of Clinton has released new utility rates for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017.

In August of 2015 in response to the clear and present need to evaluate and restructure the utility rates charged for services provided by the City of Clinton, the city developed the Utility Rate Response Plan. The plan included short term, mid-range, and long range strategies the city planned to implement in order to address the cost of electricity.

Many of the short term plans have been implemented and the city has been and is working towards the mid and long range plans. One of the mid- range goals identified was for the city to conduct a full independent cost of service study which would include a review our system, assessment of true cost of services, and assistance in developing plans to make services self-sufficient. This study has now been completed and the city staff, under the direction of Mayor and Council has made adjustments to the rate structure to begin working towards utility self-sufficiency with an eye towards creating a fair and equitable rate system.

The City of Clinton electrical rates will DECREASE on July 1, 2017. Additionally, to ensure the city is covering the costs of providing utility service more accurately, water and sewer rates will increase slightly. Interim City Manager Dale Satterfield is optimistic about these changes saying, “just because water and sewer rates will increase doesn’t mean your utility bill has to. YOU can TAKE CHARGE of your costs by taking steps to reduce your water use. Most households can realize LOWER BILLS by making simple changes in water use habits”. Satterfield went on to say, “this is a step in the right direction for the city, we are now looking to the future with economic stability in mind”.

Director of Administrative Services Joey Meadors has prepared his customer service representatives for the changes and the city is ready to assist customers by providing tips and links on reducing water consumption. Flyers and posters will be available in the lobby of the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center and links will be available on the city’s website that will provide customers with information on how to reduce water consumption.

Meadors is also optimistic about the changes saying, “conserving water is not only good for the environment, but it is also inexpensive to take steps to reduce usage. Simple tasks such timing your shower to keep it under 5 minutes could save up to 1,000 gallons a month; running dishwashers and washing machines on the light load setting and only running them with full loads will not only save water it will also save money on your electric bill; and turning off the water while brushing your teeth can all result in water use reduction”.

City personnel are ready to assist you in navigating these rate changes. If you have any questions please call a customer service representative at 833-7500 or visit our website for links and tips: