Theft at Gunpoint

Heather Renee Taylor

 

 

A theft at gunpoint Sunday was alleged with a Laurens Police arrest. 27-year-old Heather Renee Taylor of Hardin Road, Laurens was charged with Armed Robbery. Ms. Taylor is accused of physically attacking the victim and taking his possessions without his consent, while having a handgun pointed at him yesterday at a location on North Harper Street in Laurens. Heather Renee Taylor remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning, awaiting a bond hearing.

Home Break-In

Stephen Tron Case

 

A home break-in was alleged with a Sheriff’s Office arrest Saturday. 40-year-old Stephen Tron Case of Jenkins Park, Clinton was charged with 2nd Degree Burglary. He is accused of entering a dwelling on Jacobs Highway, Clinton Saturday without consent. Stephen Tron Case remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning, awaiting a bond hearing on the 2nd Degree Burglary charge.

School Boards Meet This Evening

The Laurens County District 55 School Board will be at 6:30 this evening in the district’s administrative offices. Due to the COVID-19, the physical meeting is not open for in-person attendance by anyone other than trustees, the superintendent, and staff members scheduled to present or assist with the meeting. The meeting will be streamed with a live feed on YouTube. A link to that is to be available from the District 55 website:  www.laurens55.org and from the District 55 Facebook page.

The District 55 Trustees is to consider revisions to policy regarding public participation in board meetings. Other action items include first reading on several policies. These include matters dealing with service animals in school as well as others regarding sexual harassment and retaliation.

 

The District 56 School Trustees will be holding their regular October meeting at 7:30 this evening in Clinton High School. Action items on the agenda include first reading of Policy updates on Evaluation of Instructional Staff and Resignation procedures for the same. There could also be action, if needed, regarding personnel and contractual matters that will be discussed during an executive session meeting at 6:15 pm. The open portion of the District 56 School Board meeting is to begin at 7:30 this evening.

“Boo in the Park” Moves Outdoors

A need for extra space for social distancing has resulted in a move of the 2020 “Boo in the Park.” Laurens City Parks and Recreation Director Jason Pridgen told WLBG on this morning’s Morning News Magazine that the annual event will be held in Laurens City Park, on Brownlee Avenue between East Main and Exchange Drive. Pridgen said that park has the additional open spaces needed for social distancing protocol, required to make the event possible this year. The event was held indoors, in the Ridge, last year, after stating several years ago at the Amphitheatre in Little River Park.

Pridgen said they are encouraging all kids to wear masks and they will enforcing a six-foot distance between the kids lined up for trick-or-treating along the sidewalks of City Park.  He said that vendors are being required to wear masks and gloves, as they hand out treats this year. They’ll line up at 5:30 Thursday evening. Jason Pridgen said they can still accept new vendors signing up to participate. He expressed appreciation for the sponsorship of Boo in the Park again this year by P.R.T.C. It starts at 6 pm Thursday in City Park.

1st Degree Domestic Violence Among Charges

Trumain Latracis Livingston

 

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office had multiple charges for a Newberry man following an incident in Laurens County Friday. 21-year-old Trumain Latracis Livingston of Orchard Park Trail, Newberry has been charged with 1st Degree Domestic Violence, Malicious Damage to Personal Property, Resisting Arrest and with Unlawful Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun.

Livingston’s Domestic Violence warrant alleges that he threatened the victim with a shotgun and placed his arms around the victim’s neck Friday, choking her so she could not breathe. When the victim’s child attempted to come to her aid, he allegedly pushed the juvenile. He is also accused of doing less damage less that $2,000 in value to the victim’s 2014 Kia Soul, also on Friday. He is further accused of having a sawed-off shotgun, identified as a Stevens model 67, in his possession and of resisting a lawful arrest by law enforcement officers Friday.

With cash or surety bonds set totaling just over $44,000, Trumain Latracis Livingston remained in Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Two Charged with Mutual Domestic Assaults

Mutual assaults were alleged with the Clinton Police arrest of a South Bell Street couple Saturday.

28-year-old Rodriquez Dakim Quamane Taylor of a residence in the 1,400 block of South Bell Street was charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence. He is accused of pushing the other person into a door Saturday. His warrant states he had a prior conviction for Domestic Violence within the past ten years. Rodriquez Taylor was later released from the Johnson Detention Center on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.

25-year-old Shammotay Lashamnia Griffin of the same address was charged with 3rd Degree Domestic Violence. She is accused of scratching Mr. Taylor multiple places on his body at their South Bell Street residence. Ms. Griffin was released from Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

More Students Returning to Class in District 55

An expansion of the number of days many School District 55 students will attend school in person is coming Monday, according to Laurens County District 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas.

Dr. Thomas said that all elementary students (preK – 5th grade) plus sixth and twelfth grade students will be returning to campuses next week. “All elementary students will attend five (5) days each week. The sixth and twelfth grade students will attend four (4) days each week but still do eLearning on Wednesdays.”    Dr. Thomas said students currently attending four (4) or five (5) days (4K – 2nd Grade plus special education and ESOL students) will continue on their current schedules.

Seventh through eleventh graders will continue to operate on a hybrid schedule until additional materials arrive to make full face-to-face five (5) day per week classes possible for all students.

District 55 recently received a shipment of Plexiglas that allows them to reduce the social distancing requirement from six (6) feet to three (3) feet and thereby increase the number of students on campuses. The district has not received all of the Plexiglas ordered, but they continue to expect more shipments, which will permit future expansion of face-to-face instruction.

Ameca Thomas noted, “We want to caution everyone that this does not mean the pandemic is subsiding, It only means we now have the resources we need to more effectively use the spaces we have while maintaining social distancing and observing all other safety protocols.”

District 55 is to continue monitoring the cases among students and staff at each district location and provide updated numbers each Friday in a dashboard found on the district’s website at https://www.laurens55.org/.

As of Friday, October 16, 2020, there was a total of 88 staff and students in isolation or quarantine. his is approximately 2.2% of the total on-campus population of staff and students.

Prescription “Take Back Day” is Tomorrow

The 19th Annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day is tomorrow, an annual event that aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

In South Carolina, United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. announced sites across the state where prescription drugs no longer needed may be safely disposed of. These sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to maintain the safety of all participants.

Closest collection sites for Laurens County, listed in the news release about the statewide participation in this program, included Woodruff and Fountain Inn Police along with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office. However, there are several sites in Laurens County accepting unused prescription medicine, including both Clinton and Laurens Police and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

South Carolinians participating in last year’s National Prescription Drug

Take-Back Day turned in 11,124 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.

Free Flu Shots Available Locally

Free flu shots are being provided in Laurens County by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The shots are provided at DHEC’s Health Clinic at 93 Human Services Road in the Laurens County Professional Park.

Laurens County School District 55 announced that it has been given two specific dates and times for students to receive this year’s flu shot. These are Tuesday, October 27th from 3:00 to 5:30 pm and Wednesday, November 11th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

In announcing these two dates for students to receive free flu shots at the DHEC Clinic, School District 55 encouraged students, parents and staff to take everyday preventive actions to avoid the flue and help prevent it’s spread: Stay home when you are sick, Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, plus Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.

DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, flu vaccines are even more critical to help reduce the potential for flu outbreaks in our schools and communities.

More information is available at www.scdhec.gov/flu. To schedule an appointment for flu shots with DHEC, call 1-855-472-3432.

“Virtual” United March Saturday Morning

The Laurens County School District 55 “Hype Team” invites other students to join them tomorrow in a “virtual March” to encourage folks to vote in the upcoming General Election.

On this morning’s WLBG Morning News Magazine, Calvin Whitmire invited students to enter a Poster Design Contest from the Hype Team.

The students who design the best “Go Vote” posters will win. There’s a $50 prize for 1st place, $25 for 2nd and a $10 prize for 3rd place. Mr. Whitmire stressed that the signs should not promote any candidate; rather, should encourage people to vote, without mention of any candidates.

Students may email their “Go Vote” post to enter the contest. Send it ti: jcwhitmire@laures55.org.

Then tomorrow, students are encouraged to take their sign as they join the District 55 Hype Team’s Unity Community Virtual Walk, 10 am until noon. They don’t physical join together for the walk but will be connected thru Google Meet.

Jewelry Theft in January

Katlyn Brooke Lovelace

A jewelry theft from early this year was alleged with a Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest yesterday. 22-year-old Katlyn Brooke Lovelace of Sue Ella Court, Townville, was charged with Grand Larceny, valued between $2,000 and $10,000.

Ms. Lovelace is accused of taking and carrying away jewelry and money, valued at $3,501, on January 29th, 2020.

Katlyn Brooke Lovelace remained in Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning, awaiting a bond hearing on her Grand Larceny warrant.

Identity Fraud to Obtain Electrical Power

Tonya Denise Fuller 

 

Identity fraud to obtain electrical power over four years ago was alleged of a woman the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested yesterday. 48-year-old Tonya Denise Fuller of Crawford Drive, Clinton was charged with Financial Identity Fraud. She is accused of using the personal information of a victim without her authorization or permission. This was allegedly done to obtain services or goods from Duke Energy on June 15th, 2016

Tonya Denise Fuller remained in Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning, awaiting arraignment on the Identity Fraud charge.

Domestic Violence alleged Monday

Corythian Deandre-Gilliam Rice

 

A man reportedly turned himself in to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday for charges from an alleged assault Monday. 28-year-old Corynthian Deandre-Gilliam Rice of Reedy Fork Road, Laurens was then served a warrant charging him with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence.

It cites an investigation of Deputy Davenport as indicating that Mr. Rice grabbed the victim around the neck Monday and pushed her into the wall, this occurring in the presence of two minor children.

Corynthian Rice, also known as “Black Rice” and “Cory Rice,” remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier today with a cash or surety bond on the 2nd Degree Domestic Violence warrant set at $10,000.

Domestic Violence Incident Wednesday

Robert John Wood

A domestic assault Wednesday has been alleged following an arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office that day. 31-year-old Robert John Wood of Vern Cora Road, Laurens was charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence. A warrant states that an investigation indicates that Wood punched the victim in the face and head several times during the alleged assault. He’s also accused of throwing the victim’s laptop out through the door, with a notation that the computer was her means of communication. The incident reportedly occurred in the presence of a minor child Wednesday.

Robert John Wood remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier today, awaiting a bond hearing on the 2nd Degree Domestic Violence warrant.

LCCF Awards Community Enrichment Grants

Thornwell Charter Music Program

The Laurens County Community Foundation (LCCF) has announced the five recipients of this year’s competitive Community Enrichment Grant Program. From the many applications received, the LCCF selected Ford Elementary School’s Emotional Coping Skills Program, Laurens County Cancer Association’s Gas Card Assistance Program, Laurens County Museum’s new Copier/Printer,  Laurens Rotary Club’s Food Backpack Program and Thornwell Charter School’s Music and Social Studies Program.

The selection process for the Enrichment Grants involves local citizens serving on the LCCF Board of Directors who carefully vet proposals that meet the Foundation ’s eligibility and selection criteria in the review and evaluation of request for funds. Board member Dr. Ed Gough, who is the Grant Committee Chair, said, “Laurens County is blessed to have many organizations that imagine ways of making life better in our community, and the LCCF is blessed to be able, through its programs, to help some of those imagined ways become reality.”

In addition to these winners of the competitive grant, other local organizations who received grants from the LCCF funds were the American Red Cross Clinton, Clinton Boy Scouts of America, Clinton YMCA, Clinton Girl Scouts of America, Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic, Hospice of Laurens County, Open Door Christian Center, Presbyterian College, Thornwell Charter School, United Ministries and United Way of Laurens County.  The LCCF commends these organizations for the work they do to help those in Laurens County who need assistance.

The Laurens County Community Foundation (LCCF) has announced grant awards and scholarships totaling over $80,000 given to support and benefit the lives of citizens in Laurens County.

Scholarships were awarded to Laurens County students for continuing their higher education from the Cummins Wham Scholarship, the Thom Copeland Scholarship, the Lion’s Club Scholarship, the Clinton Kiwanis Club Scholarship, and the Kevin’s Dream Scholarship.  LCCF Executive Director, Robin Day, said, “Our scholarship funds have been created by generous, community-minded individuals and organizations who recognize the importance of investing in our community’s youth. We thank them for the opportunity to assist them in giving a gift of education to so many Laurens County young adults.”

Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Conduct

Clinton Police have charged a man from South Georgia with kidnapping and sexual assault, following his Tuesday arrest. 23-year-old Matthew C. Weldon of Belmont Avenue, Tifton, Georgia has been charged with Kidnapping and Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 1st Degree.

Weldon is accused of kidnapping the victim by confining her, then engaging in sexual battery with her at a location on South Bell Street in Clinton.

Bond was denied on the Kidnapping and 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct warrants. Matthew C. Weldon remained in Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center.

Fugitive from Justice

A man reportedly wanted for an alleged sexual battery in Florida has been arrested by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. Tuesday, Deputy Rivera arrested 29-year-old Donald Christopher Dow Jr. of the 3,000-address-range on Cooks Bride Road, Fountain Inn. Dow has been charged with Fugitive from Justice. He is alleged to have fled Clay County, Florida to avoid prosecution on a charge of Capital Sexual Battery. Donald Christopher Dow Jr. remained in Laurens County’s Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Breach of Peace and Malicious Damage

Elizabeth Ann Hughes

 

A Waterloo woman remained in custody this morning following her arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office late Tuesday night. 57-year-old Elizabeth Ann Hughes of Oakwood Drive, Waterloo was issued tickets charging her with Malicious Damage to Personal Property along with Breach of Peace around 11:30 Tuesday night at a location on Oakwood Drive, Waterloo.

With cash or surety bonds on the two charges set yesterday totaling $3,212.50, Elizabeth Ann Hughes remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier this morning.

2nd Offense Failure to Stop for Blue Lights

Wesley Vance Sexton

 

Multiple charges were served yesterday following the arrest of a Green Pond area resident who allegedly failed to stop for blue lights late last month. 49-year-old Wesley Vance Sexton of Tractor Drive, Gray Court was charged with 2nd Offense, Failure to Stop for Blue Lights along with Leaving an Unattended Vehicle’s Engine Running. He is also facing chargers of 1st offense Driving under Suspension, Operating a Vehicle which is not Registered and Licensed and Use of License Plate Other Than for Vehicle which Issued.

Sexton is accused of failing to stop when signaled by means of flashing lights and siren on a law enforcement vehicle on September 30th. He is further accused of leaving the vehicle he was driving with the key in the ignition and the motor still running. His operation of the motor vehicle September 30th reportedly occurred while he knew his driver’s license had been cancelled, suspended, or revoked. Warrants further alleged that the vehicle was not registered or licensed and was displaying a license plate that was issued to another vehicle.

Wesley Vance Sexton remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning, awaiting bond hearings on his charges.

CPW Assists Safe Home

The Laurens CPW last week approved assistance for the Laurens County Safe Home as it seeks recovery from a fire. Safe Home Director Dawn Ardelt appeared before the Commissioners at their October meeting, requesting a $2,500 donation. She told the commissioners, “We are especially in need of help now, due to the fact that we had a house fire at our safe home. Thankfully, no one was injured, but our insurance will not cover everything, as we need to come up to fire code.” Ms. Ardelt indicated the home had to rent space to house those in need.

She told the CPW that if they can raise $75,000, those funds will be matched by the Greenville organization, “Silent Tears.” She said, “We have raised so far $29,000 and have $6,000 in pledges but we only have till the end of the year, to meet our goal, so that the funds will be matched.”

Commissioner Gerald Abercrombie made the motion to donate $3,000 to the safe home, which was unanimously supported.