Give an Inch…They’ll Take a Mile

A Laurens area woman met with Sheriff’s Corporal Rushing early yesterday afternoon to report a Breach of Trust. She indicated that she had given a relative her credit card to pay for her car insurance last month, but that in addition to making that payment this relative has made other purchases she was not authorized to make with the card. The card is now maxed out with over $3,700 due. The family member has reportedly stated she would pay for these purchases, but so far has not made any payment and has refused to return the credit card. The matter is to be presented to a magistrate regarding potential warrants.

Multiple Charges at Wal-Mart

A Clinton woman is facing multiple charges following her arrest by Laurens City Police at Wal-Mart at 5:31 yesterday afternoon. In tickets issued by Officer Parker, 38-year-old Ashley Gail Baldwin of 338 Bar-B-Villa Road, Clinton was charged with Shoplifting 2nd Offense, with Trespassing at Wal-Mart and with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia as well as a 4th charge for 2nd Offense Driving under Suspension of her license.  Ashley Gail Baldwin was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Are You Looking for Me?

Sheriff’s Deputies dispatched to a Clinton area convenience store Tuesday afternoon on a report of a man taking an electronic cigarette. Later, the man reportedly went to Clinton Public Safety after hearing he was wanted. Since the store was outside the City Limits, they passed the man’s information to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies went to where the man said he could be found and he was arrested. Yesterday, a warrant charging him with Shoplifting the $14.99 electronic cigarette was served. The man was then released on a $650 PR bond, pending his court date.

Need Somebody To Love

Holly

This pretty girl is named Holly. She’s about 7 years old and she is NOT at Laurens County Animal Control…………Holly can be found at the Laurens County Humane Society.

Holly was originally surrendered to Animal Control due to the death of her owner. The Humane Society took her in when her time was up to prevent…………well………you know what.

So, Holly is not in danger of being put down. She’s in a ‘no kill’ facility. But Holly needs a home. She has spent her whole life loving humans. She still does. She just needs a human of her very own.

Now, Holly does not play well with other dogs. She has to be an one and only dog. She was heart worm positive but she has successfully completed treatments and she’s now free of that concern.

If you would like more information on Holly for yourself or for a rescue group, call the Humane Society (864)833-9060.

And please SHARE Holly’s picture. She just needs somebody to love.

Juror Excused from Brown Murder Trial

The Prosecution expected to wrap up its case against Bennie Ray Brown Jr. yesterday – that reported by MyClintonNews.com. Brown is charged with the murder of Nicole Kingsborough and Deputy Sheriff Roger Dale Rice Jr. in July of 2011. The article from the Clinton Chronicle also indicates that a juror was excused yesterday and an alternate took her place, because the juror recognized a witness in the trial “from the streets.”  The witness, Chris Brown, a relative of Bennie Ray Brown Jr., reportedly testified about himself and other relatives being outside the defendant’s house before law enforcement arrived. The Chronicle report indicates the trail is expected to last to the end of this week.

18-Year Sentence for 2015 Assault on Child

A Laurens man was sentenced to 18 years in jail for an assault on his infant child in February of 2015. WSPA-TV reports the sentence came after Joseph Morales pled guilty in court Monday. A report on WSPA.com states the child’s mother said the father of her daughter, Egypt Morale, beat her into a coma at his home during a bi-monthly visit.

A WLBG.com report from February, 2015 states that 32-year-old Joseph Morales of Clary Street, Laurens was arrested on a charge of Unlawful Conduct toward a child. Police alleged that Morales maliciously inflicted great bodily injury on his 17-month-old child. Bond was denied. The WSPA.com report notes that Morales has already spent some 400 days in jail, and that he will be required to spend at least 85% of his 18-year sentence in jail.

Arrest Cites Failure to Show for Court

A Waterloo man wanted by Laurens County General Sessions Court was picked up by a Deputy yesterday morning. 50-year-old Bryan Preston Cooper of 498 Pemberton Street, Waterloo was jailed on a Bench Warrant from April. It states that he failed to appear in court on April 25th to face charges of Filing a False Police Report of a Felony violation. Mr. Cooper is being held, pending appearance in court.

County Council Approves Budget

       Laurens County Council last night approved a $29.8 million budget for fiscal year 2017 with third and final reading. A last-minute change last night added the hiring of an employee who would be licensed for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Council approved this addition, adding $39,123 with the explanation that a licensed technician could purchase supplies needed at a discounted cost and would eventually save the county money.

The new budget includes $3,556,431 for emergency medical services, $176,784 for victim’s assistance and comes to a grand total of $29,826,495.

The budget includes a fifty-cents-per-hour raise for county employees, that costs $508,000. This money is to come from the reserve fund. There is also a 1.5 mil tax increase for money needed for an equipment upgrade for 911.

Council Member Diane Anderson was the sole objection to the additional funds for the HVAC position and Councilman Stewart Jones was the sole no vote for the total budget, citing the dipping into the reserve fund and his concern for the county bond rating as one example.

Although Anderson voted for the budget, she agreed with Jones during comment time on concern of spending and dipping into the reserve fund.

While the fire services budget is yet to be finalized for the new fiscal year, Council last night approved Resolution 2016-19 to supply funds for fire services until their budget is approved.

Four Seek Laurens City Council Seat 2

Four people have filed as candidates for Laurens City Council. A special election is set for August 30th to elect someone who will serve the remainder of Richard Griffin’s current term in office.

Candidates for Seat 2 on Laurens City Council, as of the filing deadline at Noon Monday, were Sara Lenahan, Tomika Craig,   Alicia LaTrina Sullivan and Wayne Glenn Neal.

Three precincts will be open for City Council Seat 2. Voters in Precincts 2, 3 and 6 will cast their votes at the CPW Training Center on Church Street, the Exchange Building on Fairgrounds Road and at the Laurens Y on Anderson Drive.

Clinton Annexes Property for New Store

Clinton City Council has acted on a request to annex and zone property. The Clinton Planning Commission asked that the property, located at the corner of Jacobs Highway (Hwy 56) and Waverly Drive, be brought into the city limits and zoned as C-3 Commercial. After discussion Monday evening, Council approved an ordinance on second and final reading to annex the property.  They also approved an ordinance on first reading to zone the property C-3. The property in question is located between Fred’s and Arthur State Bank on Jacobs Highway and is to be used as a location for a Dollar Tree store.

Homage for Delores Irby

Lights were flashing yesterday as a line of Laurens County emergency vehicles from EMS, Fire and Sheriff’s Office traveled down Highway 221 in a procession to the standing-room- only funeral services for Laurens County 911 employee Delores Irby held at Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Cold Point. Ms. Irby died Thursday June 23rd, after a two-year battle with Pancreatic Cancer. She had been an employee for Laurens County 911 for fifteen years and served as a dispatch supervisor. Laurens County 911 Director Joey Avery praised Ms. Irby for her dedicated work and said a lot of the 911 employees that were at the funeral had been trained by her. Avery thanked the family for sharing “Delo” with them, noting that sometimes she missed events with her family for her job, but it paid off.  According to statistics the survival rate for Pancreatic Cancer is 6% and those diagnosed usually die within six months of diagnosis. Delores defied these statistics by beating Pancreatic Cancer for two years.

Arrest Following Dispute

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to East Florida Street at 12:38 Tuesday afternoon regarding a landlord-tenant dispute. Sgt. Metz met with a man who said he was working on one trailer when the resident of another nearby trailer called him over. He indicated the subject got in his face, pushed him and made threats to cut him with a knife. A female in the residence reported hearing an argument but could not say who had said what, and she declined to give a statement. Other witnesses reportedly indicated hearing the altercation and confirmed hearing threats.

42-year-old Michael Brandon Gregory of 1018 East Florida Street, Clinton was arrested and placed in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a charge of Assault and Battery 3rd Degree.

Drug Charge Added to Shoplifting

Clinton Public Safety Officer Derric Gandee was dispatched to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Store on South Broad at 9:00 last night. While en route he reported observing a vehicle stopped at a Shell gas station that matched  the description of the Shoplifting suspect’s car. He found the vehicle unoccupied with ignition on. A 32-year-old Newberry man inside the store had slow reaction time and very large pupils as if under the influence of drugs. A search of the car located tools taken from O’Reilly’s, and 10 Alprozolam pills with no prescription. A 32-year-old Newberry man was arrested for charges of Shoplifting and unlawful Possession of a Scheudle IV Controlled Substance.

Gun Theft on Lonesome Dove Road

 

 

The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Lonesome Dove Road, Cross Hill at 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Deputy McMahan met with a woman who was checking on her brother’s home while he is hospitalized and discovered a break-in. A gun cabinet was found open. While there was one firearm still in the gun cabinet, she believes two recently acquired guns were taken.

Golf Cart Taken from Cross Hill Home

Deputy McMahan responded to Dove Field Road, cross Hill at 5:04 yesterday afternoon to investigate a Golf Cart theft. The owner said the golf cart was in the carport when she left in the morning, but was missing when she returned home. Tracks were observed where it appears a truck had backed up to the golf cart. A neighbor reported observing a red truck in the scene around 9:00 in the morning. Value of the stolen golf cart was $1,000.

Cell Phone Recovered, Fingerprints to SLED

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Jacobs Highway at 3:52 yesterday afternoon on a Theft report. Sgt. Metz met with an Ingle’s employee who indicated her cell phone was missing from a drink cooler she had left it on. She said the i-phone 6 had PIN and fingerprint protection. A ping from the phone indicated it was about a mile down Highway 56 at Capricorn Drive. Officers used the GPS app and, accompanied by the Sheriff’s office, went to the location. The phone was located, fingerprints lifted from it were sent to SLED for analysis and the phone was returned to its owner.

Bennie Ray Brown Jr. Murder Trial Is Underway

Five years ago this month, Nicole Kingsborough of Clinton was fatally shot as she sat in her car outside her place of work in Fountain Inn. Hours later, as Laurens County Deputy Roger Rice Jr. was working among people gathered outside a Clinton area residence containing the suspect in Ms. Kingsborough’s murder, he was fatally shot.

Yesterday, the long-awaited double-murder trial of Bennie Ray Brown Jr. began in Laurens County General Sessions Criminal Court.

Vic McDonald of the Clinton Chronicle reported on MyClintonNews.com that a jury has been seated and opening statements began. McDonald’s story notes that the state is seeking Life in Prison without Parole, after a court ruling that Brown is not mentally competent to assist in his own defense against the death penalty.

The trial is to continue today on the two counts of murder charged from 2011 against Bennie Ray Brown Jr.

Glowing Praise for Dr. Laura Koslela of School District 56

Glowing praise was heaped upon Dr. Laura Koskela during last night’s meeting of the Laurens County School District 56 Board of Trustees.  Dr. Koskela has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for secondary education in District 56 for many years and will be retiring Friday after a 39 year career in public education. 20 of those years were here in District 56.

Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields spoke of Dr. Koskela as an educator, leader, an ‘outside the box’ thinker and as a caring human being who always deflected praise and attention from herself and directed it towards others.  But, he said, it has been Dr. Laura Koskela who presented several concepts that have benefited the students, teachers and staff of District 56.

Among the ideas championed by Dr. Koskela were:

  • The Institute for Student Advancement allowing select 8th graders to attend Clinton High School earning high school credits while easing the over population at Bell Street Middle School.
  • Pursuing the Carolina Alliance for Technology (CAT) grant bringing a bounty of resources and funding into the district.
  • Pursuing the ‘Gear Up’ grant from the US Department of Education.

But, Dr. O’Shields stated that Dr. Koskela’s legacy will not be these highly successful programs.  Instead, she will be remembered as the lady who cared about people, who fought as an advocate for students who had been recommended for expulsion.

A near 40 year career in education comes to a close………but not quite.  Dr. Koskela is retiring from her position as Assistant Superintendent in District 56 but will now serve to coordinate the CAT program in three school districts.

Dr. O’Shields led the school board and everyone in the audience last night in applauding Dr. Laura Koskela for nearly four decades of teaching, innovation and caring about others.

On Her Car at the Dollar General, Waving the Bat!

He was on top of her car, there in the parking lot, threatening her with a baseball bat. That was alleged with warrants served yesterday by Laurens City Police. 32-year-old Harold Carter Coleman of 218 Oakwood Drive, Waterloo was served with warrants yesterday charging Domestic Violence 1st Degree and Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature. Citing the investigation of Sgt. Thibodeau, the warrants state that Mr. Coleman assaulted the victim Sunday while threatening her with a baseball bat. He allegedly got on top of her vehicle making motions with the bat which created the appearance to a witness that he was attempting to strike the vehicle. This allegedly caused a significant disturbance to citizens in the parking lot of the Dollar General on Hillcrest Drive Sunday.

Harold Carter Coleman was released Monday afternoon on surety bonds totaling $20,000 on the two charges.

Marijuana with Intent to Distribute on Augusta Street

A suspect accused of possessing marijuana for distribution this weekend was released yesterday afternoon on bond. Laurens City Police made the arrest Saturday afternoon. 19-year-old Takevious Dangelo “Ty” Anderson of 205 Hunter’s Court, Laurens was initially issued a ticket by Officer Gallo charging Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on Augusta Street at 4:10 pm.  Sunday, “Ty” Anderson was served with warrants also charging Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute and Possession with Intent within Proximity of a School.  The warrants cite investigation by Officer Gallo as indicating the defendant had in his possession two packages of marijuana with a combined weight of 50 grams Saturday on Augusta Street. The location of arrest was  less than a half mile from multiple churches, playgrounds and Ford Elementary School.

Takevious Dangelo Anderson was released yesterday afternoon on surety bonds totaling $30,500.