Nursing Excellence Awards at GHS-LCMH

The 8th annual GHS Nursing Excellence Awards were presented last week honoring outstanding staff at Laurens County Memorial Hospital (GHS-LCMH) in Inpatient, Outpatient and Specialty Nursing categories.  Held in recognition of National Nurses Week, the awards distinguish outstanding nursing leaders for their dedicated and compassionate service to patients at Laurens County Memorial Hospital. Chief Nursing Officer Kay Swisher personally made a “surprise” visit to each recipient,  offered congratulations, presented each with the official GHS Nursing Excellence Award certificate and a token of appreciation.





Congratulations to GHS Nursing Excellence  winners

( pictured left to right)  Marlene McCranie, RN, Outpatient Nursing Award; Jennifer Ballard, RN, Nursing Leadership Award; and Marsha Ridlehuber, RN, Inpatient Nursing Award.

Council Discusses Pay Raise, Tax Millage Increase

While work sessions are still underway for the 2016/17 Laurens County Budget, much last night’s Laurens County Council Meeting dealt with a proposed 4-mil property tax increase, proposed to help provide for a 50-cent per hour pay raise for all county employees. Council already has to make up an expected budget deficit of about $156,000 along with increased insurance costs of $65,000. The raise would put the 2016-2017 budget about three-quarters of a million dollars in the red. The proposed 4-mill tax increase would amount to an annual increase of $16- $18 in taxes for a $100,000 house.

Three county residents came forward last evening to protest the tax increase. One person complained that city residents are taxed double and that although employees deserved a raise, social security has not provided any raises to senior taxpayers in years. Also appearing before Council was Diane Belsom, head of the Laurens County Tea Party. She asked council to find another way to provide a raise for the employees instead of raising taxes.

The suggestion of privatizing emergency medical services came up as Kelly Jones, wife of Councilman Stuart Jones, told council that she required an ambulance recently due to a health issue and that the private ambulance she used was just fine.

During comments from council, Councilman Jones discussed the idea of privatizing ambulance services as a way to cut the budget. Council Chairman Joe Wood told Jones that that issue has already been addressed. Wood said that he will do anything he can to be sure that the employees receive a raise.

Council members Diane Anderson and Garrett McDaniel asked that all county residents should urge politicians in Columbia to provide the funds to local governments that are due to local government, saying that would help resolve the deficit. Councilman Keith Tollison said “I frankly can see no other way to provide the pay increase than to increase taxes.”

Another budget workshop was held after the regular council meeting, followed by a 7 to 0 vote of approval for 2nd reading of the budget.


Back to a 10-Point Grading Scale

The South Carolina Board of Education last month instituted a 10-point grading scale to have South Carolina uniform with other states, replacing the current 7-point scale. This change was discussed this week at the Laurens County District 55 school board meeting.

The new 10-point grading scale means that an “A” will be given for grades of 90 to 100. The current system requires a score of 93 or higher. A “B” will be given for grades of 80 to 89, instead of requiring a score ranging from 85 to 92. With the current scale, a “C” requires a score from 77 to 84. The change gives a “C” for scores of 70 to 79.  The current system gives a “D” for grades of 70 to 76. The change has a “D” with a score in the 60s.

This older 10-point grading scale is now used by most states in the country. Superintendent Dr. Billy Strickland said of the change, “This will be of great benefit to our students when they apply for scholarships because they will be on the same grade scale as others in the country.”

Bank Fraud

Laurens Police yesterday charged a local woman with Bank Fraud. 32-year-old Shanita Lenette Johnson of 109 Woodrow Street, Laurens is accused of committing the crime September 22nd, 2015 on West Main in Laurens. Detective Jared Hunnicutt states that an investigation indicates the defendant received money by presenting a U.S. Postal Money Order that came back as “Altered/Fictitious.” Shanita Lenette Johnson was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Moving Without Permission

A Clinton man has been accused of evading supervision by his Probation Officer. 20-year-old Ryan Zane Jackson of Apple Orchard Road, Clinton was booked yesterday on a Violation of Probation charge. He is accused of moving to an undisclosed location without notice or permission, thereby absconding supervision. The warrant also alleges he was found in possession of a firearm, that he failed to report to his agent and that he failed to make required payments and failed to follow advice of his agent. With a cash or surety bond set at $75,000 yesterday, Ryan Zane Jackson remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Failure to Register….Again

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday jailed 36-year-old David Justin Miller of 73 Atomic Drive, Laurens and charged him with Failure to Register for the Sex Offender Registry. A warrant states that on May 6, 2016 in Laurens County he failed to register with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and that he has a prior conviction for failure to register. David Justin Miller was held overnight with a bond hearing set for this morning on the charge.

74-Year-Old Charged from Lover’s Quarrel

A 74-year-old Clinton woman was charged yesterday with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. She had been arrested the night before. The warrant alleges she caused physical harm to the victim by striking him on the right side of his face with an open hand, creating a reasonable fear of peril. The warrant also says she and the victim live together in an amorous relationship. The woman was released on a personal recognizance bond of $2,130.

Break-In on Georgia Road

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bryan Willard was dispatched to Georgia Road, Gray Court Monday evening to investigate a Break-In. A woman said she arrived home at 7:40 pm and noticed her house had been broken into. A 12 gauge shotgun, a TV, a Play Station and two decorative swords were reported missing. They were valued at $1,084.

Stuff Missing over Two Weeks

A Deputy was dispatched to Lakeshore Drive, Cross Hill at 8:17 yesterday morning to investigate missing property. A resident said that in the past two weeks she has discovered that she is missing lawn and garden equipment, electronic equipment and jewelry. Value of the stolen items was $1,750. A possible suspect was identified.

Buckle Up!

The Highway Patrol is conducting a seat belt enforcement campaign across South Carolina, hoping to increase the use of seat belts in order to save lives. Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Nations was on patrol at 3:27 yesterday afternoon on Clinton’s South Broad when he reportedly observed a car approach where the driver and passenger did not have their seat belts on. A traffic stop was conducted in the 500 block of South Broad. The officer noted that when he walked to the car he noted the occupants had put their seat belts on. He reportedly learned that the driver did not have a driver’s license and noted the smell of marijuana in the vehicle. After further investigation the 22-year-old Laurens man who was driving was charged with Driving without a License, Driving an Uninsured Vehicle and with Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Yet Another Bench Warrant

A General Sessions Court Bench Warrant was served yesterday on a woman who had arrested by Laurens City Police at 12:30 am. 24-year-old Angel Janeil McCullough of 102 Truman Street, Laurens was issued citations charging Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving without a License on the south side of town, as we reported yesterday. We also already noted she was served with a Bench Warrant from Laurens Municipal Court for a Petit Larceny conviction last week.

Later yesterday Ms. McCullough was also served with a Bench Warrant from Laurens County General Sessions Court. It states she Failed to Make her Initial Appearance in Court May 20th to face a charge of Possession of Cocaine. Angel McCullough remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

No Fire Station Yet, But Fire Trucks Arrive

Deer Valley Road near Waterloo is one of the communities that will benefit from one of the new fire stations Laurens County is about to have constructed. A new station in that area will bring many houses within five road miles of a fire station.

Neighbors there saw multiple emergency response vehicles back on Deer Valley Road a little before 1:00 yesterday afternoon, but fortunately no house was involved. Firefighters extinguished a brush fire on Deer Valley Road, and the State Forestry Commission was called on scene and created a fire break around the site of the fire.

A Deputy was dispatched to the scene at 12:54 pm on a suspicious fire report.

Do You Believe In Magic?



His name is Magic. That’s not a name I made up. That’s been his name for all three years of his life. But, his life has changed a lot lately.
Humans when a a relationship comes unglued, can do some odd things. This time, Magic was the victim. Dad was working out of town. Mom was home with Magic. Only, then Mom left.
We think she came back… least a time or two to give him some food but he was looking pretty poorly when neighbors called Laurens County Animal Control.
Magic is a good boy. He’s been well trained. He will sit and stay and you can tell he wants to please you.l He just needs a human that won’t leave him. He needs a home and a family to bond with. He’s a loving dog. His body language even in this photo is saying “Please let me love you”.
Do you need a bit of Magic in your life? Call Animal Control. The number directly to the shelter is (864)682-4935.
And please SHARE Magic’s picture. Someone out there may want to love him. He sure wants to love right back.

4-Year-Old Waterloo Child Burned While Using Lighter

A four-year-old Waterloo child was badly burned late Monday morning when his shirt caught fire. Deputy Ronald Richey was dispatched to Deer Valley Road, Waterloo at 11:49 yesterday morning. He spoke with the child’s mother who indicated she was in the living room watching her twins when her four-year-old son ran into the residence screaming. The mother observed the child was burned. It appears he used a lighter to ignite a flammable material that was in a flower-pot on the deck outside. Deputy Richey reported observing a tan burned material near the flower-pot along with a partially burned white t-shirt.  Sheriff’s Lt. Judy Stiles said the child was badly burned from his neck over his torso. EMS gave initial treatment to the child, who was then air-lifted to the Augusta, Georgia burn center.

We understand the child is expected to recover from his injuries.

6-Year-Old Run Over by Family Car near Laurens

A six-year-old child from West of Laurens was accidentally run over yesterday afternoon when the child’s Dad was moving a car. Sheriff’s Lt. Judy Stiles said the call about the accident came in at 3:45 pm and emergency crews were dispatched to the 200 range of Ft. Lindley Road, Laurens. Lt. Stiles said the father of the child had been working on his car. He indicated that as he was ready to move the car, he told the child to get out-of-the-way, but apparently the child had not moved. As the man was backing his car, he reportedly ran over the child with two tires. The injured child was air-lifted to Greenville Children’s Hospital for treatment. The six-year-old male’s injuries reportedly did not appear to be life threatening.

The Highway Patrol was investigating the mishap on private property that involved a 2012 Dodge Caravan.

Former Mayor Jim Goss Dies at 90

A former Mayor of Laurens and long-time electrician in this area died last weekend. 91-year-old James Francis “Jim” Goss died Saturday.

Born in Walterboro, Jim Goss was a United States Navy Veteran of World War II. Early following his arrival in Laurens he worked with Dendy’s Furniture, but served the area for decades as an electrician.

Jim Goss served as Mayor of Laurens for six years, from 2008 through 2004.  He was predeceased by his wife, the late Billy Jean Tollison Goss, who served many years at Clerk of Court for Laurens County.

Born in Walterboro, he was a son of the late Alton and Fannie Hiers Goss. Jim was a US Navy Veteran of World War II and was self-employed as an electrician. He previously worked with Dendy’s Furniture. Mr. Goss was a member of First Baptist Church of Laurens, the Kysar Sunday School Class, and was a Lifelong Deacon. Jim previously served as mayor of the City of Laurens.

Jim Goss is s survived by two daughters, including Debroah G. Campbell of Laurens along with Donna Barnhart of Jesup Georgia and a son, James F. Goss Jr. of Clearwater, Florida.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday at First Baptist Church of Laurens conducted by Rev. Rickey Letson and Dr. Bev Kennedy. Private entombment will take place in Forest Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum with Military Honors.

The family will be at the home of his daughter, Debbie, and will receive friends at The Kennedy Mortuary from 5:00-7:00 pm on this evening.

Lt. Tyrone Goggins “Laurens County Officer of the Year”

Clinton Public Safety Detective Lt. Tyrone Goggins has been named the Top Law Enforcement Officer of Laurens County for 2016. The annual local award began last year specifically for Clinton, sponsored by Davidson Street Baptist Church Pastor Kenny Moore. Others joined in the effort this year, expanding this annual event for County-Wide recognition.

Lt. Goggins was recognized for working with Clinton Police in a dual role as a patrolman and a narcotics investigator including making numerous felony cases in an undercover capacity. He was promoted to Narcotics Detective in 2002. He is currently the lead investigator in most major cases and also assists in making department decisions and managing department resources.

Clinton City Manager Frank Stovall reacted to the honor saying “One of the greatest privileges of being City Manager is the opportunity to work alongside Clinton’s 106 dedicated professional public servants.” Stovall added, “Tyrone, it’s an honor to be on your team.”

Born in Clinton in 1971, he joined the Clinton Police Department in July of 1998. He married his best friend and soul mate, Carla, in 2009. They have two children.

In addition to a plaque for being the 2016 Laurens County Officer of the Year, Lt. Tyrone Goggins received a 3-day, 2-night beach trip with $400 to cover expenses.

Two runner-ups for the 2016 award also receive a certificate along with a $100 gift certificate. The runners-up for 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year were Jimmy Revis from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Sgt. James “Logan” Kanipe of the Laurens City Police Department. Revis was cited for unselfishly volunteering for tasks both within the Sheriff’s Office and out in the community. Kanipe has risen quickly in his three years with the Laurens Police Department with his recent promotion to Detective Sgt.

2nd Degree Domestic Violence

A warrant charging Domestic Violence in the 2nd Degree was served yesterday on a man arrested following an incident at his home Sunday. 20-year-old Kevin Mark Jarnagin of 204 Mock Street, Laurens is accused of an assault on his wife Sunday in their home in the presence of their infant child. A warrant cites an investigation by Laurens Police Sgt. Doug Jones as indicating Mr. Jarnagin assaulted his wife while threatening to kill her, resulting in visible injuries to her forearm. He also allegedly broke her cell phone. With a $15,000 cash or surety bond set during arraignment, Kevin Mark Jarnagin remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

“The Tams” in Clinton This Thursday at 7:00 pm

The 2016 Town Rhythms series of outdoor summer concerts kicks off this Thursday. The opening act for the 2016 Town Rhythms concert series features the world-famous Tams, live on stage at the Depot starting at 7:00 pm Thursday.

Man Accused of Stealing Bank Card

Theft of a Financial Transaction Card was the charge served yesterday on 25-year-old Mac Carson Gaffney Jr. of 106 Fair Drive, Clinton. Deputy McMahon responded to Garlington Road, Mountville at 2:30 Sunday afternoon to investigate the reported theft of a bank card. A woman reported that her ex-boyfriend and baby’s daddy had taken her ATM/Debit card during a visit with his child after she refused to give him gas money. The officer met the subject while traveling to a Cross Hill store where Gaffney had reportedly made a financial transaction before turning to the house next door his girlfriend’s. He reportedly argued that the card was from a joint account. Apparently this was not confirmed. Mr. Gaffney was released yesterday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.