Crowbar Assault

Assaults in the 1st and 3rd degree yesterday were alleged following a Laurens County Sheriff’s Office early morning arrest. 28-year-old Houston Jake Dudley of Gray Court has been charged with 1st Degree Assault and Battery and 3rd Degree Domestic Violence.

He is accused of intentionally committing 1st Degree Assault on a victim by striking him in the rib cage with a crowbar. The warrant alleged minor bodily injury resulted. Mr. Dudley is also accused of a domestic assault on the second victim by dragging her across the living room while she was holding onto a book bag.

Cash or surety bonds set on the two warrants total $15,000. Houston Jake Dudley remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

2nd Reading on County Flood Ordinance Modification

Laurens County Council last evening gave a second reading approval for an ordinance that reportedly could reduce homeowner’s insurance. The 2nd of three required votes to modify the county’s flood ordinance was approved, 6 to 1. The changes raise the minimum height of structures above the flood zone from one to three feet. Requirements for utilities will remain at one foot above the flood zone.

Councilman Stewart Jones cast the only no vote.

Possession of Stolen Truck & Camper

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man and woman Monday regarding possession of a stolen truck and camper that day. Warrants were served yesterday. Charged with two counts of Receiving Stolen Goods were

27-year-old Robert Clark Stakes of 338 Ben Taylor Road, Laurens and 25-year-old Kacie Lee Revis. She was booked with a Cinnamon Lane, Laurens address, but her warrants show her as a resident of Ben Taylor Road.

In the warrants served on both Mr. Stakes and Ms. Revis, Sheriff’s Investigator Blackmon states that on August 13th in Laurens County both defendants had in their possession a 2018 Puma camper, and had knowledge that it had been stolen. The camper had reportedly been stolen from Sonny’s Camp and Travel.

Both Stakes and Revis are also accused of having in their possession Monday a 2003 Ford F-150 4×4 and had knowledge it was stolen. It had reportedly been stolen from an individual.

With cash or surety bonds set totaling $20,000 on the two charges, Robert Clark Stakes and Kacie Lee Revis remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Arrest Alleges Pine Street Burglary

Clinton Public Safety yesterday charged a local man with a home burglary Monday. 40-year-old David Richard Smith Jr. of 233 Oak Street, Clinton had been arrested Monday and held for warrants. He’s now charged with 2nd Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny. In the warrants, Officer Reel states that on August 13th in the 100 block of Pine Street Mr. Smith entered a dwelling during daytime hours with intent to steal air conditioning units from the resident. He allegedly carried away two air conditioners valued at under $2,000. David Richard Smith Jr. remained in custody this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $5,500.

Thanks for Public Help in Three Drug Arrests

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster yesterday thanked residents for assistance in a drug investigation in Whitmire that recently led to three arrests. He reported that last Friday morning, deputies from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Whitmire Police Department served a search warrant on the residence at 75 Emory Street, Whitmire. Once inside they reportedly located over one gram of meth and a small amount of marijuana.

Officers arrested 37-year-old Stephen Dan Santis and 36-year-old Robert Ellis Dilleshaw, Jr., both of 75 Emory Street, Whitmire and 34-year-old Amie Nicole Prince of 413 North Marion Street, Joanna. All three were charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Meth, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. All three remaind in custody yesterday.

Sheriff Foster said that the investigation into this residence had been ongoing for months prior to the arrests including using undercover operatives, surveillance, and intelligence gathering techniques. Noting numerous complaints from residents of the community, he expressed gratitude for people who provided information. Foster said, “We pride ourselves on our fight against illegal drugs and our relationship with the community.” Sheriff Foster added, “When we work together as partners, we can and will clean up our communities to make them better and safer.”

Two Cases of Indecent Exposure

Laurens Police were dispatched to the Chic-Fil-A on East Main around 6:00 Monday evening on a report of a man exposing himself. Officers noted that on observing them arrive, the man left the restaurant. He was apprehended behind Tractor Supply. Charges were served yesterday.

50-year-old Michael Wesley Kershaw of 126 Powell Street, Union was charged with Indecent exposure. The warrant alleges that he had his private part in plain view of customers in the Chic-Fil-A Monday. With a bond set at $10,000, Michael Kershaw, also reportedly known as “Knight Rider,” remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.


The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Western Laurens County man Tuesday, alleging that he exposed his private parts to a female in his neighborhood last month. 34-year-old Jeremy Joseph James of 590 Bal Harbour Avenue, Ware Shoals was charged with Indecent Exposure. He’s accused of willfully and maliciously exposing himself to a female victim on Bal Harbour Avenue on July 30th. Mr. James remained in detention overnight, awaiting a bond hearing today.

What Happened in Here?

A Malicious Damage warrant was served yesterday on a man Clinton Public Safety arrested Monday, regarding damage to a motel room, alleged by Sgt. Wicker. 35-year-old Brandon Eugene King of 50 Grandview Acres, Clinton is accused of willfully and maliciously damaging a room 202 and its contents at a motel at 105 Trade Street Monday. Mr. King was released on a $500 personal recognizance bond.

Large Bag Limit at Wilder Stadium

A limit on the type of bags that can be brought to events at Wilder Stadium was announced yesterday by School District 56 administration. Just in time for the new football season, the statement said that to provide a safer environment for the public, Laurens County School District 56 has implemented a restriction on the types of bags that may be brought into Wilder Stadium. The statement said, “We believe these procedures will enhance public safety. Laurens County School District 56 strongly encourages fans not to bring any type of bags.” The statement said that beginning on August 24th, fans will only be able to carry clear plastic or clear vinyl bags into Wilder Stadium if the bag is larger than 4.5” x 6.5” (i.e clutch purse).

The District 56 statement also reminded residents that no weapons are allowed at Wilder Stadium. These include pocket knives, guns, etc. The statement further reminds everyone that no illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages are allowed, and no one under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be allowed to enter Wilder Stadium.

The statement also says that students who area 8th grade or younger must be accompanied by an adult to be admitted into events at Wilder Stadium.

Heavy Rainfall Cited in Water Discoloration

Some Laurens area residents have been experiencing discolored tap water over the last few days. According to a statement from the Laurens CPW yesterday, this is caused by higher than normal levels of manganese. Manganese is a common, naturally occurring mineral in the environment and does not pose any health risks.

Laurens CPW Water and Sewer Superintendent Will Patterson explained, “We are typically able to remove most of the manganese through our treatment processes, however the large amount of rain that we’ve experienced over the last few weeks has affected the levels of manganese in our raw water source, Lake Rabon.” Patterson added, “Our operators started seeing slightly higher levels last week, and we have been getting a few calls a day where customers are noticing discolored water.” He noted the CPW is adjusting its treatment process to remove the additional manganese. In the meantime, customers should refrain from doing laundry if they notice discolored water. The CPW suggests customers noting the discolored water allow several cold-water faucets to run until the water is clear.

Another Week without Highway Death Here

As of midnight Sunday, Laurens County has managed to go another week without a traffic fatality, even with at least one wreck where an injured person had to be airlifted from Interstate 26, east of Clinton.

In it’s weekly update yesterday, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported that with six persons killed on state highways over the weekend, the total traffic fatalities for 2018 stood at 605. That’s down only slightly from the 609 traffic deaths for August 12th of 2017.

The 605 deaths include 420 motor vehicle occupants and 92 pedestrians, up from 85 this date last year. We’ve had 65 die on motorcycles, down from 69 in 2017 and there have been 10 bicyclists killed in traffic, down from 12 this date last year.

Lexington County has the highest traffic fatalities, with 47 deaths. Spartanburg is 2nd with 46. Greenville County had the 5th highest highway death toll, with 35. Anderson is 7th with 28.

Laurens County’s 20 fatalities are well above our other neighbors. Greenwood has 12, Newberry has 6, Abbeville has 2 and Union County still has no traffic fatalities for 2018, as of midnight August 12th.

PC Surpasses Goal in “Promise of PC” Campaign

Presbyterian College’s fundraising has exceeded its goal for the year just ended. PC alumni, family and friends reportedly contributed more than $6.4 million to the College during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Jacki Berkshire, PC’s Vice President of Advancement, said “We are grateful to those who helped the College carry out our mission. You graciously supported current and future PC students, and we cannot thank you enough.”

The total raised during the year includes $1,462,700 for the Annual Fund. These private gifts exceeded the fund’s overall goal of $1,350,000.

These fund support for Academic, athletic and need-based scholarships, plus academic, nutritional and travel support for student-athletes, Technology upgrades in the classroom and for Research opportunities for students.

PC’s first-ever Giving Day on May 29th was credited with helping make the year such a success. Overall, more than 400 new donors and 450 young alumni gave to the PC Fund and Scotsman Club throughout the year.

Contributions to the PC Fund totaled $823,329, exceeding a goal of $805,000. The PC Fund provides unrestricted dollars that support the greatest current needs of the College.

Scotsman Club members contributed $511,811, exceeding a $500,000 goal. Scotsman Club members had the opportunity to support Blue Hose student-athletes in the classroom and on the playing field.

Pharmacy Fund donors contributed $27,278 to help PC School of Pharmacy students care for the community by providing research opportunities for pharmacy students.

From January to June, those in the Alumni Office and in the Office of Advancement traveled throughout the Southeast to share PC’s new strategic plan with alumni, friends, and families of the College. And the PC faithful responded in a big way: with contributions for the Promise of PC totaling $100,282. The Promise of PC shows the College’s commitment to ensure student success and to grow strategically.

PC President Bob Staton said, “The strategic plan focuses on what PC has focused on since the College was founded: the success of our students.” He added, “Thank you to everyone who gave to the Promise of PC campaign and to the Annual Fund overall this year.”

Three Power Poles Downed

Three utility poles carrying powerlines in the City of Laurens were recently damaged from auto strikes. During the August meeting of the Laurens Commission of Public Works last evening, CPW General Manager John Young advised the commissioners of the damage, noting three power poles hit by vehicles required work late into the night.

The locations of the damaged utility poles included one on the south side of town at the Family Dollar store at the corner of Farley Avenue and Greenwood Highway. Another damaged pole was on the northeast side of town at the coroner of Fleming and Pickens Streets. The third power pole was down cemetery hill from the square, at the corner of North Harper Street and Hunter’s Court.

John Young said that the CPW had to absorb the cost of replacing two of the three downed utility poles. One of the poles was hit by a vehicle that had been reported stolen and in another incident the vehicle’s insurance had lapsed.

Celebrating Local History

This coming Sunday marks the anniversary of a Revolutionary War battle in our area where 67 people were killed, and others wounded. It’s the anniversary of the Revolutionary War Bottle of Musgrove Mill, where, on August 19th, 1780, Patriot forces routed loyalists, with 63 of those supporting British rule killed, and 4 of the Patriot forces left dead, as the Patriots gained momentum for victory. The battle broke out near the home of Edward Musgrove, a colonial settler to the backcountry of South Carolina.

Remembering the historical event, a formal Revolutionary War Battle Commemoration Ceremony will take place at the Musgrove Mill State Historical Site’s Visitor Center this Saturday morning at 10:00. Tt is being presented by local chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Children of the American Revolution. This Saturday’s ceremony will honor the participants of the Battle at Musgrove’s Mill.  Dianne Culbertson, Vice President General, NSDAR will lead a special program entitled “Heroines of the Revolution”.  Following the ceremony, there will be an ice cream social at the Visitor Center. This event is free to the public. Seating is limited, so everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the event.

Musgrove Mill is off Highway 56 north of Clinton, on the Laurens County side of the Enoree River.

Crystal Meth Trafficking

Methamphetamine Trafficking was charged on an Anderson County woman in the City of Laurens yesterday. Laurens City Police charged 28-year-old Misty Nicole Clamp of 116 East McGee Street, Honea Path with Trafficking in Meth or Cocaine Base and with Open Container of Beer or Wine in Motor Vehicle.

Sgt. Alexander that an investigation of Officer Van Pelt indicates that Ms. Clamp was in possession of about 23 grams of crystal methamphetamine Sunday on East Main Street in Laurens. Ms. Clamp is also accused of having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle on East Main Street Sunday.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $75,257 during arraignment yesterday. Misty Nicole Clamp remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Meth Distribution

Methamphetamine Distribution was among drug charges served Friday by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, alleging unlawful possession the day before. 62-year-old Brenda Gail Lewis of 20 Woodward Street, Woodruff was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession with Intent within Proximity and with Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

Investigator Charles Nations states that on August 9th Ms. Lewis did knowingly and without authorization possess an amount of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and that this occurred within a half mile of a school or park. She was also alleged to be in unlawful possession of hydrocodone bitartrate. a schedule 2 controlled substance.

Cash or surety bonds on the three charges were set totaling $27,000. Brenda Gail Lewis remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.


3rd Offense Meth Charge

A third offense Meth charge from Saturday was served yesterday following an early Sunday morning arrest by Laurens City Police. 45-year-old Jeffery Earl Gedeist of 106 West Main Street, Laurens was charged with 3rd Offense, Possession of Less than One Gram of Methamphetamine.

A warrant states that an investigation of Officer Van Pelt indicates that on August 11th the defendant was in possession of .4 gram of methamphetamine and that his history indicates he has at least two prior convictions of a meth offense.

With a $15,000 cash or surety bond set on the Meth charge, Jeffery Earl Gedeist remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

There is another reason for his remaining in custody. Gedeist was also served with a court order from Laurens Municipal Court indicating he was convicted of a Public Intoxication charge on August 7th in absentia and sentenced to a fine of $2,500 or 30 days in jail.

Bond Denied on Domestic Assault Charge

An arrest this weekend alleges another assault on a girlfriend. Clinton Public Safety Saturday arrested 36-year-old Fred Charles Ray Cogsdill of 100 Houser Circle, Clinton and charged him with 1st Degree Domestic Violence and with Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child.

Cosdill is accused of assaulting the victim Saturday by placing his hand across her neck and holding her down. He then allegedly pushed her into a table, causing it to move against the wall. A warrant states that he and the victim live together and have a child in common.

In a separate warrant, he is accused of placing a juvenile at unreasonable risk affecting his mental health by committing the act of domestic violence in the child’s presence, this being the physical and verbal assault on the child’s mother in an apartment at 100 Houser Circle.

Bond was denied on both charges. 36-year-old Fred Charles Ray Cogsdill remained in custody this morning.

Filing False Felony Report

Laurens Police charged a woman yesterday with filing a false report this past Friday. 39-year-old Jackie Ann Jacobs of 118 Garlington Street, Laurens was charged with Filing a False Police Report of a Felony. Sgt. Alexander states that an investigation indicates that Ms. Jacobs filed a false police report August 10th, advising that she was victim of a Burglary and that the defendant was not allowed to enter her home. An investigation allegedly shows that Ms. Jacobs invited the person to enter her home on Garlington Street to consume illegal narcotics.

Jackie Ann Jacobs was held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

Possession Stolen Chain Saw

Receiving Stolen Goods was the charge served Friday following a Sheriff’s Office arrest Thursday afternoon. 43-year-old Steven Bryan Kernells of 300 Marion Place, Clinton is accused of having possession of a Husqararna chain saw Thursday, valued at $500, and knowing or having reason to know it was stolen. Kernells was released Friday afternoon on a $1,087 PR bond.

Charges Include Possession of Stolen Property

Laurens City Police had three charges Friday for 28-year-old Brittnie Lynn Knight of 600 Swygert Street, Laurens. Sgt. Alexander issued tickets charging Ms. Knight with Driving under Suspension, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Stolen Property at 4:00 pm on Lakeview Drive. Knight remained in custody this morning with bonds totaling $2,147.