Sentence in July, New Charge in October

A Waterloo man was arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with an incident last fall and a Bench warrant from last summer. The Laurens County booked 21-year-old James Christopher Jennings of 65 North Ruth Walker Road, Waterloo and served the Bench Warrant and a warrant charging him with Malicious Injury. The Bench warrant states that on July 21st, 2016 Jennings was convicted of Public Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to 30 days or a fine of $257.50. The warrant served cites an investigation by Corporal Rushing as indicating that on October 25th, 2016 Mr. Jennings willfully did damage of under $2,000 value to the person property of a victim by throwing a beer bottle at a camper.

Unlawful Xanax Possession

Laurens City Police yesterday arrested an area woman on charges that she illegally possessed a prescription drug last month. 34-year-old Shannon Renee Holbrooks of 44 Grist Mill Road, Laurens was charged with Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance. A warrant citing the investigation of Officer Robert Napier states that on February 14th Ms. Holbrooks had three Xanax pills in her possession, in an unmarked prescription bottle with no prescription. Ms. Holbrooks was released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond.

“Branding Initiative” for Laurens County

If someone were to ask you for one brief statement that describes Laurens County, what would you say? What is our identity? Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime wants to know. At a meeting of the Laurens County Development Corporation yesterday, he explained plans now underway for a new Laurens County “Branding Initiative.” He said the goal is to develop an identity that’s common to the different parts of Laurens County. He’s now putting together groups of some 5 to 7 people to represent various areas of the county. He wants groups from Clinton, Laurens, Gray Court and Fountain Inn. Caine is looking to have a group from Western Laurens County, Hickory Tavern to Ware Shoals, from the Lake Greenwood area, another group from Cross Hill and Waterloo.  He suggests a group from the Mountville area to include an agricultural viewpoint.

Jon Caime said that with funds approved last fall by County Council, he is hiring the Heritage Corridor Group to guide these Laurens County groups in identifying things of mutual interest around the county. He told the LCDC Board that he wants to include the younger generation in this planning program, saying he wants the millennials who’ve left the county for jobs elsewhere to be able to return home to raise their children at home, where grandparents can help with the kids.

The County Administrator said he expects the Heritage Corridor Group to begin their work with these groups in late April or early May. He said he’s trying to get as much footwork completed ahead of the sessions as possible, to maximize the limited funds available. Jon Caime said he hopes this process produces a unifying brand for all of Laurens County to identify with.

Hail, Lightening & Record Rainfall

Severe thunderstorms came through the Upstate from late yesterday afternoon into the night. The storms crossed areas of the Upstate, moving in a southerly direction. Intense lightening and hail was reported. In some places, including parts of Laurens County, hail covering the ground looked similar to snowfall.

A record 3.9 inches of rain was recorded at the NOAA Weather Station at Greenville – Spartanburg International.

Kidnapping & 1st Degree Domestic Violence

Laurens City Police responded to a report of an active assault at Spring Street Apartments around 10:00 Monday night. Witnesses reported to arriving officers that a woman had been beaten by a man and when she tried to get away, he dragged her back into her apartment and locked the door. Another woman reportedly gained access to the apartment and went after the subject, allowing the victim to escape. Officers later arrested 23-year-old Dario Terrell Anderson of 108 Campbell Street, Laurens and charged him with Kidnapping and 1st Degree Domestic Violence. Dario Terrell Anderson remained in custody this morning with bonds totaling $100,000.

Three Council Members Take Office, Mayor Pro-Tem Elected

Three recently re-elected City Council Members took the oath of office at last night’s Laurens City Council Meeting for March.  City Clerk Gwen Kinard administered the oath to Marion “Blonde: Miller, Alicia Sullivan and Sarah Latimore.

City Council also unanimously approved a written policy for the process of electing a Mayor Pro-Tem, noting there has not been such a policy. The new policy approved last night states that a new Mayor Pro-Tem will be elected following every municipal election. The Mayor Pro-Tem is to be selected from newly-elected council members, on a rotating basis; however, this excludes a first term council member. With the new policy approved, Sara Latimore was unanimously elected as the new Mayor Pro-Tem, replacing Sylvia Douglas in that role.

Mayor John Stankus last night directed council to determine an appropriate date for a work session on the budget for the next fiscal year. He noted the coming year’s budget will be “very tight!” The work session was set for 9:00 A.M. Tuesday April 11th.

Two people appeared before Laurens City Council on behalf of specific causes. The Laurens County Disability and Special Needs Board’s Director Jason Tavener asked Council to declare March as Disability and Special Needs Month. Council approved Resolution 03-17-01 to that effect. Calvin Whitmre of the Bridging the Gap program was on hand and presented his organization’s plans to further the cause of helping youth and their families.

Assault with Sharp Object

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested one Joanna man yesterday on charges that he assaulted another Joanna man with a sharp object Monday. 53-year-old Don Edward Townsend of 514 Magnolia Street, Joanna was charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. Townsend is accused of committing battery upon the victim, with the act deemed aggravated because a sharp object was reportedly used to cut the victim on his arm, requiring medical attention. A cash or surety bond was set at $25,000. Don Edward Townsend remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Domestic Assault Charge Served

Laurens City Police yesterday served a warrant on a Laurens Villa resident who had been arrested Monday following an alleged domestic incident. 34-year-old Kristin Sabrina Jordan of 1-G, 309 Exchange Drive, Laurens was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree.

The warrant cited an investigation by Officer Sherfield as indicating that on March 20th in her residence Ms. Jordan scratched and bit her ex-boyfriend. The warrant notes the two have lived together and share a child in common.

A cash or surety bond was set at $2,500. Kristin Jordan remained in custody this morning.

Pointing & Presenting Firearm

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a person yesterday on allegations of his pulling a gun as another person eight days before. 17-year-old David Ray Garrett II of 63 Hellams Road, Gray Court was charged with Pointing and Presenting a Firearm. Deputy Crosby states that on March 13th at the subject’s residence, Garrett unlawfully, and not in self-defense, pointed a firearm at a victim.  David Ray Garrett II remained in custody overnight, with a cash or surety bond set at $1,000.

Naughty Words Scratched on Woman’s Car

Clinton Public Safety Sgt. Ryan Mercer responded Monday morning to investigate vandalism to a vehicle on Cypress Street. A woman reported that when was preparing to leave for work that morning she noticed several deep scratch marks all over her car. Some of the scratches contained profanity. She said the scratches were not there when she had gone to Wal-Mart the previous night. She explained to the officer that she had no idea who would have done this, saying she had no enemies. No one was identified as a suspect in the vandalism during the initial investigation.

Airport Taxiway Rehab Underway

Construction work is underway at the Laurens County Airport. Airport Commission Chairman George “Sammy” Wham stated the airport broke ground on March 1st on a project to rehabilitate the airport’s taxiways.

The project consists of a concrete overlay of Taxiway B, reconstruction of a taxi lane, and asphalt pavement rejuvenation of the airport’s newer Taxiway A.  McCarthy Improvement Co. is the general contractor for the concrete portion of the project.  The asphalt rejuvenation will be completed by a South Carolina Airport Commission – approved contractor.  This project is the second phase of pavement rehabilitation projects at Laurens County Airport. The first phase, completed in 2012, included the concrete overlay and extension of the runway and reconstruction of the ramp.

This 2nd phase of work rehabilitating the airport is a $1,020,060 project. 90% of the money is coming from the Federal Aviation Commission. There is also a 5% state match, leaving 5% covered with local funds. Wham noted that the first phase of airport rehab, completed in 2012, cost slightly over $3 million. That had a similar match, with the FAA covering most of the cost.

Drug Charges from Early Morning Traffic Stop

Laurens City Police yesterday served drug charges on a man arrested following an early morning traffic stop. 21-year-old Anthony Juzan Nelson of 620 Sweet William Way, Fountain Inn was charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession with Intent in Near a School and Possession of a Drug Paraphernalia. Officer Van Pelt issued a ticket charging Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 3:15 yesterday morning. Warrants were served yesterday cite the investigation of Officer Van Pelt as indicating that during a lawful traffic stop Mr. Nelson was found to be in possession of scales and marijuana, some of which was packaged for sale. This allegedly occurred on Chestnut Street, within a half mile of First Baptist Church, which operates a daycare and school. Anthony Nelson was released on cash or surety bonds totaling $30,500 on the three charges.

Distribution Alleged last April

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a man for an alleged sale of crack cocaine last April. The man is also held for an alleged sale in Greenville County the day before last April’s incident in Laurens County.

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 43-year-old Carlous Lorenzo Williams of 122 Mock Street, Laurens with Distribution of Crack Cocaine and Distribution within Proximity of a Park.

Sheriff’s Officer Nations states that on April 21st, 2016 Mr. Williams did knowingly and without authorization distribute Crack Cocaine, a schedule II controlled substance. This allegedly occurred within a half mile of Gray Court Town Park.

No bond was granted on either of the two charges. Carlous Lorenzo Williams remained in the Laurens County Detention Center today.

Fountain Inn Police also placed a hold on Mr. Williams for a drug charge from that agency, the day before the Gray Court event the Sheriff’s Office warrant refers to. It alleges that on April 20th 2016 in the Greenville County portion of Fountain Inn, Williams distributed multiple off-white rock-like substances that field tested positive as cocaine/cocaine base.

Rabies Clinics Planned for April

There were 94 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals across South Carolina last year. Animals confirmed with rabies included 43 raccoons, 18 skunks, 11 foxes, 10 bats, six cats, four dogs, one deer and one horse.

Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) this spring to help owners protect themselves, their families, communities, and pets against rabies.

As required by state law, all pet owners must vaccinate their dogs, cats, and ferrets. Sandra Craig, director of DHEC’s Division of Food Protection and Rabies Prevention, said “Rabies vaccination fees may vary by clinic site, but no vet participating in these clinics will charge more than $10 per pet.”

DHEC lists the Clinton Animal Hospital as the only participating veterinarian in Laurens County. Dr. Dixon will be conducting these reduced-price vaccinations one hour each Thursday morning in April from 9:00 to 10:00. That’s at 404 Willard Road, Clinton.

Bench Warrant Notes Drug Charge

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday booked a woman on a Bench Warrant issued from Laurens County General Sessions Court last fall.

33-year-old Kristi Lynne Chandler of 109 Edwards Street, Simpsonville was served the Bench Warrant, issued November 9th. It states that Ms. Chandler, with an Enoree address at the time, failed to appear in Laurens County General Sessions Court on November 4th on a charge of Violation a Drug Distribution law. Ms. Chandler was being held until she is discharged during due course of law.

Attempt to Possess

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested 55-year-old Michael Paul Chester of 227 Woodruff Street, Woodruff and charged him with “Attempt to Possess.” He is accused of attempting to purchase a non-prescription product exceeding the 30-day limit of 9 grams of Ephedrine or ephedrine-type substance. Mr. Chester was being held overnight, pending a bond court appearance.

Assault with Fist

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Newberry County woman for an alleged assault in Laurens County yesterday. 37-year-old Valerie Arlene Taylor of 185 Kinard Road, Newberry was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. Officer Morgan states that on March 20th Ms. Taylor intentionally committed battery on the victim by striking the victim about the right eye, head and shoulder. With a cash or surety bond set at $1,000, Ms. Taylor remained in custody this morning.

Woman Falls Ill, Man Allegedly Takes Purse

A man remained in custody today following an unusual purse-snatching in Laurens late Thursday morning. The victim had fallen with a medical condition before the theft. Laurens County EMS responded at 11:16 A.M. Thursday on report of a woman who collapsed in the parking lot of the Aldi store on Exchange Drive. A witness noted observing a man wearing a red hat and a flannel jacket leaving the scene with a red purse in his jacket. While en route to the Aldi store, Laurens City Officer Christy Johnson reportedly met a PT Cruiser that matched the description of the vehicle the suspect had left in. She turned and followed. The vehicle pulled into a Laundromat on Fleming Street, near Mill Street. Officer Johnson reported observing a rear door open and a male subject exit the car with something stuffed under his jacket. He went into the Laundromat. Officer Johnson stayed outside observing the two people still in the suspect vehicle until backup arrived. When the back-seat passenger exited the Laundromat, she placed him in custody. Master Patrolman Brewington then reportedly located the stolen purse in a trash can just inside the door. The suspect allegedly told of arriving in the Aldi parking lot with his father to see the woman on the ground. Another witness flagged them down and called 911. The man allegedly confessed that he saw the pocket book in a buggy, grabbed it and told his Dad, “let’s go.”

The woman who collapsed in the Aldi Parking lot was flown to Greenville by helicopter. Officers contacted her husband to advise him. Later, officers were informed that the woman had died. A large crowd of family and friends attended her funeral yesterday afternoon at Rocky Springs Presbyterian.

42-year-old Michael Damon Craig of 103 Smith Street, Laurens was booked at the Laurens County Detention Center. Friday, he was charged with Larceny Enhanced. A warrant citing investigation of Master Patrol Officer Johnson states that on March 16th Mr. Craig stole a victim’s purse while she was lying on the ground unconscious at Aldi’s Grocery Store, 401 Exchange Drive. With a $20,000 cash or surety bond, Michael Damon Craig remained in custody this morning.

Mom Charged In Connection with Infant’s Death

A Laurens woman was charged Friday in connection with her infant’s death earlier this year. 26-year-old Shategra Nyrell Fuller of Apt. 71 at 218 Spring Street, Laurens is charged with Unlawful Conduct toward a Child. Laurens Police Detective Kanipe states that between January 27th and 28th Ms. Fuller placed her infant son at unreasonable risk of injury or death by sleeping on a couch with the infant while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The child was found deceased on January 28th by a first responder to her apartment. Shategra Nyrell Fuller was released on a $10,000 bond.

Two Suspects Sought in Man’s Shooting

Laurens City Police are looking for two male suspects, one possibly a juvenile, from a shooting early last Thursday. Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Lurey Street at 12:36 Thursday morning on report of a shooting with a gunshot victim. Officer Billy Sellers and Sgt. Doug Jones reportedly arrived to observe people coming out of the house and noted that one man was holding his back. He reportedly said he had been shot. The back of his clothing was covered in blood. He indicated he had been in the bathroom when two male subjects came in, dressed in black and wearing masks. He said they told him “Give me the S***. He said they took $10 from his pocket and shot him in the back. He indicated he was on the bathroom floor until help arrived. After clearing the scene of the shooting, the officers turned the case over to an investigator with Laurens Police.