Pointing & Presenting Firearm

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest Saturday alleging a display of a firearm. 70-year-old Dennis Ray Armstrong of 730 Durbin Road, Fountain Inn

Pointing and Presenting a Firearm. A warrant accuses him of pointing a firearm at victim or victims Saturday at his residence. With a cash or surety bond set at $5,000 on the charge, Dennis Ray Armstrong remained in custody this morning.

Saturday Assault

Laurens City Police Saturday arrested 66-year-old Willie Norris Brown of 305 Stuart Street, Laurens on a 3rd Degree Assault and Battery 3rd Degree charge. Sgt. Alexander issued a ticket charging Brown with the offense at his home Saturday. He remained in custody this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $5,000.

8 Injured, 2 Later Died From 2-Car Crash East of Clinton

Eight people were injured and two of them died overnight following a two-car head-on collision east of Clinton late last night. South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Gary Miller said the fatalities were the driver and front seat passenger of a 2007 Ford Mustang which was traveling westbound on US 76 near Grain Bin Road, about a mile east of Clinton. Trooper Miller said a 2004 Ford Taurus was west bound on US 76 and crossed the center line, colliding head-on with the Mustang at approximately 11:51 pm Saturday night.  He said the driver and two passengers of the Mustang were wearing their seat belts. He said they were all entrapped and had to be freed from the wreck by mechanical means.

Miller said the driver of the Mustang was flown by Helicopter to Spartanburg Regional Hospital. Laurens County Chief Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek identified her as 65-year-old Marge Seymore of 1980 Stomp Springs Road, Clinton. She was pronounced dead at Spartanburg Regional at 3:35 this (Sunday) morning.

Trooper Miller said a front seat passenger of the Mustang was flown by helicopter to Greenville Memorial. Chief Deputy Cheek identified her at 63-year-old Lois “Bit” King of 1507 Young Road, Clinton. Ms. King was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma at 1:30 this (Sunday) morning at Greenville Memorial.

Lance Corporal Miller said a left-rear seat passenger of the Mustang, 66-year-old Norma E Smith of Clinton, was transported to Self Regional Hospital.

Miller said the driver of the 2004 Ford Taurus was 38-year-old Khelsey Chanta Rice of Clinton. He said Ms. Rice was also seat belted and was entrapped in her car. After being extracted by mechanical means, she was transported to Greenville Memorial.

Miller said there were four juveniles in the Ford Taurus. They did not have seat belts on. They were transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Trooper Miller said the case remained under investigation of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Raider Spring Game and Powder Puff Game Postponed

The LDHS Raider Spring Football game scheduled for tonight at KC Hanna Stadium has been postponed due to the threat of thunderstorms around game time (7:00 pm).  They will try to get the game in Monday at the same time as well as the Powder Puff Game that was scheduled for today at 5:30.

As of the time of this posting (3:30 pm) Coach Andrew Webb said they were still going to try to get the CHS Red Devil Spring Game in tonight starting at 6:00 pm at Wilder Stadium. Should that change we will update this posting.

Theft of over $5K from Clinton Store

A theft of over $5,000 cash from a Downtown Clinton store last Saturday was alleged in charges served on a man from the sandhills of South Carolina yesterday. Clinton Public Safety charged 59-year-old Ruben Vernon Weston III of 250 Olin Rikard Road, Gaston with Grand Larceny. The theft apparently occurred as the store was open for business Saturday.

Sgt. Shane Prather states that on May 12th Mr. Weston entered into the office of True Value Hardware at 200 East Carolina Avenue where he went to a file cabinet and took money bags that contained approximately $5,651. This was allegedly with intent to deprive business owner John Woodside of this currency. The warrant notes that the office is a restricted area of the business and is closed off to the public.

Ruben Vernon Weston III of Gaston, SC was being held overnight in the Laurens County Detention Center, with a bond hearing expected today in connection with the charge of Grand Larceny of cash last weekend.

Drug Charges from LPD Traffic Stop

A man and woman from the Enoree area were charged yesterday with drug possession in Laurens with intent to distribute. They were arrested in the early morning hours of Thursday following a Laurens Police traffic stop on the Greenwood Road.

38-year-old Richard Lloyd Long of 15,213 Highway 221, Enoree was charged yesterday with Possession of Methamphetamines with Intent to Distribute, 3rd or Subsequent Offense along with a 2nd offense for Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. Warrants state that an investigation by Officer Napier indicates that Richard Lloyd Long was in possession of 3.56 grams of meth during the traffic stop on the Greenwood Road, as well as in possession of 8 white pills.

41-year-old Crystal Bragg Moore of 647 Patterson Plant Road, Enoree was charged with 1st offense Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Schedule 2 Narcotic. She is also accused of being in possession of the 3.56 grams of meth during yesterday’s early morning traffic stop on Greenwood Road, as well as the 8 white pills that were determined to be a schedule 2 narcotic.

During arraignments yesterday, cash or surety bonds were set at $35,000 for Richard Lloyd Long and at $15,000 for Crystal Bragg Moore. Both remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

2nd, 3rd Offense & Habitual Offender Charge

Drug and Habitual Traffic Offender charges from an alleged incidnet back in February were served yesterday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 27-year-old Samantha Leann Anders of 11 Perry Street, Pickens with 3rd or Subsequent Offense of Driving under Suspension and with Habitual Offender for Driving under Suspension. Ms. Anders was also charged with 3rd or Subsequent Offense of Possession of a Narcotic and 2nd or Subsequent Offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance.

In warrants, Deputy Sheriff Charles Nations states that on February 12th Samantha Leann Anders committed the crime of Driving under Suspension of her License, this being a 3rd or subsequent offense, and that she was found to be an habitual offender because of her operating a motor vehicle while prohibited from doing so. Nations also states that Anders knowingly and intentionally possessed acetaminophen and hydrocodone, a schedule II controlled substance, as well as Alprazolam, a schedule 4 drug, without authority.

CPW Employees: Finding Theft & Saving a Child

The Laurens Commission of Public Works received updates this week regarding ways where one employee’s actions led to an arrest for power theft and another rescued a child from danger.

General Manager John Young advised the commissioners of a situation around 9:00 the evening of April 18th when Jason Osborne, a Tantalus Technician, received a notification on his phone of a problem with a meter in Pioneer Park. He verified the meter was off for non-payment, then met police at the customer’s house, where the customer was allegedly caught in the act of and arrested for Theft of Electricity.

General Manager John Young also reported to the commissioners at their May meeting this week about an incident on Anderson Drive May 4th. He said, “While our crew was working to replace the water line on Oakland Heights, Blake Babb, Distribution Supervisor noticed a small child about 2 or 3 years old standing in the middle of Anderson Drive at about 1:00 PM.” Young told how Babb stopped operating a loader and picked the child from the street. He was able to get the child to give directions to his house and knocked on the door. When knocking didn’t work, he pushed the door open and found the child’s dad asleep. He was finally able to awaken the man, who then took his child. The home situation was reportedly being investigated.

McKissick Credits 1950’s PC Coach

Presbyterian College is celebrating one of its alumni receiving a major award. John McKissick, the winningest football coach at any level, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at “The Charleys,” an award ceremony by the Charleston Post and Courier. The event was held last Friday at the Gaillard Center in Charleston.

After a year at Brevard College, John McKissick came to PC in 1950 and played football for the Blue Hose. At last week’s awards ceremony, McKissick said “I give PC all the credit for any achievement I’ve made over the years.” He added, “It all started at PC with Lonnie McMillian.”

While playing fullback for McMillian at PC, McKissick earned a degree in economics before moving on to becoming the head football coach at Summerville High School. There, McKissick won 612 games, more than any coach at any level.

He also won 10 state championships during a 63-year career that spanned from 1952 to 2014. McKissick was named South Carolina High School Coach of the Year in 1980, 1994, and 2003. He was elected to the National High School Hall of Fame in 1990.

“It’s certainly an honor,” McKissick said about receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’d like to share it with all the guys who have coached and played with me.”

PTC Laurens County Academic Recognition

Outstanding students from each of Piedmont Technical College’s seven supporting counties were honored recently at PTC’s spring commencement exercises. Each was recognized for their academic achievement. Laurens County’s top student was Clifton Boyd, who graduated with a building construction technology degree. His recognition included congratulations from PTC Area Commissioner Richard Cain.


Foster Families Being Sought

South Carolina DSS is participating in a National observance of “Foster Care Awareness Month.” The agency is attempting to draw attention to the need for foster parents across the state. As of May 1st, the agency reports, there were more than 4,500 children in foster care in South Carolina, and the state needs about 1,600 more quality homes to care for all the state’s children.

Because of the shortage of Foster Care Families, more than half of the children who come into DSS care have to be placed outside their home county. This means children who already experience the trauma of being separated from their parents are also being separated from all of their other support systems – their school, church, sports teams and everyone they know.

DSS Director Susan Alford said, “These children want to grow up with their brothers and sisters. They want to stay close to their friends, their schools, their places of worship and all other institutions that have meaning to them. They deserve our best efforts to improve their health, safety and well-being as they strive to become loving, healthy adults.”

To help raise awareness for the need for more foster parents in South Carolina, DSS has been conducting a statewide foster care recruitment campaign. As part of the campaign, the Department has partnered with “All Pro Dad,” an organization that promotes fatherhood and strengthening families, to recruit new families and also celebrate current foster families. NFL Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy is the national spokesman for All Pro Dad and is the father of seven adopted children. He will be featured in public service announcements and other promotional materials in an effort to encourage families to take the next step and learn more about fostering.

DSS Director Alford noted, “I believe that South Carolinians are generous people and view our children as our most valuable resource.” In a plea to residents across the state, she said, “If you are able, please consider opening your home to become a foster parent or find ways to support foster parents in your community.”

Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minor

Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor under age 11 in Laurens County early last year was alleged in warrants served yesterday. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office booked 44-year-old Kenneth William Warden of 223 Amethyst Way, Laurens, charging him with two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minor, or Attempt. The warrants allege both vaginal and oral sex with the minor victim between January 1st and April 15th of 2017. Kenneth William Warden remained in the Laurens County Detention Center overnight, awaiting arraignment.

Arrest Alleges Car Theft

A Laurens County car theft earlier this year was alleged with an arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. 37-year-old Jennifer Kay Heffner of 119 Wilson Bridge Road, Fountain Inn has been charged with Grand Larceny. She is accused of talking a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox valued at $10,000 on February 27th. Ms. Heffner was being held overnight in the Laurens County Detention Center, awaiting arraignment.

Charges for 3 Suspects

No bond was set during arraignment of the driver involved in a Sheriff’s pursuit this week. 36-year-old Toby Christopher Horne of 9954 Highway 101 South, Gray Court has been served with seven warrants in connection with Tuesday’s police pursuit and with an alleged break-in and theft on Monday. Warrants charging Grand Larceny and 2nd Degree Burglary accuse Horne of taking a black utility trailer and a 2011 Honda Rincon 680 four-wheeler valued at $4,400 Monday, as well as entering a building on Long Branch Church Road, Clinton without permission of the owner and with intent to commit a crime therein.

Charges from the interaction with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday include 2nd Offense Driving under Suspension, for allegedly driving a 1987 Dodge truck on Interstate 385 Tuesday while his driver’s license was suspended. An Habitual Offender warrant states that an investigation by Deputy Richey indicates that Horne is an habitual offender for driving with a suspended driver’s license.

A Failure to Stop for a Blue Light warrant states that he failed to stop the pickup Tuesday when signaled by a police vehicle with flashing lights and siren. He’s also accused of Unlawful Carrying of a Firearm, alleging he hand a handgun in his possession Tuesday without authority to possess it.

In an Enhanced Receiving Stolen Goods warrant, Toby Christopher Horne is accused of having a pickup in his possession that had been stolen. A Sheriff’s Office statement this week indicated that the pickup truck Horne reportedly wrecked on I-385 following the Tuesday police pursuit had been stolen out of Spartanburg County.

An Enhanced charge of Receiving Stolen Goods was the only warrant served on the two other people arrested Tuesday following the chase. 47-year-old Nikkie Lee Fields and 47-year-old Darrell Scott Ellason, both of 109 Martindale Drive, Simpsonville, remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds for each set at $10,000.

Fewer Calls, More Visits

Calls asking for information on Laurens County for new industrial projects have slowed down in recent weeks, but there is activity now with previous calls leading companies to visit Laurens County to further investigate possible locations for investment.

Laurens County Development Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Coleman advised his board of directors this week the LCDC has received 26 Requests for Information (RFIs) so far this year. Most were in the first three months. Coleman said after getting 9 RFIs in March, they only received 2 in April, and 2 have come in so far in May.

Jon Coleman said that there has been a lot of activity lately generated from the calls earlier in the year, with companies coming to Laurens County for site visits. He further noted there are now four “Hot” prospects looking at Laurens County for a site for their project.

Foot Health Awareness

A “Foot Health Awareness” and screening event will be held tomorrow at the GHS Upstate Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center in Laurens County.

The Center is partnering with GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital, Upstate Podiatry, the GHS Vascular Lab – Laurens and the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy for events scheduled tomorrow.

Appointments are needed for the four-hour event, set from 1:00 until 4:00 tomorrow afternoon.

They’re offering a free comprehensive foot exam, which is to include foot pulses/circulation, neuropathy issues, visual foot deformities and gait evaluation.

GHS Laurens County Memorial and the PC School of Pharmacy will be providing free glucometers along with instructions on proper usage and vouchers for free A1C testing.

And the GHS Vascular Lab –Laurens will provide Ankle Brachial Index screening, a quick, noninvasive way to check your risk of peripheral artery disease at $40 per screening exam. That will be at their location inside the hospital.

All other screenings will be held in Upstate Wound Healing Center at 10783 Medical Ridge Road.

Appointments are needed. To schedule an appointment, call 864-833-3557.

1st Reading for New Laurens Budget

Laurens City Council gave 1st reading approval for the budget for 2018-2019 during their May meeting this week. The budget had a general fund projection of $6,825,700 and a Hospitality budget of $590,000. The budget total is set at $7,415,700.00 for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.

New Natural Gas Customers for CPW

Growth in natural gas customers for the Laurens Commission of Public Works in a rural area near Gray Court was reported to the Commissioners during their May meeting this week. General Manager John Young reported that potential new customers had called, inquiring about extending a CPW gas line on Dials Church Road. Young said of 15 flyers handed out to residents on Dials Church Road, eight called expressing interest in purchasing a gas tap. He said he’s expecting more customers to also call. In addition to increasing the customer base, John Young noted that extending the gas line on Dials Church Road would give the CPW a two-way feed there, further improving the distribution system.

2nd Degree Domestic Assault

A man was arrested yesterday after an alleged domestic assault. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 23-year-old Martin Anthony Smith of 575 Marler Road, Gray Court with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence.

A warrant alleges that on May 16th Smith put his hands around the victim’s neck, choking her and pinning her against the wall; and that he took her cell phone while she attempted to call law enforcement. The assault allegedly occurred in the presence of the victim’s two small children.

Martin Anthony Smith remained in the Laurens County Detention Center earlier today with a cash or surety bond set at $5,000.

Breach of Trust

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday served charges from an alleged incident in the fall of 2016. 36-year-old Dale Evonne Davis was booked with an address of 17675 Highway 25, Ware Shoals. A warrant listing her address on Audubon Road, Ware Shoals charges her with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent. She is accused of receiving keys to a victim’s vehicle, in trust, on October 5th of 2016 and then using the vehicle without the owner’s consent. Ms. Davis was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.