Two Cases of Non-Support on One Man

Family Court sent a Joanna man to jail yesterday after a Contempt Hearing on two cases of Non-Support, involving separate plaintiffs. 27-year-old Blaine Lyda of 100 South 3rd Street, Joanna was sentenced to six months incarceration or payment of $3,500 on each of the two cases, plus another $250 in court costs for each. Court documents cite arrearage of over $9,500 in one case and over $6,100 in the other. Blaine Lyda remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

United Way Has AmeriCorps Position  

If you’re interested in service to others, the United Way of Laurens County has an opening that may interest you. A United Way release indicates the position would provide experience in Case Management training with additional training in key program areas such as Workforce Development, Stability Services, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Financial Literacy.

The position is open with the AmeriCorps program, working through the local United Way. Other than the experience, benefits from the employment include a living stipend, health care coverage, child care eligibility and….on completion…an education award.

More information is available through United Way Director Amanda Munyan at 864-833-3623 or from Abby Hope at 864-331-2992.

3rd Offense D.U.S.

Deputy Brandon Howard was patrolling Highway 14 and was in front of Gray Court – Owings School at 2:43 this morning when he noted a tail light missing on a car traveling on the road. He made a traffic stop and discovered the driver’s license of the driver apparently already had two counts of Driving under Suspension of his license. 22-year-old Meshack John Blakely of 881 Bull Hill Road, Gray Court was arrested at 3:00 am and charged with Driving under Suspension 3rd Offense. Mr. Blakely was placed in the detention center to await arraignment.

No Texting Allowed While Driving, Even at 87 MPH

The Highway Patrol and local law enforcement has, for years, been encouraging teens not to text while driving. Last night, Texting While Driving was alleged with the arrest of a Simpsonville teen traveling through Laurens County. The 18-year-old male was arrested after being stopped by Highway Patrol Trooper Gabriele. In addition to a Texting Violation, other tickets were issued charging the teen with Speeding in excess of 15 miles-per-hour over the speed limit at 10:35 last night on I-385 and with Simple Possession of Marijuana. The Simpsonville area resident was being held overnight in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing today.


Deputy Brandon Howard was dispatched to a Green Pond Community residence at 7:21 last evening on a report of an assault. On arrival he spoke with a woman who said she had sent her child into the house to ask a man who also is a resident of the same house a question. She said she wanted her child to ask him who was making fun of her and her children in the horse pasture. She said that the man then came out of the door and over to her car and told her she needed to get her things and leave because he didn’t want her there anymore. She also claimed that she was sitting in her car and he slammed the door on her ankle, but the officer noted he didn’t observe any injury to her ankle. The woman declined to have EMS check on her ankle.

Deputy Howard then went into the house and spoke with the man. He reportedly replied that yes, he does want her out of his house but no, he did not slam the car door on her. The man also said that the woman does not actually live in the house, but in a camper in the back yard; but that she had some boxes of her things stored in the house, since she doesn’t have room for them in the camper. When checking back with the woman, she said she is tired of the man talking down to her and she wants to file charges on him for slamming the door on her. The officer was to consult with a magistrate about any possible charges.

Heat Blamed for Man’s Death

The first heat-related death in Laurens County for a long time was reported this morning. Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said the deceased was found dead in his mobile home residence near Boyd’s Mill Pond this past Sunday, July 17th. Nichols identified the deceased as 74-year-old Robert William Hamilton of 849 Bal Harbour Avenue, Ware Shoals. The coroner said Mr. Hamilton’s body was found Sunday by his landlord.

In the autopsy, a Pathologist stated cause of death was Hyperthermia due to exposure to hot environmental temperature, and that C.O.P.E. was also a contributing factor. Date of death was for Robert William Hamilton was listed as July 10th. Nichols said Hamilton is survived by two sisters who live in Texas and California.

Laurens Police Captain Reinstated, Council to Question Chief Friday

Laurens Police Captain Scott Satterfield returned to work yesterday after a suspension, following reports alleging inappropriate behavior in a recent beach trip. Laurens Assistant Police Chief Chrissie Cofield reported to Laurens City Council last night that Captain Satterfield had been suspended for three days without pay. There are reports that this 2nd suspension was for fraternization with subordinates. That suspension came after a previous suspension WITH pay was lifted. TV reports in the upstate had indicated that three other officers with Laurens Police had indicated they had been with the Captain in a Myrtle Beach bar when he used the “n” word, and that he had driven from a campground while intoxicated. That resulted in a suspension with pay, while the allegations were investigated.  It appears that no evidence was found to substantiate the allegations, ending that investigation. Channel 7 last evening broadcast an interview with the owner of the bar in Myrtle Beach where other officers had alleged the offensive word had been used. He said no incident had occurred. Then Satterfield was suspended for three days without pay, apparently for fraternization with subordinate officers.

During last night’s Laurens City Council meeting, Council Member Sara Latimore asked “Are there any rules regarding police behavior out of our district?” Major Cofield responded “What behavior are you referring to?” This led to a conversation between Mrs. Latimore and City Clerk Gwen Kinard, after which Latimore withdrew her question.

At the end of last night’s council meeting an announcement was made that there is a called meeting of Laurens City Council scheduled for 11:00 o’clock this Friday morning. While no agenda was noted for that meeting last night, it’s expected to be an executive session discussion with Chief Sonny Ledda about the recent events involving allegations against Captain Satterfield.

Mayor John Stankus told WLBG last night that this meeting will be to discuss a personnel matter.

Bicycle Patrol Pays Off

Laurens City Council received an update on the city’s new bicycle unit last evening.      Assistant Police Chief Chrissie Cofield told Council the department has had much success with the bicycle unit during events at Little River Park. She cited the bicycle patrol’s ability to maneuver through the crowds.

Expansion Proposed for PTC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Plans are progressing for a proposed expansion at the “CAM,” the Piedmont Tech “Center for Advanced Manufacturing” just outside Laurens.  At yesterday’s Laurens County Development Corporation meeting, Piedmont Tech Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Continuing Education , Rusty Denning, said PTC is working through the state approval process in preparation for Phase III to soon expand the “CAM.”  The facility has been praised for its use in custom designed courses for high-tech new industry now operating in Laurens County.

We talked yesterday with LCDC Executive Director Jon Coleman about the center and its role in preparing people for the new high-tech jobs and in recruit more of these jobs. Coleman said the “CAM” has also been a big asset.  “It’s really been a game changer for us. When we bring industrial prospects to the county, we show them that facility and a lot of them are just blown away. So is something to be very proud of.”

Jon Coleman explained what the additional wing to be added to the “CAM” will be used for. “ It’s going to be a flex space to use for customized training for industry and the flex space that’s in the building now will be divided  up into lab-type space to do mechatronics, machine-type labs to go along with the welding and mechatronics and other things that are out there.”

News yesterday at the LCDC meeting indicated work could be starting on the expansion in a few months. “The CAM” is off US 221 North, facing Interstate 385.

LCDC Receives Audit Report

The Laurens County Development Corporation yesterday received the audit of its 2015 financials. Matt Phillips from McKinley, Cooper and Company presented the report, which said that their review indicates that LCDC financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the LCDC as of December 31st, 2015.

The year ended with a net asset increase of $207,252. Total net assets at year-end were $2,331,058. The assets include various restricted accounts where funds are set aside for economic development projects.

Enhanced Charge for Homeless Man

Laurens City Police had three charges yesterday afternoon for a homeless man arrested following an alleged Shoplifting at Ingle’s. 71-year-old Albert Henry Turner Jr. of Laurens was charged with Enhanced Shoplifting. Accusing Turner of selecting, concealing and carrying away merchandise from 901 East Main, Lt. Martin states the enhancement is based on the defendant’s convictions for property crimes. Prior to obtaining the warrant, Lt. Martin issued citations at 12:57 yesterday afternoon charging Trespassing and Breach of Peace. With bonds set totaling $10,720, Albert Henry Turner Jr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Resisting Arrest Charge Added Yesterday

A woman arrested shortly after midnight yesterday morning was served with a warrant later yesterday charging her with Resisting Arrest.

Corporal Brent Rushing was dispatched to Gray Court Estates at 11:48 Monday night on a report of a suspicious female wearing a white tank top with blue shorts that was reportedly walking around the neighborhood. Corporal Rushing reported finding her on Friendship Church Road, noting she was sweating profusely and spoke with slurred speech. After a conversation about where she had been before the officer arrived,  Corporal Rushing advised the woman she was under arrest for Public Disorderly Conduct. Deputy Hunter arrived to assist and the two reported she resisted arrest, kicking and screaming, with one kick striking Corporal Rushing in the thigh. Both officers reported that after being placed in Deputy Hunter’s patrol car the woman continued kicking, doing damage to the rear-seat camera.

39-year-old Carrie Ann Lachovych of 300 Rumblewood Court, Gray Court was issued citations charging her with Breach of Peace at 12:03 am on Friendship Church Road. Another ticket charged her with Malicious Damage to the patrol car at 12:30 am. Later yesterday, a warrant was served charging Ms. Lackovych with Resisting Arrest. During arraignment, bonds were set totaling $11,257 on the three charges. Carrie Ann Lachovych remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Ball Bat Back in News Again

We’ve had two arrests this month for assault charges where a baseball bat was listed as the weapon. Laurens City Police yesterday arrested a man for an incident this past Sunday that allegedly included use of a bat. 51-year-old Henry Lee Mosely of Apt. 115 at 218 Spring Street, Laurens was charged with Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature. In a warrant, Officer Gallo cites investigation of Sgt. James Nolen as indicating that Henry Lee Mosley breached the peace in an aggravated nature by using or displaying a bat during a verbal argument, causing an aggravated disturbance in front of 218 Spring Street Sunday. Henry Lee Mosely was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing this morning.

‘Money Can’ is Missing

A Sheriff’s Officer was contacted by phone early last evening by a Gray Court area man who reported the theft of $1,250. The man said he returned home yesterday after being in the hospital for three weeks and he noticed that the peanut can where he keeps his money was gone. The can had been kept in a cabinet in the living room. The man indicated his home was unsecured due to a broken lock. The case was referred to investigations.

Wire Fraud

A Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to a Laurens area business early yesterday afternoon to investigate a case of fraud. The officer was told that the company had purchased a welder on E-Bay in late June, but had not received the welder. A check indicated the purported seller’s account with E-Bay was not valid. The $3,150 used to make the purchase was not located.

2 Charged with Littering

Someone getting arrested for a “Littering” charge does not make a news story, as a general rule. But with the added emphasis here in Laurens County urging a crack-down on those who litter, we will take a moment this morning to include the subject.

In fact, two people were able to enjoy the comfort and delicious food at the Laurens County Detention Center overnight, following their arrests on the charge of “Littering.” A Clinton man and a Laurens woman were booked yesterday on the charge.

Good, Muddy Fun

Main Street Laurens and the Family YMCA of Greater Laurens have announced the third annual GHS Laurens County Battlemud Mud Run, set for Saturday, August 13th. Main Street Director Jonathan Irick said online registration is now open at As guest on this morning’s WLBG Morning News Magazine, Irick said the event is open for serious competitors as well as folks who just want to have a fun, muddy time.

He said the four-person team must have at least one who is 18 or older. Jonathan said that interested people without a four-person team to sign up with can call the Main Street Office and be connected to others that way. The number to call is 984-2119.

Beginning on a Nature Trail, the course will be challenging and continue through large pipes under Anderson Drive and end back on the trails with a slip-n-slide type final obstacle. The course will include 20 challenging obstacles, many of which will be natural obstacles located on the property of the Family YMCA of Greater Laurens. “This is a great partnership between the Laurens Y and Main Street Laurens to bring a unique event to Laurens County,” explains Brian Harlan, CEO of Laurens Family Y. “Because we are using the nature trail and other natural obstacles on the Y property for the course, the GHS Battlemud Laurens County Mud Run is a fun and challenging event.”

Awards will be given to the top 5 teams and the first team out will be at 9AM.

Irick said that persons that register by August 1st are guaranteed one free t-shirt. Another reason to register by August 1st is that the four-person team’s registration fee is $100 through that date, but increases to $120 starting August 2nd.

The “GHS Laurens County Battlemud” mud run raises funds to assist the Y and Main Street Laurens in service to the community.

GPS Devices for GIS at CPW

The Laurens CPW was a recent recipient of the Santee Cooper Rural Economic Development Fund grant program. CPW General Manager John Young said “We were awarded a $10,000 grant that will be used for GPS devices and other equipment as part of our GIS mapping processes.” Young added “We appreciate our partnership with Santee Cooper and their interest in our community.”

Santee Cooper provides supplemental electricity to the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, which is the CPW’s primary power provider.

Passing Stolen Lottery Tickets Charged

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday served charges on a woman who included accusations she cashed in stolen lottery tickets early this month. 20-year-old Keaubre Dyane Putman of 201 Laurens Terrace, Laurens is charged with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent and with Intent to Defraud, Counterfeit Game Ticket.

In the Breach of Trust warrant, Deputy David Staton states that on July 3rd Ms. Putman received in trust personal property of the victim, the property valued at less than $2,000, which she then appropriated to her own use with the fraudulent intent to deprive the owner of the property.  In the Lottery Defraud warrant, Deputy Staton states that on July 3rd, with intent to defraud the South Carolina Education Lottery,  Ms. Putman passed 43 stolen scratch-off lottery tickets at the Corner Mart #56, at 24595 East US 76, Clinton, redeeming the stolen lottery tickets and receiving a cash prize.

Keaubre Dyane Putman was released yesterday afternoon on personal recognizance bonds totaling $27,000 on the two charges.

Traffic Fatalities Still Down

One pedestrian and someone riding a motorcycle were among four people killed on South Carolina roadways over the weekend. The South Carolina Public Safety Department yesterday noted the four deaths over this past weekend raised the state highway fatality count to 490 people for the year. That’s down 20 from the 510 people killed through July 17th last year.

Of the 490 highway fatalities across the state, 327 persons were in motor vehicles. 68 were on motorcycles. While 64 were pedestrians. 11 of those killed across the state thru July 17th were on bicycles.

As of midnight Sunday, Laurens County’s traffic fatality count for 2016 stood at 7 fatalities, down almost half from the 13 at this time last year. In addition to Laurens County, five of our adjoining counties have improved highway fatality reports thru July 17th. Newberry is at 2, half the 4 killed by this time last year.

Spartanburg is at 28, down from 40. Abbeville County has 2 fatalities, down from 4 in 2015. Greenwood County has 6 fatalities, down from 8. Greenville County stands at 39, barely down from 40 last year.

Saluda County is the same as last year at this time, with no highway fatalities.

Two of our neighbors have higher fatalities for 2016. Union County is way up over last year with 5 fatalities thru Sunday night, as opposed to just 2 at this time last year.

Anderson County has 28 this year, almost double the 15 at this time in 2015.