Bags of Asphalt Taken from Driveway

A Hickory Tavern man yesterday reported the theft of paving supplies from his driveway on Crawford Road. Sheriff’s Sgt. Christy Johnson spoke with the man yesterday morning and he said he had placed ten bags of asphalt at the end of his driveway in preparation for patching the drive. He said the bags were there Monday, but when he came in yesterday morning he noted that eight of the ten bags are gone. He asked to have the theft documented and for extra patrols.

City to Partner with County for Animal Control

Laurens City Council last night approved a plan to partner with Laurens County for animal control services in the city limits. The inter-government agreement provides for adding a 4th position of Animal Control Officer for the county. In the agreement the City of Laurens will provide $32,170 to the county to assist with an expansion of the Dog Pound out near the airport. The City will also pay $27,900 per year which the County will use in providing salary for the 4th Animal Control Officer. Of the new agreement with the County, Mayor John Stankus said “This will free up our police officers from being tied up with animal control issues.”

“Burn Bottle” In Possession on West Main

Laurens City Police allege a man was in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia at 1307 West Main Street yesterday. 41-year-old Damon Orlanda ONeal Grant of 147 Dorchester Drive, Cross Hill was charged with Unlawful Disposal of Meth, Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Grant reportedly gave a Joanna address during booking at the detention center.

Warrants cite the investigation of Officer Dillon Sherfield as indicating that the defendant committed Unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine yesterday by possessing a two-liter plastic bottle – commonly known as a “burn bottle” – which contained a salt-like substance with burn marks on it. The Meth Possession warrant states that Grant possessed a clear plastic container that contained a salt-like substance that field-tested positive as meth. The Paraphernalia Possession warrant states that the suspect had a set of black electronic scales, hypodermic needles, coffee filters and hoses.

With cash or surety bonds set totaling $30,500 on the three charges yesterday, Damon Orlanda ONeal Grant remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Resisting Arrest by Assault on Officer

Clinton Public Safety yesterday charged a man with Assault on an Officer to Resist an Arrest the day before. 21-year-old Abram Ishael Mendez-Nesmith of 1561 Highway 92, Enoree was also charged with two counts of Financial Transaction Card Fraud.  Mendez-Nesmith is accused of using a credit card belonging to someone else to receive cash on two occasions last month. Officer Beaman states the defendant received $$49.94 July 21st at 326 West Main and $16.03 July 22nd at 401 West Carolina Avenue.

A Resisting Arrest by Assault on an Officer warrant states that on August 15th the defendant assaulted a Public Safety Officer while resisting an arrest by the uniformed officer. The subject allegedly struck Officer Hood about the right side of his face and pushed him away, then fled into the woods, while he was being advised that he was under arrest with loud verbal commands to stop. This incident reportedly occurred Monday between 1017 North Sloan Street and a wooded area directly north of West Bluford Street.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $1,500 on the two ATM charges. A $5,000 bond was set on the Resisting Arrest case. Abram Isheal Mendez-Nesmith remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Details on 27th “Comin’ Home to Cross Hill”

The “Coming Home to Cross Hill” festival committee this week announced the line-up of events for this year’s Labor Day Weekend celebration on Saturday, September 3rd .

Cross Hill 2016

The festival starts with the parade, which is to begin at 10:00 sharp on Main Street near Watts Bridge Road and travel up Main Street before ending at Puckett Ferry Road.  The parade’s Grand Marshall this year is Ms. Anna Mills Polatty.

At 11:00 am in the park behind Cross Hill Town Hall, the 282nd United States Army Marching Band from Fort Jackson is scheduled to take the stage. Amusement rides and other activities will also begin at 11:00.

For this year, the Festival Committee announced that rides such as a 50’ ferris wheel, a carousel and swings will be at the event.  There will be a $10 fee to ride the rides but it will allow you unlimited access to them for the entire festival.

At 12:00 noon Ms. Karen Lewis will take the stage for musical entertainment. Bingo will also begin inside Town Hall.

A Car Show will be set up in the parking lot of The First Baptist Church of Cross Hill.  The Car Show will last until 4pm, but folks are invited to stay the evening for a Cruise-In at First Baptist.

Other entertainment planned to appear on stage in the park from 1:00 to 4:00 Saturday afternoon includes the band ELOVATION.

“Comin’ Home to Cross Hill” is to also have plenty of food, crafts and entertainment for everyone – something for all ages.

Activities in the park are wrapped up with around 4:00 pm with the drawing for door prizes which include a 55” TV, Dell Laptop and a Kindle Fire.

The festival committee said everyone is welcome, whether you’re from Cross Hill or California.

For more information or to register for the parade or to set up a booth,  contact Committee Chairman Randy Bishop at 864-554-1154.

Pictured is the Comin’ Home to Cross Hill Festival Committee. Left to right are Sheriff Ricky Chastain, Councilman Randy Bishop who is Committee Chairman, Lessie Brown, Reverend Brett Davis, Ree Simpson , who is Town Clerk, Mayor Jessie Allen and Annie Suber.

Allegedly Hit Him & Cut His Fingers

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a Youngs Community woman from an alleged Domestic assault Sunday. 39-year-old Stephanie Leigh Knight of 1211 Beaverdam Church Road, Gray Court was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. Deputy Andrew Turner states that on August 14th in the presence of a child Stephanie Leigh Knight committed Domestic Violence in the 3rd Degree by striking the victim multiple times about the head and by cutting his fingers. Stephanie Leigh Knight was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, pending a bond hearing today.

Man, Woman Charged with Theft

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a Laurens man and woman for an alleged theft the middle of last month. 34-year-old Joel Lee Edwards and 33-year-old Andrea Marie Shockley, both of 11 Jared Drive, Laurens, were each charged with Petit Larceny. Lt. M.B. Blackmon states in warrants for each that on July 15th they took away items valued at $2,000 or less, and that Mr. Edwards and Ms. Shockley both had prior convictions for this crime. Joel Lee Edwards and Andrea Marie Shockley were being held overnight, pending a bond hearing on the Petit Larceny charge today.

Three General Sessions Bench Warrants

A Laurens man was jailed yesterday on multiple court orders. 38-year-old Kareem Dyshun Jackson of 218 Spring Street, Unit 23, Laurens was served with three General Sessions Bench Warrants citing failure to appear in court March 31st to face charges of Distribution of Meth 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Drug within Proximity of a School. Jackson was also served with a Magistrate’s Court Bench Warrant showing a June, 2014 conviction for Driving under Suspension with a sentence of 30 days or $652. Kareem Jackson remains in custody, pending his next court appearance.

“Take Me to Jail!” – Request Granted

A Laurens County Deputy responded to 671 Poplar Springs Road, Chappells at 10:26 yesterday morning on report of a verbal dispute. Deputy Richey reports that as he exited his patrol car a man walked up to him, screaming in an irate manner with his hands behind his back telling the officer to take him to jail. Deputy Richey placed the man in investigative custody and spoke with a young woman who lives at the address. She reportedly indicated she and the young man had been arguing about him trying to take her grandmother’s vehicle when he grabbed her around the neck and threw her to the couch. Deputy Richey then advised 22-year-old Corey Adace Breshod Cook of 671 Poplar Springs Road, Chappells that he was under arrest for Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. Mr. Cook remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

William Weir Files for Laurens County Coroner

There will be a General Election contest for Laurens County Coroner this fall. In the final morning of the special Republican filing period, William Weir of Clinton filed as a candidate at 9:57 this morning. He listed over three years experience in death investigations as his qualification for the position.

WLBG asked William Weir why he’s seeking the office. “Well I enjoyed working with the Laurens County Coroner’s Office when I did do service there and I …went on to work with the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office and got a much greater feel for the experience and scope of what the Coroner’s Office should be. Which is different from what I feel like has been done in the past here in Laurens County.”

William Weir said he ran for the office four years ago, but was unable to overcome the difficulties many experienced with the filing system in the 2012 cycle. “… just kinda put it on the back burner until now, and I’ve had a lot of people – both Democrat and Republican – approach me lately saying ‘we need for you to run because we need a new Coroner.”

When we asked what his top priority for the Laurens County Coroner’s Office would be, Weir said he sees a need for improvements.

“It’s basically what it was 25 years ago and I would like to upgrade – as I learned when I was working with the Spartanburg office – upgrade a lot of things. Bring it up to current date. Do a lot more training of the officers that are working the cases. And just bring it along to a better place.”

William Weir, who is to be the Republican Party’s candidate for Coroner of Laurens County in the General Election this November.

A lifelong resident of Clinton, he retired some ten years ago from the Masonary construction business his father founded. Since his coroner’s work he has founded a security company and is a weapons instructor for security officer training as well as Concealed Weapons Permitting.

Voters will choose between Weir and long-term Democrat Incumbent Nick Nichols in November.

Five Local Contested Races This Fall

Five contested races for the General Election were on record yesterday as the official deadline for the ballot passed. Countywide voters will have a choice for Sheriff between Republican nominee Don Reynolds and Independent candidate Stephane Williams.

In Western Laurens County voters in County Council Seat 2 this November will be choosing between County Council Chairman Joe Wood, the Republican Incumbent, and Independent Kaaren Mann.

Other contested races in various parts of the county include incumbent Republican Representative Mark Willis facing a challenge for re-election to South Carolina House Seat 16 from Democrat Brandon Greene. Seat 16 includes parts of Laurens and Greenville counties. Incumbent Democrat Mike Anthony is being challenged for re-election from House Seat 42 by Republican Tommy Mann. Both candidates reside in Union County, which makes up the majority of that seat.  It also covers eastern Laurens County, including portions of the Clinton and Joanna areas.

Among the non-partisan positions up for election this fall, Incumbent School Board Member Terri L. Martin is challenged by Charles Downey for Seat 1 on the District 55 School Board.

As of yesterday’s usual deadline for the ballot, Laurens County Coroner F.G. “Nick” Nichols was unopposed for re-election. A special filing deadline open only for a Republican Candidate closes at noon today. That filing period was established when a court ruling took the Republican nominee off the ballot.

Other elected officials not facing opposition on this fall’s General Election Ballot at the local level this year include State Senator Danny Verdin, House Seat 14 Representative Mike Pitts and 8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo. County Clerk Clerk of Court Lynn Lancaster and newly-appointed County Auditor Jim Coleman are also unopposed. Also not facing opposition are three Democrats on County Council; incumbents Garrett McDaniel for Seat 3,   Diane Anderson for Seat 6 and David Pitts for Seat 7.

Uncontested non-partisan candidates include District 55 School Board members Barbara Beeks, Anthony Carpenter and Robby Bell along with District 56 Trustees Edna McGee, Kimberly Williams-Carter, James David Barton and Patricia E. Sadler.

There are three candidates running for Rabon Creek Watershed Conservation District, three for Warrior Creek Watershed Commissioner and two for Duncan Creek Watershed Commissioner.

Careful! It’s 1st Day Back to School Today

It’s back to school today for students in Laurens County School Districts 55 and 56. With this annual change in traffic patterns, caution is urged for drivers to watch for students and teachers on their way to school today.

While the school year has begun, the big final summer holiday remains, with Labor Day Weekend coming up in 2 ½ weeks. South Carolina Public Safety is having a Kickoff of their “Sober or Slammer Campaign” today. Viewing of a new public service TV ad featuring emoji was to be on view at 11:00 this morning at the Troop One office of the South Carolina Highway Patrol on Shop Road, Columbia.

In other news from South Carolina Public Safety, yesterday’s weekly report indicates that four people died on South Carolina highways this past weekend. That brings the total highway fatalities for 2016 to 579 people, as of midnight Sunday, August 14th. That’s down from 596 last year. The 479 fatalities include 373 motor vehicle occupants. Pedestrian fatalities are up this year from 65 at this point in 2015. Motorcycle fatalities are down; 87 compared to 94 last year. And we’ve had 12 bicycle fatalities on roadways, up for 11 this time last year.

Laurens County is still fortunately behind last year’s high rate of fatalities for the year. We’re at 10, compared to 14 this time last year and 12 in 2014.

Domestic Assault 1st Degree

Clinbohanon bobbyton Public Safety yesterday charged a man in connection with an alleged assault on his girlfriend this past weekend. 34-year-old Bobby Ray Bohanon Jr. of D-6, 590 Phillips Street, Clinton was charged with Domestic Violence 1st Degree. A warrant states that Saturday at 590 Phillips Street he struck the victim in the face with his hands, causing minor injury to her. The warrant notes he and the victim live together in a romantic relationship. Perhaps as an explanation for a 1st Degree charge, the warrant states that Bohanon has two or more prior convictions of Domestic Violence.

Bobby Ray Bohanon Jr. was being held in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Two Facing Bench Warrants

Two men were booked in Laurens County’s Detention Center yesterday with Bench Warrants from Laurens County General Sessions Court.

45-year-old Derrick Bernard Cunningham of 277 Burgess Lane, Gray Court had one Bench Warrant that cites him for Failure to Appear for Docket Appearace in General Sessions Court December 4, 2015 on a Failure to Stop for a Blue Light 2nd or Subsequent Offence charge. Two additional Bench Warrants cite him with Failure to Appear for General Sessions Non-Jury Court on April 18th, 2016 for charges of Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, 2nd or Subsequent Offense and for a Traffic charge of Habitual Traffic Offender, Driving under Suspension per the Habitual Traffic Offender statues. Derrick Bernard Cunningham is being held in the Johnson Detention Center, pending his next court appearance.

61-year-old Lewis Brown of 511 Hall Drive, Greenwood was served with three Bench Warrants which state he Failed to Appear in General Sessions Court on February 25th, 2016 to face charges of Possession or Disposal of a Stolen Vehicle valued between $2,000 and $10,000, Giving False Information to Law Enforcement or Other Emergency Personnel and Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth or Cocaine Base. Mr. Brown was being held for his next appointment in court.

Violation of Probation Alleged on Two

State Probation, Pardon and Parole placed two people in Laurens County Detention yesterday on Violation of Probation charges.

21-year-old Jonathan Blake Matthews of 242 Brissey Rock Road, Ware Shoals is accused of failing to report, of testing positive for meth and of failing to report law enforcement contact. This allegedly is regarding his arrests by Laurens and Greenwood Sheriff’s Offices last year on charges including Burglary 1st, Assault and Battery 3rd Degree and Drug Possession.

Jonathan Matthews was held overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

24-year-old Angel Janeil McCullough of 102 Truman Street, Laurens is accused of failing to refrain from the use of Controlled Substances, noting an alleged confession for substance use Sunday during a home visit August 14th.  She’s also accused of being behind with required payments and with failing to follow advice of her agent.

Breach of Trust

Clinton Public Safety yesterday charged 33-year-old Jessica Kathleen Gault of 400 North Church Street, Union with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent. She is accused of taking $485.39 from the cash register of the Corner Mart at 19002 Highway 76 East, Clinton between July 26 and August 1, 2016. She was released on a $500 PR bond.

Identity Theft Investigation

A Deputy was dispatched to Milam Road yesterday afternoon to obtain a report of Fraud. A woman noted she has become a victim of identity theft. She indicated that Pay Pal has notified her of a $1,900 debt, but stated she never opened an account with them. Deputy Hall obtained information on the case.

Where Did the Fence Posts Go?

A Deputy responded to Knickerbocker Estates near Fountain Inn late yesterday morning on a theft report. A man said he had 7 wooden posts in the rear of his truck that were to be used for making a fence. He said that while cutting grass yesterday he discovered they were missing.

Dog to Animal Control, Man to Jail

Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Willard reported observing a car cross over the center line of Riverfork Road at 11:00 yesterday morning and noted the car had an expired tag. He made a traffic stop and confirmed that the tag belonged on another car. Meanwhile, he reported observing a 40-ounce bottle of King Cobra beer in the rear passenger seat and later located a bottle of Vodka in the driver’s front pocket. The man was arrested, Animal control was called to take care of a dog the man had in the car with him and the car was towed from the scene. The Waterloo man was issued citations charging him with Driving under Suspension, with suspension for failure to pay taxes, of an Improper Tag violation, Open Container and Transporting Alcohol with a Broken Seal.The tickets noted the offense on Riverfork at old Laurens-Greenwood Road. He was held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Test Post 1

A man arrested following a shooting at his residence Thursday night was charged with Attempted Murder Friday. The man’s girlfriend reportedly drove from the Cross Hill residence after being shot around her stomach. A relative took her to Self Regional. 48-year-old Joseph Anthony Jordon III of 1492 Barnett Road, Cross Hill was booked overnight, and charged Friday with Attempted Murder and Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime. Lt. Shelton states that on August 11th Mr. Jordon attempted to murder the victim by shooting her twice, causing great bodily injury that required medical treatment. A second warrant states he possessed a firearm during commission of the violent crime. Bond was denied on both charges. Joseph Anthony Jordon III remained in the Johnson Detention Center.