Laurens Police Using New Paraphernalia Ordinance

Laurens City Police arrested a woman last night on two charges that included the City of Laurens’ new Drug Paraphernalia ordinance. 38-year-old Amanda Rena Rivera of 206 Christian Drive, Laurens was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and with Simple Possession of Marijuana. The charges came in citations from Officers Napier and Sherfield which cited the unlawful possessions occurred at Hillcrest and Caroline at 10:50 last night. Ms. Rivera was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Assault, Bank Card Theft

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched at 7:30 yesterday morning to a residence off Gary Street for a report of a domestic assault. A woman indicated that during an argument her boyfriend put his hands around her neck and choked her, they left by car. Sgt. Wicker noted observing the woman’s neck to be discolored. The boyfriend also reportedly took the woman’s bank debit card and withdrew $25. She refused to press charges for the assault or the debit card theft and she refused assistance from the safe home. She was advised to cancel her debit card.

Shotgun Missing from Weapons Collection

A Hickory Tavern area man contacted the Sheriff’s Office late yesterday morning and reported the theft of a shotgun. The man said that in doing one of his regular checks on his guns and other contents of an outbuilding at his Kellett Road residence he discovered that an H & R 12 gauge single barrel shotgun is missing. It was valued at $100.00.

Piedmont Tech Students Building a House

It’s not every day that you get dirty when attending classes at Piedmont Technical College…..Unless, perhaps, you are enrolled in the Building Construction Technology program (BCT).

BCT House

Students in the BCT program are not only learning about construction, they are putting it to use. They are building a house. BCT Instructor/Coordinator Bobby Roache said “It takes a lot of fortitude to go out with $100,000 and a group of students and build a house.”

The BCT program has been involved with the building project since 1998 and this is the fifth house they’ve built. The average house takes nearly two years to complete. Roache said “We are not a construction company, “We go out there when it is relevant to what we are teaching.”

Students get practical training in estimating building costs, carpentry, cabinet making, residential wiring, blueprint reading, brick masonry, construction, building codes and safety. Students in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning program coordinate the proper installation of heating and cooling units and the horticulture program does the final landscaping of the property.

“Involving several programs around campus is an excellent way to learn to work together,” Roche explained. “It gives students confidence and makes them feel more comfortable with the type of projects they’ll be doing once they graduate.”

The project begins when the students in the second-year class prepare five potential proposals and then present three of those for approval. The students are then responsible for submitting a time schedule, formal budget and cost estimate.

Bobby Roche said the program is not for your typical student. He said each day is different, based on what the class is studying. He noted that the preparation the students receive from the class sets them apart.

The PTC Foundation makes the entire project possible. A tract of land is usually purchased by or donated to the foundation. Once the house is sold, proceeds are used to repay the Foundation and the remaining profits are put into a scholarship fund for BCT students.

In addition to the Foundation, many area businesses have provided support for the project through donations of time and materials. Those donors include Norboard, Carolina Concrete, Forterra, Holaim, Hodges Concrete Products, Lowe’s, Snead’s, Joe Hill Masonry, Exterior Supply, Quality Wood Truss, Lakelands Hardware, Triangle Hardware and Milwaukee Tool.

Roche said that one goal of the program is to instill in the students the understanding that they need to give back to the community. He added “As you go through life, you’ve got to give back.” For this purpose, the BCT program has created BCT For Life. This student organization raises money for needy families at Christmas and has adopted a stretch of highway.

More information on the building construction technology program is available at

Laurens’ East Main Rail Crossing Closed This Week

Traffic on Laurens’ East Main Street is to be detoured all this week for work on the Carolina Piedmont railroad crossing. The East Main crossing is to be closed from today through Sunday as crews reconstruct the Carolina Piedmont rails where they connect with the CSX system. Workers have already constructed a section of railroad in an adjoining parking lot in preparation. Work on the Carolina Piedmont portion of the East Main railroad crossing had been planned for last year, but was delayed more than once until today.

Stolen Truck Recovered, Drugs Found, Two Arrested This Morning

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a man and woman around 3:30 this morning after locating a stolen truck at the Days Inn outside Clinton. Sgt. Moye was following up on a tip of the stolen truck being observed. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Johnson City, Tennessee. The two subjects arrested at the Clinton motel were being held for charges, expected to also include reference to methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription medication reportedly seized this morning.

Arrest Charges PWID Marijuana 16 Months Ago

Clinton Public Safety Saturday evening booked a Spartanburg County woman on drug charges from February of last year. Charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute was Brooke Dionne Kennedy of 248 Park Street, Woodruff and/or 1320 Mount Lebanon Road, Pauline. In a warrant, Officer Mercer states that on February 15th, 2015 Ms. Kennedy had in her possession a quantity of marijuana in excess of 28 grams with intent to distribute and that this occurred at the Comfort Suites, 12865 Highway 56 North inside the Clinton City Limits. Brooke Dionne Kennedy remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $5,000.

Final Vote on 10-Point Grading System in District 55

What’s in an A…..or a B? The District 55 School Board gave final approval at their June meeting Thursday night to an administrative rule changing what letter grade a student gets to a 10-point system. Where an A has required a 93 or higher, now As start with a 90….Bs with an 80, Cs with a 70 and Ds with a 60. District 55 Superintendent Billy Strickland reminded the Trustees last Thursday evening that this 10-point grade scale is used by most states in the country, so adopting it “……will be of great benefit to our students when they apply for scholarships, because they will be on the same grade scale as others in the country.”

Man Chases Intruder, Shoots At Him

Sheriff’s Deputies Byrd and Van Pelt responded to Riverfork Road, Waterloo at 3:54 Sunday morning to investigate a Burglary. One of two men who lived at a residence reported a male had entered the house through a window. The victim said he had grabbed his .38 caliber handgun and chased the intruder out the back door. He indicated he fired once at the man as he fled into the woods, but did not know if the round had struck the man. The firearm was removed from the victim’s back pocket and taken by deputies at the scene. Area hospitals were checked to see if any gunshot victims were being treated. Sgt. Cook arrived and assumed supervision of the crime scene. The handgun, with one of six rounds missing, was returned to the resident.

Arrest after Sunday Domestic Assault

Laurens City Police arrested a local man yesterday for an alleged assault on his wife at their home. 46-year-old Pierre Peake of 128 Jackson Street, Laurens was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. A warrant cites the investigation of Officer Billy Sellers as indicating that Mr. Peake assaulted the victim by striking her about the face with his hands, causing an abrasion about her mouth. This allegedly occurred at their residence around 2:30 Sunday morning. A cash or surety bond was set at $2,500. Pierre Peake remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Violation of Probation

A Violation of Probation charge was served after the Friday arrest of 32-year-old Christopher Anthony Lear of 1554 Sunset Blvd, Clinton. He is accused of failing to report to his agent on March 23rd, of failing to complete court-ordered public service, of being behind on supervision and public service fees and surcharges and of failing to follow the advice and instructions of his agent. With a cash or surety bond set at $50,000, Christopher Anthony Lear remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Theft of Drum Set & Golf Clubs

Sheriff’s Lt. Haupffear responded to a residence on Poole Town Road outside Laurens at 6:05 Friday evening and met a man standing in his yard. The man said he came home from work to discover his front door had been forced open. After deputies checked inside and found no one there, the man came in and noted his Ludwig 5-piece drum set was missing. Saturday the man called Lt. Haupfear to say that after awakening that morning he went to get his golf clubs and found they were also missing. Investigators spoke with someone in a local pawn shop who told of a man attempting to pawn a drum set and golf clubs. Following up on that, an arrest was made Saturday afternoon. 47-year-old Ephriam Guadalupe of 503 Poole Town Road, Laurens was charged with Burglary 2nd Degree. Sheriff’s Sgt. Farrah Cook states that on June 17th Mr. Guadalupe entered another Poole Town Road dwelling without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein, and that he took away a five piece drum set and golf clubs in a brown bag. With a cash or surety bond set at $25,000, Ephriam Guadalupe remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Tire Theft at Distribution Facility

A Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to Michelin Drive north of Laurens at 6:53 Saturday morning on a report of the theft of tires from a stack of tires inside a fence at UTI Logistics. Sgt. Christy Johnson was advised about a male suspect driving a white Dodge into the shipping yard around 6:30, then getting out of the car and entered the plant. He then came out and backed the car up to a fence. One witness from the shipping yard reported observing a man in the woods near the fence, who had said he had to pee. The man had left before a deputy arrived. Sgt. Johnson noted only three tires had been left at the pile. Employees checked the fence and located three more tires. Value of tires stolen was estimated at $400.

Mobile Domestic Incident from Facebook Post

Sheriff’s Deputy Howard joined Laurens City Police in town at 2:02 Sunday morning to investigate a domestic assault that reportedly occurred around the intersection of Stagecoach Road and Pinehaven Extension. A woman told the officer that she had found messages to another woman on her husband’s facebook when she reached over and punched him in the chest twice. She said he then struck her in the face and on the back of her head. Deputy Howard noted neither had visible injuries, and neither wanted to prosecute the other.

Dog VS Moped

Clinton Public Safety investigated a moped accident reportedly involving a loose dog Saturday afternoon. Lt. Cathy Anderson responded at 4:48 pm to a moped accident report in the 300 block of Beauregard Street. She reported observing a local man with scratches on his shoulder, legs and arms. He reported that while passing a residence on his moped a dog ran out in front of him, causing him to crash the moped. EMS was already on scene, but the moped rider refused to be transported. The officer noted the headlight of the moped had come off the handle bars, which were twisted, and the front cover of the moped was loose. The rider said other damage to the moped was there prior to the wreck. Lt. Anderson went to the residence the dog ran out from and they reportedly acknowledged it was their dog that ran out, causing the moped to crash. The moped rider wanted to know about compensation for the damage and was advised of the civil process. He had the officer to advise the owners that if they would help him fix the moped he would not pursue the matter. He then said let him sleep on it. Damage to the moped was estimated at $50.

Friday Assault Alleged in Arrest

Clinton Public Safety arrested a man late Friday afternoon regarding an alleged assault that day. 29-year-old Adrian Daniel Brown of 207 N. Woodrow Street, Clinton was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. He is accused of striking a victim about the head and face with his fists on Friday. Adrian Daniel Brown remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $470.

Man & Woman Both Claim They were Hit This Morning

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Sloan Street at 1:34 this morning in reference to a domestic dispute. A woman at the scene reportedly told Sgt. Lawton that she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument over her baby’s father and that the boyfriend had smacked her once on the face. No sign of injury was observed by the officer. The woman stated the boyfriend had taken her keys and left in her car. Sgt. Lawton then observed the boyfriend pulling into a residence down the street. He and Officer Gandee approached the boyfriend and asked what had happened. He denied smacking his girlfriend, saying that if anyone had been assaulted it was him, allegedly smacked and scratched. Again, no injuries were observed. Sgt. Lawton got the woman’s car keys from the boyfriend. The woman then had her bag packed and left the scene on getting her keys back.

Subject Arrested After Foot Chase

On Tuesday, Sargent’s Brewington and Cook were investigating a burglary and to locate a subject allegedly involved . During this investigation, they interviewed the subject’s sister at a Thimble Drive Gray Court residence. She stated that on the previous Friday, the subject and others came to the residence with several items that the subject referenced as stolen. Another witness stated that on that Friday evening he was approached by the subject who attempted to sell him an air compressor but he didn’t purchase it so the subject left. The subject was located at a Morgan Street Enoree home where he had been staying with his juvenile girlfriend. While officers knocked on the front door the subject jumped out of a window and ran on foot. He was persued but was lost in the woods behind the home. A passing motorist flagged down the officers and reported a white male had run into a house a few doors down. The owners of the house opened the door for the officers and said a man had run in their house. The subject was located and restrained. Outside, another white male approached the subject and an argument ensued. The argument was diffused by officers and other man was escorted to his vehicle and left. It was found that the other male was the subject’s girlfriend’s grandfather. It was alleged that the juvenile girlfriend had been letting the subject sneak in and out of her window when her grandparents were away or sleeping.

strange zachary 0000111097Zachary Hunter Strange, age 18 of 50 Thimble Drive Gray Court was booked into the Johnson Detention Center on June 14th, charged with receiving stolen goods. The warrant states that on June 10th, he did receive one television, one pressure washer, and miscellaneous tools of the victim’s valued at $800 knowing at the time that the property was stolen or having reason to believe the property to be stolen. He remains in the jdc on $2000 bond The case continues to be investigated to determine the involvement of other suspects in the case.


School District 56 Announces Mrs. Brenda Schrantz as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction

Laurens County School District 56 is pleased to announce that Mrs. Brenda Schrantz will be joining the district as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction on July 1. Mrs. Schrantz began her career in Laurens 56 and taught at both Clinton Elementary and the Martha Dendy 6th Grade Center. She was the Martha Dendy Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year. From 2005-2008, she served under Dr. Bill Alexander as the Assistant Principal at Martha Dendy. For 6 years she was the Coordinator of Special Programs and Accountability for Laurens 56, working with curriculum and instruction for special education students and the gifted and talented program, as well as District Test Coordinator for all state and national assessments. Since 2014, Mrs. Schrantz has been the Coordinator of Special Populations and Accountability at Laurens School District 55, planning staff development and curriculum for special area teachers. Throughout her career, Mrs. Schrantz has been awarded multiple grants that have benefited students in all of Laurens County. In her position with Laurens 56, Mrs. Schrantz will provide leadership in developing curriculum and managing the day-to-day operations of the instructional programs in the district. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Lander University with additional certifications in middle level math and science, and a master’s degree in elementary administration and supervision from Clemson University. The current Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction, Dr. Laura Koskela, is retiring after 20 years of dedicated service to Laurens 56.


Attempted Break In At Church

Corporal Edwards of the Sheriffs Office received a call from dispatch at 10:53 Thursday morning in reference to an alarm activation on one of the front doors of  Beaverdam Baptist Church. Upon arrival the officer checked the perimeter of the church and found no one. The deputy checked the church and found the front door to the far right of the church had damage on it. A partial portion of the wooden door was broken off and missing. Corporal Edwards also saw damage on the door frame but the door was still dead bolted and locked. The door beside it had the same mark on the door frame but the deadbolt was halfway out. The officer turned the door knob and the door was unlocked. Lieutenant Richards arrived and the church was searched but nobody was found inside. A member of the church arrived to contact other church members. The incident will be on file at the Sheriff’s Office.