Clinton Man Has 2nd Car Stolen in Two Weeks

Clinton Public Safety was called to the Citgo on South Broad at 6:42 yesterday morning on a stolen car report. A man said he had left his 2008 GMC Arcadia in the parking lot, unlocked and with the keys inside. It was taken while he was in the store. The vehicle, which he had recently purchased, was valued at $9,000. Officers were able to obtain the vehicle identification number from where the victim had purchased it in order to place it on the national registry.  Sgt. Wicker spoke with witnesses and got a nick-name of a man seen in the area who was no longer there. The vehicle owner knew the nick-name and gave the suspects a real name. He reportedly said this is the same person who had stolen a vehicle from him last week.

Cross Hill Man Held for Charges

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office was holding a Cross Hill resident overnight, pending charges.  Sgt. Nations and Deputy Hall were advised by Investigator Brewington yesterday afternoon about a male suspect with outstanding warrants, and that he was known to frequent Joanna’s Moultrie Street. As they turned from Tillman Circle onto Calhoun Street they reportedly observed a male subject at the corner of West Calhoun and Moultrie put a towel over his head and walk briskly down Moultrie. On arrival on Moultrie Street the subject was not visible. The officers found a path through tall grass at an abandoned house on Moultrie and followed for clues. They went past an adjoining vacant lot and knocked at a nearby occupied residence. They did not find the subject there, but reportedly received a tip of someone hiding in a crawl space. As they investigated an opening they reported observing a subject walking from the area with his hands in the air. Sgt. Nations identified this person as the wanted subject and ordered him to the ground, putting handcuffs him. Sgt. Nations reported finding a ‘clip’ containing 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition in the subject’s left pocket. The officers reported recovering an amount of methamphetamine in a clear plastic bag from the subject’s right pocket. Also found in the pocket was a gold ring with clear stones that was reportedly stolen.  A search of the area did not locate a pistol which had allegedly been tossed when the subject observed deputies in the area.

19-year-old XaincantisTychee “Ty” Watts of 176 John Grant Street, Cross Hill was being held in the Laurens County Detention Center overnight, pending warrants to be served from the Sheriff’s Office.

Simpsonville Man charged Receiving Stolen Goods

A 21-year-old from Simpsonville was charged yesterday with two counts of Receiving stolen Goods. Austin Brooks James of 505 Waterstone Way, Simpsonville is accused of receiving items while knowing, or having reason to know that they were stolen. In warrants, Sheriff’s Lt. Keith McIntosh states that Mr. James received assorted silver items and a gold 14 carat necklace valued at about $200 on February 9th and tattoo equipment valued at approximately $200 on February 24th, 2016. Austin Brooks James was being held in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing on the two charges.

Way Beyond the 15 Minutes Given

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a man in connection with an incident last weekend. A Clinton resident reported Saturday morning that she had loaned her son her car with instructions to return it in 15 minutes so she could go to the grocery store. Officers were advised to be on the lookout for the car with no results. Corporal Jamie Lee Edwards reported making contact with the suspect by phone, noting that once he identified himself as a deputy the subject disconnected the phone call. Deputy Nations responded to Billy Leopard Road, Cross Hill at 9:40 yesterday morning on a report of a stolen vehicle at a residence there. The suspect answered the door and reportedly indicated he was driver of the vehicle. He was then arrested. 41-year-old Stephen Brian Kernells of 300 Marion Place, Clinton was charged with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent. In a warrant, Corporal Edwards states that on May 14th Mr. Kernells committed Breach of Trust valued between $2,000 and $10,000 by taking and using a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis belonging to someone else for his own use. With a cash or surety bond set at $5,000, Stephen Brian Kernells remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Unwelcome Phone Calls

Unwelcome phone calls to two people last week were alleged in the Sheriff’s Office arrest yesterday of 24-year-old Desmond Marquis Bates of 208 Jersey Street, Laurens. He’s charged with two counts, Unlawful Telephone Communication. Sgt. Farrah Cook states that on May 9th Mr. Bates used profane, obscene, vulgar and/or indecent language in a telephone communication repeatedly to annoy and/or harass the two victims and/or their families. Desmond Marquis Bates was released on $650 personal recognizance bond on each of the two charges.

Some Times Calls End Peacefully

Clinton Public Safety responded to Oak Street Park at 4:27 yesterday afternoon on a report of a fight. Fortunately, this turned out to not involve any injuries. Sgt. Wicker spoke with a 12-year-old male who said an older youth had challenged him to a fight while they were at school, and had grabbed him by his shirt and punched him in the stomach. The 15-year-old male, said the younger youth had met me at the park and punched him first. Sgt. Wicker spoke with the older youth’s mother and released him to her. He followed the younger subject to his home and contacted his mother by phone. No charges were noted.

New Vascular Lab Teaming With Wound Center

The GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the addition of new services offered here in Laurens County. A panel consisting of Teresa Cox Asman, Director and Dr. Brian Weirick, Medical Director of Upstate Wound Healing and Hyperbolic Medicine Center; Pam Young, Manager of GHS Vascular Lab Services and Dr. Tod Hanover of the Vascular Health Institute at GHS. Rich D’Alberto, President of GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital opened the meeting and spoke of how the new services will address diabetes, circulatory problems and extremity wounds.

Hyperbaric Chamber at the Wound Healing Center

Hyperbaric Chamber at the Wound Healing Center

He said the Wound Healing Center is now teaming up with the Vascular Institute and will be adding an Endocrinologist in August to offer diabetes, vascular and wound care all available in one place.
Pam Young spoke of the new vascular lab’s ability to diagnose blood flow in the body and if healing issues were related to venous or arterial problems and the speed at which gathered information can be sent to a vascular surgeon. This is critical lifesaving information in the case of blood flow and blood clots.

Vascular Screening

Vascular Screening

Dr. Hanover stressed how immediate lab results were of great importance instead of having to refer patients out and schedule tests weeks away. With the new services everything can be done right away in one place and that information shared with doctors immediately. Dr. Weirick further discussed quick diagnosis and treatment meant saving limbs from amputation and preventative care measures using these services leads to intervention long before a patients limbs would be in danger.
Dr. Hanover mentioned that there are other vascular issues that don’t require surgery but if found and treated properly can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life. When asked about community outreach and education with these new services available, Teresa Asman, Jamie Adair and Rich D’alberto all discussed the coming events for the community. Diabetes seminars and classes will begin in July. June 6th through 10th is Wound Awareness Week and the Vascular Lab will be conducting screenings for the public on Friday, June 10th. To schedule a vascular screening you can call 928-2848 to make an appointment. That’s 928-2848 but call early as spots fill up fast.

1st Vote on $6.7 million Laurens City Budget

A $6.7 million budget received 1st reading approval at the May Laurens City Council meeting last evening. Ordinance 5-16-01 authorizes a budget of $6,758,100 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. That figure includes $480,000 in Hospitality Funds along with a General Fund of $6,278,100.  City Administrator Gary Coleman reported that the spending plan includes $50,000 that the city has received from the County Transportation Commission.

Final Work in Progress for “The Ridge”

Laurens City Council last evening received an update on final work being done for “The Ridge.” City Administrator Gary Coleman gave a visual presentation on progress for the new civic center, now nearing completion on Exchange Drive. The video showed that most of the interior is finished. One gym still needs the floor stained and another is complete except for the stripes on the floor. Coleman said that the landscaping and outside lighting will be ongoing even after the building is open to the public.

City Council members were invited to do a walk-through on May 26th, giving them a chance to observe and critique the building, then share their comments and suggestions.

Recreation Director Jason Pridgen submitted a tentative list of regulations for people who want to use the facility as well as a list of fees for usage. He said these were compiled by comparing rules and fees from other recreational buildings around the state. Pridgen requested feedback from council, but said he was not ready to release his suggestions for fees or regulations for “The Ridge” until City Council considers them.

City Administrator Gary Coleman said “We are real close to getting this project finished up.” It said “It should be open to the public near the end of June or the beginning of July.”

Adult Education Graduation

Graduation Ceremonies were held last evening for the 2016 Class of Laurens County Adult Education. Adult Ed Director Dr. Joe Makla told graduates “it’s not easy,” noting a much tougher GED exam was put into effect several years ago. He said that in spite of the difficulties, some 40 graduations this year marks one of the larger graduating classes of recent years. The assembly room was full of friends and family on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Dr. Makla last night noted that Laurens County Adult Education now also is offering Distance Learning for the GED, where adults with crazy work schedules that prevent them attending class can come get signed up on a day off, then do their work at home, on-line, as it fits their busy schedules.

Another first for Laurens County is the state’s only mobile testing lab for the GED, where Adult Ed is now going into the Johnson Detention Center to administer tests so that inmates can work on their GED while there. He said any work completed during their stay will transfer to be continued either when they’re released or sent into the State Department of Corrections.

In the keynote address last night, Dr. David O’Shields, Superintendent of School District 56, congratulated the graduates, noting graduating with a GED is a big accomplishment. He encouraged the graduations to “aim” for future goals. He noted the “A” in AIM is to acknowledge your accomplishment, saying “You’re not here tonight by accident. You had to make it happen.” O’Shields said the “I” stands for Invest, calling on the graduates to investment in their future. He said the ZF plant needs qualified employees. He said that across South Carolina 63,000 jobs are open, waiting for a qualified employee. He noted these jobs remain unfilled waiting on people who’ll prepare themselves with the skills needed.

David O’Shields said the “M” in AIM is to Make a Difference. Noting graduation didn’t happen for these graduates when they were 17 or 18, they had to make it happen. He said “This is the real deal.”

In addition to graduates receiving their GED, 11 were honored last night with Induction into the Adult Education National Honor Society. Dr. Makla challenged them to encourage others to get their GED.

17-Year-Old Still Missing

The search continues for a Laurens High student now missing for14 days. Sheriff’s Lt. Judy Stiles said 17-year-old Edwin Diaz-Chirinos stands 5’11, weights about 150 lbs and has black hair and brown eyes. Lt. Stiles said the missing teen’s last known sighting was May 8th at approximately 6:30 pm in the Gray Court area. Edwin may be driving a silver Ford Mustang Convertible with a temporary tag. Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts is asked to contact law enforcement. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office’ number is (864) 984-4967, or you may call 68-CRIME. Lt. Stiles said a $250 reward is offered for information leading to the location of Edwin Diaz-Chirinos.

Woman, Man Charged with 2nd, 3rd Degree Assault

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a man and woman from South Bell Street on assaults charges from last Saturday.

31-year-old Taryn Danielle Phillips of 1302 South Bell Street, Clinton was charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree for an alleged assault on another woman. A warrant citing the investigation of Deputy Timothy Byrd states that Ms. Phillips intentionally committed a battery on the victim on May 14th by hitting her about the face, causing a broken nose and requiring medical treatment. Taryn Danielle Phillips was released yesterday afternoon on a $6,000 personal recognizance bond.

23-year-old Brandon Derrick Kinard, also of 1302 South Bell Street, was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. A warrant citing the investigation of Deputy Tyler Hunter states that on May 14th Mr. Kinard intentionally committed battery upon a victim by striking the victim about the upper body and face, causing a swollen black eye. Brandon Derrick Kinard was released yesterday afternoon on a $650 personal recognizance bond.

Suspect Flees, Now Charged with Resisting Arrest

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Laudau Apartments on South Broad at1:20 yesterday afternoon on a disturbance report. Lt. Jones reported hearing a verbal altercation on arrival, and that he spotted a man and woman along with several other bystanders in front of one apartment. As the officer approached, the male subject began stepping away from the incident location, eventually fleeing on foot toward the back of the complex then through trees toward Tallwood Homes. Lt. Jones followed, but lost sight of the suspect in the woods. After talking with the woman and witnesses at the scene, warrants were obtained.

Later, Clinton Public Safety arrested 25-year-old Dashua Terrell “Dash” Reeder of 5-C, 101 Houser Circle, Clinton and served him with warrants charging Assault and Battery 3rd Degree and Resisting Arrest. Lt. Jones states that on May 17th the defendant unlawfully injured the victim by aggressively grabbing her face, resulting in an abrasion to her right cheek. This allegedly occurred yesterday at an apartment at 1321 South Broad Street. Lt. Jones states that Reeder knowingly and willfully resisted a uniformed law enforcement officer by fleeing on foot from pursuing law enforcement after committing an assault. Dashua Terrell “Dash” Reeder remained in the Laurens County Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Bench Warrants on Assault Convictions

Bench Warrants citing convictions on two assault charges landed 49-year-old James Jerry Stovall Jr. of 212 Freeway Road, Greenwood in the Laurens County Detention Center yesterday. They state he was convicted on two Assault and Battery 3rd Degree charges in Magistrate’s Court on April 21st, 2016. He was sentenced to 30 days, to run consecutive, on each of the convictions or fines totaling $1,650. James Jerry Stovall Jr. remained in custody this morning.

False Information to Police X 2

Clinton Public Safety made an arrest overnight in connection with false information allegedly given to officers on two days earlier this month during a police investigation. 38-year-old Creuncle Devetchio Suber of 103 G Street, Clinton was booked just after midnight, charged with two counts of Giving False Information to Police. Officer Chris Wilkie states in two warrants that the defendant provided a false name and date of birth to police during a criminal investigation. This allegedly occurred inside the Clinton city limits on May 7th and May 8th. Creuncle Devetchio Suber was being held in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.

H.T. Man Faces 5 Charges from Two Months

A Hickory Tavern man initially arrested Monday night has since been charged with additional charges from April. Laurens City Police Officer Scogin initially issued citations charging 20-year-old Ethan Allen Bevins of 109 Old Tavern Drive with Simple Possession of Marijuana, with an ABC violation and with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 11:21 Monday night on North Harper at McDowell Street. Warrants were later served charging Bevins with Shoplifting and Trespass after Notice at Wal-Mart on April 18th. Sgt. Thibodeau cites the investigation of Officer Scogin as indicating that Bevins concealed items and removed them from 922 East Main Street and that he was Trespassing after Notice at Wal-Mart April 18th. Ethan Allen Bevins was released last evening on surety bonds totaling $2,502 on the five charges.

Stolen Art Recovered by a Laurens Auctioneer

Famous horse paintings by Alfred Munnings went galloping off in the middle of the night in late July 2003, along with several important folio prints by John James Audubon and works by artist Louis Aston Knight. A story in Monday’s Charleston Post and Courier indicates it was a horrific loss, and the Belle W. Baruch Foundation quickly initiated an investigation into the crime at its Hobcaw Barony near Georgetown. . It was thought at the time that the stolen artwork was worth in excess of $2 million. Foundation attorney Tom Tisdale quickly registered the inventory with the National Stolen Art File, an FBI database. The Georgetown County sheriff and the FBI identified a suspect and managed to recover many other items that belonged to the foundation at the start of their investigation, but the valuable paintings and prints have remained missing….until now.

The Post and Courier story states that on April 27th the foundation’s executive director, George Chastain received a phone call from Ivy Auctions in Laurens. John Allen Ivy was on the line. Ivey said “I think we have your paintings,” The auction house had received the art from “a hoarder” in Columbia who had recently died.

The Post and Courier reported yesterday that Ivey recalled: “When they came in, I recognized they were good paintings,” Standard procedure is to have such artworks authenticated, and to make sure they’re not stolen. When Converse College Art Professor Frazer Pajak arrived to take photographs for the auction house’s catalogue, he recognized the three Munnings paintings right away. Pajak knew of the missing art pieces and was familiar with the house in which they once hung.

“He was extremely excited about it,” Ivy recalled.

They went online and quickly discovered they were in possession of the stolen Audubons, too. Ivy called Chastain. Then he called the FBI. Arrangements were made for Chastain to meet Ivy that Friday, accompanied by FBI agent Matt Jacobson and Tisdale, the foundation’s attorney.

More details on this story is online at:


Team Ecology Back This Week

“Team Ecology” is back for a 4th year this week at the Joe Adair Outdoor Education Center. 713 3rd grade students from Districts 55 and 56 are scheduled to attend the annual environmental education event this year. Each day, today through Friday, students from different schools will experience a variety of activities from 9:15 am until 1:00 pm. The goal of the program is to teach the students about recycling and protecting our natural resources so they will influence their parents and grandparents to recycle.

Today, 3rd graders from Clinton Elementary, Joanna-Woodson and Gray Court-Owings Elementary schools will be there. Tomorrow is for students from Clinton’s Eastside Elementary and Laurens Elementary. Thursday will be for 3rd grade classes from Ford Elementary and E.B. Morse Elementary, while Friday is for these classes from Hickory Tavern, Gray Court Owings Montessori, and Waterloo Elementary.

“Team Ecology” is conducted each year by the Joe R. Adair Center along with the Laurens County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. This year’s “Team Ecology” is sponsored by the Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission, Laurens Electric Cooperative, PRTC and ZF Transmission.

New Charges Allege Waving Firearm Terrorized People

A Spartanburg man arrested by Clinton Public Safety this weekend for two firearms charges on Ferguson Street was served yesterday with a 3rd charge from an incident at the Downtown Citgo Saturday. 22-year-old Octavious Akeem Toland of 202 Markswood Drive, Spartanburg was charged Sunday with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol and with Sale or Delivery of a Pistol. Toland was accused of carrying a Smith and Wesson .32 revolver handgun about his person without authority to do so on East Ferguson Street in Clinton Saturday, and with knowingly possessing a stolen handgun.

Yesterday Octavious Akeem Toland was charged with Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature from another incident in Downtown Clinton Saturday.

Lt. Casey Jones states that on May 14th Toland, acting in concert with two other defendants, offensively brandished and waved a revolver to the terror of the people. This allegedly happened in the parking lot of a convenience store at 102 South broad Street. A $32,000 cash or surety bond was set on the Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature charge. Octavious Akeem Toland, also known as “Ox,” remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

He was also served with a Bench Warrant from a sentence almost two years ago. It states that Toland was convicted June 9th of 2014 for Ill Treatment of Animals and sentenced to 30 days or $677.50.

2nd Degree Assault & Battery

Clinton Public Safety arrested a local man Sunday in connection with an alleged incident on a city street Saturday. 17-year-old Markevious Oneal Carter of 306 Florence Street, Clinton was charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. Sgt. Phillip Wicker states that on May 14th the defendant attempted to cause moderate bodily injury to the victim by driving a vehicle at a high rate of speed and swerving at the victim, causing the victim to have to jump out-of-the-way to avoid being hit. Sgt. Wicker states this incident on West Pitts Street was witnessed by two other individuals. A $40,000 cash or surety bond was set during arraignment. Markevious Oneal Carter remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.