Unlawful Weapons Possession

Clinton Public Safety yesterday served a weapons charge on a resident from Northeast of Columbia. 36-year-old Stanford Santee McDaniels of 121 Robin Heights Road, Elgin was charged with Possession of a Pistol by Certain Persons for an alleged violation in Clinton Monday. A warrant states that on April 10th McDaniels had a .380 caliber pistol in his possession, and that he is prohibited by South Carolina law from having possession of a hand gun due to his conviction of a Burglary 2nd Degree, listed as a violent crime. The possession Monday reportedly occurred on North Broad Street in Clinton. With a $2,500 cash or surety bond set during arraignment yesterday, Stanford Santee McDaniels remained in custody this morning.

Two Charged with Noon Fight near Clinton

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men for an alleged mutual assault at noon yesterday at an address near Apple Orchard Road.

Deputy Boyd issued both tickets charging them with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree at Noon yesterday at 115 G & S Lane, Clinton. 19-year-old Rasheed Shykwan Watts of 115 G and S Lane, Clinton was released on a $465 cash o surety bond. 23-year-old Joseph Fredrick Calhoun Jr. of 716 Northwest 7th Court, Florida City, Florida was held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on his assault charge.

National Bookmobile Day Today

Today is “National Bookmobile Day.” The Laurens County Library System is celebrating the day….with regular visits by the Bookmobile in the Mountville area at Beaverdam Baptist Church at 10:45 and at the Post Office at 11:30, then in Laurens this afternoon with a visit to Summercrest at 3:40  and Laurens Villa Apartments at 4:05. Tomorrow afternoon’s stops will be in Laurens at Meadowbrook Apartments at 3:40 and Laurens Terrace at 4:10. Visits earlier this week included several stops in Clinton, along with other stops in Joanna and Laurens.

While bookmobile services date back 100 years in some parts of the country, Laurens County has had the service for over 75 years.

More outright celebrating will be held next week, which is designated National Library Week.

$136,000 in Scholarships from PTC Foundation

The Piedmont Technical College Foundation recently awarded more than $136,000 in scholarships to 173 students at the college’s annual scholarship luncheon. The PTC Foundation supports the college’s priority of ensuring access to high-quality, affordable education by providing more than 80 unique scholarships each year for new and continuing students.

Fran Wiley, Piedmont Tech’s Assistant Vice President for Development, said “Many of our students are the first from their families to attend college. Some come from challenging circumstances, juggling family, job and college responsibilities.  For these students, the additional funding provided by scholarship assistance is critical to their success.”

Piedmont Tech President, Dr. Ray Brooks, said “In many cases, even a small scholarship can make a huge difference for students,” He added “We’d like to sincerely thank our donors who give of themselves to make a quality education a reality for those in their community. They’re ensuring that the dream of a better life remains attainable–and, in the process, they’re building a stronger foundation for the economic vitality of the region as a whole.”

More information about the Piedmont Technical College Foundation is available online at: www.ptc.edu/foundation

Architect for New District 55 High School

Selection of an architect to design a new Laurens District 55 High School is on the table in a committee meeting of the School Board tomorrow. The School District 55 Architectural Firm Selection Committee will meet Wednesday morning at 10:00 in the board room of the district office.  The agenda for this meeting calls for the committee to enter executive session for identification of finalists in selection of an Architectural Firm. The Architectural Firm Selection Committee is to reconvene in open session before taking any action, as a result of the closed-door discussions.

Laurens County has SC’s 2nd Highest Traffic Death Count

Laurens County has somehow managed not to regain the top post as the county with the highest traffic number of traffic fatalities. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s weekly report on traffic deaths yesterday showed Laurens County tied with Charleston County with the 2nd highest fatalities. Each had 13 fatalities for the year, as of Sunday at midnight. Laurens County’s 13 deaths compares with 3 at this time last year.

The dubious recognition of having the highest traffic fatalities yesterday went to Richland County, with 15. Neighboring Lexington County is tied with our neighboring Greenville County for 3rd place, each with 12 fatalities.

Anderson County has the 6th highest count, with 11 deaths. Checking other nearby counties, Spartanburg has 7, Greenwood and Newberry have 3, while Abbeville and Union each have 1. Fairfield, McCormick and Marlboro still had no traffic fatalities as of April 9th.

With 10 fatalities over the past weekend, the statewide total traffic count is running behind last year’s 264, with 242 fatalities through April 9th.  That includes 172 motor vehicle occupants, 36 pedestrians, 24 motorcyclists and 5 bicyclists.

In an effort to combat one major cause of fatalities across the state, South Carolina Public Safety scheduled an event in Columbia this morning to roll out the 12th Annual Statewide DUI Enforcement Recognition and the 2016 DUI Challenge Ceremonies.

CPW Briefed on Storm Repair

At last night’s Laurens Commission of Public Works Meeting, General Manager John Young reported on how the strong storm that struck Laurens April 3rd impacted the city’s utilities. He said “Several trees fell during the storm, causing an outage to about 35 customers in the West Main, Forest, Oak, and Anderson Drive areas.” He also noted that a service pole for the Twin Palmetto Restaurant had to be replaced. Young said “Our workers were on duty all night, and we appreciate that they worked hard and safe.”

Excess Flow Valves for Natural Gas Customers

The Laurens Commission of Public Works was advised last evening of new federal regulations regarding Excess Flow Valves. General Manager John Young explained that these devices are designed to help protect against the dangers associated with the uncontrolled release of natural gas between the device and the gas meter. He said that regulations now require the utility to install these on all new natural gas services and to offer the device to all existing natural gas customers. He said that inserts will be placed in CPW bills next month to make customers aware of these Excess Flow Values. Young pointed out that these devices do not protect against slow leaks such as those caused by corrosion, loose fittings, or leaks beyond the gas meter.

To handle the cost of the new Excess Flow Valves, the CPW voted to change the tap fee for new customers from $100 to $150. For existing customers who want an Excess Flow Valve connected, the fee was set at $100.

PC ROTC Cadets Open Baseball Season

The Scottish Highlander Battalion, made up of ROTC students from Presbyterian College, Lander University and Newberry College, was in Charlotte last Thursday and performed the opening ceremonies for the Minor League Baseball team, the Charlotte Knights.

Cadet McKay Dula of Charlotte, a sophomore double major in history and political science, said “Being a part of the ROTC program here at PC and being able to demonstrate our commitment to the nation by displaying the colors at the Knights baseball game was an absolute honor.” Cadet Dula added “I will never forget holding the flag and listening to the national anthem while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army and knowing I represent Presbyterian College.”

The presentation was organized by Skip McMillian, senior military instructor at Presbyterian College. He said “I listened to what my students want, and how they want the program to be, and I use that input when making some decisions.”

Possession of Marijuana with Intent

Clinton Public Safety yesterday served a Union County man with a drug charge from an arrest earlier in the morning. 22-year-old Michael Anthony Cunningham of 440 Sardis Road, Union was charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Mr. Cunningham was accused of knowingly and unlawfully possessing a quantity of marijuana which was packaged in two separate bags, weighting approximately three grams, alongside an electronic scale. This reportedly occurred on Highway 56 on the north side of Clinton April 10th. The Drug Paraphernalia warrant states that he had the electronic scale which had marijuana residue on it. Michael Anthony Cunningham was released from the Laurens County Detention Center \yesterday on personal recognizance bonds totaling $4,500.

Assault Arrest from 3 ½ Years Ago

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday booked a woman on an assault charge from 3 ½ years ago. 36-year-old Casey Nicole Huss of 269 Shaw Court, Waterloo was charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree.

Sgt. Timothy Byrd states that on October 2nd, 2013 one Casey Huss committed a battery upon another woman by punching her about her head and face, causing injuries at 269 Shaw Court. Casey Nicole Huss was released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond.

Resisting Arrest Charge Added

Clinton Public Safety early this morning added a Resisting Arrest charge to what reportedly began as a Public Drunk charge. Officer Carter issued tickets charging 45-year-old Sharon Tracie Samples of 25 Sara Booker Road Clinton with Public Intoxication and with Resisting Arrest at 1:23 this morning on North Livingston Street. She was being held in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.

Tell the Truth…..Might Be a Law

Lying to police was alleged in two arrests yesterday.

Clinton Public Safety arrested 33-year-old Arlucius Rondrancy McLurkin of 348 Grover Wilson Road, Blythewood and charged him with Providing False Information to Law Enforcement and Public Intoxication. Warrants allege that he was grossly intoxicated in public yesterday, and that he gave a false identity to law enforcement to avoid arrest inside Clinton on April 10th.

He was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Laurens City Police arrested 26-year-old Marquis Asyaquan McGowan of 358 Leaman Street, Laurens yesterday. Officer Sherfield issued a ticket charging Mr. McGowan with Giving False Information to Police at 3:40 Monday morning at or near the intersection of East Main Street and East Farley Avenue. Later yesterday, McGowan was released o a $465 personal recognizance bond.

Sent to Serve Sentence

Fountain Inn Police yesterday delivered 39-year-old James J. McLaughlin of 110 Corn Court, Fountain Inn to the Laurens County Detention Center with a Bench Warrant from an Assault and Battery 3rd Degree charge. It shows he was sentenced in Fountain Inn Municipal Court on September 19th, 2016. He is now jailed to serve the sentence of a $530 fine or jail time in the amount of 60 days.

Armed Robbery

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Spartanburg County male Friday on charges that he held up someone at gunpoint here in Laurens County two days earlier, on Wednesday. 17-year-old Kevin Terrell McLean Jr. of 118 Runway Street, Roebuck was charged with Armed Robbery.

In the arrest warrant, Sheriff’s Lt. M.B. Blackmon cites an investigation of Deputy Staton as indicating that on April 5th in Laurens County one Kevin Terrell McLean Jr. did take earrings from a victim with intent to deprive, while he was armed with a handgun, a deadly weapon.

During arraignment, bond was denied on the Armed Robbery charge. Kevin Terrell McLean Jr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center today.

PWID Meth, Attempt to Hide Evidence

Laurens City Police delivered a Clinton man to the County Detention Center just after 1:00 Sunday morning following a traffic stop late Saturday night. 20-year-old Tristan Lake Wells of 303 Jefferson Street, Clinton was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Schedule IV Narcotic, Altering Evidence, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Patrol Officer Lindsey issued tickets charging Tristan Lake Wells with Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 815 East Main Street at 11:12 Saturday night.

The other charges are cited in warrants from Lt. Martin, which cite an investigation by Officer Lindsey during a lawful traffic stop at 815 East Main Street Saturday. These allege that Tristan Wells had in his possession two separate packages containing crystal methamphetamine with a combined weight of approximately 1.1 gram and that he had half a Xanax pill in his possession without legal authority. Wells was accused of also committing willful destruction of evidence by attempting to dispose of  physical contraband by holding the items under the rear seat cushion of the patrol vehicle where he was seated, following his lawful arrest.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $33,115 on the five charges. Tristan Lake Wells remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Kidnapping & Domestic Assault

Kidnapping and 1st Degree Domestic Assault were alleged with an arrest by Clinton Public Safety Friday. 25-year-old Dominick Amond Fleming of 311 East Ferguson Street, Clinton was charged with Kidnapping and 1st Degree Domestic Violence, citing an incident earlier in the day Friday.

Lt. Lawton states that on April 7th the defendant assaulted the victim, causing moderate bodily injury and causing temporary disfigurement of her face, and stating that the assault occurred during a Kidnapping. The Domestic Violence warrant states that the assault occurred in the household where the defendant and victim live together in a romantic relationship. The Kidnapping warrant states that on April 7th Mr. Fleming used force to keep the victim confined to a bedroom, not letting her leave the residence, and that he also threatened to continue to assault her if she tried to leave.

Bond was denied on both charges. Dominick Amond Fleming remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Dr. Brooks Concerned About Lottery Tuition Assistance

The continued importance of South Carolina’s Education Lottery Tuition Assistance program was stressed by Piedmont Technical College President Dr. Ray Brooks, in an article released to area media Friday.

Dr. Brooks said “It’s been well reported in recent years that a college education, or, at a minimum, some career-specific training after high school is going to become mandatory for the kinds of jobs that pay a livable wage.

To a large extent, this is already the case, and study after study indicates that this trend is only going to speed up.” Brooks said the Lottery Tuition Assistance program ensures that this training remains accessible to our citizens, and that opportunity is still within reach for those with the drive to take hold of it.

He said that technical colleges around the state, such as Piedmont Tech, serve the most “demographically diverse and most representative sample of our region’s population.” He said “Our students come from all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, and are a reflection of the communities we serve.” Ray Brooks said that for many of these students and families, Lottery Tuition Assistance funding provides a lifeline—one that, in many cases, makes all the difference.

Brooks gave examples of three students who have benefitted from the program, saying “Although each of these students comes from a different walk of life, all three share a common story: they wanted to make a better life for themselves and their families. They are just three of more than 2,500 students each year at Piedmont Technical College whose stories are made possible by Lottery Tuition Assistance.

Ray Brooks said this story is much the same across the state, where 30% of all technical college students rely on Lottery Tuition Assistance to achieve their academic and career goals. He said over 300,000 students have benefitted from the funds over the past ten plus years. But the PTC President said the continued availability of these funds can’t be taken for granted, noting  that just this past year, funding fell short in the second half of the year, resulting in a decrease of the maximum award previously available.

Saying the future of our region and state depends on ensuring our citizens continue to have ready access to the education they need to build better lives, he thanked state officials for the vision that created this program, and encouraged all who have received this benefit to thank their legislators and let them know personally how the support impacted their lives.

Domestic Assault, 2 Vehicles Damaged

A Laurens man was charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence and two counts of Malicious Damage from incidents in early March, following his arrest early Sunday morning by Laurens City Police. 37-year-old Travis O’Mandell Miller of 67 Badgers Trestle Road, Laurens, also known as “T.O.” and “Travis Mandale,” Miller was served with warrants from Laurens Police charging Domestic Violence 2nd Degree and Malicious Damage. A 2nd Malicious Damage charge was served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

One warrant cites the investigation of Officer Lindsey as indicating that on March 1st 2017 Miller grasp the shirt collar of the victim, forcing her against the wall and that he tossed a drink into her eyes. The Laurens City warrant also states that during the assault she was unable to call law enforcement for help, and that her child, being in fear for the mother’s safety, called law enforcement on her behalf. At the same location in Laurens, also on March 1st, Miller is accused of damaging the victim’s white Dodge Charger by breaking out the rear windshield,

The Sheriff’s Office also served Travis Miller with a second Malicious Damage charge, where Investigator McIntosh states that on March 2nd Miller damaged another victim’s vehicle on Old Laurens Road, Gray Court by repeatedly hitting the vehicle, breaking a windshield and side mirror, with damages estimated as $450.

Travis O’Mandell Miller was released yesterday afternoon after posting cash or surety bonds totaling $6,000 on the Laurens City charges and another $2,000 on the Sheriff’s Office charge.

False Info +

Laurens City Police arrested two people late Friday night on charges that included Giving False Information to Law Enforcement.

24-year-old Travis Deante Reeder of 100Verbatim Drive, Laurens was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving under Suspension 2nd Offense.

Sgt. Jones issued a ticket charging Driving under Suspension 2nd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Giving False Information to Police at 11:40 Friday night on Church Street and Access Road.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $2,235. Travis Deante Reeder remained in custody this morning. He was also served a Bench Warrant from Family Court citing him with Failure to Appear and Failure to Pay Support from January 19th of this year.

Also arrested late Friday night on Church Street and Access Road was 30-year-old Ashley Elizabeth Smith of 41 Adger Street, Pelzer. Sgt. Doug Jones issued tickets charging her with Giving False Information and Simple Possession of Marijuana. Ashley Elizabeth Smith was released on personal recognizance bonds totaling $1,080.