Legislature Honors Laurens CPW Safety

Last month the Laurens Commission of Public Works celebrated the recent news that Laurens CPW had won a national safety award from the ‘American Public Power Association.’ At their May meeting Monday evening, General Manager John Young reported additional accolades from the award, saying that thanks to efforts of Representative Mark Willis the South Carolina General Assembly approved a commendation for Laurens CPW for winning the national safety award. Young noted that even though there are political differences in government, the State Legislature voted unanimously for the award. He noted that Laurens CPW won the award in competition with some 250 utilities from across the country.

In other electrical department news this week, John Young reported that a May 1st storm minor outages on North Harper Street and Summer Crest Apartments. Both were short duration and affected just a few customers. In ongoing efforts at preventing outages he said tree trimming crews have moved to the Church Street circuit, where they’ll be for the foreseeable future.

Bond Set at $65,000 on Violation of Probation

A man arrested Wednesday was charged yesterday with Violation of Probation. 33-year-old Chetyuan Onterio Cofield of 507 East Florida Street, Clinton is accused of failing to report after leaving a half-way house on May 19th, 2015 and of moving without consent, thereby absconding supervision. A warrant also indicates he’s behind on required payments and that he has failed to follow the advice of his agent. A surety bond was set at $65,000. Chetyuan Onterio Cofield remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Held for Bond Hearing on Probation Charge

23-year-old Clark Dean Ramsey Jr. of 425 Georgia Road, Gray Court was arrested yesterday and charged with Violation of Probation. He’s accused of failing to report on November 24th 2015 and anytime since, of moving without consent of his agent to an undisclosed location, thereby absconding supervision as evidenced by a February 11th home visit, also of failing to work diligently at a lawful occupation and failure to make required payments. Clark Dean Ramsey Jr. was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Break-In by Unscrewing Latch

Sheriff’s Deputy Jamie Lee Edwards responded to North Marion Street, Joanna at 9:00 yesterday morning to investigate a break-in. A resident indicated that between Tuesday night and Thursday morning someone had taken the screws out of the latch on her back door to enter her home. Multiple items stolen ranged from medicine to a DVD player. Also cell phones, x-box controllers and x-box games 30 games. Value of the stolen items was set at $1,487.

Senior Prank?

Laurens County Sheriff’s Officers reportedly caught a large group of students attempting entry onto Laurens High Property late last night for what appeared to be some form of year-end prank. The youth had reportedly parked out back near the tennis courts. Officer noted the youth had items such as cellophane wrap and baby powder in possession. While none was taken to jail, we understand there was a level of concern raised for some of the youth and perhaps some of their parents in the hour prior to the beginning of Friday the 13th.

Stolen Pickup Recovered, Man Arrested

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office this morning recovered a Chevy S-10 pickup that had been stolen from Concord, North Carolina and made an arrest. Residents on Shady Grove Church Road east of Clinton had called early this to report men knocking on doors in the early morning hours. While looking for these subjects around 3:30 am Deputy Van Pelt observed a red Chevy S-10 sitting in the parking lot of the Shady Grove Presbyterian Church. A man was observed passed out in the driver’s seat. The officer woke the man and during the investigation reportedly discovered drug paraphernalia in his possession. The man was delivered to the Laurens County Detention Center shortly after 4:00 am. A citation was issued charging the man with Public Intoxication and he was being held for a charge from Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.

“Project Synergy”

Laurens County Council this week gave 1st reading approval for ordinances that, when finalized, will provide financial incentives for an industrial development project.

Council first approved a “resolution of inducement” that outlines the basic terms of a proposed FILOT agreement with a company now known as “Project Synergy.”    Council also approved the first reading of Ordinance #818, which authorizes a FILOT agreement with that company and identifies a current significant investment which is expected to be approximately $8 Million.

County Council Tuesday evening also gave 1st reading approval to Ordinance 819 which authorizes an amendment to the Master Agreement governing the already existing “Octagon Industrial Park” to include the new company.

In other industrial development matters, County Council unanimously rejected a request for a five-year exemption from non-school and non-municipal taxes by PL Development, a company that purchased Aaron Industries, which operates two facilities just south and east of Clinton.

Natural Gas Inspector to Manage CPW Gas Department

The Laurens Commission of Public Works this week announced that Johnny Eustace has been selected to replace the retiring Brent Moody as the CPW’s Natural Gas Division Superintendent. Mr. Eustace comes to the CPW from the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, where he was a Senior Natural Gas Pipeline Inspector. Before that he spent 17 years with the Greenwood CPW’s Natural Gas Department. Eustace with John Laurens CPW General Manager John Young said “We are very pleased to have Johnny on our management team. With his experience and knowledge, he will make a fine addition to our staff.”

The Laurens Commission of Public Works is a publicly owned, not-for-profit utility providing electric, water, wastewater and natural gas services to over 20,000 residential, commercial and industrial metering points in the city of Laurens and surrounding areas.

Criminal Sexual Conduct

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a Clinton man yesterday regarding an alleged sexual encounter late last summer. 44-year-old Wesley Calvin Duckett Jr. of 246 McLees Drive, Clinton is charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. He is accused of engaging in sexual battery on August 2nd, 2015 by having sex with a victim who was between 14 and 16-years-old. The warrant notes the defendant being older and in a position to coerce the victim. He is also accused of causing a minor to drink alcoholic beverages on the same date.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $25,000 on the two charges. Wesley Calvin Duckett Jr. remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Diesel Sniffs out Drugs

We now have more details available about the use of the Sheriff’s Office Drug Dog in making an arrest last week. Sheriff’s Corporal Brent Rushing was on patrol near Fountain Inn at 4:00 am May 5th when he observed a vehicle make a u-turn and questioned the driver if he were lost. Corporal Rushing reported the man’s hands were shaking. When he denied a request to search his car, K-9 Diesel was deployed for an open-air sniff and alerted on the car. A search that followed reportedly located Oxycodone and Hydrocodone pills with no prescription along with 13.5 grams of meth packaged in separate bags. 25-year-old James Skyler Boone of 10 Bramblewood Terrace, Simpsonville was arrested and warrants were obtained, charging him with Trafficking in Methamphetamine and two counts, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. The drugs and $727 in cash were seized. James Skyler Boone was released May 6th on $45,000 cash or surety bonds.

Two Jailed on Petit Larceny Bench Warrants

Clinton Public Safety yesterday had two men jailed for Bench Warrants from Petit Larceny convictions.

28-year-old Gregory Lamar Cullen of 162 Cypress Street, Clinton was served with a Bench Warrant that states he was convicted of Petit Larceny in Clinton Municipal Court April 20th, 2015 and sentenced to $620 or 30 days. The fine was suspended to $237.50 based on $794 in restitution being paid by the end of May. The bench warrant issued last September 8th states that as of that date the judge had no record of the restitution being paid. Cullen is now ordered held until the sentence is served.

44-year-old Gregg Morris Lemon of 1603 South Bell Street, Clinton was served with a Bench Warrant yesterday that notes he was convicted of Petit Larceny in Clinton Municipal Court last spring – on April 20th, 2015 and given a sentence of $638.60 or 30 days in jail, consecutive to any other sentence. He was being held for that sentence this morning.

Clinton Public Safety Officer Watkins issued a new charge on Gregg Lemon of South Bell yesterday, as well, with a citation alleging he was Trespassing at 1603 South Bell Street at 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

Stolen Tattoo Kit Found in Laurens

Items stolen from Greenville County were recovered in Laurens early yesterday afternoon. Laurens County Sheriff’s Lt Keith McIntosh received a call from a Greenville County Detective working a Burglary there, where property taken was discovered in a North Harper Street Pawn Shop. Lt. McIntosh obtained records from the shop to obtain the name of a suspect who had pawned them. Items at the Pawn Shop identified by the victim of the burglary included some jewelry and a tattoo kit. Charges were pending in the case.

Non-Support Sends Three to Jail

Laurens County Family Court sent three people to the county detention center yesterday on Non-Support charges. These included two men, a 53-year-old from Edgemore and a 24-year-old from Clinton along with a 24-year-old Clinton woman.

Boat Strikes Dock

It appears one Lake Greenwood boat dock sustain serious damage sometime over the past ten days. Sheriff’s Deputy Noble responded to Ferry Landing Road, Waterloo at 730 last evening to investigate damage to the dock. A man said he walked out on his dock to see damage that appears to have been caused by being struck by a boat. He indicated it had been ten days since he was last on his property.

Three Wallets Emptied of $610

Deputy Noble responded to a Waterloo residence at 6:38 last night to investigate a report of stolen cash. A man said that he was missing money he had in three wallets that went missing. The money consisted of a $100 bill, five $50 bills, ten $20 bills and another $60 in misc. bills for a total of $610. The man told the officer that his daughter had found the three wallets behind the washer and dryer, but that the money was gone when he got the wallets back. He suspects the culprit is someone living in the house.

Murder Charges Filed on Clinton Woman

The Clinton Department of Public Safety charged a local woman with murder yesterday as they investigated a fatal stabbing in town. 48-year-old Willie Ruth Byrd of 33Kingsboro Circle, Clinton was charged with Murder and with Use of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. She’s charged in the death of 74-year-old Alfred Ralph Lindsay of 106 Mason Street. His brother found him Monday evening and called 911.Emergency personnel were dispatched to Lindsay’s home at 6:10 pm Monday. Coroner Nichols estimated that Lindsey died at 6:20 Sunday evening, with multiple stab injuries to his chest.

In warrants served yesterday, Clinton Detective Tyrone Goggins states that on May 8th Willie Ruth Byrd did feloniously, willfully and with malice aforethought kill and murder Alfred Lee Ralph Lindsay, and that the crime was committed at the victim’s residence at 106 Mason Street in Clinton. Goggins states that Ms. Byrd was armed with a knife while committing the crime of murder at 106 Mason Street.

Bond was denied during an initial court appearance yesterday. Willie Ruth Byrd remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Junk-Yard Bill Tabled for Review

The scheduled public hearing and third reading vote on Laurens County’s new junkyard ordinance was taken off the agenda of last night’s County Council meeting. At their previous meeting Council had made substantial changes to the proposal from the County Planning Commission. Chair Joe Wood last evening requested council to approve that agenda without the hearing and vote, and asked council members to put any questions on the very detailed ordinance in writing before future discussions and votes on the Junk-Yard ordinance. That discussion is now held off for a future meeting.

How to Afford Pay Raise

After the regular County Council meeting last evening, Council met for a budget work session. It included discussion of a proposed hourly pay adjustment for all county employees and a review of the available funding sources. We understand a proposed pay hike was tabled, pending a plan as to how it will be funded.

Council last night gave 2nd reading to an ordinance to allow use of 29% of the county’s local option sales tax to help meet budget shortfalls.

Handgun Held on Pregnant Girlfriend

Laurens City Police arrested a Newberry County man yesterday from a domestic assault at Laurens Terrace last Wednesday. 25-year-old Jonathan Isiah Boyd of 5227 New Hope Road, Pomaria was charged with

Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature, Pointing and Presenting a Firearm at a Person, Use of a Weapon during a Violent Crime and Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature.

Sgt. Jody Thibodeau states that on May 4th Mr. Boyd committed Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature by pointing a handgun out of the window of a burgundy Sport Utility Vehicle at his girlfriend in the parking lot of the Laurens Terrace Apartments. The warrant states that Boyd stopped the vehicle and pointed the weapon at the victim, who was eight months pregnant at the time with the subject’s child and that this occurred in the presence of another child the subject has in common with the victim. Sgt. Thibodeau states that this caused severe fear for the victim’s life and severe stress, causing her to become physically sick.

Other warrants state that Jonathan Isiah Boyd pointed a handgun at his mother’s child who was in the company of several other citizens on Laurens Terrace property May 4th, and that he used a handgun during commission of the violent crime at the Laurens Terrace complex.

The Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature states that Boyd presented a handgun visible by multiple people, pointed in the direction of multiple citizens who were on the sidewalk with one of the apartment buildings were directly behind these citizens, causing these people to fear for their safety..

Bond was denied on the Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature charge. Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $125,000 on the other three cases. Jonathan Isiah Boyd remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Trafficking in Heroin

Trafficking in Heroin and other drug and firearms charges were served on an Ohio man yesterday following an early morning traffic stop by Laurens City Police Officer Dillon Sherfield. After three traffic citations at the scene at 1:00 am, 35-year-old Jeremy S. Little of 512 Seal Avenue, Piketon, Ohio was served six warrants later yesterday charging him with Trafficking in Heroin, More than 28 Grams and Trafficking in Heroin in Proximity of a School along with Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Narcotic with Intent to Distribute and Possession with Intent within Proximity of a School. Weapons charges served included Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime.

Lt. Martin states that the investigation of Officer Dillon Sherfield indicates that on May 10th Jeremy Little committed Trafficking in Heroin by having 62 grams of Heroin in his possession during a lawful traffic stop on Hillcrest Drive. Little is also accused of having possession with intent to distribute of 8 grams of Xanax.

Lt. S. Martin states that Officer Sherfield’s investigation indicates that the defendant possessed a handgun in an unlawful manner during a lawful traffic stop on Hillcrest Drive, while trafficking in Heroin.

Citations were issued initially charging Mr. Little with Operating an Uninsured Vehicle, Using a Tag Registered to Another and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 1:00 am yesterday on Hillcrest Drive at Bolt Street.

Bond was denied on the Trafficking in Heroin charge. Cash or surety bonds on the other five drug and firearms charges total $200,000. Bonds on the three traffic citations total $1,390. Jeremy S. Little remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

 

A second man arrested at 1:00 yesterday morning on Hillcrest Drive was 50-year-old James Michael Smith of 105 McDowell Street, Laurens. Officer Sherfield issued a citation charging Mr. Smith with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 1:00 yesterday morning. Smith was served with a warrant later yesterday charging him with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol. In the warrant, Lt. Martin cites the investigation of Officer Sherfield as indicating the defendant possessed a handgun in an unlawful manner in a vehicle during a lawful traffic stop on Hillcrest Drive. Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $10,500 on the two charges. James Michael Smith of Laurens remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.