Campaign 2018 Update

Midnight last night was the deadline for South Carolina residents to be properly registered, in order to vote in the upcoming June primaries. Meanwhile, candidates for contested races are campaigning.

Four people are seeking to replace retiring County Councilman Ted Nash represent County Council Seat 1. The Republican Primary ballot will list Adam Howell, Susan K. Thackston, Ryan D. Thorn and Kemp Younts.

While Stewart Jones is unopposed for re-election for Council District 4, three are three Republicans seeking to represent County Council District 5. These are Jeffery Carroll, Dale Mitchell and incumbent Keith Tollison.

The Laurens County Tea Party is hosting a Candidate Forum for County Council candidates this week. All 7 of the candidates for contested Districts 1 and 5 have been invited. This will be held at the Laurens YMCA this Thursday at 7:00. Diane Belsom of the Laurens County Tea Party said it will be streamed live.

In the state-house seats that include portions of Laurens County, Incumbent Mark N. Willis is challenged by Brooks Carwile for District 16 and Doug Gilliam and Phillip Russell face off to see who replaces retiring Representative Mike Anthony from District 42. House District 14 Representative Mike Pitts was not challenged for the Republican Party nomination.

Three people are seeking party nomination for House District 3 in the United States Congress. Incumbent Republican Jeff Duncan of Laurens County was not opposed for the Republican Party nomination. Dave Moore was unopposed for the American Party nomination. In the Democratic Party, Hosea Cleveland and Mary Geren will face off in June.

One of those candidates is to be present this evening for a meeting of the Laurens County Democratic Party. The party meets at 6:00 this evening in the House of Pizza in Clinton.  3rd District Congressional Candidate Mary Geren will be the speaker at this evening’s meeting of Laurens County Democrats.

Again – that’s at 6:00 in Clinton at the House of Pizza.

Assault Alleges Fondling

Inappropriate and unwanted touching earlier this year was alleged with a warrant served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. 33-year-old Nicholas Adam Hicks of Crawfordsville, Florida was charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. Sheriff’s Investigator Hunnicutt states that between February 14th and April 1st Hicks intentionally committed a battery upon a victim by fondling her breasts and buttocks without her consent.  Nicholas Adam Hicks was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

2nd Degree Domestic Assault

An assault early yesterday was alleged with a Sunday arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. 32-year-old Sanquan Devonte Seegars of 110 Tractor Drive, Gray Court was charged with Domestic Violence 2nd Degree.

A warrant cites the investigation of Deputy Roberson as indicating that on May 13th one Sanquan Devonte Seegars inflicted bodily injury by punching the victim in the face and head with a closed fist, causing swelling and bruising to occur. The warrant states that Mr. Seegars has a prior conviction for Domestic Violence. A $25,000 cash or surety bond was set yesterday. Seegars remained in custody this morning.

Assault on Fleming Street

A 3rd Degree Domestic Assault charge was served Friday on a man Laurens City Police had arrested late Thursday. 28-year-old Stanley O’Brien Jones of 1527 Rabon Road, Laurens is accused of striking the victim multiple times about her face and body last Thursday in the 300 block of Fleming Street, causing swelling to her head. The warrant states that the subject and victim live together and have a child in common. The assault allegedly occurred at an address in the 300 block of Fleming Street in Laurens. Stanley Jones was released Friday on a $1,500 cash or surety bond.

Two Annexations in Clinton

Following up on another matter handled last week at Clinton City Council’s May meeting, Council finalized annexation of two pieces of property connected with Clinton High and Presbyterian College.

City Council gave 2nd reading approval to annexing a piece of portion of property owned by School District 56. Most of that property was already inside the City. It’s part of the campus of Clinton High School. Last week’s final reading brought the entire property owned by the school district at CHS into town.

A second parcel receiving final approval for annexation is a small parcel that is on East Maple Street, adjacent to the Presbyterian College campus.

Clinton City Council also gave a final vote of approval to zone both parcels at R-1. That low density residential category also allows educational facilities.

Bledsoe Tournament Winners

Tara Glenn, Director of Volunteer Services at Whitten Center, has announced the winners of this year’s 9th Annual Glenn Bledsoe Memorial Golf Tournament.

Benjamin Bledsoe’s team won this year’s event, held each year in memory of his late father. The $300 cash prize was donated by the team back to the Whitten Center Parents’ Club, who hosted the tournament.

The 2nd place team for this year’s tournament was a group of friends of the Bledsoe Family, and returning golfers for this annual event.They donated their $200 2nd place prize back to the Whitten Center Parents’ Club.

Voter Registration Deadline is Here

If you plan to vote in the Democratic, Republican or other party primary June 12th, and are not registered at your current address, your time to register is almost over. If you’ve moved into a new county or state since last registering, you must register your new address by this Sunday, May 13th. Unless you plan to register on-line, that means you have until today at 5:00 pm to register in-person. The Laurens County Elections and Voter Registration office is open today from 9:00 until 5:00 this afternoon for the final hours residents can come in to get registered for the upcoming primaries.

The local and state election commissions also remind youth that, if you are going to be 18 by or before the General Election on November 6th, you can vote in the June primaries, since it selects candidates for that election.

Register today before 5:00 pm at the Laurens County Elections Office, ground floor of the Historic Courthouse on the Laurens Square.

If you are not sure whether your registration is current, you may log onto scVOTES.org and click “Check My Registration.”

You may register online at scVOTES.org before midnight this Sunday. This requires your SC Driver’s License or DMV ID card. You may register using the MY scVOTES mobile app, also before midnight Sunday.

You may also download a voter registration form from scVOTES.org, then complete and return the form to your county registrations office. By fax or email attachment, that must be in by midnight Sunday. By mail, it must be postmarked by Monday, May 14th. The extra day for mailed-in voter registration is because the Post Office is closed on this year’s Sunday deadline.

Remember – Registration in person must be by 5:00 this afternoon.

2nd Attempted Murder Suspect in Custody

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has served charges on a man wanted from a shooting early this month. A co-defendant had already been arrested. Yesterday, 35-year-old Sylvester Ferguson III was booked in the Laurens County Detention Center, showing an address at 217 Morgan Street, Joanna. He was also reportedly associated with an address on Stomp Springs Road, Clinton. Ferguson is charged with two counts of Attempted Murder, with Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime, with Possession of a Weapon and/or Ammunition by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime and with Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature.

Sylvester Ferguson III, along with previously arrested co-defendant Zhacayo Bailey, is accused of discharging a firearm many times at two people, male and female victims, on May 2nd. Sylvester Ferguson III is also accused of displaying what appeared to be a handgun during this violent crime. He is further accused of being a felon, convicted of a previous violent crime, who possessed a handgun with ammunition, in violation of law. Ferguson, as was the case with his co-defendant, is accused of Breach of Peace of a neighborhood May 2nd, causing a disturbance of public tranquility by discharging a firearm.

Sylvester Ferguson III was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing on his charges.

Suspect Wanted by LCSO, LPD & Easley Police

A man with charges from three law enforcement agencies is in custody, following his arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. 39-year-old James Travis Elmore was arrested Wednesday at a residence at 2668 Highway 14, Laurens. Captain Chris Martin issued a ticket charging Elmore with giving False Information to Police at 5:45 Wednesday afternoon at that address.

We’ve already reported on a female of that address being charged with Giving False Information to Police, for an alleged attempt to conceal a suspect’s presence.

Yesterday, Elmore was charged with Identity Fraud. Captain Martin states that on May 9th James T. Elmore committed identity fraud to avoid detection by law enforcement by providing a fake Social Security card and a South Carolina Birth Certificate with a false name and social security number. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday also charged Elmore with two counts of Attempting to Purchase in Excess of the monthly limit on Ephedrine Products. These allegedly occurred in 2015 on March 5th and April 11th.

Elmore was also charged with 2nd Degree Assault and Battery. A $5,000 cash or surety bond was set on that charge. Two $500 PR bonds were set on the Ephedrine-Attempt charges from 2015.

Travis Elmore was also being held for Laurens City Police, who have warrants charging him with Shoplifting Enhanced and Trespass After Notice from an alleged incident April 14th at Wal-Mart. Easley Police also have a warrant charging Elmore with Failure to Stop for Blue Lights this past Sunday, May 6th.

Drug Distribution from Motel

A woman arrested early yesterday morning has been charged with a drug distribution from a Clinton motel. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office charged 29-year-old Ashley Revonda Bagwell of 171 Bagwell Road, Gray Court with Distribution of Methamphetamine. The warrant cites the investigation of Deputy Brandon Howard as indicating that on May 9th Ms. Bagwell distributed 3.2 grams of methamphetamine at the Travelers’ Inn, 12118 Highway 56 North, Clinton.

A cash or surety bond of $25,000 was set during arraignment yesterday. Ashley Revonda Bagwell remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Distribution + Pointing & Presenting

A Greenville woman was charged yesterday with Distributing Meth & Pointing a Firearm at two people in Laurens County, following her overnight arrest by the Sheriff’s Office. 23-year-old Christine Despotovic of 741 Woodruff Road, Greenville is accused of distributing 2.44 grams of methamphetamine Wednesday. She is further accused of pointing a firearm at two men who were sitting in a vehicle Wednesday. Christine Despotovic remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds set totaling $37,000 on her three charges.

$40,000 Bond on Powder Cocaine Charge

A man jailed early Thursday morning by Laurens Police was charged later yesterday with a Drug Possession. 23-year-old Scott Nicholas Curtis of 35 Ashley Avenue, Charleston is now charged with 2nd Offense, Possession of Less than One Gram of Cocaine. A warrant cites the investigation of Officer Van Pelt as indicating that during a traffic stop by Laurens Police on North Harper May 10th Mr. Curtis was found to be in possession of less than a Gram of Powder Cocaine. The warrant states Curtis has prior convictions for cocaine-based substances, making this 2nd Offense. A cash or surety bond was set at $40,000. Scott Nicholas Curtis remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Pickup Truck Theft

A pickup truck theft early this year was alleged with the Laurens County Sheriff’s booking yesterday of 39-year-old Steven Shane Smith from 99 Parker Road, Piedmont. A Grand Larceny warrant cites the investigation of Captain Wilkie as indicating that on January 22nd, 2018 Smith took a 1985 Chevrolet pickup valued at between $2,000 and $10,000 from a victim, and that he has two prior convictions for similar property crimes. Steven Shane Smith was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

Theft of Power Tool & Various Electronics

The Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a man from thefts of several items last month. Charged with Petit Larceny was 28-year-old Christopher Kevin Boggs of 1113 Bellview Church Road, Laurens. Deputy Todd Alexander states that between April 21st and 22nd Boggs took a red Troy-Bilt pressure washer, 10 various cell phones, an XM radio, a Toshiba lap-top, a Nintendo DS game system with various games and an Android Tablet, valued at $1,025. These were reportedly taken from a Laurens area man. Christopher Kevin Boggs was being held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing.

Possession of Stolen Pistol

Weapons charges were served yesterday on a man arrested the day before on an Unlawful Carry of Alcohol charge. 59-year-old Jonathan Mark Fuller of 128 Hill Street, Gray Court was initially served with a ticket in which Laurens County Sheriff’s Investigator Nations charged him with Illegal Whiskey at 3:34 Wednesday afternoon at 21948 Highway 221 North.

Fuller has now also been charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol and Possession of a Stolen Pistol. Both possessions are alleged on US 221 North.

Cash or surety bonds on the three charges were set totaling $7,757.50. Jonathan Mark Fuller remained in custody this morning.

Gun to Her Head, Firing into Ceiling

Claude “Will” Davis

A Clinton man is charged with pulling a gun on the mother of his child and with firing it into a ceiling Tuesday, with their daughter asleep in a bedroom above. Clinton Public Safety yesterday served 24-year-old Claude Willard “Will” Davis II of 86 Palmetto Street, Clinton with warrants charging him with Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature, Possession of a Deadly Weapon during a Violent Crime and Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol. He’s also charged with Violation of an Order of Protection, Possession of a Firearm by a person Prohibited by a Domestic Violence Court Order, Discharging a Firearm inside City Limits and Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

Sgt. Daniel Duckett issued tickets initially charging Davis with Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia at 1:05 AM at 590 Phillips Street.

A warrant noting Sgt. Duckett as prosecuting officer states that on May 8th Davis pointed and presented a .38 caliber handgun at the head of the victim, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. In allegedly doing so Davis was also charged with violation an Order of Protection. This assault reportedly occurred in an apartment at 590 Phillips Street, in the presence of a child the subject and victim have in common. Additional warrants accuse “Will” Davis of carrying a .38 caliber handgun while on the property of Westchase Apartments Tuesday and state that he possessed a firearm and ammunition Tuesday while under a Domestic Violence-related Court Order prohibiting him possession. Davis is also accused of discharging a handgun into the first-floor ceiling of the apartment, calculated to cause property damage. The Unlawful Neglect warrant states that Davis discharged the .38 caliber handgun into the first-floor ceiling while his juvenile daughter was asleep in the bedroom directly overhead.

During arraignment yesterday, bond was denied on all nine charges. Claude Willard “Will” Davis II remained in the Laurens County Detention Center today.

90 Day Sentences In 3 Contempt of Court Warrants

A Western North Carolina man has some time to reflect on his appearance yesterday in Laurens Municipal Court. In addition to charges from Laurens City Police yesterday morning, he had three Contempt of Court sentences handed down by Judge Jackie Williams during his appearance in court.

James McAlister

42-year-old James Woodrow “Jamie” McAlister of 19 North Ann Street, Asheville was arrested yesterday by Laurens Master Patrolman Turner. In a ticket, McAllister was charged with Disorderly Conduct at 9:10 yesterday morning at 810 East Main Street. Later, a warrant was served, also charging Jamie McAllister with Possession of a Controlled Substance.  It cites an investigation by Officer Turner as indicating that on May 9th McAlister had in his possession 13 white pills identified as Tramadol, a schedule IV controlled substance, at 810 East Main Street.

During his appearance in Laurens Municipal Court on those charges later yesterday, Judge Jackie Williams issued three Contempt of Court Citations. One states McAllister was disrupting court and when asked to stop talking continued to yell, referring to Her Honor with a phase that included the “B” word. The 2nd Court Order from the Judge also cited disrupting court proceedings. When asked numerous occasions to stop talking, he continued, using profane language in the courtroom and toward the judge. The 3rd citation states that after again being asked to stop talking he began to use profane language in the courtroom and against the judge, including use of a three-word phrase toward Her Honor. Each of the three Court Orders require McAllister to pay $1,000 or spend 30-days in jail.

Meanwhile, Judge Williams set cash or surety bonds on the original charges totaling $5,500. Jamie McAlister remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Five to Jail from Family Court

Five men and women were delivered to the Laurens County Detention Center yesterday from Laurens County Family Court. Charges ranged from Non-Support to Contempt of Court. Ages of those sentenced in Family Court yesterday ranged from 23 to 71 years old.

Invitation to Join Lawsuit Regarding Opioid Abuse

An opportunity to join in a lawsuit against drug companies marketing of opioids was presented to Laurens County Council this week. At their Tuesday meeting, John B. White Jr, Managing Shareholder from Harrison White PC law firm, addressed council with an invitation to join in a lawsuit with other neighboring counties against pharmaceutical companies, which he claimed misled doctors on the addictive nature of opioids.

He said Harrison White is a preeminent litigation firm offering extensive trial practice in all state and federal courts. Practice emphasis is on representing plaintiffs in complex civil personal injury and wrongful death litigation, criminal defense in State and Federal Courts, workers compensation, social security disability, domestic relations and employment law.

Laurens County Council accepted this as information.

Congratulations for CMS & CHS, Headed to Nationals

The May meeting of Clinton City Council included a visit by the state champions – the Science Olympiad Champions of South Carolina.

As previously reported on WLBG, the Science Olympiad middle school state champions hail from Clinton Middle School and the high school championship team is from Clinton High School.  Resolutions honoring the success for both those teams were presented to them Monday evening.

In addition to the official pat on the back, City Council approved a contribution of $5,000 to assist the teams in competing at the national level next week at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Congratulations and best wishes to both Championship Teams from School District 56.