Council Plans to Review EMS Backup Procedure

There was discussion at Laurens County Council last night about including the entire council in a committee meeting chaired by Diane Anderson regarding the matter how the Laurens County EMS may use private ambulance services. It was decided that this meeting will be held after the first Council meeting in February, and that interested agencies will be in attendance.

Man Corrected, Runs from County Council Meeting

The subject of how private ambulance services may provide back to Laurens County EMS generated tense moments last night during public comment time. James Hayes of Hayes Ambulance service tried to relate a story involving another private ambulance company having offered assistance, which was declined, then a person ejected from his vehicle in a wreck had to wait in the cold for an ambulance to arrive.

Council Chairman Joe Wood told Hayes he could not speak for a third-party, and threatened to have him removed from the meeting.

“I am exercising my free speech,” cried Hayes but then conformed to Wood’s request, then was allowed to continue relating the story of how Thorne Ambulance had offered backup on a recent stormy night, but was told they were not needed; then someone had to wait in the cold after ejection.

Chairman Wood told Hayes that his story was incorrect, that Newberry County had responded as backup in the case. Wood added that the victim was not ejected from the vehicle.

After correction, Hayes yelled “This council is a joke” as he ran out of the meeting.

More Students Means Less Money Per Student

Beware the WPU. The state of South Carolina uses a formula to calculate the WPU, which is the Weighted Pupil Unit.  It is basically a measurement of the number of students in public schools in each district and in the entire state.

The state uses the WPU when calculating their contribution toward the Base Student Cost.  The estimated Base Student Cost for the 2015/16 school year was $2,220 but the 45 day attendance data released last week showed a higher than expected number of statewide Weighted Pupil Units.  That means that the same amount of state money must now be divided by a higher number of students.  The state contribution per student then is lower unless the district has experienced significant growth in student population.

At Monday’s meeting of the District 56 Board of Trustees, Finance Director Dr. Gerald Robinson informed board members that the state funding for Base Student Cost estimate has been reduced to $2172…….or $48 per student less than estimated. And what’s the total impact of a $48 per student reduction? Dr. Robinson said “Translating to our dollars that’s about a $200,000 hit to our district for this fiscal year.”

Dr. Robinson did say that the final numbers will depend on the 135 day attendance data which may not be released until near the end of the school year.

Threats to Wife with Pistol

Threats with a firearm were alleged on a man delivered to the Laurens County Detention Center overnight. Fountain Inn Police charged 46-year-old Carlos A. Acosta of 4 Font De Leon Court, Fountain Inn with Domestic Violence 1st Degree. Officer Nathanael Chewing states that the defendant threatened his wife with a handgun yesterday in the Laurens County area inside the City Limits of Fountain Inn. A $25,000 cash or surety bond was set during arraignment. Carlos A. Acosta remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier today.

Low Speed Police Pursuit

A Clinton man spent last night in the Johnson Detention Center following a low-speed police pursuit in the Pitts, Bailey and Sloan Street area late yesterday afternoon.   Clinton Public Safety Lt. Cathy Anderson reported observing a silver SUV traveling on Florence Street at 5:15 yesterday afternoon and a check indicated the tag was suspended last November from an insurance cancellation. When she saw the vehicle pulling from the intersection of Bailey and Jefferson she followed with blue lights. At one point she honked the horn then turn on the siren attempting to get the man to pull the vehicle over. After a turn back onto Bailey he reportedly pulled into a side yard and sat in the locked car with his hands up. The man was then arrested and jailed, with warrants to be obtained for charges. The car was not towed, since it wound up in the driver’s yard.

No Injury Seen “But It Tingles”

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Highway 56 on the north side of town at 32 minutes after midnight this morning regarding an assault that had reportedly taken place on West Bluford Street. A woman said she had come down from North Carolina to take care of the father of her child, who had been shot in the leg. She said they’d been drinking all day and began to argue. She had left, but returned and her baby’s daddy’s brother slapped her in the face. When Officer Gandee looked and said he didn’t see any evidence of injury to her face, she reportedly replied “well it tingles.” She then became emotional and reportedly began to go in circles with her story. She said she wanted to have the man arrested. Officer Gandee and Sgt. Lawton then located and spoke with the baby daddy brother, who said there was a cookout on West Bluford and they had been drinking during the day. He confirmed the argument between his brother and his baby’s mama, that she had left and returned, but indicated she had threatened to call “some of her boys” to come there and “take care of it.” He said he stepped forward to defend his injured brother but did not lay hands on the woman and that multiple witnesses at the cookout could confirm that. His version of the story was reportedly clear, concise and followed logical order. No charges were deemed appropriate at that point of the investigation.

Purse Grabbed During Conversation

A woman’s purse containing two checkbooks and a small amount of cash was reported stolen from her car between 4:10 and 4:20 yesterday afternoon. Sheriff’s Deputy Byrd was dispatched to the residence on Georgia Road, Gray Court. The woman said she had just returned home from the grocery store and was gathering groceries from her car when a brown and gray truck pulled into her yard. A man and a female got out of the vehicle and began asking the victim about purchasing some of her property. She said she explained that she had no intention of selling any of her property. During the time they were talking, she said the man managed to open a passenger side door of her vehicle and took her purse. A neighbor of the victim provided some additional information on the vehicle, having seen it leaving the victim’s residence. A short time after leaving the property Deputy Byrd was contacted by the victim’s nephew, who reported finding the purse in a ditch a short distance from her house. The checkbooks were still in the purse, but the $8 cash and her driver’s license were gone. The case was assigned to Lt. Cheek.

They’re Her Keys, Too

A Sheriff’s Officer met with a Clinton man at 12:15 yesterday afternoon following an incident on Charlotte’s Road. The man indicated his wife was upset about him taking money from his savings account and pulled up beside him as he was in his car in a parking lot and that she reached into his vehicle and took his keys from the ignition. As he attempted to call law enforcement she took his cell phone. He said he was able to get the phone back, but his wife left with his keys. Corporal Christy Johnson spoke with the wife by phone and she said she didn’t have the keys. The man was advised of options, but noted that the keys are marital property.

House Ransacked in Burglary

Sheriff’s Corporal Christy Johnson met a man at his residence on Mississippi Drive, Clinton just after 4:00 yesterday afternoon to investigate a burglary that had occurred sometime since last Thursday. The victim indicated the back door to the residence was boarded up and someone had taken the boards off the door and entered and ransacked the house. An outbuilding had also been broken into and the doors left open. The house and outbuildings all had numerous items belonging to the victim. What may have been taken was not immediately determined.

Is It Time for Him to Leave?

Sheriff’s Deputy McMahan was dispatched to a Lake Greenwood residence near Cross Hill around 5:00 yesterday afternoon to investigate a report of vandalism. A woman said that at 6:30 Monday morning her finance had ripped the ceiling fan out of the bedroom ceiling. She said she didn’t know why he did that, other than perhaps being intoxicated or on drugs. She said she left the house. When she returned later Monday she found more items in the house in disarray. Items were knocked from a dresser, breaking a vase her daughter had given her, pictures were knocked off the wall and the living room furniture was turned over. She said it appears he went outside and used his backhoe to tear down a greenhouse he had given her for a gift. She said she had gone to the magistrate to sign the papers needed to have the man evicted, but also wanted the incident documented with the Sheriff’s Office.

Dr. Billy Strickland to Retire this Year

Laurens District 55 School Superintendent Dr. Billy Strickland this morning announced his retirement.

“The 2015-16 school year marks my fortieth year in education, having spent thirty-two of those years as a part of Laurens School District 55. After much prayerful thought and consideration, I have decided to retire as Superintendent of Laurens School District 55 at the end of this school year. It is my privilege to serve as the superintendent of this district and to work alongside the Board of Trustees and dedicated employees of this district who serve our students each day. As this school year continues, it is my expectation that we will continue to love, serve and care for our students and our community.”

Free Clyde!



This is Clyde. If Clyde looks sad and a bit confused……..he is.

You see, Clyde had a home but then his owner’s landlord said that Clyde looked like he had some pit bull in him and Clyde had to go. He ended up at Laurens County Animal Control. They’re nice folks there but the shelter is full. Clyde says he needs a home.

I hope Clyde’s luck gets better. He’s about 8 months old and he’s a very good boy. Would you like a full blooded Clyde? Call Animal Control for more information….(864) 682-4935l

And please SHARE. Like I said…….the shelter if full. We gotta get Clyde outta there and quick.

Good luck Clyde.

State Retirement Deficit News from District 56 Audit

Shortfalls in the South Carolina State Retirement Fund are requiring big adjustments to local governments all over the state. Toni McKinley of the McKinley and Cooper accounting firm was on hand at last night’s District 56’s January School Board meeting to present the district’s audit for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2015.  She announced an unmodified (clean) audit but she did point out what appears to be a major problem.  The only good news about it is that District 56 is not the only government entity experiencing the same difficulty.

Like many, if not most local government agencies and organizations, School District 56 participates in the South Carolina retirement system.  Recently, that retirement system has been determined to be underfunded.  The shortfall will be shared among all employers who are a part of the system.

Ms. McKinley advised the Clinton area school board members last night that during the last fiscal year District 56 had a positive change in position of nearly a half million dollars. However, that big positive won’t cover needed adjustments from the Districts liability for the retirement system shortfall.  District 56’s share of that shortfall is nearly thirty MILLION dollars. Ms. McKinley told the school board that the number could change, and said because it is unexpected and is affecting so many local governments in the state the liability is currently not having an impact on the bond market.  She did warn, however, that the liability is real and will have to be addressed….by District 56 and many other local government entities.

Physical Fitness Award for Laurens Elementary

Physical fitness was one of the subjects presented at last night’s Laurens District 55 School Board Meeting. Laurens Y Health and Fitness Coordinator Brie Holmes presented the first Golden Shoe Award to Laurens Elementary School and Caroline Culbertson, along with a $100.00 check.

A group known as “Eat Smart, Move More Laurens County” sponsors the award in conjunction with “Safe Walk to Schools” and the recent Walk to School event.

Brie Holmes said that today they’ll follow up with a celebratory reception at Laurens Elementary school at 3:30pm. In addition to celebrating their success, this afternoon’s event is to promote future events and ‘Safe Routes to School’ opportunities.

Clinton Man Charged with Burglary, Armed Robbery & Mob Assault

Clinton Public Safety yesterday arrested a local man and served warrants outlining his alleged part in a home invasion, robbery and mob assault the last day of 2015. 26-year-old Rodrick Devonziek Anderson of 590 Phillips Street, Apt K4, Clinton is charged with Burglary 1st Degree, Armed Robbery, Assault and Battery by a Mob 3rd Degree, Use of a Weapon in a Violent Crime and Criminal Conspiracy.

Detective Tyrone Goggins states that on December 31st, 2015 Rodrick Devonziek Anderson entered a dwelling on Florida Street without consent and that he committed the crime of Armed Robbery while inside, armed with a pistol. Detective Goggins states that he along with others invaded the residence and demanded money from the victim, and that the subjects assaulted the victim, causing physical injury to the victim inside the residence. Detective Goggins states that on December 31st Anderson along with two accomplices conspired to commit the violent crimes of Burglary 1st Degree, Armed Robbery and Assault and Battery by a Mob.

Rodrick Devonziek Anderson, also known as “Chief,” was being held in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

False Information Charge Added to Domestic Assault

A charge of Giving False Information to Police was added to a Gray Court woman, arrested Saturday in connection with a Friday night Domestic Assault. 35-year-old Koniskis Yalie Z. Jones of 4835 Old Laurens Road, Unit G, Gray Court is charged with Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature, Public Disorderly Conduct and with Giving False Information to Law Enforcement.

She is accused of cutting and stabbing her boyfriend on the right side of his head, neck and on his hand with a large kitchen knife. She is also accused of acting disorderly in a public place Friday, becoming loud and boisterous and using profanity in the presence of children. She is now further accused of giving her sister’s name when arrested.

A $25,000 cash or surety bond was set on the Domestic Violence charge, while bonds of $262 bonds were set on the other two charges. Ms. Jones was also on hold for police in Greenville and Easley.

Mike Pitts to Discuss Bill to Require Reports to Register

A member of the Laurens County delegation is receiving criticism for a proposal to require reporters in South Carolina register with the Secretary of State.

A report from the South Carolina News Network on WLBG Friday indicated that Representative Pitts filed the bill in an effort to get reporters to communicate on their practices before a House Committee. Meanwhile, his office has announced a press conference will be held at 10:30 this morning  on the 1st floor of the South Carolina Capitol Building. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss House Bill H-4702 that proposes a requirement that media outlets and journalists register with the South Carolina Secretary of State Office.

Absconding Supervision over a Year

Violation of Probation was charged yesterday with the arrest of 26-year-old Jerrico Dural Young of 97 Earnest Drive, Fountain Inn; also known as “Rico. ” He is accused of failing to report on two dates in October, 2014 or since then, as of the writing of the warrant. He is accused of moving his residence without permission to an undisclosed location, thereby absconding supervision, as evidenced by a home visit on November 20th, 2014. He is also charged with being behind on making required payments, of failing to perform required public service and of failing to follow the advice and instructions of his agent.

A cash or surety bond was set at $75,000. Jerrico D. “Rico” Young remained in the Johnson Detention Center.

Woman Jailed, Failure to Show for Weekend Sentence

31-year-old Sandra Jane Alewine of 1321 Shoals Junction Road near Ware Shoals was placed in the Laurens County Detention Center yesterday. A Bench Warrant showing an address of Poplar Springs Road, Ware Shoals states she failed to appear for her sentence of weekend jail, as well as numerous counseling sessions in December and the 1st week of this year.

Sandra Jane Alewine was being held for the Courts.

Forgery & Breach of Trust

34-year-old Elizabeth Ashley Nabors of 170 Marler Road, Gray Court was charged yesterday with Forgery and Breach of Trust, Obtaining Property under False Pretense. Deputy Nations states that on September 18th, 2015 she forged two checks for $690 to obtain property. Elizabeth Ashley Nabors was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing. She weas also on hold for Oconee County.