Gas Prices Up, Fuel Supply Down

The gas pipeline break down in Alabama last week was expected to create fuel shortages up the east coast, and that has become noticeable here in Laurens County. The price of gasoline at fuel stores in the Laurens-Clinton area has increased, some in the 30 to 40-cents-per-gallon range. There are also outages reported at some stores here. In some cases, the supply of some octane levels is out. Some stores run totally out of gasoline before they are resupplied.

Shooting Suspect Held without Bond

No bond was set during arraignment of a man wanted for a shooting last Monday north of Hickory Tavern. 26-year-old Joseph Edgar Akins of 3048 Hellams Road, Gray Court was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office Friday and charged with Attempted Murder, Use of Weapons during a Violent Crime and Grand Larceny.

Sgt. Carter states that on September 12th Joseph Edgar Akins did with malice aforethought shoot the victim in an attempt to kill him. Lt. Cheeks states that on September 12th Akins knowingly and willfully possessed and displayed a firearm and a knife during the commission of a violent crime. Lt. Cheeks also states that on September 12th Akins took a 2002 Buick LeSabre and a .38 caliber revolver with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, valued at $9,000.

With no bond set during arraignment, Joseph Edgar Akins remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Reward Offered in Monday Night Shooting

Laurens City Police report a reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in a shooting last Monday night. Laurens Police responded around 8:00 that night in reference to a male being shot in the head at the Roadway Inn Motel at 102 Bolt Drive. Friday, the victim was listed in stable but critical condition. The Laurens Police Department, in conjunction with SLED, released a sketch of the possible shooter on Friday. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call Laurens County Crime-Stoppers at 68-CRIME.  If your tip leads to the arrest of a suspect you could receive a reward.

Tools Taken in Shop Break-In

A major theft of tools from a business was reported to the Sheriff’s Office this weekend. Lt. Richards responded to the business in the 19,000 address range of Highway 221 North at 12:25 Saturday afternoon. The business owner reported that between 7:00 Friday evening at 12:20 Saturday afternoon someone had apparently climbed over a fence enclosing the property and kicked in a side door to the office area of the shop; then opened a roll-up door to gain access into the shop. They took a roll-away tool box containing a lot of various types of tools, including specialty tools. Also removed was a Lincoln welder with cart a set of cutting torches and bottles of gas. A scan tool for checking vehicle’s on-board computer was also noted as missing in the initial inventory. Value of the stolen tools was estimated at $57,000.

Arrest in ATV Theft  

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a suspect Friday in connection with an ATV theft last Tuesday. 52-year-old Arthur Ray Brewington of 5342 Highway 14, Gray Court was charged with Grand Larceny. Lt. Shelton states that on September 13th 2016 Arthur Ray Brewington took a Honda Recon 250 with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, valued at $3,500. A cash or surety bond was set at $50,000. Arthur Ray Brewington remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

4-Wheeler Taken

A four-wheel vehicle valued at $7,000 was reported stolen from Browning Avenue, Joanna this weekend. Deputy Andrew Hall was dispatched at 8:48 Sunday morning and met a man who reported that the night before he had heard some noise outside, near his building that sounded like a 4-wheeler cranking up and being driven down the road. He said he didn’t think much of the noise until he woke up early Sunday morning and walked outside. He said once outside he noticed the door to his building was open and the lock was cut off the door. He said going to the building he noted that his 2014 Polaris Sportsman 4-wheeler was missing. A photo of the crime scene was taken and the serial number of the 4-wheeler was noted as the break-in and theft was referred to Investigations.

Mobile Meth Lab Found

Sheriff’s Corporal Rushing was dispatched to a location in the 7100 address range of Highway 92, Enoree at 6:48 last evening to investigate a suspicious drug find. A woman said she was walking her dog in the wooded area near her residence when she located a black back-pack. She said she opened the bag and saw several items used in drug manufacture and brought the back-pack to her residence. Corporal Rushing noted that on opening the back pack he detected a strong chemical smell and observed Morton salt, a used cold pack, a Mason jar, what appeared to be liquid heat, a melted 20-ounce plastic bottle that had a pink substance inside and tubing. As the on-call Meth Tech, Lt. Shelton was called to the scene to take possession of the items and the canvas bag.

Counterfeit $10 Rejected at Store

A Deputy responded to a residence on Mill Pond Road, Clinton at 1:55 Saturday afternoon to investigate a report of counterfeit money. A woman said she was shopping and at the checkout the clerk marked the $10 bill she was using and determined it is counterfeit. She said she called to report the fake bill as she drove home.

1st Degree Domestic Assault

Domestic Violence in the 1st Degree is the charge facing a Laurens man following a Saturday incident. Laurens City Police arrested 27-year-old Tobias Shaquis Brown of 141 Lee Street. Officer Blackstock states that the defendant committed Domestic Violence in the 1st Degree by striking the victim about her face and body multiple times. The defendant also allegedly attempted to impede the victim’s air flow by placing a belt around her neck during the incident in their home and in front of the children they have in common. With a cash or surety bond set at $20,000, Tobias Shaquis Brown remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Arrest in Domestic Altercation

Sheriff’s Officers responded to Todd Quarter Road, Waterloo at 10:40 Friday morning regarding a domestic dispute. On arrival a woman said that he boyfriend had torn her clothing, hit her face and pulled her hair out. Deputy Boyd noted observing hair lying on the ground. No injuries were observed on the woman. 34-year-old Willie Earl Cook Jr. of 5308 Todd Quarter Road, Waterloo was arrested and a ticket was issued charging him with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. Willie Earl Cook was released this weekend on a $5,000 surety bond.

Vehicle Vandalism

A Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to Belmont Stakes, Clinton at 10:09 Sunday morning regarding vandalism to a motor vehicle. A man noted he’s received several phone calls over the last couple of weeks from a restricted number. He said he came home the previous overnight between midnight and 1:00 am and that when he woke at 9:00 am and was leaving for a trip to the store he noticed that someone had scratched the paint all over his vehicle and had pulled the gas cap off. Damage was listed as $600.

Male Charged with Assaulting His Brother

Sheriff’s Deputy Byrd and Corporal Richey were dispatched to Bethel Church Road at 8:12 Friday morning where one young man said he was in his room with his girlfriend when his brother came in and assaulted him. 19-year-old Alex Matthew Mundy of 1736 Bethel Church Road, Laurens was arrested a charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree. In a warrant, Deputy Richey states that Mundy intentionally committed battery upon a victim by striking him on his right arm and throwing him on the floor, causing injuries.

Alex Matthew Mundy was later released on a $265 personal recognizance bond.

Weed Eater & Chain Saw Taken

The Sheriff’s Office was contacted at 4:40 Saturday afternoon about the theft of an Echo weed eater and a Homelite chain saw from a residence in the 300 block of Conway Avenue, Laurens. The resident said her husband put the items in an open building on the back side of the property, which borders a mobile home park. She said someone cut a fence to access her property. Value of the stolen items was listed at $450.

Here, Doggie!

Sheriff’s Deputy Crosby responded to Wildwood Farm Road north of Hickory Tavern at 3:42 Friday afternoon on a report of a stolen family pet. A woman said that from a neighbor’s yard she saw an orange Chrysler leaving her father-in-law’s yard with the family’s pet dog in the back seat around 2:00 pm. Another daughter-in-law reported that when she and her mother-in-law returned home at 2:50 pm they noticed the front door was open and the dog was missing at that time. Deputy Crosby went to a suspect’s residence but did not make contact. The stolen blue-nose Pitt Bull is reportedly valued at $500.

Arrest in Monday Attempted Murder

Joseph Akins

A suspect in a Monday shooting was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office Friday. 27-year-old Joseph Edgar Akins was wanted by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office for attempted murder, grand larceny and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He’s accused of shooting a man believed to be his step-dad Monday at the victim’s residence on Marler Road, north of Hickory Tavern.

Akins was apprehended at approximately 9:30 a.m. Friday morning at a residence on Bethel Grove Church Road, Gray Court without incident.

The grand larceny charge alleges he stole a vehicle and two pistols as fled the crime scene Monday.

The victim in the shooting was airlifted to Greenville Memorial by Helicopter. The Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team was dispatched to the scene of the crime on Marler Road and made entry, but found the suspect. SLED and Greenville County assisted in the investigation.

Laurens Raider Football Replay September 16th

Laurens Raiders at Boiling Springs Football September 16th 2016

Doug Holliday, Play-by-Play

King Dixon, Color Commentary

Mike Hughes, Sideline Reports/On-site Producer

New District 55 Director of Athletics, PR & Admin Services

One of the changes since the arrival of School District 55 Superintendent Steven Peters is the hiring of Ed Murray as Director of Administrative Services, Athletics and Public Relations for the school district. Mr. Murray addressed Laurens Rotarians yesterday to review some of the work he is engaged in.

Murray said that Parent Teacher Organizations – “PTOs” – in each school are being converted to Parent Teacher Associations – “PTAs.” He said PTAs are more program driven and less focused on fundraising, and that PTAs have a national presence. He said the goal is to have the PTAs in all 9 schools nationally certified by the 2018-2019 school year.

Ed Murray said he is working to have a Wellness Audit of the District. He noted plans to provide support for principals and to also have coaching staff certified.

In other developments in his capacity as District Athletic Director, Murray said a new Athletics web-site went online this week. He told of plans to have coverage of sporting events on the web site. And by next year he hopes to be selling tickets to District 55 sporting events on the web site thru Digital Ticketing. He said he wants to promote the districts sports franchise.

In his duties as Public Relations Director, Murray outlined plans for having coverage of local school news on the District 55 web site and to have district social media accounts in order to increase quantity and quality of reporting. He noted plans to have district personnel engaged in the social media. He also said there is a plan to have a District 55 TV channel through Spectrum with Journalism students as reporters, and to provide live coverage of School Board Meetings.

Zika, NO!  Honey Bees, Yes!

Got bees?  If you have a bee hive in the City of Clinton, city administration wants to know.

The city of Clinton was one of the first in South Carolina to respond to the threat of the Zika virus by initiating an aggressive mosquito control program. But over the past few weeks there have been concerns raised about mosquito control also harming honey bee hives.  In an effort to avoid that, City Manager Frank Stovall issued a plea during Monday’s meeting of Clinton City Council. If you keep bees inside the city limits of Clinton please notify the city by calling 833-7505. City Administration would like to limit spraying near your hive and to notify you of when spraying will occur.

Clinton’s program continues to inspect pools to be sure they aren’t being used as a breeding ground by mosquitoes and conduct spraying to kill the little blood suckers.  Clinton’s program has been inspected by DHEC and found to be one of the few such programs operating entirely within their requirements and with properly trained personnel.

So, if you’re a beekeeper in Clinton, speak up.  Save the bees!

Cooling Temperatures for Health Department

County Council Tuesday night approved funds to repair failing air conditioning at the County Health Department. A Budget Amendment Resolution was approved to authorize repair and restoration of the HVAC.  Apparently failures in the air conditioning had led to some temporary closures of offices there.   Council approved $35,260 to replace the outside portion of the HVAC system on the Health Department side of the health and human service building.

Williams Wants Debate with Reynolds

Independent Sheriff’s Candidate Stephane Williams yesterday released a statement expressing disappointment that Republican Sheriff’s Candidate Don Reynolds will not participate in any debates or public forums. Williams said he was looking forward to several debates throughout the communities of Laurens County so the citizens would have a chance to hear each candidate and how they differ on the issues. He said he stands ready to discuss the direction of the Sheriff’s Office with Reynolds in an open debate, should he change his mind.