1st Degree Domestic Assault Yesterday

A man’s assault on his girlfriend in Clinton yesterday was alleged with an arrest. Clinton Public Safety yesterday charged 39-year-old Shatner Simmon Dial of 508 Academy Street, Clinton with Domestic Violence 1st Degree.

Mr. Dial is accused of inflicting physical harm to the victim by grasping her about her throat, impeding her breathing and air flow, and by striking her multiple times about her body yesterday at his residence. The warrant notes that Mr. Dial and the victim were currently living together. It also states that Dial has one prior conviction of Domestic Violence in the past ten years.

Bond was denied on the 1st Degree Domestic Violence charge. Shatner Simmon Dial remains in the Laurens County Detention Center.

Professor Ingram Takes on New Duties

Presbyterian College’s Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science today begins his 2nd week of additional duties. PC President Bob Station named Dr. Booker T. Ingram Jr. as the first Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the College, effective July 1st.

In describing this new appointment, Staton expressed that “Dr. Ingram is a tremendous asset to the Presbyterian College community, and I am delighted that he has accepted this new and important role on campus. It is essential that we work to increase inclusiveness across all aspects of the Presbyterian College community, and I am excited that he will be leading our initiatives to do so.”

In his new role, Ingram will report directly to the president and join the College’s Leadership Team. Ingram is to work with President Staton to advance existing programs and initiatives related to diversity on campus. Longer term, the goal is to develop programs that seek to create a campus environment where all members of the Presbyterian College community flourish and are able to achieve their potential.

In accepting the position, Ingram said he’s grateful for the opportunity. He said “I think that it is an important position to fill in this moment when our country is undergoing major demographic changes. Scholars have noted that the changes are projected to continue with increased diversity among minority populations for some years to come. This demographic shift challenges the College to effectively recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body.”

Ingram states, “A focus on diversity and building a more inclusive place is not simply that you have people who look different, but such a focus requires creating a culture where individuals with varying cultural experiences associated with their race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion and disability feel valued for their individual contributions and that allows them to achieve their highest potential. I feel very confident that the College can meet this new challenge, and I am excited to take on this responsibility in helping it do so.”

Dr. Ingram, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University and Ohio State University, joined the PC faculty in 1987, when he and his wife, Florence, moved to PC from Dillard University in New Orleans, La.

Arrests Follow 3rd Shoplifting at Tractor Supply

Laurens Police arrested two suspects Friday following a third alleged Shoplifting for the month at the Laurens Tractor Supply.

Saturday, 59-year-old Richard Lee Campbell of 440 Bridges Road, Simpsonville was served with three charges of Enhanced Shoplifting and with one count of Receiving Stolen Goods. Warrants citing investigations by officers Thibodeau, Martin and Sherfield accuse Mr. Campbell of three shoplifting incidents at the East Main Tractor Supply. Campbell allegedly took merchandise past all points of sale on July 2nd and on July 4th. Friday,  July 7th he allegedly was observed taking a gas cap from Tractor Supply for a pressure washer which was recovered from Advanced Auto Parts. The three shoplifting warrants state the charges were enhanced due to three prior convictions of property crimes by the defendant.

An additional charge followed a vehicle search Friday. In the forth warrant, charging Possession of Stolen Goods, Sgt. Thibodeau states that on July 7th Mr. Campbell had in his possession a Husky brand 134-piece mechanics tool set that had been stolen from Home Depot in Simpsonville. Thibodeau states this was discovered while executing a search warrant on the vehicle in which Campbell had left the scene of the shoplifting Friday.

Cash or surety bonds of $15,000 were set on each of the Shoplifting charges and a $2,000 bond on the Receiving Stolen Goods warrant. Richard Lee Campbell of Simpsonville remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with bonds totaling $47,000.

An alleged assistant in the Shopliftings was also arrested Friday. Laurens City Police charged 39-year-old Stephen Ekesen of 1121 Beaverdam Church Road, Gray Court with three counts of Criminal Conspiracy. These warrant accused him of driving a co-defendant to and from Tractor Supply at 917 East Main Street in Laurens on July 2nd and July 4th, where the co-defendant committed the crime of Shoplifting. On Friday, July 7th he allegedly drove a co-defendant away from a Shoplifting at Tractor Supply.

Stephen Ekesen was being held with cash or surety bonds totaling $9,000 on his three charges.

Meth Possession, Back to Drug Court

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 37-year-old Stephen Tron Case of 261 Setzler Road, Laurens Friday night. He was issued a ticket charging him with Trespassing at 8:00 pm Friday on Forrest Road. He was later served a warrant charging Possession of Methamphetamine. That states that he knowingly possessed .97 gram of meth. Bonds on the two charges were set totaling $5,465. A Bench Warrant was also served, ordering him held for a Drug Court appearance.

Don’t Look, Ethel!

A Columbia woman spent the weekend in Laurens County’s Detention Center, after allegedly becoming disorderly and exposing herself in Joanna Friday morning. Sheriff’s Deputy Ritter arrested 29-year-old Twanesha Rachel  Dunbar of 181 Aster Circle, Columbia, issuing tickets that charge her with Indecent Exposure and Public Disorderly Conduct at 11:30 Friday morning at the Dollar General at 305 North Main, Joanna. With cash or surety bonds totaling $5,257, Ms. Dunbar remained in custody this morning.

$170,000 bond on Firearm & Multiple Drug Charges

Unlawful possession of five different drugs on Wednesday of this week was alleged in warrants served by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. Deputies had arrested 27-year-old Christopher Raymond Brown of 23465 Highway 76 East, Clinton on Wednesday. Yesterday he was charged with unlawful possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, 2nd offense and unlawful possession of four schedule I, II or III drugs with Intent to Distribute, 2nd Offense. Of these, he allegedly had over 15 dosages of one and over 35 dosages of another of the substances. One of the five warrants accuses of him being in possession of over 55 grams of marijuana.

In a 6th warrant, Mr. Brown was accused of Possession of a Firearm during Commission of a Violent Felony. It states he had a Taurus handgun in his possession Wednesday, in addition to all the drugs.

With $30,000 bonds set on each of the drug charges and a $20,000 bond set on the Firearms charge, Christopher Raymond Brown of Clinton remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $170,000.

Bond Denied on Domestic Assault Charge

No bond was granted for a Laurens County man the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested yesterday for an alleged domestic assault last week. 26-year-old Caleb Shawn Simmons of 230 Highway 39, Mountville was charged with Domestic Violence 2nd Degree. A warrant citing an investigation by Deputy Jonathan Brown states that on June 27th Simmons chased the victim and body slammed her to the ground, causing injuries to her head and right index finger. This allegedly occurred with their children present. During arraignment on the 2nd Degree Domestic Violence charge yesterday, bond was denied. Caleb Shawn Simmons remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Water Improvements for Clinton Mill Area

Clinton City Council received good news for the Clinton Mill area of town.  New water lines are on the way. At Monday’s meeting of Clinton City Council, Interim City Manager Dale Satterfield told council that the city had been awarded a federally funded Community Development Block Grant for the purpose of installing new water lines on Beauregard, Davis, Stewart and Forest Streets. The grant totals $626,802 enabling the work on an aging and ailing water distribution system to begin in the near future.

Head Assaulted with Bottle, Car Backed into Ravine

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested a Laurens man for an alleged assault on a Clinton man four months earlier. 34-year-old Jason Darrell Byrd of 89 2nd Street, Laurens was charged with Assault and Battery 2nd Degree. A warrant making that charge states that on March 5th, 2017 in Laurens County Mr. Byrd hit the victim in the face with a bottle. He allegedly struck the victim twice, causing a large laceration. The warrant also states that striking the victim with the bottle caused him to back his vehicle into a ravine. Jason Darrell Byrd was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing today. He was also being held for charges from Laurens City Police.

Child Endangerment Among Charges

A Greenville man was charged with Child Endangerment yesterday as a result of having several minors in a car while allegedly violating multiple laws. Clinton Public Safety arrested 25-year-old Christopher Levon Franklin of Unit 1400 at 699 Rutherford Drive, Greenville following an incident at the Pilot Station off Interstate 26 in Clinton..

As warrants were served later yesterday, Mr. Franklin was accused of being under the influence and conducting himself in a disorderly and boisterous manner yesterday in Clinton, of driving a vehicle on public roadways while under the influence and driving with an open container of alcohol. He was further accused of driving while his license to drive was suspended, noting he has two prior convictions for this.

A 5th warrant charged Franklin with Child Endangerment, accusing him of having five juvenile children under the age of 16 in the motor vehicle yesterday at the Pilot Station on Highway 56 at Interstate 26.

During the arraignment on the five charges yesterday, surety bonds were set totaling $4,077. Mr. Franklin was also on hold for South Carolina Pardon, Probation and Parole regarding a Violation of Probation warrant from Florence County for his arrest.

Splash & Dash Coming August 4th

The GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital yesterday announced that the GHS Splash & Dash is back by popular demand this year. The event is for children aged 3 to 11 and will be held at the Laurens Y Friday, August 4th. The one-hour event begins at 10:00 that morning.

Participants compete in a mock-triathlon by swimming and running a designated distance according to age level.  Splash & Dash features a pool swim followed by a cross-country run. Events are staggered between three different age groups with the distance of swimming and running increasing as the age does.

This year’s event includes the one hour swim/run followed by a courtesy lunch and the official awards ceremony. All pre-registered competitors will receive a finisher’s medal, Splash & Dash T-shirt, race packet and lunch.

Hospital spokesperson Jamie Adair noted that participants ages 3-5 are required to wear a coastguard approved life vest and be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the pool. A limited number of life vests will be available, but parents are strongly encouraged to bring their child’s personal life preserver.

The focus of Splash & Dash is to encourage participation and get kids of all ages active, so all who participate are thereby winners.

More details on the GHS Splash & Dash and registration is available by a webstie: ghs.org/splashndash. You may also call the Laurens Y at(864)681-0203.

Cursing = Contempt of Court

A man appearing in Laurens Municipal Court yesterday was placed in jail with Two Bench Warrants citing him with Contempt of Magistrate’s Court. 59-year-old Allen Lee Miller of 111 Snows Drive, Laurens was sentenced by Judge Jackie Williams to 30 days or a $650 fine on each of the charges. Miller was charged with being Disruptive in the Courtroom and Disruptive in the Courtroom by Cursing. Mr. Miller remained in the county lockup this morning.

Two Arrested 1:00 AM on West Main

Laurens City Police arrested two people on multiple offenses that included alleged running from Police, very early yesterday.

20-year-old Reahana Laine Landreth of 1012 West Main, Laurens was issued tickets by Officer Lindsey that charge her with Reckless Driving, Simple Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Minor in Possession of Alcohol and Flight Upon Sight at 1:00 AM Thursday on West Main Street. She remained in custody this morning with cash or surety bonds on her five charges totaling $3,025.

24-year-old Christopher Cody Simmons of 20 Desire Lane, Gray Court was charged with Reckless Driving, Having a Non-Registered Vehicle and Flight upon Sight on West Main at Parkview at 1:00 o’clock Thursday morning. With cash or surety bonds set yesterday totaling $1,807 on his charges, Christopher Cody Simmons remained in custody this morning.

Tool Theft

A theft of tools was alleged with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest yesterday of 41-year-old Samuel Guadalupe of 2870 Dairy Road, Ware Shoals. A Petit Larceny warrant states that on May 25th, 2017 in Laurens County, Mr. Guadalupe took away various tools valued at $200 with the intent of depriving the owner of the property. Samuel Guadalupe was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Multiple Shoplifting Incidents

We’ve had several arrests for Shoplifting charges this week here in Laurens County. But there have been several more cases of shoplifting that are yet to have an arrest. As of late yesterday these included a case where a Laurens Police Officer was dispatched to Tractor Supply on East Main Wednesday morning. A store employee reportedly told Officer Martin that a man came to the register and put a chain saw and battery on the counter as if to pay. He then started a conversation with the cashier and asked the employee to look at something in the back of the store with him. As they were leaving the register area of the store, the “customer” reportedly turned, grabbed the saw and battery and fled the store. An examination of video surveillance identified the shop-lifter as a man who had previously stolen a hand truck and battery. As of last night, this suspect remained at large without arrest for either incident.

Two Actions for GE in I-26 Commerce Park

Two items critical to the development of the Clinton I-26 Corporate Park were approved by Clinton City Council this week. Both items relate to providing utility service to the new park, and, of more urgency, to the “Spec” building that is to become the site of the recently announced General Electric Renewable Energy facility. .

During Monday night’s open session, Interim City Manager Dale Satterfield asked that council authorize him to enter into a contract with Elmore Land & Site Developing, Inc. of Enoree. That contract totaling $258,700 is for the installation of sewer lines to serve the new building and the Commerce Park. According to supporting documents, 5 bids were received for the project.  The lowest of the qualified bids was from Elmore.  The engineer’s original estimate of cost $335,500 so the winning bid was 23% less than what had been anticipated. This was approved. However, there was a slight glitch to proceeding with the utility installation.

Approval of the second matter related to the I-26 Commerce Park utilities installation came following a lengthy executive session of City Council.

The sewer line must cross property adjacent to the Commerce Park that is owned by an individual.  Following the executive session, City Council authorized City Attorney Allen Wham to begin eminent domain proceedings to seize property of others necessary for the installation of the sewer line.

After the meeting, WLBG asked Mr. Wham if there had been attempts to purchase an easement across the land in question.  He said that contact had been made and that the land owner was generally agreeable but then had an illness in the family and had not been back in contact.

Meanwhile, GE has announced their intention to occupy the spec building and will need that sewer line completed on an ASAP basis.  So, while Mr. Wham believes that the city and the land owner will be able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement for the easement, eminent domain proceedings were to be started just in case that does not happen. Wham said that time is of the essence and the city cannot take a chance that an agreement is not reached in time for the work to be completed.

According to Allen Wham, the city understands that the landowner’s top priority is the health of their family member and sympathizes with their situation, but the city must have the tool of eminent domain ready to use in the unlikely event that negotiations with the landowner do not occur in time for the necessary construction.

Night-Time Burglary in Princeton

A night-time break-in of a neighbor’s residence in the Princeton community early yesterday was alleged with a Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrest. 45-year-old James Kevin Gardner of 13174 US 25, Honea Path, in the Laurens County portion of Princeton, is charged with 1st Degree Burglary and Domestic Violence 3rd Degree.

A warrant citing the investigation of Lt. Timothy Byrd states that on July 5th Mr. Gardner entered a dwelling – near his home in the Princeton community – without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein. He allegedly entered the dwelling at night by kicking in the door and would not leave when requested by the victims. These victims reportedly included his wife along with another woman and her children.

The Domestic Violence warrant state that he came to the residence where his wife was staying and kicked in the door, creating fear of imminent peril.

James Kevin Gardner was being held in the Laurens County Detention Center earlier this morning, pending a bond hearing.

Preparations for PC Class of 2021

Presbyterian College held two orientation sessions for incoming freshmen the past two weeks, with 274 students in attendance. The new student orientation is designed to provide meaningful programs and opportunities to support the transition and engagement of new students and their families to the academic, cultural, and social environment of Presbyterian College. The sessions were held on Thursday and Friday each of the past two weeks.

During the orientation, new students registered for parking passes, took photos for their IDs, and attended sessions on academic programs, academic success, and co-curricular interests. Family members and other guests attended a session hosted by the Parents Council and on the family transition.

Both orientation programs were concluded with a “final countdown” session where students took their first photos as the class of 2021 and saw the exact time in days, hours, minutes, and seconds to when they begin their journey as Blue Hose.

A third orientation event will be held for incoming students August 18th.

Meth Charges for Two Tuesday Arrests

Two men were charged with Meth Possession yesterday, after Laurens City Police arrested them following a Fleming Street Traffic Stop. Officer William Van Pelt issued a ticket the night of the 4th charging 46-year-old Anthony Keith Thornley of 3595 Sawmill Road, Gray Court with Simple Possession of Marijuana at 6:10 Tuesday evening on Fleming Street.

Yesterday, Thornley was served with a warrant charging him with Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth, 2nd Offense. It states that on July 4th he was in possession of methamphetamines during a lawful traffic stop on Fleming Street and that on entering the detention center was found to have more methamphetamine concealed on his person. The warrant also says that Mr. Thornley has a criminal history showing a prior conviction for possession of a schedule 2 substance. Anthony Keith Thornley remained in custody this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $10,615.

Also arrested at the Tuesday evening traffic stop,58-year-old Stanley Johnson of 102 Bearhaven Drive, Taylors was charged yesterday with Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth. Stanley “Stan” Johnson remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $5,000.

Two Now Held for Next Court Dates

Two people were booked in the Laurens County Detention Center yesterday on orders from General Sessions Court.

39-year-old Mary Sonya Nicole Greene of 25344 Highway 76 East, Clinton was served with seven Bench Warrants. They state she failed to appear in Laurens County General Sessions Court on June 28th, 2017 to face charges of Distribution of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Disposal of Meth, Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth and four charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance.

25-year-old Darius Antonio Wallace of 1724 Stone Battery Road, Newberry was served a Laurens County General Serssions Be

Bench Warrant cites Failure to Appear October 21st of 2016 to face a Larceny charge of Breaking into an Automobile. He was also served with a Laurens Municipal Court Bench Warrant which states he was convicted of a Breach of Peace charge on September 20th of last year and sentenced to 30 days or $150.

Both Ms. Greene and Mr. Wallace remained in custody this morning, pending their next court appearances.