District 55 Students on Delay

District 55 Students are to report to school this Monday morning on a two-hour delay.

District 55 Staff members are to report on regular schedule.


District 56 will operate on Regular Schedule Monday.




Friday Postponements, Closings…

District 55 this morning announced that all after-school activities for today have been cancelled. School will dismiss at regular times. The varsity games at Byrnes scheduled for tonight will be made up on a date yet to be determined.


The Clinton Red Devils basketball games at Chapman this evening have been postponed due to the coming winter weather. At this time no makeup has been set.


All games for the City of Laurens Youth Basketball League scheduled for Saturday have been postponed. Regular schedule will resume on Monday.


Laurens Academy basketball games tonight are postponed. They are rescheduled for February 1st.


Winter Storm Warning

A Winter Storm Warning has been posted for a broad area across our region. It states that heavy snowfall is likely across Northeast Georgia and the Western Carolinas. Warning area includes Laurens County and every adjoining county and goes all the way thru Western North Carolina into bordering counties in Tennessee. Bordering areas such as Knoxville, Tennessee and Columbia, SC had a winter storm watch posted early this morning. The Winter Storm Warning area covers a broad swath to the northeast thru the Raleigh – Durham area of North Carolina.

Here in Laurens County, rain is expected to start between 2 and 3 this afternoon. Overnight, it changes to snow, with 2 to 4 inches expected overnight. Another inch is predicted for Saturday. The national weather service expected the rain to change to snow around 11:00 tonight in the Gray Court and Fountain Inn area. In Laurens and Clinton, it’s expected to change to snow around midnight. In Cross Hill, it’s expected to change to a rain and sleet mix around midnight, then to pure snow around 1:00 am Saturday.

The snow is expected to end by noon tomorrow. Clear skies return tomorrow with highs just above freezing this weekend and lows of 14 Saturday night and 12 degrees Sunday night.

With the cold temperatures following the snowfall, expect slippery conditions on the roadways and sidewalks to remain for a time as any snow that melts during the day may easily freeze as temperatures go below the teens at night this weekend.

Preparations for the inclement weather have been underway for days. John Young of the Laurens CPW reported Wednesday that preparations were already underway then. Crews were being readied to respond locally or elsewhere as needed.

The winter storm warning for our area is to be in effect from 7:00 this evening to 1:00 Saturday afternoon.

Harassment & False Felony Report

Clinton Public Safety yesterday arrested a local man in connection with alleged harassment of a woman Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and for an allegedly false police report filed on New Year’s Eve.

Booked yesterday was 28-year-old Eric Rico Hill of 304 Bailey Street, Clinton, who is also reportedly known as “Leon Sims” and “E-Money.”

Eric Rico Hill was charged with Harassment 2nd Degree and with Filing a False Report of a Felony.

The defendant is accused of knowingly filing a false police report on December 31st, 2016 by calling the 911 system, requesting an officer to respond to an Armed Robbery. He is accused of stating that a pistol had been held to a female’s head and that money had been taken from her hand. He also allegedly stated this to Clinton Police Officers, but later admitted to filing a false report.

Hill is also accused of knowingly and willfully harassing a victim multiple times via text messages and phone calls from January 3rd to 4th, causing her to suffer mental and emotional distress due to threats. The warrant states that the defendant had been advised by Officer Peay and by the victim not to have contact with her.

Eric Rico Sims was being held overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Drug Possession Charged

A drug possession charge was served yesterday on a man the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested on Wednesday. 29-year-old Adam Christopher “Shaggy” Nobles of 2620 Ekom Beach Road, Laurens is charged with Possession of Less than One Gram of Meth, 2nd Offense. Deputy Adam Galloway states that on January 4th the defendant knowingly possessed less than one gram of methamphetamine without authority to do so, and that the defendant has prior convictions for this offense. A $5,000 cash or surety bond was set during arraignment. Adam Christopher “Shaggy” Nobles remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Academic Success Honored

At Piedmont Technical College’s recent fall commencement exercises, outstanding students from each of the college’s seven supporting counties were honored for academic achievement. Laurens County student Ashley Shepheard was honored for maintaining high academic success. She was recognized by PTC Area Commission chairman George Piersol. Shepheard is a diversified agriculture graduate.

Probation Violation

State Probation and Parole yesterday arrested a woman for alleged violations of her terms of probationary release this week. A Violation of Probation warrant was served on 32-year-old Heather Marie Wymer of 868 Garlington Road, Mountville. It states that on January 5th she admitted to using Methamphetamine and a Xanax without a prescription on January 4th, and that she had failed to follow the advice and instructions of her agent, as so evidenced. Ms. Wymer was being held overnight in the Laurens County Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.

After 3 Years, Now Time to Serve

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday booked a Spartanburg County man in connection with a sentence from Laurens County Magistrate’s Court over three years ago. 40-year-old Thomas Allison West of 670 Harris Bridge Road, Chesnee was served with a Bench Warrant for a Malicious Damage case. It states that West was convicted in Magistrate’s Court October 1st, 2013 on a Malicious Damage charge. He is still facing a fine of $1,092 or 30 days in jail on the conviction.

Buses for Greenville, Spartanburg; but Not Laurens

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded South Carolina more than $1.1 million to replace 57 school buses with new, cleaner models. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said “We are pleased to have been awarded this funding which will go to replacing our state’s aging fleet with lower emission and more efficient buses.”

The EPA has awarded more than $7.7 million to replace or retrofit 401 older diesel school buses in 27 states. The funds are in the form of rebates through the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding. The new and retrofitted buses are expected to reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

Neither Laurens County school district will receive any of the buses. The 11 districts include Greenville, which is getting 10 new buses, as is Charleston County. Spartanburg Districts 3 and 6 are getting 2 and 4 buses.

$20,000 Bond set for Assault Suspect

A $20,000 cash or surety bond was set yesterday on 20-year-old Breundazz Shondre Higgins of 1123 Sunset Park, Laurens. He was arrested in the overnight and charged with 2nd Degree Domestic Violence for an alleged assault on his baby’s mama as they traveled on Sumter Street Christmas Day. Breundazz Higgins remained in custody this morning.

Baby Held during Alleged Baby Clothing Theft

Laurens Police Sgt. James Nolen was called to the Laurens Wall-Mart at 4:15 Wednesday afternoon on a report of a woman shoplifting. A store employee reported observing a woman who had an infant and a diaper bag stuffed with stolen goods who was trying to leave the store through the garden center exit. When the woman was questioned by Nolen, and was asked to show the contents of the diaper bag, she reportedly appeared to have possession of about $134 worth of baby clothes. She was issued a citation for Shoplifting and released, pending her court appearance.

Not a Good Day for Her

Laurens Police Officer Benjamin Gallo III pulled over a vehicle for a speeding violation at 7:32 yesterday morning. In asking the driver for her identification, he reportedly was presented with a registration card that was a year out of date and an insurance card that expired last March. The driver did have a current license, though.….at least, as of yesterday.

Officer Gallo arranged for the car to be impounded, and advised the woman that her license would be revoked by the end of this month. He contacted a towing agency to come for the car. The woman borrowed the officer’s phone to secure a ride from the scene, but was unable to locate one.

The driver was issued a citation for Driving an Uninsured Vehicle and a warning for Speeding. Given a court date to appear, she was escorted home by the Officer.

$1.3 for Laurens County Industrial Infrastructure

A $1.3 million grant announced yesterday by the United States Commerce Department is expected to help the start-up of a new plant in Gray Court. Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, said this money is to help the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission build critical water and sewer infrastructure for an industrial park to support foreign direct investment. The federal agency states the investment is expected to create 80 new jobs and generate $17.6 million in private investment.

In announcing the $1.3 million grant, the federal Economic Development Agency noted that as a member of South Carolina’s Upstate Alliance, Laurens County has a global marketing presence that will help it continue to attract direct foreign investment. EDA states the primary beneficiary of this project is a Turkish non-wovens manufacturing company.

That company is making its first investment in the US thru a subsidiary,  Mogul SC. Opening of the facility on ISO Parkway in Gray Court is expected in a few weeks.

Assistant EDA Secretary Williams said “The Commerce Department is committed to improving our nation’s infrastructure to attract private investment, which is crucial for job growth.” He said this $1.3 million grant will support the development of an industrial park that will attract foreign direct investment to create jobs in Laurens County.

Laurens County Development Corporation Director Jonathan Coleman said “We greatly appreciate the EDA and the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission’s support with economic development in Laurens County.”

Beating a Man about Head with Blunt Object

Clinton Public Safety yesterday arrested a local man for allegedly beating another man about the head at a business address last Thursday. 28-year-old Kashon O’Neal “Shon” Johnson of Apt. 64 at 1321 South Broad, Clinton was charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. A warrant citing investigation of Officer Hood states that on December 30th at 1002 South Broad Mr. Johnson struck the victim about the head with a blunt object. The warrant states that Johnson’s assault of the victim was accomplished by means likely to produce death or great bodily injury. Bond was denied during arraignment yesterday. Kashon O’Neal “Shon” Johnson remains in the Laurens County Detention Center.

Criminal Sexual Conduct 5 to 7 Years Ago Alleged

Sexual conduct with a teenager between five and seven years ago was alleged yesterday with an arrest by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

67-year-old James Stewart Cooley of 34 Hayes Drive, Gray Court was charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, or Attempt. Sgt. Carter states that between January 1st of 2009 and January 1st of 2011 Mr. Cooley engaged in sexual battery by performing oral sex on the victim. A $25,000 cash or surety bond was set during arraignment. James Stewart Cooley remained in custody this morning.

Was Supposed to Be a Short Errand

Failure to return a car borrowed last month was alleged in an arrest yesterday. The Sheriff’s Office charged 40-year-old Heather Christina Delaine Valle of 412 Edisto Road, Gray Court with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent. Deputy Andrew Turner states that on December 18th, the defendant committed Breach of Trust valued at between $2,000 and $10,000 by using the victim’s 2012 Hundai Santa Fe for an errand, and of not returning the car to the victim.  Heather Christina Delaine Valle remained in custody overnight, pending a bond hearing today.

Christmas Day Assault on Baby’s Mama

Laurens City Police made an arrest overnight into a man’s alleged assault on his Baby’s Mama on Christmas Day. 20-year-old Breundazz Shondre Higgins of 1123 Sunset Park Extension, Laurens was served this morning with a warrant charging Domestic Violence 2nd Degree. Citing investigation of Officer Dillon Sherfield, the warrant alleges that on December 25th Higgens caused physical harm to his child’s mother by striking her about the face and head. This reportedly occurred as they were driving down Sumter Street, and was witnessed by a minor. Breundazz Shondre Higgins was being held, pending a bond hearing.

Domestic Assault One Month Ago

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office booked a man yesterday in connection with a domestic assault one month ago. 50-year-old Calvin Jerome Goggins of 112 Gastley Drive, Clinton was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. A warrant cites the investigation of Sgt. Byrd as indicating that Mr. Goggins assaulted the victim on December 6th by striking her multiple times in the presence of witnesses. The defendant reportedly had the apparent present ability to cause physical harm or injury under circumstances that would reasonably cause fear of imminent peril. Calvin Jerome Goggins remained in custody this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $2,150.

False Report of Domestic Violence

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Tuesday following his alleged report of Domestic Violence. 33-year-old Ryan Edward Erickson of 106 Tarlton Drive, Fountain Inn is accused of filing a report of Domestic Violence on January 2nd, and that an investigation by Sgt. Byrd indicated this was a false report. Ryan Edward Erickson was released yesterday on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

Christmas Shopping?

Laurens City Police yesterday arrested a man for allegedly taking a bank card and making unauthorized purchases last month. 23-year-old William Charles Sattenfield III of 226 Irby Avenue, Laurens was charged with Financial Transaction Card Theft and two counts of Financial Transaction Card Fraud.  Detective Michael Gainey states that between December 1st and 28th the defendant took a financial transaction card or card number from the victim and made several fraudulent transactions using the card, before returning it to the victim. Sattenfield was further charged with using the FTC to purchase a video game console for $265.39 on December 22nd and to make several online purchases from Wal-Mart totaling $1,559.02 between December 24th and 27th. The defendant was reportedly observed on video picking the items up from Wal-Mart at 922 East Main.

Cash or surety bonds were set totaling $4,500 on the three charges. William Charles Sattenfield III remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.