Ware Shoals Accident – One Dead

A Simpsonville man died in a fatal accident near Ware Shoals in Laurens County this morning.

According to LCpl Tony Keller with the South Carolina Highway Patrol a 2015 Ford pickup truck crashed on US 25 about a half mile south of Ware Shoals. The vehicle went off the left side of the road striking a guard rail and a tree. The driver was restrained by a safety belt and was not ejected or entrapped.

Laurens County Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek identified the victim as 48 year old John Daryl Masters of 105 Annas Place, Simpsonville. Cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy to be conducted on Saturday in Greenville.

Stay tuned to WLBG and wlbg.com for further developments on this story.

Subject Arrested After Foot Chase

On Tuesday, Sargent’s Brewington and Cook were investigating a burglary and to locate a subject allegedly involved . During this investigation, they interviewed the subject’s sister at a Thimble Drive Gray Court residence. She stated that on the previous Friday, the subject and others came to the residence with several items that the subject referenced as stolen. Another witness stated that on that Friday evening he was approached by the subject who attempted to sell him an air compressor but he didn’t purchase it so the subject left. The subject was located at a Morgan Street Enoree home where he had been staying with his juvenile girlfriend. While officers knocked on the front door the subject jumped out of a window and ran on foot. He was persued but was lost in the woods behind the home. A passing motorist flagged down the officers and reported a white male had run into a house a few doors down. The owners of the house opened the door for the officers and said a man had run in their house. The subject was located and restrained. Outside, another white male approached the subject and an argument ensued. The argument was diffused by officers and other man was escorted to his vehicle and left. It was found that the other male was the subject’s girlfriend’s grandfather. It was alleged that the juvenile girlfriend had been letting the subject sneak in and out of her window when her grandparents were away or sleeping.

strange zachary 0000111097Zachary Hunter Strange, age 18 of 50 Thimble Drive Gray Court was booked into the Johnson Detention Center on June 14th, charged with receiving stolen goods. The warrant states that on June 10th, he did receive one television, one pressure washer, and miscellaneous tools of the victim’s valued at $800 knowing at the time that the property was stolen or having reason to believe the property to be stolen. He remains in the jdc on $2000 bond The case continues to be investigated to determine the involvement of other suspects in the case.

 

School District 56 Announces Mrs. Brenda Schrantz as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction

Laurens County School District 56 is pleased to announce that Mrs. Brenda Schrantz will be joining the district as Assistant Superintendent of Instruction on July 1. Mrs. Schrantz began her career in Laurens 56 and taught at both Clinton Elementary and the Martha Dendy 6th Grade Center. She was the Martha Dendy Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year. From 2005-2008, she served under Dr. Bill Alexander as the Assistant Principal at Martha Dendy. For 6 years she was the Coordinator of Special Programs and Accountability for Laurens 56, working with curriculum and instruction for special education students and the gifted and talented program, as well as District Test Coordinator for all state and national assessments. Since 2014, Mrs. Schrantz has been the Coordinator of Special Populations and Accountability at Laurens School District 55, planning staff development and curriculum for special area teachers. Throughout her career, Mrs. Schrantz has been awarded multiple grants that have benefited students in all of Laurens County. In her position with Laurens 56, Mrs. Schrantz will provide leadership in developing curriculum and managing the day-to-day operations of the instructional programs in the district. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Lander University with additional certifications in middle level math and science, and a master’s degree in elementary administration and supervision from Clemson University. The current Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction, Dr. Laura Koskela, is retiring after 20 years of dedicated service to Laurens 56.

 

Attempted Break In At Church

Corporal Edwards of the Sheriffs Office received a call from dispatch at 10:53 Thursday morning in reference to an alarm activation on one of the front doors of  Beaverdam Baptist Church. Upon arrival the officer checked the perimeter of the church and found no one. The deputy checked the church and found the front door to the far right of the church had damage on it. A partial portion of the wooden door was broken off and missing. Corporal Edwards also saw damage on the door frame but the door was still dead bolted and locked. The door beside it had the same mark on the door frame but the deadbolt was halfway out. The officer turned the door knob and the door was unlocked. Lieutenant Richards arrived and the church was searched but nobody was found inside. A member of the church arrived to contact other church members. The incident will be on file at the Sheriff’s Office.

Dist. 55 Approves Title I and Title II Funds, Dr. Strickland and Hubert Lollar Honored

IMG_0888At Thursday’s District 55 School Board Meeting, the board approved unanimously a request by Jody Penland on the amount of the Title I and Title II federal programs for the new school year, which both fall under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Title I, which refers to a program that was initiated by the United States Department of Education in order to distribute funding to schools and districts that have a high percentage of students who come from low-income families, and will amount to approximately one and a half million dollars.

In order for a school to qualify for Title I, a school must have about 40% or more of its students that come from low-income families.

Title II funding , which will amount to $200,000, is a bit different in the sense that the focus is not directly geared towards the students, but rather the teachers and staff.

The funding contains funds to train and recruit teachers and principals in the local and/or state level. This funding targets “high needs” school districts that have been identified as a “needs improvement” district.

This was retiring Dr. Billy Strickland’s last school board meeting as Superintendent, and Dr. David Kennedy addressed the board to share his fond memories of Dr. Strickland and how he benefited the community.

Mr. Hubert Lollar, was presented a certificate and a gift on his retirement as well, after 40 years with the district.

Truck Stolen In Waterloo

Deputy Richey of the Sheriffs Office responded to a Riverfork Rd. Waterloo residence on Thursday at 4:12pm in reference to a stolen motor vehicle. Upon arrival he spoke with a complainant who stated that when he arrived at his residence around 4pm he discovered his 2004 Ford F-250 was missing from his driveway. He said the last time he saw the vehicle was at 6:30 Thursday morning. The vehicle has been entered into NCIC and the case will continue.

 

 

Stolen Car From Indiana Sold Locally on Craigslist

Thursday at 6:10 pm Sergeant Johnson of the Sheriffs Office was dispatched by Lieutenant Richards to a Warrior Creek Church Rd. Gray Court residence to recover a vehicle. The complainant had called Lt. Richards to run the vin number of the car because he had bought the car off of craigslist for $500 and thought that the vehicle might be stolen. The 2011 Ford Mustang was listed as stolen from Indianapolis Indiana.

The buyer didn’t receive a registration and no tag was on the car. The complainant said that he bought the car in Newberry County at the Holiday Inn from the subject and that the subject was staying at the hotel. The complainant said since the car didn’t have registration or tag he had it delivered to his residence on a roll back.  The car was transported to the impound lot and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was notified of the recovery. The incident will be turned over to investigations.

 

 

Dr. Billy Strickland Honored at County Council Meeting Tuesday Night

Council Chair Joe Wood and Dr. Billy Strickland

Council Chair Joe Wood and Dr. Billy Strickland

Laurens County Council recognized retiring Dr. Billy Strickland with a resolution honoring his service to the county at Tuesday Night’s meeting, and was presented with an award by Council Chairman Joe Wood.

Resolution 2016-16 recognized his dedication of serving many years with the district.

 

Greenville Man Charged With Stealing Nine TV’s

brown dustin 0000111937Dustin Lamar Brown, 25 of 1 Lakeside Rd. #115 Greenville SC was booked Thursday into the Johnson Detention Center, charged with criminal conspiracy and shoplifting. Warants state that he did commit the crime of shoplifting and by doing so steal and take away 9 Sony televisions valued at approximately $3,945 from walmart with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the merchandise. The defendant already has two prior convictions of shoplifting/theft at the time of this incident. A scond warrant states that Brown did conspire with 3 or more defendants to commit shoplifting and in doing so did steal and take away nine sony televisions valued at approximately #3,945 from Walmart. He remains in the JDC awaiting bond

District 55 School Board Approves Fiscal Budget for 2016-2017

At Thursday night’s Laurens District 55 School Board Meeting, the General Fund Budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017 was unanimously approved. In the executive summary of the budget it states that the district is expected to see an increase in Fee-in-Lieu of Taxes due to some expansion of industries in Laurens County. This budget does not include any tax increase to be passed on to the taxpayers of Laurens County.

“We try to be very careful with the tax money that we have been entrusted with,” said Dr. Strickland.

The projected budget includes local revenue of $12,109,800, state revenue of $30,594,376, federal revenue of $106,600 and other revenue of $1,341,579. That brings the total revenue of $44,172,355 which compares to last year’s revenues of $42,632,476. Projected expenditures total $44,172,355 which compares to last year’s expenditures of $42,632,476.

State required step/salary increases amounted to $644,459 increase for teachers, $167,408 increase for bus drivers, $154,535 increases for other employees, $413,477 increase in fringe benefits, and an increase in staff with increases expenditures by $160,000. The expenditure breakdown is 65% for salaries, 24% for employee benefits, 5% for purchased services, 4% for supplies and materials, 2% for other objects.

The board also unanimously approved approval of a five year capital plan similar to the one approved in 2011, which takes a long term approach to the budgeting process, and to approve the bond resolution in support of that plan.

In September 2016, the district will issue General Obligation Bonds to make principal and interest payments to the Laurens Education Assistance for District #55 Corporation for Installment Purchase Revenue Bonds. The amount included in the budget is $1,573,238, with payments made through debt service not the general fund.

Missing Fridge

Corporal Edwards of the Sheriffs Office was dispatched Thursday at 7:56am to a Nantucket Drive Gray Court residence concerning a stolen refrigerator. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim, who stated that sometime between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning someone cam onto the property and stole a white in color GE refrigerator. She said she doesn’t know who did this but thought it could be her ex boyfriend. Corporal Edwards spoke with the ex boyfriend who deied being on the property since a long time ago when he came to get his belongings. The report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office

Attempted Vehicle Theft

Sergeant Johnson of the Sheriff’s office was dispatched Thursday at 10:13 am to a Bal Harbour Ave. Ware Shoals residence concerning an attempted motor vehicle theft. The complainant stated that the vehicle belongs to her daughter and her daughter had left it for her to use for a doctors appointment on Thursday. The complainant said she noticed Thursday that the back window was down and the steering column was broken. The officer advised the report would be turned over to investigations.

 

Two Arrested On Assault Charges Early Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning at 3:06 am, Both deputy Alexanders were at the Laurens County Speedway at the close of the Shrine Race when a complainant got out of his truck and stated that two men in a white truck ran up and hit him in the face with a beer can. A deputy noticed that the man was bleeding from his face and had a cut above his nose on his forehead and his shirt was almost ripped off. Captain Richardson walked to a white truck with two males inside. After talking to witnesses, they stated that the two male subjects did get out of the truck and ran down to the victim’s truck and assaulted him by punching him through the window of his truck. The two subjects were arrested and ticketed for breach of peace. Deputy Patterson retrieved warrants for assault and battery. Deputy Hunt transported the two subjects to the Johnson Detention Center. The victim said he was going to the emergency room to have his face checked.

52 year old Walter Phillip Walden of 588 Fairview Church Rd. Fountain Inn and 30 year old Brent Adam Walden of 568 Nelson Rd. Fountain Inn were booked into the detention center Wednesday morning, both charged with Assault and Battery 3rd degree and Breach of Peace. Both were later released on bond.

 

Alleged Thief Arrested

vinson james 0000085584James Trevit Vinson, 26 of 111 Leonard Drive, Duncan SC was booked Wednesday into the Johnson Detention Center, charged with Petit Larceny. The warrant states that Vinson did take and carry away a chainsaw, rifle, camouflage jacket and two phones belonging to the victims with the intent to permanently deprive the victims. He remains on $2000 bond.

 

 

CSX Railroad Crossing Closings

CSX currently has road closings throughout the county for repairs.

In Clinton, Airport Rd. near US 76 intersection is currently closed, West Main Street at Carolina Ave. intersection is currently closed, Torrington Rd. at Leonard Rd. intersection closes today, Tool Shed Rd. at Medical Ridge Rd. intersection closes today.

In Laurens Yarborough Mill Rd. between Bobo and Eagles roads closes today.

In Joaana, Woodyard Rd. at Hwy 76 intersection is currently closed, Milton Rd. near Regency Plaza is currently closed, Bethlehem Church Rd. at Hwy 76 intersection is currently closed, Hurricane Church Rd. near Hwy 76 intersection is currently closed

There is currently a sign at the crossing on East Main Street in Laurens, the crossing so famously reveired by tire alignment mechanics, stating it will be closed beginning this Monday, June 20th.

Economic Development Ordinances Abound At County Council Meeting

Economic Development was the main theme at tuesday night’s Laurens County Council meeting. After going into executive session to discuss an economic development issue, which resulted in no action by council, three public hearings were held involving investment in the county.

The first hearing was on Ordinance 812 which Laurens County Council which authorizes the execution and delivery of an amended and restated fee in lieu of tax agreement with the county, a company once referred to as “Project Rain Boots. The information has been released as  Yanfeng US Automotive Industrial Systems. This also expresses the commitment of Laurens County to provide for special source revenue credits and to place the project’s property under advantages of a Multi-County Park. No one spoke at the hearing and the third reading vote was postponed until the next meeting.

After a public hearing, a third reading vote approval was given to Ordinance 818, which authorizes the execution and delivery of a FILOT agreement between the county and CRI Tolling, and its affiliate Synalloy Corporation.

Greg Gibson of CRI Tolling spoke at the hearing and told council his company will invest $11.5 Million over the next 8 years. This is an existing industry located in the upper part of Laurens County, and the project will be placed in Octagon Park Section II.

Council also unanimously approved on third reading, Ordinance #819, which authorizes the amendment to the master agreement governing Octagon Industrial Park to include the company. Two first reading ordinances were also unanimously approved, Ordinance #820 is an Octagon Industrial Park Amendment, to authorize and approve the amendment of the agreement for development of the joint county industrial business park. Ordinance #821, is to amend the 1994 park agreement relating to the multi county industrial park of Greenville County and Laurens County to provide for the continuation of the park.

Counterfeit $50 Bill Found in Clinton

Wednesday evening at 8:42 Clinton department of Public Safety officers were dispatched to Family Dollar in Clinton concerning a customer attempting to pay with a possible counterfeit bill. Sergeant Harris arrived on scene and made contact with the complainant. She advised that a subject attempted to pay for items with a fifty dollar bill. The complainant then presented the bill to the officer and advised that when she marked it with a money pen it showed a dark color which indicates the bill was counterfeit. The officer observed the bill to be thin and did not have a security strip when held up to light. The complainant showed the officer what the mark from the pen looks like on actual treasury notes by displaying the mark on a $20 bill. Sergeant Harris then spoke with the subject who stated she went to a lil’ cricket store in Greenwood and received the bill in change for a $100. She stated she did not notice the difference and the officer noted that it would be easily overlooked. The subject was advised that the bill was counterfeit and she would have to pay by other means and the bill would be taken into evidence and she could obtain a report if she wished to speak with Lil’ Cricket in an attempt to obtain legitimate money for her losses. The subject was not charged with any offense as it was evident the bill could have easily been mistaken for legitimate tender.

Second Degree CDV Alleged

worthington stacy 0000111832Stacy Nicole Worthington, age 29 of 14514 Indian Mound Rd. Ware Shoals was booked Wednesday into the Johnson Detention Center, charged with domestic violence 2nd degree, the warrant states that on June 6th she did inflict moderate bodily injury by slapping the victim across the face twice in the presence of a minor child. She remains in the Johnson Detention Center awaiting bond.

 

Harassing Phone Calls and Texts

Tuesday at 12:45 pm Lieutenant Anderson of the Clinton department of Public Safety was dispatched to a Peachtree Street Clinton residence in reference to harassment. The officer spoke with the victim who stated that she had moved to Clinton from Charlotte in order to get away from her ex boyfriend. She said she had received 30 texts that day alone and phone calls from the subject even after being told not to contact her anymore. While on scene the subject sent four more texts. Lt. Anderson tried to contact the subject and left a voicemail telling him to cease all contact with the victim. The victim was advised to call the CDPS if the subject continued to contact her.

 

Notes From Tuesday’s Laurens County Council Meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting of Laurens County Council,  council approved a request by Micky Coates of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office to apply for a yearly Justice Assistance Grant, which this year has $21,440.00 of available funds, which was unanimously approved.

The grant will be used for Laptops and Software, estimated at $12,840.00 and a Speed Measuring Trailer estimated at $8,600.00 In other council activity,

There was supposed to be a vote on the Upper Savannah Council of Governments Workforce Development Agreement, but their representative was a “no show”, so this matter was tabled.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Bertha Rice to the Gleams Human Resources Commission.

New Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime presented his first report to County Council Tuesday night, stating that his initial focus has been on the core functions of human resources, finance, legal and the county general service divisions.

He reported holding meetings with the EMS, Fire, E911 and has begun to work on interagency relationships.