New “Welcome To Laurens” Sign In the Works

A small parcel of private land is to be used for a landscaped welcome to Laurens on West Main at Anderson Drive. The Laurens CPW this week approved installing a water tap on the parcel at a cost of $1,050, understanding the City of Laurens will cover the cost of water used at the site. It’s to be developed with landscaping and a “Welcome to Laurens” sign.

The owners made arrangements with the city to have the property landscaped and to let the city install a Welcome to Laurens sign.

The tap will cost approximately $1,050 to install, but the city will pay for the water used. There is a stipulation to the approval that the owners will continually use that property for the intended purpose of benefitting the city.

The triangle at the intersection consists of 2/10th of an acre.


Beat With A Broom

Sheriff’s Corporal Jamie Lee Edwards was dispatched to a Green Pond area residence at 3:49 thursday afternoon to investigate an assault. A man without a shirt on and with red marks on his upper chest area said his girlfriend had attacked him. He said that she and their 2-year-old son took a nap. He decided to clean the house some. She reportedly awoke and complained that he didn’t do a good job cleaning the house. He indicated an argument escalated to where each was saying things about the other’s deceased mother. He indicated that in anger he hit a wax lamp, causing the bowl to break and wax to go all over the place. The girlfriend then allegedly got a broom and struck him over the head and shoulder, then started hitting him on the body. He said he pushed her off him then she slammed his phone on the counter and slammed his digital camera on the floor, then bit him on the chest. There was no report of the woman at the scene when the officer arrived.

Are You Pinky’s Miracle?


UPDATE: Hats off to Clinton Animal Hospital. They took this little guy in to provide his care. They’ve named him Kaiser. If you would like to help with the considerable expense of his surgery and care please call 864-833-2487.
UPDATE 2: There has been an arrest in this case.




In Laurens County SC we have a lot of good people. They’d give you the shirt off their back. They’ll happily go out of their way to help someone or even a little dog in need. But we also have a few humans who are capable of this.

I’m gonna call him Pinky. He was found this morning in a dumpster near Laurens Terrace Apartments…..tied up in a plastic bag……and tossed into a dumpster. He’s a little pit puppy and has a badly broken rear leg.

Forget displaying anger toward the unknown punk who decided to prove he was a man by doing this to a 6 week old puppy. That won’t help Pinky.

If there is someone, anyone who can help Pinky please contact Laurens County (SC) Animal Control right away. The county does not have the funds to help Pinky. He needs a good veterinarian. He’s hurting and this needs to be done lightning quick. If not, the humane thing to do is to end his hurting.

Call (864)984-6812 for more information on how you can help. A rescue group that wants to be Pinky’s miracle would be an answer to prayer.

Please SHARE. Please. Pinky needs a miracle fast.

Filing Window Opens Tuesday For Republican Candidate For Coroner

This has been an interesting election year, with a candidate just pulled from the ballot by court action. Things could get even more interesting for the General Election, depending on what happens over the next three weeks. We reported last week on a special filing period that starts tomorrow, running from Noon August 9th to Noon on the 16th, during which persons can file for the Republican Nomination for Coroner of Laurens County.

If one person has filed for the Republican Party’s nomination for Coroner by the 16th, that person would, supposedly, become the party’s nominee. However, if two or more file, voters would go to the polls to choose on August 30th. Considering that the deadline for ballots for this fall was set at August 15th, the special filing puts Laurens County one day past that. This hopefully would not be too big a problem. But, if a primary election is required, that throws the ballots 15 days behind schedule.

A Republican Primary on August 30th would be another chore in itself, if required. This would be a country-wide election, supposedly with all precincts needing to be open, for the single position being voted on.

Elections Director Lynne West noted that August 30th is already established as the day for a special election in the City of Laurens. Four people are competing to replace the late Richard Griffin on Laurens City Council. With four candidates, Mrs. West said she’s expecting to have a run-off election two weeks following the August 30th special election. It would be held two Tuesdays later, on September 13th.

Convicted Felon Brandishing Firearm In Clinton

Saturday at 2:04 pm, Deputy Hall of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Highway 308 residence in Clinton in reference to a vehicle that was in the back yard of a residence that fit the description of a prior call that a man was shooting out of his car.

Upon arrival, the deputy knocked on the front door and spoke with a resident who stated her son was on the back porch with a shotgun and that there was a car with 3 people in the back yard. At this time the Clinton Department of Public Safety arrived to assist and they went to the rear of the house and made contact with the 3 individuals and had the male driver and female passenger exit the vehicle.

They cleared the vehicle and made contact with another female in the rear floorboard. EMS was called because the third passenger was barely conscious and in pain. Deputy Hall then began a search of the vehicle for the weapon that was involved in the incident prior to his arrival and located a .380 Bersa automatic in the glove compartment. The driver and passenger were placed under investigative detention. The other passenger was transported by EMS.

rhodes olin 0000097042(2)After taking statements from the residents of the home, The driver was placed under arrest. 27 year old Olin Christopher Rhodes, II of 1445 Highway 92 Enoree was booked into the Johnson Detention Center Saturday by the Sheriff’s Office, charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful carry of a pistol, pointing and presenting a firearm at a person, and ticketed for driving under suspensions 2nd. The warrants allege that Rhodes did commit the crime of weapons possession by a person convicted of a violent felony in that he did posses a Bersa Thunder 380 with prior felony conviction, did carry about his person a handgun not being authorized by law to do so, and did unlawfully and not in self defense point and present a firearm at the victim, theis incident taking place at the victim’s residence. Rhodes remains in the detention center on $51,270 bond

Suspect Attempts Break In, Claims To Have Gun

Saturday Just after 10 pm, Deputy Byrd of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Finney Drive Clinton residence in reference to an attempted break in. The complainant stated that an unknown white male was attempting to break into the residence. While en route, the complainant stated to dispatch he opened the door and saw what he believed to be a handgun in the possession of the male subject so he closed the door and stayed on the line with dispatch.

Upon arrival, the deputy located the male subject in the back yard sitting in the complainants chair. The subject was asked what he did with the firearm. He replied that another male subject came and got the weapon and walked off with it. The subject was searched but no weapon found. The complainant then came outside and stated that he and his children were inside the residence when they heard the back door being pulled on. At that time, the complainant retrieved his firearm and approached the back door and warned the subject that he was about to be shot if he didn’t get away from the door. He stated the subject complied and walked away from the door. The complainant then opened the door and saw the subject walking across the back yard with what appeared to be a gun. The complainant asked the subject what he had in his hand and he stated it was a 9mm handgun. At that time the complainant and his children retreated into the residence and awaited law enforcement.

The Deputy then spoke with the subject, who was sweating profusely and admitted that earlier he shot up meth. After searching the area, the deputy found the subject’s cell phone and determined that the complainant may have seen the cell phone and thought it was a gun. It appeared the subject may have still been under the influence of drugs. The subject attempted to speak with the victims as if he knew them but the victim stated this was the first time he had ever seen the subject and didn’t know him at all.

The subject was arrested and transported to the Johnson Detention Center. A short time later, the deputy received a call from the detention center that a small bag of what appeared to be meth was found on the subject. It tested positive and that charge was added to the subject’s charges.

kernells dennis 0000022092(9)60 year old Dennis Lamar Kernells of 300 Marion Place Clinton was booked Saturday charged with possession less than one gram meth, breach of peace aggravated in nature. Warrants allege that on August 6th Kernells did commit the crime of Breach of Peace Aggravated in nature by pulling on the back door trying to get into a victims house threatening the possession of a firearm and did knowingly posses less than one gram of methamphetamine and had prior convictions for this offense. He remains in the detention center on $35,000 bond.



Horse Shot on Fountain Inn Farm

Saturday at 12:23 pm, Deputy Edwards of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Durbin Rd. Fountain Inn residence in reference to a horse being shot. The complainant stated on the phone with Deputy Edwards that they had been at the emergency vet clinic and were on the way back to the farm with the horse and wanted the officer to meet them. Upon arrival the deputy met with the male complainant who showed pictures of the horse from earlier that morning before it was taken to the vet. The vet had cut the bullet out of the horse and it was turned over to the deputy. Te owner of the horse said he and his daughter came to the farm that morning to ride the horse and he noticed blood on the horse’s left hind quarter. He and the farm owners then took the horse to the vet. The farm owners stated that on Friday night between 5:30 and 8:30 there was shooting coming from an area directly behind the horse farm and this was normal activity from that residence and they had called the Sheriff’s Office numerous times in reference to the people shooting guns toward their house. The evidence will be forwarded to investigations to continue this case.

Liquor Stolen From Package Store

At 2:20 pm on Saturday, Deputy Edwards of the Sheriff’s Office arrived at the liquor store on Hwy 14 in Barksdale concerning a shoplifting that occurred Friday. The complainant stated a black male subject came into the store Friday evening and seemed suspicious about his actions. The complainant had another customer and didn’t see the actions of the subject. The subject then left without making a purchase. After reviewing the security footage, the male subject was seen stealing two bottles of liquor. Deputy Edwards reviewed the security footage and saw the subject come in, ask the complainant a question, then get on his cell phone and stuff a bottle down his pants then walk to the other side of the store and grab another bottle. The subject then turns his back to the complainant and positions the bottles in his pants so that they won’t be seen then turns and leaves. A copy of the video will be forwarded to investigations.

Dirt Bikes and Trailers Stolen

Friday Deputy Hunter of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Durbin Church Rd. Fountain Inn residence at 7:06 pm concerning a Larceny. Upon arrival, the complainant advised she had last been at the property on July 23rd and returned Friday to discover that a 6’ by 12’ black utility trailer and a 6’ by 12’ white enclosed trailer were missing. She stated the trailers had been cable locked to trees and were equipped with hitch locks. The deputy observed that one cable lock around a tree had been cut along with a cut hitch lock. The other cable lock was found intact around a tree but was not in the locked position. The complainant further advised that inside the enclosed trailer were three dirt bikes. A blue 2004 Yamaha YZ250, a green Kawasaki KLX110 and a Green Kawasaki KX65. The complainant was in the process of forwarding the vin information to the deputy to enter the dirt bikes into NCIC and the incident will be forwarded to investigations to continue the case.

Drugs & Receiving Stolen Goods

miller melissa 0000011097(6)Melissa Ann Miller 1136 Swallow Dr. Fountain Inn was booked Friday into the Johnson Detention Center, charged with receiving stolen goods and possession of narcotics. Warrants allege that on July 20th, she did knowingly and intentionally posses acetaminophen and hydrocodone 325, a schedule II controlled substance without authority and did receive an item of the victim’s valued at $500 knowing at the time that the property was stolen or having reason to believe it was stolen. She remains in the detention center on $20,000 bond.

K-9 Assists In Drug Arrest

Sunday just before 1:00 am, Corporal Rushing of the Sheriff’s Office brought K-9 Diesel to the scene of a suspicious vehicle at the request of the Laurens Police Department. After two open air sniffs around the vehicle, Diesel gave positive passive alerts to an area of the vehicle where a black purse was located. Inside were syringes and clear plastic bags that contained methamphetamine. thompson tracey 0000112561An arrest was made by the Laurens Police Department of Tracey Denise Thompson, age 50, address listed as homeless. She was booked Sunday charged with possession of meth and ticketed for possession of drug paraphernalia  and petit larceny. The warrant alleges that she did have in her possession less than one gram of a crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine. The incident occurring on Bolt Drive in Laurens. She remains in the detention center on $6,500 bond.

Domestic in Gray Court

abuzahri zahri 0000095715(3)Zahr Mohammad Abuzahri, 21, of 102 Dad’s Place Gray Court  was booked Saturday charged with domestic violence 3rd degree The warrant alleges that on August 1st he did assault the victim by striking the victim twice in the face while the victim was sleeping and had apparent present ability to cause physical harm or injury under circumstances that reasonably created fear of imminent peril to the victim. He remains in the detention center on $5,000 bond

Gray Court Break In

Deputy Edwards of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched Friday at 6:05 pm to a Hayes Drive Gray Court residence in reference to a break in. The complainant stated that when he got home from work he noticed his pantry open and food scattered on the floor then found the back door glass had been broken out and it appeared the door glass had been broken out to unlock the back door to gain entry into the house. The complainant stated he had a great dane in the house and the dog must have scared the subject away. The victim checked his outside camera and found pictures of a small dark colored Chevrolet suv with an unknown white male subject sitting in the driver’s seat. Nothing appeared to be missing from the home and prints were taken from the door knob. Investigations will follow up on the case.

Four Wheeler Stolen From Clinton Residence

Friday at 2:40 pm Deputy Summers  met with a complainant at the Sheriff’s Office concerning a missing four wheeler. The complainant stated her mother called and advised her that the four wheeler was not in the shed where it was last seen on Thursday around 7:00 pm. She advised that the four wheeler stayed at her mother’s home in Clinton and they had no idea who would have taken it. It will be entered into NCIC and the report forwarded to investigations.

Toyota Not Returned

Detective Crosby and Deputy Richey of the Sheriff’s Office responded to a North Main Street Cross Hill residence Saturday at 5:46 pm concerning breach of trust. The complainant stated that on Friday, a named subject borrowed her 2010 Toyota Sienna with her permission and agreed to bring it back on Saturday at Noon. The complainant said she could not get in contact with the subject and that he never returned the vehicle. The vehicle information was entered into NCIC.

Trespass Incident in Cross Hill

Deputy Richey and Detective Crosby of the Sheriff’s Office responded to a Powerline Circle Cross Hill residence Sunday at 12:35 pm in reference to trespassing. The complainant stated that when she arrived at her mother’s lake house she observed the front door open. The officers searched the residence but did not find anyone there. A neighbor of the complainant stated she had observed a white vehicle at the residence in the past week. The complainant believed it to be her nephew who had been seen at the residence in the past without permission.

Car Reported Stolen in Ft. Inn

Deputy Hunter of the Sheriffs office was dispatched Sunday at 8pm to a Kimbark Lane Ft. Inn residence in reference to  a breach of trust concerning use of a vehicle. The complainant stated she was sleeping earlier in the day from 1-2pm and woke up to find that her keys were taken from her purse and her vehicle, a Chrysler Pacifica, was missing. The complainant said another resident of the home was gone as well. She said she called the other resident who stated she had the car and was bringing it back soon. Several hours later the subject had not yet returned the vehicle and the complainant contacted law enforcement. The complainant stated she did want to press charges. A local BOLO was put out on the missing vehicle and information was forwarded to dispatch for entering the vehicle into NCIC.

United Way Back To School Drive at Walmart Friday and Saturday

Some 14 businesses and offices around Laurens County have been collecting donations for the annual Back-to-School Supplies Drive for the United Way of Laurens County.

The Drive culminates with volunteers at Wal-Mart Friday afternoon and Saturday, taking donations.

In addition to receiving donations of school supplies, they’re also taking monetary donations. United Way Campaign and Event Manager Whitney Robertson told WLBG on the Morning News Friday that they will also be accepting cash donations. She said cash donations doubled during last year’s event.

Whitney said:

“…and so we were able to go purchase book bags, some of the larger items that people don’t usually donate, because of their expense.”

The United Way Volunteers are to be at Wal-Mart in Laurens Friday from Noon until 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Supplies gathered will be distributed by both School District 55 and 56, matching supplies given with children who need them.

School District 55 Offering Free Breakfast and Lunch To All Students This Year

Laurens County School District 55 is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2016-2017 school year. Section 104(a) of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 amended section 11(a)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1759a(a)(1))(the law) to provide an alternative to household applications for free and reduced-price meals in local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with increased levels of low-income students.

This alternative is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision. All students enrolled in the school/district may participate in the breakfast and lunch program at no charge to them. Families will not have to fill out meal applications.

Breakfast and lunch meals follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals. Please encourage students to participate in the school meal programs.

You may contact your Student Nutrition Director, Wanda Knight at 864-984-8138 for additional information.

Parents or guardians that do not want their child/children to participate in CEP may wish to discuss this matter with Wanda Knight on an informal basis.

Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Mr. Rodney Smith, Chief Operations Officer whose address is: 301 Hillcrest Drive, Laurens, SC 29360 (864-984-3568) for a hearing to appeal the decision.

Clinton Joining Main Street Program Not a “Silver Bullet”

Reference to a “Silver Bullet” that can magically make things happen was in the news this week. When Clinton City Manager Frank Stovall suggested Clinton enter the Main Street program for Downtown Development, Mayor Bob McClain opposed the idea. He compared Clinton and Laurens Downtown areas and indicated he didn’t see the Main Street program as a “magic silver bullet” to solve problems in the downtown.

WLBG’s Good Morning UpCountry thursday brought Laurens Main Street Director Jonathan Irick on the air to ask if this is true. He agreed with the Clinton Mayor.

Jonathan stated “Main Street is not the magic bullet to solving all the problems that small downtowns have…..or downtowns of any size, actually.”

So we asked Irick, why have the Main Street program?

He replied “Because we want to see our communities improve and grow; and Main Street – The Main Street Program – is a great tool, in my opinion – for growing the downtown and making it move forward.”

Clinton City Council approved a resolution this week authorizing the city manager to apply for Clinton to enter the Main Street program.