Tech Wednesday is Back!

Need help understanding your digital device? Tech Wednesdays (Tecnologia Miercoles) is here to help. Jayson Santana at the Clinton Library, and Robert Peake, in Laurens will assist you with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. An appointment is necessary at both libraries. Call 864-833-1853 (Clinton) or 864-681-7323 (Laurens) to schedule a time.

¡Hablemos Español solomente en biblioteca de Clinton!

Ford Elementary Staff Member Accused Of Assault And Battery

On November 8, 2023 a School Resource Officer at Ford Elementary was notified of an incident that occurred the day prior at dismissal time. A student had been assaulted by a staff member, who allegedly grabbed the child by both of his wrists, dragging him across a concrete walkway and grassy area, and left red marks on his wrists.
Andrea Sabrina Gibson of Laurens was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery 3rd Degree.

Rev Anthony Sims Ministries Thanksgiving Dinner November 18th

The Rev. Anthony Sims Ministries along with many volunteers, literally hundreds of financial supporters including several local churches will be providing Thanksgiving dinner kits this Saturday.

These kits consist of a turkey and all the fixings……..dressing, vegetables, even dessert. They’ll be provided on a first come first serve basis this Saturday, November 18th, at Celebration Outreach on South Harper Street Extension in Laurens. Celebration Outreach is located between Laurens Terrace and the intersection with SC 127.

The kits will be handed out beginning at 10:00 this Saturday morning. Come early because the need could well exceed supply. There will be enough for complete dinners to feed about 150 families.

Proposed Pregnancy Center For Laurens County

At Monday Night’s Laurens County Council Meeting, there was a report to council regarding a proposed pregnancy center.

Brenda Stewart, Chair of the Board for the proposed Upstate Pregnancy Center, described the services that will be provided at no cost.

These services include, ultrasounds, support services, and programs such as earn-while-you-learn and dad-to-dad classes.

Council did approve on first reading, an ordinance in name only, for the gifting of two acres where the center will be built, with the stipulation that if construction does not begin within five years, the property will be reclaimed by the county.

Lander University to Participate in Giving Tuesday

Lander University has announced that it will host a special 24-hour fundraising campaign in honor of Giving Tuesday, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28. Charitable donations given to Lander during the “One Lander” campaign will benefit the scholarship and athletic programs of Lander, as well as assist the University at addressing its greatest needs. Alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the University are encouraged to consider Lander when making charitable contributions on Giving Tuesday.

Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It puts a philanthropic spin on the retail rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Each year, Giving Tuesday highlights the power of people coming together to make a positive difference in communities around the world.

While the “One Lander” campaign officially kicks off on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, those wishing to make a charitable contribution to Lander can do so at their convenience by visiting Members of the community can choose to donate to one of three areas: the General Scholarship Fund, Lander Athletics, or the Lander Excellence Fund, which makes possible some of the University’s most pressing initiatives.

The impact of institutional giving was recently on display at Lander University’s annual Eleanor S. Teal Scholarship Banquet, which featured student scholarship recipients who shared the difference that scholarships have made in their studies at Lander. One such student was Ethan Richardson, a junior seeking a double major in computer information systems and music. A recipient of the Mufuka Foundation Scholarship, Richardson credited Dr. Doug and Jean Mufuka with “pushing me to be the best version of myself without losing who I am in the process,” said Richardson.

Meanwhile, Carlee Stockman, a senior nursing major, expressed her gratitude for scholarship programs like the Self Scholarship and the CARE program at Self Regional Healthcare. These two programs, established by Self Regional, have allowed Stockman to gain real-world experience in the health care field while also receiving financial assistance to complete her nursing degree.

“I want to give my future patients the best possible care they can receive,” Stockman said, “and I want to have such an impact on them that they will always remember the care I provided them. Receiving scholarships from Lander University has meant more to me than I can express. I always say that the scholarships I receive are turning an eighth grader’s dreams into a reality.”

Donations to Lander University as part of Giving Tuesday will help other students at Lander University fulfill their dreams through a rewarding education. Contributions, no matter how large, will be used to help students launch successful careers and lead productive lives.

Visit to learn more.

Laurens Man Arrested On Multiple Drug Charges

A Laurens Man was recently arrested with multiple drug charges after Deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant.

Deputies arrested 45-year-old, Maurice Antwan Anderson, of Cranes Park Drive November 10th. According to the arrest warrant, November 10th, during the search warrant, deputies found him to be in possession of Crack Cocaine, Marijuana, a handgun, and two glass measuring cups with an off white residue and baking soda, items identified as being used to manufacture crack cocaine. His charges are Distribution near school, 2counts of manufacature cocaine base, 2nd offense, Manufacture, possession of other substance schedule I,II,III and Possession of weapon during violent crime. Maurice Anderson has since been released from the detention center with a paid cash or surety bond. His bond total was $65,000.

Fountain Inn Woman Accused Of DUI And Assaulting A Police

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a Fountain Inn woman accused of Driving Under the Influence, and Assaulting Police officer serving process or while resisting arrest. 47-year-old, Evelyn Buffalo, of Redmond Drive was arrested for the alleged charges November 9th.

According to the arrest warrant, November 9th, Buffalo was pulled over for DUI on Telfair street in Fountain Inn. She then allegedly kicked Deputy Holiday , in the left shin area with her foot while being placed in handcuffs. This incident occurred after she was already placed under arrest for DUI and had subsequently slipped out of her cuffs while in the rear of the patrol car. Evelyn Buffalo was released from the Detention Center November 10th with a paid cash or surety bond.

Gray Court Man Accused Of Having Cocaine

Deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a Gray Court man accused of Drugs/MDP, Narcotic In Schedule I, and LSD, and Schedule II, 2nd offense. 42-year-old J W Jackson, III of North Old Laurens Road was arrested for the alleged charge. According to the arrest warrant, November 7th, 2023, Jackson was allegedly found to be in constructive possession of an amount of cocaine that constitutes Possession with the intent to distribute.  Jackson has a prior conviction for a similar offense. JW Jackson, III was released November 12th from the detention center with a paid $20,000 cash or surety bond.

6 People Arrested On Multiple Charges After Several Month Long Burglary Investigation

On November 9, 2023, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office executed simultaneous search warrants in Laurens in response to a several month-long burglary investigation.
Search warrants were executed at 244 Boyd Rd in Laurens and 8837 Hwy 76 W in Laurens. Numerous arrests were made because of this investigation. The Sheriff’s Office seized and recovered numerous firearms and illegal narcotics during this operation. A list of arrests made as a result of this ongoing investigation are listed below. More arrests are expected.
Scottie Wayne Burkhalter:
Burglary 1st Degree
Grand Larceny
Receiving Stolen Goods over $2000.00 in value (enhancement per 16-1-57)
Weapons/Sale or delivery of pistol to, and possession by certain persons unlawful, stolen pistol
Heather Sims:
Receiving Stolen Goods over $2000.00 in value (enhancement per 16-1-57)
Jason Sommers:
Trafficking Methamphetamine over 10 grams
Unlawful Neglect of a Child
Unlawful Neglect of a Child
Possession of schedule I to V controlled substance
Possession of schedule I to V controlled substance
Possession with intent to distribute controlled substance in schedule I, II, III
Dana Sommers:
Trafficking Methamphetamine over 10 grams
Unlawful Neglect of a Child
Unlawful Neglect of a Child
Possession of schedule I to V controlled substance
Possession of schedule I to V controlled substance
Possession with intent to distribute controlled substance in schedule I, II, III
Britany Lynn Holliday:
Trafficking Meth over 10 grams
Parole Violation
Christopher Dale Sams:
Possession of less than one gram of meth
“I’m proud of our Criminal Investigations Division for working so diligently to bring these career criminals to justice, as well as our SWAT Team for their assistance in the execution of these search warrants. Hopefully the judicial system keeps them locked away where they belong, so they can’t terrorize our community any further.”
Sheriff Don Reynolds

LCPW Proposed Budget For 2024

At last night’s Laurens Commission of Public Works Meeting, the proposed budget for the new year was presented, but will not be voted on until the December Meeting.

The budget includes a 3.5% pay increase for all employees, and an increase for customers that will include an increase of $1.25 for electric, $0.75 for natural gas, and $1.15 a month for sewer.

FILOT Agreement Granted For ZF Transmission

One of the largest business expansion in Laurens County was a step closer to completion, as council unanimously granted a FILOT Agreement to a company that was temporarily known as Project Zebra, which is now disclosed as ZF Transmissions.

The ZF Corporation is planning a Six Hundred Million Dollar Expansion, that will provide approximate 400 new jobs.

Council Chairman Brown Patterson called this planned expansion a tremendous blessing for Laurens County.

Charleston Man Arrested For DUI, Open Container, And Adderall

A Charleston man was recently pulled over and arrested for Driving Under the Influence, 1st Offense, Open Container of Beer or Wine, and Possession of Narcotic In Schedule, I, LSD&, Schedule II, 1st Offense. 45-year-old, Ashley Neil Campbell, of Camp Road, Charleston, was arrested for the alleged charge.
According to the arrest warrant, November 12, 2023, Campbell allegedly had in his possession Adderall, a schedule II controlled substance without the authority to do so. He was pulled over for driving under the influence and open container on I 385 in the city Laurens. Ashley Campbell has since been released from the detention center on a personal recognizance bond.

Clinton Man Facing Grand Larceny Charge

Grand Larceny Value more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 is a charge a Clinton man is facing. Deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 41-year-old, Robert Richard Sanders, of Preakness Patti Drive, for the alleged charge November 11th. According to the arrest warrant, last Saturday Sanders allegedly took and carried away a 1998 Red Ford Ranger with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property which is valued at $4,000 and is property of the victim. Robert Richard Sanders is behind bars this morning at the detention center. His cash or surety bond total is $5,000.

Woman Arrested For Alleged Charge From 2 Years Ago

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a Clinton woman for a crime she allegedly did two years ago. 52-year-old, Mary A Ellis, of Harolds Park Drive, was arrested for Assault and Battery 3rd Degree, November 11th. According to the arrest warrant, April 29th, 2021 Ellis allegedly struck the victim in the head several times. The incident occurred on Hwy 76 East in Clinton. Mary Ellis was released the same day as her arrest November 11th on a personal recognizance bond.

No Bond For Man Facing Domestic Violence Charges

A Clinton man is behind bars facing Domestic Violence, 1st Degree charges. Deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested 39-year-old, Jason Leon Herbert, of Saratoga Street, November 12th for the alleged charge. According to the arrest warrant, November 12th, Herbet allegedly grabbed the victim by the head and jerking her from a couch to the floor causing her foot to strike a coffee table which left a visible injury while the victim is pregnant. Herbert has two previous Domestic Violence Convictions.  Jason Herbert remains behind bars this morning at the Laurens County Johnson Detention Center with No Bond.

LCPW Proposed Budget For 2024

At last night’s Laurens Commission of Public Works Meeting, the proposed budget for the new year was presented, but will not be voted on until the December Meeting.

The budget includes a 3.5% pay increase for all employees, and an increase for customers that will include an increase of $1.25 for electric, $0.75 for natural gas, and $1.15 a month for sewer.

‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Student’ posthumously awarded top honor

Piedmont Technical College student Briana Carruth was not going to let anything impede her progress toward a career in the criminal justice field, especially not an uncomfortable knot on the bottom of her right foot, which in March 2021 finally had a name — synovial sarcoma. In an instant, the then-21-year-old from Greenwood was forced to make the impossibly quick decision to amputate her right leg below the knee. It worked, at first, and she was deemed cancer-free. But it came back.

Through her ensuing doctor visits, chemotherapy, and radiation, Briana bravely kept fatigue and nausea at bay to stay current with her studies. As her health slowly declined, and though she was just one course short, she was invited to participate in the college’s Spring 2022 commencement and receive her associate in applied science degree, with a major in criminal justice. Less than a year later, on Sept. 5, 2023, the plucky and beloved young woman with big dreams passed away.

In October, PTC’s Criminal Justice Program faculty posthumously honored Briana by presenting the program’s Top Distinguished Student award to her parents, Shane and Brandi Carruth. In addition, they thoughtfully constructed and presented a framed shadow box with Briana’s photo, graduation tassel, and PTC badges, assigning her the rank of Captain.

Briana aspired to be a victim’s advocate because she had the desire and the willingness to help others during their time of need,” PTC criminal justice instructor Courtney Smith said. “Briana did not allow her illness to deter her. She stayed encouraged, and she encouraged others. Her commitment earned her the top award for the CRJ Program. Briana was an inspiration to her fellow classmates, friends, family, and also to me. I call her a once-in-a-lifetime student.”

For her loved ones, the grief is still raw and wholly palpable. Mom Brandi said she and Shane were deeply touched by the program’s desire to honor Briana.

Before she passed away, Briana knew she was chosen to receive the Distinguished Student Award because Mr. Smith had reached out to her,” Brandi said. “She was so excited about that. … She was driven and determined and absolutely loved the Criminal Justice Program.”

Brandi still wonders at Briana’s positive zest for life. Even as she processed the worst news personally, she asked after the health and well-being of those around her.

She always thought of others and asked how everybody else was,” Brandi recalled. “If I had a bad cold, she would ask how I was doing. I may have wanted to say ‘awful,’ but I didn’t, because nothing compared to what she even remotely was going through. She was always so thoughtful. … I want people to know she had a beautiful smile that lit up any room and the most contagious laughter.”

Smith says Briana will never be forgotten, her example a standard for students to aspire to.

She just kept going,” he said. “She was a go-getter. She was focused to do what she needed to do.”

Brandi described the roller-coaster journey as twice Briana was declared free of cancer, only to see the disease creep back.

It was gone, and it came back,” she said. “When it came back, it came back with a vengeance. … Even though we knew she was sick and that things were progressing, it still was a big shock when she passed away. You are never prepared for it,” Brandi said. “There is not a second that I don’t think about her.”

Laurens & Newberry Counties Career Showcase Highlights Local Opportunities for Eighth Graders

On Wednesday, November 8th, the Laurens and Newberry Counties (LCNC) Career Showcase was held at the Piedmont Technical College (PTC) Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens.

Over 1,200 eighth grade students from Laurens, Newberry, and Union Counties were able to interact and discuss career paths with representatives from over 20 companies and organizations. The goal of the LCNC Career Showcase is to expose eighth graders from all school districts to various career opportunities within our region’s major employment sectors.

Along with exploring all the exciting careers our counties have to offer, another highlight of the day was having an Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopter on display for the event. We are grateful to the South Carolina Army National Guard, B Company, 1-151 Aviation Battalion, not only for flying in the helicopter, but interacting with students and educating them about opportunities in service.

With over twelve entities involved in planning this Showcase, collaboration and partnerships are the driving forces behind this event. Each year the location alternates between the two counties’ PTC campuses, this year being the fourth Showcase and second time in Laurens.

Building a strong talent pipeline in our community means preparing our students early. The hope is that eighth graders begin making career pathway decisions now, so they can focus on valuable skill sets in high school, graduating as marketable and successful candidates for future careers.


“It’s good to see kids get excited about different careers. We had over a thousand students come by our tent, asking important questions about law enforcement. We are grateful for the invitation to participate, and we hope these students will remember us in the future when making decisions about their career paths.” –Chief Deputy Chris Martin, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office

“The LCNC Career Showcase is great exposure for our industry. Asphalt paving is not always at the forefront of construction, and speaking with students at an early age lets them know about many various construction industries.” –Tara Alexander, Satterfield Construction

“Laurens Commission of Public Works (LCPW) was pleased to participate in the career showcase and expose students to our community’s public utility services. We enjoyed talking with over 1,000 students about our area’s infrastructure and the career roles that our employees fill. Our goal is to offer exciting career opportunities and encourage students to explore and pursue fulfilling careers in their hometown.” -Blake Davis, Administrative Director, LCPW

For more information, a list of participating companies, collaborative partners, resources, and photos from the event, please visit

Be An Angel!

Now through December 4, The Laurens County Public Libraries, in partnership with the Salvation Army, are giving members of our community the opportunity to be someone’s angel. Angel Tree tags are hung at both the Laurens and Clinton libraries. Each tag has a child’s name and a short list of wished for gifts. Add this child’s wishes to your holiday shopping cart and gift happiness this season.

Laurens Police Department Arrests Teacher’s Aid at Sanders Middle School for Serious Charges

Laurens, SC* – November 9, 2023 – This evening, Officers with the Laurens Police Department took into custody Elante Burnette Cooke, a 24-year-old male residing in Laurens, SC that was employed as a Teacher’s Aid at Sanders Middle School. Cooke is now facing multiple charges and is currently being held at the Laurens County Detention Center pending a bond hearing. ????
 The charges against Cooke include actions against two separate 14 year old victims that were students at Sanders Middle School:
1) Attempted Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) x 2 (two separate victims)
2) Dissemination of pornographic material to a minor
3) Criminal solicitation of a minor x 2 (two separate victims)
Throughout this investigation, the Laurens District 55 Superintendent and Sanders Middle School staff collaborated closely to ensure the swift removal of Cooke from his position at the school, thereby safeguarding the well-being of our youth. ????
 Chief Keith Grounsell emphasized, “Our children represent one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, and it is imperative that they are protected by all members of our community. When this trust is violated by an individual in a position of public responsibility, swift action is necessary, and accountability must be pursued.” ????
 The Laurens Police Department remains committed to upholding the safety and security of our community, especially when it comes to our children. The department will continue to work diligently to ensure that justice is served. ⚖️
 For further inquiries, please contact the Laurens Police Department Detective Bureau at 864-681-2351 ☎️