Prescription Allegedly Forged

   A Western Laurens County resident was booked in the Johnson Detention Center yesterday on a Prescription Drug Violation charge from a state agent. 61-year-old Marilyn Young Collins of 4265 Neely Ferry Road, Laurens was accused of unlawfully obtaining a quantity of Oxycodone by forgery. A warrant states that when the practitioner the prescription was apparently written by was contacted he confirmed it was not. The attempt to obtain prescription drugs by forgery allegedly occurred March 22nd, 2014 at Bi-Lo Pharmacy on West Main in Laurens. Marilyn Collins was released from the Johnson Detention Center on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

New Life for Old ER

    The old Emergency Room area of the Laurens County Memorial Hospital is about to open with its new role. Carolina Health Centers, Inc. has announced a Grand Opening of Laurens County Community Care Center, known as LC4, for Wednesday, April 23rd.

    The location is adjacent to the entrance area for the new Emergency Department at the local hospital. LC4 is an innovative healthcare site that is designed to be a new gateway for people who do not have their own Doctor’s practice.

    LC4 is a primary care facility open to anyone looking for a medical home, but it is also available as a referral site for patients who over-utilize the hospital’s emergency facility for non-emergency issues. As a part of the Carolina Health Centers Family of Care, LC4 sees uninsured, under-insured, and insured patients, and provides a Sliding Fee Scale for patients who qualify.

The LC4 Grand Opening is exciting for Laurens County and for South Carolina as a whole. Guest Speakers for the Grand Opening will include Congressman Jeff Duncan, Representative Mike Pitts, and others.

2nd Time Meals Jail

 Clinton Public Safety transferred a man from City Jail to the Laurens County Detention Center early yesterday afternoon. Officers arrested him Wednesday night, following the second alleged case of Trespass on the same date. Public Safety was dispatched to West Chase Apartments at 9:32 Wednesday night on a trespass notice. While en route, the officer was advised that the subject had already been given a blue ticket earlier that day for a trespass violation at the apartment. Records indicate that happened following a dispatch at 3:12 Wednesday afternoon. Officer Beau Wright knocked and announced his presence at the front door and a woman asked him to wait a few minutes while she got dressed. After she finally came to the door she reportedly said the man they were looking for was not there. Officer Wright attempted to open the back door of the residence for Officer Lawton to enter but found it bolted shut from the inside with wood screws. Officers then conducted a protective sweep of the residence and the subject they were looking for was reportedly located, hiding in a cabinet. The woman of the apartment was told she had lied to officers and could be charged with that. She reportedly stated she understood and that she had made a mistake. 23-year-old Aaron Bradley Bagwell, who had an address noted as the one he was on trespass notice for, was then arrested on a Trespassing charge and booked at City Jail. He was transferred to the Johnson Detention Center with a cash or surety bond set at $500.

Simple Assault

   The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a location on Highway 221 South of Laurens at 11:18 yesterday morning after a call from a 20-year-old woman saying that another woman had taken out a gun and was shooting it. Deputy Steve Paterson heard from both women that there had been an argument about employment and that the older woman had told the younger one to leave. The younger woman allegedly struck the other about the head, causing minor injuries. The deputy arrested 20-year-old Dlaci Lott of 2344 Highway 221 South, Laurens on a ticket charging her with Simple Assault. Ms. Lott remained in the Johnson Detention Center overnight, pending a bond hearing.

Child Neglect Alleged

   The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday arrested 33-year-old Roshonda Nicole “Nikki” Watson of 216 Cora Road, Laurens on a charge of “Unlawful Legal Custodian.” A warrant states that an investigation by Deputy Rushing indicates that on April 9th Ms. Watson placed at unreasonable risk of harm and abandonment a minor child. She allegedly had custody of the child and is the child’s parent or guardian. Ms. Watson was released on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.

Case Closed

  A Deputy was dispatched to the Green Pond Road area at 2 o’clock this morning on a report of a domestic disturbance. A woman told Deputy Rushing that she and her common law spouse had an argument and things were starting to get out of control. She alleged that the man slapped her on the side of her face. She did not want to pursue charges against him, and had no visible injuries, so the case was to be closed.

Theft from Paint Shop

   The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Patton Road outside Laurens at 9:35 yesterday morning about a burglary and theft. A man said when he returned to the paint shop on West Patton Road he found a door forced open. Two DeWalt tools and some audio-visual recording were missing. Value of the stolen merchandise was $352.

Bond Denied on Murder Charge

 Bond was denied yesterday for a man accused of killing his neighbor. 63-year-old Johnny Lamar Lever of 288 Cochise Drive, Waterloo was served with warrants charging him with Murder and with Pointing and Presenting a Weapon from the fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon. Laurens County Sheriff’s Lt. Jawarski Shelton states that on April 8th Johnny Lamar Lever did knowingly and willfully display what was a firearm during commission of a violent crime at 323 Cochise Drive, Waterloo. Lt. Shelton also alleges that Johnny Lever did, with malice and aforethought, cause the death of the victim by shooting him several times in the back with a handgun at 323 Cochise Drive, Waterloo.

   Deputies dispatched just before 4:30 Tuesday afternoon reported finding the victim, 51-year-old Harold Dean Price Sr. of 323 Cochise Drive, lying beside his lawn mower in his front yard.

  With bond denied on the Murder charge, Johnny Lamar Lever of 288 Cochise Drive remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Weapons Charges Follow Early Morning Gunfire

    The sound of gunfire heard outside a Laurens Police station dispatched Laurens City Police toward Hunter’s Court at 37 minutes after midnight yesterday morning. Officers arriving on scene were told of a subject with a handgun in his waistband. The subject was located, but reportedly didn’t have the gun on him. However, it was reportedly located about 15 feet away, in grass where the man had been observed. Two .380 caliber bullets were reportedly found in the firearm.  Master Patrolman Patrick Craven reported observing the smell of gunpowder on the subject.

   Laurens City Police yesterday charged 20-year-old Kaheri Quintarius Allen of 106 Holland Hill, Laurens with Discharging Firearm in City Limits, Possession of a Stolen Firearm and with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon. Warrants state that an investigation by Officer Craven indicates that the subject carried a black and silver Highpoint .380 caliber pistol on Hunter’s Court April 9th, and that he discharged 4 to 5 rounds from the semi-automatic .380 caliber handgun on Hunter’s Court in Laurens. Kaheri Q. Allen is also accused of committing the crime of being in possession of a stolen pistol. Wednesday, April 9th, he allegedly was in possession of a silver and black Highpoint semi-automatic .380 caliber pistol that was reported stolen through the Clinton Department of Public Safety between June 1st and July 1st of 2013.  

Surety bonds on the three charges were set totaling $26,092. Kaheri Quintarius Allen of Laurens remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

More Apprenticeships Proposed

   Laurens County had big news this week with an almost $7 million grant announced for expanding opportunities for students at Clinton and Laurens High Schools to prepare for jobs of the future. The four-year grant features apprenticeship programs as part of the expanded opportunities for students here and at two Richland District 2 High Schools.

   More ideas of apprenticeship are up for discussion in the nation’s capital this afternoon during a bi-partisan discussion on a bill proposing to fund more apprenticeship programs. The discussion is to feature Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina and Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey. They’re to be at Facebook headquarters in DC  at 1:45 this afternoon is the first-ever live bipartisan Q&A to discuss their ‘Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs’ (LEAP) Act.  The bill proposes to provide a tax credit to employers to help increase the number of registered apprenticeships in the U.S. to put more people to work and help fill the 4 million job vacancies across the United States – openings often attributed to a skills mismatch between employers and job seekers.

    Even as companies report unfilled positions, there are still 10 million jobless Americans, and 16 percent of 16-24 year olds in the United States today are unemployed. The numbers are far worse among youth of color and for those without college degrees. Apprenticeships can help fill this gap. The U.S had just 358,000 active, registered apprenticeships in 2012. By contrast, that’s 7 percent of what England offered when adjusted for population, and in Germany nearly 50 percent of all young people go through apprenticeship programs.

    Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker will be on the Facebook Q & A around 1:45 this afternoon at facebook.com/SenatorTim Scott and Facebook.com/corybooker.