Why Is The Flag At Half Staff?

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has requested that ALL flags in South Carolina be flown at half staff on Thursday, Friday and until sundown on Saturday in honor of Captain James E. Chaffin, III of West Columbia.


Captain Chaffin, 27, died Tuesday, April 1st, at Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense he died due to a non combat related incident. He served in Afghanistan with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.


The funeral for Captain Chaffin is scheduled for 3:00pm Saturday at Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church, West Columbia.

Fatal Accident – School Bus vs. Motorcycle

A fatal collision occurred at 6:45 Tuesday morning on US 221 near New Prospect Baptist Church in the Maddens Community of Laurens County. The crash involved a Laurens County School District 55 special needs school bus and a motorcycle.


According to Lance Corporal Tony Keller of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the school bus was travelling north on US221 and attempted a left turn onto New Prospect Church Road. The motorcycle was travelling south on US 221 and struck the right hand side of the bus as it turned.


The driver of the bus, 72 year old Steward D. Suber of Mountville, was not injured in the accident. Four student passengers on the bus, a 5 year old, a 9 year old, a 14 year old and a 20 year old – all males, were also uninjured.


The driver of a 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle was identified by Laurens County Deputy Cororner Vickie Cheek as 50 year old Marsha Kay Gillespie of 367 Narnie Road, Laurens. Ms. Cheek stated the cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma. She said Ms. Gillespie died instantly upon impact.

Train Derailment – Newberry County

One lane of US Highway 76 is blocked between Newberry and Prosperity due to a 3 car derailment.

The outside eastbound lane of US 76 between Newberry and Prosperity is blocked.  The derailment occurred just 9:30AM Monday morning according to a release from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.  There were no injuries and the cargo being hauled by the cars involved was paper so there is no hazardous material involvement.

The right hand eastbound lane of US76 will remain closed during the clean up.

Yes, You Did Feel An Earthquake

Many residents across South Carolina and the Southeast were a bit startled Friday evening to feel the Earth moving underneath their feet.  It was not your imagination.

The US Geological Survey reports an earthquake at 10:38 PM Friday centered 12 West Northwest of Edgefield, South Carolina.  The quake was measured at 4.4 on the Richter scale and was 4.6 kilometers deep.

No damage has been reported at the time of this writing.



UPDATE:  At 11:01PM the US Geological Survey amended their report as follows:

Strength:  4.1

Time of Event:  22:23.38  (23 minutes and 38 seconds after 10PM Easter Time on Friday)



There is some damage.  Media reports across the area are reporting damage to a water tower which is now pouring water and is in danger of collapse.

And, reporting the floor at Edgefield Hospital is cracked.  Emergency personnel on standby to evacuate.



USGS Event Summary:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000mr27#summary

Cancellations/Early Dismissals (Click Here For List)


Weather notices for Thursday, January 30th

Laurens County Distrcit 55 Schools Operating on a Two Hour Delay

Laurens County District 56 Schools Operating on a Two Hour Delay

All departments of the City of Laurens are on a regular schedule. NON essential personnel are on a two hour delay.

Laurens County Offices will open at 9:00 Thursday Morning – Regular Schedule

Piedmont Technical College is opening Thursday on a delayed basis. 10:00 am Classes will start on schedule. Faculty and Staff should rpeort to work at 9:00 am.

Senior Options of Laurens County opens ona 2-hour delay, at 10:00 am Thursday morning.  There will be no Adult Day Healthcare or Diner’s Club Thursday at Senior Options.

Laurens County Water Sewer Commission opening 10:00 am Thursday




Laurens County Emergency Management has opened Warming Stations for people who need a warm place to escape the cold. These opened at 4pm Tuesday and remain open for 48 hours.  They are at the Clinton Public Safety Office on North Broad, Laurens City Police on West Laurens, Laurens City Fire on Mill Street and at the Laurens County Fire Station in Wattsville.


If you need to report a closing/cancellation/delay call WLBG at 864-984-3544 or email to: news@wlbg.com

Do NOT call to ask about closings.  That information will be made available via this web site and on air.  Information will not be provided by telephone.

Morning Drive DANGEROUS!

Roadway conditions are extremely hazardous in Laurens and surrounding counties this morning.  Yesterday’s snow is this morning’s smooth sheet of ice.


Do NOT drive if you don’t have to.  If you must drive use extreme caution.  Leave home prepared to be stuck for some time.  No sudden moves……starts, stops or turns.


Again……..this is DANGEROUS driving.  Please stay off the roadways unless absolutely necessary.

Remains Identified – Ms. Dorothy Madden



The mystery that has haunted a LaurensCounty family has now been resolved although not in a way they would have chosen.


On Monday afternoon Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols announced that remains discovered the day before in a wooded area off Stallion Drive near Princeton have been positively identified as 75 year old Ms. Dorothy Madden. 


The body was discovered in a densely wooded area just off Stallion Drive not far from Ms. Madden’s home on Pony Trail.  Ms. Madden had been missing since July 14, 2013.


“The cause of death will be listed as undetermined” said Nichols.  He said there was no indication of foul play but the passage of time made the precise determination of a cause of death impossible to discover.


Hundreds of people from Laurens and surrounding counties searched those same woods near Ms. Madden’s home in the days and weeks following her disappearance but not until someone happened upon a purse (which turned out to belong to Ms. Madden) was there a clue as to where she might be. 


Another search was launched on Sunday, one day after the discovery of that purse, concentrating on the area where it was found.  This time it did not take long.


Coroner Nichols told WLBG that “maybe, hopefully this family can now have a sense of closure”.  He said he was sure this was not the answer they wanted but at least it was an answer.


10.     No Zoning.  It’s a known fact that corporations are attracted to communities with absolutely no zoning……like Greenville, Spartanburg and Columbia.  Wait…..well some corporations…….like pig farms.


9.       Beer.  Yes, beer.  If you were a beer can recycling company what better place to be than where the per capita consumption of beer is highest in the land…..and as a bonus, lots of people just chunk em out on the ground.


8.       Mayor Sharon Brownlee ain’t there.  You don’t have to worry with a meddlesome mayor telling you that you can’t trash the place.


7.       No competition.  There’s not a lot of industry in Joanna.  So, if you’re the only game in town you can pay what you want.  Nobody complains.


6.       Night life.  Executives like to party as much as anyone so when they’re selecting where to put a new factory they want to know about local entertainment.  Joanna has the Moose Lodge.  Nuff said.


5.       Unique.  These rich yuppie corporate types like things that are unique.  Joanna is unique.  Even has it’s own nickname………..The Wild Kingdom.


4.       Common Sense.  Now, it may be true that there are SOME folks in Joanna who are known to have very little sense of any kind…..there are also plenty of residents endowed with common sense.  That’s something sorely missing in the corporate world.  They need it.


3.       Conflict Resolution.   Corporate lawyers are so expensive.  In Joanna, conflicts are more frequently resolved with a good old fashioned country ass whoopin.


2.       Geography.  Of course there’s an interstate nearby but there’s also natural attractions…..Stomp Springs, Bush River and Elmo’s Crab Shack.


1.       No City Taxes!!!  No question No how No way.  No city taxes now or ever.  Not city services at all either but still…….NO CITY TAXES !!!

Unidentified Body: Cause of Death Released


Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols released information today about a body discovered Friday afternoon in northern Laurens County.

The body of a woman was found in a field off Bramlett Church Road near the Youngs Community between Gray Court and Woodruff this past Friday.  Coroner Nichols told WLBG today that identification of the body is not yet complete but he could release information related to the cause of death.

According to the results of the autopsy completed Saturday morning, death was caused by a gunshot wound to the neck.

The Laurens County Coroner’s office, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, along with Greenville County law enforcement authorities are continuing to investigate.

Almost 2,000 Acres To Burn

The United States Forest Service (via the Newberry County Sherrif’s Office) advises that a very large controlled burn will be conducted today in northeaster Newberry County.  The following is from the NCSO:

“A large prescribed burn today in the Molly’s rock area off US 176. 1930 acres will be part of a controlled burn by the US Forest Service. With current weather conditions, most of the smoke will move toward Union County (north and west of the burn). Smoke will be visible for several miles. The US Forest Service will have equipment and personnel on scene to insure safety.”


When someone asks “Where’s all this SMOKE coming from?”………….you’ll know.