In the 50’s 60’s when radio stations wanted to attract African-American listeners they typically hired white guys to pose as black while spinning R & B records. One of the first Black men to break that pattern was Cornell Blakely. The Greenville native had been to Detroit and recorded R & B songs that were produced by Barry Gordy, Jr, creator of Motown, which later dominated the charts with R & B hits. After having modest success with some of this recordings and touring the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” Cornell Blakely returned home and became one of our region’s first African-American radio personalities. He was heard on Greenville’s Top-40 station, WQOK and at the state’s first 50,000 watt AM station, WHYZ. Later, Blakely syndicated himself before the days of satellite distribution, driving from Union to Newberry to Bishopville to do live, local radio shows featuring his own unique chatter. He also appeared as an afternoon DJ on WLBG in the 1990s. He went on to purchase WKMG radio in Newberry, where he played the R & B and Gospel music he loved into his 80’s, until his health forced retirement. Blakely died Monday in his native Greenville. Funeral Services are scheduled for Noon this Saturday at Watkins, Garrett and Woods Mortuary with burial in Resthaven Memorial Gardens.
The Sheriff’s office yesterday arrested a Western Laurens County man on charges of assaulting his spouse with a gun early Monday morning. Deputies had been called later Monday morning by a woman reporting she had got out of bed overnight to use the bathroom and get a drink when the man complained of her waking him. He then allegedly pulled a gun on her and fired shots past her. Deputies yesterday arrested 49-year-old Willie Joe Hinton Jr. of 107 Lady Bug Lane, Ware Shoals and charged him with Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature. In a warrant, Lt. Robbie Haupfear states that on December 2nd Willie Joe Hinton Jr. knowingly and willfully attempted to cause injury to a member of his household. He allegedly used a deadly weapon in the commission of the assault and/or caused a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death, being aggravated in that he allegedly pointed a handgun at the victim’s head and fired two shots at the victim. Willie Hinton Jr. was being held, pending arraignment.
Charges of Kidnapping and Assault and Battery were served on a young Clinton female yesterday, following her arrest from an incident at her home Monday afternoon. Clinton Public Safety served charges yesterday of Kidnapping and Assault and Battery on 17-year-old Katie Ann Berry of 315 Beauregard Street, Clinton. In the warrants, Lt. Eric Robinson states that on December 2nd at 315 Beauregard Street Katie Ann Berry assaulted her mother about the head and arms by striking her with a hair curling iron and an ash tray, causing injuries that required medical attention. Berry is also accused of restricting the lawful movement of the victim when the victim needed medical attention; not allowing the use of a telephone or other seeking of assistance from outside sources for nearly an hour. Bonds were set at $15,000 on each charge yesterday. Katie Ann Berry was placed in the Johnson Detention Center, where she remained this morning with cash or surety bonds totaling $30,000.
Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Bell Street Middle School at 11:17 yesterday morning after school administrators reported finding drugs on a student. Administration had been alerted by a concerned student that a 12-year-old female had allegedly sold marijuana to a 14-year-old male for $10. The marijuana inside a white plastic baggy and a $10 bill were placed into evidence. Officer Josh Byers and Lt. Eric Robinson placed both under arrest and transported them to the Public Safety Offices. Charges noted from the alleged transaction were Possession with Intent to Sell and Simple Possession of Marijuana. The students’ parents or guardians were called in and explained the family court process. Both were then released to parental custody.
Rejection can be difficult for some people to take. Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to a Bailey Street residence at 10:15 last night, where a woman reported trouble getting a man to leave her alone. She indicated he had come to her home Monday evening. A verbal altercation began when she rebuffed his advances toward her. When she told him to leave, she had he began using profane language toward her. He finally left Monday night. Then he was back around 1:30 yesterday afternoon. The woman said she was mopping in the back bedroom and went to the front to check on her dog and found the man sitting in her den, apparently having broken in through locked doors. Again, she reported he directed vulgar language towards her, as well as towards her sister and her mother next door. He finally left again, but threatening text messages to her and other family members reportedly followed. Then at 7:11 last night she received a voice mail from his phone number saying she was a “*&!@” and a “%!@*”, and telling her to bring everyone outside because he was going to stomp their *$#@!. Lt. Anderson’s initial attempt to contact the man was not successful.
The City of Clinton has selected Dale Satterfield to serve as the Director of the department of Public Works after the current director, Michael J. Reddeck retires next year. Satterfield announced his retirement from the Laurens CPW Tuesday morning, after 30 years experience with the Laurens public utility system. He has served as General Manager of the CPW for the past seven years.
Clinton City Manager Frank Stovall said “I am excited that Mr. Satterfield will be joining our management team as the Director of Public Works. His wealth of knowledge in similar sized utility systems, his strong background in the managerial aspects of running a utility, and his dedication to the customer are all traits that make him an ideal candidate for this position.”
Satterfield began his full-time career with the Laurens CPW on August 16, 1982 after graduating from the University of South Carolina. His career began on the Water and Sewer Maintenance Crew and then he was promoted to Office Manager/Treasurer in 1985. He assumed the position of Assistant Manager to the General Manager and was promoted to General Manager in 2006.
Upon announcing his resignation from his position at the CPW, Satterfield stated, “It has been a phenomenal privilege managing the publicly owned utilities for our Customer/Owners. My focus has been to provide reliable, quality service at the most competitive cost possible. It is what they (Customer/Owners) expect and deserve.”
Dale Satterfield is to work in Laurens through January 31st, then will replace Michael Reddeck as the head of the Clinton Public Works Department in the late spring of 2014. Frank Stovall said “Mike Reddeck has been a tireless advocate for the people of our city and has pushed major infrastructure replacement programs, most notably new water lines in many areas of our city, through in difficult economic times. His expertise as an engineer has saved our citizens a significant amount of money over the past few years. I consider him a friend, and I wish him well in his retirement. ”
The City of Clinton’s Department of Public Works has a staff of 38 full-time employees, 2 part-time employees and an annual operating budget of $21.7 million.
Each year the Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority releases funds to the city of Clinton for the purpose of economic development. At last night’s meeting of Clinton City Council City Manager Frank Stovall informed council that this year $198,447.38 was available. He suggested three uses for the funds this year.
1) To acquire additional property in the Pacolet-Milliken Industrial Park along Highway 72 and bordering Interstate 26 at an estimated cost of $110,000.
2) To fund Phase 4 of the city’s Streetscape plan by repairing or replacing sidewalks along with other enhancements along Broad Street from Florida Street to Pitts Street at a cost of $70,900.
3) To enhance the Highway 308 entrance to the city. $17,547.38 would be used to match a Palmetto Pride grant. The result would be new city entrance signs and landscaping along the Highway 308 gateway.
After brief discussion, City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Mr. Stovall to request the funds.
Clinton City Council last night gave unanimous 1st reading approval to an ordinance authorizing the sale of Timber on city-owned property. City Manager Stovall recommended the sale of timber from 8 acres of Asten Road and 15 acres on Highway 308. The sale is to raise $43,500, but Stovall said it also will clear areas targeted for economic growth in response to suggestions from economic development site location specialists. The approval came following a brief discussion.
Three people have filed for the Clinton City Council seat recently vacated by Bob McLean, who won the Special Mayor’s Election. When the filing period closed yesterday at noon, the Laurens County Election Commission Office had three candidates on record as seeking Seat 5 in a special election in mid-January.
Candidates for the City Council election are Danny Fortney of 404 Caldwell Street, Josh Lindsay of 117 Baldwin Circle and Norman Scarborough of 100 Mr. Jim Lane.
The special City Council Election will take place Tuesday, January 14th, 2014. Should a run-off election be needed, it will be conducted two weeks later on Tuesday, January 28th.
Two people are now facing charges from the Saturday night burglary of Crenshaw’s Store of the Cold Point Community on US 221 South of Laurens. The Sheriff’s Office yesterday announced the first arrest was made when Simpsonville Police arrested 31 year-old Whitney Leigh Maness of 1441 Highway 252, Laurens for allegedly attempting to use a check stolen from Crenshaw’s at Kohl’s of Simpsonville yesterday. Simpsonville Police then notified the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, which issued a notice of a second suspect who is wanted for the Saturday night Cold Point burglary.
Around midnight last night, Deputies reportedly found the second suspect hiding in a camper, behind a residence, on Mountain View Drive, Gray Court. 36-year-old Daniel Shane Bennett of 3566 Bethel Church Road, Laurens was being held in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.
Warrants charging Daniel Bennett with Burglary 2nd Degree and Petit Larceny allege that on November 30th he entered the building at 6532 Highway 221 South without consent and that he took items from Crenshaw’s Store valued at less than $2,000.