Warrants were issued yesterday by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office concerning one of our stories from yesterday morning’s news. Shirley Bacon of Joanna, one part of the mother /daughter Dollar General Shoplifting duo was charged in one warrant with willfully opposing and resisting lawful arrest by a law enforcement officer and a second warrant for knowingly obstructing a police investigation by driving off and disposing of evidence during an investigation. These charges will be added to her previous charges of shoplifting and open container. As of this morning she still remains in the JohnsonDetentionCenter on the previous charges.
Clinton City Council went to the dogs on Monday evening……at least temporarily.
Brooke Spatta (SPAH-DUH) who serves on the board of the Laurens County Humane Society came before the council to brief them on the activities of the Humane Society and to request assistance.
She highlighted their successful and ongoing low cost spay and neuter program which assists Laurens County residents in having their dogs and cats ‘fixed’ at greatly reduced prices. She pointed out that if all pets were spayed or neutered we would not have the huge problem with unwanted or abandoned animals that the county unfortunately does have.
She then requested assistance from council in the construction and operation of a shelter for dogs and cats. “This isn’t just our problem” she said “It’s everyone’s problem.” Stray dogs roam neighborhoods getting into mischief as they forage for food. Laurens County Animal Control does maintain a shelter for dogs, she said, but they are becoming overwhelmed. There is no shelter for cats in LaurensCounty.
She told council that the Humane Society’s board was re-energized toward constructing a shelter for both dogs and cats in the very near future and asked council to please consider this project and join with the city of Laurens and LaurensCounty in assisting with the project.
After some discussion, recently elected council member Norman Scarborough was assigned to contact LaurensCounty and the city of Laurens and to coordinate the city of Clinton’s efforts with the other local governments.
Laurens City Council convened a special called meeting thursday morning at 9am in Council Chambers to vote on three ordinances.
The first, Ordinance 02-14-01, needed a second reading vote before the regular scheduled monthly meeting due to the buyer’s time constraints for the sale of timber on the city property located between Fleming Street Extension and Exchange Drive.
Seventy acres of the two hundred thirty four acre tract contains trees that W.W. Logging has offered to cut and will pay forty five thousand dollars for the hardwood trees and nineteen thousand seven hundred forty dollars for the softwood. This second reading was approved unanimously.
The second ordinance, which had been approved on first reading earlier, was Ordinance 02-14-02 which also involves the sale of city property.
The ordinance authorizes the sale of point thirteen acres land to Central Electric Power Cooperation for two thousand five hundred dollars.
The city had already sold a small amount of land adjacent to the property for a switching station, but Central Electric needs this in additional space. This second reading was approved unanimously.
A first reading approval of Revised Ordinance 8-11-02, which will now allow the city to use the most qualified and reputable bidder for professional services, and not be forced to go for the lowest bid.
“When we did this the first time, we did not have a sophisticated ordinance, and when talking to other agencies, like Newberry, concerning our upcoming building demolition, we realized that if we did not reinvent the wheel on this, we would be forced to take the low bid for professional services,” said City Attorney Tommy Thompson.
Thompson gave credit for this new ordinance to City Administrator Gary Coleman who saw this as the right direction to go concerning quality and reputation for professional services, and not just on price.
Mayor Sharon Brownlee agreed with the ordinance and said, “This is not a blanket thing, but we will go on a case by case basis. This reinforces our ability to refuse a lowest bid that we do not even know, we want to deal with reputation and quality and it will also allow us flexibility in keeping our current suppliers,” said Mayor Sharon Brownlee.
“We want quality work done in Laurens,” agreed Council Member Sylvia Douglas.
Councilman Martin Lowry said that we will come up with a more detailed description of the revised ordinance on next vote.
Our thanks to WLBG reporter Iva Cadmus for her coverage of this Council meeting.
On tuesday at 5:45PM Clinton Department of Public Safety Officers received a report that there was an active meth lab at 503 Academy Street in Clinton. The Department responded and Officer Metz and Sgt. Ritter approached the front of the residence while Commander Roberts and Officer Templeton approached from the rear. The responding officer knocked on the front door and announced himself as Clinton Police. A female later identified as Angelia Richardson opened the door. The officer asked permission to enter and speak with the subjects. Richardson told him to come in. The responding officer and Sgt. Ritter entered and could immediately smell a strong chemical odor. They noted another female subject sitting on a couch and a male subject in the kitchen holding a trash can. Due to the hazardous nature of the situation the officers asked everyone to come outside. Once outside, officers noticed the male’s mouth to be bleeding. He replied that he had gotten lye in his mouth. Officers informed all parties about the complaint and asked consent to search the house and received consent from all parties. All suspects were searched and nothing was found on the male. One female was searched with nothing found and another female was searched and found to have a crack pipe in her purse. Both female suspects stated there was nothing inside the house. The male stated there was a bottle he was cooking meth in inside the back closet. The male suspect’s mouth was noticed to be bleeding worse and ems was called to transport him to the hospital. Sgt. Prather was called in to help make the scene safe and found items inside the house used in the manufacture of methamphetamines. A SLED cleanup crew was called in. A warrant is pending for Richard Morris Spoone, age 54 of 1135 Elmore Rd. Laurens after his release from the hospital.
45 year old Angelia Marie Richardson or 261 Forest rd. Clinton and 24 year old Amanda Nicole Gambrell of 261 Forest rd. Clinton were booked into the Johnson Detention Center wednesday by the Clinton Department of Public Safety. Separate warrants both state that each woman along with two co-defendants were in the process of manufacturing meth and did have in their possession items used in the manufacture of meth such as lye, lithium batteries, sulfuric acid, pseudoephedrine, ammonia pellets from cold packs, tubing, coffee filters, and used gas generators. Angelia Richardson is being held on a $20k bond and Amanda Gambrell is being held on a $20k bond and $620 for possession of drug paraphanalia.
Wednesday, Deputy Mcmahan responded to a call from the Dollar General on hwy 76 east in Clinton. The complaintant said she was the only cashier working at the time when it was brought to her attention by other shoppers that that someone was loading items into a pickup truck. The compaintant was unable to get a description of the subjects but did get an accurate tag number. It appeared the suspects took lawn chairs and cases of pepsi drinks. The deputy proceeded to find the truck with matching tag numbers at the Dollar General in Joanna. Two women were in the truck. He saw chairs matching those stolen from the store as well as cases of pepsi inside the bed of the truck as well as more pepsi and other merchandise in the window. The women said they got the items from a friend but wouldn’t say who and neither wanted to show their id to the deputy. He noticed a strong smell of alcohol and put the younger woman in investigative detention. The older woman then jumped back in the truck and drove off, refusing to stop and saying she didn’t do anything. Deputy McMahan followed the truck to the registered address of the tag and found the woman pouring out liquid from a glass and trying to hide the stolen items behind a garage. After resistance the woman was placed under arrest. The deputy found the stolen chairs and pepsi as well as other items taken from dollar general and an almost empty seagrams gin bottle in plain sight under the seat of the truck. This mother and daughter duo, 57 year old Shirley Bacon and her 32 year old daughter Cassie Ruff, both of 205 Whitmire Highway, Joanna were ticketed and booked into the Johnson Detention Center, both charged with shoplifiting under $2000, Ruff for public intoxication and Bacon with open container. A resisting arrest warrant is pending for Shirley Bacon.
The stolen items were returned to Dollar General.
Yesterday around 10am, Deputy Patterson of the Sheriff’s Office responded to a convenience store on hwy 76 east in Clinton and made contact with a victim who stated that he was in his vehicle in the parking lot when someone approached him and asked if he had any cigarettes he could give him. When he stated that he did not the unknown male reached in the car and started to assault him. The victim stated that the subject took $100 cash from his hand. He stated a female victim in the car produced a tazer and when the subject saw it he assaulted her by hitting her in the head and then ran. The male victim grabbed the tazer and attempted to catch the subject by running after him but was unable to. The deputy entered the store and spoke with an employee who stated that the suspect had come into the store and wanted to buy a single cigarette. She told him they didn’t sell single cigarettes. The subject then exited the store. She said moments later she saw the victim chasing him around the parking lot but did not know why. The deputy was informed the parking lot cameras didn’t work but the employee informed him that they should have video of the subject when he came into the store. The case remains open at this time.
Laurens County Deputy Brent Rushing was dispatched to the Fountain Inn Police Department at 10:07 tuesday night regarding a theft report. A woman was taken into custody who had reportedly been driving a 1997 Lexus that had been reported stolen from Traveler’s Rest. The car ignition system appeared to have been tampered with. At the request of Traveler’s Rest Police, The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office had the car placed in the county impound lot. 34-year-old Amber Darlene Peake of 206 Brentwood Circle, Greenville was placed in the Johnson Detention Center. Warrants state that she was in possession of a vehicle with intent to conceal, sell or dispose of stolen vehicle valued at under $10k or more. She is being held on $15000 bond for these charges and being held for further warrants outside Laurens County.
Sgt. Carter of the Sheriff’s Office responded wednesday to a Highway 25 Princeton business where a victim reported that two 55 gallon drums, old vehicle brake pads, old vehicle rotors and other misc. scrap metal were taken. Some metal from a 55 gallon drum left on scene was missing as well. The scrap metal was estimated to be worth between 3 and 4 hundred dollars. The items were taken from the business between approx.. 730p on monday and 8a on tuesday. The case will be turned over to investigations for further review.
Upstate Alliance is an economic development organization promoting the Upstate of South Carolina in attracting new companies and new jobs to the 10 counties in the northwestern corner of South Carolina. The alliance is funded by investors in both the public and private sectors, which includes the city of Clinton. At their March meeting Monday night, the Mayor and Council received an update on a new initiative now planned to attract international business to our area.
Clay Andrews, Director of Investor and Public Relations for Upstate Alliance, said the new initiate is all about international business. Andrews explained that business analysis has shown that industries involved in exporting either products or services are stronger and are not as negatively impacted when the economy experiences a recession. Recognizing this, Upstate Alliance is about to announce their involvement in the Global Cities Initiative.
The Global Cities Initiative is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase. The five year project aims to help leaders in US cities reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets. That will mean assisting in attracting international investment in South Carolina but it will also mean assisting South Carolina companies that wish to enter the international market and begin exporting goods and services.
Mr. Andrews explained that 95% of the world’s population lives outside the United States and a tremendous amount of the world’s purchasing power is not American. He said it’s just good business to engage those markets.
The presentation about the Global Cities Initiative required no action from Clinton
March has arrived. It’s the month that spring officially arrives…and it’s also when political hopefuls file for their party’s nomination in the Primary Election. Laurens County Elections and Registrations Director Lynne West states that partisan candidates for this year’s November General Election must first file for their party’s primary. The filing period opens at noon Sunday, March 16th and closes at Noon on Sunday, March 30th. The primaries will be held on Tuesday, June 10th. The filing fees for various positions are available online at SCVotes.org.
Mrs. West states that candidates will file with the Laurens County Registration and Elections Commission at their offices on the ground floor of the Historic Laurens County Courthouse. Candidate requirements vary between various election positions, but details are available on-line at SCVotes.org. Candidates must pay the filing fee at the time of filing. They must be paid by check. Cash, debit and credit cards are not acceptable.
The Laurens County Elections Office is open Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm. It will be open special hours the final two days to register, from 8am until noon on Saturday and Sunday, March 29th and 30th.
Elections were disrupted two years ago in LaurensCounty and across the state due to court rulings on technical violations in filing by many candidates. Elections Director Lynne West listed documents required for filing.
These include three copies of a completed and signed statement of Intention of Candidacy / Party Pledge Form, the SICPP. These forms are at SCVotes.org and also may be obtained at the County Registration & Elections office.
Mrs. West stated that Candidate names and filing documents will be posted to SCVotes.org in real time. Users may search candidates online using a variety of criteria. Search results can be viewed on screen and users may download a detailed spreadsheet. Interested persons will also be able to view the scanned SICPP and Filing Fee receipt.
Questions and concerns about filing for the upcoming election cycle by LaurensCounty residents may be directed to Lynne West, Laurens County Director of Elections. The office number is 864-871-2937. Her email is email@example.com