Mr. Billy Ray Johnson

Mr. Billy Ray Johnson, age 64, formerly of Laurens, SC, died Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in White Plains, Maryland. 

He was born in Laurens County, SC, a son of the late Jessie Pearl Johnson and the husband of Angela Johnson. He is survived by his wife Angela :Angie” Johnson of the home; a son, Steven Johnson of Charlotte, NC; one sister, Sandra McGowan Scott of Laurens, SC.

Funeral service will be held, 11:00a.m., Tuesday, April 16, 2014 at the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Clinton, MD. Burial will be in a local cemetery.

Pope Funeral Home, Forestville, Maryland is in charge of arrangements.

Local family is at the home of his  aunt Mrs. Loretta McGowan, 209 Pridmore St., Laurens, SC. Courtesy Beasley Funeral Home, Laurens.  

Miss. Barbara Wilson

Miss. Barbara Wilson, age 71, formerly of 113 Fielding Lane, Fountain Inn, died Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the Hospice of Laurens County Hospice House, Clinton, SC. 

She is survived by one sister, Sharon Robinson of Greenville, SC.

The family will receive friends 1-3pm on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 in the chapel of Beasley Funeral Home 205 Knight Street.

The family is at the home of her sister, Sharon Robinson,  106 Spartanburg Street Greenville, SC. Beasley Funeral Home Fountain Inn is in charge of arrangements. 

Three Charged with Kidnapping & Attempted Armed Robbery

   Clinton Public Safety charged three men Friday with Kidnapping a Clinton man and attempting to rob him at gunpoint on Thursday. All three were charged with Kidnapping and Attempted Armed Robbery as well as with Conspiracy to Kidnap and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery.

  The suspects are 19-year-old Jordan Aikens of 210 Bell Street Circle, Clinton; 21-year-ld Mister Cornelius Aikens of 207 New Market Street, Greenwood and 41-year-old Derrick Larvell Scott of 605 Wright Street, Greenwood. Warrants alleged all three conspired with each other April 10th to kidnap and to commit armed robbery on a victim, with the kidnapping and attempted armed robbery allegedly occurring Thursday on Peachtree Street in Clinton. All three suspects are accused of holding the victim against his will inside a vehicle.

  With $50,000 bonds on the Kidnapping and Attempted Armed Robbery charges, 19-year-old Jordan Aikens of Clinton had Surety bonds totaling $130,652.50.

   In addition to the two Conspiracy charges, Kidnapping and Attempted Armed Robbery, 21-year-old Mister Cornelius Aikens of 207 New Market Street, Greenwood was also charged with Possession of a Stolen Pistol. He’s accused of possessing a Bersa .380 semi-automatic handgun which was stolen out of Lancaster County. Mister Aikens Surety bonds totaled $110,000.

   For 41-year-old Derrick Larvell Scott of 605 Wright Avenue, Greenwood was also charged with two Conspiracy charges, Kidnapping and Attempted Armed Robbery. His Kidnapping warrant states that he held the victim inside a vehicle against his will by keeping the vehicle in motion. Derrick Scott was also charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine. A warrant alleges he had one rock of crack cocaine which weighted .7 gram.

  His Surety bonds set during arraignment totaled $48,000.

   Derrick Scott and Mister Aikens of Greenwood and Jordan Aikens of Clinton all remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Wife Charged with Attempted Murder

   Attempted Murder charges were served on a Laurens woman this weekend. The Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Laurens Bi-Lo parking lot at 2:07 Saturday morning, where Deputy Farrah Cook spoke with a woman regarding a stabbing that had occurred at her residence on Boyd Road. She reportedly said she and her husband had a dispute during which she cut him with a knife. She had reportedly confronted her husband about getting a new job and not reporting to it. Deputy Jamison Taylor went to the Emergency Room at Laurens County Memorial Hospital and spoke with the husband, who reportedly first said he was stabbed at a club. He said he did not want his wife arrested, allegedly noting this was not the first time. A report notes the couple’s three-year-old daughter was present during the altercation at their home. The Sheriff’s Office arrested the wife, 39-year-old Tanasha Philson Amaker of 778 Boyd Road, Laurens and served her with a warrant charging Attempted Murder. It states that an investigation of Deputy Cook indicates that on April 12th Mrs. Amaker attempted to kill her husband by stabbing and cutting him in the chest during an altercation in their home at 778 Boyd Road, Laurens. Mrs. Amaker was released from the Johnson Detention Center Sunday on a $50,000 Surety Bond.

Laurens Idol Registration Starts Today

    The City of Laurens announces the seventh season for Laurens Idol in the summer of 2014. The Laurens Idol competition will be for ages 16 and over along with Laurens Jr. Idol for ages 8-15. The annual event is sponsored by the Laurens Parks and Recreation Department and Open auditions will be held on Sunday, April 27 at 4:00pm and Thursday, May 1 at 4:00pm at the Laurens Police Dept. on the second floor of the SunTrust building.

   All participants will be asked to sing a one-minute a cappella version of a song of their choice. Judges will select finalists for the Laurens Idol competition and finalists for the Jr. Idol competition.

   Laurens Idol will begin the 2014 competition at the Little River Amphitheater on Thursday, June 5 with all finalists performing. Voting will begin on with the voting open until midnight on Sunday night. Each Monday, the remaining finalists will be unveiled on This format will be used after each performance.

Performers will be eliminated after each round on June 5, 12 & 19. The five finalists in each division will perform on Thursday, June 26. The finale will take place at the annual Riverfront Freedom Festival with the crowning of the 2014 Laurens Idols. The winner of Laurens Idol will receive $1000 and the Jr. Idol winner will receive $200.

   To register to audition for Laurens Idol, please go to Laurens City Hall and complete an application. There is no fee to register. Registration begins Monday, April 14 and will continue until the audition days.

   For more information on Laurens Idol contact Laurens Recreation Director Jason Pridgen at 864-681-7275 or visit

Clinton’s Chad Maxon Honored

       At Piedmont Technical College’s 40th annual Student Awards and Recognition Program Friday, president Dr. Ray Brooks applauded the achievements of more than 75 student leaders.  The ceremony attracted students, faculty, staff, friends and family members.

      Piedmont Tech’s most prestigious honor, the President’s Award, went to Scott McCravy of Greenwood, an associate degree nursing student. McCravy was also named outstanding graduate in the nursing division and in his curriculum.

     Each academic division of the college honored its top graduate with the Distinguished Student Award. In addition to McCravy, winners were Chad Maxon of Clinton, health science; Ian Smith of Prosperity, arts and science; Brandon Simon of Newberry, engineering and industrial technology and Courtney Clemmons of Greenwood, business, information technology and public servic. Deans from each major academic division also made presentations to these winners.

Illegal Weapons Possession by Felon

    Laurens City Police arrested an Eastern Laurens County man in connection with an alleged illegal weapons charge on East Main yesterday. 26-year-old Tyree Brushawn Grant of 8718 Highway 56 South, Kinards was charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. A warrant alleges that on April 13th Mr. Grant was in possession of a brown and black Charter Arms .38 Special revolver and that Tyree Grant was convicted of multiple violent felonies in 2005, which prohibits him from possessing a firearm. A Surety bond was set at $10,000 on the charge. Tyree Grant remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

Firearms & Drug Charges

   The Sheriff’s Office Friday arrested 40-year-old Allen Dorsey Howington of 1012 McKenzie Road, Ninety Six on multiple charges. He’s accused of Possession of Methamphetamine, with Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Felon in Possession of ammunition. Deputy Charles Nations states that Howington was in possession of an amount of Meth at 417 Serene Drive, Waterloo on Friday. Further, that he was in possession of a weapon, which his not permitted because of his having been convicted on a violent crime. Deputy Nations further alleged that on Friday at his residence Howington was in possession of ammunition for a 9mm and a .22 caliber weapon at his residence, 417 Serene Drive, Waterloo. Allen Dorsey Howington remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

One X-Wife Spots Other X-Wife Outside

   Deputy Farrah Cook was dispatched to Fleming Mill Road at 9:24 Sunday night to speak with a person reportedly involved in a physical domestic dispute. A man reported that a female friend of his, who is an x-wife, observed another woman open the door to his vehicle. He said he took his handgun and went outside where he identified the woman as his other x-wife. He alleged that she began yelling and cursing and that she struck him on his neck with her hand. She eventually got into her vehicle and left. Deputy Cook and Lt. Marty Crain located the suspect in the case. She reportedly gave several conflicting reasons as to why she went to the other woman’s residence. 47-year-old Dianne Lee Norris of 6241 Highway 221 South, Laurens was arrested on a Criminal Domestic Violence charge at 9:24 last evening. She was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center.

Man Allegedly Assaults Wife at Motel

   Laurens City Police responded to the motel at 621 North Harper at 2:35 Sunday afternoon after a woman called to say her husband was beating her in the head with his fist. Officers arrived to observe the man sitting on the bed and the woman at the back of the room upset and crying. Officers noted observing fresh scratches and lacerations on her face. The woman reportedly said the man had been gone two days and that when he returned she began questioning where he had been. He then allegedly grabbed her face with his hands. During an argument, he reportedly struck her in the back of her head with his fist. The man reportedly became upset when told he was under arrest. Officers noted a previous domestic violence arrest in 2011. 28-year-old Rickey James Gilliam Jr. of Room 216 at 621 North Harper Street, Laurens was booked and placed in the Johnson Detention Center. He was being held overnight with a warrant pending to charge him with 2nd offense Criminal Domestic Violence.