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Limb blocks West Main Street

Williamston firefighters and police officers wait on workers from the Williamston Public Works department Wednesday night. A large limb broke from a tree and blocked West Main Street for nearly two hours Read More »

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Vehicle crashes into building

Piedmont firefighters wait on state troopers on Wednesday evening after a vehicle crashed into the side of a barber shop in Piedmont. The driver then left on foot. The barber had left Read More »

Williamston Charrette DRAFT

Community Design Team presents recommendations for Williamston

WestMain Gateway photo By David Meade Williamston’s future is looking bright, at least if you see it through a presentation made by a team of professionals last week. As part of the Envision Read More »

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Firefighters extinguish tire fire

A Three and Twenty firefighter works to extinguish a tire fire Monday evening. The rear wheels on a low boy trailer caught fire as the truck and trailer were traveling on Highway Read More »

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Smoldering mulch pile

South Greenville firefighters work to extinguish a smoldering mulch pile Sunday afternoon. It took firefighters more than an hour to spread the mulch with a tractor and put water on it to Read More »

Langston’s Laughs

There was a dumb crook who was having financial troubles. So he decided to kidnap a dog and demand a ransom. He went to a local park, grabbed a little dog, took him behind a tree and wrote this note: “I have kidnapped your dog. Leave $10,000 in a plain brown bag behind the big oak tree in the park tomorrow at 7A.M. Signed- “The kidnapper.” He attached the note to the dog and let him go back to the owner. The next morning, the kidnapper returned to the park to find the $10,000 in a brown bag, behind the big oak tree, just as the note had instructed. Also inside the bag was the following note: Here is your money. I cannot believe that you would do such a thing to me!!! How dumb do you think I am, you don’t even have my dog.

BHP teacher arrested in incident with former student

A Belton-Honea Path High School teacher has been arrested by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office for engaging in sexual battery with a former student. Rafael Donyea Traynum, 43, of 101 Coral Street, Williamston, was arrested Thursday after he turned himself in to deputies at the sheriff’s office. He was charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct With a Minor (Second Degree) and Sexual Battery With a Student.

The victim, now 21, reported that she was “romantically involved” with Traynum while she was a student and a member of the Girls’ Basketball team between June 2009 and September 2012. Traynum is a social studies teacher and football coach at the school. He began coaching the Girls’ team in 2009 and stopped last school year. He is currently in the Anderson County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Limb blocks West Main Street

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Williamston firefighters and police officers wait on workers from the Williamston Public Works department Wednesday night. A large limb broke from a tree and blocked West Main Street for nearly two hours before it was sawed up and hauled away. (Photo by David Rogers)

Vehicle crashes into building

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Piedmont firefighters wait on state troopers on Wednesday evening after a vehicle crashed into the side of a barber shop in Piedmont. The driver then left on foot. The barber had left less than ten minutes before the accident but returned to see what had happened. He said that he had just walked to his car where the vehicle had left the road and traveled across the barber shop yard. Had he been just a few minutes later he said he or his car may have been struck. The wreck happened on Piedmont Highway in the Grove Station community. (Photo by David Rogers)

 

Community Design Team presents recommendations for Williamston

Williamston Charrette DRAFT

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WestMain Gateway photo

By David Meade

Williamston’s future is looking bright, at least if you see it through a presentation made by a team of professionals last week.

As part of the Envision Williamston Community Plan project, a team of consultants led by Arnett Muldrow and Associates of Greenville conducted a three day charrette which culminated with a presentation Thursday night reflecting what a revitalized Williamston could look like.

The goal of the charrette was to provide Williamston with an ongoing, flexible work plan to guide revitalization and economic development efforts in the town, according to Tee Coker, a Senior Associate with Arnett Muldrow and Associates who facilitated the charrette.

The presentation included recommendation with visual rendering of gateways to welcome residents and visitors, parking lot and building facade upgrades, landscaping and signage, curbing and other areas the town can improve and capitalize on.

The presentation also included market analysis information from a retail and online survey, a visual preference survey and other research done over the last three months.

According to Coker the research “confirms what we expect.”

That is, “There are a number of type stores we have or don’t have, certain specialty retail or restaurants, that you want but don’t have the opportunity and have to go to Anderson or Greenville,” Coker said. “It basically confirms your intuition.”

Coker said residents in the community “prefer the features of a classical small southern town, very clean and traditional.”

According to Coker, in the Williamston retail trade area which includes Williamston, West Pelzer, Pelzer and Belton, there are 43,000 people spending $685 million annually. Only $298 million of that is spent locally.

In the secondary retail trade area, including Piedmont and Pendleton, $62 million is currently coming into the Williamston trade area. Total spending for that trade area is $1.24 billion.

Research shows the area has several key opportunities and could support more home furnishings, appliances and electronics, lawn and garden equipment and a grocery store.

The study assumes that a rumored Walmart may still come to the area and would capitalize on the areas listed above.

However, even if Walmart does locate in the area, there are a number of opportunities Coker said.

Among those are specialty food; beer, wine and liquor; jewelry, sporting goods, full service restaurants and special foodservices.

During their three day charrette, the consulting team met with business and property owners and looked at north side and west side commercial gateways as well as the town’s East Main, Downtown, Park/Recreation and West Main shopping areas.

Gatewood project being delayed by missing FEMA flood map

Public meeting next Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 pm

During a meeting with residents of the Gatewood subdivision Tuesday, Williamston Mayor Mack Durham proposed two options to deal with a problem that is being delayed by FEMA. According to Durham, the project is being delayed because of a missing FEMA floodplain map required to proceed with the necessary permits to reconstruct the entrance to the subdivision.

The Mill Street entrance has crumbling roadway due to a washout last year of dirt and rock around two pipes that allow Big Creek to flow under the road. Traffic is currently limited to one lane with cones placed around the area of the washout.

Residents expressed concern about the safety of the roadway, especially with school buses using it along with heavier trucks going to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Weekly engineering inspections and ongoing maintenance is being done on the site while the project is being delayed, he said.

Two firms to present proposals for study on EMS options

By Stan Welch

Anderson County has received two responses to their request for qualifications for consultants to conduct a study designed to provide possible solutions to the problem of continued emergency medical services throughout the county.

County Administrator Rusty Burns told The Journal that The Polaris Group, of Southern Shores, NC, and Fitch and Associates, out of Platte City, MO have both responded and asked for an opportunity to appear before the selection committee to present their qualifications to perform the study.

Neighborhood Initiative Program to meet in Pelzer

By Stan Welch

Representatives of Anderson County will conduct a meeting on Thursday, September 10 to explain the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). The program is funded by the U.S. Treasury Department, and is administered by the South Carolina Housing Office.

Its purpose is to identify, purchase, and demolish blighted homes in the targeted area of Pelzer and West Pelzer, in order to stabilize property values and to prevent eventual foreclosures of the property.

Mainstay Fuel Technologies consolidate operations to Piedmont

Mainstay Fuel Technologies, Inc. announced recently that it has completed the consolidation of its operations into a 60,000 square foot facility located in Piedmont, SC, along the I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte. Conveniently sited halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, the plant is within 1-2 hours of the OE’s primary heavy duty truck production facilities.

As part of the consolidation, Mainstay will also significantly expand capacity with the buildout of a new assembly line to produce its back-of-cab and side-mounted CNG fuel systems.

County approves $5.3 million for vehicles, equipment

By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Council meeting Tuesday night was more remarkable for the absence of one of its members as for any business that was conducted. District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson was out of town and unable to attend, marking her first absence in several years.

In her absence the Council heard from David Shellhorse, of the Appalachian Council of Government (ACOG), who presented the annual update on ACOG’s economic development strategy. The strategy is built around eight main elements, including target industries, workforce development, infrastructure, available sites for development, entrepenuership, access to capital, economic development focused on local assets, such as Lake Hartwell, and global competitiveness.

Williamston Police Report

Clarification – In last week’s police report, Kimberly A. Moody, 280 Cheddar Rd., Belton was issued a UTT for driving under suspension after a gold color 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee was observed on Main St., with a left brake light not working.

According to the report, Moody stated that she was unaware that she was suspended. The officer was advised by Central Dispatch that the tag and drivers license were suspended due to cancellation of insurance.

Moody was issued a Uniform Traffic Ticket (UTT) courtesy summons. She was not arrested and transported to ACDC. A friend responded to the scene to take Moody home. Ellison Service Center took possession of the vehicle.

According to Moody, proof of insurance was provided to the Williamston Police Department the next day and the ticket was voided.

This week, Williamston Police Officers investigated the following incidents:

Aug. 25 – Raquel Ellen Tabares, 25, 108 Davis St. #1 Williamston reported an unknown suspect(s) had entered her apartment and removed several items. Sgt. K. J. Winn, G. Cremer investigated.

Aug. 25 – Austin Leneer Mosley, 22, 310 E. Carolina St., Williamston, was arrested for possession of schedule 1 controlled substance and outstanding warrant after officers observed him with a group of males standing in the road at 19 Jehue St. Moseley fled to 19 Jehue St. and then into the Kudzu behind the residence. He was placed under arrest for three outstanding warrants with Williamston Police Department. During the arrest a search incident located a plastic baggy of a brown rock like substance believed to be MDMA (“Molly”) in his pocket along with $1019 in currancy. He was transported to ACDC without incident. S. N. Robison investigated.

Obituaries Week of Sept. 2, 2015

JAMES STEVE BROWN, HAZEL JONES, PEARL BURTON, BETTY SAUCIER, “RONNIE” GREER, ODELL LOWE, “TONY” GUTHRIE, DENNIS GENE TAYLOR, MICHAEL BLASSINGAME, STEPHEN EARLE TAYLOR, REV. LARRY MORRIS, MILDRED ‘BOBBIE’ BOITER

Firefighters extinguish tire fire

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A Three and Twenty firefighter works to extinguish a tire fire Monday evening. The rear wheels on a low boy trailer caught fire as the truck and trailer were traveling on Highway 8 near Highway 88. The trailer was quickly disconnected from the truck and the tractor removed from the trailer to keep damage to a minimum. (Photo by David Rogers)

 

ACSO asks public help in identifying suspect in Easley assault

Suspect Sketch - Aggravated AssaultresInvestigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s assistance to help identify a suspect involved in an aggravated assault in the Easley area on Aug. 9

According to the incident report, just after midnight on Sunday, August 9, a female was walking home along Three Bridges Road in Easley when a dark colored sedan passed, then turned around and came back alongside her. The male driver asked if she needed a ride. When she replied “no” the driver reached out of the vehicle’s window, grabbed her by the arm and pulled her toward the car.

The female was able to pull away and the suspect then sped off.

Special meeting Tuesday to address Gatewood project

There will be a special called meeting of Williamston Town Council on Tuesday September 1st at 6:30 pm at Williamston Town Hall to discuss a local project of public interest. “The public meeting will be to discuss the current standing of the Anderson County Transportation Committee Gatewood Project and next steps in the completion of the project,” Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said.

Representatives on the County, State, and Federal level along with project-related entities are expected to attend.

“Our residents will have the opportunity to hear each entity’s perspective directly,” Durham said.

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