Daily Archives: 06/12/2018

Voters select primary winners

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Primary elections have come and gone in Pickens County, with the winning candidates now setting their sights toward the November general election.

Incumbents ruled the day in the county, as all of the local seats up for grabs were retained, with the exception of a possible runoff in S.C. House District 5. Voters turned out at surprisingly high rates, with 22.27 percent taking to the polls for this year’s primary.

The S.C. House District 5 race looks to be headed to a runoff between Allan Quinn and incumbent Neal Collins. Collins took first with 2,309 votes (49.1 percent), while Quinn came in second with 1,241 votes (26.4 percent). David Cox came in third with 1,149 votes (24.4 percent). The possible runoff between the two would occur in two weeks.

In House District 4, Phil Healy was unable to defeat incumbent Davey Hiott. Hiott picked up 3,252 votes compared to Healy’s 1,516. Hiott will face no opposition in the general election.

Two Pickens County Council seats were up for grabs, but

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Police: Man shot girlfriend

LIBERTY — A Liberty man is charged with attempted murder after police said he shot his girlfriend on Saturday night.

Robert Seaborne Bragg Jr., 50, is also charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Creed Hashe said Bragg was not at the scene of the shooting when deputies arrived, but was arrested Sunday night in Laurens County.

Hashe said the sheriff’s office received a calle about a shooting in a camper at 102 Bee Tree Court in Liberty at around 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, deputies found a woman who had been shot at least twice in the legs with a small-caliber handgun, Hashe said.

Witnesses told deputies a man, identified as Bragg, had been arguing with his 43-year-old girlfriend for several hours. Hashe

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Honoring their service

Marines visit Upstate for rest, relaxation

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

SENECA — A group of Marines are enjoying some much-needed time off at Keowee Key this week.

On Monday afternoon, the Honoring Their Service escort ferried the Marines, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C., from Southern Wesleyan University to Duke Energy’s World of Energy, where they met their host families. The group will stay with their families until Thursday morning.

This year marks the 10th year Keowee Key has hosted the Marines. The 2018 group of 27 included spouses for the first time.

Staff Sgt. Melvin Rodas said he was glad his wife, Kristen, was

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Officials say man shared child porn

CENTRAL — A Central man was arrested last week after police investigators said he distributed child pornography.

South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson announced the arrest of 25-year-old Robbie Stetson Ford on one charge connected to the exploitation of a minor.

Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the attorney general’s office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, helped with the investigation.

Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that led them to Ford, according to a news release.

Ford was arrested on June 6. He is charged with one count of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

The case will be prosecuted by the attorney general’s office.

Wilson stresses that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

Ford was released the day after his arrest on a $5,000 surety bond.


Pickens daycare director arrested

PICKENS — The director of a Pickens daycare center was arrested last week after several parents complained their children had been abused, according to police.

Margaret Sue Mullins Tennis, 60, of 153 Robbie Court in Easley, is charged with third-degree assault and battery. She was arrested on June 5 and released later the same day on a $1,092 personal recognizance bond.

An arrest warrant alleges Tennis, identified as the director of the Carousel Learning Center on Secona Road, hit a child on the bottom with a wooden paint stirrer known as “Bob”

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Coworker’s quick response saves county employee’s life

PICKENS — The actions of a co-worker are all that separated Tricia Garrett from death on May 29.

When she began experiencing discomfort after reporting to work at the Pickens County Clerk’s Office, she thought it was indigestion and asked coworkers for an antacid. Amy Gilstrap, whose father had recently suffered a heart attack, became concerned and sprang into action.

“I’d gone upstairs to get a Sprite, and I wound up getting sick, so I went to lie down on a sofa,” Garrett said. “That’s when I heard Amy talking in the hallway. She was worried and had come to check on me.”

Gilstrap told Garrett they were going to the ER and took her there herself. By the time they arrived at the hospital, Garrett

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No tax hike in county budget

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens County Council passed third and final reading of its fiscal year 2018-19 budget last week with no tax increase.

The budget originally called for a total 4.6 mill tax increase, but that increase was eliminated through budget work sessions and an amendment passed by council at the meeting June 4.

“Based on council’s hard work and dedication to the taxpayers, we are positioned tonight to offer a comprehensive amendment to our budget … that anticipates no net tax increases,” Costner said.

Under the amendment, a $1.5 million general obligation note for the purchase of capital items will not be issued. Instead,

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Easley OKs 3-mill tax increase

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Easley City Council members passed the city’s fiscal year 2018-19 budget Monday night with a 3-mill tax increase.

City administrator Stephen Steese gave a presentation on the $13.7 million budget before a public hearing and its third reading.

The 3-mill increase would be obligated for the payments of a $5.5 million general obligation bond council also approved Monday night.

The bond will be used to move the city’s public works department out of the downtown area, as well as renovating Fire Station No. 1 and moving the Easley Fire Department’s administration offices, Steese said.

“The bond would be used for constructing a new public works

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Recycling centers to close on Wednesdays

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Beginning the week of July 1, Pickens County’s recycling centers will be closed on Wednesdays.

County administrator Gerald Wilson said the closures will go into effect with the new budget on July 1.

“The county landfill will remain open, but the recycling centers will be closed on Wednesdays,” Wilson said.

Wilson said Pickens County was one of very few counties in the Upstate whose recycling centers were open six days a week, as Sunday was previously the only day the centers were closed.

Before making the recommendation to council as part of the

Festival committee ‘Fans the Flame’

Members of the Pickens Azalea Festival Committee were presented the ‘I Fan The Flame Award’ by Pickens City Council for their dedication and efforts to make the 2018 Pickens Azalea Festival the best one ever. Pictured are committee members Michael Ralston, Pamela Dodson, Frances Wannamaker, Russ Gantt, Susan Ralston, Carlton Holley and Jeff Hogan being presented their awards by Pickens Mayor David Owens, center. Not pictured is committee member Roy Costner IV.


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