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B.P.D. in the News - 2005

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Here on this page you will find articles about the Blacksburg Police Department and it’s officers.

DISCLAIMER: All articles are presented verbatim, as newspaper staff wrote them, with the exception of our correcting any spelling errors, and therefore the Blacksburg Police Department does not guarantee the total accuracy or completeness of the articles.
In the cases of significant errors in reporting, the webmaster will add the corrections enclosed in brackets adjacent to the error.
Articles posted on this page do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Blacksburg Police Department or the Town of Blacksburg.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blacksburg Man Arrested after Standoff with Police

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Police said a Blacksburg man was arrested after becoming involved in a standoff with them Sunday night.
Kerwin Barry Duncan, 47, of 109 S. York St., Blacksburg, is charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, public disorderly conduct, and felon in possession of a firearm. He remains at the Cherokee County Detention Center in lieu of $20,000 bond.
Duncan’s wife, Michelle Duncan, called police at 10:41 p.m. Sunday because Duncan became irate after her daughter spilled an alcoholic drink belonging to him, a report at the Blacksburg Police Department states. She told police Duncan left the house and returned with a shotgun. After kicking and breaking a fish tank, Duncan left the home with the shotgun and went into a garage behind the residence, the report states.
She told police that Duncan told her, "He would not be coming out alive if the police came."
Three Blacksburg police officers, Johnathan Gash, Peter McBride and Paul Wilkins, took up a position alongside the residence where they could see Duncan and began talking with him. As backup officers from Blacksburg and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office arrived, the area was secured and police were able to convince Duncan to come out of the garage.
Duncan told police he had no intentions of hurting himself, officers or others but had gone into the garage to cool off. He told police he had a couple of alcoholic drinks before the incident, authorities said.
Police said they found a sawed-off Stevens shotgun and a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, both of which were loaded, inside the garage.



THE BLACKSBURG TIMES
(Found at the Hometown News website: Upstate South Carolina's Weekly [on-line] Newspaper Group)
Blacksburg, South Carolina
http://www.hometown-news.com/

Wednesday, December 15, 2005

Cherokee County School Officials Under Fire for Failing to Report Sexual Assault Incident

By Glenn D. Bridges
Staff Writer

Authorities are investigating claims made by a five-year old that he was sexually assaulted on a school bus. But more specifically, they want to know why Cherokee County school officials failed to report the incident to law enforcement as required by law.
According to various sources, the victim’s mother called and reported the incident to a bus supervisor the day it occurred (November 30). However, a week later, the mom told police the alleged 7-year-old assailant was still riding the bus, and that she had not received a response from school authorities regarding her complaint.
It wasn’t until after the woman called the Blacksburg Police Department that school officials notified the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, sources claim. It was then determined the incident took place outside the city limits, so the Sheriff’s Office is primarily responsible for handling the case. However, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Child Advocacy Center are also now involved.
The State Law Enforcement Agency (SLED) could be brought into the picture if it’s determined the school district was intentionally negligent in its handling of the situation, according to a report by WSPA Newschannel 7.
Local authorities are now interviewing school officials in an effort to trace the level of awareness among those responsible for calling the police. Cherokee County Schools Superintendent Bill James has been quoted as saying he was not informed of the incident until local law enforcement agencies got involved. He also said school officials are aware of the district’s policy and know they are obligated to report criminal incidents to the police.
The five-year-old reportedly told his mom he was forced to perform oral sex on the older student while on the school bus going home, according to the incident report. Authorities plan to review video footage from a security camera on the bus to see if the assault was captured on film. In the meantime, the accused 7-year-old has been barred from riding the bus.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Police: District Didn’t Report Assault Claim

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A 5-year-old girl [WEBMASTER'S CORRECTION: A 5-year-old boy] was allegedly sexually assaulted on a school bus in late November.
Police said they first learned about the claims Wednesday when the girl’s [boy's] mother contacted the Blacksburg Police Department and discovered the incident was never reported by school officials.
The girl [boy] told police an 8-year-old boy sexually assaulted her [him] while the two were on a school bus at Hickory Holler [Hollow] and Byers Circle in Blacksburg. The alleged assault occurred between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Nov. 30.
"The entire incident is being investigated," said Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Leigh Caldwell, whose department would have jurisdiction.
It is against state law and school policy for school officials not to report an alleged crime to law enforcement.
"I talked to Sheriff Blanton this morning," Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Bill James said Friday. "I really, truly, can’t tell you why it was not reported earlier."
James said he first learned of the allegations at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday from school transportation supervisor Jackie Queen.
"Right now we haven’t received very much information," he said.
The 8-year-old has been barred from riding the school bus until the investigation is complete.



SPARTANBURG HERALD-JOURNAL (on-line version)
http://www.GoUpstate.com/
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Saturday, December 10, 2005

School Officials Fail to Report Alleged Sexual Assault

By Lynne P. Shackleford
Cherokee County Bureau

BLACKSBURG -- Cherokee County School officials failed to notify authorities last week after the mother of a 5-year-old told them her son was sexually assaulted on a school bus.
The alleged victim's mother told a bus supervisor that her son was forced to perform oral sex on an 8-year-old while the two were riding home on Nov. 30. The mother reported the incident the day it occurred.
This week, the mother became concerned when school officials hadn't notified her of any action that had been taken and she learned that the 8-year-old was still riding the school bus.
On Thursday evening, she went to the Blacksburg Police Department to inquire about the case.
"Nobody from the school had notified us, or any other law enforcement authority, for that matter," said Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham, who called Sheriff's detectives after police determined the incident occurred in the county.
School Superintendent Bill James said he didn't find out about the incident until Thursday evening, when he received a call from Jackie Queen, the district's director of transportation, discipline and attendance.
James said he later spoke with Sheriff Bill Blanton, who was concerned about district personnel not contacting law enforcement.
The 8-year-old was barred from riding the school bus, beginning Friday afternoon, until the investigation is complete.
The superintendent said it's the policy of the school district to notify law enforcement when a crime is alleged to have occurred.
"If we knew about (the alleged crime), one of our folks should have called law enforcement," James said.
In addition to Queen, the bus supervisor, principals and guidance counselors of schools where both the 5- and 8-year-old attend were aware of the allegations, police said.
"It is a violation of the law for school officials to have knowledge of abuse or neglect and not report it to law enforcement," Ham said, citing a section of the S.C. Code of Laws.
Blanton said he has obtained a videotape from the bus. If investigators determine the assault occurred, the incident would be handled in Family Court, where the 8-year-old could be ordered to undergo counseling, Blanton said.
Authorities also contacted the state Department of Social Services and rape crisis counselors.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, December 05, 2005

$24,000 Discovered in Hidden Compartment During Traffic Stop Thursday on Interstate

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A traffic stop Thursday led narcotic agents to the discovery of $24,000 inside a vehicle.
The cash was underneath a rear seat in a hidden compartment, police said.
Blacksburg officer Matt Gordon and Abe, a drug dog for the Blacksburg Police Department, assisted the Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit at the traffic stop at Mile Marker 77 on southbound Interstate 85. The dog alerted officers to the rear seat of the vehicle.
Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Agents discovered the hydraulic compartment, which was operated by a remote button.
Although agent Joey Guyton found a trace amount of cocaine, there was not enough evidence of the drug to arrest the man and woman, said Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Blanton.
The money was seized and will likely be forwarded to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency [Drug Enforcement Administration] (DEA) for further investigation, Blanton said.
Authorities dismantled the hydraulic system before returning the vehicle to the owners.
The male driver had a Texas driver’s license but the vehicle had Pennsylvania plates. Police said the man and woman were returning to Texas. Their vehicle was stopped for following another vehicle too closely, authorities said.
This is the second time Abe’s nose has helped police locate a sizeable amount of cash. In February, Abe helped sniff out $49,680 following a traffic stop at mile marker 101 on Interstate 85. That cash was also seized and forwarded to the DEA after it was not claimed by the vehicle’s occupants.
Abe is trained to detect drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, crack, crank, powder cocaine and hashish.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, December 02, 2005

Officers Earn Awards for DUI Enforcement

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

[Photo Caption] Gaffney Master Patrolman Chris Jones, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Todd Parker, S.C. Highway Patrolman Lance Cpl. Johnnie Godfrey, and Blacksburg Patrolman Johnathan Gash were honored for stopping the most drunk drivers during the past year.

Four officers were honored Thursday for their efforts to curb drinking and driving.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Todd Parker, S.C. Highway Patrolman Lance Cpl. Johnnie Godfrey, Gaffney Master Patrolman Chris Jones and Blacksburg Patrolman Johnathan Gash were each honored for making the most drunk driving arrests this past year.
"Most of us say drunk driving is a risk we would never take, but people take that risk all the time," said Stephanie Boyd of Prime for Life, a curriculum used in the S.C. Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP). "Most people are less likely to believe that risk applies to them."
Boyd said approximately 19 percent of people convicted of driving under the influence will commit the crime again. After participating in the mandatory ADSAP classes, that number drops to 8 percent. Motorists must successfully complete ADSAP, a state education and treatment program, to get their South Carolina driver’s license back after being convicted of Driving Under the Influence.
"Without you, they don’t have the opportunity to see things differently," Boyd said. "Because of you, many of those people are getting help and many of them are changing their behavior."
Parker has received the ADSAP award four times. Not only does he patrol the county’s roads for the sheriff’s office but he also assists narcotics and interdiction operations.
Godfrey, a Spartanburg County native, also is a past recipient and tallied 45 drunk driving arrests this past year, said Capt. M.S. Wright of the S.C. Highway Patrol. He began working with the Highway Patrol in York County before being transferred to Cherokee County.
Jones made 11 arrests in Gaffney’s city limits, accounting for 25 percent of the drunk driving arrests made by the department. Gaffney Police Chief John O’Donald said it was an honor to present Jones with the award.
Gash has been with the Blacksburg Police Department for two years and chose early on in his life to become a police officer. Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham said Gash used to question him about becoming a police officer every time he visited the store where Gash worked.
"We really wish you didn’t have to do this, and I am sure you wish the same. But we do appreciate you," said Martha Brock, Cherokee County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (CCCADA) Board of Directors Chairperson.
The annual event was sponsored by CCCADA and ADSAP. Two Pigs Catering provided lunch for the officers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Truck Totaled After Being Hit by School Bus in Blacksburg

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A pickup truck was totaled after being struck by a school bus Tuesday.
Blacksburg Police Lt. Zeb Starnes cited bus driver Brenda Camp of Blacksburg with careless operation of a motor vehicle.
Camp said she was unable to see an oncoming 2005 GMC Sierra pickup truck as she eased the bus into the intersection of Charleston and Pine streets in Blacksburg at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Starnes said. She claimed the sun hit water on the roadway causing a glare as she attempted to cross Charleston Street.
Camp’s unoccupied westbound bus hit the pickup truck, causing the northbound truck to hit a telephone pole and street sign.
The truck was driven by Gary Upchurch of Blacksburg. He was transported by personal vehicle to a family physician for treatment of a minor injury.
The damage to the bus to the front bumper and crossing gate is repairable, said Anne Elliott, Cherokee County School District Bus Driver Supervisor. The bus may return to the road today if a crossing gate, a safety device, is available.
The truck’s damage was estimated at $20,000, totaling the vehicle, Starnes said. The wreck caused the vehicle’s frame to twist and caused damage on both sides of the GMC.
Camp was traveling to the Cherokee County Vocational School to pick up students.
Camp has been a bus driver for the school district for approximately 20 years. She has never been found at-fault for an accident involving a school bus before, Elliott said.
The wreck caused the transportation department to double up some bus routes Tuesday to transport all the students.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, November 25, 2005

Letters to the Editor:
From Our Hearts We Thank You


Dear Editor:
On Aug. 29, 2005, a not-so-nice lady paid our area a visit. Her name was Katrina. She left in her wake death and destruction. Our beautiful beachfront community of Fontainebleau, an unincorporated area nestled between Ocean Springs and Gautier, Mississippi, suffered the same fate as the cities of Gulfport and Biloxi.
Our fire department, Fontainebleau Volunteer, was not spared. We lost our main station with its administrative offices, training room and three fire trucks.
More importantly, 20 one of our 25 members suffered major damage or total destruction to their personal homes.
In spite of it all, we were blessed; no member of our department nor any member of their families were killed.
Following the storm, as the days of search, rescue, and relief efforts seemed to endlessly drag on, our spirits started to wane. But just when we thought we could go no further nor work any longer, little events — actually they can be described as miracles — would come our way, giving us renewed hope, strength and spirit.
To this day, miracles are still occurring. One such miracle came from the good people of the Cherokee County area.
It is our understanding the Cherokee County Fire Chiefs Association sponsored fund raisers to collect money on behalf of a needy fire department and we, Fontainebleau Volunteer, was chosen as the recipients.
On Nov. 18, Mr. Matt Gordon paid a visit to our remaining station and presented us with a check from the association. But the gift did not end with a check. Mr. Gordon was pulling a trailer which was loaded with donated fire equipment. [NOTE: Matt Gordon is a Police Officer with the Blacksburg Police Department and a Lieutenant with the Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department].
Rest assured the money and donated gear are sorely needed. So much of what we lost will not be covered by insurance. Our financial resources are limited and we must somehow make up the difference to enable us to provide fire protection the citizens of our area deserve. With our own desire to recover and with the blessing of good will from such wonderful people like those of Cherokee County we will ultimately triumph over the best shot Mother Nature had to offer.
To the Cherokee County Fire Chiefs Association, the area fire departments and the citizens of Cherokee County, we, the men and women of the Fontainebleau Fire Department, extend our most heartfelt thanks. May the Light of the World shine upon all of you.

Michael Belton, Chief Fontainebleau Volunteer Fire Department
Ocean Springs, Miss.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Police Report: Woman Faces Multiple Charges

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the driver of a vehicle stolen from a Kings Mountain, N.C., location at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday, a report at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office states.
Lisa Ann Sneed, 34, of 1367 Apricot Lane, Blacksburg, is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and driving without a driver’s license. She also faces a shoplifting charge from the Blacksburg Police Department.
Police stopped the 1993 Ford Ranger on Highway 29 and Rose Street after being alerted by 9-1-1 operators that the vehicle’s occupant was suspected of shoplifting, the report states. Officers determined the truck was stolen after checking with the National Crime Information Center.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Emergency Services Personnel Train Together

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The way emergency services operate changed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"Years ago, before 9-11, we operated alone, more independently," said Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Wes Foster. "Now we try to work with everyone else, like the fire departments, as a team."
Local emergency organizations, including fire and police departments, spent Saturday training together.
"It was a long day for all, however, these communities are better protected now than before," said Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Rick Peterson. "It is because these people give up their weekends and spare time to ensure the citizens of Cherokee County have the protection they deserve."
Members of the Draytonville-McKowns Mountain-Wilkinsville and Twin Rivers volunteer fire departments and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office began searching for two "missing" hunters at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Emergency responders first began searching on foot near the home of the missing individuals. The hunters, who were suffering from hypothermia due to the simulated extreme cold conditions, were located after the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office bloodhound tracking team expanded the search into a more thickly wooded area.
After breaking for dinner, those agencies met with the Blacksburg police and fire departments at Billy Tessner’s Garage [in Blacksburg] to train in auto extrication.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blacksburg Cop Teaches Kung-Fu Secrets

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

[Photo Caption] Clint Starnes successfully defends himself during a test at the First Baptist Church Kung Fu School on Monday. Starnes received his black belt from his father, Zeb Starnes, who instructed the class. Starnes also promoted Heath Whatley to brown belt.

Clint Starnes and Heath Whatley prepared for a challenge Monday evening.
For Clint, he was required to fight off an attacker while blindfolded. Heath defended himself against an attacker who lunged at him with a knife.
Both of the 19-year-olds were required to meet the challenges before graduating to a new belt in the art of Kung Fu San Soo.
Heath was awarded his green belt in front of his fellow students, family and friends at the First Baptist Church Life Center in Blacksburg.
Clint was awarded his black belt by his father, who is also his instructor, third-degree black belt Zeb Starnes, who also earned the new distinction of Si Fu Monday evening, meaning he has taught his child to the black belt level. It was also the first of Starnes’ students to become a black belt.
Graduating his first black belt is a big milestone in Starnes’ journey as a San Soo instructor. He opened the First Baptist Church Kung Fu School in January 2001. Now entering his fifth year, he has taught classes ranging in size from 40 to 1.
"God keeps pulling us back," Starnes said as he addressed those attending Monday’s ceremony, including 15 students. "I would ask myself 'What reason am I going up there?' I look around now, and there’s 15 reasons."
"In this art everybody starts jelling together and it gets to be like one big family," Starnes continued. "They’re like brothers and sisters to each other... . As far as martial arts is concerned, I am their father. My master is their grandmaster."
Kung Fu San Soo is a defense art that focuses on multiple attacks and weapons training. Starnes uses realistic situations when teaching his students. For instance, he simulates a football game by having his students defend themselves against attacks while sitting in bleachers.
San Soo originated in southern China by Buddhist monks. There are five belts. Ranking in order from least to most experienced, they are: white, yellow, green, brown and black.
Starnes, a lieutenant with the Blacksburg Police Department, earned his black belt in 1995 from instructor Robert Scheffield. He first studied the art when he was 13 in school in Clover.
San Soo classes are held Monday and Thursday between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Life Center, 121 W. Cherokee St., Blacksburg. The cost is $25 a month but that fee is negotiable.
"I don’t want people not to come learn about San Soo because of money," Starnes said, adding he offers family rates also.
For more information call Starnes at 839-0051; or the church at 839-2421.
For more information on the style of Kung Fu being taught at the school, visit www.kungfusansoo.com.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Golf Tournament to Benefit Police and Fire Departments

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The 1898 Society is holding a Captain’s Choice golf tournament to benefit Blacksburg police officers and firefighters.
The tournament is scheduled for Friday at the Gaffney Country Club.
Registration and lunch is planned between 10 a.m. and noon. There will be a shotgun start at noon.
Prizes will be awarded for the shot closest to the pin and the longest drive.
Team plaques will also be awarded. Burns Chevrolet will provide a car [new pick-up truck] as a prize for anyone who gets a hole-in-one on the No. 4 hole, which is a par-3.
Registration is $200 per team. The fee includes two mulligans and one red tee per player.
Proceeds will benefit The 1898 Society, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting the police officers and firefighters in Blacksburg through fundraising and community donations.
The mission of The 1898 Society is to improve public safety in Blacksburg by providing resources and support to the Blacksburg Police Department and the Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department that are not readily available through other means.
The organization provides resources that are not covered in the department’s budgets, in areas like advanced training and equipment.
The 1898 Society is a publicly supported, tax-exempt charitable foundation.
For more information [about the tournament] call [864-] 839-6333. Registrations can be mailed to The 1898 Society, P.O. Box 250, Blacksburg, S.C., 29702, or can be completed the day of the tournament.
Visit The 1898 Society’s Web site at www.geocities.com/blacksburgpd/1898.html.



THE BLACKSBURG TIMES
(Found at the Hometown News website: Upstate South Carolina's Weekly [on-line] Newspaper Group)
Blacksburg, South Carolina
http://www.hometown-news.com/

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"It’s Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen..."
Chief Ham Witnesses Devastation


By Phyllis D. Jones
Staff Writer

Hurricane Katrina swept upon the Mississippi shore with winds up to 175 miles per hour on August 29 at 6:10 a.m. "The first quadrant of the storm is the worst and that quadrant hit the Mississippi shore with a vengence," Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham shared with the Blacksburg Rotary Club Tuesday.
Chief Ham and Officer Dennis Scoggins answered a request from FEMA for a 2 man team for Search and Rescue that Wednesday. By Saturday they were approved and they headed out for Louisiana.
"The damage along the Interstate was not that bad. We were worried about gas and tried to be careful - but the real problem came from the fact that all of the signs were gone. We spent a lot of time going up and down ramps trying to find food and gas."
"We teamed up with Search and Rescue about 30 miles or so from New Orleans. We slept in tents, It was very rustic; after about three days with no shower, rest rooms, and sleeping on the ground, Matt Gordon volunteered to bring a camper down on his own. (Nextel worked so we could call.) He and Marty Trull brought the camper and we were able to help out for 15 days."
"Shortly after that, we got a call from Hancock City, Miss. requesting officers to patrol for them. We went there and the devastation was unbelievable. If you have seen pictures of Hiroshima, that’s what the first mile looked like - complete devastation, not a house left standing for 30 miles along the coast and one mile inland."
Chief Ham shared about the attitude of the people they were helping. "The victims were so hospitable and grateful. If you gave them $5 for gas, they would hug you and cry. I never saw any of the bad attitudes reported by the media on television. Two weeks after it hit, the people were still being traumatized. People would line up - 3,000 of them every day to get a check from the Red Cross, and they would serve 300. It was heart-breaking. One woman who was 78 years old walked three miles, three days in a row to stand in line each day only to be turned down. There were 70-80 year olds sleeping on the asphalt."
"Most of the people who lived there left, but they could only stay gone for so long. And when they returned, they returned to nothing. Three small towns were completely swept away. The area is not a wealthy one - for instance, law enforcement there makes $17,500 a year, so its hard to relocate. There were 47 confirmed deaths and 20 missing. Most of those (deaths) were elderly who had made it through Camille."
"Its horrific, especially for people already under stress. We served with them for 15 days and the media portrayed a whole different environment. This is one of the best groups of people I’ve ever met. To give you an idea of the destruction, a 17 foot high water wave travelled 12 miles inland (I measured it). There was a 17 foot high pile of trash where it died. You’ve never seen anything like it. When the SWAT Teams came into secure an area 1 mile inland, they stationed themselves on the top of the K-Mart. It took a day before they found 4 bodies on top of the building where the water had washed them up - they were covered with mud and no one saw them."
When asked about law enforcement in New Orleans turning in their guns, Chief Ham told the story of the law enforcement in Waveland. "Water had never crossed I-10, so the Chief told the officers to call in if the water crossed I-10. Well, 17 feet of water crossed I-10, so the officer drove back to Station. The water stopped his car, and when he tried to open his door, the water prevented it, so he climbed out of the window. Then he had to swim to the office, where other officers were located. When he finally reached the office, the other policemen were crawling out to the roof, where they held on to one another. They have been working 17 hour days, and are staying because they have 'nowhere to go'."
"The worst thing was the lack of communication- there was none. The Electric Company did the best job; they had people come from other states and by the time we left, power was 96% restored. The National Guard and the Reserves were great - once they set up, they filled your car with MREs, water - whatever they had that you needed.
Another group that did a superb job was Samaritan’s Purse - I just can’t say enough good about them. One day we heard the President was coming the next day. Samaritan’s Purse volunteers were up all night - I figured it was because he was coming, but the next morning, they had three circus tents up, one for supplies to take home like cleaners, brooms, mops, boots, shovels, and clothing; another air conditioned tent was to feed the people - they fed 4,000 people a day, and the other tent was to take home food.. Their volunteers were all very nice. I heard one victim say, 'If I could only get to Kiln.. .. a volunteer said, ‘No problem, come on, I'll take you'."
"These people are determined to rebuild - Al Beunz was living in a tent when we got there. He was a victim who lost everything, yet he helped us by telling us 'the ropes' - where to get water, food, etc. When Al got his check, he bought a trailer so he could give people rides - not to make anything - but to help.
What these people need is money for rent, electricity, car repairs. It takes a certain amount of faith to send money, but that’s what they need. You can’t let a few bad apples keep you from helping everyone. These people- fathers, mothers, grandparents, and children - are in desperate need."
Chief Ham would like to return to help, but does not know if that can be arranged.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, September 23, 2005

Blacksburg Officers Return from Hurricane Relief Mission

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

When Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham and Officer Dennis Scoggins first arrived in the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, they slept in tents alongside the victims of the natural disaster.
The hardships of dealing without even the most basic needs was difficult for the officers. Luckily for them, Blacksburg Officer Matt Gordon and Reserve Officer Marty Trull relieved them by bringing them a camper trailer with some of the basics, like a bathroom.
"After four days of sleeping in the truck or in a tent with no shower, there was no way we would have been able to make it," Ham said Thursday after spending two weeks in the area. "That’s how a lot of people are sleeping. There are still a lot of homeless and displaced people. There’s still people sleeping in tents in our parking lot.
"Whole towns are gone, with not a structure standing. It would remind you of pictures of a nuclear bomb. There’s not a single house in sight that hasn’t been completely disassembled. It makes search and rescue and body recovery virtually impossible. ... Children that have been put out and lost everything, people sleeping on the street. The elderly and the children are the two groups that get to me the most.... There are so many good things going on and so many bad things," he said. "Like Al Buenz, he lost everything and was sleeping in a tent at K-Mart. We took him in and let him stay with us."
After the waters receded, four bodies were found on top of the nearby K-Mart shopping center where the officers have set up camp.
Boats have been found miles inland. The officers found one boat with a handwritten note attached. The writer apologized for taking the boat, but said it saved five lives.
Another woman shared the account of her survival with Ham and Scoggins. She described the wind and rain that slammed into her body as she gripped to the top of her roof as needles in her skin. She and her husband didn’t evacuate but stayed to help their 73-year-old neighbor.
In Hancock County, Miss., where the officers are assisting the local sheriff’s office, there are 20 people who are still missing and another 47 have been confirmed dead. The eye of Hurricane Katrina hit Hancock County, which borders Louisiana.
Ham and Scoggins are working as a team responding to routine police calls. Most are looting calls and requests to investigate suspicious smells, many of which turn out to be rotting meat inside refrigerators covered in debris.
Thousands of volunteers have responded to the area to help. The cleanup process has begun.
Until the victims are offered money to help them get back on their feet, though, the situation will not get much better.
"They have no house, no phone, no car. You can feed those people all day long but at some point they need money," he said. "Food keeps them alive, but that doesn’t solve the problem."
Ham said Samaritan’s Purse has been the most effective, efficient relief organization that has responded. They have been feeding 4,000 people three hot meals a day. They are also offering supplies and canned goods and MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) for people to take back to their families.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Blacksburg Police, Gaffney Firefighters Volunteer

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Two officers from the Blacksburg Police Department are leaving today to help in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
The Blacksburg Town Council unanimously approved a request Saturday from the department to allow two of its officers to help in the recovery efforts.
Mayor David Hogue said he and the people of Blacksburg are proud of Chief Jamie Ham and Officer Dennis Scoggins who volunteered to help.
"Everybody who sees the pictures of the devastation wants to help in some way; we’re in a position that we can," Ham said. "We have expertise in areas where they need assistance and we can help."
They could possibly be deployed through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or through the state’s Department of Public Safety. The Blacksburg officers may be working with search and rescue teams or they could be providing relief by working in local detention centers so those officers can enforce local laws. They have been told to be prepared for a deployment period of up to 30 days, possibly without communication abilities.
Ham said he and Scoggins will likely attend two days of training in Georgia before being deployed to somewhere in the 90,000-square-mile area destroyed by the hurricane.
Lt. Zeb Starnes will run the day-to-day operations of the police department while the police chief is absent. The responsibilities of Scoggins, a school resource officer for Blacksburg Elementary, will be covered by the two remaining school resource officers employed by the Blacksburg department.
Two Gaffney Fire Department firefighters have been deployed to the area. Capt. Chad Phillips and Lt. John Grigg left at 7:30 a.m. Saturday to answer a request from FEMA for 1,000 two-person teams of professional firefighters.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Metro Narcotics Unit Officer Earns ‘Top Cop’ Award

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Before announcing the 2005 Solicitor’s Award for Cherokee County Law Enforcement Excellence, Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy played footage from a police chase earlier this year.
The July 13 film showed a hostage victim escaping from a vehicle as Gaffney Police Officer Kevin Wilson struggled to disarm a murderer. Gowdy described Wilson’s actions as heroic and dramatic.
Wilson, a member of the Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit, was assisting York County Sheriff’s Department deputies who had chased 24-year-old Boyd Lee Reinhardt of Hickory Grove into Cherokee County. York police witnessed Reinhardt take his mother-in-law hostage and later discovered he had killed his father-in-law, 53-year-old Ronald Comer.
The pursuit ended at Wilkinsville Highway and Victory Trail Road when Wilson forced the vehicle off the road. Marie Comer escaped from the driver’s seat as Wilson, who was still in the driver’s seat of his unmarked vehicle, began struggling with Reinhardt for the weapon through the vehicles’ windows.
Reinhardt died during the struggle when he shot himself in the chest with a high-powered rifle.
"(Reinhardt) made the mistake of coming to Cherokee County where he ran into this year’s winner," Gowdy said as he announced Wilson’s name.
"I just want to thank my family for dealing with the heartaches and worry I’ve put them through," Wilson said as he emotionally accepted the award.
Wilson also thanked narcotics officer Doug Whitaker, who took the time in 1999 to meet with him at the Pizza Inn to discuss a possible career in law enforcement. The two have developed a close friendship since then.
"He’s made me very proud on numerous occasions, he always exceeds what’s asked of him," Whitaker said. "The Metro always has a tight relationship. Me and him are like brothers. He’s always made me proud."
Whitaker said it was Wilson’s aggressive attitude toward his job that showed him what a good officer he would be.
Wilson became a reserve police officer for the Gaffney department in 1999 and after three months was hired fulltime. He’s worked with the narcotics unit for the past three years.
"I’m proud of him and I think the whole city is proud of him," said Gaffney Police Chief John O’Donald. "Kevin saved that lady’s life. Being in a car with the guy who just killed her husband, it was just a matter of time."
As a token of appreciation, Wilson was awarded two tickets to a Carolina Panthers game, and will have a BMW to use for a weekend.

Gowdy also took time to honor this year’s nominees, each of whom he said were fantastic officers.

Blacksburg Police Officer Peter McBride was awarded the solicitor’s Professionalism Award for his work making Blacksburg’s highways safer.

Highway Patrolman Steve Poole was given the Highway Safety Award for making a "phenomenal" 245 driving under the influence arrests in five years.

Narcotics agent Joey Guyton and sheriff’s deputy Tim Clark were also honored with Career Service Awards for their police work and cooperation with outside agencies, like the solicitor’s office.



THE CHEROKEE CHRONICLE
http://www.the-chronicle.com/
Gaffney, South Carolina

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Kevin Wilson Wins Solicitor’s “Top Cop”

By Jim Holland
News Editor

It was dramatic footage captured on the camera of a pursuing police cruiser.
Following the video, an appreciative throng gave Gaffney Police Officer Kevin Wilson a long standing ovation. The annual event was held Tuesday night at Broad River Electric Co-operative.
Wilson, a five year police veteran who is a member of the Cherokee Metro Narcotics Unit, received the annual Cherokee County Law Enforcement Excellence Award from Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy.
On July 19, Boyd Reinhardt allegedly shot his step father-in-law to death in York County before taking his mother-in-law hostage. A 60-mile chase by police ended in Cherokee County when Officer Wilson wrecked Reinhardt's vehicle, allowing the woman to escape.
Wilson and Reinhardt fought following the crash. Reinhardt was armed with a high-power rifle. Reinhardt fatally wounded himself with the rifle, authorities say.
Solicitor Gowdy said "Kevin's actions were heroic. He safely diffused one of the most dangerous scenarios a police officer can face."

Four other persons were nominated for the annual award including Blacksburg Police Officer Peter McBride, State Trooper Steve Poole, Detective Tim Clark and Agent Joey Guyton of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.

As part of the award, Wilson received the use of a BMW for three days and two tickets to an upcoming game of the Carolina Panthers. Wilson and all the nominees also received a one-year subscription from the Cherokee Chronicle.
Because of their jobs, photographs of neither Wilson nor Guyton may be published or broadcast to protect the two officers.

Past winners of the award are Sheriff's Detective Mike Fowlkes, Sgt. Steve Mueller of the Highway Patrol, DNR employee John McCraw and Deputy Todd Parker.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, August 12, 2005

Police Search for Missing Alzheimer’s Patient

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Bloodhounds from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office tracking team assisted the Blacksburg Police Department on Thursday in searching for a missing 55-year-old Blacksburg man.
Blacksburg police officers searched Mt. Whitaker with all-terrain vehicles. A helicopter from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department flew over the mountain near Hardee’s on Hwy. 198 in Blacksburg in search of the man.
William “Bill” Thomas was reported missing Wednesday evening. He was last seen at 4 a.m. Wednesday at the Hardee’s restaurant, according to a report at the Blacksburg Police Department.
Thomas is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds. He has hazel eyes and gray hair, which may have been recently shaved. He also has a scar on his inner forearm from his wrist to his elbow and another scar on his forehead.
Police said Thomas suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Anyone with information about Thomas’ whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1 or the Blacksburg Police Department at [864] 839-2331.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, August 08, 2005

Police Report: Blacksburg Man Arrested after Chase

Blacksburg police have arrested a local man who led officers on a pursuit into North Carolina.
Alan Redvers Beverly, 24, of 261 E. Jones St., Blacksburg, is charged with 2nd-offense Driving Under Suspension, 2nd-offense Driving Under the Influence, Failure to Stop for Blue Lights and Providing False Information to Police.
Blacksburg Police Officer Peter McBride first noticed Beverly, whom he knew was driving with a suspended license, outside the Gasland USA BP gas station, 901 N. Mountain St., Blacksburg, on Thursday. When McBride asked Beverly to identify himself, he gave police a false name, the officer said.
Beverly sped away from police and began driving north on Highway 198. Officer Jonathan Gash pursued the vehicle into North Carolina, where he requested assistance from the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office. As Gash followed the vehicle, he saw Beverly exit the vehicle and enter a residence in Earl, N.C.
After Cleveland County Sheriff's Deputies arrived, Gash and the officers received permission to search the home. Beverly was found inside and placed under arrest.
Beverly was taken to Upstate Carolina Medical Center after he became unresponsive while being transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.



SPARTANBURG HERALD-JOURNAL (on-line version)
http://www.GoUpstate.com/
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Posted on-line Thursday, August 04, 2005

Couple Facing Neglect Charges; Children Tested Positive for Drugs

By Lynne Powell
Cherokee County Bureau

BLACKSBURG -- A Blacksburg couple face two unlawful child-neglect charges after their young children tested positive for drugs.
Alan Beverly and Jennifer Kirby, both 24, of 261 Jones St., were charged after Department of Social Services agents notified Blacksburg police that the couple's 5-month-old and 3-year-old tested positive for drugs.
Chief Jamie Ham said the infant tested positive for amphetamine, commonly known as speed, methamphetamine and cocaine. The toddler tested positive for cocaine.
The children were taken out of the home on July 21 after DSS and police found the home in "filthy and unsanitary conditions," Ham said. No drugs were found in the home on that date.
Drug screens were then performed after the children were placed in state custody.
The Chief said methamphetamine is a growing problem in the small town of Blacksburg.
"We're definitely seeing it more, it's a large problem and when children are involved, it can be lethal," Ham said. "The drug is classified as 'poor man's crack' so it definitely has a prevalence on our streets."
The couple was released from the Cherokee County Detention Center Wednesday after they each posted a $5,000 surety bond.
Neither Beverly nor Kirby spoke during their hearing.
Kirby has no prior criminal history. Beverly has multiple pending General Sessions court charges including possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute drugs within 1/2 mile proximity of a school, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a pistol and failure to stop for a blue light, according to state records.
Lynne Powell may be reached at [864] 487-7146 or lynne.powell@shj.com.



WYFF NEWS CHANNEL 4: THE CAROLINA CHANNEL (On-Line)
Greenville, South Carolina
http://www.wyff4.com/news/

Posted on-line Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Parents Arrested after Toddler, Infant Test Positive for Drugs

BLACKSBURG, S.C. -- An Upstate infant and 3-year-old tested positive for methamphetamines and their parents were charged with child neglect Wednesday morning, Blacksburg police said.
"The children subsequently tested positive for a variety of drugs," said Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham.
The boys' mother, Jennifer Kirby, and father, Alan Beverly, are each charged with two counts of child neglect.
"It naturally makes everybody a little angry when you're dealing with somebody that's helpless and can't take care of themselves," Ham said.
Kirby and Beverly were released on bond Wednesday night.
A preliminary hearing has not been set.
Copyright 2005 by TheCarolinaChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Children Taken into Protective Custody; Parents Charged

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Two young children have been taken into emergency protective custody after Cherokee County Department of Social Services (DSS) workers visited their home to check on their welfare.
The children - a male infant and a 3-year-old boy - each tested positive for drugs, Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham said. The infant tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine and the 3-year-old boy tested positive for methamphetamine, Ham said.
The children's parents, 24-year-old Jennifer Kirby and 24-year-old Alan Redvers Beverly, both of 261 E. Jones St., Blacksburg, have each been charged with two counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child. They have not yet been apprehended. [WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Both subjects were later arrested on warrants for these charges].
DSS workers visited the home July 21 to check on the children after their mother tested positive for drugs. The home "was in bad need of being cleaned and the air conditioner was not working," a report filed at the Blacksburg Police Department states.
Officer Bobby Stephenson signed the emergency protective custody order paper allowing the children to be placed into DSS custody.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

No Changes Made in Pool Hall Ordinance

By Scott Baughman
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg Town Council has decided not to make any changes to its pool hall ordinance after a brief discussion at its July meeting.
Ronald McPherson, who owns a local pool hall in town, addressed council at council’s May meeting to ask it to consider updating the ordinance, which restricts anyone under the age of 17 from patronizing his establishment.
"The kids can’t ride skateboards or do anything like that anymore in town," he said. "I’d like the council to consider revising the ordinance to allow them to come in and shoot pool and play some of the video games we have there."
Blacksburg Mayor David Hogue and council members brought up the discussion again last week.
"My personal feelings are, I think maybe we need to leave that ordinance alone," Hogue said. "I don’t want to be antibusiness, but I think I’m trying to help those kids stay out of trouble. Also, enforcing the change would put added pressure on the police department. The current ordinance has been tried and true for a long time and I don’t think it needs changing now. I don’t know if that’s a good place for young people and adults to mix. I would rather see a game room just for kids."
Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham also informed the mayor and council that any changes in the ordinance would be a moot point.
"There is a State statute that would supersede anything we do here," he said. "That law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from being inside a pool hall. Our ordinance could never override that. We could become more strict, but not less strict than the State."
Council has voted to purchase land on Highway 29 near the town’s Food Lion store for development into a baseball field and recreational complex, which Hogue pointed to as a project aimed at young people.
"This council has moved to help young people by buying that property," he said. "We need to provide more, but I think when you look at the numbers, especially our recent audit, you can see why we cannot."



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nine Arrested on Drug Charges

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit arrested nine people on drug charges after executing multiple search warrants Thursday and Friday...
[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: Eight of those in this article who were arrested were Gaffney city arrests. The portion of this article detailing the Blacksburg arrest is posted below]:
A Blacksburg man was arrested after police found marijuana and Lortabs inside his home, which is located within a half-mile of Gibbs Park, near Clairborne and Hardin streets in Blacksburg, another report states.
Jamie Kendall Hamrick, 27, of 306 W. Cherokee St., Blacksburg, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana within close proximity of a school or playground and possession of Lortabs.
Hamrick allowed [Blacksburg Police's Metro Narcotics] Agent Al Phillips to enter and search the home at 3 p.m. Thursday, the report states. Phillips said he found a bottle of 12 Lortabs and approximately two ounces of marijuana, scales and wrapping papers inside a backpack.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, July 04, 2005

Man Flees from Cops on Wheel Rim

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

[Photo Caption] A Blacksburg Police Department cruiser was damaged when a suspect kicked out the glass and molding of a back door. The man was arrested after leading police on a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph while driving on just three tires, police said.

A Blacksburg man faces numerous charges after he led police on a high-speed pursuit while driving with only three tires, according to a report on file at the Blacksburg Police Department.
Danny Lee Bailey, 45, of 32 Wilderness Trail, Blacksburg, struggled to keep control of the blue Dodge van he was driving, crossing over the center line and narrowly missing multiple vehicles during the chase, the report states.
Blacksburg PD Officer Bobby Stephenson has charged Bailey with 2nd offense driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failure to stop for a blue light, destruction of city property, having a concealed weapon (brass knuckles) and driving without a license.
Stephenson said he noticed the van being driven with a flat front tire at 2:54 p.m. Wednesday. The officer passed the van and watched the vehicle in his rear view mirror. He noticed the driver, Bailey, failed to pull over to fix the flat tire, he said.
Stephenson said he turned around and noticed the van's speed increasing as pieces of the tire flew off, leaving debris in the road. Police said Bailey refused to stop when he activated his patrol car's blue lights and siren.
The remainder of the tire fell off as Bailey ran a red light at Hwys. 5 and 29, nearly hitting two vehicles, the report states.
As Bailey continued on Highway 5 toward York, oncoming traffic left the road to avoid being hit by Bailey's vehicle, the officer said.
Speeds reached 100 mph as the chase continued past Hopewell Road. Officer Matt Gordon managed to pass both Stephenson and Bailey's vehicles and slow the speed of the chase down to 35 mph, despite being "tapped" on the right side of the rear bumper by Bailey's van, according to the report.
Bailey was uncooperative and began threatening the officers after he was apprehended, police said. He kicked out the glass and molding in the right back door of Stephenson's vehicle. When Bailey refused to stop kicking the door, the officers sprayed him with a cap-stun gun [WEBMASTER'S CORRECTIVE NOTE: cap-stun pepper spray], the report states.
Once at the Cherokee County Detention Center, officers had to physically remove Bailey from the patrol car.
He was still combative and was placed in a special restraint chair, according to authorities.
Police said they noticed a strong odor of alcohol. They said empty beer cans were inside Bailey's vehicle.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, July 01, 2005

Ready, Aim, Fire (works)

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Whether you are searching for a big bang or brilliant colors for this Fourth of July, fireworks stands around Cherokee County have a wide selection for the pyrotechnic enthusiast.
This year, the tried-and-true artillery shells are expected to be a favorite once again. They are colorful, offer more gunpowder and are similar to the fireworks seen at the Gaffney High football games as the players emerge from the tunnel.
A favorite of local fireworks stand operator Richard Duckett is the "Tears From Heaven" package. Duckett, a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said the "multi-shot heavyweight" uses 500 grams of gunpowder and provide a beautiful display.
"We shot them at the beach one year and they literally stopped traffic," Duckett said Wednesday while setting up his stand in front of Winn Dixie on Wilkinsville Highway.
With more than 40 different types of fireworks at his stand, there is something for everyone.
"We're not as big as a factory warehouse, but we have only the good stuff," he said. "We don't put anything in here that we don’t shoot ourselves."
Another stand is owned by Duckett on Highway 18 North at the state line. Proceeds from those fireworks sales will benefit a Cherokee Creek Baptist Church mission trip to the Ukraine.
Three more stands — located at the Pilot convenience store, Prime Outlets in Gaffney and the Flying J in Blacksburg — are being operated by Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham. A portion of those proceeds will benefit the 1898 Society, an organization dedicated to supporting Blacksburg police officers and firefighters.
Duckett has been operating fireworks stands for six years. He offered these safety techniques for a safe Fourth of July:
— Adults should always be present when children are using fireworks.
— Never have any portion of your body directly over the fireworks when lighting them.
— Only light one fireworks item at a time.
— Use fireworks outside only and keep them clear of buildings, houses, and dry grass.
— Keep your fireworks supply away from the area where you are lighting fireworks.
— Never throw or point fireworks at other people.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, June 27, 2005

If it Sounds too Good to be True...

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Have you ever received a letter or e-mail asking you to take part in a deal that sounded too good to be true?
If you have, you may have been the target of a scam, like a Nigerian letter scam that has recently been circulating throughout Cherokee County, said Lt. Zeb Starnes of the Blacksburg Police Department.
While the details of the fraud are ever-changing, this current scam asks the recipient to cash a check and send part of the money back. For your trouble, you keep part of the check’s proceeds.
The check appears official, some even with security water marks. A recent letter told the recipient he or she won the Canadian lottery. The check, written on a Canadian banking account, was to cover the processing fee for the lottery winnings.
The recipient is asked to cash the check, send back the “processing fee” portion, and keep the rest. The problem arises days after the check is cashed and it is returned because it’s written on a worthless bank and account, Starnes said.
"If you get a check from a lottery, ask yourself, ‘Did I enter that lottery?,’" Starnes said.
"If it’s unsolicited, and it seems like easy money, it’s a scam," warns Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Blanton.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, June 20, 2005

Town Considering Ban on Vicious Dogs

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The threat of dog attacks in Blacksburg has town council considering creating an ordinance banning vicious dogs.
Blacksburg Mayor David Hogue became concerned after hearing news of recent dog attacks in Cherokee County and surrounding communities.
There were five cases of dog bites in Cherokee County during the month of May, according to Cherokee County Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Robertson.
In Spartanburg County, there have been three dog mauling deaths in the past two years.
"I’m not against people having pet dogs and cats," Hogue said. "We need to check and see what we can do legally as a town."
An ordinance could potentially ban certain breeds of dogs that are considered vicious, or dogs that have been bred to fight. Council also suggested the ordinance could dictate how a dog is confined. Some authorities have claimed that a dog that is chained up is more likely to be vicious than a dog housed in a pen.
Hogue said local police have informed him that some vicious dogs are used as protection for drug dealers and said drugs are sometimes stored under doghouses.

In other town council news, newly-elected councilman Steve Wilson is working to bring a multicultural festival to Blacksburg. He hopes the event could be commissioned as a state festival, meaning the town would be eligible for hospitality tax money.
Some events Wilson and other council members suggested during last week’s meeting included a Texas barbecue cookoff and 24 hours of bluegrass.

More speed limit signs will be added to the areas around Pine and Chester streets. A state study showed that a red light at the intersection was not justified. In addition to the increase in speed limit signs, the Blacksburg Police Department is also patrolling the busy intersection at peak times, such as when school begins and ends for the day.
The police department will also be busy stopping speeders with three more radar units for the town’s patrol cars at a cost of $1,200 each.



SPARTANBURG HERALD-JOURNAL (on-line version)
http://www.GoUpstate.com/
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Posted on-line Friday, June 03, 2005

"Miraculous":

Doug Smith, senior investigator for the criminal investigation division of the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, gets a pat on the back from Vickie Vickers of Chesnee for "excellent" work. "He solved the theft of my property within 1½ days, and that really is miraculous," she says. "His expertise and swift work were so exceptional. Thanks also to the Blacksburg Police Department for its help in this matter."



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, May 30, 2005

Blacksburg Town Council Finalizes Changes to and Adopts New Wrecker Ordinance

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg Town Council has finalized changes and adopted a new wrecker ordinance in hopes of curbing potential complaints from both motorists and the towing companies it regulates.
One change will bring more convenience to Blacksburg motorists with vehicles that must be towed within the town limits.
The newly adopted ordinance requires a wrecker company have a place of business and a storage facility within one mile of the town limits. The previous ordinance required a storage facility be located within three miles.
The ordinance also requires wrecker companies have both a standard wrecker and a rollback available for towing calls.
A past regulation restricted wrecker companies from coming within 300 feet of a wreck unless requested by law enforcement to respond. The current ordinance does away with that restriction and instead follows state guidelines by stating that no person may solicit for a wrecker company at an incident scene.
Violation of that section of the ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each offense. Other violations of the ordinance can result in the temporary or indefinite removal of a wrecker company from the wrecker rotation list, which determines which company is called if the vehicle’s owner does not have a preference or is unable to make that decision due to injury.
Blacksburg Town Council had formed a 5-person committee to review the wrecker ordinance adopted in 1994 with the hopes of ending the 30-plus year controversy regarding "chasing wrecks".
Earlier this year the Blacksburg Police Department also initiated a new procedure requiring the vehicle operator to complete a wrecker form, which asks the person if a towing company solicited their business. The wrecker form also allows for the vehicle operator to indicate whether a police officer recommended a certain wrecker service.
The vehicle operator must sign the form as well as the officer who responds to the accident.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, May 23, 2005

Pot Seized after High-speed Chase

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A pursuit last week between Blacksburg and Gaffney reached speeds of 100 mph before authorities got their man.
Four ounces of marijuana was seized by Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit agents.
[Blacksburg Police Metro Narcotics] Agent Al Phillips charged Jerome Allen Lipscomb, 21, of 337 Providence Road, Gaffney, with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and failure to stop for a blue light.
Phillips, who was traveling in an unmarked vehicle, activated his blue lights and attempted to stop a white van being driven by Lipscomb, who was suspected of transporting marijuana into Blacksburg, a report at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office states.
Lipscomb stopped the van at West Church Street in Blacksburg, but accelerated quickly when Phillips exited his vehicle and approached the van, the report states. The high-speed chase continued through Blacksburg onto southbound Interstate 85 before ending at Exit 96 in Gaffney.
Lipscomb surrendered when pursuing narcotics agents pinned in his vehicle with theirs when Lipscomb stopped at a stop sign at the end of the exit ramp.
Police said Lipscomb threw a plastic bag out of the van during the chase. A Blacksburg police officer retrieved the bag, which contained the marijuana, police said.
Lipscomb was transported by ambulance to Upstate Carolina Medical Center following his arrest after he told officers he was having an asthma attack, police said.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the apprehension.



SPARTANBURG HERALD-JOURNAL (on-line version)
http://www.GoUpstate.com/
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Posted on-line Thursday, May 19, 2005

Police Blotter

A Blacksburg woman has been charged with giving false information to police after she allegedly told detectives she had been kidnapped on Thursday and sexually assaulted multiple times for five days.
Loira Littreal, 33, of 105 Burnt Chimney Road told detectives she was kidnapped from the Blacksburg car wash Thursday and held hostage until her alleged attacker released her in the parking lot of Buford Street Drug Store in Gaffney Tuesday, a police report states. Littreal said her alleged attacker left in her car, which was found empty behind the drug store, the report states. Sheriff's spokeswoman Leigh Caldwell said after talking with detectives, Littreal admitted she had fabricated the story. Littreal remains jailed on a $440 bond.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hoax: Police say Woman Made Up Kidnapping, Rape Story

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A Blacksburg woman who sent local police on a manhunt after claiming she had been held against her will since Thursday is now being held behind bars.
Officers from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and the Gaffney and Blacksburg police departments searched for a white male assailant after Loria Donnette Littreal, 33, of 105 S. Burnt Chimney Road, claimed she was abducted Thursday from a car wash on Cherokee Street in Blacksburg, said Leigh Caldwell, spokeswoman for the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. She told police the kidnapper was armed with a small-caliber handgun.
Littreal told police she had been sexually assaulted multiple times since her abduction, Caldwell said. She said her captor left her at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Buford Street Hardware Store, 113 W. Buford St., in Gaffney.
Police searched for Littreal's car, which she claimed the suspect had stolen, before discovering the story was not true, they said.
Caldwell said a situation like this can be damaging for true victims of serious crimes, like sexual assaults, because they might feel their claims won't be taken seriously.
"It's damaging," she said. "It deters other victims from reporting."
Detective Capt. Mike Fowlkes has charged Littreal with providing false information to police. She remains at the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Monday, April 25, 2005

"1898 Society" Formed to Support Police, Firefighters

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Local citizens and businesses can support Blacksburg police and fire departments by becoming a "Bravo Booster" and helping the newly formed 1898 Society.
The 1898 Society is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting the Blacksburg Police Department and Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department through fundraising and community donations.
Bravo Boosters are local citizens and businesses who support the 1898 Society's efforts in raising funds, either through donations or volunteering their time and efforts. The name, Bravo Boosters, is derived from the police officer's call signs in Blacksburg, which start with "Bravo".
A fundraising drive is being held to send Blacksburg police officers to Police Week in Washington D.C. The officers will attend National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial services, an annual event when the names of officers killed in the line of duty are formally added to a memorial wall. Families of fallen officers will speak, as well as political leaders.
"Officers come from all over the country to show their support for the fallen officers, and we feel we should be a part of that," said Blacksburg Police Officer Pete McBride, an organizer of the 1898 Society.
"The 1898 Society is for the things not covered by our daily operating budget," McBride said. "Our needs are met by the town. This is for the extra things, like specialized equipment like thermal imaging cameras — not patrol cars and bulletproof vests."
Donations are being accepted for the Police Week fundraiser. Raffles for a gas grill and a turkey fryer will also be held May 6. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $2 from Blacksburg police officers or at the Blacksburg Police Department. Volunteers will also be at Wal-Mart on Saturday, April 30, selling raffle tickets.
Additional fundraising efforts are being planned for the South Carolina State Fireman's Convention and to provide additional education and training.
Blacksburg businesses that have become 2005 "Bravo Boosters" by donating to the 1898 Society are B and M Auto Sales, Big A Fish Camp, Blue Lagoon Pools, Gordon Mortuary, and Preferred Finishing Inc. The 1898 Society is the only outside agency authorized to solicit for the Blacksburg police and fire departments. Solicitations are done by direct mail, never by telephone. All funds raised go towards 1898 Society projects; none of the money is used for operating expenses. Contributions can be sent to The 1898 Society, P.O. Box 250, Blacksburg, S.C., 29702-0250. Please designate on the check or money order whether the donation should go to the Police Officer's Account ("POA"), the Firefighter's Account ("FFA"), or "Both".
Read more about the 1898 Society and Bravo Boosters on the Blacksburg Police Department Website at www.geocities.com/blacksburgpd.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Man Pleads Guilty; Sentenced in Sexual Assault Case

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

A Blacksburg man admitted Tuesday to kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old woman inside her home last August.
Jeffrey Degree, 37, pleaded guilty to 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.
Circuit Court Judge Roger Couch sentenced Degree to 25 years on each charge without the possibility of parole.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Degree could have been sentenced to up to 30 years on each charge. An additional charge of 1st-degree burglary was dismissed by the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
After being undecided on more than one occasion between pleading guilty and proceeding with a trial, Degree claimed he was dissatisfied with his attorney’s work because, he said, he didn’t see the public defender representing him enough to prepare for the case. He asked the judge if his attorney could be replaced.
The judge denied the request, saying Degree was ready for a trial up until that point, and had never previously mentioned being unhappy with his legal representation.
“You’re playing games with me,” Couch replied. “We’re going to trial.”
After opening arguments, the judge gave Degree another opportunity to discuss his case with his attorney. Degree again decided to proceed with the trial, then later changed his mind once again, and pleaded guilty after hearing the testimony of the victim, the only witness called to that point in the proceedings.
The victim was sitting in a walkway outside her Chesnut Hills Apartments at 206 E. Claireborne St., Blacksburg, just after midnight Aug. 3 when Degree approached her and asked to use her telephone because he was locked out of another apartment, according to the original report on file at the Blacksburg Police Department.
She said she went inside her apartment to get a portable phone for the man to use. Degree followed her inside her apartment, locked the door, threw her to the couch and forced her to have oral sex and intercourse with him while he choked her, authorities said.
The victim kicked her assailant in his face and tore two earrings from his left ear in an attempt to fight back, according to police.
Police said after the assault, Degree took the woman’s portable phone, left the apartment and walked to an apartment across the street.
Police officers questioned the occupant of that apartment and the tenant advised police that Degree, who had already left that location, called her apartment from the victim’s apartment.
Degree has remained jailed since his arrest.
Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy and Assistant Seventh Circuit Solicitor Derrick Bulsa prosecuted the case.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, April 08, 2005

Police Search for Armed Robber

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg police are investigating an armed robbery at a local restaurant.
The male suspect gave a note to a clerk at the Waffle House at 1010 N. Mountain St., Blacksburg, stating, "I have a gun, give me your money", according to a report at the Blacksburg Police Department.
The white man, standing 5 feet, five inches tall and weighing approximately 165 pounds, was wearing a tan trench coat with blue stripes, blue jeans and white shoes, the report states. He also wore a red and white ball cap during the 5 a.m. incident Monday.
After taking the money from the 52-year-old clerk, he left the Waffle House running toward the Flying J convenience store across the road, according to police.
Following the armed robbery, police set up a perimeter around the area in hopes of finding the suspect, but he was not located.
Anyone with information can call the Blacksburg Police Department at 839-2331 or Crimestoppers of Cherokee County at 489-CRIME (2746).



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Free Firearm Safety Kits now Available

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Nearly 1,000 free firearm safety kits have been given to the Gaffney and Blacksburg police departments.
Through a second Project ChildSafe grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, 10 million gun locks are being distributed across the country. Last year, Cherokee County was the recipient of more than 1,000 safety kits as part of Project ChildSafe while 20 million were distributed nationwide.
Each kit contains a safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock. The locks come in two sizes and fit most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns.
The safety kits will be given away to local gun owners by visiting either police department.
"I’d love to see everyone in the county put one of these locks on their weapons at home," said Gaffney Police Chief John O’Donald.
Local law enforcement agencies are also considering educational programs at the county’s elementary and middle schools.
Project ChildSafe is a program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and is aimed at promoting safe firearm handling and storage practices among firearm owners by using safety education messages and distributing free gun safety devices.
For more information on the program, visit the Website at www.ProjectChildSafe.org



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Blacksburg Working to Solve its Wrecker Controversy

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The Blacksburg Town Council is continuing to review its wrecker ordinance to ensure it is fair to both towing companies it regulates and the vehicle operators it serves.
While the ordinance is under review, the Blacksburg Police Department has initiated a new procedure that seems to have helped the longstanding dispute regarding "chasing wrecks."
Every time a vehicle is towed from within the town's limits, officers are required to have the operator of the vehicle complete a wrecker form. Included in the paperwork, which will remain on file, is a section for the person to indicate whether or not a wrecker company solicited their business. If the business was solicited, the vehicle operator has space on the form to describe the person who did the soliciting.
"The form is used to obtain warrants and to dispute frivolous complaints, which are numerous," said Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham. "Since it has been implemented, we haven't had any problems."
The wrecker form also allows for the vehicle operator to indicate whether a police officer recommended a certain wrecker service.
The vehicle operator must sign the form as well as the officer who responds to the accident.
If there is an instance involving solicitation, the complaint is forwarded to a 3-officer committee responsible for investigating those types of allegations.
Council formed a 5-person committee to review the wrecker ordinance and end the 30-plus year controversy regarding "chasing wrecks". The committee met Thursday evening to discuss changes to the ordinance, which was adopted in 1994.
The ordinance specifies that a wrecker cannot be within 300 feet of an accident scene without being advised to respond by police.
A violation of the ordinance can result in a $500 fine imposed by a municipal judge.
If a vehicle owner or driver does not request a specific towing company, the next wrecker service on a list maintained at 9-1-1 is called to tow the vehicle.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, March 04, 2005

Police Department Creates Website

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The Blacksburg Police Department has created a Web site that includes the Town of Blacksburg's ordinances and answers frequently asked questions.
It will also feature photos of police department activities, a roster of the officers who patrol the streets of Blacksburg and links to recent news. Visitors can also sign the department's guest book.
The site was created by Blacksburg officer Pete McBride.
The site is: www.geocities.com/blacksburgpd



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, February 25, 2005

Drugs Found after Police Stop Truck

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Alan Redvers Beverly, 24, of 261 E. Jones St., is charged with possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a pistol and 2nd-offense driving under suspension, a report at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office states.
Police with the sheriff’s office and the Blacksburg Police Department stopped Beverly after Deputy James R. Haggard noticed Beverly was driving a pickup truck on East Jones Street. Haggard said he knew Beverly had a suspended driver’s license.
Blacksburg Officer Matt Gordon checked Beverly for weapons after the suspect reached toward his back pocket when he exited the vehicle.
Police found a .25-caliber Arm1 pistol in Beverly’s back pocket, according to the report.
Officers found a lighter and less than an ounce of methamphetamine in the rear seat of the patrol car in which Beverly was transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center, the report states.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
Gaffney, South Carolina
www.gaffneyledger.com

Friday, February 18, 2005

Police Seize Pile of Cash after Traffic Stop on Interstate 85

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

The Blacksburg Police Department’s drug dog, Abe, had a pretty significant “hit” during a traffic stop last week.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) [WEBMASTER’S CORRECTIVE NOTE: Drug Enforcement Administration] has been asked to help investigate after Abe and fellow officers of the human variety discovered $49,680 in cash no one wanted to claim.
Abe, a black Labrador, and his handler, Blacksburg Police Department Officer Matt Gordon, were called to Interstate 85 Mile Marker 101 at 2:33 p.m. last Thursday after a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a red Ford Taurus for speeding.
By law, a drug dog is permitted to “sniff” the exterior of a vehicle, Gordon explained. If the dog “hits”, or indicates an illegal substance might be present, officers may search the vehicle.
Abe hit on the car and on the back seat, Gordon said. When the officer folded the back seat down, he discovered a large locked suitcase.
The occupants of the vehicle refused to give police permission to open the suitcase. After officers secured a search warrant from a Municipal Court judge, they opened the case and discovered nearly $50,000 in cash.
Police seized the money after none of the three men in the vehicle claimed the cash as theirs.
Police initially determined further investigation was needed after the two passengers in the car gave the officer conflicting stories about their destination, said Capt. Rick Burgess of the Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit. One man told police they were traveling to Florida while the second man said they were en route to Georgia, Burgess said.
The driver, Andre Rafael Crawley, 26, of Richmond, Va., was arrested and charged with speeding and having no driver’s license, according to Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Leigh Caldwell.
Deputy Todd Parker, who initiated the traffic stop, discovered Crawley’s license had been suspended.
Abe is trained to detect drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, crack, crank, powder cocaine and hashish – not money, indicating the money was at one time with or near drugs, police said. No drugs were found in the vehicle.
The Blacksburg Police Department’s drug dog assists the Metro Narcotics Unit, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol as part of a mutual aid agreement.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
http://www.gaffneyledger.com/
Gaffney, South Carolina

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Skateboarders Get the Boot by Town Council

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Note to Blacksburg's skateboarding youth: Don't ride within the town's business district or risk losing your wheels and rolling right into court.
The Blacksburg Town Council passed a second reading Tuesday of an ordinance banning skateboarding, roller skating, roller blading, or using any other similar wheeled device within certain areas of the town. The Blacksburg Police Department can now enforce the ordinance.
Those wheeled devices are no longer allowed to be used on any street, sidewalk, curb or right-of-way along Hwy. 29 between Calles and York streets; along Lime Street between Chester and York streets; along Church Street between Chester and York streets; and all areas included within those streets.
Council members, police officers and Mayor David Hogue had all expressed concerns about the safety of skateboarders as well as pedestrians. An issue of liability also concerned town council.
The ordinance also states that a person on a skateboard, or other wheeled device, must exercise care for the safety of other people using the road or sidewalk.
Those in violation of the ordinance face the seizure of their property, such as the skateboard, by police. The skateboard, or other device, can be returned after a court order. On a second violation, the property can be forfeited to the town.
After a third violation, the person faces a maximum fine of $50 and a misdemeanor conviction. Any subsequent convictions can lead to fines of up to $500 and 30 days in jail.
Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham said his department would give warnings for initial violations and record those incidents at the department. He said parents would also be notified if a violation involved a juvenile.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
http://www.gaffneyledger.com/
Gaffney, South Carolina

Friday, January 21, 2005

Crack, Pot Seized During Searches

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Narcotics agents searched two Cherokee County homes recently and seized marijuana and crack cocaine, according to reports at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
When agents executed a search warrant at a Blacksburg home at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday they found less than an ounce of marijuana in a recliner chair in the living room.
Alan Redvers Beverly, 24, of 261 Jones St., Blacksburg, is charged with 2nd or subsequent offense of possession of marijuana by [Blacksburg Police] Special Agent Al Phillips of the Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit, a report at the Sheriff’s Office states.

In a separate search, narcotics officers found crack cocaine and marijuana at a Gaffney home on Feb. 3 at 8:20 p.m. and arrested two men, according to a separate report. After searching the home of Joseph Brian Boyd, 45, of 216 B Monroe St., Gaffney, special agent Mike Gibson of the Metro Narcotics Unit charged Boyd with simple possession of marijuana, the report states. Bryan W. Pierce, 25, of 1808 Goucher School Road, Gaffney, is charged with possession of crack cocaine, police said.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
http://www.gaffneyledger.com/
Gaffney, South Carolina

Friday, January 21, 2005

Four Juveniles Admit Involvement in Painting Graffiti on Blacksburg Building

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg Police don’t believe that Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Mexican Mafia, Anarchists and Satanists were working together to deface the side of a storage building on Charleston Street.
"There are too many different gangs (represented in the graffiti), they’d be killing each other," said Lt. Zeb Starnes of the Blacksburg Police Department.
Blacksburg Officer Peter McBride interpreted some of the images in the graffiti and determined that it includes the initials of several people. Police later determined who the suspects in the case were based on those initials, according to a report at the Blacksburg PD.
Officers have interviewed five juveniles, including three boys — two of whom are 15 and one who is 13 — and two girls — ages 13 and 17. Two of the individuals are brother and sister.
Among the graffiti on the storage building owned by George Wilkins Company at 117 Charleston St. are anti-Christian statements, profanity and some images linked to drug culture.
Approximately $300 in damage was done to the building some time between Dec. 27 and 29.
Police have taken statements from four of the individuals who have each admitted to taking part in the vandalism, according to the report. They also claim a fifth juvenile, a 13-year-old boy, supplied some of the spray paint and was involved in the incident.
The two girls told police they purchased the spray paint.



THE GAFFNEY LEDGER
http://www.gaffneyledger.com/
Gaffney, South Carolina

Monday, January 03, 2005

Pot Charge

By Tara Jennings
Ledger Staff Writer

Narcotics agents arrested a Blacksburg man after he claimed an ounce of marijuana police found in an apartment was his, a report at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office states.
Corry Vydrene Earls, 28, of 415 N. Charleston St., Blacksburg, is charged with possession of marijuana, 2nd or subsequent offense, by [Blacksburg Police] Agent Al Phillips of the Cherokee County Metro Narcotics Unit.
Police found the marijuana in a plastic bag in Apartment 232 at Brugg Street Apartments in Blacksburg on Dec. 22, the report states.



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