Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Keeping You Informed...AM 1240 WKDK and!

WKDK.COM is sponsored by:
Newberry County Memorial Hospital
Newberry Chamber of Commerce
Springfield Place & J.F. Hawkins
Prosperity Drug
and Linda Renwick Realty

podcast icon

camera icon

email icon

sports icon

weather icon

music icon


book club
Book Club

road trip
Road Trips

Jimmie Coggins
Owner/General Manager

Carole Murray
Program Manager

follow twitter
find facebook

clicks logo

Sponsored by


We want to see YOUR photos!

We may even feature yours
on this page and mention
your name on the air!

Featured Photos

Memorial Day
The Newberry Sheriff's Department, City of Newberry Police Department, SC Highway Patrol and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) met before Memorial Day to witness Mayor Foster Senn sign the 2016 Proclamation supporting safety checkpoints by law enforcement.
Photo courtesy of Jennie O'Shields

special olympics
A scene from the recent
Special Olympics Torch Run.
Photo courtesy of Cindy Pitts

MCHS Lady Rebels Tennis girls number
one player, freshman and co-captain,
Elise Mills won the SCHSL State Singles Tournament November 17 for the
A-AA  region at the Cayce Tennis and
Fitness Center.
Pictured are Elise Mills and
Coach Kenny Sanders

Some children particpating in the
Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Party at
Town Hall on Sunday, October 18.

art show first
Maria Cervantes, Mid-Carolina High School, took first place honors at the Prosperity's Hoppin' High School Art Show on April 12. 
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

art show
Prosperity's Hoppin' High School Art Show was held on April 12. About 45 people attended the reception at the Prosperity Depot. 
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

WKDK Loyal Listener Cindy Schumpert at the Rock Fore! Dough performance by A Thousand Horses, "the band with Newberry connections!" 
Photo courtesy of Cindy Schumpert

Baby Jesus being placed in the manger at
Whitaker Funeral Home on Christmas morning. 
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

Lt. Burt Mohler recently received the Newberry Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year Award! 
Photo courtesy of Keith Minick

hotel california
"Welcome to the Hotel California..." A shot of The Beverly Hills Hotel taken at near sundown during
a recent trip to Los Angeles. 
Photo courtesy of Carole Murray

state championship sign
The signs for the Newberry High School State Championship in basketball are now up on Main Street as you approach NHS from both directions.  
Photo courtesy of Foster Senn

Billy Odell
Newberry baseball legend Billy O'Dell prepares to throw the first pitch at Friday's Chapin-Newberry American Legion Post 24 game.
Photo courtesy of Ken Minasian

prosperity hoppin 1
Tyla Bowers at Southern Art & Outdoors explaining the
Frog Scavenger Hunt to her first group.
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

prosperity hoppin 2
Lauren Keener, Whitmire Community School, accepting check for first place student Amanda J. Crisp and for the Whitmire art program.
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

belle surf
Belle has a new passion...
Paddleboarding and Sidewalk Surfing
Photo courtesy of Sally Lowman

spring robertson
Spring seems to have finally arrived in Newberry!
Photo courtesy of Jane Robertson

snow robertson
Sledding is hard work but Rebekah Rendelman was determined on this beautiful snow day.
Photo courtesy of Jane Robertson

snowman seuss
First Grade Teacher, Janie Kitchens, and daughter Eleanor celebrate one of their favorite authors,
Dr. Snow-Seuss
Photo courtesy of Sue Summer

snow munson music
The folks at Munson Music built a snow-guitar and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. The big surprise?
No bucket.
Photo courtesy of Sue Summer

snow winery
Snow measured at Enoree River Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Richard and Laura LaBarre

Newberry College snowman at the Reid's!
Photo courtesy of Zeb Reid

mid carolina cheerleaders
The Mid-Carolina High School Varsity Cheerleaders were recognized at the December 18 meeting of the Newberry County School Board. The squad members were AA Region II Champions and AA State Runners Up.
Photo courtesy of Tammy Kitchen/WKDK

WKDK's Margaret Brackett (center), a long-time advocate for tobacco prevention measures, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Media Advocacy. The presentation was by Louis Eubank, Executive Director, SC Cancer Alliance and SC Tobacco-Free Collaboration, and Sharon Biggers, SC Director of Tobacco Prevention and Control.
Photo courtesy of Debbie Turner
of Turner Photography

The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer recently celebrated its 160th Anniversary. Pictured are the church's oldest and youngest members.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

veterans 3
A scene at the recent Veteran's Day Parade in downtown Newberry.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

veterans 2
Some of the attendees enjoying the Veterans Day Parade on November 9.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

Another scene at the recent Veterans Day Parade in downtown Newberry. Some of the Vietnam War Veterans of American Legion Post #24 wave to the crowd.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

Legend country singer Willie Nelson takes a break during his show at the Opera House on Monday to sign Theresa Halfacre's jacket.
Photo courtesy of Theresa Halfacre

Happy Halloween from the Banks' girls!
Photo courtesy of "Grandma" Donna Lominack

scarecrow treasurer
Mr. Bill Greenbacks & Miss Millie Homestead created by the Auditor's and
Treasurer's staff.
Photo courtesy of Donna Lominack

4H scarecrow
Miss Clover, the 4H-er, just won a blue ribbon at the Jr. Dairy Show.
Photo courtesy of Alana West

Scarecrow exhibit for Linda Renwick Realty.
Photo courtesy of Kim Sligh

making it crow
The Master Gardeners' entry for the
Scarecrow Convention: "Making It Crow!"
Photo courtesy of Rose Marie Favors

city FD
City of Newberry Fire Department
in remembrance of 9/11.
Photo courtesy of Ben Bowers

chapin labor day 2
Representative Walt McLeod waves to the onlookers at the Chapin Labor Day Parade.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

chapin labor day 1
Some of the Chapin Labor Day attendees' park at Whitaker Funeral Home for the day's festivities.
Photo courtesy of Doggett Whitaker

We have Loyal Listeners and we also have Loyal Deer at our studios on 3000 Hazel Street!
Photo courtesy of WKDK

weathers senn
Charles Weathers is presented a resolution by Mayor Foster Senn for his efforts in facilitating the "Cultivating Community" efforts over the past year in Newberry County.
Photo courtesy of WKDK

Harold and Anne Folk enjoy the evening at the annual Welcome Back Party for Newberry College at Dave Waldrop's place on Spearman Road.
Photo courtesy of Wilson Senn

Lightning strike at Enoree River Winery
Photo courtesy of Laura Labarre

harper street
Parade goers get set for a fun Harper Street Bike Parade on July 4!
Photo courtesy of Cindy Pitts

Another scene at the Harper Street Bike Parade on Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Cindy Pitts

Camdyn Dahman with her four-legged friend at "Taste of Newberry" on Friday evening.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Dahman

patsy cline
A recent rehearsal for the Newberry Community Players production of "Patsy Cline."
Photo courtesy of Ronney Hunter/Newberry Digital

Doris Coggins of Newberry Elementary and Marie Robinson of Boundary Street Elementary at Tuesday's WLTX luncheon honoring all of the 2012/2013 Golden Apple Award winners.
Photo courtesy of WKDK

Ashley Robertson was awarded her law degree, magna cum laude, from USC School of Law on Friday, May 10, 2013. In August, Ashley will begin work in a Judge Clerkship for SC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal.
Photo courtesy of Jane Robertson

Vidal and Bucket Brigade at Prosperity's Hoppin' with Arts & Antiques
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

franklin miller
Franklin Miller from Newberry was the winner in Division One (photos/paintings) at Prosperity's Hoppin' recently. He is standing by Aw,Shucks, one of three pastel paintings he entered. This particular painting was the favorite of our judge and artist Clay Burnette, from the SC Arts Commission.
Photo courtesy of Andy Hawkins

Some of the residents at Springfield Place enjoyed wearing sunglasses during the Coffee Hour Show on Thursday with Sue Summer.
Photo courtesy of WKDK

nhs soccer
Members of the Newberry High School Junior Varsity Soccer team. They had a good season wrapping up last week with a 7-nil defeat of neighboring Union County. They are coached by Leslie McDuffie and Joseph Foster.
Photo courtesy of Lee Foster

special olympics
A runner carries the Special Olympics torch down Main Street in downtown Newberry on Thursday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of Ted B. Williams/
Special to WKDK

The Newberry Community Players present "Flash Gordon" again this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Heather Hawkins

A scene from the fire yesterday at the business off of College Street yesterday across from Fast Track.
Photo courtesy of Jimmie Coggins

"On The Move With Margaret" on April 8 featured a LifePoint discussion, as April is Organ Month. Pictured are Roger Charette, Ronald Charette, Mark Johnson, and Margaret Brackett.
Photo courtesy of April Marks



city policeCity Police Department Rolls Out Body Cameras
October 21,
2:05 PM

Corporal Emily Seibert with the City of Newberry Police Department is shown wearing the department’s new body-mounted cameras under her nameplate on her uniform.

 The City of Newberry Police Department has officially begun using body-mounted cameras, according to Police Chief Roy McClurkin.

In March of 2015, McClurkin said the State of South Carolina disclosed that all police departments were going to have to implement body cameras. Upon hearing of this, the department came up with a policy to submit to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy staff attorney. Once approved, body cameras were then tested.

"We decided to go with Vista by Watch Guard," McClurkin said. "We found that they were very durable and worked the way we needed them to."
The city's police department also uses Watch Guard in-car cameras and McClurkin said he wanted their officers to have body cameras that were compatible with them.

To purchase the cameras, the city submitted an application for $74,000 through the state for the funding to implement both the body cameras and a server system for storage of the video. In turn, McClurkin said the state only allocated the city $48,000 for cameras.

"We had to do some creative thinking through the budget and were able to come up with the additional funding for storage in the form of a server for the actual body camera footage," McClurkin said.

After securing the money from the state, 30 cameras were purchased for city officers. McClurkin said officers then went through extensive training sessions to train officers in the use of the cameras and the policies for them.
Each city officer has their own body camera assigned to them, as well as a charger, McClurkin said. The policy for the cameras dictates when an officer must turn the camera on including during traffic stops, when an officer encounters suspicious vehicles or persons, all arrests and all uses of force incidents.

"It should be activated when responding to a disturbance, disorderly calls, motor vehicle accidents and calls involving emotionally or mentally disturbed subjects," McClurkin said.

Policy also dictates what footage must be kept and for how long. Any non-investigative, non-arrest or routine incidents that were not reported must only be kept on file for a period of 15 days, McClurkin said. Any other circumstances need to be kept until a case is disposed of.

Each camera holds up to nine hours of footage before it must be docked in the police department where footage is downloaded to the secure server.
McClurkin said command staff is able to go through the footage should there be a problem. Each officer can look at their footage only, but it cannot be altered in any way. The actual footage from the body-worn cameras, McClurkin said is not a public record and cannot be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Having body cameras benefits both the public and the city's police officers by everyone being held accountable, McClurkin said.

"Interactions are recorded so the officer and the public have to be accountable," McClurkin said.

McClurkin said the cameras can also be used to capture evidence needed in court and can ensure accuracy of victims' and witness statements.

"We feel that body-worn cameras will be an invaluable tool to our department," said City Manager Matt DeWitt. "What the cameras provide is an unbiased third-party account and this will help reduce the amount of questions and better protect everyone involved in police-related encounters."

machineryWest Fraser Expanding Newberry Operations
Posted: October 18,
4:11 PM

West Fraser, a diversified wood products company, is expanding its Newberry County sawmill operations. The project is expected tobring $33 million in new capital investment. 
Established in 1955, West Fraser produces lumber, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, pulp, newsprint and wood chips, as well as energy through several bioenergy initiatives. Beginning as a small, three-man operation, the company has grown into the largest lumber producer in North America, operating facilities throughout western Canada and the southern United States.
Located at 3287 College Street, West Fraser’s Newberry sawmill directly employs 155 workers. Since 2007, the company has invested millions to modernize the mill and plans to invest $33 million more to procure wood, services and goods in Newberry County. West Fraser also plans to install a log merchandiser designed to increase production by more than 37 percent. 
For more information on West Fraser, visit the company’s website at

wolves_cnWolves Winning Streak Extends To Six; Wolves Beat C-N 34-19
October 15,
9:56 PM

Photo courtesy of

Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks entered Saturday’s contest fresh off his 337th career win, which moved him past Pop Warner and into fifth-place in college football coaching history.

Newberry made sure that Sparks made no headway on fourth-place Bobby Bowden before the third-largest crowd on record to ever watch a game at Setzler Field.

The Wolves racked up 424 yards of total offense and pounded Carson-Newman for a school-record 14 tackles for loss in a 34-19 Newberry victory, igniting the near-record crowd of 4,988 and solidifying Newberry’s spot atop the South Atlantic Conference standings with its sixth consecutive win. Click HERE for more information.

end hungerMayor Proclaims End Childhood Hunger SC Week In Newberry
Posted: October 12,
9:12 PM

Mayor Foster Senn has proclaimed the week of October 23-29, 2016,
End Childhood Hunger SC Week within the city of Newberry. A proclamation was signed October 11 prior to the City Council meeting. The proclamation was made to bring awareness that one in five children live in families where
their full food needs are not met. As part of this week, a variety of
programs have been planned in Newberry County including an afterschool
program snack drive and after school tutoring. The Newberry Literacy Council is collecting donations of healthy snacks as a part of the effort. For
further information about the work that is being done in Newberry County,
please email Pictured Front Row: Ashley Page and Mayor Foster Senn Back Row: Barbara Chapman, Gina Koon, Rhonda Ackerman and Sam Zaidy

public powerPublic Power Week Celebration On Friday
Posted: October 11,
4:04 PM

The City of Newberry Utilities Department celebrated Public Power Week October 2-8. As a part of that, a celebration was held Friday, October 7 at City Hall.

Public Power Week is an annual national event coordinated by the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C. The association represents not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities that power homes, businesses and streets in nearly 2,000 towns and cities, serving 48 million Americans.

Throughout the week, city elementary school students had the opportunity to participate in a coloring contest. Each coloring page contained a fact or safety message about electricity. Middle and high school students had the opportunity to participate in a competition to submit a song, poem, illustration, essay or combination expressing an electrical safety message. All entries were displayed at Friday’s celebration.

Winners of the competition are as follows:

  • Gissela Luis Sanches, seventh grade, Newberry Middle School
  • Quinn Waites, fourth grade, Newberry Academy
  • Kindel Jaeger, third grade, Newberry Academy
  • Grace Mayer, second grade, Newberry Academy
  • Lila Koon, first grade, Newberry Academy
  • Princess Lucas, second grade, Newberry Elementary
  • Mason Hunter, third grade, Newberry Elementary
  • Kaden Williams, K5, Newberry Elementary
  • Justin Ramirez, first grade, Newberry Elementary
  • Ardestini Epps, Kindergarten, Boundary Street Elementary
  • Melenna Gallman, second grade, Boundary Street Elementary
  • Emily Parra, third grade, Boundary Street Elementary
  • Josi Aull, fifth grade, Boundary Street Elementary
  • Michael Isbell, second grade, Gallman Elementary
  • Romona Olvera, third grade, Gallman Elementary
  • Jamarion Hawkins, fifth grade, Gallman Elementary
  • Xavier Gary, fourth grade, Gallman Elementary
  • Brandon Ramirez, first grade, Gallman Elementary

During the celebration, city residents were invited to bring a copy of their latest utilities bill and a regular incandescent light bulb to exchange it for a brand new LED bulb for free. Corndogs and slushy’s were provided to the community from Sonic of Newberry. City residents also had the opportunity to register for door prizes including t-shirts, bill credits and various gift cards.

City of Newberry Utilities Director Marc Regier said that Newberry’s utility services were reliable and safe and they took pride in serving their friends and neighbors.

“We are proud to have served Newberry for 120 years,” Regier said.  

oliverSilverstreet Man Arrested For Trafficking Crack, Cocaine, and Marijuana
Posted: October 10, 3:42 PM

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that a man is in custody today after investigators found him in possession of crack, cocaine,marijuana, and pistols at a residence located on Green Acres Lane in Silverstreet.

Sheriff Foster said that investigators were able to make several undercover drug buys from the residence over the last several months.  He said that the investigation culminated when deputies served a search warrant on the residence late Thursday afternoon.

Investigators say that once inside the residence, they located more than 15 grams of crack, approximately 40 grams of cocaine, and several ounces of marijuana.  Sheriff Foster said they also located two pistols inside the residence. 

“This is another example of the partnership between law enforcement and community,” said Sheriff Foster.  “The residents of this community brought the unusual activity at this residence to our attention and we were able to conduct an investigation into this matter identifying the residence as a place that was conducting the sale of illegal drugs.”

“There are two important factors to such an investigation,” said Sheriff Foster.  “First, the public’s assistance in providing us information, which is crucial to our combined success because law enforcement simply cannot be in all places.  The second is the public’s understanding that such investigations take time.  The standard of proof needed for convictions in the court’s today continues to rise so it is imperative that we just not make the arrest, but we insure that the case can and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Derrikus Raphael Oliver, 33, 309 Green Acres Lane, Silverstreet, SC was arrested and charged with Trafficking Crack Cocaine, Trafficking Cocaine, and Possession of Marijuana With Intent To Distribute.  He has been denied bond.

“This man was a major player in the sale of illegal drugs in this community,” said Sheriff Foster.  “This is the second large drug arrest we have made in this community within the last three months.”

“We are committed to working with all of the communities of Newberry County and when the community and law enforcement communicate and partner, together we can make a difference,” concluded Sheriff Foster.

wolvesWolves Win Fifth Straight Behind Watson's Career Day!
Posted: October 9,
11:32 AM

Photo courtesy of

Cole Watson was 11 years old the last time Newberry defeated Mars Hill on the Lions’ home turf.

At 21, the senior wide receiver torched the Lions’ secondary for a career-high 151 yards on 10 catches to help Newberry to a come-from-behind 35-21 win at Meares Stadium.

The Wolves scored 28 consecutive second-half points to turn a precarious halftime deficit into a rout before a cosmetic Mars Hill touchdown with 1:18 remaining cut the final margin to 14 points. Watson was held out of the end zone but had a propensity for explosive plays, tallying six catches of at least 10 yards and counting a leaping 30-yard effort as his longest reception of the day. Click HERE for more.

Local Teens Raise Money For Playground Equipment

hurricane matthewUPDATE: Newberry County Continues Preparations
For Hurricane Matthew
Posted: October 7,
7:24 PM

While we are approximately 150 miles from the coast, Newberry County will experience issues from Hurricane Matthew.  The following is the most up-to-date information we have. The more serious time frame of the storm will be early Saturday morning throughout the day Saturday. 

Please keep in mind that storms are unpredictable and conditions can change depending on other environmental conditions.  If the storm continues to track closer to the coast line, our conditions will worsen.  Also if the storm delays in the right turn out to open sea, our conditions will persist longer.

Newberry County is on the boarder for tropical force winds and heavier than usual rains.  The lower 1/3 of the county (Lake Murray and much of the Mid Carolina area) is grouped with the higher levels of rain and higher winds.

We can expect 2-4" of rain with higher amounts in the Mid Carolina area.  The rain should not be continuous, but will come in squals.  There may be short periods of intense rain, followed by calm.

Winds are expected to be in the 25-35 mph range with higher winds and gusts in the Mid Carolina area.  Reminder that it is not necessarily dangerous THAT the wind is blowing, but WHAT the wind is blowing.  Secure loose items that could become airborne and become a projectile. 

All school functions have been cancelled for the weekend.  The schools remain on standby if we are activated as an evacuation center.  This will depend on the damage experience in the coastal regions and the amount of people displaced. 

Due to wind conditions, sporadic power outages may occur.  Prior to tonight, citizens should insure they have adequate batteries for portable radios and flashlights.  Candles will provide illumination, but they can also cause fire and should be used with caution.

Updates will be given via Nixle, Facebook and WKDK.  You can sign up for the FREE Nixle service by going to our web site or  You can listen to our local broadcaster via 1240 AM or or on the WKDK app in the Apple I store or Google Play.

Law Enforcment and Emergency Services are on standby and are prepared to respond depending on conditions.

sonicLocal Teens Raise Money For Playground Equipment
Posted: October 6,
7:55 AM

Megan Grubbs, Kori Kunkle and other local teens raised money Wednesday night for new playground equipment for children with special needs, and that equipment is planned for Marion Davis Park.  The fundraiser was a big success, and the City of Newberry thanks all of the volunteers and Mac Bell of Sonic!

wolves catawbaWolves Hand Catawba First SAC Loss!
Posted: October 2, 9:47 AM

Photo courtesy of

The Wolves did just that in amonumental victory Saturday evening, handing South Atlantic Conference foe Catawba (2-3, 2-1 SAC) its first conference loss in a convincing 35-14 thumping at Setzler Field.

Newberry (4-1, 2-0 SAC) wasted no time in jumping in front, forcing a three-and-out and blocking a punt on Catawba’s first possession to take over inside the Catawba Indians’ red zone. Romelo Doctor’s bruising, 1-yard run put the Wolves ahead less than two minutes into the contest.

Doctor finished the game with 58 yards on 17 carries, moving into seventh place on Newberry’s all-time rushing yardage list with 2,268 in his remarkable career. He added a second score just minutes into the second half on an 11 yard run where he spun off three Catawba Indian defenders at the line of scrimmage, and waltzed into the end zone to build a 28-7 Newberry lead. Click HERE for more.

Newberry Man Arrested, Charged With Burglary, Kidnapping, Robbery, And More
Posted: September 26, 11:10 PM

As we reported earlier today on WKDK, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that a Newberry man has been arrested and charged with Burglary, Kidnapping, Aranthony wisemed Robbery, Assault and Battery of a High andAggravated Nature, and Grand Larceny for the violent kidnapping and robbery of a 73-year-old woman.

Deputies and investigators responded to the victim’s home on Green Meadows Drive Wednesday night just after 10:30pm.  The victim, who had been able to remove some of the bindings, was still partially restrained with duct tape and a telephone cord.  There were clear markings from having been tied up around her neck and legs.

“I cannot say enough about the incredible job done by the entire investigative team,” said Sheriff Foster.  “All involved worked tirelessly and for countless hours to bring this suspect to justice.  The investigators used every available resource including technology, forensics, and a great working knowledge of the community and environment to make an arrest in this case.”

The victim said that she opened the door to get into her vehicle and when she did, the suspect, who had been laying in the seat, kicked her in the chest.   The suspect forced the victim inside the home, where he bound her using the duct tape and phone cord then took money and jewelry. He then forced her into her vehicle still bound and drove her around demanding money from an ATM.  He then took her back to the residence and demanded more money and property.  It was after the suspect left the scene that the victim was able to escape enough of the bindings to call 911.  She did receive medical treatment and was released from the hospital with a broken collar bone and related minor injuries.

“I find it especially despicable for someone to not just rob an elderly person but to physically assault and injure them as well,” said Sheriff Foster.  “He could have gotten her money and property without injuring her, but he chose to inflict additional injury and pain on the victim, particularly since he knew her and lived in the same community.”  I pray that the legal system will take the full extent of his actions into consideration as he is dealt with by the law.”

The suspect fled the left the scene in the victim’s car.  However, law enforcement was able to locate that vehicle near Boyd’s Crossing Road.  The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division used bloodhounds to search the area, but the suspect was not located.  The vehicle was taken to the Newberry County Sheriff Office crime lab for processing.  The Newberry City Police Department offered assistance throughout the investigation.

“We are pleased to bring this suspect to justice,” said Sheriff Foster.  “This is what law enforcement agencies working together with the community united with cutting edge techniques can accomplish together.”

Jail records identify the person arrested as Anthony Maurice Wise, 24, of 604 Green Meadow Drive, Newberry, SC.  He was charged with Burglary, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, and Grand Larceny on Saturday morning.  He has been denied bond at this time.  Wise was already on probation for a drug related offense when this incident occurred. 

nby tusculumNewberry Defense Keys Big Road Win
September 24, 7:51 PM

Photo courtesy of

A punishing defensive effortcoupled with 502 yards of total offense helped Newberry to a convincing 37-10 victory on the road at Tusculum on Saturday afternoon in the Wolves’ South Atlantic Conference opener.

The game’s key moment came at the three-minute mark of the first quarter. The Wolves had a 7-0 lead after a seven-play, 57-yard drive capped by an 11-yard Markell Castle touchdown reception, tying him for the team lead with three on the season. Shea Rodgers’ kickoff sailed toward the sideline, where a Tusculum returner caught the ball as he stepped out of bounds.

The Pioneers were awarded the ball on their own 3-yard line after the miscue, where the Wolves’ defense forced their first three-and-out of the contest. The ensuing punt glanced off the side of the punter’s foot, traveling just 13 yards before coming to rest out of bounds.

Keinan Lewis leapt over a defensive back and made a spectacular catch on a perfectly-placed fade pattern down the near sideline on the first play, giving the Wolves a 23-yard scoring play on their first offensive snap since the Yeldell-to-Castle connection.

The sequence was indicative of Newberry’s dominance on both sides of the ball throughout the contest. Newberry scored the first 20 points of the game and never looked back en route to the four-score victory. The Wolves averaged 6.6 yards per play, more than doubling the Pioneers’ 234 yards of offense on the afternoon. Tusculum was limited to just 96 yards offensively in the second half and saw 10 of its 12 drives in the contest terminated after 25 yards or fewer. Click HERE for more.

Newberry Arts Program Recipent Of Programming Excellence Award

Suspect Being Sought In Burglary, Kidnapping Of Elderly Woman
Posted: September 22, 9:22 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for information after a 73-year-old woman was burglarized and kidnapped last night.

Deputies and investigators responded to the victim’s home on Green Meadows Drive last night just after 10:30pm.  The victim, who had been able to remove some of the bindings, was still partially restrained with duct tape and a telephone cord.  There were clear markings from having been tied up around her neck and legs.

The victim said that she opened the door to get into her vehicle and when she did, the suspect, who had been laying in the seat, kicked her in the chest.  The suspect forced the victim inside the home, where he bound her using the duct tape and phone cord then took money and jewelry.  He then forced her into her vehicle still bound and drove her around.  He then took her back to the residence and demanded more money.  It was after the suspect left the scene that the victim was able to escape enough of the bindings to call 911.  She did receive medical treatment and was released from the hospital with a broken collar bone and related minor injuries. 

The suspect fled the left the scene in the victim’s car.  However, law enforcement was able to locate that vehicle near Boyd’s Crossing Road.  The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division used bloodhounds to search the area, but the suspect was not located.  The vehicle was taken to the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office crime lab for processing. 

The Newberry City Police Department offered assistance throughout the investigation. 

The suspect is described as a black male.  He had dread lock style hair.  He was approximately 5 foot 7 inches tall and weighed approximately 150 pounds.   The suspect was wearing a red t-shirt, blue jeans, and a black hoodie.

Law enforcement said that based on their investigation, the suspect was familiar with the victim before this incident.  They would not elaborate on the connection at this time citing the integrity of the investigation.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a substantial reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect.  If you have information you can contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2222, email your tip to, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

ArtsNewberry Arts Program Recipent Of Programming Excellence Award
September 23,
8:10 AM

Scott Sawyer and Marquerite Palmer with South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association President Eric Stewart.

The Newberry Arts Program has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Programming Excellence Award for population under 30,000. The award was presented on September 12 by the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association (SCRPA) Awards Committee at their State Conference awards luncheon at the Greenville Hyatt Regency.

Marquerite Palmer, arts program coordinator and Scott Sawyer, director of parks, recreation and tourism for the city accepted the award for the program. Palmer said it really was a dream come true.

"The idea of an arts center in Newberry has floated around and been talked about since I came here in 1993 and each time it was attempted, it just seemed it wasn't the right time," Palmer said. "And this time, the stars aligned and everything fell into place. It was just the right time for it."

The Programming Excellence Award could be given to each of two population categories, according to the SCRPA awards information page: those 30,000 and under and those over 30,000. An agency was able to submit for either Programming Excellence or Parks Excellence, but not both. The award pertains to any recreation program or special event that an agency offers.
Sawyer and Palmer spent several weeks putting together information to submit for the award, Sawyer said. The final application was submitted on July 7.

In the application, Sawyer and Palmer had to answer questions including a summary of the Newberry Arts Program, the mission of the program, its economic impact, any challenges the program has faced and what made the program unique.

While the Newberry Arts Program has faced several challenges including a starting low budget and needing a place for classes, both Palmer and Sawyer agree that it could not have been accomplished without the enormous amount of support they received from City Manager Al Harvey.
Wanting to start a new program with no budget was a huge challenge, Sawyer said, but fortunately city management supported the notion that a quality visual arts program was a viable endeavor and a complimentary extension to the community's arts experience that was established by the Newberry Opera House.

In the less than two years that the Newberry Arts Program has hit the ground running, it has added a unique social element to a lot of people's lives, Sawyer said.

Not only does the Newberry Arts Center have separate art and pottery studios, but it also includes outdoor space for classes and events. The arts center has also attracted a nationally renowned watercolor artist, as artist-in-residence and a world renowned clay artist as a presenter and advisor for the SC Clay Conference which was established through the program from scratch.

"It is unique that strong community support includes varied partnerships and dedicated volunteers that have come together to help provide the arts experience to anyone in the community, young or old. And regardless of ability to pay," Sawyer said.

Harvey said he commended the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department and Palmer for receiving the Programming Excellence Award.

"Such recognition at the state level reflects the tireless efforts put forth by Mrs. Palmer and the many volunteers that have contributed so much time and talent to develop a very high quality arts program that has been widely accepted and enjoyed by the Newberry community over the last two years," Harvey said. "The future of the Newberry arts program is unlimited."

Palmer said the creation of the Newberry arts program had created a community and she was excited to see what its future held.

ray brooksBrooks Announces Retirement At PTC
Posted: September 22, 8:13 AM

Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Technical College, has announced plans to retire on June 30, 2017, at the end of the current academic year.

Brooks made his plans official in a meeting with the college's Area Commission on Tuesday evening. He has led the institution since March 2008.

George Piersol, PTC Area Commission Chair said, "Dr. Brooks' focus on creating the right environment for student success has had a huge impact on Piedmont Technical College."

"The Commission is appreciative for his experienced leadership over the last eight years, and we are fully supportive of the important initiatives begun during his tenure," he said.

The Piedmont Technical College Area Commission plans to search for a new president in accordance with the policy set by the South Carolina Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education.

The college's second president in 50 years, Brooks has led the institution through historic surges in enrollment and the financial challenges of a record-setting recession. Under his leadership, the college has emerged on firm financial and operational footing, and has garnered nationwide accolades for its work in a number of areas.

The college has built stronger relationships with the communities it serves, including innovative public/private partnerships like the development of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens County; the urban renewal project that led to a cutting-edge new campus in Newberry; and a host of program and operational improvements designed to better position the college to respond to student needs.

During his tenure at PTC, Brooks has led the college to adopt institution-wide continuous improvement systems, including a groundbreaking implementation of the Lean methodology in a higher education setting that was awarded the Bellwether award--a national prize that recognizes outstanding and innovative programs in community college education. Piedmont Technical College is the first and only college from South Carolina to be recognized with this award.

In a letter to the campus, Brooks said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to share in the important work this institution does every day."

"This work goes on, and there's much more to be done. I look forward to working in the coming months to ensure the state of the college is strong, and that we're well positioned for the future," he said.

Prior to joining Piedmont Technical College, Brooks served as president of Northwestern Technical College in Georgia for 22 years, and previously served as an instructor and then coordinator of postsecondary instruction at NTC.

County Council Meets; Third Reading Of Zoning Ordinance Passes, More
Posted: September 22, 7:18 AM

Andrew Wigger | staff writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

Newberry County Council met Wednesday evening and the following items were passed/approved:

  • Newberry County Council passed the third reading of an ordinance revising the zoning ordinance of the Newberry County Code of Ordinances, with four amendments. The first amendment established conditional permitting of cemeteries, minimum size, setback and signage requirements for cemeteries. The second amendment established conditional permitting of large animal processing and taxidermy uses; concealment of carcasses and disposal of remains (animal processing and taxidermy); management of emissions and odorous gases (taxidermy). Amendment three defined Agritourism as defined int he SC Code of Laws as accessory use to an agricultural use. Amendment four established lake development setbacks; minimum setback of 50 feet from specified contour lines.
  • Council passed a third reading on an ordinance that repeals an unused provision regarding petty cash purchases and it inserts an affirmative action statement, as requested by Central Midlands Council of Governors.
  • A second reading was approved for an ordinance amending an existing 20 year fee in lieu of tax agreement with West Fraser.
  • Council approved a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • Council approved a proclamation declaring September 2016 as Kinship Care Month.

yeldellYeldell's Game-Winning TD Nominated for D2 Football's Play Of The Week!
September 20, 6:16 AM

Photo courtesy of

Raleigh Yeldell’s game-winningtouchdown at North Greenville has been nominated for D2 Football’s Play of the Week by HERO Sports.

Yeldell’s third rushing touchdown of the evening came with 1:04 remaining in the contest and tied the game at 28, with Shea Rodgers’s extra point providing the final margin of victory in Newberry’s come-from-behind victory. Yeldell broke right on a zone-read option, spinning out of one tackle before lowering his shoulder to shake North Greenville’s all-time leading tackler Sam Houston and diving headlong across the goal line.

The nation's fourth-ranked player in total offense earned his second straight South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Week selection Monday after accumulating 141 rushing yards and 215 yards through the air against the Crusaders.

Fans will choose from seven nominees to decide the winner. Voting will close at 3:00 a.m. Friday morning, with the winner being announced later in the day.

Click here to vote Yeldell's touchdown as D2 Play of the Week

teenAuthorities Searching For Missing Teen On Saturday; Found Safe
Posted: September 17, 3:42 PM

At around 1:00 pm on Saturday, the Newberry County Sheriff's Office and Rescue Squads were searching for a missing 19-year old with autism (pictured on left).  The individual had last been seen around 10 am near Seagull Lane off of Highway 391 in Prosperity. The individual was found safe at around 2:30 pm near Pinedale Court on Lake Murray. A SLED helicopter and Sheriff's Office Bloodhounds were assisting in the search.

movie sceneFaith-Based Movie Filmed Partly in Newberry To Debut In Theaters Soon
Posted: September 15, 8:25 AM

Northface Christian Films out of Lexington, South Carolina will debut its film titled ‘Faith’s Song’ in South Carolina theaters this fall. 

The inspiration for this film was given to Frank Hutto, the writer, director and producer.  Local talent from around the state both helped produce and appear in this amazing film.  It is an inspiring story about a young girl whose faith is tested when her parents are tragically killed in a car crash, forcing her to move in with her aunt and uncle who don’t share her same beliefs.  Faith finds herself in a new city and a new school where she faces resistance not only from her new peers, but from her family.   

As an independent film producer of a Christian film, Hutto is excited for this amazing opportunity.  Filmed in Newberry, Lexington and Columbia with cast and crew from around the southeast, you will see many familiar landmarks.  Everyone faces struggles and fears and this film addresses many of the issues that many face today.  Hutto is looking for sell out premier showings and continually increasing support from churches and communities throughout the state.
‘Faith’s Song’ will premier in Lexington on October 29 and Summerville on November 5 at Regal Theaters.  Tickets have gone on sale and are limited.  Included in the premier ticket pricing is a limited edition movie poster that you can have signed that day.  Many of the cast and crew will be on hand for autographs including Marcus Lattimore, former University of South Carolina football player. 

To view the movie trailer and purchase tickets for the premier you can visit the website   

Northface Christian Films is also offering group ticket sales and is looking for corporate sponsors for the Theatrical release later this year.  Please contact Frankie Hutto for additional information at

School Resource Officer Assaulted Trying To Stop School Bus Fight
Posted: September 14, 5:05 PM

A Newberry County School Resource Officer was assaulted today attempting to stop a fight on a school bus. Sheriff Lee Foster said that two male juveniles were fighting on a bus this morning.  The School Resource Officer boarded the bus and along with the bus driver attempted to separate the suspects.

Foster said that after they were separated, the School Resource Officer was attempting to secure one of the juveniles, when the other suspect, a 14- year-old juvenile, jumped on her back and she was struck several times in the face.  The officer was able to gain control of the suspect and both of them were taken into custody. The 14-year-old juvenile was charged with Assault on a Police Officer While Resisting Arrest and both were charged for the fighting incident.  The juvenile who assaulted the officer was detained and sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

The deputy was taken for a medical check and was released after a splint was placed on her wrist for an injury sustained during the incident.  She also has several marks on her face and neck where she was struck by the juvenile. There are some who believe that there should not be officers in the schools, said Sheriff Foster. 

This coupled with the two other assaults on officers in the school environment recently in other areas of South Carolina leaves no doubt to their necessity.  If someone will assault a police officer and struggle with them, imagine the plight of a school administrator trying to handle this without the training or equipment of a law enforcement officer.

We are so proud of our relationship and support of the School District of Newberry County, Foster continued.  They make the School Resource Officers possible and our relationship is second to none.  We have been recognized nationally as best practices for a relationship between law enforcement and a school district in our partnership, planning, and response to incidents.

The ultimate goal of the School Resource Officer is to be a positive part of the school environment, to be a role model for the students, and to provide the students with a different perspective of law enforcement than the negative they often see, said Foster.  Many of our school resource officers assist with coaching athletics and various functions that allow them to build relationships far beyond just that of a school resource officer; however, in the society we live in today, we must provide a safe learning environment for our children.

Sheriff Foster said that there are current five officers assigned to the School Resource Officer program with one stationed at all Middle and High schools and a supervisor who covers elementary schools and assists as needed.

newberry collegeNewberry College Ranked Among Nation's Best
Posted: September 13, 10:40 PM

As we reported earlier today, Newberry College has been ranked on the 2017 U.S. News & WorldReport Best Colleges rankings, which were released earlier in the day. Newberry earned three rankings in the national magazine’s annual report:

Best Colleges in the South (#16)
Best Value for Regional Colleges in the South (#3)

Best Colleges for Veterans-Regional Colleges in the South (#8)

Although Newberry College has ranked in the Top 50 for Best Colleges in the South for a number of years, the private liberal arts college rocketed ahead in this year’s rankings, moving from #41 last year to #16 in the 2017 report.

“It is very rewarding to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as our key performance indicators continue to improve,” said Newberry College President Maurice W. Scherrens. “We are on a journey of continuous assessment and improved effectiveness. The College’s rise in the rankings is a tangible outcome of our efforts.”

Senior English major Madison Darby-McClure noted Newberry’s rise in the rankings reflects many positive changes students are experiencing on campus.

“It’s encouraging to see Newberry College getting recognized for all the great things students see happening on a daily basis,” Darby-McClure said. “I think it recognizes the changes and improvements the College has been making for the past few years.”

Newberry College earned the #3 spot for Best Value for Regional Colleges in the South for 2017, a new ranking for the institution this year.

“Earning the Best Value ranking affirms our sustained efforts over the past several years to ensure that Newberry College one of the best private college values in the region,” said Joel Vander Horst, Dean of Enrollment Management. “We have worked hard to create a highly competitive financial aid package and to offer innovative programs, such as the Loan Repayment Promise, to make us a very attractive choice for students.”

The Newberry College Loan Repayment Promise is a financial safety net that Newberry offers at no cost to students and their families. Starting in 2017, if a student earns less than $40,000 working at least 30 hours a week after graduation from Newberry, the College will help the graduate repay their student loans until they reach that earning threshold.

Newberry College appears once again on the Best Colleges for Veterans in the South list, earning the #8 spot in the rankings this year, up from #28 in the 2016 rankings.

“Newberry’s focus on individualized learning and personalized attention to students makes it an attractive option for veterans and their families,” said Newberry College Military Services Coordinator Susan Epting.

Newberry College Board of Trustees Chairman Hugo A. “Hap” Pearce credited the College’s impressive rise in the rankings to top caliber faculty who are committed to helping students succeed in the classroom and after graduation.

“These U.S. News & World Report rankings highlight what we have known for many years,” Pearce said. “That students don’t have to make a choice between high quality and affordability. We offer them both at Newberry College.”

raileighyelldellWolves Back To Winning Ways Against Virginia Union
Posted: September 11, 8:32 AM

The Wolves shook off the disappointment of last week’s loss to Florida Tech with a resounding 42-22 victory over visiting Virginia Union on Saturday afternoon at Setzler Field, wearing down the Panthers’ defense with a series of methodical drives and a punishing defensive performance.

Four of Newberry’s (1-1) six touchdown drives took 11 plays or more, including an 11-play, 98-yard drive that gave the Wolves a two-touchdown advantage early in the second quarter. The Wolves’ offense won the time of possession battle by nearly 19 minutes and ran 35 more plays than the Panthers (0-2), whose defense was no match for Newberry’s methodical attack in the second half. See more HERE.

Newberry College Hits Record High Enrollment For Freshman Class
Posted: September 9, 7:17 PM

Newberry College enrolled a record high 381 new students, easing past its previous high water mark of 379 set in 2014. The incoming class increased by 10 percent compared to the 347 students who constituted the incoming class for 2015.

Enrollment for the incoming class included 287 freshmen, 80 transfers and 14 readmits. Overall, the College enrollment reached 1,070 students for the fall 2016 semester, a slight increase over last year.


  • 76 percent of the incoming class hail from South Carolina; 75 percent of the overall student population are South Carolina residents.
  • Out-of-state enrollment draws primarily from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, which is comparable to the geographic distribution of the overall student body: South Carolina (808), Georgia (33), North Carolina (30), Virginia (30) and Florida (20).
  • International enrollment accounts for 2 percent of the incoming class. International students make up 4 percent of the overall student population drawn from 15 countries, including Canada, France, Bolivia, Australia, India and Mexico.
  • 52 percent of the incoming class (199 students) are recruited student-athletes who play on one the College’s 17 Division II teams as well as cheerleading and dance.
  • 48 percent of the incoming class (182 students) are non-student-athletes, an all-time high for new student recruitment at Newberry College.
  • Top 5 majors by overall enrollment are Business Administration/Accounting, Sport Management/Physical Education, Nursing, Biology and Teacher Education.

Dean of Enrollment Management Joel Vander Horst said the College’s strategy of streamlining the admission process and engaging students and their families earlier in the recruitment process has led to double-digit increases at nearly every stage of the recruitment process.

“We focused a great deal of effort over the past year on eliminating possible friction points in the enrollment process to make a more student-centered experience,” Vander Horst said. “We revised or eliminated outdated policies, retooled our campus visit programming and focused on cultivating a spirit of hospitality.”

Director of Financial Aid Danielle Bell noted the Newberry College Loan Repayment Promise has attracted significant interest from families. A new program offered to the 2016 incoming class, it guarantees students if they earn less than $36,000 after graduating from Newberry College, the College will help repay their loans on a sliding scale based on their earnings.

“For families who use student loans to pay the portion of tuition not covered by institutional scholarships and other forms of aid, the Loan Repayment Promise offers them the peace of mind of having a financial safety net after graduation.”

Bell also noted that her team has placed greater emphasis on providing personalized support for students and their families to ensure they navigate the complexities of the financial aid process.

“Families can feel overwhelmed by the complexities of financial aid, so we’ve worked to make it as stress-free as possible,” Bell said. “We typically work one-on-one with families to guide them through the steps and put together the best possible financial aid package. We offer very personalized support; it’s definitely not a cookie cutter approach.”

Vander Horst noted that the largest enrollment gains this year have come from majors in which Newberry College has long enjoyed a dominant position.

“We’ve seen continued growth in areas of historic strength for us” Vander Horst said. “Based on an analysis of inquiries from prospective students and declared majors for enrolled students, we expanded our Nursing cohort by 33 percent and added the Criminal Justice major.”

Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens noted that recruiting new students is one side of the enrollment management coin; the other is retention of current students.

“Improvements in both recruitment and retention are two pillars of our campus strategic plan and we will be unveiling recommendations to improve retention later this semester,” Scherrens said. “A key focus of our efforts is to continue creating a positive student experience that supports persistence to graduation.”

Subject Attempting Car Break-Ins Caught On Thursday Morning
Posted: September 8, 5:45 PM

As we reported earlier on WKDK, the subject involved in the foot chase after attempting to break into cars at Newberry College was taken into custody at around 8:30 am Thursday morning.  The subject was caught just off Kendall Road near Louis Rich Road. The suspect was chased by law enforcement officers around the campus, and was caught by police working perimeter. 

Castle's Catch Featured On ESPN SportsCenter's Top Ten
Posted: September 5, 7:23 PM

Markell Castle’s leaping, twisted, one-handed catch on a high pass from Raleigh Yeldell was featured on ESPN as the No. 2 play on SportsCenter’s Top Ten Sunday evening.

The play came as part of a four-play, 73-yard scoring drive that took just 36 seconds off the clock, allowing the Wolves to knot up the score at 21 before heading into the locker room. Yeldell had completed passes to Romelo Doctor of 17 and 23 yards on the previous two plays before finding Castle open down the seam out of a four wide receiver set.

Yeldell’s ball floated over the defensive back and appeared to be just too high for Castle to reel in. But the sophomore used every bit of his 5-8, 185-pound frame to soar high above the turf, reaching into the air with his right hand while twisting to his left, securing the ball with one hand while nearly parallel to the turf.

The Wolves tied the score at 21 with an eight-yard touchdown to Cole Watson one play later and a two-point conversion pass to Knox Butcher.

Castle would go on to haul in 10 passes for 181 yards, good for sixth-most in school history, and a 72-yard touchdown strike. Yeldell’s 447 yards through the air landed at No. 3 in the record books and were the third-most of any Division II quarterback on the season’s opening weekend. Yeldell also moved into 10th in school history in career passing yardage.


swindlerSwindler To Lead SC Criminal Justice Academy
September 3, 12:23 PM

Chief Jackie Swindler whoretired after 38 years with the Newberry Police Department to join the Department of Social Services in 2014 as its law enforcement liaison, has been named to lead the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

An honor graduate of Newberry College, Jackie Swindler earned a master’s in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina, and he graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy, the youngest graduate in its history at the time.

He entered law enforcement as a cadet in 1975 and rose to the rank of chief of police in 1993.

As a leader in the state’s law enforcement community, Chief Swindler served as the president of the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association and of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

He has served as a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Committee, the State Homeland Security Senior Advisory Council, and the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

A regular instructor at the United States Attorney’s Office, Chief Swindler has been lead instructor at the Carolina Institute for Community Policing.

DSS hired him to better coordinate with police organizations and coroners.

nance_harmonTwo Men Arrested On Drug Charges: Crack, Marijuana and Pills
Posted: September 3, 6:31 AM

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that two men have been arrested when officers conducting a safety check point found crack cocaine, marijuana, and a controlled substance.

Sheriff Foster said that officers from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and South Carolina Highway Patrol were conducting a safety check point on Highway 219 near Hillbrook Lane on August 28 at about 1:00am when a vehicle with two people in it approached the check point.  The officers immediately noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. 

When the deputies attempted to get the suspects from the vehicle, the passenger attempted to flee on foot but was captured after a short distance.  Once he was apprehended, the deputies found approximately 2 grams of crack cocaine, a small quantity of marijuana, and $340 in money in the same pocket of his pants.  When the deputies ran the suspect’s criminal history, they learned that he had previously been convicted of Distribution of Cocaine so this would be a second drug offense.

“We believe that a proactive approach to law enforcement is critical in today’s society,” said Sheriff Foster.  “While we depend heavily upon our relationship with the public to get information about drugs in our communities, it is also important that we get out into the public and work with other agencies to have these public safety check points and other proactive measures.  We believe that learning the community, interacting with the citizens, and a good visible patrol and outreach are powerful tools in saving lives and preventing crime.”

Deputies then searched the driver and the vehicle and found two pills of Hydrocodone, a controlled substance, and a crack pipe that belonged to the driver.

Both men were arrested and taken to the Newberry County Detention Center.

Those arrested were identified as:

Rishawn Terrell Harmon, 26, of 2545 Rosalyn Drive, Newberry.  He was charged with Possession with Intent To Distribute Crack Cocaine 2nd Offense, Possession of Marijuana, and Resisting Arrest.  Harmon has a prior drug conviction for Distribution of Cocaine. 

Willie Earl Nance, 60, of 17 JB Fulmer Court, Newberry, was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Newberry County Schools To Dismiss Early On Friday
Posted: September 1, 5:32 PM

Newberry County Schools will be dismissing early on Friday because of potential inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Hermine. Elementary Schools will dismiss at 12:30 pm on Friday, and Middle and High Schools will dimsiss at 1:00 pm. All afterschool activities and athletic events will be cancelled on Friday afternoon and evening.

indian creekU.S. Forest Service Reopens Indian Creek Rifle Range
Posted: September 2,
8:09 AM

The Indian Creek shooting range located on the Enoree Ranger district on the Sumter National Forest (Whitmire area) was temporarily closed last week for safety reasons but has since reopened. “It is unfortunate that some users, not all, continue bringing dishwashers, televisions, wheelbarrows and household garbage to use as targets and leave it behind,” Beth LeMaster, Enoree District Ranger said.

Signs are clearly displayed at the free rifle range with “Pack it in, Pack it out,” and “No Garbage Pick-up” notices and prohibits the use of targets not specifically designed to be shot is prohibited.

For years volunteers have donated their time to clean the range weekly, but the problem escalated and forced a temporary closure until bullet-torn metal and broken glass from bulky appliances that posed a threat to the public, volunteers, and Forest Service employees were removed.

“Thank you to volunteers who have exceeded our expectations once again and have made it possible to reopen the range since safety issues have been mitigated. However, we ask the public to treat their rifle range area with respect because It is All Yours,” according to LeMaster.

“These lands” are a gift. Congress began conserving these lands back in 1891 for all of us. More than 100 years later, this gift continues to inspire, restore, and provide. From offering nearly endless ways to play to providing water, clean air, and resources for millions, each of the 174 national forests and grasslands highlight the best of America’s public lands heritage. The U.S. Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation work to steward these lands on your behalf. So pick a spot, choose an activity, and go. Play.

kinslerSuspect In Custody ForBurglaries: Two Prosperity Businesses and Newberry Middle
Posted: August 31, 4:41 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office has taken a suspect into custody for two burglaries to businesses in the Town of Prosperity and worked with the Newberry Police Department to also connect the suspect to a burglary at Newberry Middle School.

Sheriff Lee Foster says that two burglaries occurredat businesses on Main Street in the Town of Prosperity. Sheriff Foster said that Roma’s House of Pizza was broken into August 28 and the suspect took a donation jar for a cancer patient and some food items.

On August 29, someone broke into the U.S. Post Office in Prosperity, but it did not appear anything was taken.

Sheriff Foster said that on August 29, the suspect went into Bower’s BP in Prosperity and while the clerk was distracted stole another donation jar for a burn victim.

“I find stealing from anyone inexcusable, but to steal from people who are suffering and struggling is despicable,” said Sheriff Foster.

Sheriff Foster said that the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office responded to each of these calls and served as the investigating agency due to a personnel shortage at the Prosperity Police Department.

Foster said that through their hours of investigation, forensics, and an outstanding working knowledge of the community, the Sheriff’s Office developed sufficient information to charge Gary Lee Kinsler for these crimes. Sheriff Foster said that there had been active search for Kinsler and that deputies had searched his home early this morning in an attempt to locate him.

“We certainly have highly trained investigators in areas of forensics and technology; however, there is simply no substitute for deputies who live in and know their community and have built proven relationships over an extended period of time,” said Foster.

Sheriff Foster says overnight, Kinsler broke in Newberry Middle School and stole several items, a list of those items is pending. Sheriff Foster said that the Newberry City Police Department and the School Resource Officer from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office assigned to Newberry Middle School are working together on this investigation.

“It was imperative that we take this suspect into custody,” said Sheriff Foster. “He had clearly become both a danger to many citizens and a pure menace to society. If he was not stopped, he would have hurt someone or forced someone to hurt him.”

Gary Lee Kinsler, 43, of 409 Forest Hills Blvd, Prosperity was taken into custody at just before 9am this morning at an apartment complex. He was arrested without incident.

Kinsler will be charged with 2 counts of Burglary and 2 counts of Larceny by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office for the Town of Prosperity incidents. The Newberry Police Department will also be charging Kinsler for Burglary and Larceny. Additional charges may be filed. Kinsler does have a substantial prior record that includes convictions for burglary.

scherrensNewberry College Begins Academic Year With Opening Convocation
Posted: August 31,
7:21 AM

More than 750 students, faculty and staff gathered in Wiles Chapel on Friday for the annual Newberry College Opening Convocation to usher in the 2016/2017 academic year. In keeping with tradition, the opening ceremony began with a full academic procession of current and emeriti faculty.

Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens (above) welcomed the more than 350 incoming freshmen and transfer students along with the more than 650 returningstudents. In his remarks, Scherrens emphasized the importance of innovation and growth that supports the College’s liberal arts tradition.

“At Newberry College what matters most is that we stay true to our core Lutheran values and provide a strong liberal arts education that prepares our graduates to be meaningful contributors to society,” Scherrens said.

Campus pastor Ernie Worman helped student leaders light their class candles. The Candle Lighting Ceremony is a tradition begun four years ago that represents the Biblical theme of light. It signifies that each person at Newberry College is a candle burning brightly. If one candle falters or even briefly darkens, others are not diminished by helping that faltering candle. 

During the Opening Convocation remarks, City of Newberry Mayor Foster Senn and Joe Trainor, area business owner and member of the Newberry Board of Trustees, shared greetings from the local community.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students stood for the Matriculation Pledge and recited the Newberrian Creed. The convocation concluded with the traditional singing of the Alma Mater. This year’s opening convocation was web-streamed via Periscope for off-campus viewers.

UPDATE: Pomaria Man Shot At Clemson Area Party; Suspected Gunman Arrested
Posted: August 30, 2:30 PM

A 21-year-old man from Pomaria was the victim of an early Saturday morning shooting in the Clemson area after shots were fired at a large party. The Pomaria victim, a Tri-County Technical College student, was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

rowlandA fight apparently broke out between the victim and the shooter at "Cottages of Clemson" complex at around midnight, and the shooter shot the victim in the neck.

Daniel Heath Dixon, 21, of Lexington has been charged with accessory after the fact. He is accused of hiding and cleaning the gun.

And on Tuesday morning, deputies identified Jackson Quaid Rowland (pictured), 21, of Chapin as the suspected gunman. Rowland was arrested in Lexington County on Monday and will face charges of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in the Pickens County shooting. He was transferred to the Pickens County Detention Center where he is awaiting a bond hearing.

nc menNorth Carolina Men Arrested, Charged with Drug Possession
Posted: August 28, 6:21 PM

A story we first reported Friday afternoon on WKDK, two North Carolina men have been charged with possession of black tar heroin,heroin, ecstasy, meth, and other drugs.

Sheriff Lee Foster says that on August 24 at approximately 10pm, deputies were called to assist a State Trooper with a traffic stop on South Carolina Highway 121 near Frye Road between Newberry and Whitmire.

Upon arriving, a search of the suspects’ vehicle was made where officers found .2 grams of black tar heroin, .5 grams of heroin, 3 pills of ecstasy, 3 pills of Xanax, several pills of buprenorphine hydrochloride (a semisynthetic opioid), and 3.5 grams of crystal meth. The officers also found digital scales and other drug paraphernalia in the car.

The suspects also had a Beretta .22 caliber pistol in the pocket of the driver’s side door.

“It is clear that these men intended to both use and sell these illegal drugs,” said Foster. “They were armed and carrying dangerous drugs. While we do not know for certain where their intent was to go with these drugs, it is clear that we are all safer with these suspects in custody and these extremely dangerous drugs removed from our community.”

The suspects were identified as:

Jonathan Nathaniel Gayle, 18, of 311 Thompson Court, Indian Trail, NC. He is charged with Carrying a Pistol Unlawfully, 3 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin, and Possession of Meth.

James D Murphy, 26, of 6025 Pine Bark Court, Charlotte, NC. He is charged with Carrying a Pistol Unlawfully, 3 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin, and Possession of Meth. He is also charged with No Driver’s License, No Proof of Insurance, and Operating a Vehicle With a No License Plate.

Rescue To Find Missing Boater On Lake Murray
Posted: August 23, 6:19 PM

Around noon emergency dispatch received a call from a boater on Lake Murray concerning a pontoon that was running without an operator or passengers. The boater was able to board the un-manned water craft and secure its travel. Shortly thereafter, a resident of Saluda County called to report his wife was missing and his boat was gone from their home.
Rescue Squads from Newberry, Saluda, and Union Counties; with Sheriff's Offices from Newberry, Lexington and Saluda Counties and DNR began a search of the area from Gold Nugget Point to Lake Murray Shores in Saluda County to Mariner's Point in Newberry County. A SLED helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft from DNR participated in the search. The search was to continue until dark for 45-year old Cynthia Leagan of Saluda County. She was described as a white female 5'2' weighing approximately 150 lbs.
At around 5PM, however, the search was discontinued as the missing boater was found. No information on her condition at this time, but stay tuned for more information.

searchSearch And Rescue Team Attempts To Find Robert Lester Jones
Posted: August 22, 8:24 AM

Photo courtesy of Sheriff Lee Foster

On Saturday morning beginningat 7AM, a search and rescue team made up of members from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry County Fire Departments, Newberry County Rescue Squads, and the South Carolina State Guard conducted a grid type search to try to find Robert Lester Jones.

Robert Lester Jones, 32, was last seen on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at around 7PM on Evans Street in Newberry as he was leaving Newberry County Memorial Hospital. Sheriff Foster said that his car was located abandoned on a dead end gravel road near I-26. The name of the road is Queens Church Road. There were no signs of foul play or a struggle found at or around the car. The car was located on July 26 by employees of a tree cutting service employed to clear power lines.

Foster said that investigators have used a helicopter from the State Law Enforcement Division to make extensive flights over the Queens Church Road area and have made several ground search including the use of canines to attempt to locate Jones without success.

Sheriff Foster said that they did not know if Jones remained in that area or if he left with someone else at this point saying that at this juncture they are still treating this as a missing person case.

Jones is described as a white male. He is 5 foot 11 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue and navy striped shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a multi-colored welder’s cap.

Sheriff Foster says that they will be regrouping and continuing discussions this week.

Anyone with any information about the location of Robert Lester Jones is asked to contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211 or you can email the information to

Suspects Arrested; Involved In Burglaries In Whitmire And Union
Posted: August 18, 6:59 PM

A story reported earlier today on WKDK, three law enforcement agencies say they have combined forces to arrest several people involved in burglaries in Union County and in Whitmire.

Sheriff David Taylor, Sheriff Lee Foster, and Whitmire Police Chief Jeremiah Sinclair said that the investigation into the burglaries was underway when law enforcement was made aware that one of the suspects had taken sold some of the items stolen from a burglary in Whitmire.

Investigators from all three agencies quickly realized that the burglaries in both jurisdictions were related and combined forces to piece together the evidence needed to charge the suspects with the burglaries.

Sheriff Taylor said, “Many times this criminals attempt to use jurisdictional lines to hide the fact that they are committing multiple crimes. There hope is that law enforcement will not communicate meaning even if they are caught, they are only charged with a portion of the crimes. We are truly blessed that Union, Whitmire, and Newberry have established clear lines of communication and partnership understanding that this partnership makes all of us better and our citizens safer.”

Chief Jeremiah Sinclair said that the suspects stole approximately $1,500.00 in antique bottles during the burglary in Whitmire. The Chief went on to describe the group as a “menace to the community who has caused people to not even feel secure in their homes.”

Sheriff Taylor said that the suspects broke into three homes and stole collectables and other items. The Sheriff said that thus far they have been recover more than $3000 of the stolen items. Sheriff Taylor said that the burglaries occurred between July 26 and August 1. He said they occurred in the Whitmire section of Union County.

Sheriff Lee Foster said, “I am afraid that many times people take for granted that everyone has what they have. Residents in Newberry County, Whitmire, and Union County might assume that every agency shares information and works together like our agencies do and this is not always the case. Our communities are better served and our agencies far more effective through these partnerships. We want to place the bad guys on clear notice that if you mess with one you mess with all.”

Sheriff Foster also said, “Many people in today’s society are attempting to minimize the effects of illegal drugs. These suspects were attempting to get money to continue their drug usage. The victims of these burglaries became victims because they were attempting to support their drug habit. Illegal drugs should never be considered a victimless crime.”

In addition, Sheriff Taylor said that one suspect was charged with breaking into a motor vehicle.

Those charged are:

Kenneth Lamar Braswell, 40, of 74 Sinclair Avenue, Whitmire, SC. He is charged with one count of Burglary by the Whitmire Police Department and 3 counts of Burglary in Union County. He is currently held in the Newberry County Detention Center on a $20,000. Bond. He was arrested on August 12.

Sierra Dawn Braswell, 29, of 1260 Church Street, Whitmire SC. She was arrested and charged with 3 counts of burglary on August 9 and has been released on bond.

Chrystal R Hughes, 43, 7471 River Folk Rd, Waterloo, SC. She is charged with one count of burglary in Whitmire. She is currently held at the Newberry County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. She also has charges pending from the South Carolina Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole. She was arrested on August 10.

Donald Andrew Price II, 26, of 191 Sinclair Avenue is charged with 3 counts of burglary in Union County, 1 count of Receiving Stolen Goods, and 1 count of Receiving Stolen Goods in Newberry County. He is currently held at the Newberry County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. He was taken into custody on August 4.

Ansel Bradley Wallen, 45, of 1971 Highway 66 in Whitmire will be charged with 1 count of Breaking Into A Motor Vehicle. He is currently being sought by police.

county councilCounty Employees Recognized For Service
August 18,
8:12 AM

Newberry County Council met last night and some county employees were recognized fortheir years of service. Jessica Attaway, Sheriff's Office, 5 years;
Kara Cannon, Economic Development, 5 years; John Fulmer, Sheriff's Office, 10 years; Crystal Waldrop, Purchasing Director, 15 years; (Absent from photo) Georgia Wardlaw, Clerk of Court, 5 years. Photo courtesy of Samie Truong

MADDMADD, Newberry Officials Meet For Proclamation
August 17,
8:23 AM

Members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Newberry officials met on Monday morning for a special Labor Day Proclamation related to sobriety checkpoints.

Mayor Foster Senn, Margaret Brackett, County Councilman Les Hipp, Mac Bell. Middle Row (left to right) – Travis Reeder, Dale Brigman, Jean W. Simmons, Mollie Graham, City Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd, Senator Ronnie W. Cromer, Police Chief Roy McClurkin. Back row (left to right): Captain Kevin Goodman, City Manager Al Harvey, Boris Alvarado, Jim Lander, Representative Walt Mcleod, Tom Perry.

Photo courtesy of Elyssa Haven

Fire Damages Dempsey's Pizza In Clinton
August 15, 8:21 AM

Story by Billy Dunlap /
A late-night fire damaged portions of Dempsey’s Pizza in Clinton shortly before midnight on Sunday night.

Firefighters were called to a structure fire at 910 S. Broad Street after reports of smoke coming out of the back of the building.

According to Clinton Dept. of Public Safety Director Robin Morse, the fire started in a room in the back of the building and quickly spread to the attic.

“It started back where a dryer is at,” said Morse. “The worse part was getting all of the smoke out to where we could see. It didn’t take us long to get the fire out. There was a lot of heavy smoke.”

It is unknown at this time the amount of damage to the building and how long the business will be closed.

“There is a lot of heat damage and water damage,” said Morse. “There is some damage up in the attic where the fire was. He’s going to be down for a while.”  

Wolves Readying For 2016 Football Season
Posted: August 11; Photo Courtesy of Garry Talbert/Team Quest

nc practice

greenhigginsTwo Men Arrested After Burglarizing Home, Stealing Fireams and Shooting Firearm In Neighborhood
August 10, 9:24 PM

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that two men are in custody after breaking into a home, stealing weapons, and then discharging a firearm in a different neighborhood.

OnTuesday afternoon, deputies and investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residential burglary on Paradise Road in the Prosperity section of the county. The homeowner returned home to find someone had entered the home by kicking open the front door and stolen seven firearms from the residence.

While the officers were on the scene of this crime, a shots fired call came out in a nearby neighborhood. The deputies left the scene of the burglary and responded to Landing Road for this incident. Several witnesses stated that the subjects had fired one round from a shotgun but that several of the pellets fell on the roofs of several homes.

Sheriff Foster said that the witnesses were able to give an excellent vehicle description from the shots fired incident and that the investigators were able to locate physical evidence from both scenes that showed that the same suspects were responsible for both the burglary and the shots fired incident.

Sheriff Foster said that a short time later, the suspect vehicle was located and deputies located one of the suspects (Higgins). He was taken into custody without incident. After he was taken into custody, the deputies searched a camper he was staying in and located all of the firearms stolen from the burglary on Paradise Road. The second suspect was located later and he too was taken into custody without incident.

Those arrested were:

Charles Logan Higgins III (left), 20, of 370 Federal Lane, Prosperity, SC.
Travarris Maurice Green (right), 18, of 349 Federal Lane, Prosperity, SC.

Both men will be charged with Burglary and Grand Larceny. They will face additional charges related to discharging the firearm in the unrelated incident.

Both men are being held at the Newberry County Detention Center.

Newberry Opera House Unveils New Website And A Bit Of The New Season on WKDK and!
August 10, 8:10 AM

During Tuesday's logo"Coffee Hour" segment on WKDK and, Heather Hawkins, Ticket Manager, highlighted some of the features of the new and interactive website for the Newberry Opera House. Additionally, she talked a little about the entertainment for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Tickets for the general public go on sale August 16 at 10 am. Check out for more!

Little Mountain Town Council Report
Posted: August 10, 7:38 AM

Andrew Wigger | staff writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

Town Council approved the first reading of fiscal year 2016-17 budget ordinance. The tax levy is set at 51.5 mills, which is the same as last year. Mayor Jana Jayroe said she does not see any reason to increase taxes if they do not have to. The projected revenue for the 2016-17 budget is $158,379, which is the same as the projected expenditures.

Council heard from Michael Tolbert, the maker of Wood: A Family Affair, a documentary short about a logger family in Little Mountain. Tolbert presented the idea to screen the documentary in town, possibly during the next Movies in the Park. Town Council liked the idea, and agreed to contact Tolbert when the next Movies in the Park comes out.

Bridge Deck Repairs Complete; I-26 Section Now Open To Traffic
Posted: August 4, 10:52 PM

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) reports that repairs to the bridge deck on I-26 eastbound in Newberry County have been completed and this section of interstate is open to traffic.

SCDOT began emergency bridge repairs Sunday, July 31, with an originally scheduled completion date of Friday, Aug. 5. The right lane of I-26 eastbound was closed for approximately 2.5 miles beginning at mile marker 81.

suppliesArea Citizens Lead Effort To Support Law Enforcement
Posted: August 4, 8:03 AM

Local residents combined for a drive to support Law Enforcement Officers. Kay Suber-Dendy and Madison Cates led the drive on Sunday.  They collected water, sports drinks, and snacks at both the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and Hawg Heaven.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said that they were extremely grateful to these ladies, to everyone who donated the items, and for all the Newberry County community for the outpouring of love and respect that they had received.

jarvis wiseWise Charged With Trafficking Crack Cocaine, Possessing
Stolen Handgun
Posted: August 3, 4:45 PM

On July 29 officers with the Newberry Police Department, Newberry Sheriff's Office, SLED, andATF served a search warrant on the residence of Jarvis Royale Wise at 927 Wise Street. Once inside officers found 10 grams of crack cocaine and a stolen handgun. This was a result of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Newberry Police Department and the Newberry Sheriff's Office. Wise had previously sold crack cocaine to an undercover operative on other occasions during the course of this investigation.

"This operation is the Newberry Police Department's continued commitment to our citizens, to rid the city of illegal drugs. These investigations take time, however we will continue to work hard and bring these cases before the solicitor's office to be prosecuted", Chief Roy H. McClurkin.

Wise has been charged with Trafficking in Crack Cocaine, Trafficking in Crack Cocaine near a Park or School, and Possession of a Stolen Pistol.

bridgeI-26 Bridge Construction Update
Posted: August 2, 4:52 PM

Crews were securing the installed rebar Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 2, on the Interstate 26eastbound bridge deck under repair in Newberry County. Concrete is scheduled to be poured tonight, weather permitting.

Because only one lane eastbound remains open, periodic traffic congestion, heavy at times, is expected. Motorists should plan ahead and consider alternate routes by using interstate exits such as 72, 74 or 76.  

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) began emergency bridge repairs Sunday, July 31. The right lane of I-26 eastbound is closed for approximately 2.5 miles beginning at mile marker 81.

The speed drops from 70 mph to 45 mph in the work zone. Motorists are advised use caution when traveling in the work zone for their safety and the safety of highway workers.

Cracking caused by deterioration of aging infrastructure of the bridge deck was found during a routine inspection by SCDOT bridge engineers.

The SCDOT contractor is working around the clock to repair approximately a 450-square foot section of bridge deck. Completion of repairs is expected on Friday, Aug. 5, barring delays due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.

UPDATE: Drowning Victim Identified
Posted: August 1, 8:48 PM

Earlier today this information was released from the Newberry County Sheriff's Office: Through the help of citizens, the body found yesterday in Lake Murray off Songbird Lane has been identified.

Early Sunday morning a resident found the body of a female in the water near his dock. A search of the area produced no leads as of early Monday morning. An area resident called to offer information that led investigators to a gated home off Songbird Lane. Investigators determined that the body was of that resident. Her family had gone on a trip and she remained behind. She apparently went into the water sometime later in the evening Saturday or early Sunday morning.

Coroner Craig Newton released the name of the victim as
Judith Horton Walling, 73, of Songbird Lane in Prosperity, SC

Sheriff Lee Foster thanked the public for their concern, support and information during this investigation.

Original story: As WKDK reported on Sunday, the Newberry County Sheriff's Office investigators, Newberry County Coroner's Office and SC Department of Natural Resources continue in their efforts to identify a victim found in the waters of Lake Murray near Macedonia Lutheran Church. The body was found at approximately 7:18am Sunday morning by a resident on Songbird Lane.

The victim is described as a white female, approximately in her late 60's or 70's. She is approximately 5'5" in height and weighs approximately 120#. She has white hair that has been dyed with a reddish tint. She was wearing a one piece bathing suit with black bottoms and a printed blue top.

In addition new information has determined the victim had a band aid on her upper left arm, similar to one would get if they had just received and injection.

"While we are awaiting the results of an autopsy, we do not believe she was in the water for a long time. She was dressed in a nice swim suit as if she had gone for a swim or riding on a watercraft."

SC DNR, Newberry County Water Rescue and the Sheriff's Office checked the area and could not find an abandoned water craft or anyone that had any information.

Sheriff Lee Foster is asking for the public's assistance.

Anyone with information should contact the Newberry County Sheriff's Office at 803-321-2222.

jonesSheriff's Office Asking For Help In Finding Missing Man
Posted: July 28, 5:45 AM

As we reported on Thursday afternoon, the NewberryCounty Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing person.

Robert Lester Jones, 32, was last seen on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at around 7Pm on Evans Street in Newberry.

Jones is described as a white male. He is 5 foot 11 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a blue and navy striped shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a multi-colored welder’s cap.

Anyone with any information about the location of Robert Lester Jones is asked to contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211 or you can email the information to

millsBond Denied For Mills
Posted: July 25, 6:37 PM

Late Monday, bond was denied for Joseph Elijah Mills, 25, in the two shooting deaths at Frayed Knot on early Sunday morning. Mills has apparently said he was sorry for the shootings and deaths of Charles Allen Judge Jr. and Jonathan Michael Prins, but that it was not his fault. Sources saying that Mills told the judge he was being lynched by a group of men after he was chasing a girl. He said the girl had taken drugs off of his car seat.

Joseph Mills is charged with two counts of murder. He was apparently arrested without incident at a Chapin residence on Sunday afternoon, after he had fled the scene from a shooting incident at Frayed Knot restaurant and bar early Sunday morning.

The Lexington County Coroner identified the two victims as 40-year-old Charles Allen Judge Jr. and 29-year-old Jonathan Michael Prins.

Some reports are that Mills allegedly began arguing with a woman and another man outside of Frayed Knot. Multiple witnesses say that Mills assaulted the woman, slamming her into a stair railing, then pulled out a gun. Both Prins and Judge moved without hesistation to help the girl, and as they moved, Mills allegedly fired shots into the air. As the two men tried to disarm him, Mills shot both Prins and Judge, and then fled the scene. Mills was later arrested at a residence in Chapin and is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center. 

Finley Resigns As Newberry College Athletics Director
Posted: July 19, 8:21 PM

Earlier today Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens  announced he hasaccepted the resignation of Matthew Finley from the position of director of athletics, effective August 1. Finley has accepted a position in the athletic administration at Anderson University.

Scherrens anticipates naming an interim director of athletics in the immediate future prior to conducting a national search for a director of athletics in a permanent capacity.

“Matt has served the College well and has always done what he thought was best for Newberry College,” Scherrens said. “He has become a valued member of the Newberry College family and I am confident he will similarly become an asset to the Anderson University community. We wish Matt all the best in this new opportunity."

“I would like to thank the Newberry College community for a great experience over the past decade,” Finley said. “It has been a blessing to work with the student-athletes and coaches. It is bittersweet to be leaving such a great place full of great people that will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Finley has served as athletic director at Newberry College since the fall of 2012, when he was named as one of the youngest collegiate athletic directors in the nation.

Finley has overseen the expansion of the Wolves’ sports offerings with the addition of varsity field hockey and the Scarlet Poms dance team in 2014. Additionally, the spirit programs have been expanded to enhance the gameday experience across Newberry’s sports platform.

Finley also organized Newberry’s induction to the Eastern College Athletic Conference for field hockey and wrestling competition leagues, while also enjoying participation in the ECAC’s awards programs and postseason tournaments. The football program was named the 2015 ECAC Division II Team of the Year and the women’s soccer team participated in the 2014 ECAC postseason tournament.

Finley was appointed to the NCAA Division II Field Hockey committee in 2015 and previously served on the regional advisory committee for women’s golf. Finley is also the athletic director liaison to the South Atlantic Conference’s men’s and women’s tennis coaches’ committee (since 2012) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Wrestling League’s coaches’ committee (since 2015).

Finley had previously served Newberry College as assistant wrestling coach (2005-10), assistant athletic director for business (2010-11) and associate athletic director for compliance and academic services (2011-12).

jeterWhitmire Man Arrested For Selling/Possessing Illegal Drugs
Posted: July 16, 1:14 PM

As we reported late Friday and this morning, a Whitmire man has been charged with three
counts of distribution of crack cocaine and second offense possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana.

Officers from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and Whitmire Police Department served a search warrant on Frank Jeter’s apartment Friday morning. Once inside the found approximately 2 grams of crack cocaine and 24 grams of marijuana.

“There is a great effort underway in the Whitmire community to revitalize their community,” said Sheriff Lee Foster. “The community is working to restore the community to its former glory days, but there are those who have used difficult times to try to destroy the community through selling illegal drugs. Our commitment has been and will be to help the Whitmire community combat these illegal drugs and those who prey on others. Our partnership with the citizens of the Whitmire area and the Whitmire Police Department are critical to this commitment.”

The search warrant was the result on an ongoing law enforcement investigation between the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Whitmire Police Department, and Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

“Sometimes citizens do not believe we are working because they do not see anything tangible for some time. In today’s world, narcotics investigations are quite entailed and take time; however, we will not be deterred from working against and prosecuting these crimes. Drugs are not a victimless crime and lead to many property crimes, family violence crimes, and poverty.”

Investigators says that Jeter had previously sold crack cocaine to an undercover operative on several occasions during the ongoing investigation. They also said that as a result of this investigation, an additional search warrant was executed in Laurens County, just across the county line, as well.

Frank Jeter, 44, of 763 Duckett Avenue, Whitmire, SC was arrested and charged with 3 counts of Distribution of Crack Cocaine, Possession of Crack Cocaine With Intent To Distribute 2nd Offense, and Possession of Marijuana With Intent To Distribute 2nd Offense. He was taken to the Newberry County Detention Center. A bond hearing has not yet been held.

More arrests are expected.
Stay tuned to WKDK for more information.

Little Mountain Town Council Recap
Posted: July 13, 7:59 AM

Andrew Wigger|staff writer
Newberry Observer|Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

  • Tim Cornelison, CPA, conducted an audit for Little Mountain's fiscal year ending 9-15. Cornelison said they had a clean opinion with no compliance issues, adding that everything looked good.
  • The website for the town is still in the works, but the Little Mountain Reunion website is now up and running. the link is According to Jayroe if people who visit the website do not type in www, they will get a higher Google rank.
  • The town is currently looking for individuals to sign up to be in the Little Mountain Reunion parade. Anyone interested in participating in the parade can find the form on the website, or call 803-605-8527 or 803-605-7777. It is free to be in the parade
  • The town approved having Terminex treat Reunion Park for fire ants for $150
Newberry County Council Recap
Posted: July 7, 8:13 AM

Andrew Wigger|staff writer
Newberry Observer|Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

  • Council held a public hearing and approved a third reading for an ordinance to impose a one percent sales tax, subject to a referendum. Before the third reading was approved the language was amended, this was due to changes in the CPST statute made during the recent session of the SC General Assembly. In section 4.2 the words "up to," "additional" and the words "but in any case not beyond April 30th of an odd-numbered year." The section now reads; The Tax, if approved by the Referendum, shall be imposed immediately upon the termination of the prior tax, and shall continue for seven years from the date of such termination, in accordance with 4-10-340(A) of the code.
  • A public hearing was held amending and revising the zoning ordinance. The current zoning ordinance was adopted 15 years ago. Although this was the public hearing, Chairman Buddy Livingston urged Newberry County residents to view the proposed new zoning ordinance on the Newberry County website.
  • A first reading was approved to rezone a two and thirty nine hundredths acres portion of real estate at the intersection of Highway 34 and Highway 39 in Chappells from Rural (R2) to General Commercial (GC). The purpose of the rezoning is to make way a Dollar General.
  • A first reading was approved to rezone one real estate parcel from Light Industrial to Single Family Residential located on Haltiwanger Road.
  • A first reading was approved to rezone a portion of real estate parcel, comprised of two and two tenths acres designated Single Family Residential (RS-1) to Single Family Residential (RS3).
  • A first reading was approved to create a Fox Briar Subdivision Special Tax District. A referendum was held for the purpose of determining whether a Fox Briar Subdivision Special Tax District would be formed. The referendum asked electors if the would pay a maximum of $150 per lot for the upkeep of Fox Briar Drive, Fox Briar Court and the associated storm water drainage. Of the 68 registered voters qualified to participate in the election, 15 voted, with all 15 agreeing to the formation of the special tax district.

Some Harper Street Highlights
Posted: July 4, 7:38 PM

The annual Harper Street Parade was this morning, and Newberry's Bill Parr shot these scenes, contributing it to

Click HERE to view!

July 4 Fireworks Tonight; WKDK Provides Soundtrack To Show
Posted: July 4, 5:58 AM

The annual Fourth of July Fireworks celebration by the Newberry County Law Enforcement Association will still be held; however, due to construction at Newberry High School, specifically at Mike Ware Field, some major changes will be made for this year's celebration.

The fireworks shoot will continue to be at Newberry High School, however there will be no associated festival. According to Sheriff Lee Foster, "We could not get the licenses transferred nor could we find a suitable location to shoot the higher powered shells. This will cause us to not have the rides and other attractions that were a prelude to the fireworks."

The fireworks will be visible from anywhere on Main Street around the High School. People are asked to park in any location that will allow viewing. There will be limited parking at Newberry High School and on surrounding properties.

As an added treat this year Newberry's own WKDK will broadcast a simulcast of patriotic music that will coincide with the display from 9:15pm until 10:00pm. People that wish to share patriotic music with their families while watching the fireworks can tune into WKDK at 1240 AM, go to, or download the WKDK app on the iPhone or Android devices. This will be an excellent opportunity for everyone to see an American tradition while listening to music that is a part of the American fiber.

Sheriff Lee Foster added, "Although we weren't able to provide the festival that we have had for over 25 years, we did not want to suspend the centerpiece of our recognition of our Country's birth. The show will go on and we will be back next year with a bigger and better celebration. People can still take in the grand finale and enjoy the beautiful music provided by WKDK. WKDK has always been supportive and a sponsor, but this year they have really stepped up to the plate and will provide the music since we cant broadcast from the stadiums PA. In many ways this is an enhancement to our show."

It will be the only major fireworks display in the Newberry County area directly on the Fourth of July.

Man Kills Girlfriend, Surrenders To Authorities
UPDATED: July 3, 7:42 PM

Authorities say a man who killed his girlfriend, then said he wanted police officers to kill him has been taken into custody after a short standoff.

Laurens County deputies said 40-year-old Ronald Davis called 911 around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and said his girlfriend pointed a gun at him at a Fountain Inn home and he grabbed it away and shot her.

About two hours later, Newberry County deputies surrounded a home near Newberry after finding Davis' car. Authorities say Davis told officers he wanted them to kill him, but gave himself up peacefully an hour later.

The Laurens County Coroner's Office says 28-year-old Shana Prophet was killed and her 4-year-old son was home, but not injured.

Davis is being held without bond. It wasn't known if he had a lawyer.

dewittDeWitt To Be New City Manager
UPDATED: June 30, 8:31 PM

Matt DeWitt, assistant city manager for the City of Newberry, will be promoted to city manager effective October 1, as voted unanimously Wednesday night by Newberry City Council.

DeWitt began his work with the city in 2010 and has managed a variety of duties and projects. In addition, DeWitt has earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Clemson University, graduated from the SC Local Government Training Program and the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Institute.

DeWitt will be taking over from Al Harvey, who will finish?on Sept. 30?his second stint as?Newberry's city manager. ?Harvey?served as city manager?from 1977-2000 and rejoined the city in April 2013.

"Matt's done an outstanding job as assistant city manager," said Mayor Foster Senn.?"He works towards?effective city government and has done a very good?job?managing?government functions, including directly overseeing?the public works, planning, zoning and development, and parks, recreation and tourism departments. ?All have performed well under his watch."

Senn said that in addition, DeWitt has been in charge of a number of improvement projects that have turned out nicely and been widely praised, such as a series of upgrades to downtown, College Street streetscaping and enhancements in the Oakland Mill neighborhood.

"I am more than humbled that City Council has entrusted me enough to name me the city’s next manager," DeWitt said. "I have built a family in this community who know Newberry as home and daily I hope to continue making the City of Newberry a better place to live, work and play."

Harvey was initially asked to come back as interim city manager for several months in 2013. However, Senn said he did such a good job, Harvey was asked to stay longer and eventually asked to stay until September of this year.

"Al's done much good work in his three years, including putting in place major utility upgrades that will benefit Newberry for decades," Senn said.?"We appreciate his excellent leadership."

Harvey said he thought DeWitt would make an outstanding city manager for the City of Newberry. Being active in church and civic affairs in the city, as well as knowing all of the community leaders, would enable DeWitt to be successful, Harvey said.

"Matt has the academic credentials combined with six years’ experience which will ensure his success in the job. He is a bright, energetic young manager with great ideas and he has the technical ability to put it all together," Harvey said. "I wish Matt the best of luck and I congratulate him on becoming the next city manager for the City of Newberry."

Before joining the city, DeWitt worked at Newberry College from 2004-2010 as Assistant Director of Athletics for Internal Operations and later, Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations. Also while at Newberry College, DeWitt served as the Executive Director of the College’s Athletic Booster Club.?

DeWitt has been married for 13 years. He and his wife Jessica are both Newberry College alumni and have called Newberry home since 1999. The couple have three children, Easton (2), Hudson (3) and Brooklyn (7). DeWitt’s parents recently moved to the city after falling in love with the town years ago during their regular fall trips to see DeWitt play football at Setzler Field for the college.

DeWitt and his family are members of Aveleigh Presbyterian Church where he serves as a deacon. DeWitt also serves on the Foundation Board at Newberry County Memorial Hospital, the Newberry County Touchdown Club, and Newberry County FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) boards, and most recently DeWitt served as a board member of the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce.? DeWitt said he is proud to continue to be able to serve his community and looks forward to continuing to build on positive relationships for the betterment of the City of Newberry. ?

dr_scherrensNC Trustees Approve Contract Extension For Scherrens
Posted: June 29, 7:19 PM

As we reported Tuesday afternoonand Wednesday morning, the Newberry College Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to extend the contract of Newberry College President Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens for an additional four years.

Scherrens was inaugurated Aug. 13, 2012, and will embark on his fifth year leading the Lutheran private college with the start of the 2016/2017 academic year in August.

“President Scherrens has done an outstanding job in forging and strengthening relationships with our students, employees, alumni, donors and community leaders,” said Hugo A. “Hap” Pearce, Chairman of the Newberry College Board of Trustees. “He has helped cultivate a culture of optimism and trust that will drive our continued success.”

The Board of Trustees cited a variety of success factors that informed its decision to extend Scherrens’ contract as president:

  • Accreditation. Achieved full reaffirmation of accreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (December 2014).
  • Academic Programs. Added new industry-focused, in demand majors, including RN to BSN, Healthcare Management, Criminal Justice and Digital Marketing; and partnerships with regional institutions for specialized programs and graduate/professional studies.
  • Enrollment Management. Retooled financial aid matrix to increase scholarship support for a greater number of students, streamlined the enrollment process and improved freshmen-to-sophomore retention.
  • Financial. Improved financial health of the College by reducing borrowing and developing a five-year financial plan.
  • Fundraising. Launched a $35 million capital campaign (the first comprehensive capital campaign in college history), achieved record-breaking fundraising results with increases in endowment, unrestricted giving, annual fund, planned giving and percentage of alumni giving.

During spring semester 2016, Scherrens initiated a campuswide program prioritization process. This self-study process will serve as one of the foundation pieces for the strategic planning process for 2018 and beyond.

“With the support of a strong Board of Trustees and a highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff, we have developed a shared governance culture to effectively pursue an ambitious strategic plan while sustaining a student-focused environment,” Scherrens said. “We have achieved a great deal during our first four years, but much more remains to be done. Today, we are well-positioned to elevate the College through a variety of strategic initiatives to become one of the leading private liberal arts colleges in the region.”


Newberry College Alumna Crowned Mrs. South Carolina
Posted: June 28,
8:19 AM

Tasha Etter, State Director for Mrs. North and South CarolinaUnited States Pageant announced results from the 2016 pageant that was held in May.

Mrs. Quiana Anderson Reed, a resident of Duncan, SC, who is the Director for Recruitment at Spartanburg Community College, was crowned Mrs. South Carolina United States 2016. She will go on to represent the state this summer in Las Vegas, NV in the national Mrs. United States Pageant, Inc.

Anderson, who is 33 years old and a graduate of Newberry College, decided to compete for the opportunity to continue to promote her platform “Character Speaks”, which is geared towards empowering young people through character education and mentoring programs. She hopes to continue being a positive change in her community and further promote her platform by inspiring the younger generation to strive for success not only through education and job skills, but in life. Throughout her career in higher education, Quiana believes it is imperative that we begin today preparing these young people to become successful future leaders for tomorrow.

As Mrs. Reed is preparing to compete in the national pageant, which is less than two months away, she continues to promote her platform and hopes to bring awareness to it on the state and national level.

Quiana is married to Karl Reed, who is an educator and wrestling coach at Limestone College and a professional MMA fighter. Together, they promote “Character Speaks” and living healthy and active lifestyles across the state of South Carolina. 

Deputies, SLED Searching For Armed Robbery Suspect
Posted: June 25, 3:22 PM

As we reported earlier on WKDK, deputies and SLED agents with bloodhounds and helicopter were searching a wooded area Saturday at the intersection of SC 34/I26 for an armed robbery suspect.

The search was a result of an early morning robbery at the BP Station on SC 34. Deputies and SLED agents with bloodhounds and helicopter were searching a wooded area at the intersection of SC 34/I26 for an armed robbery suspect.

The suspect described as a black male wearing a camouflage hooded jacket, light colored blue jeans, and dingy tennis type shoes confronted the clerk and robbed the clerk of cash money and cigarettes. The suspect fled on foot. Bloodhounds tracked the suspect but failed to locate him.

Later, witnesses at the Waffle House saw a similarly described black male entering a wooded area near the restaurant.

The public is being advised of this situation and asked to call 911 immediately if they should see someone matching the suspect description.

ncmhNCMH On List Of "100 Great Community Hospitals"
Posted: June 22, 4:15 PM

Becker's Hospital Review has released the 2016 edition of its "100 Great Community Hospitals" list, and Newberry County Memorial Hospital has made that list. RoperHospital in Charleston is the only other hospital in South Carolina that is included in the listing.

The hospitals on this list are spread across the country, some not far from major metro areas and some in rural communities. Regardless of location or whether they are affiliated with a major system, these hospitals are vital parts of their respective communities.

Becker's has published a version of this list annually since 2011. This is the fifth year the list has included 100 hospitals. For the purposes of this list, Becker's defines a "community hospital" as one with fewer than 550 beds that have minimal teaching programs. Click HERE for the full list.

Newberry County Council Recap
Posted: June 15, 12:12 PM

Andrew Wigger|staff writer
Newberry Observer|Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

  • Keith Avery, CEO of Newberry Electric Cooperative, presented a check of $135,731 to Newberry County Council. The funds from this check come from a utility tax credit check, every year the Cooperatives Board chooses what to do with those tax credit, this year they voted to give that money to the county for the purpose of clearing and grading project at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park.
  • A public hearing and a third reading was held for an ordinance authorizing the execution of an equipment lease-purchase agreement in an amount not exceeding $710,000 relating to the purchase of certain equipment by Newberry County.
  • A second reading was approved for an ordinance to impose a one percent sales tax (CPST), subject to a referendum within Newberry County.
Prosperity Council Recap
Posted: June 15, 12:12 PM

Story by Carson Lambert, Staff Writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media

Prosperity unanimously approved the first reading of the budget for the fast-approaching 2016-17 fiscal year at their council meeting Tuesday night.

Some highlights include no increases in property tax for the upcoming budget cycle while water, sewer and electrical will all see an increase of three percent.

A two percent cost-of-living adjustment for town employees is included in the new year's budget as well as funding for three additional part-time positions.

Two will be police officers while the third will be an administrative assistant.

For a full recap of Prosperity's June council meeting pick up this Friday's edition of The Newberry Observer.

Kinard, Martin To Vie For House District 40 Seat; Stockman Over Taylor In District 2
Posted: June 14, 9:27 PM

Carlton Kinard will be the Democratic nominee and Rick Martin will be the Republican nominee to replace retiring State Representative Walt McLeod in the House District 40 seat. Kinard won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday defeating Craig Kesler 1194 to 602. Rick Martin won the Republican Primary over David Koon 1772 to 662.
In the Republican primary for County Council Diistrict 2 incumbent Steve Stockman won over Shirley Taylor 377 to 331.

Hearts and Hands In Newberry on Thursday
Posted: June 14, 8:15 AM

Hearts and Hands will be in Newberry on June 16 starting at 10:30 am until 2:00 pm. They will be at the Newberry County Library at 1100 Friend Street in Newberry. They seeking to determine if there are individuals who have unmet needs from the 2015 flood. If you or someone you know has unmet needs from the flood, please go to the library during these hours to meet with their organization.

stolenSheriff's Office Recovers Over $20,000 In Stolen Property, More
Posted: June 10, 8:43 AM

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that the NewberryCounty Sheriff’s Office has recovered over $20,000 in stolen property, more than $4000 in counterfeit money, and a firearm.

Sheriff Foster said that a concerned citizen called about suspicious activity in the area of Deadfall Road near Highway 395 Wednesday night at just after 11pm. Deputies responded to the area and found a truck pulling two four wheelers behind it and a third four wheeler being driven on the roadway. The deputies stopped the suspects and identified all three of the four wheelers as being stolen in a previous incident in Newberry County.

Once the suspects were taken into custody, deputies located $2010.00 in counterfeit money in $20 and $10 bills. The deputies were also able to locate a Hi Point .45 caliber pistol that was thrown into the woods by one of the suspects as they were being stopped by the deputies. Three suspects were taken into custody identified as James Counts, Shantana Watts, and Randy Williams.

“This is a perfect example of why we ask citizens to call when they see something suspicious,” said Sheriff Foster. “The information from the citizen led to a major criminal enterprise. Had this citizen not called when they saw this suspicious activity, it would have taken substantially longer to identify and locate these suspects. It is imperative that when a citizen sees suspicious activity that they call 911 so that law enforcement can determine if criminal activity is afoot.”

“This also shows the nature of criminal activity,” said Sheriff Foster. “In one group of suspects we find stolen property, counterfeit money, and a firearm that was in the possession of person prohibited by law from possessing a weapon because of his criminal history. I have consistently maintained that one crime most often leads to another. There are no such things as victimless crimes. There is a heavy price to be paid in society for those who steal, who undermine our economy with counterfeit money, and who carry weapons while doing so clearly indicating their willingness to hurt or kill others to carry out their crimes.”

“Together the citizens of Newberry County and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office are making a difference,” said Sheriff Foster. “Because we actively pursue criminal activity together, Newberry County is the safest county in South Carolina, an accomplishment we can be proud of and one that assuredly could not happen without such a great partnership between the community and law enforcement.”

The three four wheelers that were recovered were stolen on June 1, 2016, from a residence on Hance Road in the Prosperity section of the county. An investigation into the stolen four wheelers had been ongoing prior to the arrest and continues as investigators work to identify additional suspects that were involved in this theft.

Sheriff Foster said that investigators and command staff worked throughout the night and day on this investigation. Based on that subsequent investigation, investigators executed a search warrant on several locations. During those searches, they located an additional $2000 in counterfeit money that was used to purchase the stolen four wheelers. They also took an additional suspect, Lamar Praylow, into custody during the search warrants, who will be charged with stealing the four wheelers and other items.

Sheriff Foster also said that the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office had contacted the United States Secret Service about the counterfeit money and it is expected that they will take over that aspect of this investigation. Several counterfeit bills had been taken by area merchants and so this too will be part of the investigation into this counterfeit money. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms will also be contacted.

Sheriff Foster identified those arrested as:

Cannon, James Arthur, 33, of 816 Wise Street, Newberry, SC. He is charged with Receiving Stolen Goods More Than $10,000, Forgery, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. He remains in jail on a $23,000 bond.

Praylow, Lamar Houseal, 25, of 56 Grant Drive, Newberry, SC. He will be charged later this morning (Friday) with Burglary 2nd Degree, Conspiracy, Grand Larceny More Than $10,000, and Forgery.

Watts, Shantana Monique, 28, 182 Newberry Arms, Newberry, SC. She is charged with Receiving Stolen Goods More than $10,000 and Forgery. She was released on bond Thursday afternoon.

Williams, Randy Rodriquez, 40, of 210 Thomas Werts Road, Silverstreet, SC. He is charged with Receiving Stolen Goods More than $10,000 and Forgery. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon.

More arrests and additional charges are expected in this case.

County Council Meets: Approves Third Reading of Ordinance With Nine Amendments, More
Posted: June 6, 7:27 AM

Andrew Wigger | staff writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media
(803) 768-3122

As WKDK reported last week, County Council approved the third reading of an ordinance to provide appropriations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017. This Ordinance was approved with nine amendments, these amendments were:

An amendment for the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park, this amendment would appropriate $115,000 from fund balance to pay approximately 9.2% of the cost to make 30 acres of the Commerce Park "pad-ready" for the purpose of facilitating manufacturing investment.

An amendment for bridge replacement for Old Jolly Street Road, this amendment would appropriate $92,008 from fund balance to pay approximately 30.5% of the cost to replace the bridge on Jolly Street Road that was washed out in the flooding last October. Councilman Les Hip said there was basically 2 to 1 funding for what the county has to do.

An amendment for the Detention Center repairs, this amendment would reduce bond anticipation note/G.O. debut funding by %500,000 (from $2.1 million to $1.6 million) and inserts $500,000 in funding from fund balance.

Two amendment eliminating an expenditure increase for Information Technology personnel and Recycling Attendant Supervisor due to the recent closing of Caterpillar and the loss of revenue that will cause.

An amendment increasing employer portion of state retirement system funding. The General Assembly has increased SC pension plan contributions for employers and employees, each by one-half of one percent. The cost of this requirement to Newberry County in FY 16-17 will be approximately $25,000.

An amendment specifying the method of salary increase distribution as a fixed amount cost of living increase.

An amendment to restore Detention Center position inadvertently omitted in the budget draft.

An amendment to increase the funding of the Newberry County Council on Aging by $15,000. According to Councilman Steve Stockman by increasing funding, this will allow additional funding from grants.

A third reading was approved for an ordinance providing appropriations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017 for Newberry County Library, Piedmont Technical College and Newberry Agency for Disabilities and Special Needs. This ordinance would increase funding for the Newberry County Library by $15,000.

A first reading was approved for an ordinance to impose a one percent sales tax, subject to a referendum, within Newberry County pursuant to the Capital Project Sales Tax Act.

Council approved a resolution honoring Dakota Keith Murphy, who passed away at 22. June 7, 2016 has been declared Pay it Forward for Dakota Day.

Deputy Coroner Lewis Lee Releases Name Of House Fire Victim
Posted: May 31, 3:10 PM

As we have been reporting on WKDK, Chief Deputy Coroner Lewis Lee has released the identity of the man who died as a result of a house fire in the Little Mountain section of Newberry County on May 28.

David Peter Ashworth Jr, 48, of 260 Glade Spring Road, Little Mountain died of carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal injuries as a result of a fire at his home according to an autopsy completed on Sunday.

Ashworth apparently made it just outside of the residence before succumbing to the carbon monoxide poisoning.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division. It does not appear that there is any foul play involved at this time.

margaret brackettBrackett Honored as "50+ Fabulous Older Person"
Posted: May 31, 8:07 AM

As the Older Americans Act (OAA) is celebrating its 50thyear, a golden jubilee for senors and communities across the country, the Natioal Association for States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and Altarum Institutes's Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness (CECAI) honor outstanding older adults who both volunteer for and benefit from the law's programs. The NASUAD published a book "Celebrating 50 Years with 50+ Fabulous Older People" that highlights the myriad ways that seniors make our country a great place in which to live, work, and grow old.

Newberry's Margaret Brackett, 90+, was chosen as South Carolina's representative, who has been an active senor champion in our state for many years. Brackett hosts a Monday morning segment on WKDK's "Coffee Hour," and has been recognized previously as a Senior of the Day at the South Carolina State House, in addition to other awards and accolades. View Margaret's featured entry in the booklet HERE
(PDF format, page 44).

glade springs fireSaturday Night Fire In Little Mountain Claims Life
May 29,
10:15 AM

A late Saturday night house fireon Glade Springs Road in Little Mountain, SC has claimed the life of an individual. Firefighters from Little Mountain, Prosperity, Fairview, Lake Murray Rescue, Prosperity Rescue and Little Mountain Rescue were called to the fire at 9:38pm. When they arrived they found a single story home completely engulfed in flames.

Sheriff Lee Foster said firefighters did a phenomenal job in quickly bingingt the fire under control, which allowed first responders access to the home to begin a thorough extinguishment. Once the flames were reduced, firefighters found an individual that was deceased.

Due to no witnesses to the incident and that there was a death, SLED was called in to assist the Newberry County Emergency Services and the Sheriff's Office investigate the fire.

Sheriff Lee Foster said the identity of the deceased will be determined by Coroner Craig Newton with the assistance of SLED and forensic pathologists. Coroner Newton will release the identity of the victim once it has been determined.

escapeeEscaped Inmate in Keitt's Crossroads Area on Thursday Evening
Posted: May 27, 8:06 AM

On Thursday evening, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Officewas reporting a possible sighting of the escaped inmate, Catrell Davis (right) from Columbia at the intersection of Highway 176 and Highway 34. This was not a confirmed sighting, and it was thought that the suspect was driving a grey Hyundai hatchback and headed toward Fairfield County.

Later in the night, SLED, SC Department of Corrections and the Newberry County Sheriff's Office no longer believed that the escaped inmate from Columbia was in the Keitt's Crossroad area. The escapee left the area with an accomplice after letting a young woman and her child out of the car. The young woman and her child did not know until later that the man in the vehicle with another woman was an escapee. Once that was determined, she asked to be let out and the escapee agreed. However, he would only let her out in a remote area. Once near Keitt's Crossroad (US 176 at SC 34), the escapee and the willing accomplice let the woman and her small child out and left the area in a grey Hyundai.

The Department of Corrections says Catrell Davis had been serving time since 2012 on assault and battery charges He is considered dangerous, and SCDC officials say he could be headed to Fairfield County.

If you see Davis, or know where he is, contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways: Call 1-888-CRIME SC (888-274-6372), Text TIPSC plus your tip info to CRIMES (274637), visit and email a tip. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Newberry Sheriff's Office Issues Another Scam Alert
Posted: May 26, 8:26 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff's Office has issued another SCAM ALERT. This variant is a person will get a call and an "official" will say they have their child or grandchild in jail for a serious charge. If money is not received then the loved one will be facing long jail terms. If the person receiving the call bites, the scammer will put a person on the line as the loved one continuing the con. That voice is often muffled and the scammer makes an emotional plea to be released and is being mistreated. The "official" will then take the phone back and demand sums of money to be sent via Visa gift cards or iTune cards. The scammers demand that the money be sent immediately or the deal will no longer be available.

The person(s) receiving the calls are often seniors and the calls often come in early in the morning or later in the evening.

Sheriff Lee Foster said this is a despicable scam. These con artists are preying on the emotions of people, mostly senior citizens, and do everything to upset them before making the ask. It is natural for a grandparent or parent to want to protect their children.

The best method to combat this is to not be rushed and to verify. Get a phone number of the caller and tell them you must have time to get your affairs in order. Then call the loved one's family to determine if in fact there are legal difficulties and call your local law enforcement agency.

Sheriff Foster went on to say that governments or jails do not accept gift cards or iTune cards. The scammers choose Visa Gift Cards because they are hard to trace and cancel. iTune cards have high value on the illicit markets and can be used world wide. If a scammer gets $1000 in I Tune cards for free from a victim they can sell them for a large profit on the illegal market place.

It should also be noted that a large portion of these scams are coming from outside the country and are hard to trace or prosecute.

Also do not trust Caller ID. Numbers are often falsified using technology that will resemble the number being portrayed in the scam.

Sheriff Foster says before sending money to anyone, verify, verify, and verify again. Time is on your side.

suberSuber Named Superintendent of Newberry County Schools
Posted: May 25, 4:38 PM

The Newberry County School Board named Jim Suber Superintendent of Schools at its Board Meeting on May 23.Suber had previously been named Interim Superintendent due to the death of former Superintendent Bennie Bennett.

Board Chair, Jody Hamm states that "Mr. Suber, is the right man at the right time for the right job". "His leadership has been stellar both in his previous positions, but most recently in his role as Interim Superintendent during this transition. Having served as Assistant Superintendent under Mr. Bennie Bennett has led to his effective leadership for our District".

Suber began his education career in Newberry County as a Physical Education teacher at Whitmire High School in 1980. After 15 years of teaching and coaching at Whitmire he was selected as the Assistant Principal and then Principal of Whitmire Community School where he was integral in making the transition to a K-12 school. For the past nine years Suber has served the district as Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Administration. He assisted in the transformation of the school district through a successful $77 million building program. The completion of this strategic building program came in on time and under budget. This ambitious building plan included most of the learning facilities across the District.

"I am truly honored that our school board has the trust and confidence to promote me to the Superintendent's position" states Suber. "The opportunity to continue the work Mr. Bennett started will be a true TEAM effort. His vision to strategically put programs and people in place has created a culture of collaboration and teamwork that is evident throughout this school district. While we continue to grieve his untimely passing, we are dedicated to focusing our energy and efforts on creating a first class learning environment for all of our students."
"The Superintendent is a very small piece of the puzzle. I am firmly convinced that students, teachers, administrators, staff, and the school board are the "backbone" of a successful team. I assure you we will work tirelessly with all of our stakeholders to seek continuous improvement as we move forward."

Suber is a Whitmire High School and Newberry College graduate. He is married to Tammy Suber and they have three daughters, Jennifer Coppedge, Jessica Hall, and Jordan Suber. They also have four grandchildren Skyler, Riley, Stella and Phoebe.

barnesUPDATE: Missing Person Returned Home
UPDATED: May 22, 10:32 PM

Missing person Nathan Barnes has returned home, and is safe with his family.
Original report:
As WKDK reported on Saturday via on air and social media, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing person.

Nathan Barnes was last seen on Friday May 13, 2016 at 8:00AM, which is unlike him.

He was last seen at his mother’s home on SC Hwy 391 in Prosperity,

He was last seen driving 2012 Volkswagen Passat smoke gray and is bearing SC tag MEN696.

Barnes is described as a white male who is 35 years old. He is 5’10” tall and weighs about 185 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Barnes suffers from several medical issues and the family is concerned for his well-being.

Anyone with information about Barnes is asked to contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211.

may 20Deputies Arrest Man With Three Pistols And Marijuana After Responding To Call Of Shots Fired
Posted: May 20, 8:55 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office responded to call of someone shooting from a vehiclein Sunset Trailer park on Church Street in Prosperity at around 9:30PM Thursday night. Deputies were called to the scene because no Prosperity Police officers were on duty.

Sheriff Lee Foster says that deputies located the vehicle traveling on C.R. Koon Highway and stopped the vehicle. Upon stopping the vehicle, the deputies saw a pistol in the floor of the vehicle. The subject was removed from the vehicle and arrested.

A subsequent search of the vehicle led them to find two additional pistols in the car, two bags of marijuana, and spent shell casings. Two of the pistols were 9mm and the third was a .22 caliber pistol. The marijuana had a total weight of approximately 5 grams.

“We will not accept nor tolerate such outrageous criminal activity in Newberry County,” said Sheriff Foster. “This endangered many citizens including children and such acts if unchecked will only lead to more shootings and additional violence.”

The subject was identified as Brodney Aviles Robertson, 24, of 1139 Copeland Street #111, Newberry, SC 29108. Robertson was charged with Carrying a Pistol Unlawfully, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Disorderly Conduct. Robertson was taken to the Newberry County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

taste of newberryNewberry's "Taste of Newberry" Moved to Friend Building!
Posted: May 20,
7:41 AM

As WKDK has been reporting this morning, the annual "Taste of Newberry," has beenmoved to 912 Friend Street (in the Friend Building) because of weather conditions. This will be this afternoon and evening from 5 PM-9PM, and the event will feature restaurants and food vendors from across Newberry County.

A Taste of Newberry is one of our quintessential downtown events that features samples of food, beer, and wine, and full meals from the best of our local restaurants throughout the county. Live Jazz music will also be performed by local musicians from Newberry College. The festivities will take place in Downtown Newberry's Friend Building at 912 Friend Street. You don't want to miss all things local at A Taste of Newberry!

Wine and dine downtown from 5PM-9PM at the Friend Building! This
event is free to attend - but bring cash to make purchases.
"From Brisket to Crab Cakes, Discover the flavor of Newberry!"

For more information contact Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism at (803) 321-1015 or visit Follow the City of Newberry on Facebook,

NCWSA Meeting
Posted: May 20, 7:59 AM

Story by Andrew Wigger, Staff Writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media

The Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority Board met Thursday evening and approved a motion to publish a draft of their 2017 budget. Total water expense for the 2017 draft is $2,879,700 and water sales revenue is $2,847,100 and water misc revenue is $75,000. The sewer expense for the 2017 rate is $1,025,000 and sewer sales revenue is $897,8000 with sewer misc revenue being $9,800. The total service revenue for 2017 is $3,829,700, with administration and miscellaneous revenue being $75,000. The total system revenue and expense is $3,904,700.

For the month of April the NCWSA water distribution department reported one main light break: Jolly Street Road, a six inch major line break due to poor bedding. Ten new water service were also installed.

Wastewater collection department reported no line breaks in April and two new services installed.

Sheriff's Office Offering "Safety in the Sanctuary" Thursday
Posted: May 17, 11:44 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is offering the nationally recognized church safety program, “Safety in the Sanctuary” this Thursday, May 19, at 6PM at the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Foster said that this cutting edge, relevant presentation gives church leaders the information they need to begin discussions and preparations for a comprehensive church safety plan.

“We have been amazed at the overwhelming response to this program,” said Sheriff Foster. “The input has been so positive from our citizens showing us that this information is both relative and useful for today’s society.”

Sheriff Foster said that the program gained national notoriety when it was featured in the National Institute of Justice’s law enforcement publication call TECH BEAT. Foster said that after the article was published the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office has received calls from law enforcement and public safety officials from across the nation asking about the program and how they could adapt it for their citizens. Sheriff Foster said they had calls from New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, Wisconsin, and several other states seeking information on the program.

“Church safety is becoming a major concern for church leaders and the congregations they serve. In response to that concern the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office has created a training presentation called Safety in the Sanctuary, said Sheriff Lee Foster.

Sheriff Foster says that the training has had an overwhelming turn out and extremely positive response from attendees. The training is designed to impress upon church leaders the necessity to plan for emergencies in the church environment.

“We are certain that this topic is both real and relevant to the citizens of Newberry County,” said Sheriff Foster. “We are pleased to be partners with the citizens in protecting their homes and their places of worship.”

The first three trainings offered have been heavily attended with the first filling up in a matter of days.

Sheriff Foster also said that citizens from several surrounding counties had already attended and if even if you are not from Newbery County you can attend the training as long as seats are available.

If you would like to attend the training on May 19 at 6PM, please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211 or email to reserve your seat for this important training.

Oakland Mill Project Is 2016 Preservation Honor Award Winner!
Posted: May 13, 11:39 AM

Congratulations to Newberry's Oakland Mill Project! This project is the 2016 Preservation Honor Award winner for the SC Historic Preservation Awards, and will receive an award at a ceremony on June 17 at the State House. Awards will be presented by Lt Governor Henry McMaster. Stay tuned for more information coming soon to WKDK and!

gregersonProsperity Man Charged With Sexual Conduct With Minor
Posted: May 12, 11:27 PM

A story we have been reporting on WKDK and,Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that a Prosperity man is in custody today charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Sheriff Foster identified the man as Joshua Daniel Gregerson, 22, of 372 Blacksgate East, Prosperity.

Sheriff Foster said that the parents of the victim, under the age of 15, found a cell phone that Gregerson had provided to the victim so he could contact her. The cell phone contained both graphic images and videos of Gregerson sent to the victim.

Based upon the investigation into the matter, investigators also learned that Gregerson committed sexual acts on the victim on at least two occasions.

“Cell phones and the internet are opening our children to a vast world both positive and negative,” said Sheriff Foster. “While there is a vast amount of information to be found there, there are also people who use this technology to prey on children for sex, to extort them for sex or money, or to blackmail them or their family.”

Sheriff Foster said that the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a free training for parents and teens tonight (Thursday May 12) at 6PM at the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office on the use of cell phones and the internet in today’s society.

Gregerson in in custody at the Newberry County Detention Center where he is charged with 2 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He has been denied bond. Sheriff Foster said that additional charges are expected for sending the pornographic videos and pictures to the victim, who is a minor.

It appears that the two knew each other through mutual acquaintances.

Whitmire Hires New Police Officer
Posted: May 9, 8:20 PM

Story by Carson Lambert, Staff Writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media

With a unanimous vote Whitmire approved the hiring of a new police officer at their town council meeting Monday evening.

Josh Wilbanks is a Whitmire native and is currently employed as a deputy with the Newberry County Sheriff's Office.

"Everybody knows him," said Chief Jeremiah Sinclair. "I think he'll work out really good. He's a really good deputy."

Mayor Billy Hollingsworth said the move puts the police department at full staff and the town will now be able to provide 24-hour service.

Wilbanks is slated to begin work as soon as his notice is up at the sheriff's office.

For a full recap of Whitmire's May town council meeting check out the Wednesday, May 11 edition of The Newberry Observer.

Early Morning Collision Claims One Life
Posted: May 8, 8:23 PM

An early morning traffic collision has claimed the life of a young Newberry man. Newberry County Deputy Coroner John Pollard has identified the victim as 25-year-old Charles Andrew Craine of Newberry. Pollard said the single car accident occurred on Mt. Bethel Garmany Road in the Mount Pleasant area which is approximately 10 miles northeast of the City of Newberry. Coroner Pollard said Mr. Craine was ejected from the 1999 Ford Explorer he was operating after it overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was alone in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The exact time of the accident is currently unknown but was reported to 911 at 6:58 a.m. As a matter of protocol, Pollard said an autopsy will be scheduled and performed tomorrow. The collision remains under investigation by the Newberry Coroner's Office and the S.C. Highway Patrol.

County Council Meets: Holds Third Reading For Detention Center Repairs, More
Posted: May 5, 8:32 AM

Story by Andrew Wigger, Staff Writer
Newberry Observer | Civitas Media

As we reported on Thursday, Newberry County Council held a public hearing and a third reading on an Ordinance to provide for the issuance and sale of General Obligation Bonds for repairs to the Newberry County Detention Center. The Ordinance was amended to strike the references to $2,100,00 and insert in lieu thereof $1,600,000. The CPST Commission approved the inclusion of $1.6 million in funding for Detention Center repairs on the November penny sales tax ballot. This will reduce the bond from $2.1 million to $1.6 million. If the referendum question is approved by the voters in November, would wipe away all debt associated with the project. Moreover, the additional half-million dollars would have to come from the County's fund balance. Following are some additional highlights from the meeting on Wednesday night:

  • Council held a public hearing and third reading for an Ordinance amending the Budget Ordinance for the 2015-16 fiscal year, to provide for revised revenues and expenditures pertaining to emergency medical services. This ordinance would provide additional appropriations for emergency medical services in the amount of $150,000.
  • A third reading and public hearing were approved for an Ordinance that would change a parcel of land from Single Family Residential to General Commercial. The property adjoins the Farm Bureau offices on Wilson Road, the purpose of the re-zoning is to locate a chiropractor's office on the property.
  • Council approved a resolution calling for the Foxbriar special tax district creation election. According to Newberry County attorney, Jay Tothacer, an election was originally held for the purposes of road improvements on April 12. However, a review of the published notice of election revealed that it was both deficient and untimely. A more complete form of notice will be advertised on both May 11 and May 18 and a new election will take place on June 21.
  • A Resolution was passed honoring the efforts of RSVP Volunteers in Newberry County.
  • A proclamation was passed designating Sunday, May 15, 2016 as Peace Officer's Memorial Day. On May 16, the first business day after the designated Memorial Day, flags will be flown at half staff at all County buildings. This will be in recognition of Peace Officers' Memorial Day and in memory of those law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community or have become disabled in the performance of duty, and to honor those law enforcement officers presently serving the community.

campers_methInvestigators Recover Three Stolen Campers, Find More Than A Gram of Crystal Meth
Posted: May 4, 8:02 AM

In a story we reported yesterday on WKDK, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that investigators have recovered three stolen pull behind campers with an approximate value of $100,000.00 and also found more than a gram of crystal methamphetamine.

Sheriff Foster said that investigators received information that there was a stolen camper at Dreher Island Storage located on State Park Road. Investigators went to that location and upon checking the serial number determined that the camper was stolen from York County, SC. In a joint effort with York County, investigators identified the suspect who stole the camper to be Jamey Lee Farmer.

The investigators continued following up on the case and located Farmer at the Buffalo Creek Marina on Marina Way. Upon talking with Farmer, the investigators discovered the camper Famer was staying in at the time was also stolen, this one from Columbus, Georgia. Once inside this camper, investigators found more than a gram of crystal methamphetamine along with needles and digital scales.

The investigation continued with the investigators learning that Farmer had involvement with a third camper, this camper was also at Buffalo Creek Marina. The investigation revealed that this camper was stolen from Dorchester County, SC.

“This was an excellent example of having the ability to receive information from the community and then be willing to do the hard work to bring this case to fruition,” said Foster. “We treasure the relationship we have with the public and other agencies. After receiving the information, the investigators worked together with York County and the other agencies to recover this valuable property and get these people who steal to support their drugs off the streets.”

“This is another example of my long term belief that drugs are never a victimless crime,” said Foster. “People who are addicted to drugs will do whatever takes to continue their habit including steal and often from the people who love them. Many are hurt because of the drug addictions of others.”

All three campers were seized and have been returned to the jurisdictions from which they were stolen. The campers had a combined value of approximately $100,000.

Jamey Lee Farmer (above top photo), 43, of 888 Marina Way 9B, Prosperity, SC is in custody at the Newberry County Detention Center where he is charged with 2 counts of Receiving Stolen Goods, Possession With Intent To Distribute Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Farmer is also pending charges from the other jurisdictions for the theft of campers.

Dianna Christine Parkin (also pictured), 38, of 145 Smallwood Drive, Chapin, SC, who was also staying in the camper and knew it was stolen as well as about the possession of the drugs, was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Goods, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and upon her arrest investigators found pills in Parkin’s possession that were determined to be a controlled substance leading them to charge her with the additional charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Capital Project Sales Tax Commission Meeting
Posted: May 3, 11:49 AM

The Newberry County Capital Project Sales Tax Commission held its final meeting Monday night adopting by a vote of 5-1 a list of projects for the upcoming November election on  the continuation of what has been called the 1 cent solution. Following the adoption of projects to be included on the list, the commission then adopted a ballot form that will placed on the November ballot. That ballot including the list of projects is listed HERE (PDF format).

Newberry College To Partner With Charleston School of Law
Posted: May 2, 8:36 PM

Newberry College has entered into an educational agreement with the Charleston School of Law as part of a joint effort to expand opportunities for students interested in pursuing the study of law and to make those studies more affordable.

“We feel strongly this will be a good fit for Newberry College students,” said J. Edward Bell III, president of the Charleston School of Law.

The agreement, which goes into effect immediately, will award a $5,000 renewable scholarship to graduates of Newberry College who are admitted to the Charleston School of Law. The scholarship will be awarded to Newberry College graduates in addition to any other financial awards the student may receive. 

“Partnerships of this nature offer our students and graduates a blended pathway to experience the best of both worlds,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens, who is a strong advocate of graduate and professional school articulation agreements.

This Charleston School of Law partnership is the latest among a growing list of partnerships aimed at expanding career opportunities for Newberry College students. Additional opportunities include articulation agreements with the following institutions: Clemson Univeristy, Duke University, Presbyterian College, and Lenoir-Rhyne.

Caterpillar Closing Newberry Plant
Posted: April 28, 9:30 PM

The Newberry Caterpillar plant announced its closing earlier today. See the official release HERE (PDF format).

wilsonsLittle Mountain Man Arrested, Charged With Two Counts of Burglary
Posted: April 28, 4:41 PM

A man with more than ten prior burglary convictions has againbeen arrested and charged with two counts of burglary.

Wilson’s II located on Main Street in Little Mountain was broken into on April 4 and again on April 24. Each time the suspect took cartons Newport cigarettes from the store. Entry was made both times by breaking the glass in the front of the store with a cement block.

An investigation by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office into the burglaries led them to identify and arrest a suspect in the burglaries. Sheriff Foster said that the arrest was made based on forensic evidence, surveillance video, and good police work.

“This is a prime example of a career criminal who continues to be released from jail only to victimize more citizens and businesses,” said Sheriff Foster. “While we must contend with a frustrating system, we will continue to work hard to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who steal from others praying that we can off them off the streets and in prison where they belong.”

Sheriff Foster identified the men as: Julius Henderson Goodwin aka Pete Caughman, 56, of 236 Ponderosa Lane, Little Mountain.

Goodwin has an extensive criminal history that includes 10 prior burglary convictions, a strong armed robbery conviction, and an array of larceny and drug related charges mounting to a twenty four page criminal history. He was last released from jail in November of 2014.

Goodwin had bond hearing yesterday afternoon and his bond was set at $15,000 cash. He is still in custody at the Newberry County Detention Center.

70th Palmetto Girls State Delegates Announced
Posted: April 26, 8:37 PM

As announced recently on WKDK, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 24 announces the delegates and wait list from the local high schools girls stateto the 70th Palmetto Girls State Program. The 2016 Palmetto Girls State will be held June 5– 11, 2016 at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. Selected to attend this year are the following:

Mid-Carolina High School
Callie Blanchard
Mary Kathryn Corley
Rachel Richardson

Newberry Academy
Meagan Bedenbaugh
Leigha Harbert

Newberry High School
Marianna Robertson
Marylane Wilkerson
Lauren Yoder
Wait List: Maria Martinez

Whitmire Community School
Michaela Knox
Lea Toby
Wait List: Megan Owens, Sara McCall

The purpose of Palmetto Girls State is to "educate our youth in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship." In the mythical state of "Palmetto," the delegates (also referred to as the citizens of "Palmetto") organize the cities, counties and the state of "Palmetto" and choose the forms of government and officials for the cities, counties and state.

Hopefully, the girls will return to their high schools and communities steeped in the doctrines of equal opportunity for all, freedom of thought, speech, and religion, and the ability to live and work harmoniously with others.

The Auxiliary would like to thank our contributors who helped make it possible to send these girls to Palmetto Girls State. The 2016 contributors are Senator Ronnie Cromer, Little Mountain Ruritan, Representative Walt McLeod, Newberry Car Buffs, Whitmire Elementary PTO , Pomaria Ruritan Club, Roche Pharmacy Inc., Rotary Club, Newberry County Governmental Association (2 delegates) and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 24.

bennie bennettVIDEO: Gallman Elementary School interview with Mr. Bennie Bennett

SC High School League Remembers Bennie Bennett:One Champion Less: Superintendent Bennie Bennett, Rest In Peace
Posted: April 18, 4:45 PM

The South Carolina High School League operates with heavy hearts today as we say goodbye to one of the most personable, charismatic leaders in public education. Newberry Superintendent Bennie Bennett stood tall and proud as an advocate in creating a positive atmosphere of learning for children and educators alike. If you attended athletic activities in Newberry County, you witnessed Superintendent Bennett cheering on student athletes and coaches on a regular basis. To hear him brag about his school district, the students and the educators was nothing surprising.

"To know him, was to love him. Bennie and I have been friends for many years, even before his tenure as superintendent or mine as commissioner. He was the kind of man who lifted you up, the kind of friend who made you laugh, the kind of leader that inspired you to do your best. There is so much I could share about my friend, but his legacy will be one of love, dedication and loyalty to his family, friends and the students he encountered, encouraged over his career in education. I will miss him and the league is one champion less without him," states Jerome Singleton, SCHSL Commissioner.

His presence was felt not only in Newberry County, but state-wide as well as nationally. He previously served on the SCHSL Executive Committee as well as the NFHS Board of Directors. Superintendent Bennett was a huge supporter of extra-curricular activities and athletics.

"I am deeply saddened that our friend and colleague, Benny Bennett did not survive an auto accident Saturday evening. He served on the NFHS Board of Directors from 2010-14. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," states Bob Gardner, Executive Director National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

His career spanned beyond education, as he also upheld a stellar reputation as an athlete himself. Winthrop University still taunts his career as a top basketball player during his college years (1978-1981) being the first Winthrop men's basketball player to score 1,000 points in a career. He is also ranked in their top-10 field goals, free throws and assists records. He maintained a successful 15-year SCHSL coaching career with Clover High School and Fort Mill High School.
He is irreplaceable in the eyes of the SCHSL as well as his community. Anyone who encountered the greatness of Bennie Bennett was fortunate on many levels. We will continue to keep his family, peers and students in our prayers.

UPDATE: Newberry County Sheriff's Office Releases Information About Fatal Accident; Newberry School District Superintendent Bennie Bennett Killed In Saturday Collision
Posted: April 17, 4:59 PM

Sheriff Lee Foster released information about the accident involving a Newberry County Sheriff’s Deputy and Superintendent of Education Bennie Bennett.

Deputy David Brandt was responding to a call for assistance at a severe traffic accident on I 26 near the Newberry/Lexington County line at 6:21 pm. According to 911 calls a vehicle had rolled several times and was blocking traffic. Several calls were received about the injuries of several people in the vehicle.

Deputy Brandt was travelling north on SC Hwy. 219 (Main Street) in Newberry with his full light and siren array activated. As he approached the intersection of the driveway to Newberry High School a vehicle driven by Mr. Bennett entered the highway from Chapman Drive at approximately 6:26 pm. The vehicles collided resulting in the death of Mr. Bennett and injuring Deputy Brandt.

Deputy Brandt was initially unresponsive and was transported to a landing zone near Pomaria for medical evacuation to Palmetto Richland Trauma Center. Brandt was released this morning and will undergo outpatient treatment this week. Deputy Brandt is currently on medical leave due to his injuries.

Sheriff Lee Foster said that Deputy Brandt is devastated about the passing of Mr. Bennett as are all members of the Sheriff’s Office. All of our officers live here and educate their children in the School District of Newberry County. They all new Mr. Bennett and looked to him with esteem.

Deputy Brandt has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2013 and was previously a member of the SC Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer. He is a graduate of the SC Criminal Justice Academy.

Sheriff Lee Foster said, “This is a horrible loss for our community. Mr. Bennett was a consummate professional and had the best interest of our children at heart. We worked together closely on matters involving our schools and our children’s safety. On a personal note, Mr. Bennett was a close friend and confidant. He and I had a keen interest in sports and would often compare notes on games. My family held him in the highest regard. I am personally shattered by his death. Our family extends our prayers to his family.”

According to state law, the accident will be conducted by the SC Highway Patrol. Any updates and questions regarding the accident should be directed to their agency. The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Original Story: Newberry County Coroner Craig Newton has released the name of the person killed in a traffic collision that occurred in Newberry Saturday evening. Bennie D. Bennett, 56 years of age, of Prosperity died at the scene of the collision due to multiple injuries sustained in the accident. Chief Deputy Coroner Lewis Lee said Mr. Bennett was ejected from his vehicle and died immediately at the scene of his injuries. The collision occurred at 6:26 p.m. on SC 219 near Newberry High School. The collision also involved a Newberry County Sheriff's deputy and therefore the accident is being investigated by the S.C. Highway Patrol in accordance to State law. Mr. Bennett was the Newberry County School Superintendent and had held that position for 10 years. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Newton said that Mr. Bennett was well respected and liked by all. " He served Newberry schools with professionalism, passion and pride. He was truly a people person who loved his Lord, family, and friends. He will be missed". Chief Coroner Lee said the incident is actively being investigated by the Coroner's Office and the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Former Coach and Well-Known Newberrian Dies in Fishing Accident
Posted: April 16, 12:56 PM

Newberry County Coroner Craig Newton has released the identity of a missing local man found in a Newberry County private pond. John Linwood "Lindy" Richardson, 82, of Prosperity was recovered by the Newberry County Dive Team at approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Mr. Richardson was well known in the Newberry County area. He was a former educator and baseball coach at Mid-Carolina High School. He was also a State Constable assigned to the Newberry Sheriff's Department performing multiple duties for many years. He was well respected by the law enforcement and education communities of Newberry County. Mr. Richardson was reported missing by his family at approximately 11:00 p.m. after failing to return from an afternoon of fishing. His vehicle was located at approximately 11:30 p.m. at a private pond off of Hwy 773 near St. Paul's Church. The Newberry County Sheriff's Department, Newberry County Dive Team, Pomaria Rescue Squad, and SLED responded to assist in the search. Coach Richardson was located and removed by the dive team at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Coroner Newton indicated it is suspected that Richardson waded into the pond to secure a dropped fishing rod, lost his balance and fell. He had been fishing from the bank and no boat was involved in the accident. An autopsy performed Saturday morning revealed that his death was accidental and was caused by asphyxiation by drowning.

Coroner Newton added that the loss of Coach Richardson was a "tremendous loss for our entire community. He was truly a public servant and he will be missed by all of Newberry County. Our prayers are certainly with the Richardson family during this difficult time".

spearsArrest Made In Jesse Sanders Murder Investigation
Posted: April 14, 6:52 PM

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster has announced that an arrest has been made in the murder of Jesse O. Sanders.

Sheriff Foster said that investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division, and Aiken County Sheriff’s Office worked together and brought every resource available into the investigation that resulted in this arrest.

Sheriff Foster said that the investigators used technology, forensics, good old fashioned police work, and partnerships in solving the case. Foster said that the case was so difficult because they began with no suspects and little information, but through hard work they were able to identify the suspect and make the arrest.

Sheriff Foster said that Michael Saheem Spears, 22, of 222 Reid Street, Aiken, SC was arrested on unrelated charges Wednesday night in Aiken, and was transported to the Newberry County Detention Center today where he was formally charged. Foster said that Spears was charged with Murder, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, and Possession of a Firearm During A Violent Crime. Sheriff Foster said that as they identified Spears as the suspect, they learned that he was wanted by other agencies on unrelated charges. Because Spears is charged with Murder, bond will be set by a Circuit Court Judge. No date for that bond hearing has been set.

Investigators say that it appears that Sanders and Spears met when Sanders contacted Spears, who had posted an advertisement as an escort on the social media website Backpage. Investigators believe that robbery was the main motive for the murder.

Sheriff Foster said that cases like this should serve as a warning to people about using social media to meet unknown people.

“This is no way meant to cast dispersion upon anyone,” said Foster. “But meeting someone online is dangerous. People can pretend to be anyone online and you never know who you might really be dealing with.” “In addition, some people prey on the fact that people who have been duped or placed in compromising situations will most likely not contact the police.”

“This are very difficult investigations”, said Sheriff Foster. “Because of technology and the ease of mobility in today’s society, these investigations are getting ever more difficult. I am so proud of our agency as well as SLED, Whitmire Police Department, and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office for their extraordinary efforts in this case. This is a perfect example of how hard work, communication, and partnerships are crucial to law enforcement in today’s society.”

Spears was arrested in Aiken driving a stolen vehicle from Orangeburg and was wanted for a Probation Violation and Receiving Stolen Goods in Aiken County. He has a prior criminal history that including two Burglary convictions, Shoplifting, and Giving False Information To a Police Officer. Spears has previously served a Youthful Offender sentence in the South Carolina Department of Corrections and was on probation for one of the Burglary convictions.

The body of Jesse O. Sanders was seen Monday morning just after 7am by a passing motorist. Investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division responded and processed that crime scene.

In the follow up that investigation, investigator believing that the possible identity of the victim was Sanders went to his residence located on Byrd Street in the Town of Whitmire. Once inside the residence, investigator discovered obvious signs of a struggle throughout the home. A thorough crime scene investigation was done by investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Whitmire Police Department and SLED.

Sheriff Foster says that it appears the incident began at the victim’s home in the Town of Whitmire and that he was taken to the location on Highway 176 against his will from his home by the Spears. It is believed that Sanders was killed at or near where he body was discovered on Highway 176.

Sheriff Foster said that the victim was shot multiple times, but refused to say how many times or where he was shot citing the integrity of the investigation. The Sheriff also said that the identity of the deceased was not released until it was confirmed forensically so that the law enforcement could be absolutely certain of the identity and notify family members prior to releasing the name to the public.

Sheriff Foster said that the arrest will not be the end of the investigation. Investigators are still seeking information that may assist with this investigation and anyone with information is asked to please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211,, or Crime Stoppers of the Midlands at 1-888-CRIMESC.

Sheriff Foster continued by offering condolences to the family of Mr. Sanders saying, “Mr. Sanders was the victim of a senseless violent crime. This simply did not have to happen.”

In addition Sheriff Foster thanked the public for their support and prayers throughout this investigation. “We simply cannot do this type of work with the support of the people of Newberry County and are blessed to have people praying for us and supporting us during such difficult investigations,” Foster concluded.

harris streetCrews Respond to Harris Street Fire
April 13,
5:56 PM

The City ofNewberry Fire Department responded to Harris Street around 6:07 Wednesday morning for a fully involved structure fire. As crews arrived on scene, the house was totally involved with fire. Crews starting protecting the house next to the burning structure to prevent a second house fire.

Friendly, Newberry Rescue, EMS and City Police Dept. assisted with the call. Chief Keith Minick says that the City Fire Department responded to this location on Sunday evening for a structure fire and, upon arrival, there was a fire in the front portion of the house. The fire was contained and Red Cross was notified to assist with the occupants.

The Fire Department went back on Monday to remove a sofa that was smoldering and crews rechecked the house. They are investigating the cause at this time and crews are still working on hot spots in the large tree located on the property. City utilities assisted with removing some of the burning limbs in the tree that was a danger to the next door house as well as the power lines. Power was isolated to a few houses so the lines could be repaired from the fire. No injuries have been reported during the incidents.

UPDATE: Murder Investigation Continues
Posted: April 12, 3:04 PM

The investigation in the murder of a Whitmire man whose body was found on the side of the road on Highway 176 near Molly’s Rock yesterday is continuing this morning.

Sheriff Lee Foster says that the body of Jesse O. Sanders was seen yesterday morning just after 7am by a passing motorist. Investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division responded and processed that crime scene.

In the follow up that investigation, investigator believing that the possible identity of the victim was Sanders went to his residence located on Byrd Street in the Town of Whitmire. Once inside the residence, investigator discovered obvious signs of a struggle throughout the home. A thorough crime scene investigation was done by investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Whitmire Police Department and SLED.

Sheriff Foster says that it appears the incident began at the victim’s home in the Town of Whitmire and that he was taken to the location on Highway 176 from his home by the suspect or suspect(s).

Sheriff Foster said that the victim was shot multiple times, but refused to say how many times or where he was shot citing the integrity of the investigation. The Sheriff also said that the identity of the deceased was not released until it was confirmed forensically so that the law enforcement could be absolutely certain of the identity and notify family members prior to releasing the name to the public.

Sheriff Foster said that investigators are following up a number of leads in the case and reiterated the commitment from himself, the Newbery County Sheriff’s Office and the Whitmire Police Department to bring the person or persons responsible for this crime to justice.

Sheriff Foster said that there are no suspects in the case at this time; however, law enforcement is certain that there are witnesses who can help solve this crime. Foster said that if you have any information that may assist with this investigation to please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211,, or Crime Stoppers of the Midlands at 1-888-CRIMESC.
A substantial reward to being offered to information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this crime.

Theia McArdle Found Guilty, Sentenced To 30 Years
Posted: April 9, 9:55 AM

mcardleSource: WIS TV 10
The mother of a 3-year-old boywho died after being badly beaten has now been convicted for his death. Ajury found 22-year-old Theia McArdle (above right) guilty of homicide by child abuse Friday afternoon. Members of the jury deliberated for about an hour following a week-long trial in Newberry County. The judge sentenced McArdle to 30 years in prison.

"The jury saw how cold she calculated she was and I think she lied throughout this process," said eighth circuit solicitor David Stumbo, who prosecuted the case, "She didn't show a lick of emotion about this 3-year-old son of hers that was absolutely brutally beaten to death."

McArdle, of Spartanburg, is guilty of homicide by child abuse in connection to the December 2014 death of Gabriel McArdle in Newberry County. The child died of blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators said at the time of his death that he suffered from injuries from head to toe.

McArdle was facing up to a life sentence in prison.

McArdle told investigators she was working as an escort the night of her son's death, and that she left the child with her then boyfriend Richard Bowman (above left) in the car outside a home in Newberry.

Bowman is also charged with homicide by child abuse. He was not on trial this week, but testified against McArdle, saying she was the aggressor in the case and he was not strong enough to stop her. McArdle also testified in her defense claiming she did not know her son was being abused. 

Prosecutors said Friday that they will continue to pursue full charges against Bowman. 

march of dimesMarch For Babies Is Saturday!
Posted: April 4, 5:37 PM

Click HERE or on graphic to the
right to donate!

March for Babies raises funds for vital research to help prevent premature birth and birth defects. Funds raised also support community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies. South Carolina continues to have one of the highest premature birth rates in the country, and the March of Dimes urges everyone to join the fight for stronger, healthier babies.

March for Babies Chairman, Keith Avery, CEO and President, Newberry Electric, says, “We invite our community to join March for Babies and raise money to help the March of Dimes give every baby a fighting chance.

In Newberry, March for Babies is sponsored by Newberry Electric, WKDK Radio, and Newberry Magazine.

Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies.

Hipp Seeking Re-Election For District 5 County Council
Posted: April 3, 3:56 PM

As previously announced on hippWKDK, Leslie (Les) Hipp has announced his reelection bid for Newberry County Council, District 5.

Les was born in Newberry County and currently resides in the City of Newberry.

Les has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. Les worked for SCE&G for 40 years at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station before retiring in 2014. As an employee at SCE&G he served as Supervisor of Plant Support Engineering, Manager of Security, Emergency Planning and Materials & Procurement, and he completed the Certification as a Senior Reactor Operator.

Les was selected for the inaugural class of the South Carolina FBI Citizens’ Academy and was designated as an "Outstanding Young Man of America" in 1974.

Les has served his community as a member of the Newberry County Board of Zoning Appeals and the City of Newberry Planning Commission. Les is an Eagle Scout, past President of the Newberry Jaycees and a past member and director of the Newberry Rotary Club. Les is an active supporter and fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member and has served as President of the Newberry County Historical and Museum Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Newberry Opera House Foundation. Les graduated from the Economic Development Institute sponsored by the SC Department of Commerce and represents Newberry County on the Central Midlands Council of Governments.

If reelected, Les wants the residents of Newberry County to know that he will continue to work diligently to manage spending and waste in county government. According to Les, "County Government doesn’t own any money; it only manages money owned by the citizens." To this end, Les vows to continue to exercise fiscal responsibility in managing the money entrusted to County Government by the citizens of Newberry County.

Les believes that holding a position on County Council is about serving the citizens of Newberry County and not about being self-served. He believes that growth in Newberry County should be well planned and managed. Les will continue to work to bring new industry and jobs to Newberry County.

According to Les, the Newberry County Single Member Districts form of government can only be successful if council members have the vision to look beyond district boundaries and make decisions for the good of all of Newberry County. Les believes that residents can and should be allowed to communicate to county council members at the meetings as often as they desire and he welcomes residents to contact him at any time. Les promises to be available and responsive to all residents of Newberry County, not just those within his district. With this goal in mind, he has invited and will continue to invite any citizen of Newberry County to meet with him personally prior to the first County Council meeting each month.

Les thanks the citizens for their past support and respectfully requests their continued support during the upcoming election.

shirley taylorTaylor Seeking County Council District 2 Seat
Posted: April 3, 3:49 PM

As announced recently on WKDK, Shirley Warren Taylor is seeking the election of Newberry County Council District 2 as a Republican.

She is a lifelong resident of Newberry County and currently resides at 463 Newberry Shores Drive, Prosperity. She has one daughter Britt and a grandson, Landen. Her parents were Ray Warren and Martha Cockrell Warren.

Taylor is an active member of Cross Point Baptist Church in Prosperity.
She is a graduate of Newberry High and Piedmont Technical College with a degree in Business and an Associate Degree in Accounting. She is a registered tax preparer and has owned Taxmasters of Newberry for the past 26 years. In addition to tax preparation she does accounting for personal and business accounts and also is a licensed life and health insurance agent.

Taylor is a member of the Newberry Chamber of Commerce and a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers.

"Allowing me to serves as Newberry County Council District 2 would be an honor and privilege, and I am confident that I am capable of serving the citizens of Newberry County as your council woman," Taylor says. "I will operate on a professional and courteous manner. I will always be available for your service. Your support and consideration to be elected to this office will be very much appreciated."

redmondDeputies Searching For Suspect After Chase
Posted: April 1, 6:53 PM

The Newberry County Sheriff’sOffice is asking for your assistance in locating a man who fled from deputies in Newberry County Friday afternoon.

At around 3pm Friday afternoon, Newberry County deputies attempted to stop a motor vehicle the suspect was driving in Newberry County. The suspect fled the law enforcement officers.

The vehicle chase ended after approximately 5 minutes on Long Pine Court in Chapin, which is near St. Peter’s Church in Lexington County. The suspect fled on foot. A search for the suspect by both agencies was called off due to the inclement weather.

The suspect is identified as Rafael Mack Redmond, 40, of 123 Millers Branch Road, Little Mountain, SC. Redmond was wearing a light colored shirt and faded Carolina ball hat.

If you have information as to the whereabouts of Redmond, please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2222.

meth arrestTwo Arrested For Trafficking Methamphetamine
Posted: March 31, 6:53 PM

Newberry County deputies arrested two men on early Wednesday morning and havecharged them with Trafficking Methamphetamine.

Sheriff Lee Foster said that the two approached a public safety check point at Dreher Island Road and State Park Road that was being conducted by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

As the men approached the check point, the deputies observed open containers of alcoholic beverages. The men were arrested for the open container violation and upon search of the vehicle the officers located approximately 45 grams of Methamphetamine, 2 pistols (a Glock .40 caliber and a Taurus .380), $134.00 U.S. Currency, and a set of digital scales. Both men were taken to the Newberry County Detention Center.

Sheriff Foster identified those arrested as:

Jody Edward Miles, 40, or 516 Thornwood Court, Columbia, SC who is charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Unlawful Carrying a Pistol, Open Container, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Miles was released after posting a $25,000 bond on March 31, 2016.

Adam Burke Smithey, 36, of 4052 Platt Springs Road, West Columbia, SC who is charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Unlawful Carrying a Pistol, Open Container, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Smithey remains in custody as of this release. He likewise has a $25,000 bond and is also being held for Lexington County for outstanding charges in their jurisdiction.

To view the mug shots and a picture of the seized items, click HERE.

Sheriff Foster that meth is one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets today because on the irrational actions of the people who use meth. Sheriff Foster said that this situation was so very dangerous to the public because the men were mixing alcohol and meth making them a hazard to anyone on the roads, and then added that it was even more dangerous to the officers because they had loaded weapons in the vehicle with them.

“We are blessed that these men were removed from the roads without anyone getting injured,” said Sheriff Foster. “We want the public to know that we are out working to protect them from people like this who chose to endanger so many people through their reckless actions.”

beth folkFolk Announcing Candidacy for Clerk of Court
Posted: March 30,
10:43 PM

As reported recently on WKDK, Elizabeth P. Folk is announcing her bid as the Democratic candidate for theoffice of Newberry County Clerk of Court. Ms. Folk may be new to the political arena, but she is no stranger to the daily operations of the Clerk of Court's office.

Currently, Ms. Folk serves as the Deputy Clerk of Court, a position she has held for 26 years. This position requires that she be up to date with all aspects of the many legal processes and procedures that every South Carolina Clerk of Court must follow. As Deputy Clerk of Court she must be ready on any given day to fulfill the responsibilities of the Clerk of Court.

Her entire employment with Newberry County has been with the Clerk of Court's office. During her 38 years in the office, Ms. Folk has worked in many areas of the office and through these opportunities she has gained much knowledge and many skills.

One function of the Clerk of Court's office is to file, maintain and protect the many legal documents and land records that are used in our legal proceedings and property transfers. In addition, duties include functions necessary for the operation of the Circuit and Family Courts in Newberry County.

Ms. Folk states that, "If elected, I will ensure that the current level of care and attention will continue, but will always, just as with our current Clerk of Court, look for ways to improve the quality of service to the citizens of Newberry County."

Ms. Folk has been married to James Folk for 45 years. They have two daughters, Casey (Mike) Ruff and Jamie (Brent) Davis and are the grandparents of three. She is the daughter of the late Charles and Alma Price and attends Lebanon United Methodist Church.

wreath layingWreath Laying Ceremony at Vietnam Park
March 29, 10:16 PM

A scene at the wreath layingceremony on Tuesday at Memorial Park in Downtown Newberry. This ceremony commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and was sponsored by the Jasper Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.

falcon boatsFalcon Boats Establishing Operations in Newberry
Posted: March 24, 8:40 PM

Falcon Boats is establishing operations in NewberryCounty to manufacture a new line of sportfishing boats. The company purchased an existing building, located at 750 Wilson Road in Newberry, S.C., and plans to invest $1.5 million, creating 35 new jobs over the next five years.
Initially established as Marine Pro in Irmo, S.C., the company previously specialized in boat repair and modification. However, following the vision of company president Stephen Waller and his two partners, Falcon Boats aims to make a significant impact on the bass fishing market. With more than 90 years of fishing experience, Falcon Boats' leadership has the user experience in mind when manufacturing high-quality, affordable fishing boats.
As avid fishermen with a combined 90 years of boat manufacturing experience, the leadership at Falcon Boats are in tune with what the modern fisherman, both competitive and hobbyist, want in a fishing boat.
The company has already begun manufacturing its first model, the F-215, a fast and stable design that handles rough water with ease. The 21-foot boat features an extra wide beam for added stability and a larger casting deck.
For more information on the company, visit

foster familySheriff Lee Foster Seeks Re-Election
Posted: March 24, 8:19 AM

Newberry CountySheriff Lee Foster announces that he will seek another term to the Office of Sheriff.

"In 1989, I began my endeavor to become the Sheriff of Newberry County. The Office of Sheriff is a position that I have held in the highest esteem. I knew to hold this position meant that the people of Newberry County trust you with their safety and the well-being of their families and loved ones. I was blessed to be elected to that position, and not a day goes by that I do not reflect on the fact that I am here by the grace of God and the love and support of good people of Newberry County."

During his terms in office, Sheriff Foster has built an organization that is centered on relationships built in the community and with other law enforcement agencies. "I continue to strive to make sure that law enforcement and the community are partners in not just solving crimes, but preventing them before they happen through open communications."

The proof of these relationships are evident. Newberry County is consistently ranked as one of the safest places to live in South Carolina and the nation. When a crime does occur, they Sheriff's Office works diligently to solve the case through new forensic techniques, skilled personnel, and cooperation from the community. Because of this Newberry County has been consistently recognized as having one of the highest clearance/solve rates in the state.

Sheriff Foster has pioneered the use of affordable technology to improve law enforcement in Newberry County through grants, testing and evaluations, and the use of low cost/no cost products. Because of the techniques and successes of the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Foster works with national committees to establish best practices for small, rural, tribal and border law enforcement across the United States.
In addition to the Sheriff's Office being recognized for its efforts, Sheriff Foster has received many awards such as the Strom Thurmond Award for Law Enforcement Excellence, the National Humanitarian of the Year from the University of Arkansas National Center for Rural Law Enforcement, South Carolina Sheriff of the Year, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer of the Year; to name a few.

Although Sheriff Foster has testified and met with members of Congress and serves on nationally recognized committees, he is more comfortable directing traffic at a wreck, working with the volunteer fire department as he has for 40 years, or answering calls for service.
"When I ran the first time, I committed to being a hard-working, dedicated and involved Sheriff. If allowed to continue in service, I will live up to that commitment to the people of Newberry County."

Sheriff Foster is married to Carol Folk Foster and they are blessed with two children attending Newberry College, Joseph a senior football letterman and Amelia a freshman Teaching Fellow. Together they attend Central United Methodist Church and participate in supporting Newberry College.

"Not only have I been favored with a great family, I have also been blessed with outstanding co-workers. These well-trained brave individuals proudly serve with honesty, integrity, and dedication and have accomplished so much. I am indebted for their service and am very proud of them.

"The world is changing rapidly, as are the opinions and perceptions of the law enforcement profession. Just being called Sheriff creates a sense of pride and service inside of me. We have built a great relationship in Newberry County and I would consider it an honor and privilege to be allowed to continue as your Sheriff. I truly believe I have the right ingredients of education, experience, ability and desire to continue as Sheriff of Newberry County. I love being your Sheriff and have never taken that oath or opportunity for granted. I look forward to continued service and ask for your support, but most of all your prayers."

lindlerSmith Seeks Re-Election for Treasurer
Posted: March 23, 8:01 AM

Karen Lindler Smith has announced that she is seekingre-election for the Office of Newberry County Treasurer. Smith has worked in the Treasurer's Office for the past 28 years, five years as a clerk, 15 years as Deputy Treasurer, and for the past eight years as your Newberry County Treasurer.

She is married to Joey Smith and they have a daughter, Megan Lindler, a graduate of North Green University. She is the daughter of James Lee "Pal" and Patricia Dominick of Prosperity.

She is a lifelong resident of Prosperity, and a Mid-Carolina High School graduate.

She is an active member of Zion Methodist Church, the American Legion Auxiliary and a past member of the PTO.

During her 28 years in the Treasurer's Office, Smith has had the opportunity to receive on-the-job training and seminars specifically designed for the office of Treasurer.

Through her membership of the South Carolina Association for Auditors, Treasurers, and Tax Collectors, she continues to attend training sessions on the laws pertaining to the office of Treasurer.

lominackCounty Auditor Lominack Announces Re-Election
Posted: March 23, 7:41 AM

Newberry County Auditor, Donna W. Lominack, seeks re-election to the office of Auditor for her third consecutive term. In 1977, Lominack began her service to Newberry County as clerk to the former County Auditor, the late Jeanette K. Hamm. In 1984, she was appointed Deputy Auditor for Newberry County by Auditor Nancy P. Owen and in 2008 elected for her first term as Newberry County Auditor.

Lominack is an active member of Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church where she served as secretary for 13 years. She is a member of Newberry County Rotary Club, Secretary of Newberry County Governmental Association, and a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 24 where she is responsible for selecting young ladies to attend Palmetto Girl’s State.

Also, Lominack is a member of South Carolina Association of Auditors, Treasurers and Tax Collectors elected to the position of, President FY 14 -15; South Carolina Association of Assessing Officials and will be President in 2017; South Carolina Association of County Wide Elected Executives elected to the Board of Directors. Also, she serves as secretary of The Forfeited Land Commission.

She is married to Richard C. Lominack and together they have three children, Travis (Kimberly) Goodman, Trent Goodman, Jennifer (Kevin) Lominack Banks, and seven grandchildren. Her parents are the late Colie & Rosalyn Long Woodward.

The Office of County Auditor is responsible on the county level for administering all ad valorem property tax laws. As Lominack states, she intends to continue her goal of making the Auditor’s Office one of the best in the state. As County Auditor, she credits the staff of the Auditor’s office as a valuable asset to Newberry County and its citizens. They are both knowledgeable of their duties and courteous to all taxpayers.

Lominack stated, "To represent the citizens of Newberry County as their county auditor is both humbling and rewarding. I am proud and honored to serve as a public servant of Newberry County and sincerely solicit everyone’s continued support".

keslerKesler Announces Run For House Seat
Posted: March 16, 10:45 PM

Craig Kesler has announced his run for SC House District 40. Hewill run as a Democratic candidate.

Kesler is a 1979 graduate of Newberry High School and studied Business Administration at Newberry College. He also studied Industrial Engineering at Piedmont Technical College.

Kesler is a Newberry County native and a fouth generation farmer. He has been at the helm of Trinity Farms since 2002, and integrally involve in its opeations for twenty years prior to that.

Click HERE for more.

washingtonWhitmire Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Child Molestation
Posted: March 3,
8:25 AM

Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M.Stumbo announced Wednesday afternoon that a Whitmire man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for molesting a child under the age of 10.

Caroll Tremayne Washington, 32, was found guilty by a Newberry County jury of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor following just one hour of deliberation. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then handed the down the 25-year sentence to Washington.

In September 2015, the victim, who loved to visit her grandmother, began showing great distress prior to visiting her grandmother. During a conversation with her mother, and later during a forensic interview, the victim disclosed multiple incidents in which Washington, the boyfriend of another family member, sexually assaulted her. The victim was 8 years old when the attacks began and 9 years old the last time Washington assaulted her in 2014.

Washington had also been working as an ice cream truck driver, regularly surrounding himself with the children from surrounding neighborhoods.

Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel handled the case for the state. Washington was represented by Charles Verner.

Solicitor Stumbo credited the work of Scott and Daniel as well as Inv. Stephen Brad Epps and Capt. Robert Dennis of the Newberry County Sheriff's Office in securing the conviction.

"This is another tragic case of a malicious sexual predator taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of an innocent child," said Solicitor Stumbo following the sentencing. "My office will fight alongside law enforcement with every ounce of strength to remove creeps like Carrol Washington from the streets of our communities. The victim's life is forever altered, but I pray this conviction allows her and her family to rest better tonight."

r lailLail Announces Candidacy for Clerk of Court
Posted: February 29,
4:49 PM

Republican businessman Rick Lail today announced his candidacy for Newberry County Clerk of Court to replace the current Clerk who is retiring.

Rick earned his degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and started several successful small businesses in the county over the past two decades. He also served as a Magistrate in Newberry County for 13 years, retiring in 2015.

"I am looking forward to putting my 25 years of business experience to work for the taxpayers of Newberry County and managing the office in the most professional manner possible," said Lail.

Lail's priorities as Clerk of Court will be to update and automate technology, to reduce wait times for customers, cut waste and bureaucratic red tape, and operate the office as efficiently and effectively as possible for the taxpayers of Newberry County.

Lail said, "I plan to work hard to earn the votes of the citizens of Newberry County over the course of this campaign."

Rick and his wife Lisa live in Pomaria. They have been married for 26 years and have one daughter, Tura Jean, and attend Seacoast Church.

Anyone who would like more information, or volunteer may contact Rick at 924-2149 or at

Spearman Announces 2014-15 Palmetto Gold and Silver Winners
Posted: February 23, 6:48 PM

State Superintendent of Educaton Molly Spearman has announced the 2014-15 Palmetto Gold and Silver Winning Schools. “I am pleased that so many schools are being recognized for their excellent performance and closing the achievement gap,” said Spearman.  “These awards are well-deserved and indicate the great strides administrators, principals, teachers, and students are making across the state.  We will continue to embrace the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate to achieve educational excellence in every district,” concluded Spearman.

The 2014-15 list of Palmetto Gold and Silver winners can be seen here.

School Board Recognitions
(February 22 meeting-PDF format)

pughTennessee Man Arrested in Bank Robbery
Posted: February 22, 5:07 PM

On Monday at approximately12:45pm, officers with Newberry Police Department were dispatched to BB&T Bank located at 1724 Wilson Road, Newberry SC in reference to a robbery. Once on scene, bank employees advised that a white male had produce a note demanding money. Once the suspect received the money he left the bank and ran toward Kinard Street near the local Family Dollar store. Officers with the Newberry Police Department and Newberry County Sheriff's Office set up a perimeter and began to check cars in the area. Officers also deployed a K-9 tracking dog in the area to track the suspect. A short time later the suspect Herbert Pugh (from Memphis, Tennessee) was taken into custody without incident a short distance from the incident location. No one inside the bank was harmed during the robbery. Pugh is in custody at the Newberry County Detention Center pending charges in reference to the Robbery.

united way kraftNewberry Organizations Take Top Honors At United Way Ceremony
February 19,
4:23 PM

Four Newberry County companies and three local schools took top honors at last week’s United Way of the Midlands’ Live United Awards ceremony.

The Newberry-based Kraft Heinz facility raised $436,309 in donations, nearly double from last year. As a result Brian LaRue, materials and distribution manager, Kat Longerbeam, human resources director, and Tammy Duncan, administrative assistant to the plant manager, took home a Best in Class (100 or more employees) Award from the Feb. 11 ceremony at the Agape Conference Center. Pictured above: Michael Seezan, United Way of the Midlands board chair; Brian LaRue, Kraft materials and distribution manager; Kat Longerbeam, Kraft human resources director;  Tammy Duncan, Kraft administrative assistant to the plant manager; Mac Bennett, United Way president and CEO.

David Roach, material requirements supervisor, and Lea A. Crumley, process planning supervisor, for Caterpillar took home a Division Chairman’s Award for raising $75,823 in contributions to United Way.

Kraft Heinz Company, Pioneer Frozen Foods and Caterpillar also were recognized with Gold Awards for per capita giving levels in excess of $150 and Newberry Electric Cooperative with a Bronze Award for a $64 per capita giving level.

Boundary Elementary School, Mid-Carolina High School and Whitmire Community School earned Trailblazer Awards for significant increases in their giving levels last fall.

To date, Newberry County has raised nearly $590,000, some $230,000 more than the goal set by the local Newberry County campaign committee last summer. The campaign officially ends on June 30.

“Without the support of organizations throughout the Midlands, United Way’s work to improve early childhood education, end homelessness and provide access to quality healthcare would not be possible,” said Mac Bennett, president and CEO of United Way. “This is just one small way to recognize these companies for their impact on our community.”

In total, more than 200 companies were honored last week based on giving level, employee participation and volunteerism during the event which was emceed by campaign co-chairs Mike Brenan, president of BB&T, and Sara Fawcett, vice president of human resources at EDENS.

The top honors, the Community Champion Awards, were presented to BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Publix Super Markets for their combined contributions of more than $2.7 million to the 2015 United Way Campaign.

The 2015 United Way Campaign officially ends in June, however United Way is projecting more than $10.5 million raised to fund education, financial stability and health programs throughout its six-county footprint.

Clinton Man Sentenced To 17 Years In Prison For Selling Crack Cocaine (PDF document)

camera photoPeak Pharmacy Armed Robbery Suspect Still At Large
February 16,
9:26 PM

Camera surveillance photo

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office is still asking for your assistance to identify an armed robbery suspect. Just after noontime on February 12, a suspect entered the Peak Pharmacy and robbed them using what appeared to be a pistol.

The suspect is described as a white male. He is approximately 6 feet tall and appeared to weigh about 180 pounds. He has reddish brown hair, and appeared to be between 40 and 50 years old. He was wearing a light blue hoodie and dark colored pants.

The suspect fled the scene in a grey Ford ranger. The vehicle left traveling toward Richland County on Church Street. It appeared that the suspect vehicle likely had a manual transmission from the information gained from witnesses.

If you have any information about the suspect, please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2222. A reward is being offered for the identification and arrest of the suspect.

Capital Project Sales Tax Commission Update
Posted: February 10, 7:55 AM

Information that we reported throughout Tuesday on WKDK and, the Newberry County Capital Project Sales Tax Commission met Monday afternoon and heard a presentation on project cost information from Jamie Frost of Alliance Consulting. Frost reported that there are 20 projects which have been submitted for consideration with a total cost of close to 60 million dollars. The Commission will have to decide on which projects will be on the ballot. The estimated funds available from the next sales tax collection period will be somewhere between 15.5 million dollars and 17.5 million dollars.
The Commission which will begin hearing project presentations in April also discussed project presentation procedures as well as scoring and ballot development procedures. Most of those procedures will be the same as for the last Capital Sales Tax presentations.


Newberry March Of Dimes Kick-Off Luncheon on Wednesday

will bouknightBouknight New Addition To Sheriff's Office, Graduates From SC Criminal Justice Academy
February 9, 7:49 AM

Newberry County has a new addition to the Sheriff's Department, as DeputySheriff Wilbur Saxon Bouknight (pictured at right with Sheriff Lee Foster) is now a graduate of the SC Criminal Justice Academy.

Wilbur, or “Will” as he is commonly referred, completed a 12-Week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program term at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy and is now a Class I Certified S.C. Law Enforcement Officer.

Will graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy as a Commissioned Class I Law Enforcement Officer as a member of Class #635.

A lifetime resident of Newberry County, Will began working with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer with the Newberry County Detention Center in February 2015. Will is a 2005 graduate of Newberry High School and a 2008 graduate of Piedmont Technical College where he received his Associate’s Degree in Machine Tool Technology. He joined the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 as a Corrections Officer and was then selected to become a Deputy, a venture he began after completion of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

Will is married to the former Ms. Katrina Heflin of Newberry and they are the proud parents of 2 boys, Tazmyne, 11, and Braydon, 9. Will is the son of Phil and Joy Bouknight of Newberry and he's proud to say that he is a 2nd generation law enforcement officer. Will's father, Phil, a retired Lieutenant from the City of Newberry Police Department, served in this noble profession for 25 years.

Congratulations to Will Bouknight, one of the newest additions to the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office family!

march of dimesNewberry March For Babies Kick-off On Wednesday
February 8,
4:14 PM

The March of Dimes will kick off their 2016 March for Babies fundraising campaign in Newberry on February 10 at 11:30 a.m. at Newberry Electric Cooperative.

Families and businesses throughout Newberry are invited to attend and start raising funds for March for Babies, which will be held on April 9 at Memorial Park.

The kick off luncheon will feature a program to introduce this year’s campaign and provide fundraising tips. Top fundraisers from 2015 will also be recognized. To register for the Kick Off, contact Ashley Lamb Smith at 803-403-8524 or

March for Babies raises funds for vital research to help prevent premature birth and birth defects. Funds raised also support community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies. South Carolina continues to have one of the highest premature birth rates in the country, and the March of Dimes urges everyone to join the fight for stronger, healthier babies.

March for Babies Chairman, Keith Avery, CEO and President, Newberry Electric, says, “We invite our community to join March for Babies and raise money to help the March of Dimes give every baby a fighting chance.

In Newberry, March for Babies is sponsored by Newberry Electric and WKDK Radio.

Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies.

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects. Register for March for Babies at For the latest resources and information, visit Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Free Seminar For Scams Prevention
Posted: February 8, 7:37 AM

Scams continue to harass and plague residents. Calls are being made everyday in efforts to intimidate or cajole honest citizens into giving money to criminal enterprises. The latest scam is someone calling to say they owe government fees and taxes and are being subpoenaed into court and risk jail.

Don't be a victim. Let us help you by coming to a free seminar. Anyone is invited and it is entirely free, except for your time.

This is tonight at 7:00 pm at the Newberry County Sheriff's Office.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA), is offering a free Identity Theft presentation for consumers. The presentation will cover:
• The different types of Identity Theft and Steps to Protect Yourself.
• An overview of security freezes and fraud alerts.
• Popular scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Again, this free seminar is at 7:00 pm tonight at the Newberry County Sheriff's Office (Drill Hall) at 550 Wilson Road.

nursingNewberry College Expands Nursing Program
Posted: February 5, 7:38 AM

Pictured: Brittany Barr
Newberry College has expanded its nursing program to increase the number of candidates admitted to the Pre-Licensure Nursing major by one third.

Nursing programs throughout the country are at capacity for the number of students they can admit, according to a report by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce. According the report, a projected 1.6 million job openings will be available for nurses by 2020, roughly divided evenly between new jobs and replacement positions for retiring Baby Boomers.

“Interest in the nursing profession continues to grow among prospective students, but our program has operated at capacity for several years,” said Nursing department chair Betsy McDowell, Ph.D, RN, CNE, ANEF. “This expansion will provide more students with access to the opportunity for careers in this in-demand field.”

When the incoming class of aspiring nurses is admitted to Newberry’s Pre-Licensure Nursing program each fall of their junior year, available seats are quickly filled. In response to sustained interest from students and growing demand within the industry for qualified professionals, Newberry College is expanding its program.

Currently, 24 students are admitted to the Pre-Licensure Nursing program once per year in the fall semester. Beginning with the spring 2017 semester, an additional 16 seats will open up to aspiring nurses. After that, the program will fill 16 seats each spring and fall semester for a total of 32 seats per year, increasing by 33 percent the number of seats available each year in the Pre-Licensure Nursing program.

To accommodate the increased enrollment, the program will add one new full-time faculty member and one adjunct professor for the spring 2017 semester. Another full-time faculty member and an adjunct professor will be added for the spring 2018 semester.

Newberry will continue its partnership with Lexington Medical Center as the primary site for clinicals, the portion of their program in which students apply classroom knowledge to actual patient care under the supervision of master’s prepared nursing instructors.

“Not only does this expansion increase access to one of our most popular majors, it also offers greater flexibility to students,” said Dr. Timothy Elston, vice president for Academic Affairs.

Previously, Newberry College’s nursing program offered one start per year in the fall semester. Because of the program’s lockstep course sequence, if a student missed the fall start, they waited an entire year for the next fall start. With the expansion of the program, Newberry is now able to offer both fall and spring starts, providing greater flexibility and convenience for students in the timing of when they enter and graduate from the program.

Newberry College offers a Healthcare Management minor for students in any major who may have an interest in health-related fields. Newberry also offers Pre-Professional Health Professions programs, which provide undergraduate education aimed at preparing students for graduate studies in a variety of health professions, including dentistry, medicine, chiropractic, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy and veterinary medicine.

Newberry College currently is retooling its RN to BSN completion track to provide a more flexible and direct path to a bachelor’s degree for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The baccalaureate degree is gaining in popularity as the preferred credential for a growing number of RN opportunities, particularly among nursing professionals seeking to take on administrative and leadership roles.

For more information about Nursing or other healthcare-focused degree programs at Newberry College, go to or call 803.321.5127 or email

County Council Report
Posted: February 3, 10:04 PM

Report by Samie Truong
Anne Peters from the planning and zoning administration gave a review of the comprehensive plan. this is a plan of strategies to help improve this county. Such things like promoting economic development, land use, enhancing life and standard of living, improve the work force and much more. Councilman Hipp and Cain will be going through the list/plan and re-evaluating the priorities to help make the plan more efficient for the county's improvement.

The Ordinance 01-01-16 is for the acceptance of the transfer of the authority for conducting municipal elections to the City of Newberry. This was the second reading and 6 were for and 1 opposed on accepting this ordinance. 

Ordinance 02-02-16 is for rezoning property from general commercial to basic industrial. The land owners are looking to reopen the cement plant that has been vacant for over 6 months. And the council approved the first reading. 

Ordinance 02-03-16 is an ordinance requesting the rezoning of land from single family to rural. Council has approved the first reading. 

The Council approved Lieutenant Ben Chapman's request to use budgeted money to purchase two 2016 Ford Police Package Explorers for the Sheriff's office and one 2016 Ford Police Package Explorer for the victims service unit.  

The next meeting will be on Feb. 17 @ 7pm.

Drug Seizure
Posted: February 1, 4:22 PM

clarktaylorTwo people arrested in connection with Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute”, “Possession of Methamphetamine”, “Simple Possession of Marijuana”, “Possession of Drug Paraphernalia”, and “Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol”.

Stephen Everett Taylor, 27, 2401 Davis Mills Road, Deep Run, NC 28525

Bridgette Danielle Clark, 22, 6313 Washington Street, La Grange, NC 28551

On Thursday, January 28, 2016, a Deep Run, N.C. man, along with a La Grange, N.C. woman, were arrested after they were found in Possession of Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Drug Paraphernalia, and the Unlawful Possession of a Handgun on a traffic stop.

A Newberry County Deputy Sheriff was patrolling S.C. Highway 34 near I-26 because of recent thefts in the area. While in the area of S.C. Highway 34 near Tom Griffin Road, the deputy observed a silver vehicle, later identified as a “Chevrolet”, in a parking area behind a restaurant. The deputy observed the vehicle’s operator, exiting the vehicle in an erratic manner and acting suspicious. The vehicle was then observed changing locations to a non-designated parking area just feet away its previous location. As the deputy initiated an investigatory stop and approached the vehicle, the driver attempted exited the vehicle in an aggressive manner and moved toward the deputy. The deputy detained the driver and questioned him regarding his activities. During the driver’s exiting of the vehicle, the deputy smelled a strong smell of marijuana and observed a handgun in the driver-side door pocket. Immediately, the deputy secured the handgun and gathered the identification information of the driver and the 1 remaining occupant. The deputy requested assistance from another patrol unit in the area. The occupants were secured and questioned. A subsequent search of the occupants revealed that they were in possession of Marijuana, Cocaine, Pills, Crystal Methamphetamine, over $4,000 in cash, and an unlawfully possessed handgun. At this point, the suspects were arrested and jailed pending bond hearings.

Taylor was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Simple Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of an Unlawful Weapon.

Clark was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Simple Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Taylor received a $47,370 bond today with $27,370 being cash/surety while Clark received a $45,870 cash/surety bond on Personal Appearance Bonds today.

Sheriff Foster stated that “We have a responsibility as law enforcement officers and citizens of this county, to work proactively to keep this community safe and maintain that standard. Law Enforcement Officers work tirelessly to combat these, as well as other types of crimes, and it can be extremely dangerous. Often times, we sacrifice personal and family time to be out late at night working crimes and run across a situations like these, and we never know if they’re armed subjects or not. We work to combat drugs in the community at every level. It takes an entire community to make this happen. We take that responsibility seriously in partnering with the community and it is our aim to seek out those who continue to oppose that standard.”

Search Warrant Leads To Three Arrests With Drugs, Firearms
Posted: January 28, 3:05 PM

Click HERE for links to all the pictures including mug shots and a picture of the seizure.

A nearly yearlong investigation into an organized drug ring in Newberry ended yesterday afternoon when officers served a search warrant on the base for the ring. Officers seized crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, and several firearm including one that is already confirmed stolen.

Officers from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry Police Department, and State Law Enforcement Division served the search warrant at 820 Taylor Street Wednesday just after 12pm. Three suspects fled the residence as the officers approached; however, all three suspects were apprehended within a very short distance of the residence.

Once inside the officers found 4 ounces of crack cocaine, nearly 1 ounce of cocaine, 3 ounces of marijuana, 5 pistols, and 1 rifle. One of the pistols found was reported stolen from a residence in Pomaria in March of last year. The officers also seized just over $1000 in suspect drug money.

“There is an integral link between property crime and drugs,” said Sheriff Lee Foster. “Items like firearms are stolen from innocent victims and then traded for illegal drugs. The addict steals from victims and then provides more weapons to the drug dealers through the trade of the weapons for drugs.”

“Many in our society would like to declare drugs a victimless crime,” Foster continued. “I would like for them to understand the hurt and pain of the families who watch loved ones addicted to drugs and the fear that someone has in their own home when someone has burglarized their home simply to support their drug addiction.”

“Most violent criminals get their weapons through theft not legitimate purchases,” Foster said. “The reason the weapon was quickly identified as stolen in because the owner had the serial number to the weapon, therefore it was easily identified. I implore everyone to record serial numbers on their weapons and other items if it has a serial number. It is the best possible way to identify property helping law enforcement to recover and return the property and great evidence toward the conviction of those responsible for taking and possessing your property.”

Three suspects were arrested at the residence. Law enforcement has identified them as:

Raheem Wadell Jackson, 22, 516 Wright Street, Newberry - He will be charged with Trafficking Crack Cocaine, Trafficking Cocaine, Possession with intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Possession of a Weapon During A Violent Crime.

Telly Tomarkens Jones, 30, 820 Taylor Street, Newberry - He will be charged with Trafficking Crack Cocaine, Trafficking Cocaine, Possession with intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Possession of a Weapon During A Violent Crime.

Jermetres Rochard Kirkland, 22, 820 Taylor Street, Newberry - He will be charged with Trafficking Crack Cocaine, Trafficking Cocaine, Possession with intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Possession of a Weapon During A Violent Crime.

Law enforcement says that they made undercover narcotics buys from the residence over the last several months building their case against these suspects and others. They said that additional charges and additional arrests are expected.

“We must work together to combat the illegal drug trade in our communities,” said Chief Roy McClurkin, “It is only when law enforcement agencies and the community work together that we can begin to take back our communities when drug dealer move in and try to take over.”

“It is important that citizens tell us when they see suspicious activity,” said Sheriff Foster. “The information that the public provides is crucial to gaining the type of intelligence we need to have successful investigations.”

“The amount of evidence needed to gain a conviction in court in today’s society makes these investigations long and tedious,” said Foster. “However, we do not just want to charged them, we want to convict them. Often when citizens think nothing is being done when the reality is we are hard at work behind the scenes.”

The suspects will be formally charged and a bond hearing will be later on this afternoon.

louie alexanderSchool Board Report
January 26,
6:52 AM

Report by
Samantha Truong

The Newberry School Board meeting started offwith the election of the Board Officers. The current Board was reelected to serve another term:

Jody Hamm, Area IV; Chairman who has served a total of 13 years on the School Board
Lee Attaway, Area II; Vice-Chairman 18 years
Clyde Hill, Area VII; Secretary and Claims Liaison 21 years
Lucy Anne Meetze, Area III; Legislative Liaison 12 years
Jessie J. Reeder, Area VI 4 years
Hugh Gray, Jr., Area V 6 years
Ike Bledsoe, Area I 8 years

After Executive Session the Board accepted to extend the lease on the storage warehouse on Nance Street Also, they accepted the new hire of Meagan Trammell at Newberry High School.

The Board then recognized some students and coaches for high achievements during this year's football season:

Mid-Carolina High Coach Louie Alexander (pictured above, with Superintendent Bennie Bennett and Jody Hamm) was selected to be on the coaching staff at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.  This is a big accomplishment and the County is very pleased to see him earn such recognition.  

Newberry High – Athletes:
JaCeree Caldwell was selected to the North/South Football team by the Football Coaches Association of South Carolina. His outstanding play this year caught the eye of many coaches. His 20 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and more than 80 tackles on the year were key factors in his selection.

Demarcus Gilmore was selected to the Shrine Bowl by the coaching staff of the 2015 Shrine Bowl team. His outstanding blocking and leadership helped him in the selection process. Demarcus is a big, young man with outstanding athletic ability. His size and athletic ability caught the attention of the Shrine Bowl coaching staff and was a major role in his selection. Demarcus played offensive tackle in the Shrine Bowl.

Yafari Werts (who was not in attendance)– was selected to the Shrine Bowl by the coaching staff of the 2015 Shrine Bowl team. His outstanding play this year caught the attention of the Shrine Bowl staff. Yafari is an unbelievable athlete that played several roles in the game.

nhs footballNewberry High School Varsity Football Team -2015 AA Division I Upper State Champions. Competed in State Championship. The Newberry High School football team went 11-3 this year. They had playoff victories over Pendleton, Strom Thurmond and Fairfield-Central. They defeated Fairfield in the AA Division I Upper State Championship game to earn the right to compete for the second consecutive State Championship. (2015 Upper State Champions) The Bulldogs were defeated but had another excellent season.

Dr. Lynn Cary gave a report about the Board Approved Courses for the 2016-2017 school year. The list may be found on the County's School Website for review and they ask for as much feedback from the public as possible. So at the February meeting the board may approve the final list.

Next meeting will be on February 22.

Newberry City Council Meeting: Recognitions, New Tennis Court Project, and More
Posted: January 13, 7:57 AM

Report by Samie Truong
Council recognized dowdhawkins