A Timeline for 2016

A community loss: Dr. Joe Getty
Sept. 21 - Residents of Mountville attend the first of two public meetings related to five new poultry operations with six broiler houses each up for SC DHEC permits. Four of the five permits have been issued (a fifth is pending), and community residents ask for a hearing on the first of the five permits before the full board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. All five permits have been issued - the fifth having an effective date of Jan. 4, 2017. See article in the Jan. 4 issue of The Clinton Chronicle.

Timeline for 2016

These are major news events affecting Clinton in 2016, and dates of articles in The Chronicle:

Jan. 13, Vic MacDonald is named Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. In March, the 116-year-old newspaper receives eight SC Press Association awards, including 3rd Place General Excellence in its classification.

Jan. 13, attorneys for Michael Beaty Jr., of Clinton, file an appeal of his murder conviction and life in prison with parole sentence from 2015. In October, the appeal is heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Beaty was convicted in the June, 2013, strangulation death of Emily-Anna Asbill, of Clinton.

Jan. 27, the City of Clinton conducts a public meeting related to proposed restoration of the former Martha Dendy School as a community recreation center. The project remains under study.

Feb. 3, Clinton Middle School wins its first SC Science Olympiad Championship, following 13 consecutive state title wins by its predecessor school, Bell Street Middle School (15 overall).

Feb. 10, players and parents say they were “blindsided” by Clinton High School Athletics’ decision to eliminate lacrosse. The Red Devil lax team will play its final season this spring.

Feb. 17, Bailey Manor Christian Retirement Community announces re-opening dates following extensive renovations. The community was heavily damaged by fire in August, 2014, when a resident, Alton Payton, drove his car with a full can of gasoline in the back seat through the front door. He was taken into custody and sent to a mental health facility.

Feb. 17, past chairmen of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce board of directors announce they want to explore land use planning for the county. The group has evolved into the organization, Let’s Grow Laurens County Together.

Feb. 24, Laurens County Republicans join in the nomination of New York billionaire Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. He wins election in November, and will take the oath of office Jan. 20, 2017.

March 2, Clinton High School wins back the SC Science Olympiad State Championship it lost in 2015 to the Academic Magnet School of Charleston.

March 23, the Clinton Middle School Academic Bowl Team wins the SC championship.

March 23, Laurens County Council names Jon Caime, from Hart County, Georgia, as the new county administrator. He replaces retiring county administrator Ernie Segars. Caime began his duties in May at a starting salary of $120,000 a year.

March 30, District 56 is reaccredited with review scores that top the national average.

April 6, a two-vehicle collision in the West Main and Bell Street area of Clinton injures four people and knocks out power throughout the city.

April 20, an Aiken man, Michael Spears, is arrested and charged with murder in the death of Jessie Sanders, of Whitmire. Sanders was owner of Sanders-Thompson Mortuary Services of Clinton.

April 27, Clinton High varsity baseball wins the Region Championship with a 19-1 overall mark and 10-0 region record. The Red Devils also win the District Championship before falling to Seneca in the Upper State Championship.

April 27, Nickie Templeton is named Clinton High Athletics Director, replacing Dr. David Barnes who retired as AD.

May 11, media reports that Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain for months has been “sexting” a Greenwood woman who is not his wife. Chastain goes on to lose in the June Republican Primary to challenger and retired SC State Trooper Don Reynolds, who will take the oath of office as Sheriff on Jan. 3, 2017. Chastain was seeking his fifth term as Laurens County Sheriff.

May 18, a Clinton woman, Willie Ruth Byrd, is arrested and charged with murder in the stabbing death of Alfred Ralph Lindsay at his Clinton residence.

May 25, Rhythm on the Rails brings in 3,000 guests for its second annual fun, music and food festival themed to Clinton’s status as a railroads crossroads.

May 25, Clinton Department of Public Safety Sgt. Tyrone Goggins is named the Laurens County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

May 25, four ROTC National Scholarship recipients put Clinton High among the elite high schools in the United States.

June 1, three people are arrested and charged with murder after the disappearance of Laurens District High School student Edwin Diaz-Chirinos. His body was found at an abandoned house near Clinton.

June 8, Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols, a Democrat, files a lawsuit against Republican challenger James Hayes challenging Hayes’ qualifications to run for coroner. The lawsuit is successful, Hayes is removed from the ballot and the GOP nomination is re-opened. In November, Nichols wins re-election against the Republican challenger, William Weir.

June 29, a ground-breaking is held for a road into the new I-26 Commerce Center, a project of the City of Clinton and a private investor. It is one of four city-sponsored groundbreakings - one each for a develop-ready pad on Hwy 72, a streetscaping project in uptown Clinton (which has been completed), the Commerce Center road, and a 75,000 sq. ft. spec building (under construction) at Commerce Center.

July 6, Bennie Ray Brown Jr. is convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole in the deaths of Deputy Roger Rice Jr. and Brown’s former girlfriend, Nicole Kingsborough. Brown shot Kingsborough at her workplace, and shot Rice when deputies arrived to confront Brown at a residence near Clinton in July, 2011.

July 6, Dr. Joe Getty dies at age 109. The retired professor, author and theologian lived at the Clinton Presbyterian Community.

July 27, the former sanctuary of Laurel Hill Baptist Church, Waterloo, is torched, and four people are arrested including men demolishing the building.

Aug. 17, fire damages closes Dempsey’s, a popular pizza restaurant in Clinton. Its owners vow to make repairs, and Dempsey’s re-opened on Dec. 14.

Aug. 31, for the first time, the Clinton-Laurens high school varsity football game is the season-opener. Activities include a ball run from Laurens to Clinton by the cross-country teams. Clinton wins the cross-county rivalry game, 34-29, on their way to a 5-6 season that ends in the first round of the AAA state playoffs. The season earns second-year head coach Andrew Webb full coaching status (instead of interim coach) in Novembers. Laurens re-groups to finish the season 6-6, with a region championship, making it to the second round of the AAAAA state playoffs. Raiders head coach Chris Liner is Region Coach of the Year and Laurens County Touchdown Club Coach of the Year, and Raider senior lineman Hunter Medlin is the Touchdown Club Player of the Year.

Sept. 7, Stephane Williams survives a challenge by Don Hunter before the Laurens County Elections and Registration board to stay on the ballot for Sheriff as a petition candidate. Williams loses the November General Election to Republican Don Reynolds.

Sept. 21, Laurens County Animal Control is criticized after personnel kill 17 dogs in its care responding to a possible parvo outbreak.

Sept. 21, residents of Mountville attend the first of two public meetings related to five new poultry operations with six broiler houses each up for SC DHEC permits. Four of the five permits have been issued (a fifth is pending), and community residents ask for a hearing on the first of the five permits before the full board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Oct. 12, Hurricane Matthew causes little damage here, and electrical workers are sent on the road to other, hard-hit areas of South Carolina to assist with damage repair.

Nov. 23, after a 2-9 season, Harold Nichols steps down as Presbyterian College football head coach. He is replaced by Tommy Spangler, the defensive coordinator and former head coach.

Nov. 23, the City of Clinton, along with Camden, is accepted into the next class of the South Carolina Main Street program. The city will hire a director for its latest uptown revitalization program.

Dec. 7, Rich D’Alberto prepares for his retirement future as Greenville Health System campus president of the Laurens County Memorial Hospital. With the Laurens County hospital since 2004, D’Alberto says assisting with GHS affiliation was a crowning moment for his long healthcare career.

Dec. 21, a Clinton man, Samuel Antonio Davis, is arrested and charged with murder and other crimes in the shooting death of Sammy Tribble III, also of Clinton, at a Gastley Drive residence. 

Dec. 21, the Laurens 9-10 All-Stars youth football team, with players from Clinton, wins the State Championship, 14-6, over Marion. The team defeats Seneca, Liberty, Abbeville and Chester in claiming the Upper State Championship.

 
Feb. 24 -- Laurens County Republicans join in the nomination of New York billionaire Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. He wins election in November, and will take the oath of office Jan. 20, 2017.

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