Oconee Veterans, Oconee VA Office Set To Recognize 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Vietnam Wall

Release Courtesy of Janice Matheson
Assistant Veterans Affairs Director
Oconee County Veterans Affairs Office

(Walhalla)—Veterans across Oconee County and the local VA Office are teaming up with the Department of Defense in recognizing the “commemoration” of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Jerry Dyar, Director of the Oconee County Veterans Affairs Office says, “Oconee County has been recognized, by the Department of Defense, as a Commemorative Partner for the next three (3) years, in calling attention to our great veterans who served in uniform during the Vietnam War”. Dyar added, “As a part of what our county will be doing for the next three years, we will be sponsoring at least two events yearly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that war”.

As a part of the commemorative effort, the Department of Defense has issue a beautiful flag that has been provided to Oconee County and will be unveiled in a special ceremony on March 28th at the Gignilliat Community Center Gym in Seneca. Following the unveiling of the flag, it will fly for 30 days on the flag pole at the VA Office in Walhalla, after which it will be framed and put on permanent display along with the 50th Anniversary flags from World War II and the Korean War in the lobby of the county VA office.

Dyar said this will be the first of six (6) events over the next three years to honor the men and women of Oconee County for their service during the Vietnam War. Judge Alex MacCaulay, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, will be the keynote speaker for the March 28th event. More information on the ceremony will be forthcoming, according to Dyar.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event Scheduled for April 16th in Seneca

Foothills Alliance

walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes logo

(Walhalla, SC)————————————————-Foothills Alliance of Anderson will host the upcoming Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on Thursday, April 16th at 7pm on Ram Cat Alley in Seneca.
Individuals from all ages are invited to participate as men walk a few blocks in women’s shoes to raise awareness of sexual assaults and to show support for those victims.
Foothills Alliance was founded in 1989 as the Foothills Rape Crisis Center and during that time, has been serving victims of sexual abuse for 25 years. Foothills Alliance offers free services to survivors and their friends and families.
Sponsors packages are available from $50 up to $250 dollars. For more information, visit www.foothillsalliance.org and click on the link to Walk a Mile.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Man in Recent Seneca BI-LO Larceny

Picture of Vehicle Involved in the Larceny

Picture of Vehicle Involved in the Larceny

Jeremy Allen Carson

Jeremy Allen Carson

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man this morning in a larceny that occurred in the parking lot of the Seneca BI-LO on February 11th.

37 year old Jeremy Allen Carson, who resides at an address on N. Highway 11, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:41am after being picked up at his residence by a deputy from the Road Patrol Division.

Back on February 11th, a deputy responded to the scene that afternoon to speak with the complainant, who told the deputy that she was loading her groceries in a vehicle in which she was a passenger which was parked in a parking space in front of the store. As the vehicle left the scene, the complainant realized that she had left her purse in the buggy and upon returning; the complainant could not locate the purse and then proceeded to call law enforcement.

Upon further investigation and upon reviewing the surveillance video provided by the store, the deputy observed the suspect in the case, a white male driving a late 2000’s model gold Saturn Ion with what appeared to be South Carolina plates.

The deputy observed the gold Saturn park behind the victim’s vehicle and once the victim’s vehicle left, the suspect took the purse, got back into the gold Saturn and left going to Staples.

The total amount of items taken from the purse is around $550.00

The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release on February 18th seeking the public’s assistance in helping to solve the crime.

According to information the deputy received from the public, warrants were obtained against Carson on February 25th charging him with Petit Larceny.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Continues Routine Law Enforcement Operations During and After Winter Storm

Sheriff's Badge

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————With the latest winter storm having left the Golden Corner after depositing another round of snow, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office continues it routine law enforcement operations.

“It appears that Oconee County is in pretty good shape after the latest round of snow,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “While some areas did not receive as much snow as forecast, some areas in the northern part of the county did receive as much as 8 to 10 inches of snow.”

“Even though the main roads have seen some thawing and many have been scrapped, we are still advising our citizens to only travel if it is absolutely necessary,” continues the Sheriff. “Many of the secondary and side roads still have a good bit of slush on them in some areas and are hazardous to drive. Overnight tonight, travel will be treacherous again as temperatures are forecasted to dip below freezing and what is left on the roads will refreeze.”

“I would like to remind those that we serve that once again if you are in need of law enforcement assistance in the county, please contact the Sheriff’s Office and we will respond to those calls,” says the Sheriff. “We have been and do continue our routine law enforcement operations and our dispatch center is fully staffed, so if you have an emergency, call 911. Our non-emergency lines are available for any other calls at 864-638-4111.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges Two with Escape Charges

Brooke Danyelle McCall

Brooke Danyelle McCall

Joshua Dewayne Burrell

Joshua Dewayne Burrell

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged two Seneca residents, including one already in custody, with escape charges after a scheme to try to free the detained person from jail.

26 year old Joshua Dewayne Burrell was arrested back on February 13th. Burrell had two General Session Bench Warrants as well as a Fugitive from Justice Warrant for a violation of his probation from the state of Georgia. His fiancée, 25 year old Brooke Danyelle McCall, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:40pm today after being picked up by a deputy from the Warrants Division. Both Burrell and McCall reside at an address on Brookwood Drive.

A deputy was contacted by a detention officer Monday concerning a phone call from a female who identified herself as a probation officer from Georgia and used a fake name. The female told the detention officer that the retainer on Burrell was being lifted and that he could be released.

The detention officer advised the caller that proper paperwork from Georgia needed to be faxed over in order to release him. The caller gave a number for Georgia probation, upon which the detention officer made a call and spoke with an individual who was not with Georgia Probation.

The detention officer contacted Rabun County, GA detention who advised that the retainer was not being lifted on Burrell.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division. In a warrant obtained this morning, Burrell is charged with conspiring with McCall “to contact the Detention Center under the pretense of being a probation officer to have his detainer lifted and to be released from custody unlawfully.” McCall is charged in a warrant with “attempting to aid or assist a prisoner (Burrell) by any means in his endeavor to escape custody.”

At no time was Burrell ever released from custody and he is still in custody at the Detention Center awaiting extradition to Georgia for the violation of probation charges.

McCall has been released earlier today on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond. Burrell’s bond on the escape charge was a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Greenville Man on Outstanding Stolen Vehicle Warrant

Billy Joe Durham, Jr.

Billy Joe Durham, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Greenville man on an outstanding warrant on charges of possessing a stolen vehicle.

46 year old Billy Joe Durham Jr., who resides at an address on Grove Road according to warrants, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:25am after being transported to Walhalla by an officer from the Warrants Division who picked Durham at the Greenville County LEC where he was being held.

Back on January 20th, a deputy was dispatched to Wal-Mart due to reports of a shoplifting. A black Dodge Dakota pickup was seen leaving the scene. The deputy was able to confirm that the truck was stolen. The deputy later saw the vehicle behind him in traffic.

The deputy approached the vehicle in the Home Depot parking lot but the driver, Durham, was already inside the store. Durham reportedly left the scene on foot after seeing patrol vehicles around the truck. Durham was identified by his ID which was left in the truck as well as by two passengers.

Warrants were obtained the next day charging Durham with possessing the vehicle knowing that it was stolen. The vehicle was reported stolen on January 20th by the owner to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle was recovered and returned to the owner.

Durham is still being on a $5,000 surety bond at the Detention Center.

7th Annual VetFest Fun Run Fundraiser for Patriot’s Hall Scheduled

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–The 7th Annual VetFest Fun Run Fundraiser for Patriot’s Hall is scheduled for Saturday March 21st at Noon.

All vehicles are welcomed and will start from Patriot’s Hall in Walhalla on Short Street with motorcycles out first around 1pm and all other vehicles out thereafter.

Five historical sites will be visited in Oconee County and a written questionnaire will be available to be answered at each site with correct answers at each site qualifying those individuals for a prize drawing later on.

The finish line will be at 2415 Highlands Highway at the VFW in Walhalla at 5pm with the prize drawing at 6:30pm. You must be present to win.

Multiple prizes will be awarded and prizes for children will also be offered as well, making this a kid friendly event.

The driver entry fee is $15.00 with additional questionnaires available for purchase. Admission for children under 10 is $5.00.

There will be music, door prizes, a silent auction, military vehicles on display and information booths for various Veterans organizations, plus a food vendor and other activities will be part fo the VetFest.

The VetFest will benefit Patriot’s Hall, which is the Oconee Veterans Museum.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Offering Hunter Education Classes

SCDNR Logo

(Walhalla, SC)——————————–The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will be hosting several hunter education classes over the next few weeks prior to the upcoming turkey season.

There are three weekend class sessions being offered prior to the upcoming turkey season. The dates and locations are as follows:

• February 28th – the South Carolina DNR office in Clemson.
• March 7th – Belton Depot in Belton
• March 14th – Foothills Community Church at 505 Bountyland Road in Seneca

The classes are scheduled to be held from 8am – 3pm.

All residents and non-residents born after June 30, 1979 need the hunter education endorsement and must complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license in the state. If you were born prior to that date and attempt to acquire a hunting license out-of-state, you’ll find that many states now require you to have a hunter education endorsement. The Hunter Education Program is dedicated to the safe enjoyment of our outdoors. Through this program, students learn about responsibility and ethics in the field, as well as firearms safety.

Participants must pre-register at www.dnr.sc.gov by clicking on the hunter education icon. A break will be provided at mid-day to allow participants to go off site for lunch. Each student is urged to be on time and bring a pen or pencil.

All classes are first come, first serve and are free events at no cost.

All children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guard

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Separate Burglaries and Larcenies on Utica Mill Hill

Damage Heat Pump - Picture One

Damage Heat Pump - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving two separate incidents that occurred on the Utica Mill Hill near Seneca.

Both incidents occurred at 15 Powell Street. The first was reported on Sunday, January 4th after a deputy was notified by the homeowner of damage to the heat pump at the residence. Deputies believe that the heat pump was damaged sometime between midnight New Year’s Day and around 7:30pm January 4th. The deputy also noticed that the door lock to the crawl space had been broken into but it appeared that items in the crawl space had only been moved around.

The homeowner told the deputy that it would cost around $5,000 to replace the unit.

The second incident was reported to the Sheriff’s Office on February 11th as a deputy responded to reports of a burglary. The homeowner told the deputy that the home was broken into sometime between 8am February 7th and 9am on the 11th. The victim said it appeared that someone came into the residence through a window and reportedly stole a stove, a shop vacuum, a 10 foot aluminum ladder and some paint. The suspect(s) reportedly left hand trucks on the scene with a refrigerator left on them.

The total amount of items taken in the February burglary and larceny is around $660.

If you have any information on these two incidents that occurred at 15 Powell Street on the Utica Mill Hill near Seneca, please contact Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward. All information shared with Crime Stoppers is confidential.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Stands Ready During Winter Storms

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————With the current winter storm and snow tapering off later on today and another potential heavier winter storm on the way, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office stands ready to assist the citizens we serve.

“The biggest issues we have seen this morning has been some traffic accidents, including some involving overturned vehicles,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Even though vehicles are able to get some traction in the snow, the Sheriff’s Office is advising motorists that if they don’t have to travel, please stay home, but if they do, please use extreme caution.”

“If anyone is in need of law enforcement assistance in the county, please contact the Sheriff’s Office and we will respond to those calls,” says the Sheriff. “The Sheriff’s Office has our deputies and dispatchers working their normal shifts and we are ready to respond and assist our citizens. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 and assistance will be there.”

With the current Winter Weather Advisory expiring at noon and a Winter Storm Watch going into effect at 6pm tomorrow evening, the Sheriff’s Office has been and will be making preparations for normal law enforcement operations during these winter events.

“The Sheriff’s Office has been and will be making the necessary preparations to deal with the possibility of some significant snow that is being forecasted right now,” continues the Sheriff. “That will include putting snow tires and/or chains on our patrol vehicles, utilizing our four-wheel drive vehicles that we have, and making sure that essential personnel make it to work. Regardless, our routine law enforcement operations will go on as normal.”