Monthly Archives: December 2015

Duke Energy and county officials to test sirens around Oconee Nuclear Station

 Three-minute test scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 13, at approximately 11:50 a.m.
 No public action required.

Oconee Nuclear Station

Oconee Nuclear Station

Release Courtesy of Andrew Beckner
Communications Consultant
Duke Energy

SENECA, S.C. – The public alert notification sirens around the Oconee Nuclear Station will be tested on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at approximately 11:50 a.m.

The 65 sirens within 10 miles of the Oconee Nuclear Station will be tested for three-minutes to make sure each siren works properly. This full-cycle siren test is performed once each quarter in cooperation with emergency officials in Oconee and Pickens counties, who are responsible for sounding the sirens.

Hearing a siren does not mean to evacuate. In an emergency, sirens are sounded as a signal for residents to tune to a local radio or TV station that would carry an emergency alerting message. County officials use these stations to provide information to the public. If sirens are heard and residents are unsure if it is a test or an emergency, they should tune to their local radio or TV station.

For more information about the public alert notification sirens, residents can refer to information available on www.duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at www.duke-energy.com.
Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host its sixth Coffee with a Cop on February 4th, 2016

Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues

Coffee With A Cop Logo

(Walhalla, SC)—On February 4th, 2016, officers from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members and the public are invited to attend. The event begins at 8am on February 4th at Palmetto Sweets and Company at 115 East Main Street in Walhalla. Please contact Jimmy Watt with questions: 864-638-4199 or jwatt@oconeelaw.com.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Oconee County neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Man on Sex Offender Registry Violation

Clyde Anthony Webb

Clyde Anthony Webb

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man yesterday on an outstanding warrant charging him with a Sex Offender Registry Violation – 3rd or Subsequent Offense.

32 year old Clyde Anthony Webb of Standpoint Vista Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:12pm. A hold has also been placed upon Webb by the Probation, Parole and Pardons Service.

Due to a conviction in 1997 on a charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minors, Webb is required to register as a Sex Offender in the county in which he resides. According to Sgt. Kelly Winchester, Sex Offender Registrar with the Sheriff’s Office, Webb last registered with the Sheriff’s Office on August 20th and was required to register in November. Webb is required by law to register quarterly in the county in which he resides as part of his sentence.

Webb did not register with the Sex Offender Registrar in the month of November and had not provided a change of address that would have him registering in another jurisdiction.

An arrest warrant was obtained against Webb for the Sex Offender Registry Violation and his information was entered into the National Crime Information Center database.

Webb also had two prior convictions for Failure to Register, one in 2007 and another in 2014.

As of 9:30am, Webb remains in custody at the Oconee County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Three on Shoplifting Charges over the Christmas Holidays

Shawn Michael Fodor

Shawn Michael Fodor

Alejandro Rodrigues Shropshire

Alejandro Rodrigues Shropshire

Roger Vernon Vaughn, Jr.

Roger Vernon Vaughn, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested three individuals for shoplifting over the Christmas holidays, including one wanted on three outstanding shoplifting warrants.

The following individuals were arrested:

• 24 year old Shawn Michael Fodor of Duggan Hill Lane in Clayton, Georgia. Fodor was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:04pm on Wednesday, December 23rd. Fodor was arrested after deputies responded to the Seneca Wal-Mart on Sandifer Boulevard Wednesday due to reports of a shoplifting. Fodor took a HP laptop, a HP notebook and a tablet case past all points of sale without paying for the items but was stopped by lost prevention. The total amount of the items taken was around $710.00. Fodor was issued a traffic ticket charging him with shoplifting. He was released Christmas Eve morning on a $2,130 personal recognizance bond.

• 39 year old Roger Vernon Vaughn, Jr. of Hiott Road in Anderson. Vaughn was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:45am on Christmas Eve after being picked up at the Greenville County Detention Center by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division. Vaughn was charged in warrants for being involved in three separate shopliftings this past spring and summer at the Seneca Wal-Mart in which a combined total of $3,640.59 was taken. Vaughn was also served with an outstanding General Sessions Bench Warrant. As of 1:30pm today, he remains in custody at the Detention Center on a combined total surety bond amount of $6,390.

• 42 year old Alejandro Rodrigues Shropshire of Doyle Street in Toccoa, Georgia. Shropshire was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:59pm Christmas Eve. Shropshire was arrested after a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was dispatched to the Belk’s in Seneca in regards to a shoplifting. A deputy was given a description of the individual in question and then discovered the individual matching the description walking along Highway 123. The suspect was identified by a store employee and Shropshire was placed under arrest and issued a traffic ticket on charges of shoplifting. The total amount of items that Shropshire is accused of shoplifting from the store is $950.52. Shropshire was released from the Detention Center on Christmas Day. His bond amount was $2,130.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests West Union Man on Outstanding Grand Larceny Warrant

Kristopher O'Neal Justus

Kristopher O’Neal Justus

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a West Union man earlier today on an outstanding warrant charging him with Grand Larceny.

30 year old Kristopher O’Neal Justus of Burns Mill Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:25pm after being picked up at the Stephens County Jail by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division received a phone call from a victim who told the deputy that Justus took a 1985 Dodge Ram pickup truck from the victim at an address on Filly Circle in West Union during the early morning hours of August 5th. A BOLO was issued to surrounding agencies and the truck was entered into the National Crime Information Center database. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

On August 7th, an investigator from the Criminal Investigations Division received word that the truck had been recovered in Stephens County, GA and that Justus had been arrested.

Justus also had an outstanding bench warrant from Walhalla Municipal Court.

As of 3:30pm today, Justus remains in custody at the Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Holds Quarterly Promotions Ceremony; Announces Officers of the Year

December Promotion Ceremony 002

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–On Tuesday afternoon, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office held its quarterly Promotions Ceremony and also announced its Officers of the Year for its five divisions:

E-911/Communications Division

• Tim Floyd has been promoted to Senior Dispatcher on Delta Shift
• Dispatcher Alan O’Kelley was named E-911/Communications Employee of the Year

Detention Division

• Corrections Officer Gene Evans was named Correctional Employee of the Year
• Correctional Officers Shadae Cobb, Rob Kirby and Justin Stokes were promoted to the rank of Master Correctional Officer
• Correctional Officer Joy Hunter was promoted to the rank of Corporal

Criminal Investigations Division/Community Services Division

• Sex Offender Registrar Kelly Winchester promoted to the rank of Sergeant from Master Deputy
• Child/Elder Abuse Investigator Tim Rice was promoted to the rank of Sergeant from Corporal
• School Resource Officer Nina McKee was promoted to the rank of Sergeant from Corporal as she has been selected as a new property crimes investigator
• Investigator Will Freestate was named as the Officer of the Year in Criminal Investigations Division
• Corporal Derek Pace will become the new School Resource Officer at West-Oak Middle School
• Animal Control Officer Ryan Overton was named Animal Control Officer of the Year

Special Operations Division

• PACE Officer Tommy Crompton promoted to the rank of Lieutenant from Sergeant
• Warrants Officer Sergeant Paul Orr was named Special Operations Division Officer of the Year
• Road Patrol Deputy Brandon Meadows promoted to the rank of Corporal and named as the new Environmental Services Officer

Uniform Patrol Division

• Uniform Patrol Officer Garrett Bare recognized for his recent graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as the J.P. Strom Award Winner
• Deputy Michael Thompson has been promoted to Corporal from Master Patrol Deputy on Delta Shift
• Deputy Alan Sayre was named the Uniform Patrol Division Officer of the Year and has been promoted to the rank of Master Patrol Deputy on Delta Shift

Statement from Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw Regarding Brock Road Homicide

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

“Since Sunday evening, when deputies and investigators were dispatched to the scene of a reported shooting at 350 Brock Road near Westminster, the Sheriff’s Office has been investigating this case in which one individual, 33 year old Jesse Eugene Mulkey died from a gunshot wound. In press releases issued yesterday by the Sheriff’s Office and the Oconee County Coroner’s Office, this case is being investigated as a homicide.”

“The Sheriff’s Office is at the point in the investigation in which we can release more information regarding certain circumstances in the case. According to our investigation, Mr. Mulkey and the shooter both had weapons on their person when this incident occurred. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing our investigation and is currently attempting to make a determination if this is a case of murder or self-defense.”

“Both subjects were the acquaintances of a female who lived at the incident location. At this time, we cannot give a timeline regarding our determination of the final findings in the case. Lab tests conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will help us determine which weapons were fired and the amount of times any weapons were fired. It may take a few weeks for that information to come back. Once again, this is an active and ongoing investigation and due to that fact, we cannot release any further information at this time. As of right now, no one has been arrested and no charges have been filed. Therefore, we will not releasing any information regarding the identity of the shooter.”

Drug Arrests in Habersham and Stephens County, Georgia – Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Supporting Agency

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Press Release Courtesy of Mitchell Posey
Appalachian Regional Drug Support Office

On Friday, December 18, 2015, a four month investigation involving multiple local, state and federal agencies lead to search warrants and arrests involving methamphetamine traffickers in Habersham, Stephens and Baldwin County. This multi jurisdiction investigation has disrupted a methamphetamine trafficking organization responsible for distributing approximately 60 kilogram of methamphetamine in Georgia and South Carolina over the past 2 years.

The Law Enforcement team executed a search warrant at 60 Head Drive Toccoa, Stephens County, Georgia resulted in the seizure of approximately 13 ounces of methamphetamine, money, and firearms. Christian Lee Hilland, 28, and Samantha Nicole Nagy, 29, both of Toccoa Georgia was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

A second search warrant was executed at 225 Red Fox Hollow Drive, Cornelia, Habersham County, Georgia at the home of Jerry Lawrence Greenberg. Agents seized methamphetamine and firearms. Bonifacio Ramirez, 31 of Gainesville Georgia was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant out of Hall County for sale of methamphetamine.

A third search warrant was executed at 110 Knight Circle, N.E., Milledgeville, Georgia resulted in the seizure of approximately 11 grams of methamphetamine, money, marijuana, and prescription narcotics. Kerry Allan Davidson, 56 years of age was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession and use of drug related objects, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Alprazolam) and possession of marijuana. Lori Louellen Davidson, 48 years of age of Milledgeville, Georgia was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana. Brittany Wells Blount, 31 years of age, of Gray, Georgia was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana less than one ounce. William Levi Daniel, 26 years of age of Gray, Georgia was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana less than one ounce.

These arrests were the result of an extensive investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This particular investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, Agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex methamphetamine trafficking network. The investigation continues and additional arrests are expected. Those agencies include Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, ARDEO, ATF Greenville SC and the ATF Asheville NC offices from the Charlotte Field Division, Cornelia Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department narcotics division, the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI Milledgeville Office, the Georgia Department of Corrections K-9, Toccoa Police Department, Oconee County South Carolina Sheriff’s Office, the Seneca, South Carolina P.D., and Pickens County South Carolina Sheriff’s Office.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, and Rabun County, along with the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides Safety Tips for Christmas and New Year’s

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————With several busy days ahead for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is offering some safety tips as you prepare to celebrate.

“Christmas and New Year’s travel is a little different than what you normally see over Thanksgiving,” according to Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Instead of having two days around Thanksgiving where traffic is heavy, you will have more intermittent times when the roads and highways will be busy, but, there will be times when you will have plenty of company when you travel.”

“If you do plan on traveling, there are some things you can do before you hit the road to help make your vehicle safe,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “First, make sure that your tires are properly inflated, all of your vehicle fluids are clean and full and make sure your brakes, hoses, belts and your battery are in good shape. Secondly, plan out your trip and make sure to know the routes you will be taking and the time you will leaving to travel. Call ahead and let your family and friends know that you are leaving and make them aware of the route you will be using and your estimated time of arrival. Make sure you cell phones have a full battery as well in case you have to call for help.”

P.I.O. Watt also reminds those who are traveling to continue to expect an increased law enforcement presence right on through the New Year’s weekend and to make sure to have a designated driver and don’t drink and drive as the Sober or Slammer enforcement blitz continues. Also, make sure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seatbelts.

In a related note, non-emergency highway construction work has been suspended from now until 10pm on Sunday, January 3rd on interstates and major highways.
If you are going to be away from home, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw is offering these tips before you travel to help protect your home and property:

• Create an up-to-date home inventory and photographs of items of value including jewelry, valuables and electronics. Make sure to include name, make, model and serial numbers of those items if they have them. Keep these items in a safe location outside of the house.
• Use timers on your lights and TV sets to give the appearance that someone is home.
• Motion detectors and any alarm systems should be activated even if they are not registered with law enforcement.
• Stop mail and newspaper deliveries or arrange for a trusted family member, friend or neighbor to pick them up for you.
• Have a trusted family member, friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house or property or make arrangements for someone you trust to house sit for you.
• Even if you have an alarm system, make sure that your doors and windows are locked.
• Contact the Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency to request extra patrols if you are out town. These are available based on officer availability and amount of calls for service that officers are currently working.

Sheriff Crenshaw is offering these safety tips if you have some shopping to do either before or after Christmas:
• Shop with more than one person and if you shop during the evening, park in an area with adequate lighting.
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• Lock all presents and valuables in your trunk, including purses if you don’t carry them with you. Keep tracks of your purses and wallets and secure them on your person.
• Limit the amount of cash you carry.
• Shop with only one credit card if possible.
• Report suspicious people or activity to law enforcement immediately. If you see something, say something!

“Finally, if you are going to be enjoying Christmas and New Year’s at home in Oconee County, please know that our dispatch will be staffed as normal and will be available to handle calls for service and we will have our normal law enforcement operations right through the holidays,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. So, if you have an emergency or need law enforcement to respond to where you are, we are ready to respond.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking the Public’s Help Regarding Weekend Larceny

Truck With Tires

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving a larceny that occurred over the weekend in the Salem area.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a location on North Highway 11 near Fall Creek Road in regards to a larceny in which the homeowner reported that someone came onto the property and took wheels and tires off of a Ford Ranger.

Deputies believe that the incident occurred sometime between noon on December 18th and noon on December 19th.

The value of the tires and wheels taken is around $1,000. The wheels are black and chrome Rock Star style 15” wheels. The victim believes the tires are 31 x 10.50 Mastercraft Courser MT tires.

The case has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

If you have any information on this larceny that occurred in the Salem area, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you call Crime Stoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.