Index Journal

August 27, 2014

Index Journal - Greenwood, SC Online Newspaper

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VOL. 96, NO. 91 2 SECTIONS, 20 PAGES WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2014 DAILY 75¢, SUNDAY $1.50 TODAY: Mostly sunny with low humid- ity. High of 91. FORECAST, 6B Index-Journal is published with pride for the people of the Lake- lands. You are important to us. If you miss your paper, please call 223-1413 (before noon on weekends). Inside today's edition ■ ABBY 6A ■ BUSINESS 6B ■ CALENDAR 2A ■ CLASSIFIEDS 7B-9B ■ COMICS B10 ■ EDITORIALS 8A ■ ENTERTAINMENT 6A ■ LOTTERY 6A ■ MARKETS 5B ■ OBITUARIES 4A ■ SPORTS 1B-4B Index-Journal is committed to editorial excellence. To report an error, contact Executive Editor Richard Whiting at 943-2522 or DOUBLE MURDER PLEA: GUILTY ABBEVILLE F orgiveness and remorse seemed to temper the pangs of tragedy Tuesday afternoon inside an Abbeville County courtroom as a Greenwood man was convicted of last year's double slaying at an Emerald City motel. Terrance Thomas, 28, stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to the November shooting at the Extended Stay Motel, which left two Greenwood County women dead. Circuit Court Judge Eugene Griffith issued the man a 35-year prison term, to which attorneys on both sides had agreed prior to Tuesday afternoon's proceedings. According to the negotiated plea, Thomas was convicted of two counts of murder in connection with the double homicide as well as a charge of dis- charging a firearm into a dwelling, which stemmed from a prior unrelated incident. He was sentenced to 35 years for both murder on indictments and 10 years on the weapons count, all of which will run concurrently. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss a weap- ons charge from the defendant's roster of allegations By MATT BRUCE MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL Terrance Lamont Thomas listens to members of the victims families Tuesday afternoon during a hearing in the Abbeville County Courthouse. Thomas pleaded guilty to two murders and was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison. Greenwood man convicted of Extended Stay shootings, sentenced to 35 years See GUILTY, page 4A TERRANCE THOMAS Man struck by car, not seriously injured One man was hospitalized Tuesday night after being struck by a vehicle along South Main Street. The collision took place just north of U.S. Highway 221, in front of a Huddle House restaurant. Emergency crews could be seen loading the victim into an ambulance to transport him to Self regional Medical Center. Officials from the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the man was not seriously injured. Witness es at t he s cene said the man was struck by a southbound older-model Chevrolet Malibu as he walked into the roadway. From staff reports ■ COLLISION MATT BRUCE | INDEX-JOURNAL A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper investigates a wreck along South Main Street on Tuesday evening. ■ CITY COUNCIL New Greenwood event fee schedule in effect Events that require person- nel and material from the City of Greenwood will now come with a cost after the Aug. 18 City Council meeting. The new event fee schedule sets out different fees depend- ing on the materials requested and personnel required to set up. Assistant to the City Man- ager Julie Wilkie said the fee schedule was meant to deter unnecess ar y re quests for equipment and supplies. "Sometimes we get people requesting things that maybe they don't need," Wilkie said. "I've had people request tents not because they needed them but because other events had them." While aimed at re duc- ing equipment and supply requests, the new fee sched- ule is not meant to deter event organizers from choosing Uptown Greenwood as a des- tination for their event. "We love hosting events in Greenwood," Wilkie said. "We've been talking about this for 18 months. We looked at what it cost for each time and we broke it down." The individual cost for sup- plies is not meant to provide a profit or even recoup the full amount of supplying and setting up individual pieces. According to an estimate pro- duced by Wilkie, a 10x10 foot By FRANK BUMB See FEES, page 4A List of event supplies and cost: ■ 10x10 tent — $15 ■ 10x20 tent — $25 ■ 12x16 stage — $100 ■ 12x24 stage — $125 ■ 20x24 stage — $150 ■ Tables — $5 a piece (the first 5 are free) ■ Chairs — No Charge Public utilities budget proposed; slight bump in rates ABBEVILLE Needs are looking to be met with cur- rent funds and increased rev- enues. City Council heard City Manager David McCuen's proposal for the public utili- ties budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015 on Tuesday night. The proposal includes a 6 percent increase in water and sewer rates for residents inside and outside city limits using the services. T h e ave r a ge Abb e v i l l e resident using 4,000 gallons with 3/4-inch piping would see an increase from $24.15 to $25.58 for water and from $27.31 to $28.94 for sewer, according to the proposal. The increase will allow the city to make various upgrades, and to steer clear of any additional debt. Tim Baker, public utili- ties director for the City of Abbeville, believes the pro- p osed budget covers the needs of the city, and will benefit the city and Abbeville residents. "It's bare bones," Baker said. "It's taking care of what has to get done." By COLIN RIDDLE See UTILITIES, page 4A United Way focuses on child literacy Educators, law enforcement, elected officials, college professors, school board members and others came together Tuesday morning to support child lit- eracy at the Greenwood County Library. The United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville Counties hosted a film screen- ing of "When the Bough Breaks," a 2014 documentary addressing child literacy in South Carolina. Denise Manley, presi- dent and CEO of the United Way GAC welcomed guests to the event. According to Manley, the United Way GAC began focusing on education fol- lowing a community impact agenda study that identified early childhood education as area needing attention in the community. Sally Baggett, director of the Children's Center, spoke to guests about the impor- tance and socially pervasive aspects of literacy, or a lack thereof. Baggett said her organization focuses on working with parents of children ages 0-5, as this age range marks the most rapid period of brain development for children. "Language is critical," Baggett said. "Talking, singing, reading to children is critical." The documentary showcased various efforts in school districts, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations across the state in promoting child literacy. Greenwood City Police Department chief Gerald Brooks spoke after the screening, providing a law enforcement perspective on the importance of litera- cy and education in reducing the crime rate. Lindsey Tyner, United Way GAC's director of community impact, said she hoped the event would be a starting point for a conversation between people in every sector of the community on the importance of child literacy. By KATE HRUBY MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL People watch the documentary "When the Bough Breaks" about child literacy at the Greenwood County Library early Tuesday morning hosted by United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville counties.

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