Great Falls Reporter

  • Town stays with auditor

    The town will continue to use services of the accounting firm Sheheen, Hancock and Godwin after council approved a 4 to 1 motion presented by Mayor H.C. Starnes Jr. during the regular meeting Monday night.

    Councilwoman Maxine Wood cast the only dissenting vote.

    The council agreed to a three-year contract with the firm beginning in June.

    "The auditor has done a great job," Starnes said. "He knows our weaknesses and we've used him for several years."

    Wood said she thinks council should consider using a different firm.

  • Candidate forum set in Great Falls

    A public political forum is planned for candidates vying in the Great Falls Town Council election.

    The forum will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Great Falls High School Little Theater.

    The forum will be sponsored by the Great Falls Home Town Association, the Great Falls High School Student Council, the Great Falls Reporter and The News & Reporter.

    Each candidate will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves and make personal comments prior to a short round of questions from the moderator.

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Wynne vows change, if elected

    Darla Kaye Wynne vows to make change in town government if she is elected in the April 8 election.

    Wynne is one of three people who filed for a two-year term on council.

    "I have the strength and convictions to follow through with anything that I start," Wynne said. "I am not a part of the local 'buddy' system so I am not representing anyone other than the people that would elect me."

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Bryan files for 2-year term

    Donna Abernathy Bryan has a new idea for lowering taxes for senior citizens.

    Bryan has filed as a candidate for a two-year term on the Great Falls town council. The election will be held Tuesday, April 8.

    Bryan suggests allowing senior citizens work off some tax money by volunteering at school or other incentives.

    "Cutting taxes would be nice but right now they are needed as they are," Bryan said. "As we attract more business and more homeowners, then taxes could come down."

  • Rescue Squad rodeo offers weekend fun

    Nationally televised horses and bulls will be bucking at the first annual Great Falls Rescue Squad Pro Rodeo from 7 until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15, at the Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center, 2717 Gaston Farm Road, Richburg.

    Gates will open at 5:30 p.m.

    The stock contractor for the event, Cross Creek Rodeo Company, is owned by Ed and Vana Doolittle of Saluda.

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Kelly aims for town council seat

    Debra Kelly said she wants to represent townspeople with integrity.

    She has filed for a seat on the Great Falls town council. The election will be held April 8.

    "I have no political experience but I'm not too old to learn," Kelly said. "I am one to do something about things I dislike."

    Kelly, 52, said the town needs to return to its pre-cotton mill era prosperity.

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Beckham hopeful of council seat

    James Randy Beckham of 48 Circle St. has announced his bid for a seat on the Great Falls town council.

    Beckham, 48, said he would like to see Great Falls become a thriving town again, with stores and shops in the downtown area.

    "I'd like to see citizens walking the streets with shopping bags in their hands," Beckham said. "We have new sidewalks, old town looks and new fancy streetlights, but most of the buildings don't have


  • Brian Grier assumes role as town attorney

    Brian T. Grier of the Chester law firm Hamilton, Delleney & Grier, P.A. has accepted the job as town attorney for the Town of Great Falls.

    Grier was hired by town council at the Feb. 18 meeting after the resignation of Town Attorney Michael Hemlepp.

    Hemlepp left the Chester firm after accepting a position with a not-for-profit group in Columbia.

    "We are certainly disappointed Michael is moving on to a new career but we're delighted to have Brian join us as town attorney," Great Falls Mayor H.C. Starnes Jr. said. "I feel he will be an excellent replacement."

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Joyce Autry files for town council seat

    Joyce Autry hopes to fill a seat on the Great Falls town council once occupied by her husband, the late Wayne Autry.

    Autry, 71, is making her first-time bid for an elected office. The election will be held April 8.

    Autry said gaining employment for the citizens of Great Falls is the single most important issue facing the town.

    "I will seek to improve the appearance and cleanliness of the town so prospective employers would wish to locate in Great Falls," Autry said.

  • 'Strong Man' Hemlepp de-stresses through sport

    Competition is the name of the game for lawyer Michael Hemlepp.

    He lives it, he breathes it -- not only on his job but in his personal life.

    Hemlepp admits he has a competitive spirit.

    "I've always been considered a high energy dude," Hemlepp said. "I'm prone to getting a lot of adrenaline."

    " I've always been naturally strong. I was known as the guy who was always running or doing push-ups," he added.

    As a criminal defense attorney representing clients who have been charged with various crimes, Hemlepp said his profession is a high-stress job.