Great Falls Reporter

  • 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.

  • Town to contribute to IBT lawsuit

    The Town of Great Falls will be a part of South Carolina's lawsuit against North Carolina over the latter state's approval of a transfer of millions of gallons of water a day from the Catawba River basin.

    The town council gave unanimous approval Monday night to take money from the council non-budget line item to help fund the state's lawsuit.

    Councilman Earl Taylor expressed concerns with North Carolina taking water out of the river and current drought conditions.

    "I don't know what we'll do," Taylor said.

  • Police warn golf cart drivers

    Golf carts are frequently seen traveling the streets of Great Falls.

    The battery-powered vehicle is sometimes transportation to the grocery store, a means to pick children up at school or visits to other locations.

    Golf carts are allowed on public streets but certain guidelines must be met, Great Falls Police Sgt. Ricky Williford said.

  • Williams files for council seat

    Although he has no political experience, James A. "Jimmy" Williams has offered himself as a candidate in the April 8 town council election.

    The public image of the town is the single most important issue facing the town, Williams said.

    "I see empty buildings that encompass both downtown and uptown," Williams said. "If you are a prospective in-vestor or current business owner who would like to either build a new business or relocate an established business in Great Falls, what is the first thing you see? I see buildings that have stood empty for decades."

  • WEB FINAL: Great Falls man gets 25 years
  • Fire captain charged with arson

    Great Falls Fire Captain David Dutton was arrested Tuesday and charged with arson.

    An arrest warrant from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division said David Allen Dutton of 10 Farrow St. was charged with third degree arson.

    "Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7, David Allen Dutton did cause to be burned a desk, which was located in the bay which houses the fire trucks which is part of the Great Falls Fire Department. The fire that Dutton set was accelerated by using Germ-X," the warrant said.

    Mayor H.C. Starnes Jr. said he knew Dutton had been arrested but he did not know any details.

  • TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Washington makes first time bid for office

    Darryl B. Washington is making his first-time bid at a seat on the Great Falls town council.

    The election will be held Tuesday, April 8.

    Washington said he wants to bring new life into the community by adopting new policies and ideals that will put the "great" back into Great Falls.

    "If I could change one thing, I would like to see everyone with jobs and a town full of life," Washington said.