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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Officials confirmed about 10 brush fires in the Lowcountry Thursday. The largest -- a 100-acre fire in Cottageville.Several roads in Cottageville were blocked in the area of Bazzle Road as crews responded.State Fire officials issued a red flag fire alert for 7.a.m Friday morning. There were at least 50 wildfires across South Carolina Thursday, many of those in the Lowcountry. Some of the worst areas were in Colleton and Berkeley counties.Colleton County Fire and Rescue was called to o...
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Officials confirmed about 10 brush fires in the Lowcountry Thursday. The largest -- a 100-acre fire in Cottageville.
Several roads in Cottageville were blocked in the area of Bazzle Road as crews responded.
State Fire officials issued a red flag fire alert for 7.a.m Friday morning. There were at least 50 wildfires across South Carolina Thursday, many of those in the Lowcountry. Some of the worst areas were in Colleton and Berkeley counties.
Colleton County Fire and Rescue was called to one home twice Thursday. A hotspot reignited behind a home off Sidney Road. The blaze caught the attention of those nearby, including Kenya Campbell.
"I'm just trying to figure out what to do. It stopped and then it came back, it's scary,” said Campbell. “I ain't never see nothing like this and I've been here my whole life. It's really scary."
The property owner called officials back for safe measure. Despite the smoke and embers, crews are confident the fire is contained.
"I worry about my dad's house and my house catching fire,” Campbell said. “That's scary and being able to get my mom out of the house out in time in case something happens because my mom is disabled and is on oxygen and medication so it's hard to move her quickly."
Roughly 10 miles away, others were also preparing for the worst. Bob Szepek and his family live off Bazzle Road. Their 12 acres of land were up in smoke.
"Well, I have me and my wife, my daughter and stepson, five grandkids, three dogs and seven cats,” Szepek said.
While getting out of harm's way might not be easy, he said they're prepared, but not worried.
"We got some stuff together and gathered up the dogs, got them loaded up in vehicles,” Szepek said. “If they would have told us to leave, we would have left."
As for Campbell, she wasn’t willing to play with fire.
"I think I'm going to go home and pack my mom up,” she said. “I think that's the best thing we're going to do is pack mom up and get out of here for the night at least."
Berkeley County fires
In Berkeley County, there were fires reported in Moncks Corner, St. Stephen and Jamestown.
Berkeley County spokeswoman Hannah Moseley said a fire on Old Mill Road in St. Stephen destroyed a shed and mobile home.
The largest of the Berkeley fires was a 50-acre brush fire off Stevensridge Lane. In Jamestown, a woods fire off French Santee Road burned several acres.
“Today was one of the busiest fire days we’ve seen in a while – [more than 50 active fires statewide] – and it’s because the conditions that led us to issue a Red Flag alert last weekend haven’t changed much,” said Darryl Jones, SC Forestry Commission Chief. “We’re asking that people voluntarily postpone any burning they’ve planned because the wind speeds and relative humidity over much of the state through the weekend will create an elevated potential for fire danger.”
The statewide Red Flag Fire Alert does not prohibit outdoor burning, provided that all other state and local regulations are followed.
Moncks Corner officials went a step further and announced a burn ban for the town.
State fire officials said dry conditions, low humidity and winds are fanning the flames.
The Whitesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department posted the video below.
Their post read:"Great job by Moncks Corner Rural Fire Department, Pine Ridge Fire Rescue, The South Carolina Forestry Commission, Berkeley County Central Dispatch as well we your Whitesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department for a great job on what ended up being a 50 acre brush fire in the area of Stevensridge Lane off or Old Whitesville Rd. Please ensure that you check to see if there is a Red Flag Warning or Burn Ban in place prior to burning anything, and when you do burn it can only be organic materials that have not been chemically treated in any way."
Deputies make arrests after body found in Cottageville woods where hunter went missingCOLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators have made a number of arrests after a body was found in the woods in Cottageville in the same area where a hunter went missing.The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office says 25-year-old Schuyler Rene Andrulat of Cottageville and 33-year-old Nathan Baughman of Summerville have been charged with obstruction of justice. According to court records, the charges against Andrulat were dismissed and expunged...
Deputies make arrests after body found in Cottageville woods where hunter went missing
COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators have made a number of arrests after a body was found in the woods in Cottageville in the same area where a hunter went missing.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office says 25-year-old Schuyler Rene Andrulat of Cottageville and 33-year-old Nathan Baughman of Summerville have been charged with obstruction of justice. According to court records, the charges against Andrulat were dismissed and expunged.
A third man, Brad Skipper, has also been charged with an outstanding warrant from Colleton County.
The body was found around 8 p.m. on Thursday in a wooded area off Red Oak Road, the same area where a hunter went missing last Friday
The sheriff's office says the missing hunter was staying with friends who waited until Sunday to report him missing.
The coroner is doing an autopsy to determine the cause of death and identify the body.
The arrests stems from an incident that began on Aug. 21 when a Colleton County deputy responded to a home on Peirce Road in reference to a missing person.
The deputy spoke to Andrulat who said a friend of hers, Orin Patrick, had come to her home to go hunting Friday evening.
According to a report, Andrulat said she dropped Patrick off along the woodline on Peirce Road with a shotgun.
"Andrulat stated that several hours later, she received a call from Patrick stating that he was lost in the woods and he wanted her to drive along the road and beep the horn so that he could find his way back to the road again," the report states.
Andrulat told investigators that she did this around 9 p.m. on Friday but could not find him.
According to authorities, Andrulat said she received another call from Patrick that only last a few seconds and had since been unable to reach him through his phone again. Andrulat told deputies that she did not know any more information about Patrick.
In the incident report, the responding deputy reported that when he first met with Andrulat, she was unable to give any information about Patrick. The deputy then told Andrulat to get in contact with some of Patrick's friends or family so that he could get enough information to do a report.
Authorities also spoke with Patrick's friend, Baughman, who told investigators over the phone that he and Patrick had been staying at a home on Lakeview Drive in Summerville.
Baughman said the last time he saw Patrick was on Aug. 19, but was unsure of the time "because they had both been drinking so he did not remember much about that day."
The incident report states Baughman told investigators that this was not the first time Patrick had just "gone away, but it has never been for this long and never without making contact with him."
Detectives reported that they had Patrick's cell phone pinged to find the last location for it which was in Summerville.
Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Written by: Anna S. BrightSubmitted by: Herman G. Bright, Parade ChairmanPhoto: SubmittedFor 35 years, the Walterboro Shrine Club of Arabian Temple #139 has sponsored the town’s parade, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a nation, we honor this slain civil rights leader whose mission was to advocate for all people who had been oppressed by unjust laws and immoral abuses. King vowed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Serving this year as parade marshal is...
Written by: Anna S. Bright
Submitted by: Herman G. Bright, Parade Chairman
For 35 years, the Walterboro Shrine Club of Arabian Temple #139 has sponsored the town’s parade, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a nation, we honor this slain civil rights leader whose mission was to advocate for all people who had been oppressed by unjust laws and immoral abuses. King vowed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Serving this year as parade marshal is a former Colleton County Councilman and retired pastor, Rev. Evon Arrington Robinson, Sr. When given the invitation to serve as this year’s marshal, Rev. Robinson expressed many words of gratitude and was most elated to accept this honor. Due to COVID restrictions, the parade was not held in 2021, and it was not held in 2022 because of inclement weather.
Rev. Robinson, a retired pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is a native of Cottageville, South Carolina. He is the son of the late Mr. Easley Robinson, Sr., and Mrs. Bula Mae Haynes Robinson. After graduating from Colleton Training School, he attended SC Trade School and later completed a tour of duty in the United States Army. In 1970 he received the call to ministry. He attended South Carolina State University, subsequently attending the Nichols Theological Seminary Extension in Charleston, South Carolina for religious training.
Having served in the pastoral ministry of Jesus Christ for 47 years, all of which were in the South Carolina Annual Conference, among his assignments were the Fairfax, St. Paul, Holly Hill, St. Matthew, and St. Stephens Circuits. Rev. Robinson led the Greater St. Paul and Greater Target congregations in the construction of brand-new edifices. In addition, he led the congregations at St. Peters, New Hope, St. Matthew, and St. Stephens in total renovation projects.
Rev. Robinson served the SC Conference in the following capacities: the Board of Examiners, the Ministerial Efficiency Committee, Presiding Elders’ Salary Committee, the Conference Finance Committee, Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Beaufort District, Station and Circuit Committee, Deeds and Abstracts Committee, and Abandoned Property Committee. Further, he was one of the initial organizers of the Sons of Allen Ministry and served on this committee for many years.
His ministry outside the walls of the church includes being elected to the Colleton County Board of Education. During Rev. Robinson’s tenure while serving as the board chairman, he led the historic event of hiring the first African American superintendent in the county. He was later elected and served on the Colleton County Council for 16 years, three of which he was a chairman. He served for 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Lowcountry Regional Council of Government, and he also served as treasurer for the South Carolina Coalition of Black County Officials. In addition, he served on the Lowcountry Community Action Agency Community Action Agency Board of Directors for several years, four of which he was chairman.
Previously, he was chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee for the Department of the United States Navy, Naval Weapons Station, Charleston for 12 years, and as the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Union-Local 2298, for two years. Lastly, he is a member of the Colleton Branch of the NAACP and the Hiram Mann Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., of which four years he was the president.
For 57 years Rev. Robinson and his wife, Gloria Smalls Robinson, have been united as one. They are the proud parents of four children: Evon, Jr., Ronald, Rhonda Lynn, and Keon. They have been blessed with nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. After 28 years of service, Rev. Robinson retired from the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston in 1995. In addition, he owned and operated Robinson’s Barbershop in Walterboro for many years.
After having served more than four decades as a pastor in the A.M.E. Church, in November 2018, Rev. Robinson retired from active ministry, a calling of which he loved so dearly. He plans to travel extensively throughout the nation to share his experiences as a servant of God in the wider ecumenical circles, as well as his beloved A.M.E. Church.
The Walterboro Shrine Club’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade will take place on Sunday, January 15, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. on Jefferies Boulevard. At 1:30 p.m., the lineup will begin in front of Live Oak Cemetery. The public is cordially invited and encouraged to attend.
A South Carolina highway trooper was arrested and charged with cruelty to children after he allegedly bit a 2-year-old’s cheek hard enough to leave a mark, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.SLED announced the arrest in a statement Tuesday. While the warrant provides few details, it states that Jesse Brassell, 23, admitted on Sept. 20 that he intentionally bit the child’s cheek in Cottageville, South Carolina.In...
A South Carolina highway trooper was arrested and charged with cruelty to children after he allegedly bit a 2-year-old’s cheek hard enough to leave a mark, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
SLED announced the arrest in a statement Tuesday. While the warrant provides few details, it states that Jesse Brassell, 23, admitted on Sept. 20 that he intentionally bit the child’s cheek in Cottageville, South Carolina.
In a statement, SLED said the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office asked it to investigate the incident. The child, whose name and gender are not included in the warrant, suffered a bite mark on the right cheek, according to the warrant.
Brassell was employed by the Highway Patrol for approximately 27 months, according to a statement from the Department of Public Safety, which oversees highway patrol.
“He had been under suspension without pay since September 22, 2023, the date the allegation was brought to our attention,” according to a statement from the department. Brassell, who held the rank of trooper first class, officially resigned from the agency on Dec. 15, 2023.
During his time as a highway patrolman, Brassell was assigned to Post B of Troop 6, which covers Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Jasper counties. A roster for a basic training graduating class released by the Highway Patrol listed his hometown as Summerville, South Carolina.
Brassell was charged under South Carolina’s cruelty to children statute. Under the law, it is a misdemeanor for a parent, guardian or anyone who has “charge or custody” of a child to inflict “unnecessary pain or suffering” or to deprive the child of “necessary sustenance or shelter.”
Brassell was booked at the Colleton County Detention Center. Records from the jail state that he received a $200 bond by Associate Chief Magistrate Sophia T. Henderson.
The case will be prosecuted by the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Public Integrity Unit, according to SLED. The unit, which is a collaboration between the 14th and 1st Circuit Solicitor’s Offices, investigates officer involved shootings, public corruption and other use of force cases across both circuits.
Cottageville residents have seen change in their community in the last few years, and now the Greater Cottageville Chamber of Commerce is ready to encourage more improvements.Frank Santorella, a resident of Cottageville, said he is proud of the small town and wants to showcase its beauty, friendly people, and excellent location.“We want to create a chamber of commerce here. We already have a 501-3C non-profit status, Maryann Blake is serving as our attorney, and we are ready to roll,” said Santorella. “We have...
Cottageville residents have seen change in their community in the last few years, and now the Greater Cottageville Chamber of Commerce is ready to encourage more improvements.
Frank Santorella, a resident of Cottageville, said he is proud of the small town and wants to showcase its beauty, friendly people, and excellent location.
“We want to create a chamber of commerce here. We already have a 501-3C non-profit status, Maryann Blake is serving as our attorney, and we are ready to roll,” said Santorella. “We have ‘Friends of the Park’ which is comprised of people who helped develop the park into what it is now.” He says there are also plans at the park to install a memorial with engraved bricks to honor veterans. This will be accomplished by applying for grants and accepting donations.
Santorella, who plans to initiate the chamber, will serve as a temporary director. He says he already has seven merchants who are interested in joining.
“We want to make Cottageville a destination. Red Brick Pizza and Beer Garden is the anchor store for starting the chamber,” said Santorella. “It’s a one-of-a-kind business in the entire region. Once the chamber officially opens, we want to pick a member of the chamber and promote that business each week, and once a month promote everyone. There will be a rotation, and this will be good for everybody.”
He went on to say that the brick-and-mortar stores are the life of Cottageville, not the transient businesses. He feels that transient businesses will not want to invest their funds in the chamber, but the stationary businesses are here to stay.
“I think the people of Cottageville will be positively affected by the chamber and will accept it with open arms. Hopefully, this will bring even more businesses our way. Our only option now is to travel to Summerville or Walterboro to purchase some items. That’s between 15 to 20 miles away. Cottageville has a lot of people in the rural areas, and though our local gas stations try hard to serve the needs of the community, it would be nice to have boutique shops here. We already have a new vape store that has a coffee bar. So we are starting off well,” said Santorella.
He is hoping to have the new chamber up and running by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
“There will be a fee for stores to become part of the chamber,” said Santorella, who gathered ideas and patterned the Cottageville chamber after the City of Walteboro’s. “I received ideas on how to structure the fees. They won’t be impressive because social media provides a lot of free advertising. We will have a website and newsletter for the community. We will be out there,” he added.
Anyone interested in joining the new chamber can write to: Greater Cottageville Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 464, Cottageville, SC, 29435. Businesses can also contact Santorella on Facebook at Friends of the Park or call The Vape Stop at 843-701-4262.