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Elyssa Parnell

Position: Staff writer
E-Mail Address: eparnell@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 803-276-0625


About Elyssa Parnell

Elyssa Parnell is a news reporter who covers public safety, Newberry County and the City of Newberry. If you have a story idea contact Elyssa at 803-276-0625 or send her an email to eparnell@civitasmedia.com.

Latest Stories by Elyssa Parnell

NEWBERRY — A Colorado man is facing multiple charges after kidnapping his estranged daughter and holding her for about four hours at his ex-wife's house on S.C. 395 while law enforcement negotiated for the girl's safe release.
Shannon Joseph Smith, 44, was taken into custody without incident around 7:30 p.m. Friday and is being held at the N

Standoff ends quietly

NEWBERRY — A Colorado man is facing multiple charges after kidnapping his estranged daughter and holding her for about four hours at his ex-wife's house on S.C. 395 while law enforcement negotiated for the girl's safe release. Shannon Joseph Smith, 44, was taken into custody without incident around 7:30 p.m. Friday and is being held at the N

Being a reporter is difficult. Don't get me wrong, it's what I have always wanted to do, but it has its moments where you stop and think to yourself, why did I get myself into this? I had one of those moments this past Friday night, when covering a hostage situation.
I thought it was just like any normal Friday. I had worked all day, then headed t

For the love of being a reporter

Being a reporter is difficult. Don't get me wrong, it's what I have always wanted to do, but it has its moments where you stop and think to yourself, why did I get myself into this? I had one of those moments this past Friday night, when covering a hostage situation. I thought it was just like any normal Friday. I had worked all day, then headed t

NEWBERRY — A kerosene heater is being blamed for a Saturday morning fire on Kinard Street in Newberry.
Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said the Newberry Fire Investigation Unit determined a kerosene heater was the ignition source of the fire.
Minick said they responded to the call at 1244 Kinard St., Lot 10 in Newberry at 9:39 a.m. Saturda

Structure fire causes damage but no injuries

NEWBERRY — A kerosene heater is being blamed for a Saturday morning fire on Kinard Street in Newberry. Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said the Newberry Fire Investigation Unit determined a kerosene heater was the ignition source of the fire. Minick said they responded to the call at 1244 Kinard St., Lot 10 in Newberry at 9:39 a.m. Saturda

NEWBERRY —Newberry Fire Department responded to a call at 1244 Kinard Street - lot 10 in Newberry at 9:39 Saturday morning, according to Fire Chief Keith Minick.
Minick said the call was for a structure fire and that they had gotten the fire contained inside of the structure.
“The initial report was that one person was at home at the

Fire contained on Kinard Street

NEWBERRY —Newberry Fire Department responded to a call at 1244 Kinard Street - lot 10 in Newberry at 9:39 Saturday morning, according to Fire Chief Keith Minick. Minick said the call was for a structure fire and that they had gotten the fire contained inside of the structure. “The initial report was that one person was at home at the

NEWBERRY — What does livestock have to do with reading? For Cheryl Parr's fifth-grade English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students at Boundary Elementary School, it means changing the world, one book at a time.
Parr's class took on the mission of raising funds through “Read to Feed” through Heifer International.
Since

Reading for a cause

NEWBERRY — What does livestock have to do with reading? For Cheryl Parr's fifth-grade English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students at Boundary Elementary School, it means changing the world, one book at a time. Parr's class took on the mission of raising funds through “Read to Feed” through Heifer International. Since

NEWBERRY — Newberry High School students loaded down Newberry County Sheriff's Office vehicles Friday morning as part of the fourth annual Secret Santa for Seniors.
Over 70 individuals were helped this year through the project, said Reneé Martin, executive director of The Living Water Foundation, which also partnered for the project.
T

Students deliver gifts to those in need

NEWBERRY — Newberry High School students loaded down Newberry County Sheriff's Office vehicles Friday morning as part of the fourth annual Secret Santa for Seniors. Over 70 individuals were helped this year through the project, said Reneé Martin, executive director of The Living Water Foundation, which also partnered for the project. T

NEWBERRY — A Colorado man wanted for stealing a car from that state held law enforcement at bay for about four hours Friday after he took his 4-year-old daughter hostage in his ex-wife's house on S.C. 395, close to the Saluda County line.
Shannon Joseph Smith, 44, was taken into custody without incident around 7:30 p.m., Sheriff Lee Foster s

Hostage situation Friday night ends without incident

NEWBERRY — A Colorado man wanted for stealing a car from that state held law enforcement at bay for about four hours Friday after he took his 4-year-old daughter hostage in his ex-wife's house on S.C. 395, close to the Saluda County line. Shannon Joseph Smith, 44, was taken into custody without incident around 7:30 p.m., Sheriff Lee Foster s

PROSPERITY — Prosperity Town Council passed first reading Tuesday to make an addition to Chapter 91 (“Streets and Sidewalks”) of the Prosperity Town Code to control the use of horses within the municipal limits of the town.
Before the ordinance was read, resident Danny Wilson spoke in open session about the ordinance. Wilson said

No more horsing around

PROSPERITY — Prosperity Town Council passed first reading Tuesday to make an addition to Chapter 91 (“Streets and Sidewalks”) of the Prosperity Town Code to control the use of horses within the municipal limits of the town. Before the ordinance was read, resident Danny Wilson spoke in open session about the ordinance. Wilson said

NEWBERRY COUNTY — The Christmas season is busy with shopping, church engagements and other events, but it can also be the biggest season for criminals, officials said.
“We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season,” said Captain Roy McClurkin with Newberry Police Department. “But there is the criminal element to

Add caution to routine

NEWBERRY COUNTY — The Christmas season is busy with shopping, church engagements and other events, but it can also be the biggest season for criminals, officials said. “We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season,” said Captain Roy McClurkin with Newberry Police Department. “But there is the criminal element to

NEWBERRY COUNTY — There were 71 civilian fire fatalities reported by U.S. news media between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 13, 2014 according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Keith Minick, fire chief for Newberry Fire Department, said there are many things the community can do to protect themselves from home fires during the holiday season.
Minick

Is your home safe this holiday season?

NEWBERRY COUNTY — There were 71 civilian fire fatalities reported by U.S. news media between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 13, 2014 according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Keith Minick, fire chief for Newberry Fire Department, said there are many things the community can do to protect themselves from home fires during the holiday season. Minick

NEWBERRY COUNTY — Students throughout the Newberry County School District had the chance to create code last week during the initiative titled “Hour of Code.”
The Hour of Code is a worldwide initiative to encourage computer science education and is across the curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
From Dec. 8 to

Computer coding magic

NEWBERRY COUNTY — Students throughout the Newberry County School District had the chance to create code last week during the initiative titled “Hour of Code.” The Hour of Code is a worldwide initiative to encourage computer science education and is across the curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12th grade. From Dec. 8 to

Whitmire home destroyed by fire

WHITMIRE — An early morning fire on Monday destroyed the home of the owner of Pearl's Cafe on Main Street in Whitmire, officials said. Whitmire Fire Chief Michael Thomas said a 911 call around 4:35 a.m. Monday reported the fire on S.C. 66 near what Whitmire natives know as “Meetze Curve,” a nickname given to a sharp curve on the

NEWBERRY — Living their dream of running a business together, mother and daughter duo Alene Watts and Mary Ellen Page opened Sissy's Boutique on Dec. 6 at 159 Main St. in Whitmire.
Watts said her mother had the schooling in business management, recently graduating from Midlands Technical College and they wanted to start something together.

Catering to community

NEWBERRY — Living their dream of running a business together, mother and daughter duo Alene Watts and Mary Ellen Page opened Sissy's Boutique on Dec. 6 at 159 Main St. in Whitmire. Watts said her mother had the schooling in business management, recently graduating from Midlands Technical College and they wanted to start something together.

NEWBERRY — Making a difference, one basket at a time: The Newberry City Fire Department is beginning the delivery of its “good-fellow” baskets to those in the community in need.
Fire Chief Keith Minick said the baskets have been a tradition for over 100 years within the fire department.
The baskets are picked up from Harvest Hop

They make a difference, one basket at a time

NEWBERRY — Making a difference, one basket at a time: The Newberry City Fire Department is beginning the delivery of its “good-fellow” baskets to those in the community in need. Fire Chief Keith Minick said the baskets have been a tradition for over 100 years within the fire department. The baskets are picked up from Harvest Hop

Tractor-trailer driver charged with pointing gun

NEWBERRY — A tractor-trailer driver from Sevierville, Tenn., was charged last week with pointing and presenting a firearm after the driver of a passenger vehicle said the man pointed a gun at him on I-26. Ricky Tallent, 55, was charged Dec. 10 with pointing and presenting a firearm and weapon law violations after a driver called 911 to repor

WHITMIRE — Veronica Southerland spoke to Whitmire Town Council on Monday night with the hope of changing a city ordinance to allow the sales of alcohol on Sundays in the Lil' Cricket, where she works.
Southerland said she turns people away constantly as Newberry County does allow alcohol sales on Sunday. When patrons cannot buy from the Lil'

Whitmire discussing alcohol sales on Sunday

WHITMIRE — Veronica Southerland spoke to Whitmire Town Council on Monday night with the hope of changing a city ordinance to allow the sales of alcohol on Sundays in the Lil' Cricket, where she works. Southerland said she turns people away constantly as Newberry County does allow alcohol sales on Sunday. When patrons cannot buy from the Lil'

NEWBERRY — Despite excellent prenatal care, Karen Fitzgerald gave birth to son Vaden on June 18, 2012, at just 30 weeks gestation.
After his birth, Vaden spent six weeks in the NICU and once released from the hospital, spent six months wearing a monitor for breathing issues.
Fitzgerald had HELLP, a rare condition where her body rejected the

Lights with a purpose

NEWBERRY — Despite excellent prenatal care, Karen Fitzgerald gave birth to son Vaden on June 18, 2012, at just 30 weeks gestation. After his birth, Vaden spent six weeks in the NICU and once released from the hospital, spent six months wearing a monitor for breathing issues. Fitzgerald had HELLP, a rare condition where her body rejected the

NEWBERRY — Newberry City Council recognized many achievements of individuals along with their families Tuesday night during their monthly meeting.
Jesse Folk was recognized for his 10 years of service to the city's utility department. Folk began his employment on Nov. 22, 2004, and holds the position of Lineman C.
Jason Stuhr was recognized

Employees recognized

NEWBERRY — Newberry City Council recognized many achievements of individuals along with their families Tuesday night during their monthly meeting. Jesse Folk was recognized for his 10 years of service to the city's utility department. Folk began his employment on Nov. 22, 2004, and holds the position of Lineman C. Jason Stuhr was recognized

NEWBERRY — Community Bible Church will reach outside of its church walls Saturday with its second free clothing and toy giveaway.
The church, located at 2615 Johnstone St. in Newberry, will hold the giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon in the church's fellowship hall. Signs will be posted directing visitors Saturday to the fellowship hall.
The firs

Congregation reaching outside its walls

NEWBERRY — Community Bible Church will reach outside of its church walls Saturday with its second free clothing and toy giveaway. The church, located at 2615 Johnstone St. in Newberry, will hold the giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon in the church's fellowship hall. Signs will be posted directing visitors Saturday to the fellowship hall. The firs

WHITMIRE — Veronica Southerland spoke to Whitmire Town Council on Monday night with the hope of changing a city ordinance to allow the sales of alcohol on Sundays in the Lil' Cricket, where she works.
Southerland said she turns people away constantly as Newberry County does allow alcohol sales on Sunday. When patrons cannot buy from the Lil'

Whitmire discussing alcohol sales on Sunday

WHITMIRE — Veronica Southerland spoke to Whitmire Town Council on Monday night with the hope of changing a city ordinance to allow the sales of alcohol on Sundays in the Lil' Cricket, where she works. Southerland said she turns people away constantly as Newberry County does allow alcohol sales on Sunday. When patrons cannot buy from the Lil'





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