2011 Year in Review: February

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Local farmer Charlene Searcy sells produce and other items at a Mill Spring Indoor Farmer’s Market. Searcy and other area farmers expressed concern over the Food Safety and Modernization Act passed by Congress in 2010. (photo by Eric Turner/Turner Media)

• Carol Lynn Jackson of Saluda and the Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center started the PolkFresh TradePost to promote Polk County growers, value-added producers and food artisans.
• PetSmart Charities awarded Foothills Humane Society an $85,000 grant for the Community Cats Project, a new program designed to reduce feral cat colonies.
• The Columbus Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nicholas Wesley Jolley, 21, of Mill Spring, Charles Jessie Raines, 21, of Mill Spring and Justus Ian Burnett, 19, of Mill Spring on multiple charges related to numerous vehicle break-ins.
• Saluda began its year-long celebration of the town’s 130 years of incorporation with a festival Feb. 5.
• Benjamin David Lockhart, 20, of Landrum died in a single-vehicle crash on Spivey Creek Road on Feb. 4, around 2 a.m. when his car swerved off the road.
• Lake Lanier legend Frank “Boat” Williams died at the age of 104 on Feb. 5.
• The Polk County Wellness Coalition issued the “2010 Polk State of the County Health Report,” which said the number of uninsured in Polk County was on the rise. The report also identified obesity as an increasing problem.
• After finding out that running a water line to Polk Central School could cost more than $650,000, commissioners considered supplying the school with water from the county’s Mill Spring well system. The county delayed action, however, after the school board said it would prefer funding be used to ensure teachers and programming stay intact.
• The Landrum men’s basketball beat Christ Church for the Region II-A Championship 52-49.
• A fire burned more than 1,474 acres at the end of Judes Gap Road in Polk County, or what is referred to as World’s Edge, a remote area of rugged terrain.
• Landrum’s 2010 audit report said the city added more than $300,000 to its total fund balance in addition to paying down debt.
• George May, Giardini’s, Libbie Johnson and Dale Musselwhite were among the honorees at the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner.
• The Saluda zoning board amended the city’s home occupation definition to rectify concerns regarding verbiage related to vehicles, the creation of a sliding scale for determining the number of accessory buildings allowed based on lot size and the elimination of CH zones from the definition.
• Eloise Thwing, who helped organize Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry (TBOM) 20 years ago and retired early in 2011, was honored at a “Valentine High Tea” held at Tryon Estates on Feb. 13. About 250 of Thwing’s friends, colleagues and TBOM supporters attended.
• Polk County commissioners began deliberating whether to join a Medicaid waiver that would essentially send Medicaid operations back to counties.
• The Saluda Grade Trail committee was established to ask Norfolk Southern for permission to turn the railroad bed into trails. Some area residents said they were against the proposal, and Polk County commissioners apologized to residents who said coordinators had not thought about what the venture may do to property owners.
• The Polk County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the murder of Vanessa Yvonne Mintz, 53, of Hendersonville, who was found at the Saluda Mountain Lodge Feb. 19. Police later arrested Mintz’s husband, Travis McGraw, 44. Polk County District Court Judge Athena Brooks later found probable cause to charge McGraw with first-degree murder. This case is ongoing.
• A one-vehicle accident took the life of Winfred Suber Jr., 20, on Feb. 20. Trooper M.D. Bailey said the accident occurred around 8 a.m. near mile marker 59 on I-26.
• Polk County increased security at commissioners’ meetings, adding a metal detector at the entry and two sheriff’s officers.
• Tryon approved a new transitional business district (TBD) on each end of downtown that includes uses more similar to its central business district (CBD).
• Polk County narcotics investigators Feb. 24 seized 35 marijuana plants along with drug manufacturing equipment from a vacant house in Columbus.

In Memoriam
Margery Francis Franklin
Hughitt Gregory Moltzau
Robert Jacob Payne
May Elizabeth Wondra
Estelle Thompson Corbett
Lillian S. Green
Bernice E. Ravan
Frank ‘Boat’ Williams
Linda Alice Mathews
Barbara ‘Bobbye’ Williams
Mary Jane ‘Jo’ Christopher
Eleanor Peterson
Doris Byrd Williams
James Reynolds Crook
James S. Jackson
Stanley J. Modzelesky
Minnie Lee ‘Granny’ Sain Conner
Cecily Nancy Hutton Holmes
John Landrum ‘J.L.’ Jackson
Lucy Mae Russell Morgan
Bertie Mae Hooks Feagin
Norma Guenther
Clint Sellers Edwards
Mary McDonald
Winfred Daniel Suber Jr.
Robert Howard “Dan” Williams
Betty Green
Vanessa Y. Mintz
Winfred Daniel Suber Jr.
Patricia K. Volbrecht
Kathleen T. Cardwell
Christine C. Gerald
Hazel Steadman Johnson