2011 Year in Review: January

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Downtown Columbus during a snowstorm Jan. 10, 2011. (photo by Leah Justice)

• Chris Beddingfield was named Columbus police chief. Beddingfield succeeded Chief Clyde “Butch” Kennedy, who retired as chief of police for Columbus after serving for four years.
• Restoration began for the banks of the Pacolet River damaged by flooding during the 2004 hurricanes Ivan and Frances and other storms. Polk County Soil and Water District secured a $1.6 million grant to complete one phase from Morgan Chapel to Hunting Country. The N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund awarded the grant.
• After a break of almost four months, elected officials from Columbus, Polk County, Saluda and Tryon restarted joint meetings on consolidating services and resources. The primary focus of the meetings, which will continue in 2012, is the creation of a joint water authority.
• On Jan. 10-11, 2011, the area received 4-5 inches of snow, with some Saluda residents receiving as much as 6 inches by mid-morning. The storm caused hazardous road conditions and closed schools, local government offices and many businesses for several days.
• The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) completed roadwork and the installation of a new sidewalk along Mills Street in Columbus.
• Tryon’s water plant upgrades, which were almost complete, ran into some issues related to upgrading its mountain water intakes near Pearson’s Falls. The town’s intakes are located on town property, but access to the property is through an easement from the Tryon Garden Club. The garden club expressed concern over silt created by the work. Delays continued for months.
• Mitzi Lindsey retired from Tryon Riding & Hunt Club after 38 years.
• Construction began on the new Polk County Department of Social Services building, located off Wolverine Trail in Mill Spring adjacent to the county’s recreation park and middle school.
• An open house was held for the historic Tryon depot, which was restored to an early-20th-century look by Andy Millard of Millard & Company. The depot in Tryon was originally constructed in 1906. In May 2010, the town granted Millard a 20-year lease of $1 per year. In exchange, Millard agreed to renovate the building.
• Tryon experienced a string of break-ins, including the Village Book Shop on Maple Street, Nature’s Storehouse, Smith Optometric Eye Associates and Tryon Gold and Coin.
• The Town of Columbus sought $10,000 from the community to keep the fireworks show in the Fabulous Fourth Celebration. Funding for the event was not included in the Columbus budget.
•  Landrum City Council approved a mutual aid agreement with the Hampton County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office to allow a specialized drug enforcement officer to work in Landrum a couple times a month.
• Polk County commissioners looked into replacing the well system at Polk Central Elementary School in Mill Spring with public water by extending a line from the county’s system in Green Creek. County engineer Dave Odom said the project would cost an estimated $656,311.
• Amanda Michelle Belue and John Eli Brewer of 101 Mountain View Lane in Tryon were arrested and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling used for selling methamphetamine. The arrests were the result of a joint investigation between the Tryon Police Department, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
• A main water line break in Tryon spilled just under 100,000 gallons and shut off water to a block of downtown. The break occurred at the top of School Street, near Tryon Elementary School.
• Polk County Schools Superintendent Bill Miller presented the results of a schools facilities survey to Polk county commissioners. He said Polk County Schools was in good shape for the next five to 10 years in building and facility needs.
• Tryon Daily Bulletin celebrated 83 years on Jan. 31.

In Memoriam
Col. Charles Coolidge Ross
Harry Glen Turner
Joan B. VanderMale Hoskyns
Jefferson G. Bradley Sr.
Margaret Hayes Nelson
Joshua ‘Lance’ Pittman
Karen Eulene Jackson
James P. Laughter
Shirley Mae Stephenson Brown
1st Sgt. Harry S. Williamson (Ret.)
James E. ‘Coon Dog’ Laughter
Cyril Jewell Jr.
John P. Martin Jr.
John ‘Glen’ Luther McAbee
Marion Harriett Garby
Elaine Owens Greene
James W. Newman
Wendell S. Holmes
Elizabeth Rose Mercer Kane
Katy Kerby
Daisy Thompson Champion
Mildred McGuinn Jackson
Helen L. Varnes
Don Kelly
John Max Marcus
Fred Dufford Foster
Dale Eugene Ruff
Mary Duggan Schappert
Lionel ‘Garry’ Garrison