2011 Year in Review: March
Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011
• Polk County High School wrestler Tyler Philpott brought home a state championship.
• Polk commissioners agreed by a majority vote to join the 1915(b)(c) Medicaid waiver program for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services. The change gave administration responsibilities for Medicaid services to Western Highlands.
• Columbus Police Sgt. Nicholas Stott was awarded the N.C. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) hero award.
• Former Polk County Sheriff Chris Abril faced charges of probation violation for not paying required fees. Abril had been on probation since November 2008 after pleading guilty to two counts of solicitation to take indecent liberties with a minor. After the felony conviction, Abril pled guilty to driving while impaired (DWI).
• Protex Investment Group, Inc., owned by Alexander Salgado and his wife, Gabrielle Barragan, signed a contract to purchase Bright’s Creek and Polk commissioners began considering a new development agreement for the golf community.
• The Polk County Board of Commissioners held its first traveling meeting at the Green Creek Fire Department and drew 110 residents.
• Polk County High School’s JV girls basketball team won the Western Highlands Conference tournament.
• The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Jacob Kessler, 42, of Hendersonville, on charges of grand larceny, three counts of second-degree burglary and one count of petit larceny. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office also arrested Karen Phillips Byrd, 38, of Chesnee, S.C., in connection with a Tryon break-in. Byrd later pled guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
• Concerned tourism businesses proposed alternate solutions to the county’s plan to transfer tourism services to the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce.
• Landrum High School performed “Schoolhouse Rock Live!,” the first school-wide theatrical production in 40 years.
• ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the Town of Columbus, claiming the town charged Tryon Estates for water and sewer services unfairly. The town said Columbus’ rates are not high when compared to other utilities of similar size.
• The Landrum Police Department and Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested four in connection with a home invasion that involved taking a 78-year-old man hostage in his home. Jamie Joseph Powell, 30, and Brittney Christine Sloboda were each charged with burglary first degree, kidnapping, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Shannon Thompson Metcalf and Angela G. Horton were charged with one count each of receiving stolen goods over $2,000 in value.
• Several members of the Landrum Fire Department were honored. Danny Jones received the Spartanburg County Fire Chief’s Association’s highest honor, the T. Wayne Early Award. Dennis Horton was given the Hall of Fame Award.
• Tryon Town Council tabled a proposal to create a new parking overlay district that would restrict parking in the downtown area and decided instead to explore ways to restructure parking downtown.
• Local landowners discussed conservation during the Pacolet Area Conservancy’s “Saving Our Horse Country” forum.
• The Town of Tryon agreed to accept the statue of “Morris the horse” as a donation from the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) and began discussing creating a “Save Morris” campaign to raise money for repairs.
• The Saluda Board of Commissioners passed a resolution adopting a new definition for home occupations.
• Polk softball’s Jamie Hrobak pitched a perfect game versus Mitchell on March 22. She retired 18 consecutive Mitchell batters, 16 of them on strikeouts.
• Columbus Town Council decided to draft a more stringent peddler ordinance that included banning door-to-door sales.
• John Samuel Duncan, 75, was sentenced in federal court on March 23 to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to United States Attorney Bill Nettles.