2011 Year in Review: April

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Editor’s note: With another memorable year winding down, the Bulletin chose to reflect on those stories that kept the community talking. Over the next several issues, we’ll present highlights of those stories.

• Polk County High School’s farm celebrated five years.
• The Columbus Fourth of July committee needed to raise $10,000 by April 15 to secure the annual fireworks display. The Polk County Board of Commissioners agreed later in the year to contribute more than $6,000, as well as other donors, to save the July 4 festival.
• South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) budgeted $1.9M to replace the North Pacolet River bridge along Hwy. 14 just outside Landrum. Construction  began in April.
• Tryon held its annual April Fool’s Day festival on April 2, sponsored by the Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA).
• Polk rescinded its Rails to Trails resolution after hearing from local property owners against the effort.
•  Tryon native DeCarlo Wilkins won the “Big of the Year” award for the state of Georgia for his volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program in Atlanta.
• The City of Landrum held a public hearing for residents to voice their opinions on whether or not to hold a referendum to allow restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays.
• The Polk County Board of Commissioners on April 4 approved a resolution to preserve its fund balance from state budget threats.
• The Polk County Sheriff’s Office busted an indoor marijuana grow operation on King Laughter Road in Sunny View April 8. The sheriff’s office seized more than 9 pounds of plants.
• The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Laura Lee Laughter, 26, of Mill Spring and charged her with assault on emergency personnel with a firearm. Laughter was accused of pulling a gun on an EMS worker after the EMS responded to the home on a sick call.
• Polk County Commissioners approved a new development agreement with Bright’s Creek after new owners took over management of the property.
• Multiple local farms, restaurants and vineyards were included in a new book by Diane Daniel called “Farm Fresh.”
• The Polk County Child Protection Team reported to county commissioners that the lack of prosecution of cases is a gap in local efforts to protect children. District Attorney Jeff Hunt set up a meeting and later in the year DSS reported that communications with the DA’s office had improved.
• Multiple agencies responded to a fire at 170 Whitney Avenue in Tryon April 15 that caused both fire and water damage to the home.
• The Polk County Board of Commissioners decided to hire an economic development director after going more than a year without one.
• The Tryon Riding and Hunt Club sponsored its 65th Blockhouse Steeplechase at FENCE April 23.
• St. Luke’s Hospital asked Polk County to deed the hospital property to the hospital in order to obtain financing for an expansion. It was later discovered that the county cannot deed over public property. The hospital is moving forward with a $6.5 million expansion of its facility, located in Columbus.
• Some Tryon Eastside residents enjoyed better living conditions as repairs and rehabilitations began through a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant.
• Tryon Town Council approved the preliminary design for the town’s streetscape III project, which will include work along the South Trade Street/New Market Road intersection.
• Columbus considered increasing its water and sewer rates to pay for $2.75 million worth of needed upgrades to its aged wastewater treatment plant. The town was awarded a loan from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Construction Grant and Loans Section clean Water State Revolving Fund to pay for the upgrades.

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