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2011 Year in Review: June

JUNE
• Landrum High School graduated 108 seniors as the class of 2011.
• Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Katrina Sue Batey, 52, and Kimberly Ann Batey, 50, both of 6410 Big Level Road in Mill Spring on opium charges, according to Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill.
• A rabid raccoon attacked three dogs in Green Creek.
• PCHS’s land judging team placed 17th in the nation.
• Lilian Jackson Braun Bettinger, a prolific best-selling author of “The Cat Who” mystery series for more than 40 years, died at Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills in Landrum June 4. She was 97.
• The Polk County Board of Commissioners agreed to fund an additional $100,000 to Polk County Schools to help fund its More-At-Four program for preschoolers.
• The 18th annual Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival was held June 10-11. Wicked Que was the grand champion.
• Polk County High School’s class of 2011 graduated 162 graduates and 13 graduated from the virtual college program June 10.
• The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tommy Lee Johnson, of 63 Bingham Rd., Lot 45, Asheville, N.C., and charged him with five counts of trafficking opium or heroin, trafficking cocaine, selling and delivering cocaine and six counts of maintaining a vehicle to distribute narcotics, according to police reports. Johnson has not yet been tried.
• M.A. Pace’s store in Saluda was reopened by the Morgan family. Leon Morgan and his daughters Tonya and Tangie reopened the historic downtown store on June 18.
• Work began repairing roads in Silver Creek Community Friday, June 17. A sign saying “Community Pride Works” illustrates the residents’ efforts over the past several years to improve the community.
• Polk County closed on the Alexander’s Ford at Bradley Nature Preserve property to create a nature preserve on 163-acres. The land was held by the Majorie M. and Lawrence R. Bradley Endowment Fund through the Polk County Community Foundation while the county sought grants to make the $830,000 purchase using no county funding.
• The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) took over maintenance of the county’s former Little Mountain Landfill and reimbursed Polk County $241,590.
• Cooperative Extension Director John Vining won a national communications award for his 2010 Showstopper Plants’ publication.
• Polk County Commissioners approved a no tax-increased budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 that included increases to county employee insurance deductibles and no employee raises. The budget was approved by a 3-2 vote.
• Evelyn Denise Petty was sentenced to 25 years in prison for homicide by child abuse that caused the death of a 5-month old baby boy in 2009.
• The Polk County Republican Headquarters released drawings of its proposed building on Peak Street in Columbus following the collapse of the roof of the former building the previous winter. The new building is currently under construction.
• The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested Stephanie Irene Greene of Campobello June 24 on charges of homicide by child abuse. The 37-year-old, of 180 Kimbrell Loop in Campobello, was accused of feeding her infant daughter breast milk that contained painkillers.
•  Tryon Town Council approved a budget that included no tax, water or sewer increases. Garbage rates increased $1.20 per month for residential customers, from $18.16 to $19.36 per month.
• More than 1,500 Polk residents signed a petition to keep the Mill Spring Post Office open. Although there were no threats to close the post office at the time, some duties were sent to the Columbus Post Office. The Polk County Board of Commissioners also approved a resolution to keep the post office open in Mill Spring.