2012 year in review: May – July

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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


Scrap brass stolen from Bommer Industries 

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The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office began searching for two suspects caught on video stealing scrap brass from Bommer Industries in Landrum. During the night of April 26 the two individuals stole 50-60 pounds of brass.

Polk sheriff’s office requests funding for three new positions

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department made a request for three new positions as the Board of Commissioners prepared to meet to consider budget requests. The department said calls for service increased 34.69 percent and arrests 17.1 percent since 2007. The new fiscal year began July 1.

Saluda gains national recognition as 2012 Playful City

The City of Saluda gained a new recognition May 1 when the national non-profit KaBOOM! named Saluda a 2012 Playful City. KaBOOM! created the Playful City USA distinction in 2007 to address the need for more play in kids’ lives.

Mill Spring Fire Department asks for one-cent fire tax increase

Mill Spring Fire Chief Trenton Carswell requested a penny increase in the fire tax paid by residents of the Mill Spring Fire District. County commissioners did not approve the increase, which would have raised the district’s fire tax rate from 5 cents to 6 cents for each $100 of property valuation.

Polk polls opened for N.C. primary 

Primary polling places opened for voters to choose which candidates would be on the ballot in November. Early voting ended May 5, with 1,831 or 12.37 percent of Polk County’s registered voters casting early votes.

Cardinals track win eighth Upper State title, head to state

On May 5, Landrum hoisted its eighth-consecutive Upper State trophy and headed to Columbia to defend their title.

Bartlett, McDermott, Mierop win primary

Polk County chose Renée McDermott (incumbent), Emily Bartlett and Russell Mierop as Democratic nominees for county commissioner during the primary held May 8, according to unofficial results from the Polk County Board of Elections. McDermott was the high vote-getter with 1,607 votes.

Polk compromises on sheriff’s office budget

The Polk County Board of Commissioners and Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill compromised on Hill’s request for new positions. The agreement added a new investigator to the force instead of the three new positions requested. Commissioners provided an additional $30,000 from the general fund contingency but required the sheriff’s office to find approximately $10,000 in its budget to pay for FICA expenses for the position.

Polk approves Amendment 1

The constitutional amendment defining marriage in North Carolina was approved both in Polk County and statewide during the May 8 primary.

Meth lab busted, couple arrested in Landrum

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office busted a methamphetamine lab in Landrum. Joseph Carlton Johnson, 26, of 1526 Blackstock Road, Landrum was charged with possession of weapon during violent crime, simple possession of marijuana/hash (first offense) and trafficking methamphetamine/ cocaine base greater than 10 grams (first offense). Kristen Michelle Medlock, 28, of 1526 Blackstock Road, Landrum was charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime, simple possession of marijuana/ hash (first offense) and trafficking methamphetamine/cocaine base greater than 10 grams (first offense), according to sheriff office reports.

Landrum, Polk track athletes win state titles

Landrum’s Shelby Morris won a first place medal in the 1A South Carolina High School League pole vault championship. Meanwhile, the Polk girls 4×400 relay won the state championship for the second year in a row. Runners included Rebecca Elliott, Casey McDowell, Autumn Miller and Mary Kate Christiansen.

Tryon proposes budget with no tax increase

The Town of Tryon reviewed its proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013, which included no tax increases but a one-percent increase in water and sewer rates.

Saluda shuffles budget to find funds for fire department

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden announced May 14 the city would adjust tax rates to accommodate additional revenues for the fire department without actually increasing taxes. The increased funding is for salaries for two full-time employees that previously came from FEMA funding.

Ninth-annual Saluda Arts Festival

Saluda held its ninth-annual arts festival May 19, which included 80 artists and skilled craftspeople.

Heavy rains brought Polk out of drought

Polk County received 7.45 inches of rain up until May 21. Most of that – 4.61 inches – came on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13. This rainfall brought the area out of drought for the first time in seven months.

Polk Rescue Squad requests funding increase The Polk County Rescue Squad asked Polk County to increase its funding from 1/4 of a cent tax revenue to a 1/3 of a cent during budget requests.

Phase one of TFAC master site plan begins

Phase I of Tryon Fine Arts Center’s campus master plan began in May with Habitat volunteers harvesting all usable building materials from the Farwell Annex, Cate-Hall and the Discovery House were all eventually torn down to make room for the upgrades.

Columbus budget proposal includes one-cent fire increase, employee raise options

Columbus Town Council began considering its fiscal year 2012-13 proposed budget, which included a one-cent tax increase for its fire department but no increases in water and sewer rates. Council also considered employee salary increases, ranging from one percent to four percent.

Columbus police, highway patrol apprehend fugitive after pursuit

Columbus Police Department and North Carolina Highway Patrol arrested Stephen Harold Curtsinger, 51, of Weaverville, N.C. after a pursuit that led officers west on I-26 before ending in a two-car collision. Curtsinger fled after a routine traffic stop at the on-ramp to Columbus. Curtsinger had 12 outstanding misdemeanor warrants for his arrest.

Hogs & Kisses youngest competitors ever for BBQ festival

Hogs & Kisses, the barbecue team made up of Allison Herrmann and Madison Arrowood entered as the youngest competitors ever in the 2011 Blue Ridge Barbecue and Music Festival.

Tryon eyes end to 2001 crisis

Tryon’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 includes the town’s final payment to its fire department, budgeted at $22,260. In 2001, the town agreed to make payments to its fire department from the general fund for 10 years after misspending $322,260 in fire department funding for town operating expenses.

LHS graduation May 24

Landrum High School celebrated the successful graduation of 114 students from the class of 2011.

Autopsy reveals Saluda man died of gunshot wound

An autopsy report determined Joshua William Lindsay, 23, of Saluda died from a gunshot wound to his face and neck. Lindsay was originally thought to have killed himself on Feb. 22 at 2643 Macedonia Road in Saluda. After receiving conflicting statements, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case as a murder and charged Brandon Cody-Lee Case, 23, also of Saluda, with first-degree murder.

Tryon receives complaint regarding 2008 CDBG project

The Town of Tryon received a complaint regarding a 2008 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from a family whose house was left out of the project after cost estimates exceeded the budget. Council created an investigative committee to determine if something else could have been done.

Thermal Belt Friendship Council celebrates 26 years

The Thermal Belt Friendship Council turned 26 this year, and celebrated its history at the annual community picnic June 2.