2012 year in review: May – July

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Construction began on new Columbus Employee State Credit Union building

Grading began on a 4.01-acre lot behind the CVS Pharmacy in Columbus for the construction of a new Employee State Credit Union building.

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Elmo’s Pub closes doors

Elmo’s Puban iconic part of downtown Tryon closed with a final last call on Sunday, June 3. The bar was first opened as Pop’s Beer Garden by Pop Burnette in 1934. and changed many hands before coming under the ownership of Pam Johnson.

Polk sheriff discovers two more meth labs

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office discovered its fourth and fifth methamphetamine (meth) labs of the year. Two labs were discovered on June 4 in the Hunting County area near Tryon. Materials to make meth were found on the side of River Road and more materials were found on property located on Appaloosa Lane, according to sheriff reports.

Columbus public works fixes Morgan Chapel fire hydrant issue

Columbus Town Council commended its public works department during a meeting May 17 for finding and repairing an issue with fire hydrants at Morgan Chapel Village the town had been dealing with for years.

Commission supports fire tax increase for Columbus

A majority of Polk commissioners said they are in favor of granting the Columbus Fire Department its requested one-cent increase for next year’s budget.

Lake Adger sedimentation, erosion issues focus of boat tour

The Green River Alliance organized a boat tour of Lake Adger for officials on June 1 to tour the lake so the alliance could share its concerns regarding sedimentation and erosion issues.

Commissioners ask state to install guardrails on Fork Creek

Polk County commissioners and Saluda residents urged the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) to install guardrails along Fork Creek Road near Saluda, citing dangerous conditions.

Morris kidnapped?

Tryonites awoke June 9 to find their iconic wooden horse missing. Save Morris campaign organizers removed the aging Morris from his post in downtown Tryon in order to raise funds for a replacement horse to be built. The committee called for $12,000 in donations from the community to restore Morris. The group raised that much and more. Additional funds have been placed in a fund for future upkeep.

Blazing barbecue weekend

Gatekeepers at the Blue Ridge Barbecue and Music Festival held June 8-9 at Harmon Field saw a record numbers of attendees. Chairman Chuck Britton said early numbers showed more than 12,000 paid for tickets at the gate alone. Winners of the annual state barbecue championship were reserve grand champions – David and Celeste Mauro (The Blue Bloods) and grand champions – Belinda and Bobby Roberts (Two Old Men and a Grill).

Board works to replace elevation with slope in MRPO

A subcommittee of the Polk County Planning Board met June 7 and agreed it makes sense to apply slope restrictions throughout the entire county. The group formed in order to remedy discontent over elevation restrictions in the county’s mountainside ridgeline protection ordinance or MRPO.

Former Landrum High pitcher drafted by Atlanta Braves

Alex Wilson, a 2008 graduate of Landrum High School, was taken in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball draft to play for the Braves. Wilson turned down offers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Polk grads celebrate

Polk County High School held graduation ceremonies June 8 for the 181 members of the class of 2012. Speakers included valedictorian Cade Underwood and salutatorian Cole Pellatt among others.

Saluda receives 5/6 ISO rating

Saluda Fire & Rescue recently received official notification from the N.C. Office of State Fire Marshall of a new ISO rating of 5/6, which went into effect Sept. 1.

Grover Industries sells 

The former Grover Industries building in Lynn was purchased by Daystar Enterprises Inc., which plans an upstairs flea market and an outdoor store, among other ideas. The purchase of the building, located on Clarence Rhodes Road between Capps Road and the Lynn Post Office off Hwy. 108, was completed in April.

Experts help Polk planning board gain direction for ridge protection ordinance

The Polk County Planning Board invited experts to a meeting June 14 to help gain direction in how the board wants to change the county’s mountainside and ridgeline protection ordinance (MRPO). The board heard from Karyl Fuller, GIS planner with the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission (IPDC), local engineer Dave Odom and local grader Craig Ray.

Landrum Quilt Trail project gets boost

The proposed quilt trail for the City of Landrum recently received a significant boost from a $5,000 grant through the Mary F. Kessler Fund of the Polk County Community Foundation.

Tryon unveils proposed Depot Plaza master plan

Business and property owners in the Depot Street area of Tryon got a first look at the town’s proposed Depot Plaza master plan on June 18. The plan includes a plaza between the renovated Tryon Depot (now occupied by Millard & Company) and the now completed dental office for Dr. Hooker. The area would also be reconfigured to add parking spaces, and a water feature to connect the Depot Plaza with Trade Street, running beside the Rotary Clock Tower. The project is part of a 10-year vision for developing downtown.

“Get Better” premieres 

An elegantly attired crowd gathered on the red carpet outside Tryon Theater June 18 in anticipation of the premier of “Get Better,” a film featuring locals Robert Linder and Beverly Moore. The film follows a woman and her father as they deal with how his terminal illness changes their lives.

Polk extends $1,800 break on tap fees for new water line 

Polk County saw so much interest in tapping onto its new water line between Polk County High School and Polk County Middle School that commissioners extended an $1,800 break on tap fees for another 60 days. County engineer Dave Odom said by June 18 the county had hooked on about 23 new customers along the line.

Tryon a ‘ghost town,’ local business owner says

Downtown business owners expressed concern June 19 to Tryon town council over an increased number of empty storefronts. The discussion spurred a plethora of debates over what could be done to revitalize business along N. Trade Street. Stores now fill several of the shops that were once vacant but some storefronts due remain available.

Columbus man arrested for embezzling from Masonic Lodge 

The Columbus Police Department arrested Tony Lyn Grigg, 54,for allegedly embezzling $89,000 from Horse Creek Masonic Lodge in Columbus. Grigg was arrested June 20 following a lengthy investigation. Grigg, of 10 Fox Meadows Lane, Columbus, was charged with seven counts of feloniously obtaining property by false pretenses, seven counts of felony embezzlement and seven counts of felony corporate malfeasance.

Naval building named in honor of local vet’s grandfather 

Veteran Scott Camp of Columbus recently cut the ribbon at a dedication ceremony in which Ridgely Hall at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Ga. was named in honor of Camp’s grandfather, Rear Admiral Randolph Ridgely Jr.

Tryon raises water fees 

Tryon Town Council approved a new budget with a one-percent increase in water rates. The increase equates to 15 cents more per month for residential customers inside town limits and 32 cents more per month for residential customers outside town limits who use 1,000 gallons or less per month.

Tryon sewage woes continue

The Town of Tryon continued to experience issues with sewage spills along East Howard Street. Eunice Whitmire spoke to Tryon Town Council June 19 about her sewage problem. Whitmire said she frequently had sewage spill into her yard and house during heavy rains.

Tryon fires police officer

Tryon Town Council fired police corporal J.J. Sauve this week. Sauve told News Channel 13 that he was fired for an inappropriate racial remark he made in 2008. He said he was disciplined for it then and remained on the force and he does not know why the incident was brought up again. Interim Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said the town cannot make any comments regarding a personnel issue.