February, March bring trapping debates, water issues and drug arrests

Published 11:04 pm Monday, December 30, 2013

Polk reinstates medical responders
The Polk County Board of Commissioners changed county protocols to allow medical responders to be used as first responders. Commissioner Tom Pack said he thinks the county needs to allow more people to volunteer with no restrictions. If people want to start as a medical responder and move up to an EMT, they can, Pack said, or stay as a medical responder.

Polk moves ahead with connecting water systems
Polk commissioners are moving forward with connecting the county’s two water systems by running a waterline from the Peniel Road intersection off Hwy. 9 in Green Creek to the Hwy. 108/Hwy. 9 intersection in Mill Spring. Commissioners approved by a 4-1 vote to take $99,650 from fund balance to pay engineer Dave Odom to design, survey and obtain bids for the construction.

Mom charged with shaking baby/giving Xanax gets 6 months
A Green Creek mom who was charged in 2011 for shaking her then 2-month old baby and giving it Xanax pled guilty in Polk County Superior Court the week of Jan. 28.

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Polk planning board agrees to work on steep slope ordinance
The Polk County Planning Board unanimously decided the county would be better protected by having a steep slope ordinance on the books instead of drafting wording for the building inspector to do a pre-site assessment on all building. The board unanimously decided to work on an already drafted steep slope ordinance that currently gives a 30 percent threshold to trigger calling out the building inspector.

Polk Early College to relocate for estimated $800k
Polk County Schools’ Early College has outgrown its space at the county’s former library building in downtown Columbus and the school system has asked the county to fund a new building at or near the high school. The Polk County Board of Commissioners Feb. 18 unanimously approved moving forward with relocating the school.

Columbus top Governor Highway Safety point-getter
The Columbus Police Department, which has seven officers, gained recognition earlier this month for accumulating the most N.C. Governor Highway Safety Program points in the state. Coming in second place behind Columbus was the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, which has 1,685 sworn officers and 550 civilian personnel.

Council spars over decisions to fire town manager
Tryon’s Town Council meeting Feb. 19 made it clear council members were not united on whether firing town manager Caitlin Martin was the right decision. Mayor Alan Peoples began comments by saying there had been a lot of changes in the last few weeks and “a lot of us are unhappy. I’ll leave it at that.”

Tryon ABC store reopens with town’s assistance
Tryon Town Council heard news from its ABC board this week that the ABC store can reopen, pending approval of a loan. The store has been closed since September 2012 following the town and state doing an audit and inventory of the store. Council met Feb. 19 and heard from ABC board chair Richard Rardin and members Dennis Durham and Debra Isabell, who asked council to co-sign a $25,000 loan.