2014 Year in Review

Published 10:00 pm Monday, January 5, 2015

B.I.G. Grants provide funding for creativity in the classroom.

B.I.G. Grants provide funding for creativity in the classroom.

Editor’s note: Over the next several days, we will take a look back at some of the top stories, news makers and images that shaped the year 2014.

August 2014

Tryon Equine Hospital to expand in new location
In May, construction began on what will be new facilities for Tryon Equine Hospital on a 16-acre site across from the Hickory Grove – Pacolet Hills Community Building on Hwy. 14. The facility will include a 10,000 sq. ft. hospital, a 6,000 sq. ft. barn and an outdoor riding ring.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Landrum City Council to vote on changing city’s fiscal year, nine-month budget
Landrum City Council met July 29 and 31 in a budget workshop to review a proposed budget for a nine-month fiscal year running October 2014 to June 2015. Council also reviewed proposed ordinance 2014-01 that would change the budget and accounting year for the city from the current October 1 to September 30 fiscal year, to a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30.

Polk commissioners authorize engineering study for Sunny View water line
The Polk County Board of Commissioners voted Aug. 4 in favor of Odom Engineering undertaking an engineering study for the installation of a water line to the Sunny View Fire Department and Sunny View Elementary School. The proposed water line would run along Hwy. 9 from the Hwy. 108 crossroad in Mill Spring.

Walter Brown celebrated his 100th birthday.

Walter Brown celebrated his 100th birthday.

Brown celebrates 100th birthday
On June 30 2014, Walter Creighton Brown celebrated his 100th birthday. His family traveled from Texas, Ohio, Conn. and N.Y. to join Creighton for this special occasion. After graduating from Deerfield Academy in Mass., Mr. Brown joined the Army during World War II and became a scout in Germany. Mr. Brown worked for many years until his retirement in the early 1970s at B. Altman and Company in White Plains, N.Y.

Title loan store to open in Landrum
The restaurant formerly known as Irene’s, and prior to that as Denny’s, has been under renovation in recent weeks and will reopen as Auto Money Title Loans. Headquartered in Charleston with more than 70 branches across South Carolina, Auto Money Title Loans expects to open the 1840 Hwy. 14 East store in Landrum, S.C. on Aug. 21.

Polk commissioners change rules on citizen comments at meetings
The Polk County Board of Commissioners voted at its regular meeting on Aug. 4 to change the rules and format of citizen comments at public meetings. Commissioners voted to change the order of the agenda so that citizen comments will occur toward the beginning of the meeting instead of at the end of each agenda item, and each speaker is limited to three minutes.

Lanier Library publishes poetry book
In recognition of the success of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition initiative, the Lanier Library has turned its hand to book publication with a small volume of the winning poems from the first five years of the poetry competition.

Saluda Medical Center closes after 40 years of service
Saluda Medical Center, in operation since 1974 to serve indigent and underserved members of Saluda and the surrounding area, officially closed its doors June 30 to the community. The facility was forced to close following critical cuts in grant funding and problems with the new Medicaid system, said SMC Administrator Amy Copeland.

Campobello woman one of two arrested in child daycare neglect
Sonya Smith Fredo, 44, of 260 Harmony Drive, Campobello, S.C. and Anastasia “Stacy” Faith Whitlock, 32, of 209 Fraley Drive, Inman, S.C. were each charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child involving two children, Lt. Kevin Bobo with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Tryon farm trains USEF Horse of the Year
Boy Wonder, trained by Vick Russell of Tryon, and ridden by Avery Griffin of Folsom, La., was awarded Older Amateur Horse of the Year for 2013. Russell said, “Avery demonstrated a level of focus and self-deprivation that can only come out of a true respect for the sport and the other equestrians that make up her team. In order to compete and win at this level, riders must remain calm under extreme mental strain, this requires a dynamic personality that won’t be thrown off their game by the small catastrophes that are bound to occur in this dangerous and unpredictable sport.”

Todd Murphy named PCMS assistant principal
The Polk County Board of Education announced Tuesday the hiring of Todd Murphy as Polk County Middle School’s new assistant principal. He begins work Friday, Aug. 15.

B.I.G. Grants provide funding for creativity in the classroom
Educators in eight area k-12 schools have been selected to receive funding of up to $500 each to carry out arts-related projects in the 2014-2015 school year provided through a Tryon Fine Arts Center program supporting teachers and creativity in the classroom. The mini-grant program, titled Be Inspired Grant (B.I.G.), is managed by Arts in Education Committee Chair, Sue Z. Truitt and TFAC Education Director Marianne Carruth. Pictured are drums purchased with a 2013-14 grant awarded to Middle School teacher Denise Kennedy. The drums were used in Polk County Schools to provide students with disabilities an inclusive, age appropriate activity and to create a performing drum ensemble consisting of musicians with and without disabilities.

Ingenuity saves the day
While turning onto Pacolet St. from Trade St. in Tryon, on their way to the Depot project, a truck hauling a backhoe got stuck on the train tracks. To remedy the situation, a driver operated the backhoe off of the truck, turned it around, and used the scoop to push the truck over the tracks. Traffic was only stalled for about ten minutes.

Driver killed in I-26 tractor-trailer wreck
On Aug. 13, a single tractor-trailer wreck took the life of the driver along I-26. The truck rolled over at mile marker 62 near Saluda going westbound. The accident occurred around 1 p.m. and shut down traffic westbound for a few hours of the afternoon. One lane was later opened before both lanes were cleared. Several local emergency agencies responded and worked the scene most of the afternoon.

Hannah Phillips

Hannah Phillips

Hannah Phillips: Following her dreams
Only five South Carolina women have scored points in high school varsity football games. Landrum’s Hannah Phillips is not only one of those; she’s the first and still the only Cardinal to do so, as a place-kicker in the 2013 season. And she’s back in 2014 vowing to be even better.

Depot Plaza work in Tryon begins: Excavated trees donated to Outreach firewood program
Tryon’s Depot Plaza project began last week with trees taken down and construction beginning. Tryon is paying for the project through a $150,000 N.C. Department of Commerce Main Street Solutions Fund grant and has been planning the project for years. “Years of planning will soon yield results,” said Tryon’s tourism and business development coordinator Crys Armbrust.

Southern Delights opens in Landrum
Located at 114 E. Rutherford St., this newly remodeled cafe has a vintage industrial look and feel, with exposed brick walls, restored original hardwood floors and bead board ceiling, gleaming pastry cases, and seating for 35. With the personal motto “life is short, eat dessert first,” Maryland native Linda Fitzgerald Howard and her husband Chris, from Landrum, opened the store August 8.

Sarah Sprouse

Sarah Sprouse

Sarah Sprouse first woman volunteer with Landrum FD
When she tries on the heavy turnout gear that firefighters wear on emergency calls, Sarah Sprouse, 16, struggles to hold up and cinch the pants sized for men much taller and heavier. What isn’t a struggle for her is to be the only female around the station. She is the first woman to join the Junior Firefighters Post 17, and the first woman to be welcomed into Landrum Fire Department’s firefighting community.

Early College opens in Polk County
Polk County’s Early College opened in August in their freshly remodeled new location on Hwy. 108 near the entrance to Polk County High School. Each of the 69 students has a desk and chair in their office workspace, which they can decorate and stock with supplies as they choose. Students use a school-issued laptop for their online classwork and to connect with Isothermal Community College.

Polk sheriff’s office arrests four in Green Creek break-ins
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested four suspects last week in connection with recent breaking and entering of several properties in Green Creek including Billy Lawrence Carr of Inman, John Wayne Sparks of Mooresboro, Michael Cristen Barnes of Lake Lure, and William Mark Blackwell of Rutherfordton.

Landrum Fire Department requests special purpose district
At a public meeting held Aug. 19 by the Foothills Fire District Commission board at the Landrum Depot, the Landrum Fire Department presented a request to the board and the public for comment regarding the formation of a Special Purpose District. This was the second of two public input sessions held before the commission will vote on the request in September. Landrum Fire Chief Warren Ashmore’s proposal would create a fire district that would include Landrum Fire Department’s current coverage area surrounding the city of Landrum, and cross the county line into Greenville County into an estimated two square mile area south of Lake Lanier that would include portions of the 29356 zip code.

Darby named 2014 Shrine Bowl Run coach
District One Schools announced that Landrum High School Head Cross Country and Boys Track and Field Coach Jeremy Darby has been named the 2014 Shrine Bowl Run coach.  This annual event is used to honor top graduating runners as well as help the Shriner’s raise money for their hospitals for crippled and burned children.

PCFI to launch 2015 Tryon International Film Festival in 2015
The Polk County Film Initiative is expanding its theme of bringing film production to Polk County by launching the 2015 Tryon International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival organizers are targeting third quarter of 2015 with an array of independent titles that will premier over a two-day period at multiple venues in and around Tryon.

Polk approves economic development plan
Polk County now has an economic development plan and strategy in place and hired an interim economic development director to begin implementing the plan. The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Aug. 18 and approved the plan the county has been working on since last year. The majority of commissioners also hired Robert Williamson as interim economic development director for three months.

Polk Board of Elections Director resigns
With a just a little over two months until the November election, Polk County Board of Elections Director Tracy Waters resigned. Waters sent an email to board of elections chair David Moore on Monday asking for the board to accept her resignation effective immediately. Waters was hired in 2013 replacing former director Dale Edwards who retired on Feb. 28, 2013 after 31 years as Polk’s election director.