The Bulletin looks back on 2014

Published 11:01 pm Thursday, January 15, 2015

Editor’s note: Today, and in our weekend edition, we will complete our look back at the
year 2014, reviewing the top stories, news makers and images that shaped the year.
Feather your nest with homemade, handcrafted, local
Just a few steps off Trade St. in Tryon, and worlds away from her former life in the hustle
and bustle of Atlanta, Ashley Menetre welcomes visitors and shoppers to her newly
opened artisan market called The Nest. The small shop was Menetre’s idea to “bring a
collaboration of artists together,” and to highlight more than 20 local and regional
vendors’ talent, crafts and products.
Stay off drugs to be strong
Lieutenant Coffin with the Landrum Police Department went to O.P. Earle Elementary
School dressed as Captain America in support of Red Ribbon Week. The Red Ribbon
Campaign is a drug abuse prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion campaign.
CAPTION: Captain America, a.k.a. Lt. Coffin, visited children at O.P. Earle Elementary
during Red Ribbon Week.
Republican majority remains on Polk County Board of Commissioners
While incumbent Polk County Commissioner Ray Gasperson (D) was high vote-getter
for the Tuesday, Nov. 4 election, the board of commissioner majority will remain the
same, according to unoffi cial results obtained Tuesday night. Gasperson won, along with
newcomer Shane Bradley (R) and incumbent Keith Holbert (R). Democrats needed all
three candidates to win in order to take over majority on the board. Commissioner
chairman Ted Owens was beaten on Tuesday, along with Bill Ingham (D) and Lee Mink
Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill secures second term
Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill retained his seat on Tuesday night, Nov. 4 by 3,241
votes, according to unofficial results by the Polk County Board of Elections. Hill (D)
received 3,393 votes compared to challenger Pat Staggs’ (R) 2,152 votes, according to
unofficial results. Hill will serve his second full term as sheriff of Polk County. He was
appointed sheriff in 2008 and won in 2012 as well as on Tuesday, Nov. 4. CAPTION:
Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill, pictured at the Harmon Field cabin, Tryon’s polling
place, greeting Bea Rolla, won his second full-term for sheriff on Nov. 4. Hill won over
challenger Pat Staggs and took all seven of Polk County’s precincts.
Lake Lanier Bridge could close in 12-15 years
As the bridge over the Lake Lanier Dam ages, the S.C. Department of Transportation
(SCDOT) is investigating its future, which could mean the future closure of the bridge.
The bridge has dropped below a rate of 50, according to Emily Toler, SCDOT assistant
program manager, on a scale from 1 to 100, which requires investigation into what should
be done in the future. Toler said SCDOT has hired a consultant to investigate all available
options for replacement, with all options proving to be problematic.
Jamie Hafner named conductor of TubaChristmas
After playing in the ensemble for several years, Jamie Hafner will be conducting for the
first time at TubaChristmas XVII, Dec. 6 at Polk County High School. As an accomplished tubist, Hafner performed with the United States Military Band at West
Point, the Savannah Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, the University of Toledo Brass
Quintet and at the Brevard Music Center.
Tryon Beer Fest and Rolling Art Show brews success again
Whether they came to imbibe regional brews or salivate over sleek classic vehicles,
visitors to Tryon on Nov. 8 found a feast in the Tryon Beer Festival at the newly
renovated Depot Plaza, and Tryon Rolling Art Show at Thompson’s Landscaping on
Palmer St. The combination of the two events filled the streets of Tryon with record
crowds. “It was a fantastic day. The festival exceeded our expectations. The weather was
perfect, the Depot Plaza renovations were beautiful, the crowd was great, the food was
delicious, and the beer was awesome!” said Joe Pullara, event chairman.
St. Luke’s Hospital earns quality award for pneumonia, surgical care
The country’s premier accreditation agency for hospitals has recognized St. Luke’s
Hospital as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2013 for treating pneumonia
and for surgical care. In announcing this milestone for the community hospital, The
Joint Commission states, “This achievement demonstrates St. Luke’s Hospital’s
commitment to assuring that evidence-based interventions are delivered in the right way
and at the right time because it is the right thing to do for our patients.” CAPTION: Amy
Norville, vice president of Support Services, Michelle Whittaker, director of
Perioperative Services, and Cathy Moore, chief nursing officer, display St. Luke’s
Hospital’s prestigious quality award from The Joint Commission.
Honoring veterans’ service, sacrifice on Veterans Day
On Nov. 11, Columbus hosted a Veterans Day parade, memorial service and candle
lighting ceremony. CAPTION: At the Veterans Day memorial service, Tom White,
representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans, left, is pictured with fellow brothers-inarms
Homer Pitts, a 26 year veteran of the Army; Neal Barton, who served in the First
Cavalry in Vietnam; and Purple Heart recipient Adam Palmer, who served three tours in
PANGAEA expands community Wi-Fi access points, bandwidth
Internet access has become a little easier and more convenient for the business traveler,
tourist or Polk County resident visiting Tryon. PANGAEA Internet, a non-profit Internet
service provider based in Tryon, launched free Wi-Fi access points throughout downtown
Tryon, marked by newly-installed signs at parking spaces along McCown St., by Side
Street Pizza and at Tryon Town Hall. The free outside service offers three MB download
speed and one MB upload speed, a tripling of bandwidth from what was previously
available. Twelve antennae throughout Tryon provide the hotspots, or access points.
Mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and personal computers with Wi-Fi capability can
access the service.
Coach Hill and Kara Overholt earn Western Highlands Conference records
One year ago, Molly Corhn was attending Lees-McRae College. This past July, she was
hired as Polk County High School’s varsity volleyball coach, where she guided
the Wolverines to a 19-6 overall record. Further, under Coach Molly Corhn Hill (who
recently married), Polk earned a 10-1 Western Highlands Conference record, earning
honors for Hill as WHC Volleyball Coach of the Year. Polk’s Kara Overholt was named
WHC Volleyball player of the year, after leading the conference in assists, with 816.
Polk FFA attends National FFA Convention From Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 15 Polk County High School Future Farmers of America
members attended the 87th National FFA Convention and Career Expo in Louisville, Ky.
Students participated in a career expo, listened to motivational speakers and attended
leadership classes. CAPTION: Polk’s FFA students who attended the national convention
were Georgia Garrett, Hunter Kilgore, Ashley Wilson, Logan Morlino, Chandler Stott,
Gabe O’Brien, Harrison Fisher, Katelyn Allison, Carl Campbell, Erica Sullivan, Leah
Hardin, Caitlin Britton, Caitlin Edwards, Keileigh McMurray and Jenna McInerney.
Polk invites towns to join water contract
Polk County Commissioners invited the towns of Columbus and Tryon and City of
Saluda to join in a proposed contract with Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD) if
any of the towns are interested. Commissioners met Monday, Nov. 17 and also heard that
the contract process has been slowed because the current contract draft does not meet
N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) guidelines.
Landrum High students learn financial realities, budgeting
On Nov. 12, Landrum High School juniors were given a taste of reality when they
participated in Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union’s “Reality of Money” program.
The primary goal of the event was to assist students with making wise financial decisions
so that they are better prepared for the future. Through direct participation and random
selection, students were given a card indicating a career, salary, marital status, number of
children, credit score and a certain amount of money in their bank account.
PAC preserves 90 more acres
Green River landowners, Manfred and Christel Walter, have preserved the beauty of their
land with a conservation easement. The 90-acre property is composed of a maturing
hardwood forest mixed with pine. The pines are mainly on the dryer ridges, while the
hardwoods dominate in the coves and along the Green River. There are specimens of 75-
foot oaks and 90-foot pines. The property has a nice diversity of native plants, and this
diversity in turn provides good wildlife habitat. Wildlife noted on the tract includes wild
turkey, deer, rabbit, quail, fox, squirrel, raccoon, waterfowl, hawks, and owls. The
property straddles the Green River and protects both sides of the river for approximately
1,200 feet.
Tryon Equestrian sparks new hire for Polk building inspections
Polk County is clearly seeing the impact the new Tryon International Equestrian Center is
having on the area. Recent increases in building inspections have caused the need for a
level III inspector, mainly for recent and projected growth at the equestrian center,
located off Pea Ridge Road. The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Nov. 17 and
approved the hiring of a new code enforcement officer.
Polk hires Williamson as economic development director
Polk County Interim Economic Development Director Robert Williamson received a
more permanent status with the county. The Polk County Board of Commissioners
agreed to extend Williamson’s contract, with Strategic Work Systems Inc., by one year.

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