Bulletin 2018 Year in Review — August

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Over the next several issues, we will publish our annual look back at some of the top stories, newsmakers and images that shaped the year.

The following are several of the top stories published in the Bulletin in August.

Developers begin construction on new town house community

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With Tryon and the Foothills continuing to grow, a new partnership looked to give newcomers to the area — or local residents looking for a change of pace — a modern, convenient place to call home.

Local realtor Jeff Byrd and South Carolina engineer Bert Shuler announced their plans in early August to build 12 new town houses inside a new private community, Tryon Peak Townhomes, located just outside downtown Tryon. The residences, which are expected to be finished in fall 2019, will be located on 3.5 acres of property off Carson Street, on the edge of Godshaw Hill.

Rail car pulls into Landrum

After 70 years, the Pacolet River came home to its final resting place in Landrum in early August.

The rail car, which was donated to the city of Landrum, was due to arrive sometime in the evening of Aug. 2, but heavy rains delayed the shipping. City officials hoped it would arrive the following day, in time for an afternoon welcoming ceremony, but had to reschedule again for Aug. 4.

Convicted murderer from 1982 denied parole

The North Carolina Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission denied parole for Edney Whitesides, of Tryon, who was convicted of murder in 1982.

Whitesides was convicted of second-degree murder of Stephen Faggart, 18, also of Tryon, on Jan. 19, 1982.

The Post Release Supervision & Parole Commission sent a release the week of Aug. 6, saying that the investigation has been suspended and Whiteside’s parole was denied via the Mutual Agreement Parole Program.

Police discover suspected remains of missing Landrum man

On Aug. 12, South Carolina authorities located the remains of a Landrum man who went missing in July.

According to Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler, a cadaver dog located a body inside a small ravine in a wooded area in Blacksburg, South Carolina, around 8 a.m. that morning. A wallet recovered from the clothing of the body contained identification for 24-year-old Jeremy Lee Filowiat, of Edgewood Avenue, Landrum, who had not been in contact with his family since July 23.

FEMA, White House deny disaster relief help for Polk County

North Carolina appealed a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House in August not to grant a major disaster declaration for the May floods and mudslides in Polk County and western North Carolina.

In a letter to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, FEMA officials said they rejected the request because they considered the storm impacts on western North Carolina to be separate and distinct events rather than part of one large storm. FEMA generally evaluates storm systems separated by 72 hours independently rather than as part of one large event and thus requires each event to meet the stated requirements for a disaster declaration.

Three deaths occurred in Polk County during the May disasters, and more than 150 residents suffered some type of storm-related damage. Polk County local government spent more than $15,000 in removing storm-related debris from the Lake Adger dam, as well as repairing other county-owned property.

TFAC publicly unveils $2.7 million capital campaign

After working behind the curtains for nearly two years, leaders with the Tryon Fine Arts Center were ready in August to debut their plans for the future of the local hub of the humanities.

TFAC announced to the public in late August its “Expanding Our View of the Arts in the Foothills” capital campaign, which is designed to raise money for a series of renovations and additions to the center’s campus, located at 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon. The institution had quietly raised money for the $1.5 million first phase of the project — which includes the construction of an addition to the current structure — since fall 2016, and was 75 percent of the way to its goal at the time of the launch of the public portion of the campaign.

To help put funding for the first phase “Over the Top,” the fine arts center offered a series of concerts, shows, art exhibitions and more in September.

The main portion of phase one includes the construction of a two-story flexible space pavilion, designed by local architect John Walters, which — true to the name of the campaign — will face Tryon Peak, giving visitors a breathtaking view of the mountains, said Tara Brannon, the president of the TFAC board of directors.

WEG endurance course awaits USDA approval

The endurance course for September’s World Equestrian Games was still awaiting approval by the United States Department of Agriculture in late August. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Aug. 20 and heard from Commissioner Ray Gasperson, who brought up some concerns about the course as well as a disease called equine piroplasmosis. 

Gasperson released documentation sent to the county from Gregory Atchley, with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, who said the endurance course is not complete, but the USDA had been persuaded to allow for another 30 days to correct the issues. 

Atchley also said approximately 40 international horses had tested positive for a tick-borne disease, and were not allowed to compete in the endurance race.

The USDA approved the course the following week, on Aug. 28. 

20-year veteran takes over leadership of Landrum PD

A veteran in law enforcement was announced as the new Landrum Police Department chief in late August.

Officials named Kristopher Ahler — a sergeant with the city of Greer Police Department with 20 years of experience in public safety — as the city’s new police chief. Ahler’s first day at the station would be Sept. 5, where he stepped into the office left by Tim Edgens, who resigned as chief in June in order to take a position with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

“Mayor [Robert] Briggs said the city council and city administrator were especially impressed with [Ahler’s] experience and commitment to reaching out and partnering with the community’s residents and businesses,” said Landrum City Administrator Rich Caplan in a release to the Bulletin. “I am confident that Kris will bring strong leadership to the outstanding men and women of the Landrum Police Department.”

Ahler was one of 17 candidates who applied for the position, Caplan said.

In memoriam

Edwin Hunt “Ted” Perkins

Ronald Silver

Tommy Burrell

Charmain K. Herman

Addie Mae Carswell

Betty June (Sockman) Crosby

Joanie “Sue” Anderson Gardner

Martha Jacqueline Vann

James Albert Kennedy

Jim Jackson

Mary Helen Justice

Charles William Flynn

William Beardslee

Marie Williams Gilbert

Charles William Flynn

Col. John (Jack) J. Daunt Jr.

Richard P. McAbee

Roy Pinkney “Bud” Lail

Mary Alice Justus Rhodes

Lucille Hampton Daniel

Rachel Moffitt

Freda Elaine Waters

John Ransom Pullen

Phillip Hill

Clarence William Booker

Hilda Ann Whitmire

Charles W. Pearson III

Lewis Cantrell

Rachel Rhiannon Skye Moffitt

Maj. Jack Allen Brandon

Linda H. Darden

Elizabeth Lewis Parsons

Jon Douglas Matheis

Roberta Cochran Quattlebaum

Sharon Grindstaff Easler

Daniel Buford Gosnell