Bulletin 2018 Year in Review — November/December

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2018

Over the past several issues, we have published our annual look back at some of the top stories, newsmakers and images that shaped the year.

We cap off our retrospective   with the top stories published in the Bulletin in November and December.

Saluda approves new Ozone Drive district

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The city of Saluda officially adopted a new Ozone Mixed Use zoning district in early November. 

The Saluda Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Nov. 1, where, after making a few changes to the proposal, approved the new district. 

The new district did not come without controversy. The Saluda Planning Board recommended the changes and several meetings were held, with some residents in disagreement with some aspects. 

Some residents presented letters and a petition during the city’s October meeting, and commissioners decided that much of the contention was from proposed berms, or vegetative buffers. Commissioners decided in October to delete the requirement of berms for new developments from the proposal.

Republicans keep Polk commissioner majority

Republicans kept the majority of the seats on the Polk County Board of Commissioners, as had been the trend the past several years, following the midterm election on Nov. 6. 

Incumbent Republican Tommy Melton was the top vote getter and won a four-year term. Newcomer Paul Beiler, also a Republican, also won a four-year term. 

Incumbent Democrat Ray Gasperson held onto his seat, winning a two-year term in third place. 

Candidates Chrelle Booker and Carolyn Ashburn, both Democrats, lost by 851 and 1,032 votes, respectively.

Beiler was sworn into office during the commissioner’s first meeting in December, with Melton named the board chair that same meeting.

Republican Tim Wright wins Polk County sheriff’s race

Polk County got a new sheriff, as Republican Tim Wright won the midterm election on Nov. 6.

Wright won the election by more than 1,000 votes over Democrat B.J. Bayne. Wright received 5,073 votes compared to Bayne’s 4,045 votes.

Wright was a captain with the Tryon Police Department before his election to sheriff. Bayne was a captain with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Write-in candidate John Metcalf received 72 votes, and there were also 10 miscellaneous write-in votes.

Wright took all precincts except Tryon in overall voting, including early voting and on Election Day.

Wright was sworn in as sheriff in early December. Bayne, meanwhile, left her position at the sheriff’s office to become a captain with the Tryon Police Department.

Polk woman found dead in Mill Spring

A Mill Spring woman was found dead Nov. 14 in an apparent homicide.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the victim, 59-year-old Cindy Walker, was found dead early that morning off Highway 9 in Mill Spring. Sheriff Donald Hill said deputies were called to the home to do a welfare check and found the woman.

The suspect was the victim’s son, 27-year-old Jack Walker, who was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, the same day his mother’s body was found. Police in Tennessee said the man drove his mother’s jeep to Nashville General Hospital with scratches on his hands and told authorities that he tried to kill his mother in Polk County.

Landrum woman pleads guilty to murder

A Landrum woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Polk County District Court Nov. 15 for poisoning her boyfriend in 2015. 

Brittany May Crockett, 30, of Butter Street, Landrum, was sentenced to 144 months to 185 months (12-14 years) in prison for killing her boyfriend, Jeffrey Scott Brittain, 51, of Mill Spring, in August 2015. 

Crockett received credit for 1,241 days already served, according to court records. 

Crockett was charged by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in August 2015 with first-degree murder after Brittain died at the Rutherford Regional Medical Center. 

Brittain had been sick for several weeks prior. His family notified the sheriff’s office on July 29, 2015, that they suspected Crockett had poisoned him.

District attorney to seek death penalty in Polk murder case

District Attorney Greg Newman gave notice to the Polk County Superior Court in November that he intended to seek the death penalty in the first-degree murder case against Columbus resident Jeremy Lynn Bradshaw, of Red Fox Road.

Bradshaw is charged with murdering Karen Denise Jenkins, of Landrum, sometime between Nov. 15, 2017, and Nov. 17, 2017.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department previously stated in a public press release that its investigation began as a missing person’s report. They attempted to locate Jenkins, who had been reported missing since early November 2017. Her body was located on Feb. 23, 2018, on property owned by Bradshaw’s relatives.

NCDOT proposing construction of new bridge

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced in November that it would construct a new bridge on Highway 9 over the Green River in Mill Spring.

The NCDOT held a public information meeting on Nov. 27 and met with residents with maps and information at the Coopers Gap Baptist Church in the Sunny View community.

The drop-in meeting drew at least 40 residents who signed in.

The project is proposed to begin construction in January 2020, with construction costs estimated at $3.28 million. Right-of-way costs had not yet been estimated.

Dotson secures Landrum council seat

The city of Landrum had a new face on its council, as newcomer Shannon Dotson won a special election on Nov. 27 by 193 votes.

Dotson received 267 votes compared to Carol Browning’s 74 votes. A total of 341 votes were cast on Tuesday in Landrum, which was about a 22.5 percent voter turnout for the city. Landrum has approximately 1,515 registered voters.

Dotson took over the vacant seat left by Councilman Jon Matheis, who died of cancer in August while in office. He was up for re-election in 2019.

Dotson was sworn into office in December.

Landrum man suspected in homicide

A Landrum man was questioned in the murder of a Spartanburg man, who was shot and killed on Dec. 1.

Jeffrey Adrian Simpson, 37, of Kirkland Avenue, Landrum, was charged with murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, first-degree burglary and three counts of strong-armed robbery, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Also charged with the same crimes was Rico Nichols, 47, of Charisma Drive, Spartanburg.

The sheriff’s office said that at approximately 9:40 p.m. on Dec. 1, two Hispanic males came to the office and flagged down a patrol sergeant, saying in limited English that someone at 252 Seminole Drive, Spartanburg, had been hurt. The sergeant followed the men to the incident location and found the victim, who was shot in the head, but was still conscious.

EMS transported the victim to the hospital, where he died. A deputy fluent in Spanish arrived and discovered that all three men at the scene were victims of robbery from two suspects.

Diego bears down on Foothills

Winter storm Diego wreaked havoc on the Foothills on Dec. 9, with thousands going without power as a result of the damages. 

Trees were still down on power lines in many locations in the days following the storm. Snow totals were the most the area had seen in years. 

Saluda received the most snow at 18.5 inches, with Columbus and Green Creek receiving an estimated 10 inches of snow and Tryon 7 inches. Residents reported 9 inches at Lake Lanier.

Polk County had set up a shelter at the Polk County Middle School, but on moved it to the high school on Dec. 10. A shelter was also set up at the Saluda Fire Department, but it closed on Dec. 10.

In the days following the storm, Polk County announced it was applying for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The county encouraged residents to survey and take pictures of any damage and send the information to the Polk County Emergency Management Office.

By the end of the week of Dec. 10, nearly all Polk County and Landrum residents had power restored to their homes.

Tryon receives cleanup costs for Melrose Inn

The Tryon Town Council received some shocking figures Dec. 18 regarding the amount it will cost to clean up the debris left from the Melrose Inn fire earlier this year. 

The 26,000-square-foot building, built in 1889, burnt to the ground in early September following an electrical fire. 

The town is now faced with cleaning up the property and plans to approve a minimum housing ordinance on the property to place a lien and gain ownership of it next year. 

The owner of the inn, Marilyn Doheny, lost everything in one of Tryon’s oldest buildings, and did not have insurance. 

Tryon Community Development Director Tim Daniels said the town recently received an estimate to clean up the property, which includes $350 for asbestos cleanup and $95,300 for debris removal.

In Memoriam


Vera Elizabeth Cartee

William Thomas Hessler Sr.

Katharine VR Smith

David Barrineau Bond

Dr. Robert W. Cahoon

Grady A. Stewart Jr.

Joe Ross

David Barrineau Bond

Richard “Dick” Brown

Wade Gilbert

Wayne Jerome Johnson

Todd Dodds

Raymond Elliott Russell

John Charles Wright

Dr. Marian Bosien

Roy M. Conrad Jr.

Hiram Sawyer “Buck” Jackson

Dr. Ellen Jervey Hanckel

Brandon Baisden

Rachel Angelika Ornelas

Eloise Thompson Thwing

Robert M. “Bob” James

Robert A. McDaniel

Eloise Koon

Robert Glenwell Harvey

Ray Blan McCraw

Cecil Neal Harwood

Kenneth Nelson Haynes

Daniel Howard Schoren Sr.


Alex Brazell

Sally (Suzanne) Huffaker

Ruth Pauline Sutherin

Mary Elizabeth “Sissy” Dowda

Loyal Eugene Apple

Beverly Watford Tames

Janet Louise Markel

Evalyn S. Stephens

Mark Anderson

Callie Williams

Benny Lee Sheppard

Eugene Albert McSwain

Kristie FitzSimmons

Johnny Ray Effler

Paul J. Kiefer

Troy Daryal Brannon

Walter G. Ray

Ruth Sheehan Hensley

Jeffrey Smith

Jerry James Carruth

Max Edward Bailey

Bruce Allen Carlson

Kay Metcalf Rosborough


Bernard D. Corden

Charles Edwin Dunn

Tracy A. Holmes

Myrtle Stamey

Leo N. Tarpley Jr.

Linda Thompson Gillie

Charles Robert Booth

David B. Ramsey

Max D. Weaver

Edith L. Ritchey

Miriam “Mitzi” Dimpsey Lindsey

Charles “Bud” Howard Garrett Sr.

Hannah E. Willette

Edith L. Ritchey

Sheelah Ann Clarkson

Jamie Cephus Belue

Max D. Weaver

Mildred Kathleen Phillips Tucker

Charlie Lee Wilson

Patricia G. Plumley

Kathleen Mary Bell

Edna Olive Florig

Lizzie Lee Bradley Hudgins

Harold Culbreth

Shirley Rogers Burress

Buddy William Kimura

Michael Penfield

Allen Overholt

Patricia Ann Selby Smith