The Year in Review

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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The Year in Review-January

Editor’s note: Over the next several issues, we will publish our annual look back at some of the top stories, news makers and images that shaped the year 2021. Following are several of the top stories published in the Bulletin in January 2021:

Houston Road residents form neighborhood committee

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Residents along the 3.5 stretch of Houston road that runs from Skyuka Road in Columbus to Highway 108 in Mill Spring have formed a neighborhood committee. “Houston is a great community, close to town and one of the few spots in Polk County that hasn’t been carved up for development,” said Sherry Johnson Committee lead. “Like other communities we are seeing an uptick in activities that are concerning and we don’t want to take the wait and see approach. We want to address these issues while they are relatively small in an effort to maintain our quiet community.”


Caption: Houston Road residents in Columbus have formed a neighborhood committee to handle safety and security, beautification, litter and communication. Pictured are some of the committee leaders along Houston Road; Becky Oliver, John Wilkins and Sherry Johnson. (Photo by Leah Justice/Tryon Daily Bulletin)


Commissioners want Bradley Falls open

SALUDA—Polk County Commissioners discussed opening up Bradley Falls again.

The board met in January and discussed the commissioners’ desire to have the falls open back up again.

Losing a young hero

TRYON—The community was saddened Tuesday evening to hear of the passing of Trevor Arrowood, 25, who lost a long hard fought battle with cancer.

Arrowood followed in his father’s footsteps and was a police officer for the Rock Hill, S.C. Police Department when he was diagnosed with cancer.

He was the son of Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood and Kerry Arrowood.

Caption: Trevor Arrowood

Laurel Drive lift station woes

SALUDA—Saluda officials just recently discovered how many problems the Laurel Drive sewer lift station is causing the city.

Saluda City Council met in January and heard from Steven Orr and Julie Osteen about how much overflows and repairs at the lift station have cost the city.

Over the last couple of years, there’s been about $28,000 spent on the lift station, according to finance officer Osteen.

Tryon’s Booker appointed to National League of Cities

TRYON—Tryon’s Mayor Pro Tempore was appointed to the National League of Cities 2021 Information Technology and Communications Federal Advocacy Committee.

Chrelle Booker is the only North Carolina resident on the federal/national committee for 2021. She was appointed to a one-year term.

The committee has 30 members appointed across the United States, plus 3 leaders.

Losing another Tryon legend

TRYON—Tryon has lost another historical legend.

James “Jim” Cowan, 88 died at his home.

Cowan was known for many things, including his owning of Cowan’s Grocery and Hardware Store, as the Tryon Fire Chief and spending decades on both the Tryon City School Board and the Polk County School Board. Anyone who knew him heard his famous train whistle that no one else could replicate.

Caption: Jim Cowan

COVID tops 1K in Polk

POLK COUNTY—Polk County had a record number of COVID-19 cases in January, almost 3 times the previous record for a week in the county.

The county added 141 cases, up to 1,037 cases from the previous week of 896 cases. The county’s percent positive was 15.3 percent, according to the Polk County Department of Health and Human Services Agency.

There were 15 people who had died from the virus in the county and 44 cumulative hospitalizations.

New manager

SALUDA—The City of Saluda has a new manager.

Saluda City Council met in January and agreed to hire Steven Orr, the city’s planning and zoning enforcer to replace manager Jonathan Cannon, who resigned at the end of the year.

The city agreed to look internally first following Cannon’s resignation. Orr has been the city’s planning and zoning officer since 2019.

Dog park officially open

TRYON—Tryon has a new dog park that officially opened over the weekend.

The dog park is located on a former baseball field at Harmon Field.

The park was made possible by a $20,000 donation from Cynthia Davis in memory of her father, Seth Davis and her great aunt, Jane Brown.


Caption: A new dog park officially opened over the weekend at Harmon Field in Tryon. Rules are now posted and there are separate areas for large and small dogs. (Photo by Leah Justice/Tryon Daily Bulletin)

Citizens plead

COLUMBUS—County commissioners heard from 9 residents this week who urged them to make a statement about the raid on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Some residents said they were concerned for their safety, especially knowing that some of their neighbors participated in the riot.

Republicans who attended the Capitol later said no one from Polk County participated in the riot.

Polk out of vaccines

POLK COUNTY—Polk County is currently out of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Polk County Health and Human Services Agency sent a press release in January saying they have not received additional doses of dose 1 of the vaccine in the past 2 weeks and will not receive any new doses this week. Polk County later received doses and did not run out again.

In Memoriam

Leon Donald Smith

Jesse B. Thornton

Franklin Loving

Carolyn “Connie” Clark

Alvin Harold Pack

Trevor Jeffrey Arrowood

Grace Burnette Gilbert

Sandra Faye McCall White

Colleen Hunt Hibbard

 Liz Easley

James “Jim” Cowan

Joan Brunner Wilkinson

John “Clint” Poteat

Robert J. Murray

Wilma G. Cersosimo

Johnnie Foster

William Kenneth Holzlohner

Betty Lou Ford

Ann Strozzo

Gary  “Speedy” Cleveland Owens

Mark Douglass Overton

Pauline Laughter

Andrea Erskine Morgan

Hilary Giner-Sorolla

Joyce Elizabeth Korn

Benjamin Franklin Hudson

Betty Lou Plumley  Murphey

Edward Albert Richardson

Paul Alfred Alpert


The Year in Review-February

Editor’s note: Over the next several issues, we will publish our annual look back at some of the top stories, news makers and images that shaped the year 2021. Following are several of the top stories published in the Bulletin in February 2021:

ER changes at St. Luke’s

COLUMBUS—After concerns were raised over the last few weeks over changes in the emergency room at St. Luke’s Hospital, the Bulletin reached out to St. Luke’s CEO Michelle Fortune with questions.

Some ER doctors will no longer be employed as of March 1 as the hospital has decided to partner with Pardee Hospital.

Steeplechase rescheduled

GREEN CREEK—After being rescheduled one year for rains and cancelled last year because of COVID-19, this year’s Block House Steeplechase has been rescheduled.

The Tryon International Equestrian Center announced this week that the Steeplechase has been rescheduled until June 5 from its original date of April 10 this year.

Missing hiker found safe

SALUDA—During a winter storm warning on Saturday night, local crews were searching for a lost hiker in Green River Cove in Saluda.

The hiker, a 77-year old man was reported missing around 5:15 p.m. Saturday. He was found the next morning around 10:20 a.m. He spent the night in the woods and was making his way out of the Green River Game Lands when crews discovered him.

Chase ends in crash and death

GREEN CREEK—A Polk County Sheriff’s Office pursuit ended in a crash with the suspect dying.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said his office was summoned to a motor vehicle crash on Ray Blackley Road in Inman, S.C. at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the unrestrained driver as Wayne Keith Smith Jr., 38, of Campobello.

New K9 on the job

COLUMBUS—The Columbus Police Department has its first K9 named Dino.

His first day on the job was Feb. 2. Lt. Cody Gordon is the K9’s handler.

Dino was trained at Astro Kennels in Greenville, S.C. along with handler Gordon.

Shock value for some

POLK COUNTY—Many Polk County property owners were shocked when they received their new property values in the mail.

Polk County did its property revaluation, which was effective Jan. 1, 2021. The county began doing revaluations every 4 years instead of every 8 years following the last revaluation, when some properties, particularly near the Tryon International Equestrian Center, increased tremendously. County commissioners decided it would be less of a shock in increases if the county did the revaluation every 4 years. The state requires revaluations at least every 8 years, but most counties have now changed to every 4 years so the increases are not as much.

Landslide maps available

POLK COUNTY—People can now see where Polk County’s 265 landslides have been over the years thanks to recent maps created.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners heard from Rick Wooten with the geological survey, who completed a study of the county’s landslides.

Maps have now been developed showing the landslide hazards in Polk and other western North Carolina counties and are available online.

Gov. McMaster signs fetal heartbeat bill

LANDRUM—South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed a bill Thursday that will prevent any woman from getting an abortion after a heartbeat is detected.

The bill passed with 30 votes in the South Carolina Senate and 79 votes in the South Carolina House.

Abortion rights groups have already challenged the bill in courts.

Most small businesses

POLK COUNTY—A recent study from SmartAsset has ranked Polk County as the 7th in North Carolina for the most small businesses.

The study used IRS data and compared the number of tax returns that report small business income to the total tax-filing population of the region to determine the prevalence of the small business population in each county.


In Memoriam

Andrea Erskine Morgan

Carrie Waddell McFalls Dotson

Clifford Edwin “Bub” McDade

Richard Royce Franklin

Gwendolyn “Jimmie” Stringer

James Edward “Ed” Camp

Julie Rest Wilkison Gordon

Maureen Parkhill Zuschlag

Everette E. Durham

Robert Eugene Leidheiser

Reba Gail Peeples Wilburn

Marshall D. Yeager

John “Junior” Wesley Gosnell, Jr.

Muriel Lillian Walker Hicks

Grace Kathleen Powers McMahon

Glennie Marie Henson Bolling

Robert Clark Gray

Nelson “Bud” Mayfield Pace

Joe Harold Eugene Searcy (Timmy)

Evelyn Grace Creasman Butler

Claude “Leon” Green


The Year in Review-March

Editor’s note: Over the next several issues, we will publish our annual look back at some of the top stories, news makers and images that shaped the year 2021. Following are several of the top stories published in the Bulletin in March 2021:

Gov. Cooper lifts some restrictions

POLK COUNTY—As high school football starts this week in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper has eased some restrictions for several venues, including for sports.

Cooper announced on Wednesday that he is easing some restrictions and lifting the state-wide curfew beginning on Friday.

The mandatory mask mandate was still in place.

98 bags of litter collected

COLUMBUS—Houston Road residents in Columbus got a jump on this year’s Spring Litter Sweep by picking up trash this past Saturday.

Houston Road residents have recently formed a neighborhood committee and held its first trash collection Saturday along the 3.5 miles of Houston Road on a wet morning.

Residents collected 98 bags of trash in several hours.

Another wastewater discharge in Tryon

TRYON—The Town of Tryon had another discharge of untreated wastewater Thursday after having one on Thursday from the same manhole.

Thursday’s discharge was an overflow of approximately 5,000 gallons, with an estimated 3,000 gallons of the untreated wastewater entering an unknown tributary of Little Creek.

The discharge occurred from manhole #10, located at the intersection of Braewick Road and Melrose Avenue Extension.

Columbus audit report

COLUMBUS—The Town of Columbus remains in strong financial condition reporting a 42.4 percent fund balance, or rainy day fund.

Columbus Town Council heard from Terry Andersen, with Carland & Andersen, Inc. during its February meeting regarding the audit report for fiscal year 2019-2020, which ended last June 30.

Columbus had a general fund balance of $875,500, of which $561,000 is unassigned, meaning the town has a 42.4 percent available fund balance.

Wolverines pick up easy win in home opener

Polk County’s young ones had plenty of fun Friday evening.

It took a bit of time for the Wolverines to find their footing in their home debut. But once they did, very little went wrong, Polk County romping to a 49-14 victory over East Rutherford in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

Casey Beiler threw three touchdown passes, Angus Weaver rushed for three touchdowns and the Wolverines recovered three fumbled kickoffs. Spin threes such as that across the board and success is typically going to be the result.

Coon Dog Day postponed

SALUDA—People will have to wait another year to enjoy the annual Coon Dog Day Festival in Saluda.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and approved postponing the festival until 2022. The festival was not held last year either because of the pandemic and restrictions on outdoor gatherings.

“Going to the Y-M-C-A”

COLUMBUS—Polk County Commissioners will consider a memorandum of understanding on Monday night for the Spartanburg area YMCA to take over county recreation programs.

Commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 15.

The MOU is strictly for the YMCA to take over the county’s programming for now, including the youth portions of the recreation department as well as Gibson pool.

On hold again

POLK COUNTY—Although Polk County Commissioners approved moving forward with a joint Tourism Development Authority with the Town of Tryon and City of Saluda, the towns said they wanted more time.

During recent meetings of all 3 local governments, Polk County approved sending a new bill to the state, but Tryon and Saluda both said they had some issues and held off until the next session. The new bill was due by March 11 to go before legislation.

Shooting in Saluda

SALUDA—A person from Rutherford County was shot Saturday night in Saluda, according to the Saluda Police Department.

The city sent a statement over the weekend saying that a resident of Rutherford County was visiting Saluda Saturday night and was admitted to Pardee Hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was later transported to Mission Hospital and was in stable condition there.

Blessing boxes abound

POLK COUNTY—Anyone in need of food and other nonperishable items have 2 new options in Tryon and Columbus.

New blessing boxes have been installed at Steps to HOPE in Columbus and at First Baptist Church of Tryon.

Storms Thursday brought 5.6 inches of rain

FOOTHILLS—Thunderstorms and tornado warnings could likely not have come at a worse time Thursday afternoon.

The tornado warnings began right as schools were letting out, just before 3 p.m. Both Polk and Landrum Schools held buses until after the warnings expired and Polk County had 200 people at the Tryon International Equestrian Center waiting for COVID-19 vaccines.

Polk County Emergency Management Director Bobby Arledge said Friday morning that the area received 5.6 inches of rain from Thursday afternoon until Friday morning.

BI-LO in Landrum closing

LANDRUM—Local shoppers only have a couple more weeks to experience a BI-LO grocery store in the area.

The shelves are slowing being emptied at the store in Landrum, which will be closed on April 11.

There have been no announcements of any other stores taking the space.

In Memoriam

Bruce Selvage Bartlett

William “Bill” Garland Smith

Norma Kaye Blackwell

John (Jack) Michael Belden

Willis Josey Woodham

Ralph “Buddy” Pasco Douglas

Mary Lee Walker Cowart

Julia Kay Williams Jackson

Janice Anderson Brumley

Betty Anna Thompson Brown

Albert Roger “Butch” Odel

Jerry Wayne Shields

Charles William Whitehead

Leslie Jacob Koivula

Mary Westbrook

Boyce “Bill” Jackson

Rosemary Antoinette (Annette) Murphy

Irene Johnson Hopper

Drew Brannon

Sally Gant Bumgarner

Reba Jackson Holbert Doty

Jenny Rene’ Shreeves Deatrick

James Walton “Jerry” Lawrence, Jr.

Ferrin Nicole Jennings

Barry Scott West

Roger L. Gauen