Year in Review – 2022 – April, May, and June
Published 12:26 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022
Editor’s Note: 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. Following are several of the top stories published in the Bulletin in April, May and June of 2022.
Airstream camper event, ‘Trot into Tryon,’ sponsored by TDDA
Beginning on March 31, Trot into Tryon rolled into town and stayed at Harmon Field until April 3. Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) and The Carolinas Airstream Club are sponsoring this event. The Carolina Airstreamers stage rallies in small towns for the purpose of boosting the local economy by exploring businesses and restaurants.
Polk County deputies make arrest after motorcycle pursuit
Polk County deputies were involved in a high-speed motorcycle pursuit. The pursuit ended after the subject attempted to escape on foot after the motorcycle was abandoned. The subject was identified as Collin Jasiah Mills.
Rabid fox discovered in Green Creek
The remains of a dead fox were found off Little Mountain Road in Polk County. Around the same time, an incident where a fox suspected to have rabies attacked a dog. The body of the fox was sent to the North Carolina State Lab, where it tested positive for rabies.
Tryon man arrested for second-degree murder
On April 11, Polk County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Apprehension Team (C.A.T.) with locating a suspect who may be involved with a September 2020 overdose death that occurred on Red Dog Lane in Columbus. The following day Lamar Eugene Cannady, 48 of Tryon, was located and arrested without incident in Ellenboro, N.C. by the Criminal Apprehension Team
Tractor-trailer catches fire on I-26 near Saluda
Saluda Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a tractor-trailer fire on I-26 Eastbound. The fire was under control in about 15 minutes and completely extinguished in about 30 minutes.
According to officials, the tractor-trailer blew a back tire, which caused friction that sparked a fire. Another back tire blew, and at that time, the fire had spread to the trailer. The driver was able to pull off the interstate and exit the vehicle safely.
One airlifted to hospital after accident on U.S. 74
On April 10, Columbus Fire Department and Mill Spring Fire Department responded to an accident on I-74, mile marker 167, in which a passenger was trapped in a vehicle after wrecking.
The vehicle crashed down a bank and hit a tree. CFD officials used a winch to pull the car away from the tree and then had to cut the car away from the person inside to get them out. The person inside the car had been trapped for about five minutes, officials say.
One person had managed to get out of the car and was transported by ground to the hospital. The person who was trapped inside the vehicle was airlifted to Spartanburg Regional.
Steeplechase crowds enjoy gorgeous spring weather
You could not have asked for a more perfect spring day for the 74th running of the Block House Steeplechase on April17. From the elaborate tailgate parties, to the men’s wild pants and ladies’ fun hats, the atmosphere was festive, competitive and classic steeplechase. The race winners were: Make A Stand, Going Country, Jump Ship and Boulette. Total purse for the day was $90,000
Tryon resident pleads guilty to 16 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty
Tryon resident Sarah Kathryn Stepp, 22, of 1896 East Green Creek Drive, pled guilty to 16 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and 1 count of improper disposal of a deceased animal.
In October of 2021, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged Stepp with misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, and she was given a $15,000 bond.
Vehicle flips in downtown Landrum
Landrum Fire Department and Landrum Fire and Rescue were dispatched to an accident involving three vehicles in downtown Landrum on E. Rutherford St.
Officials at Landrum Fire Department say two parked vehicles were struck and four people were taken to the hospital when a vehicle overturned and collided with a parked vehicle with three people inside. The vehicle also hit another parked car. The vehicles were parked in front of White Buffalo Collectibles.
In Memoriam – April
Joan Mary Lea Mellberg
Geneva Bessie Pack Hostetter
Patricia Bradley Barnett
Robert Gordon Martlock
Mary Catherine Tipton Holcomb
Priscilla Moore Tapley
Dr. David A. Wagner, DMD
Irene Foster Greene
James “Jimmy” Smith
Walter Thomas Myers
Howard Marion Williams
Richard Sam “Ricky” Searcy
Beatrice Waters Ravan
Clyde W. Kaericher
Edward Grant Mills
Vehicles burglarized in Landrum and surrounding cities
According to officials at Landrum Police Department, 12 burglaries occurred in Landrum at 5 different addresses on Redland Road. Four wallets and credit cards were stolen from the vehicles, and one weapon was stolen from a vehicle in another city. Officials say the suspects also took change from the vehicles.
Polk County deputies arrest Spartanburg man after car chase
On the morning of Monday, May 2, Polk County deputies attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in Green Creek on Hwy. 9. The vehicle was reported stolen from Spartanburg. When the driver failed to stop, a car chase ensued and continued into Lake Lure where the driver ultimately wrecked the vehicle. After attempting to escape on foot, Joshua Demarko Lyles, 42 of Spartanburg, was apprehended.
One person sent to hospital after hazardous chemical situation in Tryon
Emergency responders in Tryon responded to a hazardous chemical situation in the Godshaw Hill community. Officials transported a resident from their home in Godshaw Hill to Spartanburg Regional by ambulance. According to officials at Tryon Fire Department, pool chemicals had been improperly mixed and then off-gassed chlorine, resulting in a hazardous chemical reaction. North Carolina HAZMAT team arrived on the scene. Later that day, the situation was no longer a threat to the public, however, some units remained on scene to monitor conditions.
Mill Spring man pleaded guilty to rape of a child
Roger Conner McIntosh, 39 of Mill Spring, pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including two counts of statutory rape of a child under fifteen years of age. McIntosh also pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of sex acts by substitute parent or custodian and one count of statutory sex offense with a child under the age of fifteen. McIntosh was sentenced to jail for a minimum term of 166 months to a maximum term of 260 months. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for thirty years upon his release and is under a no-contact order with the victim.
Challenges to books in Polk County Schools discussed at Board of Education’s monthly meeting
A group of Polk County citizens continues to work with school administrators at Polk County High School to address community challenges to the presence of a few books in the school media center. PCHS Principal Dr. Brandon Schweitzer answered questions about the book challenge process during the monthly meeting of the Polk County Board of Education. Schweitzer noted that the committee, which meets bi-weekly, was initially formed after complaints were received about 16 books in the school’s media center. Two more books have since been challenged. None of the complaints originated from students but instead came from community members.
First responders see an increase in drug overdoses
In a short period of time, Polk County response teams responded to 10 drug overdose scenes, and 3 people have died as a result of some of the overdoses.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office worked with surrounding counties in North Carolina and South Carolina to investigate the three deaths that occurred. Officials at the Sheriff’s Office say that the narcotics used in the three deaths were possibly laced with Fentanyl, which can cause immediate death.
Safety upgrades underway at a popular – and sometimes deadly – hiking hotspot
It was announced that Big Bradley Falls in Saluda would be receiving upgrades to increase safety measures for those who decide to hike to the falls, which measure nearly 100 feet in height. Some of these upgrades would include stone steps leading down to a lookout point, as well as a 3-foot tall barrier wall surrounding the lookout point area.
Threatening photo shared by students causes concern at PCMS
Polk County Middle School had extra police presence on site after photos were circulated among students on a Thursday morning that gave administrators some concern.
According to Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene, there was a photo image shared among multiple students that “was intended to be a joke” but that “implied some type of threat to the school environment.” He said that it has been determined that the threat is not credible, and that disciplinary action would be taken if it is merited.
In Memoriam – May
Clyde W. Kaericher
Cecil Dean Pace
Donald Allen Rausch
Julie Ruth Snowden Reed
Daniel Joshua Greer
John Patrick Dunn
Mildred Pace Metcalf
Wilda McDade Vitale
William Dickie Plumley
Daniel Joseph Donovan
Francine Nolen Costner
Helen Louise Gilbert
Inez Metcalf Hudson
Ruth Josephine Combs
Valerie R. Thompson
Barbara Joyce Henning
Sue Carolywn Egerton Smith
Geraldine Searcy Price
Helen Joanne Wittschiebe Blomeley
Ronald Alexander Wingo
Chester Cattell Collins, Jr.
K-9 Jumper assists in arrest Mill Spring man wanted on larceny charges
On June 6, Polk County deputies encountered a male suspect when responding to a trespassing call. When the suspect, Robert Daniel Stepp of Mill Spring, was spotted, he fled into a wooded area. A K-9 unit was requested to the scene by the deputies and K-9 Jumper was able to trace Stepp to a residence where he was ultimately arrested.
Fans of Shakespeare and lovers of outdoor theater enjoy performances
The local theater group Shakespeare & Friends performed “Scenery: A Stage Reading of Scenes by William Shakespeare,” on Thursday, June 9 through Sunday, June 12 in Tryon’s downtown amphitheater. These unique performances consisted of staged readings of seven scenes from seven Shakespeare plays.
Last remaining Bank of America branch in Polk County closes
The last remaining Bank of America in Polk County closed its doors on June 14. The Columbus branch of Bank of America, located at 170 E. Mill St., closed permanently, as part of a plan put in place to optimize Bank of Americas network. The Tryon branch closed several years ago, leaving the Columbus branch as the only option for in-person customers.
Director of Tryon Downtown Development Association resigns
Paige Henderson, the executive director of Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) since September 2020, resigned to take a similar position in her hometown of Boone, N.C.
Commercial firewood building catches fire in Green Creek
Greek Creek Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a fire at a commercial structure on Calton Hill Road, just off Coxe Road. Green River Forest Products and Services suffered a 90% loss of a storage building where they kept firewood to sell. According to officials at Green Creek Fire and Rescue, the fire began the night before and was kindled once someone opened the door to the building
Five separate drug overdoses reported in Mill SpringFive separate narcotic overdoses were reported in Mill Spring at Tryon International Equestrian Center. The drug that caused the overdoses was suspected to be Fentanyl, according to officials at Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The incidents occurred first night of the Professional Bull Riders’ final pre-season event, the Tryon PBR Chute Out
In Memoriam – June
Jan Wall Romine
Ronnie William Hefner
Sarann Voss Rose
Emma Christine Shehan Goode
Gary Davis Ramsey, Sr.
Nancy “Pat” Martin
Ruth Ann Strednak
Tracy Armstrong Painter
Homer Leroy Newton
Nan Collins Shively
Timothy Alan Coleman
Troy “Lane” Rogers
Earle Keith Grady
Lillian “Jerri” Chapman Newton
Charles “Cappy” Allan Pruette, Jr.