Murder Charges Filed

Arrests Made In
Monetta Murder

  Sheriff Josh Price has announced the arrests of Earl Valentine and Montavis Barnes in connection with the murder of Zonnie Cyrus.
  The body of Mr. Cyrus was located on November 19th on Hi-land Farm Road, in the Monetta area of Saluda County. The Saluda County Coroner's Office ruled the cause of death a homicide caused by numerous gun shot wounds.
  Earl Valentine has been charged with Murder and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime. Montavis Barnes is charged with Accessory to Murder after the fact.
  Sheriff Price commented, “this is not going to bring back Mr. Cyrus, but I hope this brings some relief to the Cyrus family that those responsible for the death of Zonnie Cyrus will be brought to justice.”

Couple Found Shot To Death

  Coroner Keith Turner reported his office responded to a fatal shooting on the evening of Tuesday, December 27th in the Johnston area of Saluda County.   
   The bodies of a male and female subject were located in their mobile home by law enforcement after conducting a welfare check. The decedents have been identified as James (Jamie) Perry (age 47) and Patricia Kneece Perry (age 49). Autopsies have been scheduled for Monday at Newberry Pathology.  
  The investigation is ongoing and there are no further details at this time. Saluda County Sherriff Office, SLED and Saluda County Coroner’s Office are investigating.

Saluda, Edgefield Counties To Partner
On Animal Shelter, And Control

  Saluda County will partner with Edgefield County to build an animal shelter and provide animal control.
  This decision was made at the December meeting of County Council.
  The two counties  began discussions on partnering on Dec. 1, 2015. Both counties are not ready to implement the effort. The shelter will be built in Edgefield County. The cost of the shelter will be determined once plans are completed, and the cost of providing animal control will also be forthcoming.
Chairman Jim Moore said the thinks partnering with Edgefield County will save the county money.
  Council took another step toward making animal control a reality by voting to purchase an animal control truck, the cost not to exceed $45,000. The payment will come from the vehicle reserve fund.
  Council the took legal step to approve the change of government from the current chairman-council form to an administrator-council form. Citizens voted in favor of the change in the November General Election.
 Under the new form, voters will still elect a chairman at large, and four council members from single member districts, but an administrator will have more say in the operation of the government.
  The resolution passed 3-1, with Councilman Jack Atkinson voting against and Moore abstaining.
  Council accepted the audit of financial statements for Fiscal Year 2021-22, as presented by David Enzastiga, CPA, Rish & Enzastiga Firm. Enzastiga said the county got an unmodified opinion, the top opinion an audit can get.
  Jim Bowie from Guppie Lane Property Development, who appeared at a previous meeting, urged Council to change the building ordinance to allow Park Model homes at the lake and other areas. At the previous meeting, Bowie said he was told the Park Models were allowed, then was later told they were not.
  Bowie said changing the county ordinance to allow the homes would bring in increased property tax revenue, and provide many customers for the Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority.  Bowie showed a computer presentation on how the homes are built and said their are eight to ten designs.
   Council took the presentation as information.