Year in Review 2017 Part 2

2017 In Review (Part 2)


JULY
  •Saluda High School announced that Andre Lytes will serve as the Tiger’s Head Boys’ Basketball Coach.
  Coach Lytes began his coaching career at Laurens District 55 High School and spent his first seven years as a head JV girls’ basketball and varsity girls’ assistant before becoming the varsity boys’ basketball assistant the past four seasons.    In addition, Coach Lytes served as the interim head varsity boys’ basketball coach at the end of the 2016-2017 season. Coach Lytes has also coached middle school football and varsity track and field.
•Dr. Abbey Duggins assumed the role of Director of Curriculum and Instruction on July 1, 2017 for Saluda County Schools. 
  Duggins began her teaching career at Saluda Middle School in 2002 as a English Language Arts teacher.  In addition to teaching, Dr. Duggins has served as middle school literacy coach and high school assistant principal for instruction. 
  In 2017, Duggins was named the South Carolina Assistant Principal of the Year. 
•Allison DeVore, 17,  of Saluda High School has won the S.C. Department of American Legion Auxiliary Americanism Essay contest. The rising 12th grader will now have her essay entered in the national contest.
  •4-H was a family tradition to MacKenzie Riley.  MacKenzie was honored during the State 4-H Congress at Clemson as the 4-H Presidential Tray Winner.  This award is South Carolina’s top 4-H award.  Along with a silver tray and  a $1500 scholarship from the Cooperative Council of South Carolina.
  MacKenzie is a third generation 4-H’er and child of two award winning 4-H Alumni.
  •The Town of Saluda received a Municipal Achievement Award for its Solar Saluda project. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Annual Meeting on July 22. The city won in the 1,001 – 5,000 population category. Thirty-two cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
AUGUST
  •Saluda County Council Chairman Don Hancock, 64, died Tues., Aug. 2, after a more than year long battle with cancer.
  Hancock was in his second term chairman, having first been elected in 2010.
  When he announced for re-election in 2015, he said:
  “I believe our county has made tremendous strides in the past few years.  Our county has established and strengthened ties to organizations external to our county such as our Legislative Delegation, the SC Department of Commerce, our utility providers (SCE&G, Aiken Electric Co-Op, Mid-Carolina Electric Co-Op), the Upper Savannah Council of Governments among others.  The council has also strengthened relationships internal to the county such as the Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority, Saluda County Schools, Saluda County Transportation Commission, as well as the municipalities.”
  •Dr. David Mathis has resigned as Saluda County Schools superintendent to accept a position with the State Department of Education. The school board named Dr. Harvey Livingston was the new superintendent.
  Through his twenty years in the system, Dr. Livingston has worked in a variety of capacities, including as teacher, Head Football Coach/Athlete Director, principal of Saluda High and Hollywood Elementary Schools and his current job as Assistant Superintendent, which has provided an array of experience working with human resources, public relations, student services and transportation. 
  •Saluda County EMS  announced the success of both the First Annual Public Safety Back to School Bash as well as Stuff an Ambulance Campaign.  Both events were held on Saturday, August 5 at Saluda Elementary School. 
  •Anita L. Cochran and William D. Cochran from the McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin were in Saluda Monday, Aug. 21, for the eclipse. Since Austin is in Travis County, they were told William Barret Travis was born here. Visitors from as far away as California were in Saluda to view the eclipse.
  Kate Matthews of Batesburg, Saluda County, appeared in the bright lights of Broadway on Saturday, September 16, as part of the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual Times Square Video presentation.
•An appearance by S.C. Governor Henry McMaster highlighted the ribbon cutting at Saluda II Solar Fri., Aug. 25.
  Located on the Columbia on land and owned and operated by the family of the late Joe Long, the solar farm produces enough power to supply energy to 750 home in Saluda County.
  Developed over 46 acres, this 4.7 megawatt solar farm is one of 12 projects owned by Pine Gate Renewables in South Carolina.
  •Ginger Wertz and Wyatt Doolittle won the Ambassador contests at the Saluda County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting, held Thurs., Aug. 24, at the Saluda Shrine Club. Sophie Ergle won the junior talent contest.
  •Da’Vashea L. Rhodes, age 24, has been sentenced to 10 years incarceration for the burglary of a home on Bonham Road in Saluda County.
  Rhodes forced entry into the home by breaking a lock and a door frame during daylight hours. Rhodes and an accomplice stole flat screen televisions, electronics, and firearms from the residence. The stolen firearms included a shotgun and an assault rifle.
SEPTEMBER
  •Saluda County felt the remnants of  Hurricane Irma Mon., Sept. 11, with strong winds, heavy rain, and  massive power outages, which led to the closing of schools Tuesday.
  Power failure lasted from just to a few minutes for some to up to 12 hours or more for others. At one time the entire Town of Saluda was in the dark. Late Monday, most of the Saluda County District schools and King Academy were still without power, so officials called off classes for Tuesday. 
  •On Tuesday, September 5, the 2017-18 Saluda County School District Teachers of the Year  were honored at a banquet held at the Saluda Educational Complex.
  The 2017-18 Teachers of the Year recognized were Chloe Young, Saluda Primary School; Sandra Boozer, Saluda Elementary School; Kelly Morse, Hollywood Elementary School; Claire Sample, Saluda Middle School; and Heather Harmon, Saluda High School.  Mr. Jim Fisher, President of First Citizens Bank of Saluda which co-partners with Saluda County Schools Teacher for the Year program gave each Teacher of the Year a monetary gift.   On behalf of the Board of Trustees and District, Dr. Harvey Livingston presented each teacher with a plaque.
  The grand finale of the night was the announcement of Heather Harmon being selected as District Teacher of the Year.  As District Teacher of the Year for Saluda County Schools, Mrs. Harmon will receive a check from the State Department of Education for $1000 and go on to represent the district as she competes for State Teacher of the Year.
  •Saluda County Council remembered the late County Council Chairman Don Hancock with special presentations to his family at the Mon., Sept. 18, meeting.
  His sisters, Charlyn Hancock and Ann Coker, then announced Hancock remembered Saluda County with the creation of a foundation.
 The families of Dr. T.B. Matthews and Bettis G. Herlong, Jr. were recognized Fri., Sept. 15, at the newly renovated Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field.
  Dr. Matthews gave the land on which the current stadium sits, and Bettis Herlong, the Hall of Fame football coach, as athletic director led the project to purchase stands that were being removed from what is now Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium, and move them to Saluda High and erect what is now the home stands.
  Ironically, on this year’s Saluda Tiger team are Matthew Herlong, the great-great grandson of Dr. Matthews, and Hunter Herlong, the great-grandson of Bettis Herlong. David Warren, also Bettis’ great-grandson, is on the Jayvee team.
OCTOBER
  •A Saluda woman was near where the Las Vegas shooting tragedy occurred Sunday night, Oct. 1.
  Jana Tuttle, daughter of Linda and Joey Tuttle announced on Facebook, “I am very fortunate to be safe. I was directly outside of the concert entrance in a vehicle when the shooting occurred. It was terrifying and reminded me, we aren’t always promised tomorrow!!! My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those affected by the shootings in Las Vegas!”
  “The only reason I didn’t purchase a ticket to the country music festival was because it was too hot outside,” Ms. Tuttle told the Standard-Sentinel.
  •On Sunday, October 9th, Firefighters from Saluda, Old Town, Mayson, Ridge Spring, and Johnston Fire Departments responded to a fire at The Timbermen, Inc, Johnston Lumber Mill located, at 264 Fruit Hill Rd, Johnston. 
  According to County Emergency Management Director Josh Morton, the fire was contained to one of the drying kilns.  Crews were on scene for approximately seven hours working to extinguish the blaze.    Fire crews were assisted by F.D. Riley and Son, Inc, which responded to the scene with heavy equipment that was necessary to pull debris from the kiln, allowing firefighters to extinguish the flames.  The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
  •Saluda High defensive lineman Kelijiha Brown became the 13th Tiger selected to the prestigious Shrine Bowl when he was chosen Sunday.
  Brown has committed to play for Wake Forest.
  The game will be played Sat., Dec, 16, 2 p.m., at Wofford’s stadium in Spartanburg.
  Past SHS players selected were: Bettis Herlong (1941), Billy  Grigsby (1947), Wendall Black (1957), Ron Hightower (1959), Tom Blease (1962), James Brown (1963), Roger Hazel (1965), Richard Brooks (1973, Jonathon Brooks (1974), Alex Robinson (2008), Dexter Wideman (2013), and Malik Brooks (2016).
  •The Ridge Spring Harvest Festival was held Oct. 12-14, with a barbecue battle theme.
  •Saluda native Greyson Lake, placed in the top ten of Clemson University’s Homecoming pageant. Greyson is the daughter of Wesley Lake and Kim Lake of Saluda.
  •Frank Daniel won the Democrat nomination for County Council Chairman, and Derrick Jones and Gwen Shealy will meet in a run-off on Oct. 31 for the Republican nod, in the primaries leading to the special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Council Chairman Don Hancock.
  Less than 15 percent of Saluda County’s eligible voters cast ballots in the Tues., Oct. 17, primaries.
  Democrat Daniel, a 12-year member of County Council, got 370 votes to political newcomer Darren Horne’s 216.
  Jones, the pastor of Saluda Church of God, led the Republican ticket with 376 votes. Council Vice-Chairman Gwen Shealy got 341 votes, and former Councilman Jacob Schumpert tallied 214.
•Molly Spearman, South Carolina State Superintendent of Education from Saluda, was named a Women of Distinction by the Girls Scouts of South Carolina. She will be recognized in March 2018 at a banquet
  •Eighteen women from South Carolina that have been inducted into various South Carolina Hall of Fames, including Patsy Rhodes of Saluda, were recognized and honored October 13th by the Spartanburg FCA Women’s Ministry for their contributions to women in sport. Leah O’Brien Amico three time Softball Olympic Champion was the featured speaker and was inducted into the FCA Hall of Champions.
  •A longtime teacher-administrator and five athletes make up this year’s Saluda County Schools Hall of Fame class.
  They were inducted at halftime of the Saluda-Fox Creek game Fri., Oct. 27.
  This year’s inductees include Dora Ellen Shealy Connelly, Marion Frye, Raymond Hesse, Johnny Springs, Boyce Todd and Titania Watson.
  •A Johnston man died Sunday night of injuries received in a one-car accident off of the Ridge Spring Hwy.
  According to Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner, Shaquille Rashawn Rolland, 23, of 350 Long Cane Road, Johnston, died on the scene from multiple trauma injuries.
  The accident occurred at 11:10 p.m. at the intersection of Spann Rd., and Richland Creek Rd.
  •Derrick Jones defeated Gwen Shealy in a run-off to win the Republican nominations for Saluda County Council Chairman.
NOVEMBER
  •A Saluda couple has been charged in the death of a retired United Methodist minister.
  On Thurs., Nov. 2,  the Saluda County Coroner’s Office responded to a call on 320 S. Calhoun Street in Saluda. Upon arrival, they  found 79-year-old James Boyd Chewning dead in a hospital bed where he had been tie wrapped to the bed and obviously neglected and abused.
  After conferring with the Saluda Police Department,  a joint decision was made to call to the specialized Vulnerable Adult Team and the Crime Scene Investigation Unit from SLED to the scene. After many hours of investigation and interrogation by SLED, the Coroner’s office and Saluda Police agreed to turn the prosecution of this case over to SLED.
  Donald Chewning, 51,  (the victim’s adopted son) and Kathy Chewning, 48, (Donald Chewning’s wife) were arrested on charges of abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.
  According to the arrest report, the victim was battered, restrained to a bed using zip ties, and rags and duct tape were used to cover the victim’s mouth and eyes.
  •Darquarious Tremaine Fuller, a 23 year old man from Greenwood, pled guilty this week to Armed Robbery and Attempted Murder taking responsibility for his role in robbing the Ridge Spring Convenience Store in Saluda County and shooting the owner of the store.
  Fuller was sentenced to 23 years by Judge William P. Keesley. Both charges are violent and are considered “no parole” offenses.
  •Two local teams PLAYED in their respective Upper State Championship game Fri., Nov. 24.
  For the third year in a row, the Saluda Tigers travelled to Abbeville and fell 20-16 Panthers. Abbeville went on to win its third straight state title.
  Ridge Spring-Monetta hosted Lamar in the 1-A upper state and also lost.
  An other nearby school with a coach and several players from Saluda County, Wardlaw, won the SCISA 8-man football championship.
•William Rushton, a longtime Saluda County banker and farmer, was named the Saluda County Farm-City Citizen of the Year at the annual banquet held Thurs., Nov,. 9, at  Saluda High graduate.
  Featured speaker was former Saluda High basketball star Al Daniel, who went on to have a hall of fame college playing career.
  •Kevin Yon of Ridge Spring was elected as the new Association president and board chairman of the American Angus Association.
    •A Saluda County jury has found Demarcus L. Robinson, of Ridge Spring, guilty of Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, and Possession of a Weapon during commission of a Violent Crime.
  He was sentenced to twenty five (25) years by Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Hood following a trial which ended earlier today. The charges are violent crimes and classified as “no parole” offenses.
  •Saluda High senior basketball player Star Ergle signed to play for Lenoir Rhyne University.
  •Sherman Lott was honored by Board Members and Administrative staff at the November 28th Saluda Nursing & Rehab Center Board dinner for his 2+ years of service.
Miss Senior Kali Parks.
  •Edwin Riley, left,  of the Saluda Commission  of Public Works has been recognized for providing 30 years of weather observations in cooperation with the National Weather Service.
  •Republican Derrick Jones was elected Saluda County Council Chairman Tues., Dec. 19 defeated Democrat Frank Daniel 961-576.
DECEMBER
  •Security Federal announced the future opening of their Bank in Ridge Spring.  What perfect weather for such a delightful announcement. Mayor Asbill along with  Sen. Setzler welcomed them and all received applause from the community.  Then we all adjourned to the Ridge Spring Library where corn chowder and sandwiches were served by Chef Brandon Velie of Juniper Restaurant.
  •A Johnston police officer from Saluda died in a single vehicle accident while on duty Fri., Dec. 8.
  James Eric Chapman, 30,  died at 11:48 p.m. at the Augusta University Medical Center from a head injury, according to the Edgefield County Coroner’s office.
  Cpl. Bill Rhyne with the Highway Patrol said Chapman’s Ford Explorer was traveling south along S.C. Highway 23 when it ran off the left side of the road near JET Middle School at about 10:15 p.m. Friday.
  Rhyne said the vehicle rolled over and ejected Chapman before he was taken to a hospital. It was unknown if Chapman was wearing a seatbelt.
  Cpl. Chapman had worked with the Johnston Police Department since July 2015.
  Before working with the Johnston police, Cpl Chapman was a  machine gunner with the United States Marine Corp.  He served in the Marines from 2010-2014, including a stint in Afghanistan.
  He was the brother-in-law of Saluda County Sheriff John Perry.
  •Sophie Ergle, daughter of Jonathan and April Ergle of Saluda County, won top honors in the SC Farm Bureau Talent Contest Junior Division, held recently in Myrtle Beach during the organization’s 74th Annual Meeting.
•Saluda High star lineman Kelijiha Brown signed to play football at Wake Forest University on Wed., Dec. 6. Brown  will enroll at Wake in January.
  •KariLeigh Miller was  crowned Miss Tiger 2018 at the annual pageant held Dec. 9 at Saluda High School. Other winners were: Miss Freshman Anna Ringer, Miss Sophomore Natalie Rikard, Miss Junior Courtney Martin, and Miss Senior Kali Parks.
  •Edwin Riley, left,  of the Saluda Commission  of Public Works has been recognized for providing 30 years of weather observations in cooperation with the National Weather Service.
  •Republican Derrick Jones was elected Saluda County Council Chairman Tues., Dec. 19 defeated Democrat Frank Daniel 961-576.