2019 Review Part 1

BIGGEST SINGLE EVENT - The most positive single event in Saluda County was Saluda High’s football team winning the school’s first state championship since 1963. The Tigers defeated Barnwell 39-14 at Benedict College’s Charlie Johnson Stadium on Dec. 8 for the 2A title. Ridge Spring-Monetta, with many students from Saluda County, also made it the title game at the same stadium on the same day, but fell to Green Sea-Floyds in 1A. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)


2019, The Year In Review, Part 1

  The Year 2019 was fillled with ups and downs in Saluda County.
  The positives included two local football teams, Saluda and Ridge Sping-Monetta, making it to their respective state championship games.
  While the Trojas lost, theTigers won their first championship since 1963 by beating Barnwell 39-14 for the class 2A title.
  A new housing development was announced for the lake, which will bring new residents and property tax revenue, and the county’s new water treatment plant opened on the lake.
  The county was stunned by the sudden resignation of County Council Chairman Derrick Jones, which will force a primary election in January.
  After failing to pass a vehicle fee on two tries, the third time proved to be the charm, as County Council passed the ordinance in December.
  Many prominent citizens passed away during the year, including 103-year-old attorney Billy Coleman, former house member Rudolph Mitchell,and business and farm leader Earl Forrest.
  Following is the year in review:

  •Saluda County’s Molly Mitchell Spearman was sworn in for her second term as S.C.’s Superintendent of Education on January 9 at South Carolina’s 97th Inaugural Celebration.
  •Saluda County held its first meeting of the new year on Mon., Jan. 14. At the beginning of the meeting, Justin Anderson, District 3, was welcomed at the new member of Council, and District One Councilman Frank Daniel was elected vice-chairman. Chairman Derrick Jones presented a plaque of appreciation to Gwen C. Shealy and recognition of her eight years of service on Council. Mrs. Shealy chose not to seek re-election, and was succeeded by Anderson.
  •Tony Lake, Hollywood Fire Department, was named the 2018 Saluda County Firefighter of the Year at the annual dinner hosted by the Saluda Fire Department on January 14, 2019. The award was presented by the award by the State Farm-Kelly White Agency Team.
  •South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, a Saluda native, as his nominee to be the 29th adjutant general for South Carolina during a press conference at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, Jan. 17, 2019.  McCarty is he son of Faris McCarty and the late Major McCarty of Saluda.
  •The Columbia Section, of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. held its 38th Annual “Living the Legacy” Award Luncheon, Saturday, January 19, 2019.  This award honors persons whose contributions to their community and to society personify the legacies and philosophies of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Joy Antley, director of Saluda’s Christ Central, was among the recipients of the prestigious award.
  •Donnie Woolsey, who was athletic director at Saluda High School from 1997-2002, selection to the S.C. Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame was announced.
  •A Greenwood County suspect, who escaped on foot in Saluda County, Thurs., Jan 31, was captured later that day. Michael Alvin Brewer was arrested by Saluda County Sheriffs Office at Larkin Rice Road and Old Chappells Ferry Road near Greenwood Highway around 8 p.m.
•Lamar Maurice Shannon, a 34 year old from Allendale, was sentenced to 18 years without parole for the homicide of Schanen T. Samuels, age 34.
  On Labor Day in 2016, Shannon intentionally drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed into a crowd of people at the Circle K in Ridge Spring in Saluda County. Shannon pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter earlier today and the sentence was imposed by Circuit Court Judge Walton J. McLeod, IV. This case was investigated by the Ridge Spring Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller.
  •Former Saludan Victoria Hopkins Halydier was crowned Mrs. South Carolina America on Jan. 26.

  County employee Johnnie E. Dukes, 71, passed away Saturday, January 12, 2019.
Longtime Amick Farms executive James Loran Riggs, Sr., passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
  Rev. William Otto Johnson, Jr, died January 22, 2019.
Rudolph Mitchell, who served Saluda County and the of South Carolina in many capacities, and entertained thousands through the years with his piano playing died  Tues., Jan. 29, at his home. He was 92.

  •Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that the flags atop the State Capitol Building be flowered to half-staff on Fri., Feb. 1, in honor of Rudolph Mitchell and in recognition of his service to the State  as a member of the House of Representatives and the Public Service Commission.
  •Cayce Memorial American Legion recently honored post member Ellis F. Temples of Saluda County on his 100th birthday. He was presented the Quilt of Valor, a 100 Year Centennial Legion Coin and a WWII Cap. Saluda native Duane Johnson is also a member of the post.
  •Saluda High School  congratulated three Saluda Tigers who signed to play college football Wed., Feb. 6. There were running back Jeremiah Stevens who will be a member of the newly resurrected Erskine football team; lineman Trey McGraw, who will attend Limestone; and defensive back - wide receiver CJ Bosket, who signed with Navarro College in Texas. Their teammate Raquon Hartley signed earlier with Middle Tennessee State.
  •Robert Benfield, S.C. Association of Counties Director of Risk Management, presented Saluda County the Outstanding Achievement Award Mon., Feb. 11, at the Council meeting.
•The Saluda High Lady Tigers advanced the third round of the S.C. State playoffs for the first time in Coach Jeanette Wilder’s career with a 49-38 win over Landrum Friday, February 15.
  •Saluda County native Davy Hite was selected for induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
  •The South Carolina General Assembly  requested the S.C. Department of Transportation name a bridge in Saluda County for fallen Deputy Sheriff Dale Hallman.
  •The Green Thumb Garden Club of Ridge Spring celebrated their 65th Anniversary and were honored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. They were presented a NGC Certificate of Merit by Donna Donnelly, President of The Garden Club of South Carolina on behalf of the National President, Nancy L. Hargroves. Mrs. Hargroves who resides in Manakin Sabot, Virginia signed the certificate.
  •Robert Rimeak Foulks, age 35, pled guilty this week in Saluda County to Distribution of Crack Cocaine Within Proximity of a School and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. 
  •Representative Cally “Cal” R. Forrest was awarded the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts 2018 Legislator of The Year Award at the 78th Annual SCACD Partnership Conference on February 26, 2019.
  •Retired teacher and Saluda native Toodie Katharine Parkman Kemp, 95, wife of the late Henry Beattie Kemp, Sr.  of Trenton, SC passed away Monday, February 4, 2019, in Trenton.
  Saluda native and retired business executive Wayne Padget Yarbrough, 80, passed away  Saturday, February 16, 2019, in Anderson.
  Saluda native and retired educator Ann Cone McWhirter, 82, passed away Thursday, February 21, 2019,   Crofton, Maryland .

  •Eight local students were chosen for the annual Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington D.C., Caroline DuBose and Hagan Williams of Wyman King Academy. The students sponsored by Aiken Electric Cooperative to attend the all-expense-paid Washington Youth Tour were selected on the basis of their academic achievements, school activities, community service and a personal interview.
  •Daniel Tyler Huneycutt, age 26, pled guilty to Burglary (Non-Violent) Second Degree and Grand Larceny in Saluda County this week and was sentenced to a combined 12 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections followed by 5 years of probation.
  •American Legion Auxiliary Junior Rachel Porter of Unit 65 in Saluda, S.C., made more than 20 of patriotic-patterned pillows for local veterans. Rachel, the only Junior in her unit, receives support from the adult members in Unit 65.  This story was featured in the national American Legion Auxiliary blog.
  •Saluda Soil and Water Conservation District awarded their Annual 2018 Cooperator of the Year to Sylvan Farms of Saluda. 
  •For the second time in six weeks, the flags above the State House flew at half staff for a Saluda County citizen. The first time honored Rudolph Mitchell, and Fri., Mar. 8, they flew in memory of Billy Coleman.
  •During a term of court in Saluda County last week, two Sex Offenders in unrelated cases were sent to prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting minors. Charles Gable Isdell, II, age 38, was sentenced to twenty (20) years and Gustavo Rodriguez Diaz, age 40, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Circuit Court Judge Walton J. McLeod IV imposed these sentences on both offenders. 
  •On Sunday, March 11, 2019, one month after Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority’s (SCWSA) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was placed into operation, it received the Best Tasting Water Award at the largest water utility conference in South Carolina. 
  •The funeral procession for famous biker Thomas “Grub” Freeland Jr. came through Saluda around 1 pm Sat., Mar. 23. The procession of bikes was two miles long. Saluda County and Town officers provided the escort and traffic control.
  •The Charleston Regional Business Journal selected Monetta native Martina Jackson, an employee of Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic in Charleston, South Carolina, as a recipient of the 2019 Forty Under 40 award.
  •Saluda County public high school graduates can now attend Piedmont Technical College free of charge, thanks to a legacy left the county by the late County Council Chairman Don Hancock. The announcement came at Saluda High School at a special program on Fri., Mar. 29.
  Legendary Saluda attorney Billy Cohen Coleman, 103, died  Monday, March 4, 2019, at the Carroll Campbell Place in Lexington, South Carolina.   Coleman, who practiced law until he was 92, was a D-Day survivor in World War II, and was known throughout the county and state for his great story telling.
  Tennie R. Lott, 86,  passed away Thursday, March 7, 2019. A well known basket weaver, she was a  former president of the Saluda Branch of the NAACP.
  Betty  Toney Hopkins, 82, died Saturday, March 9, 201. Mrs. Hopkins was a former accountant with Saluda Appliance and TV, and was a lifelong church organist.
  Retired Highway Patrolman Lemar Cockrell, 94,  passed away  Monday, March 4, 2019, at Saluda Nursing Center.
 George Alfred “Gee” Sample, Jr.,  62, passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at his residence. He was a longtime pharmacy technician and equipment salesman at two Saluda pharmacies.