2020 In Review


  The Year 2020 will always  be remembered for COVID-19.
  No one needs to be told about the pandemic, because practically every person in the world was affected.
  Saluda County had some positives. The County, Town of Saluda and the County Water & Sewer Authority joined together for a new wastewater treatment plant project. Two new giant solar farms were announced, and Amick Farms, Best Chicken and Palmetto Gourmet Foods advertised for new employees.
  Following is the year in review:

  •The Saluda Soil & Water Conservation District presented a plaque and sign for the 2019 Cooperator of the Year Award to Mr. & Mrs. Jimmie Boland of Boland Farm.
  •For the second year in a row, the month of December led the year for the most rainfall. December’s 8.92 inches clipped August’s 8.65 total. Last year, 8.50 inches fell in December.
  •Tanner Quattlebaum, Saluda Fire Department, was named the 2019 Saluda County Firefighter of the Year at the annual dinner hosted by the Saluda Fire Department on January 6, 2020. Tanner was presented the award by the State Farm-Kelly White Agency Team.
  •Josh Price announced his candidacy for Saluda County Sheriff.
  •The Town of Saluda surprised longtime employee Rebecca Brunson at the Tues., Jan. 14, Council meeting. Rebecca recently became a US citizen, after an eight year effort. Mayor Amelia Herlong presented Mrs. Brunson a flag that flew over the State House, and a certificate signed by Rep. Cal Forrest and the Speaker of the House.
  •The Saluda County Public Library welcomed its new director, Heath Ward.  Ward has 10 years of experience in public libraries, working in Spartanburg County and Pickens County.
  •Jerry Strawbridge won the Jan. 21 Republican Primary to fill the unexpired term of County Council Chairman, Derrick Jones, who resigned.  Strawbridge got 879 votes to challengers Wesley Boland’s 433, and Billie Corley’s 186.
  •Three men with Saluda County ties were among 18 law enforcement officers from around the state to be presented the  South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association  “Medal of Valor Award” Thurs., Jan. 23, in Columbia. Receiving the award were: Chief Deputy Toby Horne, and   Lieutenant Donovan Shealy of Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, and Special Agent Russ Padgett, SC Law Enforcement Division. All three men wee nominated by Saluda County Sheriff John Perry.
  •George Shaw, Distribution Superintendent for Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority (SCWSA) won the WEASC Capital District as the Distribution Operator of the Year Award in Lexington, on January 16th.  There are over 1000 members to the WEASC Capital District.
  •Saluda County 4-Her and resident, Allie Trotter, was crowned the 2020 Miss S.C. 4-H Queen.
  •Two Saluda High School students died and one was seriously injured in a crash in Saluda County Mon., Jan. 27. Drayton Wade Black, 17,  and Jaden Coleman, 16,  both died at the scene of the collision, while Jaden’s brother, Kadius, received injuries and was taken to Prisma Health Richland Hospital.  Black was a senior and Jaden was a sophomore at Saluda High School.
  •Rip Tafta, Water Treatment Superintendent for Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority (SCWSA) won the WEASC Capital District and WEASC Statewide award as the Water Treatment Plant Operator of the Year.
  • At Piedmont Technical College’s recent fall commencement exercises, outstanding students from each of the college’s seven supporting counties were honored for academic achievement. Martin Martinez-Clavijo, who graduated with an associate in applied science with a major of mechatronics technology, was the honoree for Saluda County.
  •The golf cart shed at Persimmon Hill Golf Club completely burned to the ground before daybreak Fri., Jan. 31. Saluda Fire Chief Edwin Riley said all the club’s golf carts were destroyed.
  •Brigadier General Claude Wayne Boone (known to most as “Wayne”) entered into eternal rest on January 28,  at Self Memorial Hospital in Greenwood.

  •The Saluda County Young Farmer and Agri-business Chapter was well represented at the 72nd annual convention held January 31-February 2 at the Double Tree Resort. During this event, Reggie Padgett was presented the Farmer & Agribusiness Award for Region II and the State.  This is one of the highest awards available to a state member.  Reggie manages the processing plant at Hickory Hill Milk.
  •Torrential rains that began Thurs., Feb. 6, and caused flooding. According to County Emergency Management Director Josh Morton, “We did have a number of county and state roads flooded and closed during the storm.  Luckily we were spared from the most significant winds and tornados.  Many of our neighboring counties were not as fortunate.”
  •Bruce Horne was recognized by County Council for his over 35-years of service to the county. Horne retired Jan. 31 as a County Magistrate.  
  • The “S.C. High School Sports Report” recognized the 2019 football State Champion Tigers. Stewart Young was named AA coach of the Year; Jeanette Wilder was named S.C. School Administrator of the Year. Named to the AA All-State team were: Noah Bell (AA Player of the Year), Dallan Wright (AA Offensive Player of the Year); Reagan Cherry, Hayden Cherry, Cade Gentry, Jacob McCary, Jervon Whitt and Montravious Baker.
  •Former Saluda High School teacher of Dr. Bela Herlong  published a book of poetry,  A Certain View:  The Poetry of Bela Herlong—A Life in Parts.
  •The Town of Saluda posted on its Facebook page a photo of a coyote roaming on North Rudolph Street Fri., Feb. 21, and urged citizens to take caution.
  •Samantha Nichols, of Saluda was crowned Miss Upstate at the pageant held at Powdersville High School Sat., Feb. 22.
  •Mon., Feb. 24, was a big day for Ridge Spring-Monetta schools. Ribbon cutting was held for the new high school, with principal, Dr. KaRon Webb, doing the honors. Students moved into the school in January. Also held was a groundbreaking for the new elementary school that will be built on the campus.
  •The Saluda High School AA State Championship football team was recognized in both chambers of the State House Thurs., Feb. 27. The Saluda County delegation, Rep. Cal Forrest, Rep. Bill Clyburn, Sen. Floyd Nicholson, Sen. Shane Massey, Sen. Nikki Setzler, and State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman joined in the salute to the Tigers. The team was treated to a meal in the Top of Carolina dining room following the State House visit.
  •Sixteen Saluda High School agricultural education students attended the SC FFA-sponsored State Legislators Appreciation Ceremony in Columbia February 26.
  •The Saluda High girls basket ball team advanced to the 2A Upperstate  Championship,  before falling to defending state champions Christ Church. The Lady Tigers finished 20-2.

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