2021 Year In Review


  The Year 2021 was highlighted by continued Covid concerns.
  Saluda County began the year with 1078 cases and 24 deaths, and ended the year with 2645 cases and 50 deaths.
  Saluda County began the year with 1078 cases and 24 deaths, and ended the year with 2645 cases and 50 deaths.
  The rest of the news was  fairly typical.
  The best news, perhaps, was prpovided by sports’ teams.
  The Saluda High School girls basketball team won the state championship for the first time in school history.
  Saluda County’s youth baseball program began in 1961, and in those previous 60 years, no local team had ever won a state championship or gone to the World Series.
  In 2021, a girls’ softball team won the state championship and finished third in the World Series, and the minor league all-stars finished second in the state, got invited to the Dixie Youth World Series and finished as the runners-up.
  Following is the Year In Review:
  •The swearing-in ceremonies for Saluda County’s newly elected officers were held Tues., Jan. 5. Sworn into office were Sheriff Josh Price, the Sheriff’s Office deputies, County Councilman Jack Atkinson and Carey Bedenbaugh. Along with the county officers, District 10 Senator Billy Garrett of Greenwood also came to Saluda County to be sworn in.
  •In his second week in office, Sheriff Josh Price’s officers have made five arrests in two separate incidences.
  On Jan. 14, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Chappells Highway in reference to a larceny in progress. The subjects fled into the woods. The bloodhound tracking team responded to the scene and shortly after, Phillip Derrick and Christopher Claphan (both of Greenwood County) were both arrested and charged accordingly.
  Three suspects were arrested on Jan. 15 in connection to a burglary that occurred near Holly Ferry Road. Jessie Brazell, Nicholas Bullock, and Melyssa Skowron (all from Lexington County) are currently behind bars at the Saluda County Detention Center.
  •Wed., Jan. 20, the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence on Little Country Road, resulting in the arrest of two people on burglary charges.
  Stolen property was recovered that was related to several unsolved burglaries in Saluda County. Natasha Smith and Ryan Hallback were arrested and charged with multiple counts of burglary and larceny.
  •Sat. morning, Jan. 23,  a military ordnance was located underwater near Black’s Bridge in Saluda County on Hwy. 391.
  The ordnance was removed from the water and transported to a nearby safe location where it was destroyed.
  The ordnance was identified as an 81 millimeter military mortar round by the United States Air Force EOD detachment. Authorities said that  it is hard to say the age or length of time the ordinance was in the lake.
  •The driver injured in a highway accident died eight days after the incident.  
  The Saluda County Coroner’s Office reported a one vehicle collision occurred on January 15, 2021 on the Denny Hwy / Hwy 194 in Saluda County.  
  The driver of the vehicle, Chester Chrisley, age 76, of Saluda County, sustained injuries and was transported by Saluda EMS to Prisma Health Richland Hospital.  
  We said good-bye....
  Caylie Crystal Berry, 1, whose battle withy cancer at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital was widely followed by county citizens, passed away Tuesday, January 12 at her home.
  Longtime Town of Saluda employee Joseph Steven Rhinehart, 68, passed away Thursday, January 7.
  Francis Eugene “Gene” Todd, 84, longtime Saluda District One teacher., passed away Saturday, January 23.
  Josie Rinehart Black, 89, retired Hollywood Elementary School secretary, passed away Monday, January 25.
Richard Wilson Ergle, 65, owner and operator of Ergle Tree and Construction, passed away Wednesday, January 27.

  •Saluda County was awarded $4,502.00 Federal Funds made available through the Phase 38 under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board program.  Saluda County has been chosen to receive $4,502.00 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the County.
  •The Town of Saluda’s newly re-elected Town Council members Obie Comb and John Mark Griffith  
  •Christy Corley Nichols, a board member for Saluda County Schools, has been recognized by the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) for 15 years of school board service.  She received a pin and certificate from the SCSBA for her years of service were sworn into office Tues., Feb. 2.
  •The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office has made seven drug arrest recently.
“The Sheriff’s Office is working proactively to attack the dangerous drug problem in Saluda County,” Sheriff Josh Price said.
  Below are recent drug arrests:
  James Adams- Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, DUI  
  Davey Keith Bedenbaugh - Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine
  Kimberly Lee Hall- Possession of Methamphetamine
  Anthony Holmes- Possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine
  Michelle Lewis- Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine
  Louis Medina- Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine
  Emily Moore- Possession of Methamphetamine
  •Legendary Saluda educator Dr. Bela Herlong died Mon., Feb. 15, at the age of 89.
  The 1967 South Carolina Teacher of the Year was one of five finalist for National Teacher of the Year that same year.
  She was the English teacher to thousands during her five decades at Saluda High School.
  •For the first time since 1953, the Saluda High School girls basketball team earned the right to play for the State Championship. The Lady Tigers won the Upperstate Championship Sat., Feb. 27, at Clinton High School with a hard fought 62-56 win over Blacksburg.
  •Saluda High’s Kalisha Hill was named the 2A girls state Player of the Year by the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association

  We said good-bye...
  Gayle Smith Williams, 74, a former Miss Saluda, passed away Thursday, February 4.
  Harry Bradley Rude, 75, owner and operator of  Bradley & Rude House Moving,  passed away Saturday, February 6.
  Winton Marie Foster Edwards, 86, part owner and operator of Edwards Auto Service,  passed away Sunday, February 28.
  •Coach Jeanette Ergle Wilder’s Saluda Lady Tigers won the school’s first girls’ State Championship with a convincing 61-41 win over Silver Bluff Wed., Mar. 3, at the USC-Aiken Convocation Center.
  •Saluda High School student Hunter Hopkins was accepted into the Clemson University LIFE program.
  “Clemson LIFE is a program offered at Clemson university which allows students with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to have a college experience of their very own, learn skills for self sufficiency and self efficacy, and in fact, train them to become employable,” Saluda High School Director of Guidance, Dr. Bryan Vacchio said.
  •Thurs., Mar. 11, was a tremendous day in Saluda County Schools! All district students took advantage of an e-learning day at home, while every district employee
and many Saluda County residents had the chance to get their first dose of the COVID-19, vaccine!
  •The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office made several narcotics related arrests last week.
  Earlier last week, the Sheriff’s Office executed a a residence on Spann Road. Kimberly Hall was arrested for multiple methamphetamine charges to include distribution and possession of methamphetamine.
   Other narcotics arrests this week include:
  Joseph Goodman,   Leo Abney, Cameron Atkins, Lindsey Davis, Bailey Gibson.
  •Hector Ortiz , a triple major from Saluda, studying biology, philosophy and Spanish, was named  Wofford College’s 38th Presidential International Scholar. He will spend the 2021-2022 academic year studying the relationship between public health and culture in Argentina and South Africa.
  •Saluda High’s 2A State Champion girls basketball team was saluted Sun. afternoon Mar. 21  by their fans as they marched from to Courthouse to the football stadium.
  •Two men, Aaron Hood and Shawn Pridgen, have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Saluda man.
  The victim was pronounced dead on scene by Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner. The victim has been identified as Xavier Cancer of Saluda County.
  Aaron Hood has been arrested and charged for the crimes of murder and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature following a shooting incident that occurred on March 16, 2021 on Keisha Avenue in the Town of Saluda.
  After the shooting, Hood and Pridgen fled the scene on foot. Hood was arrested soon after the shooting. Deputies located Pridgen and took him into custody on the evening of March 16, 2021. Shawn Pridgen has been charged with Accessory to Murder.
  •Saluda County’s Gene Berry, Jr., beloved teacher, conservationist, and devoted friend, was  honored posthumously by the Upper Savannah Land Trust as the 2021 Peggy Adams Conservation Award winner.
  •The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged three individuals for Trafficking Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine.
  Arrested were Larry Craig Boatwright, Amysue Robinson, and Stephen Burgess were all taken into custody after a narcotics operation that was executed on March 24, 2021.

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