Fatality Ruled As
What appeared to be Saluda County’s second highway fatality of 2017 turned out to be a death by natural causes.
According to Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner, an autopsy revealed Anthony William Venable, 56, died of natural causes rather than from injuries received from a one vehicle accident that took place at 6:10 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 29.
According to L/Cpl Gary Miller of the S.C. Highway Patrol, a 2004 GMC was traveling west on Price’s Bridge Road, near Holley Ferry, when it went off the right side of the road, then crossed to the left side of the road, where it overturned and hit a tree.
Venable, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was entrapped in the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene.
The event took place only about a mile from the victim’s home on Nautical Shores Rd.
At the scene, Turner said he had a suspicion Venable did not die from injuries from the wreck, and the autopsy proved him right.
The accident will not count in the county’s number of highway fatalities.
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS - Left to right: Dr. Arlene Puryear, CDR James Moore, Bill Eberz, Dr. Kathy Coleman; Front: Christy Corley Nichols, Sharon Williams-Holloway, and James Holloway
Saluda County Schools celebrates
School Board Recognition Month
Saluda County Schools celebrates School Board Recognition Month
Saluda County School District joined school districts throughout the state and nation to celebrate School Board Recognition Month at the January Board meeting held on January 24, 2017.
The theme “School Boards Stand up 4 SC Public Schools” recognizes the important roles school boards play in promoting and advocating for quality education. School board members are elected by the people in their local communities to represent their voice and to ensure the success of schools and students.
The efforts of school board members often go unrecognized. Board Recognition Month in January is a time that we can honor the year-round commitment that school board members make to our district and community.
In Saluda County School District, school board members develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues impacting the entire community.
As a part of School Board Recognition Month, Saluda County Schools participated in an official signing of the South Carolina School Board Member Ethical Principles during their January school board meeting. By signing the principles, school board members publicly vowed to uphold effective governance principles and pledged to improve public education in their community.
First-generation farmers Chalmers and Lori Anne Carr of Titan Farms have been named the winners of the 2017 Top Producer of the Year award. The couple’s operation is one of the largest peach producers in the U.S. They also grow peppers and broccoli and recently diversified with a frozen-fruit facility for processing of peaches that are sold in bulk or pureed for use in yogurt, baby food and other products.
“My husband and I are truly living a dream,” Lori Anne Carr told attendees of Top Producer’s annual awards banquet in Chicago before the winner was announced.
“On the farm, we truly have a motto that nobody’s going to come up and pat you on the back, or nobody’s going to say, ‘Great job,’” Chalmers added. “We get our achievements and our personal goals set by going out and protecting the natural resources that we have, cultivating those into crops and producing staples and food for other people to eat. My personal joy comes from doing that day in and day out.”
Sponsored by Bayer and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 18th year and represents the best in the business of farming. In addition to the Carrs, finalists for this year’s award were John Pagel of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, a dairy and grain operation in Kewaunee, Wis., and brothers Richard and Roderick Gumz of Gumz Farms, a row crop and vegetable operation in Endeavor, Wis. Readers of AgWeb.com and Top Producer will learn more about each of the finalists in future news articles.
Each of the finalists received a trip for two to attend the seminar and will receive sessions with a CEO coach. The winner will receive the opportunity to be enrolled for a year in the Top Producer Executive Network™ peer group program, courtesy of Bayer. Additionally, the winner will get to choose either a Steiger Rowtrac or a Magnum Rowtrac from Case IH for 150 hours of use, courtesy of Case IH.
Saluda County Firefighter of the Year
Charles Long was named the 2016 Saluda County Firefighter of the Year at the annual dinner hosted by the Saluda Fire Department on January 16, 2017. Charles retired from the Saluda Fire Department on September 30, 2016 with 32 years and 8 months of service. He has taken many hours of training in all areas of the fire service during his years on the Saluda Fire Department. He is in charge of all cooking for the annual Lindsey Bradshaw/Autumn Winn Scholarship Barbeque Fundraiser and will continue to do so. Charles is pictured being presented the award by the State Farm-Kelly White Agency Team. Pictured from left to right are: John White, Kelly White, Charles Long, Mitzi Durst and Sherri Ward. Congratulations Charles and thanks to all volunteer firefighters for their time and service.
County Ranks High In Study
SmartAsset, a financial technology company, has released a study on the places with the highest per capita net wealth and Saluda County ranks among the top spots in South Carolina.
The study analyzes income, net worth, and debt in counties across the country to determine which locations had the highest per capita net wealth relative to debt.
In the table below you can see where Saluda County stacked up against other leaders in South Carolina:
You can find additional information on the study, including the methodology and interactive map here: https://smartasset.com/investing/online-brokerage-accounts#southcarolina
Methodology The study aims to find the places in the United States with the highest net worth. To do this SmartAssets calculated the ratio of net worth to per capita income for every county. This number can serve as insight into how much people have saved or invested relative to their income level.
The company also calculated the ratio of net worth to debt per capita for each county. This measure incorporates a view of a county’s debt burden relative to net worth.
Lastly, SmartAsset indexed each factor and calculated an overall index by taking a weighted average of each of these indices. The net worth to income index was given a weight of two and the net worth to debt index was given a weight of one.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2014 American Community Survey, ESRI, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Visit The Museum!
If you haven’t visited the Saluda County Museum in a while, make plans to drop by.
The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Currently, two exhibits are on display.
One is the “Then and Now” exhibit, showing items and pictures from the past to the current times. The other is an automotive exhibit, featuring vintage oil cans and tags.
Permanent displays include the African American exhibit, the diorama of the Alamo, and Indian artifacts.
Also, there are items for sale such as pictures, T-shirts, books and postcards.
Hope you will stop by and take a look!
Phil Perry (left) and his family as he is inducted into the Frank Lever County Extension Agent Hall of Fame. (Clemson University photo)
Perry Named To
Extension Hall of Fame
Saluda County’s Phil Perry and another former Saluda County Agent, J.M. Eleazer, were honored at Clemson recently along with three other South Carolinians who were recognized for lifetimes of service with their induction into the Frank Lever County Extension Agent Hall of Fame at Clemson University.
Perry and Eleazer join two more former Saluda County Agents, Bill Craven and Bill Riser in the Hall of Fame.
Spanning service from the Blue Ridge foothills to the coast, the five — Jesse Eargle, Eleazer, Perry, Marie Cromer Seigler and David Shelley — worked as agents of the Clemson Extension Service, delivering agricultural research and information to farmers, homeowners and agribusinesses.
The Hall of Fame honors the careers of “longtime, front-line county agents” whose work had an important economic impact on the communities they served. It bears the name of U.S. Rep. A. Frank Lever of South Carolina, co-author of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 that created the Extension Service nationally. With co-sponsor Sen. Hoke Smith of Georgia, Lever sought a national program that would extend research-based agricultural and food science knowledge from colleges and universities to the working people it would benefit.
Early in his career, Phil Perry dedicated himself to what he called the “5-P Agriculture” of Saluda County: ponds, pastures, peaches, poultry and pines. With that foundation, Perry’s efforts reached all production agriculture, helping ensure that annual cash receipts from the sale of Saluda County crops and livestock always ranked among the top in the state.
As the Clemson Extension agent for Saluda County from 1975 to 2013, Perry considered it his job to work with the professional food and fiber producers and help them produce an abundant and high quality yield of agricultural products, said Connie Lake, who nominated Perry for the honor.
“He managed cooperative marketing efforts for millions of dollars worth of beef and dairy cattle. The Performance Tested Heifer Sales and Preconditioned Steer Sales that Phil helped start are still active today,” Lake said. “Phil trained many dairy and livestock judging teams that won at the state and national level. He assisted thousands of 4-H members with their dairy, beef, swine, goat, sheep, poultry, horse and wildlife projects. Many of these young people are successful farmers today or are involved in agriculture in other capacities. Many hold agricultural leadership positions.”
Students from across South Carolina came to know Perry for his leadership in youth programs — none more than those with dairy cattle. He led the state 4-H dairy program and 4-H dairy camp, supervised the state 4-H Dairy Heifer Project, advised the State Junior Dairy Breed Associations, coordinated the Junior Dairy Show at the State Fair, guided the 4-H Dairy Judging Program and chaired the Clemson University Spring Dairy Show Committee.
Long before Clemson became a university, J.M. Eleazer was “the original change agent,” said Phil Perry, who nominated Eleazer to the Lever Hall of Fame. “He helped farm families prepare for and adjust to the many changes that were brought about during his working career,” Perry said.
Among those changes were electricity, for which Eleazer worked with the Rural Electric Administration to bring to South Carolina’s rural areas.
Beginning in 1917 as an emergency farm demonstration agent in Jasper County, Eleazer would continue as a county agent in Saluda and Sumter counties before moving to Clemson to carry out his work statewide.
For 44 years as a county agent and Extension information specialist, Eleazer was a spokesman, writer and promoter for Clemson College and South Carolina agriculture, Perry said.
“With pen and paper, two fingers and a typewriter and radio tapes that he pre-recorded and mailed, he got the word out to the people of South Carolina on improved farming methods,” Perry said. “In 1918 he started writing a farm column that continued for 65 years. He was a legendary county agent, agriculturist, speaker and author.”
Eleazer was recognized in 1957 by Progressive Farmer magazine as Man of the Year in South Carolina Agriculture and was awarded the Distinguished Agriculture Award in 1971 by the South Carolina Farmers Cooperative Council.
Eleazer published four books: “A Dutch Fork Farm Boy,” “50 Years Along The Roadside,” “Our Land is Our Life,” and “Conservation and Me.”
Man Dies In
A 39-year-old Columbia man died in a one vehicle accident in Saluda County Mon. night,. Jan. 16.
According to L/Cpl Tonny Keller of the S.C. Highway Patrol, the man was driving a 2013 Kenworth truck and traveling west on U.S. 178, about 4½ miles from Saluda, when the truck went off the side of the road, overturned and hit the guardrail on the left side of the road.
The driver was not wearing a seatbelt. He was transported to Lexington Medical Center, he died of his injuries.
The accident occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m.
Council Paves Way
For New Business
Saluda County Council approved a roofing project Mon., Jan. 10, that will pave the way for a new business to open in downtown Saluda.
In the first meeting of 2017, Council heard a report from Development Director Ed Parler on the proposed CAB Business Development Center, which will be located at 119 N. Main Street, the former location of Saluda Consignment Shop.
Saluda County will purchase the building, using development partnership funds, and will then lease the building to the town of Saluda, who will sublet it to CAB on a ten-year lease.
The county has received a $115,000 grant from the S.C. Department of Commerce to make repairs on the building. From those funds will come roof repair.
Because the company wants to be in the building by mid-March, Parler contacted area roofing companies to get bids. Parler recommended the county award the job to Aqua Seal Mfg. and Roofing of West Columbia for $43,750. This will replace the existing metal roof with elastometric coating, and will come with a 15-year warranty. Council approved Parler’s recommendation.
While Aqua Seal did not submit the lowest bid, the 15-year warranty was a big selling point, Parler said. The other companies who submitted bids had warranties of five and four years.
CAB has been in business since 1955, and operates a call center-type business. In the first year, the business will employ 29 and will eventually have a payroll of 63 people working in downtown Saluda.
Parler said announcements about employment will be made later.
At the beginning of the meeting, Council Chairman Don Hancock welcomed new Council members Jones Butler and D.J. Miller. Butler and Miller both said they were looking forward to serving the citizens of the council.
Councilwoman Gwen Shealy, who was elected vice-chairman, read a report on the ambulance service.
EMS Director Jacob Starnes, who was scheduled to give the report, got called out of the meeting, so Shealy read the totals.
The ambulance service answered 3873 calls in 2016, and the average response time was 10.57 minutes. This was an improvement from 16-18 minutes the previous year.
2932 calls were answered in eight minutes or less.
Shealy said the improved response time could have something to do with the substations at the Circle and in Ridge Spring.
The service has four new ambulances.
In the old business portion of the meeting, Council ratified a resolution recognizing retired Clerk of Court Doris Holmes for her 43-years of service to the county.
Sidney J. Evering presented some minor changes in the fee-in-lieu of tax agreement between the county and Saluda Solar, LLC. The changes include the name of the business and the number of the tax map. The changes were approved.
Hancock made the following appointments to committees:
ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE: Personnel, Purchasing, Collection & Receipt of County Funds, Bonds & Indebtedness, Property Assessment & Taxation - Don Hancock-Chm, Full Council
PUBLIC SAFETY: Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Fire Departments, EMS, Risk Management, Animal Control - Gwen Shealy-Chm, Jones Butler
HEALTH & WELFARE: Mental Health, Behavioral Health System, Beckman Center DSS, Council on Aging, Health Department, GLEAMNS, Nursing Center - DJ Miller-Chm, Gwen Shealy
COUNTY PLANNING: Zoning, Building & Mobile Home Codes, Flood Control, Planning Commission, GIS, E911 - Don Hancock -Chm, DJ Miller
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Economic Development, Upper Savannah COG, County Airport - Don Hancock -Chm, DJ Miller
PUBLIC WORKS I: Solid Waste - Frank Daniel -Chm, Don Hancock
PUBLIC WORKS II: Roads & Bridges - Jones Butler-Chm, Frank Daniel
EDUCATION: Don Hancock-Chm, Full Council
JUSTICE: Solicitor, Family Court, County Attorneys, Magistrates, Tri-County Defender; Tri-County Youth Services - Gwen Shealy -Chm, Jones Butler
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, MILITARY AFFAIRS: Clemson Extension, National Guard, American Legion, Farm Service Agency, Soil Conservation, VFW Jones Butler-Chm, Frank Daniel
COUNTY OWNED PROPERTY: Public Buildings, Capital Improvements, Land - Frank Daniel-Chm, Don Hancock QUALITY OF LIFE: Recreation, Library, Cultural Affairs, Improvement and Beautification - DJ Miller-Chm, Gwen Shealy
Since Jacob Schumpert’s term on Council ended Dec. 31, Council had to replace Schumpert on the Tri-County Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors, and Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors.
Councilman Frank Daniel was appointed to Tri-County, and Hancock to Three Rivers.
Andrew Shaw was appointed to the Building and Mobile Home Appeals Board, and George Todd was appointed to the Planning Commission.
Representative Ralph Shealy Kennedy presents framed House Resolution to retiring Clerk of Court Doris Holmes.
SC House Honors Retiring Saluda
Clerk of Court Doris Holmes
With Representative Ralph Shealy Kennedy as the primary sponsor, the SC House recognized and commended retiring Clerk of Court Doris B. Holmes through a Framed, Formal House Resolution, H.5125. The Resolution was introduced by Rep. Kennedy and joined unanimously by all members of the House. It states as follow: TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND THE HONORABLE DORIS B. HOLMES UPON THE OCCASION OF HER RETIREMENT AS CLERK OF COURT FOR SALUDA COUNTY AND TO WISH HER CONTINUED SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HER FUTURE ENDEAVORS. Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives have learned that the Honorable Doris B. Holmes will begin a well-deserved retirement after many years of faithful and outstanding service to the citizens of the Palmetto State as Clerk of Court for Saluda County; and Whereas, former Clerk of Court Edith C. Padget, cousin of Representative Ralph Kennedy, hired Doris Holmes in 1974 and encouraged her to run for the office of clerk of court at the time of the latter’s retirement in 1988. Doris Holmes ran unopposed and took office in January 1989; and Whereas, when she retires at the end of the current term, Mrs. Holmes will have served forty-two years in the Saluda County Clerk of Court’s Office, the past twenty-eight as clerk of court; and Whereas, Doris Holmes has always found strength for her duties in the firm support of her family: her husband, Elwyn; their sons, Kirk and William; and their daughter, Amelia, who have been her most faithful encouragers; and Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives is grateful for the legacy of leadership Doris B. Holmes has bestowed on this great State and appreciates the exemplary service she has given to the citizens of South Carolina. The members take great pleasure in wishing her well as she enters retirement and trusts she will find much enjoyment in the more leisurely pace of the days ahead. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and commend the Honorable Doris B. Holmes upon the occasion of her retirement as Clerk of Court for Saluda County and wish her continued success and happiness in all her future endeavors.
Former Rep. Kennedy stated, “Doris Holmes has successfully led our Clerk of Court’s Office here in Saluda County for many decades. She was instrumental in modernizing and bringing the Clerk’s records into the 21st Century. I want to thank Doris for her many years of unselfish and hard work to the betterment of all citizens of Saluda County.”