Peach Crop Severely Damaged
According Clemson Extension reports, the peach crop in the Ridge was severely damaged by the mid-March freezing temperatures.
Extension Agent Greg Henderson said the loss in the Ridge area is estimated at 80-90 percent. He added this figure is not just for the Ridge, but all of South Carolina and the Southeast.
Some late crop peaches are now blooming, but Henderson said there was concern back in February that they may not have been enough chilling hours for these trees to be successful.
The freeze not only affects the crops, but jobs, agriculture services like fertilizing, equipmental rental, trucking, etc. are also hit hard.
“It’s a trickle up effect,” he said.
Henderson said the loss may be greater than 2007, when South Carolina’s $63 million peach crop was reduced to $15 million.
Henderson said there will be some peaches produced.
“They may not be pretty, but they will still be better than anything California produces.”
County Among State Leaders In Getting
‘Bang for their Buck’ In Property Taxes
SmartAsset, a financial technology company, recently released its third annual study on property taxes, and Saluda ranked among the South Carolina counties getting the most ‘Bang for their Buck’ on property taxes.
In addition to property taxes, the study analyzed the quality of local schools and the local crime rates to find where people were seeing the most value.
For a look at how the leaders in South Carolina performed, check out the table below:
The full study results, methodology, and interactive map can be found here: https://smartasset.com/taxes/south-carolina-property-tax-calculator?year=2017#map
Burton Posts NCAA Provisional
Qualifying Times in 100m and 200m
ATLANTA – The Anderson University men’s track and field teams wrapped up competition at the Emory Classic with impressive marks, Saturday at the Eagles’ Woodruff PE Center.
Senior Christopher Burton of Saluda posted a NCAA provisional qualifying time by winning the men’s 200 meter dash in a time of 21.41, with freshman Jordan Anderson (22.85) finishing 18th. Burton also posted a provisional time of 10.76 in the men’s 100 meter dash.
Four Suspects Identifed In
Persimmon Hill Home Invasion
The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office has identified four suspects in last week’s home invastion at Persimmon Hill and dropped charges against one of the orginally arrested suspects.
Following is the update:
Original Incident Recap
On Wednesday March 8, 2017 at approximately 12:30am armed suspects entered a residence in the Persimmon Hill Golf Course Community. During the incident, the armed suspects; impersonating police officers, grabbed the two home owners Mr. & Mrs. Danny Tidwell, separated them and placed them in different rooms with their hands bound behind their backs. The suspects ransacked the residence taking anything that was of value along with the keys to one of the victims’ vehicles. The vehicle was recovered in Aiken County along with some of the victims’ personal items. The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify and arrest two suspects; Jerry Kirk of Saluda County and Abin Lee Lowman of Edgefield County as suspects in this incident.
and New Suspects
Investigators from Saluda County Sheriff’s Office and SLED have been conducting an extensive investigation, reviewing video footage from the surrounding area, interviewing witnesses, and collecting physical evidence.
The Sheriff’s Office has been able to now eliminate Mr. Kirk as a suspect in this case even after evidence was located at the crime scene suggesting his involvement. Mr. Kirk was very corporative during this investigation and was released on 03-12-2017. The Sheriff’s Office apologizes to Mr. Kirk, and he was very understanding due to the evidence found at the scene.
After further investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has been able to name 3 more suspects in this incident. This makes a total of 4 suspects in connection with this home invasion. Abin Lee Lowman (In-Custody) of Edgefield County, SC; James Christopher Wilson (In-Custody) of Laurel, MD.
The Maryland Transit Police pulled Mr. Wilson over on 03-11-2017 for a traffic violation and ran his driver’s license and was advised that the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office had a warrant for his arrest. Maryland Transit Police then advised the Sheriff’s Office of their contact with Mr. Wilson. The Sheriff’s Office at this time sent a detainer and request for extradition for Mr. Wilson to bring him back to Saluda County for this incident.
The other two suspects in this case are also from the State of Maryland in the Silver Spring area, and the Sheriff’s Office feels very good about the possibility of having the additional suspects listed below in custody soon.
The suspects listed are being charged with and wanted for; Burglary 1st Degree, Kidnapping, Use of a Weapon during a Violent Crime, Armed Robbery, Impersonating the Police, and Grand Larceny.
The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office asks if anyone has any knowledge or information about these suspects or their whereabouts to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (864) 445-2112 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC immediately.
SCISSA 2017 Student Council of the Year – Pictured Top to Bottom: Chris Fincher, Truman Caughman, Jade Temples, Hunter DuBose, Ben Buzhardt, River Guy, Madison Swain, Jonni Belle Widener, Gracelyn Metts, Jackson Parrish, Kyia Metcalf, Alex Mitchell, and Allison DeLoache
King Academy’s Student Council
Gets Statewide Recogniton
King Academy students, faculty, and staff have been busy with many wonderful events and activities. The WKA Student Council recently attended the annual SCISSA (South Carolina Independent School Student Association) Spring Convention in Myrtle Beach and was named the Student County of the Year.
The students had a great time together sharing fun and fellowship with each other and other SCISA schools.
SCISSA was organized for the purpose of promoting and encouraging fellowship, activities, and interest on a state-wide basis among students in member schools of the South Carolina Independent School Association in academic excellence, in leadership and citizenship, and in good student government. SCISSA sponsors such student activities throughout the year as a summer leadership workshop, a fall conference at the State Capitol, student exchange week, Student Council of the Year, and Honor Society of the Year Awards, and also a spring convention held in Myrtle Beach in March. Officers for the year are elected at the spring convention.
Officers from SCISA schools all across the state met to enjoy three days of activities. King Academy congratulates Jackson Parrish who was elected the 2017-18 Recording Secretary of SCISSA. This the seventh consecutive year a WKA student has been elected to the SCISSA Executive Committee.
WKA also received the SCISSA 2017 Student Council of the Year. WKA also received SCISSA Student Council of the Year in 2010, 2014, and 2015. King Acadedmy’s Ben Buzhardt, SCISSA 2016-17 President, is congratulated for a great year of service as he passed his gavel to the next SCISSA President.
A special thank you to WKA Activities Director Mrs. Paula Edwards for all of her hard work and dedication with the students.
Abin Lee Lowman
Arrests Made In Persimmon Hill Home Invasion
On Wednesday March 8, 2017 at approximately 12:30am armed suspects entered a residence in the Persimmon Hill Golf Course Community.
During the incident the armed suspects grabbed the two home owners, Danny and Lynda Tidwell, separated them and placed them in different rooms with their hands bound behind their backs. Both victims suffered some emotional and minor physical injuries, but are doing well at this time.
The suspects did ransack the residence taking anything that was of value along with the keys to one of the victims’ vehicles. The vehicle was tracked using the GPS system installed on the vehicle from the manufacture. The vehicle was recovered in Aiken County along with some of the victims’ personal items. The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify one suspects, Abin Lee Lowman of Edgefield County.
Warrants have been issued for three other suspects in Maryland. One of them is in custody.
Investigators from Saluda County Sheriff’s Office and SLED are conducting an extensive investigation, review-ing video footage from the surrounding area, interviewing witnesses, and collecting physical evidence. The Sheriff’s Office will send out updates on the investigation as they become available.
Lowman is being charged with burglary 1st degree, kidnapping, use of a weapon during a violent crime, armed robbery, imper-sonating the police, and grand larceny.
The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office asks if anyone has any knowledge or information about this incident to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (864) 445-2112 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC immediately.
EMS Director Jacob Starnes and Assistant Director James Cole hold the plaque, surrounded by staff and county officials. (Standard-Sentinel photo)
Saluda County EMS Wins
Top South Carolina Award
Saluda County Emergency Medical Service has been named the large EMS System of the Year in South Carolina by the S.C. EMS Network.
The award was presented Sat., Mar. 11, in Myrtle Beach at the 2017 S.C. Emergency Care Symposium. Accepting the award was County EMS Director Jacob Starnes and Assistant Director James Cole.
To be eligible for the large system of the year, an ambulance service must answer over 2000 calls during the previous year. That means Saluda County was in competition with the largest counties in the state, including Richland, Greenville, Charleston and Spartanburg.
Chris Copper of the Midlands Regional EMS Council made the presentation.
His remarks included:
The story that you will hear about our large service of the year is, and this is a quote from the chair of the county’s public safety committee, “Nothing less than remarkable” After you hear the story there won’t be any surprises at the end, but that’s okay.
For many years, the Saluda County Ambulance Service was operated as part of the Saluda Nursing Center, the county owned nursing home. The county provided a modest stipend to operate the service but the equipment was old, response times long, and transport times even longer since the closest hospital is at least 45 minutes away.
County council made the decision to incorporate the ambulance service as a true county department in 2015. They provided EMS with the resources they needed, and EMS got busy! Since that day, Saluda County EMS has rapidly moved to a position as a state-of-the-art service with strong community support.
In calendar year 2016 the service has instituted a number of important internal changes.
•A substation was opened in a distant but heavily populated end of the county where response times were commonly up to 30 minutes.
•A new fleet of ambulances were delivered on a lease purchase agreement, and the most reliable units of the old fleet were refurbished as dependable spares.
•New 12 lead EKG units with transmission capability were purchased and put in service. 0 Protocols were upgraded to Critical Care standards with the assistance of their medical director.
•Contracting with a billing service has improved collections dramatically and made the department very close to self-sufficient, adding no additional expense to the county tax base.
•QA standards were improved and reviews include hospitals where patients are transported.
Dispatch protocols have been upgraded and training has been provided to the 911 center. The service now shows an average response time of under 11 minutes overall, and more than 75% of their responses are now under 8 minutes. More and more county residents have increased confidence in their county service which now shows an increase of over 400 calls annually.
They have been VERY active in their community as well, being present at most community and sporting events. Just in the last year, EMS has provided CPR and AED training to over 150 county employees and law enforcement officers, and an additional 160 county volunteer firefighters. Training has also been provided to churches, teachers, athletic trainers, nurses, over 400 citizens in the county, and for the council on aging with one documented save!
They also secured a grant to place new AED units in each county fire station, the library, the county courthouse, churches, physician offices, the nursing home and the elderly community center.
EMS is also now providing first responder training to all interested county fire personnel, and has implemented a firefighter rehab program for active fire scenes.
Nominations for this award have been submitted from both citizens and from their county council. Needless to say, county residents have responded overwhelmingly to these positive changes. You need to keep in mind, these changes have occurred in the last year! Because of a lot of hard work, it’s a new ballgame in Saluda. . .a WINNING ballgame! It is with great pride that this year’s large service of the year award goes to Saluda County EMS!”
A celebration breakfast was held Mon., Mar. 13, at the County EMS headquarters at SNC, where Starnes thanked everyone who made the award possible, from county officials to the EMS staff.
Councilwoman Gwen Shealy, Council Chairman Don Hancock and former Councilman Jacob Schumpert all gave remarks, praising the accomplishments of the EMS.
As members of Council’s Public Safety Committee Shealy and Schumpert spearheaded the effort to make the EMS a county department.
Mrs. Shealy said the goal was to put together a winning team, and now they are the best in the state.
Schumpert said the county had considered taking over EMS for 10-12 years.
“They provide a great service to our citizens.”
Starnes said the service has gotten positive feedback from the public. Surveys are sent to individuals who have used the ambulance service. They are asked for their opinions on their experience.
Of the 300 responses, all have been positive.
Buck Riley in screen capture from “Hunted” episode.
Saludan Featured On
For the third time since January 27, someone from Saluda County has been featured in a national television program.
Buck Riley is the latest “star,” joining Charles Baird, Debbie Shealy, Jason and Colton Price and Doris Goff, who appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” filmed at Shealy’s BBQ in Batesburg-Leesville and broadcast on Feb 7, and Bob and Ann Bowles who appeared in a “Tonight Show” skit on Jan. 27.
Riley appeared in the final episode of the CBS reality show “Hunted,” Wed., Mar. 1. The premise of the program is 10 couples try to evade capture by detectives while traveling throughout the country for 28 days. The couple that isn’t captured wins $250,000.
Riley was in a Newberry County field in July 2016, when a couple came walking out of the corn.
He knew something was going on when he saw the couple was accompanied by cameramen.
“They explained what was they were doing, and I brought them back to my house,” Riley said.
Before anything could proceed, Riley had to prove he had insurance on his vehicle and sign other papers.
At the Riley’s Saluda County home, the couple, English and Stephen King of Hillsborough, N.C., asked of they could use the family computer to get on the internet.
“They could only use it for five minutes,” Riley said.
The couple and crew spent the night on the Riley farm, and Riley drove them to Greenwood the next day.
The couple ended up in a location in Georgia, where they won the $250,000 by escaping in a plane moored on a lake.
Only a small portion of the visit with the Riley’s was shown on TV.
“They filmed enough to do ten episodes,” Buck said.
Riley said he wasn’t sure at the time if the program would ever air, so he didn’t mention the experience to many people.
Hall of Fame Kiosk
At County Museum
By Meade Hendrix As a board member of the South Carolina Confederation of Local Historical Societies since 2008, I learned that the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce was planning to offer a kiosk to museums over the state so more people in South Carolina could recognize and honor those who were inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. Letters were sent to museums over the state offering to set up a kiosk in their museums for free. The kiosks are operated by Wi-Fi from Myrtle Beach. Each year the new inductees will be added to the program.
The Saluda County Historical Society Board voted to accept this offer. This adds another dimension in history to the Saluda County museum. William Barrett Travis and James Butler Bonham were inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2016, David Drake, Dave the Potter, was inducted. His information will be added to the kiosk soon. Some other inductees from our area are Thomas Green Clemson, Pierce Butler, John C. Calhoun, Benjamin E. Mays, Roger Milliken, and J. Strom Thurmond.
The kiosk is easily operated by touching the screen. The Saluda County Historical Society hopes adults and students will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the inductees and their outstanding contributions to South Carolina history.
You can nominate a person for consideration into the hall of fame through any historical or genealogical organization in your district. The nomination form would then be sent to the Confederation of Local Historical Societies for consideration
HALL OF FAME HISTORY
The South Carolina Hall of Fame dedicated on February 11, 1973, by Governor John C. West was created to recognize and honor those contemporary and past citizens who have made outstanding contributions to South Carolina’s heritage and progress. It is a nonprofit corporation conducted under a state charter. The South Carolina Hall of Fame is located in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On September 21, 2001, Governor Jim Hodges signed into law a bill designating the South Carolina Hall of Fame as the state’s official hall of fame.
Persons born in South Carolina who obtained recognition elsewhere and persons born elsewhere but who made their home in and obtained esteem and recognition in the state of South Carolina are eligible for induction.
One contemporary and one deceased citizen may be inducted into the Hall of Fame annually. The Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies is the official organization for selecting nominees for the Hall of Fame. The Confederation presents contemporary and deceased nominees to the Board of Trustees for judging annually.
The South Carolina Hall of Fame is funded by the state of South Carolina, the city of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.