From left to right: Sarah Johnson, Geri Martin, and Lisa Lyon
Staff News from Saluda County Library
Changes have taken place recently in staffing of the Saluda County Library.
Following 12 years of exemplary service, Library Assistant Sandra McAlister, has retired. Geri Martin is promoted to the position of Library Assistant. New staff members include Lisa Lyon, Director, and Sarah Johnson, Library Aide.
Lisa Lyon comes to Saluda from Tryon, NC where she served as director of the Lanier Library. Her past positions include many years working with children and young adults in the public library systems of Spartanburg and Laurens counties. Lisa earned her Master of Library Science degree from NCCU in Durham, North Carolina. As the library’s new director, she will focus on supporting early literacy, strengthening community partnerships, and continuing with existing plans for expansion of the library building.
Sarah Johnson is a former sheriff’s deputy who holds a B.S. in Criminology from NC State who moved to the area four years ago from Florence, SC. Her introduction to the library began when she attended story time with her young son. She is responsible for running the circulation desk at the Saluda location, and helping to promote the library through social media. Sarah enjoys reading and crafts, and is interested in starting a knitting group at the library.
Geri Martin has been with the library for four years and is the new Library Assistant. She will provide cataloging and technical services to help build and maintain the libraries collections, in addition to assisting with special projects. Geri is a painter, and likes to read non-fiction. She plans to develop more programs that celebrate art in our community.
The Saluda County Library staff is committed to the library’s mission: providing equal access to technology and informational materials to all citizens, encouraging a lifelong interest in learning and reading, and working with other county agencies to inform and promote a strong community. The library works towards the fulfillment of these goals by providing accurate, useful information, materials, and services to all citizens of Saluda County.
Tri-County Teacher Forum
Holds 1st Annual “Chat N Chew”
Members of the Tri-County Teacher Forum, made up of Teachers of the Year from Saluda, Edgefield, and Batesburg-Leesville school districts, held their first annual “Chat N Chew” with their Superintendent’s and invited guests- local Legislators, and guest speaker State Superintendent, Molly Spearman at Batesburg-Leesville Middle School on July 19th.
Teacher Forum membership is made up of the current school teachers of the year and immediate past school teachers of the year, along with a district liaison. The purpose of a Teacher Forum is to give recognition to school teachers of the year, to develop teacher leadership among this outstanding group, to give the teachers a voice in educational issues that face teachers today at all levels, and to impact the professional development of other teachers by encouraging its members to facilitate the development of leadership skills among their peers.
The idea of a Tri-County Teacher Forum was formulated through collaboration of the three counties in providing professional development to teachers of the year while recognizing and developing their roles of leadership. The “Chat N Chew” event was just one way to serve as a way for teachers to have a voice in educational issues. The event was coordinated by Dr. Ann Marie Taylor- Edgefield, Mary Alice Quattlebaum- Saluda, and Judy Turner-Fox, Lexington 3, district liaisons for the Tri-County Teacher Forum.
Superintendent Molly Spearman addressed the Forum sharing the importance of celebrating the profession and leading the way towards excellence in education. Her focus was on the changes and challenges that educator’s face today. She gave helpful suggestions on how teachers can advocate for their profession.
Representative Cal Forrest and Representative Bill Clyburn were in attendance and provided information and updates on current bills that were recently passed by the House and is currently up for discussion in the Senate. Both Legislators praised the work that is being done through the leadership of Superintendent Molly Spearman and through the hard work of local districts and schools. “It’s all about the children, and what is best for them” they said.
The Tri-County Forum is appreciative of everyone who attended the event, especially our Legislators and Superintendent Molly Spearman who took time out of their busy schedule to show their support and give encouragement to our teachers.
SHS Teacher Gets
Saluda High School teacher, Mrs. Amanda Crouch was selected as the South Carolina Association of Agricultural Educators (SCAAE) Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
The award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness, and professional activities. Outstanding agricultural educators are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural education.
Mrs. Crouch will go on to compete next at the national level, and the winner will be announced this summer. The District extends its congratulations to Mrs. Crouch!
Project To Remember County
Soldiers Who Died In War
Ben Ward, a member of Saluda American Legion Post 65, has begun a project to put stories behind the names listed on the Saluda County memorial to the soldiers from here who died in war.
Ward would like to know more about the heroes, and would like to interview relatives. He would also like to collect photos of the soldiers.
If you would like to share stories about your relative from Saluda County who died in a war, you may email Ward at bac2boots@gmail. com.
For Our 99 and
Those Like Them
BY BEN WARD
Small towns across our nation each have their unique qualities, yet they have some common traits as well, especially the county seats.
Drive through most any small town county seats in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia and our fair State of South Carolina, and you will find the Courthouse. Along with the courthouse generally there are various county and town government buildings, usually in close proximity to the town square or courthouse complex. Tucked away somewhere close by you will also find aa often ignored memorial of some sort. It will be dedicated to the memory of those resident citizens who put on the nation’s uniform, went away to some foreign land and were never seen again walking their hometown streets.
In this Saluda is no different. We have one monument on the courthouse lawn, where people travelling though town on Main Street can see it. There are 99 names on it, going back to the Spanish American War all the way up to Vietnam. Five wars, all thankfully fought somewhere else.
Some of you may have known some of those men, although it’s closing in on 42 years since the end of the last war enumerated on the monument.
Every one of those names on every one of those monuments spread across the nation represents a life, each with their own unique traits and some common ones to the story of all Americans. They may have been rich or poor, well thought of or despised. They may have been fathers, husbands, sons. However, the one aspect common to each name is at some point their life’s journey here on Earth came to an abrupt end and they sacrificed ALL of their tomorrows for YOUR today.
Being a son of a career enlisted Navy sailor I was exposed from earliest childhood to Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen who were sent into harm’s way and lived to tell about it, if they talked about it at all, which most of them did not. With the passing of the years each one of them I knew personally has gone on to their final rest.
They did not wear a cape and leap tall buildings in a single bound. They were just men, imperfect and flawed in their own way and I admired them for what they had done. The few that did say anything about their time “over there” to a man said they were not heroes. They said the heroes were the ones they knew who came home in a box, if they came home at all.
As a former soldier and combat veteran, I feel a certain awe that I’m able to stand in front of our monument and ponder what chance of fate prevented my name from being added to the list etched in stone, albeit under a title of a different war.
Since my return from a more recent combat zone I have come across others of my brothers in arms from the same theater of operations. As we share experiences, many times there is that momentary pause and that face while recalling the close calls or loss of a comrade whose name will be etched on some possible monument in the future.
When military people gather at unit functions, reunions or just at the regular watering hole there is a traditional toast of “ Absent Companions.”
Glasses are drained and turned upside down on the table. It’s our tribute we give to honor the memory of those fallen troops who were a part of our lives and mourn their sudden and often violent departure from us. It’s also in memory of the ones who have reported for duty in that land from where no one returns since the last time we gathered.
This holiday we call Memorial Day is set aside to honor those whose names appear on those monuments and those who are still MIA (missing in action). Perhaps you will take a few moments during the holiday and ponder the names and what they sacrificed.
WELL KNOWN SILO DAMAGED - One well known landmark was damaged by the tornado that came through the Ridge area of Saluda County on Wed., April 6. The top of the 75-foot tall silo featuring a huge tiger paw on the O.T. Price farm was destroyed. Also damaged on the Ridge Spring Hwy. 39 farm was a 400 foot shed, and a hay barn. Tracy Price and his two daughters were in their house, located behind the silo, when the tornado hit. The house sustained some water damage. “It was rather unnerving,” Price said. (Photo by Tracy Price)
Tornado In County Confirmed
A tornado did damage in the Ridge section of Saluda County Wed., April 5.
“The National Weather Service did confirm last Thursday that we did have an EF2 tornado impact Saluda County on Wednesday of last week,” Saluda County Emegency Management Director Josh Morton said.
“The tornado damage began east of Johnston and continued northeast through Ward before dissipating northwest of Ridge Spring off Murphy Farm Road. There was a great deal of damaged and uprooted trees, as well as damage to multiple homes and vehicles.
“We were very fortunate in that we did not have any injuries or fatalities attributed directly to the tornado.”
“The last tornado on record for Saluda County was also an EF2 that tracked between Ward and Monetta on March 15, 2008,” Morton said.
Budget Process Begins
Saluda County Council began the 2017-18 budget process Mon., April 10, by giving first readings to the school and county budgets.
The local portion of the Saluda County School’s $17,642,762 budget is $4,113,933. This is up $246,821 from last year.
The county budget currently stands at $12,894,092. The difference between revenue and expenditures is $1,709,359.
Two more readings are required before the budgets become final.
Council gave third and final approval to an ordinance to execute a quit claim deed on the old Emory School House.
Emory Community Club president Becky Clamp said the county gave the school building to the community club 40 years ago, but at that time the Club was not incorporated and did not have non-profit status. The Club has now met those conditions.
Second reading was given to an ordinance lowering the rental rates of the hangars at the Saluda County Airport.
First reading was given to an ordinance to enable the Coroner’s office to charge a fee for a cremation permit.
The Fair Housing Month resolution was approved, and Council accepted a revised purchasing policy for Saluda County.
Council approved Grant Coordinator Jill Warren’s applying for a Weyerhauser Giving Fund Request for EMS. The grant will purchase three Stair-Pro chairs for $10,000. The chair assists with patient handling in stairways or in confined spaces.
At the beginning of the meeting, Councilman Frank Daniel expressed his appreciation to all who helped when the tornado came through his district last week. Daniel singled out SCE&G, DOT, volunteer church groups, public volunteers, the Road and Bridge Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
“We are thankful we all made it through,” Daniel said.
Councilman Jones Butler and Councilwoman Gwen Shealy also expressed appreciation to the emergency workers.
Councilman D.J. Miller thanked all those who called him last month, explaining the importance of the Brooks & Roston Park to the neighborhood.
Chairman Don Hancock also praised emergency workers, also expressed appreciation to EMS, detailing how he had to call an ambulance for the first time in his life last week due to a medical emergency. He said he observed first hand the professionalism of the service, and single out staff members Derrick and Morico, who answered the call.
Hancock also praised Recreation Director Paul Ergle for his work. He said 400 youth are participating in Rec spring sports.
National Telecommunications Week April 9-15TH
National Telecommunications Week is celebrated throughout the month of April. Saluda County Sheriff John Perry is declaring Saluda County’s Telecommunications Week April 9-15th. This week is set aside to honor and recognize the dispatchers, heroes behind-the-scences, of the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office. The telecommunicators of Saluda County are responsible for dispatching for the SAluda County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, Fire Departments, Saluda Police Department, Ridge Spring Police Department, and the Coroner. The citizens of Saluda County depend on the expertise, skills, and commitment of our telecommunicators to answer emergency calls, dispatch emergency responders and equipment, and provide moral support to citizens in distress. We encourage the public to take this week to say thank you to the Saluda County Dispatchers.
Pictured left to right back row- Ashley Turner (Telecommunicators Coordinator) Carrie Caldwell, Brenda Teague, Amanda Vereen, Tiffany Weed, Sheena Rodgers, Brody Edwards, Roger Bush (assistant Telecommunicators Coordinator) Pictured Left To Right In Front Row- Kanika Brooks, Gloria Tejeda, Charisse Bates, Kade Rodgers.
Boys State, Law Cadet Delegates Chosen
South Carolina American Legion Palmetto Boys State is sometimes referred to as a “laboratory of government”. Boys Staters have the opportunity to run for elected political offices; at the city, county and state levels in a simulated governmental environment. By participation in the political process, they are also afforded the chance to see and hear from representatives in government, influential business and community leaders. The encampment for year 2017 will be held at Anderson University, Anderson, SC.
The mission of the Nathan M. Wolfe Law Cadet Academy is to immerse young adults into an environment of structure and discipline. The goal is to provide each young adult with a broad view of law enforcement in South Carolina and give them an opportunity to have hands on experience to guide them through a week of instructions, lectures and hands on training.
Pictured left to right, front row: Legionnaire Marvin Gootee, American Legion Palmetto Boys State Citizens Roberto Monzalvo, son of Mario Ortiz and Maria Lopez; Hector Ortiz, son of Juana Ortiz; American Legion Boys State Alternate Edgar Zamorano-Morales, son of Jose Zamorano and Isabel Morales; Nathan M. Wolfe Law Cadet Kat Ryan, daughter of William and Harriett Ryan; Legion Commander Post 65 Al Butler. Second row: American Legion Boys State Citizens William Yonce, son of Lauren and Cece Yonce; Joshua Cobbler, son of William Cobbler and Virginia Rushton; T.J. Johnson, son of David and Angela Rodgers; Garrett Lake, son of Elliott Lake and Kimberly Lake; Legionnaires Don Hancock and Dan Guy. Post 65 wishes to thank everyone who supported and had a hand in making this project possible and a reality for these future leaders of our community.
Employers Encouraged to Attend
Upper Savannah Job Fair;
Online Registration Available
Area employers who are hiring are encouraged to participate in a job fair sponsored by the Upper Savannah Workforce System and Greenwood Mall.
The bi-annual Upper Savannah Regional Job Fair will be held at Greenwood Mall April 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge to participate. However, available space is limited. Registration ends on April 17 or when all spots are filled.
As many as 80-plus employers have attended recent job fairs. It does not matter if an employer wishes to hire one employee or 50.
Employers from the Upper Savannah region of Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties will be encouraged to have booths at the fair. Employers from Upper Savannah’s surrounding counties will also be invited.
The Job Fair’s new feature this spring is that an invitation has been extended to select high school seniors so that employers have an opportunity to connect with the class of 2017. There are many opportunities for recent graduates to work and go to school. Both Greenwood and Laurens counties have scholarship programs where residents can attend Piedmont Technical College tuition free.
People who are unemployed or interested in changing careers are encouraged to attend and visit the employer booths. Job seekers should bring plenty of resumes and are encouraged to dress as if they are going for an interview. There will also be workshops with topics involving careers and how to look for jobs, etc.
Information on the job fair is on line at www.upperscworks.com/jobFair.php.
For more information, call the Upper Savannah Council of Governments Workforce Development Division staff at 941-8050 or 1-800-922-7729 or your county’s SC Works Center.
Butler UMC 5K Run/Walk
Butler United Methodist Church sponsored a 5K Walk/Run, beginning and ending at the Saluda Park, on Sat., April 1. All proceeds go to Christ Central. Pictured above are the participants. (Standard-Sentinel photo)