Murder Ruling

Death Ruled A Homicide

  The Saluda County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death of Zonnie T. Cyrus as a homicide.  
  An autopsy was performed Nov. 22 at Newberry Pathology Group to determine the cause of death was due to gunshot wounds.  
  The Coroner’s Office responded to a death involving a body being found in the Monetta area near a pond on Nov. 19. The decedent was identified as Zonnie T. Cyrus, age 22 of Ridge Spring.
  The Coroner and his staff extend their heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mr. Cyrus.
  The Coroner’s Office is working closely with the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office and SLED as they continue a criminal investigation into this matter.


(Saluda Fire Department photos)

Valley Protein Catches Fire

  A fire  broke out at the Valley Protein plant in Ward on Thanksgiving Day.
  According to Saluda County Emergency Management Director Josh Morton,  the fire was called in around 2:15 p.m. as a structure fire at Valley Proteins - which is located on Valpro Road in the Ward community.
  Morton said plant officials said the fire started in a cooking unit at the plant but spread to much of the rest of the plant afterward. According to Morton, it took dozens of firefighters from Saluda County and nearby agencies several hours to contain the fire.
  While the fire was considered under control by the 5 p.m. hour, Morton said it was still burning even late into the evening, and crews  remained there through the night.
  Fire marshals were on the scene to try and figure out what caused the fire, but were limited in their investigation by structural safety issues in the damaged portions of the plant. Investigators  utilized drones to look deeper into the plant for those answers.
  Several  fire crews from  neighboring counties including Laurens, Abbeville, Greenwood, and Newberry assisted
  It was too early to assess the overall damage to the plant, which predominantly renders meat by-products for pet food, but Morton said that it is substantial and added that the plant will not likely be able to reopen quickly.

Bear Visits County

Scott Mitchell got quite a surprise last week when he checked his wildlife camera and saw a bear eating at his corn pile. The bear visited a couple a days. The bear was behind his house near the Edgefield - Saluda County line. Mitchell does taxidermy and was asked if he had ever “stuffed” a bear. “I have done rugs and heads. I promised myself a few years ago not to do anymore bears. They’re greasy and messy as heck.
  And wouldn’t you know, one would show up at my house!”