Council Chairman Dies

REMEMBERED IN CONGRESS - Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan remembered Saluda County Council Chairman Jerry Strawbridge in a session of the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Strawbridge died Mon., Feb. 7. (YourTube screen capture)

County Council Chairman
Jerry Strawbridge Dies

  Saluda County Council Chairman Raymond "Jerry" Gerald Strawbridge, 79, died at his home, Mon., February 7, losing a battle with cancer.
  Strawbridge is the fourth County Council Chairman since 2004 to either die or resign while in office.
  In 2004 Bernard Horne, 56, died of heart disease just a few weeks into the second year of  his second term.
  Horne’s son Hardee won the special election to succeed Bernard. Hardee Horne completed his father’s term and won re-election. Near the end of this second term he announced he could no seek re-election because of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. Horne was at the time employed by the Employment Security Commission.
  In 2010, Don Hancock, a Democrat, took a close 3184-3009 decision over Saluda County Republican Party Chairman Strawbridge for County Council Chairman. Hancock took 51.5 percent of the vote to Strawbridge’s 48.5.
  In his second term, Hancock, 64, died Tues., Aug. 2, 2017, after a more than year long battle with cancer.
  Republican Derrick Jones, a Saluda pastor,  was elected Saluda County Council Chairman Tues., Dec. 19, 2017, defeating Democrat Frank Daniel 961-576 in the special election to fill Hancock’s unexpired term.
  Jones abruptly resigned Fri., Nov. 8., 2019.  In his letter Jones gave no reason for his decision, other than to say it was time to resign.  On Sun., Nov. 10, Jones also resigned as pastor of Saluda Church of God, citing health reasons.
  The special election to fill the unexpired term of Jones was rescheduled several times due to the Corona virus. Strawbridge defeated Democrat Darren Horne for Saluda County Council Chairman Tues., July 14., 2020. The final tally was 1169-521 in Strawbridge’s favor. Strawbridge was sworn into office two days later.
  Strawbridge’s last appearance at a public meeting was in November 2021.
  The candidate filing period for County Council Chair Special Election for Saluda County will open at noon on February 25, 2022, and close at noon on March 5, 2022.
  If any party primary is necessary to determine the party nominee (multiple candidates file for a party nomination), primaries will be held on April 19, 2022. Any necessary runoffs will be held on May 3, 2022.
  Strawbridge was born on July 5, 1942. After graduating from Myrtle Beach High School in 1960, he joined the South Carolina National Guard where he served 40 years. Upon his retirement, he held rank of Sergeant Major for 14 years. He was a Past Master of Pacific Masonic Lodge and member of Saluda Masonic Lodge. He was also a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, as well as a Past District Deputy Grand Master of the 10th Masonic District.
  Strawbridge was previously Chair of the Republican Party of Saluda County, Chair of Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority, and current Chairman of the Saluda County Council. He was a member of Rehoboth United Methodist Church where he served as Chairman of the Administrative Council, was a Sunday School teacher, and delivered several testimonies of his faith.
  Surviving are his wife of 35 years, Denise Rowsam Strawbridge, three daughters, Angela Thompson (John), Katherine Carter (James) and Ashley Rose (Tyler), one son, Raymond Strawbridge, Jr. (Dawn), five sisters, Dianne Aikman (Michael) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Brenda Joyner (Wayne) of Lugoff, Linda Turbyfill (Arthur) of Lugoff, Margo Brooks (Larry) of Dallas, TX and Barbara Jean Stamper (Ryan) of Mansfield, OH, and seven grandchildren, Jacob, Daniel, Phillip, Lee, Clayton, Mason and Kaylin.
  Services were held Sun., Feb. 13, at Rehoboth.

3837 County COVID
Cases, 56 Deaths

  Saluda County’s COVID-19  cases total 3837 (3,103 actual, 734 probable), with 56 deaths (3793 last week).
  The county had 723 cases per 100,000, classified as a high incidence.  Last week, the figure was   1309 cases per 100,000 with a high incidence rating. Twenty-seven weeks ago, the Saluda County figure was 14.7 cases per 100,000 with a low incidence rating.
  The number of tests given in Saluda County is 40,078. Saluda County.
  Counties neighboring Saluda had the following cases (3 weeks): Aiken - 26,034  - 26,900 - 27,290;   Edgefield -   4,618 - 4,764 - 4,856;  Greenwood - 17,988 - 18,839 - 19,163; Lexington - 67,201 - 69,945 - 71,183; Newberry -  9,952 - 10,303 - 10,499.
  Thurs., Feb. 11, 1,647 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by state Department of Health and Environmental Control, with 87 confirmed deaths.
  Positive tests were 13.8%.
  The state total is 1,122,736, with 308,331 probable, and 308,331 deaths and 2,352 probable.
  Be Positive You’re Negative
  DHEC urges South Carolinians to be positive you're negative by routinely getting tested if you're regularly out in the community.  DHEC-sponsored testing is free, doesn't require insurance, and results are available within 72 hours. DHEC's testing options have expanded to include shallow nasal testing, an oral swab, or a saliva test at different locations.
  The local sites giving vaccinations are Emmanuel Family Clinic - Saluda (Public health provider – Rural Health Clinic), 501 West Butler Ave, Saluda, SC 29138.,  the Saluda County Health Department, Mondays and Wednesdays,445-2141, and CVS, appointment, walk-in.