Supposed Vehicle Death

Now Ruled a Homicide

  A death that was originally thought to be a vehicle accident fatality has now been ruled a homicide.
  On the late evening of Friday, January 20th, the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle crash on May Branch Road in Saluda County. Minutes prior to receiving a 911 call related to the crash, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to shots fired in the area of May Branch Road.  
  The occupant of the passenger car involved in the crash died on the scene and  was identified identified by the Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner  as Alex K. Donaldson, age 26, of Orangeburg. An autopsy was performed on the following Monday and revealed Donaldson died of a gunshot wound.
  Through the course of this investigation, the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office has identified and obtained arrest warrants for Bernard Gilliam Jr. and Tridarin Weaver.  Both are charged with the offenses of Murder and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office is working with the US Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Fugitive Task Force to assist in locating both Gilliam and Weaver.
  If you have any information relating to the whereabouts of Bernard Gilliam Jr. and Tridarin Weaver, please contact the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office.   
  The Saluda County Coroner’s Office appreciates the response and assistance of Saluda County EMS and the other responding agencies.  We extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Donaldson.

SLED Charges  County Woman

  Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) charged Sherry Rodgers Kirkland, 61, of Saluda, SC, on January 12, 2023, with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent.
  According to the warrant, Mrs. Kirkland “did knowingly, willingly, and without the lawful authority to do so, take, steal, or convert to her ownership, more than $1 0,000,00 from her employer, the Amick Grove Pentecostal Holiness Church, where she held a position of trust. This offense occurred between January l, 201l, and December 12, 2018 at 2090 Batesburg Highway, Batesburg, SC, which is located within the legally recognized boundaries of Saluda County, South Carolina.”
  Kirkland was booked at the Saluda County Detention Center. The case will be prosecuted by the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Big Rainfall Makes It Soggy

 No one needs to be told January 2023 was a wet month.
  In fact, the 7.54 inches of rain during the month was the largest January total in recent history.
  This compares to the 3.82 inches that fell during the same time last year.
  Rain fell on 14 days during the month.
  January  had some some mild temperatures.
  The temperatures ranged from a high of 46 on Jan. 23 to 71 on Jan. 4. The lowest morning temperature, 23, was recorded on Jan. 16 and 17.
  This information was reported by NWS observer Edwin Riley at the Saluda CPW.

77 County COVID
 Cases In January

  Saluda County’s COVID-19  cases total 77 from Jan. 1-28. There is a positivity percent of 15.9.
  Saluda County has 14 completed vaccinations and ranks 46th in the state.
  The number of tests given in Saluda County is 272.
  Counties neighboring Saluda had the following cases during the week: Aiken - 700 (20.1% positivity;   Edgefield - 74 (10.3%);  Greenwood -239 (25.59%); Lexington -    1445 (17.27%);  Newberry - 177 (12.1%).
  Positive tests were  17.3% in the state.
  The state total is 19,707 and 127 deaths.
  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.