Business

Riverbanks’ Zoo director announces retirement

Satch Krantz will step down in June after more than 40 years

Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, has announced plans to retire on June 30, marking the end of an era in the zoo’s history. “I have been blessed with a wonderfully rewarding career,” said Krantz in a release. “All along I’ve had a supportive governing authority, an incredibly talented staff, and a community that cares deeply…

New tenant coming to Killian’s Crossing shopping center

Founders Federal Credit union to join Kroger Marketplace, Chick-fil-A and others at growing Northeast Columbia center

Another business has committed to Killian’s Crossing, a Kroger Marketplace-anchored “lifestyle center” located at the intersection of Killian’s Road and Interstate 77 in Blythewood. Founders FCU, which operates 27 offices and three service centers in 11 counties across North and South Carolina, recently purchased 1.84 acres of land at the center to build a 5,000-square-foot branch at the site, according…

Trustus Theatre to shed light on social justice

Trustus Theatre is Columbia’s go-to place for cutting-edge, live-theater productions, but this week is different. This week, they’ll be doing more than acting out scenes on stage when the venue hosts the local gathering of The Ghostlight Project’s nationwide effort to shine a light on issues of social justice. This Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. – on the eve of…

Columbia ranks first in South Carolina in livability

But Columbia MSA has work to do in other key areas, report concludes

The Columbia metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is ranked higher than Greenville and Charleston MSAs and is tied with Raleigh in livability, according to EngenuitySC’s third annual Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report. 2016 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report USC President Harris Pastides presents Engenuity’s report Friday in Columbia. (Photo by Jeff Blake) The report, announced Friday by Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and USC…

Cayce’s Hard Knox Grill – gone but not forgotten

Short-lived, but legendary, rock club will hold a musical reunion at Ozzie's on Sunday

A live music club is a hard business to operate, as anyone who’s tried it will tell you. Photo provided Pete Koutrakos took a stab at it back in 2009 with the Cayce rock club Hard Knox Grill, which only lasted a little more than a year. Patrons and staff remember it fondly enough, however, to have organized a reunion…

Marriott hotel in Cayce has spring opening date

A landmark property is scheduled to open in Cayce in late spring. Last March, ground was broken for the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. The new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Cayce is set to open soon. (Photo by Terry Ward) “We expect it to be completed by late spring, and open in May at the latest,” said Kristen Myers. She’s…

Software firm announces major Columbia expansion

A Columbia-based software firm announced it is set to rapidly expand its operations. Rendering of First Base Building (Image provided) TCube Solutions will be next new tenant of the First Base Building at the BullStreet development adjacent to Spirit Communications Park on the grounds of the state’s former mental hospital, the company announced. The firm, which services the insurance industry…

‘Adult spelling bee,’ with a twist of adult beverages, spells F-U-N

Leave your kids at home for this grown-up fundraiser to benefit the Columbia Children's Theatre

Spelling bees are a part of our national culture, from the famous Scripps National Spelling Bee to local contests within our own children’s schools. If you are an adult spelling and word afficionado, however, opportunities to prove that skill are mostly limited to Facebook games and Scrabble nights. For the third year, however, Columbia Children’s Theatre is hosting “Columbia S-P-E-L-L-S,”…

Keep on truckin’ — Love’s Travel Spot opens in Cayce

Love’s Travel Spot got some love Tuesday. “The City of Cayce welcomes you. If there is anything we can help you with, let us know,” said Cayce Mayor Pro-Tem James “Skip” Jenkins. Photos by Terry Ward Jenkins spoke as the ribbon was cut for the new 12,000-square-foot travel center. Love’s was built in Richland County, but Cayce reached across the…

Lexington County seeks public input on flood hazards

Have property in Lexington County? Does it sometimes flood? Then officials want to hear from you. Lexington County officials announced Monday they are seeking help from the public to identify areas within the county that historically flood as they seek to develop a new comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan. A public-input meeting has been scheduled for January 17, from 5:30 p.m….

Commercial rent rates exploding in downtown Cola

Landlords are increasing the asking rents on office space by three to five percent every year in downtown Columbia, according to a new report by realty firm Colliers International – South Carolina. Since the fourth quarter of 2012, the overall average asking rental rate for downtown office space has increased 28.2 percent to $21.06 per square foot a year. Over…

Columbia Kroger stores raise thousands for Harvest Hope

Generosity poured out in abundance across Columbia over the holidays as Kroger grocery store customers and associates contributed more than $7,240 in just six weeks to Kroger’s 2016 Can Hunger campaign – and an additional $4,000 to a second initiative benefiting the Harvest Hope Food Bank. From Nov. 13 through Dec. 24, Kroger customers supported the annual Can Hunger campaign…

New faces, new era for Lexington County Council

Chairman Todd Cullum: "Will we pull together as a team?"

With the beginning of 2017, a substantial portion of Lexington County Council will be new. One-third of council will be made up of newcomers. Scotty Whetstone in District 1; Darrell Hudson in District 3; and, Erin Long Bergeson in District 6 were just elected to Council in 2016. They join reelected incumbents Debra “Deb” Summers in District 4 and Bobby…

Dangerous West Cola crosswalk to receive major upgrade

More than 2,000 state employees live in Lexington County. Many of them take Sunset Boulevard – or US 378 – through West Columbia to work in Columbia. One of the most pedestrian-heavy areas of Sunset is at the House of Raeford poultry processing plant, near Meeting Street. The plant employs hundreds, and workers must cross the street to get to…

Passenger traffic continues to rise at Columbia Metropolitan Airport

The numbers are up again at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. At the end of November, Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CMA) recorded a 2.91 percent increase in the number of passengers and enplanements. And passenger traffic, combining arrivals and departures, was up 3.33 percent, compared to data from 2015. In raw numbers, into November 516,091 passengers boarded flights at CMA. In the same…

Lexington deputies on the hunt for armed robbers

Lexington County deputies are searching for two men who attempted to rob a Lexington County business Wednesday night. Surveillance photos provided According to a clerk, the two men entered the C Mart on Two Notch Road around 9 p.m. wearing sweatshirts, masks and gloves. The victim told deputies the men struck her, pointed a gun, and demanded money from the…

I-26 overpass in West Cola finally taking shape

You can see the roadbed beginning to develop as truckloads of dirt are dumped. The piles of dirt are being brought in for the shifted road being built. It’s all part of the construction of a new bridge over Interstate 26 on Leaphart Road in West Columbia. Construction is seen in the background as work ramps up on a new…

Rep. Joe Wilson lays out agenda for GOP-controlled Washington

Excited about the prospect of a federal government fully dominated by Republicans for the first time in 16 years, Congressman Joe Wilson on Tuesday outlined his personal agenda when President-elect Donald Trump and the 115th Congress take the reins of power next month. The last time the GOP controlled all three branches of government occurred in 2001, when George W….

Lexington Medical Center Irmo unit earns top national awards

Lexington Medical Center Irmo’s Ambulatory Surgery department is one of the highest-rated healthcare facilities in the nation for patient experience. That distinction comes from Press Ganey, a national company based in Indiana that tracks and ranks the delivery of healthcare across the country through patient surveys. Members of Lexington Medical Center Irmo’s Outpatient Surgery department in the operating room. (Photo…

Hospital offers help on this major New Year’s resolution

If quitting smoking is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, local health professionals are offering free help to kick the habit. Palmetto Health, in conjunction with Philip Michels, Ph.D., and Dr. Gary Ewing, announced they will be offering a free comprehensive, adult smoking-cessation program to residents of Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, and Sumter counties. Recent results have shown 74 percent…

Pelion Police get help in battle against auto theft

Auto theft continues to impact citizens in South Carolina and across the country. In 2015, there were nearly 13,000 auto thefts in South Carolina according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Specifically, Columbia and the surrounding area, which includes Pelion, saw more than 3,000 thefts. To help reduce the impact of theft on citizens, the Pelion Police Department recently installed…

Police on the hunt for Five Points bandits

Columbia police are looking for two suspects after a robbery in Five Points on Tuesday night. The incident took place at the Jimmy John’s sub-sandwich shop at 2015 Devine St., where “the smells are free,” but the cash in the register is most definitely not. Surveillance photo of alleged suspects (Photo provided) Employees at the restaurant told police two men…

Fire strikes Gaston business

Authorities are investigating a fire that struck a Gaston business Monday afternoon. Lexington County 911 Communications dispatched Lexington County Fire Service and EMS personnel to a commercial structure fire reported at the Diamond Pet Food Warehouse, located in the 100 block of Woodtrail Drive, just after 3:30 p.m. according to county spokesman Harrison Cahill. When personnel arrived, fire and smoke…

Bluff Road widening project underway

Enhanced walkways, lighting highlight initial phase of Richland penny-tax funded transportation project

Construction on the first phase of a project to widen Bluff Road near Williams-Brice Stadium is underway. The work is the latest major effort of the Richland County Penny Transportation Program and is designed to increase pedestrian safety and improve traffic flow along the major sports and recreational hub around the stadium and nearby South Carolina State Fairgrounds. The project…

Michelin volunteers renovate nature trail with RBES students

Local volunteers recently answered the call of Red Bank Elementary School students who wanted to restore a nature trail at their school. Photo provided Members of the Michelin Wildlife and Industry Together team arrived armed with shovels, tree trimmers, and garden tools. Alongside RBES students, they cleaned up and renovated the school’s nature trail. By the end of the project,…