Columbia

‘Operation Green Light’ nets numerous drug, firearms arrests

More than 30 people in the Columbia area have been arrested and charged after a lengthy multi-agency investigation centered around illegal guns and drugs, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook announced Tuesday. Dubbed “Operation Green Light,” the undercover operation originally began in January 2014 and took the combined efforts of the police department’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit, the federal Bureau…

Local music spotlight: Kari Lebby and sandcastles.

Alone No More: Kari Lebby on community, catharsis, and overcoming depression

Even if you’ve never met Kari Lebby, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced something he has been involved in over the past several years in Columbia. Kari Lebby (Photo via Twitter @karilebby) From his collegiate joke-rap duo Sweet Vans, to roles at Trustus Theater (where Lebby is now a company member), to this past summer’s well-received Hoechella festival – and…

This year, beware this type of flu vaccine

Medical experts say popular nasal flu vaccine this year may not protect you or your children

Not all flu vaccines are created equal. At least not this year. In a warning issued Monday, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital officials said people should steer clear of the nasal-spray flu vaccine this season, and opt for a shot instead. Sorry, kids. The warning backs up a recent advisory against the brand name FluMist from the Centers for Disease Control…

Authorities say man’s death at USC likely suicide

Second such death at the same USC parking garage in the past 16 months

The death of an unidentified man found at a USC parking garage is so far being considered a suicide, according to authorities. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts and officials with the State Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the incident, said all indications point to a suicide and not foul play. Watts reported the man, who was in his 30s…

Marcus Lattimore named Heathwood head coach

Marcus Lattimore will be sharing his expertise with even more students at Heathwood Hall. Heathwood Hall announced Lattimore will take over outgoing head football coach Steve Victory. Victory, 3-15 in his two seasons at the helm, will be returning to his home state of Louisiana to tend to family matters. “My wife and I are expecting our first child in…

Jaime Harrison makes bid to become nation’s top Democrat

South Carolina's Democratic leader seeks DNC chairmanship to help transform national party after electoral blowout

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, has announced he intends to seek the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Harrison, an Orangeburg native and Columbia resident, made his official announcement Monday night in the final segment of the Rachel Maddow Show on the MSNBC cable-news network. SCDP chair Jaime Harrison speaks at this past summer’s 2016 Democratic National…

Todd & Moore proceeds benefit breast-cancer detection

Todd & Moore donated more than $1,000 to Palmetto Health Foundation last week to help beat breast cancer in the Midlands. Photo provided The amount was 5 percent of sales during Todd & Moore’s “Sport Your Pink” weekend to benefit the Foundation’s 26th-annual Walk for Life and new Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon. “We’re very grateful that again this year,…

Authorities investigate suspected murder-suicide

Local law enforcement agencies are investigating a possible murder-suicide that began in Richland County and ended in neighboring Orangeburg County. According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was found shot to death on Saturday morning at a home in the 200 block of Morningside Drive. Additionally, a man believed to be the woman’s husband was found dead from…

Amazon donates hundreds of smoke alarms to local fire departments

Representatives from Amazon recently donated 700 smoke alarms to the Lexington County Fire Service and several other Midlands fire departments, which will be installed in local residences. Lexington County Fire Service personnel pose with some of the 700 smoke detectors donated by Amazon to area fire departments. (Photo provided) The smoke alarms were delivered to the Lexington County Fire Services’…

Protesters denounce Donald Trump at State House rally

A couple hundred people gathered Friday night in Columbia in a peaceful protest against President-elect Donald J. Trump, joining thousands more in cities across the nation who have been marching daily since the controversial billionaire’s electoral-vote victory over Hillary Clinton. Anti-Trump forces protest Friday night at the State House. (Photos by Hal Millard) The crowd, hoisting signs and chanting anti-Trump…

Five Points celebrates Col. Jack Van Loan

Statute of Van Loan and new art project dedicated at Centennial Plaza for Veterans Day

Five Points on Friday celebrated Veterans Day with a tribute to a veteran and war hero who has become known as “the unofficial father of Five Points,” Col. Jack Van Loan. Col. Jack Van Loan (seated) is surrounded by Rep. Joe Wilson, Five Points Association Executive Director Amy Beth Franks, Richland County Councilman Seth Rose, Mayor Steve Benjamin, S.C. Department…

Columbia man convicted in Lexington County murder

A Columbia man is headed to prison following his conviction by a Lexington County jury in the shooting death of a 31-year-old man in 2014, the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office announced. Gregory Lamont Brooks (Photo provided) Gregory Lamont Brooks, 23, was found guilty earlier this week on charges of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a…

Columbia College to slash tuition costs

33 percent reduction bucks decades-long trend of rising costs in South Carolina, nationwide

Columbia College is bucking the trend of rising educational costs. The private, predominantly female college announced Thursday it will cut annual tuition by 33 percent, from the current $28,900 to $19,500. Photo provided The lower tuition will apply to full-time students in the college’s traditional undergraduate program starting with the 2017-18 academic year. The school currently has about 640 full-time…

Joe Pinner awarded for Lifetime Achievement

It was a night to recognize the business community. The Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce held its 2016 Annual Awards Dinner and Silent Auction on Wednesday at West Columbia’s Holiday Inn and Suites. The highlight of the night included one of the most recognizable faces in the Midlands. Joe Pinner (center) receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cayce-West…

Annual Carolina-Clemson rivalry festivities set

Several events are set leading up to the Nov. 26 Palmetto Bowl between the University of South Carolina and Clemson. Non-perishable food and monetary donations are being collected by both schools through Nov. 21. The donations will benefit Harvest Hope and Golden Harvest food banks, serving local families including those affected by Hurricane Matthew. More information about where and how to participate can…

Electoral defeat only emboldens Arik Bjorn to fight on

Facing defeat on election night, Arik Bjorn said he was all smiles. While his supporters reached out to console him in his loss to U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson for South Carolina’s Second Congressional District seat, Bjorn said he had nothing to feel bad or sorry about. And, he said, he certainly didn’t feel sorry for himself. Arik Bjorn displays his…

USC Symphony Orchestra teams up with virtuoso violinist

Maestro Donald Portnoy and the USC Symphony Orchestra will present a concert of Hanson and Shostakovich on Tuesday at the Koger Center for the Arts. And they’ll be joined by a very accomplished guest. Sandy Cameron (Image provided by USC) Sandy Cameron, a virtuoso violinist, joins the orchestra on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto in A minor. Cameron has performed extensively as…

Clyburn, McLeod win as Democrats dominate Richland races

County is a bright spot for Democrats on a bleak night

While Republicans across the river in Lexington County were having a field day, Democrats ruled Tuesday in races across Richland County. Nothing really new there, but on a night in which Democrats saw the presidency and both houses of Congress fall into GOP hands, the local victories were a salve nonetheless. “Thank God some sanity prevailed across Richland County tonight,”…

Woman charged in mother’s murder

A Columbia woman has been charged with murder in the strangulation death of her mother, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Daphaney Denise Smith (Photo provided) Daphaney Denise Smith, 37, allegedly strangled her mother to death at a home the two women shared with Smith’s grandmother on Emory Lane in the Columbia area of Lexington County, according to an…

Talented tunesmiths convene for special Columbia event

“Songwriter's Serenade” on November 11 at Foxfield features Tonya Tyner, Kenley Young, and Richard Strater

South Carolina’s music scene is rich with songwriting talent, something the Palmetto Songwriter’s Association was founded to help promote. This week’s edition of their quarterly showcase, “Songwriter’s Serenade” – a free show to be held Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. at Foxfield Bar and Grille at 406 Howard St. – features a trio of talented tunesmiths in Tonya Tyner,…

District 2 congressional candidates face off

Hundreds of students from Lexington get a first-hand look at the political process in live-streamed debate from River Bluff High

Hundreds of students from Lexington County got a chance on Friday to see the political process up close and personal at River Bluff High School. Second District congressional debate participants (from left): Arik Bjorn, incumbent Rep. Joe Wilson, Eddie McCain. (Photo by Rachel Ham) A debate between District Two GOP congressional incumbent Rep. Joe Wilson of Springdale, and challengers Democrat…

Lexington-Richland 5 program named state’s best

Project SEARCH helps students with disabilities prepare for future careers

A program in a local school district is proving to employers that students with certain disabilities can make great employees. And now, the program has been recognized statewide. Lexington-Richland Five’s Project SEARCH has been recognized for its efforts to help students with disabilities explore and prepare for career opportunities. (Photo provided) The Project SEARCH program in Lexington-Richland School District Five…

Military vet to share her tale of grit and spirit

CeCe Mazyck of Columbia is paralyzed, but that won't stop her

Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck of Columbia is a paralyzed U.S. Army Reserves veteran, but she is anything but a helpless victim. In 2003, during a routine parachute-training jump at Fort Bragg, N.C., Mazyck damaged her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors told the University of South Carolina graduate she would never walk again. Columbia native Centra “Ce-Ce”…

Statewide prison drug ring results in indictments

West Columbia woman, three inmates in Columbia prisons face criminal counts for trafficking meth

A total of 15 people – including seven state-prison inmates – have been indicted amid charges the group ran a drug ring from behind prison walls that trafficked methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Thursday. Among those included in the indictments were a West Columbia woman, as well as inmates at the Broad River, Walden, and Graham Correctional Institutions in…

Columbia’s Main Street ICE returning for a fifth season

Sharpen up those skates and put that whole “Famously Hot” slogan in the deep freeze. Outdoor ice-skating is returning to downtown Columbia. (Image via Columbia Parks and Recreation Dept.) Main Street ICE, the City of Columbia’s outdoor ice skating rink, will return for its fifth season Thanksgiving Day at Boyd Plaza (at the corner of Main and Hampton streets), city…