Lexington County

Lexington County residents speak out on both sides of Penny for Progress at council meeting

Second reading of the ordinance to place the Penny for Progress resolution on the November ballot was before Lexington County Council on Tuesday. After the vote, and before the third and final reading takes place, residents spoke for and against the proposed penny sales tax. The State Budget and Control Board estimates the tax will generate $290 million over the…

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts indicted on federal corruption charges, suspended from office

South Carolina’s State Grand Jury on Tuesday indicted Lexington County Sheriff James Metts on charges of corruption and accepting bribes. Gov. Nikki Haley issued an executive order late Tuesday afternoon suspending Metts from office immediately and appointed Alfred Lewis McCarty as interim sheriff. Lexington County Council Chairman Johnny Jeffcoat said McCarty will be sworn in Wednesday and that a special election…

Pelion Middle School principal announces retirement

Dr. Sandy Jowers is retiring from Pelion Middle after nearly a decade as the school’s principal. (photo provided) Lexington School District One administrators will be looking for a new principal this summer for one of the district’s middle schools. Dr. Sandra Jowers, principal at Pelion Middle, has announced her retirement effective June 30. She has taught in three of the…

Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Dermatology to offer free skin cancer screening

Statistics from local doctors show that instances of skin cancer are on the rise. To promote safe habits and allow people the chance to be diagnosed early, Lexington Medical Center and Palmetto Dermatology are partnering for a free screening this month. “(They) are joining together to provide this important service to our community with the hopes that we can reduce…

Motorcyclists ride for Honor Flight in Lexington County

Dozens of motorcyclists from across the Midlands spent their Saturday afternoon riding to honor those who fought for their freedom to ride. A group of riders prepares to start Saturday’s Benefit Ride for Honor Flight SC (photo by Allen Wallace). The sixth annual Benefit Ride for Honor Flight South Carolina was sponsored by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department along with several…

Town of Lexington pushes forward on construction of first trail along Fourteen Mile Creek

Fourteen Mile Creek Trail in Lexington will soon be opened to the public. (photo by Rachel Ham) Items on the town of Lexington’s Vision Plan continue to be checked off as officials unveil new signage, open a pet-friendly park and host events for the whole family. Parks and recreation workers are staying busy this summer readying the next project, which…

Lexington Planning Commission approves site plans for new Hobby Lobby

The project is in the early stages, but a new Hobby Lobby could be on its way to Lexington. Company officials have not made any official announcement but have submitted a site plan. John Hanson, director of planning, building and technology for the town of Lexington, said the project has received approval by the town’s Planning Commission. Building plans, stormwater plans…

Lexington Co. Sheriff: Deputies looking for criminal domestic violence suspect find him and meth lab

A Columbia man wanted for criminal domestic violence now faces additional charges after deputies said they found him operating a methamphetamine laboratory in Gaston. Jeffery Dale Summers II (photo provided) Jeffery Dale Summers II, 28, was arrested around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home at 604 Fallaw Road near Gaston. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies received a tip that Summers was…

3 charged with distributing meth, marijuana from Lexington homes

Two men and a woman were arrested Tuesday after an undercover investigation of an alleged illegal drug distribution business operating in Lexington. Ralph William Busbee (photo provided) Travis Leon Horton (photo provided) Melissa Hyder (photo provided) Ralph William Busbee, 53, of 125 Wolverton Mountain Lane in Lexington and Travis Leon Horton, 27, of 927 Bluefield Road in Lexington were the…

1 incumbent unseated in Lexington County Council primary

Two Lexington County Council seats were on the Republican primary ballot Tuesday, and one district saw its incumbent defeated. The District 8 race will require a runoff. Unofficial results from the state Elections Commission have Republican challenger Larry Brigham winning District 2 over current Councilman Frank Townsend. The district covers Gilbert, Batesburg-Leesville and Summit. Brigham is a local State Farm…

Lexington Medical Center Foundation Ambassador program gives residents a peek behind the scenes

Residents get a behind-the-scenes look at the daily workings of Lexington Medical Center through the Ambassador program. (photo provided) Weeks after their morning tour of one of the Midlands’ largest employers, members of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation Ambassador class still are raving about the program. The Lexington Medical Center Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the hospital raising funds for…

Lexington County Sheriff: Scammers falsely claiming to be from Sheriff’s Department Warrant Division

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to be aware of a scam involving phone calls from people claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Department Warrant Division. Sheriff James Metts said several people called the Sheriff’s Department on Saturday to ask about the calls. Metts said the callers falsely claimed that bench warrants had been issued to arrest the…

Photo Gallery: Lexington-Richland Five high schools send graduates out into world

Three of the Midlands’ largest senior classes took the stage one by one Thursday at commencement exercises in Columbia. Students at Lexington-Richland School District Five’s Dutch Fork, Chapin and Irmo high schools celebrated graduation surrounded by family, friends and fellow classmates. District staff, board members and administrators were also on hand to wish the seniors well as they enter the…

Lexington-Richland School District Five bus driver puts training into practice to put out fire at student’s home

The quick thinking of Chris Blackwell, a bus driver in Lexington-Richland School District Five, saved a family’s home from severe fire damage. (photo provided) A typical morning on Chris Blackwell’s school bus route turned nearly catastrophic last month, but the driver was able to recall and effectively use his training and save a family’s home. Blackwell was driving his scheduled…

Photo Gallery: Brookland-Cayce, Airport high schools celebrate graduation

Lexington School District Two celebrated double the graduations Wednesday as the Class of 2014 from Brookland-Cayce and Airport high schools picked up their diplomas. The schools serve the Cayce and West Columbia areas. Brookland-Cayce graduates who plan to enlist in the military were recognized at graduation Wednesday. (photo by Allen Wallace) “Today is a milestone for each of our graduates….

Officers arrest 4 in Gilbert meth lab bust

Two men and two women face charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine after officers with the Lexington County multi-agency Narcotics Enforcement Team seized a meth lab at a home on Westfork Road near Gilbert. James Matthew Bennett (photo provided) Raven Hayley Boatwright (photo provided) Dana Eugene Farnsworth, II (photo provided) Amelia Garrett Shirley (photo provided) James Matthew Bennett, 31, of…

Photo Gallery: Nephron Pharmaceuticals opens in Lexington County

Lexington County’s newest manufacturing facility will have not only an immediate and long-term effect on the local community but also a far-reaching impact on people around the world. Lexington County leaders turned out Wednesday for the ribbon cutting celebration at Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Also in attendance were Gov. Nikki Haley, Central SC Alliance President and CEO Mike Briggs, U.S. Rep. Joe…

Irmo Community Park to reopen after tree inspections

The new Irmo Community Park will reopen either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning once tree inspections are complete, according to Irmo Mayor Hardy King. Irmo Town Council members along with Mayor Hardy King and Town Administrator Bob Brown at Tuesday night’s meeting (photo by Allen Wallace) The park has been closed since Saturday when 3-year-old Jacoby Latta was killed by…

West Columbia City Council approves first reading of water rate increases, hears criticism from residents about procedural audit

West Columbia City Council gave first-reading approval Tuesday to a 15 percent increase in water and sewer service fees. Members also passed first reading of the overall 2014-15 budget and amendments to the ordinances that govern council meetings. The proposed general fund budget, which is balanced at $12.8 million, does not include a millage increase. However, residents who receive their…

Lexington Town Council agrees to boost chamber funding

About 30 residents turned out Monday for the Lexington Town Council meeting to show their support for the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center. Their goal was to ask council not to reduce the chamber’s annual funding, and the elected officials did amend their earlier recommendation. Last week, chamber President and CEO Randy Halfacre asked people to attend the June…

Chapin Town Council discusses ideas for town’s long-term future

After several contentious meetings at which some council members left or did not attend at all, elected officials in Chapin participated in a discussion of the town’s future. The entire council took part Thursday in reviewing areas of town operations and government like capital projects, the budget, communication and public safety. Mayor Skip Wilson previously solicited input from council members,…

Lexington Two elementary school among 4 winners of state grant

One of Lexington School District Two’s elementary schools is among the 2014 award winners for a state grant. Brookland-Cayce Grammar School No. 1 was selected along with three other schools to receive the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Whole Child Initiative Grant. The initiative sets the standards to ensure students are given tools for long-term success. Schools who…

Photo Gallery: Lexington One seniors begin new chapter at graduation

Lexington School District One has several hundred brand-new alumni following Saturday’s commencement exercises at the Carolina Coliseum. Lexington High School kicked off the graduation celebrations followed by Pelion and White Knoll high schools. Students who have led their schools all year as members of Student Council had the opportunity to reflect on what the last 12 years have meant to…