Richland County

Richland One taps Craig Witherspoon as new superintendent amid concerns over his past performance

Richland One School Board announced what some parents saw as a controversial pick to lead the district. Craig Witherspoon was selected to serve as the new district superintendent, nearly four months after he resigned from Birmingham City Public Schools in Alabama. Craig Witherspoon, new superintendent for Richland One school district (photo provided) “On behalf of this Board, I would like…

Columbia parents accused of abusing infant

Richland County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Columbia couple accused of abusing their 5-week-old child. Christopher Knox (photo provided) Jennifer Knox (photo provided) Christopher Knox, 33, and Jennifer Knox, 32, are charged with inflicting great bodily injury upon a child and unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian. Both are in custody at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center…

Teen arrested in connection with stabbing at Lower Richland High School

Richland County sheriff’s deputies have arrested one of three suspects in connection with the stabbing of a Lower Richland High School student on the school’s campus. Brandyn Heyward Goodson, 19, is charged with attempted murder and assault by mob. Goodson and two other people allegedly went onto the campus Monday afternoon and attacked a 15-year-old male student, stabbing him several…

Columbia’s proposed human rights commission faces criticism over gay rights

A proposed human rights commission for the city of Columbia drew the ire of some community members who say the city is attempting to protect certain groups and promote gay rights. The city called to order an ad hoc committee Tuesday to discuss an ordinance that would state the city’s opposition to discrimination of all forms and recognize various groups…

Columbia City Council considers developing public art program for city parks

Columbia’s arts and historic preservation committee discussed a plan to expand public art into the city’s many parks during a Tuesday meeting. The idea was born out of committee Chairman Moe Baddourah’s desire to spread public art from Main Street out to parks that are undergoing renovation. “I think there’s an effort to redesign some of the parks around the…

Burton Pack Elementary School celebrates African-American women for Black History Month

The young and the young at heart came together Monday to share stories of notable African-American women in history during a Black History Month assembly at Burton Pack Elementary School. The students and foster grandparents of Burton Pack Elementary School’s Black History program (photo by Kelly Petty) Students were paired with adults from the Foster Grandparents program sponsored by local…

Student stabbed at Lower Richland High School

Three men came onto the Lower Richland High School campus and stabbed a 15-year-old student Monday afternoon, according to Richland County sheriff’s deputies. The student, whose injuries are not life-threatening, was attacked near the back entrance of the school around 3:30 p.m., according to deputies. Investigators said they have identified the three suspects but have not released their names. The suspects are…

Richland County’s penny advisory committee wants council to review road projects list

Richland County’s transportation penny advisory committee members want County Council to review the $1 billion program to find cost savings and to ensure projects reflect the needs of the county. The citizen-led group agreed Monday to send recommendations to council that would create a detailed process and policies for evaluating road and greenway projects. “There isn’t a process right now,”…

Minor league baseball officials unveil renderings inside future stadium on Bull Street

Hardball Capital is unveiling the first look at the interior of Spirit Communications Park and is offering companies and individuals the chance to buy up one of 16 luxury suites, the first available seats in the stadium. “The Luxury Suites at Spirit Communications Park will be first-class,” said Jason Freier, CEO of Hardball Capital. “They will offer an amazing view…

Richland One on 2-hour delay Thursday

Students are on a 2-hour delay Thursday in Richland School District One. Buses will pick up students two hours later than normal, but parents still are cautioned to dress their children as warmly as possible. Students will be served breakfast and lunch at school. The Preschool Children with Disabilities Program morning session is canceled for Thursday, and the PCD Program afternoon session…

Richland County to unveil neighborhood cleanup program for Broad River Road

The Richland County Neighborhood Improvement Program will unveil plans to clean up litter along the Broad River Road Corridor at a community meeting Thursday. The Cleanup the Corridor Campaign also is designed to engage residents in community activism. “The Cleanup the Corridor Campaign was targeted for Broad River Road due to its position as a major commercial thoroughfare that serves…

Truck hits Columbia College dorm; no students injured

Columbia police are investigating after a man drove a pickup truck off the road and hit a Columbia College dorm Wednesday morning. The scene from the porch of the dorm hit by the truck Wednesday at Columbia College (photo provided) Police said the man, whose name has not been released, was driving south on Fairfield Road around 9:30 a.m. He…

Columbia City Council passes measure to avoid privatization of water, sewer system

Columbia City Council unanimously passed a measure Tuesday night to allow City Manager Teresa Wilson to receive proposals to make the city’s system efficient without turning over control to a private company. City Council discusses the water and sewer measure during Tuesday’s meeting. (photo by Kelly Petty) Council convened within the past week and brought back a resolution that would keep privatization of the…

Columbia unveils marker commemorating 1865 burning of city

The 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia arrived Tuesday on a cold day that South Carolina Department of Archives and History Director Eric Emerson said was “not too unlike that day in 1865, except there should be more wind, more cotton and more liquor.” Ehren Foley (left) and Eric Emerson on Tuesday unveiled Columbia’s newest historical monument commemorating the…

Tige Watts decries Bull Street development, former homeless plan in bid for office

Neighborhood leader and campaign consultant Tige Watts told a group of supporters Monday that he would let truth guide his decisions if elected to one of two of Columbia’s at-large City Council seats. Tige Watts (center) talks about his platform as a Columbia City Council at-large candidate. (photo by Kelly Petty) “Our citizens deserve leadership they can trust,” Watts said.”…

Downtown YMCA getting new home in Columbia

Getting fit in downtown Columbia will look a little different in a year’s time as the YMCA of Columbia is closing up its historic facility and moving to a brand-new one. The YMCA of Columbia will move into 2016 with a new facility. (photo provided) Officials announced the new Downtown Columbia YMCA will be built at the corner of Bull and…

Walking trail at Riverfront Park to close for construction

The Riverfront Park walking trail just below the Broad River Road bridge will be closed intermittently beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday for construction of a new overhead electrical transmission line to the SCE&G Lyles Substation. Sections of the walking trail will require intermittent closures as a safety precaution for pedestrians. Riverfront Park will remain open throughout the period of construction. More information…

Confederate Soldier’s Home earns historical marker recognizing women’s contribution to Civil War

The Richland County Conservation Commission unveiled a historical marker Sunday dedicated to the historic South Carolina Confederate Soldier’s Home, site of the first female-managed health institution of its kind in the state. Brian Dolphin (second from left) poses with contributors to his thesis at Sunday’s historical marker dedication. (photo by Kelly Petty) “This is basically like the capstone of my master’s…

Richland One students, community leaders participate in 7th annual Together We Can Read initiative

More than 2,000 third-graders in Richland One spent Thursday morning participating in reading time with more than 100 elected officials and community members as part of the district’s seventh annual Together We Can Read initiative. Columbia City Councilman Brian Newman reads to students at Burton-Pack Elementary School (photo by Kelly Petty). “This is important because it encourages children  to read,”…

Local campaign strategist to announce run for Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan’s seat

Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan will face competition for his seat this November from a longtime local campaign strategist. Community activist Tige Watts is expected to announce his intent to run Monday. Tige Watts plans to run for Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan’s at-large seat (photo provided) “As a neighborhood president, I help people every day with their problems. Some are…

Consultants say city of Columbia could pay $19.5 million to overhaul Finlay Park

Consultants working on the master plan for Finlay Park told Columbia City Council on Tuesday that it could cost the city $19.5 million to overhaul the deteriorating park. A rendering of what the new Finlay Park could look like (photo provided). Mark Johnson, consultant with landscape architecture firm Civitas, said the park would undergo a complete reconstruction after years of…

Questions from Columbia City Council members pull water, sewer anti-privatization resolution off table

More than two hours passed during Tuesday night’s Columbia City Council meeting before Columbia City Councilwoman Leona Plaugh withdrew her resolution to state the council’s intent not to privatize the city’s water and sewer system. Pressure from other council members to make changes to the motion left questions about how the city would proceed with improving the system. Resident and…

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott promoted to brigadier general in State Guard

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott now has a new title: brigadier general. Sheriff Lott’s promotion ceremony Saturday (photo provided) South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston on Saturday promoted Lott from colonel to brigadier general in the State Guard. The State Guard is an all-volunteer organization that responds to assist the South Carolina National Guard in times of emergencies or disasters. Lott…