Richland County

Richland County Council approves construction contract for future trail, nature center

Richland County Council approved a contract with Columbia-based Corley Construction earlier this week for $471,000 to build the Cane Creek Pedestrian Trail and Nature Center. The project is part of a redevelopment master plan for the Crane Creek community in northern Richland County near Fairfield and Monticello roads off Interstate 20. The community encompasses seven neighborhoods, including Bookert Heights, Crane…

Richland County considers new voting technology to improve election process

Officials with the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board think they’ve found a way to make voting a less arduous process. A Clemson University research professor has developed three different technologies to decrease long waits and ensure election results are clean and accurate. Clemson University Professor Juan Gilbert talks about Prime III on Wednesday. (photo by Kelly Petty) “There’s…

Richland County Council approves project development team process for transportation program

Richland County Council on Tuesday approved in a 6-5 voted recommendations from the ad hoc transportation committee on how it would handle proposal presentations for the project development team finalists. Council members Seth Rose, Kelvin Washington, Paul Livingston, Jim Manning and Damon Jeter opposed. The committee, led by Livingston, decided each team would be allotted 45 minutes for the presentation,…

Richland County Council votes to fund Decker Center with bonds from other projects

Richland County Council voted to shift money from other pending projects to fund the $31 million Decker Center for administrative offices and magistrate courts. The county has decided to use bond money from projects that include a new EMS headquarters, a record retention storage facility and a detention center equipped with a 100-bed medical unit and juvenile facilities separate from…

Richland County ‘State of the Penny’ report lays out goals for transportation program

Representatives from Richland County and the Central Midlands Transit Authority laid out a brisk timeline Monday to jump-start the $1.07 billion transportation program that will affect traffic for the next two decades. Director of Transportation Rob Perry (from left) and CMTA Executive Director Rob Schneider talk about what’s next for the transportation program. (photo by Kelly Petty) Rob Perry, Richland…

Richland County Council to discuss transportation penny tax program at special meeting

Transportation will be the main topic of discussion Tuesday during a special Richland County Council meeting. The meeting comes a day after the county revealed its first report on the transportation penny tax program and its future projects, and council will hear from the county administrator’s office an update on development teams to be formed to oversee various road projects….

Goodwill breaks ground on new Richland County facility

Goodwill is expanding its services into the Midlands. Representatives from the Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday afternoon for its newest donation and job center in the northeastern part of Richland County. “The northeast is an area of growth for this,” said Bradford Majors, vice president of marketing and development for Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands…

Richland Two School Board censures Melinda Anderson

In a 5-2 vote, the Richland Two School Board censured board member Melinda Anderson for her actions regarding an incident in which she made threatening remarks toward a high school coach. Anderson and board member Monica Elkins-Johnson were the opposing votes. The board released a statement in early November after it was revealed in an Oct. 7 Richland County Sheriff’s…

Richland Two School Board approves name for Elementary 19, adopts school calendar

In separate unanimous decisions, the Richland Two School Board voted to approve the name for Elementary 19 and the calendar for the 2014-15 school year. Elementary 19 will be known as Lake Carolina Elementary School Upper Campus, while the current Lake Carolina Elementary School will add “Lower Campus” to its name. Both names reflect the culture of the Lake Carolina…

Richland County Sheriff’s Department launches ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ project

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced that his department’s Project HOPE — Helping Our Precious Elderly — is teaming up with local businesses for the Be a Santa to a Senior project, which will provide gifts to seniors who otherwise might not receive one this holiday season. Lott said anyone can stop by Sheriff’s Department headquarters at 5623 Two Notch Road…

Richland County election director apologizes for election errors

Richland County Election Director Howard Jackson told the Municipal Election Commission during a Tuesday morning meeting that the failure to count all absentee ballots won’t happen again. “I take full responsibility and I assure the public, this won’t happen again,” Jackson said. For the Nov. 5 election, 128 precincts were counted. The city of Columbia certified 29,660 votes but did…

Update: Missing Richland County man found dead in Clarendon County

A Richland County man missing since Saturday was found dead Tuesday in Clarendon County. Authorities do not suspect foul play in his death. Jerry Glenn Helms (photo provided) Clarendon County Sheriff’s deputies found 84-year-old Jerry Glenn Helms around 4 p.m. Tuesday in the woods off Gov. Richardson Road near Summerton. A resident saw Helms’ van abandoned on the side of…

Richland County man missing since Saturday

Richland County Sheriff’s deputies say an elderly man missing since Saturday could be in danger. Jerry Glenn Helms (photo provided) Jerry Glenn Helms, 84, last was seen around 11 a.m. Saturday at his home on Todd Branch Road. He told family members he was going to run errands but never returned. Deputies said Helms has health concerns that could lead to…

Richland County, city of Columbia offices to close for Thanksgiving holiday

The city of Columbia and Richland County will close their offices Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Residents within the city limits are scheduled to have garbage and recyclables picked up Wednesday. Normal trash pickup will resume on Friday. For Richland County residents, solid waste collection scheduled for Thursday will be collected on Friday, while Friday’s garbage…

Richland County seeks proposals for project managers, engineers for transportation penny tax program

Richland County is seeking proposals to hire project managers and engineers to oversee and design the $769 million Penny Sales Tax Transportation Program. The program consists of several major transportation improvement projects including road widening, intersection, greenway, bike and pedestrian paths. The program is expected to generate over $1 billion within the next 22 years. The call for proposals moves…

Local law enforcement earns awards in shooting competition

Several Columbia Police officers and Richland County Sheriff’s deputies brought home awards from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Training Conference Shooting Match on Monday and South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association’s Pistol Competition on Wednesday. The events bring together the top shooters from law enforcement agencies across the state to compete in a safe and monitored area. The CPD team…

It’s time for a hand jive as Dreher High School presents ‘Grease’

In a flurry of poodle skirts, leather jackets and black-and-white saddle shoes, Dreher High School drama students are getting final notes about their characters. It’s Wednesday night, the last dress rehearsal, and the students are preparing for their production of the Broadway hit “Grease.” Drama teacher Jeanette Arvay-Beck operates like a drill sergeant whipping her students up to embody the…

Belvedere residents question Columbia city officials on crime, infrastructure problem

Frustrated resident of the Belvedere community demanded action by city officials to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. About 40 homeowners gathered Thursday night at Burton-Pack Elementary School to speak face-to-face with administrators from the zoning, transportation and police departments as well as with City Manager Teresa Wilson about crumbling sidewalks, faulty sewer lines and code enforcement violations….

State transportation board approves $550 million in projects; Malfunction Junction to receive improvements

Changes are coming for several major roadways after the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank Board unanimously approved a lengthy list of projects this week. Among the items included were improvements to the interchange between Intersate 20 and Interstate 26 commonly referred to as Malfunction Junction. The SCTIB met Tuesday to review projects in Lexington, Richland, Greenville, Spartanburg and Cherokee counties….

Richland Two school board votes to split grades between Lake Carolina, Elementary 19

In a 6-2 decision, the Richland Two school board voted to split the grade levels at Lake Carolina Elementary School to make Elementary 19 a third-through-fifth-grade school. Lake Carolina will serve students from kindergarten through second grade. Both schools will serve students who live in the Lake Carolina community; students who live in the Ashland subdivision will be reassigned to…