Richland County

Richland Two School Board member accused of threatening to kill Westwood football coach

Richland Two School Board member Melinda Anderson allegedly threatened to kill Westwood High School’s football coach, according to Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators and board Chairman Bill Flemming. Melinda Anderson (photo provided) “I’m so angry I just want to kill the coach, and I have a gun,” Anderson is quoted as saying in a Sheriff’s Department incident report dated Oct….

Man accused of attacking Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott

A man is in jail Tuesday evening after allegedly assaulting Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. Lott said he saw Anthony Nelson, 29, around 3 p.m. Tuesday walking in the roadway on Fort Jackson Boulevard near Interstate 77. Lott said he approached Nelson and asked what he was doing because the man was causing a traffic hazard. Lott said Nelson then…

Richland County deputy injured responding to robbery

A Richland County Sheriff’s deputy is recovering at an Augusta hospital after being injured in a wreck while responding to a burglary in progress early Saturday morning. Sheriff Leon Lott said Deputy Robert Furgal was called to a robbery at the Food Mart Convenience Store at 11409 Garners Ferry Road around 1 a.m. Saturday. Furgal’s patrol car hydroplaned, skid off…

Boil water advisory in effect for some in Richland County

A water main broke Monday morning near Doncaster Drive and Saint Albans Road in Richland County, and City of Columbia Water Works officials advised people in the area to boil their water before using it until further notice. The advisory suggests thoroughly boiling water for at least one full minute prior to drinking or cooking. Also, the advisory added that any…

North Columbia residents celebrate reopening of Booker-Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center

North Columbia residents Saturday morning participated in the reopening of the Katheryn M. Bellfield Booker-Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center at 3126 Carver St. “This will improve the quality of life and be an incubator for cultural arts to come and grow,” said Allison Baker, senior assistant manager of the City of Columbia. City officials and residents gathered to celebrate the reopening…

Richland County Sheriff’s Department launches new DUI prevention program

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, University of South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement and Safety and a group of local businesses and community organizations launched a new program on Thursday designed to help prevent drinking and driving. Sheriff Leon Lott said the “Stand up, Stand Out; Show your Shield” program will provide yellow key chains for designated drivers “as a…

75 trees planted in Martin Luther King Jr. Park for TD Trees Days

Volunteers with Keep the Midlands Beautiful spent the weekend planting 75 trees in Martin Luther King Jr. Park off Santee Avenue near Five Points. The park was one of 18 locations nationwide chosen to receive a $17,000 grant from TD Bank as part of TD Forests, the banking organization’s green initiative to reduce paper usage and increase protected forest habitat. Through the…

Richland County offers family financial workshop this Saturday

For residents who need help planning the household budget, Richland County will offer its first-ever countywide family financial empowerment workshop this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Adult Activity Center off of Garners Ferry Road. Photo courtesy of Richland County Representatives from the financial community will offer sessions on basic budgeting, establishing a will at an early…

Columbia City Council work session reveals problems with police department, public safety

Tuesday afternoon’s work session reminded Columbia City Council that it has serious issues to address with the management of the city’s police department. The four-hour long session, which ran right up to the 6 p.m. regular council meeting, completely shifted its focus to police and public safety issues. Agenda items regarding affordable housing task force recommendations and the employee health…

USC President Pastides calls for changes in Five Points after shooting

The president of the University of South Carolina has released a plan calling for changes in Columbia’s Five Points district after the shooting early Sunday morning that left an 18-year-old student in critical condition. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, President Harris Pastides suggested increasing the number of law enforcement officers on duty in Five Points on Thursday through Saturday nights,…

Man dies after being hit while running in roadway

A Hartsville man died Saturday morning after being hit by two vehicles Friday night in Richland County. Coroner Gary Watts said Darius Brown, 20, was visiting family when he went out for a jog around 8:45 p.m. Friday. Watts said Brown apparently was running in the roadway on Longtown Road when he was hit by the side mirror of one…

Richland County hosts conference for healthier, ‘green’ living Saturday

Richland County residents who have an interest in bringing “green” solutions to their communities can attend the 9th annual Neighborhood Planning Conference Saturday at the Columbia Convention Center. The conference will offer tools to help residents lead grassroots and large-scale efforts to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Keynote speaker Ellen Dunham-Jones. Photo courtesy of Richland County. “This…

Richland Two School Board tables proposed pepper spray policy

The Richland Two School Board unanimously tabled a proposed draft policy that would permit security officers to carry pepper spray amid concerns over its implementation. The vote ended further discussion or approval of the draft policy. The board was concerned about the possibility of an officer spraying a student in a potential confrontation. Board member Melinda Anderson believed the policy…

Richland County residents receive flood insurance discounts

Richland County announced last Friday that residents who have flood insurance policies with the county will receive a discount due to an improved flood management rating. Residents will receive a 10 percent reduced premium on flood insurance for properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and 5 percent premium reduction on flood policies for properties located outside of an…

Richland County projects still on schedule despite government shutdown

Two Richland County projects primarily funded by government grants still are scheduled to continue with construction despite the federal government shutdown, according to county officials. The future Hopkins Health Center off of Garners Ferry Road and the Monticello Road improvement project are moving forward while the government faces its eighth day in partial hiatus. Both projects are funded with a…

South Carolina Appleseed presents immigration film, panel discussion

Immigration: The Unpardonable Sin. (photo by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center)  As part of a film series called “Voices from the Margins,” The South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center is hosting a viewing Monday night of the documentary “Immigration: The Unpardonable Sin,” followed by a panel discussion at the Nickelodeon Theatre. Independent filmmaker Andrew Mwangi documented his personal experience going…

Update: Missing Richland County man found

A man missing since Thursday has been found and is safe, according to Richland County Sheriff’s deputies. Mark Barnes II (photo provided) Mark Barnes II and his 10-month-old son disappeared Thursday after Barnes sent his fiancee a text message saying they were on the way home. The baby was returned unharmed Saturday by a family friend, but the search for…

Update: Missing baby found; deputies still searching for father

A baby boy reported missing Friday is safely home, but Richland County Sheriff’s deputies still are looking for the child’s father. Mark Barnes II (photo provided) The 10-month-old boy was dropped off at a family friend’s home and was not hurt, according to investigators. Authorities would not comment on who dropped the child off. His father, Mark Barnes II, last…

City manager excuses Columbia Police officers from marching in SC Pride parade

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson overruled Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago and excused two officers from marching in the SC Pride parade Sept. 28. The front of the SC Pride parade (photo by Allen Wallace) Santiago said the officers told him they objected to the assignment because of their religious beliefs. However, Santiago said that excuse is not acceptable for…

Richland Two schools consider allowing security officers to carry pepper spray

Richland Two School District might arm all security officers with pepper spray. At a Sept. 24 school board meeting, board members were presented with a proposed policy that would permit security officers to carry pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum spray, as a last resort defense for certain situations. Some board members considered pepper spray as an option after…