Richland County

North Columbia residents celebrate groundbreaking of Ridgewood Community Center

The small, tight-knit Ridgewood neighborhood broke ground Friday on a new community center that many residents say is a welcome addition to the area. The center’s development was spearheaded by the Richland County Recreation Commission and Richland County Council members. Community leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Ridgewood Community Center. (photo by Kelly Petty) “This is an…

City of Columbia employee killed in construction accident

A construction site cave-in on Pulaski Street killed a city of Columbia employee Friday. Marvis L. Myers, 31, was repairing a pipe around 6 feet below ground level when the hole he was working in to conduct the repairs collapsed on him around 11:40 a.m., according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. Co-workers attempted to rescue Myers and freed him from…

2 Richland County leaders selected for Furman University diversity leaders initiative

Two Richland County civic leaders have been tapped to represent the Midlands in a leadership fellowship hosted by Furman University. Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington and Richland Two School Board member Amelia McKie will serve as fellows in the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative. Richland Two school board member Amelia McKie is one of two leaders picked to…

Richland County sheriff: Person wounded in Sandhill shooting was involved in drug deal

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Tuesday that a shooting at the Village at Sandhill Sunday happened during an illegal drug deal and that the person who was shot is refusing to cooperate with the investigation. Lott said the person who was wounded and shooting suspect met for an illegal drug transaction around noon Sunday in the parking lot of the…

Richland County man accused of bribing child to perform lewd acts

Richland County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man accused of using money to entice a child to perform sexual acts. Henry Richardson (photo provided) Henry Richardson, 52, is charged with criminal solicitation of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Richardson allegedly paid an 11-year-old to perform lewd acts inside Richardson’s car at Meadow Lake Park on Beckman…

Richland County’s transportation advisory committee gives penny program “B” for 2014

Richland County’s citizen watchdog group gave the transportation penny program a grade of “B” just two years since the sales tax referendum went into effect in 2012. Bob Schneider, executive director of The COMET, talks about the transit’s progress in 2014. (photo by Kelly Petty) “It essentially means that TPAC concludes that there has been reasonable implementation and progress in…

USC garage partly closed after vehicle fire

Portions of a garage on the University of South Carolina campus are closed Tuesday morning after a vehicle fire. The school’s Carolina Alert system was used to notify students and others about the fire, which was reported around 8:30 a.m. at the garage at the corner of Park and College streets. A second alert at 9:18 a.m. notified the campus…

Main Street loses prominent business owner as founder of First Thursdays on Main heads to West Columbia

Columbia’s Main Street has lost one of its prominent business owners just as the downtown district begins to attract new retailers and fill vacancies. Mark Plessinger, owner of Frame of Mind, closed up his boutique eyewear store Friday as he moves the company to West Columbia. Frame of Mind’s owner Mark Plessinger said he is relocating his business as part…

Lexington-Richland Five to outsource school substitute hiring with Kelly Educational Staffing

Students in Lexington-Richland School District Five will see many of the same substitute teacher faces this year, but the way those teachers are notified of a school’s need will change starting in the spring. Lexington-Richland Five school board members agreed during their Monday board meeting to enter into a contract with Kelly Educational Staffing, a branch of Kelly Services. The company is the…

Man shot outside Village at Sandhill Bi-Lo

Richland County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the circumstances that led to a shooting Sunday in the parking lot of the Bi-Lo store at the Village at Sandhill. Witnesses told deputies someone in a vehicle in the parking lot fired shots into a second vehicle parked nearby around noon Sunday. Both vehicles left the scene. Deputies later were contacted by staff at…

Bose announces 300 job cuts with Blythewood plant shutdown

About 300 Bose employees will be laid off as the global audio manufacturing company announced Thursday it would close its operations in Blythewood. The plant will operate until September 2015. “Our rapid global growth requires us to keep pace with our customers, dealers, distributors, resellers and stores, and serve them as efficiently as possible,” said Bryan Fontaine, executive vice president of…

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin challenges leadership to keep promises in State of City address

  Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin asked the city to exhibit leadership in a sweeping speech that highlighted milestones in the city’s economic development, infrastructure investment and public safety. Benjamin reflected on his own circumstances to push for greater opportunities for all people in the city to achieve what he called “Columbia’s Promise.” “Let us make this promise today — Columbia’s Promise…

UPDATE: Forest Drive Sam’s Club open after Sunday fire

Sam’s Club on Forest Drive is open for business after a fire Sunday forced a brief closure. Firefighters put out a fire at Sam’s Club on Forest Drive Sunday morning. The store reopened later Sunday. (photo provided) Columbia firefighters said an electrical problem was to blame for the fire, which started in a freezer at the store around 7:20 a.m….

Fire destroys Hopkins house

The Richland County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating after a fire destroyed a home in Hopkins on Monday. Columbia firefighters responded to a call around 5:30 p.m. and found most of the house at 108 Deer Ridge Road already in flames. Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis said it took around three hours to get the fire under control because…

Columbia officials celebrate MLK Day by encouraging younger generation to persevere

Columbia Urban League’s President and CEO James T. McLawhorn Jr. on Monday challenged the community to encourage young people to succeed at the city’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. The 27th annual event marked a day of service around the Midlands in honor of King’s legacy. Columbia Urban League’s President and CEO James T. McLawhorn speaks to guests Monday…

Columbia police officer suspended after video of fight surfaces

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook announced Sunday night that he has suspended an officer after the officer allegedly was seen hitting an individual repeatedly during a fight early Sunday morning. Holbrook said police learned through social media that video had been posted of an incident outside Columbia Sound Stage, a concert and event venue at 1800 Blanding St. A fight…

No charges for driver who struck pedestrian in Blossom Street

Columbia police said a pedestrian injured in a collision with a vehicle Saturday night was in the road unlawfully. A driver hit the pedestrian around 10:45 p.m. Saturday in the 1900 block of Blossom Street. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a broken leg. No other serious injuries were reported. Police said the driver,…

Sam’s Club on Forest Drive closed indefinitely after fire

The Sam’s Club store on Forest Drive in Columbia will be closed Sunday and possibly for several days after a fire Sunday morning. Firefighters put out a fire at Sam’s Club on Forest Drive Sunday morning. The store remains closed. (photo provided) Columbia firefighters were called to the store around 7:20 a.m. and were able to contain the fire to…

Richland County Council launches Human Trafficking Coalition

Richland County Council is poised to take action on human trafficking in the community. Inspired by the work of students at Westwood High School, Councilman Jim Manning unveiled the newly formed Human Trafficking Coalition. Richland County Councilman Jim Manning (far right) and Julie Ann Dixon (far left) present a resolution Wednesday establishing the county’s human trafficking coalition. (photo by Kelly…

UPDATE: Coroner identifies person killed on S.C. Highway 277

The pedestrian killed after being struck by a vehicle on S.C. Highway 277 Tuesday night was a Columbia teenager. Christopher Darnell Smith, 15, died at the scene of the incident from multiple injuries, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. Columbia police said Smith was hit around 9 p.m. near the James Clyburn Pedestrian Bridge. Police still are investigating the incident….