Richland County

Lexington-Richland Five students give back to veterans, families in need

Multiple agencies and organizations received a holiday boost this year with help from students in Lexington-Richland School District Five. When they weren’t busy at practice or studying for tests, kids from across the district raised money and collected donations to benefit people who served their country and families in need in their local community. Students in the Law Enforcement Program…

Richland Library partners with Hoopla Digital to offer free movies, music

Richland Library announced Monday that it is partnering with online media service Hoopla Digital to give customers mobile access to movies, audio books and music. The library system is one of several around the country that have signed up for the service. Library card holders can borrow thousands of free titles through streaming on a browser or downloading directly to…

Lexington-Richland School District Five hires local expert for its director of technology

A fixture around Richland School District Two has a new position in the administration of Lexington-Richland School District Five. Don Earle is the new director of technology. (photo provided) Don Earle, current director of information technology operations in Richland Two, has been tapped as the director of technology for Lexington-Richland Five. He has been with Richland Two since 1997 and also…

Plato’s Closet opens new location in northeast Richland County

Plato’s Closet, a national retail consignment shop for teens and 20-somethings, on Thursday launched its second location in the Midlands. The store at 10136 Two Notch Road in Sparkleberry Square sells gently-used brand-name clothing and accessories at a discount. Plato’s Closet has a large selection of clothing, shoes, jewelry and handbags. (photo by Kelly Petty) “Plato’s Closet fills a distinct niche in…

Columbia mayor promises ‘not an additional dollar’ to be spent by city as baseball stadium costs rise

The cost for Columbia’s baseball stadium has increased $2 million as the city begins the construction process. Mayor Steve Benjamin announced Tuesday that baseball team owner Hardball Capital would donate an additional $1 million toward the project, while Columbia Commons developer Robert Hughes would shift $1 million out of the budget set aside for the Bull Street development toward the…

Richland County Elections commission seeks new director, office for upcoming year

The Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office likely could move from 2020 Hampton St. if commissioners can convince County Council the department’s relocation is necessary. “If we find another space, the biggest caveat will be the county council,” said Chairwoman Marjorie Johnson. “They pay. They supply the budget, funds. They have the say in that. We’re dependent on their…

Richland County deputies search for armed robbery suspects

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has released surveillance video of an armed robbery, hoping the community can help identify the suspects. The video shows three suspects who allegedly broke into a home on Cermack Street in Columbia around 1 a.m. Nov. 28. The men are accused of kicking in the back door and stealing a Playstation 4 game console. All…

Reward offered in case of missing Richland County man

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for help from the community to find a missing person and announced Tuesday that anyone who helps locate the missing man could receive a reward. Montey Donnell Thomas (photo provided) Montey Donnell Thomas, 45, also known as Duke, last was seen Nov. 20 at Rick’s Party Shop at 3050 Bluff Road. Lott said Thomas…

Sims Park playground reopens in Forest Acres neighborhood

The playground at Sims Park reopened Saturday after it had been closed in November for renovation. Children climb up on the new playground equipment Saturday at Sims Park. (photo by Kelly Petty) “I made a promise to my constituents that we would have new playground equipment by Christmas this year and things just fell into place,” said Columbia City Councilman…

Soldier dons Santa suit to surprise daughters at Windsor Elementary School

Christmas couldn’t come soon enough for two Windsor Elementary students. The kids learned their daddy made it home from his tour of duty Wednesday afternoon when he surprised them during a special school assembly. “It was definitely worth spending the night at my parents house to see the look on these girls faces today,” said Capt. Joshua Adam Risher, who…

Lawsuit over prayer at Lexington-Richland 5 School Board meetings, events dismissed

A lawsuit filed in 2012 by students objecting to prayer at Lexington-Richland School District Five graduation ceremonies and school board meetings is closed, with part of the dispute settled out of court and the rest dismissed. The students and the Freedom from Religion Foundation argued that such prayers violated the Constitutional principle of separation and state. The two sides reached a…

Westwood High School students open credit union on campus to boost financial literacy

Students and staff at Westwood High School on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of Grow Financial federal credit union on the campus Wednesday. The new location marks the first time the banking institution has partnered with a school to carry its services and offer a unique financial education experience. Assistant Principal Mike Smith, along with faculty, staff and community leaders,…

Hour of Code: Area students employ technology during Computer Science Education Week

Horrell Hill Elementary School will be able to purchase digital hardware and accessories with help from Code.org, which helped students and staff kick off Computer Science Education Week this week with a $10,000 donation. “It really speaks to the need that exist to ensure that our students are able to respond and be successful in a digital world,” said Ida…

Richland Two School Board members aim to tackle challenges of equity with diversity task force

Officials with Richland School District Two seek to make diversity a priority next school year with the development of its Diversity Task Force. The task force was formed during a superintendent’s retreat this summer and is made up of school administrators and community leaders. Katinia Davis, executive director of special services, said during Tuesday night’s school board meeting that the…

Richland County deputies search for armed robbery suspect

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for help from the community to find a suspect wanted on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping. The suspect was captured on surveillance video while allegedly robbing the Dollar General store at 1563 Broad River Road around 8:45 p.m. Nov. 23. The suspect allegedly had a gun and ordered two employees to go…

Richland Two educator selected as finalist for NEA Foundation $10,000 award

A Richland Two educator has been named one of five finalists for the NEA Foundation’s Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. Curriculum specialist Terri Butts was nominated by the South Carolina Education Association and is the only teacher representing the state. “I was completely floored. I did not expect that,” Butts said. “We have so many teachers in the district,…

Richland Library officials set sights on $3 million renovation of Cooper Branch in Forest Acres

Richland Library officials met Thursday with residents in Forest Acres for the first of several community meetings to talk about renovations at the Cooper Branch. The branch is one of seven that will get a major face-lift as part of the $59 million bond referendum passed during the 2013 election. Forest Acres residents listen to members of the project team…

Columbia officials say Owens Field Park master plan seeks to improve park conditions

Rosewood residents demanded a fresh start for Owens Field Park at a community meeting hosted by the city of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. City officials sought feedback about the masterplan to improve park conditions. Residents pick the amenities they would like to see in Owens Field Park. (photo by Kelly Petty) “We’re trying to gather community input to determine…

Richland County planning commission OKs zoning change to accommodate new BJ’s Wholesale Club

BJ’s Wholesale Club is a step closer to opening a location in northeast Richland County. The county’s planning commission approved a zoning change Monday to allow the membership-only retail store to build a new location at the corner of Two Notch Road and the Sparkleberry Lane Extension. The site originally was zoned as a heavy industrial space. The change to…

Richland County recycling sites accepting used cooking oil

Now that the Thanksgiving meals have been eaten and folks are waking up from their food comas, it’s time to pack away the leftovers and clean up the kitchen. Richland County reminds residents not to pour fat, oil and grease down their drains and instead bring it to one of three recycling sites: Richland County C&D Landfill at 1070 Caughman…

Spring Valley High School students donate food for Thanksgiving meals

Eight families in the Midlands will have a brighter Thanksgiving Day because of the efforts of students in the Future Business Leaders of America club at Spring Valley High School. The students partnered with the Ronald McDonald House to adopt families and donate more than 20 boxes of non-perishable food for the holidays. http://youtu.be/vFoXnehzXWg “Our mission was spread joy to…

Richland County deputies search for missing man

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for help from the community in finding a missing man. Money Donnell Thomas (photo provided) Montey Donnell Thomas, 45, was last seen Nov. 21 at Rick’s Party Shop at 3050 Bluff Road. Lott said Thomas called a friend to pick him up from there for a ride to work and has not been seen or…