Lexington County

Lexington County Council approves renaming of James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex

Members of Lexington County Council had a big decision before them Tuesday night during the first council meeting of 2015. Council, in response to calls from many residents, voted unanimously to rename the James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex to the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex. “We’ve had dozens and dozens and dozens of comments from citizens … This is…

West Columbia Riverwalk Park partially closed after flooding

Heavy rains have led West Columbia officials to close down part of the city’s Riverwalk Park. Portions of the park closest to the Riverside Drive entrance are unavailable, and park officials anticipate closing additional sections as waters rise. “Once the flood waters subside and the Riverwalk path is clear again, the city will announce when all areas of the West Columbia…

Curtain rises on Irmo High School’s Center for the Arts

Students took center stage Friday night in Irmo at the first-ever Gold Carpet Gala. The celebration of budding talent officially opened the Center for the Arts at Irmo High. “Students have been really energized and excited,” said Irmo High School Principal David Riegel. A gallery of student artwork welcomes visitors. (photo by Rachel Ham) The 600-seat, state-of-the-art facility was made possible…

‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing,’ says lawyer for Irmo doctor who abandoned dog

An Irmo doctor who has received criticism and alleged threats of violence after abandoning a dog in Florida has retained a lawyer to represent him in the case, though no criminal charges have been filed. Roman as he was found by Janelle Marcello (photo provided) Dr. William Odom admits he left Roman, a 1-year-old German Shepherd, tied to a telephone…

Cayce police officers honored for heroic efforts in face of dispatcher’s medical emergency

Cayce City Council and city staff members make it a point to recognize workers who go above and beyond in their service to the city and its residents. On Tuesday, they honored three Cayce Department of Public Safety officers whose quick thinking saved a fellow a employee. The Whole Sole Award is handed out to publicly thank employees for dedicating time…

Students rally behind teachers during granddaughter’s cancer fight

As one Midlands family continues to fight alongside a young girl battling cancer, several local schools have rallied behind them with love and financial support. CrossRoads Middle teachers and staff show their support for Team Madelynn. (photo provided) Three-year-old Madelynn Nelson was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in November 2013. Immediately after her diagnosis, the local community began preparing meals for…

Lexington Police Department officers honored for ‘dedicated,’ ‘lifesaving’ service

Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green handed out several important awards Monday to his officers and community volunteers to thank them for committed service and quick thinking. Sgt. Rick Hazewinkel on Monday received the 2014 Art Rish Employee of the Year Award. (photo by Rachel Ham) Green presented the 2014 Art Rish Employee of the Year Award to Sgt. Rick Hazewinkel during…

Lexington woman charged with reckless homicide

Lexington County deputies have arrested a Lexington woman after she allegedly ran over another woman who had been riding on the hood of her vehicle. Katie McKenzie Leavitt (photo provided) According to reports, 20-year-old Katie McKenzie Leavitt struck a 20-year-old Gaston woman Saturday while driving on Calvin Court near Lexington. Leavitt was arrested Sunday on charges of reckless driving, failing…

Leesville man accused of trying to burn woman to death allegedly burns down own home instead

Lexington County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man accused of attempted murder and third-degree arson. James Poole, Jr. (photo provided) James Poole Jr., 43, of 124 Pooles Court in Leesville allegedly tried to kill a woman by setting fire to a bed in his home while she was in the bed around 11:40 p.m. Friday. The woman escaped without serious injury, according…

West Columbia police officer receives medal for heroism

The West Columbia Police Department is honoring one of its officers for risking his own life to save the life of a person attempting to commit suicide. Patrolman 1st Class Will Norris (left) received the Medal of Valor from Police Chief Dennis Tyndall. (photo provided) Patrolman 1st Class Will Norris saw a man preparing to jump from the Gervais Street…

2 candidates file to run for Lexington County sheriff

The race to be the next sheriff of Lexington County is officially underway with two candidates filing to run Friday with the county election commission. Jay Koon and his family (photo provided) Justin Britt and his family (photo provided) Justin Britt and Jay Koon will run as Republicans in that party’s primary March 3. The winner of that primary will…

Bush River Road Walmart fire ruled arson

A fire that damaged the Walmart store at 1326 Bush River Road in Columbia has been ruled as arson, according to Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. Jenkins said evidence collected by his department and the Columbia Police Department confirms the fire was set deliberately. He said details regarding that evidence will not be released until the investigation is complete. The fire…

2015: A look at development in the Midlands

Lexington School District Two multi-year renovation Lexington School District Two is moving forward quickly with plans to build new schools and renovate existing ones after voters approved a bond referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. The district recently purchased two tracts of land for two brand-new campuses. A new home for B-C Grammar No. 1, Saluda River Academy for the Arts…

Gaston trucking company wins national award for safety

A trucking company based in Lexington County has one of the safest fleets in the United States, according to the Truckload Carriers Association. G&P drivers helped the company win a national safety award. (photo provided) G&P Trucking Co. won a 2014 National Fleet Safety Award from the association, the highest safety honor awarded to carriers each year. Winners are chosen based…

Bush River Road Walmart closed after fire

The Walmart on Bush River Road in Columbia will be closed indefinitely after a fire Wednesday night. Fire alarms sounded around 6:30 p.m. and the store’s sprinkler system activated. Columbia firefighters said the fire has been put out by the sprinklers when they arrived. Customers and employees in the store at the time of the fire were evacuated, but no…

Chapin finance director submits resignation

The town of Chapin administrative team is undergoing change ahead of the New Year. Town officials confirmed that Priscilla Green, who was hired as finance director in November, submitted her resignation Monday. Councilwoman Kay Hollis previously had raised questions about Green’s Certified Public Accountant status, but Director of Communications & Economic Development Karen Owens said there were no plans by town officials…

2015: A look ahead at funded, unfunded penny tax projects

Voters in Lexington County struck down a penny sales tax designed to pay for myriad projects around the county that included roads and water lines. Without the millions of tax revenue estimated to be generated by the tax, several smaller municipalities will be looking for other means to pay for their high-priority items submitted during the penny sales tax process. The city…

Lexington police fill truck with toys for children

Many Midlands children had presents under the tree this year despite hard times for their families after a toy drive organized by the Lexington Police Department. Lexington police officers and U.S. Marines display some of the toys that helped fill the SWAT vehicle. (photo provided) Officers volunteered beginning in November to collect donated toys at local Kmart, Target and Walmart…

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…