Richland County

Workforce vs. College: Local schools respond to shift in students’ post-secondary plans

Hundreds of new graduates from Lexington and Richland counties have entered the next phase of their careers as high school commencement wrapped up this weekend at Colonial Life Arena. Many will forgo a traditional college education in favor of heading straight into the workforce, and local schools have equipped those students with the skills needed to land a job of their choosing….

Columbia nonprofit leaders speak out against proposal to eliminate tax exemptions

A proposal to eliminate business license tax exemptions for some nonprofits in the city of Columbia is raising questions about whether it can be implemented fairly. Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah is pushing to adopt an ordinance to spread the tax burden on for-profit businesses and to generate revenue for the city’s tight budget. “We’ve got a lot more work…

Richland Two receives $4,000 donation for student hunger, family assistance programs

A group of waste management companies came together to donate $4,000 to Richland School District Two to support its Backpack and Helping Families in Need programs. Richland Two social workers accept a check for $4,000 from an alliance of waste management companies. (photo provided) “Because both our Backpack and Helping Families in Need programs are funded through donations and grants,…

Police find meth, heroin, guns in downtown Columbia home

Columbia police seized methamphetamine, heroin and guns and arrested three people at a downtown home Friday after a month-long investigation. Police and SLED officers and the Columbia Fire Department’s Hazmat Team searched the home where drugs and guns were found Friday (photo by Allen Wallace). Police executed a search warrant at 2402 Marion St. around 1 p.m., seized the illegal…

Richland County Council forges ahead with current budget despite new data from auditor

Richland County Council blamed last-minute tax figures coming from the auditor’s office for their inability to review requests in next year’s budget during Thursday’s second reading. The council voted 7-3 to fund the 2015-16 budget at the current year levels and to adjust the numbers at the third and final vote June 11. Council said they were unprepared to vote…

Valedictorians share tips to help fellow students succeed

Students from Lexington and Richland counties have worked tirelessly for 12 years to do their best academically and set themselves up for future success. Cola Daily asked local valedictorians to share their college plans and to pass on advice for fellow students. Andrew Marino (Ridge View High School) Andrew Marino (photo provided) College attending: University of South Carolina Honors College Area…

Columbia City Council members debate racial bias in votes

The Columbia City Council session Tuesday on the 2015-16 budget briefly lapsed into a discussion about the racial makeup of votes. Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine said she heard from constituents that some council members accused the council of racial bias in voting and that council members Councilmen Sam Davis and Brian Newman refused to attend budget committee meetings. Plaugh told members…

Pond dam erosion leads to flooding concerns in Lexington neighborhood

Some Lexington County residents are being warned to watch for rising water and possible flooding after heavy rain Wednesday caused erosion at a pond dam. Erosion to a pond dam on the Lexington School District One office property sparked flooding concerns Thursday. (photo provided) Lexington police said there has been significant erosion to the pond dam on the property of Lexington…

Statewide summer meal program set to give thousands of Richland One students free lunches

  Thousands of schoolchildren in Richland School District One will be able to receive a hot, nutritious meal through a partnership between the district, the USDA and the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition. Burton-Pack Elementary School celebrated the start of the statewide free children’s summer meal program Wednesday. “We certainly understand and appreciate the need…

Local valedictorians share college plans, advice for others

Students from Lexington and Richland counties have worked tirelessly for 12 years to do their best academically and set themselves up for future success. Cola Daily asked local valedictorians to share their college plans and to pass on advice for fellow students. Spencer Brooks (Airport High School) Spencer Brooks (photo provided) College: Clemson University Area of study: Mechanical engineering Advice for younger…

Photo Gallery: Richland Two wraps up commencement ceremonies for class of 2015

  Richland Two closed out commencement week Wednesday with ceremonies for the graduates of Ridge View High School and Spring Valley High School. More than 1,800 students across the district accepted their diplomas for 2015. “You’ve got work to do for your goals and you cannot afford to lose your way,” said Ridge View High School Principal Brenda Mack-Foxworth. “You’ve…

Photo Gallery: Richland School District Two kicks off commencement with goodbyes, new beginnings

  Westwood High School on Tuesday kicked off two days of commencement services for Richland School District Two. “Graduates, fasten your seatbelts because you have not seen anything yet,” said Richland Two Superintendent Debbie Hamm. “Be true to yourself. Never allow others to define you. Remember that winds change so be prepared for change yourself.” Valedictorian Varsha Devarapalli spoke about…

UPDATE: I-77 northbound reopens after wreck

The northbound lanes of Interstate 77 were closed temporarily Tuesday afternoon after a wreck near the Percival Road exit. Emergency responders work at the wreck scene Tuesday. (photo provided) The Columbia Fire Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and EMS and the South Carolina Department of Transportation all sent crews to the scene shortly after…

Richland Northeast High School evacuated after gas leak

A natural gas line ruptured Tuesday morning at Richland Northeast High School And forced students and faculty to evacuate. Firefighters were working to repair the ruptured gas line Tuesday at Richland Northeast High School. (photo provided) Columbia firefighters responded to the school around 9 a.m. and located the leak. Firefighters said no one was injured. Firefighters and an SCE&G crew…

Bradley Elementary first-year teacher honored by Columbia Museum of Art for innovation in classroom

In his first year as a school teacher, Thomas “Brock” Allen has transformed the way his students at Bradley Elementary School appreciate art. Allen says combining his love of art while partnering with the Columbia Museum of Art has opened his students’ eyes to the possibilities of art. It also earned him one of the museum’s highest honors, the Mac Arthur…

Photo Gallery: Teams climb 22 flights of stairs to fight lung disease

  Asthma is the No. 1 reason children miss school in South Carolina, according to the American Lung Association. Firefighters, doctors and local community members climbed 479 stairs during Saturday’s Fight for Air Climb at Columbia’s Capitol Center to raise awareness and funds to help find cures for lung cancer and other lung diseases. Firefighters suit up to make the climb…

Longtime arts supporter, public relations leader Marvin Chernoff remembered with public sculpture

Former public relations expert Marvin Chernoff often is remembered by family members and colleagues as being committed to preserving and promoting the arts in Columbia. His family, friends, employees and associates gathered Saturday to celebrate his life and unveil a monument to honor his presence among the arts community in the Midlands. Friends and family gather Saturday to remember Marvin Chernoff. (photo by…

Photo Gallery: Columbia’s first public high school celebrates centennial at graduation

  The commencement for Columbia High School closed out a week celebrating student achievement in Richland School District One. But it also marked the centennial anniversary of the city’s first public high school. The 2015 graduating class earned more than $3.6 million in scholarships and grants. Valedictorian Sophia Aduago Emetu talked about what she called “if it had not been…

Richland Two consolidates 2 child development centers, adds more enrollment slots

Clemson Road Child Development and sister institution Spears Creek Road Child Development have been consolidated to form the Richland School District Two Child Development Program. Eligible children will be enrolled in a needs-based, tuition free program starting this fall. The school district made the move to make better use of a recent increase in Title I and Education Improvement Act…

Proposed provision allows current septic tank users to forgo connecting to Richland County sewer system

Richland County Council plans to rewrite its rules to allow the county to refuse some application to connect to the proposed sewer line while allowing septic tank users to keep their systems as part of a battle to move a proposed public sewer line forward in Lower Richland. The county’s sewer ad hoc committee approved new language for the current…

Photo gallery: Students reflect on memories, future in second day of Richland One graduations

  The students of Eau Claire, C.A. Johnson and A.C. Flora high schools reflected on their memories and the future as they stepped across the stage to accept their diplomas during the second day of Richland One commencement exercises on Thursday. “You have been provided the foundation, skills and knowledge to move forward,” said Richland One Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. “The…