Richland County

Richland County deputies search for burglary suspect

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for help from the community to identify a burglary suspect. The person in this surveillance photo is wanted in connection with a burglary. (photo provided) The male suspect allegedly broke into a Deerwood Street home Sunday around 1:30 p.m. and stole $35 cash. Lott said the same suspect tried to break into the same home…

Columbia residents balk at proposed increases in water and sewer bills, franchise fees

The city of Columbia faces an uphill battle to convince residents that an increase in SCE&G’s franchise fee is best for the city’s budget. Some residents slammed the city’s plan to raise the fee from 3 percent to 5 percent during Tuesday’s public hearing. “This is a tax increase it’s just being called by a different name,” said resident Jim Reid….

Firefighters: Poor wiring, overuse of extension cords caused Huger Street fire

A fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damages to a Huger Street warehouse, and it started because of a combination of poor wiring and overuse of extension cords, according to an investigation conducted by the Columbia Fire Department. Columbia firefighters were on the scene of the warehouse fire on Huger Street as the sun rose Wednesday. (file photo provided) Capt. Brick…

Police arrest 14-year-old in connection with shooting near Eau Claire High School

Columbia police arrested a 14-year-old in connection with a shooting Tuesday on Hanover Avenue. The 14-year-old male, whose name will not be released because of his age, faces charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, unlawful carrying of a handgun and unlawful carrying of a handgun by a person under 18. The teen allegedly shot a person…

Crime Notebook: Man wanted for failure to pay $24,000 in child support; woman accused of stealing pain killers from pharmacy

Man accused of failure to pay child support Dwayne Eigner is wanted for failure to pay child support. (photo provided) Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for help to find what he calls a “deadbeat parent.” Dwayne Eigner, 42, is wanted for not paying child support in excess of $24,000. Lott says children are the true victims when people do…

Columbia City councilman pushes for measure to eliminate tax-exempt status for some nonprofits

Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah is leading the push to eliminate the exemption for some nonprofits to avoid paying business license fees and taxes. The restaurant owner says he thinks it will create fair competition and be a revenue generator to pad the city’s already stretched budget. “There is revenue on the table and we can get it if this…

Fire damages Huger Street warehouse

Fire damaged a warehouse on Huger Street in Columbia early Wednesday morning. Columbia firefighters were on the scene of the warehouse fire on Huger Street as the sun rose Wednesday. (photo provided) The Columbia Fire Department responded to 425 Huger St. at 4:10 a.m. after a Columbia police officer saw the fire and called for help. The fire burned wooden…

Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission begins ‘next chapter’ at Seven Oaks Park

A park built in 1973 has gotten a facelift in recent months, and the results were unveiled to the public Tuesday afternoon. Local students, elected officials, senior citizens and parents gathered at Seven Oaks Park to celebrate its reopening and check out its new features. Park Director John Cantey said the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission park is the site of countless daily activities…

1 person wounded in shooting near Eau Claire High School

Columbia police are investigating a shooting that left one person wounded Tuesday afternoon. Police responded to the 300 block of Hanover Avenue shortly before 5 p.m. and found the wounded person, who was transported to a local hospital to be treated. His wounds did not appear to be life-threatening, according to officers. Officers spoke to people in the area and…

Lexington-Richland Five leaders consider millage increase to cover projected shortfall

Members of the Lexington-Richland Five School Board might elect to capture unused millage from previous budget cycles to balance the financials for the next school year. Board members debated a few options for covering an expected shortfall but didnot decide on a millage increase Monday. They instead asked administrators to determine how raising millage will affect instruction and to bring data…

County officials laud ‘gem’ of Lower Richland at grand opening of Pinewood Lake Park

  Richland County Councilman Norman Jackson has promised to bring a recreational and tourist attraction to Lower Richland throughout his tenure. He fulfilled that commitment Saturday as he and many residents celebrated the opening of Pinewood Lake Park. “We decided to save this gem and enhance it for the pleasure of the citizens of Richland County and everyone else to…

Crime Notebook: 2 arrested after Oneil Court shooting; 2 charged in connection with Dollar General shooting

Fight, shooting outside restaurant leads to 2 arrests Richland County sheriff’s deputies arrested two people after a shooting late Saturday night at a Columbia restaurant. Deputies responded to the Tsubaki restaurant at 224 Oneil Court around 11:35 p.m. Witnesses told deputies a fight had broken out between two men who were throwing beer bottles. Witnesses then reported that one man shooting…

City of Columbia to host franchise seminar for local entrepreneurs

The city of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities is hosting a franchise seminar next week to help educate entrepreneurs about the benefits of starting a turn-key business. The one-day workshop will feature several sessions that will cover topics like franchise coaches, finance and technical assistance. A number of franchise owners from national chains like McDonalds, Marble Slab Creamery and Save-A-Lot will…

Eau Claire native finds new career in writing

The idea of being a full-time writer came to Monica Sumter on a whim. She was let go from her job as a customer service representative at a local cell phone company, and the Columbia native found herself in a rut. So she went to the thing that felt natural: writing. Columbia native Monica Sumter has penned her first novel…

Firefighters: Child playing with matches started apartment fire

A child playing with matches started a fire that damaged four Columbia apartments and left 20 people displaced from their homes, according to firefighters. Columbia firefighters said a child playing with matches started a fire Friday night at an apartment building. (photo provided) The Columbia Fire Department responded to the Bethel Bishop apartments at 100 Ripplemeyer Ave. shortly before midnight…

Richland County officials blame tight budget on lack of state funds, slow tax growth

Richland County faces a tight budget because of a lack of funds from the state and slow growth in the tax base, officials said this week. County Council has been reviewing initial numbers coming from the county’s administration team ahead of the first vote next Thursday on the 2015-16 budget. The county continues to suffer from a shortfall in the state’s…

Police capture suspect in Barhamville Road shooting

Columbia police on Friday captured the man accused of shooting another man during a robbery Wednesday on Barhamville Road. Columbia Police Department Deputy Chief Melron Kelly (right) and other officers arrested Christopher Wilbert Keitt (center) Friday afternoon (photo provided).Police, assisted by SLED agents, U.S. Marshals and Richland County sheriff’s deputies arrested Christopher Wilbert Keitt, 24 around 12:30 p.m. Friday. Keitt…

Photo Gallery: Eau Claire Community Council honors leaders in education, civics

  The Eau Claire Community Council celebrated the best and brightest of the 29203. The organization held an appreciation dinner Thursday honoring community leaders, students and notable personalities who have helped transform the historic neighborhood. “We are very thankful to the dedicated people that we have that have worked in our neighborhoods for all these years,” said Executive Director Henry…

Columbia Police Department releases 2014 Internal Affairs Report

The Columbia Police Department released its 2014 Internal Affairs Annual Report in the wake of several high-profile cases around the country involving police officers and deadly shootings. Chief Holbrook releases the internal affairs report Thursday. (photo by Allen Wallace) Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook expressed the importance of transparency and accountability in the event of an officer-involved shooting. “It’s about…

Columbia to celebrate 5th anniversary of Lets Move! initiative with family fitness day

The city of Columbia is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the national Let’s Move! initiative with their “#GimmeFive Family Fitness Day” this weekend. “Let’s Move! Columbia has made living a healthy and active lifestyle more top of mind to people than it was five years ago,” said Councilwoman Tameika Isaac-Devine, who co-chairs Let’s Move!. “Now, it is not just the…

Columbia police recover stolen Porsche race car

Columbia police recovered a stolen race car worth $100,000, according to its owner. Columbia police recovered this 1968 Porsche 911, which was reported stolen Tuesday night. (photo provided) Douglas Hagopian told police someone stole his 1968 Porsche 911 Tuesday night from a trailer outside the Days Inn  on Garners Ferry Road near Interstate 77. Police said a lock on the…

UPDATE: Police find car stolen after Barhamville Road shooting

Columbia police have identified a suspect in Wednesday’s shooting of a man at a Barhamville Road home. Christopher Wilbert Keitt (photo provided) Police have issued arrest warrants for 24-year-old Christopher Wilbert Keitt, who faces charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary, grand larceny, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, discharging a firearm into a dwelling and…

Annual Richland Recycles Day set for Friday

Richland County residents are invited to drop off electronics, tires, used cooking oil, paint, mattresses and other recyclable materials this Friday. Residents are invited to drop off recyclable materials at the State Fairgrounds this Friday. (photo provided) Recyclable materials will be accepted from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday at the State Fairgrounds. People are asked to enter through Gate 12…

Richland County named America’s 1st certified Connected Capital Community

Richland County is beginning the early stages of becoming more digitally connected with help from the county’s Information Technology Department and partnerships with local organizations. Their work is helping expand Internet access throughout the community. Richland County Councilmembers pose with connected community signs that will placed around the county (photo by Kelly Petty). The county was recognized as America’s first certified…