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River Bluff teacher arrested for having handgun on school property

River Bluff teacher arrested for having handgun on school property

Lexington, SC (12/06/2022) - Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green said late Tuesday that officers with his department had arrestted Susan Horton, age 54 of Lexington, for a weapons law violation after officers found a handgun in her car at River Bluff High School on Corley Mill Road. On the afternoon of Friday, December 2, 2022, School Resource Officers followed up on an anonymous tip that Susan Horton, a teacher at the high school, told students in her class that she always kept a gun in her car. When interviewed by officers, Horton said that she had a Concealed Weapon Permit but that the gun was not in a locked or secured compartment within her vehicle as required by law. When officers searched her car, they found a gun in her purse that she had placed on the passenger side floorboard. Horton was arrested for Carrying a Weapon on School Property and transported to the Lexington County Detention Center.

When seen by a judge at Lexington County Bond Court, she was given a personal recognizance bond of $2,500. She has since been released from the Lexington County Detention Center.

Airport High School's JROTC Drill Team wins State Championship for 15th consecutive year

Airport High School's JROTC Drill Team wins State Championship for 15th consecutive year

West Columbia, SC (12/06/2022) - Airport High School’s JROTC drill team won the All-Army Palmetto State Drill Team Championship over the weekend, the 15th consecutive year the team has taken the title. In addition to its overall first place finish, Golden Talon team members also won the following at the December 3 competition, held at Lower Richland High School in Columbia: 1st place: Duet without Arms 1st place: Platoon Regulation without Arms 1st place: Platoon Inspection without Arms 1st place: Platoon Exhibition without Arms 1st place: Color Guard 2nd place: Squad Regulation without/Arms CSM Harry Ferguson is drill team’s coach and adviser at the Lexington Two high school. CAPTION: Members of the Airport High School drill team pose after the competition.

City of West Columbia selects new Fire Chief

City of West Columbia selects new Fire Chief

West Columbia, SC (12/06/2022) - West Columbia City Council has selected Marquis Solomon as the next West Columbia Fire Chief. Fire Chief Marquis Solomon is a 23-year fire service veteran. Chief Solomon most recently held the position of Deputy Fire Chief and Public Information Officer and has been the second in command of the West Columbia Fire Department for the past eight years. Chief Solomon’s passion for developing leaders and creating meaningful organizational change led him to him obtain a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Liberty University. Some of his numerous accomplishments include: National Registry EMT Fire Officer IV instructor for the South Carolina Fire Academy Human Resources Certification Institute, Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) designation Presented at various trade conferences in the southeast and is recognized as a subject matter expert in public safety human resources, risk management, and organizational leadership Held adjunct professor positions at Benedict College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Leadership Lexington County Graduate – Class of 2021 Lexington School District Two CATE Firefighter Program Advisory Committee Member Columbia College Fire Science Degree Advisory Board Member Active member of: International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) SC Municipal Human Resources Association Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association South Carolina State Association of Fire Chiefs South Carolina EMS Association Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. West Columbia Fire Chief Marquis Solomon said, “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this amazing group of high-performing professional firefighters and to serve the growing City of West Columbia and our citizens.” Mayor Tem Miles said, “I’m proud that West Columbia is making Marquis Solomon our next Fire Chief. He joined us eight years ago and has provided exemplary service ever since. I am particularly proud that our department has once again produced such a great leader and we were able to fill this position from within.”

County firefighters battle house fire on Garden Gate Way off US Hwy. 378 near Lexington Monday

County firefighters battle house fire on Garden Gate Way off US Hwy. 378 near Lexington Monday

Lake Murray, SC 12/06/2022 Paul Kirby – The Lexington County Fire Service was dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 100 block of Garden Gate Way off US Hwy. 378 west of Lexington Monday morning. According to Jessica Imbimbo, spokesperson for Lexington County, the original call reporting the fire came in at 7:34 a.m. Imbimbo said that when the fire crews arrived, the teams found a residence that had heavy fire showing from the back of the home. It appeared as if the fire was burning in the exterior of the house. Unfortunately, the fire had already extended into the residence and attic area. Imbimbo said that all occupants had already exited the home and none of them were injured as a result of the blaze. It took the fire crews approximately one hour to bring the fire under control. During fire suppression operations, a family dog was rescued and returned to the owner. One firefighter was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries. He was treated and released. The American Red Cross was called and is assisting the family with their initial needs. The Lexington County Fire Marshal’s Office has concluded their cause and origin investigation. They noted that an electrical issue stemming from an unattended space heater is the most likely cause of the blaze.

Fire Service releases information on multiple home fires in Heritage Farm neighborhood

Fire Service releases information on multiple home fires in Heritage Farm neighborhood

Lake Murray, SC (12/06/2022) Paul Kirby – On Sunday, December 4, 2022, the Lexington County Fire Service was dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 100 block of Cochin Trace off Calks Ferry Road. This is in the Heritage Farms subdivision close to US Hwy 378 in the Lake Murray area of the county just west of the Town of Lexington. According to Jessica Imbimbo, spokesperson for Lexington County who released this information late Monday, as the first county firefighting crews arrived on scene, they discovered a residence with heavy fire showing in the garage. The fire had already breached the roof of that home, and two additional residences were starting to catch fire. In the primary home where the fire appeared to have started, a single vehicle was already fully involved inside the garage. Two of the three homes that were involved at this point had active gas leaks resulting from damages caused by the fast-spreading fire. Imbimbo went on to say that as fire crews worked to gain control of the blaze in the home of origin, additional firefighters began working toward extinguishing the fires that were affecting the neighboring residences. Working together, the teams brought the fires under control in just over an hour. There were no injuries on scene as a result of the fire according to Imbimbo. The American Red Cross was called and is currently assisting the families. The cause of the fire is still under investigation

Monday morning, Cayce Police release update on Saturday night shooting investigation

Monday morning, Cayce Police release update on Saturday night shooting investigation

Cayce, SC 12/05/2022 (Paul Kirby) – Ashley Hunter, spokesperson for the City of Cayce, released a short update on the City’s Police Department’s investigation into a shooting that took place in the Bluff Road area or Cayce on Saturday night. According to Hunter’s release over the weekend, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, the City of Cayce’s Police Department began receiving calls just before 11:00 p.m. regarding shots fired at the Loves Travel Plaza and Truck Stop on Bluff Road just off I-77. Contrary to some peoples believes, this area, and a large swath of land along the Congaree that includes USC student filled apartments, residents, and many businesses, have been in the City of Cayce for decades. While officers were enroute to the primary shooting scene, Cayce’s 911 Center received additional calls regarding a vehicle that had overturned on the I-77 exit ramp. When Cayce officer encountered the overturned vehicle, all its occupants had already fled on foot. Cayce’s investigators now believe that the occupants of the overturned vehicle that ran, were involved in the shooting incident at the truck stop. The only person injured in the Saturday night shooting incident self-transported to a local medical facility for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury. Now, according to Hunter, the Cayce Police Department’s investigation continues. Members of the Criminal Investigations Services Division are obtaining and analyzing videos, preparing, and processing physical evidence including fingerprints, DNA, and firearms evidence like shell casings that are being examined by the crime lab. Cayce PD is also following leads they’ve developed from the crime scene evidence and witness statements. Cayce Police are working closely with other agencies they’ve spent years building partnerships with. These include the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the Columbia Police Department, according to Hunter. Investigators now believe that there were many witnesses that left the scene of the shooting prior to the arrival of law enforcement. These witnesses could be crucial to this investigation and are encouraged to contact the Cayce Police Department at 803-606-2987. If witnesses want to remain anonymous, they can make their tips through Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC. Crimestoppers also has a convenient P-3 app in most app stores that you can make tips through. The Cayce Police Department relentlessly pursues all crimes that occur within the City of Cayce and works to hold violent offenders accountable for their actions. In this case, you could be the key to reaching this goal by calling if you have any idea who may have been involved in this violent crime.

Coroner Fisher identifies 70-year-old killed in Platt Springs Road pedestrian collision

Coroner Fisher identifies 70-year-old killed in Platt Springs Road pedestrian collision

Lexington, SC 12/05/202 (Paul Kirby) - Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has provided the identity of the woman who died after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Platt Springs Road and Highland Drive in the Red Bank area of Lexington County over the weekend. This vehicle versus pedestrian collision occurred shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2022. According to Coroner Fisher, Debra Marlene Bilbo, 70, of Lexington was walking across Platt Springs Road when she was struck by a vehicle traveling eastbound toward Springdale on Platt Springs Road. Bilbo was pronounced dead at the scene due to the injuries sustained in the collision. The driver of the vehicle remained on scene to assist law enforcement in their investigation. That individual was not injured. The South Carolina Highway Patrol continues to investigate the incident.

Batesburg-Leesville Middle School was officially redesignated as a School to Watch

Batesburg-Leesville Middle School was officially redesignated as a School to Watch

Batesburg-Leesville, SC 12/01/2022 - On Wednesday, November 30th, Batesburg-Leesville Middle School was officially redesignated as a School to Watch. The Schools to Watch program, which is a product of The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, seeks to recognize diverse, high-performing, growth-oriented middle grades schools in order to demonstrate what all middle grades schools are capable of achieving. BLMS received its original School to Watch designation in January of 2020 and is required to complete the redesignation process every three years in accordance with program guidelines. “The criteria that is set forth in the Schools to Watch model is rigorous, growth-oriented and earned based on achievement across the domains of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and school organization. We could not be more proud of the administrators, faculty, staff and students of Batesburg-Leesville Middle School for this tremendous accomplishment. They are surely exemplifying and modeling our district mission of “Preparing Students for the Future…Now,” said Dr. Ashley Atkinson, Superintendent of Lexington County School District Three. As part of the redesignation process, Batesburg-Leesville Middle School faculty and staff had to complete an extensive application and participate in on-site visits and interviews by a Schools to Watch team. Students and parents were also involved in the redesignation process. Currently, there are 31 other middle schools in South Carolina that have achieved the Schools to Watch designation and more than 450 Schools to Watch across the country.

American Red Cross to hold Blood Drive with Town of Batesburg-Leesville FD next Monday

American Red Cross to hold Blood Drive with Town of Batesburg-Leesville FD next Monday

Batesburg-Leesville, SC 12/01/2022 (Paul Kirby) – The American Red Cross, in conjunction with Town of Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department, will hold a Blood Drive next Monday, December 5, 2022. It will begin at 2:00 p.m. and continue until 7:00 p.m. at the Leeville Station of the town’s Fire Department at 431 East Church Street, Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070. During the holiday season, the nation traditionally experiences a critical shortage of blood products. Not only is whole blood used for the care of patients, but there are also four different transfusable products that can come from each pint that is donated. These products are used in all types of patients from those injured in accidents, to ones that have chronic diseases like Sycle Cell Anemia. All blood types are needed and having your updated vaccinations are a plus. If you have questions regarding any health concerns you may have of about donating, check out the Red Cross’s Blood Drive webpage at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED Cross.

The Batesburg-Leesville Police Department needs your help to find a Domestic Violence suspect

The Batesburg-Leesville Police Department needs your help to find a Domestic Violence suspect

Batesburg-Leesville, SC 12/01/2022 Paul Kirby – The Batesburg-Leesville Police Department is turning to the public for their help in locating a suspect that has been charged with Domestic Violence in the 1st Degree. They have been trying to find and arrest 28-year-old Jaquavius Haltiwanger since early July of this year. According to police, on July 5, 2022, Haltiwanger got into an argument with his girlfriend who was pregnant at the time. During the argument, Haltiwanger drug the female from her vehicle and began punching her in the face. This caused visible injuries to her face because of the violent assault. Once police officers compiled all the evidence they had gathered to a judge, a warrant for Domestic Violence, 1st Degree was signed. Although the PD has the warrant in hand, they have been unable to locate Haltiwanger at any of his past addresses of record or any of his known hangouts. Police are hoping that Haltiwanger is still in the area, county, or state. Perhaps you have seen him and can help to get this suspect off the street and in front of a judge. If you've seen him or may know where he is, please notify the B&L Police Department at (803) 532-4408 or by email at blpd@batesburg-leesville.org.

This week’s Cayce Police Wanted Wednesday seeking information, not usual specific suspect

This week’s Cayce Police Wanted Wednesday seeking information, not usual specific suspect

Cayce, SC 11/30/2022 (Paul Kirby) – This week, the Cayce Police Department is seeking information on an unidentified suspect, not a specific individual with outstanding warrants. Normally, Wanted Wednesday is a way to get the community involved in tracking down people who have open arrest warrants, but the police have been unable to find and serve them those warrants. Today, they are hoping to identify a man that they believe knows something about the recent burglary at the Alight Apartments, a case they have been working intensely on since it occurred on October 26, 2022. Previously, police released an artist sketch of the suspect. Now they are asking you to look at a photo they have and see if you can tell them who he this man is and where they can find him. This photo was taken by a sharp-eyed passerby who observed a man that closely resembles the sketch of the man they had distributed. Please look at the picture carefully. If you have any idea who this man is, please notify the police in any of the following ways. First, you can call the Cayce Police Department at (803) 794-0456. You can also make tips through CRIME STOPPERS. They can be reached through their website at www.midlandscrimestoppers.com. You can also reach them through their FREE P3 app available in any app store. If you prefer, call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME SC (1-888-274-6372).

City of West Columbia to have Tree Lighting this Friday to officially kick off Christmas Season

City of West Columbia to have Tree Lighting this Friday to officially kick off Christmas Season

West Columbia, SC (11/30/2022) – The City of West Columbia is hosting its 18th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 6:30 p.m, This will be held at the West Columbia City Hall located 200 N. 12th Street, in the city of West Columbia, SC. During this event, area elementary schools “What Christmas Means to Me” essay contest winners will be recognized and will read their winning essays or poems. In addition to the writing contest, there is a student artwork contest. The winning artwork entry is featured on the cover of the event program. The top three entries are displayed on the Art on State wall in the Interactive Art Park located at 425 Meeting Street near its intersection with State Street. The program will include Christmas carols, greetings, and the lighting of the beautiful West Columbia Christmas Tree. Entertainment includes: Dow Welsh, Holland Avenue Baptist Church - Master of Ceremonies Northside Middle School Chorus Busbee Creative Arts Academy Chorus East Point Academy Panda Players Special Readings from Mrs. Claus, North Poll, Planet Earth Refreshments will be provided by: Brickhouse Gourmet Coffee & Tea and cookies. For more information, follow this link to the event’s page: West Columbia Tree Lighting.