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Matching funds helps We Care of Chapin knock their fundraising goal out of the park!

Chapin, SC – 05/05/2021 (Paul Kirby) – We Care, the small faith based social assistance program that helps people and families in the Chapin, Little Mountain, Ballentine, and surrounding communities, had a banner day on May 4th during Midlands Gives. Midlands Gives is a one day, online, giving event where people can donate to the charity of their choice from a long list of worthwhile non-profits. During the event, We Care actively received donations from the community totaling more than their set goal of $30,000. Because of people’s generosity and the Cheerful Giver matching donation of $30,000, We Care’s one day total funds raised was $60,393! According to We Care’s staff, 147 generous people gave to We Care. For many, it was their first ever donation to We Care. Because of this phenomenal support, We Care ranked 5th out of 479 non-profits on the Midlands Gives Leaderboard. The money raised will be used to replace We Care’s small, used, refrigerated box truck that is on its last leg. This truck is used to make pickups of usable products from area retailers and acts as a mobile food pantry. In a statement sent to their supporters and the media, the staff at We Care said it best. “We simply cannot say thank you enough to each of our donors and the entire community that rallied to make sure that we secured the funds to replace our truck! We cannot wait to serve more people through your generosity - THANK YOU!”

Five Lexington County nurses included in the 100 from across the state honored by Palmetto Gold

Lexington County, SC 05/05/2021 - Palmetto Gold has selected 100 registered nurses from across the state of South Carolina to receive the prestigious Palmetto Gold award for nursing this year. This accolade celebrates nurses who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession. Included in the 100 honorees are five nurses who serve and work in Lexington County. They are: Jessica Davis – Lexington Medical Center Jessica Drafts – Lexington Medical Center Ashley Street – Lexington Medical Center Jeannie Dunn – Lexington Medical Center Irmo Anita Boland – Lexington Presbyterian Church Each year, nurses are selected for Palmetto Gold through a nomination and selection process that includes nurses from across South Carolina in a variety of practice settings. Each recipient promotes and advances the nursing profession in a positive way; displays exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues; demonstrates leadership; assists others in growth and development; and promotes the profession of nursing through civic and community activities. The nurses are recognized at an annual gala. To date, more than 2,000 nurses have received this award. “Now more than ever, we recognize the outstanding care, compassion and professionalism that nurses provide to patients each day. We are pleased to honor 100 nurses throughout South Carolina who demonstrate extraordinary excellence in their work,” said K. Sue Haddock, chair of Palmetto Gold. Importantly, Palmetto Gold supports the future of nursing by using proceeds from the gala to provide a $1,000 nursing scholarship to each registered nurse undergraduate program in South Carolina. Palmetto Gold awarded the first scholarships in 2003. In 2008, Palmetto Gold created the $2,000 Renetta Loquist Graduate Nursing Scholarship in honor of a member of the original Palmetto Gold committee and a leader in nursing in South Carolina. Palmetto Gold has now awarded more than $475,000 in nursing scholarships. Palmetto Gold began in 2001 when a coalition of nurse leaders in South Carolina formed a statewide nursing recognition program that would showcase the valuable contributions nurses make to patient care and raise money to provide scholarships. This year’s Palmetto Gold gala is scheduled for September 18 in Columbia.

Batesburg-Leesville church to plant tree in remembrance of COVID-19 losses

Batesburg-Leesville, SC 05/05/2021 - Wittenberg Lutheran Church will honor those who have died of COVID-19 with the planting of an oak tree near the church’s cemetery soon. The church and cemetery are located at 233 N. Lee St. in Leesville, SC. The ceremonial planting will take place following the church’s 11:00 am service on Sunday, May 23, 2021. The ceremony is expected to begin at 12:30 p.m. The leaders and members of the Church are extending an invitation to the entire community to attend the worship service and the tree planting. Those who can’t make the Sunday morning church service can simply come enjoy the tree planting that Sunday if they like. People who have lost family and friends during this pandemic are especially encouraged to attend, to remember, and to pray. Wittenberg’s Interim Pastor, The Rev. Dr. Mary W. Anderson says, “The Pandemic of 2020 was a significant historical event that will be remembered for decades, if not centuries, to come. COVID-19 took much from us during this year, most tragically the 3.2 million plus people who died of this disease around the world. Many families grieve losses, including those in our community. In this ceremony, we will honor their lives and pray for the continued physical and emotional healing of us all.” The church will also be placing a small monument next to the tree so future generations can continue to remember all the known and unknown victims of COVID-19. For more information, contact Pastor Mary Anderson by phone at (803) 210.-5757 or by email at

Coroner Margaret Fisher identifies person killed in collision Tuesday

Lexington, SC – 05/05/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has identified the woman who died in a single-vehicle collision that occurred in the 2100 block of Broad Street near Batesburg-Leesville Tuesday evening. Fisher said the victim was Rhonda Faye Beaty, 56, of Leesville. According to Coroner Fisher, Beaty was pronounced deceased at an area hospital. She had been transported from the scene by Lexington County EMS but later succumbed to her injuries. SC State troopers said yesterday that Beaty’s vehicle veered off the right side of the road and collided with a tree. She was the only occupant of the vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt when the incident occurred. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating this collision.

Driver succumbs to injuries at trauma center after wreck near Batesburg-Leesville

Batesburg-Leesville, SC – 04/05/2021 (Paul Kirby) – One person died Tuesday night after being injured in a single-vehicle collision on Broad Street near Fredonia Roads just east of Batesburg-Leesville. According to the SC Highway Patrol, the collision happened at approximately 6:05 p.m. Tuesday. A spokesman for the patrol said the lone vehicle was traveling east on Broad Street when the driver lost control, skidded, and left the road’s surface striking a tree. The driver was alone and was not wearing a seatbelt when this occurred. The injured person was transported to Prisma Health’s Palmetto Richland Trauma Center but sadly, they later died. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher will release the identity of the victim at the appropriate time.

Mission Lexington announces May Impact Key Players

Lexington, SC 05/04/2021 - Mission Lexington announced Tuesday that they had designated the following groups and people as their as May Impact Key Players. They are: Church of the Month: • Lake Murray Baptist Church has been named Mission Lexington’s Church of the Month for their support to Mission Lexington through financial contributions, donations for our food pantry and by sending volunteers to serve at Mission Lexington. Their youth group recently served with by sorting over-the-counter medications, coffee, cereal and dog food for our food pantry with 30 volunteers, each serving two hours for a total of 60 hours in one weekend! Volunteer of the Month: • Their Volunteer of the Month is Nicolette Cook. She has served at Mission Lexington since 2014 as a volunteer in the clothes hanging area. She retired from Lexington Medical Center after working as a unit secretary for over thirty years. Not only does she volunteer, but she has served as a foster parent for the County of Lexington for more than twenty years. Ambassador of the Month: • Their Ambassadors of the Month are the Woodring family. They have served at Mission Lexington for approximately 3 years and started by signing up to help stuff bookbags when their twins were going into 1st grade. Their family strongly believes that children need to be taught to have empathy, a giving heart, and a want to help out the less fortunate. Each has had a tremendous positive impact and greatly contributes to Mission Lexington’s ministry of helping our neighbors who are in need. “We are beyond grateful for their support and love to honor those who serve alongside our staff,” said Robin W. Bowers, Executive Director of Mission Lexington.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department investigators working on an armed robbery in Red Bank

Red Bank-White Knoll, SC - 05/04/2021 (Paul Kirby) – A 20-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint outside of the Waffle House on Platt Springs Road in the Red Bank-White Knoll community last Saturday morning. According to law enforcement officials, two men held a gun to the victim’s head and stole a pistol from him. Just before 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the 20-year-old victim was entering the Waffle House in Red Bank when a friend stopped him in the parking lot to talk. While the pair were talking, two Black males approached them and joined the conversation they were having about firearms. Eventually, the victim’s friend left on his motorcycle and he and the two Black men went into the restaurant where the victim ordered food as they continued talking. There was another acquaintance of the victim there as well. The two Black men left the restaurant before the victim and his acquaintance did. When the young victim and his friend returned to the parking lot to leave, the same two Black men pulled up behind his vehicle him in a dark colored sedan and tried to sell him some drugs. The victim declined and that’s when one of the suspects pulled out a 9mm handgun out, pointed it the victim's head, and threatened to shoot him if he did not hand over a pistol that was under the seat of his vehicle. The victim retrieved a 9mm from under his seat and gave it to the suspects. He further described the gun as having a 33-round magazine, a “tiffany blue grip,” and a black slide. The suspect got back in the other car with his accomplice and the pair fled the scene. An employee at the Waffle House told deputies that the suspects came into the restaurant frequently, but their names were not known to personnel at the restaurant. There was a surveillance system in place and investigators were working with the businesses’ management to obtain that footage. The victim described the suspect’s car as a dark sedan with a dent on the front of the hood. It had a “Lakers” vanity plate on the front bumper. He also gave a description of the two suspects. One was Black male that appeared to be about 5’9”, 25 years old, and had a gold grill on his teeth. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt with red writing on the front and blue jeans. He had a short afro hair style. The second suspect was described as a Black male between 20-25 years old. He had short dreadlocks and was wearing a black beanie with blue jeans. Both off the suspects fled in the sedan heading outbound on Platt Springs Road. If you have any information about this crime, please notify CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888 CRIME SC. You can also make tips through CRIMESTOPPERS P-3 app that’s available through the app store or online at

School District Five students will receive free breakfast and lunch for the entire 2021-2022 school

Irmo, SC 05/04/2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced universal free lunches for all students has been extended through the 2021-2022 school year. This unprecedented move is part of USDA’s unwavering commitment to ensuring all children across America have access to nutritious food as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This waiver extension means that all students in Lexington-Richland School District Five will receive free breakfast and lunch next school year regardless of their income. “The importance of school meals has never been as clear to me as it is now due to the pandemic,” said Todd Bedenbaugh, School District Five Executive Director of Operations. “For most students throughout the country, we have learned school meals may be the only food they receive during the day. We are excited that the USDA has extended free meals for all students for another year.” Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which is typically only available during the summer months. This option maintains the nutrition standards of the standard school meal programs – including a strong emphasis on providing fruits and vegetables, fluid milk, whole grains, and sensible calorie levels, while allowing schools to serve free meals to all children. In addition, schools that choose this option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in serving the most nutritious meals possible while managing increased costs associated with pandemic-related operational and supply chain challenges. This option also affords schools the financial flexibility to further customize their meal service design to fit their local needs. “USDA will remain relentless in ensuring our nation’s children get the critical nutrition they need,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines. This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.” Parents also can continue to load money to their student’s online account to pay for additional ala carte items, beyond the free meal. To make a payment online, register your student(s) at or call the Department of Student Nutrition with any questions or concerns at 803-476-8153 or 803-476-8154.

Outdoor Book Sale at Irmo Library May 15th

Irmo, SC 05/04/2021 - Have you missed browsing the shelves or your local library or book store? The Friends of the Irmo Branch Library have an opportunity for you to get out of the house and find that next great read. The Friends will hold a one-day only Outdoor Used Book Sale Saturday, May 15, in the parking lot of the Irmo Branch Library, This is at 6251 St. Andrews Road. The 2020 book sales were canceled because of the pandemic, and they have a huge selection of Fiction, Nonfiction and Children’s books available in both hardback and paperback. (Rain date will be May 22.) Sales will be by the book or by the bag and Friends members receive a discount. You can become a member at the door for as little as $10. Customers will be asked to wear masks and the parking lot offers plenty of room for social distancing. A non-profit, volunteer organization, the Friends support, promote and help fund Irmo Branch Library programs, services and materials through proceeds from book sales and other events.

Lexington County emergency personnel responds to tree down on a vehicle Monday during storms

Oak Grove, SC – 05/03/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Emergency personnel from several Lexington County agencies responded to a report of a tree that had fallen on a vehicle trapping someone inside Monday afternoon. The call regarding this emergency came in around 4:00 p.m. from an area near Augusta Road and Laurel Roads. A strong line of storm was moving through the area at the time. A tornado warning had been issued for parts of Lexington County prior to this incident and hail and strong winds pounded the area. The Red Bank community was hit by some of the worst of the storm as thick, black, menacing clouds crossed the area. Before firefighters and medical personnel arrived on the scene of the tree across the car, law enforcement officers got to the scene and notified other crews responding that someone was trapped in the vehicle. First responders said that a large tree had fallen across the passenger compartment of the vehicle and that time, the person inside was conscious and breathing but unable to escape. Personnel from the fire service began to extricate the patient while crews from EMS provided medical support. Eventually, the trapped person was freed. During the entire rescue and cleanup, traffic was affected by the incident. There is no information available at this point about the extent of the injuries to the person in the vehicle. Those are protected by privacy laws. If more information becomes available, we will update this story.

Town if Springdale host Blood Drive in May

Springdale, SC - 05/03/2021 (Paul Kirby) - The Town of Springdale has partnered with The Blood Connection to host a Community Blood Drive on May 13th. It will begin at 1:30 pm and continue until 5:30 pm. This will take place in the parking lot of the Old Jewelry Warehouse building next to the Town Hall which is located at 2915 Platt Springs Road in the Town of Springdale, SC (West Columbia for GPS). All donors who give will receive a $20 VISA Gift Card for giving! As another way of saying thanks, the Town will provide a light snack before you donate. All donations collected during this blood will drive stay in our community and the partners have established a goal of 27 donors. If everyone shares this information with their friends, family, church groups, businesses, and other organizations, perhaps they can meet and exceed that goal. See the attached flyer for more information.

Brookland-Cayce High School raises more than $3,000 for charity with Mr. Bearcat competition

West Columbia, SC 05/03/2021 - Joseph Buchmaier, a student at Brookland-Cayce High School, was crowned BC High School’s Mr. Bearcat on May 1, 2021. He received the honor after facing some stiff competition from other contenders for the title. Twelve students participated in the competition, which raised more than $3,000 for Happy Wheels. This is a charity that operates in three South Carolina children’s hospitals. It allows patients to pick a new toy or book weekly for the length of their hospital stays. Among this year’s Mr. Bearcat winners: Best Talent: Drew Hix, Landon Hix, and Ronin Pettit Mr. Congeniality: Parker Mergo Mr. Sophomore: Parker Mergo Mr. Junior: Dylan Whitman Mr. Senior: Alex Wright Mr. Bearcat Runner-up: Ronin Pettit Mr. Bearcat: Joseph Buchmaier Congratulations to all the winners and the contestants who competed.

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