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West Columbia Boil Water Advisory Lifted
West Columbia, SC 12/02/2021 – The City of West Columbia boil water advisory has been lifted for the following areas due to a water main break: All of: 1734 Mobile Ave 2208A – 2334 Airport Blvd (even Addresses ONLY) 1245 – 1269 Boston Ave 2104 – 2312 Durham Dr 2927 – 2935 Platt Springs Road 1101 – 1200 Kitty Hawk Dr Woodhurst Lane Lownsdale Rd Westmoreland Lane Baywater Dr Swannanoa Dr Pinecroft Dr Lakewood Dr Pompeii Pl Paleo Verde Dr Lee Circle Albatross St The line has been repaired and water service is restored. The water supply has been thoroughly tested and boiling water is no longer necessary. Water customers may check the city of West Columbia website at www.westcolumbiasc.gov for updates on all boil water advisories. Water customers may also contact customer service at City Hall between 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 803.791.1880. Emergencies occurring after hours and on weekends and holidays should be reported to the West Columbia Police Department at 803.794.0721.
One dead following collision with Lexington County fire truck near Swansea
Swansea, SC 12/02/2021 (Paul Kirby) – One man is dead after the vehicle he was in collided with a Lexington County fire engine southeast of the Town of Swansea, SC. According to a spokeswoman for the county, the collision occurred at approximately 6:10 p.m. Wednesday evening. It was at the intersection of St. Matthews Road and Pine Tower Circle. Lexington County Fire Service’s Engine 316 out of the Swansea Fire Station was returning from a fire on Culler Road when the collision occurred. It was driving non-emergent when a passenger vehicle with one occupant crossed the center line and struck the fire truck head on. That occupant, identified by Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher as 71-year-old Christopher Lykes Sr. of Swansea, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The two firefighters were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The SC Highway Patrol is in charge of investigating this collision.
Two home fires back-to-back in southern of Lexington County Wednesday afternoon
Lexington County, SC 12/02/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Two separate homes caught fire and burned in southern Lexington County Wednesday afternoon. One of the homes was in the Sandy Run or Horse’s Neck area and the second was northwest of Pelion close to the Fairview community. The first fire was reported as a house fire off Culler Road near Calvary Church Road in the Horse’s Neck community. This fire was called in just before 2:30 p.m. The first county firefighters on scene came out of the Sandy Run Fire Station. When those Lexington County firefighters arrived, they found smoke and fire conditions in areas of the homes. They set up to make an attack on the fire as more resources rushed to assist them. This was labeled a working fire and a command system was established to supervise the fight and ensure the sfaty and wellfare of the crews. It took some time for the teams to establish a reliable water supply because of the rural nature of the area and a lack of fire hydrants in the vicinity. Water tanker trucks were pressed into use to shuttle the supply needed to fight the fire, but this is labor, equipment, and driver intensive. One of the county’s battalion chiefs began to shift resources from the central part of the county towrd the south as equipment and manpower marked themselves on scene and joined the fight. This move was key to the fire service being prepared for the second fire near Fairview that would be reported about 1 hour later. Once enough manpower and equipment were on the scene on Culler Road, crews were able to bring the fire under control rather quickly. It took them several additional hours to finish searching the home for any hidden fire, salvaging what they could, and picking up and cleaning up their equipment. At approximately 3:30 p.m., the second fire, a mobile home, fire was reported burning in the 1400 block of Charlestown Road northwest of the Town of Pelion. This is a long, dusty, rough road that runs from Pine Street on the Pelion end out toward Fairview Crossroads and Leesville on the other. According to reports, the home was in fire located closer to the Convent Church Road end of the road. When firefighters arrived on this scene, they reported they encountered a fully involved mobile home that was quickly being engulfed by flames. The first arriving equipment from Lexington County’s Fairview station began to muster the resources to fight the fire but once again, water was limited due to the rural nature of the area. Some firefighting resources were able to leave the Culler Road call and begin that way as additional trucks and manpower ran to the fire from some of the county’s more central and western fire stations. The Town of Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department was requested to send a fire engine from its headquarters to the pond at Cedar Pond Campground near Fairview Road and Parrish Road. That fire engine was able to begin drawing water from the pond to fill the water tanker trucks from the blaze. This gave the commanders a reliable source of water they needed to refill their tanker trucks. Firefighters poured water on this fire until they eventually brought it under control too. The home was a total loss. In this case, the American Red Cross was notified to assist the people who’d lost their home and possessions as a result of the fire. Both of these fires were challenging because of the rural nature of the areas where they burned. The first fire was near the Calhoun County line and the second was adjacent to the Aiken County line. Although these rural areas are attractive to landowners for their quiet, peaceful nature, homeowners should remember that being fire safe is especially important. If a fire or medical emergency does occur, they need to have wide drives with a strong bases so that fire trucks and EMS crews can access the structures. In these portions of the county, the sandy soils can also be an issue if people do not provide adequate access for fire trucks and ambulances with maintained driveways. All homes, especially those with long drives in and out, should be well marked so that emergnecy responders can quickly locate them both in the day or night. No estimate of the monetary loss of either of these homes has been given.
Dominion Energy moves some customers to Mid-Carolina to improve utility service on Lake Murray
Cayce, SC 12/01/2021 – A 1,700-foot long power line dropping 40 feet into the waters of Lake Murray would normally be bad news for Keller Kissam, Dominion Energy South Carolina’s (DESC) president of Electric Operations. But last month was an exception. Kissam and Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperatives (MCEC) president Bob Paulling watched from a nearby boat ramp recently as linemen followed safety protocols before cutting two spans of a deenergized line which previously served customers along the lake’s western reaches. After each span hit the water, other crews on the opposite shorelines pulled it to shore with a winch and takeup reel. “It helps address employee safety, public safety and customer service,” Kissam said. “All three of those come together with this project in an absolutely wonderful way.” It was the culmination of an ongoing partnership between Dominion Energy and Mid-Carolina. The utilities reached an agreement earlier this year to reassign roughly 55 customers as both companies work to improve reliability and operational efficiency for those who live along Lake Murray. “Mid-Carolina is positioned well to serve a small pocket of customers we have across the lake,” Kissam said. “The line we’ve taken down was just serving a small group of customers, so it makes sense that those customers become members of Mid-Carolina. As a result, we can eliminate these very large poles and the wire that's going across the lake. It’s more efficient and safer for everyone involved." Stretching from shore to shore, the line constructed in the mid-1970s was originally designed to serve a handful of meters across the lake. The customer reassignment removes the operational challenge for linemen when a fallen tree or equipment failure caused a problem on these remote lines. “I wanted to see our utilities working together to solve a problem,” Paulling said. “We all live in the communities we serve. And that's what's important about this is just making life better for our members and Dominion's customers. Earlier this year, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved an agreement between DESC and MCEC which reassigned some customers and power lines between both companies. The agreement improved service for those customers by reducing the miles of infrastructure needed to reach them and providing more options for redundancy, which should result in even more efficient and reliable service for all involved customers. “It’s cleaning up the service territories from a safety and an operational perspective,” Paulling said. “It will help provide better service to these communities.” This joint project marked the first of what both utilities hope will be several line removals along Lake Murray. Kissam and Paulling said they will research additional opportunities for collaboration to continue to serve customers more efficiently, safely and reliably. PHOTO: The line being cut VIDEO: Watch the line as it's being taken down
Jesus Is His Name, the story of the life of Christ, to debut this weekend in South Congaree
South Congaree, SC 12/01/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Jesus Is His Name, the story of the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, debuts once again in South Congaree this weekend. This annual Christmas tradition is returning to the Midlands of South Carolina for its fifth year and is open to the public at absolutely no cost. Since its inception, friends and families from all over the state and the southeast have come together each year to enjoy the inspiring story, beautiful music, and unmatched scenery and costumes as the cast and crew tell the story of the birth, life, death, and resurrection from the grave of Jesus Christ. It trly is a life-changing experience for many who attend. In order to produce the show each year, as many as 120 volunteer cast members from across the area, live animals, and crew members begin months in advance preparing for the show. As December draws near, the work intensifies with building crews assembling the sets and others gathering all the resources needed for the 10 free performances. This is a life changing story and each year; scores of people have either come to know Christ as their Lord for the first time or reaffirmed their faith in his promise of eternal life by witnessing this spectacle. It truly has and will continue to be a life changing story for many more years to come. This event has become a traditional Christmas highlight for many and due to demands for seating, the producers have added performances to accommodate the throngs that attend. This is festival seating, and no reservation are needed. This year’s performances are: Saturday, Dec 4 @ 2pm & 6pm and Sunday, Dec. 5 @ 6pm Friday, Dec. 10 @ 7pm - Saturday, Dec. 11 @2pm & 6pm - Sunday, Dec. 12 @ 6pm Friday, Dec. 17 @7pm - Saturday, Dec. 18 @ 2pm & 6pm There will be no show on Sunday, December 19, 2021 This two-hour event is located at 395 Oak Street, South Congaree, SC 29172. It’s held at the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commissions Equestrian Arena that is fully enclosed with custom tarps and climate controlled especially for this performance. The drama is a FREE ministry, and it comes together with the assistance of several benefactors and all the volunteers who gather to be a part each year. Those volunteers come together for the sole purpose of sharing this wonderful story of Love to all who attend. For more information, please visit: www.jesusishisname.com.
The Chosen Christmas Special to be shown at Pelion area church
Pelion, SC 12/01/2021 (Paul Kirby) - A Pelion area church will play host this year to the community as they join under one roof to view the hit television series The Chosen’s Christmas Special. When this series and special were released, ticket sales broke records for how quickly it sold out! Now, you and your family can see this hit in the Pelion area of Lexington County. According to its Facebook page, The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season series based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. The Rescue Church. located on Old Charleston Road in Pelion, has partnered with Angel Studios to bring this exciting Christmas Special to the Pelion community. They are doing so at a discounted price after mainstream theaters sold out within hours of announcing ticket sales were open at box offices. The series is to being screened on Friday, December 10, 2021 beginning at 7 p.m. at The Rescue Church which is located at 441 Old Charleston Road in Pelion, SC. The cost for tickets are just $8 for each adult and $5 for children under age 12. The church will also have reasonably priced concessions available so that you can make this an exciting and affordable evening of entertainment for the entire family. Tickets can be purchase online at: https://faithcontentnetwork.brushfire.com/thechosen/522069
Join Capital City Lake Murray Country to kickoff your holiday cheer this week!
Lake Murray, SC 12/01/2021 (Paul Kirby) – The Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Bureau has two big events planned for this week as their way of helping you get a jumpstart on your Christmas cheer. Both events are centered around the “Jewel of S.C.” Lake Murray and will not only be fun but also allow you to enjoy this natural treasure in our area and share some beautiful gifts representing it with the people on your Christmas list. Holiday Hop & Shop December 2nd The first event happens tomorrow, December 2nd, 2021. It’s called a Holiday Stop & Shop. This is an afternoon and evening of shopping opportunities with locally owned and operated businesses. They each have their own special flare for providing you with unique gifts and are all perfect places to find a special gift for that hard to buy for person on your list this year. Start at the CCLMC Visitors’ Center's Gift Shop located at 2184 N Lake Drive, Columbia, SC 29212 at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. That’s just on the Irmo side of the Lake Murray dam. From there, they can steer you to the other participating businesses. Those are: Wingard’s Market - 1403 North Lake Drive, Lexington Nifty Gifty - 104 Andrew Corley Rd, Lexington, SC Fancy Pants/Posture Boutique - 2900 Dreher Shoals Rd, Columbia, SC Each location is serving a special holiday beverage so all you'll need to do is Stop and shop! Christmas Light Boat Parade December 4th on Lake Murray The Lake Murray Country’s Christmas Light Boat Parade, sponsored by Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Stewart Landing and 97.5 (WCOS), will be held Saturday, December 4th. Join in the fun at the Lexington Park Site at the Lake Murray Dam; gates open at 4:30pm. Pack a picnic dinner, listen to Christmas carols and enjoy the parade beginning at 6pm. A special candle lighting and fireworks finale will take place at the end of the parade. “Lake Murray’s Christmas Light Boat Parade is a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday season. We can’t wait to see Lake Murray sparkle with Christmas lights,” said Miriam Atria, President/CEO of the Capital City/Lake Murray Country regional tourism office. Interested in participating? Call 803-781-5940 to register your boat for the parade. The deadline is November 30th at 12pm. There are three cash prizes; 1st place ($1500), 2nd place ($1000) and 3rd place ($500). Pets are not allowed at this event.
6 arrested in unrelated weekend storage unit break-ins
Lexington, SC 11/30/2021 - Deputies arrested five adults and one minor accused of breaking into storage units Nov. 27 and 28. William Hinson, 50, and Jessica Spillman, 39, are charged with third-degree burglary after being accused of breaking into the U-Haul Moving and Storage on Jamil Road. on Saturday, according to the incident report. The minor was turned over to a parent. In a separate incident, Michael Hutchens, 32, Janis Simmons, 45, and Donald Hudson, 41, are charged with third-degree burglary after being accused of breaking into the same storage facility the next day, according to the incident report. “Our deputies responded after a call was made both nights stating the caller had seen people going in and out of units as well as taking items out of open units,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. Deputies arrested Hutchins, Simmons and Hudson after a traffic stop at the Circle K on Sunset Boulevard. The caller identified the driver and passengers as the people she had seen going in and out of storage units at the facility. Hinson, Spillman and the minor were taken into custody after the caller blocked them from leaving when she saw them loading items from a storage unit into a truck. Hinson, Spillman, Hutchins, Simmons and Hudson were transported to the Lexington County Detention Center. PHOTO: Top Row L to R: Simmons, Hutchens and Hudson. Bottom Row L to R: Hinson and Spillman
Wingard’s Market issues call for photos for 55th Anniversary book
Lexington, SC 11/30/2021 – In honor of 2022 being their 55th year in business, Wingard’s Market is issuing a call for all original works of photography of Lake Murray from past to present. Lake Murray is known throughout the state as an incredible destination for families to explore the outdoors. Wingard’s owners, Wally and Delores Steinhauser, stated, “As a part of our 55th Anniversary celebration, we plan to publish a book of landmarks, historical photos, agriculture/land/produce, churches, businesses, “under the lake,” interesting tidbits, and original works from local photographers that showcase Lexington County. Our main focus will be on one-of-a-kind photos of Lake Murray!” Photo Information: Format of submission: TIFF or JPEG, minimum of 300 DPI Include Date of Photo/Description and Specifications Please include the name and contact information of the original photographer Waiver/Authorization of Use Signature Submission Date: January 12, 2022 Photographer Information: Professional or novice photography accepted South Carolina residents preferred Photographers must include waiver of use and contact information. Please submit your photographs to Ashley Hunter VIA Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will also be accepted until January 6, 2022. Notification of selected photographs will be sent by email by January 31, 2022. Selection of the 30-40 photographs to be presented in the book is solely at the discretion of Wingard’s Market.
Lexington area business owner seeking tips on thief who stole steel plates
Lexington, SC 11/30/2021 (Paul Kirby) – A Lexington area business owner is hoping that someone might recognize a thief that was caught in the act. On the night of Friday, November 26, 2021 at 11:44 p.m., this suspect committed larceny by stealing over $2,000 worth of steel plates from the yard of Lexington Machine Corporation in the industrial area of the county. This is near Longs Pond Road and I-20. While he was committing this crime, he and the truck and trailer he was using were caught on cameras and the owner of the business is now sharing a photo and that video footage with the public. Please look at the picture and the full video closely. The vehicle appears to be an older model dark colored GMC or Chevrolet pickup pulling a small, single axle utility trailer. The truck is an extended cab model with what looks to be factory rims that have been painted black. There’s a toolbox across the truck's bed and it appears as if the driver’s side back window may be knocked out and covered with plastic that’s taped on. The man is of average build and was wearing a jacket. He also has a hood puled up on his head. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department was notified, and they are investigating this case. If you recognize the man or his truck, you should call them at (803) 785-8230. Ask for someone in investigations and they can transfer you. You could also make anonymous tips through CRIME STOPPERS by calling 1-888-CRIME SC or through their website at midlandscrimestoppers.com. VIDEO: PHOTO:
Lexington Two to hold ground breaking for new Performing Arts Center and District Office
West Columbia, SC 11/30/2021 - Lexington Two will break ground on a new performing arts center and district office in December, following the board’s final approval of plans earlier this month. The center, the final piece of the district’s $225 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2014, will be on district-owned property at 3211 Platt Springs Road in Springdale. It had originally been slated for Saxe Gotha Road in Cayce but was shifted in favor of a more centralized location for all five communities the district serves. Groundbreaking is set for Tuesday, December 7th, 2021. Construction is estimated to take about two years. “We are so excited to announce the groundbreaking for the performing arts center,” said Lexington Two Board Chair Christina Rucker. “This facility will be located in the heart of our school district and is the perfect location to showcase our amazing and talented students.” The center will offer the district a large, state-of-the-art venue and full working stage for performances, special events, and district-wide occasions, something many schools do not have. The center will include a two-level balcony with seating for 1,550, as well as four meeting and event breakout spaces, two of which hold up to 300 people. Upgraded systems in stage lighting and sound, along with dressing rooms, set storage and backstage areas, will ensure that the center is outfitted for a range of opportunities in dance, music, theater and more. "This project is symbolic of the transition from the district's referendum period toward future opportunities for our students, employees, and communities,” said Lexington Two Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade. “This facility, I believe, firmly states we are a district that is central, innovative, and attractive. I am excited about the work that has been done and is currently being worked on to ensure this is a place that creates and supports champions." The primary mission for the center -- which represents Lexington Two’s commitment to the importance of fine arts in education -- is its use by district students, schools and employees. The vision for the center also includes use for professional development and planning, statewide conferences, conventions, and student competitions, as well as community and cultural events, as space is available. “The most important benefit of this center is the opportunity that it provides our students to perform in such an amazing space,” said Jim LeBlanc, principal at Lexington Two’s Saluda River Academy for the Arts. “But this is so much more than just a building for these students to perform in. Students can learn the behind-the-scenes roles and jobs that are necessary for performances, as well as receive first-hand exposure to professionals in the industry who will be drawn to utilize a venue this nice. Our students will have a state-of-the-art facility to showcase their many talents across all arts areas.” The board, which gave final approval to the project at its November 18 meeting, is expected to decide on a name for the center in coming weeks. A stakeholder committee has offered three recommendations: Lexington Two Visual and Performing Arts Center (Lex2 V-PAC), Metropolitan Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2) and Midlands Arts Center of Lexington Two (MAC of Lex2). The district office will move into the center, a measure that will allow the space to be continuously occupied. The estimated cost for the project is $52 million. "I am looking forward to what our direction and renewed commitment to the fine arts will look like, as later this school year we will embark upon a working committee to assess current needs, determine the needs and interests of our students, and shape our future direction," Dr. Wade said. PHOTOS: Exterior renderings of Lexington Two's performing arts center (Credit: Jumper Carter Sease)
Spend some quality time in West Columbia this Christmas
West Columbia, SC 11/30/2021 (Paul Kirby) – The City of West Columbia announced recently all the wonderful things they'll have to see and do in the city this year as Christmas fast approaches. Each year, the plan many family friendly events that are all open to the community. It's a wonderful time to bring your entire family to renew old friendships and make some new ones in the city that's made a name for itself on the west banks of the Congaree. First, a new mailbox has shown up in the city! Santa’s Mailbox is located at Carraway Park, 212 Hudson Street, West Columbia, South Carolina, 29169. Children can drop their letters to Santa in the special mailbox from now through December 15, 2021, for a response by Christmas. The mailbox will accept letters through December 24, however, if a letter is placed in the box after December 15, a response from Santa might not make it back in time before Christmas Day. All information can be found at www.westcolumbiasc.gov/santasmailbox. Santa is picking two letters, postmarked by tomorrow, December 1st, to be read by Mrs. Claus at the City’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3rd at 6:30 PM, at the West Columbia City Hall. Include a parent’s email address and Santa’s Elves will let you know if your child’s letter will be read during the tree lighting event. Make sure to include the child’s name, age, and address. Parents, please help little ones make their information legible. To help with the letter writing, the city has offered some helpful hints for parents or caregivers: To save paper, write on the back of your child’s letter. If you keep them together, your child will also be able to recall what he or she wrote. When responding as Santa, make the letter from Santa as personal as possible by highlighting your child’s accomplishments over the past year. For example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school, or participating in community service activities. Make it special by responding to your child’s wish list or including information about your family, animals, or Elf on the Shelf. This is a great activity for the holidays that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other caregivers. This week, the City of West Columbia is hosting the 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. It will be held this Friday, December 3, 2021, at 6:30 PM, at West Columbia City Hall, 200 N. 12th Street, West Columbia, SC. Each year, West Columbia area elementary schools hold a “What Christmas Means to Me” contest. The essay winners from each school are recognized at the tree lighting and will read their winning essays or poems. In addition to the writing contest, there is a student artwork contest. The winning artwork entry will be featured on the cover of the event program. The top three entries will be displayed on the Art on State wall on the corner of State and Meeting Streets. The program will include Christmas carols, greetings, and the lighting of the West Columbia Christmas Tree. Entertainment includes: Steve Varholy - Master of Ceremonies Busbee Creative Arts Academy Chorus - The Academy Christmas Carolers East Point Academy - Smile Dance Group East Point Academy - Cub Chorus Special Readings from Mrs. Claus Gather everyone together and head to West Columbia this weekend to start enjoying the Christms season in West Columbia.