The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., has an average daily circulation of 87,384 and an average Sunday circulation of 111,588. It is a statewide capital city newspaper and the largest newspaper in South Carolina.
Below are samples of the articles I wrote as a local government reporter for The State newspaper from 2000 to 2004. I focused on growth and development.
September 5, 2000
One family’s land is now a hot property
Allen Guignard sits in his unpretentious office behind the Best
Western Riverside Inn in Cayce and looks out on Guignard Park – property that has been in his family for almost 200 years. (Read full story)
April 27, 2001
Firm says plan is watertight
Burroughs & Chapin’s plan for developing thousands of acres along the Congaree River relies on levees to prevent flooding – a practice thatcritics have questioned since the 1993 Midwestern floods caused an estimated $16 billion in damage. (Read full story)
August 7, 2003
From big venues to big challenges
Sally Roach had never heard of The Township auditorium a month ago.
Now, she’s the interim manager of the 73-year-old facility.
Roach is used to running much larger venues, like the Rose Bowl, and booking stars like Celine Dion and the Rolling Stones. (Read full story)
When Inez Hicks moved back home to Ridgewood in 1974, she was greeted with overgrown vacant lots and abandoned houses.
The community just north of Columbia’s city limits didn’t have sewers. And many families Hicks remembered from her childhood had moved away.
Shortly after Hicks returned, she asked Richland County officials why they weren’t helping residents address some of the problems.
“You know the answer I got?” Hicks, now 83, said. “Nobody asked.” She had a quick reply. “Well, we are asking now.” (Read full story)
August 12, 2003
Paving the way
Longtime residents of the Arthurtown community just south of Columbia remember growing up in a self-sufficient neighborhood with two grocery stores, a barbershop, a barbecue pit and Boogie’s Grill nightclub.
They remember going to see two movies for 10 cents every Saturday night on a pull-down screen in a theater above the nightclub.
“Things were on the up and up back then,” said Lucy Cochran, 74, who was born in Arthurtown.
But as Columbia and Richland County grew northwest toward Irmo and toward the Northeast Richland, Arthurtown was overlooked. (Read full story)
The four blades of a tree spade machine grab a 40-foot Leyland cypress in a bear hug. The blades then begin cutting through five feet of sandy soil like hot butter. Minutes later, the machine plucks the tree and its root ball out of the ground and gently lays it on a truck bed.
The Leyland cypress is one of about 200 mature trees developer Alan Kahn is having moved within his Village at Sandhill development in Northeast Richland. (Read full story)
Rockaway Athletic Club – the Rosewood Drive landmark known for its cheeseburgers and Cajun food – could reopen as soon as Monday after being destroyed by a fire in March 2002.
Like the original, which opened in 1983, there won’t be a sign.
Co-owner Forrest Whitlark likes to keep a low profile. He would like to just heat up the fryers, tap the kegs and open the doors without a lot of fanfare and see who shows up. (Read full story)
July 15, 2004
Big wholesaler leaving State Farmers Market
R.C. McEntire & Co., one of the largest wholesalers at the State Farmers Market, is moving because the company says it can’t wait any longer for the state to relocate the 50-year-old market.
Meanwhile, Richland County has let its option expire on 196 acres off Shop Road that had been selected as the site for a new Farmers Market.
(Read full story)
December 5, 2004
Rural life takes an urban turn
Drive east down Garners Ferry Road and the story of how Columbia is growing rushes past: concrete gray strip malls edging ever closer to green fields.
There’s a dividing line where the road’s character changes from urban to rural — just past the Wal-Mart Supercenter at Atlas Road. West of the line, Garners Ferry is a tangle of strip malls, fast-food restaurants and traffic. To the east, gas stations and fast-food restaurants are popping up. But more than 400 acres are primed for development. And many “For Sale” signs now read “Sold.” (Read full story)
July 1, 2007
Music still the main draw at Bonnaroo
I bought a ticket to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in February after my boyfriend and I broke up so I would have something to look forward to this summer.
My younger brother, who makes a living booking bands for a club in Atlanta, couldn’t believe his too fashionable to be a hippie and not hip enough to be a hipster sister wanted to go hang out on a farm in Manchester, Tenn. for four days with lots of hippies. (Read full story)