When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ridgeville, SC

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If you have been accused and charged with a crime you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Ridgeville, SC. Having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key in order to protect your freedoms and to ensure that a proper legal defense is built to shield you. Dealing with legal charges in Ridgeville can be a highly distressing ordeal with even minor violations causing considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships and alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has over 50 years of combined experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases, sexual misconduct offenses and murder cases, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we provide the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Ridgeville where we will educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps in our representation.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Ridgeville, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum penalty of less than one year are considered misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into three categories: (1) Magistrate or Municipal Level Offenses; (2) General Sessions or Circuit Court State Charges; and, (3) Federal Crimes. Classifications are based on which prosecuting body has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular charge or offense. Regardless of which court your criminal charge is in, the Theos Law Firm has decades of experience protecting individuals from prosecution and assuring that the best possible outcome is achieved.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, and can result in punishment by incarceration up to one year.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes which are punishable by incarceration of more than one year. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentences of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release such as losing the right to vote and the right to carry a firearm. These penalties make it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Ridgeville, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved without a trial through a plea deal. In order to assure that the best possible plea deal become available it is crucial for your legal defense to properly build your defense and prepare your case for trial. Deciding to represent yourself or not hiring the best legal team will likely result in exposure to unnecessary penalties, fines and jail time.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ridgeville, SC?

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At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. Our team of experience criminal defense attorneys can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly. It is critical that you engage an experienced attorney as soon as possible!


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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Ridgeville, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage. If possible, consult with an attorney before answering any questions or participating in any discussions with law enforcement.


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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.


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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When you are accused or charged with committing a crime that you didn't commit defending yourself may seem straightforward but it can be an arduous task to see to it that the charges are timely resolved. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.


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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you your child has been accused of a crime it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could be destructive to your child's life, your family or result in a exposure to jail time. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina

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In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Ridgeville and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Ridgeville, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Ridgeville or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Ridgeville drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?"

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
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Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Ridgeville, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Ridgeville and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes." Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina

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If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Ridgeville, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent," and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Ridgeville, SC

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At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Ridgeville, SC

Google confirms it is behind Project Dawson data center campus in South Carolina

Google has confirmed it is behind a data center development project in Ridgeville, South CarolinaThe search and cloud company has also received permission to develop three more data centers in Belgium.Google confirmed to expand in South CarolinaGoogle has revealed itself to be behind the Project Dawson data center proposals in South Carolina.“The Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) office, which serves to support economic growth in the county, confirms a relationship with G...

Google has confirmed it is behind a data center development project in Ridgeville, South Carolina

The search and cloud company has also received permission to develop three more data centers in Belgium.

Google confirmed to expand in South Carolina

Google has revealed itself to be behind the Project Dawson data center proposals in South Carolina.

“The Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) office, which serves to support economic growth in the county, confirms a relationship with Google who recently closed on property in the county,” the DCED said this week.

“We are thrilled to welcome Google to Dorchester County and know they will be a long-term partner for our community, especially our schools,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Todd Friddle. “Google has a history of strengthening local workforces and uplifting communities, and we look forward to Google making a positive difference here in Dorchester County.”

Campus specifications or project timelines haven't been shared.

According to the Post and Courier, the company aims to invest $510 million in the new campus – a 231-acre site along Research Center Drive and Highway 17A in Dorchester County’s Pine Hill Business Campus. The Dorchester County Council voted to change the site’s zoning earlier this month.

Google – previously reported as the company likely involved – has previously been conducting business around the project behind the Autumn Timber LLC and Mallard LLC company names. The search company had been referring to the site as Project Dawson.

“We have been proud to call South Carolina home for over fifteen years since we first put down roots in Berkeley County,” Google said in a statement. “Since then, we have partnered closely with local leadership, schools, and nonprofits to lift up the great work happening here. As we look to expand in the state, we have acquired property in Dorchester County for the development of a new data center campus. We look forward to growing our community here in South Carolina and will share details as this long-term project progresses.”

Google currently operates a South Carolina data center campus in Moncks Corner, around 20 miles east of Ridgeville. The company recently acquired another 140 acres in the area.

The Post and Courier also reports that Google, going by the aliases Project Evergreen and Gannett Enterprises LLC, has also is purchasing 206 acres for a proposed third data center near the county's Winding Woods Commerce Park along Pecan Tree Road and Highway 78, outside the town of St. George. The company was granted a $5.55 million purchase option for the land this month.

However, the company reportedly aims to focus on the Pine Hill campus for now, and will expand to the Winding Woods site as demand requires.

Google expands in Belgium

In Belgium, Google has been granted permission for a new data center campus.

The Walloon Region has issued an urban planning permit to the company for the construction of a new data center campus in the Hainaut municipality of Farciennes. The company is reportedly investing €600 million ($646m) in the project.

“The Walloon Region has just granted the permit for the installation of Google in Farcienne,” said Hugues Bayet, mayor of the municipality of Farciennes. “A new step in the realization of the digital giant's welcome in our region and above all the net creation of many jobs!”

Plans for the camps were first announced in July 2023. The campus will span some 53,000 sqm (570,500 sq ft). Previous reports suggested work would begin on the first phase – spanning around 7,500 sqm (80,730 sq ft) – would begin last year and launch in 2025.

More recent press suggests groundbreaking for the first 80MW phase is due to happen later this year.

Google acquired 53 hectares of land in the Ecopôle eco-business park, located across the municipalities of Farciennes, Aiseau-Presles, and Sambreville, in 2019. According to previous reports, energy firm Elia has confirmed that 200-300MW of capacity would be available on the site.

Belgium’s Saint Ghislain was the site of Google’s first data center in Europe. The company has built five data centers at its 90-hectare Saint-Ghislain site since 2009 as well as a solar plant. The company uses the shell company Crystal Computing for much of its dealings in Belgium.

2022 also saw Google acquire a 36-hectare site located in Ecaussinnes, in Hainaut province, in the Feluy industrial zone near La Louvière.

According to Raphael Stokis, a delegated official of the Walloon Region, the conditions attached to the permit will require on-site solar panels. Additionally, 90 percent of the energy consumed on the site must be carbon-free by 2025 and this must even be 95 percent by 2030.

Google will also have to opt for a more sustainable cooling system for the data centers in future – reportedly switching from systems that use water-consuming technology to air-cooling.

Next phase revealed for 1.4M-square-foot Ridgeville industrial center

A Charlotte-based real estate developer has revealed the next phase of a large mixed-use park in Ridgeville.Childress Klein, the project’s developer, and Altus Equity Group Inc., a real estate sponsor, operator and investment company, said the finalization of securing an $86.5 million loan needed for construction of their industrial project located in the Camp Hall Commerce Park has been arranged with New York Life Real Estate Investors, according to an Altus Equity Group Inc news release.This is said to be one of the lar...

A Charlotte-based real estate developer has revealed the next phase of a large mixed-use park in Ridgeville.

Childress Klein, the project’s developer, and Altus Equity Group Inc., a real estate sponsor, operator and investment company, said the finalization of securing an $86.5 million loan needed for construction of their industrial project located in the Camp Hall Commerce Park has been arranged with New York Life Real Estate Investors, according to an Altus Equity Group Inc news release.

This is said to be one of the largest historical spec build industrial projects within Charleston proper with the Camp Hall Commerce Park Campus 8, the next phase of the larger Camp Hall mixed-use park, equaling more than 1.4 million square feet, according to the release.

“While construction started in June of last year, we are pleased to announce the closing of our financing for this project,” said Matt Harper, partner at Childress Klein. “Despite some headwinds in the capital markets, we were able to secure attractive financing through New York Life Real Estate Investors and look forward to working with them to complete construction in the second half of this year.”

Camp Hall has been ranked by “Business Facilities Magazine’s” annual rankings as the No. 7 best industrial park in the nation in 2022 – and the only industrial park to make the list in the Southeast. Moreover, the project’s access to Interstate 26 provides convenient connection to the logistics and distribution capabilities of the Charleston market, including the Port of Charleston and Charleston International Airport, the release said.

“We are extremely excited about this project,” said Andrew Eicher, Altus Equity senior vice president. “Charleston is a strong economic center with growing industrial demand from manufacturing, logistics, and the continued growth of the Port of Charleston. There are many complications in a deal of this size, and we appreciate the attentiveness of the local and state governments to the project. In addition to our trusted local industry relationships, Camp Hall and Santee Cooper were instrumental in working through challenges as they arose during the pre-construction phases.”

Construction started in June upon purchase of the land, which was facilitated by Cushman and Wakefield’s Charleston Office. The Charleston office of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc has been selected as the leasing broker for the project by the combined management team, the release said.

Childress Klein has developed more than 51 million square feet of commercial real estate and owns assets valued at more than $3 billion.

“We continue to see opportunities in construction lending and look forward towards solidifying and expanding our relationships with top tier sponsors such as Childress Klein and Altus," said Elizabeth Roy, New York Life Real Estate Investors’ Structured Debt Team senior director.

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Ridgeville residents in historically Black neighborhood push back against development

RIDGEVILLE — There are two ways that families spell the last name Coburn. There's "Coburn" as in Coburn Town Road and there's also "Cobin."Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood's ancestors who were sharecroppers."They couldn't read or write," she said.So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.As Cooke sits, telling stories about the com...

RIDGEVILLE — There are two ways that families spell the last name Coburn. There's "Coburn" as in Coburn Town Road and there's also "Cobin."

Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood's ancestors who were sharecroppers.

"They couldn't read or write," she said.

So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.

As Cooke sits, telling stories about the community of Coburn Town, the one about the names makes her and others smile. It's part of what makes this place special — the shared history — and a symbol of what could be lost as growth starts to transform the area.

"We don't know what's coming," said Elizabeth Crum Huffman, another lifelong resident.

Located off School Street, the Coburn Town community is surrounded by trees, open fields, a railroad track and a closed sawmill. Many of the original Black residents saved money and purchased land in the area following the end of slavery.

Nearly 180 acres surrounding the community were recently approved for rezoning by Dorchester County Council. Those rezoned parcels, including the old Ashley River Lumber Co., will now fall under what the county refers to as commercial light-industrial.

Officials expect it likely will soon hold a warehouse, but no development plans have been approved.

It's one piece of a larger list of changes that highlights Ridgeville as an area of growth. Other indicators include new housing developments, road projects and industrial spaces like the Walmart Distribution Center.

But with a question mark around its future, community members are reflecting even more on what the quiet and familiar community means to them and what it meant to their ancestors who purchased the land to have something of their own.

'We came up the hard way'

Though it's been years since farming was the main source of income in the community, it's still possible to see some of its agricultural roots.

There are open fields that sit on the edges and the rusted fences that used to hold livestock.

Take away the paved roads and some of the home renovations. Picture in its place a couple of wagons, tobacco and potato fields and mules, and it's easy to imagine what the place looked like when Black residents first poured into it.

Walking down Coburn Town Road, Huffman and her sister Virginia Crum said they can remember having to do farming chores as children and just tossing all of the seeds in the field without any order.

Harvest time would usually give them away, they said laughing.

Their father, Willie Kizer Crum Sr., and mother, Hermena Robinson Crum, had 10 children: seven girls and three boys. The couple married in the 1940s. Willie's father was a sharecropper.

Virginia Crum, a retired educator, said their father bought the land they live on now. Some of the things she remembers the most about him is he didn't like buying things on credit and always paid in cash.

Down the street lives James Wesley Duggins Jr., a 78-year-old man who grew up in Coburn Town.

Standing outside working in his yard, he laughed about how annoying the nearby railroad can be with the sound of trains coming through.

His father, James Wesley Duggins Sr., helped build the railroad tracks. "Look now, the machines do all that," Duggins said.

His family moved to the area around the 1920s.

While talking with the sisters, he reminded Crum she integrated Ridgeville Elementary when she was in the first grade. She was born in 1959.

"There's so much history," Crum said.

And while there are tons of happy memories, like playing baseball around some of the farm animals and staying over at each others' houses, the community also remembers how their elders struggled.

There were times as children when they had to run through the woods to avoid White children throwing rocks, Duggins said.

Huffman and Crum's mother often had to travel as far as Charleston to sell goods because the White residents in Ridgeville at the time severely underpaid them, they said.

"We had some strong Black people in the community," Crum said.

Cooke remembers being a child and having a White boy spit at her when they were in town one day.

"I said, 'Daddy, that ain't right,' " Cooke said. Her father, she recalled, encouraged her to let it go for her own safety.

She also remembers sitting outside and working in a yard for a family for whom her grandmother cooked and cleaned. She wasn't allowed to come inside the home.

After working in the yard, Cooke laughed and said all she got for it was an orange dress. "And it had a hole in it," she said.

She said she can't imagine what her grandmother was paid.

"We came up the hard way," Cooke said.

There was a time when everyone in their community was a Coburn-Cobin. But with different marriages, other names started to appear.

Two of Crum and Huffman's aunts married into the Coburn-Cobin family. One of the aunts married Cooke's grandfather.

Outside of marriages, they said, the community has always felt like one big family that supported each other.

When Cooke's family was struggling when she was raised, she said, Huffman and Crum's father would routinely give them potatoes to help them get by.

No one really knew or talked about it.

"Now you borrow sugar and the whole city would know it," Cooke said.

News

A growing town

On Nov. 1, as 180 acres surrounding Coburn Town was rezoned to commercial-light industrial, community members and descendants poured in to raise their concerns.

Many noted the things they wanted to see. Crum emphasized helping the schools and adding facilities like health and community centers. Huffman said she would love to see more sidewalks because she enjoys a daily walk.

Tim Lewis and Felicia Cobin can trace their history in the area as far back as 1829. Rebecca Cobin was buried near the community in the late 1940s. She was born in 1883.

"We really want to look at how we can grow together," Lewis said. "There's history here."

Business

Ridgeville's growth has been a big topic in the past couple of years. Federal funds around COVID-19 relief will bring $6.8 million in roadway improvements around the Ridgeville Industrial Campus.

At the same campus, a Walmart Distribution Center is slated to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, increasing truck traffic.

The county is also expanding water access. Many Coburn Town residents use wells.

Boom & Balance

In conjunction with new housing developments, there's a lot more movement in the Ridgeville area.

Dorchester County Councilman David Chinnis said many things the community wants depend on rooftops. No development plans have been approved around the rezoned property near Coburn Town.

"We don't know what's being built there," Chinnis said.

He encouraged residents to continue their involvement. But whatever comes, he said, the goal would be to protect the community with features like buffers.

The county is also looking to start working on a Ridgeville/Givhans Area Growth Management Plan. The plan has one more layer of council approval to go through before work can start on creating it.

The goal with the plan is to raise awareness about infrastructure concerns and funding. Local community members hope to be a part of the planning process. "Understand that this community is growing," Chinnis said.

And while a lot of the area community members are still wary, many said they still plan to keep pressing on the council to protect the community.

The unknown

Feelings around growth in Coburn Town are mixed.

Some are nervous with the uncertainty about what's to come and what it means about preserving their land and history.

“I was able to share that history with my children,” said Taneeka Wright.

Her grandfather, John Henry Pinckney, was a welder and mechanic who lived in Coburn Town. Her grandmother, Ethel Mae Pinkney, was a cook.

She said she enjoyed showing her children around the community and how she grew up. She remembers having to invent games with friends and families because there weren't a lot of things to play with.

“And I would love to share that history with my grandchildren," she said.

Others in the community are pessimistic and said they know significant change is inevitable.

"It's not going to be the same anymore," said Franklin Pinckney, a lifelong resident and a local high school football star at the old Harley-Ridgeville High School.

All he said he remembers now are the body aches.

Boom & Balance

"It's not going to be the same anymore," he said thinking about the future and the thought of hearing loud trucks and movement in a community that tends to be quiet and slow.

One resident said he doesn't have any fear.

"I like to try and be real," said Wendell Coburn, 81.

Coburn manages his dementia and lives with his wife Betty, 71. With his condition, Betty is still able to communicate with him and help him have conversations with people.

Community members said he might struggle with the present but he can still hold conversations about the past.

Wendell built their Coburn Town Road home more than 40 years ago. He was raised by a single mother who had to walk 3 miles to work.

He's known in the community as being someone who was always willing to lend a helping hand without even being asked. Residents said the influence of his mother and the community is all over him. "They preserved him for me," Betty said with a laugh.

She married into the community.

To Wendell, community connection and talking with people are important. He describes Corburn Town as a community of caring.

When asked to spell his last name, Wendell makes sure people know it's with the "urn" and not the "in."

"If you can't communicate with people, you're doing nothing," he said.

In a 1900 census interview of Ransom Coburn it points to the Coburn-Cobin family origin being in Virginia around the Jamestown area.

The descendants believe they came to South Carolina either for work collecting turpentine or constructing the railroads.

Reach Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @jfloyd134.

Walmart’s new Ridgeville distribution center brings over 1,000 jobs

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Walmart’s $220 million-dollar international distribution center in Ridgeville is now open for business.Officials from Dorchester County and Gov. Henry McMaster spoke at the grand opening on Friday.“This is just one more sign of our great prosperity that’s going to keep on going,” McMaster says. “This is one of the three largest such distribution centers in the world.”So far, Walmart has hired over 900 associates and they are looking to hire a total of 1,300 fu...

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Walmart’s $220 million-dollar international distribution center in Ridgeville is now open for business.

Officials from Dorchester County and Gov. Henry McMaster spoke at the grand opening on Friday.

“This is just one more sign of our great prosperity that’s going to keep on going,” McMaster says. “This is one of the three largest such distribution centers in the world.”

So far, Walmart has hired over 900 associates and they are looking to hire a total of 1,300 full-time employees. The Walmart distribution center is expected to increase the Port of Charleston’s volume by 5 percent, bringing them more jobs as well.

Jeffrey Holzbauer, General Manager of Imports with Walmart says this center will have a huge impact on Dorchester County. Not only for the number of jobs they are bringing but the pay rate as well.

Along with the distribution center, there are 122 retail stores in the state. In total, Walmart employs over 30,000 associates in South Carolina.

This will be the 5th distribution facility in the state, and its impact will reach farther than South Carolina. The center will supply 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the southeast.

Holzbauer says over the past few years keeping shelves in stores stocked has been an issue. The distribution center’s main purpose is to limit situations like that happening by making sure the right stores have the right products at the right time.

“Trailers come in from the port, folks then unload them,” Holzbauer says. “They go to a storage rack until a store is running low on inventory. Then we send associates to pick that product, take it to the ship dock, and put it in containers that’s destined for a regional distribution center.”

The town of Ridgeville was chosen for the distribution center for a few reasons. It’s strategically located relatively close to the port of Charleston. Holzbauer says there were a lot of qualified associates in the area, and there’s access to major transportation channels to get their products to their stores as fast as possible.

South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome says this building could be the tip of the iceberg for a county focused on business.

“We own this whole industrial campus, except we granted this to Walmart, so we’re working on other projects out here,” Newsome says. “I think there’s a number of distribution projects that can come here because of the location between I-26 and I-95.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Cold storage company announces investment, new jobs for Dorchester County

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A cold storage solutions company plans to invest more than $70 million to establish operations in Dorchester County, the governor’s office announced Thursday.Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics is a third-party cold chain services provider that focuses on handling, storage, distribution and value-added services for the food industry. The company works to bridge supply gaps within the cold chain industry through modern cold storage warehouse development and services.“We are extremely excite...

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A cold storage solutions company plans to invest more than $70 million to establish operations in Dorchester County, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics is a third-party cold chain services provider that focuses on handling, storage, distribution and value-added services for the food industry. The company works to bridge supply gaps within the cold chain industry through modern cold storage warehouse development and services.

“We are extremely excited about this project and want to express our sincere thanks to the South Carolina Ports Authority, Dorchester County, our Saxum Real Estate partners, the Governor and the Department of Commerce in the great state of South Carolina for their support,” Arcadia CEO Chris Hughes said. “We are very bullish on the Charleston market — the advantages of the Port of Charleston as a Southeast gateway out of and into the U.S. — and on our ability to provide the specialized and unique handling and storage services that will be required for retailers, frozen and refrigerated food manufacturers, and fruit and produce importers to grow their market share in the region. Most importantly, we are proud to bring new jobs to Dorchester County and the surrounding communities.”

The new operation, which will be located at the Ridgeville Industrial Campus, will support high-volume throughput handling services including a variety of value-added services, full pallet handling, case picking and transportation management. The company will utilize the Port of Charleston to support both import and export trade.

“The demand for efficient food distribution across the United States will only continue to grow, and it’s innovative companies like Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics that are answering the call and addressing supply gaps,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “We are proud to welcome this company to Dorchester County, and look forward to the positive impact they will make in South Carolina and on the U.S. food supply chain.”

The company expects the investment will create 69 new jobs.

“We are excited to welcome Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics to Dorchester County and celebrate the 69 new jobs that the company will create,” Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey said. “South Carolina’s talented workforce, ideal East Coast location and efficient infrastructure network make our state the perfect location for Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics’ new operations.”

The facility is expected to be operational by early 2024. Those interested in joining the Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics team should visit the company’s careers page.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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