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

Criminal Defense Lawyer in St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews 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 St. Matthews 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.

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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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews 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 St. Matthews 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
Criminal Defense Lawyer St. Matthews, SC

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 St. Matthews, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in St. Matthews 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, SC

SC Revolutionary War site tells story of woman who spurred defeat for the British

FORT MOTTE — Lovers of history gathered at a hilltop near the Congaree River to remember a Revolutionary War battle that might have turned on one woman’s sense of patriotism and sacrifice.The gathering in Calhoun County on May 15 focused on the Battle of Fort Motte when a British-held fortified home, which held key supplies for their campaign to subdue inland South Carolina, was taken by Patriot troops.The newly built home belonged to Rebecca Motte, who had been displaced just before the battle in May 1781. Motte no...

FORT MOTTE — Lovers of history gathered at a hilltop near the Congaree River to remember a Revolutionary War battle that might have turned on one woman’s sense of patriotism and sacrifice.

The gathering in Calhoun County on May 15 focused on the Battle of Fort Motte when a British-held fortified home, which held key supplies for their campaign to subdue inland South Carolina, was taken by Patriot troops.

The newly built home belonged to Rebecca Motte, who had been displaced just before the battle in May 1781. Motte not only told Patriot forces that they had permission to set fire to her home to smoke the British out, but she even provided metal arrows that could help set it ablaze.

British troops, seeing the house afire, were forced to surrender but managed to douse the flames before the home was destroyed.

Motte’s stance was in line with her long support for the American Revolution and typified how Patriot women were eager to help where they could, said Margaret F. Pickett, author of a soon-to-be-published book, “Rebecca Brewton Motte: American Patriot and Successful Rice Planter.”

“These were women who wanted to serve their country, and when an opportunity presented itself, they were going to take advantage of it,” Pickett said.

About 150 people heard from Pickett and archaeologists about the history that has been uncovered at the privately owned site and the significance of the victory there.

One year before the battle, the British captured Charleston and Camden, giving them strong bases on South Carolina’s coast and inland. Motte, recently widowed, moved her family from occupied Charleston to land she had inherited overlooking the Congaree.

A series of Patriot victories across the state, including at Fort Motte, would weaken British control in the months before George Washington’s victory at Yorktown in Virginia would ensure independence.

“Rebecca Motte is a heroine of the American Revolution,” said Dianne Culbertson, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution service organization who came to the battlefield tour. “It’s just wonderful to stand at one of these sites,” she said.

The many battlefields of the American Revolution in South Carolina are opportunities to tell the stories of the patriotism of the country’s founders, men and women, Culbertson said.

Women had to keep families together and run farms while men were off at battle, she said.

The battle site now is an open field with a historical marker; the house burned down in the first few decades after the war.

Archaeological digs there have unearthed hundreds of items that tell the story of the battle, including musket ammunition and a fire arrow, the type of projectile that might have been responsible for the fortified house catching fire.

Digs at the site have unearthed everything from the configuration of the house and its British-built walls to the location of Patriot trenches, dug to safely get troops close enough to attack the defenses, said Steven Smith, a University of South Carolina archaeology professor.

Sources from the time and archeological research have created a much more detailed picture of the events of the siege and battle, Smith said.

Luther Wannamaker, whose family has owned the land where the house once stood for the past century, said they had refused requests to develop the property and instead cleaned up the site.

“When I came here, that monument was on its side,” Wannamaker said.

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He has preserved it and invited Smith to do archeological research as part of his own curiosity.

“What I’m into is learning the truth about history,” he said.

The immediate aftermath of the surrender of the house by British forces in May 1781 shows how the American Revolution was both a courtly affair and sometimes a brutal civil war.

To show her hospitality, Motte hosted a dinner for both British and American officers at the nearby house where she had taken shelter after being evicted.

The cordial meal was interrupted by news: the Patriot forces had hanged three Loyalists — Americans who fought for the British — near the battle site.

Gone is Mrs. Whaley.

Gone is the sign that hung outside the wrought-iron gate set back from Church Street beckoning visitors into her walled garden.

Gone is the marble statue that peered protectively over a shallow pool, the backyard’s centerpiece.

But the miniature Eden the late gardener and author immortalized in a memoir published before her death more than a quarter century ago continues to bloom. And its new owner plans to keep Mrs. Whaley’s spirit alive as she restores the historic home and the more famous garden.

“The house is charming, and old,” said Ruth Ann McSpadden, who bought the property this summer for $3.35 million from Marty Whaley Adams Cornwell, Emily Whaley’s youngest daughter.

As the sun dappled through the lush canopy behind the white clapboard home that predates the Revolutionary War and was once owned by Thomas Hayward Jr., who signed the Declaration of Independence, she added: “But the magic is back here. This is just a really special place.”

The 30-foot by 100-foot backyard is said to be the most visited private garden in America. In 1942, Whaley commissioned the design from renowned landscape architect Loutrel Briggs. Mrs. Whaley’s Garden, as it’s now known, is rumored to be his favorite, according to her book “Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden” written in conversation with William Baldwin.

“If you have a Loutrel Briggs garden, it’s like manna from heaven,” Cornwell said in a phone interview from her home in the mountains of North Carolina overlooking another garden — this one her own. “You can’t fail.”

Three people exposed to rabid animal in Calhoun County

ST. MATTHEWS, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reports three people in Calhoun County were sent to healthcare providers after being exposed to an animal that tested positive for rabies.Officials said a fox found near Lakeview Street and Amaryllis Drive in St. Matthews tested positive for rabies, officials add the fox was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on July 2 and confirmed to have rabies on July 3.“Rabies is usually transmitted through...

ST. MATTHEWS, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reports three people in Calhoun County were sent to healthcare providers after being exposed to an animal that tested positive for rabies.

Officials said a fox found near Lakeview Street and Amaryllis Drive in St. Matthews tested positive for rabies, officials add the fox was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on July 2 and confirmed to have rabies on July 3.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch that allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal,” said Rabies Program Team Leader Terri McCollister. “However, infected saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies. To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space.”

If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or a wildlife rehabilitator according to officials.

You are encouraged to report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC said officials.

For more general information on rabies in the Midlands, visit DHEC and for more information on the disease, visit the CDC rabies pages.

Administrators said if you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with the fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC’s Public Health Orangeburg Office at (803) 533-5480 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

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S.C. Newspaper That Announced Its Own Demise Is Back From The Dead

The Calhoun Times, the small weekly newspaper in South Carolina that announced its own impending death last month, is back among the living.The Times, based in St. Matthews, South Carolina, s...

The Calhoun Times, the small weekly newspaper in South Carolina that announced its own impending death last month, is back among the living.

The Times, based in St. Matthews, South Carolina, said in its Jan. 12 issue that the Feb. 2 edition would be its last. But the Times has been acquired by another newspaper, The Aiken Leader of Wagener, South Carolina. The Times will continue to publish each week.

According to a press account of the transaction, members of the Morris family, which had owned and operated the paper since the 1920s, will continue to work at the paper.

Edwin C. Morris Jr., the third-generation publisher of the Times, will continue in that role. His 87-year-old father, Craddock Morris, had been editor; he now will be a free-lance writer for the paper.

Andrew O'Byrne Sr., owner and publisher of the Leader, will become the owner of the newspaper, which will be renamed soon as the Calhoun Times Leader.

"A newspaper is important to the health of a community, and we are happy that we will be able to keep a paper in Calhoun County," O'Byrne told The Times & Democrat of Orangeburg.

"A local newspaper facilitates dialogue between local government and the citizens, and we are committed to bringing the community the news it has relied on for so many years from The Calhoun Times," he added.

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Wagener is about 40 miles west of St. Matthews, has about 800 residents. It is about 40 miles west of St. Matthews.

The Leader has a weekly circulation of about 10,000, according to the South Carolina Press Association. Presumably it serves all of Aiken County, which borders the state of Georgia and is part of the Augusta market.

The Times, located in Calhoun County, is in the center of the state is a part of the Columbia market. Its current circulation is about 1,500.

The name change will be one sign of new ownership; O’Byrne didn’t articulate what others might be in the press coverage of the transaction.

At this point, neither the Times nor the Leader has a website. The Leader is a free giveaway newspaper that presumably makes its money on advertising or other types of promotions. The newly minted Times Leader could follow that model.

The Morrises have been the newspaper family in St. Matthews since the late 1920s. Small-town papers rely on stories about local sports teams, town expenditures, booster organizations and their projects, and other staples of day-to-day living. Such a paper relies on local people having trust and confidence in a paper’s reporters and editors, so there is business sense in keeping the Morrises on the payroll of the new Times Leader.

In an interview about the transfer in ownership, Craddock Morris said, "We have tried to serve the public with good news and trying to keep the public informed on everything by trying to cover all the activities, schools, organizations and clubs."

Spoken like a true small-town journalist.

Mixon Seed buys Wannamaker Seed; company promises $750,000 investment, 10 new jobs in St. Matthews

ST. MATTHEWS – An Orangeburg-based seed production company announced Tuesday it is expanding its services in Calhoun County.Mixon Seed Service, Inc. has purchased St. Matthews-based L.B. Wannamaker Seed Company.“We are excited,” Mixon Seed Service Inc. President Robert Etheridge said during a Tuesday ceremony celebrating the purchase. “It is a neat honor to be able to carry on two stored companies that have been in the state over 150 years.“We are happy to be able to carry that forward.&rdqu...

ST. MATTHEWS – An Orangeburg-based seed production company announced Tuesday it is expanding its services in Calhoun County.

Mixon Seed Service, Inc. has purchased St. Matthews-based L.B. Wannamaker Seed Company.

“We are excited,” Mixon Seed Service Inc. President Robert Etheridge said during a Tuesday ceremony celebrating the purchase. “It is a neat honor to be able to carry on two stored companies that have been in the state over 150 years.

“We are happy to be able to carry that forward.”

As part of the transaction, Mixon Seed will invest about $750,000 over the next five years and create 10 new jobs at its new St. Matthews operation on Mill Street.

The investment will be in facility and equipment upgrades with an eye to increasing capacity.

The St. Matthews plant will focus on cover crop seed production, as well as wildlife blend retail and sales.

The Mixon Seed Service name will continue to be used, although the wildlife seed retail and sales office will be named the Southland Wildlife.

Mixon Seed currently has three employees in Calhoun County and 32 total. The company’s headquarters are in Orangeburg. It also has a facility in Newton, Georgia.

Regional business, government and agriculture officials were in attendance Tuesday to celebrate the expansion.

The S.C. Department of Agriculture is providing a $150,000 grant to help with the expansion.

“It is exciting and satisfying to have this business continue under the guidance of Robert Etheridge and Mixon Seed,” Wannamaker Seed Co. owner Luther Wannamaker said.

Etheridge said both businesses have been, “high touch, high service, high trust.”

“What we are going to do in Mixon Seed going forward is we are going to take that spirit of innovation and best practices and build it into a regional company that is a regional player across the South going forward,” he said.

Etheridge said Mixon will focus on a few areas going forward such as climate smart agriculture and sequestering carbon.

“Cover crops are a key tool in doing that,” Etheridge said. “We are making an investment here and in some other places where we are investing in infrastructure, in the people and the know-how to really bring those cover crops to the state and to the region at a scale that will take it.”

Etheridge said the company will also focus on wildlife space.

“We see the investment in recreational properties continuing,” Etheridge said. “We think that is a viable space. Certainly land preservation and particularly farm land preservation is going to be an ever-increasing focus for us in the state. We are excited about the growth prospects we’ve got.”

Etheridge thanked Clemson and South Carolina State universities as resources for new innovations and technology.

S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers noted agribusiness is the largest contributor to the state’s economy.

Agribusiness contributes about $51 billion to the state’s economy and employs nearly 260,000 people, he said.

Weathers praised Wannamaker’s forethought and innovation, saying it’s helped local farmers through the years.

“That is really a foundation of the great agriculture that goes on here and now. Mixon Seed will continue that,” Weathers said. “Congratulations to Mixon Seed. Mr. Luther, congratulations. I know you are excited to see your lifelong work continue.”

Rep. Russell Ott, D-St. Matthews, said, “This is truly what South Carolina is.

“This is the essence of who we are in South Carolina. As far as I am concerned, that is the way we always need to keep it. We are an agricultural state.”

Mixon Seed’s expansion is, “sustaining the legacy of South Carolina,” Ott said.

Ott said Tuesday’s announcement is based on trust.

“We are transitioning today,” Ott said.

Wannamaker is trusting that his family seed company will continue to live on under Mixon Seed, Ott said. “It requires trust to know that those names, those legacies have been built and carried on in a manner in which they can continue to be proud.”

Calhoun County Administrator John McLauchlin thanked Etheridge and the Mixon family for investing in the county, and the Wannamaker family for its role in the county over the years.

“Keeping it in the agribusiness community and keeping the community happy with products nearby is great,” McLauchlin said.

Mixon Seed was founded in 1973 by Danny Mixon.

During the early days of Mixon Seed, Mixon would visit 15 to 20 customers daily, covering 300 miles.

The company provides seed varieties for wildlife and cover crop blends.

The company has distribution centers in Orangeburg and Newton, Georgia.

The company produces over 1.1 million bags of seed annually.

The Wannamaker family’s roots go all the way back to the year 1732 in what’s now Calhoun County.

After the Civil War, a group of men from Orangeburg and what is now Calhoun County were leaders in advocating for the creation of Clemson College and a more scientific approach to agriculture.

John Wannamaker from St. Matthews was especially prominent in this group. He was the first chairman of the board of Clemson and the first lifetime trustee, serving from 1888 to 1935.

The development of better varieties of farm crops, especially cotton, through seed breeding and research into fertilizers were Wannamaker’s two major concerns as a member of the Clemson board.

John’s son, John E. Wannamaker, was a pioneer in soybeans and is credited with bringing harvestable soybeans to the South.

St. Matthews-area farmer W.W. Wannamaker admired his cousin John and wanted to keep the business going.

Whit Wannamaker, W.W. Wannamaker’s oldest son, studied at Clemson and returned home to concentrate on growing cotton, cotton seed breeding and selling cotton seed. This gave birth to the Wannamaker seed enterprises in about 1916.

After World War I, Whit was joined by his two brothers, Treutlin and Banks, in a family partnership. In the 1930s, the business became two separate entities: W.W. Wannamaker Seed and L.B. Wannamaker Seed.

Banks Wannamaker founded the L.B. Wannamaker Seed Company in 1936. The production and marketing of cotton seed was his principal business.

In 1966, his son, Luther, joined his father and concentrated on soybean seed.

Luther contacted all the various Southern soybean breeders and selected, produced and marketed a stream of soybean varieties to Southern farmers.

In 1988, L.B. Wannamaker Seed expanded to Japan where it sold many varieties of soybean including the large Black Tamba, the so-called “King of Soybeans” that is a popular dish for Japanese New Year’s celebrations.

In 2005, the business was changed to focus on wildlife enhancement. The company serves both large plantations interested in quail, wild turkeys and ducks and deer hunters who want to provide high-protein food plots year-round.

National Weather Service confirms EF-2 tornado hit Bamberg, South Carolina

BAMBERG, S.C. —UPDATE - Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024:The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado with 125 mph winds is responsible for the major damage left behind in Bamberg, South Carolina, after Tuesday's storms.The NWS also confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Catawba County, North Carolina.PREVIOUS STORYWhat South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers are calling a tornado brought down buildings and powerlines and caused other significant damage ...

BAMBERG, S.C. —

UPDATE - Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024:

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado with 125 mph winds is responsible for the major damage left behind in Bamberg, South Carolina, after Tuesday's storms.

The NWS also confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Catawba County, North Carolina.

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What South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers are calling a tornado brought down buildings and powerlines and caused other significant damage Tuesday in Bamberg.

Watch video above taken Tuesday night.

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The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning before 3 p.m. for Orangeburg, Bamberg and St. Matthews until 3:15 p.m.

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Tornado Warning including Orangeburg SC, Bamberg SC and Saint Matthews SC until 3:15 PM EST pic.twitter.com/dMWwffBUSN

— NWS Columbia (@NWSColumbia) January 9, 2024

Lance Cpl. Brittney Glover posted photos of the damage on social media after the storm blew through Bamberg. That's about 60 miles north of Beaufort and 45 miles east of Aiken.

One showed tons of debris under a water tower.

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Another showed a warehouse near what appeared to be the same water tower severely damaged.

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A photo Glover said was taken on the city's Main Street showed bricks and rubble in the road from damaged buildings.

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Another photo showed a tree snapped and downed trees and power lines around it.

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"If you’re out on the roadways today, please stay safe," Glover said. "A tornado just landed in Bamberg County."

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The National Weather Service will dispatch a team to the area to evaluate the damage and issue a report on the likely tornado.

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