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

Criminal Defense Lawyer in St. Stephen, 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen 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. Stephen 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 St. Stephen, 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 St. Stephen, 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in St. Stephen, 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. Stephen 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. Stephen 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in St. Stephen 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen, 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. Stephen, SC

Looking back at the Camp Manufacturing Company and Russellville

It is thought by today’s locals that W. P. Russell was the patriarch of Russellville, and instrumental in beginning the community of Russellville, South Carolina.This is contradicted by one family member, who says it was Theodore Russell, a cousin of W. P. Russell, who was the founder. Regardless, we’re telling the story of John M. Camp, Jr., who came to the area in 1922, where he found W.P. Russell operating a ground mill beside his cotton gin five miles west of St. Stephen. Camp bought part of Russell’s farm and bu...

It is thought by today’s locals that W. P. Russell was the patriarch of Russellville, and instrumental in beginning the community of Russellville, South Carolina.

This is contradicted by one family member, who says it was Theodore Russell, a cousin of W. P. Russell, who was the founder. Regardless, we’re telling the story of John M. Camp, Jr., who came to the area in 1922, where he found W.P. Russell operating a ground mill beside his cotton gin five miles west of St. Stephen. Camp bought part of Russell’s farm and built his mill a half mile to the north of Russell’s store, which had served as a post office since 1916.

For newcomers to Berkeley County, Russellville is located on what used to be the old Murray’s Ferry Road (modern day S.C. Highway 35) going north, approximately five miles from Bonneau, toward Santee River.

In his autobiography, John (Jack) Madison Camp, Jr. tells us about his family and their lumber mill village history located in Russellville. “We moved to Franklin, Virginia in 1921, but we soon moved again. We went to the St. Stephen area of South Carolina, where Daddy had been assigned the task of building a new mill and mill village. These itinerant sawmill communities had a motto, “Cut Out and Get Out.” There was no reforesting program and no cry for it at that time.”

When the Camp’s moved into a new location that had a good stand of timber, they would keep cutting for some time, as was the case in the Santee area of South Carolina. The mill made a huge difference in the area, for sure, providing employment and a great economical boost. The plan was to work there for maybe fifteen to twenty-five years. The company laid down a center street, then set up a water tower that could be used for potable water uses and to supply the village that was soon to be built.

“They left room on the center street for the schoolhouse that my father built for the employee’s children. The Russellville community didn’t have a school in that area of Berkeley County at that time. Teachers were imported, much to the glee of all the single men in that area.”

Camp says it seemed to him that St. Stephen’s main reason for being was that the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad came through there. And that was of course true, but not the main reason. Church and religion were of utmost importance in early colonial time, so the “old brick church” was actually the primary reason for St. Stephen’s existence, and how the town got its name.

Just north, maybe a mile, of the little village of Russellville, made up entirely of Camp’s employees, was found a community club, a Parent-Teacher association, a home demonstration club, a two-story school building (see photo) in which two teachers (one of which was my Grandmother) taught and trained the young folks, and where on Sundays the auditorium served as a church and Sunday-School room, a two story hotel that would have been a credit to a much larger town, and twenty-two cottages, actually, they were homes for the employees, painted (!), and each with front and back yards that had been beautified.

Each year a civic contest was sponsored by Camp Manufacturing among its homemakers. A first prize of five dollars and a second of two-fifty were offered “to the one making the most improvements in the home grounds or to the one keeping the grounds most satisfactory.” Consequently, each yard turned out to be a bit of a garden, where kids romped and played, while their mothers sat on their screened porches (usually shelling peas and beans during summer months), passing away each day, pleasantly visiting one with the other of their neighbors.

Each home was screened and equipped with modern conveniences of lights and water, and practically each boasted a radio, and many with automobiles. The mill village of Camp had an electric system that drew its power from the company generator. Odd to us today, was the fact that at 9 o’clock P.M. the lights would blink once. At 9:05 they would blink twice, and at 9:15, all the current would go off until the next morning about daylight. Reason being, simply, the generators had to be shut down to maintain them.

The Camp family had lived in Virginia since before the American Revolution. The lumber business was started by P.D. Camp in Franklin in 1870. He later took into the firm his brother, R.J. Camp and J.L. Camp, and organized the Camp Manufacturing Company. All of the original members of the firm have passed on, and company tasks left to their sons.

Most likely, an important explanation of Camp’s success in business was its tenet that it is just as important to develop men as it is to manufacture lumber products. The heads of this firm always maintained that character building is superior to anything else.

Respect for the Sabbath was one of their policies that “must be held inviolate.” The story is told that when the Camps began their endeavor in the lumber business, the company had rented a tug to pull the logs up the river (this was in Virginia). The owners of the tug explained that they operated on a seven-day a week basis, and that is what they charged for. Camp replied that he understood this, and he expected to pay for seven days’ usage . . . but, he also intended to tie up the tug at 12 o’clock Saturday nights, where it would remain until 12 o’clock Sunday nights. Thus, after six-days a week, his plants, over those many years became silent on Sunday. (The only exception to this rule was boiler maintenance.)

Camp Jr. said at times his father would allow one of his hometown friends to come and visit him, and this was always a great and exciting occasion for both. They would stay in the men’s dormitory on the upper floor of the company store building (see photo). This was a big wooden building (I don’t remember if it was painted), covered in tongue and grooved siding (we call it “bead-board” now) that was made in the mill. The men’s dormitory consisted of several rooms and a big common shower and bathroom for the visiting men. The more permanent employees took up residence there in very modest rooms. Less permanent residents stayed over at Mrs. Nixon’s Boarding House that was only a few hundred yards away. There was some heat from individual wood fed heaters in the company storerooms, but there was certainly no air-conditioning.

The Company Store was a big two-story building, with three chimneys. Any of life’s supplies you needed were available. A major part of the first floor was a large porch out front. It was covered, not screened, and there were benches around the porch for people to sit while waiting to go into the store, or just to enjoy some community life.

Camp’s company store had a problem (as all general stores did), rats. Rice, flour, cornmeal, seed, etc., were being stored for use and sale. Cats were used from time to time, but probably were intimidated by the size of some of the rats. So, the company decided to use ferrets to keep the rats under control. They were slender, quick, and very aggressive. The ferrets had beautiful fur but were not very friendly. They would bite a person as quickly as they’d bite a rat. Nevertheless, they were necessary, and they seemed to keep the rats under control.

Camp’s homes (“quarters” to the locals) were close to the company store and arranged so that the houses faced each other across the main street. There was a rumor going around Russellville that all the children born on one side of that street were boys and all those born on the other side were girls. If a couple wanted to change the sex of the next child, they would just move over to the other side of the street. Oddly enough, that seemed to work for a long period of time.

The schoolhouse (see photo) and the boarding house were located at opposite ends of the street. Mrs. Nixon, the lady who ran the boarding house in St. Stephen, was a good manager. She furnished lots of good, very plain food to many hungry millworkers. Mill workers with no family could dine at the boarding house and be adequately nourished. Jack Camp, Jr. says “Mrs. Nixon also had an attractive daughter whose name was Elsie, who became fast friends with my older sister Virginia.” Teachers were allowed to have meals at the boarding house, offering variety, and a change of conversation for the men there.

Camp’s boarding house cook was Joe Poseskie, and Jack remembers Joe cooking frog legs. A lot of people ate frog legs, but they were sort of dangerous to cook, because reflex action left in the dead limbs caused the legs to kick the grease out. That often burned the cook, and needless to say, Joe didn’t like that.

The health of the Camp village was insured by company physician, Dr. Carroll, also the community doctor when I was young. Located between the white mill workers’ quarters and the black’s quarters that were located farther down the same street, the doctor’s office was approximately 200 feet from the company store. Many of the medical problems originated from emergencies at the mill, so he would go right into the place where there had been an accident and treat the patient there. Then he would take them to Moncks Corner to Berkeley County Hospital, or Charleston, depending on the care required for them. It wasn’t until the mid-fifties that Dr. Sam O. Schumann came to Camp village to practice medicine.

Camp Manufacturing Company in Russellville became Russellville Lumber Company, owned by Williams Furniture Company, then Southern Coatings and Chemicals in Sumter, S.C. In the middle 1960’s, Georgia-Pacific Corporation bought the Russellville Lumber Company property and began establishing the complex consisting of a plywood plant, chip-n-saw plant, particleboard plant, chemical plant, and forestry division . . . all at Russellville, South Carolina, employing 500+ people.

Resources: From his book While You’re Up, A Memoir, by John M. Camp, Jr., Charleston News and Courier, and personal remembrances. — Keith Gourdin

St. Stephen thrives with new business growth

After moving to St. Stephen in 2021, Dan Kredensor was looking for a coffee shop and ice cream shop and found there to be neither for over 18 miles.In January of 2022 he took matters into his own hands and began creating a business plan to share his love of coffee, ice cream and entrepreneurship with the people of St. Stephen. On June 23, Kredensor saw his plan come to fruition with the ribbon cutting ceremony of his new coffee and ice cream shop, Lowcountry Coffee Co.Known as “Uncle Johnny’s Store,” Kredensor...

After moving to St. Stephen in 2021, Dan Kredensor was looking for a coffee shop and ice cream shop and found there to be neither for over 18 miles.

In January of 2022 he took matters into his own hands and began creating a business plan to share his love of coffee, ice cream and entrepreneurship with the people of St. Stephen. On June 23, Kredensor saw his plan come to fruition with the ribbon cutting ceremony of his new coffee and ice cream shop, Lowcountry Coffee Co.

Known as “Uncle Johnny’s Store,” Kredensor’s Lowcountry Coffee Co. resides in the oldest surviving commercial building on Main St. in St. Stephen.

“Uncle Johnny's store was quite active until his death in 1931,” said Kredensor. “His death along with the Depression started a chain of events where ownership changed hands many times. In my lifetime I recall it being a general store, a dress shop, a bank and an insurance company.”

Lowcountry Coffee Co. is just one of many businesses recently making a name for itself in St. Stephen. The town has seen the opening of many new businesses including a sandwich and burger joint called Freda’s, a local gun store called Lowcountry Munition, Old Town Feed and Supply and The Capital Grille and Seafood. St. Stephen will also soon see the opening of a traditional Trinidadian restaurant called Ma Gloria’s.

Along with the town’s new booming businesses, St. Stephen also holds the Catfish Festival in the Spring, the Community Festival in October and the Berkeley Showoffs Car Show in November. Additionally, the town holds a farmer’s market every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at Alice Park.

“St. Stephen is beginning to have a major turn around,” said Kredensor. “For me it all started in November of last year as I was able to meet with the town and propose a lease for the coffee shop and ice cream parlor. The goal after speaking with the mayor and some town council members was to create a space that could be the spark to begin to reinvigorate the St. Stephen Main Street Business District. We have also been working with Berkeley County Economic Development Office, the Berkeley County Supervisor's Office, Santee-Cooper Economic Development Office, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Economic Development Office on ways that we can continue to attract and keep small businesses in St. Stephen.”

He said the goal for Lowcountry Coffee is to inspire more small businesses in a town that is ready for them.

“We know that growth is going to come slowly to St. Stephen," he said. "We want to be a spot where you can come and bring the family, meet a business partner and get a great cup of coffee or a delicious scoop of ice cream.”

“[The most rewarding part of running LowCountry Coffee Co] is seeing people smiling after they have the first sip of coffee or the first taste of ice cream because coffee and ice cream do have an uncanny ability to put smiles on just about everyone,” Kredensor added. “Listening to the stories and history of all our amazing customers is a blessing. Also giving people a safe space to meet for coffee or ice cream, whether it be a date, a celebration or a business meeting is wonderful to see every hour.”

Animal Control Seizes Dozens of Cats from Hoarding Situation in St. Stephen

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, February 14, 2023) – On February 9, 2023, Berkeley County Animal Control officers responded to a hoarding situation at a residential property near Harristown Road in St. Stephen, where they discovered dozens of cats in deteriorating conditions on the property, dubbed a “Cat Sanctuary.” Cats were located living inside a rundown trailer and outside the area.Officers seized 49 cats still alive but in poor health. An additional 23 cats were found deceased inside stru...

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, February 14, 2023) – On February 9, 2023, Berkeley County Animal Control officers responded to a hoarding situation at a residential property near Harristown Road in St. Stephen, where they discovered dozens of cats in deteriorating conditions on the property, dubbed a “Cat Sanctuary.” Cats were located living inside a rundown trailer and outside the area.

Officers seized 49 cats still alive but in poor health. An additional 23 cats were found deceased inside structures at the site. The cats were taken to Berkeley Animal Center, where 10 cats were forced to be euthanized due to their sickly condition. The remainder of the cats are in the care of Animal Center staff and in stable condition.

The shelter is seeking adult cat food as well as monetary donations for medical costs and other emergency care needs for the cats. Please consider donating HERE (enter “sick cats” under “reason for donation”). The cats will be available for adoption once they are nursed back to good health. Cat food can be dropped off at 131 Central Berkeley Drive in Moncks Corner.

“Berkeley Animal Center staff is committed to conducting the proper care necessary to ensure these sickly cats are restored to good health and receive the medical attention and affection they so desperately demand at this critical time in their lives. We know this is a dire situation and that unfortunately, not all the cats rescued from these deplorable conditions could be saved. We cannot change these cats’ past circumstances and lack of quality care, but we can do our best to provide them all they need to survive and thrive going forward. We thank our fellow rescue groups for partnering with us and sharing this same mission.” -Heather McDowell, Berkeley Animal Center Director

Additionally, 15 cats were transported to Massachusetts-based rescue groups MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS), two organizations Berkeley Animal Center has been working with since last year. On the day of the seizure, MSPCA also sent staff to assist with the cats’ treatment at the shelter. Additionally, Charleston Animal Society provided a veterinarian to aid with the care.

“We needed to move quickly as the cats are in pretty rough shape. They were rescued from a dire situation and are lucky help arrived when it did.” -Mike Keiley, MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs / NEAS Executive Director

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has cited Suzanne Marie Melton, an owner of the Cat Sanctuary, with 20 counts of inhumane treatment of animals.

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-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-

New plant to "revive" St. Stephen with hundreds of jobs

. - One Berkeley County town is getting a revival, thanks to Viva Holdings Group, Inc. The company announced Thursday a $28 million dollar investment into a new recycling manufacturing plant in St. Stephen, creating hundreds of jobs.County leaders referred to the new plant as "Project Revival.""We had major plants here that left and left us with an employment deficit," Mayor John Rivers, said, "This will greatly enhance the employment situation here in town."In a special flag-raising ceremon...

. - One Berkeley County town is getting a revival, thanks to Viva Holdings Group, Inc. The company announced Thursday a $28 million dollar investment into a new recycling manufacturing plant in St. Stephen, creating hundreds of jobs.

County leaders referred to the new plant as "Project Revival."

"We had major plants here that left and left us with an employment deficit," Mayor John Rivers, said, "This will greatly enhance the employment situation here in town."

In a special flag-raising ceremony Thursday, Viva Holdings Group, Inc. announced plans to renovate a 177,000 sq. ft. industrial site located at 315 Ravenell Dr. in St. Stephen. The plant will initially create 200 jobs, with the potential to create 384 long term. It's a much-needed economic boost, according to county representatives.

"This is an area that has been primarily ignored with economic development in previous years," Berkeley County supervisor Bill Peagler said. "We're hoping this is going to be a foothold to come in and give new life to St. Stephen and give new hope to individuals who haven't had a job in so long."

According to the latest state data available from 2012, the average income in St. Stephen is approximately $14,000.

"I'm most excited about knowing this factory will be re-opened again and be an opportunity for our young kids...to work and earn pay," St. Stephen resident Reginald Gerald said.

Viva President and CEO Marty Sergei said the company has already hired around a dozen people from the town.

"This is an area that hasn't been tapped. The good quality people in this area aren't using their skills," Sergei said. "We've already hired a dozen or so folks from St. Stephen, fantastic people, hardworking. All we need to do is get a couple hundred more, and we'll have a very successful company."

According to a press release, Viva's proprietary technologies use a combination of recycled rubber and recycled plastics from post-industrial and post-consumer sources. The products Viva creates at the St. Stephen location will be sold in the U.S. and exported to China.

The official start of employee hiring is scheduled for late 2016; the plant opening is set for early next year.

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SC turns down DU plea against St Stephen's minority admission policy

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with a Delhi high court’s interim order permitting the St Stephen’s college to conduct interview for the 50% minority quota seats and said that any order passed at this stage will be “too late” and result in “uncertainty” among students.The high court order passed on July 21 was challenged before the top court in two separate petitions filed by the Delhi University and the university grants commission (UGC). Dismissing the two petitions, a bench of ju...

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with a Delhi high court’s interim order permitting the St Stephen’s college to conduct interview for the 50% minority quota seats and said that any order passed at this stage will be “too late” and result in “uncertainty” among students.

The high court order passed on July 21 was challenged before the top court in two separate petitions filed by the Delhi University and the university grants commission (UGC). Dismissing the two petitions, a bench of justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha said, “Taking note that the order passed is an interim order and the high court has made admission subject to the final outcome of the writ petition, we see no reason to interfere at this stage.”

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This is the second year that the high court permitted the college to fill up the 50% Christian quota seats by giving 15% weightage to interviews. The college had approached the high court challenging a December 30 notification issued by the DU directing all admissions under the minority quota to be filled up solely on the basis of the common university entrance test (CUET) scores. The top court order told the high court, “Considering there should be certainty in the matter, we request the high court to decide (the petition) as expeditiously as possible.”

The Delhi University represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that the last date for close of admissions is August 31 and the college should not be permitted to proceed forward with the interviews. Defending the December 30 notification, Mehta said, “Last year, the college was allowed to give 15% weightage to interview. This year, we insisted they can select only meritorious students based on CUET scores against the minority seats. Due to the HC order, meritorious candidates are being left out.”

The college represented by senior advocate A Mariarputham and advocate Romy Chacko said that the admission process for this academic year is over. The senior counsel stated that the admission was not “unilateral” as the University was supplied the final list of students admitted under Christian quota. The list was approved and the University sent email to students for paying fees.

The bench told Mehta, “It will be unfair to students to interfere at this stage. There will be uncertainty among student community.” Pointing out the fact that the University has endorsed the admissions, the bench said, “You have written to the students to pay fees and the letter does not say the admission will be subject to the order (of high court). You are a little late to approach us.”

Mehta told the Court that the University was bound to process the admissions or else there will be contempt of the HC order. The Court said, “The HC order is of July 21 and one month has passed. You should have approached us before. The 15% weightage is an issue you will have to argue before the high court.”

The bench wished to know during the hearing if any meritorious students had approached the Court complaining against the interview process. Senior advocate Arun Bhardwaj appearing for a Christian candidate said that a petition is in the process of being filed as the petitioner atttended the interview but did not get admission. The solicitor general told the Court that it is only a matter of opening a small window for such candidates.

“Stephens is a prime college where admission cut offs end at 98-99 %. If a window is provided, the admission process can be over within a day,” Mehta said.

The bench maintained its stand and said, “At this stage there will be more confusion if we interfere as some students would have already been interviewed. It could happen next year. As per the interim order, let admissions go on.

On Friday, when the matter came up for hearing in the top court, Mehta claimed that the seats filled up through interview have virtually become “payment seats” to which the college had objected.

The college had approached the HC challenging a December 8 order passed by the DU executive council to the effect that even in respect of 50% minority quota seats, admission should solely be on the basis of CUET scores and no interview or addition of 15% marks for interview will be permitted. This led to the December 30 notification.

The HC in its July 21 order said, “A prima facie case has been made out that the petitioner will suffer an irreparable loss if interim relief is not granted at this juncture. The balance of convenience also lies in favour of the petitioner.”

The college claimed that over the years, it has been making admissions to undergraduate courses by earmarking 15% weightage for personal interaction or interview. Last year, with the introduction of CUET, the college had to admit students to its general category seats solely on CUET scores as the top court had in October 2022 refused to stay the HC order.

Last year too, when the controversy over CUET being applicable to minority quota seats arose, the HC had on September 9, 2022 permitted St Stephen’s to conduct interview for Christian students. Relying on this order, the HC extended the benefit to the college for this year too.

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