The moments following the crash are often a blur when you're involved in a car accident. However, per South Carolina law, those on the scene must adhere to legal responsibilities and obligations.
First, try to stop your car and ensure it is positioned safely near the scene of the crash. Then, call 911 to report the accident. While most folks go into full-blown panic mode, you need to stay calm so you can process the situation. If you notice that there are injured people, give them "reasonable assistance." Per South Carolina Code of Laws, that could include transporting hurt people to a hospital or calling an ambulance for them.
If you're in a car crash, you need to be prepared to exchange contact information with other drivers at the accident scene. If the person who caused the collision is present, make sure to get their name, phone number, address, and insurance info. If witnesses are present, get their contact info, too, in case our team needs to obtain their account later.
Next, try to piece together how the car crash happened. This is an appropriate time to take photos of the cars, wreckage, and debris. Ask yourself if you think a vehicle failed to follow the rules of the road, like speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign.
Regardless of how minor your injuries may appear and who may be to blame for the accident, get legal advice from Theos Law Firm first before giving any recorded statements or refusing medical care.
Time and again, auto accident victims agree to early settlements provided by insurance companies because the offer seems like a lot. But what if you return to work after recovering from an accident, only for your pain to return?
With adjusters, lawyers, and investigators at their disposal, insurance agencies will do everything in their power to minimize the compensation you deserve. Don't let them pick on you or silence your voice. If you or a loved are victims of a negligent car or truck accident in South Carolina, contact Theos Law Firm today. We have the team, tools, and experience to fight back on your behalf, no matter how complicated your case may seem.
To schedule an appointment for your free consultation, contact Theos Law Firm in Columbia today.
If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of the Soda City’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.1. The South Caroliniana Library was the first college library in the nat...
If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of the Soda City’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.
Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.
1. The South Caroliniana Library was the first college library in the nation built as a separate building in 1840. The freestanding library was constructed at the University of South Carolina, and you can read the full history of the library here.
2. Columbia has star power as numerous athletes, actors, and authors hail from the capital city. This includes 2020 Masters Tournament champion Dustin Johnson, R&B singer Angie Stone, and Kristin Davis, known for her role as Charlotte on “Sex and the City.”
3. Lake Murray was built in the 1920’s — and at the time — was the largest (50,000 acres) man-made lake in the country. The Saluda Dam (popularly known as the Lake Murray Dam) was also the largest earthen dam in the world when it was built.
4. Georgia O’Keeffe, a well-known modern artist of the 20th century, taught art at Columbia College in 1915. While there, she produced the charcoal sketches that found their way to Alfred Stieglitz – who took up promoting her art… and the rest is history.
5. 1,284. That’s how many toasters Kenneth Huggins has in the world’s largest collection which he stores in his home and a special-built storage house. Soda Citizens hold several world records in the Guinness Book of World Records, including the greatest distance catching a grape in the mouth.
6. Charles F. Bolden — former astronaut and 12th Administrator of NASA — graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in 1964. Charles spent four missions in orbit on the space shuttle, and orbited the Earth 444 times, logging over 680 hours in space.
7. Fort Jackson, the 53,000-acre US Army Training Center in Columbia, is the largest and most active Entry Training Center into the US Army in the nation. It trains ~45,000 basic training Soldiers annually, making up almost 50% of the Army’s basic combat trainees and about 60% of all females entering the Army.
8. Riverbanks Zoo is one of only ten zoos in the US to have koalas on exhibit, and theirs is a permanent exhibit. To best care for the animals, the zoo even flies in eucalyptus from Florida. Learn more about the koalas at Riverbanks and their breeding program here.
9. Did you know that Congaree National Park, South Carolina’s only national park, has 20+ of the tallest known trees of their species? These “champion trees” literally rise above all others and help bring in a lot of visitors to the park.
10. Columbia was one of the first planned cities in the U.S. (And is believed to be in the number two spot, just behind Savannah, Georgia.) It was planned out as a two-mile square around the State House, with the city’s streets designed in a grid.
11. The Barringer Building (1338 Main St.), formerly known as the National Loan and Exchange Bank, was South Carolina’s first skyscraper. Constructed in 1903, the 12-story structure represents advances in building use of steel framework, high-pressure water pipes, and elevators.
12. 71. That’s how many movies have been filmed in Columbia, according to IMDB. Better-known pictures include “Death Sentence” starring Kevin Bacon and scenes filmed in Williams-Brice Stadium in “The Waterboy” and “The Program.”
13. Cola didn’t have any paved streets until 1908 when Main Street was paved. The city even tried wooden blocks before considering paving on Washington Street, only to find that the wooden blocks would float away in heavy rain. It took the city almost a decade to replace the blocks with asphalt on Washington Street in 1925.
14. Founded in 1844, the publishing firm of R. L. Bryan Company is Columbia’s oldest operating business. Now located at 301 Greystone Blvd., the company has been the textbook distributor for the state of South Carolina since 1901.
15. Assembly Street is 150 feet wide, which is about 50 feet wider than other streets around town. Why? In the 1700s, the decision on the width was based on the belief that mosquitoes were unable to travel more than 60 feet without dying from starvation to get across.
Your turn. Think you can get one over on us? Let us know your favorite local trivia tidbit and you just might make it into the newsletter.
Sustain SC has launched the Roadmap to Sustain SC, which identifies seven key accelerators that will move South Carolina forward as a sustainable state ensuring economic prosperity and protection of the state’s quality of life.The plan was unveiled during Sustain SC’s recent second annual Sustainability Symposium in Columbia, according to a Sustain SC news release.“This is a big moment for our organization, which has dedicated an entire year to developing the Roadmap to Sustain SC,” said Ethel Bunch, fou...
Sustain SC has launched the Roadmap to Sustain SC, which identifies seven key accelerators that will move South Carolina forward as a sustainable state ensuring economic prosperity and protection of the state’s quality of life.
The plan was unveiled during Sustain SC’s recent second annual Sustainability Symposium in Columbia, according to a Sustain SC news release.
“This is a big moment for our organization, which has dedicated an entire year to developing the Roadmap to Sustain SC,” said Ethel Bunch, founder and CEO of Sustain SC, in the release. “This was a passion project and enhances Sustain SC’s mission of connecting the sustainability goals of business in South Carolina with local solutions for the benefit of our economy, environment, and people. We are proud to serve as a model for other states who work toward similar goals.”
The Roadmap undertaking began after South Carolina ranked 37th out of 50 states in a 2021 U.S. Sustainable Development Report released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the release stated. As a result, Sustain SC partnered with Ernst and Young (EY) to assess how South Carolina could improve its low position on the list and be competitive with neighboring states. Through comprehensive research and analysis, researchers mapped out a plan for future sustainable development reflective of the unique commerce and conservation needs of the state, The Roadmap to Sustain SC.
The Roadmap initiatives include the following, the release stated:
“South Carolina recognizes the growing importance modern businesses place upon achieving sustainability goals, and S.C. Commerce is dedicated to working alongside industry partners, like Sustain SC, to provide the support necessary to make those achievements a reality,” said Harry M. Lightsey III, secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, said in the release. “The Roadmap to Sustain SC will help set apart South Carolina’s commitment to our business community.”
For the South Carolina Office of Resilience, which established a formal partnership with Sustain SC this year, the Roadmap to Sustain SC will support SCOR on a number of initiatives.
“Resiliency and nature-based solutions are the key to moving South Carolina forward,” said Ben Duncan, executive director of the South Carolina Office of Resilience. “These focus areas will help our organization develop strategies to minimize the impact of disasters on the communities and citizens of South Carolina.”
Reach Jason at 864-568-7570.
Officials say the box in the top right corner of your property tax bill is key to figuring out how much you'll have to pay.COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County property tax bills have some residents upset and sounding off online.Residents reported receiving bills as high as $14,000 and others said their bills at least tripled over what they paid last year.“So the first reaction was this can't be right and then I started seeing where the increases were," Alyssa Ripple, a Richland County homeowner said....
Officials say the box in the top right corner of your property tax bill is key to figuring out how much you'll have to pay.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County property tax bills have some residents upset and sounding off online.
Residents reported receiving bills as high as $14,000 and others said their bills at least tripled over what they paid last year.
“So the first reaction was this can't be right and then I started seeing where the increases were," Alyssa Ripple, a Richland County homeowner said.
She couldn't believe what she was seeing when she received her most recent Richland County property tax notice in the mail.
“Previously, for 2022 we paid about $2,500, and this year before the change were estimated at about $14,000," Ripple said.
She's not the only one with a big bill.
Abigail Pearce opened her property tax bill and saw numbers that were way more than she expected.
“And it said boom you owe $12,000 I was so nervous," she said.
“I got online and on Facebook and it said well in the top make sure it says legal residence yes, mine said legal residence no," she said.
At the Richland County Administrative building, there were many more like Pearce and Ripple with the same issue.
Richland county auditor, Paul Brawley says the box in the top right corner of your property tax bill is key to figuring out how much you'll have to pay.
“I always tell the public that they should look at when they receive their tax bill is look up in the right-hand corner of that tax bill. If it has yes there, it means you are actually getting a legal residence. And if it means no that means you’re not getting you’re legal residence and your tax bill is going to be generally three times higher than it should be," Brawley said.
Lee Roberts learned this the hard way a few years ago.
“They were assessed as a secondary or investment property and then. So that was at least twice as much as my normal tax bill was," Roberts said.
In order to avoid this issue, homeowners must put an application into the county declaring their home address that's on the bill as their primary place of living.
“So it’s very important again if you have a deed change any type of deed change, or if you just purchased your home and you purchased last year or either this year and you did not apply for that legal status your tax bill is going to be higher than it should be," Brawley said.
The deadline to apply for legal residency in Richland County is January 16th. If you already paid your tax bill for the higher amount, Richland County officials say they will issue a refund once the tax amount is corrected.
ORANGEBURG — South Carolina State University, a historically Black public university in Orangeburg, received a $200,000 grant from Aflac to expand its research centers and bring greater equity to medical fields.The grant, which the university received Oct. 24, will be split between two centers that research health inequities, provide the surrounding community with resources and funnel their diverse undergraduates into health professions.South Carolina State will put the funding toward its Health Equity Research and Traini...
ORANGEBURG — South Carolina State University, a historically Black public university in Orangeburg, received a $200,000 grant from Aflac to expand its research centers and bring greater equity to medical fields.
The grant, which the university received Oct. 24, will be split between two centers that research health inequities, provide the surrounding community with resources and funnel their diverse undergraduates into health professions.
South Carolina State will put the funding toward its Health Equity Research and Training Center and South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center. These centers will use $100,000 each from the grant to pay for student scholarships, provide researchers with mini-grants and enhance their services.
The university has already given out five $5,000 scholarships to students planning to work in the centers, including Alexis Day, a junior at S.C. State who wants to pursue obstetrics and gynecology.
“This scholarship allows me to prioritize my education and take avenues that I haven’t been able to, such as the cancer research center this summer,” she said.
The $20,000 mini-research grants which are part of this funding, three from each center, aren’t enough to finance complete projects, said Judith Salley, South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center co-director, but they are enough to gather preliminary research that could help the faculty apply for larger grants or expand existing studies. The funds must be used in research that brings together the university and a community partner.
“We do a lot studying and targeting community populations,” Salley said. “But we’re not so good at going back and sharing the results of the research with them. So having them on as research partners gives us that leeway.”
The grant came to the university from Aflac as the last grant of the insurance company’s $1 million CareGrant program, a giveaway to individuals struggling with debt and organizations improving medical outcomes. Aflac said it prioritized areas like South Carolina that have a higher rate of medical debt than the overall country.
“This is one way from an Aflac perspective to help reach out and do everything else we can to help close that medical debt gap,” said Bob Ruff, Aflac senior vice president of group voluntary benefits.
Individuals with medical debt can submit a short essay or video to Aflac until Oct. 31 and get a chance receive $10,000 to cover bills and related expenses.
South Carolina is among one of the worst states for medical debt, according to an Aflac study from 2022. Nationwide, 46 percent of people with health insurance don’t have enough money to pay for medical expenses not covered by their plans. South Carolina is one of 11 states whose citizens fare worse than the average American:
Ashley Evans-Knowell, Health Equity Research and Training Center co-director, attributes this additional struggle to the state’s economic condition, where 14 percent of South Carolinians live in poverty, according to U.S. census data. Patients can’t afford to get preventative care, saddling them with larger bills when medical issues land them in the emergency room. When the bills do come, people have to decide between necessities and paying off the debt, she said.
S.C. State’s research centers mitigate the forces that keep the public from accessing affordable, preventative medical care.
This center is diversifying cancer research: who does it and who it’s done on. Through the center, a collaboration between S.C. State and the Medical University of South Carolina, 23 undergraduate students gained oncology research experience and a gateway to becoming health care providers. Cancer patients relate to physicians who look like them, Salley said.
“One of the reasons this disease is so prevalent among African Americans is because we wait too late to seek out a physician,” she said. “Part of that waiting is seeking for a physician who looks like them.”
The center also started the first and only biorepository at a historically Black university or college. This is a warehouse of biological samples to be used in research. The center’s biorepository focused on samples of breast and prostate tissue from African American cancer patients.
“When you look at the kind of research that’s been done on different areas of cancer, most of (it) does not include African Americans because the tissue for African Americans has been limited,” Salley said.
This center educates rural African Americans on health disparities and what causes them. It began when two professors, a cancer biologist, Evans-Knowell, and a health educator, Audrey McCrary-Quarles, saw the health disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic. They started training community health coaches, laypeople, to get educated on the virus and share their knowledge through their churches and social clubs.
“We want to be the forefront if any other global pandemics or anything else comes along so that we can provide information to South Carolinians, especially underserved and minority populations,” Evans-Knowell said.
In February 2023, the pair formally founded the center, which has trained 66 community health workers. These are people working in public services, social work and health care settings trained to advocate for medical care, especially when it comes to social determinants of health, including poverty and homelessness. The center is adding training to mitigate medical debt after the Aflac grant, Evans-Knowell said.
The Aflac grant will also fund the center’s community garden that feeds the campus and Orangeburg residents, who live in the food desert. The garden has produced cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, peppers and herbs since it started over the summer. For the holidays, the garden is growing collards.
Correction: Oct. 31 is the deadline for individuals with medical debt to submit a short essay or video to Aflac and get a chance receive $10,000 to cover bills and related expenses.
COLUMBIA — A new restaurant, which has a menu that focuses on wild game, is set to open in Columbia’s Vista at the beginning of 2024, the eatery’s owner confirmed to Free Times.The Hollow, located in the former Jason’s Deli space at 823 Gervais St., is a project nearly a decade in the making for Chris Fitz.“This has been like...
The Hollow, located in the former Jason’s Deli space at 823 Gervais St., is a project nearly a decade in the making for Chris Fitz.
“This has been like a baby of mine for 10 years, where I always wanted to open this concept and post-COVID, we were given the ability to start this project,” Fitz said.
The State Street Pub bartender has spent the last nine years serving faithful patrons of the bar just across the river in West Columbia. He’s bringing the restaurant’s concept to the Vista, as new locally owned restaurants and bars open in the area where in recent years a number of larger national chains have closed.
The Hollow’s menu will center around wild game. Meat from animals such as elk, rabbit and venison will line the menu, alongside fresh wild vegetables like carrots, mushrooms and onions. It’s what Fitz calls a “forest to table” concept.
“Everybody’s heard about farm to table (concepts) and things like that. What we’re looking to do is to incorporate that same mentality of using localized ingredients and things like that to expand beyond just meat,” Fitz said.
The meat itself will come from a variety of places across the country, Fitz said.
“This wild game is not coming from your neighbor who just got back from the woods,” Fitz said. “What we’ve learned is that although it’s a very strict process ... there are tons of avenues for us to get this exotic meat.”
The 5,900-square foot space will have enough seating for around 120 people in the main dining room and feature two bars — a large corner bar right next to the kitchen and a straight bar right at the door facing a giant window that overlooks Gervais street — that can sit around 15 people.
Aside from the unique cuisine option, which is one of the first of its kind planned for the capital city, Fitz plans to outfit the former Jason’s Deli space with distinctive decor. Behind the corner bar, a massive artificial tree will be built out with an overhead canopy enveloping most of the bar seating area.
The kitchen, which Fitz said will be led by a local executive chef whose name will be announced at a later date, will be behind a glass wall. The design allows for customers to see what’s happening in the kitchen as staff prepares food.
The Hollow joins a handful of locally owned businesses that’ve opened in recent months. Over the summer, The Dragon Room opened just a stone’s throw from the upcoming game restaurant. It came from prominent restaurateur Kristian Niemi, who owns Columbia’s Bourbon and West Columbia’s Black Rooster and its kitchen and bar are led by industry vets Alex Strickland and David Adedokun, respectively.
At the beginning of September, a new fresh market from a University of South Carolina professor and local farmer, Farmers Market Xchange opened on Lady Street. And in the former space of Uncle Louie’s, POPS opened on Park Street.
“A lot of what we’re trying to do is bring the small business vibe back to Columbia,” Fitz said.