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June 2019
WELCOME TO COMMUNITY CORNER

Community Corner provides residents with information about upcoming events, City meetings, City recognition, fostering animals and the Columbia City Council Vision Statement.

In case you missed any City events in the past month, Community Corner gives a little insight on past events to give you an opportunity to stay connected with the City of Columbia.
Upcoming Events

June At-Large Open House | June 12

Citizens are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine and Councilman Howard Duvall, who both represent the at-large seats on City Council.

The June At-Large Open House will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at City Hall, 1737 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201; from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
 
An appointment must be scheduled to attend. Call (803) 545-3061 for information or scheduling purposes.

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City’s Free Summer Movies Series 

Enjoy a free movie under the stars at the City of Columbia’s Summer Movies Series beginning Friday, June 7 at Earlewood Park.

Movies will be shown every other Friday night from June 7 through August 2 in the amphitheater at Earlewood Park located at 1113 Recreation Drive, Columbia, SC.

Pre-show activities begin at 7:45 p.m. Movies will begin at sunset.

Attendees can bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers. No pets without a leash, glass containers and alcoholic beverages allowed.

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Access to Capital Symposium: The Midland’s Financing Options For Small Businesses

The Access to Capital Symposium is a lender matchmaker speed-networking event between lending organizations and small business owners.

It provides small business owners with the opportunity to network and connect one-to-one with lenders. This is a unique opportunity designed to help small businesses assess their lending options in the most efficient way.
 
The event will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St. from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The event is free, but registration is encouraged, please register at |
here|

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Mayor Benjamin to Host 4th Annual Father’s Day Cookout

Join Mayor Steve Benjamin for a celebration of fathers at the 4th Annual Father’s Day Cookout on Saturday, June 15 from 12-4 p.m. at Hyatt Park, 950 Jackson Avenue.

Fathers and children are encouraged to join forces in several team activities including Minute to Win It games, pool games, bingo and a Skills Challenge. The event will also include inflatables and refreshments.

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Columbia Art Center’s Worlds of Creativity Series: Venezuela

The Columbia Art Center invites the public to experience Venezuela through music, dance, art and more during the center’s monthly Worlds of Creativity series on Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 6 - 8 p.m.

The event is open to the general public and will be held at the Columbia Art Center, 1227 Taylor St. Ste. C, Columbia, SC 29201.

Venezuela: Hidden Paradise will feature traditional Venezuelan dancing, life painting by Aura Ramirez, music, dance performances by Sincopao, food and more.

The purpose of the monthly cultural arts series is to expose guests to various cultures in the City through art and music. 

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City's Parks & Recreation Senior Program Savannah Riverboat Cruise & Shopping Trip 

Let the Savannah Riverboat Cruise show you what southern hospitality is all about! Come ready to relax and feast on a delicious buffet while cruising along the scenic Savannah River. Menu includes: Shrimp & Grits, Fried Chicken, Vegetables, Fruit, Salad, Dessert & a Drink.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 6, 2019
FEE: $85 per person (includes lunch)
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, June 28, 2019  

For more information, please contact the City's Parks & Recreation Department at 803.545.3100.

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 City's Community Development to Host All Access Columbia Workshop 

All Access Columbia is a workshop that gives citizens information about neighborhood leadership, financial education, homeownership and home maintenance. All Access Columbia will allow citizens to build relationships with local vendors, financial institutions, credit counselors and more.

Free giveaways and lunch will be provided.

All Access Columbia workshop will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way, Columbia, SC 29204 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The workshop is free, but registration is encouraged. Register at |http://gate.columbiasc.gov/aac2019/|

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Trash the Poop
Wag-Along Wednesdays

Columbia Water’s Trash the Poop campaign is sponsoring all of the Columbia Fireflies’ “Wag-Along” Wednesday games for the 2019 season.

Columbia Water will be at the events with Trash the Poop trivia wheel (with prizes for correct answers!), and all dog owners will get a free Trash the Poop bag dispenser (filled with bags!).

June Trash the Poop at the Fireflies are Wednesday, June 5 and Wednesday, June 12.

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City's Free Summer Concert Series

The City of Columbia’s live outdoor summer concert series at Finlay Park returns June 8 and will feature musical guests Tony Terry, Pieces of a Dream and the Drifters Tribute Band, the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department announced. 

The free Summer Concert Series will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. All concerts will be held in Finlay Park, 930 Laurel St., and are free and open to the public. 

Guests can register for “Karaoke Idol” beginning at 6 p.m. on the day of the concert. Participants must be age 18 or older. 

Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs. No pets, glass or alcoholic beverages allowed. Food vendors will be available.

Columbia Parks & Recreation to Host Senior Jamboree

The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department will host a free Senior Jamboree on Tuesday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dutch Square Mall, 421 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC.

Adults ages 50 and older can participate in a variety of activities including a talent showcase, workshops, Ask-a-Lawyer sessions and more. The jamboree will also feature exhibitors and demonstrations (arts & crafts).

The Parks & Recreation Department is looking for to participate in the talent showcase in the following areas: singing, dancing, theatre, instrumental, magic and comedy. 

For more information or to register for the talent showcase, call the Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100.

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City Hosts June as National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and you can celebrate by adopting a cat from the Columbia Animal Shelter. Columbia Animal Services is offering a special adoption fee of just $10 for all cats over one year of age or older during the month of June. All cats have already been spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, FELV/FIV tested and are current on their vaccines.

For more information, visit |www.columbiasc.net/animal-services| or call (803)-776-PETS (7387).
 
Note: All of our pets need loving homes! To view other animals available for adoption, visit Columbia Animal Services at 127 Humane Lane, our Facebook page or |
Petfinder.com|. Please refer to the ID number listed above when visiting the website.

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Senior Bingo Social

City of Columbia Parks & Recreation will host Senior Bingo Social on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at the Busby Street Community Center, 1735 Busby Street from 10:00 am - Noon

Upcoming Meetings
Please click on the boxes below to view the
upcoming meetings for the month of June.
Board of Zoning Appeals Meetings Dates
Columbia City Council Meeting Dates
Design/Development Review Comission Meeting Dates
Planning Commission Meeting Dates
City Announcements

City of Columbia to Host #LoveColumbiaSC Photo and Video Challenge
 

The #LoveColumbiaSC Challenge is a City initiative that encourages citizens of Columbia to submit photos via social media of the places they love in the city. This year, we have decided to add a new video element to the challenge. Therefore, citizens will be tasked with submitting photos and/or videos of their favorite places within City limits. The City of Columbia Photo Challenge, #LoveColumbiaSC, began in 2014 as a way to increase community engagement, expand public knowledge of the City’s social media sites and increase the use of technology to interact with citizens. To enter the contest, you must tag the City of Columbia in your photo or video on the social media platform and use hashtag #LoveColumbiaSC to identify a contest entry.
 
Image Submission:
Submit images that include landscapes, structures, buildings or historical monuments. The photos MUST include images that are within the city limits. The winning photo will be based on the total number of “likes, favorites, retweets, etc. that are received by June 31, 2019.  To enter the contest, social media users MUST tag the City of Columbia on the social media platform and use #LoveColumbiaSC to identify a contest entry.
 
There will be three photos chosen and they will include one photo from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winner will be decided by the number of votes from followers on each of the social media platforms.
 
Video Submission:
Submit videos that include landscapes, structures, buildings or historical monuments and a quick explanation of why you love that particular location. The Video CANNOT exceed 60 seconds and it HAS to be taken within the city limits. The winning video will be based on the total number of “likes, comments, and retweets, etc. that are received by June 31, 2019.  To enter the contest, social media users MUST tag the City of Columbia on the social media platform and use #LoveColumbiaSC to identify a contest entry.
 
There will be three videos chosen and they will include one video from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winner will be decided by the number of votes from followers on each of the social media platforms.
 
The #LoveColumbiaSC Photo and Video Challenge will held on the City’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter media platforms June 3, 2019 – June 31, 2019.
 
All photos & video must be within the City limits of Columbia, South Carolina.
 
FOLLOW US TO PARTICIPATE:
Instagam: @wearecolumbia
Twitter: @cityofcolumbia
Facebook: @cityofcolumbia

Donations Needed for 2019 Fan the Heat Program
 

Columbia Police Chief W. H. “Skip” Holbrook announces that the Columbia Police Department is now accepting donations for the Annual ‘Fan the Heat’ Program.
 
In particular, CPD will be collecting air conditioning units, fans and financial contributions from now until Labor Day (September 2, 2019). *Air conditioning units are of greater need*
 
Donations can be dropped off at the following CPD locations:

  • Headquarters – 1 Justice Square, Columbia, SC 29201
  • East Region – 446 Spears Creek Church Road, Elgin, SC 29045
  • Metro Region – 1800 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201
  • North Region – 3905 Ensor Avenue, Columbia, SC 29203
  • South Region – 2132 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205
  • West Region – 690 Club Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Citizens who wish to make a monetary donation can make a check payable to: The Columbia Police Foundation.  (Note the “Fan the Heat” Program on the check.)

Since its inception of the Fan the Heat program in 1995, CPD officers donated more than 5,000 fans and 1,000 air conditioning units to assist more than 7,000 Columbia citizens.
 
The program is primarily designed for senior citizens, residents with medical concerns/ disabilities and families with small children.
  
Eligibility requirements include:

  • Citizens must be 55 years-old or older
  • Citizens must provide name, address, telephone number (to ensure that the fan or air conditioner is delivered to the correct address)

Exception:

  • If person has respiratory problem or a major illness, he or she can bring in a doctor’s statement regardless of age to receive assistance.

If a citizen needs assistance from the Fan the Heat program, they can call the Crime Prevention Unit at 545-3555; or CPD’s Telephone Response Unit at 545-3500.

City’s Recreational Swim Season Schedule

The recreational swim season for the City of Columbia’s outdoor pools and splash pads/spray pools are open for the summer.
 
Both Maxcy Gregg Pool and Greenview Pool will be open for recreational swimming on the following holidays: Independence Day (July 4) and Labor Day (Sept. 2) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
The recreational swim season will remain open until Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day).
 
Pool Schedules

  • Maxcy Gregg Pool, 1655 Park Circle
    • Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:
      • Monday through Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m.
      • Fridays from 1-6 p.m. (free swim day)
      • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      • Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
Maxcy Gregg pool will be closed for maintenance from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. Swim lessons will be offered from May through August.
 
  • Greenview Pool, 6700 David Street
    • Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:
      • Mondays from 1-6 p.m. (free swim day)
      • Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5:45 p.m.
      • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      • Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
Greenview Pool will be closed for maintenance from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays. Swim lessons will be offered from June through August.
 
To accommodate all guests, visitors must observe a two-hour time limit in the pool and water play areas when the maximum capacity is reached. Guests will be given a color-coded wristband before entering the pool area.
 
The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department reserves the right to initiate a rotation at a minimum of every two hours.
 
Fees (both Maxcy Gregg and Greenview pools)
 
Per visit: $3 (ages 12 and under), $4 (ages 13 and over)
 
Season tickets (individuals): $80 (ages 12 and under), $120 (ages 13 and over)
 
Group passes (church, civic, camps, etc.): $100 (child), $140 (adults)
 
Swim Lessons: $35 per session
 
Splash Pad/Spray Pools Locations (Free and open to the public)
 
The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays:
 
Lorick Park - 1600 Lorick Ave.
Pinehurst Park - 2300 Pinehurst Rd.
 
The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays:
  • Edisto Discovery Park - 1914 Wiley St.
  • Emily Douglas Park - 2500 Wheat St.
  • Heathwood Park - 800 Abelia Rd.
  • Melrose Park - 1500 Fairview Rd.
  • Sims Park - 3500 Duncan St.
  • St. Anna's Park - 1315 Liberty Hill Ave.

 
The following spray pools will be available upon request:
 
*Mays Park - 4100 Trenholm Rd.
*Pacific Park - 200 Wayne St.
 
Drew Park splash pad located at 2101 Walker Solomon Way will operate the following hours:
 
Monday-Saturday from 12-8 p.m.; Closed on Sundays
 
The spray pad at Roy Lynch Park, 900 Abbeville St., is user-operated and is available during the park’s operating hours from sunrise to sunset.
 
*Spray pools located at parks that are unmanned will be turned on and off by on-call recreation personnel upon request. Citizens are asked to call the Parks and Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request the spray pools for a weekday or weekend event.
 
For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 or visit |
www.columbiasc.gov|.

City of Columbia is Working to Ensure a Complete and Accurate Count of all its Residents in the 2020 U.S. Census
 

The City of Columbia is working to ensure a complete and accurate count of all its residents in the 2020 U.S. Census by appointing a team of community members, known as a Complete Count Committee (CCC) to help guide the effort.  Operating under the leadership of Chynna Phillips, Research & Policy Manager for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, and co-chair Kayla Mallett, SC Citizens Review Panel Coordinator for the Children’s Law Center UofSC School of Law, the committee is made up of key stakeholders representing a diverse range of organizations and interests. Members include:
 
• John Andoh, Executive Director/CEO Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET)

• Richard Barr, Vice President of Strategic and Organizational Development Center for Fathers and Families

• Sue Berkowitz, Director SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center

• Celeste Cannon, Digital Producer WACH FOX 57

•  Alejandro Florez, Real Estate Agent & Realtor Century 21 Vanguard

• Dominique Francis, Workforce Development Manager S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

• Margaret Gibson, Director of Community Services Wateree Community Actions, Inc.

• Santanna Hayes, Creative Marketing and Quality Director Midlands Fatherhood Coalition

• Sharita Moultrie, Community Health Specialist Richland Library

• Kim Janha, Legislative Coordinator Richland County Government

• Berry Kelly, Director, Bureau of Community Nutrition Services S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

• Shigehuru Kobayashi, Entrepreneur Camon Sushi

• Kayla Mallett, SC Citizens Review Panel Coordinator Children's Law Center School of Law

• Bre Maxwell, Executive Assistant/District Scheduler Office of the Majority Whip James E. Clyburn

• Karen Oliver, Senior Director, Community Resources United Way of the Midlands

• Chynna Phillips, Research and Policy Manager Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

• Debbie Robertson, Chief Partnership Officer South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness

• Larry Salley, Executive Director Benedict College

• Aditi Srivastav, Research and Community Impact Manager Children's Trust of South Carolina

• Tammaka Staley, Poet and Teaching Artist Poet

• Shannon Stephens, Vice President TD Bank

• Dalton Tresvant, Deputy District Director Office of the Majority Whip James E. Clyburn

• Lauren Wilkie, Vice President of Programs Transitions Homeless Center

• Mike Young, Director of Capacity Building PASOs Programs

Complete Count Committees are volunteer organizations established to increase awareness of and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census. Among other activities, CCC’s are charged with creating strategies to conduct outreach in geographic areas of low response as well as among populations with low response rates.  Success of the census depends on community involvement at every level.
 
Participation in the 2020 Census is vitally important.  As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. Every year, more than $675 billion goes toward hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and more.
 
“As the U.S. Census is conducted next year, ensuring our city, this region and our state have complete counts is critically important,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “We look forward to Columbia’s Complete Count Committee encouraging all of our residents to participate in what will be a truly influential endeavor.”

For more information on the 2020 Census, please visit |
https://2020census.gov|

City Recap
Veranda At North Main Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
 
During National Economic Development Week: May 5 - 11, the City of Columbia, the Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc. (CEZ, Inc.), the Integral Development Group, LLC and SC State Housing Finance and Development Authority announced the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Veranda at North Main.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, May 31, 2019, at 3700 North Main St. at 12 p.m. a reception and tour followed immediately after the ceremony.
 
Veranda at North Main is a new fifty-eight (58) unit senior apartment building for persons 55 and older. It is located across the street from Hyatt Park and next door to the North Main Plaza, CEZ, Inc.’s retail project.
 
Residents of the Veranda will have a Main Street address, access to medical care, pharmaceutical needs, limited financial services, cell phone services and fast food at the North Main Plaza. Other available services include: access to front door public transportation, senior recreational activities at Hyatt Park, an in house fitness room, game room and community room. Veranda is within walking distance of other eateries, small service type businesses and major medical services. 

The needs of seniors aging in place were considered in the design of the Veranda at North Main, which are rich in amenities. The Veranda at North Main used resource efficient design and building materials, careful construction waste management and recycling, and energy efficient systems to lower the environmental impact of construction and to reduce the resource consumption by residents. Each unit is equipped with a five (5) piece energy star appliance package.

Project Description:
  •  Low Income Housing Tax Credit Project
  • Three (3) Story Elevator Building
  • 50 Affordable Apartments
  • 6 Market Rate Apartments
  • Many services on site or walking distance
Development Amenities:
  • Game/recreation room
  • Fully-equipped computer center
  • Fully-equipped fitness center
  • On-site mail and package room
Unit Amenities:
  • Units are fully accessible
  • The showers feature low-flow shower-heads with adjustable height
  • Energy-Star appliances
  • Dish-washers, in-sink disposals, ceiling fans, and washer/dryer in every unit
  • Stoves have front controls and powder based fire suppression canisters
The Veranda represents the evolution of a comprehensive neighborhood development and well-thought-out use of land development consisting of 18,000 square feet of commercial space and the senior housing project offers 61,000 square feet – with a mission to enhance the social, economic and physical prosperity of the entire North Main corridor.

Project funding for The Veranda was obtained through the formation of unique collaborations and creative financing partnerships. The Veranda received $860,000 in 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from South Carolina State Housing and Finance Authority. Integral Development Group, the CEZ, Inc., and PNC Bank partnered together and collectively raised $10 million necessary to develop The Veranda at North Main
Congressman James E. Clyburn
Mayor Steve Benjamin
City Councilman Sam Davis
City Manager Teresa Wilson
Felicia Maloney,
CEZ, Inc. Executive Director 
Felicia Maloney & Verdine Gleaton
Click here to view more photos of the Veranda at North Main
Click here to take a tour of the Veranda at North Main
Movers to Moms Campaign Donation Drive

The City of Columbia conducted a donation drive with Two Men and a Truck for their Movers for Moms Campaign. Movers for Moms seek to recognize moms in crisis on Mother’s Day by arranging special delivery of gifts to women that have been displaced or living in local shelters.

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the City of Columbia's Public Relations, Media & Marketing department, Two Men and a Truck, the Big DM and Hot 103.9 held a live remote at the Drew wellness center from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

The live remote made an awareness to help push the efforts for donations. Once donations were collected, Two Men and A Truck and the City of Columbia picked up and deliver the items to the displaced moms that were previously living at Allen Benedict Court, just in time for Mother’s Day.


On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, during the Columbia City Council meeting, Councilman Ed McDowell announced the successful outcome for the “Movers to Moms Campaign." 

The City of Columbia employees donated items as well. 
Firefighters & Private Citizen Honored for Saving Richland County Man
 
Four firefighters with the Columbia Fire Department and one citizen were recognized for the life-saving help they provided an area track and field coach nearly one year ago.

"It's truly a blessing," 34-year-old Lawrence Terry said after attending the event to support the responders and neighbor who rescued him. On the evening of May 2, 2018, Terry had just finished cutting the grass at his Richland County home when he suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness. his wife and son were both home at the time. 

"She went inside...my son came out and saw me on the ground," Terry recalled. Luckily at that moment hos neighbor Patrick Roche Jr. was nearby. Roche immediately began performing CPR compressions on Terry while firefighters were on their way to the scene.

"I thought he had just passed out from cutting the grass," Roche said, "it's only when I ran over and rolled him over that I saw how bad the situation was."

Within minutes CFD's Engine 14 crew arrived. Firefighters continued CPR and also began to use an automatic external defibrillator on Terry. He was then taken from the scene by EMS to an area hospital where he remained in a coma for days. Terry also faced four months of cardiac rehab. He has since made a full recovery from the incident.

On the afternoon of Friday, May 3, 2019, Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins presented Roche with a certificate of recognition as well as an honorary membership coin from the department.

The CFD firefighters who aided Terry were Fire Captain Thomas Niles, Engineer Brian Sumpter, Senior Firefighter Russell Burgess and Senior Firefighter Alexander T. Reese. All four men were recognized during the event.

"I applaud Mr. Roche and our firefighters for their acts of heroism," said Fire Chief Jenkins, 'Mr. Roche's actions clearly show the importance of knowing what to do during a medical emergency. I hope that our citizens can learn from this case and take steps to acquire skills in CPR. There's no doubt that those skills made a real difference here."

Terry who first stopped by Station 14 back in March to thank the firefighters who helped him, was also in attendance for the event along with members of his family.

Certificates of Recognition are awarded by the department to citizens who exhibit courage and commit selfless acts to provide aid to others.

For more information on CPR training and how to find courses in your area, please contact Rd Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to |
www.redcross.org|
City of Columbia
Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins
Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins shaking hands with Patrick Roche Jr.
Lawrence Terry and
CFD Fire Captain Thomas Niles
Lawrence Terry and his neighbor
Patrick Roche Jr.
Push In for the New Truck into Station 9

On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Columbia Fire Department held a press conference about Push In for the New Truck into Station 9.
 
The new truck will help to equip our firefighters with the latest tools and preserve the Columbia Fire department’s ISO Class 1 rating in the city. 

The new engine itself is a KME model firetruck. Engine 9’s service territory includes Five Points, the USC campus, parts of Forest Acres and the Shandon neighborhood.

Last year Engine 9 handled more than 1,800 class for service. Combined with Ladder 9 (which also is at Station 9 on Devine Street) the two truck ran more than 3,600 calls for service.
Mayor Steve Benjamin & Chief William 'Skip' Holbrook
Unveil ‘ShotSpotter’ to Public

 
In a news conference on Friday, May 10, 2019, City of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and Police Chief W.H. ‘Skip’ Holbrook announced the Columbia Police Department’s (CPD) implementation of an innovative gunshot detection technology that reduces violent gun crime in the City of Columbia.
The technology, known as ‘ShotSpotter’ relies on acoustic sensors to pinpoint where gunfire occurs.

Chief William 'Skip' Holbrook: “The area that we defined is based on the where we have the highest concentration of gunfire.  We want to affect that, change that narrative, change the footprint to where we don’t need this initiative.”
The information from the sensors is sent to CPD officers and 9-1-1 dispatchers through real-time digital alerts.
Since the implementation of ShotSpotter in the City of Columbia on April 18, 2019, CPD officers have responded to 131 SpotSpotter alerts/activations; of those 26 resulted in 9-1-1 calls from citizens.

ShotSpotter does not replace residents calling 9-1-1.
ShotSpotter Overview:
  • Utilizes multiple acoustic sensors to pinpoint gunfire activity
  • Sensors strategically placed around City
  • Approximately 20 sensors per square mile
  • Aids in locating crime scene, evidence, suspects & witnesses
  • Quicker response & situational awareness by law enforcement
  • ShotSpotter acoustic analysts review the sounds to determine actual gunfire
  • Acoustic analysts can determine full-automatic weapons & if shooter is on the move
  • Real-Time Alerts for Law Enforcement & 9-1-1 Dispatchers
  • Digital Alerts through ShotSpotter App for smart phones & patrol car computers
  • Utilizes user-friendly maps to pinpoint gunfire activity
  • Time stamps incident & provides audio of gunfire
  • No monitoring of conversations
  • Strengthens court cases
  • Sends message to offenders
  • ShotSpotter does not replace police officers or community involvement & calling 9-1-1
  • Cost over 3 years = $1,180,000 | 1st Year – $400K  | 2nd Year – $390K | 3rd Year – $390K
  • Other cities utilizing ShotSpotter: Oakland & San Diego, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas
Statistics
  • Number of ShotSpotter Calls: 131 (includes incidents at the same address separated by time) Since April 18, 2019 – May 9, 2019
  • Number of Shots Detected: 339
  • Number of Single Shots Detected: 59
  • Number of Firearms Seized: 11
  • Number of Stolen Firearms Seized: 2
  • Number of Shell Casings Recovered: 114 (32 separate crime scenes where casings recovered)
  • Number of National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Entries: 23 (some calibers not NIBIN compatible)
  • Number of NIBIN Confirmations: 5
  • Number of Arrests: 13 individuals with 21 charges
  • Number of 9-1-1 Calls: Out of the 131 ShotSpotter activations, 26 resulted in 9-1-1 calls from citizens
Mayor Steve Benjamin,
City of Columbia
Chief William 'Skip' Holbrook,
Columbia Police Department
Office of Business Opportunities Welcomes Nearly 250 Local Business Owners to 7th Annual Small Business Week Conference 

Nearly 250 small business owners gathered for the Office of Business Opportunities’ 7th Annual Small Business Week Conference today (May 10, 2019) at the Columbia Metropolitan Center. Through workshops, guest speakers and networking, entrepreneurs got a chance to connect with innovative business leaders, who shared their insights, best practices, and tricks of the trade.

“This Small Business Week Conference allows small businesses to network amongst each other and to learn valuable information to help business owners grow their businesses. As a small business owner myself, we have to understand the ins and outs of running a business such as finances, growth, scaling your business and many other things. This conference gives you an opportunity to learn everything you need to know as a business owner,” said Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine.
 
“Today's conference was a shining example of Envision Columbia focus area number five: Economic Prosperity Endless Possibilities,” said City Manager Teresa Wilson. “I’m very proud of our staff and the impact of this annual conference.”
 
The City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities celebrate our small business year round, said Melissa Lindler, Office of Business Opportunities director. We are always trying to lift up and support our small businesses. There are a great number of different resources here at the City of Columbia that directly focuses on small businesses.”
 
The Small Business Week Conference helped small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs alike take their business to the next level. This annual conference covered the minor details that help small businesses grow.
 
Through the City of Columbia’s Small Business Week Conference, the Office of Business Opportunities highlighted the impact of the City’s outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
 
This year’s workshops included:
  • Digital Reputation: Making Social Media Work for You
  • Maximizing Growth Opportunities with Advocacy Groups: Why Get Certified
  • The Importance of Connecting with the Latino Market
  • Grow Your Business While Minimizing Employment Risks
  • Taking Your Business to a New Level: The Benefits of Going Green
  • BOOM! Proven Strategies to be a Successful Business of the Future
  • Understanding The Principles of Business Expansion
  • Ink That Deal! The Small Business CEO’s Role as Chief Negotiator
To learn more about the Office of Business Opportunities and upcoming events, please visit |www.columbiasc.gov/obo| or call (803) 545-3950. 
Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine,
City of Columbia
City Manager Teresa Wilson,
City of Columbia
Melissa Lindler, OBO's Director
City of Columbia
Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine presented American Icon Wally "Famous" Amos with the Key to the City.
City of Columbia's Public Relations,
Media & Marketing booth 
Crowd Shot
Drew Wellness Center Held Senior Health Fair

In observance of National Senior Health & Fitness Day, the Charles R. Drew Wellness Center held a free health fair for seniors ages 50 and older on Wednesday, May 29.

The event included free health screenings (blood pressure, A1C, kidney & more), an activity zone (Zumba, yoga, chair exercises & more), exhibitors and raffles.
Pet Adoption


 

The Columbia Animal Shelter often need citizens to take home kittens and puppies for a better environ-
ment instead of the animal shelter.

The fostering time can be 1-3 weeks. There are also times when an individual animal is a bit scared and shy when being in new homes. They will need some time to adjust and become comfortable to their new homes. View all
Columbia's foster pets or visit our website.

 

City Community Connection 




City of Columbia #KnowYourCity Trivia Challenge

Each Wednesday, the Public and Media Relations Department post a question on Instagram about a current event or a fact about our City.

The first person to answer correctly wins a City of Columbia prize pack.

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