Phase One of Innovista Project Is Underway

By Marina Ziehe

Road improvementAccording to the Richland Penny Program website , the section of Greene Street that runs between the Koger Center and USC's Darla Moore School of Business has opened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This marks the opening of the first phase of the Innovista project, which aims to increase connections between the downtown and the nearby Congaree River. As mentioned in the release, Phase One of the Innovista project includes "constructing improvements to Greene Street, converting it from a four-lane and two-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from...

It's Boom Time for Downtown Columbia

By Marina Ziehe

Downtown ColumbiaCOLUMBIA, S.C. YES, WE HAVE IMPROVED! Much attention has been given to downtown Columbia lately, not only from the media but also from city leaders, partnerships and organizations that are trying to make downtown a more vibrant and livable place. Matt Kennell, President and CEO of City Center Partnership , recalls a time, back in the '80s, when a photograph of the area that is now known as the Vista, was published in the National Geographic magazine, along with the label of one of the worst urban places in the United States. Nowadays, the Vista owns a bohemian, energetic and eclectic...

Politicking In South Carolina

By P.A. Bennett

State House LobbyIt was one of those blustery, cold days we don’t often see in the Midlands of South Carolina. I’d travelled to downtown Columbia to get as close as possible to the State House. In this political season, so much is going on, and the State House is often ground zero. It was tough to get a parking space, but I finally found one about three blocks away on Main Street. The bluster was in the weather, but it was also about to commence on State House grounds and in the rotunda of the South Carolina State House. Already, I could see dozens of people walking briskly toward the State House, many of...

Gas Prices Hit 40 Cents Lower than 2015

By K. Blackwell

Gas PumpSouth Carolina drivers are saving a little bit of money this year at the pump. According to an article in the Post and Courier , prices “dropped another 2.8 cents” to the average of $1.56 per gallon. Compared to last year’s prices, drivers are paying 40 cents less per gallon. Across the nation, gas prices have also fallen, at about 5.2 cents a gallon with the average price being $1.74. The national average is down 43 cents a gallon. While S.C. is enjoying relatively low prices, Oklahoma has the lowest gas prices nationally. The best S.C. prices for gas are in the Upstate, and the most...

Infrastructure Repairs Still Up for Debate

By K. Blackwell

pot hole in the roadThe issue of crumbling roads and bridges throughout the state of S.C. has been a glaring issue for many years. The historic flooding that the state faced last October pushed the issue of how lawmakers plan to solve the problem to the forefront. The bill was passed by the House but has now seen opposition in the Senate. Everyone agrees the roads need repair, but no one can come up with a way to pay for the repairs. Some Senators support the current bill that would raise the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon over the next several years. It also includes some income tax breaks and S.C. D.O.T. reform...

FEMA’s Role in Repairing SC Roads Due to Historic Flood

By K. Blackwell

FloodingThe historic flooding that S.C. experienced last year has brought the issue of the crumbling infrastructure to the forefront of the Legislative Session. While a roads and bridges bill is underway in the Senate , many people are wondering what role FEMA will play in aiding the road repair. Palmetto Scene spoke with Senator Tom Davis about this issue.

Remaining Disaster Recovery Centers to Close

By Aimee Crouch

flooding, roadsFEMA will close its three remaining disaster recovery centers this Friday, January 29. Victims of the October floods still needing asistance can call the FEMA hotline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. The hotline can be used to: Ask questions about FEMA decision letters. Learn how to appeal FEMA decision letters. All applicants may appeal. Inquire about the status of a registration. Provide change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information to avoid disaster assistance processing delays. Receive information about FEMA home inspections. Get other questions...

Winter Weather Operations Scaling Back

By Aimee Crouch

IceMost of the winter weather has left the Palmetto State and as of midday today, the State Emergency Operations Center returned to normal operations. The National Weather Service predicts some light snow for the remainder of the day in parts of the state, but temperatures will stay above freezing. SCEMD continues to urge "everyone to continue to be cautious of frozen precipitation still on the ground in many places, particularly on secondary roads and low-lying or shade covered areas. Melting snow can refreeze once temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit resulting in black ice conditions...

Winter Weather Continues to Hit Parts of South Carolina Saturday Morning

By Tabitha Safdi

SnowParts of South Carolina are continuing to be hit with snow and sleet making travel unpredictable. The Upstate areas are being hit the most. Snow and ice fell Friday with more expected in northwest South Carolina. The system is expected to end Saturday afternoon. State officials are still warning residents that roadways will be dangerous. In an update from the SC Emergency Management Division, power was out for about 30,000 utility customers, mostly in counties north and west of Columbia. According to The State Newspaper , “A winter weather advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. Saturday for...

Parts of South Carolina Experiencing Wintry Mess

By P.A. Bennett

Ice and Snow"Stay home if you can." That’s the warning for residents of Upstate South Carolina. A Winter Storm Warning is in place for the Upstate that means a quarter to a half-inch of ice and one to four inches of snow could accumulate. The weather prognosticators say that the Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Cherokee, and Clemson areas will be hit with a mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. But road crews are ready, according to ; crews started pre-treating Interstates and bridges on Thursday, anticipating this ice event. “SCDOT has over 550 snowplows across the state, along with...