Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
STATE RADARINTERACTIVE RADARWEATHER ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE
Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
After much debate and a busy week for employees of the Richland County Board of Elections, voters in Columbia will not decide in November if they want a strong mayor form of government.
Instead, Columbia City Council decided in a 4-3 vote Wednesday to host a special election Dec. 3 if the petition asking for a referendum is certified by the Board of Elections.
The board says the certification is completed, but employees are running a verification and quality check.
Columbia City Council hosted a special meeting Wednesday night to debate the referendum. As absentee ballots have to be mailed Friday, a decision had to be made by then.
Instead of taking a vote on the strong mayor referendum, council passed a substitute motion raised by Tameika Isaac Devine that would send the issue to a special election. The majority of council members thought there would not be enough time to educate voters about the strong mayor form of government before the Nov. 5 election date.
Mayor Steve Benjamin, who supports the strong mayor system and is running for re-election, was one of three council members voting against the motion. He argued if the petition signatures were certified, the city would waste taxpayer money on a special election. He said council should have voted to put the issue on the November ballot from the beginning, and by having the special election close to the holidays in December, voter turnout would be suppressed.
"It only makes sense for the people to hold an election when we're already having an election, not to waste another $150,000 in taxpayer money to push an election into the holiday season in the hopes that less people will come out to vote," said Benjamin. "That flies in direct contravention of what we've been trying to work when we moved this election to November."
Council members Brian DeQuincey Newman and Cameron Runyan also voted against the proposal with Devine, Sam Davis, Moe Baddourah, and Leona Plaugh voting in favor.
For council watchers, Councilman Davis appeared to be the swing vote in this debate. He explained his position during the meeting.
"The position I expressed was based on verification of the signatures," said Davis. "That's the credibility I stand in."
Devine says the vote came down to one thing: voter education.
"I counted that we had 18 citizens come up today with questions, asking for some more time. I've got tons of emails over the last couple of days," said Devine. "I think it's only prudent for us to give citizens the right answers to these questions no one has thought about. Not even the mayor can answer all of these questions."
Despite being unsuccessful in his efforts to get the referendum on the November ballot, Benjamin says he believes voters will be in favor of the strong mayor proposal regardless of when they have to vote on it.
"This is not about strong mayor or full-time mayor or anything else. It's about having a fundamental change in the way in which the people of Columbia can hold their leaders accountable," said Benjamin.
Employees at the Richland County Board of Elections spent the last week verifying signatures on a petition asking to put the referendum on the November ballot.
Richland County Elections Director Howard Jackson said the results of the petition will be released Thursday.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>