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Electrician Contractor in Dentsville, SC

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We Keep Dentsville Shining Bright

Electricity - it's one of the most important innovations in the history of humankind. It's hard to imagine life without electricity, and for good reason. Nearly every aspect of our lives is affected by electricity in some form or fashion, from the way you wash your clothes to the effort you put in at work. From a residential standpoint, you need it to cook, clean, entertain, and live comfortably. For commercial purposes, electricity is used to power the computers needed to keep America moving. That's why, when the electricity in your home or at your job is compromised, life grinds to a halt. Unfortunately, electrical problems are inevitable in today's day and age. When the electricity in your home or commercial workspace fails, you need a quick, effective solution that will get your life back on track. And that, in a nutshell, is where L&M Electric, Inc. shines the brightest.

Our company was founded in 2009 by Roger Lee and John Mezzles. With a combined 46 years of electrical experience, the two entrepreneurs set out to create a company that offers quality workmanship and unparalleled service to all its builders and clients. Today, we are proud to have served South Carolina for nearly two decades as the premier electrician contractor in Dentsville, SC. Our family-owned business specializes in both residential and commercial electrical work. Our highly-trained team has the experience and skills to handle any electrical issue, from minor panel breaker problems to large-scale industrial issues.

Despite winning numerous awards and recognitions in the Southeast, we don't let our accolades go to our head. Our team is committed to providing effective, personalized electrical work for every one of our customers. We take pride in our ability to offer peace of mind to our customers when they need it most, and that's exactly what we aim to provide to you too. We're talking one-on-one service provided by a friendly, professional electrician. There are no corners cut, no hidden fees, and no excuses - only the highest quality work from the finest electricians in Dentsville.

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$99 Electrical Home Safety Inspection

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What sets us apart from other electricians in Dentsville, SC? It boils down to three reasons:
Customer-Centric, Quality Electric Service
Customer-Centric, Quality Electric Service

As guests in your home, you won't ever have to worry about a member of our team trying to sell you something you don't need. Our job is to serve your electrical needs. You expect the highest quality electrical work in South Carolina, and that's what we will provide.

Experienced, Affordable Electricians
Experienced, Affordable Electricians

You understand that the highest quality work requires fair compensation, but you're not made of money. Our commitment is to offer affordable electric work at a price you're satisfied paying.

Family Owned & Operated
Family Owned & Operated

We know that you are choosing L&M Electric for a reason. Unlike large corporations, we truly care about our customers. As a family business, serving you is personal for us. We stake our reputation on the quality of our work. As such, we are accountable and will always strive to deliver the service you have come to expect from our company.

Affordable Electric Service That Makes You Feel Like Family

At L&M Electric, we employ the brightest commercial and residential electricians in Dentsville. Having electricians that specialize in both residential and commercial projects allow us to provide our customers with a wider range of services.

Our team fixes a broad range of electrical issues, but we have built our reputation on the following electric services:

 Smart Home Electrician Dentsville, SC

Electrical Repairs

Every homeowner has to deal with an electrical component breaking or failing at some point. When that happens, you need a partner who can troubleshoot the problem and correct the issue efficiently and effectively. A few common problems that we help solve for our customers include:

  • Ceiling Fan Repair
  • Light Fixture Repair
  • Light Switch & Outlet Repair
  • Electrical Safety Inspection
 Smart Home Installation Dentsville, SC

Electrical Installations

Whether you have a new ceiling fan that needs to be installed or you have a new electrical outlet that you'd like added to your bedroom, L&M Electric is here to help. Our team installs quality solutions every day of the week - there's no electrical installation job your residential electrician in Dentsville, SC, can't handle. Here is a glance at some of the installation projects that we complete for homeowners:

  • Smart Home Installation
  • Electric Car Charging Station Installation
  • Whole-Home Surge Protection Installation
 Electrical Repairs Dentsville, SC

Renovations and Remodeling

If you're renovating or remodeling your home, you need a professional electrician on-hand to work to properly install your new electrical devices and systems. Our skilled electricians are happy to work with you or your remodeling consultant to install your lights and keep your home shining bright. Common renovation and remodeling jobs include:

  • Hot Tub Wiring
  • Kitchen Lighting Renovations
  • Finished Basement Electrical Wiring
 Electrical Safety Inspection Company Dentsville, SC

New Construction Electrical Projects

Many new construction homeowners stress about having their electrical system wired from scratch. For us, it's just another day on the job. If you're building your dream home, don't leave your electrical work to mediocre electricians. Trust L&M electric for reliable service and the highest quality electrical work in Dentsville. A few new construction projects we handle are:

  • Breaker Panel Box Installation
  • Wiring for Backup Generator
  • Landscape Lighting Outdoors
  • Low Voltage Wiring
 Whole Home Electrical Install Dentsville, SC

Your Residential Electrician in Dentsville, SC

When you own a home, there's something inherently fulfilling about taking care of your property and fixing issues that pop up over time. When it comes to electrical work, however, DIY projects can be dangerous. Electricity is an amazing innovation, but if you aren't fully trained and licensed to handle such work, it's best to leave it to the experts at L&M Electric. Your home's safety is essential for you and your family. Our team will go above and beyond to ensure that your home's electrical system is operating correctly without any concerning problems.

With more than 60 years of combined experience as electricians, we are capable of troubleshooting and fixing a litany of electrical issues in your house. Keep reading to learn more about the most common electrical issues our customers report, along with some handy tips on how to remediate such problems.

Electrical Services Dentsville, SC

Panel Breaker is Tripped

If you don't have any power in your home, it might be time to check your electrical panel to see if there are any tripped breakers. If you spot a tripped breaker, try your best to switch it over to its original position. If you can't, remember that some breakers need to be flipped to the "off" position before turning it back on. If you don't have any luck, give our office a call. We'll send a trained residential electrician in Dentsville to your home to fix the problem on-site.

 Remodel And Renovation Electrical Work Dentsville, SC

Overhead Fan Stops Working

If you have an overhead fan in your living room or bedroom, you know how quickly it can accumulate dust. Most homeowners clean up using a rod duster. However, sometimes homeowners accidentally hit the fan direction switch when doing so. But, instead of flipping it "on" or "off," they bump it into a limbo zone where neither direction is selected. When this happens, your overhead fan will not spin. If one of your fans stops working suddenly, this is one of the most common reasons why. If you're sure you didn't hit the fan direction switch, it could be an indication of a larger problem. In this case, call our office for a free phone consultation. We'll troubleshoot with you over the phone and if necessary, send out an electrician.

 Electrician Dentsville, SC

Kitchen Breaker Keeps Tripping

If your home was built in the last 35 years, chances are it has two 20-amp circuits running to your kitchen countertop outlets. Newer homes will have three circuits. If you're constantly tripping the breaker to your kitchen, it's most likely because you have too many electrical devices connected to the same circuit. To help alleviate this problem, place appliances like coffee makers and toasters on two different circuits. That way, they can share the load.

At the end of the day, your home is your place of solitude and relaxation. But, when you have electrical issues in your home, things can quickly go from peaceful to problematic. Whether you're renovating your home and need a new room wired for power or your panel breaker keeps giving your problems, L&M Electric is here to assist. If you have questions about an issue or need to schedule service, our team is ready to help answer your questions and coordinate the best time for a residential electrician to come to your home in Dentsville.

 Smart Home Electrician Dentsville, SC

Tips to Save Money and Maintain Your Home's Electrical Systems

Unlike some of our competitors, who are reluctant to provide any information that might prevent them from making a buck, L&M Electric is all about empowering our customers. If we can offer sound advice that will educate our clients and help them save money, we have no problem doing so. That's why we have put together some helpful tips and tricks for maintaining your home's most common electrical systems. Because, at the end of the day, a little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to your family's safety.

 Smart Home Installation Dentsville, SC

Install Surge Protectors

Intense lighting storms can cause powerful surges of electricity that ruin your home's electrical appliances and amenities. Surge protectors installed at your electrical panel can help prevent these surges by grounding the electricity running through your home. They do so by directing it away from your electrical devices. This common solution is inexpensive, effective, and always a better choice than replacing expensive items like TVs and computers.

 Electrical Repairs Dentsville, SC

Examine Your Breaker Panel

Breaker panels control the power to your home. When they go bad or are damaged, there's a good chance that you will lose power to most of the rooms in your house. Open your breaker panel and keep a sharp eye out for signs of corrosion and rust. Double-check that each breaker you see flips on and off properly. If you notice corrosion or if the breaker switches won't flip, it's time to get in touch with a residential electrician in Dentsville, SC, who can inspect your breaker panel and recommend upgrades if necessary.

 Electrical Safety Inspection Company Dentsville, SC

Test Your GFIs

GFIs, or Ground Fault Interrupters, are similar to surge protectors in that they prevent electrical damage from happening in your home. The primary job of a GFI is to prevent electrical shocks that happen during a ground fault. Because water is a conductor of electricity, GFIs should be installed anywhere that an outlet comes into contact with water. You should try to test your GFIs every month, if possible, to ensure that they are working correctly. When you look closely at your GFI, you will notice a "test" and a "reset" button. Hit the "test" button to trip the GFI outlet and then hit "reset" to restore power. If your outlet resets, your GFI is working as it should. If not, you need to replace your GFI outlet. Because electricity is involved, we recommend hiring a professional to install new GFIs in your home. That way, you know the job is done right.

 Whole Home Electrical Install Dentsville, SC

Replace Outdated Light Bulbs

The right light bulb can add the perfect amount of ambiance to your home. Eventually, however, even the best light bulbs will need replacing. While they don't need checking every month, it's a good idea to inspect all your bulbs at the beginning of the year. If any of your bulbs are dead, you should replace them. You should also consider replacing bulbs that are incandescent with LED lights. LED light bulbs may cost more upfront but use less electricity and are more efficient over the long run.

Electrical Services Dentsville, SC

Schedule a Home Safety Inspection

In terms of preventative maintenance, scheduling a safety inspection for your home's electrical systems should be a high priority. These inspections will shine a light on the electrical features in your home that need to be fixed. Most modern electrical fires are caused by short circuit arcs, defective insulation, or broken wiring. An inspection conducted by a qualified electrician will help determine what needs to be fixed so you and your family stay safe in your home. Your inspector should cover your whole home and will examine common features such as:

  • Breakers
  • Fans
  • Exposed Wiring
  • Electrical Panels
  • Circuits
  • Switches
  • Outlets and More
 Remodel And Renovation Electrical Work Dentsville, SC

DELIVERING QUALITY ELECTRICAL SERVICE TO 5,000+ HOMES PER YEAR

he electrical system in your home brings it to life from the lights and appliances we use every day to the entertainment we all love and enjoy. You want an electrician that makes you feel safe while delivering the quality services you're promised.

ELECTRICIAN SERVICE REQUEST

Full-Service Electrical Work for Home and Business

Whether you need light switch services for your newly renovated home or need a generator installed at your commercial property, L&M Electric is here to serve you. Our team will get the job done right, so you can get back to loving your life in the Lowcountry.

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 Electrician Dentsville, SC

Latest News in Dentsville, SC

Owners of Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles want to connect to USC students

Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles in Columbia has welcomed celebrities like President Joe Biden, former Sen. Hillary Clinton and USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley since opening its doors 10 years ago.The owners, Kiki Cyrus and her husband, Tyrone, don’t know how the celebrities discovered the restaurant.“They just come, and I think it’s because we grew a big brand and people ask where to go to get soul food, good food, and people say to come to Kiki’s,” Cyrus said. “It’s cra...

Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles in Columbia has welcomed celebrities like President Joe Biden, former Sen. Hillary Clinton and USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley since opening its doors 10 years ago.

The owners, Kiki Cyrus and her husband, Tyrone, don’t know how the celebrities discovered the restaurant.

“They just come, and I think it’s because we grew a big brand and people ask where to go to get soul food, good food, and people say to come to Kiki’s,” Cyrus said. “It’s crazy.”

The restaurants — there are two location — are best known for their chicken and waffle dish, but also serves Southern staples such as fried green beans and smothered pork chops. Joe Biden’s favorite dish? He ordered the red velvet waffle with cream cheese.

“Most people love the red velvet waffle, that’s, like, our most popular item,” Cyrus said.

One restaurant, in Richland Northeast’s Dentsville, is at 7001 Parklane Road. The second location opened in Harbison in July 2019 at 1260 Bower Parkway, Suite A8. The couple wants to open up additional locations in Charleston and Rock Hill.

“We get a lot of people that travel from the Charleston area,” Cyrus said. “I think that’d be the best move for us.”

Chris Bozard said the only drawback of Kiki’s is the two locations are about an hour from where he lives but maintains the drive is “worth it.”

“There is only one food place in Columbia’s that I would recommend, and that’s Kiki’s,” Bozard said.

The Cyruses worked at Columbia’s California Dreaming restaurant while in college at USC but wanted to have their own business.

“I love cooking,” Cyrus said. “My husband loves cooking and decided to get into the restaurant business. Now, chicken and waffles? We wanted to get into it because it’s a big staple in the largest cities. We needed one here, and we were the first.”

Cyrus has made many connections in the Columbia community through her restaurant. It’s the most rewarding part of Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles, she said.

Raven Cooler won’t go to any other restaurant that serves chicken and waffles when she travels. It would be a betrayal, she thinks.

Her first meal at Kiki’s was in 2017, said she has gone “pretty regularly” since.

“Anytime people come to Columbia to visit me, we go to Kiki’s,” Cooler said.

But the business faced multiple challenges while growing in the Midlands.

“When we first started, probably getting the word out (was the most challenging part),” Cyrus said. “No one wanted to give us a chance because we had just started out.”

Like other restaurants, Kiki’s struggled with keeping staff during the pandemic. Attendance dropped, too. Tyrone said they didn’t welcome any celebrities during the height of COVID-19.

“We’re still continuing to build up staff,” Tyrone said.

Now, she and her husband are setting a new personal goal for themselves. They’re trying to connect with USC students.

“We serve the Gamecock football team, so sometimes they want us to come in and do chicken and waffles for them,” Cyrus said. “But the students don’t know about us.”

Tyrone praised the football team and the women’s basketball team and hopes to be able to cater to the women’s team soon.

“We’re big supporters of USC,” Tyrone said.

Cyrus has been visiting classes in the Darla Moore School of Business to talk about growing a business and advertising her restaurant.

“If I could have you guys be able to use a Carolina Card here, but I think it’s probably too far,” Cyrus said.

Two Gamecock defensive players lost for the rest of the football season

South Carolina Head Coach Shane Beamer announced Monday that the Gamecocks have lost two starters on defense to season-ending knee injuries.COLUMBIA, S.C. — University of South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer announced Monday that linebacker Mohamed Kaba and defensive end ...

South Carolina Head Coach Shane Beamer announced Monday that the Gamecocks have lost two starters on defense to season-ending knee injuries.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — University of South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer announced Monday that linebacker Mohamed Kaba and defensive end Jordan Strachan suffered ACL injuries in Saturday’s contest at Arkansas and would miss the remainder of the 2022 season.

“I’m extremely disappointed and heart-broken for both of these young men,” said Coach Beamer. “They both worked really hard to prepare for this season and were off to great starts for us. Their best football is still in front of them.”

Kaba, a 6-2, 239-pound junior from Clinton, N.C., started each of the first two games at the Mike linebacker position. He recorded eight tackles, including a half-tackle for loss and was credited with one pass breakup. He appeared in 24 games with five starts over the past three seasons. A member of the 2020 SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman team, Kaba was recognized as the 2022 Most Improved Player of the Spring for the defense and the Jim Carlen Special Teams Player of the Spring.

JUST IN - Shane Beamer announced today that LB Mo Kaba and Defensive End Jordan Strachan both suffered ACL injuries Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. Two big losses for the Gamecock defense. @WLTX #Gamecocks

— Chandler Mack (@chandlerdmack) September 12, 2022

Strachan, a 6-5, 245-pound sixth-year senior from Kingsland, Ga., was in his second season with the Gamecocks after transferring from Georgia State. He recorded 10 tackles through the season’s first two games, and was the team’s leader with 3.0 tackles for loss, including one sack. He led the country with a Georgia State record 10.5 sacks during the 2020 season and logged 14.5 career sacks.

The Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 17, when they host the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (2-0, 0-0 SEC) in a noon kick at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Hurricane Ian Relief: U-Haul Offers 30 Days Free Storage in South Carolina, Georgia

CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- U-Haul® is offering 30 days of free self-storage at 22 facilities across South Carolina and Georgia where storm surge, flooding and strong winds from Hurricane Ian are expected to leave residents in need of recovery assistance."Ian has already brought devastation to our neighbors in Florida," said Tinessa Edwards, U-Haul Company of Coastal South Carolina president. "The threat of flooding in South Carolina is high as Ian makes landfall here. Storms of this magnitude c...

CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- U-Haul® is offering 30 days of free self-storage at 22 facilities across South Carolina and Georgia where storm surge, flooding and strong winds from Hurricane Ian are expected to leave residents in need of recovery assistance.

"Ian has already brought devastation to our neighbors in Florida," said Tinessa Edwards, U-Haul Company of Coastal South Carolina president. "The threat of flooding in South Carolina is high as Ian makes landfall here. Storms of this magnitude create an immediate need for dry and secure self-storage.

"Our U-Haul family is willing and able to help by making our disaster relief program available to anyone in need."

U-Haul has also made 43 self-storage facilities across Florida available to offer free assistance.

The free month of self-storage services is available to customers renting new units and is subject to vacancy at each U-Haul facility. People seeking more information about the U-Haul disaster relief program or needing to arrange 30 days of free self-storage should contact the participating facility nearest them (listed alphabetically by city):

SOUTH CAROLINA

U-Haul at Knox Abbott 901 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033 (803) 791-5992

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Wambaw Creek 2076 Wambaw Creek Road Charleston, SC 29492 (843) 884-4688

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Arcadia Lakes 125 Decker Park Road Columbia, SC 29206 (803) 699-9397

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Beltline 2826 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29204 (803) 807-2534

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Broad River Road 1003 Zimalcrest Drive Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 731-0067

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Dentsville 7325 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29223 (803) 636-2652

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Elmwood 1037 Elmwood Ave. Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 256-2499

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Fort Jackson 5604 Forest Drive Columbia, SC 29206 (803) 787-5154

U-Haul Moving & Storage at I-26 3754 Fernandina Road Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 798-4414

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Sandhill 1117 Sparkleberry Lane Extension Columbia, SC 29223 (803) 766-7417

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Spring Valley 8400 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29223 (803) 736-8582

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Two Notch Road 2339 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29204 (803) 256-7397

U-Haul Moving & Storage of West Florence 2020 W. Evans St. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 662-4935

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Greenwood 254 Bypass 72 NW Greenwood, SC 29649 (864) 538-4472

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Cayce 1500 Charleston Hwy. West Columbia, SC 29169 (803) 926-5252

U-Haul Moving & Storage of W. Columbia 400 Orchard Drive West Columbia, SC 29170 (803) 796-3724

GEORGIA

U-Haul Moving & Storage at 520 3455 Wrightsboro Road Augusta, GA 30909 (706) 733-3252

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Augusta West 3515 Wrightsboro Road Augusta, GA 30909 (706) 447-5225

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Broad St. 1589 Broad St. Augusta, GA 30904 (706) 722-4396

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Gordon Hwy. 1647 Gordon Hwy. Augusta, GA 30906 (706) 434-8798

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Wrightsboro 3363 Wrightsboro Road Augusta, GA 30909 (706) 738-6463

U-Box Storage of Savannah 3488 Ogeechee Road Savannah, GA 31405 (912) 233-9912

Customers needing cardboard boxes can utilize the in-store Take a Box, Leave a Box program. U-Haul offers an area where customers can drop off used boxes in good condition, and others can access the boxes at no cost. U-Haul encourages anyone who has reusable boxes to drop them at the nearest U-Haul store location to assist this environmentally friendly initiative.

In addition to its 30 days free self-storage disaster relief program, U-Haul is proud to be at the forefront of aiding communities in times of need as an official American Red Cross Disaster Responder.

About U-HAUL

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 23,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Our customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 186,000 trucks, 128,000 trailers and 46,000 towing devices. U-Haul is the third largest self-storage operator in North America and offers 895,000 rentable storage units and 76.6 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities. U-Haul is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S., and continues to be the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. U-Haul has been recognized repeatedly as a leading "Best for Vets" employer and was recently named one of the 15 Healthiest Workplaces in America.

Contact:

Andrea Batchelor Jeff Lockridge E-mail: publicrelations@uhaul.com Phone: 602-263-6981 Website: uhaul.com

SOURCE U-Haul

‘I just feel like a failure.’ An emotional day in court during SC’s eviction crisis

Sporting a set of blue scrubs, Tonez Wilson fidgeted in his seat as he waited for his name to be called. The 23-year-old was set to graduate from his nursing program in a week and should have been in class that morning. Instead he was at the Richland County Central Court in Dentsville, fighting to not be evicted from his apartment.In the past two months he had racked up $1,417.80 in back rent. Now, after four years of renting with the same company, the landlord wanted him out.Wilson is one of ten tenants who passed through Magi...

Sporting a set of blue scrubs, Tonez Wilson fidgeted in his seat as he waited for his name to be called. The 23-year-old was set to graduate from his nursing program in a week and should have been in class that morning. Instead he was at the Richland County Central Court in Dentsville, fighting to not be evicted from his apartment.

In the past two months he had racked up $1,417.80 in back rent. Now, after four years of renting with the same company, the landlord wanted him out.

Wilson is one of ten tenants who passed through Magistrate Judge Phillip F. Newsom’s courtroom on Wednesday, Oct. 27, and one of countless others nationwide who face the possibility of losing their housing.

Tenants who fell on hard times at the start of the pandemic were temporarily shielded from eviction by a federal moratorium. Those protections ran out in August, but many are still struggling to get back on their feet.

Even before COVID-19, South Carolina had the highest eviction rate of any state in the country, according to research from Princeton University’s Eviction Lab.

Sue Berkowitz, executive director of the S.C. Appleseed Justice Center, said despite the far reaching consequences of evictions, it is one of the most overlooked issues in the state.

“A lack of stable affordable housing in South Carolina, along with laws that make it fairly easy to evict, has led to a crisis. And there’s no reason to think things won’t be as bad or even worse with this pandemic.”

Under South Carolina law, landlords can evict a tenant if they fail to pay rent within five days of the due date or if they violate the terms of their lease. That includes staying past the end date on the lease.

Landlords — many of whom have spent months waiting to collect rent because of the moratorium — say filing for eviction is often the only tool they have to help recoup their losses.

The State spent a day in magistrate court observing eviction hearings and interviewing tenants to put a face to the problem advocates have long warned about.

Some of those threatened with eviction had fallen behind on rent because they lost their jobs, had their pay cut or faced a medical emergency. Others simply misunderstood the terms of their lease.

Eight of the tenants were people of color. One was not fluent in English and needed a translator. None of them had a lawyer. All of them were hoping to stay in their homes, or at least buy some time before they had to go.

The information in this story came from both court testimony and interviews with The State.

The reason Wilson started nursing school in the first place was to make more money. But eventually balancing school and work became untenable, and he was let go from his job as a transporter at Prisma Health due to scheduling conflicts.

Though he works part time at a senior living facility on the weekends, that job doesn’t pay enough to cover his rent and so he fell short in August and September. He applied for help through Richland County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program but was still waiting to hear back when he found an eviction notice taped to his door a few weeks ago.

“I guess I was kind of expecting it, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon,” he said.

When Judge Newsom asked how he planned to come up with the $1,480.70, Wilson assured him that he had been accepted into the program, his rental assistance check was on the way and he had a job lined up for after graduation.

“We try to help our tenants out when we can,” his landlord, Will Fowler, said.

The judge granted Wilson twelve days to pay off the debt.

Wilson was thankful for the second chance, but knew there was no guarantee that the rent assistance would arrive in time. Without that check, he’d have no choice but to move.

But Wilson was trying not to focus on that. Instead his mind was on his graduation. If all goes as planned, he will earn his Practical Nursing Diploma from ECPI University. From there he hopes to get an associate degree and become a Registered Nurse.

“At this point, all I can do is wait,” he said.

“You can raise your left hand since you clearly can’t raise your right.” Judge Newsom told Lisa Belton.

When she appeared before him that Wednesday she was recovering from a recent surgery and had her right arm in a sling. The more than $3,000 she paid in medical bills caused her to be late on rent in September.

Belton and her landlord, Cornie J. Davis, had a tense relationship. She told the judge he skimped on necessary repairs. He claimed she never had the rent on time.

Still whenever she had been late in the past, she said he was usually lenient so long as she paid a penalty. This time was different.

“I’m fed up,” Davis told the judge. “I try to be nice but every time I’m nice people walk all over me.”

Belton and her husband had been searching for a new place to live for the past year but had come up empty-handed. Now they would have to scramble at the last minute to find something.

“It just feels like bad luck, bad timing,” she said. While she watched friends and family struggle to get through 2020, she had been able to hold on to her job and tough it out. “Now after all that things are falling apart just as we were getting ready to go.”

The judge gave her until Nov. 3 to move out. Now she said she has to figure out how to pack up her whole house with just one arm.

Eight months. That’s how long it’s been since Lisa Holmes has paid her rent in full.

The problem started in February when she was switched from a sales position at her company to a different job. The money she made from commissions usually helped her get over the hump each month.

Short on cash, she tried to find ways to cut back but realized no matter how many pennies she pinched, she wasn’t going to make rent.

Then, she stumbled on what she thought would be her saving grace: the Center for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium.

“I just signed this form and submitted it to my landlord and it halted any evictions.” she said.

She hoped the moratorium would buy her some time to get switched back to her old sales job. But as the months went by, nothing changed at work and the bills continued to pile up. By April, she was fired for taking too many sick days.

Then in August the moment she had been dreading finally arrived. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the eviction moratorium for good. Within a matter of months she received the eviction notice that she thought she’d be able to avoid. By that point she owed more than $8,300.

The judge explained that she had until Nov. 3 to pay off her debt and until Nov. 5 to pay $1,200 for that month’s rent.

Though she applied for Richland County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program in August, she is still waiting to get approved.

Holmes said she knows she won’t have the money in time, but she’s hoping that if she can at least show her landlord a letter of approval from the rent assistance program, then he’ll agree to work with her.

“COVID was already stressful enough as it was but this just added a whole other layer on to it,” she said

When Heather Griffith received the notice stating that her lease would not be renewed and she had until the end of the month to leave, she couldn’t believe it.

She and her 14-year-old son had lived at the same mobile home park for the past 9 years. At $400 a month, it was the only two-bedroom she could afford.

Though she’d been threatened with eviction several times before for missing rent, “we were always able to work something out,” she said. “We never even made it to court before.”

She was confident it would be the same this time. But as the hearing drew closer, reality began to sink in.

When she finally appeared before the judge, Griffith didn’t know what to expect.

“Can you tell me why you haven’t moved even though your lease is up?” he asked.

Griffith told him she had nowhere to go and thought she could fight the decision in court. Her voice began to trail off as she choked back tears.

“Unfortunately the law doesn’t support you doing that.” Judge Newsom said, noting that her landlord could actually sue her for damages. “I have to issue the writ, I have no choice.”

He gave her until Nov. 3 to move.

Heather wasn’t sentimental about leaving the mobile home park. She had dreamed of getting out of there for years. But with poor credit and an eviction on her record, she knew finding a new place in a week would be close to impossible.

“I just feel like a failure,” she said.

Editor’s Note: The State reached out to Richland County to ask about Wilson and Holmes’ rent assistance applications. A spokesperson said the county could not discuss individual cases, but that it typically takes four to six weeks for an application to be approved, and another 21 working days for the payment to be made. The county said other factors can result in delays for approval or payment.

As Columbia Fire Department experiences staffing shortage, city says reinforcements are coming

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Staffing shortages within the Columbia Richland Fire Department forced some engines to be taken off-duty, and others to operate with fewer people, according to the Columbia Firefighters Association.On August 5, the association reports that Engine 8 on Atlas Road, Engine 9 on Devine Street and Engine 14 in Dentsville, as well as Rehab 1, were taken out of service.The association said that 13 other engines were repo...

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Staffing shortages within the Columbia Richland Fire Department forced some engines to be taken off-duty, and others to operate with fewer people, according to the Columbia Firefighters Association.

On August 5, the association reports that Engine 8 on Atlas Road, Engine 9 on Devine Street and Engine 14 in Dentsville, as well as Rehab 1, were taken out of service.

The association said that 13 other engines were reportedly operating while being understaffed that day as well.

The national standard for crew staffing is four firefighters per truck.

Data from the city of Columbia shows the department had budgeted for 23 absences that day, but 34 called out, either with vacation, sick leave or another kind of leave.

Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann’s office said that reinforcements are on the way, though.

When fully staffed, the Columbia Fire Department has 454 personnel. It is currently about 89 percent staffed, but with new hires, it is expected to be at 92 percent in the coming weeks.

The department has also budgeted for an additional class of 30 new recruits starting at the end of September, the mayor’s office said.

Data provided by the mayor’s office shows that department staff took more than 10,000 hours of leave in June, between sick leave and annual vacation time. The 4,000 hours of sick time taken in June were in line with the average number of hours taken since July 2021.

In a post on Facebook, the Columbia Firefighters association said of the staffing issues on August 5: “The residents and guests of the city of Columbia and Richland County are at a disservice.”

The association did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Rickenmann said: “We want to support the fire department and give them the resources to recruit the best new talent possible. Anybody that wants to contribute to that dialogue should put down the keyboard and pick up the phone for a conversation.”

The mayor’s office also said they are not currently considering any change to leave policy.

The Columbia Fire Department is taking several steps to bolster recruitment efforts. It currently runs a bridge program where volunteer firefighters can move into full-time positions more quickly.

Additionally, it launched a direct hire program earlier this year to give firefighters with prior experience faster employment by allowing them access to an abridged training academy.

WIS was told that Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins was not available for an interview on this topic on Monday.

When asked whether starting salary could play a role in recruitment, the department said, “There are multiple factors that can influence our recruiting.”

According to the department’s website, the starting salary for Columbia firefighters is $33,669. For applicants with a master’s degree, the starting salary goes up slightly to $35,942.

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