Plus, the ground has been broken at Finlay Park.
September 15, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

66º | Heavy thunderstorms | 90% chance of rain
Sunrise 7:30 a.m. | Sunset 5:32 p.m.

Development update: The latest on Nephron Nitrile
Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy holding box of nitrile gloves with Lexington Two students
The Nephron Nitrile team recently donated 60,000 gloves to Lexington School District Two for its nursing staff as well as the trade programs at the Lexington Two Innovation Center.|Photo provided by Nephron Nitrile
Two years ago, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy and Gov. Henry McMaster announced the opening of Nephron Nitrile, a plant designed to produce American-made, medical-grade nitrile gloves right here in the Midlands.

This was a big deal, from the jobs the project aimed to create to its impact on the PPE supply chain. We’ll let the numbers do the talking:
  • 400,000+: The square footage of Nephron Nitrile, headquartered in the new Kennedy Innovation Complex in Saxe Gotha Industrial Park
  • $100 million: The estimated cost of the expansion
  • 250: The number of jobs generated in the area
  • 60%: The share of the worldwide glove market represented by the US (read: a big reason to bring production to our doorstep)
hand formers on production line at glove-making facility

These hand formers are used to make nitrile gloves right here in the Midlands.


Photo provided by Nephron Nitrile

Fast forward to September 2023, and Nephron Nitrile is up and running. The facility officially opened in December 2022, and recently, William “Billy” Emerson Harris was announced as its CEO, bringing 30 years of manufacturing experience to the role. “Having Billy join our team is a win-win — for Nephron Nitrile and South Carolina manufacturing,” said owner Lou Kennedy.

At full capacity, Nephron Nitrile will feature 14 production lines (each of which is longer than a football field) that will manufacture ~2.5 billion gloves annually. (In the market for nitrile gloves? You can place an order online.)
Friday, Sept. 15
  • Columbia’s Greek Festival | Thursday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Times vary | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1931 Sumter St., Columbia | Enjoy the music, atmosphere, food, and drink, and learn a little about Greece.
  • PARK(ing) Day | Friday, Sept. 15 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Downtown Columbia, SC, 1136 Washington St. (and nearby), Columbia | Free | PARK(ing) Day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists, and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into temporary public spaces.
  • Steel Hands Oktoberfest | Friday, Sept. 15 | 12-10 p.m. | Steel Hands Brewing, 2350 Foreman St., Cayce | Free | Celebrate Oktoberfest with authentic German music, contests, and a delicious menu of Oktoberfest-themed delights + its Festbier.
  • Noah Cyrus: The Hardest Part Tour | Friday, Sept. 15 | 8 p.m. | The Senate, 1022B Senate St., Columbia | $28 | Get tickets to see Noah Cyrus and hear hits like “July” and “All Falls Down.”
Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Guided Paddle on the Lower Saluda River | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Rd., Columbia | $30-$50 | Explore local island destinations, ride the rapids, learn about the Lake Murray Dam, swim, observe local wildlife, and more.
  • Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland St., Columbia | Free | Now in its 45th year, this free festival brings musicians, artisans, and storytellers together to celebrate SC’s black history and culture.
  • FemmeXColumbia Swap Meet! | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 2-5 p.m. | femme x Columbia, 1501 Richland St., Columbia | Free | Browse a variety of vendors offering home goods, clothing, art, handmade items, and furniture for sale or barter.
  • Carolina Food Truck Festival | Saturday, Sept. 16-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Charles W. Johnson Stadium, Columbia | $35-$50 | Enjoy giveaways, music, entertainment, family-friendly fun, and good food.
Sunday, Sept. 17
  • Fall Dried Floral Wreath Workshop | Sunday, Sept. 17 | 1-2:30 p.m. | PlantHouse - Columbia, 702 Cross Hill Rd. #400B, Columbia | $45 | Experience the modern plant revival at a PlantHouse workshop.
  • Free Sundays Presented by Richland County | Sunday, Sept. 17 | 1-4 p.m. | Robert Mills House and Gardens, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia | Free | On the third Sunday of the month, residents of Richland and Lexington counties are invited to tour one of Historic Columbia’s house museums for free.
Click here to have your event featured.
🚗 It’s electric (vehicles)
Businessman charging electric car
An Auto Loan from AllSouth can help your electric car dreams come true.|Photo provided by AllSouth Federal Credit Union
Thinking about going electric? Whether you’re interested in more advanced technology and performance or seeking an alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles, there are many reasons to consider an electric vehicle (EV).

You may have a few questions before making the switch to electric, like:
  • How much does it cost to own?
  • Is it best to buy or lease?
  • What is the environmental impact?
If you’re in the market for an EV, AllSouth Federal Credit Union can help with an Auto Loan.
News Notes
  • Yesterday, local leaders, designers, and businesses gathered at the Finlay Park Revitalization Ceremony to offer remarks + walk through the components of the redesigned park to once again make it the “crown jewel” of Cola. Watch the full ceremony and get caught up on the details of the project.
  • Join the Richland County Economic Development Office for a public meeting happening on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 4 to7 p.m. at Doko Manor to discuss the Scout Motors project + the proposed I-77 Exit 26 interchange and connecting roads. Representatives will be there to answer your questions. Can’t make it in person? Submit your comments online.
  • No. 35. That’s the ranking Hite’s Bar-B-Que in West Columbia received in Southern Living’s top barbecue joints list for 2023. Hite’s is highlighted for offering whole hogs, ribs, chicken cooked over oak and hickory wood, its yellow mustard sauce, and takeaway options. Fun fact: Big T Bar-B-Q located in Gadsden, SC ranked No. 30. (Southern Living)
  • Sergio Hudson, a renowned fashion designer, from Ridgeway, will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition at the Columbia Museum of Art starting Wednesday, Nov. 18. The exhibition is curated by Megan Pinckney Rutherford + highlights Hudson’s career, including dressing celebrities like Beyoncé and Michelle Obama. (The Post and Courier)
  • Meeting Street Music Fest is happening Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. and The City of West Columbia shared a map showing where locals can park. Along with a parking map, there’s also a map where locals can find stages, food trucks, vendors, restrooms, and more.
  • The SEC unveiled its 2024 baseball schedule, with the Gamecocks first pitch on the road against Ole Miss in March. Key matchups include Vanderbilt and Arkansas at home, Texas A&M and Florida on the road, and a season-closer in Tennessee. (Gamecocks Online)
  • It’s been a record-hot summer — and we still haven’t drank water since 1997. But this water brand makes us want to actually stay hydrated. It’s infused with fruit essences and has zero calories, diet sweeteners, and sugar, and still manages to taste great. New customers score 36 bottles for $36 + free shipping.*
Fun Fact
  • Whiskey returned 314% over the last 10 years. Invest in fine whiskeys and wines with Vinovest to diversify your portfolio and watch it age like fine wine.*
Featured Deal
  • Ford & Sims Pressure Washing LLC is offering a Fall Pressure Washing Special to get your home ready for the cozy season. Bonus: Book now to enjoy a 10% discount (a limited-time offer). Snag the deal online or call (803) 351-6086 to schedule.*
Columbia’s Three Rivers Greenway expansion
Dominion energy and the City fo
The City of Columbia announced a partnership between the City and Dominion Energy to expand public access along the Saluda River. | Photo by City of Columbia
Columbia is expanding its Three Rivers Greenway, aiming to boost riverfront accessibility and tourism.

Dominion Energy has agreed to lease the City of Columbia 200 acres of land for $1 per year for 100 years to extend the riverwalk from Richland County along the Saluda River to the Lake Murray dam. Mayor Rickenmann hopes construction on the new trail will begin within six to eight months.

The city already has over $20 million in funding for this project and this news comes on the heels of the pedestrian bridge project we touched on earlier that will offer better access to the Saluda River on the West Columbia side.

Potential plans:
  • Greenway connectivity for trails that stretch from downtown Columbia to Saluda Shoals
  • Various exercise stations along trails
  • Outdoor lounging/sitting areas along the riverfront
  • Public access points for swimming, kayaking, and tubing activities
  • Mountain-biking trail
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The Wrap
Samantha Robertson in a white shirt and grey vest Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Just putting this on your radar — plan ahead for USC’s homecoming celebration before the Florida game. On Friday, Oct. 13 from 6-9 p.m., the Paint the Town Garnet and Black Block Party returns with sidewalk sales, food, live entertainment, and more. My favorite part is when they dye the Five Points fountain garnet.
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