Criminal Defense Attorney inColumbia, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Columbia, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Columbia can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in – to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Columbia, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

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Clients rank Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC as the top choice for Columbia criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Free Consultation
  • Education on the Columbia Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Columbia
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Columbia can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

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The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Columbia, SC

DUI penalties in Columbia can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

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When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Columbia, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Columbia depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

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First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Columbia may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

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Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Columbia, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Columbia can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

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Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Columbia can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Columbia
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Columbia, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Columbia defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

 Law Firm Columbia, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance – call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Columbia.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Columbia, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Columbia can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

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Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Columbia. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Columbia include:

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  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Columbia, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope – call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

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Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

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Latest News in Columbia, SC

Here are 5 Juneteenth 2022 Columbia area events to celebrate the holiday

Columbia residents won’t need to travel far to enjoy a variety of Juneteenth events this weekend.Juneteenth, which falls on Sunday this year, recognizes June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX to tell slaves there that the Civil War was over and they were free. The day has been celebrated ever since, but only became an official federal holiday on June 16, 2021.While the federal holiday falls on Sunday, most federal employees will have a day off on Monday.If you’re looking for...

Columbia residents won’t need to travel far to enjoy a variety of Juneteenth events this weekend.

Juneteenth, which falls on Sunday this year, recognizes June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX to tell slaves there that the Civil War was over and they were free. The day has been celebrated ever since, but only became an official federal holiday on June 16, 2021.

While the federal holiday falls on Sunday, most federal employees will have a day off on Monday.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Juneteenth in the Columbia area, try one or more of these five events.

When: Saturday at 12 p.m.

Where: Charles W. Johnson Stadium at 1920 Two Notch Road

Come out for a day of celebration and education for the 6th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival. This family-friendly community event will include activities and resources, such as historical awareness and reenactment fair rides and fireworks. The will be live music and an award ceremony honoring key figures in the South Carolina Black community.

There will also be retail and food vendors, help with voter registration, along with health information including COVID testing, sickle cell awareness and other seminars.

Entry tickets will cost $25 each.

When: Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Historic Harriet Barber House & Grounds, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC

Drive just a few miles outside of downtown Columbia for the Juneteenth Celebration at the historic Harriet Barber House in Hopkins. There will be family fun and games, live entertainment, vendors, exhibits, the American Inventors Museum, presentations and more.

Admission is free.

When: Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 1515 Main Street

In celebration of Juneteenth, the Columbia Museum of Art will offer free admission for the day. Beginning at 1 p.m., take a guided tour of Black art in the museum’s collection with Dr. Nancy Tolson, CMA commissioner and University of South Carolina assistant director of African American Studies.

Self-guided tours will be available all day. All tours will be presented in partnership with the Friends of African American Art and Culture.

When: Saturday at 8 a.m.

Where: Semmes Lake next to Marion Street Station at 4522 Marion Ave.

Come participate in a family fun run/ walk 5K in celebration of Juneteenth. For registration information, call Pam Long at 803-751-3700.

When: Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: EdVenture museum at 211 Gervais St.

The EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia is hosting a Juneteenth event featuring story tellers, a live painting demonstration by Gullah artist Amira Farris, live music, poetry and information on the history of sweet grass baskets.

The events are free with museum admission.

This story was originally published June 17, 2022 5:00 AM.

Carolina Precision Foods, LLC establishing operations in Florence County

$10 million investment to create 402 new jobs COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carolina Precision Foods, LLC – a joint venture of Carolina Fresh Foods and owners of Lake Foods – today announced plans to establish operations in Florence County. The company’s $10 million investment will create 402 new jobs.Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is a poultry further processing company that specializes in deboning, portioning, marination, custom further processing and mechanically separating...

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carolina Precision Foods, LLC – a joint venture of Carolina Fresh Foods and owners of Lake Foods – today announced plans to establish operations in Florence County. The company’s $10 million investment will create 402 new jobs.

Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is a poultry further processing company that specializes in deboning, portioning, marination, custom further processing and mechanically separating food.

Located at 2901 W. Darlington Street in Florence, Carolina Precision Foods, LLC’s new facility will partner with regional poultry processors in custom further processing of poultry products.

Operations are expected to be online in August 2022.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.

QUOTES

“We are excited to become a member of Florence County and the Pee Dee Region. With over 65 million pounds of poultry processed weekly within two hours of Florence, this was the perfect location for our plant. With Interstates 20 and 95 at our doorstep, fresh chicken from Carolina Precision Foods can be processed for over 19 million consumers in a day. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Florence County!” -Carolina Precision Foods, LLC Chief Financial Officer Jim Robinson

“Agribusiness is one of our leading industries, and with our pro-business environment, it continues to grow at a rapid pace. We congratulate Carolina Precision Foods, LLC on their $10 million investment and look forward to the impact these 402 new jobs will have on Florence County.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina is home to a dynamic roster of agribusiness companies, and we are proud that Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is joining that list. We welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to Florence County and look forward to the positive impact they will make in the local community and beyond.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are excited to welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to the state of South Carolina. Their operation will offer additional processing opportunities to our state’s poultry growers. We look forward to the continued growth of our state’s agribusiness industry.” -South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers

“We are thrilled to welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to Florence County and are excited about the 402 new jobs they will create for our community. It is clear that food and beverage companies continue to find Florence County as the right place to do business.” -Florence County Council Chairman Willard Dorriety Jr.

Where to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Explore in Columbia, South Carolina

When I told some friends I was visiting South Carolina recently, they immediately assumed I was heading to the beach. Charleston, maybe? Myrtle Beach? Any of the many other quaint ...

When I told some friends I was visiting South Carolina recently, they immediately assumed I was heading to the beach. Charleston, maybe? Myrtle Beach? Any of the many other quaint beach towns the state is known for?

All good guesses, and all great places to visit. But I was actually on my way to Columbia. “And it will actually be my third visit,” I added.

You could see some surprise momentarily cross the faces of these friends. And I get it, a few years ago the extent of my knowledge of Columbia, South Carolina came from memorizing the state capitals in elementary school. But as I’ve gotten to know the city, I’ve discovered that it’s so much more than another dot in the middle of a map. It’s a vibrant and underrated destination with tons of outdoor activities nearby.

Three trips in, it’s safe to say I have a soft spot for this city — here is my guide.

I lived in the south for five years after graduate school, and I still jump at any opportunity to go back for one big reason: the food. Nowhere else in the United States can quite compare to a Southern meal. But not just for the traditional biscuits and gravy or shrimp and grits – it’s all good. And Columbia didn’t disappoint. I found myself exclaiming at each meal that it was “the best meal I have ever had” and not hyperbolically.

Meals are events in South Carolina and I was happy to indulge.

I walked to dinner at Black Rooster on my first night in town. A “Frenchish” restaurant in West Columbia, Black Rooster combines French preparation and techniques with local and international cuisines. I started with a cheese plate and some bubbles while enjoying the ambiance and view. I followed with the nightly special – a soft shell crab on a bed of Moroccan rice. It was one of the most interesting and tasty dishes I’ve had on the road in a long time.

Another memorable dining experience is just a short 15-mile drive outside of town in Lexington SC. Bodhi Thai is an elegant and innovative Modern Thai restaurant with impeccable service and atmosphere. I started with a fresh roll that lived up to its name, followed by the pan-seared scallops on a parsnip puree and was truly overwhelmed – in a great way – with the sophisticated and interesting flavors and presentation.

It can really only be described as *an experience.* And one I definitely recommend.

Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, which adds to the vibrancy and trendy feel of this decidedly southern locale. Nicknamed the Cola City, there is no shortage of watering holes in and outside the city limits.

Before dinner my first night in town I visited Savage Craft Ale Works for a rooftop drink and a sunset view. I was not disappointed – in the atmosphere or the beer. I’m not an IPA gal, but had a glass of Galaxy Banger Hazy IPA that came recommended and found myself reconsidering my entire beer history and preferences. It was tropical and refreshing – the perfect pour to relax outside on a warm summer night.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find some wineries in the region. While the spots I visited were quick to note that the soil and climate is not necessarily ideal for a wine region – it has only led to innovation and unique winemaking. I loved spending an afternoon at Mercer House Winery in Lexington – one of the most unique wineries I have ever visited (and I have visited many).

The winding road to Mercer House Winery was beautiful, although residential and unassuming. But after you walk past the gate things take a turn – literally. The property is gorgeous and eclectic, with wine tastings at a bar in a barn (making all my southern dreams come true).

I was the only person there for my first eight or so wine tastings. Yes, I said first eight – because there are 18 wines in a tasting – plus some you can add on to that if you dare. It’s definitely a place to sit and stay a while. The flavors were unlike any other wines I’ve tasted – lemon blueberry, honey lemon tea, and even a chocolate mango pinot grigio.

It’s, obviously, not an uptight place. I recommend trying at least one of the jalapeno “bumper juices” while you’re there and then spending some time sobering up while walking the gorgeous grounds.

My favorite spot to grab a glass of champagne in Columbia itself ended up being Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe, an outpost of the Charleston favorite with decadent desserts and a lively bar. Located right downtown and near my hotel, I was able to walk over, find a seat at the bar, and enjoy my book and drink with a side of chocolate cake. I can’t think of anything better.

On my last trip to Columbia I stayed in a great location downtown at Aloft Downtown. It was centrally located to everything I wanted to do in the downtown area and an easy drive to anything outside of town.

When I come back to town I’d like to try Graduate Columbia, a stylish and eclectic downtown option or Hotel Trundle, a historic boutique hotel downtown with a sleek 20’s art deco vibe.

There are also many quaint short-term rentals in Columbia that are extremely budget-friendly and Instagrammable. I really love this quaint tiny house near campus and this incredibly stylish treehouse with the perfect outdoor seating areas and hot tub.

The food might bring me to the south, but I keep coming back for outdoor recreation. Congaree National Park – one of the least visited and, in my opinion, underrated parks is less than 20 miles from downtown. Here you can hike, fish, camp, and canoe while marveling at expansive biodiversity and old-growth bottomland hardwood forest.

I’ve visited 57 of the 63 major US National Parks and have chosen to come back to Congaree not once but twice after my initial visit. It doesn’t have the towering granite or wide-open spaces of the western parks, but there’s something special about the forest canopy. The crowds are lighter and the landscape more delicate.

You have to pay attention at a place like this, and it’s the perfect place to take some deep breaths and truly forest bathe. I recommend going when the trees are green in the spring or early summer. And if you’re lucky you might catch the synchronous fireflies that blanket the park between mid-May and mid-June.

Another favorite in the area is Poinsett State Park – which is a bit further out of town, but the beautiful drive makes it more than worth it. Nicknamed the “Mountains of the Midlands”, I spent a low-key afternoon here kayaking and hiking. I’d love to go back and rent a cabin to spend more time exploring.

If you are looking for water, don’t be fooled by Colombia’s landlocked location in the middle of the state – it has plenty. Lake Murray is just outside Columbia, and at 41 miles long and 14 miles wide as its widest point – there is room for just about anything from boating, to paddleboarding, swimming, birdwatching to camping, and hiking (I recommend Dreher Island State Park).

It’s also home to one of the most fascinating natural wonders I’ve encountered while traveling – the Purple Martin Phenomenon. Every summer from late June to August around a million Purple Martins take a migration pit stop on Bomb Island on Lake Murray. I took a boat tour and the captain told me that they’ve been roosting on the island every year but one since at least the ’80s. No one seems to know exactly why – or why they stayed away that one summer – but the phenomenon is just the kind of magic I look for on these trips. Estimated to be the largest purple martin roost on the continent, you can book a boat tour to see for yourself.

7 Columbia SC high-ranked restaurants that still have reservations open for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner and restaurant reservations in the Columbia area have filled up fast.But not to worry!There are still some high-ranked restaurants in the city with reservations open on Father’s Day Sunday where you can take dear old dad, according to OpenTable. And there’s variety too, from Brazilian and Italian, to traditional American and seafood.So, how about forgoing the basic tie this year and gift your d...

Father’s Day is just around the corner and restaurant reservations in the Columbia area have filled up fast.

But not to worry!

There are still some high-ranked restaurants in the city with reservations open on Father’s Day Sunday where you can take dear old dad, according to OpenTable. And there’s variety too, from Brazilian and Italian, to traditional American and seafood.

So, how about forgoing the basic tie this year and gift your dad a tasty meal?

Here are 7 high-ranked restaurants in Columbia that still have open reservations for Father’s Day.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (2,961 reviews)

Cuisine: American, Southern

Address: 751 Saluda Ave.

Saluda’s can be found just steps away from the University of South Carolina’s campus in the heart of Five Points. Open since 1996, the restaurant offers a menu that mingles classically prepared dishes with cutting-edge techniques. The menu is built around mixing locally-grown seasonal and luxurious ingredients. Saluda’s offers Southern cuisine with French and Italian influences.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (3,126 reviews)

Cuisine: Contemporary American, fusion/creole, cajun, Southern

Address: 920 Gervais St.

For more than 20 years, Motor Supply has served New World cuisine, using classic French culinary techniques, in the historic Congaree Vista.

The kitchen’s handwritten menus change daily and feature contemporary American cuisine, with nods to creole, cajun, Southern, French and Asian styles.

The restaurant uses meats, dairy and produce from local, sustainable farms. Seafood is caught off the South Carolina coast. There’s also an extensive selection of wines, beer and cocktails available.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (358 reviews)

Cuisine: American

Address: 1621 Main St.

If you enjoy spending time on Main Street, then The Grand is the place for you. The restaurant offers a traditional fine dining experience. You can sip cocktails at the bar and then eat outside on Main Street or relax on the back patio. After your meal, take dad to The Grand’s boutique bowling alley or dessert lounge in the Robinson Room, found in a hidden lower level of the restaurant.

Rating: 4.5 out 5 (1,208 reviews)

Cuisine: American, seafood, steak

Address: 401 Main St.

Located in Union Station, a historic train station, California Dreaming offers a mix of American classic in a large, family-friendly atmosphere. Every dish is prepared from scratch daily, such as honey-butter croissants, baby back ribs and the California Dreaming Salad.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (281 reviews)

Cuisine: American, oyster bar

Address: 1643 Main St.

Smoked is an upscale fine dining restaurant in a reimagined 19th century mercantile that offers various seafood and pork dishes and steaks. There is also an oyster bar with a variety of offerings, from chargrilled oysters to ones with smoked pork and melted cheeses.

And inside Smoked in a microbrewery that rotates a selection of craft beers, ciders, seltzers and nitro coffees.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (1,269 reviews)

Cuisine: Brazilian

Address: 1508 Main St.

Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse offers a unique, all you can eat ‘Churrascaria,’ that features a full salad bar, 6 hot Brazilian-flavored dishes and a selection of 16 USDA Prime cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb sliced at your table. The restaurant offers outdoor seating on Main Street.

And along with a full bar, there’s a walk-in wine cellar with selections from Argentina, Chile and California.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (575 reviews)

Cuisine: Seafood

Address: 461-4 Town Center Place

The privately-owned Blue Fin describes itself as an upscale restaurant with a laid back atmosphere. The restaurant offers the taste of Charleston with a Metropolitan flair in Columbia.

The restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, from grilled salmon to pan seared bass. But it also offers steaks, pasta dishes, burgers and sandwiches.

This story was originally published June 16, 2022 10:40 AM.

SC working to boost school mental health services, more than half of schools lack counselor access

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - At a time when state leaders on both sides of the aisle say access to mental health services in schools is more important than ever, South Carolina is struggling to keep up with a growing need.A recent audit found most of the state’s public schools lack access to a counselor, and critical services like crisis counseling are even scarcer....

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - At a time when state leaders on both sides of the aisle say access to mental health services in schools is more important than ever, South Carolina is struggling to keep up with a growing need.

A recent audit found most of the state’s public schools lack access to a counselor, and critical services like crisis counseling are even scarcer.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order earlier this year, requesting that audit into school mental health services, and it was completed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which sets Medicaid reimbursement rates for these services.

According to DHHS, schools are facing a two-pronged issue: The need for mental health services among students continues to grow, while the number of counselors available to them has fallen.

“When you’re talking about a crisis with children, you’re talking about a crisis today, but you’re talking about a crisis that affects the future of the state,” DHHS Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeff Leieritz said.

The statewide audit found mental health services are currently available in fewer than half of South Carolina’s public schools at a ratio of one counselor for roughly every 1,300 students, which DHHS Director Robbie Kerr called “unacceptable” in his letter to McMaster, presenting the review’s findings.

“Our goal is to cut that ratio in half over the next year, and then eventually cut that in half again,” Leieritz said, adding their goal is to have a counselor in every school in the state.

Most of the state’s school-based counselors are employed through the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and the audit found the system is set up to incentivize schools to use these counselors.

The current Medicaid reimbursement rate that DMH-enrolled counselors receive, of $77 for a half-hour session, is more than double the $37 rate a private provider receives.

DHHS believes giving schools more freedom and choice to hire private counselors will help increase access to services, Leieritz said.

Among Kerr’s recommendations to improve these services, the department plans to eliminate those rate disparities, with increased rates for non-DMH counselors set to go into effect July 1.

“There are counselors out there now that could provide that service but don’t because of that rate disparity,” Leieritz said.

It also recommends using telehealth to increase access to services and considering a three-year phase-in to require school counselors to be fully licensed.

While that is already a requirement for private counselors who work in schools, DMH counselors are excepted from the requirement.

The audit also found the need for immediate crisis services is rising at schools.

But those services can be hard to come by, with counselors so stretched thin already, especially if they work in multiple schools, oftentimes leaving untrained teachers and school staff to respond.

DHHS hopes by increasing the number of counselors overall, it can free up more of them to handle crisis situations.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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