Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Columbia.


Valmet Corporation to Add 40 Jobs to Lancaster County Facility

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Valmet Corporation plans to expand its Lancaster County manufacturing facility that serves the pulp, paper, and energy industries.

The expansion will create 40 jobs at the plant, which is slated to be completed in January 2015.

“It’s always exciting to see one of our existing companies make the decision to expand -- it proves that South Carolina has the workforce and business environment that they need to be successful," said Governor Nikki Haley in a statement.

The company operates service locations in 30 countries with 11,000 employees, including South Carolina operations in Lancaster and Aiken counties.

Those interested in for positions within Valmet are encourage to apply online at SCWorks.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Stall High School Student Arrested for Gun Possession 

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Police arrested a 15-year-old high school student after he was spotted with a gun at a nearby bus stop.

Michael Reidenback, deputy director of security for Stall High School, told police he received a call from a citizen who saw the student at a stop on Pickens and Greenwood Street on Thursday. Officials were informed the student possibly possessed a handgun.

Upon arrival, Charleston Police noticed a car parked nearby with the teen inside. As the officer exited the vehicle, the student "began making furtive movements" and had "a deer in the headlights" look. A pat-down revealed the teen had the weapon in the front of his pants.

The student told officials he had found the gun in a ceiling tile of the high school's bathroom on Tuesday. Police said the gun was "old and rusted but appeared...operable."

The student's grandmother, Betty Johnson, was in the vehicle with the teen at the time of the arrest. Police said she was wanted on a check warrant and subsequently arrested her following the incident. 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Person Exposed to Rabies in Beaufort County

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- One person was referred to medical treatment after being bitten by a raccoon that tested positive for rabies in Beaufort County, health officials said Monday.

The individual was exposed to the animal on Oct. 16. The racoon tested positive for rabies two days later.

The victim spotted the animal on the road, thinking it was dead. When the person attempted to move it from the area, the raccoon bit the individual on the finger.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild," said Sandra Craig, representative with the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

An estimated 275 state residents must undergo preventative treatment for rabies each year, Craig added. Most exposures result from bites or scratches.

The racoon is the fifth animal to test positive from Beaufort County in 2014. There have been 118 confirmed cases in animals throughout South Carolina this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Four People Killed on SC Roads Last Weekend 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Four people were killed on South Carolina roadways last weekend, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

The victims included one pedestrian and one motorcyclist. In one incident, the individual was not wearing a seat belt.

As of Oct. 18, 607 people have died on state highways, compared to 624 highway deaths during the same time period last year.

Of the 423 motor vehicle occupants who died this year, 209 were not wearing seat belts.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Two Men Wanted in Radcliffe Place Robbery

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Police are on the lookout for two men wanted in connection to a Radcliffe Place robbery.

The 22-year-old victim told Charleston Police she was robbed outside her home at 21 Radcliffe Place just before 3 a.m. Sunday.

Two unknown black men allegedly approached the woman as she was entering her residence, with one pointing a firearm-shaped object at her and demanding her purse.

The victim told officials there was a small struggle over her property, and the suspect pressed the object against her face while the other struck her arm to loosen her grip on the purse.

Both men fled on foot toward Radcliffe.

The suspects are described as being between 16 and 19 years old, both approximately 6'0" with thin builds. One had dreadlocks while the other suspect had a buzz cut.

Anyone with information is asked to contact local law enforcement.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio