Koon Road Bridge Closing December 6th

Got some calls about the Koon Road Bridge Closing signs that were posted last week.

SCDOT informs me they will close the bridge for two weeks (December 6th thru December 17th) while some work is being done on a water line.

The bigger news for y’all to know is that the bridge will be closed for SIX MONTHS starting in February 2022 as it is replaced as part of major overhaul by the SCDOT in our community. For more on that, click here.

Obviously, road improvements bring their own challenges – so please understand for progress to happen, we will have some more pain in the year(s) ahead.

There is a lot of work happening in and around Chapin, Irmo, on up to “Malfunction Junction” in the present and in the years ahead!

The Living Christmas Story – Union United Methodist

From The New Irmo News

Union United Methodist Church is preparing to host the full production of their long-standing tradition, the 28th annual drive-through living nativity, “The Living Christmas Story.” This event will take place Friday through Sunday, December 3-5, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. For over 20 years now, the Union United Methodist Church parking lot has been transformed into the city of Bethlehem, as the ‘greatest story ever told;’ a drive-through re-enactment of the way life was over 2,000 years ago on the night Jesus Christ was born. The presentation features scenes that can be viewed as vehicles travel through the Union parking lot. This is a gift to the community, with no admission fee.

“The Living Christmas Story,” uses real people from the Irmo community, and includes live animals that become the town of Bethlehem. Villagers, a blacksmith, the innkeeper, Herod’s Court, the marketplace and many more scenes come alive as you drive through and experience the night Christ came to us. Often described as beautiful and moving, “The Living Christmas Story” is an experience that many thousands of spectators have witnessed, which is over 140,000 visitors over the last 27 years.

Those who have experienced “The Living Christmas Story” provide comments, such as: “My parents brought me to The Living Christmas Story each year when I was a child. Now I am bringing my own children. It is one of the best memories I have of Christmas and I want that for my children too!“ “Thank you for such a beautiful and free-to-attend portrayal of the true meaning of Christmas.” “Our children want to ride through ‘The Living Christmas Story’ over and over! It brings the story of Jesus’ birth to life for them. Thank you!” “The Living Christmas Story is a realistic view into life at the time of Jesus’ birth! Our grandchildren love seeing the live animals and all the people dressed in authentic clothing in the market. It is a very worthwhile family experience!” “Driving through ‘The Living Christmas Story’ at Union United Methodist Church has become a yearly tradition for our family to begin our Christmas season.”

“Due to the pandemic, we are taking extra safety precautions for all of our cast members,” said Glenna Dean Wildt, Co-Chair of The Living Christmas Story Planning Committee. “As for the public, this is the perfect activity. You get to sit in your car and experience the beauty of Christmas.”

Start your holiday season with an event that the whole family will remember.

To learn more about Union United Methodist Church please visit www.unionirmo.org or “Like” them on Facebook @unionumcirmo.

Dutch Fork Football – playing for 6th consecutive state title

Looks like it’s time to order another set of Rally Towels for this helluva program!

After defeating Fort Dorchester Friday night, the Silver Foxes are going for a SIXTH consecutive State Championships this week! I emailed the company that helps me provide these flags every year and hope to hear from them tomorrow! If so, I’ll bring them again to the school and get them to Dr. Gary in time for the big game!

For those that may not know, here are some program highlights currently:

62nd straight game without a loss
61st straight win over in-state teams
36th straight since the tie w/Mallard Creek
34th straight road win
28th straight playoff win (record)

Here’s hoping those streaks continue Friday!

Chapin Cheerleaders – State Champions (again)!

Once again, Rep Huggins and I will get to recognize these ladies/program at the State House in the spring. As I always share from the House Floor – “You can’t spell Champions without Chapin!”

From The Lexington Chronicle


“We got that gold, we took it back!”

This was the yearlong rallying cry for the Chapin High School competitive cheer team.

It began not too long after the Lady Eagles finished runner-up to Lexington High School last November at the SC High School League Class 5A final held in Florence.

“The day after state, they had a meeting and we were determined that it was going to happen this year,” longtime Chapin head coach Vicki Williams said. “But they’ve been practicing ever since then to get back. So it was a goal to get back.”

The daily regiment of fine-tuning the self-choreographic routines paid off Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.

Back in familiar surroundings, the Lady Eagles returned to their championship perch by winning the Class 5A title once again. In claiming a school-record 15th overall state title, three of the last four in Class 5A, Chapin scored a 349, the highest point total posted by any classification, to dethrone defending champion Lexington.

The Lady Wildcats finished 27 points behind the Lady Eagles for their fourth Class 5A runner-up trophy since 2016.

This marked the fifth straight year since Class 5A was created Chronicle Country teams were 1-2 in the final standings.

Other local teams who placed high were River Bluff in third place and Dutch Fork was sixth.

Prior to the Class 5A final, AC Flora repeated as Class 4A champion. Both Airport and Irmo were third and fourth, respectively, on a day six Chronicle Country teams finished in the Top Five of their classificaitons.

“Tonight it’s about this team,” Chapin coach Billie Williams said. “They’ve worked harder than any team we’ve ever had.”

Pre filed bills for 2022 – which ones interest you?

Over the past two weeks, the following bills have been pre-filed for the 2022 session (which begins in January and runs through most likely May).

Which ones of these interest you?

November 10, 2021

November 17, 2021

As I shared at the Chapin Chamber breakfast this morning, I no longer simply put my names on bill (known as cospnosoring) just to ‘check a box’. I have learned that language matters and that sometimes, while the bill reads and sounds great, it doesn’t (or can’t do) what the reader (or member) proposes.

Sometimes bills are “inartfully drawn” (as are amendments that fly on the house floor during debates) and what is intended is not what is actually written.

I’m currently looking into a few of these and if I believe they can do what is written or intended, I can co-sponsor them and talk with other colleagues and work to get the bill passed to the Senate. Keep in mind, these bills – and the hundreds already on file from earlier in 2021, have to pass both bodies in the same language before being sent to the Governor’s desk. They must do this before we adjourn in May/June or else the bill(s) are “dead” and new ones will have to be drafted for the 2023-2024 session.

Would love to hear your thoughts here in comments section or at my state house office NathanBallentine@schouse.gov.

Thanks for your advice and feedback!

Redistricting – proposed new House District 71

New proposed House District 71 (white area in photo) under the SC House Redistricting plan that goes before a special House Committee tomorrow. The once-a-decade realignment is triggered by census findings showing population growth and shifts across the state.

While our area population grew, most of Richland County did not. That means some voters in the lower part of the district have shifted into another district that needed more voters. As proposed Oak Pointe 1, Parkridge 1 and Parkridge 2 voters would be in House District 73 (pink area in photo). This is similar to a decade ago when some of the Riverwalk precincts were drawn into HD 73 to help that district keep their numbers close to the required number.

Plans are not final until voted upon by the SC General Assembly and any potential review by the courts.

For more information, visit https://redistricting.schouse.gov

Meet your newest District 5 Board Member: Tifani Moore

From WLTX website

IRMO, S.C. — Voters in Lexington-Richland School District Five selected a new school board member in a special election held on Tuesday.

In unofficial results from the Richland County Election Commission, Tifani Moore won the election with 2,322 votes, 56.18% of votes cast. The election results will be officially certified on Friday.

Tifani Moore is the Development Director of LRADAC (Lexington Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council). Moore is a mother of three children, who attended Lexington-Richland Five schools, and is a member of the Dutch Fork Middle School improvement council (2020-2021). For additional info, visit District 5 website

On her Facebook page, Moore said: “My goal is to bring transparency and sensible decision-making to the school board with a keen focus on supporting all of our students in District Five and the outstanding professional educators and staff in Lex-Rich Five.”

On her Facebook page, Moore said: “My goal is to bring transparency and sensible decision-making to the school board with a keen focus on supporting all of our students in District Five and the outstanding professional educators and staff in Lex-Rich Five.”

Three candidates were vying for the seat on the Lexington-Richland District Five school board — Haley Griggs, Jeffrey Herring and Tifani Moore.

The seat was vacated by Ed White, who resigned in protest after former Superintendent Christina Melton stepped down in June.

UPDATED: Voting Locations for 10/12 School Board Election

Just received these updates from Richland County this afternoon! Please be sure you know what location to go vote on election day. If you are uncertain of your precinct name below, click here and find that out.

Dutch Fork 1 / Dutch Fork 2 Dutch Fork Middle School 15828 Old Tamah Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Dutch Fork 3 / Dutch Fork 4 River Springs Church 1007 W Shady Grove Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Friarsgate 1 / Friarsgate 2 Friarsgate Park 1712 Chadford Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Harbison 1 / Harbison 2 Harbison Community Ctr 106 Hillpine Rd, Columbia, SC 29212

Oak Pointe 1/ Oak Pointe 2 Oak Pointe Elementary Sch 1 River Bottom Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Oak Pointe 3 Hope Lutheran Church 1400 Kennerly Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Old Friarsgate / Riversprings 2
Dutch Fork Elementary 7900 Broad River Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Parkridge 1 / Parkridge 2
Grace United Methodist 410 Harbison Blvd, Columbia, SC 29212

Riversprings 1/ Riversprings 3 Decided Church 2101 Kennerly Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Riverwalk Episcopal Ch/St Simon/St Jude 1110 Kinley Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

Spring Hill
Chapin Middle School 11661 Broad River Rd, Chapin, SC 29036

Springville 1 / Springville 2
Lake Murray Elementary 1531 Three Dog Rd, Chapin, SC 29036

Who’s running for School Board Special Election?

Earlier, I shared information on important dates for that upcoming election as well as voting locations . Stay tuned, there may be a change in some of the locations and as soon as that gets finalized, I will let you know.

To see who has officially filed to run, click here.

There are Town of Chapin and Town of Irmo elections later this year (November 2, 2021) and filing for those offices will open on later this month (August 23)

Everyone knows that I do not endorse locally and stay out of local races. Why? Because local candidates have plenty of opportunity to get their message out, meet with voters, and be seen around town.

I hope you’ll continue to stay informed of what’s happening at the State House and around our community by visiting Nathan’s News often during the month. If you do not receive my regular COMMUNITY UPDATE email, please let me know by emailing me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov and I can add you to the distribution. I’ve been sending regular updates to our community for more than 15 years. That email usually goes out the first week of each month.

16th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Hope to see you there! RSVP today and let Desiree know if you’d like to sponsor a table!

First time at East Lake Community Church!

For information past Prayer Breakfasts, please click here .

2020 Gateway Baptist – speaker Rob Settle, Executive Director The Providence Home
2019 St Andrews Presbyterian – speaker Brittany Maier & Tammy Maier-Scher
2018 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Jose Alvarez, retired Atlanta Braves Pitcher, FCA
2017 River Springs Church – speaker Dr. Wendell Estep, retired First Baptist Church of Columbia
2016 Union United Methodist Church – speaker Marcus Lattimore
2015 St. Paul AME Church – speaker in memory of Senator Clementa Pinckney
2014 Gateway Baptist Church – speaker Chris Joye
2013 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker Shelley Bryson King, Miss South Carolina 2006
2012 Riverland Hills Baptist – Jim “Soni” Sonefeld – member Hootie and the Blowfish
2011 Seven Oaks Presbyterian – Steve Arnold, operator Chick-fil-A Ballentine
2010 First Baptist of Irmo -speaker Adrian Despres, chaplain USC football team
2009 St. Mary’s Episcopal – speaker Eddie Walker, then principal of Irmo High School
2008 Gateway Baptist – speaker Jeff Davis, former Clemson football player
2007 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker A.V Strong, director A Better Way, Project Gang Out
2006 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Bob McAlister, McAlister Communications