The Catch-Up: Chapin overpass closure; local schools, teacher get statewide recognition

Posted 3/22/23

The state Department of Transportation has announced an overpass bridge closure near Chapin.

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The Catch-Up: Chapin overpass closure; local schools, teacher get statewide recognition


The state Department of Transportation has announced an overpass bridge closure near Chapin.

The Mt. Vernon Church Road bridge over Interstate 26 (located between Broad River Road and Dutch Fork Road) is set to close from April 17 to May 1 as DOT continues work on its Midlands Connection project, which is improving and widening a 16-mile stretch of the interstate from Exit 85 in Little Mountain to Exit 101 in Irmo.

The bridge is one of seven overpasses set to be replaced as part of the project, with another near Irmo already closed for replacement.

The Koon Road bridge over I-26 (located just off Broad River Road) closed March 18 and is set to remain closed through the end of the month.

Recommended detour routes can be found at

Turns out that wasn’t an earthquake in Cayce

Last month, the Chronicle reported that the ground shook in Cayce, and it wasn’t the result of work being done at the local quarry.

It appears that was incorrect.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reclassified what it originally reported as a 1.9-magnitude earthquake centered in the city on Feb. 17 to a 1.8-magnitude mining explosion.

Feeling earthquakes has become fairly commonplace in Lexington County, particularly in the Cayce/West Columbia area, but though they can be felt here, the quakes have been centered in another part of the Midlands. 

As of Feb. 17,  more than 60 earthquakes centered in Kershaw County have occurred in the last year. State officials maintain that the quakes aren’t a cause for concern.

The most recent quakes centered in Lexington County (and the only two since 2006) occurred in 2021 near Batesburg-Leesville.

2 county elementary schools named ‘Palmetto’s Finest’

A pair of schools that share a name also share a new distinction.

Both Lake Murray Elementary Schools (one a Lexington-Richland District 5 school in Chapin and the other a Lexington County District 1 school in Lexington) have been named among Palmetto’s Finest for 2023.

“Each spring since 1978, [the S.C. Association of School Administrators] has recognized a few schools which offer excellent instruction and outstanding leaders, augmented by strong family and community involvement and a supportive business community,” the organization’s website states.

Two elementary schools are included among the four or five winners each year, with both of this year’s elementary honorees sharing a county and a name.

“All finalists receive statewide recognition and a plaque,” the SCASA website states. “The four or five winners also receive a ‘Palmetto's Finest School’ banner, bumper stickers for all their staff members, and a Palmetto's Finest ring for the principal.”

Local educator a finalist for SC ‘Teacher of the Year’

A Cayce teacher is in contention for another statewide honor.

Lexington 2 Innovation Center teacher Anne Reamer is one of five finalists for S.C. Teacher of the Year.

Per a release, Reamer was surprised with the news March 16 by state Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver.

“Anne has a special connection with her students that empowers them to shine in and outside of the classroom,” Weaver is quoted. “What an honor it is to recognize an educator that pours every bit of her life and energy into seeing students succeed.”

Reamer, who worked for 12 years as a travel agent before shifting careers, is a National Board-certified business educator with more than 20 years experience. Her journey started in Lexington 2 in 2000 at Airport High School, moving through teaching positions at three other Midlands high schools and then bringing her back to Airport in 2012. 

Reamer moved to the Innovation Center in 2017, where the district says she has spearheaded a variety of programs, including the Convergence Media Project and the student media production hub Lex2be.

"Anne Reamer is one of the most multi-talented and dedicated individuals that I have ever known," Lexington 2 Superintendent Brenda Hafner is quoted. "She puts her students first, working to get them the best experiences in the classroom and beyond. She goes out of her way to support fellow educators.”

As one of the finalists, Reamer will receive $10,000. The winner of the award receives $25,000 and a brand new BMW to use "while serving for one year as a roving ambassador," according to the release.

interstate 26, columbia road work, lexington county highway construction, chapin traffic, innovation center, sc teacher of the year


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