Car Accident Attorney inCarlisle, SC

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CHSA Law, LLC Fighting
for Your Rights in Carlisle, SC

When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in Carlisle, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:

  • "What happens now?"
  • "How will I pay for my hospital bills?"
  • "Will I get fired from my job?"
  • "Will I be able to function independently ever again?"

With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.

While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. CHSA Law, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.

Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dill‘s vast experience in the auto insurance industry.

Personal Injury Attorney Carlisle, SC
Service Areas

We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Drunk Driving
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-Vehicle Accidents
  • Automobile Defects
  • Roadway Defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Uninsured Motorists or
    Underinsured Drivers
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Car Rental Accidents
  • RV Accidents

If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in Carlisle. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.

The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.

We Recover Compensation
When You Need It Most

The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in Carlisle, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.

How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:

  • Rehab-Related Expenses like
    Physical Therapy
  • All Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Lost Wages and Loss of
    Future Income Earning Ability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Carlisle, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Carlisle, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

The Role of Negligence in Your
Carlisle Personal Injury Case

If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.

 Car Accident Attorney Carlisle, SC
At CHSA Law, LLC, our team works to prove negligence
for our clients by proving:
  • The defendant had an obligation to look out for your safety.
  • The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  • There was causation between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • You suffered real damages.

After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.

Steps to Maximize Compensation
After an Accident in Carlisle, SC

All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Carlisle, follow these steps before doing anything else:

1.

Go to a Doctor

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.

 Law Firm Carlisle, SC
2.

File an
Accident Report

The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in Carlisle, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.

Personal Injury Attorney Carlisle, SC
3.

Preserve Evidence
if Possible

Personal injury cases in Carlisle are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Carlisle, SC
4.

Contact a Lawyer

One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in Carlisle, SC. At CHSA Law, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.

Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in Carlisle, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at CHSA Law, LLC.

 Car Accident Attorney Carlisle, SC

Common Car Accidents in
Carlisle, SC

At CHSA Law, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of Carlisle's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow

Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.

Drunk driving accidents in Carlisle care result in horrible injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Mental Anguish

If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in Carlisle can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.

 Law Firm Carlisle, SC

Rental and RV Accidents

When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.

Fortunately, the lawyers at CHSA Law, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.

If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in Carlisle, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.

We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:

  • Injuries from Boating Ac
    cidents
  • Rental Cars Injuries
  • RV Accidents
  • Jet Ski Injuries
  • Golf Cart Injuries
  • Rental cars
  • Boat accidents
  • ATV Accidents

Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.

Personal Injury Attorney Carlisle, SC

Texting While Driving and
Distracted Driving Accidents

We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in Carlisle. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.

Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,

They miss crucial road signs and information such as:

  • Changes in the Flow
    of Traffic
  • Traffic Lights
  • Traffic Signs
  • Work Zones
  • Bicyclists
  • Lane Changes
  • Incapacitate Cars and
    Motorists

At CHSA Law, LLC, we represent injury victims in Carlisle who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in Carlisle, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Carlisle, SC

Unflinching Legal Advocacy. Compassionate Care

At CHSA Law, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in Carlisle and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.

We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose CHSA Law, LLC.

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Latest News in Carlisle, SC

‘Carlisle Tour’ offers affordable start to competitive golf

It’s gone by many different names based off of the organizations who host them and the sponsors who attach their name to them, but most of the participants know it by one moniker.The Carlisle Tour.That’s the informal name for Aiken’s local junior golf tour, also known as the Aiken Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Chapter Series.“It has gotten that name, and it stuck. I keep saying, no now, we’re the Aiken chapter of the South Caroli...

It’s gone by many different names based off of the organizations who host them and the sponsors who attach their name to them, but most of the participants know it by one moniker.

The Carlisle Tour.

That’s the informal name for Aiken’s local junior golf tour, also known as the Aiken Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Chapter Series.

“It has gotten that name, and it stuck. I keep saying, no now, we’re the Aiken chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association,” USC Aiken golf coach Michael Carlisle joked. “They’ve got Hootie and the Blowfish sponsoring it, but I guess it’s easier to just say the Carlisle Tour. I guess there’s worse things that could happen. ... Either that, or I’m just the one they’re stuck with running the thing, so they better get my name right if they want to play.”

Carlisle is the director of the tournament series, and he estimated his involvement has lasted for around 35 years. Needless to say, he knows better than anyone how being involved with this local tour can benefit a junior golfer.

“It’s what we refer to as kind of a grassroots start in competitive golf,” he explained. “Golf can be a very expensive game if you’re traveling to tournaments and paying entry fees and staying in hotels and things like that. Here, you can stay at home and travel to these tournaments and get some good, competitive experience.

“Even the better players, when they don’t have anything really good to travel to, they can stay here and play some local golf courses and play with their friends, guys they’ve played and grew up with all along. It is just a good grassroots start into competitive golf where you can get out there and find out if you like competitive golf, if you enjoy doing it, and maybe go on to bigger and better things from there.”

This year’s series has 13 summer dates and between five and eight around Christmas, and he credited the help of the area’s golf courses for making that happen despite the challenges caused by the changing school calendar. Still, they were able to squeeze in the schedule and accommodate everybody.

Per the SCJGA’s website, dues for the Aiken chapter are $150 for the 7-12 age group and $200 for the 13-18 group, and the contact number is (803) 641-3528.

The series has turned benefited players of all ability levels, and Carlisle has seen some good ones pass through - most notably pros like Kevin Kisner, Scott Brown and Charles Howell III.

“And then there’s just been a pile of kids who have gone on to college and played collegiately that have played in that, also. It’s turned out some good players, and it’s turned out a lot of good people who are still in the game.”

Some of those are second-generation players who are keeping it in the family while also reminding Carlisle just how long he’s been running the tour.

“It always amazes me, I’ll run across somebody who calls me up and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got an 8-year-old and I want to get him involved in competitive golf. I played in those tournaments when I was in their age,’” he said. “I’m thinking, good Lord, I’m getting the kids of former players who are playing now, so that kind of dates me a little bit also.”

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Meet the candidates: Carlisle Harrison (Dorchester County Council)

Carlisle Harrison is a retired USAF, MSC, Colonel with over 28 years of active duty service. He has served in leadership positions for multiple hospitals, clinics, and health care networks all over the country and, through his military service, the world. He has served on nonprofit boards and organizations across the spectrum of community engagement and healthcare access.He is the immediate past chairman and current finance committee member of the Fetter Health Care Network (FHCN) board, an organization dedicated to serving the insure...

Carlisle Harrison is a retired USAF, MSC, Colonel with over 28 years of active duty service. He has served in leadership positions for multiple hospitals, clinics, and health care networks all over the country and, through his military service, the world. He has served on nonprofit boards and organizations across the spectrum of community engagement and healthcare access.

He is the immediate past chairman and current finance committee member of the Fetter Health Care Network (FHCN) board, an organization dedicated to serving the insured, uninsured, and undeserved residents of Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties. Past Treasurer of Charleston Promise Neighborhood board and current finance committee member, an organization dedicated to providing and facilitating comprehensive programs and services that support children and strengthen families. Graduate of the University of Louisville with a BSC and MA from Central Michigan University. Senior Health Policy Fellowship, Office of the Surgeon General, Bolling AFB, DC. Carlisle and his wife Flora have two children and seven grandchildren and live in North Charleston.

Lori Hammond, aka Lori McCracken, aka Lori Blakely, 54, of Summerville, Christopher Conrad, 41, of Holly Hill, Catherine “Cassie” Needham, 38, of Manning, and Jontrell Wright, 37, of Orangeburg, were sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud for submitting fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and misusing the funds.

Evidence presented during the sentencing hearings established Hammond submitted more than $11 million in fraudulent loan applications for PPP and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans for her enrichment and the enrichment of her co-conspirators. The loan applications contained inflated employee and payroll funds, were often submitted on behalf of companies that did not exist or were inactive and included fake business addresses and fraudulent tax documents. More than $5.8 million in PPP and EIDL loans were paid to Hammond and her co-conspirators.

“While millions of South Carolinians were struggling during the pandemic, these defendants defrauded the systems meant to provide relief,” said Adair F. Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. “We will continue to pursue bad actors such as these and hold them accountable for exploiting these resources for their own gain.”

Hammond personally received $3,162,038.50 in PPP and EIDL loan funds. She spent the money on personal expenses, including purchasing a home, luxury vehicles, a golf cart and plastic surgery. She was sentenced to 80 months imprisonment, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,722,932.50 in restitution, representing the remaining outstanding unpaid loan funds.

Conrad fraudulently received $898,300 in loans and spent the funds on unapproved personal expenses. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $898,300 in restitution.

Needham fraudulently received $1,244,200 and used the funds for improper personal expenses, including purchasing property, a golf cart, a pool, home improvements and plastic surgery. She was sentenced to 21 months incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,244,200 in restitution.

Wright fraudulently received $561,700 in loan funds and spent the funds on personal expenses. He was sentenced to 15 months incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $561,700 in restitution.

“These sentences reflect the severity of PPP loan fraud,” said Steve Jensen, special agent in charge of the FBI Columbia Field Office. “Such crimes challenge the integrity of relief programs designed for those who need assistance most. The FBI is committed to holding offenders accountable and safeguarding loan programs to ensure the public’s trust in our financial systems.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Limehouse prosecuted this case. The Hon. David C. Norton presided over the sentencing hearings in Charleston.

Opera at USC presents Carlisle Floyd’s 'Susannah' Nov. 1-3

School of Music alum returns to perform in beloved American operaIn the 65 years since its premiere, South Carolina-born composer Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah stands as one of the most beloved American operas. Floyd, dubbed “a master of creating mood in the orchestra” by The Los Angeles Times, is a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee, 2004 National Medal of Arts awardee and recipient of the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree for lifetime work. Opera theater student .&q...

School of Music alum returns to perform in beloved American opera

In the 65 years since its premiere, South Carolina-born composer Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah stands as one of the most beloved American operas. Floyd, dubbed “a master of creating mood in the orchestra” by The Los Angeles Times, is a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee, 2004 National Medal of Arts awardee and recipient of the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree for lifetime work.

Under the direction of Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, the School of Music presents Floyd’s Susannah at the university’s Drayton Hall Theatre Nov. 1-3.

Opera alumnus Daniel Gainey returns to the university to perform the role of Little Bat McClean, a troubled boy and admirer of title character Susannah.

“It is an honor for me to return to South Carolina professionally to help bring Mr. Floyd's music to life in Schlaefer's production,” Gainey says.

Schlaefer, director of opera studies at the University of South Carolina, gives graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to learn from a comprehensive program covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

“Ellen's commitment to creating a working theater company for her students, by her students, instilled a great sense of ownership for my opportunities,” Gainey says. “I create my chances as an artist instead of waiting for someone to offer me one.”

Gainey came to UofSC on a full scholarship and he credits that opportunity for opening doors he never expected. Since he graduated in 2007, he has performed as a singer and instrumentalist and directed shows. Gainey is the pastoral musician for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Asheville, North Carolina. He credits his success in part to opera at South Carolina.

“While I was at USC, I was amazed at how many resources and connections I made,” Gainey says. “I was in a leading role by my sophomore year. I was getting one-on-one time with coaches, professors and audiences. It was an amazing experience.”

The music of Susannah is characterized by Appalachian folk melodies and includes some Protestant hymns and traditional classical music. A prominent part of the opera is Susannah’s soaring aria in Act II, "The Trees on the Mountain," similar to Appalachian folk tunes, but is Floyd's own composition.

The libretto, also written by the composer, has as its basis the apocryphal story of Susannah and the Elders, updated to the recent past and relocated to a fictional rural community. The drama centers on the unjust ostracizing and abuse of Susannah by her community and the powerful leaders who are simultaneously repulsed and captivated by her beauty.

“The opera explores themes of hypocrisy, fear and the malleability of crowds, all of which are extremely relevant to our society today,” says Melissa Starkweather, a second-year master’s student in opera theater and one of two students performing the title role. “It is an exciting thing to be a part of a show which carries such a powerful message. Both the story and the music are absolutely gripping and will leave audiences with a new perspective on the power of fear.”

I hope this work can inspire the next generation of South Carolina operatic talent.

Daniel Gainey, opera alumnus

Senior choral music education and honors student Catherine Howland also plays Susannah.

“Discovering the slow, harrowing transformation and internal struggle that Susannah experiences has been a challenge, but it has also been captivating,” Howland says. “I have loved the opportunity to grow as a performer through this wonderful opera. Susannah warns us of the power of a community to do evil but encourages us to consider how we can instead do good in our own community.”

“People are ostracized and isolated every day, both for things they have done and things they haven’t,” says T.J. Turner, a master's in voice performance student who plays Sam, Susannah’s brother. “This show emphasizes the destruction and emotional turmoil it can cause for not only those who are accused, but also those who are doing the accusing, despite the reason. I think we can all identify with Susannah, but it’s important to take a step back and learn from what the other characters are doing to her and her brother, Sam, throughout this masterpiece.”

Despite its serious topic, Susannah was received well and hailed as an instant classic at its world premiere in Tallahassee, Florida, and later at the New York City Opera in 1956. The appeal of the opera has endured for more than six decades, a rare feat in operas composed in the 20th century. It attests to the composer’s uncommon ability to wed tuneful music with astute dramatic insights to create an opera of complex characters, emotional immediacy and thrilling narrative pace.

“South Carolina has given generously of its talents to the operatic world,” Gainey says. “Carlisle Floyd and Ellen Schlaefer are two such gifts. I hope this work can inspire the next generation of South Carolina operatic talent."

The opera, sung in English, will be performed at Drayton Hall Theatre, 1214 College St., at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2 and at 3 p.m. Nov. 3. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors, UofSC faculty and staff and military; $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available online through the USC Marketplace or at the door. Please note that online and phone sales end at 3 p.m. on opening day. After that you may purchase at the door one hour before showtime.

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Pollution leaks at aging textile plant threaten Broad River, Columbia drinking water

When the small plane he was riding in flew over a closed textile factory several months ago, Bill Stangler saw two slime-covered waste lagoons on the edge of the Broad River north of Columbia.The proximity of the factory’s lagoons to the river worried him. Stangler, the riverkeeper for the Broad, knew the basins were in an area where high levels of hazardous chemicals had been found in groundwater, sewer sludge and wastewater.He also knew the river and one of the state’s largest drinking water plants – 65 mile...

When the small plane he was riding in flew over a closed textile factory several months ago, Bill Stangler saw two slime-covered waste lagoons on the edge of the Broad River north of Columbia.

The proximity of the factory’s lagoons to the river worried him. Stangler, the riverkeeper for the Broad, knew the basins were in an area where high levels of hazardous chemicals had been found in groundwater, sewer sludge and wastewater.

He also knew the river and one of the state’s largest drinking water plants – 65 miles south in Columbia – have shown the same types of chemicals at levels above a proposed federal safe drinking water limit. The site of the lagoons reinforced his concerns that leaks from the plant were perilously close to the river and threatening Columbia’s canal drinking water.

The questions now are whether chemicals from Carlisle Finishing caused the contamination downriver and what can be done to reduce the threat of the toxic pollutants, known as per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Columbia.

“That site is a potential source of PFAS for the Broad River and certainly PFAS that could be found downstream in Columbia’s drinking water,’’ Stangler said. “This is a potential ticking time bomb of pollution that sits less than 100 feet from the Broad River.’’

At Carlisle Finishing, forever chemical pollution is up to 7,200 times higher in groundwater than the proposed federal standard of four parts per trillion, state data show. Tests show sludge from waste basins has forever chemical levels up to 80 times higher than the proposed federal limit.

Levels recorded in the river and Columbia’s drinking water plant are substantially lower, but they still exceed the proposed limit for the two most common types of PFAS.

Clint Shealy, Columbia’s assistant city manager over utilities, said he wants to know whether the city or state can stop future threats and any existing leaks that are contaminating the river at the Carlisle plant.

Not only does Columbia want to limit forever chemicals in drinking water for safety reasons, but stopping them could save the city hundreds of millions of dollars. Columbia faces the prospect of spending more than $150 million for a filtering system to comply with the federal drinking water limit for PFAS if it can’t keep the pollutants out of its water, Shealy has said.

Because PFAS levels aren’t substantially above the proposed limit at the canal plant — they are less than 10 parts per trillion — any reduction in the chemicals in the Broad River could help bring the city into compliance without costly upgrades to its water system, Shealy said.

“The first logical step is to stop putting this stuff in the environment,’’ Shealy said. “Then, let’s see if our PFAS levels start decreasing. It might bring you below that limit and save customers a whole lot of money.’’

PFAS, a class of thousands of compounds, is commonly called forever chemicals because the materials do not break down easily in the environment. Used since the 1940s, the chemicals were vital ingredients in waterproof clothing, stain resistant carpet and firefighting foam.

But they have increasingly been found to be toxic. Exposure has been linked to kidney, testicular and breast cancer, ulcerative colitis and thyroid problems. Forever chemicals also can weaken a person’s immune system and cause developmental delays in children. PFAS manufacturers have been accused of hiding the dangers for decades.

In this case, it’s possible that even if forever chemical pollution can be reduced and cleaned up at Carlisle Finishing, the damage may have been done years ago.

Stangler said it would not be surprising if Carlisle Finishing released the chemicals for years, long before the public knew about the dangers. The company ran a treatment plant for wastewater it generated at the textile factory, but wastewater systems are not required to filter out forever chemicals before releasing wastewater into a river. Only certain pollutants are required to be treated.

For now, state regulators say they are trying to learn more about the problem at Carlisle. The 68-year-old textile plant, which closed about three years ago, is under scrutiny by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control for the pollution found on the sprawling site between Columbia and Spartanburg.

In April, DHEC sent factory representatives a letter calling the environmental problems at Carlisle Finishing “an urgent legal matter.’’ The letter said Elevate Textiles, a one-time owner, is potentially liable to clean up the mess at the Carlisle plant. In addition to forever chemicals in groundwater, DHEC also has found the presence of volatile organic compounds, the agency said. These types of materials include solvents and chlorination byproducts.

“Because the site poses a hazard to human health and the environment, the department recommends that you give this matter your immediate attention,’’ the April letter from DHEC’s Gary Stewart to Elevate Textiles said.

Consultants have submitted a cleanup plan that appears promising, but DHEC needs to push for a resolution as soon as possible to stop the threat, said Stangler and Carl Brzorad, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The plan says filter systems will be installed to remove PFAS from wastewater before it is released to the Broad River.

Sludge from waste basins also will be disposed of in a lined landfill on the property, according to the April 2023 plan. Sludge from Carlisle Finishing contained forever chemicals, although DHEC did not provide the levels.

In the past, the Carlisle plant distributed sludge to area farmers for use as fertilizer. All told, DHEC had given approval to spread the plant’s waste on more than 80 farm fields that included parts of small communities like Buffalo, Whitmire and Carlisle, state records show.

Tests last year found some wells near sludge fields contained levels of PFAS that would exceed the proposed federal drinking water standard, agency records show. One of those wells showed levels of one type of PFAS was 11 times higher than the proposed limit. DHEC recorded the high level in 2022, before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended the four parts per trillion standard this past spring. All told, the well registered six different types of PFAS.

DHEC has identified sewer sludge as a major potential source of PFAS pollution in rivers and groundwater. Statewide, the agency has approved about 3,500 farm fields as sites for sewer sludge, including areas of eastern South Carolina where wells are polluted with forever chemicals, The State and McClatchy reported in a recent investigative series.

In a brief email to The State, an Elevate Textiles official said the company is working to address “any outstanding issues regarding wastewater processing at the site.’’

The email said the company tries to follow environmental rules and “to employ best industry practices.’’ The official also noted that Elevate Textiles no longer owns the Carlisle Finishing property.

Union County property records show the land, which is more than 700 acres, is owned by two companies with a Monroe, N.C. address: Carlisle WW Holdings LLC and Carlisle Partners LLC. Efforts to reach a representative of the companies were not immediately successful.

The Carlisle Finishing factory was once part of Cone Mills, a national denim and textile manufacturer in North Carolina. The company launched operations in 1955 and became a pillar of the community in tiny Union County. At one point, it had more than 1,100 workers and was the largest employer in the county.

Through the years, the company’s executives won awards from the local chamber of commerce, and Carlisle Finishing was even at one point included on a tour for people interested in the history of Union County.

The plant was sold after Cone Mills declared bankruptcy in 2003, making room for Elevate Textiles to acquire the company. The Carlisle site, while popular among local citizens, isn’t without blemishes. DHEC has made at least eight enforcement cases against Carlisle since 2006 for violations of environmental laws, records show.

McClatchy data journalist Susan Merriam contributed to this story.

This story was originally published July 28, 2023, 10:29 AM.

803-771-8537

Sammy Fretwell has covered the environment beat for The State since 1995. He writes about an array of issues, including wildlife, climate change, energy, state environmental policy, nuclear waste and coastal development. He has won numerous awards, including Journalist of the Year by the S.C. Press Association in 2017. Fretwell is a University of South Carolina graduate who grew up in Anderson County. Reach him at 803 771 8537.

Simpsonville family helps Mauldin Miracle League celebrate 15 years of baseball

MAULDIN – Elijah Carlisle anxiously steps to the plate, baseball bat in hand and hopes of a hit twinkling in his eyes.Much to his delight, there is no shortage of vocal support from the crowd gathered at Mauldin’s Sunset Park on a Saturday morning in May.“Next up is Elijah, from the baseball powerhouse of Carlisle Farms,” announces Jeff Powers, prompting a smattering of chuckles.Indeed, the Carlisle family of Simpsonville has produced many a player for the Mauldin Miracle League in ...

MAULDIN – Elijah Carlisle anxiously steps to the plate, baseball bat in hand and hopes of a hit twinkling in his eyes.

Much to his delight, there is no shortage of vocal support from the crowd gathered at Mauldin’s Sunset Park on a Saturday morning in May.

“Next up is Elijah, from the baseball powerhouse of Carlisle Farms,” announces Jeff Powers, prompting a smattering of chuckles.

Indeed, the Carlisle family of Simpsonville has produced many a player for the Mauldin Miracle League in recent years – nine players overall, including six players during the current spring season.

Five-year-old Elijah is the youngest; 20-year-old Tonesha, or Tia, the eldest.

In between, one will find four other Carlisles wearing the shirts of the “Red Sox” squad – Skyler, 7; Serenity, 8; Journey, 11, and David, 19.

Elijah makes contact, which is the goal of the Mauldin Miracle League, both literally and figuratively.

“When you’re out there with them for two seasons a year for this many years, you become close and really build relationships,” said Tammy Carlisle, mom to Elijah and seven other special needs children. “In a typical league, they would age out. But my 19- and 20-year-olds play on the same team as my 5-year-old.”

The Mauldin Miracle League has been affording this opportunity for special needs young people since its founding 15 years ago by Dennis Raines. The league is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization with a simple mission – namely, to give every child a chance to play baseball.

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“The part that I enjoy is seeing children with physical or developmental challenges go out and play the game,” said Powers, who serves as the league’s director. “It’s great because we don’t have to worry whether the ball is hit or how many strikes you’re going to get. The goal of the league is to have fun. We’re trying to teach the fundamentals of baseball, but we’re not worried about churning out baseball players.

“It’s also important for the parents and families, who sit in the stands and develop camaraderie and have the ability to share with other parents.”

The league, which draws players from a five-county area in the Upstate, also conducts a fall season in September and October and serves approximately 140 young people between its two seasons each year.

“They’re learning from each other, and you get to see the progress from one season to the next,” said Carlisle, who has had kids playing in the league for each of the past eight years. “It’s more of a family-, community-type situation than just a ball team.

“We’re building relationships with people who are like-minded. They all have some special thing about them, to the point that it makes my kids not feel different. They feel included. They feel a part of it. I love that they feel normal. I can’t even tell you how important it has been for us to be part of this.”

Originally from Winter Haven, Florida, the Carlisles visited Greenville while on vacation in 2010 and left duly impressed.

“We just fell in love with the area,” said Jerry Carlisle, the patriarch of the family who works as a hospice nurse. “We decided that if we could find a house and I could get a job, we’d move here. We moved two months later.”

They also wasted little time in finding the Mauldin Miracle League, and like the countless families who have participated in the league have gained much appreciation for organizations such as Greenville Civitan Charities and the Rotary Club of the Reedy River, as well as the many other businesses, volunteers and private contributions that have kept the group thriving.

Local college and high school baseball teams and other groups regularly serve as “buddies,” assisting the players with batting, running and fielding. The minor league Greenville Drive baseball team of the Class A South Atlantic League hosts the players at downtown Greenville’s Fluor Field once each year while also providing uniform shirts for each of the league's eight teams, six of which play each Saturday and two that play every Tuesday.

All games are held at Mauldin's Sunset Park, a facility that also includes a fully accessible playground to accommodate all-comers, including special needs children.

Despite the frenetic pace around the Carlisle home on Saturday mornings, each game is special and highly anticipated.

Alarm clocks blare early, followed by breakfast and uniforms and caps and excitement.

“It’s chaotic,” Tammy says. “And wonderful.”

By 9:30, the Carlisle’s 15-passenger van is filled.

By 10 a.m., the game is under way, and the fun is contagious.

“We cheer for everything,” Tammy says.

Anything goes. In his first few games, Elijah would hit the ball, drop his bat and immediately retrieve his own ball before running the bases.

No problem.

When she hits the ball, Tia always focuses her stare behind the fence to confirm that her parents are watching. Later, when she crosses home plate, she makes a beeline to Tammy for a high-five, as does each member of the Carlisle contingent.

No score is kept.

Everyone’s happy.

All the players get to bat and get a hit.

Some players run to first base; others run wherever their legs or wheels will carry them.

There’s cheering and clapping and smiling and words of encouragement for each player.

“I love the fact that the kids are accepted for who they are,” Tammy said. “I don’t think my kids know that this is a special league. They just know that they put on their uniforms and they go play ball. And that means everything.”

The Saturday gets even better if Jerry Carlisle decides to make a pit stop on the way home for slushees.

When the crowd piles out of the van, many observers ask Jerry and Tammy if they run a day care.

“No,” they reply. “They’re all ours.”

Even at home, the fun and games are never ending.

“People come into our home, and it’s loud,” Tammy said. “It can be overwhelming.”

And, more often than not, wonderful.

“When you open your heart,” Tammy says, “and invite people in, family happens.”

For more information on the Mauldin Miracle League, visit www.mauldinmiracleleague.com or contact Jeff Powers at (864) 303-2362 or jefflori123@charter.net

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