Spartanburg City News

Synopsis

Official podcast of the City of Spartanburg

Episodes

  • Countywide 32-mile trail network to be called The Dan

    Countywide 32-mile trail network to be called 'The Dan'

    18/09/2019 Duration: 30min

    It's been years in the making and still years to go until the 32-mile network linking disconnected trails throughout Spartanburg is completed, but now the vision has a brand, The Dan. The eventual network will link popular trails such as the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail, Cottonwood Trail, Glendale Shoals, and Wadsworth Trail together into a system that will allow users to travel across our city and beyond.  Today on the podcast, we're talking with Laura Ringo and Ned Barrett with Partners for Active Living about the newly branded trail network and about their plans to see it completed.

  •  Spartanburg Municipal Judge seeks to establish Homeless Court

    Spartanburg Municipal Judge seeks to establish Homeless Court

    28/08/2019 Duration: 20min

    For those experiencing homelessness, even a minor criminal charge can have a major impact, leaving individuals trapped deeper in a cycle of poverty and addiction that becomes even more difficult to break. Spartanburg City Municipal Judge Erika McJimpsey has a plan to offer some of our community's most vulnerable members a different path by starting a homeless court in our city. Homeless courts were founded as an alternative legal process for homeless people, who come into contact with law enforcement more often, that centers on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. The idea is to connect a qualified person with service providers who would establish a treatment plan with goals the homeless court participant would need to meet. Once the process is completed, convictions for minor offenses on the participant's record could be expunged, replacing a punitive approach to a vulnerable population with one focused on restorative justice.  Today on the podcast, Judge McJimpsey joins us give details about the new ho

  • What is a comprehensive plan?

    What is a comprehensive plan?

    21/08/2019 Duration: 38min

    Today on the podcast, we've got an overview of the City's upcoming Comprehensive Planning process. Replacing the City's current Comprehensive Plan, which was crafted in 1999, the new plan is expected to govern the CIty's path for the next 20 years, guiding our strategies on areas as wide-ranging as racial equity, housing, economics, health and wellness, parks and recreation, public facilities, infrastructure, traffic, and the overall livability of Spartanburg for decades to come. With City Staff expecting to finalize recommendations to Council for a contract with a planning firm to create the Comprehensive Plan in the coming weeks, and the process is expected to take nearly two years to complete, today we're laying the groundwork by trying to answer a few very simple questions: What is a Comprehensive Plan? Why does our City need one? How does it shape future City policy? Check out our conversation with City Manager Chris Story and City Planner Natalia Rosario for answers to those questions as well as why it

  • First Highland Neighborhood Transformation Plan public meeting, August 13, 6 p.m.

    First Highland Neighborhood Transformation Plan public meeting, August 13, 6 p.m.

    07/08/2019 Duration: 19min

    The City of Spartanburg and its partners are inviting the public to  join us at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (502 S Daniel Morgan Ave.) on August 13, from 6-8 p.m. for the first public meeting to help create a new transformation plan for the Highland Neighborhood. The Highland Neighborhood Transformation Plan will create a vision for the growth of the community, and this is the first of multiple public input sessions planned throughout the process. The transformation plan process seeks to evaluate Highland as a whole, both its assets and its challenges, ultimately creating a blueprint for everything from housing, public spaces, and transportation, to education at all levels and job training programs. Today on the podcast, we're talking with Highland Neighborhood Association President Leroy Jeter, Community Outreach Advocate Wilma Moore, and Bethlehem Center Director Patrena Mims about their impressions of the process so far and their hopes going forward. For more on the Highland transformation planning

  • Using data to understand, shape Downtown Spartanburg growth

    Using data to understand, shape Downtown Spartanburg growth

    31/07/2019 Duration: 38min

    If you're a longtime City Podcast listener, you've heard us talk for years about the growing momentum in Downtown Spartanburg. Those of us who spend our working days and leisure-filled evenings walking Main Street have been noticing the increased company for a long time now, and even a cursory glance at the storefronts in our central business district would show you that this isn't the Downtown Spartanburg many of us remember from 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.  The thing is, all that personal experience is just that, personal. Anecdotes from those of us who frequent downtown don't amount to much when trying to land the next developer to tackle a high profile project or when trying to convince current downtown business owners that some of their assumptions are outdated when it comes to who frequents down and when they are here. Luckily, now we've got a couple of useful tools to put some hard numbers to those perceptions. Today on the podcast, we're talking with Jansen Tidmore, Executive Vice President of Corpor

  • Explaining the plan for a new Spartanburg Fire Department central station

    Explaining the plan for a new Spartanburg Fire Department central station

    24/07/2019 Duration: 29min

    At their last meeting, Spartanburg City Council voted 6-1 to approve a $4.3 million purchase of the former Integral Solutions property at 450 Wofford Street with an eye towards converting the structure into a new central fire station. Initially included as part of the proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 city budget, Council voted to remove the fire station proposal along with a millage increase meant to partially fund the facility. City Manager Chris Story has previously said that either a millage increase or a reduction in city services would be needed in order to fund either the renovation or new construction for a fire station. Council members Sterling Anderson and Jamie Fulmer have both stated their opposition to any millage increase to fund the station, and Story said at Monday's meeting that several options for funding the new fire station will be presented to Council in the coming weeks.   Today on the podcast, we lay out the process so far with the City Manager, discussing the newly approved facility and

  • New colorful crosswalk murals to brighten Downtown Spartanburg, raise pedestrian visibility

    New colorful crosswalk murals to brighten Downtown Spartanburg, raise pedestrian visibility

    17/07/2019 Duration: 34min

    Pedestrians in Downtown Spartanburg will soon have a safer, more visible walk across some key intersections thanks to some unique crosswalk mural installations planned for the intersections of Main St. and King St., Main St. and Spring St., and Main St. and Magnolia St. Each installation is being designed and painted by a different local artist or artist team with Michael Webster painting Main St. and King St., Matthew Donaldson painting Main St. and Spring St., and Frankie Page and Adrian Meadows painting Main St. and Magnolia St. The artists were chosen by a panel from the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District Steering Committee made up of businesses, residents, arts leaders, city officials and Chamber of Commerce representatives.    Today on the podcast, we're talking with Eric Kocher, Creative Placemaking and HUB-BUB Director at Chapman Cultural Center, about the murals. We also talk with outgoing HUB-BUB Artist-in-Residence Ambrin Ling about her time in Spartanburg and her collaborative art project, A M

  • An overview of the next fiscal year budget with City Manager Chris Story

    An overview of the next fiscal year budget with City Manager Chris Story

    26/06/2019 Duration: 39min

    Today on the podcast, we're talking with City Manager Chris Story about the most critical piece of policy produced by our City every year, the budget. Some of the highlights of the upcoming fiscal year budget include a projected four percent growth in overall revenue and a five percent growth in property taxes revenue. That property tax growth represents the biggest gains for the City in more than a decade, a strong indicator of the growth seen in recent years both in Downtown Spartanburg and throughout the city as a whole. New expenditures this year include a three percent cost-of-living increase for City employees, and a $264,000 mandatory increase to the employer contribution to the state retirement system.   We'll also delve into the most contentious item deliberated this year during budget discussions, a proposal to purchase the former Integral Solutions location at 450 Wofford Street and retrofit the building to house a new fire department headquarters at an estimated cost of $9 million and a proposed s

  • The hottest Spartanburg summertime tips of 2019

    The hottest Spartanburg summertime tips of 2019

    19/06/2019 Duration: 40min

    Another summer is upon us here in Spartanburg, and along with the usual complaints about the heat (a more longstanding Southern tradition you will not find) and the questions about where we're all going for vacation this year (somewhere cooler if you're a pragmatist, hotter if you're a masochist) conversations tend to come down to how best to the long days and humid nights we've got coming these next few months.   Today on the podcast, we're helping all y'all out with that question with a rundown of the best ways to spend your summer in Spartanburg. From trails and splash pads to entertainment and events you'd be crazy to miss, we've got all you need to make the absolute most out of the next few months in our city.

  • Taking a look at the Spartanburg of 1919

    Taking a look at the Spartanburg of 1919

    06/06/2019 Duration: 01h04min

    It started with a simple question posed in the Spartanburg Herald back in 1919: "Do you suppose it is possible for the world to be different a hundred years from now as our world of today is different from that of a hundred years ago?" A new library exhibit puts context around that question, with panels covering such diverse topics as race relations, downtown and neighborhood development, and how the closing of a World War I training camp on the the city's current westside led to a bear calling Morgan Square home for a time. Today on the podcast, we're talking with Brad Steinecke, Assistant Director of Local History with Spartanburg County Public Libraries about the new exhibit and about how the Spartanburg of 1919 informs the Spartanburg of today.

  • Day center pilot program to provide new tool in addressing homelessness

    Day center pilot program to provide new tool in addressing homelessness

    15/05/2019 Duration: 19min

    Earlier this month, the City and its parters in the United Way of the Piedmont, Spartanburg Interfaith Hospitality Network, and Catholic Charities of South Carolina announced the a pilot program for a new homeless day shelter, the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, to be housed in the Northwest Recreation Center. Beginning in July, homeless people in Spartanburg will be shower, wash clothes, store personal items, charge their phones, and receive mail in the facility, filling a crucial gap in service for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The center will also offer a central location for service providers to connect and provide help for those in need. Opening this July, the pilot program will utilize a portion of the Northwest Center two afternoons per week, with an eye towards a potential expansion into the entire facility when the City decommissions the facility after the competition of the Dr. T.K. Gregg Community Center in spring of 2020. Today on the podcast, we're talking with Karl Rogoze

  •  Barter Boat docked at Fr8yard in Downtown Spartanburg

    Barter Boat docked at Fr8yard in Downtown Spartanburg

    24/04/2019 Duration: 46min

    One person's trash is another person's treasure, right? A traveling interactive art project with roots in Spartanburg is in Downtown Spartanburg through May 5 to test that theory. Barter Boat, a project of Radar Art, a group formed by former Hub-Bub Artists-in-Residence, Anna Abhau-Elliott, Robin Schwartzman, and Desiree Moore, is set up at Fr8yard and will be encouraging passers-by to trade whatever they have at hand for curated assemblages of objects previously bartered at the project's other stops throughout the country   Today on the podcast, we're talking with Anna about Barter Boat, getting an idea of what potential participants can expect as well as delving into the thinking behind the project. Stop by to make a trade, and be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with where your objects might end up!

  • Hello Family initiative seeks to improve outcomes for Spartanburgs most vulnerable

    Hello Family initiative seeks to improve outcomes for Spartanburg's most vulnerable

    17/04/2019 Duration: 43min

    At a recent City Council meeting, City Manager, Chris Story gave an overview of Hello Family, a proposed collection of support systems that would seek to improve outcomes for young children and their families by providing a continuum of evidence-based services for all children born in the City of Spartanburg from prenatal care through age five. Designed to significantly improve child wellbeing, boost future prosperity, and provide quantifiable financial benefits to our community well in excess of its cost, Hello Family would bring a number of existing services in the city under one umbrella in order to link their efforts and produce verifiable results by focusing on early intervention strategies. Based on the work of James J. Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who found that investing in programs targeted at the earliest years of life yield the most lasting and cost-effective results, Hello Family seeks to improve birth outcomes, reduce child abuse and neglect, and improve kindergarten readiness through

  • Seay House sheds light on lives of 19th century women in Spartanburg

    Seay House sheds light on lives of 19th century women in Spartanburg

    10/04/2019 Duration: 28min

    It's the oldest home in the city limits of Spartanburg, and for for most in town, that's all they know about the Seay House—if they know anything at all. However, there's a lot more to this old farm house than meets the eye, and the Spartanburg County Historical Association is hoping that the home can shine a light on the stories of women and their lives in 19th century Spartanburg. Originally built by Kinsman Seay around 1831, the home was later owned his three unmarried daughters, Ruthy, Patsy and Sarah Seay. The sisters have a story that's unconventional for the period in Spartanburg, owning property on their own and making a living by selling produce and most unusually, lending small sums of money at interest. In fact, the sisters were successful enough in their endeavors to provide donations for the establishment of Central United Methodist Church, the oldest church in the city.  Today on the podcast, we're learning more about the Seay sisters and their unique Spartanburg story with Colleen Twentyman, Co

  • Spartanburg Soaring returns to Barnet Park, April 13

    Spartanburg Soaring returns to Barnet Park, April 13

    03/04/2019 Duration: 20min

    It's an event that grows in popuarity each year, and on April 13, Spartanburg Soairing returns to Barnet Park in Downtown Spartanburg. The free international kite festival fills the sky with hundreds of colorful flying works of art and features live music, food trucks, and a makers market with wares from local artisans. The event also features a “rokkaku” kite battle, where teams battle to down the kites of other competitors. A City team will be competing this year, so come out and meet your humble podcast hosts (and cheer us on!). Today on the podcast, we're talking with Melanie Terry, Special Events Coordinator with Chapman Cultural Center, about the festival. Along the way we also talk about the return of the organization's Downtown Programming series, which brings musicians and performers to the streets of Downtown Spartanburg every Wednesday–Saturday during the warmer months.     

  • Discussing 142 Social and the downtown development landscape with Andrew Babb

    Discussing 142 Social and the downtown development landscape with Andrew Babb

    27/03/2019 Duration: 14min

    It's the latest and by far the largest development along Magnolia Street, creating new residential and commercial space from the bones of a long-vacant former Social Security building and adding two floors in the process. 142 Social is the latest renovation project to add to Downtown Spartanburg's residential and commercial boom, bringing an additional 18 apartments and more than 7,500 square feet of retail space to our downtown core.   Today on the podcast, we're talking with developer Andrew Babb about the project, and we're getting his perspective on this historic period of growth and development in Downtown Spartanburg.

  • FoodShare Spartanburg providing new affordable produce option on Spartanburgs Northside

    FoodShare Spartanburg providing new affordable produce option on Spartanburg's Northside

    13/03/2019 Duration: 21min

    A recent reorganization of Spartanburg Urban Mission CDC with Ruth’s Gleanings healthy food rescue—in partnership with FoodShare South Carolina in Columbia and funding from Mary Black Foundation—has created an innovative approach to tackling problems of access and affordability for healthy, fresh produce. Foodshare Spartanburg has recently launched its affordable bi-weekly produce box service targeting needy families in our area. Based on FoodShare South Carolina, which began in Columbia in 2015, the proven, evidence-based model provides families with fresh food boxes filled with around 12 varieties of top-quality fruits and vegetables, along with recipes and tips for their use. The group says that all of its boxes include no markup for the customer and the cost is $15 per box, or only $5 if using SNAP benefits. FoodShare Spartanburg sources produce locally as harvest season allows, helping both the local farmer and the local economy. Today on the podcast, we're talking with Tonja Smith, Executive Director of

  • CycleBar set to open Downtown Spartanburg location this spring

    CycleBar set to open Downtown Spartanburg location this spring

    07/03/2019 Duration: 15min

    One of the hottest new trends fitness trends in America is about to have a home in Downtown Spartanburg. CycleBar, a premium indoor cycling fitness center, plans to open this spring at 120 W. St. John St., near the newly opened, renovated Montgomery Building. Featuring premium amenities, stadium-style setting, and instructors that the company calls "equal parts DJ, drill sergeant, motivator, and friend" the high-energy boutique group fitness concept is set to add something entirely different to the gym landscape in Downtown Spartanburg.   Today on the podcast, we're talking with Simone Mack-Orr, General Manager of CycleBar Spartanburg about the new concept. Listen below and be sure to check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for more information.

  • Highland community leaders share hopes for neighborhoods future

    Highland community leaders share hopes for neighborhood's future

    27/02/2019 Duration: 36min

    Plenty of people in Spartanburg believe they know the story of our city's Highland community. Long one of the most challenging areas of intergenerational poverty Spartanburg County, the struggles of Highland and its residents are seemingly well-known by locals but most often completely misunderstood. Lost in the decades-old local narrative of crime and poverty are the stories of the people who call Highland home, who love their community and work every day to see it thrive. The story of Highland that we don't often hear is one of community cohesion, of neighbors coming together in fellowship and in support of each other in times of need, and of a fiercely proud neighborhood that rightly views itself as vital to Spartanburg's future.   The fuller picture of what really happened in Highland during the 20th century is also lost in that well-worn local narrative, a story of longterm, systemic racism, the thoughtlessness of paternalistic local government officials, and the heavy-handedness of misguided federal Urb

  • Highland leaders reflect on neighborhood history, community resiliency

    Highland leaders reflect on neighborhood history, community resiliency

    22/02/2019 Duration: 19min

     Plenty of people in Spartanburg's believe they know the story of our city's Highland community. Long one of the most challenging areas of intergenerational poverty Spartanburg County, the struggles of Highland and its residents are seemingly well-known by locals but most often completely misunderstood. Lost in the decades-old local narrative of crime and poverty are the stories of the people who call Highland home, who love their community and work every day to see it thrive. The story of Highland that we don't often hear is one of community cohesion, of neighbors coming together in fellowship and in support of each other in times of need, and of a fiercely proud neighborhood that rightly views itself as vital to Spartanburg's future. Also lost in that well-worn local narrative is the fuller picture of what really happened in Highland during the 20th century, how systemic, multi-generational racism, the thoughtlessness of paternalistic local government officials, and the heavy-handedness of misguided federal

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