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Mullikin inducted into elite “fight club”

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Mullikin was inducted into the South Carolina Black Belt Hall of Fame (SCBBHOF) during ceremonies at Indigo Jones in Camden, S.C., Sat., May 4. The induction followed a lengthy nomination process in which Mullikin – along with karate national-tournament champion Tommy Genova – were both unanimously selected for inclusion in the SCBBHOF.

“Tom Mullikin was unanimously chosen by all the voting black belt members to be inducted in our coveted hall of fame,” says former SCBBHOF president and former #1-ranked karate world champion Keith Vitali. “The SCBBHOF is honored to include someone of his incredible stature into our brotherhood.”

Vitali’s younger brother Col. (Ret.) Steve Vitali, U.S. Marine Corps, agrees.

“Tom was selected for both his exceptional mastery of martial arts and his significant contributions and notable service to the State of South Carolina and to the United States,” says the younger Vitali, who is also a member of the SCBBHOF. “He possesses and displays an unvarnished warrior code and virtuous ethics so infectious that other martial artists embrace as a standard bearer to emulate.”

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Deputies score high in South Carolina’s Quarry Crusher Run

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Twenty-seven deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) joined other Midlands-area runners in the EIGHTH ANNUAL QUARRY CRUSHER RUN at the Vulcan Materials Quarry off Georgia Street in Columbia’s Olympia neighborhood, Sat., Mar. 23. And two of the 27 deputies earned second-place honors in both men’s and women’s categories.

RCSD Deputies Jacob Murphy and Peter Hart following the run.

“We participate in this run every year,” says Maj. Harry Polis, Jr., RCSD Operations Division. “It gives our guys an opportunity to raise money for a good cause, and it’s obviously in-line with Sheriff Leon Lott’s mission of keeping everybody physically fit and healthy.”

Good cause indeed. All proceeds from the Quarry Crusher Run benefit the S.C. National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe Academy, a second-chance program designed to help at-risk teenagers develop the necessary values, ethics, life-skills, education, self-esteem and self-discipline to succeed as an adult.

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Deputy honored by neighborhood watch group in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Corporal Marcus Kim, a Community Action Team (CAT) supervisor with the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD), was recognized last week by the Charleswood neighborhood in northeast Columbia, S.C. for “outstanding dedicated service.”

Kim received a plaque which said, “We [the Charleswood Neighborhood Watch] not only consider him our deputy, but our family,” adding “We pray God will continue to protect him.”

According to Kim, the Charleswood Neighborhood Crime Watch was established approximately nine years ago as a result of concerns over criminal activity in the area.

“We started meeting on a monthly basis,” says Kim. “The relationship has grown, and crime has diminished throughout the community. Together we have cleaned up their community and made it safe for all. And that working together has been key.”

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International Christian missionary pens business leadership book

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Henry Clay, a Christian missionary and missions-leadership project director for the Navigators, has written his first book. He has many in the pipeline, he says. But his first book, “DRESSCODES: Developing others through evaluated experience,” is a means – he hopes – of developing leaders through “the incidental moments that are often missed.”

Leadership development is not a new venture for Clay, who currently mentors 10 Navigator leaders, nine of whom are serving overseas. He’s also developing a leadership coaching curriculum for the near-90-year-old global Christian-missions ministry based in Colorado. He’s working with college students interested in serving in missions overseas. He and wife Wendy, also a missionary, are very involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. He preaches on occasion, regularly teaches Sunday School, and he is an active member of Columbia’s Northeast Presbyterian Church (PCA) where Sunday, Mar. 17, he will sign copies of DRESSCODES from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the church atrium.

We caught up with Clay between travels; he’s only days back from Japan.

W. THOMAS SMITH Jr.: Why this book? You’re a professional missionary. So why a book about a formula for business leadership development?


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Gamecock Basketball stars featured in RCSD PROUD

COLUMBIA, S.C. – “RCSD PROUD,” a brand-new hip hop video produced for the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) and featuring former University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball standout Tina Roy and NCAA-championship winning head coach Dawn Staley was released Fri., Feb. 1.

“A tour de force of the department’s resources and community connections,” according to The State newspaper, the video’s vocals are rapped by Roy – today an RCSD deputy – who wrote the lyrics and otherwise led the two-minute, 45-second music track, as other RCSD deputies, units, Community Action Team cars and K-9s are shown in static displays, during training, and otherwise performing and having fun as tape rolls.

Roy’s former head coach, basketball hall-of-famer, WNBA star, and three-time Olympic gold medalist Staley also appears in the video as does Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who makes two cameos in the track.

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S.C. Governor touts state’s new Floodwater Commission

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In his State of the State address delivered, Wed. Jan. 23, 2019, S.C. Governor Henry McMaster highlighted the criticality, purpose of, and path forward for his newly established South Carolina Floodwater Commission.

The S.C. Floodwater Commission “is unique in the United States: There’s not another one,” said McMaster. “This Commission’s purpose is to provide guidance, solutions and opportunities presented by inland and coastal flooding and all that entails.”

McMaster added, “Its scope will be global, to be applied here in South Carolina.”

The Governor also recognized Floodwater Commission Chairman Tom Mullikin [View the State of the State address –, specifically beginning at the 39:34 mark].

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Korean church presents check to Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Foundation

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Members of the Korean Community Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbia presented Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott with a check in the amount of $4,500 for the Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation, earlier this week. The check, according to Sheriff Lott, speaks to the close, ongoing relationship between the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD), the church, and the broader Korean community in Richland County, S.C.

“I feel as if we’re part of the extended family of the Korean community in the Midlands of South Carolina; and they with us,” said Lott. “This relationship and their gift to us today speaks volumes as to the familial bond and kinship we share.”

If there are any barriers between the Korean community and RCSD, it exists only within the language gaps experienced occasionally, which is why RCSD’s Korean-American deputies who speak the language and fully understand the cultural nuances are key to RCSD’s service to all of its citizens.

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Elections, new appointments to S.C. Floodwater Commission

Connor named chair of the Commission’s National Security Task Force

ORANGEBURG AND COLUMBIA, S.C. – Col. Bill Connor was unanimously elected chairman of the National Security Task Force of the South Carolina Floodwater Commission, Thurs., Jan. 24.

Connor (left) and Vitali

An Orangeburg-based attorney and U.S. Army Reserve Infantry officer (Airborne Ranger), Connor is a decorated combat veteran and former senior U.S. military advisor in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He currently serves as the Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (EPLO) for S.C. As EPLO, Connor is the ranking military representative of UNITED STATES ARMY NORTH for the Palmetto State.

Among Thursday’s new appointments was Col. Steve Vitali of Columbia, who was named to the National Security Task Force, Wed., and elected operations officer, Thurs., upon Connor’s recommendation and nomination.

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