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About Us

You can do without the paper; you can’t do without the news.

Cola Daily ( is your online local news source for Columbia and the Midlands, including Lexington and Richland counties. This is a very active and involved community, and our goal is to create a conversation about news, topics and issues that are important to everyone who lives, works and plays in Columbia and the surrounding area.

We aim to deliver the news to you immediately, as it happens, without sacrificing accuracy. We know it isn’t enough to tell you what happens in your community; we dig a little deeper to put news and events in context to explain why things happen and how they can impact you.

Our eager and knowledgeable staff is dedicated to providing you with news and information, but we would appreciate your participation. We want to be your eyes and ears in the community, and we want you to be ours.

We want to do everything we can to make your home page, and we want to hear from you about how we can make that happen.

You can hear summaries of our news of the day weekday mornings and afternoons on two local radio stations: WWNU – 92.1 FM The Palm and WWNQ – 94.3 The Dude.

We’re excited to share your hometown with you, and we thank you for stopping by to read the latest news.



Thomas G. Davis – President, CEO – Local Voice Media (

Kimberly Lenz, Publisher, VP Digital News – Local Voice Media (

Brindy McNair – Managing Editor (

And some more folks whose words you read and voices you hear:


RachelRachel Ham After three years in North Carolina and the Upstate, Rachel Ham is glad to be back in the Midlands covering news that matters to you.

She’s originally from the Lexington area and grew up visiting her dad at work at USC before later working downtown herself to help save money for college. Following graduation, she began her studies at North Greenville University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Print Media in 2010.

A few weeks of wondering “what’s next?” later, she landed a job reporting for the scenic town of Bryson City in Western North Carolina. After a short stint there, Rachel moved back Upstate where she spent the next two years covering anything and everything that happened in Laurens County.

She’s thrilled now to be your go-to reporter for Lexington County, which is growing as fast as ever.  Outside of the newsroom, you’ll find Rachel cheering like a maniac for the NC State Wolfpack and Indianapolis Colts, heading to the theater to check out Woody Allen’s latest flick or grabbing a coffee at Starbucks with friends.

Feel free to contact Rachel with any story leads and things you feel other readers will enjoy at or (803) 753.6819


Tom Lanahan is the man with all of your latest sports news. He is always on the go, looking for the next star athlete and anything that has to do with your local sports teams. His passion for sports came at an early age, and in fifth grade he knew that sports reporting was what he wanted to do.

Tom graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism and mass communications. At USC, he learned real-life experiences in the prestigious senior semester program, in which he produced many stories on Gamecock and local high school sports. He hopes his experience will help him bring thorough and entertaining sports stories to you.

When he’s not looking for another story, Tom follows his beloved Gamecock football and baseball programs, makes sure to watch every Pittsburgh Steelers game on Sundays and runs around the community.

If you have any story ideas or news or information on your local team, contact Tom through email at or by phone at (864) 430.0638.


Brindy-bioBrindy McNair is a former Army brat and forever-Gamecock who graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism and mass communications. She has worn many hats during her journalism career, including those of reporter, photographer, copy editor, page designer and web editor. Outside of Cola Daily, Brindy is a pirate history buff and pop culture trivia junkie.

If you have a story idea for Cola Daily, send Brindy an email at Submit community news to Got a breaking news tip? Send that information to


Kelly-bioKelly Petty is an Atlanta transplant tackling the latest news happening in the Midlands. You can see Kelly around town covering the city of Columbia and Richland County.

Prior to coming to Columbia, Kelly spent a few years freelancing for several national online media outlets where she primarily covered education policy.

Kelly graduated from Georgia State University in 2008 with a degree in journalism and Spanish. In the fall of 2008, she embarked on an exciting fellowship in Washington, D.C., as part of the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. There she honed her skills in election and politics coverage, getting the opportunity to meet political strategists, attend legislative sessions on Capitol Hill and meet former Secretary of State Colin Powell. She also interned at National Journal covering the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

In her spare time, Kelly likes to browse a bookstore or watch classic movies starring her favorite Old Hollywood actress Bette Davis. Kelly looks forward to serving the Richland County and Columbia communities, keeping abreast of how taxpayer money is spent and how lawmaker’s decisions affect residents.

You can contact Kelly with a news tip or question by email at or by phone at (803) 753-6824.


Allen Wallace has been working in journalism in the Southeast since 1994. He has worked as a radio news reporter and producer and spent ten years in television news, most recently as a producer at WLTX here in Columbia. He also taught high school English and coached soccer for several years. He lives in Irmo, but you’ll see him all over the place. You can reach Allen at (803) 753-6809 or at


Amanda Thames is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she studied creative writing, English and psychology. She writes obituaries for Cola Daily, where we publish obituaries for free, and tells the often extraordinary stories of those who lived in our communities. Amanda appreciates learning more about the community members we have lost, whether they were well-known or just the best neighbor ever. She can be reached at or by phone at 803-753-6816.

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