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Government

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Lawmakers target road funding again

By Greg Summers

COLUMBIA – Just as it did last year, the General Assembly begins its 2017 session this week determined to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges, but flailing about over how to pay for the job.
At a roundtable discussion Thursday sponsored by the S.C. Press Association, state House and Senate members discussed competing proposals for financing road repairs. Most involved some kind of increase in the state’s gasoline tax to provide a sustained, long-term funding source.


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Kershaw OKs overtime for holiday work

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – After an emergency at Thanksgiving, the town of Kershaw has changed its personnel policy so that employees called into work on holidays automatically receive overtime pay for those hours.
Until now, overtime pay on holidays was not clearly spelled out in the town’s employee handbook.
 “We had one employee complaint about a similar situation on July 4, but I didn’t fully understand it,” said Administrator Mitch Lucas. “This Thanksgiving stuff really opened my eyes.”


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Van Richardson named chief magistrate

By Mandy Catoe

Van Richardson has been appointed the next chief magistrate of Lancaster County by Sens. Greg Gregory and Vincent Sheheen.
Richardson, a Lancaster county native, has served as a Lancaster County magistrate for 13 years. He will replace Judge Jackie Pope, who retired Dec. 31 after holding the chief magistrate’s position since 1999.


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Heath Springs votes to split hospitality tax with county

By Greg Summers

HEATH SPRINGS – Town council voted 4-0 Tuesday night to partner with Lancaster County to equally split the hospitality tax generated in Heath Springs.
Mayor Ann Taylor was not at the meeting.
Beginning Jan. 1, the hospitality tax will be applied to prepared food, beverage and alcohol sales in bars, restaurants, convenience stores with grills and other establishments in the Heath Springs corporate town limits.


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Council approves $3.6M loan for sewer work

By Greg Summers

The Lancaster City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to borrow $3.6 million from a state pollution-control fund to pay for one phase of the sewer improvements mandated by the city’s federal consent order.
City Finance Director James Absher said the city will get an additional $1 million from the fund that does not have to be repaid. The interest rate on the loan is 1 percent, he said, and the city will repay the money over 10 years in quarterly payments of about $35,000, beginning when the sewer work is finished in about a year.


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Carter says staff backs Grant for chief’s job

By Greg Summers

Capt. Scott Grant wasn’t surprised to be named interim police chief at Tuesday night’s Lancaster City Council meeting.
But he was shocked when retiring Chief Harlean Carter told council members that Grant had not only her endorsement for the top job, but that of the police department’s rank and file as well.
“That really hit home and made me stop and think,” said Grant, 51. “I didn’t know any of that was going to happen and didn’t expect it. To have that level of support is just overwhelming.”


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Trump picks Mulvaney for OMB director, reports say

By Reece Murphy

Multiple news outlets reported late Friday that President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Rep. Mick Mulvaney to head the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Mulvaney, the 5th District Republican from Indian Land,  met with Trump in New York on Dec. 5 but would not say what they discussed.
McClatchy Newspapers was the first outlet to break the news of Mulvaney’s selection, citing a senior transition official with knowledge of the appointment but not authorized to discuss it publicly.


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County still aiming for Dec. 31 IL convenience center opening

By Reece Murphy

Lancaster County officials say they hope to have at least basic recycling and trash-disposal services operating at the new Indian Land convenience center by Dec. 31.
But they have a contingency plan for local residents to continue using Mecklenburg County’s Foxhole for recycling and household waste should the plan fall through.
News of the plans came as some residents worried that their county-provided access stickers to the Foxhole would expire at the end of the year with the new Indian Land site still uncompleted.


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Pulte, county strike deal on Sun City roads

By Mandy Catoe

The dispute between Lancaster County and the Sun City Carolina Lakes’ developer over who is responsible for the community’s roads has been resolved with both sides compromising.
The county council passed a unanimous resolution Monday night, its final meeting of 2016, to settle the years-long dispute.


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Blackmon likely to take city council oath before judge hears case

Harris appeals vote-fraud ruling

By Greg Summers

Lancaster City Council member Jackie Harris is taking her vote-fraud allegations against Linda Blackmon to civil court, questioning the role of paper absentee ballots in Blackmon’s victory over her in the Nov. 8 election.
Harris filed an appeal with the court of common pleas last Friday, four weeks after the Lancaster County Election Commission rejected her initial protest of the City Council District 3 results. Harris contends that S.C. law allowed the commission too little time to consider her complaints and review evidence of voter fraud, bribery and coercion.


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