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Government

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Probate judge will not seek another term

By Greg Summers

Sandy Estridge, Lancaster County’s probate judge for 22 years, announced Tuesday that she will not run for reelection next year.
“I’m ready to retire…. I didn’t plan on working this long,” said the 70-year-old Estridge, who is serving her sixth term in office.
“My children want me to spend more time with the family, so that’s what I’m going to do,” she said.


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Heath Springs might do without municipal court

By Greg Summers

HEATH SPRINGS – Now that Heath Springs no longer has a law enforcement officer on regular patrol – a move to save the town money – officials are considering doing away with municipal court and asking county magistrates to handle any cases that come along.
After all, the logic goes, without police patrols, chances are there won’t be a lot of cases for municipal court to handle.


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Grumbling council votes for $75 IL fee

By Greg Summers

In a decision that didn’t seem to please anybody, Lancaster County Council passed second reading of an ordinance Monday night that would add a $75 stormwater fee to the tax bills of homeowners in the north end of the county.
The fee would also impact commercial property, varying by size.
The fee, which requires one more council vote, would raise $1.57 million in the first year, to be used to start a new county department that would address stormwater issues.  


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Ballots set in Heath Springs, Kershaw

By Greg Summers

Election filing closed Tuesday in the nonpartisan Heath Springs and Kershaw town council races set for Nov. 7.
Five candidates filed to run in Heath Springs, including three for mayor. The town has a mayor and four at-large council seats.
Mayor Ann Taylor and longtime council members Ted Sowell and Mark Bridges announced last month they would not seek new terms.
Taylor has been mayor since 1991. Bridges has 33 years on council, and Sowell has served three terms.


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Voters OK town of Van Wyck

By Reece Murphy

Van Wyck residents overwhelmingly voted to become a town during Tuesday’s incorporation election.
Residents of the community’s 1.4-square-mile “original incorporation area” voted 67-7 to incorporate, according to Lancaster County elections officials. Incorporation is the first step in a plan that calls for the new town to grow through voluntary annexation of adjacent properties.


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Kershaw zoning proposal would allow adult day-cares, nursing homes

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – Town officials are moving to change Kershaw’s zoning regulations so that adult day-care facilities and nursing homes can locate in the town.
Day-care facilities for children were already allowed, but because of an odd oversight in the town’s 18-year-old Unified Development Ordinance, there was no provision for adult day-cares and nursing homes.
Now, county and Kershaw officials are working together to correct an omission that no one knew existed until recently.


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Special election will decide if community becomes town

Van Wyck vote next Tuesday

By Reece Murphy

Van Wyck residents will head to the polls next week to decide whether to remain an independent unincorporated community or join together to become the town of Van Wyck.
Next week’s special election is scheduled for Tuesday at the Van Wyck Community Center at 5063 Old Hickory Road. The poll is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voting is open only to the 271 registered voters who live in the community’s original incorporation area.


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Heath Springs' mayor, 2 councilmen calling it quits

By Greg Summers

It’s time for some turnover in Heath Springs’ municipal government.
The three town council members whose terms end this year won’t seek reelection, and the other two are running for mayor.
Mayor Ann Taylor and longtime at-large council members Ted Sowell and Mark Bridges will not file for their seats.
“It’s gonna be interesting,” said Taylor, who has served as Heath Springs mayor since 1991.
Taylor said she decided several months ago not to seek a new term.


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Benford plans storage/packaging building

Brewery rezoning approved

By Mandy Catoe

On July 17, Lancaster County Council unanimously approved the first of three required readings to rezone Benford Brewery. The zoning change will allow the growing brewery to expand.  
Rumors had spread that the nearly five-year-old brewery, located at 2271 Boxcar Road, was building a bar.
Owner Bryan O’Neal quickly put that to rest.


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Ordinance establishing new 4-person county department gets initial OK

Council sets $75 stormwater fee for Panhandle

By Kali Coleman

Panhandle residents might notice a new fee on their taxes starting this October. A $75 fee per household to fund a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) received initial approval from Lancaster County Council on July 17.
It passed first reading in council with a 5-0 vote. Councilmen Terry Graham and Billy Mosteller were absent.
The new fee will only affect residents north of S.C. 5.


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