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Heath Springs: Cost of deputy rising too fast, will do without

By Greg Summers

HEATH SPRINGS – Citing a 64 percent increase in cost, the town of Heath Springs will not renew its agreement with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office that supplies a deputy to the town for 40 hours a week.
To renew, the cost of the contract would have soared from $23,500 per year to $38,500 per year. The current contract expires June 30.
And for a small town with no property tax whose revenue comes from mostly water and sewer rates, the additional $15,000 cost was too much to absorb, said Mark Bridges, the town’s major pro tem.


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Council votes for $81M budget

By Mandy Catoe

The Lancaster County Council unanimously passed its first reading of the new $81.1 million budget Monday night with a few minor tweaks reflecting a commitment to public works and public safety.
The fiscal 2017-18 budget is $2.1 million more than this year’s, and property owners would see a slight rise in taxes.
Homeowners with a home valued at $100,000 and vehicles worth $30,000 would see property taxes rise $22.26, to a total of $485.42. Breaking that down, it’s $15 more on the home and $7.26 on the vehicles.  


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Proposed county budget contains tax hike, pay raises, 20 new jobs

By Mandy Catoe

The Lancaster County Council will review the proposed 2017-18 budget at its meeting Monday night.
The new budget includes a slightly higher property tax rate, a 2 percent salary increase for county workers and more money for cyber-security. It addresses public works and public safety in an effort to keep up with the county’s growing population, which is nearing 90,000 people.  


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In 4 weeks, special election will fill Mulvaney’s congressional seat

Recount affirms Norman’s GOP win

By Greg Summers

A mandatory recount on Friday affirmed Ralph Norman’s photo-finish victory in this week’s runoff with Tommy Pope for the GOP slot on the 5th District congressional ballot.
Norman will face Democrat Archie Parnell and three minor-party candidates in the June 20 special election to fill the seat vacated when Mick Mulvaney became White House budget director.
State law required Friday’s recount because Norman’s victory margin was 1 percent or less of the total votes cast.


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5th District candidates separated by 203 votes among 35,000 cast

Norman edges Pope, pending recount

By Greg Summers

Ralph Norman defeated Tommy Pope by the thinnest of margins in Tuesday’s 5th Congressional District GOP runoff, but the race isn’t over yet.
When the unofficial results were tallied, Norman was 203 votes ahead with a little more than 35,000 votes cast.
With all 11 counties reporting, Norman had 17,772 votes to Pope’s 17,572.


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Gas-tax hike heads to governor backed by veto-proof majorities

By Greg Summers

COLUMBIA – The S.C. gas-tax increase looks like a done deal, even if Gov. Henry McMaster vetoes it later this week.
The S.C. House passed a compromise plan Tuesday that raises the state’s gas tax by a total of 12 cents a gallon over six years and increases other driving fees to create long-term funding for road repairs across the state.
House Speaker Jay Lucas called the legislation the most significant infrastructure bill to pass the General Assembly in three decades.


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Connelly endorses Norman in runoff

By Greg Summers

NEWBERRY – The businessman who finished fourth in last week’s seven-candidate 5th District Republican Party primary has endorsed fellow businessman Ralph Norman in the upcoming May 16 GOP runoff.
On Monday, Chad Connelly announced his support of Norman, who faces Tommy Pope in next week’s runoff.
A former member of the S.C. House, Norman is a real estate developer from Rock Hill.
“They say nobody likes losing, but if you’re gonna lose, you ought to lose to somebody who thinks like you,” Connelly said.


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Forum on incorporation set for May 9

By Reece Murphy

Of the local issues facing Lancaster County Panhandle residents, none seem to stir passions quite like one in particular – incorporation.
With two such efforts in the works, one for Van Wyck, the other for Indian Land, and vocal opposition to the latter, District 7 Lancaster County Councilman Brian Carnes is sponsoring a forum on the issue May 9 at Transformation Church, 8978 Charlotte Highway.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the forum begins at 7 p.m. sharp.


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11 days to runoff for Pope, Norman

By Greg Summers

Tuesday’s GOP primary results in the 5th District congressional race couldn’t have been much closer.
For top finishers Ralph Norman and Tommy Pope, it was a virtual stalemate. Each got 30 percent of the vote, with Pope ending up 118 votes ahead of Norman in the unofficial results to set up the May 16 runoff.
The key to victory is going to be a fast start, said Sandy McGarry, Lancaster Republican Party chairwoman.


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City OKs buying jail services from sheriff

By Hannah Strong

Lancaster City Council has unanimously approved a two-year contract to share jail services with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office because the cells at the Municipal Justice Center are outdated.
The contract’s annual fee will be $54,480, roughly what the city has been spending on jail services.
The agreement, approved by city council April 25, will now go to Lancaster County Council for a vote. If approved, the contract will begin July 1 and end June 30, 2019.


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