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Government

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City council honors Sowell for 34 years of service

By Greg Summers

Helen Sowell will finally get to spend some time with her grandchildren.
Sowell is stepping down as the City of Lancaster interim administrator.
Although her official retirement date was May 31, Sowell agreed to stay on until the city found a replacement.
New City Administrator Steven “Flip” Hutfles starts Monday, Nov. 16.
City leaders recognized Sowell for her 34 years of service to the municipality at the Tuesday, Nov. 10, Lancaster City Council meeting.


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Council votes to support county’s new in-house department

City says no to LCEDC dues

By Greg Summers

The City of Lancaster will support the county’s new economic development department instead of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp.
City council made that decision Tuesday night, Nov. 10, after hearing a presentation from Lancaster County Council Chairman Bob Bundy about what the county is creating. Last month, city council tabled a vote on its annual LCEDC funding until it got more information about the county’s plan.
City council had budgeted $25,000 for its 2015-16 LCEDC membership/participation dues, which were due July 1.


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Tunnell: Pay me or I sue

By Chris Sardelli

Two weeks after receiving a $129,000 severance payment from the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp., former agency President Keith Tunnell sent a letter to county leaders threatening to sue them unless he received an additional payment of more than $200,000.
In the Sept. 4 letter, which was written three and a half weeks after Lancaster County Council voted to rescind all of its funding for the LCEDC, Tunnell insists he has “been the victim of improper and illegal procedures” on the part of the county government and administration.


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Tunnell decries rumors of financial impropriety

Emails reveal lawsuit, threat of another

By Chris Sardelli

One day before Lancaster County Council defunded the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp., agency President Keith Tunnell accused county leaders and employees of saying he had used his position for improper financial gain.
In an email to County Administrator Steve Willis and Council Chairman Bob Bundy on Aug. 9, Tunnell expressed concern that they and “others connected with county government” were alleging he had “profited personally” in exchange for promoting incentives for local companies, among them Haile Gold Mine.


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Kershaw hires Boyes as town administrator

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – Town employees are learning that Joe Boyes likes to learn from the ground up, which is why sanitation workers may have been caught a little by surprise early Monday, Nov. 9.
Boyes, 30, the new town administrator, showed up for work a little before midnight, Sunday, Nov. 8, to introduce himself as they were getting ready to start that day’s residential trash pick-up.


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McClancy Seasoning unable to expand

Council denies IL industrial rezoning

By Chris Sardelli

Plummeting property values were not even on Howard Kance’s radar when he moved into his home in the BridgeMill neighborhood a few years ago, though it was his main concern as he sat in Lancaster County Council’s chambers Monday night, Nov. 9.
Joining more than 100 of his neighbors, some spilling out the doors and all clad in red shirts, Kance hoped to urge council members not to approve a proposed industrial rezoning for McClancy Seasoning, an established spice business located directly next to his Indian Land neighborhood, just off U.S. 521.


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Why did the tide turn against the LCEDC?

By Chris Sardelli

You inch past a serious wreck on the interstate. Cars and an 18-wheeler sit mangled and steaming. Medics scramble to help the wounded. People are yelling, some are crying.
The troubling scene recedes in your rearview mirror as you rev back up to highway speed and wonder what happened. Was it a texting driver? Blown tire? Road rage? You’ll probably never know.
The aftermath of the August collision between Lancaster County officials and the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. has been similarly messy, troubling and hard to understand.


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Rogora tops Russell for Kershaw District 1 seat; Heath Springs voters reelect Drakeford and Moore

Dorman wins Kershaw mayor’s race

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – A former town council member is headed back to town hall as Kershaw mayor.
Mark Dorman defeated Morris Russell, Sonya Poole and Johnny Carter on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to win the first-ever write-in campaign in Lancaster County history.
After the vote was certified by the Lancaster County Election Commission on Thursday, Nov. 5, Dorman had 161 total votes to Russell’s 131 votes.
Poole, an at-large member of town council, had 24 votes. Carter, another former town councilman, had 21 total votes.


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Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Heath Springs, Kershaw council elections Tuesday

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – A precedent will be made Tuesday, Nov. 3, when Kershaw voters select a new mayor through a write-in vote.
No political candidate in Lancaster County history has ever been successfully elected through the write-in process.
“It’s never happened,” said local historian Lindsay Pettus.
Four candidates – Johnny Carter, Mark Dorman, Sonya Poole and Morris Russell – have launched write-in campaigns for Kershaw mayor.


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City tables vote on $25k LCEDC dues

By Greg Summers

Lancaster County isn’t the only entity to tighten the purse strings of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. (LCEDC).
 The city of Lancaster hasn’t paid its $25,000 membership/participation dues for fiscal year 2015-16 to the corporation, though the organization is seeking its continued support.
At it’s Tuesday, Oct. 27 meeting, city council tabled a vote on the city’s LCEDC dues until it gets more information.  


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