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Officials: Student’s comment not a threat

Hundreds leave ILHS due to social-media fears

By Chris Sardelli

Desks sat empty and some classes were half-full at Indian Land High School on Monday, Feb. 8, after a student comment spread on social media, causing almost 200 students to either stay home or leave early from school.
Bryan Vaughn, safety director for the Lancaster County School District, said the mass exodus of students, about 20 percent of the student population, stemmed from concerns about a vague student comment reported Friday.


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Family gets keys to 15th local Habitat home

By Greg Summers

For years, Shawnta Lang wanted more for her children, but her American dream of owning a home was out of reach.
Not anymore. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, that dream became a reality Monday when the mother of three reached out and took the door keys of 1123 Ten Oaks Drive from Barry Felner and Jerri Lynn Sanders.
“Welcome to your new home,” Felner told Lang, putting the keys in her hand.
A shy and tearful Lang thanked everyone who made her dream of homeownership come true.


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William Rucker, family were in San Francisco

Local man dies during Super Bowl celebration

By Greg Summers

Lancaster businessman William Rucker died Sunday while he and eight members of his close-knit family were in the San Francisco area celebrating Super Bowl 50.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” his father, Lancaster dentist Douglas Rucker, said Monday, Feb. 8.
Rucker, 44, collapsed at Fisherman’s Wharf on Sunday moments after former Carolina Panthers wide receiver and ESPN analyst Keshawn Johnson gave a football to William’s 9-year-old son, Aaron “Little Aaron” Rucker.


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Panthers loss doesn’t tarnish fans’ Super Bowl 50 experience

By Robert Howey

The disappointment of the Panthers losing Super Bowl 50 didn’t totally tarnish a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Lancaster fans attending Sunday’s NFL Championship game.
“We were disappointed with the loss, but overall it was a great experience,” said Dr. Mark Makhuli, a urologist with Comprehensive Urology in Lancaster. “It was awesome. We explored San Francisco and the NFL Experience. It was great.”


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Locking eyes with a bear from 10 feet away

The Challenge of a Lifetime; Part 2 of 4

By Chris Sardelli

Wesley Dry sprinted around a blind curve on the trail, searching for the person yelling up ahead as dusk fell on the forest.
What he saw froze him in place.
Ten feet ahead stood an adult black bear, its eyes locked on Dry’s.
Time slowed to a crawl. Dry stood there for several seconds, waiting to see what the animal would do next.
It was quiet. The sounds of rustling trees and his own breathing filled Dry’s ears.
His mind flashed to every lesson he’d ever learned about black bears.


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Lancaster Children’s Home volunteer charged with giving alcohol to minor

By Reece Murphy

A volunteer with Lancaster Children’s Home has been charged with giving a teenage resident alcohol.
Heather Myers, 46, of 2622 Knotty Pine Drive, Lancaster, was charged Tuesday with one misdemeanor count of giving beer or wine to a minor, transfer or gift.  
Lancaster County sheriff’s spokesman Doug Barfield said Myers was listed in investigative reports as a “direct care giver” with the organization.


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Scammers: Grandson arrested, pay bail in iTunes cards

By Reece Murphy

Phone scammers posing as cops almost succeeded last month when they targeted an Indian Land woman and demanded an unusual payment method to get her grandson out of jail – iTunes gift cards.
The 78-year-old Sun City Carolina Lakes resident told the reporting Lancaster County sheriff’s deputy she’d gotten a phone call from a man identifying himself as “Officer Jonathan Griffin” of the Monroe, N.C., Police Department saying her grandson had been arrested.


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Gene Smith, founder of Mr. G’s, dies at 83

By Greg Summers

Gene Smith never shied away from hard work.
“If a nail needed driving or shelf needed stocking, Gene would jump right in there,” said longtime friend Francis Bell Jr. “He didn’t mind getting his hands dirty one bit.”
Born Aug. 5, 1932, the former Lancaster homebuilder, who eventually went into business as the head of the family-owned Mr. G’s Food Stores, died early Friday at his home. He was 83.


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Deal includes Buford, Hanging Rock sites

Land trust to protect Lancaster battlefields

By Chris Sardelli

Almost two and a half centuries after British and American forces clashed in Lancaster County during the Revolutionary War, a preservation group has secured more than $200,000 in grants, and plans to get more, to protect two local battlefields for future generations.


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Wesley Dry tackles one of America’s great endurance tests, hiking the Appalachian Trail

The Challenge of a Lifetime; Part 1 of 4

By Chris Sardelli

Hail pelted Wesley Dry’s car as he peered out at the wild expanse before him.
Tall, spindly trees, their leaves just starting to grow, towered overhead. A red sign beckoned through the mist.
“Appalachian Trail Approach.”
Waiting impatiently for the surprise storm to end, the 25-year-old Buford native prepared himself for the grueling journey ahead – a solo 2,200-mile hike along the world’s longest marked trail.


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