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Stevens Park hosts Nature & Art Day

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – You don’t have to go to the mountains this weekend to enjoy a relaxing fall hike and some family fun.
You can do both from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday during the annual Nature & Art Day celebration at Stevens Park, 200 Close Circle.
Now in its third year, Nature and Art Day is hosted by the Kershaw Community Park Council (KCPC) and is one of its signature events.
“We’re excited to be opening up the park for the community to learn and enjoy,” said KCPC General Coordinator Beverly Timmons.


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Lancaster man acquitted in child-sex case

By Reece Murphy

A Lancaster man accused of sexually abusing a child two years ago was found not guilty during his trial in Lancaster County General Sessions Court last week.
Michael Stephen Mobley, 38, formerly of 1948 Sunny Lane, faced a possible 25-year sentence in his Oct. 11 trial on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 11.


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Booth brouhaha pits VTIL leader against Fall Fest

By Reece Murphy

A spat over booth space has broken out between one of the leaders in Indian Land’s incorporation effort and the Indian Land Fall Festival.
Matt McCusker, a vice president of Voters for a Town of Indian Land (VTIL), accuses festival officials of intentionally blocking his group from renting a booth at the Oct. 28 event, Indian Land’s largest gathering of the year.
But festival officials Mike Neese and Robin King Hensel say they did no such thing, noting that McCusker simply missed the deadline for applying for a booth.


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State kicks in $40K for Kershaw playground equipment

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – The town of Kershaw has received a $40,000 state grant to help replace the rotten playground equipment at Stevens Park, adding to a growing pot of money that will be used for the project.
The grant was awarded Oct. 12 by the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The announcement was made at Monday night’s town council meeting.
“It’s good news,” said Kershaw Mayor Mark Dorman, noting that the town plans to kick in an additional $10,000 in hospitality-tax money to construct new playground equipment.


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Crash kills 18-year-old

By Hannah Strong and Kayla Vaughn

An 18-year-old truck driver from the Midlands was killed Thursday morning when he ran a stop sign south of Kershaw and slammed into an oncoming pickup.
Zachary Blake Kirkland of Elgin, in the southern part of Kershaw County, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office. His autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Emergency personnel responded about 9:30 a.m. to the intersection of Shop and Winterwood roads, about half a mile south of Kershaw. A Dodge work truck carrying Kirkland had overturned in a ditch at the intersection.


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10-year term for DUI crash that killed son

By Reece Murphy

A Lancaster man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday on charges related to a 2015 drunk-driving accident that killed one of his sons and injured another.
Lonnie Eugene Patterson, 36, of 1350 Camp Drive, pleaded guilty to felony DUI resulting in death, felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury and child endangerment.
At the Fairfield County Courthouse in Winnsboro, Circuit Judge Dan Hall sentenced Patterson to 10 years on each count, to run concurrently. He was facing a maximum of 52.5 years in prison, Sixth Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman said.


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Longtime soccer ref the presumed victim

Man dies in Buford house fire

By Kayla Vaughn

A Buford man is believed to have died early Sunday in a fire at his home on Mary Lee Lane.
The victim tentatively has been identified as 33-year-old Eric Thomas Belk, according to a statement from the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office.
Belk, a 2002 Buford High School graduate, was known as “Dank” to friends and family. He worked for Keywell Metals in Monroe and as a well-known soccer referee for Lancaster County Parks and Recreation for more than a decade.


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Wants legal fees paid, calls election protest frivolous and unwarranted

Blackmon seeks $35K from Harris, county

By Mark Manicone

Linda Blackmon is asking that Jackie Harris and the Lancaster County Election Commission pay her attorney fees and other costs from the election protest filed by Harris in 2016.
Blackmon’s attorney Robert Tyson filed a legal motion in the civil court case Oct. 13, seeking $30,000 from Harris and $5,000 from the commission.
“When there’s a statute, or contractual provision, that allows for the prevailing party to seek costs incurred when the allegations are frivolous in nature, then we will do just that,” Tyson said.


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300 endangered mussels hand-placed in Gills Creek habitat

Home for heelsplitters

By Greg Summers and Hannah Strong

The population of Lancaster County’s endangered Carolina heelsplitters increased significantly Tuesday.
Federal workers precisely hand-placed 300 of the federally protected mussels along a stretch of Gills Creek between Pageland Highway and Langley Road east of Lancaster.
“There’s no big method to the madness,” said Morgan Wolf, an endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Since 2012, Wolf has been overseeing improvements to the Gills Creek basin to improve heelsplitter habitats.


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IL man pens self-help book

From release


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