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Van Wyck activist dies at 78

J.R. Wilt cast a long shadow

By Reece Murphy

One of Lancaster County’s most outspoken community advocates and government watchdogs, J.R. “Jack” Wilt, died Saturday.
Tim Wilt said his father died at his home of a heart-related issue after lying down for a nap on his 78th birthday.
Wilt and his wife, Shirley, had five sons.


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Lancaster’s own is among college basketball’s best

Thornwell rockets to top

By Robert Howey

Lancaster native and Gamecocks leader Sindarius Thornwell ascended another rung on the ladder of basketball stardom Tuesday, honored as Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in his senior season at USC.
“I hollered when I heard the big news,” said Thornwell’s mother, Sharicka, who still lives in Lancaster. “Me and my son Tay were in the car a little after noon on Tuesday when we got the news. Tay said, ‘I knew it!’


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Heath Springs man dies in house fire

By The Staff

HEATH SPRINGS – A fatal house fire that killed a Heath Springs man Saturday remains under investigation, public safety officials said Tuesday.
The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Arthur Leon Southern of 6067 Flat Rock Road.
An initial release Saturday on the fire said Southern was home alone.
The 56-year-old Southern died of smoke inhalation, according to a preliminary autopsy performed Monday.


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Sheriff wants to revive Adopt-a-Highway

Kayla Vaughn
The Lancaster News

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is asking volunteers from across the community to help revive the Adopt-a-Highway Program.
Participation in the program, in which community groups take responsibility for cleaning up roadsides in specific areas, has fallen off in recent years, said sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Murphy.


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Community Foundation grants help other nonprofits

Kayla Vaughn
The Lancaster News

The Lancaster County Community Foundation awarded $4,500 in grants to nonprofits in Lancaster in the past year.
The recipients were:
◆ HOPE in Lancaster, which received $1,500 for its “Fresh and Healthy Food Initiative.”
◆ Grace Place in Lancaster, which got $1,000 for building renovations to double the number of children it serves.


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Cold snap puts tender plants at risk this weekend

By Mandy Catoe

Temperatures dipping below freezing and scattered frost have put the state’s peach crop and early blooming spring flowers at risk this weekend.
Nighttime lows are projected to dip to 26 degrees Saturday night and about 30 degrees Sunday night. Recent warm days have a few plants ahead of schedule presenting the possibility of frostbite for their tender leaves and blooms.


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Busy February for firefighters, with warm weather, little rain

State issues fire alert to discourage burning

By Greg Summers

The S.C. Forestry Commission issued a Red Flag Fire Alert for the entire state Friday to discourage all outdoor burning.
Darryl Jones, commission fire chief, said weather forecasts through Sunday include stronger-than-normal wind gusts and low relative humidity. When combined with dry conditions, those factors increase the likelihood that outdoor fires can rapidly spread out of control.


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Rescuers help ailing man down from roof

By Greg Summers

INDIAN LAND – Pleasant Valley firefighters used their training and a ladder truck Thursday afternoon to get an ailing man off the roof of an under-construction building behind his home.
“He wasn’t hurt. He just couldn’t get back down the ladder,” said Lancaster County Fire Marshal Stephen Blackwelder. “He had previously undergone back surgery and lost the feeling in his back and legs while he was up there.”


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Sumter Democrat says he’ll compete for District 5 seat

By Hannah Strong

The first Democratic candidate for the 5th District congressional seat will announce his candidacy Tuesday, facing off against seven Republicans competing to replace Mick Mulvaney.
Archie Parnell, 66, a Sumter business executive, said he plans to launch his bid at a 3 p.m. news conference in York.
“Now is the time for me to try to help,” Parnell said Friday, noting he was “quite surprised” when Donald Trump won the presidency.
Parnell said he plans to focus on three things – constituent service, taxes and healthcare.


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Harnish Patel: A kind family man, generous to those in need

Lancaster business owner shot dead outside his home

By Reece Murphy

A respected Lancaster County business owner was shot to death outside his home on Craig Manor Road about 11:30 Thursday night, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Harnish J. Patel, 43, who lived across the street from the White Oak Manor nursing home, was returning home after closing his convenience store, the Speedee Mart at 1416 Pageland Highway.
Investigators believe he drove from the store directly home, where he was confronted by his killer when he got out of the vehicle.


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