10 other significant stories

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By The Staff

County's oldest resident dies at 110

Lois Jones was Lancaster County's oldest resident, but she could shoot the breeze with you and vividly recall many things she experienced in her 11 decades of living. She died April 7, about two months after her family honored her with a 110th birthday celebration.

Jones told her granddaughter Shirley Murphy that one key to her longevity was treating people kindly. Jones did much missionary work during her life and was nice to anyone she met, Murphy said.

"I never known her to be angry," Murphy said. "She was oh so calm. She always told me, 'Don't let nothing worry you.' She left everything with the Lord."

Schools confirm eight MRSA cases

In 2007, many people in the United States, including Lancaster County residents, became more familiar with MRSA. The Lancaster County School confirmed its eighth case of MRSA in November. MRSA - pronounced "mersa" and which stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus - received intense media attention in the fall after three children in other states died from invasive MRSA within the same week in October.

Here, all the cases appear to have been non-invasive forms, which appear as skin infections. The vast majority of cases are non-invasive, and they can be effectively treated by draining the pus with or without antibiotics.

Work progresses on City of Light campus

Work progressed rapidly on the Inspiration Networks City of Light U.S. 521 campus in 2007. In August, the media and guests got to check out work on the administration building, which is expected to be occupied in early 2008. A man-made lake has been carved on the site. A prayer and visitors' center should be ready by the end of 2008.

Many of INSP's current 350 employees are expected to move to the area once its new Indian Land headquarters opens. Others will come in later phases. The emerging campus has been designed to accommodate up to 1,500 employees.

City, county officials reach middle ground

The city of Lancaster and the county found middle ground toward enticing industrial prospects to the Lancaster Business Park this summer.

An industrial boiler-production company eyed the park in the summer as a potential location for a 125,000-square-foot plant. But the company was not interested in locating in the park if it had to pay city taxes.

In August, City Councilman Bill Sumner proposed that the city de-annex Quality Drive in the park in return for a share of the revenue the county makes on selling sites there through fees-in-lieu of taxes or tax proceeds. The measure was approved 5-1. County Council later agreed to go along with the city's proposal.

Divided council OKs bid for Buford rec center

In September, a bickering County Council voted 4-3 to approve MAR Construction as the contractor for the Buford recreation center project.

Councilman Jack Estridge complained that the cost of the project - $1.4 million - was more than what the county spent on recreation complexes in other areas.

Also at issue was why the parks and recreation department didn't recommend accepting a bid from MCON Construction, which was $200,000 cheaper than the one from MAR Construction. The department said it did not like MCON's proposal for the project.

"Buford's never gotten anything from this county," said an irked Councilman Wesley Grier. "We've waited a long time. We were last on the list. We want to build it right."

Two presidential candidates seek votes

The Palmetto State was a popular destination for both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in 2007, since South Carolina's January primaries are among the earliest in the nation.

Two candidates made stops in Lancaster County during the year.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, visited Indian Land's Sun City Carolina Lakes in the fall, speaking to a Republican club at the retirement community. His speech focused on three areas - health care, spending and the war in Iraq.

John Edwards, a South Carolina native and former U.S. senator from North Carolina, visited Lancaster in November. The Democratic candidate for president sat down with about a dozen local residents at a kitchen table and had an intimate discussion about the biggest issue facing them - the loss of textile jobs.

Police chief changes mind about retiring

In October, Hugh White announced that he was retiring as chief of the Lancaster Police Department after a career of more than 25 years in law enforcement, including eight years as chief. But in mid-November, White announced he had changed his mind - he wanted to stay on as chief. City Council allowed him to rescind his resignation.

"After having some time to reflect upon everything that I would miss about serving the city as its police chief, and after receiving encouragement to remain from so many people I trust and respect, my brain and heart were telling me that I was making a rather large mistake," White said.

Kershaw's Town Hall is torn down

Kershaw's old Town Hall was demolished in November. Built about 1902, the complex on Hampton Street underwent various renovations and uses over the years, but town officials said the space there was too cramped for what they needed.

The town will build a new town hall complex to house the police department and administration offices. The courtroom will function as council chambers.

It's expected to cost about $750,000.

The town is working with an architect to finalize plans for the building.

Officials break ground for IL library

In December, Lancaster County and library officials and Indian Land residents tromped through the dirt and braved a chilly afternoon for the groundbreaking of the Del Webb Library at Indian Land.

Library board members and staff, and county and construction officials, each grabbed a golden shovel to ceremonially dig into the dirt at the library site.

Del Webb, Sun City Carolina Lakes' developer, contributed 2 acres to the project and Sun City residents are paying $1.5 million in bonds that will pay for construction costs.

About another $300,000 is needed to furnish and equip the library, scheduled to be complete by November 2008.

Hughes resigns at AJ

The 2008 Andrew Jackson High School football team, during the school's 40th season, will feature a new head coach.

Winnsboro native Ernie Hughes, who had coached the Vols for five seasons, resigned in late November.

As the AJ head coach, Hughes compiled a 20-35 mark with four berths to the Class AA Lower State playoffs.

The 2007 Vols went 3-8, which included a 48-6 loss to Dillon in the Class AA Lower State playoffs.

Hughes's vacancy drew about 50 applicants. AJ officials hope to have a new coach on board by mid-January.

Hughes' resignation ended a coaching era in Lancaster County. He also coached at Buford High School from 1989-1994, fashioning a 50-26 record and a Class A Upstate title in 1993.