• Dogs sniff out marijuana in Buford High parking lot

    The school district broke out the drug dogs for a random screening at Buford High School on Tuesday, and a student was charged with having marijuana in his truck.
    Jacob Marshall Smith, 17, was charged with simple possession of marijuana after drugs dogs made a pass through the school parking lot, where his truck was located. Marijuana and two small knives were found Smith’s vehicle, according to a report from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

  • LHS basketball game will use metal detectors tonight

    The Lancaster County School District, in an effort to send a message that schools are safe after school hours, will have metal detectors set up for the first time at a basketball game during Lancaster High’s home game tonight.
    This effort is the start of random metal-detector checks at school activities.
    LCSD Superintendent Jonathan Phipps said the district has had no threats about after-school activities or for this particular game against Andrew Jackson High.

  • Bus driver protects kids, takes bite from a pit bull

    A Lancaster County school bus driver was bitten by a pit bull Wednesday morning on J.B. Denton Road after the dog slipped through the closing bus doors.
    The driver was able to finish her route, which picks up Lancaster High students, and was later taken to urgent care to be checked.
    “She’s going to be OK,” said Bryan Vaughn, Lancaster County School District safety and transportation director. “She did a good job of keeping that dog away from other kids…. That was her primary goal and responsibility.”

  • USCL is listed as top 2-year college in state

    A national school-ranking organization has named USC Lancaster the top two-year college in the Palmetto State, and No. 4 in the country.
    Niche.com, a Pittsburgh-based company that analyzes schools nationally, gives USCL a B-plus grade in its 2018 best community colleges ranking.
    “I am honored, but not surprised, that USC Lancaster would be named the top two-year campus in South Carolina,” said Dr. Walt Collins, dean of USCL. “This is a credit to our devoted and dedicated faculty and staff who work hard toward the success of our students.”

  • Court dismisses S.C. education suit

    The S.C. Supreme Court has reversed its 2014 order that the legislature address the poor quality of education in rural school districts across the state, ending a 24-year legal battle over the issue.
    The 3-2 ruling Nov. 17 dismissed the lawsuit Abbeville School District v. the State of South Carolina. The 2014 ruling was criticized at the time as judicial intrusion into the General Assembly’s and governor’s responsibilities, and the high court, with two new members since the earlier decision, took that side this month.

  • Street safety at issue for IL schools

    An Indian Land Middle School parent has collected about 300 signatures on a petition pushing SCDOT to put in sidewalks and crosswalks on River Road and U.S. 521.
    “I don’t want someone to get hurt or killed before they decide to put in crosswalks and sidewalks,” said Pam Houge, who started the petition Oct. 26 and got about 300 signatures in two weeks. “It shouldn’t take someone getting killed before they do something.
    “I’m on a mission. I’m not going to stop until this is done.”

  • Native American activist Dr. Will Goins dies at 57

    Dr. Will Goins, who had just begun an artist-in-residence program at USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center, died Sunday in Columbia after a heart attack. He was 57.
    Goins was a well-known and outspoken social activist, artist, writer, singer-songwriter and performer. He had been in Columbia attending the Native American Film Festival, which he founded there 20 years ago.
    “He wanted to speak for all of the unspoken people who didn’t think they had voices,” said Elsie Goins, his mother. “He was that voice for many people….

  • Steven Puckett named principal of Panhandle’s new elementary

    Steven Puckett, who got his first principal’s job when Harrisburg Elementary opened three years ago, will do a repeat performance at Lancaster County’s next new school – the Panhandle elementary that will open in fall 2018.
    The Lancaster County school board voted 6-0 Tuesday night to make Puckett principal of the new facility, which doesn’t yet have a name. He will start the job Jan. 3.

  • Press 1 button and lock down a whole school

    Locking down a school to protect it from outside intrusion took nearly 10 minutes using the Lancaster County School District’s old technology.
    Someone had to run to each exterior door and manually click an electronic key fob.
    Now, a whole-school lockdown takes only a split second. One-button systems are part of $1.7 million in safety-lock upgrades that will be completed throughout the district by next fall. They’re among the $199 million in construction and technology projects funded by last year’s bond vote.

  • Bus-driver shortage causing long delays

    The Lancaster County School District is experiencing its worst bus-driver shortage in 25 years, and the resulting double routes are causing some students to arrive home 45 minutes later than normal.
    Transportation Director Bryan Vaughn said he believes the problem stems from the split-shift schedule and the tough requirements for becoming a bus driver.
    “I don’t think the general public understands what it takes to be a bus driver,” Vaughn said.