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Local

  • Emu wanders down road

    Folks traveling on University Drive in north Lancaster saw an unusual sight Friday – an emu out for an afternoon stroll.
    Among them was Sharon Novinger, executive director or Lancaster County Partners For Youth.
    “I came around a curve and saw this thing beside the road and thought, what is that?” Novinger said. “He was obeying the rules, on the right side of the road, just bebopping along.
    “I stopped and thought, what do I do?” she said. “He looked at me and just kept walking.”

  • Haile Gold Mine ramping up for production

    If all goes according to plan, hard-rock mining could begin at Kershaw’s Haile Gold Mine within a month and gold could be produced from the site by the end of the year.
    That’s the word this week from Haile Gold Mine General Manager David Thomas, who reported this week the project is progressing well and is on schedule to begin pouring gold during the final quarter of 2016.

  • Volunteer firefighting rolls shrink

    Lancaster County had 600 volunteer firefighters three decades ago. Today, the number is less than half that.
    In the past four years, 184 volunteers have left, and just 147 new ones have joined.
    If that trend continues, there’s big trouble ahead for taxpayers, worries Darren Player, director of Lancaster County Emergency Management and Fire Rescue.
    “We’re hanging in there,” Player said, “but it’s astounding when you look at the numbers.”

  • Outfitted, trained, ready for work

    An orange fireball engulfed a car just a few feet in front of Trevor Jenkins.
    He could feel the heat on his face, already dripping sweat from exertion. A 30-pound air pack was strapped to his back, and he wore 45 pounds of protective insulated firefighter turnout gear.
    Jenkins jerked back the nozzle lever on the 1.75-inch fire hose he was holding against his right side. He braced his feet as the hose pushed back hard against him. Brent Caldwell stood just behind Jenkins, holding the hose in tandem.

  • Lesson: Don’t do the crime if you need to go potty-time

    Never take a bathroom break in the middle of a crime.

    Two Lancaster women were charged this week with kidnapping and attempted armed robbery after an Indian Land woman said they tried to force her to cash a $3,615 check and give them the money. 

    Ashley Jeanette Sanders, 21, of 3660 Heyward Hough Road and Lauren Rena Knight, 17, of 684 Taylor Drive, were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office report.

  • County details services it could offer an incorporated Van Wyck

    Law enforcement, trash disposal, and growth management are all potential services Lancaster County could provide to a future town of Van Wyck if the current incorporation process is successful with voters.
    A list of those potential services was provided to members of the Incorporate Van Wyck Committee this week, only days after Lancaster County Council unanimously voted March 14 to submit a letter to the group.

  • To run, politicians must write parties big checks

    When Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile and Clerk of Court Jeff Hammond both signed up for reelection on Wednesday, they found themselves in similar situations.
    Faile wrote out a check to the S.C. Republican Party for $3,184.80.  
    “What can you do other than bite your tongue and do it? It’s one of those things that you can’t control,” Faile said.
    Hammond shook his head and made a check payable to the S.C. Democratic Party for $2,742.92.
    His check amount wasn’t as much as Faile’s, but it still hurt.

  • Candidates gather at the starting line for campaign 2016

    Excited conversations and camera flashes filled the halls outside the Lancaster County Voter Registration and Election Commission office on Wednesday as dozens of supporters watched a long line of candidates file for a slew of local and state offices.
    Waiting in that line was Brandon Newton, a Republican candidate seeking to replace four-term Rep. Deborah Long in the S.C. House District 45 seat. With a handful of friends in tow, Newton, 21, arrived prior to the noon opening of filing for the June primary.

  • Ghent guilty

    John Marion Ghent Jr. was sentenced to 59 years in prison Thursday after jurors found him guilty of murdering his wife in 2013.
    Jurors deliberated only an hour before convicting Butch Ghent of stabbing Elaine Ghent to death in their home. Prosecutors said his motive was anger over her plans to leave their 35-year marriage.
    Sixth Circuit Court Judge Brian Gibbons sentenced Ghent to 54 years on the murder charge and five years for a weapon charge, to run consecutively. It amounts to a life sentence for the 57-year-old Ghent.

  • Murder trial begins in 2013 stabbing

    The trial of a Lancaster man accused of stabbing his wife to death in 2013 began Monday and continued Tuesday with harrowing testimony from family members about finding the body.
    The first news that something horrible had happened to 54-year-old Elaine Ghent the morning of Oct. 28, 2013, came in the form of a 4 a.m. voice mail left on daughter Tabitha Reynolds’ phone.