• Another grieving family hopes for peace, closure

    The last time Ketta Evans saw her son Mar’Quise was three years ago, just before she went to prison for attempted armed robbery.
    Last month, still incarcerated, she got word that Mar’Quise Evans, 19, had been shot to death at the Caroline Court public housing complex. She wasn't allowed to attend his funeral.
    “I threw the phone…. All I could do was cry,” she said. “All he wanted was for mama to come home."

  • Community takes stand against violence

    Two community events brought residents together to stand against violence, both at the Barr Street Community Center. On Saturday, a family event was held in the gymnasium and a prayer vigil was held in the auditorium on Monday.

    The new group Save the Streetz held public events Saturday at the Barr Street campus, aimed at employment opportunities and family activities. Turnout was light due to rain, but co-organizer Porsha Mungo said the group is committed to stopping gang violence in Lancaster.

  • LPD arrests 4 teens in Evans murder case

    Four Lancaster teens have been arrested in connection with the gang-related murder of 19-year-old Mar’Quise Evans, who was gunned down April 11 at Caroline Court in Lancaster.
    A Lancaster Police Department incident report said two of the teens were arrested as detectives staked out the funeral of Allen Cooper, a 17-year-old killed in another gang-related shooting outside a community basketball game April 26.

  • Lancaster woman publishing poetry to inspire others

    Denesha Degraffenreid decided at the end of a four-day trip to Texas that she would drive on to  California and pitch an idea at a book publisher.

    Her dream to write a poetry book was all she thought about as she headed toward Los Angeles in her 2008 Honda. The plan to write a book became a reality after she was inspired by the publisher, who took Degraffenreid, a first-time author, under her wing.
    Degraffenreid, 27, has written poetry since elementary school, so she collected what she’d written through the years and wrote some new pieces.

  • Snake bites up across S.C. this spring

    It has been an unusually active spring for snakes across South Carolina, so look before you step.
    The Palmetto Poison Center has 22 reported snakebites in 2017 through the end of April, up more than 30 percent from this point last year.

    Jill Michels, the poison center’s managing director, dismisses a lot of common misconceptions about snakebites.
    “Stay calm and go directly to the hospital,” she said, regardless of whether you think the snake was poisonous.

  • Local firefighters training in confined-space rescue

    Twenty S.C. firefighters, along with four instructors from the Alabama Fire College, participated in confined-space rescue training Wednesday at USC Lancaster’s Gregory Health and Wellness Center.
    The group used the center’s gym and overhead track to practice raising and lowering “victims” from risky accident situations.

  • Paint stones, hide them, put clues on Facebook

    Pokemon Go is no longer the only search-and-find game out there. Kershaw Rocks is a new local alternative, straddling the virtual and physical worlds.

    Participants – adults and kids alike – paint rocks and hide them in any public place around the town of Kershaw, then leave pictures and clues on the group Facebook page to help others find the rocks.
    Dayna Johanson started the Facebook page “Kershaw Rocks” after hearing about “Oakhurst Rocks” from a friend who moved to Oakhurst, Calif.

  • Outlaw resigns after 8 successful years leading United Way

    After eight years leading the organization, Melanie Outlaw is stepping down as executive director for the United Way of Lancaster County to return to real estate sales.
    “I did submit my resignation this week.” she said in a statement Wednesday. “I can’t express to you all how much I’ve truly enjoyed doing what I do.”
    Outlaw leaves big shoes to fill, said Rhonda Fortune, who leads the United Way's board of directors.

  • Kershaw's colossal water-leak mystery is solved

    KERSHAW – Talk about flushing money down the toilet.
    A mysterious $8,400-a-month water leak that has plagued the town of Kershaw for at least three years has been isolated to a stretch of water lines on the west side of the mill village between 1st and 2nd streets, and repairs are being assessed.
    This is no dripping pipe. It’s a torrent. In fiscal 2015, the town couldn’t account for about 7 million gallons of water each month. For the year, it amounted to a $100,000-plus loss.

  • From street criminal to inspiring adult

    It’s Oct. 17, 1998, late night in Orangeburg, and 20-year-old Gary Robinson – aspiring musician, drug addict, homeless stickup kid – is sick of it all and wants to get out of South Carolina.
    Money first. A chance encounter with his boys at the One Stop.
    “We’re about to rob those guys up there,” his partner says, pointing out at a car across the parking lot.