• 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.

  • A mother’s heart breaks

    One of La’Tisha Pearson’s last memories of her son Allen Cooper is from the night before his murder.
    The scary movie “Get Out” was playing in the living room at their home on Witherspoon Street east of downtown Lancaster. Pearson is no fan of scary things.
    Allen, a frequent prankster, saw his mom coming down the hall, and he hid just around the corner. As she passed, he jumped out to startle her.
    “You’re going to give me a heart attack,” Pearson told him, laughing.

  • GOP candidates’ signs removed on primary day

    INDIAN LAND – Evidently, someone in the Panhandle detests Republican candidates’ lawn signs.
    Between 11 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday when the polls opened for the in the 5th District congressional primaries, 80-plus lawn signs outside seven  polling places – Black Horse Run, Harrisburg, Osceola, Pleasant Valley, Possum Hollow and River Road, as well as a few at Kershaw South –  had been moved. Six of the precincts are in Indian Land.

  • Grieving parents come together to heal

    On the first Tuesday of every month, grieving parents gather to talk, listen and heal from the loss of their children.
    Janice Steele unexpectedly lost her 43-year-old daughter, Terri Ledbetter, two years ago this month. The loss devastated Steele, who wrestled daily with paralyzing pain.
    “Right before last Christmas, it just hit me that there were other people going through pain just like me, and I thought: ‘We can help each other,’” Steele said.
    In the meetings, parents talk freely about their children who have died.

  • Give Local pulls in $155K for 42 area nonprofits

    Give Local Lancaster raised $154,915 for 42 local nonprofits in its second-annual 24-hour online fundraiser, topping last year’s total by 64 percent.
    “That’s just under a quarter of a million dollars in the span of 12 or 13 months,” said an excited Robert Folks, board chair of the J. Marion Sims Foundation, which hosted the event.
    “This huge sum is injected into the nonprofit area from this event alone,” Folks said. “That to me sends a message that we can do many things in our community that we set our minds to.”