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Local

  • Voters approve sales tax

    Lancaster County voters said yes to a new sales tax that will help pay for construction of a new courthouse.

    According to unofficial results, 16,299 voters voted "yes" for the tax, while 11,386 voted against it. The tax will add 1 cent to Lancaster County's 7 percent sales tax.

    The county is expected to begin collecting the tax in May 2009. It will be collected for no longer than seven years to pay off bonds used to build the courthouse. Officials estimate that a new courthouse and parking garage will cost $33 million.

  • Cole unseats Grier for Council Council

    Democrat D.W. "Cotton" Cole defeated Republican incumbent Wesley Grier on Tuesday for the County Council District 3 seat.

    Cole had 1,766 votes and Grier had 1,698 votes.

    District 3 covers the Buford community, as well as the Camp Creek, Tradesville, Unity and Pleasant Dale communities.

    Cole, a retired Lancaster fire chief, watched intently Tuesday night as the results came in on the big screen at the Lancaster County Administration Building.

    At that time, he didn't know how the numbers were going to play out.

  • Long makes history in District 45

    Republican Deborah Long was leading Democrat Fred Thomas at press time in the race for the S.C. House District 45 seat, which covers parts of Lancaster and northern York counties.

    As of 11:30 p.m., Long had 7,174 votes in Lancaster County, while Thomas had 6,758 votes.

    York County numbers were unavailable, but they usually favor the Republican candidate.

  • Updated throughout the count Local election results for Lancaster County only

    Complete State Senate District 16 results:

    Mick Mulvaney (R) - 53.70%

    Mandy Powers Norrell (D) - 46.22%

    Complete State House District 45 results:

  • Amendment about woman's consent on ballot

    Tuesday's ballot will feature an amendment question that could change the age a woman can legally consent to sex in South Carolina.

    The state's constitution has the age of consent for an unmarried woman set at 14, while the state Legislature has it set at 16, which is what the courts go by.

    The amendment would remove the age of consent part of the constitution.

    It's easier for legislators to change a state law than it is to change the constitution, Attorney General Henry McMaster told WSPA last week.

  • WSMS in on the air

    South Middle School has its own TV stars and news producers.

    About 15 students participate in the school's daily news program, WSMS, which is in its first full year. The South Middle family can hear lunch menus, weather and other information on the show, broadcast each morning at the school.

    The newscast is written, produced and broadcast by students, with assistance from their advisor, teacher Justin Thomas.

  • See the glitz and glamour - Slideshow included! Women glam it up to raise awareness of breast cancer

    It was a night of glitz and glamour at the Healthy Woman fall fashion show with a twist.

    Many of the models, held at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster's Bradley Arts and Sciences Building on Tuesday, were breast cancer survivors. The goal of the show was not only showing off pretty clothes, but raising awareness of the disease during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was October.

  • Constitutional amendments on ballot focus on retiree benefits

    Voters will have the chance to vote on two amendments to the state constitution on Tuesday that could affect retiree benefits in South Carolina.

    Amendments 2 and 3 focus on "post-employment benefits," which are benefits provided to state and local government retirees. These benefits usually take the form of health insurance. Amendment 2 focuses on state government and school district retirees, while Amendment 3 focuses on local government post-employment benefits.

  • Voter interest high as historic election season winds down

    Long lines are expected on Tuesday, as voters get the chance to choose not only a new president, but local politicians to represent them as well.

    Precincts are expected to be packed with voters who are participating in a presidential election that will make history with either the first black president or the first woman vice president emerging as the winner.

  • Safe Passage closes shelter due to funding problems

    After four years of helping abuse victims find help in their hour of need, the Safe Passage Shelter has closed its doors in Lancaster.

    The shelter opened in 2004 and has provided assistance to hundreds of victims, including men, women and children.

    Safe Passage has sheltered more than 100 people this year, with 38 of those people from Lancaster County. Victims will now be directed to shelters in York and Union counties.