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Local

  • County OKs 3.5-mill tax hike

    County officials crunched the numbers over the weekend, and came up with a smaller tax increase to pay for costs related to the Lancaster County Courthouse fire.

    County Council approved final reading of an ordinance Monday to raise taxes to cover security costs, including hiring 18 sheriff's deputies, in the wake of the Aug. 4 courthouse fire.

    Instead of an 8.9-mill tax increase proposed last week, the tax increase will be 3.5 mills. That will add about $14 to the tax bill of a resident with a $100,000 home.

  • Breaking News Hood charged with murder

    Police have made an arrest in the Saturday shooting death of a Lancaster man.

    Monterio Lamarcus Hood, 18, 100 Jolly Street, has been charged with murder and assault and battery with intent to kill.

    Authorities say he fatally shot Anthony Armour Jr., 31, before 9 p.m. Saturday along the areas of Ferguson and Dunlap streets.

    Hood is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

  • Barnes seeks to motivate students at Lancaster High

    Denise Barnes prepared to be a teacher long before she truly realized she was going to be one.

    As a little girl, Barnes and her peers regularly played school. And she always wound up as the teacher.

    That interest persisted through high school, where Barnes had a math teacher named "Kitty" Jackson. A positive experience in Jackson's class helped convince Barnes not only to be a teacher, but to teach math.

    Now Barnes has been recognized as one of the best in the area.

  • District scores on PACT mixed

    Students in Lancaster County School District produced mixed results on the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test in 2008, which is the last year for the statewide standardized test.

    About 5,100 students in the district took the test in the spring. Results were released last week.

    PACT covers four areas – English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies - and features a mixture of multiple choice, open-ended and extended-response items.

    Scoring levels are below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.

  • Local Red Cross volunteers fan out to help storm victims

    The United States has had tropical storm after storm over the past several weeks, and local American Red Cross volunteers jump at every chance to travel and help those in need after a storm makes landfall.

    Longtime volunteer Cricket Harper has been deployed since Aug. 22, responding to Tropical Storm Fay in Orlando, said local Red Cross Director Gina Amato.

    Harper was then sent to Hattiesburg, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La., inspecting the Red Cross' emergency response vehicles to make sure the vehicles are ready for deployment.

  • Gas prices rise due to Gulf Coast hurricane

    The countless plastic bags that covered gas pump nozzles on Friday told the story.

    As Hurricane Ike made its way toward the Texas Gulf Coast late last week, concern arouse regarding the price and availability of gas. The storm, which hit Texas early Saturday, forced several refineries in that area to shutdown.

    The national impact was evident around Lancaster County, as gas stations raised their prices and motorists scrambled to top off tanks in fear that fuel would run out.

    Olisha Davis heard rumors Thursday that gas in the area would increase to $5 a gallon.

  • Hearing set on proposed tax increase

    Residents who would like to have their say about a proposed property tax increase to cover costs associated with the fire at the Lancaster County Courthouse may address County Council during a special meeting Monday night.

    The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and includes a public hearing on the proposed tax increase. Council is expected to hold final reading of an ordinance to raise taxes during the meeting.

  • Historical Commission reprints 1972 book on Haile Gold Mine

    Historical Commission reprints 1972 book on Haile Gold Mine

    Denyse Middleton

    For The Lancaster News

    A book sale and reception is planned for the reprint of a 36-year-old book about Lancaster County's famous gold mine.

    To expand the knowledge of the Haile Gold Mine, the Lancaster County Historical Commission decided to reprint the book, "Death of a Gold Mine."

    It has taken nearly four years to have the book reprinted, said Melody Craig, chairwoman of the historical commission. Sandlapper Publishing of Orangeburg did the 2008 reprint.

  • WIS-TV weatherman visits Heath Springs Elemementary

    HEATH SPRINGS – When Ben Tanner visited Heath Springs Elementary School on Wednesday, he was treated a little like a rock star.

    As the Columbia weatherman walked inside the building, he was greeted with screams, posters, thunder sounds and weather-esque music.

    But Tanner didn't come to play the star. He came to educate.

    After taking pictures with the entire student body in the gym, he spoke with the fourth-graders about weather.

  • 2 men robbed at post office

    Jesef Williams

    jwilliams@thelancasternews.com

    Two men were robbed in separate incidents at the Lancaster post office on North Main Street within a week.

    Police say the robberies may be related.

    A Lancaster man reported to police Thursday that he was held up at gunpoint inside the post office.

    The man, 39, walked in to buy a stamp and was about to place an envelope in the box when another man entered, according to a Lancaster Police Department incident report.