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Local

  • Committee favors $33M courthouse

    A new courthouse for Lancaster County could cost $33 million.

    Members of the county's capital projects sales tax commission talked with County Council members Monday night. The commission is charged with developing a ballot question for a November bond referendum.

    The county will not be able to borrow such a large amount, so it will have to issue bonds to fund construction of a new courthouse.

    Voters will have the chance to vote on a 1 percent sales tax to pay off the bonds during the November election.

  • Summer festival to spotlight Kershaw

    KERSHAW – A festival meant to show off Kershaw and support a business cause is coming to the streets of the town in August.

    Called the Heart of Summer Festival and the brainchild of Virginia's Dream owner Ann Marie Dwyer, it's scheduled for Aug. 9, on Main Street.

    It will feature fun, food, businesses and NASCAR star Bobby Allison.

    But the main idea is to let residents and visitors alike know what business and recreational opportunities exist in Kershaw.

    Overall, it's a high-quality small town, Dwyer said.

  • Drought increasing contaminate in water?

    Mike Bailes said he's as frustrated as residents in trying to figure out why a particular contaminate keeps showing up in higher than usual numbers in the county's drinking supply.

    Bailes, Catawba River water treatment plant director for the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District, said the plant has been testing new chemicals in the treatment process. It could be another week before utility officials know if the process is working.

  • Suspected killer often threatened Cairnes, says family of slain man

    Ronnie Cairnes and Darren Winchester had a turbulent history that goes back several years, according to Cairnes' family and residents of Blakley Crossroads.

    Winchester lived in a two-story house about 150 yards across the road from Cairnes' business, Cedar Creek Bait and Tackle Shop, at Cedar Creek Road (S.C. 97) and Green Road.

    Cairnes' brother, David, said Winchester came to the business regularly to start trouble.

  • Tackle shop owner shot to death; suspect kills self after standoff

    Chucky Cairnes paced back and forth on Green Road, awaiting details about his father's murder and the man suspected of killing him on Wednesday.

    His father, Ronnie Cairnes Sr., was shot in the head about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday while standing outside his business, Cedar Creek Bait and Tackle Shop, at Blakley Crossroads, not far from the Chester County line.

    Cairnes was 55.

    He was buying horse feed from a vendor when Darren Winchester, 46, who lived across the road from the store, fired the shot, said Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris.

  • Fast-food restaurants, retailers lose power Tuesday

    Taco Bell addicts had to go without their Burrito Supremes and crunchy tacos at the worst time on Tuesday - right in the middle of lunch hour.

    About 1 p.m. Tuesday, Taco Bell employees stood outside in the parking lot, waving customers away from the popular restaurant. An employee said the power had flickered off and on, then went out for a while. The neon drive-through sign in the restaurant window was dark.

  • BREAKING NEWS Tackle store owner shot to death; suspected shooter also dead

    A Lancaster County man who sheriff's deputies say shot and killed store owner Ronnie Cairnes on Wednesday morning was also found dead.

    Cairnes, 55, who operated Cedar Creek Tackle, at the intersection of Cedar Creek (S.C. 97) and Green roads in the southwestern part of the county, was shot about 10 a.m. outside the business.

    For several hours after the shooting, the area was blocked off while county and state authorities searched for the shooter, whom Cairnes' family members say was Darren Winchester.

  • Ruling changed scope of Miles' case

    PAGELAND – Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Gary Miles in the death of 43-year-old Dennis Clayton.

    But prosecutors abandoned those plans after a judge ruled a confession it planned to enter as evidence was inadmissible.

    The reason: a former Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office investigator who interviewed Miles in 2006 did not read him his Miranda rights.

    "It changed everything," 4th Circuit Solicitor Jay Hodge said. "On one hand, you had a confession that he did it, and on the other hand, you have nothing."

  • Burger King fans happy again

    Thomas Belcher waited more than three months to eat a Burger King double cheeseburger.

    When the fast food restaurant closed in March to be torn down, the Lancaster resident said he reluctantly ate at other local burger joints.

    At first, Belcher didn't know if Burger King was going to be rebuilt, but once he saw the company signage installed on the building, he knew that his beloved flame-broiled double cheeseburger would soon be in close range.

  • Kershaw council gives first OK to rezone Bojangles' lot

    KERSHAW – In front of two opposing sides, Kershaw Town Council gave unanimous approval on first reading to rezone a Bojangles' restaurant parking lot Monday night.

    Before a packed audience at the Kershaw Recreation Center, council discussed the implications of approving the rezoning request from residential to the general commercial B-3 zone.

    The parking lot lies next to a handful of residential properties on Neal Street.

    The noise and trash that's been coming from the parking lot are already too much to bear, some residents said.