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Local

  • Man accused of growing marijuana – indoors

    Lancaster’s drought and merciless sun didn’t stop one Lancaster man’s crop from growing, officers say.

    John Thomas Whitaker, 29, of 2141 Whaley St., was charged Thursday by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office with growing marijuana and simple possession of marijuana.

    After receiving information about drug activity at the home, narcotics agents with the sheriff’s office drug team set up surveillance for several hours on Thursday, sheriff’s office spokesman Tom Holland said.

  • Humane Society opens its office in downtown

    The Humane Society of Lancaster County now has an office.

    And, no, the AFLAC duck in the window is not up for adoption.

    The Humane Society has been working since late last year to establish a fostering and adoption program to reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized at the Lancaster County Animal Shelter each month.

    The Humane Society is hoping one day for the donation of land or money to build a low-kill shelter of its own, said Dawn Wagner, the society's publicity and fundraising director.

    Until then, its central location is 126 S. Main St.

  • Making left-hand turns gets easier at local intersection

    Toby Shute is glad that one particular junction in Lancaster now has a turning signal. Every day there was a disaster waiting to happen, he said.

    The Lancaster resident said he dodged nearly 20 separate vehicle collisions while at the S.C. 9 Bypass and Clinton Avenue intersection. McDonald's, Hardee's and CVS pharmacy are at the intersection.

  • $8 M upgrade almost complete at wastewater treatment plant

    The city of Lancaster's wastewater treatment plant upgrade, a nearly $8 million project intended to improve the quality of treated water released into the Catawba River, is nearly complete.

    The expected completion date is July 14. That's within the prescribed time frame, and the project is within budget, said Mack McDonald, wastewater treatment plant director.

    The city has about $40,000 remaining in a contingency fund for change orders. McDonald said that's excellent for a $7.85 million project.

  • A new gold rush in Kershaw?

    KERSHAW – A Nevada-based company has struck gold at the historic Haile Gold Mine in Kershaw.

    The firm says the site has great potential to produce gold in the years to come.

    "It is a darn good mine – a very good property," said Kenneth Brunk, chief operating officer of Romarco Minerals Inc., which has been drilling at the site, about three miles north of Kershaw, since December.

    "This is a world-class gold mine. Don't let anyone tell you any different," Brunk said.

  • DHEC: City shouldn't have dumped at site

    The city didn't get a permit to dump leaves at the old Lancaster Plant site, as it apparently did for about a year.

    Frances Pittman, who lives on the south end of the once mighty Springs Industries plant, found the pile of leaves the city left on the site annoying. It smelled and was a haven for snakes and rats, she said.

    Earlier this month, the pile stood about 25 feet tall and stretched about 50 yards. A stench also pervaded the pile's surroundings.

    But that was a good day, said Pittman's caretaker, Tim Steele.

  • Committee gets a first-hand look at the needs for new courthouse facilities

    It took about 45 minutes Wednesday to convince Keith Deese that Lancaster County needs a new courthouse.

    Deese is a member of the county's capital projects sales tax committee.

    The committee is charged with developing a ballot question for a proposed bond referendum in which voters will decide whether to approve a 1 penny sales tax to fund a new courthouse and possibly other county building projects.

  • School employees to get pay raise

    Nearly all Lancaster County school employees – not just its teachers – will get a raise for the 2008-09 school year.

    The pay increases are part of the school district's $78 million budget that the school board approved Tuesday night. The vote was 5-2, with board members Margaret Gamble and Don McCorkle voting against it.

    Last month, the school board saw an unbalanced budget that had teachers as the only district employees getting a raise.

  • Woman, 47, dies in one-car wreck on Hoke Road

    A 47-year-old Lancaster woman died early Sunday morning in a one-vehicle wreck on Hoke Road.

    Patricia Coleman was traveling north in a 1999 Ford SUV just before 1 a.m. when she ran off the right side of the road and struck a road sign about 9.8 miles south of Lancaster, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

    She then drove off the left side of the road, hit another sign and an embankment. The vehicle overturned and ejected her.

    Coleman was not wearing a seat belt, Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin said. She was the only person in the vehicle.

  • Attorney buys Kershaw Plant for $750,000

    KERSHAW – The former Springs Industries Kershaw Plant has a new owner who says he's talking with two Poland-based businesses that are interested in operating at the building.

    One company makes expensive chocolates; the other makes bakery goods.