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Local

  • Courthouse may get new windows

    County Council DOES do windows.

    The county's 2008-09 proposed budget has grown by roughly $100,000 to equal $30.3 million, county Finance Director Veronica Thompson told council Monday night.

    That's to replace windows at the historic Lancaster County Courthouse. Due to the courthouse's National Historic Landmark status, the windows must be replaced in a specific way – to the tune of $111,000.

    Many of the windows are rotting, and courthouse officials say they leak when it rains.

    Council held a public hearing on the budget, but no one signed up to speak.

  • See Lancaster director resigns

    Frank Keel resigned as executive director of See Lancaster on Friday – a day after Lancaster City Council voted to pull its funding from the tourism and promotions group.

    The city is the group's principal benefactor.

    Debbie Jaillette, chairwoman of the See Lancaster board, said Keel announced his resignation at an emergency See Lancaster board meeting Friday morning. She called his resignation "regrettable."

    "We wish Frank well," Jaillette said. "He's done good work for Lancaster County and its citizens."

    Keel couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

  • Duracell plans $60M in upgrades

    The local Duracell plant is planning a $60 million expansion, according to county officials.

    The plant, which makes every Duracell AA battery in the United States, is planning about 20 to 25 new hires with the expansion, Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell told County Council on Monday night.

    It's not a lot of extra employees, but Tunnell said it's a good sign about the future of the plant, which now has about 500 employees here.

    "I hope this means they'll be staying here for a long time," Tunnell said.

  • Getting into a good book

    Antonia Fay spoke gently and lightly stroked the 11-month-old baby alpaca's fluffy black fur.

    "Getting into a good part in the book" is why the 12-year-old Lancaster resident enjoys reading, but this soft, cute alpaca turned out to be Antonia's favorite part of the Family Literacy Fair, held recently at the Lancaster County Library.

  • A.R. Rucker a Red Carpet winner for second time

    For the second time, A.R. Rucker Middle School has been recognized as a Red Carpet school by the state Department of Education.

    Eight middle schools in South Carolina won the award, which highlights schools that boast family-friendly environments.

    A.R. Rucker Middle, the only winner in Lancaster County School District this year, will receive red carpets with the state seal to display in its lobby. The school will maintain the recognition for three years. A.R. Rucker first won the rep carpet in 2004.

  • City's decision shocks See Lancaster officials

    See Lancaster officials expressed shock Thursday after Lancaster City Council voted to yank away $198,000 in funding for the promotions and tourism group.

    After a closed-door session, council voted:

    • To fund See Lancaster $27,829 of its $36,829 shortfall to pay staff salaries through the end of the month

    • To initiate an independent audit of the group at the city's expense

    • To cut the group's $198,000 from the city's proposed 2008-09 budget

    All the votes were unanimous, with Councilman Audrey Curry and Preston Blackmon not present.

  • Prostitution sting nets four arrests

    Four Lancaster woman were arrested and charged after a prostitution sting Thursday night.

    Sherry R. Cauthen, 37, of 920 16th St., and Stefanie Ann Redfern, 26, of 940 8th St., were charged with prostitution, third offense or greater.

    Latisha Dion Gladden, 28, of 413 Victoria St., and Victoria Lee Webber, 38, of 934 8th St., were charged with prostitution, first offense.

    Lancaster County sheriff's deputies had undercover agents posing as customers.

    As soon as the women agreed on a deal, they were arrested, a report said.

  • Child safety focus of event at Lancaster High

    Organizers want the fourth annual Child Safety Day to be fun and informative for youth and adults alike.

    The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Lancaster High School.

    There will be three workshops during the day – one on nutrition, another about Internet safety and the third about drugs and alcohol.

    Various groups and agencies throughout the county will have booths set up to share information about their programs and services. The Amber Alert network, gang violence and self defense are some of the topics that will be covered.

  • Locals react to Obama's nomination

    There's plenty of local excitement about Barack Obama's historic victory this week in the Democratic contest for president.

    The first-term Illinois senator will become the first ever black presidential nominee for a major political party in the United States. On Tuesday, he earned enough delegates to clinch the win over New York senator and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. He will be formally named the Democratic nominee at the national party convention in August.

    Perhaps nobody in Lancaster County is more thrilled about that than Linda Blackmon-Brace.

  • Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of an attack in public

    Self-defense manuals will tell you that a victim is never at fault in an attack – 100 percent of the blame lies with the perpetrator.

    But what would you do if you were attacked in public? Have you thought about your safety in a store parking lot?

    Lancaster Police Department Capt. Harlean Howard suggests several tips that will help keep you safer at local stores and parking lots.