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Local

  • Two fires damaged historic jail; it was rebuilt each time

    Lindsay Pettus remembers driving to the city of Lancaster in 1979 from his Indian Land home when the city's jail caught fire.

    The Lancaster County history buff drove to Lancaster from his home in Sun City Carolina Lakes with the same sick feeling Monday morning.

    "I remember both trips down here with a heavy heart," Pettus said, watching as firefighters on a ladder truck poured water onto the roof.

    "I was shocked when I saw the roof was gone," Pettus said. "I was expecting it to be bad, but it was worse."

  • 'Nothing can stop the court system'

    A spare black Bible kept in a cabinet on the second floor of the Lancaster County Courthouse was used to administer oaths during court proceedings Tuesday.

    Unlike stacks of records and other materials, the Bible survived the fire that destroyed much of the historic courthouse Monday morning.

    A two-week court term was slated to start Monday at the courthouse, but was moved to the courtroom at the Municipal Justice Center on Arch Street. Despite a sudden change of venue, things appeared to flow normally Tuesday morning.

    Proceedings were scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

  • County begins search for temporary court facilities

    County Council talked about rebuilding the Lancaster County Courthouse at a special meeting on Tuesday.

    Council members also talked about short-term solutions, such as where to put the 10 or so solicitor's office, clerk of court and public defender office employees displaced by the fire.

    General sessions court, which had been scheduled to begin Monday, went on Tuesday morning at the Municipal Justice Center courtroom.

    Court officials worked in temporary offices in the basement of the Lancaster County Administration Building.

  • Slideshow Included: Courthouse burns

    Blackened roof beams hovered like a skeleton above the brick walls of the Lancaster County Courthouse on Tuesday.

    The beams and a few slate shingles are all that’s left of the roof of the historic building, built in 1828.

    The courtroom was set on fire early Monday morning by an arsonist. The building’s original judge’s bench is a charred shell.

  • City Councilman Preston Blackmon dies

    Lancaster County has lost a piece of history in the death of Lancaster City Councilman Preston Blackmon

    He died Saturday at age 82.

    Blackmon served on council for 31 years, possibly making him Lancaster’s longest serving councilman. He was the second black man elected to City Council.

    He represented District 1 in a fair and just manner, said City Councilman Audrey Curry Jr., who represents District 3.

  • First day of filing brings out city, school candidates

    Filing for City Council Districts 3, 4 and 6, and Lancaster County school board Districts 2, 4 and 6 opened at noon Friday.

    Candidates who announced they were running for Lancaster City Council seats in July officially entered the race on Friday.

    Here's who filed for City Council:

    – District 3 – incumbent Audrey Curry and former City Councilwoman Linda Blackmon-Brace

    – District 4 – incumbent Bill Sumner and political newcomer Tamara Green

    - District 6 – John Griffin

  • DHEC official: Loud concrete plants should get quieter soon

    Ron Garrett of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said he recently spent the night in a trailer near the Brookchase neighborhood in Indian Land.

    Garrett has been acting as a mediator between Brookchase residents and the concrete plants in 521 Perimeter Commerce Park.

    Residents of Brookchase and nearby Lakeview Landing say the plants generate large amounts of noise and dust.

    Garrett updated County Council members on measures being taken to reach a solution between the plants and residents Monday night.

  • Lancaster native enjoyed playing small role in independent feature film 'Nailed'

    A Lancaster native has landed a role in an independent movie filmed largely in Columbia.

    The Rev. Stanley Truesdale, who now lives in Columbia, has a role in the movie "Nailed," which stars Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal.

    The political satire is about a woman who gets a nail lodged in her head and travels to Washington, D.C., to fight for better health care. While there, she falls in love with a congressman (Gyllenhaal) who advocates for her cause.

  • Estridge seeks $400,000 for industrial park

    Kershaw's industrial park isn't attracting a lot of interest from prospective tenants.

    The park is more of a site, consisting of a tree farm right now, said Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell.

    But he sees great potential for the 120-acre site, with its access to U.S. 601, a heavy truck route, and Interstate 20 in nearby Camden.

    "The more sites you've got, the better" for attracting companies, Tunnell said. "And a park is better than a site. It would give us two prospects in the southern part of the county.'

  • School Tools drive seeks supplies

    Communities in Schools has kicked off its 2008 School Tools campaign that collects pencils and other school supplies for children in need.

    The campaign, now in its 12th year, is the area's largest school supply collection.

    Classroom Central and WSOC-TV are again partnering with the initiative, which began Friday and runs through Aug. 31.

    Businesses and individuals are asked to donate various supplies, which will be given to children who need them.