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Local

  • Put on hold for 26 years, love returns with flourish

    On this Valentine’s Day, we bring you a love story with a 26-year hiatus in the middle.
    Crystal Bradley and James “Mac” McInvaille have a wedding scheduled for July 14 – the second time they’ve made such plans.
    Crystal – then Crystal Doster – was a senior at Andrew Jackson High School when she met Mac in 1985. He was an AJ grad, four years older, and her parents were skeptical at first. She called him every day at lunch from the pay phone in the AJ hallway.

  • 15 years of cheering comes to an end

    After 15 years as a cheerleader, Lancaster High senior Essence Frazier wore her uniform for the last time Friday night.

    Frazier said she’ll miss the crowd screaming and the adrenalin rush when hitting the mat for cheer competitions. She’ll miss bonding with the squad on bus rides to away games.

    “I’ll miss cheering for my school and showing my spirit,” said the four-year varsity cheerleader. “It’s something I love to do, and I can’t do it anymore.”

  • Help for honeybees

    Once warm weather gets here, local honeybees will have 10 acres of new bee-friendly food plots in the county to forage for pollen.
    The Lancaster County Beekeepers Association planted the plots through a $2,500 grant from the national Bayer Feed a Bee initiative.
    “Our honeybees are having a challenge finding adequate food forage due to seasonal droughts, as well as land being developed,” said local beekeeper Dale Starnes.
    The local beekeepers’ plot project was one of 71 projects in 34 states selected for the grants by Bayer.

  • Giving up on private practice

    Dr. Kenneth Baker is giving up his OB-GYN practice in Lancaster and moving to Arkansas.
    The 59-year-old physician didn’t want to relocate, but the medical industry’s changing economics have left him little choice.
    A decade ago, Baker’s practice was earning him about $150,000 a year. Now, he says, that’s down to barely $60,000. To make ends meet, he has taken on work as a substitute physician, traveling across the Carolinas to do fill-in shifts.

  • Parnell rallies county Dems for rematch

    Local Democrats held their county convention Thursday night, electing officers, plotting election-year strategy and hearing from candidates for Congress and governor.
    Archie Parnell, running for the 5th District congressional seat for a second time, spoke briefly to the packed crowd at USC Lancaster’s Carole Ray Dowling Center. So did Florence attorney Marguerite Willis and Kirkland Smith, the wife of state Rep. James Smith of Columbia.
    Willis, James Smith and Charleston businessman Phil Noble are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

  • A tradition of giving

    From release

    COLUMBIA – After a nationwide tour, a multimedia exhibit chronicling the tradition of African-American philanthropy will make its S.C. debut starting Saturday at the Richland Main Library.

  • DHEC: Measles report just a rumor so far

    There is no confirmed case of measles at a Lancaster County preschool, though a Wednesday social-media rumor alluding to one has jangled the nerves of its staff.
    “It’s just a rumor, nothing more at this time,” said S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Tim Kelly. “It popped up on Facebook last night.”
    The rumor flamed higher Thursday morning with WCNC in Charlotte reporting that a case of measles was confirmed at Shiloh Sonshine Preschool. The TV station removed the story from its website Thursday afternoon.

  • 2 women escape from blazing home

    A Kershaw woman and her grandmother escaped uninjured Thursday after blaring smoke detectors awoke them at 3:30 a.m. to find their burning house filled with smoke.
    Lancaster County firefighters responded to the blaze at 624 E. Church St. after the two women raced out of the brick house and called 911.
    Kershaw, Heath Springs and Flat Creek volunteer fire departments responded immediately, but called for back-up from Rich Hill volunteer fire department once on-scene.

  • Disregard that campaign sign, Blackmon says

    Notwithstanding the 6-foot-tall campaign sign outside her Arch Street house Thursday, Linda Blackmon says she is not running for Lancaster mayor.
    She says she put up the sign – a leftover from an earlier run – to block people from entering the fire-damaged building. She’s surprised that the question would even be asked.

  • Homeless no longer

    Chris Smith went to prison twice and was evicted from two homes. For a while, he lived in a tent at various state parks.
    Today the 52-year-old pays $400 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. He bought a bed and dresser for $80. His living room has a sofa someone gave him, and a TV sits on the floor. He keeps the place neat.
    Most important, he’s been sober for seven months.