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Local

  • VA office wants volunteer drivers

    If you can drive a van and enjoy spending time around veterans, you may be of service to the Lancaster County Veterans Affairs office.

    The office needs van drivers to take veterans to medical appointments at the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia and the Rock Hill VA Clinic. The van goes to the Columbia center Monday through Thursday, and to the Rock Hill clinic on Fridays. Drivers work on a volunteer basis.

    "It's strictly volunteer," said Veterans Affairs Officer Linda Blackmon. "There's no money involved."

  • Fort Lawn council honors soldier killed in wreck

    FORT LAWN - Fort Lawn Town Council unanimously agreed Feb. 4 to honor one of its own, the late Army Spc. Charles Messer, for his service to his hometown and nation.

    Council adopted a resolution presented by Police Chief Richard Smith that will honor Messer and express sorrow and sympathy to his family and friends.

    Messer, 20, was serving in Iraq when he injured his arm when an improvised explosive device hit the Humvee in which he was riding. He was in rehabilitation in Texas for the injury.

  • National Symphony's brass ensemble engages students

    Angela Hilton had a guest spot in the National Symphony Orchestra's brass ensemble on Tuesday.

    Hilton, an eighth-grader at Andrew Jackson Middle School, is normally a flute player. But she got a chance to try the tuba, playing the pivotal moment in "Pop Goes the Weasel" with the rest of the ensemble.

  • Death penalty trial set to begin in July

    PAGELAND - Gary Miles is expected to go on trial for his life in July. He's accused in the drowning death of a hitchhiker whose body was found in Lancaster County in 2006.

    Judge Steven John has reserved the weeks of July 7 or July 14 as potential dates for a Chesterfield County jury to hear the case.

    Miles is charged with murder of Mike Dennis Clanton, 43. He was reportedly beaten after being offered a ride and drowned in a pond off S.C. 207. His body was dumped near Heath Springs.

  • Gala raises funds for arts council

    Men wore their best gangster gear and women turned out in their fringed dresses for the Lancaster County Council of the Arts' fundraising gala on Saturday night.

    Those attending packed the Multipurpose Room at University of South Carolina at Lancaster's Bradley Building and seemed to enjoy the theme - Flappers, Fringe and Fabulous Fun.

    They dined on heavy hors d'oeuvres and enjoyed "artinis" from one of two bars, including a "speakeasy," in honor of the night's theme.

  • Kershaw OKs funds for fire station improvements

    KERSHAW - The Kershaw Fire Department building will get an improvement that's been on its wish list for five years.

    Kershaw Town Council unanimously approved an extra $30,000 for a construction project the volunteer fire department devised in 2002 to make its bay floor safer and the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Bass quartet enjoys Breakfast with the Arts

    Neal Zarrelli didn't know whose idea it was to bring the National Symphony Orchestra's double bass quartet to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts Gallery for a Breakfast with the Arts performance, but they got it right.

    After hearing musicians Richard Barber, Paul DeNola, Ira Gold and Jeffrey Weisner play a chamber music concert Tuesday morning, Zarrelli's stance on the effectiveness of the nation's capitol has changed somewhat.

  • Students meet the soldier they've sent care packages

    There appeared to be a strong connection between U.S. Army Spc. Gene Welch and the group of students he visited last Wednesday.

    As the Buford native spoke with a first-grade class at Clinton Elementary School, they listened intently.

    For them, it was good to finally see the person they had helped when he was a half a world away.

    Months ago, the class collected supplies to send to Welch, who served near Baghdad from last September to January. He was part of a platoon that cleared land and buildings, making sure they were safe for other soldiers to occupy.

  • Red Cross merges Lancaster with York, Chester chapter

    The Lancaster County Chapter of the American Red Cross has merged with the York and Chester county chapters to form the Upper Palmetto Chapter.

    Teresa Ackerman, executive director of the local chapter, acknowledged that the local chapter has struggled financially in recent years. Being part of a larger chapter will help meet national headquarters' fundraising expectations, she said.

    The goal for a local chapter is always to be self-sufficient, she said Friday after the merger was announced.

  • Cole to seek District 3 seat on County Council

    Buford native and resident Cotton Cole announced his candidacy for the District 3 seat on Lancaster County Council on Thursday, promising to be a "voice for the district."

    "I'm told we need a voice for the District 3, someone who will speak up," said Cole, 52, who will run as a Democrat.

    He said he'll represent the district's interests first and those of Lancaster County second. Wesley Grier, a Republican, now holds the seat.