• Duped in December

    December’s unseasonably warm weather tricked these star magnolia trees into blooming a bit early. The trees usually bloom in March. Arborists aren’t sure if these and other trees blooming out of season will produce more flowers in the spring. Cinthia Milner, garden coach and blog writer at BB Barns and Garden Center in Asheville, N.C., says, “the best answer is simply, we’ll just have to wait and see. All good gardeners know that.”

  • School agenda: Build more, equip better

    New schools, renovated buildings and technological upgrades are all at the top of local educators’ wish lists for 2016.
    In order to address issues such as school safety, classroom overcrowding, and outdated infrastructure, officials with the Lancaster County School District and University of South Carolina Lancaster will be focusing on updating facilities as they head into the new year.
    Superintendent Gene Moore is setting his sights on an impending county bond referendum, which could fund a variety of capital projects for the school district.

  • Lancaster mayor’s race set

    Six candidates will compete in the special election for Lancaster mayor.
    Paul N. McKenzie, filed at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 31. Filing ended at noon. He joins Anthony Elder, Altheresa Goode-Howard, Charles Vann Jr., Garrett Williams and Lancaster City Councilman John Howard, who filed Dec. 22.
    The six are seeking to fill the unexpired term of the late Joe Shaw, which runs through 2018.
    The special election to fill the office is Feb. 23.
    McKenzie, 59, is director of research and development for the Lancaster County School District. He moved here in 1999.

  • Basket Fund tops goal

    The 2015 Ward Faulkenberry Christmas Basket Fund exceeded its $10,000 goal two days before Christmas.
    As of Dec. 23,  $12,660 had been received in donations, said Bekah Clawson, executive director of HOPE (Helping Other People Effectively) in Lancaster. The 2014 Christmas Basket received $11,000 in donations.
    Clawson said she is constantly amazed by the local generosity shown to the effort.

  • 2 saved from car in water

    Two people had to be rescued about 10 p.m. Dec. 30 after their car stalled out in high water near the Gills Creek bridge on Plantation Road.
    Members of the Lancaster Fire Department’s swift water rescue team waded into the water and got the two to safety without much trouble, said department fire marshal and incident commander Tom Lever.
    “The two were fine,” said Lever. “I think they were embarrassed more than anything else.”

  • Finding Wella

    Kayland Hagwood
    For The Lancaster News

  • Trial in Chester councilman's murder moved to Fairfield

    Travis Jenkins
    Landmark News Service

    CHESTER – The trial of the accused gunman in the shooting death of former Chester City Councilman Odell Williams will not take place in Chester County.

  • Faile looks at priorities for sheriff’s office in 2016

    Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said he plans to stay focused on the “pretty generic,” but important, goals of retaining and recruiting good officers and cutting crime in 2016.
    Reacting to a request by Faile to help him stem the flow of officers leaving for higher salaries elsewhere, Lancaster County Council agreed Dec. 14 to reallocate $218,462 to increase pay for Faile’s current team of deputies.

  • Homeless warming center opens Jan. 4; help needed

    The Lancaster Area Coalition for the Homeless will open its winter warming shelter Jan. 4, and volunteers are still needed to operate the facility.
    The center, in the basement of a former children’s home at 721 E. Arch St., will be open every night from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.  until the end of February, said Gina Amato, the coalition’s vice chairperson.
    The group needs volunteers to staff the center overnight and to supply meals for guests. Training for volunteers has already started, but more volunteers are needed.

  • County deals with growth in Panhandle

    As the county’s population continues to surge, growth management has become the No. 1 priority for local government officials in 2016.
    Casting his gaze toward the year ahead, Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said Lancaster County Council’s top priorities include addressing infrastructure issues, recruitment and retention for emergency responders, and managing growth in the county.
    He said the Panhandle’s rapid growth, in particular, brings a host of challenges.