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Local

  • Don’t expect big changes in county’s new budget

    Coming off a county budget year that focused heavily on public safety initiatives, from additional patrol deputies to funding for full-time firefighters, county officials are predicting a “status quo year” in the upcoming budget process.
    As he headed off for days filled with preliminary budget planning meetings, County Administrator Steve Willis said this week that the fiscal year 2016-17 county budget will most likely feature no new, large-scale initiatives.

  • So many elections, a glitch creeps in

    Between town council elections in Kershaw and Heath Springs, a special election for Lancaster mayor, two presidential primaries, a school bond referendum and now, candidate filing for the statewide party primaries, it’s already been a busy election year.
    It’s no wonder that wires can get crossed up, as local county officials learned this week.

  • School bond passes easily

    After months of debate about school overcrowding, security concerns and technology upgrades, Lancaster County voters overwhelmingly decided Tuesday to approve a $199 million school bond.
    According to final vote tallies, Lancaster County residents overall approved the measure 5,420 to 1,885.
    Though the vote totals seem high for a special election bond referendum, they represent only 13 percent of the total 55,313 registered voters in the county.

  • Local agencies team up for family counseling

    Christian Services is launching an outreach next month to strengthen families by partnering with Lancaster County Adult Education, a church and a business to host three workshops.
    “We see so many fractured families with a plateful of issues, and the truth is, many of them are rooted in broken homes,” said Christian Services community relations liaison Mark Barrett. “That’s something we’ve got to reverse.”
    Fractured families usually stem from one of three factors, said Christian Services Executive Director Eric Kramer.

  • Emu wanders down road

    Folks traveling on University Drive in north Lancaster saw an unusual sight Friday – an emu out for an afternoon stroll.
    Among them was Sharon Novinger, executive director or Lancaster County Partners For Youth.
    “I came around a curve and saw this thing beside the road and thought, what is that?” Novinger said. “He was obeying the rules, on the right side of the road, just bebopping along.
    “I stopped and thought, what do I do?” she said. “He looked at me and just kept walking.”

  • Haile Gold Mine ramping up for production

    If all goes according to plan, hard-rock mining could begin at Kershaw’s Haile Gold Mine within a month and gold could be produced from the site by the end of the year.
    That’s the word this week from Haile Gold Mine General Manager David Thomas, who reported this week the project is progressing well and is on schedule to begin pouring gold during the final quarter of 2016.

  • Volunteer firefighting rolls shrink

    Lancaster County had 600 volunteer firefighters three decades ago. Today, the number is less than half that.
    In the past four years, 184 volunteers have left, and just 147 new ones have joined.
    If that trend continues, there’s big trouble ahead for taxpayers, worries Darren Player, director of Lancaster County Emergency Management and Fire Rescue.
    “We’re hanging in there,” Player said, “but it’s astounding when you look at the numbers.”

  • Outfitted, trained, ready for work

    An orange fireball engulfed a car just a few feet in front of Trevor Jenkins.
    He could feel the heat on his face, already dripping sweat from exertion. A 30-pound air pack was strapped to his back, and he wore 45 pounds of protective insulated firefighter turnout gear.
    Jenkins jerked back the nozzle lever on the 1.75-inch fire hose he was holding against his right side. He braced his feet as the hose pushed back hard against him. Brent Caldwell stood just behind Jenkins, holding the hose in tandem.

  • Lesson: Don’t do the crime if you need to go potty-time

    Never take a bathroom break in the middle of a crime.

    Two Lancaster women were charged this week with kidnapping and attempted armed robbery after an Indian Land woman said they tried to force her to cash a $3,615 check and give them the money. 

    Ashley Jeanette Sanders, 21, of 3660 Heyward Hough Road and Lauren Rena Knight, 17, of 684 Taylor Drive, were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office report.

  • County details services it could offer an incorporated Van Wyck

    Law enforcement, trash disposal, and growth management are all potential services Lancaster County could provide to a future town of Van Wyck if the current incorporation process is successful with voters.
    A list of those potential services was provided to members of the Incorporate Van Wyck Committee this week, only days after Lancaster County Council unanimously voted March 14 to submit a letter to the group.