Local News

  • Man dies in house fire in Kershaw

    KERSHAW – The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal house fire in Kershaw.

    Sheriff Barry Faile said Robert Lewis Railey, 57, of 415 W. Richland St., died in the fire, which was called in about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    People inside the home woke up to find the house on fire, Faile said. Several friends of Railey’s escaped. Railey’s body was found in a back bedroom of the home.

  • Teen in fatal wreck sentenced to house arrest

    The teen charged in a deadly car crash last year has been sentenced to house arrest and probation.

    Elyse Hardin, 15, died in the crash on West Shiloh Unity Road on Dec. 29, 2009.

    The teenager behind the wheel, Devin Rodgers, 16, was charged with reckless homicide following the crash. He pleaded guilty to the charge and surrendered his driver’s license in July.

    In family court on Wednesday, he was sentenced to six months house arrest with electronic monitoring and intensive probation until his 18th birthday, Assistant Solicitor Bill Nowicki said.

  • Chamber unveils new marketing campaign

    Whether you’re shopping for clothing, in the market for a vehicle or in need of certain medical services, there’s a good chance you can find what you need right here in Lancaster County.

    That’s the hope of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, which launched a new marketing campaign Tuesday called Think Lancaster First. The goal of the campaign is to get Lancaster County residents to patronize Lancaster County businesses.

  • McCoy challenges Neal in House race

    For the first time since he won the seat in 1999 in a special election, state House District 44 Rep. Jimmy Neal faces opposition going into the Nov. 2 election.

    Neal, a Democrat, faces a Republican challenge from political newcomer Rob McCoy.

    Jobs, education are Neal’s priorities

    Neal, 67, said he’s running again to work on economic development and job creation for the Palmetto State and his district. Economic development in District 44 is critical, Neal said, because the area doesn’t have a four-lane highway.

  • Policy requires background check on school volunteers

    The Lancaster County School District now has policies in place that more clearly address how it will treat potential employees and volunteers who have been charged with a criminal offense.

    The school board unanimously adopted the policies at its meeting on Sept. 21.

    One policy requires the district to run a criminal history check through the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on all new volunteers.

  • Foundation awards $1.6 million in adult literacy, responsive grants

    The J. Marion Sims Foundation Inc. has made awards totaling approximately $1.6 million to 16 different community organizations in its Adult Literacy and Responsive Grants programs.  

    “The communities in the foundation’s giving area face a range of challenges, from improving their citizens’ literacy skills to providing for basic needs and safety,” said foundation President Jim Morton. “The recipients of these grants are organizations that have demonstrated their abilities to help meet these challenges.”

  • Unity firefighters answering calls since 1950s

    Training counts – especially when you’re a firefighter.

    Jay Hayes and Mark Steele, both volunteers with the Unity Volunteer Fire Department, are quick to point that out. And the reason is obvious – firefighting is dangerous work.

    “They say if you’re ever not scared when you walk into the door of a burning house, then you better turn around and walk the other way,” Hayes said.

  • Man, 24, charged in kidnapping

    A man wanted by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office on kidnapping and sexual assault charges has been arrested.

    Sheriff Barry Faile said Demarkeo Jamar Wright, 24, of 313 Robinson Road, Lancaster, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping in connection with a Sept. 10 incident.

    Wright is accused of breaking into the home of his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend and dragging her by her hair and arm out of the house.

  • Honeycutt, Tilman vie for District 4 seat

    Job creation and economic development are top issues in the only contested County Council race on the Nov. 2 ballot.

    Democratic incumbent Larry Honeycutt will face Republican newcomer Philip Tillman in the District 4 contest. The district includes several neighborhoods north of the city of Lancaster, near the University of South Carolina at Lancaster and north along U.S. 521.

    District 2 incumbent Charlene McGriff and District 6 incumbent Jack Estridge, both Democrats, face no opposition as they seek re-election.


  • Heath Springs has one of oldest departments

    HEATH SPRINGS – A single firefighter – Joey Plyler of the Heath Springs Volunteer Fire Department – was the initial responder to a fire at the American Wax plant.

    The day was July 25, 2001.

    Flames were shooting out of the building when Plyler arrived, and he radioed 911 dispatchers for more manpower. They asked him what he needed.

    “There’s plenty of fire for everyone,” he radioed back.