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Local News

  • Report card results mixed for schools

    The Lancaster County School District dropped in one rating, but rose in another on  its state-issued report card for 2008.

    The district received an absolute rating of below average, a drop from its average rating the year before. Slightly more than 41 percent of the school districts in the state were rated in the below average category in 2008.

    But in the growth rating, which used to be called “improvement,” the district received an average rating, up from the below average it posted the year before.

  • Breaking News Winter storm closes schools, city and county offices

    Jenny Hartley

    jhartley@thelancasternews.com

    Missy Hinson said some of the pastures at Larkspur Ranch were under 4 feet of water on Monday.

    Hinson, the equine manager at the ranch, said she and husband, ranch owner Joe Hinson, had to open pasture gates late Sunday afternoon so horses could reach higher ground. Older horses were put up in stalls to shelter them from the wet, heavy snow and wind.

  • Paper plant workers face furloughs

    An area paper plant is feeling the effects of a slow economy, and has made plans to furlough more than 100 employees.

    AbitibiBowater, located just across the Lancaster County line in Catawba, will shut down one of its three paper machines for one month in an effort to save money.

    The No. 1 machine, which creates paper from pulp, is operated by 123 people, which includes 101 production employees and 22 maintenance workers. Those people will be temporarily out of work from March 1 through March 31. Employees will be back to work starting April 1.

  • Hagins had a passion for swimming

    A woman who taught Lancaster County residents to swim for more than a generation and who was also active in Girl Scouting, on the local Red Cross board and served as a school board member for 12 years died Tuesday.

    Known for her love of the water, Barbara “Bobbie” Mealing Hagins, 73, taught many Lancaster County residents in beginner, intermediate and advanced swimming classes, as well as lifesaving classes and instructor training.

  • Year in Review ee" #6

    Though the bad may have overshadowed the good, there was good economic news in Lancaster County in 2008.

    Continental Tire North America announced in February it would wheel its Charlotte headquarters into a new building in Indian Land in 2009.

    The tire manufacturer will move 300 employees to a 75,000-square-foot building at McMillan Business Park on S.C. 160, an $11 million investment. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2009.

  • Habitat names board members

    The Lancaster County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity announced several new board members Tuesday.

    Traci Watterson, executive director of Habitat for Humanity’s Lancaster office, said the officers were named at the organization’s monthly board meeting.

    Mike Barnes was named president, while Doris Hood was named vice president. Hood is a retired teacher from Lancaster High School.

  • Officers make drug arrest in Darlington Co.

    Lancaster County drug agents assisted in stopping a supply of drugs coming into the county on Feb. 12.

    Drug agents received information about a drug deal from an informant, said Lt. Ryan McLemore. Local officers arranged for a deal to be made with the suspect in Hartsville, and were assisted by the State Law Enforcement Division and Darlington County Sheriff’s Office narcotics officers.

    Willie Lee Huggins, 23, of Hartsville, has been charged by SLED with trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in crack cocaine and possession of marijuana.

  • Troopers ready for New Year’s holiday

    Law officers are out in full force in an attempt to help keep roads safe this New Year’s holiday.

    The S.C. Highway Patrol is running its Sober or Slammer campaign, which targets drunk driving, through Sunday.  

    Troopers are patrolling all of the county’s main highways, such as U.S. 521, S.C. 200 and S.C. 9, as well as secondary roads.

    Motorists can expect to run into checkpoints today through the weekend, said Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin. The Highway Patrol has also established teams of troopers that are specifically targeting drunk drivers.

  • Natural gas authority decreases rate

    Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority customers should see a small decrease in their bills next month.

    General Manager Tim Thornton said Monday that the authority decided on a 1.5 percent decrease in its rate.

    In July 2008, the cost of natural gas was $1.85 a therm, the unit used to measure natural gas. In February, the cost will be $1.37 a therm.

    The drop in cost is a result of less natural gas demand for industrial use and to produce electricity, Thornton said. More natural gas was also produced through exploration and development than anticipated.

  • Blue laws on County Council agenda

    Lancaster County Council will consider second reading of an ordinance to suspend blue laws in the county for four years when it meets Monday.

    If it gets final approval, the ordinance would allow county business owners to decide whether or not to open their doors on Sundays.

    It would not lift the ban on alcohol sales on Sundays.