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Today's News

  • City, county get $310K for ‘body cams’

    Lancaster County law enforcement agencies, facing a state mandate to begin using body cameras, will soon receive $310,000 in grants and donations that should cover the startup costs of the projects.
    The S.C. Department of Public Safety has committed $186,267 to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and $74,000 to the Lancaster Police Department to fund the purchase of body cameras and related equipment. The one-time DPS grants are part of $5.8 million the General Assembly appropriated for fiscal 2016-17.  

  • Philanthropist, ex-official donates $50K to buy cameras for Lancaster deputies

    A big chunk of the money the sheriff’s office will use to outfit its deputies with body cameras is coming from Jerry Blackmon, a former N.C. legislator, county official, businessman and philanthropist who has taken a great interest in Lancaster County.
    Blackmon, 87, lives in Mecklenburg County, where he served six years as a county commissioner and was elected three times to the state Senate. He is donating $50,000 to the sheriff’s office to help buy body cameras for deputies.

  • Lightning bolt ignites fatal fire in Antioch

    A lightning strike appears to have caused a house fire that killed an Antioch woman Friday afternoon, a blaze that forced firefighters to contend with exploding oxygen tanks inside the home.
    Lancaster County Fire Marshal Stephen Blackwelder said firefighters with the Antioch, Buford, Rich Hill and Camp Creek fire departments were dispatched to 635 Adams Lane about 5:27. They found the home engulfed in flames.
    Firefighters extinguished the fire within minutes and searched the home. They found the body of Debra Scott, 54, in a bedroom on the side of the house.

  • Fire service 'a brotherhood'

    Gregory A. Summers
    gsummers@thelancasternews.com
    Justin McLellan has a hand-written sticky note on his computer screen at Fire Station 1.
    “ALL IN,” it says, a motto Lancaster’s new fire chief borrowed from Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney.
    The 35-year-old McLellan bleeds orange and purple. His office has a few Tigers souvenirs, alongside photos of wife Kylie and daughters Riley, 10, Haley, 8, and Addaley, 2.

  • A matrimonial moment in a family pawn shop

    “Love is the reason we are here,” said the presiding notary public, bringing business to a halt inside Lancaster Pawn & Jewelry at 1 p.m. Friday.
    The South 200 store was a mini-chapel, with a wedding arch, flowers, a tiered cake and monogrammed champagne glasses.
    Johnny Knight, 52, stood at the altar as his bride, Mary Paddock, 51, watched from the back of a makeshift aisle, holding a bouquet of fresh roses.
    The groom’s mom, Patsy Bailey, handed him a crystal dove. “It’s a symbol of peace and tranquility,” she said.

  • County below state averages on ACT scores

    South Carolina released ACT scores for all 2016 graduating classes this week, and Lancaster County students received a 17.2 average composite score, a notch below the statewide average of 18.5.
    The S.C. Department of Education said in a release Tuesday that last year’s ACT reports show much room for improvement.
    The ACT, a career and college readiness test, scores high school students on English, math, science and reading. The test is scored on a 1 to 36 point scale.

  • Rep. Norrell appointed to tax-reform committee

    COLUMBIA – Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster is among 14 S.C. House members on a special tax-reform committee appointed Tuesday by House Speaker Jay Lucas.
    Norrell, a Democrat whose 44th District includes Lancaster, Heath Springs and Kershaw, will serve on the bipartisan panel, which will review the S.C. tax code and make recommendations to Lucas for changes before the next legislative session.

  • Founders Federal Credit Union buying Rock Hill Schools office building

    Founders Federal Credit Union is buying  the Rock Hill Schools district office building to expand its back-office operations into Rock Hill.
    Founders will purchase the property at 660 Anderson Road and an outparcel for $2.7 million. The new location will house some existing employees from the credit union’s corporate headquarters in Lancaster, which is filled to capacity and needs to expand, according to the company.

  • 'Nothing better than a homegrown tomato'

    For the past seven years, farming has been a passion for Rachel Hovis. Her work and dedication to farming led her to receive the 2016 American FFA Degree, along with 18 others in the state.
    “It’s the highest honor an FFA member can get,” Hovis said.
    The Future Farmers of America Degree is awarded to students based on their leadership abilities, their participation in at least 50 hours of community service with three different organizations, their supervised agricultural experience and their time and cost investments.

  • Remember When: A yard full of trees, an apple pie in the window

    Editor’s note: When Bill Evans passed away in July, we had a few of his recent columns stockpiled, waiting to run. With his family’s permission, we will continue to publish them until we run out, in his honor.

    The telephone note on my desk was asking for an immediate reply.
    Talk about a quick response – I made it! No, the house wasn’t on fire. Mr. Hagins down at Railway Express had called, and our fruit trees had arrived.