Today's News

  • Schools, colleges face more budget cuts

    Local school officials are preparing to deal with yet another round of funding cuts. This time, the cut is much larger than many had expected.

    On Thursday, the S.C. Budget and Control Board decided to cut state expenditures by 7 percent. The same percent has been passed on to all state agencies, which includes public schools and higher education.

    School district

    Lancaster County School District finance director Tony Walker said Friday that the state Department of Education has yet to determine how much local districts will be asked to trim.

  • Volunteers add trees to AJ State Park

    There may be even more reason to celebrate Arbor Day in Lancaster County, as trees come down in the Panhandle to make room for homes, shopping malls and medical offices.

    But trees are safe at Andrew Jackson State Park, where an Arbor Day celebration was held Dec. 7.

    Members of various Lancaster County garden clubs planted blueberry bushes and apple trees in the orchard at the park in honor of the day.

  • Top Dog

    The yard outside the L&C Railway can be a loud place.

    Between the roar of locomotives and boxcars coming and going down the tracks starting and stopping, to the railroad’s restoration workers grinding and welding on luxury train cars, it can be downright deafening.

    “It better be noisy,” said Bob Willetts, the former Hartsville arts teacher who now manages L&C passenger car shop. “If it’s not loud, nothing is going on and we’re in trouble.”

  • Bowie twins remind me of long-ago adventures

    Unexpected gifts are still the ones we cherish most.

    My granddaughter and her family have been spending a few days with us prior to Christmas.

    Because of circumstances, not everyone celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25.

    Two packages – wrapped by inexperienced Christmas elves – came with them.

    The presents were sent by the Bowie twins, age 8.

    They have taken a shining to me and already want to know when Pop (that’s me) can come back to Maryland.

  • County finances pass muster

    Lancaster County’s financial reporting has gotten a good review.

    Accountant Sheila Morgan talked with County Council during a special meeting on Monday night about the county’s 2007-2008 fiscal year audit.

    Morgan said the audit received an unqualified, or clean, opinion, the highest a CPA can give.

    County Council members praised Finance Director Veronica Thompson for her work, but Thompson was modest and praised her own staff.

    “I couldn’t have done it alone,” Thompson said. “It takes teamwork.”

  • See Lancaster gets funding

    See Lancaster was put under the microscope at Tueday’s Lancaster City Council meeting, eventually receiving a portion of much-needed funding.

    The organization, a non-profit group whose goal is promoting downtown business revitalization and economic development for Lancaster County, received $25,500 in funding from City Council.

  • For Santa, it's a different kind of year

    It’s the time of year when visions of dolls and toys are usually dancing in children's heads. But the Christmas, some Santas are hearing requests of a different sort.

    Robert Summers, who plays Santa for the Red Cross, has already visited several area churches and has traveled to Fort Jackson. He plans on visiting libraries, daycares and the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. This is his fifth year playing Santa.

    For the first time, he said children’s minds seem to be focused on jobs for parents, the economy and the Iraqi war, as well as toys.

  • Officers honor retiring sheriff

    At one time, Johnny Cauthen had long hair that ran way down his back.

    That was before he embarked on what would become a three-decade career at the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

    Cauthen, who sports a completely different hair style these days, is winding down his career. He’s retiring this year after serving more than 31 years in law enforcement, including the last 12 as Lancaster County sheriff.

    Chief Deputy Barry Faile will be sworn in next month as Cauthen’s successor.

  • City Council recognizes Curry, O’Brien and Sumner for service

    Danny O’Brien choked back tears as he spoke to a crowd of family members, city employees and residents at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

    O’Brien and fellow exiting council members Bill Sumner and Audrey Curry were honored for their many years of work on the council. Mayor Joe Shaw and Councilman John Howard recognized the three men before the start of the meeting.

    Each was presented with an engraved plaque that included their terms of office to thank them for their years in public service.

  • Santa Express a Christmas treat for all

    Heaven Craig’s compass was working just fine Saturday afternoon as she rode to Heath Springs on the L&C Railway’s Santa Express with friends Ty’Keahja McIlwain and Ari Adams.

    She may have been riding southbound in the Hollywood Beach dome car, but Heaven knew she was headed to Heath Springs’ North Pole Adventure.

    “That’s where Santa is,” the giggling 5-year-old said.

    She was right, too, and had a chance to visit with the jolly old elf at the Heath Springs depot just as the sun was starting to set.