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Today's Opinions

  • It's less expensive to prevent tragedy, than repair it

    This week I am grieving for the loss of a beautiful building I have loved through all of my life. My family has lived in this area since 1767, and the Lancaster County Courthouse has been a part of my heritage for as long as I can remember. Anyone who came to visit from other places and other countries was given a tour down Main Street and a brief, but proudly delivered, history of the courthouse. I feel as if I have lost not only a cherished landmark, but a large piece of my own identity.

  • We care every day, not just at the top of the hour

    It was 6 a.m. I was groggy, coffee-deprived, as I stood on the grass behind the Lancaster County Courthouse, watching as firefighters and law enforcement officers worked the scene of a fire at 6th Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield’s office.

    But then a question woke me up.

    “And where is the courthouse?” a TV news reporter asked, as we stood in the shadow of Lancaster’s charred but beloved building.

    WHAT?

  • Two centuries of history lost in courtroom fire

    When someone’s house burns down, often the greatest loss people experience deals with items, on face value, would be worthless: old letters, photographs, remnants of childhood.

    Actually these little things represent far more than monetary worth. They are priceless. When a building, such as the Lancaster County Courthouse is lost, nearly two centuries of history and pride is taken leaving little for future generations to appreciate and respect.

  • Lancaster citizens can salvage county courthouse

    The Lancaster County Courthouse, designed by Robert Mills, is one of the most historically important buildings left in Lancaster County today. I use the word is because I firmly believe that Lancaster County, its citizens and surrounding businesses, can still salvage and rebuild this monument.

  • Hammakers grateful for community support

    It has been six months since Derek Hammaker was killed in an automobile accident. To us, it seems only yesterday. In some ways, the pain and sadness we are experiencing is worse than when the accident first happened. Every day without Derek is a reminder of how much he meant to us and how much we miss him. Nothing is the same.

  • Builder's Supply article brings back memories

    I read the article on Builder’s Supply in the July 25 edition of The Lancaster News and remembered something else about the company. I’m not sure where folks bought their ice and coal a hundred years ago, but I do know that in the 1930s and 1940s those places were at the end of Catawba Street, not French Street.

  • Volunteers can make difference to abused children

    The Lancaster County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program teaches people to become positive, effective advocates for children living in foster care. The GAL volunteers advocate for children who have been abused or neglected and are now involved with the family court system.

  • Arson slap in the face to justice, history

    In the wee hours of Monday morning, someone slipped into a window of Lancaster County’s courthouse, crept upstairs and lit a flame. The arsonist ignited not only court documents, but 180 years of American history. It doesn’t really matter that the building was inadequate as a courthouse. The arson was a slap in the face to both justice and history.

    According to local historian Lindsay Pettus, here are some of the reasons the courthouse was such a landmark: