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Features

  • The average American eats 25 pounds of rice per year.

    A healthy, versatile and economical staple around the world, rice made its first appearance in the new world in the late 1680s, according to the USA Rice Federation.

    Rice lore has it that a storm-battered ship sailed into Charles Town (Charleston).

    To pay the colonist for repairing his ship, the captain gave the small quantity of “Golde Seed Rice,” which was named for its color, to a Lowcountry planter.

  • Happy Lee Ferree was wearing two smiles at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw on Wednesday.

    One, painted on his helmet, is a testament to the name given him by his parents, Patty, and the late Dennis Ferree. 

    “They named me that because they never thought they could have a child,” the Grass Valley, Calif., native said.

    The second smile, worn inside his helmet, is a testament to why the 24-year-old Snap-On Tools Pro Truck Series driver was in Kershaw this week to start with.

  • For Missouri’s Sara Evans, every little piece of the puzzle doesn’t always fit.

    But it’s a puzzle that she’s putting back together.

    Sidelined by a bitter divorce in 2006 after 13 years of marriage, the traditional singer whose heartfelt songs hit close to home will perform inside the Bundy Auditorium at the University of South Carolina at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

    Since arriving on Nashville’s Music Row in the early 1990s, the soulful Evans has put together a string of hits that is hard to match.

  • Each weekday morning, a group of men meet inside the Humana Cafeteria on Main Street to discuss the ills of the world, the weather, college football, crime and politics between sips of hot coffee.

    “This is one of the places I get my marching orders from,” said Lancaster Mayor Joe Shaw, who is a “first-shift regular,” along with Charlie Bundy, Larry Cauthen, former Sheriff Wilford Faile and Donald Hunter.

    They arrive some time between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and leave just before 9 a.m. when the “second shift” reports in.

  • Back in the woods off John Everall Road, nestled beneath a stand of hardwood trees beside a meadow of fresh cut hay is a very special place.

    You can’t see it from the road. For that matter, you can’t even see it from Nancy Westmoreland’s back yard.

    But if you follow the pasture pathway that her dad, Bill Westmoreland, keeps mowed to get there, you’ll find it once you know where to look.

    The seven rings of patterned, jagged quartz rock in the edge of the woods didn’t appear like a magical crop circle. This is no publicity stunt.

  • The discovery of a family cemetery has led to the placing of a monument at another cemetery.

    On Sunday, the Hammond family will officially add a marker at the Rich Hill Baptist Church cemetery, 1557 E. Doc Garris Road, Heath Springs.

    The dedication service starts just after Sunday morning worship.

    Several Hammond descendants are buried at Rich Hill Baptist Church and Hammond family reunions are held there.

    The marker includes the names of American Revolution soldiers Raleigh Hammond and his son, Capt. Samuel Hammond.

  • When Evelyn Springs announced in August that the Autism Speaks fundraiser, Lancaster Cooks 2010 – Look Who’s Cooking, had been postponed, she vowed not to sit on her laurels.

    The feisty, take-no-for-an-answer-grandmother is proving to be good to her word.

    Springs – who continues to fight autism – the disease that is effects the daily life of her 8-year-old grandson, Mailk, is now casting her bread upon the waters with a fishing net.

  • Evelyn Springs continues to fight to find a cure for the autism that has robbed her grandson, Malik, 8, of a normal childhood.

    But for now, that fight has been put on hold.

    No, Springs isn’t a quitter, but the annual fundraiser she hosts for Autism Speaks has been postponed.

    Although letters and invitations for Lancaster Cooks 2010 – Look Who’s Cooking have been mailed out, the plans have been temporarily shelved.

    The popular fundraiser was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Fairway Room.

  • Three authors who share a common thread that weaves through Lancaster County have recently published books.

    The Rev. Jesse Adams became an author quite unexpectedly.

    Harriett Hodges Diller became an accomplished author years ago and continues to write.

    Malcolm Jones has made a very successful living reviewing books and is now writing his own.

    Here are their stories.

    Adams a reluctant writer

    The Rev. Jessie Adams never imagined he would one day be an author. 

    “I don’t even like to write,” he said.

  • One-handed grabs don’t just apply to the action on the football field. They also apply to the food in the parking lot, before and after the game.

    It’s time to get out the awning, folding table, chairs, coolers, grill and the cornhole game.

    Tailgating – the football season social hour – is finally here.

    It’s hard to beat a day with family and friends at a college or pro football stadium to celebrate a love of the game and to root on your favorite team.

  • Ninety-year-old Sarah Crockett hasn’t lost her zeal for life.

    The great-great-grandmother hasn’t lost her zeal for the camp meeting at Mount Carmel AME Zion Church, either.

    The wagons and buggies Crockett recalls seeing when she came to camp meeting for the first time in 1932, as a 12 year old, are gone. They’ve been replaced by motor homes.

    “Back then, very few people had cars,” she said.

  • Family Promise and local law enforcement are about to get a dose of “Monkey Madness” from Girl Scouts Nicole Hudson and Michaella Oswald.

    The two 14 year olds, members of Girl Scout Troop 3671, have  launched a pajama and stuffed toy drive drive to benefit both as a community service project for their Girl Scout Silver Awards.

    The Girl Scout Silver award is the second highest award Girl Scouts can earn.

  • September and October are the best months to plant cool-season grasses.

    “Labor Day is the time to really start thinking about getting that fall seed out there,” said Brian Beer, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service agent for Lancaster County.

    But before you get out the seed broadcaster and unroll the garden hose, there’s a little homework to do.

    And this assignment goes a long way in stretching your dollar as well as protecting both time and money.

  • The sun is sinking in the sky a little earlier each evening.

    We’re losing a couple of minutes of daylight each day as autumn draws closer.

    The hot, hazy days of summer are winding down, too, with daily temperatures decreasing.

    It’s a sure sign that Labor Day, college football and fall are on the way.

    Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer.

    The focus of Labor Day should always be on relaxing.

    That was Congress’ full intention in June 1894 when it enacted the federal holiday.

  • KERSHAW – " Thirteen-year-old Amber Vinson likes math and is pretty good at it.

    The Andrew Jackson Middle School student’s report card is always full of A’s and B’s in every course.

    But math isn’t the only course this eighth grader is getting good at.

    And just like her report card is proof positive of her work in the classroom, those pink and black Ferrini Stingray Tiger Western boots she wears to school each day show that Amber is getting pretty good at ripping through the barrels, too.

  • Ann Robertson made a decision years ago.  After recovering from a stroke and later being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, her doctor told her that her future was in her own hands. 

    She learned that while the fibromyalgia would be painful, she could choose to be active and deal with the pain or let the pain control her.

    She chose to be active. Part of her active lifestyle includes planning and maintaining one of the prettiest yards in Lancaster.

  • American food has always been a melting pot. While that’s true in every region of the country, it’s especially true in Hawaii.

    Its cuisine is a kaleidescope of tastes that came about from ethnic groups that immigrated there.

    A fusion of cultures – American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian and Portuguese – come together on the island state.

    Many of those immigrants imported plant and food sources with them when they relocated to the volcanic island.

  • For years, I’ve heard cooking experts extol the virtues of using fresh herbs to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals.

    That kind of talk got my attention.

    But instead of picking fresh herbs at the grocery store, I decided to grow my own.

    Guess what? They were right.

    I have become a planter box cook, with basil, rosemary and thyme growing right outside our back door.

    They not only boost flavor, they also allow you to cut back on salt, fat and sugar to allow for a cleaner taste.

  • The Band of Oz will kick up plenty of shaggin’ sand at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as the opening act for the 2010-11 See Lancaster SC Performing Arts Series.

    One of the biggest acts in beach music history, the Band of Oz was formed in1967 by friends who played together in the Rose High School Stage Band (Greenville, N.C.).

    At the time, their only goal was to make a little money as a part-time band playing frat parties and high school proms.

    However, their non-stop, fan-friendly stage shows and tight, horn section sound soon drew the attention of record labels.

  • It happens on Saturday mornings from April through late October.

    A gung-ho, do-it-yourselfer steps outside, breathes deeply and heads to the shed to get out the mower.

    He checks the fluids, adjusts the throttle and either pulls the crank cord or turns the ignition switch.

    Nothing happens.

    Then, he wastes half the day trying to get the mower started. And if it doesn’t, he loads up the mower to take it to a repair shop on Monday.