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Features

  • Reshi Clyburn isn’t alone.

    When she selected a Valentine’s Day card for her husband, Mont, and daughters, India, 7, and Regan, 3, at Annette’s Hallmark on Friday, those little love notes number among the 190 million cards that will be exchanged in the United States today.

    But if you count the number of cards exchanged in classrooms this year, that number tops 1 billion, according to the Greeting Card Association.

    But how did cards become such a part of Valentine’s Day?

  • Financial embarrassment can be a cruel malady, come Feb. 14.

    You want to do something special for a special someone, but your Benjamins are in short supply.

    Don’t fret. Just head into the kitchen and check the cabinets.

    A one-of-a kind Valentine’s Day dinner is only a romantic song or two away.

    With a little homework and help from the kids, you can prepare that special gal or guy an extraordinary dinner on a rather ordinary budget.

    This is what the good china, crystal and cloth napkins were meant for.

  • Having the Glenn Miller Orchestra return here Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as part of the See Lancaster SC Performing Arts Series was a foregone conclusion.

    In January 2007, the talented big-band musicians played to a sold-out crowd on the Bundy Auditorium stage inside the Bradley Arts and Sciences Building at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

    The warm welcome they were shown three years ago, along with some down home hospitality, is reason enough to come back, said band leader Larry O’Brien.

  • It’s been said that Cathy Smith Bowers’ poems read like miniature short stories.

    If that’s the case, those stories will be heard a lot in the next 24 months.

    The Lancaster native, who now makes her home along the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tryon, N.C., has been named North Carolina’s new state poet laureate.

    A prolific poet, writer and college professor, Bowers will be installed during a ceremony Wednesday at the N.C. State Capitol in Raleigh.

  • When Wayne Bell was looking for a way to fill his days after retiring from the state of South Carolina several years ago, he remembered something he learned from a great-uncle as a youngster.

    “He was a beekeeper and I loved to watch him,” Bell said. “I tried to help him, but I don’t know if I was very much help.”

    When it comes to a subject as complicated as beekeeping, you have to get started somewhere, Bell said.

  • COLUMBIA – Despite recent rains and the recovery from South Carolina’s most recent drought, the S.C. Forestry Commission is sounding the call for readiness as the state enters its wildfire season.

    In South Carolina, the wildfire season runs in the later part of the winter through early weeks of spring, when flammable ground litter is dry and the relative humidity is low. 

    Some residents are burning yard waste or lighting outdoor fires for warmth during this time of the year.

  • In New Orleans, parades are a common occurrence.

    But Sunday’s was a real drag.

    More than 5,000 men showed up at the Superdome in heels, make-up and wigs for a 12-block walk to Bourbon Street in honor of the late Bernard “Buddy D” Diliberto. 

    I got a report on the festivities from my brother-in-law, Steve Ellis.

    Steve and his wife, Rose Mary, live in Algiers Point, which is directly across the lower Mississippi River from the French Quarter.

  • INDIAN LAND – Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America, with less than 8 percent of U.S. churches being integrated, according to a recent article in Time magazine.

    A new church family in the Panhandle is trying to change that.

    Transformation Church will launch its new congregation today in the Perimeter 521 Commerce Park with services at 9 and 11 a.m.

  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for several surrounding counties this weekend, but as of Thursday morning, Lancaster wasn’t one of them.

    Still, with the county poised along a transition line and low temperatures forecast in the upper 20s tonight and high temperatures in the lower 30s on Saturday, there’s really no way of knowing what to expect.

    “I think, considering where we are, that’s a pretty accurate assessment,” said Darren Player, assistant fire coordinator for Lancaster County Emergency Management.

  • As long as there has been a flat rock, mankind has been using it to make pancakes.

    From Day 1, pancakes have been “a good answer to a necessity,” writes Naomi Duguid, co-author of “Home Baking: Sweet and Savory Traditions from Around the World.”

    Pancakes, Duguid says, are one of the most improvised foods in the world. It is one of the original fast foods made with cheap, easy-to-find ingredients – flour, eggs, and milk –  which gives pancakes a versatility that many foods just don’t have.

  • In “Experiencing God,” co-author Henry Blackaby suggests there are seven basic truths that apply to Christian living.

    The first truth is that God is always at work around us. Blackaby then goes on in the ground-breaking book to urge Christians to find out where God is working and join him there.

    Anna Bradley, a student at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster, has learned in the last three months just how right Blackaby is.

    Bradley said it’s evident to everyone in a student-led Bible study at USCL at that God is working in Starr Hall.

  • EDGEMOOR – “Two chickens like this!” the ring man shouts as he reaches inside a crate, pulls out the bird and lifts it into the air.

    Every eye inside the Dixie Stockyard is on the chicken as the bidding starts. 

    The auctioneer immediately barks out a crystal-clear, rhythmic chant trying to coax the most money for the birds from the customers.

    Suddenly, the chant ends just as quickly as it started.

    “Sold,” he yells. The winning bidder smiles and holds up his number for the bookkeeper to see.

  • If any American food deserves its own celebration, it’s pie. The American Pie Council has declared Jan. 23 as National Pie Day.

    While Americans didn’t create the first pie (it’s believed the Egyptians did about 2000 B.C. before passing it on to the Greeks who spread it throughout the Roman Empire), it somehow evolved into our national dessert.

    That’s strange considering that early pies were predominantly made from inedible rye crusts, goat cheese and honey.

    But as the popularity of pie increased, so did the combinations.

  • Music has a way of lifting your spirits.

    Just ask Jere and Sandy Cherryholmes.

    In 1999, their oldest daughter, Shelly, 20, died in her sleep from respiratory failure.

    To cope with the loss, Jere, a carpenter for the Los Angeles County school system and Sandy, who was homeschooling their children, Cia, B.J., Skip and Molly Kate, took the family to a nearby bluegrass festival.

    There – while listening to Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys – the Cherryholmes found healing.

    They also found inspiration and a new calling on their lives.

  • These days, fitness means more than a walk on the treadmill for those at Prime Time for Seniors Center.

    A group there is learning how to exercise their minds through Breakfast for your Brain.

    Based on Dr. Marge Engleman’s “Aerobics of the Mind,” the weekly course teaches seniors to take mental fitness seriously.

    Until about 25 years ago, most researchers believed that memory loss was a part of the natural aging process.

  • After 37 years, some things never change.

    Fred Adams, Donald Boone, Noland Broach, Jack Sistare, Morrison Thompson and Louie Watts still get together around a well-worn table inside the South 200 Drive-In on Great Falls Highway each morning.

    It’s there – between sips of hot coffee, bites of hot breakfast and rounds of warm laughter – the men try to solve global warming and understand cold-hearted politicians.

    But one thing has changed about their early-morning ritual.

    Restaurant owner Larry Small no longer lets them in.

  • On Thanksgiving, we celebrate with turkey and pumpkin pies. The center of Christmas is the birth of a savior. Valentine’s Day is sweetened by chocolate and overly-sentimental cards.

    Mother’s Day is flowers, treating mom to lunch and a little extra pampering.

    Veterans Day is filled with parades to honor our servicemen and service women for their sacrifice.

    We even know what we’re supposed to do on Earth Day, World AIDS Day and Arbor Day.

    However, there’s one holiday, or technically, an un-holiday, that has me bamboozled.

  • This week, the mercury in the thermometer is bottoming out.

    Meteorologists aren’t predicting a daily high temperature of more than 40 degrees in this portion of the Piedmont.

    And during Carolina cold snaps like this one, nothing beats a pair of thick wool socks and a piping hot bowl of soup.

    Homemade soups not only soothe the soul, they also ease the pocketbook.

    Recent studies show that one of the way American consumers have responded to hard economic times is by altering their eating habits, which includes eating at home more.

  • Soon, smoke will be in the air as South Carolina’s foresters, farmers and other land managers begin a very busy part of their year.

    Traditional controlled burning season is fast approaching and is the time when the ancient tool of controlled fire (good fire) is put to use for the benefit of all South Carolinians. Controlled burning (igniting forest fires under controlled conditions) has many benefits including reducing the risk of wildfire (bad fire), preparing land for planting, controlling diseases and undesirable plants and enhancing wildlife habitat.

  • A woman battling the emotional and physical side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment always needs a special touch.

    That’s where Look Good...Feel Better comes in.

    Described by the American Cancer Society as a “makeover for the spirit,” the program helps women fighting cancer boost their confidence and self-esteem.

    Done quarterly in Lancaster County, the next Look Good...Feel Better class is 2 p.m. Monday at Springs Memorial Hospital.