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Features

  • It’s hard for LaDonna Mann to remember what life was like before she learned about the plight of thousands of orphans in the African nation of Kenya.

    As curator of the JAARS Museum of the Alphabet in Waxhaw, Mann spends her days informing the public about the varied histories of alphabets and languages. But she experienced another language firsthand several years ago while living with her late husband Bill in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

  • ‘Nuncrackers’ will crack you up

    Looking for some seasonal entertainment that will give you a good laugh?

    Then head into Fort Mill this week to see “Nuncrackers,” produced and directed by Elaine Roberts of Sun City Carolina Lakes.

    The musical comedy, which opened Dec. 3, is playing at the Fort Mill Community Playhouse theater, 615 Banks St., Fort Mill.

    Remaining show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 and 3 p.m. Dec. 13.

  • In 1942, Winston Churchill said that tea was more important than ammunition in strengthening the moral of British troops.

    Tea didn’t hurt Uncle Sam’s war efforts, either, said Betty Broome.

    Broome, who was a youngster during World War II, still recalls how women in Van Wyck would hold afternoon teas to raise money.

  • When the Rev. Bill Knight looks out across the 35-acre site where the world’s largest cotton mill once stood, he doesn’t see rusting fences, abandoned railroad tracks, tall grass and small bits of handmade bricks left behind when a texile plant was demolished.

    Knight sees a thriving mill where thousands of lint-heads worked around the clock after walking to work or catching a ride there on the Wilson bus line.

    Instead of burned-out decaying homes, he recalls a vibrant tight-knit mill village. He said some of its 3,000-plus residents were his role models.

  • When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps and there is a little good news for consumers this Thanksgiving.

    You may have noticed it while standing in the grocery checkout line.

    According to a report released by the American Farm Bureau Federation on Nov. 12,  the cost of preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – the turkey, stuffing cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings – won’t be as high this year. 

  • After losing match play to the orange-clad “Flying Scotts” during the 2008 Big Thursday Golf Tournament, John Catalano and Tim Hallman wanted another shot.

    It’s the “wait until next year” attitude at its best, but it wasn’t to be.

    Phillip Scott said his older brother, Evan, is having back problems that knocked them from match-play competition on Nov. 19 that pitted Clemson supporters against the Gamecocks faithful at Lancaster Golf Club.  

  • Ashley Faulkenberry has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

    “Words can’t describe just how thankful I am,” she said. “I’m thankful just to be alive.”

    Seriously injured in a 4-wheeler accident on May 30, this is one holiday that  Ashley, 21, never thought she would see.

    What was billed as a late night of fun and mud-slinging with friends off Spirit Road in the Rich Hill community quickly became a nightmare.

  • If you haven’t found the perfect Thanksgiving turkey by now, don’t fret.                                                                                     

  • For many people, gardening provides an inner solace that helps maintain balance in an otherwise hectic world. It provides an escape into nature where yards take on the unique personality of the gardener.

    It’s those personal touches in Jean Wilson’s yard at 2239 Sunshine Road that caught the eye of Joyce Morin of the Lancaster Garden Club. The club named Wilson’s yard the November Yard of the Month.

  • Roaming the streets at The Carolina Renaissance Festival has become old hat for 30-year-old Troy Dunbar. But in true renaissance fashion, that hat has changed into a turban.

    After portraying a wandering poet at the festival for three years, Dunbar is now Arabian sultan Azeen Al-Mullah (“defender of money”) at the 16th- century European-style arts and entertainment festival.     

    And Dunbar, choral director at Lancaster High School, is easy to spot.

  • If you see Garen Hicks around town, he might not have much to say.

    The black bracelet he wears says what words can’t.

    He wears it as a memorial to his friend and fellow 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade member U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Carlo Robinson.

    A Hope, Ark., native, the 33-year-old Robinson was killed Jan. 17, 2009, when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle in Kabul when his patrol was attacked.

    Robinson was one of 17 of that unit’s soldiers killed during a 15-month deployment in Afghanistan.

  • In a 38-year professional music career, Ricky Skaggs has pretty much seen it all. Now he’s seen just a little more.

    Arm in arm with his daughter, Molly, and his son, Luke, the Skaggs were afforded a special treat Saturday, courtesy of L&C Railway and See Lancaster.

    The Skaggs family, and their respective bands, Kentucky Thunder and Songs of Water, enjoyed a L&C luxury train ride excursion to the Catawba River and back before performing at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster on Saturday night.

  • Nobody wants to get old before their time.

    But this week, I’m sort of wishing I was born in 1950 instead of 1960.

    Why? It’s simple.

    If I was about 10 years older, it would mean that I would’ve gotten to see both Tracy Mc-Griff and Jimmie “Buck” Sistare grace the gridiron.

  • The late Hobert Skaggs always had a hidden reason behind everything he did.

    The mandolin that 5-year-old Ricky Skaggs found in his bed one Saturday morning some 50 years ago, and the G, C and D chords that Hobert taught his son weren’t just learning tools and a musical instrument.

    It was Hobert’s connection to his Eastern Kentucky childhood that was lost when his brother was killed in World War II.

  • Andrew Jackson State Park will have a different aura Saturday night when stories are woven around burning campfires and shadows cast by flickering candles.

    However, these won’t be ghost stories or tall tales.

    It’s the annual Life in the Waxhaws lantern tour at the park which bears the name of a president. 

    The lantern tour offers a historical look at 18th century life in the Waxhaws during the 1780s when Jackson was a lad.

  • With its timeless traditions, foundation of leadership and emphasis on community service, the Boy Scouts of America has made a difference.

    Since its inception, volunteer scout leaders have worked to instill the values of duty, honor and country in young men to provide a strong foundation for future generations.

    Until now, many of these local scouters have been unnoticed, except by those whose lives they have impacted.

    But that’s about to change, said Art Harris, Lancaster district executive for the Palmetto Council for the Boy Scouts of America.

  • There’s nothing wrong with a good scare this time of year, especially when it’s for a good cause.

    Halloween is only 16 days away, “witch” means you’re probably looking for  terrifyingly terrific way to get your scare on.

    Beginning tonight, you’ll have that chance.

    The Lancaster County Rescue Squad Haunted Forest opens at sundown in the woods adjacent to the squad equipment building on Great Falls Highway.

  • It took more than a quarter of a century for Barbara Bowers to meet Brenda Elam in person, but the wait was worth it.

    What started out as a complaint between two textile-based industries 28 years ago turned into a lifelong friendship that defies age, miles, 28 years of phone calls, cards, letters and gifts.

    That bond was strengthened in September when Elam came to Lancaster to visit Bowers.

    One day in 1981, Bowers, who was a claims manager at Grace Finishing for Springs Industries, fielded a phone call from Elam, who worked for the Haggar Company.

  • Stories on Col. Elliott White Springs abound.

    “So many people can tell tales about the colonel and the kind of man he was,” said C.D. “Bubber” Gregory.

    But there is one – that few people know – that can be told.

    The “camera-doesn’t-lie” formal photo taken by the late Lavoy Bauknight, is proof.

    But it’s the one photograph of Springs that was almost never taken.

  • A renewal of sorts is under way with the Lancaster Chamber Choir. Having seen a drop in both membership and concert attendance the last two years, they are trying to get the “we’re back,” word out.

    When former director Michael Miller left to pursue a doctorate degree out of state, the choir lost its leader. Margaret Walsh, music director at First United Methodist Church, temporarily took over.