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Features

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    A jack of all lanterns

    Versatile artist Jamie Ouzts excels in pumpkin carving 

  • Ron Smart knows a lot about choices.

    Smart, an ex-death row inmate, had the opportunity to speak to students at Buford Middle, Andrew Jackson High and Buford High schools about that very thing Thursday.

    “I can tell you plenty about making the wrong ones,” Smart said during a telephone interview Wednesday. “I spent 46 of the 50-plus year span from March of 1955 to September of 2005 in prison for the bad choices I made. I would say that makes me an authority on what not to do.”

  • Things were looking up in Lancaster in mid-October of 1959.

    Fifty years ago, the undefeated Lancaster High School Blue Hurricanes had just beaten the Clinton High School Red Devils on a soggy, rain-soaked Presbyterian College field.

    Julian Starr, publisher of The Lancaster News, Dr. J.P. Sims and local attorney D. Glenn “Rock” Yarborough had  been named to the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

    Despite an employee’s strike, the Bowater family announced a $30 million expansion at its paper mill along the Catawba River.

  • With their distinctive four-part harmonies and combination of country and bluegrass-tinged tunes, Little Big Town is sure to lure a few more fans into their fold on Saturday.

    That’s when the up-and-coming country group performs as part of See Lancaster’s Performing Arts Series at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster’s Bundy Auditorium. The four-time Grammy Award-nominated band is the third act to be featured in the 2009-10 series.

  • There’s only one candle on Lallage Jones’ birthday cake. Since Lallage is celebrating her 101st birthday today, she’s entitled to as many or as few candles as she wants.

    And Lallage, a retired educator and “preacher’s wife,” hasn’t lost her sense of humor about reaching the milestone.

    Born Oct. 11, 1908, she had one early birthday celebration with family and friends during this week’s Golden Age Group luncheon at First United Methodist Church.

  • These days, consumers are trying to stretch every dollar as far as possible.

    But if you have thoughts of partially reusing in the kitchen what you scoop from a Halloween jack-o’-lantern this year, you may be disappointed by the results.

    Why?

    Pumpkins intended for carving don’t taste good; they are only meant as  decorations for ghosts and goblins.

  • The stack of July 22, 2009, issues of The Lancaster News in the newspaper morgue is getting shorter.

    Just about once a week now, the voice on the other end of the phone makes the same request.

    “I cut out the recipe for that Butter Pecan Pound Cake that has the icing mixed into the batter, but I don’t know what I did with it. Can you tell me how to get another copy of it? That thing is perfect with a cup of coffee.”

    One of my neighbors, Ken McManus, has a similar opinion of the cake.

  • Dr. John Griffin, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina, has always been fascinated by the life (and death) of Abraham Lincoln.

    But through the years, Lincoln’s life has grown to such heroic and epic proportions that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.

    Now Griffin has put together another biography on the 16th president entitled “Mr. Lincoln and His War.”

    Griffin will make a 30-minute slide presentation and sign copies of his latest book at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Lancaster County Library. 

  • Sausage is almost like barbecue. Each region (and sometimes, country) has its own kind that uses ingredients and seasonings common to that specific area.

    It’s sort of like mustard base, vinegar base, ketchup base and white base barbecue sauces. Sausage is what it is, depending on where you live.

    In the South, sausage is usually a mixture of ground pork, pork fat, sage and peppers and other spices that’s made into patties and fried.

  • Janie McManus loves historical fiction.

    For the seventh grade social studies teacher at South Middle School, it’s a way to make the textbook come alive.

    Right now, she is reading “Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis, to her classes, which is about the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    “Will it be on that big test at the end of the year? Probably not,” she said.

    “But it’s timely and they need to know this stuff.

  • Pure Prairie League still throws T-shirts in the seats before taking the stage.

    The play list for each concert is still taped to the floor beneath each microphone. Some things never change.

    Talk about old school, they still tune guitars in between songs, when needed.

  • Everybody loves it when a “local” makes good, and Lancaster has its share of bragging rights of those who have made their mark.

    You can now add Vickie Bailey Ebbers to the list.

    The Lancaster native is now a nationally-recognized artist who has turned her love of family, friends and even cherished pets into a long list of award-winning paintings.

    Her artwork is now showing in Charlotte as part of the “Carolina’s Got Art,” exhibition at Atherton Mill in the South End Area.

  • When Hazel and Betty Vincent first moved into their home at 112 Survey St. 14 years ago, a manicured lawn was only a pipe dream. 

    Their priority was taking care of Betty’s aging mother. 

    As years passed, Betty lost her mother.

    But Betty found solace for that loss by spending time in her yard. 

    The result is a beautifully landscaped lawn filled with spacious beds providing a variety of blooms and foliage. 

  • The Vivian Major Robinson concert on Oct. 4 will be a first for Lancaster.

    LearnTV will record the recital for playback and also provide the audience with an up-close look at organist Robert P. Glick via a viewing screen during the 2:30 p.m. concert that day at First Presbyterian Church.

    Glick is associate professor of church music and organ at Erskine College and Theological Seminary,

    This is a big change from a normal organ concert.

    For perhaps the first time, you’ll get to see something other than the back of the organist’s head.

  • The Hoppers, America’s “Favorite Family of Gospel Music,” is returning to Lancaster for a 7 p.m. concert today at Second Baptist Church, 1426 Great Falls Highway.

    “This group has been here twice before and is always a fan favorite,” said Dennis Nichols of GlennMark Promotions.

    The group, which started performing as a family ensemble in the late 1950s, includes Claude Hopper, his wife, Connie, their sons Dean and Mike and daughter-in-law Kim Greene Hopper.

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