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Features

  • On Saturday, Frederick “Rick” Stevens was one of 80-plus graduates who walked across the Charles Bundy Auditorium stage inside the Bradley Arts and Sciences Building at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster to receive a two-year college degree. That’s a far cry from Oct. 9, 1996.

    That’s the day when Stevens – strung out on crack cocaine – walked into Meeting Street Express and tried to rob the place.

    He was arrested the next day after someone recognized him from the store’s video tape.

  • A group of high school students are learning how to become firefighters. But that’s not all they’re learning.

    They’re also learning what it means to be leaders through hands-on community service.

    The members of Explorer Post 8, sponsored by Gooches Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, recently constructed a handicap accessible ramp at Bonnie Thompson Wright’s home on Memorial Park Road.

    The materials to construct the ramp were donated by Payless Lumber on Brooklyn Avenue, which is within the Gooches fire district.

  • Marinades have an unspoken mystique about them.

    These contrived secret blends miraculously change poultry, seafood, meats and vegetables from bland to bursting with taste.

    Using marinades has been around for hundreds of years, says food writer and cookbook author Peggy Trowbridge Filippone. 

    Marinades date back to pre-Columbian Mexico when cooks wrapped meats in papaya leaves to make them more tender, she writes in her blog on about.com.

    These days, there are many simple flavor-infusing liquids to choose from.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement Monday that there is no evidence you can get swine flu virus (H1N1) by eating pork.

    “Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food,” the statement said. “You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees kills the swine flu virus, as it does other bacteria and viruses.”

  • Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting Mom flowers for Mother’s Day, but why not surprise her this year by thinking outside the vase? A little advance planning can go a long way. A heartfelt, homemade card is a great start, but it doesn’t have to end there. And you don’t have to spend loads of money to do it, either. If you know what she loves, you can come up with the perfect Mother’s Day gift that will have her bragging about your thoughtfulness and creativity months from now. A Mother’s Day gift doesn’t have to be expensive.

  • The agriculture science class and the Future Farmers of America at Buford High School have started their annual greenhouse plant sale to benefit those programs.

    The school greenhouse is brimming with plants and flowers of every shape and size.

    Now in its second year, the students have been growing dozens of varieties of plants to sell, including perennials, annuals and vegetables, said Agriculture Science instructor Jeffrey Whisenhunt.

    This is no plant resale, he said. The 32 students have done all the cultivating.

  • Frankie Cunningham learns something new every day. And most of the time, it surrounds her mother, the late Mae “Miss Mae” Wright.

    Wright died June 5, 2002, but the foundation of life she left behind for her two daughters, six grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren is a solid legacy.

  • FORT LAWN – Because of his health, Bill Coble couldn’t pick strawberries at Jordan Farms last spring.

    He’s still unable to pick them, but he left the 3.5 acre strawberry patch with 6 gallons of juicy, ripe just-picked strawberries bright and early Monday. One of the buckets was going to his sister Mable’s house. The other five buckets went home with Bill and his wife, Geraldine Coble.

  • The bluegrass gospel music group, Pinetuckett, above, will be in concert at 6:30 p.m. today at Andrew Jackson State Park amphitheater. The concert is free with park admission. Admission to the park is $2 adults; $1.25 for South Carolina seniors and free for ages 15 and younger.

    Organized in the early 1970s, Pine-tuckett plays a variety of traditional bluegrass and gospel music. The group performs across the Carolinas at festivals, churches and private parties.

  • Twelve years ago, when Derrick Robinson bought the house at 204 York St., he knew the yard had great potential. 

    Like a true “yardener,” Robinson saw past the overgrown, 50-year-old azaleas that nearly covered the front windows. 

    Robinson said he knew that if he could somehow replace them, he could make the York Street yard a showplace. 

    Today, he has succeeded. 

    He and his wife, Lana, have now been awarded Yard of the Month for April by the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs. 

  • Right now, any help that HOPE of Lancaster gets is a blessing, said director Elaine Adkins.

    “The first six days of January, we saw 197 people,” Adkins said. “The numbers only continue to climb. Right now, there are lots of folks out there who need help and many of them never thought they’d have to.”

    And just in time, another group is stepping into the gap to help HOPE.

    The STAR (Star Touring and Riding Association) Lancaster Chapter 396 will  host its third annual Feed the Children Trivia Ride on Saturday.

  • By lunchtime Friday, the 59 local Relay For Life teams were close to attaining their goals.

    The $205,000 goal was is sight, with a little more than $170,000 turned in. 

    The money is used to help fund cancer research and American Cancer Society wellness programs.

    From Links of Hope and haunted junk yards to barbecues, yard sales and trial rides, all of the teams have been working  hard to raise money in tough times, said event co-chairwoman Donna Parsons.

  • The annual Lancaster County Relay for Life is today and organizers are hoping the event will hit its $205,000 goal. The money is used to help fund cancer research and American Cancer Society programs.

    “The Relay is from the heart,” said event co-chairwoman Donna Parsons. “There are very few people in Lancaster who can say they haven’t had a friend or family member impacted by cancer in one way or another. All of the teams and volunteers have been working as hard as they can.”

  • Lancaster High culinary arts teacher Gregg Shipston wasn’t a bit surprised when Rachelle Campbell became the school’s first student to earn a ProStart certification.

    “Since the class started, I’ve had close to 175 students,” Shipston said. “If I would’ve had my pick as to who would be our first certified student, it would be Rachelle. She’s very self-motivated.”

    ProStart is a two-year, flexible self-pace career program for students interested in the culinary arts.

  • For Dianne Cole, every hour of every day is different.

    She may be OK one minute and burst into tears the next.

    It’s been that way for almost five months now, since her son, Edward Paul “Little Gene” Jenkins, 30, died unexpectedly.

    Hers is the kind of pain that comes from losing a child. She never dreamed her son’s life could be taken away in an instant.

  • The focus of the Southern gospel trio, Greater Vision is clear.

    They may have climbed to the top of the Christian music ladder by becoming the most celebrated trio in Gospel music history.

    With numerous Top 10 and a stack of No. 1 Southern gospel hits, several songs of the year by the Singing News Fan Awards, this internationally-known trio has established a solid presence.

    But the awards, accolades and hit songs matter very little, said Greater Vision founder Gerald Wolfe.

  • In August 2008, Palmetto Thunder cased its colors for the last time when the 178th Field Artillery Battalion was deactivated.

    Many of its members are now attached to different National Guard units across the state.

    But some of them who served their country during various military conflicts like Operation Iraqi Freedom are still around.

    So are other military veterans, including the county’s five World War II prisoners of war and four Gold Star mothers. 

  • Several county churches will host special worship services this week. They include dramas, Maundy Thursday services, the Last Supper, Good Friday, and the crucifixion of Christ and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Here is a look so you can make plans to attend.

    Easter Sunday services

    – Camp Creek Baptist Church, 998 Potter Road, will hold a sunrise service at 7 a.m. April 12. Breakfast will follow at 7:45 a.m., Sunday school is 9 a.m. and worship services are at 10 a.m. For details, call 286-9808 or 285-0645.

  • The spirit of God moves wherever it will. Sometimes, it moves a church family into an old Coke warehouse on S.C. 9 Bypass that’s been transformed into a worship center.

    That’s what Christian Assembly Worship Center did in October 2008. Today, its congregation will celebrate Easter Sunday inside a state-of-the-art facility that’s equipped with the latest technology.

    “We’re really looking forward to it,” said it’s pastor Marvin Tennant.

  • I stood in the living room of Granny Summers’ house early one Easter Sunday afternoon with my thoughts running wild. The window shades were pulled down and the front door was shut tight. 

    After a covered-dish, resurrection day dinner that included just about any and everything that Granny, Momma and my five aunts could dream up, I was daydreaming until Aunt Judy’s voice brought me back into reality.