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Features

  • Randy Cook is a pretty good carpenter, as evidenced by the kitchen of the High Point Circle home he shares with his wife, Crystal, and their three children.

    Spotless and neat, the kitchen walls bear new paint, cabinets have been repaired and new floor covering is down. Family photos hang on the refrigerator.

    Randy has plenty of time on his hands these days to fix up the house that he moved his family into less than a month ago.

    Just like many around Lancaster whose lives revolve around a shrinking housing and home repair market, Randy Cook can’t find a job.

  • The yard outside the L&C Railway can be a loud place.

    Between the roar of locomotives and boxcars coming and going down the tracks starting and stopping, to the railroad’s restoration workers grinding and welding on luxury train cars, it can be downright deafening.

    “It better be noisy,” said Bob Willetts, the former Hartsville arts teacher who now manages L&C passenger car shop. “If it’s not loud, nothing is going on and we’re in trouble.”

  • Heaven Craig’s compass was working just fine Saturday afternoon as she rode to Heath Springs on the L&C Railway’s Santa Express with friends Ty’Keahja McIlwain and Ari Adams.

    She may have been riding southbound in the Hollywood Beach dome car, but Heaven knew she was headed to Heath Springs’ North Pole Adventure.

    “That’s where Santa is,” the giggling 5-year-old said.

    She was right, too, and had a chance to visit with the jolly old elf at the Heath Springs depot just as the sun was starting to set.

  • In his heyday, the late Cab Calloway’s unique, innovative and ground-breaking, high-energy swing music and jazz brought joy and happiness to millions.

    Now his namesake – Calloway “C.B.” Brooks – is following in his grandfather’s footsteps by teaching the “Hi De Ho” to a new generation. 

  • On Dec. 7, 1941, a young Lancaster man – U.S. Army Sgt. Paul D. Robertson – found himself in the center of America’s entry into the World War II.

    Robertson, an electrician in the 259th Quarter Master Corps of the 7th Bomber Command, was stationed at Hickam Field on the island of Oahu in Hawaii when the war broke out. Hickam is adjacent to Pearl Harbor.

    That day, Robertson received a near-fatal chest wound from flying shrapnel when the Imperial Japanese Air Force started its ugly Sunday morning bombing.

  • It’s no secret that many families here are hurting.

    Right now, Lancaster County has the ninth highest unemployment rate (12.1 percent) in South Carolina.

    Local charities are being hammered by those clamoring for assistance.

    Helping the hurting is what being a Christian is all about, especially at this time of the year, said Brad Strider of the Southern gospel music trio, Mercy’s Well.

  • Bella Swan is a clumsy 17-year-old girl and Edward Cullen is an elegant “vegetarian” vampire. They live in the rainiest town in the United States – Forks, Wash. 

    Their supernatural, best-selling, modern-day romance, written by Stephenie Meyer, has ignited a global cult following that has taken a $70 million bite out of the weekend box office.   

  • Most homeowners add a few features to personalize their yards and make them just a little different. Count Robert and Glenda Mungo among them. 

    So much so that their yard at 1651 Craig Farm Road caught the eye of Penny Bailey. Bailey represents the Green Gardeners on the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs selection committee, which chooses the Yard of the Month.

    The committee chose the Mungos’ yard as Yard of the Month for November.

  • Sometimes, the best recipes go through a lot of hands before making it to the table.

    This version of Pumpkin Mousse is a good example of that.

    Kimberly Gulledge of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life sent me a Thanksgiving card that included the recipe.

    Suddenly, the light bulb above my head went off.

    It seems that Wal-Mart had donated some leftover pumpkins to the culinary arts class at Lancaster High School.

  • My friend in Texas sent me a link to a puppy cam on Nov. 7.  Click here for the puppy cam.

    Most days since then, I've tuned in from time to time throughout the day to watch the little shiba inus playing with their plush jack-o-laterns, carrots and even a stuffed trout.

    Ocassionally, a man with tattoos on his arms wearing black pants reaches in to handle the puppies, or clean up their messes.

  • Just before the start of every University of South Carolina home football game, Jessica Bradburn gets caught up in moment as the strains of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (the theme to “2001: A Space Odyssey”) roar over the public address amid 80,000-plus screaming fans.

    She has one of the best vantage points in Williams Brice Stadium, to see up close what’s been called one of the most electric entrances in college sports.

  • It’s been a little more than 10 years since the death of the late Helen “Miss Helen” Robinson.

    But the legacy – and the piano she left behind – is still making its mark in the lives of others.

    It was evident on Wednesday afternoon when Ashley Hagins sat at the keyboard of the Yamaha grand piano in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church.

    Ashley, 17, was preparing for Sunday’s Helen Robinson Memorial Concert there that features performances by her and several local musicians.    

  • Forests have traded their green leaves for a crisp fall wardrobe of gold, red and orange. 

    As you enjoy in this breathtaking display of natural beauty, take a moment to consider this rich land and its historic people. 

    The Catawba Indians have lived in this region for more than 13,000 years. 

    Their traditional foods include turkey, squash, pumpkins, corn, deer, nuts, beans, duck, dove, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sugar berries and honey. 

  • There’s a tradition at Yosemite National Park in California where a woodpile is set on fire and slowly pushed off a cliff, forming a burning cascade as it falls.

    That image proved to be the inspiration that gave Firefall its name.

    Formed in 1974 in Boulder, Colo., Firefall , with its string of top Country rock hits from two decades, is coming to the University of South Carolina at Lancaster’s Bundy Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

  • Although winter doesn’t start until Dec. 21, there are some no-cost and low-cost steps that can be taken to reduce household energy consumption and costs on a daily basis.

    Take advantage of heat from the sun

    – Open curtains on your south-facing windows during daylight hours to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

    Cover drafty windows

  • Crowds of residents packed Main Street in downtown Lancaster on Saturday for the annual Veterans Day Parade. American flags waved in the wind along the street as cars full of those who served in every branch of U.S. Armed Services drove past the crowd. 

    Posted on the cars were the names of the veterans inside, as well as which branch of the military they served in and in which wars they fought.

    There were veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, as well as several former prisoners of war. 

  • When 100 of South Carolina’s World War II veterans fly to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15 to tour the monument placed there in their honor, two Lancaster men will be among them. John Maltese, 86, of Indian Land and L.J. Vincent, 92, of Kershaw were selected for the very first Honor Flight South Carolina. They will visit several landmarks, including the National World War II Memorial in the nation’s capital.  The purpose of the nonprofit Honor Flight South Carolina is to fly veterans like Maltese and Vincent to and from the memorial free of charge.

  • Dr. Renee Bohn never considered the cards, letters and care packages she constantly sent to Sgt. Lavern Patterson in Iraq to be that big a deal. After all, Bohn said Patterson, who worked at Lancaster One Medical as a medical specialist, was part of her extended family. “I was just supporting my girl,” Bohn said. But when Patterson, a Kershaw native with the S.C.

  • The S.C.

  • The S.C. National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 178th Field Artillery, once based in Lancaster was deactivated in August, but its legacy is alive and well.And now, thanks to the members of American Legion Post 31, the unit – called Palmetto Thunder by some and the “Third Herd” by others – won’t be forgotten.Those who attend Saturday’s Veterans Day ceremony will get a chance to see what gave that unit its ground-shaking name.