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Local

  • DeVenny takes oath as mayor

    For most of his life, Alston DeVenny has put service at the center of his life. And his swearing-in as the mayor of Lancaster was just another extension of that service to his community.
    “I owe everything I have to the fact that people put enough trust in me to allow me to represent them – and that’s black folks, white folks, rich folks, poor folks. It’s everybody,” DeVenny said. “I’m not perfect, but on the whole, I think I’ve done a good job.”

  • Churches welcome young black pastor

    The July 1 service at Grace United Methodist Church was filled with laughter, applause and even some tears as 24-year-old Sh’Kur Francis preached his first sermon at the church.
    Francis is the first black man to pastor the prominently white congregation at Grace UMC. He is also the pastor at Lynnwood United Methodist Church, and will begin teaching social studies at A.R. Rucker Middle School next month.
    He has learned the names of every member of both churches and memorized details about each person that makes them unique.

  • Suspect in 2009 murder back in jail

    The suspect in a 2009 murder case who fled the state before his court date was caught in Baltimore last month and extradited to Lancaster.
    According to Baltimore City District Court records, Montrez Michael Clark, 28, was arrested June 12 on a fugitive warrant. He was booked at the Lancaster County Detention Center on June 22.
    Clark was charged, along with four others, in the murder of Lamario Demond Ford of Great Falls in 2009. Ford was found beaten and shot inside of a Cunningham Street home on March 31, 2009.

  • Inmates set fire at Kershaw prison

    A fire broke out at the Kershaw Correctional Institution early Sunday afternoon.

    According to S.C. Department of Corrections Communications Director Jeffrey Taillon, the lunchtime blaze was just a small fire started by a few of the inmates.

    While one of the dorms was being cleaned after lunch and empty food containers were being piled together, some of the inmates lit pieces of paper on fire and threw them from their cells, Taillon said. The paper ignited the small pile of containers.

  • Polston pleads guilty to armory weapons theft

    A third person has been convicted on federal weapons charges after being caught in November with machine guns, a grenade launcher and other items stolen from the Lancaster National Guard Armory.
    Brandon Shane Polston, 32, of Lancaster pleaded guilty to possession of machine guns and destructive devices, and to being a felon in possession of firearms, according to South Carolina’s U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon.
    Two co-defendants, Austin Lee Ritter, 23, and Kimberly Denise Cannon, 40, pleaded guilty to the same charges last month.

  • Power to the youth x10

    The National Youth Empowerment Day Festival is Saturday, July 14, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Preston Blackmon Park, 500 Connor St., in Lancaster.
    The year marks the 10th annual celebration of the event, hosted by Ja’Von Crockett, a Lancaster native who now lives in Atlanta as a pastor, master barber/hairstylist and instructor at 71 Hair Salon.
    The event will include music, food, grocery and bicycle giveaways, free school supplies, free haircuts and a talent showcase.

  • Lancaster dad dies in accident

    A Lancaster man died in a single-vehicle wreck in Waxhaw, N.C., on Tuesday afternoon.
    Jonathon “Jon” Morris, 26, was a passenger in a 1976 Chevy pickup truck that wrecked on Providence Road South in Waxhaw near Cane Creek Road, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
    The truck, driven by Jonathan Starnes of North Carolina, ran off of the right side of the road, overcorrected, then ran off the left side of the road before hitting trees.
    Starnes has been charged with driving while impaired, and other charges are pending.

  • City hires finance director

    The city of Lancaster has hired Dana Pinkert as it’s new finance director after former Finance Director Daniel Driggers resigned May 11.
    Pinkert, who now lives in Ohio, said she is moving to be closer with family.
    “We were considering going down South, and my son moved to Fort Mill with my grandkids. So I started looking in that general area, and Lancaster itself,” Pinkert said. “It just fit, the type of little city it is, the services it has and the form of government. It was a good fit for me.”

  • Creativity camp

    Lancaster’s Discovery School was spilling over with creativity this week as the Lancaster County Council of the Arts’ first of four Arts and Sciences Summer Camps took residence in its classrooms.
    About 75 children enrolled in the Lancaster camp, which aims “to keep children learning and creating in the summertime and to keep their brains engaged,” said LCCA Executive Director Debbie Jaillette.
    Many different programs were offered during the week, ranging from dance, art and music to science.

  • Fort Lawn crowd hears details of Heart & Soul

    Brian Garner
    Landmark News Service

    Mick Harrington, one of Fort Lawn’s Heart & Soul Committee members, channeled the late President John F. Kennedy at the project’s first community-input meeting last week.
    Ask not what ZIP code 29714 can do for you, Harrington told the small crowd that attended, ask what you can do for 29714.
    Harrington and other committee members spoke at the first Heart & Soul public event June 30, held at the new Fort Lawn Fire Department El Bethel substation.