• Hugs and tears for Air Force vet, her 2 girls

    Erwin Elementary staff conspired to get sisters Ahriana Gillings, 10, and Autumn Simon, 5, into the same classroom Monday morning, sitting side-by-side on the floor reading a book.
    It was time for an unexpected Thanksgiving homecoming.
    In walked their mom, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jequisha Simon, wearing crisp fatigues and a tearful smile. She hadn’t seen her girls in eight months.
    “Ahriana,” Simon called.

  • Lancaster man guilty on federal charges

    Jamarcus Dontaye Patterson, 35, of Lancaster has pleaded guilty to weapons charges in federal court and faces up to a decade behind bars.
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Saturday that Patterson pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition after evidence was presented against him.
    Patterson faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

  • State plans to address health care challenges

    From release

    COLUMBIA – State officials, along with business and health-care leaders, are launching Live Healthy SC, a comprehensive plan to address South Carolina’s greatest health challenges.
    The plan was created through a partnership between the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina, a multi-sector coalition of state leaders working to address community health needs and reduce the future cost of care.

  • ‘American Pickers’ seeking S.C. leads

    From release

    The History Channel’s antique sleuths Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are bringing their show “American Pickers” back to South Carolina in January, and they’re scouting for interesting collections to rummage through.
    The documentary series explores the world of antique
    “picking” as Wolfe and Fritz travel the country looking for valuable finds.

  • On the Road Again

    On the road again, this time to Noah’s Ark in Kentucky.
    David Branham of Flint Ridge Baptist Church and Sherrie and Tim Bailey of St. Luke United Methodist Church created a way for their neighbors and friends to travel by bus to see the Noah’s Ark exhibit in Kentucky.
    David was our tour guide and the leader of the trip. We left Flint Ridge Church about 6:30 a.m. and from there we traveled to St. Luke to finish loading the bus almost to capacity.

  • Coalition for Healthy Youth gets state honor for opioid conference

    From release

    The S.C. Office of Rural Health recently named Lancaster’s Coalition for Healthy Youth the state’s 2018 Outstanding Community Health Project.
    The coalition was honored for its annual conference focusing on prevention of youth substance abuse in rural communities. This year’s was the 11th conference, and it attracted more than 180 professionals from 11 states.

  • Governor lowers flags in honor of Dennis Straight

    Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff Saturday in honor of Van Wyck’s Dennis Straight.
    Straight, the 59-year-old assistant chief of the Charlotte Road-Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department, was struck and killed Nov. 7 while directing traffic around a wreck at the intersection of U.S. 521 and S.C. 5. He had been with the department for 20 years.
    His memorial service was scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Second Baptist Church, with a full procession of fire and rescue trucks crossing the county before the service.

  • County votes for rezoning 45 acres in IL

    Lancaster County Council voted to rezone 45 acres in the Panhandle for a retail-office-residential project this week, despite strong pushback from council member Terry Graham, who argued that the county should first enact impact fees on new construction.
    At Monday night’s council meeting, Graham was the lone council member opposing the rezoning request from Widewaters Land Co. on U.S. 521 property just south of Shelley Mullis Road.

  • City suspends recycling program

    Starting Dec. 1 there will be no more curbside recycling pickup in the city of Lancaster.
    The city council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to suspend the city’s recycle program indefinitely. Mayor Alston DeVenny cast the only dissenting vote, and council member Kenny Hood was absent.
    City Administrator Flip Hutfles explained Wednesday that the costs to move and process the recyclable materials have increased significantly.

  • Ruptured water main shuts both AJ schools

    Two water-main breaks along U.S. 521 shut down Andrew Jackson middle and high schools Friday morning, after both schools were left without water.
    District Safety Director Bryan Vaughn said students were dismissed at 10:30 a.m., and parents were notified via the Remind app.
    “There’s just no way we can operate without water, so we made the decision to let students out early,” Vaughn said.
    The first break was about a third of a mile north of the schools on U.S. 521, and the second break was about a quarter of a mile south of AJHS.