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Local

  • Local officer wins state training award

    The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office can add another award to its shelf now that one of its training captains has been named Training Officer of the Year.
    Cpl. Craig Lilly, a nine-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was recognized by the S.C. Training Officers Association during a conference in Myrtle Beach earlier this month.
    He became an assistant training officer in 2012 and holds certifications in several of the subjects taught at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy.

  • Foundation grants up tenfold in last 2 years

    The Lancaster County Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling $54,500 to 19 nonprofit organizations after a significant increase in funds over the past two years.
    LCCF’s grants have increased tenfold since 2016 when the foundation awarded just $4,500 in grants to local organizations.
    This exponential growth is a result of increased community giving, a $50,000 donation from the J. Marion Sims Foundation and the partnership match between the Lancaster County board and Foundation for the Carolinas.

  • No point in running if you can’t take office

    The Democratic candidate for state superintendent of education has withdrawn from the race.
    S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Monday that Israel Romero of Spartanburg officially notified the S.C. Democratic Party and state elections officials on Oct. 17 that he was dropping out of the race.
    Romero gave no reason, but state Election Commission Chair Molly Simon confirmed that Romero was ineligible to run due to a past felony conviction.

  • ‘Blue house’ revamp

    Promise Neighborhood volunteers decked out in T-shirts featuring the slogan “Whatever It Takes” took over Brooklyn Avenue Saturday for another community workday.
    About 65 people of all ages turned up to renovate a former drug house in the area and to build a reading park just down the road.
    Hammering, shouting and the clanging of bottles could be heard all along the street as the cleanup got under way.

  • Lancaster County School Board District 5: Neil Couch

    ◆ Age: 36.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Amanda Jaillette Couch; daughter, Emma.
    ◆ Education: Graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 2000. Bachelor’s degree in business administration, USC-Columbia, 2004. Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE), 2012.
    ◆ Occupation: Equipment manager, Hoopaugh Grading Co.
    ◆ Political experience: None.
    ◆ Top issues:
    – The workload for teachers not related to teaching is heavy and should be reduced.

  • Mayor, City of Lancaster: Tamara Green Garris

    ◆ Age: 44.
    ◆ Family: Husband, Shamar; daughter, Daisha; son, Mason.
    ◆ Education: Lancaster High School graduate. Associate degree in paralegal studies, Kaplan University. Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Kaplan University.
    ◆ Occupation: Loan verification analyst 2, Wells Fargo Bank.
    ◆ Political experience: City council District 4, 10 years. Mayor pro tem, two years. Acting mayor, seven months.
    ◆ Top issues:
    The biggest issues facing the city of Lancaster are safety, jobs and education.

  • Lancaster County Probate Judge: Crystal Johnson

    ◆ Party: Democrat.
    ◆ Age: 54.
    ◆ Family:  Husband, Bart Johnson. Daughters, Amber and Jade, and two grandchildren.
    ◆ Education: Associate degree in science from USC Lancaster.
    ◆ Occupation:  Customer service representative, Springs Global, US.
    ◆ Political experience:  None.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County Probate Judge: Dee Studebaker

    ◆ Party: Republican.
    ◆ Age: 51.
    ◆ Family: Married to Tim Studebaker. A son in college and a son in high school.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication, University of Arkansas, 1990. Law degree, University of Arkansas, 1993.
    ◆ Occupation: Associate probate judge, small-business owner, artist and attorney.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Mayor, City of Lancaster: Alston DeVenny

    ◆ Age: 56.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Susan; children, Miller, Sarah Katherine, Emma, Mary Alston.
    ◆ Education: S.C. public schools. Bachelor’s degree in urban studies, Furman University. Law degree, University of South Carolina.
    ◆ Occupation:  Attorney with Folks & DeVenny.
    ◆ Political experience: Mayor of Lancaster, July 2018 to present. Lancaster County Council, 1998-2006, and council chairman, 2004-06.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 7: Ken Buck

    ◆ Age: 56.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Jill; son Ryan, 9, and daughter Aubrey, 6.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in education from Clemson University, master’s degree in education leadership and administration from Grand Canyon University.
    ◆ Occupation: Retired teacher and administrator/education consultant.     
    ◆ Political Experience: First run for political office.
    ◆ Top issues: