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Local

  • City Council OKs changes to its zoning ordinance

    Lancaster City Council approved an update to its zoning ordinance at its regular meeting last week.

    Council approved the update after much discussion during its first reading of the proposed changes at the Oct. 23 meeting.

    At that meeting, city building official Richard Bowers presented changes recommended by the city planning commission.

    Council unanimously approved the nearly 41 changes on second reading at the Nov. 13 meeting.

    Councilmen Preston Blackmon and Danny O'Brien were not present.

  • State gives district an average grade

    The Lancaster County School District received an "average" rating on its 2007 state-issued report card, the same ratings it got in 2006.

    The state Department of Education released the report cards earlier this month.

    Schools and districts are assessed by two ratings on the report cards – absolute and improvement.

    Absolute ratings are based on overall student performance on standardized tests, and improvement ratings look at individual student test scores from one year to the next and the number of students who have made such gains.

  • More district students pass state exit exam on first try

    More students in the Lancaster County School District passed both sections of the exit exam in 2007 than in the year before, according to data the state Department of Education released this month.

    Public high school students must pass the English language arts and math sections of the high school assessment program to meet South Carolina's exit examination requirement for a diploma.

    The test is given to students during their second year in high school. Students who don't pass on the first try have additional chances to retake the section they didn't pass.

  • County to combine polling places

    The state's early primaries are causing problems for the Lancaster County Voter Registration office.

    The office is having to combine several precincts because not enough funding came from the state to run the primaries locally, and there are also issues with programming the voting machines for two primaries in one week.

    The Republican primary will be held Jan. 19, with the Democratic primary a week later on Jan. 26. Both are Saturdays.

  • Soldier home on leave after 15-month deployment in Iraq

    A local family is thankful this season to celebrate the safe return of two young soldiers from Iraq.

    Diane Moore was pleased to see two of her children, U.S. Army Spc. Robert Fach, 21, and U.S. Army Sgt. Danielle Fach, 23, return safely from their deployment in Iraq.

    Moore said she's been afraid for her children's safety.

    While they were gone, every time she heard the 82nd Airborne mentioned on television, she got an eerie feeling.

    "It's nice to have them home for a while," Moore said, although she doesn't know how long that will be.

  • Patrol to be out in force this holiday

    The S.C. Highway Patrol has a friendly warning for motorists: They'll be closely watched over the Thanksgiving holidays.

    The Highway Patrol is preparing for heavy travel by calling out additional manpower resources.

    All Highway Patrol personnel in the state, from Highway Patrol Col. Russell Roark on down, will be patrolling during the holiday period, which starts at 6 p.m. today and runs through midnight Sunday.

  • Healing Horses heals her

    INDIAN LAND – Tucked away in the Black Horse Run neighborhood, on one acre of land, is a place where horses hurt on the outside get healed on the inside.

    Resident Katie Holme runs Healing Horses, a program for abused horses. Horses like Dakota Messenger, a Standardbred she recently found at an auction, come to Holme in bad shape, with cuts and wounds over their dingy coats, ribs and hip bones jutting out from starvation and the baggage of behavior problems that come from being mistreated.

  • Kershaw Town Hall torn down

    KERSHAW – Kershaw Town Hall came down Friday.

    Built about 1902, the complex on Hampton Street underwent various renovations and uses over the years. It was demolished by Maintenance Insulation of Lancaster to make way for a new town hall to be constructed next year on the same site.

    The demolition work started Nov. 13, with workers starting from the back and working toward the front, said Town Administrator Tony Starnes. The work will cost slightly more than $18,000.

  • 'Tis the season to shop, buy, sell

    The holiday season is a time for gathering and celebrating with friends and family, gift-giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection.

    Rush to the stores

    Retail sales by the nation's department stores in December 2006 was $31.4 billion. Sales represented a 44 percent jump from November 2006 (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $21.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.

  • Blackmon achieved great success in construction business

    Longtime Lancaster home builder, land developer and entrepreneur Richard Blackmon, who died Friday at age 93, achieved great success, but he didn't put on airs of self-importance.

    Blackmon, instead, had an average Joe persona, said state Sen. Greg Gregory, who is also president of Builders Supply in Lancaster.

    Gregory's father, Bubber, and Blackmon were partners in the construction business. Together, they developed the Gregwood subdivision in Lancaster.