• Officials say all was quiet here on Independence Day

    Friday's Independence Day celebrations didn't result in any major incidents or misfortunes around the county, officials reported Saturday.

    Lancaster County Sheriff Johnny Cauthen said authorities are typically on the lookout for intoxicated motorists and fires that may start from July 4 fireworks.

    On Saturday afternoon, Cauthen said he hadn't heard of any fires or serious disturbances from the Fourth of July.

    "It's been quiet – nothing major," Cauthen said.

  • Heath Springs adjusts budget to fund fire department requests

    HEATH SPRINGS – Heath Springs Town Council unanimously passed final reading of its 2008-09 budget June 19 after it found a way to fund the purchase of some critical fire equipment.

    Fire Chief Joey Plyler asked for new equipment, such as protective suits and communications gear, in May.

    Council has allocated $8,760 to fund the fire department's request.

    Exactly $5,000 will come from the 2008-09 budget for the equipment, and $3,760 will come from the past year's budget surplus, said Mayor Ann Taylor.

  • Red Cross has

    The Lancaster County American Red Cross recently held a blood drive in its own office.

    The local Red Cross chapter, which merged earlier this year with York and Chester counties, had its home for decades in an upstairs office on Williams Street, which was not handicapped accessible. The local chapter recently moved to one of the strip mall buildings next to McDonald's on Woodland Drive. It's clearly marked with the agency's trademark red cross.

  • Sales tax committee chairman to appear before council Monday

    Lancaster County Council will hear from the chairman of its capital project sales tax committee Monday.

    Charles Harrell will speak to council about progress the group has made since it began meeting this spring. The group is looking at possible projects to include in a November referendum that will ask voters to OK a 1-cent sales tax.

    "The committee will seek council's input before any formal agreement is put before them to approve," said County Administrator Steve Willis.

  • LAUGH teaches children lessons in good health

    The aim is to eat more fruits and vegetables, rather than junk food, and to exercise more instead of spending time in front of the TV.

    After two weeks of fun and information, a dozen area children have a better understanding of what it takes to reach those goals.

    The University of South Carolina at Lancaster recently concluded its first 2008 summer session for LAUGH, which stands for Learning and Understanding Good Health.

  • For nearly 30 years, Williams has donned Uncle Sam suit

    Every Fourth of July, Lancaster County parade goers can rely on one man to stand tall as their Uncle Sam.

    Harold Williams, a Kershaw Town Councilman and business owner, makes sure to give the crowds at the Charlesboro and Heath Springs parades a good likeness of the country's personification.

    He plans to be at the parades again today as the county celebrates Independence Day.

    Williams has been playing Uncle Sam for more than 25 years, and he can't imagine not playing him at the parades each year.

  • Fund started for retired officer who was shot

    The Lancaster Police Department has established a bank account to help retired officer Ray Knight and his family.

    Knight remains hospitalized after being shot in the head last week on Lynwood Circle.

    Police Chief Hugh White said the department encourages everyone to contribute to the BB&T account, which was opened earlier this week.

    On June 27, Knight had gone over to help two people who wrecked a vehicle and one of the occupants shot him in the right eye. Knight has since had that eye removed, and it is uncertain whether he will regain full sight in his left eye.

  • Gregory receives highest state honor

    State Sen. Greg Gregory is among the latest state residents to be honored with the Order of the Palmetto award, South Carolina's highest civilian honor.

    Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell of Charleston presented Gregory, R-Lancaster, the award, recognizing him for his 16 years of service in the Senate.

    Gregory said he's proud to receive the honor.

    "It means a great deal to me," he said. "I have always taken great pride in this state."

    The Order of the Palmetto was created in 1971 by Gov. John West to recognize lifetime achievement and service.

  • Turkey vultures, cardinals top list of birds spotted here

    It's official. The numbers are in, and the winners are - the turkey vulture and northern cardinal.

    The Katawba Valley Land Trust held its Catawba River spring bird count on April 26, in Lancaster and Chester counties.

    The turkey vulture and cardinal had the highest totals at 33 for each species for Chester and Lancaster counties.

    Blue-gray gnatcatchers, American crows, eastern bluebirds and northern mockingbirds were also common species spotted in the Lancaster County area during the bird count.

    A total of 93 species were identified during the count.

  • Hawks on Main Street perform a captivating drama - Reporter's Notebook column

    We were driving down Main Street last Friday night when I saw some familiar figures perched on the steeple at First Presbyterian Church.

    The steeple served as a perch last July for a juvenile red-tailed hawk and its mother, who occasionally stopped by to check on her baby and feed it. The baby apparently wasn't quite ready to leave home.

    Two months before, I had watched as two hawks spiraled higher and higher into the air above White Street, the mating flight of red-tails in love.