• ‘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:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 7: Chris Campbell

    ◆ Age:  52.
    ◆ Family: Wife, Jennifer; two children, Peter, 15, and Patrick, 13.
    ◆ Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina.
    ◆ Occupation: Technology project manager.
    ◆ Employer: FIS Global.
    ◆ Political experience: None; I am not a politician and typically stay away from politics.
    ◆ Top issues:

  • Lancaster County School Board District 5: Janice C. Dabney

    ◆ Age: 71.
    ◆ Family: Husband, Tommy Dabney; daughter, Pamela Trimnal; son, Alex Dabney.
    ◆ Education: Attended USCL for two years.
    ◆ Occupation: Retired CEO, Springs Memorial Hospital.
    ◆ Political experience: School board member for 18 years.
    ◆ Top issues:
    – Managing rapid population growth in the northern part of the county.
    – Addressing teacher concerns: pay, professional development, classroom disruptions, workload, retention, smaller student-teacher ratios.

  • Lancaster County School Board District 5: Melissa Jones-Horton

    ◆ Age: 52.
    ◆ Family: Husband, Douglas Horton; son, Kendrick Jones; daughter, Makina Horton.
    ◆ Education: Lancaster High School, Simmons Beauty College.
    ◆ Occupation: Educator, business owner.
    ◆ Political experience: None.
    ◆ Top issues:
    To me, the biggest issues facing the school district are the dropout rate, the lack of partnerships and fair pay for our teachers and staff.
    ◆ How do you intend to deal with those issues?