• Man kills raccoon he thought was rabid

    INDIAN LAND - Ravenwood resident Joe Patterson knew there was something wrong with a raccoon on his property last week.

    Patterson said he heard one of his dogs "barking his head off" and went to investigate. He saw an obviously sick raccoon jerking around his yard.

    "One – you don't see a raccoon during the day, and, two, he was staggering," Patterson said.

  • Town halts plans to remove towering trees - for now

    KERSHAW - The town of Kershaw will look more carefully at a proposal to cut down 17 trees on Matson Street to repair sidewalks in what some consider the most beautiful area of town.

    Town Council voted unanimously Monday to table a resolution to remove the towering trees and their roots, which are causing the sidewalks along the street to crack.

    The estimated cost to remove the trees, rebuild the sidewalks and plant new trees is $75,000.

    Town Administrator Tony Starnes said the sidewalks are dangerous, as some are raised six to eight inches.

  • Lancaster man faces cocaine trafficking, other charges

    A complaint about a Lancaster man waving a gun in a parking lot Tuesday evening led to the seizure of about three ounces of cocaine, nearly $1,000 in drug money and a stolen firearm.

    James Edward Hayden, 49, of 3085 North Apartments, was charged Tuesday with trafficking powder cocaine 28 to 100 grams, second offense.

    Deputies came to the apartment complex between 6 and 6:30 p.m. after receiving a call about a man in a yellow jacket in the parking lot with a gun, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff's Office incident report.

  • Sheriff won't seek 4th term

    Being charged with the protection of 71,000 residents is a large burden.

    Sheriff Johnny Cauthen worries every day about the people of Lancaster County. He worries about the safety of his deputies and whether he'll have enough money each year to adequately staff and equip the sheriff's office, detention center and E-911 center.

    Cauthen, 51, said he's thankful for the opportunities he's had during his 31 years in local law enforcement, and for the chance to serve three terms as sheriff.

  • Soldier ships out for 5th time

    INDIAN LAND - Military deployment has made life tough at times for Chris Fite and his wife, Amy.

    Chris, a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force, has just gone overseas again for his fifth tour of duty in five years. He left last week for Qater, Afghanistan, where he will work in a squadron that secures airplane runways.

    He expects to come back in May.

    Amy, an Indian Land native, says it's difficult having a loved one gone so often. The deployments create inconvenience, and when Chris is gone, she worries all the time about his safety.

  • Roads more deadly in '07

    Seven more people died on Lancaster County roads in 2007 than the year before, and the S.C. Highway Patrol points to alcohol use and the failure to use seat belts as major reasons for the spike.

    In 2007, 16 crashes in the county resulted in 17 fatalities. That's up substantially from 2006, when 10 crashes resulted in 10 fatalities.

    About half of the fatal crashes in the county last year were alcohol-related and about 70 percent are tied to non seat-belt use, Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson said. Other key factors have been speeding and failing to yield to other vehicles.

  • 15 more arrests made in drug roundup

    The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office's Operation Rolling Thunder continued over the weekend with more arrests.

    Twelve people had been arrested in the drug operation on Friday, with sheriff's officials saying that arrests would continue Saturday and Sunday.

    The sheriff's office conducted two search warrants on Friday and confiscated drugs, guns and stolen stereos.

  • BHS student hurt in wreck

    A Buford High School student was injured early Tuesday when he drove in front of a tractor-trailer truck at the intersection of Pageland Highway and Rocky River Road.

    Christopher Wren Jones, 17, of 254 Knollwood Apartments, was the driver, said S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskins.

    Jones was taken to Carolina Medical Center by ambulance. Rescue workers at the scene wanted to fly Jones to the Charlotte hospital, but fog had its flight services grounded for the morning.

    A CMC spokeswoman said late Tuesday that Jones was in fair condition.

  • Sandhill cranes make rare pit stop in county

    A long-legged bird made a rare stop in Lancaster County last week.

    West Doc Garris Road resident Cricket Harper said he saw a group of six strange birds eating in his open fields on Jan. 2. Harper's son, Tim, saw the birds during a deer hunting expedition on Dec. 29.

    At first, Harper thought the birds were turkeys.

    "Then I thought, 'A turkey is not gray,'" Harper said. "We were just so excited to see those birds."

  • Elon University's Clyburn tapped to lead AJ football program

    KERSHAW - Andrew Jackson High School has tapped the college football ranks for the Volunteers' new head football coach.

    Louis Clyburn, 35, is the Vols' ninth football coach. He was selected from a field of more than 55 applicants.

    Clyburn, who comes to AJ from Elon University in Elon, N.C., replaces Ernie Hughes. Hughes resigned Nov. 29 at the Class AA school after leading the Vols for five seasons and going 20-35 with four postseason bids.

    "We feel great about coach Clyburn," said AJ athletic director Dale Reeves. "We can't wait to get him here and get him started.