• 103-year-old Minnie Duncan says don't worry, be happy

    Minnie Duncan had her hair done and her birthday outfit on as if she were preparing to go out and celebrate in a major way. Cards, flowers and several balloons brightened up a room that was already gleaming with her joy.

    Duncan, a Kershaw native who now lives at the Lancaster Convalescent Center, turned 103 Tuesday. She said she's thankful to see another year.

    "I feel good," Duncan said as she looked at the birthday balloons that Convalescent staff had just delivered. "I got no pains about my body."

  • Many state, local seats up for election in 2008

    This is not just a year about electing a new president.

    Local candidate races are already heating up, with the announcements that state Sen. Greg Gregory, R-District 16, and Sheriff Johnny Cauthen, a Democrat, won't be running for re-election.

    Barry Faile, chief deputy at the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, is the first local candidate to throw his hat in the ring. He announced Thursday, two days after Cauthen announced his retirement plans, that he would be running as a Democrat in the local sheriff's race.

  • Are feds 'pimping' mussel?

    Lancaster County Council members likened proposed regulations on how to deal with an endangered mussel to living in a police state and extortion.

    Council debated a resolution concerning the Carolina heelsplitter during its first meeting of the year Monday night.

    The county is considering establishing a special zoning district called an overlay to protect the heelsplitter in the booming Indian Land area. About 7,800 acres of property is proposed for rezoning in the district.

  • Demand high for aid from charities

    Local charities are not sure what to expect in terms of donations and need levels in 2008, but they are feeling some apprehension from high unemployment.

    Kershaw Area Resource Exchange (KARE) appears to be in the most precarious position.

    KARE Administrator Mike Hilton said monetary donations continue to fall at his agency while need continues to increase.

    "Unfortunately, that has just coincided with the loss of jobs," Hilton said. "There's definitely more need right now than we're used to having."

  • 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.