• Council OKs heavy industrial ordinance

    Lancaster County Council is working on approving an ordinance that will keep concrete plants in heavy industrial areas and hopefully away from neighborhoods.

    County Council unanimously passed first reading of an ordinance that will require concrete plants to locate in heavy industrial districts. Right now, they're allowed in both heavy and light industrial districts.

    The change was prompted by the situation between Brookchase residents in Indian Land and the Blue Dot concrete plant adjacent to the neighborhood in Perimeter 521 Business Park.

  • Hope on Hill hires architect

    A local nonprofit group has hired an architect to complete plans for the renovation of the old Barr Street School.

    Hope on the Hill has hired Jim Montgomery of MHM Architects of Charlotte to complete design work for new window and roofing work at the old school.

    The Lancaster County School District agreed in 2005 to lease the building for $1 a year to Hope on the Hill. Under the agreement, the organization will ultimately take ownership of the building.

  • Rock band with local ties hopes for MTV gig

    A Los Angeles band with local roots is trying to benefit from its large network of fans to win a MTV 2 contest.

    Djinn, an alternative rock band with three members from Lancaster County, is looking to get enough nationwide votes to be considered to play on the MTV New Year's Eve celebration show in New York City.

    "We're really getting into it for the further exposure," said former Lancaster resident Daniel Ghent, Djinn's lead singer.

  • 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.