• Overdose frequency quickens in March

    Lancaster County had about 30 non-fatal opioid overdoses in the first two months of this year, but the pace has roughly doubled this month, averaging about one a day.
    Six overdoses have resulted in deaths so far this year, a much faster rate than last year, when there were 15 cases, said Lancaster County Coroner Karla Deese.
    Deese said the fatalities have been spread all over the county.

  • Be on lookout for invasive fig buttercup flowers

    Spring is in the air! Unfortunately, that means pollen, itchy eyes, runny noses and, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, an invasive plant species trying to take over.
    SCDNR is asking the public for help in locating outbreaks of the fig buttercup, whose tiny, yellow flowers resemble the non-invasive butterweed, but is causing a lot more ruckus.
    SCDNR Assistant Botanist Herrick Brown said the fig buttercup flowers fight other plant life for space, which ultimately could threaten the state’s ecosystem.

  • Church-theft suspect sought

    A Columbia man has been identified as a suspect in a string of thefts from parking lots at four local churches during last Sunday’s worship services.
    Arrest warrants have been issued charging 29-year-old Maurice Sherrod Gibson, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. The Crime Scene Investigations Unit processed the vehicles, and forensic evidence connected Gibson to the crimes.

  • 41 years praising God together

    Few singing ensembles have stayed together for more than four decades, but the Inspiration Singers of Lancaster celebrated their 41st anniversary by performing a free concert at Hope on the Hill last Sunday.
    Brenda Wade, the group’s tenor, said more than 200 people packed the auditorium.
    “It went well. We had a good turnout, and it was a real spiritual time,” she said. “We saw lots of familiar faces and some new ones, too. Somebody new comes out every time.”

  • 3 schools locked down during manhunt

    All three Kershaw schools were placed on lockdown Thursday morning as the sheriff’s office began a manhunt for a shooting suspect.
    Kershaw Elementary and Andrew Jackson Middle and High schools were locked down for more than two hours after authorities alerted the school district that the search was under way.
    The suspect, Leonard A. Shropshire, 21, was apprehended Thursday afternoon on Parkman Avenue in Lancaster.

  • City gets its grant priorities straight

    Lancaster City Council has assessed the community’s needs in preparation for this year’s grant applications.
    During a recent meeting, council members targeted water and sewer infrastructure improvements, blight removal and cleanup of the old Springs Industries Lancaster Plant site as the city’s top priorities for 2019.
    The S.C. Department of Commerce administers the Community Development Block Grant Small Cities Program, which will receive $20.2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this year.

  • Suspect waives bond in Byrdic’s death

    The undocumented immigrant charged with driving off Airport Road and killing a man in his yard was in court Thursday morning for a second bond hearing.
    He waived bond, leaving him behind bars.
    Abel Olivo Borbonio, 42, was charged with reckless homicide after 60-year-old Chuck Byrdic was killed in front of his Airport Road home on Aug. 4.
    Borbonio’s attorney, David Cook, said his client decided to waive the bond hearing so Byrdic’s wife, Donna, wouldn’t have to go through any more trauma than she has already been through.

  • Church cheers overachiever Corey Pope on 30th birthday

    FORT LAWN – In a packed sanctuary at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Corey Pope took the stage with microphone in hand and belted out the lyrics to “I Am Redeemed.”
    “Where there is hate, love now abides. Where there was confusion, peace now reigns,” he sang. “I’m a child, child of the King. It’s all because I am redeemed.”
    Wanda Sirk watched her son in awe. Nearly three decades ago, doctors said he would never walk or talk. Yet there he stood, leading a congregation in song.

  • Possessing a gun gets local man 9½ years in federal pen

    COLUMBIA – A Lancaster man with a long criminal record was sentenced to nearly a decade in federal prison Wednesday on one count of illegally possessing a gun.
    Jamarcus Dontaye Patterson, 36, received a 9½-year prison term from U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
    The office of U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon prosecuted the case as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm violations.

  • Panthers coming south?

    At Wednesday’s big press event, York and Lancaster counties both got shout-outs as possible sites for a relocated Carolina Panthers headquarters and practice facility, but York seemed to be several strides ahead.
    Lancaster officials were caught a bit off guard by Gov. Henry McMaster’s press conference, which was attended by a bevy of York County politicians. County Administrator Steve Willis said he was aware that discussions between the state and the team began a few months ago, but he hasn’t heard anything since.