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  • Editor's Column: When will all the nonsense cease in Heath Springs?

    One of two things must be true about the bizarre procedural dysfunction of Heath Springs town government over the past four months.
    Either its officials are regularly disregarding multiple state laws, or they do not know what the laws require. Either way, there’s serious trouble in the town of 900 residents.

  • Staff Column: Salute to Bobby Vaughn

    Bobby Vaughn isn’t a household name in Lancaster County.
    He appears in a staff listing at the bottom of our editorial page in each edition. Bobby is the newspaper’s delivery manager, or he was until retiring this week after 41 years here.
    You might not have heard of him, but Bobby’s work behind the scenes in many roles has made him part of our company’s backbone.

  • The man on the tractor was the love of her life

    It’s Wednesday morning, and I’m motoring through the countryside north of Kershaw, looking for Wilma Faile. I have her address but no phone number.
    Tuesday afternoon, I received a letter from her, saying her husband of a quarter century, Ronnie, had passed away unexpectedly in February. Ronnie was the co-star of two of the best letters to the editor I’ve ever published, written by Wilma in 2015 and ’16.
    “I hope you remember me,” the new letter starts. “I’m the Skunk Lady.”

  • Editor's Column: The easiest way to increase your chance of saving someone’s life

    Greg Brasington’s left arm was turning an ugly color, and his hand was icy to the touch. He had no pulse at his wrist.
    “This hurts a lot,” said the special operations coordinator for Lancaster County EMS.
    Strapped to his upper arm was a small tourniquet, a life-saving device that Brasington keeps handy always, and not just on the job.
    “Everyone should have one of these,” he told the crowd at Wednesday’s Breakfast Rotary meeting. “You can get them on Amazon or Walmart.com for less than $10.”

  • Editor's Column: Math persuades Jeff Hammond, GOP rejoices without gloating

    OK, I admit it. I went to the GOP celebration of Jeff Hammond’s party-switching announcement last Thursday to see if there would be gloating.
    Maybe I would come back with a tsk-tsk column decrying ball-spiking, sideline-taunting political behavior. Perhaps a reminder as the French Open begins that Rafael Nadal is unfailingly gracious after decimating an opponent.
    But nothing unseemly happened. In the packed Historic Courthouse, the Republican faithful were all glee, no gloat. And that’s good.

  • Staff Column: Becoming part of the solution for abused, neglected animals

    Wagging tails and heavy breathing meet me at the door every day when I get home from a long day at the newspaper.
    I drop my bag and keys on the counter and try to take a seat on the couch. A 50-pound pit bull jumps up on my lap, wagging her tail wildly and smiling like it’s her favorite place in the world.
    It seems she’s been waiting on me for an eternity.

  • Editor's Column: Memories of a textile fortress that couldn’t withstand attack

    I walked the site of the demolished Lancaster Plant on Thursday, searching for the spot where the county historical society found Leroy Springs’ tomb last month.
    It saddened me so. The World’s Largest Cotton Mill, reduced to piles of bricks and concrete slabs. Soil stained dark, weeds head-high. Only a few houses still stand in the mill village, and most of those are boarded up. The vacant lots are overgrown and trashy.
    I stood there in the sun and the breeze and closed my eyes, remembering the place in its prime.

  • Editor's Column: Heath Springs, please get your act together

    It’s time for Mayor Eddie Moore and the other elected officials of Heath Springs to stop the madness and start obeying the law.
    The town’s dispute with its longtime landscaping contractor has resembled a slow-motion car wreck over the past couple of months. Every time we think the car is finally skidding to a halt, it hits another curb and flips up in the air again.

  • 2 preachers prone to smiles, prayers

    The shout, “Well Glory!” marked the life of Curtis Cameron just as bazookas and Bibles left an imprint on W.C. Wallace.
    We lost them – two of the county’s best-known ministers – in the past few days.
    Cameron, 85, died at his home March 22 and Wallace, 93, died Tuesday.
    I have been thinking about the legacy that they left us.
    At a small community newspaper, we don’t just write about folks. We really know them.

  • Editor's Column: Linda Blackmon in charge? Inhale…exhale

    Thanksgiving dinner in our family involves serious logistics, workflow management, food-safety expertise, communication skills and social-host savvy. It’s a hefty production trusted to people who know what they’re doing.
    One relative leads the effort – usually the person whose roof it’s under – but there’s always a plan B in case that person is under the weather or gets sidetracked by some emergency. If needed, the No. 2 steps in – someone with the skills to keep the big event going on short notice.