Will South Carolina deliver the White House?
Once the Iowa caucuses are over Thursday, candidates and their staffs will descend on South Carolina like locusts. Get ready for phone calls, door-to-door campaigning -- and the usual mudslinging. Polls show the race is wide open in both parties. Republicans vote Jan. 19. Democrats follow on the 26th.
Could changes at the top alter York County's future?
Some familiar faces are expected to challenge for County Council seats this fall. In the north, Jeff Updike has made no secret that he's leaning toward a run for his old seat against Paul Lindemann. To the west, Mayor Eddie Lee and former Chairman Steve McNeely are said to be eyeing bids for Joe Cox's seat.
How will region changes affect high school sports?
For the first time since 1972, Rock Hill's high schools will compete in different athletic regions in the 2008-2009 seasons. South Pointe and Rock Hill will be in the Columbia-focused Region 4-AAAA, while Northwestern will join Clover, York, Fort Mill, Nation Ford and Gaffney in Region 3-AAAA. That means Rock Hill and Northwestern won't play at the end of the football season.
Will Celanese workers get their day in court?
To newcomers, it's a barren piece of land next to Interstate 77. But the now-demolished Celanese Celriver Plant was once one of the state's largest employers. This year, a team of lawyers will pursue a potentially massive workers' compensation case, arguing that former Celanese workers suffer health problems from working around various substances. Celanese disputes it. The two sides will face off in court.
How will mass transit evolve in York County?
The light rail line in Charlotte opened to great fanfare -- and higher ridership than expected. Commuter trains in York County are still many years away, but planners think a bus line running up U.S. 21 would make sense at a reasonable price. As the eastern part of the county becomes more urbanized, mass transit takes on greater relevance.
What legacy will the drought leave?
Unless we get some serious rain this year, the drought will leave us with more than brown lawns and fewer swimming holes. Utility officials warn of tighter restrictions that could dictate how much water we're allowed to use in our homes. Through December, rainfall totals were 15 inches below normal.
Can Winthrop get back to the Big Dance?
The Eagles finally got their long-sought victory in the NCAA Tournament last season, beating Notre Dame in a thriller. Now, the goal is to get back. Last week's win over nationally-ranked Miami showed the young team's potential, but getting that kind of performance consistently remains the challenge.
Will Fort Mill voters choose more money for schools?
The future of Fort Mill's crowded school district will get a little clearer in March. That's when voters will be asked to approve $87.1 million in bonds for a new middle school and two new elementary schools, plus land for future schools. A second ballot item for $8.6 million would provide additional gyms at each of the high schools and a 5,000-seat stadium at Nation Ford High. Insiders say an approval is no sure thing.
Best of the rest
• Wal-Mart: Given its controversial beginnings, what kind of reception will Tega Cay's new Wal-Mart get from shoppers?
• Sunday alcohol sales referendum: York County voters are widely expected to lift the ban on Sunday alcohol sales in a referendum this fall.
• "Pennies for Progress": Decisions must be made on which roads get widened, and how dollars should be shifted to accomodate for a money shortage.
• Chester County unemployment: Will better cooperation among agencies lead to less joblessness in Chester County, where the unemployment rate is third-highest in the state?