News from the past week in York County that you might have missed:
York police target gang activity
YORK -- York police are stepping up patrols after discovering what they say is gang activity in the area.
The department has instituted a "street crime unit" to target neighborhoods associated with high crime and gang-related activity.
The York City Council recently approved additional money for the unit to pay officers overtime. The council's public safety committee also is pursuing grants to address gang activity. The grants could be used for several initiatives, including programs to help gang members or at-risk people get involved in better activities and software to help police track gang-related tips, York Police Chief Bill Mobley said.
"These groups are teenagers, and right now there are drugs and guns involved with this," Mobley said.
The department considers any organized group of individuals who gather to commit crime a gang, Mobley said.
Clover, Sharon issue water restrictions
Clover and Sharon have joined other towns across the region in asking residents to conserve water.
The downpours last week dropped about 2 inches of rain on some parts of the area, but it wasn't enough to make a dent in the shortage created by months of drought conditions.
At the request of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the Clover Town Council last week issued voluntary water restrictions in hopes of conserving water.
Mayor Donnie Burris asked Clover residents to refrain from using excess water during peak times, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The request includes eliminating washing bikes, boats and cars during the drought period, as well as washing down sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.
Burris said failure to conserve could prevent fulfillment of the usual water-use demands. He said the town will lift the restriction when the drought ends, but he doesn't expect that anytime soon.
Sharon leaders also are asking residents to avoid excessive water use, especially for washing cars, watering lawns or filling pools.
"People don't realize how much it takes to fill up pools, even kiddie pools, or water yards," Sharon Mayor Beverly Blaire said.
York, Rock Hill and Fort Mill also have issued voluntary restrictions.
Fort Mill to expand downtown park
FORT MILL -- A new athletic field is in the works for Fort Mill.
The Fort Mill Town Council voted unanimously last week to commit to a project aimed at turning part of an old water filter plant site on Calhoun Street into a multipurpose field.
The property, behind Walter Elisha Park, will be able to function as a soccer, football or lacrosse field.
Officials estimate the total cost of the project at $275,000, but the town has secured $125,000 in grants and donations. However, one $25,000 donation is being spread over three years, so $110,000 is available this year, another $10,000 will come in next year, followed by $5,000 in 2009.
For the past year, town officials have been eyeing the old filter plant site for an athletic field. Last month, the town's Parks and Recreation Committee finally brought a recommendation to the council to proceed with the project.
The field is being built with a capacity for future upgrades. For instance, it will probably begin with a gravel parking lot, which might be paved in the future.
-- Fort Mill Times