News In Brief - December 6, 2007

Fort Mill Times wins McClatchy award

The Fort Mill Times recently was honored by the McClatchy Co. with a 2007 President's Award in the spot news category.

The award recognized the paper for its coverage of the fire that destroyed local eatery Tony's Pizza in May. Coverage included multiple articles and photos.

Mac Banks, Jenny Overman, Jonathan Allen and Editor Michael Harrison were recognized for the coverage. Allen was given special credit for his first-person account of the last time he ate dinner at Tony's.

"It's teamwork at it's finest," Harrison said. "I think the backbone of any newspaper is to pull together -- especially when something unusual happens -- and we did that."

The four staff members will split a $1,000 prize.

The Fort Mill Times, a sister paper of The Herald, offers local coverage of Fort Mill, Tega Cay and Indian Land every Wednesday. To check out the Times' other work, visit fortmilltimes.com.

Winthrop University police win new car

Winthrop University police brought home a hefty prize from the S.C. Department of Public Safety this week: a new police car.

Winthrop earned the fully-equipped 2007 Dodge Charger through its participation in a statewide Law Enforcement Challenge that lasted from Dec. 15, 2006, until Sept. 3. The challenge focused on increasing seat belt use, slowing speedy drivers and reducing impaired and aggressive driving.

At the challenge recognition ceremony Tuesday, departments were entered into random drawings for six cars. Winthrop drew one of them. All participating agencies received a radar gun.

York County's school boards given award

York County's four school boards recently were given the 2007 Legislative Advocacy Program of the Year award, presented by the S.C. School Boards Association.

The boards were recognized for their collaborative efforts to lobby for quality public education. The four school boards and the local legislative delegation meet quarterly to discuss state education legislation and its impact on local schools. The boards have tackled issues such as education spending and the proposed public school enrollment bill.

The award was presented Saturday during the association's annual legislative and advocacy conference on Hilton Head Island.

Cleanup at burned-out Clover dealership begins

CLOVER -- Debris from a Feb. 18 fire at the Rick Ford dealership in Clover is finally being cleared.

The insurance companies, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and everyone else who wanted to look at the charred remains have finished their work, and this week crews from A1 Demolition and Recycling in Gastonia, N.C., started hauling out the rubble, owner Rick Dickerson said.

"Nobody wants that gone any more than me," Dickerson said. "We're sorry, but it's been a long process."

The fire, which is believed to have started in a downstairs oil furnace, caused more than $1 million in damage to the landmark dealership, he said. Dickerson's apartment above the showroom also was destroyed by the blaze.

Joe Bolin, an A1 employee, said they should finish clearing the lot at 124 Kings Mountain St. by the end of the week. Most of the rubble will be recycled, he said.

Dickerson said he will continue to run a used car dealership and sell specialty-order vehicles, but he's unsure what he'll do with the old lot.

-- Enquirer-Herald