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LCSO seizes 6-plus pounds of cocaine

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 6 pounds of cocaine from a home in the 400 block of West Richland Street in Kershaw earlier this week.

The drug bust happened Monday, Feb. 13. Agents from the Lancaster County Multijurisdictional Narcotics Task Force received information that a parcel containing cocaine was being shipped from a location outside the country to the Kershaw address.

Agents with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, the U.S. Postal Service and Homeland Security worked with the sheriff’s office. The package was intercepted and tested positive for cocaine.

The package, addressed to Quanisha Lashay Manago, 28, was delivered Monday afternoon. Agents watched the delivery and members of the Lancaster County SWAT team were on standby in the area.

According to police, Manago and another woman were present when the parcel was delivered. Manago took possession of the parcel from the undercover delivery agent in the yard of the house and put it in the back seat of a 2012 Ford Focus and started to get behind the wheel of the car, according to police. The other woman got in the passenger side of the car, when agents moved in and detained both women.

The house was searched and a small amount of what was believed to be marijuana was found. Manago was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine over 400 grams and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

“This operation illustrates how effective information sharing and cooperation among law enforcement agencies is,” Sheriff Barry Faile said. “Within a few short days, the information was received, an operations plan was created, and the operation was carried out flawlessly with the participation of lots of officers from multiple agencies.

“The weight of this cocaine was 3,014 grams and cocaine sells for about $60 a gram, making the street value of this parcel over $180,000,” Faile said. “This was a lot of cocaine, and, thanks to all who participated, it will never hit the street. This case is not over and law enforcement continues to investigate both ends of this shipment.”

Fourth suit filed against New-Indy; this one for water-related issues

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against New-Indy Catawba, LLC, in regards to alleged water-related issues the brown paper mill created.

The suit, the fourth one against New-Indy, alleged the mill, located between Van Wyck and Rock Hill off S.C. 5, is discharging pollutants into the Catawba River from its sludge and wastewater impounds without a required discharged permit, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

It also says the mill’s unlined and leading sludge lagoons, wastewater holding ponds and other solid waste disposal area constitutes “open dumping,” which is prohibited under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The latest suit was filed Monday, Feb. 13, in U.S. District Court in Rock Hill, the same day a group of lawyers in the class-action suit against New-Indy held a public meeting in Indian Land about the case.

This latest suit is filed by six people and was first considered last October. One of the plaintiffs in this suit is former State House Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell. She is one of the six people in the lawsuit who use the river for recreational use.

Some of those have now claimed they don’t use the river or access it anymore because of the mill. “To the extent they have ceased river activities they once enjoyed,” the suit states.

The mill is located within a surface water protection area for the Chester metropolitan district, whose intake is about 9 miles downstream from the mill. The mill itself sits on 1,800 acres on the west bank of the Catawba River. Four of the mill’s lagoons, basins and holding ponds for processing water and sludge are adjacent to the river, along 2.6 miles of river frontage.

A 30-mile section of the Catawba River, including the portion flowing past the mill, has been designated as a scenic river under state law.

The latest suit also states that any discharged from the mill has the potential to affect the Carolina heelsplitter, an endangered mussel in Waxhaw Creek, a tributary that enters the river about 3.5 miles below the wastewater discharge point.

New-Indy operates under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System wastewater discharge permit initially issued by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control in 2009, when the mill was under previous ownership.

Once New-Indy bought the mill, the permit transferred to them in 2019, but mill hasn’t taken any additional steps to obtain a permit for the groundwater discharges from the lagoons, holding ponds and other areas of contamination, according to the suit.



Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones said there are ways to make sure that contaminants don’t leak into the Catawba River from these ponds and lagoons. Jones said they could line the holding ponds and lagoons, or even put up walls to prevent anything from reaching the river.

“There are ways to do it and it’s been done,” he said.

Jones said that is nothing to stop a heavy amount of these items from getting into the Catawba River should there be a natural disaster that allowed the ponds to be breached.

“If there were to be a hurricane or something, it would be catastrophic,” Jones said.

Sediment and groundwater samples collected from the banks of the Catawba River adjacent to the wastewater holding lagoon and sludge lagoons indicate that dioxin and cobalt levels were elevated, relative to upstream locations, according to Dr. Harvey Cohen, a state registered geologist. Some of those concentrations were nine times higher in certain places for dioxin and 20 times higher for cobalt.

“According to experts consulted by plaintiffs, there is strong evidence that hazardous and solid wastes generated, stored, and/or disposed of from surface activities at the New-Indy mill have and will continue to be present in soils and groundwater compounds in excess of relevant environmental screening levels, therefore causing and threatening damage and injury to the person and property of third parties continuously and progressively as a result of historic operations by the mill,” the suit stated.

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Attorneys update public on lawsuit against New-Indy

Four attorneys representing members of a class-action lawsuit against the New-Indy Catawba mill updated about 50 people in a public meeting on the case.

The meeting on where things stand in the legal landscape of the suit was held Monday, Feb. 13, at the CrossRidge Conference Center in Indian Land.

It lasted roughly 90 minutes as attorneys Phil Federico, David Hoyle, Chase Brockstedt and Rock Hill attorney Tommy Pope gave an update on the legal process and took questions from Indian Land and Van Wyck residents.

“This has been a long and winding road,” Pope said.

The class-action suit is one of four suits against the brown paper mill located off S.C. 5 between Van Wyck and Rock Hill in the Catawba area. The class-action suit has 1,800 clients and could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Federico.

The attorneys said they are appealing the decision passed down by the U.S. District Court in Rock Hill that said the class-action plaintiffs couldn’t get involved in the case between New-Indy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The citizens have a right to participate in the lawsuit,” Hoyle said. “Our goal is to make sure our community has a seat at the table.”

They have appealed Judge Sherri Lydon’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond.

Hoyle said that as the attorneys continued to dig into New-Indy, they realized it wasn’t just about what the mill allegedly puts into the air, but also the runoff from the mill and how it affects the Catawba River.

“We thought this was an air case,” he said. “We also realized this was a water case.”

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case have retained 27 different experts in an array of fields to speak on issues such as air, water, toxicology, epidemiology and other related fields that could be affecting their clients.

“The EPA means well,” Federico said. “They are failing you.”

He said the firms the attorneys work for started their investigation into New-Indy six months prior to filing a lawsuit.

“We wanted to make sure when we said something, it was true,” Federico said. “We came here to fix the problem. We came here to fix the mill.”

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots NFL team, owns the New-Indy mill. Kraft could be one of the many individuals deposed as part of the lawsuits. The deposing of individuals in the suit could take all of 2023.

“You and your neighbors shouldn’t have to endure this,” Federico said.

Hoyle suggested that no matter how often people smell odors coming from the mill, they should report it to the EPA and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on a consistent basis to keep it on their radar.

“The most important thing for DHEC and New-Indy to know is this problem hasn’t gone away,” Hoyle said.

“Bad science


Jackie Baker lives in Van Wyck and has had issues with even being outdoors because of the smell.

“I feel like I’m a lab rat in a real bad science project,” she said. “It’s a very serious issue. I didn’t sign up for this when I retired. I can’t step outside and enjoy my garden. It’s criminal. This is not your daddy’s Bowater (former owners of the plant decades ago).”

Barbara Jenkins moved into the Van Wyck area in 2021. She already wants to leave because of New-Indy, she said.

“Human beings can only take so much toxicity,” she said. “There are thousands of lives at stake here. There are serious health hazards here. I don’t know if it is going to be enough soon enough.”

Pope said he understands residents wanting the process to go faster.

“We wish we could sprint,” he said. “We are going to use every tool we can.”

Residents asked if there could be a preliminary injunction created to shut the plant down, but attorneys said that would only hurt their case in the long run.

“We can’t wave a magic wand to make this move faster,” Federico said. “We are going to see this case to the bitter end.”

City honors Dr. Boykin during Black History Month
  • Updated

The city of Lancaster is celebrating Black History Month by recognizing influential Lancaster locals every week in February. This week, the late Dr. James Boykin is recognized for Black History Month.

Born in a small house off an alley on Hood Street, Boykin was one of six children, the son of a laundry worker and blacksmith. He attended the Lancaster Training School, where he graduated at class valedictorian in 1941.

He attended S.C. State University after high school, but his education took a pause during World War II, as he was drafted into the Army and served for three years.

After the war, Boykin went back to S.C. State, earning a master’s degree in chemistry in 1950. He briefly taught at Barr Street High School. Two years later, he started teaching chemistry at Carver High School in Spartanburg.

Boykin then went to medical school at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1960. He did his residency at Freedmen’s Hospital on the Howard campus.

Returning to Lancaster in 1963, Boykin opened a medical practice on East Gay Street. His office was open from 9 a.m. to noon daily since he made house calls in the afternoons and evenings. It was not unusual to see up to 50 patients lined down the sidewalk each morning to see him. If his patients couldn’t afford to pay him, Boykin would accept food, especially fresh vegetables.

Historic positions

In 1966, during the civil-rights era, Boykin became one of the first two African American members to serve on the S.C. State Board of Trustees. He was one of the first three African Americans named to the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce board of directors in 1970. His many accomplishments included being appointed the first Black chief of staff at Springs Memorial Hospital in 1983.

An Eagle Scout, Boykin served as a district Boy Scouts officer.

Boykin was active with the Lancaster County Council on Aging, and he was a charter commissioner on the Housing Authority of Lancaster. Appointed to a four-year term on the housing authority in 1969, Boykin served 39 years, leaving the board in 2008. In 2014, the authority renamed its boardroom in Boykin’s honor. He was recognized in 1997 on the floor of the S.C. General Assembly for his many contributions.

His achievements do not stop there. A lifelong member at St. Paul AME Church on Pleasant Hill Street, Boykin was named as one of 15 “St. Paul Classics” in 2011 for his many contributions to his church family. In 2015, the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce gave Dr. Boykin its Citizenship and Service Award. He was grand marshal of the Martin Luther King Day celebration in 2017.

Boykin passed away in 2020 at the age of 97. Boykin’s passing turns the page on a generation of leaders that he grew up emulating in the Lancaster community.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

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Lancaster man dies in Monday wreck on Shiloh Unity Road

A Lancaster man died in a two-vehicle accident Monday on Shiloh Unity Road.

Jonathan Montgomery, 45, was identified as the driver who died by Lancaster County Coroner Karla Deese.

The collision, which occurred about 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13 near Alee Lane, involved a 2017 Ford SUV, driven by Montgomery, and a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway.

The driver of the truck crossed the centerline heading southbound on Shiloh Unity Road, and hit Montgomery head- on.

Both drivers were transported to Atrium Main Hospital in Charlotte via helicopter. Montgomery died shortly after arrival.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

The S.C. Highway Patrol and the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office are investigating the accident.