chester

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

In a chilly December sunset at Wild Hope Farm, the chickens are nice and warm, bobbing around inside an enclosed pen while a pair of China geese float in a small pond just outside. Stretching out to their right are long strips of green cover cops and similarly long strips of garlic.

It might not look it to the casual eye, but these birds and plants are all here to do a job, and an elegantly coordinated one at that. The geese chase away the hawks that prey on the chickens that eat the cover crops that draw greenhouse gases from the air. The garlic does that too, except it will end up in people bellies later this year, and not chicken bellies.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Until about 10 minutes before noon on March 30 of this year, the Chester County sheriff’s race was set to be a one-man affair.

Max Dorsey, a Republican, was running unopposed. For almost a year, he’d been serving as the interim sheriff in Chester – an appointee to the position when Gov. Henry McMaster named him to take the place of Alex Underwood who, after serving as sheriff since 2012, was brought up on a host of federal and state corruption charges in May of 2019.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The weekend after George Floyd’s death, a thousand-or-so people took to the streets of Rock Hill. At the heart of their march was a call to develop a citizen’s review board – a mechanism that allows residents to weigh in on claims of police misconduct. By the end of the march it was announced, to booming applause, that the city would start to develop one.

A few days later, a couple hundred people bowed their heads at a prayer vigil in Chester. The city’s mayor, Wanda Stringfellow, helped pull the vigil together with Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. During the vigil, Stringfellow said she would personally shepherd a citizen’s review board to the City Council.

By June 22, the ordinance for such a board passed its first of two hearings with the council.

It might be tempting to end the story there.  

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

On Tuesday, Chester Police Chief Eric Williams held a press conference regarding the killing of 28-year-old Ariane McCree by a city police officer last fall.

Williams said the press conference was an effort to be fully transparent in an incident that has dogged the department since November. Hear the full press conference below.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey doesn’t want his county to make the news because it’s on fire.

“I don’t want [Chester] to look like burning buildings,” he said. “I want the world to see Chester as unified.”

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The Medical University of South Carolina’s hospitals in Lancaster and Chester are mostly back to being fully staffed. A little more than a month ago, around 75 of MUSC Health’s 900 layoffs happened at these two Upstate locations, but Scott Broome, the CEO for the Lancaster and Chester locations, said he expects a fully returned staff by July 1.

It’s a far cry from where the hospitals were just weeks ago.