YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Lancaster News Stories From 2017

2017 Lancaster Year In Review
London McBay looks on as Jayce Medlock catches a two-point conversion during the Lancaster Tigers’ September 15 game against the Corsicana Tigers at Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium in Lancaster. The home team beat the visitors 41-23 in their home opener. (Photo by LHS junior Morgan Johnson/Tiger Student Media.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like it or not 2017 made history. Focus Daily News takes a look back at the events and stories that had a major impact on the Best Southwest Cities of Dallas County. Below readers can explore a variety of high profile Lancaster news stories from 2017.


Lancaster ISD STEM Students Build Airplane For Wings Of Hope Missions

Josh Hoffman and LISD Students-Photo by Kimberly Simpson

Publish Date: November 8
LANCASTER—A group of Lancaster ISD students recently completed an unusually challenging STEM project. The 39 engineering students, grades 6-11, built an airplane. One that flies! Josh Hoffman, owner and lead engineer of Cross Country Aviation, was the students’ instructor during the project. The student-built plane will be used by Wings of Hope, a nonprofit helping those in need all over the world.


Search For Missing Lancaster Teen Continues

Lancaster Amber Alert
Shavon Le’Faye Randle

Publish Date: June 29
LANCASTER—New details have surfaced in the abduction of 13-year-old Shavon Le’Faye Randle of Lancaster. Randle was taken from a relative’s home Wednesday morning in the 1300 block of Southridge Drive. Since then, family members said they received a call from an unknown male who said he was holding Shavon Le’Faye Randle against her will. Police said the family member told them the man threatened to harm the teen.

A day later more information surrounding the incident has come to light. What at first looked to be a random act may have had more sinister motivations. According to the victim’s mother Shaquna Persley there was no visible forced entry into the home, but the inside of the home was ransacked, before Randle’s abduction.



Missing Lancaster Girl Found Dead

Publish Date: July 2
LANCASTER—The case of a missing Lancaster teen has closed with a tragic ending. According to reports, police uncovered the body of 13-year-old Shavon Randle and another unidentified male early Sunday.


Former Lancaster Police Chief Larry Flatt Remembered For Unyielding Dedication

Lancaster Police Chief Larry Flatt
Former Police Chief Larry Flatt

Publish Date: December 29, 2016
LANCASTER—In the last weeks of 2016 there have been a number of high profile deaths. With two days remaining in the year, a death too close to home has rocked a number of Lancaster residents. Former Lancaster Police Chief Larry Flatt passed away Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 305 East Third Street, Lancaster Texas 75146. Funeral services will also be held at First Baptist Church on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 beginning at 11:00 a.m.



Lancaster Teacher Resigns After Sexually Explicit Text Messages Surface

Publish Date: June 6
LANCASTER—What should have been an enjoyable last day of school on Friday was just the opposite for Lancaster ISD. According to a statement from a Lancaster Independent School District official, a teacher was removed from the high school campus after allegations of sexual misconduct were reported.

On Friday, June 2, before classes began, a high school student informed a staff member that a male teacher recently sent inappropriate text messages to him.


Lancaster ISD Police Officer Sparks Dialogue On Perception, Understanding

Sergeant Alvin Johnson

Publish Date: May 8
LANCASTER—In an era where tensions between minorities and law enforcement are at an all time high; one Lancaster Independent School District police officer sees a silver lining. While he is not a traditional educator, Sergeant Alvin Johnson takes advantage of these ‘teachable moments.’