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Crashes, ejected passengers continue to plague Burton fire crews

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The Burton Fire District is wrapping up another week of what officials are describing as a string of close calls and tragedies. 

“What is particularly tragic,” Burton Fire Captain Bobby Davidson, who was in command of a devastating scene this week, said, “is that almost all of it could have been prevented by seatbelts and properly restraining children.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, just past 9 a.m., Davidson and his crew responded to a motor vehicle incident on Trask Parkway involving a 2-year-old child, who was unrestrained and fell out of a moving vehicle. Burton firefighter/EMTs and Beaufort County EMS personnel treated the child who was transported with what appeared to be life threatening injuries.

Just seven days earlier, on Aug. 21, just before 10 p.m., also on Trask Parkway, Burton and MCAS firefighters, along with County EMS, responded to a vehicle collision involving one vehicle rolling over and ejecting all three occupants, one of which was an approximately 3-year-old child who appeared to be improperly restrained and also appeared to suffer life threatening injuries along with the driver.

During the two-week time period from Aug. 18 to 31, Burton firefighter/EMTs and paramedics, along with EMS personnel, responded to 15 motor vehicle collisions and treated 25 injured people. Four of those incidents involved multiple injured people.

While Burton officials continue to stress the importance of seatbelts; restraining children by securing them in the vehicle in a properly sized car seat or booster seat is critical. 

“It comes down to realizing it could happen to you,” Davidson said. “In a second your child is gone.”

Sheriff’s deputies arrest man accused of Lands End sexual assault

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After a search that lasted more than a week, Codrian Smalls turned himself in Saturday, Sept. 7 to Sheriff’s Office deputies in Beaufort.

Smalls, of St. Helena Island, was arrested on a warrant for Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree.

On August 29, Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence in the Lands End community of St. Helena Island to a report of a burglary and sexual assault. 

The victim — a woman — reported she was confronted inside her residence by an unknown subject — an African-American man — armed with a handgun. The victim reported that she was held at gunpoint by the unknown subject and sexually assaulted over a period of several hours. 

The victim reported that prior to fleeing her residence, and although already armed with his own handgun, the subject stole a handgun from her bedroom.

Sheriff’s Office investigators later identified the subject as Smalls, 24, and a Beaufort County magistrate issued a warrant for the arrest of Smalls for Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree. 

Smalls was transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center and incarcerated without incident. 

Eagles grounded in opener

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Beaufort Academy’s SCISA 8-man title defense got off to a rough start Friday.

The Eagles lost 50-22 at Clarendon Hall in their season-opener after quickly falling behind 20-0.

Elijah Fess’ 30-yard touchdown run and Dawson Coleman’s touchdown run and two-point conversion pass to William Tumlin pulled the Eagles within 20-14, but the Saints answered before halftime to make it 28-14 at the break.

Clarendon Hall reeled off 22 consecutive points to start the second half, extending its lead to 50-14 before Fess broke a 65-yard TD run and caught the two-point conversion pass from Coleman to cap the scoring.

Warriors Grind Out Win Over Dolphins

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It wasn’t the kind of night Jerry Hatcher dreamed about on the eve of the season, but it didn’t rise to the level of nightmare, either. 

Hatcher and Whale Branch escaped with a 9-6 road win Friday over crosstown rival Battery Creek in a defensive struggle marked by sloppy play and penalties. 

The Dolphins dominated early, stopping the Warriors on their first series and quickly driving into Whale Branch territory before the first of their three turnovers. Keith Bing scooped up the fumble and returned it 60 yards to the 16, setting up Joseph Hicks for a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead. 

Battery Creek pulled even when Kyseem Jabar took a punt return 90 yards for a score with 3:53 left in the first half, but the Warriors drove into Dolphin territory and Henry Tome connected for a 30-yard field goal to put Whale Branch up 9-6 at halftime. 

Neither offense could move the ball effectively in the second half, as Whale Branch bottled up Trey Booth after three long runs early in the game and Battery Creek did a better job of containing quarterback Jaylen Reeves’ scrambles. Both teams also were plagued by untimely penalties and cramping on a muggy Lowcountry night. 

The Dolphins’ defense came up with a huge fourth-down stop to get the ball back on its own 23 with 1:24 left, but Jaden Jenkins intercepted a deep pass to clinch Whale Branch’s third consecutive win in the series. 

The Warriors (1-0) will try to keep rolling when they host Cross next Friday, while the Dolphins (0-1) travel to Beaufort High for another rivalry game.

The 2019 Battery Creek Dolphins take to the field. Photo by Bob Sofaly


Fire departments were busy Saturday during storm

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The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department and the Burton Fire District responded to three confirmed structure fires between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday afternoon during a heavy thunderstorm.

Two out of the three fires were at multi-family dwelling apartment complexes.

The first fire at approximately 5 p.m. was at Laurel Hill apartments in Port Royal.

Firefighters arrived to find light smoke showing from the third floor. Firefighters were able assist with evacuating all residents in the apartment building and extinguish the fire.

The American Red Cross was requested to the scene for the resident of the of apartment being displaced from the fire.

The second fire was dispatched at approximately 6:15 p.m. at the Preserve of Port Royal Apartments. 

The first arriving engine company reported smoke showing from the exterior of the apartment building.

After units investigated, it was determined that the source of smoke was coming from the alarm panel in the breezeway of Building 300. The alarm panel and batteries for the system appeared to be charred from a lightening strike but the incident is under investigation at this time.

The third structure was dispatched at approximately 6:45 p.m. at Mystic Circle in the Mossy Oaks neighborhood. The first arriving engine company arrived on scene to find light smoke showing from the back of the residence. 

After investigating the incident, it was determined that porch caught on fire, possibly from a lightning strike. Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly and prevent the fire from spreading to the residence.

“All crews did an exceptional job today on this busy afternoon” acting Battalion Chief Josh Doud said.

The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department responded to a total of 15 emergency incidents Saturday. Beaufort/Port Royal units responded to five structure fires, five medical calls, three fire alarms, one elevator rescue, and one service call.

Rotary Club gives $1,000 technical scholarship

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Each year, the Rotary Club of Beaufort awards a $1,000 scholarship to a student who has chosen to further his or her education via technical training.

Alyson Boggess has been selected this year based on the strength of her application. Boggess had received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and was also a licensed cosmetologist, but felt she could help people more as a nurse.

With the support of her husband, a Port Royal police officer, and her three children, she will begin studying nursing at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

The vocational scholarship is just one of the recognition programs hosted by the Rotary Club of Beaufort, the oldest of Beaufort’s three Rotary clubs. The Club also recognizes outstanding military service members, outstanding law enforcement officers, and high school seniors for college scholarships.

Scores of USC Beaufort students move into dorms Sunday

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More than 100 University of South Carolina Beaufort students moved into their dormitory rooms Sunday in the Beaufort College Honors Housing Complex.

They were met with a small army of volunteers, both students and faculty, to help them move in quickly and get settled in their new environment.

In Beaufort, community volunteers represented the Baptist Church of Beaufort, Young Life, Beaufort Memorial Hospital and The Parish Church of St. Helena.

Each family had a specific time in which to move their student.

There were few complaints and the morning went smoothly.

More than 1,000 students moved into USCB’s housing facilities county-wide. USCB boasts a student-body population of more than 2,100 students across the university’s three campuses (Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head).

Operation Backpack

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More than a dozen volunteers and a hand full of Beaufort/Port Royal firefighters stuffed new backpacks with school supplies during the United Way’s Operation Backpack on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the United Way on Ribaut Road.

Indoor mini golf course to open in Beaufort

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In the near future, there will be one more recreational way for families to spend their time in Beaufort, though exactly when that will be is unclear.

According to their website and Facebook page, Glowcountry Indoor Mini Golf will be opening soon, the blacklit, air-conditioned indoor 18-hole course occupying the now-vacant building at 46 Robert Smalls Parkway, next to the Spanish Moss Trail. 

It is unclear when exactly that will be, and phone calls to the number provided on the website had not been returned as of press time.

After originally announcing their presence in February, the owners have posted on the Glowcountry Indoor Mini Golf Facebook page twice in the past two weeks.

On Aug. 2, they announced they were coming soon.

“Our goal is to bring affordable fun for all ages to our sweet small town!” the post read. “We hope that you are as excited as we are to have another fun option for families that isn’t far away! Please share your excitement with us as well as your ideas! We aim to please and are always open to suggestion!

To stay up to date on our opening and other exciting events, like our page not just this post. For more information about all we have to offer please check out our website.”

Then Aug. 7, they announced their location.

“We’re super excited to be located right on the Spanish Moss Trail!! Glowcountry Indoor Mini Golf will be a great place to stop and cool off during your walk, run or ride! Along with black light mini golf, we will also have a party space, concession counter, and retail, all AIR CONDITIONED!!”

According to the website, rounds will be $10 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and younger, seniors 65 and older and heroes (first responders, military, teachers and nurses).

For more information, visit

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