News briefs

Program gives special needs families a ‘break’
The Beaufort County Department of Special Needs has established a new program that gives people with developmental disabilities opportunities for healthy activities and offers care givers a respite
The Breakers Program was initiated and funded by a grant from the South Carolina Department of Special Needs. It will initially serve individuals age thirteen to sixty who are not currently receiving services from DSN.
Mitzi Wagner, County DSN Director, said there are many special needs individuals who do not receive services because of limited funding in South Carolina. “Not only will it allow these special citizens to enjoy the companionship and activities we offer, but the program will also provide a break for those friends and family members who give direct care to special needs individuals on a daily basis.”
The program will be operated at the new County DSN facility at 100 Clear Water Way, Burton. It will be held three days a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Before special needs residents can be admitted to the Breaker Program, eligibility must be established with the State Department of Special Needs by calling 1-800-289-7012. Space is limited. For more information, call Mitzi Wagner, County DSN Director (843) 255-6290.

Amnesty through April 30 at libraries
At the suggestion of the Beaufort County Library Board of Trustees, fines for overdue books and other materials will be waived through April 30 at all library branches. Materials must be returned to a staff member at a service desk to assure fines have been forgiven. Those who have questions or need more information may call their local library branch.

County PALS offers Shotokan Karate
Beaufort County Parks and Leisure Services has scheduled ongoing classes in the martial art of Shotokan Karate at the Burton Wells Recreation Center in Burton and the Charles “Lind” Brown Activity Center in Beaufort.
Classes began this month but people may sign up anytime. Fees are is $60 per month for youth ages 4 to 17 and $100 per month for adults 18 and older. Payment and registration is accepted at the Burton Wells Recreation Center, 1 Middleton Recreation Drive, Beaufort, and at the Charles “Lind” Activity Center, 1001 Hamar Street, Beaufort, SC, 29902.
Classes are held Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at Burton Wells Center as follows:
• Ages 4 to 8 are scheduled Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 to 11:30 a.m.
• Ages 8 to twelve are scheduled Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 1 p.m.
• Ages 13 to 17 are scheduled Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m.
Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday at the Charles “Lind” Brown Center as follows:
• Ages 4 to 8 are scheduled Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 5 p.m.
• Ages 8 to twelve are scheduled Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m.
For more information, contact instructor Al Yisrael at (843) 476-2328, or beaufortkarate@yahoo.com, or visit www.bcgov.net/PALS.

‘Night Skies’ video on county website
Star gazers, science buffs, students, families and individuals may want to check out the “Night Skies” section of the Beaufort County website.
Various topics include light pollution and its ability to diminish visibility of the stars in the video, Night Skies of Beaufort County: Light Pollution. It was produced by The LowCountry Institute in partnership with The County Channel and Beaufort County Broadcast Services and features Kristen Marshall Mattson, Environmental Educator at the institute.
The section also helps explain many of the mysteries of the heavens above Beaufort County in terms that people of all ages can understand. It includes educational links for children and adults that offer additional information about such astronomical topics as star gazing, eclipses, constellations and others.
Gary Kubic, Beaufort County Administrator decided to post the video online and augment it with related links because he said it offers fascinating information. “I think many people will enjoy this site. The first time I saw the video, I felt compelled to share it with our kids, our residents and our guests. The entire section provides a lot of great scientific information that enhances the awe and wonder we all feel when we look up at our night skies. The entire series will be shared with Beaufort County schools.”
The information and video may be accessed by clicking on the “Night Skies” icon on the top of the home page of the County website, www.bcgov.net.

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