Beaufort County seniors can get free fruits, vegetables

Beaufort County senior citizens may qualify to receive $25 worth of coupons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers this summer through the South Carolina Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

To qualify, applicants must be a low-income senior aged 60 or older, have a valid driver’s license of state-issued ID, and live in a participating county (Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton ad Colleton counties are all participating).

To apply, visit dss.sc.gov to complete an online application through June 1. Contact Willie Nixon at 803-898-1760 with questions.

Vaccinated? You don’t have to wear a mask in City buildings

To conform with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), members of the public who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks when they enter City of Beaufort buildings.

The City is asking those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks as a courtesy to others.

Beaufort Municipal Court continues to require masks for anyone who enters the courtroom, per the order of the State Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty.

McKissick re-elected SC GOP chairman

After conducting the largest party reorganization in state history, the South Carolina republican Party (SCGOP) hosted its 2021 state convention where delegates re-elected Chariman Drew McKissick and First Vice Chairman Cindy Risher, as well as elected Second Vice Chairman Kizzie Smalls, and Third Vice Chairman Leighton Gray Smith – the first time all three Vice Chairman positions will be held by women.

One of the candidates McKissick defeated for chairman was Beaufort County resident Lin Wood.

Per state law and party rules, the SCGOP reorganizes every two years. Participation from 2019 to 2021 doubled, according to the SCGOP, with officially organized county parties in all 46 counties for the first time in a decade.

County hosting open house for Okatie River Park

Beaufort County is hosting an outdoor open house event for Okatie River Park from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 20. Since the property is not yet accessible to the public, the Open House will take place under the grand live oak tree at nearby Pinckney Colony Preserve, 7 Pinckney Colony Road, Bluffton.

Stefanie Nagid, Beaufort County Passive Parks Manager, and the planning consultant from Witmer Jones Keefer will be on site to discuss the draft conceptual plan and answer any questions from the public.

The draft conceptual plan was created based on 279 responses from the March 2021 public input survey. The public is encouraged to attend and share feedback about the draft conceptual plan.

For more information about the Passive Parks Program please call 843-255-2152.

County hosting electronics recycling events

Beaufort County’s Department of Solid Waste and Recycling will host two free electronics recycling events for County residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 22, at Beaufort County Public Works, 9 Benton Field Road, Bluffton and Beaufort County Public Works, 140 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Residents are asked to stay in their cars during the event. Staff will unload electronics.

Any personal computers, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, CRT televisions, non-CRT televisions, printers, hard drives and miscellaneous electronics (microwaves, cell phones, radios, fax machines, and typewriters) will be accepted. 

Call the Solid Waste and Recycling Office at 843-255-2736 for more information or visit their website at www.beaufortcountysc.gov/recycle.

County business license renewals due June 1

Businesses that operate within the unincorporated boundaries of Beaufort County must renew their County business license by Tuesday, June 1. Those who pay after the deadline will be subject to a penalty of 5 percent of the unpaid fee for each month or portion of the month past the due date.

The County mailed renewal forms to license holders in January.

Additional forms are available at https://bit.ly/3bhtYLq.

If you own or operate a business within the unincorporated boundaries of the County without a valid business license, you are subject to additional penalties.

For more information, call the Beaufort County Business License Department at 843-255-2270.

Chamber’s Legislative Luncheon set for June 3

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Luncheon is set to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 3 at Tabby Place, 913 Port Republic Street.

The Chamber’s Legislative Reception is the business community’s opportunity to connect with Beaufort County’s state legislative delegation, federal officials, and local elected leaders. During the event, organizers will recap progress on the Chamber’s Public Policy Priorities from the 2021 Legislative session and invite brief remarks from elected leaders.

This two-hour, evening event will feature passed hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer and wine. Seating will be limited to encourage attendees to circulate. Attendees can choose to be indoors with A/C or on the patio with fresh air.

Cost for Chamber Members is $45. Cost for nonmembers is 65.

Beaufort Garden Club holding Show & Tell

In honor of National Garden Week, the Beaufort Garden Club will hold a Plants and Flowers Show and Tell, free to the public, around the gazebo at the Port Royal Farmers’ market from 9 a.m to noon, Saturday, June 5.

The club’s dedicated plant whisperers will be on hand with a collection of plants and flowers and will share their secrets for successful growing. Members are expected to bring their favorite but not widely known plants or flowers. Visitors will receive information to take with them on how each item is grown.

“Since Covid is still with us, it’s difficult to hold our annual Garden A Day event during National Garden Week, so instead we will share our knowledge with the public,” Club Vice President Lora Quincy said in a release.

Prior to the pandemic, the Beaufort Garden Club had held Garden A Day during the first week of June every year since 1984.

Serve on a board

The Beaufort County Legislative Delegation encourages qualified citizens who are willing to serve on a board or commission to submit an application. All applicants must be a registered voter in Beaufort County to be considered for an appointment.

The following boards and commissions have legislative delegation-appointed vacancies:

Foster Care Review Board;

Beaufort County Veterans Affairs Officer;

Board of Voter Registration & Elections of Beaufort County;

Beaufort Jasper Water & Sewer Authority;

Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Center;

Beaufort Jasper Higher Education Commission;

Lowcountry Resort Islands Tourism Commission;

Broad Creek Public Service District;

South Island Public Service District;

Technical College of the Lowcountry Area Commission;

Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee.

All applications must be received by the close of business, Monday, June 7, to be considered.

For questions or to obtain an application, please contact the Beaufort County Delegation Office at cmaxey@bcgov.net or 843-255-2260.

2020 Adopt-A-Highway numbers released

PalmettoPride has announced the results of the Adopt-A-Highway volunteer litter pickup program for the year 2020. In spite of Covid-19 interruptions, more than 13,000 volunteers pulled together and removed nearly 800,000 pounds of trash from state highways.

The full results are as follows:

790,120.5 pounds of trash picked up;

3,359.7 of miles covered;

1,233 groups;

13,709 volunteers;

110 new groups.

The results indicated a drop of about 25 percent in pounds picked up and 20 percent fewer volunteers. 2020 presented many challenges in regards to litter prevention and pickup with many large-scale volunteer events and routine maintenance collection services suspended for health and safety reasons.

“By end of summer when we were more informed about Covid-19 health and safety protocols, we encouraged folks to get out and pick up litter as a way to enjoy the outdoors,” Executive Director for PalmettoPride Sarah Lyles said. “These volunteers provide a tremendous service to the state, and we want to make sure they know how appreciated they are.”

Adopt-A-Highway is a volunteer litter pickup program coordinated by PalmettoPride and the S.C. Department of Transportation. Adopt-A-Highway participants agree to clean up a section of state highway four times a year. Each cleanup results in a value of approximately $1,047,500 in service.

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Beaufort City Councilman Mitch Mitchell presents Bernice Wilson, of Port Royal, with a commemorative lapel pin