News briefs for April 6th-12th

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Cynthia Gregory-Smalls wins school board seat

Cynthia Gregory-Smalls has been declared the winner of the Beaufort County School District board of education District 3 seat.

According to the Board of Voter Registration and Elections, she won the seat by just three votes.

Out of 9,264 eligible voters, 939 cast their ballots. Gregory-Smalls had 339 votes; William Smith had 336; Buryl Garnett Sumpter had 59; and Fred Washington Jr. had 198. 

The special election for the seat was held March 28.

The seat was vacated when Michael Rivers was elected in November to the SC House of Representatives, his seat on the Beaufort County School District board of education was left open.

Water authority observes Safe Digging Month

Every 6 minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decides to dig without first calling 811, according to a release from the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA).

That’s why the water supplier, in conjunction with South Carolina 811, is observing National Safe Digging Month in April.

“Emergency repairs due to carelessness waste time and money,” said Joe DeVito, director of field operations for BJWSA. “Additionally, it pulls our crews off other projects and involves other departments as we work to notify customers in the area, and answer calls from those affected by a water shutdown. All of this can be avoided by calling 811 BEFORE you dig.”

Submitting a locate request to have underground utility lines marked is a free service for digging projects of any size. 

For a normal notice, a locate request must be entered into the system three full business days, not including the day the notice was submitted, before digging may begin.

Contact South Carolina 811 by dialing 811. Contractors and homeowners can also submit a locate request online at 


Report: Millions of security breaches in SC

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) has released its most recent Security Breach Report, outlining data from scams, online breaches and identity thefts that occurred from January 2012 through December 2016. 

During that time, the SCDCA received 185 security breach notices affecting 7,534,618 South Carolina consumers.

While the full report contains detailed information about the types of reported breaches and number of consumers affected, a few notable highlights include: 

• Forty-five breaches were reported in 2016, more than any other year.

• Reports of retail and food service industry breaches more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, affecting 67,149 residents. While only nine breaches in the healthcare sector affected 202,745 residents in 2016.

• The healthcare sector reported the most individual people affected by breaches in years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Consumers who believe they are the victim of a security breach, scam or identity theft are encouraged to call the Identity Theft Unit at 844-TELL DCA (835-5322) or fill out an ID Theft Intake form by clicking on Report Identity Theft at 

BJWSA launching new phone system

The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is implementing a new phone system in mid-April and all direct lines to employees and departments are changing. The main number for BJWSA, 843-987-9200, will remain in place.

BJWSA will close early, in advance of the switchover, at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in order for CenturyLink to provide system testing. 

Additionally, BJWSA will be closed Friday, April 14, in observance of Good Friday.

Sheriff Tanner to speak at LIPBA meeting

Sheriff P.J. Tanner will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, April 11, meeting of the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association to be held at 8 a.m. in the Beaufort Realtor’s Association Headquarters in the Palmetto Business Park (behind BB&T Bank) on Lady’s Island Drive.  

The meeting is open to the public. 

Tanner was elected sheriff of Beaufort County in 1998 and reelected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. 

Two free legal clinics coming to county

The SC Bar Pro Bono Program will sponsor two free legal clinics in Beaufort County in April:

• Wednesday, April 7: Landlord and Tenant Law Issues, presented by Eric J. Erickson. The clinic will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Burton Wells Senior Center at 1 Middleton Recreation Drive in Beaufort. 

• Monday, April 10: Wills, Estates and Probate, presented by James A. Grimsley III. The clinic will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at the St. Helena Island Branch Library at 6355 Jonathan Francis Senior Road on St. Helena.

These seminars are free for anyone who would like to attend. The format typically consists of an overview followed by a question-and-answer session. 

A schedule of other upcoming seminars throughout the state is available online at