News briefs for January 11th-17th

7 mins read

Reconstruction Era monument celebrated

The public is invited to join the National Park Service (NPS) and park partners to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the creation of Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina’s Lowcountry on Friday, Jan. 12.

Festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Beaufort Arsenal, located at 713 Craven St. in Beaufort, with a special program featuring music and remarks from the NPS, the United States congressional delegation and park partners. 

The highlight will be the unveiling of a unique piece of art by artist Sonja Griffin Evans to celebrate the park’s anniversary. 

From noon to 4 p.m., special talks, tours and activities will be offered at each of the four sites comprising the Reconstruction Era National Monument. 

All events are free and are open to the public.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument consists of Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church, both located on St. Helena Island in Penn Center National Historic Landmark District; Camp Saxton at Fort Fredrick in Port Royal; and the Old Beaufort Firehouse located at 706 Craven St. in the National Historic Landmark District in the city of Beaufort. 

Activities planned for the afternoon of Jan. 12 include:

• Darrah Hall at Penn Center: Talks, junior youth praise dance and programs on Reconstruction.

• Brick Baptist Church: Praise dances, spirituals and educational programs.

• Camp Saxton via Fort Fredrick site: Fort tours and activities relating to the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Camp Saxton on Jan. 1, 1863.

• Old Beaufort Firehouse: NPS and park partners will offer a variety of educational information about Reconstruction and the historic Lowcountry.

Additionally, local residents are invited to the Saturday, Jan. 13, meeting of Indivisible Beaufort to hear an update on the local Reconstruction project from Mayor Billy Keyserling and to celebrate the first-year anniversary of the organization. 

The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m.  at the Beaufort Branch Library on Scott St. 

For additional tour information, visit the Beaufort Visitor Center located in the Beaufort Arsenal.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is administered by the National Park Service and will be headquartered at the Old Firehouse in Beaufort Carolina. 

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is dedicated to commemorating the period from 1861 through 1900 when nearly four million African Americans, newly freed from bondage, sought to integrate into a free society and into the educational, economic and political life of the country. 

Now entering its second century, the National Park Service continues to explore new ways to help visitors connect and find their parks. 

For more information on park news, events and programs, visit 

Visit the park website at, call 843-227-1507 or email 

Government, others to close for MLK Day

All Beaufort County facilities, including the Convenience Centers and the PALS facilities, will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. 

All facilities will open according to their regular schedules Tuesday, Jan. 16. 

Additionally, all Beaufort County libraries will be closed.

Federal, state and other local government offices will also be closed.

There will be no mail delivery service.

PalmettoPride provides grants for litter cleanup

PalmettoPride recently announced its Community Pride Grant recipients for the 2017-2018 grant cycle. 

The PalmettoPride Grants program provides funding for litter eradication programs in five categories.

Under the Community Pride Grant, which provides funds for organizations and governmental departments to implement litter reduction programs in their communities, Beaufort County was awarded $5,000.


Sea Island Coalition conducts fundraiser

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition is working to raise $10,000 to advocate for smart development along the Sea Island Parkway. 

“The coalition was organized in April 2016 to give a voice to those in and around Beaufort concerned that piecemeal development was compromising the look, feel and sustainability of communities along the corridor,” according to the Sea Island coalition’s recent newsletter. 

“But to maintain this focus, and further the availability of good information to the public, the coalition needs sustainable funding. Our activities to date have been funded by a small number of supporters, and we realize we cannot forever rely on these 10-20 people alone.

“Broadened financial support will enable us to continue our community outreach, continue our high level of communication on planning and development issues and ensure that government deliberations and decision-making affecting the parkway are made in the open, with an appropriate level of sunlight,” the newsletter states.

Donate at, at

Check can be mailed to the Sea Island Coalition, P.O. Box 533, St. Helena, SC 29920

Sprint devices having connection issues 

Individuals using Sprint mobile devices may experience intermittent connection issues when attempting to call Beaufort County government landline phones with a “255” prefix due to data transmission issues with the county’s carrier for landline services.

Callers experiencing issues are encouraged to contact Sprint at 844-382-3312 to report any issues. 


A photo in the Dec. 28 edition of The Island News misidentified Katie Gambla.

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