News briefs for July 21st-27th

10 mins read

Civic Master Plan recognized for excellence

Beaufort’s Civic Master Plan, a guide to the city’s next century, earned honors at the Congress for the New Urbanism’s Charter Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievements in architecture, planning, development and urban design.

“A lot of outstanding work went into the Civic Master Plan, not only by the planning experts, but most importantly by the local residents who shared their thoughts, concerns and beliefs about what makes Beaufort so special and what has to happen to keep us from becoming Anyplace USA,” said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.

Representatives from the city of Beaufort, the project’s lead honoree, accepted the award at the reception in June.

“The Beaufort Civic Master plan has a no-nonsense Southern sensibility befitting of its historic hometown,” said Rob Steuteville, Congress for the New Urbanism senior communications adviser.

“From crosswalks to complete streets, from historic renovation to new buildings, parks and neighborhoods, the goals of the Beaufort master plan are being realized all over the city.”

Among the 11 winners and six runners-up were a jazz cultural center in New Orleans; a military barracks turned urban neighborhood in Calgary, Canada; a new village in Nanhu, China; and a South Florida comprehensive plan that engaged more than one million residents.

Oscar J. Frazier inducted into town’s Wall of Honor 

The Bluffton Town Council posthumously inducted former Mayor Pro Tempore Oscar Frazier into Bluffton’s Wall of Honor on July 12.

Frazier, who died in 2005, was the poet laureate of Bluffton, a mayor pro tempore and a beloved town councilman.

“Oscar Frazier used his limitless energy, his love of people and his positions in the community to better his hometown,” according to a town release.

Frazier published two volumes of poetry and a children’s book. He was also appointed Bluffton’s poet laureate. In this role, he composed poetry for town-sponsored events.

He was born on Jan. 21, 1956, and graduated from H.E. McCracken High School. After serving in the U. S. Army for three years, he returned to Bluffton, where he continued to serve his community for the rest of his life.

Frazier worked as an entrepreneur and managed numerous types of businesses, which included construction, roofing, landscaping as well as operating Bluffton’s first food truck, or red caboose, known as “Oscar’s Barbeque.”

He was first elected to Bluffton Town Council in 1998. During his tenure, he helped negotiate with developers, which began the town’s exponential growth from 1-square mile to today’s 54-sqaure miles. Frazier was also a strong advocate for the town to annex Buck Island and Simmonsville roads so residents could benefit from town services. Frazier was re-elected in January 2005.

Bluffton adds parking in historic district

Fifty-five additional public parking places are available in Bluffton’s historic district thanks to an agreement between the town of Bluffton and Cornerstone Church.

Public parking is now available in the church’s parking lot adjacent to Calhoun Street, except for Sundays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the Bluffton Village Festival in May (the Saturday prior to Mother’s Day) and the Christmas at Cornerstone Festival, which is held in December.

Signs have been installed designating the public parking area, which is accessible from Calhoun Street.

Mosquito spraying may take place

Beaufort County Mosquito Control may conduct aerial training, surveillance, and/or spray missions that may include the application of EPA-registered public health insecticides during daylight hours Thursday, July 21, and Friday, July 22.

Mosquito control uses low-flying aircraft and its aerial spraying is dependent upon ideal weather. It does not treat the salt marsh habitats for adult mosquitoes during these aerial operations.

For additional information, contact Mosquito Control at 843-255-5800.

Public meeting set for stormwater project

The Beaufort County Stormwater Department invites residents to participate in a public meeting regarding the Okatie West Water Quality Project, which is funded by an EPA 319 Grant.

The meeting will explain the need for the project, details about the project, what the goals for improving water quality include and how the project will affect county residents.

The meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Bluffton Branch Library, 120 Palmetto Way.

For more information, call the Beaufort County Stormwater Department at 843-255-2805.

Compost bins being offered for $50

The Beaufort County Solid Waste and Recycling section of the Public Works Department is offering a limited supply of 96-gallon (12.8 cubic feet) compost bins for $50 each.

These bins, which typically cost $109 each, come with a 10-year warranty and were made from recycled materials.

The county received the bins as part of a grant program funded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control aimed at promoting the many benefits of composting, including waste reduction and soil enrichment.

The compost bins can be ordered by sending an email to

Construction taking place on several roads

Construction on Bee’s Creek Road, Pike Road and U.S. 321 (Cotton Hill Road) in Jasper County will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, July 23.

There will be lane closures, but traffic will be maintained through the use of traffic control devices. Drivers asked to use caution when driving through the work zone.

Veterans offered honor flight to capitol

Beaufort veterans interested in a free trip to Washington D.C. to see the war memorials and other monuments can do so through the Honor Flight program.

Beaufort veterans participate through the Savannah Honor Flight hub, and the next trip will be the weekend of October 14-16.

The priority is for World War II veterans.

If any World War II veteran, or the relatives of any World War II veteran, would like to know more about the Honor Flight program and its requirements, Honor Flight Savannah has two Beaufort residents who can assist or answer questions.

Contact Owen Hand at or 843-812-6097 or Jim Weiskopf at or 202-607-1067.

For more information, visit

Beaufort Film Society names advisory board

The Beaufort Film Society, dedicated to providing entertainment and education in all areas of the film industry, recently appointed its first board of advisors.

“By creating a board of advisors comprised of highly respected entertainment industry professionals, all with Beaufort connections, we think this will open doors and create new opportunities,” said Ron Tucker, Beaufort Film Society president.

Advisory board members include:

  • Blythe Danner, Emmy-nominated actress, co-starred in three movies shot in the Beaufort area: “The Great Santini,” “The Prince of Tides” and “Forces of Nature.”
  • Julie Dash, filmmaker, whose Sundance award-winning film, “Daughters of the Dust,” was filmed in Beaufort.
  • Jonathan Flora, director/producer of the award-winning documentary, “Lt. Dan Band: For The Common Good.”
  • Eugene Gearty, Oscar-winning sound engineer.
  • Andie MacDowell, actress, model and inaugural recipient of the South Carolina Spirit & Pride Award presented by author Pat Conroy at the 2015 Beaufort International Film Festival.
  • Topher Maraffi, associate professor of Media Arts, University of South Carolina Beaufort.
  • Craig McKay, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning film editor.
  • Michael O’Keefe, award-winning actor who portrayed Ben Meechum in “The Great Santini.”
  • Marlena Smalls, singer, actress and founder of Beaufort’s Gullah Festival in 1985. She appeared as Bubba’s mama in “Forrest Gump.”

The Beaufort Film Society, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization, works to provide a year-round schedule of film screenings, seminars and film-related workshops that promote the art of filmmaking.

The 11th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival will be take place from Feb. 15-19, 2017.

For more information, visit

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