News briefs for June 22nd-28th

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Photo above: U.S. Navy Reserve Operations Specialist 1st Class Patrick Billups, a Beaufort native, works providing logistics support during Tradewinds 2017. Billups helped arrange personnel, drivers and translators in conjunction with partner nations. Military and civilians from over 20 countries participated in this year’s exercise in Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, which ran from June 6-17. Tradewinds is a joint, combined exercise conducted in conjunction with partner nations to enhance the collective abilities of defense forces to counter transnational organized crime and to conduct humanitarian and disaster relief operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Melissa K. Russell.

Boundary Street properties demolished 

Demolition crews were scheduled to tear down and remove the former Huddle House, Sea Eagle market and old fire shed on the southern side of Boundary Street .

The work was scheduled to be done through Friday, June 23.

Once cleared, the sites will be landscaped and converted to passive open-space parks. 

The beautification effort is part of the overall Boundary Street Improvement Project, on budget and on schedule for completion in early 2018. 

The $32 million construction project is just over 1 mile long, stretching from Neil Road to Sycamore Street at Beaufort City Hall. 

A major element of the project is removing overhead power and communications lines and reducing urban clutter while creating a safer environment for travel.  

For more information, visit www.boundarystreetupdate.com.  

Updates to sewers to get underway

Municipal Separate Stormsewer System programs help preserve the pristine coastal environment. Photo by Joan Eckhardt.
Municipal Separate Stormsewer System programs help preserve the pristine coastal environment. Photo by Joan Eckhardt.

Beginning Saturday, July 1, three Beaufort-area Municipal Separate Stormsewer System (MS4) programs will begin implementation of construction site stormwater runoff control required in their permits. 

The three MS4s include unincorporated Beaufort County, the town of Bluffton and the town of Hilton Head Island. 

Each of these must develop, implement and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from land-disturbing activities. 

Each program must include provisions for the review of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) for construction activities occurring within their jurisdiction.

July 1 also marks the start date when SWPPPs and applications for construction must be submitted to the MS4s and receive approval from the appropriate local jurisdiction.

Treasurer hosts successful unclaimed funds event 

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and Beaufort County Treasurer Maria Walls came together recently to host an unclaimed funds event at the Bluffton Branch Library. 

During the event, citizens of Beaufort County found more than $200,000 in unclaimed money. 

Unclaimed property refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for a period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments and utility security deposits.

“Through the hard work of my and Treasurer Loftis’ staff, Beaufort County’s residents were able to reclaim their funds,” said Walls. “Because of our partnership for this event, people’s lives were changed, an air conditioning unit can now be repaired and a home mortgage will be paid off. We are looking forward to working with Treasurer Loftis and his staff in the future.” 

The State Treasurer’s Office currently has over $550 million in unclaimed property across the state. 

“I want to thank Treasurer Walls for partnering with us to locate the owners of unclaimed funds,” said Loftis. “Many South Carolinians just don’t realize they could have money waiting for them. One of the best parts of my job is finding their money, and putting it back in their hands.” 

To check for unclaimed property, visit www.treasurer.sc.gov and click on “Unclaimed Property.”

Asphalt paving to take place

Asphalt paving operations will take place on the following roads throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties. The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.  

• Seabrook Road from U.S. 21 to the end of state maintenance at Mile Post 4 through Friday, June 23;

• Keans Neck Road from Kinloch Road to end of state maintenance at Mile Post 4.08 through Monday, June 26;

• Prince Street from Carteret to Charles streets through Friday, June 23.

This work could be intermittent during these times due to unfavorable weather conditions and unforeseen mechanical failures.  

There will be lane closures, but traffic will be maintained through the use of traffic control devices.

TV show focuses on Lowcountry conservation

A new episode of The County Channel’s award-winning nature series, “Coastal Kingdom,” is being made available on The County Channel’s website at www.bcgov.net.

The episode, “Lowcountry Conservation,” features some of the scientists doing research in the field to help preserve and protect local wildlife. 

Segments include diamondback terrapins at the Waddell Mariculture Center; oyster catchers with Dr. Al Segars of the SC Department of Natural Resources; and a look at storm ecology in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. 

Coastal Kingdom is hosted by naturalist and educator Tony Mills of Spring Island, and is a production partnership between The LowCountry Institute and The County Channel.

Indivisible receives primer on resisting nationalism 

More than 55 people met on June 10 for Indivisible Beaufort SC’s monthly mobilization meeting at St. Helena Public Library. 

Guest speaker John C. Super of Hilton Head Island presented his talk, “Five Essential Things (Plus One) We Must Do.” 

Super is an expert in international relations. 

His presentation focused on the rise of nationalism in the federal government and how citizens can productively address it through building trust and consensus, disagreeing respectfully without demonizing opponents, focusing on policy and rejecting authoritarianism. 

Indivisible Beaufort SC is a local organization active on many fronts aligned with its mission: “To defend our earth, our rights, and our neighbors through actions formed by our core principles of truth, justice, and inclusion.” 

A team is working to gain support for a plastic bag ban in the county and has a booth each month at the Port Royal Farmers’ Market. 

Other teams are working to support immigrants in the local community, encourage voter turnout, monitor legislative actions on healthcare and the economy, and respond to proposed cuts and regulations in education. 

Indivisible Beaufort SC meets monthly at the St. Helena branch public library; all are welcome to attend. 

The next meeting is at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 15. 

The group also launched a Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/indivisible-beaufort-sc-nonprofit to raise money for information packets, petitions, signs and other materials.

Whitehall development to be topic of meeting

To better understand what is happening with Whitehall Plantation, area residents/homeowners on Harborview Circle, Meridian Road, Tucker Road, Rue Du Bois, Carolyn Drive and others are organizing an information meeting to be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Carteret Street Methodist Church at 408 Carteret St.

Whitehall development plans and related development issues will be discussed. 

With the court challenge over the Whitehall sale no longer an issue, Mid-City Real Estate Partners of Atlanta is moving forward with plans to develop the 19-acre parcel at the eastern end of the Wood Memorial Bridge on the Sea Island Parkway.

The company says planning is very preliminary at this point, but had revealed earlier a “conceptual plan” that included residential, retail/commercial, a boutique hotel and a river-side restaurant.  

The public is invited to the meeting.

Friends of Fort Fremont set to meet June 26

The Friends of Fort Fremont will hold a meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, June 26, in the Library Conference Room at St. Helena Public Library.

The topic of discussion will be architectual plans by the architect for the Interpretive Center at Fort Fremont. 

Additionally, there will be a preview of the history of Fort Fremont funded by the Beaufort County Accommodations Tax Grant.

The public is invited.

Mosquito spraying may take place through June 23

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 through Friday, June 23.

It 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, call 843-255-5800.