News Briefs for June 30th-July 7th

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New Marines become U.S. citizens on Parris Island

They came to Parris Island recently as non-U.S. citizens, but 20 new Marines recently graduated with the rights and privileges of citizenship after taking the Oath of Allegiance to become naturalized citizens.

Executive order 13269, signed July 3, 2002, by President George W. Bush, provides for expedited naturalization for aliens and non-citizen nationals serving in an active-duty status in the Armed Forces of the United States, and Parris Island has partnered with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services since 2012 to help make the dream of citizenship become a reality.

“United States citizenship is the greatest honor we grant (at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services),” said Wendy Wilcox, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. “For these Marines, today’s naturalization ceremony represents their final step in their journey to American citizenship. Their path to citizenship is especially remarkable because they first pledge themselves to support and defend the United States before choosing to become American citizens.”

Volunteers needed to count turkeys

Since 1982, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducts an annual Summer Turkey Survey to estimate reproduction and recruitment of wild turkeys in South Carolina. The survey involves agency wildlife biologists, technicians, and conservation officers, as well as many volunteers from other natural resource agencies and the general public.

Summer surveys are designed to monitor annual nesting success of hens and survival of their young, which has the greatest influence on wild turkey population dynamics.

The information allows biologists to calculate many factors essential for sound turkey management including: average brood size, percentage of hens with and without young, gobbler-to-hen ratio and overall numbers of turkeys seen. Combined with harvest data, this allows the DNR to make scientific recommendations to the SC General Assembly in order to manage the wild turkey population now and in the future.

If you are interested in participating in the annual Summer Turkey Survey the following information will assist you in becoming a survey cooperator.

The survey period is July 1-Aug. 29.  Participants must be able to identify wild turkeys and must be comfortable in telling the difference between hens, poults and gobblers. Observations are made during your normal outdoor activities.

Print a survey form from

Record observations from only one county on each survey form. If you see turkeys in more than one county, use a separate survey form for each county.

Surveyors are asked to record each sighting or group of turkeys as a separate observation. Do not combine all the turkeys you see in a day or on multiple days into one observation. They are also asked to try to avoid recording what you believe are the same turkeys in the same area more than once.

Be sure to record hens that do not have poults in addition to hens that do have poults. This is very important in determining the overall reproductive success in turkeys.

Additionally, participants are asked to record quail sightings in addition to turkeys.

Completed survey forms can be e-mailed to, faxed to 803-734-3691, or mailed no later than Sept. 12 to Summer Turkey Survey P.O. Box 167 Columbia, SC 29202.

Officer takes helm at training regiment  

Col. Matthew St. Clair
Col. Matthew St. Clair

Col. Matthew St. Clair took command of the Recruit Training Regiment on Parris Island on June 15.

St. Clair comes to the depot from the U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., where he served as the fleet Marine officer to the commander.

After graduating in 1989 from the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Arts in History, St. Clair was commissioned in the Marine Corps and trained as an infantry officer. He holds a Master of Airpower Art and Science degree and a Master of Strategic Studies degree.

Beaufort pastor dies at 86

Robert Edward “Bob” Cuttino, former pastor of The Baptist Church of Beaufort, died June 23.

After graduating from Edmunds High School, Cuttino earned degrees from Wofford College and Yale University as well as an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Furman University, according to Copeland Funeral Service.

“His pastorates in South Carolina — in Williston, Fairfax, Lake City, Lancaster and Beaufort — spanned some 65 years,” according to his obituary provided by Copeland Funeral Service. “During that time he served the Southern Baptist denomination with distinction in various capacities. Cuttino was recognized by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow for promoting international understanding.”

He also co-founded Operation Good Neighbor, which brought racially diverse churches together to meet community needs.

A memorial service was held June 25. Donations can be made to The Baptist Church of Beaufort, 600 Charles St., Beaufort, SC 29902.

Top photo: Members of the USS Harry Truman dental department are back home after several months in the Persian Gulf. From left are Commander Stephen Yune, Lt. Lauren Brown, LCDR Angel Calvo, Lt. Tyler Way and Beaufort County resident Lt. Sarah Harding. Photo provided.

Fort Fremont on St. Helena Island has elected new officers. From left are Jane Forsythe, secretary; Steve Guida, treasurer; Rode Kesting, vice president; and Steve Linn, president. Photo courtesy of Fort Fremont.
Fort Fremont on St. Helena Island has elected new officers. From left are Jane Forsythe, secretary; Steve Guida, treasurer; Rode Kesting, vice president; and Steve Linn, president. Photo courtesy of Fort Fremont.