News briefs for March 9th-15th

in News by

Solid waste manager to be guest speaker

Jim Minor, who has served as the Beaufort County Solid Waste Manager since 2002, will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, March 14, meeting of the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. at the Beaufort Realtors Association Headquarters located in the Palmetto Business Park on Lady’s Island Drive (behind BB&T Bank).  

The meeting is open to the public. 

Following Hurricane Matthew, Minor was responsible for coordinating the clearing and disposal of debris for the county. His normal duties include the operation of 12 collection facilities in Beaufort County and planning for the handling of the county’s future waste stream.

Work to take place on several streets

Asphalt paving will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Saturday, March 11, on Rodger Street (Boundary to Laundonniere); New Castle (Prince to Bay); Hamar Street (Boundary to Bay); Prince Street (Charles to Bladen; and Bay Street (Hamar to Ribaut).

This work could be intermitting 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 per the SCDOT Standard Drawings.  Motorists are asked to use caution when driving through the work zone.

YMCA celebrates 2016, announces changes

The YMCA of Beaufort County welcomed members and guests to its annual meeting on Feb. 16, which recognized volunteers, donors and staff who helped advance the Y’s cause to strengthen the foundation of our community. 

The Y celebrated the many programs, services and opportunities it provides and thanked its volunteers.  

The Y also welcomed five new board members: Chad Barr, pastor at The Link church; retired executive and avid swimmer Pete Palmer; Brian Rose, co-owner of Beacon Insurance in Bluffton; Caleb Wright, principal engineer at ISEC; and Russell Baxley, CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital. 

Outgoing board members, Kelly Collins and Ernie Schlichtemeier, were thanked for their many years of service to the Y.

Additionally, Kaylin Garst was announced as the newly appointed branch executive director of the Wardle Family YMCA. 

Previous to this promotion, Garst was operations director of the Y, overseeing all childcare areas including summer camp, after school program and Discovery Preschool. 

During the meeting, two volunteers received special recognition for their service to the Y. George Utter received the 2016 Robert V. Wardle Service to Youth Award.  This award is given in honor of Robert V. Wardle, whose donations were instrumental in the founding and continued operation of the YMCA of Beaufort County. 

Longtime Y member Utter volunteers with the Y youth boating program logging several hundred hours as an instructor in this program over the past three years. He is also a member of the YMCA Beaufort River Swim committee, assisting with coordination of safety kayak team during this annual open water swim.

Juan Marvilla was named the annual Youth Sports Volunteer Coach for 2016. Marvilla has been a volunteer coach and referee over the past two years, donating his time in various sports including sports youth indoor and outdoor soccer, basketball, flag football and adult volleyball.

Special election absentee voting to start March 28

The Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Beaufort County has opened in-person absentee voting for the March 28 Beaufort County School Board District 3 Special Election.

Only voters who reside in School Board District 3 can vote in the special election. They include Beaufort 1, Beaufort 3 (part), Burton 2A (part), Lady’s Island 1A, Lady’s Island 1B, Lady’s Island 3B (part), St. Helena 1A, St. Helena 1B, St. Helena 2A (part) and St. Helena 2B (part).

The seat will be up for election again in 2018.

The in-person absentee polling location is at 15 John Galt Road and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The last day of in-person absentee voting is on Monday, March 27, when the polling location will be open until 5 p.m.

Voters are required to present one of the following forms of current and valid photo identification at the polls: S.C. driver’s license, S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles identification card, S.C. Voter Registration card with photo, U.S. passport or federal military identification with a photo.

The Beaufort County Board of Education seat was left vacant when Michael Rivers was elected to the state House of Representatives.

There are four candidates running for the bipartisan seat: Cynthia Gregory-Smalls, William Smith, Buryl Sumpter and Fred Washington Jr.

Gregory-Smalls is a retired educator after more than 30 years in education.

William Smith, a native of the area, owns Smith Security LLC. 

Sumpter, a native of St. Helena Island, is a consultant and trade professional in the funeral industry. He has also been a substitute teacher in Beaufort County.

Washington is a former member of the school board and served as chairman from 2007-09.

WJCL, Hearst can’t come to agreement

Following protracted negotiations, DISH and Hearst Television Inc., the parent company of WJCL ABC 22, have reached an impasse in negotiating a renewal agreement for the carriage of Hearst Television’s broadcast stations on DISH Network’s systems. 

As a result, WJCL ABC 22 is now no longer being carried by DISH Network. 

 “While we had hoped to conclude our negotiations before the extended March 3 deadline, DISH has continued to insist on including material terms that are less favorable than our current agreement,” said WJCL President and General Manager Timothy J. Morrissey. “In addition, Hearst Television has made significant investments to deliver top quality programming to our viewers and DISH is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.

“We regret the inconvenience DISH’s demands have imposed on its subscribers, and we will keep you fully informed of developments.” 

However, the station has not been blacked out. Morrissey said viewers can determine the type of antenna needed to receive the signals of Hearst Stations at www.antennaweb.org. 

Beaufort, arts center earn Verner award 

The city of Beaufort and USCB’s Center for the Arts earned the state’s highest honor for contributions to the arts recently with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award. 

“We have worked very hard for quite some time to support and enhance the arts in Beaufort, because they are an essential element of what makes us special,” said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling. “To receive this recognition along with our partner, the USCB Center for the Arts, is quite an honor.” 

The South Carolina Arts Commission’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts were established in 1972. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. 

The city of Beaufort and the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts won the Government award. The application cited their partnership and commitment to enhancing the vibrant arts scene and cultural diversity in Beaufort. 

Bonnie Hargrove, director of the USCB Center for the Arts, said the Verner Award is statewide validation that years of hard work in the Lowcountry are paying dividends across South Carolina. 

“This is a prestigious award in the arts world,” she said. “This recognition affirms our work and our intentions to keep the arts and culture in the forefront of everything we do as a community. The arts make us a desirable place to live and to visit, but they also play a role in our economy.” 

Sea Island Animal Hospital announces later Wednesday hours

Sea Island Animal Hospital recently announced their new late night ours. They are now open Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sea Island Animal Hospital is located at 40 Professional Village Circle on Lady’s Island. 

To schedule an appointment, call 843-524-4551 or visit www.seaislandanimalhospital.com.

Sanford staff to welcome public at St. Helena library

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-SC, will hold satellite office hours at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at St. Helena Branch Library 6355 Jonathan Francis Sr. Road.

Satellite office hours are conducted around the district by the Representative’s staff in order to be as accessible as possible to constituents who require assistance with federal agencies, including Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service or even help processing a passport. Additionally, anyone wishing to express an opinion or ask a question is welcome to stop by. Sanford is not scheduled to be in attendance.

All county campuses now smoke-free

Beaufort County’s new smoking ordinance went into effect on March1, prohibiting smoking at all county-owned or operated campuses and facilities.

“By eliminating smoking from our campuses, we’re inviting more of the public to enjoy their campuses in the clean and healthy manner they deserve,” said Deputy County Administrator Josh Gruber.

County Council voted this past November to approve the updated smoking ordinance. 

“It’s a combination of good practice, good leadership and public awareness,” said Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic. “We hope to send a message that Beaufort County cares about the well-being of its employees and residents.”

The smoking ordinance is accompanied by a program to assist employees and residents with quitting smoking.

Freedom From Smoking is offered to Beaufort County employees at no cost and is available to all other Beaufort County residents for $30. All participants will have access to the LifeFit Wellness Center for two months at no cost.

To register for the Freedom From Smoking Program, call Alexa DeFeo at 843-522-2270 or email adefeo@bmhsc.org. The classes are open to anyone who is ready to quit smoking.

Port Royal seat up for special election 

The Beaufort City Council’s Port Royal councilman, Vernon DeLoach, died recently

With his death, South Carolina state law requires the town of Port Royal to hold a special election to fill the vacancy. 

The filing period opens Friday, March 10, and closed Monday, March 20.

Election Day will be Tuesday, May 16.

Free legal clinic coming to St. Helena

The SC Bar Pro Bono Program will sponsor a free legal clinics on end of life issues, including health care power of attorney, living wills, DNR orders, power of attorney, funeral planning and cremation in Beaufort County.

The event will be held from5:30-7 p.m. Monday, March 13, at St. Helena Island Branch Library at 6355 Jonathan Francis Senior Rd., St. Helena. 

Harley D. Ruff is the featured presenter.

This seminar is 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 at www.scbar.org/clinics. 

For more information, contact the SC Bar Pro Bono Program at 803-799-6653, ext. 158.