News briefs for November 10th-16th

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Local solicitor’s office collects Toys for Tots

The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots until Wednesday, Dec. 14.

New, unused toys can be dropped off at each of the following locations:

• Beaufort County: 39 Sheridan Park Circle, Ste. 2, Bluffton, or the Beaufort County Courthouse, 102 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.
• Hampton County: Hampton County Courthouse, 80 Elm St., Hampton.
• Jasper County: 198 2nd Ave. Ridgeland.

The offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Donated items will be distributed by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program to children in each of the five counties within the judicial circuit.

To learn more, visit

State offers help with child ID theft

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is offering a new guide that outlines the warning signs of child identity theft and best practices for preventing it.

Most notably, the guide encourages consumers to utilize the protected consumer freeze, a tool made available to South Carolina residents last year.

The protected consumer freeze allows parents, guardians and representatives to create and freeze a protected consumer’s credit file for free.

This line of defense is for protected consumers who do not currently have a credit report. Upon receiving a request on behalf of a protected consumer, the credit reporting agency will create a credit file in that consumer’s name and freeze it.

For more information on child identity theft and the protected consumer freeze, visit and click “Report Identity Theft,” and then view “Child Identity Theft, What You Need to Know.”

Public hearing on bridge rescheduled

A public hearing on replacing the bridge on U.S. 21 over Harbor River has been rescheduled.

The hearing will take place from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Lady’s Island Elementary School, 73 Chowan Creek Bluff, Beaufort.

For questions, contact Nicole Riddle at

The environmental assessment can be accessed at

MCAS Beaufort runway closed for maintenance

Runway 14/32 (northwest to southeast) at MCAS Beaufort has been closed due to required maintenance to the runway surface.

Runway 05/23 (northeast to southwest) will remain open and serve as the primary runway during this time.

This project is similar to the runway 05/23 maintenance conducted earlier this year and will replace areas of the runway that have faced normal wear and tear due to air operations over the years.

The scheduled maintenance is projected to be complete in spring 2017.

Bird count focus of upcoming meeting

An Audubon Club meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Fripp Island Community Centre.

The program will include information about the Christmas Bird Count.


Local man serving on U.S. Navy submarine

Matthew Thompson
Matthew Thompson

A 1998 Hilton Head High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of an integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners working aboard the expeditionary submarine tender, USS Emory S. Land.

Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Thompson serves in Guam as part of a forward deployed naval force in the Pacific.

He is responsible for testing the structural integrity of various equipment on the submarines to make sure they are in good working order.

“Guam sailors are located at our nation’s most strategically important forward-deployed submarine base, and the missions they conduct at the tip of the spear are incredible,” said Capt. David Schappert, commander, Submarine Squadron 15. “They are constantly challenged and continually rise to meet and exceed expectations. Guam is the place to be for submariners, and we have the ‘Go Guam!’ initiative to showcase all the great things we do out here.”

With a crew of 41 officers and 650 enlisted, submarine tenders are 649-feet long and weigh approximately 23,347 tons. A steam-powered propulsion system helps push submarine tenders through the water at nearly 21 mph.

“It’s a privilege and honor to serve and participate in our longstanding heritage of the naval service,” Thompson said. “It is so satisfying to see how all the small parts come together to serve the Navy and defend the nation.”

PAL offering help adopting kittens, cats

Every cat or kitten adopted from the Palmetto Animal League through Saturday, Nov. 19, will get one free wellness exam at PAL’s Community Clinic.

Call 843-645-1725 or visit

Pedestrians warned to be careful on Boundary

During construction along Beaufort’s Boundary Street pedestrians are urged to be careful as many sidewalks are closed.

There are warning signs and barriers, but according to the city, some people continue to walk in the construction zone or on the Boundary Street pavement, which is dangerous.

Pedestrians should stay away from construction areas and seek alternate walking paths in the work zone.