News briefs for September 7th-13th

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Hunting Island beaches close due to flooding

As of Labor Day, the beaches at Hunting Island were closed due to recent rains and flooding.

The campground and lighthouse remained open.

Further information was unavailable at press time, but to find out if the beaches continue to be closed, visit southcarolinaparks.com/huntingisland/introduction.aspx.

SCDMV offers new ID cards online

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) is providing a new way for SC residents to confirm if the documents needed to order and buy a REAL ID driver’s license online are on file with the agency. 

Starting in January, airport officials will stop taking driver’s licenses under the Real ID Act from SC, Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington state. 

However, with the SCDMV’s newly designed mobile-first website, customers can log in and learn if they may be eligible for ordering a REAL ID license online when the cards become available in 2018. 

“This eliminates the need to call, wait on hold, and confirm that all of the needed documents are on file for you to get a REAL ID,” said Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “Customers can now access this information throughout all hours of the day, not just during normal business hours.” 

Visit www.scdmvonline.com, search “REAL ID”, and begin the transaction from the REAL ID web page. 

You’ll enter your license number, Social Security number and date of birth to see if the required documents are on file. 

All of the following must be true for you to be eligible to buy a REAL ID license online next year:  

• Required documents are on file with the SCDMV;

• Driving privileges are in good standing;

• Have a regular (Class D, E, F, M, or any combination of the four) license.

If the required documents are not on file and you’re interested in changing your current SC license to a REAL ID, you must bring the following documents to an SCDMV branch now: 

• Proof of identity (birth certificate or valid US passport);

• Proof of Social Security number;

• Two proofs of current, physical SC address;

• Proof of all legal name changes.

If you have an identification card, commercial driver’s license, or are an international customer, REAL ID licenses and IDs will not be available for online ordering.

Visit www.scdmvonline.com or email questions to REALID@scdmv.net.

Attorney General monitoring gas prices

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the SC Attorney General’s Office is monitoring its effect on gas prices in South Carolina. 

While it’s true people are paying more at the pump, the simple rise in the price of gasoline does not equal price gouging under state law, according to a release.

South Carolina does have a law against price gouging (SC Code § 39-5-145) that takes effect under very specific circumstances.  

Run-ups in price, even those that seem large, may be justified by market forces.

But if you believe you are the victim of price gouging, there are certain steps that you can take to help the Attorney General’s Office investigate:

• Note the time, place, address and name of the gas station

• Note the price you paid.

• Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations.

• Take pictures that identify the station, along with the price.

• Provide your name and contact information.

Email any examples or documentation to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953 and leave a message if you have witnessed a likely violation.

United Way accepting grant proposals

The United Way of the Lowcountry and the Clarece Walker Fund Advisory Committee are seeking proposals for the first round of grants from the Clarece Walker Endowment Fund.  

The Clarece Walker Legacy Endowment Fund was established by the United Way of the Lowcountry Inc. (UWL) in 2013 in honor of Clarece S. Walker, retired president and CEO of UWL.

The mission of the Clarece Walker Fund is to change the tide of family circumstances in Beaufort and Jasper counties by funding inspiring, cutting-edge, and innovative educational and other activities that inspire children and adults to lift themselves out of poverty.

Any organization that has a 501(c)(3) status or any collaborative that has a fiscal agent that has a 501(c)(3) status may apply.  The committee will give special consideration to those applicants that are submitting as a collaborative. 

Funding ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 will be considered.    

Letters of Intent are due Monday, Oct. 2, and applications of selected agencies will be due Tuesday, Nov. 3. Selected agencies will be notified by Sunday, Dec. 31.  

Letters of intent should be limited to no more than three pages and must be written in the following format:

• Summary Statement

• Statement of Need (the “why” of the program)

• Program Activity (the “what” and “how” of the program)

• Outcomes Expected

• Budget Overview (general description of funding needs)

• Closing Statement

Letters of Intent should be mailed to United Way of the Lowcountry, c/o Clarece Walker Fund, PO Box 202, Beaufort, SC  29901; or hand-delivered to 1277 Ribaut Road, Beaufort; or emailed to lknoll@uwlowcountry.org.

Registration for tax auction underway

Bidder registration for the Beaufort County Tax Auction is underway.

The auction will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at the Charles Lind Brown Activity Center at 1001 Hamar St. in Beaufort. 

Individuals wishing to bid on properties being auctioned at the Beaufort County Tax sale must register in advance of the auction. Registration will not be permitted the day of the sale. 

Bidders can register in advance online or at any of the three office locations by noon Friday, Sept. 29. For locations or to register online, visit www.BeaufortCountyTreasurer.com.

The registration fee is $30 and includes a list of all properties to be sold, distributed the morning of the auction. 

On the day of the sale, bidder sign-in will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 9:30 a.m. All bidders must be signed in no later than 9:30 a.m. 

All bid payments, deed preparation costs and recording fees must be paid in full before the close of business on the day of the tax sale with guaranteed funds. 

All real estate subject to auction can be found online at BeaufortCountyTreasurer.com. Properties are advertised and auctioned in alphabetical order according to the defaulting owner’s last name or company name as listed in Beaufort County’s tax system. 

If an owner has multiple properties being auctioned, the properties will be advertised and auctioned in numerical order by Property Identification Number (PIN). 

Bidders are encouraged to do their own research and have a full understanding of what they are purchasing. To assist in this endeavor, the Treasurer’s Office provides historical data pertaining to past tax sales and other useful resources. To view past data or to learn more about the tax sale, visit BeaufortCountyTreasurer.com.

Beaufort County offers free electronics recycling

The Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office will host two free electronics recycling events for county residents. 

The next events will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at  Beaufort County Public Works, 9 Benton Field Road, Bluffton; and Beaufort County Public Works, 140 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Any personal computers, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, CRT televisions, non-CRT televisions, printers, hard drives and miscellaneous electronics (microwaves, cell phones, radios, fax machines, and typewriters) will be accepted. 

For more information, call the Solid Waste and Recycling Office at 843-255-2736 or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Mosquito spraying may take place through Sept. 8

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, Sept. 8.

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.