News briefs for September 8th-14th

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Bluffton, Beaufort to hold 9/11 services

Bluffton and Beaufort will hold ceremonies Sunday, Sept. 11, in remembrance of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Bluffton ceremony will be held at Bluffton Town Hall at 20 Bridge St. and is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Members of the Bluffton Police and Bluffton Fire Honor Guard will present the colors and the St. Gregory the Great Catholic School Children’s Choir will sing. The guest speaker is a retired NYPD officer who was in New York when the Twin Towers were hit. Seating will be available. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 30 minutes. The city of Beaufort’s the 15th annual 9/11 Service will be held at 7 p.m. at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

Democrats for Clinton open local office

Democrats for the Hillary Clinton for America campaign have opened a local office at 100 Sea Island Parkway on Lady’s Island. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

“Local Democrats for Hillary Clinton for America are very excited and working hard to achieve a Clinton South Carolina victory in the upcoming Nov. 8 election,” according to a release.

To volunteer or for more information, call 843-522-1028.

DMV is offering online scheduling

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is now providing online appointment scheduling for Private Passenger (Class D) and Motorcycle (Class M) driving tests.

“Scheduling an appointment online is convenient for the customer and minimizes the wait time as much as possible.” said Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “Our online services are key to improving our efficiency and customer service.”

Online scheduling for skills test appointments has been available to customers seeking a CDL license for over a year, but the DMV recently expanded the service to include Class D and Class M driving tests. Online appointments can be scheduled between 2-4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visit www.scdmvonline.com, and click “Skills Test Appointments” under the “Online Services” menu at the top of the page.  Customers are asked to arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment time to ensure all documentation is complete and accurate. Skills test appointments are recommended for those who already hold a valid beginner’s permit in a particular class. All pre-test requirements for a skills test must be met before testing can begin. If requirements are not met, customers will be asked to reschedule their skills test. Skills tests are subject to cancellation due to severe weather. For more information, visit the SCDMV website at www.scdmvonline.com.

Wastewater spills into Battery Creek

The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) reported that a minor spill of wastewater was released into the head water of Battery Creek at the end of North Street on Aug. 29. The release occurred because of pipeline failure. The repair was completed quickly and the line was placed back in service the same day. The heavy rain that occurred coupled with the timing of the release warranted a public notice. BJWSA worked with SCDHEC to mitigate any effects caused by the overflow. Signs have been posted in the area to inform the public about the overflow and will remain until normal sample results are obtained.

If you see or suspect any type of spill from the sewer collection system, contact BJWSA at 843-987-9200. For more information, visit www.bjwsa.org or call 843-987-9213.

Free trees offered for joining group

Everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in September will receive 10 free trees as part of the foundation’s Trees for America program. Through Trees for America, everyone is encouraged to plant trees, which benefit the environment and improve quality of life. With nearly 1 million members and supporters, the Arbor Day Foundation is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Everyone joining this month will receive one of the following tree packages based on their location: 10 Arizona cypress, 10 live oak or 10 mix trees including eastern redbud, white pine, sugar maple, white flowering dogwood, pin oak, red maple, river birch, silver maple, northern red oak, and Colorado blue spruce.

“These trees are carefully selected to yield year-round benefits, including beautiful spring flowers, cool summer shade, spectacular autumn colors, winter berries and nesting sites for songbirds,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Easy-to-follow planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees. New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will also receive “The Tree Book,” which includes information about tree planting and care. To receive the 10 free trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by Sept. 30, or join online atarborday.org/september.

Community foundation awards $5,000 grant

The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has awarded a grant in the amount of $5,000 to Beaufort Housing Authority’s (BHA), Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to fund, the Family Self-Sufficiency Empowerment Weekend (FSSEW) project. The FSSEW project will take place the weekend of Sept. 23 at the Palm Key Nature Getaway resort in Ridgeland. Funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FSS programs are administered through local housing authorities. The objective of FSS programs is to promote economic independence with individuals receiving housing assistance. The weekend was created to address employers’ challenge of finding employees with strong interpersonal skills, commonly referred to as soft skills.

A report by the National Soft Skills Association referencing studies by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center shows employers believe that 85 percent of job success comes from having well-developed interpersonal skills; while they attribute only 15 percent of job success to technical skills.

“It was an eye opener,” Susan Madison, FSS coordinator with Beaufort Housing Authority recalled. “We coach clients on the latest trends in employment. We advise them on the education and training needed to qualify for jobs. Looking at the expressed needs for soft skills we realize that we need to put just as much emphasis, if not more, on those skills to prepare FSS participants. We created this weekend to teach those soft skills and equip our clients with what they need to be able to compete for jobs.”

The FSSEW project will pair professionals from the art, business, healing arts and education industries with FSS participants and their families. In addition to soft skills there will be learning labs that will share stress management and confidence building tools.

For more information, visit beaufortha.com.