A Day in the Life of a shrimp boat captain

By Tess Malijenovsky It’s 3:30 am, and the alarm clock is going off. He reaches over to it, eyes still closed and tired. It’s time to get back out there for another catch. First he’s got to pick up his crew, and then they’ll all head over to Miss Kathy, the 33-year-old lady docked at St. Helena Seafood by the grassy shoals of the inlet. You never know what the waters and the wind will bring. That’s just part of the salt life for a local shrimp boat captain like Kerry Abraham. When I first set foot in the shrimp shop of St. Helena’s Seafood, the boys were shoveling ice and handling shrimp as thick as my thumb. Kerry Abraham wastes no time showing me the ropes, as though I’m the new shrimp boat rookie. He brings me straight into a large walk-in freezer, opens up a 50 pound bag of frozen shrimp and asks me, “How come they’re not frozen together?” as though he’s the reporter. Stepping on board... ...

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Vaden buys old O.C. Welch building

By Tess Malijenovsky After several years of vacancy, the O.C. Welch building was finally purchased last Friday, Sept. 23, by Vaden of Beaufort, the Buick, GMC and Chevrolet dealership currently located at 2811 Boundary St. Since Vaden came to Beaufort three years ago, its sales have grown tremendously. Now they plan to tear down the O.C. Welch building to bring a new “state-of-the-art” facility that will showcase Vaden’s growth and reputable customer service. “In my opinion,” said Executive Manager Shane Gault, “the community needs to be wowed by what Buick, GMC and Chevrolet is all about.” “I think too many businesses come into the community and reap the rewards, but they don’t give back. And one of the things we want the community to know is that we understand that, and we plan on always being involved with the community. That’s part of our DNA,” boasts Gault. One of the ways Vaden gives back to the community is with its Extra Mile Reward of $500 to teams, groups, individuals or... ...

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Beaufort’s ‘quiet’ charity rings up big sales

By Lanier Laney In the tradition of the libraries they work for, Beaufort’s Friends of the Library’s Annual Fall Book Sale is one of the “quietest” charity fundraising events in Beaufort’s Social Calendar. But quiet work brings in big returns as more than $25,000 of much-needed funds is raised each year, with all of those funds used directly for summer reading programs, and even things like a $20,000 gift to the Lobeco branch for furniture and shelving. Geni Flowers, assistant director of libraries at USCB and book sale chairman, deserves a big thank you from users of the three northern Beaufort County library branches — downtown Beaufort, Lobeco and St. Helena — for all the money she and her hard working group of volunteers have quietly raised over the years.  Geni credits Fred Wilson and Dave Peterson along with a cadre of wonderful volunteers for their diligent year-round work taking in donated books and getting the books organized and ready for the yearly fall sale that always occurs the last... ...

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Noel Garrett describes the vision and drive behind Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe

By Lanier Laney Like everyone else in town, here at The Island News we have been fascinated by what’s happening at the Old City Hall building at 302 Carteret St. (across from Wren and City Loft Hotel). It will be the new Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe and is scheduled to open this November, selling everything from baked goods to fresh produce to wine and prepared foods. It’s an extension of the very successful Lowcountry Produce in Lobeco and will feature their full line of products.  I interviewed Noel Garrett, son of the founders, about the history of Lowcountry Produce and their plans for the new venture. Here’s what he had to say: “My brother Dwight and my  parents, Martha and Dwight Garrett, bought eight to 10 recipes from Steve Dowdney in Charleston in the late 90’s that became the Lowcountry Produce line. Since then, my brother Dwight has developed an additional 30 plus products. Steve still works closely with us and is a great friend. My parents came to... ...

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The newspaper myth

By William E.N. Hawkins National newspaper week, October 2-8, is a time to celebrate the unique role newspapers play in our society and dispel the myth that they are going away. It may be difficult for some to see through the fog of recession and digital disruption, but if you look closely you’ll see that newspapers remain quite healthy. Despite the doomsayers, newspapers are actually growing readership as we find new ways to reach consumers. While overall revenues are down, so are expenses and most newspapers remain profitable.  In fact, there are more newspapers in the S.C. Press Association, 115, than there were 10 years ago. Some of us have had to trim our staffs to adjust to advertising declines tied to the collapse of the housing market and outrageously high unemployment. But those hard choices have not changed our commitment to the kind of local reporting that keeps people connected to their communities. The reality is that on any given day, most of what people in South Carolina know... ...

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Department of Disabilities and Special Needs anticipates move

By Pamela Brownstein In 2005, when the Beaufort County Department of Disabilities and Special Needs first realized it was outgrowing its current facilities, many staff members looked forward to the day they could have a building that would best serve their special needs residents. Now, after six years, under the leadership of Beaufort County and state officials and many other dedicated people, this dream is becoming a reality. The much-needed new facility that will accommodate those with developmental disabilities will open in November. The department’s Executive Director Mitzi Wagner said the 26,000-square-foot building, located at 100 Clearwater Way, allows the 114 adult residents enrolled in the county’s day program to be under one roof, instead of being split up due to space limitations as they are today. Perhaps the highlight of the new center is the courtyard, known as The ABLE Garden, sponsored by the ABLE Foundation. The garden will feature fountains, bird feeders, benches, but more importantly will provide a safe and peaceful space for the adults with disabilities... ...

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Weekend Crime Report

THE THREE PHASES OF A B&E: On Friday, September 23, officers responded to a fight at a motel room around 11:30 p.m. A witness reported seeing a woman chase a man with a crutch who was chasing another man whilst trying to hit him with his crutch. What could this be, the witness must’ve wondered. A kinky escapade? Some sort of new adult game? No, this friends, was a well-planned breaking and entering that only looked like a queer ambush. Phase 1: When breaking and entering, chose your company wisely. B&E criminals always want an accomplice. This particular man’s choice, however, was unconventional yet clever. Since he was breaking and entering a motel, he chose an insider accomplice — the front desk clerk. The clerk, a friend, gave the man the room key he needed. Phase 2: Go disguised as a cripple. No one ever suspects the cripple. Phase 3: Catch your wife with another man in a motel room and chase him down with the crutch. Your disguise conveniently... ...

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News Briefs

Early morning stabbing at Waffle House Sunday, September 25, around 2:35 a.m., police officers responded to a call regarding a fight in the parking lot of the Waffle House at 2344 Boundary St. When police arrived, they found a 31-year-old man injured with a stab wound to the abdominal area. The victim was rushed to the hospital by EMS. Soon after the cops broadcasted a description of the suspect and vehicle described by witnesses, Robert Bradham of Lady’s Island, 26, was arrested. He was charged with assault and first degree battery. Griffin assumes managerial duties at BJWSA After a month of transition, Ken Griffin has officially assumed General Manager responsibilities at Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA). The change occurred at the September meeting of BJWSA’s Board of Directors. Griffin began his tenure at BJWSA on August 29, but has shared managerial responsibilities with outgoing manager Dean Moss during a transitional period. Griffin comes to BJWSA from Hillsborough County, Fla., and has spent many years in the water and sewer... ...

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A more environmentally, culturally and fiscally sustainable hometown

By Mayor Billy Keyserling Once the city made changes to provide a higher level of services at less cost, we began investing time and money in ensuring a more environmentally, culturally and fiscally sustainable Beaufort which we mandated through our comprehensive plan. A first step was to reorganize the Redevelopment Commission by replacing all but one Beaufort City Council member with citizens who have strong backgrounds in redevelopment. The second step was to given them the tools and staff needed to plan for the future and even more importantly implement plans. The Office of Civic Investment, under the Redevelopment Commission with a close eye on it by City Council, was created to conduct a block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood analysis of Beaufort today with conceptual plans for what it can be tomorrow through engaging and guiding private investment in the city. They first divided the city into five sectors. Sector One is the greater downtown, spanning from Ribaut Road on the west to the Point neighborhood to the... ...

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House fire displaces family

Just after midnight on Monday, Sept. 26, morning, the Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District was dispatched to the report of a structure fire in the Seaside Road area of Sea Island Parkway. Once there, first in units were met by the owners who reported having just returned home after being gone all afternoon and finding a smoldering pile of ruins where just earlier in the day their home had stood. Firefighters spent the better part of the next four hours tending to the family and picking through the rubble looking for anything that could be salvaged but little was found. The family of three spent the rest of the night with family nearby and fire personnel coordinated with the Palmetto Chapter of the Red Cross to further assist the family in the days to come. The fire completely destroyed the home without notice until their arrival and while the human occupants were spared injury, the family lost a pet in the fire. Almost immediately upon arrival, fire personnel requested the... ...

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