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September 22, 2011

Lt. Dan Weekend

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Thursday: Conflict Zone photography exhibit

On Thursday, Sept. 15, the wounded veterans, their caregivers, volunteers and other members of the community were invited to a reception at the Loft in Beaufort’s City Hall to view the national photography exhibit “Conflict Zone.” The images were all taken by some of the most celebrated combat journalists of this generation, and the show was inspired by Joao Silva, the New York Times photographer who lost both legs in an Afghanistan explosion.
The event was catered by Palm Key Catering, and volunteers also brought many other delicious homemade dishes.
It was a wonderful opportunity to mingle, enjoy a good meal and see thought-provoking — sometimes even heart wrenching — images from the war zones.
The show is sponsored by The Independence Fund and will be on display through Friday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Friday: Lt. Dan Band concert in the park






Saturday: 5K run and Beaufort 300th parade

OB SOFALY Grand Marshal Gary Sinise waves to the crowd during Beaufort's Tricentennial Parade on Saturday as it makes its way along Bay Street in Beaufort.


BOB SOFALY Patriotic and historical floats, some pulled by pick-ups and others pulled by tractors, told a story about Beaufort's 300 years.


BOB SOFALY Photographer John Wollworth and son get ready to run the Beaufort Tricentennial 5K race on Saturday in Beaufort.



BOB SOFALY More than 300 runners take off to start the Beaufort Tricentennial 5K race on Saturday morning.



















BOB SOFALY Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, in period clothing, converses with the crowd during Beaufort's Tricentennial Parade on Saturday. Just behind Keyserling is City Councilman George O'Kelly.

Beaufort’s fall social season begins

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By Lanier Laney
Beaufort’s grand “Old Guard” along with younger generations and friends turned out on the first cool day of fall this past weekend for Marjorie Trask’s porch and garden party to watch the 300 Birthday Parade go by on Bay Street.
Beaufortonians seem to go into some sort of hibernation during the hottest, most humid months of summer, and people greeted each other with gusto after not seeing one another for so long. Thoughts of Beaufort’s history were in the air as the charming parade passed by with costumed float riders. An older gentleman next to me remarked, “You know, if we had never separated from England, Marjorie Trask would be a Duchess!” he said with a smile. Marjorie’s father was Angus Fordham who was Mayor of Beaufort for 17 years and Marjorie’s family, the McLeods, celebrated 100 years in the house with a family picnic this past April. The beautiful, many-columned home, built in 1813 is featured on the cover of “Beaufort’s Historic Homes” coffee table book and was the headquarters of General Stevens during the Civil War.

The wonderful Marjorie Trask, (or “Big Marge’” as she is affectionately known — her daughter being Marjorie Trask also, now married to Herb Gray). Big Marge’s lovely party in honor of Beaufort’s 300th kicked off the Beaufort Fall social season in fine style.

A ‘job well done’ goes to Erin Dean and Councilman Mike Mcfee who spearheaded the successful 300 Parade. Pat Harvey Palmer and the Lions Club along with the city staff, did the brunt of work. Special thanks to them and all the organizations that worked so hard to pull off such a wonderful parade. “Blessedly free of blatant advertising like usual” said an onlooker to me. Turns out that that was intentional as floats were required to have a theme (with costumes) and not just be a rolling billboard for a business.
It turned out to be a great birthday celebration for Beaufort with a movie star grand marshal in Gary Sinise! Too bad we have to wait another 300 years for the next one.

Local student featured in Seventeen

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By Tess Malijenovsky
Seventeen, a popular teen magazine, selected 15 college freshman to keep a blog about their first year away at school. One of the students chosen was Jaymie Baggerly, who graduated from Beaufort Academy and is now a freshman at College of Charleston.
Jaymie never thought she’d have her face next to her story in the magazine she grew up reading, and now she’s one of Seventeen’s featured “Freshman 15.”

Jamie Baggerly

“It feels really weird,” Jaymie said. “You know, you grow up reading that magazine, and I always thought that if I was going to be in it, I’d be in the section with the embarrassing stories.”
Every other week readers can find Jaymie’s latest blog entries with pictures and videos posted on Seventeen’s website. Making videos won’t be hard for Jaymie since she’s been making them with her friends for years ever since her grandparents gave her a video camera for Christmas. After all, she won her spot in Seventeen with a blog entry about poaching an egg and a one-minute introductory video highlighting her personality amidst a sunflower field and downtown by the river.
So far Jaymie’s written about the trials of trying out for the crew team and her first time going out to a dance club —Pantheon, a gay club recommended by her upperclassmen as “the most fun place in Charleston.” She also plans on giving readers a heads up about the process of signing up for Study Abroad as she intends to go to England.
With a high school graduating class of 17 students, the Charleston city life has a lot to offer Jaymie, and she’s excited to have already made many new friends. Even though Charleston might be “like a big Beaufort,” according to Jaymie, she misses her friends and family from back home.
Jaymie would like high school rising seniors to know that college isn’t the slice of cake her teachers made it out to be and highly recommends that students try to move onto campus as early as possible so that they’re all settled in by the time classes start.
To stay tuned with Jaymie Baggerly’s freshman endeavors as she represents Beaufort, check out her blog:;1.

A fair bankruptcy attorney: It’s all in the name

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By Lanier Laney

Philip Fairbanks grew up in the Philadelphia area, graduated from Temple University, and earned his law degree at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he served on the Law Review.
Following graduation in 1977, he hopped on a train headed for his first job as a staff attorney with the federal Legal Services Office in Beaufort. He never looked back and today his deep knowledge of the region informs his judgment.

Philip Fairbanks: Bankruptcy attorney

Phil found his specialty in bankruptcy, an area where he feels he can make a personal difference helping solve financial problems when it is needed most. For the past 15 years, Phil estimates he has filed cases for more than 2,000 people from Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head as well as throughout Hampton, Jasper and Colleton counties. In his spare time he likes to garden, get on the river, and travel with his wife, Dale Friedman.
Says Phil “We have helped people of all ages, professional achievement, and income levels who come to us because they can no longer keep up with their debt without some help. Many are burdened by medical expenses for themselves or loved ones; some have been laid off in a poor economy; others have experienced family upheavals like death or divorce. Similarly, in this economy, small business owners find the pressures of meeting payrolls, tax obligations, suppliers’ demands, while continuing to make a profit, increasingly difficult.
Our clients are a diverse group with a common problem, but each and every case is unique. Our firm enjoys the challenge of designing the right solution for each client, whether it is through bankruptcy or another alternative that will allow them to address their financial difficulties and make a fresh start.”
Adds Phil, “Bankruptcy can be a process full of stress, details and deadlines, and to best meet the needs of our clients, we’ve assembled a seasoned group of co-workers who contribute in any number of ways every day to make sure our clients are prepared, informed and treated with kindness and respect.”
“When I walked into Phil’s office, I was embarrassed about my bankruptcy and ashamed and feeling like I’d failed. But when I walked out, I felt a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I so appreciated his comforting words and help,” said a client.
Many people drop health insurance, cash in retirement savings, lose homes, and suffer overwhelming stress rather than file. Bankruptcy is a responsible, legal procedure for resolving debt-related problems. The bankruptcy laws provide relief to those who can demonstrate to a federal judge that, despite their best efforts, they will not be able to manage unless their debt is restructured or eliminated.
Most people who file for bankruptcy legally eliminate a substantial amount of their debt that would otherwise show up on their credit report. Overall, the new credit report — minus the discharged debt — looks better to new potential lenders than the old one. Many people find that their credit actually improves following a bankruptcy.
There are two types of debt: ‘Unsecured’ and ‘Secured’. Unsecured debt is not backed up (secured) by collateral and includes things like credit card and finance company accounts, medical bills, utility and cell phone accounts, and some kinds of income tax debts. Secured debt has something tangible (collateral) behind it: a car, boat, furniture, some installment purchases, and perhaps biggest of all, your home. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, also known as “consumer bankruptcies,” have different requirements as well as advantages and disadvantages.
How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Save Your Home
A Chapter 13 can make it possible for homeowners who are several months or more behind on their mortgages to keep their homes by resuming the regular monthly mortgage payment and making a small additional payment to “catch-up” the unpaid balance over a five year period. This is possible because bankruptcy reduces the amounts a homeowner is required to pay on other, usually unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.). Typically, those other debt balances can be reduced by up to 95%.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also allow homeowners who are struggling with a home equity loan or second mortgage to substantially reduce the monthly note payment.
Alternatively, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can simply “wipe out” all unsecured debts, making it possible for a homeowner who is current or only slightly behind on a mortgage to keep the home.
Phil’s office is at 1214 King St. and he can be reached at 843-521-1580.

Photos chosen for county calendar

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A photo of Stony Preserve by Bluffton resident, Stan Abrahamson, was selected for the cover of the 2012 Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands Calendar.

Stony Preserve by Stan Abrahamson

The photo shows a forested lagoon area at the preserve, which was purchased jointly by Beaufort County and the Town of Hilton Head Island for conservation as a passive park.  Twelve other photos selected from entries submitted in the county’s annual photo contest include three by Beaufort photographer and artist Karen Peluso, who entered shots of Lands End, The Green in Beaufort’s Old Point neighborhood and White Hall Landing.
County Administrator Gary Kubic, the calendar’s executive editor, said he is always impressed with the quality of the pictures taken by local photographers. “Those who enter the contest year after year are to be applauded regardless of whether they were selected for the calendar or not. Their love for the natural outdoor beauty of Beaufort County is evident in the excellence and the integrity of their work. We are grateful to them all for helping us tell the story of our beloved Rural and Critical Lands with their exceptional photographs.”
The 2012 calendar is expected to be available for sale in October at the county website and several local shops.

It’s horse carriage war (again)

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By Tess Malijenovsky
The Tourism Management Advisory Commission (TMAC) came to Beaufort City Council once again in hopes of passing an ordinance that would, among other things, change hours of operation on Thursdays to accommodate for family day on Paris Island, change the bid process for touring horse carriage slots, and change the point system to allow for stricter violation laws. Tour business owners are upset and fear that these changes will not only take them completely out of business, but that they simply won’t work.
Two-thirds of the complaints that TMAC receives are from the actual touring personnel. It’s carriage war between horse buggy companies.
Local tour carriage companies are out to get one another, dropping manure and urine chalk intentionally onto the streets to frame the competitor. In fact, the biggest challenge that TMAC currently faces is mediating between the two competing tour companies, Carolina Buggy Tours and Southurn Rose Buggy Tours.
Law enforcement is frustrated that current laws don’t allow for immediate citations when one company tattletales on the other; and the tour carriage business owners fear that even with a point system (similar to that of driving licenses) it will always be one man’s word against the other’s and that convictions will never be penalized because they cannot be proved. Furthermore, the bid process amendment to the ordinance is a cutthroat suggestion that may eliminate this petty competition, but business owners fear will also eliminate their livelihood and investments.
After nearly an hour and a half of debate and raised concerns, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling motioned to continue the conversation for the following week since it was evident that no solution would be made that night.
In other news, council members will not increase taxes for the 2012 fiscal year Operating Budget. They also approved an extension to an agreement with Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire Department to serve residents on Lady’s Island on a contract basis.

Exchange Club names top firefighter, investigator

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Beaufort Firefighter Ross Vezin is the Exchange Club of Beaufort’s Firefighter of the Year and Beaufort Police Investigator George Erdel is the 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
“This is an exceptional honor and we are proud to have both these fine public servants working in the City of Beaufort,” Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said.
“It was so appropriate that the Exchange Club of Beaufort presented these awards during the 9-11 ceremonies Sunday in the Waterfront Park,” Dadson said. “At a time when our nation remembered the great sacrifices of first responders during that tragedy, we also got a chance to celebrate the continuing good works of our police and fire departments.”
Vezin joined the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department in June 2008 as a recent graduate from the Palm Beach Community College Fire Academy and a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Through aggressive training from the South Carolina Fire Academy on his part, he was promoted through the firefighter ranks quickly and recently earned a “meritorious” promotion to Firefighter III earlier than scheduled.
He is also a 2011 graduate of both the Technical College of the Lowcountry and Columbia Southern University with an Associate’s Degree in Fire Service Management and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. Vezin expects to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University in 2012.
In 2010, Vezin served as a counselor at the MUSC Burned Children’s Fund Camp Can Do. He also was instrumental in accomplishing a “Stuff the Stocking” drive for CAPA during the 2010 holiday season. The Beaufort/Port Royal firefighters  donated money with which Vezin bought stocking stuffers. Then, along with his Engine Company, Vezin took Christmas dinner, stockings, and Santa Claus to the staff and residents of CAPA’s Open Arms Shelter.
He also played a key role in a fairy tale Christmas story in which the firefighters on duty before Christmas Eve learned that a family in the Beaufort community had nothing for Christmas. By noon on Christmas day, with Vezin’s help, that family had a Christmas tree, presents for five children including bicycles for each. This collaborative effort of firefighters was spearheaded by Vezin and his Engine Company.
Beaufort Police Investigator George Erdel joined the Beaufort Police Department in August of 2006 after an enlistment in the United States Marine Corp where he was a military policeman. He has been assigned to the investigations unit at the Beaufort Police Department since March 2009.
During his time assigned to investigations, Erdel has been assigned 110 cases of which 108 were Group A offenses – major crimes. He has cleared or closed 96% of those cases assigned. Of those cleared or closed, 36 were cleared by arrest, four were exceptionally cleared, 10 were classified as unfounded and 54 were administratively closed.
Investigator Erdel has taken classes in First Line Supervision, Basic Detective, Reid Technique of police interrogations, a cellular forensics class, and a class on tracking fugitives in the electronic age. He has completed 66 hours during his own time toward a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Park University.
Investigator Erdel, using his knowledge and interest in the electronic medium, has created and maintained the Beaufort Police Department’s Facebook page.
He takes the lead in cases concerning stolen computers and other technology crimes. His interaction with those in the computer networking field has led to multiple recoveries of stolen computers particularly for the Beaufort County School District and The Technical College of the Lowcountry.
In addition to his criminal investigations, he is an evidence custodian and a marijuana analyzer.

Weekend Crime Report

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FAMILIAL DISOBEDIENCE: A few officers were dispatched to the area of Monson and Washington streets when a  “suspicious” subject was reported causing a disturbance in the middle of the roadway. The male subject had an active family court bench warrant for his arrest, meaning he did not show up for Family Division Court to face his family like he was suppose to. When he was searched the officer also found a small plastic bag with what was suspected to be marijuana (although this must be confirmed with testing). What could this mean? Someone is trying to avoid his mama.

UP, UP AND ARRESTED: At 9:45 p.m. on Sunday night ,a caller phoned the police about a possible burglary. Suspects were spotted loading property into a truck at the incident location. When a responding officer stopped a truck fitting the description, it was revealed that the two suspects had taken a ladder and other miscellaneous items from the yard of a house. They were arrested for trespassing and petit larceny. Yes, we’re in a recession and we must think outside the box, but there must be more inconspicuous things to steal than ladders.

CONVENIENT HOT SPOT: While some may find it surprising that the Smokers Express, off Robert Smalls Parkway, could be the joint for public arguments, on Sunday morning around 1 a.m. it was the 24-hour convenient spot for exactly that. A witness reported two groups of men started arguing in the store and decided to, respectfully, take the matter out to the parking lot. When one group moved toward the other, things got real bad. A man pulled out a pistol, and everyone ran to cars fleeing the scene before the police arrived. The cause of the argument is unknown, but one could only imagine it was not because someone was trying to take the last Reese’s Pieces in the store.

REVENGE OF THE WET CAT: On Friday, police filed an account of animal bite crime when a woman was reportedly bitten by her own cat as she tried to bathe it. Enough said?

Compiled by Tess Malijenovsky. Crime Report items are chosen from the files of the Beaufort Police Department. Please contact the police with any insider information on these cases.

Church presents colorful ‘Joseph’ musical

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be presented at The Baptist Church of Beaufort on Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the book of Genesis in the Bible, this light-hearted show was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at the Colet Court School in London on March 1, 1968. It then morphed from a 15-minute production to a 35-minute production and was referred to as a pop oratorio.

Gregg McLain plays Joesph in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat."

In 1970, Lloyd Webber and Rice used the popularity of their second rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, to promote Joseph — which was advertised in America as a “sequel” to Superstar. Its popularity eventually led the show to its first Broadway performance at the Royal Theatre where it ran for 749 performances. The show was restaged in 1991 at the  London Palladium in an expanded version which toured off-broadway in America for a decade.  This expanded version now runs about two hours and includes the addition of a children’s chorus and prologue, mega-mix dance numbers, and more technical production feats.
In 1995, Northern Kentucky Children’s Ensemble (another community children’s chorus founded by Dr. Melanie Williams) was selected to participate with an off-broadway touring company of Joseph in Cincinnati.  The same chorus was later used in a production at her church that year with adults and youths from the church family filling the other roles. In order to afford the same opportunity for LowCountry Children’s Chorus to undergo an exciting musical theater stage experience, to work with other friends and talented colleagues who share the same love of musical theater, and to offer more adults and youths performance opportunities within her church family and the community, the idea to come together was conceived and birthed for the first time in 2007 … and now once again in 2011.
Through collaborative efforts of the music and drama ministries at The Baptist Church of Beaufort and Port Royal Baptist Church, a very talented and capable direction crew as well as a cast and technical crew has emerged with Melanie Williams, musical director, Lynda McLain, stage director, and Casey Chucta, choreographer.  The title role of Joseph is played by Gregg McLain and the Narrator’s role will be sung by Dawn Bates. Jim Wooten, Senior Pastor, will be featured in the role of Jacob, and Kiel Seley, Youth Minister at Port Royal Baptist, will play one of the brothers.
Although much rehearsal time is required from everyone in order to produce this musical, some families have committed to work on this project together. Much  time is spent encouraging one another in rehearsal as the 33-member cast and LowCountry Children’s Chorus converge.
The Baptist Church of Beaufort has been very supportive in providing a performance venue in the past for such productions as Smoke On the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas, and looks forward to another celebration of community.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors and children under 12. They may be purchased in advance at The Baptist Church of Beaufort (600 Charles St.), Antiques and Such (1600 Burnside, #105, Beaufort Town Center), and Lighthouse Deli and Café, 81 Sea Island Parkway.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  This community production is sponsored by The Baptist Church of Beaufort and LowCountry Children’s Chorus, which is celebrating 10 years.

Sidewalk art sale

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Now is your chance to find a true treasure at a great price from various collections of eclectic art. Several of the dealers from the Collectors Antique Mall are organizing a one day sale of art ranging from traditional to contemporary. Included will be works from emerging artists of the Lowcountry and art from collections whose owners have travelled internationally. The sale is a one day event on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Collectors Antique Mall is located at 102C Sea Island Parkway, in Lady’s Island Shopping Center.

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