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November 24, 2011

Holiday Traditions of the Lowcountry: Women put Nativity scenes on display

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By Pamela Brownstein
When Charlotte Boe got her first Nativity scene years ago, she had no idea it would lead to her current collection of more than 40 scenes.
A member of the ladies circle at First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte is not the only woman who shares a love of Nativities. Last year, when the group went to visit the abbey at Moncks Corner, they admired the beautiful scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ and wanted to make a display of their own, said church member Marion Leach.
“We decided it would be nice to show our collections to the public,” Marion said. “We will display them as attractive as we can.”
On Friday, December 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, there will be more than 57 Nativity scenes on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the educational building of First Presbyterian located at the corner of Church and North streets.
There are 19 women contributing to the display and all the scenes are unique. Some are handmade, wooden, silver, clay, or straw. Charlotte even has a scene made from corn stalks.
Holly Karnath has been a member of the church for almost 20 years and has an elaborate scene she made herself at a pottery shop when she and her husband were first married in 1977.
“Some are elegant, some are rustic, all represent the birth of Jesus,” Holly said of the church display.
The Nativity scenes also come from all over the world: Peru, Africa, Vietnam, Russia, China, Italy, Germany, Holland and more.
“For us, this is what Christmas is all about,” said Charlotte. “This is not just about Santa Claus; it helps to have the visual reminder.”
This event is free to the public, but donations are accepted.

Weekend Crime Reports

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FAKER MONEY MAKER: A male subject was caught trying to use two fake $50 bills at Wings-n-Things last Saturday. The faker gave the officer a false name along with an the additional $250 worth of counterfeit bills in his possession. Two pistols were also found in the suspect’s car with the serial numbers filled off. Someone needs to keep it Real.

CHEATERS: Apparently around 1 a.m. at Panini’s last Sunday, four men held a woman back while another female punched the victim in the face several times. The victim claims she didn’t known the suspects or why they did this to her. Talk about an unfair fight! Pick on someone by yourself.

TOUGH GUY: At 2:35 a.m. on Sunday morning, officers responded to Beaufort Memorial Hospital where they met with a 24-year-old man who was reportedly stabbed at Encore Night Club on Burton Hill Road. The victim was uncooperative with investigators regarding the details of what occurred. Although the injury did not appear to be life threatening, the attack on the victim’s life sure seems to be a threat.

PURSE PICKIN: Last Friday a woman was loading her car with her groceries when a teenage suspect grabbed her purse out of the cart and took off. Hopefully the victim will not have to resort to stealing a turkey out of someone else’s grocery cart and making a run with it.

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.

Make it a fire-friendly turkey day

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By Tess Malijenovsky
A live fire demonstration took place at the Burton Fire Department on Monday, November 21, to illustrate the proper way to handle a stove fire on Thanksgiving. “Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires nationally, statewide and locally, thus there is no more dangerous a holiday than Thanksgiving,” said Daniel Byrne, firefighter and Community Support officer for Burton fire district.
Firefighter Lee Levesque first demonstrated how to put out a stove fire by covering it with a pan lid to suffocate the fire. You can also use a cookie sheet, which will protect you like a shield.
One of the biggest misconceptions about oil fires is with the use of water, water will actually spread the fire, rather than put it out. On behalf of Beaufort County firefighters, Byrne said: “We would like to encourage the use of fire extinguishes, get them out from under the sink and get them mounted at eye level by an exit or where people can see it and grab it.”
The next demonstration was how to put out an oil fire with a fire extinguisher. “Having a good fire extinguisher and smoke detector is the cheapest life insurance you can get for your family,” said Levesque. He recommends every household have one; if you don’t have one in case of an oil fire, leave the house immediately and call the fire department.
The Safety Education Team (SET team) presenting the live fire demonstrations is an educational branch of the Beaufort County Fire Chief’s Association, representing Bluffton, Burton, Fripp Island, Hilton Head, Lady’s Island/St. Helena, and Sheldon fire departments.
So if your family plans on frying up a turkey this Thanksgiving, be sure to review the safety procedures below on how to handle the fire:
• Check all hoses and connections from fuel tanks for proper fitting and for rotting and cracks.
• Oil and water do not mix. Never lower a frozen or partially thawed turkey into a fryer as this may cause the hot oil to over flow. The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator. Use paper towels to dry your turkey off as much as possible and lower your turkey in slowly.
• Always cook outdoors. Place your fryer at least 15 feet from your home and on stable ground.
• Create a 3-foot safety zone around your fryer for children and pets. Be sure to use heavy-duty mitts when cooking and wear a long sleeve shirt.
• Never leave the fryer unattended as overflowing oils only take seconds to ignite. Make sure you have an ABC rated fire extinguisher available and ready to use. Never use a water hose on a fire that involves cooking oils.

Firefighters educate about prevention

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In the Marine Corps, every Marine is a rifleman. The Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department mirrors that tradition by preparing every firefighter to teach fire prevention.
“All of our firefighters are prepared and involved in prevention through education,” Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said. Firefighters with the City of Beaufort /Town of Port Royal Fire Department, from the bottom to the top, take part in fire prevention and education.

Mossy Oaks Elementary students learn first-hand about fire safety from firefighters.

“After months of preparation and reorganization, every firefighter in this department is involved in fire prevention.  Our firefighters do this in addition to maintaining the highest firefighting training and suppression standards expected of a Class 2 ISO fire department,” Negron said.
Capt. John Robinson, the Department Training and Education Officer, has worked with each of the three shifts of firefighters to ensure they can all skillfully deliver the prevention and education programs.
A few firefighters have conducted special prevention projects with Robinson, but all will continue to learn and grow as educators, Negron said.  Robinson continues to teach, and can now devote more time to the logistical support for the department’s fire prevention efforts.
Pro-active, prevention-based efforts by the Beaufort Fire Department and Beaufort Police Department earned “best practice” kudos from a comprehensive study conducted in 2009-2010 by the International City/County Management Association for Beaufort.
Spreading the education responsibility to the entire department allows Robinson to schedule multiple sessions at the same time.
“We would like every family in the Beaufort and Port Royal to hear a prevention message instead of a siren,” Robinson said.
Last year’s addition of the Fire Department’s two Quick Response Vehicles played a key role in the success of the new model, according to Chief Negron.  These vehicles were intended to assume 66 percent of the single station emergency responses, but have achieved just over 70 percent.
The addition of these highly efficient trucks and the reorganization of existing staff made it possible to be more successful not just in fire prevention, but also in code enforcement and training, Negron said.
“This model allows are firefighters to reach many different audiences while continuing to provide the highest level of service to the public,” he said.
For more information about fire prevention at home or business, contact the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Departments at 843-525-7055 or city-fire@cityof

Senior Leadership Program

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A new group is forming now for the January 2012 Program conducted by Clemson University’s Beaufort Extension office. Space is limited to 35 participants.
The one day per week, 13 week, Senior Leadership Program includes presentations about Beaufort County and local government with presentations by County Council members, Mayors of Beaufort County’s incorporated municipalities, economic development with business leaders, county school and local university education personnel,  arts,  human services and health.
Unique to the program are special “insider” tours of various sites relevant to that day’s topic. During Military Day, for example, participants experience the behind the scene, inside workings of both Parris Island and the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. Environment Days include a tour of Waddell Mariculture Institute and a boat tour and hands on dredging to view the aquatic life of ACE Basin with an expert guide. Besides presentations by noted historians, History Day will include a tour of special portions of Beaufort’s Historic District, Penn Center and the ruins of a newly named National Historic Register plantation at Dataw Island.
Graduates of previous Senior Leadership Programs overwhelmingly sing the praises of participation. Long term residents proclaim, “I wish I had taken it sooner … there is no other way to really get a handle on the way things work (in Beaufort County).” Newcomers agree, “It was a defining event in my Lowcountry life. It is the only way to really learn what goes on outside the gates of the residential communities. The program helped me understand how rich life can be in our new home.” Adding another, “The best part for me was meeting all the other  people who took the program. I would  never have met such an interesting new group of friends if I had stayed home”.
“When you’ve met face to face and talked one on one with: the mayors, police and public safety officials, military base leadership, and all the other experts, every newspaper article you read means much more and brings new insights.”
If you are interested in joining the new 2012 group starting Jan. 10, please contact Bob Guinn at Clemson Extension: 843-255-6060, ext. 116 or go to the website

Black Chamber of Commerce receives grant from USDA

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Department has approved the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCBCC) as a micro-lender. It’s the only chamber in the country to receive this designation.
The BCBCC was awarded $335,000 in loan funds as well as $40,000 in grant funds. The chamber is also contributing $125,000 of in-kind support, which will enable the chamber to assist local small business owners with capital and business training support.
The chamber’s status as a micro-lender means that it will be able to make small business loans to entrepreneurs who are unable to secure a loan from traditional lenders, such as banks. These loans will have a fixed interest rate and can be used by micro entrepreneurs to cover qualified expenses related to their businesses.
The award was presented at the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce Business Conference and Expo in Beaufort on November 5.

BJWSA to conduct water treatment maintenance

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Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) will temporarily change the method of disinfecting the drinking water for its customers next month. The change is part of the routine maintenance program for the water distribution system. All of BJWSA’s retail and wholesale customers will be affected by this change, including utilities that receive wholesale water from BJWSA.
Customers might notice a chlorine taste or odor in the tap water beginning Saturday December 3 through Monday, December 19. Crews will also flush the system by opening fire hydrants at various locations.
This process is safe and customers can drink their water as normal.
Customers who are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine should keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerator. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, thus reducing the chlorine taste. Change the water in your refrigerated container weekly.
Localized system flushing also may result in some minor discoloration of the water. If water appears discolored, customers should run cold water for a few minutes. If discoloration persists, call customer service at 843-987-9200.

Beauty inside and out: The Master Cleanse Detox

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By Takiya Smith

Last week we discussed the subject of an internal beauty regimen, the body cleansing detox. I shared a few key tips on the purpose of a detox, what it can accomplish and even made mention of one of my personal picks, the Master Cleanse detox. This week, I want to share with you my personal experience, a testimony of sorts, to the benefit of a total body detox. Besides the use of natural, organic ingredients working together to flush and purify the system, a good, healthy detox yields healing qualities as well.
My very first experience, as well as knowledge with detoxing, came about three years ago, in the midst of my suffering severe allergic reactions.  As a child and well into my adult life I had never experienced an allergic reaction until my early thirties.  Late one evening, after eating some fast food, I broke out into a wave of hives accompanied by flu like symptoms.  After enduring the symptoms for 24 hours and many doses of Benedryl later, the bout subsided. However, from that day on through an entire year, I suffered random reactions that grew worse with each outbreak.  I was tested for every possible allergen known to man and put on every possible medication invented, yet nothing worked, nor was I diagnosed with a probable allergen or cause.  The outbreaks were so bad that I was prescribed an Epi-pen “just in case” I went into anaphylactic shock, as my throat had now began to swell during outbreaks as well, sometimes while I slept.
It was a downright miserable time in life for me, yet I kept my faith in God that I would be healed of these agitating episodes.
A year into the attacks, and explaining the ordeal to my Pastor and his wife, she recommended the Master Cleanse. Three days later, fully detoxed, I experienced my worst but last ever reaction as my system flushed out all the toxins and pollutants that had filled my body.  Within that year, no medication had given me the relief or result that the detox had.  It has been three years and I am still reaction free.  From that year on, detoxing has become a way of life for me and I continue to see tremendous results in my overall health, body and skin.
As with any changes in health, exercise or diet, please always consult your physician for what is best for you. Visit my blog at to post your comments or questions.

Perfect Pitch product

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What’s the NEXT big idea that could spur economic growth?  The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce wanted to know so they sponsored a state contest called “Perfect Pitch” to give budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their business ideas. The more than 40 applications were whittled to 10 semi-finalists who competed on November 10 in the American Theater on King Street.
Beaufort’s own Louise Hodges, owner of Greenbug All Natural Pest Control Products, was selected First Runner-Up for her invention — an Injector System that delivers Greenbug through existing irrigation systems and safely creates pest-free zones wherever water is directed.
“Imagine no mosquitoes, no no-see-ems, no mole crickets and no fire ants in your yard,” explained Hodges. “With the Greenbug Injector System, all pest concerns are eliminated — safely and for less money than other options available.”
Hodges, along with her husband Dan, ought to know.  Before moving to Beaufort, they owned a landscape design/construction firm in Charlotte, N.C. Once in Beaufort, they shifted their attention to the prevalence of pests and the need to control those pests safely.
According to Hodges, “Greenbug products are university proven effective AND safe.  Using existing irrigation systems to deliver the Greenbug seemed a logical step in landscape design. We just had to tinker with the mechanism to make it simple and efficient.”
The Perfect Pitch competition graded applicants on economic viability, innovation, benefit and presentation. After the initial round, the finalists were whittled to five and included: a new brick that lasts for centuries and can withstand more than 240 mph winds; a new technique to fight pancreatic cancer; a rocket invention that can capture ‘space junk’ threatening to collide with satellites; Greenbug’s Injector System; and the winning entry of a flexible I.V. catheter that does not kink or clog.  The final round was a presentation before a panel of investors, innovators, legal experts and successful entrepreneurs followed by a seven-minute question session for the judges to clarify their impressions. The finalists all received $1,000 towards their business dreams.

Nurse honored with DAISY Award

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They’re the unsung heroes of the medical profession. Caring, compassionate and always on call, nurses are central to the patient experience, but seldom get credit for their steadfast service.
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was established in 1999 to recognize the “super-human” work nurses do every day at the bedside. Beaufort Memorial Hospital honored one of its own this week with the national tribute for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital registered nurse Laura Hawkins is surprised by her managers, co-workers and family during the DAISY Award presentation on November 15. Hawkins was recognized for showing extraordinary compassion and kindness to a dying 31-year-old cancer patient and his two young daughters.

Laura Hawkins, an RN in the hospital’s fifth floor oncology unit, had spent weeks caring for a 31-year-old Marine dying of esophageal cancer. As he continued to deteriorate, he became distressed about how it would affect his 5-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
“He was afraid they were going to forget him,” said Hawkins, the mother of a 7-year-old girl. “I can’t imagine not being there for my daughter as she grows up. I wanted to do something to make him feel better.”
The Bluffton resident found an online company that makes plush “Daddy Dolls” to help children of deployed soldiers cope with the stresses of separation. The 12-inch pillow features the image of the father dressed in uniform.
“He had been showing me pictures of his kids,” Hawkins recalled. “So one day, I asked him to email me a picture of himself in uniform.”
With the photo in hand, Hawkins went to work on her plan. She collected donations from a half-dozen nurses in the unit and called the company to place the order. When they told her it would be six weeks before she received delivery, she panicked.
“He didn’t have that long,” she said. “I explained the situation and they agreed to rush the order. I got the dolls 10 days later.”
Grateful to have something to leave his children, the patient gave them the gift days before he passed away in March.
The hospital surprised Hawkins with the DAISY Award this week during the middle of her shift. They brought in her family and presented her with an engraved vase full of daisies and a trophy titled, “A Healer’s Touch,” a hand-carved sculpture created by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.
“We began participating in the DAISY Award program three years ago to recognize the amazing things our nurses do,” said Julie Schott, a department director and the nurse who oversees the DAISY Award program for BMH. “In typical fashion, Laura didn’t want to take credit for what she had done for her patient. She said it was a team effort.”
By coincidence, Beaufort Memorial received recognition of its own this week for its nurse-friendly environment. The hospital was awarded the coveted Pathway to Excellence designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center — the largest and most respected nurse credentialing organization in the world, and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.
BMH is the only hospital in South Carolina to have achieved the distinction for following practices and policies that create an ideal work place for nurses.
“When patients are admitted to the hospital, it’s for 24-hour nursing care,” said Karen Carroll, Beaufort Memorial’s chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services. “The care and nurturing they provide is so important to creating a positive patient experience.”

BMH recognized for quality of nursing care

Beaufort Memorial Hospital became the first hospital in South Carolina to earn the Pathway to Excellence designation, a national honor bestowed to medical centers that create work environments where nurses can flourish in their practice.
Sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, the Pathway to Excellence program is designed to help hospitals attract and retain skilled nurses by creating a positive workplace, and thus improve the quality of patient care.
“Beaufort Memorial has demonstrated its commitment to supporting nurses and their practice,” said Ellarene Duis-Sanders, chair of the ANCC’s Commission on Pathway to Excellence.
“If nurses are happy and satisfied with their practice, quality of care will be top-notch,” said Trish Deems, director of Beaufort Memorial’s Education Department and coordinator of the Pathway to Excellence project.

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