New Traffic Light on Ribaut Rd

By Bob Sofaly Al Amely of the City of Beaufort hangs a new, easier to read traffic light at Ribaut and Waddell roads Thursday. A Beaufort County crew origanly started the project until their truck broke down and, in the spirit of cooperation, the city crew took over, according to John Snedeker of the Beaufort County Traffic Engineering department. ...

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Sheriff’s Office Investigating Armed Robbery

ST. HELENA ISLAND, SC (February 2, 2012/1:30 PM) – The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is investigating yesterday evening’s armed robbery of a St. Helena convenience store. Just after 5:30 pm, Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Express Lane #5 (1702 Sea Island Pkwy) in reference to an armed robbery occurring moments earlier. Upon arrival, deputies met with an employee who advised that an unknown black male had entered the store, produced a handgun, and demanded money. The clerk complied, handing over an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect then fled the store, running through the woods towards Coffin Point Rd. The clerk was unharmed and no customers were present during the incident. The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20’s, approximately 5’07”, 160 lbs with a “scruffy” beard. Investigators are currently following up on promising leads to the suspect’s identity. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact either Investigator Sgt. J. Fraser at 843-255-3416 or the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777. ...

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Arts fun-raiser channels spirit of Mardi Gras

By Lanier Laney In support of ARTworks, Beaufort’s community arts center, Mardi Gras is the grand annual fundraiser that uses the strength of a squeezebox and the zing of the washboard to get supporters of the arts moving and grooving. For 2012, the committee decided to take over the newly re-opened Shed in Port Royal, with a balcony in French Quarter style by artist Terry Brennan, a jazzy backdrop created by artist Rebecca Davenport, and the delicious tradition of jambalaya and white chocolate bread pudding by Berry Island. Revelers filled the Shed to capacity, finding their tables loaded with beads, masks, and scratch off tickets to determine the Kings and Queens. Led by artist-boardmember Deanna Bowdish in a stunning red gown, dancers filled the floor in front of Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, direct from New Orleans, and guests took home spectacular art from the silent auction, including artworks donated by the Charles Street Gallery, glass artist Greg Rawls, woodworker Rex Hunter, multi-mediaist Hank Herring, and a much fought... ...

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A party in honor of Valentine Ball dinner hosts

By Lanier Laney Every year, the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation does a wonderful thing. They give a terrific party in honor of all the kind hearted hosts of the upcoming dinner parties held before the Valentine Ball.  This year was no exception and the party was held in the beautiful home of Ty and Marc Reichel for more than 70 hosts. What’s remarkable about this party is the incredible gourmet food that is served and it is cooked by the chefs at the hospital. Plus other hospital chefs were brought in from as far away as Augusta, Ga. After all, the chefs were all trained in fine culinary schools before going into hospital work.  Their skills are on the level with the finest restaurants.  Many thanks to them for all their hard work and thanks also to the volunteers who make the Valentine Ball Beaufort’s biggest charity event of the year. ...

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Celebration of Love

Valentine’s Day is coming and love is in bloom at the Red Piano Too Art Gallery. The gallery is gearing up for the annual Valentine’s weekend show to open on Saturday, February 11. A collection of works by gallery artists Johnnie Griner, Howard Hunt, S. A. Hunter, Miss Kay, Mary I. Mack, Susan McLendon, Saundra “Renee” Smith, Victoria A. Smalls, W. J. Wilkie will share varying views of love. The gallery’s curator, Victoria Smalls, says, “The collection will look at love in a lighthearted generic sense, as the love between shrimp boats such as the ‘Tide Runner and Miss Behaven’ and ‘Love Birds’ by local artist W. J. Wilkie.” Smalls adds, “The exhibit also reveals the more traditionally conceived theme of couples in love as in ‘Looking Good’ by St. Simons Island artist S. A. Hunter; ‘You’re Still the One’ by local artist and gallery owner Mary I. Mack; ‘Flowers for Mom’ by Susan McLendon (who signs all of her artwork SUMAC); and ‘I Do’ by Gullah Lifestyle artist Cassandra... ...

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Beaufort, Port Royal earn combined and upgraded fire rating

With the possibility of lower fire insurance premiums for commercial properties that could boost economic development, including the Port of Port Royal property, both Beaufort and Port Royal will share a Class 2 ISO fire rating effective May 1. Working together with improved firefighter training and equipment, the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department requested a joint ISO fire rating that could greatly benefit commercial property owners in Beaufort and Port Royal, Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said. For 15 years, Beaufort has enjoyed one of the state’s highest fire insurance ratings — an ISO 2. That can translate to annual savings on fire insurance premiums, particularly for commercial properties. Insurance companies can use the ISO rating as an indicator of a community’s ability to provide fire protection. “With our combined firefighting capability with Port Royal, with our strong water supply system and hydrants, and with our new equipment, we earned the joint ISO 2 rating for both the City of Beaufort and the Town of Port Royal,” Negron said. The rating... ...

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Focusing on the good things taking place in Beaufort County schools

By Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling My personal success beating dyslexia (before it was even recognized as a reading disorder) to become a college and graduate school honor student, and my two-year consulting on parent engagement in schools in Vermont, Delaware and North Carolina by no means qualify me as an expert on education. However, those experiences heightened my awareness and understanding of schools if only from anecdotal points of view. With that disclosure, I believe that I, like many others, have been focusing on news stories about attendance zones, budget battles between County Council and the School Board, unfair state funding formulas and most recently fiscal autonomy, while we’ve ignored and failed to support dedicated hard working teachers by acknowledging many good things taking place in Beaufort County Schools and failing to help with the challenges our teachers and administrators face. Furthermore, perhaps by pointing fingers at school officials we have excused ourselves from our civic responsibility as a necessary part of the solution. Given my personal interest, I jump... ...

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News Briefs

Change in filing deadline for state income tax returns The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) will honor the April 17th individual income tax filing deadline set by the Internal Revenue Service. Since April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. (a DC-only holiday) is observed on Monday, April 16, the official filing deadline will move to the following business day which is Tuesday, April 17. SCDOR will honor the federal due date but will not change forms to reflect the April 17th deadline. This deadline applies to any income tax return or payment normally due on April 15th; it also applies to the deadline for requesting a tax-filing extension. South Carolina taxpayers who file and pay electronically have until May 1, 2012 to do so without penalty or interest being assessed. The May 1st deadline does not apply to federal returns or to SC taxpayers who file paper returns. SCDMV hosts driver suspension eligibility week The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today... ...

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BJWSA to remove swing bridge over Whale Branch

Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is removing the railroad swing bridge over the Whale Branch River in Northern Beaufort County. Removal of the swing bridge is part of BJWSA’s railroad removal project. Demolition work is slated to begin the week of January 30, 2012, and will be completed by the end of February. During demolition, it will be necessary for the contractor to place the bridge in its locked, closed position for several days. Performing this change may make it difficult for watercraft to pass underneath. BJWSA anticipates that the bridge will be closed through February 3; however, weather and other site conditions may cause that closure period to be extended. Boaters are urged to use caution in the area. BJWSA purchased the Port Royal Railroad in 2008 as a utility corridor. Removal of the rail ties, ballast and rock began in fall of 2010. All work is slated to be complete by summer of 2012. ...

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Scott named to BJWSA board of directors

James Scott of Hardeeville has been appointed to the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority’s (BJWSA) Board of Directors. Mr. Scott was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley with special consideration by the legislative delegation. His term runs through 2017, at which time he will be eligible for re-appointment. Mr. Scott replaces Mark Snyder, who gave nine years of exemplary service to the Board of Directors from 2002 through 2011, and served as chairman from 2004 until 2007. Mr. Scott has a distinguished history of public service in the Lowcountry, working for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Hardeeville and the Beaufort County School District. He is currently a licensed real estate broker and shareholder with Keller Williams Hilton Head and Bluffton Real Estate Company and a licensed residential and commercial contractor. BJWSA’s Board of Directors is an eleven-member body, with Directors representing Beaufort County, Jasper County, the City of Beaufort, the Town of Bluffton, the Town of Hardeeville, the Town of Port Royal, the Town of Hilton Head Island... ...

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