Review Category : Beaufort News

Owner cited after dog, puppies found starving

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, Beaufort County Animal Services visited a home in Beaufort after the family’s dog reportedly bit another dog. When Animal Service Officers arrived, they found a mother dog and her five young puppies that appeared to be starving. The puppies are believed to be 4 weeks old.

Animal Services immediately took custody of the dogs and cited the owner with Animal Cruelty.

The mother and her puppies were being examined by a veterinarian who says all the animals are extremely malnourished and anemic.

The public is urged to call 843-255-5010 if they believe an animal is being mistreated. Reports can stay anonymous..

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Sheriff’s Office acquires helicopter

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has added the element of air to its collection of tools available to assist in search and rescue missions throughout the county.

Utilizing the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (DoD 1033), the Sheriff’s Office has acquired a 1971 206A (Civilian) OH-58 Kiowa helicopter. This program allowed the Sheriff’s Office to receive the aircraft for free, with the operational costs already in the Sheriff’s Office current budget.

News-Sheriff's office helicopter 11-27The helicopter will be piloted by Rob Wright of Beaufort County Mosquito Control and co-piloted by David Galm of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division. Missions will focus on:

Search response (in conjunction with US Coast Guard and SC Department of Natural Resources as  applicable):

• Missing/overdue boaters, swimmers

• Missing children

• Missing vulnerable adults (Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients)

• Otherwise endangered persons

• Manhunts for violent offenders (when there is high probability of success)

• Locating stolen vehicles/other outdoor criminal activity

Support response:

• Special  operations (ex: flying a bomb technician to another county for rapid support)

• Enforcement for special events requiring crowd control (ex: St. Patrick’s Day Parade).

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Fire claims Grays Hill home

Burton Fire District responded to a house fire just before the Thanksgiving holiday in what fire officials state was a particularly tragic event.

On Friday, November 21 just before 9 a.m., Burton firefighters were called to the scene of a house fire in the 300 block of Bruce K Smalls. Fire crews from the Grays Hill fire station arrived on scene in less than five minutes and found heavy smoke coming from the home. It was unknown if anyone was inside.

The fire was extinguished in less than 30 minutes but the home suffered heavy damage.

The fire was extinguished in less than 30 minutes but the home suffered heavy damage.

Burton Fire Lieutenant Tradd Mills was one of the first firefighters on scene and quickly noted children’s toys on the front porch. “That was particularly unnerving,” stated Mills. “The house is on fire, you don’t know if anyone’s inside, and see children’s toys on the front porch. We knew we had to get inside quick.”

Mills and his crew had to force the locked front door and did a search inside rapidly deteriorating home. Once the home was searched and found clear, firefighters engaged the fire which was starting to break through the roof. The family dog was rescued by firefighters.

The family had just left for the day and was dropping their children off at school when the fire broke out. The home was heavily damaged in the fire with the family losing virtually everything.

“Every fire we respond to is a sad event, but this fire being just before the holidays and in the home of children made it a bit more tragic,” stated Mills.

The cause of the fire is believed to involve improper use of electrical cords.

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Fire district improves insurance classification

The Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District is proud to announce that after a complete review of the Fire District’s operations and training the Insurance Services Office (ISO) has rated the District as a Class 3.

Effective December 1, the rating will drop from a Class 4 to 3. The rating is based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.

According to ISO, there are 48,000 registered fire districts in the United States with approximately 2,000 fire districts receiving the Class 3 rating.

ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire districts, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about fire risks.

ISO evaluates three specific areas:

• The effectiveness of communications between a fire district and its local 911 communications center;

• The efficiency of the water supply system used to fight fires, including the availability of hydrants;

• Characteristics of the fire district itself, including firefighter training efforts, staffing levels and firefighting equipment.

“The new rating reflects good management of the resources available to the fire district, and excellent oversight and planning from the Fire Commission. The success of lowering the rating is to a great extent, attributed to the hard work and dedication from the firefighters. None of this would be obtainable without the support of the citizens of the fire district,” according to Chief Kline.

Chief Kline said, “This has been a successful year for the Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District. We moved into the new headquarters station, which placed all homes on Cat Island within the ISO required 5 mile response. The district took delivery of two new fire engines, and now the news of lowering our insurance rating.”

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2014 Property tax bills being mailed out

The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office announces the mailing of the 2014 real and personal property tax bills, totaling $327,478,633.

New this year: Taxpayers with rental property will notice a new tax form was created to improve communication. If a taxpayer receives a rental property bill but does not rent their property, they should contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s office at auditor@bcgov.net or sign and return the coupon on their bill.

In addition to paying online at www.bcgov.net/tax payment, by mail, or at one of the three Treasurer’s Office locations, full cash or check payments for real estate and personal property current taxes due will be accepted at the BB&T branches listed below. Taxpayers paying at BB&T will be provided with a receipt at the time of payment.

• Beaufort Main BB&T: 1 Kemmerlin Lane, Lady’s Island

• Beaufort Port Republic BB&T: 905 Port Republic Street

• Bluffton Main BB&T: 2 Burnt Church Road

• Yemassee Branch: 33 Salkehatchie Road.

Please note: Payments will be accepted at these locations through January 15, 2015. You must present your tax bill at the time of payment.

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At Penn Center, Civil Rights Symposium to be held

Penn Center on St. Helena Island is hosting a Civil Rights Symposium to recognize and commemorate the anniversary of the founding of Penn School and its important role in United States history. Since 1862, Penn School, now known as Penn Center, has been a historic site for education that prepared its students for responsible citizenship, and it has worked to advance the promise of freedom for all residents in the Sea Islands.

Penn Center is organizing a conference to facilitate greater state and regional understanding of this rich history and is developing a network to support that objective. A longer term goal is to utilize this opportunity to launch the Penn Center Civil Rights Institute, the first of several regional facilities to promote civil rights discourse, organization and planning. This program is sponsored in part by The Humanities Council SC, whose mission is to inspire, engage, and enrich South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

Penn Center is well-situated to lead this contemporary effort to secure a quality education and voting rights for all students. Penn Center is inviting key stakeholders in this movement to speak, including Dave Dennis, Bob Moses, Connie Curry, Cleve Sellers, Chuck McDew, Emory Campbell, Millicent Brown, Hayes Mizell, Dan Carter, Tom Gaither, Jim Campbell, Myrtle Glascoe and other key civil rights activists who were participants in the Civil Rights Movement as it relates to Penn Center.

Their perspective will be enhanced by the contributions of local experts on the topic such as Emory Campbell, Joseph McDomick, Thomas Barnwell, Victoria Smalls, and Maria Benac.

Invited scholars and activists such as Vernon Burton, Jack Bass and William Hine will address issues including the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the repeal of key components of federal protection of the right to vote, the re-segregation of public schools, the school to prison pipeline, the role (and peril) of historically black colleges and universities in today’s society, and the role of museums and programs of social justice in the contemporary civil rights movement.

As part of the conference, Penn Center will also facilitate the participation of young people in workshops and panels on police violence and strategies around achieving a quality public education. This includes working with Dave Dennis, civil rights organizer from the 1960s, and another significant leader from that era, Bob Moses, who founded the Algebra Project and Young People’s Project in 1990. This focus on issues facing our communities currently will gain purpose through a retrospective look at recent documentaries on Freedom Summer and Freedom Riders, integral components of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as a screening of “The Corridor of Shame,” which drew attention to the inadequacies of local education programs.

The conference and the launching of the Civil Rights Institute at Penn Center will inform local, state, and regional citizens and leaders of this very crucial history. This, as noted, will also contribute to the content of professional development for teachers, the growth of leadership potential of young people, and the increased vitality of education throughout South Carolina. Finally, these activities will lift up the role of Penn Center and Beaufort in the growing regional and national efforts and discussions about quality public education in the country.

For more information on the Penn Center Civil Rights Symposium, schedule of events, and ways to sponsor and support it, please contact Victoria A. Smalls, Director of History, Art & Culture at Penn Center 843-838-2432 or info@penncenter.com.

IF YOU GO:

When: Friday, November 21 at 9 a.m. to Saturday, November 22 at 8 p.m.

Where: Penn Center, 16 Penn Center Circle West, St. Helena Island, SC, 29920

What: There will be a series of free dicussions with guest speakers throughout the two days. For a schedule of events and to register for the symposium, contact 843-838-2432 or visit www.penncenter.org.

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Beaufort crews begin hanging holiday lights downtown

Crews from Beaufort’s Public Works Department began hanging downtown holiday lights last Thursday with the goal of completing the project by late November.

Two crews will start on Bay Street, then move to Carteret Street and the interior streets of the downtown core commercial district, said Isiah Smalls, director of public works and facilities management.

“We always take pride in how Beaufort looks, and hanging the holiday lights puts a little extra sparkle in our town for November and December,” Smalls said.

Once Port Republic, Scotts and West streets are decorated, city crews will move down Carteret and Charles streets to Boundary Street.

“We don’t anticipate any impact on daily road traffic, but people will see minor interruptions to parking as we use a few parking spots for our trucks and crews to install the lights,” Smalls said. “We’ll use traffic cones to mark off the spaces and then move them along as we work.

“This is an annual event and a tradition for Beaufort as we welcome the holiday season, and we hope people will excuse the minor inconveniences as we install the holiday lights,” Smalls said.

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Accessing information on arrest activity in Beaufort County now under transition

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is assisting the Beaufort County Detention Center (BCDC) during a period of transition while they undergo new computer system enhancements. During this process, the “Inmate Inquiry” service normally available on the Beaufort County website (www.bcgov.net) will not be operational.

An updated online search function is being created to work with the new public safety software launched earlier this week throughout the county. This function will allow the public to once again search for and review arrest and inmate information for BCDC.

Until that search feature becomes available, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office will be posting an Arrest Summary Report of all persons arrested by all agencies throughout the county. This list will be compiled daily and published each day for all the previous day’s arrests.

The Arrest Summary Reports can be found on the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office website (www.bcso.net) by clicking on the “Beaufort County Detention Center” icon located on the Home page.

Inmate mugshots will not be published with the Arrest Summary Reports during this interim time period.

General information about BCDC and inmates may continue to be found on the county website (http://www.bcgov.net/departments/Public-Safety/detention-center/index.php).

Any additional information regarding any inmate at BCDC should be made directly to BCDC through Lt. Vortisch at 843-255- 5180.

Thank you for your patience and understanding with these endeavors to provide improved services to Beaufort County.

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News briefs

County to hold event to recycle electronics

The Beaufort County Public Works Department of Solid Waste and Recycling will hold its next electronics recycling event on Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Beaufort County Public Works Site, 9 Benton Field Road, Bluffton, and Beaufort County Public Works, 120 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Any personal computers, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, CRT televisions, non-CRT televisions, printers, hard drives and miscellaneous electronics such as microwaves, lamps, cell phones, radios, fax machines, typewriters, etc. will be accepted.

Fore questions concerning the electronics recycling events, call the Solid Waste and Recycling Division for more information at 843-255-2736 or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Armed robbery remains under investigation

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery that occurred Tuesday, Nov. 11 outside a home on Martin Lane in Seabrook.

Deputies responded to 80 Martin Lane, Lot # 9, just after 11:30 p.m. in reference to a reported armed robbery that had occurred approximately 20 minutes earlier. Upon arrival, they met with a 28-year-old female and her 31-year-old boyfriend who advised they had been robbed by two unknown black males.

The victims stated that they had just pulled into their driveway when they were approached by two men. The suspects ordered the victims out of the vehicle and stole cash, a cell phone, and a backpack containing miscellaneous personal items. One of the suspects then struck the male victim in the head with a pistol before both suspects fled the area on foot in an unknown direction.

The suspects were described only as black males dressed in all-black clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact either Investigator Cpl J. Snider at 843-255-3421 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372) or text the word TIPSC with a message to CRIMES (274637).

Be vigilant of domestic violence during holidays

The holiday season is upon us which will bring many families together to celebrate. But while joyous for some, this time of year can also prove to be uniquely challenging to families suffering from domestic violence issues.

The heightened emotional and economic tensions that many experience this time of year can be a catalyst to an already unstable domestic relationship. And with the pressure to “keep the peace” during the holidays, victims may be even less likely to report incidents of abuse, further perpetuating the cycle of violence.

As we approach a new year, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office hopes to encourage our community to join us in the goal of reducing domestic violence not only during the holidays, but also in the year to come.

To improve the likelihood of actually reducing both initial and repeat offenses of domestic violence, a more comprehensive approach is necessary; one that includes the support and collaboration of ALL responsible government agencies and community nonprofit organizations.

Unifying all available resources and exploring new approaches to domestic violence is a mission worthy to the health of our community, our state, and our country.

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Downtown Beaufort presents holiday fun

Main Street Beaufort, USA, proudly presents the 29th Annual A Night on the Town. This opening of the holiday shopping season takes place on Friday evening, Dec. 5, 2014, beginning at 6 p.m., and ending at approximately 9 p.m. A long standing tradition in the community, A Night on the Town is a mix of traditional and the contemporary.

An evening with a surprise around every corner and a number of things that will entertain, delight and get you in the holiday spirit. Shops will stay open late to welcome regular and new customers with special treats and a preview of their large and unique selection of items for the holidays to help get a head start of the holiday season.

The evening also includes the City of Beaufort’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, entertainment by the Parris Island Marine Corps Band, choral performances and a rumored visit from Santa.

New to this year’s event is a Living Window Display contest. Vote for your favorite businesses’ living window display at the event.

Take your pick of holiday parades by land or sea in Beaufort. Join Main Street Beaufort, USA, and the Beaufort Sail and Power Squadron on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m. for the Light Up the Night boat parade on the Beaufort River. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park provides the best view of the parade. The first boats will start arriving at the seawall at the park by 5:30 p.m. Boats will make passes by the seawall. Hot chocolate will be available courtesy of The Greenery.

The traditional Beaufort Christmas Parade will be Dec. 7, at 3 p.m., through the streets of downtown Beaufort. Floats, bands, groups of walkers and personal cars and trucks are expected to participate. Deadline for entries is Nov. 21. Participation fees vary from free for military and government groups, $10 for non-profit organizations and $20 for others.

Application forms for Light Up The Night Boat parade and Beaufort Christmas Parade are available at www.downtownbeaufort.com/anightonthetown. For more information, contact Main Street Beaufort, USA at 843-525-6644 or email info@downtownbeaufort.com.

Holiday Weekend is hosted by Main Street Beaufort, USA, and presented by Subaru of Hilton Head, Hargray, I Heart Media, SCE&G, Regions Bank, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Best Western Sea Island Inn, SCE&G, Gilbert Law Firm, The Beaufort Inn, and photographed by Captured Moments Photography.

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