Review Category : Beaufort News

Local NAACP to sponsor two political forums

The upcoming  Nov. 4  Beaufort City Council and S.C. State Superintendent of Education races will be spotlighted during two political forums, which are being sponsored by the The Burton-Dale-Beaufort Branch NAACP in collaboration with the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce and  The Gullah Sentinel.

Former Beaufort County School Board Chairman Fred S. Washington, Jr. — who was the last African-American to serve on Beaufort’s City Council — will serve as the moderator for the Beaufort City Council candidates forum It will be held at the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Bldg. 12, on Monday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m., according to Burton-Dale-Beaufort NAACP President Darryl T. Murphy.

Gullah Festival of South Carolina co-founder Charlotte Pazant Brown, and retired educator and community activist George Singleton will serve as panelists for the much-watched, non-partisan battle over two seats between Beaufort City Council candidates Phil Comer, Stephen Murray, former Mayor Bill Rauch, and incumbent City Councilwoman Donnie Beer.

And on Tuesday Oct. 28 at 6 p.m., former Beaufort County School District Superintendent Herman K. Gaither will be the moderator of the S.C. State Superintendent of Education forum. It will also be held in TCL’s Bldg. 12.

Panelists for the event will be S.C. State NAACP Executive Director Dwight James, and popular  Beaufort County educator Dr. Valerie Jackson.

All three candidates for the office — Democrat Dr. Tom Thompson, Republican Molly Spearman, and the American Party’s Ed Murray — have accepted invitations to attend the forum, according to Clarence Daniel, Chairman of the NAACP’s Political Action Committee.

Both forums will be free, and open to the public. For more information, contact NAACP President Darryl T. Murphy at 843-271-0376.

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News Briefs

Document shredding event to be held Oct. 11

The Beaufort County Public Works Department of Solid Waste and Recycling is hosting a free document shredding event Saturday, October 11. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Beaufort County Public Works Convenience Center at 80 Shanklin Road in Beaufort.

Any types or colors of paper, file folders, envelopes, etc. are acceptable to be collected during the event. Staples and paper clips do not need to be removed. Materials can be brought in any container or bag and will be emptied into roll carts for immediate and secure shredding. All documents will be shredded on-site as long as the trucks have capacity. No electronics will be collected at this event.

For questions, call the Solid Waste and Recycling office at 843-255-2744 or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Survey seeks input on city service, website use 

A short online survey seeks public input about customer service at City Hall and the City of Beaufort’s website.

The survey takes only minutes to complete. It is available on the city website homepage under Quick Links. The questionnaire will remain open until Oct. 17.

“Over the next several months we will be talking internally about how we can provide a better experience to our customers,” Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said. “We are looking at what types of phone calls we receive, how quickly phone calls get returned, whether people can find what they need on our website, and how we can improve in all those areas.”

Responses to the survey will help shape customer service training for city employees as well as how the city’s website is refreshed and revised.

“Our goal is to provide the best service in the most efficient manner,” Dadson said. “This survey is designed to be simple, easy to complete, and will help us identify where we are strong and where we need to improve in both customer service and with our website. We have a lot going on, and it’s only going to get busier, but we cannot forget how important it is to help people and keep them informed.”

To find the survey, go to www.cityofbeaufort.org and click on Customer Service Survey.

Two men arrested on drug charges

On October 3, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested Edward Simmons and Robert Drayton on Drug Charges.

Deputies conducted a drug investigation into two locations off of Poppy Hill Road in Beaufort. The investigation consisted of numerous controlled purchases of illegal drugs from both locations. The primary subject was Robert Drayton who was supplying the drugs.  As a result of this investigation, search warrants were obtained for 11 Sandstone Circle and 20 Simmons Family Road.

As a result of the search at the Sandstone house, quantities of crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, weapons and currency were discovered and seized. Quantities of marijuana and alcohol were located and seized at the Simmons Family address.

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Beaufort planning staff reviews, tweaks Boundary Street Code

Hoping to stimulate private investment in the Boundary Street Redevelopment District by clarifying some development restrictions, Beaufort city planners continue to tweak the Boundary Street Code.

The Boundary Street Redevelopment District’s design standards were created to encourage and spur a predictable, walkable development pattern along the road to go hand-in-hand with the upcoming streetscape improvements that have been planned since 2006.

While still needing review and approval by the Beaufort City Council, the proposed code changes were discussed during a public hearing at the Sept. 23 City Council meeting, with more comments and discussion likely to take place at an October 21 council work session.

The city’s goal is to maintain the design integrity of the district, while making it possible for buildings to be constructed economically to encourage business growth along the corridor.

Beaufort is working on a $28 million project to renovate a section of Boundary Street, the gateway to Beaufort and the Sea Islands. Construction is expected to start in early 2015. The project, partly funded by a federal grant, will improve safety, aesthetics and curbside appeal of affected properties.

The seven fundamental goals of the Boundary Street Code are: Interconnect it all; Create traffic capacity with safety and character; Plan for feasible, phase-able pieces; Make Boundary a walkable “great street”; Grow a mix of uses and a mix of housing types; Assemble a green network; link marsh views; Grow a memorable entrance to Beaufort and its National Historic Landmark District.

“The desire of the city is to see the private investment keep pace with the publicly-funded infrastructure that we’ve been putting in place the last several years and will continue to do with the Boundary Street project,” Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said.

“We believe these code adjustments can help accomplish that and will make it easier and more economically feasible for people to do business and to start or expand their business in the Boundary Street Corridor.”

The Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission scheduled a workshop for Oct. 1 to discuss the proposed revisions. The commission is scheduled to make a recommendation on the proposed changes at their Oct. 20 meeting.

A number of changes to the Boundary Street Code have been proposed, some of them simple text clarifications and several of them “major changes,” according to Beaufort City Planning Director Libby Anderson.

The important changes address the following areas:

• Appeals process: Staff is proposing changing the appeal body from the Planning Commission to the Design Review Board (DRB). The purpose of the DRB is to review plans for new construction outside the Historic District, and so it is the appropriate board to consider appeals regarding design issues.

• SCDOT ownership of the majority of the roads: Staff is proposing changes that give staff more flexibility to adjust the build-to lines to accommodate building frontages that are not currently permitted in the SCDOT right-of-way. These include colonnades, arcades and balconies.

• Two-story building heights: Staff is proposing to eliminate the two-story requirement for non-residential buildings and apply a taller minimum first floor height for one-story buildings. This would apply in all areas except in a new two-story overlay zone, proposed to be located at the primary intersections of Ribaut Road/Boundary Street and Robert Smalls Parkway/Boundary Street. Mezzanines would be permitted to fulfill the two-story requirement in this area, and specific mezzanine standards are added to the code.

• Frontage goal:

o   A minimum goal requirement was added to regulate the percentage of building that should be built along the street frontage at the setback or build-to line. Generally it’s 60 percent in the more urban areas and 40 percent in the less urban areas. Staff felt that this was important because the Boundary Street Code is focusing on creating urban places, and the amount of street frontage that is comprised of buildings is a key part of this. Minimum frontage requirements are common standards in form-based codes.

o   Frontage elements such as arcades, colonnades, storefronts, porches, etc. were consolidated and clarified to eliminate confusion between general glazing requirements, and glazing requirements for specific frontage types.

• Window requirements: New language distinguishes glazing requirements for residential versus commercial construction.

Maximum parking requirement: This was added to the code so it now has minimum and maximum parking standards. There are maximum parking requirements in the city’s standard zoning districts, so it seemed reasonable to apply these same standards to the Boundary Street zone.

• Drive-Through Special Exception: These standards were updated and clarified as a result of several meetings regarding the proposed Starbucks coffee shop.

“We have met with developers, architects, and people involved and affected by the Boundary Street Redevelopment District,” Anderson said. “We have listened to their concerns. Our recommendations reflect what we think are the best ways to address those concerns while also protecting the goals of the Boundary Street Redevelopment District as it begins to take shape.

“As the mayor says so often, we must continually seek to preserve the ‘sense of place’ that is so important to Beaufort,” Anderson said. “It’s what attracted many of us to live here or to stay here, and it’s what keeps drawing people to Beaufort.”

For more information about this and other City of Beaufort projects, visit www.cityofbeaufort.org.

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News Briefs

County offers secure document shredding

The Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling section has established a shredding event for Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the County Public Works Convenience Center located at 80 Shanklin Road, Beaufort, SC, 29906.

Any types or colors of paper, file folders, envelopes, etc are acceptable.  Staples and clips do not need to be removed. Materials can be brought in any container or bag and will be emptied into roll carts for immediate shredding. All materials will be shredded on site for as long as the trucks have capacity. NO electronics will be collected at this event.

If you have questions concerning the shredding event, please call the county Solid Waste and Recycling Division for more information at 843-255-2744 or www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Subway armed robbery investigation continues

The investigation into the armed robbery of a Beaufort restaurant continues.

Just after 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28, an unknown black male entered the Subway sandwich shop located at 10 Sams Point Way on Lady’s Island, jumped onto the counter, brandished a handgun and demanded money from the 19-year-old female employee. After being given cash from the register, the suspect fled the store.

The suspect was described as a light-skinned black male between 20-24 years old, approximately 6’00”, 180 lbs, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with black gloves and a black mask.

Anyone with information is asked to contact either Investigator Sgt. A. Boland at 843-255-3707 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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Church’s annual pumpkin patch to open

With the start of fall, make this the perfect time to visit Carteret Street United Methodist Church’s annual Pumpkin Patch. Thousands of pumpkins will be delivered to the church on Sunday, Sept. 28, and the pumpkin patch will be open daily beginning Monday, Sept. 29, at 408 Carteret St. The Pumpkin Patch, sponsored by the Carteret Street Youth, is open to the public and offers pumpkins of all colors, shapes and sizes for sale. School trips are also available. All proceeds raised benefit the church’s youth ministries.

The church’s Annual Fall Bazaar is also just around the corner on Saturday, October 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s bazaar will have the many wonderful things folks have learned to expect and love at a fall bazaar including treasures in the Good Junque, a silent auction, tools, toys, games, baked and frozen foods, a Garden Shop with everything you need to prepare your lawn and garden, books, and handmade crafts. Don’t forget games for the kids and lunch for the whole family including good barbeque, hamburgers and hot dogs. All proceeds benefit the missions of the church.

For questions, please call the church office at 524-3841.

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County posts signs for lost pets

In an effort to return lost pets to their rightful owners, Beaufort County Animal Services has been posting new signs along roads countywide that read “ANIMAL FOUND” and give the number to call, 843-255-5010.

Last Monday, animal services posted its first sign on Hilton Head Island after a black Pit Bull was found wandering the streets. The dog wasn’t microchipped, and the county staff had no way of knowing who the owner was. Luckily, the dog’s owner saw the sign, called, and the two have since been reunited.

“We urge all animal owners to microchip because it’s the most efficient way to find the owner but if this hasn’t been done, and the animal gets loose these signs are another way to reconnect the owners with their lost pet,” said BCAS Director Tallulah Trice.

Anytime a stray is found, County Animal Services plans to post a sign at the closest major intersection.

For more information, go to www.bcgov.net/departments/Public-Safety or visit Beaufort County Animal Services’ Facebook page.

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Widow to accept Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of husband

Retired Marine Master Sgt. George Albert Jackson will posthumously receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. at Helena Place Senior Living in Port Royal. His widow, Ella J. Jackson, will accept the award for her late husband. The late Master Sgt. Jackson is receiving the honor for being a Montford Point Marine. The Montford Point Marines were among the first African Americans in the United States Marine Corps who overcame racial prejudice to serve in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

He volunteered to enter the Marine Corps on June 22, 1942.

In 1942, Montford Point Camp was established as the WWII recruit training site for all African American Marines.

Master Sgt. Jackson retired on March 31, 1969. Following his service, Master Sgt. Jackson became a founding member of the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc., Beaufort chapter and sat as vice president in 1973.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor awarded to persons who have performed achievements that have had an impact on American history that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field.

The late Master Sgt. Jackson served in the U.S. Army prior to joining the Marine Corps. He served in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he died on July 18, 1987 and is interred at Beaufort National Cemetery.

A buffet luncheon will follow the award presentation at Helena Place Senior Living, 1624 Paris Ave., Port Royal, SC. The public is invited to attend this awards ceremony and reception. Call 843-252-3001 or rewing@enlivant.com.

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Exchange Club awards officer of the year

Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner announced that Retired Capt. John Keough was selected and received the 2014 Exchange Club Officer of the Year Award.

Captain Keough was honored and received the award during the Sept. 11 Commemoration Ceremony at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park last Thursday.

Capt. John Keough

Capt. John Keough

John began his law enforcement career after a 22-year career in the United States Marine Corps. During his time as a Marine, he served in numerous capacities and retired while holding the position as a Chief Drill Instructor in charge of receiving all new recruits to Parris Island.

After retiring in Beaufort, John and his wife, Mary Ellen, were not ready to cease serving their community. John joined the Sheriff’s Office on November 4, 1992, and over the next 22 years he served as a patrol officer, an investigator and finally the evidence custodian.

John excelled during his career and retired from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office on August 1 as a captain.

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Lady’s Island Notes

By Jim Hicks

New housing development

In 2009, the property owner of a 27.12 acre section of land located on the east side of Little Capers Road, between Holly Hall and Fairfield Road, applied to develop the land as the Crossroad Subdivision under “by right” authority. The term “by right” simply means that since the property in question is zoned Lady’s Island Community Preservation, which allows construction of two homes per acre, the property owner “by right” of this zoning can divide his property into a maximum of 54 lots.

The Beaufort County Development Review Team approved the subdivision in June 2010 with the requirement that it include commercial water and sewer. But the new home market crashed in 2010 and no development occurred at the property until recently. The site is now being cleared in preparation for development.

 

Buses, safety and Sams Point Road

School is back in session and approximately 4,000 students are traveling Lady’s Island roads each week day. Many of those students will travel by school buses.  Please remember that in South Carolina, if you are traveling behind a school bus with a flashing red or amber light the law requires you stop if the bus stops.  If you are traveling on a two lane road and meet a stopped school bus with its flashing red lights, you must come to full stop and remain stopped until the bus begins forward motion again.

If you are on a four-lane road, such as Sams Point Road, and you meet a stopped school bus, you do not have to stop.  Regardless of the fact that the law no longer requires stopping on four-lane roads, drivers should slow down and proceed with caution.

New state charter Lowcountry Montessori School opens

Once again there is a Montessori school on Lady’s Island. E. C. Montessori operated in the Celadon complex for many years and closed its doors at the end of last school year. Lowcountry Montessori is a new free state chartered, nonprofit school offering an authentic Montessori based program for Kindergarten through 9th grade.

At the start of this school year, they had 250 students which for this year is their maximum capacity.  By 2017 they hope to have a new facility opened in the Town of Port Royal and be able to offer grades Kindergarten through 12. An interesting aspect of state chartered schools such as Lowcountry Montessori is that since they are chartered by the state, any child in the state of South Carolina may attend the school.

Jim Hicks is with the Lady’s Island Business Professionals Association (LIBPA).

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One arrested in bank armed robbery

On Friday, Sept. 12 at approximately 3 p.m., Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Ahmad Jasper Holmes for Armed Robbery. The charge stems from the investigation of the Regions Bank robbery which occurred on June 24, 2014 located on Sea Island Parkway, Lady’s Island. Holmes was located near Samuel Lane, St. Helena Island.

Holmes was identified as one of the subjects involved. The case remains active as other subjects involved have not been located.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 1-888-274-6372.

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