News briefs for April 13th-19th

in Local News by

Various city offices to offer walk-in help

The city of Beaufort Planning, Building Codes and Business License offices will be open to walk-in customers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 1. 

Staff will continue to be available by phone and e-mail until 5 p.m.

Boundary boardwalks get new cable railing 

Opening up the view across Battery Creek’s marshes on Boundary Street, crews are putting up a steel cable safety railing after removing the wooden slats originally installed. 

The Boundary Street construction project remains on budget and on schedule. Changing the safety railing to steel cables is costing about $144,000, but that funding was built into the project’s contingency budget. 

A benefit of the steel cable is that it will last longer than the wood slats and won’t require as much maintenance, said Neal Pugliese, senior project manager for the city of Beaufort. 

“Our goal is to improve safety for everyone on and along Boundary Street, and also to improve the aesthetics so people can better appreciate the entrance to our historic city,” he said. 

“Taking down the wooden siding was the right thing to do, and on the upside, not only will the new steel cabling let people enjoy the marsh views, but it will last longer than wood.”      

The cable project includes retrofitting one section that had wooden slats already installed, and adding cabling to two other boardwalk sections that are still underway. 

The $33-million Boundary Street project started in January 2016 and is expected to be completed in early 2018. Work currently is concentrated on a utility bank on the north side of the street near Kmart and Sea Eagle. When the duct bank is completed, overhead power and communications lines will be taken off the aerial poles and placed underground. 

In related work, demolition of three structures on the south side of Boundary is expected in coming months. The former Huddle House, former Sea Eagle seafood market and an abandoned fire shed all are slated for removal, further improving the views near the historic Battery Saxton site beside Wendy’s restaurant. 

Libraries to close for staff development day

All branches and departments of the Beaufort County Library system will be closed Wednesday, April 19, for Staff Development Day.

The system will reopen with normal operating hours on Thursday, April 20. 

Beaufort County to hold cleanup event

Residents are invited to show their love and appreciation for the beaches, roads and waterways of Beaufort County, by participating in the 2017 Beaufort County Cleanup event. 

In celebration of Earth Day, Beaufort County is holding a county-wide cleanup event all day Saturday, April 22.

Individuals, families, businesses, civic groups and others can participate in the cleanup day and improve the local ecosystem by picking up litter throughout Beaufort County.

“This is an opportunity for us to unite together in a collaborative effort to enhance and preserve the beauty of our County,” said Caroline Jordan, Beaufort County Solid Waste and Recycle volunteer coordinator. “The benefits are two-fold. We’re addressing concerns about litter and celebrating the beauty of our county.”

Volunteers are encouraged to dress to work outdoors, wear hats and gloves and use bug spray and sunscreen. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Groups of two or more individuals can register online at www.bcgov.net/cleanupday. Once registered, groups can pick up supplies and information at Beaufort County Public Works at 120 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Groups are asked to pick up litter for a minimum of two hours. At the conclusion of the day, each group is asked to report details of their pickup efforts, including number of bags filled, hours worked, and number of volunteers, by emailing cjordan@bcgov.net. All bags should be disposed of by each group.

For more information contact Caroline Jordan at cjordan@bcgov.net or 843-255-2734. Visit www.bcgov.net/cleanupday to register. 

Gullah/Geechee center celebrates grand opening

A Gullah/Geechee Visitor’s Center has opened at 1908 Boundary Street in the city of Beaufort.

The new space will offer visitors to the area seeking information on Gullah/Geechee businesses, events, history and culture.

Call 843-535-9006 or email GullGeeCo@aol.com.  

DNR: Residents warned not to adopt fawns

If a deer fawn is found alone in the woods, leave it there, advises a state wildlife biologist. Its mother has not abandoned it; she is probably nearby.

Removing a fawn from the forest is also illegal because the animal is being taken outside the legal season for taking deer, which is the hunting season.

“Many people who come upon a solitary spotted fawn in the woods or along a roadway mistakenly assume the animal has been deserted by its mother and want to take the apparently helpless creature home to care for it,” Charles Ruth, Big Game Program coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), said. “Young fawns like this have not been abandoned but are still in the care of a doe.”

The apparently “helpless” deer fawns born during April, May and June in South Carolina will begin daily movements with their mothers in about three or four weeks. Human handling and disturbance of fawns can cause a doe to shy away or even desert her offspring. Also, a bleating response by the fawn can summon nearby predators.

“It’s part of nature’s plan for a doe deer to leave her fawn or fawns alone for their first few weeks of life,” Ruth said. “The reason for this unusual maternal action is that the fawn at this age is better protected away from the doe. The presence of the doe nearby would attract predators because the doe lacks the protective coloration of the fawn, and the older and larger doe has a much stronger odor.”

“Each spring and summer the SCDNR gets many calls from people who have discovered these ‘lost’ deer,” Ruth said. “Young fawns are without a doubt cute and cuddly, but if taken into captivity they grow into semi-tame adult deer that can become quite dangerous.” 

Adult buck deer, no matter how they were raised, are especially dangerous during the breeding season. Even does raised by humans are unpredictable.

Treasurer mails unclaimed property notices

The Beaufort County Treasurer has announced the start of an Unclaimed Property program. The purpose of the program is to create awareness and return to citizens and taxpayers unclaimed funds currently being held by the Treasurer’s Office. 

The mailing of unclaimed property notices marks the beginning of this program, which were mailed on April 3.

“There are many types of unclaimed property, but the most common for the Treasurer’s Office is undeposited checks,” said Maria Walls, Beaufort County treasurer. “It’s the taxpayers’ money and we are going to do everything we can to get it back into the hands of the people who earned it.”

After Monday, April 17, any unclaimed property will be remitted to the State Treasurer’s Office and taxpayers may search for and claim their funds through the State Treasurer’s Office. 

Each year, millions of dollars are transferred to the State Treasurer’s Office by organizations that cannot locate the intended recipient. 

Visit treasurer.sc.gov/unclaimed-property.

Join foundation, get free trees

National Arbor Day is Friday, April 28, and the Arbor Day Foundation is offering 10 free shade trees to new members.

By joining the foundation in April, new members receive the following trees: red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, baldcypress, thornless honeylocust, pin oak, river birch, tulip tree, silver maple and red maple.

The free trees are part of the foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

“These trees provide shade in the summer and vibrant colors throughout the fall,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through the simple act of planting trees, one person can make a difference in helping to create a healthier and more beautiful planet for all of us to enjoy.”

The trees will be shipped postpaid with enclosed planting instructions at the right time for planting in April or May. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE SHADE TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by Sunday April 30, or visit arborday.org/april. 

Boating club offers safety tips, help

Beaufort Sail & Power Squadron (the local chapter of the United States Power Squadrons) is offering free Vessel Safety Checks (VSC) for recreational boats under 65 feet.  

Included are powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, jon boats, and paddleboards.  

Endorsed by the United States Coast Guard and state boating authorities, this service is free to the public.  

Vessels that pass the Vessel Safety Check will receive a decal to display prominently on their vessel. This will help water enforcement officials know you have proper equipment onboard. Any vessel not passing the check, will know which items need attention.  

Contact Tom Hurley at 843-838-1432 or email tchurley@islc.net.

Beaufort County Republican Party to hold 2017 County Convention

The Beaufort County Republican Party will hold its 2017 County Convention from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Sun City Pavilion.

Registration will start at 8:30 a.m.

Business will include the election of County Republican officers and the selection of delegates and alternatives to the Republican Party State Convention.

The keynote speaker will be SC Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant.

Visit www.BeaufortGOP.com. 

Hurricane assistance tops $269 million 

Six months after Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina’s coast, disaster survivors and communities in the Palmetto State have received more than $269 million in grants from FEMA, settlements from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

More than 11,000 applications from homeowners and renters have been approved in the 24 disaster-designated counties since the presidential disaster declaration on Oct. 11, 2016. 

Nearly $32 million in Individual Assistance grants provided temporary housing assistance and critical disaster-related home repairs. Another $6.9 million helped survivors repair or replace essential personal property damaged during Matthew as well as storm-related medical and dental expenses.

Businesses, homeowners and renters received more than $57 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to repair, rebuild and replace damaged property and contents. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other sources.

Policyholders received more than $146.6 million in insurance settlements from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, to repair and rebuild flood-damaged property.

For more information about the disaster recovery operation, visit fema.gov/disaster/4286.

Good Friday closings

April 14 is Good Friday, is not a national holiday, so federal, state and local offices will be open.

Jennings Road sidewalks temporarily closed

Portions of the sidewalks along Jennings Road is closed for repairs, which should reopen on Thursday, April 13.

The affected area is about 680 feet of sidewalks on Jennings Road between the Battery Creek High School campus entrance and Broad River Boulevard.  

Signs will be placed indicating the temporary sidewalk closing and notifying the public of the hazard. Drivers are encouraged to use extra caution when approaching work zones. 

Hilton Head Island Airport earns international award

Hilton Head Island Airport earned its seventh consecutive Airport News and Training Network (ANTN) Digicast Excellence in Airport Training Award, presented  by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAEE).

The award signifies that employees at the Hilton Head Island Airport have completed a specified amount of federally mandated, airport-specific training using ANTN Digicast’s web-based training system.

“Receiving this recognition from AAAE is an honor that signifies our commitment to safety, which is our top priority,” said Beaufort County Airports Director Jon Rembold. “One of our top focus areas is improving the passenger experience, which is accomplished by building a team that is adequately trained in airport operations, aircraft rescue, security and high-quality service.”

Hilton Head Island Airport is a component of Beaufort County Government and is governed by the Beaufort County Airports Board. 

Broad River Road undergoing paving work

The Lane Construction Corporation will conduct asphalt paving operations on Broad River Road between Parris Island Gateway to Robert Smalls Road through Friday, April 14.

Please be advised that this work could be intermitting during these times due to unfavorable weather conditions and unforeseen mechanical failures.  

There will be lane closures, but traffic will be maintained through the use of traffic control devices.  

Motorists are asked to use caution when driving through the work zone.  

Sanford staff to hold office hours

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford’s district staff will be conducting April satellite office hours at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at St. Helena Branch Library at 6355 Jonathan Francis Sr. Road.

Satellite office hours are conducted around the district by the representative’s staff in order to be as accessible as possible to constituents who require assistance with federal agencies, including Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service or even help processing a passport. Additionally, anyone wishing to express an opinion or ask a question is welcome to stop by.

Beaufort Tea Party to meet on April 17

The Beaufort Tea Party will meet on Monday, April 17, at Fuji’s Restaurant at 97 Sea Island Parkway on Lady’s Island across from the Shell Station in the Hamilton Village.

Guest speakers will include Ben Ludwig of Concerned Veterans For America and Americans For Prosperity and Jonathan Hanen, of the  Federation for American Immigration Reform (FairUS.org).

According to a release from the Beaufort Tea Party, “The Beaufort Tea Party is not an arm of the Republican Party. However, we can exert our influence within the Republican Party by becoming active in it and retaining our autonomy as a Tea Party.”

On a separate note, the organization is looking to fill the positions of precinct president and executive chairperson.

For more information, email BeaufortTEAParty@gmail.com.

CORRECTION

A headline on page A1 on March 31 incorrectly stated that Geismar was the first manufacturer in the city of Beaufort. Some of those past manufacturers were located at National Water Life on Parker Drive and Beaufort Industrial Park. Among others, there was Parker White on Parker Drive; Minster Machine Automation; Two Stroke International; and Parker Racor.

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