Hilton Head and Bluffton News
11 Jan 2013
The following comes from a press release from the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association
After losing sponsorship on Hilton Head Island, SC, in 2012, the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association is pleased to announce the annual “beach race” will be held on Daufuskie Island at noon April 27, 2013.
Once common among the islands of South Carolina and Georgia, the Marsh Tacky horse was a mainstay of Gullah and Lowcountry life for two hundred years. “A Tacky brought the midwife to your door,” Hilton Head native Emory Campbell recalls, “and when your time was done, a Tacky carried you to the burying ground.” Meanwhile, Tackies hauled the mail, plowed fields, carried the doctor on his rounds, toted huntsmen afield after deer, quail and wild hogs, served as cavalry mounts in the Revolution, the Civil War and as the “pony patrol” on Lowcountry beaches during WWII. But by the 1970’s, coastal development left little room for horses and the internal combustion engine left little need for them. The “little horse with the big heart” was teetering on the edge of extinction. Folklore has long held the diminutive Tackies were descended from the horses of Sixteenth Century Spanish conquistadors. When that supposition was confirmed by recent DNA testing, the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association was formed to preserve the breed.
10 Jan 2013
The following comes from a Beaufort County School District press release:
BEAUFORT – Elementary school students will start growing accustomed to seeing law enforcement officers on campus with the beginning of a new program this week.
Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner thinks that the new program, which will give 16 deputies additional responsibilities as part-time school resource officers, will make young children more comfortable around law enforcement and more likely to come forward with safety concerns.
"All of us – law enforcement, educators and parents – want children to look at officers in a positive way,” Tanner said. “A school resource officer can be a counselor and a mentor and a good role model.”
All 16 deputies have participated in additional training that started earlier this week.
“It’s unfortunate that young children often have a negative view of law enforcement,” said Jo Shirley, principal at Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary School. “If we can provide more positive and constructive experiences, that will be a very positive step.”
Acting Superintendent Jackie Rosswurm said that the new elementary school patrols will be an excellent addition to the district’s overall safety procedures, which include electronic admissions systems for visitors, keyless card access for staff, locked classroom doors during the instructional day, digital security cameras, updated emergency plans and emergency drills for all schools, exercises where school capabilities to respond to emergencies are evaluated, and ongoing cooperative relationships with law enforcement.
29 Nov 2012
- Written by Lance Hanlin
Bluffton firefighter Derek Franks has gone through years of extensive training, but none of it could have fully prepared him for what unfolded Oct. 29 in a quaint Maryland fishing village.
“It was hell,” Franks said.
The town of Crisfield, located on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, has a population of less than 4,000 residents. Known as “The Crab Capital of the World,” the town draws many tourists for its seafood, wildlife, natural beauty and simpler way of life.
Franks wasn’t there for the world-famous Maryland blue crab or any leisure activities, though. He and three other firefighters from the South Carolina Task Force rescued 33 Crisfield residents during the height of Hurricane Sandy.
“Winds were gusting up to 90 miles per hour,” Franks said. “It was the most intense 3 ½ hours of my life. Nothing really prepares you for that type of environment.”
07 Nov 2012
Mitt Romney may have lost the White House, but he took Beaufort County by storm, collecting 58.93 percent of ballots cast countywide. The state amendment requiring the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket passed, ending one of the many quirks of the South Carolina electoral process. The referendum to change county government to council-manager form failed, as did a proposed TIF to provide ferry service to Daufuskie Island, and voters approved borrowing $25 million to pay for land purchases. Closer to home, Marc Grant and John McCann will join Hilton Head Island Town Council, which will lose longtime member Bill Ferguson.
22 Oct 2012
On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to elect our next president. And, dear reader, we can’t help but wonder if you, like us, are a bit weary of the incessant phone calls, commercials, debates and all the other hot air important issues that come with a presidential race.
While there are a couple of names on the ballot that you just might recognize, namely Barack and Mitt, there are a few other candidates for president whose names will be on your ballot.
There will also be some other things you may not have heard a lot about amidst the cacophony: There are two Beaufort County and one statewide referendum, and some school board, Hilton Head Town Council and Beaufort County Council races.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
28 Sep 2012
- Written by Sally Mahan
Don’t call them angry. Don’t call them cranky.
The people of Palmetto Hall just want to be heard over the noise.
They want their fellow islanders to know that they are not a pack of angry old people, that they aren’t “whiners.” That they knew who their neighbor was when they bought their houses. That they believe taxpayers are being misled.
They especially want people to know that they are good neighbors and they are not anti-Hilton Head Airport.
“They” are many of the residents of the 750-acre Palmetto Hall Plantation and they say they want the truth to be heard about the planned extension of the runway at the airport.
“Look, nobody wants the airport or commercial service to go away,” said Trudie Johnson, who has lived in Palmetto Hall for 15 years. “But we shouldn’t be dismissed as a bunch of cranky old people. The frustration is that we’re being alluded to as a small group of unreasonable people who bought their homes close to the airport and we’ll just have to live with it. We have a right to be heard.”
The crux of the matter
In October 2010, the Beaufort County and Hilton Head Town councils approved a $53 million plan to extend the 4,300-foot runway at Hilton Head Airport to 5,000 feet in a first phase, and to possibly 5,400 feet in a second phase. The airport is owned by Beaufort County, but it has to abide by Hilton Head town ordinances. An Airports Board advises the county on technical, financial and other issues.
Residents of Palmetto Hall, which is just west of the airport, residents of Port Royal Plantation, which is southeast of the airport, historic St. James Baptist Church and several commercial property owners have expressed concerns about a wide variety of issues related to the extension of the runway, particularly the second phase.
They’re concerned about increased noise levels, aesthetics, property values and other issues related to their quality of life.
28 Sep 2012
- Written by Mike Paskevich
Next time you’re busted on Hilton Head (which we neither condone nor recommend), you may not have to endure the wearying back-seat ride to Beaufort.
Which is just fine with Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner and company. His deputies don’t like the long drives any more than the alleged perps in the back seat do. Thankfully for both lawmen and lawbreakers, the town is on the verge of finally having a stand-alone criminal processing facility with the recent opening of new and expanded mid-island digs at Shelter Cove.
“This is the first building that’s actually been owned by the town, with a relationship with the county, that we’re actually calling a law enforcement center,” said Tanner. “We’ve had a number of other offices (or substations) here over the years but they were all rental properties, so we were limited in what we could do as far as conversion, if you will, to holding cells and those types of things. We always just had to make do.”
30 Aug 2012
- Written by Sally Mahan
We’ve all been victims of poor service, the kind that makes us swear to never patronize a particular business again.
That kind of “service” can make or break a business. Jack Wilson, of Hilton Head Island, believes that kind of service can also slow a community’s economy.
With that in mind, Wilson, a former IBM executive, launched the nonprofit Center for Leadership Service in August 2011 to promote a culture of top-flight service among Lowcountry businesses and organizations.
“It’s all about the way everyone in the community interacts with each other,” said Wilson. “Whether you’re a McDonald’s employee or a Hargray technician, this concept applies to you. It’s a concept where every employee, owner, etc., will treat everybody else with this notion of service excellence.”
To imbue that culture in the community, the organization is planning three phases of education, starting with a three-part lecture series beginning this month. The lecture series will feature prominent speakers from organizations with top service-related cultures.
30 Aug 2012
- Written by Sally Mahan
For years, islanders have pondered one simple question: What are we going to do with Coligny? With a recent decision by Town Council, it would seem we have an answer. But with that answer comes more questions.
While the renovated beach entrance is a success, other areas could use a facelift. Some of the buildings in the area are more than 20 years old, a lifetime when you factor in sun and salt air. Streetscaping in the area is in need of a boost. And as anyone who has driven to the Coligny area can attest, parking is at a premium during the tourist season.
However, opinions differ between the town and the private sector on what direction revitalization should take. Should there be parking structures, more parking lots or additional on-street parking? How about a hotel? Are more restaurants, housing or retail needed? What form should revitalization take to not only make the area more attractive, but also to spur economic development?
The issue is especially pressing now because the town has to meet a December 2014 deadline to spend about $6.5 million in TIF funds on the area. A TIF, or tax increment financing district, is a funding method to pay for public projects in blighted areas.