ORDER OF THE PALMETTOMartin Sauls III received the Order of The Palmetto Award from Gov. Henry McMaster. Sauls, a Ridgeland resident and owner of Sauls Funeral Home in Bluffton and Ridgeland, served as Jasper County coroner for 40 years. Sauls was appointed by the governor in 1980 as coroner. He was elected to the position in 1981 and served the county until 2020. 

United Airlines expanded its seasonal nonstop service between the Hilton Head Island Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport to daily, year-round service. United will continue to provide seasonal flight options between HHH and other United cities. 

Hilton Head, Bluffton and May River high schools swam well at the SCHSL Class AAAA boys state championships. Blaise Minckler had two runner-up finishes to help Hilton Head High place fourth. Bluffton took seventh. May River was 12th. Minckler finished second in the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Hilton Head was third in the 400 free relay and fourth in the 200 free relay. Bluffton was fourth in the 200 medley relay and fifth in the 200 free relay. Dominic Edl of Bluffton was fourth in the 100 breaststroke and Carter Hawkes was fifth in the 500 free and the 100 fly. May River’s Jacob Lally was fourth in the 50 free and the 100 free. 

The Town of Hilton Head Island launched its Historic Neighborhoods Permitting and Design Studio, which is designed to assist property and business owners with property development permits; family compounds and family subdivisions; conceptual site designs; addressing; property access; business licenses and other resources. Historic neighborhoods include Squire Pope, Little Stoney, Big Stoney, Jarvis, Jonesville, Old House Creek, Spanish Wells, Gardner, Chaplin, Marshland, Grassland, Big Hill, Mitchelville and Baygall. For more information, contact Sheryse DuBose, PhD, at 843-341-4683 or at SheryseD@hiltonheadislandsc.gov 

Prominent former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh was charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, related to the insurance funds in the death of a former family housekeeper, according to S.C. Law Enforcement Division. He was taken into custody after being released from a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Fla., according to SLED. The case will be prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Murdaugh was denied bond. In September, Murdaugh resigned from the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick PA law firm after being accused of misappropriating funds.

The Town of Hilton Head Island dedicated the lake at Jarvis Creek Park, now named Lake Liggett, in honor of Scott Liggett, its former director of public projects and facilities. He died in February. Town staff, along with Liggett’s former coworkers, family and friends, gathered on the bank of Lake Liggett to unveil a sculpture, “Swell of the Sea,” in recognition of his contributions to the island. Liggett served the town for 30 years. He began his career with the town as an assistant engineer, was promoted to town engineer and then became its Director of Public Projects and Facilities. 

Aimee Whitesell, who teaches biology at Battery Creek High School, was named as the Beaufort County School District’s 2021-2022 District Teacher of the Year. Whitesell holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education and a bachelor’s degree in natural science and biology education from Missouri Western State University. 

WHITESELLCondé Nast Traveler said Hilton Head Island was chosen as the No. 1 island in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year in its 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences. Montage Palmetto Bluff was named the No. 1 Resort in the South. Palmetto Dunes Ocean Front Resort (No. 14), Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort (No. 15), and The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (No. 19) were also named to that list. The Savannah/ Hilton Head International Airport was named the top airport in the U.S. for the second year in a row. 

Joel TaylorAs I begin serving as Hilton Head Regional Healthcare’s CEO, I’d like to start by extending my utmost gratitude to the nurses, physicians, and colleagues serving at Coastal Carolina Hospital, Hilton Head Hospital, Tidewatch Emergency Department and the Bluffton Medical Campus. 

The last few months have been some of the most challenging yet rewarding in my career. The dedication and teamwork displayed by our colleagues has been extraordinary. Our staff and healthcare providers throughout our community work exceptionally hard to care for residents and visitors. 

LOW COUNTRY KAPPA DELTAS WIN NATIONAL AWARDS

The Low Country Kappa Delta Alumnae Chapter earned the top award for Programming Excellence at the KD National Convention. The local Kappa Deltas also were recognized for participating in “Shamrock Projects,” raising funds for Child Abuse Prevention of Beaufort. They were one of eight chapters in the United States to win the Alumnae Chapter Achievement Award.

TO THE POLLS

Three candidates are competing for two seats on the Bluffton Town Council.

Facing off Nov. 2 for two four-year terms are incumbents Fred Hamilton and Larry Toomer, and challenger Nathan Ferrell. 

Terms for council are staggered every two years and council members are paid $11,000 annually.

The Hilton Head National RV resort, located in Greater Bluffton just a mile from the flyover to Hilton Head Island, is drawing near to its grand opening. 

Kathy Chittenden, newly named general manager of the 97-acre facility, said “the finishing touches are being completed, and I’m so excited to showcase it to the public.”

Alex Murdaugh, a well-known Lowcountry attorney who reported that his wife and youngest son were shot and killed in Colleton County in June, was shot Sept. 4 on a road in Hampton County, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Murdaugh was treated for a wound to his head. Murdaugh later resigned from the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick PA law firm after being accused of misappropriating funds, according to Bluffton Today.

The Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority, operators of Palmetto Breeze Transit and The Breeze Trolley, has launched a year-round fixed-route transit service with the launch of the new Bluffton Breeze. Bluffton Breeze will operate Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., serving much of the Bluffton and Buckwalter Parkway thoroughfares. The service is free through the end of 2021, with a $1 per-trip fare beginning in January 2022.

The Beaufort County School District named five finalists for the 2021-22 teacher of the year award. The finalists are Oana Bejan, special education teacher at Hilton Head Island High School; Ann Buckley, special education teacher at Hilton Head Island Middle School; Christopher Crabb, dance teacher at Mossy Oaks Elementary School; Lynne Sunday, media specialist at H.E. McCracken Middle School; and Aimee Whitesell, biology teacher at Battery Creek High School. The District Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall. Megan DeWeese is the current teacher of the year.

The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra announced its 2021-2022 40th Anniversary Season, which will include nine Orchestra Series programs, two outdoor Pops concerts to launch the season, two Symphony Under The Stars concerts, and the 25th Hilton Head International Piano Competition. The season represents the 10th anniversary of John Morris Russell as music director.