Beaufort County Council unanimously approved nearly $5 million in grants to local organizations and park projects that will help with tourism and activities for visitors and residents. The approved projects include Whitehall Park Construction on Lady’s Island ($560,478); Hilton Head Island Airport Air Service Marketing ($30,000); Broad River Fishing Pier - Phase II - ($230,000); and Gullah Museum of HHI, Gullah Museum Migrant House Renovation Project, ($36,875).

The first reading of the proposed Hilton Head short-term rental ordinance is on the agenda for the May 3 town council meeting. The ordinance addresses licenses, permits, fees and taxes; vehicles and parking; noise management; violations; complaint tracking and response; and trash storage and removal. Town staff recommends an annual fee be assessed for short-term rental permits.

Beaufort County Council voted 11-0 to approve the funding plan and give the greenlight to the Hilton Head Island Airport Terminal Upgrade project. The estimated $55 million project will go up for construction bids in May. It will include approximately 43,000 more square feet for terminal space, three jet ways for passengers, new parking, security upgrades, a new baggage claim, a new grand hall and a four-lane passenger drop-off and pick-up area, the Town of Hilton Head said. The project should be underway by the end of the year and is estimated to be completed by mid to late 2025.

BY COURTNEY HAMPSON

The Lowcountry is a community in crisis. When we drive from Bluffton to Hilton Head, we pass community after community with landscaped entrances, fountains and gates.

But that drive does not accurately reflect the true picture of Beaufort and Jasper counties. The interconnected issues of education, housing and transportation contribute to poverty in our community and our neighbors are suffering.

WAHHI AWARDS EIGHT GRANTS TO NONPROFITS

The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island awarded eight $1,500 community grants to nonprofit organizations. WAHHI awarded the following grants: The Children’s Center; Hopeful Horizons; Love House Learning Academy; Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth; LowCountry Legal Volunteers; NOC; Sandalwood Community Food Pantry; and Pregnancy Center. Since its founding in 1961, WAHHI has donated thousands of dollars to projects that benefit local charitable organizations.

COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT FACES RAPID GROWTH, POPULATION SHIFTS

STORY AND PHOTOS BY TONY KUKULICH

There are any number of challenges that school district administrators face every day and chief among the issues facing the Beaufort County School District is accommodating the explosive growth that has taken place in the county in recent years. Matching the district’s capacity to educate students to the number of students enrolled is a careful balancing act.

Skylar Smith and Tamya Hutchinson each scored 13 points to lead Hilton Head Christian Academy’s girls basketball team to a 45-34 win over Orangeburg Prep to secure the school’s fourth straight SCISA Class AA state crown. The Eagles pulled away in the second half, outscoring Orangeburg Prep 20-4 in the third quarter.

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko of Canada won the 2022 Hilton Head International Piano Competition held March 7-14. Izik-Dzurko, 22, took first prize ($15,000) and receives a recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on Oct. 14, a CD recording on the Steinway & Sons label and a return engagement with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and music director John Morris Russell.

Southern Living magazine has named Hilton Head Island as the best beach town in the South. Praising the island for offering the opportunity to “enjoy the sun and the sand,” the magazine said Hilton Head’s richness of the town “wins the day.” Tybee Island ranked No. 2. Readers voted on their favorite spots.

The South Ca rolina House unanimously passed a $600 million income tax cut. The House plan cuts the state’s top income tax rate from 7% to 6.5% next year and will reduce it to 6% over the next five years. About 1.1 million of the state’s 2.6 million eligible people pay that rate.

All other taxpayers would be combined into a 3% bracket, according to The Associated Press.

Hilton Head Island Town Manager Marc Orlando has proposed a public-private partnership strategy to develop workforce housing on more than 12 acres of Town-owned property. The town said the proposal will help address the island’s need for more housing for its workforce. The vision includes efficient use of land, energy and water resources, environmentally responsible building materials, and edible landscapes. The site is close to the Hilton Head Island Recreation Center and Hilton Head Island public school campus.

JoJo Woodward announced last month his plan to run for Beaufort County Sheriff. Woodward, who ran in the 2018 primaries, has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement. He has served as captain of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. He will challenge incumbent P.J. Tanner. The primary is June 14.

A marine military plane (F/A-18D Hornet) crashed in the Lobeco area near Half Moon Island Road and Coosaw Plantation Drive. The pilot and co-pilot were not injured, officials said. The area where the plane went down is uninhabited. According to militarymachine.com, each F/A-18 Hornet costs more than $34 million.

The Technical College of the Lowcountry’s paid tuition program will continue through the summer of 2022 offering S.C. residents the opportunity to further their education – for free. The program is available to South Carolina residents, including: adults with some college; adults with no college; and recent high school graduates.

Breeze Airways has added five new routes from Savannah- Hilton Head International Airport, including a non-stop flight to Los Angeles. Other flights include those to Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; Columbus, Ohio and Norfolk, Va. The flights to Hartford and Providence begin June 3. The Columbus routes launch June 4. Norfolk and L.A. flights begin July 1.

BY STEVE WILMOT

The 2022 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is the week you’ve been waiting for.

The excitement and traditions are back.

From the ceremonious opening boom of the classic cannon to the championwinning putt in the final round, everyone’s teed up for a legendary time.