The Town of Bluffton renamed its Watershed Management Building the Jennie Kitty Municipal Building. Kitty worked at the former Bluffton Health Clinic, which is now the Town’s Watershed Management Building. For three decades, Kitty advocated for health initiatives throughout Bluffton’s African American community and the Lowcountry, a news release said. Kitty was born in Port Royal and died this March. She was 90 years old. 

STGREGORY THE GREAT

Bluffton Town Council unanimously approved a final reading to annex St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church and School into the town of Bluffton. Council approved a master plan for the property that includes potential expansions of the church and school and commercial and multi-family residential development. 

The Town of Bluffton Municipal General Election is set for Nov. 2. Two council seats are up for election: Mayor Pro Tempore/ Councilmember, held by Fred Hamilton, and the council seat held by Larry Toomer. The filing period for candidates began Aug. 3 and ends 12 p.m. Sept. 3. For more i nformation, email kchapman@townofbluffton.com or call 843-706-4505. 

A Bluffton man told the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office that he received a call from a “Jonathan Smith,” who said he was a representative from Amazon.com. The call was from an 843 area code. The man said he called about a purchase the Bluffton man made for $864.56. “Smith” told him he could process a “refund.” After showing the Bluffton man an overpaid “refund” of $4,000, the scammer instructed him to return the money by buying gift cards. The man purchased eight gift cards and texted the card numbers to “Smith” before realizing he had been scammed. To report a possible scam, call the non-emergency dispatch line at 843-524-2777.

Stephen SteeseStephen Steese was picked by Bluffton Town Council as the town’s new manager. In late April, Council unanimously selected Steese, who is the Easley city administrator. 

A news release said council held an “an all-day executive session” in which council members planned to interview four final candidates. The town planned to release the names of the final three candidates but decided to select Steese at the end of executive session. 

Dominion Energy began removing about 30 palm trees in Bluffton’s Historic District. 

The project, which began in April, was necessary because the palm trees were touching electrical wires and posed a threat to safety and uninterrupted power, the town of Bluffton said. 

GUTIERREZVeronica Gutierrez has become the first female officer for the Bluffton Township Fire District. She was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, according to the fire district. 

Lt. Gutierrez started her career as a firefighter with the Bluffton Township Fire District in 2018. 

The Martin family was honored by the town of Bluffton with a ribbon cutting for Martin Family Park. Jake and Ida Martin were recognized for being “exemplary” community leaders, the town said. At 60 years old, Ida founded Bluffton Self Help, Inc. in 1987. President Barack Obama awarded Ida the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2011. In 2012, she founded the Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen. Jacob Martin was a police officer in Michigan and Illinois. He was a teacher at McCracken High School in Bluffton and retired as a district office administrator after 23 years of service. 

BLUFFTON BRANCH LIBRARYThe Beaufort County Library Bluffton Branch is beginning renovations that are estimated to last several months. The library will be open with the same hours, but the main portion of the library will be closed. The library’s entryway and large meeting room will serve as a “miniature pop-up” library for the coming months as the renovation project begins. Updates will be posted on the library system’s Bluffton Renovation page and Facebook page. For more information, call 843-255-6497. 

The Rotary Club of Bluffton canceled 2021 Mayfest due to the COVID-19 concerns. This would have been the event’s 43rd year. 

“We look forward to better days ahead and to hosting Mayfest in 2022,” a news release said.