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The town councils of Bluffton and Hilton Head approved final readings of their fiscal year 2022 budgets. Bluffton’s budget ($40,132,070) reflects an 8.5% decrease compared to 2021, according to the town of Bluffton. The proposed budget keeps the property tax millage the same at 38.5. The budget supports a nearly $11.6 million Capital Improvement Program and adds eight full-time positions, according to a Bluffton news release.

Randolph Murdaugh III, who served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor from 1986 to 2005, died at his home June 10. He was 81. Murdaugh III was president of the South Carolina Solicitor’s Association from 1995-1996 and served on the National District Attorney’s Association Board of Directors from 1998-2005, according to his obituary. In 2018 he received the state Order of the Palmetto. His death came days after the shooting deaths in Colleton County of his daughter-in-law Margaret Murdaugh and his grandson Paul Murdaugh. S.C. Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shootings and has set up a tipline at 803-896-2605.

A Hilton Head Island man was convicted of murder in a 2018 shooting in a gas station parking lot, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Joseph Decoriyus Burton, 27, of Greens Road, was found guilty last month for killing Christopher Shaun Fells. Burton was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Burton was also convicted of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He received a two-year sentence for that offense, which will run concurrently.

Gov. Henry McMaster did not renew the COVID-19 State of Emergency he issued in 2020. The order was active for 451 days before it expired Sunday, June 6. “It is no longer necessary for us to have a state of emergency,” McMaster said during a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

Bluffton’s Bryson Nimmer finished tied for 35th at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. The event, held at Congaree Golf Club in Jasper County, represented Nimmer’s best finish at a PGA Tour event. He finished the tournament 3-under overall. Garrick Higgo shot an 11-under overall to win the tournament.

The Town Council of Hilton Head Island returned to in-person meetings beginning June 15. It was the first time the council hosted meetings in the Benjamin M. Racusin Council Chambers since public access to Town Hall was closed last April.

Gov. Henry McMaster presented South Carolina native and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson in early June with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. 

Johnson is a 24-time PGA Tour winner, the defending FedEx Cup champion and the first South Carolinian to win the Masters. He was born in Columbia and attended Coastal Carolina University. 

John A OTooleIn 2017, area mayors and County Council came together to form the Beaufort County Economic Development Corp. They formed the organization with an eye toward diversifying the county’s economy and creating better jobs.

The BCEDC got off to a fast start in its first few years and then came the COVID-19 pandemic. What was to become momentum, stalled for a year as vaccines were developed and things could get back to a “new normal.”

When we spoke in mid-April, with opening day of Lowcountry Fresh Market and Café looming at some point in May, owners Andy and Cindy Rolfe were miles apart, but were as close as ever. 

With buzzsaws and hammers very audible on the conference call, Andy was holding down the fort on the active construction site that would (cross fingers) be fully operational within a month. On the other line, Cindy was driving back from Georgia where she’d just wrapped up a meeting with a hog farmer. 

KAPPA DELTA BEACH WALK RAISES MONEY FOR CAPA 

The Low Country Kappa Delta Alumnae chapter raised nearly $1,600 for the Child Abuse Prevention Association of Beaufort (CAPA). Thirty KDs, their friends and families walked together on Hilton Head’s Coligny Beach. More than 50 individuals, families and teams also walked “virtually” or in their own neighborhoods. The fundraiser also raised nearly $400 for National Kappa Delta’s Shamrock Project in support of Prevent Child Abuse America. To date, Kappa Deltas have donated more than $26 million to prevent child abuse in this country.