The Beaufort County Board of Education recently revised the 2017-18 academic calendar, changing the first day of school from Monday, Aug. 21, to Thursday, Aug. 17. By state law, no South Carolina public school can begin classes prior to the third Monday in August, which this year is Aug. 21. But legislation recently approved by the General Assembly allows school districts to begin the 2017-18 year on Thursday, Aug. 17, because of the solar eclipse that will affect much of South Carolina on Aug. 21.
Hilton Head News
After four years on the market, the Beaufort mansion featured in the movies “The Big Chill” and “The Great Santini” has finally sold — and for much less than the original $4.5 million asking price. New York City developer Katie Cunningham, a Beaufort native, recently purchased Tidalholm Mansion for $1.76 million. The 7,400-square-foot waterfront property, located at 1 Laurens St. in Beaufort, includes 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.
Work to repair the Rowing and Sailing Center at Squire Pope Road Community Park has begun. Nix Construction started the project on March 21 and expects to be complete it by June 20. Repair work includes work on the pier, pier handrails and the floating dock. The dock will be closed until repairs are complete.
In a recent report, Palmetto Promise Institute unveiled the most enterprise-friendly cities in the state. Topping the list is the town of Bluffton. Buoyed by an impressive decadal population growth, healthy job growth and a low business tax burden, Bluffton scored a total of 81.07 points out of a possible 100 points. Mauldin, Greer, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn round out the top five, respectively.
Romeo Archangel Hernandez was born at 2:06 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville. Juliet Evangeline Shifflett was born 18 hours and 8 minutes later the following morning at the same hospital. The children’s parents were in adjacent rooms but didn’t make the connection until newborn photographer Cassie Clayshulte noticed the babies’ names and coordinated a “Romeo and Juliet”-themed photo shoot. Those images went viral, drawing the attention of national media and morning TV shows such as “Today” and “Good Morning America.”
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton were both put on a national stage recently. The Weather Channel was on location on the first day of spring, March 20, and more than 9 million viewers tuned in. The following week, reality show “The Bachelorette” came to town and filmed an upcoming episode on the island and in Bluffton. The national spotlight returned once again as the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing took place April 10-16 at Harbour Town Golf Links. The PGA Tour tournament was televised by The Golf Channel and CBS.
Dominion, an energy company headquartered in Virginia, recently announced that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Jasper County. Two projects — a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina's largest and a 10-megawatt array — are expected to enter service in 2017. Dominion's Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County facility, located near Ridgeland, will occupy nearly 900 acres.
Sea Pines Community Services Associates has reached a long-term service agreement with Uber, a ride-sharing service. The agreement provides full entry for Uber drivers to pick up and drop off property owners, guests and visitors within the Sea Pines community. The services had been suspended in Sea Pines earlier in the year after negotiations over gate fees failed. In addition to Sea Pines, Uber also operates in Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes and Shipyard. Those communities automatically charge Uber drivers $2 per trip inside their gates.
The Lowcountry is incredibly rich in heritage and culture and has had a unique role in American history. From Charleston to Savannah, there is no doubt that this area is the historic origin of black America’s beginning. Significantly, this area can lay claim to the origins of black America because it is where newly freed slaves first became self-sufficient legal citizens of the U.S. The Port of Charleston served as the entry point for more African slaves than any other port, and as a result, in pre-Civil War days South Carolina’s black population was far greater than the population of the whites who enslaved them. The economic impact of the slave trade made South Carolina a “slave society,” but the state also is the birthplace of Reconstruction — the gateway to a post-slavery future.
Canadian online travel site Flight Network ranked The Inn & Club at Harbour Town No. 43 on its list of the “100 Greatest Hotels in the World.” Results were determined by a panel that examined accommodations based on everything from their original style to first-class services, ability to embody local culture, and access to remarkable environments.
The organization’s impact can’t be measured in dollars and cents alone.
Every year, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing rolls into town, and every year, the numbers get bigger. Hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for this, hundreds of thousands raised for that.
It’s a testament to the fantastic work this organization does that we somehow find ourselves getting numb to the numbers. We applaud when we hear the total and congratulate everyone on another year of fundraising.
Almost like the release of a new iPhone, hoards of golfers lie in wait for Pro-Am tournament packages to go on sale for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. There are more than 300 spots, but in essence some reserved their place in line years ago because corporate partners and longtime Pro-Am players get first rights of refusal.
“We have one person who is playing his 49th Pro-Am,” said Derek Paton, vice president of sales and marketing for the Heritage Classic Foundation. “There isn’t room for many new players.”
Later in the same month that Hurricane Matthew slammed its Category 2 wrath into Hilton Head Island, Simon Fraser announced that the Heritage Classic Foundation had committed to donating up to $100,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Local residents in need of food, shelter or clothing would soon get it.
This is what the nonprofit foundation does — it helps people and organizations in the Lowcountry and has since its founding in 1987. More than $35 million has been distributed to charitable groups, as well as area students in the form of academic scholarships, said Fraser, now in his 11th year as foundation chairman.
GOLF CONTINUES TO BE HILTON HEAD’S BIGGEST BREADWINNER
There is no place more glorious than Hilton Head Island in the spring. The temperature is perfect, azaleas are in full bloom and the area is getting reading for its biggest party, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.
The festivities aren’t just for those at The Sea Pines Resort. It’s a gift for the entire area, and, boy, after the fall we’ve had, we need it.
Random stuff you should know about this year's Heritage.
HERITAGE CLASSIC FOUNDATION NAMES 8 SCHOLARS
Eight outstanding Beaufort County seniors were named Heritage Classic Foundation Scholars at a luncheon on March 21 at Sonesta Resort. The students come from five different high schools including May River High School and Whale Branch Early College High School, which have never had scholarships awarded previously.
The top golfers on the PGA Tour flock to Hilton Head Island each year, and not just for the quality of the golf.
Yes, Harbour Town Golf Links provides world-class competition for the pros, but the laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere and the fan support on Hilton Head make the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing one of the tour’s premier events.
The action is non-stop for golf fans, giving locals a chance to walk side-by-side with the greatest in the game for a week. But the true beauty of this glorious week each year is the social aspect of the RBC Heritage.