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Latest News in Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island Town Council approves allocations for $5.6 million in federal funds
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The Town of Hilton Head Island will receive more than $5.2 million in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan, and town council has approved allocations to use the money."COVID has been tough on the community and this will help alleviate some of this pain. I’m hopeful that the residents will be thankful that we’re deploying these funds to help," said John Troyer, Finance Director for Hilton Head Island.The town was given $2.6 million already, and they're looking...
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The Town of Hilton Head Island will receive more than $5.2 million in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan, and town council has approved allocations to use the money.
"COVID has been tough on the community and this will help alleviate some of this pain. I’m hopeful that the residents will be thankful that we’re deploying these funds to help," said John Troyer, Finance Director for Hilton Head Island.
The town was given $2.6 million already, and they're looking to put it to use immediately.
"We’re going to go with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry to administer some grants to the highest impacted areas for COVID, and so the community foundation has a long, long history in the town as far as administering grants and they do a super job and we wanted to work with them and partner with them to make sure that the people that need it the most, got the most," Troyer said.
Troyer said the money will also be spent on improving security at the town hall.
Town council has split the use of the funds over two years. Troyer said they’re expecting to get the other half of the funds in May 2022.
Here is the full list of allocations provided by town officials:
$1.6 million for public infrastructure
Funds may be used to accomplish various capital improvement projects that are not otherwise funded within the Town’s adopted Capital Improvement Plan.
$1 million for the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Pandemic Impact Grants
The Town will provide this funding to the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry for distribution through a grant award program to local groups and organizations that were directly impacted by the pandemic. These funds could be utilized to support housing assistance, childcare and education, rent and utility assistance, and food insecurities among other pandemic-related impacts.
$1 million for Town Hall security and technology improvements
Funds will be used to enhance safety and provide a uniform system of security within Town Hall including Town Council chambers, public entrances, and common hallways. Additionally, the Town will install new technology in the Town Council chambers and upgrade existing technology to live stream Town Council meetings and meetings of other public bodies.
$1 million for development and infrastructure related to the Town’s Patterson Tract
Town Council will consider using funds to establish a public-private partnership to develop workforce housing on a portion of this property. Funds would support the road, water, sewer, broadband, and/or utility infrastructure necessary for workforce housing development.
$400,000 for resident home repair and the removal of unsafe and uninhabited structures
Funds will be used to provide grants to qualified residents to help pay for repairs needed to make their homes safe and dry and to remove unsafe and uninhabited structures from residential property.
$200,000 for sewer connection grants
Funds will be used for a grant program to assist property owners living on the Island who have not yet connected to existing sanitary sewer systems due to financial limitations."
You can now purchase tickets for the 54th RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Tickets for the 54th RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island are on sale now.Organizers for South Carolina’s only PGA Tour say next year’s event will happen April 11-17 at the Harbour Town Golf Links.New this year, tickets for the event will be totally digital. Once purchased, your tickets will be delivered to your email, and then they can be downloaded to your mobile phone’s digital wallet.The digital tickets will be scanned at the tournament entrance where...
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Tickets for the 54th RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island are on sale now.
Organizers for South Carolina’s only PGA Tour say next year’s event will happen April 11-17 at the Harbour Town Golf Links.
New this year, tickets for the event will be totally digital. Once purchased, your tickets will be delivered to your email, and then they can be downloaded to your mobile phone’s digital wallet.
The digital tickets will be scanned at the tournament entrance where you’ll then be given a commemorative ticket.
The following tickets are available:
CALIBOGUE CLUB PRESENTED BY CERTIFIED SC GROWN
PRICE = $375 per dayThe Calibogue Club is an all-inclusive hospitality venue located between the 17th green and the 18th tee. The climate-controlled venue features a central dining area, full food and beverage service, and outdoor stadium seating overlooking the final two holes of Harbour Town Golf Links. Parking is included for every two tickets purchased. NEW – Enjoy a satellite location at the 8th green.
PRICE = $250 per dayThe NEW Lighthouse Club is located on the iconic 18th green and offers one of the best views of golf on the PGA TOUR. The open-air skybox is available Thursday through Sunday and includes food and beverage.
DOC’S BBQ at 15
ADVANCE PRICE = $175 per day • APRIL PRICE = $195 per day
Experience Doc’s BBQ at 15 located behind the 15th green, so close you will feel like you are part of the action. Daily ticket holders get exceptional golf views of the 15th green from the tiered seating and access to a casual lounge. A buffet lunch is provided by Doc’s BBQ and Southern Way. NEW – A full beverage service is included featuring draft beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks. Choose Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
CLUBHOUSE TICKET PACKADVANCE PRICE – $375 • APRIL PRICE = $395
The Clubhouse Ticket Pack gives fans exclusive access into the Harbour Town Clubhouse Tuesday through Sunday, including Links Restaurant, the putting green patio and Pro Shop. Ticket holders will also enjoy up close views of the competition from private viewing areas on holes 8 and 15. Food, beverage and spirits are available for purchase. A limited number of Clubhouse Ticket Packs will be sold.
GROUNDS TICKET PACK
HOLIDAY PROMOTION! – $225 until 1/4/22 • ADVANCE PRICE – $275 (1/5/22 – 3/31/22) • APRIL PRICE = $295
The Grounds Ticket Pack provides access to the tournament grounds Tuesday through Sunday. Ticket holders can enjoy concession stands and several additional venues located throughout the course serving food, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits.
ADVANCE PRICE = $75 per day • APRIL PRICE = $95 per day
The Grounds Ticket provides single-day access to the tournament grounds. Ticket holders can enjoy concession stands and several additional venues located throughout the course serving food, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits. Choose Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
PRACTICE ROUND TICKET
ADVANCE PRICE = $25 per day
The Practice Round Ticket provides single-day access to the tournament grounds. Choose Tuesday to enjoy Opening Ceremonies and Coca-Cola Youth Day and Wednesday to watch the Pro-Am. Cameras are welcome. Course is closed to spectators on Monday.
Juniors, ages 15 and under are always admitted free when they are accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting rbcheritage.com
Hurricane Matthew closed Hunting Island’s iconic pier. Its $1M replacement just opened
A 950-foot-long fishing pier at one of South Carolina’s most popular state parks, partially destroyed by Hurricane Matthew and closed for five years, has reopened, restoring an important public access to the Atlantic Ocean.The pier at Hunting Island State Park, 15 miles east of Beaufort, is, in effect, a side...
A 950-foot-long fishing pier at one of South Carolina’s most popular state parks, partially destroyed by Hurricane Matthew and closed for five years, has reopened, restoring an important public access to the Atlantic Ocean.
The pier at Hunting Island State Park, 15 miles east of Beaufort, is, in effect, a sidewalk that extends three football fields from shore. It offers visitors front row access to great fishing, wildlife viewing and solitude.
When Matthew made landfall in South Carolina in October 2016, it caused extensive damage to Hunting Island, including the pier, making it unsafe and prompting its closure.
“We’ve been waiting for this to open,” said Brian Gilfedder of Beaufort, who was fishing on the pier with his wife, Mary Lou, on a recent sunny afternoon.
The new pier, the Gilfedders said, is wonderful. Their comments echoed those of others who were fishing or just sitting on a bench, drinking in the ocean, last week, when feeding dolphins thrashed in the shallows nearby.
“When it was closed, we couldn’t fish,” John Freeman said.
Freeman, a St. Helena Island resident who lives at Eddings Point, said he’s been fishing from the pier for years. He’s pleased to be back.
“Whiting or flounder,” said Freeman, as he placed a 13- to 14-inch whiting into a cooler, “that’s good eating.”
From the pier, visitors can see waves rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean onto the barrier island. Also visible from the pier: Fripp Island and “Little Hunting Island,” the product of a hurricane that breached a lagoon, cutting the beach in two.
More than a million residents visit Hunting Island State Park and its five miles of beaches each year, putting it among the top two most popular parks in South Carolina, Park Manager Brandon Goff said. The park has been a fixture since the 1930s, meaning generations of families have been coming here for nearly a century.
The pier has been around since the 1980s. Public access for fishing drives its popularity. Goff said people come out to wet a line and make memories.
Greeting visitors with a friendly, “How y’all doing today?” Goff ticked off additional reasons to love the pier: “Sunrises, sunsets, the view, the breeze.”
Hurricane Matthew blew the pier’s end off and sections of its decking, leaving it in “rough shape,” Goff said.
Repairs, which included new pilings and replacement decking, began in May.
The pier was scheduled for completion next month but reopened early, on Sept. 18.
“It’s such a popular place, we wanted to open this back up to visitors just as soon as we possibly could,” Goff said.
The original pier was 1,100 feet. The new version is 950. The end of the pier where Matthew did the damage has been turned into a T-shape.
The repair cost was $955,404.50. Of that, insurance paid $694,890, and the state paid $260,514.50 using appropriated funds. S.C. State Parks is seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The new pier has improved seating, fish cleaning stations, railings and electrical outlets.
Hanika Plowdeniz of Beaufort was seated on a bench at the very end of the pier, where the water is 28 feet deep, with her daughter Amanda Ranger. For years, Plowdeniz has been coming to the pier, which she calls a “refresher” from the stresses of life. And now, she said, while she recharges, she can also recharge her smart phone at one of the electrical outlets that have been added.
“I love the part where they have sitting stations and the places where you can charge your phone while you fish,” Plowdeniz said.
Additional benches have been added up and down the pier as well. Fish cleaning stations now have water supply. And a ledge on the top railing of the pier also has been added where cell phones or elbows can rest.
But the ocean setting from the pier is still what draws visitors.
“It’s pretty,” said Freeman, the St. Helena Island resident. “I can put it like that.”
This story was originally published September 27, 2021 11:20 AM.
Another Clemson running back to transfer
Another member of Clemson’s backfield is leaving the program.Michel Dukes intends to transfer, a school spokesperson told The State on Thursday night.It is the second straight day a Clemson player said they are leaving the program. Safety Joseph Charleston expressed his intent to enter the transfer portal to head coach Dabo Swinney last week, saying he feels like he needs a fresh start somewhere else.“It’s disappointing, but I’m just kind of numb to it now,” Swinney said on Tuesday. “T...
Another member of Clemson’s backfield is leaving the program.
Michel Dukes intends to transfer, a school spokesperson told The State on Thursday night.
It is the second straight day a Clemson player said they are leaving the program. Safety Joseph Charleston expressed his intent to enter the transfer portal to head coach Dabo Swinney last week, saying he feels like he needs a fresh start somewhere else.
“It’s disappointing, but I’m just kind of numb to it now,” Swinney said on Tuesday. “That’s just 2021. There’s probably going to be news every week. ... I love Joseph. I think he’s a really good player, like a really good player. He’s had a lot of unfortunate issues and situations. He’s had injuries. He’s missed a lot of camp this fall. He’s battled hamstring. He’s had a lot of things.”
Dukes is the second Clemson running back to announce his departure. Lyn-J Dixon announced less than a month ago he is entering the transfer portal. Dixon was listed as a possible starter with Kobe Pace throughout fall camp and ended up getting one start in the Tigers’ season home opener against S.C. State. Pace started at running back for two of the first three games before freshman Will Shipley earned his first collegiate start against NC State. He ended up suffering a knee injury and has been out ever since. The North Carolina native was expected to start back in practice this week, though his timetable to return to the field is unknown.
With Shipley out, Clemson opted not to redshirt Phil Mafah, also a freshman, and play him this season. Instead of Dukes, Mafah was named RB2 behind Pace. Darien Rencher rounds out the Tigers’ running back group.
Dukes has only two carries this season, both coming against S.C. State. Last season, he had eight carries for 55 yards. As a freshman, he had 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“One of the best athletes on this team, but just a guy that never really kind of, he’s just a sophomore, but he hasn’t really taken the step yet where he’s detailed and consistent day-in and day-out at all the little things,” Swinney said of Dukes on Sept. 28 following Shipley’s injury. “That’s really kind of what’s held him back and that’s why he’s been where he is. Athletically, physically, he’s gifted, but maybe this is an opportunity that he’s going to step up and take advantage of because he’s going to get a chance.”
Dukes, who played at First Baptist in Charleston, committed to the Tigers in February of 2019. 247Sports ranked Dukes a three-star prospect and 11th best in the state for Class of 2019.
Dukes also was a basketball standout and visited Syracuse and East Carolina, which offered him to play both football and basketball. South Carolina also offered him early in the recruiting process.
Dukes was a four-year starter at First Baptist, a private school located in Charleston. He had more than 8,000 total yards and 120 touchdowns in his career. He helped the Hurricanes to back-to-back SCISA state championships in 2016 and 2017.
This story was originally published October 19, 2021 6:50 PM.
Animal shelters in SC swamped with strays, surrendered pets
Not all pandemic victims walk on two legs. Four-legged victims are flooding area animal shelters.The impact goes beyond finding homes for dogs. Staff at shelters in Abbeville and Greenwood are squeezed for time to work with animals to assure they remain adoptable.Finding homes for humans is part of the problem. Eviction moratoriums started expiring in August.People are being evicted now and often they have to surrender their pets, said Samantha Brooks, director of operations at the Humane Society of Greenwood. Up to 75% ...
Not all pandemic victims walk on two legs. Four-legged victims are flooding area animal shelters.
The impact goes beyond finding homes for dogs. Staff at shelters in Abbeville and Greenwood are squeezed for time to work with animals to assure they remain adoptable.
Finding homes for humans is part of the problem. Eviction moratoriums started expiring in August.
People are being evicted now and often they have to surrender their pets, said Samantha Brooks, director of operations at the Humane Society of Greenwood. Up to 75% of the surrenders at the shelter are from evictions, she said last Monday.
The Abbeville shelter faces a similar situation.
In some cases, landlords opt to sell their buildings and tenants are being forced to find pet-friendly housing. Jessica Bridges, director of the Abbeville County Animal Services, has firsthand experience.
It happened to her during the summer. Bridges said she was fortunate to find pet-friendly housing. She also was fortunate that her dog is a chihuahua, so she didn’t face restrictions concerning dog breeds, which some landlords require because of insurance.
Shelter staff follow Facebook and other social media sites and regularly see posts regarding pet-friendly housing, she said. With no other options, people surrender their pets.
A better option is for people to contact the shelter before they get to the point where they run out of options, Bridges said. Shelter staff can help with pet food if a pet owner has lost a job.
The shelter is a small facility, with 30 dog runs, 22 of them for large dogs, Bridges said. So far this year, the shelter has taken in more than 300 dogs. During a three-week period in September, the shelter got calls for 60 stray dogs. Staff members could have filled the shelter three times over. That is not a singular incident.
Greenwood’s facility housed 98 dogs and 59 cats as of Oct. 11, Brooks said. In one hallway, up to six crates, each containing a dog, lined the wall.
Recently, the shelter was over capacity by 16 dogs. Adoptions and fosters freed up three kennels over the week, Brooks said. Then on the weekend, surrenders filled the shelter again.
In addition to dogs and cats, the shelter has cared for rabbits, guinea pigs and even turkeys. Four rabbits were taken from a shelter in Charleston that was flooded by deliveries of more than 50 rabbits and had called other shelters across the state for help. Last Monday, one rabbit hopped inside a cage in a meeting room.
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?
Nov. 8-14 is National Adoption Week at PetSmart. The shelter also is considering a Halloween-themed adoption event. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Brooks said the shelter is having several promotions. They include:
— Tuesday: Early bird special for seniors. If an adopter is older than 50, they get 50% off adoptions.
— Weigh-in Wednesday: Animals’ weight reduces the adoption fee. That helps with adoption of big dogs, Brooks said.
— Thriller Thursday: Adoption fees for black and white animals are waived.
— Foster Fail Friday: Any foster who wants to keep their foster animal gets 50% off the adoption fee.
— Saturday Caturday: Cat adopters get 50% off adoption fees.
Legal action is another tool for overpopulation issues. Brooks said the city and county governments are pushing ordinances to get pets spayed and neutered.
If a pet is captured, the owner will have to pay to get it back or to get it neutered. The owner can pay for spay or pay a fine. Owners have to show proof of rabies vaccination or pay for a vaccination; they have to agree to have their animal microchipped before leaving the facility; fees for boarding must be paid before the pet is released; no pet may be redeemed without having been surgically sterilized, unless the owner pays the appropriate redemption fee.
If owners opt not to sterilize the pet, they must pay a $200 fee to get the animal back, she said. If the animal is captured again within the fiscal year, the redemption fee will be $400.
So far, the choice between paying the redemption fee and getting the animal sterilized runs about 50%, Brooks said.
“I firmly believe that these kinds of ordinances eventually will prevent us from being overcrowded in the future,” said Connie Mawyer, executive director of the shelter. She estimated the ordinances may take two to three years to have effect.
Another COVID-19-related concern shelter staff have faced is reduced turnout for events, such as fundraisers and adoption programs. People have been afraid to attend such events, Brooks said. Concerns arose when the pandemic first hit. It returned with a second round of the pandemic.
Any fear people might have hasn’t curtailed support, Mawyer said. The community has helped by providing food and fulfilling various needs. It’s a collaborative effort that’s helped the shelter get through.
Brooks added that fostering and foster adoptions have increased. Both she and Bridges encourage people to foster animals to get them out of a shelter setting, even if it’s only for a day or two.
Education is another part of the solution. Bridges said part of the job of shelter staff is to educate people on pet ownership responsibilities, such as spay/neuter, medical care and training.
A tabletop in the front room of the shelter is loaded down with papers providing information on pet behaviors and training. “It’s a help yourself pet health desk,” she said.
It’s going to take a lot of effort to fix the situation on proper feeding, vaccinations, housing and medical care, Bridges said.
It’s really the owners’ responsibility at the end of the day, Bridges said.
Communities in the South do not have strict animal control laws, as in northern states. As a result, the South has many strays.
People rarely call about just one dog, she said. Shelter staff have dealt with calls about packs of up to 10 dogs that roam neighborhoods.
Pets that are on chains are trapped and if an aggressive dog comes, they can get hurt, she said. People might say they don’t see other dogs in the neighborhood and a few months later, their female dog who was left outside starts getting fat.
“We hear a lot of people say ‘We live in the country. Dogs aren’t meant to live in pens; they’re meant to be free,’” she said.
Abbeville officials have talked with Laurens County animal control officials regarding educational workshops for residents, Bridges said.
The shelter also works with Animal Allies and Speak for Animals, both groups that help provide access to spay and neutering services and offer discounts on procedures, she said.
HOW TO REACT
No matter how difficult things get, shelter staff always have a goal. For Bridges the light at the end of the tunnel is simple: “Every shelter worker’s dream is to not be needed.”
It’s so overwhelming sometimes, Brooks said. Each day you leave and hope you do everything you can possibly do for every animal and you hope that you have met all of their needs.
“We can’t just want to provide food and water and safety; we want to make sure they have human touch and affection,” she said.
“Everyone I talk to is stressed, stressed, stressed — overcrowded with animals, staffing problems, donations. All those little things come together.”
How does she keep from pulling out her hair?
“Because I love the animals. No matter how stressed you get, you just want to love them,” Brooks said. “Sometimes you look at it as ‘you need them just as much as they need you.’”
When she is stressed, she knows she’ll feel better after taking care of the babies. The shelter even does music therapy with animals and staff listening to calming music.
“It’s all about that inner peace and healing. it gives you a calm moment to regroup,” she said.