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Latest News in James Island, SC
Charleston slammed with storm surge as Idalia continues pounding the Southeast
Storm surge from Tropical Storm Idalia flooded parts of Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday, breaching the town's seawall.Powerful onshore winds of about 40 mph pushed water from the Atlantic onto the city streets of the historic city, according to FOX Weather meteorologist ...
Powerful onshore winds of about 40 mph pushed water from the Atlantic onto the city streets of the historic city, according to FOX Weather meteorologist Steve Bender.
A resident in a high rise had a unique perspective of the flooding across Charleston Wednesday night. Drivers wade through parking lots to get to their cars. Police cars leave a wake. Tropical Storm Idalia's storm surge and winds combined with the King Tides were no match for the seawall.
Images from Charleston show just how much the water had risen as the storm approached.
(Danica Goff / X / FOX Weather)
The National Weather Service in Charleston stated on Wednesday evening that water has breached the Charleston Battery, the seawall in Charleston. Major coastal flooding is being reported in downtown Charleston and Edisto Beach.
They added that tide levels in the Charleston Harbor reached over 9 feet. At Edisto, the dunes were breached with water flowing under homes and onto roadways.
(Katie Byrne / FOX Weather)
"This is a dangerous situation!" NWS Charleston posted Wednesday afternoon.
The following image taken in downtown Charleston, showing how much roads were covered by storm surge.
(@RoddyKnowles / X / FOX Weather)
Further inland, roads were turned into impromptu rivers.
(@toastofcoast88 / X / FOX Weather)
In addition to flooding, the powerful winds reaching gusts of 50-65 mph knocked over trees.
(@CharlestonPD / X / FOX Weather)
The water levels in Charleston are the 5th highest water levels ever reported in the city, according NWS Charleston. They added that the records date back to 1921.
The high water levels are the result of a number of factors. The FOX Forecast Center said that the combination of Idalia, swells from Franklin and the influences from the stage of the moon are creating the perfect event for flooding around Charleston and other low-lying communities in the Carolinas.
"Tides are higher than normal right now due to the full moon," noted Greg Diamond, FOX Forecast Center senior meteorologist. "That is the main differentiator here. It's why weaker Tropical Storm Idalia is producing water levels up there with the stronger and larger Matthew and Irma."
High Rise’s cannabis dry bar is now open on James Island
JAMES ISLAND — A new dry bar is now open on James Island. Instead of using alcohol, the bar utilizes CBD, Delta-8 and Delta-9 seltzers produced by High Rise Beverage Co.The bar, the first of its kind in the state, is at the back of the new storefront space of Charleston Hemp Collective at 1989 Maybank Highway Unit 103. It’s right next to a cycling studio and across the street a little ways down from The Terrace Theater.The store, dry bar and seltzer company are all owned by Lowcountry duo Matt and Libiss Skinner, wh...
JAMES ISLAND — A new dry bar is now open on James Island. Instead of using alcohol, the bar utilizes CBD, Delta-8 and Delta-9 seltzers produced by High Rise Beverage Co.
The bar, the first of its kind in the state, is at the back of the new storefront space of Charleston Hemp Collective at 1989 Maybank Highway Unit 103. It’s right next to a cycling studio and across the street a little ways down from The Terrace Theater.
The store, dry bar and seltzer company are all owned by Lowcountry duo Matt and Libiss Skinner, who met in Columbia when they were kids.
“There’s actually a picture of the two of us at age 10 and 8 kissing on my grandmother’s front porch,” said Matt, with a chuckle.
Now married, they’ve made it their mission to spread awareness of the healing qualities of hemp and hemp-derived products.
It all started with Libiss’ ulcerative colitis diagnosis. She was prescribed 11 pills a day at one point and was on a steroid that came with a bunch of side effects.
“I knew I couldn’t sustain that, and I was really scared,” she said.
After doing her own research, Libiss turned to CBD as part of a daily anti-inflammatory and pain control regimen, as well as a way to decrease anxiety and stress surrounding her health condition. She hasn’t had a flare up in almost two years.
It was around a year ago when the couple started High Rise Beverage Co. and began selling their real fruit- and hemp product-infused seltzers. The drinks are canned in North Carolina and come in flavors such as pineapple, blackberry, grapefruit, blood orange, raspberry, black cherry and lime. They’re also infused with CBD, Delta-8 or Delta-9, at a percentage of .3 or less of THC to adhere to the federal government’s legal requirements as outlined in the Farm Bill Act.
At the bar on James Island, these seltzers are used to make a variety of mocktails, many of which come in tiki glasses and fit the tropical theme. Bird wallpaper and a plant wall are complimented by a neon pink sign that explains the concept: “cannabis dry bar.”
The Skinners say education is at the forefront of their mission to share their knowledge about hemp products with those who might benefit. The wellness aspect is the focus; the drinks are made with real fruit, mountain spring water, organic cane sugar and hemp extract.
“We’re in the space of a world right now where people really care what they’re putting in their body,” said Matt.
And among the list of mocktails is the Harmony, made with salted watermelon, rosemary aperitif, elderberry bitters and a choice of strawberry Delta-8 or blood orange Delta-9; the Invigorate, made with turmeric, carrot, mango, coconut shrub and a choice of lime CBD or blood orange Delta-9; and the Tranquility, made with matcha, hemp honey and white chocolate.
There are also Delta-8 and Delta-9 gummy add-ons available.
The dry bar is also an ideal place for non-alcohol drinkers to go and fit within the bar setting without temptation.
“Our goal with opening this dry bar was to create a more elevated experience for those seeking nonalcoholic alternatives,” said Matt.
Right now, High Rise Beverage Co. seltzers are in around 200 Lowcountry restaurants, bars and bottle shops, including Halls Chophouse, Husk and Herd Provisions.
“No one has really jumped into this space like the Charleston market has, because we’re a Charleston brand and people really want to get behind this,” he said. “It’s been really humbling to see the love that’s been thrown toward this brand.”
The High Rise Cannabis Dry Bar is open within the Charleston Hemp Collective shop from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Neighbors asking for transparency in proposed James Island build
The James Island Public Service District owned the land and drafted an ordinance to sell the land to a developer in February.JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents of the Whitehouse Plantation neighborhood on James Island say they want to be involved and informed about all plans for the tract of land that backs up to their homes.The 6.25-acre tract of land off Dills Bluff Road has been an undisturbed green space for years.The James Island Public Service District owned the land and drafted an ordinance to sell the land to ...
The James Island Public Service District owned the land and drafted an ordinance to sell the land to a developer in February.
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents of the Whitehouse Plantation neighborhood on James Island say they want to be involved and informed about all plans for the tract of land that backs up to their homes.
The 6.25-acre tract of land off Dills Bluff Road has been an undisturbed green space for years.
The James Island Public Service District owned the land and drafted an ordinance to sell the land to a developer in February.
Ken Godwin has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 50 years and enjoyed the trees and buffer area for that time.
“I’ve known about this particular property for quite a long period of time when it belonged to the public service district. They wanted to move their facilities over here, garbage trucks, officers and all this kind of stuff. I was opposed to it, numerous residents in the neighborhood were opposed to it. We feel that any new development back here should be single family residential only,” Godwin explains.
In March, homes within 500 feet of the land got a letter from the developer.
The letter, signed by KT Properties owner Kyle A. Taylor, invites the homeowners to two public meetings about developing the land. The letter proposes a mixed-use planned development with approximately 20 single-family homes and 20,000 to 25,000 square feet of commercial space.
John Montague-Blythe says he lives close to the edge of the neighborhood where the tract begins but he did not know about the meetings.
“I feel like wool has been pulled over my eyes, quite frankly. I came in and a person at town hall, while I was getting permits to have a pool building up in the back of our home, told me that they were developing that land she said have you heard about it?,” Montague-Blythe says. “Well, I’m four houses down in the street that’s outside of 500 feet.”
After missing the meetings and feeling out of the loop, neighbors are banding together to share their insight about the land.
Godwin wrote a petition that asks that any development be kept to just single-family homes to preserve the fabric of the neighborhood.
James Luby says he and Godwin will be knocking on doors to let all their neighbors know and see where they stand.
“We were blindsided. We weren’t told. And then all of a sudden. This spread like wildfire. I have a list of people with everything so we’re just gonna go for prepare for the next meeting. Get our petition going. Just get the word out. Because nobody likes it,” Luby says.
Sidonie Aten says she learned about the development while out on a walk and is now invested in making sure she follows the approval process.
“My husband and I were walking the neighborhood like we have done for years, and it’s the first time I heard about it. I still don’t completely understand where all of this is going,” Aten says.
Aten says she hopes other neighbors will sign their petition an join the group to find out what’s best for the neighborhood.
“I’m here mainly to find out exactly what’s going on and to follow up at every meeting that I possibly can to put the brakes on this. There’s too many families that have lived in this neighborhood, quiet peacefully, and we don’t need this and James Island does not need another car or any more traffic,” she says.
James Island Public Service District held a first reading of the proposed sale of the property in February of 2023. The second reading passed in March of 2023.
A week after a request for comment from KT properties about the residents’ complaints owner Kyle Taylor issued a statement. It reports that 18 and ten community members attended each of the two public meetings respectively. The letter says properties within 500 feet were notified “in excess of the 300 feet range typically required for public notices.”
Taylor calls the two meetings productive and notes that community participation exceeded expectations.
“As a result of the workshops, the development will not propose a cross-connection road with Whitehouse Plantation, the development will contain multiple stormwater management ponds for runoff retention and reduction,” the statement reads.
The developer also announces a third community workshop scheduled for Friday June 2nd at Town Hall (1122 Dill Bluff Road). At the workshop, information from prior meetings will be presented and the developer will answer questions.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
High Rise Dry Bar elevates mocktails with legal cannabis seltzers
South Carolina’s first-ever cannabis dry bar has landed on James Island. High Rise Dry Bar from Charleston Hemp Collective opened Aug. 11 and is changing the world of hemp-derived products and the non-alcoholic beverage space by offering mocktails made with legal cannabis seltzers.“I think it’s really cool pioneering stuff like this,” said Matt Skinner, owner of Charleston Hemp Collective. “You always kind of worry about whether it’s going to go over and how many people are going to relate to it, bu...
South Carolina’s first-ever cannabis dry bar has landed on James Island. High Rise Dry Bar from Charleston Hemp Collective opened Aug. 11 and is changing the world of hemp-derived products and the non-alcoholic beverage space by offering mocktails made with legal cannabis seltzers.
“I think it’s really cool pioneering stuff like this,” said Matt Skinner, owner of Charleston Hemp Collective. “You always kind of worry about whether it’s going to go over and how many people are going to relate to it, but I feel like the reception we’ve gotten just so far is insane, so I’m super-excited about it.”
In recent years, the popularity of legal hemp-derived products has exploded in the Charleston area as these products are said to offer purported medicinal benefits and increase relaxation. Hemp Collective offers a range of products from vapes and gummies to tinctures and even Bloody Mary mix. But since launching its cannabis seltzer High Rise in May 2022, Skinner has noticed a fast-shifting acceptance.
“Charleston has really embraced this whole [cannabis] movement,” he said. “So much has changed, and so much of it is becoming more and more accepted.”
Currently, High Rise’s seltzers are in about 200 bars and restaurants, including Halls Chophouse and Husk, and 350 shops and grocery stores in the Charleston area. But the product also is distributed throughout the Southeast in Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.
“Some of the most elevated restaurants in Charleston are really trying to create mocktails now and jumping on board with High Rise to help craft that, and I think that’s special,” Skinner said.
He said he believes now is an exciting time — not only for the cannabis space but also the non-alcoholic market. He points to a renewed interest in non-alcoholic options particularly amongst Gen Z, who are noticeably drinking less alcohol than previous generations.
A 2022 consumer trends report from Drizly found 38% of Gen Z respondents said they opted for more alcohol-free drinks than the previous year compared to 25% of Millennials, 15% Gen X and 8% Baby Boomers.
“There’s this interest not only in the ‘canna-curious’ space right now, but also people are looking for NA (non-alcoholic) options. The NA world and the beverage space right now is insane,” Skinner said.
The company’s original plan was to create a second shop with a small bar, but now the bar is really the star, he said. Skinner and his business partner, Chris Long, wanted a space for a high-end mocktail bar, so they used a portion of the space for the shop and a larger portion for a bar, lounge area and multiple tables for guests to sit and mingle.
During the store’s recent soft opening, DJ Jerry Feels Good set the vibe with upbeat tunes. Skinner said the bar plans to bring DJ Jerry Feels Good back as a regular in-house DJ in addition to rotating other DJs on various nights.
Currently, the bar’s open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. But Skinner said they may expand the weekend hours in the future.
The first iteration of the drink menu includes seven unique mocktails with names like Connection, Tranquility, Invigorate and Zen.
Drinks include fruity ingredients like salted watermelon and pomegranate and well as savory elements like ginger, turmeric and matcha. The menu offers suggestions under each drink to add CBD, Delta-8 or Delta-9 seltzer to elevate the experience.
For those who are canna-curious but not familiar with these different derivatives of the hemp plant, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp that can induce feelings of relaxation. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are both psychoactive compounds in the plant that can induce feelings of “being high.”
Roughly one-third of a can of High Rise seltzer is used in each drink — equal to two milligrams of CBD, Delta-8 or Delta 9.
“The point is not just one and done,” Skinner said of the mocktails. “We want you to be able to try two or three drinks. And by the time you get to your third drink, you’re gonna be feeling really good. It creates more of a social experience.”
Jules Schneider, beverage director for Herd Provisions, helped develop the current menu.“[This was] easily the most challenging menu I’ve done so far,” Schneider said. “Coaxing out flavor without the use of alcohol is another beast on its own. Alcohol is such a great solvent that making well-flavored ingredients is a cinch. I ended up making my own bitters with vegetable glycerin in a pressure cooker and really relied on great produce and proper technique to make fantastically flavored syrups.”
Skinner added, “I’ve got to give a lot of props to Jules. Not only did he take time to look at so many different [flavor] profiles, [but] he was also very careful when he named them. They all really represent the ingredients of those drinks and what they stand for.”
The menu will change quarterly to introduce new drinks and operate as a space for experimentation. Skinner wants to use the bar to test out new mocktails in addition to featuring rotating specialty High Rise drinks other restaurants and bars have developed for their location including Herd Provisions, The Longboard and others.
“Charleston is a community that supports brands that they feel like are really making a movement, and Charleston has really gotten behind High Rise,” Skinner said. “I don’t think there’s another city in the Southeast that has so much respect for this cannabis drink space.”
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Developer holds 3rd community meeting on potential development on James Island
A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.The 6.5-acre parcel off Dills Bluff Road, near the intersection of Camp Road, is currently owned by the town’s public service district. KT Properties President Kyle Taylor said they plan to...
A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.
The 6.5-acre parcel off Dills Bluff Road, near the intersection of Camp Road, is currently owned by the town’s public service district. KT Properties President Kyle Taylor said they plan to build a 20,000 to 25,000 square foot commercial center to hold about 10 to 15 businesses.
“Lowcountry-style architecture is where we’re heading,” Taylor said. “We see mixed-use retail, some restaurant, small to medium scale, some coffee, some office, medical office, just a variety of uses to support the local community.”
The district attempted to develop a new operations center on the property for several years. The projects were put on hold amid pushback from neighbors against the plan.
The property then went up for sale in 2021, and developer KT Properties is under contract with the public service district to purchase the land.
Toward the rear of the parcel, Taylor said they plan on proceeding with building 25 attached townhome units to make living on the island more affordable and save as many grand trees as possible. Taylor said those changes were made based on feedback from neighbors.
“First and foremost, we want to make sure the community knew that we weren’t doing a cross-connection road,” Taylor said. “That was the most important concerns for neighbors that we weren’t going to send traffic to the neighborhood, which we are not. Especially, making sure we are taking care of stormwater management by adding a third pond was maybe some new information for some folks inside.”
Some neighbors said the project is too dense compared to the surrounding area and the land could instead be used for a park.
“The open space that they’re proposing is not enough,” neighbor John Peters said. “That little open space in the center is like hanging out in the parking lot. It’s what I’ve been telling people because that’s what it is.”
Others, however, said it’s exactly what James Island needs to grow.
“I think it’s the beautification, and the fact that they are really addressing the stormwater issue,” neighbor Joanne Root said. “It’s very well executed, and it’s going to be very attractive, and I think it’s really going to uplift this area.”
Peters believes the project does not fit into the area where it’s slotted to be.
“There’s hawks and owls that live in there. There’s concern with the wilderness there,” he said. “They come over and take out those squirrels, so there’s a lot of little things that are being overlooked in lieu of developing to just add more citizens to the neighborhood that we already have enough citizens in.”
Root, however, believes there’s enough of a market to build the development.
“I think the townhouses would be perfect, and I think there’s a big need for that,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that can’t maintain a yard that are definitely looking for that. It’s more progressive, I think, and more forward-thinking.”
As the project has been in the works for several years, Peters said he believes it should be up to the public to decide what happens with the land.
“Put it on the ballot and say, ‘Citizens, what do you want to do with this land?’ And come up with the best ideas possible,” he said. “If the citizens say they want a development, they put a development in there. If they want a park, we’ll put a park in there. If they want a fitness trail, let’s put a fitness trail.”
Taylor said he hopes the project will be finished with design and permitting around spring next year. He said construction would follow shortly after.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.