Bluffton town manager Marc Orlando has selected Christopher Chapmond as Bluffton’s next chief of police. Chapmond, who is currently the assistant police chief for Hot Springs, Arkansas, was expected to begin work in Blufftton by Sept. 1. Orlander said the town received more than 60 applicants from 24 states and two countries. Chapmond has been employed by the Hot Springs Police Department since 1996, during which he has held the positions of field operations captain, patrol lieutenant, coordinator of the 18th East Drug Task Force, co-commander of the Hot Springs SWAT and commander of critical incidents.
Developer K. Hovnanian Homes proposed a new development to be built adjacent to S.C. 46 and S.C. 170. The proposal includes 515 single-family homes with room for 11 acres of commercial space. K. Hovnanian’s next step is to redraw and present a final plan to Bluffton’s Development Review Committee to address traffic issues and accessibility concerns. The new development will be called Four Seasons of Bluffton — with no relation to the luxury hotel chain.
Bluffton made the national and international news last month, but not in a good way. British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail, in addition to The Washington Post, ABC News, and other media outlets picked up the story of local resident Lauren Cutshaw, who was arrested for speeding through a stop sign and told officers from the Bluffton Police Department they shouldn't arrest her because she's a "very clean, thoroughbred, white girl," police said.
An anonymous benefactor donated $500,000 to the Bluffton Campbell Chapel AME Church in May. The congregation celebrated its “guardian angel” with a banquet and mortgage-burning ceremony; the donation effectively paid off the church’s mortgage and leaves administrators free to focus on other missions, like refurbishing the historic chapel that was built in 1853 and sold to freed slaves in the 1870s.
A bridge on S.C. 46 between Bluffton and Savannah has been named for Melanie Lowther, a Pritchardville woman killed five years ago by a drifter who met Lowther and her husband when they stopped to buy him groceries and then continued to help him and his girlfriend. The man has since been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The bridge will serve to honor Lowther’s kind spirit and memory in the Lowcountry.
NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL SET TO OPEN IN BLUFFTON
For decades, Larry Leary kept a mental scrapbook of every inspiring design style, every Old World detail that intrigued or amazed, and held onto them. A renowned restorer of historic homes, he plied his trade in some of the most lavish homes in the Northeast, with a client list of CEOs and business elites. With every classic home he restored, he made notes on the architectural details that defined its elegance.
The Bluffton Police Department is now accepting applications for the 2018 Citizens Police Academy. The 12-week course will focus on the four divisions of the Bluffton Police Department, traffic enforcement, radar operation, evidence collection, fingerprint recovery, defensive tactics, firearms and more. The course will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Aug. 7 to Oct. 23. Apply in-person at the Bluffton Police Station or go to www.townofbluffton.sc.gov/police-department/home.
An anonymous donor wired $511,386.99 to the Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bluffton in May, covering the remainder of the mortgage for the chapel. Pastor Dr. Jon R. Black is calling the donor the church’s “guardian angel.” Now that the debt for the church building has been taken care of, the congregation will focus its efforts on investing money into the local community.
In collaboration with i2recycle and Waste Management, the town of Bluffton held its annual May River Cleanup on April 28. This year, roughly 340 volunteers — including residents and local civic organization — collected 2,893 pounds, or 1.44 tons, of trash from the river and its surroundings. Approximately 17 percent of that waste was recycled and diverted from area landfills.
Scratch Golf, LLC announced plans to turn one-third of Hilton Head National Golf Course into a luxury RV resort. The 300-acre parcel would have an entrance on Malphrus Road in Bluffton. Scratch Golf sued Beaufort County last fall, claiming it was treated unfairly when it requested to change the zoning designation to allow more retail and commercial development on the land. It is not clear when construction will begin, but the park should be open by end of 2019 or early 2020.