Covert Aire is joining forces with Bluffton Self Help, Lowcountry Radio Group and Mingledorff’s Inc. for the second annual Operation Cool Down. This summer program assists families or individuals in need with free repairs or replacement of their air conditioning systems. Last summer, Covert Aire and its partners helped provide over $10,000 in HVAC repairs and equipment during the inaugural Operation Cool Down. To be considered for Operation Cool Down, submit your story or the story of someone you know at covertaire.com.

Donald Scott ChandlerLt. Donald Scott Chandler has been appointed Bluffton’s interim police chief.

He joined the Bluffton Police Department in 2006 and has nearly 20 years of experience in law enforcement. During his 12 years in the department, he has served as a patrol sergeant, traffic unit sergeant, neighborhood services unit sergeant, investigations lieutenant and patrol lieutenant.

At a surprise assembly recently, a Bluffton High School history and social studies teacher received one of the most prestigious awards in education and a $25,000 check. Erin Reichert, 39, is the only Milken Educator Award winner from South Carolina for 2017-18, and among 44 winners nationally.

BLUFFTON ROTARY CLUB TO ENHANCE ‘FIELD OF DREAMS’

A place filled with children and families, all running around, laughing, playing: It’s what the “Field of Dreams” at Oscar Frazier Park has been about since the beginning—and now the space is getting an upgrade. Enhancing the playground and bringing other improvements to the park is a fitting way for the Bluffton Rotary Club to mark 30 years of serving the Lowcountry.

A new $22 million medical campus planned for the Buckwalter Place development will serve as a one-stop medical shop for all health care needs. St. Joseph’s/Candler is planning a 44,000-square-foot facility to provide patients with services like primary care, physical therapy, wound care, X-ray and MRI imaging, plus oncology and radiation treatment. The new facility will be built in two phases on the four-acre parcel directly across from Buckwalter Place Boulevard. It is expected to employ 63 people with an annual total payroll of about $6.6 million. 

The town of Bluffton accepted the donation of a .3-acre parcel of land in the Stock Farm development during a Bluffton Town Council meeting in October. Eugene Marks, who owns and develops property in Stock Farm, offered the parcel so the town could create a small park to complement the existing amenities of Stock Farm and the May River Road Streetscape Project. New benches and landscaping will be installed in the new park as part of the May River Road Streetscape project, with additional amenities scheduled to be added in the summer or fall of 2018.

Bluffton Town Council is seeking qualified applicants for various boards, commissions and committees that provide valuable input to Town Council when it is making decisions and formulating policy. The most immediate need for new appointees is on the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee and the Municipal Election Commission. Interested applicants should contact the board, commission or committee best suited to their skills. Detailed descriptions of openings and contact information can be found at www.townofbluffton.sc.gov.

Book lovers rejoice: The Bluffton Book Festival, now in its second year, is expanding to three days for 2017. From Nov. 16-18, the festival will feature New York Times best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe, Mary B. Morrison, Patti Callahan-Henry and C.J. Lyons. Local favorites Cassandra King Conroy, Bernie Schein, Ellen Malphrus and James McTeer also will be in attendance. Festivalgoers can meet authors and purchase signed books.

The Greater Bluffton Republican Club will host a public forum at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 for candidates running for Bluffton Town Council. The event will be held at Bluffton Town Halll, 20 Bridge St. in Bluffton. The candidates are Larry Toomer, Fred Hamilton and Ted Huffman. There will be moderated questions for each candidate and select questions from the audience will be accepted. The election is Nov. 7.