pokemon gameLocals who are playing Pokémon Go, the latest version of the Pokémon franchise in the form of a smartphone app, can head to the Bluffton library to train their Pokémon and battle with other players. The Bluffton library has embraced its status as a Pokémon “gym” and has created a display area announcing what team is currently in control of the gym. Ryan Easterbrooks, the librarr’s director of children’s programs, plans to keep the excitement going with a Pokémon club in the fall. Coligny Plaza and Bluffton’s Old Town are also popular local destinations for players. 

shuttle serviceTanger Outlets Hilton Head is offering shuttle service between its two shopping centers in Bluffton. The service will continue through Aug. 31. The shuttle runs daily from noon to 4 p.m., departing Tanger 1 every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour, and Tanger 2 on the :15 and :45. The shuttle stops at Tanger 1 will be behind Shopper Services and across from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th by the gazebo. The shuttle stops at Tanger 2 will be behind Shopper Services and at the crosswalk by Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream and the Salty Dog Restaurant. 

Assisted Living FacilityPalmettos of Bluffton, a NHC Bluffton skilled nursing facility, is scheduled to open in September. The facility will include 55 assisted-living apartments and 20 memory care apartments. Planned amenities include a library, a gym and a putting green. 

Prevent PollutionThe town of Bluffton will be installing six signs to identify coves that drain directly into the May River and to remind town residents and guests not to litter. Two signs will be placed at Heyward Cove on Bridge Street, two at Huger Cove on Bridge Street, one at Verdier Cove and one on Lawrence Street. 

The waiting is the hardest part. Those who have endured three years of the Bluffton flyover construction project connecting Bluffton Parkway with the bridges to Hilton Head Island can finally exhale upon its scheduled June 30 completion.

With what began in May 2013 as a 30-month project — with one delay pushing back its original November 2015 deadline — the $45 million capital improvement will transform the traffic flow on and off the island along U.S. 278. Incoming traffic from the mainland and traffic coming off the island should experience considerable ease of travel, less congestion and fewer delays.

DENISE GARISONOn May 3, the Beaufort Country Board of Education approved Denise Garison, who has been an educator for 30 years, to replace current Bluffton High School principal Mark Dievendorf when he retires on June 30. Garison most recently served as principal of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she had a strong track record of academic growth and on-time graduation.

mypcThe Bluffton Police Department is now using the MyPD app, available for iPhone and Android. The public can receive alerts, look up department information, provide tips or request a police report using the app. To use the MyPD app, download it to your smartphone and then search for the Bluffton Police Department. 

Ebony GadsonEbony Gadson, 17, a member of the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club, was named the Lowcountry Youth of the Year for the second year in a row. During her eight years at the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club, Gadson has proven herself an example of the values and skills that the Boys & Girls Club strives to instill in its members — determination, leadership skills and hard work. In 2015, Gadson won the S.C. Youth of the Year title as well, and will compete for the 2016 title this year. 

Bluffton was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 25 places to retire in 2016, citing the weather, the availability of many popular outdoor activities like golf and tennis, as well as reasonable taxes and cost of living. Bluffton was the only South Carolina town named to the list, though 14 of the 25 destinations are located in the Southeast. 

hobbylobyThe new shopping center being constructed at the corner of Fording Island and Burnt Church roads in Bluffton will feature Hobby Lobby, The Fresh Market, and PGA Tour Superstore. There are also plans for the space to include some restaurants. There are also plans to include a Sleep Number store and an Aspen Dental office. The shopping center is planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.