Lee JeanSixteen-year-old Bluffton resident Lee Jean was featured in the premiere episode of the popular Fox TV reality series “American Idol.” Jean impressed judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., receiving votes from all three for his performance of “I See Fire” and earning a golden ticket to the Hollywood round of the show.

A frontage road connecting Berkeley Hall, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church and the Bluffton Township Fire District headquarters is now under construction. The long-debated project is expected to be completed by August. A new traffic signal and deceleration lane will be added to U.S. 278 in front of the fire headquarters.

A new technology to help identify stolen property was recently introduced by the Bluffton Police Department. The new technology is called Anti-Theft Dots, a special adhesive that can be applied to all types of property. Suspended in the adhesive are thousands of tiny microdots, smaller than the size of a grain of sand. Each microdot contains a unique PIN, which is registered and stored in a secure database.

Cayden SullardA video recently posted on YouTube features 7-year-old Bluffton resident Cayden Sullard using a bow-and-arrow and a piece of string to remove a loose tooth. The 30-second video, titled “Kid pulls out his first tooth in the most epic way possible,” was recorded on his father’s cellphone in the family’s backyard.

DAN WOOD, HARRY LUTZ TALK 2016 PRIORITIES, FOOTBALL AND DISNEY FANATICISM

Change is once again coming to Bluffton town leadership. For the third straight election, challengers have unseated incumbents. Longtime Blufftonian Dan Wood and relative newcomer Harry Lutz won the Nov. 17 three-way runoff, beating councilman and restaurateur Ted Hoffman. Monthly reached out to the new leaders for their take on what’s next for Bluffton, where they’ll focus their energies and the family that helped boost them to the win.

The Bluffton Police Department recently announced the implementation of a Hispanic Hotline. Those speaking Spanish are now able to leave an anonymous message for officers to help fight crime. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, Bluffton currently has a Hispanic/Latino population of approximately 18.8 percent, which means there have been more than 2,700 people in Bluffton who may have wanted to help police in the past, but haven’t had a way to do so. Now they do.

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka recently announced the signing of a public-private partnership agreement between the town of Bluffton, the Bluffton Public Development Corporation and Southeastern Development Associates (formerly known as Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial) that will further develop Buckwalter Place Commerce Park.

The new Bluffton Gateway shopping center, scheduled to open at the intersection of U.S. 278 and S.C. 46 in early 2017, will be anchored by a Walmart Supercenter and a Sam’s Club. The two anchor tenants were recently released by Atlanta-based developer Jaz Development. The 66-acre site was home to a former printing plant that closed in the 1980s.

THE UNIQUE COMMUNITY SPIRIT ALONG BLUFFTON’S BEACH MAKES A TRIP TO THE BLUFFTON CHRISTMAS PARADE SOMETHING TRULY UNIQUE.

One of the many beautiful things about Bluffton is its people. And in a town known for its eclectic characters and Southern charm, none are more notoriously quirky than those living just outside town limits in Alljoy.

Alljoy is home to several descendants of the original families who moved to the area a long time ago to enjoy the bounty and beauty of the majestic May River. Harry and Antoinette All built the All Joy Hotel in 1926 and the area name came from it being Mrs. All’s pride and joy, her All Joy.

It’s been a long time coming, but the Calhoun Street Promenade is finally nearing completion.

Jerry Glenn, former owner of Cinnamon Bear Country Store and Legends Sports Gallery, is moving off Hilton Head Island and is set to open an eclectic country store named Reminisce in February.