speedlimitState lawmakers are expected to take up a bill lowering the speed limit on a stretch of Boundary Street in Old Town Bluffton from 25 mph to 15 mph. The new limit would slow traffic between May River Road and Bridge Street. The street is home to Bluffton’s visitor center, the Heyward House and DuBois Park.

The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism recently awarded the town of Bluffton a $200,000 Undiscovered South Carolina Grant to rehabilitate the historic Garvin House, which is the earliest-known home built by a freed slave on the May River. The grant will be used for restoration work, which is scheduled to begin this year.

The process has begun for Bluffton residents to have a courtesy dock, a two-lane boat ramp, new accessible sidewalks and expanded parking spaces at the Oyster Factory Park by summer. The town of Bluffton contracted with Hilton Head Island-based Nix Construction and Ridgeland-based JS Construction Services to manage the estimated $879,000 project.

The Bluffton Police Department has implemented new security measures for all Bluffton Town Council meetings as part of an update to town policies and procedures. “We have an obligation to provide a safe and secure place for the public. We aren’t here to impose on anyone’s privacy; we just want to protect them,” said Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds.

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.