To loosen the sand to create suitable nesting habitat for sea turtles, a contractor hired by the Town of Hilton Head Island is tilling portions of the island’s beaches. The work is being done in areas that recently were renourished. The work should be completed by the end of this month. 

The IRS, in collaboration with United Way of the Lowcountry and Beaufort County Human Services Alliance, are once again providing free tax return preparation for qualifying taxpayers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offers free tax help to people who generally make less than $54,000 per year, as well as Lowcountry residents with disabilities, those ages 60 or older, and taxpayers who speak limited English.

SCE&G customers have a chance to win one of three smart thermostat prize packages, valued at $400 each. Customers can enter by having their old freezers and refrigerators picked up through SCE&G’s appliance recycling program by April 30. Scheduling a pickup is easy and free of charge. Each prize pack includes a Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi–enabled thermostat, two advanced power strips, two low-flow shower heads and five LED bulbs. Schedule pickup at www.sceg.com/smart

A sewer extension project has made sewer connections available to more than 120 homes in the Oakview, Marshland and Dillon Road areas. The work is part of the master sewer plan initiative and includes a commitment of $10 million from the Town of Hilton Head Island for sewer mains and $3 million from the Hilton Head PSD for new sewer lift stations and mains.

At an annual awards ceremony in February, Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue awarded Rosemary Fisher, Justin Vader and Mike Breen with Citizen’s Service Awards for their efforts in performing bystander CPR.

THE HILTON HEAD ISLAND ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE CELEBRATES ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY.

For longtime islanders, it can be hard to believe that it’s been 35 years since Tom Reilley took a walk up William Hilton Parkway with a handful of friends, forming a parade that would ultimately be halted at the Sea Pines Circle for its lack of a permit.

For those new to the area, jostling for space along the parade route among 30,000 other spectators, it can be hard to believe that such a massive parade had such humble origins. The journey from there to here will reach the 35-year mark when the 2018 parade steps off at 3 p.m. March 11, rain or shine.

HARDEEVILLE OFFICIALS ARE PREPARING FOR GROWTH AS DEVELOPERS FLOCK TO THE REGION.

It’s not exactly a galaxy far, far away, but the city of Hardeeville — which Mayor Harry Williams has nicknamed “Starship: Hardeeville” — is focused on a bold vision of the future.

On the heels of the announcement that Jimmy Buffett’s Latitude Margaritaville residential community would be built in Hardeeville this year, the town also finalized an agreement with Argent Land Holdings to develop the 7,351-acre East Argent community, which is approved for up to 9,500 homes and 1.5 million square feet of commercial development over the next two decades.

BLUFFTON TEENS AND KIDS GET A BOOST FROM BERKELEY HALL

“Willie, get a head count,” officer Oscar Frazier Jr. ordered as he buckled his seatbelt in the van idling at the entrance of the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton.

“Ten, sir,” high school sophomore Willie Brown Jr. was quick to report.

FOUNDER OF VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE DIES AT AGE 93

Dr. Jack McConnell, the beloved founder of Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, died Feb. 6 at the age of 93. Dr. Jack, as he was affectionately known, was a nationally recognized scientist and business executive in the health care field prior to hatching the idea for the VIM clinic.

The lighthouse in Harbour Town has a temporary new look: Its red stripes have been replaced with classic plaid to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines has launched seasonal nonstop flights from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to Denver and Philadelphia. The introductory rate from May through June 13 for the Denver route is $59, and the Philadelphia route will be $39. The Denver flight service will be the longest nonstop route from the Savannah airport.

Switch off your lights four an hour at 8:30 p.m. March 24 to show support for the earth. This symbolic lights-out event is this largest in the world, as individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories take part. Follow the hashtag #EarthHour on social media for more.

Local nonprofits have a chance to earn one of four $2,000 grants from The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. To enter, nonprofit volunteers must post a photo before April 11 on the foundation’s Facebook page of themselves holding #LowcountryVolunteers sign that explains why they volunteer. Details are at www.cf-lowcountry.org.