Women in Philanthropy held its annual grant awards and business luncheon on May 16 at Colleton River Plantation. The local philanthropic organization’s 2018 theme is “Addressing Women’s Health, Wellness, and Justice,” and grantees this year are: YMCA of Beaufort, $2,000; Neighborhood Outreach Connection, $2,000; Bluffton/Jasper County VIM, $3,500; Women of Faith and Power Ministries $5,000; Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic, $6,000; Osprey Village $8,000; Hopeful Horizons $10,000; Pregnancy Center and Clinic of the Lowcountry, $15,500; Hilton Head Volunteers in Medicine $10,000. 

The SunTrust Foundation awarded a $2,000 grant to Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity. The money will be added to proceeds from Habitat’s annual golf tournament to fund the group’s next home construction project. SunTrust has supported the annual golf tournament and Habitat for Humanity for years; the 21st annual tournament and auction will be held Sept. 24 at the Oldfield clubhouse.

In collaboration with i2recycle and Waste Management, the town of Bluffton held its annual May River Cleanup on April 28. This year, roughly 340 volunteers — including residents and local civic organization — collected 2,893 pounds, or 1.44 tons, of trash from the river and its surroundings. Approximately 17 percent of that waste was recycled and diverted from area landfills.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument on St. Helena Island could become a national park if a bill filed in April is approved. The bill would formerly expand the monument’s footprint to include the city of Beaufort and St. Helena Island, including four other historic attractions. This will make it easier for sites in those two cities to be added to the park, if relevant to Reconstruction. The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jim Clyburn and Mark Sanford.

Scratch Golf, LLC announced plans to turn one-third of Hilton Head National Golf Course into a luxury RV resort. The 300-acre parcel would have an entrance on Malphrus Road in Bluffton. Scratch Golf sued Beaufort County last fall, claiming it was treated unfairly when it requested to change the zoning designation to allow more retail and commercial development on the land. It is not clear when construction will begin, but the park should be open by end of 2019 or early 2020.

The 2017 Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance was without a car auction, but a change to South Carolina law could bring it back for this year’s event. A bill allowing car auctions at the festival was approved in May and is waiting for the governor’s signature. In the past, ambiguity in the law led the festival to avoid an auction, but the new bill clears up any confusion.

Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss has submitted his resignation to the  Beaufort County Board of Education, effective July 31. Upon departure, Moss will be paid his 2017-18 salary of $220,000, plus $44,000 in earned annuity and payments for benefits and unused leave days. Moss has served as superintendent four five years.

Hilton Head Island may see a mobile home subdivision on a 2.34-acre lot off of Gumtree Road. The goal is to offer residents of Hilton Head an affordable housing plan, with lots starting at $89,000. Owners will provide their own mobile homes. If the project receives approval from the Town of Hilton Head Island, the subdivision will begin development.

Mayors in northern Beaufort County held a news conference in May to warn residents about a future potential threat: Proposed testing for oil and gas deposits off the coast could stir up unexploded bombs, weapons and radioactive waste that were dumped on the ocean floor decades ago, they said. The group called on the federal government to investigate the matter before any testing work is permitted. Currently, eight permits have been issued to explore the Atlantic Ocean for natural resources. The S.C. Environmental Law Project is planning to file a lawsuit on behalf of the towns of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton and the cities of Beaufort and Port Royal to block any testing.

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area has launched www.411.org, a nonpartisan website that features candidate bios, responses to league questions, sample ballots and more. Visitors to the site can enter their addresses for personalized ballot information. The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area never supports or opposes political parties or candidates.

jeff bradleyQuestion. What do you think should happen in the SCANA nuclear plant debacle? Is this what you think will happen?

Answer. I think that management and shareholders should suffer the brunt of the failure of the nuclear power plant. I think we should reduce the nuclear rate premium to zero and put some — if not all — of the bad actors in jail. But another company like Dominion will probably acquire SCANA and assume responsibility for the Jenkinsville construction site. The General Assembly fired the Public Service Commission and has moved to reconstitute the Public Service Commission board. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. 

Baynard MausoleumHILTON HEAD’S OLDEST STRUCTURE UNDERGOES RENOVATION

Dating to 1846, Baynard Mausoleum is the oldest standing structure on Hilton Head Island. Constructed by Hilton Head planter William Eddings Baynard, the mausoleum survived the Civil War, the development of the island and several hurricanes. Over the years, however, the building fell into disrepair — the stone ridge supporting the 2,500-pound bluestone slabs of its roof cracked in half, making it only a matter of time before the roof collapsed.

ANNUAL FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE BEST OF BLUFFON

Art, food, music, people: Mayfest brings together everything the Lowcountry loves about Bluffton. The annual event will mark its 40th year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12 along Calhoun Street in Old Town Bluffton.

Community Foundation of the Lowcountry awarded more than $150,000 in grants to three local nonprofit groups on March 21. The foundation distributes grants three times a year as part of its competitive grant program.