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DOG BRINGS COMFORT TO HILTON HEAD AIRPORT

Feeling stressed about air travel with the tight timelines and long security lines? Sometimes comfort walks in on four paws.

Now that people are flying more often as pandemic travel restrictions have lessened, passengers at the newly expanded Hilton Head Island Airport have had the pleasant surprise of being greeted by Zoara, a golden retriever who wears a vest that reads: "Please Pet Me."

CHATHAM CAPITAL GROUP CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

Chatham Capital Group, with offices in Savannah, Ga., and Hilton Head, is celebrating its 25th year in business. The company oversees more than $500 million in assets for individuals, families and related charitable entities.

Trees and power lines were knocked down the night of July 7 and early July 8 during Tropical Storm Elsa. Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue said it responded to more than 66 incidents, including 33 trees fallen in the road. Palmetto Electric reported approximately 19,800 outages on Hilton Head Island at the height of the storm, a HHI Fire Rescue news release said. Bluffton Township Fire District said it received six reports of trees falling on houses. 

MISSJulia Herrin of Bluffton was crowned Miss South Carolina on June 26. Herrin, 19, is an Auburn University student. She will participate in this year’s Miss America competition and will receive a $60,000 scholarship. She competed as Miss Clarendon. The Miss America competition is scheduled for December.

“I am honored and humbled to be Miss South Carolina 2021,” Herrin said in a Facebook post. “I can not say thank you enough to every person who has encouraged and loved on me not just over the last few days, but on my entire journey in the Miss America Organization over the last six years.”

The U.S. 278 Corridor Improvements documents are available to view, and the formal comment period has begun. View all materials online through Aug. 22, or schedule an appointment at the Island Rec Center (20 Wilborn Road) Aug. 18-21. The plan, in part, is for South Carolina Department of Transportation to widen U.S. 278 between Moss Creek Drive and Squire Pope Road from four to six lanes. It would replace the existing four bridges to the island with a single, six-lane bridge. Estimated cost is $289,902,745. For more information, visit scdot278corridor.com

Beaufort County Council approved a $132.6 million budget for the 2022 fiscal year. It includes a millage rate increase of 0.6 mills. The budget increased by $2 million because of an 8 percent increase in tax revenue because of population growth, the county said. A news release noted eliminating unfilled staff positions creates about $800,000 in savings. The budget includes a $1.97 million increase in emergency medical services and a $1.6 million increase in parks and recreation.

Residents of Beaufort County will decide in November whether to change the county’s form of government from the current form of council-administrator to council-manager. Council voted 6-5 on June 28 to include the question on the Nov. 2 ballot. If the referendum passes, council then will be able to, under a council-manager setup, make the county treasurer and auditor appointed positions. Those positions are currently elected. The other referendum for voters will be to decide whether to approve a 1% sales tax.

The Revenue Services Department for the Town of Hilton Head Island is hosting a public information session to update business owners about a proposed new business license ordinance. The session is Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Stephen G. Riley Municipal Complex (Town Hall), 1 Town Center Court. Attendees will learn about changes to the Town’s business license ordinance.

Beaufort County sued its auditor Jim Beckert for his “failure and refusal” to perform his duties, according to a lawsuit filed July 9. The suit alleges Beckert has a “contentious and adversarial” relationship with county employees and officials and he’s made “frequent threats or promises not to do things that state law plainly requires him to do.” The suit says the county seeks for Beckert, an elected official, to do “what he is statutorily required to do.”

Battery Creek High School celebrated the beginning of construction on the school district’s project to be funded through the bond referendum approved by county voters in November 2019. A total of $56 million in referendum funds was budgeted for the renovations. The completion date is expected to be September 2023.

Hilton Head Island’s Jonathan Griz tied for medalist honors in U.S. Amateur Qualifying at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek, N.C. He shot a 4-under-par 140 over 36 holes July 5 to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship, which is set for Aug. 9-15 at the Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club in Pennsylvania.

Bluffton’s Bryson Nimmer tied for third place in the second event on the new Forme Tour. Nimmer had four consecutive rounds in the 60s and tied for third at the Auburn University Club Invitational. He finished three shots behind champion Philip Knowles.

Jaylen SneedJaylen Sneed, a standout football player at Hilton Head High School, committed to attend the University of Notre Dame. The senior linebacker is ranked the No. 97 overall prospect at 247Sports.com. 

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Sneed pick Notre Dame over Oregon, Tennesse, Texas A & M Oklahoma, according to The Athletic.

Frank RodriguezIt’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I last wrote this column for Monthly magazine. And what a year it has been: from virtual, to hybrid, to faceto- face instruction, our teachers, staff, school administrators and especially our parents have navigated these uncharted waters together, something for which I am extremely grateful.

One thing that has not changed since last year is that our goal is to operate “normal” schooling whenever it’s safe to do so. I am happy to share that schools this fall will be as normal as possible.

THE LOWCOUNTRY GETS READY FOR ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

STORM SEASON IS HERE. 

The Lowcountry is prepping for Atlantic hurricane season, which is from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the heaviest months usually in August through October. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast that we will see between 13 and 20 named storms this year. They say three to five of those storms could be major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

DON RYAN CENTER KICKS OFF HEROES PROGRAM

More than 80 people gathered at Veterans Park in Bluffton recently to officially kick off the Don Ryan Center for Innovation’s new HEROES Initiative. The event featured Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka declaring the day as the “Bluffton Heroes Day.” She issued a proclamation to mark the day in honor of the launch of this program to help the Lowcountry’s heroes transition to business ownership. The program is open to all military, veterans, police, firefighters and EMTs in the region who are interested in business ownership or who have an idea for a business looking to take it to the next level.