Paul MurdaughAlmost two months after 19-year-old Mallory Beach was killed in a boat crash near Parris Island, Paul Murdaugh, 20, was indicted by a Beaufort County grand jury on one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury, according to a spokesman for South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office. Wilson’s office will prosecute the case. 

A former owner of Melrose Resort and his business partners were indicted last month on charges of defrauding and conspiring to defraud investors and the Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office.

A six-story Courtyard by Marriott hotel with a 115 rooms and a rooftop pool and  will open in October in Hilton Head’s Coligny Beach area, according to John Lee, the senior vice president of Southeastern Development Associates. The hotel’s construction comes after a 2014 rewrite of zoning rules. The hotel, which will be up to 65 feet tall, was permitted to stand taller than most buildings because it is farther off Pope Avenue, according to 2015 meeting minutes from the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals. Southeastern Development Associates is also giving Heritage Plaza a facelift.

Caroline Smith, a 20-year-old Furman University student, died in April during a party on Hilton Head Island. Smith, of Atlanta, was drinking at a fraternity event and talking with her boyfriend when she said she did not feel well and collapsed, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report. Her boyfriend called for help and began CPR. Smith was on Hilton Head for Kappa Alpha fraternity’s spring formal, which was canceled following her death.

Spandrel Development Partners of Charleston has withdrawn an application to convert the land at Hilton Head Christian Academy into a 300-unit apartment building after a heated Town Council meeting in April where members of the public spoke out against the development. Critics said the apartments would exacerbate over-development on Hilton Head.

The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce has been notified that its contract as Hilton Head Island’s destination marketing organization may not be renewed in 2020 and that the town is likely to start a bidding process for the next DMO.

United Airlines has launched twice-daily nonstop flights to Washington Dulles International Airport, twice-weekly flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and weekly flights to New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

Recently my wife, Amanda, and I celebrated my son Boone’s first birthday. As any new parent will tell you, his first year was a whirlwind, complicated by our rather unique circumstances. Amanda found out she was pregnant the day after I announced I was running for Congress. Boone arrived two weeks early, on a day that I had planned to be in Beaufort for three different campaign events.


The Heritage Classic Foundation welcomed PGA TOUR’s Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer, Andy Pazder, to Hilton Head Island in February. Padzer presented Second Helpings with the PGA TOUR 2018 Charity of the Year award and worked alongside Heritage Classic Foundation trustees, Second Helpings board members, town officials and volunteers to load food trucks at Kroger at Shelter Cove. The award comes with a $30,000 grant from the PGA TOUR to help Second Helpings combat hunger in the Lowcountry.

A pianist from South Korea won the 2019 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Chaeyoung Park was the first-prize winner, followed by Jakub Kuszlik of Poland in second and Anna Han of the United States in third. Medalists were Arisa Onoda of Japan, Yi-Yang Chen of Taiwan and Yuchong Wu of China. 

dogPet owners and dog lovers are invited to join the Hilton Head Humane Association at 8:30 a.m. April 27 for the nonprofit group’s annual Dog Walk on the Beach fundraiser at Coligny Beach. This year’s event marks the 22nd time that people and a small army of dogs will take to the beach to raise money for the shelter. The walk is a great way for your four-legged family members to make new friends or to reconnect with old friends from the shelter.

A 300-apartment complex has been suggested for the Hilton Head Christian Academy Campus after the school moves off of Hilton Head Island in 2020.

Charleston-based Spandrel Development Partners filed an application with the Town of Hilton Head Island to change the property’s zoning to allow for residential development and proposed six buildings up to 55 feet tall, parking and amenities on the 13.8-acre site. The buildings “could include a mix of apartments from 500 square feet up to three-bedroom units of about 1,800 square feet,” according to the application. Wood + Partners representatives estimated rents would be $1,200 a month for a studio and $2,400 for a three bedroom, though rents have not been finalized. 

The Breeze trolley service will operate significantly later this season, according to executive director of Mary Lou Franzoni.

Trolley service resumed April 1 on Hilton Head with a significantly later schedule than last year. Trolleys run 1-10:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Lincoln Continental has been selected as the Honored Marquee for the 2019 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance. The event will take place Nov. 3, the final day of the twoweekend celebration that is the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival. 

The April issue of Southern Living magazine includes lots of love for Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Beaufort. Hilton Head was named The South’s Best Beach Town 2019 in the magazine’s third annual crowd-sourced South’s Best Awards. Hilton Head won the title last year as well; its beaches, wildlife and Gullah community — which the magazine called “one of the great American cultures” — were cited as factors for the win.

SoundWaves, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra’s new rehearsal and performance venue in the Coligny area, soon will have a new performance lighting system thanks to a new lease with the Town of Hilton Head Island.