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solarenDominion, an energy company headquartered in Virginia, recently announced that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Jasper County. Two projects — a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina's largest and a 10-megawatt array — are expected to enter service in 2017. Dominion's Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County facility, located near Ridgeland, will occupy nearly 900 acres.

uberSea Pines Community Services Associates has reached a long-term service agreement with Uber, a ride-sharing service. The agreement provides full entry for Uber drivers to pick up and drop off property owners, guests and visitors within the Sea Pines community. The services had been suspended in Sea Pines earlier in the year after negotiations over gate fees failed. In addition to Sea Pines, Uber also operates in Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes and Shipyard. Those communities automatically charge Uber drivers $2 per trip inside their gates. 

The Lowcountry is incredibly rich in heritage and culture and has had a unique role in American history. From Charleston to Savannah, there is no doubt that this area is the historic origin of black America’s beginning. Significantly, this area can lay claim to the origins of black America because it is where newly freed slaves first became self-sufficient legal citizens of the U.S. The Port of Charleston served as the entry point for more African slaves than any other port, and as a result, in pre-Civil War days South Carolina’s black population was far greater than the population of the whites who enslaved them. The economic impact of the slave trade made South Carolina a “slave society,” but the state also is the birthplace of Reconstruction — the gateway to a post-slavery future.

Canadian online travel site Flight Network ranked The Inn & Club at Harbour Town No. 43 on its list of the “100 Greatest Hotels in the World.” Results were determined by a panel that examined accommodations based on everything from their original style to first-class services, ability to embody local culture, and access to remarkable environments.

At first glance, it may be difficult to see the logic of linking the concepts of diversity, change and fear, and yet it is easy to connect them. The connection between change and fear is obvious; we all know that change can be scary. We also know that because change is often scary, we are sometimes motivated to resist it directly, even in bombastic ways, or indirectly through subtle forms of passive resistance.

For more than three decades, the cheerful Windmill Harbour sign has greeted those crossing the bridge to Hilton Head Island from the mainland. Few, however, have experienced the exclusive waterfront lifestyle enjoyed by the residents who live behind the gates of that community.

Sometimes we forget to pay attention to the everyday things that surround us; the things that create a familiar backdrop for our lives. We don’t often ask ourselves about the design of our community, or who planted that tree or why those statues are honoring people with names that we’ve never heard of. We also tend to ignore all of the “cultural stuff,” even though we know that someone decided long ago that it was important.

Hargray Communications Group and The Pritzker Organization recently announced that Tom Pritzker Family Business Interests has agreed to acquire Hargray in an all-cash transaction. Hargray is the main broadband communications and entertainment provider to the Lowcountry and is growing throughout Georgia. Over the past 10 years, the company has invested over $250 million to create a communications network that includes 2,000 route miles of fiber and serves over 65,000 customers. The transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter.

American Red CrossThe American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood donors to make donation appointments now and help save lives. Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.

Spot To RetireHilton Head Island is the No. 4 spot in South Carolina to retire, according to a list compiled by the financial technology company SmartAsset. The island got an index score of 36.52 to finish behind Seneca, Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet. The study rated cities by their tax friendliness, recreational and social opportunities for seniors, and availability of medical care. Other cities in the top 10 include Camden, Greenville, West Columbia, Spartanburg, Georgetown and Anderson. 

A group of local residents want to send people from the Gullah community on a special trip Oct. 9-13 to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. “Gullah Goes to Washington” is a five-day trip for people within the Gullah community who have contributed to the preservation of Gullah culture but might not be able to afford a trip to see the historic museum.

Souths Best AwardsHilton Head Island was named the fourth-best island in the South in Southern Living magazine’s first ever “South’s Best Awards.” According to the magazine: “Incorporated in 1983, Hilton Head is an upscale, planned vacation and residential community that’s great for family vacations. It has 24 championship golf courses and a whopping 324 tennis courts.” Hilton Head was ranked No. 4 behind the Outer Banks, North Carolina; St. Simons Island, Georgia; and the Florida Keys. Other islands on the list include Chincoteague, Virginia; Kiawah; Jekyll Island, Georgia; Sanibel Island, Florida; Galveston, Texas; and Tybee Island. 

This weekend March 24-26, will be the last three days that citizens may drop off residential disaster debris at the South Forest Beach Coligny beach parking site and the Chamberlin Drive (old Gullah Flea Market) site. Effective Monday, March 27th the residential disaster debris drop-off sites at 1 South Forest Beach Dr. (Coligny Beach Parking) and 120 William Hilton Parkway (Former Gullah Flea Market Site) will be closed. Only the drop-off center located at 111 Leg O' Mutton Road will remain open. Hours of operation at this site will be 8:00am to 5:30pm three (3) days per week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

A new chapter in the history of the University of South Carolina Beaufort began Feb. 10 with the official groundbreaking for the new Hilton Head Island campus on Office Park Road. When completed, the facility will house the USCB hospitality management program including undergraduate education, a center for the hospitality industry and executive education, a teaching and learning facility for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and a civic gathering place and resource for the community. The facility is expected to open in the fall of 2018.

The newest attraction at Palmetto Bluff is the Artists in Residence Cottage at Moreland Village. The cottage is a collaboration by Palmetto Bluff, Garden & Gun magazine, Court Atkins Group and Shoreline Construction. Featured artists include Jonathan Green, Betty Anglin Smith, Mandy Johnson, Addison Palmer and Mark Stewart. Much of the art in the cottage was curated through the Red Piano Gallery. 

locomotionAre you ready to do the LoCo Motion again? Then get ready for some big changes in the 2017 edition. This year, the venerable fitness challenge, which brings thousands of pink-clad runners and walkers to Hilton Head Island, Callawassie Island and Haig Point from all over the globe, makes its triumphant return with one huge difference. Rather than simply “Doing the LoCo Motion,” the small army that descends on the Lowcountry will be “Pledging the Pink.” The name change from LoCo Motion to Pledge The Pink came about as the inevitable result of the community’s homegrown race gaining massive global appeal and reach.