The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has announced board of director officers for the 2018 fiscal year. John Weymouth with serve as chair with Jeri Farren and Jim Allhusen serving as vice chairs, David Wetmore as treasurer and Denise Spencer as secretary.

In late June, the state’s highest sales tax on vehicles increased to $500, up from $300. That increase hit the purses of new-car buyers and used-car buyers who purchase a vehicle costing more than $6,000.

The increase in the state’s sales tax cap was included in the road-repair bill that S.C. lawmakers passed this spring to raise roughly $600 million a year by 2022 to fix the state’s crumbling roads.

After years of planning and fundraising, the new Beaufort County animal shelter is poised to become a reality.

The $7 million facility — a partnership between the county and the Hilton Head Humane Association — is set to be built on a six-acre site on S.C. 170 between Pritcher Point and Heffalump roads, next to the River’s End community in Okatie.

An individual on Hilton Head Island has been identified as the first person reported to be sick from West Nile Virus in South Carolina this year, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

The Low Country Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol recently served as the color guard during the presentation of the colors for a meeting held in Beaufort with S.C. Governor Henry McMaster. McMaster visited Beaufort to meet with local leaders, and during the meeting, cadets from the local Civil Air Patrol squadron presented the colors as the national anthem was performed for attendees. 

Publix Super MarketsOn July 13, volunteers braved extreme heat and humidity to raise the walls for a Habitat house funded by Publix Super Markets Charities. The house, located at The Glen on Hilton Head, will become home to Tomasina Cordero and her family.

KNOW LOCAL LAWS TO HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

The Fourth of July without fireworks is like Christmas without Santa Claus. And while nothing says summer fun like an evening of brightly colored sparklers, local officials say it’s best to leave the big pyrotechnics displays to the professionals. 

According to Town of Hilton Head Island staff attorney Brian Hulbert, it is legal to shoot off fireworks on the island — but you’ll need a permit from the town manager if you want to light up your display on the beach, which Hulbert said is defined as the shoreline between Fish Haul Creek Park on Hilton Head’s north end and Lands End in Sea Pines. 

donfoxIn June 2017, Bluffton resident Don Foxe saw his second collection of Japanese poetry reach the top spot on an Amazon’s list of Top 100 e-Books, by category. Foxe wrote “Haiku Seishin” with Melissa Dolber Grappone of New York and fifth grade students from East Granby, Conn. The collection of exchanges between the authors and the students is a follow up to the release of “Seasons of Henka Suru,” his first collection of poems. The students used Foxe’s first book as their poetry study guide. They contacted the author, and the book that resulted is a collection of their haiku exchanges with Foxe.

The Town of Hilton Head Island has signed a “friendship pact” with Verona, Italy.

John De Cecco, president of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, said Verona has already approved the friendship pact. Hilton Head’s Town Council approved the resolution unanimously.

The Town of Hilton Head recently launched a new website and community survey for its long-range visioning process, “Hilton Head Island — Our Future.”

The goal of “Our Future” is to ensure that residents, business owners, local institutions and all community stakeholders have a voice in future decision-making, and to provide the town with the insight needed to set intelligent, coordinated and creative future priorities. The project, running through 2017 and wrapping up in early 2018, will engage the community in a series of conversations designed to identify scenarios for the future.

In cased you missed the Lowcountry episode of “The Bachelorette” on June 19, here’s a partial list of local sites showcased. The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island was the backdrop to the episode’s rose ceremony--the moment when the male contestants learn if they still have a shot with this season’s bachelorette. Rachel Lindsay is a 32-year old attorney from Dallas.

Students at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School soon could be eating lunch in a new cafeteria, hosting basketball games on a new indoor court and holding meetings and studying in new spaces.

The private school, run by St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, is planning a major expansion project that would add a new $7 million, 30,000-square-foot multipurpose building to the church campus.

After Hurricane Matthew hit the Lowcountry in October, part of Honey Horn used by the Coastal Discovery Museum was used by the Town of Hilton Head Island as a debris processing site, closing the entrance to Honey Horn off William Hilton Parkway.

The Forest Beach Owners Association is continuing to fight what it calls a “mini-hotel” — two newly built identical houses connected by a shared deck — on Hilton Head Island’s Heron Street.

The association filed a formal appeal with the Town of Hilton Head to reverse a decision by town staff to waive setback and buffer requirements for the properties. The group wants the town to rescind the waiver for the two properties and the large deck to be removed, as well as for officials to re-inspect the property for other violations and levy more “appropriate fines and penalties.”

THE NEW CAMPUS ON OFFICE PARK ROAD PLANS TO OPEN BY FALL 2018

Charles Calvert has come full circle near a circle in his career in academia.

His first position was adjunct professor in 1988 for the University of South Carolina Beaufort, teaching a hotel management class. He was stationed at the old College Center on Office Park Road. Now he will soon be returning to that area near Sea Pines Circle — this time as the dean of USCB’s future hospitality management campus.