A Bluffton lottery player asked for a quick pick and it won him $200,000, the South Carolina Education Lottery said. The winning ticket was purchased at Blue Water, a gas station in Bluffton. The winner doubled his Palmetto Cash 5 winnings when he decided to “Power Up.” The odds of winning $200,000 playing Palmetto Cash 5 are 1 in 878,399.

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka won a defamation lawsuit against local government critic Skip Hoagland. She was awarded $50 million in damages. A jury ruled that Sulka would receive $40 million in actual damages and $10 million in punitive damages from Hoagland. Sulka’s libel lawsuit filed in 2017 noted emails that Sulka said Hoagland accused her of being unfit for office, according to Bluffton Today.

Hayden Gregory was recently hired as Bluffton High School’s new varsity football coach. Gregory served as offensive line coach-run game coordinator for Collins Hill High School in Atlanta for five seasons.

Because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton has postponed the 2022 Bluffton Built Gala originally scheduled for Feb. 4 at the Montage Palmetto Bluff. “While we are disappointed to postpone this event, we are an organization committed to safety for our community. We look forward to rescheduling in early 2023,” event chair Nancy Aiken-DeLano, board member and club parent said. For more information, contact Kristen McGuire at 843-757-2831.

A scholarship has been started in memory of JonPaul Gonzalez, a Bluffton teenager. South Georgia Tormenta FC and the Ibis Foundation announced their JonPaul (JP) Gonzalez Scholarship, named for the former Tormenta FC Academy player. Gonzalez died in a car accident Dec. 4. He was a member of the Tormenta FC Academy for a decade, a news release said. The Ibis Foundation will accept donations in memory of JP which will go toward funding one chosen TFC Academy player’s team and uniform fees each year, starting with TFC Academy’s 2022 season.

Fred Hamilton and Larry Toomer were re-elected to Bluffton Town Council on Nov. 2. Toomer received 2,122 votes (43.5%). Hamilton received 1,611 (33%). Challenger Nathan Ferrell received 1,106 votes (22.7%). Hamilton has been a member of Town Council since 2005. Toomer has been a council member since 2013. The two Beaufort County referendums on the ballot did not pass.

The Town of Bluffton renamed its Watershed Management Building the Jennie Kitty Municipal Building. Kitty worked at the former Bluffton Health Clinic, which is now the Town’s Watershed Management Building. For three decades, Kitty advocated for health initiatives throughout Bluffton’s African American community and the Lowcountry, a news release said. Kitty was born in Port Royal and died this March. She was 90 years old. 

STGREGORY THE GREAT

Bluffton Town Council unanimously approved a final reading to annex St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church and School into the town of Bluffton. Council approved a master plan for the property that includes potential expansions of the church and school and commercial and multi-family residential development. 

The Town of Bluffton Municipal General Election is set for Nov. 2. Two council seats are up for election: Mayor Pro Tempore/ Councilmember, held by Fred Hamilton, and the council seat held by Larry Toomer. The filing period for candidates began Aug. 3 and ends 12 p.m. Sept. 3. For more i nformation, email kchapman@townofbluffton.com or call 843-706-4505. 

A Bluffton man told the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office that he received a call from a “Jonathan Smith,” who said he was a representative from Amazon.com. The call was from an 843 area code. The man said he called about a purchase the Bluffton man made for $864.56. “Smith” told him he could process a “refund.” After showing the Bluffton man an overpaid “refund” of $4,000, the scammer instructed him to return the money by buying gift cards. The man purchased eight gift cards and texted the card numbers to “Smith” before realizing he had been scammed. To report a possible scam, call the non-emergency dispatch line at 843-524-2777.