What began as a typical morning at Hilton Head Plantation on Sept. 2 for 5-foot tall, 80 years young Ellie Kyle ended up in a fight for her life. 

Kyle was walking Lulu, her chihuahua-dachshund rescue dog, which she does each morning. 

“All of the sudden I look over, and an 8-foot alligator grabbed my legs and pulled me back in the water,” she said.


It’s not unusual to see the Lowcountry on the itinerary of cable channel celebrities searching for culinary culture spots. 

Don’t be surprised if one day some of the chefs featured are products of the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South, which opens in January at Buckwalter Place in Bluffton and was unveiled to the public in November. For the last two years, students have been training, a few miles away, in a teaching kitchen at the college’s Angus Cotton Academic Center. 


The year began in the shadow of the coronavirus with more than 100 million confirmed cases worldwide, but newly developed vaccines offered hope. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines were proving to be effective, with initial doses administered to older adults. About four million doses were delivered per week in the United States to begin the year.

Locally, Marc Orlando resigned as Bluffton’s town manager and accepted the same position with the town of Hilton Head. He replaced Steve Riley, who retired last year. 

With a final-round team score of 315, May River High School won the SCHSL Class AAAA Gi r l s Golf State championship, the team’s second consecutive state crown. Hilton Head High finished second. Bluffton placed eighth. May River’s Kylie Bowes (147) finished second for the individual title. Hilton Head’s Alexia Milbrandt (151) was fourth. May River’s Robbin Zetrouer (156) and Claire Green (162) tied for sixth and 10th. 

maryfraserThe Lowcountry has lost the first lady of Hilton Head Island. 

Mary Wyman Stone Fraser, wife of the late Sea Pines founder Charles E. Fraser, died in October in North Carolina, her daughter, Laura Lawton Fraser told Monthly magazine. She was 80 years old. 

Her impact on the area was profound. 

Builders FirstSource, which is a supplier of structural building products, plans to bring operations to Jasper County and expects to create 126 new jobs in the next five years. The building will be in the Point South Commerce Park in Yemassee. The location will allow the company to expand its offerings and production capacity, a news release said.

Safe Harbor Marinas, which manages the city of Beaufort’s downtown marina, plans to invest more than $7.5 million on a marina expansion over the next two years, according to a news release. Safe Harbor’s plan for improvements includes a new floating dock system; resized slips to accommodate larger vessels; a new ADA-compliant gangway; and 2,496 linear feet of flexible side-tie berthing to host transient vehicles. Safe Harbor Marinas manages 125 marinas, including Charleston and Skull Creek on Hilton Head Island.