News

A 10-foot alligator attacked a woman during Independence Day weekend, according to S.C. Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas.

Lucas said the 75-year-old Callawassie Island resident was trimming plants near an edge of the gated community’s pond when the gator grabbed her leg and pulled her into the water. A man jumped into the pond and pulled her out of the water. Lucas said the woman had fractures and had undergone surgery. 

The filing period for the Town of Hilton Head Island’s general election runs from July 31 through 12 p.m. Aug. 17. The Nov. 3 election is to elect Town Council members for Wards 1, 3 and 6.

Filing for candidacy is at Town Hall, One Town Center Court. A filing form will be available. Candidates should bring a photo ID and be prepared to submit a $35 filing fee, which may be paid by cash, credit card, or check made payable to the Town of Hilton Head Island.

KNOW LOCAL LAWS TO HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

With public fireworks displays cancelled this summer, locals and visitors may be tempted to shoot off their own to celebrate Independence Day. And while nothing says summer fun like an evening of brightly colored pyrotechnics, it’s important to know and respect local laws.

Laws vary according to where you are in the Lowcountry. The Town of Bluffton prohibits the possession, sale and discharge of fireworks within town limits, according to Bluffton Police Department community relations manager Joy Nelson. Anyone caught breaking this law can receive a maximum fine of $500 and 30 days in jail, Bluffton Police Department’s Capt. Joseph Babkiewicz said. 

The 2020 Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance Motoring Festival has been canceled because of the coronavirus. The event brings classic cars, planes and thousands of visitors to Hilton Head Island. It was scheduled for Oct. 23-Nov. 1, but is now set for Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 2021. “While all of us will sorely miss seeing you in 2020, we are immediately shifting our focus to organizing an especially amazing event for the fall of 2021,” a statement on the event’s website said. 

PETITION TO DROP THE WORD “PLANTATION” FROM LOCAL COMMUNITY NAMES STARTED 

At least 4,300 people have signed a petition on change.org saying the county’s resorts and gated communities should not be called plantations due to the association with slavery. “There is no place for the term “plantation,” a word that conveys generations of racial violence in modern Hilton Head, outside museums telling the absolute truth about the horrors of slavery on plantations,” the petition states. The issue dredges up a painful past for some and disdain of political correctness for others. Managers of some communities balk at how expensive or intricate removing the word would be. Others say it’s nearly impossible to correct 50 years of legal documents.

TWO YOUNG ACTIVISTS ORGANIZE PROTESTS IN BLUFFTON

Desiree Bailey and Walter Wheeler have been side-by-side for most of their lives, growing up together in Bluffton and emerging as leaders of the Class of 2018 at Bluffton High School. 

REWORKSShelter Cove Harbour & Marina, Skull Creek and Harbour Town canceled their 4th of July fireworks shows because of the coronavirus pandemic. Shelter Cove has also cancelled their weekly fireworks shows scheduled for July and August. 

“We know many locals and visitors will be disappointed, but at this time current crowd size limitations prohibit us from doing the event,” said Palmetto Dunes Chief Operating Officer Brad Marra. “There was just no way to maintain social distancing at such popular events. We felt that this was the most responsible direction to take when it comes to protecting our community and our guests.”

Webb Simpson punched through a tightly packed leaderboard fueled by unprecedented low scoring to win The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links. He finished 22-under-par 262 to beat a group that included a charging Daniel Berger, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka. The winning total was a record, beating Brian Gay’s 20-under 264 finish in 2009. More than Simpson’s course knowledge was experience in contention and knowing how he would react as birdies flew, he said. Simpson will move to No. 5 in the official world rankings. 

RileyHilton Head Island Town Manager Steve Riley announced his retirement, effective at the end of the year. Riley, 60, has been town manager since 1994. Prior to his appointment as head administrator of the town, he served as the community development director for three years. Riley told The Island Packet that he was proud of the town’s robust land acquisition program, parks system expansion and the island’s recovery from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “We’re about to update a parks plan, and it’s time for a new group to bring that plan forward,” he said. Riley’s assistant town manager, Josh Gruber, is expected to be in the running for the job.

The Historic Campbell Chapel of Bluffton has received a $140,000 A-tax grant from the Beaufort County Council. The grant will cover the cost of the first phase of a $2-million restoration project, which is projected to be completed in two years. When finished, the Historic Campbell Chapel will be a state-of-the-art museum and cultural art center.