News

BEAUFORT COUNTY ADOPTS REVISED REDISTRICTING MAP

BY TONY KUKULICH

On the heels of completion of the 2020 U.S. census, Beaufort County launched its decennial initiative to redraw district boundaries, an effort driven by statistical analysis, guided by legislative statute and informed by public opinion.

The task of redrawing Beaufort County’s 11 districts fell on the shoulders of Daniel Morgan, the county’s director of mapping and applications. “This is my third (redistricting),” Morgan said. “At least I had the experience of doing the past censuses. We went back to historic data and looked at 2010. That was our baseline.”

Islanders Beach Park at 94 Folly Field Road is getting a new pavilion that will give visitors with disabilities and others with special needs a chance to enjoy views of the beach, the Town of Hilton Head said. The town has contracted with Nix Construction Company to build a handicap-accessible covered overlook pavilion adjacent to the existing beach boardwalk. The pavilion will feature a wide entry path for wheelchair access and benches for seating.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation plans the removal of the toll booths from the Sol Blatt Jr. Cross Island Parkway and will make improvements to the road. SCDOT entered a $12.7 million contract with APAC Atlantic, Inc., for work to be done as part of the Cross Island Parkway toll conversion. The conversion project includes pavement removal, pavement reconstruction and resurfacing, signage and striping along the parkway and ramps from U.S. 278 Business to the Charles Fraser Bridge. Removal of the toll plaza is expected to be completed this spring and the remaining work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The United States Department of Agriculture is investing $63.3 million in rural South Carolina communities through job training, business expansion and technical assistance. The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce received an $86,217 Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grant which will allow it to provide technical assistance to rural micro-entrepreneurs or microenterprises. The funds will be used to offset costs of workshops, meetings and will help potential clients with feasibility studies, business and marketing plans.

The Town of Hilton Head Island has launched its new MyHHI mobile app, designed to give users a tool to report non-emergency issues from their smartphone, tablet and computers. Users can access information about parks, beaches, cultural events and other topics. The free app is available from Google Play and the Apple Store. For more information about MyHHI, visit hiltonheadislandsc.gov/myhhi.

The Sea Pines Resort has added SwingFitAI Club Fitting to its Golf Learning Center. Developed on Hilton Head Island, SwingFitAI is the first artificial-intelligencepowered swing-fitting system in golf, Sea Pines said. It uses eight cameras that record 360 frames a second (collecting more than 30,000 data points per swing). SwingFitAI is calibrated to work with major brands of clubs and shafts and is updated to the newest models.

The Heritage Classic Foundation will increase matching gifts to 15% for its two charitable giving programs (Birdies for Charity and The Heritage Champions Fore Charity) ahead of the 2022 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing’s registered charities also can be honored by the PGA Tour each year. The Mitchelville Preservation Project was recently named a 2021 Charity of the Year finalist. The award comes with a $5,000 grant from the PGA Tour. The 54th annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is April 11-17.

Hilton Head Island Airport saw more than 388,816 passengers in 2021. Compared to year-end passenger traffic for 2020, that is a 145% increase in passengers arriving and departing from Hilton Head Island, the Beaufort County Government said. Compared to prepandemic passenger levels in 2019, 66% more passengers utilized Hilton Head Island.

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.

BY CHELSEA PEARSON

Organized and wellstructured youth sports bring many benefits to the children and families of our community.

Playing youth sports helps children meet new people and develop friendships. Team sports give the youth (and their families) an opportunity to socialize with others and become a bigger part of the community. There is an opportunity to recognize how coaches and parents have given back as volunteers, and quite possibly they can become volunteers for life.