The South Carolina Department of Revenue announced the sixth increase to the state motor fuel user fee. The increase, set to begin July 1, will increase prices $0.02 per gallon from $0.26 to $0.28 per gallon.


As the nation continues to reel from the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting which took 21 lives, communities are asking how to prevent these tragic and traumatic incidents. These incidents are leaving families, communities and our nation fractured.

As debates continue about solutions, what we know for sure is if our community’s children feel protected and advocated for, fewer young people will feel isolated which may reduce harmful actions. The Bluffton Police Department prioritizes reaching out to children and the community through these programs.


Kathia Salinas, Maria Medina, Gerardo Rivera and Zohra Tebbakh were recognized with the Joe Distelheim Award for Literacy, an annual award for deserving literacy students of Bluffton Self Help, which has merged with The Literacy Center. The students were presented with a $500 check and plaque.  More than 100 former colleagues and friends of Distelheim contributed to the award’s endowment fund, raising more than $40,000 ­— enough to fund awards in the future.


By Mark E. Lett

Call it “The Great Balancing Act of 2023.”

The town of Hilton Head is moving ahead with a sweeping plan — enforceable Jan. 1, 2023 — to guide the fast-expanding operations of short-term rentals.

Harbour Town Lighthouse at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island has installed a Fresnel lens to further the power of the light from the top. The new lens is a replica of the original Fourth Order Fresnel lens as created and designed by Dan Spinella, a Florida-based artist and engineer who began his research and restoration work on the lenses 30 years ago.

Billy Keyserling, former City of Beaufort mayor, was hospitalized after a boating accident, according to media reports. Keyserling and his brother Paul were sailing when their boat capsized near the Beaufort Sandbar, the Island News said. Billy Keyserling was pulled from the water and required resuscitation before being taken to a hospital. Paul Keyserling was conscious and alert, according to the newspaper. Billy Keyserling was later reported to be breathing on his own. An update on his condition was not immediately available at press time. S.C. Department of Natural Resources responded to the boating accident around 1:30 p.m. May 21. Keyserling served three terms as mayor.

Hilton Head Island was a national showcase last month as NBC’s “Today” was broadcast in front of a live audience May 20 from a house on the beach. The show’s “3rd Hour” featured Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer. It was sponsored by Vrbo.

America’s Boating Club Hilton Head recently conducted its signature boating education course at the University of South Carolina–Beaufort Osher Learning Center. The course, attended by 30 boaters, provides boaters with basic boating information designed to make boaters safer. The next scheduled courses are Aug. 20 and Oct. 8. For more information, contact Rick Sturges at

The South Carolina Wing of Civil Air Patrol has chartered the Hilton Head Island Composite Squadron as part of its mission to perform emergency service duties, to train teens as leaders and to teach aerospace and aviation concepts. The squadron is recruiting new members. Teens ages 12-18 may join as cadets and remain in the Cadet Program until age 21. For more information, contact Squadron Commander 1st Lt. Richard Moscatiello at 404- 520-6075,

A mainstay since 1978, the Highway 21 Drive-In Movie Theater in Beaufort has a new owner, Jake Higgins, who announced on the theater’s Facebook page that he is “grateful” to Joe and Bonnie Barth for their nearly two decades of ownership. Movies are being played on three screens. “We will offer the best and most current movies while providing food, entertainment and awesome memories,” Higgins posted.