In Hilton Head, an odd-numbered year – like 2017 – generally signals that the area’s biennial Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island will occur in the fall. But not this year. Though plans were well underway for the 2017 Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island, Mother Nature threw them asunder.

The 1945 song “The House I Live In (That's America to Me)” offered a strong affirmation of democracy and American values at a pivotal point in the nation’s history, and its message resonates with equal potency in today’s tense social and political climate.

Made popular by Frank Sinatra, it described a hopeful, idealized, multicultural America at a time when the U. S. Army and the country were still racially segregated. Partly because of the timing of its release and partly because it asked a simple but profound question — “What is America to me?” — the song became an anthem of sorts, and a tribute to the men and women who were fighting to keep America safe during a time of social and economic instability, turbulence and terror.

A photo taken by Hilton Head Island High School senior Sarah Suggs was recently featured in National Geographic’s “Daily Dozen,” an online gallery of remarkable photographs collected from around the world. The photo shows Suggs’ grandfather surrounded by tree damage following Hurricane Matthew.

Air Canada recently announced that it will begin non-stop seasonal service May 1 between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Service will run Sunday-Friday from May 1 to Oct. 15.

One of Hilton Head Island’s biggest attractions for both visitors and locals is open once again. The Coastal Discovery Museum was closed for several weeks following Hurricane Matthew but is now back in business, thanks to a new access road — the first right on U.S. 278 after Spanish Wells Road. The 68-acre Honey Horn site the museum sits on will continue to be used as a hurricane debris management site through May.

Historic Preservation2

The Heritage Library recently announced that the South Carolina Department of Archives and History State Historic Preservation Office approved the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery and the Baynard Mausoleum for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination has been submitted to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for final consideration and designation.

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the South Carolina State Library, a pilot partnership between Beaufort County's public schools and libraries to bring internet access to some families living in rural northern Beaufort County has been so successful that the library has been awarded a $23,194 grant to expand the program. The Beaufort County Library has partnered with Beaufort County, the Beaufort County School District and wireless provider Kajeet to expand the reach and benefits of free access to the internet to underserved youth and communities by expanding the SmartSpot Educational Broadband Program.

More than 1,000 Beaufort County children are expected to receive developmental screenings and needed educational intervention to prepare them for kindergarten, thanks to $77,500 in additional funding from The Learning Center Fund of Coastal Community Foundation.

Kim LikinsHilton Head Island Town Council member Kim Likins was recently elected new mayor pro tem after Bill Harkins removed his name from nomination during a council meeting. The move means Likins will act as mayor when David Bennett is absent. She will also assume the role of mayor if the seat is ever vacated. Likins has lived on the island for 16 years and has been active in the community, serving on several boards. She is currently the director of the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island. 

White SharkThe crew at Outcast Sport Fishing Hilton Head Island hooked its first great white shark of the winter season, then reeled in and tagged another on Dec. 13. Capt. Chip Michalove estimated the first shark’s weight at 3,000 pounds. “We hooked into the largest white I've seen out there, over 3,000 pounds, but she spit the hook right out when we started to turn the boat around to give chase,” Michalove wrote on Facebook. “I almost called it a day and headed in, but we reset and hooked into this little guy (pictured).

The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Hilton Head at 1 Town Center Court will close permanently Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.

Survivors of Hurricane Matthew can still get help with just a phone call to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay services) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice. Multilingual operators are available. Information is also available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island by Town Manager, Steve Riley

  • The deadline has passed to apply for individual assistance from FEMA.
  • The FEMA Disaster Assistance Center at Town Hall (DRC) will close permanently at 5 pm on Tuesday December 20th. Information for those who are processing their applications may be found at www.disasterassistance.gov or on the Town website.

Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island by Town Manager, Steve Riley

  • The deadline to apply for assistance through FEMA; for homeowners, renters, and business owners is December 13, 2016.
  • Applications for assistance can be done in person, at the Disaster Assistance Center at Town Hall. You can also apply online at www.Disasterassistance.gov.