Dominion EnergyAs early as the end of the year, some Lowcountry residents could have a new power company. SCANA, the parent company of SCE&G, has announced a plan to merge with Virginia-based Dominion Energy.

SCANA and Dominion held a public meeting Oct. 2 in Beaufort County to discuss the merger. Approximately 60 residents attended, asking questions about Dominion’s customer benefit plan and other issues. Bluffton Monthly had a chance to talk with C. Ryan Frazier of Dominion Energy; here’s what he had to say.

aplicationThe town of Bluffton is seeking applicants for its neighborhood assistance program, which offers repairs to homes and properties of low- to moderate-income residents. The program, which is operated through the town of Bluffton’s Affordable Housing Committee, helps with repairs for things like leaking roofs, unstable floors and failing septic tanks or removing unsafe structures from a resident’s property. Applicants must have an income that does not exceed 60 percent of the median income for Beaufort County. For more information, call 843-706-7818 or email bmole@townofbluffton.com.

Peacock SubaruPeacock Subaru Hilton Head recently donated 150 award-winning science books to Okatie Elementary School. For a month, the dealership in Peacock Auto Mall asked customers to personalize custom labels for the science books that were supplied by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The effort was part of the company’s Subaru Loves Learning initiative.

COMPETITION FUELS MANY COUNTY AND LOCAL RACES

Lowcountry voters have a lot to consider when they go to the polls on Nov. 6 to fill seats in local elections. The following profiles are drawn from candidate responses to questions from the League of Women Voters Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area and candidates’ websites.

MEET THE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN STATE ELECTIONS

On Nov. 6, Lowcountry voters will elect a new governor and send a new representative to Congress. Closer to home, for the first time in many years, Democrats are trying to upset Republican incumbents in two of the three area state legislative districts. The following profiles are drawn from candidate responses to questions from the League of Women Voters Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area and candidates’ websites.

BEAUFORT COUNTY BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS STARTS NOV. 1

The ban on single-use plastic bags throughout Beaufort County doesn’t take effect until Nov. 1, but government officials and local businesses are have already started preparing for the transition.

Palmetto Heart

The 2019 Palmetto Heart Walk and 5K Race will be held on April 27 at Shelter Cove Community Park. The American Heart Association has announced that Brian Le Baron, district manager of Wells Fargo Bank, will be chairman of the 2019 race. The Palmetto Heart Walk raises awareness that walking 30 minutes a day greatly reduced your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Hilton Head Firefighters’ Association annually awards grants to local nonprofit groups in the Lowcountry. Grant requests will be accepted through Oct. 31 and applications can be found at hhifirefighters.org. Susan G. Komen’s South Carolina chapter is seeking applications for grants addressing the following issues related to breast cancer: reducing barriers to care, patient navigation and breast cancer education. For applications and additional details, go to komensouthcarolina.org/grants.

The Town of Bluffton plans to use three parcels of land for affordable housing and workforce housing projects in the coming years. The town recently bought 1.78 acres at 1095 May River Road, where up to 14 housing units are planned. At the former site of Cross Fit 843, at 184 Bluffton Road, several two-story townhouses, a small park, and public parking spaces will be constructed.

A double shooting left a Hilton Head Island doctor wounded and his ex-girlfriend dead on Sept. 4, in a murder-suicide that rocked the upscale Spanish Wells community. Jennifer Rudemyer of Bluffton, a professional organizer and former Beaufort County School District teacher, shot Dr. Gaston Perez multiple times before turning her gun on herself. Perez and Rudemeyer had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for years, and he had been granted a restraining order against her shortly before the shooting.

Field of DreamsThe Bluffton Community Center Foundation received a $67,000 grant from Community Foundation of the Lowcountry to help cover the cost of Phase II of the Field of Dreams Park Improvement Project. Construction in Phase II will include the addition of a covered pavilion with restrooms, picnic tables and an art wall to showcase local artists’ talents.

The Town of Hilton Head Island recently presented plans to the public for a two-year construction project to build Lowcountry Celebration Park in the Coligny area. The project now includes resurfacing all of Pope Avenue — from Sea Pines Circle to Coligny Circle — and must be completed by May 24 or the contractor will face a damage fine of $1,000 per day.

Sean AikenEdward Sean “Ada” Aiken’s uplifting spirit brought joy to the customers at Which Wich in Bluffton, where he worked until he was found shot to death in Seabrook on July 18. Aiken, 28, grew up in the tight-knit community of Seabrook. On Sept. 21, friends and family gathered there for a rally against violence organized by his mother. He graduated from Battery Creek High School in 2008 and was active in the LGBT community in Savannah. Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to contact Cpl. Jennifer Snider at 843-255-3421 or 1-888-274-6372.

Callawassie Island coupleThe state’s highest court has ruled against a Callawassie Island couple seeking to relinquish their community club membership. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 vote that property owners in the Callawassie community are responsible for paying club dues even after they resign, as mandated by the club contract. The case is just one of several that have been filed between Callawassie residents and the club. There is still an option for the couple to ask the court to reconsider the ruling.

bluffton roadTen Bluffton families now have an easier time driving to their homes after local businesses helped fund road improvements on Martha Brown Circle. Business that contributed were: Capt. Woody’s; Sigler’s Rotisserie & Seafood; Davis and Wine Dental Associates, LLC; Bluffton Non-Profit Housing Corporation; Garfield Moss, Jr. and Moss Landscapes; Morris Garage & Towing, Inc; Power Group, LLC; All Pro Tire & Lube Center; The Dispensary, LLC; Michael Hahn of Carson Realty; Waste Management; Cleland Construction; and Essroc. The dirt road was graded and resurfaced with gravel.

Community Foundation of the Lowcountry completed its second of three annual competitive grant cycles in July, awarding $498,023 to six local organizations. Beaufort County Animal Shelter Support Fund received a grant for a radiology lab; Bluffton Community Center Foundation received funding for the construction of a shade/picnic pavilion with restrooms; Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine received grants to support capacity building for staff and technology; Heritage Library Foundation received funding to support its first-ever paid executive director position; and the Hilton Head Recreation Association received $100,000 as a “matching grant” challenge to pay for a state-of-the-art inclusive playground.