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A woman in Sun City Hilton Head was killed by an alligator Aug. 15, the Beaufort County Coroner’s office said. The body of Nancy Becker, 88, was discovered near the pond in Sun City. Officials believe Becker was gardening near the pond and slipped into the water. The alligator, a 9-foot, 8-inch male, was removed from the pond and euthanized. Officials said there had been 18 alligator-related episodes and five deaths reported in South Carolina since 2000.

Stephenie Price resigned as police chief of the Town of Bluffton. Price’s last day of employment with the Town is expected to be on or before Sept. 15, according to a new release. Captain Scott Chandler has been named interim chief. During her nearly two years with Bluffton Police Department, Price developed a mental health and wellness program and supervised the newly created community mental health advocate position. Price has been chief of police since Oct. 12, 2020.

Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann does not plan to seek re-election as mayor in the Nov. 8 election. McCann was elected as mayor in November 2018 and sworn into office in December 2018. JoAnn Orischak, Alan Perry, Thomas Cleary, and Michael Santomauro filed to run for the seat. “It has been a privilege to serve as mayor of Hilton Head Island and represent the residents who live here,” Mayor McCann said.

BY ANNE CAYWOOD

Seven out of 10 low-income households in South Carolina will face a legal problem, according to a recent report from the SC Access to Justice Commission.

What do these legal problems look like? A woman in her 30s dealing with custody issues and collecting unpaid child support.

FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS SOUTH CAROLINA YACHT CLUB HAS BEEN A ‘SPECIAL’ PLACE FOR MEMBERS

BY MARK LETT | PHOTO SUPPLIED

As a globetrotting broadcaster and sailing commentator for the America’s Cup, Tucker Thompson has seen hundreds of boat clubs and yacht clubs.

So, when it came time last year to have his family of four join a club, which did he choose?

ROTARY CLUB OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND NAMES SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Each year the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island selects two students to receive a scholarship of $4,000 per year, offering each student $16,000 in scholarship support. Jehanne Marie Arnal from the Heritage Academy and Harper Krimm from Hilton Head Christian Academy are this year’s winners. Arnal will attend The Citadel’s Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business where she will major in business with a focus on entrepreneurship. Harper will attend Anderson University, majoring in music with concentrations in voice and commercial music.

The Hilton Head Island Airport has received $12 million in additional funding for the estimated $53 million terminal upgrades in the South Carolina State budget. The project is estimated to begin in the winter of 2022 and be completed in mid-to-late 2025. The project will include approximately 43,000 more square feet of terminal space, three jetways for passengers, new parking, security upgrades, an all-new baggage claim, a new grand hall, and a four-lane passenger drop off and pick-up area.

Hilton Head Island homeowners and renters who qualify may be eligible for grants from the Town of Hilton Head Island to help connect their single-family homes to public sewer. The town received funding to expand sewer connections and help those still on septic systems to transfer their homes to a “safer, reliable sewer” a news release said. Applications for Project SAFE are available at the Hilton Head Island Deep Well Project. For more information, call 843-785-2849 or visit hiltonheadislandsc.gov/program/sewer.

H. E. Trask Boat Landing near Bluffton is closed for three months (beginning in mid- July) for the installation of a 100-foot sectional dock. A news release said the new dock will have five 8-foot by 20-foot floating sections. The project is expected to cost $288,609. Part of the project cost is funded by a $52,310 hospitality tax grant, with the balance of $236,299 covered by the Public Works Department.

Earth People Farms on St. Helena Island earned a South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship share of $150,000 for its agribusinesses. There were nine winners. Owned by sister-and-brother duo Najmah and Glen Thomas, Earth People Farms recently developed a EPFarmacy line of products, including a collection of herbs and herbal products in the tradition of their African and Gullah/Geechee heritage.

Attorney Alex Murdaugh was indicted on two counts of murder in the June 7, 2021 killings of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and his son Paul Murdaugh, 22, state law enforcement said. Alex Murdaugh, 54, has denied having any role in the deaths. The indictment accuses Murdaugh of killing his wife with a rifle and his son with a shotgun. He was also charged with two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime. “Today is one more step in a long process for justice for Maggie and Paul,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. Murdaugh’s attorneys said he “didn't have anything to do with the murders.”

Beaufort County Council voted 8-2 to advance a 1 percent, four-year, $300 million Greenspace Sales Tax referendum that could be presented to voters on the November ballot. It will be to purchase land, conservation easements, and buy down density to slow and prevent development. The money may also be used to pay off debt from past land purchases. There will be a public hearing and the third reading of the referendum before it is on the November ballot. County Council rejected a proposed streets, roads, bridges, and greenbelts sales tax referendum, which was a 10-year, $770 million sales tax to address the county’s need for street, road, bridge, and greenspace projects identified by the citizen committee. The proposal failed in a 5-5 vote and did not advance to a third reading.

The USC Beaufort Department of Athletics was officially approved as provisional members of NCAA Division II. The school applied in April 2021 when the Peach Belt Conference Board of Directors unanimously accepted USCB as a provisional member of the league. With USCB’s acceptance into the NCAA, the Sand Sharks are now full-fledged PBC members. USCB will transition into the three-year provisional stage that begins in the 2022- 23 season. If USCB successfully passes the annual reviews, the Sand Sharks will become a full and active NCAA Division II member in 2025-26.

 

Beaufort County Council approved a $142.1 million budget for the 2023 fiscal year. The proposed budget can be found at beaufortcountysc.gov/budget. Budget highlights include: 7% increase in tax revenue from population growth that led to a $6.2 million budget increase; $1.7 million in new county positions; highlights include $105,840 for deputy human resources director and $701,906 to run the 60-and- Better program and expand services.