The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has announced board of director officers for the 2018 fiscal year. John Weymouth with serve as chair with Jeri Farren and Jim Allhusen serving as vice chairs, David Wetmore as treasurer and Denise Spencer as secretary.

In late June, the state’s highest sales tax on vehicles increased to $500, up from $300. That increase hit the purses of new-car buyers and used-car buyers who purchase a vehicle costing more than $6,000.

The increase in the state’s sales tax cap was included in the road-repair bill that S.C. lawmakers passed this spring to raise roughly $600 million a year by 2022 to fix the state’s crumbling roads.

After years of planning and fundraising, the new Beaufort County animal shelter is poised to become a reality.

The $7 million facility — a partnership between the county and the Hilton Head Humane Association — is set to be built on a six-acre site on S.C. 170 between Pritcher Point and Heffalump roads, next to the River’s End community in Okatie.

An individual on Hilton Head Island has been identified as the first person reported to be sick from West Nile Virus in South Carolina this year, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC stresses the importance of paying attention to the most effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

The Low Country Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol recently served as the color guard during the presentation of the colors for a meeting held in Beaufort with S.C. Governor Henry McMaster. McMaster visited Beaufort to meet with local leaders, and during the meeting, cadets from the local Civil Air Patrol squadron presented the colors as the national anthem was performed for attendees. 

Publix Super MarketsOn July 13, volunteers braved extreme heat and humidity to raise the walls for a Habitat house funded by Publix Super Markets Charities. The house, located at The Glen on Hilton Head, will become home to Tomasina Cordero and her family.

THE TRENDY OLD TOWN AREA IS GETTING A LITTLE BIGGER. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT.

Just a few months ago, the buzz among the employees at Downtown Deli was palpable. Some kind of big meeting was coming up. But no one knew what it involved, why the staff was being kept in the dark, and why they were going to the old Piggly Wiggly building, of all places.

KNOW LOCAL LAWS TO HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

The Fourth of July without fireworks is like Christmas without Santa Claus. And while nothing says summer fun like an evening of brightly colored sparklers, local officials say it’s best to leave the big pyrotechnics displays to the professionals. 

According to Town of Hilton Head Island staff attorney Brian Hulbert, it is legal to shoot off fireworks on the island — but you’ll need a permit from the town manager if you want to light up your display on the beach, which Hulbert said is defined as the shoreline between Fish Haul Creek Park on Hilton Head’s north end and Lands End in Sea Pines. 

Deputy Chief Joseph Manning has been promoted to police chief, according to Bluffton town manager Marc Orlando.

“Maj. Manning has demonstrated his ability to lead our police department,” Orlando said. “His unrelenting work during Hurricane Matthew, his day-to-day ability to foster and support our community policing program, along with his extensive law enforcement experience and education, make Maj. Manning a natural and obvious choice to move into the role as our next police chief.”

donfoxIn June 2017, Bluffton resident Don Foxe saw his second collection of Japanese poetry reach the top spot on an Amazon’s list of Top 100 e-Books, by category. Foxe wrote “Haiku Seishin” with Melissa Dolber Grappone of New York and fifth grade students from East Granby, Conn. The collection of exchanges between the authors and the students is a follow up to the release of “Seasons of Henka Suru,” his first collection of poems. The students used Foxe’s first book as their poetry study guide. They contacted the author, and the book that resulted is a collection of their haiku exchanges with Foxe.

The Town of Hilton Head Island has signed a “friendship pact” with Verona, Italy.

John De Cecco, president of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, said Verona has already approved the friendship pact. Hilton Head’s Town Council approved the resolution unanimously.

Auxiliary BlufftonAmerican Legion Auxiliary Bluffton Unit 205 is working with the town of Bluffton to build a veterans memorial park in Old Town. The park will pay tribute to veterans from all branches of service who served in all wars.

Bluffton Town Council voted in June to approve a plan to build a 365- home neighborhood on roughly 232 acres near the intersection of New Riverside Drive and Old Palmetto Bluff Roads — squarely between May River High School and the headwaters of the May River.

The planned private gated community will be built in phases, with construction starting later this year, according to town documents. A specific builder for the homes has not been identified.

The Town of Hilton Head recently launched a new website and community survey for its long-range visioning process, “Hilton Head Island — Our Future.”

The goal of “Our Future” is to ensure that residents, business owners, local institutions and all community stakeholders have a voice in future decision-making, and to provide the town with the insight needed to set intelligent, coordinated and creative future priorities. The project, running through 2017 and wrapping up in early 2018, will engage the community in a series of conversations designed to identify scenarios for the future.

In cased you missed the Lowcountry episode of “The Bachelorette” on June 19, here’s a partial list of local sites showcased. The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island was the backdrop to the episode’s rose ceremony--the moment when the male contestants learn if they still have a shot with this season’s bachelorette. Rachel Lindsay is a 32-year old attorney from Dallas.