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Hilton Head News
Bluffton resident Mike Covert, a Republican, has filed with the South Carolina Federal Election Commission to run in the 2020 election. He aims to unseat Rep. Joe Cunningham, a freshman congressman and the first Democrat to represent District 1 in more than four decades. Covert is president and managing member of Covert Aire, LLC, a heating and air-condition business in the Lowcountry, and a member of Beaufort County Council.
Joe Patton, an 81-year-old resident of Hilton Head Island, was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after he became stuck in pluff mud in Skull Creek while riding his personal watercraft. Sea Tow of Hilton Head Island could not perform the rescue, so the U.S. Coast Guard arrived by helicopter to lift Patton to safety. Patton, who regularly rides near Skull Creek Marina by Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks, returned home with no injuries.
The town of Bluffton is planning renovations at Oyster Factory Park in Bluffton. The boat ramp will close through mid-February as part of an effort to improve park drainage and walking accessibility, especially by paving over the gravel portion of Wharf Street. Access to the May River will be available at various locations throughout Bluffton including Alljoy Boat Landing as the renovations take place.
Each year, the All Saints Episcopal Church Garden Tour sponsors a poster contest for local artists. The work of the winning artist will appear on the 2019 poster, which will be displayed in businesses throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties and on the cover of the ticket booklet. Up to 70 artworks in various media will be on display at Hilton Head Hospital from Feb. 1 to March 3. The contest winner will be announced during a reception for the artists in the hospital lobby on March 3. For more information, go to www.allsaintsgardentour.com.
Twenty-nine local organizations will split $4.3 million in accommodations tax money collected from tourists to Hilton Head Island. State law requires 30 percent of all accommodates tax revenue to go to the town’s destination marketing organization, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will receive $535,000 in accommodations tax grant money.
Starting this summer, Delta will begin offering nonstop flights from Hilton Head Island Airport to Atlanta and New York City. There will be three daily nonstop flights to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Saturday flights to LaGuardia Airport. Hilton Head Island Airport’s runway expansion project has allowed larger jets to land, which means more flight options and competitive pricing. The airport also is considering revamping its terminal and parking lot to accommodate an expected increase in passengers.
The owners of a Bluffton golf course are moving ahead with plans for a luxury recreational vehicle park – and it’s not the only one in the works for the Lowcountry.
Scratch Golf, LLC, wants to use nearly a third of the roughly 300-acre Hilton Head National Golf Club for the RV park, which spokesman Tom Gardo said will include up to 339 rental sites with parking pads for upscale vehicles — often worth anywhere from $250,000 to $2 million. The owner is looking for final approval before the end of the year so the park can open in spring 2020.
Chip Michalove, a charter captain at Outcast Sport Fishing, recently hooked a 17-foot, 3,500-pound shark just a few miles off the coast of Hilton Head Island. The crew did not have a chance to tag the shark for research purposes. Michalove has been working with scientists at the Atlantic Shark Conservancy in Chatham, Massachusetts, to place satellite tracking tags on sharks and has caught more than 1,000 sharks throughout his career. This one was by far the largest.
Randolph West, owner of Randolph West Builders and a longtime Bluffton resident, died recently in a tragic explosion in Bluffton. He is survived by his wife, Gayla, and his daughters Shellie (the CEO of the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce) and Leigh. West was supportive of responsible development in Bluffton and constructed the building where the Bluffton chamber is currently housed.
There will be a special election Feb. 19 to fill the unexpired Hilton Head Island Town Council term of John McCann, who resigned from his Ward 6 seat in November after being elected mayor of Hilton Head. The term ends December 2020. Kent Berry, Jim Collett, Cathy McClellan and Glenn Stanford have registered with the town as candidates.
Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has awarded grants to Memory Matters and Second Helpings. Memory Matters received $120,590 over three years to help implement brain health programs. The grant will fund a brain health specialist position, along with covering other program expenses. A two-year, $36,882 grant will help Second Helpings fund a part-time coordinator in the Hilton Head and Bluffton area. The coordinator will build relationships with food partners and recipient agencies and manage volunteers, delivery routes, and relationships with grocery stores and food donors.
For the first time in four years, the S.C. Department of Education released school report cards last month, rating nearly every public school across the state on a scale of excellent, good, average, below average or unsatisfactory for the 2017-18 school year. The report cards help hold district and school administrators accountable for student achievement, standardized test scores, English proficiency, high school graduation rates and other criteria.
A new six-story hotel with rooftop bar and pool will open in the Coligny Beach by next fall. The Courtyard Marriott will include 115 rooms; the project is run by the Southeastern Development Association.
The Deep Well Project needs donations of new and gently used children’s winter coats in sizes 14-16. Drop off coats at 80 Capital Drive on Hilton Head Island. For more information, call 843-785-2849.