Online Exclusives


A leadership consultant, history buff and former corporate executive, Hilton Head Island resident Richard Thomas can add author to his resume. Fittingly, his first book focuses on Lowcountry firsts throughout history.

Published by the Heritage Library Foundation, “Backwater Frontier” is a compilation of stories about significant events that took place in Beaufort County and were firsts of their kind in the U.S.

online exclusiveSixteen speakers, including national presenters and Lowcountry residents, will take the stage at the second annual TEDxHiltonHeadWomen, to be held Dec. 7. They were selected from hundreds who submitted applications; each will share her original ideas around the theme “Bold + Brilliant – Without Apology.”

TEDx events bring “Ideas Worth Spreading” to local communities around the globe. All TEDx talks are 18 minutes or less.



Raise your “manus” — Latin for hand — if you are a word nerd. I know “ego sum” — I am. If you are, too, the etymology of the word “ergonomics” might interest you. It derives from two Greek words: “ergon,” meaning work, and “nomos,” meaning natural law. Combined, these words form “ergonomics,” or the science of work and a person's relationship to that work.

Now raise your “manus” if you also work at a desk. Keep it up if you ever experience pain — whether in your lower back or carpal tunnel — after working for a few hours. Now keep it up if you have ever consulted an ergonomist. For those of you who suddenly lowered your hand, here’s an overview of ergonomics, starting with neutral posture.

starsSet in the South during the Great Depression, Sean Dietrich’s new novel “Stars in Alabama” weaves together the stories of a homeless teen mother with the gift of healing, two migrant workers and a child preacher on the run from his violent father. 

Their stories intersect when Marigold, the teen mother, leaves her infant in the woods when she goes into town to steal food. Migrant workers Paul and Vern find the baby and care for her as their own.

Avoiding Dehydration

During this time of year in the Lowcountry, even the live oaks look hot and in need of a respite from the heat. Those of us trying to keep in step with our workout routines know just how they feel — hot and thirsty.

And for good reason: Dehydration is a big risk in summer months, experts say.

“Everyone is different. What may tax one person may not affect another,” said Laura Fromdahl, owner of Tri Strong Coaching. “This can be difficult if you compare yourself to your training partner or other people. Read your body. If you experience any of the symptoms, you need to up your hydration game."



There is no one-size-fits-all diet, and it can be difficult for people to figure out what kinds of foods might best meet their needs.

Hollie Donelson, nutritional therapy practitioner and owner of Happy Tummies of the Lowcountry, sees clients weeding their way through the fads and trends regularly.

TEDx Hilton Head

Some of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton’s best-known personalities will speak at the next TEDxHiltonHead event, which shares ideas worth spreading. The theme is “Reinvention” for the short, powerful talks on May 11 at SoundWaves Performing Arts Center. Twenty inspiring local and regional speakers will present. Registration starts at 8:15 a.m. Program is 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $75, includes presentations, continental breakfast and catered lunch. Get tickets at

Wexford Foundation

The Wexford Charitable Foundation has reached a million-dollar milestone, but the huge fund had modest beginnings.

Wexford resident Jim Hicks, who established the foundation in 2012, was inspired to create the foundation after he volunteered with the American Red Cross in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. “That experience taught me that anyone can make an impact when it comes to helping people in need. As a consequence, I realized that Wexford could make an impact by supporting local charities that are helping those in need every day,” he said.

Historic Town Party

Two new public spaces in Bluffton — a park and a pavilion for community events — will offer residents and visitors more amenities in Old Town.

The newly constructed HEART — History, Education for Residents, Art and Tourism — Pavilion at Heyward House was the site of the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society’s first Historic Bluffton Town Party in March. The event was themed around Black History Month and Gullah culture and featured the praise ministry of Campbell Chapel AME Church; a vocal performance by Jim Gadson, a descendant of one of nine freedman who purchased Campbell Chapel in 1874; a book-signing and historical re-enactment by author Kim Poovey; and free tours of Heyward House. Children roasted marshmallows and played cornhole while Bluffton BBQ served up plates of barbecue.