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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 http://bit.ly/tedxhhi2019.

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.

Honor the WomenPoet Maya Angelou wasn’t describing the matriarchs of the Gullah community when she wrote “Phenomenal Woman,” but she could have been. Gullah women have been the guidepost for their families for decades, preserving the native islanders’ language, food, traditions and way of life — all while overcoming the usual challenges of everyday life.

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From noon to 4 p.m. at Coligny Plaza, in the area between FISH Casual Coastal Seafood and Skillets Cafe & Grill, local chefs will serve up their favorite soups as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring, an annual fundraiser to benefit Second Helpings, a local charity that “rescues” food from area grocery stores and delivers it to food pantries for distribution to those in need.

TedXHilton Head


Community Foundation of the Lowcountry recently sponsored the second TEDxHiltonHeadWomen conference. The independently organized TED event brings together local speakers to share their ideas on issues important to women.

Here come the holidays — and they’re bringing with them a host of activities. Decorating the house, cooking, holiday parties: Instead of singing, “Let It Snow,” you might be humming “Let It Stop.” For me — and maybe you, too — the most stressful part of the holiday season is gift-giving. Every year, I feel overwhelmed by making a list and checking it twice for my family. But what if we shifted our focus to give ourselves simple, effective, health-minded goals? Here are just a few ideas: