Tuesday, September 18, 2012

North Charleston to Host Free Concert by USAF Academy Band’s Falconaires Jazz Ensemble

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is proud to host a free evening concert by the United States Air Force Academy Band’s Falconaires Jazz Ensemble at the Sterett Hall Auditorium on the former Charleston Naval Base on Friday, October 19, at 7:00pm. The concert will feature big band jazz under the leadership of Master Sergeant Jason Crowe.

As one of twelve Air Force jazz ensembles, the Falconaires have brought the great sounds of big band jazz to national audiences for more than 50 years. The 18 professional Airmen-musicians in the “Glenn Miller” style big band follow in a long blue line of talented Air Force Academy bandsmen who are dedicated to serving our nation and representing the young officers in training at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO. The ensemble specializes in the best of past and present by performing traditional and contemporary big band jazz. To this mix, “Falcs” members add their own compositions and fresh orchestrations. The band performs annually for more than 50,000 people at civic and military functions, public concerts, and festivals, including the International Association of Jazz Educators’ National Conference, the Music Educators National Conference’s National Convention, and Musicfest Canada. A driving force in the jazz world, the Air Force Academy Band’s Falconaires play a major role in cultivating our national heritage through America’s only indigenous musical genre, jazz.

The Falconaires Jazz Ensemble concert is free, but advance tickets are required. Tickets may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope with request to: Tickets, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. Please limit 6 tickets per mail-in request. Tickets are also available for pick up Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, from the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office on the second floor of North Charleston City Hall, located at 2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406. Unclaimed seats will be available to non-ticket holders 15 minutes prior to concert time.

For more information about this concert or other programs and services offered by the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, call 843-740-5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit http://bit.ly/culturalarts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mayor Summey cooks breakfast to support the Teachers' Supply Closet

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey served up free breakfast at Cork Neighborhood Bistro on Friday, September 14 to benefit the Teachers' Supply Closet (TSC), but donations were accepted.

94.3 WSC morning host, Kelly Golden, hosted her show live from the event.

Mayor Summey began planning the fundraiser after meeting with TSC leaders over the summer about their expansion plans that serve greater North Charleston area schools. However, the event was more important than ever. The Teachers’ Supply Closet suffered extensive water damage and loss of supplies on Tuesday, August 28 when heavy rains and flooding throughout the area caused a blockage in a drain pipe which flooded the roof and subsequently the ‘Closet.’

“We have been working hard to get our facility back up and running and are so grateful to Mayor Summey and his staff for holding this event to help us recover. We look forward to meeting some new supporters!” said TSC Executive Director Deborah Hanlon.

Teachers' Supply Closet (TSC) is a non-profit organization that provides free school supplies to teachers in the Tri-County area who work at schools where 88 percent of the students are on the free or reduced lunch program. Currently 34 schools at the 88% poverty index (based on free and reduced lunch program statistics) from Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties are invited to shop.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

North Charleston students experience athletics at The Citadel

Over the next 6 weeks, The Citadel Athletics Department and the City of North Charleston are partnering to give participants in North Charleston’s 14 afterschool programs The Citadel Athletics experience. The experience coincides with North Charleston Recreation Department’s fall curriculum for afterschool programming, focused on leadership, dedication, goals, and positive life choices.

Approximately 150 children between the ages of 5-12 years old will visit The Citadel and observe the Bulldogs football team at practice while they prepare for the weekend’s game. Additionally, they will take tours of McAlister Field House and Johnson Hagood Stadium and will become familiar with The Citadel campus.

Visits will be made to The Citadel every Wednesday from 4:00pm to 5:15pm until October 24.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the children of North Charleston. It gives exposure and firsthand experience of The Citadel and the opportunities available after high school graduation,” said North Charleston Recreation Program Director Trish Elsie.

“This is a perfect partnership for The Citadel Athletics Department. Community outreach and involvement has been something we have been focusing on recently and we could not have asked for a better partner than the City of North Charleston Recreation Department,” said The Citadel Athletics Marketing Coordinator Ryan Powell.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Watch the September 13, 2012 City Council Meeting

Monday, September 3, 2012

North Charleston Kicks off Dinner Theatre Series on Sept 14

The Gentleman Pirate @ Piccolo Spoleto
Flickr user Chrys

Another fabulous season of dinner theatre kicks off in North Charleston on Friday, September 14, with The Gentleman Pirate, presented by Rodney Lee Rogers of PURE Theatre. Dinner for the evening is catered by Embassy Suites and features an entrée of Grilled Cypress Chicken served with garlic infused tomato concasse and herb aioli.

Written and performed by PURE Theatre co-founder, Rodney Lee Rogers, The Gentleman Pirate is a one-of-a kind, interactive theatrical event that brings to life the trials and glories of Stede Bonnet, also known as “The Gentleman Pirate.” The play focuses on Bonnet's 1718 trial, in which he gave his own defense and was, in the end, sentenced to death. Rogers referenced the existing trial transcripts to inform the production’s script, filling any factual gaps in Bonnet’s story with his Shakespearean-influenced imagination. Patrons have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session following the performance, where Rogers answers questions in character. Charleston City Paper critic, Jon Santiago, gives the production an “A” rating, calling it “great fun, splendidly performed and exhaustively researched.” The show has been performed everywhere from school cafeterias to the deck of the USS Yorktown, and enjoyed two sold out Piccolo Spoleto runs.

Working in multiple disciplines of dramatic form over the past 24 years, writer/actor/filmmaker Rodney Lee Rogers received the SC Arts Commission’s Playwriting Fellowship in 2010 and was awarded a SC Film Commission grant for his short film Downturn. His plays and one-acts plays have been produced in New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Charleston and include HOGS, The Tragedian, Killing Chickens, Fairgrounds, What Comes Around, Tell, Cowboys, and A Waffle House Christmas. His feature film Steaming Milk won runner-up Best Actor and Best Director awards at the 1997 Seattle International Film Festival and was chosen as a “Best of the Fest” of both The Seattle Times and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Theatre directing credits include Tell, Jesus Hopped the “A” Train, What Comes Around, HOGS, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Acting credits for the stage include The Pillowman, The Lonesome West, Cloud Tectonics, Underneath the Lintel, Eurydice, and The Tragedian. On television he has appeared on One Tree Hill, Medicine Ball, and Army Wives. He was voted Best Actor by Charleston City Paper for 2009 and 2010. Co-founders of PURE Theatre, he and his wife, artistic director Sharon Graci, live in Charleston with their five children.

The Dinner Theatre will be presented at the Charleston Area Convention Center Ballroom (adjacent to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center) at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The ballroom doors open at 7:00pm for dinner. Tickets are $40 per person. Group discounts are available. Ticket price includes dinner, play, and gratuity. Parking is free. A cash bar will be available. To purchase tickets or to request more information, contact Pam Smith at 843.740.5847 or email culturalarts@northcharleston.org. For information on additional programs and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shipwatch Square: its history and current redevelopment updates

Update #6 August 28, 2102
All of the building on the site have been cleared and grass has begun to grow.

Update #5 April 9, 2012
A Post and Courier article by Robert Behre from a recent interview with North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey.

Update #4 March 2, 2012
Demolition continues at Shipwatch Square with only a few buildings remaining.
Update #3 January 12, 2012
Building 2, which was parallel to Meeting Street Road (former home to Woolworth's and Belks) has been demolished, as has the bank at the intersection of McMillan and Rivers Avenue.

Update #2 November 21, 2011
Demolition continues.
Update #1 November 8, 2011
The demolition of the old Shipwatch Square is ongoing.  The building that formerly housed a Chinese restaurant and the Howard Johnson restaurant has been demolished, as well as the shopping center building parallel to McMillan Avenue.  The contractors are currently demolishing the bank building (former home to Wachovia, and before that South Carolina National Bank) at the corner of McMillan and Rivers Avenues.

The removal of asbestos containing materials from the remaining two shopping center buildings is proceeding.  Afterwards, the final two buildings will be demolished.

Please note that Shipwatch’s last remaining tenant, “Citi Trends,” has relocated to the shopping center on Rivers Avenue at Aviation Avenue.  Auto Sound Specialist (747-0047) remains in business at its current location, as does “Lord of the Harvest” in the former movie theater at the corner of McMillan Avenue and Meeting Street Road.

November 7, 2011

History of Shipwatch Square

In 1895, long before Pinehaven Shopping Center, the City of Charleston established 600-acre Chicora Park north of the its boundaries along the Inland Trail.  The Trail itself was a vital route of commerce, carrying goods between the sea coast and the Midlands of South Carolina.  Over the next decade, the United States Navy took possession of 1,575 acres along the west bank of the Cooper River, consuming the Park through its expansion.  Eventually, a 20-acre site was developed just outside of the Naval Base gates for the Pinehaven Sanatorium, a health care facility for tuberculosis patients.

In 1958, the Pinehaven Shopping Center was built on the site of the former sanatorium and consisted of 200,000 square feet of retail business. Pinehaven’s landmark structure was a central circle tower that bore the its name and held all of the lighting for the parking lot hidden within the top circle of the tower.
The shopping center opened for business September 17, 1959. Two grocery stores, a national retail clothier, one national five and dime store, one large local retailer, one bank and numerous small businesses made up the complex.  In future years a cinema was added.  The shopping center was very successful for decades and the occupancy of tenants remained high.  As the area continued to develop from the presence of the Naval Base, the center was renamed Shipwatch Square.

Although the shopping center began to decline with the establishment of area indoor shopping malls, a major blow came when the US Navy announced the closing of the Naval Base and Shipyard in North Charleston, displacing 12,000 civilian and 8,000 military employees. This was a large economic setback to the immediate area as many of the workers would use the retail outside of the base to shop and dine. Winn Dixie was the last major tenant, vacating the center in 2005 as part of the chain’s closure of all its grocery stores in South Carolina. The rest of the center maintained a few lower tier establishments, but was generally unoccupied.

In 2002, the City created a new vision for the 3,000 acres south of I-526 and east of I-26 from Cosgrove Avenue to the Cooper River known as the Noisette Community Master Plan. Real estate ventures began to rise as investors bought into the City’s new vision. Shipwatch Square was purchased by new stakeholders who had an ambitious development plan. However, the US economy began to slip in 2008 and the new development did not progress.  The City was patient in encouraging private enterprises, but in the end, redevelopment was not initiated.

Redevelopment begins

The City of North Charleston purchased 16.4 acres of the center in 2010, leaving the corner property for the former developer to negotiate a sale with a drug store.  After the developer’s negotiations fell through, the City acquired the final parcel on the corner of McMillan and Rivers Avenues in 2011.

North Charleston has created a number of conceptual plans for the property and is working with the surrounding businesses and an adjacent church to find the appropriate mix of tenants and financing to make the redevelopment successful. The City intends to create a complete master plan and secure development partners for its implementation.

The City approved a lease with Walgreens and a local developer to become the first tenant in the new center. The drug store chain will lease the property for 3 years and thereafter have the option to purchase the parcel located at the corner of McMillan and Rivers Avenues.  The City is also in negotiations with a bank to locate on site.

The City feels that housing should be major component of the development to attract residents into the immediate area. The North Charleston Housing Authority is investigating building its new offices at Shipwatch Square. In addition, the city has received interest in relocating to the site from Charleston County Library, Clemson University Extension Service, Fetter Health Care Clinics, Charleston County Health Services, the Pinehaven Post Office, and the Small Business Administration.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the area around Shipwatch Square has been classified as a food desert.  The Mayor and City Council are committed to attracting a full-service grocery as the anchor tenant of the location’s redevelopment.  This effort may also include community or urban gardens, farmers markets and educational activities for the community. The City is currently in discussion with several grocery store chains.

The City of North Charleston remains very optimistic about the success of the redevelopment.  This is a wonderful opportunity to create a new community in the south end of the city and provide the residents a deserving quality place to work, live, play, and shop.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nighttime Lane Closure for Rivers Avenue Sidewalk Improvement Project, Aug. 29 - Sept. 30

Charleston County Government announces the following traffic alert regarding nighttime lane closures for the Rivers Avenue at Northwoods Sidewalk Improvement Project in North Charleston:
  • Drivers should expect lane closures on Rivers Avenue (U.S. Highway 52) between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night from Wednesday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Sept. 30, except on Friday and Saturday nights when there will be no closures. 
  • The lane closures will occur in either direction of Rivers Avenue between Ashley Phosphate Road and Northbrook Boulevard. 
  • Only one portion of the road will be closed at a time. 
  • Workers with flags will direct traffic through the closures. 
  • The closures are necessary due to the construction of new sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signal improvements on Rivers Avenue. 
  • All road work is dependent on weather. If the weather is poor during Aug. 29 – Sept. 30 and more work is needed, it will continue on the next weather-permitting night (other than a Friday or Saturday). 
The project is funded by the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax Program’s 2011 Bike and Pedestrian Allocation Projects.

Drivers traveling through the project’s construction zone are asked to be aware of equipment and crews working in the area at all times. The public is also asked to notice traffic control signs, message board information, and to note that all road work is dependent on the weather.

The goal of the project, which is expected to be completed November 18, 2012, includes sidewalk, crosswalks and pedestrian signalization improvements along the west and east ends of Rivers Avenue from Ashley Phosphate Road to Northbrook Boulevard.

The public can get more information about all Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax road projects at the official website at www.ccroadwise.org.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 23, 2012 City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mt. Pleasant artist collective to present exhibition of oils at City Gallery

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that works by the Mt. Pleasant based artist group, Friends with Brushes, will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from September 1-30, 2012. The public is invited to attend a free reception at the gallery hosted by the artists on Thursday, September 6, from 5pm-7pm. 

Friends with Brushes is a group of local emerging and established artists seeking excellence interpreting their surroundings, whether it is abstraction, realism, or somewhere in-between. Members include Roberta Byron, Sandra Wrenn, Denise Avera, Kathy Clark, Janie Schloss, Martina Yearwood, and Phyllis Leventis. The group will exhibit mostly Lowcountry landscapes and still-lifes in oil, offering viewers a unique and interesting way of seeing the southern lifestyle.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am-5:00pm, daily. The gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only. Inquiries regarding artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org.

Police make donation to victim service agencies

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey along with Police Chief Jon Zumalt presented monetary donations to three Victim Services Agencies. Checks were presented to People Against Rape ($15,000.00); The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center ($15,000.00); and The South Carolina Victim’s Assistance Network ($10,000.00).

Police Chief Jon Zumalt says, “We are pleased to support these very important victim service agencies that are vital to victims of crime in North Charleston.” Mayor Keith Summey calls the donations “vital” to the continuation of victim services from these agencies and goes on to say, "In these difficult financial times it is important that we do everything to maintain and provide these services to our citizens."

People Against Rape and Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center provides counseling, safe haven, personal support and other services to victim. The South Carolina Victim’s Assistance Network provides enhanced advocacy and other forms of service to victims.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

City of North Charleston Appoints New Artist-in-Residence

Local fiber artist, Kristy Bishop, to fill role for 2012-2013

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is proud to announce the appointment of contemporary fiber artist Kristy Bishop as Artist-in-Residence for 2012/13. The City’s Artist-in-Residence serves as a key resource for the department’s outreach programs, especially in the area of art instruction. The selected artist shares his/her unique skills, talents, and experiences by providing services to senior groups, public schools, group homes, and various other groups within the city limits of North Charleston. Kristy will be available for visual art residencies of 12-15 hours at a minimum of two hour increments at North Charleston schools and is also available to host workshops for community groups of all ages.

Kristy Bishop, originally from Charleston, received a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in painting from the College of Charleston in 2008. In the spring of 2009 she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the beauty and fragility of the Mojave desert became the primary inspiration for her paintings. It was in December of that year that Kristy began experimenting with fiber mediums, incorporating sewn and embroidered elements into her paintings. By the time she returned to Charleston in the summer of 2010, Kristy had made the transformation from painter to mixed media/fiber artist. Her most recent works are created solely from fabric, featuring hand-dyed silk that is cut, gathered, and sewn. By hand dyeing the fabric, she creates a multitude of colors that she uses as her palette for creating new work. Thousands of tiny pieces of hand-dyed silk are manipulated to create large scale abstract pieces that employ texture and color to convey and evoke a number of emotions. In March, 2012, Kristy was featured in Charleston Magazine. Her most recent works can be viewed in an exhibition titled Pinned Down, on view from August 17-28 at Stems, located at 208 Coming Street in downtown Charleston.

Art teachers and school liaisons may initiate the request for FREE services by the Artist-in-Residence by contacting the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. Community groups are also welcome to submit requests, which will be considered on a first come first served basis. All project requests should be placed at least two weeks in advance, with residences completed by the end of May, 2013.

The North Charleston City Gallery will host an exhibition of Kristy’s work throughout January, 2013. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. School liaisons, arts teachers, and the general public are invited to meet the artist at a free gallery reception on Thursday, January 3, 2013, from 5:00-7:00pm.

More information about the Artist-in-Residence program, as well as the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, can be found on the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org. For more information about Kristy, visit kristybishop.com.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Morgan Olson establishing new facility in North Charleston, $1 million investment with 119 new jobs

Morgan Olson LLC, a maker of walk-in van bodies, today announced that it will establish its new plant in North Charleston. The $1 million investment is expected to generate 119 new jobs.

“We are excited about locating our new facility in Charleston County. South Carolina offers a business-friendly environment and the skilled workforce we need for our operations. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Dave Halladay, vice president of Operations at Morgan Olson.

Morgan Olson’s Charleston facility will strip and retrofit truck chassis built by Mercedes in North Charleston, as well as upfit cargo vans with modular interiors for Fed Ex, Ryder and other customers.

“More and more companies are learning the benefits of doing business in South Carolina and putting down roots here. We celebrate Morgan Olson’s decision to invest $1 million and create 119 new jobs here in Charleston County,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Morgan Olson will locate its new 100,000-square-foot plant at 7555 Palmetto Commerce Parkway in North Charleston. The facility is expected to be online by October 1 and producing vehicles by October 22.

“The automotive industry continues to be a real driver in our state’s economy and in our manufacturing sector. When companies like Morgan Olson choose to locate here, it not only creates jobs and wealth for South Carolinians, but also increases our reputation in the automotive club,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $4.4 billion in capital investment and more than 6,800 jobs in the automotive-related sector.

“Congratulations to Morgan Olson on this exciting relocation news,” said Teddie Pryor, chairman of Charleston County Council. “Our automotive sector has led the way out of the recession among area manufacturers, and we are elated to be adding a company of the caliber of Morgan Olson to our corporate family. Their reputation for innovation and quality has preceded them here, and with the ever growing market for the Daimler Sprinter, we believe this facility will become central to their corporate strategy in the years to come. Our world-class Port and our unrivaled workforce will help create the fertile soil conditions for this success, and Morgan Olson can count on Charleston County as its pro-business partner for years to come.”

“The City of North Charleston commits to remain business friendly to support Morgan Olson and the expanding automotive sector of our regional economy,” said Keith Summey, mayor of North Charleston. “Morgan Olson is providing a welcomed capital investment and increased opportunities for high quality new jobs that will further strengthen our community.”

“We are proud to welcome Morgan Olson to our community,” said Charleston Regional Development Alliance Chairman Wayne Hall. “This expansion proves just how competitive we have become. Our three counties offer an incredible combination of assets for global manufacturers, including an established automotive cluster, a skilled workforce and the world-class training programs of readySC. By choosing to locate in the Charleston region, Morgan Olson sends a powerful message to automotive companies around the world.”

The company has completed its first hiring phase and information on additional hiring will be released at a later date.

Morgan Olson is the leading walk-in van body manufacturer in North America. Its portfolio of customers serves a multitude of industries and delivery applications, from baking and snack foods to newspaper, textile rental, vending and parcel delivery. For more information about Morgan Olson, please visit www.morganolson.com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teaching Artists Sought for After School Arts Enrichment Programs in North Charleston

Thanks to the dedication of Mayor Summey and City Council, the City of North Charleston continues to provide after school programs to several public elementary schools within city limits. One component of these programs is arts enrichment classes through the City’s Cultural Arts Department. The department is seeking teaching artists in all disciplines to offer these classes for the 2012/13 school year. Local artists with a willingness to share their talents and an ability to work with young students are invited to participate in this after school arts enrichment program.

Thirteen elementary schools in North Charleston are identified sites. Classes are held for one hour twice a week with instructors rotating to a new school site on a bi-monthly basis. The number of participants will vary at each site and teaching artists should anticipate working with large groups of children. A site staff person is available to offer assistance. Rate of pay for these part-time positions is $20 an hour and a limited supply budget is available depending on the needs of the arts discipline. A minimum two month commitment is requested, which results in 16 one hour classes. To insure the safety of the children, background checks are required.

Interested artists should submit a class proposal form and resume as soon as possible to be considered for this program, as rotations begin in September. Forms are available for download from the Applications and Registration Forms page at http://bit.ly/culturalarts. Application materials may be emailed to culturalarts@northcharleston.org or mailed to the attention of Nancy Rodriguez at City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Dept., PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016. For more information, contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 9, 2012 City Council Meeting

Monday, August 6, 2012

North Charleston selected as Regional Veterans Day Site by National Committee

Veterans Day Ceremony

The Department of Defense and the Veterans Day National Committee has once again selected North Charleston as a Regional Site for Veterans Day 2012. North Charleston is the only regional site in the State of South Carolina and has been selected for 3 consecutive years.

The City of North Charleston will host its annual Veterans Day tribute on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Park Circle. We ask veterans and the public to join Mayor R. Keith Summey and City Council in this special ceremony. Last year, over 500 veterans in attendance were honored.

Prior to the ceremony, from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, a story swap will be held in the Felix Davis Community Center. Veterans will have an open opportunity to share memories and stories about their service with fellow veterans. The story swap is open to the public.

Additional details about North Charleston’s Veterans Day event will be released over the coming months.

From past Veterans Day events
Photos: Veterans Day 2011
Photos: Veterans Day 2010
Video: Medal of Honor recipient Major General Livingston on Veterans Day
Video: 10 year old Tre’ Williams on what it means to be a veteran
Video: Major Joe Lysaght on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance

It's Cool to be in School, 5th annual school supply giveaway

The City of North Charleston, in partnership with area churches and businesses, will hold its 5th annual school supply giveaway on Saturday, August 11, 2012, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

Bring your school-aged children to receive supplies for the school year.  Supplies will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis.

It's Cool to be in School program is organized by North Charleston Police Department's Community and Police Panel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

North Charleston neighborhoods turn out to Stomp out Crime

Police Chief Zumalt in the communityOn August 7, citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses and local officials in over 10,000 communities and military bases worldwide will join forces to mark the 29th Annual National Night Out.  Locally, the North Charleston Police Department will host National Night Out in conjunction with Target, the national sponsor, on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

At 6:00 pm, Police Chief Jon Zumalt, along with Councilman Michael Brown and residents of the Accabee community, will kick off a neighborhood cookout and crime prevention education activities at the Accabee Community Center on Appleton Avenue. The event will conclude with a neighborhood walk.

Similar events will occur simultaneously in neighborhoods throughout the city to include: Forest Hills I, Midland Park/Stall Road Corridor, Charleston Farms, Union Heights, Olde Village, and Indigo on the Ashley to name a few. Citizens are asked to turn on their porch lights as a sign of unity and to let the criminals know that the City of North Charleston is organized and fighting back.

National Night Out is designed to (1) heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs; (3) strengthen neighborhood spirit, police and community relations; and (4) send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods around the world are organized and fighting back. Nationally, over 33 million people will participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’ this year.

Schedule of events

Ferndale - Community cook-out from 6-8 pm at the Community Center on Bolton and Piedmont.

Stall/MidlandPark/Pepperhill - Neighborhood- Watch Block Party from 6–8 pm. Games, food, and community/vendors invited. The event will take place at the Stall Road Community Center.

Accabee - The community will be hosting a cookout and a walk. The event will take place at the Accabee Community center from 6 – 8 pm. The North Charleston Police department will be hosting a bicycle rodeo.

Olde Village - The community will be hosting a cookout and walk. The walk will start at 5:30 pm meeting place is Triangle Park at Justice/Beaver. The cookout is from 1830-until.

Charleston Farms - The community will be hosting a cookout at the community center (1633 Sumner Ave). The event will take place from 6 pm.

Indigo on the Ashley - The neighborhood will be hosting a family movie night under the stars. The event will take place in a community common area from 6–9 pm.

Taylor Plantation - Community cook-out at the amenity center from 6–8 pm.

Forest Hills - The neighborhood is having a “Going Away Party” for crimes and drugs. They will be conducting a walk starting at the Lil’ Cricket at 7 pm.

Wando Woods - Community Walk starting at 7 pm. Meet at the Community center.

Chicora/ Cherokee - Community cookout from 6–8 pm at the Community center.

Union Heights - Community cookout at the Community Center at 6 pm.

Coosaw Commons - Community Cookout at the Pool House starting at 6:30 pm.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Five Charleston area fire departments sign unprecedented aid agreement

Greater Charleston area fire departments have taken unprecedented steps toward cross-boundary support when responding to future fires and emergencies. The governing bodies of the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston, St. Andrew’s Public Service District, James Island Public Service District, and St. John’s Fire District each approved an Interlocal Agreement for Automatic Aid and Response to provide mutual assistance during emergencies and jointly signed the agreement on Monday, July 30, 2012 at the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center.

At the ceremony, five neighboring fire departments formally entered into the automatic aid agreement for fire protection. This agreement is the result of years of work to develop identical or compatible procedures that allow the members of these five departments to work together seamlessly at fires and other emergency incidents. In the future, responses will be from the closest available crews for emergencies that are located anywhere in these jurisdictions, regardless of municipal and service district boundaries.

The areas included cover Daniel Island to Kiawah Island and Ladson Road to Peninsula Charleston. Faster response can significantly improve the outcome of incidents and could result in saving more lives and property. These five departments have a total combined force of approximately 800 firefighters who can now operate together effectively at large scale emergencies.

“This agreement for automatic aid significantly improves our capability to handle major emergencies as well as multiple, simultaneous incidents. I credit our partner departments with working through many challenges to achieve this agreement that provides safer and more effective service to the citizens we serve,” said North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow.

“This agreement assures we provide the best response and customer service to the our citizens. We are proud to be working with the other Departments,” said Charleston Interim Fire Chief Franklin Finley.

“This historic document is all about improving service to our customers while enhancing safer operations for our personnel,” said St. Andrews Public Service District Fire Chief Mark Schrade.

“Automatic Aid, common Standard Operating Guidelines, and joint training are key to providing the citizens we protect with the highest level of service possible. This Automatic Aid Agreement ensures that our communities are receiving the quickest possible response to their call for service by sending the closest unit regardless of jurisdiction,” said James Island Public Service District Fire Chief M. Chris Seabolt.

"Automatic aid is all about the customer getting an adequate response without the worry of whose jurisdiction they may reside in,” said St. John’s Fire District Fire Chief Karl E. Ristow.

Each department will bear the costs associated with its own crews and equipment, with the possible exception of hazmat costs. Assistance rendered under this agreement is determined on an as available basis and is not required if the circumstances are such that safety in one area of service will be diminished by providing assistance.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Officer DeCorte honored for off duty actions

Office Jason Lee DeCorte of the North Charleston Police Department was honored at City Council on July 27, 2012 as the City's employee of the quarter for his off duty actions last spring.

On May 15, 2012, Officer DeCorte traveling on Dorchester Road when he observed a vehicle swerving across all lanes of traffic.  Although off duty, Officer DeCorte went forth with a standard traffic stop to prevent the car's occupant from injuring himself, other motorist, or pedestrians.

When Officer DeCorte approached the vehicle, the motorist would not roll his window down or open the driver's door as was instructed and appeared to be in a daze with his eyes opening and closing very slowly.  When the door was finally opened, the motorist's legs appeared to be very swollen, his shirt and pants soaked from sweat, and his reactions delayed.  In addition, the motorist could not answer any of Officer DeCorte's questions.

Quickly realizing the motorist needed medical treatment, Officer DeCorte requested an EMS Unit to respond immediately.  After their arrival it was discovered that the motorist's blood sugar was dangerously low.  If a few more minutes had passed, the motorist could have lost his life.

Officer DeCorte, while off duty, prevented what could have been a tragic ending.  His actions saved a life and removed a very dangerous situation from our community's roadway.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012 City Council Meeting

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adult fall sports now open for registration

The North Charleston Recreation Department is accepting teams for the upcoming 2012 fall adult season.

Sunday Co-Ed Flag Football - $475 team entry
Accepting the first 8 teams to pay their entry fee
Games played at MeadWestvaco/Kapston Park

Sunday Co-Ed Softball - $475 team entry
Accepting the first 16 teams to pay their entry fee
Games played at MeadWestvaco/Kapstone Park

Women’s Recreation Softball Weeknight League - $600 team entry
Accepting the first 9 teams to pay their entry fee
Games played at MeadWestvaco/Kapstone Park on Monday and Thursday evenings

Men’s Over 40- 3 on 3 Basketball - $250 team entry
Accepting the first 12 teams to pay their entry fee
Games played at the Sterett Hall Gymnasium on the Old Naval Base.

The managers’ meetings for the leagues will be held August 15, 2012 at Felix C. Davis Community Center in Park Circle.
7:00 p.m. for Softball
7:45 pm for Flag Football
8:30 pm for Basketball
All interested teams are urged to have a representative present at this meeting.

For more information call Cindy Dambaugh at 843-740-5801, or e-mail cdambaugh@northcharleston.org.  For information on all North Charleston Recreation Department Programs visit our website at www.northcharleston.org or for a monthly update of programs and events offered, call our 24-Hour Information Line at 843-740-2699.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lunch in the Park, a fundraiser for our Dixie Majors Championship Team

To support North Charleston’s World Series Dixie Majors baseball team, a luncheon fundraiser will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2012 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Felix C. Davis Community Center (4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, SC 29405). All lunch proceeds will assist the team in travel expenses to the tournament.

The North Charleston team went undefeated to win the South Carolina State Championship in Lancaster, SC over the July 14, 2012 weekend, advancing to the Dixie Majors World Series Tournament.

The Dixie Majors World Series Tournament will be played at Legion Field in Laurel, Mississippi. Games begin on Saturday, July 28, 2012. The North Charleston Majors team, ages 17-19, will take on the Alabama State Champions in its opener at 1:00 pm on July 28.

The double elimination tournament consists of the eleven 2012 State Champions throughout the Southeast and one team from the respective host city.

The North Charleston Recreation Department will be serving up lunch, sponsored by Cheerwine, of hamburgers, hotdogs, and grilled chicken with a $5 donation requested.  The Barbeque Joint is donating BBQ!

For more fundraiser information or donations, please contact Ed Barfield at (843) 740-5814 or edbarfield@northcharleston.org.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012 City Council Meeting

Friday, July 6, 2012

NCFD Fireboat dedication and demonstration

North Charleston Fire Department's fireboat, NCFD Marine 1
The North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD) dedicated and demonstrated the Lowcountry's first fireboat at North Charleston's 4th of July Festival.

The 32ft purpose-built fireboat was named in memory of Retired North Charleston Fire Chief W. Frank New who lead the department from 1973 to 1985.  The fireboat joined the NCFD fleet as "NCFD Marine 1."

The fireboat, model FireStorm 32, was built by Metal Craft Marine in Kingston, Ontario.  It is powered by dual Cummins diesel engines, each rated at 480 horsepower, which were manufactured at the Cummins Turbo Technologies facility on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston, SC. Its top speed is 43 knots or nearly 50 MPH and can pump more than 2,000 gallons of water per minute through 4 water monitors mounted on the roof, bow and two on the aft deck.

The fireboat can traverse and operate in very shallow water due to its shallow draft and jet drive configuration.  The aft deck provides an oversized dive platform/recovery deck, which provides water level working space for deployment and recovery. The cabin is equipped with VHF, radar integrated with GPS, infrared capabilities and high output scene and spot lights for night operations.

The fireboat dedication was part of North Charleston's 4th of July Festival, which boasts a full day of top level musical entertainment and family and children activities.  The Festival concluded with the largest show of fireworks in the State of South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th of July Festival in North Charleston, feat. largest fireworks show in the State of South Carolina

North Charleston's 4th of July Festival
The City of North Charleston will hold its Fourth of July Festival at Riverfront Park on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm. The event and parking are free of charge and all general admission.

North Charleston’s Fourth of July Festival will feature the largest show of fireworks in the State of South Carolina.

The following is a schedule of events:
3:00 pm
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
5:45 pm – 7:30 pm
7:45 pm – 9:15 pm
9:15 pm – 9:45 pm
Festivities begin
Ruben Studdard, former American Idol
Show of fireworks over the Cooper River by Zambelli Fireworks International with music performed by Equinox Jazz Band

Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there will be no seating provided. No alcohol is permissible within the park. A wide variety of food vendors will be on site. Children activities will be available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. 

Riverfront Park is located on the former Charleston Naval Base, easily accessible from I-526 and I-26. Enter the former Charleston Naval Base by the McMillan Avenue or Virginia Avenue gate and turn onto Hobson Avenue. Riverfront Park signs are visible for easy to follow directions. All parking is free and shuttles will be available for the convenience of guests.

Photos from last year's show of fireworks.

Open to the public year-round, Riverfront Park has become a favorite destination for residents and visitors. Set on the banks of the beautiful Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by the Charleston Naval Base officers, surrounded by graceful grand oak trees and peaceful river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park boasts a magnificent contemporary Performance Pavilion and meadow.

Riverfront Park is home to the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial, erected in honor of the countless military personnel and civilians that served the United States and the Greater Charleston region while the Charleston Naval Base was operational. The Memorial is the only location in the United States that displays both the Lone Sailor and the Homecoming statues. Riverfront Park is also the location of North Charleston’s Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. A component of the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival, the Competition and Exhibition features large-scale contemporary sculptures on display throughout the year.

For further information, visit the City’s website at http://www.northcharleston.org.

Last year's Fourth of July Festival

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

North Charleston Fire Department to dedicate and demonstrate area’s first fireboat at 4th of July Festival

The North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD) will dedicate the Lowcountry’s first fireboat at North Charleston’s 4th of July Festival with a short ceremony on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 3:00pm along the Cooper River at Riverfront Park. NCFD will showcase the fireboat’s capabilities immediately after the ceremony.

The 32ft purpose-built fireboat will be named in honor of Retired North Charleston Fire Chief W. Frank New who lead the department from 1973 to 1985. The fireboat will join the NCFD fleet as “NCFD Marine 1.”

The fireboat, model FireStorm 32, was built by Metal Craft Marine in Kingston, Ontario. It is powered by dual Cummins diesel engines, each rated at 480 horsepower, which were manufactured at the Cummins Turbo Technologies facility on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston, SC. Its top speed is 43 knots or nearly 50 MPH and can pump more than 2,000 gallons of water per minute through 4 water monitors mounted on the roof, bow and two on the aft deck.

The fireboat can traverse and operate in very shallow water due to its shallow draft and jet drive configuration. The aft deck provides an oversized dive platform/recovery deck, which provides water level working space for deployment and recovery. The cabin is equipped with VHF, radar integrated with GPS, infrared capabilities and high output scene and spot lights for night operations.

The fireboat dedication is part of North Charleston’s 4th of July Festival, which boasts a full day of top level musical entertainment and family and children activities. The Festival concludes with the largest show of fireworks in the State of South Carolina.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Patriots Point Scholarship Program sponsors North Charleston students for educational programs aboard Yorktown

USS Yorktown Fall 2008 Cub Scout Trip Boarding-1

The Patriots Point Institute of History and Science is partnering with the City of North Charleston to host 550 students for educational programs aboard the USS YORKTOWN July 2-9 (not including weekend dates and the Fourth of July). The students – all participants in the North Charleston Recreation Department’s Summer Camp – will participate in a cross-curricular, standards-based program that features history, science, math, literacy, and art components in a setting that underscores patriotism, dedication and sacrifice.

A group of approximately 100 students will visit Patriots Point each day. Their participation in this program has been made possible thanks to the Patriots Point Scholarship Program, funded by the generous support of community partners and organizations such as the USS Yorktown (CV-10) Association and local volunteer Mike Sudzina and his wife, Mary. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these students to visit Patriots Point and to take part in our multi-faceted educational programs,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “In addition to serving as Charleston’s only floating science lab, Patriots Point represents some of the very best qualities of our nation – duty, honor, service, and sacrifice,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette said. 

“We recognize that challenges presented by today’s economic climate make it difficult for various youth programs to afford to travel for off-site education programs and we want to do our part to help,” Burdette continued. “Thanks to our Scholarship Program, we have been able to subsidize travel and admission costs for more than 5,000 students in the past year alone. For most of these children, it was their first trip to the USS YORKTOWN and to Charleston. These are experiences they will remember for a lifetime.” 

The Patriots Point Scholarship Program depends on support from the community. Qualifying schools and programs are eligible to apply for funding; and every $10 donation means that a student is able to participate in the Patriots Point Institute of History and Science’s education programs. During the past school year, Patriots Point welcomed students from 26 counties in South Carolina to participate in the Institute of History and Science education programs. If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to this fund, please contact the Patriots Point Education Department at 843-971-5046. 

On the final day of the camp, Monday, July 9, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey will visit Patriots Point to view the History and Science program in action and to speak with the students. 

“Many thanks are due to Patriots Point and its Scholarship Program donors for the positive impact being made on the young people of our community,” Mayor Summey said. “Through their generosity, hundreds of North Charleston youths will be afforded a one of a kind, hands-on educational experience that is unrivaled by many Lowcountry programs. Simply boarding the USS Yorktown will be something never before experienced by many of our summer camp participants.” 

Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails, who serves as a member of the Patriots Point Development Authority Board, will also join the students on July 9. For three weeks this summer, June 11-15, July 23-27 and August 6-10, Patriots Point is partnering with the Town of Mount Pleasant to offer summer educational programs for students. Parents registered their children for this week-long program through the Town of Mount Pleasant’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

“I commend Patriots Point for its stewardship and commitment to educating the next generations of leaders, patriots and scientists,” said Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails. “Patriots Point Institute of History and Science offers a unique educational experience for our Lowcountry children and beyond. The Patriots Point Scholarship Program ensures that our children can benefit from the time-tested values of honor, duty and courage that this fine institution embodies. As Patriots Point moves forward, it will continue to inspire and engage our youth in new and innovative ways to preserve this rich military heritage.” 

About Patriots Point 

Patriots Point, on the Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant, SC, is home of Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, including the USS YORKTOWN, USS LAFFEY and USS CLAMAGORE, Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the U.S. Patriots Point is also headquarters to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. As an agency, the Naval and Maritime Museum strives to preserve the living history of our nation’s bravest men and women while telling their stories in honorable, educational and engaging ways. Stay up to date on what’s happening at Patriots Point by visiting www.patriotspoint.org and ‘liking’ us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PatriotsPoint.org.

Cummins Turbo Technologies expanding in North Charleston, $19.5 million investment expected to create 76 new jobs

Cummins Inc. is expanding its Turbo Technologies operations in North Charleston with a $19.5 million investment that is expected to generate 76 jobs.

Cummins Turbo Technologies, which designs and manufactures turbochargers for diesel engines, is adding a new building and expanding its office space at its campus in the Palmetto Commercial Park in North Charleston. As part of the expansion, Cummins is building a 125,000-square-foot warehouse. Another 10,000 square feet of new office space will be added to the existing building and 10,000 square feet of existing space will be renovated.

“We are excited about the chance to expand in Charleston County. South Carolina has provided an excellent environment in which to do business, and this expansion will help us to better serve our customers. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Cummins Turbo Technologies Plant Manager Willis Pugh.

“It’s another great day in South Carolina when a company like Cummins Turbo Technologies chooses to expand here. We celebrate the company’s $19.5 million investment and the 76 new jobs they will create in North Charleston. South Carolina’s business-friendly climate continues to attract job-creating investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Cummins Turbo Technologies opened its first Charleston area manufacturing plant in 1989, operating under the name Holset Engineering until 2006. The company previously announced an expansion at the plant in July 2008. The current expansion is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

“Cummins has had a presence in the Lowcountry for a number of years and it’s exciting to see them grow in Charleston. We continue to see manufacturers across the state expand and create new jobs. Today’s announcement builds on that trend,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

Since January, South Carolina recruited more than $2 billion in investment and more than 3,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Our heartiest congratulations go out today to Cummins on this fabulous expansion project,” said Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie E. Pryor. “Cummins and Charleston County have written three decades of great business history together, and we welcome this expansion of the Turbo Technologies campus, which we know will create great synergies and keep the North Charleston operation globally competitive. Our hats are off to the Cummins management and workforce today, and you will always find a partner in Charleston County.”

“The expansion of Cummins Turbo Technologies in Palmetto Commerce Park gives us confidence that the City of North Charleston and the greater Charleston region remains a ripe environment for businesses to flourish. We applaud Cummins’ success as an industry leader and are thankful for the sizable capital investment and new jobs that our community will receive,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.

Hiring for the new positions will be handled by Malace International. Anyone interested in applying for a job should e-mail Bryan Stewart at bryan@malacehr.com.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a set aside grant for $150,000.

About Cummins
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.85 billion on sales of $18.0 billion in 2011. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Officer Winslette receives Purple Heart for surviving a life-threatening incident in the life of duty

Officer David Winslette with Chief Zumalt after receiving Purple Heart Award
 Officer David Winslette (right) with Chief Jon Zumalt (left). Chief Zumalt is holding the DuPont Kevlar Award.

Officer David Winslette received the Purple Heart award for the events on January 14, 2012

On January 14, 2012, North Charleston Police Officer David C. Winslette cleared a call in reference to a stolen iPad from a residence on Allen Drive. The complainant provided Officer Winslette with a name and physical description of the suspect.

While parked at the El Cheapo fuel station on lower Dorchester Rd, about one block from the incident location, Officer Winslette searched the portable DMV database for a photo of the suspect, which he located. Shortly after, Officer Winslette observed a subject fitting the description of the suspect enter the El Cheapo, where he purchased a few items.

After exiting the store, Winslette watched the suspect as he walked towards a dark sedan, which was parked at the fuel pumps. Winslette exited his patrol car and approached the suspect, making a verbal request to speak with the suspect to conduct a field interview. The suspect continued to walk away from Officer Winslette, ignoring his requests.

As Winslette came into within eight feet of the suspect, the suspect turned quickly to his right, discharging two 9mm rounds. The first round struck Officer Winslette in the upper left chest portion of his vest, causing him to stumble back from the impact. The second round struck Officer Winslette’s left knee, shattering the knee cap and knocking him to the ground.

Realizing that the situation was life-threatening and within milliseconds of being wounded, Officer Winslette reached for his radio to contact Communications. During his fall, the battery was dislodged from his radio. Displaying great fortitude, Officer Winslette assembled his radio as rounds three and four were discharged by the suspect, missing their intended target. Officer Winslette radioed for help and advised he had been shot. Winslette was able to provide a detailed description and the direction of travel of the shooter, who he observed fleeing the scene across a busy roadway.

Due to his diligence, quick-thinking, and courage, Winslette was able to keep his composure, utilized sound judgment and did not return fire, which could have risked injury to innocent civilians. Officer Winslette honored his responsibility and answered the call to serve and protect the citizens of North Charleston, nearly with the sacrifice of his very life.

Officer David C. Winslette is a credit to the City of North Charleston, the Mayor, the Police Department and the citizens he’s sworn to protect.

Pictured in the photo (L-R), Ronald McBride (IACP DuPont), Tommy Norris (Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient), David Winslette (NCPD), and Jeff Fackler (DuPont Protective Services)
Officer Winslette accepted the DuPont Kevlar Award in Texas, which is given in recognition to those who have survived life-threatening incidents by wearing personal body armor.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zucker family to help build Clemson landmark, education in North Charleston

Anita Zucker talks to Clemson University President James F. Barker
image by: Craig Mahaffey/Clemson University

Standing at the site of what will be an iconic building named for her family, Anita Zucker, a champion for education in South Carolina, said a new wave of manufacturing will provide a wealth of opportunity for the state.

With a shared vision, Clemson University will build a state-of-the-art education center at the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) on the former Navy base in North Charleston.

The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center, financed in part by a $5 million gift from the family, will foster collaboration and innovation in a place where students, university faculty and staff, and private industry will interact on a daily basis.

The latest industries, from composite materials and energy systems to advanced computing and microscopy, will engage in public-private partnerships to accelerate innovations to market.

The center will become a focal point in the drive to advance the state’s economy, Zucker said.

“South Carolina’s Lowcountry has been fortunate in recent years to have received some notable new residents,” Zucker said. “Clemson’s wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility and the Boeing Co.’s Dreamliner assembly plant are significant for the region.

“But we must not rest on our laurels. The benefits of these new neighbors are far-reaching," she said. “Creating a workforce with the right skills is fundamental to the state’s success and its economic vitality. Centers like this will help place South Carolina at the forefront of innovation.”

"Based on experiences gained at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, where the automotive industry collaborates on a daily basis, the Zucker Family Center at CURI will become the go-to place for innovation in advanced materials, the environment and sectors related to energy, power systems, logistics and transportation," said Clemson University President James F. Barker.

“What CU-ICAR has done to strengthen the automotive cluster in the Upstate, the Restoration Institute is doing in the Lowcountry for advanced materials, the environment and sectors related to energy, power systems, logistics and transportation,” Barker said.

“The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center will be the hub where all these initiatives meet,” he said.

Clemson is a leader in energy, power and systems engineering, and is recognized as one of the top 25 public research universities in the United States. In collaboration with industry, the university offers advanced-degree programs and research areas geared toward training and developing energy systems-related engineers.

The Restoration Institute already has garnered $100 million in investment for research and development, directly fueling the knowledge base critical to the future of South Carolina’s economy.

The Zucker center will further stimulate private-public partnerships through the creative exchange of ideas, said John Kelly, Clemson University vice president for economic development and executive director of the Restoration Institute.

The center will be built on a brownfield site at the closed Naval shipyard, and in itself become the essence of economic development, Kelly said.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Zucker family, this facility will support new technology and applied research in ‘living laboratories’ for a wide array of advanced research and development,” he said. “This center would not be possible without the generosity of the Zucker family and for that vision and willingness to see South Carolina excel, we are extremely grateful.”

The Zucker family gift is one of the largest in Clemson’s The Will to Lead capital campaign, which aims to raise $600 million to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

Watch the June 14, 2012 City Council Meeting

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fire Department dedicates new engine and heavy rescue with ceremonial wet-down

Fire Department dedicates new engine and heavy rescue with ceremonial wet-down

The North Charleston Fire Department will hold a traditional wet-down ceremony for an Engine and a Heavy Rescue that has joined the fleet on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 1:00pm at the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum. Both trucks will operate from Fire Station #7 on Leeds Avenue and will replace a 1995 Engine and a 2002 Heavy Rescue.

Both trucks were built by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI are based on the Arrow XT chassis.

A wet-down ceremony is a traditional welcome for a fire apparatus or station. The tradition originated in historic east coast fire departments when changing out old fire pumpers for the new. The horses would be unhitched and water was transferred to the new apparatus. It would then be dried off and pushed into the stall for service.

Engine photo from Pierce Manufacturing
Heavy Rescue photo from Pierce Manufacturing
Photos of the Heavy Rescue while parked behind City Hall

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hurricane Season Begins — Are YOU Ready?

June 1 marks the beginning of the 2012 hurricane season, but are most people prepared? Are you prepared?

The Charleston County Emergency Management Department wants residents to get their family’s emergency plan in place and put their emergency supply kit together prior to a storm. Residents are also encouraged to “like” the department’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/EMDChasCo so they can have immediate access to new information in the event of an emergency.

Now is the time to get ready, and it’s easy with the help of the new 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Guide.

“Charleston County Government is always preparing for a storm and working with other local and state agencies to do so, but everyone has an individual responsibility to get prepared and make sure their family has a plan,” said Cathy Haynes, Charleston County Emergency Management Department’s Chief of Operations. “Churches and civic groups can also help by printing the guide for those who do not have access to the Internet. Our entire community needs to help spread the word.” 

In anticipation of an evacuation order, which can only be given by the governor, Haynes also reminds the public that they should plan to leave town if at all possible, and everyone along the coast is strongly encouraged to make travel arrangements well in advance. 

“Because of the low-lying areas in our county, we will never have enough safe shelter space for all of Charleston County’s residents,” said Jason Patno, Charleston County Emergency Management Director. “Therefore, we encourage everyone who has the means to leave town to do so and to consider shelters only as a last resort when they have nowhere else to go.” 

Also, those who have the ability to leave should do so as early as possible. 

“You don’t have to wait until an evacuation order is issued,” Patno said. “If you can, leave as early as possible to make your trip easier and to help relieve the traffic congestion on our roads.” 

Citizens who do not have transportation should learn where their nearest evacuation pick-up point is located. The evacuation pick-up points are noted by blue signs with a hurricane and bus symbol, and are located across the county at many CARTA bus stops and popular areas like schools, churches and shopping centers. In the event of a mandatory evacuation, buses will transport citizens from the 79 pick-up points to the nearest available Red Cross shelter

“It is vital for residents in our community who don’t have transportation to know where their nearest pick-up point is before the next hurricane approaches our coast,” Haynes said. “It takes all of us working together to make sure our citizens and neighbors are prepared and safe.” 

The procedures for opening shelters have changed for the 2012 hurricane season. Rather than having a list of shelters in advance, emergency shelters will be determined with the approach of a hurricane to South Carolina. In the event of a hurricane or other major disaster, residents are asked to monitor local media outlets for a current list of open shelters. During an evacuation, listen for emergency alerts on the radio and look for road signs for shelter information. 

Information in the 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide includes:
  • What to have in your emergency supplies kit
  • Evacuation information and routes out of Charleston County
  • Shelter procedures
  • What to do if you don’t have transportation – look for pick-up point signs posted around the county!
  • Definitions and what you need to do during hurricane watches, warnings and tropical storms 
  • Rules to know and items to bring if you and your pet need to stay at the pet shelter 
  • Preparations for your home and your family before the storm 
  • What to do after a storm, including safety measures and handling debris 
  • A family communications plan form to fill out 
  • Important phone numbers, including ones that will be activated in the event of an emergency 
The 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide will also run throughout hurricane season on Comcast’s education and government channel 60.
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