Employment and Population in Charleston County – Breakdown by the Numbers (Report Updated July 19, 2019)

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The latest employment and population data from the SC Department of Employment & Workforce has been released (July 19, 2019). Here are some of the key trends in our area and the state of South Carolina.

We have also provided a link to the full report.

Complete Report

Source: SC Department of Employment & Workforce – July 19, 2019 Last Update

National Medal of Honor Museum Coming to Charleston, South Carolina; NMOH Heritage Foundation Unveils Strategic Development Plan; Promises Donors “A Museum or Your Money Back”

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Chairman Tommy McQueeney, USMC Major General & Medal of Honor Recipient James E. Livingston, and Congressman Joe Wilson discuss leadership, integrity and federal legislation sponsored by Senator John McCain behind national museum project.

CHARLESTON, S.C., July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In defining action that puts an end to rampant rumors, resolves lingering questions, and ensures the future of a widely-supported national museum honoring America’s Medal of Honor Recipients, the National Medal of Honor Heritage Foundation today announced the museum will be built in Mount Pleasant. The newly-formed non-profit also unveiled a comprehensive strategic development plan that identifies costs, and specific fundraising and construction objectives, with a targeted July 4, 2023 opening. Organization leaders were joined by federal, state and local government officials for the announcement, which was made aboard the USS Yorktown at Charleston’s Patriots Point.

Comprised of nationally recognized personalities with strong support from military and veterans organizations, the private sector, and others, the National Medal of Honor Heritage Foundation has breathed new energy and excitement into a museum whose fate once seemed uncertain. Adding weight to its efforts and plan, designating legislation issued jointly by the House of Representatives and the United States Senate grants the non-profit exclusive authority to build the nation’s only National Medal of Honor Museum, with the requirement that it be built in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Under Senate 1633, originally sponsored by Senator John McCain, the museum may not be located in any other city or state, and no other project may call itself a National Medal of Honor Museum.

The announcement is the latest move by the Foundation to pick up the mantle on the stalled project. Earlier this month, Chairman W. Thomas McQueeney issued an open letter to the community and press, affirming Charleston’s Patriots Point as the official, permanent site of the National Medal of Honor Museum. McQueeney’s frank, one-page letter followed extensive behind-the-scenes efforts to rebuild relationships, implement financial controls, and restore order in the wake of disastrous failure by a previous group. Today’s announcement aboard the USS Yorktown is unwelcome news for remaining members of the prior organization, who recently made a series of claims about alternate siting candidates and national monuments—despite lacking any authority or the Congressional designation to do so, and without revealing details of the costs or funding sources for the alleged projects.  

Bringing an authoritative voice to the project, Chairman McQueeney affirmed Patriots Point as his vision of the formal, permanent siting for the National Medal of Honor Museum. In addition, he made clear that the National Museum already exists on the “Fighting Lady,” the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point, and will be expanded under a new strategic vision implemented by the Foundation. Under Senate 1633, which became law in 1999, Congressional designation is provided for only one national museum.

Chairman McQueeney also made a solid ‘Museum or Money Back’ promise. Under the Foundation’s plan, central corpus funds will be reserved exclusively for construction costs. Expenses not associated with construction, bricks and mortar, and things inside the museum will not be paid out of corpus funds, ensuring that failure is not an option.  

The NMOH Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation formed for the purpose of bringing the existing museum to a land-side site. To accomplish this, the Foundation will raise $45 million through public, private, and corporate efforts to right-size the new facility – a figure less than half the amount sought by a previous group.

The NMOH Heritage Foundation consists of an advisory board with ten members from across the US, who are nationally-recognized in their fields. In addition, there is a 13-member executive board enhanced with high-profile citizens of the Charleston community. A 51-member “Special Forces Team” of volunteers, experts in marketing, events, website, finance, public relations, construction, hospitality, and other needs, will provide special project support.

“This is a transformative moment for the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center,” Foundation Chairman Tom McQueeney said. “This Foundation has taken the stalled Patriots Point Project and put it on the path to reality. With proper focus, a diverse team of top-tier professionals, and a bold strategic vision, the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center is on track to open its doors – at a savings of more than $50 million.”

“It’s very significant to me that it’s in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. No one is going to get in our way this time,” said Medal of Honor recipient General James E. Livingston. “This museum is important to our young people. It will serve as a source of inspiration for the next generation, preparing them to be the leaders of the future.”

“My compatriots in Congress designated this place as a national site – the only national site for the Medal of Honor Museum – in its 1999 Senate Bill 1633,” U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson said. “To those who will undertake this honorable task for the citizens of our community, our state, and our nation, we as members of Congress will vehemently support this effort.”

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. It is presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.

About the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center: The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center will describe the eras of Medal of Honor history: The Civil War; Indian Campaigns; Wars of American Expansion; Peacetime; World War I; World War II; Korea; Vietnam; the Cold War; and the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Educational exhibits will include memorabilia and artifacts relating to Medal of Honor recipients, with such well-known names as Audie Murphy, Sergeant Alvin York and Jimmie Doolittle. For more information, visit www.NMOH-HF.org.

Scott Trent / 917-708-0062

SOURCE National Medal of Honor Heritage Foundation

BCDCOG Receives $1.4 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 30, 2019) The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) today received nearly $1.4 million from South Carolina’s share of the Volkswagen Settlement Fund that will be used to purchase two all-electric buses and a pair of charging stations.

“This is another win for public transit in the Lowcountry,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Clean energy public transportation is vital to our region’s future and the arrival of these environmentally-friendly vehicles will mark another step forward in the ongoing modernization of our fleet and services.”

BCDCOG received $1,386,950 for the vehicles and power stations. The total cost of the purchases will be $1.7 million with 20 percent of that cost covered by Charleston County half-cent sales tax revenue. Further revenue from scrappage of discarded vehicles will also leveraged.

The Volkswagen funds were administered by the S.C. Department of Insurance at Gov. Henry McMaster’s direction. SCDOI partially fund three of eight applications statewide.

“Many people played an integral role in this award including BCDCOG staff and the many supporting parties and entities who wrote letters of support on our behalf,” Seekings said. “We would also like to thank the S.C. Department of Insurance for selecting us and Gov. McMaster for the opportunity.” 

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service, and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app.

Charleston, SC Based Shine Water to Launch in Publix

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CHARLESTON, S.C.— Physician Made Beverages has announced an upcoming launch in Publix grocery stores located in Miami, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Atlanta and Charlotte. United Natural Foods (UNFI) will begin delivering Charleston born Shine Water to 60 Publix locations this summer, including a select number of Charleston stores.

Chief development officer Angel French said: “Publix is one of America’s largest and most admired grocery chains and makes perfect sense as a key next step in Shine’s growth to become a national brand. We are thrilled to be working with them to bring Shine to more consumers throughout the southeast and aim for full distribution in their stores by 2020.”

Publix will begin rolling out Shine in mid-August with completion expected by the first of September.

Shine Water is a physician-developed wellness and sport beverage infused with vitamin D, essential electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium), Zinc and antioxidants with Zero Sugar and only 20calories per bottle. Each ingredient is carefully selected based on nutritional science and delivered in meaningful amounts. Shine Water comes in four delicious and refreshing flavors: Strawberry Lemon, Poma-Grape, Kiwi Cucumber and the delicious new Peach Mango.

The company has additional retail launches in the works for late 2019 and early 2020 with the goal of national distribution in 2021. Learn more at ShineWater.com

About Shine Water

Find Love in Charleston: Discovering You – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

I love the idea of discovering you
The unchartered corners of your body
The wet canvas deep beyond your lips
The tremor of your volcanic heart racing to an explosive climax

I don’t remember who met who or how
I just know I can’t live a moment without your touch

It’s erotic innocence
Lustful romance
You terrorize me with your passion like no other

A spell you have over me

There is no evidence of a heavenly place, but when I am inside of you, I feel something undefined that no scientist has discovered

It is that place between existence and fantasy when heat and fire burn away the flesh

A seamless transition from the silky black pantyhose decorating your long sultry legs to the curves of your hips thrusting and teasing my body

My fingers shake as I feel I am penetrating the forbidden fruit
That corner in the garden restricted from the weak
Warning to the strong

Unchaining this oppression, my body is your temple
Unlock my doors and let me be your sinful doll

I’m but a dreamer, but you are the light the erases this darkness

Your moans are a song
A melody of passion

Each kiss unleashes a new wave reaching for the skies
A gentle bite to the nipple, a stream of kisses down your stomach
A clench of your thighs

With a hair toss and a throttle, I am your vehicle
Fueled by your deep penetration

Love and tenderness whispering signals to the instinct of heated passion

Now you lie motionless except for the soft breath leaping from your tiny lips
Body and sheets in one artful masterpiece

I trail my fingers through your hair, whisper verses of love and close my eyes

Forever 21 Grand Opening – Tanger Outlet Center (North Charleston) – Saturday, August 3, 2019

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Tanger Outlets – 4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd, North Charleston, South Carolina 29418

Saturday, August 3, 2019 – 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Attention Fashionistas!

Come celebrate the Grand Opening of Forever 21 at Tanger Outlets Charleston!

Tanger Outlets Charleston
4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd
North Charleston, SC 29418


SATURDAY AUGUST 3, 2019 | 9:00AM
– FREE GIFT CARDS! The first (100) customers in line at 9AM will receive a FREE Forever 21 promotional gift card and a chance to win a $250 shopping spree!*

SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 2019 | 10:00AM
– GOLD HANGER HUNT! Find the gold hangers in store and win a gift card up to $200 value!**

See you there!




*The first 100 customers in line when the store opens will receive a promotional gift card ranging from $21 to $250 at the Forever 21 Tanger Outlets Charleston location. Gift card must be redeemed on the same day and at the same store location received. Valid for the event day only. No purchase necessary to win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. See store for terms and details.

**No purchase necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your odds of winning. Contest period begins on August 4, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. (E.D.T.) and ends at 7:00 P.M. (E.D.T.) or when all prizes have been found. 11 winners (11 winners per participating store) will win. Open to legal U.S. residents (excluding us territories) who are 13 or older. Void where prohibited by law. For official rules see store.

****By entering this event, you are granting permission to Forever 21 and its representatives to have your photograph taken or filmed and voice recorded and used for advertising and promotional purposes, including use on the internet.

Smithey Ironware Expanding in Charleston County, Creating 22 Jobs

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Smithey Ironware Company, a designer and manufacturer of premium cast iron and carbon steel cookware, is expanding its operations in Charleston County.

The more than $2 million investment is expected to create 22 new jobs. ?

Founded in 2015, Smithey Ironware Company transforms raw castings, with a surface similar to heavy grit paper, into elegant cookware pieces by both hand and machine. The company’s finishing manufacturing process involves hand-grinding, tumbling, machining, and seasoning castings.? ?

Located at 1465 Pipefitter Street in North Charleston’s Navy Yard, Smithey Ironware Company’s new facility will accommodate additional equipment, office space, and employees, while serving as the company’s headquarters. ? Individuals interested in joining the Smithey Ironware Company team can visit smitheyironware.com.? ?

“Smithey was founded in Charleston for reason – we feel the city offers a great blend of access to talent, strong entrepreneurial culture, community business support and an enjoyable standard of living. We are excited to announce this expansion and look forward to this new phase of growth as we continue to build the next great American cookware brand!” – Smithey Ironware Founder & President Isaac Morton? ?

“It’s a special day when an existing South Carolina company announces plans to expand. I congratulate Smithey Ironware on this new investment and look forward to the company’s continued success.” -Gov. Henry McMaster ?

“Seeing a homegrown South Carolina company expand its business is tremendous news. Smithey Ironware Company’s decision to increase its footprint in our state is a testament to the increasingly diverse economy we’ve cultivated here.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt ? “We are excited to congratulate Smithey Ironware Company and its leadership on the success it has found in Charleston County, and we look forward to seeing the impact of this investment.” -Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey ?

“North Charleston heralds its highly skilled workforce, and we pride ourselves on the unique companies making premium products by hand. When a chef in Los Angeles or Chicago is using a Smithey product, we’re honored to know that its origins are here in North Charleston. We welcome Smithey’s continued investment in our city, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for America’s most distinctive manufacturer of cast iron and carbon steel cookware.” – North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey ?

“We are proud to have Smithey Ironware expand their manufacturing operations and headquarters in Charleston County. Access to a talented labor pool and growth opportunities at the Navy Yard Industrial Campus made it a natural choice for their leadership.” – Charleston County Economic Development Executive Director Steve Dykes

Smithey Ironware Official Website

The Greatest Love Story – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

We’re gonna be the greatest love story this small town has ever seen

To the highest mountains we will climb
Tasting the soft wet crystals of snow on the capped tip overlooking the heavens
As you lay your body up to mine, the smell of your worn denim feels like home
Sun setting into the night sky; your face a bright ball of love

Right now, I ain’t scared of dying as long as I spend every breath with you

Down by the river up on the tree together
Hoping the strength of the branch will win the battle against gravity
Watching the bark drift with the current
Kids splashing away their worries
Clouds giving the sun a temporary bed

On the open road, your hair blowing in the wind
With the spirit of a thousand horses, you rejoice with grace
Scenes of Americana racing at 85 miles per hour
The most beautiful picture in my mind
Forever branded in technicolor

In a crowed bar
In a world with no rhyme
Blues and greens mixed with black and white
You picked me
In the briefest of insane clarity, your heart took hold of mine

You looked me in the eyes
Two strangers in a strange land
Without direction; without a home

You looked deep past the cloudy mist of uncertainty and said this simple phrase, “ours will be the greatest love story”.

Local Charleston Singer/Songwriter Katie Rose brings her soulful voice to the masses and she has a message to tell

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“Everyone knows what they need to do
But I still don’t have a clue
Stuck in a circle with no ends
Stuck in a cycle with no bends
I’m lost
No one can find me
She’s wonder
Burnt up like fire
I’m wonder
Moving to nowhere
But I will get there
I will find there”
Wonder – Katie Rose

About Katie Rose

Katie Rose?played her first live show in 2011 at age 13, this young talent took the crowd by surprise performing unique covers of Ingrid Michaelson and even Adele. ?From the moment she stepped on that first stage, Katie knew music was her passion and there was no looking back. Shortly after that first show, Katie Rose started experimenting with writing her own songs and discovered an even greater love than performing. Combining her unique and?relatable songs with her surprisingly funny bits, Katie had begun to find her beat, and she was only getting started.

Turning her journey of self-discovery into music; the then 17 year old, wrote the album, Everything Yesterday. With the help of Eric Rickert and Jeff Leonard at Ocean Industries Studios, her songs became an anthem that Allen Foster from AXS calls, “music that lifts her fans up and makes them feel alive and eager to take on life”. Her collaboration with Jump Little Children’s, Jay Clifford on the song “Wonder”, prompted Magnet Magazine to gush, “Clean, crisp production brings out the best in Rose’s curious, beautiful voice and Jay Clifford’s gigantic string arrangements.” 

Ever refining her solo show in her hometown of Charleston, SC, Katie toured in 2017 with platinum-selling artist Howie Day, followed by a tour with nationally acclaimed band, Jump Little Children. She released a live EP, I Am, on Noisetrade from her Jump Tour November of 2017. In 2018 she toured with Carbon Leaf, opened again for JLC, and even did a mini-tour Vienna Teng. She also released her most recent single, Don’t Hold Me Down which was featured on SceneSC’s 2018 Sampler.?Katie Rose looks forward to spending 2019 writing & recording, touring and sharing the musical love. She hopes to continue connecting with people through her relatable?songs and quirky banter.

37 Southern Superstitions you may or may not have known

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Ever curious about some superstitions that either he origins in the South or became a part of Southern folklore? Well here are a few. If you know of any you have grown up with, share in the comments

Southern Superstitions

  • If someone rests his foot on your chair while gambling, it’s bad luck. If anyone attempts this, you must challenge them to a gunfight.
  • If you are fishing, don’t stop to count how many fish you have caught that day because you will not catch anymore.
  • It’s bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
  • If you bite your tongue while eating, you recently told a lie.
  • A knife placed under a bed during childbirth will ease the mother’s labor pains.
  • If bees create a hive on your roof, your house may burn down soon.
  • To wear new clothes on Easter Sunday will bring good luck.
  • The “playoff beard” ensures a sports team good luck as long as the players and fans do not shave until the team is eliminated or has won.
  • A horseshoe hung in a bedroom will keep nightmares away.
  • Pick a dandelion that has “gone to seed”, the white ones, and blow on it. Count the remaining seeds on the dandelion and that is how many children you will have.
  • Cutting your fingernails on a Friday or Sunday will bring bad luck.
  • A woman struggling to conceive can find success after hugging a pregnant woman.
  • A wedding ring dropped during the ceremony will bring bad luck. If a ring is dropped, the couple should not pick it up, but the person performing the ceremony should.
  • If a ferret, stoat or weasel jumps over the belly of a pregnant woman, the child will be born with a birthmark.
  • If a cow lifts its tail, rain is coming.
  • When you move, never take your broom with you. Buy a new one.
  • A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after it has had a sliced removed from it.
  • Rub a penny on a wart and it will disappear.
  • If your friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin and your friendship will last forever. If not, it will be severed.
  • If you kill a bee that is entering your home, it will bring bad luck.
  • Cut an apple in half and count the seeds to see how many children you will have.
  • If a girl sees a sparrow on Valentine’s Day she will marry a poor man and be happy; however, if she sees a goldfinch she will marry a millionaire.
  • When eating cherries, keep the pits. Line them up, count them and recite: tinker, tailor, soldier, rich man, poor man, beggar man, their, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief. When you reach the last pip, you’ll know your husband’s occupation.
  • If an unborn child kicks the left hand side of the womb, it is a boy.
  • Keeping a hat on the bed causes bad luck.
  • Don’t eat both ends of a loaf of bread.
  • Don’t cut a baby’s hair before his/her first birthday.
  • Eating cabbage and/or black eye peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck/health.
  • Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
  • If your ear itches, someone is talking about you.
  • Sleep with a mirror under your pillow and you will see your future husband.
  • Dreaming of fish means someone is pregnant.
  • It is bad luck to wash laundry on New Year’s Day
  • If someone takes your picture, they are capturing part of your soul.
  • Eating cabbage and/or black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck/health.
  • If a picture of a person falls off a wall, it is a sign of death.
  • Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift, because he will walk out of your life with them.