?Free COVID-19 Testing Coming to CARTA Hubs

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NORTH CHARLESTON (Jan. 26, 2021) — The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will partner to offer Covid-19 testing at two of the transit system’s key hubs. 

Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, mobile testing kiosks provided by DHEC will operate at the CARTA Mary Street stop, 63 Mary Street (adjacent to the City of Charleston parking garage), and the CARTA SuperStop, 3376 Rivers Ave. in North Charleston. 

Walk-up testing will be available from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. No appointment is necessary. 

Pre-registration for testing is available online at www.gogettested.com. Those seeking tests can also register onsite with assistance from staff. 

“The partnership offers readily available and much-needed testing for transit-dependent individuals,” said CARTA Board Chairman Mike Seekings. “Additionally, given the central location of both testing sites, many will now be able to walk to get a Covid-19 screening. Ultimately, this program is addressing an acute transportation issue related to testing during a national health crisis.” 

Tests will be administered through the WellHealth GoGetTested program and samples will be collected orally via pain-free oropharyngeal (OP) swab. Turnaround time for results is 48-96 hours. Results will be provided by email or text message.  

The program is being made possible by the cooperation and support of Charleston County, the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. 

“These important testing opportunities are another example of the shared successes DHEC continues to have with essential partners like CARTA to ensure all South Carolinians, including our underserved communities, have equal access to testing,” said Myra Reece, DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs. “We appreciate the support of the local governments, community officials and political leaders who’ve helped bring these new testing opportunities to fruition during our going battle against COVID-19.”     

The possibility for the program in the Charleston region arose after SC Rep. Marvin Pendarvis identified a similar effort underway in Columbia. 

“I’m grateful to DHEC, CARTA and our local governmental partners for making this vision a reality in such a short period of time,” Rep. Pendarvis said. “When DHEC approached me about the opportunity, I was enthused because CARTA provides an essential, yet often overlooked, role in our local economy. The health and safety of its riders and operators is paramount, and providing screening services at two key hubs will go a long way in sustaining our community amidst a national health crisis.”  

Once the program was recommended, Charleston County and the region’s two largest municipalities worked quickly to make the testing sites a reality.

“Over the next few months, we hope the vast majority of our region and country have the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. “But until then, making testing readily available, social distancing, and washing hands remains imperative. The free, walk-up site at the CARTA Superstop allows for direct service within the community to help slow the spread.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg added:

“As we continue working to keep our communities safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of widespread testing is paramount. That’s why I’m so proud to have worked alongside key partners like DHEC, CARTA, Charleston County, the City of North Charleston and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments to bring those vital testing opportunities to the folks who need them.”  

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston, S.C., community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit and express commuter service. For the latest on CARTA, visit 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


Daniel Brock, Regional Strategist
(919) 820-2612

Daniel Monroe, Account Supervisor
Rawle Murdy Associates
(843) 422-0682

Grain & Barrel Spirits Partners With Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – January 26, 2021 – ( Newswire.com )

Grain & Barrel Spiritstoday announces a partnership with Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey, another Charleston-based craft spirit company. Virgil Kaine joins Grain & Barrel’s award-winning lineup – such as Dixie Vodka and Chicken Cock Whiskey – as well as the soon-to-be-released High Goal Gin.

Virgil Kaine was founded by Charleston-based chef David Szlam in 2011. He and his business partner chef Ryan Meany are driven by flavor, and their debut release was Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon, a Bourbon blended with ginger grown on a nearby sustainable farm, Spade & Clover Gardens (Johns Island, SC). The Bourbon’s nose of sorghum, orange, and oats is followed by a ginger palate balanced with dried apricot and sherry, finishing full with vanilla and light tannins. Virgin Kaine Ginger has become a bartender favorite along the east coast.

Grain & Barrel Spirits founder and CEO Matti Christian Anttila says, “Virgil Kaine fits naturally into the Grain & Barrel portfolio: similar to our other brands, it highlights American craftsmanship and takes a very flavor-driven approach to product development. Virgil Kaine Ginger is not just a delicious product beloved by consumers and bartenders, but also a great starting point for what will be exciting innovation as we expand Virgil Kaine nationally in 2021.”

Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey founder and President David Szlam adds, “With Grain & Barrel at the helm of distribution, we at Virgil Kaine can focus on what we do best: making delicious whiskeys.”

About Grain & Barrel Spirits

Based in Charleston, South Carolina,?Grain & Barrel Spirits?develops and scales craft spirits that connect the best artisans to consumers worldwide. One of the company’s core brands is?Dixie Vodka, the leading premium homegrown vodka produced in the Southeast and the Official Vodka of NASCAR; one of the fastest-growing craft brands in the United States, Dixie won prestigious?2019?and?2020“Rising Star”?Growth Brands Award?s from Beverage Dynamics magazine. Other brands in the Grain & Barrel portfolio include?Chicken Cock Whiskey, an historically significant whiskey brand established in Paris, Kentucky,?in 1856; and, coming to market in Q1 2021,?High Goal, a small batch, ultra-premium gin produced in Charleston. Grain & Barrel has twice been named to the prestigious?Inc. 5000?list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America and is a proud member of 1% For The Planet.

About Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey

Founded in Charleston South Carolina, Virgil Kaine started with a simple idea: to use its founders’ culinary know-how to make great-tasting whiskey. Chefs David Szlam and Ryan Meany source the best ingredients and apply the creativity yet scientific rigor of a professional kitchen to the art of whiskey making. Their aim is to create the most delicious whiskeys, no matter what the industry may expect. Receiving national recognition and numerous awards — including Gold Medals in 2016, 2017, and 2018 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition — Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey is for the whiskey lover looking for something distinctive and above all – tasty.

Hi-res images, interviews, and media samples available upon request.


Christine Deussen 
Deussen Global Communications, Inc. 
m. 917-545-1459

Related Links 

Matti Anttila | LinkedIn
Virgil Kaine Website

Charleston, S.C. Selected as Pilot Market for American Dream 2021: Showcase of Smart Homes

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House X provides “smart mortgage”, free air purification and free renewable energy for home buyers

CHARLESTON, S.C.,?Jan. 26, 2021/PRNewswire/ —?House X?today announced?Charleston, South Carolina?as one of the 21 Pilot Cities to launch the?American Dream 2021,?expanding home ownership;?featuring over?40,000 new, healthier, energy-efficient homes across the country valued at over?$18 Billion?with up to?$364 million?in stimulus?by providing home buyers free renewable energy and a discounted mortgage.

The virtual home buying event is limited to selected markets in the United States–admission is free to consumers. Free stimulus incentives apply to all contracts executed from January 27-April 15, 2021 for registered home buyers.

The Charleston Pilot includes: 

  • Over 1,100 new homes in over 115 communities with 329 homes ready for quick move-in
  • Renewable electricity at zero cost to registered home buyers  
  • 1% discounted mortgage for the first 12 months, followed by either 14 or 29 years of fixed-rate record low mortgage rate on FDA conforming loans 
  • Local Impact:
    • Potential reduction in carbon emissions–equivalent of removing 2,420 gas-powered cars off the road per year 
    • Potential free stimulus for renewable energy= $7.7 milliongoing back into the local economy 

Experts Available for Interview:

  • House X: William Farrell, President 
  • Delos: Paul Scialla, CEO and Founder  
  • RESNET: Ryan Meres, Program Director
  • The MReport: Rachel Williams 

WHY: The purpose of the event is to expand home ownership by educating consumers on the advantages of smart, healthier, sustainable homes that are more efficient, lower carbon footprint and less expensive to own, operate, protect and maintain – lowering total cost of ownership. The home is more important than ever since the onset of the pandemic and the trend was a highlight at CES with smart home technology with a focus on hygiene, cleanliness, energy-efficiency and sustainability.


  • The Smart Mortgage?: House X has partnered with a leading mortgage lender to create a special below-market mortgage; a one percent discounted mortgage for the first 12 months of a 15- or 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage. 
  • The Healthier Home: In collaboration with Delos, every home buyer will receive a multi-room advanced air purification system for their new home upon move-in, helping reduce particles that carry airborne bacteria, viruses and allergens.
  • The Location Report?:  Nothing will impact the financial picture of a home as much as its location. With custom insights available nowhere else, the House X Location Report reveals 300+ insights about any address in America. It is free to registered home shoppers.
  • The RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Similar to a MPG sticker for cars, except for new homes.

WHEN: American Dream 2021 Pilot Program will include free stimulus incentives on fully executed purchase contracts betweenJanuary 27 – April 15, 2021.

WHERE: American Dream 2021 is limited to home purchases in selected pilot cities available on houseX.com. 



Los Angeles/Riverside Area 

Orange County 


San Diego Area

San Francisco



















Dallas/Fort Worth


San Antonio

About House X:

House X World is a consumer-focused Smart Home Marketplace that empowers home enthusiasts with data and resources to make more informed decisions while making their home purchase and investing on the consumer’s behalf to make a home a smart home at zero cost to them.  HOUSE X companies are consumer advocates and licensed realty organizations that exclusively represent home shoppers and buyers – not home sellers.  The company serves as the primary manager of American Dream Pilot Project. The executives of House X have over 40 years of experience in representing builders, developers, Federal, State and local governments.

Attention Pug Owners: Mount Pleasant has a Pug Meetup Group

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Official Website to Learn More and Join

What they are about

Okay, so you’re owned by a pug – that goes without saying! I am too, as are many others. Why do we love these big-eyed, wrinkle-faced Pugsters so much? There are so many reasons & that’s reason enough to join the Charleston Area Pug Group! Our steadily-growing group of friendly Pugaholics & their Pugs meet for outings once a month to provide our furbabies and ourselves with some time for socialization and out-and-out fun! We encourage members to get involved, suggestions for outings and events are always welcome!

There are currently almost 500 members

The next event is Valentine’s Day!