Army Corps dedicates $41M to deepen South Carolina harbor

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday announced the release of more than $40 million to help deepen a South Carolina harbor, bringing total federal funding for the project to $108 million thus far.

The Army Corps announced that it was dedicating $41.4 million to deepen the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet (16 meters), a project that will make it the deepest on the East Coast.

50 feet (15 meters) so the Port of Charleston can handle a new generation of larger container ships that are becoming more popular in global shipping.

South Carolina State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome has said that handling larger ships without waiting for high tides so they can reach the docks is a key to the competitiveness of the state’s ports, a sentiment he echoed in a statement Wednesday.

“This depth advantage is vitally important for significant long-term volume growth and the deployment of large container ships,” Newsome said. “We are very grateful for the dedication and hard work by many to keep this project moving forward at record speed.”

In 2014, the Army Corps released a long-awaited draft feasibility study and environmental impact statement on a deepening project, proposing that it would cost just over a half-billion dollars, higher than the $350 million previously suggested. Officials have estimated the project could take anywhere from three to six years.

Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel to 54 feet (16 meters) began in February after the first two dredging contracts were awarded.

The federal share of the more than $500 million total project cost is an estimated $166 million, and Newsome has said the port needs about $90 million in federal funds each year for three years to stay on schedule.

The South Carolina General Assembly has put aside $300 million for the work, plus made available a $50 million loan to be paid back by the federal government.

Both U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott lauded the effort. In a news release, Gov. Henry McMaster said the port expansion is “an investment in our entire state’s future,” with so many goods moving through the area.

“When companies see that we are committed to our infrastructure, they have reason to be more confident in their investment in our communities, which means more jobs for our people,” McMaster said. “The Charleston Harbor becoming the deepest on the East Coast will one day be seen as one of the most impactful moments in South Carolina’s prosperous economic future.”


Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at

Belle Hall Elementary PTA’s Biggest Fundraiser Raises Over $80,000

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4TH Annual Color Blast Run Raises over $80,000 in Donations in Twelve Days?

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC, November 13 – ?The Belle Hall Elementary (BHE) PTA has concluded their 4th Annual Color Blast Run fundraiser, collecting donations exceeding $80,000 over the course of a twelve-day campaign.

Each student is asked to raise a minimum of $100. Prizes and incentives on the student, class, and grade level are awarded based on total amounts raised. Students are gently blasted with colored powders during the Color Blast Run by PTA volunteers, while being cheered by hundreds of family members and friends. The run was held on Friday, November 2nd, during school hours, so each child could participate.

“Our Color Blast Run fundraising goal this year was $50,000, so to raise $80,062 is remarkable.” says April Coleman, BHE PTA Color Blast Run Coordinator. “We have the most generous families and community. And the students absolutely love this event!”

This grassroots event is organized and produced exclusively by parent volunteers. All proceeds go directly to Belle Hall Elementary to fund crucial staff positions, materials, and essential programs not covered by the Charleston County School District (CCSD). These additional resources supply teachers and students with the tools they need for the best education possible.

BHE’s Color Blast Run has been such a success that PTAs from across CCSD have reached out for guidance in coordinating their own similar programs.


If you would like more information about this topic, please call Leigh Brunet at 404.202.3714 or email

Charleston Parks Conservancy Launching Fourth Community Garden this Fall

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Thanks to $25,000 in grants, organization will build garden at Corrine Jones Park

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Parks Conservancy has received a total of $25,000 in grant funds for the creation of a community garden at Corrine Jones Park, 36 Marlow Drive in Charleston.?
Through a partnership with Keep Charleston Beautiful, the Conservancy was awarded a $20,000 grant as part of the 2018 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program, the nonprofit Conservancy will build a fourth community garden. The Conservancy also received a $5,000 grant from Publix Supermarket Charities for the Community Garden Program. The Conservancy plans to raise an additional $50,000 in private funds to complete the project. The community is invited to make a donation at
Located in the northern area of the Charleston peninsula, Corrine Jones Park was one of the Conservancy’s earliest renovation projects. Working with members of the Wagener Terrace neighborhood, the Conservancy raised the money to add a large new playground to the park in 2011 as well as flower beds and plantings that have greatly enhanced this neighborhood park.?
Work in the new community garden will begin this fall as volunteers help build raised planting beds for the garden. After construction of the garden areas this fall and winter, the Conservancy will begin leasing the 60 plots that will be available for community members to raise personal crops of vegetables and ornamentals. Before planting begins, a beginner gardener class will guide new gardeners on how to plan for their first planting and to start their own seeds.
In addition, the garden includes community beds for educational instruction and horticultural demonstrations. Produce from those community beds will be donated to local food pantries. Each year, the Conservancy’s community gardens donate more than a ton of produce to area food pantries. To date, the Conservancy has donated a total of 8,752 pounds of produce. Demonstration crops such as miniature vegetable varietals, heat and cold tolerant crops, and Carolina Gold Rice have educated gardeners on the growing and processing of plants that shaped South Carolina’s history and economy, as well as edible plants that can be grown easily in an urban environment.??
The first steps of constructing the garden will begin this fall including several community demonstration beds. These community beds will be important for hands-on learning during the beginner gardener class offered to the community and will be where the first pounds of donated produce will be grown by community volunteers. Individual gardening plots will be available in the late winter or in spring 2019. Those interested in learning more about an introduction class, becoming a gardener or volunteering can email
The Conservancy currently operates three other community gardens at Magnolia Park in West Ashley, Medway Park on James Island and Elliotborough Park just off the Crosstown. All three gardens serve as community gathering places while giving individuals and families the opportunity to grow their own vegetables.?
Community garden coordinator Leslie Wade and other Conservancy staff horticulturists provide gardeners with education and instruction on best practices for planting and maintaining their beds. Also, gardening classes are offered periodically to the general public. The Conservancy also hosts community events in these parks and gardens, including free family movie nights.?
“In keeping with the Conservancy’s mission, the community garden program is another avenue to create stunning public spaces and allow people to enjoy nature by connecting with their parks and each other,” said Executive Director Harry Lesesne. “The program fosters community relationships and engages citizens in recreational, social and civic involvement in our parks. We offer a community service unmatched in Charleston by allowing all residents the opportunity to garden and have access to fresh, organically grown and sustainable produce in a beautiful shared public space.”??
The 2018 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program engages local volunteers, working alongside Lowe’s Heroes volunteers, to take action on projects that focus on critical, local needs.
This is the second year of funding for the Conservancy’s Community Garden Program from Publix Super Markets Charities. Their first year of support allowed the Conservancy to work with Clemson Architecture Center on the design and installation of a new garden pavilion at Medway Community Garden. Publix Super Markets Charities serves the communities surrounding Publix’s stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit
Photo Credit:? Leslie Keller
Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:
Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks

RePower South Announces Construction of Berkeley County Recycling and Recovery Facility

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CHARLESTON, S.C., April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — South Carolina-based RePower South (RPS) recently announced the construction of the Berkeley County Recycling and Recovery Facility, positioning Berkeley County, S.C. as a leader in the community and environmental sustainability. RPS offers a cost-effective recycling and waste processing solution that expands recycling recovery across the entire waste stream and produces a low carbon, renewable fuel. RPS will fund the over $40 million capital investment in the facility and create over 60 green jobs.

“This innovative approach to recycling is bringing Berkeley County, and South Carolina, into the twenty-first century,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler. “This method encourages citizens to do what is environmentally friendly, without the hassle of sorting, proving it is possible to increase recycling efforts in communities.”

RPS President Robert Shepard says that the system will both increase Berkeley County’s recycling as well as produce a low carbon, clean fuel from waste below the cost of traditional recycling programs and landfilling. “Our platform enables greater recycling recovery and does so across the entire Berkeley County waste stream. We also create a low-carbon, clean fuel to help reduce the consumption of coal,” says Shepard. “Greater recycling, less landfilling, and cleaner air at lower cost is a true win-win for Berkeley County.”

“We are grateful and humbled by the courage, leadership, and support of Berkeley County Supervisor William Peagler, the members Berkeley County Council, and Berkeley County Water and Sanitation for selecting RePower to deliver this cost-effective solution to their citizens. We know there’s a better way for our nation to manage garbage, and we are excited that Berkeley County agrees,” Shepard adds. “We look forward to this facility serving as a model for the world to move towards a more sustainable waste and energy future.”

RPS development partners include Barnhill Contracting Company to construct the facility; Bulk Handling Systems to provide the waste processing system, and Loesche Energy Systems to provide the fuel manufacturing system. RPS licenses the fuel technology (ReEngineered FeedstockTM) from Accordant Energy. The facility is slated to begin operations in early 2019.

Contact Information

Brian Gilhuly
RePower COO

First Art in the Parks Installation Displayed in Hampton Park

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sculptures engraved with local children’s drawings, maps of Charleston and images of plant life have been installed in Hampton Park, part of a new Art in the Parks program created by the Charleston Parks Conservancy in collaboration with Redux Contemporary Art Center and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.
The four large-scale pieces are made from colorful wood and transparent cast acrylic – the result of almost a year of work by Georgia-based artist Joseph Dreher (known as JOEKINGATL) and the Conservancy. Dreher received the Conservancy’s first ArtFields exhibition prize in April 2017. The annual award kicked off the Art in the Parks initiative, an effort to install temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including ArtFields.
The installation – called “Plant Vitae” – located on the southern edge of Hampton Park along Mary Murray Drive represents Charleston residents in a way that celebrates the people and the community. Dreher worked with children from schools near Hampton Park and the local Boys and Girls Club to create the portraits showcased in the final art pieces.
Using a “portrait partner” technique Dreher developed, the children created portraits of each other that become the basis of the sculptures. Dreher used colorful painted wood and transparent cast acrylic engraved with the children’s drawings, maps of Charleston and images of plant life.
“People are my primary interest and it is my appreciation for people that informs so much of my creative work,” Dreher says. “My work is always multidimensional because I see a world where people are not flat. They are not obstacles, or heroes, or rogues, or saints. They are people – dimensional and deep.? There are no strangers in your world when you meet people fully prepared to accept who they are.”
Through a public-private partnership model, the Conservancy works with the city’s Parks Department as well as community leaders, neighborhoods and engaged citizens to transform and activate the city’s parks and green spaces.?
The Conservancy also will be working on a public art project along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Conservancy is partnering with the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and local community groups on a creative placemaking effort, including a public art master plan and selection of artists to create public art and arts programming along the Greenway and Bikeway.?
“We believe in connecting people to their parks, and art is a powerful tool to connect people to their environment and to each other,” says Harry Lesesne, the Conservancy’s executive director. “In the same ways public parks and green spaces are accessible to the entire community, we want public art projects to function in the same way – drawing people out into the parks and deepening their connection to their community and their neighbors.”?
This Art in the Parks program is supported by contributions from The Speedwell Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company, The Joanna Foundation, the City of Charleston and the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation.
Follow the Charleston Parks Conservancy at and on social media @CharlestonParks for updates on upcoming Art in the Park events and programs in Hampton Park.
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit
Charleston Parks Conservancy on social media:
Twitter / Instagram @charlestonparks
Instagram @joekingatl

Eminence Kids Foundation Expands Organic Produce Donation to Charleston, SC

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The Eminence Kids Foundation proudly expanded its United States impact to Charleston, South Carolina on December 6. Eminence Kids is donating two large boxes of organic produce each week via South Carolina’s own esteemed distributor, Green Lite Organics, to a Charleston area long-term care facility.

Rachel Morrison, Director of Marketing for the long-term care facility in Charleston shared their deep appreciation for this new avenue of organic nutrition. “We are so grateful for our new partnership with the Eminence Kids Foundation, which will provide organic fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis. Our families will have the healthiest of foods, while caring for their critically ill children at MUSC Children’s Hospital, and we couldn’t be happier.”

#SpasPushingLimits Made This New Eminence Kids Role in Charleston Possible

Eminence Kids Expands Charleston South CarolinaThe Eminence Kids Foundation’s new partnership in Charleston was made possible by the incredible fundraising efforts and huge heart of spa leader Monica Helmstetter. Helmstetter, a triathlete and Event Director for Spatec North America, created #spaspushinglimits, which encourages spa professionals to train for challenging fitness competitions, while fundraising for esteemed charities. Helmstetter led a team of #spaspushinglimits athletes to compete in the Victoria Half Ironman last June. The athletes created fundraising pages documenting their training and race day efforts with all proceeds benefiting Eminence Kids totaling over $10,000. “I am humbled and proud to be part of the new opening of Eminence Kids in Charleston. Working with the Eminence team on this initiative has been a joy, and I look forward to being part of the program for years to come,” shared Helmstetter. “I am also very thankful for all the generous donations and encouragement our group received from our families, friends, neighbors and colleagues. This would not have happened without their support.”

Eminence Organics President, Boldijarre Koronczay, Expresses His Gratitude for the Foundation’s Growth

Boldijarre Koronczay, President of Eminence Organic Skin Care and founder of the Eminence Kids Foundation, is touched by the spa industry’s incredible support. “We are extremely honored and humbled that the spa industry united to support the Eminence Kids Foundation’s mission and spread the importance of organic food worldwide.” The Charleston location is the second in the United States following the launch in Austin, Texas just over a year ago. The Eminence Kids Foundation was developed by Koronczay following his own personal journey with a rare form of childhood leukemia.

How You Can Get Involved with the Eminence Kids Foundation This Holiday Season

Eminence Kids FoundationYou can help the Eminence Kids Foundation share nutritious meals packed with organic fruits and vegetables from the Eminence Organic Farm and our partner farms to children undergoing treatment in the United States, Canada and Hungary. There are a number of ways for you to get involved:

  • Donate – Your monetary contribution to the Eminence Kids Foundation will gift a sick child a nutritious, organic meal. No donation is too small.
  • Host an Event – Businesses and individuals worldwide are coming up with creative ways to fundraise, such as Live Love Spa and #SpasPushingLimits.
  • Volunteer – From volunteering at local organic farms to offering your services at long-term care facilities, every hour of time donated is not only a huge help, but is also incredibly rewarding.

The Eminence Kids Foundation is active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, showcasing the benefits of organic nutrition, sharing untold and heartfelt stories and providing information about upcoming events. As well, a portion of the sales from every Eminence Organic Skin Care product you purchase supports the Eminence Kids Foundation.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott now open in Charleston, South Carolina

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“We are excited with the continued growth of the TownePlace Suites brand in the Charleston area,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, TownePlace Suites. “At TownePlace Suites, we get it. We want to go above and beyond to do everything we can to make our guests feel comfortable. We encourage our guests to be real, and help them to do so by providing a seamless residential atmosphere with a friendly staff who genuinely care about our guests. That is what our brand is all about, and this property is a great example of that.”

All service team members are thoroughly trained on local knowledge and look forward to connecting guests to the local area. Our floor-to-ceiling TowneMap?also helps guests instantly acclimate themselves to Charleston by featuring great places to eat, play and live (explore). The TownePlace Suites Charleston Airport/Convention Center is located just two miles from the Charleston International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown. The new hotel offers guests convenient access to the Tanger Outlets, Park Circle, numerous golf courses and the local beaches. The hotel also offers guests easy access to Joint Base Charleston, Boeing, SAIC Inc. and Trident Medical.

Ideal for travelers who need accommodations for longer stays, this new property offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas. Guests can work and relax on their own terms in modern suites that feature full kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, adjustable work spaces with built-in shelves and lighting, a large flat screen television, as well as luxurious new bedding. Most rooms also feature the Home Office?Suite, designed to provide guests with plenty of storage and flexible space to spread out and make it their own.

The TownePlace Suites Charleston Airport/Convention Center allows guests to maintain a healthy lifestyle with an array of food options. While on property guests can create their own complimentary hot breakfast every morning in the custom lobby area, and can fire up their stay by grilling up dinner on our outdoor Weber grills. The 24-hour In a Pinch?market and On Us? coffee service offer guests the chance to get their snack and caffeine on whenever they feel the need.

“We are proud to continue our long term commitment to serve the Charleston market,” said D.J. Rama, president and CEO, Auro Hotels. “This is our sixth Marriott branded hotel in Charleston, and this addition to our portfolio was a strategic move to allow us to better serve the needs of all types of travelers in the beautiful and desirable Charleston area.”??

TownePlace Suites helps its guests stay organized on the road with the help of our partners the Container Store. While staying at the TownePlace Suites Charleston Airport/Convention Center travelers can unpack their suitcase in a custom elfa? closet. From drawers to shelves to smart hanging space, you’ll find everything you need to make you feel right at home. Other hotel amenities include a fitness center open 24 hours per day, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor patio with fire pit, laundry facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and on-site business services, including copying, faxing and printing. The hotel also offers 500 square feet of conference space to accommodate functions of up to 20 people. As a brand TownePlace Suites recognizes that your family may include more than just humans, that is why the hotel is pet-friendly (fees may apply).

Wake Up Carolina Brings to the Spotlight the Opioid Epidemic in the Lowcountry

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By Rebecca Powell

On November 14th I attended an “Ideas Into Action” meeting to learn more about the Opioid and Heroin Crisis in our community here in Charleston, South Carolina. Local nonprofit, Wake Up Carolina, was joined by expert panelists to present what we can do as a community to take away the stigma of substance use disorder and—how to start the conversation and feel empowered to make a difference.

The panelist at the “Ideas Into Action” included:

  • Chief Ritchie – Mount Pleasant Police Department
  • Nanci Shipman – Founder of Wake Up Carolina
  • Justin Gass – Assistant Professor at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
  • Chanda Brown – Community Center
  • Wood Marchant – Director of Collegiate Recovery at College of Charleston

A heroin and opioid overdose epidemic has swept the United States and become a prominent issue in our culture. Every day in the United States, 142 people die from prescription or illegal drug abuse and many of these victims are young adults and children. South Carolina, like other states, has been overcome with unsettling tragedies of lives cut short because of it. Some areas of South Carolina are as high as 200% above the national average for heroin and opioid-related deaths. Opioid-related overdoses are now the #1 killer of young people in South Carolina, where deaths exceed the national average

Here are a few facts you need to know:

  • Opioid Prescribing – Doctors wrote 72.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons in 2006. This rate increased 4.1% annually from 2006 to 2008 and 1.1% annually from 2008 to 2012. It then decreased 4.9% annually from 2012 through 2016, reaching a rate of 66.5 per 100 persons in 2016. That year, 19.1 per 100 persons received one or more opioid prescriptions, with the average patient receiving 3.5 prescriptions.
  • An estimated 259,665 hospitalizations for nonfatal, unintentional drug poisoning occurred in 2014. Opioid poisoning accounted for 20.4% (53,000) of these hospitalizations. Heroin was specified as the involved opioid for 21.7% (11,475) of opioid hospitalizations. Cocaine accounted for 13,265, and methamphetamines for 8,290 hospitalizations.
  • A record number of drug overdose deaths occurred in 2015: 52,404. While a death may involve more than one drug, prescription or illicit opioids were involved in 63.1% of these deaths. Among opioid-involved deaths, the most common category was heroin (12,989 deaths), followed by prescription opioids that were natural or semi-synthetic (12,727 deaths), synthetic opioids other than methadone (a category that includes primarily prescription or illicit fentanyl) (9,580 deaths), and methadone (3,301 deaths). Cocaine was involved in 6,784 deaths. Overall, 84.2% of drug overdose deaths were unintentional.
  • A total of 214,881,622 opioid prescriptions were dispensed by retail pharmacies in 2016. The total opioid prescribing rate was 66.5 per 100 persons.


Human Side of the Epidemic

Behind all the statistics are human stories.? Stories of tragedy and heartbreak, but also triumph and celebration. This epidemic can only be overcome by sharing stories, understanding and compassion.

ABC News on air personality Dean Stephens shared some personal thoughts with us, “addiction doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are young or old, black or white, male or female. I first remember reading about the Opioid epidemic in rural areas in certain parts of our country. Then in a blink of an eye it was in our community.
I’ve been so inspired by Nanci Shipman’s courage and commitment as she deals with the death of her son. Her dedication to lay it all on the line moved to do whatever I can do from a media standpoint to help raise awareness”

A mother, who lost her son, a promising Mount Pleasant high school athlete, shared these anonymous thoughts, “The epidemic is real and you think it could never happen to your child, but it can. We need to stop this epidemic before it gets any worse. If you believe your child is struggling with addiction, do not ignore it, get them help. Urge your children to notice signs of friends and family struggling with heroin or opioid addiction. There are so many resources that you can reach out to, to help. The time is now to rally together to stop the growing number of young people’s death.”

We were also kind enough to get some personal thoughts from a former addict, who we are happy to say is now 25 years sober.? She shared, “Recovery is possible. I should know. I have been clean and sober for 25 years, after 12 years of using and abusing drugs. There is no shame in it but there is hope. What Jessica and Ideas into Action proved with their community forum is that there are caring adults who will go to any length to help. There are concerned parents who don’t know where to turn, terrified their child will become the next statistic, the next headline. My advice, ‘Don’t ever give up on the miracle and you don’t have to go through this alone.’”

This event is one of many more opportunities the Lowcountry needs to gather, discuss and take action to reverse this trend.? For every life saved, a new story to tell and further justification of the need to act with a sense of urgency.

“Ideas In Action” Meeting Agenda and Action Items

Wake Up Carolina and the panelist wanted to share their new vision on how to handle this epidemic and how the community could get involved. Chief Ritchie stressed that both the board and Mount Pleasant Police Department’s full focus is “Recovery over Incarceration.” The department wants the community to know that they will not be punished for coming to them for help. Their strategy to help the community is

  1. Educate the public
    1. Call your principals at elementary, middle and high school and get them to host Wake Up Carolina or the Mount Pleasant Police Department
    2. Social Media
  2. Remove the surface
    1. Get rid of excess prescription drugs
    2. The Mount Pleasant Police department has a 24 hour “Take Back Box” where the community can drop off unused prescriptions, so the chance of them being brought into trafficking goes down
      1. The police department has taken back over 200 pounds of prescription drugs since April 2017.
    3. Identify those at risk
      1. The police department will start following up with police reports and reach out to help
      2. Call the police department, if you identify someone at risk
    4. Access to treatment
      1. The police department will point you in the right direction whether it is Wake Up Carolina or the Charleston Community center, they will find what best suits the certain case
    5. Prevent Relapse
      1. The first day out of treatment, is the most dangerous for someone
      2. Continue long term treatment, call the police department for advocate recommendations for people who get out of treatment can talk to someone who has gone through the same

Everyone on the panel had the same strategy. The same messages were being told:

“Addiction is not a crime, it is a disease” “Addiction is a disease of the brain” “Anyone with a brain can suffer with addiction” “Medical Issue, not a moral failure”

The message is that this is both a national problem, but is also a Charleston community problem. This is where the phrase “it takes a village” really comes into play. If you would like to learn more, please click on one of the links before to further educate on what you can do, to stop the spread of this addicting epidemic.

Additional References:

Mount Pleasant Police Department
Wake Up Carolina
Addiction Sciences at MUSC
Charleston Center, Charleston County’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services
College of Charleston Collegiate Recovery Program

Cambria Hotels Breaks Ground on Charleston, S.C., Riverfront

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(PRNewsfoto/Choice Hotels International, In)

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), along with RREAF Holdings and New Castle Hotels & Resorts, broke ground on the Cambria Hotel in Charleston, S.C. The Cambria Charleston Riverview, a 126-room hotel is located at 84 Ripley Point Dr. on the Ashley River, and is slated to open early in 2019 and will be built by Freese Johnson Contractors of Atlanta.

The Cambria Charleston Riverview is perched on the marshes of the Ashley River, just minutes from Charleston’s Historic District. The hotel’s location provides quick access to everything that the area offers, in addition to the Medical University of South Carolina complex and the College of Charleston.

“The Charleston Riverview property is in a prime location right near downtown, making it the perfect fit for the modern traveler. We look forward to working with RREAF Holdings to build their first Cambria, and providing guests with an upscale lodging option where they can treat themselves while on the road,” said Michael Lusick, vice president, upscale operations at Choice Hotels.? “With Charleston being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, we’re excited to continue the Cambria brand’s rapid expansion in this key market. The Cambria Charleston Riverview will be one of three Cambria Hotels in the area, including Mount Pleasant, which also recently broke ground, and North Charleston.”

To commemorate the occasion, local artist Norma Ballentine presented an original painting of the city’s iconic pineapple, a symbol of hospitality and welcome, to the developers, RREAF Holdings, a privately held commercial real estate firm and New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading third-party hotel management firm.

“We traditionally focus our investments in Texas, Tennessee and the Florida panhandle, but we could not pass up the opportunity to enter a highly competitive market, like Charleston, and reset the bar for a compelling growth brand like Cambria Hotels,” said Kip Sowden, CEO of RREAF Holdings. “We have every confidence that our development and operating partners will deliver an outstanding return to our investors.”

Charleston is acclaimed for its storied history, beautiful architecture, unique character and its classic southern hospitality. Charleston is also a high barrier-to-entry market,” said Cord Middleton, Regional Partner, RREAF Southeast Region. “Our site, with its irreplaceable location on the Ashley River, provides an opportunity for a locally focused, upscale brand like Cambria to enter a market that might otherwise have been unattainable. That’s a great benefit for investors and the travelling public alike.”

The Cambria Charleston Riverview will include 1,300 square feet of multi-function meeting space, a full-service bar featuring local craft beer, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The property also has spacious and comfortable rooms, along with spa-like bathrooms that offer contemporary fixtures, refined surfaces and abundant light.

“Tremendous air lift, and its distinctive character make Charleston a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers,” noted Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, which will operate the hotel. “Travelers seek out local relevance when choosing hotels and now Choice Hotels’ more than 33 million Choice Privileges members will have a brand new upscale option that pays tribute to the local culture when they visit this iconic city. There is a reason that both Travel+Leisure and Conde Nast readers rank Charleston the top city in the U.S. and Canada.”

About Cambria Hotels
Cambria Hotels are designed for the modern traveler, offering guests a distinct experience with simple, guilt-free indulgences allowing them to treat themselves while on the road. Properties feature compelling design inspired by the location, spacious and comfortable rooms, flexible meeting space, and local freshly prepared food and craft beer. Cambria Hotels is rapidly expanding in major U.S. cities, with hotels open in Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. There are now 32 Cambria properties open across the United States, and there are more than 100 hotels open or in the pipeline in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world’s largest hotel companies. With over 6,500 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories, Choice Hotels International represents more than 500,000 rooms around the globe.? As of September 30, 2017, over 800 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company’s Ascend Hotel Collection?, Cambria? Hotels, Comfort Inn?, Comfort Suites?, Sleep Inn?, Quality?, Clarion?, MainStay Suites?, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel?, Econo Lodge?, Rodeway Inn?, and Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels? brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guests’ needs. With more than 33 million members, our Choice Privileges? rewards program enhances every trip a guest takes, with benefits ranging from instant, every day rewards to exceptional experiences, starting right when they join.? All hotels and vacation rentals are independently owned and operated. Visit us at more information.

About RREAF Holdings
RREAF Holdings?is a privately-held commercial real estate firm based in Dallas, Texas.? Formed in 2010 to develop high quality projects, create programmatic acquisition platforms and provide superior service and value to a wide range of investors from institutional capital partners to high net worth individuals, RREAF has a history of success in the acquisition, development, asset management, ownership, repositioning, and financing of complex real estate projects throughout the United States.? Please visit for more information.

RREAF SE, is the southeast regional partnership of RREAF Holdings, Cord Middleton and Randy Warner, the regional partners. RREAF SE will expand the footprint of RREAF Holdings acquisition and development programs in the Carolinas, Georgia and Northeast Florida and the Charleston Cambria Riverview Hotel is its first venture.

About New Castle Hotels & Resorts
Shelton Connecticut-based New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 25 hotels and resorts and nearly 4,000 rooms under contract or in development.? New Castle’s growing portfolio of hotels spans nine states and two Canadian provinces, including several historic landmark hotels and resorts.? The privately-held company was established by CEO, David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America.? For more information, please visit


SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.

Andrew Pinckney Inn Collects School Supplies for Teachers’ Supply Closet







The Andrew Pinckney Inn is partnering with the Teachers’ Supply Closet (TSC) to help get school supplies to local children for the 2017 school year. Now through Labor Day they will be collecting new or gently used school/office supplies in our lobby at 40 Pinckney Street. As a way to say thank you to our guests for supporting our cause, if you bring in at least three supplies we will offer one free night of valet parking during your stay*.

Teachers’ Supply Closet eliminates the need for teachers to pay for the products. They are a nonprofit affiliate of the national Kids In Need Foundation that provides free school supplies to teachers in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties who work at schools where at least 81% of the students are on the free or reduced meals program. In 2016 they provided 27,550 children with free school supplies.

Top 5 Needs: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
-Composition Notebooks
-Copy Paper
-Hand Sanitizer ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?.
-Glue Sticks

Other Wish List Needs:
-Pink Erasers
-Washable Markers
-Pocket Folders

Drop Off Location:
Andrew Pinckney Inn
40 Pinckney Street, Charleston, SC

*Free valet parking is to be used during your current visit only and it is nontransferable. Good for one night only of parking, in exchange for a minimum of three separate school supplies.

Teacher Supplies Closet Mission: To serve children in the Tri-County area in meeting their educational and creative needs by providing free supplies donated by businesses and individuals.