Top Stories of 2017
On the national stage, 2017 was most certainly a memorable year. We witnessed a new president take office with a promise to “Make America Great Again,” natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the California wildfires, an economy that brought promising returns, a burgeoning women’s movement for equality and respect, ongoing political strife punctuated by investigations into alleged wrongdoing, and acts of heroism in the face of unspeakable tragedies in places like Las Vegas and Charlottesville.
Here at home on Daniel Island and the greater Cainhoy peninsula, we experienced our own fair share of news-making events. On these pages is a month by month rundown of some of the stories that appeared in The Daniel Island News over the last 12 months – spotlighting the people, places and events that helped shape life in this island town in 2017.
• The Daniel Island News announces the results of the paper’s “101 ways to improve our community” survey! Among the suggestions – a new community band, an expanded Farmers’ Market, ping pong tables at the island’s community pool areas, more crosswalks, and making Daniel Island “fantastic without plastic.”
• U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford resurrects the idea of creating a large-scale park on Daniel Island’s southern tip.
• Berkeley County Council considers changing the county’s form of government from an elected supervisor to an appointed administrator.
• Daniel Island’s Peace Love Hip Hop celebrates a decade of dance!
• Several DI residents descend on Washington D.C. to take part in the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the Women’s March.
• The Daniel Island News launches a new series entitled “Tech-savvy or tech-troubled” to spotlight the effects of screen time on kids and teens.
• Daniel Island resident Alicia Reynolds creates a new kindness project in the community to assist residents going through difficult times.
• Mayor John Tecklenburg kicks off the 2017 Daniel Island Speakers Series, sharing reflections about his first year in office.
• A rendering of the planned new Starbucks and BIN 526 on Daniel Island is released!
• Three Daniel Island residents, who are each natives of foreign countries, share their stories about the path to U.S. citizenship.
• Daniel Island’s first ever Mardi Gras celebration is held near Guggenheim Park – featuring the debut of the Brouhaha Marching Band!
• Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Brenda Blackburn resigns.
• The 2nd Annual Intergenerational Forum is held at Bishop England High School, bringing together high school seniors and senior citizens to discuss issues of the day.
• The Farr Street project is approved by the City of Charleston Planning Commission. The plan includes a road extension and separation of the parcels.
• Construction on the much-anticipated Phase 1 of the Clements Ferry Road Widening Project begins. The $35 million project, which extends from the I-526 intersection to Jack Primus Road, is expected to be completed by 2019.
• Nineteen-year-old Daria Kasatkina of Russia claims her first ever Volvo Car Open title!
• The City of Charleston considers creating a new public safety department to include both police and fire services.
• Daniel Island School, Daniel Island Academy and Bishop England High School join the “Blue Pinwheels Project” to raise awareness about all forms of child abuse. Hundreds of blue pinwheels can be spotted on all three campuses.
• Daniel Island’s award-winning 305 Seven Farms Apartments, an affordable housing community, commemorates its 10 year milestone!
• Boomtown! There is an estimated half a billion dollars of new development underway in Daniel Island’s town center area. A map detailing projects and completion dates is featured on the paper’s center spread.
• Constituents in S.C. House District 99 file a lawsuit regarding the vacant seat of Rep. Jim Merrill, who has been suspended from office due to charges of ethics violations.
• The biggest ship to ever visit the East Coast arrives at the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s Wando Welch terminal.
• Berkeley County announces plans to build a new 911 Call Center.
• More than 30,000 rubber duckies are dropped into the Wando River for the Rotary’s Annual Charleston Duck Race! The event nets more than $100,000 for local beneficiaries and Rotary projects worldwide.
• Daniel Island Company President Matt Sloan announces preliminary plans for a new waterfront village along the Wando River on Daniel Island.
• The Conway family of Daniel Island recounts the events of a tragic terror attack in London while they were visiting the country on a summer vacation.
• A Daniel Island News survey reveals that the community is split on the idea of converting the intersection of Daniel Island Drive and Seven Farms Drive to a roundabout.
• The new Posh Nail Salon opens in Simmons Park.
• The Charleston Planning Commission approves the first subdivision concept plan for the southern portion of Cainhoy Plantation near the newly opened Philip Simmons Elementary and Middle Schools.
• An animal incident at a Daniel Island residence sparks discussions about coyotes on the island (it was later determined the perpetrator was most likely a raccoon).
• The new Daniel Island Barber Shop opens, under ownership of partners Michael Cole and Glenn Raus.
• The Charleston Battery celebrates 25 years of soccer in the Lowcountry!
• The new Philip Simmons High School opens to students in grades 9 and 10.
• Dr. Eddie Ingram is selected as the new superintendent of Berkeley County Schools.
• Daniel Island residents join people all over the world in experiencing an epic solar eclipse!
• The new Daniel Island Fabrics store opens.
• The City of Charleston sells a sliver of land on Daniel Island’s southern end to the State Ports Authority for $1.5 million. The SPA announces it will use the property for dredge disposal.
• Daniel Island feels Hurricane Irma’s wrath – as rising tides surge over the banks of the Wando River and area creeks.
• Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island resigns from his post representing House District 99 and pleads guilty to one count of statutory misconduct in office. He is given a suspended one year sentence with 12 months-probation and no fine. The remaining 29 indictments against him are not dismissed, but are pending his full cooperation in a State House corruption probe.
• Daniel Island residents respond to Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas with aid for storm victims.
• Laura Alberts Tasteful Options celebrates 15 years on Daniel Island.
• Haven Hair & Skin Salon opens on Island Park Drive.
• Improvements to Bellinger Island and the Beresford Boat Landing are completed.
• Daniel Island residents with relatives in areas ravaged by Hurricane Maria share their stories.
• The City of Charleston announces plans to build a new neighborhood park on Island Park Drive.
• Thousands hits the streets of Daniel Island to participate in the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure!
• The Daniel Island News launches a new series entitled “The reincarnation of Cainhoy Plantation.”
• Daniel Island and Cainhoy area voters cast ballots in favor of a $20 million affordable housing referendum for the City of Charleston.
• Daniel Island Real Estate’s first property offerings in the new Captain’s Island community generate $16.5 million, a company record for total sales in a day!
• The Rotary Club of Daniel Island dedicates a new plaque in the Daniel Island Commemorative Park honoring the “Emanuel 9” and the “Charleston 9.”
• Daniel Island resident Nancy Mace wins a runoff in the House District 99 Republican primary - and will face Cindy Boatwright (D) in a special election for the seat in January 2018.
• Daniel Pointe, a new retirement community for 55+, celebrates its grand opening.
• Two new businesses open in Daniel Island’s town center area – Dockery’s and BIN 526. Early reviews on both sites are positive!
• Five nominees for Daniel Island’s first ever Grand Marshal are announced – Rosie Stieby, Bob Johnston, Bernie Bell, Bill Stevens and Rona Bobey! Voting opens for community members to cast their ballots.
• The designs for the new Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church on Daniel Island are unveiled.
• The City of Charleston Planning Commission approves a subdivision concept plan for a 17-acre site on Fairbanks Drive behind Governor’s Park. The 90-lot parcel includes both single-family detached homes and townhomes.
• The League of Women Voters of Charleston and The Daniel Island News announce they will host a House District 99 Candidate Forum on Thursday, Jan. 4 at Philip Simmons High School.