Thursday, August 29, 2013

Outdoor Fitness Center Fundraiser at Chicora Place Community Garden

Metanoia CDC’s Chicora Place Community Garden Pushes Forward to Get Fitness Center Added to Upcoming Playground with Community Support.

The Chicora Place Community Garden sits in a food desert plagued with food insecurity and chronic health issues. Thanks to Select Health of SC and AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership, the garden, will receive a fully funded youth playground in an ambitious one-day build on Friday, November 22.

Plans for the future playground also feature a teen and adult fitness area complete with eight pieces of equipment. The set includes a curved balance beam, a sit-up station, a joint use chin up station, a seated chest press, a rowing machine, a seated leg press, an elliptical trainer, and a double cardio walker and costs $17,000.

To date, no sponsor has stepped up to cover the cost of the outdoor gym. Germaine Jenkins, Metanoia’s Community Garden Coordinator, and her neighborhood garden team have planned a fundraiser that will sell meals and other goods to raise funds and awareness.

Outdoor Fitness Center Fundraiser
Saturday, August 31, 2013
3pm - 6pm
Chicora Place Community Garden
3107 North Carolina Avenue, North Charleston, 29405

The fundraiser is a group effort with local musician Chris Boone donating his time and talents to open the festivities, assisting with the development and promotion of the event, and Metanoia CDC and the City of North Charleston donating ingredients and other materials that will be used to create dishes prepared by neighborhood residents. In addition, Crystal Simon, owner of the banana pudding business Bananapalooza, will donate dessert. The group is also creating a custom t-shirt that will be sold online with all proceeds benefiting the outdoor gym. 

Metanoia established the Chicora Place Community Garden in July of 2011. They gathered neighborhood feedback to create a social gathering space that features benches, barbeque grills, picnic tables and a gazebo. Since its creation, the garden has distributed over 600 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs free of charge to those who live, work and play in North Charleston. Metanoia CDC is an asset based community development corporation that has worked to discover and grow youth, adult and community assets in southern North Charleston area for ten years.

For more information about this topic, please contact Mrs. Germaine Jenkins by calling 843-276-8552, or e-mailing Germaine at

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

North Charleston Fire Department receives international accreditation

The North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD) will formally announce its international accreditation at the North Charleston City Council meeting on Thursday at 7:00pm in City Hall.

The NCFD was unanimously awarded Accredited Agency Status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) at the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission hearings in Chicago, Illinois on August 15, 2013. The NCFD is one of only 187 agencies worldwide and one of six in South Carolina (Mt. Pleasant, Hilton Head, Charleston AFB, Parris Island, and Spartanburg)to obtain CFAI Accredited Agency Status.

The Accreditation model provides a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation process that enables fire and emergency service agencies to examine performance levels and compare them to industry best practices. Departments are required to develop a community-driven strategic plan, standards of cover assessment and an extensive risk analysis of the community they serve. The model examines 244 performance indicators that must be verified through an on-site peer review by subject matter experts from around the country.

It typically takes a fire department 3-5 years to become accredited. The accreditation is recognized worldwide as a measure of excellence in the fire service.

“Accreditation is confirmation to our citizens that the highest quality fire service is being received,” said Mayor Keith Summey. “Subjecting our fire department to outside peer reviews and investigations and upholding a high level of standards is important to ensure we continue to innovate to better protect our city.”

“Our purpose in seeking accreditation was to invite the most intense scrutiny available to ensure that we can meet all of the fire protection needs of our thriving city," said Fire Chief Greg Bulanow. "We see this as a validation of more than three years of hard work to systematically improve the service we provide and we will continue to use this process to become an even better department."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Charlynn M. Knight appointed as City's Artist-in-Residence for 2013/2014

Charlynn M. Knight
North Charleston Artist-in-Residences 2013/14

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is proud to announce the appointment of watercolor artist Charlynn M. Knight as Artist-in-Residence for 2013/14. 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. Charlynn 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.

Charlynn M. Knight is a professional watercolor artist and native Charlestonian. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and continues to further her painting knowledge through workshops with national and international artists. Charlynn has worked primarily in watercolor for over 28 years and enjoys the way the medium captures the “glow” and vibrant colors and textures of her subjects. Her work depicts the beauty of the everyday, providing a relaxing escape to viewers. She has taught visual art classes and workshops in all media for children and adults since 1990, traveling to art guilds and organizations as well as offering weekly instruction locally. “As an instructor/teacher, I feel it is very important to share my knowledge and pass on the love of creating and expression through Art,” she says. “Art is an amazing tool for building self-confidence and offers freedom of expression. I look forward to sharing the many different ways Art embraces and expresses who we are in new, creative ways.”

Charlynn has received several awards for her work. She has been published in International Artist Magazine and her paintings are featured in several private and corporate collections, including the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection. Presently her work is available at Karen’s Korner in Mt. Pleasant and Laura Alberts Tasteful Options in Daniel Island. The North Charleston City Gallery will host an exhibition of Charlynn’s work throughout January 2014. 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 2, 2014, from 5:00-7:00pm.

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 2014.

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 To view examples of Charlynn’s work, visit

Friday, August 16, 2013

City Gallery to feature works by some of SC’s best artists

Taking a Break by Audrey Montgomery 
(Best of Show)
The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that works by The South Carolina Watermedia Society will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from September 2-30, 2013. The collection of works, on loan through the South Carolina State Museum’s Traveling Exhibitions Program, features the top 30 pieces from the group’s 36th annual juried exhibition. Selections were made by world renowned watercolorist, Linda Baker. A number of the works on view will be available for purchase, including the exhibit’s Best of Show, a watercolor piece titled Taking a Break by Beaufort, SC, artist Audrey Montgomery.

The South Carolina Watermedia Society is the only statewide visual arts organization in South Carolina to promote artists who work in watermedia, which includes watercolor, acrylic, gouache and casein, among others. As the state’s largest visual arts guild, their membership includes some of South Carolina’s best artists. Their annual juried exhibition, which has been presented since 1977, offers both new and established artists from around the state the opportunity to compete for prize money and to have their work exhibited in a variety of venues under the supervision of the South Carolina State Museum’s Traveling Exhibitions Program. In addition, the group provides a number of other exhibition opportunities, educational programs and avenues for professional development. For more information, visit

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the 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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's Cool to be in School - rally & school supply give-a-way

The City of North Charleston, in partnership with area churches and businesses, will hold its 6th annual school supply giveaway on Saturday, August 17, 2013, 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. Children must accompany their parents at the event.

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

2013 North Charleston Open at Wescott Plantation

The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation will host the 2013 North Charleston Open on September 7-8.  The tournament is open to all players, amateur and professionals.

The North Charleston Open proudly supports The First Tee, a youth development program that uses the game of golf as an outlet to encourage life skills.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fire Department's Deputy Chief Kyle Minick receives 2013 Bringing Safety Home Award

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative have announced that Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Minick is the recipient of the 2013 Bringing Safety Home Award, jointly presented by the two organizations. Minick is Deputy Chief of Operations with the North Charleston Fire Department.

The Bringing Safety Home Award annually recognizes the efforts of fire chiefs who use HFSC’s educational materials and the resources of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to ensure that decision-makers have accurate information as new or updated residential fire sprinkler codes are considered.

Chief Minick volunteered to chair the South Carolina Sprinkler Coalition and to spearhead a series of live flashover and fire sprinkler side-by-side demonstrations held across his state in partnership with the South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association. More than 20 of these dramatic demonstrations have been held since 2011, utilizing materials and information from both HFSC and NFPA’s Initiative.

In the nomination for the award, Chief Minick was hailed for his role in attracting the large number of firefighters, the media and the public who attended the side-by-side demonstrations. “Not only does Chief Minick represent the residential fire sprinkler issue well through his volunteer efforts, he lives this,” the nomination says. Chief Minick had fire sprinklers installed in his own home.

“Having a local advocate willing to take the lead on fire sprinkler education is key to making progress both in public awareness and in strong public safety requirements,” says Lorraine Carli, speaking on behalf of both HFSC and NFPA. Carli is president of HFSC’s Board of Directors and is vice president of communications for NFPA. “Chief Minick’s personal and professional efforts to increase residential fire sprinkler protection throughout his state make him a most worthy recipient. We are pleased to honor his work with the 2013 award.”

A demonstration coordinated by Chief Minick

The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) ( is a national, 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused solely on educational outreach. It is the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about home fire sprinklers.

NFPA’s The Fire Sprinkler Initiative (, in cooperation with many other interested individuals and organizations, encourages the use of home fire sprinklers through increased awareness and adoption of local ordinances or model codes.

Darius Rucker gets his own street & day in North Charleston

Darius Rucker Blvd unveiled
With country music superstar Darius Rucker and his wife Beth looking on, City of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey officially renamed a portion of Coliseum Drive to Darius Rucker Boulevard this morning at a ceremony at the North Charleston Coliseum. Rucker, a proud Lowcountry native and resident, has performed many concerts at the Coliseum as a solo artist and as the front man for Hootie & the Blowfish.

“It has been great to see Darius Rucker become a first class and world renowned musician, while always embracing the Lowcountry,” said Mayor Summey. “However, it gives me a larger sense of pride to see Darius come back to the Lowcountry, time and time again, and put forth a meaningful effort to make our community a better place. Over the years his goodwill has truly benefited a countless number of our residents, and for that we are ever thankful. It is a pleasure and honor to recognize Darius Rucker, someone who has never forgot the Lowcountry.”

“It’s crazy,” Rucker said. “You never do anything with the intention of getting something in return, so I never expect anything but when I heard they wanted to name a street after me, I have to admit I was flattered. I’m truly honored that they’re doing that. It’s massive…just incredible. I’m totally over the moon about the whole thing. It’s just amazing to be recognized like that.”

The renaming of the street was initiated by country music radio station WEZL 103.5 FM. Morning show co-hosts TJ Phillips and Ric Rush floated the idea on air of naming a street after Darius back in the spring. North Charleston Mayor Summey was listening. He loved the idea and called into the show to tell Rush and Phillips that he was going to work on the idea. On June 10, 2013 the North Charleston Planning Commission approved the name change of a Coliseum Drive to Darius Rucker Boulevard. 

“The WEZL Crew is humbled by the fact that we have incredible listeners which includes North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey,” Rush said. “He heard us talking about this idea on the air and teamed with WEZL to make the naming of Darius Rucker Boulevard a reality. We are proud that we had a small part in making this happen.”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

City of North Charleston wins Better Government Competition

The Pioneer Institute, Boston, MA-based, independent non-partisan research organization, recently announced that the City of North Charleston placed nationally in the Institute’s 2013 Better Government Competition. For the competition, the Institute sought ideas from governmental entities and non-profit organizations on facilitating locally-based programs for job creation.

North Charleston will receive a $1,000 allocation, based on an essay submitted to the Institute last April, entitled “Sustainable Urban Redevelopment: Reinventing the Local Economy”. The City was selected as a winner in a field that included more than 100 applicants. Use of the funds is yet to be determined.

“This year’s theme of job growth is one of the country’s biggest challenges,” says Shawni Littlehale, director of the Better Government Competition. “We received hundreds of proposals from across the country, and we know that the winning solutions, if implemented, will make a real impact on our quality of life.”

“The many companies locating in the City of North Charleston have invested over a billion dollars, creating thousands of new jobs,” says Summey. “This is a validation that the City’s business environment is ripe for economic prosperity.”

The Pioneer Institute selected North Charleston based on an aggressive, pro-business stance that includes a long term, holistic redevelopment plan for the City’s historic neighborhoods, including Park Circle, the former Charleston Naval Base and the East Montague Business Corridor. Job training programs and industry recruitment, in collaboration with state and regional governments, were also key factors in North Charleston’s selection.

The Pioneer Institute will formerly present the awards September 30, honoring the 2013 winner and runners up. Forbes magazine publisher Steve Forbes will be the keynote speaker at the event.

“Business and job growth in North Charleston foster an improved quality of life, and a better community for all of our citizens,” adds Summey. “A rising tide truly lifts all boats.”

About Pioneer Institute
Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and beyond, through civic discourse and intellectually vigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government. Pioneer’s work promotes high-quality public schools, affordable healthcare, effective but frugal government, and greater economy opportunity for its residents. The Institute makes an impact on public policy through rigorous research by leading scholars, press appearances, social media, and education sessions with legislators.

About The Better Government Competition
The Competition: The Pioneer Institute’s Better Government Competition, founded in 1991, is an annual citizens’ idea contest that seeks out and rewards the most innovative public policy proposals. Over the last two decades, ideas generated by the Better Government Competition have helped Pioneer save Commonwealth taxpayers over $750 million and improve the quality of the public services they receive.

Monday, August 5, 2013

North Charleston Neighborhoods turn out to Stomp out Crime

On Tuesday, August 6th 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 30th Annual National Night Out.

Locally, the North Charleston Police Department, in conjunction with national sponsor Target Stores, and communities throughout the city take a stand against crime by holding various walks, cookouts and crime prevention projects.

At 6:00 p.m.  Police Chief Eddie Driggers, along with Mayor Keith Summey and Councilmember Rhonda Jerome and residents of the Pepperhill community, will kick off a neighborhood cookout and crime prevention education activities at the Pepperhill Community Center on Brandywine Road.

Similar events will occur simultaneously in neighborhoods throughout the city to include:  Forest Hills I, Charleston Farms, North Charleston Old Village, Woodlands, Coosaw Commons 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.

Neighborhood Events/Schedule
Pepperhill - At 6 p.m., residents will gather for an evening of fun, entertainment, networking and crime prevention awareness at the Pepperhill Community Center on Brandywine Road.   Target, New York Life, Highway Patrol, Consolidated Dispatch, and the Christmas and Howell Law Firm will participate in this event.

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

Charleston Farms - Community cook-out from 6 to 8 p.m. at the community center (1633 Sumner Ave).

Indigo on the Ashley - Community cook-out from 6 to 8 p.m. at the entrance to the neighborhood.

Forest Hills - Community Walk and cookout beginning at 6 p.m..  The walk is to begin at Foxwood and Desmond, and the cookout is to take place at the Evans Community Center.

Woodlands - (Wescott) Community cookout starting at 6 p.m. at the playground.

Terrace/Waylan - Community cookout starting at 6 p.m. at the Community Center.

Coosaw Commons - Community cookout starting at 5:30 p.m. at the club house.

Oak Terrace Preserve - Community cookout starting at 6 pm.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Code Enforcement receives statewide litter control award

When a community is blighted by litter, it corrupts two images. First and foremost, it corrupts the beauty of the environment. Second, it corrupts the image of safety. While both of these have negative consequences that run below the surface, it is the second of these offenses that our law enforcement community targets when they practice a zero tolerance for litter campaign.

City of North Charleston received the City Level Zero Tolerance Achievement Award from PalmettoPride for an integrated approach to litter control, interacting with residents, civic groups, and students with educational materials, pickup events and building awareness to the campaign.

The annual Zero Tolerance for Litter Campaign unites SC law enforcement officers in a month-long effort to bring the issue of litter to the forefront, enforcing state and local litter laws and educating citizens on why these laws matter. While litter laws are in place every day, this special campaign is designed to draw attention to the deeper issue of litter law violations.

PalmettoPride created the Zero Tolerance Achievement Awards to honor city, county and state level agencies for their work during the Zero Tolerance for Litter Campaign. Winners of the awards receive equipment that can assist their department in the prosecution of littering cases.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

2013/14 North Charleston Dinner Theatre Series Tickets On Sale Now

Performance of Waiting on You presented by Actors’ Theatre of SC during 2012/13 Dinner Theatre Series
The North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to present its 2013/14 Dinner Theater Series, featuring four fabulous performances accompanied by elegant dining. Season tickets are on sale now for $140 per person. Group discounts are available. Single performance tickets are priced at $40 and are available for purchase one month prior to each event. Patrons interested in forgoing dinner and enjoying the performance only may purchase “play only” tickets for $15.

The series has proven to be a popular program for couples and groups. Productions take place in September, November, January, and March. Guests are served a candlelit dinner at 7:00pm, then sit back to watch lively, and often interactive, performances by professional actors while enjoying dessert and tea or coffee. All programs are scheduled on Friday evenings in an elegant ballroom setting at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Dress is business casual. Ticket price includes dinner, play, and gratuity. A cash bar is available. Parking is free.

Performance details and menus are listed below. Meals are catered by Embassy Suites and include a garden salad, meat entrée with vegetable and starch, rolls, dessert, coffee & tea. Vegetarian alternatives may be requested in advance.

2013/14 North Charleston Dinner Theater Series Schedule (subject to change):

September 20, 2013 – Sherlock Holmes & the Charleston History Mystery performed by Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre • When a member of the infamous Charles Townson family is murdered, the World's Greatest Detective, Sherlock Holmes, is drawn into a Lowcountry case of mystery, history, spooks, and specters. Join the Master of Logic himself for an Historical City Tour truly for the lazy — where without ever leaving your theatre seat you will explore Charleston's past, present, and...other worldly…and where should you choose to volunteer, you may actually play a victim, villain, or vile vision! Professional actors, volunteer audience roles.
Entree: Trattoria Carbonara – Classic roman dish, spaghetti pasta, glazed onion, crisp pancetta, cracked pepper, creamy egg & Italian cheese sauce

November 15, 2013 – Gullah Roots performed by The Gullah Lady, Sharon Cooper-Murray • The Gullah Lady, Ambassador of the Gullah Culture, will share the rich history of the Gullah community through a captivating collection of traditional stories and songs.
Entree: Pork Tenderloin – sage buttered & roasted slices, mustard & caper sauce

January 31, 2014 – Black & Blue: An Evening w/ Laura Ball performed by Laura Ball • Celebrate the Soul of America's Gifted Women of the Blues with pianist/vocalist Laura Ball and the Gentle Time Band. From Gospel to the Back Alleys of New Orleans, don't miss this exquisite cabaret evening of musical history. Entree: Smoked Chicken & Italian Sausage Penne – mushrooms, sweet onions, zucchini, pesto cream

March 21, 2014 – Love Letters performed by Threshold Repertory Theatre • Written in 1989 by critically acclaimed playwright A.R. Gurney, this drama reveals the bittersweet story of the staid, dutiful lawyer, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, and lively, unstable artist, Melissa Gardner, through the pages of decades of letters. A smash hit on and off-Broadway, The Wall Street Journal calls Love Letters "exhilarating, funny, and moving." Entree: Pecan Roast Salmon – Dijon & maple basted, smoke tomato jam

Space is limited. Contact Pam Smith at 843-740-5847 for tickets or more information. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, cash, or checks made payable to the City of North Charleston are accepted. For information on other City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department programs, visit or call 843-740-5854.

SCDOT to close intersection of Dorchester Rd and Appian Way, August 5-8

The SCDOT will close the intersection of Dorchester Road and Appian Way beginning Monday, August 5 until August 8 between 8:00am and 4:00pm daily.

View Appian Way road closure in a larger map

The closure is necessary to make drainage repairs to a cross line pipe.  Dorchester Road traffic traveling eastbound and making a right onto Appian Way and Dorchester Road traffic traveling westbound and making a left onto Appian Way will need to follow the detour.

Barricades, cones, and signs will be in place to guide motorists around the work area via a detour.  The public is asked to use caution while driving in the area and follow all directional signs.

If you have any questions, please contact the SCDOT office in St. George at 843-740-1663.