Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mayor Summey receives American Institute of Architects award

AIA Charleston recognizes Mayor with Award
The following was read aloud at the 2011 American Institute of Architects Charleston Honor Awards ceremony:

The Government Affairs Award
This award recognizes an official elected, appointed or employed in a governmental position at any level, for their efforts toward improving the community or built environment.

Although North Charleston mayor Keith Summey’s accomplishments are broad and far reaching, AIA Charleston specifically recognizes his work in improving the built environment by championing sustainable and livable communities.  For each of the 16 years that Mayor Summey has provided regional and local leadership, the City of North Charleston has been first among all statewide municipalities in gross retail sales; however, his greatest impact may be in improving the access to quality development and thus, the quality of life for each citizen.

In 1994, when he was first elected, Mayor Summey inherited the closure of the Charleston Navy Base and Shipyard – one of the hardest hitting jobs killers in the State.  Looking back today, Mayor Summey has played a vital part in North Charleston’s economic growth and revitalization, claiming a leadership role in the development of a regional Convention Center, Coliseum, and Performing Arts venue, the expansion of our regional airport, the Vision and Development of the Noisette Neighborhood and redevelopment of the former Navy Base – as well as recently solidifying the Boeing Assembly Plant and the Clemson Restoration Institute Research park.  These accomplishments have together contributed to North Charleston’s current position of regional prominence.

Additionally, Mayor Summey has played a key role in promoting sustainable development through neighborhoods like Oak Terrace Preserve and LEED NC pilot neighborhood – The Navy Yard at Noisette.  The recently renovated City hall is LEED Certified, and in 2009, North Charleston was awarded 1 of only 2 National Awards of Excellence in Sustainable Community Development by the Home Depot Foundation.

An AIA Charleston Honor Award for outstanding service to the community and the design profession goes to: Mayor Keith Summey.

In Photos: The Pink Heals Tour visits North Charleston

The Pink Heals 2011 National Fire Truck Tour sponsored by Guardians of The Ribbon brought four Pink Fire Trucks to North Charleston at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in Park Circle.

Guardians of The Ribbon, dressed in pink fire suits, drive pink fire trucks across the country every year to raise awareness and funds for women and local non-profits in their fight against cancer. Its 2011 tour includes multiple stops in 20 states throughout the country.

For the North Charleston stop, the North Charleston Fire Department hosted a fundraiser benefiting Lowcountry Women with Wings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chevrolet Fireball Run brings search for missing children to North Charleston

Chevrolet Fireball Run Brings Search for Missing Children to North Charleston
The largest active recovery effort for missing and exploited children in the country arrived in North Charleston, SC as part of the Fireball Run’s Race to Recover America’s Missing Children.

The 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run, themed “Southern Excursion” includes over 40 teams competing in a 2,500 mile, eight day adventure.  Each team of the race is assigned a child from their home region along with thousands of posters to distribute along the route. A decal featuring the child is affixed to the vehicle, creating a rolling milk carton. To date, the effort has assisted in the recovery of 36 missing children.

Chevrolet Fireball Run - Mayor Summey drops the flagCompetitors in the Run include NASCAR Driver Geoff Bodine, NASA Shuttle Astronaut Winston Scott and Actor/Activist Kevyn Major Howard. Fans can watch live on; this year audiences can scan QR codes on the GPS-equipped cars for info and prizes.

The teams drive a fleet of exotic vehicles, which includes an Angel-1, a specially designed 2011 Chevrolet Camaro dedicated to the more than 1,000 first responders who lost their lives on 9/11 and since Sept. 11. The fleet also includes famous vehicles featured in movies and TV series.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pink Heals Tour making North Charleston stop

Pink Heals Fire Truck - Parada del Sol - Scottsdale
Flickr user Al_HikesAZ
The Pink Heals 2011 National Fire Truck Tour sponsored by Guardians of The Ribbon will bring its three Pink Fire Trucks to North Charleston on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 from 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in Park Circle.

Guardians of The Ribbon, dressed in pink fire suits, drive pink fire trucks across the country every year to raise awareness and funds for women and local non-profits in their fight against cancer. Its 2011 tour includes multiple stops in 20 states throughout the country.

For the North Charleston stop, the North Charleston Fire Department is hosting a cookout and fundraiser benefiting Lowcountry Women with Wings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Help shape the future of the Neck Area - public meetings Sept 26-30

north arlington civic visioning session 03
Flickr User Saikofish
Do you live or work in the Neck Area?  Help define the future of key locations in the Neck Area of North Charleston and Charleston and capture their stories through pictures, words, and design.

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments’ (BCDCOG) Partnership for Prosperity: A Master Plan for the Neck Area of North Charleston and Charleston invites residents, employees, property owners, business owners, and neighborhood friends to participate in a community design charrette during the week of September 26 to September 30th, 2011 at Sterett Hall -1530 7th Street and Hobson Avenue on the former Navy Base.

Public sessions include:
Kick-Off Meeting from 6:00-8:00pm on September 26th
Public Pin-Up Session from 5:00-8:00pm on September 28th
Open House with a Closing Presentation from 5:00-8:00pm on September 30th.
all sessions at Sterett Hall, 1530 7th Street and Hobson Ave, N. Chas, SC 29405
Easily accessible by CARTA Routes 10 and 101

Sponsored by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG), the Charleston Neck Partnership for Prosperity Plan is a cooperative effort to shape the future of the tri-county region's core area. The plan will include strategies to spur economic vitality, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance quality of life for people and businesses within the historic neighborhoods, new communities, and emerging job centers between the Charleston International Airport and US 17-Crosstown in Charleston. more.

Between now and the fall of 2012, the people of Charleston and North Charleston will create a plan that answers the following questions:

What do we want the core of our entire region to look like in 10 years - 25 years- 50 years?
  • Neighborhoods & schools
  • Shopping & job centers
  • Sidewalks, bike routes & transit services
  • Streets, highways & rail lines
  • Greenways, blueways, & parks
How can we work together to achieve our vision?
  • Public investments
  • Private development
  • Plans and policies
  • Desired Outcomes
The plan will be...
  • A shared vision of this region's residents
  • A guide for decisions about growth & development
  • A resource for updating local plans & policies
The plan will NOT be...
  • A replacement of the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) Revitalization Plan or local comprehensive plans
  • A zoning ordinance
  • A rigid "prescription" for regional growth
Find complete information at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Police Chief Completes FBI Executive Institute Leadership Session

North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt
On Friday, September 16th North Charleston Police Chief Jon R. Zumalt along with 40 other Law Enforcement Executives around the world successfully completed the FBI National Executive Institute (NEI) Leadership Session XXXIV.  NEI is the FBI’s premier executive training initiative where chief executives of the largest law enforcement organizations in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and Australia attend three one-week training sessions throughout the year at the FBI Academy.  The focus of the training is strategic leadership development and current affairs for a diverse group of law enforcement professionals who bring immensely different levels of experience and perspectives.  Executives from the U.S. are nominated by the Special Agent in Charge of their local FBI field office.

During Session XXXIV, attendees completed numerous studies to include:  American presidents:  Leadership Lessons from Nixon to Obama” presented by journalist Bob Woodward; Southwest Border Issues:  International, Transnational and National Threats; Policing in a Divided Society; Media and the Police Executive; Lincoln on Leadership:  Executive Strategies for Tough Times; Crisis Leadership:  1996 Mt. Everest Tragedy Case Study; and “No Shortcuts to the Top” Inspirational Leadership.  In addition, attendees were involved in roundtable discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller as well a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

More than 1,000 law enforcement executives graduated from NEI since 1976.  Following graduation, each executive is invited to join the NEI Associates (NEIA), a non-profit foundation that continues the education of these executives and sponsors various research projects.

About Chief Zumalt
Chief Zumalt began his career in law enforcement in 1980 when he joined the Wichita Kansas Police Department as a reserve officer.  This was the beginning of a 21 year career with the Wichita Police Department where he held command positions in Patrol, Training, Special Operations, Technical Services, Internal Affairs and Special Investigations.

Police Chief Zumalt in the communityIn 2001 following a nationwide search, Chief Zumalt was hired by Mayor Keith Summey to lead the City of North Charleston Police Department.  Under his leadership, Chief Zumalt has reshaped the police department and brought back a "sense of pride" with his innovative management style he describes as "democratic police leadership."  Chief Zumalt leads his agency through an Executive Staff form where the Deputy Chiefs work along with him to problem solve, develop policies and plans, and manage the daily activities of the agency.  Chief Zumalt believes all employees should have the ability to be creative and bring solutions to the table for consideration. His philosophy is to treat employees as the department's number one customer with the belief that by doing so they will be happier, more productive and will treat external customers well.

Chief Zumalt credits the city's crime control success to the department's use of intelligence to monitor and track violent offender; adjusting resources daily to emerging crime trends; an attack on drug trafficking and drug related violence; educating the community on crime problems and crime prevention; creating problem-solving partnerships with the community; and improving traffic safety. In addition, the department works as a team member with other city departments focusing government resources in troubled neighborhoods improving livability and quality of life which has proven to be a sound crime reduction strategy.

Chief Zumalt holds a Masters Degree in Administration and is a graduate of FBI-LEEDS Seminar Session 47 and the FBI National Executive Institute Session 34.  In 2005 he was elected to the Executive Board of FBI LEEDA a national organization of 5,000 police leaders.  He is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), South Carolina Police Chiefs Association, and Chair of the Regional Advisory Council for the NIJ National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center – Southeast Region. Chief Zumalt is Chairman of Charleston County 9-1-1 Consolidated Dispatch Board of Directors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Immedion expands operations, bringing data center to North Charleston

Mayor Summey speaks at Immedion expansion announcement
Immedion LLC, a South Carolina-based dedicated data center and managed services provider, is building its third data center in North Charleston, SC with plans to open in late spring. The third site further expands Immedion’s data center redundancy and disaster recovery offerings and allows Immedion to better serve the managed hosting needs of the southeast region. The new facility is expected to bring 20 new jobs and $6 million in capital investment.

Located in the Palmetto Commerce Park, the North Charleston facility will be specially constructed to withstand high winds and other special conditions normally associated with coastal regions.  “Our customer base is any size business with critical information technology assets located nearby,” added Immedion CEO, Frank Mobley, “This facility will provide an ideal location for companies who want to keep these assets close by, but are in a high risk area, or have outgrown their internal capacity.”

“Information technology is a rapidly growing sector of our economy and is a key target industry in the Opportunity Next economic development strategy,” said CRDA Board Chairman R.M. Singletary. “We’re glad to see Immedion expand its footprint in the state and bring additional high quality, high paying jobs to the Charleston region.”

"We welcome Immedion to Charleston County," said Teddie E. Pryor, Sr., Chairman of Charleston County Council.  "The entry of this great company into our region strengthens Charleston’s 'knowledge economy' and is further proof this is a great market for business.”

“With its dual power infrastructure and fiber optics, Palmetto Commerce Park is quickly becoming known as a hub for innovative companies and data centers, and we’re thrilled to see Immedion locate to such a thriving area, said City of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. “North Charleston is the right choice for technology companies looking to locate, grow their business and be confident their information will be protected.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Woodmen of the World flag pole dedication ceremony

The Woodmen of the World erected a flag pole at the Gary McJunkin Community Center in North Charleston, SC in honor and remembrance of the heroes and victims in the fight against terrorism and to celebrate the enduring spirit of all Americans.

Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary School students sang patriotic music at the ceremony.

City of North Charleston breaks ground on 20th community center

Dorchester Road Community Center Groundbreaking
The City of North Charleston broke ground on its newest community center located adjacent to Doorway Baptist Church on Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Dorchester Road Community Center will become North Charleston’s 20th community center.  The center will be utilized for neighborhood association meetings, afterschool programming, senior activities, and will be a summer camp site.

Mayor Summey stated, “We are proud to begin construction on the latest addition to our inventory of community centers that dot the City.  This center is a terrific expansion of recreational and civic services offered to the citizens of our city and will help us meet the needs of the growing population of the upper Dorchester Road corridor.”

The 4,400 sq ft facility is expected to be completed in the Spring 2012.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The InterTech Group announces 350 new jobs

On September 14, 2011, The InterTech Group announced that its aerospace subsidiary, TIGHITCO (T-I-G-hit-co), will construct a state of the art manufacturing facility in North Charleston, SC.

Upon completion, the project will represent a between a $30 and $40 million investment, and is expected to generate approximately 350 jobs.

TIGHITCO is an industrial and aerospace engineering, design, manufacturing and repair company.  THe North Charleston location will be the sixth manufacturing facility for TIGHITCO, whose other locations are in Georgia, Connecticut and Mexico.

TIGHITCO products are utilized by companies worldwide and can be found on the majority of aircraft built in North America.

The new TIGHITCO facility will be located in Palmetto Commerce Park.  The facility will be built in phases.  The initial phase, totaling 120,000 square feet, is projected to be complete by fall of 2012.  Ultimately, it is planned that the facility will each 300,000 square feet.  The timeline for construction of the final phases will be based on capacity utilization and the needs of the customers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mayor Summey begins demolition of Shipwatch Square

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey operated a backhoe to begin the demolition of Shipwatch Square located at the corner of Rivers and McMillan Avenues on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

After sitting idle for many years, Shipwatch Square was purchased by the City of North Charleston as a portion of the revitalization efforts for the southern end of the City.  The demolition is part of the first steps in the City’s Master Plan for Shipwatch Square, which encompasses a grocery store, bank, drug store, small retail establishments, and office space.

Demolition is scheduled to be completed by late 2011.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SC Department of Transportation wants your traffic reduction ideas

Flickr User windy_sydney
Public input meeting: Thursday, September 20
Open House: 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Short Project Overview: 6:00 pm
North Charleston City Hall
2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406

If you have experience congestion along I-526 between Rivers Avenue in North Charleston and US Hwy 17 in Charleston, the South Carolina Department of Transportation wants your traffic reduction ideas.

The Corridor Analysis for I-526 between North Charleston and Charleston examines the roughly eight-mile segment of Interstate between Rivers Avenue in North Charleston and US 17 in West Ashley - including the system-to-system interchange of I-526 and I-26. The study team’s primary tasks are to gather baseline information about the corridor and to solicit ideas for reducing today’s traffic and meeting tomorrow’s needs.

All ideas received will be considered including: travel demand management alternatives to either reduce the overall travel in the corridor or spreading the peak travel demand to off-peak periods; multi-modal strategies to shift vehicle or truck travel to other modes of travel, such as transit or rail; traffic operation improvements to improve the efficiency of traffic flow; and capacity improvements within the road network.

Feasible ideas will then be studied and evaluated with traffic analyses, travel demand modeling, and corridor geometric evaluations. By the conclusion of this eighteen month study, alternatives will be identified and evaluated not only for near term, low-cost strategies, but also for more costly, future-year capacity strategies.

Friday, September 9, 2011

US Department of Justice gives nod to North Charleston redistricting

US Department of Justice gives nod to North Charleston redistricting
The City of North Charleston received word from the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice that the Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the City Council redistricting plan submitted in late June 2011.  The plan reflects population shifts and growth within the City according to the 2010 Census.

It is necessary to "rebalance" district sizes periodically so that a vote in one district has the same weight as a vote in all others. The Census, which counts population every 10 years, typically reveals population shifts resulting in varying council district sizes. In turn, the Census allows for the accurate drawing of new map lines based on those shifts.

Also, according to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, election plans are required to be drawn in a way that is fair to minorities. Section 5 of the Act requires that select states (including South Carolina) get "pre-clearance" from the US Justice Department or Federal Court before making any official change to its election plan.

Election for all 10 North Charleston City Council Members and Mayor is set for November 8, 2011.

New Council District Map

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ginny Versteegen & Faye Sullivan at City Gallery in September

Mt. Pleasant artists to present concurrent solo exhibitions of oils and watercolors
Works by Ginny Versteegen and Faye Sullivan will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery during the month of September.

Ginny Versteegen’s exhibit, Journeys, consists of her latest oil and watercolor paintings which encompass personal journeys, artistic journeys, as well as the artist’s geographical journeys.  Recent trips to Tuscany and Umbria have inspired many of the paintings in the exhibit.   Local excursions throughout the Lowcountry and Upstate also contribute to the theme. Versteegen’s fascination with color and light are both evident in the inspired collection of paintings.  Done “en plein air,” these works reflect the sunlit landscapes and windows of the world.

Versteegen taught art in private and public schools throughout her life.  She received a degree in Art Education through Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and continued her education in fine arts at Winthrop University, Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the University of Oviedo in Spain.  Having resided in Holland, Spain, and Brazil, her work exhibits an international flair. Her paintings have received awards in many shows locally and throughout the United States. She currently co-manages the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery in downtown Charleston, is a contributing member of the I’On Guild, and previously served on the board of the Mount Pleasant Artist Guild.

The oil paintings in Faye Sullivan’s exhibit, Reflections, invite the public to experience the openness and expanse of the Lowcountry through the seascapes and landscapes which surround them.  “Water is the ultimate chameleon,” says the artist.  “It reflects the clouds, time of day, wind, sky, and all of the many things which surround it.  It is this reflective quality which is most helpful when repeating colors to unify the scene.”  Sullivan first worked in pastels because she was drawn to the softness of the medium.  She now paints with that softness using oils, choosing a smooth canvas and applying the paint thinly with soft edges.  These techniques help set a mood of peacefulness and solitude and make her work easily recognizable.

Sullivan is a graduate of East Carolina University with a BFA and MFA in Art.  She taught art for 39 years at the middle and high school level before retiring in the Lowcountry. She has won numerous art awards and her work is displayed in homes and offices throughout the country and abroad.  She currently exhibits at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery in downtown Charleston and is a member of three local guilds.

Both artists’ work will be on display from September 1 – 30, 2011. The public is invited to attend a free opening reception at the gallery hosted by the artists on Thursday, September 1, from 5pm-7pm.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am – 5:00pm, daily.  The gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only.   Inquiries regarding 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, September 1, 2011

9/11 memorial service to remember lives lost, honor nation’s first responders and military personnel

A memorial service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11 is set for Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:00 am at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. The public is invited to attend the event.  There will be no charge for admission or parking.

The event, wholly planned by Charleston area first responders and military personnel, will include participation from nearly every public safety agency in the region.

A portion of the service will include remarks from first responders who were at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC on September 11, 2001 and will feature music by the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums and the Academic Magnet High School Vocal Ensemble.  In addition, fire apparatus from agencies throughout the Charleston area will be on display surrounding the Performing Arts Center.

“We hope to come together as a local community of first responders to commemorate this anniversary,” said North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow.  He continued, “It provides an opportunity to appropriately honor and reflect on the enormous sacrifices that were made that day in the service of duty.  We hope that many will join us, including young people, who perhaps were too young to understand or remember September 11, 2001, but who are growing up in a world that was shaped by that day.”

Charleston County EMS Director Don Lundy stated, “That date changed the way of life for all of us, but particularly for the men and women who protect our loved ones every day. For that, we should honor those who gave their lives and remember those who continue to do this work every day, without fear or trepidation. They all are the real heroes walking among us."

Participating agencies:

Joint Base Charleston
South Carolina Highway Patrol
Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
Charleston County EMS
Charleston County Emergency Management
Charleston Police Department
Charleston Fire Department
Charleston Police Department Pipes & Drums
North Charleston Police Department
North Charleston Fire Department
North Charleston Fire Museum
Mount Pleasant Police Department
Mount Pleasant Fire Department
College of Charleston First Responders
Isle of Palms Police Department
Isle of Palms Fire Department
St. Andrews Fire Department
St. Johns Fire Department
Summerville Fire Department
Ashley River Fire Department
Caromi Fire Department
James Island Fire Department
Awendaw Fire Department
Dorchester County EMS
Moncks Corner Rural Fire Department
Goose Creek Fire Department
Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy

Non-public safety participants:
The Boeing Company’s Safety Officials
Royal Missionary Baptist Church
CCSD’s Academic Magnet High School