Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th of July Festival in North Charleston, feat. largest fireworks show in the State of South Carolina

North Charleston's 4th of July Festival
The City of North Charleston will hold its Fourth of July Festival at Riverfront Park on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm. The event and parking are free of charge and all general admission.

North Charleston’s Fourth of July Festival will feature the largest show of fireworks in the State of South Carolina.

The following is a schedule of events:
3:00 pm
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
5:45 pm – 7:30 pm
7:45 pm – 9:15 pm
9:15 pm – 9:45 pm
Festivities begin
Ruben Studdard, former American Idol
Show of fireworks over the Cooper River by Zambelli Fireworks International with music performed by Equinox Jazz Band

Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there will be no seating provided. No alcohol is permissible within the park. A wide variety of food vendors will be on site. Children activities will be available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. 

Riverfront Park is located on the former Charleston Naval Base, easily accessible from I-526 and I-26. Enter the former Charleston Naval Base by the McMillan Avenue or Virginia Avenue gate and turn onto Hobson Avenue. Riverfront Park signs are visible for easy to follow directions. All parking is free and shuttles will be available for the convenience of guests.

Photos from last year's show of fireworks.

Open to the public year-round, Riverfront Park has become a favorite destination for residents and visitors. Set on the banks of the beautiful Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by the Charleston Naval Base officers, surrounded by graceful grand oak trees and peaceful river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park boasts a magnificent contemporary Performance Pavilion and meadow.

Riverfront Park is home to the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial, erected in honor of the countless military personnel and civilians that served the United States and the Greater Charleston region while the Charleston Naval Base was operational. The Memorial is the only location in the United States that displays both the Lone Sailor and the Homecoming statues. Riverfront Park is also the location of North Charleston’s Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. A component of the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival, the Competition and Exhibition features large-scale contemporary sculptures on display throughout the year.

For further information, visit the City’s website at

Last year's Fourth of July Festival

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

North Charleston Fire Department to dedicate and demonstrate area’s first fireboat at 4th of July Festival

The North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD) will dedicate the Lowcountry’s first fireboat at North Charleston’s 4th of July Festival with a short ceremony on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 3:00pm along the Cooper River at Riverfront Park. NCFD will showcase the fireboat’s capabilities immediately after the ceremony.

The 32ft purpose-built fireboat will be named in honor of Retired North Charleston Fire Chief W. Frank New who lead the department from 1973 to 1985. The fireboat will join the NCFD fleet as “NCFD Marine 1.”

The fireboat, model FireStorm 32, was built by Metal Craft Marine in Kingston, Ontario. It is powered by dual Cummins diesel engines, each rated at 480 horsepower, which were manufactured at the Cummins Turbo Technologies facility on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston, SC. Its top speed is 43 knots or nearly 50 MPH and can pump more than 2,000 gallons of water per minute through 4 water monitors mounted on the roof, bow and two on the aft deck.

The fireboat can traverse and operate in very shallow water due to its shallow draft and jet drive configuration. The aft deck provides an oversized dive platform/recovery deck, which provides water level working space for deployment and recovery. The cabin is equipped with VHF, radar integrated with GPS, infrared capabilities and high output scene and spot lights for night operations.

The fireboat dedication is part of North Charleston’s 4th of July Festival, which boasts a full day of top level musical entertainment and family and children activities. The Festival concludes with the largest show of fireworks in the State of South Carolina.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Patriots Point Scholarship Program sponsors North Charleston students for educational programs aboard Yorktown

USS Yorktown Fall 2008 Cub Scout Trip Boarding-1

The Patriots Point Institute of History and Science is partnering with the City of North Charleston to host 550 students for educational programs aboard the USS YORKTOWN July 2-9 (not including weekend dates and the Fourth of July). The students – all participants in the North Charleston Recreation Department’s Summer Camp – will participate in a cross-curricular, standards-based program that features history, science, math, literacy, and art components in a setting that underscores patriotism, dedication and sacrifice.

A group of approximately 100 students will visit Patriots Point each day. Their participation in this program has been made possible thanks to the Patriots Point Scholarship Program, funded by the generous support of community partners and organizations such as the USS Yorktown (CV-10) Association and local volunteer Mike Sudzina and his wife, Mary. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these students to visit Patriots Point and to take part in our multi-faceted educational programs,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “In addition to serving as Charleston’s only floating science lab, Patriots Point represents some of the very best qualities of our nation – duty, honor, service, and sacrifice,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette said. 

“We recognize that challenges presented by today’s economic climate make it difficult for various youth programs to afford to travel for off-site education programs and we want to do our part to help,” Burdette continued. “Thanks to our Scholarship Program, we have been able to subsidize travel and admission costs for more than 5,000 students in the past year alone. For most of these children, it was their first trip to the USS YORKTOWN and to Charleston. These are experiences they will remember for a lifetime.” 

The Patriots Point Scholarship Program depends on support from the community. Qualifying schools and programs are eligible to apply for funding; and every $10 donation means that a student is able to participate in the Patriots Point Institute of History and Science’s education programs. During the past school year, Patriots Point welcomed students from 26 counties in South Carolina to participate in the Institute of History and Science education programs. If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to this fund, please contact the Patriots Point Education Department at 843-971-5046. 

On the final day of the camp, Monday, July 9, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey will visit Patriots Point to view the History and Science program in action and to speak with the students. 

“Many thanks are due to Patriots Point and its Scholarship Program donors for the positive impact being made on the young people of our community,” Mayor Summey said. “Through their generosity, hundreds of North Charleston youths will be afforded a one of a kind, hands-on educational experience that is unrivaled by many Lowcountry programs. Simply boarding the USS Yorktown will be something never before experienced by many of our summer camp participants.” 

Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails, who serves as a member of the Patriots Point Development Authority Board, will also join the students on July 9. For three weeks this summer, June 11-15, July 23-27 and August 6-10, Patriots Point is partnering with the Town of Mount Pleasant to offer summer educational programs for students. Parents registered their children for this week-long program through the Town of Mount Pleasant’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

“I commend Patriots Point for its stewardship and commitment to educating the next generations of leaders, patriots and scientists,” said Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails. “Patriots Point Institute of History and Science offers a unique educational experience for our Lowcountry children and beyond. The Patriots Point Scholarship Program ensures that our children can benefit from the time-tested values of honor, duty and courage that this fine institution embodies. As Patriots Point moves forward, it will continue to inspire and engage our youth in new and innovative ways to preserve this rich military heritage.” 

About Patriots Point 

Patriots Point, on the Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant, SC, is home of Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, including the USS YORKTOWN, USS LAFFEY and USS CLAMAGORE, Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the U.S. Patriots Point is also headquarters to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. As an agency, the Naval and Maritime Museum strives to preserve the living history of our nation’s bravest men and women while telling their stories in honorable, educational and engaging ways. Stay up to date on what’s happening at Patriots Point by visiting and ‘liking’ us on Facebook at

Cummins Turbo Technologies expanding in North Charleston, $19.5 million investment expected to create 76 new jobs

Cummins Inc. is expanding its Turbo Technologies operations in North Charleston with a $19.5 million investment that is expected to generate 76 jobs.

Cummins Turbo Technologies, which designs and manufactures turbochargers for diesel engines, is adding a new building and expanding its office space at its campus in the Palmetto Commercial Park in North Charleston. As part of the expansion, Cummins is building a 125,000-square-foot warehouse. Another 10,000 square feet of new office space will be added to the existing building and 10,000 square feet of existing space will be renovated.

“We are excited about the chance to expand in Charleston County. South Carolina has provided an excellent environment in which to do business, and this expansion will help us to better serve our customers. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Cummins Turbo Technologies Plant Manager Willis Pugh.

“It’s another great day in South Carolina when a company like Cummins Turbo Technologies chooses to expand here. We celebrate the company’s $19.5 million investment and the 76 new jobs they will create in North Charleston. South Carolina’s business-friendly climate continues to attract job-creating investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Cummins Turbo Technologies opened its first Charleston area manufacturing plant in 1989, operating under the name Holset Engineering until 2006. The company previously announced an expansion at the plant in July 2008. The current expansion is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

“Cummins has had a presence in the Lowcountry for a number of years and it’s exciting to see them grow in Charleston. We continue to see manufacturers across the state expand and create new jobs. Today’s announcement builds on that trend,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

Since January, South Carolina recruited more than $2 billion in investment and more than 3,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Our heartiest congratulations go out today to Cummins on this fabulous expansion project,” said Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie E. Pryor. “Cummins and Charleston County have written three decades of great business history together, and we welcome this expansion of the Turbo Technologies campus, which we know will create great synergies and keep the North Charleston operation globally competitive. Our hats are off to the Cummins management and workforce today, and you will always find a partner in Charleston County.”

“The expansion of Cummins Turbo Technologies in Palmetto Commerce Park gives us confidence that the City of North Charleston and the greater Charleston region remains a ripe environment for businesses to flourish. We applaud Cummins’ success as an industry leader and are thankful for the sizable capital investment and new jobs that our community will receive,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.

Hiring for the new positions will be handled by Malace International. Anyone interested in applying for a job should e-mail Bryan Stewart at

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a set aside grant for $150,000.

About Cummins
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.85 billion on sales of $18.0 billion in 2011. Press releases can be found on the Web at

Friday, June 15, 2012

Officer Winslette receives Purple Heart for surviving a life-threatening incident in the life of duty

Officer David Winslette with Chief Zumalt after receiving Purple Heart Award
 Officer David Winslette (right) with Chief Jon Zumalt (left). Chief Zumalt is holding the DuPont Kevlar Award.

Officer David Winslette received the Purple Heart award for the events on January 14, 2012

On January 14, 2012, North Charleston Police Officer David C. Winslette cleared a call in reference to a stolen iPad from a residence on Allen Drive. The complainant provided Officer Winslette with a name and physical description of the suspect.

While parked at the El Cheapo fuel station on lower Dorchester Rd, about one block from the incident location, Officer Winslette searched the portable DMV database for a photo of the suspect, which he located. Shortly after, Officer Winslette observed a subject fitting the description of the suspect enter the El Cheapo, where he purchased a few items.

After exiting the store, Winslette watched the suspect as he walked towards a dark sedan, which was parked at the fuel pumps. Winslette exited his patrol car and approached the suspect, making a verbal request to speak with the suspect to conduct a field interview. The suspect continued to walk away from Officer Winslette, ignoring his requests.

As Winslette came into within eight feet of the suspect, the suspect turned quickly to his right, discharging two 9mm rounds. The first round struck Officer Winslette in the upper left chest portion of his vest, causing him to stumble back from the impact. The second round struck Officer Winslette’s left knee, shattering the knee cap and knocking him to the ground.

Realizing that the situation was life-threatening and within milliseconds of being wounded, Officer Winslette reached for his radio to contact Communications. During his fall, the battery was dislodged from his radio. Displaying great fortitude, Officer Winslette assembled his radio as rounds three and four were discharged by the suspect, missing their intended target. Officer Winslette radioed for help and advised he had been shot. Winslette was able to provide a detailed description and the direction of travel of the shooter, who he observed fleeing the scene across a busy roadway.

Due to his diligence, quick-thinking, and courage, Winslette was able to keep his composure, utilized sound judgment and did not return fire, which could have risked injury to innocent civilians. Officer Winslette honored his responsibility and answered the call to serve and protect the citizens of North Charleston, nearly with the sacrifice of his very life.

Officer David C. Winslette is a credit to the City of North Charleston, the Mayor, the Police Department and the citizens he’s sworn to protect.

Pictured in the photo (L-R), Ronald McBride (IACP DuPont), Tommy Norris (Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient), David Winslette (NCPD), and Jeff Fackler (DuPont Protective Services)
Officer Winslette accepted the DuPont Kevlar Award in Texas, which is given in recognition to those who have survived life-threatening incidents by wearing personal body armor.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zucker family to help build Clemson landmark, education in North Charleston

Anita Zucker talks to Clemson University President James F. Barker
image by: Craig Mahaffey/Clemson University

Standing at the site of what will be an iconic building named for her family, Anita Zucker, a champion for education in South Carolina, said a new wave of manufacturing will provide a wealth of opportunity for the state.

With a shared vision, Clemson University will build a state-of-the-art education center at the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) on the former Navy base in North Charleston.

The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center, financed in part by a $5 million gift from the family, will foster collaboration and innovation in a place where students, university faculty and staff, and private industry will interact on a daily basis.

The latest industries, from composite materials and energy systems to advanced computing and microscopy, will engage in public-private partnerships to accelerate innovations to market.

The center will become a focal point in the drive to advance the state’s economy, Zucker said.

“South Carolina’s Lowcountry has been fortunate in recent years to have received some notable new residents,” Zucker said. “Clemson’s wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility and the Boeing Co.’s Dreamliner assembly plant are significant for the region.

“But we must not rest on our laurels. The benefits of these new neighbors are far-reaching," she said. “Creating a workforce with the right skills is fundamental to the state’s success and its economic vitality. Centers like this will help place South Carolina at the forefront of innovation.”

"Based on experiences gained at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, where the automotive industry collaborates on a daily basis, the Zucker Family Center at CURI will become the go-to place for innovation in advanced materials, the environment and sectors related to energy, power systems, logistics and transportation," said Clemson University President James F. Barker.

“What CU-ICAR has done to strengthen the automotive cluster in the Upstate, the Restoration Institute is doing in the Lowcountry for advanced materials, the environment and sectors related to energy, power systems, logistics and transportation,” Barker said.

“The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center will be the hub where all these initiatives meet,” he said.

Clemson is a leader in energy, power and systems engineering, and is recognized as one of the top 25 public research universities in the United States. In collaboration with industry, the university offers advanced-degree programs and research areas geared toward training and developing energy systems-related engineers.

The Restoration Institute already has garnered $100 million in investment for research and development, directly fueling the knowledge base critical to the future of South Carolina’s economy.

The Zucker center will further stimulate private-public partnerships through the creative exchange of ideas, said John Kelly, Clemson University vice president for economic development and executive director of the Restoration Institute.

The center will be built on a brownfield site at the closed Naval shipyard, and in itself become the essence of economic development, Kelly said.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Zucker family, this facility will support new technology and applied research in ‘living laboratories’ for a wide array of advanced research and development,” he said. “This center would not be possible without the generosity of the Zucker family and for that vision and willingness to see South Carolina excel, we are extremely grateful.”

The Zucker family gift is one of the largest in Clemson’s The Will to Lead capital campaign, which aims to raise $600 million to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

Watch the June 14, 2012 City Council Meeting

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fire Department dedicates new engine and heavy rescue with ceremonial wet-down

Fire Department dedicates new engine and heavy rescue with ceremonial wet-down

The North Charleston Fire Department will hold a traditional wet-down ceremony for an Engine and a Heavy Rescue that has joined the fleet on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 1:00pm at the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum. Both trucks will operate from Fire Station #7 on Leeds Avenue and will replace a 1995 Engine and a 2002 Heavy Rescue.

Both trucks were built by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI are based on the Arrow XT chassis.

A wet-down ceremony is a traditional welcome for a fire apparatus or station. The tradition originated in historic east coast fire departments when changing out old fire pumpers for the new. The horses would be unhitched and water was transferred to the new apparatus. It would then be dried off and pushed into the stall for service.

Engine photo from Pierce Manufacturing
Heavy Rescue photo from Pierce Manufacturing
Photos of the Heavy Rescue while parked behind City Hall

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hurricane Season Begins — Are YOU Ready?

June 1 marks the beginning of the 2012 hurricane season, but are most people prepared? Are you prepared?

The Charleston County Emergency Management Department wants residents to get their family’s emergency plan in place and put their emergency supply kit together prior to a storm. Residents are also encouraged to “like” the department’s Facebook page at so they can have immediate access to new information in the event of an emergency.

Now is the time to get ready, and it’s easy with the help of the new 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Guide.

“Charleston County Government is always preparing for a storm and working with other local and state agencies to do so, but everyone has an individual responsibility to get prepared and make sure their family has a plan,” said Cathy Haynes, Charleston County Emergency Management Department’s Chief of Operations. “Churches and civic groups can also help by printing the guide for those who do not have access to the Internet. Our entire community needs to help spread the word.” 

In anticipation of an evacuation order, which can only be given by the governor, Haynes also reminds the public that they should plan to leave town if at all possible, and everyone along the coast is strongly encouraged to make travel arrangements well in advance. 

“Because of the low-lying areas in our county, we will never have enough safe shelter space for all of Charleston County’s residents,” said Jason Patno, Charleston County Emergency Management Director. “Therefore, we encourage everyone who has the means to leave town to do so and to consider shelters only as a last resort when they have nowhere else to go.” 

Also, those who have the ability to leave should do so as early as possible. 

“You don’t have to wait until an evacuation order is issued,” Patno said. “If you can, leave as early as possible to make your trip easier and to help relieve the traffic congestion on our roads.” 

Citizens who do not have transportation should learn where their nearest evacuation pick-up point is located. The evacuation pick-up points are noted by blue signs with a hurricane and bus symbol, and are located across the county at many CARTA bus stops and popular areas like schools, churches and shopping centers. In the event of a mandatory evacuation, buses will transport citizens from the 79 pick-up points to the nearest available Red Cross shelter

“It is vital for residents in our community who don’t have transportation to know where their nearest pick-up point is before the next hurricane approaches our coast,” Haynes said. “It takes all of us working together to make sure our citizens and neighbors are prepared and safe.” 

The procedures for opening shelters have changed for the 2012 hurricane season. Rather than having a list of shelters in advance, emergency shelters will be determined with the approach of a hurricane to South Carolina. In the event of a hurricane or other major disaster, residents are asked to monitor local media outlets for a current list of open shelters. During an evacuation, listen for emergency alerts on the radio and look for road signs for shelter information. 

Information in the 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide includes:
  • What to have in your emergency supplies kit
  • Evacuation information and routes out of Charleston County
  • Shelter procedures
  • What to do if you don’t have transportation – look for pick-up point signs posted around the county!
  • Definitions and what you need to do during hurricane watches, warnings and tropical storms 
  • Rules to know and items to bring if you and your pet need to stay at the pet shelter 
  • Preparations for your home and your family before the storm 
  • What to do after a storm, including safety measures and handling debris 
  • A family communications plan form to fill out 
  • Important phone numbers, including ones that will be activated in the event of an emergency 
The 2012 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide will also run throughout hurricane season on Comcast’s education and government channel 60.

Firehouse Subs heats up North Charleston Police Department with over $3500 worth of life-saving tools

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded equipment to North Charleston Police Department during a ceremony on Monday, June 4, 2012 at the North Charleston Firehouse Subs location. The department benefits with a stealth stat system worth more than $3,500.

The donated device will allow the department to conduct traffic studies in areas where there are safety concerns. With the new system, officers will be able to record vehicle speeds at different times of the day to determine which areas are in need of enforcement.

Since 2005, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has donated more than $525,000 to public safety entities in South Carolina.  Firehouse Subs is renowned for hearty, oversized portions and piping hot subs. The founders’ 200-year firefighting heritage inspired the formation of the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which provides funding, resources and support to public safety entities.

“Our local heroes need to be prepared at a moment’s notice to protect and save lives,” said Kevin Hatton, franchisee of the North Charleston Firehouse Subs restaurant. “Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, with the support of our restaurants, is dedicated to equip, educate, and fund first responders.”

Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle buckets and sells them to guests for $2. Donation canisters on register counters explain the non-profit’s mission and collect spare change, while the round up program allows guests to literally “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the non-profit, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, with the mission to provide funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to aid first-responders. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given more than $3.9 million to hometown heroes, including fire and police departments and EMS organizations.

Firehouse Subs, founded in Jacksonville, Fla., by former firefighting brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, is a 508-unit fast casual restaurant chain. Firehouse Subs offers oversized portions of premium hand-sliced meats, steamed to make the flavors burst, then piled high with fresh produce atop a toasted sub roll. The restaurants reflect the authentic firefighter heritage, as well as the founding family’s 200 years of firefighting service.

For more information on Firehouse Subs or this donation, please visit, or follow on Twitter at @firehousesubs.