Beaufort News

Thursday's news briefs

Historical marker to commemorate native-island church

St. James Baptist Church will host a dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday of a state historical marker recognizing the cultural and historical significance of the church, founded on Hilton Head Island in 1886. The ceremony will be on the church grounds, at the corner of Beach City and Dillon roads.

The marker was approved by the S.C. Department of Archives and History and the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. The St. James Baptist Church is the oldest continuously operating cultural institution remaining within historic Mitchelville, the first freedmen's town erected on Hilton Head 1862.

Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Details: Contact Perry White 843-681-4308.

First SC sea-turtle nest reported on Fripp

The year's first loggerhead sea-turtle nest in South Carolina was reported Wednesday on Fripp Island, according to Janie Lackman, project leader for island's turtle patrol.

"It's real early," says Lackman of the nesting turtle's arrival. Last year's first nester on the island showed up May 17.

Although the early arrival has turtle enthusiasts on Fripp excited -- especially since it's the first reported in the state -- it doesn't have much meaning as a predictor of how the season will fare, she said.

But it does mean that residents should turn off lights that can be seen from the beach, so the turtles won't get disoriented.

Habitat for Humanity reception today

Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity will host a reception today to kick off its second Women Build project.

The event at 5 p.m. in Building 12 of the Technical College of the Lowcountry will feature Caryn West, author of the book "The Trouble With the Alphabet." Tickets are $20, with proceeds going to the building project. For tickets, call 843-522-3500.

Habitat to dedicate two houses in Ridgeland

The public is invited to Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity's dedication of two houses Saturday in Ridgeland.

Attendees will gather at 10 a.m. on Promise Way, where nine of 10 planned houses have been completed. The final home is under construction.

School district to hold budget forums

The Beaufort County School District plans public forums on its 2011-2012 budget today and Tuesday.

Today's meeting on the proposed $175 million spending plan will begin at 6 p.m. in the Battery Creek High School cafeteria. Tuesday's meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the Beaufort High School cafeteria.

Parris Island warns of traffic at base gate

Increased security at the front gate at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island could result in traffic jams today and Friday.

Friends and family of recruits graduating this weekend should arrive at Parris Island by 6 a.m. to view the Motivation Run at 7 a.m. and should arrive at 7:30 a.m. to view the Family Day ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

On Friday, visitors should arrive by 6:30 a.m. for the Colors ceremony at 7:45 a.m. and by 7 a.m. for the graduation ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m.

The Douglas Visitors' Center will be open at 5:30 a.m. for those who arrive early for scheduled events.

Details: Call Parris Island's toll-free line at 1-800-826-7503.