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Latest News in West Ashley, SC

Wren’s Ashley Stein is voted SBLive South Carolina Athlete of the Week

Congratulations to Wren's Ashley Stein, the winner of SBLive South Carolina's Athlete of Week award as voted by South Carolina high school sports fans.Stein, a 6-foot-1 junior outside hitter, smacked 16 kills in the AAA Upper State finals against Powdersville. Wren won 3-1 and then went on to win the state championship.If you would like to nominate an athlete, please email athleteoftheweek@scorebooklive.com or message us on Twitter or Instagram at @sblivesc.Here are all the other athletes that were nominated for Oct. 31-...

Congratulations to Wren's Ashley Stein, the winner of SBLive South Carolina's Athlete of Week award as voted by South Carolina high school sports fans.

Stein, a 6-foot-1 junior outside hitter, smacked 16 kills in the AAA Upper State finals against Powdersville. Wren won 3-1 and then went on to win the state championship.

If you would like to nominate an athlete, please email athleteoftheweek@scorebooklive.com or message us on Twitter or Instagram at @sblivesc.

Here are all the other athletes that were nominated for Oct. 31-Nov. 5:

Chas Smith, Gaffney, Football

A freshman running back, Smith had 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 37 yards. That's making an impact early in a player’s career.

Bri Mahoney, Aiken, Volleyball

The Wofford-bound outside hitter had 22 kills and 17 digs in a 3-1 victory over rival South Aiken in the Upper State finals. She then helped lead the Green Hornets to a 3-2 win over North Myrtle Beach for the AAAA state championship.

Aliam Appler, Dutch Fork, Football

The Silver Foxes’ senior quarterback threw for 193 yards, ran for 61 and accounted for 4 touchdowns.

Scott Saylor, Carolina Forest, Football

Saylor threw for five touchdowns and set the school record for passing yardage in a season as the Spartans overcame River Bluff 42-28. The senior quarterback was 12 of 19 for 268 yards without a turnover.

Drew Arant, Saluda, Football

It doesn't get much sharper than this. Arant was 12-of-14 for 204 yards and 5 touchdowns - all in the first half - as Saluda easily dispatched of Liberty in the AA playoffs.

Darren Floyd, West Florence, Football

This was a huge performance. Floyd erupted for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns on 27 carries as fourth-ranked West Florence pulled away from Lugoff-Elgin 52-27. He scored on runs of 41, 26, 37, 39 and 75 yards.

Jarvis Green, Dutch Fork, Football

Green seemingly does this every week. The James Madison recruit had 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns rushing. He caught 5 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown as Dutch Fork improved to 10-1.

Demarius Foster, Dorman, Football

The star tailback ran 25 times for 274 yards and a touchdown in Dorman’s 37-7 win over Clover. He also caught 2 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Tyler Smith, Barnwell, Football

Smith had a huge night for the undefeated Warhorses, running 22 times for 343 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s been doing this all season.

SC starts 12 days of early voting on Monday. What you need to know.

Two weeks of no-excuse-needed early voting kicks off Oct. 24 at more than 100 locations statewide, giving South Carolinians more options than ever for casting a ballot with hopefully little to no wait.It’s South Carolina’s first general election under a Statehouse law signed by Gov. Henry McMaster in May which directed each county to open up to seven early voting sites for 12 days through the Saturday before Election Day.All locations must open to voters from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in all 46 counties from the coast to ...

Two weeks of no-excuse-needed early voting kicks off Oct. 24 at more than 100 locations statewide, giving South Carolinians more options than ever for casting a ballot with hopefully little to no wait.

It’s South Carolina’s first general election under a Statehouse law signed by Gov. Henry McMaster in May which directed each county to open up to seven early voting sites for 12 days through the Saturday before Election Day.

All locations must open to voters from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in all 46 counties from the coast to the mountains.

The exception is Oct. 30, as the law forbids Sunday voting.

Early voters can choose whatever site is most convenient for them within the county where they’re registered, whether that’s close to home, work or shopping. They aren’t limited by their home address.

“Early voting is a big deal for South Carolina,” state Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said. “It gives a lot more access, more options for busy people to go vote. That’s the biggest benefit.”

It also should reduce stress on poll workers and give them more time to fix problems as they arise, which in turn also benefits voters, he said.

“Whatever line you’ve had before will be better,” Whitmire said.

The 111 early voting sites statewide represent a 35 percent increase from the total that opened before the June primaries, when election officers had less than three weeks to put the new rules into practice.

Nineteen of South Carolina’s rural counties are still offering a single location, usually at their main election office.

Some of the most-populous counties are providing several additional options. For example, Lexington went from one to five. Charleston County, which also offered a single site in June, is among three counties opening the maximum seven.

Greenville and Horry counties are the other two with seven.

Voting sites for every county can be found on the S.C. Election Commission website at scvotes.gov/voters/early-voting. By law, each county election office must also post local locations on its own website.

Voting absentee by mail is also underway. Those who qualify include people who are 65 and older, have physical disabilities, or work a job that doesn’t allow them to vote in person during the two-week early voting window. Applications must be in by Oct. 28. People returning a mailed ballot in person must show identification.

Charleston County, which has opened satellite offices since 2016 under prior law that required an excuse for voting early, has planned since January to open seven once the legislation passed. But when the final version didn’t allow for mobile sites as intended, the county reverted to one, but only for the primaries, said Isaac Cramer, director of the Charleston County Board of Elections.

Local sites for this election include four libraries and two churches spread out from Hollywood to Mount Pleasant, with the largest site being the North Charleston Convention Center. That was a popular spot for voters in November 2020, Cramer said.

Amid the pandemic, legislators passed a temporary law allowing no-excuse-needed in-person absentee voting for that election only. One problem was that access varied widely across the state. Even so, it marked the first time that more South Carolinians voted early than on Election Day.

Two years later under the new law requiring options with standardized hours, Charleston County has added sites on James Island, Johns Island and Hollywood.

“We wanted to expand to areas with population growth and rural areas so people across the county would have shorter distances to travel,” Cramer said.

The more than 150 additional workers hired specifically for early voting began weeklong training sessions Oct. 17. They’re prepared for busy, 12-hour days. They’ll stay on through Election Day at $15 an hour, which becomes $22.50 hourly for required overtime, he said.

In the Upstate, Greenville and Spartanburg counties each hired dozens of additional poll workers for early voting.

Staffing concerns are partly why Spartanburg went with three offerings for its first election with multiple sites, said its elections director, Adam Hammons.

Since turnout is generally lower for midterm elections than in presidential contests, “starting with three early voting centers that are fully staffed and ready for voters was our decision,” he said.

It’s among 10 counties opening three locations.

Others include nearby Pickens County, Dorchester County in the Lowcountry, and York County south of Charlotte, as well as rural Barnwell and Hampton counties along the Georgia line.

Georgetown and Beaufort counties are each operating four sites.

Georgetown officials didn’t see a reason to open the max, said elections director Aphra McCrea.

There was an obvious need for a location in the Waccamaw Neck, a peninsula east of the Waccamaw River that is where most voters live. The county office made sense as it’s already equipped to handle early voting. The other two were put in locations convenient for rural residents, McCrea said.

Lexington and Richland are the only counties offering five locations.

Richland County has had more shakeups at its long-troubled election agency in the last few months, to include the resignation of its director. But interim director Terry Graham, who also submitted a resignation letter before agreeing to stay through the elections, insisted the county is prepared for the election and early voting.

County officials considered expanding to six but decided it lacked sufficient workers and money for an additional site, he said.

“Money always is a deciding factor. If we could do more, we would do more,” he said. “We didn’t want to spread ourselves too thin by adding more people and more locations.”

Spencer Donovan contributed from Greenville. Leah Hincks contributed from Columbia. Mike Woodel contributed from Georgetown. Nicole Ziege contributed from Myrtle Beach.

West Ashley neighbors concerned about flooding almost entering their homes

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - Neighbors in a West Ashley community say they are frustrated and anxious after floodwater crept up to their homes, and a potential solution could be a few years away.Bennett Barton and Rachel Brunette said Thursday’s rainstorms flooded both the road and their backyards, almost getting into their houses. They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.“This is my first house; I didn’t know what to expect,” Barton said. “I started panick...

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - Neighbors in a West Ashley community say they are frustrated and anxious after floodwater crept up to their homes, and a potential solution could be a few years away.

Bennett Barton and Rachel Brunette said Thursday’s rainstorms flooded both the road and their backyards, almost getting into their houses. They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.

“This is my first house; I didn’t know what to expect,” Barton said. “I started panicking. I couldn’t leave to get sandbags or any preventative measures because the road was flooded, too.”

They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.

“At one point, I even got pitchers and just was pouring them into my sink from my screened-in porch,” Barton said. Didn’t do anything, but it made me ease my mind a little bit.”

The Woodlands neighborhood is part of the Dupont Wappoo Watershed, which consists of around 1,000 acres of West Ashley surrounding the Citadel Mall.

The City of Charleston said they are spending $5 million on four out of the 10 scheduled projects to improve downstream water flow under Interstate 526. Once that is done, the city will be increasing the size of pipes and canals near the Woodlands neighborhood to get the water out faster.

“There’s not a lot of elevation change to make that water flow very quickly,” Charleston Director of Stormwater Management Matthew Fountain said, “so those very small ditches don’t work for how much pavement, how many buildings we have in the basin now.”

Brunette said it is not uncommon for her to have to check the weather radar before she leaves for work.

“So, when I’m away for the day, I have to be prepared that whether my windows are open, whether the dog is in or out, and like you said if the vehicle is in the right place in case it does flood,” Brunette said. “There’s been a couple of cars that have been flooded out. The landscaping, you can’t keep decent landscaping. It washes away.”

The city said they are optimistic construction on the projects will start in 2025, but until then, Barton said his anxiety will continue.

“If it had rained for two more hours or it was going into high tide, I think my living room would have been underwater,” Barton said. “Who knows how much that would have cost?”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

West Ashley’s Sunflower Cafe to close at end of September

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A West Ashley restaurant plans to close for good after 17 years in business.The Sunflower Cafe, located at 2366 Ashley River Road, will serve its last meal on Sept. 30. Owner Jennifer Adams said a lot of things led to the decision, among them ongoing staffing challenges, food shortages and rising food costs.“The price of everything has literally doubled,” she said. “When you’re a breakfast and lunch place, how high can you go?”She said the COVID-19 pandemic really c...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A West Ashley restaurant plans to close for good after 17 years in business.

The Sunflower Cafe, located at 2366 Ashley River Road, will serve its last meal on Sept. 30. Owner Jennifer Adams said a lot of things led to the decision, among them ongoing staffing challenges, food shortages and rising food costs.

“The price of everything has literally doubled,” she said. “When you’re a breakfast and lunch place, how high can you go?”

She said the COVID-19 pandemic really changed everything, but especially so for small businesses.

“I don’t really see an end in sight,” she said.

The family-owned restaurant, located at 2366 Ashley River Road, opened its doors in August 2005. Operated by four generations of women, the cafe has come to be known by its regulars at least as much for its personal touch as the authentic family recipes.

Those recipes have included breakfast favorites like omelets, benedicts, waffles and pancakes. Lunchtime staples have included “the Best Sandwich in Charleston,” with grilled filet mignon topped with swiss cheese and onion aioli on grilled ciabatta bread and au jus for dipping; a pan-seared Salmon filet served over fresh spinach salad with strawberries, feta and toasted pecans tossed with balsamic vinaigrette; a shrimp platter, or a grilled chicken sandwich topped with caramelized onions and swiss cheese on a toasted croissant with basil dijionnaise.

For some regulars, no visit was complete without a dessert of powdered sugar-dusted beignets.

“We treat them like family,” Adams said of her customers. “I never felt like it was a restaurant. I thought of it as another version of my home where I feed them. We genuinely love our customers.”

Their loyal, longtime customers feel the same way.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many restaurants were forced to offer take-out-only service, Adams said they were overwhelmed by the community’s reaction.

“I do love all of them and I appreciate the support we had during the pandemic,” she said, adding that people even offered donations to the restaurant to help keep them going. “It was really amazing to know we touched people and they touched us.”

The restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering breakfast and lunch; and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast only.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

West Ashley family says neighborhood flooding getting worse

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Several inches of rain fell on Monday across the Lowcountry leaving extensive flooding behind. That led to major problems on roadways and properties taking a toll on drivers, homeowners, and business owners.The flooding impacts were felt in the City of Charleston, North Charleston, and more.For one West Ashley family, the flooding and frustration aren’t new.“It’s constantly getting worse,” said Matt Cody, a resident of Sandcroft Drive in West Ashley.Photos an...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Several inches of rain fell on Monday across the Lowcountry leaving extensive flooding behind. That led to major problems on roadways and properties taking a toll on drivers, homeowners, and business owners.

The flooding impacts were felt in the City of Charleston, North Charleston, and more.

For one West Ashley family, the flooding and frustration aren’t new.

“It’s constantly getting worse,” said Matt Cody, a resident of Sandcroft Drive in West Ashley.

Photos and videos show major flooding on their street Monday. Matt and his wife, Kelly, say it’s a problem they have been dealing with for over three years.

“The water can’t drain so we have standing water in our backyard constantly,” said Cody. “So, we have mosquitos, flooding, and any time it rains like this, it goes into our house, our garage…”

Cody says there is also water underneath the house that isn’t able to dry out.

The City of Charleston’s Stormwater Management Division has been involved and has completed some of the work that needs to be done to fix the problem including emergency ditch clearing and maintenance, heavy excavation work such as tree stump and root removal, cleaning of the roadside system, and more.

“We had the city come out about a year ago after multiple emails,” said Cody.

There’s a reason the problem isn’t being resolved and it’s a problem that the city says is out of their hands.

“Unfortunately I think what’s still leading to a lot of the flooding is we can only take those cleaning efforts up to the edge of what’s basically called the critical area or the marsh. Once you hit the marsh area, you have to get a separate set of permits,” said Matthew Fountain, Charleston’s Stormwater Management Director.

Those are federal permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state permits from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Fountain says it can take years to get those permits because of a struggling permit processing system. However, the city has been working with federal and state agencies to streamline the process.

“The City of Charleston along with many other counties and cities along the entire coastal section of south Carolina have been working for probably the last five and a half years or so with the state, and the last few years with the corps, trying to come up with a more efficient permitting system to be able to address these,” said Fountain.

Over the last few years, some progress on that has been made and Fountain is hopeful that soon the permitting system will take closer to three to six months instead of two years.

He says the Cody’s neighborhood is one on the list that the city plans to hire a consultant to prepare the permit application, go through the permitting process, then, once approved, hire contractors to begin extensive and expensive work to clear out the marsh.

In the meantime, the Cody family is still frustrated by the, sometimes, lakefront property that they didn’t sign up for.

“We have to worry about cars coming through, our cars being flooded,” said Cody. With my four-month-old, if we can’t get out of our house, if emergency vehicles can’t get there, that’s a major issue.”

Fountain says across the city, several projects are underway that will significantly improve flooding.

In the City of North Charleston, major flooding was also seen on Monday. A spokesperson for the city says anytime there is heavy rainfall in a short amount of time, the drainage system can become overwhelmed but, in yesterday’s case, the water cleared out within a few hours.

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