Divorce Attorney in Seabrook Island" SC

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If there were one universal truth" it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes" those changes are happy" like when a new baby is born. Other times" these changes involve uncertainty and loss" like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce" deal with a complicated custody issue" or are handling a different family-related legal matter" you might need help. At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future" leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children" their marriage" or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety" having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Seabrook Island" SC" can help" whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families" from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients" and with a dedicated focus" stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Seabrook Island. If you're looking for personal attention" unbiased representation" and a responsive family law attorney" look no further than our law firm.

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If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Seabrook Island" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered "yes” to any of the questions above" know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side" you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience" are incredibly responsive" and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Estate Planning Attorney Seabrook Island, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases" including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation" it's time to call Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost – because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers" not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law" keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Seabrook Island" SC.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we know all-too-well that a "one size fits all” approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint – something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

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Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together" our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
– Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states" South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Seabrook Island" SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Attorney Seabrook Island, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Seabrook Island" our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody" alimony" and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period" Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case" should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Seabrook Island

A divorce in Seabrook Island means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties' debts and assets" determines child support and custody parameters" and can establish alimony. At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources" avoid trial" and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes" however" two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations" a trial is possible" and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Seabrook Island" SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

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1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching" difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child" and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law" child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

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2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states" a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make" the cost of childcare" and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Law Firm Seabrook Island, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina" there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However" courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed" how much alimony should be paid" and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony" how long the marriage lasted" and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing" there are different alimony types" including lump sum" rehabilitative" and reimbursement.

 Attorney Seabrook Island, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina" marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce" the courts will order an equitable division of property" meaning "fair” under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

 Divorce Lawyer Seabrook Island, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Seabrook Island" SC

As mentioned above" decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents" both emotionally and legally. As experienced" empathetic divorce lawyers" we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles" we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs" to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce" we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina" child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition" child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has" to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same" but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes" as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution" their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the "best interests” of the child. What the judge determines to be the "best interests” changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of "custody” in South Carolina (or custody arrangements)" each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

Free Consultation
Estate Planning Law Seabrook Island, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Seabrook Island" SC

When children are involved in divorce cases" child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered" like the income-earning potential of the child's parents" any custody arrangements that are created" and what needs the child may have.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation" going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Seabrook Island for representation" we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day" our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you" so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Seabrook Island" SC

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors" like the income of both spouses" how long they were married" and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support" trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" your family law attorney in Seabrook Island" SC" will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

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  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates" when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Seabrook Island" SC

When there are no children" marital property" or issues of alimony" divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However" most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically" divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property" real estate" family businesses" debts" out-of-state property" debts" bank accounts" and more.

In these nuanced situations" the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property" certain types of properties that are controversial" even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state" meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce" it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Estate Planning Lawyer Seabrook Island, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally" pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder" South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it" with future distribution available. Otherwise" a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home" or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple" is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating" especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities" it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Seabrook Island, SC

Some Seabrook Island residents call for cap on short-term rentals

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - An ongoing battle over short-term rentals is brewing on Seabrook Island, where homeowners say uncontrolled growth of properties is affecting their quality of life.Homeowners Ted Flerlage and Paul McLaughlin said although they do not want to end short-term rentals on the island, the effects of recent growth have prompted them to call for a cap on short-term rentals.“If you come here in July, around July Fourth, as a resident walking out boardwalk one, let’s say, to north beach, there&rs...

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - An ongoing battle over short-term rentals is brewing on Seabrook Island, where homeowners say uncontrolled growth of properties is affecting their quality of life.

Homeowners Ted Flerlage and Paul McLaughlin said although they do not want to end short-term rentals on the island, the effects of recent growth have prompted them to call for a cap on short-term rentals.

“If you come here in July, around July Fourth, as a resident walking out boardwalk one, let’s say, to north beach, there’s no space, and that is a rental issue,” Flerlage, who has lived on the island since March 2020, said. “That is a noise issue. It is a parking issue because every spot on the limited parking area is taken.”

The two homeowners have spearheaded the Preserve Seabrook effort. A letter sent to residents as part of the effort says concerns “center on the uncontrolled growth of short-term rentals, especially on streets where there are many full-time and private residential properties.”

“We aim to retain a reasonable offering of properties that can be rented by guests who love to visit and vacation on our beautiful island, while ensuring Seabrook does not gradually morph into a resort community,” the letter states. “We believe adding a cap on the number of resort properties on Seabrook would protect the unique qualities of our island while allowing revenue generated through rental properties to continue to flow back to the town through state and county accommodation taxes that the renters pay.”

Over 300 residents have signed a petition to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island, according to McLaughlin.

The petition seeks a single question on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot that asks if voters support:

“Seabrook, when I bought here in 2002 and built our house here in 2009, it was more like ‘Cheers,’” McLaughlin said. “Everybody knew your name. Now, with the influx of 500 rental properties and growing, it’s changed a lot, and the quality of life on the island has changed a lot.”

Seabrook Island Mayor John Gregg said a petition from those calling for a cap has been sent to a committee, which will conduct a factual inquiry and then report to town council with recommendations.

“The object for the ad hoc committee was to identify inquiries of factual matters that could inform council as it considers whether or not it is warranted to do further regulation,” Gregg said.

The mayor added that to operate a short-term rental on the island, homeowners need to have a business license and a permit from the town.

McLaughlin and Flerlage said they welcome the data-driven effort but want more communication from the town and to work with them on a solution.

“Our question to them: What is the tipping point? If 500 isn’t the tipping point, is it 600? Is it 700? Is it 800? So, in the meantime, we need to figure it out,” McLaughlin said. “We need to halt what’s going on. Everybody keeps what they currently have, and we study the problem, and we figure out what the solution would be. We don’t make the problem worse while continuing to study it.”

“These are people who live in South Carolina and vote in South Carolina who live on the island and vote on the island,” Flerlage said. “These are the people who are their direct constituents – the people who vote for the mayor and the town council. It’s more than 300 of those people who signed up, which is nearly as many as who voted for them in the last election on Nov. 2, and in our opinion, there has been no communication and we’ve been getting fairly short-tripped on the issue.”

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Charleston-area to gain new French and Mediterranean restaurants; new Greek eatery opens

A French-inspired restaurant is adding a fourth location in the Lowcountry while a new Mediterranean-themed diner is now open and another is on the way.Saveurs du Monde Café plans to open in mid-March in the former McCann’s Irish Pub at 1001 Landfall Way on Seabrook Island, according to restaurant CEO Thierry Chateau.“We will serve breakfast, lunch and diner in a casual atmosphere — French-inspired, of course,” he said.It will be open 7:30 ...

A French-inspired restaurant is adding a fourth location in the Lowcountry while a new Mediterranean-themed diner is now open and another is on the way.

Saveurs du Monde Café plans to open in mid-March in the former McCann’s Irish Pub at 1001 Landfall Way on Seabrook Island, according to restaurant CEO Thierry Chateau.

“We will serve breakfast, lunch and diner in a casual atmosphere — French-inspired, of course,” he said.

It will be open 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. with a band on Fridays. Alcoholic beverages, including local draft beers, will be offered.

Chateau’s three other café sites include two in Mount Pleasant in Belle Station and Seaside Farms and in Charleston in the WestEdge development on the peninsula.

Now serving

A new South Florida-based restaurant chain that plans to have four locations in the Lowcountry is now serving diners with its first South Carolina location on James Island.

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill opened Feb. 14 at 1417 Folly Road in the Publix-anchored Riverland Market Shopping Center.

Another location is coming to northern Mount Pleasant in The Bend at Carolina Park, a retail center of five buildings across the street from Costco.

The new Charleston-area locations are owned and operated by franchisee Scott Willis and his family.

The menu includes homegrown recipes and traditional gyros along with lamb, steak and chicken souvlaki platters. The new location is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

On the way

Also in the realm of Mediterranean fare, a restaurant chain based in the nation’s capital is in the works for the Charleston area.

Cava is set to open later this year in the former Zoë’s Kitchen space at 1242 Belk Drive in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

The Washington, D.C.-based company also plans to open its second South Carolina location in Greenville. Opening dates have not been announced for either location.

What’s cooking?

A fast-food chicken restaurant chain is adding a second location in Moncks Corner.

Bojangles plans to build a 2,858-square-foot dining venue at 2605 Highway 52 in Foxbank Town Center near Waffle House and Parker’s Kitchen convenience store. An opening timeframe has not been announced.

The chicken chain currently has 11 locations in the Charleston area.

The new restaurant will be close to a previously announced Dunkin’ donut shop.

Kickin’ Chicken recently opened on Charleston’s upper peninsula and will begin serving lunch at 11 a.m. on weekends starting Feb. 19.

The restaurant at 45 Romney St. offers evening service starting at 3 p.m. each day.

“We will expand our hours to include weekday lunches when staffing allows,” co-owner Chip Roberts said.

Plans are in the works to add a covered patio area as well. Construction should be completed by the spring, Roberts said.

Gassing up

A convenience store and gas station is in the works in the Johns Island area.

A 4,940-square-foot store with a canopied fueling station is being proposed on Main Road at McLernon Trace near Marsh View Trace Apartments. Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant is to the south about one block.

The development is referred to as McLernon Trace Fuel Station. Site plans do not indicate the brand of fuel.

Now open

Two new dining concepts now serving in downtown Charleston will celebrate their grand openings with entertainment at 7 p.m. Feb. 17.

Uptown Hospitality Group, an offshoot of New York bar and restaurant group Eat Drink & Be Merry Hospitality, launched Bodega and Share House at 23 Ann St. on Feb. 15.

The two venues are set up in an 8,000-square-foot former train depot with large garage doors that open onto a block-long pedestrian walkway between Ann and John streets.

Bodega, which started as a pop-up in 2020 in the group’s Uptown Social venue on King Street, offers New York-style sandwiches and charcuterie while Share House brings a coastal cantina vibe with snacks and sliders on the menu. Alcoholic beverages also are available.

Uptown Hospitality Group is a product of New York transplants Keith Benjamin, Kara Graves, Bryn Kelly, Brian Dodd, Kat Moore and chef Alec Gropman.

“Although we are still under the Eat Drink & Be Merry umbrella, we felt it was important to develop a local brand with its own identity,” said Benjamin, group co-founder and senior operating partner.

Bodega will be open 7 a.m.-2 a.m. each day while operating hours for Share House will be 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and noon-2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Art walk

A Kiawah Island retail center is looking to welcome spring a bit early with an annual outdoor event.

The Art Walk is set for 4-7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Harris Teeter-anchored Freshfields Village Shopping Center at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway.

Residents and visitors can watch live art demonstrations and view works from local and visiting artists in participating retail shops while enjoying live jazz music during the free event.

For more details, go to freshfieldsvillage.com/event/art-walk-2022.

MUSC Foundation receives $1M from Town of Kiawah Island in support of Sea Islands Medical Pavilion

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 13, 2022) –The Medical University of South Carolina Foundation has received a commitment of $1 million from the Town of Kiawah Island in support of MUSC Health’s Sea Islands Medical Pavilion.“We are grateful to the Town of Kiawah for its major investment in our mission and their ongoing partnership to help us enable the right care, in the right place and at the right time,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This donation will make a significant differ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 13, 2022) –The Medical University of South Carolina Foundation has received a commitment of $1 million from the Town of Kiawah Island in support of MUSC Health’s Sea Islands Medical Pavilion.

“We are grateful to the Town of Kiawah for its major investment in our mission and their ongoing partnership to help us enable the right care, in the right place and at the right time,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This donation will make a significant difference as we seek to improve the well-being of the Sea Islands community, expand access to appropriate care, and bolster connectivity to the state’s only comprehensive academic health system when patients require the most complex care.”

The donation has been designated for a healing, restful green space and garden immediately adjacent to the new facility. Construction on the Sea Islands project is expected to begin in early 2022 and conclude in fall 2023.

“The Town is proud to invest in MUSC's Sea Islands Medical Pavilion and excited about the emergent care services it will provide to Kiawah, Seabrook, Johns and Wadmalaw Islands, and the broader community,” said Town of Kiawah Mayor John D. Labriola. “Our geography has always been a challenge and concern. This new facility will make a crucial difference in life-threatening emergencies and provide the Sea Island communities with greater ease of mind. We are grateful to MUSC for their pursuit of this project, to Kiawah Partners for donating the land, and to the other community partners who have made this possible.”

During the next five years, double digit population growth is anticipated in the Sea Islands community. This growth, along with the islands' geographic isolation, demographics, and community health profiles, has created an urgent need for additional health care services in this part of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.

To meet this growing need, MUSC Health is building a new medical facility on Johns Island in the immediate vicinity of Kiawah and Seabrook islands. The facility will provide residents and visitors alike with convenient and rapid access to MUSC Health’s emergency care services, select outpatient services, and some of the nation’s top providers in primary and specialty care.

“People living in this area have to travel 30 or 45 minutes to reach the nearest hospital, sometimes more depending on traffic. That’s a big problem for someone having a stroke or cardiac event,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “This new facility brings that care directly into the community. We’re extremely grateful to the Town of Kiawah and Kiawah Partners for helping to make that possible.”

The project was made possible in part by Kiawah Partners, which donated six acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health), valued at $4.85 million. The project is estimated to cost $24 million. Of that amount, MUSC is working to raise $15 million in private support.

The 22,740-square-foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The ED will include four exam rooms, two trauma rooms, imaging and lab services and a helicopter pad. The medical office will offer primary and specialty care. A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to MUSC Health providers in downtown Charleston for additional care and consultation, if needed.

In mid-June 2021, McMillan Pazdan Smith (MPS) was chosen to design the project. MPS is also one of two architectural firms working on designs for a new MUSC Health hospital in rural Williamsburg County.

Renderings of the Sea Islands medical pavilion are available upon request.

###

About the MUSC Foundation

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation was chartered in 1966 as a charitable educational foundation to support the education, research, patient care and other programs at the Medical University. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, contributions to which are tax-deductible.

Since its beginning, the MUSC Foundation has encouraged such worthwhile academic enterprises as endowed professorships; scholarships; the acquisition and development of campus facilities to serve student, teaching, research or clinical needs; and awards in honor of academic excellence. In addition, it has encouraged achievements in biomedical research.

The Foundation is governed by a 31-member board of directors. The president of the Medical University is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board. Three members of the MUSC Board of Trustees also serve on the board. The remaining 27 at-large directors are not directly affiliated with the university. Five are alumni of MUSC. The foundation’s funds are invested and managed by professional money managers selected by the foundation’s Investment Committee. This committee uses a professional investment advisor to assist in evaluating its managers.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is home to the oldest medical school in the South as well as the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center, with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in biomedical research funds in fiscal year 2021, continuing to lead the state in obtaining federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safe patient care while training generations of compassionate, competent health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development, more than 300 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The nearly 24,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.

Wild Georgia: A birding moment can inspire a lifetime conservation ethic

I was age 7, growing up on Johns Island, South Carolina, when a ruby-throated hummingbird showed up in our yard on a spring day and began flitting amongst the blooms in my mother’s garden.For several minutes, I watched in fascination as the tiny bird zipped from flower to flower. It kept coming back over the next several days and I developed an attachment to it — as if it were returning just for me. From then on, I was a devoted bird lover. Now, some 70 years later, I have learned this lesson: Even seemingly everyday momen...

I was age 7, growing up on Johns Island, South Carolina, when a ruby-throated hummingbird showed up in our yard on a spring day and began flitting amongst the blooms in my mother’s garden.

For several minutes, I watched in fascination as the tiny bird zipped from flower to flower. It kept coming back over the next several days and I developed an attachment to it — as if it were returning just for me. From then on, I was a devoted bird lover. Now, some 70 years later, I have learned this lesson: Even seemingly everyday moments in nature can inspire a youngster to a lifelong commitment to conservation.

I tell this because four young neighbors on my street in Decatur have become hooked on birds — Ella Ballard, 11; Eden Ballard, 9; Declan Pease, 8; and Elias Parga-Tang, 7. Calling themselves Lil Birdie Rascals, they teamed up to compete in this year’s annual Youth Birding Competition (YBC) administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

In the event, birding teams of four youngsters each vie statewide by age group to find the highest number of birds within 24 hours — without help from the adults chaperoning them. The Lil Birdie Rascals tallied 33 species in or near our neighborhood, earning them the award for Top Rookie Team in the Elementary Division. They also received the Top Fundraising award for raising $735 to expand bird habitat at a neighborhood church.

Their 24-hour count started on my backyard deck overlooking woods along Burnt Fork Creek. They were thrilled right off when a red-shouldered hawk landed in the creek to take a bath, which Elias said was his favorite part of the count. Eden said her favorite part was seeing all of the biodiversity around a lake, including fish and turtles; Declan’s favorite was a close-up view of a mallard mother with two ducklings. For Ella, it was the total of 33 species — when her team’s goal was 25.

As Tim Keyes, the DNR’s coordinator for the YBC, noted: “This event always gives me great hope for the future of birding and conservation.”

IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this weekend at about 60 meteors per hour in the eastern sky. The moon will be first quarter on Sunday. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (rising around midnight) are all low in the east a few hours before sunrise.

MUSC Health Sea Islands project moves forward with land donation, selection of architectural firm

Residents to gain access to critical health care services closer to homeThe project is made possible in part by a commitment from Kiawah Partners to donate six acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health). MUSC Health will build a free-standing emergency department (ED) and medical office on the land, which has been valued at $4.85 million.“After seven years of working side by side with MUSC to bring this important project to fruition, we could not be prouder to donate the six ...

Residents to gain access to critical health care services closer to home

The project is made possible in part by a commitment from Kiawah Partners to donate six acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health). MUSC Health will build a free-standing emergency department (ED) and medical office on the land, which has been valued at $4.85 million.

“After seven years of working side by side with MUSC to bring this important project to fruition, we could not be prouder to donate the six acres of land needed for the development and to continue our partnership with the MUSC team,” said Chris Randolph, Kiawah Partners. “This new facility will bring vitally important world-class medical care to Kiawah, Seabrook and the Sea Islands residents, which will only add to the exceptional experience that comes with living here.”

The 22,740-square-foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The ED will include four exam rooms, two trauma rooms, imaging and lab services and a rooftop helicopter pad. The medical office will offer primary and specialty care.

A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to MUSC Health providers in downtown Charleston for additional care and consultation, if needed.

“People living in this area have to travel 30 or 45 minutes to reach the nearest hospital, sometimes more depending on traffic. That’s a big problem for someone having a stroke or cardiac event,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “This new facility brings that care directly into the community. We’re extremely grateful to Kiawah Partners for helping to make that possible.”

The project is estimated to cost $24 million. Of that amount, MUSC is working to raise $15 million in private support.

In mid-June, McMillan Pazdan Smith (MPS) was chosen to design the project. MPS is also one of two architectural firms working on designs for a new MUSC Health hospital in rural Williamsburg County.

Construction on the Sea Islands project is expected to begin in early 2022 and conclude in fall 2023.

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About MUSC Health

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 2,000 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eleven hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Marion and Richland counties. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

Founded in 1824, MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 20,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

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