Estate Planning Attorney inWest Ashley, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in West Ashley, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in West Ashley that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in West Ashley. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law West Ashley, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney West Ashley, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
West Ashley, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer West Ashley, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in West Ashley, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in West Ashley, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm West Ashley, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in West Ashley, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in West Ashley, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in West Ashley, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney West Ashley, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law West Ashley, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in West Ashley, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in West Ashley, SC

Dead vultures found in West Ashley positive for avian flu, cannot be removed

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed that some dead vultures found in a West Ashley neighborhood tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian flu.Dore Carlo originally found dozens of the dead vultures near two retention ponds behind his home on May 7....

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed that some dead vultures found in a West Ashley neighborhood tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian flu.

Dore Carlo originally found dozens of the dead vultures near two retention ponds behind his home on May 7.

“We had friends come over, who had a golf cart, and we took a ride back here and saw dozens of dead ones,” Carlo recalled.

He reported it to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), which took samples from the birds on May 10.

“DHEC advised me to get the word out best I could to keep children and pets away from the area,” Carlo said.

Health officials said avian flu can spread through any contact with the birds, as well as through their feathers or fecal material. However, the risk of people or pets contracting the virus is considered low.

“Anytime it does happen, that’s when we call it a novel flu strain – or novel infection – anytime it goes from animal host to human host,” said Jonathan Knoche, a DHEC public health physician.

Will Dillman, SCDNR assistant chief of wildlife, said direct sunlight and summer heat help kill the virus.

“As the weather heats up this should be less prevalent and run its course,” he said.

Almost a month after the dead vultures were first reported, Carlo said they are still losing two or three vultures a day, and more than 20 carcasses still sit in the neighborhood.

Now, he wants to know who will get rid of all the carcasses surrounding the retention ponds where people walk their dogs and children play.

“There’s other diseases I’m sure will come along from all these dead birds, not to mention they are bringing other animals around that would be feeding off of them,” said Carlo.

Both SCDNR and DHEC said there is nothing they can do to remove the dead birds.

“Moving those carcasses around to other places has the potential to spread that [avian flu] around,” said Dillman.

Carlo said he is working with his homeowner’s association to remove the carcasses to keep his family and neighbors safe.

The Count on 2 Investigators did reach out to the HOA property manager to see what other avenues they are taking since SCDNR and DHEC will not remove the dead vultures.

We have yet to hear back.

Plan approved to replace West Ashley middle school to reduce capacity

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board of Trustees has okayed a plan from staff to replace the current C.E. Williams North campus with a new school.At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, the board voted to continue the current middle school configuration in West Ashley dividing sixth-grade students from seventh and eighth-grade students who currently go to C.E. Williams South, near West Ashley High School.The plan that would replace the sixth-grade campus would also allow Pattison’s Academy ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board of Trustees has okayed a plan from staff to replace the current C.E. Williams North campus with a new school.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, the board voted to continue the current middle school configuration in West Ashley dividing sixth-grade students from seventh and eighth-grade students who currently go to C.E. Williams South, near West Ashley High School.

The plan that would replace the sixth-grade campus would also allow Pattison’s Academy for Comprehensive Education (PACE) to fund the design and construction of its facilities on the North campus. PACE is a specialty charter school run by a non-profit for students with multiple disabilities. They’re currently operating out of the former St. Andrews Middle School location.

The board committee also approved the expansion of the seventh/eighth grade C.E. Williams South campus by adding eight classrooms.

Despite the new building for sixth-grade students, the district’s plan does not expand capacity. The current building is underutilized with an enrollment of 363 this year. The building capacity is 904 according to data presented at the meeting.

The new building will be built to hold 600 students, with an expansion capacity of 900. This stands in stark contrast to the South campus which is nearing capacity. That building holds 969 students and currently has 835 students.

However, the district contends West Ashley is not growing as fast as it appears. If current projections remain unchanged the North campus is not expected to exceed 431 students in the next six years. The South campus is expected to peak at 848 students over the same time period.

Former West Ashley High School principal Lee Runyon says the district says the district’s plan is not properly taking into account growth in West Ashley.

“I think that the current plan is again short-sighted and smacks of continued use of taxpayer dollars to try and put a Band-Aid on the problem of systemic growth,” Runyon said. “Anytime you’re running an organization, you’re either growing or you’re dying. If the district is projecting flatline growth in a community that is exploding with residential growth, I think that’s poor leadership.”

Parents like Ragan DuBose-Morris say there are plenty of kids in West Ashley, but many parents are opting to send their middle schoolers out of District 10 to seek out more traditional options.

“West Ashley is the only area in Charleston County that does not have a traditional K-12 pipeline so that you can attend at a traditional elementary, middle and high school configuration,” DuBose-Morris said. “That has been a problem.”

The district’s own numbers suggest only 65 percent of students living in West Ashley attend the two campuses. Despite living in West Ashley, DuBose-Morris chooses to take her children to schools in North Charleston. She says whenever a child has to move to a new school there’s a transitional period that disrupts education. She says she wants to eliminate as many of those transitions as possible.

“They [children] have the knowledge of being in an environment for six through 12th grade,” DuBose-Morris said. “So we have stability, they’re not transitioning between schools. The guidance counselors know who they are. Their teachers know who they are. They’re able to progress through a process in which they have support.”

The current configuration was initiated in part to produce more diverse schools. Constituent board chair for District 10 (West Ashley) Rodney Lewis says the schools are now more diverse and the sixth-grade academy model can work. He says the smaller classes away from the influence of older students are helpful for students to enter adolescents.

“Any time there’s a new program it never just jumps off the first two or three years,” Lewis said. “You got to work it. It’s like a business. You start a business you won’t go to the top automatically. You have to grow there. Allow this to grow and you will see how it works.”

The project is part of the Phase Five Capital Buildings Program that is being funded by a one percent sales tax approved by voters in 2020. The project is budgeted for $40 million and is expected to be completed in 2026.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

West Ashley brewery adds 2nd taproom; hard kombucha brewery opening downtown

Two new taprooms are coming to Charleston in the next month.One is a newcomer specializing in lagers and hard kombucha, while the other is a household name known for signature beers like the Sungazer hazy IPA.Craft beer drinkers will find that beer and other refreshing sippers at Avondale brewery Charles Towne Fermentory, which will add a second taproom outfitted with a spacious beer garden, site owner Adam Goodwin told The Post and Courier.Thos...

Two new taprooms are coming to Charleston in the next month.

One is a newcomer specializing in lagers and hard kombucha, while the other is a household name known for signature beers like the Sungazer hazy IPA.

Craft beer drinkers will find that beer and other refreshing sippers at Avondale brewery Charles Towne Fermentory, which will add a second taproom outfitted with a spacious beer garden, site owner Adam Goodwin told The Post and Courier.

Those who attended Charleston Beer Week might recognize the new taproom called The Garden by Charles Towne Fermentory. The 1331 Ashley River Road compound, that was previously occupied by Wine and Design, hosted Beer Week’s grand finale in November 2021.

“When I found this property it was kind of just perfect,” Goodwin said. “We ended up fully gutting the building. We added (a nearly) 1,000-square-foot covered deck out back and then did all the landscaping outside to make it a little more of an accommodating place to hang and enjoy beer.”

Goodwin has the capability to brew small test batches at the new location, but the majority of The Garden’s 8-14 beers will come from Charles Towne Fermentory’s 5,000-square-foot Avondale brewery at 809 Savannah Highway.

Because of South Carolina’s three-tier system, Goodwin must purchase his own beer from a distributor in order to sell at The Garden, which will also offer wine and cider for non-beer drinkers.

The Garden will host a grand opening party May 28, with Co-Hog and Foxes Fried popping up with food at the event. Moving forward, The Garden will be open from 2-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

As Charles Towne Fermentory expands, downtown Charleston’s brewery district is adding another brewery to a list that already includes destinations like Revelry Brewing Co., Munkle Brewing Co. and Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.

Specializing in lagers and hard kombucha, Bevi Bene Brewing Co. is located in The Lumberyard development at 1859 Summerville Ave. in downtown Charleston. Guests can expect to find eight beers and a handful of hard kombuchas when the new brewery opens June 18.

Husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Marissa and Clay Carlisle are behind Bevi Bene, which means “drink well” in Italian. The 5,000-square-foot space features an outdoor patio and mural by Savannah artist JULU that is visible heading northbound on Interstate 26.

“We’re a lager focused brewery,” Marissa Carlisle said. “We will have sours and then we’ll be introducing hard kombucha to the Charleston community.”

Specifically, Bevi Bene will serve traditional lagers, kettle sours and hard kombucha. “Mostly sessionable stuff which means lower alcohol just because we want people to come stay awhile,” according to Clay Carlisle.

To make the hard kombucha, he brews regular kombucha that’s put in a closed fermenter with more sugar and brewer’s yeast. The yeast eats the sugar, converting it into ethanol (alcohol produced by fermentation). Bevi Bene is believed to be the first Charleston area brewery to offer hard kombucha.

The brewery will host a grand opening on June 25, with food trucks Chucktown Meatball Co. and Vibrant Alkaline Vegan Meals serving at the event.

Once open, Bevi Bene will serve customers from 1-8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, noon-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.

Editorial: Find better traffic solutions for West Ashley than I-526 extension

Skeptics of extending Interstate 526 from U.S. Highway 17 to Johns and James islands have called the project “a code, not a road,” a pithy rhyme that describes the project’s impracticality while recognizing the serious traffic problems — and the very real frustrations over those problems — that supporters have hoped the new road would magically solve.But with its price tag rising from $725 million several years ago to $2.35 billion today, and with Charleston County required to pay all but $380 million of ...

Skeptics of extending Interstate 526 from U.S. Highway 17 to Johns and James islands have called the project “a code, not a road,” a pithy rhyme that describes the project’s impracticality while recognizing the serious traffic problems — and the very real frustrations over those problems — that supporters have hoped the new road would magically solve.

But with its price tag rising from $725 million several years ago to $2.35 billion today, and with Charleston County required to pay all but $380 million of that — the state capped its commitment at $420 million and already has spent more than $45 million toward that cap — the project’s status has gone from impractical to practically ridiculous. Or, as Councilman Henry Darby said Thursday, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

Instead of getting kicked by the mule yet again, it’s time for Charleston County and state transportation officials to back away from the special status of this project, also known as the Mark Clark extension (even though it would be a 45 mph parkway, not an interstate), and instead redouble their efforts on other traffic solutions that can be completed more quickly, less expensively and with more widespread public favor.

This road is going nowhere fast, but that reality must not make officials too complacent to tackle the serious congestion problems that made extension advocates think it was a good idea in the first place. Even if a magical solution were to appear, the extension still would take more than a dozen years to build. S.C. Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall has recommended proceeding with about $150 million in engineering work to get the project ready for bid, but we urge her and Charleston County not to spend another cent.

Instead, they should use that money to launch a special planning effort to identify better options for easing congestion in West Ashley as well as on Johns and James islands. That would move us toward a solution faster than somehow hoping there will be a way forward for the Mark Clark extension when the state Transportation Department returns to the county in a few months with an even more refined cost estimate. Some council members suggest opponents have delayed 526 and driven up its costs. Even if that were true, and we would argue it’s not, they should think about this: Now that it costs more than $1 billion more, are those opponents going to give up now?

There are other solutions that aren’t as dramatic but also wouldn’t be nearly as costly or controversial, such as building the “pitchfork” roads on both sides of Maybank Highway from River Road to the Stono River bridge. The ongoing work to address Main Road, from Bees Ferry to Betsy Kerrison, also will help, and there are other projects in West Ashley that could help, too. We also believe our tax dollars would be better spent beginning a study on a bus rapid transit line through West Ashley similar to the one being developed along Rivers Avenue. In other words, we should seek many solutions, not a single, prohibitively expensive one.

Extending Interstate 526 across Johns and James islands in particular was never a good idea because of the environmental damage involved and the dubious impact it would have on traffic congestion, particularly when measured by the bang for the buck. More cost-effective solutions can address traffic without marring the edges of these two sea islands.

Look at it another way: From a traffic engineering standpoint, it might be easier to get around the Charleston region if Interstate 526 were extended from where it ends at U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant through the Old Village and across the Cooper River to where the James Island connector touches down on the peninsula. It would be like building our own ring road, like Interstate 285 around Atlanta.

Of course, nobody has suggested that — for a multitude of reasons that go far beyond cost.

For years, development on Johns Island has been allowed to spread rapidly while road improvements lagged far behind, a scenario that has played out in other parts of the Charleston metro area. Anyone who lives on Johns Island or travels there knows it’s a frustrating problem that also impacts West Ashley and James Island. But that’s another reason why state and local officials should step back from their grand 526 extension plan and refocus their thinking on more cost-effective, practical traffic solutions.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Tri-county school districts offering free meals this summer

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, thousands of children across the state are at risk of going hungry.According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, more than 467,000 children in South Carolina ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, thousands of children across the state are at risk of going hungry.

According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, more than 467,000 children in South Carolina qualify for free or reduced-price meals. State law mandates that all public schools participate in the National School Lunch Program.

To ensure children do not need to worry about where their next meal will come from, Tri-county school districts are offering free meal programs all summer long.

Charleston County

Charleston County School District is working to fill the nutrition gap during summer break with its Seamless Summer Feeding Program (SSFP).

The district reports that roughly half (25,000) of enrolled students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, which is why they offer complimentary breakfast and lunches at locations throughout Charleston County.

Breakfast and homemade hot lunches will be prepared at 10 CCSD school kitchens and cafeterias and distributed to sites in McClellanville, North Charleston, James Island, Johns Island, Hollywood, downtown Charleston, and West Ashley for pickup. Serving and eating utensils, plates, napkins, and condiments will be provided.

Meals are prepared to meet federal meal patterns and nutritional requirements and lunches may include hot entrees such as crispy chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and hotdogs. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat chocolate and white milk are included with every meal.

Any child or teen (18 years old or younger) are eligible for free meals without prior approval.

The program starts June 6 and runs through August 5. Pickup locations will be posted here on June 10.

Berkeley County

Berkeley County School District is also offering a free meal service for children 18 years old and younger.

Beginning June 6, BSCD nutrition workers will serve meals every Monday through Thursday at the following locations:

Breakfast service is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and includes 1 oz meat or meat alternate, 1 serving of grain, 1/2 cup juice or fruit, and an 8 oz milk.

Lunch service is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and includes 2 oz meat or meat alternate, 1/2 cup vegetable, 1/2 cup fruit, 1 serving grain, and an 8 oz milk.

Hot meals are available at no cost to students, but children must eat at the site.

The program runs through July 28. Click here to see the menus.

Dorchester County

Through the Seamless Summer Option Meals Program, Dorchester District Two will provide breakfast and lunch on a first-come, first-served basis to all children 18 years old and younger.

Meals are served Monday through Thursday at the following locations:

Breakfast is available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Each meal contains whole grains, protein, fruit or vegetable, and milk. As with Berkeley County, meals must be eaten at the pickup site.

In addition, DD2 schools conducting summer programs will provide complimentary breakfast and lunch to all program enrolled students.

The free meal program runs from June 6 to July 14.

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