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five years later, ECCO provides low-income residents with emergency assistance
for food, clothing, household furnishings and financial needs as well
as access to dental care, health care, prescription drug assistance, financial
literacy, job readiness training, and counseling.
in 1989 by Monsignor James Carter of Christ Our King Catholic Church,
ECCO was an emergency response that grew into a community mainstay. The
communities east of the Cooper River were among the most badly damaged,
including Mount Pleasant, Awendaw and McClellanville.
looked like a third-world country," Carter said. "People without
houses; living in tents. It became apparent that even though Mount Pleasant
was an affluent area, there were deep pockets of poverty. It was devastating."
the last quarter century, ECCO has grown from an emergency relief distribution
center to a reliable source of refuge for people in financial distress
offering a wide range of services across three program areas: Basic Needs,
Health Services, and Education and Job Services. For many years, the majority
of ECCO's client population came from generational poverty, but as a result
of the last economic downturn, many more individuals and families have
used the organization's comprehensive services.
the early 1990s, ECCO opened a Dental Clinic for emergency extractions,
began providing financial assistance and counseling, and started the prescription
drug program. In 2008, ECCO shifted its focus to guide clients towards
self-sufficiency and achievement with added educational opportunities
and programs like the Getting Ahead Family Partnership for single mothers.
Last year, ECCO Works was launched to help clients get a job and keep
it for one year, as a sustainable approach to reducing poverty, which
incorporates job preparedness, case management, skills training, and employment
ECCO, more than 4,500 families a year receive emergency assistance for
food, clothing, household furnishings and financial aid, and have access
to dental care, health care, prescription assistance, financial literacy
classes, job readiness training and counseling.
SEPT. 15, 2014 -- Local author Andra Watkins' first book, "To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis," will make a real reader purr with satisfaction. It's filled with elegant writing and spins a gripping yarn that blends history, action, adventure and philosophical ponderings to stretch your brain.
A work of historical fantasy, "To Live Forever" offers the tale of a 9-year-old girl from New Orleans who is desperate to find her musician father in Nashville after her mother runs into problems in The Big Easy. Helping the girl is a mysterious man named "Merry," who turns out to be the reincarnation of Meriwether Lewis, the Jeffersonian explorer of Lewis and Clark fame. In real life, Lewis died a mysterious death, which Watkins exploits as the backbone of her well-written story.
The book, which flips between competing first-person narratives of the girl, Merry and others, finds the lead characters avoiding bad guys by traveling on the eons-old Indian trail known today as the Natchez Trace, a 444-mile route from Louisiana to Tennessee. Readers get a real sense of what it was like to travel in days gone by -- the sweat, woodsy smells, dirt and more.
And that makes sense because Watkins traveled the Trace from beginning to end. In fact, the Trace is featured prominently in her second and third books, both of which debut at the start of 2015.
"Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Ancient Natchez Trace" is a memoir of her walk, which she did in 15-mile increments over 34 days.
"I actually believed it would be fun to take readers into the world of the book," Watkins told Charleston Currents with her dry humor seeping through. "The walk almost killed me. Plus, I convinced my 80-year-old father to be my wingman and immediately thought of all the self-scratching and gas, not to mention the trauma of sharing a bathroom for five weeks. It isn't easy to live with a parent as an adult."
The other book that will debut will feature photographs taken during the Natchez Trace journey. It's called "Natchez Trace: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of an Ancient Highway." Both books, like "To Live Forever," will be published by Word Hermit Press. A portion of proceeds from the three titles goes to the National Park Service to support the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Watkins said writing her first novel taught her what she could do.
"I always gave up on things. Walked away. Quit trying. With this novel, I finally saw what I could accomplish if I refused to quit. I guess I also learned that I'm an athlete. I never imagined I could walk more than a half-marathon every day for a month.
"When I set out to walk the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn., I never dreamed I would finish. The Trace is a national treasure, a 10,000-year-old road and a tunnel through time. I've touched every inch of it, and I hope some of that history seeped into me."
* * * *
Friday's commentary in Statehouse Report took issue with the head of the Democratic Party saying that South Carolina had a "culture of corruption" because "it unfairly paints good, elected public servants from both parties. Yes, there might be one bad egg in every few cartons -- just like in regular society -- but the overwhelming majority of people who serve in the legislature are upstanding folks who got into elected politics to try to make positive differences in the lives of South Carolinians."
fun to run and walk with the whole family
2014 -- Years ago when our twins were still in a jogger stroller, our
family began participating in charitable running and walking events all
around the Lowcountry.
years, we have progressed from strolling to jog/walking to actually slowly
running 5K and 10K runs as a family. These events have come to mean so
much more than just a means of exercising together. We have developed
a sense of continuity through annual participation in our favorite events
and created a sense of purpose in the work of training for events.
20 area artists will be part of the 31st annual MOJA Arts Festival Juried
Art Exhibition, which is running at the Avery Research Center for African
American History and Culture, 125 Bull Street, through October 3.
annual juried art exhibition gives cash awards for Best in Show and two
runners-up. Artists selected to participate in this year's exhibition
are Kelvin Bluffton, Sr., Shelley Bonner, Karen W. Brown, KTC (Karole
Turner Campbell), Jeremy Darby, Octavious Dowling, Andrea Hazel, Latasha
Hollins, Katherine Houghton, JahSun, Cindy Male, Dorothy Montgomery, Judy
Mooney, Bridget Murray, Hampton R. Olfus, Jr., Celia Pray, David Sanders,
Georgette W. Sanders, Patricia E. Sabree, and 515 a.k.a Ricki Washington.
Kennedy, this year's juror, is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, but
now lives in North Charleston. She earned her bachelor's degree in fine
arts and master's degree of fine arts in painting and art history at Howard
University, where she once served as artist-in-residence.
member of The National Association of Ghanaian Artists, she has also been
a consultant for the Washington Project for the Arts (W.P.A.) and a grant
recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts. As an arts educator,
she has taught at the Corcoran School of Art, American University, Howard
University, the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana,
and the Maryland College of Art and Design. Her paintings are in museum,
corporate and private collections.
Agency's coastal photo contest taking entries
of all ages and degrees of expertise are invited to ready their cameras
and tripods to enter their best photographs of coastal South Carolina
scenes in the annual photography contest sponsored by the S.C. Department
of Health and Environmental Control.
winning photo will appear on DHEC's 2015 annual tide table poster,"
said Director of Environmental Affairs Elizabeth Dieck. "We're looking
for coastal South Carolina scenes including marshes, beaches or wildlife
-- something that would be appropriate and eye-catching as an image for
the tide table."
and digital photos are accepted with a limit of five pictures per contestant.
Digital photos should not exceed a total combined file size of four megabytes.
Printed photographs should not exceed 8.5" x 11". Horizontal
orientation is required. All entries must be submitted between Sept. 15
and Oct. 15, 2014.
can be e-mailed to email@example.com or submitted via surface mail
to: Coastal Photo Contest S.C. DHEC 1362 McMillan Avenue, Suite 400 Charleston,
SC 29405. Surface-mailed submissions will not be returned without a self-addressed
stamped envelope provided by the contestant. The winner will be announced
Local hospital performs first "scarless" hysterectomy in area
A Charleston-area doctor this month performed the Lowcountry's first "robotic-assisted single-site hysterectomy," an advanced surgery made one incision through the belly button.
to a press release from Summerville Medical Center, Dr. Ron Givens of
Lowcountry Women's Specialists performed the hysterectomy in the region
at Summerville Medical Center. He is among a small group of surgeons in
the nation trained to perform the advanced procedure.
to a traditional hysterectomy, a robotic-assisted procedure is minimally
invasive and helps women return to their normal activities more quickly.
The surgery is performed in less than one hour and many patients return
home within four hours and nearly all go home within 24 hours. Intuitive
Surgical's daVinci robotic surgery system also allows for a single incision
hidden within the belly button, compared to traditional laparoscopic surgeries,
which require three to five small visible incisions.
cosmetic results of a hysterectomy can weigh heavily on women," Dr.
Givens said. "This new single-site procedure gives women a surgical
option that leaves virtually no scar."
surgery, like other minimally invasive surgery, utilizes cameras and instruments
that are inserted through small incisions in a patient's body. For more
information, call 843.797.3463 or visit http://scrobotics.com/
Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Operation Lost Trust was arguably South Carolina's largest and longest-running political scandal. Including the investigation, trials, and retrials, the Operation Lost Trust saga extended from 1989 to 1999. The key player in the FBI's investigation into legislative corruption was Ron Cobb, a lobbyist and former member of the S.C. House of Representatives. He was arrested in April 1989 for trying to buy a kilo of cocaine in a deal orchestrated by the FBI for the purpose of securing his involvement as the front man in the Lost Trust investigation. He told members of the General Assembly that he represented the Alpha Group that was seeking support for a bill legalizing dog- and horse-track betting in South Carolina. Cobb recruited Representatives Robert A. Kohn and Luther Taylor to help in securing legislative votes by paying members money in exchange for their support and votes. The transactions were captured on surveillance tapes.
The federal investigation resulted in the conviction of seventeen members of the South Carolina General Assembly, seven lobbyists, and three others for bribery, extortion, or drug use. All but five of the twenty-seven convictions were the result of guilty pleas. In 1991 and 1992 five legislators were granted new trials because of legal errors. U.S. District Judge Falcon Hawkins then dismissed the charges against the five for alleged misconduct by the federal prosecution team led by U.S. Attorney Bart Daniel. Judge Hawkins's ruling was overturned in November 1998 by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reinstated the criminal charges. During the period between 1991 and 1998 two of the five legislators died after long illnesses. The three remaining defendants were retried in 1999, and all three were convicted.
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6.47 | Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
On politics and narcissism
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Avondale Restaurant Week: Sept. 16-22. On the heels of Charleston Restaurant Week, eateries around Avondale Point in West Ashley will observe their own deals for just over a week with three-course meals for $20. Complimentary valet parking will be available.
(NEW) Community forum: 6 p.m., Sept. 17, Wells Fargo Auditorium, College of Charleston, 5 Liberty Street, Charleston. Several group s will discuss the state's "School to Prison Pipeline" and the need for new approaches to school discipline to produce graduates and productive citizens, not prisoners. Speakers include representatives from the ACLU, College of Charleston, a family court judge, a police lieutenant and Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.
Book signing: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 18, Blue Bicycle Books, King Street, Charleston. Author Andra Watkins will sign copies of her 2014 novel, "To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis." More: AndraWatkins.com
Autumn on the Ashley: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 19-21, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston. More than 50 vendors are expected to exhibit wood carvings, paintings, textiles, pottery, jewelry and more at this crafts fair, held in the past in October. More.
Carolina Green Fair: Noon to 6 p.m., Sept. 21, James Island County Park, James Island. The Carolina Green Fair features conservation education through fun and inventive demonstrations, interactive play and music, and education shared by experts in their field. Come celebrate "being green" while enjoying beer, food, music and artisans from the Lowcountry! Food and beverages will be available for purchase. No coolers, outside food, or beverages permitted. Admission is free, thought it costs $1 per person to get into the park.
Play by Euripides: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 25 through Sept. 30, Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip Street, Charleston. The College of Charleston's Department of Theatre and Dance will stage a modern interpretation of Euripedes' "The Bacchae" with a 24-person cast. Tickets are $10 to $15. More.
Dawn 'til Dusk: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sept. 27, Gibbes Museum of Art. The museum has several activities for a 12-hour celebration of its multi-million-dollar renovation from yoga and family activities to artist demos and music. More.
(NEW) Adaptive Recreation Expo: Noon to 5 p.m., Sept. 28, James Island County Park. This new event will showcase a variety of adaptive sports and leisure activities for people with physical limitations. More.
American Music Celebration: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 28, Village Green, Kiawah Island. The ninth annual celebration features a variety of live music from zydeco to roots rock to blues as artists how their works. More: 843.762.9125.
Women Painting Women: Through Sept. 30, Principle Gallery: Charleston, 125 Meeting Street. Some 86 paintings by 73 female artists from around the world showcase the female form. More.
Wine Down Wednesdays: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 1, 15 and 29, Old Towne Creek County Park, West Ashley. You can get another sneak peek at a future county park and enjoy a wine social at the same time. Formerly Ashem Farm, the 67-acre estate has open fiends and lots of live oaks. More.
(NEW) Latin American Festival: Noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 5, Wannamaker County Park. Live Salsa and Merengue music will fill the air as families enjoy authentic food, craft items, kids' activities, and much more. Featured performers will include UltimaNota, Bachata Flow, Capoeira Charleston, Buen Ache Dance Company, DJ Luigi Bravo and more.
5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, Old Towne Creek County
Park, West Ashley. Building on the success of Wine Down Wednesdays, Charleston
County Parks will offer live music, eats and beer with this new event
for the beer crowd. Cost: $6 per person, not including food and drink.
(NEW) Zombie pub crawl: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 18, at restaurants and bars in North Charleston's Park Circle area. Holy City Brewing will offer the fourth annual Pint of Hope Zombie Pub Crawl as a fundraiser to help Lowcountry AIDS Services. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door. More
Yappy hour and more. Charleston County Parks will offer dog-friendly, after-work socials at James Island and Palmetto Islands county parks a dozen times over the summer. At James Island, Yappy Hour will be held starting at 4 p.m. with live music on Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. At Palmetto Islands, dogs, owners and musicians will appear with food trucks in Pups, Yups and Food Trucks on Sept. 25 and Oct. 23. More.
TEDxCharleston is accepting applications through October 14 for speakers and performers for its 2015 event. Next year's theme: "Embrace chaos." More.
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.
Moredock: New station
an app for that
run/walks for family