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Grapevine: Big South Carolina tourist attraction looks to "button" up security


The Yorktown at Patriots Point is getting a security upgrade. File/Provided

Yorktown aims to guard against ‘lone-wolf situation’

Visitors to the Yorktown probably wouldn’t notice unless there’s an emergency, but Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is beefing up security on its biggest attraction. The first step is installing a half dozen silent alarms that directly connect with the Mount Pleasant Police Department throughout the retired Navy aircraft carrier. Only staff would have access to them. The Patriots Point Development Authority this month agreed to spend about $1,200 with Sonitrol for the installation, and the buttons could be in place before summer. It’s not been decided yet whether they should summon police directly or trigger a phone call first.

We just feel like it s important, given what s going on in the world, to be prudent … to guard against a lone-wolf situation, said Mac Burdette, executive director of the state-owned visitor site.

Patriots Point is also studying how to strengthen security at the gate and is considering hiring off-duty police officers to patrol the grounds. Above all, the museum wants to avoid the inconvenience of having to search all visitors, Burdette said.

$500 million move

The downtown Charleston office of Wells Fargo Advisors is feeling about $500 million poorer. A team of financial consultants who manage assets in that amount recently bolted after 12 years with the firm. Ameriprise Financial announced that Donald Alderman, Ed Holt, Jamie O’Brien and Scott Laney have joined the Minneapolis-based regional broker-dealer. O’Brien, a former hockey player for the South Carolina Stingrays, is manager of the new Meeting Street office.

“After extensively interviewing multiple firms we were most impressed with the Ameriprise culture, their management team and their superior technology specifically their mobile capabilities for both the adviser and the client, which far exceeded anything else we had encountered,” he said in a statement.

Not so innovative

Charleston may be buzzing with loads of technology-based businesses, but that doesn’t help to place South Carolina among the most innovative states in the nation. In light of deep budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump to federal research and development, personal finance website WalletHub analyzed 2017 s Most & Least Innovative States[1], as well as Washington, D.C. Using 18 metrics, the data set ranges from share of tech-trained professionals to research and development spending per capita to average Internet speed.

South Carolina comes in 41st. Who’s on top? That honor goes to the District of Columbia. In general, states in the Northeast and West fared well.

And who’s on the bottom? That distinction goes to West Virginia. Southern states generally ranked lowest among the survey’s findings.

Paperwork issues


KapStone bought its North Charleston paper mill from MeadWestvaco Corp. in 2008.

Some state emissions regulators have their noses out of joint over issues with the KapStone mill in North Charleston. The big paper maker disclosed in its recently filed annual report that it received a notice of alleged violation related to air regulatory requirements at the Cooper River site from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control in October.

Several of the allegations related to recordkeeping/reporting, monitoring or paperwork requirements which did not implicate actual emissions (and which have been corrected), KapStone said in its latest filing. It added that three of the allegations related to periodic compliance monitoring of particulates from operating equipment sources that are considered to be serious under DHEC guidelines.

No emissions from the monitoring resulted in any impact to the environment or human health, and no annual limits were exceeded because this allegation involved spare equipment that is operated only a limited number of days each year, KapStone said.

Discussions between the agency and the Chicago-based manufacturer are ongoing. The outcome of those talks was uncertain at the time of the filing, and, as a result, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. told investors that it cannot reasonably estimate its potential liability for this enforcement matter.

However, no capital expenditure is required and all repairs and corrective actions have been performed resulting in full compliance at the time of this report; thus the company currently does not expect that the result of those discussions will be material to the company.


Publix’s commercial real estate purchases in the Charleston area include Daniel Island Town Center (above). File

Publix property

Publix appears to be in the mood to shop – for commercial real estate. The big supermarket chain recently finalized the purchase of the Shoppes of Park West, the site of one its three Mount Pleasant stores. It picked up the 11-acre property for $15.4 million from an affiliate of Retail Properties of America, Charleston County land records show. The shopping center, which is off U.S. Highway 17 and north of S.C. Highway 41, was built in 2004.

The sale closed about a year after Florida-based Publix Super Markets Inc. bought the 5-acre Daniel Island Town Center it anchors on Seven Farms Drive. It acquired that property for more than $13.8 million under the name Real Sub LLC, an apparent nod to the grocer s popular deli sandwiches known as Pub Subs.

Cutting edge kudos

A Wando High School student with some business chops has been recognized in the Big Apple for his kitchenware creations.

Lucas Greenway’s hand-made cutting boards and cutlery were featured last week at Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s Global Showcase in New York City. The March 23 event highlighted innovative projects of young innovators from the U.S. and around the world.

Greenway calls his budding venture Charleston Cutlery. Last fall, he was named South Carolina entrepreneur of the year for 2016 by YEScarolina. In announcing that award, that group said several boutiques were carrying his wares, and that Greenway “learned through his entrepreneurship class, and the skills he gained from his father, how to take his hobby of woodworking and turn it into a business.”


  1. ^ 2017 s Most & Least Innovative States (

Philly cancels Cinco de Mayo over ICE fears

Philly Cancels Cinco De Mayo Over ICE FearsThe organizers of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, called off their plans this week, blaming the cancellation on fears that Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) agents might do their jobs and crack down on illegal immigrants during the event.

In the wake of President Donald Trump taking a tougher stance on immigration than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, amnesty advocates have been voicing their disapproval about the increased deportations of illegal aliens from Mexico often coming in the form of in protests at immigrant-heavy urban areas from coast to coast.

Icing the parade

Because of recent ICE raids, the parade that was slated to chart its route through the southern section of the City of Brotherly Love has been nixed, according to NBC Philly[1]. Over the past decade, the parade has taken place annually through the streets of South Philadelphia in late April or early May bringing in more participants and onlookers than any other Cinco de Mayo celebration in Pennsylvania s largest city. Edgar Ramirez, the organizer of the parade designed to observe Mexican heritage, claims that up to 15,000 people come together each year for the celebration from as far as Chicago, Illinois, to the west and all the way from New England to the north.

He indicated in a recent interview that the final decision to cancel the annual El Carnaval celebration commemorating Cinco de Mayo was sad but responsible because of the immigration crackdown that has been conducted by federal authorities of late.

Proliferating unease

According to Ramirez, the entire Mexican-American community in Philadelphia and across the country including those who are in America legally, as well as undocumented immigrants are disheartened by numerous reports of detainments and mass-arrests by ICE officers. ICE made the announcement this week that after a two-week sweep in the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia there are now 248 illegal immigrants from the three who are waiting to be deported. Ramirez says that he and other advocates of illegal immigration take offence to ICE doing its job and removing those who have entered the country illegally.

The group of six organizers decided to cancel unanimously, the event organizer explained. Everyone is offended by the actions of ICE. They did not feel comfortable holding the event.

It s the law

Many in the conservative media argue that with a new president in office, amnesty advocates need to get used to a commander-in-chief who cares about enforcing the law and protecting the border as well as the citizens within he has vowed to protect within it.

First, how many illegals are there in Philadelphia? Townhall s Matt Vespa posed[2]. Second deal with it! Obama is gone. Trump is president and there s a new sheriff in town. Vespa argues that those promoting Obama s immigration reform have no reason to complain about agents simply upholding long-established law.

Enforcing our immigration laws isn t offensive, the conservative journalist impressed. It s been precedent for decades. You re not legal; you re out. Period. He maintained that the same people who are complaining about Trump should take a good look at what Obama failed to during his eight years in office.

Moreover, it s not like Obama was any better, Vespa continued. Paradise did not become hell with the changing of the guard. Didn t he promise comprehensive immigration reform and didn t deliver? Yes.

Another thing about Obama of which many liberals are unaware or choose to ignore is the fact that he sent illegals back over the border, as well.

[A]nd he also deported a lot of people[3], too, Vespa pointed out. Now, there are some on the Right who would debate the numbers, but Obama did deport people much to the Left s chagrin though he arguably also committed executive overreach with the DAPA [Deferred Action for Parental Accountability] and DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival] programs.

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  1. ^ according to NBC Philly (
  2. ^ Townhall s Matt Vespa posed (
  3. ^ deported a lot of people (

WV House passes flood protection planning bill

WV House Passes Flood Protection Planning Bill

Gazette-Mail file photo

The House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill aimed at jump-starting the process of trying to protect West Virginians from future flooding and reduce damage to lives and property from floods that do occur. House members voted 96-0[1] in favor of the bill, with delegates standing during the vote in honor of victims of the June 2016 floods, which killed 23 people[2]. The legislation now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 2935[3] creates a State Flood Protection Planning Council, a multi-agency panel that would resume examination of a long-ignored plan aimed at protecting communities across the state from flooding. It would also create a permanent legislative committee that would oversee flood protection, response and recovery efforts.

I am grateful today for the House of Delegates unanimous support for this legislation, said House Speaker Tim Armstead, the bill s lead sponsor. I believe this bill, and the committee and council it creates, will be a crucial step forward in improving our planning and mitigation of future disasters.

The bill appears to be the first significant move by lawmakers this session to revisit a long-dormant Flood Protection Plan[4] which was published more than a dozen years ago, but never fully implemented. Armstead, whose own home was flooded last year, called for the state to reassess[5] the flood protection plan following a Gazette-Mail story[6] that described how a team from various agencies worked for years to write the flood protection plan. The council created by the legislation would be made up of the director of the Division of Natural Resources, the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, the executive director of the State Conservation Agency, the secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the secretary of Transportation, the adjutant general of the National Guard and the director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The council would be required to review and update the Flood Protection Plan, recommend legislation to reduce or mitigate flood damage and report to the Legislature on such issues. Absent and not voting on the bill in the House were Delegates Ellington, G. Foster, Hicks and Upson. Reach Ken Ward Jr. at [email protected], 304-348-1702 or follow @kenwardjr on Twitter.


  1. ^ voted 96-0 (
  2. ^ killed 23 people (
  3. ^ House Bill 2935 (
  4. ^ Flood Protection Plan (
  5. ^ called for the state to reassess (
  6. ^ a Gazette-Mail story (