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High water, higher temperatures in forecast
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Local residents began the work week waking up to sub-freezing temperatures around the region, and the National Weather Service issued several cold weather related warnings throughout the state.

Flood warnings in Berkeley and Dorchester County centered on the typical high water areas of the Santee and Edisto rivers. A warning for Jamestown was first set to expire on Tuesday evening, but forecasters have since changed the warning to remain in effect “until further notice.”

The Santee River was nearly a foot and a half above the 10-foot flood stage and residents in Jamestown saw minor flooding in the low lying areas. The river was expected to remain at or above 11.4 feet for the next few days.

Forecasters said that if the river rose to 12 feet, “several dirt logging roads” would become impassable.

Along the Edisto River at Givhans Ferry a flood warning was expected to expire on Tuesday evening. The river rose to 10.1 feet on Sunday, slightly above the flood stage of 10 feet.

“Minor flooding is occurring and minor flooding is forecast,” according to the National Weather Service. “The river [was] expected to fall below flood stage Tuesday morning and continue falling to 9.6 feet Friday evening.

At the 10-foot flood stage mark, the Edisto was flowing into the ends of numerous river access roads including Happiness Lane, Canon Road, Cardinal Lane, Huckleberry Hill Lane, and Gator Walk.

When the National Weather Service issues weather and flood warnings, it means weather events have been observed and residents should take immediate action, such as seek higher ground.

The level of the Santee River is largely controlled by how much water is released over Santee Dam on Lake Marion, which is managed by Santee Cooper.

Continued wet weather in the Upstate has sent water downstream to fill both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. Forecasts of more rain continue through the week.

Locally National Weather Service forecasters are calling for a 40 to 50 percent chance of showers through the Week.

Temperatures around the Lowcountry are expected to rise with highs near 70 mid-week and lows in the low- to mid-50s.

Low Country Blessings Boxes seeks Valentine's Donations

In 2017, a resident by the name of Katie Dahleim used repurposed cabinets to create space for the community to come together.

Inspired by a little free pantry she saw in Arkansas, Dahliem used a few of these cabinets to produce the first ever Lowcountry Blessing Boxes. Today, more than 175 of these boxes can be found scattered throughout the Lowcountry from Mcclellanville to Hilton Head, providing hundreds of “blessings” over the years.

Lowcountry Blessing Boxes accepts a variety of items such as non perishable food items, baby supplies and toiletries. They do not accept books or clothing. However, as February begins and Valentine’s day is on the horizon, the organization is working to expand its focus toward supplying boxes with Valentines donations.

Specific box locations can be found at the Low Country Blessing Box website .

Kelly Page, director of Lowcountry Blessing Boxes, first started her involvement with the program as a volunteer a few years ago. Today, Page remains an essential part of the project.

“The idea is you donate these boxes of valentines for the kids to give to classmates and it’s just one last thing for parents, who are struggling, to go out and buy. It’s already there for them. It just allows that kid to participate and be part of it. And again you know, to share the kindness,” Page said.

Kindness is a key word in the mission of Lowcountry Blessing Boxes. The nonprofit is powered by community members participating in the movement simply for the purpose of looking out for others. Page developed a habit of curating this kindness in her everyday life.

“The way I got started was every time I went to the grocery store, I just picked up some extra things and dropped them off on the way. And just made it a habit. Once you start doing it, it’s very easy to keep doing it,” Page said.

Page said that she has seen members of the community working to provide for the even greater need that exists amidst the COVID pandemic.

As stores nationwide prepare for one of the largest commercial holidays of the year, community members involved in this project work to identify and execute the local needs of families.

Senate to vote on three pandemic related budget amendments from Sen. Scott
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U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced three budget amendments that will be voted on today by the Senate.

The first amendment, introduced jointly with Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Lankford (R-OK), would reduce funding to states that have an active investigation into nursing homes for underreported deaths.

“It makes no sense to offer more funding to states that have mismanaged and then covered up their pandemic response,” said Senator Scott. “Leaders that neglected their responsibility to protect our elderly populations amid this devastating pandemic must be held accountable. The life-and-death implications of this dereliction of duty have caused tragedy for countless families whose loved ones died in long-term care facilities. They deserve answers.”

Senator Scott also introduced an amendment with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to withhold additional supplemental funding from schools that do not reopen for in-person learning after teachers have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Keeping our nation’s students out of the classroom for a year is permanently injuring the educational aspirations and opportunities of an entire generation,” said Senator Scott. “The children most negatively impacted are those who are growing up poor, just like I did. While teacher unions and their allies continue to change the rules as we go, we must be clear: if you have been vaccinated, it’s time to get back into the classroom.”

The third amendment, introduced jointly with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and James Lankford (R-OK), would protect small businesses from harmful tax hikes during the pandemic.

“Millions of small businesses have closed their doors during this pandemic, and thousands more are on the verge of shuttering,” said Senator Scott. “Our responsibility is to ensure these job creators keep their doors open and keep their employees paid. Raising taxes on small businesses would do the exact opposite and devastate Main Streets from Saluda to Springfield.”

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office arrests 14 after six-month narcotics investigation

Destry Sweatman

Jamie Potter

John Tracey Headden

Joshua Jacobs

Justin Litchfield

Kenneth Blake Poole

Krista Leigh Duan

Missy Lee Litchfield

Sandi Thompson

Thomas Kelly

Amanda Fletcher

Bobby ‘Pockets’ Brinson

Brandon Litchfield

Catherine Powers Owens

Cecil “Bubba” Floyd

Charles ‘Billy’ Lichfield

Christine Potter

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In an emailed statement the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office announced The Narcotic Task Force made several arrests following a six- month narcotics investigation in the Macedonia area of Berkeley County. In total fourteen people were arrested on various drug and weapons charges.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office arrests 14 after six-month narcotics investigation

The sheriff’s office said the suspects are:

Charles “Billy” Litchfield was arrested on charges that include 14 counts of distribution of methamphetamine, four counts of trafficking methamphetamine, five counts of sale of a gun to a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Justin Litchfield was arrested on five counts of distribution of fentanyl, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of heroin. Cecil Floyd was arrested on charges that include distribution of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with Intent to distribute fentanyl.

Bobby Brinson was arrested for third degree criminal sexual conduct. Destry Sweatman was arrest for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and trafficking fentanyl.

Joshua Jacobs was arrested for trafficking in fentanyl, Amanda Fletcher was arrested for trafficking in fentanyl.

Sandi Thompson was arrested for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Missy Lee Litchfield is arrested for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Krista Leigh Dunn was arrested for unlawful conduct toward a child and distribution of heroin. Jamie Potter was arrested for distribution of methamphetamine, possession of stolen goods and possession of marijuana.

Brandon Litchfield was arrested for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.

Thomas Kelly was arrested for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of schedule II controlled substance. Christine Potter was arrested for marijuana possession.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is also looking for three additional suspects: Catherine Powers Owens is wanted for distribution of methamphetamine, Kenneth Blake Poole is wanted for unlawful conduct towards a child and distribution of heroin and Tracy Headden is wanted for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

“This investigation has taken some time to make sure detectives investigated thoroughly,” Sheriff Duane Lewis said. “Citizens of the Macedonia community came forward to express concerns about habitual suspicious activity. The result of this investigation is the conclusion of patience and support from the community.”

The investigation centered in an area off Dewitt Road in Macedonia. Law enforcement said drugs and those who deal them have plagued the area for years.

Investigators said they seized 265 grams of methamphetamine, 30 grams of fentanyl and 15 grams of heroin.

The BCSO Narcotics Task Force includes law enforcement from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Goose Creek Police Department, Hanahan Police Department and the Moncks Corner Police Department.