Charleston

Volvo Car Open on Daniel Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

You know it’s spring in Charleston when the cars are thick with yellow pollen, as well as  a colorful array of out of state license plates.  Porta- Potties line the streets, novice runners sport bright, new shoes and college kids seeking sun and warmth stretch out behind the beach dunes.  Typically, the signs appear in April, alongside two annual events; the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Volvo Car Open.

Peace Voices

Apr 16, 2018
Glenis Redmond
Peace Center

Peace Voices is a spoken word outreach program of Greenville's Peace Center that uses poetry as a vehicle to tell unique, personal stories. Participants engage in master classes with Peace Center Poet-in-Residence Glenis Redmond, both at the Peace Center and in the community.

A.T. Shire, SC Public Radio

When the celebrated maker of string instruments Antonio Stradivari put the finishing touches on the violin now known as the Ex-Nachez, Bach and Handel were barely into their toddler years and the invention of the piano was still more than a decade away. 

The rare violin has passed through the hands of many an owner and virtuoso performer since that time, but, as Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra can attest, the instrument is still in excellent playing condition.

This house on Hassel Street in Charleston got a makeover for the popular PBS program "This Old House."
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The popular series "This Old House" has been a fixture on PBS  since 1980.  It has filmed in many locations across the country, and now it has come to South Carolina.  The show recently shot the renovation of a classic single-wide home in Charleston for broadcast beginning this week.  (The series also features the renovation of a second house.)

Trowel at an archaeological dig.
HeritageDaily [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 12/01/2017) - In Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community (2016, University Press of Florida), Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum; and, Dr. Betsy Reitz, University of Georgia Athens, weave archaeology and history to illuminate this vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential, commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets, and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken.

Charleston Chief Resilience Officer Mark Wilbert at the Battery.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Mark Wilbert has been the man the city of Charleston has turned to in case of emergencies.  He helped people prepare for Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.   He was there after 9 parishioners at Mother Emanuel were killed.   Last August, he planned for a crowd of thousands in town for the solar eclipse.  Now the former city Emergency Management Director has a new job.  He's Charleston's first ever Chief Resilience officer.

Former Slave Honored at James Island's Pinckney Park

Feb 27, 2018
Friends and family unveil marker honoring Simeon Pinckney on James Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

James Island's Pinckney Park, with its colorful playground, iconic oak tree  and tire swing, is less than a  year old.  But its history goes back 150 years.  That's when a former slave bought the property just outside of Charleston.   It's still  thick with palms and pines that back up to a tributary of Parrot Creek.  His  name was Simeon Pinckney. 

"Most of the stories  that my mother told of him was him straightening someone out for not doing the right thing," said Jerome Harris.  He is the great- great grandson of Simeon Pinckney. 

Thomas Lawton Evans
Madison County Detention Center, Canton, MS

Charleston's top prosecutor confirms what many in the community have wanted to know.  Did the family of a little girl kidnaped have ties to the suspect or were they randomly targeted?

"To be crystal clear: there is NO CONNECTION between the victims in this matter and the alleged defendant," said 9th solicitor Scarlett Wilson late Friday in a Facebook post.  "They were randomly targeted."

Former Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley at the site of the planned International African American Museum.
The Citadel

There's no slowing down for Former Charleston City mayor Joe Riley.  The 75 year-old is as ambitious as ever, finalizing plans for the city's new International African American Museum.  He's even teaching a class about it this semester at his Alma Mater, The Citadel.

"I work hard on it every day," said Riley from his office on Broad Street.  He gazes out the window as he talks about a  past he says is rarely acknowledged.   "Across the street from me are historic buildings built during times of enslavement."

Surfboard Sledding in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, SC.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

A winter storm brought rare snow and ice to South Carolina's Lowcountry last week. With a thaw finally in the weather forecast for the coast, and winter weather advisories in the Upstate, it's a good time to look back on the unusual--and beautiful--sights in the greater Charleston area, as captured last week by South Carolina Public Radio's Victoria Hansen.

The Holy City Hails Near Record Snowstorm

Jan 4, 2018
Surfboard Sledding in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, SC.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Parents packed up golf carts like snow mobiles as kids grabbed their sea worthy boogie boards and headed out in search of higher ground.  Hills are hard to come by in the Lowcountry.  But then again, so is snow.  Charleston got a rare thrill Wednesday.  More than five inches of snow swirled through palm fronds and gathered on the ground.  It's the most snow the area has seen since Hurricane Hugo and it would be enjoyed.

June Scott, right, holds a picture of her son Walter. The family spoke to the press after the decision was handed down Thursday in the federal sentencing of Michael Slager.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

It was a rare sentencing following a string of officer involved, racially charged killings across the nation.  Thursday, a federal judge gave former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager 20 years behind bars for killing an unarmed man as he fled a 2015 traffic stop.  The crime was caught on witness' cell phone video.  Few officers in recent years have been convicted in such killings, much less received a lengthy punishment.  Walter Scott's family hopes the sentence sends a strong message to police across the nation.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"A" is for Ashley River Road. The Ashley River Road--one of the oldest roads in South Carolina--began as a Native American trading path, paralleling the Ashley River, and later served the colonists of the original Charles Town settlement. The Lords Proprietors authorized the road in 1690. The modern road consists of an approximately fifteen-mile portion of S.C. Highway 61. During the colonial era, numerous plantations lined the route. In 1721 a law was passed to protect the shade trees along its route—a forerunner of modern ordinances that protect trees and require buffers.

World War II Veterans A Vanishing Generation

Oct 25, 2017
Families say goodbye to USS Yorktown veterans.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

95 year old Bill Watkinson and 97 year-old Arthur Leach have been coming to the USS Yorktown Reunions just outside of Charleston for decades.  Both were fighter pilots aboard the ship during World War II. But each year, they find fewer of their own.

"It's interesting to see those of us who are still standing and those of us missing," said Watkinson.  "The missing list is getting pretty long.

Dylann Roof, on federal death row for gunning down nine people two years ago at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., wants his legal team dismissed because of the lawyers' ethnicity as he seeks to have his conviction and death sentence overturned.

"My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively," Roof wrote in a letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case."

Once Irma hit, Joseph Jones of had second thoughts about his decision to ride out the storm at home.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The blistering sun is back.   But Monday's swollen flood waters from Tropical Storm Irma are slowly seeping away,  leaving a once anxious Charleston community relieved, yet tender.

"When the wind got a little stronger, nothing compared to Hugo, but I started to think my son might be right.  I should have left," said 76 year-old Joseph Jones.  He lives two blocks from the intra-coastal waterway and rode out Hurricane Hugo in his small, ground level, one story home.  "But after a while, when the water started receding after Irma, I knew I made the right decision."  He says his home saw no real damage.  But mentally he feels raw.

Updates on Tropical Storm Irma, plus a live report from harbor side in Charleston by Victoria Hansen.

Now Tropical Storm Irma is going to cause widespread flooding in Charleston at high tide today.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg on the effect of the high tides on Irma's storm surge.

Flooded dunes on Sullivan's Island before Hurricane Irma hit the Carolina coast.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Tourists are attracted to Charleston not just for its history, but also for its beautiful ocean views and beach access. But the ocean’s rising levels also pose a major threat to coastal cities like Charleston, especially when they combine with large rain events like the hurricanes the city has weathered over past years. Since 2014, Charleston’s streets have been flooded consistently more often, from 11 days in 2014, to 38 days in 2015 and 50 days in 2016. 

The first historic home to be given city approval to elevate to meet flood requirements sits near Colonial Lake in downtown Charleston.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

Jack Margolies is somewhat of a pioneer in Charleston historic preservation circles. He is the first to get approval to elevate his 1859 two-story yellow home to meet flood requirements.

“Basically they’re going to jack it up," he said. "They’ll put rods underneath house and all the rods will be synchronized to go up certain height at same time.”

Margolies got the go ahead by the Board of Architectural Review– a body that ok’s any changes to historic homes. This is the second time he has tried to get approval to elevate his home. Margolies believes this year he had the right circumstances because much of his home was destroyed during a fire and the place required major construction. 

Under the approved elevation proposal he will be raising his home about two more feet which includes altering the red brick steps and iron banister that lead to his Charleston style southern facing piazza. But he’s is careful to explain that the entrance will look straight out of the 19th century.

“An expert could come by and could possibly notice the difference. But the average tourist walking by the average Charlestonian wouldn’t notice any difference.”

We Are Charleston

Dec 26, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

(Originally broadcast 08/19/16) - This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

StoryCorps: Christmas on Daufuskie Island

Nov 15, 2016
Dr. J. Herman Blake and Dr. Emily Moore, Charleston, 2012
StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. In 2012, the StoryCorps mobile booth came to Charleston. Here’s Dr. J. Herman Blake talking with his wife and co-researcher Dr. Emily Moore.

Edwin McCain and his band on stage at the Charleston Music Hall.
SCETV

In cooperation with South Carolina ETV, the Charleston Music Hall has been the scene of a growing series of televised concerts known as Live at the Charleston Music Hall. Co-produced and hosted by Mark Bryan, guitarist of South Carolina’s Hootie and the Blowfish, the series has provided four shows for ETV and South Carolina Public Radio.

Detail from "The Reserve in Summer." (Alice Ravenel Huger Smith)
Gibbes Museum

  The Middleton Place Foundation is helping to share the artistic legacy of Charleston Renaissance artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith with exhibits at the Middleton Place House Museum and the Edmondston-Alston House, a Smith exhibit from October 23, 2016, to June 17, 2017.

ETV's Smart Cat greets a young visitor at SC Public Radio Night at the Charleston Riverdogs baseball game.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The Charleston Riverdogs minor league baseball team recently hosted South Carolina Public Radio at a game against the Columbia Fireflies. SC Public Radio’s Kate McKinney threw out the first ball, and staffers Alexandra Olgin and Tut Underwood also were in attendance, as was Osei Chandler, host of SC Public Radio’s Roots Musik Karamu, which he calls the longest-running reggae music program on radio.

Garden...and Gun?

Aug 29, 2016
Garden and Gun logo
Garden and Gun magazine

    Yes, Garden & Gun--a magazine that covers “the best of the South,” including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. With a national audience of more than one million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence.

We Are Charleston

Aug 18, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

  This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

  "C" is for Charleston Riot (1919). This riot was the earliest major incident in a nationwide outbreak of racial violence that came to be known as the “Red Summer.” Race riots erupted in two dozen American communities between April and October. The trouble began on May 11th with rumors that a black man had shot a white sailor. White servicemen, accompanied by local whites, began destroying black businesses and attacking black passersby. Black Charlestonians defended themselves.

Sen. Clemente Pinckey
SC Senate

  On June 17, 2015 the state and the nation were shocked by the horrific shootings at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.  Nine people attending bible study at the church, including the church’s pastor State Sen. Clemente Pinckney of Jasper County were killed.  The death of Pinckney, a popular and respected member of the Senate, rocked the Statehouse, and set-off a chain of events that culminated three weeks later with the removal of the confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

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