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AC Repair in Knightsville, SC

AC Repair Knightsville, SC

There's nothing quite like a South Carolina summer. On any given day, you can enjoy lazy days near the beaches in Knightsville, memorable outdoor activities with friends, and barbeque sessions that last well into the evening. While South Carolina is known for its beauty, outdoor temperatures begin to heat up in April and, by July, can reach over 100 degrees.

Having a reliable air conditioning system to keep your family cool and comfortable in the summer is a must. Unfortunately, AC systems often require repairs when you need them most. In these situations, you need AC repair in Knightsville, SC, as soon as possible. That's where Atlantis Heating & Air swoops in to save the day with efficient service, effective repairs, and outstanding customer service.

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The Atlantis Heating & Air Difference

When your A/C unit needs repairing, you're probably looking for a trustworthy company with highly-trained technicians, cost-conscious pricing, and unwavering commitment to you - the client.

As a family-operated AC repair company in South Carolina, Atlantis Heating & Air provides that and more. Our highest priority is to do what's best for our customers - no questions asked. By giving our clients honest evaluations, reasonable pricing, and access to AC repair experts, we gain customers for life. We find this approach to be much better than recommending unneeded repairs, charging outrageous prices, or constantly trying to sell you a product.

 Appliance Store Knightsville, SC

At the end of the day, our goal is to make it simple to live comfortably in your home, no matter the month. To achieve that goal, we provide a wide range of A/C repair services:

  • AC Refrigerant Leaks
  • Failed Blower Motor Repair
  • AC Capacitor Repair
  • Clogged Drain Line Repair
  • AC Compressor Repair
  • Evaporator Coil Repair
  • Condenser Coil Repair
  • Clogged or Dirty AC Filter Replacement
  • Much More

What are the Signs You Need AC Repair in Knightsville, SC?

While modern AC units are built to withstand outdoor conditions and years of everyday use, like most machines, repairs are needed eventually. According to a recent poll conducted by Consumer Affairs, air conditioning was reported as the second-most needed home repair in the U.S., just after plumbing systems.

To keep your AC system going strong and to minimize major repairs and HVAC replacements, keep an eye on the following signs.

AC Cycles

Never-Ending AC Cycles

Your AC unit's cooling cycles should come on at relatively routine times. Sure, you can expect your A/C to kick on more often during the hottest months of the year. But if you find that it's cycling on and off all the time, something is probably wrong. If you hear frequent cycles, contact Atlantis today so our team can diagnose your problem. Routine maintenance or a simple AC tune-up may be all you need.

Water Leakage

Water Leakage from AC Unit

When warm air blows over your unit's evaporator coil, it cools down and forms condensation, which you often see on the ground around your unit. This is normal. However, if your condensation drain line is damaged or broken, it can lead to serious water leaks that must be dealt with professionally.

Room Temperatures

Different Room Temperatures

To keep the temperatures in your home uniform, keep your vents open, unobstructed, and clean. Be forewarned, though - if the insulation in your home is poor or you have ductwork in disrepair, opening vents probably won't help much. If you find that to be the case, call Atlantis Heating & Air ASAP so we can get to the bottom of your temperature fluctuations.

Nasty Odors

Nasty Odors

If you smell unpleasant odors and think they are coming from your air conditioning unit, you need to fix the problem before it gets worse. Fortunately, a quick diagnostic test from a professional can tell if your air conditioning system requires a complete tune-up, replacement, and cleaning or if your cooling system needs a further technical overhaul. Ultraviolet (UV) lights can do wonders for killing microbial growth in air conditioning systems. Contact Atlantis Heating & Air to learn more about how our AC experts can eliminate gross odors with AC repair in Knightsville, SC.

Warm Air

Warm Air Instead of Cold

Have you ever been sitting in your living room during a hot South Carolina summer and noticed that your air return vents are pumping out hot air? You aren't alone - this is a common problem that Atlantis AC technicians have seen a thousand times. Despite our experience, we know that these instances can vary. Sometimes, an air filter chance is all you need to remediate the problem. In other circumstances, warm air blowing instead of cold can be a more complex issue. Our team of highly-trained technicians has the tools and repair strategies needed to diagnose and repair these problems, so a replacement isn't needed.

Freezes Over

AC Unit Freezes Over

Have you noticed that your AC unit's evaporator coil is freezing over during the summer months? This is most often caused by low refrigerant levels, a clogged filter, or poor airflow. Regardless of the cause, Atlantis Heating & Air has a cost-conscious solution to frozen evaporator coils.

phone-number843-761-0111

Atlantis Heating & Air Pro Tip

If your evaporator coils aren't clean, take some time to clean them. Your coils won't transfer heat correctly when covered with debris and dirt. Dirty coils can lead to all kinds of problems, from higher energy consumption to the system overheating and the compressor failing.

Are These AC Unit Noises Normal?

It doesn't have to be the Halloween season to hear scary sounds coming out of your home's AC unit. If your air conditioner seems like it's possessed, chances are it's trying to tell you it might need maintenance or repair. Keep your ears perked for these common noises that may mean you need AC repair in Knightsville, SC.

Hissing Noises

If you hear a hissing noise coming from your AC unit, it's probably not coming from a rattlesnake. Most likely, the hissing you're hearing is due to an AC leak. Though usually small, AC leaks can lead to many costly problems that ultimately shorten the lifespan of your HVAC unit. If left unchecked, a leak may lead to full AC replacement. Rather than going that route, contact Atlantis Heating & Air for an inspection. Our technicians will thoroughly examine your unit to spot the leak and make the necessary repairs, so you can carry on with your life.

Banging Noises

Banging noises coming from your AC unit can be disconcerting. If you hear banging noises, you're right to be worried - these sounds can mean a few things, but the typical culprit is a loose spring, screw, or bolt within your unit. In other, more unfortunate circumstances, these noises could mean you're dealing with a broken AC blower or motor. To find out what's going on, it's always best to work with a certified, licensed professional specializing in air conditioning repair.

Screeching Noises

A screeching or high-pitched squealing noise can be downright scary in the middle of the night. If you hear this noise in the summertime, though, chances are it's your AC unit telling you the fan belt is worn out or loose. Alternatively, this noise could mean you have a broken or malfunctioning motor.

What Do I Do If My AC Unit Won't Turn On?

When hot summer temperatures are in full swing in South Carolina, most residents turn to their air conditioners to cool down and relax. Could you imagine coming home from a hard day's work in the middle of July, only to find your house is hotter inside than it is outside? When your A/C unit doesn't turn on, it's not just a matter of sweaty inconvenience - it's a matter of health and safety. Without reliable cool air to keep your house comfortable, you could suffer from heat exhaustion or worse.

So, if your air conditioning unit won't turn on, what should you do? Consider these helpful troubleshooting tricks:

  • Ensure Your Thermostat is on Cool
  • Check Your Circuit Breaker Panel for Trips
  • Check Your System's Power Switches
  • See if Air Filter is Dirty or Clogged
  • Remove Any Dirt and Debris from Outside

Have you tried these tips and tricks with little or no success? It might be time to bring in the pros. contacting a trustworthy HVAC maintenance company like Atlantis for AC repair in Knightsville, SC, is often the quickest and most effective way to fix a malfunctioning air conditioner.

 Appliance Repair Store Knightsville, SC

Try These Tips to Save Money and Energy

Summers in South Carolina mean rising temperatures and, by proxy, higher electric bills. If you're like us, you don't want to pay any more than you have to. Fortunately, at Atlantis Heating & Air, we know a thing or two about saving energy. Try these easy tips and tricks to save money and energy this summer.

Protect Your AC Unit

While your HVAC unit is built to be outside, constant sun exposure shortens its lifespan and ability to function optimally. Consider installing an awning or planting a tree or bush near your unit to give it shade from the sun. Keep in mind, though, that trees and bushes shed leaves and other debris that can clog your unit. Be sure to select a bush or tree that doesn't shed much.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats give you complete control of your HVAC unit, even when you're not home. This allows you to set a schedule that accounts for your usage habits to reduce unnecessary AC power use. For example, if the whole family is away from home all day, your thermostat raises the temperature and only starts to lower it when people get home. You can save a lot of energy by not turning on the AC power when no one is in the house.

Think About Replacing Your Unit

At first glance, the cost of replacing an A/C system might seem incredibly expensive. However, if your hardware is older, the ROI you get on a new unit may happen quicker than you think.

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How Do I Know When It's Time to Replace My AC Unit?

Your HVAC system is one of the most expensive and important appliances in your house, so it's important to make sure it's running well. A poorly functioning HVAC system can drive up utility costs and cause you to spend money on repairs. While minor repairs are commonplace, it's wise to think about how often your unit needs repairs and how serious they seem. If AC repair in Knightsville, SC, has run its course, it may be time to replace your AC unit. Here are some of the most common signs that it's time to do so.

Your AC System Runs Longer and More Often

An old and exhausted system takes longer to reach the intended temperature because it has to work harder than a new system. After several years of use, coils and motors can no longer operate at full capacity. They often take longer to produce desired temperatures and may not be able to circulate air as efficiently or effectively. Occasionally, replacing individual parts may extend the system's life; however, if you notice difficulty reaching certain temperatures or an increase in running time, it may be time to replace the system entirely.

You're Paying for Frequent Repairs or Replacements

No matter the quality or how much you pay for your A/C unit, it's going to need maintenance and repairs from time to time. The parts that make up your HVAC system - coils, filters, motors, and fans - can be worn or damaged, which affects your AC system's efficiency. While this is natural for air conditioning systems, needing frequent repairs is a red flag. If repairs and replacements are becoming more frequent, it's often a sign that it would make more financial sense to replace the entire system.

Your AC Unit is Old

If your AC system is more than 10 years old, the technology is likely outdated and far less efficient than modern equipment. Also, after 10 years, most older equipment starts to lose efficiency and have performance issues. Even a well-maintained system wears out after a decade or more of ongoing use. If your system is just too old to perform like it used to, a newer, more efficient heating and cooling system makes sense to consider.

 Appliances Knightsville, SC

Atlantis Heating & Air Pro Tip

Regardless of the type or brand of cooling system you have in your home, proper maintenance is essential for operation and efficiency. Make sure each unit is cleaned regularly, worn parts are replaced, and your system is checked annually by a professional. This can greatly help save costs and extend the life of the system.

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Choose Atlantis Heating & Air for Unmatched AC Repair in Knightsville, SC

When you need a reliable AC repair company that offers high-quality service at a price you can afford, nobody is better suited to serve you than Atlantis Heating & Air. From simple A/C system checks to evaporator coil replacements and everything in between, your comfort and peace of mind is our bread and butter. No tricky fine print. No unnecessary services. Only exceptional A/C repair for your family. Contact our office today to learn more about our company or to schedule a quick and easy evaluation today.

phone-number843-761-0111

Latest News in Knightsville, SC

New Knightsville restaurant shows how Summerville area’s dining scene is changing

SUMMERVILLE — Tables begin to fill up just past noon at a restaurant 31 miles from downtown Charleston.Surrounded by chain eateries in a Publix-anchored strip mall, La Cuisine Du Chevalier — or La Chev, as most call it — has the buzz of an energetic lunch crowd ready for some midday human interaction.A trio of women attempt to corral four children while dunking grilled bread into large white bowls of bouillabaisse, brimming with mussels, shrimp and white fish, all steeping in saffron broth.Empty black s...

SUMMERVILLE — Tables begin to fill up just past noon at a restaurant 31 miles from downtown Charleston.

Surrounded by chain eateries in a Publix-anchored strip mall, La Cuisine Du Chevalier — or La Chev, as most call it — has the buzz of an energetic lunch crowd ready for some midday human interaction.

A trio of women attempt to corral four children while dunking grilled bread into large white bowls of bouillabaisse, brimming with mussels, shrimp and white fish, all steeping in saffron broth.

Empty black shells are pushed aside at another round mahogany table, where two friends catch up over mussels and glasses of iced tea.

A man sitting solo at a two-top finishes his meal and tells the server he will be back next week.

These are the sights and sounds of a restaurant that’s become a neighborhood lunchtime favorite less than a year after quietly opening in November 2022.

I would have never found La Chev without a tip from a colleague, but I’m glad I came. That satisfaction extends to residents of the Knightsville and Summerville area, who have thanked owner Jason Tucker for bringing his Southern take on French cuisine to them rather than downtown Charleston.

“A lot of people were confused about why I did it here,” said Tucker, a Summerville resident. “I saw the direction of where the homes are going.”

Tucker struck out on his own after cutting his professional teeth at restaurants in Charleston’s French Quarter. Inside the strip center space that previously housed a Ladles sandwich and soup shop, the Johnson & Wales University graduate is teaming up with La Chev’s chef de cuisine, Jonathan DuPriest, who grew up in Knightsville.

Whether it’s crab dip with grilled bread or seared scallops over French onion cheese risotto, DuPriest is consistently coming up with new daily specials that the restaurant posts on its Facebook page, which takes the place of an actual website.

La Chev boasts separate lunch and dinner menus, but there are several crossovers, including the shrimp and grits, crab croquettes and yellowfin tuna — a dish that stood out after two visits to the restaurant.

The lightly-seared tuna, served cold, rests on a steaming hot medley of chopped asparagus, corn, confit tomato and cubed bacon. A speckled cream sauce pulls the vegetables together, adding sweet smokiness to the fresh but mild fish.

“It doesn’t just play with your taste buds, it plays with the temperature sensitivities of your palate, as well,” Tucker said.

With a nice crust and firm pink center, the tuna hits all corners of my mouth, leaving soft, peppery spice behind. Though served as an appetizer, I enjoyed it as my full meal with an order of duck coq au vin dumplings — a fun riff on a French classic — on the side.

During dinner, the white tablecloths are brought out and topped with larger appetizers and mains that allow for some “Lowcountry liberties,” Tucker said.

For instance, crab croquettes are more petite crab cake than filled-and-fried roll, but the flawed descriptor doesn’t take away from each delicate bite. Paired with a light and bright diced cucumber salad, the patties’ crab-to-filler ratio favors the former.

A trio of cheese-adorned meatballs, floating in tomato ragù and served with small wedges of garlic bread, is another appetizer that satisfies without reinventing the wheel.

The same can often be said for the restaurant’s dinner entrees.

Roasted salmon, stuffed with crab and served atop crisp green beans, is one example of an expertly cooked daily special. On the side, Carolina Gold rice is bound with cheese to form a thick patty, bringing substance and salt to the Southern grains.

Steak, which appears to have been marinated and spent some time in the oven, makes up for a lack of crust with a juicy, tender texture — almost reminiscent of the roasted filet of beef my mother serves at Christmas.

Of the six dishes I sampled at La Chev, each one left me without complaints.

There isn’t much in the way of décor, more noticeable during a Monday night dinner service that saw just two occupied tables between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. This was a far cry from the crowded lunch service I witnessed weeks before, making me ponder if ownership might consider closing their doors on Monday, typically the slowest dining day of the week.

It also made me wonder if this type of restaurant — a place that skirts the line between neighborhood establishment and one worthy of a special night out — can work in this location.

I remain optimistic.

While it’s just four miles from the town’s top restaurants — Laura, Bexley and La Rustica, among others — it’s less crowded and closer to home for many Summerville restaurants.

And as those who have dined at La Chev have likely realized, there isn’t anything like it in Knightsville.

Filipino restaurants make up 1 percent of U.S. restaurants serving Asian food, according to a May analysis by Pew Research Center. In Charleston, however, more diners are becoming acclimated with dishes like pancit, adobo, kare kare and lumpia. Even Trader Joe’s in Mount Pleasant sells ube ice cream.

When in search of those tastes and more, check out these four Filipino restaurants in Charleston.

Formosa Chinese Restaurant

650 College Park Road Unit D, Ladson

Set in a Food Lion-anchored strip center off College Park Road, Formosa Chinese Restaurant is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Before Rustica Pega took over the space and started cooking her native Filipino cuisine, it was operated by Taiwanese owners using the same name.

The only reason Rustica kept the name, her husband Mac told me during a recent visit, was because it was too expensive to replace the sign.

True to its name, Formosa serves an assortment of dishes most would expect to find at a Chinese restaurant in the United States. There are steamed dumplings, fried wontons and crab Rangoon, alongside entrees like beef with snow peas and chicken lo mein. While I’m sure those plates are satisfying, I go to Formosa for the long list of dishes from the Philippines.

Pancit guisado, sisig, lechon kawali, pork adobo and tocino are among the Filipino dishes served at Formosa. Recently, I tried the kaldereta, a hearty Filipino stew.

The glistening brown stew features flavorful fork-tender beef, plump potatoes, green peppers and carrots. It was a warm day, but the stew still hit the spot, especially when scooped up with a spoonful of rice.

Kultura

73 Spring St., downtown Charleston

The mood is light and the plates are picturesque at Kultura, Nikko Cagalanan’s Filipino restaurant that opened July 14 at 73 Spring St. in downtown Charleston.

Housed in the space where Baguette Magic and WildFlour Pastry previously served, Kultura is an extension of Mansueta’s pop-up, named after the grandmother who taught Cagalanan how to cook. He owns the new restaurant with Baguette Magic co-owner Paula Kramer.

Born in Bacolod in the Philippines, Cagalanan immigrated to the United States in 2011. The nurse-turned-chef became a full-time cook in 2014, working in kitchens in Boston before moving to Charleston to work at The Daily and Zero Restaurant + Bar. In 2019, he launched Mansueta’s, hosting his first few events at Charles Towne Fermentory and Palmetto Brewing Co. before eventually landing a stall at the now-closed Charleston food hall, Workshop.

Cagalanan’s career has taken off since, though he has never operated out of a permanent brick-and-mortar location. Food & Wine placed Mansueta’s on its list of top Filipino places to eat in the U.S. in 2022, the same year Cagalanan took home a $10,000 prize on an episode of Food Network’s “Chopped.”

Kultura isn’t just a Filipino restaurant, it’s a Filipino restaurant in Charleston. Those who take a soothing spoonful of the restaurant’s arroz caldo, a Filipino rice porridge, might be reminded of grits. A bite of ribs comes with the crunch of another staple Southern ingredient, rice. Locally caught fish gets a pop of warm spice from a creamy tomato curry.

During the day, ube flan Danishes, guava “pop-tarts,” a pork adobo egg sandwich on brioche and more are served from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Those in search of lunch can order Cagalanan’s pancit, house-made egg noodles that are sautéed in a kalamansi sauce. On Sunday, they’re paired with lump crab and a soft-boiled egg.

Lumpia House

100B Central Ave, Goose Creek

Owned by a family who hails from the Philippines, Lumpia House first opened as a market without food service. The shelves are still lined with grated purple yams, cassava, ube porridge and other Filipino and Asian pantry items. Now, there is also a scratch-made kitchen, serving chicken and pork adobo, pancit, menudo, kare kare and more, all of which come with rice for $10.99. Diners can add lumpia for $3.39.

Entrees are placed in takeout containers, though customers can dine in at a few shaded picnic tables outside. Before walking out, I suggest snagging a package of Filipino rolls that Lumpia House sources from a bakery in Jacksonville, Florida. My selection’s exterior had the shade of pumpernickel, partially covering a bright purple center. Ube, a purple yam, gives these buttery rolls their color and nutty, earthy taste.

Mei Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar

7685 Northwoods Blvd. in North Charleston

Mei Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar serves pad Thai, pad see ew, chicken satay and coconut milk-based curries, all listed at the top of the menu. Below some sushi and more than 70 Thai appetizers and entrées sits Mei Thai’s Filipino menu.

Expect options like pancit, kare-kare, menudo and pinakbet, a vegetable stew that’s common in the Northern Philippines. Mei Thai also offers whole fried fish and other broth-based dishes like bulalo, a bone marrow soup with corn, potatoes and bok choy. Those dishes were added in 2018 when employee Lyn Jones took ownership and introduced a four-page menu featuring traditional dishes from her native Manila.

The restaurant at 7685 Northwoods Blvd. in North Charleston shares a parking lot with the Carolina Ice Palace.

Meet the owner of Summerville's only French-inspired restaurant

Jason Tucker reports that business is booming at the boîte known as La Cuisine du Chevalier, or La Chev, by the locals. The 40-seat restaurant, which translates to “the knight’s kitchen,” garnered rave reviews by online contributors when it opened in November at the former soup restaurant called Ladles in the Shoppes of Summerville.It only recently held a grand opening celebration.Tucker, who has lived in Summerville for the past 16 years, is no stranger to the restaurant business.“My backgr...

Jason Tucker reports that business is booming at the boîte known as La Cuisine du Chevalier, or La Chev, by the locals. The 40-seat restaurant, which translates to “the knight’s kitchen,” garnered rave reviews by online contributors when it opened in November at the former soup restaurant called Ladles in the Shoppes of Summerville.

It only recently held a grand opening celebration.

Tucker, who has lived in Summerville for the past 16 years, is no stranger to the restaurant business.

“My background is extremely diverse and it started back when I was 15-years’ old scooping ice cream in Central Pennsylvania,” he said.

Related content: Charleston rooftop bar, restaurant to renovate, rebrand

Over the years, Tucker has worked in numerous restaurants, from chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Cracker Barrel and the Hilton, to groups like Charleston Hospitality and more. After bartending his way through college in Virginia, the hard-working transplant accepted a management position from his employer, which took him to Summerville, where he has been ever since.

The father of two boys is also the operating partner at Wine & Tapas in Summerville and was buoyed by the popularity of the business. This inspired him to open a new restaurant, this time with a French flair.

“They call the area the French Quarter, but it lacked a French-themed restaurant, which never made sense to me, especially with the growth we are seeing in this area,” he said.

Tucker said that La Chev was designed to evoke the feeling of walking down the Champs-Élysées.

“It’s a cute café that’s quaint and all about the food and wine,” he said.

It doesn’t hurt that Tucker worked in the wine distribution business and is well-versed on what’s exceptional. He said that his goal is to bring people in by rivaling the quality that a customer would get in downtown Charleston.

“It’s all about the ingredients and there’s a lot of precision and thought that goes into each of our dishes,” he said, adding that chef de cuisine Jonathan DuPriest, who grew up in Knightsville, is Johnson and Wales-trained.

When it comes to dishes, Tucker said that the most popular lunch items that they serve are the French Dip and the shrimp and grits.

“A lot of people judge the quality of the restaurant by their shrimp and grits,” he said.

As for dinner, Tucker offers quite a few specials, ranging from steak dishes, to surf and turf, scallops, crabcakes, and salmon.

“Everyone says that it’s the best salmon served in the Atlantic Coastal area,” Tucker said.

For now, La Chev is taking reservations, except for the bar and outside area, so last-minute plans to dine can be accommodated if guests don’t mind sitting in either area.

Tucker also recently announced that they will be open on Sundays for brunch.

“We’re currently working on the menu which we will implement sometime around the end of July,” he said.

Kurry Seymour was a Ladles customer who was wowed by his first visit.

“This place brings a refreshing vibe to the Knightsville area and I am impressed by the décor, which was converted into a very fine, but very cozy dining experience,” he said.

Reviews like this are music to Tucker’s ears.

“I never thought I’d be in a situation where I’d be running two separate restaurants, but I love the feeling one gets when someone is happy with an experience. Making moments special is the best feeling in the world and having the opportunity to have someone really love what you’re doing, well, it doesn’t get any better than that,” he said, with a smile.

Stefanie Kalina-Metzger is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.

DD2 announces administrative teams for new elementary schools

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester District 2 School Board announced who will take the helm at the three new elementary schools next school year.Vernisa Bodison will be the principal for the new Alston-Bailey Elementary School. She is currently the principal at Windsor Hill.Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary School will be led by Laura Blanchard who is currently the principal at William Reeves Elementary.Dr. Wally Baird will take on the new Sand Hill Elementary School. He is at Knightsville Elementary right now....

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester District 2 School Board announced who will take the helm at the three new elementary schools next school year.

Vernisa Bodison will be the principal for the new Alston-Bailey Elementary School. She is currently the principal at Windsor Hill.

Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary School will be led by Laura Blanchard who is currently the principal at William Reeves Elementary.

Dr. Wally Baird will take on the new Sand Hill Elementary School. He is at Knightsville Elementary right now.

The old schools will see some familiar faces as their new principals as some assistant principals will be stepping up in those leadership roles.

A full list of administrative teams can be found below.

Dorchester School District Two has announced the administrative teams of the three new elementary schools opening in the fall of 2016, along with other elementary school administrative changes. The following administrators were named to take the helm at the three new elementary schools beginning with 2016-2017:

Alston-Bailey Elementary School

Vernisa Bodison—Principal, is currently principal at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary

Assistant Principal—to be announced

Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary School

Laura Blanchard—Principal, is currently principal at William M. Reeves, Jr. Elementary

Dan Farmer—Assistant Principal, is currently assistant principal at Fort Dorchester Elementary

Sand Hill Elementary School

Dr. Wally Baird—Principal, is currently principal at Knightsville Elementary

Annette Roper—Assistant Principal, is currently assistant principal at Knightsville Elementary

The following are additional administrative changes for elementary schools beginning with 2016-2017:

Knightsville Elementary School

Claire Sieber—Principal, is currently assistant principal at Knightsville Elementary

Carey Hodge—Assistant Principal (no change)

William M. Reeves, Jr. Elementary School

Natalie Hayes—Principal, is currently assistant principal at William M. Reeves, Jr. Elementary

Michelle Nicholson—Assistant Principal (no change)

Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School

Robert Neuner—Principal, is currently assistant principal at Gregg Middle

Katie Barker—Assistant Principal (no change)

Fort Dorchester Elementary School

Harolyn Hess—Principal (no change)

Gwyn Brock—Assistant Principal (no change)

Rachel Mahaffey—Assistant Principal, is currently assistant principal at Flowertown Elementary

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Rescued primates living longer, happier lives at Summerville sanctuary

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.In 1977, McGreal created the Inter...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.

The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.

In 1977, McGreal created the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) in Summerville as a gibbon sanctuary. The now 47-acre property remains nestled in a quiet area of the Lowcountry that is illuminated by the sounds of the primates singing to one another.

Meg McCue-Jones, the Compliance and Outreach Manager, explained that the land was a sod farm in the late 70s and started taking in the gibbons that needed help soon after.

One of the sanctuary’s residents, Gibby, is one of the oldest known living gibbons at over 60 years old.

Like most of the gibbons at the sanctuary, his life started off rough.

McCue-Jones said that Gibby was wild caught, and “with every gibbon wild caught, they shoot mom out of the tree, hoping baby falls, and then they take the baby.”

He was first sold into the pet trade in by a Bangkok dealer, but that was just the beginning. Gibby went to labs at Hofstra University and the State University at Stony Brook.

Researchers embedded electrodes in his skin as part of a locomotion project.

The electrodes and thin wires were inserted into his muscles and connected him to a suit that would measure his muscle movements. McCue-Jones explained that this was obviously not an ideal situation on any aspect, whether it be a human or animal.

At 44, Gibby made it to his first sanctuary, but the conditions were hard on his body. In March of 2007, just four years after his arrival, the IPPL reached out to the sanctuary to relocate not only Gibby, but several other gibbons.

For Gibby, like the other 29 at the sanctuary, Summerville is his last stop. McCue-Jones says that the sanctuary is their forever home.

But with the pandemic, their home has become more difficult to manage.

With fear of COVID-19 spreading to the primates, volunteers were no longer allowed to assist with the many daily tasks necessary to keep the place running.

From hosing the outsides of the enclosures, to raking, food prep, and even assistance inside the office—the staff was left with mounting responsibilities.

The economic impacts of the pandemic left donors and community partners reeling financially, but the bills at the sanctuary remained steady.

As a non-federally funded organization, the IPPL relies heavily on donations to meet the needs of the animals.

Stacy Lambert, a Senior Animal Care Giver, said that since a lot of their population has started to reach geriatric ages, their vet bills are getting bigger as they are having more interventions and medications, different procedures, and checkup appointments with Dr. John Ohlandt.

While expensive, their system of care has proven to work.

Lambert says that in the wild, gibbons usually live about 30-35 years. However, in captivity, gibbons living into their 40s is normal. However, the IPPL has quite a few gibbons that are up in their 40s and 50s while, of course, Gibby is 62.

Although the interventions from the IPPL show the ability of the sanctuary, McCue-Jones said all those at the IPPL ultimately wish there was not a need for them at all, and that the gibbons could live freely in the wild.

McCue-Jones said, “as Shirley has spoken of before, if you really think about it, do humans need sanctuaries, should we have them? Should we be treating the animals this way?”

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Former accused educator sues DD2

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) A former Dorchester District 2 school administrator has filed a lawsuit against the school district.Three years ago, assistant principal Mary Rita Watson was charged, along with three other employees at Knightsville Elementary School, for failing to report child abuse.The case and all charges were dismissed over a year ago, but attorney Michael O'Connell calls his client, Mary Rita Watson, "radioactive.""She has applied for jobs at the school district, she didn't get them, and they...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) A former Dorchester District 2 school administrator has filed a lawsuit against the school district.

Three years ago, assistant principal Mary Rita Watson was charged, along with three other employees at Knightsville Elementary School, for failing to report child abuse.

The case and all charges were dismissed over a year ago, but attorney Michael O'Connell calls his client, Mary Rita Watson, "radioactive."

"She has applied for jobs at the school district, she didn't get them, and they didn't tell her why and she was qualified for them," said Michael O'Connell. "I think she is radioactive as far as they are concerned. Everybody is afraid of hiring her."

Even though all charges were dismissed alleging that Watson and three other employees failed to report child abuse back in 2009, it's a case that still haunts her.

"First of all, what was reported to my client wasn't child abuse under the stature. Secondly, she reasonably concluded it didn't happen, and third, she told her supervisor which is what she should have done," O'Connell said. "She was not only not guilty, she was innocent."

Three years later, Watson is now suing Dorchester County School District 2 for reinstatement, back pay, and special damages. O'Connell said the bottom line is Watson just wants to get back to doing what she loves to do.

"No one is going to give her a job in administration which is what she was trained for," O'Connell said. "Right now it's not possible. She's been turned down at jobs in Dorchester 2 and other school districts, so she's stuck."

"I wouldn't call her bitter. I would be bitter, but she's not. She's one of the most even tempered people I've ever run into. She's sad, but not bitter."

A spokesperson for the Dorchester County School District said the district won't comment on pending litigation, and has no plans for a statement on the case in the near future.

"She didn't do anything wrong. Can you imagine anything more unjust in actually not doing anything wrong and suffering the same consequences as other people charged with crimes."

O'Connell said it could take years for a trial against the school district to take place.

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