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News Briefs: State investigation turns federal, Cook Out, Golf Course

The investigation into whether or not sharks that were caught during a recent Edisto shark tournament are federally protected has turned into a national investigation.
According to S.C. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Kyndel McConchie, the once state investigation is now being led by officials out of the Charleston office with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The initial investigation began on June 10th when several pictures of the snagged sharks were posted on social media. This prompted the S.C. DNR to begin an investigation. “The investigation is to determine if what appears to be in the photos are dusky or sandbar sharks. These are protected by federal laws,” said McConchie. According to her, the laws are in place to protect the sharks because of their sensitive and limited migratory pattern.
If the investigation rules that these are the species that were caught and brought in to be weighed for the tourney, the anglers and/or captains are facing major fines.
According to McConchie, no tickets were originally issued to any fishermen or captains at the weigh-in docks during the local tourney. The S.C. DNR did have officers on boats in the water during the tourney: these officers completed several EAR reports that are given to the federal government to track what is being caught, she said. However, not every boat was checked by a state officer, she said.
“If this investigation results in anyone being fined, those person(s) are facing fines from $10,000 to $150,000, depending on the type of shark that may have been illegally captured,” she said.
The investigation will also determine who can actually be fined: either the captain or the actual fishermen can face the fees.

Edisto golf course sold
The Plantation Course on Edisto Island has been purchased by the owner of The Links at Stono Ferry, which is based out of Hollywood, S.C.
According to information filed with Colleton County, the public 206-acre Edisto Island golf course was recently sold to the Stono Ferry owner for about $900,000. The course is located next to the Wyndham Ocean Ridge, a resort on Edisto Island. It was previously sold in 2005.
Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby says the golf course sale means good things for the town. “Based on Mr. Barber’s excellent management of the Stone Golf Course, this will be an ideal situation,” she said.

Cook Out construction limbo
Officials with the City of Walterboro say there are no updates and no new news to give on the construction of a new Cook Out Restaurant, which was slated to begin construction in the city by January of this year. The chain fast-food restaurant confirmed in December 2016 that it was going to be build a new restaurant on Bells Highway, on a former storage lot located near the Wal-Mart Shopping Center. The permit process with the city was completed in late December. This newspaper has received several requests from our readers inquiring about when the restaurant will open: city officials say they have no new updates, and a spokeswoman with the Cook Out chain did not respond to requests by this newspaper for an update on construction. The Colletonian will keep you updated on this process.

Heather Walters (1304 Posts)