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Latest News in Ravenel, SC

Silent walk over Ravenel Bridge honors heroes, victims of September 11, 2001 terror attacks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Police, firefighters and community members gathered Monday morning for a walk on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in a show of support for the first responders and heroes of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.The 10th Annual 9-11 Silent Walk began in Charleston and came to an end at the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Police, firefighters and community members gathered Monday morning for a walk on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in a show of support for the first responders and heroes of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The 10th Annual 9-11 Silent Walk began in Charleston and came to an end at the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.

No words were exchanged and only the sound of cars passing by could be heard as people from all over the Lowcountry and beyond participated in the silent walk across the Ravenel Bridge during the morning hours.

Tian Griffieth, who serves as executive director and captain of the North Charleston Fire Department, said this decade-old ceremony started with a text message that was sent 10 years ago.

“This has been something that we started out as five friends … a text message saying hey, let’s go something on 9-11. We came out, we walked that day the entire Ravenel Bridge and that day set off a chain of events that have allowed us to be here for the last decade,” he said.

Now, thousands have joined the walk with support from across the spectrum – from kids who were born after September 11, 2001, to those who were there in person when the attacks happened 22 years ago.

“We immediately saw the smoke, and there was a solid stream of people that were running out of the area. We got to the base just before the collapse and we started taking care of people,” recalled 9/11 first responder Johan Zamoscianyk.

“We had seen the first plane hit the towers. We went from Queens, and by the time we got into Manhattan the second plane had hit and the first tower came down,” said Retired NYPD Detective Michael Rooney.

The moment of silence and process of first responders across the Ravenel — a symbol to serve as a reminder for everyone to see.

“We put 343 firefighters on this bridge every year, police officers, members of the community, walking as a symbol of those people that were lost,” said Capt. Griffieth.

After reaching the end of the Ravenel Bridge, participants gathered on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown where organizers held additional events commemorating 9/11 and the first responders.

“It’s a surreal event. Seeing everybody walking across the bridge is reminiscent of people walking up the westside highway,” said Zamoscianyk.

Event organizers say since the inaugural walk in 2013, over 6,000 people have walked the Ravenel Bridge to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

What drives you crazy? The “dangerous” intersection of SC 165 and Highway 17 in Ravenel

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCBD) – Traffic patterns, potholes, speeding, and more – our team is working to find solutions to problems that are driving you crazy on the roads.Over the past few weeks, News 2 has heard from many of you about problems on the roadways – but one issue had stood out more than the others: the intersection of SC-165 and Highway 17.Nearly a dozen people who reached out about the intersection in Ravenel called it extremely dangerous. We met with many of those viewers to learn more.Jack Scarbo...

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCBD) – Traffic patterns, potholes, speeding, and more – our team is working to find solutions to problems that are driving you crazy on the roads.

Over the past few weeks, News 2 has heard from many of you about problems on the roadways – but one issue had stood out more than the others: the intersection of SC-165 and Highway 17.

Nearly a dozen people who reached out about the intersection in Ravenel called it extremely dangerous. We met with many of those viewers to learn more.

Jack Scarborough said large vehicles, like tractor-trailers, approach the intersection at a high rate of speed, often running the red light and causing accidents that are sometimes deadly.

“When you hear that fire engine, with the siren going, and you can tell that it’s stopping at that intersection, you’re like ‘oh geez, there’s another accident,’ and ‘God, I just hope no one is seriously injured or dead,’” said Scarborough.

Another Ravenel resident, Joan Van Scyoc, said this intersection has worried her family for over a decade.

She said it’s hard to see oncoming traffic when you’re turning north and that the speed limit should be reduced ahead of the signal.

“It’s death-defying, sometimes, to make this turn. Especially now that traffic is increasing quite a bit in the area, and they’re going at a high rate of speed,” said Scyoc.

Both Jack and Joan say having a left turn arrow – turning north onto 165 from 17 – would solve most of the problems.

We took their concerns to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), and now we’re letting you know that a solution may soon become a reality.

Kelly Moore, Director of Public Engagement for SCDOT said a project is underway that will add a left turn arrow to the northbound 17 left turn at the intersection.

The project is expected to go out for bid this month, and once a contract is awarded, SCDOT will have more information regarding the timeline and cost.

Count on News 2 to keep you updated on the project.

If you have something that drives you crazy on the roads, we want to know about it. Simply email [email protected] or fill out the online form by clicking here.

Town of Ravenel looks to annex 4th tract in 2 years for new residential development

RAVENEL — This small town of 2,700 people southwest of Charleston could double in population within 10 years to the current size of neighboring Hollywood as more than 1,100 new homes are built in two previously annexed large tracts and another one vote away from being added.At the same time, of...

RAVENEL — This small town of 2,700 people southwest of Charleston could double in population within 10 years to the current size of neighboring Hollywood as more than 1,100 new homes are built in two previously annexed large tracts and another one vote away from being added.

At the same time, officials are considering annexing another parcel for more new residences, its fourth tract in two years.

Ravenel’s planning board will consider a request March 23 to annex 20 acres on New Road adjacent to a 24-acre parcel already in the town for a new housing development called The Stables on the combined 44-acre tract.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton plans to build 52 single-family houses on 19 acres, according to site plans. The company also wants to set aside just over 1 acre for commercial space, about 8 acres for a water feature and 16 acres for green space. Part of the property is undevelopable wetlands.

The development, south of U.S. Highway 17 at 5823 and 5827 New Road, would have public water but be served by septic systems.

The pending annexation comes as the town considers a proposal to annex 755 acres on Davison and County Line roads for a new housing project called The Preserve. Augusta-based developer Southeastern wants to build 350 homes and set aside 25 acres for commercial space across from the firm’s Poplar Grove development.

Historically, dramatic interest rate hikes hit the residential housing market in 2023 like the Tasmanian Devil, upsetting both supply and demand and contributing to sagging month-over-month home sales all year. Yet here’s a couple of cheery facts that should allow interest rates to sleep better at night:

Today’s Fed Fund rate of 5.5% is a half-point lower than the average of the past half-century. Sure, that includes the inflation-strangling rates of the 1980s, but it also includes the free-money giveaways of the last couple of years.

Likewise, the average mortgage rate since 1973 has been a half-point higher than today’s, just under 7%. And with the Fed’s recent announcement of rollbacks in 2024, it’s time to quit blaming the payment schedule for slow sales, dropping commissions and your cousin’s gout.

Indeed, the runup in interest rates narrowed the already thin range of affordability in the Charleston real estate market in 2023 and renewed the shine on renting for potential buyers and on sitting tight for potential sellers because, as Albert Einstein demonstrated, everything is relative, including mortgage rates, and compared to the beauty pageant rates of the past few years, average is ugly.

What Lies Ahead for Charleston Real Estate?

With stagnant sales and moderated price hikes in the rearview mirror, what do the experts foresee for 2024 and beyond? The good news is that they foresee good news – for buyers and sellers. Somewhat lower rates, somewhat higher prices, somewhat better sales, and significant gains in the long-term for homeowners whenever they catch the homeownership bus.

Now you’re asking, why are lower rates and higher prices good news for buyers? Don’t they cancel each other out? Good question; thanks for asking. Lower rates may lure existing homeowners back into the market to trade up or down. In addition, a one percentage point drop in the mortgage interest rate is more impactful than a few percentage point hikes in home prices. As David Slade pointed out in his Sunday Dec. 17 Post and Courier column, a family prepared to pay $2,000/month for their mortgage can buy a $300,000 house today, but a $335,000 house if mortgage rates drop to 6%. That’s an 11% boost in buying power, about twice the increase expected in home prices in 2024.

If rates continue declining as expected – with the caveat that nothing is less certain than a prediction about the economy – adjustable rates and refinancing will reduce monthly payments even as home values rise. For today’s buyers, 3-2-1 buydowns and 3-year ARMs can be money-saving options as rates fall and drag payments down with them.

These predictions are based on ordinary supply and demand, as opposed to the bubble of the mid-2000s that eventually burst. The inventory of homes for sale recently crossed the 3,000 mark in the Charleston area, about half of what would be needed to slake demand. It remains a seller’s market going into the new year, though less so than two years ago. Developers can’t keep up with the influx to the area of 10,000 people annually, so that problem will persist. The National Association of Home Builders predicts challenges with securing land, skilled labor, and materials, which will prevent them from building enough residential units to meet nationwide demand at least through the decade, leading to a sellers’ market across the country for the foreseeable future.

Nowhere is that more certain than Charleston, with its ballooning population and water-hemmed land masses.

Interest Rates, Taxes and Insurance

For the coming year, the status of mortgage rates will be the primary determinant locally of a loosening market, says Drew Grossklaus, sales director and broker-in-charge for William Means Real Estate’s East Cooper office, and the president of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

“If the interest rate comes down, the supply-demand curve should be better, and we’ll see increased inventory. If we see 5% again on the interest rate, we could have a nice increase in sales next year,” he said. It would take a real softening in the economy for mortgage rates to get quite that low, and few economists are predicting it, but it’s something to dream about.

For luxury buyers, mortgage interest rates have not been a wild card because sales on Kiawah, Seabrook, and Sullivan’s often involve vacation homes and tend to be done in cash. Homeowner’s insurance can play a role, as older homes on slabs near the water, like much of the inventory on Seabrook, can carry insurance costs of $10,000 on a $1 million property, says Ryan Straup, sales executive and Realtor at Seabrook Island Real Estate.

While homeowner’s and flood insurance can be burdensome, they are a drop in the bucket in the second-home luxury market, where expensive houses attract big tax assessments. Straup had clients who were moving from Maryland and paying $25,000 in taxes on a $1 million home. On John’s Island, they could get a similar house for $500,000 and pay $1,855 if they lived there.

The luxury market is often a horse of a different color. Prices skyrocketed this year, with record-breaking amounts fetched for downtown and Mt. Pleasant properties, including the April sale of 100 Haddrell St. on Shem Creek for just under $15 million. Dozens of upscale properties sold for more than $4 million this year in areas like Sullivan’s Island, Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant’s Old Village and on the peninsula South of Broad. Whether that tide ebbs depends more on individual circumstances than larger market forces.

For the rest of the market, real estate professionals are awaiting spring, that time of rebirth when Cupid’s arrow strikes lovers’ hearts. But more importantly, it’s when houses begin going on the market in droves. Combined with some rate-cutting by the Federal Reserve, many agents expect that is when things will shake loose.

“I’m telling my clients to get ready. I believe more inventory is going to drop in ’24,” said James Badia, Realtor and broker associate at Pam Harrington Exclusives. For agents like him working on upscale developments on Kiawah and Seabrook, there is little new development to work with. Houses go up for sale because homeowners from out of the area who bought here to be near the beach, or their grandkids have either tired of the beach or aged out after 20 years and are ready to go elsewhere. Because second homes are not necessities, Badia’s clients might wait five years for the right fit.

Should You Wait to Buy or Jump in Now?

Ordinary buyers might also take stock before buying for some different reasons. They may wait for interest rates to fall for that big bump in affordability.

Another reason for potential property buyers to wait is politics. This is particularly true of investors, more than those buying their own homes. The coming year is a presidential election year, “which keeps some people sitting on the sidelines to wait and see which candidate wins so then they can make their real estate and other investment decisions accordingly,” said Leslie Turner, co-owner of Maison Real Estate.

One homebuying cohort that probably won’t wait to purchase is those seeking refuge from the country’s cold, high-tax, high-traffic parts. For them, the savings begin accruing the moment they come down to this region, which remains lower in cost than the big cities for now. A median-priced house in Boston and New York costs roughly $800,000, and in Los Angeles, it costs $1,150,000, nearly three times the median Charleston-area home. Add the impact of lower real estate taxes, and it’s easy to see why some states seem to be emptying into the Lowcountry.

Buying to Live More Than to Profit

Moreover, says Grossklaus, “Life doesn’t stop.” Families need to move for a variety of reasons – they’re growing, or the rent is doubling, or the building is being sold, or they’ve grown weary of the daily commute, or… whatever.

“If you really need a house and interest rates remain high, you can always refinance later,” said Badia. “If the perfect home comes for you now, don’t wait.” The primary two reasons to own a home are to establish family stability with roots in a community and to make payments for shelter to yourself instead of to a landlord, neither of which is affected by momentary market conditions.

Real estate experts advise buyers to get into the market when they can because whatever the macroeconomic conditions are, Charleston real estate will likely appreciate for the foreseeable future. Inflation, recessions, and ephemeral gyrations in the real estate market don’t change Charleston’s good weather, ample recreational activities, culture, history, and proximity to beaches and the ocean.

“It’s hard to find what Charleston has to offer, and those things are not changing,” said Grossklaus. But he admits that the region has some work to do to accommodate all the new residents and residences.

“It means addressing mass transit and being insightful and thoughtful about housing in Charleston,” he said. “Affordable housing needs to be addressed. We will have demand; the thing is to keep up that supply.”

Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel SLAMS ex Kathryn Dennis calling her the 'worst person' while saying her costars are 'total losers' for supporting her

Southern Charm alum Thomas Ravenel dragged his ex Kathryn Dennis after her former costars spoke out in support of her at BravoCon.'The worst person in the world I know is Kathryn Dennis and the total losers who make excuses and applaud her horrific behavior like Craig [Conover] and Shep [Rose] and Austen [Kroll]. Total Losers,' the 61-year-old politician - who rece...

Southern Charm alum Thomas Ravenel dragged his ex Kathryn Dennis after her former costars spoke out in support of her at BravoCon.

'The worst person in the world I know is Kathryn Dennis and the total losers who make excuses and applaud her horrific behavior like Craig [Conover] and Shep [Rose] and Austen [Kroll]. Total Losers,' the 61-year-old politician - who recently suffered a punctured lung in a polo accident - wrote in a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday, per Page Six.

After a fan asked Ravenel on X why he 'picked' Dennis to be the mother of two of his children -- the exes share eight-year-old daughter Kensington and six-year-old son St. Julien -- the former reality star replied, 'Damn good question! You got me there!'

When another X follower inquired online, 'So what has set off this tangent? What has KD done this time?', Ravenel answered, 'She was involved in a hit and run at an elementary school crossing. Anymore questions???'

In October, a vehicle registered in the 32-year-old's name was involved in an alleged hit-and-run at Whitesville Elementary School in her native South Carolina.

Critic: Southern Charm alum Thomas Ravenel dragged his ex Kathryn Dennis after her former costars spoke out in support of her at BravoCon

Harsh words: Ravenel said, 'The worst person in the world I know is Kathryn Dennis and the total losers who make excuses and applaud her horrific behavior like Craig [Conover] and Shep [Rose] and Austen [Kroll]. Total Losers'

Ravenel's social media slams came after Conover revealed at BravoCon over the weekend that the cast was 'in touch' with Dennis -- who departed the series after eight seasons in January.

'The door’s always open and I think she’s working on herself and has a lot of work that she has to do before she comes back,' Conover said on the panel.

Rose added, 'We’ve come a long way and you’ve all seen the bumps and bruises and all that stuff and unfortunately, Kathryn stumbles sometimes.

'We do love her because there’s a person right inside of her that we know is a good person.'

In May, it was reported Ravenel temporarily won custody of their two kids after a long custody dispute since their separation in 2016, per The Sun.

Thomas originally filed for sole custody in 2020, with Kathryn temporarily losing custody in 2021.

In 2021, after he was temporarily awarded full custody, his attorney said: 'I can confirm the information released last week that Ms. Dennis currently has weekend, daytime supervised visitation with the parties' minor children and that Mr. Ravenel plans to relocate with the children to Aiken, South Carolina this summer.'

The pair previously shared joint custody of their children, and the arrangement worked well for the exes, according to the Southern Charm star.

Still friends: Ravenel's social media slams came after Conover revealed at BravoCon over the weekend that the cast was 'in touch' with Dennis -- who departed the series after eight seasons in January; Conover and Rose at BravoCon 2023

Better days: Ravenel and Dennis first began dating in 2013 before splitting up for good in 2016

Departure: Dennis departed the series after eight seasons in January

'We actually have a great coparenting relationship,' she told Us Weekly in November 2019.

'It's good for him, it's good for me. We're moving forward, which is the first time I've said that in a long time and it feels good.'

The positive words struck a contrast to their otherwise ugly custody battle, with Thomas accusing Kathryn of being addicted to prescription medications and marijuana, among other allegations. Dennis denied the accusations.

Ravenel and Dennis first began dating in 2013 before splitting up for good in 2016.

What Happened to Thomas Ravenel from 'Southern Charm' — Updates on the Lawsuit

Thomas Ravenel was a beloved reality star and budding politician until he faced an accusation of sexual assault. He settled out of court.The Gist:Generational wealth in the American South opens gates to a whole new universe. In Bravo's Southern Charm, fans get a peek into the action and, for a time, ...

Thomas Ravenel was a beloved reality star and budding politician until he faced an accusation of sexual assault. He settled out of court.

The Gist:

Generational wealth in the American South opens gates to a whole new universe. In Bravo's Southern Charm, fans get a peek into the action and, for a time, Thomas Ravenel was a part of that.

He is an example of reality TV meeting politics. After all, he is the son of former Representative Arthur Ravenel Jr. Plus, he himself was Treasurer of South Carolina under Governor Mark Sanford. However, what has his life away from the show been like?

What happened to Thomas Ravenel?

While Southern Charm started in 2014, Thomas was booted in 2018. His nanny, Dawn Ledwell, accused him of sexual assault and filed a lawsuit against him in federal court.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Daily Mail, after Dawn was watching his children, Thomas came home and removed her clothes without consent. "When he returned home, he forcibly removed her clothes, forced her hand onto his penis and 'grabbed at her vagina,'" the Mail reported.

According to the Mail, "The affidavit claims he ordered her: 'Show me your p---y' and asked her: 'Do you like big d--ks?' as he shoved his penis in her face."

Thomas was arrested for second-degree assault and battery and was facing potentially three years in prison and a $2,500 fine. A bond was set for $20,000 and he was bailed out.

"I felt unprepared and exhausted, as the past five months have been emotionally and physically taxing," Dawn told People following Thomas's initial arrest. At the time, she also took issue with the low bond that was set on Thomas but admitted she had an order of protection in place for her safety, anyway.

As a result, Thomas left the show and dealt with the legal fallout of the accusation. Eventually, he settled the lawsuit, but never paid Dawn a dime. Instead, according to Heavy, he paid her legal fees and made a donation to a non-profit focused on aiding sexual assault survivors.

As part of the process, he did plead guilty to third-degree assault and battery. However, this was lesser than the initial second-degree charge he was arrested on, according to ABC4.

"I was offered the opportunity to appear at the hearing and give a victim’s impact statement. Although I was scared, I wanted to tell the judge and Thomas what I feel," she added. Dawn also accused Thomas of threatening to "take out" anyone who offered to aid her after the assault.

Are Thomas and Kathryn Dennis still together?

Absolutely not! The pair not only broke up long ago, but Thomas has vocally slammed Kathryn Dennis. “The worst person in the world I know is Kathryn Dennis and the total losers who make excuses and applaud her horrific behavior like Craig and Shep and Austen,” he posted in a since-deleted tweet. “Total losers.”

Naturally, fans asked what brought on this rage against his ex. “She was involved in a hit and run at an elementary school crossing. Any more questions???" he replied.

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