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After moving to St. Stephen in 2021, Dan Kredensor was looking for a coffee shop and ice cream shop and found there to be neither for over 18 miles.In January of 2022 he took matters into his own hands and began creating a business plan to share his love of coffee, ice cream and entrepreneurship with the people of St. Stephen. On June 23, Kredensor saw his plan come to fruition with the ribbon cutting ceremony of his new coffee and ice cream shop, Lowcountry Coffee Co.Known as “Uncle Johnny’s Store,” Kredensor...
After moving to St. Stephen in 2021, Dan Kredensor was looking for a coffee shop and ice cream shop and found there to be neither for over 18 miles.
In January of 2022 he took matters into his own hands and began creating a business plan to share his love of coffee, ice cream and entrepreneurship with the people of St. Stephen. On June 23, Kredensor saw his plan come to fruition with the ribbon cutting ceremony of his new coffee and ice cream shop, Lowcountry Coffee Co.
Known as “Uncle Johnny’s Store,” Kredensor’s Lowcountry Coffee Co. resides in the oldest surviving commercial building on Main St. in St. Stephen.
“Uncle Johnny’s store was quite active until his death in 1931,” said Kredensor. “His death along with the Depression started a chain of events where ownership changed hands many times. In my lifetime I recall it being a general store, a dress shop, a bank and an insurance company.”
Lowcountry Coffee Co. is just one of many businesses recently making a name for itself in St. Stephen. The town has seen the opening of many new businesses including a sandwich and burger joint called Freda’s, a local gun store called Lowcountry Munition, Old Town Feed and Supply and The Capital Grille and Seafood. St. Stephen will also soon see the opening of a traditional Trinidadian restaurant called Ma Gloria’s.
Along with the town’s new booming businesses, St. Stephen also holds the Catfish Festival in the Spring, the Community Festival in October and the Berkeley Showoffs Car Show in November. Additionally, the town holds a farmer’s market every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at Alice Park.
“St. Stephen is beginning to have a major turn around,” said Kredensor. “For me it all started in November of last year as I was able to meet with the town and propose a lease for the coffee shop and ice cream parlor. The goal after speaking with the mayor and some town council members was to create a space that could be the spark to begin to reinvigorate the St. Stephen Main Street Business District. We have also been working with Berkeley County Economic Development Office, the Berkeley County Supervisor’s Office, Santee-Cooper Economic Development Office, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Economic Development Office on ways that we can continue to attract and keep small businesses in St. Stephen.”
He said the goal for Lowcountry Coffee is to inspire more small businesses in a town that is ready for them.
“We know that growth is going to come slowly to St. Stephen,” he said. “We want to be a spot where you can come and bring the family, meet a business partner and get a great cup of coffee or a delicious scoop of ice cream.”
“[The most rewarding part of running LowCountry Coffee Co] is seeing people smiling after they have the first sip of coffee or the first taste of ice cream because coffee and ice cream do have an uncanny ability to put smiles on just about everyone,” Kredensor added. “Listening to the stories and history of all our amazing customers is a blessing. Also giving people a safe space to meet for coffee or ice cream, whether it be a date, a celebration or a business meeting is wonderful to see every hour.”
Hundreds of church steeples grace the Holy City’s landscape, some hidden in corners of historic neighborhoods, while others dominate the city’s skyline. Representing various denominations, most are adorned with a cross.However, there’s one cross that sits slightly askew — battered by a storm, but still standing.St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is in the midst of a $2.1 million capital campaign for building renovations an...
Hundreds of church steeples grace the Holy City’s landscape, some hidden in corners of historic neighborhoods, while others dominate the city’s skyline. Representing various denominations, most are adorned with a cross.
However, there’s one cross that sits slightly askew — battered by a storm, but still standing.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is in the midst of a $2.1 million capital campaign for building renovations and campus expansion. Part of the renovations include small projects, such as fixing windows and repainting. However, there’s one aspect that will not change: the crooked cross that sits atop the historic church building on Anson Street.
When Hurricane Hugo brought catastrophic destruction to the Lowcountry in September 1989, St. Stephen’s cross was spared. However, the strong winds tilted the cross slightly to the right. And that’s how the cross remained over the last three decades.
Straightening the cross wasn’t on the table when planning the renovations, said the Rev. Adam J. Shoemaker of St. Stephen’s, as the crooked cross has become a defining symbol of the church.
“We have used it to symbolize the way in which God and God’s love remains with us. Even amid the storms of life,” said Shoemaker, who became the church’s rector seven years ago.
Leaving the cross untouched has fared well over the years, but church leaders were concerned the next big storm might destroy the relic. The original crooked cross was taken down this year and replaced with one that is slanted at the exact same angle.
Herbert L. Drayton III, 59, who has attended the church his whole life, said the cross serves as a reminder of what the city endured.
“It marks an inflection point in the church and in the community with Hugo, so it became part of our character,” said Drayton, who serves as the campaign manager for the church’s capital campaign.
Drayton added that St. Stephen’s has gone through various “inflection points” in its 200-year history. When Drayton first started attending the church as a child with his parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, St. Stephen’s was a Black Episcopal church. The church integrated in the 1980s after nearly 40 years as a Black church, and Drayton said that inclusivity extended to the LGBTQ community, too. Shoemaker estimates that now 35 percent of the church congregation identifies with the LGBTQ community.
“Each time that we’ve hit one of those inflection points, we’ve figured out a way to make the church more inclusive to those in the community,” said Drayton. He noted that as the Ansonborough area gentrified, many Black congregation members moved to different neighborhoods and churches. Now, the church congregation is about 10 percent Black, said Shoemaker.
Following the church’s mission to be a “house of prayer for all people,” quoted from Isaiah 56:7, the capital campaign seeks to fund several initiatives: improve accessibility, accommodate congregation growth and increase outreach efforts to college students in partnership with St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on King Street. The church plans to update and expand buildings on the campus to create more fellowship and ministry space for the congregation that’s grown from 150 to 450 people over the last 30 years.
Church leaders want to make sure the campus grounds are easily accessible for people with mobility issues, so adding exterior ramps and ADA compliant facilities is part of the capital campaign plan.
Inclusivity was the cornerstone of the church’s foundation when three women started the church in 1822. St. Stephen’s was the first church in South Carolina considered a “free church,” which meant there was no pew rental fee that was customary during the time. This removed any economic barriers to worshipping, said Shoemaker. The church welcomed single pregnant women, according to the original charter, which was not conventional at the time either.
This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps i...
This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.
This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps in a large-scale revitalization initiative to improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Specifically, the grant will allow the Town of St. Stephen, Berkeley County Economic Development, and the EPA to work together to determine brownfield sites in the St. Stephen area that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.
Brownfield sites are properties that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum, or other contaminants that pose a barrier to productive reuse. Such sites are often are in struggling neighborhoods and areas with blight, deteriorated infrastructure, or other challenges. A brownfield site may include public or private properties, green spaces, or parks in need of preservation. The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit information HERE if they own a property or know of a property in the St. Stephen area that could be considered for an assessment as a brownfield site. Landowners may be asked to participate in an assessment by providing information on the site’s history.
This EPA program also provides funding for these assessments—which are critical for determining real estate values—and will help identify and/or alleviate any potential environmental concerns at a site.
This revitalization initiative, which will be conducted in multiple phases, will include community input and engagement throughout the entirety of the process. For more information on the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Program, go HERE.
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-
Berkeley County opened an application period from February 17 to March 17 for interested organizations to apply for funding. In partnership with Civitas LLC, the County established a CDBG Advisory Committee to review applicants and determine eligible groups before making a recommendation to Council. The money stems from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will provide Berkeley County communities with resources to address unique community development needs. Funding has been awarded to the following local organizations for costs associated with public facilities and demolition:
*The approximately $1.28 million approved also includes $256,910 for administration and CDBG Program-related costs.
Through the CDBG program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved $1,284,550 for Berkeley County to use to address community development needs. The County is also set to receive $552,117 in HOME funding from HUD for Program Year (PY) 2023, which begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024. The above requests will be funded beginning July 1.
The CDBG Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
“We are excited to award this funding to help better serve a diverse set of support services throughout the County. Special thanks to the CDBG Advisory Committee and to each applicant for playing an important role in helping to meet the needs of our community.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb
ST. STEPHEN, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County says a new grant aims to possibly start redeveloping parts of St. Stephen, a rural town about 15 miles north of Moncks Corner.Berkeley County Council voted to accept a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.“It could be something like asbestos or lead-based paint, something in the soil,” Economic Development Director Kristen Lanier said. “Something that might be a risk for redevelopment, so this grant is going to allow...
ST. STEPHEN, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County says a new grant aims to possibly start redeveloping parts of St. Stephen, a rural town about 15 miles north of Moncks Corner.
Berkeley County Council voted to accept a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.
“It could be something like asbestos or lead-based paint, something in the soil,” Economic Development Director Kristen Lanier said. “Something that might be a risk for redevelopment, so this grant is going to allow us to do an assessment to identify any potential risks for redevelopment.”
The grant targets two primary sites, the old St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and an 85-acre area that used to be a lumber mill just off Highway 52, which closed around 1970. Up to 15 sites around the area could be looked at for revitalization as part of the grant.
“All I want is for something good to happen in St. Stephen, you know, because it seems like everything that comes to St. Stephen stays for a little while, and then, it’s gone,” St. Stephen resident Ann Judge said.
St. Stephen Mayor John Rivers said the grant will allow the town to start redeveloping and bring economic growth to the area. The county said the town could turn the old high school into a community center while the old lumber mill would be repurposed for some type of industrial use.
“The goal there, again with community input, would be that we start putting together a plan of revitalization for both those sites and others,” Lanier said.
Lanier also said they want to see if there is anything in these sites that might prevent that development.
However, some said they do not want to repurpose the old high school and keep it the way it is.
“My children came to school here too, so and I can remember all of my old high school teachers. I love it,” St. Stephen resident Julie Jenkins said.
The county said the money will be available starting Oct. 1 and will go on for the next four years. They also said the grant is the first step in a long-term process.
“This is that motion,” Lanier said. “This is that start of something, so we’re excited to see some movement in that area and to see what we can do and how we can leverage this.”
County officials said after those four years, they will have a plan developed for the sites.
The county will hold public meetings as part of the grant, but they have not announced when the meetings will be held.
Below is the full statement from St. Stephen Mayor John Rivers:
The town of St. Stephen is grateful that the EPA selected us to receive one of the 2022 Brownfield Program Grants for $500,000. We were the only municipality in Berkeley County to receive this. In countless other communities around the United States the EPA’s Brownfield program has had a proven track record of leveraging private sector investment, creating jobs and protecting the environment. St. Stephen will use this Brownfield Grant to spur our town with redevelopment and cleanup projects and bring sustained economic growth. We are thankful for the support of the Berkeley County Economic Development Office and their ability to work with myself, town council, and the town’s administration to write the grant proposal. We are ready to collaborate with the various committees that will be comprised of St. Stephen residents and business owners to help us continue to grow and revitalize our town. Receiving this prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for the Town of St. Stephen and I give credit to all involved in the initiative. We have been waiting for the results of the EPA Brownfield Grant Application for quite some time. “It has been well worth the wait.” This is the first of many blessings in store for our great town.
For more information about the Brownfields Assessment Grant, click here.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
The court was hearing DU’s appeal against a high court order that permitted St Stephen’s College to give 15% weightage for filling seats under Christian quotaThe Delhi University (DU) on Friday told the Supreme Court that the seats for which the St Stephen’s College holds interviews are “virtually becoming payment seats”, attracting sharp rebuttal from the prestigious minority institution that said the contention was wrong and the university should not make such statements.The court was hearing D...
The Delhi University (DU) on Friday told the Supreme Court that the seats for which the St Stephen’s College holds interviews are “virtually becoming payment seats”, attracting sharp rebuttal from the prestigious minority institution that said the contention was wrong and the university should not make such statements.
The court was hearing DU’s appeal against an order passed by the Delhi high court on July 21, permitting the college to give 15% weightage for filling seats under the Christian students quota for the academic year 2023-24. The court directed the college to consider the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores only while admitting students on the unreserved seats.
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Solicitor general Tushar Mehta appeared for the university and said, “I hope the college is not holding any interview. This 15% for interview is virtually becoming payment seats. This court knows about this practice.”
Mehta said that while there is no objection to the college reserving 50% seats for minorities, the seats should be filled up entirely on basis of merit decided by CUET scores. “Interview brings subjectivity. Even if I have more than 90% marks, someone with less marks gets admission,” he added.
Senior advocate A Mariarputham, appearing for the college, along with advocate Romy Chacko, objected to Mehta’s statement. “This is false. Such wrong statements need not be made. He is an officer of the court. He may argue on merits but not make such statements,” he said.
The solicitor general countered: “This is not a statement but my argument on merits.”
The college argued that in any case admissions for this year have ended on August 16, and interviews were conducted.
“This petition is infructuous as admissions closed on August 16, and classes for the new academic session have begun,” the senior counsel said.
The UGC, too, filed an appeal against the high court order and requested the court to take up both the appeals on Monday.
The bench of justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha agreed to the request and asked the two sides not to get “worked up” and reserve arguments for Monday.
The college approached the Delhi high court, challenging a December 8 order passed by the DU executive council that even for 50% minority quota seats, admissions should solely be done on the basis of CUET scores. The council said and no interview will be permitted. Following the council’s order, DU issued a notification on December 30. The college challenged both the order and the notification, saying they were unconstitutional.
In its interim order on July 21, the high court allowed the college to have 15% marks reserved for interview for minority candidates while general candidates had to be admitted on the basis of CUET scores.
The college claimed that over the years, it has been making admissions to undergraduate courses by earmarking 15% weightage for personal interaction or interview. Last year, with the introduction of CUET, the college had to admit students to its general category seats solely on CUET scores as the top court had in October 2022 refused to stay the HC order.
The college’s appeal which is still pending on this issue in the top court relied on the rights of minorities available under the Constitution to run and administer institutions.
Last year, too, when the controversy over CUET being applicable to minority quota seats arose, the high court on September 9, 2022 permitted St Stephen’s to proceed with its interview for Christian candidates.
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