I want to express my thanks to Councilman Gregg White on his efforts to encourage our police force’s proactive efforts to combat the growing opioid epidemic in our state. At the October 17 council meeting, Gregg asked Chief Seth Zeigler what his staff were doing to address this problem, and Chief reported that Captain Ray Craig had recently attended training that he would bring back to train the remaining officers on best practices. Once the officers complete training, they will be provided with Narcan™ which is an opiate antidote used to prevent overdoses. Gregg recommended the police meet with representatives at Chapin High School to identify ways to better inform students and their families about this growing issue of drug addiction.
Opioids include legal painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone which are prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain, as well as illegal drugs like heroin or fentanyl. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly 11.5 million Americans, age 12 and older, have misused prescription pain medicine in 2016. This is an issue we intend to tackle in our community so be on the lookout for more information in the weeks to come.
The Chapin CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) hosted local boy scouts for their annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) event which uses ham radio to connect scouts across the globe. Billed as the biggest scouting event of the year, JOTA is held annually on the third Saturday in October and doesn’t require extensive travel except to a local ham radio shack, which is located in Chapin at American Legion Post 193. The scouts were provided with a tour of the radio control center, learned about proper radio etiquette and spoke with ham radio operations in Ontario, Canada and Canyon Lake, Texas. I want to thank our local ham radio operators Carl Lundgren, Ken Minasian and John Zagata for taking time to provide this wonderful experience for our local scouts.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening celebration of another Chapin small business, Southern Grace Hair and Nail Salon at 200 Lexington Avenue. Owners Sherry and Rodney White were so excited to have everyone there for the ribbon cutting, and they have done a wonderful job decorating the store so it’s welcoming and fresh. Christina Smith is a stylist and also handles nail services, too. I wish them all the best in their new endeavor. And this week, we’ll have the pleasure of attending another ribbon-cutting at the Classy Cruet as Kaye and Greg Gerrald have opened their second location in Chapin on Columbia Avenue. The Chapin area merchants would like me to remind you of their annual Holiday Open House this weekend, November 2 through 5. Be sure to visit them as you start your holiday shopping.
I also attended an advanced course on ways to incentivize economic development in our community sponsored by the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). Efforts will be made to initiate and implement these incentives in the 2018 budget. I’m grateful to the MASC for the wealth of information they provide to our cities and towns.