Caroline Balchunas, ABC News 4

Caroline Balchunas

ABC News 4

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Past articles by Caroline:

City leaders confident in Covid protocols ahead of Bridge Run

Come Saturday morning, 25,000 runners will be making their way over the Ravenel Bridge for the 44th annual Cooper River Bridge Run. The race has been pushed back several times and is much smaller this year. The bridge run expo kicks off Thursday at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Officials say there are a lot of Covid protocols in place to ensure it’s not a super-spreader event. Caption:… → Read More

SC teen with COVID in hospital for three weeks, on ventilator

Pediatric cases are on the rise in South Carolina. As of Thursday, there were 36 children hospitalized with Covid-19 statewide, 16 in the ICU, six on ventilators and two on life support. Teenager Christian Davila is among those currently staying in the PICU. Davila has been at MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for three weeks. He’s only been awake for the last week-and-a-half of it, but… → Read More

City of Charleston considers mask ordinance for businesses, schools

The City of Charleston will consider another mask ordinance Tuesday night. City council planned a virtual meeting to tackle the issue and more than 60 people were signed up to speak during the public comment portion. The mask ordinance would apply to businesses, public and private schools. City council failed to pass an emergency mask ordinance for all public facilities last month, including… → Read More

Lowcountry firefighter walking 100 miles in two days for Travis Manion Foundation

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, a Lowcountry firefighter is paying tribute to first responders in a remarkable way—walking 100 miles over two days. Dave Moore, Captain of Dorchester County Fire and Rescue set out on the mission Thursday in full firefighter gear. It’s all in support of the Travis Manion Foundation and its 911 Heroes Run on Saturday. Moore… → Read More

Civic center planned to go up at former West Ashley Piggy Wiggly

A vacant lot in West Ashley may soon get a long overdue makeover. The West Ashley Revitalization Committee unveiled plans for the former Piggly Wiggly site on Wednesday. The property has sat vacant and empty for the last eight years. There’s now plans to build a civic center in the space with room for retail and restaurants. Caption: Civic center planned to go up at former West Ashley Piggy… → Read More

Gas station could be first to go up at Cooks Crossroads in Dorchester County

There are new concerns over the future of Cooks Crossroads. It’s a busy intersection of Highway 165 and Highway 61 in Dorchester County. Plans to develop that area have been years in the making. It still remains untouched but that could change soon. There’s now concerns a gas station will be the first thing to go up. Dorchester County council passed design plans back in 2018 with the hope of… → Read More

MUSC, Roper St. Francis Healthcare at full capacity

COVID-19 is surging at Lowcountry hospitals. On Wednesday, Roper St. Francis announced a record-high number of COVID patients, and the Medical University of South Carolina had zero ICU beds available. Both MUSC and Roper St. Francis Healthcare are at full capacity. There are currently 135 COVID patients hospitalized at MUSC. Twenty-six of those are in ICU. MUSC officials said they’re trying to… → Read More

MUSC finds Delta variant most dominant, scientists track its mutations

The Delta variant is now the dominant COVID strain going around in South Carolina. New data from the Medical University of South Carolina shows it’s already mutating. The Delta variant currently makes up about 92 percent of all COVID cases tested at MUSC. Now scientists say they’re finding a number of mutations. Caption: WCIV. MUSC’s sequencing team is analyzing the patterns. “The virus is… → Read More

Extremely high bacteria levels found in Charleston waterways

Charleston waterways are currently not safe for swimming. Water samples tested this week found extremely high bacteria levels. The Charleston Waterkeeper collected samples from 16 different sites this week. Executive Director Andrew Wunderley said 94-percent of those exceeded the state’s standard for safe swimming. “We actually saw bacterial levels there that were in the highest one-percent of… → Read More

DHEC relaunches dashboard tallying COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools

Ready or not, it’s back to school for the majority of South Carolina, and the state's health department is once again tracking reported COVID-19 cases in schools. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Wednesday it will be relaunching its K-12 COVID-19 school dashboard, which keeps a running tally of students and staff with COVID-19 at both public and private… → Read More

Lowes Foods opens West Ashley store, hires former BI-LO employees

Lowes Foods has a new address in West Ashley. The grocer held a grand opening on Thursday at its Bees Ferry Road location. The building was once home to a BI-LO grocery store. There’s a number of closed BI-LO buildings sitting empty around the Lowcountry, but Lowes kept this store open since taking it over last year. Caption: WCIV. ABC News 4 took a tour inside ahead of Thursday’s grand opening.… → Read More

NCPD, family bring renewed attention to unsolved murder case

An unsolved crime is getting some renewed attention. North Charleston Police are still working to find out who killed a 74 year old woman nearly six months ago. Mary Hayre was shot and killed in the Pinecrest Apartment complex on February 27. READ MORE:North Charleston family remembers loved one murdered over the weekend. NCPD investigators held a press conference Wednesday at the scene of the… → Read More

Petition to amend noise ordinance after Shem Creek business ticketed

Business is booming on Shem Creek and for some people, so is the noise. A petition is now going around after one restaurant was ticketed for loud music. Vickery’s Bar and Grill was ticketed July 26 for violating Mount Pleasant’s noise ordinance. “(It was) 5:30 p. m. and we had a one-man band playing. Within 15 to 20 minutes of him playing the police showed up, shut us down and gave us a $475… → Read More

SCDOT assessing damage after sinkhole forms in highway

Heavy rainfall created a mess in parts of the Lowcountry. In Colleton County, a portion of highway was washed out by the rain. Just south of Walterboro, a chunk of Hendersonville Highway collapsed, forming a massive sinkhole. Parts of the road stacked up in piles. The highway in that area is now blocked off in both directions, but a car drove into the hole around 9:30 a. m. Officials said a… → Read More

Berkeley County woman victim of domestic violence before homicide

A Berkeley County man accused of killing his wife was denied bond Friday morning. Salin Hernandez, 32, is charged with murder after his wife was found shot to death in Summerville on Tuesday. Maria De La Cruz Chavarria, 29, was found dead on Brighton Park Boulevard early Tuesday morning with six gunshot wounds. The arrest affidavit says a driver called 911 after finding her lying on the median… → Read More

Preservationists pushing for better protections for Charleston burial sites

An abandoned burial site is getting some renewed attention following a construction project. The home at 88 Smith Street is located on the site of two African American burial grounds. A stop-work order was issued for the property earlier this month after city officials learned the owner did not have permits for remodeling work. It was a relief for local archaeologists like Dr. Grant Gilmore, a… → Read More

Parking on Shem Creek becoming a growing issue

Business is booming on Shem Creek, and it’s bringing parking issues along with it. The town of Mount Pleasant’s planning commission met Wednesday evening to address the issues. They discussed growing parking demands, zoning requirements and the impact it’s having on neighborhoods. “It’s a mess, it’s a big mess,” said Skipper Kress, beverage manager and event planner for Red’s Ice House. “We’re… → Read More

Organization launching in honor of 14-year-old Ronjanae Smith

A mass shooting in May rattled the North Charleston community. More than a dozen people were injured when shots rang out at a neighborhood dance party. Ronjanae Smith, 14, was shot and killed in the crossfire. Shortly after the tragedy, Ronjanae’s father promised her death wouldn’t be forgotten. Just two months later, Ronald Smith is making good on that promise by launching a nonprofit… → Read More

New study finds pollutants lurking in Charleston waterways

Charleston waterways may be beautiful and pristine, but they're not always clean. A new study has uncovered a new concern lurking in the water. Pollutants were detected at more than a dozen sites around the Charleston Harbor — two types of pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are oils, gases and greases. → Read More

Cunningham unveils campaign platform in support of legalizing marijuana in S.C.

In his bid for South Carolina Governor, Joe Cunningham is now pushing a new platform. On Monday, the former Congressman said he wants to decriminalize marijuana and supports the legalization for both medicinal and recreational use. “This is about compassion, this is about care, it’s also about economic opportunity as well,” Cunningham said. → Read More