Despite what we in the media tell you, there is more to the Charleston area than crime, illiteracy, natural disasters, and political corruption. Without any further ado or cynical remarks, here is a roundup of the good news in our part of the world this week:
• U.S. News & World Report, one of the definitive sources of information for college-bound high school students, declared The Citadel the No. 5 regional university in the South. Among public regional colleges and universities in the South, it ranked No. 1, beating out the College of Charleston (No. 4) and Winthrop University (No. 7).
• The Heinz Family Foundation, which recognizes people whose work benefits the environment, announced a $100,000 Heinz Award for MUSC professor and researcher Dr. Louis J. Guillette Jr. Guillette, a biologist and endocrinologist, is known around the world for his research on the impact of toxic chemicals on the reproductive systems of alligators and other animals. His research also raises questions about a link between environmental contaminants and human reproductive health.
• Charleston was one of 10 finalists in the October issue of Outside magazine's "Best Town Ever" feature. According to a press release, the magazine was looking for "dream cities that offered a balance of great culture, perfect scenery, stress-free and reasonable cost of living, and, of course, easy access to the outdoors." Chattanooga, Tenn., claimed the top position; other finalists included Portland, Ore., Boulder, Colo., and Burlington, Vt.
• Aerospace company TIGHITCO (pronounced "T-I-G Hitco") announced it will build a $30 to $40 million manufacturing facility in North Charleston's Palmetto Commerce Park, creating an expected 350 jobs. The initial 120,000-square-foot phase of construction is planned to be finished in fall 2012. TIGHITCO, a subsidiary of the Park Circle-based InterTech Group, makes products that can be found on most aircraft built in North America. InterTech CEO Anita Zucker is a well-known philanthropist and owner of the South Carolina Stingrays.
• On Wednesday, Summerville Town Council unanimously agreed to allow open beer and wine containers during special events downtown. Party on, 'Ville residents.