Post Tagged with: "Bennie Swans"

Bucksport Marina Issue Moving to Resolution

September 28, 2017 4:54 AM
Bucksport Marina Issue Moving to Resolution

The Bucksport Marina issue arising from a racial incident over Memorial Day Weekend that resulted in personal injury, racial epithets and serious concern from community members appears about to be moving toward resolution.

A quick review of the incident:

On May 28, 2017, Curtis Hendrix was working for the “Waccamaw Getaway Music Festival” hosted by the restaurant on the Bucksport Marina property. One of his duties was to shuttle visitors to the festival to their cars or campsite at the RV resort on the marina property.

While performing those duties, a cart in which Hendrix was riding was forced off the road and into a ditch by Jeffrey Weeks. Weeks was operating the marina and RV resort under a sub-lease with E.D. LLC, the lessee of the marina, resort and restaurant property. E.D. LLC was leasing the property from Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority.

After forcing the cart off the road, Weeks stopped his vehicle and began yelling at the occupants of the cart, using racial epithets such as “f—–g niggers”, according to the police report of the incident.

According to several sources familiar with various talks and negotiations among involved and interested parties over the last several weeks, neither E.D. LLC owner Ed Waters nor Weeks will be returning to the marina property.

According to those sources, the final details of a termination agreement between GSWSA and E.D. LLC are in the works and new operators will be taking over the marina and RV resort businesses.

Removing both from any association with GSWSA is the only proper solution to the act perpetrated by Weeks over Memorial Day Weekend.

However, it took approximately four months between the incident and the final termination. When I first spoke to Fred Richardson, CEO of GSWSA, about the incident, it seemed he wanted to do the right thing, but attorneys advising GSWSA were urging a wait and see approach because Weeks was only charged with a crime, not convicted. Additionally, there were some contractual considerations with the lease between Waters and GSWSA.

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More on GSWSA Incident

September 19, 2017 7:11 AM
More on GSWSA Incident

The following is a letter received by Grand Strand Daily regarding the racial incident at Bucksport Marina property over Memorial Day Weekend. The letter is printed in full:

As a proud member of the Grand Strand community, and an equally proud advisor to the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation, to you our founder and Chair, our Directors, and our many volunteers and friends, I have the following to say about the May 28, 2017 incident which resulted in serious injury to Curtis Hendrix and also, I’m afraid, brought not a little shame down on our community.

Kudos to professional journalist Paul Gable for dragging this horrific incident out from beneath four months of official silence, if not snatching it away from what some would say resembles a coverup.  And boos to the local and state so-called mainstream media for completely passing on what must be the most vicious hate crime this community has seen in a long time, if ever – to say nothing of the outrageous slap on the wrist and apparent reinstatement being enjoyed by the openly racist perpetrator, Jeffrey Weeks.  One would think we were back in 19th Century post-Civil War Mississippi, and not in 21st Century South Carolina.

It’s bad enough that this creep – who we understand is from Virginia – had to crawl out from under his rock in our community, but what’s really troubling is the subsequent official fumbling and media silence. 

First, the charge – misdemeanor assault – is patently ridiculous.  Here we have an intentional, deliberately violent attack, openly and loudly declared by the attacker to be based on racial hatred, which injured Curtis Hendrix to the extent he was unable to work.  Every element of felony assault is there – beyond law enforcement and prosecutorial discretion –  and Weeks would have been charged with that anywhere else that I know of.

And has anyone but me wondered where federal law enforcement is on this case?  What Weeks did was a clear violation of Title 18, Section 245 of the United States Code – the Civil Rights Act of 1968 –

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Hurricane Break and Community Activist Bennie Swans

October 13, 2016 9:30 AM
Hurricane Break and Community Activist Bennie Swans

(Ed. Note – After a five day hiatus thanks to Hurricane Matthew including four days without electricity, the internet and cell phones, Grand Strand Daily is up and running again.)

The recent break because of Hurricane Matthew allowed me to gain new insight to local community activist Bennie Swans.

Not having all the benefits of modern world communications, I had the opportunity to catch up on some old fashioned reading from books, much of it by candlelight.

One extract I read, from “It Took Heroes, Volume II”, spoke about Bennie Swans during the time he spent in Vietnam in 1969 as a member of the U.S. Army.

Swans’ squad was ambushed in action on June 5, 1969. After squad leader, Sgt. Jack Hatfield, and point man Cpl. David Mann, were cut down by enemy fire, the following extract from an on the scene account by GI Larry McVay was quoted (page 155 of It Took Heroes, Vol. II):

“Jack and David were gut shot. David died instantly, Jack died slower…Benny Swans, a husky Black man and Hatfield’s assistant machine gunner, rushed forward…The rest of the 2nd Platoon and a few men from other platoons rushed forward to support Hatfield’s squad. Benny was like a man possessed – like John Wayne to me. Although being severely wounded, Benny poured accurate fire into the enemy positions and kept them at bay until our KIA’s and WIA’s were pulled back…”

I have been proud to call Bennie Swans a friend since I first met him after he moved to Horry County over 10 years ago. I knew Swans was a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War (several silver stars and purple hearts among his medals) but I never knew the specifics of any of the action he saw.

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Sub Committee to Reduce Violence in the Community

February 17, 2016 5:05 AM
Sub Committee to Reduce Violence in the Community

(Above Photo Bennie Swans)

Horry County Public Safety Committee Chairman Al Allen appointed a special sub-committee to study ways to reduce violence in Horry County communities.

Allen appointed the committee after a presentation to the Public Safety Committee by local community activist Bennie Swans.

Swans asked the committee to help in establishing a series of community forums open to all citizens where problems, concerns, and eyewitness accounts of violence could be heard as well as discussions about possible solutions to the growing problem of violent personal and property crimes throughout the county.

Swans stressed the high murder rates, especially among young people, that have occurred in the last several years. Swans stressed that this effort was important to help save the lives of our children.

Swans called for a collaborative, coordinated, communicative effort from all segments of the population to help solve the problem. Swans stressed that this was important to help save the lives of our children.

The presentation was essentially the same as the one that drew such a negative response from Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes last week.

Allen, longtime Public Safety Committee chairman for Horry County Council, was much more receptive to Swans’ request and eager to attempt something new to bring citizens to forums where problems and solutions can be discussed openly.

Allen appointed District 3 council member Jimmy Washington as chairman and District 1 school board member Holly Heniford as co-chair. Allen asked for a representative from Horry County Police Department and a representative from J. Reuben Long Detention Center to be included on the sub-committee as well as members of the public.

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Myrtle Beach Needs to Show Citizens More Respect

February 15, 2016 5:17 AM
Myrtle Beach Needs to Show Citizens More Respect

The harsh words between Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and community activist Tim McCray at last week’s city council meeting demonstrate how little respect city council has for the citizens it supposedly represents.

Rhodes had only recently returned from a 16 day trip to China from which he brought back expectations of a soon to come $100 million investment in the area by a Chinese group.

“We’re doing whatever we can to try and improve things and, in order to do that, you have to talk to potential investors,” Rhodes said in speaking about the trip.

Since Rhodes first ran for mayor in 2005, he has said the number one job of the mayor is to be an ambassador for Myrtle Beach.

What seems to have been forgotten in the intervening 10 years is that the mayor of Myrtle Beach also has responsibilities at home.

It’s wonderful, I guess, to go on 16 day junkets to China promoting the city. (Personally I have always preferred Europe or South America to Asia.)

But, if the city is torn by crime and disparate treatment among neighborhoods, as it obviously is, what is said overseas is just so much hot air.

Unfortunately, hot air is also what is being offered when a community comes to city council asking for help. And, to make things worse, being attacked in an arrogant, aggressive tone by the mayor.

Several community leaders, including McCray, went to city council asking the city to help in conducting a series of public forums with a view to promulgating a comprehensive plan to address crime and lack of work opportunities for Myrtle Beach community residents.

It ended with Rhodes verbally attacking and finger pointing at McCray and a visibly upset McCray retorting Rhodes’ comments were lies.

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Martin Luther King Day Seeks Musical Talent

December 29, 2012 3:00 PM
Martin Luther King Day Seeks Musical Talent

Carolina Has Talent, a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is included in the three-day Martin Luther King Celebratory Weekend, Jan. 19-21, 2012, in Myrtle Beach.

A latecomer to recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, Myrtle Beach has quickly closed the void by combining traditional celebration events with non-traditional events to promote a spirit of unity throughout the community.

One of these is the Carolina Has Talent event, which will be a musical talent competition with cash prizes and other rewards to the top competitors.

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