Post Tagged with: "Horry County"

Zika Virus Case Confirmed in Horry County

August 26, 2016 4:34 PM
Mosquito sucking blood on a human hand

The first confirmed case of travel related Zika virus in Horry County has been reported in Plantation Point.

DHEC officials notified the county yesterday.

Nearby Florence County also has one reported case of travel related Zika virus.

In most instances, Zika virus is not fatal, but can be very damaging to fetuses.

According to local officials, Horry County has been working on a plan to combat Zika virus for approximately four months. In the case of Plantation Point, the county has reportedly been going door to door with information, eliminating areas of standing water and using foggers on properties.

What everyone should know:

Zika infection during pregnancy is linked to birth defects. Pregnant women should avoid or delay travel to areas with Zika.
Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
Most people infected with Zika don’t even know they have it. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital.
In most cases Zika is not life-threatening.
The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites. Tips include:
– Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
– Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin. In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
– Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
– Remove standing water in and around the home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, or any container that can hold water.
– Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
See a health care provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes during a trip orwithin 2 weeks after traveling to a place with Zika, or if you have had sexual contact with someone who has traveled.

Citizens with questions can call the county’s road and drainage hotline at (843) 381-8000 for more information.

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Guns and Where to Fire Them

August 24, 2016 5:04 PM
Guns and Where to Fire Them

Where guns can be fired is a question Horry County Council will struggle with over the next several months.

Infrastructure and Regulation Committee Chairman Johnny Vaught told a group of concerned citizens from the Hillsborough sub-division Tuesday that the county would not be locating a public firing range on Horry County Solid Waste Authority property near their development.

This announcement ended months of concern for those citizens that their peaceful community would be disrupted with the sound of weapons being fired nearby.

Vaught said the county would continue to look for a suitable piece of property in the more rural sections of the county in which to possibly locate a firing range.

Whether the county should get into the firing range business at all is a legitimate question being asked by citizens throughout the county. There are several privately owned firing ranges already in the county and there is strong feeling among some citizens that government should not compete with private business.

The Horry County Public Safety Committee discussed a different gun problem the day before. There is increasing concern among the county’s many sub-divisions of residents taking target practice on their property even though they are in close proximity to neighboring homes.

Horry County Council member Paul Prince said something should be done to prohibit such activity in sub-divisions where the houses are close together.

It’s been slightly over four years since Horry County Council decided not to vote on an ordinance that would restrict gun usage on private property in close proximity to other residences.

At that time, the ‘Duck Dynasty crowd’, in full camouflage, packed council chambers to protest any restriction on their 2nd Amendment rights with respect to where they could fire their guns in the unincorporated areas of the county.

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International Drive Construction Begins

August 22, 2016 1:23 PM
International Drive Construction Begins

(Pictured above Horry County Council member Johnny Vaught (left) and Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus.)

After a series of legal delays orchestrated by the Coastal Conservation League and its allies, Horry County is moving forward on constructing the road bed on International Drive.

According to sources familiar with the court proceedings, a SC District Court judge ordered the permits issued after Horry County won the latest round in court.

Now, with the SCDHEC water quality and US Army Corps of Engineers wetland fill permits in hand, county officials hope to have the road bed ready for emergency vehicles within 60 days.

Further court challenges from CCL could be forthcoming. But, for the present, work on International Drive is moving forward.

The entire project will not be completed for approximately 12 months. Requests for Proposals from contractors desiring to bid on the project are expected to be advertised in October.

Meanwhile Horry County employees from the county’s Infrastructure and Regulation Division are completing preliminary work such as right of way clearing and getting the road bed up to standards that can handle emergency vehicles. This is expected to be accomplished over the next 60 days.

The picture accompanying this post shows Horry County Council member Johnny Vaught and Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus standing in front of a bulldozer with a picture of Vaught’s late uncle, Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught, on the blade.

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Heroin Epidemic Raises Awareness of Community Problems

August 19, 2016 8:57 AM
Heroin Epidemic Raises Awareness of Community Problems

The heroin epidemic in Horry County has reached proportions that seems to finally have spurred local government agencies to begin addressing violence and other problems throughout Horry County.

Six months ago, community activists Bennie Swans, Jon Bonsignor and Tim McCray approached Myrtle Beach City Council for help in addressing violence in the community.

They were essentially turned away with Mayor John Rhodes giving his impression of a Donald Trump style ‘gotcha’, blaming the community for the problem, attacking the activists and claiming the focus on community violence would hurt tourism.

The three got a better reception at the Horry County Council level with the establishment of a Community Violence Subcommittee formed to investigate the problem and make a report including recommendations for ways to counter the rising problems of violent crime and drugs in the communities.

To date, that committee has floundered by becoming involved in a comparison study of minutiae related to Horry County and counties in other states, but, at least, it is doing something and, hopefully, will eventually find its way.

Tuesday night, the City of Myrtle Beach hosted an overflow crowd to a community meeting on the heroin epidemic at the Base Recreation Center near Market Common.

By all reports, the meeting was a good one. One could argue it was six months late, but at least a positive acknowledgement that there is a problem and it is going to take the entire community – citizens, community activists, law enforcement and other government agencies, the schools and various non-profits – working together to address the problem.

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Community Violence Subcommittee Stuck in Neutral

July 24, 2016 5:39 AM
Community Violence Subcommittee Stuck in Neutral

For the last three months, the Horry County Community Violence Subcommittee appears to have been stuck in neutral rather than moving forward to address the problems of violent crime in communities throughout the county.

In its last three meetings, Community Violence Subcommittee members have been discussing collection of data, both demographics and crime, from various websites in order to compare Horry County to counties from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Will this data collection and comparison help?

One assumes what is happening in communities such as Burgess, Poplar, Socastee and Racepath is more important than what is happening in Chatham County, Georgia or Orange County, Florida if the goal is to counter crime and its effects in Horry County.

(If the goal is to complete a report on how Horry County stacks up to other counties in relation to those statistics, then the current work of the subcommittee is on track.)

It would seem that meetings with pastors and other community leaders as well as parents and citizens would yield better information about what the problems are and what the community can do to counter those problems as well as what help it needs from sources such as police and other government agencies.

At one time, Horry County had effective Crimestoppers, D.A.R.E. and community policing programs that have fallen by the wayside in recent years.

The committee is currently scheduled to make a report on its progress at the September 26, 2016, meeting of the Horry County Public Safety Committee. At that time, it plans to present a survey form, presumably developed from its data mining, for citizens, at least in designated high crime areas, to fill out and return.

After receiving the completed survey forms, there seems to be some desire among subcommittee members to meet with citizens and leaders in various communities in the county.

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Enjoying the CLEAC Cookout

July 20, 2016 7:13 AM
Credit: JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews

Let me give you a first-hand account of the fabulous Saturday we had at the Cook-Out themed “Connecting Cops, Kids and the Community” sponsored by CLEAC.

Over 500 guests from the communities, Sheriff & Police Officers, Fire Fighters and First Responders enjoyed thrill of the kids interacting, with the Fire-Sheriff-Police and politicians, at the magnificent North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex.

Everyone had a fun time and played sports and games assembled by the efficient personnel staff from the NMB Recreation department. Sheriff Phil Thompson, with an assist from Chief Deputy Sheriff Tom Fox at their booth, greeting everyone who came by plus the Sheriff’s staff handed out silver Junior Sheriff badges to the many kids who came by to say ” Hi Sheriff”.

Horry Police Deputy Chief Maurice Jones and Capt Bob Carr went around greeting and getting to know the people of the community and children. Carr went one step further throwing and competing with the kids at bean ball, and fishing at a simulator provided by DHEC.

Public safety Director Jay Fernandez standing by the new Fire Rig, with its ladder soaring high above the truck, looked quite happy at the many people who came by to where he greeted them with a big smile. Director Jay and the Fire personnel guided the kids to the Fire truck to blare the fire siren, shoot the water cannon, receive red fire hats, and run through water sprinklers.

The Myrtle Beach P D brought along their K-9 unit and SWAT team..naturally the kids and adults adored the German Shepard, a big gorgeous looking dog. The Shepard was calm, friendly and beautiful and was unfazed by the petting, kisses and of the huge attention it was getting.

The weather was perfect for a cook-out. There were plenty of games, sports activities. The looks on the happy faces of the kids showed their delight.

What was as joyful was to see Chairman Mark Lazarus playing football with the young future stars, with Councilman Harold Worley as an impartial spectator looking at the action.

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Vote for Reese Boyd in Senate District 34

June 24, 2016 4:44 AM
Vote for Reese Boyd in Senate District 34

The right choice to represent the people in Senate District 34 unquestionably is REESE BOYD.

Reese is a fair-minded, no nonsense politician. He is a leader who will vote for the best interests of his constituents, not for the Columbia BOSSES and special interests who line campaign coffers of his opponent.

Reese Boyd was born in Conway, graduated from Davidson College & University of S C School of Law. He is a member of the: Horry County GOP, South Strand Republican Club, the Grand Strand Opera Workshop, Palmetto Family Council. Reese lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Lee, and two children Leila & Reese IV.

Despite what you have heard from his opponent and third party PACs who support his opponent, Reese Boyd is the true AND ONLY Conservative in the runoff election for Senate District 34.

Reese Boyd supports:

Term limits
Less government bureaucracy and interference in people’s lives
The Southern Evacuation Lifeline
Overhaul of Medicaid in the state
A real plan to fix the state’s roads
Fixing the erroneous FEMA flood plain maps
Protecting our beaches
During this campaign, Reese has been subjected to vicious attacks by his opponent and his opponent’s supporters, all of which are untrue. His opponent’s campaign is a classic example of – if you have nothing good to say about yourself, attack your opponent.

In this election, you have a clear choice between Reese Boyd, a conservative who will look out for the interests of his constituents, and his opponent who only looks out for himself.

I URGE YOU, to GO to the polls on Tuesday June 28th and vote again for REESE BOYD. He is an honest, true blue champion of the people, a person you can trust and the right man to be our NEW Senator.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Primary Elections Draw Few Voters

June 14, 2016 10:05 PM
Primary Elections Draw Few Voters

We had primary elections for local and state offices in Horry County yesterday and 90 percent of the voters stayed home.

In Horry County, it was basically Republicans voting as Democrats only had three races to vote in, one senate race and two house races, with most of those three districts in other counties.

Luke Rankin easily won the Senate District 33 Republican nomination and Senate District 34 will see a runoff between Reese Boyd and Stephen Goldfinch. Boyd won the Horry County portion of the district, but with Georgetown and Charleston precincts included came in two percentage points behind Goldfinch.

Rankin is an incumbent while Boyd and Goldfinch are vying for an open seat.

As an aside, incumbent Hugh Leatherman easily won the Republican nomination for Senate District 31, making Gov. Nikki Haley zero for three in her endorsements of candidates on the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee.

There were no contested Republican House races in Horry County.

Angie Jones and Renee Elvis swept to easy victories in the Horry County Treasurer and Horry County Clerk of Courts races for the Republican nomination. Both races were for open seats.

Gary Loftus easily secured the nomination for Horry County Council District 4. Other county council Republican nominations went to Paul Prince in District 9 and Danny Hardee in District 10.

Loftus and Prince are incumbents while District 10 was an open seat.

Scott Thompson and David Cox will face off in a runoff election in two weeks for the Republican nomination for Horry County Board of Education District 4. Other Board of Education Republican nominations went to John Poston in District 8, Chris Hardwick in District 9 and Shanda Allen in District 11.

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Horry County Sheriff Referendum Appears Dead

June 8, 2016 5:27 AM
Horry County Sheriff Referendum Appears Dead

It appears that decisions have been made out of the public eye that no referendum will be put to the people on whether to consolidate the Horry County Police Department and Horry County Sheriff’s Department.

An advertisement for applications for the position of police chief was posted recently on the Horry County website.

This would not have been done if there was any chance Horry County Council would vote to authorize a referendum on whether the two departments should be consolidated.

Sources familiar with the views of council members say there are only two votes among council members that would support placing a referendum before the voters.

There appeared to be a majority opinion among county residents that the Sheriff’s Department should take over HCPD in order to fix it. One wonders why county council members are so out of contact with the citizens they represent.

With the decision to forego a referendum and hire a new chief, the responsibility for fixing the many problems at HCPD rests squarely on the shoulders of Horry County Council members.

If the voters approved consolidation of the two departments, something I believe would have happened if a referendum were held, it would have solved another potential problem for Horry County Government that it has strived to ignore through the years.

The problem is one of dual taxation where residents of the various cities within Horry County pay tax millage to fund HCPD while not getting the benefit of police services from the county police.

HCPD is currently funded from the county’s general fund from county wide millage collected from property owners throughout the county.

HCPD is currently funded from the county’s general fund from county wide millage collected from property owners throughout the county.

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In the Center of the Transgender Storm – Update

May 2, 2016 4:29 AM
In the Center of the Transgender Storm – Update

The Horry County School Board is trying to work its way out of the center of a transgender storm regarding bathroom usage in schools.

After the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recorded a 2-1 decision in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester (VA) County recently, a student who had been suspended for one day for using a school bathroom not of the student’s “birth-assigned sex” threatened to sue Horry County Schools.

The student is represented by the Transgender Law Center of California, which sent a letter to the school district threatening the law suit.

Just in the last several days, Horry County School Board members and Superintendent Rick Maxey received an email with two attachments from an attorney of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Scottsdale, Arizona headquartered organization with a branch in Georgia.

The subject of the email is: “Schools Are Not Legally Required to Allow Students to Use Opposite-Sex Restrooms, Showers, and Changing Rooms.”

One of the email attachments “explains the recent decision in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board and dispels the myth that, following the decision, schools are required to allow students to use the restrooms of the opposite sex,” according to the email.

My first thought was why do a law center based in California and a non-profit organization headquartered in Arizona want to get involved in Horry County?

My second thought, an answer to the first, was so that these two organizations can bring their causes into the national spotlight, using Horry County to test the Fourth Circuit ruling. You know, the old 15 minutes of fame or, in this case, maybe 15 years of fame for these organizations.

Do we want our school board to get in the middle of a national legal fight over transgender rights, equal protection, Title IX, discrimination and the like or do we want them concentrating on educating our children?

Remember, any public money spent on fighting lawsuits is money taken away from our children’s education. And we certainly don’t want to have to raise taxes just to be the center of national media attention.

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