Post Tagged with: "Lt. Gen. James Vaught"

Horry County Infrastructure Myths and Facts

May 14, 2018 3:23 AM
Horry County Infrastructure Myths and Facts

Infrastructure, especially roads, is on many minds as campaigning moves to the June 12, 2018 primary elections.

Some questionnaires being sent to candidates for various council seats include one or more questions about infrastructure planning.

Four years ago, Mark Lazarus promised voters he would “Fight for greater investment in new and current roads.”

In some of his early campaign statements this time around, Lazarus has pointed to the Ride III initiative and International Drive as personal successes.

This is misleading.

Council has little to do with the Ride projects. A prioritized list is presented from an independent committee to council on which it votes up or down for the entire list. Council may not make any deletions or additions. If council approves the list, and it always does, the citizens vote on a referendum question whether to adopt a one-cent sales tax to fund the Ride program.

As far as International Drive is concerned, if any current member of council deserves credit for keeping the issue moving toward completion it is Johnny Vaught. It was Vaught’s uncle, retired Lt. Gen. James Vaught, who initially addressed the need for International Drive and continued to push for the project from the early 2000’s until his death in September 2013. I can still hear Vaught addressing council several times on the importance of International Drive always ending with “Get it done.”

After Johnny Vaught was elected to council in November 2014, he picked up where his uncle left off in seeing the project to completion next month.

A recent Facebook video on the Lazarus campaign page touts on to greater infrastructure as it pictures the Farrow Parkway interchange with U.S. 17 Bypass.

This is an unfortunate choice of roads to feature as it depicts one of the more outrageous projects the county has undertaken.

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International Drive Delay SCDNR Fault

February 11, 2016 12:03 PM
International Drive Delay SCDNR Fault

The delay in completion of International Drive can be laid directly at the feet of SC Department of Natural Resources.

I saw where a local media outlet attempted to get information on bear population in the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve from the SCDNR recently, only to be told the documents sought would cost $133.64.

Many South Carolina governments and their associated agencies attempt to hide behind the clause in the FOIA law that allows them to charge requesters for the cost of providing the informatiion. They frankly hope the cost won’t be paid and the information will stay secret.

Our own Horry County Solid Waste Authority is one of the worst transgressors.

But, this response to a request that has direct bearing on the continuing delay over permitting for International Drive was to be expected.

Specifically, SC Department of Natural Resources officials have, seemingly, intentionally held up finishing and paving the road bed of International Drive for over 10 years.

Initially the SCDNR attempted to keep Horry County from even considering expanding International Drive from its original dirt track through the woods into a passable, two lane road because of alleged red cockaded woodpeckers supposedly nesting in the right of way.

It was ludicrous, but underneath lay a bigger problem – for whatever reason, SCDNR did not want the road built.

After several years of being stalled, the county managed to solve problem by changing the position of the International Drive right of way to avoid the alleged woodpecker habitat.

As the county got into serious planning and acquired the funds to complete International Drive, SCDNR shifted its concerns to black bears in the woods near the road. This included forcing the county to plan for bear crossing tunnels underneath the road, raising the cost of construction and further delaying the start.

This SCDNR roadblock was, again, ridiculous. By this logic, most roads in Horry County, at least west of the waterway, should include bear crossing tunnels.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Vaught, a strong supporter of the International Drive project, asked a meeting of Horry County Council the question, “Where is a black bear going to cross the road?” He provided the answer in his own inimitable style, “Any damn where he pleases!”

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Lt. Gen. James Vaught (USA-Ret.) 1926-2013

September 21, 2013 9:00 AM
Lt. Gen. James Vaught (USA-Ret.) 1926-2013

It is with extreme sadness that I report the death of Lt. Gen. James Vaught, a true patriot, a true American and a true hero.

According to an e-mail sent to county council members Friday night, Gen. Vaught drowned while trying to secure a pontoon boat in a lake in the area in which he grew up near Conway.

Although he traveled far and wide, commanding U.S. troops in two wars, as well as U.S. and joint forces around the world, Gen. Vaught’s heart was never far from his native Conway area.

In his retirement years, Gen. Vaught returned to South Carolina and to Horry County and Conway.

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Vaught Looking to Help Disabled Veterans

March 25, 2012 9:46 AM
Vaught Looking to Help Disabled Veterans

Local veteran James Vaught (Lt. Gen. USA – retired) has a vision for using some of the land on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base to help disabled veterans.

Certified 100 percent disabled himself, due to injuries and PTSD resulting from the Vietnam War, Vaught has a special place in his heart for those veterans suffering loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries and PTSD from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These veterans need our help,” Vaught said. “Many of them need a way to get back into the mainstream of our society. Even though many have some permanent type of disability, they want to be able to work and find a way to live a normal life.”

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Veteran Profile – Lt. Gen. James Vaught (USA-Ret.)

December 3, 2011 3:14 PM
Veteran Profile – Lt. Gen. James Vaught (USA-Ret.)

A South Carolina native whose family history dates back to colonial times, James Vaught possesses a distinguished military resume from his 38 years in the Army. He is one of very few draftees ever to rise to flag rank in any of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“I am a direct lineal descendent of Francis Marion,” said Vaught. “Some of those unconventional warfare genes carried through the years.”

Vaught graduated from high school in 1943 and attended the Citadel for three semesters before receiving his draft notice.

“The Army panicked after suffering some heavy casualties during December 1944 both in Europe and the Pacific, so they started drafting guys out of college,” Vaught said. “I actually didn’t anticipate a military career when I went to the Citadel. I wanted to be a doctor.”

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