Post Tagged with: "tom rice"

Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

April 28, 2016 7:16 AM
Potential Buyer Looking at PTR Industries

(Above Gov. Nikki Haley with a special edition assault rifle presented to her by PTR Industries}

A firm from New York state is reportedly looking at the possibility of buying PTR Industries, a deal that could save the company’s operations at Horry County’s Cool Springs Business Park.

PTR Industries was recruited to relocate from Connecticut to Horry County in 2013 by the Myrtle Beach Regional Development Corporation. This was touted as a major coup by MBREDC as Horry County was a successful bidder over several other states in landing PTR Industries.

A package that included an approximately $1 million upgrade of a county spec building at Cool Springs Business Park and incentive based job creation credits was put together by MBREDC and the SC Department of Commerce for PTR Industries.

The company brought approximately 21 workers with it from Connecticut and promised to create an additional 145 jobs in Horry County within three years.

PTR Industries commenced operations in Horry County in January 2014 and hired approximately 28 additional employees in the first months of its operations.

However, it quickly fell behind in its rent payments to Horry County for the Cool Springs Business Park building that is its headquarters and manufacturing location. One week after a Grand Opening celebration, in July 2014, that included appearances by Gov. Nikki Haley and local Congressman Tom Rice, PTR Industries laid off some workers and instituted a 10% across the board pay cut to those remaining.

Since then, PTR Industries has struggled. According to several sources, Horry County Council restructured its rent deal with PTR Industries last fall in order to help the company become current.

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7th Congressional District GOP Convention Report

April 11, 2016 4:40 AM
7th Congressional District GOP Convention Report

The 7th Congressional District GOP Convention held in Florence on Saturday April 9, 2016, to select a new 7th C D Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary as well as Republican National delegates (6) to the National Convention in Cleveland on July 18-21 2016 at the “Q” Arena, was hectic.

There is no question Horry County who had 39 voting delegates with 3 alternates (42 total) who attended, came home with only 2 elected National delegates–Alan Clemmons delegate and Gerri McDaniel alternate.

Meanwhile Florence County, who only assembled 23 attending delegates, received the lion share of National delegates and an alternate. There’s no question that the members of the delegation from Florence out maneuvered Horry County as they pooled their votes, having only 6 people running and had 3 delegates making it to the top.

Horry County had 19 delegates running, which cut into its vote count. Consequently no one received more than 20 votes. Hard ball won the day. The other National delegate went to Jerry Rovner of Georgetown who is the present chairman of the 7th CD. With regards to Clemmons and McDaniel they had the good fortune of getting some votes from other delegates.

Some of Horry’s convention attendees are blaming Chairman Robert Rabon for the blow out. To be fair it is NOT Rabon’s fault, and anyone suggesting or saying it is just doesn’t know the facts. Prior to the meeting Chairman Rabon urged the Party members who were going to go to Florence, to only select 6 delegates and as such with 39 voters; the 6 that were chosen would have won handily.

Rabon tried to caution the delegation about this, but it landed on deaf ears. Hopefully, Horry County will learn from this experience and be better organized in the future; no one enjoys losing especially when they are holding all the aces.

At the opening of the meeting at 10:15 AM the chairman of the 7th C D Jerry Rovner gave a extra-ordinary powerful message, one of which was right on point, the essence of which was:

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No Investigation Reports in Skydive Myrtle Beach FOIA

March 6, 2016 4:54 AM
No Investigation Reports in Skydive Myrtle Beach FOIA

After a long wait, the Federal Aviation Administration finally answered a FOIA request from Skydive Myrtle Beach owner Aaron Holly.

The answer was 30 days late, according to FOIA guidelines and FAA correspondence to Holly.

It appears the only reason Holly received an answer and documents from the FAA is because Congressman Tom Rice got involved with helping Holly get a response to his FOIA request.

Holly was seeking all records, including all documented investigation reports, pertaining to an alleged 112 safety violations committed by Skydive Myrtle Beach while operating out of Grand Strand Airport.

In 2014, Skydive Myrtle Beach lodged a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration against Horry County Department of Airports alleging discriminatory actions against Skydive Myrtle Beach by HCDA.

In response, Horry County Department of Airports reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that Skydive Myrtle Beach was the subject of 112 alleged safety violations while conducting business at Grand Strand Airport.

In October 2015, the FAA issued a 73 page Director’s Determination Report supposedly basing the report on those safety violations. Horry County subsequently used this report as an excuse to shut down Skydive Myrtle Beach operations at Grand Strand Airport.

It must be noted that skydiving is an approved aviation activity at all airports receiving FAA grants, according to FAA guidelines. Grand Strand Airport and the Horry County Department of Airports receive FAA grants on a routine basis.

The only excuse for denying an approved aviation activity at an airport that receives FAA grants is for safety violations.

Holly specifically requested documentation associated with the 112 safety violations. There were none in the FAA’s FOIA response.

The Director’s Determination Report specifically mentioned pictures and videos supporting the safety allegations. The FAA cover letter to the FOIA denied any possession of videos and pictures.

The question that must be asked is how did the FAA produce a Director’s Determination Report with no documentation relating to the alleged safety violations?

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Bubba Owens Camp Requests Investigations

November 15, 2015 7:20 AM
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The Bubba Owens campaign team is requesting investigations into the attempted bribes and illegal robocalls that have plagued the Horry District 3 special election.

After receiving opinions from two respected attorneys of good standing with experience in the workings of both state and federal election law in particular, the Owens camp is in the process of turning over to authorities all information it has with respect to the Bob Kelly campaign’s attempt to get Owens to drop out of the primary runoff.

According to the Owens camp, this information will include the key November 6, 2015 voicemail that enunciates the bribe along with other supporting voicemails, emails and other documents.

After reviewing the November 6th voicemail sent by Kelly campaign consultant Jim Wiles to Owens campaign consultant Donald Smith, and other evidence, both attorneys came to the same opinion. They stated there is no other way to interpret the November 6th voicemail than that it was a clear attempt to induce Owens to drop out of the race in exchange for receipt of something of value.

A portion of that voicemail states, “… give Kelly a shopping list of what they (Owens and his consultants) want for downtown Myrtle Beach in exchange for Bubba dropping out…”

Both said to say there must be an exchange of money to constitute a bribe, as a college professor opined in a local media, is to totally misunderstand the law. The laundry list for Bob Kelly to commit to represents value in their opinion.

Kelly told several local media outlets that he knew nothing of the Wiles voicemail until it was reported in the media. However, other voicemails and emails included in the evidence appear to contradict that position.

Kelly and his campaign consultant are complaining of recent robocalls, made by a group calling itself “Friends of Bob Kelly”, as being negative hits on him.

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Extra Courts Planned for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

May 10, 2015 6:00 AM
Extra Courts Planned for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Increased numbers of bond hearings are being planned for as the Atlantic Beach Bikefest over Memorial Day weekend draws near.

Part of planning for the weekend includes special bond hearings beginning at 6 a.m. Friday morning and convening every six hours thereafter through Sunday night.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these preparations is that many more arrests are expected this year.

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A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

March 1, 2015 8:00 AM
A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

The final curtain is coming down on AvCraft Technical Services in a couple of weeks leaving behind an important political lesson that will soon be forgotten.

That lesson? Never, never, never believe a politician’s (or their associates’) claims about economic development and/or job creation.

AvCraft was first introduced to Horry County in 2003 by, then, Horry County Council candidate Joe DeFeo.

AvCraft had just forfeited economic development incentive payments for failing to reach job creation promises at its location in Tyler, Texas and was looking for fresh government dollars. DeFeo was looking for an issue that could help him win election to Horry County Council District Three.

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A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

December 10, 2014 6:00 AM
A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

It’s two weeks til Christmas and Horry County Council is in the gift giving mood to AvCraft again.

This is an act that plays in December almost as regularly as “A Christmas Story.”

And every time it plays it provides another lesson about everything that is wrong with the concept of giving incentives to companies in the name of economic development.

What it really boils down to is corporate welfare.

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Voters Push Brent Schulz Write-in Vote

October 30, 2014 6:00 AM
Voters Push Brent Schulz Write-in Vote

Horry County Council District Two member Brent Schulz will have at least one more day at the polls in next week’s general election thanks to a write-in campaign organized by supporters in his district.

Schulz, a two-term incumbent, narrowly lost the Republican nomination for the District Two council seat in the June 2014 primary to Myrtle Beach businessman Bill Howard. Howard, who has lost twice in Myrtle Beach mayoralty contests and once for Myrtle Beach city council, won by a total of 19 votes.

The result stunned Schulz’ supporters, many of whom thought he was a shoe-in for a third term and were admittedly lax about voting in the primary.

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Last Chance for AvCraft

October 8, 2014 9:07 AM
Last Chance for AvCraft

Nearly three years after it signed its latest economic development incentive package with Horry County, AvCraft Technical Services has one last chance to demonstrate its promises are more than hot air.

Sources within county government said AvCraft is currently three months behind in rent payments to the county. Additionally, according to those sources, AvCraft has not begun to make improvements to the fire suppression system and other improvements at the hangars it rents as agreed to in the latest incentive package.

Horry County Council voted Tuesday night to send AvCraft a “Right to Cure” notice that will specify how many days the company has to bring its rent arrearage up to current status or eviction proceedings could begin.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so predictable.

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Plot to Stop Lindsey Graham Faltering

March 25, 2014 10:00 AM
Plot to Stop Lindsey Graham Faltering

What does it tell you that the Tea Party’s best candidate to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham is a former Democratic operative who ran the Michael Dukakis campaign in South Carolina?

Det Bowers officially filed yesterday to challenge Graham. While he is now talking about right wing issues such as illegal immigration, Obamacare, term limits and balanced federal budgets, it is Bowers’ former Democratic associations that reportedly bring hope to stopping Graham.

The thought process is that Bowers will attract at least some of the crossover Democrat vote in the June open Republican Primary that was expected to fully support Graham. It is hoped that this will bring Graham’s vote in the first round of the primary to under 50% forcing a runoff.

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