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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Healthcare up for vote

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

September 15, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC - A referendum to allow the Loris Seacoast Healthcare System and the McLeod Healthcare System to merge will be on the November ballot.

The issue is urgent according to statements made by John Boyd, co-chair of the Citizens for Better Healthcare Services at a press conference in North Myrtle Beach.

“The decision to merge with McLeod was a tough one, but the final straw was the costs of having to gear up for the new healthcare act passed by the Congress last year.”

Obamacare, as it is commonly called will cost the Loris Seacoast Healthcare system as much as an additional $5 to $8 million dollars per year. While insurance companies are reducing payments to hospitals, the act promises health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans and compounds the problem by removing some $500 billion from Medicare payments. Payments which most hospital administrators say are insufficient to cover costs.
In an effort to seek ways to offset these enormous costs, Ed Prince, Co-chair, said, “The synergy gained through merger with McLeod will enable us to meet the needs of the North Strand community and continue to raise the capital necessary to meet the continued growth in the area.”
The November ballot referendum will be binding and will require no further action from the SC Legislature.  North Myrtle Beach Mayor Hatley observed, “It is the first time voters will have the opportunity to shape the future of their healthcare.”
Polls will be open in the seven precincts in North Myrtle Beach for the council races and, additionally, thirty eight precincts will be voting on the measure.  Some of the thirty eight, the larger ones, will be open with voting booths while in the smaller districts, voters may vote by absentee ballot.

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Irene moves eastward, but be cautious

By Jim Hulen North Myrtle Beach Online.Com

August 25, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Forecasters expect Irene to bypass South Carolina with minimum effects. The National Weather Service forecasts Irene to hit NC’s Outer Banks late Friday night, pass seaward of the Chesapeake Bay within 72 hours and come ashore in New Jersey. 

At her closest point to North Myrtle Beach, the National Weather Service forecasts Irene’s eye will be within 92 miles of our shores with sustained speeds of 115 mph. Irene will reach that point near noon this Saturday.  With hurricane force winds extending outward of the eye up to 70 miles, North Myrtle Beach should avoid the worst effects. However, tropical force winds of up to 40 mph extend outward up to 290 miles and will encompass North Myrtle Beach.
But ... keep track.  A 30 - 50 mile shift eastward could bring North Myrtle Beach within range of Irene's hurricane force winds.  

Tropical storm winds will cause whole trees to be in motion and will be difficult to walk against. Limbs can be broken off trees and cause cars to veer on road. Residents should be cautious. 
Keep up to date by following these links, monitoring for an eastward shift:

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

DeMint to visit North Myrtle Beach

By Jim Hulen North Myrtle Beach Online.Com

August 25, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Johnnie Bellamy, Chairman, Horry County Republican Party announced today that U.S. Senator Jim DeMint will be at the Lakeside Conference Center at Barefoot Resort next week. 

DeMint’s visit will take place on Tuesday August 30th from 12:00 pm to 1:30pm. The event is billed as a fundraiser. Lunch will be $20. The Senator will meet and greet constituents, be available to answer questions, sign his book, “The Great American Awakening” and pose for photographs. 

“The Great American Awakening” is the U.S. Senator’s perspective on the rise of the Tea Party and the future of the nation. In the book, DeMint reflects upon the isolation he felt as he fought the bailout bill, the stimulus bill and pork-barrel earmarks. 

The DeMint event will be followed by a Horry County Republican Party Town Hall Meeting and Legislative Update. 
For more information contact, Johnnie Bellamy at 843.488.0628. 

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

July Fishing Report

By Chris Carbone, Seacoast Anglers Association

August 25, 2011 Little River, SC - The fishing report this month is pretty much the same as last month as I have not recieved any "earth-shattering" reports of fish caught.

"Saltwater" Catfish are here and are biting good. They usually are very active anywhere from the Little River waterfront to Barefoot Landing In the ICW. Another good spot is the new Main Street Bridge. Chunk bait on a #4 wide bend hook and enough sinker to hold it down will attract them. Some anglers drift until they find them and then anchor up if they start to catch them. Drifting with the tide works but you can have a lot of hang-ups as there is a lot of junk on the bottom in the ICW. Beware if you fish this area, as you need to have a SC Freshwater Fishing License!

Red Drum have been in the creeks and in the ICW. Dunn Sound and Bonapartes Creek are among the places to look. Some anglers have been successful using Berkley Gulp baits and a few anglers have been using live minnows but the best bait for them is live mullet if you can get them. The fishing reports are saying there are some monster Reds out at the jetties.
Black Drum are being brought in but mostly on the NC side of the divide. They will take fresh dead bait chunks such as cut up Bluefish.

Sheepshead are out on the piers and the nearshore reefs. They take a little work to catch as are Spadefish in the same areas. The Sheepshead like barnacles for bait and Spadefish love Jelly-Balls. Both species are great table fare! BTW, circle hooks are required for these two species.

Reports say the Flounder bite has come alive in places like Tubbs, Bonapartes Creek and Dunn Sound. Of course the Cherry Grove creeks are giving up a lot of Flounder as well. Trouble is there are not very many keepers. Live mud minnows and mullet seem to be best bait right now.

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Community watchful as Irene nears

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

August 23, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – During the past several days, forecasts moved the bulls eye of Irene’s landfall on, then off, North Myrtle Beach.  As of 11:00 AM today, the Weather Channel meteorologists are making generalized statements the Irene will miss Florida and Georgia and bring destructive winds, flooding, storm surge to the eastern Carolina and, especially North Carolina by Saturday. The Weather Channel is forecasting Irene to be a Category 3 as it passes North Myrtle Beach. Http://

Fox News is also projecting Irene to be a Category 3 and North Carolina emergency officials have ordered mandatory evacuation for visitors along the outer banks on Wednesday. Unfortunately, anyone searching for an official statement from North Carolina’s Division of Emergency Management on the internet will be disappointed.

WPDE’s Ed Piotrowski points out that Irene will be passing over warm water the next few days and could grow to a category 4 hurricane. He provides three forecast probabilities with landfall in North Carolina his best estimate. Piotrowski estimates Irene will pass to our east.  Piotrowski further explains that a “landfall near Wilmington would put us at risk for hurricane force winds while a landfall near Morehead City might produce tropical storm force winds along the coast.”

Keep track of Irene by following the links during the day and through the week.

At this point, things look positive for not having a direct hit or facing an evacuation, but do not be lulled into complacency. Continue preparing. Even without a direct hit, the area could face water and electrical outages.

If you have storm panels, stage them underneath each window to raise them with little effort when needed.  Check all batteries.  Be cautious about buying new pershiables that require freezing or refrigeration. Instead, eat well this week and clean out those rib eye, filets and other foods that may spoil if electricity goes out. Replace them with canned goods, but make sure you have a manual can opener (sounds obvious, but ….) Check all the batteries in all flashlights. Make sure various sizes of tarps are available to cover exposed roofs.  Have spare gas available.  Gas stations don’t operate without electricity. Check the chain saw and make sure it will start. You may need it!

Additional information may be found on the Horry County Emergency Management web site at

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Riptides only

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

August 4, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC -  Saturday is the key day. Tropical Storm Emily may affect the US this weekend according to the National Weather Service.  The forecast will tighten enough by Saturday to have a reasonable handle on the impact Emily will have on North Myrtle Beach.  Currently, the National Weather Service five-day tracking forecast puts the center of the cone of probability several hundred miles from the coast.

Emily currently has sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.  Storm warnings are in place for, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Southeastern and central Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands and eastern Cuba.  The National Weather Service does not expect a change in intensity before the mountains of Western Hispaniola and eventually Cuba have an opportunity to weaken Emily.  

As of 8 AM, Emily was becoming more disorganized while moving over Hispaniola.  It is located about 105 miles south of the capital of Haiti, moving at 7 miles per hour (down from 14 mph yesterday) and with sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.  Forecasters expect the slow down to produce massive amounts of rain in Haiti.

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Going nation-wide

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

July 26, 2011 Myrtle Beach, SC – Bobby Steele, Division Manager of Argos, parent company of Ready Mixed Concrete, announced today that his company was prepared to take an initiative nation wide to all Ready Mixed Concrete coastal locations.  The initiative, developed jointly by the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ready Mixed Concrete of Myrtle Beach, will take left over concrete and create reef cones.  

Steele said, “This announcement has not yet been made internally to the company.”  He went on to say that he will expect each Ready Mix installation to work with the DNR within their state to come up with a plan based upon the “Myrtle Beach Pilot.”

SC DNR uses reef cones to create or increase the size of 45 artificial reefs throughout coastal South Carolina.  Bob Martore, Artificial Reef Coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said, “We are very fortunate to have this partnership.  Because of high prices, owners of old barges, large vehicles, subway cars and the like are selling them for scrap and not donating them as they did in the past. We are really missing suitable material right now. We were really in a bind until Ready Mixed Concrete agreed to produce these cones. They are a great product – environmentally sound, produced simply and easily transported.  SC DNR will distribute them throughout the entire coastal reef system.”

Ready Mix's D. A Jackson explained that employees spend about a month developing the molds they are currently using. They first creating a template in wood and made several versions until DNR and Ready Mix were satisfied with the final product.  Jackson said, “The first molds produced good cones but we basically had to tear them apart to get the cones. The final molds are easily assembled and disassembled and the cones have lifting bars that let them be easily moved.”  Once satisfied, Ready Mixed Concrete had the molds cast in metal and rubber.

Jackson said, “The process is simple and only takes about ten minutes of an employee’s time. Each cone uses about three cubic yards of concrete – about the amount left over in a mixer.”

Bob Martore added, “Ready Mixed will produce about 60 to 80 cones a month for the reef project.”

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Myrtle Beach Bike Week

Prominent republicans to meet with community during July

July 17, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will meet with the North Myrtle Beach Republican Club announced club president Cleo Steele.  The meeting will take place on July 21 at 10:00 AM. Romney will meet with the community at Magnolias, 2606 North Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach.

In her communication announcing the event, Steele said, “I look forward to introducing her to our community and would like for you to meet this great lady.  So please join us as we welcome her to our area!”

Romney has been active in politics since her husband's first run for office in 1994—an unrealistic attempt to unseat Senator Ted Kennedy – this despite, just four years later, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

While serving as Massachusetts First Lady, she was the governor's liaison for federal faith-based initiatives. She has been involved in a number of children's charities, including Operation Kids. She was an active participant in her husband's 2008 presidential run, where she became the most visible of all the Republican candidates' wives in campaigning.

At the same time, Steele announced that Genator Graham Lindsey will be at the North Myrtle Beach Bonefish Grille at 9:30 am on July 23rd. Bonefish is located at 103 Hwy 17 South in NMB. 

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Plans Underway for Annual Healthcare Gala

Loris, SC—July 12, 2011— While many are enjoying their summer vacation, members of the Loris/Seacoast Foundation Ball Committee are busy with preparations for the 3rd annual Loris/Seacoast Healthcare Foundation Ball.

On Saturday, August 20, 2011, the ball committee will host “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Ball” at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort. The grand ballroom will be magically transformed into a mystical garden full of whimsy and delight for attendees.

Guests will be able to enjoy a large silent auction during an elegant cocktail reception, followed by a delicious gourmet dinner and dancing with live entertainment provided by the band, “Too Much Sylvia”.  Throughout the evening, many lucky guests will enjoy being the recipients of fun and exciting door prizes.

“We are excited about our 3rd Annual Ball and all that we have to celebrate this year. The renovation of the emergency department and ICU at Loris Community Hospital as well as the opening of the new 50 in-patient beds at Seacoast Medical Center have been a major labor of love for our staff and this community,” said Kelly Graham, Executive Director of the Loris/Seacoast Healthcare Foundation.

The Loris/Seacoast Foundation Ball committee consists of ladies from both the North Myrtle Beach and Loris communities. This year’s committee includes Rima Hulen, Celeste Bondurant-Bell, Jeri McDowell, Susan Platt, Joyce Thomas, Lynda Hardee, Marilyn Hatley, Dolly McDermott, Faye Chowning, Charlene Lynam, Barbara McCahill, Hazel Teal, Leslie Elliott, Anne Elliott, Nichole Cox, and Kendall Khoury. The committee has been meeting weekly since March to plan an evening that will benefit communities served by Loris Community Hospital and Seacoast Medical Center.

With the generous support of community businesses through sponsorships, auction items, and ticket sales, the foundation ball has raised over $75,000 for the Loris/Seacoast Healthcare Foundation. This year’s ball proceeds will be supporting the Foundation’s Healthcare Safety Initiative.

For information on how you can purchase tickets, become a sponsor or contribute to silent auction items, please contact Kelly Graham, Executive Director Loris/Seacoast Healthcare Foundation at 843-390-8215.

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Hospital to open/agreement announced

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach, SC

July 8, 2011, Little River, SC – In the same week that Loris Healthcare System announced the July 11 opening of Seacoast Medical Center inpatient service after DHEC certification, hospital officials also announced a major agreement with McLeod Regional Medical Center.  

In a departure from its 60 plus history of independent operation and management Celeste Bondurant-Bell, spokesperson for the Loris Healthcare system, announced McLeod would assume responsibility for managing the Loris Community Hospital and Seacoast Medical Center, as well as other healthcare facilities owned by Loris Healthcare System.

The five-year management agreement will focus on ways the two not-for-profit health care systems can work together to strengthen the availability of healthcare services in the northeastern region of South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, according to Dr. Tracy P. Ray, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Loris Healthcare System.

"This affiliation with McLeod will strengthen our organization by advancing clinical programs and services, supporting physician recruitment, providing operational efficiencies and allowing future growth," stated Dr. Ray.

Founded in 1906, McLeod Health is a locally owned and managed, non-profit organization with nearly 400 physicians on the medical staff and more than 1,400 nurses.  McLeod currently operates the 493 bed McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, a 63 bed facility in Dillon and a 49 bed hospital in Darlington along with the McLeod Children's Hospital, the Guest House at McLeod, McLeod Hospice, McLeod Cancer Center for Treatment and Research, McLeod Diabetes Center, McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute and maintains continuing education and scholarship programs.

When the agreement takes place, McLeod will manage the 50 bed Seacoast Medical Center which also provides outpatient services such as ambulatory surgery, physical therapy and cardiac rehab.  Other facilities affiliated with Loris Healthcare System are Family Health Centers in Loris and Green Sea, Loris Extended Care Center and the Center for Health and Fitness.  Loris Healthcare System also operates a network of physician practices and has more than 120 physicians on active and affiliate medical staff. 

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