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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Sports Complex: Itís business development

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

June 22, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC –  Some residents did not welcome the 20 percent city property tax increase imposed by the City of North Myrtle Beach.  The increased tax of six mills will last for eight years and pay off a $15 million bond to build a sports tourism facility and purchase 133 acres.  The complex will be located west of the Intracoastal Waterway.

North Myrtle Beach Online talked to City Councilman Bob Cavanaugh to get his personal perspective on why the complex is a good deal for the North Myrtle Beach community.  

In his initial comments, Cavanaugh emphasized that the public should understand that residents’ total property tax would not increase, only the city portion.

NMBO: What is your view of the driving factor for a sports complex?

Cavanaugh: My perspective is not that the goal is sports tourism, it's economic development. For five years now, we have been squeezing out everything possible from the budget to keep our expenses down and the millage rate to the lowest in the county. I believe that we have gone as far as possible.

We have to reinvest if we are going to keep pace with growing service needs. A solution is to develop growth in the shoulder season, which utilizes and leverages existing infrastructure. That also means in the summer we are not putting more cars on the road, not building more beds that stay vacant in the off-season and not stressing the capacity of our beaches and public parking.

I believe there is strong support in both the business and residential community to even out economic activity throughout the year. Business gives 88% of the [city’s revenue.] The end result is that stabilizing business income can support a growing residential community.

Sports tourism is great that way to do that, at least the way we are approaching it.  We have created a special niche at the NCAA Division Two level that brings teams down, running qualifying tournaments that compete during the school year.  We are going after the teams.  The timing is perfect and we wound up with a great partner.  The income comes in the non-traditional tourism season.

Information provided by the city to NMBO shows that NMB is already the host for many sporting events.  Notable ones include the American Power Lifting Federation (APF) competition, the South Carolina Masters Swim Meet, and the United States Basketball Association (USBA) national championship tournament.  This year, according to the city, thirty-seven events are scheduled that includes NCSI Collegiate Spring Training, Southeastern Regional Wheelchair Games, AAU Youth Softball, and the Beach Blast Wheelchair Basketball Tournament among others.  

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Local Information

Chamber receives 2011 Green Plusô Award

June 22, 2011 Washington, D.C. -  North Myrtle Beach, S.C., was the winner of the 2011 Green Plus™ Chamber of the Year Award for Leadership in Sustainable Economic Development in the Small Community category. The award was made at PNC Bank regional headquarters in Washington, D.C. by the Institute for Sustainable Development, Partners for Livable Communities, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. After the award was made, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber CEO, Marc Jordan, was part of a panel discussion with national business leaders and public officials including representatives including U.S. Senate and House staff, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center.

“North Myrtle Beach’s public-private partnership to become energy independent and broadly sustainable provides an example to every U.S. community of what America needs to do be competitive in the 21st century,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development. “Through the North Strand Coastal Wind Team and other initiatives, North Myrtle Beach has demonstrated that national innovation starts at the local level,” Carmody concluded.

Green Plus™ is an initiative based in the North Carolina Research Triangle to help smaller enterprises and their communities with become healthier and more prosperous. The program partners nationally with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, an umbrella network of over 1,400 U.S. and Canadian local chambers of commerce.

“We are honored to be recognized by Green Plus for our partnership with the City of North Myrtle Beach as the recipient of the National Community Award.  Our focus on sustainable development and in particular recognition as a demonstration city in promoting wind as an alternative source of energy, has received national recognition and placed our chamber and city in a position of leadership in long-term sustainable development and the ‘green economy’,” stated Jordan.

“Encouraging sustainable development and working to demonstrate the feasibility of alternate sources of energy, such as wind power, is just good old common sense,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. “If we expect to remain competitive in the future and preserve our environment, we have to think outside of the box and explore new ways of doing things.”

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Local Information

Seacoast Medical Center Open House

June 22, 2011, Little River, SC - Celeste Bondurant-Bell,Director of Marketing & Business Development, announced that the Seacoast Medical Center will hold an open house on Sunday, June 26 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  This will be the first opportunity the community has to view the new inpatient facility.

There will be a brief ceremony at 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception and tours.

The addition of inpatient beds at Seacoast Medical Center will bring a fourth acute care hospital to the residents of Horry County.  

Opened on October 1, 2000, Seacoast Medical Center provided outpatient services, same-day surgery and 24-hour emergency care and on July 2011, Loris Healthcare System will become the only two hospital system in Horry County with the addition of inpatient services at Seacoast Medical Center.  The inpatient beds will consist of 32 medical/surgical beds, 8-bed intensive care unit and a 10-bed progressive care unit.

At a cost of $33 million,Loris Health Care added more than 100,000 square feet and outpatient services that includes diagnostic imaging, open MRI, laboratory, same-day surgery, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Also at Seacoast, Ambulatory surgery center will consist of 3 surgical suites and 8 recovery/observation beds. Diagnostics imaging will includes open magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic and vascular ultrasound, OB ultrasound, CT scan, mammography, and osteoporosis screenings.

The hospital will offer general surgery, ENT, gynecology, interventional pain management, ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, and urology.  

Other medical specialties that will be available on the campus are cardiology, optometry, nephrology and neurology. 

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Annual North Myrtle Beach Chamber Chairmanís Luncheon

June 13, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC- The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau will hold the annual Chairman’s Luncheon, Thursday, June 23rd from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at Bonefish Grill in North Myrtle Beach.

The 2010-2011 Chairman of the Board, Rachel Whitley, Vice President for the National Bank of South Carolina, will ceremoniously ‘pass the gavel' to incoming Chairman, Bubba Collins, owner, Bubba Collins Insurance.
The outgoing and incoming board members will be recognized.  Also, the 2010-2011 Annual Report will be distributed.

Chamber members are invited to attend.  Cost is $25/pp.  If you would like to attend please RSVP to Charlene Lynam, Events Director at (843) 281-2662 or email 

For more information regarding The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau please visit

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

How likely are shark attacks in North Myrtle Beach?

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

June 13, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Last February, Stuart Beach Florida made headlines when a kite surfer died from a shark attack. Some responsible media included in their reporting that shark attacks are rare. Others omitted that and other critical facts and chose to hype the rate of recurrence.  However, the last fatal shark attack in Florida was in 2005, when a 14-year-old girl was killed in Miramar Beach and at Stuart Beach was in 1882.

Consolidating information about shark attacks was a project initiated by the U.S. Navy in 1958 as part of an effort to develop shark repellent. Currently, the data is maintained and updated by the Florida Museum of Natural History and consists of over 4,000 attack investigations over the 340 year period from 1670 to 2010. Growing population and recreational preferences for beach vacations have increased the number of shark attacks but the incidence of attacks per capita has basically stayed the same rare occurrence over decades.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History data, half of the nation’s shark attacks occur in the state of Florida while the occurrence of South Carolina shark attacks are less than ten percent of that state’s.

Around twenty three shark attacks occurred in the last 10 years in South Carolina – none of which were fatal.  Media reports tended to exaggerate minor incidences. For example, last year, headlines screamed that a shark had attacked a ten year old in Myrtle Beach.  However, emergency workers described the boy as having a number of "small puncture wounds" to his calf and medical officials at the local hospital described the injury as a “small bite.”

The most recent fatal shark attacked recorded in South Carolina was in the far distant past – 1882.  A shark killed Charles Chambers while he wading ashore from a capsized vessel in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

The National Shark Research Consortium identifies several factors that contribute to the rate of shark attacks including beach topography, wave action, and density of food sources.
Researchers find that most attacks occur in near shore waters, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars where sharks feed and can become trapped at low tide. Rivers or streams entering the Atlantic Ocean create sandbars. As the nearest rivers are  50 miles or more north or south of the city, sandbars are rare near the North Myrtle Beach shoreline.
There is, however, one exception explained further in the article by a local public safety officer. Areas with steep drop offs are also likely attack sites. Sharks congregate there because their natural food items also congregate in these areas.
The high-energy waves of the Atlantic in Florida hurl smaller fish that sharks feed upon are not present in North Myrtle Beach.  Oceanologists attribute the mild wave action to the long slopping ocean bottom that is only 12 foot deep a quarter of mile from the shoreline and, then, only drops to 30 feet 30 miles out.

Dense food sources also are not prevalent near North Myrtle Beach. The continental shelf, a rich source of food fish for sharks, is 50 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean from North Myrtle Beach unlike the east Florida Coast where it is sometimes within a mile of the shoreline. 

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Drama in Conway

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

April 28, 2011, Conway, SC – In Horry County Circuit Court, a case has been pending since October of last year. Several entities had filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the City of North Myrtle Beach seeking a police car dash-cam video of an incident involving an altercation between a police officer and a private citizen on public property – the Cherry Grove Fire Station.  

After the incident, Melissa Edge, the private citizen and wife of State Representative Tracy Edge, in a public statement apologized for her actions in the incident and for the trouble the incident had caused, Jeff Senter, the police officer, has since been terminated, claiming he was terminated as a result of the incident.  His claim appeared to be supported by the city’s attorney, Linda Edwards, when she said the city did terminate Senter for a “lack of judgement” involving letting the incident go on for 45 minutes.  

While the six-month interval from filing to hearing generated many rumors of conspiracy, delays in these types of cases are most likely not intentional, according to Jay Bender. Bender is an attorney based in Columbia, SC and specializes in media law.  He further explained court dockets are just so full that judges have to establish priorities.  Hearings involving open accesses to public information have a tough time competing with cases like contract liabilities, damages property claims, forfeitures and attachment of property for debts.

Plaintiffs in the case were the Sun News, represented by Jay Bender and William Bailey represented by Ken Moss.  The defendant was the City of North Myrtle Beach represented by Attorney Linda Edwards later joined by Anita Floyd, attorney on behalf of Representative Tracy Edge.

After more than an hour, Judge Benjamin Culbertson heard the arguments from both the defendants and plaintiffs.  He concluded by saying he would personally review the video tape, the arguments from the attorneys and the list of case precedence provided by Bender. The list is important, as the judges place heavy weight upon decisions in past cases to decide the outcome in present cases. 

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Strawberry Festival This Saturday

April 27, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church will hold it’s First Annual Strawberry Festival this Saturday, April 30th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Church grounds at Hwy 17 North and 8th Ave North.

The festival will feature vendors, food, drinks Hispanic cuisine, entertainment, a special ‘Kid’s Zone with games and rides. Attendees can compete for prizes for the ‘Best strawberry themed hat’ for all ages and the ‘Best strawberry themed outfit’ for babies to children age 12.

Along with lots and lots of strawberries everywhere, visitors can enjoy ice cream and custom made cakes along with the traditional festival fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, BBQ chicken, cabbage rolls and Hispanic specialties.

Admission is free and the Church will hold the festival either rain or shine.  Anyone wishing more information can call 249-2356.

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

OLSS Church Outreach Ministry provides assistance in NMB

by Fran Signorino, April 24, 2011

Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for Me.   Matthew 25:40

Our Lady Star of the Sea (OLSS) Catholic Church, under the direction of Deacon Peter Casamento, has expanded its ministry to aid our NMB community.  

These ministries include the following:  

~~The church has partnered with the North Strand Helping Hand to provide assistance to those in need.   If someone needs assistance, please contact the North Strand Helping Hand at 843-399-0862.  

~~The North Strand Housing Shelter on Route 9 in Longs is supported financially and ministerially by OLSS.  Members of the Outreach Ministry visit and volunteer at the Shelter on the 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings of each month.   

~~The church's Portiuncula Kitchen, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi as an example of his service to Christ to the social outcasts of his time.  The Kitchen ministry serves hot meals to brothers and sisters in need every Thursday, from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM in the Church's banquet hall - doors open at 4:00 PM.   

~~Loose Change Collection is held on the 4th Sunday of each month and is used to support the Portiuncula Kitchen, the North Strand Housing Shelter and the North Strand Mobile Meals.  

~~Monthly Food Drives - The Outreach Ministry holds it monthly food drives on the 4th Sunday of every month.   Donations are given to the North Strand Helping Hand & Catholic Charities for distribution.  

~~Senior Outreach Ministry - this ministry of Parishioners call and/or visit our seniors in need of fellowship.   If you know of anyone who could benefit from this ministry, please call the Parish Office.   

To volunteer or learn more about any of the Ministries listed, please call or email:  

Deacon Peter M. Casamento, M.A.
Pastoral Associate Director of Outreach Ministry
(843) 249-2356, Ext. 28
email: deaconpeter { at }  


North Myrtle Beach Headline News

The Surf is up

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

April 20, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – In mid January of this year, devotees of Beach Music were devastated when the station they had voted twelve consecutive times the FM station of the year went off the air.  However, the support of the Worley family (proprietors of the Ocean Drive Golf and Beach Resort) in partnership with Bill Norman brought 94.9 The Surf back to the air this past week.  That this past week was also the Society of Shaggers (SOS) annual Spring Safari was not a coincidence; it was a goal according to Jessica Worley.

When the Surf went silent, the station was up for grabs and any individual or group could have purchased it and radically changed its format.

Beach music welds the Surf and SOS tightly together. While some local stations play formats that include some beach music and others step up beach music play during SOS festivals, only the Surf played beach music 24/7.  

“We just could not let the Surf go to another format,” said Worley. “We had to save the only local high power fm station that was dedicated to the beach music central to SOS.”  

“Beach music drives much of our livelihood. We wanted shaggers to see another sign of our strong support and worked to bring the Surf back on the air during Spring Safari.  While we couldn’t bring it back with its full 16,000 watts, we made the date with partial power.”

Jessica Worley went on to say they have received an enormous outpouring of thanks and gratitude for the station coming back.  “We have heard from a lot of folks talking to us, sending us e-mail or on our facebook site.”
To the delight of his many admirers Ted Bell, an eight-year veteran disc jockey returned, playing the type of music his fans had long enjoyed. 

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Local Information

Help Sea Haven help children

Sea Haven is in need of donations.  Please help this organization in our community.  Large items of need are a dishwasher and computer desks.  They currently have to boil water to sanitize the dishes and the kids have computers but they are sitting on the floor.  If you can help with these items, please contact Brenda Bankhead at 399.9025.  They can also use clothing, toiletries, i.e. hotel soaps, shampoos, etc.; books, games, DVD's and videotapes.  And, they will always accept food.  They get most of their food from the food bank which is in need of community support as well.  The mission of Sea Haven Inc. is to extend a helping hand to those youth whose lives may be in disarray and believe that through positive intervention they can promote opportunities for growth, learning, and happiness that might not be available in the experiences of such children.

The Sea Haven Shelter is a residential home, licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services, in which youth ages 13-17 needing short term shelter can live temporarily. The shelter is a family style household with a structured environment and daily activities for the youth in residence.

The Sea Haven Shelter is located at S3892 Highway 9 East in Little River, SC.

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