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All things Irish

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach Online.Com

March 12, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC - The 24th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade – the largest in the area – is this Saturday.  Get there early, because crowd estimates in the past have exceeded 30,000 people – all strung along Main Street.   

The day begins with the parade at 9:00 am on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach and is followed by a street festival around 11:00 am. Traditionally the parade includes bag pipe marching bands, beauty queens, floats and many local celebrities. For the third year in a row, the Grand Marshall will be a youth age 1 to 19 selected by the North Myrtle Beach Optimist Club.

The following street festival will feature arts and crafts vendors, great Irish and finger foods and a magnificent children’s area full of rides and games. A new record of 125 vendors (up from just 75 two years ago) will be spread out on both sides of Main Street and down its center leaving nothing that veteran festival-goers could want.  

Entertainment abounds at two locations – the Community Stage at 248 Main St and the Horseshoe.  From 11 am to 3 pm groups like the NY Shields Pipe and Drum, the Triple Toe Cloggers, Wake District Pipes & Drums, the Palmetto Roller Derby Girls, Geol na Gael and others will be performing.  Contests like Shepherd’s Pie Eating and all star talent will be entertainingly competed.  

By 8:30 am, when most watchers arrive and set up their beach chairs the National Weather Service says they will enjoy some mild weather. The temperature will be about 65 degrees with a slight wind off the ocean. If that is too cool for some, bring a wrap that can be easily carried because by parade end the temperature will be reaching the seventies.  

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

NOAA hurricane forecasts more accurate

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

March 12, 2012 – Each year NOAA analyzes the accuracy of their previous season’s hurricane forecast. Scientists released the study results for 2011 this month. The report is of interest to North Myrtle Beach residents. They want to know when and where a hurricane will land, how intense it will be and can they count on NOAA forecasts.

The 2011 Atlantic hurricane had above normal activity, providing NOAA with 383 official forecasts to analyze.  NOAA concluded that when predicting where a hurricane will land, their five day forecast had an average error of only 281 miles and, expectantly, more accurate the closer in time to landfall.  At 12 hours, forecasters set a new record for accuracy with an error rate of only 32 miles.

In the report, NOAA says, “Over the past 15 years or so, the 24 to 72 hour track forecast errors have reduced by about 50%.  The 96-120 hour forecast error has been reduced by 40 % over the past 10 years.  Forecasters achieved these results despite what the report calls a “significant eastward bias in the models.”

Contrasting these successes, NOAA admits to making no progress in improving intensity forecasts over past two decades.  The 24 to 48 hour intensity forecasts are regularly off by one category and off by two categories 5 to 10 percent of the time.

NOAA also issues forecasts of the size of tropical cyclones, “wind radii.”  These are forecasts of the maximum extent of 39, 58 and 75 mph winds.  However, scientists do not analyze these forecasts, as have insufficient surface sensors to make any evaluation. 

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

North Myrtle Beach Chamber offers Job Listings on website

March 14, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC- Recognizing the need for additional local employment resources, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce has job listings on their website. Anyone can view the listings by visiting

Business members of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber can post their employment opportunities for free on the website by contacting Jennifer Prince, Media/Communications Specialist at (843) 361-3047 or email

For more information regarding The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce please call (843) 281-2662 or visit

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

LR Chamber announces Taste of the South

March 13, 2012 Bolivia, NC- The Taste of the South will be held on March 21, 2012 at the South Brunswick Islands Center of the Brunswick Community College.  This exciting event pairs a restaurant "taste" event along with a table top expo featuring local businesses.  Enjoy tastes of featured menu items from local restaurants and get to know our local merchants.  Check out this new facility of the Brunswick Community College.

Celebrity chef Nathalie Dupree will make a special appearance.  Southern Cook Nathalie Dupree is a best-selling author with 11 cookbooks and more than 300 television shows for The Food Network, PBS, and The Learning Channel.  Her latest cookbook, Southern Biscuits will be available at Taste of the South.

Where: Brunswick Community College South Brunswick Islands Center
             9400 Ocean Hwy, (Hwy 17)
             Carolina Shores, NC
             (just 2 minutes north of the state line)
When:   Wednesday, March 21, 2012
             11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Admission:  $5.00, Taste Tickets: $1.00  (tastes will run 2-4 tickets)
This event sponsored by Fords Fuel & Propane, Brunswick Community College, John Griggs State Farm Insurance, Elliott Realty, SunCruz Casino, Waccamaw Bank, Waste Industries

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Annual Awards Gala

March 14, 2012 North Myrtle Beach- The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their Annual Awards Gala, “Stars of the Derby,” held Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 21 Main at North Beach Plantation.

Awards will be presented in the following categories: Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Excellence in Customer Service, Excellence in Community Service, Non-Profit of the Year, Chairman's Award and Ambassador of the Year.

The black tie optional event will begin at 6:35 pm, followed by dinner, program, silent auction and live entertainment.

“This annual event is a celebration to honor our members for the tremendous contributions they make, not just to the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, but to the economy and quality of life of our entire community,” stated Marc Jordan, President/CEO.

Tickets are $60 per person.  Please contact Charlene Lynam, Events Director by calling, (843) 361-3045 or email to purchase tickets.

North Myrtle Beach Headline News

City begins $15 million project

By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach

September 21, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – The City of North Myrtle Beach recently increased property taxes. 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.  Out of the $15 million, the city is spending $2.3 million on acquisition of property, the rest is for infrastructure

Recently, the city announced they had hired Mozingo & Wallace Architects to design the complex. The City of North Myrtle Beach will pay the company a professional services fee of 7.75% of the total project cost, minus land acquisition cost.

Mozingo & Wallace Architects started their contract by holding a public ideas session September 12 at City Hall.
In a press release, the city reported, “Those attending were asked to identify the recreation amenities they would like to see included in the new park. Suggestions included facilities for Special Olympics, Senior Olympics, bocce ball, pickleball, handball, sand volleyball, a drive-in movie theater, climbing walls, paintball, trail riding, basketball, mountain biking and pump biking, hockey, ice skating, ballroom dancing, a gymnasium, and more.

The session involved a process known as “Dotmocracy.” In addition to wall photos showing different types of potential amenities that could be included in the park, participant ideas were written down on a board. Then, each participant was given a number of paper dots to stick beside the ideas they found most appealing. In this manner, participants ranked ideas.

Mozingo & Wallace Architects and their team will review all of the ideas and their dot rankings, and then accomplish some initial conceptual drawings of the park, which will be shown to the public at an October 3, 2pm-4pm meeting at City Hall.

The dot rankings themselves will not necessarily determine if an idea is included in the final park plans but the process certainly gives park planners an idea of the general recreation activities that interest the community. An amenity’s cost, general appeal, and the manner in which it complements other park offerings also plays into the evaluation and decision-making process.”

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Largest Carolina Shag Dance

September 20, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC - The Society of Stranders (S.O.S.) and the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs plan to set the Guinness Book of World Records for the "Largest Carolina Shag Dance," this Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center beginning at approximately 5:00 pm.

Each participating shagger will be required to register and pay a $5 donation which will go to the S.O.S Charitable Foundation.  Those interested in participating should make their donation at the S.O.S. Company Store, located at 102 South Ocean Blvd. in North Myrtle Beach. Donations will also be accepted the day of the event at the door.  S.O.S. organizers are expecting over 1,000 people to participate. 

The song they will be dancing to is “Something Smooth ” by Rick Strickland.  As the steps are called, each couple will do the same basic movements for five consecutive minutes.

Men are asked to wear a white, collared golf shirt with no logo other than that of the manufacturer and black or dark slacks.  No shorts, jeans, tee shirts, or hats.  Shoes should be dark and appropriate for shagging.  Women are asked to wear a solid color blouse or top with black or dark capris.  No shorts, jeans, tee shirts, tank tops, hats, or socks.  Shoes should be dark, if possible, and appropriate for shagging.  Men or women without partners are welcome to attend and try to partner up with others who do not have partners.

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North Myrtle Beach Headline News

Contractor Selected for Sports Tourism project

September 17, 2011 North Myrtle Beach, SC – The City of North Myrtle Beach is getting off to a fast start to build the$15 million sports arena. The complex, located west of the waterway is being paid for by a 20% property tax increase and will consist of various sports venues on 133 acres.

Design Team hired
The City announected Mozingo & Wallace Architects, L.L.C. of Myrtle Beach, SC has been hired to design a Sports Tourism & General Recreation Park to be built on land the City has purchased west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Mozingo & Wallace Architects has in turn hired the firm of Wood & Partners, Inc. to collaborate on the comprehensive master plan for the 150 acre property.  Wood & Partners has the reputation of being the Southeast's premier recreational park planner. According to Mozingo & Wallace Architects, the remaining members of its team are all Horry County professionals.
The City hired Mozingo & Wallace Architects due to their proven design and planning expertise, and their past performance in planning and designing the City’s new Central Park playing fields and amenities. Wood & Partners also collaborated on that project. The new fields and amenities have elicited rave reviews from the many sports tourism groups and local teams that have used them over the past year. The project also came in on time and under budget.

Over the past 20 years, Mozingo & Wallace Architects has accomplished several other projects for the City of North Myrtle Beach, including the Ocean Park at 1st Avenue South, City Hall, street-end parks at 6th and 21st Avenues South, and more recently the renovations to J. Bryan Floyd Community Center. All of these ventures resulted in creative design solutions and were completed on time and within budget. 
Mozingo & Wallace Architects and its team will plan and design the complete Sports Tourism & General Recreation Park, accomplish the detailed construction drawings, and manage the construction process.
The City’s Parks & Recreation Department leadership will provide daily oversight for all phases of Mozingo & Wallace Architects services.
The normal planning, design and construction management fee range for projects of this size and nature is between 8% and 10% of the total project cost, minus land acquisition costs. The City has negotiated a 7.75% professional services fee with Mozingo & Wallace Architects.

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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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