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Ruben Lowman

Ocean Drive Elementary receives highest national honor

By Ruben Lowman North Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Drive Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School last Thursday by the Department of Education, the highest achievement a school can receive. The school, located on 11th Avenue North between Highway 17 and Ocean Boulevard, is just the fourteenth in Horry County to earn the distinction. Ocean Drive Elementary Principal Renea Fowler said that her school was extremely honored to get such a coveted award, especially for her teachers and faculty to be recognized for their hard work and dedication in educating and enriching their students. Fowler explained that the school got …

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“Defend Your Police” rally draws hundreds of locals

By Ruben Lowman A large crowd of local law enforcement supporters came out to the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex last Saturday to voice their approval for officers in the midst of a tumultuous moment between police departments and the public all over the world. The “Defend Your Police” rally took place at the amphitheatre at the sports complex after organizer Tracey Lutz-Danka was forced to change the location from the North Myrtle Beach City Hall to better accommodate the large response they received from the public. The passionate crowd was decked out in American flag apparel and …

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District to announce school learning plan every Thursday

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Schools will now begin announcing their learning plan later in the week after state health officials altered the date their data is released in order to provide school districts with the most up-to-date information and better protect their students, faculty and parents. This Monday, HCS posted on social media that the instructional model over the next two weeks would continue with the hybrid learning plan that the district has been following since the 2020-21 school year began. Later in the day, after South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control changed the day it updates …

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Horry County Council extends face mask mandate

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Council voted to extend the face mask mandate they have in place for another two months on Tuesday, Sept. 15, after a few weeks of contentious debate among the council members and citizens. The resolution, voted down by the county council, would haveput an end to the emergency facial covering ordinance that was passed at the beginning of July in anticipation of a heavy influx of tourists coming to visit the area over the Fourth of July weekend. The original emergency ordinance was set for 60 days and was extended further earlier this month when …

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Tommy Dennis named new North Myrtle Beach Chief of Police

By Ruben Lowman Thomas G. “Tommy” Dennis was named North Myrtle Beach Chief of Police by Public Safety Director Jay Fernandez on Monday, Sept. 14, after serving as interim police chief since early in the summer. In announcing Dennis’ promotion, Fernandez said that, “Tommy performed in the role of interim chief of police just as we thought he would. He is effective, fair-minded, has the ability to see the big picture and at the same time can zero in to help resolve specific challenges. He effectively relates to all types of people. We are glad for Tommy and know that …

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North Myrtle Beach proposes ordinance for all short-term rentals

By Ruben Lowman North Myrtle Beach officials addressed residents concerns regarding rules for short-term property rentals within city limits at a recent council workshop. The issues involving short-term properties and their renters that have been taken up by the council consist of excessive noise, parking and trash complaints. Many of the complaints revolved around rental properties that are advertised online and located in residential areas. The popularity of rental websites like VRBO and Airbnb have turned many properties into mini-hotels of sorts during the peak tourist season in the summer, and spurred permanent homeowners and tenants to ask the city …

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Alabama Theatre reopens to the public

By Ruben Lowman The Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach reopened its doors to the public for the first time in more than five months last week as a result of the constraints placed on performing venues during the coronavirus pandemic. The theatre will return with its world-famous “One The Show” and plans to have headlining concerts by featured performers beginning next year. Bands and artists such as The Righteous Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Platters and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters, the Little River Band, The Four Tops and much more have already …

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HCS announces hybrid learning plan

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Schools announced on Monday, Aug. 31, that all schools will begin the 2020-21 academic year utilizing hybrid learning, which means that students will attend class in-person two times a week and utilize online learning for the rest of their coursework over the week. The expectation over the past month has been that the hybrid option would be selected, based on the disease activity reports that have been released by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The decision for which particular educational plan was selected came down to the incidence rate of coronavirus …

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Horry County adds absentee voting sites

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Voters Registration & Elections announced this week that they will be creating new in-person voting sites for individuals who are planning on filling out absentee ballots for the upcoming election. County officials felt the inclusion of offering absentee voting in-person was necessary in order to compensate for an expected surge in demand given the current coronavirus restrictions that have become commonplace over the past several months. There will be three voting sites set up in strategic locations throughout the county to effectively process what is presumed to be a significant increase in voters filing absentee …

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North Myrtle Beach City Council extends face mask mandate, joins hospitality tax settlement

By Ruben Lowman North Myrtle Beach City Council met on Monday, Aug. 31, and passed a resolution approving the city to join a lawsuit against Horry County over the collection of the hospitality tax, as well as extending the emergency ordinance mandating the wearing of facial coverings while inside most establishments. City council approved the resolution which directs city manager Mike Mahaney to sign a Settlement Agreement in Principle and join nearly every other municipality in the area in a lawsuit brought against the county by the city of Myrtle Beach in March 2019. Myrtle Beach city officials stated that …

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