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Ruben Lowman

North Myrtle Beach experiences a large drop in revenue during COVID-19 times

By Ruben Lowman The city of North Myrtle Beach has taken a huge hit to its revenues, over $2 million, since March when the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak first forced government officials all over the country to move into various states of lockdown and implement strict regulations designed to safeguard public health and safety.  A major source of the city’s funds comes directly from accommodations and hospitality tax revenues, both of which are highly dependent on visitors coming and spending their money here. The city recently disclosed detailed data for the A-Tax and hospitality tax revenues they have brought in this …

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Cavanaugh is moving soon, was instrumental in the development of NMB

By Ruben Lowman Councilman Bob Cavanaugh has served the city of North Myrtle Beach for the last time and will resign and move to Virginia in order to be closer to his family. Cavanaugh made the decision a few months ago to give up the seat he has held on the council for nearly 20 years so he can spend more time with his wife, children and the rest of his family in Richmond, but was waiting until he was able to line up a buyer for his home in the Tidewater community before he made the move. Mayor Marilyn …

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Heavy turnout in first major election during COVID-19 pandemic

By Ruben Lowman Election Day has come and gone once again, and while a nation watches with anxious, attentive eyes as yet another contested presidential election unfolds in this country, voters in Horry County can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the local races are officially over and the winners confirmed with a minimum amount of fuss. The county’s board of elections officially certified the results last Friday, after having to re-scan roughly 15,000 ballots the day before, amid a heavy turnout for the first major election that has taken place during the coronavirus pandemic. With COVID-19 restrictions preventing …

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Students begin receiving plexiglass workstations Friday

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Schools will start installing plexiglass workstations for all elementary school students beginning this Friday, Nov. 13, in hopes that the extra precautionary measure will make it safer for students and teachers, as well as make it more likely the district could transition to five-day, in-person classroom learning for all students at some point in the near future. County school officials said they plan to have the installation process completed for the majority of elementary schools in the district within nine days, having Sunday, Nov. 22, as the target date to finish placing the plexiglass stations …

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Local area schools perform high on state education report card

By Ruben Lowman South Carolina recently released its annual report card evaluating its districts and schools using a number of different assessments that measures student performance.  Graduation rates, academic achievement rates for college and career-preparedness, and progress rates for English as a Second Language students are the most detailed information on this year’s state report card, due to the COVID-19 pandemic preventing schools from carrying out the end of year testing that typically serves as the bedrock of the reports. The average graduation rates of the high schools in the district was 83.5 percent, with the average for the state …

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NMB Council honors O.D. Elementary, wakeboarder

By Ruben Lowman Competitive wakeboard riders and the Ocean Drive Elementary School were honored during the North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting this Monday night, November 2, as well as a section of the city’s land development regulations being amended in order to make it easier for the public and the planning commission to view and alter street design standards going forward. Five members of the North Myrtle Beach Wakeboard Team competed in the World Wake Association (WWA) World Championship held from September 20-22 at the Valdosta Wake Compound in Valdosta, Georgia. The city’s wakeboard team is based out of …

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HCS stays with hybrid learning until further notice

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Schools altered guidelines to their reopening plan last week as a result of an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in the district, keeping hybrid learning until further notice.  The county has been following the guidelines laid out by Gov. Henry McMaster and his acceleratEd Task Force, which linked the instructional method for students with the amount of the spread of coronavirus throughout the state’s districts.  Previously, HCS had been posting updates to their case dashboard on their website after receiving weekly disease activity reports from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control detailing …

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Horry County to end mask mandate

By Ruben Lowman Horry County Council voted last week to end the countywide face mask mandate that has been in place for the past several months in order to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the area. Councilmembers also voted in favor of ending the county’s state of emergency designation. The current ordinances will remain in effect in all unincorporated areas in Horry County, including Little River and Longs, until October 31, when they will expire.     Chairman Johnny Gardner summed up the proceedings with a simple explanation. “The county council decided enough is enough, we don’t …

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HCS continue with hybrid learning through Oct. 16, create COVID-19 case dashboard

By Ruben Lowman All schools throughout the district will continue with the hybrid learning plan for students until at least the end of next week, through Friday, Oct. 16, according to the latest updates from the state’s top health officials and their coronavirus reports.    Previously, DHEC had released its updated weekly disease activity report on Monday, with HCS following suit with their learning plan for the following two weeks. Last week DHEC announced it would alter the release of their reports to Thursday, in order to provide school districts with the most up-to-date information on the amount of COVID-19 …

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New towing ordinance reasoning expressed by NMB leaders, residents

By Ruben Lowman North Myrtle Beach officials recently passed an ordinance that was intended to prevent “predatory towing” of vehicles from parking lots within city limits. The ordinance was discussed at length by the city council during a workshop and two public hearings, council meetings, before being passed into law at the end of September. The most noteworthy aspect of the ordinance is that the presence of a police officer is required for all tows inside North Myrtle Beach going forward. Councilwoman Nikki Fontana commented that the ordinance was in response to the proper paperwork not being fully completed and …

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