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July 25, 2014

Gov. Nikki Haley to meet with Atlantic Beach officials about Bikefest

Nearly two months after saying Atlantic Beach Bikefest must end following three fatalities during the Memorial Day event, Gov. Nikki Haley will sit down to talk to officials in the beach town.

Nearly two months after saying Atlantic Beach Bikefest must end following three fatalities during the Memorial Day event, Gov. Nikki Haley will sit down to talk to officials in the beach town.

Atlantic Beach Town Council and Haley are expected to meet during a special meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the town’s community center, said Town Manager William Booker.

“She said she was going to get with the council ... this is a follow up to that comment,” Booker said.

He said he expects the discussion to be held in executive session. Public bodies are required by the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act to meet in open session.

Closed door meetings are allowed for specific reasons. Among those are discussions about individual employment matters, negotiations of proposed contractual agreements or property sales, discussion of development of security personnel or devices and to investigate proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct.

Booker said he’s not sure what is expected to come out of the meeting.

Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Doug Mayer, spokesman for Haley, confirmed the meeting and said the governor will answer media questions after the discussion.

Haley met with several Horry County elected officials days after police responded to eight confirmed shootings during Memorial Day weekend, including one May 24 that left three people dead in Myrtle Beach. Representatives from Atlantic Beach were not in those meetings.

The shootings prompted the formation of two task forces, plans to redirect accommodations tax funds from tourism promotion to beef up law enforcement, and calls to end the rally by community members as well as the governor.

Atlantic Beach officials have said they don’t intend to put an end to their annual Bikefest event, which attracts thousands and is considered a money-maker for the town as well as a tradition that has been held since the 1980s.

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