In Our Towns

LOCALMYRTLE BEACHNew chamber panel backs McBrideThe Grand Strand Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously agreed Mark McBride "has their full confidence as president" at a closed board meeting this morning, said spokesman Todd Cartner.This vote came after chamber founder Ward Shepherd made a motion to remove McBride from his position at a board of directors meeting Monday. The motion was tabled, and no vote was taken, Shepherd said.Shepherd said he and McBride butted heads on some issues but, on Wednesday, said he was confident McBride would stay in the position."I think I just may have been frustrated, but again, it's not about me," Shepherd said at the time. "It's about the chamber, and we're going to work together."McBride said the events from the past few days have been a "lesson learned for us all.""You can mark this up as growing pains that everyone encounters when starting a new business. We are eager to continue our mission of supporting the small-business owners and their employees along the Grand Strand," he said. "We look forward to working together to achieve these goals."McBride has held the position since the chamber opened Sept. 1. The current board of directors for the chamber includes Shepherd, McBride, Jim Smith, Chris Mitchell and Bob Baxby.BRUNSWICK COUNTYGrant funds given for academic interventionBrunswick County Schools is getting more than $500,000 in grant funding for academic intervention and professional development, said Superintendent Katie McGee. The district had a grant presentation ceremony at 4 p.m. Thursday at Town Creek Elementary School in Winnabow, N.C. The three-year grant will provide extra academic intervention for students who are struggling or below basic on the state exam with reading skills. The district will also work with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for the professional development component, McGee said.McGee said the funding is welcome, because both her intervention and professional development programs have been cut from the state.HORRY COUNTYRescue group to get grant for firefightersHorry County Fire Rescue will get a $1.9 million grant to increase the number of front-line firefighters, according to a statement by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. "Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians," said Graham. "These grants will help our local fire departments by assisting them in hiring more personnel to help make our communities safer."The SAFER grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.GEORGETOWNCity campaigns for volunteer firefightersGeorgetown City Fire officials have launched a campaign to recruit volunteer firefighters.Volunteers who complete the training will receive personal protective equipment, a uniform, participation in the department's supplemental retirement program, a $3,000 tax deduction from S.C. income taxes and incentives from the S.C. Firefighters Association.Volunteer firefighters are required to obtain 150 initial hours of training and maintain a minimum of 20 hours of training per month.Anyone interested in volunteering should submit an application, available online at www.georgetowncityfire.org or at the department's headquarters station at 1405 Prince St.An organizational meeting of new volunteers will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 8. For information, call the department at 545-4200. POLICEHORRY COUNTYTwo robbed at gunpoint in SocasteeAbout midnight Wednesday, two people were robbed while outside a home on Figure Eight Road in Socastee, according to the Horry County Police Department.Two robbers armed with handguns approached the victims and demanded money. After taking the money, one robber hit one of the victims with the pistol, causing minor injuries, according to Sgt. Robert Kegler with Horry County police.The robbers fled in a black Ford Expedition with an unknown N.C. license plate. The case is under investigation by detectives with the Horry County Police Department's Violent Crimes Section.HORRY COUNTYGirl, 11, harassed by men in van at bus stopThe Horry County Police Department is investigating a report of intimidation at a school bus stop filed by an 11-year-old girl.The girl told police that when she got off the school bus at about 4 p.m. Wednesday near Oxbow Drive, in the Carolina Forest area, she noticed a white van.The van slowly began to approach the girl as she was walking home, and the two young men in the van kept asking her for her phone number, according to the report filed with Horry County Police.The driver got out of the van, and as the girl tried to walk away, the man kept trying to talk to her. The girl ran home. She described the driver of the van as a teenager with a short haircut or was bald. She said the men did not try to grab her or force her into the van.- From staff reports