Officials in Horry County have been steadily working behind the scenes to address issues with Bikefest, the annual Memorial Day weekend motorcycle rally that turned deadly this year with a host of shootings and other incidents. According to a report from The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus says leaders of a task force have been meeting with public safety officials to come up with some “plans of action” regarding Bikefest. The state Legislature authorized an amendment that allows for one-third of accommodations tax funding returned to Horry County to be dedicated for public safety for events held in May.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) says 136 people have been denied the opportunity to buy guns in the Palmetto State after background checks indicated they had been ruled mentally incompetent. Associated Press reports also indicate concealed weapons permits have been revoked from more than 130 people who were ruled mentally incompetent. South Carolina law requires probate courts to report all cases where a person was deemed mentally incompetent or was involuntarily committed. Those people are not allowed to own a gun.
Richland County continues to bolster the presence of police officers working in schools. According to a report from The State newspaper, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott indicated 22 officers have been added to the sheriff’s department school resource program since last year. That brings the department’s school resource roster up to 82 members. Many of the SRO additions in the Midlands have been in elementary schools, a move that is very likely a reaction to the deadly 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Residents of the Midlands don’t have to look far to find the latest Miss Teen USA. She’s from nearby Chapin. According to the Associated Press K. Lee Graham, 17, of Chapin, was crowned Miss Teen USA Saturday night at a pageant in the Bahamas. Graham says she will spend her reign as Miss Teen USA, in part, “emphasizing that being beautiful is about being happy with who you are and how you treat others instead of striving for an impossible model of perfection.” An honor student, Graham says she enjoys performing in theater.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will kick off the 5th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Drills and Skills Clinic at 11:30 a.m. today. Drills and Skills is an instructional clinic for youth who want to get better at basketball, tennis and golf. Drills will be held throughout the week and will culminate with contests on Friday. The kick off to Drills and Skills will be at 11:30 a.m. today at the James E. Clyburn Golf Center on Slighs Avenue.