Cities will vote for new SC mayors + Get an ambulance quick in Rock Hill, but wait hours at the ER

·6 min read

Hey, everybody. It’s Chase Karacostas.

This week, I’m thinking about Adele’s first new single in six years, “Easy On Me.” Her new album is now only a month away after a much too long silence.

Time for Palmetto State news. The South Carolina State Fair returned this week after a COVID cancellation last year that turned the event into a two-day drive-thru. Also, please read this beautiful story from The State’s Lyn Riddle about the “We’re Here,” a new HBO show visiting Spartanburg. In the show, three famous drag queens visit small towns around the U.S. to bring hope and support to local LGBTQ+ communities. Watch the episode, too, if you have time this weekend. (I cried.)

Here’s some non-music related news from around South Carolina.

1. South Carolina mayors on the ballot

Local elections around the state are just around the corner. Here’s what’s happening in four cities.

Election day in Myrtle Beach and Columbia is Nov. 2. Election day in Rock HIll is Oct. 19.

It’s not all about mayors. Beaufort County has a referendum on a 1% local-option sales tax goes for a vote Nov. 2. The goal is to use the money to lower property taxes for residents and shift the tax burden to tourists. Here’s how the money would be spent in the City of Beaufort.

2. In Island Green, residents worried about over-development. Now a bridge has collapsed.

For years, residents of Horry County’s Island Green neighborhood have raised concerns that building too many homes in the area could prove disastrous for the wildlife there, or even their own safety.

Now, rain over the weekend has caused part of a bridge in the neighborhood to collapse, The Sun News’ Dale Shoemaker reports.

The bridge is off of one of the still-developing roads through the community and leads across a small stream into an area where developers are building new homes. Rain appears to have washed away dirt that was supporting the concrete and asphalt above, causing the road to collapse. Island Green resident Dawne Dunton said she was outraged.

“This is the shoddy work that they’ve done. This is what they’ve done to our community. This is what they’ve done to our pond,” Dunton said in a video of the damage that she recorded. “Two, almost three inches of rain yesterday and this is what happens, the road happens. This has got to stop.”

3. Ambulance calls in Rock Hill region can lead to long ER waits, no guaranteed destination

If you call for ambulance service in the Rock Hill region, you’ll probably get a quick response, then face delays getting hospital care.

  • Officials who work with the emergency vehicles say people in the Rock Hill region can be assured an ambulance will arrive quickly when called. If ambulances in one county or township are in use, emergency management services from nearby areas will step in.

  • But most patients will end up waiting in the ambulance for 45 minutes to an hour. And that time could stretch up to two hours.

  • Least serious cases will be directed to the waiting room before being moved into a treatment room.

The Herald’s Tobie Nell Perkins has the latest on how this could effect your next ambulance ride, and when you should, or shouldn’t, call one for help.

4. COVID-19 keeps killing them, but first responders in SC are suing over vaccine mandates

At the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, it’s almost like Sgt. Mikkos Newman never left. Deputies trail off in conversation when they tell a story and find themselves recalling how their fallen brother would have responded.

Newman died on June 8, 2020, becoming the first law enforcement officer in South Carolina to die of COVID-19. He was 38, otherwise healthy and terrified of catching the coronavirus, his sheriff said.

“But if the vaccine was available back then,” Sheriff David Simon told The State’s Caitlin Byrd, “he would still be here with us today.”

Yet, despite seeing the way COVID has taken their comrades, some 80 first responders in the Charleston area are resisting getting vaccinated and in four separate lawsuits are fighting vaccine mandates by their employers.

5. ‘We did this.’ How a Myrtle Beach brewery opened during COVID and now thrives statewide

It seems like an improbable outcome, opening a brewery three months into the pandemic that sixteen months later is wildly successful with a strong fan base of regulars and tourists, as well as beer sales around the state. Yet, it happened.

Myrtle Beach’s Tidal Creek Brewhouse opened in June 2020 and is a powerful success story of a business that managed to not only survive but thrive during COVID-19. How’d it happen?

Owner Dara Liberatore told me that she credits her success with finding a niche Myrtle Beach was missing — before Tidal Creek opened, only one other major brewery was known around town, unlike Charleston or Columbia, which have dozens — and focusing on a model that anyone could love. The “brewhouse” also brews and roasts its own coffee (hence the name) as well as offers wine, cocktails and a wide variety of food.

Still, did she expect it all to work out this well? “Absolutely not. Not even going to sugarcoat that or lie. When you open during a pandemic, you expect the worst of pretty much every day, and you hope for the best. We’ve been very fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by an amazing community of people.”

What I’m reading

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