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Redfish Tour returns to Georgetown County; registration open to all
July 1, 2015
The Inshore Fishing Association Redfish Tour and Kayak Tour will return to Georgetown County next month, and registration is now open to all anglers — no competitive fishing experience needed. The top prize is a $26,000 Ranger/Yamaha boat package. Cash prizes will also be awarded, including up to $500 for 20th place (assuming 100 boats are registered).
The Redfish Tour will take place at Georgetown County’s Carroll A. Campbell Marine Complex on Aug. 29 with boat launch at dawn and weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m. Both are open to spectators. Registration is from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 28 at the marine complex and will be followed by a meeting and dinner for participants. The marine complex is located at 101 River Walk Dr.
A $30 membership to the IFA is needed to sign up for the competition and can be purchased at registration. Participants fish in two-person teams. Entry fee is $250 per boat.
The Kayak Tour takes place on Aug. 30, with registration at the marine complex beginning at 5 p.m. Aug. 29, following Redfish Tour weigh-in. This competition is also open to everyone. Entry fee is $50 per angler and requires a $10 IFA membership.
The tours stopped in Georgetown County in April and were very successful, attracting 73 boats and many anglers from Georgetown and surrounding counties, as well as out-of-state visitors, creating a significant economic impact for area restaurants. Many participants from the April event said they plan to return in August, bringing their families and turning the event into a vacation.
“We’re happy to welcome the IFA Redfish Tour back again, and we’re looking for an even bigger success this time around, with more anglers and some new faces,” said Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway. “We worked hard to make sure all those who participated in April and during the IFA’s first visit in 2014 would want to come back and we’re hearing that we were very successful in that. They do want to come back and spend more time with us.”
The April Redfish Tour in Georgetown had the largest participation of any event in the Atlantic division in the event’s history, said Eric Shelby, IFA tournament director. The division stretches from Florida to Virginia.
“We had a great time again and we’re looking forward to coming back,” Shelby said. “The hospitality is great and I’m really impressed with the organization of the County. You can tell their goal is to get better every time and that’s impressive for us to see and to work with. We couldn’t ask for better than what we’ve experienced in Georgetown County.”
Georgetown County visitor information
County celebrates new Bikeway addition
June 4, 2015
With a quick snip of ribbon and much cheering from those gathered around, Georgetown County added three miles to the Waccamaw Bikeway.
The paved cycling and walking path now stretches a total of 14 miles, starting at the Horry/Georgetown County line and winding through Murrells Inlet, Litchfield and Pawleys Island.
The newest section, which cost just under $1.5 million, extends south along Kings River Road from Willbrook Boulevard to Waverly Road. It then travels east down Waverly to Waccamaw Elementary School.
The school was the site of a ribbon cutting celebration for the bikeway addition on June 4. The event attracted a large, enthusiastic crowd, which included about 50 cyclists who participated in a group bike ride on the new trail section from the school to the Waccamaw Library. From kids with training wheels to senior citizens, the ride showed the diversity of those who use the trail.
This section of the bikeway was funded by the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study policy committee, which distributed funds to both the County and Georgetown County School District; the S.C. Department of Transportation; a match from Georgetown County government; Bike the Neck contributions; and a Safe Routes to School grant.
This project was a true partnership. Thanks go out to the school district for financial support and providing land for part of the path; Palmetto Corp., contractor for the project; Paul Battaglino, the county’s Capital Projects Coordinator, who took the lead for the County in managing construction of this project; GSATS and Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments; the USDA office in Georgetown for providing initial design and planning services; SCDOT for obtaining required easement agreements, for providing design services, construction oversight of the entire project, and funding support; and numerous residential and corporate property owners who provided essential easements for construction of the pathway.
The Bike The Neck organization is currently collecting input on which proposed segment of the Bikeway route should be constructed next.
View photos from the ribbon cutting celebration
Entries sought for youth art and writing contest
June 1, 2015
Artists and writers ages 5-17 are invited to enter the Georgetown County Library system’s “Every Hero Has a Story” contest. There will be three age categories: 5-8, 9-12 and 13-17.
Artists are asked to draw a picture that represents someone who is a hero to them. No trademarked characters are allowed. Those entering the writing contest will write on the theme “My hero is.” Entries may be about a real or fictional hero who is important to the author. Word limit depends on age category.
The contest starts June 8 and deadline for entries is July 17.
View complete contest rules and entry form
Hurricane season is here. Is your family prepared?
June 1, 2015
By the time the 2015 hurricane season got its official start on June 1, Georgetown County had already dealt with a brush by one storm —Tropical Storm Ana — weeks before. The storm brought rain and wind to the area, but thankfully did no damage. However, it did serve as a good reminder that hurricane season is anything bur predictable.
Though forecasters predict a below-normal hurricane season this year, with 3-6 hurricanes and 6-11 named storms, “we all know it just takes one,” said Sam Hodge, Georgetown County’s emergency manager.
“We can have just one storm all season, but if it’s strong enough and the trajectory is right, that could still be a devastating hurricane season,” Hodge said.
With nearly 26 years having lapsed since the last time Georgetown County suffered a major hit, he worries about complacency. If residents don’t take the threat of hurricanes seriously and heed warnings and evacuation orders when issued, that could easily be fatal.
Many people who live in Georgetown County today have never been through a hurricane and may not fully grasp how powerful these storms can be. A storm doesn’t have to be a Category 4 or 5, or even a 3, to be deadly. Although storm surge and wind are what people most often fear in a hurricane, tropical systems can also bring heavy rains that can be seen well inland from a storm’s landfall. During landfall, it’s not uncommon to get 5-10 inches of rain. If a storm is large and slow-moving, an area could receive even more rainfall.
Intense flooding can also occur from tropical depressions and storms that do not reach hurricane strength. In a county that boasts five rivers, that’s a concern for every resident.
Every home and business in Georgetown County should have an emergency plan that includes hurricanes, Hodge said. He encourages those who don’t have one to make one now and review it with family members and/or employees to make sure everyone is familiar with what to do.
“The time to do that is really now and not when a storm is already out there and on the way,” Hodge said. “It’s never too early, but it can be too late.”
Residents should start by making sure they know what evacuation zone they’re in. Thanks to an Eagle Scout project completed this year by Bobby Walters of Pawleys Island, residents can easily identify their zone by looking for a color-coded band on the nearest street sign. Families should also consider where they’ll go if evacuation orders are issued, how they’ll get there, what to do with pets and what they’ll need to bring with them (necessary medications, important documents, etc.).
Now is also a good time to review home insurance policies and make sure you have the coverage you need before a storm hits.
There’s a lot more to consider than most people think and now is the time to get started.
Find hurricane preparedness information
More useful planning links
Fishing tournament brings big returns to Georgetown County economy
May 4, 2015
A fishing tournament hosted by Georgetown County from April 22-24 had a total economic impact of nearly half a million dollars, based on conservative preliminary estimates. That’s a significant boon for the local economy.
The B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional Championship, held at the Carroll A. Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River, brought anglers from seven states to Georgetown County. Factoring in hotel stays, meals, fuel purchases and other spending by participants, direct spending resulting from the tournament amounted to an estimated $244,671. Add in a conservative multiplier of 1.66 to account forindirect spending and the number jumps to $406,153.
“The actual numbers would probably be a good bit higher. We were very conservative in all our calculations,” said Beth Goodale, Georgetown County’s director of parks and recreation.
Though the tournament lasted for three days, with registration and team meetings stretching it out to four days, most tournament participants arrived anywhere from two to six days prior for practice fishing. That meant a good week forGeorgetown hotels. The Quality Inn in Georgetown was completely booked for the tournament and other hotels were at or close to capacity. Some anglers booked beach houses for their visit, so rental agencies saw benefits from the tournament as well...
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