The moments following the crash are often a blur when you're involved in a car accident. However, per South Carolina law, those on the scene must adhere to legal responsibilities and obligations.
First, try to stop your car and ensure it is positioned safely near the scene of the crash. Then, call 911 to report the accident. While most folks go into full-blown panic mode, you need to stay calm so you can process the situation. If you notice that there are injured people, give them "reasonable assistance." Per South Carolina Code of Laws, that could include transporting hurt people to a hospital or calling an ambulance for them.
If you're in a car crash, you need to be prepared to exchange contact information with other drivers at the accident scene. If the person who caused the collision is present, make sure to get their name, phone number, address, and insurance info. If witnesses are present, get their contact info, too, in case our team needs to obtain their account later.
Next, try to piece together how the car crash happened. This is an appropriate time to take photos of the cars, wreckage, and debris. Ask yourself if you think a vehicle failed to follow the rules of the road, like speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign.
Regardless of how minor your injuries may appear and who may be to blame for the accident, get legal advice from Theos Law Firm first before giving any recorded statements or refusing medical care.
Time and again, auto accident victims agree to early settlements provided by insurance companies because the offer seems like a lot. But what if you return to work after recovering from an accident, only for your pain to return?
With adjusters, lawyers, and investigators at their disposal, insurance agencies will do everything in their power to minimize the compensation you deserve. Don't let them pick on you or silence your voice. If you or a loved are victims of a negligent car or truck accident in South Carolina, contact Theos Law Firm today. We have the team, tools, and experience to fight back on your behalf, no matter how complicated your case may seem.
To schedule an appointment for your free consultation, contact Theos Law Firm in Murrels Inlet today.
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - Residents in Murrells Inlet and Garden City will vote on a referendum next week that would increase taxes to support more personnel for the fire district.“When I call the fire department, I want them to come,” said Al Jordan, president of the Greater Burgess Community Association. “That’s the bottom line.”The Greater Burgess Community Association is supporting the referendum. Jordan says that last year, Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire District was unable to get a unit ...
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - Residents in Murrells Inlet and Garden City will vote on a referendum next week that would increase taxes to support more personnel for the fire district.
“When I call the fire department, I want them to come,” said Al Jordan, president of the Greater Burgess Community Association. “That’s the bottom line.”
The Greater Burgess Community Association is supporting the referendum. Jordan says that last year, Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire District was unable to get a unit to 300 calls due to not having enough staff members.
MORE INFORMATION | Find your polling location
“That’s unacceptable, that’s almost once a day,” said Jordan.
The referendum would increase taxes over the next five years. Initially, an owner-occupied home would see a tax increase of $56.
According to Gene Connell, president of the fire district’s board of directors, this extra money would increase staffing by 30 percent.
“What we’d like to do would be able to have additional ambulance services, said Connell. “The call for ambulance services is daily here; we had 8,000 calls last year in the district.”
Connell said this is especially important because the district is home to several people over 59 years of age. And, there is a diverse set of needs.
“It’s a wide-ranging district,” he said. “We have high-rise condominiums in the district, we have Waccamaw hospitals in the district...we have to be able to service a very diverse group of people.”
However, Connell said the turnout for past referendum votes has not been high. Usually, only around 2,000 people vote in a district of more than 10 times that number.
“We have an opportunity to vote to have better fire protection and paramedic service, and the idea of not doing that strikes me as crazy,” said Jordan.
The referendum vote takes place on July 25.
CLICK HEREto find your polling location.
Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.
MURRELLS INLET — A local business owner wants to assist those going through stressful situations in life after she previously navigated similar challenges without the necessary resources to help her.Charlene Blanton opened Caring Transitions of Myrtle Beach 12 years ago after researching the Cincinnati-based company, which specializes in helping older adults ...
MURRELLS INLET — A local business owner wants to assist those going through stressful situations in life after she previously navigated similar challenges without the necessary resources to help her.
Charlene Blanton opened Caring Transitions of Myrtle Beach 12 years ago after researching the Cincinnati-based company, which specializes in helping older adults and their families with relocation services, downsizing and decluttering, estate sales and home clean-outs.
“I previously had to walk this walk three different times with my family and each time we were out of town,” Blanton said. “And it was overwhelming, emotional and just incredibly difficult not having the right resources.”
She felt it was a franchise that a popular retirement destination like the Grand Strand needed. Her clients are typically folks in their 60s to early 90s.
Situated in the midst of one the state’s fastest-growing counties and anchored by tourism hub Myrtle Beach, Blanton’s business has benefited from the influx of homebuyers as well as vacationers who later may decide to buy.
“We get referrals from a lot of Realtors who need support for their clients and their families who are looking to move,” Blanton said. “When it was booming a year ago, we were having three-week closes. So, we were trying to get people packed up and moved out of their house, getting the house completely empty and ready for closing in three weeks.”
Before starting the franchise in June 2011, Blanton had a career as a hotel executive working in national sales. She said she was part of the hotel group that renovated the historic Francis Marion Hotel on King Street in Charleston.
“I stepped away when my first child was born and then as my children got older, we stepped back into the business world by starting this franchise,” Blanton said. “I realized that there needed to be some kind of resource to just support families when they are having to move and relocate for whatever reason, whether that be divorce, death, changes in life or just being proactive.”
Blanton said her franchise can help those facing a relocation, either to another state, locally or to an independent senior living community. She also assists those who have lost loved ones and are faced with the hectic process of settling their estate. Some of her techniques have resulted in her winning company-wide awards.
“We come alongside of them and provide them the tips and tricks and tools such as floor planning to make sure that not too much furniture gets moved to their new home, and it’s age-friendly and safe for mobility reasons,” Blanton said. “We actually place the furniture in their new home, unpack the boxes, put the sheets on the bed, the cups in the cupboard. We hang their clothes in the closet and we haul off all of the packing material so they are literally live-in ready to step into their new lifestyle.”
Blanton offers each potential client a free consultation, which lasts nearly an hour and a half inside their home. She doesn’t have a typical storefront, allowing her to provide more personal service.
“It is a turn-key service and they don’t have to start over and make all of these 600 different phone calls,” Blanton said. “We bring all of the resources to the table for them.”
Blanton is a licensed auctioneer in South Carolina, but you won’t find her holding auctions where potential buyers show up in person. For those who have items left over at their residence, or if the house has a closing and it needs to go on the market, Caring Transitions offers online auctions through its site CTBids.com.
“There are a lot of gated communities along the Grand Strand,” Blanton said. “If your house were sold, would you want 300 people through your house on a rainy Saturday morning? Would you want to have 300 people parking in your neighborhood?”
Blanton said she recently moved a couple from Pawleys Island to Florida. After their house was sold, her staff circled back to get it ready for closing. They didn’t have a lot of stuff left, but they did find a group of watches with some of the faces broken.
“We watch our auctions very closely,” Blanton said. “It turns out one of them was a rare Swiss dive watch ... only 2,800 were ever made. Because of the photos we took, it went for almost $20,000. We would have never gotten anything close to that. That is an amazing phone call to make to someone.”
For her efforts over the past 12 years, Blanton was recognized as the company-wide franchise of the year in 2020. Caring Transitions President Ray Fabik said Blanton continues to be a model for the entire company.
“That was coming off of COVID,” Fabik said. “She really led the way in terms of restructuring her business and really sharing a lot of her strategies with the rest of the network. So, she has really had a big impact on the rest of the owners and her peers.”
Blanton said she was honored, but it was a shock to win the award. She said shortly after COVID began, her staff held a team meeting to decide how to operate. It was a difficult time, especially with a lot of senior living communities either restricting access or shutting down.
“We made a relocation team and all they do is help people move,” Blanton said. “They pack them up, they help the right-size and then we have a liquidation team that can come in and sell what’s left. And the two teams can piggyback and support each other. I realized that we could better serve if we were specialized because not everyone enjoys doing everything.”
Blanton said her team also wrote a manual of operating procedures, which then were shared with the entire network of Caring Transitions franchises. She now uses the experience to do coaching calls with new franchisees.
Being a small business entrepreneur is never easy, Blanton said, but it is all about adaptability. She said what they do is personable and they get to know their clients by their belongings.
“When our client family walks into their newly set-up home and the sheets are on the bed, the cups are in the cupboard, the artwork is hung, the television is working, they are live-in ready and they say, ‘Wow, it feels like home,”’ Blanton said. “That is the best feeling in the world. It’s like Super Bowl times a thousand.”
MURRELLS INLET — The effects of sea level rise have already been seen as South Carolina’s barrier islands experience more frequent flooding. Salt marshes are feeling the heat, as well, according to coastal researchers.During a recent Murrells Inlet’s Community Creek Talk event, a packed crowd listened as researchers laid out the present and future of the inlet’s natural geography that gives it one of the most iconic views in South Carolina.“I wish I could give you a more uplifting report, but there...
MURRELLS INLET — The effects of sea level rise have already been seen as South Carolina’s barrier islands experience more frequent flooding. Salt marshes are feeling the heat, as well, according to coastal researchers.
During a recent Murrells Inlet’s Community Creek Talk event, a packed crowd listened as researchers laid out the present and future of the inlet’s natural geography that gives it one of the most iconic views in South Carolina.
“I wish I could give you a more uplifting report, but there is no question that estuaries are being stressed both by changes in environmental conditions and by human activities,” said Dennis Allen, research professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and resident director of the Baruch Marine Field Lab near Georgetown.
Effects of sea level rise have already been seen in South Carolina with more frequent flooding of barrier islands and the stress on trees from saltwater encroachment, Allen said. Salt marshes like those of Murrells Inlet have generally not been able to keep up with current rates of sea level rise, as they must acquire sedimentation at a similar rate to rising waters.
Allen told the crowd at Murrells Inlet Community Center that the key to the future of South Carolina’s coastal salt marshes is expansion to the west onto higher land. There has been indication that the salt marshes have been able to do this on the South Carolina coast, Allen said, except in places where the higher land has already been taken over by development.
USC research associate professor Erik Smith, also of the Baruch Marine Field Laboratory, said during the talk that Murrells Inlet has significant water quality concerns, especially with fecal bacteria contamination from pets and wildlife.
“Some of the shellfish beds have been closed for quite some time,” Smith said. “For much of the open water portion of the bay, have at it, it’s fine. But for a good bit of the north, the south, and right along the inner coast, those areas are closed. And those areas are closed entirely due to the potential for microbial pollution.”
Katie Finegan of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and Maeve Snyder of the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve told the audience what can be done to improve the inlet’s health, including reducing polluted runoff, recycling and the use of non-toxic products.
Finegan also noted that the consortium received a $500,000 grant to conduct a four-year study of “thin layer placement,” in which sediment removed during dredging is sprayed over existing marsh instead of being removed offshore or placed on a beach.
“What this technique is doing is helping them keep up with sea level rise artificially by introducing sediment into the system, so they’re not drowned out,” Finegan said.
The technique has not been tried in South Carolina, but has been the subject of experimentation in North Carolina, Finegan said.
GEORGETOWN — The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show enjoyed one of its most successful years in 2023.
Organizers used phrases like “amazing turnout” and “exceeded our expectations” to describe the Oct. 21-22 event, which has become one of the most popular wooden boat shows in the United States.
“What an incredible crowd we had this year,” said Hope McFaddin, administrator of the South Carolina Maritime Museum/Harbor Historical Association in downtown Georgetown — which is a chief beneficiary of the show. “I heard from several locals, business owners and longtime attendees that they felt this was the largest crowd we have ever had. The weather was certainly in our favor with a clear beautiful weekend.”
McFaddin said it was hard to say exactly how many people attended the annual event, which is always held on the third weekend of October. But show organizers will have a better grasp of the numbers as they go through sales, pictures, time lapse videos and other indicators of attendance.
“I feel confident in saying we easily had over 10,000 visitors to our event,” McFaddin said. “I was so pleased to hear of the numerous people who had never been to our event and are already planning their schedule to attend next year.”
She said highlights of this year’s show, held in a three-block area of downtown Georgetown, were the boat building competition on Saturday and the corrugated cardboard boat competition on Sunday.
“We had such remarkable teams competing showing off their skills,” McFaddin said. “From local families, nonprofit organizations and an out-of-state high school, we are proud to be able to put together an event that brings these people together and celebrate what makes Georgetown so special.”
She also said a new wrinkle for this year’s wooden boat show — the dog parade on Sunday — was a big hit.
“The dog parade really exceeded our expectations,” she said. “We initially thought we’d have around a dozen participants register but ended up with over 40. We heard such a great response from the public and are already looking forward to next year’s improvements.”
As with the aftermath of every Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, organizers and leaders will review what went well and what could be improved or changed to make the event even better next year.
“One thing we always know going into the boat show is that mistakes will be made and we will always have something to learn,” McFaddin said. “As an organization that not only organizes the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show but runs the SC Maritime Museum year round, along with its programming like summer youth sailing and boat building programs, we always need dedicated volunteers. We hope to expand our volunteers in a capacity that allows us to dedicate more time throughout the year for planning this exciting event.”
Longtime board president and dockmaster Johnny Weaver agreed with McFaddin that the 2023 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show was a success.
“It could not have been better,” said Weaver, who lives in Pawleys Island. “I think there were more people here this weekend than we have ever had before. Last year we only had two boat builders. This year we had seven and six got in the water, so that helped out a lot right there. People really enjoyed the boat building on Saturday and he corrugated board boat building competition on Sunday.”
Weaver agreed with McFaddin that the dog parade on Sunday had been well received.
“Sunday is more of a laidback family type of thing so Sunday we had a dog parade,” he said. “Dogs were dressed up and led down the street by a lady with a couple of goats. That brought everybody out looking at that. . . And I think next year, from the reaction we got, we’ll have even more dogs. I heard people say, “Well, next year I’m going to have my dog in there.’”
But the boats, regardless of their size, shape, color or type, were again the main attraction of the annual event — which has consistently grown every year except during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And there were plenty of boats.
“We had 30 beautiful boats in the water and probably another 60 or so or 70 on land,” said Weaver, who has been associated with the show for 30-plus years.
He gave high praise to McFaddin.
“Just about everything we do goes through her,” Weaver said. “And she is absolutely wonderful. She was emceeing the cardboard boat building competition and she keeps me straight. We couldn’t do it without her. And we have three staff members at the museum. They just all hung in there the whole time.”
As for the volunteers, Weaver said the wooden boat show generally has between 225 and 250 of them “and they are just wonderful. This year some of ’em stayed extra shifts to keep everything going.”
Sam Gary and his 12-year-old daughter Phoebe of Murrells Inlet had two boats in the wooden boat-building competition. And although they didn’t win an award, they said they thoroughly enjoyed being at the show and will return next year.
“She (Phoebe) built a boat last year and this year at a summer boat building camp,” said Gary, noting that there’s a Judges’ Choice for all the different categories. And while his daughter didn’t win anything, it was still fun to be in the competition. “Just to see all the like-minded people appreciate classic wooden boats and the atmosphere and all the food and the goodies,” Gary said.
He said he absolutely recommends the show for any boat lovers.
“It will open their minds up to the availability of all the wooden boats,” he said. “That’s definitely one of the things that people could see how accessible all the boats are — when they found out a 12-year-old girl built it. It’s not just a fancy thing that not everyone can have access to.”
Gary said he and his daughter will enter her boats in the wooden boat competition next year and will probably add some things to them to make them a little bit prettier.
For more information about the annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, go to: https://woodenboatshow.com.
Headed to Myrtle Beach? We hope you carve out some time to explore the funky eateries and bars along Main Creek in Murrells Inlet. While there, here's one spectacle you definitely want to take in: Goat Island.The Palmetto State has its own island filled with adorable creatures, at least for part of the year. Goats are bro...
Headed to Myrtle Beach? We hope you carve out some time to explore the funky eateries and bars along Main Creek in Murrells Inlet. While there, here's one spectacle you definitely want to take in: Goat Island.
The Palmetto State has its own island filled with adorable creatures, at least for part of the year. Goats are brought to the island each April, where they stay through November, helping to control the isle's vegetation. The island is also home to peacocks and enjoys visits from ducks, pelicans, and more. Needless to say, herding these goats up each autumn is quite the scene. The 20,000-square-foot island by Murrells Inlet is more than just a sanctuary for goats—even once believed to be a popular locale for pirates to hide.
To see Goat Island, head to Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, a wooden boardwalk with many bars and restaurants. This spot is the ideal vantage point for viewing Goat Island. Your best bet for checking out these adorable creatures? Go to Drunken Jack's, where you can observe the goats and peacocks on Goat Island, right across the way. Fun fact: The owners of this popular watering hole actually put the goats on Goat Island.
"Goat Island is such a unique spot, from its centuries-old pirate history to its modern-day home to goats and peacocks—all within eyeshot from the restaurants along the popular MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet, just south of Myrtle Beach's main drag," Julie Ellis, PR and communications manager of Visit Myrtle Beach, shared with Southern Living. "The island's stories and its quirky inhabitants have been entertaining visitors for years, and we love that it is a tradition that continues to live on." Check out a cute video of the goats in action below.
Who knew one of the South's most popular vacation destinations had such a unique island? We'll definitely be making a detour to check this out next time we're in town. Meet you at Drunken Jack's for a Salty Goat cocktail and a view.
A father, daughter and son are teaming up to bring Voodoo to Murrells Inlet this fall. Voodoo Brewing Co., that is.Mike Dapolite has been vacationing on the Grand Strand for 35 years and moved to South Carolina last year to be closer to family. Dapolite, owner of the soon-to-open Voodoo Brewing in Murrells Inlet, has opened other franchises in the past. He said after an early retirement as director of operations of a Connecticut housing authority, he wanted to open a business in Murrells Inlet.“I was always doing somethin...
A father, daughter and son are teaming up to bring Voodoo to Murrells Inlet this fall. Voodoo Brewing Co., that is.
Mike Dapolite has been vacationing on the Grand Strand for 35 years and moved to South Carolina last year to be closer to family. Dapolite, owner of the soon-to-open Voodoo Brewing in Murrells Inlet, has opened other franchises in the past. He said after an early retirement as director of operations of a Connecticut housing authority, he wanted to open a business in Murrells Inlet.
“I was always doing something other than my corporate jobs, and then I decided I was ready to make the move down here,” Dapolite said. “We decided to be a lot closer to our family down here. It’s where we always planned on retiring. But I was 55 and I’m a workaholic so I was never going to sit around and do nothing.”
Dapolite noticed the increasing popularity of breweries, being a newly initiated patron himself.
“I found myself going to breweries every Thursday night for singo, which is music bingo, and trivia. I just like the atmosphere. The sort of community atmosphere where you can sit with other people. Indoor and outdoor, fire pits and cornhole games,” Dapolite said. “I’m not the kind of guy to go sit at a bar, but I liked the atmosphere that breweries create. And after going to them for once a week for a year or so, I came upon the voodoo franchise opportunity and thought that would be a pretty fun place to work and own since I enjoyed going to it myself. I thought it would be a great atmosphere to work in every day.”
He said he decided on Voodoo Brewing in particular because of the involvement and support executives give to franchise owners. Another factor is that Voodoo Brewing ships kegs to its franchises rather than having franchise locations oversee the brewery process individually.
Dapolite is being joined by his daughter, Deirdre Dapolite, who will work as lead bartender and front-of-house manager. Dapolite’s son, who goes by Michael Dapolite instead of Mike to avoid confusion, will be general manager of the brewery.
“I’m 56 now and maybe ten years from now I won’t want to be working all those hours every week. I’d like to hand it over to them, so I’m very happy that they’re involved and obviously it gives me a lot of quality time to spend with them that I might not see if they were in different states or even a couple hours away,” Mike Dapolite said.
The brewery will be located at 3453 Highway 17 Business, just a mile and a half north of the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk. Two miles south, Southern Hops Brewing Company opened their second location recently. Mike Dapolite isn’t worried about the competition. He said there is plenty of demand for two breweries and that it helps that they will be on opposite ends of the popular MarshWalk attraction.
“I purchased the franchise rights in March of 2022. At that point, there were no breweries in the area. As I started going through the permitting process, one did open up about five miles down the road. They’re doing very well which I’m happy to see,” Mike Dapolite said. “They’re on the other side of the marsh walk to the south. I believe I’m in a better location, but again, there’s so much volume around here, we can all succeed and compliment each other.”
The Murrells Inlet Voodoo Brewing location will have 24 taps. Mike Dapolite said most will be pouring Voodoo beers and seltzers but that he is also looking to include some kegs from local breweries that are to be determined. There will also be a limited liquor bar to offer signature cocktails.
For food, Voodoo brewery locations have a base menu of what the Voodoo franchise website describes as "brewpub food on steroids" at all their franchises. Dapolite said he will complement that menu with local flavors, mostly using fresh seafood. Some menu items you can expect to find include shrimp po'boy, grouper sandwich, fish and chips and southern fried chicken.
The 4,750 sq. ft. building can seat 105 inside and 65 outside, Mike Dapolite said. A private room which can fit 30-40 people can be rented out for events. Outside, picnic tables, cornhole and other games will create a relaxed brewery atmosphere. Mike Dapolite said he is tentatively aiming to open on Oct. 21.