Atlantic Beach, SC (WMBF) - Only three council members showed up to Thursday night's special called town council in Atlantic Beach, but those three approved several big changes to the way the town is run.
Mayor Retha Pierce, Mayor-Elect Jake Evans, and Councilwoman Charlene Taylor voted to remove Interim Town Manager Calvin Blanton, who did not attend Thursday's meeting, from his job with the town; Blanton is now on administrative leave with pay pending a hearing to be held at a later date.
The trio also voted to strip Councilwoman Carolyn Cole, who also did not attend the meeting, of her title as Mayor Pro-Tem of Atlantic Beach, and replace her with Charlene Taylor. The three also voted to take away Cole and Blanton's ability to write checks using the town's bank account.
Pierce was guarded when asked why she believed the shake-up was needed, but did say the three council members in attendance came to Thursday's meeting expecting answers on recent events like the dissolving of the town's police department.
"We just came so we could have updates on the police department and other items that we're interested in," Pierce said.
Taylor said the changes were necessary following a rash of decisions she says hurt Atlantic Beach.
"We don't have a police department, we don't have a staff in town hall, and we don't have things that...we should have," Taylor stressed. "They say we don't have any money, we're going to find out whose got money, whether we have any or not."
Taylor said she hopes the removal of Cole and Blanton's responsibilities and access to the town checkbook will provide them with the tools to move Atlantic beach forward.
None of the council members was able to answer for sure why the police department was laid off nearly two weeks ago, or if they'll be back on the job anytime soon. On Thursday, Former Police Chief Michael Bordner told WMBF News he received a letter stating he had been laid off, but still is unsure himself as to the reason why.
In an interview immediately following the dissolving of the police force, Cole suggested the town wanted to revamp their police department because the current department was not responding to enough calls. She also said the town's police officers may not have been covered by the town's insurance policy.
For the time being, off duty Horry County Police officers are patrolling the town.
Neither Cole nor Blanton responded to calls for comment on Thursday night.
Saturday, August 30 2014 6:46 AM EDT2014-08-30 10:46:21 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF News) - Even in the early morning hours, it is feeling rather humid in the Grand Strand. These muggy conditions will continue into our afternoon and evening today. The high temperaturesMore >>
Even in the early morning hours, it is feeling rather humid in the Grand Strand.
Friday, August 29 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:37:39 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County fire fighters worked nearly an hour to put out a mobile home fire Friday night. The fire broke out in a double-wide mobile home in the Maple community of the county,More >>
Horry County fire fighters worked nearly an hour to put out a mobile home fire Friday night.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:27:08 GMT
DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A man has been reported missing from the Hartsville area of Darlington County. Vincent Moore, 51, was last seen Tuesday, August 26 at around 4 p.m., according to SheriffMore >>
A man has been reported missing from the Hartsville area of Darlington County.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 7:02 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:02:58 GMT
(WMBF) - Are you ready for some football? Tonight is the first night of high school football in South Carolina! All night tonight, the WMBF News Sports team will be chatting and posting pics and scoresMore >>
Are you ready for some football? Week One of High School Football in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee starts tonight! All night tonight, the WMBF News Sports team will be chatting and posting pics and scores! More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:13:27 GMT
DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Traffic was at a standstill on Interstate 20 on Friday, as emergency responders worked to clear an accident. The crash happened at 4:27 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-20More >>
Traffic was at a standstill on Interstate 20 on Friday, as emergency responders worked to clear an accident.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:51:02 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Friday kicks off the first day of the Ninth annual Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival at its new location. The three-day event will be held in front of the Horry-Georgetown TechnicalMore >>
Friday, August 29 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:40:58 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Florida man has been named winner of the 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at Barefoot Resort's Dye Club. The following news release was issued byMore >>
A Florida man has been named winner of the 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at Barefoot Resort's Dye Club.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:25:38 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Former Conway pastors plead not guilty to a federal weapons charge during an arraignment. On Thursday, Archie Larue Evans, 42, of Aynor, plead not guilty to the charge of Felon inMore >>
Former Conway pastors plead not guilty to a federal weapons charge during an arraignment.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:22:55 GMT
DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - First responders are working a one-car crash in Darlington County. The driver of a vehicle ran a stop sign and drove into a ditch at North Center Road and Bellyache BranchMore >>
First responders are working a one-car crash in Darlington County.More >>