Myrtle Beach Council to discuss Memorial Day

Ppeople walk along a street in Atlantic Beach, S.C., during the annual Atlantic Beach Bikefest in May 2012. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley wants to end the Memorial Day weekend event after violence in neighboring communities during the 2014 Bikefest. South Carolina tourism chief Duane Parrish said on Aug. 4 that bad publicity about the violence has likely hurt tourism in the Myrtle Beach area this summer. He said that Atlantic Beach would be eligible for state advertising and building grants for an event to replace Bikefest. (AP Photo/The Sun News, Janet Blackmon Morgan, File)

MYRTLE BEACH- Myrtle Beach City Council is holding a special meeting to discuss safety and security planning for Memorial Day weekend next year.

Council members got an update from Police Chief Warren Gall last week and members wanted to spend more time Monday discussing the issue, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports.

Three people were shot to death and seven others were hurt in eight shootings in Myrtle Beach during the last Memorial Day weekend. The area was crowded with the Atlantic Beach Bikefest, Military Appreciation Days and the long holiday weekend.

Gov. Nikki Haley has called for an end to the Atlantic Beach Bikefest held in nearby Atlantic Beach and attended by a predominantly African-American group of motorcycle riders.

Atlantic Beach officials say they intend to keep the festival.

Councilman Randal Wallace said much of the discussion has been about addressing traffic issues caused by the influx of people in the Grand Strand that weekend.

"We need to determine what to do to manage the actual traffic problems - to keep it moving so there aren't parties in the parking lots," Wallace said.

The Myrtle Beach branch of the NAACP plans to hold a news conference Thursday on the matter.

Branch president Mickey James said he wants to address those who have criticized the organization for not issuing a public response to the shootings. He also wants to express support for making sure the city is safe Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the year.


Information from: The Sun News,