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#SCMatrix: 8/16/2018

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Welcome back to #SCMatrix, this news site’s occasional assemblage of news and notes from around South Carolina (and beyond) …

We launched this format earlier this year in the hopes of getting more information into the Palmetto State’s marketplace of ideas.

Got an item you’d like us to include in this format?  Email it …

And check back throughout the day for updates …

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BLOGGER SUES MYRTLE BEACH

(Via: iStock)

A blogger in Myrtle Beach, S.C. who compared himself to Jesus Christ and prophesized the death of the city’s outgoing mayor (no, seriously) is back in the news this week.

David Hucks – the editor of MyrtleBeachSC.com – is suing Myrtle Beach’s new mayor Brenda Bethune and several others for allegedly defaming him.  The city is also named as a defendant in his lawsuit.

According to reporter Alex Lang of The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News, Hucks believes Bethune, local restaurant owner Larry Bond, city “communications consultant” Gordon Hirsch and another civil employee libeled him by referring to his website as “fake news” and insulting him personally.

Bethune in particular allegedly accused Hucks of practicing “fake journalism” and said “there is nothing reputable about [Hucks’] kind of journalism.”  She also allegedly accused him of spreading “lies and slander” and “poison.”

Really? 

People say far worse about this news site every day … and it would never occur to us to sue them.

Those sorts of criticisms are par for the course in the marketplace of ideas.

Anyway, Hucks’ suit (.pdf) – filed in the S.C. fifteenth judicial circuit – demands a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Were we the judge, we would laugh it out of court – expect for the section of the complaint where Hucks’ alleges that Hirsch previously accused him of seeking “hush money from his targets so that he will not write negative articles about them” and the section of the complaint where he alleges that Bond accused him of attempting “to extort money from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce through a proposed advertising contract for $1.5 million in 2013.”

Those are some serious, specific claims … and if Hucks has evidence that they were indeed made (and Hirsch and Bond have nothing to back up those statements), then we can see Hucks’ rationale for pursuing this action.

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KENNEY BOONE GETS BAPTIZED

(Via: Provided)

Chalk another one up for our network of sources.  As we reported two weeks ago, Florence County, South Carolina sheriff Kenney Boone received the sacrament of baptism earlier this week in one of the many rivers flowing through the Pee Dee region of the state.

Boone took the plunge (above) in the Lynches River earlier this week in what sources tell us was the second installment of his baptism.

How does that work, exactly?

Good question …

Apparently the sheriff – who “recommitted his life” a few months ago – wanted to make sure the procedure “took.”

Speaking of doing things twice, Boone will participate in a marriage ceremony this weekend with his new wife – Anna Hovey Boone – although according to our sources the couple wed in secret in Alabama several weeks ago.

The 52-year-old sheriff is currently the focus of a pair of law enforcement investigations – one involving threats allegedly made against him and one involving threats allegedly made by him.  Both of those stories – which have been ignored by regional media – broke exclusively on this news site.

Boone is working to regain the trust of voters after an aborted stint in a North Carolina rehabilitation facility where he was treated for an alcohol addiction.

Despite his issues, he is adamant that he will seek reelection in 2020.

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KATIE ARRINGTON GETS U.S. CHAMBER NOD

(Via: Provided)

We don’t think much of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but the group got it right in its decision to weigh in on behalf of GOP nominee Katie Arrington in the Palmetto State’s first congressional district.

“Katie understands that when we cut regulatory red tape and allow entrepreneurs to pursue their ventures and vision, the American economy and American people thrive and benefit,” a statement from one of the group’s leaders said. “Katie is a fighter, and we know that she will continue to fight for South Carolinians in Congress.”

Arrington also received the endorsement of billionaire businesswoman Anita Zucker, who referred to her as a “smart woman” and “a huge advocate for education and young people.”

“Politicians don’t create jobs, businesses do,” Arrington said in receiving the endorsements.  “And businesses create jobs when taxes are low and government regulation is held in check.”

Arrington, 47, defeated incumbent “Republican” Mark Sanford in the GOP primary for this seat in June.  She is facing well-funded Democrat Joe Cunningham in the general election in November.

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