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Taking Names and Presenting Facts

The article posted by David L. Hucks yesterday on MyrtleBeachSC.com exposing the name of the owners of a local motel,  which was the focus of an investigation and a subsequent drug bust, has brought a lot of attention regarding the writers intention. Reader participation has brought a slew of interesting responses of both support and opposition from locals.

As our Facebook page is posted across several local citizen advocate sites on the social platform, it is often difficult to keep up with where our posts are shared to. Usually we attempt to keep up with where our articles are posted, but after it’s been shared four or five times it becomes difficult.  It is not unusual for my phone to ping when someone addresses me directly or if I check on responses to the post in certain Facebook groups. You can read the controversial article here:  https://myrtlebeachsc.com/unspeakable-hotel-group-makes-news/?fbclid=IwAR1wTPo4DEu4xMgwideS2vqNTq6XB7f0b8bCYRCHd-5s5MwfzceT2cIRn0M

Thursdays article by Hucks, shared by locals dozens of times, caught the ire of several readers who derided our media for focusing on the actual owner of the motel. Gasp! One person was so adamant to continue searching for a reason as to why Hucks would give the name of the owner. This person (whose name will be addressed as Mr. Tony Raffone.) could not fathom that any media would actually give the name of the owner of a business where a crime had occurred. Obviously thorough reporting is not the norm of many of our current and much esteemed local news media. Evidently Hucks made a dire mistake in putting into words what was once a very common tenant of not only investigative reporting but writing in general known as the “Five W’s”; “Who, What, Where, When and Why”.

As the discussion continued, Mr. T. asked if we had ever posted the names of owners of other motels where other crimes had occurred. We actually rarely write about crime in Myrtle Beach at the motel/hotels. The reason being that we could not possibly keep up with the number of crimes which occur in Myrtle Beach on a daily basis. As many occur at the motels/hotels/condos, etc., police blotters only give street addresses, not business names, and researching business names can be daunting. Locating owners can prove even more daunting as they most often hide behind shell corporations of private LLCs.

At MyrtleBeachSC.com we investigate and report on the City of Myrtle Beach’s agenda, which continues to ignore the BIG players in local business. Many owners of local motels, restaurants, real estate, developers, or malls, are generally holders of important board positions. We investigate and report on how these businesses, for some reason, remain unscathed by negative events and negative news. Mr. Tony Raffone went on to ask why we had not investigated and released the owner names of other motels. After he spent a few moments of researching where crimes had been reported the most but the owner remained anonymous, he demanded to know why.  Well, this lead to the often-mentioned proverb, “Be careful what you wish for”.

The motel of interest Mr. Tony Raffone had insisted had the MOST crime reported is “The Oasis Motel”. The Oasis is very well known by our reporting team and although you may not have seen its name called in an independent article, it has indeed fallen under the umbrella of several articles we have written in the past. The owner is non-other than one of our most investigated and visible board holders on the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment  Corporation (DRC), Noam Pyade. Believe it or not, Hucks addressed Pyade and his dealings in an article only three days ago, which you can read here:  https://myrtlebeachsc.com/drc-leader-buys-another-downtown-property/

The question remains as to why Noam Pyade, Brittain, Riptydz etc. can continue to be sheltered by the City of Myrtle Beach when crime occurs on their property, while other property owners are harrassed and shut down.  The Oasis mentioned above was once the property of Shai David. Hucks has written extensively of how Shai David fell victim to the City of Myrtle Beach’s unfair and inequitable business policies, resulting in the sale of The Oasis to Pyade.

Business owners such as Natalie Litsey, Hector Melendez and Mande Wilkes have ­­­­­been continually harassed and villainized to the point of being closed down by the City and losing entire life savings or by being legislated out of business as Shai David had.  Of more interest, on a recent Facebook  discussion, one DRC board member who had been on the board for several years touted he had recently stepped down from the board proclaiming he had sold his  businesses.  Former DRC board member Chip Smith is on record as saying he did not even know who these business owners were. That is very curious in an organization that is said to work for and promote the interest of the downtown businesses.  That is the reasoning behind articles naming the owners of the properties. It is not illegal, it is within investigative reporting guidelines and we will continue to report the inequalities in policy the City of Myrtle Beach and it’s DRC enforces.

We have a staff of a very few. Between researching, investigating, attending city and county council meetings, interviewing individuals, travel, and writing etc, we are stretched. Unfortunately we can not report all. That’s probably a good thing for many people. As our media grows, not only will our support grow, but our detractors will grow as well. We thank you both and continue to value your input.

Lisa Bean Williams

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