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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Passing down one’s legacy and experience, that’s what world champion Melissa Jefferson hopes she accomplished on Saturday.“I’ve been in a community that when we give back, it’s a part of what we do,” said Jefferson.Over a dozen kids came out to learn from Jefferson at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach for a clinic hosted by the city.Jefferson, a Georgetown native and sprinter at Coastal Carolina University, ...
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Passing down one’s legacy and experience, that’s what world champion Melissa Jefferson hopes she accomplished on Saturday.
“I’ve been in a community that when we give back, it’s a part of what we do,” said Jefferson.
Over a dozen kids came out to learn from Jefferson at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach for a clinic hosted by the city.
Jefferson, a Georgetown native and sprinter at Coastal Carolina University, won a world title as part of Team USA’s 4x100 relay team back in July. She also won both NCAA and USA Track & Field national championships earlier this year and holds several school and Sun Belt Conference records.
Saturday’s clinic was for young track athletes who wanted to learn more sprinting and hurdle techniques. It featured a step-by-step process and more insight from Jefferson.
Jared Goodman came up from Mount Pleasant to have his daughter learn from Jefferson.
“It’s worth it. It’s fun to see it. I love the sport. For me to see all this is a great thing,” he said. “She’s a fun one to watch, she is competitive, and she loves to do sports and activities.”
Goodman also said Jefferson is a local athlete both he and his daughter look up to.
“It’s kinda neat seeing here giving back to the youth and everything,” said Goodman.
Seeing kids following in her footsteps makes Jefferson reminisce about her journey.
“I see myself in their shoes because I’m still learning every single day,” she said. “Whether on the track or off the track, it is just coming all full circle and it just feels good.”
Two more clinics will be hosted on Oct. 15 and Nov. 12, each focusing more on field events.
Click here for more information.
Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.
MOUNT PLEASANT — Meat sizzling in an open kitchen intermittently interrupts a playlist of music that might echo in the background at a trendy beach club. The burners are busy, along with the fryers and ovens, inside this small restaurant serving papaya salad, khao soi noodles and red curry duck.Diners don’t pull out their phones to take a picture, but that’s not necessarily because their dish isn’t Instagram-worthy. Some are simple, like the beef and broccoli that arrives at the table next to me, but most are q...
MOUNT PLEASANT — Meat sizzling in an open kitchen intermittently interrupts a playlist of music that might echo in the background at a trendy beach club. The burners are busy, along with the fryers and ovens, inside this small restaurant serving papaya salad, khao soi noodles and red curry duck.
Diners don’t pull out their phones to take a picture, but that’s not necessarily because their dish isn’t Instagram-worthy. Some are simple, like the beef and broccoli that arrives at the table next to me, but most are quite the opposite.
Bright yellow curry is adorned with a lobster tail, and jumbo tail-on shrimp headlines orders of pad Thai and kua gai. Chef specialties — ramen with a lobster tail, pad prik king red snapper, crab fried rice — compliment pad Thai, chicken satay and other entrées American diners are accustomed to finding at Thai restaurants.
The person responsible for bringing this expansive look at Thai cuisine to a Mount Pleasant strip center is Siwinee Suksri, who grew up in southern Thailand.
She opened Jasmine Thai Kitchen in November 2020.
Suksri studied food and nutrition in her home country before immigrating to the United States in 2011. She has spent the last 11 years working in professional kitchens, from North Carolina to Naples, Fla., where the owner of a local restaurant named Komoon Thai Sushi & Ceviche gave her the know-how and confidence to move to Charleston and open her own restaurant.
Jasmine Thai Kitchen stumbled out of the gate as Suksri struggled during the pandemic to fill takeout orders and serve customers inside the restaurant, which shares a building with Steel City Pizza.
This operational hiccup, however, didn’t stop her from gaining a following east of the Cooper River. She shuttered the dining room and doubled down on takeout — an effort she could manage with only a couple employees.
Since that time, residents of Mount Pleasant have started talking about Jasmine Thai Kitchen.
“In Charleston, they don’t have a lot of Thai food,” Suksri said. “When they’re here, they said they know about our food because people are talking about our food.”
Many of Jasmine Thai Kitchen’s employees recently moved to Charleston from Florida to work at the restaurant, giving Suksri the staff support she needed to open dine-in services for the first time in nearly two years.
On a recent Monday, I watched in awe as the slim, tile-lined open kitchen filled takeout order after takeout order while serving a 24-seat dining room that was nearly three-quarters full. The courses are intricate, making it clear the chefs know what they are doing — and they do it quickly.
In the minutes you spend waiting for your food, the attentive servers will make you feel welcome, I learned after sliding into a green booth that backs up against a faux ivy-lined wall.
It’s wise to start with an appetizer when dining at Jasmine Thai Kitchen. Delicate disks of shrimp shumai, lightly crisped on the top, warm your palate without filling your stomach, while the crispy spring rolls get their toothsome taste from the wonton-style breading they are fried in.
Dishes are spiced to diners’ preference, with mild, medium, hot and very hot on the menu. Entrées run the gamut, with the house specialties offering a taste of Thai, Japanese and even Southern cuisine. Some of the picturesque plates are carefully crafted with an eye on appearance.
The honey-roasted duck is one of those show-stopping stunners.
Sliced bites of duck — roasted for an hour, then cut into pieces and deep-fried — are caramelized in a sweet and spicy sauce layered with sliced tomatoes, pineapple, onions and scallion slivers. The sauce, with its restrained sweetness, is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, giving the plate a luxurious shine.
Duck fits into the menu elsewhere, too: chefs place it in pad Thai, fried rice and a coconut milk-based red curry laced with bell pepper, pineapples, tomatoes and Thai basil leaves. The saucy dish, served over jasmine rice, has enough depth to work just fine with white meat chicken, but diners can opt for more exciting proteins, like duck or shrimp.
Dishes with duck have emerged as customer favorites, along with several others.
Soup might not come to mind during the month of August, but Suksri said Jasmine’s ramen has been popular, along with its tom kha soup. A host of other items jump off the page, including desserts like mango with sticky rice and cheesecake tempura.
After two visits to the two-year-old restaurant, I barely scratched the surface.
With the recent opening of Greek, Indian, German and Vietnamese kitchens in Mount Pleasant, diners now have more of an opportunity to experience cuisine from different countries across the globe without driving downtown.
Add Jasmine Thai Kitchen to that list of exciting newcomers.
Beach Cowboy Fitness offers inclusive gym classes for homeschooled, challenged and neurodivergent children at its Mount Pleasant location on Queensborough Boulevard.Owners Cynthia and Cameron Lett, a mother-son duo, started Beach Cowboy Fitness to improve a societal issue: the degradation of communication and interpersonal skills in today’s youth.“We’re trying to turn that around through fitness and fun,” said Cynthia.Nearly 22% of schools have no physical education programs at all and only 4% of ...
Beach Cowboy Fitness offers inclusive gym classes for homeschooled, challenged and neurodivergent children at its Mount Pleasant location on Queensborough Boulevard.
Owners Cynthia and Cameron Lett, a mother-son duo, started Beach Cowboy Fitness to improve a societal issue: the degradation of communication and interpersonal skills in today’s youth.
“We’re trying to turn that around through fitness and fun,” said Cynthia.
Nearly 22% of schools have no physical education programs at all and only 4% of elementary schools have daily gym classes, according to social scientist Claire Nader. Meanwhile physical education is the only class known to improve physical, mental and emotional health, as well as executive function. Students who participate in gym class are more likely to see improvement in math and reading, thanks to a higher level of effective executive function.
Despite the proven, important role exercise plays in cognitive development and social skills, gym classes are one of the first things to be cut as schools tighten their budgets.
This is precisely what Cynthia and Cameron Lett hope to counter. Their fitness classes teach children the fundamentals of exercising, including how to warm up and cool down, but their larger focus is creating a sense of camaraderie. Students participate in a combination of games that are competitive, with an urgency to work together in teams to achieve a common goal.
All the games and classes at Beach Cowboy Fitness are inclusive and adaptive to students with physical or intellectual challenges.
“We make adjustments so everyone can participate, and they don’t feel left out or unable to achieve,” said Cynthia.
They also encourage children of all levels and abilities to work together. “Neurotypical students are going to learn how to work with students who have challenges — they’ll learn empathy, accommodation, and practice kindness. They’re all going to have the same competitive opportunities,” Cynthia added.
Gym classes at Beach Cowboy Fitness focus on winning and losing graciously. Negativity, name calling and bullying are not tolerated.
Instead, students will learn how to celebrate the opposing team’s wins and encourage them after their losses. The goal is for students to understand that just because their team lost, it doesn’t mean they’re losers.
“We think it’s important that reality is very much a part of the curriculum,” said Cynthia.
Beach Cowboy Fitness follows the South Carolina Department of Physical Education Program, so students can earn academic credit after completing two semesters, with a minimum of two classes per week for 18 weeks in a semester. Programs for homeschooled children can be purchased by the semester. Each class is based on the grades the children are in with forms and assessments completed by their coaches after each class. Financing options are available for semester purchases.
All classes are limited to ten children with two certified coaches: Cameron Lett and Eliza Athans. During special needs classes, family members and friends of the student are welcome to purchase a membership and participate with them.
Beach Cowboy Fitness is located at 1200 Queensborough Blvd., Suite B, in Mount Pleasant. To learn more, visit their website at beachcowboyfitness.com or call (843) 438-4833.
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MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Proposed changes to the Town of Mt. Pleasant’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance have many rental owners pushing back.Michele Reed, the town’s Planning Director, says the ordinance needs to be tightened up and language clarified after some issues have come up since it went into effect in January 2020.A public hearing during a planning commission meeting Wednesday br...
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Proposed changes to the Town of Mt. Pleasant’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance have many rental owners pushing back.
Michele Reed, the town’s Planning Director, says the ordinance needs to be tightened up and language clarified after some issues have come up since it went into effect in January 2020.
A public hearing during a planning commission meeting Wednesday brought at least two dozen STR owners to oppose the proposed changes.
“This is your time to stop and listen to what the people are saying,” said one rental owner.
“We are not the issue, we are the experts,” said another.
One proposed change to the ordinance would be changing the language to enforce the cap of short-term rental permits at 400.
That’s what’s written in the current ordinance, yet the current STR permit allotment sits above that due to longtime STR owners being grandfathered in, according to an STR owner.
Laurie Bixler, who owns and operates two short-term rentals in town says she believes the cap should be the only change made to the ordinance.
“I believe the only thing that should be changed right now is to clarify the cap and come up with a system to attrition is back to the 400, if that’s what the council wishes,” said Bixler. “I would like to see all the red lining and all the draft changes put aside for now.”
She and other rental owners believe the proposed changes are more harmful than helpful. That includes Mari Ricozzi, another longtime STR operator.
She is concerned about a possible fee increase that would come along with a proposed two-tiered system.
One tier, considered part-time, would include STR owners that rent their properties between 15-72 days out of the year. 15 is the minimum to qualify for a permit. Lower tier permit holders would pay a 4% tax rate to the county and a $250 permit fee to the town.
The other tier, considered full-time, would include STR owners that rent their properties more than 72 days out of the year. That would come with a 6% tax rate to the county and a $500 permit fee to the town.
Previously, the planning commission was considering a $1,500 fee for full-time operators, but that was taken out of the proposed ordinance and knocked down to $500.
Ricozzi is a full-time operator who says she shouldn’t have to pay more for having a successful business.
“So in essence, my fee would be doubled. So I’m being penalized,” she said. “I was a little disappointed that the commission didn’t seem to grasp the reality of how this document will change the business for us. There are so many little nuances that are put into this ordinance that puts strains on us as a business that other businesses in town don’t necessarily have to comply with.”
Other changes include possible changes to guest parking and more.
Ricozzi says this isn’t the end of the fight and she will work with other STR owners in town to continue to push back against the proposed changes.
“We have an organization called STRAMP which is Short-Term Rental Association of Mt. Pleasant. We plan on meeting again before the planning committee meeting next month so hopefully, this isn’t the end.”
The planning commission voted to push the proposed changes forward. They will be heard by the planning committee next month and if given the green light, the full town council will have the final decision.
It’s autumn in the South, and we all know what that means: helmets crashing, cheerleaders jumping and crowds roaring. The Friday night lights are blazing, so it’s time to introduce you to three of Mount Pleasant’s brightest football stars.At Oceanside Collegiate Academy, senior Zach Hagedon is helping build a football legacy. His senior class is only the fourth to graduate from the young charter school. This is also only Hagedon’s fourth year of football; prior to high school, he played soccer. But American foo...
It’s autumn in the South, and we all know what that means: helmets crashing, cheerleaders jumping and crowds roaring. The Friday night lights are blazing, so it’s time to introduce you to three of Mount Pleasant’s brightest football stars.
At Oceanside Collegiate Academy, senior Zach Hagedon is helping build a football legacy. His senior class is only the fourth to graduate from the young charter school. This is also only Hagedon’s fourth year of football; prior to high school, he played soccer. But American football was always in his blood.
“I watched football my whole life,” he said. “I had to try it.”
He tried out, made the team and became a key defensive player for Oceanside.
“I played linebacker my freshman year and learned I really like tackling people. That’s where I make a big impact.”
Since then, he’s settled into other defensive roles, including cornerback and safety.
“I’m looking forward to making a last run with the players and friends I’ve been with for the last four years and trying to win the state championship,” he said. “We’ve been working so hard. It’ll be nice to see it pay off.”
Next year, Hagedon plans to go to college. Coastal Carolina is his dream school, but he’ll see where the next few months take him
Over at Lucy Beckham High School, quarterback Jimmy Webb is pumped. Literally. He’s been working out hard his whole life, waiting for this moment.
“I’ve been playing football since I was 5 years old,” he relayed. “I started with flag football, then moved up through the ranks.”
He used to be a lineman, both offensive and defensive, which requires a very specific size and physique. However, after a year of diving into the weight room and nutrition planning, Webb and his coaches realized he wasn’t fitting into that mold anymore. They moved him to starting quarterback.
“I grew up playing baseball,” said Webb. “I had a good arm already, but I owe everything to Coach Hart, the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. He brought me up from scratch.”
For his senior year, Webb said, “I want us to do the best we can. There’s no reason we can’t be the best team in the state. We have the talent at every position. We’ve [beaten] teams that other schools didn’t think we could. So why not us?”
His is the first senior class at Lucy Beckham.
“I think being the first class that’ll graduate, I’ve really been able to make my mark on the school. And for the younger guys on the team, I’ve tried to be a role model and leader, on and off the field.”
For college, Webb hopes to stay in state. While he’s gone to a few football camps and on a few tours, he’s not sure he’ll play in college. But there’s still a whole season ahead of him. That’s what’s most important to him at the moment.
Of course, we can’t talk about Mount Pleasant football without including Wando High School, one of the biggest schools in the state. It’s there that senior Mikey Rosa is getting ready to have the season of his life.
“I’ve been playing since elementary school,” offered the starting linebacker. “Football is my whole life. It’s my favorite thing in the world. It’s my escape from the world. Football gets my mind off everything else. You just play.”
As a linebacker, he’s a leader of the Wando defensive squad.
“You’ll see me on the field, yelling my head off,” he said. “It’s my job to recognize the strengths in the other team’s offense and get people where they need to be.”
Rosa spent much of the summer injured but has been cleared to play. The whole team’s been working hard in the weight room, implementing a new strength and conditioning program. Rosa hopes to make his own mark by being a leader and helping to shift the team culture to be even more of a winning one.
He told Mount Pleasant Magazine, “I want to help raise these freshman and sophomores and shape them into what a winning team looks like. I want to show them how to do it on and off the field.”
Unlike Hagedon and Webb, Rosa knows where he’s going to college, but he’s keeping that info close to his chest for a while. He’s excited about the future, but right now, he’s focused on the present. That means making his senior season at Wando truly incredible.
You can catch Hagedon, Webb and Rosa on the field for the next few months of Fridays, where their talents are sure to shine as brightly as the lights cast upon them. Cheers to all of them for representing Mount Pleasant. We wish them each a safe season.
By Leah Rhyne (edited) Photo by Mark Staff
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