Last week and weekend have certainly been political in Loris. Congressman Tom Rice returned to Loris to chat with locals on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Shorty’s Grill, and to later take part in the Loris’ quarterly town hall meeting at the public safety building.

Rice spent well over his two-hour allotted time speaking with residents, discussing several topics including flooding issues and the tremendous loss suffered by local farmers because of record-breaking rainfall this year.

Rice spent a good amount of time talking one-on-one or to a table of constituents, fielding questions as his assistant noted concerns.

Rice left a message for the people of Loris on his Facebook page about his visit.

“I had a great evening in Loris at my Coffee with Your Congressman event and the Loris town hall meeting last night. During the events, we discussed reforming the VA, transportation, funding for farmers affected by the October flooding, and progress on I-73. Thank you to all in Loris who took the time to come out and meet with me,” it said.

At the 7 p.m. town hall meeting, Mayor Henry Nichols welcomed a good crowd to not only hear from Rice but to address city related changes, concerns and plans to move the city forward.

Nichols welcomed not only Rice but councilwoman and Mayor-protem Joan Gause, Councilmen Michael Dozier and Casey Ward, Loris Chief of Police Karen Shepherd along with prospective city council candidate Jan Vescovi, Kimberly Rutelitch and Thessalonia Graham.

Several questions regarding transportation and infrastructure, funding for the farmers affected by the flooding, and the upcoming presidential election were brought up.

Several fell right into Rice’s area as he serves on the Committee on Ways and Means, which is the oldest committee of the United States Congress, and is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives.

Rice offered the plans and solutions being processed to answer many, but definitely not all of the residents’ concerns.


“You just keep letting us know what your concerns are and I promise to look at them all, as I have always done, and find the right people to get the answers we need,” said Rice.

Nichols, still on the mend, discussed the advancements and improvements already completed in city operations.

The computer systems have been updated and the City of Loris website,, is up and running yet still a work in progress.

“We are proud of the progress going forward now and I appreciate all that has been done and all the kind words, calls and visits during by absence,” said Nichols. “We will keep ’moving forward together and do our best for our citizens, but we need your support and help to get it done.”