North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Brunswick Declared Eligible For Limited Federal Storm Aid
BY SUSAN USHER ing debris and taking emergency protective sures were." he said. More specifics are be- Some municipalities?such as Holden Told Tuesday evening of the declaration,
Brunswick County was one of 10 eastern measures during the storm, which caused ing sought. One item still unclear is whether Beach, Long Beach and Ocean Isle Town Manager Gary Parker's initial reac
countics declared eligible Tuesday for a hurricane-like damage in the east any reimbursement will be available for Beach?have learned through experience tion was, "That's great news! We've been
limited amount of federal assistance to help "That's good and we appreciate all that, dune repairs. the necessity of careful record-keeping dur- waiting a long time for it."
in recovery from the March 13 winter storm but we could use a little more," said Cecil On Wednesday Logan planned to get ing such emergencies, while others may be He estimates the town will be able to
that caused an estimated $23.5 million in Logan, Brunswick County's emergency more information from the state and begin learning that lesson now. seek reimbursement of overtime paid police
damage and expenses here. management coordinator, who hasn't given gathering data from individual municipal!- At least one town. Calabash, still has not and public works employees called in to
The 10 counties are among 32 included up hope of additional federal assistance. ties in the county regarding their cost for turned in either a request for assistance or a help with the storm, and overtime pay for
in ail expansion of President Bill Clinton's He learned of the county's inclusion dur- debris removal and emergency protective damage assessment debris collection, as well as the cost of hir
carlicr emergency declaration, which pro- ing a statewide meeting of emergency man- measures. "I hope we can work it out for them," ing a private contractor and paying Waste
vided reimbursement for snow removal agement officials in Ashevillc this morning. "It's going to need to be broken down as said Logan. Industries, its trash hauler, for extra debris
costs. "We were told it covered debris removal to type of equipment, type of debris, cubic Holden Beach estimated its losses at the pick-ups.
The extended declaration will paitially and emergency protective measures, but yards, and the number of manhours," he highest of any municipality, at 58 million, "Beyond that we'll wait and see the de
reimburse counties for the costs of remov- they did not outline what protective mea- said. mostly from hurricane-force winds. STORM, Page 2-A)
F?^ | SONS BOO it **P?
S^Xn|pobt62 ' e,N0?*v
Thirty-First Year, Number 23 ?1993 THE MUMSWCX MACON Shollotte, North Carolina, Thursday, April 29, 1993 50? Per Copy 42 Pages, 3 Sections, 4 Inserts
STAFF PHOTO BY MIC CARLSON
BRUNSWICK COUNTY SHERIFF'S DETECTIVE Tom Hunter examines the charred remains of a mobile home destroyed in one of
three fires believed to have been set by an arsonist in Calabash last week. The crimes may be related to a fire that consumed three other
trailers in the neighborhood last February.
Arson Blamed For Seven Calabash Trailer Fires
BY KR1C CARLSON
John and Mildred McKinnon felt
uneasy when ihree mobile homes
burned to the ground less than 100
feet from their vacation trailer in
Calabash the night of Feb. 11.
Their concern turned to alarm
when three other homes in the
neighborhood were damaged or de
stroyed last week in fires that police
are blaming on one or more juvenile
Detectives now suspect that a sev
enth fire, which destroyed a mobile
home about a half-mile away last
September, may have been set by
the same suspect
"We've definitely got a firebug on
the loose. And he's got a dangerous
hobby," said Brunswick County
Sheriff's Detective Tom Hunter.
"Sooner or later, somebody is going
to get injured. We need to stop him
before that happens."
The McKinnons own one of sev
eral dozen small mobile homes
closely situated in a wooded area off
River View Drive between the
downtown restaurant district and the
Calabash River. John calls it their
"home away from home."
For the past 17 years, the
McKinnons have thought of their
quiet little neighborhood as a peace
ful place to relax during regular
weekend visits from Cheraw, S.C.
It doesn't seem so quiet anymore
as the couple looks across the bare
ground where three trailers once
stood, toward a fourth neighbor's
"home away from home." It is par
tially collapsed, gutted and charred
with yellow crime-scene tape strung
That fire was reported at about 6
a.m. April 14. Calabash volunteer
firefighters had just returned home
after putting out a porch fire at a
mobile home a short distance up
River View Drive. Because the blaze
started on the outside of the house,
they knew it was arson.
Hunter later found a plastic jug
that may have held the flammable
liquid used to start the fire.
When the second call came in,
they relumed to the first fire, think
ing it may have re-started. Then they
saw the flames rising through the
trees about 100 yards away. This fire
was fully involved and little could
be done except to keep it from
spreading to other homes.
'This thing is getting serious,"
Mrs. McKinnon said. "It makes you
a little nervous when you lay down
at night and you don't know if
something is going to be on fire."
Thai's just what happened last
Wednesday night (April 21) at about
11:30 as Mrs. McKinnon finished
watching television and went into
the bedroom. She happened to look
outside at the trailer next door and
saw a flickering reflection in the
window ."I jumped up and went out
side just as the fire department was
coming through," she said.
It was another neighbor's mobile
home burning about 30 yards away
across an area of overgrown weeds
and pine trees. Again, firefighters
could do little more than contain the
fire as it levelled the trailer.
"There's no doubt this one was
intentionally set," Hunter said the
next day as he used a pen knife to
examine the charring pattern on a
half-burnt piccc of lumber.
He pointed out a large hole in the
trailer's floor near what was once
the front door. The fire probably was
set outside on the porch, quickly
spread and broke through into the
trailer's interior, he said.
When the owner returned to the
mobile home he discovered that a
lawn mower and several tools had
been removed from a shed behind
his former vacation home.
Once thought to be the acts of ju
veniles using the homes as "club
houses," Hunter now feels that the
more recent fires may have been set
to destroy evidence of burglaries.
Hunter is pursuing a number of
theories in the case and believes the
same person or persons may have
set the February fire that started in
one trailer in the neighborhood and
quickly spread to two others.
Although that fire "seemed suspi
cious at the lime," Hunter said no
formal arson investigation was con
Another trailer fire near Pine Bun
Acres subdivision last September is
also believed to have been intention
ally set and may be connected with
the more recent arsons, he said.
To Sewer System Proposal
BY LYNN CARLSON
If public hearings arc a reliable
indicator of public opinion, Sunset
Beach residents have warmed con
siderably to the idea of a central
sewer system?and one which
serves a greater area than just their
Calendar of Events 6A
Church News- 14A
Court Docket 8A,11C
Crime Report ...............9A
People In The News.?4B
Plant Doctor JB
southwestern corner of Brunswick
Most speakers at a well-attended
Monday hearing said they are wor
ried about pollution of the area's
ground and surface waters and
callcd for cooperation among local
governments to seek a regional solu
tion for disposing of stormwater as
well as wastewater. They received
hearty applause as they criticized
those who have opposed a central
sewer because the servicc could ac
celerate commercial and residential
The atmosphere was radically dif
ferent from the town's previous
hearing on the sewer issue last Dec.
7, when speaker after speaker op
posed formation of the South Bruns
wick Water and Sewer Authority
and questioned whether there was
adequate evidence that septic tanks
are polluting the local environment.
I don't understand the confu
sion," said Shoreline Woods resident
Ralph Heil at Monday's hearing.
"It's quite obvious that a septic tank
on a lot 50 or 60 by 100 feet can't
support a single family, much less a
Henry Sattcrwhite, who said he
lives on the west end of the island
portion of Sunset Beach, warned
that sewer service just to Sunset
Beach and Calabash alone won't
clean up area waters. "You've still
got the constant flow of the Intra
coastal Waterway. You can't go it
alone or you're just wasting time."
Kathy Kakos, a Sea Trail resident,
said, "1 know the waters are contam
inated, bccausc they arc closed to
shcllfishing. But how much do we
do for shellfish if we do it just for us
in Sunset Beach and Calabash? I
feel we should be involved with the
county and state and try to do an en
tire section of the coastal area."
Another resident, Teresa Regan,
called for the town or county to
warn vacationers against swimming
or wading in the towns canals this
Representatives of the real estate
and construction industries were
among the approximately 120 peo
ple attending the hearing, which was
held at Sea Trail Plantation in antici
pation of a crowd bigger than the
town hall could hold. Endorsements
for a regional sewer system were
presented by both the Brunswick
Islands Board of Realtors and the
Brunswick Islands Homebuilders
Some speakers likened resistance
to central sewer service to opposing
replacement of the town's one-lane
pontoon bridge. "You're not going
to stop growth with or without a
new bridge or a sewer system," said
Zane Winters. His comments were
echoed by Lloyd Grantham, who
said, "We need a sewer system, and
we don't need to wait 10 or 12 years
as we have on the bridge."
The engineers have recommended
that growth be controlled through
zoning and planning measures,
rather than by withholding central
Those who have been most vocal
in opposing the sewer concept over
the past few months said little at
Minnie Hunt, treasurer of the
Sunset Beach Taxpayers' Associa
tion and a frequent critic of environ
mental data used to support the sew
er project, asked several questions
about the data and testing methods
(See HKARING, Page 2-A)
Unit 2 Reactor
? Back In Service
BY SUSAN USHER
Carolina Power & Light Co. be
gan the slow process Tuesday eve
ning of reluming Unit 2 of its
Brunswick Nuclear Plant to full gen
erating power after it has stood idle
for a liule more than year.
The unit at the Southport plant
should be to full power operations in
20 to 40 days, sometime in May, ac
cording to Roy A. Anderson, plant
vice president. He said CP&L re
ceived its approval from the federal
Nuclear Regulatory Commission at
5:50 p.m. Tuesday and began the de
tailed start-up process immediately.
At a status meeting Monday at the
plant, Anderson told NRC officials,
"I do believe the people and the
plant are ready to operate safely and
reliably and with continued im
However, Stewart Ebneter, Reg
ion II director for the NRC, said ap
proval would come only after his
staff has checked to its satisfaction
all items that were to be completed
Jon Johnson, deputy director of
the NRC's Division of Reactor
Projects and head of the restart
readiness oversight committee, said
staff wanted to verify several proce
dural changes instituted this past
weekend at the plant and make sure
that an emergency telephone system
was operating properly before rec
ommending restart to Ebneter.
Anderson assured NRC officials
Monday that the unit "start-up will
be slow and deliberate," to ensure a
safe return to service.
The start-up plan calls for a grad
ual increase of power over a period
of 20 to 40 days, with testing of
equipment at each step and built-in
"hold points" where performance
will be assessed before continuing,
and several points where manage
ment must approve continuation.
Two 11-day shutdowns arc built
into the schedule in the event repairs
arc needed during start-up, including
one shutdown after the plant has
reached full-power for testing pur
poses only. "If everything is leak
tight and running fine wc can con
tinue on with the start-up," And
However, based on his prior expe
rience, he anticipates workers hav
ing to replace seals and gaskets that
have dried out over the past year and
may not withstand the heat and pres
sure once start-up begins.
However, he said he rates the
chances of a major problem during
start-up at zero.
To support the restart, the NRC
has five extra inspectors and a su
pervisor at the Brunswick Plant in
addition to resident inspectors. R. L.
"Dick" Prcvattc, senior resident in
spector, said the NRC will provide
24-hour monitoring of the restart ef
The Brunswick plant has not pro
duced electrical power since last
April 21, when CP&L shut down the
plant to replace fake and weak bolts
in its back-up generator building.
The NRC has proposed no enforce
ment action at this time relating to
CP&L expects to bring Unit 1 in
to service this fall, after refueling. It
has backed off an earlier estimate of
restart beginning as early as June.
The two boiling water reactors
(See REACTOR, Page 2-A)
Holden Sewer Petitions
Booted From Town Hall
BY DOUG RUTTER
Koldcn Beach property owners
interested in signing one of two peti
tions concerning a sewer system on
the island can no longer sign them at
Commissioners voted unanimous
ly last week that petitions supporting
and opposing a sewer system should
not be left in town hall.
At their April 5 meeting, commis
sioners voted 3-2 to allow the pro
sewer petition at town hall. Gay
Atkins, Gil Bass and David Sandifcr
voted in favor, and Jim Foumier and
Sid Swans were opposed.
After receiving the other petition,
commissioners decided last Wednes
day they didn't want cither one at
Holden Beach developer James
Hobbs initiated the petition support
ing sewer. Homeowner Ike Shelton
is among those circulating the peti
tion against a sewer system.
Hobbs and Shelton recently pur
chased advertisements in the Beacon
with the text of their petitions and
room to sign at the bottom. The ads
urged property owners to sign and
send the ads to town hall.
Town officials said last week they
don't want the ads sent to town hall
because they make extra work for
staff. Petitioners never got the
town's permission to have the clip
pings sent to town hall.
Hobbs' petition urges the town
board to "diligently and expeditious
ly pursue the design, acquisition and
construction of a public sewer sys
tem to serve the needs of the Town
of Holden Beach."
"Such a system is critical to the
well-being of the citizens of the
town and their guests and to the
large number of visitors who annu
ally frequent the beach," it states.
"By installation of such a system
the health of the populous served
thereby and the condition of the en
vironment will be greatly enhanced
The other petition asks the town
board "to resist all efforts to cause a
sewer system to be installed on
It says "numerous studies com
missioned by the town have failed
completely to prove a need for a
sewer system. Such pollution as we
may have is caused primarily by
storm water run-off."
"Sewer systems traditionally re
sult in over-development, which in
turn adds to storm water run-off, as
pointed out in the 1984 environmen
tal impact study done by the EPA."
As an example, the petition cites
the New Hanover County sewer sys
tem which cost four or five times the
original estimate and has not pre
vented waters around Wilmington
from continuing to be closed to
"A sewer system on Holden
Beach will benefit only the special
interest groups and we will lose our
family beach atmosphere," the anti
sewer petition concludes.