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72, Charged In 8th River View Mobile Home Arson
BY KRIC CARLSON
After a half-dozen laic-night stakeouts in the woods
surrounding a Calabash mobile home park, Brunswick
County sheriff's detectives last week captured a 72-year
old man believed responsible for setting fire to eight
trailers near his home.
Burqucen Reeves of Bennett's Mobile Home Park on
River View Drive was charged with one count of scc
ond-degrce arson after witnesses allegedly saw hin
leaving the scene of the eighth trailer fire in the parte
since February, according to Dct. Tom Hunter.
"We arc investigating the possibility that all the fires
might be connected," Hunter said. "So far, Mr. Reeves
has refused to give us a statement."
Reeves lives in a mobile home within 100 yards of
where three trailers were destroyed in a suspicious fire
last February and four more burned in the early morning
hours of three consecutive Wednesdays, April 14, 21
and 28, Hunter said.
The following Tuesday night (May 3), three sheriff's
detectives, an Ocean Isle Beach officer and the county
fire marshal stationed themselves around Bennett's trail
er park along with two agents from the State Bureau of
Investigation. It was a familiar routine for Hunter, who
had been investigating what he had determined to be the
work of one or more arsonists.
"I spent a lot of nights sitting out there in that trailer
park," he said.
ShorUy after midnight Tuesday, Hunter and Del. Gene
Caison heard someone walking up Ivy's Lane, a dirt
path near what remained of the trailer that burned in the
April 21 fire. They jumped out of the bushes and con
fronted the man, who turned out to be Reeves, Hunter
said. Knowing that he lived nearby, they allowed him to
walk back to his home.
At about 3 a.m., the detectives received a radio call
notifying them that a 911 caller had reported a prowler
in the trailer park. Using a night vision scope to survey
the area. Hunter said he spotted Reeves entering his
Then he saw movement next to a neighboring trailer
and found two local residents, Waybon and Kellers
Thomas, trying to put out a fire on the side of the mobile
home. They said they had just seen Reeves near the side
of the trailer where the fire started. Hunter said.
Reeves was arrested a short time later. He was still
being held in Brunswick County Jail in lieu of S25,(XX)
bond Tuesday afternoon.
The Calabash Volunteer Fire Department was called
to assure that the fire was extinguished. Damage was es
timated at about $500.
Hunter said he had recovered a piece of "wick materi
al" he believes was used to start the fire by stuffing it
behind the trailer siding and igniting it. Several of the
other River View Drive fires appear to have been started
in a similar manner, he said.
The wick material has been sent to SBI laboratories
for analysis along with i'.ems found at the other mobile
home fires. Hunter said.
Rental Occupancy Problem Draws
Scrutiny Of County Health Board
(Continued From Page 1-A)
department has investigated their
wastewater treatment system and
outlines the nature of the violation.
It orders the owner to correct the de
ficiency within 60 days.
"They can do one of two things,"
Robinson said. "They can upgrade
their septic system to accommodate
the advertised use or they can scale
back their operation."
Violators will be given "20 to 30
days" to respond in writing to let the
health department know how the
owner plans to correct the problem,
Robinson said. Failure to respond or
correct the violation within 60 days
"will result in legal enforcement
against you, including: injunctive re
lief, administrative penalties, sus
pension and revocation of permit
and criminal penalties," the letter
"This is not just something we
dreamed up," Robinson said. "Wc
arc sirictly enforcing state regula
tions for on-site sewage treatment
and disposal systems. There arc no
local ordinances governing this.
We're the ones who have to enforce
Robinson said the state has not
put pressure on the health depart
ment to enforce the regulations, but
had indicated "100-percent support"
for the effort. He said the state also
would "provide legal assistance" in
enforcing the septic tank rules.
In other business the board:
?Set a public hearing for June 9
at 7 p.m. on a revised set of regula
tions governing food scrvicc manag
er certification for restaurants and
other food-handling establishments.
Under the new rules, training for re
quired manager certification will be
offered free of charge for the first 12
months. All food-handling opera
lions will be required 10 have a certi
fied manager on the premises when
ever food is being prepared for pub
lic consumption. The hearing will be
held at the public assembly room at
the county government complex in
?Approved Health Director
Michael Rhodes' request to prohibit
smoking throughout the health de
partment building beginning June 1.
The board also endorsed Rhodes'
plan to offer smoking cessation
classes to all county employees. The
board of commissioners recently
adopted a no-smoking policy for the
?Scheduled a free blood pressure
screening program to be held at the
Long Beach Recreation Center on
Oak Island Thursday, May 20, from
10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Government Soys It's
To Reduce Lockwood
BY DOUG R UTTER
Government officials point to a
county zoning ordinance, improved
wastewater treatment systems and
engineering studies as proof they're
making an effort to clean up pollu
tion in Lockwood Folly River.
But some area residents who have
joined forces to Tight for clean fish
ing waters and productive shellfish
beds aren't convinced the govern
ment is doing everything it can lo
serve the taxpayers.
Members of the Brunswick
County Environmental Coalition
met with county, state and federal
officials Tuesday in Supply to find
out what's being done to help a river
that's been plagued by pollution for
a the past decade.
A 1989 state study concluded that
septic tanks and stormwatcr runoff
were the most likely sources of bac
terial pollution, which has forced the
state to close large areas to oyster
and clam harvesting.
Wallace Smith and other coalition
members wonder why specific pol
lution sources still haven't been
"Why can't we find where the
pollution is coming from?" Smith
asked. 'This shouldn't be too hard
with all the technology and scien
tists we have."
Smith said taxpayers aren't get
ting their money's worth from agen
cies charged with protecting water
quality. "I've seen the lip service
given to it, but no actual work. The
answer is go find the pollution and
Bob Jamieson, regional director
of the N.C. Department of
Environment, Health and Natural
Resources, defended the state. "I
think the agencies involved are try
ing their best to get the solutions.
Thai's why we're here."
Jamieson said locating pollution
sources isn't easy because there arc
so many contributing to the prob
lem. "We should continue doing
what we've been doing?attacking
at all fronts."
The fronts include county, state
and federal efforts to try to cut down
on the fecal coliform bactcria that
enters the river on a daily basis and
causes frequent closures of shellfish
Locally, Acting County Manager
John Harvey said zoning in unincor
porated areas of the county should
be in place by October 1. A special
"water quality protection district"
. has been created for the area along
It would extend 575 feet from the
water and require minimum lots
sizes, buffer zones and restrict how
much land could be covered by
buildings, pavement or other hard
Brunswick County also plans to
add two staff members to its envi
ronmental health section, Harvey
said, and help area towns form a re
gional sewer and stormwatcr man
agement program in the South
"Government does not work fast,
but I think the initial steps have been
taken that are going to be great for
Brunswick County," Harvey told the
small gathering at Lockwood Folly
Bob Benton, director of the state's
shellfish sanitation program, said
Lockwood Folly has shown some
signs of recovery in recent months,
but not enough to get excited about.
"We have seen a little improve
ment. It may just be happenstance."
Benton blames the pollution on a
43-percent population increase in
Brunswick County between 1980
Most of that growth has occurred
between Lockwood Folly and the
South Carolina state line. 'The im
pact of that 43 percent was not
spread evenly over Brunswick
County," Benton said. "The coastal
area got the brunt of it."
Rick Shiver of the N.C. Division
of Environmental Management
(DEM) said the state is working to
correct wastewater management
problems at Bolivia Elementary
School, which is situated in the river
The DEM also hopes it can con
vince the State Bureau of
Investigation to fly over Lockwood
Folly and use its new, infrared pho
tography surveillance equipment to
locate pollution sources.
Rich Carpenter, district manager
with the N.C. Division of Marine
Fisheries, said 5,700 bushels of oys
ters were moved from polluted to
clean waters last spring and clams
were moved prior to the recent river
Lockwood Folly was open to
shcllfishing more in the past year
than it has been in recent years.
"The majority of the oyster season it
did stay open," Carpenter said.
Harold Jones, director of the
Brunswick Soil and Water
Conservation District, said his
agency is working with about two
dozen farmers in the river basin to
cut down on soil and chemicals run
ning into the river.
There arc 3,100 hogs at the three,
known swine operations located in
the watershed. Benton said each
200-pound hog produces 6.8 billion
Normal temperatures and rainfall
are anticipated over the next few
days across the South Brunswick
Temperatures arc expected to
range from around 60 degrees at
night to around 80 degrees during
the daytime, said Shallotte Point me
teorologist Jackson Canady, with
about a half-inch of rainfall.
For the period May 4-11, he
recorded a high of 84 degrees on
May 8 and a low of 58 degrees the
night of May 9.
A daily average high of 83 de
grees and a nightly average low of
63 degrees resulted in a daily aver
age temperature of 73 degrees, or
about 4 degrees above the long-term
average for this time of year.
He reported no measurable rain
fccal coliform per day, which can
add to the pollution if it isn't han
Coalition members think the best
solution is re-opening the sand
clogged Eastern Channel, which
served as the inlet between
Lockwood Folly River and the
AUantic Ocean before the waterway
was dredged some 50 years ago.
They say dredging the channel at
the northwest tip of Long Beach and
closing off the existing inlet would
improve water flow in the river and
therefore cut down on pollution in
However, a 1991 study by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers con
cluded that re-opening Eastern
Channel would have no significant
impact on water flow in Lockwood
Area residents including John
Holden of Holden Beach say that
study was flawed because it didn't
take into account the impact of clos
ing the existing inlet, located west of
Congressman Charlie Rose, who
obtained SI50,000 for the Corps
study, received authorization last
year for a one-time demonstration
dredging of Eastern Channel.
Rose hopes to gel the SI.5 million
needed for the dredging project this
year, according to recent correspon
dence with members of the environ
Smith said re-opening Eastern
Channel is the only solution that has
been proposed for the pollution
problem since residents starting see
king government assistance in 1988.
EVEN SMALL ADS GET
RESULTS IN THE BEACON
Obscenity Charges Follow Club Raid
(Continued From Page 1-A)
livity" at the club. Officers determined that at least ten
different "ramp-shaker" contests were depicted in the
The tape allegedly shows Burgess holding a micro
phone and directing the contestants, according to
Brunswick Alcoholic Beverages Control Officer Mike
Speck. During one of the taped contests. Burgess re
portedly announced that photographs of the winner
would be taken "upstairs in the club."
An ALE agent later telephoned Al's Video and
asked to purchase photographs of the participants. He
was told that the photos were being used in a book that
would be made available only to Club New World em
ployees, according to Spcck. The person on the phone
allegedly said he would be at the club May 9 to film
the "grand finale."
A local radio station reportedly broadcast numerous
announcements of the "rump-shaker" finals, at which
the past weekly winners competed for a SI,500 first
prize. The raid was scheduled to lake place after the
Sunday night contcst.
Among the items seized at Club New World were a
video camera, a video cassette recorder, two portable
televisions, Polaroid film, a 9mm Lugcr semi-automat
ic pistol and assorted papers and files.
Bryant has been charged with one count of creating
obscenity with intent to disseminate and two charges
of selling alcoholic beverages during entertainment
that simulates sexual intercourse. He has been released
on S4,00() bond.
Burgess was charged with six counts of selling alco
holic beverages during entertainment that simulates
sexual intercourse, one count of creating obscenity
with intent to disseminate and one count of permitting
a minor to assist in an offense against public morality.
He was freed on payment of a S7.000 bond.
Richardson was charged with one count of permit
ting a minor under the age of 16 to assist in an offense
against public morality, one count of preparation of
obscene motion pictures and one count of possessing
obscene videotapes with the intent to disseminate. He
is out on $4,500 bond.
Calabash OKs Sewer
Plan With Little River
(Continued From Page 1-A)
engineering maps to allow the towns
to seek permits for the discharge of
300,000 gallons per day of sewage
into the Liule River (S.C.) Water
and Sewerage Co. treatment system.
The permits will allow Calabash
to provide sewage disposal service
for the downtown restaurant district
and other selected areas on a tempo
rary basis for four years while a
joint treatment facility is constructed
to serve the two towns. The projcct
would include the construction of
8,000 feet of sewer main connecting
downtown Calabash with the Liule
River system at an estimated cost of
The commissioners agreed to pay
project engineers Powell Associates
of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., half of
the firm's S10.300 fee to document
and apply for the ncccssary con
struction permit from the S.C.
Department of Health and Envir
onmental Control. Sunset Beach has
agreed to pay the other half of the
Powell engineer Joe Tombro not
ed that the permit "docs not mean
the line will have to be constructed
Established Nov. 1,1962
Published Every Thursday
At 4709 Main Street
Shallotte, N.C. 28459
IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY
One Year $10.36
Six Months S5.55
One Year S14.86
Six Months S7.90
ELSEWHERE IN U.S.A.
One Year $15.95
Six Months $8.35
Second class postage paid at
Shallotte, N.C. 28459. USPS 777
780. Postmaster, send address
P.O. Box 2558,
Shallotte, N.C. 28459-2558
immediately" and recommended
lhat it not be installed until funding
is approved for the joint sewerage
system "and all local issues relating
to implementation of the waste wa
ter program arc resolved."
The commissioners scheduled a
workshop with Powell engineers for
June 16 at 7:30 a.m. to discuss pos
sible changes in the proposal man
agement of the joint system.
In another matter, the board
adopted new ordinances governing
private sewerage treatment systems,
the keeping of dogs and livestock,
open burning and charcoal fires,
health and sanitation, weeds, the dc
struclion of out-buildings and re
moval of debris, animal trapping and
the discharge of firearms.
A public hearing was set for 6:30
p.m. June 8 on proposed amend
ments to the zoning code regulating
trailers, campers and temporary
A copy of the proposed and
adopted ordinances is available for
public inspection at the town hall.
The board also agreed to spend up
to S3.000 on improvements to the
town's recycling site. The project in
cludes asphalt paving, additional
fencing and general re-design to im
prove traffic How.
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