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DON'T ANTAGONIZE OWNER. SOLES WARNS
Redwine To Propose $ 1 Million Toward Bird Island Acquisition
BY LYNN CARLSON
Bird Island Preservation Society leaders heard wel
come news and stern advice when they gathered last
week to celebrate the organization's first birthday.
Rep. E. David Redwine, D-Brunswick. said he will
ask the N.C. General Assembly for $1 million toward
purchase of the island as a nature preserve.
But Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, warned that if Bird
Island preservationists antagonize the island's affluent,
politically connected owner, "she can line up just as
many legislators against you as you can line up on your
When BIPS steering committee members met Sept. 1
with state and local officials and conservation group rep
resentatives, there was considerable speculation about
"/ believe in my heart of hearts that they really don V want to build
condos on that island. I think they are simply trying to establish a
measure of its value. "
the plans and motives of Bird Island owner Janie Pace
Price of Greensboro. There were no guesses offered
about Price's chances of developing her property and
connecting it with Sunset Beach via a mile-long bridge
Redwine called Price a "good environmental steward"
who has for years put up with trespassers using her pri
vate property, as well as the publicly-owned beach, like
? Rep. David Redwine
< ' -.*?? ' : 4 .i'*- ? Vfr- '.Sr 3ft: ? > ?
a public park.
"I believe in my heart of hearts that they really don't
want to build condos on that island," he said. "I think
they are simply trying to establish a measure of its val
ue. The Prices, at some point, are going to entertain an
offer. I'm just trying to get a figure in my mind, to begin
putting something out on the table for us to talk about."
Setting a price for the island has been a problem for
both sides. Price's agents have said she is pursuing the
bridge and development proposals because she has no
other way to determine its potential on the market.
Preservation advocates have said they have no idea
how much money they might offer Price for the island,
or what the source of such funds would be.
Price's bridge/causeway application is stalled before
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until she provides
more information about development plans. But Price
can't make real plans until the Town of Sunset Beach
settles on zoning restrictions for Bird Island.
The town is proposing to create a Conservation
Reserve Zoning District, including Bird Island, in which
development would be restricted to one single-family
(See REDWINE, Page 2-A)
HO AG & SONS BO
P.O. BOX 162
BOOK B I NDERY I I
Thirty-First Year, Number 42
<. 1093 THI4PKUNSW1CK.BEACON
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, September 9, 1993
50$ Per Copy 44 Pages Including Supplement, 4 Sections, 1 Insert
STAFF PHOTOS BY ERIC CARLSON
A New School
Briana Barnhardt (in photo I
above) goes right to the task of or- I
ganizing her workplace on the first |
day of classes at Supply
Elementary School last
Wednesday. Briana is the
daughter of Brian and Mary
Barnhardt of Shell Point. In photo
at right, Julius Melvin gets some
last-minute advice from his dad,
Andrew Melvin of Supply. Both
students are in Ollie Hickman 's
first-grade class. More back-to
school photos are on I'age 1-B and
throughout ihis issue.
Merchants Hope Brisk Sales,
Strong Summer Occupancy
Forecast Busy Fall Season
BY LYNN C ARLSON
AND DOUG RUTTER
Those comments seemed to cap
sulize sentiments of local merchants,
restaurateurs and real estate agents
at the close of a busy Labor Day
weekend ending what some say was
the best tourist season for business
in recent years.
"It was really something," said
Jerome Walker, manager of the
Seafood Barn at Holden Beach. "It
was the best summer we've ever
had. The only way we could have
fed any more people was to have
opened earlier and stayed here
working all night."
Walker said he believes the Labor
Day weekend "broke all records" in
the restaurant's 1 5-year history.
"We've never had a& many take
out orders as we had Saturday night,
probably because people didn't want
to come stand in the line and wait. It
was all we could do to answer the
phone. Sunday night was even
"It was wonderful," Will Stub
bert, one of the owners of Sunset
Properties at Sunset Beach, said of
Labor Day weekend. "Every house
we had was rented or the owner was
Stubbert expects to see a lot more
vacationers over the next month,
when cottages rent for less, the
weather is cooler and beaches and
roads are less crowded.
"September's shaping up to be a
wonderful month." he said. "I don't
think there's any doubt the season is
getting longer. We do some golf
packaging and that helps."
He's not alone in hoping strong
summer sales are a harbinger for the
fall fishing, festival and golf season.
Bill Dearman, executive vice presi
dent of the South Brunswick Islands
Chamber of Commerce, said many
businesses are expecting tourists to
carry them well into September and
October. "The fall is shaping up to
be a real good one."
"Generally speaking, I'm hearing
the summer was very good, espe
cially from a rental standpoint and
occupancy standpoint," said Dear
"All in all, everybody seems to be
Sunset Officer Said OK After
Lightning Strikes Department
BY LYNN CARLSON
A Sunset Beach police officer is
expected to be back on the job later
this week despite having taken a po
tentially lethal jolt from lightning
In the height of a severe pre-dawn
thunderstorm, lightning ran into the
Sunset Beach Police Department ?
probably through a radio antenna ?
and knocked Senior Patrol Officer
Anna Dosio out of an office chair
where she sat typing a report, ac
cording to Chief J.B. Buell.
Dosio, a four-year veteran of the
department, had just returned from
the county jail after processing a
drunken driver and was typing a re
port when a bolt of electricity threw
(See LIGHTNING, Page 2-A)
EMPLOYEES SHOCKED BY FOOD FOLKS' ABRUPT CLOSING
Shopping Center Owner Says He's Negotiating For New Grocer
BY DOUG R LITTER
The owner of a Shallotte shopping center
says he is negotiating with two companies in
terested in opening a grocery store in the space
vacated by Food Folks.
The Lumberton-based grocery chain closed
its Shallotte store last Wednesday, much to the
surprise of employees who say they weren't
told about the closing in advance.
"It's really not fair," said Jim Farrell, one of
18 part-time employees who lost their job. "I
think they should have given us a little time to
find something else."
Dewey Hill, president of Hillcrest Corp
oration, which owns the Main Street shopping
center, said Tuesday he hopes to have another
grocery store in the plaza as soon as possible.
"We feel like we're going to be able to get
another food store in there that will be com
petitive and serve the area," said Hill. He said
he doesn't know how long it will take to lease
the space to another tenant.
"I don't have anything positive. We're just
negotiating now," he said. "We do have a cou
ple of companies interested in this store. Both
are food companies. Our ambition is to get an
other food store in there."
Food Folks, formerly called Hill's Food
Store, served as an anchor in the shopping
center. Other tenants are Moviemax, Rite Aid,
Pawn USA and Cheryl's Hair Designs.
Donald Andrews Jr., executive vice presi
dent of Food Folks, could not be reached for
comment. He did not return phone calls to his
office Friday or Tuesday, and attempts to con
tact him at the store were unsuccessful.
A woman who answered the telephone at
Food Folks' corporate office in Lumberton
said Andrews was the only person who could
respond to questions about the store closing.
The closing affected 18 part-time workers
and seven full-time employees. Full-timers
were reportedly offered jobs at Food Folks
(See LANDLORD, Page 2-A)
pleased. I've had some restaurants
tell me this is the best year they've
had since 1990. and that was the
best year we've ever had."
Real estate agencies, like Cooke
Realtors at Ocean Isle Beach, re
ported full occupancy of rental units
over Labor Day weekend. "We were
totally booked," Frank Couvillon
said. "For us it was maxed out."
Vacation cottages will be rented
all of September and half of Oct
ober. Couvillon said fall renters will
include "everything from quilting
parties to people coming down to
look at property."
Bonnie Rotundo, co-owner of The
Italian Fishermen Restaurant at
Sunset Beach, said business this
summer was up slightly over last
"Labor Day was a little bit off.
Not a lot. The weather probably had
something to do w ith that."
Before dawn Sunday, the South
Brunswick Islands were rocked with
a severe thunderstorm that unloaded
about five inches of rain between 3
and 5 a.m. Later in the day, some ar
eas had received more than six inch
It was a month's worth of rain in
one day, coming at the end of one of
the hottest, driest summers summers
"Usually I'm praying for rain,"
said Clark Callahan, owner of
Callahan's Nautical Gifts, Calla
han's Golf and St. Nick Nacks
Christmas Shop. "There wasn't
much of it this year, but it was so in
credibly hot and humid that people
(See MERCHANTS, Page 2-A)
Birthdays ? 2B
Business News 8C
Church News 6B
Court Docket 9,12C
Crime Report 7A
People In The News 4B
, Sports 9-I2B
Television 10-1 1C
Commissioners Split Over New Manager's Proposals; Restructuring OK'ed
BY ERIC CARLSON
The honeymoon may be over for the
Brunswick County Commissioners and new
ly hired County Manager Wyman Yelton.
In close votes that crossed party lines, the
board denied Yelton 's request to have a con
sulting firm analyze county purchasing and
barely approved his restructuring plan to put
Emergency Management Director Cecil
Logan under the supervision of Emergency
Communications (911) Director Doug
Yelton's proposals, made at the board's
regular meeting Tuesday night, brought
sharp criticism from Commissioner Donald
Shaw, who said he is "not pleased" with the
new manager's job performance and ac
cused Yelton of avoiding responsibility.
"I've given him plenty of time to get
started," Shaw said in a brief interview after
the meeting. "But it seems to me like he
wants to retreat back into a room somewhere
and only deal with one or two people. I
think he needs everybody's input, not just a
Yelton, in explaining his request to reor
ganize emergency services, said placing
Logan under Ledgett's direction will give
the county manager one less department
head to supervise.
"The less people that answer to me over
all, the better a manager I will be for
Brunswick County," Yelton said. "Currently,
there are a significant number of department
managers answering directly to me, and 1
feel that 1 need to reduce that number."
Yelton noted that Ixigan "has done an ex
cellent job" and said the restructuring was
not due to "any kind of bad perception" or
his performance. He said the change would
have little effect on the day-to-day opera
tions of emergency management or emer
At the close of Yellon's remarks, Shaw
immediately criticized the proposal. He
praised l.ogan's job performance and said
"The less people that
answer to me over all,
the better manager I
will be for Brunswick
? County Manager
Ledgctt already has enough responsibility.
Commissioner Wayland Vereen also op
posed the change, but for a different reason.
He said he feared the move might lead the
county toward hiring paid fire personnel
who would compete with local volunteer de
Logan currently acts as liaison between
the county and its volunteer firefighters.
While Ledgett has a similar relationship
with local volunteer rescue squads, he is al
so working to develop the county's paid
Emergency Medical Services system.
"I think the county has about all the paid
staff it can handle," Vereen said.
Board Chairman Don Warren said he does
not think the commissioners should get in
volved in personnel decisions that ought to
be left to discretion of the county manager.
That sparked a sharp reply from Shaw.
"I wonder how long you are going to keep
up this charade?" he said. "We've got five
people on this board who are supposed to
stand for something, i think we ought to
keep it the way it is."
WarTen asked Shaw if he wanted to put
that in the form of a motion and he said he
did. It was defeated 3-to-2 with Warren,
Jerry Jones and Tom Rabon voting to sup
port Yelton's proposal.
Ledgett said he had "no comment" when
asked if he thought the reorganization was
needed. Nor would he say if he had been
consulted about the move.
"Cecil and I work together very well,"
Ledgett said. "Operationally, I don't see
anything that needs to be changed. I don't
anticipate making any changes unless I'm
Ledgett said he has "no intention" of
moving the county's emergency services to
ward an all-paid system. Nor does he fore
see a need for the county to hire paid fire
fighters or to purchase fire fighting equip
Earlier in the meeting, another close vote
went against Yelton's request to sign a con
tract for an expense analysis aimed at saving
money on purchases of office supplies, com
puter supplies, printing, cleaning supplies
and water treatment chemicals.
Under the proposed contract, the county
would have agreed to pay J. Ibomas
Associates of Cioldsboro 50 cents of every
(See MANAGER'S, Page 2-A)