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Majority At Hearing Opposes Proposed Smoking Controls
BY ERIC ( ARLSON proposal ranged from those who wanted no controls on Stanaland of Longwood. "Tobacco supported my family. North or South Carolina that does not allow smoking.
By a margin of nearly two-to-one, speakers at a public smoking to others who were willing to no alone with Tobacco built thco- h>..i
By a margin of nearly two-to-one. speakers at a public
hearing Tuesday night told the Brunswick County Board
of Health that they do not want government forcing
business owners to prohibit smoking in their establish
About 50 people showed up in Bolivia at a forum on
rules that, if adopted by health board, would eventually
prohibit smoking in all public buildings and workplaces,
except in areas served by separate ventilation systems.
Of the 19 people who spoke at the hearing, seven said
thev favor the draft regulations Speakers against the
smoking to others who were willing to go along with
some restrictions. Most of the opposition came from lo
cal tobacco farmers, restaurateurs and small business
"This is very, very unfair. We do not need any more
rules and regulations tor small businesses, said Ocean
Isle paint dealer Nick Newton. "I can't tell a painting
contractor who has spent all day on a ladder working his
butt off that he can't drink a cup of coffee and smoke a
cigarette while I mix his paint."
'I've been a farmer most of my life," said Joe
Tobacco built these nice buildings you see here. Tobacco
built the Brunswick Hospital. This is just about the most
repugnant thing I've seen in a long time. Please don't
saddle us with this."
Billy Nichols of the N.C. Alcohol Retailers
Association warned that strict smoking rules would dii
ve tourism away from Brunswick County and into
Myrtle Beach, S.C., where smoking is not regulated. He
warned that the area could see "a 50-percent reduction"
in tourist business.
"If you pass this, you will be the only resort area in
? ? C7'
Nichols said. "It should be the right of businesses to op
erate based on the demands of their customers. It you go
into a restaurant and people are smoking, you don't have
to eat there.
"People who want non-smoking areas should encour
age restaurants to adopt their own rules. If enough peo
ple want it, you'll get it. The marketplace will control it
self if you let it."
Supjxuters of the proposed smoking rules may have
been outnumbered, but manv spoke forcefully in favor
(Sec SMOKING PLAN, !?g. 2-A)
12/ ; 1 / 99
HOAG h 30N3 BOO!' 3 1 ?' OE" V
P.O. BO* 162
SFRIN'aPORT I'll 49:34
Thirty-First Year, Number 44
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, September 23, 1993
50c Per Copy
38 Pages, 3 Sections, 3 Inserts
~ ~ """" m X. ~ ?k STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
DETECTIVE Kevin Holden lets the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department tracking dog " Colonel " sniff the floor mat of a car stolen by
two men who tied up and robbed a Calabash couple in their home last week. Also shown are (from left) detectives John Ingram, Tom
Hunter and Lt. Donnell Marlowe.
DETECTIVES PROMISE ARRESTS
Couple Is 'Terrorized7 In Calabash Home
BY ERIC CARLSON
The general manager of Atlantic
Telephone Membership Corp. and
his wife were bound and gagged in
their Calabash home Thursday night
by two masked gunmen who emp
tied a safe and searched the house
for an hour, threatening to kill the
couple if they did not lead the in
truders to more money.
ATMC executive Russell Price
suffered minor injuries from the
bindings on his wrists, while his
wife Patsy Ann Price was emotion
ally shaken but physically unhurt af
ter the attack, according to Bruns
wick County Sheriff's Detective
John Ingram, who is heading the in
vestigation into the robbery.
Price told authorities that he had
gone to the Calabash River that eve
ning and returned at about 9 p.m. As
usual, he entered the house through
When he opened the door, a man
wearing gloves and a ski mask
pointed a large caliber semi-auto
matic pistol at him and pushed him
to the ground, according to an inci
dent report filed by Deputy Phil
"The suspect kept threatening him
and asking him where the safe was,"
Price was taken at gunpoint to the
bathroom, where the first intruder
and another masked man made him
Business News IOC
Calendar II A
Church Now s 1 2A
Classified I -IOC
Court Docket I1C
Crime Report 7A
Golf 1 i B
Obituaries , I2A
People In The News 8 A
Plant Doctor 3B
Sports .. S-12B
Telc\ ision 6-7B
lie face-down on the floor. His an
kles were tied together and his
wrists secured behind him with plas
tic electrical ties, the report said.
The robbers untied Price and
made him open a safe in the bath
room. But they were apparently dis
satisfied with their find and demand
ed more money, Det. Tom Hunter
"They tried to take his wedding
band, but his fingers were too
swollen from being tied up. They
threatened to cut off his finger, but
they didn't," Hunter said.
A short time later, as the two men
were searching the house, "Mrs.
Price said she came in and noticed
that some dolls were out of place on
her shelves," Bryant reported.
"When she got inside the door, one
of the men put his hand on her left
arm, took her down the hallway and
asked her where the money was."
She replied, "In the bathroom,"
the report said. Then one of the
masked men took her into her son's
bedroom, placed her on the bed and
demanded that she lay on her stom
"The subject crawled on the bed
beside Mrs. Price and leaned over
by her head and asked, 'Where is
your money?'" Bryant reported.
She told him the money was in
the bathroom, in a safe, the report
said. The man then removed the
rings from Mr. Price's fingers and
tied her hands and feet. He put her
on her back with tape over her
Price told police that as he lay on
the bathroom floor, one of the men
untied his arms, rolled him onto his
back, re-tied his wrists in front and
put tape over his eyes and mouth.
He told Price to be quiet.
Price felt one of the men pick him
up, put him over his shoulder and
carry him down the hall into the
bedroom, where he was placed on
the bed next to his wife. The men
told the couple they were going to
search the house "one more time,"
the report said.
Throughout the ordeal, the two
men repeatedly threatened to kill the
Prices if they did not reveal the
whereabouts of more money, Hunter
"They were terrorized," he said.
The two men eventually left, tak
ing the keys to one of the Price's
cars. Their while Cadillac was found
the next morning in a vacant lot
about two miles from the Price
home on Thomasboro Road. Inves
tigators believe the two men had an
other vehicle waiting for them there.
Mrs. Price was able to break free
of her bonds shortly -fter the rob
bers left. Hunter said. After discov
ering that phone lines had been cut.
she called 911 from a neighbor's
The sheriff department's entire
detective division is pooling its re
sources to help find the two men.
Chief Deputy John Marlowe said
Monday. Latent evidence recovered
at the Prices home and in the stolen
car has been sent to the Stale Bureau
of Investigation laboratory, he said.
"Due to the violent nature of the
crime, we are making an all-out ef
fort on this one," Hunter said. "We
can't allow things like this to happen
in our community. We expect to
An undetermined amount of cash
and more than $5,500 worth of other
items were taken in the robbery, in
cluding several pieces of jewelry
and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
County's First Rabi<
BY LYNN CARLSON
It was bad news for county health officials, but it cer
tainly came as no surprise when a raccoon shot last
weekend by an Ash resident tested positive for rabies.
"It was just a matter of time," said Brunswick County
health educator Jan Reichenbach Tuesday after state
health officials confirmed the county's first officially
documented case of rabies. "Now it's going to go like
wildfire" if residents fail to heed warnings to get cats
and dogs vaccinated, she added.
Raymond Ludlum discovered the rabid raccoon near
his back door Friday night when he went out to see what
his dog was barking at.
"It was trying to get in the breezeway on the back of
my house, and that's pretty unusual behavior for a
coon," said Ludlum, a former Brunswick County Board
of Education member. "It looked undernourished, too,
and this time of year a coon ought to be fat and healthy."
Ludlum shot and killed the animal, then began trying
to notify authorities that the raccoon should be tested for
rabies. "That's another story altogether," said Ludlum,
who said he called 911 and was told to "call wildlife,"
where an employee told him to bury the animal.
Ludlum refused to dispose of the raccoon, and was
es Case Confirmed
able to arrange with a staff member of veterinarians Dr.
Bill and Jim Rabon to preserve the animal's remains un
til it could be sent for testing on Monday.
Reichenbach said the health department was notified
Tuesday afternoon that the raccoon had been rabid. She
said she did not understand the confusion about what to
do with the animal. "There is always someone on call
with (Brunswick County) Animal Control who knows
what to do, and they should have been contacted." She
said she was glad Ludlum persisted.
Ludlum encourages other Brunswick Countians to
help get the regional rabies under control by having do
mestic animals vaccinated. "If they don't, it's going to
be dogs and cats getting infected and biting children," he
The health department plans to go door-to-door in the
Ash area to ask whether pets have been vaccinated and
to tell their owners about county rabies vaccination clin
ics. The health department and local veterinarians will
conduct rabies clinics at four locations this Saturday,
Sept. 25. The shots will cost $5 each. "You can't beat
that," Reichenbach said.
Vaccinations will be offered between a.m. and noon
(See RABIES CASE, Page 2-A)
CARTER ADVISES BOARD
fc Water Contract
BY ERIC CARLSON
Brunswick Commissioner Way
land Vereen on Monday charged thai
an agreement made by a former
hoard to recover the county's invest
ment in a regional water authority
was "almost criminal" and will cost
water customers "a couple or three
million" dollars more than if the
deal had never been struck.
He accused former County Man
ager David Clegg of "trying to make
himself look good" by negotiating
the return of money the county
loaned the Lower Cape Fear Water
and Sewer Authority (LCFWSA) in
exchange for costly long-term con
cessions. Vereen said he would con
tact the state attorney general in an
effort to have the contract nullified.
In an interview Tuesday, Clegg
called Vereen's remarks "absurd,"
"nonsensical" and "just stupid."
Clegg said he has never even seen
the county's final contract with the
authority, which was signed by the
interim county manager two weeks
after Clegg resigned this past March.
Still, Clegg defended the agree
ment negotiated at the urging of the
former board of commissioners. He
said the arrangement alone would
not raise water rates and noted that it
had already allowed (he county to
pay off S3. 7 million in old water
bonds and provided SI million in
additional funding for new water
Vereen's comments at the com
missioner's regular meeting came
after a presentation by former
County Manager Billy Carter, who
Vereen recently nominated to re
place Clegg as one of the county's
four members on the LCFWSA.
Clegg had been chairman of the au
thority for seven years and was the
first member of the board ever re
moved before the expiration of his
Carter gave a brief history of the
authority and supplied the commis
sioners with copies of agreements
under which the county gave up a
20-percent discount on raw water
rates in exchange for the return of
money it loaned the authority to
build the system, which provides
Brunswick County with its sole
source of raw water.
As the authority's first and only
customer, Brunswick County in
19K4 advanced the LCFWSA $5.7
million to construct a pump station
on the Cape Fear River and water
lines to the county's treatment plant.
Under the repayment plan, the coun
ty agreed to accept a lump sum pay
ment of S3. 7 million and another
Sl.l million over the next five years.
Carter also furnished the board a
copy of minutes from the former
board of commissioners' final meet
ing. in which the board agreed to
"delegate to ;he county manager the
authority to complete the transac
tions" aimed at returning the money.
The final agreement between the
county and the authority w.ss signed
March 30 by interim County Man
ager John Harvey, who was appoint
ed by the current board of commis
sioners as Clegg's temporary re
"This contract is akin to being al
most criminal in what it spells out
for Brunswick County," Vereen said
during the meeting. "It is undoubt
edly the worst contract I have ever
read in my life. I intend to talk with
the attorney general. I don't know if
anything can be done about it at this
late date, but I intend to find out."
Vereen also criticized Harvey for
signing the agreement without
bringing it before the board of com
"This board knew nothing about
it." Vereen said. "In my wildest
imagination, I would have thought
that the manager would have
brought it by the board."
Vereen said the county had made
several questionable concessions in
the contract ? including giving up
the discount on water rates ? that
could cost the county $200,000 a
year. In addition, he said the county
would end up paying higher rates to
finance the bonds issued by the au
thority to pay back Brunswick
(See COMMISSIONER, Pg. 2-A)
Street Named Acting Chief
After Resignation At Hospital
BY SUSAN USHER
Helen Street has been named acting chief executive officer of The
Brunswick Hospital by HealthTrust Inc.
She will serve until a successor is named to
Earl Tatnar, whose last day on the job was Tuesday.
According to HealthTrust Vice President
Robert M Martin of Nashville, Tenn., Tamar "left
the company to pursue other interests."
Tamar had been a HealthTrust employee for
five years, coming to the Supply facility from a
hospital in Indiana two years ago.
He and his wife, Erin, and family reside in
Interim administrator Street, a resident of Shal
lotte. is chief financial officer and has been at The Brunswick Hospital
for 10 years.
"She has a wealth of health care experience and will do an excel
lent job while we look for a new CEO," Martin said in a news release.
A new chief executive officer is expected to be named and at the
hospital by late fall.
Owned by the Brunswick County Hospital Authority, The
Brunswick Hospital is leased to and managed by HealthTrust Inc.
Authority Chairman Larry Andrews said he and other authority
members "had no inkling of anything being wrong" or any plans for a
change in administration of the hospital He was notified Tuesday of
Andrews said the transition in administration will not have any ef
fect on plans by the Authority to instigate "friendly" legal action to re
solve questions about the length and terms of the hospital's lease
agreement with the Authority.
He said the authority expects to meet in the near future with a rep
resentative of HealthTrust to discuss the change in administration.