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Thirty-Second Year, Number 8
^yShallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, December 23, 1993 50c Per Copy 40 Pages, 3 Sections, Plut Inserts
S.C. Trio Is
BY ERIC CARLSON
AND DOUG RUTTER
The curiosity of a Sunset Beach
Police officer and the suspicions of a
Brunswick County sheriff's deputy
led to the arrest Friday of three
South Carolina men who have been
charged in nine area break-ins.
Francis Meher Trevcr. 21, and
Darwin Meher Trever, 17, of North
Myrtle Beach. S.C., and Carl Brad
ford Coe, 18, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.,
are each charged with eight felony
counts of breaking and entering and
larceny and one charge of felony
breaking and entering.
The three are believed to be re
sponsible for more than $40,000
worth of thefts and property damage
in the Shallotte, Ocean Isle Beach
and Calabash areas, Brunswick
Sheriff's Detective John Ingram said
The suspects were arrested Friday
morning approximately one hour af
ter break-ins at four businesses in
the Meadow Square Plaza off N.C.
179 in Shallotte, said Shallotte Pol
ice Chief Rodney Gause.
Crowbars were used to enter the
law offices of Ramos & Lewis, the
Brock. Padgett and Chandler CPA
office, AT. Carringer's clothing
shop and A&A Utility Contractors.
Computers, briefcases, clothing,
computer equipment, video cassette
recorders and other items were sto
len during the break-ins, which oc
curred around 3:05 a.m.
Shortly after the Shallotte break
ins, Sunset Beach Officer Anna
Dosio spotted a suspicious car that
appeared to be loaded down in the
back, Ingram said. She stopped the
vehicle, which was occupied by
three young men. In the trunk she
found computers and other office
equipment. The men allegedly told
Dosio that they were in the process
Deputy Keithan Home overheard
Dosio talking on the radio about the
traffic stop and asked her to hold the
suspects until he arrived, Ingram
said. After Home interviewed the
three men, they were arrested and
charged with the Shallotte break-ins.
"If it weren't for those two (Dosio
and Home) we'd still be working on
the case," Gause said Monday after
noon. "I want to give them credit be
cause they did an outstanding job."
Gause said Monday most of the
520,000 in merchandise and sup
plies that were stolen from the
Shallotte businesses had been recov
ered. "I think the only things miss
ing are a few things from AT.
Carringer's," he said.
Gause said the thieves caused at
least $10,000 in damage to the
buildings and offices. Several desk
drawers were dumped on the floor,
doors were damaged and a gallon of
white paint was "slung" around the
dress shop, he said.
After questioning by Ingram and
Detective Tom Hunter, the three
were also charged with breaking in
to four businesses in Calabash and a
real estate office in Ocean Isle
Beach. They are expected to be
charged with crimes in South Car
olina also, Ingram said.
Although investigators believe
they have found the place where the
stolen property was stored, very lit
tle of it was recovered, Ingram said.
"They were keeping it in a ware
house in North Myrtle Beach,"
Ingram said. "But it appears that
somebody broke into the warehouse
and stole it from them."
Birthdays ......... ...2B
Business News 9C
Church News I4A
Classified '. 1-8C
C rime Report 9 A
Court Docket 10-1 1C
(Jolf 1 0B
People In The News 5B
Plant Doctor 4B
?? ? ? ?? ? ? Twm?mmMMT l irmHBHl
STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC CARLSON
Decked out in Santa hats and ready for Christmas, local elves Chris Borrelli, 6 , Melissa Borrelli, 4,
and Brandon Cordell, 4, wait on the hack of a float for the recent Shallotte Christmas parade to begin.
Expect Lawsuit If County
Adopts Anti-Mining Law :
BY ERIC CARLSON
Brunswick County will he sued for "at least" S2 mil
lion it the board of commissioner approves an ordinance
prohibiting Martin Marietta from opening its proposed
limestone mine near Southport, a company spokesman
Monday night the board scheduled a special meeting
to adopt such a law despite being warned beforehand
that the industrial giant will take "all steps necessary to
protect its rights in the face of illegal zoning or regulato
A few hours before the meeting. Commissioners
Chairman Don Warren and County Attorney Michael
Ramos met with John Long, Martin Marietta's director
of governmental affairs, who hand delivered a letter
from company president Stephen P. Zelnak Jr.
In it, Zelnak told Warren that Martin Marietta is
studying the environmental and safety questions raised
by mining opponents and will provide those findings to
"concerned parties" before submitting them the state
regulators. The company president asked Warren to
postpone consideration of the ordinance "until all seri
ous concerns have been adequately answered."
The letter warns that Martin Marietta has "vested
rights" in the 1,000 acres it purchased for the mine site.
The land acquisition and other investments in the project
were made while the area was zoned to allow mining.
"While we are perfectly prepared to enforce our rights
against the county and its individual commissioners, we
sincerely hope that the county will not force us to do so
by unnecessarily rushing into the passage of an illegal
ordinance," Zelnack's letter said.
In an interview Tuesday, Long estimated Martin
Marietta has a $2 million investment "that they (the
commissioners) are trying to take." He said that the
company would seek to recover "at least" that amount in
any legal action brought against the county for prohibit
ing the mine.
Long said he "can't recall a case where we have not
prevailed" in court battles between Martin Marietta and
local regulators. He said the company had won lawsuits
against Nash County, Cabarrus County and Forsythe
County, Ga.. when those governments attempted to pass
ordinances to stop Martin Marietta from mining land it
had purchased for mining.
But Ramos said the courts have not established a
"bright line test" for the kinds of zoning restrictions that
constitute a "taking" of land. Noting that the proposed
ordinance would be aimed specifically at preventing a
nuisance, Ramos said there is a "sound basis" for such a
law in state statutes.
He compared the situation to a town that enacts an or
dinance against the manufacturing of fireworks within
city limits after a company purchased a building for that
purpose. He said local governments have the right to
protect their citizens even if they have failed to enact
regulations before the potential danger arises
"I don't think there's any douht that they can do it.
The only question is whether they want to pay for it,"
Three hours after his meeting with Long, Warren
opened the commissioners' meeting by asking board
members to move into a closed session "to discuss an at
torney-client matter." When the board emerged 50 min
utes later, there was no mention of Zelnak's letter.
Long said he had assumed that Warren's talk with
Martin Marietta would be discussed in the open meet
ing. He said he was surprised to learn the board initiated
action on the ordinance without addressing the legal
ramifications or the company's plan to make its permit
"We were offering the citizens an opportunity to be
involved in the permitting process," Long said.
"Apparently the board doesn't want to do that."
In a vote of 4-to-L with Jerry Jones dissenting, the
board directed Ramos to draft a law prohibiting mining
operations that use explosives or that pump large vol
umes of water from the ground within five miles of the
Brunswick Nuclear Plant or the Sunny Point military
The board took no action on the second reading of a
more loosely drafted anti-mining law after numerous
construction industry representatives showed up to
speak out against the proposed ordinance. They feared it
would also outlaw small mines and borrow pits that pro
vide rock for road beds, building foundations and septic
fields. The new proposal was suggested as a way of alle
viating those concerns.
A special meeting to vote on the new anti-mining law
was scheduled for Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. In comments after
the meeting Monday, Warren said he believes the ordi
nance will be enacted.
Planners Say Sunset Beach Is State's
Second-Fastest Growing Municipality
BY SUSAN USHER
People have been flocking to Sunset Beach to live at a
faster rate than all but one other municipality in North
Carolina, according to a population study by the N.C.
Office of State Planning.
According to the office's 1992 population estimates,
Sunset Beach experienced a 132.8 percent growth rate
between April 1990 and July 1992, increasing in popula
tion from 311 permanent residents to 724. That outstrips
the growth rate everywhere but in Jacksonville, in
Onslow County, which saw a 137.4 percent increase in
"That's why we're so tired," Linda Fluegel quipped
Tuesday morning upon hearing the figures.
While she doesn't doubt the town is one of the fastest
growing across the state, Fluegel, town administrator,
says the state's estimates are inflated.
"I guess being off 200 isn't too bad," she said. The
town figures its 1992 population was 491 .
Using an average of several estimating methods, state
planners calculated that the town had 724 people living
? -- m m
within its boundaries as of July 1992.
But when Sunset Beach updated its land use plan for
the town and its one-mile extraterritorial area (ETA) that
same year, it documented a year-round population of
783 people, said Fluegel, including permanent residents
in the ETA.
Of those 783 people, 292 were in the ETA, which in
cludes neighborhoods such as Seaside Station and
Shoreline Woods that have a Sunset Beach mailing ad
dress. The other 491 were living within the town limits.
Property in the ETA comes under town zoning and
planning regulations, but its residents are not residents
of the town. They don't pay taxes, vote or receive ser
Fluegel suspects the planning figures are skewed by
the same problems the town experienced with census
takers in 1990.
"When they came here we told them those people are
not in town, and we send all that information to the
state. But apparently they don't pay any attention to it,"
(See POPULATION, Page 2-A)
TO JOIN US. 1 7 NEAR CALABASH
1-73 Plan East
BY SUSAN USHER
Proposed rerouting of a new
Detroit-to-Charleston interstate high
way through Brunswick County
should mean a boost to tourism and
other industries here and across
southeastern North Carolina if it
wins Congressional approval as an
"It's the biggest thing in this area
since we got electricity." said state
Board of Transportation member
Odell Williamson of Ocean Isle
Beach, terming the project "a done
"I've been working mighty hard
for that thing."
His efforts and that of others paid
Late Friday. Dec. 17. the N.C.
Department of Transportation sub
mitted a revised 1-73 route plan for
North Carolina, recommending that
it cross into Horry County. S.C., at
U.S. 17 near Calabash instead of
Marlboro County on U.S. 1 south of
"This new routing will give thou
sands of residents in southeastern
North Carolina a chance to benefit
from the new jobs and businesses
that develop when an interstate
highway comes through an area,"
said Gov. Jim Hunt in a prepared
An earlier plan had called for 1-73
to enter South Carolina near Cheraw
in Marlboro County. That route was
part of North Carolina's National
Highway System network submitted
to the Federal Highway Admin
istration in May. Friday was the
deadline for amending that plan.
In September a group met in
Whiteville to organize support for a
new route through the southeastern
part of the state. Area legislators and
other leaders worked together to
persuade DOT to re-evaluate routes,
said Rep. David Redwine of Ocean
Isle Beach. In October, the state
transportation board directed staff to
consider moving the route further
"I'm happy," Redwine said. "I
wanted DOT to move it as far east
as possible and run it through
Brunswick County and as many oth
er parts of my district as they could,
and that's what they did."
The revised route still would
bring 1-73 near Rockingham but
then shifts eastward, following the
South Carolina state line to Bruns
wick County. Adding another anoth
er 90 miles to the interstate, the new
route follows U.S. 74 from Rock
ingham to U.S. 76 west of White
ville. A new road would then be
built to U.S. 17 near Calabash,
roughly paralleling N.C. 130.
As drafted, it would benefit the
beaches and rural areas of South
eastern North Carolina as well as
North Myrtle Beach and the rest of
the Grand Strand, while still keeping
1-73 near Rockingham. Redwine
sees the new route as a compromise
that should have widespread hack
ing in North Carolina and in much
of South Carolina, where Florence
and Myrtle Beach have been com
petitors for the interstate route.
"It should make the Myrtle Beach
[>eople happy and they can always
blame it on us," he said.
State Sen. R.C. Soles concurred,
saying the plan has already won the
support of S.C. Rep. Harold Worley,
who was concerned about the origi
nal plan skipping his home area.
North Myrtle Beach.
"I think it will be a real boost to
the area's economy, hoth industrial
and in Brunswick County, tourism,"
said Soles of Tabor City. "I want to
personally thank Mr. Williamson for
his help and hard work in bringing
Congress designated Detroit to
Charleston, S C.. as a priority corri
dor for an interstate highway in
1991. Legislation requires that the
proposed 1-73 pass near Winston
Salem, and federal regulations re
quire it to serve Myrtle Beach.
The exact location of the route
will depend on factors such as right
of-way acquisition and working
around wetlands, said Soles, and
could eventually push the local link
closer to Grissettown or even
The plan calls for 1-73 to enter
South Carolina on existing U.S. 17,
not on a new highway. However,
Larry Goode. an administrator in the
N.C. Department of Transportation,
said that could change if South
Carolina were to reroute U.S. 17
along its proposed Carolina Bays
Parkway. The proposed parkway
would be a scenic route linking the
U.S. 17 bypass of Myrtle Beach
with S.C. 9 near Longs, and if North
Carolina cooperates in the project as
requested, extending through
Hickman's Crossroads to U.S. 17 at
No new funds have been provided
for construction of 1-73 in North
Carolina, Goode said, which means
DOT will use existing roadways
where possible and existing state
Highway Trust Funds and federal
funds for the project.
Except for the 1-77 segment in
Surry County and a short section of
1-40 in Forsyth County, none of the
highways 1-73 will use are built to
However, all sections except the
new construction from Whiteville
into Brunswick County are active
projects in the state Transportation
Improvement Plan. Goode doesn't
expect that Brunswick County seg
(See OFFICIALS, Page 2-A)
Offices Closed For Holidays
Local government offices, post offices, banks and other institutions
have announced various closing schedules for the upcoming Christmas
and New Year's Day holidays.
Offices at the Brunswick County Government Center in Bolivia
will he closed to the public Friday and Monday in observance of
Christmas. The county complex also will be closed next Friday, New
Town halls at Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach will follow the same
closing schedule as the county offices.
Holden Beach Town Hall will be closed Thursday, Friday and
Monday for Christmas as well as Monday, Jan. 3. Shallotte Town Hall
will be closed Dec. 24 and Jan. 3.
Sunset Beach Town Hall will not close for the holidays.
Local banks are expected to close at 3 p.m. Friday and also will be
closed Monday, Dec. 27, and Jan. 3.
Post offices are scheduled to close at noon Friday for the Christmas
holiday. Local post offices also will close at noon on New Year's Eve.
The Brunswick Beacon office will be closed Christmas Eve and
New Year's Eve. The deadline for real estate advertising will be
Thursday, instead of Friday, this week and next.