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Special Supplement Inside!
Oyster Season Opens, With The Usual Limits, On Saturday
BY DOUG RUTTER
If nothing else, you can usually count on
hopeful fishermen and hefty harvests on the
first day of oyster season.
Ine hope might be there, but there defi
nitely won't be any large hauls when the sea
son opens Saturday along the North Carolina
Because oyster season begins on a Sat
urday this year, shellfishermcn will be limited
to one bushel apiece. TWo bushels will be the
most allowed on any boat, regardless of the
number of harvesters. Those limits will be
enforced on weekends this season, while
commercial fishermen will be permitted to
harvest up to five bushels per person and 10
per vessel Monday through Friday.
"The limits are the same as they were the
last couple years. There are no rule changes,"
said Rich Carpenter, southern district manag
er with the N.C. Division of Marine Fish
For the first time since March, Brunswick
County fishermen will guide their fiat-bottom
skiffs to oyster beds in local CTeeks and rivers
on Saturday morning.
law tide Saturday is 11:35 a.m. at Lock
wood Folly Inlet and 12:15 p.m. at Shallotte
The outlook, as has become customary in
recent years, is not so good. "From what I've
heard it's just like normal. Some spots look
half decent and some look poor," Carpenter
said. "Depending on where you are it should
be average to below average. "
Varnamtown oyster dealer Ernie Galloway
said Tuesday he's not sure what to expect this
season out of Lockwood Folly River.
"I haven't been on the gardens, but I've
been on the clam rocks and they look like
they've grown out a little better than they
usually do. I won't really know until we get
down there and work them some," he said.
"I noticed the oysters up the river have
grown out bigger than they usually do,"
Gallowav added. "That might be a good
(See OYSTER, Page 2-A)
DDI IH u*i
1 J ' 1 /
Thirty- Second Year, Number 50
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SF'R i NGPOR T Ml 4 9 * 8 4
North Carolina, Thursday, October 1 3, 1 994 50? Per Copy 66 Pages, 5 Sections, Plus Inserts
Monday Is Final
To Vote Nov. 8
Monday is the last day to register
to vote in the Nov. 8 general elec
tion, according to the Brunswick
County Board of Elections.
In local contested raccs, voters
will chose a sheriff, fill all five scats
on both the board of education and
the board of commissioners, and
elect two soil and water conserva
tion district directors.
Voters may register at the hoard
of election office at the Brunswick
County Government Center until 5
p.m. Monday, and at the Division of
Motor Vehicles license office at
Supply, all branches of the Bruns
wick County Public library or with
registrars throughout the county.
One-stop voting begins Tuesday.
Oct. 18, and ends Friday, Nov 4. at
the elections office.
All absentee ballots must be re
turned to the board of elections of
fice no later than 5 p.m. Monday.
Profiles of local candidates, a list
of polling places and sample ballots
will appear in the Nov 3 issue of
The Bruns*-ick Beacon.
At Oct. 20 Forum
Candidates for Brunswick County
board of education, board of com
missioners and shenft have been in
vited to participate in a forum Oct
20 at Brunswick Community Col
Candidates will answer questions
submitted by the public To sugges
tion a question, bring it to the
Brunswick County Literacy Council
office in Supply, or send it to Bobbi
Anderson, SGA president, Bruns
wick Community College, PO Box
30, Supply NC 28462. Anyone may
submit questions, but they must be
received by Oct. 17.
The forum will begin at 7 p m in
the BCC Student Center. Johnnie
Simpson, vice president for instruc
tion, will serve as moderator. The
forum is sponsored by the BCC
Student Government Association
and the Brunswick County Literacy
For more information, call 754
7323 or 1-800-694-7323.
Business News 8-10D
Church News .
Crime Report .
Court Docket .
People In The News ...12B
Plant Doctor 3B
jup jmoto wr suiw usnn
Two O'Clock Feeding
A during sea gull snatches a crumb of bread from a traveler on the
Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry one recent sunny afternoon. The
crossing is a popular day trip for local residents and tourists and
regularly draws a following of ravenous gulls.
Police Chief Goes Undercover
To Break Up Pyramid Scheme
BY ERIC CARLSON
They called it a "The Cruise." Bui
anyone who went along could have
been taken for a costly ride
A Robeson County man and
woman were expected to be arrested
Wednesday on charges of operating
an illegal "pyramid scheme" invest
ment operation in Southport last
week, according to city police Chief
Authorities warn that local resi
dents might be prime targets for
Police are trying to find out if the
two suspects had connections with a
similar operation that recently re
sulted in several arrests in l-um
berton, where a number of "promi
nent people in the community" were
suspected of participating in the
scheme. Gray said.
The police chief was alerted to
the operation by Southport Mayor
Norman Holden, who said he was
called by a woman who was mailed
an invitation to participate in an
event called "The Cruise" scheduled
at the Southport Community Center
She threw the letter away and
didn't think anything more about it.
Then she saw a television news item
about several people being arrested
in the Lumberlon pyramid scheme.
Gray said The woman thought the
operation looked familiar and noti
fied the mayor about the invitation.
Dressed in civilian clothes. Gray
said he went to the meeting. There
he heard a sales pitch from the man
and woman about how he could cam
$4,000 by signing up for "The
Cruise" and enlisting others to join
"Believe me What they were pro
moting had nothing to do with tak
ing a ship to the Bahamas," Gray
said. "It was your basic pyramid
scheme designed around the theme
of a cruise ship."
To participate, you were encour
aged to contribute $500, for which
you would be designated as a
"crew" member. Gray said. If you
enlisted two others, you would be
come a "first mate." If those mem
bers brought in two more, you
would be a "co-captain." Those who
reached the top of the pyramid
would become a "captain" and earn
the $4,000 prize, he said.
"There were 15 squares in the
pyramid," Gray said. "Now I'm not
(See POIJCE, Page 2-A)
1 16 INCIDENTS . 127 STUDENTS
Violence On Brunswick
Campuses Reflects U.S.
Trend: Schools Official
BY SUSAN USHER
Sixty -four incidents involving possession of a wea
pon. 2K at middle schools
Thirty-two instances in which students were caught
with controlled substances such as drugs or alcohol, two
at middle schools
Three minor assaults on school staff or volunteers.
One hundred twenty three students punished with out
of-school suspensions, one with in-school suspension,
three with long-term suspension.
Fifty-five students arrested at school. 22 for posses
sion of drugs or alcohol, 22 for possession of weapons
C rimes on campus The numbers don't lie. Last year
127 students in the Brunswick County Schools were in
volved in 11^ violent incidents at school. Light students
and three staff members were victims. Most of the inci
dents, bb, occurred at the county's three high schools
Another AK occurred at middle schools and 15 occurred
at elementary schools Fourteen of the elementary
school incidents involved povsession of weapons.
Another 2B& students were involved in 264 uon-ic
portablc minor fights or affrays? two-thirds occurring at
middle schools? in which students were victims
The numbers arc real, reflections of societal prob
lems. "We have children in trouble. We need to respond
to that, and we are responding," said l.inda Shaddix.
Safe Schools coordinator for the Brunswick County
Schools "I think we arc already turning kids around
with the things thai are already in place and in five years
we w ill be turning a lot of kids around
"While I truly believe our children arc txinible, I also
believe that our hope lies in our children "
Last year, for the first time, schools across North
Carolina were required to compile and report incidents
of violence occurring on school campuses. The numbers
include only incidents principals arc now required by
law to report to law enforcement officials. They don't
include vandalism or affrays, more traditional student
fights that don't result in serious injury.
"The statistics tell us that Brunswick County, like
school systems across the United States, has a problem
with young people acting out angry feelings in violent
ways," Shaddix said. "We have to address it; kids can't
learn if they come to school with fear or with weapons."
The violence reflects society at large, with problems
spilling over into the school yard and classrooms, she
said. "Our task is to get at that mind set."
"For example' gangs. We can debate whether we may
or may not have formalized gangs. But we have areas
where kids look after each other." The behaviors are the
last year's statistics helped the schools get money
this year for both the Safe Schools program and the
Brunswick Learning Center, which offers students
smaller classes and more personal attention and support.
The new school and other steps aim at establishing
zem iuiciancc of violence in ihc schools iiuGiigh preven
tion and intervention Many of them focus on teaching
kids how to talk with each other, to solve problems with
out resorting to violence.
In addition to the learning Center opening.
? Teachers are being encouraged to enroll in crisis
prevention training, to learn techniques that cai\ be used
to identify potentially violent situations, defuse the situ
ation, or when necessary, physically intervene to stop it.
"We have a responsibility to stop them from hurting
themselves or others." said Shaddix, even if it means
physically restraining a student.
? By the end of this school year every school in the
county will have in place a peer mediation program, in
(See SCHOOL, Page 2-A)
STAFF PHOTO ?Y LYNN CAJtLSON
Shiny And New
It takes a lot of bucket shakes and fish fries to pay for a $113,500 fire truck. After five years of plan
ning, Civietown Volunteer Fire Department took delivery of its new 199S International 1^50 gallon
per-minute pumper/tanker Oct. 6 to the delight of Chief Richard Evans and an assembly of volunteer
firefighters and community residents. They '11 be paying for the truck over the next 10 years unless
fundraising efforts make an earlier payoff possible, the chief said. The truck has a 1 ,000 -gallon tank,
diesel engine with automatic transmission, 4-door cab and air conditioning. The department's next
newest vehicle is a 1977 Ford pumper.
PERMITS HALTED AGAIN
Health Director Asks State To Allow Bed-ln-Fill Septic Systems
BY ERIC CARLSON
The Brunswick County Health Department, continu
ing an on-again, off-again dispute with state regulators,
has decided to stop issuing permits for a type of septic
system popular on small coastal lots.
Health Director Michael Rhodes told members of the
Brunswick County Board of Health that he would spend
Tuesday in Raleigh trying to convince officials at the
N.C. Office of Environmental Health that "bed" type
septic fields work just as well on artificially filled lots as
they do on undisturbed land.
Until he gets state approval, the county will not autho
rize the use of such systems, Rhodes told the board at its
regular meeting Monday.
No bed-in-fill systems have been permitted since the
health board voted to lift a three-month moratorium on
the process last month, Rhodes said. That decision came
after the health director presented findings from an in
house study showing that bed systems installed in fill
material don't fail any more often than those on undis
Rhodes said he plans to go over the details of the
study with state health officials in hopes that they will
re-examine their interpretation of regulations currently
used to prohibit the use of bed systems in fill material.
If that doesn't work, Rhodes said he plans to take his
Findings to the N.C. Commission for Health Services
and ask them to change the state regulations.
Strict enforcement of the rules would effectively pre
vent construction on hundreds of undeveloped coastal
housing sites in Brunswick County, especially those
smaller lots platted in the 1970s. It would also require
many land owners to install more complicated and ex
pensive septic systems on their property before building
a house or siting mobile home.
Most home septic systems use a holding tank to break
down household waste products. From their the treated
effluent flows into "drain field," where it can seep into
the ground through a series of perforated pipes laid in
gravel. On lots with enough surface area, the pipes are
laid in individual trenches fanning out from the septic
In the "bed" system commonly used on smaller lots,
the pipes are buried under a rectangular bed of gravel,
without using individual trenches.
Both designs are considered "conventional systems"
under state sewage treatment regulations. But a recent
revision of the rules apparently prohibits the use of bed
systems on any property where fill has been added to the
natural soil surface.
In June, one of the state's district soil scientists told
Brunswick County environmental health officials that
they should stop issuing septic tank permits for bed sys
tems in filled land.
Much of the usable land along the county's beach and
waterway communities was built up with fill material.
Due to setback requirements, many of those lots, espe
cially along the island canals, are too small to allow the
use of trench-type drainage systems.
(See COUNTY SEEKING, Page 2-A)