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District Court Judge Rules Gill Net Regs Unconstitutional
BY DOUG RUTTER
A Brunswick County District Court judge
ruled last week that a state proclamation re
quiring fishermen to stand watch over gill
nets set from the beach is unconstitutional.
Judge Jerry Jolly made the ruling last
Wednesday in dismissing a case against
Annice Narcise of Caswell Beach, who was
cited for leaving ropes and anchors unat
tended on the strand, according to court
N O. Division of Marine Fisheries offi
cials said they will continue to enforce the
rules set forth in the proclamation. The divi
sion may ask the N.C. Attorney General's
Office to appeal the court ruling.
A little over a year ago, following a pub
lic hearing at Long Beach, the state fisheries
director issued a proclamation establishing
rules concerning the use of gill nets along
the Brunswick County beaches.
The proclamation, which was updated
earlier this month to include Holden Beach,
requires fishermen to attend gill nets thai are
set or fished from the beach from Labor Day
through Memorial Day.
It also requires that all equipment used in
gill netting such as ropes, anchors and buoys
be removed when the net is not in use.
During the peak tourist season, between
Memorial Day and Labor Day, the procla
mation prohibits the sciiing of gili nets from
the t?each ^p.d leaving nets unattended if
they are set from a boat within 300 yards of
Judge Jolly, who is working in Columbus
County this week, could not be reached for
comment Tuesday. TWo telephone calls were
The state may appeal the judge's ruling,
said Col. Fred Swain, head of law enforce
ment for the Division of Marine Fisheries.
"Right now we're talking with the attor
ney general's office. The state may make an
appeal,-' Swain said Tuesday.
"Personally, I don't really understand how
a district court judge can rule something un
constitutional," he said.
The state has until Friday ? 10 days from
date of the court ruling ? to file an appeal
with the Brunswick County Clerk of Court.
Tim Nifong of the N.C. Attorney
General's Office said Tuesday he didn't
know if an appeal was fuitticouuug.
"That is a decision the client has to re
quest. The Division of Marine Fisheries
would have to request that," Nifong said. "I
haven't filed anything yet, and I haven't
been requested to file anything."
Nifong said the judge's ruling has no ef
fect on the proclamation. It does not set a
precedent for the 13th judicial district or
bind Jolly or other judges in the district to
make the same ruling in the future.
"This has no precedential effect to my
knowledge," Nifong said. "1 think district
court judges dismiss cases for a lot of rea
sons and those reasons aren't always part of
the public record."
Swain said Marine Fisheries officers will
continue enforcing the gill net regulations in
Capt. Pete Rivenbark, head of law en
forcement for the Marine Fisheries" southern
district, said the rules were imposed last
year to reduce friction between gill net fish
ermen and other people who use the beach
"That was at the request of the beach
towns in Brunswick. They were wanting to
get rid of some of the gear on the beaches,"
Rivenbark said the regulations are needed
for safety reasons to protect the public from
anchors, pipes, cinder blocks ana omer de
bris used as part of netting operations.
People walking on the beach and swim
mers have been injured and boats have been
damaged because of netting gear left on the
strand and in the water, Rivenbark said.
Narcise said she's been net fishing at
Caswell Beach since 1963 and has always
left ropes on the strand and an anchor in the
water during the fall fishing season.
She said net fishing from the strand is a
tradition and it's one of the reasons she
moved to Oak Island 3 1 years ago.
"I don't think nets should be neglected. I
don't think fish should die. I think there's a
proper way to do it," Narcise said.
"I think it can be handled with restric
tions. but I think it's ridiculous to sit there
with it when ! can sit in my house and walk
out every 10 minutes to check on it. ! think
that's taking it to extremes."
Lawsuits May Be Ahead
In Sheriff's Race Scandal
(Continued From Page 1-A)
his index Angers, three times. Lt.
Hcwett said 'Get One Like This."
The two-page letter says the stu
dents rented "two Steven Segall
movies" and an X-rated one called
"L.A.P.D. You're Busted." It claims
Hewett stayed in the room and
viewed the latter tape.
The letter is signed by Suzanne
Pearson, wife of Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department Deputy Lt.
Carl Pearson, along with Anthony
Key, who is also a deputy, and for
mer sheriff's deputy Robert Young,
who allegedly paid for the movies.
The signatures are notarized by
In an interview Tuesday, student
Laura Crane, who is mentioned in
the letter but did not sign it, called
the account "totally fabricated" and
"obviously a political game." She
said Hewett "was not even on cam-,
pus" and had gone home to eat
lunch when some of the students de
cided to rent some videos.
"It's a total lie. It did not happen,"
Crane said, "lt says I was there.
How come they didn't ask me to
sign it? If they are so upset about
this, why didn't they say something
sooner? This happened two years
ago. Why are we just hearing about
it now, a few weeks before the elec
Crane said she was not asked to
add her signature to the letter, al
though she "heard others were asked
to sign it." Another of the 12 stu
dents in the class, who requested not
to be identified, said Tuesday that he
turned down a request to sign the
Trest would not give details of the
deposition in which he says the
Leland Police officer claims he was
given a copy of the letter by Brown.
Nor would the attorney release the
name of the woman in Ash who al
legedly received a videotape from
Miller Transfers 7
A former Shallotte printer serving
a one-year federal sentence for pass
ing counterfeit bills of his making
has been transferred to a halfway
house in Wilmington.
Paul Wayne Miller, 52, began
serving his sentence last March 15
in the minimum security section at
the Federal Correction Center at
Butner, and was transferred to
Bannum Place in Wilmington on
Oct. 13, said Melissa Nolan, acting
executive assistant at the Butner fa
As part of the transition back into
the community, inmates of the com
Trest said he plans to wait until
after the Nov. 8 election before fil
ing lawsuits seeking compensatory
and punitive damages against those
involved in the "smear campaign."
He would not say how many people
would be sued, nor would he indi
cate whether Brown would be
"1 haven't determined who will be
named because these things are still
being circulated," Trest said. "The
statements being made against
(Hewett) are libelous on their face.
A number of the letters were sent to
people in the school system, because
of his connection with the school's
DARE program as an underhanded
method to try to discredit him.
"Political wisdom says to keep
this kind of thing quiet," Trest said.
"But every once in a while, you
have to take a stand for what's right.
And this is wrong. Otherwise no
body is going to run for public of
The law says that any statements
made "maliciously, with a reckless
disregard for the truth" are consid
ered slanderous, Trest said. "She pub
lication of such statements is li
belous. Each time the damaging
falsehood is transferred from one
person to another, it is considered a
"Everyone who handed out or
verbally repeated (the claims made
in the letter) is potentially liable,"
Trest said. "1 will be actively pursu
ing everyone who I find responsi
Trest said he has viewed the video
believed to be an excerpt of the X
rated movie mentioned in the letter.
He called the 15 minutes of film
"very explicit. He said it was labeled
"triple X," but did not have a title on
"I would say it's quadruple X,"
"o Halfway House
munity correction center are re
quired to have full-time jobs. They
also participate in recreational activ
ities available in the community and
if required, receive alcohol and sub
stance abuse treatment, said Jackie
Simpkins, a staff counselor.
Miller is scheduled for release
March 13, 1995, and will be eligible
for electronic home confinement as
of Feb. 6.
U.S. Secret Service agents traced
the counterfeit operation to Miller
after he attempted to pass a counter
feit bill at a local grocery store in
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SHALLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA 28459
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ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES BY MAIL: Sr. Citizen
In Brunswick County 06.30 05.30
N.C. Sales Tax .38 .32
Postage Charge 3.68 3.68
TOTAL 10.36 9.30
Elsewhere in North Carolina IJ6.30 (J5.30
N.C. Sales Tax .38 .32
Postage Charge 8.18 8.18
TOTAL 14.86 13.80
Outside North Carolina Q6.30 ij5 30
Postage Charge fl.fis 9
TOTAL 15.95 14.95
Complete And Return To Above Address
A house is moved off the island at Ocean Isle Beach via the Odell Williamson Bridge on Oct. 12.
Milligan House Movers did the job.
Shallotte Picks Top Priorities
For Edsing Traffic Congestion
BY UOUU KUTTKR
Shallottc officials still have a lot
of work to do before approving a
thoroughfare plan, but they have
agreed on two major road projects
that will be presented to the state
At a joint meeting Tuesday, alder
men and planning board members
voted 'in favor of two construction
proposals the town will pitch to the
N.C. Board of Transportation at its
Nov. IS public hearing in
To direct the majority of the
Ocean Isle Beach and Holden Beach
traffic to the U.S. 17 Bypass and out
of downtown Shallotte, officials
have proposed the following:
? Build a short connector road
between Holden Beach Road and
Smith Avenue through the Wal-Mart
? Build an extension of N.C. 179
from its intersection with Male
Swamp Road north to U.S. 17
Business near Shallotte Township
Park. The road would continue north
across U.S. 17 Business to N.C. 130
West near Bridger Road.
Shallotte officials view those pro
posals as the most important of the
10 included in a long-range thor
oughfare plan proposed by Rick
Blackwood of the N.C Department
The planning board will continue
working on the thoroughfare plan,
which continued to draw criticism
Tuesday night from residents of two
For the second straight meeting,
residents of the Brierwood Estates
golf community packed town hall to
oppose the planned addition of two
new entrances into the subdivision.
One resident handed the town
board a petition signed by 125 vot
ers who object to the idea, which
now seems destined tor the trash
Blackwood and town officials
said they sec no reason for addition
al entrances into Brierwood if the
residents don't want them.
Blackwood said he included them in
the plan for the safety and conve
nience of residents, but the entrances
arc not needed to aid traffic flow.
Bluff Drive residents also turned
out in force Tuesday to shoot down
a more significant proposal to turn
their residential street into a major
To reduce traffic on Main Street,
Blackwood has proposed extending
Bluff Drive across Shallottc River to
the south end of Cheers Street and
continuing it on to I (olden Beach
Road. Bluff also would be extended
from its intersection at Copas Road
behind Shallottc Middle School to
Bluff Drive residents said they
don't want their street turned into an
alternate route to U.S. 17 Business.
"I hope that when you folks vote,
I hope that you will choosc the peo
ple who arc here now over the peo
ple who may come later." said long
time Bluff Drive resident Rex Gore.
"I hope if you have to choose be
tween these people here and the
progress up on that map I hope
you'll choosc the people here," Gore
Blackwood said the Brierwood
entrances can be eliminated from the
plan, but he doesn't want to do away
with the Bluff Drive extension un
less there is a viable alternative.
"I'm not picking on one particular
area. I have reasons for wanting to
keep that in the plan," he said.
"Bluff Drive, in mv mind, is in the
[hi hi it interest."
Blackw<N?d v*id I7.IKM) vehicles
use Main Slrccl on an average day,
and a parallel road south of Main is
needed lo reduce congestion (hat
will only he greater in (he future
"We have very few alternatives
lhat we can look al in Shallottc he
cause of the water and wetlands." he
said. "If there is a better option
available wc will take it I'm for
bothering as few businesses and res
idences as possible "
Mayor Sarah Tnpp said she
doesn't want lo eliminate the
Bricrwood entrances while keeping
the Bluff extension in the plan She
said the town needs to treat every
"In all honesty you can't leave
one out and not the other." Tripp
said. "I do have a problem with
showing partiality I think both com
munities are beautiful communities
I don't blame you for not wanting
Even if the Bluff Drive extension
is left in the plan. Blackwood said it
may never be built. The town will
have to request funding for any pro
ject it wants, and it takes at least
seven years for approval and con
Alderman Roney Cheers said
town officials need to plan for the
future and do what's in the best in
terest of the entire town, not just one
"I can see that there's anxiety
about your security over there and I
can also see if there's a back street
into Bricrwood it would increase
traffic through there." Cheers said.
"I think it behooves all of us to plan
for all of Shallottc."
Town Considers Funding Options
BY DOUG RU1TER
Leave no stone unturned.
That's the attitude Shallottc offi
cials are taking concerning sources
of funding for their proposed sewer
The town board's current plan is
to apply for a $1.5 million loan
through the State Revolving Fund at
4 or 5 percent interest.
At a special meeting last Friday,
aldermen authorized a grants writer
from Raleigh to talk with the engi
neer designing the expansion about
going after grants and loans with
lower interest rates.
"We're giving you the right to go
for what you can help us with,"
Mayor Sarah Tripp said. "Anything
that can help us ? anything less than
4 percent for sure ? we're reaching
Tripp and board members David
(iause. Bill Allen and Carson
Durham met for an hour with grants
writer Skip Greene and Chip
Ixavirt, assistant general manager of
Brunswick Electric Membership
Discussion focused on how to
fund an expansion of the sewer ca
pacity from 206,000 to 750.0CX) gal
lons per day. Construction is expect
ed to begin in July 199S and take
about 18 months to complete.
Leavitt said Brunswick Electric,
through a possible grant from the
Rural Electrification Administration,
may be in a position to loan the
town $4<K),(X)0 at low interest.
BEMC could use the grant to set
up a revolving loan fund, similar to
the state's revolving fund. However,
I>eavitt said BEMC would only
charge about 1 percent interest to
cover administration costs.
"This is the best avenue we have
right now to help you all, this re
volving fund," Leavitt told the town
Town officials indicated a strong
interest in the loan opportunity and
the savings in interest payments.
"If we could get $400,000 at I
percent I'd say go ahead and pursue
that. I definitely think wc should go
for that," Tripp said.
Said Allen, "I think any money
that we're borrowing in that 1 to 2
percent area I'm glad to get."
Brunswick Electric has already
secured a $10,000 grant for the town
to help pay for the engineering study
by McKim & Creed BEMC put up
half the money and it was matched
by the statewide Carolina Electric
Greene indicated that Shallotte
could receive grants if town officials
can show that sewer expaasion will
attract new business to Shallotte and
create jobs in an area with a double
digit unemployment rate.
Among the opportunities dis
cussed were a $500,000 economic
development grant for job creation
and a $100,000 grant to supplement
what the town will be able to ac
complish through the $1.5 million
Shallotte officials say expansion
will create jobs by providing the
wastewater treatment capacity need
ed to serve a planned shopping cen
ter on N.C. 130 West and the
planned expansion of Mirrorlite's
Smith Avenue plant.
"There are a lot of little towns be
coming big towns because of grants
like this," Durham said.
While lighter-than-usual crowds
al the N.C. Oyster Festival Friday
and Saturday chowed Gulf Coast
oysters from Ix>uisiana, opening of
the local oysler harvest season was
delayed bccause of the area's heavi
est short-term rainfall in 10 years.
The festival came on the heels of
the largest rainfall in a 24-hour peri
od that Shallotte Point weather
watcher Jackson Canady has record
ed since Hurricane Diana in
Canady said the passing system
dumped seven and one-third inches
of rain in 24 hours and a total of
seven and forty-seven one-hun
dredths of an inch for the week.
"That's the largest 24-hour total
since Humcanc Diana, at least on
my rain gauge." he said. "We have
had some 4- and 5-inch rainfalls, hut
not this much unless there were iso
lated situations "
During Diana, the largest 24-hour
rainfall Mai was seven and one-half
inches, with more than II inches of
rain that week
Oyster harvest season was to have
opened Saturday, hut instead a state
proclamation closed waters from the
high rue bridge at Atlantic Beach in
Carteret County to the South
Carolina state line
Field penonoei with the NC
Division of Shellfish Sanitation
were sampling local waters Tuesday
to the col i form bacterid count. The
(.allies* M>tficis um)0 open is today.
For the period of Oct. 11-17.
Canady recorded a high of 75 de
grees and a km of 41 degrees, both
occumng on Oct 17 A daily aver
age high of 71 degrees and an aver
age nightly low of 55 degrees com
bined for a daily average tempera
ture of 63 degrees, which is 2 de
grees below the long-term average.
For the coming period. Canady
said he anticipates near normal tem
peratures and rainfall, with night
time lows in the mid-50s and day
time highs reaching into the mid-70s
and no more than a half-inch of rain
Pic 'n Pay Robbed
Shallotte police on Tuesday night
were trying to identify a suspect in
ihc 7 15 p m robbery of the Pic *n
Pay shoe store in Twin Creek Plaza *
A clerk reported to police that the
robber, who fled on foot with an
undisclosed sum of money, said he
had a weapon in right pocket. Police
( hief Rodney Gau.se said the clerk
did not sec a weapon.
Gause said the robber was de
scribed as a black man in his mid
4<h, about 6 feet tall, 160-175
pounds with medium-length hair. At
10.30 p.m., Pic 'n Pay clerks were in
the store awaiting the arrival of po
lice photos of a possible suspect.
Gause said the clerk on duly dur
ing the robbery was not harmed.
Both the Food Lion grocery store
and Subway restaurant in the shop
ping center were also open at the
time of the robbery.
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Established Nov. 1, 1962
Published Every Thursday
At 4709 Main Street
Shallotte, N.C. 28459
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