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TWO HOMES in the 900 Nock of Ocean Boulevard West, H olden Beach, are consumed by flames early Friday. Below, firefighters train a
hose on the remains of one home J interior as a sofa burns in the background.
Fire Consumes Two Oceanfront
Homes, Singes Others On Island
BY ERIC CARLSON
It wis the best of tunes. It was the
wont of times.
No thought strikes fear in Holden
Bcach and other island residents like
th? idea of a major fuc racing from
house to house, propelled through
tightly packcd residential areas by a
stiff tea breeze
So, if a blaze had to destroy twe
homes and damage two others on
the oceanfront Friday morning, at
least it happened at a good time.
And thankfully, no one was hurt.
"If the wind had been blowing in
any other direction than it was, we
would have been in real trouble,"
said Chief Doug Todd of the Tri
Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
The cause of the fire has not been
determined, but the results were
clear: Two oceanfront homes were
burned to the ground. One neighbor
ing house bad its vinyl siding melted
off. The other was singed black by
the intense beat. Total damage was
estimated to be between $300,000
John Eldrtdge of 961 Ocean Blvd.
(See BEACHFRONT, fafe 2-A)
Highway Workers Find Remains Of Missing Man
BY DOUG R UTTER
The skeletal remains of a Mecklenburg County
man who was reported missing 17 months ago
were found Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area
off N.C. 179 in ShalkKte
Shallotte Police Chief Rodney Gausc identified
the man as Samuel Travis "Sam" Herring, 56, of
Pineville. Authorities do not suspect foul play,
and believe the body had been there for more than
a year. Gausc said.
N.C Department of Transportation workers
who were surveying N.C. 179 discovered the re
mains around 1:45 p.m. in the woods behind
Coastal Plaza shopping center, Gausc said.
The skeleton and two suitcases were found ap
proximately 30 yards off N.C. 179 and 40 yards
from the access road behind the Maxway depart
The State Bureau of Investigation assisted local
police with the investigation. Gausc said the
skeleton was taken to the state medical examin
ers' office in Jacksonville for an examination.
Gausc said police do not suspect foul play in
the death of Herring. At the scene, they found a
"We don't think there
was foul play because
the suitcases were still
zipped up f the clothes
were still there ;
everything was intact "
? Chief Rodney Gause
wallet containing cash in his pants' pocket and a
watch on his left wrist.
"We don't think there was foul play because
the suitcases were still zipped up, the clothes
were still there; everything was intact," Gause
said. Authorities found Herring's driver's license
in the wallet and his birth certificate in one of the
Gause said both suitcases were filled with
clothes and one also contained personal items in
cluding a toothbrush, razor blades and after-shave
Gause said police think the man died more than
a year ago and he was "very surprised" that the
body was not found sooner. "You could tell he's
been there for a while because of the grass and
straw and leaves around him," Gause said.
Herring was reported missing May 25, 1993,
by Ken Messer, owner of the Camellia Motel in
Messer, a deputy with the Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department and mayor of Belville, said
Herring had lived at the motel for about six
months before leaving May 24, 1993.
Messer said Herring was an alcoholic who had
been treated for substance abuse about four or
five times in the six months he stayed at the mo
Herring did not have a job while he was Mving
at the motel. Messer said he thought Herring was
going to see friends in Shallotte when he left the
'NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT '
Way For Area
BY SUSAN USHER
After four months of "fine-tun
ing" and review of plans for a $34
million sewer system to serve south
western Brunswick County, a state
agency has determined the project
will have no significant impact on
The decision by the N.C. Depart
ment of Environment, Health and
Natural Resources means the South
Brunswick Water and Sewer Auth
ority will not be required to com
plete a more in-depth environmental
impact statement (EIS) that could
have delayed the project by several
After that 30-day period of com
ment and review that begins Friday,
Oct. 28, a permit is expected to be
issued for the project and short-term
financing should become available,
said consulting engineer and author
ity manager Joe Tombro of
Piedmont Olsen Hensley.
The authority was required to
complete an environmental assess
ment. Based on its evaluation of that
data, the state could have called for
an EIS. Instead, after requiring addi
tional information from Piedmont
Olsen Hensley consulting engineers,
it issued a finding of no significant
"We gave a big sigh of relief,"
Tombro said. "The state will consid
er any negative comments received
within the 30 days. If merited they
will be addressed during the permit
The Sunset Beach Taxpayers
Association had called on the state
to require an EIS and a stormwater
management program because of
concerns about the impact of in
creased growth and density. A first,
the state is requiring a stormwater
management program as a require
ment for the authority to receive an
operating permit for its system. The
program is intended to reduce sur
face water runoff into streams.
SBTA President Clete Waldmiller
said the organization isn't ready to
comment on the finding.
"We've studied the FONSI and
the environmental assessment, but
we prefer not to comment until
we've seen the completed 201
plan," which isn't available yet. "We
also want to see more of what they
plan to do on stormwater control.
What I've seen so far appears to be
As part of the project, 1,300
square feet of space at the authori
ty's laboratory will be set aside for
research and development in a coop
erative effort with researchers at
N.C. State University. Among other
things researchers will be studying
the impact of stormwater manage
ment measures, starting with a study
of existing conditions. "Then we'll
set toward correcting conditions or
at the minimum maintaining them,"
"The parameters of the project
and the cooperation we're receiving
create the opportunity for it to be
one of the most exciting projects in
this region in terms of accomplish
The proposed system will rely
heavily on technology and ap
proaches not in widespread use in
North Carolina. It will be built in
phases and will eventually serve a
40-square-mile area that includes
Calabash, Sunset Beach and the sur
rounding unincorporated areas of the
county. The fust phase will provide
a central sewer collection system for
the downtown Calabash business
district, with an interim sewer line
connection to a wastewater treat
ment plant owned by Little River,
The project will be Financed by a
$3.8 million revolving loan from the
state, a $5 million state Clean Water
Bond loan, and at least $25.2 million
in local funds, including up-front ca
pacity charges levied on customers
who connect before or at the time
the system becomes operational.
The authority plans to begin issu
ing $22.8 million in 30-year revenue
bonds in January 1995. To repay the
debt it will rely on system revenues,
including one-time impact fees and
connection charges, monthly user
charges, and resale of treated efflu
ent for irrigation of 865 acres of
greens and fairways on 11 golf
courses at Sea Trail Plantation,
Lions Paw, The Pearl, Ocean
Harbour, Sandpiper and Angel
At the treatment plant, a comput
erized system will respond automati
cally to changes in the flow of
wastewater entering the plant. It will
also utilize ultraviolet disinfection
for pre-treatment, a five-day hold
ing/storage pond and a 30-day stor
age pond. Sludge will be aerated in a
125,000-gallon tank and stabilized
with lime before disposal by con
Eventually the authority hopes it
(See STATE, Page 2-A)
ARMED STANDOFF ON OCEAN ISLE
Commissioner Blasts Release Of Man Who Threatened Cops
BY ERIC CARLSON
Ocean Isle Beach Commissioner
Ken Proctor has called for an inves
tigation into the "premature" release
of a man who allegedly fired several
shots in a crowded residential neigh
borhood, then held a rifle on a town
policeman while threatening to kill
him last week.
"As a town commissioner, I don't
believe our police officers should be
subjected to this kind of danger, and
then have this kind of person walk
ing the street a couple hours later,"
Proctor said Tuesday.
Proctor lives "within 300 feet" of
William Earl Holden, 45, who was
arrested after a showdown with po
lice outside his Duneside Drive
home Thursday night (Oct. 20). The
commissioner said he was watching
the scene unfold from his house and
heard Holden veil. "I'm ready to die
and I'm going to kill you," several
times during the standoff.
Holden was armed with a loaded
MAC-90 assault rifle when he was
surprised and forced to ground
by an Ocean Isle Bcach officer after
another patrolman encouraged
Holden to set down his rifle and
smoke a cigarette, OIB Police Chief
Curt Pritchard said Tuesday.
Shortly after midnight, Holden
was booked on one count each of as
sault on a law enforcement officer,
comrrunicating threats and resisting
arrest, Pritchard said. Later that
morning, Holden was back at Ocean
Isle Beach. He had been set free on
an unsecured bond.
"I saw him eating breakfast at (a
local restaurant) this morning,"
Proctor said Tuesday. "This is the
most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.
I don't like it and I want something
done about it."
Enraged by the decision to release
the suspect. Proctor said he has left
three telephone messages with se
nior District Court Judge Jerry Jolly,
who oversees local magistrates.
Proctor said the judge did not return
On Tuesday, Proctor said he
spoke with Superior Court Judge
William Gore and was assured that
the matter would be investigated and
a bench warrant issued for Holden's
arrest if necessary.
Proctor said he was at home with
his wife Becky Thursday night when
he heard three pairs of gunshots in
the neighborhood at about 10:15. He
said he told her to call 91 1 and went
outside to see what had happened.
As he approached to within SO
feet of the Holden residence, Proctor
said he saw Ocean Isle Beach
Officer Wayne Downer get out of
his car and walk toward Holden.
Then Proctor said he saw the officer
stop and noticed Holden was armed
with a rifle.
"I saw Wayne get out of his car.
He did not have his gun drawn,"
Proctor said. "Then I heard him say,
'Please mister. Don't shoot me,' as
h<* moved back around the car."
When he heard Holden make the
first of several threats to shoot the
officer, Proctor said he turned and
headed back. By the time he reached
home, "everybody was outside on
their porch" watching the incident
unfold. Proctor said he could clearly
see Downer behind his patrol car
with his sidearm drawn. He heard
the officer say, "Please don't make
me shoot you."
Meanwhile, OIBPD Lt. James
Stewart was responding to the call
of shots fired on Duneside Drive.
According to his report of the inci
dent, Stewart was returning to the is
land when a small van began flash
ing its headlights as it approached
him on the bridge.
"So I stopped, thinking it may be
involved in the problem on
Duneside Drive," Stewart's report
A man pulled up beside the offi
cer and handed him a 9mm pistol,
saying he had just "grabbed it from
Earl Holden on Duneside Drive."
He said he had "taken it off the sub
ject at the residence and that he may
have another weapon."
When he arrived at the scene,
Stewart said he could see Downer at
the rear of his car with his weapon
drawn. Approaching with his lights
and radios off, Stewart said he saw
Holden "pointing a rifle at officer
Downer" and heard him say "he was
going to shoot his head off and any
one else who comes."
After checking to make sure no
"civilians" were in the area, Stewart
concealed himself and watched as
"Holden would follow (Downer)
with the rifle and continued to
threaten to blow off officer
"If you come toward me I will kill
you," Holden reportedly said.
Stewart continued to watch as
Downer talked with Holden, who
said he was going to lay the rifle
across the hood of his car to smoke a
cigarette. He put the gun down, but
kept on hand on it as he stuck a cig
arette in his mouth and lit it.
Making his way around the
house, Stewart got behind Holden
and slowly edged toward him. He
listened to the two men talking and
heard Holden repeat his threat to kill
anyone who came near. Seeing the
cigarette growing smaller, Stewart
said he bolstered his pistol and pre
pared to make his move.
"Approaching him from the rear, I
(See MAN , Page 2-A)
Business News... ....11C
Calendar ? ........ 6B
Church News .............. 10D
Crime Report 12C
Court Docket 8-9D
Fishing... ... ? ...... .5 D
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