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VOL. XXXXVIll NO. 25 USPS 162-860 KENANSV1LLE, NC 28349 JUNE 20. 1985 14 PAGES THIS WEEK 10 CENTS PLUS TAX
John Viscardi...Alias Phenius Pickett
New York Actors Perform
Lead Roles At Liberty Cart
History and tradition are two of
the most notieceable differences in
Duplin County and New York City,
commented John Viscardi who is
portraying Phenius Pickett in the
10th anniversary production of THE
"Here in Kenansville," John Vis
cardi said, "and not only here, but in
other parts of North Carolina, you
are literally overwhelmed by its
I | heritage-. Anu that is especially true
' ' in Kenansville.
"Where I'm from it's more of an
amassment of different people,"
John, a native of New York City,
said. "There^s certainly a history,
but things are so fast-paced that it
tends to get lost in the shuffle."
In addition to the preservation of
history through outdoor drama and
""'tfesVoriufWr of Mt&tfe-' sites! J. tin "
added that a difference can be found
in the attitude of the people of
5 Carolina and^New York.
"The real difference between the
people of Kenansville and New York
is that there seems to be more of a
concern for the quality of living,"
John said. "People care enough to
ask you how you are feeling or have a
nice day." And, from the attitudes of
the local citizens, John believes the
character of Phenius was born. The
palyful, fun-loving type character of
Phenius in the outdoor drama
charms each member of the audi
ence, just as local residents make
out-of-state visitors welcome, John
As the lead in the outdoor drama,
John realizes a demand from the
weight of the role. But, he also views
the role as one of leadership among
the more than 40 local cast members.
"When I'm around the local cast,
on-stage and off, I do feel like I'm a
center of attention," John said.
"4lHl iMtitl of the attention to
me as a professional, 1 feel I have a
standard to maintain."
Working for the first time in
outdoor drama, John pointed out
many auterences from indoor
theatre. An obvious difference is the
type of drama and the demands on
the performer's voice.
"The big difference for me is
having to project my voice so people
in the last row can hear clearly,"
John said. "I think that is boing to be
"But, also, outdoor drama is much
more of a spectacle with fireworks
and battle sceenes, than indoor
theatre. There's a lot more going on
in an outdoor drama," he said.
John began is acting career as a
sophomore at Columbia University.
He later graduated with a bachelor's
degree in English literation and a
"The first scene 1 was in 1 forgot
half my lines and mumbled the other
* ha!f,v John laughed. "Needless to
say it was a disaster, and to top it off,
they made me sit oh stage and take
criticism. 1 felt about the size of a
peanut, but acting really did grow on
North Carolina farmers appear to
be in the beginning stage of a swine
Farmers who are seeking addi
tional income in the face of low grain
3 prices and an uncertain future for
tobacco are turning to swine and
poultry production as alternatives.
A tight credit situation is slowing
the rate of expansion, according to
As a result some of the larger
producers are expanding their own
operations as well as looking for
Murphy Farms of Rose Hill is one
of those expanding. Owner Wendell
Murphy said that Murphy Farms is
building a hog finishing complex
near Waycross in southern Sampson
County. Five houses, each housing
1,100 hogs, have been completed
and filled with hogs. Five others are
In finishing operation, small pigs
of 40 to 60 or 70 pounds each are out
on Finishing, floors to be fed out to
mark weight of 220 pounds or
Murphy said his company has
never stopped growing in its 20 years
of existence. "We're just moving
where we feel like it's reasonably
prudent," he added.
"We feel pretty good about
expanding because of packing
company expansion that should
strengthen the market." Murphy
was referring to the expansion of
Lundy Packing Co. in Clinton.
"We re also now starting con
struction of a 1,000-sow facility near
Garland," he added.
Murphy warned hog producers to
be concerned about "the tremen
dous expansion of the poultry indus
He noted there is a limit to the
amount of meat people will buy. The
poultry industry has done an excel
lent promotion job. Murphy said,
and the pork industry needs to match
it. "The thing that concerns us as
much as anything else is holding
on to our share of the meat market,
Rose Hill Gives
Raises In Budget
^ Town employees will receive in
creases of five or three percent,
according to the 1985-86 budget
approved last week by the Rose Hill
Board of Commissioners.
The police will get the three
percent increase because they re
ceived a 10 percent increase last
year. Other town employees, who
got four percent last year, will
receive a five percent increase.
The new budget is based on
\ anticipated income of $241,000, an
increase of $5,000 over the current
fiscal year. The tax rate of 70 cents
per $100 worth of property remains
Town Clerk C.T. Herring based
his projections on collection of
$95,000 of the gross property tax
leyy of $126,000. The remaining
$146,000 wiff come from other taxes
? and from state and Federal grants.
Any properly tax collections over
the projected $95,000 will be added
tp the town's surplus. It is entering
the new fiscal year with a fund
balance of $68,000.
The new budget includes S5.500
for a police car. The vehicle will be a
former Highway Patrol car.
Chief Bobby Maready asked for
the car and for a six percent pay
increase for the police force.
Mayor Ben Harrell said: "We can
reasonably assume that we'll proba
bly lose revenue sharing. 1 don't
know what the legislature will do
about this tax package, but we can
depend on losing revenue sharing."
"We can't keep on raising
salaries," he said. "We raised police
ten percent last year. They asked for
six percent this year. We need to go
to a merit system."
Harry Bradshaw, who has bought
the former Watson Poultry and Sea
food Co. office building, asked to
have a portion of Oak Street next to
the building closed. Commissioner
Clarence Brown, who owns some
nearby property, protested that he
needs to have the street kept open
for easy access to part of hi!s (
The board took no action.
Other uusjness at the board's
? During a public hearing, D.J.
Fusseli supported closing Elm Street
behind Whisper Soft Mills. Clayton
Herring Sr., who owns property on
the street, spoke against closing it.
Whisper Soft is expanding its plant
on the far side of the street from its
? The board heard that Eugene
Fusseli, a town maintenance worker,
needs two to three days a month to
read the 630 water meters in town.
The board will try to find a retiree as
meter reader on a part-time basis to
relieve Fusseli of the chore.
? Brown told the board, "1 want
a list every month of everybody who
owes overdue taxes. If these people
don't pay their taxes we're going to
have to raise taxes."
.......-3 ALL IN THE
^ DAIRY INDUSTRY*
Vinegar And Brine Fill
The Air As Pickle Making
Time Comes Around
The state has become the leading
pickling cucumber producer of the
It must be time to get out the
vinegar and spices, because the
cucumbers are rolling by the truck
loads down the byways of rural
eastern North Carolina.
Pickling cucumber buying stations
are busy as pickup truck and trailer
loads of pickles-to-be arrive steadily.
The buying stations for several
companies are scattered across much
of eastern North Carolina. The state
has become the leading pickling
cucumber producer of the nation.
Numerous stations are operated
by buyers under contract with Jharles
F. Cates & Sons of Faison, one of the
major "picklers" of the country.
Just up U.S. 117 from Faison is
Mount Olive, home of the Mount
Olive Pickle Co., one of Cates' rivals.
The cucumbers come from several
states to the pickle factories at dif
ferent times of the season. North
Carolina pickling cukes may travel a
long distance, as much as 1.000
miles to a pickle factory.
The cukes coming into C.C. lvey's
station on N.C. 11 at Kenansville
were destined for Crosswell, Mich.,
where the Aunt Jane division of the
Cates company produces pickles.
lvey said they would be taken to a
"hydrocool" on N.C. Ill in the
Albertson area. Pickles destined for
long distance travel are cooled to 40
degrees by a "rain of icewater"
while they move through a long
tunnel. A worker at the hydrocooler
said the cooling process takes just a
few minutes. The cooled pickles are
loaded into a refrigerated trailer of
an 18-wheeler rig for their long ride
"These pickles will be put up in
fresh pack," lvey said. They must be
handled quickly, he added. Other
pickles are stored in brine and can be
kept for a long time before pro
cessing, he noted.
Neil Southerland of the Kenans
ville area unloaded a trailer of
pickles at lvey's station last week. "I
ha?'?- *h<xit two acres of them," he
said. "The crop's been good so far
but we need some rain right now."
Neil has been picking the cukes for
two weeks and has about two weeks
worth left in the fields, if he gets
rain. He said the pickles are put in
three grades, according to size. The
No. 1 grade is the smallest and
brings the most money, $15 per 100
pounds. He said the No. 2 grade
brings $7 per 100 pounds and the
large No. 3 grade, $4.25 per 100
Southerland said he starts his
marketing season with strawberries.
He has about five acres of the crop.
His 15 acres of tobacco demands
harvest attention as the cucumber
Ivey said he began buying cucum
bers for a Cleveland, Ohio, firm in
1%6. He has contracted with Cates
for several years. Ivey also turns to
tobacco when the pickle season ends.
He is a partner in the New Sheffield
tobacco warehouse in Wallace. The
other partners are Wendell Teachey
and S.L. Norris.
Work Started On
Duplin 1-40 Stretch
Work began this past week on a
6.9 mile stretch of Interstate 40 in
Clearing along the right of way
began on Monday of last week and
grading wiH start about a week later,
said James Purcell, a vice president
for Brown Brothers Inc. of Chatta
nooga and Knoxville, Tenn.
The stretch of highway will extend
from U.S. 117 south of Warsaw to
north of Secondary Road 1918, east
of Magnolia. The link is part of a
90-mile segment that will connect
Wilmington with 1-40 at Benson.
The work should be completed by
the end of 1986, Purcell said.
Brown Brothers submitted a $6.8
million bid for the contract, but later
tried to withdraw it, saying the bid
total was erroneous. The state,
however, found nothing irregular
about the bid and accepted it. The
next lowest bid was $7.6 million by
Vecellio and Grogan Inc. of Beckley.
W.Va. State Department of Trans
portation engineers had estimated
the cost of the work at $7.5 million.
"It was an error on our part,"
Purcell said. "Wc just bid it a little
cheap. We're just going to have,to
work longer and cheaper. The only
thing we can do to overcome it is to
work harder and make up, hope
The people involved in making the
low bid "got scolded a little bit," but
did not get fired, he said.
The DOT bid review board studied
the Brown bid, DOT spokesman Bill
Jones said. "Everything was bid to
state standan.. -The state will inspect
the work to make sure it conforms to
"They are a reputable company."
Jones added. "We have no reason to
think it won't."
One of Warsaw's water towers
soon take on a new role, as a
The town Board of Commissioners
last week permitted Franklin Com
munications of Jacksonville to rent
space on the tower for an antenna for
a telephone beeper notification
system it plans to install in Warsaw.
The company will pay $48 a month,
40 cents for each foot between the
antenna and the ground. It will be
mounted 120 feet up.
Paul Knight, a consulting
engineer for Franklin Communica
tions, said the company plans
systems for Warsaw and Kenans
ville. Knight said the company hopes
to do business with 50 to 100
businesses in the Warsaw area.
The board rejected a resolution
calling on the Duplin County Com
missioners to give more money to the
schools. Warsaw Commissioner
Graham Hood said the town board is
not against education, but members
believe the resolution is something
the board should not act on as a
representative of the town.
The Wallace town board approved
a similar resolution. The Rose Hill
and Magnolia boards rejected the
The Rose Hill board agreed it
should not try to tell Duplin County
how to spend its tax money, or the
county might come back and tell the
towns how to spend theirs.
The Warsaw board was to hold a
public budget hearing Monday.
William Phelps was re-appointed
to the planning board for a one-year
Term For Fire
Melvin Guy Williams, 42. was
sentenced last week to three years in
prison in connection with the
burning of his house si* years ago.
He was convicted in Duplin
County Superior Court on charges of
fraudulently setting fire to a
dwelling, conspiracy to set fire to a
dwelling and making a false state
ment to fraudulently collect insu
Judge Mary McLaughlin Pope
sentenced Williams to two years in
prison on the burning conviction.
She combined the other two convic
tions and sentenced him to one year
in prison, the sentence to begin on
the completion of the two-year
The defense appealed the convic
tion. Williams was freed Tuesday on
$30,000 appeal bond after spending
Monday night in the Duplin County
The judge recommended thai
Williams be placed on work release
with half of any income to be sent to
his wife. Scarlet Williams, for sup
port of their minor child.
Williams could have received up to
23 years in prison. Burning a
dwelling and defrauding an insur
ance company carry minimum
penalties each of 10 years in pnsuu.
The conspiracy count carries a
maximum prison term of three years.
JSTC Bill Expected
To Pass House
Rep. Wendell Murphy said last
week that he is confident that the
state House of Representatives will
approve legislation to give commu
nity college status to James Sprunt
Technical College in Kenansville.
The bill came to the House floor
Wednesday with the unanimous
endorsement of the House Higher
Education Committee. However,
Murphy asked that the bill be sent to
the Appropriations Committee
before floor debate to remove any
chance that the bill might be
defeated on the argument that it
would cost the state money.
"With that done I don't anticipate
any problem with getting our bill
passed," Murphy said. He said Rep
Billy Watkins of Harnett County,
chairman of the Appropriations
Committee, assured him the bill
would come back to the House floor.
The state Board of Community
Colleges recently endorsed a pro
posal to upgrade James Sprunt and
Durham Technical Institute to com
munity colleges. Board members,
including Lt. Gov. Bob Jordan,
predicted legislative opposition to
the proposal, which requires en
dorsement by the General
If it receives approval in the
House, the Sprunt bill will go to the
Senate for consideration.
State Board Adjusts 1-40 Work
The state Board of Transportation
approved several projects related to
construction of Interstate 40 last
week, including minor adjustments
to funding for construction and
engineering for Interstate 40 in
Duplin and Pender counties.
At the meeting in Raleigh Friday
morning, the board approved these
projects in the area:
? Paving and other improve
ments on 0.15 mile on S.R. 1141 on
the bridge and culvert over Maxwell
Creek northeast of Register in