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New Regs May Cost
The cost of building a new beach home Is
expected to go up as a result of changes
In the state's construction code. However,
the North Carolina Home Builders
Association has some questions about
whether those changes are needed. The
story's on Page 9-C.
Fort Spruced Up
Ft. Anderson is getting spruced up Just In time to ?
help commemorate the 125th anniversary of the
end of the Civil War In North Carolina. A Sunday
afternoon program marks the Confederacy's Feb.
I 18. 1865, evacuation of the fort and its subsequent
surrender by the Union to the Union. See Page
' 12-B for details.
Starting May 1. properly owners within
approximately a mile of the Ocean Isle Beach
borders will come under the town's planning
and zoning regulations. The rules will affect
future development in the area, from new
signs to new subdivisions. Find out more on
TUP Pni 1111,11 ""uM dz h r am
i nt d s,IwftKfT mig2w^ DLnwi\i
Twenty-eighth Year, Number 14 ?.?wtwbrumbwk* kacon snanotte, Nonn Carolina, Thursday, February 15, 1990 25* Per Copy 34 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
STAFf PHOTO BY ?AHN ADAMS
OCEAN ISLE BUSINESSMAN Tripp Sloane wasn't injured when he crash-landed this single-engine airplane Saturday afternoon
off East 4th Street, Ocean Isle Beach.
Ocean Isle Man Survives Crash-Landing On Island
BY RAHN ADAMS
When local pilot Tripp Sloane left Ocean Isle
Beach Airport in his single-engine airplane
Saturday afternoon, he didn't know that he
would be "homeward" bound due to an engine
malfunction shortly after takeoff.
Sloane, an Ocean Isle Beach real estate agent
nruj devc!oper. injury Sttenby wound
4 p.m. when he crash-landed his Beechcraft
Bonanza A- 36 aiiCiufi on iiie east end of Ocean
Isle Beach. The crash occurred in an undevel
oped dune area less than a block from his resi
"Fortunately, I just walked out unbruised and
unhurt," said Sloane, who was alone in the
plane when the accident occurred. He added
that he has been a pilot since 1980 and that the
crash Saturday was his first airplane accident
Ocean Isle Beach Volunteer Fire Department
was dispatched to the accident, even though
there turned out to be no Tire and no fuel leak
age from the downed aircraft, according to
Chief Terry Barbee. County Emergency
Management Coordinator Cecil Logan also re
sponded to the mishap.
Sloane told the Beacon that he reported the
accident to the Federal Aviation Administration
Monday moming and that a report would be
filed this week. An investigator from Grand
Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.,
was expected to inspect the wreckage Tuesday.
The plane, which Sloane said sustained "sub
stantial" damage to its nose and landing gear,
wsh no? mnv?! after thr arriftMil The crash
site ? off East 4th Street near Asheville
Street ? was only yards from the unpaved road
way and across the street from the last row of
houses on the Intracoastal Waterway side of the
Sloane indicated he took off from the Ocean
Isle Beach Airport Saturday around 4 p.m. with
plans to fly to Grand Strand Airport However,
when he got into the air, he saw bad weather
between Ocean Isle and North Myrtle Beach,
and he decided to abort the flight and return to
the Ocean Isle airfield.
While in the traffic pattern to land at Ocean
Isle, the airplane's engine stopped running, and
he was unable to restart it. He said Tuesday that
the cause of the engine malfunction had not yet
"There was so much to think about," Sloane
commented. "When I couldn't get the engine
started again, I thought I'd better concentrate
on flying the plane and finding a place to put it
down ... I just siid it up on the dunes."
He added that the landing site he chose was
"kind of bumpy" but (hat the aircraft slopped
quickly in the sandy dune area ? a situation
which possibly kept the plane from cart-wheel
ing Ttw nlarw nam? tt> res? BMP-dOWS !!! ! wir?
fence between undeveloped lots.
Sloane's wite, Karen Sloane. said the cou
ple's children were playing the yard of the fam
ily's 3rd Street rcsidcncc and saw the crash. She
said the youngsters ? at first unaware that their
father was piloting the aircraft ? watched the
low-flying plane and yelled that it was about to
Mrs. Sloane said she heard the plane hit the
ground and immediately notified authorities of
the accident. "The kids came in the house
screaming, and I was already on the phone call
ing the sheriff's department," she commented.
In addition to emergency personnel, a large
crowd of residents from houses in the neighbor
hood gathered around the downed plane, which
Mrs. Sloane added was a popular "attraction"
on the east end of the island throughout the
AT OCEAN ISLE BEACH
Commissioner Resigns; Wife Fills Empty Seat
BY DOUG RUTTER
Ocean Isle Beach Commissioner
Ed Steele resigned from the town
board for health reasons Tuesday
and then watched from the audience
as his wife, Pearl, was appointed to
serve the rest of his term.
After accepting Steele's resigna
tion during their regular monthly
meeting Tuesday morning, commis
sioners voted 4-0 to appoint Mrs.
Steele to the board. Steele had rec
ommended her appointment
However, before the board acted,
Commissioner Debbie Fox urged
fellow members to postpone the
vole at least one month. She said
she hadn't been notified of Steele's
plans to resign until Saturday.
While she agreed with other
board members that Mrs. Steele
would make a good commissioner,
Ms. Fox said town officials should
seek public input before appointing
Ms. Fox did not voice a vote for
or against Virginia Gibson's motion
to appoint Mrs. Steele, Lilt her
silence counted as an affirmative
Commissioner Bill Benton said
ordinarily he would agree that a de
lay is appropriate, but he voiced full
support for appointing Mrs. Steele
as a new member of the board. "I
think Pearl would be a great com
missioner," he said.
Immediately after the vote, Mrs.
Steele took the oath of office from
the town clerk and took her hus
band's old seat at the commission
Mrs. Steele, who has never held
an elective office, said following the
meeting, "I've got a lot to learn, but
I'll do my best."
Steele said after the meeting that
his wife has a good grasp of the
needs of the resort community. Mrs.
Steele helps manage the couple's
two restaurants and motel at Ocean
"She's pretty well aware of how
the town functions and its needs,"
Steele said of his wife. The couple
has lived at Ocean Isle IS years.
Steele, who was fust elected to
the town board in 1987, recom
mended that his wife be appointed
to serve the 22 months remaining in
his term in a letter of resignation
submitted to Mayor Betty William
(See STEELE, Page 2-A)
To Be Relieved
Of The Burden'
BY SUSAN USHER
Vamamtown aldermen and state
Rep. David Red wine are to meet
next month with petitioners who say
fh/?v "u/ich tr\ Kp relieved Of the bl2T
den" of being incorporated as the
town of Vamamtown.
Redwine said this week that a
delegation from the riverfront com
munity delivered a petition to him
last Wednesday bearing 126 names
of people who want to see the town
revert to its former unincorporated
As he had told the Beacon earlier,
Redwine immediately asked the pe
titioners to meet with Vamamtown
officials to discuss the petition and
the future direction of the communi
ty. "I'm going to force them to sit
down and talk, and I'd like to be
there when they do it," said Red
wine. "Beyond that I don't know
what I will do." Redwine said he
isn't sure who's responsibility it is
to determine whether those who
have signed the petition <uc regis
tered town voters.
The joint discussion will take
place at the board's next regular
meeting, Thursday, March 15, at
7:30 p.m. at Gospel Center Baptist
Church, Mayor Judy Galloway con
firmed After hearing from Redwine
and the petitioners, she said, the
town board will decide its next step.
The state representative said the
situation is a new one for him; he
doubts that very many other Noiiii
Carolina legislators have faced sim
In 1988 Vamamtown residents
petitioned for incorporation and
passed a referendum. This year a
group of residents is seeking local
legislation to revoke the town char
ter. Referring to those changing
views, Rcdwine continued, "A
group could come back next year or
the following year and want to in
corporate again or to do something
else. They have to decide what they
want as a community."
The petition was presented by a
delegation that included Rudolph
"Rudy" Simmons, Barbara "Bob
bie" Varnam, who ran for mayor of
the town last November, her daugh
ter Till DiTon; nnH Wiljnn T mwai.
Vamamtown was incorporated as
the result of a referendum in Sep
Reached for comment Tuesday,
Barbara "Bobbie" Varnam, who op
posed the town's incorporation from
the start, said she simply wants the
(See PETITION, Page 2-A)
BY DOUG RUTTER
Stuart Thom is the newest mem
ber of the Calabash Board of Com
missioners. The Carolina Shores
to fill the
District II seat
vacated by Ed VL
Schaack, who i
resigned to take
over the build- A k
ing inspector's * .
Nominated by Commissioner
George Anderson, Thom received
192 votes as a candidate for com
missioner in the November 1989
election. In making the nomination,
Anderson said Thorn was the high
est vole-getter from the district who
was not elected last fall but was still
willing to serve.
Two other unsuccessful commis
sioner candidates from District II
garnered more votes than Thorn,
who will serve on ihe enmmissios
until the next regular municipal
election in November 1991.
Commissioner George Tbubel,
who nominated Thomas Brendgord
for the position, was the only board
member not to vote for Thorn at
Tuesday's town meeting. Brendgord
received 1S3 votes in the election
Board member Phyllis Manning
was absent, and Commissioner
Keith Hardee left the 2 1/2-hour
meeting before the appointment was
Planning Commission Set
Commissioners approved chang
es in the makeup of the planning
and zoning board Tuesday and
appointed members to the four
boards that fall under the planning
(See Calabash, Page 2-A)
Pontoon Bridge Broke Again;
Sanford Questions High-Rise
BY SUSAN USHER
The pontoon bridge across the
Intracoastal Waterway to Sunset
Beach was to be out of commission
for repairs much of Wednesday and
today (Thursday), while in Wash
ington, D.C., a second federal legis
lator has raised questions regarding
its proposed high-rise replacement
The pontoon bridge broke Satur
day between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.,
according to Bridge Supervisor
James Hayes, interrupting vehicular
traffic for approximately six hours
until temporary repairs could be
made. "The operators had a little ac
cident and broke the piece of rail
road iron the apron sits on."
That weld on the beam keeps the
apron ? the part of the bridge that
goes up and down ? from slipping,
Hayes explained. When it broke, the
apron fell off. It was the second ac
cident of this type recently, accord
ing to Hayes.
So that workers could repair the
weld on the locking piece, the apron
had to be left in the raised position.
It was to be back in the raised po
sition Wednesday and Thursday (to
day) from approximately 9 a.m. to 3
p.m., estimated Hayes. "We're go
ing to try to work it so we can have
it opened by 3 p.m. Wednesday.
That's the only day it might be a
Hayes said he joked with Sunset
Beach area residents that "maybe
they would promote the new high
"But they said no, that they want
the old bridge,'* he continued.
Hayes was working with DOT in
Columbus County when he helped
construct the pontoon bridge, he re
called, back in the early 1960s. "We
used salvage material for the piles
and joists. About the only thing that
was new when we put it in was the
STAFF PHOTO IY RAHN ADAMS
LOBBYING EFFORTS by the Sunset Beach Taxpayers Associa
tion on behalf of the pontoon bridge to the island continue, as
does pre-construction work on its planned high-rise replacement.
"They either need a new high-rise
bridge or else we need to do a
whole lot of work on this bridge,"
he suggested. "It looks like they're
going to get the high-rise whether
they want it or not."
While workers continue to take
core samples along the route of the
new bridge, Cletus Waldmiller,
president of the Sunset Beach Tax
payers Association, said Tuesday
the group has heard nothing new
from the state.
"All 1 know is what I see out at
the bridge site," said Waldmiller.
"We've heard nothing."
The group has received the copy
of a letter from U.S. Senator Terry
Sanford to then N.C. Secretary of
Transportation James Harrington.
Harrington has since resigned. His
successor is former Southport resi
dent Tommy Harrelson, who could
not be reached for comment Tues
In his Dec. 18 letter, Sanford
joins Congressman Charles Rose in
asking the N.C. Department of
Transportation to re-examine the
"feasibility and prudence" of the
high-rise bridge, given its high price
tag and divided community support
The 65-foot-high, fixed-span bridge
is to be built using federal and
matching state funds. It's latest cost
estimate is $7.88 million, including
an additional $550,000 added to the
engineering budget at the state
board of transportation's Feb. 2
Sanford advised Harrington, "I
would like to join with Mr. Rose in
this request and also ask, on behalf
of the many Sunset Beach residents
and property-holders who rejcct the
high-rise bridge plan, that you ex
amine all possible alternatives be
fore proceeding with the project. Is
this a wise use of the limited
amount of federal highway monies
granted to North Carolina, especial
ly in light of the new bridge's esti
mated $6.9 million price tag?"
Saying he was "hopeful that a
compromise could be reached,"
San ford further suggested that any
upgrading efforts not extend in pur
pose beyond safety objectives.
"I hope that you will . . . make
absolutely certain that a high-rise
structure, such as the one proposed,
will best meet the needs and re
quests of the island's taxpayers."
Waldmilier said the letters from
San ford and Rose came as a result
of lobbying by members of the tax
payers' organization. In a renewed
campaign effort launched last fall,
members have been urged to write
both North Carolina legislators and
North Carolina's congressional del
egation, as well as newspapers
across the state.