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The Buck Stops Here
Twenty-eight deer heads similar to this
one competed for prizes and praise at
the Brunswick County Big Buck
Contest In Bolivia Saturday and
Sunday. For the story behind the
winning entry, turn to Page 12-B.
f or Ail Plant Lovers
>*\ The Brunswick Horticulture Show this weekend at
the N.C. National Guard Armory In Shallotte
features the latest in garden and landscape ideas,
products and advice. Admission Is free; show
hours are 1 p.m. -8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. -8 p.m.
Saturday and 1 p.m. -6 p.m. Sunday.
Black Artists Perform
Area black artists ? Including Wilmington
actor Lloyd Wilson as "Uncle Remus" ?
performed before a near -capacity audience
Saturday at the Black Arts Festival at
Brunswick Community College. The story
and more photos are on Page 4-B.
i^l ? '1 4*1/
H'.'AG ?:< 'iON'i BOOK BINDERY la ^
,-r'r t.. BOX i I-. 2
?:-PR I N'of-'ORI MI 49284
Twenty-eighth Year, Number 20
?IMOTHf BRUNSWICK KACOM
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, March 29, 1990
23c Per Copy
36 Pages, 3 Sections
Arson Blaze Guts County
Purchasing Ayont s Horns
BY RAHN ADAMS
No arrests were reported as of Monday afternoon in
connection with a weekend arson fire that gutted a
Brunswick County department head's Ash area farm
house. No one was home at the time of the blaze.
Waccamaw Volunteer Fire Department was called to
the Billy Ingram residence on Route 2, Ash, Kingtown
Road, Sunday at 6:53 a.m., said Brunswick County Fire
Marshal Cecil Logan. Ingram is county purchasing
agent and a former county building inspection depart
The fire, which Logan estimated was set around 2
a.m., had almost burned itself out by the time it was re
ported by a pusseiby who noticed smoke coming from
the single-story frame house at 6:45 a.m. Logan said the
blaze died down by burning up all the oxygen inside die
closed-up house ? a situation that prevented the entire
structure from being consumed.
The shell of the house remains standing, with little
evidence of the fire apparent from the outside. Logan
said a bathroom, where the blaze was set, and a hallway
sustained the most fire damage. The rest of the home's
interior sustained extensive heat and smoke damage;
however, it appears repairable, Logan said. Damage
was estimated at 520,000.
Owner of the house is listed as Ingram's mother, Lois
R. King, of Route 1, Ash, according to a report on file
at the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department. Ingram
moved into the house approximately two weeks before
Sunday morning's fire and was staying "at the bc-?ch
with friends" Saturday night, the report states.
Civil court documents at the Brunswick County
Courthouse indicate that Ingram moved into the house
as a result of a March 15 divorce settlement with his
former wife, Marjorie K. Ingram. As part of the agree
ment, Ms. Ingram was allowed to reside in the couple's
house in Ocean View Landing subdivision near Occan
Sheriff's Dei. Gary Shay said Monday that the arson
case did not appear to be related directly to the divorce
proceedings. "Not at this point in time it doesn't, no,"
the dclcctive said. "It doesn't appear to be a revenge
Both Shay and Logan said authorities have identified
several suspects in connection with the fire, which re
mains under investigation by the sheriff's department,
fire marshal's office, Waccamaw VFD and the SBI.
Shay noted Monday that SBI polygraph tests were be
ing set up for "several individuals" possibly linked to
Ingram told the Beacon Monday that he did not know
who set the fire. When interviewed early Monday after
noon at the fire sccnc, he also indicated that he had not
been contacted yet by arson investigators.
Shay and Logan would not comment on the specific
means used to start the blaze. However, Shay saw a
"device" was found in the hathroom where the fire
Count/ Native Charged
In Two Bank Robberies
BY DOUG RUTTER
A Southport native charged with
the robbery of banks at Ocean Isle
Beach and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and
other crimes was being held in Col
umbus County Jail Tuesday on
Charles David Cain, 23, of
Hampton, Va., was formally charg
ed Monday with armed bank rob
bery in connection with last Fri
day's holdup of the United Carolina
Bank at Ocean Isle Beach, said Paul
Cox, a special agent in the FBI's
Aiso Monday, Cain was charged
with the March 22 robbery of the
South Carolina National Bank in
Myrtle Beach, said Larry Bruns of
the FBI's Myrtle Beach office.
Last week's bank robbery at
Ocean Isle ? die first of 1990 in
Brunswick County but the sixth to
occur here in the last 10 months ?
led to a manhunt that ended in a
shoot-out between the suspect and a
state highway patrolman near
Whileville. Nobody was injured.
Occan Isle Beach Police Chief
Curl Pritchard said a white man
brandishing a blue steel revolver en
tered the United Carolina Bank on
the causeway at Occan Isle last Fri
day around 9:45 a.m. and demanded
After receiving approximatcly
$4,600 in cash, the suspect exited
the bank and was last seen walking
behind a nearby restaurant headed
for a wooded area. Cox said police
later recovered all but $58 of the
There were no customers in the
bank at the time of the robbery, and
none of the employees were injured,
Bank employees said the robber
appeared to be between 25 and 30
years old, said Pritchard. The sus
pect was wearing a small straw hat,
faded red or pink bandana over his
face, amber-colored sunglasses, a
faded blue T-shirt and dark-colored
Immediately after the robbery,
about 18 officers from the N.C.
Highway Patrol, Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department and policc de
partments at Ocean Isle Beach, Sun
set Beach and Shalloltc set up four
roadblocks and scoured the area. A
county officer looked for the sus
pect from a small airplane, and
three FBI officers arrived on the
scene about an hour after the rob
"What we attempted to do was
flood the area with officers in hopes
of keeping the suspect in a very
small area," said Pritchard.
About 20 minutes after the rob
bery, Pritchard said he learned that a
man fitting the robber's description
had slopped at a business about one
mile away from Ocean Isle Beach
to ask directions to the town.
Employees at the business said
the man was driving a white pickup
truck, said Pritchard. A description
of the vehicle was broadcasted on
policc radio to law enforcement of
ficers throughout the county as well
as to officers in Columbus, Bladen
(See COUNTY NATIVE, Page 2-A)
THIS 40-MILLIMETER MILITARY ROUND, measuring 18 inches by the yardstick shown , was
found last Friday along the Intracoastal Waterway on Ocean Isle Beach.
Military Ammunition Found At Ocean Isle
BY DOUG RUTTER
A Marine Corps bomb squad thai picked a 40-mil
limctcr military round from the waterway near Ocean
Isle Beach last week came up empty after searching
the area for more ammunition Monday afternoon.
Two members of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal
unit from Marine Corps Base Camp Lcjeune at Jack
sonville traveled to Ocean Isle last Friday afternoon to
pick up the projectile, said base spokesperson Ll C.
M. Royan. The unfircd round would have been used
with a grenade launcher.
A further search by the military bomb squad during
Monday afternoon's low tide turned up nothing, said
Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Curt Pritchard.
An anonymous telephone caller alerted the Ocean
Isle Police Department shortly before noon last Friday
thai there were "some bombs at the water's edge" at
the north end of Shallotte Boulevard, said Pritchard.
He said two town police officers investigated the
call and found a projectile near the bank of the At
lantic Intracoastal Waterway. One of the officers re
mained at the scene to keep the public away until the
Marine Corps unit arrived at about 3:30 p.m.
Royan said that because of its age and having been
exposed to the elements, the round posed no threat.
The projectile was apparently manufactured in
1943 ? the date stamped on the side of the canister.
She warned, however, that it could have been "ex
tremely dangerous" if it had been in better condition.
A military round should never be picked up, she said,
even if it's found rolling around in the surf.
Pritchard said the projectile was "shaped exactly
like a giant bullet," with its canister approximately 13
inches long and its head, about five inches long.
Where the round came from and how it got to
Ocean Isle Beach is not known, said Royan, adding,
"It could have gotten there in a million ways."
Police were notified of the projectile in the water
way about two hours after the Ocean Isle Beach
branch of United Carolina Bank was robbed Friday
"It was one heck of a day," Pritchard said Monday.
"This stuff just doesn't happen at Ocean Isle."
STAFF rHOTO BY *AHN ADAMS
SOOT MARKS AND BROKEN WINDOWS are the only outside indication of extensive interior
damage caused by an arson fire early Sunday at Hilly Ingram's Ash area home.
Design Work Holds Up Construction
Of New Sunset Beach High-Rise Span
BY RAHN ADAMS
Whether or not their efforts can
succeed, opponents of a proposed
high-rise span at Sunset Beach will
have two more months than they
might have cxpccted this fall to
keep ihcir fight from becoming wa
ter under the island's new bridge.
Tom Shcarin, project engineer for
the N.C. Department of Transporta
tion, confirmed Monday that the
date DOT will receive construction
bids on the Sunset Beach Bridge
project has been moved back to
Sept. 18 due to a "delay" in prepa
ration of the bridge's design.
Prior to a March 15 meeting at
Sunset Beach Town Hall, DOT offi
cials had told local officials that
bids would be rcccived July 1. The
informal session ? which was held
for discussion of the bridge pro
ject ? was attended by town, county
and DOT representatives including
'That was what we were shooting
for," Shcarin said of the unofficial
July deadline. "The original con
tract was for September, and we
tried to speed things up to July." He
added, however, that the contractor,
J.E. Grciner Consulting Engineers
of Raleigh, is unable to complete
the bridge design two months earli
er than allowed by the contract.
DOT awarded the $470,598 de
sign contract last August. The state
has rcccived all necessary bridge
construction permits from the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.
Coast Guard and N.C. Division of
Coastal Management, said Shearin.
Opposition to the new bridge is
spearheaded by the Sunset Beach
Taxpayers Association, a property
owner group that began a renewed
campaign last fall to keep !hc is
land's nearly 30-year-old pontoon
swing bridge over the Intracoastal
Waterway from being replaced by
the high-rise, fixed-span structure.
The organization's lobbying ef
forts have resulted in letters from
U.S. Rep. Charles Rose and U.S.
Sen. TciTy Sanford asking DOT to
re-examine the "feasibility and pru
dence" of the high-rise bridge, giv
en its S7.88 million estimated cost
and divided community support
The bridge construction is to be
funded with federal and state
"I know I'm more optimistic than
I was," SBTA official Rud Knapp
said Tuesday of DOT's new target
date. Knapp, who heads the associa
tion's "Save Our Bridge" commit
tee, added, "The big question is:
Why? Why is there a push for this
bridge when the state is short on
funds and when there arc so many
other projects ? education, roads
and maintenance of other bridges ?
that need attention?"
Knapp said the SBTA plans to
continue its fight against construc
tion of the new bridge. He remarked
that the group's upcoming April 14
meeting at Sunset Beach Volunteer
Fire Department "is going to be par
ticularly important" in determining
the association's direction in the
At a special "Save Our Bridge"
rally last September, SBTA mem
fccrs supported a proposal which
would allow the group's board of
directors "to investigate other alter
natives, to require a thoughtful and
constructive consideration of the
need for a high-rise bridge at Sunset
Beach, with such action including
the possibility of investigating and
engaging legal counsel to take such
legal actions as may be ultimately
approved by the membership of this
However, Knapp said Tuesday
that the SBTA is "hoping we don't
have to take legal action." He noted
that association members continue
to pursue "individual efforts" to
convince state legislators and North
Carolina's congressional delegation
to reconsider the bridge project.
Over the past year, members also
have been involved in a letter-writ
ing campaign to major newspapers
and television stations across the
According to Shcarin, the SBTA's
opposition has not held up bridge
construction. "We've received their
letters and comments, and have an
swered them as best we can," the
engineer commented, "but it has not
forced us to delay the bridge pro
Shcarin speculated that construc
tion will begin in November and be
completed within 2 1/2 years. He
said DOT tried to move up bid
openings to July in hopes of allow
ing the successful contractor to be
gin construction in September and
do a considerable amount of work
before weather conditions worsen
for the winter.
County ABC Board Recommends
Merger With Existing System
BY RAHN ADAMS
In order to give all restaurants
and clubs in Brunswick County a
chance to begin selling mixed
drinks this tourist season, county
Alcoholic Beverage Control offi
cials say their fledgling ABC sys
tem needs to join forces with an es
During the board's first official
meeting since its formation in Feb
ruary, the three-member Brunswick
County ABC Board voted unani
mously Monday to recommend to
county commissioners that the
county system either merge with or
purchase one of the county's nine
existing municipal ABC boards.
The proposal will be presented to
commissioners at their April 2
meeting in Bolivia.
County ABC board members
Joyce Vcrccn, John Ramsey and
Clyde Babson indicated that their
decision to suggest a merger or sys
Merger of the Brunswick County ABC
Board with an existing local ABC
system would financially benefit both.
? John Ramsey, Member
Brunswick ABC Board
tcm purchase camc as a result of in
formation they received during an
ABC training session March 19 in
Raleigh. County Attorney and Inter
im County Manager David Clcgg ?
who was appointed Monday as
clerk to the ABC board ? also par
ticipated in the training.
Due to passage of last Novem
ber's countywide ABC referendum
and previous votes in individual
permits already can be obtained by
eligible businesses in towns with
ABC stores, including Belville,
Boiling Spring Lakes, Calabash,
Long Beach, Ocean - Isle Beach,
Shalloue, Southport, Sunset Beach
and Yaupon Beach. Mixed-drink
sales also are legal at Bald Head
However, until the county estab
lishes its own ABC store, business
es in the remaining municipalities
and the county's unincorporated
area cannnot receive mixed-drink
permits. By state law, a business
(See ABC BOARD, Page 2-A)