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Program Cets Chief
Brunswick community College has hired Owen Weddle
of N.C. State to head Its College Transfer Program for
college transfer students, filling a long-standing vacancy.
This and other news from BCC can be found on Page 9-A.
Five Are Rescued
Five people escaped Injury when a 25-foot fishing boat
capsized about 18 miles offshore Saturday. Two nearby
boats came to the rescue, and the U.S. Coast Guard later
retrieved the overturned boat. The story Is on Page 3-A.
Hook. Line And Sinker
From kings to sheepshead, the fish were biting
along the Brunswick Coast last week?Inshore and
offshore. Check out the Fishing Report and news
of upcoming tournaments on Pages 10-B and 11-B.
'NS G-'.'O^ BINDERY
12 / 31
Twenty-eighth Year, Number 36 thebrunswickbeacon Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, July 26,1990 25c Per Copy 34 Pages, 3 Sections
KD?*a ipr%i#ir ir r I nivim^rc PLn Trv AA^Unniral "L^rtnc
Ul UI low iv-ix v^ivji I II I IVI o i icii i i u w i t iv/v^i aw?i nwJ! .J!
IIY DOUG RUTTER
Brunswick County clammcrs aren't likely to clam
up when a proposal that could open the doors to me
chanical tongs in local waters comes up for public com
ment next month.
"Everyone in the county is totally against it," Shal
lotte Point seafood dealer Larry Holdcn said of the pro
posal to allow the state fisheries director to designate
areas where patent tongs can be used.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has sched
uled a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday. Aug.
8, at 7 p.m. in the Public Assembly Building at the
Brunswick County Government Center in Bolivia.
The patent tong proposal is one of four that wili be
discussed at the public hearing, one of four hearings
planned along the coast in early August. It's the only
proposal that will have an impact on local shellfisher
Patent tongs and other types of mechanical clam
harvesting equipment arc already permitted in the cen
tral n:?ri of North Carolina. Clammcrs in Brunswick
County can only harvest by hand methods.
If the proposal is approved, N.C. Fisheries Director
William Hogarth would have the authority to open oth
er areas for patent tongs, including Brunswick County.
Patent tongs work like scissors, said Rich Carpenter,
district manager with the N.C. Division of Marine Fish
eries in Wilmington.
"As long as we have hand
tongs, there will always be
clams. A few of these patent
tongs will ruin the whole
?Larry Holdcn, seafood dealer
The tongs arc about four feet wide. They are raised
and lowered out of the water by a rope that's attached to
a winch. Tongs go down into the water in an open posi
tion, close when they hit the bottom and pull up clams.
"It's more cfficicnt than a hand tong," Carpenter
said. The patent tongs cover more area than hand tongs.
They also arc easier to use, since they work mechani
Carpenter said the proposal to open up more areas
to patent tongs originated in the Morchcad City area.
Some fishermen there want to use the longs to harvest
clams in Pamlico Sound, he said.
Patent tongs are allowed in Carteret and Onslow
counties. But Carpenter said most clamming operations
there use other types of mcchanical equipment. He said
patent tongs are a "traditional piece of gear" in Virginia.
However, there is some question over whether
patent tongs and other types of mechanical gear are
harmful to the environment.
Fishermen have been using patent tongs more than
50 years in Virginia, said Roy Inslcy, chief of fisheries
planning with the Virginia Marine Resources Commis
"They've been using them here ever since they had
power engines to puii them with," insiey saiu. "We
haven't really found them to be destructive to the bot
Holes created by the four-inch teeth on the tongs fill
in quickly, he said, and clams grow back consistently in
areas where tongs have been used.
Insiey said patent tongs aren't permitted to be used
on oyster rocks, where they can cause damage. The
North Carolina proposal would not allow the tongs in
grass or oyster bixJs.
Holden, who has seen patent tongs used i.i Virginia,
said they destroy the bottom of waters where clam
grow. Patent tongs are almost as bad for clams as me
chanical dredges, he said, which pump clams up onto
escalators or use propellers to kick them into nets.
"As long as we have hand tongs, there will always
be clams," Holden said. "A few of these patent tongs
will ruin the whole county."
Holden said local fishermen arc tired of fighting
mechanical shellfish harvesting methods that have been
proposed repeatedly by (he slate. Hundreds of area
clammen; turned out for hearings in 19X6 and 1987 to
oppose mechanical clam dredging in county waters.
Die Marine Fisheries Commission rejected the proposal
"We're getting tired of going to these state meetings
when we don't want it in the first place," Holden said.
"They should know that by now."
Area claminers shouldn't have to wait very long af
ter the public hearing to find out whether the proposal
will be approved or rejected.
The commission is scheduled to act on the proposal
when it meets Friday, Aug. 9, at 9 a.m. in the Carolina
Power & Light media center near Southport, according
to a Marine Fisheries news release.
Other proposals to be discussed at the public hear
ing arc as follows:
?Reducing the clam harvest limit in internal waters
from 6,250 clams per fishing operation per day to 5,000
clams, and allowing limits on clam harvests in the
ocean by proclamation.
?Allowing mechanical clam harvesting in the
ocean at all times and deleting the 100-pound weight
limit for clam harvests on dredge boats working in the
?Deleting size and harvest limits for clams pro
duced in hatcheries and aquaculture operations.
Two Charged In Break-Ins
Of County, Area Churches
BY BOH HORNE
Officers from New Hanover and Brunswick County
sheriff's departments Monday charged two men who
are suspected of banking into about 20 churches in the
two countics in the past three weeks.
Thomas Elinor Wright, 30, and Ira Douglas Maihis,
18, have been charged by the New Hanover County
Sheriff's Department with breaking and entering and
larceny at 10 churches and the Wilmington Police
Department has lodged the same charges against the
pair for breaking into three churches.
Warrants were being prepared Tuesday and the two
men were to be charged Tuesday afternoon or Wednes
day on charges of breaking and entering and larceny at
five Brunswick County churches, according to Bruns
wick County Sheriff's Del. Gary Shay.
The five Brunswick County churches that were bro
ken into, according to Shay and Sheriff's Department
reports, were Peace Memorial Baptist in Winnabow and
Ncv Hope Freewill Baptist, in the Snowficld section of
Lcland, the weekend of July ,13-14; First Baptist of
Wood burn in Lcland July 18 or 19; and Lettics Grove
Pentecostal in Shallotte and Ml Olive Baptist in Boli
via last weekend.
Thousands of dollars worth of property, most of it
musical equipment such as cassette players, amplifiers,
guitars, bass guitars, public-address systems and speak
ers, was reported stolen from each church.
Another county church that was reportedly broken
into, Town Creek Baptist the weekend of July 6-7, is an
entirely separate case, according to Shay. Nothing was
taken in that break-in, but two drawers reportedly were
left open and a door casing broken, for an estimated
$250 worth Of duniagc.
The New Hanover County Sheriff's Department
called the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department
about 4:15 to 4:30 a.m. Monday, saying that department
had a possible suspcct in the recent church break-ins.
New Hanover deputies I..K. Miller and T.C.
Robinson had found two men inside the Myrtle Grove
Baptist Church during a sccond chcck of that church
about 2 a.m. Both men ran. Deputies caught Wright but
Mathis escaped, worked his way through a wooded area
and got away in a taxi that he callcd from a pay phone
in a Myrtle Grove area grocery store, officials said.
Shay said he met New Hanover Sheriff's Del.
George Landry at the Town & Country Motel in Bel
villc after the call.
??1 t .
nc cAjnaiiiLU iu iiic wnai v\na^pCning aim SO we
went and knocked on the door of Apartment No. 8 and
an individual named Donna Hcrrin answered," Shay
When asked, she said Mathis was in the apartment,
so officers went in, found Mathis hiding under a bed
and placed him under arrest. Shay said.
Both people signed conscnt-to-search forms. Shay
said, and the officers searched die apartments of Math
is, Wright and Ms. Hcrrin and found "a large quantity
of music equipment, all of it property of different
Ms. Hcrrin was not charged, although some of the
stolen property was in her apartment. Shay said. "She
was an innocent party," he said. "She didn't know what
was going on and she cooperated fully with us."
Shay said officers did not have an estimate on the
value of the property that was recovered in the apart
ments, but said that officers were searching for still
more property that they believe was sold through a
The men were initially held under $65,(XX) bond
each. Their first-appearance hearings were Tuesday,
STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HOBNE
The scene is picturesque, as a boat slides through the Sunset Beach Bridge. The replacement of the
pontoon bridge to the island with a high-rise bridge continues to be controversial, as some people
say the beauty of scenes such as this one would be disturbed by replacement of the bridge.
ANNEXATION FREEZE LIFTED
Shallotte Hikes Development Costs
BY DOUG RUTTER
People developing land in and around Shallotte will
reach deeper into their pockets and pay the town more
money than ever before they start building new struc
tures or tap on to town water and sewer lines.
Shallouc officials have increased capital reserve
fees, which arc paid when tapping on to the town sewer
system, and will start charging new acreage fees that
must be paid before building permits arc issued or town
water or sewer scrvicc is extended.
Despite opposition from local developers at a July 9
public hearing, Shallouc Aldermen adopted the new
fees at their meeting last Wednesday. Town officials
have said the fees are needed to help generate dollars
that will be required for future sewer system expansion.
Capital reserve fees have been increased for the first
time since the town started collecting them in 1985.
(See SHALLOTTE. Page 2-A)
EMPHASIS ON ENVIRONMENT. EDUCATION
Gantf Brings Senate Campaign To Brunswick
swf mora sy susan usmm
HARVEY GANTT, (left) Democalic candidate for the U.S. Sen
ate, shakes hands with county employee Linda Green at a "meet
the voters" stop last Thursday at the county complex. In the
background (from left) are Sheriff John Carr Davis, Hoard of
Education member James Clemmons and John Marlow, chief
of deputies of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department.
BY SUSAN USHKR
U.S. Scnaie candidate Harvey Ganu toid a
group of approximately 100 supporters in Bo
livia July 19 that his campaign for incumbent
Jesse Helms' seat won't be waged with dollars
or fear-mongering, but with "a sensible agenda
that relates to our quality of 'life".
Ganu's stop at the Public Assembly Building
at the county government center was hosted by
the Brunswick County Democratic Party. It was
part of a two-day swing through southeastern
North Carolina. Between interviews with two
television reporters Gantt met one-on-one with
voters, addressed the group as a whole and an
swered questions. It was his first visit to
Brunswick County since winning the May pri
mary against Michael Easley. His opponent.
Helms, has held the office for 18 years.
Gantt is gearing his campaign toward issues
that he says relate to the concerns of working
"I felt they were not gelling a fair shake
from their government," Gantt said of the work
ing people. "It's time to pay attention to the peo
ple who pay their taxes and obey the laws."
Ganu called for a redesigning of America's
agenda, "with less spending on the military and
more spending on us." Specifically, he advocat
ed developing a technologically efficient and
"lean" defense budget and redirecting funds
toward addressing the nation's environmental,
health care and educational needs.
"If you look at what the
people of Lithuania threw
off in less than a year, I
know the people of North
Carolina can throw off
Jesse Helms "
Democrat Candidate for U.S. Senate
With a rcduccd Cold War threat and emerg
ing democracies, Gantt said his message is time
ly and Helms' message is "not relevant."
On the changing world scene, Gantt said
America will be measured in the future by new
standards: "How well we compete in the eco
nomic marketplace and how well we sell this
idea of democracy."
Helms "is not a friend to the farmer," the
former Charlotte mayor told the group. "He's
more interested in foreign affairs?Jesse Helms'
record is going to be an important part of this
Gantt did not discuss a recent letter by
Helms aide James Meridilh. The former civil
rights leader charged that most members ot the
NAACP's 3,0(X)-membcr leadership are guilty
of "criminal" activities and are "involved in the
drug culture." Further, he asserted that most
blacks in major political posts owe their posi
tions to a group of about 15 whites.
Helms has defended Meredith's right to
write the letter, but did say the aide should not
have mailed it at government expense; he will
be asked to reimburse the office.
Gantt told The Brunswick Beacon that he
didn't think Helms' much-larger "war chest"
would be the deciding factor in the election.
"We know enough of his campaigns to know it's
not the money that wins it," he said.
He elaborated on that theme later, telling the
group, "He (Helms) would have you get caught
up emouonally in things that make you tearful.
But it is in our best interests to come together to
deal with these issues."
Gantt said he doesn't intend to get involved
in a divisive campaign, but intends to instead
develop a positive, unifying campaign.
He urged those present to get involved in
voter registration and to spread interest and sup
port for the campaign before the fall election.
"If you look at what the people of Lithuania
threw off in less than a year, I know the people
of North Carolina can throw off Jesse Helms,"
he told the group, his remarks punctuated by en
thusiastic rounds of a applause and at one point,
a standing ovation.