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(rfy* io~ annual Noirm Carolina Vi
, : OYSTER FESTIVAL \;
Y> SOUTH smwswicx I9IAN08
fC* MOHTM CAXOtIHA w i C\f
Celebrate The Oyster!
It's feslival time again in the South
Brunswick Islands. A supplement
inside is your guide to the 10th an
nual N.C. Oyster Festival at
Seaside this Saturday and Sunday.
The Pelican's It
A pclican in flight dominates the
new town flag
and logo design
($" ? adopted on a
?*" * split vote
W" 2 Monday by
/ Holdcn Beach
*'o ?<.?*'* commissioner;,
who had differ
ent ideas about how the bird should
look. The story and more Holden
Beach news arc on Page 7-A.
Trick Or Treat!
Halloween's just around the corner,
offering the young and
excusc to have
fun. You'll find
tips for safe r?j?5&\TTUL'dk*
and a round-up of Halloween-relat
ed activities across the county on
Grab Your Pole!
Junior Keller of Holden Beach
pulled these spottailcd drum from
the surf Monday, while local piers
reported good catches of spots over
the weekend. F?>r (he ck-lails, turn to
the Fishing Report on Page 8-B.
bwmi WM mm i m im? '?w*wj?iijbimii??ifttiw'iwangtHcarr.*
Links To The Desert
A forum on the crisis in the Middle
East and local efforts to boost the
morale of military personnel there
arc keen reminders that Operation
Desert Shield is on the hearts and
minds of local residents The sto
ries arc on Page 12-B.
Eye Out For
BY DOUG RUTTER
Brunswick County and beach
town officials kept a close eye on
Hurricane Lili as it spun toward the
North Carolina coast last week, and
they let out a collective sigh of re
lief when it turned away.
"It was so good to wake up this
morning and see the sunshine and
the beach in such good shape,"
Holden Beach Commissioner Gay
Atkins said Saturday. "We really
didn't need another hurricane."
Lili, a minimal-strength hurri
cane, was moving steadily toward
the North Carolina coast until last
Friday, when its forward progress
slowed and it veered to the north.
All of coastal North Carolina had
been put under a hurricane watch
last Thursday night, as Lili moved
west toward Cape Haucras packing
v/inds of about 75 mph.
If it had continued toward North
Carolina, the hurricane was expect
ed to make landfall late Friday or
early Saturday and possibly force
evacuation of the local barrier is
Brunswick County Emergency
Management Coordinator Cecil Lo
gan said he kept in constant contact
with the National Hurricane Center
in Coral Gables, Fla., throughout
"I continuously kept checking the
status board to make sure it wasn't
going to sneak up on as," Logan
An emergency operations center
was set up at the county govern
ment center in Bolivia. Logan said
the emergency operations team and
county commissioners met there
Friday and Saturday before they de
termined that the storm would not
threaten Brunswick County.
"With a category 1 storm you've
got just enough wind to cause dam
age, but you don't have to evacuate
as far inland as you would with a
(Set BEACHES, Page 2-A)
TWenty-eighth Year, Number 48 ?1990the brunswckbeacon Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, October 18,1990 25c Per Copy 60 Pages, 4 Sections
Hand Harvests Are Slim
As Oyster Season Opens
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Ii was slim pickings when fisher
men tixik lo ihc local rivers for the
opening clay of oyster season
Monday, but the modest harvests
didn't come as a surprise to any
'it's about like it was last year,"
said Toni Chadwick of Shell Point's
Chad wick Seafood on the Shallotte
River. 'There ain't very many oys
Most commercial shell fishermen
picked up 1-1/2 or 2 bushels apiece
during the first two days of the sea
son, she said. "What's there is pret
ty oysters, but there just ain't many
there and it seems like it gets less
Commercial oyster harvests have
been below average for three
straight years in Brunsw ick County,
and the outlook for this season isn't
any better. State fisheries officials
blame overharvesting, oyster-killing
parasites and the closure of local
waters to pollution.
To protect the oyster resource, the
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
this season is limiting commercial
fishermen to seven bushels of oys
ters per day and 14 bushels per
But the new daily limits haven't
held back any local fishermen, who
said they had to work their hardest
opening day just to find three or
"The best oystermen have been
getting three to four bushels a day,"
Larry Holdcn of Holden Seafood at
Shallottc Point said Tuesday.
'That's about top of the line."
Lindsay Simmons of Vamam
town, who was among the crowd in
Lockwood Folly River opening day,
said he's glad he runs a tug boat and
doesn't collect oysters for a living.
"There ain't no oysters down
there," Simmons said after returning
to the Varnamtown boat landing
Monday afternoon. "You can pick
around and find one or two. There
ain't enough to make a living."
He was working with two other
people in a johnboat and they har
vested about 2-1/2 bushels in three
hours. "We was a scratching the
whole time we was down there."
Simmons said he saw a lot of
dead oysters in the river. "What it is
is those clammers down there dig
ging on the rock. They turn over the
oysters and kill them."
To keep clammers away from
oysters that were relayed in the
spring from polluted waters to clean
shellfish waters, the Division of
Marine Fisheries has closed shell
fish management areas in Shallotte
and Lockwood Folly rivers to clam
Besides dropping the daily har
vest limit from 50 bushels per boat
to 14 bushels this season, the state
also has closed commercial oyster
harvests on weekends. All fisher
men will be limited to one bushel
per person and two bushels per boat
on Saturdays and Sundays.
Oyster season usually runs
through the middle of March.
Marine Fisheries officials have said
they will decide early next year
when to close the hand harvest sea
son after evaluating commercial
landings and shellfish populations.
Ms. Chadwick said the local oys
ter population probably won't hold
up for the full five-month season.
'The way it's going, they proba
bly won't last a couple of months if
they last that long," she said. "It
seems like they just ain't growing."
Dredging Shallotte Inlet probably
would help the oysters grow, she
said. Opening up the inlet between
the Shallotte River and Atlantic
Ocean would help bccause it would
allow marine life into the river for
the oysters to feed on.
staff photo ?y ooug iimti
LINDSAY SIMMONS of Varnamtown unloads oysters harvested
on opening day from the l-ocknood Folly River.
PROJECT AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Shallofte Bypass To Open By Memorial Day
BY DOUG RUTTER
Mark your calendars. Traffic should be
flowing freely on the long-awaited U.S. 17
bypass around Shallotte by Memorial Day
Construction is ahead of schedule thanks
in part to good weather, and the road will be
open by next spring, said Joe Blair, division
construction engineer with the N.C. De
partment of Transportation (DOT) in
The five-mile bypass was scheduled to
open by Aug. 1, 1991, but Blair said work on
the four-lane road around Shallotte has been
moving along at a good pace.
"I'm tickled to death," Shallotte Mayor
Jerry Jones said. "I was hoping and thinking
that construction was going along pretty
Jones received a letter from the state last
week saying lhat the bypass is projected to
open no later than May 27, 1991.
Charles Parrish, special assistant to the sec
retary of transportation, wrote in the Oct. 4
letter that the project scheduled for comple
tion near the end of the 1991 tourist season
will open at least two months early.
'The contractor will still have some work
to do on the project alter that date before his
work is totally complete; however, the traffic
switch will relieve the congestion," Parrish
The South Brunswick Islands Chamber of
Commerce is among the groups that have
been pushing the state to get the bypass open
before the next tourist sc2son begins.
For years, summer visitors to the South
Brunswick Islands and points south have
faced heavy traffic in and around Shallotte.
The bypass around the north side ot town is
expected to relieve some ot the problem.
"We're really pleased about it bccause we
felt Shallotte suffered a great deal last sum
mer with all of the traffic," said Annette
Odom, president of the c harp be r of com
merce. "We're really happy that the
Department of Transportation is helping
meet our need."
Blair said the paving contractor, Propst
Construction Co. of Concord, has stayed
ahead of schedule because it has pursued the
project with an adequate amount of man
power and equipment. Nice weather also has
"The contract is ahead of schedule so we
don't anticipate any problems meeting that
Memorial Day deadline," Blair said.
The bypass project is about 65 percent
complete. Blair said the actual opening date
will depend to some extent on the weather
over the next several months.
Once the road is open for traffic, Blair
said the paving contractor will complete the
road shoulders, seed Uic entire area and clean
up before final inspection in August 1991.
The Shallottc bypass is pan of a compre
hensive four-laning project on U.S. 17 from
the South Carolina state line to the existing
four-lane section at Winnabow.
Grading work on the southern half of the
bypass started in the fall of 1987, with work
on the northern scction beginning in the
summer of 1988. The contract to pave the
entire 4.8-mile roadway was awarded in
nu:. n?:^ ~ nf - - a' ?
uiaii >aivi tumuuciiuii vji a wticuinc tui
ter near the intersection of the Shalloue by
pass and N.C. 130 West is scheduled to be
gin in November and be completed by Jan.
FIRES FORCE DEER HUNTERS FROM WOODS
Sparks From Tire Rim
Set Swamp Ablaze
SJAff mOTO BY SUSAN USHM
THICK SMOKE BILLOWS above the Green Swamp along ,\.C. 211 Monday afternoon as volun
teer firefighters from Shallotte, Supply and 11 other county department help contain wildfires that
raced across more than 600 acres of pine plantations and conservancy lands before containment.
Mop-up and control efforts were to continue at least through Wednesday.
BY SUSAN USHER
The cracklc of wildfire in the
Green Swamp cut the first day of
deer season short for some hunters
Monday afternoon as more than 50
small fires blazed along N.C. 211
north of Supply.
Brunswick County Emergency
Management Director Cecil Logan
said the fires started around mid-af
ternoon when a woman had a flat
tire as she drove along N.C. 211 to
ward Bolton. Headed home from a
visit to I (olden Beach, she contin
ued to drive for several miles after
the tire separated from the rim.
Whitcvillc District Forest Service
Field Investigator Willard Lane de
iciuiificu Tuesday uiui the sparks
from the wheel started at least 51 in
dividual small fires. The fires were
along a 5.6-mile stretch of N.C. 211
from north of Supply to just beyond
the Juniper Creek Bridge, said Greg
Pate, a Columbus County assistant
ranger serving as public information
officer on the fire.
The name of the driver will not
be released unless the slate decides
lo lake law enforcement action, he
said, and thai decision had not been
made as of Tuesday.
No homes or other structures
were threatened, as the fire was in
an uninhabited area. Damage esti
mates to the pine plantations were
not available Tuesday.
The fires spread quickly, fueled
by dry weather conditions and low
humidity. A change in wind direc
tion from a passing cold front was
cxpccted to aid firefighting efforts
Tuesday, forcing the remains of the
fire "back on itself," said Pate.
As of Tuesday evening state offi
cials were describing the fire as
"contained" with fire iincs, but not
under control because of the high
potential for ground fires in the or
ganic soils of the swamp and for
From an estimated 65 to 70 acres
at dusk Monday, by Tuesday morn
(Sff SPARKS, Page 2-A)
Former Building Inspector Indicted For Embezzlement
BY TERRY POPE
The former head of the Brunswick County
Building Inspection Department has been in
dicted on one count of embezzling money from
the county, and another county employee was
indicted on a drug charge.
Julius Drake "Buddy" Lewis of Leland was
indicted Monday by a Brunswick County
Grand Jury for embezzling money paid for a
county building permit that was never offi
According to the indictment, Lewis al
legedly convened to his own use a chcck be
longing to the county drawn on the account of
Failh Original Freewill Bapiisi Church of
Lcland. The SI25 check was wriuen for a
county building inspection and left blank.
Allegedly, Lewis had asked the church to
ieavc the check biank so he could use a de
partmental stamp, but instead the check was
made out to and cashed by Lewis, county of
ficials later discovered.
At the church site on Village Road in
Lcland, a placard displaying the building per
mit had been elected, and church officials
were able to produce a check dated April 4
which. Interim County Manager David Clegg
said, was "purportedly" used for the permit.
The county did not uncover the problem
until the church requested a plumbing inspec
tion and the staff discovered there was no
building permit on record for the church pro
ject, Clegg said.
Last month, Clegg asked that Brunswick
County Sheriff's Detectives investigate the
case. Chief of Dctcctivcs Phil Perry turned all
evidence over to the district attorney's office,
which presented ?!S case to the grand jury
Lewis resigned as interim head of the
Building Inspection Deparunent in August.
Another county employee was indicted
Monday for possessing with intent to sell and
deliver track cocaine.
Dolphus Lee Bryant, 40. of Route 3,
Supply, was employed by the Brunswick
County Water Department when the incident
allegedly occurred July 15, according to the
warrant filed by Officer G.J. Samek of the
Shallottc Police Department.
Bry ant is alleged to have had in his posses
sion six rocks of crack cocaine, the warrant
states. I Ic was suspended from his job with
out pay on July 19, said County Personnel
Director Starcy Grissett. No other action had
(See OI HKR, Page 2-A)