North Carolina Newspapers

    Split Decision
The cougars' Preston McGrlff outmuscles
west Brunswick's Jerry Reaves (No. 44) in last
Friday's showdown. The Cougars won the
boys' game, but the Lady Trojans win their
game. Complete coverage Is on Pages 6-8B.
A Numbers Game
A proposal to have beachfront home
owners at Holden Beach mount house
numbers on walkways leading to the
beach goes before the public next week.
For details, see Page 7-A.
Detective Distress
A veteran Brunswick County sheriff's detec
tive quits the department this week to join
a local police force, but he's not the only
plainclothes officer feeling the stress from a
high caseload. The story's is below.
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MI 49284
EMERGENCY PERSONNEL responded to the scene of a two-car accident last Thursday morning on U.S. 17 near Thomasboro. The
driver of this vehicle, Aaron Leon Stevenson of Calabash, was killed.
Calabash Man Killed In Head-On Collision
A Calabash area man was killed
Thursday morning in a head-on col
lision on rain-slick U.S. 17 near
Thomas boro. It was the second fa
tality on Brunswick County's high
ways this year.
Aaron Leon Stevenson, 30, was
traveling south on U.S. 17 when his
1983 Datsun crossed the center line
and collided with another car occu
pied by four Iowa residents.
Stevenson died at the scene, re
ported State Trooper W.H. Thomp
son. No charges were filed in the
According to Thompson's report,
the driver of the other car, Lyle
Boren Blair, 59, of Paton, Iowa, was
traveling north on U.S. 17 about
four miles west of Calabash. Blair
did not have time to stop, the report
Blair and three passengers in his
1979 Lincoln were all taken to The
Brunswick Hospital in Supply with
serious injuries. Also injured were
Mary Jane Blair, 58, also of Paton,
and Lylc Marshall, 65, and Ellen
Marshall, 62, both of Jefferson,
The accident occurred around 9
a.m. in a rainstorm.
The Slate Highway Patrol is
awaiting results of a blood toxicolo
gy report on Stevenson, said Ruby
Oakley, a patrol spokesperson.
Damage to the vehicles was esti
mated at S2.500 each.
In another accident Saturday, a
Bolivia man was charged with driv
ing a moped while impaired on U.S.
17 .2 mile south of Bolivia.
Pcier Michael Quaiter, 33, was
riding a 1988 Thomas motorized
cycle south on U.S. 17 when he ran
off the right shoulder and over
turned in a mudhole, reported Line
SgL A.L. Midgett.
Quaker received minor injuries in
the 10:15 a.m. accident. No dam
ages were reported to the cycle.
Driving while impaired charges
were also filed against a Supply
man who ran off the road at a high
rate of speed Saturday morning and
hit a ditchbank.
Tony Hewett, 32, was driving a
1987 Chevrolet pickup truck on Mt.
Pisgah Road (RPR 1130) when he
ran off the left shoulder, reported
State Trooper Jerry Dove.
Hewett was charged with DWI
and driving with no operator's li
cense. He, and a passenger in his
truck, Billy D. Heweu, 22, also of
Supply, received serious injuries
and were transported to The Bruns
wick Hospital in Supply.
Damage was estimated at $2,000
to the truck.
In another accident early Satur
day morning, a Leland teenager was
charged with driving while impaired
after the station wagon he was driv
ing ran off the road and struck a
Michael Heith Dunn, 17, was trav
eling on N.C. 87 about two miles
south of Leland when he ran off the
right shoulder around 12:30 a.m..
Slate Trooper D.A. Lev/is reported.
Dunn was not injured, but he was
charged with DWI. Damage was es
timated at $800 to his 1985 Ford
station wagon.
Another driver was charged with
driving while impaired Saturday
night when she ran off of Red Bug
Road a mile south of Shallotte and
struck a ditchbank.
Tina Marie McClain, 27, of Shal
lotte, was traveling south when the
1986 Nissan pickup truck she was
driving ran oil the road, causing an
estimated $3,000 in damages, re
ported State Trooper Roy Murray.
Ms. McClain was charged with
driving while impaired and driving
while her license was revoked. Both
the driver and a passenger in the
truck, Shawn Haley, 21, were seri
ously injured and taken to The
Brunswick Hospital in Supply fol
lowing the 7:50 p.m. accident.
County Still Falls
Short In Revised
Census Totals
About 4,000 Brunswick County
residents may still be missing, lost
in a paper shuffle between the U.S.
Census Bureau and the Brunswick
County Planning Department.
Revised figures released last
week by the Census Bureau increas
ed Brunswick County's population
count from a preliminary 50,681
residents to 50,985 residents, still
about 4,000 persons short of what
county officials say they think is the
correct number.
The preliminary figure was re
leased last September but Bruns
wick County protested, saying it
was ioo low. Adding 300 residents
to the revised figure last week
didn't impress county officials.
"I'd say they have given about
4,000 Brunswick County residents
to New York City, Los Angeles and
Chicago," said John Harvey, county
planning director.
"They have warned that it will
still be July 15 before we have the
final totals," Harvey said.
When asked if he thought there
was any hope that the county's fig
ure would increase before July 15,
Harvey replied, "No, I don't."
Local government officials arc
concerned about the final figures
because in many counties, state
sales tax revenues arc distributed
based on population. Part of the
beer and wine taxes and Poweil Bill
gasoline taxes collected by the state
also go to counties and cities based
on population. Powell Bill funds arc
used by municipalities for street
maintenance improvements.
Funding for social services,
health and educational programs is
also based on population. State leg
islators will also use the census fig
urcs to determine where to redraw
political districts for state house
seats in the N.C. General Assembly
and the U.S. House of Representa
tives. The state will gain an addi
tional U.S. Congressman.
According to the revised figures,
Shallotte gained 137 residents in the
recount, from 828 reported in Sep
tember to 965. The town maintains
its population stands closer to 1 ,400
residents, as estimated by the state
budget office.
Two towns actually lost in the re
count. Both Holdcn Beach and Cas
well Beach ended up losing two res
idents each in the recount while
most other towns gained one or two
Southport was the largest gainer,
increasing its population by 31 per
sons. However, city officials there
estimate the population is about 34
percent larger, or closer to 3,586
persons, as estimated by the state
budget office.
According to the Census Bu
reau's figures released last week,
the following adjustments were
made to area municipality recounts
since last September: Bald Head
Island Village, from 76 to 78; Bcl
villc, 66, unchanged; Boiling Spring
Lakes, from 1,649 to 1,650; Bolivia,
from 226 to 228; Calabash, from
1,209 to 1,210; Caswell Bcach,
from 177 to 175 (lost two); Holdcn
Bcach, from 628 to 626 (lost two);
Leland, from 1,793 to 1,801; Long
Bcach, from 3,815 to 3,816; Navas
sa, from 440 to 445; Ocean Isle
Bcach, 523, unchanged; Sandy
Creek, from 238 to 243; Southport,
from 2,338 to 2,369; Sunset Bcach,
from 310 to 311; Vamamtown, from
402 to 404; Yaupon Beach, 734, un
Clegg Angered By Suggestion That Blacks Are Singled Out
D V TCnnv nrvnn -? ... - - - -
Brunswick County Manager David
Clegg says the decision to investigate im
provements needed within the county's
landfill and solid waste department had
nothing to do with race.
Last month, the Brunswick County
Board of Commissioners ordered that land
fill and solid waste director Leo Hewett
have his workers clean up the county's
green box sites and transfer stations, noting
that strewn debris at the sites had become
an eyesore for the county.
Clegg made unannounced inspections of
several sites Jan. 16 and Jan. 17 and filed a
written report to commissioners last week
on his findings.
Hewett, who is black, was asked to at
tend the commissioners' meeting in De
cember when the board first discussed the
need for cleaning up the county's 67 dis
posal sites. Several leaders of the black
community have attended board meetings
since then but have sat quietly in the audi
A letter to the editor printed in last week's
Brunswick Beacon stated that five black de
partment heads within the county adminis
tration were being "singled out by the new
ly-elected bca/d for reasons that have not
been clearly defined." The writer questioned
if the board should "try and undo what the
former commissioners have done."
"I don't believe that," responded Clegg
last week. "And I would really take offense
to it even being suggested."
Clegg said no department heads have
been singled out by the county manager's
office or the board of commissioners as im
plied in the letter.
"I was offended by it," Clegg added.
"Although they didn't say David Clegg in it,
they did say the board of commissioners."
Clegg said the landfill inspection wasn't
part of a broader plan to place department
heads before commissioners for public
evaluations. The decision to make im
provements within the solid waste depart
ment was the board's idea, he said.
"I hope that I have a very good grasp of
what's going on within the departments,"
Clegg said. "It's not unusual for me to
show up unannounced to deal with the is
sues departments are facing."
(See CLEGG, Page 2-A)
BONDS SET AT $325.000
Three Columbus County Men Charged In Beach Burqlaries
Sunset Beach Police Chief J.B.
Bitell was half-joking Saturday
when he instructed Patrol Officer
Lisa Hoagland to make an arrest
that night in connection with a
string of at least 13 break-ins dis
covered the day before.
Hoagland was returning to duty
after having completed a criminal
investigation school Friday. She put
her training to immediate use, he
Early Sunday morning, she called
the chief to report that his instruc
tions had been followed ? in tripli
"Lisa was on the ball," said the
Three Columbus County men
charged in connection with the
string of break-ins at Sunset Beach
were being held Tuesday in Bruns
wick County Jail on $325,000 bond
Arrested Sunday morning as they
fled on foot from a Sunset Beach
oceanfront residence were Bobby
Lynn Watts, 23, of Whiteville and
Roger Dale Godwin, 34, and Albert
Lee Soles, 36, both of Route 1,
Assisting in the arrests were Of
ficer John Godwin of the Ocean Isle
Beach Police Department and
Brunswick County Sheriff's Deputy
Shelton Caison. Hoagland called for
assistance after spotting a vehicle
with an unfamiliar license tag and
learning that the unit it was near was
supposed to be vacant at the time.
The three suspccts arrested are
each charged with second degree
burglary, possession of burglary
tools and resisting arrest, with addi
tional charges expcctcd once prop
erty owners have completed check
ing their beach homes for missing
property, said the chief.
Buell said he eventually expects
to charge the three in connection
with approximately SO breaking and
enterings on the island, most of
which occurred either Saturday
night or sometime during the night
last Thursday.
He estimates damage to external
and internal doors alone at $S,000
or more. He said it appears the sus
pects worked their way along East
Main Street, starting about one
fourth the way down the street and
working halfway its length, then
"picking up" Saturday night where
they had left off.
The homes were all broken into
from the oceanfront side, where it
would be least noticeable. Some
buildings were ransacked.
The alleged burglars apparently
used a pry bar to break off locks and
then force the doors open, said
Buell, displaying a bar seized at the
time of the arrests and photographs
of the damage to various homes. He
said the suspects wore ski masks
and that two apparently posted
watch while the third gained entry
into each house.
Goods taken from the cottages
were piled behind a single house
and then picked up. Items seized by
officers either on the beach or dur
ing searches of the suspects'resi
dences in Columbus County ranged
from electronic equipment such as
microwaves, videocassette record
ers and televisions to liquor, Held
glasses and a cast iron Dutch oven.
Officers expect to recover addition
al items, said Buell.
All three suspects have "very
long" arrest records on a variety of
charges, the chief said.
"I'm very proud of the way the
officers handled this," said Buell.
"They've all joined in working to
gehter on it. The Town of Sunset
Beach has some police officers it
can be proud of."
- - ? ? ? ^
High Caseload Puts Sheriff's Detectives Under Job Stress
As Brunswick County grows in population,
so does its crime rate. Brunswick County sher
iff's detectives say the investigative caseload has
become too much for them to handle.
"We have had over a 100 new cases added to
our caseload since the first of the year," said Phil
Perry, chief of detectives for the Brunswick
County Sheriff's Department. "I handed Donncll
(Lt. Marlow) eight cases today that need to be in
vestigated. That's just for one day."
The increasing caseload and the stress that
comes with the job has been cited as one reason
the sheriff's department will lose a 10-year veter
an of the detective division Friday.
Det. Lindsey Walton has resigned to join
Chief Don Troutman's public safety office on
Bald Head Island. Walton, who lives at Hick
man's Crossroads, said the chance to spend more
time with the family while remaining in the same
field of work was a key in his decision to leave
the sheriff's department.
"It was very stressful, in the number of case
loads you get," Walton said Monday. "I felt it was
a good career move for me and my family. I just
felt at this time that it was in my best interests."
Perry said the department will need more de
tectives to keep up with the increasing number of
cases. During the summer tourist season, the
(See SHERIFF'S, Page 2-A)
SUNSET BEACH POLICE Chief J. B. Buell displays some of the
stolen property recovered last weekend following a string of break
ins on the island.

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