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THE BRl ^ # BEACON
Twenty-ninth Year, Number 16 ?w.tw??????o<bc*coh Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, February 21,1 991 25< Per Copy 28 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
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STAFF PHOTOS ?Y TBOY POff
MUSIC BY THE Brunswick County Employee Ensemble highlighted the candlelight vigil Saturday. Pictured are (front, from left)
Nancy Moore, Regina Alexander and Nancy Johnson; and (second row) Hubert Reaves and Lee Hitchcock.
Vigil Honors Local Soldiers
Now Serving In Persian Gulf
BY TERRY POPE
For the more than 200 Brunswick County na
tives now serving in the Persian Gulf, the can
dles burned brightly Saturday evening, damp
ened only by a few tears as family members and
friends gathered to honor their loved ones now
fighting in Operation Desert Storm.
"People ask me why we are doing this," said
Jess Parker, Brunswick County Veterans Service
officer. "I answer them that why we are doing
this is because we can't afford not to. Those
men serving in the Persian Gulf are walking in
harm's way every minute they are there."
About 100 people attended the Desert Storm
salute and candlelight vigil held at the Bruns
wick County government complex at Bolivia
Saturday evening. A planned outside march was
held inside because of the cold weather.
The program was a solemn event, an emo
tional test for some of the parents and loved
ones who began wiping away tears as the
Brunswick County Employee Ensemble sang
patriotic hymns by candlelight to close the vigil.
Last week, Brunswick County sent a message
to all of the soldiers overseas via the Armed
Forces Radio Network. A song by Theron
Sandy, a Shallotte singer who performed at
Saturday's vigil, was played over the airwaves
to the Persian Gulf region along with a five
minute message delivered by Parker.
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ivren Hughes,
pastor of Old Shallotte Baptist Church, offered
a prayer, asking that the soldiers be kept safe
until their reMm.
"I have a few things that I need to get off of
my chest about the war," Hughes said. "I have
mixed emotions about the war. In the last SO
years, this is the first war that I've missed. At
times, I wish I was there. Those who have loved
ones there, I am sympathetic. I don't have loved
ones there, but I have been there."
Kelly Holden, a U.S. Navy veteran and chair
man of the Brunswick County Board of
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BECKY WHITE of Myrtle Beach helped
organize the program. Her brother,
Matthew, is stationed in Saudi Arabia.
display of pride shown by Brunswick County
residents in their military men and women since
the deployment to Saudi Arabia began last fall.
"Not only have we experienced a new pride
in America," Holden said, "but this has really
been a time of reflection. Vietnam War veterans
can now walk with their heads high. I, for one,
think it's definitely about time."
Dyion and Carolynn Skipper of Lcland have
a son serving in the Persian Gulf. They are not
sure where their son, Kier, is stationed.
They both addressed the audience, Dyion by
relating a story about a Revolutionary War bat
tle that was fought en property he now owns in
the Battle Royal community on N C. 87.
Carolynn, a member of the Oram Tree Tellers, a
group of storytellers from the Cape Fear region,
told a story about war's effect on Japanese
zookeepers and the agonizing death of the
Tokyo Zoo's elephants during World War II.
Dyion Skipper said a battle between the
Whigs and Tories was fought in his own back
yard. He now flies a flag there to honor the spot.
"When I look at that flag, it reminds me of
the courage, the sacrifice and the lives that were
lost to give me freedom," Skipper said.
Skipper is also a high councilman with the
Wilmington Slake of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. He described Saddam
Hussein as "a wildfire burning out of control."
"Some of our loved ones might not make it
back," Skipper said. "I pray that they will. But
what we have to do is to stand up for them here
at home, for what we feel is right. We have to
stand up for something."
Becky White of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and
Kimberly Gore of Shallotte are the sister and
wife, respectively, of 2nd Lt. Matthew Gore of
the 24th Infantry Division, a graduate of West
Brunswick High School.
Together they called the honor roll of
Brunswick County soldiers known to be serving
in the Persian Gulf, awarding the service per
sonnel's family members and friends with yel
"I said I wasn't going to cry," said Ms.
White, who had to pause to wipe away tears.
Added Hoklen, "Perhaps the most important
thing we can do as family members and friends
is to support their actions. We are extremely
proud of them, and we hope for their quick re
Bolivia Men Sentenced In Murder
BY TERRY POPE
When Durwood Belmont John
son, 49, of Bolivia was buried fol
lowing his shooting death last Au
gust, the man who h< lped with ser
vices was James Brown, the father
of one of three men charged in
Johnson had lived on Green
Lewis Road in Bolivia his entire
life, within a quarter of a mile of the
three men who plotted and carried
out his murder on Aug. S.
At a sentencing hearing Monday,
both families wept in the courtroom
as Brown recalled how his son. Jack
Scott Brown, 23, would average
seeing Johnson about two or three
times a week. The shooting death
tragically touched the small com
munity along Midway Road.
Brown, who fired the shot from a
.12-gauge shotgun that hit Johnson
in the back, was sentenced in
Brunswick County Superior Court
Monday to life in prison plus five
years for committing second-degree
murder. He also pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to commit murder.
in a piea agreement with Disiiici
Attorney Rex Gore's office, charges
of first-degree murder were dis
missed against the three men who
were charged in the shooting on
Aug. 8. John Allen Maggard, 23,
pleaded guilty to second-degree
murder and received a 17-year ac
tive prison sentence. Harold Eugene
Henderson Jr., 19, pleaded guilty to
assessory after the fact to second
degree murder and was given a
three-year active prison term by
Judge William C. Gore Jr.
"There's nothing that I can say
that hasn't been said," Judge Gore
said before issuing the life sentence
to Brown. "My heart goes out to the
family and the family of Mr. John
son. You have deprived the Johnson
family of a loved one. The only dif
ference is, at some point your fami
ly will get you back, but Mr. John
son's family will never get him
District Attorney Gore said
Brown will be eligible for parole in
about 10 years.
"He will not necessarily get pa
role then, but will be eligible," Gore
said. "I think the average is about
19 years, six months."
Maggard will be eligible for pa
role in about six years. Gore said.
Judge Gore also ordered that both
Brown and Maggard not be recom
mended for work release. Hender
son was sentenced as a com rr.i tied
youthful offender and will likely
serve his three-year term at a juve
"Alcohol and drugs have helped
take a huge chunk out of your son's
life, hasn't it, Mr. Brown?" the dis
trict attorney asked in court Monday.
Brown, who wept on the witness
stand, answered, "Yes, sir."
"In fact, that's what all of this is
about. Isn't it, Mr. Brown? Alcohol
and drugs," Rex Gore continued.
In summarizing the case for the
court Monday, Gore staled that
Brown and Maggard had been
drinking and smoking marijuana
earlier in the day when Brown be
gan to talk about Johnson, claiming
the victim was stealing their mari
juana. The two then went to
Brown's house, put two shells in a
.12-gauge shotgun and went to
Johnson's home. Gore said.
By then, Henderson had joined
the two and was told to pick the two
men up on the highway when he
heard shots fired. Gore said Mag
gard did not accompany Brown to
the home, according to statements
obtained by SBI Agent Kelly Moser.
Johnson's body was found about
two days after he had been shot.
The three men turned themselves in
at the Brunswick County Sheriff's
Department a day after they were
brought in for questioning by
Henderson's role was to help
cover up and to delay an investiga
tion and to help get Brown from the
scene. Up to the point of the shoot
ing, Henderson had no prior knowl
edge of plans to kill Johnson, Gore
According to his attorney, Bill
Fairley, Brown has a tendency
toward substance abuse. Brown has
a wife and three-year-old daughter.
Fairley asked Judge Gore not to im
pose an extra sentence to the life in
"He was a step away, your honor,
from being on trial for his life," Rex
Gore responded. "We think conspir
acy, as it relates to the murder, is
deserving of additional time to the
Maggard was staying at Brown's
residence at the time of the murder.
His attorney, Stephen Yount, de
scribed Maggard as a passive partic
ipant and asked that his client be
given work release. Second-degree
murder carries a maximum sentence
of life in prison and a minimum of
15 years in prison. However, the
plea agreement stipulated that the
state would agree to an active term
of 15 to 20 years in prison.
"This is an incident that might
not have happened if either one of
these men had said no," Rex Gore
told Judge Gore. "We're just asking
that you take into consideration the
severity of the action."
Henderson's attorney, Roy Trest,
said his client's sister is married to
Brown. After being charged in the
murder, the home of Henderson's
(See BOLIVIA, Page 2-A)
APPOINTMENTS NEVER APPROVED
BY DOUG RUTTER
Calabash Commissioners want a
ruling from the state attorney gener
al on whether actions taken by the
town's planning and zoning board
are valid even though proper proce
dures weren't followed in appoint
ing certain members.
The controversy involves the ap
pointment of Bob Crocker and Bill
Rate to serve on the planning board
as representatives of the extraterri
torial area, which extends about one
mile from the town limits.
The two men have been serving
on the board since last February,
when town commissioners reorga
nized the makeup of the planning
board to account for the consolida
tion of the old Town of Calabash
and the Carolina Shores community.
In recent years, Calabash's gov
erning body has recommended
planning board appointments from
the ETA, and those recommenda
tions typically were approved by the
Brunswick County Board of Com
State statute gives county com
missioners the right to appoint peo
ple from the extraterritorial area
(ETA) on planning boards in towns
that exercise their right to extraterri
Brunswick County Board of Com
missioners Chairman Kelly Holden
said the two planning "ckkuo mem
bers from Calabash were never ap
proved by the county board, and
therefore, they were never legally
Holden said he's been receiving
telephone calls on the appointments
for the last three weeks. Also, he
said, the county didn't receive a res
olution from the town commission
ers requesting the appointments un
til Feb. 12.
The resolution recommending the
appointment of both Crocker and
Rate to two-year terms was dated
Feb. 7, 1990.
Holden said state law gives the
county commission 90 days from
the time it receives the resolution to
appoint the board members.
"I think considering the turmoil
"I don't care if they
were on there when
Columbus came over.
? Kelly Holden, Chairman
surrounding it all, we're going to
take our time doing it," Holden
At a special meeting Monday
night, Calabash Commissioners in
structed their town attorney to write
to N.C. Attorney General Lacy
Thomburg to get his legal opinion.
Commissioners Jon Sanborn and
Stu Thorn called the special meet
ing, which was attended by about
15 residents of the extraterritorial
area. Sanborn made the motion to
write the attorney general.
Reading from a prepared text,
Sanborn said the communication
from the town attorney should in
clude the composition of the plan
ning board and the date it was es
tablished. The letter should explain
the advisory role of the planning
board and its relationship to the
board of commissioners.
Sanborn said the date the old
Town of Calabash and the Carolina
Shores community merged should
also be included in the letter. The
areas that now make up Calabash's
two districts consolidated Aug. 31,
Also as a part of his motion,
Sanborn said the letter to Raleigh
should request concurrence from
the state attorney general's office
with the town attorney's interpreta
Calabash Town Attorney Michael
Ramos said town commissioners
have always appointed planning
board representatives from the ETA
and then sent their names to the
county board for final approval.
Ramos said the failure to send the
names to the county the last lime
(See CALABASH, Page 2-A)
Ash Man Accepts Plea
Agreement In Robbery
BY TERRY POPE
One of three men accused of kid
napping, assaulting and robbing an
elderly woman in Ash pleaded
guilty to some of those charges in
Brunswick County Superior Court
The defendant has agreed to testi
fy against the other two defendants
in a plea bargain agreement with
District Attorney Rex Gore's office.
Robert JefTerson Collins, of
Route 1, Ash, pleaded guilty to
first-degree burglary and common
law robbery and faces a possible
maximum of 40 years and a manda
tory minimum of 14 years in prison.
Charges of second-degree kid
napping, assault with a deadly
weapon with intent to kill inflicting
serious injury and felonious larceny
were dismissed. Collins has agreed
to provide testimony in the case
against Melvin Asbem Whaley, 23,
of Longwood, and Norman
Marshall Gore, 29, of Ash, who
have each been charged with the
same felony counts.
Collins will be sentenced May 20
or after the other two defendants
judge William C. Gore Jr. also
ordered Monday that Sheriff John
Carr Davis arrange for Collins to be
held in a protective enviionment
away from his accomplices, either
in a separate cell or arrange that he
be kept in another facility. All three
men are being held in jail without
In court Monday, there was some
confusion between the defendant's
attorney, J. Benedict Del Re Jr. of
Holden Beach, and District
Attorney Gore. The original tran
(See ASH MAN, Page 2-A)
SOS Hosts Session Saturday
To Boost Organizing Skills
Improving the organization and effectiveness of groups working to
protect the coastal environment and its natural resources will be the pri
mary goal of a workshop Saturday in Vamamtown.
The N.C. Coastal Federation will sponsor the meeting, which starts
at 9:30 am. at the Vamamtown Town Hall.
Lena Ritter, past president and now community educator with the
Coastal Federation, said the purpose of the meeting is to help grassroots
groups get organized so they can be more effective.
Coastal Federation representatives also want local residents to talk
about problems they have regarding protection of the coastal environ
ment "I think it's going to be great for all of us," she said.
The workshop is being held for groups in the southern third of the
state. Mrs. Ritter said the Coastal Federation is offering the workshop
through a grant funded by the Partnership for Democracy.
The Coastal Federation held similar workshops in the central and
northern sections of the coast earlier this year.
Annie Smigiel, president of the loral river preservation group Save
Our Shellfish, said people planning to attend the workshop should bring
a covered dish to share at lunch.