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State Law Allows Coastal
Towns To Control
BY DOUG RUTTER
Sunset Beach, Occan Isle Beach and
Holden Beach arc among a group of south
eastern North Carolina coastal towns given
the power to regulate personal watercraft
along their shores under a new state law.
State Rep. David Rcdwine, who has seen
people ride personal watercraft dangerously
closc to swimmers at Occan Isle Beach, in
troduced the bill earlier this year in the
Concerned about the safety of residents
and visitors, Occan Isle Beach officials had
asked for the law. Rcdwine later wrote to
the other beach towns in his district and
asked if ihcy wanted to be included in the
Besides the three South Brunswick Island
beach towns, the law applies to Long Beach,
Yaupon Beach, Caswell Beach, Topsail
Beach, Atlantic Beach, Carolina Bcach,
Wrightsvillc Bcach and Lake Norman, locat
ed near Charlotte.
"It's permissive. It doesn't tic their
hands," Rcdwinc said. 'They can regulate it
so it suits their particular situation."
Rcdwinc said he has seen people riding
personal watercraft in the surf at Ocean Isle
and coming within a few feet of hitting
"1 was sitting on the bcach watching it.
and I must have had six people come up and
ask me lo do something about it," he said.
The legislator said he witnessed one inci
dent at Ocean Isle Beach that nearly resulted
in a fist fight. Rcdwinc said people also have
complained about the odor created when
watercraft arc refueled on the beach.
Sunset Bcach Town Council adopted an
ordinance in April 1989 regulating the use
of personal watercraft in the ocean and fin
The vehicles arc prohibited in the canals
and must stay at least 30() feet from the
bcach and fishing pier. The rules in the
ocean apply April 1 through Sept. 30 be
tween the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
lown Administrator Linda Flucgcl said
Ihc community hasn't had a lot of problems
with the reckless operation of persc.ial wa
tcrcraft. "It's only when it's causing wake
that it gets people upset," she said.
In most cases, Mrs. Flucgcl said policc
officers prefer to ask people to follow the
rules than write a $25 uckct.
"Wc would rather have people do it be
cause they're asked to rather than bccausc
they were given a ticket," she said.
Holdcn Beach Commissioners adopted a
similar ordinance last summer, which ap
plies to persona' watcrcraft and boats.
It prohibits the operation of ail types of
powered watcrcraft within 5()0 feet of the
i>each and fishing pier April 1 through Sept.
30 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The ordinance also prohibits watcrcraft
trom operating in the finger canals "at a
speed in exccss of idle speed or at any
speed that creates a noticeable wake."
Ocean Isle Beach officials have not
adopted rules regulating personal water
cratt, but they have discussed an ordinance
off and on over the last two years.
Redwine said other legislators liked the
local bill, and it might be amended next
year to apply statewide. "Once they found
out about this, they all wanted their area
added to it," he said.
? | j o r
IVIIIO Wl I V^l
BY DOUG RUTTER
A Charlotte teen-ager died after
being struck by lightning Saturday
afternoon at Ocean Isle Beach Golf
Brunswick County Coroner Greg
White identified the victim as 19
year-old Gerald David Harbcn.
Ocean Isle Beach Fire Chief
Terry Barbee said an emergency call
came in around 12:30 p.m. Satur
day. The first responder's crew
drove its four-wheel-drive vehicle
onto the golf course, where the man
was lying on the ground next to the
green on the second hole.
"His friends were doing CPR
when we got there, but 1 didn't
think he was going to make it," Bar
The first responders took Harbcn
to the golf clubhouse, where a
Shallotte Volunteer Rescue Squad
ambulance was waiting.
Barbee said rescue workers con
tinued life-saving efforts on the way
to The Brunswick Hospital. The
man was pronounced dead on ar
Harbcn was playing golf with
three friends who were staying with
(See LIGHTNING, Page 2-A)
THE B I . JKflEACON
Twenty-ninth Year, Number 38 eimMnMrniunw Shallotte, North Carolina, Wednesday, Ju'y 25, 1991 25<t Per Copy 36 Pages, 3 Sections, 1 Insert
STAFF PMOTO BY TERRY POP
Harvesting The Crop
Migrant workers help har\'est tobacco on the A.VV. Clemmons farm in Supply early Tuesday. Workers
got an early start because of the summer heat and humidity. Brunswick County Health Director
Michael Rhodes said persons working outside should wear hats and drink plenty of water to help beat
temperatures in the upper 90s. " People need to be cautious and stay in the shade," he said.
Health Board Upholds
I Firing Of Supervisor
BY TERRY POPE
The Brunswick County Board of
Health apparently is standing be
hind the firing of the county's ani
mal control supervisor by the coun
ty health director.and an 11 -year
veteran of the health department.
Following a four-hour, closed
door meeting Monday, the board
recommended that Health Director
Michael Rhodes "follow the county
personnel policy in the matter that
they reviewed," said Rhodes.
Rhodes said Tuesday the board's
order apparently upholds his per
sonnel action taken against Zelma
Babson, who received a 10-day sus
pension on June 11 and was fired
from her job on June 25.
'That's the way I interpret it."
The board has five working days
to officially notify Ms. Babson in
writing of its decision. It met with
Ms. Babson and her attorney. Sheila
McLamb of Shallottc, in executive
session Monday during an appeal of
Rhodes' personnel decision.
The board met with Ms. Babsor
for two hours in executive session
on May 13, but issued no statement
Ms. Babson, of Ash, said
Tuesday that she had not been offi
cially notified of the board's deci
sion and didn't know if she would
pursue the matter to the State
Personnel Commission if her appeal
"Once I get the letter and see
what the decision is," she said,
"then I'll know what to do."
Ms. Babson has called the per
sonnel action taken against her un
Since the firing last month, she
has remained unemployed, saying
she doesn't want to commit to an
other employer with her job status
All county animal control work
ers fall under a competitive service
employee policy adopted by the
State Personnel Commission in
June 1990, said County Attorney
The health director is responsible
for personnel action. If an employee
feels the action to be unfair, he or
she can appeal the decision to the
board of health.
If the employee disagrees with
the board's decision, he or she may
then file a grievance before the
State Personnel Commission.
Mrs. Babson had been employed
by the department for 1 1 years.
Incumbent Mayors File In Shallotfe, Varnamtown
BY DOUG RUTTER
Incumbcnt mayors in Shallolte
and Varnamtown and two Shallolte
aldermen have filed for office in the
past week as the 1991 municipal
election filing period passed the
Shallolte Mayor Sarah Tnpp and
Varnamtown Mayor Judy Galloway
arc seeking re-election in Novem
ber, according to Brunswick County
Elections Supervisor Lynda BritL
Shallolte Alderman David Gause
filed for re-election last week at
town hall, according to clerk Sandy
Hcwctt, while Alderman Joe
"Junior" Hewett filed for election to
the scat he holds now by appoint
Mrs. Tripp was elected to the
town board in 1985 and again in
1989 before being-appointed mayor
last year. She replaced former may
or Jerry Jones, who resigned to take
the District 2 scat on the Brunswick
County Board of Commissioners.
Gause is seeking his third four
year term on the town board. Hew
ett was appointed earlier this year to
fill Mrs. Tripp's seat on the board of
Mrs. Galloway is seeking elec
tion 10 a second two-year term as
mayor of Varnamiown. Nobody has
filed for the three seats up for elec
tion on the town board.
No more candidates have filed in
Calabash, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle
Beach or Holdcn Beach in the past
week, according to county and town
At Long Beach, Joan Altman be
came the second candidate to file
for mayor. She made an unsuccess
ful bid for town board in 1989.
Incumbent Mayor Johnny Vereen
hadn't filed for re-election at the
county government center as of
James R. Somers, a former mayor
who lost elections in <1985, 1987
and 1989, has filed for town com
Carlton "Gene" Frazicr also has
filed for the town board, bringing
the total number of commission
candidates to five. Three town
board seats are available this year in
Elsewhere on Oak Island, Esien
"Jonnie" Gillis has filed for a seat
on the board of commissioners.
Lucille Lastcr is seeking one of
the two available seats on the
Southeast Brunswick Sanitary Dis
trict Board. The district is located
between Southport and Oak Island.
Two incumbents have filed for
rc-clcction in the past week in nor
thern Brunswick County, according
to Ms. Britt.
Eulis Willis is seeking re-election
to the Navassa Town Council, and
Councilwoman Carolyn Hamilton
has filed in Sandy Creek.
Candidates have until Friday,
Aug. 2, at noon to file at town halls
or the county elections office in
Bolivia. The filing fee is S5.
Other candidates include the fol
Calabash: Jon Sanborn, commis
sioner, District II.
Sunset Beach: Mason Barber,
mayor; Cherri Cheek, council.
Ocean Isle Beach: Betty Wil
liamson, mayor; Debbie Fox, com
Holden Beach: James Shafor,
mayor; Sid Swarts, David Sandifcr
and Lan-y McDowell, commissioner.
Boiling Spring Lakes: Steven
Mark Stewart, mayor.
Southport: C.B. "Cash" Caroon
and Norman R. Holden, mayor;
Mary H. "Mcczie" Childs, alder
man, Ward I; Nelson Adams and
William W. Delaney II, alderman.
Long Beach: H. Michael Oxford,
mayor; Jean Gray, William D. Eas
ley III and Bobbie Larrison, com
Caswell Beach: Jack Cook, may
Leland: Rev. S.L. Doty Jr., may
or; Jane Gilbert and Thomas Hyatt,
Sandy Creek: Louis A. Blouir
and Brcnda Gaye Mitchell, council.
Belville: Kenneth D. Messer Sr.,
Dosher Hospital Trustees:
Charles D. Johnson, Gib Barbcc and
Eugene Tomlinson Jr.
Group Offers Sunset Beach
Boosters Alternative To SBTA
BY SUSAN USHER
Sunset Beach area residents looking for an alterna
tive to the Sunset Beach Taxpayers Association need
look no further than a new group that calls itself
Friends and Neighbors of Sunset Beach Inc.
The group reflects the geographic base from which
it expects to gain members, and the emphasis it places
on people who live in the area influencing the commu
nity's future direction.
"We're talking about the people who live here, not
"snowbirds' so to speak, getting more involved in
making decisions," said Macon McDavid, acting
chairman of the recently chartered nonprofit organiza
tion. "1 think we are the future of Sunset Beach."
The group is open not only to residents and/or tax
payers of the town, but also to people in the surround
ing area. "There are no boundaries ? only that they are
interested in Sunset Beach," said Mayor Mason
Barber, who said he believes the group can have a pos
itive role in the town.
Friends and Neighbors of Sunset Beach Inc. began
with a meeting of approximately 20 like-minded area
rcstf nts and will make its formal debut with an orga
nizational meeting sometime this fall. In the mean
time, Ms. McDavid said organizers are getting calls at
home from people wanting to join the group.
Cherri Cheek is acting treasurer. Directors are Dean
Wallers, Al Morrison, Ed Kaylor, Larry Cheek and
"I think we can be a positive force and have a voice
in things," said Ms. McDavid. "It's been said we're
against the beach, but that's not true. We came here
because of the beach."
The group's ultimate goal is to improve the quali'y
of life for those who choose to live there.
To that end the group is interested in fostering a
"spirit of cooperation" in the community rather than
the "polarity" that now exists among property owners;
promoting protection of the beach through education
and information; supporting measures to protect the
general environment; ensuring continued public beach
access; and increasing safety awareness of residents
Walters and Ms. McDavid said the group also aims
to "counteract the outside forces that claim to repre
sent Sunset Beach and attempt to control its future
"I think that people arc tired of hearing everything
that comes from a certain group as always negative,
(See NEW GROUP, Page 2-A)
Dog Observed For Rabies
After Biting Man's Hand
BY TERRY POPE
A mixed boxer that bit a man on
the hand in Leland last Wednesday
is being observed for rabies.
As of Monday morning, the dog
appeared healthy and showed no
signs of the disease, said John
Crowder, environmental health su
pervisor I with the Brunswick
County Health Department.
"It was reported that the dog was
foaming at the mouth," said Crow
der. 'That was not the case at all."
The dog, owned by Garland
Lewis of Mt. Misery Road, dug it
self out of a fence last Wednesday
morning, said Crowder.
It then went next door and en
tered a neighbor's car where Travis
Johnson, 26, of Shadow Oak Mo
bile Home Park, was silting.
The dog bit Johnson on the hand,
Johnson was able to free himself
from the dog and walked to the dooi
of ihe owner's home. A woman
there saw Johnson's bloody hand
and called the sheriff's department,
'That's how we got involved in
the case," he said.
Crowder is filling in for Zclma
Babson, who was fired as animal
control supervisor last month by
Health Director Michael Rhodes.
She has appealed her firing to the
health board, and a replacement has
not been named.
Johnson was taken to New Han
over Regional Medical Center in
Wilmington for treatment. Since the
dog accidentally got loose from its
pen, Lewis will not be charged, said
'The owner took full responsibil
ity for the problem," said Crowder,
and has agreed to cover medical ex
penses related to the bite.
The dog was placed inside a
(See DOG, Page 2-A)
STAff mOTO BY SUSAN USHER
DIRECTORS Dean Walters (left) and Al Morrison flank Macon McDavid, acting president of the
new Friends and Neighbors of Sunset Beach. They're among the 20 or so area residents organizing
to offer an "alternative" viewpoint in Sunset Beach affairs.