North Carolina Newspapers

    Holden Beach Board
Hires Consultant To Study Water Safety
itv douc; RIHTKR
Reading to the recent drowning
of four visitors. Holden Beach offi
cials have hired a marine safety
consultant to come up with options
for a safety program.
Preston H. Colby of Seabring,
Ha., a nationally-known water
search and res
cue instructor
and trainer, will
develop alterna
tives that would
best serve Hold
cn Beach and
also provide es
timated costs
and training
methods.
? ot.in Commission
ers, concerned about water safety as
a result of the drownings, have
agreed to pay up to S3,(XX) for
Colby's services. They discussed
water safety during a meeting last
Thursday that was continued Mon
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Three Greensboro men drowned
May 28 after a fishing boat sank off
Shallotte Inlet. A 12-year-old boy
from Knightdalc drowned in the
surf at Holden Beach July 4.
Mayor John Tandy said Monday
thai ihe town has been going "by
the seat of our britches" in ihe past.
Although police officers and volun
leers have done ihcir best, he said
water rescue efforts have not been
well coordinated.
Colby taught a water rescue
course over the weekend at Ocean
Isle Beach. Two Holden Beach po
lice officers and several fire and res
cue squads members look the class.
He is director of Public Safety
Water Rescue, serves as a U.S.
Merchant Marine officer and as di
rector of Florida's Tactical Under
water Team.
Colby said his preliminary report
for Holden Beach would be done in
two weeks and the final report
would be completed within a
month.
On Monday, however. Colby told
town board members that there isn't
any one step the town could take to
solve the island's water safety prob
lems. "There's no simple answer. If
there was I wouldn't be here."
For starters. Colby said the town
needs to improve access to the
bciivh Tor emergency vchiclcs unci
educate the public about water safe
ty
He suggested the town have at
least one accessway every mile
where it can get vehicles on the
strand. "If you can't get access to
the beach you can't do any rescue,"
he said.
Town officials said the lack of
"/ do not recommend you jump into a
lifeguard program without thinking long
and hard about what it would do
? Preston Colby
Marine Safety Consultant
public accessways an<J the en
croaching sea limit the amount of
gnergency accessways the town can
provide.
"We just have a problem with
limitation of space and how high
the tide gets." Commissioner Bob
Buck said.
Colby said ocean front property
owners will have to give the town
land for accessways if they think
water safety is a problem.
Town officials and Colby agreed
I hat educating people about the po
tcnual dangers of ocean swimming
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anything else.
"There's no question that it's
needed, and no question it will
help." Commissioner Buck said.
Putting signs at every beach ac
cessway. including safety lips in
rental packets and getting the cablc
company to run public scrvicc an
nouncements arc among ways to rd
ucalc people, Colby said.
Buck said parents should start
teaching their children to respect the
ocean when they are toddlers. "It's
tragic, but people don't understand
ocean currents."
Mayor Pro Tcm Gloria Barrett
said some children think the ocean
is the same as a swimming pool and
don't know about the waves and
currents.
To improve the training of local
emergency personnel, commission
ers voted Monday to pay up to S201)
to send members of the fire depart
merit umu rcscuc s(|Uuu to u Wcitc r
safety class in Morchcad City.
Volunteers Doug Todd and Keith
Swaycr, who is serving on the
town's water safety committee, will
be able to instruct police officers af
ter completing the course.
Summer Lifeguards?
At their session last Thursday,
commissioners discussed Ihe nossi
of hiri-.g lifeguards lor the re
mainder of the summer.
Interim Town Manager Gus
Ulrich said it would cost S6.100 to
hire and equip three lifeguards to
protect the beach adjacent to the re
gional parking lot under the bridge
through Labor Day.
The cost of protecting that stretch
of beach from June I through Labor
Day was estimated at 513,100. That
covers two lifeguards on duty from
9 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a
week.
Liability, and not cost, was the
major concern of town officials as
they discussed the lifeguard pro
gram. Ulrich said the town's general
liability insurance would cover the
service.
Town Attorney Kenneth Camp
bell said it is legal for the town to
provide lifeguards at designated ar
eas without protecting the entire
beach.
But he warned that the town
could be held responsible for
drownings if it hires lifeguards. "As
you undertake to provide services
you undertake liability."
Several board members said they
were worried about the town being
held liable if somebody drowned
while swimming outside a protected
swimming area.
As a comparison, Ruck said mn.
nicipal fire departments aren't al
lowed to light I ires outside the city
limits. The same would be true with
lifeguards m a designated swim
ming area.
"You're going U) have one heck
of a time explaining why that life
guard couldn't offer protection 4(H)
leet away," Buck said. "We're
gonna catch the living devil."
Commissioner Kcnner Amos said
homeowners would probably com
plain if the town provided life
guards in one area but not in front
of everyone's house.
Rescinding to a question from
the board. Colby said lifeguard pro
grains are usually difficult to get
started and maintain when towns
hire high school and college stu
dents for the summer.
"I do not recommend you jump
into a lifeguard program without
thinking long and hard about what it
would do," he said.
At most of the major beaches in
Florida, Colby said lifeguards also
serve as emergency medical techni
cians and have arrest powers so they
can control activity on the strand.
Even with lifeguards protecting
the beach, commissioners agreed
last week that parents need to watch
out for their own children and
swimmers need to use common
SCHSC.
ADOPTION EXPECTED AUG. 5
Subdivision Ordinance Avoids New Hearing
BY TERRY POPE
A second public hearing on the
county's new subdivision ordinance
will not be held, as Brunswick
County Commissioners are set to
discuss the ordinance Aug. 5.
"There has probably been more
public input on it than any other or
dinance adopted in Brunswick
County," said County Manager
David Clegg.
A public hearing was held on the
ordinance in April. Since then, it
has undergone major revisions by
the Brunswick County Planning
Board.
Planning Director John Harvey
presented the final product to com
missioners last week. He said at least
52 people have contributed to the fi
nal draft through public hearings,
planning board workshops, memos
ami phone calls to his office.
The planning board has done a
mammoth job meeting about four
times a month," said Harvey, "offer
ing everyone the opportunity to
comment."
Clegg said Harvey and planning
board members did a "good job" in
writing the ordinance in layman's
terms. Last week, though, he was
polishing the language to make the
ordinance's provisions and intent
still clearer.
Harvey told commissioners they
would have a difficult lime recog
nizing the 31 -page document in its
revised state, approximately the
10th draft produced.
However, a second public hearing
isn't legally required, said Clegg.
"That could go on forever," said
Clegg. "I think the board of com
missioners has got to satisfy them
selves that there has been public in
put that they think is appropriate."
The ordinance will replace one
adopted by the county in June 1980.
At that time, the county did not
have a water system and the ordi
nance did not address state stan
dards for street right of way require
ments and minimum lot sizes.
The planning department began
work on a new ordinance, but in
November 1981 commissioners told
the planning board to drop the mat
ter. Last year, commissioners re
newed an interest in the document
and ordered that a new ordinance be
drafted.
"There are some positions that
w ill never be appeased," said Clegg.
"It certainly represents more than a
meeting of the minds. Hopefully,
it's something that everybody can
live with."
Commissioners say they want the
new ordinance to regulate unscrup
ulous developers of new subdivi
sions.
At a public hearing in April,
some residents spoke in favor of the
ordinance, saying that dirt roads in
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"It certainly represents more than a
meeting of the minds. Hopefully, it's
something that everybody can live with."
? David Clegg,
County Manager
iheir neighborhoods cannot be pav
ed by the suite because developers
initially did not plat enough room
for a street right of way.
Some local developers argued
that the ordinance was too restric
tive and would hamper growth in
Brunswick County.
Commissioner Jerry Jones, said
Clcgg, acting as county attorney,
would review the ordinance and
make any legal changes needed be
fore Aug. 5. The board tabled the
matter at last week's meeting be
cause Commissioner Gene Pinker
ton was out of town on business.
To pass on first reading, the full
board must be present.
Dropped from the ordinance is a
requirement that developers post a
bond or submit a letter of credit to
ensure that improvements to a sub
division would be made on time.
Added was a section requiring
the county engineer to inspect im
provements at various stages of
construction. The engineer will
grant a statement of completion to
be filed with the planning director
and clerk to the board of commis
sioners.
Clcgg told commissioners he was
most concerned about the last page
of the ordinance.
A section on the final page gives
the county manager authority to
grant final approval to portions of
subdivisions and to allow them to
be recorded prior to completion of
the required improvements.
The developer and county man
ager would have to reach an agree
ment in such spccial cases, the ordi
nance stales.
The developer can apply to have
up to 50 percent of a subdivision at
one time recorded under this spccial
clause.
"His (Clegg's) opinion was that it
looked like it was giving him a
greater authority than necessary,"
said Jones, "and I appreciate him
saying that."
Among other things the new ordi
nance:
?exempts the conveyance of land to
heirs;
?exempts transfers of one parcel to
family members;
?prohibits reserve strips used to
deny traffic connections between
properties;
?becomes effective Jan. 1, 1992;
?grandfathers for 12 months pre
liminary plats approved under the
1980 ordinance;
?validates preliminary plats for 24
months from date of board approval;
?sets a minimum size for residen
tial lots at 7,500 square feet;
?allows smaller lot sizes, but not
less than 5,000 square feet, where
water and sewer arc available;
?sets minimum depth and width re
quirements for lots;
?sets a 60-fcct right of way require
ment for subdivision streets serving
as connectors to public streets;
?sets a 50-fect right of way require
ment for internal streets in subdivi
sions;
?enforces minimum standards of
grading, drainage, sub-base, base
and paving to DOT standards for all
streets;
?allows subdivisions of 10 acres or
less and acccssible by unpaved
streets via abutting properties to be
exempt from paving requirements,
but a warning of private responsibil
ity for maintenance and upkeep of
roads is to be posted on the plat;
?establishes minimum building set
back lines of 25 feet in front; 7 1/2
feel on side yards; 15 feet on street
sides; and 10 feci on rear yards;
?requires major subdivisions, of six
lots or more, to connect to the coun
ty water system if wuiiin 1 ,0(X) feet
by roadway;
?requires minor subdivisions, of
five lots or less, to connect to the
county water system if within 250
feet;
?requires that 75 percent of lots in a
preliminary plat be scrvicablc by a
sewer system or on-site wastewater
system or carry a disclaimer indicat
ing which lots arc not suitable for
human habitation;
?requires a subdivider to: 1) file a
statement guaranteeing for 12
months any improvements made to
a subdivision in order to obtain a fi
nal approval from the county engi
neer; 2) to perform work as neces
sary to correct dcfccts which exist
12 months after the date of the
statement of completion; and 3) to
perform corrcctivc work within 120
days of having been served written
notice of deficiencies by the county
engineer.
Violation of the subdivision ordi
nance is a misdemeanor. The county
has the right to bring action for an
injunction to block the illegal trans
fer of property or to seek an order
of compliance, Clegg said.
The county has never had to en
force provisions of the existing sub
division ordinance, said Clegg, and
he doesn't expect to have to do so
under the new ordinance. "It cer
tainly explains much clearer what
they should do," he said, "so there
should be less confusion."
Lightning Kills Golfer
(Continued From Page 1-A)
him at a condominium at Brick
Landing Plantation.
"Wc really don't have any de
tails," said Barbcc.
He said he didn't know if the
foursome had sought shelter or was
playing when the accident occurred.
Officials also weren't sure if
lightning stmck Harbcn directly or
hit a tree or other object first.
"We're still unsure of that,"
White said. "His friends left the
hospital immediately after they
found out he was dead. They were
visibly upset."
White said the lightning-related
death is the first since he became
coroner 5 1/2 years ago. There have
been at least two others this year in
North Carolina.
In 1990, North Carolina ranked
second in the nation in the number
of deaths caused by lightning, ac
cording 10 the N.C. Department of
Crime Control and Public Safety.
Florida was first in deaths.
There were five such fatalities
last year in North Carolina, includ
ing three on golf courses, and 12 in
juries. All of the deaths and injuries
occurred between April and early
September.
Lightning was responsible for the
greatest number of weather-related
deaths in the state last year ? ahead
of tornadoes, floods and down
bursts.
State public safety officials rec
ommend that people taking cover
outdoors during lightning storms
avoid highly-conductive objects
such as single trees and utility poles.
People indoors should stay away
from electrical outlets. Appliances
such as televisions and stereos also
should be unplugged to decrease
the chance of fire.
New Group Forms At Sunset Beach
(Continued From Page 1-A)
said Walters.
"Sunset Beach is due for a lot of
changc. We hope this group can be
a positive force behind these
changes."
Morrison said working to make
sure the town has adequate infras
tructure to handle future growth will
be one of the group's
concerns ? streets, water and sewer
and emergency services, as well as
speaking up on issues such as plan
ning and zoning.
"We don't want anybody to come
down and say you can't do any
more of this until you do something
else," said Morrison, citing recent
lightening of the town's sign ordi
nance as one example.
New people moving into the area
expect more, he indicated. "They're
not going to put up with some of the
things that have gone on in the past.
Things are going to have to
change."
Another example he cited arc res
idents' concerns about low water
pressure. An enlarged county water
line in ihe Sunset Reach area still
won't resolve the problem entirely,
at least for those who live on or vis
it the island.
The problem is getting a larger
line across the waterway to the is
land, he said. Future options could
include suspending such a line from
a high-rise bridge proposed by the
N.C. Department of Transportation.
The Sunset Beach Taxpayers
Association formed approximately
11 years ago in opposition to the
bridge and to other types of changes
that could result in greater "density
of development" at Sunset Beach,
particularly on the island itself. The
group recently succccdcd in delay
ing construction of the bridge pend
ing an new environmental impact
study.
But providing the infrastructure
necessary to handle anticipated
growth is essential, according to
Morrison.
"It takes time and it takes plan
ning," he said. "We can't just sit
back. We need to look to the future
and make this a better place to
live."
Judge Clears Police Chief
District Court Judge D. Jack Hooks Jr. has ruled that contempt charges
should not be brought against Shallottc Policc Chief Rodney Gausc.
When Gause failed to appear in Brunswick County District Court
April 24, charges that he filed against a suspect in 1989 were dismissed.
Hooks ordered that Gausc appear in District Court to show cause as
to why he should not face contempt charges. The judge's ruling clears
Gausc of any wrongdoing in the case.
Gausc said Friday that he was on vacation the week of the trial in
question.
"I've always had the utmost respect for Chief Judge Jack Hooks Jr.
and his court," said Gause.
The case involved charges filed by Gause and Shallottc Patrolman
Roy Kohler against Anthony Craig Smith, 26, of Route 6, Shallotte, in
1989 for possession of non-tax paid alcoholic beverages.
Smith was accused of having in his possession a half-gallon of moon
shine whiskey on Feb. 5, 1989, according to tlte arrest warrant.
Three times. Smith failed to appear for his trial in District Court, ac
cording to documents on file at the Brunswick County Clerk of Court's
office.
According to Hooks' order, Gausc was issued a subpoena on April
1, 1991 to appear in court April 24 to testify in a case against Smith,
who was on the court docket to face 17 driving-related charges.
When Gausc failed to appear in court as the prosecuting witness.
Assistant District Attorney Greg Komegay asked that the case be contin
ued. Hooks denied the motion and issued the show cause order against
Gausc.
Man Injured In Shooting
A Shalloilc man remained hospi
talized Tuesday following a shoot
ing near Hickman's Crossroads
Sunday night.
Terry Norris, 37, of Route 4, was
shot twice in the chcst by a small
caliber handgun, reported Brunswick
County Sheriff's Dctectivc Larry
Joyncr.
The shooting occurred at a resi
dence on S.R. 1300 (Ash-Little Riv
er Road) around 10:56 p.m., Joyner
said.
Russell Edward, 33, of Tabor
City, was charged Monday night
with assault with a deadly weapon
with inicni to kill inflicting serious
injury, said Joyncr.
Norris was shot oncc in the upper
chest and again in the lower chest
area, Joyner said.
He was transported to The Bruns
wick Hospital in Supply by ambu
lance and later transferred to New
Hanover Regional Medical Center in
Wilmington, where he was listed in
stable condition Monday afternoon.
"They had an argument prior to
the shooting," said Joyncr.
Edward was released from the
Brunswick County Jail Monday un
der SI 0,000 bond.
Normal Conditions In Outlook
The Soulh Brunswick Islands
area should see normal tempera
tures and rainfall over the coming
week, Shallotte Point meteorologist
Jackson Canady said Tuesday.
He predicted temperatures to av
erage in the lower 70s at night to
around 90 degrees during the day,
with three-quarters inch of rainfall.
For the period of July 16-22,
Canady recorded a maximum high
temperature of 92 degrees on both
July 21 and 22. The minimum low
of 70 degrees occured on J uly 17.
An average daily high of 89 de
grees combined with an average
nightly low of 74 degrees for a daily
average temperature of 81 degrees,
which is a normal, said Canady.
He measured 4.77 inches of rain
fall for the period.
Dog Observed For Rabies
(Continued From Page 1-A)
fcncc and also lied so il could be
observed for rabies, said Crowder.
"It's still being observed," Crow
der said Monday. "The dog is
healthy. We believe its shots are all
up to date."
The incident came just days be
fore slate officials warned counties
to be on the lookout for rabies.
A woman who works with ani
mals at a nature museum in Char
lotte was bitten by a rabid bat July
9. Also, a young boy in Pasquotank
County was playing in his back
yard wading pool last week when a
rabid fox wandered from the
woods, entered the pool and bit the
child.
Both animals were found to be
infected with rabies, the N.C. Divi
sion of Epidemiology reported.
Two rabid raccoons were also
found in Gales County, indicating
dial a rabies epidemic in Virginia
has moved into North Carolina.
"That concerns me," said Crow
der. "We've known about it for a
number of years."
The last known case of rabies in
Brunswick County occurred about
12 years ago, said Crowder, who
has worked for the county health
department 16 years.
In that case, a young girl was bit
ten by a bat, he said.
Stale lab tests indicated the bat
had been infected with rabies.
Rabies is an acute, infectious and
often fatal viral disease of most
mammals that attacks the central
nervous system and is transmitted
by the bite of an infected animal.
THE BRUNSWICK&KACON
Established Nov. 1 , 19C?
Telephone 754-6890
Published Every Thursday
At 4709 Main Street
Shallotte, N.C. 28459
SUBSCRIPTION RATES
IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY
One Year $10.36
Six Months $5.55
ELSEWHERE IN NORTH CAROLINA
One Year $14.80
Six Months $7.90
ELSEWHERE IN U.S.A.
One Year $15.95
Six Months $8.35
Second class postage paid at the
Post Office in Shallotte, N.C.
28459. USPS 777-780.
    

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