a STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG RUTTER
FOUR RIVERVIEW RETREAT Apartments were destroyed by fire Saturday night in Calabash.
At least Jive others were damaged by smoke and water, a fireman reported.
Calabash Apartment Fire
Sends Residents Fleeing
BY TERRY POPE
A fire lhat sent residents fleeing from their
apartments in Calabash Saturday night is believed
to have been deliberately set.
Quick action by a passerby and a nearby home
owner, who noticed smoke and Names shooting
through a roof, helped a number or residents escape
An arsonist may have set lire to the Kivervicw
Retreat Apartments on Rivcrview Drive around
9:30 p.m., reported Brunswick County Sheriff's
Deputy George Stanley.
As of Monday, no estimate on the damage was
available. At least four apartments were destroyed
and others received extensive smoke or water dam
| age, said Lt. Dale Snow of the Calabash Volunteer
All of the damaged apartments were being rent
ed, said Snow. The owner of the apartment building
lives in Virginia, he said.
IThc passerby, Ernie Leonard, was on his way
home when he noticed smoke coming from the west
end of the building, said Stanley.
He was joined in the lifesaving efforts by Robert
Green of Southern Pines, a Calabash property own
er who owns a home adjacent to the apartments.
Green was down for the weekend.
Leonard lives on a boat called Peggy Ann that
was docked on the Calabash River. He jumped from
his car and began waking people inside their up
stairs apartments so they could escape, said Stanley.
"Some were in their beds asleep," said Snow,
the first firefighter to arrive on the scene at around
9:35 p.m. "If it hadn't been for him (Leonard), there
might have been some injuries, or deaths."
Calabash resident Waban Thomas said Green
should be honored by the lown for his heroic efforts.
"He really did a big thing there," said Thomas.
"He saved those people's lives."
Snow said flames were already coming through
the roof of the building when he arrived. The fire is
belie ved to have been set near a washer and dryer or
storage area downstairs the site of repeated vandal
ism in the past, reported Stanley.
Leonard and Green first ran upstairs to help
cvacuatc the building and then helped people leave
their downstairs apartments before firefighters from
live departments arrival.
Calabash, Sunset Beach, Grissettown-Long
wood, Shallottc and Little River fire departments
responded and battled the fire for three hours, said
"Everybody did a super job," said Snow, 'They
contained the fire the best that they could, under the
One resident told deputies that vandals have
constantly damaged the washer and dryer near a
downstairs storage area to steal coins inside.
Another resident said someone kept taking the hose
off the washer and had once hot-wired the dryer.
The landlord would repair the damage, then
more would occur, she said.
On Friday night, residents said, someone drove
by the building and fired a couple of gunshots,
Stanley reported. No one was injured.
Sheriff's detectives and Brunswick County Fire
Marshal Cecil Logan are investigating the fire.
Logan was out of town this week attending a
water rescue class and was not available for com
Minor Changes Are Expected After
New County Electoral Lines Drawn
BY TERRY POPK
Brunswick County's five elec
toral districts must undergo changcs
District lines must be redrawn be
fore the end of the year to reflect
the county's population growth
since the 1980 U.S. Census, but
county officials are predicting only
"I'd like to see it done by the
middle of October," said County
Manager David Clegg. "1 don't see
any reason why it could not be done
by that point."
The Brunswick County Planning
Department will use 1990 U.S.
Census figures to determine new
The current district lines were es
tablished by the Brunswick County
Board of Commissioners in August
1983. Local legislation adopted in
1981 requires that commissioners
redivide the county into five elec
toral districts as nearly as equal in
population as possible every 10
The districts are the same for
both commissioners and the Bruns
wick County Board of Education,
with five members ? one from each
district ? elected to each of the two
boards. While candidates run from
and represent the district in which
they reside, ihcy arc elected by vot
Clegg said he believes Brunswick
County's permanent population
growth has also been countywide
during the past decade. Non
permanent residents, those who own
summer homes on the coast, do not
figure into the redisricting plan.
"I think statistically you're going
to see pretty even growth patterns,"
he said, '"[here is no electoral dis
trict in which there has not been
Final Census data arrived last
month to get the ball rolling toward
redistricting, he said. Those figures
show the county grew in population
by 43 percent between 1980 and
Following the November 1990
election, the Brunswick County
black community called for its own
electoral district. Clegg said black
leaders have not approached him on
"Brunswick County has histori
cally clcctcd black candidates and
female candidates," said Clegg.
The county is not among the esti
mated 40 in North Carolina that
have been designated as Voting
Rights Act counties, where special
districts or procedures arc in place
to help give blacks a political voice.
According to U.S. Census fig
ures, Brunswick County's black
population grew by only 1 1 percent
between 1980 and 1990, from 8,287
to 9,211 persons. A black district
would skip across the county to
pick up pockets of the black popula
To rcdistrict, the county will fol
low House Bill 685, which was rati
fied in July 1981. That bill also
changed the number of districts
from six to five and contains lan
guage that docs not apply to the
county today, said Clcgg.
That's why Clegg had hoped a
new local bill, one he submitted on
behalf of the commissioners, would
replace the 1981 version, to "clean
up" the language, he said.
Clegg's bill passed the House,
but when the General Assembly ad
journed last month it was still pend
ing before the Senate local govern
The bill calls for commissioners
to redcline the boundaries of elec
toral districts by Dec. 1, 1991, and
every 10 years thereafter "so that
the population of cach district is
nearly equal as practicable," it
It would establish the same dis
tricts for the Board of Education.
Board members who no longer
reside in his or her district as a re
sult of the new lines would be al
lowed to serve the remainder of
their term, it states.
The Census data the planning de
partment will work with in redraw
ing the lines arc ccnsus block tracts
that were also used by the state in
redrawing House and Senate dis
The population in each district
will increase from around 7,2(X)
each in 1981 to around 10.2(H) each
Brief descriptions of current dis
tricts arc as follows:
?District 1 ? Waccamaw and
Shallotte townships, minus Shal
loue and Shallotte Point;
?District 2 ? Shallotte Point,
Shallotte, Holden Beach area and
?District 3 ? Smithvillc Town
ship, including Sunset Harbor up to
Lockwood Folly River on N.C. 211;
?District 4? Town Creek Town
ship, plus south and west to N.C.
211, easterly to part of N.C. 87 and
U.S. 74-76 to the Columbus County
?District 5 ? Northwest Town
ship, Leland and Woodburn area to
Olde Towne and south to Goodman
Former Shallotte Mayor
Challenging Sarah Tripp
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Former Shallottc Mayor Bcamon
Hcwctl is challenging incumbcnt
Mayor Sarah Tripp in her bid for
election in November.
He is one of four people to file
for officc this past week at Shallottc
Town Hall. Four candidates also
have filed for scats on the Ocean
Isle Beach Board of Commissioners
| since last week.
Brunswick County Elections
Supervisor Lynda Britt said candi
dates have until noon Friday to file
at town halls or at the elections
board office in Bolivia. The filing
fee is 55.
As of Tuesday, candidates were
still needed in several Brunswick
County towns, including Calabash,
Sunset Beach and Holdcn Beach.
Hcwett is seeking the seal he held
for 17 years prior to 1985. Mrs.
Tripp, a town alderman from 1985
to 1991, was appointed mayor earli
er this year to full the unexpired
term of Jerry Jones, who resigned as
mayor to serve as county commis
Shallottc Aldermen Wilton Har
relson and Jody Simmons have filed
for re-election. Harrelson has served
on the board since 1983, and
Simmons was elected to his first
term in 1987.
Gene Frink also has filed for a
scat on the Shallottc town board,
said Sandy Hcwett, clcrk.
Ocean Isle Beach Town Clcrk
Daisy Ivcy said four people have
filed for commissioner at Ocean Isle
Beach in the past week.
Town board candidates arc
Raymond Erickscn, Janet Sanders,
Kendall Suh and William T. Bull
ington Jr., who chairs the town's
plant ing board and is the husband
of femer mayor LaDaie Bull
in varnamtown, A Merman John
David Dawson has filed for rc-elec
tion. Jeff Whitfield and Fayc Gall
oway also arc seeking scats on the
Bolivia Mayor Ina Mae Mint/
has filed for re-election to a sixth
two-year term. Alice Lcsh is seek
ing a scat on the board of aldermen.
Hewett Seeks Return
Hcwctt, who served four years as
alderman and was mayor of
Shallottc from 1969 to 1985, said he
wants to return to local politics.
"I didn't complete the job and I
want to finish it up," Hcwctt said in
a telephone interview Tuesday.
"You can ride through the Town
of Shallotte and sec it dying on the
street, dying on the branch," he
said. "I just think that we need to
get the town cranked back up and
get it going again."
Hewett said there are too many
vacant buildings in the downtown
business district, and there haven't
been enough new businesses local
Holden Beach Mayor
Tandy Calling It Quits
Holden Beach Mayor John Tandy will not seek a fourth consecutive
term in office, saying the rapid growth of the island
is putting too much demand on his time.
Tandy said the island plays host to more vaca
tioners every year, and the larger number of people
crcates the need for more controls by the town.
The mayor estimated that there were 1 5 percent
more people on the island this Memorial Day than
last year. The tourist season also has extended into
I die fall in recent years.
"With more people, it's just natural that you're
gO'ng to need more controls," he said. "All of that
TANDY takes time."
Tandy, who is a former high school principal and football coach, has
served as mayor since 1985 and previously served from 1979 to 1981.
His term expires in December.
"It's time for a change anyway in my estimation," Tandy said.
"There's plenty of people on this island who would do a good job."
Tandy said he and his wife, Elizabeth, are considering building a
smaller house on Holden Beach or moving to Chapel Hill to be closer to
ing in town over the last five years.
While neighboring towns like
Holden Beach and Ocean Isle
Beach have seen steady growth,
Hcwctl said Shallottc's growth has
"I'm in business myself," said
Hewett, who owns a hardware store
on Main Street. "If it hurts
Shallotte, it hum me too."
Hewett wouldn't say what
changes he would make if he were
elected mayor, but said the town
needs to expand its sewer plant to
"I know what I'm going to do,
but I'm going to hang onto it," he
said. "I've got some ^nswers to our
Hewett said he didn t want to
criticize anyone presently serving
the town as an elected official. He
said they arc doing the best they can
with the experience they have, but
that he has more than 20 years of
experience to ofTer.
At Yaupon Beach, three incum
bents and one other candidate have
filed for the three seats up for elec
tion on the board of commissioners.
Incumbents May Moore, James
Poole Sr. and Joseph Broyles have
filed for re-election. Michael
Edward Keane also is seeking a
town board seat.
Also last week, Southport Ald
erman Paul Sweeney filed for rc
i See O I HER, i'a^e 2-a t
Health Department Fears
Another Permits Backlog
As Two Inspectors Resign
BY TERRY POPE
Two resignations, and possibly a
third, threaten to create a mid
1980s-typc backlog for septic tank
permits, causing concern for local
developers and the Brunswick
County Health Department.
"It puts us in a real bind," said
John Crowdcr, environmental health
supervisor. "It brings us back to
where we were in 1985."
As of Friday, a backlog of 157
applications for scptic tank permits
had already accumulated at the
health department, said Crowder.
"We will be busy in the next few
weeks," he said. "I hope the people
will bear with us."
The resignations come just as the
health department is getting over a
period of shorihandedness within
the animal control division, said
Rita Hatcher, public health educa
That unit was back on its regular
schedule Monday morning, she
Nancy Marley, an environmental
health specialist, resigned for per
sonal reasons, said Crowdcr. She
was qualified to conduct soil evalu
ations and to issue scptic tank per
In June, Brunswick County Com
missioners voted to transfer her hus
band, Walter Marlcy, county soil
scientist, to a post in the engineer
ing department. While not a health
department employee, Marley
worked closely with its environ
mental health unit.
Program Specialist Sonya Re
mington, who inspected and graded
restaurants, motels and swimming
pools, has also resigned to accept a
similar job in Pender County, said
Ms. Marley's last day is Aug. 9.
Although Ms. Remington's last day
is Aug. 16, she is using vacation
lime that she had accumulated, said
The employee shortage is ham
pered further by a Brunswick
County Board of Health mandate
adopted last month that said inspec
tors of restaurants, motels and
swimming pools would not be pul
led from their jobs to do soil evalua
uons should a backlog of septic
tank permits develop.
In 1985, developers argued that
getting soil lests to see if lots were
suitable for septic systems was tak
ing too long. The staff was in
creased to handle the growing num
ber of applications.
Citing top heaviness within the
department, commissioners voted in
June to cut back by firing Gary
McDonald, environmental health
specialist 1, who was in charge of
permitting larger sewer systems, re
viewing subdivision plats for the
planning board and performing sec
ond evaluations when requested by
It was McDonald's firing that an
gered the health board into adopting
the mandate to keep specialists re
sponsible for restaurant and motel
inspections at their posts.
In asking for the mandate. Health
Board Chamnan Bill Rabon said he
did not want the department doing
"an overall poor job" and wanted to
keep the public's trust by staying at
100 percent in motel and restaurant
Crowder said Monday that anoth
er health specialist has indicated
that he would also "probably" re
(See BACKLOG, Page 2-A)
Goes To 50<t
The per-copy price of 7/ie
Brunswick Beacon goes to 50tf
this week, the first increase in
the rate in almost ten years.
Spiraling costs of production
and distribution of the newspa
per since 1982 necessitated the
increase, said the publishers.
Beginning with this issue, the
single copy price will be 50?
from dealers and racks. Two
quarters will l.* required to ob
tain a copy from coin-operated
racks located throughout Bruns
For the present time, annual
subscription rates for mail deliv
ery will remain the same.
Most daily and weekly news
papers distributed in the county
have already increased the per
copy rate to 50tf .