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0 / 75
V of the year.
6 ' ^ For the
run-down on the '91 all
county squad, see Page 6
County employee Bobby
Mills puts final touches on
expanded quarters for
the Brunswick County
Health Department. The
story's on Page 9-A.
TV schedules, Pages 4B
Thirtieth Year, h roiina, Thursdoy, January 16, 1992 50< Per Copy 30 Pages, 3 Sections, 1 Insert
New House Plan Puts Northwest Tip
Of Brunswick County In Minority District
BY SlISAN USHKR
A comcr of northwestern Bruns
wick County would be part of a
multi-county minority district under
a plan approved by the state House
of Representatives Tuesday on third
and final reading.
The rest of Brunswick County
would become port of a two-mem
over counties, ^
Assembly was RKDWINE
expected to adjourn Tuesday, recon
vening later this month to consider a
new congressional redistricting plan.
At that time the Senate and House
are each expected to vote on the oth
er's legislative redistricting plan and
hammer out any compromises re
The U.S. Justice Department re
jcctcd the stale's original plans, say
ing more minority-dominated dis
tricts arc needed in Southeastern
North Carolina. Filing for state and
local offices has been delayed until
Feb. 10, when new plans arc expect
ed to be in place.
As a result of redi striding. Red
wine said Monday, "One thing peo
ple will have to remember is that gc
ograph'c lines don't mean anything
"None of us liked having to do
this, we were forced to," said Red
wine of the split districts. "People
don't live in nice little squares."
Districts ramble across and
through counties, townships, pre
cincts and streets. In some instances,
he said, neighbors may vote at the
same polling placc, but for candi
dates seeking different seats.
Anchored by Wilmington's north
side, the proposed minority district.
District 98, extends in a strip across
northern Brunswick County through
Navassa and the Hood's Creek area,
as well as north into part of Pender
County and west into Columbus
County. Roughly, Redwine cstimat
"In terms of our
we are in pretty
? Rep. E. David Redwine
On House redisricting
ed it includes about 2,629 Bruns
wick County residents, about 18,029
in Columbus, 29,200 in New Han
over and 2,780 in Pender.
"It winds all over Columbus
County wherever there's a concen
tration of black voters," he said.
Another southeastern House mi
nority district would include parts of
Duplin, Wayne and Sampson coun
"In terms of our geographic area
we are in pretty good shape," said
Redwine. Unlike surrounding coun
ties that are more heavily divided.
Brunswick voters would only find
themselves in two House districts
with three reprcscntauves.
"It's so large a district it will take
more time and more money to cam
paign, but it should be a good dis
trict to run in," he continued.
Redwinc said he plans to file for
rc-elcction "unless something
changes between now and filing
This rcdistricting plan would
leave Redwine and Mercer with a
two-member district that is about 80
percent white, 18.5 percent black,
with about 1 percent American
Indian, a mix of coastal/urban and
It would include "what's left" of
Brunswick (48,356 residents) and
Columbus (31,558 residents) coun
ties after creation of the minority
district, plus Orrum and Sterlings
precincts in Robeson (2,771) and six
precincts and part of a seventh in
New Hanover (23,188 residents in
Masonboro 3 and 4. Wilmington 4,
5,11. 16 and pari of Wilmington 8).
In terms of political affiliation of
current registered voters, the num
bers run about 39,(XX) Democrats to
Under the original plan approved
by the General Assembly last July,
Brunswick would have formed a
two-member district with Columbus
County and a portion of New
Hanover County. Rep. Leo Mercer,
D-Columbus, represents Columbus
Wilmington also anchors a pro
posed minority Senate district.
District 7, which would snake north
and cast to Kinston, taking in por
tions of four other counties. The rest
of New Hanover County would be
come part of a conservative coastal
district. District 4, reaching up into
Brunswick County would remain
in a revamped Senate District 18,
represented by Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. of
(See HOUSE, Page 2-A)
SAYS COMPENSATION NOT AN ISSUE
Deeds Advisory Board Strikes Back
BY TERRY POPE
An advisory board abolished by
Brunswick County Commissioners
last week says it will continue to
meet, even if members receive no
pay for their service.
The Register of Deeds Advisory
Board held its last official meeting
Mond:?y under a chaiter formed by
kuiuiiiuiOucts and Register oi
Deeds Robert J. Robinson in 1987.
Commissioners voted 4-0 last
week to abolish the charier, saying
the advisory board was no longer
needed and that the S35 per diem
plus travci paid to its members for
monthly meetings was an unneces
sary county expense.
But board members Monday told
Robinson they will conunue to meet
even if they are not paid. Robinson
said he will draft a new charter, one
that excludes the county commis
"I'm not aware of any law that
does not allow me to have an advi
sory board," he said.
Robinson said Monday he hadn'i
dccided whether lo legally challenge
the commissioners' vote that abol
ished the board. According to the
charter, any amendments or revi
sions must be approved by both the
register of deeds in office and the
"1 don't think they had authority
tu ki what they did," said Robtr.son.
"owever, the charter also indi
cates that commissioners must ap
point four of the board's five mem
bers. A fifth person is chosen by the
register of deeds. Members arc ap
pointed to 13-month terms, with
their last official day the second
Monday in January.
"Money is not why we serve
here," said Billy Carter, chairman of
the advisory board. "1 feel that we
have accomplished something. If
they (commissioners) had communi
cated back and forth, maybe they
would have a better understanding
of what we do."
Board members Janet Shires,
Thomas Morgan and Joan Thorpe
said they would be willing to serve
on an advisory board if chosen. The
Brunswick County Bar Association
had nominated Joseph Causey of
Shallotle to replace Ms. Shires, and
the Brunswick Islands Board of
Realtors had nominated William
Robertson of Sunset Beach to re
place Ms. Thorpe.
Those nominations were placed
last week before commissioners,
who instead voted to abolish the
"I think the matter of compensa
tion exists because the county has
opted to pay its boards," said
The advisory board charter indi
cates all members "shall receive
benefits and compensation in accor
dance with other county boards."
Other boards whose members re
ceive per diem payments include:
Board of Elections, S50; Social
Services, S35; Board of Health, S35;
(See ADVISORY, Page 2-A)
Putting Old Trees To Good Use
STAFF photo by dori c GURGAWUS
Danny Harris, full-lime preacher and temporary municipal employee for Sunset Beach, secures old
Christmas trees along the beach at the west end of the island last Friday. Used to rebuild eroded dunes
and build new dunes, the trees are donated by the truckload from local communities as well as towns
as far away as Lumberton and Fayetteville. The trees from Christmas 1990 are almost covered with
sand, evidence of the program's success.
hieaifh Board Eyes
Complaints Stemming From Septic Permit:
BY TKRRY POPE
Problems with septic tank permits dominated the dis
cussion at the Brunswick County Board of Health
meeting Monday and has apparently led to a restructur
ing of personnel within the department s Environmen
tal Health Services.
HJ. "Skip" Davis of Ocean Isle Beach says he gets
niirrtorrtuc r?ln?n?n ?-? ?'? ???? > Amnrtro miKw*
? ikwnvi OUO VUllipUUIIU 11 Will yjl upvi KJ u?? uvi ?>
dream home is lost when a once valid septic lank per
mit is no longer good.
Homeowners panic, he said, when they go to update
the permit and the lot that had once passed inspection
no longer perks. Those who have called to complain,
he said, include developers, real estate agents, contrac
tors and acquaintances.
"It does nothing for the credibility of this department
to lay down the rules and have the rules followed," said
Davis, "and then the rules change. I know it's happen
'7 don't want someone permitting a lot and all of a sudden,
two years down the road , it doesn't perk. It's not good for this
board to be put in that position " ? H.J. "Skip" Davis,
Health Board Member
ing. I'd like to know why."
Some of the personnel responsible for issuance of
septic tank permits have been reassigned in recent
Environmental Health Supervisor John Crowder vol
untarily stepped from his supervisor's position, said
Health Director Michael Rhodes, to accept a job doing
site evaluations in the Held.
Crowder, a 10-year veteran of the department, is
making the transition this week to environmental health
specialist, said Rhodes. "All I can say is, there was an
opening, an application was made, we conducted an in
terview and he was hired."
The department has advertised for a new supervisor,
with applications due last Friday. Rhodes said he will
interview candidates for that position next week.
"Until someone is hired, I will be more involved in
environmental health and animal control," said Rhodes.
In addition to doing soil tests for septic tank permits,
Crowder will also be responsible for staff development
for the health specialists, said Rhodes. Employees re
quire continuing education programs to keep up to date
on slate regulations.
"It's ah opportunity to have an individual with enor
mous expertise in that area," said Rhodes.
The Health Board instructed Rhodes to "examine the
legal channels" the department might have to honor
troliH c rtntio tonU rv?"w?fo tKof r\?>o?v? mn rr m on
? ovpuv uum pvi iiiiu umi p? upv? LJ unnvi j tiiaj
have for lots that will no longer perk under newer
"This board is aware that rules arc subject to
change," said Davis, who was appointed to the health
board last year. "1 don't want someone permitting a lot
and all of a sudden, two years down the road, it doesn't
perk. It's not good for this board to be put in that posi
Rhodes said he doesn't know how often a property
(See HEALTH, Page 2-A)
Public Funds Won't
Pay For Party When
Transportation Board Meets
BY SUSAN USHER
Local towns and economic development organiza
tions will be asked to pay part of the cost of holding a
.*>uiu uvfoiu v>? Transportation mccuu^ here, but the mon
ey won't go toward a cocktail party planned as part of the
The board plans to meet April 30 and May 1 at Sea
Trail Plantation, Sunset Beach, with approximately 24
board members and 51 staff members in attendance. In
addition to business meetings, several social functions
are planned to allow board members to mingle with local
residents and to tour the county.
"We are not going to use any public funds for the
cocktail party," said Annette Odom, a member of
Brunswick County Travel Package, which is hosting the
meeting. Travel Pac, as the group is often called, is not a
part of either local chamber of commerce. However, it
was created by the South Brunswick Islands and
Southport-Oak Island Chambers of Commerce to pro
mote travel and tourism to the Brunswick Islands area
and receives funds from the county annually for that pur
"Not Travel Pac, the chamber or the municipalities,
we liave decided," said Mrs. Odom. "We will use private
funds or a cash bar."
Travel Pac's governing body will decide dial source
of funding, as well as giving formal approval to a pro
posed agenda and budget for the two-day meeting when
it meets later this month. The travel group will also set
the guest lists for various activities on the agenda.
D,..U -4~ ? ? m.,nl n|
UUUI U IS-- 1 UIU ?11 IU UUU^Vl IV/I HIV 441
so be approved by the N.C. Department of
Transportation, she said.
Tentative items on the agenda include, on Thursday,
a fashion show and luncheon for board members' spous
es and an equal number of local women, followed by a
tour of the area and a social function to meet residents of
the Southport-Oak Island area. That evening a cocktail
party and dinner arc planned at Sea Trail for board mem
bers, stafT and guests.
"The guest list hasn't been decided by ['ravel Pac yet,
but obviously it's going to be your community leaders
from Brunswick County," said Mrs. Odom. "Hopefully
about two times moie people from Brunswick County
than are from DOT."
Dinner will be at the guests' own expense.
For board members the agenda includes a meeting
tentatively scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday
and a business session Friday from about 9 a.m. to 11:30
a.m. Continental breakfasts are planned both mornings.
Last Monday, Jan. 6, Sunset Beach Town Council
was the first local municipal governing board to discuss
the funding request. Members voted 3-2 to participate,
while questioning the cost of the event they were being
asked to fund, which was characteri/.ed as "a uickUiii
party" by the mayor.
"I do agree the numbers seem very expensive," said
.. .... "o..? i ,i? r?>,i
nvn viuu.Ki vv/ui iv ? t iiiviiiuvi v iiv.ii I viivvn. l/ui * uu ivva
like if we can get the DOT board in this area that we
would benefit from it."
That's why Brunswick County Travel Package ac
cepted the invitation to host the meeting ? needs that
range from better signage on U.S. 17 to widening of sec
ondary roads and installation of traffic signals, said Mrs.
"It's not as much benefit to the chamber as it is to the
communities. It's a benefit to Brunswick County.
"We were getting lots done here in Brunswick
County for the first time and still have a lot more that
needs to be done," she said. "We haven't got the road
systems other counties have and with the growth we're
experiencing we need a road system to serve the people
"We felt if they were here and could see what is go
ing on that we would have a belter chance in the future of
getting what we need."
At their meeting last week, Shallotte aldermen tabled
consideration of the request until they have a chance to
review their budget and discuss the matter.
The request was not on the agenda of the Ocean Isle
Tuul budget for the event is estimated at SI 4,800, of
which the state is expcctcd to pay about S9.500 toward
fcxxl ar.d lodging at Sea Trail for 24 board members and
5 1 people
Local contributors will pick up the difference in what
DOT pays and the actual cost of food and lodging, about
S2.470, plus another S2.800 in amenities. These are ex
pected to include a Wednesday hospitality suite with
food and beverages, the ladies' luncheon and fashion
show, the social function in South port, flowers and fruit
baskets, plus about S700 in "miscellaneous" expenses.
According to the tentative budget, the towns of
Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Shallotic and Holdcn
Beach arc to be asked to chip in S750 each, while Travel
Pac members have said they expect to solicit contribu
tions of SI ,500 from the Southport-Oak island areas.
Mrs. Odom said Calabash would also be asked to
contribute, as will the Southport-Oak Island Committee
In addition to Sunset Beach, other groups that have
already agreed to participate in funding the meeting in
clude the South Brunswick Islands Committee of 100,
the Resources Development Commission of Brunswick
County and Southeastern Welcome Center.
Should the final budget for the event be less, or DOT
agree to pay a larger share, Mrs. Odom said local contri
butions would be scaled down proportionally.