Aldwin's Topsh Aldwin Lance is Brunswick County's prep foot ball player V of the year. 6 ' ^ For the run-down on the '91 all county squad, see Page 6 B. Moving In P County employee Bobby Mills puts final touches on expanded quarters for the Brunswick County Health Department. The story's on Page 9-A. More Listings Two more popular channels have been added to the weekly TV schedules, Pages 4B and 5-B. THC DDI"",WICK#BEACON 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 of Colum over counties, ^ The General 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 quired. 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 anymore." "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 geographic area we are in pretty good shape." ? 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 ties. "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 flay". 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 rural areas. 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 I6.6(X) Republicans. 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 County. 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 Carteret County. 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 sioners' participation. "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 commissioners. "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 board. "I think the matter of compensa tion exists because the county has opted to pay its boards," said Robinson. 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 weeks. 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 guidelines. "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 tion." 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 event. 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 pose. "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. Odom. "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 coming here. "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 Commissioners Tuesday. 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 of 100. 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.