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Leaders Call For Local Support At GOP County Convention
BY DOUG RUTTER
Brunswick County Republicans called for strong,
grass-roots support in the upcoming primary and gener
al clcciions at the county convention Saturday.
Fifteen candidates, including two looking to unseat
Congressman Charlie Rose this year, spoke at the annu
But it was a plat for work at the precinct level from
longtime Republican Shirley Babson that set the tone
It >1 llic aftl'IIHHM.
County GOP Chairman James Payne, picking up on
Mrs. Babson's comments, urged the 50 people in atten
dance to get behind the candidates.
"We have a golden opportunity, particularly with
what is going on at the federal level and what is going
on here," Payne said.
Brunswick County Commission Chairman Kelly
H olden, who is running for a scat in the new 14th N.C.
"If we re going to put people in office this year we're going to have to
start at the grass-roots level and leave our egos at the door."
? Kelly Holdcn, Chairman, Brunswick County Commissioners
House district, echoed their sentiments.
"If we're going to put people in office this year
we're going to have to start at the grass-roots level and
leave our egos at the door," said Holder..
A fanner and businessman from Shalloitc, Holden
said he's running for ihe legislature partly because stale
and federal mandates have frustrated him its a county
State and federal lawmakers frequently make rules
for local governments to follow, but rarely provide
money to carry them out, he said.
Holden said 82 pcrccnt of the property taxes paid in
Brunswick County arc used to fund programs or ser
vices mandated by the state or federal government.
Mike Causey of Greensboro, a Republican candidate
for slate insurance commissioner, was the keynote
Causey said half the voters in North Carolina don't
realize the job of insurance commissioner is an elected
position, yet insurance affects their pocketbooks as
much as anything.
Causey, who has been in the insurance business
since 1974, promised to cut red tape ami lower rates if
he's elected in November.
The candidate attacked the record of the current
commissioner, Jim Long, saying he presided over the
biggest insurance scandal in state history.
Causey said the Interstate Casualty case lelt more
than 9(),(XX) North Carolina policyholders without in
surance and will cost the state S37 million.
"People arc fed up with this lax management, and
they're fed up with the Waste, fraud and abuse at all
levels of government," lie said.
Scoti Dorman and Robert Anderson, two Repub
licans hoping to oust Rose this fall, also attended the
They both referred to scandals in Congress, includ
ing the most recent pay raise and check bouncing, and
called for new leadership in Washington.
"If we can't trust a Congress that can't control what
goes what goes on under its own roof, how can we trust
(See LKADKRS, Page 2-A)
Thirtieth Year, Number
i I >? *-?'
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, March 26, 1992
50c Per Copy
38 Pages, 3 Sections, 1 Insert
law- pv " ' *
STAFF PHOTO BY SUSAN USHER
FIREMEN FROM Shallotte and Shallotte Point Volunteer Fire Departments extinguish the blaze that
burned the In-School Suspension classroom at West Brunswick High School Sunday.
School Board Chairman Awaiting
Test ResultsFollowing DWI Charge
BY TKRRY POPE
The lest results Brunswick County Board of
Education Chairman Donna Baxter
awaits this week may decide her
role in the May 5 primary election.
The 43-year-old Boiling Spring
Lakes resident was charged March
16 with driving while impaired and
improper passing following a two
car accident on Boiling Spring
Road near its intersection with
North Shore Drive in her home
"1 would love to answer ali of
your questions," said Ms. Baxter
on Tuesday, "but my attorney has advised me not to
comment on the charge."
The accident occurred around 9 p.m., according to
Boiling Spring Lakes Police Officer Richard Tim
His citation indicates Ms. Baxter's 1989 Oldsmobile
overtook and passed a vehicle "proceeding in (the)
same direction on a portion of the highway marked by
DOT with marking against passing."
It also alleges that Ms. Baxter was driving while
subject to an impairing substance, though the report
doesn't specifically identify the substance as alcohol.
Results ot a blood alcohol test taken at Dosher
Memorial Hospital in Southport following the accident
should be available in about two weeks.
"Everything will come to light," said Ms. Baxter.
"A lot of people know what I am about. I think the
people who know me will know the truth."
The other driver, Walter A. Lumsdcn, 63, suffered
neck and back injuries in the accident. Ms. Baxter re
ceived stitches for a cut on the forehead.
"I wasn't hurt that badly," she said. "1 just don't un
derstand what happened."
Both drivers were treated and released from Dosher
Hospital the night of the wreck. Ms. Baxter's car was
demolished while damage to Lumsdcn's 1977 Ford
pickup was estimated at S 1 ,500.
A court date has been set in Brunswick County
District Court for April 29, about a week before the
May 5 primary.
Ms. Baxter, who has filed for re-election to her
District 4 seat on the school board, faces a Democratic
challenger, J. Bryant Pergerson, 35, of Boiling Spring
She said she will await test results before deciding
whether to stay in the race.
"I have been asked by quite a few people to hang in
there," she said.
If her candidacy would hurt the Brunswick County
schools and its children, then she would drop out of
the race, she added.
"I would never hurt the kids," she added. "That's
not my intentions. There have been enough negative
things printed in the paper about them."
Fire Destroys Mobile Classroom
On West Brunswick's Campus
A causc has noi been determined for a fire that de
stroyed a mobile classroom building on the West
Brunswick High School campus in Shallottc Sunday af
Brunswick County Fire Marshall Cecil Logan said
Tuesday the blaze that caused an estimated S25,000 in
damage to the In-School Suspension classroom remains
"We know when it started, but we don't know
how," said Logan.
It was the second 1SS building on a school grounds
to be burned in Brunswick County within a week.
1SS is where students who arc disciplined spend
their school day isolated from other students. While
there, they do independent work on classroom assign
ments and arc not allowed to associate with their
friends or classmates.
Last Monday, officers charged 16-year-old Blake
Kennedy Hobbs, a North Brunswick High School stu
dent, with felonious burning of a school building in a
fire that destroyed the ISS classroom on the Leland
campus March 14.
Brunswick County's Chief Deputy John Marlow
said he doesn't think the fire at West Brunswick was a
"copycat" of the North fire, but that it "is goin^ to h>
investigated to the fullest."
According to Brunswick County Sheriffs Deputy
J.M. Adams, the first to arrive on the scene, the fire was
spotted by a passing motorist around 12:15 p.m.
Ervin Bcthae, who lives on Airport Road, saw
smoke coming from the school grounds but could not
see a fire. He slopped at the Han-Dee Hugo conve
nience store at the U.S. 17 and N.C. 130 intersection to
ask clerk Mclanie Hill to call the sheriff's department,
When Adams arrived at 12:18 p.m., the 1SS class
room behind the main building was "fully involved," he
said. "No one was seen around the building."
Further investigation revealed someone had also
broken locks off of the doors to each of the three main
school buildings sometime between March 20-22, said
Adams. Someone had entered the main building
through a side window.
Several classrooms had been broken into, but noth
ing was reported missing, Adams reported. A vocation
al education classroom building next to the burned iSS
building had also been broken into.
When the fire call came in, Logan said he dis
patched several departments, not knowing if the main
school building was on fire.
"I didn't know what was burning," said Logan. "I
just knew it was at the school."
Volunteers from Shalloue, Shallotte Point.
Waccamaw and Sunset Beach departments battled the
bla/e and kept it from spreading to mher buildings.
Supply Volunteer Fire Department sent an air truck
while Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach lire departments
stood by in case they were needed.
Logan said it will be difficult to determine how ihe
fire started because there was not much left of the
OFFICER ACCUSED OF TRESPASSING
Shallotte Detective Is Reassigned
BY DOUG RUTTER
The Shalloiie policeman whose
racy attempt at humor offended a
woman motorist last month has been
reassigned, and another officer has
been accused of trespassing.
Det. Tom Hunter was transferred
to patrolman last Wednesday, less
than a month after he reportedly
made a sexually suggestive com
ment that offended a young woman
stopped at a roadblock.
In an unrelated matter, Sgt. Ray
Altizer was recently served with a
criminal summons accusing him of
sccond-degrce trespassing. Perritt
Alford, a former town policeman,
pressed the charge before a magis
trate on March 12.
Shallottc Policc Chief Rodney
Gausc said Hunter's reassignment
was not related to the incident in
volving a female motorist passing
Hunter reportedly said he wanted
to strip search the woman who was
stopped at a roadblock on the U.S.
17 bypass Feb. 24.
The officer was suspended for
four days without pay after the
woman, who lives in Wilmington,
called Chief Gause to complain.
Hunter said later that he was
wrong for making the comment. He
explained that the statement was
made to another police officer in a
joking manner. The officer also
wrote a letter to the woman apolo
gizing for his conduct. He said he
would have apologized immediately
if he had known she heard the com
ment and was offended by it.
Cause said Tuesday that Hunter, a
dctcctive for the past year, was be
ing reassigned for the good of the
"He's been working detectivc for
quite a while now and he's made a
(See DETECTIVE, Page 2-A)
TEMPORARY LINE INSTAI I FD
Break Interrupts County Water Supply
KY THE NEWS STAFF
Crews worked around the clock ? through
thunderstorms, sleet, snow and high winds ?
Thursday, Friday and again on Sunday to twice
repair a main water line that broke, causing
faucets in some homes south of Shallotte to go
Thousands of southern Brunswick County resi
dents were either without water or had very low
pressure as a result of the break discovered
Thursday morning on Bridgcrs Road in Shallotte.
The line supplies water to homes along and off
N.C. 179 south of Shallotte, including Ocean Isle,
Sunset Beach and Calabash.
A temporary line installed across a bridge by
Friday afternoon sprung a leak Sunday moming,
sending workers back to the scene. Service was
restored again shortly after 4 p.m.
"What happened points out the need for our S8
million capital improvements project," said
County Manager David Clegg.
With age and pressure, the main line broke at a
45 -degree joint after the force of water eventually
wore a coupling smooth, said Clegg. The pipe lay
beneath 16 feet of sludge Thursday. A backhoc
was used to expose the break.
Workers once had to scramble out of the hole
just seconds before it caved in, said Clegg.
Employees from the Water Department,
Operations Services and Emergency Management
worked through the night, from Thursday morn
ing unul Friday afternoon to install the bypass
"Water system employees literally risked their
"What happened points
out the need for our $8
? David Clegg
lives to go down into thai hole in a driving rain
and thunderstorm," said Clegg. "I was very im
pressed with their bravery."
Part of the county's S8 million water expansion
project this year calls for construction of an addi
tional main line from Shallotte to Seaside to
pump water south. That line will run parallel to
the existing line which broke last week, said
"It's a poignant example of why we need that
extra line," said Clegg. "If that doesn't show you,
1 don't know what will."
When the break was discovered Thursday, the
county began pumping water from its four wells
at Sunset Beach and using existing water from
tanks at Ocean Isle and Calabash. Lines were
back-fed through the Shallotte system to get as
much water as possible down N.C. 179 to the
Ocean Isle area customers.
"Everybody was not without water," said
Clegg. "The system did not come to a crashing
halt. There just wasn't enough water. In the mid
die of March, there wasn't enough water."
Bccausc of the lower water pressure, fire de
partments were told Thursday to offer backup as
sistance as needed in the event of a fire south of
Shallotte. Emergency Management Coordinator
Cccil Logan said there were no major fires or
problems during the crisis.
"Thank God we didn't have anything," he said.
Water was turned back on Friday around noon,
but it took two hours before the lines were
flushed and water was flowing again, said Public
Utilities Director Jerry Webb. When the pressure
dropped south of the breakage Sunday morning,
he discovered the temporary line had blown a
When final repairs arc completed, the replace
ment line will hang from the side of the bridge
over a creck where the break occurred. In the fu
ture, the new line to Seaside will allow the county
to reroute water around such breaks, said Kelly
Holden, chairman of the Brunswick County
Board of Commissioners.
For now, said Webb, the department must cut
the water off to make the repairs.
Webb's office received numerous telephone
calls, "some nice and some not so nice," during
the water shortage.
"We really appreciate everybody's patience,"
Holden was on the scene Sunday afternoon, to
find out why his phone kept ringing, too.
Elbert Galloway, distribution specialist, said he
was on the job through the snow and rain from 7
(See BREAK, Page 2-A)
SIAff PHOfO ?Y SUSAN USHE?
WORKING SUNDAY to fix a leak in the temporary line are (lop)
James Benton, maintenance superintendent, and (below) Wade
Robinson, Jerry Ferguson, Robert Ivey, and Phillip Russ.