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1 HE " ? ' ICK#BtACON
Thirtieth Year, Number 25 ?1992 THC SftUNSWCK BEACON Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, April 23, 1992 50c Per Copy 40 Pages, 3 Sections, 1 Insert
fevaTincidents mar weekend
Ideal Weather Helps Attract Record Easter Crowds
BY M AK.JORIK MKGIVERN
Wiih few exceptions, ideal weather and record
crowds wca' the order of every day for the holiday that
kicks off the coastal tourist season.
A fist in the face of a police officer, one broken arm
and leg, a fenderbender, and traffic that stretched into
eternity; these were the only clouds on the Caster week
end hori/.on in the South Brunswick Islands beach com
Sunset Beach Pohcc Chief J.B. Buell said that one
of his officers, Annie Dosio, suffered a bruised jaw
Saturday night when she entered a Seaside trailer where
a disturbance was reported.
"She walked in the trailer and Sheriff's Deputy
Jamie Adams and two onlookers were trying to hold
Seaside resident Douglas Reginald Taylor, who was
wielding a ball bat," Buell said. "He broke loose and hit
Annie in the face; then she used pepper mace on him
and he was subdued and taken to the sheriff's depart
Taylor was charged with assault on a police officer
and resisting arrest. Two other Sunset officers, David
Edwards and Tommy Grantham arrived on the scene in
time to assist with the arrest, Buell said.
Otherwise, Sunset Beach experienced record
crowds over Easter weekend and a good time had by
"The bridge operated fine, but it was slower than
last year," Buell said. "We had two or three officers di
recting traffic most of the weekend. There were about
11,00(1 people, more this year than last. They started
coming in Thursday and still today (Tuesday) we're 65
percent to 70 percent full."
Holden Beach Police Chief Robert Cook reported
somewhat less excitement on his island over the week
end, including just one fender-bender with no injuries,
m the midst of snarled traffic, and two individual acci
dents resulting in broken Nines. "A lady was driving
her bicycle and ran into a telephone guy wire and broke
her arm," he said, "and a man fell onto his floating dock
and broke a leg."
"Il was a much bigger crowd than any of the four
years I've been here," Cook commented. "We had to
direct traffic at the bridge twice."
On Ocean Isle Bcach (OIB), meanwhile, all was *
tranquil, according to Police Officer John Goodwin.
"The beaches were 70 percent to 75 percent full," lie
said, "but no arrests or drunkenness, just an occasional
OIB Mayor Betty Williamson explained it this way: !
"A large number of our property owners use their cot
tages at Easter. so there's a good balance of tourists and
property owners. There were lots of people; cars were
parked three deep."
At Sloanc Realty at Ocean Isle, Debbie Fox said the
weekend brought out more people than in previous
"1 think wc had well-behaved crowds, loo," she ob
served, "and with school out, we'll have people all
Other real estate agencies were equally pleased.
Bob Griffin of Sand Peddler Real Estate at Holdcn
Bcach. said, "It was great! Better than last year and
more like the regular season; all houses were full."
Tom Tucker of Sunset Properties at Sunset Beach, ?
described the scene.
"All rental agencies on die island had full houses,"
he said, "and it looked like every parking space was
taken. We've had so many chilly Aprils, then wc get
this one widi temperatures in the 80s. Everyone in dri- g
ving distance of the beach was here."
(See IDEAL, Page 2-A)
XA/r^^L \/ 1/^4-1 imf r+ K A r\+U r\ r*
y T I ^V-IV V l\^l I I I I O I ? w I I 1*^1
Suing Log Truck Driver
BY I)()U(; R UTTER
The mother of a local high school
student killed last fall in a grisly
traffic accident on the U.S. 1 1 By
pass of Shallotte is suing the driver
of the log truck involved in the
Hazel Carmichacl of Shallotte is
seeking in excess of S25,(XX) in
compensatory and punitive damages
from driver Charles M. Lassiter of
Muysville, according u> a complaint
Hied April 8 in Brunswick County
Mrs. CariniLliael's daughter, 16
year-old Misty Dawn Carmichacl,
died from injuries sustained in a
fiery wreck Nov. 1, 1991, where the
bypass interjects N.C. 130.
Miss Carmichacl, who was a stu
dent at West Brunswick High
School, was driving her mother's
1985 F'ontiac west on N.C. 130
across the bypass at the time of the
Lassiter was driving a 1977 Mack
truck owned by T&J Trucking
Company south on the bypass.
Police said the loaded log truck
failed to stop for a red light and col
lided with the car driven by Miss
Steve Allen Smidi of Ash, a well
known Shallotte businessman, also
was killed in the wrcck when the log
truck struck his Corvette. Smith's
family has organized a petition seek
ing an overpass at the intersection.
hollowing the wreck, Lassiter was
charged with two counts of death by
motor vehiele and one count each of
improper equipment and a stop light
violation. The case is scheduled for
court April 28.
Mrs. Carmichael, who is being
represented by Shallotte attorney
Roy D. Trcst, asks for a trial by jury
in the complaint filed two weeks
According to the complaint, Las
siter "carelessly and negligently"
caused the truck to collide w ith the
vehicle driven by Miss Carmichael.
It says the truck driver failed to
keep a proper lookout and failed to
keep the vehicle he was operating
under proper control.
The complaint also says Lassiter
operated the truck "without due cau
tion" and "at a speed and in a man
ner so as to endanger or be likely to
endanger other persons and proper
Lassiter was speeding, failed to
stop for a red light and failed to re
duce his speed to avoid a collision,
according to the complaint.
It also says the driver also was
operating a truck with brakes that
were not in good working order and
tires lhat were nol sale for operation.
As a result of Lassiter's negli
gence, the complaint says Miss
Carmichael &ustuincd lata! injuries
arid "continued to suffer until her
death great pain of body and mind."
The victim's mother claims she
incurred substantial medical expens
es for treatment of her daughter's in
juries and expenses for the funeral
It also says in die complaint that
the beneficiaries of Miss Car
michael's estate have lost the in
come she would have reasonably
been expected to produce along with
her companionship as a direct result
of 1. ass iter's negligence.
Mrs. Carmichacl is seeking in ex
cess of S 1(),()(X) in compensatory
damages and in excess of S1(),(XX) in
punitive damages as well as S5,000
lor properly damage to her vehicle.
Following the wreck last fall, the
N.C. Department of Transportation
made several safely improvements
at the intersection including the ad
dition of strobe lights, advisory
speed limit signs and rumble strips
in the pavement.
The state is conducting a feasibili
ty study that is lo help officials de
termine whether an overpass is
needed at the intersection.
Bridge Openings Prompt Debate
BY SUSAN USIIKR
A resolution by the Ocean Isle
Beach Board of Commissioners
calling for more frequent opening of
the Sunset Beach Bridge lo water
way traffic struck a nerve at Sunset
Beach this weekend.
Both town officials and the Sun
set Beach Taxpayers Association
(SBTA)-usually on differing sides
when it comes to the bridge-are ex
pressing similar concerns about the
delays in road traffic that could re
sult if the bridge is opened more of
ten to allow passage of boat traffic.
The SBTA has fought construc
tion of a high-rise bridge to replace
the existing pontoon bridge, while
the town has worked for construc
lion of the bridge. SBTA members
voted Saturday to ask the N.C.
Department of Transportation to
maintain the schedule it has fol
lowed since mid- 1988 from April 1
through Oct. 31: Opening the bridge
on the hour from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to
recreational boats, and on demand
for commercial vessels and in emer
Ocean Isle wants the suite to open
the bridge to water traffic twice as
often, every half-hour.
Ocean Isle Commissioner Kendall
H. Suh, an emergency room physi
cian and a sport fisherman, made the
motion, which was adopted unani
mously by fellow board members
last Tuesday. The board plans to ask
Six Injured In Wreck
Six people were injured Monday night in a two-car accident on
mulucuy Gucci extension about .3 miles west of Shallouc.
Alice Cribb, of Ocean Estates, Southport, was charged with driving
left of center and driving while impaired after her 1963 Buick reportedly
crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head-on. State Trooper
J.V. Dove stated.
The driver of a 1971 Chevrolet truck, Velma Hill, 26, of Mulberry
Street, said she swerved to try to avoid the approaching car. Dove stated.
Cribb and three passengers in her car, Robert Ernest Cribb and Robert
Cribb Jr., 7, both of Southport, and Calvin Kili of MuiberTy Street, were
injured and taken to The Brunswick Hospital in Supply.
Ms. Hill and a passenger in her vehicle, Scott Brady, 26, of Shallottc,
were also transported to the hospital with injuries.
Both vehicles were destroyed in the 7 p.m. accident, said Dove.
the South Brunswick Islands Cham
ber of Commerce to adopt a similar
The opening schedule, as well as
the pontoon bridge itself, creates an
"inequity" for all boating traffic that
uses the Atlantic Intracoastal Water
way there, Suh said in a telephone
interview this week.
Boaters are inconvenienced by
delays of as much as 50 minutes if
they miss the hourly opening, and
bum gas while they idle.
As a result, he said. Ocean Isle
Beach and to a lesser extent Holden
Beach, is missing out on the eco
nomic benefits of boaters who are
choosing "to avoid that situation."
"We feel it will'not be a great in
convenience because the bridge will
be open less on the hour," said Suh
of the proposed schedule change. "It
will spread congestion over two pe
'Hie SB'i'A should share part of
the blame for the traffic conflict and
delays, he said, citing the group's op
position to the new bridge and "con
sistent opposition to progress". As a
medical doctor, Suh said he is also
concerned about people being able to
get off the island hi an emergency.
Sunset Beach Town Council has
not met since the Ocean Isle Beach
board adopted the resolution. How
ever. Town Administrator Linda
(Sec IIRIL><;K, 1'agc 2- A)
STAFF- PHOTO BY SUSAN USHfcR
iiiLiff on i a \u I ^aturduy found Sunset Beach Police Officer ILL. \luson directing bumper
to-bumper traffic on the mainland approach to the Sunset Beach Bridge .
Two S.C. Residents Killed On U.S. 17
Two Soulh Carolina residents
were killed in separate accidents on
U.S. 17 south of Shallotte last week.
A Sou tit Carolina teen-ager died
in an carly-moming, single-vehicle
wreck Saturday near Thomasboro.
Also, a South Carolina man died last
Wednesday, April 15, in a collision
at the N.C. 9()4 intersection at
Their deaths bring die total to 1 1
on Brunswick County's highways for
the year to date, said Ruby Oakley,
spokesperson for the State Highway
Patrol office in Wilmington.
Through the end of April last
year, only three people had died in
highway accidents in the county.
A Florence, SC., teen-ager was
killed in a single-vehicle accident
early Saturday morning on U.S. 17.
The wreck occurred at 3:30 a.m.
about 6(X) Icct south of the Thomas
boro Road (S.R. 1 165) intersection,
said Trooper B.D. Bamhardt of the
N.C. Highway Patrol.
Michael R. Coskrey Jr., 17, was
driving a 1989 Buick north on U.S.
17 at a speed in excess of HX) mph,
The driver lost control of the ve
hicle, which ran off the right side of
the road, .struck a large utility pole
Coskrey was pronounced dead at
the scene. Bamhardt estimated the
car was traveling 60 mph when it hit
the utility pole.
The vehiclc left tire marks 497
feet before impact and 63 feet after
impact with the pole, he said.
"There did not appear to be brak
ing at any time," said Bamhardt.
"There was no indication of alcohol
There were no passengers.
A Rock Hill, S.C., man was killed
Wednesday, April 15, when he
pulled his 1986 Oldsmobile into the
path of an approaching ear at the
N.C. 904 and U.S. 17 intersection at
Grissctlown, about 4.9 miles west of
Paul Edison Glover, 70, died in
the 5:15 p.m. accident in which
three others were injured. State
Trooper D.A. Lewis reported.
According to Lewis, Glover at
tempted a left turn onto U.S. 17
from N.C. 904 when his car was
struck by a 19X4 Ford pickup driven
by Robert Stanley, 39, of Sunset
(See TWO, Page 2-A)
Shalloffe Official Says Petition
Is ' Last Resort ' For Post Office
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Shallottc Alderman Roney Cheers is circulating a
petition asking the U.S. Postal Service to keep the
postmaster and postal functions at the Shallottc Post
"I feel like it's a last resort. ' Cheers said in a tele
phone interview Monday. "I may be bulling my head
up against a brick wall, but I'll go down l ighting."
The Shallottc naiive and former mayor is leading
a town crusade against plans to move the postmaster's
office and most mail-handling operations from the
downtown office to a new branch at Seaside.
The South Brunswick branch postal station, locat
ed on N.C. 904 between Seaside and Grissettown, is
scheduled to open Monday, May 4.
Both Shallottc Postmaster Frank Bringoli and
Superintendent of Postal Operations Ron Reeves will
have offices at the new, larger station, where most
postal operations will take place.
Shallottc officials briefly discussed the petition
Tuesday night after the town board canceled its sec
ond straight meeting due to lack of a tfuorum.
Mayor Sarah Tripp was in Florida and Alderman
Morris Hall was in Hawaii Tuesday. Board member
Paul Wayne Reeves was recovering from recent
Cheers told fellow board members David Cause
and Wilton Harrclson that he's had good success with
the petition, with just over 200 signatures as of
"People are interested in this issue, the merchants
m particular," he said "They are not lackadaisical
with their attitude. They see it as a threat to the com
Cheers told Ttw Hrunswick Beacon Monday that
he only wants people who arc directly affected by the
post officc move to sign the petition.
"I've confined it to people who are using the post
officc or arc on the routes," he said. "I fell that would
be more help than the other way."
Cheers said he had Town Attorney Mark Lewis
draft the petition after Town Clerk Mary Ella Hewctt
polled town board members to sec if they objected.
Shalloitc officials have opposed the plans for the
new station at Seaside, fearing the move will cut traf
fic to the downtown post officc and therefore hurt lo
Cheers said the lack of communication between
the post office and town has upset him more than any
thing else. "That burned me up," he said Monday.
The former mayor also said he thinks developers
in the Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach area insti
gated the move.
"I know it's politics and they aren't going to tell
me any different," he said. "Developers in that end of
the county know how to get their way."
Harrclson agreed Tuesday night, saying postal of
ficials who have denied that politics entered into ihe
move don't know what die woid "politics" means.
"I think we all suspect something that we're not
going to be able to prove," Harrclson said.
Cheers also said Monday diat moving ihc post of
ficc would be breaking widi tradition. "This post of
ficc has been here for ages and I just don't go along
Me said Tuesday night that he would uike the mat
ter to federal court if he hail the money. "This thing has
really got me up in the air."
Harrclson, meanwhile, looked on the bright side.
"We can rest assured of one thing, service can't
get any worse," he said. "It couldn't gel any worse."