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Close Races Leave Incumbents Nervous In
BY TKRRY POPE
Both incumbents and political
newcomers were breathing sighs of
relief when the air cleared from
Many races were close as 35 per
cent, or 10,491 registered voters,
A second primary may lie needed
to decide the District 3 Republican
nominee for the Brunswick County
Board of Commissioners.
The winner will face Democrat
Wayland Vcrccn of Long Beach, a
former county commissioner trying
a comeback. He defeated Bob
(Contested Races Only)
Brunswick County Commissioner
M.E. (Mark) Sharpe 1116
William R. (Bob) Thorsen 2304
Wayland Vereen 2847
Steve Foster 887
Joseph Tyler Lenins 56
William (Bill) Sisk 294
Bob Slockett 1022
Tom Yeagle 308
Tom B. Rabon Sr. 2981
Jo Ann Bellamy Simmons 2586
Tom Simmons 1027
Gene Sellers 1126
Patricia (Patty) Young 1364
Board of Education
Joseph V. Brust 1 109
Ja?;et Pope 1488
William D. (Billy) Carter 2877
Carlton L. Sligh 1 120
Stephanna Tewey 2570
Donna M. Baxter 3485
J. Bryant Pergerson 3161
Register Of Deeds
Grace Beasley 2012
Edward F. Mintz 2187
Robert J. Robinson 2893
R.C. Soles Jr 3527
Claude Spivey 757
Ron Taylor 2817
N.C. House of Representatives
Shirley T. Greene 746
Dewey Hill 2510
Michael T. Mills 2318
E. David Rcdwine 4176
Johnnie S. Fields 219
Thomas E. Wright 187
James B. (Jim) Hunt Jr. 4816
Lacy H. Thornburg 1642
Marcus W. Williams 314
Gary M. Dunn 245
Jim Gardner 2050
Ruby Thompson Hooper 355
Jim Crawford 2563
Charles Philip (Phil) Ginn 262
Edward Renfrow 1082
Dennis A. Wicker 2824
Doris Rogers Huffman 853
Art Pope 964
Trip Sizemore 609
Thorscn of Southport anil Mark
Sharpc of Long Bcach Tuesday.
Steve Foster of Long Bcach gath
ered 887 votes against Bob
Slockctt's 1,022 votes, but it's
enough to call for a runoff.
The unofficial totals arc with all
22 county precincts reporting and
subject to verification at the canvass
"I'm leaning toward the possibili
ty of a runoff at this point," said
Foster, "but I'm going to talk with
some of my supporters over the next
few days before I dccide. There's a
good chance of it. I will say that"
Slockctt, who is on the school
board, dccidcd to file for the com
Democrats holding off strong
challenges Tuesday were Brunswick
County Board of Education
Chairman Donna Baxter and incum
bent Brunswick County Register of
l<vcu? rvuijcn j. rcooinson.
"I didn't think 1 would be a shoo
in," said Ms. Baxter, who battled
negative publicity during her cam
paign stemming from a driving ,
while impaired charge lhat was dis- |
missed when tests later showed she
"All 1 asked is that the people
give me two more years," she
added. "I feel like I have done a
good job and should stay in office."
She defeated challcngcr J. Bryant
Pergerson by 324 votes and will face
Republican Pete Bamctte, who had
"It's hard when you don't have
the name recognition or the money,"
said Pergerson. "Basically, all 1 had
helping me were the parents. Donna
and 1 both ran a clean campaign. 1
wish her the best."
Other school board winners were
See CLOSE, Page 2-A
IB 1 f
STAfF moio BY SUSAN USHEK
TOM RABON SR. of Winnabow (left) chats with Art Skipper dur
ing electwn returns Tuesday. By a close margin, Rabon won the
Democratic nomination for the District 4 county commissioner's
Eight People Rescued In Holden Beach Surf
BY DOUG RUTTER
AND SUSAN USHER
Eight people were rescued off the east end of
Holden Beach Sunday after they became caught
in a rip current and couldn't get back to shore.
Authorities said two teen-age boys were play
ing with a flying disc near Lockwood Folly Inlet
and went into the water to retrieve the toy.
They became caught in a strong current of
water rushing out of the inlet on the falling tide
and couldn't swim back to the beach, officials
After hearing the boys scream, six other peo
ple went into the water to try to help them and al
so became trapped about KXJ yards offshore. The
current didn't carry them offshore, but prevented
them from swimming to the beach.
Holden Beach Police Chief Robert Cook said
police were notified at 11:55 a.m. Officers Bill
Jordan and Dexter Ludlum swam out to the group
to try to keep the people calm and together in one
Holden Beach's water rescue team used its
surf boat to transport six of the eight people to a
commercial fishing boat, the Super Salty /, which
"It was a very serious
situation. Another few
minutes and I think we
would have lost four to
five people. "
? Ronnie Rabon
Holden Beach Water Rescue
responded and wailed just beyond the breakers.
The surf boat crew brought life jackets, which
the police officers helped those trapped in the wa
ter don. Then water rescue team coordinator
Keith Sawyer and a fellow team, Tri-Beach VFD
Chief Doug Todd, transported the victims one
and two at a time to the sportfishing boat, said
Two others swam back to shore, and the two
police officers swam otn to ilv fishinc boat, ac
cording to accounts of the incident.
Police identified the two boys as Scott
Downer Jr., 13, of Supply, and Willie Huper, 14,
Others rcscucd were Tina Thompson of Shal
lottc, Ray Norris of Shallotte, Roger Morton of
Oakboro, Danny Lingerfelt of Albemarle and
Gary Thompkins of Supply. Police didn't have a
name for the other person involved.
Norris and Thompson ? the only two people
who swam ashore ? and Downer were taken to
The Brunswick Hospital in Supply. They were
treated in the emergency room and released.
"All these people were suffering from hy
pothermia," Cook said. "The water was 63 de
grees and they were out there too long." Each per
son was given oxygen and blankets when they got
to shore, he said.
Hypothermia is loss of body heal caused by
Ronnie Rabon, a member of the water rescue
team and captain of the Super Salty /. look the
eight people on his boat to Holden Beach Marina,
where Coastline and Shallotte volunteer rescue
squads were waitine :it the docks.
Two members of Southpon Rescue Squau
who had boarded the fishing boat treated the vic
See EIGHT, Page 2-A
Longwood Man Killed In Wreck
BY [)OU(; RUTTER
A local man died last Wednesday
when the car he was riding in pulled
out in front of a tractor-trailcr on
N.C. 904 at Longwood.
James Willie Robinson, 84, of
Longwood, was killed instantly in
the 11:54 a.m. accident near the in
tersection of N.C. 904 and Etheridge
Road in front of Reed's Country
The wreck occurred when a 1972
Ford driven by 81 -year-old Addie
Mae Robinson of Longwood pulled
from the store parking lot onto N.C.
904 into the path of a 1978 Mack
N.C. Highway Patrol spokesper
son Ruby Oakley said the driver of
the truck. 'M-voar-old Walter Shad
Coupee of Dunn, applied the brakes
and ran off the right side of the road
in an attempt to avoid the car.
The tractor-trailer struck the Ford
in its right side. Trooper C.E. Ward
of the Highway Patrol charged Mrs.
Robinson with driving without an
operator's license, unsafe movement
and failure to wear a seat belt.
Ms. Oakley said it was the 12th
highway fatality this year in
Brunswick County, up considerably
from three through the end of April
"We have had so many fatalities
this year from people over 60
pulling out and failing to yield," she
STA* F PHOTO BY DOUG R UTTER
TROOPER C.E. WARD (right) investigates the accident last Wednesday on N.C. 904 that took the life
of James Willie Robinson of iMngwood.
Mrs. Robinson was lakcn to The
Brunswick Hospital in Supply,
where she was kept overnight for
observation and released Thursday.
After complaining of minor in
juries, Coupee was treated at the lo
cal facility and released.
Witnesses at the scene said the
truck driver couldn't have done any
See LONGWOOD, Page 2-A
LONG WAIT FINALLY OVFR
County's New 9 1 1
Program Begins Friday
BY TKRRY POPK
County officiais were busy showing off their
new 91 1 center to visitors last week while count
ing down the hours to start-up of the long-await
ed emergency communications program.
That long wail will be over at 7 a.m. tomor
row (Friday) wnen the telephone systems are
switched to begin dispatching emergency calls
from the enhanced 9 1 1 command center.
Brunswick County Emergency Management
Coordinator Cecil Logan said it will be a historic
moment lor the county. Just by dialing the three
digits 9-1-1, residents from anywhere in the
county can call for emergency help.
The dispatcher will then route the correct fire,
rescue or police unit to the home or location of
"Ihc Pilot Club actually did a survey that
opened up the commissioners' eyes to the need
for 91 1 some years ago," recalled Logan.
But it was the persistence of county employ
ees like Logan and Emergency Medical Services
Supervisor Doug Ledgett that made the often
delayed program a reality. Originally set to be
gin jan. 1, die piugioiii wa.> delayed by setback;:
in building designs and again in March due to
late delivery of equipment.
The S1.6 million building is filled with mod
ern equipment and will also serve as headquar
ters for the county's Emergency Medical Ser
vices program, housing fvo ambulances next
month manned by county-paid Emergency
Medical Technicians (EMTs) trained to back up
volunteer units. Entry to rooms is gained with
optically-scanned cards, and dispatchers work
inside a self-contained eeiuer with restrooms anil
kitchen facilities at hand.
The building will also house an Emergency
Command Center in the event of a disaster or !
emergency, such as a hurricane evacuation or
nuclear threat from Carolina Power and Light
Company's Brunswick Nuclear Plant in
South port. The command renter has 30 over
head telephone outlets ready for immediate use
and a large television monitor.
"It's not just a 91 1 center," said Logan. "It's a
county wide building. We want it to be used for
other things, loo. It'll be used for any disaster
situation and for any training exercise."
As evidence to that, the large ambulance bays j
were used Tuesday night to house people watch
ing the county's primary election returns. Board
Set COUNTY'S, Page 3-A