North Carolina Newspapers

Commencement A Time For Sentiment
In twos, West Brunsw ick High School's Class of '92
sedately marched the width of the 5(>- yard line Tuesday
night at Rourk Stadium behind Chief Marshal Emily
Gore and her cohorts, looking forward, not backward as
they headed into the future.
It was a new beginning.
High school commencement may be only one of
many milestones in life, but 191 seniors made it clear
Tuesday that graduation is still a big deal, a bittersweet
moment not to be forgotten.
"It's great!" Costa Rican exchange student Milcna
Jenkins said, her voice emotional as she clutched her
American diploma. "I don't have no words for it."
Student officers spoke sentimentally on four years
the class shared at West-shy "grccnies" fumbling with
lockers, the excitement of a first prom and a winning se
nior year football season in a newly revamped stadi
um-and optimistically of meeting future challenges.
Meg Small welcomed classmates with "1 love you,
guys," while in her farewell Ebony Grissett urged, "hang
in there and never lose your thirst for knowledge."
Jcssica Robinson spoke poignantly of their loss of "a
great friend and athlete with a personality that impressed us
all." Classmate and football standout George Wendell
Daniels, affectionaJly known as "the Big G," was killed in
a highway accident May 14, 1991.
It was the choice of the class to hold graduation in
the stadium, rather than the courtyard. They and most of
their guests sal in bleachers and program participants
played out their roles from a platform on the track be
low, with visibility good and loudspeakers functioning
As each row of green-and-whitc clad graduates
stood for the walk down the bleachers, classmatcs
cheered, stretched out hands in congratulatory clasps
and grinned during what was a generally dignified and
short-one hour-ceremony punctuated by music by the
school band and chorus.
Salutatorian Pamela Dctrie and Valedictorian
Terrcncc Nawara were recognized by Principal Ed
Lemon, with Nawara presenting the class gifts to the
school, a cordless microphonc system and a tree planted
on the campus as a memorial to Daniels.
When Assistant Principal Sandra Robinson ap
peared, the class cheered: Diplomas were not far behind
as she presented the class.
Seniors accepted their diplomas in ways that reflect
ed their own personalities, and perhaps their paths to
Tuesday's ccremony. Some smiled in calm dignity, oth
ers shrieked, strutted or danced a jig in near-hysteria,
stopping midway back to the bleachers to show the class
their diploma. One young man kissed his diploma cover.
Athlete Aldwin Lance look a deep bow-and mo
mentarily lost his mortarboard. Greg Ycagcr accepted
his diploma and darted to the side to give his band direc
tor, Craig Morris, a quick hug of farewell.
With one senior in a wheelchair and another absent
because of injuries received in auto accidents,
Brunswick County Board of Education Chairman Donna
Baxter's motherly caution "to be careful" while cele
brating graduation was timely.
Honor graduate George Stathos accepted his diplo
ma from a whcclchair pushed by a JROTC cadct escort.
Jessica Langford Combest's parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Wayne Stewart, accepted her diploma. Recovering from
injuries received in a highway accident in which her
husband and ncarborn child were killed, Mrs. Combcst
had hoped to attend the ceremony, said Mrs. Stewart,
but her condition did not allow it.
Dignitaritics participating in the ceremony included
Superintendent of Schools P.R. Hankins, his assistants,
and all five members of the board of education.
Hankins suggested to students that the four keys to
success arc compctcncc, values, teaching by example
and assuming responsibility for themselves and others.
He recommended they start each day with pledges to do
their best, to treat people as they would like to be treat
ed and to contribute to the groups to which they belong.
In her remarks Mrs. Baxter also encouraged stu
dents to continue their educations, an essential, she said,
if they arc to achicvc Christopher Morley's definition of
success: "Doing what one wants to do in one's own
Sunset Beach Acting To Correct
Flood Insurance Program Violations
A town official faults use of an
outdated guideline for many of the
flood insurance program construc
tion violations found during a recent
spot check at Sunset Beach.
The violations, which could in
volve several hundred homes, were
discovered May 13 during a routine
state inspection to monitor flood in
surance program compliance and
have the town and contractors mov -
ing quickly to bring structures in
No punitive action is anticipated,
said Berry Williams, state coordina
tor of the National Flood Insurance
Program. He said the violations dis
covered at Sunset Beach should not
jeopardize the town's standing in the
"The town is in the process of hav
ing the violations corrected," he said.
"She's taking aggressive action.
They're doing what we've requested
them to do. So long as they do that we
have no problem with their remaining
Williams said he understands the
town was using an outdated 1985
FEMA handout describing the type
of construction allowed below the
base flood elevation.
That accounted for some of the
violations found, such as compres
sors being mounted below base
flood elevation as was previously al
"I was not aware the law had
changed," said Town Administrator
Linda Fluegel.
Some compressor units only need
to be moved three inches, she said, .
"The island has very little V-zone (a
higher risk area) and most had them
upstairs anyway."
Some other violations went un
noticed possibly, she said, because,
until February, the town had only
one person handling building in
spections in addition to other re
"With just one person some
things were bound to fall through
the cracks," she said.
All that is needed in some in
stances is professional certification
that below-level construction is of a
light "break-away" design, intended
to give way under wind or water
pressure, or that support braces or
anchors arc attached properly.
Another common violation was
Comments Light
On Shallotte Budaet
The idea of no lax increase must
appeal to Shallotte residents. It was
so quiet at the budget hearing
Tuesday night you could almost
hear dust settle.
Carson Durham, a member of
the town's planning board, provided
the only public comments on the
SI. 2 million spending plan for the
1992-93 year.
He urged town aldermen to sup
port Hope Harbor Home, the coun
ty's shelter for victims of domestic
"It's a shame we've got the need
here in the county, but there is a
need," Durham said.
The proposed budget, based on a
tax rate of 47 cents per SI 00 of
property, doesn't include a donation
to the shelter.
It does include contributions of
S250 to the N.C. Symphony and
S2.000 to Shallotte Volunteer Res
cue Squad.
Durham said 31 of the 165 peo
ple who have used the shelter or its
counseling services in the last nine
months live in the Shallotte area.
Due to the lack of available
grants, he said Hope Harbor is look
ing for local governments to help
with funding.
Aldermen made no decision
Tuesday night. They plan to contin
ue discussing the new budget at a
workshop Wednesday, June 10, at
7:30 p.m. in town hall.
The budget proposal features a
S755.553 general fund, S468.523
water and sewer fund and S40.000
capital projects fund.
The water and sewer fund is
based on an increase in rates.
Starting July 1, customers who use
the minimum amounts would pay an
extra S2.75 per month.
On Tuesday, the board approved
an amendment to the current year's
budget to cover a SI 2,300 shortfall
in the sanitation fund.
Town Clerk Mary Etta Hewctt
took S6.500 from contingency and
S5.800 from the public buildings
fund to cover the shortfall.
Public Works Director Albert
Hughes said the higher cost of trash
service was causcd by inflation and
growth. "It's a good reflection on
the kind of growth we've experi
enced, residential and commercial,"
he said.
In other business Tuesday, alder
men voted to pave Hinson Street, lo
cated between Shallolte Lumber and
Shallotte Marine off Main Street.
MAC Construction was hired to do
the work at a cost of $5,500.
Aldermen also referred an an
nexation request to the town plan
ning board. Robert Williams is ask
ing the town to annex one acre be
tween East Gate Square and the
Edgewater community on N.C. 130
Town board members also said
Tuesday they want to meet with
someone from the N.C. Department
of Transportation soon to discuss
transportation issues in Shallotte.
Among other things, aldermen
said the new left turn lane N.C. 130
East needs to be changed to allow
for better traffic flow near the stop
light. Changes also are needed in
front of Shallotte Middle School on
N.C. 179.
} Cozy New Homes
^ome see us ior ^est *n
retirement 1 iving-at an
affordable price .
? Remember, we'll handle
all the preparations and
details (or you!
Wayne Culbertson, RHS
Hwy. 17 N., Shallotte, 754-5147
shower heads attached to bclow-lev
el shower stalls. While the stalls
should be of break-away material,
the shower head must be remounted
separately, on a piling.
"We had very few sinks or hot
water heaters" below elevation, she
Some violations arc more exten
sive and may be more expensive or
time -consuming to correct.
In some instances, she said, indi
vidual property owners went back
after a house was completed and a
certificate of occupancy issued and
enclosed ground-level storage areas
or made other non-complying
Ms. Flucgcl said she doesn't
know yet the full extent and volume
of the violations and won't know
until Williams' office sends its re
port to the town.
Corrections Under Way
However, she said contractors
have already begun bringing homes
under construction into full compli
The violations were called to con
tractors' attention at a meeting with
town officials that had already been
called to discuss other issues. "A lot
of them went out and corrected a
great deal then and there," said Ms.
Language on the town's building
permit signed by the applicant oblig
ates the builder to construct a house
according to all applicable state
codcs. The flood program standards
are part of those codes and thus
something with which individual
contractors as well as the town
should have been familiar, said
Berry, especially if they have been
doing work in other areas where
those provisions were being en
To encourage corrections in other
homes, she plans to write homeown
ers advising them of the flood insur
ance premium savings they can real
ize by making the suggested
"If they flat refuse to make the
corrections," said Ms. Fluegel, "we
have to notify their insurance com
pany. Then it is up to their company
whether or not to raise their premi
um rates."
If the violations arc serious
enough to be a threat to the town's
participation in the program, she
said, the town would recommend
that the owner be dropped as a pro
gram participant.
Base flood elevation is the height
of a "100-year" or base flood in re
lation to a standard reference plain
from which elevations arc measured.
A base flood is a flood having a 1
percent probability of being equaled
or exceeded in any given year.
In communities that participate in
the National Flood Insurance prop
erty owners and the towns take steps
to reduce the potential losses-and
payouts by the program-that could
result if flooding occurs.
For instance, structures in flood
plain areas must be built so that hab
itable areas arc above base flood ele
vation, along with other structures
such as compressors.
Anything below that level is to be
of "break-away" construction. Other
requirements relate to how well the
main structure is secured to the roof
and to the supporting pilings, and gen
erally how well the structure could
withstand the wind and water accom
panying a strong hurricane.
The taxpayer-subsidized program
works with insurers so that coverage
is made available to qualifying
homeowners in low-lying areas
where potential flooding represents
a higher risk of property loss. Cost
of premiums can vary depending up
on how closely a home meets pro
gram standards.
Homeowners in an entire commu
nity can qualify for discounts if, as
Sunset Beach has done over the past
two years, their community takes
specific steps to prevent flood-relat
cd damage as well.
The Federal Emergency Manage
ment Agency (FEMA) contracts
with the North Carolina to handle
monitoring of compliancc in the
The National Flood Insurance
Program is under scrutiny at the na
tional level, with proposals to pro
hibit new construction in high-risk
oceanfront areas and to mandate that
owners relocate or demolish existing
structures in those areas.
The changes have the support of
program opponents who say the
government-backed, low-cost insur
ance has encouraged dense develop
ment and accompanying problems
along the nation's coastline.
However, business interests arc
concerned that the changes could
harm economics closely linked to
coastal development.
The national program was created
in 1968 after river floods left hun
dreds homeless and private insurers
reluctant to provide coverage for po
tentially high-cost claims.
Don't miss the July
4th issue coming
deadline is June 11!

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