Petition 'Demands' Improvement
BY MARJOR1K MKG1VERN
A petition presented last week to the Brunswick
County Board of Commissioners by Warren "Bud"
Knapp of Calabash makes four demands for action by
the county school board.
Asserting that Brunswick County's school system is
"currently rated among the poorest of the 100 North
Carolina counties," the petition, seeking signatures from
county parents and taxpayers, requests that the board do
?Recogni/.c its continuous failure to properly educate
the children of the county;
?Hire a new superintendent with a proven record of
?Set up a pilot test program for grades one and two to
determine if a first grade teacher, freed from state-gener
ated paperwork, could produce improved reading and
writing skills in students by sccond grade; and
?Employ a consulting service to discover why so
much of the school budget is spent on non-educational
Knapp denied he was the instigator of the petition.
"I'm carry ing the 'message from Garcia,' " he said
jokingly, identifying as 'Garcia' a number of county res
idents who arc conccmed about the school system.
Speaking to the demand for better superintendent hir
ing practices, he said, "The last three superintendents
had their contracts bought out, so that tells you we had
three bad superintendents in a row. They shouldn't rush
out now and buy a superintendent, but take time to
check into his credentials care
Board of Education Chairman
Donna Baxter was upset by the
contents of the petition.
"So much of it is simply un
true," she said, "and other parts
are due to the fact that we have
slate mandates. The petition
says nearly half our budget is administrative costs, and
thai is ridiculous. How could it be, with so many teacher
salaries to pay?
"If these people want to get involved in the schools,
why don't thev come to board members and tell us their
concerns or come to school board meetings? 1 just wish
they'd get their facts straight, because this can only hurt
our school system."
Different sentiments were expressed by a board mem
ber to whom Knapp referred a reporter for more infor
mation about the petition.
"1 accept this as one of those things people in the
community should do, let the schools know how they
feel," said Robert Slockctt, a school board member seek
ing election to the board of com
missioners. "I find little wrong
with it, although 1 don't like the
word 'demand' that's in it. As
for administrative costs that are
mentioned, 1 don't think they're
half the budget, but they arc
Knapp said a new private
school set to open in Shallotte this fall will constitute a
threat to public education.
"All our best students will be drained off," he said,
"so we (must) do something about our schools right
The private school in question was lauded by Gary
Pope of Occan Isle Beach, whose son, John, 6, is already
"So much of it is simply
? Donna Baxter
Board of Education Chairman
Of County Schools
signed up. The Crary School, which will open in Village
Pines in September, is headed. Pope said, by Foy Crary,
currently a first grade teacher at Union Primary School.
'They've had an open house and arc all set up to be
gin with classes for kindergarten through eighth grade,"
Pope said. "They're signing up students now and will
have a maximum of 15 students in each of four groups:
kindergarten, first and second, third and fourth, and fifth
through eighth grades."
Tuition will cost $250 a month, with SKX) registra
"I'd rather not have to pay twice for my children's ed
ucation," he said. "I already pay taxes for public educa
tion, but I wouldn't send them to our public schools."
Mrs. Crary , who has taught for 14 years, said she has
enrolled 22 students to date.
"I see this as a litUc alternative school," she said.
"There's nothing wrong with public schools that
couldn't be fixed. The most important problem that no
body seriously addresses is the large classes. Teachers
could all do a better job if class sizes were smaller."
The faculty to date also includes Torrie Williamson, a
former county teacher of the year.
Town Land Use Proposals
Get Nod From Coastal Board
The North Carolina Coastal Re
sources Commission Friday gave
routine approval to Ocean Isle
Beach's land use plan update and to
a land use plan amendment sought
by Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach Town Administra
tor Linda Flucgel had anticipated
opposition to the town's proposed
amendment, which reflects the
council's pursuit of a central sewer
However, none emerged at the
CRC meeting last Thursday and
Friday, she said. "It was fantastic!"
Haskell Rhctt, a field representa
tive with the N.C. Office of Coastal
Management, did point out to mem
bers of a CRC commiuec Thursday
that a recent survey indicated divi
sion over the issue in the communi
However, the committee gave its
nod of approval after Ms. Fluegel
pointed out that an earlier rcfcrcn
dum had failed by only one vote and
thai the council had voted unani
mously for the amendment and to
pursue a sewer system.
It was also clcar sailing for ap
proval of the Ocean Isle Beach land
use plan, reported Mayor Bcity
The town was represented at the
meeting by its planning consultant.
She said the town is proud of land
use plan update approved by the
CRC last week.
"We don't anticipate any dramat
ic changes at Ocean Isle Beach over
the next 10 years," she said.
The only major change rcflcctcd
in the plan, she said, is inclusion of
the extraterritorial area established
by the town in 1990. This is an area
extending as much as one mile be
yond the town's limits in which the
town cxcrciscs zoning controls.
Marine Accused Of Murder
In Shooting Of Girlfriend
A 24-year-old Marine from Camp
Lejcune was being held without
bond in Brunswick County Jail
Tuesday after he allegedly shot his
girlfriend to death at her mobile
home outside Lcland early Sunday
morning, according to police.
Alfonza Lee Staley has been
charged with first degree murder in
the death of Stephanie Bradley, 30,
who was found at her home at Lot
37 in the Old Mill Road Mobile
Home Park, said Del. Capt. Phil
Perry of the Brunswick County
Responding to a 911 call,
deputies arrived at the mobile home
shortJy after midnight and found Ms.
Bradley lying on the floor with a
gunshot wound to the neck, Perry
said. She was taken by Leland
Rescue Squad to New Hanover
Regional Medical Center, where she
was pronounced dead on arrival.
"From all indications it was a
boyfriend-girlfriend domestic dis
pute," said Perry. "Apparently he
caught her with someone else."
Stalcy was also charged with as
sault inflicting serious injury in a
warrant signed by Richard Ballard
Attorney Steve Yount was ap
pointed to represent Stalcy at a first
appearance in Brunswick County
District Court Monday. A probable
cause hearing is scheduled June 1 1 .
Beach House Needs Changes
//?? a! a n r* ? ? \
(Continued From Page 1-A)
money that making the changes to
"No matter what we do now
we've been had," said Monroe. "We
don't have the SI 00 ,000 or more it
would take to fight this in court."
More than physical changes in the
house, the Monroes say they arc up
set that the state wants to require
them to check the water meter every
month and send a reading to the
If the house is ever sold, the new
owners would have to do the same
thing. "It tics us up completely. It
hits me right here that my govern
ment can come in here and make us
do this," Mrs. Monroe said, pointing
to her heart.
The couple also said the health
department wants the right to check
the house at any time to make sure it
isn't furnished to sleep more than
The Monroes said Holden
Beach's building inspector, Dwight
Carroll, could have saved them a lot
of money and aggravation if he told
them there were going to be prob
lems before the house was con
However, Holden Beach doesn't
allow its inspector to interpret house
plans. Rooms that look like bed
rooms but are labeled as offices or
dens must be considered offices or
dens for building permit purposes.
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PLEADS NO CONTEST TO CHARGES
Trucker Had Lengthy Driving Record
BY I)()U<; RUTTKR
The Onslow County truckcr chargcd follow
ing a faiai wreck on U.S. 17 Shallotlc bypass in
November had a iong history of driving viola
lions before his sentencing last week on two
counts of death by vehicle.
Ch;vles Maurice Lassitcr, 37, of Maysville,
pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor death by
motor vehicle charges last Tuesday in
Brunswick County District Court.
Consolidating the two charges, Judge Jack
Hooks sentenced Lassitcr to two years proba
tion, lined him S5(X) and ordered him to surren
der his license and perform 60 hours of commu
Two other charges, stop light violation and
improper equipment, were voluntarily dismissed
earlier by the district attorney's office. If
Lassitcr had pleaded guilty to those two charges,
the court could not have tried him on the other,
more serious charges, said Assistant District
Attorney Lee Bollinger.
The charges were related to a fiery wreck last
fall where the bypass crosses N.C. 130. Steve
Allen Smith. 39, of Ash and Misty Dawn
Cannichacl, 16, of Shallotlc were killed as a re
sult of injuries sustained in the accident.
Prior to last week's court appearance, Lassitcr
had been convicted of 31 driving-related charges
and had had his license suspended and reinstated
six times since 1973, according to court records.
Among the convictions arc 13 for speeding,
including one last July for driving 92 mph in a
65 mph /.one in West V lrginia. He also has been
convicted twice of exceeding safe speed and
once of driving loo fast for conditions.
Lassiter has been found guilty of illegal pass
ing on three occasions and driving on the wrong
side of the road twice. He's also been convicted
of running a red light and running a stop sign in
The trucker's license was suspended indefi
nitely Feb. 2 for failing to comply with a citation
issued in South Carolina. His license had previ
ously been suspended in 1973, 1976, 1977,
1979, 1981 and 1987.
On Nov. 1, 1991, Lassiter was driving a
loaded log truck south on the U.S. 17 bypass.
The truck allegedly ran a red light and stmck
two vehicles driven by Smith and Miss
Carmichael that were crossing the bypass on
Bollinger said he did not request prison time
as part of Lassiter's sentence on the death by ve
"No one involved in the case was really look
ing for any jail time," he said, noting that he
spoke with the lawyers representing both fami
Bollinger said hundreds of people go through
the courts every year for running red lights and
never get jail time. The only difference in this
case, he said, is that there were two fatalities.
"The offense itself is a non-intent offense.
Nobody was intentionally killed," Bollinger
said. "It was just tragic that two people were
Gene Smith. a brother of accident victim
Steve Smith, said the family didn't want to com
ment on the sentence.
"It's hard for us to be a judge," he said. "Wc
don't know how much was the driver's fault and
how much was the state's fault."
Smith said the family wants what's right, but
knows nothing they can do will bring back his
"The only thing wc can hope for now is that
the intersection doesn't kill anybody else," he
Smith said he thinks an overpass proposed for
the intersection will help. "It's definitely got to
save lives," he said.
N.C. Department of Transportation officials
last month proposed building a S3.4 million
overpass where N.C. 1 30 crosscs the bypass.
Plans for the interchange will be included in
the draft Transportation Improvement Program
presented to the state tran spoliation board next
Smith's widow and Miss Carmichael's moth
er have filed separate lawsuits against the truck
driver seeking monetary compensation for the
loss of their loved ones.
A plea of no contendere , or no contcst, is
comparable to a plea of guilty in authorizing the
court to punish the defendant, but it does not es
tablish guilt for any other purpose. In a civil case
the plea of no contcst to an earlier criminal ac
tion based on the same facts cannot be admitted
in evidence to prove that the defendant commit
ted the act alleged in the warrant or indictment.
Redwine Has Productive
First Week In Raleigh
BY M ARJORIE MEGIVERN
Slate Rep. David Redwine had a
lired edge to his
afternoon as he
reflected on his
first week back
in the General
begun the year's
session, he could REDWINF.
point to considerable activity on his
part, introducing nearly a do/en lo
cal and statewide bills.
Three were marine-related
statewide bills, one allowing the me
chanical harvesting of shellfish in
privately-held waters only. "This
doesn't apply to Brunswick
County," he emphasized, "because
we don't have waters of that kind."
One appropriations bill introduced
would allot S186,(XX) for a seafood
laboratory program at North
Carolina State University, to provide
extension education and research for
the North Carolina seafood industry.
Another would appropriate S23 1,889
to the budget of the University of
North Carolina for a shellfish en
"This three-year project would
seed coastal North Carolina with
oysters, bay scallops and clams," he
said, "then research would be con
ducted to determine how they repro
duce and grow and how disease-re
sistant they are. This should increase
the supply of fish, so our fishermen
will profit from it."
Among local bills is one that
would remove the sunset provision
from the prohibition against building
ABC stores within seven miles of a
municipality where such a store al
"This means the prohibition will
remain in effect," Rcdwine said.
A second local bill requests sea
turtle sanctuary status for Holden
Beach, Sunset Beach, Long Bcach
and Surf City, while others would
allow Yaupon Bcach to levy a 3 per
cent occupancy tax, Caswell Bcach
to assess for placing utilities under
ground and Yaupon Bcach to limit
the height of structures within the
He also introduced a resolution to
honor Benjamin Smith at the 200th
anniversary of the City of Southport.
Another local bill allows Bruns
wick County an exemption from the
Public Records Act for its new geo
graphical information system.
Redwine's two other statewide
bills eliminate the sales tax on food
sold in school cafeterias and estab
lish a beaver damage control adviso
The legislator said the chief topic
of conversation among his col
leagues last week was the state bud
get, with some optimism evident.
"We're in better shape this year,
considering the SI. 4 billion shortfall
we had last year," he said. "We're
one of only five states in the country
without a real budget crisis."
Permit Pending For Island Bridge
(Continued From Page 1-A)
Bacon Island is zoned R-l, which
allows single- and two-family devel
opment. Holden Beach's land use
plan doesn't restrict building on
marsh islands as long as local, state
and federal regulations are followed.
Carroll said a minor permit would
allow construction of the bridge, but
not development of Bacon Island. A
major development permit from the
N.C. Division of Coastal
Management would be required for
Bacon Island derived its colorful
name from its former use. Roberts
said his grandfather, R.P. Robinson,
used to raise hogs on the property.
DONUTS & COFFEE
Main St., Shallotte ? 754-2996
What to do aboul salaries for slate
employees and teachers is the chief
puzzle, Rcdwinc said. Gov. James
Martin has asked for a 4 percent
raise for teachers, who, on the other
hand, arc asking for 6 percent. State
employees marched on the General
Assembly Sunday night, demanding
a 4 percent increase, protesting one
budget version granting them only 2
"We've also discussed a flat S500
or $600 increase for state employ
ees," Rcdwinc said, "along with a
percentage increase that would di
minish as you go up the salary scale.
As for teachers, we passed a three
year salary schedule three years ago
and have implemented the first two
phase-ins. The third wasn't imple
mented because of the shortfall and I
don't know yet if we can fully im
There has been a lot of conversa
tion about the proposed lottery, loo,
"We're looking at it more favor
ably than we did last summer," he
said, "and it's been estimated North
Carolina could expect a revenue of
about $200 million from a lottery.
"The trouble is, everybody is talk
ing bond issues. The university sys
tem wants S300 million in bonds,
the community colleges $250 mil
lion and the public schools S600
million. Even a lottery wouldn't take
care of everyone's demands."
He pointed out that bonds should
not be issued unless 10 percent of
the amount issued is already on
hand. "We don't have the neces
sary 10 percent of bonds needed," he
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Brunswick County Grow!
Asphalt Plant -2 miles north of Shallotte on Hwy. 1 7
Congratulations to North Point at
Lockivood Folly Golf Course...