'CAREER CRIMINAL SENTENCE SOUGHT
Dale Varnam Could Get Another 25 Years Without Parole
BY ERIC CARLSON
Federal agents hope to keep confessed cocaine smug
gler, thief and state prison inmate Olaf Dale Vamam of
Supply behind bars for another 25 years by convicting
him on a federal firearms charge and sentencing him as
an armed career criminal.
Vamam is currently serving a 35-year sentence im
posed June 1, 1992, after he pleaded guilty to 12 felony
charges stemming from a series of burglaries in the
Holden Beach area.
But under current N.C. Department of Corrections
policies, Vamam could end up serving less than seven
years of his sentence.
So Brunswick County Sheriff's Detcctives and
agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms joined forces to bring charges against Varnam
in federal court, where sentences carry no possibility of
Their efforts paid off June 22, when Varnam was in
dicted in U.S. District Court in Raleigh on a charge of
possession of a firearm by a convictcd felon.
Vamam was on probation for 36 felony drug convic
tions when he was arrested Jan. 6, 1992, on 24 charges
involving burglary, breaking and entering and posses
sion of stolen goods. Brunswick Detectives Kevin
Holden and Gene Caison searched Vamam 's home and
seized five truck loads of stolen goods valued at
They also confiscated a .357 magnum pistol and a
.45-caliber replica of a Thompson submachine gun with
a 30-round clip. Both guns were loaded.
"Gene and Kevin kicked things off when they made
that search and found the weapons," said ATF Special
/-?I , z:
HOAG & SONS BOOK BINDtRY
P.O. BOX 162
SPR I NSPORT fi I 49i'B4
Agent Charles Mercer. "Under state and federal law, a
convicted felon is not permitted to have a firearm on his
person or anywhere near him. He (Vamam) knew that.
Apparently he ignored it."
If Vamam is convicted of the federal firearms charge,
he could receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
But because of his lengthy criminal record. Mercer said
the U.S. District Attorney plans to ask the judge to de
clare Varnam an "armed career criminal," which carries
an additional mandatory 15-year prison sentence.
In 1988, Vamam was indicted on 72 felony counts
and pleaded guilty to 36 drug trafficking charges. He
avoided a possible life sentence by informing on 150
drug suspects. In exchange for his cooperation, Vamam
was allowed to go free on probation.
Three years later, a Brunswick County Sheriff's
Department investigation determined that Vamam was
the head of an organized theft ring responsible for a
siring of Holden Beach break-ins. Many of the items
seized in his arrest ? including appliances and bathroom
fixtures ? were installed for use in his fenced com
pound home on Stone Chimney Road known locally as
"If anyone qualifies as a career criminal, it's Dale
Vamam," said Mercer. "Those were not just minor drug
charges he pleaded guilty to. They involved quantities
in excess of 400 grams (about a pound) of cocaine."
No date has been set for Vamam 's trial in
Wilmington's U.S. District Court. And investigators
have not ruled out the possibility that additional charges
might be brought against Vamam.
"This is not over," Mercer said. "There is a current,
ongoing investigation concerning Dale Vamam and his
Thirty-First Year, Number 35
? l*? TNC MUNSWC* MACON
Shallofte, North Carolina, Thursday, July 22, 1993
50$ Per Copy
38 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
?beacon file photo
ocnv.vn rite rnuiv,
MARSHALL SLAY (right), former head football coach at West Brunswick High School, is under
investigation for possible recruiting violations at Poilr County High School.
W EST BRUNSWICK FILES COMPLAINT
Former Trojan Football Coach
Accused Of Recruiting Players
BY DOUG RUTTER
Former West Brunswick football
coach Marshall Seay is being in
vestigated by the N.C. High School
Athletic Association (NCHSAA)
on charges that he tried to recruit
local students to play football at
Polk County High School.
West Brunswick Athlei*': Direc
tor Jim Brett confirmed Tuesday
that the school has filed a formal
complaint against Polk County
High for possible recruiting viola
"We feel like a couple of our
athletes have possibly been recruit
ed which is not legal in high school
sports in this state," Brett said last
Thursday following a trip to the
NCHSAA office in Chapel Hill.
Brett said the school's one-page
complaint was mailed Monday
morning. Other evidence was
turned over to the NCHSAA last
week. "It's now in the hands of the
high school athletic association,"
Rick Strunk. associate executive
director of the NCHSAA, said
Monday the agency would begin
investigating the charges after re
"/ wouldn't say
that anybody has
moved yet , but
they are definitely
? Athletic Director
ceiving West Brunswick's com
"We have had some conversa
tion with Coach Brett and we have
had some conversation with people
in Polk County which they have
initiated...," Stiunk said. "I'm sure
there will be more about this before
it's all over."
West Brunswick officials believe
Seay, head football coach at Polk
County, has tried to get two Trojan
football players to move to Polk
County and play football there.
Asked if any players had relocat
ed to Polk County, Brett said, "1
wouldn't say that anybody has
moved yet, but they are definitely
He declined to identify the two
players in question. "I'd rather not
call a name right now," said Brett,
who succeeded Seay as West
Brunswick's head football coach
Strunk said the rule on high
school football recruiting is "rela
tively vague." It says students shall
not be subject to "undue influence"
to change schools for athletic rea
sons. The NCHSAA defines "influ
ence" on a case-by-case basis. In
all cases, the accusing party bears
the burden of proof.
Richard Knox, deputy executive
director of the NCHSAA, will han
dle the investigation. He was out of
town this week at football camps.
Strunk said Knox will talk with
people at both schools, study docu
ments and possibly conduct a hear
Strunk says formal complaints
about recruiting are uncommon in
North Carolina high schools. In his
eight years at the NCHSAA, he
said there have been one or two
(See SEAY, Page 2-A)
School Task Force To Beef Up
Minority Candidates' Recruiting
BY SUSAN USHER
Responding to concerns raised by
members of the black community,
the Brunswick County Schools is
forming a task force to aggressively
recruit minority candidates.
Superintendent of Schools Ralph
Johnston said the task force will fo
cus in two areas: working to build
the percentage of certified minority
staff to equal that of student enroll
ment (about 26 percent) and devel
oping a program for grooming new
administrative leaders, black and
white, from among existing employ
The new assistant superintendent
for instructional services, Jan Cal
houn, is organizing the task force.
Calhoun said he will serve as an
ex officio member, and that he
wants to pull together the task force
very quickly, first naming a black
chairman from within the school
system to head the group and then
pulling people from throughout the
system to serve as members.
"It's an important group," said
Calhoun. "I think we can make a
He is targeting the second goal as
a top priority. "We need to act
quicldy on that if we are to offer
leadership experiences starting this
fall," said Calhoun. "We're going to
be getting some outside help."
Spurring the board's focus on the
proportion of minorities holding
teaching or leadership posts is a call
from the Brunswick County Citizens
Association asking the black com
munity to keep children at home
when school starts to protect what it
calls unfair hiring practices.
School board member Thurman
Gause is president of the BCCA. He
and the organization want to see
more blacks hired, particularly in
top leadership positions.
Gause says his concerns have
been ignored by fellow board mem
BY ERIC CARLSON
The repercussions of a July 15
meeting in Bolivia will be felt
throughout North Carolina next
week as environmental regulators
begin a statewide crackdown on real
estate agents who advertise rental
home occupancy levels that exceed
the capacity of septic systems.
At a meeting with state and local
health officials last week, real estate
agents from the Brunswick beaches
were told by Assistant Attorney
General John Barkley that the wide
spread practice of over-advertising
the capacity of rental units is against
Several rental agents indicated
bers. After first considering resign
ing from the board, he decided to re
main and "go along," he said. "I'm
going to sit back and wait and see
what happens; I'm going to let them
hang their own selves."
He has since refused to discuss
the issue with other board members.
The schools' student population
of about 8,580 includes 2,200 (25.7
percent) black children. To pressure
the school board, the BCCA has
proposed keeping at least 500 out of
school for up to 10 days in order to
reduce state funding. Members arc
checking on availability of churches
to be used as make-shift schools,
and proposes to call on retired teach
ers to lead classes for youngsters
during the boycott.
Statistics compiled by Personnel
Director Ralph Ward show that there
arc no blacks in top administra
tion ? superintendent and assistant
superintendents, but that of the 12 di
rectors or supervisors, six are black.
The school system also has 10
white and two black principals, and
eight eight and five black assistant
Among the 576 certified person
nel that include teachers, counselors
and media coordinators, 480 arc
white and % black.
School Board Not Giving Up
Appeal For Additional Funds
BY SUSAN USHER
Despite early warning signals, the
Brunswick County Board of Educa
tion plans to pursue its effort to ob
tain additional county money for the
The school board will meet with
county commissioners Friday at 6
p.m. in the Public Assembly Buil
ding at the Government Center near
After Chairman Donna Baxter
and several other school representa
tives met with county officials last
week, the school board rehashed its
budget situation Monday and emer
ged from a closed-door session say
ing it would continue on a course
that could lead to Brunswick County
Superior Court. That closed-door
meeting included a call from county
commissioners to see if the school
system still wanted to meet.
In talking last week with Don
Warren, chairman of the board of
commissioners, Baxter said that
while Warren appeared supportive
of the schools, "he had the feeling
we arc not going to get the money."
"But we need more money and
the law says we have a right to ask
for it," she said, in announcing that
the meeting would be held as sched
The school board had asked for a
26 percent increase in funds and re
ceived 5 percent, plus a special SI
million allocation for technology.
Specifically the school board says
it needs S525.000 that was cut from
its original request: S285.000 to
fund the lead teacher program that
was to be the focus of its county
wide school improvement program;
$31,000 for bus driver raises;
S10.000 to cover increased health
insurance costs; and up to $199,000
to cover a shortfall to cover higher
pay for classified employees, and to
provide locally paid teachers with
the same raises the General Assem
bly gives state-paid teachers.
"We're talking about the heart
and future of county education,"
said Glen Peterson, board attorney.
(See SCHOOL, Page 2-A)
To Be Enforced Statewide
that they will alter their brochures
for next season in response to the
ruling. But they asked for some as
surance that other coastal communi
ties with competing rental markets
would be told to do likewise.
"I have no intention of breaking
the law." said David Sandifer, a
Holden Beach commissioner and re
al estate agent. " Ml I'm asking for is
a level playing field. I don't want
Brunswick County treated one way
and Dare County treated another."
Richard Rowe, Director of the
N.C. Division of Environmental
Health said Tuesday that each of the
state's 86 health departments will be
notified of the enforcement effort
currently under way in Brunswick
'They will be made aware that if
advertisements are being published
showing levels of occupancy greater
than the capacity of their septic sys
tems, appropriate action will have to
be taken," Rowe said.
State Department of Envir
onmental Health and Natural Res
ources Secretary Jonathan Howes
was briefed on the meeting in
Brunswick County earlier this week.
Rowe said the department is "ready
to move" on the enforcement effort
and will begin sending out memos
to county health officials next week.
(See MEETING, Page 2-A)
George Anderson of Carolina Shores wants
lo change jobs. The District 2 commissioner
has filed as a candidate for mayor, the Job now
held by Doug Simmons.
Anderson is one of only two candidates for
town office thus far. A Carolina Shores North
resident, Theodora "Teddi" Altreuter, has filed
for one of three District 2 commissioners'
seats (including Anderson's) up for election.
From Sunset Beach, incumbents Miyor
Mason Barber and Councilman Edward M.
Gore Sr., have filed for re-election, which
means all town officials whose seats are avail
able are seeking another term.
That's the case also at Ocean Isle Beach,
where Commissioner Terry Barbee has added
his bid for re-election.
No candidates for the Shallotte Board of
Aldermen had filed as of mid-afternoon
At Holden Beach, Nash Greene was the
Run For Calabash Mayor; Incumbents
. ?? ? ?
first candidate to file for commissioner.
Incumbent Ada McDonald and first-time
candidate Charles McDonald are seeking elec
tion to the Vamamtown board of aldermen.
Incumbents Bill Kirby and C. William
Newnam, both of Southport, have filed for
election to the Dosher Hospital Board of
Trustees. Newnam is serving out Bill Size
m ore's unexpired term.
The second incumbent, Robert C. (Bob)
Terry, filed for re-election to the Caswell
Beach town board. He was appointed in 1992
to serve the unexpired portion of Duncan Stu
Two more candidates, Doris Hertel and for
mer commissioner David Drummond, have
filed for Long Beach commissioner. Johnny
Vereen, who has held the job for multiple
terms in the past, became the third person to
toss a hat in the ring for the Long Beach may
In northern Brunswick County, incumbents
Julius C. Adams and Edison Moore are seek
ing re-election to the Leland Sanitary District.
Candidates have until noon Aug. 6 to file
for office. The filing fee is $5.
Already declared candidates include:
Sunset Beach: incumbents D.G. "Bud"
Scrantom and Julia Thomas, council.
Ocean Isle Beach: incumbent Betty
Williamson, mayor; incumbent Bill Benton,
Holden Beach: incumbent Wally Ausley,
Vamamtown: incumbent Judy Galloway,
mayor; Chris Lancaster and incumbent George
Ennis Swain, alderman.
Boiling Spring Lakes: Raymond Hicks,
Southport: incumbent Norman Holden,
mayor; Phil Joyner, Ward II; and incumbent
File In Sunset, OIB
William Crowe, Ward 1.
Long Beach: Rupert Riley and incumbent
Joan Altman, mayor; Frances Allen and in
cumbents Danny Leonard and Jeffrie
Yaupon Beach: Jackie Slockett, commis
Caswell Beach: incumbent William A.
Boyd Jr. council.
South Brunswick Sanitary District: in
cumbent Ginger Canady.
Sandy Creek: Danny Canady, council.
Belville: incumbent Kenneth D. Messer Sr.,
Leland: incumbent Si.. Doty and Franky
Thomas, mayor; Jimmy Cooke, Donald T.
Sellers and incumbents Sadie Richburg and
Lucille Blake, council.
Leland Sanitary District: Joe Gainey.
Navassa: incumbent Louis "Bobby"
Business News .........~.10C
Church News 13A
Court Docket 11-12C
Crime Report ~ 9 A
People In The News...?7A
Plant Doctor ........4B