North Carolina Newspapers

    The Field Expands...
Twenty-four candidates file for local
elections as the deadline day draws near.
The list so far is on Page 10-A.
12/31/99 **PO
P.O. BOX 162
MI 49284
Thirty- First Year, Number 37
Ready For The Grid
A new West Brunswick
football team takes to the
practice field. Page 9-B.
Cim THf MUNSWlCft fttACO*
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, August 5, 1 993
Reaching Their Limits
Offshore anglers are coming home with lots
of king mackerel, including some citation
size fish. Page 12-C.
36 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
Polk, Seay
Cleared Of
Polk County High School and its
head football coach, Marshall Scay,
have been cleared of charges that the
school tried to recruit football play
ers from West Brunswick High
The N.C. High School Athletic
Association (NCHSAA) announced
its ruling Tuesday following an in
vestigation that began when West
Brunswick officials filed a com
plaint against the Polk County
"The long and short of it is there
was a long investigation...," said
Rick Strunk of the NCHSAA. "Even
though there were questionable cir
cumstances, there wasn't enough da
ta to prove undue influence."
Strunk, associate executive direc
tor of the NCHSAA, said no viola
tions were found even though two
high school football players have
moved from West Brunswick to
Polk County in the last two years.
West Brunswick filed a formal
complaint with the NCHSAA July
20 alleging that Seay, head football
coach at West from 1986 to 1991,
tried to illegally recruit two local
student-athletes to play football at
Polk High.
West Brunswick Principal Ed
Lemon said Tuesday the school will
accept the NCHSAA's ruling.
"It was our opinion the whole
time if they didn't feel there was
enough evidence that would be the
end of it...," he said. "That's our
governing organization for athletics,
so we just move on."
However, Lemon added that
school officials believed they had
enough evidence to prove wrongdo
ing. "We thought we did or we
wouldn't have taken those steps," he
Dick Knox, deputy executive di
rector of the NCHSAA, conducted
the investigation. He was out of
town teaching football clinics this
week and was unavailable for com
"A lot of people were talked to
from both sides," Strunk said. "Dick
talked to a large number of people
involved in this thing and had writ
ten affidavits and gave it a thorough
Although the investigation has
been closed, Strunk said the NCH
SAA will continue to "monitor" the
relationship between West Bruns
wick and Polk County high schools.
"We'll just make sure there won't
be an influx of students from one
school to another," he said. "West
Brunswick presented this in a very
professional way and Polk County
responded. I hope wc can just move
on from here."
The NCHSAA does not allow
(See COACH, Page 2-A)
RRADIJSY TYRONE KING signs a plea agreement confessing his
guilt in the first-degree murder of Ronald Everett Evans as defense
attorney Michael Ramos looks on.
King Gets Life Sentence
In Ronald Evans Murder
Ronald Everett Evans begged for his life and was
sentenced to death by a teen-ager who wanted to steal
his car.
Bradley Tyrone King said he was sorry for killing
Evans and was spared the death penalty by a jury that
sentenced him to life in prison Tuesday.
The panel of eight men and four women took, just
under an hour to agree thai King should be granted the
mercy he failed to show Evans before shooting him in
the back on a deserted logging road outside Shallotte
last October.
Moments before the jury left the courtroom to de
cide his fate. King rose from the seat he had occupied
throughout the three- week trial.
Gone was the colorful print shirt he had worn while
still professing his innocence last week. This time,
five days after pleading guilty to first-degree murder
and armed robbery. King faced the jury in a clean,
white, hooded sweatshirt.
"1 am sincerely sorry for one senseless act that has
ruined two families," King said. "1 realize what I have
done is wrong. To the family of Ronald Evans, I'm
sorry. I wish it had never happened."
The victim's mother, Marian Evans, lowered her
head and covered her eyes as King sat back down.
Friends and relatives in the row of scats beside her
stared sternly toward the defendant, apparently uncon
Judge Orlando Hudson told the jurors that they had
only two choices to make in sentencing King: death
by lethal injection or life in central prison.
As required by law, the judge also read a lengthy
list of factors they could consider in favor of imposing
the lighter sentence, including King's age of 17 at the
lime of the murder, his lack of a criminal record, his
alleged spiritual conversion after being arrested and
his relationship with his parents, his daughter, his sis
ter and his disabled grandfather.
Only one aggravating factor could be considered in
support of giving King the death penalty. Judge
Hudson said: the fact that King killed Evans "for pe
cuniary gain;" in other words, for his newly purchased
1987 Honda Accord.
Testimony in the trial indicated that King and a
friend, William Earl Hill, abducted Evans in a
Shallotte parking lot and forced him into the trunk of
his car at gun point. Together they drove to a dirt road
on the edge of the Green Swamp, shot Evans in the
back and dragged him into a ditch, where he choked to
death on the blood hemorrhaging into his lungs.
King agreed to a plea bargain Thursday after learn
ing that the jury had found him guilty of first degree
murder. Under the arrangement. King agreed to plead
guilty to the murder and armed robbery charges and to
testify against Hill in a trial scheduled for next month.
In exchange for his cooperation, District Attorney Rex
(See JURY. Page 2-A)
High, Shifting Winds Push Blaze Out Of Control
II was nearly 6 p.m. Tuesday before Carol
Richards shut off the gas pumps at Midway
Trading Post, grabbed her checkbook and dog,
and evacuated.
Less than two hours earlier, at 4:30 p.m.,
stray embers from a backfire set to gobble up
fuel in the line of a major woods fire jumped
N.C. 211 just below its intersection with
Midway Road, where the store is located.
Pushed by winds in excess of 20 inph, the
bla7.c temporarily threatened nearby homes
and businesses.
High, shifting winds kept firefighters off
balance as they raced to respond to changing
conditions. Earlier Tuesday night the fire was
burning away from N.C. 211 toward uninhab
ited woodlands, but erratic winds accompany
ing a thunderstorm shifted its direction to the
southwest ? toward N.C. 2 1 1 and and populat
ed areas to its west, including Boiling Spring
At 10:30 p.m. planners were outlining their
proposed assault on the fire, which by then
had blackened between 1 ,500 acres and 1 ,600
"We're going to try to take a stand on some
of the dirt lanes off N.C. 211," said Alison
Davis, a state spokesman. "We don't want to
alarm anyone, but if that doesn't work, we're
making plans in the event further evacuations
become necessary."
With nightfall, darkness and thunderstorms
moving into the area joined heavy smoke as
"You can't see anything because the smoke
is so thick and the wind is blowing so hard,"
Richards explained earlier as her neighbors to
the south of the intersection were being evacu
ated. She and her husband were keeping the
store open for the firemen, who needed gaso
line for their trucks.
As she spoke a Civietown Volunteer Fire
Department truck positioned itself outside the
store, on stand by.
Brunswick County Sheriff's deputies, as
sisted by volunteer firefighters, evacuated 10
homes along N.C. 211 between St. James
Plantation and Midway Road, and warned
Midway Road residents up to Antioch Baptist
Church to be prepared to evacuate.
As of 10:30 p.m. no injuries had been re
ported, the threatened homes were safe and no
additional evacuations were anticipated at that
Thirty-two N.C. Division of Forest
Resources employees were working to keep
the fire from spreading, using eight tractor
crawlers, six equipped with blades and two
with plows, to widen fire breaks to 50-foot
widths and scrape down to mineral soils.
Abundant organic, peat-rich soil several feet
deep in places and dry from the lack of rainfall
was fueling the smoldering ground fire, keep
ing the blaze alive.
"Two-thirds of the area is organic soil.
Without a good rain we could be here the rest
of the summer," said Laura Barston, an N.C.
Division of Forest Resources spokesman.
From Tuesday afternoon until released at 1 1
p.m., volunteer firefighters manned trucks po
(See 14 SQUADS, Page 2- A)
Commissioners Fiex Budget Control Muscles (
ni/ ni tn * m. ? ? ? ?-???
i1 1 ? ? i [i >: I'iv-n
As Brunswick County's two most powerful
governing boards prepare to meet next week be
hind closed doors in a court-directed attempt to
resolve differences over school funding, county
commissioners moved Monday to exert more
oversight over how the school system spends its
Commissioners unanimously adopted a tenta
tive resolution that would require the school
board to gain commissioners' advance approval if
the school board wants to change the way it
spends large chunks of its local allocation once its
budget has been adopted.
County Manager Wyman Yelton said Tuesday
he is drafting a budget amendment resolution for
commissioners to consider approving at their next
regular meeting, Aug. 16. "TTiai was their intent
last night," he said.
Slate law provides that the county commission
ers can set limits of 10 percent to 25 percent on
what proportion of funds the county board of edu
cation can transfer from one "function level" to
another in its budget without commissioners' ad
vance approval.
"We're talking about going to the maximum
control, the 10 percent, " said Yelton. "Based on
the scenario so far, it appeared to us that we need
ed a closer degree of control by the county com
The move would not give commissioners con
trol of line item spending, as the school board
budget is subdivided by programs, functions, ob
ject codes and then line items.
Rudi Connor, finance officer for the Brunswick
County Schools, said she doesn't anticipate the
change in procedure as making much difference
in operations.
TTie school board by law must seek commis
sioners' approval of any changes in how it spends
iLs local allocation for construction and repairs,
equipment and vehicles.
And Connor already sends documentation on
transfers of any sum from one function to another
function in the current expense (day to day oper
ating) budget to the county commissioners, as a
matter of information.
(See COUNTY, Page 2-A)
Calendar SB
Church News ;5B
Classified 1-9C
Court Docket ..10C
Crime Report 9C
Fishing 12C
Golf 11B
Obituaries 5B
Opinion 4-5A
People In The News ...12 A
Plant Doctor....- 3B
Sports 10-12B
Television 6-7B
Suit Says Districts Hinder Blacks' Participation In Political Process
Attorneys for the American Civil Lib
erties Union (ACLU) have joined a Wil
mington legal services group in asking the
federal courts to prohibit Brunswick County
from electing a new board of commissioners
until the county alters its election methods to
improve the chances of black candidates.
A lawsuit filed Friday in Wilmington's
U.S. District Court asks for a permanent in
junction that would delay the 1994 commis
sioners' election until the county either cre
ates a black majority voting district or
changes the way it nominates and elects
The suit, signed by lawyers from the
ACLU and Legal Services of the Lower
Cape Fear, was brought on behalf of seven
black men who are registered to vote in
Brunswick County. They include Brunswick
County Board of Education Member
Thurman Gause, former County Com
missioner Willie Sloan, John Frink, Henry
Bryant, Edward Thomas, Roscoe Butler and
Willie Fullwood, who was recently appoint
ed to the Brunswick Community College
Its filing came less than a week after the
90-day deadline passed on an ultimatum
made to the county commissioners by law
yer James Wall of Legal Services of the
Cape Fear last April.
The lawsuit contends that Brunswick
County's present system of electing com
missioners from individual districts in coun
tywidc voting "has resulted in diluting mi
nority voting strength and denying members
of the black community an opportunity
equal to that of white citizens to elect repre
sentatives of their choice."
Although the county selects its school
board members in the same way, those pro
cedures were not challenged in the suit.
Gause, the only black candidate in the 1992
election, was elected to the school board.
County Commissioners' Chairman Don
Warren said Monday that the results of that
election strongly indicate that there is noth
ing wrong with Brunswick County's voting
districts or election procedures. He noted
that the county had voted to approve new
district lines in 1991.
"They're going to have a tough time mak
ing a case after the first lest of re-districting
resulted in a black candidate being clcctcd,"
Warren said. "You can't say you got wiped
out by the system when no blacks ran for
county commissioner and the only one who
ran for school board won. Maybe that's why
they left the school board elections out of
"You canl say you got
wiped out by the system
when no blacks ran for
county commissioner
and the only one who
ran for school board
?Don Warren]
the suil."
Warren said ihe county plans "to stand
firm by the districts and see what happens."
County Attorney Michael Ramos said a
recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion on North
Carolina's attempt to create a black majority
congressional district might have a bearing
on the case. The high court voiced strong
disapproval of a new district that meanders
across the state in an attempt to include
black voters.
In his presentation to the commissioners
last April, Wall proposed a similar black ma
jority district for Brunswick County. It
would follow the western bank of the Cape
Fear River from the Columbus County line
to Southport, then zig-zag across U.S. west
ward almost to the South Carolina border.
Wall has said the two eases are not related
because his suit against Brunswick County
is based on an alleged violation of the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, which he said
was not an issue in the Supreme Court opin
The suit says blacks constitute 18.1 per
cent of the total population of Brunswick
County and constitute a "politically cohe
sivc" group of voters. It notes that is possi
ble to create one election district out of five
in such a way that blacks are a voting major
ity in at least one district.
The county is accused of having "a histo
ry of discrimination based upon race which
has affected the rights of black residents to
register, vote and otherwise participate in the
governmental election process." As a result,
the suit claims that blacks have been dis
couraged from participating in the political
process, "including registering to vote, vot
ing and electing representatives of their
Black residents "bear the effects of dis
crimination in education, employment,
health and housing, all of which hinder their
ability to participate effectively in the politi
cal process," the suit states. It notes that no
black person currently serves on the board
of commissioners, nor has a black person
been elected to the commission in the past
10 years.
The lawsuit asks the federal courts to en
ter a permanent injunction preventing the
county from holding any elections for coun
ty commissioners under the current system.
School board elections, which employ the
same system, arc not included in the request.
The suit further asks the court to require
Brunswick County to implement a method
of nominating and electing members to the
board of commissioner that gives blacks "an
equal opportunity to elect representatives of
their choice and which docs not dilute mi
nority voting strength.
Ramos said voting cases such as this
commonly move quickly through the federal
court system. The suit could be heard within
a year, he said.
The lawsuit is filed against Brunswick
County and its five current commissioners,
which it notes are all white. Also named are
the three members of the county board of
elections. But the suit fails to note that one
of its members, Orrie Gore, is black.

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