Welcome To The N.C. Oyster Festival! Special Section Inside
Thirty-First Year, Number 47
? UW _
HOAG & SONS BOOK B I NDfc.
P.O. BOX 162
?-.PRINSF'ORT MI 43284
Wl ft* AC ON
Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, October 14, 1993
50C Per Copy
56 Pages, 4 Sections, 3 Inserts
Oyster Season Begins Friday With New Limits On Fishermen
BY DOUC; RUTTER
Brunswick Counlv shellfishermen will
face stricter harvest limits than ever when
oyster season opens Friday along the North
In an effort to preserve a shrinking oyster
population, the N.C. Division of Marine
Fisheries has set daily commercial limits of
5 bushels per person and 10 bushels per
The season officially opens Friday at sun
rise, but local harvesters won't lie clogging
area rivers in search of their traditional first
day feasts until mid-afternoon.
Low tide on Friday will be around 2:27
p.m. at Lockwood Folly Inlet and 3:07 p.m.
at Shallottc Inlet.
Tight restrictions are nothing new to local
shellfishermen. who have had to deal with
increasingly strict harvest limits in recent
Just four years ago, oystermen were al
lowed lo harvest as many as 50 bushels per
boat per day. The limit was slashed to 7
bushels per person and 14 per boat three
"There have been a lot of requests to low
er it a little bit to make it last longer," said
Rich Carpenter, southern district manager
with the Division of Marine Fisheries.
H.ven with the new limits, longtime fisher
man Herbert "Midget" Varnum of
Varnamtown doesn't have high hopes for the
"I don't expect nothing," he said Tuesday.
"There may be a few for the first two or
three days but that's going to be it."
Brunswick County commercial fishermen
have done well the last two oyster seasons.
They harvested 90,131 pounds of oysters
last season with a value of $353,501, ac
cording to state statistics.
Those numbers are up sharply from the
late 1980s. The county's commercial oyster
Season Pounds Value
1983-8 4 97,927 $133,532
1984-8 5 85,155 $141,517
1985-8 6 89,313 $192,567
1986-87 99,680 $234,588
1987-8 8 44,015 $114,923
1988-89 77,044 $215,089
1989-9 0 63,654 $220,040
1990-91 64,325 $237,370
1991-92 116,515 $427,911
1992-93 . 90,131 ....$353,501
Source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
men harvested an average of 62,185 pounds
per season from 19X7-88 to 1990-91. The
average has jumped to 103.323 pounds over
the last two seasons.
Carpenter warned that the local harvest
could he down somewhat this year. "We had
a fairly good season last year so that usually
takes a toll on it." he said last week.
"We have fair numbers of oysters out
there now, hut a good number of them are
undersized." Carpenter added. "Early on it
won't lie so good. We should have more lat
er in the season."
The weather will lie a key factor in deter
mining what kind of season Fishermen have.
If it rains a lot this winter, shellfish waters
will he closed because of stormwater runoff
"Last year we were fortunate didn't
have a lot of closures during the season."
Carpenter said. "Some winters you have a
lot of rain and you have to close the oyster
beds, but we were lucky last year."
Dermo. a parasite that is harmless to hu
mans hut can kill oysters, remains a threat to
North Carolina fishermen. It was blamed for
killing lots of local oysters a few years ago.
Carpenter said biologists are still detect
ing the parasite in area waters, but they have
not seen many pockets of dead oysters.
If Dermo is going to cause problems dur
ing oyster season. Carpenter said biologist
usually see deaths in August and September.
They didn't seen that this year.
Besides stricter harvest limits, oystermen
also must deal with a new state regulation
requiring them to fasten tags to all contain
ers in which shellfish are transported.
Tags must include the fisherman's name,
address and shellfish license number; date
and location of the harvest; and the type and
quantity of shellfish harvested.
The tags, required by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration, are expected to help
health officials identify sources of contami
U I rich Hired
BY DOUG RUTTER
Holden Beach Commissioners,
who received applications from as
far away as Ver
mont and Florida
from people in
terested in being
have decided to
hire a man who
lives less than
two miles from
since Aug. 5 and who previously
served a 1 1/2-year stint as manager,
was hired at the close of an emer
gency meeting last Friday.
"He has the experience," Com
missioner Gay Atkins said. "He
lives here and has had the opportuni
ty since the first time he was manag
er to get a better understanding of
Ulrich served as town manager
from January 1989 until August
1990 and has served two stints as in
terim manager, including the most
recent one. Before coming to
Holden Beach, he was town manag
er in Garner for 17 years.
Ulrich said he decided to apply
for the position shortly after he was
hired as interim manager. He fills a
vacancy created when Gary Parker
resigned two months ago under
pressure from the town board.
"I felt like I wanted to get back
into the work I was doing before,"
Ulrich said. "I found that I missed it
after a couple of years away from it.
When you do something for most of
your life it's hard to get away from
Commissioner Sid Swarts said
Ulrich's familiarity with the commu
nity is a big advantage for Holden
"He's very familiar with the is
land, he knows the people and he
knows the problems," Swarts said
"Anybody coming in here new
has a problem getting to know the
people and the problems. They don't
realize the importance we put on
certain things here," he added.
Mayor Pro Tem Gil Bass served
on the town board when Ulrich was
first hired 4 1/2 years ago. "I've al
ways been impressed with Gus. All
of us feel good about Gus, and I
think he'll do a good job."
Bass said Ulrich's strong points
include his knowledge of finance
and budgeting, public relations and
problem-solving skills. He also
(See ULRICH, Page 2-A)
STAFF PHOTOS BY ERIC CARLSON
Edith Tillman (above) of Leland and
Anne Hines of Yaupon Beach speak at
cornerstone ceremonies held Sunday
to commemorate the new Brunsw ick
County Library branches now under
construction in their towns. The two
women led fund raising efforts to
build new libraries and became
charter members of the county library
board after the board of
commissioners last year allocated $1.5
million to create a four-branch county
library system. The new 4,700-square
foot buildings at Leland and Oak
Island are scheduled for completion in
March , 1994, when work will begin on
additions and renovations to the
Shallotte and Southport libraries.
Shown with Tillman is Library Board
Chairman Don Eggert. Architect
John Sawyer holds one of the dated
cornerstones that will decorate the
front walls of each new building.
Man Admits Taking Liberties, Gets 40 Years
A 49-year-old Shell Point man accused of asking
young neighborhood boys to photograph themselves in
the nude was sentenced to 40 years in prison Monday af
ter pleading guilty to 21 felony charges, a Brunswick
County sheriff's detective said.
Without testifying or offering any evidence in his de
fense, Herbert Clifton Windham appeared briefly in
Brunswick County Superior Court to enter a plea of
guilty to 10 counts of taking indecent liberties with a mi
nor and 11 charges of disseminating pornography to a
minor, according to Courtroom Clerk Lisa Aycock.
As part of a plea bargain, Windham agreed to serve
four consecutive 10-year sentences on indecent liberties
convictions. In return, the state agreed to dismiss two
charges of delivering controlled substances and to have
other sentences run at the same time as the 40-year term.
Windham was accused of illicit sexual activities in
volving two 1 2-year-olds, two 1 ^-year-olds, one boy age
13 and another age 15. All the victims are residents of
the Shell Point area.
Windham was arrested July 18 after police learned
that he kept a photo album containing sexually explicit
photographs of young boys. One of the boys, a 14-year
(See WINDHAM, Page 2-A)
Spells Defeat For
BY ERIC CARLSON
Brunswick County's Medical Dir
ector Dr. Harry Johnson said he was
"in the middle of a dilemma" over a
proposed smoking ordinance and
could not vote on the issue, thereby
assuring its defeat by a slim majority
of the county health board Monday
Despite unanimous support from
the three other health professionals
on the board, the controversial
smoking rules were voted down by a
majority that included county com
missioners Chairman Don Warren
and the two health board members
appointed since he took office. .
Dr. Brad Kerr. Dr. Jeffrey Mintz
and Patricia Nutter, a registered
nurse, voted for the ordinance,
which would have eventually
banned smoking in all public places
not served by separate ventilation
Voting against the proposal were
WarTen, Bruce Quaintance, Patrick
Newton and Arthur Knox. All had
voiced opposition to the ordinance
as originally drafted.
Johnson had previously indicated
he favored some kind of smoking
regulations. Supporters of the ordi
nance had counted on his vote to set
up a 4-to-4 tie that would have been
broken by board Chairman Maliston
Stanley, who said he planned to vote
But when it came time to vote,
Johnson expressed second thoughts.
"As a health professional, I think
smoking is bad," Johnson told the
board before announcing his deci
sion. "On the other hand, by doing
this, we will be encroaching on a
private citizen's right to run his busi
ness the way he wants to run it.
"Either way you go. you're in
truding on people's rights," Johnson
said. "Because I'm in the middle of
a dilemma. I have elected to abstain
Immediately after the vote,
Johnson was patted on the back by
Ann Batten, a woman who had ad
dressed the board earlier in support
of the ban. She told the board she
has a punctured lung and cannot go
to restaurants where smoking is al
"Thank you," she told Johnson.
Ocean Isle Officials P
BY LYNN CARLSON
Ocean Isle Beach commissioners
will ask state and federal transporta
tion officials to consider routing the
next major eastern interstate high
way through southern Brunswick
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the
board resolved that Interstate 73, a
Detroit-to-Charleston route whose
plan is expected to be delivered to
Congress next spring, should follow
U.S. 74 from Rockingham to the
Whiteville bypass in Columbus
County before continuing generally
along N.C. 130 to U.S. 17 in
"I don't need to tell you how im
portant it is that we get an interstate
to come into Brunswick County,"
said Odell Williamson, the town's
founder and a gubernatorial ap
pointee to the state transportation
"I'm trying to get support for 1-73
to intersect with (U.S.) 17. If we can
show the powers-that-be that Bruns
wick County needs this kind of eco
nomic boost, 1 think we have a good
shot at having it come in on 17 and
then on to Myrtle Beach."
Congress mandated 1-73 in Dec
ember of 1991 to begin in Detroit,
Mich., and to terminate at Char
ush For New Intersta
"If we can show the powers-that-be
that Brunswick County needs this
kind of economic boost, 1 think we
have a good shot at having it come I
in on 17 and then on to Myrtle
Beach. " ? Odell Williamson
leston, S.C. The legislation also rc- S.C., to thai list.
quires the highway lo pass near A preliminary route for the North
Portsmouth, Ohio, anil Winston- Carolina portion, recommended by
Salem. The Federal Highway Ad- the stale DOT hoard this summer,
ministration added Myrtle Heach. would run through the middle of the
te To Enter
stale, entering northwest of Win
ston-Salem at Mt. Airy and running
parallel to U.S. 220 to Rockingham
before crossing into South Carolina.
Columbus County business and
political leaders have asked the state
DOT board to consider continuing
the interstate more easterly through
North Carolina, following U.S. 74 to
a point between Chadbourn and
Whiteville before crossing into
South Carolina near Tabor City.
Board Member Williamson wants
to take that a step further, saying it
makes good sense to have 1-73 con
tinue east to U.S. 17 so that it can
serve the South Brunswick beaches
"You took the easy way out."
Under stale law, elected members
of city and county governing boards
cannot abstain from voting unless
they have a personal financial inter
est in the outcome. If a member re
fuses to vote on a motion of the
board, it is recorded as a vote for the
But no such rules specifically ap
ply to county health boards, accord
ing to Jeff Koeze at the N.C.
Institute of Government at Chapel
Hill, an expert on state laws govern
ing boards of health.
"While there is no way to abstain
in the General Assembly and only
certain ways to do so on other
boards, there is nothing in the board
of health statutes that makes absten
tions impermissible," he said. "It's a
matter of policy or ethics rather than
a legal issue."
Koeze said he had received in
quiries about abstaining from health
board votes "five or six times" since
local regulators began considering
smoking control ordinances.
Towns and counties across the
state have drafted and sometimes
passed ordinances aimed at beating
an Oct. 15 deadline imposed by the
state legislature under which locali
ties will be prohibited from enacting
stricter guidelines than those passed
by the General Assembly at the urg
(Sce SMOKING, Page 2-A)
Business News 11C
Church News II A
Classified I -IOC
Crime Report IOC
Court Docket I2-I3C
Obituaries 11 A
Opinion 4-5 A
People In The News 5B
and ultimately connect wiih the Car
olina Bays Parkway proposed to by
pass Myrtle Beach.
"We need to work at this thing all
we can." said Williamson, scheduled
to discuss the alternative route ?vith
his fellow board members today
Thursday and Friday as they meet in
The town's resolution was to be
submitted to N.C. Transportation
Secretary Sam Hunt and to 7th Dis
trict Congressman Charlie Rose.
No construction funds have been
allocated for the new highway,
which is expected to take years to
fund and build.