Just Give Us A Sign...
Candidates' signs compete for space at one of dozens of sites along US. 17. Polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. Sample ballots are on Page 6A, and profiles of candidates are throughout this edition.
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Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, April 28, 1994 50<t Per Copy 48 Pages, 4 Sections, Plus Inserts
snt On Sheriff's Race So Fa/; Reports Say
BY KRIC CARLSON
If you read newspapers, watch television or travel our
local roadways much, you probably suspect that a lot of
money is being spent to gain your vote in the May 3 pri
mary elections. And you would be correct.
It's hard to say for sure, since this is the first year that
local candidates have had to make their campaign fi
nancing records public, but election officials can't re
member a more expensive political campaign than this
year's contest for Brunswick County Sheriff. Candidates
in that race have spent more than $61,000 so far.
Brunswick County recently reached the 50,000-per
son population threshold at which the N.C. Campaign
Reporting Act requires the filing of regular campaign fi
nance reports. The pre-primary reports were due Friday
All candidates who expect to spend more than $ 1,000
on their election bid must list the name and address of
contributors who donate more than $100 to their cam
paign. The names of small donors need not be listed, as
long as their total contributions do not exceed $ 100. No
individual may give more than $4,000 during an election
Only three candidates for Brunswick County offices
missed the Friday deadline, said Elections Supervisor
Linda Britt. All three turned in their reports Monday
morning. The state can levy a penalty of up to $20 per
day for delinquent reports, but candidates are more like
ly to receive a notice from the state cautioning them to
comply with the law.
"I thing everybody did real well, considering it's the
first time they've had to do it," Britt said.
The Democratic Primary campaign for Brunswick
County Sheriff has sparked the most significant flurry of
contributions and spending, especially by Deputy Lt.
Ronald Hewett and retired State Trooper Jerry Dove.
Since their pre-filing activity reports were filed in
January, Hewett's campaign took in $21,634, while
Dove collected $18,098. In all, Hewett has received
$40,424 in contributions. Dove's campaign fund has col
On the spending side, Hewett leads again with
$38,834 in outlays since the campaign began. As of last
week. Dove had spent $15,074. Nearly all the expenses
for both men went to various forms of advertising.
Dove has outspent Hewett on television commercials
by a margin of $5,298 to $4,616, while Hewett leads
Dove $1,710 to $1,246 in spending on local newpaper
(See SHERIFF'S, Page 2-A)
May 3 Primary
BY SUSAN USHER
Moic than 32,000 Brunswick
County voters are eligible to go to
the polls Tuesday, May 3, to nomi
nate party candidates for local, state
and congressional races.
TWenty-two precinct polling
places will be open from 6:30 a.m.
to 7:30 p.m. for the county's 18,558
Democrats, 11,244 Republicans and
2,318 unaffiliated voters. Results
will be tallied at the Brunswick
County Government Center at
Democrats will nominate candi
dates for eight local offices and five
state offices, while Republicans will
nominate candidates for three local
seats and for U.S. congressman.
Unaffiliated candidates may vote
in the Republican primary but not in
the Democratic primary, according
to the Brunswick County Board of
To win his or her party's nomina
tion, a candidate must receive 40
percent of the vote, plus one vote. If
no candidate receives that, then the
candidate with the second-highest
vote may choose to file for a run-off
or second primary.
For county Democrats, a four
way race for the sheriff's nomina
tion is drawing the most attention,
followed by the 18th Senate District
race between incumbent R.C. Soles
Jr. and Ron Taylor (the party nomi
nee will be unopposed in Novem
Also on the ballot are a three-way
bid for a 13th District district court
judgeship; and primaries for all but
one seat (District 2) on the board of
commissioners and for two seats
(Districts 1 and 2) on the board of
education. A District 4 school board
race between incumbent Donna M.
Baxter and the late Liston Hawes re
mains on the ballot; Hawes' death
came too late to remove his name
from the ballot.
Democrats will also nominate
candidates for the two 14th District
House of Representatives seats, a
seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals
and an associate justice on the state
Supreme Court. The candidates will
be unopposed in the fall.
Republicans will nominate candi
dates for the District 1, 3 and 5 seats
on the county board of commission
(See VOTERS, Page 2-A)
Miss North Carolina Mary Susan Runion, on a visit to West
Brunswick High School last week, encourages students to remain
drug- and alcohol-free. Her appearance was one of numerous ac
tivities sponsored by Students Against Drunk Driving leading up to
Friday 's Junior-Senior Prom.
SUSPECTED IN ANOTHER KILLING
Red Springs Man To Be
Charged In Ash Murder
BY ERIC CARLSON
The Bamboo Corner Ash Beverage store was always
a friendly spot to stop for refreshment after a hard day's
work, a place where you could always expect a hearty
smile and some warm conversation from the man behind
Just about anyone who lives around Ash can picture
Bums Babson sitting in his old fa
miliar chair last Friday evening
wearing his ever-present beige hat
and a blue plaid shirt.
Monday afternoon that flannel
shin, soaked in blood, was drying in
the sun outside the Brunswick
County Sheriff's Department.
Tuesday morning, Babson's hat
rested on a casket in the living room
of his son's home on Longwood
A white flower wreath hung on the wall facing the
road outside the store, reminding passing neighbors that
Burns Babson had waited on his last customer.
Brunswick County Sheriff's Detectives say a man
named Daniel Cummings Jr., 38, of Red Springs stopped
outside the store shortly after 7 p.m. and asked for a
drink of water. Someone directed him to a nearby hose.
He took a sip and drove off in a White Ford van.
But investigators say Cummings was looking for
more than water. They believe he was in search of easy
money to buy crack cocaine, and that the white wood
frame store with the 74-year-old man behind the counter
must have seemed like the perfect place to get it.
Just to be sure, Cummings reportedly drove around
the Ash area and checked out some other businesses.
Witnesses have told detectives they saw Cummings and
the van at several locations that evening. They are glad
he didn't stay. But they wish he had never returned to
the Bamboo Corner store.
It appears that when Cummings went inside and de
manded money, Babson refused and grabbed his .38
special revolver. The two men struggled over the gun
and Babson lost the fight.
He was shot at least three times?in the arm, in the
back and in the right eye?according to sheriff's
Detective Tom Hunter, who tracked down Cummings
and had a warrant issued for his arrest on a murder
Babson's wife Jewell had just returned to the couple's
trailer next door after bringing her husband a plate of
biscuits and strawberries when she heard the gunshots.
She went outside and looked into the store, where she
saw a man standing at the far door.
She walked around the building to investigate. When
she came around the corner, the man fired the pistol. As
she turned and ran off, she heard another shot.
After the man left, Jewell went into the store and
found her husband lying on the floor behind the counter
with his head resting in the chair.
Late Saturday night. Detective Hunter was returning
from Babson's autopsy in Jacksonville when he heard a
call on the radio. He had issued a bulletin to watch for
the suspected killer. But he wasn't expecting much, con
sidering that the only description available was "a white
male driving a white Ford van."
"A real sharp Sampson County deputy was question
ing a guy he picked up that morning for breaking into a
car and stealing a purse," Hunter said. "He remembered
the guy was driving a white van that had just been re
painted. He called Brunswick County and I headed
straight for Clinton."
Authorities there found out that Cummings' van had
been reported stolen from Lumberton, Hunter said. They
also told liiin that Cummings had apparently parked it
(See RED SPRINGS, Page 2-A)
To Holden Beach Board
BY DOUG RUTTER
"I'd like to balance the beauty of the island
with growth and development. I'd like to have a
That's the goal of Marlaine
Thomas, the newest member
of the Holden Beach Board of
"I think it's an honor to be
a commissioner," said Tho
mas, an island property owner
since 1979 and permanent
resident for four years.
A receptionist at Coastal
Development and Realty, THOMAS
Thomas was appointed to the town board last
Wednesday. She had been serving as an alternate
on the Holden Beach Board of Adjustment.
Thomas was one of two people nominated to
fill the vacant seat that was created earlier this
month when Mayor Wally Ausley died and
Commissioner Gay Atkins was appointed mayor.
Nominated by Commissioner Sid Swarts,
board members Jim Fournier and Dwight Carroll
also voted to appoint Thomas.
Commissioner David Sandifer nominated and
voted for Holden Beach builder Jeff Lee, who had
fallen three votes short of being elected to the
board of commissioners last November.
Lee received 140 votes in the 1993 town elec
tion, while Fournier, the fifth-highest vote-getter
among town board candidates, received 143.
Prior to the appointment, while the board was
receiving public comments, resident Jim Lowell
suggested that commissioners appoint the sixth
highest vote-getter in the last election, which was
'i would think such a decision would not be
challenged by anyone," Lowell said.
However, most of the commissioners disre
garded Lowell's suggestion. There was no public
discussion of the two nominees before the vote.
Immediately after the appointment. Town
Clerk Joyce Shore administered the oath of office
and Thomas took her seat at the commissioners'
tabie for the rest of the meeting.
Thomas and her husband, Cosby, live at 118
Frigate Drive. Their daughter and her family lives
in Charlotte, and their son will graduate from
Wake Forest University Law School next month.
Swarts, who has served as a commissioner
since 1991, was later appointed mayor pro tem on
a unanimous vote of the board. He fills the posi
tion previously held by Atkins.
Business News 10-11C
Church News 10A
Crime Report ????????????? 12D
Court Docket.........10-1 ID
Golf ?????????? ????????????????????? .5D
People In The News 8B
Plant Doctor .5B
'Nuclear Port Of Choice?'
Sunny Point isn't necessarily on its way to becoming the "nuclear
port of choice," a possibility one speaker warned of at a county commis
sioners' meeting in March.
But that possibility hasn't been ruled out.
The 409 spent fuel rods expected to begin moving through the termi
nal as early as this summer may be just the beginning of a renewed flow
of spent fuel coming into this country from foreign research reactors.
The U.S. Department of Energy is preparing an environmental im
pact statement for a proposed policy to accept up to 15,000 spent fuel el
ements over a 10- to lS-year period. A draft statement is expected to be
issued for public comment and hearing this December, with a final state
ment and a decision expected by the end of 1995. The goal of the project
is to keep weapon-quality nuclear materials off the international market.
Tim Harms, a U.S. Energy Department spokesman, said the Army
terminal's selection for these first shipments doesn't mean it will be the
port chosen to receive post 1995-shipments.
"We're wide open as to where would be the best place to bring those
in, if we decide to do it. We haven't made that decision," he said.
Sunny Point's military mission and level of activity are the key fac
(Stt JUST A BEGINNING?, Page 2-A)
FIRST FUEL SHIPMENT EXPECTED THIS SUMMER
Sunny Point Selection No Surprise To Local Official
BY SUSAN USHER
News that Sunny Point Military Ocean
Terminal will he the port of entry for 409 spent
nuclear fuel elements being returned to the United
States from European research reactors was no
surprise last Friday to Cecil Logan, Brunswick
County's emergency management coordinator.
"I feel like when we had the public meeting
here they had just about made up their minds.
Based on their questions and comments, I kind of
expected this," said Logan.
"I have some concerns, but I'm not fighting it.
Any time you're dealing with a shipment of haz
ardous waste there's a concern of an accident. I
do appreciate the Department of Energy listening
to our concerns about transporting it by rail in
stead of the highway."
His department already has a spent fuel plan in
place for CP&L spent fuel rod shipments from
the utility's Brunswick Nuclear Plant to its
Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant near Raleigh. The
same route through Brunswick County will be
used for these spent fuel shipments.
Logan's biggest concern is that the U.S.
Department of Energy or some other party "stay
on top of things" and carefully monitor the load
ing and unloading and shipping of the casks, as is
done with domestic fuel shipments.
Sunny Point was named the port of choice over
four other likely sites, Charleston, S.C.,
Jacksonville, Fla., Savannah, Ga., and
Wilmington, because of its relative isolation, ex
perience handling hazardous materials and prox
imity?424> miles by rail?to the Savannah River
The decision was made over protests by state
and local officials and was part of a federal find
ing of no significant environmental impact an
"Although the impacts are minimal regardless
of the port selected, the use of Sunny Point is ad
vantageous," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel
R. O'Leary. Shippers will use Sunny Point "to
the maximum extent practicable," with use of the
other four ports not entirely ruled out.
The fuel is being returned here to limit interna
tional commerce in highly-enriched uranium that
can be used to make nuclear weapons, in keeping
with the country's nuclear weapons nonprolifera
tion policy. The reactors were running out of stor
age space, facing either shutdown or reprocessing
of spent fuel probably into the same highly-en
riched formula instead of the less efficient, low
(See SUNNY, Page 2-A)