North Carolina Newspapers

    An Ouch Of Prevention
Influenza vaccinations are available through
the health department to people at risk of
catching the bug. Page 12-A
Drop Back in
High school equivalency tests (and help
preparing for them) are being offered at
three local sites during October. Page 3-B
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SPR I NGPORT MI 4 928 4.
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Friday Night Fever
West travels to Burgaw seeking
its fourth consecutive win of
the season. Page 2-D
pThirty- Second Yeor, Number 48
Shollotte, North Carolina, Thursday, September 29, 1 994
50< Per Copy 42 Pages, 4 Sections, Plus Inserts
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A Fine Day For Fishing
A sprinkle of sunshine and a patch of neater dra h eager anglers the
marsh along the Sunset Beach causeway. Cottier temperatures are
expected to create uleal angling conditions for the weekend.
Ford Pleads Guilty, Sentenced
To Life-Plus-20 In Davis Killing
After hearing eight jurors say they
would have him executed if the evi
dence called for it. Frank Lenail
Ford dccidcd not to give them that
The 22-year-old Bolivia man was
sentenced to life in prison plus 20
years after pleading guilty to sec
ond-degree murder and conspiracy
to commit murder in the brutal Nov.
28 slaying of Charles Wayne
"Butch" Davis.
As the second week of jury selec
tion began in his first-degree murder
trial Monday, Ford told defense at
torneys Michael Ramos and James
Payne that he might be willing to ac
cept the state's offer of a plea bar
gain. After speaking with his mother
and his lawyers in jail Monday
night, l ord agreed to the arrange
ment Tuesday morning.
Before returning to the jail. Ford
faced the father and uncle of the
man he killed and apologized.
"I just want you to know that I'm
sorry for what happened," he said. "I
don't expect you to forgive me."
As they made their way out of the
courtroom after the trial, members
of the two families hugged each oth
er in acknowledgement of a shared
Ford could have received the
death penalty, especially if the jury
found him guilty of the other
chargcs against him. which included
Martin Marietta Sues
Over Mining Ordinance
A company seeking In operate a
lime-tone quarry near Southport
filed suit Tuesday in Brunswick
County Superior Court and in U S.
District Court seeking to overturn a
new county ordinance that would
stop the project.
The ordinance adopted Jan 4 on a
3-2 vote of Brunswick County
Commissioners would prohibit min
ing with a combination of explo
sives and dewatcring within a five
mile radius of either CP&L's Bruns
wick Nuclear Plant and the Sunny
Point Military Ocean Terminal.
Civil suits filed by Martin Mar
ietta Materials. Inc. claim the ordi
nance "was passed only to prevent
what a county commissioner re
ferred to as the Martin Marietta'
type mining " In going forward with
the project it claims to have acted
"in good faith" based on more than
two years of positive contact with
county officials, many of whom are
no longer in office.
Between 1W0 and October 1993,
Martin Marietta claims to have spent
more than SI. 5 million on the pro
The company is asking the court
to rule that the ordinance does not
apply to Martin Marietta's project,
to derfarc ?t void and to issiK 21, in
junction preventing the county from
enforcing the ordinance as it relates
to the mining company's develop
ment of the property as a quarry.
If those motions arc not granted,
it asks the court to declare the coun
ty's action a illegal "taking" of the
property and require it to pay for the
A news release from John F.
Long, Martin Marietta's director of
government affairs, quotes a compa
ny spokesman as saying, "We are
committed to pursuing this project
in a way that is consistent with safe
"We would have preferred to
work with the county to resolve out
standing issues, but in light of the
county's actions in passing the ordi
nance, we found it necessary to seek
appropriate relief in court."
Reaction to the suits varied
Tuesday. Don Warren, chairman of
the hoard of commissioners, said he
wasn't surprised to hear of the suit
because the county had expected
this outcome. He said he would like
to see the county defend itself in
Bob Quinn, past president of the
Brunswick County Mining Aware
ness Committee, hailed the lawsuit
as an indicator Martin Marietta
docsn'i cApcci io receive a state
mining permit for the proposed
limestone quarry and predicted that
the county would win the case.
"If they thought for a minute that
there was a chance of them getting a
permit, they'd be sitting back on
their rocking chairs waiting," he
Warren said he also thinks the or
dinance can be defended successful
"We drafted the ordinance with
(Set LAWSUIT, Page 2-A)
Island Value Said Just Over $1 Million
A county id a appeal board dropped the value of
Bird Island by $634,000 Tuesday, setting its fair mar
ket value at just over $1 million based on availability
of 33 acres of uplands for development.
Previously the county's $1.64 million valuation of
the undeveloped island southwest of Sunset Beach was
based on an estimation that 85 acres could be devel
oped. It set a raw value of $180,000 per acre under
ideal conditions. Then, allowing for factors such as
difficulty of access and total development costs, the
county adjusted the valuation to 10 perceni of that
sum, or $18,000 per acre.
Price's son, Rees Poag of Sunset Beach, appeared
before the Brunswick County Equalization and Re
view Board Sept. 20 on her behalf to appeal the new
^valuation, pointing out that a study commissioned by
the town of Sunset Beach identified 33 developable
' acres, not 85 acres.
The board applied the same $180,000 per acre value
to the 33 acres Tuesday. It then adjusted the net unit
value upward to 15 percent, or $27,000 per acre to ar
rive at a "reasonable value" for the property.
"When you have that much less acreage to develop,
the board felt that even though a bridge and roads
would still be needed, the overall development costs
would be less and the per-acre value would be become
more as a result," said John Thompson, chairman of
the review board which heard the appeal filed by is
land owner Janie P. Price of Greensboro.
"It's our best judgment, given the advice and exper ?
tise of the appraiser hired by the county. Until some
thing's sold no one really knows what its value is."
Another 1,115 acres of wetlands and high marsh re
mains valued at $100 an acre.
The last time the county revalued real property, in
1986, Bird Island was valued at $539, (XX) and the
Prices did not appeal.
IAWYERS for accused murderer Frank Ford confer during his
trial, which ended in a plea bargain Tuesday morning. Shown
(from left) are attorneys James Payne and Michael Ramos with
kidnapping and conspiracy to com
mit murder.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys
both acknowledged the wisdom of
Ford pleading guilty to the lesser
charge, agreeing that evidence in the
case was more likely to result in a
conviction for second degree murder
than the capital offense.
Seven co-defendants were expect
ed to testify that Ford led a group of
10 young people to the Davis home
on Albright Road in Bolivia that
night to take revenge for words spo
ken during an argument earlier that
evening. Assistant District Attorney
Lee Bollinger said Tuesday.
Several witnesses would have
told the jury they saw Ford shoot
Davis in the back with a pistol after
Ford and two other men dragged
him from his car. Some would have
described how Davis was beaten and
struck in the head with a machete as
he lay fatally wounded in his drive
But it would have been up to the
jury to decide whether the murder
was premeditated. Most of the wit
nesses were likely to claim the gang
went with Ford to Davis's trailer "to
teach him a lesson," and things went
too far, Bollinger said.
"I think it was a good plea for the
state," Bollinger said. "I think it was
pretty close to what we would have
guucEi nau wc incu ine ease 10 a
conviction. The state had over
whelming evidence. I have absolute
ly Vo doubt that the jury would have
decided on a minimum of second
degree and possibly first-degree
"But he had two of the finest
lawyers in the county," Bollinger
said. "I feel they did a real good job
for him. It would have been a close
call for the jury to convict on first
degree. I explained our best expecta
tions and our risks to the Davis fam
ily and they arc satisfied with the
plea arrangement."
Bollinger said the state's evidence
would have shown that the murder
was a direct result of a verbal alter
cation between Ford and Davis at a
Bolivia mobile home park. Davis
and a man named Joey Brown went
there to speak with someone and
met Ford outside the trailer. He told
them that no one was home.
Hearing movement inside, Davis
knocked on the door anyway, which
resulted in an angry response from
Ford, who pushed Davis away,
Bollinger said. More words were ex
changed as Davis got into his car to
leave. Ford then approached the ve
hicle and smashed the driver's side
window, sending glass flying at
Brown, who reacted angrily.
Davis drove off with Ford pursu
ing them on foot, Bollinger said.
After dropping Brown at his home,
Davis headed back down Midway
Road toward its intersection with
Albright Road.
Meanwhile, Brown sent a friend
to tell Ford that he "better watch his
back because he had a whipping
coming," Bollinger said. After re
ceiving the message. Ford and nine
(See PLEA, Page 2-A)
im ii oi;
Fatal Accident
One person was killed and two others were injured Tuesday in a head-on collision south of Shallotte.
The accident involving a station wagon and pickup truck happened around 2:30 p.m. near the inter
section of N.C. 1 79 and Village Point Road just outside the Shallotte town limits. The man who was
driving the station wagon died at the scene. Further details were not available at press time. The N.C.
Highway Patrol could not provide additional information at the scene and did not return several tele
phone calls from The Brunswick Beacon.
Bird Island Qualifies For Customized
Use Standards, But May Not Get Them
While a field study confirms that Bird Island qualifies
for additional state protection in the form of custom-de
signed use standards, that doesn't mean the southwest
ern Brunswick County barrier island will get it.
"When the committee makes this decision then 1 want
it to have a firm basis for it so it won't come flying back
at us," said Dave Adams, vice chairman of the Coastal
Resource Commission's Planning and Special Issues
Committee. "Because it qualifies doesn't mean it will be
an AEC."
But should the CRC decide to designate the island as
a Coastal Complex Natural Area of Environmental
Concern, the N.C. Office of Coastal Management staff
plans to have a proposed set of use standards ready, as
requested by the CRC in July.
Staff member Evan Brunson said possible use stan
dards might include, in addition to existing CAMA reg
ulations, such things as establishing building setbacks.
regulating illumination to protect nesting sea turtles,
limiting land-disturbing activities on individual lots and
requiring that the island transportation system bridge
wetlands, regulation of density, with a look at allowing
clustered development, consideration of whether a com
munity dock or individual docks should be allowed, and
encouraging the town to require an architectural review
board. The Bird Island Preservation Society will include
public education and interpretation among its suggested
use standards, said President Bill Duckcr.
Brunson invited suggestions from all parties, and said
so far his office hasn't heard back from any in the scien
tific community
At the Planning and Special Issues Committee meet
ing in November, Brunson said staff will present a re
view of applicable regulations and the extent to which
they protect the three areas in which Bird Island quali
fies for the AliC: habitat for listed plant and animal
(See ISI AND, Page 2-A)

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