Sunset Beach Town Council sticks with its
zoning plan for Bird Island. Hunting is
banned throughout the town. Page7-A .
Strike Up The Band
Bolivia's first Christmas parade is set for
i Saturday. The fun starts at 11 a.m. The
* lineup is on Page4-B.
3' I BB I
| West Brunswick High School's girls and boys
are victorious in Friday night hoops against
North Sports. Section D.
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SPRINGF'ORT MI 49284
^ DrrvxiMurv?M ? * x mr m
j Thirty-Third Year, Number 6 _.. ,.. ^..otina, Thursday, December 8 1 994
50* Per Copy 46 Pages, 4 Sections, Plus Inserts
STAFF PHOTOS BY EWC CAJtLSON
Santa Clous tosses a handful of candy to eager children awaiting his climactic arrival at the annual Christmas parade through
Shallotte last weekend. Meanwhile, 15-month old Heather Taylor of Seaside found a bottle of warm milk more to her liking as she en
joyed the festivities from a prim e vantage point on Main Street.
JONES CHAIRMAN . COLLIER VICE-CHAIR
New Commissioners Reverse Old Board's Vote
BY ERIC C ARLSON
Republican commissioners look
control of county government Mon
day night, appointing four-year vet
eran Jerry Jones chairman and new
ly circled board member Ixslic
Collier vice chairman in split votes
along party lines
Second-term Commissioner Tom
Rabon nominated fellow Democrat
Bill Sue to be chairman. Sue re
turned the favor by suggesting
Rabon for the second seat.
Both of the Democrats alternative
nominations were defeated when
newcomer Douglas Simmons joined
Jones and Collier to assure
Republican leadership on the board.
The board did not vote to appoint
a county clerk, a county manager or
a county attor
ney. Until fur
ther action by
the hoard, Joyce
Johnson will re
clerk, while Wy
serves as county
continues his du- JONES
tics as county attorney.
A swearing-in ceremony for the
commissioners and the presentation
of a service award to outgoing mem
ber Wayland Vereen preceded the
new board's first regular meeting.
Former Chairman Don Warren
and Commissioner Donald Shaw,
who were likewise defeated in the
November election, did not attend
the traditional change-of -office cere
mony or a reception for outgoing
board members before the meeting.
Collier, who is the first Repub
lican woman ever to be elected com
missioner in Brunswick County,
quickly sparked a minor controversy
when she asked the new board to
overturn an action made last week
during the old board's final meeting.
A majority agreed to remove
Southpoit zoning activist Robert
Quinn from the newly formed
Zoning Overlay Advisory Com
mittee and to return former ap
pointee Rosetta Short to the post.
The overlay group was formed to
study the potential need for special
that would pro
tally sensitive ar
eas of the coun
ty. Its recom
to be brought to
the county plan
ning tx>ard for
COLLIER Short, who is
a member of the N.C. Coastal Res
ources Advisory Council, was
named to the local seven-member
committee by former Commissioner
Vereen in September. Then last
week, during his last meeting as a
board member, Vereen asked fellow
commissioners to replace Short with
Republican Shaw and Democrat
Warren backed Vereen and agreed to
approve the change. Jones voted
against the move.
Quinn was among the founders of
the Brunswick Mining Awareness
Committee, a citizen action group
that mounted a successful protest to
stop Martin Marietta Aggregates
from opening a limestone mine on
land it owns near Southport.
Facing increasing pressure to
head off the proposal. Democrat
commissioners eventually agreed to
enact a law prohibiting the mine.
The ordinance passed despite no
votes from Shaw and Jones, who is
also a member of the planning
Vereen was defeated by Collier in
the general election last month. His
removal of Short from the advisory
committee may have resulted from
her support of Collier's candidacy.
Collier's motion Monday to re
turn Short to the committee was ap
proved 4-to-l, with Sue dissenting.
Commissioner Rabon joined the
Republicaas in voting to return the
zoning committee to its original
After the meeting, Sue criticized
the replacement, insisting that Quinn
has more knowledge about the is
sues likely to be addressed by the
"Bob Quinn knows more about
zoning than anybody on that com
mittee," Sue said. "He's studied it
inside and out. He knows the laws.
He knows zoning."
Collier defended her action, say
ing she felt the commissioners acted
wisely in creating what she called a
"very representative, well-rounded
committee." She said Short "wanted
to stay" on the board and was sur
prised to learn of her replacement.
"I've known her for a long time
and I have a great deal of respect for
her," Collier said. "I thought she
brought great strengths to the com
mittee, which is supposed to take a
county-wide look at the zoning law.
Mr. Vereen did a great job with her
appointment. I'd like to give the
committee a chance to get off the
Testimony Expected To Begin
Thursday In Cummings Trial
BY ERIC CARLSON
Twelve jurors have been seated and opening argu
ments are expected to begin Thursday morning in the
first-degree murder trial of a Robeson County man ac
cused of shooting an Ash store owner to death during a
robbery attempt last April.
After questioning more than 75 jurors in seven days,
prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed on a pan
el of eight women and four men to hear the case against
Daniel Cummings Jr., 39, of Red Springs, Assistant
District Attorney Lee Bollinger said Tuesday.
Both sides were expected to continue questioning
Wednesday in hopes of approving two alternate jury
members who must listen to the evidence and be willing
to take the place of any juror who is unable to remain
until the trial is over.
Cummings is accused of killing Burns Everett
Babson, 74, who was found shot to death behind the
counter of his Bamboo Corner Ash Beverage store on
Whiteville Road April 22. Cummings also faces charges
of robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a
deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious in
A ' '
If convicted of first-degree murder, Cummings will
face a second proceeding before the same jury, during
which the panel must decide whether he should be put to
death or sentenced to life in prison.
The state is expected to begin its case against
Cummings Thursday with testimony from Brunswick
County Sheriff's Detective Tom Hunter, who helped
process the bloody crime scene where Babson was
found shot in the face, the back and twice in the arm.
Hunter has also been credited with obtaining the state
ments from Cummings that are likely to be the prosecu
tion's strongest evidence. In a series of interviews with
Hunter at the Sampson County Jail, Cummings alleged
ly admitted entering the Bamboo Comer store with the
intent of stealing money to buy crack cocaine.
According to copies of the alleged statements includ
ed in the court file, Cummings said he got into A struggle
with Babson inside the store.
MI believe I heard or counted about four shots that
went off inside the store. I took the old man's wallet. 1
got the money out of the cash register and left the old
man lying face down in the chair," the statement said.
Some Lose Jobs,
In New Sheriff's
BY ERIC CARLSON
As promised, Ronald Hewett said
the doors to his department have re
mained open 24 hours a day since he
was sworn in as Brunswick County
There were many changes under
way at the sheriff's department this
week as offices were re-arranged,
new furniture was brought in and
walls got a new coat of paint.
Several veteran officers were assum
ing new responsibilities while others
looked for new jobs.
Unlike other areas of county gov
ernment, state law gives the sheriff
the freedom to reorganize depart
ment personnel in any way he
chooses. Asked about the numerous
changes announced Monday, Hewett
said "decisions were made in the
best interest of the department" in an
effort "to improve its ability to func
Nine full-time deputies were not
rehired by the incoming sheriff.
Three other officers resigned.
Several of those are heading for jobs
with other law enforcement agen
Among those who lost their jobs
with the department were training
officer Lt. Carl Pearson, jail supervi
sor Capt. Douglas "Sonny" Padgett,
deputy Sgt. Donald Stovall and
deputies Anthony Key, Rebekah
McDonald, Cathy Hamilton, Joseph
Adams and Jerry Gray.
Others veteran officers, like for
mer Chief Deputy John Marlow,
were transferred to other positions in
the department. Marlow is now a
captain whose duties include those
of chief jailer and supervisor of
bailiffs. He will retain his former
SBI agent and
Snead as his
Snead began his
career as a law
ficer in 1965
with the N.C.
where he served for more than eight
years before working another 29
years with the N.C. State Bureau of
As chief deputy, Snead will over
see the daily operations of the sher
iff's department and act on behalf of
the sheriff in his absence. Snead's
duties include overall supervision of
detectives, narcotics investigators,
patrol deputies and the Emergency
"Die former supervisor of civil
process, Larry Jones, has been pro
moted from lieutenant to captain of
administration with departmental
budgeting responsibilities added to
his other duties.
Capt. Phil Perry will retain his
(See CHANGES, Page 2-A)
County Employee Who Won
Lawsuit Is Named Detective
Zelma Babson ? the former
Brunswick County Animal Control
Supervisor who was fired in 1991
and won a job at the sheriff's depart
ment last year as part of a legal set
tlement ? was promoted from jailer
to detective Monday under Sheriff'
Ronald Hewett's reorganization of
Assuming the returning officers
retain their past salaries, Babson will
remain one of the highest-paid
deputies in the department, earning
more than all but the most senior de
tectives and narcotics investigators.
The settlement of Babson's legal
dispute with the county called for
her to be given a job in the sheriff's
office at the salary she would have
made after continuous employment
with the county health department.
According to the most recent fig
ures available from the county per
sonnel department, Babson's annual
salary last week was $24,750. The
other 1 2 jailers were being paid be
tween $16,303 and $16,792.
At the same time, 13 of the de
partment's detectives and patrol
sergeants were making between
$21,354 and $21,995. Narcotics in
vestigators were earning an annual
salary of either $21,995 or $22,525.
Sheriff Hewett on Monday said
he would not comment about indi
vidual personnel decisions or
salaries in the department. He noted
that Babson has recently taken on
other duties besides jailer, including
service as a prisoner transport offi
cer and bailiff.
In the past, most deputies who
were hired by the sheriff's depart
ment without previous law-enforce
ment experience have begun work
as jailers. After gaining experience
working with prisoners, they were
(See BABSON, Page 2-A)
mma ? t 1
swf photo rr doug turn*
Road Wo rk
Workers with Apac-Carolina Inc. were busy last week widening and resurfacing Smith Avenue in
Shallotte. In the future, town officials hope the road will become a major connector between US. 17
Business and US. 17 Bypass. The N.C. Department of Transportation also plans to resurface
Shallotte 's Main Street within the next few months.