9/4/20: SOUTHERN SHORES POLICE ARREST SECOND N. DOGWOOD TRAIL RESIDENT ON DRUG CHARGES. Calls for Police Service This Summer Up About 50 Percent Over Last Summer.

The front of the new SSVFD fire station at 15 S. Dogwood Trail as it appeared today. The station is expected to be operational later this month.

Police arrested Ken A. Kelley of North Dogwood Trail in Southern Shores on Aug. 29 and charged him with various drug-dealing and drug possession offenses after executing a search warrant at his residence and seizing “a large amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and drug equipment,” according to a media statement released yesterday by the Southern Shores Police Dept.

The Department’s release also announced three other recent felony drug-related arrests in Southern Shores, but only one was of a town resident.

This is the second time in a month that law enforcement officials have arrested a North Dogwood Trail resident for drug crimes. On Aug. 5, the Dare County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on South Dogwood Trail near the Kitty Hawk Elementary School and arrested Carlton Lynn Morris, Jr., charging him with trafficking in heroin and possession of cocaine, the Sheriff’s Office reported last month.

Mr. Kelley was reportedly released on a $4,000 secured bond.

Mr. Morris was released previously on a $15,000 secured bond, according to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, which credited the Camden County Sheriff’s Office with assisting in its investigation and arrest.

Mr. Morris was described by the Dare County Sheriff’s Office as being a resident of the 300 block of North Dogwood Trail. The Southern Shores Police Dept. did not provide a block address for Mr. Kelley in its statement.

North Dogwood Trail is a tree-lined, lightly traveled road that runs along the Currituck Sound. The peaceful and picturesque street becomes a single lane at 291 N. Dogwood and dead-ends in a secluded cul de sac, where the highest numbered address is 341 N. Dogwood.

Among the charges filed against Mr. Kelley were felony possession with the intent to sell and deliver schedule VI (marijuana) and felony maintaining a dwelling, according to the Southern Shores Police announcement.

It would appear that Southern Shores has had a drug house on North Dogwood Trail—certainly rumors have been to that effect—but the police statement does not elaborate on the situation. The charge of “felony maintaining a dwelling” refers to maintaining a dwelling for use, storage, or sale of controlled substances.

During his report to the Town Council Tuesday evening, Police Chief David Kole said that most of the people arrested in town lately on drug-related charges are “not from here,” but rather from “across the bridge.”

Drug-related arrests have increased this summer over last summer, he said, an increase that he attributed to the pandemic and the influx of people to the Outer Banks. Southern Shores’ drug-related arrests have been the result of either traffic stops or “drug incidents we’ve been investigating over several months,” Chief Kole said.

Southern Shores police officers made seven drug-related arrests in July, according to the Chief’s report for that month. In August, he said, 16 total criminal arrests occurred, involving 37 charges, and 19 of those charges were drug-related. He did not specify how many of the 16 arrests were of people charged with drug-related offenses.

Chief Kole described the drug offenses as being for “dealing . . . selling and using,” in response to a question from a Town Council member about the nature of the offenses.

Overall, according to the Chief, the Police Department received 2,045 “calls for service” in July, an increase of 53 percent over the 1,338 calls received in July 2019. In August, he said, the Department received 1,873 calls for service, an increase of 49 percent over the 1,257 calls received in August 2019.

Chief Kole also announced that in the next two weeks Southern Shores officers will start wearing body cameras in the field.  

(If you would like to read about the three other drug-related arrests made by the Southern Shores Police Dept., one of which was of a Virginia fugitive now living in Nags Head, we refer you to reports in The Coastland Times and OBX Today, which reproduced the press release. )

After his report to the Town Council, Chief Kole was asked about how many of the traffic citations issued by his officers in July and August were attributable to the cut-through traffic. His quick, precise response of “73 percent” elicited laughter.

If you would like to know how many citations 73 percent would be, we refer you to the YouTube videotape of the Town Council’s meeting and Chief Kole’s report therein.

The Beacon tuned into the Council meeting live via Zoom and had persistent problems with hearing the speakers, especially Chief Kole. In preparing this posting, we viewed a section of the YouTube meeting videotape and discovered, much to our surprise and delight, that not only could we hear every word of every speaker, but we could actually see speakers who are typically off-screen or who have their backs to the camera.

The videotape camera actually followed the action of the meeting and focused on speakers! When Town Manager Cliff Ogburn spoke, we could see his face, not just his back. It’s a breakthrough!

Watching the meeting on videotape turned out to be a far more productive exercise for us than joining it live on Zoom, a communication platform that will always show a static picture and be hampered by sound-quality issues.

Thanks to a roving videotape camera, we could see Chief Kole at the speakers’ lectern, as well as Fire Chief Ed Limbacher, who reported Tuesday that the architects of the new fire station on South Dogwood Trail will do a final walk-through with Town Building Inspector Buddy Shelton on Sept. 16-17. Once Mr. Shelton issues a certificate of occupancy, the SSVFD will move in, Chief Limbacher said.

THERE WILL BE GARBAGE PICKUP ON LABOR DAY, BUT NO MORE FRIDAYS

Today was the last scheduled garbage pickup this year in Southern Shores on a Friday. The Town returns to its off-season schedule on Monday. Please note: Garbage will be collected on Monday, Labor Day.

Mr.Ogburn left open the possibility that, if the tonnage of trash produced by visitors to Southern Shores continues in September and October to be as high as it was over the summer, Friday garbage pickups may resume for the short term.

FLAG FLYING AT HALF-STAFF

You may have noticed the North Carolina flag being flown Wednesday, yesterday, and today at half-staff. Governor Roy Cooper ordered all state flags at state facilities to fly at half-staff from Sept. 2 until sunset today in honor of former N.C. Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, 50, who died Tuesday of breast cancer.

An attorney, Representative Goodwin served three terms in the N.C. House (2004-10), representing the 66th district, which includes Richmond and Montgomery counties and a part of Stanly County. In 2008, Ms. Goodwin became the first member of the N.C. General Assembly to give birth while in office, when her second daughter was born.  

Representative Goodwin decided not to run for a fourth House term and was appointed to the N.C. Industrial Commission. She was Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Industrial Commission at the time of her death.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 9/4/20

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