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tic Hoke Cottity News - Established 1928
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' Vohuac LXXVI Nuaber 23 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROUNA
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$10 PER YEAR 25 CENTS
Thursday, September 27, 19M
Man given 5 years
for child scalding
A Hoke County man, who is
currently serving a term at McCain
Prison, wag given an Additional
five yeart in jail last week after he
was found guilty of child abuse in
Hoke County Superior Court.
During the sentencing. Judge
D.B. Herring gave James Alton
Watkins the maximum five-year
sentence, but said that if he could,
he would give him more.
Watkins, 26, was accused of
sticking a three-year-old Hoke
County child's hands in scalding
water and causing second and third
degree burns over her hands and
The child is now recovering
from the burns. She is still wearing
an "orthopedic" or elastic (love
on her left hand and has just
received permission from her doc
tor to take its mate off the right
hand, said Assistant District At
torney Jean Powell.
Although the three-year-old girl
was not allowed to testify in the
trial, she was in the court room
and would wave occasionally at the
Her hands still bear the scars of
the incident, Powell said.
She is now living with her
natural father and appears very
happy, said Powell.
Watkins was reportedly baby sit
ting with the child when the burn
According to Watkins* story,
the pair had just finished eating,
and the little girl wanted to wash
W&tkins had to go to the
bathroom at the same time, court
While he was out of the room,
he said he heard the chair she was
standing on fall as the child
hollered "hot" and when he re
entered the room, he found her
holding onto the faucet to keep
Raeford's Dr. Robert G. Town
send testified that, because of the
burns on the child's hands, the in
cident could not have occurred as
the defendant described it.
If it had, there would have been
splash marks higher on her arms
and broken blisters on the palms of
her hand from holding onto the
faucet, he said.
Instead, the burns stopped just
above the wrists at about the same
place all the way around, the arm
forming bands at the top.
The burns were "glove type,"
Townsend also said that the
bums were very typical of those of
someone whose hands had been
held in hot water.
Cape Fear Valley Medical
Center pediatric ward Head Nurse
Nancy Payne also cast doubt on
the testimony of Watkins.
During a hearing held away
from the jury, Payne said she had
heard the child say "Punky did
Punky is a nickname for
Watkins, Powell said.
Although Judge Herring heard
the testimony, it was not allowed
in court, Powell said.
The defense offered no evidence
in the case, Powell said.
Watkins is now serving a prison
sentence for food stamp fraud,
driving with his license revoked
third offense, possession of stolen
goods and possession of a fic
titious license, records show.
When his time is finished on
those charges, he will begin serving
the latest five-year sentence,
Watkins has appealed the case to
the North Carolina Court of Ap
peals, said Powell.
Judge Herring set no bond for
the appeal so even if his case has
not finished being appealed by the
time his past sentences are up, he
?Vill not get out of jail, she said.
New policies governing
By Ed ftUfer
Members of the Hoke County
Department of Social Services
(DSS) Board of Direct on adopted
a foster child care policy Monday
which is designed to improve rights
of a child to confidentiality and to
upgrade the qualifications of
The county has needed to revise
the policy for a number of yean
because there have been problems
By Sam Morris
The weather has turned hot
again and the temperature is get
ting near the 90? mark. It was
foggy Monday morning and some
places on the highways the visibili
ty was around zero.
The forecast is for this kind of
weather to be with us for the re
mainder of the week.
The Hoke County Historical
Association met at the Hoke
Library last Thursday night.The
group voted to work with the City
of Raeford to establish a historic
district for the downtown area in
cluding one block east and west of
Main Street. A letter was forward
ed to Tom Phillips, city manager.
In most cities where the
downtown area has been revitaliz
ed, historic districts were establish
ed as a first step. We hope that this
project will meet with the city
council approval and maybe
something can come from this
To , make any organization
strong, it needs members. So if you
are interested in downtown
Raeford or preserving the history
of Hoke County, then join the
association. Contact Kay Thomas
_ . ??
The Mill Prong Preservation
Sodety, Inc. wfl Mid its annual
meeting at the Antioch
Presbyterian Church on Sunday,
Sept. 10. A buffet lunch wfll be
Mrvei. Reservatiots tmk be ihade
by mafl, bys?dlng 13 before Sept.
27 to: The Mill Prong Preservation
Society, P.O. Dta*?r 10C7,
of L? i barton wil be the guest
(See ABOUND TOWN, page 7 A)
incurred that were not covered by
the old directives, DSS Director
Ken Witherspoon said.
One of the major new provisions
in the policy deals with the con
fidentiality of why a child is placed
in a foster home.
"The foster parents must in no
way violate within the community
the confidential nature of the
child's situation or the cir
cumstances of his parents causing
exploitation of the chtkf by'hls
peers, his school, or the communi
ty at large," the policy reads.
In the past, the department has
had to remove children from foster
homes because the rights of con
fidentiality were abused, Wither
Another of the new directives
deals with the spiritual upbringing
of a foster child.
This area has caused some prob
Sounds of victory
The Hoke High Band members were blowing a victory tune during
Friday night's half time performance. The Bucks topped Cape Fear
High 31-9 . We take a look at the game and other county sports on
page 8 In today's News-Journal.
Skydiver killed at airport
By Ed Miller
The death of a Fayetteville
parachutist, who was killed at the
Raeford'Hoke County Airport
Sunday after he apparently did not
pull his reserve chute during a
skydiving competition, has been
D?vid Croomer Barlow, 41, or
Fayetteville died just before noon
Sunday after his main chute failed
to deploy, Hoke County Sheriff
Dave Barrington said .
"The pins, or whatever it is that
holds the reserve chute in place had
not been- disturbed when they
found him," Barrington said.
The death was apparently ac
cidental, the sheriff said.
The Fayetteville construction
company owner was the second
parachute fatality this year at the
Hoke County facility.
Barlow was part of a four man
team that was jumping from about
7,500 feet, witnesses to the acci
There appeared to be no foul
play involved in the death, Barr
Barlow, who was Vice-President
of the Raeford Parachute Club
and who had about 1 ,000 jumps to
(See SKY DIVER, page 7A)
Preparing to search
Hoke Courtly Rescue Squad members Greg Beard
and others prepare Dick McNeill for a cool dive in
Rockfish Creek to search the contents of a car
discovered sunken last week in a deep bend in the
creek. McNeill dove on the car for about half an
hour before discovering that no one or nothing was
inside. Three hours later, the car was pulled up.
McNeill was able to read the license plate of the car
allowing sheriff's deputies to determine that the
vehicle was stolen from Cumberland County.
foster homes adopted by DSS
Terns HT the pasYj said Witherspoon.
The new policy says that the op
portunity for spiritual develop
ment must be present without im
posing the religious beliefs of the
foster parent onto the child.
A third important part of the
policy says that foster parent ap
plicants should not apply out of
Loneliness or "because I like
children" are not good reasons to
apply to 6e a foster parent, accor'-"
ding to the policy.
Part of the regulations had to be
changed to keep up with recently
"All persons transporting a
foster child of less than two years
of age shall have the child properly
secured in a child passenger
restraint which is of the type (and
which is installed in a manner) ap
proved by the Commissioner of
Motor Vehicles," the new policy
In other business at the meeting,
Witherspoon noted that over 1,200
Hoke County households received
free commodities during last
According to the director, 1,277
households were given cheese, but
ter and other goods by the DSS.
About 707 were serviced in the
first day, Witherspoon said.
Three county residents arrested
charged with business break-ins
By Ed Miller
Three Raeford men have been
arrested and charged with at least
two recent break-ins of county
businesses, local authorities said
Robin Wayne McVicker, 18,
and 21-year-old Jack Goodwin
were out of jail on SI 0,000 bond
each Monday, while John Bradly
Gordon (also known as Yogi) re
mained in custody under $60,000
Gordon's bond was set higher
than the other two men's because
he is considered to be a risk, a
Sheriff's Department spokesman
Gordon is currently on proba
tion after being convicted of drug
charges in Cumberland County,
Detective Ed Harris said.
He was also out of jail on bond
pending drug charges in Hoke
County, t\vo breaking and entering
charges and a possession of stolen
goods charge, Harris said.
Last Tuesday, Raeford Police
received a report of a break-in and
larceny at the Universal Sporting
Center on Highway 211.
Taken in that robbery were
guns, knives, ammunition and
cash totalling $8,888.20, Police
Chief Leonard Wiggins said.
About $1,500 worth of the
stolen material was recovered near
the scene of the crime, Wiggins
The stolen goods had been put
somewhere else in the store
perhaps so the perpetrators could
come back and remove it later,
The men were arrested this past
Sunday, Harris said.
Sheriff's deputies also received a
report last Tuesday that The Little
Whale Restaurant was broken into
and robbed of a total of $1,317.37
in food stuffs, reports say.
According to the reports, one
and a half cases of rib eye steaks
were taken and were valued at
Gordon and McVicker were
charged with both break-ins, while
Goodwin also faces additional
charges of possession of stolen
goods, Wiggins said.
According to Wiggins, the
Universal Sporting Center was
broken into again Sunday night,
An undetermined amount of
merchandise was taken in that
case, said Wiggins.
Neither Gordon nor McVicker
had been charged with that break
in as of Monday afternoon, the
Raeford historic district eyed
By Ed MUlcr
If plans by the Hoke Historic
Association are approved and im
plemented by the Raeford City
Council, the city could have a
downtown historic district. City
Manager Tom Phillips said Tues
A letter, which outlined a resolu
tion adopted by the association to
support the creation of a district,
was given to Phillips last week by
Project Chairperson Kay Thomas,
the city manager said.
"Basically, they're asking to
create a historic district," the
The area is to encompass the
downtown area including Main
Street and one block east and west.
A meeting has been scheduled
between Thomas and Phillip*
Wednesday afternoon to discuss
the feasability of the idea.
Although Phillips has never
been involved with creating a
historic district, he is aware of
some places that have, he said.
One such town is Kenansville,
That town has dated and
researched background on many
of the old buildings and homes in
the town, he said. .
According to Phillips, a building
- by ? building tour to establish
which are of significance would
have to be implemented as a part
of putting in the historic district in
"I would imagine that there
would have to be an inventory of
buildings," he said.
Such things as tvpe* of cr?n?frur
tion, how old a building is,
whether it is uniquely built, and if
anyone of historic significance had
anything to do with the building
will need to be examined, said
A building that has "something
that modern- day craftsmen don't
do" or was the site of an historic
event would be considered impor
tant, he said.
If the city coundl approves the
district, it would then have to be
created and then the coundl could
"make it attractive for people to
refurbish old buildings," Phillips
Some Raeford residents fed that
the creation of the district could be
the first slept in an
downtown revtuttsatlon effort.