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The Hoke County News - Established 1928 The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
Volume LXXV1 Number 47 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA $10 PER YEAR 25 CENTS Thursday, March 14, 1985
'Proposed phone rates called windfall
By Warren Johnston
If proposed local service rates
between Hoke County and Fayet
teville exchanges are implemented,
Carolina Telephone Company
) could have a "windfall" revenue
increase of $1.73 million during
the first year, a spokesman for the
Tarboro firm said last week.
With the rate schedule proposed
to the North Carolina Utilities
Commission, Carolina Telephone
would have an approximate gross
revenue of $2.38 million during the
first year for the service from
Hoke County to Fayetteville.
) Long distance service between
the exchanges is currently grossing
$634,000 annually, spokesman
David Tharrington said.
Tharrington, who is the local
rates manager for Carolina
Telephone, said he was unsure how
much of the increase would be pro
fit, but that the "potential
existed" for the company to make
"The rate structure we proposed
is based on companywide EAS
(Extended Area Service) costs. We
can't tell if the costs for providing
EAS from Fayetteville to Raeford
will be high or low," Tharrington
Ten years ago EAS was
established between Parkton and
Fayetteville for $250,000.
Costs estimates for equipment to
put Hoke County on the Fayet
teville exchange were not available
and were not used to figure the
proposed rate structure.
"We say we will provide the ser
vice no matter what the costs,"
Although apparently no costs
have been determined for switch
ing the service from long distance
to local, Carolina Telephone is
proposing a 57% increase in rates
for Hoke County residential and
business phones and a 13% in
Here is how the argument over
the change in service is taking
?Local supporters feel the shift
in service would improve the quali
ty of life by making Hoke County
more attractive for new residents,
businesses and industries to move
?If the county grows, individual
property taxes will decrease, more
services can be provided and
schools can be improved, backers
of the change say.
?In January, Carolina
Telephone records showed 91,136
base telephones in Fayetteville and
Ft. Bragg would be affected by the
change in service. About 16,000 of
the phones are business.
?In Hoke County about 4,800
phones would be affected, which is
about 1 ,000 more than the county
had in 1976 when a vote on the
change failed to pass.
?Over $53,000 per month is
billed by Carolina Telephone for
long distance service between the
exchanges. About $29,000 of the
monthly billing is made from Hoke
County to Fayetteville.
?If the billing of long distance
calls from Hoke County is spread
over the total number of local
phones affected by the shift, the
monthly average would be $6.05
per phone, which is greater than
the proposed residential rate hike
Intrastate long distance calls will
be de-regulated in the next two
years, and the costs of calling be
tween Hoke County and Fayet
teville will be affected.
Previously Tharrington said
costs might go up, but after more
investigation, he said Monday the
"short haul" charges might
"The overall impact (of the de
regulation) might be that the rates
come down," Tharrington said.
Currently Carolina Telephone
pools the revenue from intrastate
long distance calls with other
North Carolina firms.
Profits are based on average
costs of all the companies taking
part in the pool. After de
regulation, revenues will no longer
Tharrington was unsure whether
de-regulation of intrastate calls
would reduce Carolina
Telephone's costs, but did say that
the present rates for calls between
Raeford and Fayetteville were pro
"The present rate structure is
not losing money," he said.
County backs motel sewer
v By Ed Miller
Members of the Hoke County
Commission agreed Monday to
cover half of the cost of installing
water and sewer lines to a new
motel planned for Raeford.
The move was the first time in
recent memory, that the county
has agreed to joint venture a utility
project with the City of Raeford to
AProvide service for an incoming
In action last week, the city had
agreed to provide the lines in hopes
that the county would share in the
"We've pretty much got our
necks out on-A-lMBfe/-' -City Coun
cilman and Raeford-Hdke
Economic Commissioner Vardell
Hedgpeth said during a presenta
tion in Monday's meeting.
"We knew we couldn't afford it
all but we felt that we had to take
action," Hedgpeth said.
According to the City Coun
cilman, the project is estimated to
cost about $40,000.
By Sam Morris
The weather is still nice and if we
can get by another week, I believe
that the cold weather will be over
for the year.
It is just a week until spring and
usually we don't have much bad
^weather after spring arrives. It was
cold enough in January and
February to take care of winter.
? * ?
It seems only yesterday that the
television screen was filled with
political advertisements. Now ac
cording to the news, Senator John
East is going to start-his campaign
ads on TV. It is almost two years
away before the election and this
9seems to me, a bad idea. Most peo
ple are tired of looking at political
ads on TV.
Now don't get me wrong, I
believe in ads and think, of course,
newspapers are best, but remember
it is how and when you advertise
that pays off. As the old saying
goes, "it would be hard to sell
refrigerators to Eskimos."
? ? ?
? Don't forget to mark your calen
dar in April for the circus to be
sponsored by the Raeford Kiwanis
Club. It has been years since I have
been to a circus. The last time was
in Raleigh when my children were
small. Now I believe I can go again
and take my grandson, James, and
enjoy it once AGAIN.
? ? ?
It was good to read last week
fabout the new motel coming to
^Raeford. This is something that
has been needed in the city for
many years. When we used to have
men here to work on the equip
ment at Dickson Press, it was bad
to have to send them to Southern
Pines or FayetteviUe to spend the
night. Besides it added to the
repair bUI because of the mileage in
their rental cars. Yes, we do need a
v The restoration of the old
(See AROUND, page 9A>
"The city felt that a 50-50 ar
rangement was fair," he said.
Figuring a $900,000 tax evalua
tion on the motel and an accompa
nying restaurant, it should take the
county about five years to make
back the money invested, said
County Manager William Cowan
and Commission Chairman John
"This is the kind of investment I
like to see us make," said Commis
sioner Wyatt Upchurch, adding
that taxes from the motel will bring
revenue to the county for years to
According to Cowan, the city
figured $7,500 for running the
water line and the balance for con
struction of the sewer line.
There is about $20,000 in the
county's contingency fund that can
be used for the construction, said
During the course of discussion,
Balfour voiced fear that the pro
ject would go over the budgeted
"Usually, the estimates we get
are pretty close to correct,"
In other action, the Commis
sioners approved a motion to ac
cept as "proposed for the budget"
a $13,000 request from the Hoke
County Higher Education Founda
Although the request may be
turned down at final budget time,
it will be considered.
The money will be used to pay
for maintenance and utilities costs
associated with using Hoke Coun
ty High School to house classes for
a Sandhills Community College
satellite, Foundation President Bill
Archer also asked that the
County Commission help the
Foundation locate a proposed
director for the satellite when the
According to Archer, the Foun
Presenting the fox
State Representative Danny De Vane shows members
of the Hoke County Commission a newspaper article
from Alamance County about the over population of
foxes in that area. De Vane is pushing a bill that will
appear soon in the Legislature opening a fox hunting
and trapping season in Hoke County. DeVane would
not consider taking the bill to Raleigh unless the
County Commission endorsed it, he said.
dation received approval from the
Hoke County Board of Education
last week to use Hoke High.
In anwering questions about
future costs to the county for the
satellite, Archer said: "Hopefully,
we can pick up additional help
from the state once the need is
"If we are successful in the first
year, we could come under the um
brella of the Community College
System," Foundation Member
Steve Parker said.
Having just returned from a
meeting with many of the nation's
county commissioners, Balfour
said: "I came back from
Washington down in the dumps
because of the attitude up there."
(See FOX, page 9A)
Four of the county's nine fire departments fought a
woods and grass fire at Oakdale Gin Tuesday.
Many of the county's firemen went all day Tuesday
without food while battling blazes which burned in
all parts of the county. High winds did not help
matters as flames readily blew across roads and
creeks to ignite dry materials on the other sides.
Man charged with rape of 9-year old
By Ed Miller
A 35-year-old Hoke County
man has been arrested and charged
with the rape of a nine-year-old
Harold Jones McNeill, 35, of
Rt. 5, Box 319D, Raeford, was out
of jail Monday on $10^000 bond,
after being charge! with the
February 23 incident, according to
reports from the Hoke County
According to Sheriff Dave Barr
ington, McNeill allegedly had sex
ual relations with the little girl
According to a statement given
by the child, she had been making
up the bed in her bedroom and
decided to go to the bathroom.
When she returned to her room,
McNeill was there, the statement
He pushed her onto the bed and
raped her, she said in the state
The First alleged attack happen
ed on a Wednesday, according to
Also, according to the child's
statement, another incident hap
pened on the following Saturday.
"She's old enough to testify
against him," Sheriff Barrington
According to Assistant District
Attorney Jean Powell, age has lit
tle to do with trying to decide
whether a person should testify or
Powell added that persons under
14 years of age must be
"qualified" to the court before
"They must understand the oath
and the consequences of what they
are doing," said Powell.
McNeill is scheduled for a first
appearance hearing on March 22.
Turkey races scheduled
for September festival
By Ed Miller
Do you thrill to the sight of large
birds dashing down carefully
Perhaps flying feathers and
poultry on the hoof send your
If so, the turkey races at this
year's first annual North Carolina
Turkey Festival will certainly tickle
The races are scheduled for
Main Street in Raeford on
For Raeford natives, the sight of
turkeys is not uncommon.
Racing the birds is another
Although supporters of the
Fundraisers have crossed the
$5,000 mark in efforts to raise the
money needed to restore the old
Aberdeen Rockfish Depot in
Contributions from residents
and businesses had reached $5,220
by Monday, Raeford-Hoke
Chamber of Commerce
spokesman Steve Parker said.
Restoration Committee is attemp
ting to raise $30,000 to restore the
Currently the building is little
more than an exterior shell, and
will need new wiring, plumbing,
heating and air conditioning, as
well as interior walls, ceilings and
floors before it can be used to
house the offices of the Chamber
and the economic developer.
The building was constructed
around 1900 and committee
members hope to restore it to that
(See DEPOT, page 8 A)
North Carolina festival would pro
bably like to call the races their
idea, it is not.
For the folks of the Inn on Lake
Waramaug, in New Preston, Con
necticut, racing turkeys has been a
venture that started five years ago
with the "Live Turkey Olympics,"
a spokesman said Friday.
According to Peter Cunn
ingham, the races are the climax
event of the Olympics which in
clude other specialties like the high
jump and the slalom.
In the Connecticut Olympics,
the birds are raced in 12 lanes 50
There are a number of heats in
(See TURKEY, page 9A)