The Hoke County News - Established 1928
VOLUME LXVlIi NUMBER 52 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY. NORTH CAROLINA
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
S8 PER YEAR
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 1977
BY SAM C. MORRIS
The weather for the past few days
has turned out to be Spring as it
should be. The mornings are coo!
and then it warms up during the
day. Also mixed in are the April
showers that bring the May flowers.
The weather of a couple of weeks
ago with the temperature in the
high 80s was bringing summer on
too fast. I like the seasons to run as
normal rather than just having
winter and then going straight into
summer or vice versa. Enough of
this Morris, you don't have any
control over the elements.
? * *
Last Thursday night was this
writer's time to have the program at
the Raeford Kiwanis Club. Last
year I took it upon myself to give
the program and talked about the
history of newspapers here in Hoke
county. This seemed to go over
fairly well with the Kiwanians so I
thought staying within this line
would be appropriate again this
year. Not about the history of Hoke
newspapers but someone in the
news field to give a talk. So this was
what I did.
Now when you think you have
made all arrangements with some
one to make a talk and even gone so
far as to tell him the subject on
which he is to talk and the length of
time he has for the talk, and then
before the talk give him a meal
prepared by Miss Annie McNeill,
you expect to sit back and listen for
words of praise for the newspaper
Well, maybe you are saying that
is what happened but just the
Rip Collins, administrative assis
tant to Congressman Charlie Rose
is a former managing editor of a
Wilmington newspaper and has
been in the newspaper business all
his life. Rip was told by this writer
to stay away from politics and talk
about the days he was a newspaper
man or things that would be
associated with those days.
At the start, this Rip did. and
even the joke to start the talk was
first class. Then he got down to the
main course of his talk and it
seemed that about everyone at the
meeting, except the program chair
man. was enjoying and taking in
everything Rip had to say.
His comments centered on how a
reporter of today would distort the
news for his or her own ego. How a
news commentator on TV would
smile or nod his head to try to slant
the news his or her way. Of course
this was coming from a former
managing editor who hired or fired
reporters. Yes. Yours Truly was not
sitting at ease.
1 would like to say that the talk
was well received and the points
brought out by Rip were well made,
(he did have praise for the local
Many thanks. Rip. for a job well
done and in my mind this is what
makes our field so interesting and
what weeds out the people that give
us a black eye. Keep up the fine job
you are doing for the Congressman
and keep telling it like it is. no
matter whose toes you trample on.
? * *
Thinking about the above item
brings to mind about Letters to the
Editor. This newspaper wants to
run all letters but we expect the
writer to have the courage to sign
his or her name to what they have
written. Each of the writers of this
newspaper, when writing a column,
has his or her name at the top. We
expect this from people who write
in expressing views about others or
on any subject matter.
So. if you want your letters
published, be sure to sign your
* * *
The time change last Sunday
seems to have worked out just fine.
Everyone at this office was at work
as usual and most of the people
here have made no negative com
ments about the change.
As for me. I like it!
? ? *
Mayor John K. McNeill. Jr.
called to say that he and the
Council want to thank all who
participated in the clean-up in the
city last Saturday. He said that it
was a job well done.
T enure Protection Thwarts
Board In Edwards Firing
; ; * j
FIX- UP FESTIVAL ? Local residents pitched in to help N.C. State University School of Design students Saturday
to beautify the taxi stand area downtown with a picket fence and a wash of cheery color over the nearby store side.
The day-long festival featured arts and crafts exhibits, strolling musicians and home cooked food to add to the
atmosphere. The Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the beautification drive. | Photo bv Sutton I
Elderly Meal Program
Expands To South Hoke
South Hoke Community Center
began serving hot lunches to senior
citizens last Wednesday as the
nutrition program for the county's
elderly residents was expanded to a
The nutrition program, funded
under the federal Older Americans
Act, began here in January of 1975
with 35 meals served at the
Cameron Heights Neighborhood
Center in North Raeford. That site
was later expanded to 50 meals
Monday through Friday.
The Lumber River Council of
Governments, which administers
the program in the four-county
region, announced last month that
an additional 180 meals had been
approved for the region. Each
county got 35 and the South Hoke
center was awarded the site locally.
Mrs. Eva Jacobs, center super
visor, said she was delighted the
program could begin serving resi
dents in that area since transporta
tion is often a problem for the
Since last Wednesday, the center
has been averaging about 25 per
A Raeford woman was being
held Tuesday on a murder charge
following the shooting death of her
husband Saturday night at the
couple's home at 401 Codington St.
Police Chief V.L. Wiggins said
police and sheriff" s deputies were
called about 11 p.m. Saturday by
Earl McDuffie, a neighbor. The
body of Robert Edward Brahin, 37,
was found lying on the floor of a
rear bedroom with what appeared
to be three gunshot wounds. He
was pronounced dead at the scene
by medical examinier R.G.
Wiggins said Brahin's wife,
Shelva Stepp Brahin. 37, was
arrested and charged with murder
about an hour later.
Police declined to name a
weapon or speculate on a motive for
the shooting. The couple's three
children, a son. 18, and daughters
ages 14 and 17. were in the home at
the time of the shooting, police
The body was ordred sent to the
State medical examiner's office in
Chapel Hill for an autopsy.
Bond was set at $5,000 on Mrs.
Brahin by District Court Judge Joe
Dupree with a May 13 appearance
sons daily (Monday through Fri
day) for the lunch. Persons age bO
and older are eligible to partici
pate, but the project is aimed
primarily at low-income people. No
one is required to pay for the lunch
but a 25 cent donation is accepted
from those who are able to pay.
Mrs. Jacobs said she is hopeful
that once the word gets around that
more senior citizens will come and
the program will run at capacity.
Future plans are to schedule some
special activity or program before
or after the meals are served.
New city maps ordered by the
Chamber of Commerce arrived last
week and are available free at the
Chamber office at 120 W.
Three thousand copies were
received. Cost of the maps was paid
for by Southern National Bank and
Gentry's Tire Center, Chamber
manager Dayna Pate said.
The new map shows the city on
one side and the county on the
other side. All of the information
was updated from the old map
which was published several years
T. K. Tolar
T.K. Tolar has joined the Hoke
County troop of the State Highway
Patrol, effective last week, bolster
ing the strength of the local unit to
Tolar. 25, is a senior trooper and
was previously stationed in Ply
A native of Rowland, he is a
graduate of Rowland High School
and attended Robeson Technical
Institute. He worked at Central
Prison in Raleigh for one year and
joined the Highway Patrol Jan. 7,
1974. He is a fully certified
Tolar is a bachelor.
UP AND AWAY ?? Wimiy and Allen Lundy Board the United Airlines jet
which took them off on the first leg of their two-week Hawaiian vacation
Monday. United's Jim Mummah. manager for sales and service in
Charlotte, presented the happy couple with a cake at the airport.
The Board of Education scheduled another special meeting for
Wednesday night this week at 7:30 following the disclosure last week
that Hoke High principal Allen Edwards is a career status employee
under state law.
The new development apparently invalidates the Board's decision
taken April 14 to dismiss Edwards from his $23,788 post. The board
voted unanimously at the April 14 meeting not to renew his contract
for another year, acting in the belief that he was still a probationary
Under G.S. 115-143 which covers state employees and took effect
July 1, 1973, a teacher or supervisor receives tenure at the end of
the third year unless the local board votes not to retain. However, if a
principal changes school systems, as Edwards did, he automatically
resumes tenure at the end of his second year on the job unless the
local board acts.
Edwards. 30, worked as principal of Benvenue Middle School in
Nash County for three years before taking the Hoke High post in
1974 and informed board members here he had tenure status at
Nash County during the special meeting Thursday night.
Edwards said that he learned of the new development the day
before last week's meeting after his attorney checked into the matter
and he notified one board member.
The board went into executive session Thursday night with
Edwards and School Supt. G. Raz Autry for the second time in as
many weeks after 25-30 spectators crowded into the meeting room in
support of the embattled principal.
About eight persons spoke up to urge the board to reconsider its
decision to replace Edwards, saying that he has done a good job and
the reasons given by the superintendent in recommending his
dismissal were not substantial enough. _
Autry had recommended that Edwards be replaced because he
had "lost his effectiveness". He listed four reasons, "his lack of
credibility with his faculty, his inconsistency in dealing with students
and the public, his being unavailable to his students and to his
faculty, and his disregard for keeping appointments."
Several persons in the audience Thursday night complained that
the public wasn't getting the full story and questioned the board's
judgement by meeting behind closed doors. One woman requested a
"question and answer" session, but board chairman Bobby Gibson
said Edwards' rights must be protected, too.
"It's a hard line to draw between the public's right to know and
Mr. Edwards' right to privacy." Gibson told the group. The
chairman said all meetings were open unless a motion was made to
go into executive session, a statement met with some jeering.
Autry said this week that despite the new legal snarl he stands by
his original recommendation to replace Edwards. The superinten
dent said he was not made aware of the principal's tenured status
until last Thursday, the day of the meeting.
"When he came here three years ago, we assumed Mr. Edwards
had never been on tenure. There was supposed to be a "blue"
contract in his file from Nash County. It was not. We asked him on
occasions if he had tenure and he said no. Last Thursday. I asked
him again and he said yes. He said he had known it since the
previous Monday," Autry said.
"The law specifies that I make recommendations. It will be up to
the board to accept or reject my recommendations. I haven't
changed my mind," he said.
"One thing I want to make clear, I admire Allen as a professional
educator because not once has he said the charges against him
weren't serious. Although he has said they aren't true, as a
professional educator, he realizes that they are serious charges. It
amazes me that the people don't understand this. They feel they're
not very serious, but they are," he said.
Edwards said this week that he was familiar with G.S. 1 15-143 but
that he hadn't applied it to his situation.
"When I made application here I indicated what years I had
worked where. I just didn't put it together until the situation (here)
was blown out of proportion," Edwards said.
Edwards said he would not specifically request a closed session for
this week's Wednesday meeting, but that he would work "with the
wishes of the board".
"I'm optimistic the situation will be worked out. but if not, I have
my options," he said.
Edwards announced after the board's decision to replace him
became public that he had retained legal counsel and intends to fight
Gibson said Tuesday that as far as the board was concerned, the
superintendent's recommendation was "null and void" and a new
recommendation would have to come before the board could take
"The (four) charges were the basis for not granting tenure and
that's a dead issue now, it sort of wipes the slate clean. We will
expect some other recommendation, or no recommendation. We
cannot act, by law, without one," Gibson said.
Gibson said that he personally had not formed an opinion on
whether Edwards should continue or not.
"I'm not an educator, I'm not in a position to say. Legally, I
can't afford to have an opinion without the superintendent's
recommendation," he said.
All of the board members except Bill Howell are expected at this
week's meeting. Howell has left on a six-week vacation, the
Late Tuesday, Autry said that he would have a formal
recommendation to present to the board the next day. but that he
hadn't decided what it would be.
UNC Cagers Play At 7:30
The "Hoke County Super
stars" will take on the UNC all
? stars tonight (Thursday) in
the Hoke High gymnasium at
UNC former stars will team
with John Kuester, Walter,
Davis, Woody Coley and Bruce
Buckley in the charity benefit
game against local players
W.K. Morgan, Larry Phillips,
Rodney Johnson, Danny Mc
^iougan. Joe Bridges, James
Kainey, Kudolph Maynor,
Richard McNeill. Bill Senter,
Dennis Adams and Randy
Ticket proceeds will go to the
Hoke County unit of the
American Cancer Society.
Tickets are $3 per person
and may be purchased at
Howell Drug, Hoke Drug,
Upchurch Junior High, Hoke
High or at the gymnasium door