North Carolina Newspapers

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The Hoke County News - Established 1928
VOLUME LXIX NUMBER 1 RAEFORD. HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
- journal
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
S8 PER YEAR THURSDAY. MAY 5, 1977
Around
Town
BY SAM C. MORRIS
The weather is s^ill about normal
tor this time of year and most
people would like to see more rain.
According to Robert Gatlin, chart
maker for this paper, the light rain
tor last month was not so unusual.
a* ^ ms the past few years the
April showers haven't been as
as one would expect to bring
the May flowers.
Gatlin's chart should appear
elsewhere in the paper even though
it was not in the office as this
column was being penned.
Anyway it seems that the winter
has moved on and that the oil and
gas bills will be reduced for the
summer months.
* * *
The clean - up campaign a
1 couple of weekends ago in Raeford
I was well worth the effort by those
i that were the leaders of the project
and also those that participated in
it in any way. Many eye sores were
removed from Main Street and this
makes for a cleaner and more
beautiful city.
All of these folks are to be
commended and just think what
would have happened if everyone in
the city would have joined the
project and given forth just half of
what the ones that worked, put out.
There are still many things to be
accomplished and these are in the
planning stages at this time. So if
you are called on or can give
assistance to this project, please do
so.
* ? *
Mrs. Clarence Brown called this
week and asked that I mention a
need that has come up at the
Raeford Children's Center that is
located in the Lennon Building of
the First Baptist Church. Vol
unteers are needed from 8:00 to
9:30 a.m. and from 2:00 to 3:00
p.m. to help move the children
trorn the van to the building and to
help place them out on the
playground.
There are nine children at the
Center at the present time and most
or al! of them are pre - school age
children.
Also this project needs to be
shifted from the church to another
location as the Baptists are in need
ot the space now being used by this
group. If you know of a house or
building that would be suitable
please contact Warren Pate, chair
man of this project. They are not
looking for charity and will be
willing to pay for the use of the
place.
This is a worthwhile under
taking, so if you can give aid to
them, please do so. Thanks!
* * *
I haven t attended a meeting of
the Board of Education, but from
all reports a larger conference room
could be used. The reason that
brings out the crowd is not good
but for people to get interested in
the elective bodies of the countv is
very healthy.
Monday night according to
reports over 35 citizens showed up
tor the monthly meeting of the
Board of Education. There were no
big issues at stake, but still thev
were at the meeting.
Also Monday night the con
ference room at City Hall was
jammed with citizens and they were
there over the controversial one -
way Elwood Avenue. This is also a
good thing.
Being a member of the City
Council, I know how the members
of the Board of Education feel
when the citizens show up in
numbers. You look out and see
friends, or people you thought were
your friends, and you say to
"why is he or she out
there? Yes, it makes the night
somewhat longer, but think from
another viewpoint, "It is apod to
see citizens take an interesTin the
wav the city or schools are run."
We asked for these offices by
putting our name before the
people. We must realize that we
most be accountable to them for
our actions.
So maybe it would be easier on
elective officials if a number of
citizens turned up at every meeting
instead of just when a big Issue is to
be voted on. ?
N<*w for the people who show up
meetings to have a chip on
their Shoulder and don't want to see
but one side, then you should run
(See AROUND TOWN, Page 13)
n
School Board Shifts Principals ,
Public's Criticism Continues
Edwards:
'Not Over '
Principal Allen Edwards,
visibly shaken by Wednesday
night's board of education deci
sion. said he will accept the new
assignment to the junior high
but that he is retaining his legal
counsel and intends to "explore
any options" left to him.
"As long as I stay in Hoke
County school system I'll sup
port the board. 1 do not agree
with their decision but I'll
continue to work with the board
as long as I am employed in
Hoke County", he said.
Edwards said he wouldn't
make up his mind about re
applying for the high school
post but would re-asess his
position at the end of the year.
Edwards said no other
charge, except the four outlined
by the superintendent publicly,
were brought to him and he
declined to discuss any details of
the private sessions he has had
with the board.
The principal also said he
suspended nine students last
week in connection with a
demonstration planned at the
board of education offices on
Wooley St. The demonstration,
intended to show support for
Edwards, fizzled out.
Edwards said the nine were
suspended for leaving school
grounds without permission. Six
of the students had been re
admitted as of this Monday and
the other three had not. he said.
A parent conference is required
by the school before suspensions
are lifted.
MOTHER'S DAY ?? Mrs. Charles L. McDonald displays
photographs of her six children. Ann Herndon. Charles McDonald.
Agnes Covington. Patricia McDonald. George McDonald, and
Virginia Morgan. Mrs. McDonald. 67, who resides in the Open
Arms Rest Home in Raeford. is expecting a big celebration this
Mother's Day with many of her children, six grandchildren, and one
great grandchild. \Photo by S.H. Aplin \
Mental Health Clinic Asked
Sandhills Mental Health Center
officials outlined a plan to establish
a separate facility within Hoke
County and expand a wide range of
mental health services here Mon
day morning to county commis
sioners.
V. Paul McDonald, unit director
for SMHC, presented the agency's
proposed budget for fiscal 1977-78
and requested an additional
$23,957 to establish a clinic separ
ate from the Hoke County Health
Center. Hoke County is the only
area in the five-county mental
health region which does not
operate a separate clinic.
Precinct
Meetings
Thursday
Democratic party precinct meet
ings for the election of precinct
officers and committee members
and delegates to the county conven
tion will be held tonight (Thursday)
at 8 p.m.. chairman Sam Morris
announced.
The meetings will convene in
each polling place. A quorum is 10
persons and in the event a quorum
is not present, the meeting will be
re-scheduled for next Thursday
night.
Precinct officers are a chairman,
three vice-chairmen and a secre
tary-treasurer. Terms of office are
two years. Party rules require that
no two officers may be of the same
family.
Delegates to the June 18 county
convention will be elected. Under
the formula of one delegate for
each 50 gubernatorial votes cast in
the last election, the 13 precincts
will have the following number of
delegates: Allendale (2). Antioch
(5), Blue Springs (5). Buchan (3).
McCain (4). Puppy Creek (4).
Raeford one (10). Kaeford two (7).
Raeford three (4). Raeford four (7).
Raeford five (8). Rockfish (3) and
Stonewall (5).
n
McDonald told the group that
this plan was preferred to the
alternative, which would be to
increase space for the mental
health staff which currently visits
the health center here five days a
week. Under the proposal, four
full-time positions would be estab
lished here, a psychologist, social
worker, alcoholism counselor and
school psychologist.
McDonald said a suitable house
for the clinic has already been
located, a two-bedroom rental unit
on Palmer St. west of the city. It
would be operated on a long-range
basis under the recommendation of
a zoning exception can be obtained
and objections are not made by
neighbors.
The overall operating budget for
Hoke County for the coming year
proposes $36,935 in local matching
funds, not including the cost of the
proposed new clinic. Most of the
$36,935 represents county general
funds and ABC store contributions.
Commissioners made no decision
Monday on the request, agreeing to
table the matter until the budget
sessions later on.
The current caseload of patients
receiving mental health care is 223.
SMHC has experienced a 82 per
cent increase in patients over the
past year.
Water System
In other business Monday, the
board heard a presentation on the
idea of a county-wide water system
from Phil Shu of Odell Associates
Inc., Greensboro-based consulting
engineers.
BI Pay
Hike Set
Burlington Industries last week
announced a pay increase for
firoduction employees, effective
une 13.
Burlington officials said the up
ward wage adjustment will affect
about 50,000 wage employees at
Company operations in 10 states.
Burlington's last general wage
increase was in June, 1976.
I
Shu told commissioners that the
three existing water systems. Hill
crest. Rockfish and North Raeford,
together with the separate water
system operated at McCain, could
be tied together to form the basis
for developing a county-wide sys
tem.
He estimated a feasibility study,
taking about six months, could be
done for about SI 5.000.
Chairman John Balfour told Shu
that the board had no intention at
this time of considering such a
plan.
Commissioners voted a one-time
$200 payment to all full-time
county employees who have worked
at least one year to come out of
$13,297 in federal anti-recession
funds. The action affects 69 work
ers. Part-time employees will re
ceive a SI 00 payment.
A contract with Hayes- Howell
Associates. Southern Pines archi
tects, for the planned South Hoke
neighborhood center was approved.
Architectural fees are $6,400 on the
estimated $75,000 facility. In a
related matter, the board approved
a $75 bill from Robert Gatlin for a
topographical survey.
The South Hoke center will be
built from federal funds awarded
under the Community Develop
ment Act.
The board turned the matter of a
$139 medical bill of a woman who
was injured when she fell in the
courthouse over to county attorney
Charles Hostetler for study. County
manager T.B. Lester said the
women. Josephine Perley of Fay
etteville. was sent to Dr. Riley M.
Jordon, and that the insurance
company had refused to pay the
claim, saying the county wasn't
liable.
In other btulnett, the board:
Appointed Larry Ingram and
Mrs. Earl N. Fowler to the Hoke
County Planning Board;
Signed a letter of support neces
sary for an application pending for
a $15,000 planning grant for health
care through the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare;
Received a report from Benjamin
O. Niblock, director of the Depart
(See CLINIC. Page 13)
Amid growing protests from parents and students, the board of
education last week ordered Allen Edwards transferred to Upchurch
Junior High and an organized group. Citizens In Support of
Education in Hoke County, has sprung into existence to oppose the
board's recent actions.
The decision to transfer Edwards came during a special meeting of
the board Wednesday night last week which drew as many as 40
persons at one time. The board went into an executive session which
lasted until shortly after 11 p.m. On a 3-0 vote, with board members
Bill Howell and Riley M. Jordan absent, Edwards was ordered
transferred to the junior high as principal on a one-year basis with
the opportunity to re-apply for the high school post at the end of the
year. As a career status employee, his salary cannot be downgraded
and he will continue to draw $23,788.
Earl H. Oxendine, the Upchurch principal, will go to the high
school as principal on a one-year basis.
The Wednesday night announcement was met with a storm of
protest from the audience, who lingered after the meeting formally
adjourned and challenged chairman Bobby Gibson and Mina
Townsend and Ruth McNair with a barrage of questions.
Gibson, fielding the questions directed at the three, failed to give a
specific reason for the transfer Wednesday night, however, following
the close of the board's next meeting this Monday night, he told the
crowd that "we'll wind up in court in a minute if we divulge more
than a certain amount of information".
"There are certain things we just cannot divulge. Frankly, we
want to take a positive attitude and put it behind us. We're not going
to drag the whole thing out in public. It can only harm Mr. Edwards
further," Gibson said.
Richard Coker. a retired Army officer who identified himself as
temporary chairman of Citizens in Support of Education in Hoke
County, asked whether any alternatives to the transfer had been
considered.
Gibson replied there were several alternatives but he couldn't
explain them without divulging "privileged information".
Monday night, also, the board announced that M.H. Williams,
assistant principal at Upchurch. will be transferred to Hoke High as
assistant principal, and Joanne Moses, Upchurch guidance
counselor, will go to the high school as guidance counselor. School
Supt. G. Raz Autry said both moves had been requested by
Oxendine.
Coker and others expressed disapproval at the new transfers,
saying that the removal of two "key" people at the junior high would
further weaken the situation and put both schools in shaky positions
administratively.
Coker held an impromptu meeting outside the board building to
enlist support for his committee before the board's decisions were
announced Monday night. He said his group would try to reserve the
courtroom for a 'big' meeting within a week or two. Between 35-40
listened to Coker.
Another executive session was called before 9 p.m. and the three
board members, along with attorney Bill Moses and the
superintendent, met with high school guidance counselor Bobby
Locklear, who was accompanied by an official of the North Carolina
Association of Educators (NCAE), B.R. King. Locklear had
requested the hearing.
Following the closed door meeting, the board reversed its decision
of April 4 and voted to give Locklear 12 months of employment with
a transfer to Upchurch.
Locklear. a counselor for the past seven years and a tenured
employee, was ordered to cut back to 10 months of employment at
the April 4 meeting. The new decision orders him back to full pay
with the stipulation that one month of summer employment be at the
high school and one month at the junior high.
Autry had no comment on the move but Mrs. Townsend said it
was decided earlier that there was not enough work at the high
school for two full months.
Locklear. 40, refused comment on his private meeting with the
board.
The board also approved a change in the official minutes of their
April 4 meeting without comment when the minutes were read
Monday night. On a motion from Mrs. Townsend. an entry was
ordered made in the record to reflect that the board took final action
on the Edwards matter during that meeting.
The school officials came under criticism trom news organizations
and members of the public after it was disclosed by Edwards that he
was notified April 5 of the decision to dismiss him. At that time, the
board and superintendent were unaware that he was a tenured
employee under state law and could not be dismissed.
Before leaving the Monday night meeting, Gibson explained that
the Edwards-Oxendine switch will cost around $2,500 in local tax
dollars, since Edwards' pay cannot be reduced and Oxendine's will
increase since he is going to a larger school. Gibson said it was his
understanding that none of the other transfers will have any impact
on local tax money.
Autry said Oxendine's present base salary at Upchurch is $19,884,
made up entirely of state funds. He is paid no local cash supplement,
but has a rent-free residence in place of a supplement. He will
continue to get the residence while at the high school, Autry said.
The base salary for the new high school principal will not be
known until July 1 when the state approves new scales, Autry said,
but it will be $21,588 or higher.
The School Situation
Dickson's Editorial ? Page 2
Autry 's Column ? Page 3
    

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