?The Hoke County News - Established 1928
VOLUME LX1X NUMBER 15 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
S8 PER YEAR THURSDAY, AUGUST II, 1977
BY SAM C. MORRIS
The following letter was received
last week and gave the answer to
the question about "dog days."
Enclosed, the answer to "dog
days." You mentioned this in your
column recently, and this was in
the Jacksonville Journal just after
that. Really enjoy The New
Journal and especially your
Mamie Niven Smith.
The clipping states: The ancient
Greeks bestowed the name because
the hot, dry Greek summer
coincided with the time when the
tlog star Sirius rose with the sun. In
our latitudes, it is the early part of
July to late August when the
weather is at its most sultry.
Thanks, Mrs. Smith for the
* information. For you readers that
don't know, she is the sister of Ann
Webb and Carlton, Berder, and
? ? ?
From all reports the Raeford
Kiwanis Club Softball Tournament
is off to a Fine start. There was good
attendance last Friday and Sat
urday night and as this is written,
the weather has been perfect. So
make plans to attend a night of the
tournament. It will run through
Friday night if everything runs on
* * *
It is very seldom that I will miss
two issues of the paper in one year,
but this has happened in the past
month . I n the past 25 years or more
very few papers have been
t published without your writer being
present. A vacation and a trip to
the hospital for a week changed all
this. Is it good to know they can get
?along without you?
To those readers that are still in
the dark as to my hospital trip, it
was to have a skin cancer removed
from my lip. The doctor gave me a
clean bill of health and the stitches
should be out by the time you read
Of course some of your friends
will always have some smart
remarks to make, even if you are
dying. The old retired man from
Puppy Creek, Dick Neeley, said
that I had too much lip and that the
doctor had to remove it. Maybe by
next week other nice comments will
spring forth from my close friends.
I will say that over the years I
have heard that if you ever needed
credit and had not established it,
you would find yourself in a bad
way. Well the same goes for a
person that goes to the hospital and
hasn't been sick before, or spent
some time in a hospital before.
When they start the questions
about what medicines or drugs you
can take or not take, you shake
your head and they look at you like
you are crazy.
This was this writer's first trip to
the hospital to stay overnight. Of
?course when I checked in, the
things that people had told me
about their stay in hospitals,
started flashing through my mind.
You couldn't eat the food, the
'nurses would not come when you
wanted them and * many other
things, all bad.
Maybe I went in while all these
people were on vacation. From
Monday afternoon until Thursday
morning when I left for horqe I
couldn't have been treated any
better than if it had been my
hospital and all those people
worked for me. They seemed to not
be able to do enough for me. This
doesn't mean I like the hospital,
but if anything should happen to
me again, it will be with a different
viewpoint that I enter the hospital.
The most important thing that
this trip to the hospital showed me.
was how your friends would come
to the surface in time of need. We
live in this fast moving world and
never think of who our friends are
and what would happen if adversity
should come to us.
Put this in your pipe and smoke
it, the people of Raeford and Hoke
#County go out of the way to help a
person that is it! need.
This doesn't mean financial, but
by a kind word, a c^rd, telephone
^all, a visit, flowers, and so many
other things they think of during
your time of need.
Last, but not least, the number
of people that came right out and
say you are' in my prayers. These
are the most encouraging words
that were said to me.
Thanks, people, for all this, and
I will never forget it.
Consolidation of the city and county governments into a single unit would be more
efficient and economical than the present system, according to the conclusions made
in a 15- page report of a feasibility study of the issue sponsored by the Chamber of
The written report of the study, which was conducted over the past two months by a
St. Andrews Presbyterian College student, was distributed to city and county officials
The report concluded that such a merger would save money by centralizing such
functions as tax collections, accounting and purchasing, and combining certain
services such as law enforcement, recreation and garbage disposal.
The study recommends that a consolidated government be structured under a
single five-member governing body, preferably elected by districts. The sheriff would
be in charge of a single county-wide police force. Separate fire Departments would be
retained for the city and rural areas, however, because of the different needs and
The resulting savings could be used to reduce taxes or raise the level of services.
The county would be divided into two districts for taxing purposes. There would be
an "urban services district" which would consist of the Raeford area and the rest of
the county would be classed as "general services district." The respective tax rates
would depend on the level of services.
One of the most significant effects of such a merger, and a popular argument
against it, is the effect on personnel.
With a single tax office, police department and manager, some workers would
likely be dismissed or demoted.
Also, the report stresses that rural interests could easily dominate city interests
politically and further study should be made in this area.
Earl Fowler, Chamber president, emphasized that the Chamber is still not taking
an official position on the issue. Fowler said he expects to meet with both the county
commissioners and the pity council to discuss the tindings in detail later this month.
County manager T.B. Lester, a proponent of a merger plan, said the conclusions of
the report were what he expected but that he disagreed there would be any tax cut
"I don't believe it would cut taxes. I don't believe you're going to get rid of that
many people. It might cut taxes for the town some, but not out in the county to any
extent, unless you're going to cut services. We're working with a skeleton force now.
we could use more people but we're trying to save taxpayers' money." he said.
"1 think it (merger) would give better services. Decisions could be made by less
people and more direct decisions could be made. Especially when you're into zoning
and housing inspections. All that can be carried out better. The town has already
turned over most of the inspections to the county, anyway," Lester said.
"I don't think you'd go ahead and consolidate on the premise of this (report). 1
think you need to get citizens involved and see what road to go on. But. eventually,
consolidation is the only salvation for a small county like Hoke," he said.
City Manager Robert Drumwright echoed Lester's belief that very few employees
would be eliminated under consolidation.
"You may not be able to eliminate any. but you could utilize them more. You
wouldn't be saving that much money." Drumwright said.
The city manager also said that he did not favor the recommendation to make the
sheriff in charge of law enforcement because it is a political office.
Drumwright said he also would be opposed to a single legislative board because
"you've still got local politics in local government."
The city manager said that consolidation would eliminate some of the problems in
planning and zoning in the one - mile radius outside the city limits.
"I would favor a report that dealt more with costs, dollars and cents." he said.
John Balfour, chairman of the board of county commissioners, said Tuesday that
he hadn't had a chance to read the entire report, but he bristled at an observation
contained in the study that citizens perceive the level of cooperation between the city
and county as "shamefully low".
"That disturbed me, that he mentioned some animosity between the board, if the
way I took it was right. I didn't think it was anything major," Balfour said.
The chairman said that he did not believe a merger would reduce taxes.
"I don't think it would accomplish a whole lot except in the duplication of police
work and the tax departments. I thoroughly believe that the question should be put to
the people to decide and my personal feeling is that it would never pass," Balfour
"The reason that the city was organized in the first place was to provide services for
people who were living in the city," he said.
The chairman said he expected the full board to discuss the report's findings in
.greater detail at their meeting next Monday night.
OK'd For County
Farmers Home Administation (FmHA) emergency loans
have been authorized for Hoke County and 55 other
drought-stricken counties in central North Carolina in
response to Gov. Jim Hunt's request.
FmHA emergency loans are designed to assist eligible
farmers who have suffered severe losses of income. Loan
funds to cover actual dollar losses may be borrowed at five
per cent interest to be used to repair, restore or replace
damaged or destroyed farm property and supplies, and also
for actual expenses incurred in farm production, according
to James T. Johnson, FmHA state director.
Additional loans at eight per cent interest are available
for farmers who are still short on capital.
Applications for emergency loans must be filed no later
than Sept. 30 through the Raeford FmHA office in the post
Tom Burgess, Hoke County Agricultural Stabilization
and Conservation Service executive director, estimated two
weeks ago that the drought has already caused a $3 million
loss to county farmers.
Additional disaster assistance in the form of the federal
feed grain program has not yet been approved by
Washington, Burgess said.
Under the feed grain program, producers may be
qualified to receive grain from the Commodity Credit Corp.
Burgess also announced that Hoke County will be among
the areas to receive a drought relief allocation under the
Agricultural Conservation Program. Under this program,
monies are awarded for developing practices to aid in future
droughts, such as cover crop to prevent erosion,
development of irrigation ponds and pasture improvement
Burgess said the amount of money coming to Hoke
County under the ACP designation has not been
Because of the prolonged drought, 50 per cent of the corn
crop and 30 per cent of the tobacco acreage was estimated
as total losses last month. The dry spell has been termed the
worst in 25 years or more.
A city youth narrowly escaped
serious injury Monday afternoon
when he rode his bicycle into a
tractor trailer rig on U.S. 401 south
of the city.
Michael D. Slaughter, 13, of
1225 Bethune Ave., was taken to
Moore Memorial Hospital in Pine
hurst following the 1:05 p.m.
According to Trooper K.W.
Weston, the youth rode out from
College Dr. to cross the highway to
get to the swimming pool, ap
parently not seeing a Hardee's
tractor trailer truck which was
proceeding north. The bike ran
into the left rear tire of the truck
and the child was thrown off onto
The truck, estimated to be
traveling about 35 m.p.h., was
being operated by Cecil Ferguson
Jr.. 39, of Rocky Mount. Weston
said the driver did not realize the
bike had hit the rig and the truck
Weston said a motorist, Steven
Gilmore of Southern Pines, was
traveling behind the truck and saw
No charges will be filed. Weston
The mobile office of Rep. Charlie
Rose will be in Raeford Friday,
Aug. 12. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in
the parking lot of the post office.
Administrative assistant Rip
Collins will meet with visitors.
Orlando "Tubby" Smith has
joined the Hoke County High
School faculty as head basketball
coach for the 1977-78 school year,
replacing Rodney Johnson who has
gone to Asheville High School.
Smith. 2b, is a native of Scot
land, Md. and comes to his new
post after four years of coaching at
Great Mills High School in his
He earned his bachelor's degree
in physical education and health at
(Sec SMITH. Page 15)
Skydiver Killed As
Both Chutes F ail
A Fayetteville woman para
chutist was killed Sunday at
Raeford Airport after both her
main and reserve chutes failed
Tammy Lea O'Donnell, 19,
of 7224 Ainsley St., Fayetteville,
was making her 675th free fall
jump around noon when the
Miss O'Donnell exited the
aircraft at 10,500 feet with nine
others to perform a "relative
work" style jump in which the
divers form a circle. Gene
Thacker of Raeford Aviation
Miss O'Donnell was wearing
a custom-made tandem type
chute in which the main and
reserve canopies are both car
ried on the back, Thacker said.
At 2,500 feet, she pulled her
main chute but experienced a
malfunction and the chute
failed to deploy. She then pulled
the reserve and it failed to open,
In a report this week to the
Federal Aviation Administra
tion and the U.S. Parachutist
Association, Thacker noted that
the reserve ripcord cable was
almost completely severed after
a swage nut had come off. the
condition could not have been
detected by visual inspection,
Thacker, who was the wo
man's instructor for about two
years, estimated that she had
used the chute, a copy of the
Australian Kangaroo model,
less than a dozen times. She was
making her first jump of the day
Sunday when the accident hap
Miss O'Donnell, who was
trying to qualify for the U.S.
team in time for the 1978 world
competition, began skydiving at
age 16 after watching her father
jump with the 82nd Airborne
Division at Ft. Bragg.
"She was a very competent
jumper, she had a lot of
potential," Thacker said. "If
she had continued to pull on the
main it would have opened, but
she did what I or anyone else
probably would have done. She
wouldn't have panicked."
The fatality marked the first
skydiving death at the airport in
recent times. Years ago when
the Army used the area a soldier
died in a jump.
CONSTRUCTION -- The forty apartment units, a Weaver Construction and Realty Co. project, being
constructed west of the 401 -bypass are rapidly taking shape. Plans were announced for 8 one-bedroom units. 24
two-bedroom units and 8 three-bedroom units in the S500.000 development. ( Photo by Marty Vega]