25< ^Ae <~Y[ &W6 - journal 25 The Hoke County News - Established 1928 The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905 VOLUME LXXIV NUMBER 13 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA $8 PER YEAR THURSDAY, JULY 22, 1 982 Water System, Housing Study, Park, Hoke To Ask U.S. For $750,000 For Projects I ? Around Town BY SAM C. MORRIS If you think it is hot and humid in Hoke County, then you are correct. Of course the hot and humid weather here is about 20 degrees lower than it is in the New England states. So maybe we are lucky after all. Also, if you have noticed on television, a city in New Jersey > doesn t^ have any drinking water unless it is hauled in to them or they must boil it to make it safe to drink. Yes, we all have problems until we look at our neighbor who has more than we do. ? ? ? Lt. General Jack Mackmull, commander of the XVIII Airborne ^ Corps and Fort Bragg, was the speaker at the regular weekly meeting of the Raeford Kiwanis Club last Thursday night. He was introduced by Clyde Upchurch, who was in charge of the program for the night. This was a special night for the Kiwanians as they had invited guests and wives to this meeting. It was a time for guests to meet the ) club members and maybe sign up to become a member. The food was prepared by Mrs. Annie McNeill and was top rate as usual. Gen. Mackmull talked about the forces under his command and divided them into two different groups. The rtadiriess fotW "WT' fighting soldiers and the mainte nance group or caretaking soldiers at the post. He stated that the XVIII Corps > had approximately 100,000 men that were in the readiness group. About 40,000 of these are stationed at Fort Bragg. They are under an 18 hour readiness command and must be ready to fly anywhere in the world. He stated that the Army didn't have time now to wait 90 days to train men and then go into combat. They must be ready now I and this is the new approach to ' Fighting a war instead of the way it was in 1940. The general said that the all volunteer army was working and that now the armed forces could be selective in who they enlisted because of the number who wanted to join a service. He stated that 30 percent of the soldiers don't complete the three year enlistment because they are not suited for ) military service. This includes many reasons, he said. These men or women are just dropped from the service and they don't go through a court martial as they did years ago. He also stated that most of the men and all the women that are enlisting now are high school graduates. . When he changed his talk to the 9 caretaking soldier he compared his job to the mayor of a city. Each of these units have a specific job to do in keeping Fort Bragg going. The community, he compared to a chain grocery store, does $52 million a year business. The PX (See AROUND TOWN, page 16) By Peterkin In Sheriff's Race State Board Rejects Challenge James Peterkin, Jr.,'s charges that a conspiracy against him cost him the victory in the June 29 Democratic primary to nominate a Hoke County sheriff were rejected July 14 by the State Board of Elections unanimously on grounds that Peterkin did not support his charges with evidence. The vote to reject was reported unanimous (5-0). The Hoke County Board of Elections on July 7 said essentially the same thing of Peterkin's chal lenge but asked Peterkin later by letter to provide the board with specific information. Instead, Peterkin went directly to the state board because, he said, he was not informed of the meeting to discuss his challenge. Rose Sturgeon, Hoke County elections supervisor, said the county board didn't tell Peterkin about the July 7 meeting because "we just didn't think about it." Peterkin said he had asked Mrs. Sturgeon whether he could attend the meeting and quoted her as saying she would have to ask the board chairman, but that Mrs. Sturgeon didn't call Peterkin back. Among other allegations, Peter kin's challenge says about 1,200 black and Indian voters were denied the right to vote in the ~ prijnwi..~ui D^vid. Barrington defeated Peterkin, 2.601 to 1,717 votes. Peterkin's challenge filed with the state board charged that Hoke County officials conspired to make sure he lost, because he is black. Board attorney James Bullock said, however, that Peterkin should give to District Attorney Ed Grannis, Jr.. of Fayetteville evidence to support his charges if he has any. Peterkin did not attend the state board meeting either. He said after being informed of the state board's decision that he would take his case to court. He could initiate action in Superior Court, and he also could file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division since the case would involve the federal Voting Rights Act. County elections board chairman J. Scott Poole said at the June 7 meeting he expected Peterkin to do the latter. Peterkin presented to the state board two affadavits from county residents who said they were regis tered to vote but not allowed to vote. But Board chairman Robert Spearman said this would not have changed the outcome of the elec tion. Peterkin has said he has more affadavits from residents who al legedly were not allowed to vote June 29 but he didn't have enough time to mail them to the state board for consideration at the July 14 meeting. Peterkin also has charged that when he started mailing political material during the campaign a precinct official was hired parttime to work in the post office and that half the mail he sent was never delivered. Outside the formal challenge, Peterkin said that in Antioch Precinct, a man who had not been allowed to register to vote was allowed to cast the vote of his son. who is in the Army; and that in Raeford Precincts 2 and 4, a woman told him "they" were voting dead people, but added that he had no way of proving this, so he didn't pursue it. Peterkin also said in an interview with an out - of - county reporter that he knows of three people who cast absentee ballots for him -- a college student, his brother, and a friend who was going out of town -- but the official results show he received only one absentee vote. Mrs. Sturgeon, however, replied that "we counted every absentee ballot we got." In his formal challenge, besides alleging people were denied the right to vote, Peterkin says: ?A precinct worker told a voter not to vote for a given candidate. Peterkin did not supply the name of the worker or the voter to the county board. -Voters were required to vote outside their home precincts. Poole said it is up to the voter, according to the law, to find out which precinct he or she is to vote in. -Precinct workers did not let voters come into a voting place all at the same time but made them come in one at a time. Poole said he didn't understand the way this was put. It was one of the points Peterkin was asked to clarify. --Peterkin gave Hoke Demo cratic Chairman Harold Gillis a list of people Peterkin wanted to serve as poll observers, but Gillis didn't turn over the names to the elections board for approval. Gillis said later he sent back word to Peterkin that he would not recommend appoint ing poll observers for him since other candidates had not been asked to submit lists of people they wanted as observers. Spearman said no law requires party chairman to appoint poll watchers for candidates. Peterkin closes his challenge by Home Destroyed By Fire The home of Jimmy Neill Conoly in Puppy Creek was destroyed by fire of undetermined origin early Friday morning. No one was at home at the time. Puppy Creek Fire Chief Buddy Newton said. He said the house and its contents were destroyed by the blaze, which was discovered by a patrolling Hoke County deputy sheriff. Newton said the fire depart ment received the call about the fire from the Sheriff's Department at 1:51 a.m., and when the firemen arrived a few minutes later they found the front section had collapsed. The deputy radioed the Sheriff s Department when he saw smoke coming from the house. Newton said 14 Puppy Creek firemen with three trucks were assisted by about 10 Rockfish Fire Department firefighters with two trucks in putting the blaze out. None of the outbuildings on the property were damaged, he said. Newton said he left the scene at about 9 a.m. Friday. Remains of County home in Puppy Creek He said Conoly was located and notified by the Sheriffs Depart ment and arrived at the scene after the tire had been extinguished. The house was wood, contained seven rooms and was 100 or more years old. Newton said. He said the contents included some antiques. The house stood on paved SR 1417 about a mile south of U.S. 401 and about nine miles northeast of Raeford. James Peterkin. Jr. stating under oath to a notary public, Tony Buie, that the county elections board, precinct officials, registrars, judges, assistants, ballot counters and other election officials "are part of a conspiracy to keep me from having a runoff for the office of sheriff." Barrington, whose win in effect reelected him sheriff since he has no opposition in the November 2 general election, has declined to comment on Peterkin's charges. "1 beat him in the primary." Barring ton said, "and it's all over until the general election." Barrington is running for his sixth consecutive four-year term in the office. Peterkin also has been a deputy sheriff under Barrington. He said he started in 1974. working his way up to sergeant in 1980 when Barrington fired him. Peterkin said Barrington asked him to resign because Peterkin was under in vestigation by the SBI at the time in a theft case and that the sheriff fired him when he refused to resign. He said the reason Bar rington did this was "he knew I was going to run against him even tually." Grannis said Peterkin was not charged in connection with the 1980 investigation because the investigation did not turn up evidence sufficient to warrant pro secution. Competency Test July 28 A special summer administration of the North Carolina Competency Test will be given at Hoke County High School July 28-29 beginning at 8 a.m. Any student who attended Hoke High and has met all the re quirements to receive a diploma except passing all or part of the Competency Test is eligible to take the test during this administration. All interested persons should contact Jim Bowles at Hoke High or call 875-2156. The Hoke County commissioners Monday night agreed that the county should apply for a $750,000 federal Housing and Community Development grant through the State Department of Natural Re sources and Community Develop ment. A total of $605, 000 of it would be used to help finance establishment of a water system for South Hoke, as part of the $4.2 million county water system that is being con sidered. A total of $125,000 would be used to help pay for development of the 6.7 acres Burlington Industries gave last year for a county recrea tion park. The Hoke County De partment of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the development. Another part of the grant would finance relocation of the Rockfish community house and companion improvements to the grounds. A total of $20,000 of the federal grant would be used for financing a study of present housing and projected housing needs in the In connection with the $605,000 for the South Hoke water svstem, the commissioners authorized pro vision of $47,500 in county funds to help pay the balance as matching local funds. The money would be provided by sale of county bonds totaling less than the amount which would require a public referendum, or from other county sources. The cost is estimated at a total of $690,000. Of the grant, 510.000 would pay the administrative costs. The commissioners acted after hearing David Upchurch and Skip Green .ot the Koonce. Noble <k Associates, of Lumbenon. engi neering firm, describe the details of the grants. In another action connected with the water project, the commis sioners formally adopted a motion to accept a $255,495 State Clean Water Bonds grant from the State Division ot Health Services to help finance the county project. The $47,500 tor the South Hoke system is to come from this grant, and the $47,500 county money will be the required local matching fund. The acceptance of the Clean Water Bonds money was made conditional on the project being found feasible. The remainder of the funds needed are expected to come from the federal Farmers Home Admin istration in an interest-charged loan. The South Hoke indebtedness is to be repaid from the sales of water starting some time after the service is installed. Upchurch explained to the com missioners that the South Hoke system was decided on because South Hoke has the lowest income and the worst water problem in the county. He said the system would serve 180 residents and would consist of two wells, an elevated storage tank . water lines, and treatment facili ties. The cost of the county system, of which the South Hoke system will be a part, was estimated originally at $3.3 million. However, this was based on the cost of buying water from Raeford. which would have saved the cost of the county providing its own water supply. Upchurch informed the commis (See PROJFCTS. page 16) 4 Candidates Contesting For 2 Nominations Hoke Commissioners' Runoffs Tuesday Hoke County Democratic voters will choose from among four can didates Tuesday in the party's rv '?off primary the two they want for the party's nominees for the Board of Hoke County Commis sioners. The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The runoff involves Cleo Bratcher, Jr., Thomas (Tom) Howell, and pre sent Commissioners James A. Hunt and Mabel M. Riley. The winners and Commissioner Johh Balfour, who won the nomination for the third seat in the Juafc 29 primary, will run in the November 2 general election, with Republican Evelyn Manning. The terms of the two other members of the board-- Danny DeVane and Neil McPhatter-have two more years to run. They were reelected in 1980. DeVane, however, is running in the July 27 Democratic runoff for one of the three State House seats of the Robeson-Hoke-Scotland counties' 16th District. If he wins a nomination and then the general election, he will leave his commis sioner's position to serve in the General Assembly. DeVane is the only one of the six candidates in the House runoff from Hoke County. The others are from Robeson or Scotland. The other candidates are State Rep. William C. Gay, John (Pete) Hasty, Sidney Locks, V. Louise Sanderson, and J.T. (Tommy) Wellington. They were in a field of nine can didates who ran in the June 29 primary. None received a majori ty, and the six with the highest numbers of votes called for the runoffs. The Hoke voters also will help choose the Democratic nominees for two seats on the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Tuesday's runoffs. For one, Eugene H. (Gene) Phillips and H. Norton Rountree are contesting, and for the other the race is bet ween Sidney S. Eagles, Jr., and Paul Wright. Balfour received 2,215 votes in the first primary, more than enough to give him the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Bratcher finished second with 2,032, only two votes short of a majority. Mrs. Riley ran third with 1,549 and Howell fourth with 1,457. They were among 10 candidates trying for the Demoractic nominations. Bratcher requested a recount of votes, since he came that close to a majority, but the Hoke Ccounty Board of Elections ruled no evidence of error had been given by Bratcher, and a comparison by the board members of tally sheets and abstracts showed no discrepancies. A detailed recount was rrot called for, the hoard decided, because Bratcher had presented no grounds to support his request. tiididicr and Howell. Raeford businessmen, are running for iheir first terms in public office. Mrs. Riley, a retired businesswoman, is trying for her second term on the board, and Balfour, a Stonewall community farmer, is up for his fifth term. He is the current chair man of the board. Mrs. Manning is a Hoke County businesswoman running for her first term in a public office. She was unopposed for the Republican nomination; consequently, she did not need to rurv in a primary last month.