The Hoke County News - Established 1928
Volume LXXIV Number 38 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
City Slaps Firm With $30,000 Fine
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The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
S10 PER YEAR Thursday, January 13, 1983
Turkey Plant Shoots For March Compliance
Charles Railey of Jones Intertable
speaking to the City Council Mon
day. He succeeded in getting a
By Warren Johnston
Efforts arc being made by the
House of Raeford turkey process
ing plant to bring sewer discharges
in compliance with city regulations
by a March 31 deadline, a com
pany spokesman said Tuesday.
The firm is working as rapidly as
possible to correct its discharge
problem and has spent "a great
deal of money" trying to remove
undesireable effluent going into
the Raeford sewer system, com
pany Controller George Kitchens
The turkey plant was socked
Monday night by the Raeford City
Council with heavy fines for the
firm's failure to meet the discharge
"We know there is a problem,
but we don't believe it as serious as
it has been made out to be," Kit
chens said, adding that he had not
been officially notified of the fines
by the city.
have been delayed because of the
current econonilc recession, Kit
"We are in the middle of a reces
sion, and our main goal has been
to keep 950 employees working,"
"We haven't ignored the pro
blem," Kitchens said.
A committee has been set up to
work on the discharge, and it is
that group's task to see that the
plant does its best to comply with
the city ordinance, Kitchens said.
"We're not in a battle with the
city. We're working with them,"
Members of the Raeford City
Council voted unanimously Mon
day night to levy fines against the
House of Raeford for past viola
tions of the city's sewer ordinance.
Fines of more than $30,000 will
be charged to the firm for failure
to bring the plant's discharge into
compliance with the city's or
The action comes after a year of
warnings from the council, and
members hope this "first step"
will encourage the House of
Raeford to complete work on the
plant's pre-treatment facility.
"I don't see where we have any
choice. If we don't do what we said
we were going to do, we might as
well forget it," Councilman Joe
The move also comes on the
heels of a December evaluation let
ter to the city from state Depart
ment of Natural Resources and
Community Development (NRCD)
Environmental Management Chief
In the letter, Helms said the city
would be given a 90-day grace
period to complete a clean up of its
sewer system, and that one of the
suggested conditions of the period
would be that enforcement action
be taken against the House of
Until discharges of grease, oil
and feathers are stopped from go
ing into the municipal system, the
city will not be able to satisfy state
standards, City Manager Ronald
If the discharges are not cleaned
up, Raeford will be subject to state
fines of up to $10,000 per day from
the state, and a moratorium on
future industry here will be con
tinued, Matthews said.
"I just want all of the council
members to know that levying
these fines is just the first step,"
Other industries here have been
required to clean up discharges and
to install costly pre-treatment
If the council failed to levy the
fines on the House of Raeford, it
would hot be fair to the other in
dustries, Councilman Vardell
The fines of $30,229.41 will be
levied for non-complying
discharges during a period from
July 1,1982 to December 31,1982.
Further charges will also be
levied until the plant is in com
pliancc, Matthews said.
"We have given them exten
sions. We've given them a chance.
Now, we need to take action," Up
In other action during the
regular monthly meeting, the
council decided to follow the
recommendation of its study com
mittee and not to grant relief from
sewer charges levied against two ci
By not taking any action, the
council left in place fees for sewer
service charged to the Hoke Con
crete Works and Commercial Pro
Both firms had sought relief
from the fees, because they do not
use the sewer system, but are
charged 109% of their water bills
for the service.
A committee was appointed dur
ing the December meeting to in
vestigate the matter, and members
of that group found to grant relief
to the two smaller firms might
establish a precedent for other in
dustries who also do not put as
much water into the sewer system
as they use.
Hoke Concrete Works President
Clyde Upchurch said after the
meeting that he would continue
paying the charges, but would
bring the matter up again when
there was a "new administration"
Councilman Benny McLeod,
who served on the committee, said
the group looked into the method
by which sewer fees are charged
here and found the city was using
the best method.
"There is no better system,"
It is the same method that is us
ed in 12 other surrounding
municipalities, Matthews said.
Cable Hike OK'd
In still further action, the coun
cil approved a 60 cents increase in
the monthly fees charged by Jones
lntercable for cable television ser
When the increase takes effect
on April 1, it will be the first hike
in rates in more than two years,
company spokesman Charles G.
Jones has improved the system
by adding the all-sports network
(ESPN) and the Cable News Net
work (CNN) within the last two
weeks, Railey said.
Cable news charges Jones 15
cents per subscriber per month for
the programs, he added.
With the increase, monthly
(Sec CITY, page 9)
? Ambulance Service In Hole
By Warren Johnston
During the first U months of
1982, the Hoke Ambulance Service
lost over $20,000, a recent audit of
the company's, books-shows. ~
The audit was ordered by the
Hoke County Commission in early
December after the service's owner
| James Henley told members his
* firm needed additional county
funds to meet its financial obliga
Despite a contribution from the
county of over $55,000 during the
first 11 months, the service lost
money, the audit shows.
Although efforts were made by
one member in 1979 to establish a
regular procedure for checking the
finances of county subsidized am
) bulance services, the recent audit,
conducted by the Fairmont ac
counting firm Lovin and Lewis, is
the first ordered by the commis
During the period from January
1 to November 30, last year, Hoke
Ambulance service had an income
of just over $90,000 and expenses
of more $110,000.
Part of the problem facing the
| service is collecting fees from
customers who have used the am
bulance. The audit shows that firm
was unable to collect charges from
almost 42^o of those billed last
In the first 1 1 months, the am
bulance service collected $34,751,
* Around Town
The weather was nice Saturday
and many people were on the golf
course. Sunday was a day that
most folks had rather stay indoors.
It was foggy Monday morning and
it made driving difficult.
? We haven't seen the long-range
forecast as this is being written,
but it is about time for some cold
? t *
I didn't get a chance to see
Representative Danny DeVane
over the weekend so I don't know
how his first week in the legislature
suited him. It is good to have a
j Hoke County man back in Raleigh
and we hope that we can keep one
Danny will have many problems
in his first term and especially with
the economic conditions like they
are at the present time. Everyone
will be wanting more money and
the other folks will insist that taxes
not be raised.
Most folks didn't think DeVane
} (See AROUND TOWN, page 9)
but was unable to collect another
During 1980, the firm wrote off
as uncollectable, accounts of over
S17.000- and during 1981 - over
Both state House members
representing Hoke County have
said they would back legislation to
bring the county under the North
Carolina law which makes it a
misdemeanor not to pay am
Rep. Daniel H. DeVane and
Rep. Sidney A. Locks both said
this week that they are working on
the legislation to get Hoke County
included under the law.
Although the uncollectable ac
counts increased over the service's
previous two years of operation,
the problem is not new to Henley.
Prior to starting the Hoke Am
bulance Service in 1979, Henley
told commission members that his
predecessor, the Spring Lake Am
bulance Service, had uncollectable
accounts of 46.8%.
Henley had served as manager
of the Spring Lake firm.
At the same meeting, held on
April 23, 1979, then Commissioner
Mable Riley attempted without
success to get the body to audit the
books of ambulance services.
If the county is going to make up
the difference between the service's
income and expenses, then the
commission has a right to audit the
Loader with cargo of dirt ready
to spread on dumped garbage at
the Raeford/Hoke County
Landfill. We take a look at the
landfill operation on page / of
section B in today's News
books, Mrs. Riley said.
"By auditing, wc know whether
they are making or losing money,"
A motion to conduct an audit
failed to get a second from other
commission members at that
Similar motions brought up at
earlier meetings, also failed to gain
the support of Mrs. Riley's fellow
"I don't know why we continue
raising the subsidy every year
without checking the books;" Mrs.
Riley said before voting against the
Henley contract in 1979.
In addition to the increased un
collectable charges, the audit
shows salaries paid by the com
pany increased from $17,414 dur
ing 1981 to over $42,400 in the first
1 1 months of 1982.
Part of the increase is a $12,397
officer's salary which was not
reported in the same manner dur
ing previous years, auditor Jeffrey
G. Lewis said.
Although the county is paying
Hoke Ambulance Service over
$64,000 per year, the annual sub
sidy is less than would have been
paid to other services bidding for
the business in 1979.
Commission members had bids
from the Spring Lake firm of
$70,000 per year with 5% increases
every year for three years.
(See COUNTY, page 10)
HOUSEBREAKER -- This 1975 Chevrolet Vega stationwagon wound up partly in a side front of this unoc
cupied block house near Upchurch Junior High School about I a.m. Tuesday. No one was around when the
photographer and Hoke County sheriff's deputies arrived about 9:45 a.m. moments after being notified. Later
Tuesday morning, Henry McNeill of Rt. 3, Raeford, was reported charged with driving left of center and with
driving without a license by the State Highway Patrol. McNeill was reported taken into custody when he return
ed to the scene. The sheriff's officers turned the investigation over to the Patrol after learning the vehicle had
been traveling on the highway (SR 1310) when it left the road and struck the house. Trooper R. V. Lee in
vestigated. The front end was smashed by the collision and by the impact of the cinder blocks from the house
when they fell on the hood of the car after being knocked down by the accident. The windshield was cracked all
April Deadline Set To Fill Superintendent Slot
It will be at least April 1 before
members of the Hoke County
Board of Education name a
replacement for retiring
Superintendent Raz Autry, the
board chairman said Thursday.
Applications for the job will be
accepted until February 25, and a
limited number of prospects will be
interviewed during March, Chair
man Bill Cameron said.
Board members met Wednesday
night with North Carolina School
Board Association Executive
Director Gene Causby and were
briefed on the appropriate ap
proach to hiring a new superinten
Although Autry is retiring on
March 17, Cameron said if a
replacement is not found by that
date, then an interim superinten
dent could be named to serve while
the search continues.
"If we don't find anyone in this
first group, then we will start the
entire process again," Cameron
The board will begin advertising
next we?k through the state School
Probably no more than five ap
plicants will be interviewed for the
job which pays around $30,000 a
year, Cameron said.
An announcement of who has
been selected will not be made until
a contract is signed, he added.
"We tentatively hope to an
nounce it by April 1," Cameron
On Tuesday, the board, meeting
in regular session, decided not to
change the current leave of absence
policy, and to deny a request from
two West Hoke teachers for an ex
The decision was made after a
30-minute closed door session,
which took up more than half of
the regular monthly meeting.
Under the present rules, teachers
are allowed to take leave for up to
one semester, and Autry had sug
gested in the open meeting that the
board not change its leave policy
until after a new superintendent is
The West Hoke teachers had
asked to extend that leave for the
balance of the year.
Although the closed meeting was
called to discuss the two teachers.
board members confirmed follow
ing the session that the employees
were mentioned only briefly and
most of the time was spent discuss
ing the leave of absence policy.
Board members also told Tht
ftews-Journal that some members
of the body feel it is easier to talk
in private rather than in public.
Board Attorney Bill Moses was
present at the closed meeting.
According to the state's 1979
Open Meetings Law, the board
may hold an executive session and
exclude the public in order to
"consult with an attorney, to the
extent that confidentiality is re
quired in order for an attorney to
exercise his ethical duties as a
1982 Raeford Fire Damage, Lowest In Recent
The year 1982 was a very good
year for property owners of
Raeford as far as fire is concerned,
the annual report of Fire Chief
Robert E. "Buster" Jackson
Jackson thanked the citizens of
Raeford for the record.
At the same time, he advised
people to put hot ashes from stoves
in containers separate from gar
bage, to avoid fire danger.
In 1982, the report shows, no
one - fireman or nonfireman --
was killed or injured by a fire.
Property losses caused by fires
amounted to $7,400, which was
S3 i, 600 less than the fire damage
of 1981, Jackson said.
The report for last year also
shows the following.
The firemen answered 30 alarms
and spent a total of 184 hours in
They also took 1,671 hours of
training and participated in 33 fire
A total of 65 burning permits
were issued and 180 buildings in
spected by the departments.
In reference to disposing of hot
ashes, Jackson said there is a law
prohibiting the dumping of ashes
into garbage. He said the ashes are