The Hoke County News - Established 1928
VafeMM LXXIV N amber 45 RAEFORI), HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
510 PER YEAR Thursday, March 3, 1983
With Rockfish Slaying
By Shun Matthews
A 22-year-old Ft. Bragg woman charged with the February 7 stabbing
(kadi of her stepfather will be arraigned in Hoke County District Court on
Hoke County Authorities arrested Victoria S. Burnette, 22, in connec
tion with the slaying of Roger Keith Shannon near the Rockfish area.
Burnette was in the Hoke County Jail under a S 50. 000 surety bond on
"The physical evidence found at the crime scene matched that found in
a truck owned by Shannon and provided us with the evidence we needed to
arrest Miss Burnette," Barrington said.
The truck, a 1969 CMC pickup, was the key to solving the crime, accor
ding to Barrington.
The body of the victim was found on February 8 in a wooded area bet
ween Rockfish and Arabia by some hunters.
Authorities had said at an earlier date that a rope was found near the
body leading them to believe the victim had been tied prior to death.
Shannon had been stabbed 10 to 12 times in the chest, back, and legs,
the sheriff said earlier.
"At this time all I can say is that it appears the motive of the crime was
apparently of sexual deviation," Barrington added.
Burnette made her first appearance in Hoke County District Court last
Friday and is now being held under bond until the preliminary- hearing set
for March 1 1 .
Hoke Fugitive Alludes
Columbus Co. Officers
By Deuce Nivtn
State prison officials from the
Brunswick County unit near
Whiteville have spent more than a
week in a futile search for a Hoke
County man who escaped their
custody on February 22.
Jesse Reaves, aka Willie R.
Jacob, 31 ran away from a prison
transfer bus at a stop sign near the
Columbus County Prison Unit
about 8: IS last Tuesday night. He
had apparently jimmied open the
back door of the bus, according to
prison spokesman Lt.J.R. Hunt
Blood hounds were called in and
other prison unit officials and area
lawmen concentrated their search
on the Williams Township com
munity in southern Columbus
County late Tuesday night and
most of the day Wednesday.
However, Reaves had forced his
way into the mobile home of
Michael Cox in Williams
Township and forced Cox to take
him to South Carolina, according
"He(Cox) took him to a mile
this side of Green Sea(SC)," Hunt
"Reaves told him to pull over to
the side of the road; and he got out
Reaves was again seen in the
Green Sea area late Wednesday
night when he approached some
men at a local church and claimed
to have run out of gas. Hunt said.
"One of the boys there gave him
a ride to Mount Olive, and we
haven't heard from him since,"
Mt. Olive is located in rural
Horry County, S.C., several miles
from Green Sea.
Hunt said the search for Reaves
continues although officials from
this side of the state line are depen
dent on South Carolina law en
forcement authorities since their
jurisdiction does not cross the
Reaves was returning to the
prison from Raeford last Tuesday,
a day after a Hoke County Grand
Jury indicted him on auto theft
and felonious larceny charges for
the 1980 theft of a 1976 El Camino
Reaves was serving a 10 year
prison term on the conviction of
receiving a stolen vehicle in Hoke
County, prison officials said.
bf S?i M?m
Th* weather over the weekend
was somewhat on the cold side and
the forecast seems to be for rain
the first of the week.
As this is being written Monday
afternoon it is raining and the
noonday weather report calls for
three to four inches of rain near
the coast. Also the winds will be
about 25 miles per hour and with
the full moon this means that tides
will be above normal. This will
cause more erosion at most of the
North Carolina beaches.
Robert Gatlin was by the office
Mooday afternoon and said thai
we had already set a record for
rainfall for February and that it
should be more by midnight. An
article about this rainfall will ap
pear elsewhere in the paper.
With March now with us there
shouldn't be too much cold
weather left for this year.
? ? ?
The University of Nevada at Las
Vegas didn't stay number one in
the college basketball polls very
long. Like all other teams the top
spot spelled disaster for them.
They lost two games during the
Who will be the next to rise and
? ? ?
Don't forget that the Democratic
Party precinct meetings will be held
at al polling places Thursday
night. March 3 at 8 p.m. Officers
wfl be elected and abo delegates to
the Coraty Convention will be
?Mi at this time.
if i?uitftd in party politics
^?tMi u where It afl begins. So
mmk yemr rahndai to be in atten
dance Thursday night.
(Sne AROUND TOWN, page 7A)
HONORED: Ron Matthews,
Raeford City Manager, was recent
ly named Chairman of the Hoke
County United Way.
Ron Matthews Named
To United Way Post
Raeford City Manager Ronald
L. Matthews has been named
Campaign Chairman for this
year's Hoke County United Way
Matthews, who has served as ci
ty manager here since 1978, hopes
to lead this year's campaign into
full swing by April.
Hoke County is one of only 70
organizations in the United States
that holds its United Way drive in
"We have followed the lead of
local industries, who believe that it
would be less confusing to hold it
in the spring," Hoke County
United Way President Ken
Wither spoon said.
In the fall, when moM organiza
tions hold United Way drives,
Hoke County is in the middle of
other programs, like in-gatherings,
carnivals and plate sales.
These conflicts might siphon the
manpower and funds needed for a
successful United Way drive,
(See UNITED WAY. page 7A)
KILLING FIRE: The charred remains of (he mobile home where five
year-old Saundnate McDougald was killed early Saturday morning.
DSS Cracking Down
On Food Stamp Fraud
By Sherry Matthews
Food stamp fraud is not a new
thing in Hoke County, but crack
ing down on the offenders is, a
spokesman for the Department of
Social Services (DSS) said.
"About 22<Vo of Hoke Counties
population receives food stamps
and with that number there is a
great potential for fraud out
there," Hoke County DSS Direc
tor Ken Witherspoon said.
In times past, fraud existed but
was hard to detect and prove.
According to Witherspoon,
changing regulations and time
have played important roles in the
lack of detection.
"The government keeps chang
ing the regulations, and that makes
it hard to detect who is commiting
fraud and who is not," Wither
DSS is trying to improve inter
viewing techniques and the educa
tion of staff members to make
them aware of the changing regula
Another valuable improvement
is the hiring of a fraud in
vestigator, Witherspoon said.
'The County Commissioners
did us a great favor by allowing us
to hire a fraud investigator, "
On January 10, the temporary
position was filled by Bill Altman.
"Since Bill has been here, we
have had nine cases of suspected
fraud reported and under active in
vestigation," Witherspoon said.
Not only are there new reports
coming in but the old reports that
never "quite got going" are also
being investigated and brought in
to final stages, the DSS director
"We are trying to clean up all
the old reports that we haven't had
time to handle properly, as well as
dealing with the more current
reports," Witherspoon said.
If is to the department's advan
tage to catch the fraud.
"If we catch them and get ihe
money back, the department gets
half of the money," Witherspoon
For this reason as well as many
more, the department has a high
level of concern to "do it right"
"We investigate every report we
gel even if the caller wishes to re
main anonymous," Witherspoon
According to Witherspoon and
Altman, catching someone who
has committed fraud benefits
"We have a responsibility to
clean up client fraud so that we can
avoid more abuse to the benefits of
the food stamp program,"
Client fraud can exist in a
number of situations.
According to Witherspoon the
biggest problem is unreported in
Another problem in client fraud
comes from the person who
bounces from state to state or
county to county applying for food
Witherspoon says that this pro
blem is decreasing.
"Bouncing from county to
county is becoming more difficult
with the intensified verification
process which allows us to ask for
references we know are reliable,"
"If everyone docs their job, this
problem will eliminate itself,"
Witherspoon also said there
were lots of ways to eliminate
fraud if you had the time and the
staff to handle the cases and the
" 1 am not concerned with deny
ing a problem exists, I'm conerned
with dealing with it and cleaning it
up." Witherspoon said.
Three To Be Charged
For Stamp Fraud Here
Members of the Hoke County
Department of Social Services
(DSS) met Monday afternoon to
determine what action should be
taken on three new food stamp
The charges were recently un
covered by county fraud in
vestigator, Bill Altman.
The members of the board voted
unanimously to turn the cases over
to Director Ken Witherspoon in
order that warrants can be sworn
out against those who are alleged
to have committed the fraud.
Each of the three cases
amounted to less than S400,
therefore, they will all be con
sidered misdemeanor crimes,
At the meeting Witherspoon
acknowledged that all cases of
fraud turned in to the department
arc under investigation.
"We want anyone who knows or
thinks they know about someone
commiting food stamp fraud to
report it to us," Witherspoon said.
Child, 5, Killed
In Trailer Blaze
I By Sherry Matthews
A fire, which swept through a
mobile home in the North Raeford
Trailer Park Saturday morning
killed a five-year -old girl and com
pletely demolished the dwelling.
The young girl, identified as
Saundnate McDougald, was trap
ped in her parents bedroom alone
when the fire erupted. North
Raeford Fire Chief John Baker
"Most likely the child succumb
ed to smoke inhilation," Baker
?- said .
Anthony McCormik of Greens
|] boro, who was also in the trailer
B when it caught fire, escaped
According to the sheriff's
report, McCormik, who was
I awakened by the child's screams,
had attempted to save the little girl
but could not get through a wall of
smoke which blocked access to the
bedroom where she was trapped.
"When we arrived on the scene,
the trailer was completely engulfed
in fire," Baker said.
The young girl probably suc
cumbed to the smoke several
minutes before we were dispatched
to the fire, the chief said.
"At this time the cause of the
fire is still unknown, but we are
working very closely with the elec
tric company to find the answer,"
"It could have been so many dif
ferent things, but the way the
trailer was gutted, it is almost im
possible to determine what really
started the fire," Baker said.
The parents of the girl, Mr. and
Mrs. Vernon McDougald, were
not at home when the fire broke
According to sources at the
scene, the parents were at work.
Animal Death Toll
88% In Hoke Pound
ny snerry rviattnews
During 1982, 88^0 of all the
animals impounded by the City of
Raeford and Hoke County were
killed and cost the taxpayers nearly
$1,400, records show.
Although over 1,300 animals
were put to death last year, only 66
As a result of these figures. Jack
McGinnis and other members of
the Humane Society asked the
County Commissioners several
weeks ago to set up a committee to
study the dog pound.
At last week's meeting, the com
missioners gave the OK for the dog
pound committee and named those
who would be members.
The committee met last Wednes
day night in what Jack McGinnis
called an "organizational
Committee members, who are
looking into the feasibility of con
structing a new dog pound, hope
to have recommendations ready
for the county commissioners to
study in four or five weeks,
The conditions of the present
pound prompted the Humane
society to call the problem to the
attention of ihe county commis
County health supervisor Lloyd
Home said earlier the existing
facility has these problems:
-At limes the pound is grossly
-Due to lack of pens, large
animals are sometimes placed with
small animals. The smaller ones
are often killed.
?Sick animals are not able to be
isolated from healthy ones and
diseases are hard to check.
-There is no heat source in the
facility and some animals freeze to
death during the cold winter days.
?Roads leading to the pound are
impassable at certain times during
the year and make it difficult for
residents who might want to adopt
an animal to get in.
Another problem that has stir
red the Humane Society into ac
tion is the fact that animals must
be exterminated because the coun
ty cannot afford to keep them
longer than 10 days.
Records show that of the over
1,300 dogs impounded by the city
and the county in 1982, only 160
lived; the others were put to death.
According to city records,
around $14,000 a year is spent on
everything dealing with the dog
pound, including the warden's
salary, travel expenses and
maintenance and repair.
County records are hazy.
According to Home there is no
separate budget for the warden's
salaries or the maintenance thai
has to be done to the dog pound.
The county does, however, keep
seperate records of the food bills
which ran about $700 for 1982 and
records of the euthanasia bills
which were a little over SI, 300 for
Another important set of figures
involving the dog pound are the
ones dealing with the number of
licenses sold during the year.
The City of Raeford in 1982 sold
only 41 dog tags while the dog
warden reported that 115 dogs
For the County, reports show
that nearly 1,500 dog licenses were
issued and the dog warden
reported that over 1,200 were im
pounded last year.
McGinnis, who has been ap
pointed to head this committee is
"very pleased with what is happen
"Everybody wants to see
something done and done quickly
and this pleases me greatly,"
Last Wednesday night, the com
mittee discussed such things as
making the pound more accessible
to the public and keeping the cost
down, McGinnis said.
The committee will meet every
Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. until
the recommendations have been
The public is urged to attend.
TOTALED: A county-owned Plymouth, recently loaned to Hoke County Am
bulance Company owner James L. Henley for emergency use only, was wrecked
Tuesday around 2:02 a.m. Henley was apparently driving north when the vehicle
left U.S. Highway 401 four miles north of Raeford and struck a utility pole on the
south side of the road. State Highway Patrol Trooper R. V. Lee said, adding that
road conditions were poor at the time of the accident. Lee was unsure where
Henley was going in the vehicle, and the ambulance senice operator could not be
reached for comment at press time. He was apparently treated and released from
Cape Fear Valley Hospital. County Manager James Martin or County Commission
Chairman John Balfour were also unable to be reached for comment prior to press
time. There was no alcohol involved in the accident and Henley was apparently
alone when it occurred. Lee said The matter is under close investigation, hie added.