The Hoke Coun" n-s - Estob)ished J928 &W&
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1 905
$10 PER YEAR
By Sherry Matthews
A State Bureau of Investigation
(SBI) probe was continuing this
week into a Friday night shooting
and fracas that left a local man and
^ two Raeford Police officers in
Frank Johnson, senior SBI
agent for the Fayetteville Division
said that state officials were asked
to investigate the case by Raeford
Police Chief Leonard Wiggins im
mediately after the incident occur
Steven LeGrande of Raeford
was arrested during the incident
^ and charged with three counts of
assault on a police officer, one
count of communicating threats to
a police officer and one count of
resisting arrest, a spokesman for
the Raeford Police Department
The assault charges came after
LeGrande allegedly struck
Sergeant Jack Martino with a
"two-by-four", Johnson said.
9 According to Johnson, an
alleyway struggle started after
Martino and patrolman Richard
McNeill were dispatched to Jack's
Video Village on Main Street
where a man was reported to be ly
ing on the sidewalk "passed out."
The man was apparently
When the two officers tried to
rouse the sleeping man, the
younger LeGrande came outside
9 and started verbally harassing the
As the officers attempted to ar
rest LeGrande, he "jerked away"
ran out into the alley and up a
flight of stairs, Johnson said.
Patrolman McNeill was injured
during the chase up the stairs,
According to Johnson, Sergeant
_ Martino cornered LeGrande in the
9 alley and was allegedly struck in
the ribs with a two-by-four.
During the struggle, the gun
Martino had been carrying,
dislodged, firing a bullet into
Both LeGrande and McNeill
were taken to Moore County
Hospital for treatment.
McNeill was released Friday
night with a sprained ankle, and
^ LeGrande was discharged Satur
Martino suffered a severely
bruised rib cage as well as other
visible bruises, a spokesman for
the police department said.
According to the police
spokesman, LeGrande is out of jail
under a $2,500 secured bond.
Johnson said the investigation
into the shooting was continuing
^ and would be turned over to the
District Attorney when completed.
by Sam Morris
The weather for the past week
| has been perfect for all types of
" outdoor activities. We are not only
thinking about sports, but the
graduation exercises that have
been taking place. It is not good
when the high school graduation
day has to be moved indoors. Then
the only ones that can attend are
the holders of tickets. I believe that
each senior is given four tickets in
case of inclement weather.
^ Someone did tell me that I
shouldn't have obtained the infor
mation from Bill Lancaster last
week. He wouldn't give me any
reason, but he did mention later on
something about having a green
thumb. Maybe someone can help
me figure this out before next
The forecast is for warm
weather the remainder of the week.
Mrs. R.A. Matheson told me
last week that she had read about
Carrie Sturgis in my column and
that Miu Sturgis was teaching here
when she started in 1929. She said
that Mrs. T.B. Upchurch said that
Mlti Sturgis came here in the fall
After talking with Mrs.
k Matheson I have been informed
(See AROUND, Page 10A)
Cleaning contaminated ash
These barrels at an Ashley Heights dump site were loaded last week presumably \ to be taken to Goldsboro for
recycling of metals contained in ashes. Transformer salvage operator Woody Wilson Jr. is cleaning the area after
state health officials found toxic lead levels of 300 times what is considered safe.
New Dump Site
By Warren Johnston
State investigators were expected
to begin taking samples Tuesday
and Wednesday from a fourth
location in Hoke County suspected
of containing toxic and cancer
causing compounds, The News
Journal has learned.
In addition, samples will also be
taken from a site located on state
owned property, which officials
believe was used to covertly burn
State officials have been
conducting a month-long probe in
to the dumping sites which are all
located in the Ashley Heights and
McCain areas of Hoke County.
The fourth location was ap
parently overlooked earlier by
state investigators, but is within 50
yards of a site that was previously
found to contain low to mid levels
of polycholorinated Biphenyls
(PCB) and lead levels of 600 times
what is considered safe.
The new site is believed to be an
area where oil from electrical
transformers was "intentionally"
dumped and where sulfuric acid
from dismantled batteries was
Pine trees in the area appear to
The state owned site, which is
being checked, is located In a
remote area behind the Sandhills
The state property being sampl
ed shows evidence of burning and
contains metal parts which appear
to have come from electrical
Health officials from the state
Department of Human Resources
(DHR), working with the Hoke
County Health Department, also
took water samples Monday from
a well which serves more than one
dozen families and which is within
100 feet of a battery casing burial
Toxic lead levels of 21 times
what is considered safe have been
found at that burial site.
Earlier health officials had
believed that the well was dry and
did not serve a nearby mobile
home park and. other surrounding
However, local officials were
told Friday that the well near the
battery site was in use, and that
some residents were complaining
about the taste of the water, Hoke
County Health Director Lloyd
"They switched wells on us last
week," Home said, adding that
the change was apparently made
after a pump on another well quit
Lead levels in humans above .5
parts per million are believed to
contribute to mental retardation,
blindness and other health pro
Although the new site is within
view of the other locations tested
by the state, officials were unaware
of its existence prior to Friday,
"We won't know until the
testing is completed, but we
suspect large quantities of oil were
intentionally dumped," he said.
Thus far all of the allegedly con
taminated sites have been linked to
(See NEW, Page 2A)
Jump School Owner
Blasts Airport Committee
By Sherry Matthews
Charges and counter-charges
continue to block a peaceful
resolution of the use of the
The latest salvo was fired by
parachute jump school owner
Gene Thacker, in a fiery letter to
members of the Raeford City
In the letter Thacker blamed all
the airport problems on a Blue
Ribbon Study Committee that was
formed to help the growth of the
Thacker singles out one member
of the committee as being the driv
ing force behind recommendations
to have his parachute landing site
moved one-half mile east of the
Blue Ribbon Study Committee
Chairman, Tom Cameron, was
tagged a "committee of one" by
According to the letter, Thacker
claims Cameron's goal was to
eliminate jumping at the airport.
Thacker also claims in his letter
that the parachute landing zone is
1200 feet from the runway.
However, a 1979 Hoke County
aerial photograph of the airport
shows that the parachute landing
?* - ? ~ m a? ? ?r * I
Clearing away: before and after
Paul Bunyans they're not, but they appear to be getting the job done as
they work to cut down this 200 year old tree In front of the Raeford
Presbyterian Manse. After sawing and chopping all day Thursday the tree
fell. According to Jimmy McPhaul the tree was dead and needed to come
down. The deceased tree will be used to warm homes in the coming winter.
zone is only 650 feet from the run
way, some 550 feet closer than
Thacker also claims that the
Laurinburg-Maxton airport con
ducts parachuting "as close as
50-200 feet from the active runway
without any problem."
A letter from the executive direc
tor of the Laurinburg-Maxton Air
port Commission also contradicts
According to the letter sent by
Larry Barnett, the Laurinburg
Maxton Airport allows
parachuting activity that takes
place approximately 6,400 feet
from the main runway.
Parachute landing zones are
over 5,750 feet closer to the run
way at the Raeford Airport.
Thacker claims that the entire
airport problem is just a "nit pick
The recent airport controversy
has been brewing for over a year
now and came to a head in May.
Recommendations by the study
committee brought heated debate
from Thacker who apparently does
not wish to move the landing zone.
Recommendations included en
forcing radio monitoring and
McCain Jobs Assured,
State Legislators Say
By Sherry Matthews
Although it has been
unanimously approved to turn the
McCain tuberculosis sanitorium
into a prison hospital, state
Legislators feel "certain" that the
facility's present employees will
have their jobs and benefits pro
"All the budget leaders have
guaranteed that no jobs will be
lost," state Rep. Daniel H.
DeVane said Monday.
"I feel confident that the
employees will be taken care of,"
DeVane and other state leaders
have been fighting for several
months during sessions of the
General Assembly to keep McCain
as North Carolina's last
sanitorium, but last month the
joint appropriations base budget
committee approved the conver
Last week, the joint expansion
budget committee unanimously
approved funding of $5 million per
year to turn McCain into a prison
Although DeVane and others
are disappointed that the last re
maining TB facility it being closed,
they are glad that the issue is final
ly being settled.
"I am glad that we are not going
to completely lose the facility,"
"1 am not happy about losing
McCain, but I am satisfied as far
as what is being done," DeVane
The planned conversion will be a
"phase in, phase out" process
which should be completed in Oc
tober, DeVane said.
"We want to do this as smoothly
as possible," DeVane added.
The gradual "change over" is
apparently not going to upset the
According to DeVane, there
have been assurances from the
Department of Correction that all
McCain employees will be pro
"They have always been my
main concern," DeVane said.
The conversion of McCain
hospital, which is adjacent to Mc
Cain prison, will begin in July, ac
cording to DeVane.
Monies to offset conversion cost
will come from a state contingency
fund and will be appropriated over
a two year period. ,
According to DeVane, things are
finally getting underway.
"I think the people at home are
satisfied," DeVane said.
"Everyone may not be happy,
but I think they realize this is the
next best thing," he added.
"1 think everyone is just ready
to get it finalized," DeVane said.
operation during parachuting and
moving the landing zone "one-half
mile east of the airport."
The radio situation was solved
when city councilmen required that
Thacker operate a radio while
jumping was in progress.
Other recommendations have
not been implemented.
According to Thacker, the pro
blems at the airport should be
worked out immediately.
"If there is a dangerous situa
tion, why not solve it now,"
Thacker asked in his letter.
Thacker, who has claimed all
(See THACKER, Page 2A)
Vass Road, a one time heavily
traveled public road now Is
trampled on by Army tanks,
jeeps and helicopters. We take
a look at the Raeford-Vass
Road, Its past and its possible
future In this week 's B-section
of The News-Jonrnal.