The Hoke County News - Established 1 928
Volume LXXV Number 9 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
$10 PER YEAR Thursday, June 23, 1983
Food Stamp Reporting Raises Ire
By Sherry Matthews
A momentary disagreement
erupted Monday night between
Hoke County Commissioners and
the Department of Social Services
(DSS) director during a public
hearing on the county's 1983-84
DSS Director Ken Witherspoon,
| who helped field questions from
k the public on the food stamp
"monthly reporting" dilemma,
admitted Monday night that the
; Hoke DSS got into the monthly
reporting program "voluntarily."
Witherspoon had requested that
the county provide funds to hire
five new employees to administer
the new early reporting program.
The budget recommended by
County Manager James Martin
has trimmed the DSS request to
! one new employee.
Since early reporting began here
by Sam Morris
It seems that summer came in
about a week in advance of the
calendar date. The past few days
have been hot and muggy and it
hasn't cooled off too much at
Since most of us now have cen
tral air conditioning in our homes
and also work in buildings that are
air conditioned, we have become
accustomed to being cool all the
time. So when we go outside for a
few minutes, it really gets to us.
Anyway it is not like the "good old
days" when you would sit on the
porch until the house cooled off
enough to get some sleep.
The forecast is for this weather
to continue for the remainder of
the week. Thunder showers have
been forecast but so far they have
? ? ?
Earl McDuffie, chairman of the
American Legion Golf Tourna
ment Committee, asked that I in
form all golfers of the upcoming
event on July 4th at the Arabia
According to McDuffie,
breakfast will be served at the
pond house and then golfers will
start a shotgun tee off from all
holes of the course after breakfast.
There will be prizes for the win
ners and I believe that handicaps
will be used. To verify this, please
check with Earl at his restaurant.
Also refreshments will be served
on the course during play. So sign
up now for a day of fun.
? ? ?
Most of the folks in Hoke Coun
ty several years ago used to look
forward every month to the mobile
office of Congressman Charlie
Rose parking in the post office
parking lot. The late Rip Collins of
Wilmington would listen to all
beefs that local people had, to be
forwarded on to Washington. The
mobile office ceased operations
after the death of Rip and then we
were moved out of Congressman
This week I received a letter in
forming me that a member of the
staff for our new Congressman Bill
Hefner would come to Raeford to
be available to citizens of Hoke
County who have problems which
they feel the man in Washington
can help them with at this time.
The staff member will be at the
Raeford City Hall on Friday, June
24 from one until three-thirty
o'clock. This announcement was
made by Elvin Jackson, ad
ministrator for the Congressman
in the district.
To my knowledge this is the first
time Hoke County people have
had a chance to communicate with
the Washington man since the elec
tion in November. To my way of
thinking this is too long a time.
So if you have a gripe about the
way things are going in
Washington, now is the time to let
it be known. Maybe it will get past
Anyway take a chance, it
doesn't have a chance just being
discussed over the coffee tables at
the local restaurants.
* * *
Louis Fogleman, publisher of
(See AROUND, page 2A)
in February, about one-third of the
county's food stamp caseload is
"We've been wrestling with this
situation for a long time, but we
can't seem to come up with a solu
tion," County Commission Chair
man John Balfour said.
"I'm interested in why we were
chosen as a pilot county," Balfour
Commissioner Wyatt Upchurch
told the board that DSS had gotten
into the program voluntarily.
Witherspoon verified it was true.
According to Upchurch, the
food stamp situation has "embar
rassed" the county and caused
chaos among county residents.
"Our effort was to reduce fraud
not make it a hardship on our
clients," Witherspoon said, adding
that he never intended to embar
rass the county or the commission.
"Our soul purpose was to im
prove the program. We were
mislead," Witherspoon said.
According to Upchurch, the
commissioners were never made
aware that Witherspoon had
volunteered for the program.
"I think we jumped the gun on
this particular program," Up
The program, which is federally
regulated, demands that all food
stamp recipients fill out a five-page
monthly report form before they
can receive their benefits.
Due to the lack of manpower at
DSS, Witherspoon has said that
more and more clients are being
caught in the federal web and hav
ing to "do without their food
"The monthly reporting will
probably reduce fraud, but the
people are paying an extreme price
because of the failure to staff
enough employees to take care of
the demand," Witherspoon said.
"There have been extreme ad
ministrative costs in implementing
this program," Witherspoon add
Staff members, who have at
times worked 60 hours a week, are
receiving verbal and mental abuse
from clients who are angry and
hungry, Witherspoon said.
"There are close to 250
households who "probably"
won't receive their benefits in
June," Witherspoon added, em
phasizing that additional staff
would decrease this problem.
The commissioners listened to
Witherspoon and others about the
food stamp situation, but no fur
ther action was taken during the
A squirrel's hide -a- way
Ninety degree temperatures and boiling humidity are taking their toll on Hoke County's wildlife. This young
squirrel seems to be attempting to sneak away from the scorching sun and to head up the tree where a little shade
can be found.
Ambulance Bills Mounting
By Sherry Matthews
Despite a recent subsidy increase
of more than 63.3^0, it appears
that the Hoke County Ambulance
Service is plunging deeper into a
According to Hoke County
Court records, ambulance service
owner Jim Henley owes more than
$4,700 to area businesses.
The court records show that
these debts have been mounting up
since March 22, over a month after
the county commissioners increas
ed the ambulance service subsidy
"We went into the new contract
because we could not get ahead of
the game," Henley said.
The county bailed Henley out in
February by approving a new con
tract, which allowed for a 540,883
increase over last year's taxpayer
subsidy and gave the ambulance
service $105,436 to cover expenses.
At a county board meeting two
months ago, Henley informed the
commissioners that he did not in
tend to renew his ambulance con
tract when it expires December 31.
At the March meeting, Henley
cited financial reasons for his deci
sion not to renew the county con
Since the March 21 meeting, the
ambulance service has compiled at
least seven judgements against
them totaling $4,751.36.
"We are in a financial bind,"
"1 am hoping that by the time
our contract expires we will have
paid off everyone we owe,"
"I'm not sure the county has
any legal way of making him pay
his hills," County Manager James
According to Martin, Henley is
his "own businessman."
Martin said he hoped Henley
would take care of his hills.
"We are honestly trying to get
this mess straightened out, but it
takes time." Henley said.
"We are trying to plan around
the budget, so we can get
everything paid out by the time our
contract expires," Henley added.
According to the court records
(See BILLS, page 2A)
Hoke Farmers Reap Early Harvests
Although bitter cold and heavy
rains prevented area crops from
being planted on time, harvesting
has begun and yields are good,
Hoke County Extension Agent
Willie Featherstone said.
According to Featherstone,
most farmers started harvesting
wheat, barley and oats over 10
days ago and are nearly 85% com
"These farmers are coming right
behind these crops and planting
soy beans," Featherstone said,
adding that he anticipated soy
bean planting to be complete by
Tobacco, another important
Hoke County crop, is showing
some "heat related" damage.
"The tobacco leaves that are
just coming out, are being burned
by the heat," Featherstone said.
Temperatures peaked last week
at around 90?, leaving "sun scold"
on some tobacco plant,
"There is really no significant
damage from the sun yet,"
"1 don't believe we will lose
anything," Featherstone said.
Com, too, is behind schedule,
but "looking pretty good".
according to Featherstone.
"Everything is showing a little
stress from the recent drought, but
overall it looks good,"
"Everything is about two or
three weeks behind what is normal
for this area. Things are beginning
to look about the same as last
year," Featherstone said.
"The yield is good, we are just
running a little behind,"
In other farm matters. Soil and
Water Conservation Supervisor
Sam Warren is upset over the
(See FARM, page 10A)
In other action, Grace Andrews
appealed to the commissioners to
"set aside" some money for the
building of a new animal shelter.
Andrews and other members of
the Hoke County Humane Society
were present Monday night to sup
port efforts to see that a new
shelter was built before the winter.
"We have more than 13 paying
members of the Humane Society,
and we are all interested in seeing
the shelter completed," Andrews
Balfour told Andrews that
$25,000 had been recommended in
the coming year's budget.
"We have not determined where
it will be moved, but it will be mov
ed and improved," Balfour said.
"The wheels grind slowly at
times," Balfour added.
Following the public hearing,
the commissioners held their
regular mid-month meeting.
During the meeting Hoke Coun
ty Sheriff Dave Barrington came
before the board to discuss moving
the sheriff's department staff into
the annex building.
Sheriff Barrington presented a
plan for how he "wanted" the
building to be used.
The plan included an interview
room, detectives' offices and a
Plans are for the sheriff and his
staff to move into the Courthouse
annex now that the county
employees have settled into their
The move will allow more space
(See TEMPERS, page 2A)
City Grants Reprieve
On Merchant Licenses
Members of the Raeford Cily
Council voted unanimously Mon
day night to reverse an earlier deci
sion and not to increase fees charg
ed for business "privilege"
Although higher bills have
already been mailed, city
businesses and industries will pay
the same rate as they did last year
as a result of Monday's vote.
The "inequitable" fees will be
studied during the coming fiscal
year and consideration will be
given to doing away with the
In other action, the council also
voted to approve the citv budget
for the 1983-84 fiscal year.
As a result of the vote, the city
will no longer collect garbage from
county, state and federal buildings
inside the Raeford corporate
The elimination of the practice is
expected to save municipal tax
payers approximated $1 JUX) per
In the past city trucks had been
collecting garbage from dunipsters
at county schools, the court house,
county offices, the post office and
the National Guard Armory.
Before approving the budget,
council members decided in a
three-two vote not to purchase
blazers which could be worn at
special out-of-town meeting'..
The council "uniforms" would
have cost the city $1,000. Council
members Vardell Hedgepeth, Ben
ny McLeod and Graham Clark
voted against the purchase of the
By Sherr> Matthews
State Bureau of Investigation
(SBI) agents are continuing an in
vestigation into a recent shooting
involving a Raeford Police officer,
a spokesman said this week.
Frank Johnson, senior SBI
agent for the Fayetteville Division
said Monday that there were a
"few" more witnesses that needed
to be interviewed before the case
could be turned over to District At
torney Edward Grannis.
"We've got to complete our in
terviews and finish the paper work
before it can be turned over to the
district attorney." Johnson said.
"I don't anticipate any sudden
turn of events in our
investigation," Johnson added.
The June 10 shooting and free
for-all left a local man and two
Raeford police officers injured.
Raeford patrolman Richard
McNeill and Sergeant Jack Mar
tino both received minor injuries
during an alleyway struggle and a
chase up a flight of stairs.
Steven LeGrande of Raeford
was shot during the struggle b>
Sgt. Martino who had been carry
ing a gun during the chase.
(See SHOOTING, page 2 M
In still turt her act ion . a grant
application to the federal
Economic Development Ad
ministration (EDA) for a Sl(X).()00
. The city hopes to use the money
coupled with a like amount taken
from city Powell Bill funds to im
prove drainage and street curbs in
the residential area located behind
the Wagon Wheel Restaurant.
Prior to vote to revert the
business fees, Hedgepeth had mov
ed to do away with ihe charges.
Complaints had been received
from merchants atter bilK were
sent out. Hedgepeih said, noting
that he was unsure why the city
charged the lees.
"If we are charging merchants
just for the privilege of doing
business in Raeford. then I think
we should do away with the fees.
"The merchants are gauged
enough. I think we should thank
them for being in Raeford,"
The fees have been at the same
level for the past 14 years. In
February, the council voted to in
crease fees lor the upcoming fiscal
year. That vote was nullified Mon
Under the present system, some
merchants are exempt from the
fees by state law because "they
have a better lobby than others."
"I don't think that's fair,"
Mcl eod said.
The system ol charging should
be made equal tor all businesses,
0 , -ti'
Potter: hobby and
W or king with your hands to
create is a fulfilling experience
especially for Hoke C ounty's
resident potter Jim Moses. H e
take a look at Moses, his pro
fession and his step by step ac
count of how it is done in this
weeks R-sedion of The News