The Hoke County News - Established 1 928
Volume LXXV Number 10 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
- journal 1S
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
$10 PER YEAR Thursday, June 30, 1983
No greenery even in the summer
This tret, arching its way skyward, has lost all of its splendor to age and possibly disease. /V'o leaves blossom out
from the skinny limbs even during these hot summer months.
Hunt's Arrests Mount
Q By Sherry Matthews
County Commissioner James
Albert Hunt was arrested and jail
ed for the second time in four days
Tuesday night, Hoke County
Sheriff's records show.
Under the second .. warrant,
ordered by Scotland County
District Court Judge Herbert L.
Richardson, Hunt is to remain in
jail "without bond" until July 20.
j(? The arrest order against Hunt
was issued because he failed to ap
pear in court June 22 on six counts
of worthless check charges,
Hunt, who has been plagued
with financial woes for the last six
months, was arrested Saturday by
Hoke Sheriff's deputies after
District Court Judge Joseph
Dupree ordered a warrant be taken
out on the commissioner for not
% appearing in court Friday, June
Reports show that Hunt was ar
rested and confined to the Hoke
County Jail under a SI, 000 cash
The commissioner remained in
confinement for about three hours
until approximately 7 p.m. Satur
day when bail was posted, records
l/ Records show that Hunt was
also issued three criminal sum
by Sam Morris
The weather still remains hot
K and of last Thursday very little rain
had fallen in Raeford. The forecast
was for hot weather the remainder
of the week.
Don't forget the American
Legion Golf Tournament to be
played at the Arabia Golf Course
on July 4th.
There will be breakfast at the
Edinborough Restaurant before
the tournament play begins. Also
many prizes will be given in every
flight and the fellowship will be
Complete details can be obtain
ed from Earl McDuffie, Chairman
of the event .
So go out on the holiday and
help the Legion build up funds to
help worthy causes.
Later on as you read this col
umn, you will see why the first two
items are not written with complete
Another thing is the visit of con
gressman Bill Hefner's staff assis
(See AROUND, page 2A)
monses on worthless check charges
in Scotland and Lee Counties
totaling over $500.
In addition to weekend charges,
the nine-year veteran commis
sioner faces five new criminal sum
monses for worthless checks from
Robeson and Harnett Counties
These orders were received by
Hoke authorities on Monday,
Scotland County Sheriff C.
Alfred White said Tuesday that he
was going to issue four additional
criminal summonses against Hunt
for bad checks written in Scotland
Hunt is supposed to appear in
court July 6 on those charges.
Sheriff White said.
On Monday, some 39 acres of
Hunt's property was put up for
sale by United Carolina Bank after
the commissioner apparently failed
to catch up on payments.
The property was apparently
"bid in" by UCB for $78, 195.22, a
bank spokesman said, noting that
Hunt or anyone else will have 10
days to "upset the bid."
The three tracts of land that
were put up for sale are located in
the South Hoke area that Hunt
James A. Hunt
Hunt, vice-chairman of the
County Commissioners, is also ap
parently allowing court judge
ments to mount up against him.
Since January, at least seven
judgements have been entered in
the court records against Hunt or
Hunt Enterprises, totaling over
According to the records, none
of these judgments have been
Hunt, 40, has been plagued with
mounting bills and other financial
troubles since January when he
was first charged with passing bad
checks totaling $13,543 in Robeson
and Hoke counties. Those charges
were dropped when Hunt repaid
two of the debts in full and one in
(See HUNT, page 2A)
Aiding Mother Nature
With temperatures climbing Into the 90 's and humidity almost unbearable,
arm /armors art having to aid mother nature by setting up rain systems to
keep their crops from wilting In the blazing sun .
More PCB F ound
By Warren Johnston
Recent samples taken from the fourth and fifth
suspected hazardous waste dumping sites in Hoke
County have shown concentrations of PCB
(Polycholorinated Biphenyls), a state health official
An analysis of the soil taken from one of the two
new sites has shown the highest level of PCB found
during the state's two-month probe of alleged illegal
dumping and burning of toxic waste in Hoke County,
a state Department of Human Resources (DHR)
Samples taken from the other site, which is on state
owned property, indicates lower levels of PCB, DHR
Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch spokesman Terry
F. Dover said.
Results from tests for heavy metals, like lead, have
not been completed, Dover said.
Tests have shown that soil samples taken from an oil
soaked site, which is located within SO yards of an area
investigated earlier by health officials, contained PCB
concentrations of 30 parts per million.
The federal Environmental Proctection Agency
(EPA) considers 49 parts per million hazardous,
however, some state laws put the safe level at 10 parts
Samples taken from a state owned site, located
about one mile behind the Sandhills Youth Center on a
dirt path off of State Road 1219, show concentrations
of almost 12 parts per million.
"No matter what, we are going to see that these sites
are cleaned up," Dover said.
State and local officials have linked the dumping to
a transformer dismantling operation being conducted
by Goldsboro resident Woody Wilson Jr.
Wilson is presently cleaning two earlier sites where
officials found low to mid levels of PCB and high con
centrations of lead.
The lead apparently came from a battery disman
tling business also operated by Wilson.
The sites, now being cleaned, and the new oil dump
ing site are located on property owned by Wilson's
aunt, Delia Wilson and are in the Ashley Heights area.
Earlier during the investigation, health officials
feared that the hazardous materials may have leached
into the ground water and contaminated a well used by
a nearby mobile home park, however, Hoke County
Health Director Lloyd Home said Tuesday that
samples taken from wells have shown no contamina
"We feel real good about the water," Home said,
noting that his department will soon begin taking
blood samples from residents in the area.
Sources have told The News-Journal that the Hoke
County transformer dismantling business has been
operating since 1978, and that oil from the units was
either dumped on the ground in different locations or
used to ignite fires.
The oil in earlier transformers contained PCB, but
federal law curtailed the use of the hazardous material
According to the sources and state and local of
ficials, here is how the operation worked:
?Large fires were built in the Ashley Heights area on
almost a nightly basis to burn asbestos insulation away
from copper wire contained in the transformers. The
heat from the fires would also separate the wire from
(See PCB, page 10A)
Commission Approves Budget,
Cuts Schools y Raises Payroll
By Sherry Matthews
After nearly three hours of
round-table discussions Monday
- night, members of the Hoke Coun
ty Commission approved a 1983-84
budget, which trims the $1.02
million requested by the schools
and funds a 7% pay increase for
The approved budget will not
raise the county's tax rate, leaving
it at .70 cent per $100 valuation.
Members of the Hoke school
board, who were not present at
Monday night's budget session,
had requested $1,024,799 in local
funds for the coming fiscal year; a
17.2^o increase over last year's ap
On a motion by Commissioner
James A. Hunt, who claimed he
had "sharpened" his "hatchet",
the commissioners unanimously
decided to cut the school budget by
The decision gives the school
board a IO?7o increase over last
year's appropriation or $87,422
more than the monies allotted in
the 1982-83 budget.
According to County Manager
James Martin, the school board
now has seven days to call for a
meeting between the two boards to
appeal for more money.
The commissioners also cut the
school board's revenue sharing re
quest by about S16.000.
Even with the cut, the commis
sioners are allowing for a 10% in
crease over last year's appropria
Other original budget requests
were altered by the commissioners
at Monday night's meeting.
Although the recommended
budget called for a 5?7o salary in
crease for county employees, the
commissioners voted unanimously
lo raise that amount by 2?7o.
County employees will now
receive a 1% blanket raise for the
coming fiscal year, which begins
Smaller budget changes were
also approved, including the
transfer of one employee from the
health department to the social ser
The move will abolish a clerk
typist position at the health depart
ment and give the food stamp divi
sion of social services an apparent
ly much needed employee.
According to Martin, the
transfer will move a "fully" local
ly funded employee to a position
that is only 50??o funded by the
The commissioners also approv
ed a $4,000 increase in the recom
mended rescue squad budget.
According to Martin, rescue
squad members requested the in
crease to allow for the eventual
purchase of a heavy duty truck.
The $4,000 increase will be put
into a reserve fund to aid in the
purchase of a new truck, which
will be needed by 1986, squad
member Mark Posey said.
The commissioners approved
the request with the provision that
the county hold the money and
"earmark" it for use by the rescue
After a short executive session to
review the county manager's
salary, the commissioners
unanimously approved a $2,768
raise for Martin.
"You are doing a great job, and
we appreciate it," Commission
Chairman John Balfour said.
In further budget discussions,
the commissioners deferred action
on allotting further employees for
the food stamp program.
(See BUDGET, page 2A)
For Stamp Plight
By Sherry Matthews
The Hoke County Department
of Social Services (DSS) has been
given the option to temporarily
suspend the food stamp "early
reporting" program that has been
bogging down client processing
since early March, state officials
said last week.
"Hoke County may withdraw
from the food stamp early report
ing program until October,"
Regional North Carolina Depart
ment of Social Services Supervisor
Robert Stewart said.
According to Hoke DSS Direc
tor Ken Witherspoon, Hoke Coun
ty will take advantage of the
Local officials hope the move
will allow DSS employees a chance
to bring "client service" back to
The monthly reporting program,
which was implemented in Hoke
and Pitt counties earlier in the
year, was expected to crack down
on fraud and misinformation.
According to Witherspoon, the
monthly reporting system was
"doing what il was supposed to,"
but the manpower that it required
was far more than the DSS staff
Since March, hundreds of Hoke
residents have been clogged in the
endless paperwork that staff
members have been unable to com
plete on time.
Acccording to Witherspoon,
30^0 of the county's caseload has
fallen behind schedule.
Pitt County, the other pilot
agency in the state, has not shown
the stress that DSS officials in
Hoke have felt.
"They (Pitt) have not asked for
a moratorium," Stewart said.
According to Stewart, Hoke's
problem was that "there was not
enough manpower resources to
handle the early reporting program
as it presently exists."
"Pitt has more help," he added.
Stewart and other state officials
are now hoping that by October
the early reporting program will be
modified so that it will not require
the time that the present system
Problems have plagued Wither
spoon and his staff since the pro
gram was implemented.
With every month that forms
(See STAMP, page IK)
School is out and youngsters
have a lot of time on their
hands. The Hoke County
Recreation Department is try
ing to fill that time with useful
and fun activities during the
lazy summer months ahead.
We took a look at the recrea
tion department and its plans
for the summer in this week 's
B-section of The Newt