The Hoke County News - Established 1928
Established 102* nri " * " ?
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
Volume LXXV Number 17 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA $10 PER YEAR 25 CENTS Thursd.y, Augus.18, 1983
> For Classes
By Sherry Matthews
After four years of trying, the
Hoke County Board of Education
unanimously approved funding for
a new Junior Reserve Officers'
Training Corps (ROTC) program.
The vote came after county com
missioners agreed Monday night to
^ transfer $23,000 from the school's
" revenue sharing budget to the
board's general fund appropri
Although the commissioners
transferred the monies, they
declined to make any bindins com
mitment to fund the ROTC pro
gram after this year.
The move, however, increases
the money which could be used for
^ the program in the future and
? assurances were given that school
money would not be cut next year.
"Personally, I feel that this is a
great program and one that is
needed in the schools," Commis
sion Chairman John Balfour said,
adding that he wasn't sure the
commissioners could commit
future governmental bodies to
funding it every year.
"My intentions are to fund this
^ program," Balfour said.
? "1 cannot sit here and commit
another commission to something
I voted for here tonight," Com
mission Vice-Chairman James
"I would hate to start this pro
gram and then not be able to keep
it next year," School Board Chair
man Bill Cameron said.
"It would not be worth
^ starting," Cameron added.
? According to Cameron, $23,000
was left over after roofing repair
bids were accepted.
The $64,000 budgeted in revenue
(See ROTC. page 13)
by Sam Morris
If the weather wasn't mentioned
at the beginning of this column
then you would think someone else
was writing this week. All 1 will say
is that if the temperatures will re
main this way in the day and at
night for the rest of the summer, it
will suit me. Of course, we all
know there will be many more hot
days and nights through
September. So let's enjoy these
+ * *
As you become older, things
that many years ago wouldn't have
crossed your mind, seem to cause
you to take notice of these days.
Sunday morning I was on duty at
the Raeford Presbyterian Church
greeting people as they came to the
morning worship service. A group
of ladies, four in number, came
through the door at which I hap
pened to be stationed for my duty.
It didn't take me any time to
recognize them and this recogni
tion brought to mind many years
The four ladies were sisters and
had lived next to me from 1918 un
til about 1924. We then moved to a
new home, but were still in the
same neighborhood. This family
left Raeford in the late 1920's or
early 30s. Two of these ladies live
here today but one is leaving soon
for the Presbyterian Home in High
Point. The four are Mrs. Pauline
Freeman McFadyen and Mrs.
Marguerite Freeman Thomas of
Raeford, Mrs. Hallie Freeman
Whishart of Lumberton and Mrs.
Frances Jan Freeman Carver of
Chapel Hill. They wjre the
daughters of Mr. and Mrs. W.E.
Freeman and lived on Magnolia
Street in the house now occupied
by Mrs. M.C. McKeithan.
There were also four children in
my family, one girl and three boys.
Two are dead and I was thinking
(See AROUND page 11)
Standing up for sales tax
Former Hoke County School Superintendent Raz Autry (standing) addresses members of the County Commis
sion during Monday's meeting. Autry backed the one-half cent sales tax proposal which was later passed.
Nutrition Site Selected
By Sherry Matthews
Hoke County Commissioners
agreed Monday night to move one
of two area nutrition sites to a new
location that will apparently "bet
ter serve" county senior citizen.
The site, which will be moved to
the Evangelical Methodist (EMC)
Church Fellowship Hall on Sixth
Avenue, has been operating out of
McLauchlin School since June.
"We have to vacate the Mc
Lauchlin School site by Friday
August 19," Health Director
Lloyd Home said.
Home and the Hoke County
Advisory Council have been
searching for a new site since May
when the nutrition center in the
South Hoke area closed.
"We have been welcomed by
three different communities so this
was a tough decision to make,"
Home told the commissioners.
Offers to welcome the nutrition
center came from Laurel Hill
Church, Walls Chapel and the
EMC Church, Home said.
"We chose the EMC Church
because that is where the senior
Tons of dirt
A crane, distributing dirt to waiting trucks, has been busy since last week.
The crane and its driver are working beside the Raeford-Hoke Village dig
ging dirt to fill up a hole near the Sky City store. According to City
Manager Ron Matthews, " they are digging up dirt in one place to fill up
citizens wanted it," Home said.
According to Home, a poll at
the McLauchlin site indicated that
the senior citizens wanted the site
to remain in the city.
Home also said that less travel
money would be needed at the
EMC site than was used at the
South Hoke site.
"We were spending $500 a
month in transportation cost when
we were at the South Hoke site.
We now are spending about $100 a
(See NO ACTION, page 13)
Tax Designed To Help
Schools , Sewer Lines
By Sherry Matthews
Following a public hearing Mon
day night, members of the Hoke
County Commission unanimously
agreed to levy the one-half cent
sales tax that will bring additional
revenues into the county.
An audience made up of mostly
past and present county and city
employees and elected officials
were on hand for the public hear
ing, with over half voicing their
support for the tax.
"We simply cannot afford to let
this opportunity by-pass us,"
former Hoke School Superinten
dent Raz Autry said.
"We need that additional money
to help repair the critical physical
needs of our school buildings,"
The new tax, which was voted
into law by the General Assembly
in July, allows the commissioners
to levy the additional sales tax and
designates portions of the money
to be spent on school capital outlay
items and water and sewer needs.
If all North Carolina counties
implement the new tax, Hoke will
receive about $471,000 with
$160,000 going to the schools and
$71,000 benefiting the city. The re
mainder, $240,000, will be divided
as the commissioners choose,
Commission Chairman John
"I think this new tax is a much
fairer distribution of funds than
the one cent sales tax," Balfour
The one cent tax which is
presently being levied allows for
the monies collected in a particular
county to stay within that county.
With the one-half cent sales tax,
most counties will receive more
revenues than they have in the past
because collected monies will be
divided on a population basis.
Raeford Mayor John K. McNeill
also endorsed the implementation
of the new tax.
"The city officials endorse the
one-half cent sales tax 100% and
hope you will implement it without
calling a referendum," Mayor
According to the mayor, the
city's portion of the collected
monies will be spent on water and
"Water and sewer means a great
deal to Hoke County, and the city
supplies those needs. That money
will benefit us all," McNeill said.
"No one likes to pay taxes, but
there comes a time when we
must," Hoke High Principal Dr.
Linwood Simpson said.
"Our needs are getting greater
all the time," Simpson said, add
ing that the money was just not
"This tax will pump money into
the county and the schools, and we
need it," Simpson added.
"1 urge you to enact this one
half cent tax with the greatest of
haste," School Superintendent Dr.
Robert Nelson said.
"I'm speaking for the 4,900
children in the Hoke County
Schools because 1 feel a huge
responsibility towards those kids,"
According to Nelson, school
children "deserve" safe, clean and
"At present, our children are
not receiving those things."
Nelson cited "over-crowded"
classrooms and heating and cool
ing problems as examples.
"We are not able to catch up
with all these problems, and we are
barely able to keep up," Nelson
(See SALES, page 13)
County School Complying
With Fed Asbestos Rules
By Sherry Matthews
Hoke County is complying with
a federal law which requires the
reporting of any detection of
asbestos in school buildings, board
of education officials say.
"We do have some amounts of
asbestos in some of our school
buildings, but we have met all the
federal requirements," School
Finance Officer Don Steed said.
According to Steed the federal
Enviromental Protection Agency
(EPA) only requires the schools to
run the test and post the results to
all the "appropriate personnel."
Test were conducted by two dif
ferent firms on May 20 and 21 of
this year and the findings were
posted to personnel by June 22, the
finance officer said.
EPA officials believe that
asbestos becomes airborne when it
ages. The airborne particles are
suspected as causing cancer in
The test results indicated that at
least six rooms in different schools
showed signs of asbestos.
Buildings at Hoke High, J.W.
Turlington, Upchurch and South
Hoke were among the schools
listed on the "viable asbestos
report," Steed said.
According to Steed, there is only
one room that has high levels of
"There is an 85% asbestos
reading in the boiler room of Up
church," Steed said.
With the exception of the Up
church boiler room, other asbestos
findings are fairly low, he added.
At Hoke High's Gibson gym a
10% asbestos reading was found in
the right ceiling while the left ceil
ing indicated between 10- 12%.
Four areas of J.W. Turlington
were examined with results ranging
from 2% in the back ceiling of the
library to 12-1 5% asbestos in a
Test results at South Hoke
showed low level asbestos
( 1 0- 1 5 ) in the boiler room.
Although the EPA does not re
quire that schools clean up the
asbestos, only report its existence.
Steed said something would be
"We would like to get the Up
church boiler room repaired before
school starts September 1," Steed
Cost estimates show that some
S3, 500 will have to be spent on
repairs to the Upchurch boiler
room alone while $50,000 would
(See SC HOOLS, pa^je 13)
'High' Lead Levels
Found In Residents' Blood
By Sherry Matthews
"Elevated" lead levels have
been found in the blood of at least
two Ashley Heights residents, who
have been indirectly linked to a
battery dismantling business which
was conducted in the area.
Early test results have shown
that elevated levels of lead have
been found in the blood of
relatives of men who worked in the
dismantling business, Hoke Coun
ty Health Director Lloyd Home
Those people who have been
given blood tests thus far were not
directly exposed td dump sites
where toxic materials from bat
teries and electrical transformers
were placed, Home said.
"These people have not been
directly exposed. They are relatives
of workers who might have come
in contact with the leads," Home
Workers, who remain uniden
tified, were employed by Woody
Wilson Jr. of Goldsboro, who con
ducted a transformer and battery
dismantling operation on three
Ashley Height sites.
Wilson is alleged to have been
using the three locations as a
dumping ground for toxic leads
and Polycholorinated Biphenyls
Wilson, who is also believed by
state authorities to have been burn
ing electrical transformer parts and
oil from the electrical units, is at
tempting to clean the dump sites
and is apparently now complying
with state laws.
"Of the 10 people we have tested
and received results on, two had
elevated lead levels in their blood
stream," Home said, adding that
they would be coming back for
One adult and one child so far
have shown the high lead levels,
According to the health director,
lead in the blood stream is
dangerous to children as well as
"It will cause mental retardation
in some cases," Home said.
At this point, Home is not sure
the connection between the battery
operation and the elevated blood
levels is accurate.
"It is really too soon to call the
Wilson incident the culprit,"
"We can't really blame the bat
tery operation for the elevated
blood levels at this point, but it is a
little suspicious," Home added.
According to Home, those peo
ple who have been tested so far
were not on the "hit list."
"We made a list of people we
needed to check for lead in the
blood system, but they have not
been in yet," Home said.
"I am bewildered as to why the
casual ones are having such high
lead levels," Home added.
With the results from Wednes
day's testing and more lab test ex
pected back by the middle of this
week, Home is now devoting his
time to "finding the workers."
"We are actively searching for
the workers now," Home said.
According to Home, Wilson's
employees were "stripping" the
batteries down and removing the
Witnesses have said that workers
would be "dripping" with lead
laced acid from the batteries
following a day's operation.
Batteries were apparently
broken open with axes and later
with a machine, witnesses have
"Them boys would be dripping
with that stuff when they'd come
out of there," a witness, who wish
ed to remain anonymous, said.
"That lead will absorb through
the skin fairly quickly and go
directly to the Mood stream,"
"We are going out to look for
these people and when we find
them, we will administer the tt.n. I
am not sure what we might find,"
"Until we get to these
employees, it will be hard to say
that Wilson's operation is to
blame," Home said.