The News -Journal
Established 1928 ...
n ? .1 ' , : 1 "
Getting prepared for the change-over
Holes are being dug and poles are being placed in an effort to get things hospital. The poles, shown h< . are the first step in getting a high prison
ready for the Change-over Friday. That is the day that McCain Hospital , fence up and surrounding the over 80-vear old facility .
North Carolina 's only tuberculosis sanitorium, will be turned into a prison
McCain Closes Doors Friday
By Sherr> Matthews
This Friday, McCain
Hospital, the last remaining tuber
culosis (TB) facility in North
Carolina, will close its doors to the
In its place will be a 300-bcd
I prison medical unit complete with
a barbed wired fence.
"Our last day is September 30.
After working hours Friday, the
hospital will become a part of the
Department of Corrections," Mc
Cain Hospital Administrator John
Although the actual conversion.
which has been in the planning
stages since May, will not take
place until Friday, the eight re
maining TO patients are expected
to be nuued Wednesday after
"Three will be transferred to
Cherry Hospital in Cioldsboro and
one will be ?>, >t home," Watson
The four remaining pa'icnts
have not been placed, ac oriting to
"We are still undecided about
where to send those four patients.
Someone in Raleigh will have to
make that decision," Watson said.
When the North Carolina
1 egisIators"v6ted to close V Cain
in May, 42 patients were eing
housed at the lung treatment facili
Money was allocated by the
Department of Human Resources
lor the care of those patients.
"Most were transfered to
Cherry or sent home," Watson
In addition to patients, McCain
housed some 180 employees who
anticipated losing their jobs when
the hospital was converted to a
When the final vote was cast to
close McCain, budget leaders
guaranteed that no jobs would be
lost and benefits would remain in
tact, Stale Rep. Daniel H. DeVane
According to Watson, that has
"pretty much" been the case.
"We have 20 or 25 people who
are going to retire at the end of the
week." Watson said.
"There are more than 100
(See MeCAIN, page 2A)
1 Around Town
By Sam Morris
The weather has been almost
perfect for the past week. The days
are warm, but not hot, and the
nights are fine for sleeping with the
temperatures being in the low 40s.
Of course we could use some rain,
but it is about time to pick cotton
and it is better picking in dry
weather. Maybe the late beans and
the fall turnips will survive with the
rain we have had recently.
It was music to my ears when the
air conditioner ceased to come on
every few minutes. Now if it
doesn't get so cold that the furnace
runs all the time, maybe my retire
ment check (Social Security) will
last for the month.
The folks at the golf course were
sowing rye grass on the greens
Monday morning, so they must be
looking for colder days ahead.
Brown Hendrix, owner at Arabia
said it was a new type of grass and
could be cut after three days
growth. This means we will not
have to putt through the tender
grass for a week.
Anyway it is good football
# ? ?
The Puppy Creek Community
Watch will have an organizational
meeting Thursday night at 7:00
o'clock. The meeting will be held
at the Puppy Creek Fire Station.
Officers for the coming year will
be elected. After business, there
will be a covered dish supper.
? ? ?
The Raeford Junior Woman's
Club will sponsor bingo, Saturday
(See AROUND, page 2A)
Restoration in progress
Roof, foundation and chimney repairs have already received their
finishing touches and porch work is nearly complete on the 18 1 -year
old Mill Prong House, located in southern Hoke County. During Sun
day's annual meeting of the Mill Prong Preservation Society, Inc.
members and guests were taken on a tour of the Mill Prong House and
the Hector Mcl ean House just outside of l.aurinburg. Guests were
shown the completed portions of the Mill Prong House by Edward F.
Turber, who is the restoration consultant for the project. The Mill
Prong Society received $25,000 from the North Carolina Legislature
to he used for the restoration of the house. Mill Prong Preservation
Secretary Ruth McF.achern said that they need to raise some S 22,000
to match the states allocated monies.
Closing May Raise
Local Health Costs
B> Sherrv Matthews
With North Carolina's only re
maining tuberculosis (IB) hospital
converting to a prison unit on Fri
day, the Hoke County Health
Department may soon be Hooded
with new patients that they cannot
handle and local taxpasers may be
facing higher costs, a spokesman
"We arc already seeing an in
crease in our chest clinics," Hoke
Health Director I loyd Home said.
State funds being provided to
compensate local health depart
ments for the closing of the Mc
Cain Sanitorium will not cover the
increase in local costs. Home said.
Hoke County will only receive
S9.500 to compensate for the ser
vice provided by McCain.
"The additional patients are not
our main problem. We don't have
the \-ray equipment or develop
ment capabilities to handle the
kind of patients that McCain was
getting." Home added.
McCain Hospital will officially
shut its doors to the public on I ri
day. but out-patient clinics were
shut down in August*.
"The out-patient clinic was the
way people were initially getting
admitted at McCain, and when
that closed, we began to see a dif
ference here," Home said.
According to Home, the health
department was sending Hoke
residents to McCain lor routine
\-rays and treatments.
"Those patients that we have
been sending to McCain will now
be coming back here." Home said.
Since the out-patient clinic clos
ed. the health department's Vray
clinic has tripled
1 ' \\ c have been seeing an
average ol sis or seven patients per
clinic, but we are now scheduling
24 patients per clinic." Home said
With the sudden influx of pa
tients. Home believes the health
department is going 10 need \-ray
capabilities that thev have "up to
now" been able to live without.
"We have one X-ray unit that is
mounted to the wall," Home ex
"That unit is fine for taking
X-rays of those who can stand, but
it will not accommodate everyone
that may need it," Home added.
"We will eventually need an
X-ray unit that will accommodate
paraplegics and the elderly,"
Home said, noting that they would
also need development equipment.
According to the health director,
a former McCain doctor will be
working with Hoke patients once a
month performing X-rays.
"We will soon be asked to do
what we previously have been let
ting McCain handle," Home said.
In addition to an increased
X-ray patient load, Home is ex
pecting the size of his TB clinics to
expand at a rapid rate.
"We now have a total of 100 TB
related patients, past and present.
The size of those clinics may in
crease 300^0 to 4000;o," he said.
"McCain did a lot of the work,
and now that it is closing, it will be
pushed back to the local health
department," Home said.
County money has also been a
problem, according to Home.
In this year's budget, a health
department secretary was cut and
no additional funds were provided
for the purchase of X-ray film.
"Our clinics are going to grow
and we will probably use at least
triple the amount of film that has
been budgeted," Home said.
"We simply do not have the
equipment or the county money to
handle a sudden flood of people."
At this point. Home is not "real
sure" how McCain's closing will
affect ihe local health facility.
"It is hard to plan for something
you are not sure of Right now, all
we can do is guess," Home said.
"I hope we can handle it, but
right now it is anybody's guess. We
will just have to wait and see,"
Commissioner Lingers In Jail
Hoke Counts Commissioner
James A. Hunt was given another
six-month suspended sentence
Tuesday in Harnett Counts
District C ourt for worthless check
In addition. The \ews-Journul
learned Monday that live new
worthless check arrest warrants
have surfaced against the commis
sioner in Robeson County.
Hunt, who has spent the last 12
days in the Scotland County Jail,
was taken into custody Monday b\
Harnett authorities. The commis
sioner was under a S5.(XM) bond in
that county for failing to appear
on his scheduled court date.
Hunt was jailed in Harnett over
night to ensure his appearance
Tnesda\ in district court and then
returned to Scotland County, a
Harnett jailer said.
Scotland authorities ?confirmed
Wednesday that Hunt remains in
The Robeson Count \ warrants
have not been served on the com
missioner but are expected to be
issued alter he is released from jail.
In a telephone conversation
Monda\ from the Harnett C ount>
Jail. Hunt appeared relaxed and
ioked about Ins incarceration.
I he\ 're feeding me three times
a da> . f'm doing nisi fine," Hunt
"All I'm doing is relaxing and
listening 10 the radio." Hunt add
Hunt blames his recent in
carceration on too many court
dates scheduled for the same day.
"I had one in Fayetteville,
Raelord and l.aurinburg. I could
not make three court dates at
once." Hunt said.
Hunt also said he had tried to
get a Scotland County judge to
allow him to pay off the checks
without having to appear in court.
"I asked him to let me pay off
the S4,5<X) in checks at SI. (XX) per
week, hut he said 'no' and placed
me under S3 5. (XX) bond," Hunt
(See HUNT, page 2A)
Suspected School Meal
Held For USD A Probe
Hoke County officials were
alerted last week that 74 cases of
ground beef, delivered to the
schools from two midwcstern
plants, might be contaminated.
None of the over 4, (XX) pounds
of beef has been served to the
county's students. Hoke School
Superintendent Rob Nelson said.
The meat has been locked away
until it can be inspected b\ the
U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and it will not be served to students
until it is proved safe. Nelson add
The beef is part of a 6.4 million
pound shipment transported from
Cattle King of Denver, Colorado,
and Nebraska Beef Inc. of Gering.
News reports indicate that both
plants are suspected of having un
sanitary conditions at t heir
The ground heel is produced bv
holh plains lor t he federal school
Agriculture Secretary John K
Block ordered th<* meat impound
ed until federal inspectors could
The schools will be able to get h\
until the meat is OK'd or replaced,
"We're just '.lit going to serve
the ground br.f." Neslon added.
Since the probe began, 34 states
have be.n suspected of having
received some of the suspect meat
('?larlotte, Rockingham, Butner
and Fayeitevtlle are among the
North Carolina school districts
thought to have received some of
the contaminated meat
School year's off
School is back in session, and
students are off and running.
Along with the beginning of a
new school year is the hope
that the Hoke County Schools
will improve its programs and
its facilities. H e take a look at
some of the new programs and
the planned improvements in
this week 's B-section of The