Established 1928 ~
I Action Group Re- surfacing,
I Plans Set To Unseat Board
By Sherry Matthews
After nearly six months of
underground activity, members of
the Lumbee River Electric
Membership (LREMC) Action
Group have re-surfaced and are
preparing a "renewed" attack on
the co-op's board of directors.
The move to re-surface comes
just one week before the co-op's
annual membership meeting.
"The timing was just right for us
to re-surface," action group
spokesman Carl Branch said Tues
"We are coming out just in time
to stimulate people's thinking and
get them off their duffs and to the
annual meeting," Branch added.
Branch and the co-op action
group went underground in March
after efforts to oust the board of
"We had to go underground
because the board was always
aware of what our next move was
going to be," Branch said.
"Because they knew what we
were doing, they were able to
counteract our every move with the
help of their high-priced lawyers,"
"After the lawsuit was dropped,
we needed to get our goals re
organized without the eyes of the
board watching our every move,"
The battle between the action
group, and the co-op board of
directors began brewing in January
when board members fired general
manager Deri Hinson.
At that time, Branch and other
consumer members of the action
group filed a petition with over
3,000 names, requesting a recall
meeting be held.
Board members refused to call
the special meeting, saying that the
grounds for the petition, which
dealt with Hinson's dismissal, were
not sufficient reasons for allowing
A second petition was filed two
weeks later listing three new
charges stemming from directors
That petition, calling for a recall
membership meeting, was also
denied by the board.
In denying the second meeting,
board members cited a lack of
clarity in the charges outlined on
the petition. The charges were ap
parently not clear enough to show
just cause within the meaning
defined by the LREMC by-laws.
Both refusals sparked more fire
in Branch and the action group.
"That is when we decided to go
underground and prepare our next
attack," Branch said.
Along with the charges already
presented, Branch intends to at
tack board members who have
been "consistently" late with their
light bill payments.
"I intend to lay into board
members for the non-payment of
their bills. If it were just a co-op
member, their lights would have
been turned off, but not a board
member's," Branch said.
"That is not right, and it never
will be right," Branch added.
In addition to the non-payment
accusations, Branch said he in
tended to "rake" directors "over
the coals" for playing around with
"They have repeatedly amended
the by-laws to suit their actions. It
is not right, and I intend to make
people aware of that fact," Branch
With his specially called meeting
Wednesday night, Branch hopes to
"spark fire" into co-op members.
"We have four people opposing
the directors in the annual election
next week, and we want people
aware of this," Branch said.
"We want to lay it all out in the
open and let the people see what is
going on," Branch added.
Although the the annual meeting
is being held at the Pembroke State
University gymnasium, Branch is
"very optimistic" about his con
"Those people are very strongly
supported by the action group and
co-op members," Branch said.
"Unless the board pulls some
underhanded manuever, I think
these people stand more than just a
chance of taking board seats,"
"We are prepared for this,"
The time has come for us to re
surface, and we are ready to lower
the boom this time around,"
A long reach
This unidentified construction worker reaches for his gloves as he
balances on the top of the new Faberge Inc. expansion. The firm is ex
pected to complete the work on the SI million project by the end of
EMS Sponsorship Delayed
By Sherry Matthews
Although efforts are being made
to get a second hospital sponsor
ship for the Hoke Emergency
Medical Services (EMS), County
Manager James Martin said it
could be January before any deci
sion is made.
"The state regulations do not
allow for more than one hospital
to sponsor an ambulance
service, "Martin said, noting that
the regulation was in the process of
"They are trying to change that
regulation, but it may be January
before it actually goes into effect.
At present, Cape Fear Valley
Hospital is the only sponsoring
unit for the ambulance service, but
Moore Memorial Hospital had
asked to "co-sponsor" the Hoke
At an October 10 meeting coun
ty commission members voted to
study the feasibility of the addition
of Moore Memorial as a co
"Even if there were no regula
tions, Moore would have to get
state approval before they could
sponsor any ambulance service,"
"It will probably be January
before Moore can be approved as a
resource hospital, so it will coin
cide with the changing of the
regulation," Martin said.
"We have been trying for two
years to get this co-sponsorship go
ing, and we simply have not been
getting anywhere. Maybe this time
around we will have some luck,"
Dr. Ronald Milewski with the
Moore Department of Emergency
Milewski, who wrote a letter to
Martin, and the commissioners
asking that Moore be allowed to
co-sponsor the Hoke ambulance
unit, believes that a joint effort
between two hospitals would
benefit all those involved.
"With radio contact to both
Cape Fear and Moore Hospitals, I
think it will provide much better
continuity of patient care,"
Although Cape Fear is the only
sponsoring hospital that the am
bulance service has radio contact
with, 50^o of the patients from
Hoke are taken to Moore
According to Milewski, am
bulances transporting patients to
Moore Memorial must contact
Cape Fear who then must relay pa
tient information to Moore via
"There is a sense that the doc
tors giving the instructions are not
going to be taking care of the pa
tients," Milewski said.
"It would be better if the doctor
responsible for the patient's needs
were the one giving the orders,"
According to Milewski, a Hoke
ambulance will call Cape Fear and
tell them they are transporting a
patient to Moore. Doctors at Cape
Fear then instruct the Emegency
Medical Technicians (EMT's) on
how to handle the patient.
"If they are coming to our
hospital, we usually aren't inform
ed until just a few minutes before
the patient arrives," Milewski
"It really does not provide for
the best patient care," Milewski
According to Milewski, co
sponsoring with Cape Fear would
be the "ideal" solution.
"We are not interested in replac
ing Cape Fear or competing with
them. Our interest is to work with
them in a joint effort to provide
better continuity," Milewski said.
, Shelter Animals Face Another Cold Winter
By Sherry Matthews
Although plans are being made
to begin construction work on a
new animal shelter, chances of the
facility being completed by
November or early December are
slim, Laurinburg architect Sam
Snowden said Monday.
"I am meeting with James Mar
tin on Thursday to discuss plans
for the new facility," Snowden
"Everyone is ready to get to
work on this project," Snowden
Although Snowden said the
"ball" was "beginning to roll," he
admitted that the project would
take some time.
"We are going to have to get our
plans ready, and then the county
must take competitive bids. These
things take a little time, but we are
ready to get moving," Snowden
County Manager James Martin
also seemed unsure of when the
shelter would be completed.
"I think we will be started on the
new pound before the winter, but I
am not sure that it will be com
pleted," Martin said.
Although Martin is unsure of
the shelter's completion date, he is
making plans to "winterize" the
existing pound, "just in case."
"We are prepared to do the
same sort of things we did last year
to winterize the existing pound,"
"We may even do some addi
tional winterizing if we do not get
the new facility completed in
time," Martin added.
Hoke Health Director Lloyd
Home said he was prepared to get
the old pound in shape for cold
weather even if the new facility is
"We have not received any in
dication one way or the other
about the new animal shelter. We
are just going to prepare to go
down and get the present pound
ready for the coming winter,"
"I'm not sure what the hold up
is now, but I just hope they will
have something done by cold
weather," Hoke-Raeford Humane
Society Director Jack McGinnis
"They approved the site and ap
pointed the committee, I just hope
nobody drags their feet on getting
the shelter completed," McGinnis
"My main concern is the
animals protection," McGinnis
"1 think we will have started on
the project by November, but the
chances are pretty remote of hav
ing anything completed by then,"
"We are going to move as fast as
we can but it is a little early to an
ticipate how long the project will
take," Snowden added.
The animal shelter controversy,
that has been brewing for over a
year, dwindled down when com
missioners unanimously voted in
September to build a new shelter at
the city landfill site.
"That site wasn't our first
choice, but we went along with it
hoping it would speed up the con
struction. Now I am not so sure it
has," McGinnis said.
"I think everyone is ready to get
this animal shelter completed. We
are going to try to do just that as
quickly as we possibly can,"
By Sam Morris
It would be nice for us to have a
few inches of rain in Hoke County
during October. There was rain
last week in counties north of us,
but none came our way. The
temperatures have been ideal with
the warm days and cool nights.
Not hot enough for air condition
ing or cool enough for heat. This
makes for an energy bill that suits
The forecast is for this weather
to continue, but with the State Fair
coming up we should get some
rain. It seems to rain every year
around fair time.
? * ?
Robert Gatlin, who is the of
ficial weatherman for the National
(See AROUND, page 2A)
Hanging on threads
This Raeford caterpillar cuts a prominent figure as the morning sun
shines through his devastating web. These worms play havoc with
local pecan trees. ( Photo By Dale Dees)
Hoke District Seat
A meeting, held last week with
North Carolina Governor James
B. Hunt in an effort to retain a
Hoke County District Court seat,
was "fruitful," members of the
local Legislative Delegation said.
All of the members of the Hoke
County Legislative Delegation and
a prominent county businessman
met with Hunt Thursday in an ef
fort to secure the appointment of
Raeford attorney Warren L. Pate
for the seat being vacated on the
Pate hopes to succeed Judge
Joseph Dupree, who will retire as
of December 1 .
The Raeford attorney is one of
three candidates nominated by the
12th Judicial District Bar Associa
tion for the post.
"I thought our conversation
with the governor went well," state
Sen. David R. Parnell said.
Hunt indicated that there was
strong support for the other two
candidates vying for the seat on the
court, but said that Pate would be
given equal consideration, Parnell
"We let him know that it would
be good to keep the seat in Hoke
County," the senator added.
Hunt is expected to decide on
the appointment in the next two or
three weeks and probably will in
terview each of the candidates,
(See JUDGESHIP, page 2A)
Hands of time
The tamp light comes on, the
radio is tuned in and the
needles, plastic mesh, and
measuring instruments are
ready, as Ed Byrd sits down to
work. Working with his hands
gives him a "good feeling "
and fills up his time, Byrd
says. We take a look at his
craft on page one of Section B
in today's News Journal.