The Hoke County News - Established 1928 The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
Volume LXXV Number 26 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA $10 PER YEAR 25 CENTS Thursday, October 20, 1983
Co-Op Board Returns ,
By Sherry Matthews
After a year-long battle, that
climaxed Tuesday night with three
of four Lumbee River Electric
Membership Cooperative (LR
EMC) directors being re-elected,
) LREMC Action Group leader Carl
Branch said he was "finished"
with the fight.
"The members had a chance to
voice their feelings tonight, and
they did. If they prefer evil over
truth, then so be it," Branch said.
"I will support any action that
my group or any group decides to
take against the board members,
but personally, I am washing my
| hands of the entire mess," Branch
Branch, who was "disap
pointed" in the less than 1,800
people who showed up for the an
nual election, said he had no
regrets over what he and his group
* Around Town
By Sam Morris
The State Fair started last Friday
and the rain came a few days
before that date. It still could rain
before the fair ends, as it does
We had either four-tenths or
| five-tenths of an inch last week ac
cording to where you live in the
City of Raeford. Eugene Williams,
who lives on the Red Spring
highway near Faberge, told me
that the official rainfall was four
tenths and later in the day Robert
Gatlin of the National Weather
Service, who lives on the Laurin
burg highway, said that the rainfall
was five-tenths. So take your pick.
| The weather has been perfect
* with warm days and cool nights.
The forecast for the same for the
remainder of the week.
"We did not get the board
ousted, but we showed that we had
the guts to stand up in the face of
overwhelming odds, and show
some members that tyranny exists
in the coop," Branch said.
"I have no regrets about what
has been done, Branch said. "I
apologize to no one."
For Branch, Tuesday night's
election marks the end of his ac
tion group involvment.
"I am going back to selling
peanuts. 1 am not devoting the rest
of my life to this thing," Branch
Other action group members are
not as eager to disband entirely.
Some members indicated the
desire to "re-group" and start
"I have no idea if the action
group will continue to fight for
what is right," Branch said.
"I honestly believed that the
The plans for the Armistice
Parade and celebration are shaping
up and it is a date you should mark
on your calendar. The date is Fri
day, November 11, starting at 2
| p.m. Complete details will appear
at a later date elsewhere in the
The parade is under the sponsor
ship of the Ellis Williamson Post
20 of the American Legion. The
post would like for all veterans to
march in the parade. This would
mean Veterans of World War I,
World War II, the Korean War
and the war in Vietnam. If enough
} of the veterans will march, then
they can be divided into the war
groups. If you are interested you
can contact Earl McDuffie, Bob
Gentry, Graham Clark, Clyde Up
church, Randall Ashburn or_the
writer of this column.
This can be a big event if you
will participate. You do not have
to belong to the American Legion.
Fulford McMillan of Blue
Springs township, stopped me last
Friday night and introduced me to
a war friend who was visiting him
and his wife, Lucy. The veteran
was John Gallio of Uniontown,
Pa. and along with his niece, Sallie
Jeffries were spending the weekend
with the McMillans.
^ The two served together for
" three years during World War II
with Company "A", 308th
Engineers of the 83rd Infantry
Division. They served for 18
months in Europe and the unit
received five battle stars.
Fulford and Lucy attended the
reunion of the unit this year at
Palm Beach, Fla., and Gallio was
among the ten from Co. A in at
tendance. This is the first year they
^have seen each other since the war
"ended in 1945. John Gallio is now
retired and said he was going to
travel and visit his old war friends.
There is nothing like a reunion
and meeting old friends.
? # +
While on the subject of re
unions, the Btry "F" reunion will
b? held the first weekend in
^ November the 4th, 5th and 6th at
9 (See AROUND, paRe 2A)
fight for right would have been
won by now. I simply felt truth
would prevail," Branch added.
"I am sorry to say, 1 was
wrong," Branch said.
Although many of the members
present Tuesday night were
"upset" over the "board's
victory," some were pleased with
the election results.
"I don't think they did anything
wrong. They just got a lot of bad
publicity that blew up out of pro
portion," one LREMC member
said. "I am glad they are going to
get a chance to prove that action
The action group, headed by
Branch, has tried since early
January to get the 12-member
board ousted. The members'
group has alleged that the directors
misused funds, and that they
wrongfully fired former general
manager Deri Hinson.
Two petitions calling for a
special meeting of the membership
were denied by the board. Coop
lawyers cited a lack of clarity in the
petition charges as the reason for
Shortly after the petitions were
denied, Branch and his group went
underground to "re-group" and
prepare for the annual meeting.
"We were expecting some 2,000
people to turn out and vote for our
nominees," Branch said.
"Those who chose to stay home
helped vote those board members
back in, just as much as those here
tonight with a pencil in their
hand," Branch said.
"1 am very disappointed that
our supporters chose to stay
home," Branch added.
LREMC spokesman Lane Hud
son said the "less-than expected"
turnout was "really a shock."
"We were expecting at least
2,500 people here tonight," Hud
Although crowds were small, the
vote went in favor of three board
members. No action group
members were elected.
Incumbents J.W. Hunt from
District two, Timothy Strickland
from District four, and Gus
Bullard and at large director were
District Eight Director Davis K.
Parker of Fayetteville lost his seat
to James Hardin. Hardin, another
Fayetteville resident, heads the
Cumberland County Association
"The consumers spoke," Parker
said, refusing to comment further
on the election.
"It leaves a sour taste in my
mouth to think that these people
here are the only ones who were
concerned about this coop,"
"The consumers spoke to me
tonight when they voted. Their
vote tells me that they are satisfied
with the way things are/' Branch
"It is sad that they want to allow
tyranny to continue, but that is
their choice. 1 refuse to feel sorry
for their increased rates when they
chose to stay at home and ignore
the situation," Branch added.
LREMC General Manager Ron
nie Hunt was also "surprised and
disappointed" that member tur
nout was less than expected.
"I assumed the interest of the
members would be greater than the
turnout indicates. I guess they were
just tired of the entire situation,"
Now that the ballots have been
cast and the board members
returned to their positions,
Branch, too, admits that he is "fed
up" with the situation.
Trying to control the blaze
A local fireman attempts to bring the raging fire
back under control. The fire, at the Evelyn Parker
home, broke out around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
Firemen from the Hillcrest and Puppy Creek
departments responded to the call and got the blaze
under control. Firemen were called out once again
Thursday afternoon around 2:30 when the wind ap
parently caused the smouldering ashes to ignite the
Hunt Pays Debts , Phone Caper Eyed
By Sherry Matthews
Although Hoke County Com
missioner James Albert Hunt is ap
parently meeting payment
deadlines on numerous worthless
check convictions, The News
Journal has learned that the
District Attorney's office is look
ing into Hunt's alleged misuse of
The latest investigation stems
from over $200 in telephone calls
apparently charged to Hunt's
disconnected number, 12th
Judicial District Attorney Ed
Carolina Telephone and
Telegraph apparently disconnected
that number in June.
Although no formal charges
have been filed against Hunt,
Crannis said that an investigation
was taking place.
According to Grannis, Hunt
could be charged with misde
meanor larceny, but there are no
plans to charge the commissioner
"That would be extremely hard
to prove," Grannis said, noting
that investigators would have to
prove that Hunt's "intent was to
In addition to the telephone in
vestigation, Hoke County Sheriff
Dave Barrington, Monday, issued
a notice of sale against Hunt's
1970 Cherokee Piper 180-E
The notice of sale stems from
Hunt's failure to meet payment re
quirements owed on the plane.
Civil charges were filed against
Hunt in the Alamance County
Courthouse after a $14,000 check
written to Worthy B. Teague Jr.
for the plane was returned, an
Alamance District Court clerk said
According to the clerk. Hunt
(See HUNT, page 2A)
County Officials Ordered T o Move Here
By Sherry Matthews
Health Director Lloyd Home
was reluctant Tuesday to discuss a
move by the Hoke County Com
mission which would require him
to move his residence into Hoke
Home, who lives in Fayetteville,
was non-committal about his
future plans and refused to
elaborate on the new regulation's
"My best comment at this point,
is no comment," Home said.
The new requirement, calling for
all county department heads draw
ing salaries of more than SI 5, 000
to be residing in the Hoke area by
September 1, 1984, was unani
mously approved during Monday
night's regular board meeting.
Tax Supervisor Larry Holt and
Home are the only two department
heads who will be affected by the
Holt, who appeared before the
commissioners during an hour
long executive session Monday
night, was requesting that he be
given more time to re-locate.
According to County Manager
James Martin, Holt was hired last
year with the agreement that he
move into the Hoke area by
"I think it has always been the
desire of the commissioners for all
department heads to live in the
county. Until now it has not been
required," Martin said.
"I think that anyone drawing a
salary that is paid by the taxpayers
of Hoke County should live within
that county," Hoke Commission
Chairman John Balfour said.
In other action Monday night,
the commissioners requested that
county attorney Duncan McFa
dyen check into the possibilty of
empowering the Hoke Health
Department to confiscate animals
they believe are being "cruelly
The decision came on the heels
of a request from Hoke-Racford
Humane Society Chairman Jack
McGinnis who petitioned the
board to appoint a Cruelty In
vestigator for the county.
According to McCiinnis, the in
vestigator would have the power to
take animals that were being
mistreated into his custody.
"Right now this thing is a cir
cular circus," McGinnis said;
Without a county ordinance, the
district attorney and the sheriff
cannot "uphold the law," McGin
"The DA (assistant District At
torney Jean Powell) said she could
have the animals confiscated if
they were brought to court, but the
problem is getting them there,"
McGinnis said, noting that law en
forcement officials cannot get the
animals without a court order.
"We need some way to protect
those animals that are
mistreated," McGinnis said.
According to McGinnis, the
county and the Humane Society
have had a problem in getting
(See COMMISSION, page 2Aj
Food Stamp Stay
Granted Hoke DSS
By Sherry Matthews
The Hoke County Department
of Social Services (DSS) has been
given another three-month
reprieve from the food stamp
"monthly reporting" program
that bogged down client processing
earlier this year, state officials said
Hoke and the other 99 North
Carolina counties involved with
the monthly reporting program,
have dropped out of the program
until early reporting is mandated
by Congress, Assistant Chief of
Food Stamp Operations and Im
provements in the Department of
Human Resources Vicki Jones said
Hoke, one of two test counties
for the program, was given a tem
porary extension in late June after
the "endless paperwork" clogged
up the DSS system, leaving hun
dreds of clients waiting for ser
During that time, some 30% of
the county's food stamp caseload
had fallen behind schedule, ac
cording to Hoke DSS Director Ken
Mounting paperwork and staff
shortages were given as explana
tions for the case backlog.
"We simply did not have the
staff to handle all the paperwork
that was required in monthly
reporting," Witherspoon said in
an earlier interview.
"They could not get all the
paperwork completed and handle
their other duties," Witherspoon
"The program was causing a lot
of problems over the entire state,"
"The county departments simp
ly did not have, and still do not
have, the staff to handle all the
paperwork that was required,"
Hoke and the other 99 counties
were expected to return to monthly
reporting October I, but a resolu
tion passed by Congress September
30 suspended the program until
"Congress passed a continuing
resolution that says no funds will
be available for the mandatory
monthly reporting program until
January 1," Jones said.
"At this point, that extension
may be continued after the
January 1 deadline," Jones added.
"No one is really sure where it will
go from there."
Although the extension gives
Hoke and the other counties a tem
porary reprieve from the monthly
reporting system, both Wither
spoon and Jones have doubts
about its "true effects."
"We are delighted that they
have suspended the monthly
reporting program because we will
be able to maintain our regular
flow of clients," Witherspoon
said, noting that there could still be
"The failure to stabilize the
system, by continuing to suspend
the program, could cause almost as
many problems as the initial pro
blems," Witherspoon said.
"It is hard to maintain control
of the situation when the flow is
not stable," Witherspoon added.
"1 don't like the idea that we
have trained all of our employees
to handle monthly reporting, and
then we have to tell them that we
are going back to the old system,
temporarily," Jones said.
"I think it is causing a lot of
staff confusion at this point," he
In addition to staff uncertainty,
Jones and Witherspoon agree that
the "on again, off again" program
is causing problems for DSS clients
"Our clients are probably not
sure what is going on," Wither
"One month we are sending out
five-page forms for them to fill
out, and the next month we don't.
I am sure it is confusing to them,"
"The clients are the ones who
are most affected by the constant
change," Jones said.
(See FOOD, page 2A)
Mackie and Earl, two of Up
church Junior High's TMH 2
students enjoy an afternoon
outing. We take a look at the
TMH classes at both Up
church and Hoke High, the
students and the teachers in
this week's B-section of The