Established 1928 ? ~
Five incumbent members of the Raeford City Council were
returned to office Tuesday after what observers called "a surpris
ing" number of voters went to the polls.
Incumbents Graham Clark, Bob Gentry, Vardell Hedgpeth, Ben
ny McLeod and Joe Upchurch won by substantial margins over
challengers James Leach and Earl McDuffie.
Raeford Mayor John K. McNeill was unopposed in his bid for
Poll officials and other observers said they were surprised with
the voter turnout Tuesday, after about 50% of the registered voters
living in the city went to the polls.
A small turnout was expected because there were few issues raised
by candidates during the lackluster campaign, and it was an off-year
Election officials recorded 589 ballots cast in the races.
No irregularities were reported during the voting, Hoke County
Election Board Chairman J. Scott Poole said.
"We didn't have any problems at all," Poole said.
Upchurch led the race, garnering 455 votes, which gave him a one
ballot edge over McLeod, who received 454.
Unofficial results show that Upchurch captured the voting in
Raeford Precinct Two and Four with a two-vote margin over
McLeod, who won Raeford One by three ballots.
The upcoming term will be Upchurch's second on the council and
"Raeford will certainly have experience on the council with the
whole board going back in," McLeod said.
"We've all been here before, and now we have a chance to finish
some of the things we have started," he added.
Political newcomer Leach, who was attempting to be the first
by Sam Morris
Winter camc to Hoke County
over the weekend and it continued
on into Monday. There was some
rain Friday, but as I was out of
town the amount is unknown to
If there was any frost it was gone
Monday morning by the time we
teed off on the golf course. We ex
pect that it was too windy for
Some of the folks who attended
the Clemson-North Carolina foot
ball game told me that most people
were bundled up because of the
cold. This is somewhat different
than the first two games when the
temperatures were in the 90s.
1 would say that we will still have
some warm days in November and
? * *
Don't forget the dedication of
the new National Guard Armory
Friday morning. All former Battery
"F" members are requested to
report around 9:30 a.m. to the
armory to register and get name
tags. Then in the afternoon the
local American Legion Post 20 will
stage an Armistice Day Parade in
If you are a Veteran, come and
join the parade. Some will walk,
but rides will be available for those
unable to walk.
See you at both events.
Not getting much use anymore
This old tobacco wagon proboably carried more With the dwindling tobacco prices that have left
than its share of Hoke County poundage some some farmers in a slump, the tobacco wagon may
years ago, but today it seems to be lying useless. continue in retirement.
Bound For Elizabeth City
Raeford Manager Resigns
By the time this column hits the
street, the city election will be
history. As I have stated before,
the losers may be the winners when
the city problems come before the
council. Remember if you didn't
vote, then let the city be run with
you being a silent partner. It
doesn't cost anything to vote, so
exercise your right.
? ? *
The Sixth Annual Reunion of
old Battery "F" was a big success.
It was held last weekend at Litch
field Beach, S.C. and there were 60
or more in attendance. At the ban
quet on Saturday night 63 were
fed. Some that were there over the
three days had to leave early.
It was nice to sit around and
hear the men tell about the times
they had together from 1940 to
There were five officers in the
outfit in 1941 and all were from
Raeford. They were Capt. J.H.
Blue, 1st Lt. Younger Snead and
2nd Lts. T.B. Lester, William La
mont and Paul Dickson. The two
living officers, Snead and Dickson
were in attendance.
In the spring of 1941 some of the
officers and men were sent to
Trinidad and they were replaced by
reserve officers and selective ser
vice personnel. Many of these men
stayed with Battery "F" until the
end of the war and many were in
attendance at the reunion.
Two men were present for the
first time and these were William
Turnmire and Frank Bartles.
Everyone had a chance to make
remarks at the banquet and all
were in the opinion that "F" was
the best place anyone could have
served during World War II.
One man from Lexington that
was inducted and sent to Battery
"F" remarked something like this,
"Many times since the war I have
(See AROUND, page 12A)
By Sherry Matthews
During a 25-minute executive
session Monday night, Raeford
Mayor John K. McNeill Jr. told
city councilmen that City Manager
Ron Matthews would be leaving
his position in mid-December.
Matthews said in an interview
Tuesday that he regretted not be
ing able to attend the meeting to
explain his decision. Matthews was
in Winston-Salem because of his
Matthews, who has been
Raeford's City Manager for over
five years, has accepted a city
manager position in Elizabeth
According to Matthews, he did
not apply for the job, but was "ap
proached by them."
Matthews will leave Raeford in
mid-December and will report to
his new job January 3.
In Elizabeth City, Matthews will
be handling a budget of nearly $20
million and will head a staff of
The city manager works with a
$2.5 million budget and oversees
53 employees in Raeford.
In his new position, Matthews
will also be responsible for the
operation of Elizabeth City's elec
"It has been a privilege for me
to work for one of the finest
political bodies in the state," Mat
thews said, noting that he had
"mixed feelings" about leaving.
"City residents are blessed with
an exceptional group of depart
ment heads that have made my job
easier," he added.
Although Matthews appears ex
cited over his new job challenge, he
said he would complete all un
finished business before departing.
"I am proud of the ac
complishments we have made with
the help of the mayor, the city
council, the city employees and the
city residents," Matthews said.
The airport situation is on the
verge of being merged with Hoke
County and a commission
established to oversee it; a new
animal shelter-landfill building is
"almost a reality"; the industrial
moratorium that has prevented in
dustry from locating in the
Raeford area has almost been
(See MATTHEWS, page 2A)
black to serve on the Raeford Council, trailed the balloting with a
total of 1 10 votes.
Gentry finished third among the incumbents with 428 votes. He
will be serving his fourth term on the board.
"I feel good about it," Gentry said, noting that he was "a little"
surprised by the turnout.
"There was more interest than 1 expected. That's the way it
should be," Gentry said.
Clark, who has been serving on the council longer than any other
member, finished fourth, 10 votes behind Gentry with 418.
Hedgpeth was fifth with 415 votes, and will be returning for his
Although the Raeford insurance executive was the low vote-getter
among the incumbents, he finished 91 ballots ahead of challenger
Earl McDuffie who received 324 votes.
(See INCUMBENTS Page 2A)
County , City
Meet On Pound
By Sherry Matthews
Members of the Hoke County
Commission and Raeford City
Council agreed Monday to meet
jointly to determine the feasibility
of constructing a proposed
$126,040 animal shelter-equipment
During a joint session, schedul
ed for Tuesday November 22, the
two governmental bodies are also
expected to discuss the appoint
ment of a five-member airport
commission that will run the
Raeford Municipal Airport.
During Monday's county com
mission meeting, members were
told that the construction of a
previously approved animal shelter
facility could cost as much as
An adjoining landfill equipment
shed building would cost an addi
tional $39,540 if commissioners
decided to approve the plan
developed by the Laurinburg ar
chitectural firm Jordan, Snowden,
During Monday's meeting, com
missioners tabled the decision until
they could meet with city officials
who are sharing in the cost of the
shelter -equipment shed facility.
Under the agreement between
the two bodies, the county will
pick up 75% of the tab, while the
city will take care of the remaining
25 "lo of the cost.
"That is just too much money to
spend," Commissioner Wyatt Up
church, who also is on the animal
shelter study committee, said.
"I agreed to build a dog pound,
but I am not going to agree to
spending that kind of money,"
The plans for the new facility,
which will be located at the city
county landfill, call for a 2,220
square foot building with a 10 x 10
inch office, a bathroom, a room
with 20 dog cages, and another
room for puppies and cats. The
plan also calls for a storage room.
The storage facility, which will
be designed to house at least three
pieces of landfill equipment, is
Hoke Required To Start Inspections
By Sherry Matthews
Within 19 months, Hoke and
other counties with populations
less than 25,000 will have to con
duct county-wide building inspec
tions, state officials said Tuesday.
"In a sense we are already doing
that here," Hoke County Manager
James Martin said Tuesday.
According to Martin, the law
which will go into effect July 1,
1985, requires that counties do all
inspection work within the county
which includes electrical, struc
tural, insulation, plumbing and
"Right now we are doing elec
trical, plumbing, and heating in
spections in the county and withjn
the city limits," Martin said, add
ing that the city did structural and
within the city limits.
At present, the county does not
do structural inspections.
Under the new law, the county
inspection department would be
responsible for doing "just those
kinds of things."
According to Martin, the county
could adopt the law now instead of
waiting until 1985, but he sees very
little possibility of commissioners
agreeing to make that move.
During their regular meeting
Monday morning, commissioners
unanimously authorized the North
Carolina Department of Natural
Resources and Community
Development (NRCD) to prepare a
feasibility study that will help show
the commissioners what the new
law will require from the county.
"The study is definitely a good
idea," NRCD Chief Planner Jim
Dougherty said Tuesday.
"Our study would examine the
county inspection department
records and find out how many in
spections they do," Dougherty
"Then we would check the ex
pected growth for the county, what
staffing requirements the new law
might demand and just how much
inspection and permit fees should
cost." Dougherty added.
According to Dougherty, the
study helps a county prepare for
"It is a good thing because it
allows local government officials
and managers to look at the issues
involved and get a fairly good idea
of what they will be facing with
this new state requirement,"
Although Dougherty was in
favor of his departments feasibility
plan, he refused to comment on
how good he felt the state law was.
"1 don't think I could give an
opinion on that," Dougherty said.
Martin, too, is not sure what the
true effects of the law will be.
"I think it is going to cause some
growing pains as far as the public
is concerned," Martin said.
"We will have to do business in
a more formal manner once we are
required to do structural inspec
tions. It will take some time for the
public to get used to that, I'm
sure," Martin added.
"It is hard to say what other
type effects the new law might
have at this point," Martin said.
"I think when this portion of the
state code is enforced here, we will
see an increase in the total number
of inspections done.
Since January, the county has
made 598 inspections and collected
The commissioners allotted
nearly $60,000 in the inspection
department budget for the 1983-84
With the additional inspections
that will have to be made within 19
months, all those figures apparent
ly will increase.
"We would charge a fee for the
structural inspections too," Mar
tin said, noting that he was not
sure what amount that would be.
"It is a little early to determine if
the fees collected would counter
the expenses involved with the in
spections," Martin said.
"We will have to wait until we
(See BUILDING, page 13 A)
designed to be 1,797 square feet
with a six-inch concrete slab and
three overhead doors.
"It is way too much money,"
Commissioner James A. Hunt
"The way that building looks, it
should be put on Main Street,"
"I think it can be done better
and cheaper than this," Hunt
"I don't think we should make
any decision until we talk with the
city," Commission Chairman
John Balfour said, adding that he
agreed that the price was "too
Another consideration on the
minds of commissioners is the ex
pected useful life of the present
Although city officials believe
the facility has enough room for
another 10 years of dumping.
County Manager James Martin
pegs the useful life of the landfill at
Under the proposal from the
Laurinburg architectural firm, the
$35,000 equipment building would
be adaptable to some other use
after the landfill closes.
The new facility would be con
structed out of wood on a concrete
slab and would be heated with
A metal building, similar to the
proposed wood structure, would
cost about $30 per square foot, or
about 27??o more than the highest
figure estimated by the architect, a
Fayetteville contractor said.
in other business, commis
sioners accepted $14,856 in Jobs
Bill funds that will go to increase
the county health department's
The funds will be used to in
crease funding to the previously
cut school health and medical
assistance budgets. The monies are
used to provide dental care and
medical assistance to Hoke
Commissioner also approved
(See POUND, page 2A)
On Friday Hoke County will
honor (hose residents who
have served their country in
the armed forces with a parade
on Main Street and with the
dedication of the new Motional
Guard Armory. We take a
look at the plans on page one
of Section R in today 's News