The News -Journal
Established 1928 ? - - -
The Hoke County News - Established 1928
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
Volume LXXV Number 32 RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA $10 PER YEAR 25 CENTS Thursday, December 1, 1983
Inspecting the remains
Hoke Sheriff's Detective Ed Harris, U.S. Customs officers and State Raeford airport. Although Ian- enforcement officials confiscated the plane
Bureau of Investigation (SHI) personnel go over the twin-engine plane and its contents, the pilot managed to escape before officials arrived on
Saturday night that hauled over $800,1)00 worth of marijuana to the the scene. (Photo by Pant Frederick)
Local Links Being Probed
After Airport Grass Bust
By Sherry Matthews
State and local officials are hop
ing that fingerprints taken from a
twin-engine airplane seized Satur
day night and from bundles of its
S800.000 marijuana cargo will lead
authorities to the pilot of the craft,
Hoke County Sheriff Dave Barr
ington said Monday.
Although local officials are
keeping mum, sources say that the
plane is owned by a North
Although Barrington would not
comment on the possibility of a
local resident being involved with
the smuggling operation, he did
say that the plane had been spotted
in the Raeford area before Satur
Fayetteville Division State
Bureau of Investigation (SBI)
senior agent Frank Johnson was
not available for comment at press
The plane, which touched down
at the Raeford Airport Saturday
night, contained 982 pounds of
marijuana estimated to be worth
"That particular airplane had
been under surveillance about
three months ago, but we lost track
of it." Barrington said.
According to Barrington the
twin-engine 5100,000 Piper-Aztec
was spotted again last Wednesday
in the Laurinburg area.
County law enforcement of
ficers reported the apparently
suspicious plane to U.S. Custom
Service Investigators who were
also tracking the plane.
After the plane was spotted in
Laurinburg Wednesday, officials
once again lost track of the craft,
"That was the last time we saw it
until Saturday night," Barrington
According to the sheriff, his of
fice received a call from U.S.
Customs officers in Baltimore,
Maryland, sometime alter 8 p.m.
"They picked up the plane by
radar off the coast of Florida
around 2 p.m.," Barrington said,
noting that the plane did not have
any tail lights when i he agents
Customs officers trailed the
plane from Florida with a jet and a
helicopter but had to stop to refuel
just short of Racford.
Barrington said the jet refueled
in Florence, South Carolina, and
the helicopter stopped in Fayet
Baltimore Custom agents then
telephoned the Hoke Sheriff's
Department to alert them to the
When Hoke dectectives arrived,
along with SBI agents, the plane's
occupants had lied the scene.
Officers searched the area sur
rounding the rural airport but
(See LOCAL, page 2A)
T oxic Dirt
By Sherry Matthews
Final testing for hazardous
residue in three Ashley Heights
dumping areas will begin "around
the latter part of December," stale
officials said Tuesday.
"The remaining tests can now be
performed," state Department of
Human Resources(DHR) Solid
and Hazardous Waste Branch
Eastern Area Supervisor Terry
According to Dover, Goldsboro
salvage operator Woody Wilson
Jr., who was allegedly dismantling
battery casings containing lead in
Hoke County, has finished the
state's "mandatory" clean-up re
quirements at the Ashley Heights
"At this point, he has fulfilled
all the obligations that we have
asked of him," Dover said.
Last Monday, Wilson removed
some 900,000 pounds of soil from
the dump sites and transported it
to a hazardous waste facility in
Pinewood, South Carolina.
"He has removed the soil and
applied lime to the contaminated
areas," Dover said.
Wilson apparently disked lime
into the upper six inches of soil last
"That is merely a preventive
measure," Dover said.
"The lime, applied to the toxic
soil will tie up any small amounts
of lead that could possibly still be
left in the soil," Dover said.
Now that Wilson has met state
requirements, Dover said DHR of
ficials would go back in and do
"one final test."
"We will probably take a final
sample between the latter part of
December and the first of
January," Dover said.
"We are doing this to make sure
we are satisfied with how
everything looks," Dover added.
Once Dover and his crew have
completed their testing. North
Carolina Department of Natural
Resources and Com m unity
Development (NRCD) officials
will make their final tests.
"Our final course of action is
going to come after DHR com
pletes their sampling, Mick
Nolan. NRCD Acting Regional
Supervisior for the Division of En
viromental Management, said
Nolan will test the three Ashley
Heights sites for "any remaining"
toxic levels of Polycholorinated
"This will actually be a repeti
tion of the earlier work we have
done out there," Nolan said.
"We don't really expect to find
any high levels at this point, but we
want to be sure," Nolan added.
Earlier PCB testing by NRCD
uncovered only "low-levels" of
PCB's in the soil, Nolan said.
"We have found nothing above
50 parts per million at these
sights," Nolan said.
Above 50 parts per million is
considered hazardous in North
Carolina. The Ashley Heights
dumping areas showed only 20 or
30 parts, Nolan said.
Both Nolan and Dover arc ex
pecting the final testing to "con
clude" the investigation.
"After the final testing, we will
complete our staff report and send
it to Raleigh," Nolan said.
"More than likely, that will be
the end of the investigation,"
in addition to state soil testing,
local health officials are continu
ing lead tests on Ashley Heights
residents who lived near the dump
"We are still offering the tests,
but it has been a slow process,"
Hoke Health Director Lloyd
Home said Tuesday.
"People are continuing to strag
gle in," Home said.
Since August, between 30 and 40
residents have been given the lead
Of those people only two
children and one adult were found
to have high levels of lead in their
blood, Home said.
"I really do not think that those
high lead levels were related to the
dump sites," Home said.
Although fewer people are com
ing in for the tests, Home said they
would continue to offer them.
"People have been reluctant to
come in for these tests, but we will
continue to give them the chance,"
Literacy Group Saved By
By Sherry Matthews
A $5,000 boost in the Hoke
Reading Literacy Council budget
may have stalled the organization's
eventual demise, Literacy Project
Director Barbara Buie said Mon
County Commissioner's approv
ed a $5,000 increase during last
Tuesday night's meeting.
' We would not have gone out of
business completely, but we would
have had to drastically cut back
our working hours," Buie said.
Before the commissioners ap
proved the $5,000 donation, the
Literacy Council was apparently
standing on its last financial leg.
"We had $1 ,426.72 to work with
before Tuesday night," Buie said.
"That money might have allow
ed us to work through December,"
"After that we would have been
wiped out," Buie added.
During the Tuesday night com
mission meeting, council budget
committee spokesman J.D.
McAllister plead with commis
sioners to "fund the literacy pro
"There is a great need to stamp
out illiteracy in this county,"
"We are seeking to help those
less fortunate people who cannot
read," McAllister added.
We have made substantial head
way in stamping out illiteracy but
our cause is being hindered by
money problems," he said.
"We have been before you on
other occassions to ask for money.
Now, we really don't know where
else to go." McAllister told the
During his talk, McAllister told
the county board that in Hoke one
out of six residents could not read.
"We are trying to change that,"
"I think the council is doing a
great job," Commission Chairman
John Balfour said.
After the meeting, Buie said she
was "very happy" that the board
decided to give the literacy council
"We were really at our wit's
end," Buie said.
"If we had not gotten the
money, I just don't know what
might have eventually happened."
Monday, Buie was preparing to
spend some of the newly allotted
funds to buy reading materials for
"With this money we will be
able to do a little more for
students," Buie said.
With the additional funds, the
literacy budget was increased from
$19,526 to $24,526.
That money is spread among
Buie's staff, students and
(See LITERACY, page 2A)
By Sam Morris
The rains came to Hoke County
last week along with some wind.
Then again on Monday the rains
came through again, but there
wasn't any wind. The temperature
for this time of year is about 20
degrees above normal and it seems
to be cooler in a building than on
The forecast is for fair skies
after Tuesday morning and for the
temperatures to be in the 60s for
the remainder of the week. There is
a possibility of showers for the
? ? *
I guess people watch television
more than anything they do, even
with their work. It is said that
children spend more time watching
commercials on TV than they do
on school work. That is in time. Of
course about every home has a
television set and most of them
have two or more.
(See AROUND, pa^e 13A)
Home Health R.\ Hallie
Oberhofer glances over her
numerous appointments that
she must keep during the day.
We take a look at Hallie and
the other six staff members
and one patient they are trying
to help in this week 's R- sect ion
of Tht News-Journal.
County Funds Bailout
Decision On Judge Could Come In
By Sherr> Matthews
Although a seat will be vacated
on the 12th Judicial District Court
bench Thursday, a move by North
Carolina Governor James B. Hunt
to fill the vacancy is not expected
within the next two weeks.
"I don't think the governor will
have made a decision by
Thursday," Legal Council to the
Governor Jack Cozort said Mon
"The 12th district is the next one
on our list, but it is going to take
some time," Cozort added.
Raeford attorney Warren Pate is
one of the three candidates vying
for the seat which will be vacated
Thursday when District Court
Judge Joseph Dupree brings down
the gavel for the final time.
Although Cozort would not give
an "exact date" he did admit that
the appointment could be made
within the next few weeks.
"I hope the appointment can be
made during the next two weeks,
but I can't make any promises,"
According to Cozort, the Gover
nor has already appointed two
judgeships this month.
The last appointment went to
the New Hanover County District
seat that had been vacant for seven
"We tr> to prioritize the ap
pointments and work on the ones
that have been \acant the
longest, " Cozort said.
Although the 12th Judicial seat
will not be vacated until Thursday,
Co/ort said the Hoke-Cumberland
appointment is "next in line."
"We have done investigations
on each of the three candidates,
and they have filled out 15-page
questionaires," Cozort said.
"We will go over all this infor
mation with the governor before
he makes his final decision,"
Pate, one of the three men
elected by the 12th Judicial Bar in
October to replace Dupree, has
already been interviewed by
After Pate was nominated.
along with Cumberland County
Assistant District Attorney
Stephen H. Nimocks and
Cumberland attorney Hank Finch,
Hoke l egislators went to work try
ing to secure the appointment.
The county legislators met with
Hunt in early October to discuss
the possibility of Pate's appoint
"I thought our conversation
with the governor went well," state
Sen. David R Parnell said earlier.
Although there is "strong" local
support for Pate's appointment,
Cozort said he did not know who
would get the appointment.
"Everyone will have an equal
and fair chance," Cozort said.
Although in October, many felt
the judgeship appointment would
come before Dupree vacated his
seat, Cozort said that more time
"These appointments are very
important, and the governor
realizes this," Cozort said.
"We have to make between 15
and 20 appointments a year. They
have to be worked in with the
Governor's busy schedule,"
At present. Governor Hunt is
expected to fill three district court
vacancies and three superior court
vacancies plus carry on his usual
duties, Cozort said.
"People don't seem to realize
how much time and effort goes in
to an appointment such as this
one," Cozort said.
Since the appointment will ap
parently be made after the judge's
seat is vacated, Cozort said that
there would be other alternatives
to choose until the post was filled.
"The seat will not have to be
empty if there is a need for a
judge," Cozort said.
"If they absolutely have to have
a judge during that time they can
borrow one from another county
or use a retired judge," Cozort
"If one is needed before the ap
pointment is made, one can be
found," Cozort said.
(See GOVERNOR, page 2A)