Established 1928 -
Investigating the aftermath
School officials and county rescue squad personnel look over the
scene of Monday afternoon 's accident involving two cars and a school
bus loaded with 33 children on their way home from school. \o
children were injured in the accident. Finance Officer Don Steed said.
Witnesses say the bus was hit when a car driven by l.anie McNair ap
parently failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection of Highway
40 1 one mile from Raeford. The McSair vehicle apparently hit a car
headed towards Laurinburg. When the two front ends slammed
together, the cars spun around and the \fc\air car hit the front end of
the school bus. Steed said that the bus was at a " complete stand still"
when the car struck. State Trooper Scott Hurgess, who investigated
the accident, could not be reached for comment.
By Sherry Matthews
Although members of the long
range facilities planning committee
inspected "probably the worst
conditioned school" last Tuesday,
"no recommendations" will be
made on the school's needs until
all seven educational facilities have
been "checked out," Committee
Chairman Bobby Gibson said.
"We do not want to make any
final decisions or recommenda
tions until we have had a chance to
look at all the schools," Gibson
Gibson and 17 other committee
members visited J.W. Turlington
Elementary School last Tuesday.
"Turlington is probably going
?k. "?* I w
A house full
Maggie Smith, who is 96. ?
vr/// caring for "her children"
and expects a big crowd for
Christmas. She has 13
children, 52 grandchildren, 80
great-grandchildren and nine
great-great grandchildren. He
take a glimpse at the life of
this amazing Hoke County
woman on page one of Section
R in today's News Journal.
* Around Town
By Sam Morris
The rain came again on Sunaay
night and there were puddles
standing in the driveways, so it
must have rained very heavy dur
ing the night. From reports it must
have been heavier in the Arabia
section of the county than it was in
| Raeford. Someone said it rained
over three inches there.
I ran into Robert Gatiin, the
weatherman, early Monday morn
ing, but he didn't say anything
about a record rainfall for the
night. Of course he might have had
other things on his mind at the
The forecast is for clearing by
Tuesday and maybe more rain
f later in the week.
(See AROUND, page II A)
to be the worst school we see,
condition-wise," Gibson said.
The school, which houses some
800 students, was "actually"
designed for about 500 children,"
Turlington Principal Emma Minis
"We found the school very over
crowded and in a run down condi
tion," Gibson said.
"The condition of the school is
really no one's fault. The building
is old and over-filled with
students," Gibson said.
On the tour, Gibson and the
committee spotted "evidence of re
cent ceiling leaks" and inadequate
"Some parts of the building did
not look bad, but a large portion
was in very poor condition," Gib
"Turlington was not in good
shape when I was on the school
board. Now there are twice as
many students and twice the facili
ty problems," Gibson said.
Although Gibson apparently has
formed a personal opinion on
Turlington, he and his committee
have not "officially discussed" the
"1 am sure everyone who went
through there came to their own
conclusions, but as a group, we
have not discussed it," Gibson
The 21 -member committee is ex
pected to visit the remaining six
Mounting In Hoke
During a five-day period last
week, Raeford and Hoke County
residents were plagued by eight
break-ins and thefts,, local
As of press time, none of the
crimes had been solved.
From December 6 until
December 11, the county had
begun investigations into six
break-ins, enterings and larcenies
while the Raeford Police were in
vestigating two weekend crimes.
Last week's activities brings the
total of reported unsolved in
cidents to more than 20 for
December and over 30 since mid
On December 6, Queen City
Construction reported to county
law enforcement officers a break
in at their offices at the Old Truck
Stop on U.S. Highway 401.
Sheriff's reports show that
someone apparently broke into the
office building during the night
and took over S600 in property in
cluding two batteries, a radio
speaker, an electric heater, 10 bags
of ice and a checkbook containing
The investigation into the
December 6 break-in is continuing,
the report indicates.
Also on December 6, Rayburn
Maynor of Rt. 1, Shannon
reported that someone had taken
over $300 in property from his
The report shows that someone
apparently pushed the back door
of the Maynor home open and
broke loose a night latch that was
attached to the door.
A television, a shotgun and a
digital clock were among the items
No suspects had been found in
the case, but the matter is still be
ing investigated by sheriff's detec
tives, the report shows.
An $800 "portable generator"
was reported stolen the following
day, December 7, by Billy Lee
Williams of Rt. 1, Aberdeen.
The generator was apparently
removed from Williams' pack
An investigation into the larceny
is being investigated.
On December 6, Michael M. Bell
(See BREAK-INS, page 2A)
Funeral Director Charged
In Insurance Sales Probe
under a $ 1 ,800 unsecured bond but
was released the same day.
According to Powell, Doby was
apparently writing insurance
policies for Carl Virgil, also of
Virgil, 55, was also arrested last
Thursday and charged with three
counts of permitiing Doby to
negotiate insurance policies.
Virgil, an Raeford insurance
agent, was allowing Doby to work
for him although he apparently
knew Doby was not a licensed
(See DOBY. page 1 3 A)
By Sherry Matthews
The North Carolina Insurance
Commissioner's Office is continu
ing an investigation this week into
the "insurance activities" of a
local funeral home operator ar
rested last Thursday, Assistant
District Attorney Jean Powell said.
Robert Lee Doby, 48, operator
of Raeford's Doby Funeral Home,
was arrested last Thursday and
charged with six counts of writing
insurance policies without being a
licensed agent, Powell said.
Doby was arrested and placed
By Sherry Matthews
A Fayetteville man was in jail
this week after being arrested
Thursday and charged with the
November armed robbery of a
Raeford finance company.
Michael Reynolds, 31, was ar
rested by Raeford Police and
charged with the November 3 arm
ed robbery of the Raeford Safeway
Finance Company, Chief Leonard
Reynolds was taken into custody
by local officials shortly after be
ing tried in Cumberland County
District Court on unrelated
charges, Wiggins said.
Officers returned the Fayet
teville suspect to the Hoke County
Jail. His bond was set at $10,000
and had not been posted on Tues
day, a spokesman for the Sheriff's
"The arrest comes after a whole
lot of leg work and many hours of
investigation," Wiggins said.
"Our constant investigation into
this matter made it possible for us
to make the arrest," Wiggins said.
Officers believe Reynolds
entered the Safeway Finance office
armed with a "blue steel pistol"
and forced two of the three
employees in the office to lie on the
The third employee, a female,
was made to open the cash drawer
and give the robber the money,
The culprit fled on Main Street
and ran around the back of the
building taking with him over
$900, the chief added.
"From the time we got the call
until we made the arrest, our in
vestigation was constant," Wig
Although the Red Springs
Safeway Company was robbed a
week earlier, Wiggins would not
comment on a possible connection
between the two crimes.
"I just could not say if they were
Reynolds is expected to be ar
raigned on the charges in Hoke
District Court this week.
schools and the administrative
building by January 31.
"I don't anticipate any real deci
sions being made on any of the
schools until after we have in
spected them all and held the four
public hearings," Gibson said.
"We want to see for ourselves
and seek the public's opinion
before any big decision is made,"
Hoke County Commissioners
and Board of Education members
appointed the 21 -member commit
tee to determine a comprehensive
building plan for the seven county
"'Right now, we are just looking
over the facilities and generally go
ing over their condition. We are
trying to get some idea of what
needs to be done," Gibson said.
"We are really just in the
preliminary stages. We want to
educate ourselves on what really
needs to be done," Gibson said.
Although both county boards
are supporting the facility planning
committee, Gibson believes the
findings may be "financially"
more than the county can afford.
"Quite frankly, I don't think
Hoke County will be able to do
everything financially that we are
going to find necessary," Gibson
"Our committee is going to have
to set some type of priorities and
go after the things we can afford,"
"We are looking for the most
practical solutions. We may have
to temper those solutions on what
the county can actually do," Gib
"Everyone is working real hard
on this. We want to do the best we
can," Gibson said.
The planning committee is
scheduled to visit McLauchlin and
South Hoke within the next two
"Nothing will be determined un
til we have had a chance to look at
all the schools and discuss our
findings," Gibson said.
"This is not something you can
complete in a hurry. It is too im
These fields are too wet to plow after Monday's
downpour. H ith the additional rain expected to fall
before the end of the month, December promises to
be one of the wettest in recent memory. After lag
ging far behind during the dry days in August and
September, Hoke County is nearing the 52 inch
mark for the year as a result of the recent rains.