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The 27th issue of our 85th year
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA
Wednesday, October 13,1993
If bond issue passes, Hoke Center gets $300,000
m m rm I .* . t ^ m-A aI I , • ■ /'»' I l—^ 1rt
When Hoke voters go to the polls November 2,
they’ll help decide one bond issue that will have a
direct impact on Hoke County if passed.
A portion of $250 million from the issue will go to
renovations of Sandhills Community College’s Hoke
The portion totals $300,()()() and isone of more than
75 projects designated for funding by the issue.
If the county cooperates, SCC would like to reno
vate the oldTurlington School, which currently houses
Cooperative Extension programs.
The Turlington move would allow SCC to expand
not only physically, but in programs offered.
According to a press release by SCC, the school
would have the space to expand its computer lacil ities
and introduce other curricula such as English and
mathematics, and more technical courses such as
cosmetology and heating and air conditioning.
Another project on the SCC bond wish list is
extension of a .second Small Business Center to Hoke.
“In short,’’ Halstead said, “passage of this critical
bond issue will allow us to do what we’re already
doing much better, and it will let us expand our
(See BONDS, page 7)
Mixing pleasure with business
Hoke year-round school students, on break from their studies, enjoy a hayride at Camp Rockfish during a week cf intersession activities intended to combine
fun with learning. At the same time, other Hoke students were working in seminars to learn about the environment (more photos, page 6).
Commission moves to dissolve
Raeford-Hoke Planning Board
The tombstone could read January 4,1988 to
April 12,1994 for the Raeford-Hoke Planning
Commission, which received its death sentence
Monday night in a 3-2 vote from the County
Within an half hour County Commissioners
Riley Jordan, James Leach and LE. McLaughlin
voted to give the City of Raeford its mandatory
six-month notice of intent to dissolve the com
Both City Council and the County Commis
sion appoint members to the board, and it is
funded 25 percent by the City and 75 percent by
Commissioners Tom Howell and Cleo
Bratcher voted against the dissolution.
Also dissolved was the joint position of plan
Monday’s vote was the final blow to the
Planning Commission, which has been under
attack by the majority of the County Commis
sioners for months.
Jordan said dissolution of the joint board was
the only legal way to regain control over the
office of planning director.
He said the controversy with the planning
director came over “having a high salaried
person not responsible to the County Commis
sioners or the county manager.”
(See PLANNING, page 14)
Landfill closes; garbage goes to Montgomery
Monday marked the end of the
Hoke County landfill. In its place a
jointly operated city-county tem
porary transfer station began load
ing garbage for transport to Mont
The switch from landfill to trans
fer station relieved the county’s
immediate solid waste problems
while the county awaits comple
tion of a tri-county project with
Bladen and Cumberland counties.
Earlier this year Hoke officials
joined forces with the two counties
to handle its garbage for the next 20
Under the agreement the Solid
waste from all three will be pooled
A truck is loaded with local garbage for transport to Montgomery County; no longer will garbage be buried in Hoke.
together to be used as fuel for a co
generation facility at the DuPont
factory in Cumberland County.
Waste that proves unusable will
be brought to the Ann Street land
fill in Fayetteville.
The $58 million project will be
capable of processing 120 tons of
refuse per hour, converting 70 per
cent to fuel. *
Hoke found itself in a dilemma
when the landfill neared closure
earlier this year.
When the closure became emi
nent, Hoke hoped to carry its waste
to Cumberland County. But
Cumberland County could not get
a permit to accept out-of-county
waste in time to meet Hoke’s needs.
Raeford came to the rescue with
an expansion of the temporary
waste transfer facility it already
planned to accommodate the city’s
60 tons of garbage and the county’s
480 tons of weekly refuse.
County Manager Mike Wood
said the switch over was “going
great because of the city-county
The landfill outlasted original
(See LANDFILL, page 7)
Receives life prison term
W illiam Earl McNatt will not die for killing prominent Raeford
citizen Tom Cameron. But he may spend the rest ot his life in
prison. Last week a Scotland County jury found McNatt
guilty of Cameron’s murder; he was sentenced to life in prison for the
beating death of the 75-year-old man. He has not yet been sentenced for
an armed robbery charge in the case.
The afternoon sentence came after the jury asked Superior Court
Judge William Gore if it could specify a sentence of life in prison without
Gore ruled the jury could not make such a designation, only the death
penalty or life in prison.
After about another hour of deliberation, the jury returned a life in
District Attorney Jean Powell pleaded for the death penalty in what
she called an “up close, personal” crime.
“You can see the pain and fear in the victim’s eyes. You can feel the
victim’s blood. You can hear the victim’s moans,” Powell said of the
beating of Cameron.
“ You can see and hear and feel the results of what you’re doing when
you beat him,” she said. “The defendant apparently likes to inflict pain.
You begin to realize and understand the meanness of William McNatt
and what he did March 1991.”
The jury seemed swayed by Powell’s call for the death penalty when
she explained he exhibited a pattern of violence which was epitomized
with the miurder of Cameron.
The testimony of three men was entered into evidence as a display of
McNatt’s disposition toward violence.
Cameron died of a broken jaw and blows to the head, injuries
prosecutors called a “fingerprint crime” for McNatt.
Kelvin Midget, Leroy Pilsbury and James Bain said they were each
attacked by McNatt, who broke their jaws and severely beat each man.
One of the men, Bain, said he was attacked by McNatt just two months
before the Cameron murder.
The emotional call of Assistant District Attorney Mike Schmidt
seemed to move the j ury, one juror even breaking down in tears when he
asked them to take five minutes and visualize the murder of Tom
Cameron. Prosecutors continued to paint a picture of a violent monster
without guilt for his crime.
“You have a chance to see him for w hat he is,” Schmidt said. “Remorse
— not hardly. What lurks in his heart is evil and he enjoys what he does.”
McNatt’s cousin, James Harris, who entered a plea bargain with the
state, described in detail the spring murder and the callousness of the man
after the killing.
Harris, of Liike Elizabeth Road, testified to accompanying McNatt
and another cousin, Bruce Harris, to the pond off June Johnson Road
Cameron co-owned in northern Hoke. James Harris, 22, and Bruce
Harris, 28, were charged earlier this year in conjunction with the murder.
James Harris was accused of stealing Cameron’s gold watch, car keys
and wallet w hile being armed with a .22 ritJe. Bruce Harris was charged
with first degree murder, injury to personal property and armed robbery.
He said the other two men attacked Cameron and beat him to death
after Cameron asked them to leave and return the fish they caught to l.is
pond. He stood and watched, he said, as the pair then robbed Cameron
of a watch and money.
Later that evening he said McNatt divided up the money into threes.
Bruce Harris awaits trial.
Hv Sam C. Morris
On Monday the high was about 50
degrees. After the warm wealtier of the
past few days, this felt like winter. We
had some rain last Friday and again
Monday morning. The temperatures
began to rise Tuesday and the rains left
The forecast calls for the highs
Wedne.sday and Thursday to he in the
low 70s and the lows will be in the 40s.
Friday and Saturday we will see the
highs in the high 70s and the lows in the
50s. There isn’t much chance of rain
during this period.
Maybe we will have fall weather from
♦ ♦ * ♦ *
I was talking to Sandra Kelly last
week about the Hoke United Way C am-
paign. She is an officer and director of
the United Way and she said that pledge
cards and other information about the
drive wilB be put in the hands of most
local busmes.ses this week or next. When
you get your information, get it to your
employees as soon as possible.
If you don’t receive a kit of informa
tion or if you are an individual send your
contributions to the Hoke United Way,
P. 0. Box 914, Raeford, N. C. 28376.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *
I don’t know how far the farmers are
with the picking of cotton, but several
fields between Raeford and Arabia have
been picked. There are trailer loads of
cotton at the gin and 1 don’t believe that
the rainy weather has slowed down the
Benny McLeod, manager of the Hoke
Cotton Warehouse told me last Friday
that they were very busy and they ex
pected to stay that w ay for several weeks.
1 don’t ktiow what the yield per acre is
for this year, but the stalk doesn’t look as
(See AROUND, page 14)