Republicans to face incumbents in November

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • County commission incumbent Democrats Tony Hunt, Harry Southerland and Allen Thomas will go on to face Republican candidates Johnny Boyles, David Frump and Christopher Holland in the November election. Voters in Hoke County put Hunt, Southerland and Thomas through the primary election Tuesday over candidates Carlton Barber and Lent Carr. Republican voters in...

County plans to cut property taxes in budget

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Commissioners plans to cut property taxes from 75 to 73 cents per $100 valuation as part of the county manager’s recommended budget. County manager Letitia Edens presented a draft of the budget to the board members Monday night, sketching out in broad terms where taxpayer money will go...

Man brought gun on middle school campus in his car, sheriff’s office says

Hoke County deputies arrested a man Tuesday afternoon for reportedly bringing a gun onto a middle school campus in his vehicle. Investigators arrested Andre Lamont Grayman, no address given, on charges of possession of a firearm on a school campus and child abuse, the sheriff’s office said in a press release posted on Facebook. Deputies responded to a report of...

Early voting ends Saturday, primary election is Tuesday, May 17

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Early voting continues this week and ends Saturday, with the partisan primary election set for Tuesday, May 17. As of Monday this week, a total of 1,499 people had cast a ballot during the one-stop early voting period, according to Hoke Elections Director Chassidy Chavis. There are two polling places open to serve...

Avery’s Chapel Church gets ‘Hunger Hero’ award

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina presented Avery’s Chapel Church with the Hunger Hero Award for distributing nearly half a million pounds of food to the community in 2021. Avery’s Chapel distributed a total of 491,393 pounds of food last year, the award stated. The church established its food pantry more than 20 years ago, and ever...

Hoke High Drone team sweeps competition

Hoke High Drone team sweeps competition

Hoke High School’s Drone team swept the statewide SkillsUSA piloting competition April 27-29. Team members walked away with gold, silver, bronze, fourth and fifth places in the competition. Class instructor and coach Mario Malabunga took nine students to the competition. Winning gold was Nathan Aponte; silver, Shakel Rodriguez Ramos; bronze, Jonah Olsen; fourth place, Alexande Roman-Hernande; and fifth, Triston Guzman....

Daycare worker arrested on child abuse charges

Raeford police have arrested a staff member at First Baptist Christian Academy in Raeford on allegations that she abused a child. Investigators arrested Teisa Harris, 29, on two counts of child abuse and one count of assault on a child under 12 years of age. Police said Harris was accused of allegedly grabbing two children and lifting them off the...

Hoke County Schools gets $30 million grant in needs-based school construction funding

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County Schools will receive $30 million in grant funding from the state for its high school construction plans, the North Carolina Department of Public Education announced Tuesday. That’s on top of the $10 million the school district already received from a prior funding cycle, coming out to a total of $40 million...

Early voting for May primary starts Thursday

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The one-stop early voting period for the 2022 statewide partisan primary election in North Carolina begins this Thursday, April 28, in an election season that has 10 people signed up to vie for one of three seats on the county commission. The offices of Hoke County Sheriff and Clerk of Court, three seats...

Reentry Council events help with jobs, expungement

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Bernice McPhatter and Shamell Peterkin of the Hoke County Reentry Council know the Council’s work can change lives, and last week they got to see evidence of it in action. A former convicted felon and Reentry Council client stopped by an event to update them on how far he’s come. “When he came...

Freeman sentenced to death in child murders

A Hoke County jury Tuesday sentenced Tillman Freeman III to death after finding him guilty of fatally stabbing his two young daughters in the backseat of a car. A Hoke County jury deliberated for about 40 minutes before returning the verdict, Hoke and Moore County District Attorney Mike Hardin said Tuesday evening. Freeman, of Fayetteville, was found guilty on two...

Early voting will start April 28

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Next Thursday, April 28 will kick off the one-stop early voting period for the 2022 statewide primary partisan elections in North Carolina. During one-stop early voting, citizens can come out to the one-stop early voting site in Hoke County to cast a ballot before Election Day. The one-stop period is 17 days and...

Park with pond on to-do list as city prepares to update parks plan

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A new city park centered around a pond, and more space for sports fields at Robbin Heights Park could be part of discussions as Raeford prepares to update its master parks plan. The city of Raeford will work with consultants, an advisory committee and seek input from citizens to update the plan for...

Two students, driver checked at hospital after car rear-ends Hoke County school bus

Two Hoke County students were taken to the hospital Thursday morning to be checked out after a driver rear-ended a school bus on Aberdeen Road. Bus 137 was carrying SandHoke Early College High School students this morning when a car rear-ended the bus, according to school system public relations director Meredith Bounds. “There appear to be no major injuries; however,...

Bakery’s reception is icing on the cake

Bakery’s reception is icing on the cake

[Photo: The staff at Kayla Renee Cakes showed off their creations between customers Tuesday. From left, Elydia Dilena, Kayla Lowery and Saleiya Lowery. (Ken MacDonald photo)] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Big things are baking at a little shop on Main Street: Kayla Renee Cakes celebrated its grand opening last month and has already seen booming business. Cupcakes,...

Memorial gathering honors WWII veteran Wendell Young’s service to Children’s Developmental Center

Memorial gathering honors WWII veteran Wendell Young’s service to Children’s Developmental Center

[Photo: The Children’s Developmental Center board and leadership staff and family of Wendell Young met for a gathering last week in his honor. They plan to plant a tree and place the stone marker on the grounds of the Center in his memory.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • On Wendell Young’s 90th birthday, he asked that instead of...

Part of $3.5 million donation to Habitat for Humanity will help families in Hoke County

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Part of a $3.5 million donation to Habitat for Humanity from a famous philanthropist will be put to good use in Hoke County as part of efforts to make safe, affordable housing available to local families. Habitat for Humanity of the North Carolina Sandhills announced last week that writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott...

Former incarcerated get a second chance with reentry events

April 2022 is designated Second Chance Month for justice involved people by Gov. Roy Cooper for all of North Carolina, and the Hoke County Local Reentry Council plans to hold several events to support those who are reentering society after being incarcerated. The Hoke Local Reentry Council under the leadership of Ophelia Ray, intermediary agent, provides resources and assistance for...

Prom donations will help students celebrate in style

Prom donations will help students celebrate in style

[Photo: Hoke High teacher Kristin Khan is busy organizing donated prom clothes for a “Cinderella closet.” The school also has a year-round clothes closet to assist students with a variety of needs.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A special closet tucked away in one of the classroom buildings on the MacDonald side of Hoke High is collecting a...

County partnership plans to expand broadband internet service

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • After several years of planning, a project to bring affordable broadband internet access to underserved areas of Hoke County has gotten the green light from commissioners. County staff members have worked with the Shallotte-based Focus Broadband, formerly known as Atlantic Telephone Membership Cooperative, to create a partnership that will see the county and...

Court ruling leads to shutdown notice for sweepstakes businesses

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • After a ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court, any business operating prohibited sweepstakes machines in Hoke County or elsewhere in the state can face prosecution. Hoke County Sheriff Roderick Virgil issued a final warning to sweepstakes operators this week, after the sheriff’s office issued a 30-day notice to the gaming parlors last...

Hoke NAACP candidate forum is March 29

The Hoke County NAACP will host a question and answer “Meet the Candidates” forum this month. The candidate forum is set for Tuesday, March 29 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Turlington School auditorium, located at 116 West Prospect Avenue in Raeford. The public is invited to attend. The moderator for the question and answer forum will be Dr. William Munn, Senior...

Data entry error caused problem with county tax revaluation

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Data entry errors made by a company assisting with the county property revaluation resulted in some Hoke property owners receiving letters with a wrong value for their property, according to county officials. Mandi Davis, Hoke County tax assessor, explained in an email last week that the data entry errors happened in the computer...