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Late audit shows Hoke County had to pay big water bill, fund balance hit record high

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Although the audit was submitted late, the news Monday night was mostly good for Hoke County when an auditor presented the annual report to commissioners. The county’s available general fund balance hit a new record high, after successive years of commissioners putting money aside into the fund. At the...

Tylertown celebrates improved fire rating
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Tylertown celebrates improved fire rating

[Photo: Tylertown Fire Department Chief Hervon McCollum gets a celebratory hug at the announcement of the fire department’s new, improved ISO rating. (Catharin Shepard photo)] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • For two years the volunteer firefighters of Tylertown have trained, responded to emergency calls and sought out equipment to provide fire protection in the...

Hoke County commission candidates answer Q&A
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Hoke County commission candidates answer Q&A

The News-Journal sent out questions to candidates seeking election to two commission seats in Hoke County in 2024. The questions were sent out by email and letter mailed to the address on record when the candidate filed. Here, we share their responses. The partisan primary election is Tuesday, March 5. The candidates who responded were...

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School Resource Officer struck by vehicle

A Hoke County School Resource Officer was hit by a vehicle Wednesday morning while directing traffic at Sandy Grove Elementary School. The officer was expected to make a full recovery, according to the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office. The law enforcement agency released the following statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with one of our own...

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Raeford Kiwanis Club scholarship applications open

The Raeford Kiwanis Club will award three scholarships of $500 each to a high school senior who resides in Hoke County. Procedure and qualifications are as follows: •Students will apply for the scholarship using the form entitled “Raeford Kiwanis Club Scholarship Application Cover Sheet” and following the instructions contained therein. •Students shall have a minimum...

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New courthouse construction set to get underway in Hoke County

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Hoke County will break ground on a long-awaited new courthouse at a ceremony set for 11 a.m. Thursday, February 29, 2024. Hoke County Manager Letitia Edens and county commissioners confirmed the date at the board’s meeting Monday night. Commissioners approved a change order for the bulk of the construction...

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Voter registration deadline for primary election is this Friday, February 9

To vote in the upcoming partisan primary election scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2024, prospective voters will need to have registered to vote by this Friday, February 9, 2024. Voters will also need to bring a photo I.D. in order to vote in the election. The civilian voter registration deadline in North Carolina is 25...

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Voter registration deadline for primary election is this Friday

To vote in the upcoming partisan primary election scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2024, prospective voters will need to have registered to vote by this Friday, February 9, 2024. Voters will also need to bring a photo I.D. in order to vote in the election. The civilian voter registration deadline in North Carolina is 25...

A new store for the “Weknd” warriors
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A new store for the “Weknd” warriors

[Photo: Harley Locklear is preparing for the January 20, 2024 grand opening of the second Weknd Warrior Trade Company location, in downtown Raeford.] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • After over seven years of success in Scotland County, the Weknd Warrior Trade Company is opening the doors of its second shop in downtown Raeford. The...

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Plant longleaf pine seedlings this Saturday

The Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association (Sandhills PBA) will be hosting its first event of the year this coming Saturday, January 13, 2024, and is inviting the public to lend a hand planting longleaf pine tree seedlings at one of the Sandhills PBA’s newest landowners’ property. “This Saturday come join us and learn how to plant...

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Open Door Soup Kitchen moving locations, seeks expansion

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • The Open Door Soup Kitchen will be changing locations at the end of January, and hopes to resume offering hot meal service in the future as well as giving away boxes of groceries. More than that, the organizers plan to kick off a fundraiser soon to raise money to...

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On the brighter side of 2023

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • While there was controversy, crime and the lingering effects of COVID-19, the year 2023 also had its brighter sides. Here are a few of the good things that happened in Hoke, large and small, to end the year on a positive note – and in 2024, don’t forget to...

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N.C. 211 widening to kick off in summer 2024

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • While 2023 saw the very beginnings of work to clear the way for widening N.C. 211 to a four-lane road between Raeford and Aberdeen, 2024 will see the start of the next phase of the project that’s been years in the making. Questions among Hoke residents of “why did...

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Hoke school board directs members to repay “any unauthorized compensation”

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • The Hoke County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to direct each individual board member to repay “any unauthorized compensation” by June of next year. Rosa McAllister-McRae made the motion, “I move that the Hoke County Board of Education direct its individual members to each repay to Hoke...

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Hoke school board could face charges

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Hoke and Moore County District Attorney Mike Hardin made it clear in a Superior Court hearing Monday that he is looking into the Board of Education members receiving “staff retention” bonuses as a criminal matter, not a civil matter. “I am considering whether to charge the school board members...

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Sex offender sentenced to 75-105 years in prison

A registered sex offender was found guilty last week of sexual crimes against a child, and sentenced to 75-105 years in prison. Investigators with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office arrested Raheem Davis in August 2022 on three counts of statutory rape of a child by an adult, and three counts of indecent liberties with a...

Banquet honors Blue, helps youth
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Banquet honors Blue, helps youth

[Photo: Surrounded by family, Linda Blue gets a hug at the HNASA banquet, held last Friday night to help send local youth to college. Blue was the recipient of the Mitch Tyler Award.] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • A teacher assistant who has dedicated decades of her life to helping children learn was named...

Veterans Day ceremony honors sacrifice, patriotism
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Veterans Day ceremony honors sacrifice, patriotism

[Photo: George Balch (at left) and John F. Harry, both Hoke County veterans, received honors at the ceremony held Saturday at City Hall in recognition of their hard work and many contributions to support other military veterans in the community and beyond.] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Veteran’s Day is “a day to celebrate...

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Recount confirms Raeford City Council election results

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • A recount Tuesday night of all the ballots cast in the recent Raeford City Council election confirmed the unofficial results announced last week. Ricky Sandy, Johnny Boyles and Jackie McLean remained as the top three candidates that voters chose to take seats on the city council in December, with...

Stewart’s Tavern bringing barbecue to downtown Raeford
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Stewart’s Tavern bringing barbecue to downtown Raeford

[Photo: James and Kimberly Stewart are new business owners opening a restaurant on Main Street.] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Downtown Raeford is getting a brand-new restaurant that will serve up barbecue and a family-friendly atmosphere, brought to life by a couple with close ties to Hoke County and the restaurant business. James and...

Raeford City Council candidates answer questions
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Raeford City Council candidates answer questions

The News-Journal asked all nine candidates running for Raeford City Council questions about why they’re seeking office, what they want to achieve and their thoughts on local issues. Read on to learn more about the people hoping to become Raeford’s next city council members. Voters will be able to select three new council members this...

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Board members arrange bonus payback

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • According to information from Hoke County Schools, Hoke County Board of Education members have either made arrangements to not accept their stipend in order to pay back the bonus money, or have outright paid it back. Documents showed at least four out of the five members specifically made arrangements:...

Military family gets home office makeover
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Military family gets home office makeover

[Photo: The Rever family of Hoke County came home from a “staycation” to see the newly renovated home office. T-Mobile, Blue Star Families and Brock Cabinets came together to make it happen. (Catharin Shepard photos)] By Catharin Shepard • Editor • When Alyssa Rever and her husband Matt Rever, a warrant officer at Fort Liberty,...

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Hoke commissioners deny rezoning, approve subdivision

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • After the county Planning Board unanimously recommended denial, and after hearing concerns about the process and the proposal from residents, the Hoke County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to deny a rezoning request for property on Rockfish Road. The rezoning request, application for general use rezoning RZ-23-14...

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$15 million in state budget for Hoke, Raeford

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • The North Carolina General Assembly’s budget, which passed last Friday, contains about $15.7 million for infrastructure projects and other improvements in Raeford and Hoke County. Hoke’s elected state leaders, Rep. Garland Pierce and Sen. Danny Britt, announced the funds once the budget passed the General Assembly in the early...