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Juneteenth youth talent showcase is Saturday
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Juneteenth youth talent showcase is Saturday

There will be a youth talent show and other activities this Saturday, June 19 from noon-4 p.m. The “Youth Explosion” will be held at the Enrichment Center located at 193 Gillis Hill Road. See the fliers for details and more information on how to participate. The event is sponsored by Affairs of the Family and...

Benson named Hoke High Principal
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Benson named Hoke High Principal

[Photo: Dr. Thomas Benson, newly appointed Hoke High Principal (Submitted photo)] Hoke County Schools announced this week Dr. Thomas Benson will be Hoke County High School’s new principal. The News-Journal will have an interview with him in next week’s issue. The school system also announced Dr. Chad Hunt as the new Assistant Superintendent of Operations...

Upcoming blood drives seek donors to help save lives
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Upcoming blood drives seek donors to help save lives

The Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center is holding three upcoming blood drives in Hoke County. The center provides blood supplies to patients in Hoke and other counties. See the fliers, or go to www.savingliveslocally.com for more information on each blood drive.

Hoke High Class of 2021 walks the stage at graduation ceremony
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Hoke High Class of 2021 walks the stage at graduation ceremony

[Photo: Lauron Lewis as Regena McLaughlin Fixes her cap (Photo by Meredith Bounds, Hoke County Schools)] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • “It’s time to let your Buck pride shine,” Hoke High Interim Principal Sabrina Finkbeiner told the Class of 2021, as they gathered one last time Saturday to mark the end of their...

Hoke grad appears on America’s Got Talent
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Hoke grad appears on America’s Got Talent

[Photo: Tavis Cunningham performs as part of male vocal trio 1achord (Photo from Facebook)] A Hoke High Class of 2020 graduate recently appeared on the hit TV show, America’s Got Talent. Tavis Cunningham, who graduated with the Bucks last year, appeared on the season premier of America’s Got Talent June 1. “We’ve always known he...

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Subdivisions debated as residents raise infrastructure, safety questions

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Residents of the eastern and western areas of the county raised questions Monday about whether Hoke has the infrastructure to support continued subdivision growth – and whether it should – as commissioners faced a large agenda of plat requests and amendments at their first meeting of the month....

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No tax hike in proposed county budget

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • County Manager Letitia Edens’ proposed 2021-2022 fiscal year budget does not include a tax increase or change in water or sewer fees, but does suggest an increase in solid waste fees, according to county documents. Edens and county finance staff drew up the proposed budget after county department...

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New COVID-19 infections down in Hoke

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A week after the unofficial start of summer, Hoke County’s number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 has remained low, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Hoke saw just 60 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 14 days, including...

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Raeford joins others in raising police pay

By Ken MacDonald • The City of Raeford reached into contingency money to keep from being left behind and having their police officers poached by higher-paying law enforcement agencies. City Council agreed to add $154,000 to its budget—just before adopting it Monday night at its regular meeting—to fund increases for existing and new officers. “Ya’ll...

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Gunman sought for firing shots at Waffle House

Investigators with the Raeford Police Department are seeking a man wanted for allegedly firing gunshots into the Waffle House restaurant on Highway 401 Bypass. Raeford Police are seeking the whereabouts of Billy Ray Jones, 49, of the 100 block of Childrens Road in Red Springs, who is wanted for arrest on charges of shooting into...

Parade, service honor veterans for Memorial Day
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Parade, service honor veterans for Memorial Day

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke’s State Rep. Garland Pierce knows what it’s like to fight for the United States, and what it’s like to lose a loved one in that fight. Pierce, a veteran himself, marked Memorial Day by reading to a crowd gathered on the Hoke Court House lawn, a letter...

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Sheriff’s deputies get higher starting pay, 15% raise

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Commissioners’ budget for 2021-2022 will include funding to cover a starting salary of $41,127 for newly hired sheriff’s deputies, and a 15 percent pay increase for deputies already working for the department. The amount was actually higher than Hoke Sheriff Dr. Hubert Peterkin...

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Sheriffs’ Association releases traffic safety PSA

Hoke County Sheriff Dr. Hubert Peterkin and the National Sheriff’s Association announced this week a new traffic safety PSA created with multi-platinum, award winning country music performer Toby Keith. The PSA was created with support and funding through a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Starting this week, the NSA will...

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Hoke library open once more

The Hoke County Public Library has reopened, and COVID-19 based capacity limits and social distancing have been lifted. The library asks that patrons who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask when visiting the library. The library is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and offers computer or WiFi use, copies, scans and...

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Community clean-up set for June 12

Signups are still open for people interested in helping clean up Hoke County’s roads through a volunteer event set for next weekend. The Hoke County Community Clean-up Day is set for Saturday, June 12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, June 19. People interested in volunteering should meet at the Robert...

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County commissioners in budget talks this week

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Adding benches and bleachers to the park on Red Springs Road, hiring more staff to help with an increased workload in Social Services and buying generators to prepare for hurricane season are among the many budget requests on the table for Hoke County Commissioners to consider. Hoke County’s...

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Parade will honor veterans Thursday

The Downtown Raeford Business Association (DRBA) plans to hold a parade to honor veterans, and has decorated downtown Raeford with special banners bearing the names of veteran honorees for this year’s event. The parade will be held on Main Street Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. and will kick off with a parachutist jumping in....

Puppy Creek Fire Department Chief honored as Volunteer Chief of the Year
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Puppy Creek Fire Department Chief honored as Volunteer Chief of the Year

[Photo: John Joseph, fire chief of Puppy Creek Fire Department (Submitted photo)] The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs has named Puppy Creek Fire Department’s Chief John Joseph the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. The presentation happened May 21 during the NCAFC’s mid-winter conference, held May 18-22 in Concord. The fire chief of the...

Ballard honored for work with Action Pathways
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Ballard honored for work with Action Pathways

[Photo: Lonnie Ballard Jr. (Submitted photo)] The CEO of Fayetteville-based Action Pathways, which offers community support including food distributions in Hoke County, was recently recognized for his contributions to helping the low-income community.  Action Pathways, Inc. CEO Lonnie Ballard Jr. received the N.C. Community Action Association’s Roselle Copeland Stewardship Award. The Roselle Copeland Stewardship Award...

Barber announces 2022 commission run
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Barber announces 2022 commission run

[Photo: Carlton Barber (Submitted photo)] A man who attended Hoke County High School and today is a gospel singer and minister, announced this week he plans to seek election to the Hoke County Board of Commissioners in 2022. Carlton Barber, an evangelist and owner of In Ya Faith Ministries, recently filed with the Hoke County...

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Hoke County under burn ban

Hoke County is one of dozens of counties in North Carolina now under a burning ban due to potentially hazardous fire conditions. North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Steven Troxler issued the order for about one-quarter of the state’s 100 counties, due to ongoing dry conditions that raise the risk of small...

Local women leaders celebrated at meeting
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Local women leaders celebrated at meeting

[Photo: Vera Hollingsworth presented Retha Hardimon and Hoke County Manager Letitia Edens with plaques recognizing them as women leaders, as commissioners offered congratulations. Betsy Bailey and attorney Debbie Baker also received recognition.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County Manager Letitia Edens was one of four local women leaders honored Monday at the...

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Downtown parade will honor veterans

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Downtown Raeford Business Association (DRBA) plans to hold a parade to honor veterans, and will decorate downtown Raeford with special banners bearing the names of veteran honorees for this year’s event. The parade will be held on Main Street Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. and will...

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Fluid situation as pinch at the gas pumps eases

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Drivers in Raeford saw some relief at the pump Tuesday as more gas stations had fuel to sell, following a week of uncertainty in the wake of a cyberattack on a major pipeline. While long lines continued at some popular stations, by Tuesday evening others had gas available...

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Suspect sought in fatal shooting

Detectives with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a suspect wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened this weekend. Deputies responded to the 100 block of Seagull Drive in the North Raeford Mobile Home Park just after 8 p.m. Sunday, and reportedly found Davion McQueen suffering from a gunshot wound. Although...