Sports photographer Clemente departs

Sports photographer Clemente departs

[Photo: Photographer Ed Clemente (Submitted Photo)] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Award-winning photographer Ed Clemente, who has served as the News-Journal’s sports photographer for the last three years, is moving on to bigger and better things. Clemente is departing Hoke County to move to another state to take on a new responsibility with an employer, leaving behind a...

SandHoke Class of 2021 celebrates graduation

SandHoke Class of 2021 celebrates graduation

[Photo: SandHoke graduates toss their caps during the ceremony at Raz Autry Stadium.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • “One, two…two and a half…two and three quarters…” Principal Colleen Pegram-Wike drew out the countdown, giving the SandHoke Early College High School Class of 2021 a few more seconds to get ready to savor the last of their high school...

Man shot and killed, suspect sought

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 emergency responders transported McQueen to...

SandHoke, Hoke High graduation information

Hoke County Schools has issued information about the upcoming SandHoke Early College High School graduation, set for Friday, May 14, and the Hoke County High School graduation, set for Saturday, June 5. See the flyers for important dates and directions.

Dr. Mary K., first Sandhills grad, honored with sculpture

Dr. Mary K., first Sandhills grad, honored with sculpture

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Dr. Mary Kemp Thomas was a woman of many words, her children said: a woman of faith and family, a woman who always wanted to reach out and help others. Almost a year after her death at age 89 in a car accident, they remember that about “Dr. Mary K” most of all....

County commits to raising deputy pay

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • After a lengthy discussion with Sheriff Dr. Hubert Peterkin in a special called meeting Tuesday, the Hoke County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to commit to increasing deputy pay to a competitive level as part of the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Peterkin raised alarms last week when he told commissioners...

Cape Fear Valley offering walk-in Pfizer vaccine

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Cape Fear Valley Health is making it easier for more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering the vaccine to walk-ins with no appointment needed, and providing the Pfizer vaccine which can be given to teens as well as adults. The healthcare system announced that as of May 10, it is now...

Charity motorcycle ride June 5

His Houses of Restoration, Inc. (HHR, Inc.) is sponsoring a charity ride June 5 from 10 a.m.-noon, starting at East Hoke Middle School. All riders who wish to participate are asked to send a donation of $10 to CashApp $HISHouses or contact Kim Shaw at 910-331-9690. Vendors will be on-site, requires pre-registration and will be charged $20 to attend. The...

Planning for hurricane season starts now

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County has seen several rounds of strong spring thunderstorms in recent weeks that blew down trees and knocked out the power to thousands of people. With June quickly approaching, it’s time to consider preparing for even stronger storms that could be on the way this year. Severe storms last Tuesday night took...

Celebrating local graduates

Celebrating local graduates

Mom and daughter graduate together from Fayetteville State Mother’s Day weekend marked a doubly special graduation for Amanda Ross and her mother, Marcia Thomas, who both earned degrees from Fayetteville State University. Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Ross earned a master’s degree in Social Work. The family has ties to Hoke County, and future plans to open...

Commissioners to meet in special session on sheriff’s office budget

After learning that the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office is facing staff shortages, apparently due to having lower pay than other agencies in the area, the Hoke County Board of Commissioners will meet in special session to consider the department’s budget. The board scheduled a special called meeting for Tuesday, May 11 at 11 a.m. in the commissioners’ room in the...

“Our county’s in a crisis,” sheriff says

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • This time a year ago the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office and the county jail were fully staffed, but when Sheriff Dr. Hubert Peterkin approached commissioners Monday, it was to tell them things have changed and the law enforcement agency has lost 14 staff members recently with more expected to go out the door...

No tax increase in city’s proposed budget

By Ken MacDonald • There’s no tax increase in the works for Raeford residents, though a five-percent increase in water rates will likely be approved with the adoption of the budget next month. In a budget presented to City Council Monday night by City Manager Dennis Baxley, the 48-cents-per-hundred-dollar-valuation rate would remain unchanged, yet would afford a 2.5 percent cost-of-living...

McLeod honored with award

Hoke County’s clerk of Superior Court, Evelyn L. McLeod, is one of five to receive the Richard Caswell Award for 45 years of service to the Judicial Branch. The award is administered by the Office of State Human Resources, and recognizes employees for providing “valuable and extended services in all areas of State government.” It is named after Richard Caswell,...

Kids, teachers can use I.D. number as digital library card

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A new collaboration between Hoke County Schools, the Hoke County Public Library and the N.C. Cardinal library consortium means kids and teachers can use their school I.D. number as a digital library card to access thousands of e-books, research articles, test preparation materials and much more. Last year the Hoke County Public Library...

Reward for information in 2019 murder

The state is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing a man in Raeford outside a gas station in 2019. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday the reward of up to $5,000 in the murder of Justin L. Mix, who was severely assaulted September 18, 2019. Officers...

Hoke worst in state for vaccinations

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • “It is too new,” “I don’t need the shot, I am not high risk to die from COVID-19,” “I don’t believe in immunizations,” “COVID-19 is not real, so why do I need a vaccine?” Those are just some of the reasons people have given Hoke County Health Department Director Helene Edwards for why...

Hoke High graduate killed in fiery wreck

Hoke High graduate killed in fiery wreck

[Photo: Tristen Little when he played basketball for the Bucks. (Contributed Photo)] A young Hoke High graduate was killed and one of his classmates was injured in a car accident Monday night, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Tristen Little, 19, a well-known former student athlete of the Hoke High Class of 2020, died after the car he was...

Finkbeiner named Hoke High interim principal, school plans in-person graduation

Finkbeiner named Hoke High interim principal, school plans in-person graduation

[Photo: Sabrina Finkbeiner, interim principal of Hoke County High School. Photo submitted by HCS.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Sabrina Finkbeiner, an administrator with more than 24 years of experience in education, will serve as the interim principal for Hoke County High School. Finkbeiner was named interim after principal Dr. Adell Baldwin announced he was taking an administrative...

County to tackle roadside garbage

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County’s roadsides are suffering from a problem: from fast food wrappers to household furniture, they’ve become a dumping ground for all kinds of unsightly garbage. “Couches – it’s embarrassing – mattresses,” Commission Chairman Harry Southerland said last week at the commission meeting, as he and Vice Chairman Allen Thomas listed off just...

April is Month of the Military Child

In 1986, the former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger established the designation of April as the Month of the Military Child, which acknowledges the significant role military youth play in our communities. This year’s theme is “Military Children and Youth a Resilient Force in a Changing World.” The Hoke County Schools is recognizing the service of military children and their...

County ups fees, could increase new home costs

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • People buying newly built homes hooked on to county water and sewer services will likely see an increase in their purchase price, after county leaders voted to increase the local system development fees. The Hoke County Board of Commissioners voted last Monday to increase the fees charged to homebuilders to hook on to...

‘Such a sweet soul,’ College Drive wreck kills man

‘Such a sweet soul,’ College Drive wreck kills man

[Photo: Herman Cummings Sr., photo from his obituary.] Police suspect impaired driving may be to blame for a car accident Saturday night in Raeford that killed a 75-year-old man and injured two other people. Herman Cummings Sr., 75, of Raeford died in the two-vehicle crash, according to the Raeford Police Department. A passenger in the car, and the driver of...

Hoke High will have traditional graduation, interim principal named

Hoke County High School will have a traditional graduation this year, according to the school’s newsletter circulated this month. The Bucks graduation will take place in person at Raz Autry Stadium on the Hoke High campus in Raeford, at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 5, according to the information. More details will be forthcoming. The school also has a new interim...

Hoke sees increase in new COVID-19 cases

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke is one of a handful of North Carolina counties that moved up, rather than down in the state’s COVID-19 County Alert System last week. The county went from yellow, significant community spread of the virus, to orange, for substantial community spread. Hoke was one of 20 counties in the orange. Only one...