Power outages appear as Ian moves through Sandhills

Power outages appear as Ian moves through Sandhills

(3:18 p.m. Friday, September 30) As wind and rain moved through the Sandhills region Friday from Ian, tree limbs and downed trees began causing some power outages for the Hoke County area. Both Duke Energy and Lumbee River EMC showed outages in Hoke as of Friday afternoon. With ongoing wind and rain expected to continue, the potential for further outages...

Hurricane Ian approaching today as tropical storm

Hurricane Ian approaching today as tropical storm

(Friday 6:20 a.m.) The National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued its morning briefing on Hurricane Ian, and tweaks to our area forecast have a bit of an increase in expected wind speeds. (See map) Winds gusting to around 60 mph are possible today as the storm approaches. Rainfall on the order of 4-5 inches is still possible. Heaviest winds/rains...

County considering water expansion options

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County local government is considering or pursuing several options to increase access to water resources to keep up with customer demand. Potentially the biggest addition could be the McCain water system. Now that both the former correctional hospital and the prison are shut down, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety is...

Interested in beekeeping? Bee school may bee for you

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Anyone who’s ever wondered what it takes to keep their own beehives can learn all about it next month at “bee school.” The Hoke County Beekeeper Association plans to host two days full of lessons and hands-on practical experience to teach newbies what all the buzz is about. The bee school will be...

Veteran-owned Grits & Gravy serves up homestyle favorites

Veteran-owned Grits & Gravy serves up homestyle favorites

[Photo: Bobby Gillespie at Grits & Gravy.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Raeford and Hoke County diners are getting a taste of Grits & Gravy, a homegrown restaurant and food service that’s the product of years of experience and hard work by chef and owner Bobby Gillespie. What started off as a catering service just a few years...

Americana musician Steve Coughlin will play homecoming concert Nov. 5 in Raeford

Americana musician Steve Coughlin will play homecoming concert Nov. 5 in Raeford

[Photo: Steve Coughlin performs (Submitted Photo)] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Singer-songwriter and musician Steve Coughlin has led an interesting life to say the least: he’s traveled the world while serving in the Navy and worked as a police detective, and now he and his band are headlining music concerts all across the South. Coughlin will be coming...

Adoptions on hold at animal shelter over parvo concerns

The Hoke County Animal Shelter announced Monday it has put adoptions on hold until further notice due to a concern about possible parvo infection. “Attention: dog adoptions will be closed until further notice to monitor the animals in care,” the shelter said in the announcement on Facebook. Director Scottie Luckie said the shelter had a stray dog die and are...

Commissioners rescind gun range location after citizen complaints over proximity to animal shelter

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • After hearing an outpouring of concern over plans for a law enforcement shooting range to be located near the county animal shelter, commissioners reversed course Monday and rescinded the vote. Now the sheriff’s office and county will look at other possible locations for a new shooting range, Hoke County Board of Commissioners Chairman...

64 classrooms, new gym, cafeteria planned for Hoke High on-site replacement; will increase campus capacity to 2,700 students

64 classrooms, new gym, cafeteria planned for Hoke High on-site replacement; will increase campus capacity to 2,700 students

[Photo: SFL+A architect Robbie Ferris shows off the proposed plan for the on-site replacement at Hoke High School. The plan hinges on the city closing part of Bethel Road.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Big changes are coming to Hoke County High School if the Hoke County Board of Education moves forward with an early proposed design for...

Candidate meet-and-greet in Rockfish Sept. 29

The Rockfish volunteer community board is hosting a meet and greet this month so voters can get to know the candidates running for local office before the election in November. The event is set for Thursday, September 29 beginning at 7 p.m. It will be held at Brownie’s, which is where the community board meetings are held, located at 2950...

Hoke County gets $4 million grant for broadband internet expansion

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • More people in Hoke County will have access to fast internet in the future thanks to grant funds from the state, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced last week. Hoke was one of 69 counties across the state to receive a grant award as part of over $206 million in funding from...

Turkey dinner, parade returns for Fall Festival

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Yes, the rumors are true: the Fall Festival will once again serve up a turkey dinner with all the fixings, and the parade returns to Main Street this year. The North Carolina Fall Festival will kick off in October with events including the Marvin Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament, Turkey Bowl football game and...

Bystanders, pros kick into action for man on ground

Bystanders, pros kick into action for man on ground

[Photo: Ray Cooper with the Puppy Creek Firefighters and one of the Cape Fear Valley EMS paramedics who rushed to his rescue.] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Ray Cooper doesn’t remember much about the day he nearly died. Just like any other day, he left his home July 14 to go for a walk along Johnson Mill Road....

He’s still growing garden goodness

He’s still growing garden goodness

[Photo: James McBryde with his summertime garden; he’s working on his fall garden now. (Submitted photo)] By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • During the summer and fall there’s a pretty patch of earth near Wagram overflowing with vegetables, planted and carefully tended by James McBryde. At 73 years old, even after suffering a heart attack, he’s got a lot...

‘Amigas’ seeking volunteers for community service

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • There’s a new group of “Amigas” in Hoke County, and they’re hoping to make a difference in the lives of others through volunteer service. “We’re here to do community service, give back to the community,” Las Amigas chapter president Traci Jones said. Las Amigas, Incorporated is a national organization of women, founded in...

Children’s expo features youth entrepreneurs

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Katrelia Johnson wants her daughter and children like her to grow up knowing they have options with what they want to do with their lives. “I am so passionate about giving the youth better opportunities than what I had growing up,” she said. “Growing up back in South Carolina, a small town, I...

Author set to speak at library Sept. 17

Author set to speak at library Sept. 17

The author of “The Haunted Life of Lura,” a novel set in Raeford and based on historical events, will be at the Hoke County Public Library next month for a special appearance. Donna Flake, a longtime medical librarian, researcher and writer from Wilmington, will be at the library starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 17 to discuss her book and...

Three big road projects for Hoke in state draft plan

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The most recent draft of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) includes three big roadwork projects slated for Hoke County. The draft 2024-2033 STIP map and plan released Monday is not final, but gave clues as to where those projects are on what could become the state agency’s...

N.C. felons can register and vote after release

The Hoke County Reentry Council and Community Corrections Administration wants people with felony convictions who are not currently incarcerated to know that under a current court decision, they are eligible to register and vote in elections. Previously under state law and the state constitution, people serving felony sentences including any period of probation, parole or post release supervision could not...

Grant helps plan for industrial park’s future

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A $262,000 grant will help Hoke County pay for engineering plans to run county utilities to the industrial park in Dundarrach. Hoke County Economic Development Director Will Wright announced the grant to county commissioners at the board meeting Monday night. A contract for the funding is pending, and expected to come before commissioners...

Tickets on sale for Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook dinner

The Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce will once again host the Raeford-Hoke Economic Outlook Dinner, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 18. Tickets are now on sale for $10 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office, located at 101 North Main Street, or from Chamber of Commerce directors. The dinner will be held this year at the Robert...

Community talks education funding, Leandro court case

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • “What would 60 more teacher assistants look like in Hoke County? What would 10 more community school coordinators look like? How about more nurses, counselors and social workers? I’m not talking about next door. I’m talking about here in Hoke County,” Jackie Mclean asked the few dozen people gathered in Turlington auditorium. Or,...

Investigation in progress after man found dead

The Hoke County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a man’s death, but has not announced whether law enforcement believes foul play was involved. The department notified the community about the investigation Sunday, July 24. Just before 11 a.m. that day, Hoke County Sheriff’s Office deputies and other emergency personnel responded to a call on the 100 block of Franklin Road in...

Back to School Bash is Aug. 21

Local Hoke County students will participate in a backpack giveaway, complimentary food and family fun at a Back to School Bash event sponsored by Hoke County entrepreneur and local community sponsor, Morreal Murchison. Hosted by Country Boy Enterprises of Fayetteville, LLC and sponsored by various small businesses in the community, the ninth annual event is scheduled for 2 p.m. August...

10 vie for 3 seats on school board

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • By the time the filing period closed Friday at noon, 10 people had filed to seek election to three available seats on the Hoke County Board of Education. The candidates who filed to run are Catherine Blue, Deltarina Carr, Ruben Castellon, Tony Cunningham Sr., Tonika Dunbar, John Harry, Micheaux Hollingsworth, Christopher Leach, Della...