Year: <span>2020</span>

Home 2020
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Hoke schools extend online learning through Jan. 29

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • When Hoke County Schools students start the new school semester in January, it will be through online instruction with no in-person classes. The school system announced Monday evening that classes will be online only at least through January 29. The schools closed campuses to students about 10 days...

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Commission approves COVID leave, “Grow Hoke” plans

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County local government employees will get 80 hours of paid leave time next year in case they have to take time off work due to COVID-19. The Hoke County Board of Commissioners approved the proposal Monday night at its regularly scheduled board meeting, which was the last...

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‘Don’t get numb’ to virus, Gov. Cooper urges

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • With two vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, Christmas just a few days away and cases of coronavirus in North Carolina continuing to rise, health officials urged people to keep gatherings small and to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling. Hoke County remains in the...

A lesson for a 2020 Christmas from someone who knows
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A lesson for a 2020 Christmas from someone who knows

(The Bratchers—Chaniya, Chyloh, Melissa, Joel (baby), Johnathan, and Chyna. Contributed photo.) Editor’s note: Chyna Delk-Bratcher has contributed several stories about people in the community. This week, she tells a little of her own story. A family that prays together stays together: my family and I live this through and through. Prior to moving to Raeford...

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Drone qualified

Six Hoke County High School students have earned their drone pilot license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Pups calendar raises money for animal shelter
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Pups calendar raises money for animal shelter

Puppy Creek is going to the dogs with the “Pups of Puppy Creek” 2021 calendar, with proceeds from sales benefiting the Raeford animal shelter. The Puppy Creek Fire Department created a special calendar featuring photos of the pet dogs of the station’s firefighters and families. The project is meant to raise awareness about fire prevention,...

Hoke Sheriff’s Office seeking man wanted for attempted murder
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Hoke Sheriff’s Office seeking man wanted for attempted murder

Investigators with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office are asking the public’s help to find a suspect who reportedly fired gunshots at a deputy early Sunday. Authorities are seeking Cortevin Jaquan Shaw, 29, of the 600 block of Alex Baker Road. Shaw is wanted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer with...

Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital among first in state to get COVID vaccine
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Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital among first in state to get COVID vaccine

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Dr. Roxie Wells, president of Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital, was among the first people in the state Tuesday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The federal Food and Drug Administration last week authorized emergency use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, approving it for people age...

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Gill, McAllister-McRae sworn in to office as superintendent departs for Robeson

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke County Board of Education members including returning incumbent Rosa McAllister-McRae, and newly elected board member Keisha Gill took the oath of office last week at the board’s December meeting. Clerk of Superior Court Evelyn McLeod conducted the swearing-in ceremony, and the board also selected its new officers...

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Hoke County offers free COVID-19 testing, safety kits

Hoke County will give away free personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to the public this Saturday, and offer free COVID-19 testing. “In efforts to prevent the community spread of COVID-19, Hoke County Commissioners, Hoke County Health Department and Hoke County Department of Social Services will be conducting a Community Initiative to assist the citizens of...

Board of Education names Dr. Debra Dowless new Hoke County Schools Superintendent
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Board of Education names Dr. Debra Dowless new Hoke County Schools Superintendent

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Education has selected Dr. Debra Dowless as the new superintendent of Hoke County Schools. Dowless has served as an assistant superintendent for the past six years, focusing on the area of elementary curriculum and instruction. She has worked in public education in Hoke...

‘Whose Line’ star Mochrie sends special message to Hawk Eye Elementary
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‘Whose Line’ star Mochrie sends special message to Hawk Eye Elementary

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hawk Eye Elementary got their very own personalized hoedown from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” star Colin Mochrie, after a teacher at the school arranged for the actor to give them shout-out. Patty Sandt, a fifth grade teacher at Hawk Eye Elementary, used a popular app to hire...

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Rustic Burger, more retail coming to East Hoke

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Commissioners approved three subdivision preliminary plat requests last Monday, and a conditional use permit for an expansion at the Stonegate Village shopping center set to bring more retail and a new burger restaurant to the county. Planning public hearings accounted for much of...

Accident in East Hoke kills one, others injured
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Accident in East Hoke kills one, others injured

[Photo by Ed Clemente]  One person died and others were injured in an accident Saturday on Club Pond Road, according to a source who was at the scene.  The accident near East Hoke Middle School involved an SUV and another vehicle. One person was pronounced dead at the scene. Occupants of the SUV were reportedly...

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Local child performer appearing in ‘Parking Lot Christmas’

A young girl from Raeford will be among the youth performing Saturday at a special “Parking Lot Christmas” event, held at NIKO’s at 116 North Reilly Road in Fayetteville. Anaele Colon, a student at Hawk Eye Elementary, is one of the young performers at Ladysticks Music Performing Arts Studio. Colon will appear in the Christmas...

Accident involving cement mixer kills one person
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Accident involving cement mixer kills one person

[Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Fire Department] A man from St. Pauls was killed Wednesday morning when his van collided with a cement mixer in Raeford, according to authorities. The accident happened on U.S. 401 Business near Rockfish Road around 11:14 a.m. Wednesday, December 2. Driver Kelvin Wilcox, 40, of St. Pauls apparently crossed the centerline...

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Another death, cases near 2000 in Hoke

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer •  Another Hoke County resident has died after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The most recent death brings Hoke’s tally to 31 people who have died after testing positive for COVID-19, and who had permanent Hoke County addresses....

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Groups try to help during holidays

Maggie’s Outreach Community Center is planning a drive-thru toy giveaway, and needs donations to make the event a success. The center will hold the “Andy’s Toy Box Drive-Thru Giveaway Event” Saturday, December 19 from noon-3 p.m. in the Hoke County Courthouse parking lot on Main Street in Raeford. Interested families must fill out a form...

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Hip-hop artist got his start in Raeford

By Catharin Shepard •  Staff writer • A hip-hop artist who grew up in Raeford is making a name for himself with a new album, and a clothing line. Mario McCall, who goes by the name 3-D Straw (stylized as 3-D $traw), was born in North Carolina. He grew up in Raeford while his mother...

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One Hoke race still not certified

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Education election results were among a handful of races across the state that were not certified last week by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE). The NCSBE met November 24 to certify the results of local, state and federal election contests...

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Commissioners tout turning lane at Stonegate

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Stonegate Village shopping center has a new turn lane on U.S. 401, along with an expansion project in the works to bring additional storefronts to the location. Commission Chairman James Leach and Commission Vice Chairman Harry Southerland announced the turn lane construction in a video posted to Hoke...

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Search for superintendent begins

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Hoke County Board of Education met in closed session Monday to conduct interviews with candidates as Hoke County Schools begins the search for a new superintendent. The interviews were held throughout the day at the Hoke County Parks and Sports Complex on Red Springs Road. The school...

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‘We’re in danger’ governor says

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer •  Hoke County remains in the critical zone for coronavirus infections this week, along with 19 other counties statewide, as state leaders urged residents, governments and businesses to follow safety guidelines. “I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: we are in danger,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday...

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Owner arrested after more than 200 jam club

In the midst of a pandemic, Hoke County Sheriff’s Office deputies reportedly found 240 people inside of a private club on Rockfish Road and arrested the owner on several charges. Investigators arrested Samuel McGill Jr., 48, of the 200 block of Moorea Drive in Raeford on charges including maintaining a drug dwelling, and misdemeanor ABC...

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School board meets in closed session

By Catharin Shepard •  Staff writer• The Hoke County Board of Education met in closed session Monday to begin considering the process for selecting a new school superintendent, and additionally selected a new principal for Sandy Grove Elementary School. Dr. Freddie Williamson, who has served in the role for over 15 years, was hired last...