Year: 2020

Home 2020
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Elections director warns of scam

Hoke County Board of Elections Director Towanna Jackson warned of a scam going around trying to get people to click a fake link to determine whether they are still registered to vote. There is a legitimate way to check your voter registration online, but it’s not the link being shared in the scam, Jackson said....

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Cape Fear Valley seeks donations of protective gear

Cape Fear Valley Health is asking the public for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves. Hospital officials also announced Cape Fear Valley is rescheduling all non-essential surgeries and procedures. “Like many other health systems nationwide, Cape Fear Valley Health’s supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE) is feeling the stress of...

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Sandhills Pediatrics adjusts to see patients during crisis

By Ken MacDonald •  Sandhills Pediatrics in Raeford continues seeing patients, and Dr. Sarah Brewington says they’ve had to make some adjustments to meet the challenges. Brewington says the office is separating sick children from those who aren’t — they’ve actually physically divided their building, she says—so those who need regular checkups or vaccines, or...

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Governor orders schools closed until May 15

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Monday closing public schools until May 15, with a tentative plan to reopen May 18. The executive order also put further restrictions on businesses, shutting down many types of recreation and personal grooming-based businesses across the state. It also banned people from visiting nursing homes and...

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County announces additional steps

From the Hoke County manager:   Hoke County Government will be implementing additional steps to limit the exposure of our staff and citizens to COVID-19 and other infections. Our main priority is the safety and security of our Community; therefore, the following measures will be implemented beginning Monday March 23, 2020:   Hoke County Government...

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Rep. Pierce named to COVID-19 committee

Hoke County’s State Rep. Garland Pierce was named to the House Select Committee on COVID-19. He said in a statement Friday:  “I have been monitoring by email and conference calls and from the General Assembly staying abreast on this non-partisan issue during this difficult time. We are trying to keep our citizens informed of the challenges we...

City Council holds meeting on COVID-19 measures
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City Council holds meeting on COVID-19 measures

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Raeford City Council held a meeting Friday morning to approve several coronavirus-related measures, including closing city facilities to the public and waiving disconnect fees for city utility service. The council voted to approve the following items: 1. Closure of all City of Raeford facilities to the general...

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Hoke County Public Library closing due to virus

The Hoke County Public Library will be closed to the public as of March 20, according to a statement from the library director. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Overdue fines will not be charged during this time. Our book drop is open for returns, including DVDs & CDs. Materials may be renewed...

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Disaster loans available for small businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration granted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov. Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan...

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Cape Fear closing locations to visitors

From Cape Fear Valley Medical… “To protect staff and patients from risk of COVID-19, all Cape Fear Valley Health System locations, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, will be closed completely to visitors until further notice with the following exceptions: Labor & Delivery: Laboring mothers may have one support person/coach for the duration of their stay....

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Why wash 20 seconds? Watch this

By Ken MacDonald • My wife is a nurse, and she’s requiring everyone in our family to watch this short video about washing our hands. (It’s plain from my own observation that not many take this admonition seriously—except our three-year-old granddaughter, who sings the entire long-play version of “Let it Go,” while she washes.) Once...

Health officials investigating first COVID-19 case in Hoke County
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Health officials investigating first COVID-19 case in Hoke County

Hoke Health Department Director Helene Edwards (at right) and medical director Dr. Karen Smith (at left) answer questions Wednesday at a press conference. Photo by Ed Clemente • By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A Hoke County resident tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 and is in quarantine at home with his family, health...

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Interview with Hoke Health Department Director Helene Edwards

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Governor’s office says call 211 for virus help

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office issued a press release announcing N.C. 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina will serve as a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.  NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information...

‘If you have children, you must tell them how their father was brave’
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‘If you have children, you must tell them how their father was brave’

Son of Hoke mowed down on bridge while cutting line to explosives, saving town and countless people   By Ken MacDonald • Maggie Mae McRacken was 32 years old when she read the letter from Madame Drou of Mayenne, France, describing her husband’s death the year before.   “I am an unknown woman for you,...

He went AWOL to avoid virus
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He went AWOL to avoid virus

Oscar Lee Dunbar By Ken MacDonald •    The virus touched my wife’s family in a big way, and I’m beginning to understand the implications a little better now. Not the COV-19, though, but the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. To summarize, her grandfather went AWOL from the Army, hid in the swamps of eastern...

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Helping hands reach out in Hoke

It can be easy to become overwhelmed during times of crisis, but there are always those who go above and beyond to help others. We want to spotlight people who are rising to the occasion. If you know someone in Hoke County helping others during the coronavirus pandemic, let us know, and we’ll give them...

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Companies offer help for those affected

Some agencies and companies are offering support during the pandemic. Here are a few that are making changes to help customers.   Charter offers students free internet Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum internet for families with students in order to help them keep learning during school closures. The company issued the statement: “Charter will...

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Huff: Going to make the best of it

By Ron Huff •  As I sit here, the television is blaring information about the Corona virus from every possible outlet. Even the sports outlets are focused on the virus as most sports have been cancelled or suspended. The supermarkets are being flooded by nervous, if not panicked, consumers who are stocking up on everything....

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Browsing the Files

102 Years Ago October 24, 1918   The influenza situation has reached such alarming proportions over the state that the mayor called a mass meeting of the citizens of Raeford to discuss means to combat it. At this meeting it was decided to appoint fifteen representative men of the town to devise means of protecting...

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The News-Journal will inform, hell or high water

We at The News-Journal plan to continue publishing and informing, no matter what, believing it’s even more important than ever. We’re already publishing frequent updates online at Hokenews.com, a site we were developing to provide Hoke County coverage for mobile and web users. The site will be subscription-based to help us continue coverage of Hoke...

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Other Stuff, Not Necessarily The News

By Ken MacDonald • Tuesday morning was depressingly rainy, and when I arrived at work, the Main Street Methodist Church steeple was playing “Be Still My Soul.” I had just listened to the New York Times podcast and a doctor at a 1,000-bed hospital in Italy who portrayed a very sad picture indeed, and one...

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Concerned you might have the virus?

Area healthcare systems can offer support for people who feel they may need to be screened for the coronavirus. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its recommendations Friday to say that people should be tested if: You have fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and close contact with a...

Schools devise online learning, feeding buses
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Schools devise online learning, feeding buses

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • At the largest elementary school in Hoke County, teachers and staff worked for hours Monday to prepare over 750 laptop bags packed with iPads and Chromebooks for families to pick up for their children. A parent walked up to the locked front door of Rockfish Hoke Elementary, only...