Buildings, buses and burgers

07/29/2014 3:52 PM

07/29/2014 3:53 PM

This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in the eastern Wake County area. In 2004, Knightdale had finally decided on a site for its new safety center. In 1989, Corinth-Holder parents were rallying further against the new Johnston County Public Schools busing policy. And in 1964, a local restaurant was turning 39.


It seems like it’s nearly impossible to decide on the simplest things in municipal government without argument and harsh words. In 2004, after much haggling, the location for the Knightdale safety center had finally been decided.

After some heated discussions, Knightdale officials picked a new home for the fire and police divisions – opting to spend $2.1 million to buy an office building across from Town Hall.

With a vote of 4-1, the Town Council approved a plan to use a $2.5 million loan from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development Agency for the new center. The remaining $400,000 would be used for upgrades needed for the building.

The town will need to make annual payments of $162,000 if the loan is approved. For the first two years, the town will use money from its fund balance to avoid a 2-cent per $100 valuation tax increase. After that, town leaders hope tax revenue from new businesses and homes will help pay back the loan.

Town Council members discussed several options for the public safety center, including constructing a building, buying an existing building on U.S. 64, and buying land on McKnight Drive and waiting until the town has money to build. As council members mulled the alternatives for the proposal, the possibility of a tax increase continually seeped into the conversation.

The council also debated on which side of U.S. 64 the center should be placed.


Parents were on the warpath in 1989 following proposed busing schedules that would take Corinth-Holders students far from home.

In a continuing effort to ward off the busing of middle school students to Micro, parents of Corinth-Holder Elementary School students attended a public hearing Thursday in Smithfield to address the Johnston County Board of Commissioners.

The hearing was held to discuss the Johnston school board’s request for a $47 million bond issue to fund its proposed construction and renovation plan, part of which calls for Corinth-Holder 6th-, 7th- and 8th graders to attend North Johnston Middle School. The parents, concerned over what they feel would be an excessively long bus ride to Micro, say the board of education’s plan is inadequate. Following the hearing, the commissioners approved the date and wording of a referendum to be held Sept. 26 on the bond issue.

While the school board’s plan drew support from some at the meeting, including a group of parents from Clayton, Corinth-Holder representatives told the commissioners some of the proposals were “unfair,” and some expressed concern over an impending tax hike, and how the money would be spent. The commissioners indicated that before deciding on the plan, they intend to find out how much of a tax increase if any will be required to fund the bond issue.


Everyone loves the old corner restaurant. The ones that’s been around for ages, the one that you went to as a kid, and the one you plan on taking your kids to. In 1964, Kannon‘s Cafe was one such restaurant, a hot dog joint turning 39.

The pungent, aromatic smell of hot dogs has been wafting from Kannon’s Cafe in Zebulon for 39 years. The cafe, located on Arendell Ave. beside Wakelon Theater, has its 39th birthday August 1.

Barker Kannon, the genial rotund owner, opened a cafe in Zebulon when he was 17 years old. The original cafe was where Dunn’s Grocery is now located. The cafe was moved to its present location in 1941.

Hot dogs and hamburgers topped with the owner’s own creation of sauces were the cafe’s specialties in the beginning. Kannon branched out in 1932 and full course meals were served.

After a 12-hour day at his cafe, Kannon stated that he has no time for hobbies. He said he just goes home, eats supper, and relaxes by looking at television.

The building that housed Kannon’s continues to serve as a restaurant. The building is now home to Italia Express.

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