This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years at what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.
In 2004, the Knightdale Police Department was doing its part to promote child gun safety. In 1989, the Wake County legislative delegation had its eyes set on growth of two kinds. And in 1964, the town of Zebulon was trying to stop wild dogs from running rampant.
Gun control is a hotly debated issue these days. But everyone can agree that keeping a functional firearm out of the hands of children is a smart idea. Ten years ago, the Knightdale Police Department was working toward that goal.
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Knightdale Public Safety Director Skip Blaylock peeked outside of his office last week to gauge the contents of a box in the waiting room. “Looks like it needs a refill,” he said.
The box is filled with gun locks from Project Childsafe, a nationwide initiative to promote gun safety funded with a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The free locks have been disappearing from the box at a steady pace since their introduction a few weeks ago, Blaylock said.
Blaylock said citizens have stopped in to grab more than 400 gun locks. The public safety department received about 900 locks from the program. They can be used to lock auto loading pistols, revolvers, shotguns and bolt action rifles.
Towns, cities and counties generally have growth in mind in some capacity. And in order for their city to grow, they also have to have food growing. In 1989, sights were set on agriculture and the outer loop of the beltline, and what those could mean for nearby areas.
The Wake County legislative delegation, meeting with representatives from five area weekly newspapers, discussed the location of the “Outer Loop” and the state of agriculture among other issues Thursday in Raleigh.
As a member of the N.C. Senate’s agricultural committee, [Sen. James D.] Speed said he felt the legislature has been able to set solid, beneficial farm policies.
Rep. Betty H. Wiser said that the state’s farm economy has been improved by “great strides” made in marketing and that some growers are helping themselves by finding success branching out into new areas, such as aquaculture.
Eastern Wake County’s efforts to get the planned Northern Wake Expressway relocated east of Knightdale have also not been lost on the county’s legislators.
Some of the senators and representatives said they thought the eastern alternative (between Knightdale and Wendell) should be given serious consideration over the state’s proposal to put the Raleigh beltline’s outer loop west of Knightdale.
Many areas have problems with stray animals. People refuse to spay or neuter their pets, and those pets make more pets... and irresponsible owners tend to dump them somewhere rather than leaving them in responsible human care. Zebulon was experiencing this problem 50 years ago, as wild dogs continued to be an issue.
Dogs will always be a problem, Chief Willie B. Hopkins said this week.
Chief Hopkins said another campaign similar to the one conducted in 1962 should be held. This was a campaign to rid the town of stray and unwanted dogs.
Approximately 200 dogs were impounded during the 1962 campaign. Only one of these dogs was reclaimed by his owner, Hopkins said. The owner was required to purchase a dog tag in order to reclaim his animal.
Hopkins estimates there are at least 500 dogs within the city limits of Zebulon. He said there are a few over 100 listed on the tax books.
Records revealed that only eight dog licenses have been purchased this year, Hopkins said. He said the average sold is about 50 each year.
The city has an ordinance controlling dogs, and town officials are enforcing it the best they can, Hopkins said.
He added with firmness, however: Dogs will always continue to be a problem.