Eastern Wake: Community

May 16, 2014

This Week in History: May 7

This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was going on in the eastern Wake County area.

This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was going on in the eastern Wake County area.

In 2004, the East Wake Relay for Life raised a record amount to donate to cancer research. In 1989, the April showers were bringing May woes. And in 1964, Zebulon’s efforts to encourage industrial growth were beginning to bear fruit.


The East Wake Relay for Life is in high gear this year, and in 2004 it was no different, with the event raising a record-breaking amount of money to donate to cancer research.

More than 600 volunteers gathered last weekend to raise money for cancer research and left with a record total in their grasp.

Twenty-five teams streamed into East Wake High School’s Johnny Sasser Stadium last Friday afternoon for the seventh annual Relay for Life. They set up tents, organized their wares and prepared for the 24-hour march toward a cure, benefiting the American Cancer Society. Kids played flag football on the Warriors home turf amid the smell of hot dogs, funnel cakes, barbecue sandwiches and various other goodies. [...]

Relay Chairman Marty Coward said this was one of the best events in recent memory. “Congratulations to all the volunteers who worked hard to bring this event to life,” he told the crowd.

With money yet to be counted, this year’s Relay has raised more than $84,400 so far. The local Relay record was $83,829 from 2002.


Too little rain is a problem. So is too much. In 1989, farmers were still having the latter problem: too much rain was causing muddy fields, making it impossible to work and shrinking the vital window for planting.

In less than a month, the state of local farmers has gone from bad to worse – or more appropriately, from damp to down-right saturated.

After getting rain for 11 of 13 days from April 25 to May 7 in some parts of the area, growers are unable to get in the field and in most cases are at least two weeks behind schedule. In mid-April, tobacco farmers were delayed in fumigating their field in preparation for transplanting and now, with plant beds growing, the fields are still too wet.

Most growers have attempted to hold back the transplants through clipping with lawn mowers, but some beds are so soaked that even that is not possible. Johnston County agricultural extension director Ken Bateman said he knew of one farmer who used a weed-eater to trim his plants. “That’s not an advisable method, but some of them don’t have much choice,” said Bateman.


In news reports from the weeks before May 7, 1964, the Town of Zebulon was focusing on improving their economic situation by bringing in more industrial companies. In early May of that year, Zebulon found that their efforts had attracted the interest of a handful of such companies.

The Zebulon Chamber of Commerce campaign to attract industry for the community has incited interest in at least three large concerns who have made preliminary investigation of the area, according to chamber president Worth Hinton. Two of the industries will employ over 500 workers in initial operation of new plants.

The report was made at the monthly meeting of the chamber of commerce board of directors last Monday night. During the meeting the association officials made additional plans for attracting industry and business.

Representatives of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development were in Zebulon this week completing a survey and photographic check on industrial sites available here. They complimented the chamber of commerce on its success in obtaining options to purchase attractive industrial sites.

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