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, Zebulon parents were concerned with an electrical issue on the Zebulon Middle School athletic fields. In 1989, Corinth-Holders parents finally tasted victory in the issue of a school bond. And in 1964, an adult education center was planning classes in Wakelon classrooms.
Humankind has done some impressive things by harnessing powers that in the wrong context could easily be lethal to us. One such power is electricity, and in 2004, Zebulon was dealing with what happens when electricity escapes its bounds.
The Sept. 25 electrical shock of a visiting 8-year-old youth football player has turned the spotlight on controversy at the Zebulon Middle School athletic fields.
The Wake County Public School System owns the gridiron lights, while the town of Zebulon owns the adjacent softball field lights used for Zebulon Cougars’ football practices. After the postgame incident resulting in a minor injury, the town’s structures not involved were shut down pending an investigation – forcing the Mini Mites, Mighty Mites and Pee Wees to temporarily abandon their weeknight convening place.
“It’s very precautionary,” Zebulon Parks and Recreaton Director Greg Johnson said, adding he hopes they will be in proper working order by the end of this week. The football league has since been granted temporary practice time at Zebulon Community Park on Gannon Avenue until the lights can be deemed safe.
However, the decision to cut the overhead power even briefly distresses football league participants. “Why do our kids get penalized for that?” Zebulon coach/parent Bill Leach said. “It’s a burden put on the booster club which is already running on a shoestring budget.”
The ongoing struggle over a school bond that would result in what some parents claimed would be overly long bus routes finally came to an end as Johnston County residents spoke out.
Johnston County residents voted down a $47 million school bond in a referendum Tuesday.
The bond, proposed by the board of education to finance a renovation and construction plan, was defeated 6,574 to 4,197. The issue had been hotly contested in parts of the county, particularly Corinth-Holders where busing of middle and high school students was proposed.
Corinth-Holders’ voting districts registered 358 “no” votes and 126 “yes” in Wilders, while the bond was opposed 274 to 25 in North O’Neal. The issue was also voted down in West Selma, 162 to 156, and barely received a favorable nod in East Selma, 263 for and 249 against.
A group of parents of Corinth-Holders Elementary School students banded together in July to enlist opposition to the bond as a means of sending a message of disapproval to the board regarding its plan. Known as the “Save Our Schools Committee,” the parents and concerned citizens disapprove of the plan to bus local students to Micro, and favor building new schools in the northern part of the county.
“The SOS committee is pleased with the success of our campaign,” the group said in a press release.
The defeat of the bond issue denies the school board a funding method but does not guarantee a change in proposals.
Many wise people have said that education should not stop once you are no longer young. In 1964, the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce was looking to make education for adults more accessible.
An Adult Education Center offering a variety of courses appeared definite following a joint meeting of the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Wakelon School Board Tuesday night in Attorney Ferd Davis’ law offices.
Complete cooperation was given efforts to establish the Center by Wakelon Principal J.C. Hawkins and the Wakelon school board.
Details involving use of school equipment and facilities for adult classes were discussed and no special problems were anticipated.
Chamber of Commerce President Worth Hinton was in charge of the meeting.
Dr. Kenneth Wohl of the Wake County Industrial Education Center related support available for a local center.
Funds are available to pay instructors, Dr. Whol said. If qualified instructors are not available locally, they can be found in other places and they will be paid travel expense to commute here to teach.
Rental of the school facilities and janitorial costs can not be paid by the IEC, but must be worked out by the local committee.
He suggested that a fee be charged students of $2 per 11 hours of instruction – or $8 for a 44-hour course.
[...]Classes could begin with a minimum of 10 students. The number of classes available when the center is opened will depend on the number of students and availability of instructors.