This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in eastern Wake County.
In 2005, a local barber came into work to find $1 billion – yes, billion – stolen. In 1990, flooding was causing some issues with new construction in Zebulon Community Park. And in 1965, a fire raged through Zebulon, destroying an estimated $100,000 of property.
Dumb crook stories are common enough, because most people smart enough to pull off a crime are smart enough to know that it’s not worth trying. In 2005, we had a... special case, in which a crook made off with about $1 billion in obviously fake cash.
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With more than 30 years experience as a barber, Jimmy Snell has heard his share of dumb crook stories.
[...]But nothing in his three decades of snipping, clipping and shaving could’ve prepared the 58-year-old for what he witnessed when he arrived to work Jan. 7. And now, he has a dumb crook story of his own.
Someone broke into his business and stole about $1 billion – in fake money.
The bills bear a striking resemblance to what’s in circulation today. It bears the same colors, the same size, and the designs are to a T. But where there’s Presidents Jackson, Lincoln and Washington on the real stuff, the profile of the Pilot resident is on the phony. That, and the fact that each bill is valued at $1 million and says “Best wishes from Sneaky Snell” (his nickname).
Snell, a Pilot Lion’s Club member, said he purchased about $100 worth (about 10 stacks of 100) because the benefits were endless, he recalled. He could use them for tips (in addition to the actual gratuity) or pass them around to other members of the community organization – anything to bring a smile to someone’s face and to show his undying support for the club.
Later in the article we noted one more interesting detail... Nothing else had been stolen. Not a single piece of equipment or a single penny of real money from the cash drawer.
The weather has been the bane of battles and ballads for as long as we’ve had either. In 1990 it was the bane of something else: ballfields.
Unforeseen problems with the ballfields at the Zebulon Community Park continue to be a major concern of the Zebulon Parks and Recreation Department and the parks and recreation commission.
Two weeks ago, the Zebulon Parks and Recreation Commission heard reports from town engineer Leo Green – of F.T. Green and Associates – on the condition of the two completed ballfields.
“We have run into so many problems in building that park,” said commission member E.G. Eakes at the meeting on Jan. 3.
Apparently, the flooding of field B is being caused by a combination of poor drainage – water from a nearby pond is leaking onto the field – and poor grading. The slope of the field isn’t enough to allow water to run off like it should.
Recent bad weather has hampered efforts by the contractor – Honeycutt Construction – to begin to correct the problems.
“This time of year is such that we can’t make a whole lot of progress with the drainage problem,” Green said. “When that mass grading was done, there was no serious problem at the time,”
The problem with water on the field just developed within the past year.
Perhaps this could have been the beginning of a new sport. Swimming to First Buoy could certainly have been a challenge!
Despite all the dangers and hazards we’ve overcome, fire is still a major problem for humanity. In 1965, Zebulon residents and business owners were reminded that fire was still a danger to lives and livelihood.
Firemen from the Zebulon and Wendell fire departments battled a fire here Saturday night which completely destroyed one business and damaged three others.
The blaze gutted an auto supply store, blistered an optometrist’s office and did smoke damage to a furniture company and print shop.
Firemen brought the fire under control about two hours later after it was discovered about 8:40 p.m. They battled the flames in a snow storm which had descended upon the town.
The fire apparently started in the boiler room used for tire recapping by Hepler’s Auto Supply. It spread to the rest of the supply company, completely demolishing the merchandise, fixtures and roof.
No flames reached Dr. Perry Grogan’s office, but the heat and smoke ruined his optometric equipment, He estimated his equipment loss at approximately $13,000.
The doctor said he was at home looking at television when he was notified of the fire. He rushed into his office, entered the smoke-filled outer office and saved patient records.
Dr. Grogan said the greater part of his equipment was covered with insurance.
The story goes on to detail the damages to the other businesses, all of which were located near the intersection of Arendell Avenue and Horton Street. The auto shop, where the fire started, was a total loss, while the furniture business lost some furniture due to smoke damage. Total damage estimates ranged from $75,000 to $100,000.