Eastern Wake: Community

This Week in History, Feb. 26

Mike Liles of Wendell reaches from an elevated perch to add another paint stroke to the new home-team dugout at East Wake High School’s Saber Field in 2004.
Mike Liles of Wendell reaches from an elevated perch to add another paint stroke to the new home-team dugout at East Wake High School’s Saber Field in 2004. 2004 FILE PHOTO

This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years at what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.

In 2004, eastern Wake County residents were just getting their first look at how the new Knightdale High School was shaping up. In 1989, Wake County school board officials were planning to shuffle students around to different schools. And in 1964, the town of Zebulon was dealing with unlicensed peddlers.


Knightdale High is one of the newest and most cutting-edge schools in the area. Like everything else, the school had to start sometime. And that time was 10 years ago, in 2004.

Knightdale High School principal Marvin Connelly Jr. is pleased with the progress of the school. He already believes the school has distinguished itself, and the students are yet to arrive.

“The building represents a new prototype for school construction for the county,” Connelly said. Knightdale shares that distinction with Panther Creek High School, which is under construction in Morrisville. “Right now all is on track for finishing the building starting in April,” Connelly said.

Connelly said he is “on track” with staff hiring, adding he plans a round of interviews for as early as March 6. He said the substantial completion, the bulk of the construction work, will be completed by April.


It almost always creates an uproar when students are reassigned to different schools. Having to make new friends, adjust to new teachers and often having to drive farther to get to school tends to upset people. However, as the Wake County school board decided in early 1989, sometimes reassignment is necessary, despite the outrage it creates.

Wake County school officials are proposing that nearly 240 students within the Wendell town limits and designated surrounding areas south of U.S. 64 be transferred to Zebulon Middle School next year.

The proposal is part of a plan for creating a new district for the East Wake Middle School now under construction on Old Milburnie Road north of Knightdale. The new school will replace Whitley Middle School as part of a merger this summer that will combine the East Wake and Zebulon high schools at an expanded East Wake High School campus.

The school board was to hold a public hearing on the proposal at Raleigh’s Enloe High School this past Monday night.

Linda Johnson of Zebulon, the board member representing most of the eastern Wake area, said last Thursday that she expects the attendance district to be formally decided within 10-14 days after the hearing date.


In light of the uproar in late 2013 caused by church and charity groups being barred from handing out biscuits to the hungry in Moore Square in Raleigh, a lot of conversation has been sparked regarding what people should need licenses for. This is not an issue limited to today’s world. In 1964, the town of Zebulon was examining the issue of local teenagers selling doughnuts without a license.

If you want to peddle your wares within the city limits of Zebulon you should have a transit peddler’s license. This license costs $50 a day.

Teenagers with doughnuts have been converging on the town each Saturday, Police Chief Willie B. Hopkins said. None of these young men who were between 15 and 17 years old had licenses.

Police officials could not associate the boys with a “doughnut ring” found in Raleigh last week.

Hopkins said he felt that the boys were not properly licensed, but that he didn’t particularly try to do anything about it. He said, in fact, that they came through the town offices selling the doughnuts and some of the town officials often bought some doughnuts.

The chief said the police department had never been troubled “too much” with peddlers. He said nobody seems to care about the selling, and he has had no complaints from the general public.

He said if there was a pastry shop here, the owner might have complained and then the department would have had to take some kind of action.