This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.
In 2004, Wake school officials were considering pushing back bell times to make certain schools start later. In 1989, local farmers were struggling with rainy conditions. And in 1964, the Town of Zebulon was looking for ways to bring industry into town.
No one who knows school logistics would argue that they’re easy. Ten years ago, the Wake County Public School System was asked to consider pushing back the start times of some schools to allow for a change in the bus routes.
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Some eastern Wake school bells may be chiming a little later next year to accommodate bus routes for two new schools, and some parents may find the proposed change alarming.
Transportation Director Vern Hatley from the Wake County Public School System recently asked school board members to consider changing bell times for several elementary schools, including Zebulon Elementary, Carver Elementary, Knightdale Elementary and Hodge Road Elementary.
Carver, Knightdale and Zebulon schools would switch to a 9:15 a.m. start time, while Hodge Road would change to 8:30.
This year, Knightdale Elementary has an arrival bell time of 9 a.m., and the rest of the schools have an 8:45 bell. The change would mean that the later-bell schools will get out at 3:45 p.m.
When it comes to rain, the average person usually hears farmers complaining of not having enough. Until recent years, droughts were common and long-lasting in the area. However, in 1989, farmers were being reminded that too much of a good thing is still bad: Zebulon was experiencing too much rain, slowing down their work.
Rain keeps falling on these wet spring days and local farmers just keep shaking their heads and waiting for the sun.
Bob Woodson, a part-time meteorologist from Knightdale said last week that in March, a much higher than average amount of rain fell on all concerned.
“In Knightdale,” he said, “we had 5.92 inches of rain in March. That’s about two inches above average. In Zebulon and Shotwell, they had more than six inches.”
Wayne Batten, a Wake County extension agent who lives in the Corinth-Holder area, said the rain has brought farmers to “a screeching halt.”
“It may be a week to a week and one-half before they can get back in the fields,” he said. “This isn’t a disaster, but it is an inconvenience. They need to fumigate their tobacco fields to prepare for transplanting, but they can’t if it’s wet. After they fumigate, they have to wait three weeks to plant.”
Industry is one of the cornerstones of growth for towns. Big businesses in town means more jobs, more people and more money. Good businesses in town makes for a healthier place to live. Members of the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce were well aware of this fact in 1964, when they had a meeting to discuss ways to attract industry to the town.
A full house was present in the Wakelon Cafeteria last Thursday evening to hear two prominent industry hunters tell how the Zebulon community can attract industry. The banquet was sponsored by the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce, with President Worth Hinton in charge.
Following the second speaker, Zebulon Mayor Ed Hales urged the community to work toward filling the requirements of industry which may relocate here. He related his experience during the afternoon when he and Chamber President Worth Hinton had escorted industrial prospects around the community seeking plant sites. His tour revealed a great amount of work is necessary for Zebulon to compete for new industry.
Ending the meeting, President Hinton thanked those attending, and gave special praise to the group of ladies who had beautifully decorated the cafeteria.