This week in history: May 1

April 29, 2013 

Construction is underway on the U.S. 64 Bypass in the spring of 2003.


There’s never any shortage of news. Find out what made headlines in eastern Wake County newspapers 10, 25 and 50 years ago in stories culled from our archives.


On May 1, 2003, reports showed there were more than a few traffic problems in Knightdale.

Knightdale, a town that some call “highway town,” has had 115 traffic accidents so far this year, according to the Knightdale Public Safety Department.

“We have a lot of wrecks for a small town,” Public Safety Director Skip Blaylock said.

Most of the accidents occur at the intersections along U.S. 64, particularly at the crossings of Smithfield Road, Old Knight Road and Maplewood Drive.

One of the local misperceptions, however, is that the entrance to Planter’s Walk, at U.S. 64 and Lynwood Drive, has a lot of accidents.

“People think there are more accidents there than there are because the ones that take place there are more severe,” said Blaylock, who recalled a tragic accident at that spot.

In 2002, there were 15 traffic accidents at the intersection of U.S. 64 and Lynwood Drive. So far this year, just one had occurred.

“That is one of our worst intersections because it’s the only controlled intersection on U.S. 64 where you can make a left turn without a specific (arrow) light,” Blaylock said.


From the May 5, 1988 Gold Leaf Farmer: “Baker quits; reason unclear.”

His resignation from the Wendell Board of Commissioners caught many people by surprise, and it was a decision Craig Baker agonized over.

“It was a tough, emotional decision,” said Baker, who announced his resignation from the board last Thursday night at a special meeting in the Wendell Courtroom. “I will miss it. That’s what made it so hard.”

The 30-year-old Baker, manager of Yancey Furniture in Wendell, said he had been pondering his resignation for months.

“I’ve known for two months the potential for me resigning from the board was there,” he said. “The decision was personal and business related. I was at a point where I felt I wouldn’t be able to give 100 percent to the job, and that wouldn’t be fair to the people of Wendell.

“My situation will be changing to the point where I would have had to miss meetings. I could have been selfish and stayed on the board, but that wouldn’t have been right.

Baker declined to specify the change that would be occurring in his personal and business life.


From the May 2, 1963 Zebulon Record: “Nine candidates seek places on board; mayor unopposed.”

Zebulon’s municipal election May 7 picked up added interest when four youngsters in the field of politics filed for commissioner as the filing deadline approached.

Filing were Bill Bowling, Floyd Edwards, Elzie Wrenn and Jimmy Medlin. They will oppose the incumbent commissioners, J. Raleigh Alford, Mrs. Elizabeth Ellett, J. Kermit Corbett, Thurman Hepler and P. O. Farmer.

Mayor Ed Hales, who is finishing his second term, is unopposed.

Hales said: “I think the next two years will be important years in the life of Zebulon and the community. It’s very important that the people consider carefully in choosing their commissioners and select ones who they feel are best qualified to make important decisions.”

Hales said he feels the four years he has been mayor have been progressive. He added that “it is just the beginning of what we can expect in the future.”

Because Zebulon is in the hub of this area – the county seats of Wake, Franklin, Johnston and Nash counties are approximately 25 miles from the town – Zebulon can grow, the mayor said.

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