This week in history: Aug. 28

August 26, 2013 

These are two artist renderings proposed in 2003 for the paint job on the reclaimed water tower located near Five County Stadium.


Our eastern Wake County newspaper archives provide a priceless look at what was going on in the area in years past. Here’s this week’s installment of samples we pulled out of the local news that made headlines 10, 25 and 50 years ago.

This week in 2003, Zebulon staffers were securing funding to cover the cost of the landmark water tower that stands across Old U.S. 264 from Five County Stadium. In 1988, local middle school and high school staffs were already preparing for a merger to take place the following summer. And in 1963, Zebulon officials announced several changes among town staff – namely that a longtime employee had been re-appointed to his numerous duties.


Zebulon leaders knew reclaimed water wasn’t fit for drinking, but they also knew it didn’t make sense to water the lawn with precious drinking water.

As a result, they began pursuing the iconic baseball water tower next to Five County Stadium 10 years ago in an effort to reduce the use of drinking water in town.

Public Works Director Kenny Waldroup said the current drinking water supply is limited. “We can only get but so much from Raleigh,” he added.

After conducting extensive research on the reclaimed water system, Waldroup was recently awarded a grant of more than $51,000 from North Carolina Clean Water toward the total $77,000 needed to build a reclaimed water tower on Old U.S. 264 across from Five County Stadium. He will soon apply for more grants to compensate the difference.

The tower will be 170 feet tall and hold 250,000 gallons, making it one of three in Wake County. Atop the structure will likely be an image of a baseball, the Carolina Mudcats symbol, both together, or other depictions.

Reclaimed water will be half ($2.38 for 1,000 gallons) the cost of current potable water. Waldroup said for precautionary purposes, wherever the water is used there would be a sign saying the water is unfit for human consumption.

Prior to the tower, wastewater channeling from town was treated at the Little Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant near the stadium. It was then discharged into Little Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River.


East Wake High School students saw some new faces on the school’s faculty this week, 25 years ago.

At the same time, Vaiden Whitley Middle School students faced a new principal and assistant principal for the school’s final year of operation.

Few facility changes are expected at the schools during the 1988-89 academic year, but the Whitley campus will become part of the East Wake High School campus after this school year ends. Many of the middle school students will be attending a new facility now under construction near Knightdale, the East Wake Middle School.

A connector building is being built this year between the East Wake and Whitley campuses, in advance of the campus combination next summer. Site preparation work for that building began recently.

Both the high school and middle school principals say they expect a modest increase in student enrollment over the last year but anticipate no massive changes in curriculum or faculty.

“Everything is going fine,” Whitley Principal Michael Jordan said. “We are further along than I anticipated we’d be at this point.”

Jordan expected his school’s enrollment to be about 900, what he described as a small increase over the previous year.

Dr. Barbara Rogers expected East Wake’s enrollment to be about 1,200 – about 60 more than the year before.


The highlight of several employee updates, Zebulon’s commissioners and mayor reappointed Willie B. Hopkins to his many roles during their meeting in August of this year.

Needless to say, Hopkins must have had his hands full at the time.

Hopkins, who has been employed by the town for more than a quarter century, was reappointed as town manager, town clerk, tax collector, chief of police, clerk of Recorder’s Court, and other duties.

The board voted to raise Night Policeman Wendel Perry’s salary $25 a month instead of $15 as was set up in the budget for the next fiscal year. This will make Perry’s salary $350 a month. Perry has been on the police force for the past three years.

Commissioner Floyd Edwards resigned as local Civil Defense director. Radio announcer James Earl (Bruce) Creekmore was appointed by the board to succeed Edwards. Edwards was made Creekmore’s assistant.

Howard Beck and Thurman Hepler were appointed to replace Wilbur Debnam and Foster Finch on the Board of Adjustment. Their terms expire June 30, 1966.

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