This Week in History: April 30

April 29, 2014 

This week in history we look back 10, 25, and 50 years to see what was going on in eastern Wake County.

In 2004, gas station owners were experiencing problems with gas theft due to rising gas prices. In 1989, the quality of Zebulon’s water was under scrutiny. And in 1964, Rotarians were learning about ways to save on postal expenses.

2004

Some people today are happy with gas prices around $3.50, looking back to the days not so long passed when it peaked around $5 a gallon. In 2004, with gas prices soaring to roughly $1.80 a gallon, gas stations were experiencing increasing numbers of fuel-and-run thieves.

With $5 here and $50 there stolen, aggravated gas station attendants are often left with short cash registers or some empty pockets as the number of gas drive-offs in Zebulon increase alongside the rising cost of fuel.

While many motorists often commute miles in search of the cheapest current prices, results show many aren’t paying at all. According to Zebulon Police Department reports, several gas stations have reported larcenies of fuel from their convenient stores this month. Some reports show stolen single amounts near $50.

Chief Tim Hayworth attributes the thievery to costs, saying he is constantly getting calls from stores reporting the crimes. Many occur at getaway spots – ones that have quick access to major routes out of town.

1989

Nobody likes dirty water. And in 1989, Zebulon residents were experiencing just that: brown water flowing from their faucets.

The quality of Zebulon’s water was the main topic of discussion last Saturday when the Zebulon Town Board met at the Plaza Hotel in Raleigh for a five-hour work session/retreat.

The commissioners had the opportunity to question Gary McGill of McGill and Associates, the Asheville firm that has been contracted to complete a three-month study of Zebulon’s current water system.

The study, coming at the price of $12,900, may help the municipal staff determine the cause of brown water within certain areas of town and help determine future needs of the system.

“Your system is not that bad,” McGill said, pointing to a map which highlighted each known water line and its size. “The weakest link we see ... is a 10-inch line coming from the (water) plant to a storage tank (located near the intersection of N.C. 97 and U.S. 64 Business). If something were to happen to that line, you have the potential to put the whole town out of water.”

1964

These days the majority of communication is digitized. Not so in 1964. Before the advent of email and widespread fax usage, what we now call “snail” mail was the way to go. And because it wasn’t an automated service, mailing something had costs involved.

A knowledge of the mail services can save a great deal of postage for mailers, and at the same time insure faster delivery of mail, Zebulon Rotarians were told last Friday evening by Thomas B. Oglesby of Raleigh, Postal Services Representative.

Using charts and illustrations to accompany his talk, he listed 22 ways mailers can save money on postage rates.

The speaker was introduced by Miss Ruby Dawson, Zebulon postmaster, who described him as a dedicated postal worker, and the best informed man on postal services she had ever known.

Postal employees are eager to assist matters, Mr. Oglesby said. He suggested that the hours of delivery be determined to insure letters being mailed at the proper time for fasted dispatch to destination.

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