Moore County ends year on a hectic note

CARTHAGE — Perhaps the biggest stories of Moore County this year came within the last two months: November elections and the December substation attack. 

On December 3, two substations were damaged by gunfire, leaving nearly 40,000 residents in the dark for nearly a week. During a press conference, Sheriff Ronnie Fields – who won reelection in November – said that the attacks were “targeted” and not random.

The attacks raised a lot of eyebrows due to the nature of their proximity to military installations, as well as due to the nature and severity of the damage.

The investigation into the attacks is still ongoing.

Moore County also witnessed considerable changes with local elections this November. 

Nick Picerno returned to the Board of Commissioners in March of 2022 to fill the unexpired District II seat and then promptly won reelection in November and was then voted in as chairman of the board. He was joined by three greenhorn commissioners, all elected to their first terms in office, those being Jim Von Canon, John L. Ritter, and Kurt Cook.

All four were republican backed candidates.

Frank Quis, who is currently serving in a second term, was elected as Vice-Chair after serving as Chairman this past year.

The most significant shakeup this November, however, was within the Moore County Board of Education, as Board Chair Pam Thompson lost her bid for reelection to challenger Shannon Davis.

In addition, Libby Carter and Ed Dennison – who each decided not to run again for reelection – saw their seats flip to Republican-backed candidates, Pauline Bruno and Kenneth Benway, giving the board a much stronger conservative backing.

Diminishing test scores, frustration over mask mandates, inappropriate books, and student violence were just some of the reasons for the drastic changes in command.

Following the power flip, current board members Robert Levy and David Hensley were elected as Board Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.

Notably, both Levy and Hensley are strong proponents of a more conservative and cautious approach to how the board of education is spending funds. Both have promised a more transparent and accountable approach to spending this upcoming year.

One major thing that the board of education did manage this prior year was the adoption of a new, three-year strategic plan with a mission statement stating, “All students will graduate with the skills, knowledge, character, and education to become proud and successful citizens of the United States of America.”

The plan also came with a few keys focused mainly on raising test scores and proficiencies around the entire district.

The local education changes and ensuing substation investigation will continue to be covered by the North State Journal into the new year.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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