Moore County - Timeline of Terror - Part 2
Writer’s note: This is the second of a five part series that will attempt to both lay out a detailed timeline of how Moore County became so divided and angry, and tell the stories of the people who live and work in Moore County who have been negatively impacted by the right wing takeover of the Moore County Republican Party leadership and our elected offices. The timeline starts in 2014 and will continue into the aftermath of the terrorist attack on two of our county’s electrical substations.
What is happening in Moore County closely resembles what is happening in small, rural communities all over the country. There is a clear national strategy by far right wing and alt-right Republicans to take over all elected leadership. This plan is a clear coordinated attack that almost always begins at the local level with Board of Education races. However, this timeline will focus on Moore County and will only mention national events when they directly affect the timeline.
Part one of this series covers 2014-2018. Every event mentioned in this timeline has a direct impact on the division and harassment that comes down the road. Part one can be found at the following link:
Part two will cover 2019-2020 and detail how the Moore County Board of Education became ground zero for the alt-right takeover of our county.
Part three will cover 2021-2022.
Parts four and five will cover the real world negative impact this campaign of demonization and division has had on the citizens of Moore County.
Moore County, North Carolina - Timeline of Terror
How a sleepy little county in the Sandhills became a hotbed of alt-right radicalization, anger, and division
2019 - 2020 - Battle Lines are Drawn and Ground Zero Is Established
Early January, 2019 - Moore Voices is contacted by the family of Kenzie Garner for the first time and begins to research the events on the night he was killed by Moore County law enforcement and the aftermath involving Moore County District Attorney for the first time. WEEB radio continues to use its morning programming (Mornings With the Leaderman and The Zumwalt Zone) to denigrate public education advocates and insinuate that the sitting Board of Education, the MCS Superintendent, and the MCS Director of Operations are behaving unethically. WEEB makes those accusations without one shred of evidence to back up its claims.
January 14, 2019 - Moore County Board of Education approves a newly revealed revamp district logo, tagline and brand format. The changes made are a direct result of a recently adopted new vision statement and strategic plan. The Board focuses its attention on completing the bid process for the construction of the new schools and on redistricting area attendance lines. Community feedback forums are scheduled across the county to provide parents the opportunity to learn more about and partici[ate in the redistricting process.
January 19, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes its first commentary about Kenzie Garner’s family and the actions of Moore County DA Maureen Krueger in the aftermath of Garner’ death, along with a commentary written by Garner’s mother.
January 22, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary on the “Curious Case of Joe Smith” which outlines the questionable behavior of Moore County DA Maureen Krueger regarding the Brent/Neil Godfrey scandal, its aftermath, and the SBI report she refuses to share with the public.
January 28, 2019 - The Moore County NAACP publishes a letter from MCS Superintendent Grimesey on its social media pages. In the letter, Grimesey personally invites members of the African American community of West Southern Pines to participate in an upcoming community forum to provide feedback on the redistricting process to MCS Administration. WEEB and parents from the Pinehurst Lake community are outraged by the letter, calling it reverse racism and demanding to know why white parents in Pinehurst Lake weren’t also personally and specifically invited to the forums.
February 4, 2019 - The framework for the recommended Moore County Schools redistricting plan is presented to the Moore County Board of Education. There is immediate push back from parents living in the Pinehurst Lake Community due to the fact that some of their children may be redistricted from west Pine Middle School (where the vast majority of students come from white, affluent families) to Southern Middle School (where a significant portion of students come from minority families living below the poverty lines).
February 19, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Northern Moore at Elise Middle School.
February 26, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Southern Pines at Southern Pines Middle School. Moore Voices publishes its first commentary on the growing controversy surrounding redistricting.
March, 2019 - High profile “leaders” in the education advocacy community begin receiving harassing and vaguely threatening emails from anonymous proton email accounts. This is reported to various local law enforcement entities who inform the victims that nothing can be done to protect them. Fake social media accounts under the names “Linda Gray,” “Rita Miller,” “Marcus Jacobs,” and others start popping up to oppose MCS redistricting and demonize public education advocates personally and as a group.
March 4, 2019 - The low bidder for the construction of the new Southern Pines Elementary School, Clancy and Theys of Charlotte, informs MCS Superintendent Robert Grimesey that a “mathematical error” has made it impossible to continue on with the project and that the bid is being withdrawn.
March 5, 2019 - After consulting with Moore County BoEd Chair, Helena Wallin-Miller, Grimesey makes an emergency presentation to the Moore County Board of Commissioners seeking additional funding to cover the unexpected cost overrun of having to accept the second lowest bid. The Board of Commissioners agrees to provide an additional 2.68 million dollars to cover the budget cost overrun.
March 7, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Cameron at New Century Middle School.
March 19, 2019 - The Moore County Board of Commissioners does an abrupt about face and reneges on its promise to fund the cost overrun of the new elementary school in Southern Pines.
April, 2019 - WEEB radio host John Zumwalt runs a series of commentaries accusing John Birath (MCS Director of Operations) and Robert Grimesey (MCS Superintendent) of lying to the public, the Board of Education, and the County Commissioners regarding the details surrounding the low bidder pulling out of constructing the new Southern Pines elementary school. Among other assertions, Zumwalt charges (without one shred of evidence) that Dr. Grimesey and Birath made up the mathematical error cited as the reason for the bid pull and asked for additional funding based on that “lie.” “The Daily Haymaker” and the “Sandhills Sentinel” both pick up the story and provide Mr. Zumwalt expanded media platforms to spread his accusations. Moore Voices publishes a commentary supporting an independent investigation.
April 1, 2019 - The first draft of the MCS redistricting plan is presented to the public and to the Moore County Board of education.
April 2, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the first draft of proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Cameron at New Century Middle School.
April 3, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the first draft of proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Southern Pines at Southern Pines Middle School.
April 16, 2019 - “The Pilot” publishes documents released by Moore County Schools that clearly show neither John Birath or Dr. Robert Grimesey lied regarding the circumstances surrounding the low bidder for constructing the new Southern Pines Elementary School. The documents establish that there was a mathematical miscalculation by Clancey and Theys, and that the timeline presented by Dr. Grimesey to both the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners was factual. In spite of the irrefutable truth proved by these documents, WEEB and JD Zumwalt continue to accuse Dr. Grimesey and Mr. Birath of lying on the air. Zumwalt also accuses Clancy and Theys, the attorneys involved in the case, and “The Pilot'' of conspiring to cover-up the “lies.”
April 21, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary regarding harassing emails coming from one specific protonmail account. The false accusations in those emails are spread throughout the community and posted on social media by fake Facebook accounts under names such as “Rita Miller,” “Jen Miller,” “Linda Gray,” and “Marcus Jacobs.”
April 22, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a response to WEEB’s wild and provably false conspiracy theory regarding the new elementary school in Southern Pines.
May, 2019 - As the outcry from Pinehurst families becomes louder over the possibility that their children may be redistricted to Southern Middle School, David Hensley makes a series of posts on social media calling for parents to find and publish the home addresses of Dr. Robert Grimesey, MCS administrators, and Board of Education members so that protestors can gather at their homes and personally confront them. A private group pops up on Facebook called “Moore Families Against Redistricting.” In that group, plans are made to disrupt Board of Education meetings to prevent redistricting from moving forward. The group also spearheads an effort to convince military connected families with children in Moore County Schools to refuse to fill out military aid impact forms in an attempt to strip MCS and military children of federal funding unless their demands are met.
(link from 2020, but contains screenshots of Mr. Hensley’s posts)
May 2, 2019 - Moore Voices is contacted for the first time by the family of Cravis Maurice Weathers, Jr, and begins an investigation into the events surrounding his murder and the plea bargain offered to and accepted by the man who killed him.
May 6, 2019 - The second draft of the MCS redistricting plan is presented to the public and to the Moore County Board of education.
May 7, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the second draft of proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Southern Pines at Southern Pines Middle School.
May 7, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary of the death of Steven McGregor that is highly critical of Moore County DA Maureen Kreuger and her office. The African American community reacts with outrage and disgust about what they feel is a soft plea deal offered to an affluent white male who killed a young black man in cold blood and then attempted to cover it up.
May 8, 2019 - A community forum seeking input from parents regarding the second draft of proposed MCS redistricting plans is held in Cameron at New Century Middle School. The meeting was disrupted by members of “Moore Families Against Redistricting” and at least one member of the audience is escorted out. After the meeting, a video begins circulating on social media showing a group of angry Pinehurst parents surrounding Board of Education member Bruce Cunningham and demanding he capitulate to their demands.
May 10, 2019 - JD Zumwalt airs a diatribe on WEEB accusing Moore County Schools employees, the Moore County Board of Education, and several private citizens of acting unethically in regards to land purchased by the Moore County Board of Education on which to build two new schools. Conspiracies were put forth and reputations were damaged based on outright untruths. Mr. Zumwalt falsely accuses the Board of Education, MCS Director of Operations John Birath, and MCS Superintendent Bob Grimesey of (among other things) building a school on a toxic waste dump, hiding the environmental issues from parents, and lying to the media. He falsely accuses local Moore County attorney Thomas Van Camp of representing Rep. Jamie Boles in his legal action to reinstate Robert Grimesey as Superintendent in 2015 as part of a scheme/deal to sell land to the new Board of Education for a premium profit.
May 11, 2019 - Moore Voices published a commentary in response to WEEB’s false allegations aired on May 10.
May 16, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary outlining the events that led to the death of Cravis Maurice Weathers, Jr. and the plea bargain given to his murderer. The African American community is once again outraged that Moore County DA Maureen Krueger chose to allow the death of a young African American man go largely unpunished.
June, 2019 - WEEB ramps up its attacks on MCS, Dr. Robert Grimesey, and John Birath, whipping their loyal listeners into a fevered frenzy with exaggerations and outright lies about the environmental issues of the land purchased for the new Aberdeen Elementary school. JD Zumwalt repeatedly accuses MCS Director of Operations of getting “kickbacks” for awarding contracts to an architecture firm who made a donation to 2018’s education bond campaign and for whom Birath had previously worked. Zumwalt and WEEB never provide proof of any of their accusations.
June 3, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes another, more in depth, commentary regarding the events surrounding the death of Kenzie Garner and the actions of Moore County DA Maureen Krueger during the investigation.
June 6, 2019 - Moore Voices posts its second commentary on the controversy surrounding MCS redistricting.
June 11, 2019 - “The Pilot” publishes an editorial titled “Aberdeen Smear Is Unbecoming.” The editorial takes WEEB and others to task for spreading misinformation about the environmental issues of the Aberdeen school site and links the manufactured controversy to an effort to stop the redrawing of attendance lines for Moore County Schools.
June 13, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary written by Lowell Simon (Democrat challenger to Jamie Boles for NC House District 52 ) outlining the controversy surrounding the environmental issues of the site for the new Aberdeen school.
June 24, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary that provides irrefutable proof that JD Zumwalt attended a Board of Commissioners meeting on May 2, 2017 where the environmental concerns of the site for the new Aberdeen Elementary School were clearly laid out. This proof directly contradicts Zumwalt's public statement at Board of Education meetings and on air at WEEB that neither he nor the community were ever notified of potential concerns.
July, 2019 - Moore County Schools Superintendent and the Board of Education commission a Phase 2 environmental study on the proposed site of the new Aberdeen elementary school.
July 5, 2019 - Longtime Board of Education member Bruce Cunningham unexpectedly passes away while on vacation with his family in Ireland.
July 8, 2019 - The Moore County Board of Education votes to extend the contract of MCS Superintendent Dr. Robert Grimesey. JD Zumwalt leads a group of approximately 13 citizens to speak at the meeting and oppose the contract extension. Speakers to the board repeat the lies and false accusations being aired on WEEB verbatim in their comments to the Board.
July 11, 2019 - A public Facebook page is created for “Moore Families for Quality Education.” It accuses Moore County Schools of indoctrinating children and defying parents. The page closely guards the identity of its administrators for years, allowing them to make public attacks and false statements in public without consequence (it is revealed to the public in late 2022 that the page was created and is administered by Emily Grace Rainey and her fellow Education First Alliance Board Member and executive at Pinehurst Resort, Christina McCall).
July 31, 2019 - Moore County District Attorney Maureen Kreuger abruptly announces she is ending her campaign for reelection and will retire at the end of her current term. Krueger makes this announcement on WEEB’s “The Zumwalt Zone.” The announcement comes after Hoke County ADA Mike Hardin announces his intent to run against Krueger in the primary.
August, 2019 - McDeeds Creek Elementary School (the first of four newly constructed schools in Moore County) opens for the first time.
August 10, 2019 - Dr. Bob Grimesey is presented with the Sandhills Regional Superintendent of the Year Award at Moore County Board of Education meeting.
September, 2019 - John Weaver is appointed to the Moore County Board of Education, filling the seat left vacant by the death of Bruce Cunningham
September 3, 2019 - Moore County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Robert Grimesey, presents his final recommendation regarding MCS redistricting to the Moore County Board of education. Southern Pines residents are shocked that for the first time during the redistricting process, Grimesey recommends some of their children be moved from Southern Middle School in Southern Pines to Crain's Creek Middle School in Carthage. The final recommendation also recommends moving children from the Eagle Springs area from their community schools in West End to schools 20 miles away in Robbins and mollifies some members of the Pinehurst community by keeping their children in the West Pine district.
September 12, 2019 - Public hearing is held on the Superintendent’s multi-year students assignment plan (redistricting) for Moore County Schools. Parents from Southern Pines and Eagle Springs express their concerns about the proposal to move their children at the last minute while the parents of Pinehurst applaud their “victory” in maintaining residence in West Pine schools.
September 12, 2019 - The NC Department of Justice conducts a hearing at which Tracy Carter (who was fired by former Sheriff Godfrey based on the sole recommendation of Moore County DA Maureen Krueger) and several others give testimony and present written statements and supporting documentation regarding DA Krueger's "determination" that Carter was "untruthful" during the SBI"s investigation into the Brent Godfrey incident from February 2016.
September 24, 2019 - The Sheriffs' Standards Division reach a decision regarding Tracy Carter and notify Montgomery County Sheriff Watkins (where Carter is serving as a deputy on a provisional basis) that “no probable cause exists to believe Tracy Dean Carter is disqualified for certification.” Tracy Carter is fully re-certified as a Deputy Sheriff in the State of North Carolina. Krueger refuses to comment as to why an investigation by the NC Department of Justice found her "determination" that Sgt. Carter was “untruthful' to the SBI to be without merit.
Late September, 2019 - The results of the phase 2 environmental study of the proposed site for the new Aberdeen school are released to the public. The study finds that the site is safe.
October, 2019 - the Facebook group “Moore County Families Against Redistricting” changes its name to “Moore Families Having Education Conversations.” The group is administered by the fake, anonymous account named “Rita Miller.” Arthur Donadio announces that he has moved from private practice to the Moore County DA’s office as an ADA and that he is running for Moore County District Attorney against Michael Hardin. Donadio is endorsed by sitting Moore County DA Maureen Kreuger.
October 7, 2019 - The Moore County Board of education holds a special called meeting/work session to allow for public feedback, final technical adjustments, and other amendments to the final recommended redistricting plan. Eagle Springs parents once again plead with the BoEd to allow their children to remain in their community schools.
October 14, 2019 - The Moore County Board of Education approves the final draft of the redistricting plan for Moore County Schools. The final plan moves children from Southern Middle to Crains Creek, removes Eagle Springs from their community schools in West End, but allows most Pinehurst children to remain in the West Pine attendance zone.
October 24, 2019 - David Hensley makes his first Facebook post attacking teacher salaries in Moore County in the comments section of an article by the “Sandhills Sentinel.” Mr. Hensley states: “Teachers are significantly overpaid. After normalizing for large numbers of days off work, teachers in Moore County make more per work day/hour than RNs at First Health and Moore County Assistant District Attorneys (who have law degrees).” Mr. Hensley further comments in the thread that teachers don’t work enough hours and should be paid based on the test scores of their students. He also claims in one comment that he “was a teacher in the NC Public School system for several years” - which is an outright lie.
November 18, 2019 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary regarding the timeline of events surrounding Tracy Carter's firing from the Moore County Sheriff’s Department in 2016 and his eventual clearing as “The Pilot” has declined to report on the story.
January, 2020 - David Hensley, Philip Holmes, Robert Levy, and Brandon Coleman announce they plan to run for seats on the Moore County Board of Education. They will oppose sitting BoEd members Helena Wallin-Miller, John Weaver, Betty Wells Brown, and Stacey Caldwell. Edward Spence, Jr. and Crystal Williams announce they will also run for election to the BoEd, forcing a primary for the seats held by Wallin-Miller and Weaver. For the first time in history, the Moore County Republican party endorses candidates in the primary race for the non partisan Board of Education. The MoCo GOP endorses Robert Levy, David Hensley, and Philip Holmes but chooses not to endorse other Republican candidates.
January 22, 2020 - “The Hardin Swamp '' page is created on Facebook (the page has since been deleted). The page is administered by WEEB radio personality JD Zumwalt and is used to attack Michael Hardin, candidate for Moore County District Attorney with unproven innuendos of wrongdoing. Over the next several months, the page charges that Mr. Hardin’s wife Victoria has a criminal record and that Mr. Hardin has a drug related conviction. Neither charge is true and no evidence is ever provided to support those claims.
January 24, 2020 - “The Pilot” publishes a story detailing felony charges being faced by Moore County School Board candidate Brandon Coleman.
February, 2020 - The “Hardin Swamp” page ramps up its attacks on Mike Hardin and his wife Victoria. Posts are made indicating that Mr. and Mrs. Hardin are having their day to day movements and activities monitored. Mrs. Hardin is repeatedly attacked based on her appearance and her personality.
February 3, 2020 - A mistrial is declared in the felony case of Moore County Board of Education candidate, Brandon Coleman. The mistrial is a result of the Moore County DA’s office “mishandling” evidence. Moore County DA Maureen Kreuger declines to refile charges and the case is dropped. Mr. Coleman remains on the ballot but does not actively campaign.
February 5, 2020 - “The Pilot” publishes an article outline the Moore County Board of education’s plans to designate several of Moore County’s “low performing” schools as “restart schools.”
February 12, 2020 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary explaining the “restart” school designation and resounding to the criticism the Board of Education is facing from WEEB and Moore Families for Quality Education over its plan to seek the exception under state law.
Mid-February, 2020 - Robert Levy begins blocking citizens who disagree with him from his official candidate social media page.
February 25, 2020 - Tracey Carter writes a letter to “The Pilot” accusing Maurine Kreuger of abusing the power of the DA’s office and endorsing Mike Hardin.
February 27, 2020 - Victoria Hardin posts a public plea for civility at the polls. In the post, she details the harassment and intimidation she and poll volunteers for Hardin’s campaign have suffered at early voting and calls on Donadio to denounce the behavior and the “Hardin Swamp” page.
March 3, 2020 - The first confirmed case of Covid-19 is reported in North Carolina. The NC Primary election is held. Helena Wallin-Miller, Robert Levy, John Weaver, and Philip Holmes win the Moore County BoEd primary. Mike Hardin defeats Arthur Donadio in the DA’s race in a landslide. The Moore County Republican Party moves quickly after the primary to endorse Holmes, Levy, and Hensley for November’s BoEd election. They decline to endorse Coleman (due to his ongoing legal issues) and endorse Stacy Caldwell instead.
March 9, 2020 - Approximately 300 citizens turn out to the Moore County Board of Education public hearing on the budget to support increased funding for our public school. The Board of Commissioners later declines to provide the extra funding and instead reduces the local MCS budget.
March 10, 2020 - Governor Roy Cooper declares a state of emergency in response to Covid-19.
March 13, 2020 - The Moore County Board of Commissioners declares a state of emergency in Moore County and releases a press statement saying the declaration would enable commissioners to “utilize additional resources and activate emergency plans and mutual-aid agreements.”
March 14, 2020 - Governor Cooper closes all NC public schools
March 15, 2020 - Robert Levy posts his concerns about Covid-19 lockdowns and how it will affect children living in poverty or with special needs. He suggests police officers be sent to the homes of poor families and families with disabled children in order to ensure they are being properly supervised. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid024GZfQAEVXmCKbEGVq44mZTqKXFuEyiUZAufZvTtSCE7pZnXXy5u8XfweLaQqFmtjl&id=695023157548025
March 16, 2020 - Governor Cooper closes all bars, bans gatherings of over 100 people, and orders restaurants to stop dine-in service. Moore County Schools prepares to allow children “continuity of learning” through remote instruction.
March 18, 2020 - The Moore County Health Department reports the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Moore County.
March 23, 2020 - Governor Cooper orders all schools to remain closed through May 15, closes all “personal grooming and care” businesses, and bans gatherings of over 50 people.
March 24, 2020 - Pinehurst Resorts closes the Carolina Hotel due to Covid-19.
March 27, 2020 - Governor Cooper issues a stay at home order for NC citizens and bans all gatherings of over 10 people.
March 28, 2020 - The Moore County Health Department reports the first case of Covid-19 confirmed to be due to community spread.
March 31, 2020 - FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital reports its first patient death from Covid-19.
April 1, 2020 - The Village of Whispering Pines enacts a curfew for children and teenagers
April 5, 2020 - The Moore County Health Department announces the first death of a Moore County resident due to Covid-19.
Mid April, 2020 - As the number of Covid cases in Moore County continues to rise and more deaths are reported, it becomes clear that the pandemic will be responsible for a long-term disruption of all facets of life in Moore County
April 21, 2020 - The Moore County Board of Commissioners adopts a resolution that negates a previous resolution to provide 40 percent of Moore County’s budget to public schools.
April 28, 2020 - McDeeds Creek Elementary Principal, Molly Capps, is charged with DUI and misdemeanor child after an accident involving the crashing of a golf cart in Pinehurst. Her contract with MCS is renewed shortly after the charges (which were not public knowledge at the time).
May 22, 2020 - Emily Grace Rainey live streams a video of her pulling down caution tape around playground equipment in a public park in Southern Pines. In the video, Rainey claims that Southern Pines police officers told her they were on “her side” and that they would not enforce Governor Cooper’s “unlawful executive order” that had closed the Park. Southern Pines Police Chief Bob Temme and Captain Charles Campbell call Rainey’s claims “untrue” and inform the public that Rainey was charged with vandalism and banned from all Southern Pines Parks for one year.
Late spring, early summer, 2020 - David Hensley begins making regular appearances on “Mornings With the Leaderman” and “The Zumwalt Zone” on WEEB radio. He uses his new platform to create controversy over the costs of the four new elementary schools being built by Moore County Schools, the possible sale of the historical Southern Pines primary school to the Southern Pines Housing and Land Trust that represents the primarily African American American community of West Southern Pines, and to give sitting school board members nasty nicknames (Miller the Marxist, Libby the Leftist, and Betty the closet Democrat).
June 26, 2020 - Governor Roy Cooper issues an executive order requiring masks be worn in all public places. Emily Grace Rainey live streams herself being denied entry in the Moore County Courthouse because she refuses to submit to a temperature scan.
June 26, 2020 - Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields announces that he will not enforce Governor Cooper’s executive order for citizens to wear masks. Moore County DA Maureen Kreuger announces she will not prosecute anyone for violating any of the Governor's executive orders pertaining to Covid-19.
July, 2020 - The New Aberdeen Elementary School (the second of four newly constructed schools in Moore County) opens its doors for the first time.
July 7, 2020 - McDeeds Creek Principal, Molly Capps, is convicted of DWI, but not convicted of the child abuse charge. She is sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence.
July 14, 2020 - Governor Cooper announces that public schools will operate under the state’s Plan B re-entry plan for the upcoming school year. Plan B is a hybrid in-person/virtual remote learning instruction plan and requires moderate social distancing. temperature screenings, and face masks for all students and staff.
July 16, 2020 - Screenshots begin circulating on social media of David Hensley falsely accusing Moore County Schools of pushing a curriculum tailored to Black Lives Matter and Pro LBGTQ+ groups.
July 20, 2020 - The Moore County School Board votes to reopen Moore County schools at 50 percent capacity and to use a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction.
July 22, 2020 - Robert Levy publishes a call to reopen schools full time by attacking families living in poverty and/or headed by single mothers.
July 24, 2020 - David Hensley appears as a guest on “Mornings with the Leaderman” on WEEB radio. He repeatedly refers to efforts of the historically black community of West Southern Pines to buy the old Southern Pines Primary School as a “crack deal,” and fabricates the lie that the Southern Pines Housing and Land Trust will partner with Planned Parenthood to put an “abortion clinic” in the proposed African American cultural center.
July 31, 2020 - David Hensley appears on WEEB with Steve Adams and JD Zumwalt and again repeatedly accuses the Southern Pines Housing and Land Trust of offering the county a “crack deal,” and of partnering with planned parenthood. He insists that the Southern Pines primary school should go to open bid and threatens to have “too many beers” and bid up the auction price himself.
August 8, 2020 - “The Pilot” reports a positive covid case at a new teacher orientation at Pinecrest High School that had not been reported to the public.
August 15, 2020 - Screenshots begin circulating on social media showing that Emily Grace Rainey and her supporters are considering organizing “maskless mobs” to shop at stores that require their customers to wear masks.
August 18, 2020 - The Moore County Board of Commissioners holds a meeting where they question the Director of the Moore County Health Department about problems with the response to Covid 19 in Moore County. Board Chairman, Frank Quis, admits in that meeting that the county is not doing “all they can do” to protect citizens.
Late summer, early fall 2020 - Covid cases spike in Moore County Schools, leading to shut downs and more virtual learning. “The Pilot” posts several articles detailing the lack of the system’s transparency in sharing actual case numbers with the public. Amid concerns regarding the exploding numbers of new Covid-19 infections (especially in assisted living facilities), the lack of response from the Health Department, and the conflicting information being put out by the state, “The Pilot” and Moore Voices both call for the immediate resignation or firing of Health Director Robert Whitman. Moore Families for Quality Education begins an all out assault on Moore County’s Schools use of student surveys. The group accuses MCS Administrators of invading the privacy of students and of improperly handling and storing data (with no evidence). Robert Levy, Philip Holmes, and David Hensley all heavily promote MFQE’s posts on their social media pages and at their campaign events.
September, 2020 - Emily Grace Rainey creates Moore County Citizens for Freedom’s public social media page and also administers a private group of the same name. One of MCCFF’s first posts is a list of businesses to be targeted by group members for enforcing mask policies.
September 22, 2020 - David Hensley posts a video on YouTube to publicize the DWI conviction of McDeeds Creek principal Molly Capps. In the video, he accuses the Moore County Board of Education and Superintendent Grimesey of incompetence and corruption for renewing Ms. Capps’ contract. The next day, “The Pilot” publishes an article on the video and Mr. Hensley’s accusations. Several days later, amid pressure from Hensley’s supporters to address the controversy, Moore Voices publishes its own commentary.
September 25, 2020 - Robert Levy publishes a commentary on his official candidate page falsely accusing MCS of “forced busing” of African American children based solely on race.
October 2020 - Emily Grace Rainey’s political influence continues to grow in Moore County. She is invited to be a key organizer and speaker at several Moore County Republican Party events. She plans several protests of mask policies in public schools under the umbrella of Moore County Citizens for Freedom. The Rainey controlled social media “community” Moore Families for Quality Education” ramps up its attacks on Moore County School Board incumbents. The Moore County Republican Party produces sample ballots to be passed out at early voting endorsing Hensley, Levy, Holmes, and Caldwell in the non-partisan Board of Education race. In response to the Republican sample ballot, the Moore County Democrat Party print ballots recommending Wallin-Miller, Weaver, Brown, and Caldwell - but none of those candidates accept the Democrats’ endorsement.
October 10, 2020 - Social media posts containing graphics of direct quotes from David Hensley begin circulating on Social Media. Hensley denies making any of the statements, even after videos and screenshots proving those graphics are direct quotes from him are produced.
October 14, 2020 - PSA: Public School Advocates is founded by longtime public education advocates Alexa Roberts and Cheryl Christy-Bowman. The group is different from existing education advocacy groups because, along with promoting advocacy projects, it will participate in the political process and endorse candidates who are pro public education.
October 17, 2020 - A “Back the Red, White, and Blue” event is held in Southern Pines by leaders of the Moore County Republican Party. Emily Grace Rainey is heavily involved in organizing and promoting the event and is pictured with Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields and other Republican leaders there. The picture of Rainey and Fields will resurface in December 2022 after the Moore County power grid attack.
October 18, 2020 - The Moore County NAACP holds an online Zoom candidate forum for candidates for the Moore County Board of Education.
October 19, 2020 - David Hensley appears on WEEB and openly mocks - by name - several women who attended the NAACP candidate forum and asked the candidates tough questions. He designates them as “liberals” and “leftists” and implies they are not mentally stable. This marks the first time Hensley attacks community members by name on the radio by name.
October 20, 2020 - David Hensley passes out flyers at early voting locations showing the exact location of personal property jointly owned by John Nagy, editor of “The Pilot” and Catherine Murphy, MCS Communications Director. Officials of the Moore County Board of Elections require him to stop handing out the flyers.
October 24, 2020 - “The Pilot” publishes an opinion piece written by Moore Voices editor Cheryl Christy-Bowman addressing the smears by David Hensley and Moore Families for Quality education against MCS regarding the costs of building the four new elementary schools.
November 3, 2020 - Robert Levy, David Hensley, and Philip Holmes narrowly defeat Helena Wallin-Miller, Betty Wells Brown, and John Weaver in the election for Moore County Board of Education. Stacey Caldwell handily defeats Brandon Coleman, becoming the only BoEd incumbent to retain her seat. Governor Cooper wins re-election and Donald Trump wins the state of NC.
November 4, 2020 - PSA: Public School Advocates (which had endorsed the defeated incumbents) publicly congratulates Levy, Holmes, and Hensley on their election to the Moore County Board of Education and pledges to work with them whenever possible to improve our public schools.
November 7, 2020 - The Associated Press, Fox News, and other decision desks call the state of Pennsylvania for Joe Biden and declare him President-elect of the United States.
December, 2020 - Leaders in the Moore County Republican Party refuse to accept the results of the Presidential election. Pinehurst resident Cleta Mitchell makes public claims that “dead people voted,” and joins Ginni Thomas (wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas) in an effort to overturn the election. Mitchell also joins Trump’s legal team.
December 7, 2020 - Levy, Holmes, and Hensley are sworn in as Board of Education members. Hensley wastes no time using the public meetings of the Board to attack “legacy” school board members, MCS employees, and public school advocates. He pledges to “take a sledge hammer” to our schools and “disrupt business as usual.”
Late December, 2020 - Emily Grace Rainey and Pauline Bruno (president of the Moore Republican Women’s Club) begin organizing Moore County Republicans to mass protest Biden’s election to the Presidency. Leadership in the Moore County Republican Party still refuse to accept the election results. David Hensley and MoCo BoEd Chair Libby Carter have a series of heated exchanges both on social media and at BoEd meetings. Holmes, Levy, and Hensley make it clear to public education advocates that they have no intention of working with them and that they intend to shut communication with them off completely.