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Moore County Timeline of Terror Part 4 - Burnout & Blackout

Writer’s note: This is the fourth part of a 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. Part 4 covers the year 2022.


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 which covers 2019-2020 is available here:


Part three which covers 2021 is available


***


Part 4 - Burnout & Blackout


January 2, 2022 - “The Pilot” publishes an article designating the “Polarization of Public Education” as the Moore County 2021 “News Maker of the Year.” Co-founder of PSA: Public Education Advocates Cheryl Christy, who is extensively quoted in the article, publishes a response on Moore Voices.




January 7, 2022 - Board of Education member Robert Levy participates in a “round table” on WEEB with Steve Adams and JD Zumwalt. Zumwalt and Levy use made up and/or falsely represented statistics and racially biased language against minority children being educated in public schools.



January 10, 2022 - MCS Superintendent and staff report to the Board of Education regarding the explosion of Covid 19 cases and quarantines since masks became optional in December. The Board votes 3-2 to reinstate the mandatory mask mandate.



Mid January, 2022 - It becomes public that community member James Pedersen (who has no children or grandchildren in, and no connection to Moore County Public Schools) has challenged the presence of the Book “George” in two libraries in Moore County Schools. Mr. Pedersen makes this challenge after receiving the results of a FOIA request inquiring about three specific books - all of which contain LBGTQ+ characters.



January 25, 2022 - "The Pilot" publishes a story written by Mary Kate Murphy about an attempt by some community members and members of the MoCo BoEd to ban the book "George.” At the end of the article, Ms. Murphy reports the following quote from Mr. Holmes regarding the book "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Perez. "Holmes now plans to move discussion of the book (" George ") to the school board level. He said that last fall he asked administrators to review a young adult novel, “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez, which was eventually removed from a high school." An investigation by Moore Voices reveals that Mr. Holmes did NOT have the book removed from circulation. “Out of Darkness” had been checked out of the library at Union Pines, never returned, and the staff declined to order a replacement.




Late January, 2022 - JD Zumwalt begins a series of commentaries on both WEEB and on social media accusing a MCS middle school teacher of teaching inappropriate and graphic material during a sex education class.



Early February, 2022 - Videos begin circulating across social media of what appear to be children fighting in various Moore County schools. The videos are not authenticated or dated, but are shared throughout the community, including on the official social media page of David Hensley. Eagle eyed parents are able to ascertain that many of the videos are three to four years old. Hensley uses his platform to blame Superintendent Grimesey and the Board of Education for an alleged but unproven increase in violence and pledging to begin mass expulsions in our public schools. JD Zumwalt proclaims he will be suing MCS over the increased violence, but of course, no such lawsuit ever materializes.



February 1, 2022 - “The Pilot” reports that Moore County Schools is investigating rumors that a teacher at New Century Middle School shared inappropriate details during classes based on the accusations aired by Zumwalt on WEEB and the complaint of one parent.



February 2, 2022 - Moore Voices owner Cheryl Christy interviews several children who were present during the controversial sex education class and their parents. It quickly becomes apparent that the accusations of Zumwalt and his sources do not hold up against eyewitness accounts. Dr. Tim Locklair is named Interim Superintendent of Moore County Schools.




February 4, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a second commentary regarding the controversial statements of Philip Holmes regarding the book “Out of Darkness.” Although Holmes had nothing to do with “removing” the book from MCS, emails surface that raise alarm bells as Dr. Tim Locklair has pledged to Holmes that the book will NOT be put back in circulation.



February 14, 2021 - The Board of Education votes to make masks optional in MCS, except for on buses. 36 people sign up to speak to the Board during the public comment section. Many speakers complain about non-existent indoctrination and grooming by teachers and school staff. PSA: Public School Advocates delivers a letter signed by hundreds of members calling on the members of the Board to conduct themselves more civilly and to strive to serve ALL students in our public schools.



February 15, 2022 - Handmade poster-sized signs begin appearing on the side of the road on 15-501 near the MCS system office. The signs contain vulgar accusations that several Board of Education members are “groomers” and “pedophiles.” At least one PRIVATE citizen is named on one of the signs. Law Enforcement declines to remove the signs, even though they are not on private property. Citizens begin removing the signs themselves. James Pedersen, who has been leading the charge accusing teachers and staff of sexually grooming children, takes pictures of an MCS resource officer removing some of the signs and complains to the Board of Education about the removal.



March 14, 2022 - The Moore County Board of Education votes 4-3 to keep the book “George” in both Union Pines High School and McDeeds Creek Elementary School. This vote upholds the recommendation of three separate (two building level reviews and one district level review) committee votes. BoEd Chair Libby Carter posts later that evening on her official social media account explaining her reasoning for voting to retain the book and sharing vaguely threatening emails from Moore County GOP communications guru Steve Woodward.



Mid March, 2022 - The Moore County Republican Party posts on their official social media pages that Sloan Rachmuth, founder of Education First Alliance, held a “boot camp” in the home of Steve Woodward to inspire local party members to “declare war of leftist educators and their enablers.”



Early April, 2022 - Education First Alliance begins posting on social media that they have “spies” in all the popular teachers and education groups and that they are offering cash bounties to anyone willing to send them the names and schools of employment of any teachers that are suspected to be “leftist.” EFA founding Board Member Emily Grace Rainey begins posting on popular Moore County based social media pages encouraging people to send her the names of teachers so that she can compile a list for targeted harassment. Behaviors listed by Ms. Rainey that are worthy of report include displaying rainbows in the classroom or using pronouns in their email signatures. Moore Voices begins researching the various financial and political ties of power players in the Moore County GOP and Education First Alliance and uncovers some startling connections





April 7, 2022 - Tharrington Smith, longtime legal counsel to the Moore County Board of Education and the most respected law firm on education law in North Carolina drops the Moore County Board of Education as a client. Long time attorney Neal Ramee sends a cordial and gracious letter to BoEd Chair Pam Thompson declining to represent MCS further. Ramee gives no reason for cutting ties with MCS, but the decision follows months of Board of Education member David Hensley publicly (and falsely) accusing Ramee and his firm of doing shoddy work, giving bad advice, and accusing them of unethical and even illegal behavior. Moore County Superior Court Judge James Webb sanctions Beth Ann Pratte, James Moore, and their attorney Landon White regarding their attempt to obtain a restraining order to prevent the Board of Education from selling the old Southern Pines Primary School to the Southern Pines Housing and Land Trust in 2021. Webb finds that White misled the court on several key issues and violated legal ethics. He further finds that both Pratte and Moore submitted statements to the court that contained false information (effectively committing perjury). Both Moore and Pratte refuse to tell the court who is paying their legal fees. Webb fines Pratte, Moore, and White over $40,000.






April 8, 2022 - Moore County Board of Education candidates Pauline Bruno, Ken Benway, and Forrest Leach abruptly pull out of a voter forum sponsored by the Moore County League of Women Voters, The Moore County NAACP, and PSA: Public School Advocates. All three candidates had previously committed to participate and gave no reason for their withdrawal. PSA co-founders Alexa Roberts and Cheryl Christy are told privately that Bruno and Benway refuse to participate due to the involvement of their organization, so they volunteer to pull out as sponsors. After consultation, the League of Women Voters pull their sponsorship and the NAACP and PSA decide to move forward with the other two BoEd candidates, Rollie Sampson and Robin Calcutt still committed to participate.





April 21 2022 - PSA: Public School Advocates and the Moore County NAACP hold a candidate forum for Board of Education candidates. As expected, Ken Benway, Forrest Leach, and Pauline Bruno refuse to honor their commitment, but Robin Calcutt and Rollie Sampson attend to engage voters and answer questions. WEEB radio personality JD Zumwalt reads a text from Board of Education member Philip Holmes live on the air. In the text, Holmes claims that Pinecrest principal Stefanie Philips has removed the book “Life is Funny” from the PHS library at his request. Moore Voices begins an investigation and is able to confirm that the book shows available for checkout in the online catalog but is not on the shelf. It comes to light days later that Holmes was encouraged to have the book removed by James Pedersen - the same community member who tried to have the book “George” removed from Moore County Schools.




April 22, 2022 - PSA: Public School Advocates publicly endorse Robin Calcutt and Rollie Sampson for Moore County Board of Education.



April 28, 2022 - Moore Families for Quality Education releases their endorsements for the upcoming primary election. Surprising many long time Republicans in Moore County, MFQE endorses Richmond County resident Ben Moss over Moore County native and long time representative Jamie Boles in the NC House 52 race. This endorsement, and the part it played in Boles’ narrow defeats later become the catalyst for David Hensley to expose the closely guarded secret that Emily Grace Rainey founded, administers, and controls the group.



May 2, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary alerting the public that the campaign treasurer for BoEd candidates Ken Benway, Pauline Bruno, and Shannon Davis to be Carol Wheeldon, a Pinehurst resident who in 2015 led a massive effort to have Moore County voters (primarily African American) purged from the voting roles. The effort was successful until a judge struck the removal down as illegal, ruling it “laser targeted African Americans' ' and was “reminiscent of the days of Jim Crow.”



Second week of May, 2022 - JD Zumwalt announces on WEEB that Philip Holmes has had the book “Looking for Alaska” removed from the library at North Moore High School.



May 18, 2022 - Results of Moore County’s primary elections show that the Moore County GOP is completely controlled by the far right faction of the party as reasonable conservative Republicans are defeated by fire brand right wing candidates. Pauline Bruno, Ken Benway, Robin Calcutt, and Rollie Sampson advance to the general election in the races for Moore County Board of Education. Shockingly, Ben Moss defeats Jamie Boles for House District 52 by approximately 400 votes.



May 20, 2022 - David Hensley and Emily Grace Rainey engage in a public social media spat over Rainey’s decision to use her various groups to support Ben Moss over Jamie Boles. As their exchange gets more heated, Hensley exposes the closely guarded secret that Moore Families for Quality Education is NOT a group of Moore County parents with kids in public schools but is instead the personal propaganda and psyops tool of Emily Grace Rainey.



May 26, 2022 - Dr. Tim Locklair is named Superintendent of Moore County Schools.



June 6, 2022 - The Moore County Board of Education hires Richard Schwartz to be the new legal counsel for Moore County Schools.



June 21, 2022 - During a Moore County Board of Education work session about the long term strategic plan for Moore County Schools, Board Members say the following quotes while discussing equity and diversity:

Robert Levy - “The problem is, and this is what I believe, poor people are less well disciplined than affluent people, Minorities tend to be poorer. They tend to be less disciplined.”

David Hensley - “If you are doing an affirmative action minority hiring program, you are by definition not hiring the best. You are making conscious effort not to hire the best.”



June 22, 2022 - PSA: Education Advocates and the Moore County chapter of the National Education Association hold a rally in support of the Moore County Schools budget. Later in the evening, PSA Co-founders Cheryl Christy and Alexa Roberts, along with MoCo Association of Educators president Luke Arno speak to county commissioners at a public hearing on the budget to ask the commissioners to fully fund the requested budget from the Moore County Board of Education (they do so in spite of David Hensley and Robert Levy’s constant vicious attacks of both groups and their members on social media and on the radio).



June 24, 2022 - The United States Supreme Court reverses the legal precedent established by Roe v Wade in the Dobbs decision, effectively ruling that women have no constitutionally protected right to control their own reproductive health.



June 27, 2022 - PSA: Public School Advocates releases a statement expressing alarm over Levy and Hensley attacking minorities and students living in poverty.



July 1, 2022 - A Moore County resident finds and removes a racist banner being hung on an overpass in Vass. The banner reads “Defend the White Race” and displays the social media account of a known white supremacy group on the social media site gab.com The resident takes the banner to the Moore County Sheriff’s Department and asks to file a report. The resident reports that the deputy who assisted her did not take the incident seriously. There is not any public report of this banner until later in 2022, when other Nazi themed banners are hung.



July 2, 2022 - Hundreds of Moore County citizens march at a peaceful demonstration in Southern Pines in support of reproductive choice and rights. A couple of dozen counter protesters stage a demonstration at the Southern Pines train station.



July 3, 2022 - “The Pilot” publishes a wildly misleading, inaccurate, and biased article covering the July 2 pro choice march and the counter pro birth demonstration. “The Pilot” devotes ¾ of the article to the several dozen pro-birth protesters and very little space to the hundreds of people marching for reproductive rights, giving the impression that the pro-birth demonstration was much larger and better attended. A huge public outcry forces “The Pilot” to go back and correct its story online, but Editor John Nagy refuses to correct the print version or to apologize for his paper’s reckless journalism.



July 4, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a scathing rebuke of the shoddy journalism being practiced by “The Pilot,” The commentary contains audio files of a reporter at “The Pilot” admitting that John Nagy knew the story was inaccurate before it went to print and that even the “corrected” version of the story contained FALSE information that was included because the reporter heard a rumor and didn’t bother to verify it.



July 6, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary reporting that the Moore County Board of Education had received a warning letter from Duke Legal First Amendment Clinic on June 10. The letter clearly lays out the multiple ways in which MCS Policy was violated by BoEd member Philip Holmes and administrators at Pinecrest and North Moore when they removed books from MCS libraries in secret and with no due process. The letter also spells out the details of how Mr. Holmes' actions are contrary to state law and violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The commentary also addresses the proposed policy change regarding book challenges in Moore County Schools.



July 11, 2022 - During a Moore County Board of Education public business meeting, David Hensley attempts to derail the annual field trip by military connected children to the Military Child Education Coalition Summit in Washington, DC by insulting former MCS Military Liaison Rollie Sampson and falsely claiming that the children will be exposed to a “homosexual agenda.” He also falsely accuses Superintendent Dr. Tim Locklair of illegally trying to usurp the authority of the BoEd by implementing a new procedure for challenging books in MCS. Dr. Locklair, faced with such a public and vicious attack with ZERO support by other Board members, backs down and rescinds the new procedures. Days later, Moore Voices publishes a commentary detailing the attack on Locklair by Hensley and the lack of defense of him from other Board members.



July 15, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary outlining the efforts of David Hensley and Philip Holes to eliminate the Military Liaison position in Moore County Schools and how those efforts (motivated by petty personal and political animosity towards BoEd candidate Rollie Sampson has prevented military connected families form receiving important resources and support.



July 19, 2022 - Pro-birth supporters and pro-choice supporters gather in separate demonstrations at the old county courthouse prior to a Board of Commissioners meeting. During the meeting both sides make impassioned pleas to the Board regarding the proposed resolution to declare Moore County a “Pro-life sanctuary.” Catherine Graham, chairing the meeting due to the absence of Frank Quis, encouraged and participated in the applauding of speakers on the pro-birth side, but admonished the attendees when applauded for a pro-choice any pro-choice speaker.



July 25, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes a commentary detailing the efforts of the alt right wing of the Moore County Republican Party infiltrating Hoke County.



July 29, 2022 - PSA: Public School Advocates becomes one of 144 organizations to sign on to the Brief of Amicus Curiae that has been filed with the NC Supreme Court in support of the Leandro Plan.



Late July/Early August 2022 - A group of independent conservative journalists called “The Honey Badger Tribe” begins exposing the financial irregularities of Education First Alliance They provide documents that show EFA founder Sloan Rachmuth has personally pocketed most of the money donated to the organization. In the work of HBT, it is exposed that David Hensley has donated at least $750 to EFA - which is later designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.





August 8, 2022 - The Moore County Board of Education approves bonuses for teachers to be paid out of ESSER funds. Steve Woodward attacks Board Member Holmes for voting with majority, citing a conflict of interest because Holmes’ wife is a teacher employed in Moore County Schools. Holmes’ later rescinds that vote.



August 18, 2022 - The Charlotte Observer publishes an article detailing the extreme right wing partisan rhetoric dominating the Board of Education race in Moore County.



August 25 & 26, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes commentaries outlining the ugly public feud between Ben Moss and David Hensley and discusses the likelihood that Representative Ben Moss took a PPP loan for his business even though he was relentlessly critical of Jamie Boles during the primary for doing the same.




September 6, 2022 - Nick Picerno presents a draft of a resolution declaring Moore County to be a “pro-life” sanctuary for consideration by the Board of Commissioners. The other four commissioners vote to remove the item from the agenda as three of them will be leaving office in December.



September 7, 2022 - Moore & Sandhills Voices publishes the first of three commentaries (all linked below) exposing the grift of Sloan Rachmuth and Education First Alliance.




September 19, 2022 - A social media post by Board of Education candidate Ken Benway that depicts former president Obama as a primate begins circulating on social media.



October, 2022 - Video of Moore County Board of Education candidate Shannon Davis comparing LBGTQ+ people to drug addicts begins circulating on social media.


October 7, 2022 - A social media post by Board of Education candidate Ken Benway calling for a “Great American Gallows Day” in the national wall begins circulating on social media.



October 11, 2022 - Board of Education member David Hensley shares unsourced, unverified, and undated videos on his official social media page purporting to be recent incidents of students fighting at Crain’s Creek Middle School. Mr. Hensley blames MCS administration and the Board of Education for the discipline problems at Crain’s Creek and across the district. Responses to the post across social media contain alarming racist language - such as calling African American children “animals” who need to be “locked up” or “sent back” to Southern Middle School “where they belong.”



October 14, 2022 - A social media post goes viral in Moore County describing a violent encounter between two students at Crain’s Creek Middle School. A small group of parents and community members begin organizing protests outside the school to demand the firing of principal Melonie Jones. The protests eventually cause the president of the PTO at CCMS to be forced out of her position and the group is taken over by parents advocating for Ms. Jones’ removal and the membership is overtaken by community members that have no children in or any connection to the school. Board members Robert Levy and David Hensley indicate they are in favor of Jones’ firing. Candidates Pauling Bruno, Ken Benway, and Shannon Davis use the opportunity to make Crain’s Creek the focal point of their campaign, promising mass punishments, expulsions, and staff firings. No evidence other than isolated video clips that do not show the entire confrontation is ever presented to the community that indicates the behavioral problems at CCMS are any worse than at any other school in MCS.



October 20, 2022 - A student at Crain’s Creek Elementary schools threatens to bring a weapon to class the next day in a social media group chat. The threat is reported to MCS police and the child was not allowed on campus the next day. Even though there is every indication that principal Melonie Jones followed policy, procedure, and the law to the exact letter in dealing with the threat, calls for her firing grown louder from members of the Board of Education, the candidates those Board members support, and a small group of their core supporters. In spite of the fact that the investigation uncovers that there was never any weapon at the school and no child was ever in any danger, the protests surrounding Jones and CCMS continue to escalate. Teachers and staff report feeling uneasy about the number of people "protesting" near their school during hours when children are on campus. The Proud Boys stage a protest outside a drag show performance outside of The Hugger Mugger in Sanford NC. Present with the Proud Boys are Emily Grace Rainey and James Pedersen. Pedersen later denies being associated with the Proud Boys, but video of the event clearly shows him participating in their activities - including taking selfies with them and joining them in a sing along of the anti semitic anthem "By blood or sweat, we'll get there yet. By God, we'll have our home."




October 26, 2022 - Moore County resident and community activist Sherilla Horton makes a social media video calling out the blatant racism surrounding the protests surrounding Crain’s Creek Middle School. Moore Voices publishes a commentary outlining the very problematic racist dog whistles being blown by members of the Moore County Board of Education and their preferred candidates.




November 8, 2022 - Ken Benway, Shannon Davis, and Pauline Bruno are elected to the Moore County Board of Education on the strength of the endorsement of the Moore County Republican Party (the Board of Education is supposed to be a nonpartisan race).



November 12, 2022 - PSA: Public School Advocates Co-founder and owner of Moore Voices Cheryl Christy announces she will be moving away from Moore County and that both organizations will be branching out to represent and over the entire Sandhills Region.



November 13, 2022 - Moore Voices posts a commentary detailing the harassment of a private citizen by James Pedersen and the difficulty that citizen is having getting a legal summons served against Mr. Pedersen for Cyber Stalking.



Mid November, 2022 - The Sunrise theater in Southern Pines announces it will be hosting a drag queen diva show on December 3rd. Far right activists begin organizing protests. The Sunrise's staff reports being harassed and threatened by phone calls. Eventually the venue agrees to restrict attendance to those over 18 years old, but the protests and harassment continue.



November 16, 2022 - Moore Voices owner Cheryl Christy learns that she is the target of a requested restraining order by James Pedersen. Pedersen swears to a Moore County Magistrate that he in in “fear” of Christy, even though she has never initiated contact with him and he has repeatedly contacted her against her will. Moore Voices learns that Mr. Pedersen has also taken out retaliatory charges on the victim who had him served with papers for cyber stalking.





November 20, 2022 - In spite of having sworn to a Moore County Magistrate only days earlier that he and his family were in “fear” of Cheryl Christy, James Pedersen contacts her on Twitter, reviving a repeatedly debunked accusation that Ms. Christy had once been involved in a bigamous marriage.



November 23, 2022 - Cheryl Christy appears before Moore County judge Warren McSweeney ready to defend herself from James Pedersen’s accusations. Ms. Christy is accompanied by almost a dozen supporters and witnesses. Mr. Pedersen, who less than a week earlier swore to a Moore County Magistrate that he was in “emotional distress” because of his fear of Ms. Christy, asks for a continuance. McSweeney grants Mr. Pederson his delay over Ms. Christy’s strong objection.



Late November, 2022 - The Sunrise Theater refuses to cancel its planned Downtown Divas Drag Show in spite of calls from right wing activists for boycott and protest. Residents of Southern Pines decide to counter any protest on the night of the show with a “Circle of Love” event - which is designed to show support for the Sunrise, for the drag performers, and the attendees.



December 3, 2022 - The Moore County Black Out

  • Before 7:00 PM - Supporters of the Sunrise Theater and the performers of the drag show gather outside the theater for their Circle of Love event. Across the street, several dozen people led by right wing activist Emily Grace Rainey and members of Calvary Christian Church gather to protest. Nick Picerno, Chair of the Moore Board of Commissioners, is pictured with Ms. Rainey at the protest. James Pederson is pictured filming people going into the venue for the drag show.

  • 7:00 PM - The Downtown Divas Drag Show begins. The crowds outside the venue break up and leave the area.

  • Shortly after 7:00 PM - Moore County residents begin to report massive power outages to Duke Energy. The Sunrise Theater loses power, but the drag show continues as audiences use the flashlights on their phones to provide lighting.

  • Between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM - Power outages spread throughout Moore County, plunging tens of thousands of people into the dark. Several Moore County citizens report to Moore Voices that they heard on their police scanners that the outage is the result of a firearms attack on substations.

  • Shortly after 9:00 PM - Emily Grace Rainey informs citizens in Moore County that “the power is out” and she “knows why.” Shortly after, Ms. Rainey posts a picture showing the darkened Sunrise Theater with the caption “God Will Not Be Mocked. https://www.facebook.com/groups/565556801318383/posts/833456554528405/

  • Late evening - Ms. Rainey reports that Moore County deputies have visited her home and questioned her regarding her social media posts claiming knowledge of the cause of the power outage. She states she told the police that God did it to punish people for the drag show, that the deputies prayed with her, and cleared her of any involvement. The Moore County Sheriff’s department releases a brief statement indicating that the power outage is a result of vandalism and that there was no estimation as to when the power would be restored.


December 4, 2022 - Sheriff Ronnie Fields and Duke Power officials hold a press conference and inform the community that one power substation was severely damaged by gunfire in Carthage at around 7 p.m. Gunfire was later directed at a second substation in West End, ultimately resulting in a loss of electrical power to the majority of the county. Fields states that they have no leads and no suspects. He states there is no known tie between the attack and the drag show, but refuses to rule out that possibility. He floats the idea that the perpetrator could be a disgruntled Duke Power employee. When asked by a journalist about the possible involvement of Emily Grace Rainey, he tells reporters that he visited her and “had a word of prayer” with her, then warns community members about posting false information on social media. Officials tell residents the power most likely will not be restored for days. A countywide state of emergency is declared and officials announce a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is imposed. Moore County Schools cancels classes for all students and indicates schools will remain closed through the duration of the outage. Local churches and charities mobilize to provide food and heat for residents without power.



December 5, 2022 - Pauline Bruno, Ken Benway, and Shannon Davis are sworn in as new members of the Moore County Board of Education. After the ceremony, the Board hosts a catered celebration as 45,000 households in Moore County are still without power and are having trouble securing food and warmth.



December 6, 2022 - Ms. Rainey appears on Steve Bannon’s War Room and blames “radical leftists” for the power outage. Leaders in the Moore County Republican Party begin to distance themselves from Ms. Rainey, rebuking her on social media for mocking the community and wasting law enforcement resources during a crisis.



December 7, 2022 - National media outlets begin publishing stories that the FBI has narrowed their investigation into alt-right, neo-Nazi activists organizations, but Sheriff Fields continues to insist that there are no leads and no suspects. Old pictures of Ms. Rainey and Sheriff Fields arm-in-arm begin circulating on Facebook, with many people questioning if Fields has a conflict regarding investigating his close associate. Officials announce a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. The majority of households in Moore County have their power restored.



December 8, 2022 - Power is restored to the entire community. The Raw Story publishes an article outlining the hardships the people of Moore County faced due to the outage and examining the anger and distrust in the community.



December 7, 2022 - David Hensley posts on his official social media page that the Board of Education will be renaming McDeed’s Creek elementary school. He makes this announcement with no input from the community, MCS officials, or other members of the BoEd.



December 9, 2022 - An online petition asking the Board of Education not to rename McDeed’s Creek appears online and collects hundreds of signatures within a few hours.



December 11, 2022 - After days of extreme public pressure, David Hensley announces to the community that he will no longer be seeking to change the name of McDeeds Creek elementary school.



December 16, 2022 - Moore Voices publishes part one of the series “Moore County Timeline of Terror” which outlines the beginnings of distrust and division in the Moore County Community.



December 18, 2022 - A large banner with antisemitic symbols is hung on a bridge in the Vass area on U.S. Route 1 ahead of Hanukkah.



December 20, 2022 - Moore Voices is contacted by a source reporting that a racist banner was hung on the bridge in Vass in July 2022. The source provides Moore Voices with pictures and text messages proving the banner was taken to the Sheriff’s department and that a report was filed, but no action was ever taken.



December 25, 2022 - A third racist banner is hung from an overpass in Vass on Christmas Day.



December 28, 2022 - Moore Voices owner and editor Cheryl Christy, appears in court to defend herself against James Pedersen’s false allegation, She is accompanied by supporters and witnesses. In spite of Mr. Pedersen’s sworn statement to a Moore County Magistrate that he and his family were “mentally distressed” and “living in fear" of Ms. Christy, he voluntarily dismisses his request for a restraining order. Moore Voices is later informed that the request was dismissed because it had no merit under the law and Mr. Pedersen’s attorney was concerned that bringing it forward might result in a censure for wasting the court’s time. Mr. Pedersen’s cases surrounding charges and counter charges regarding the cyber stalking of a private citizen are continued into January.



December 31, 2022 - As Moore County residents prepare for the new year, Sheriff Ronnie Fields continues to report there are no leads and no suspects in neither the act of domestic terror that took down the power grid nor the racist banners vandalism case. The people of Moore County settle into the uneasy notion that they will never know what happened or who is attacking what was once a peaceful, safe community.













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