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Coal Ash & trains make bad neighbors for Tiptons

Posted on June 9, 2016 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (23)

Know this fine ash is on the outside of these trains… you cannot see the ash…. once in the lungs it is deadly … affects all parts of the human body from Cancer to Nerve problems you name it,  this poison destroys human life , wildlife … Farmers even take the leachate from coal ash and fertilize crops… no wonders human beings get all types of cancer. Thanks Johnsie.

This is above is from Johnsie and Dean Tipton's front door .

^^Johnsie has to see too much of these trains . This shot taken at 8:ish AM June 9th ... in THE MIDDLE OF SOUTHERN PINES where she has to wait for them to pass to go to town.

At 4:45ish on June 7th we were at the MLK Memorial Park in Sanford for a anti-frack anti-polluter rally and this shot was taken of one of these "death Trains" as Johnsie calls them . Johnsie and Dean were one of the 1st protesters there . Her oufit highlights the statement of this picture ! 


Johnsie & Dean sees these go by day and night at their Colon home , where their family has lived for generations. Now considering leaving their home if the Coal ash comes to their backdoor.

These trains are heading to Brickhaven in Moncure NC .Where Duke Energy intends to keep dumping Millions of tons of Coal ash. 

Sanford Waste Water Treatment Plant is taking the leachate from the Brickhaven site and then the Sludge waste is being dumped back on Chatham fields .  

^^This is less than 1000 feet from the Tipton's backyard too , click the picture for full image of where Duke Energy wants to DUMP 8 MILLION TONS of Coal Ash in a naturally reclaimed brickyard. 

This is Johnsie and Dean ,they are fighting for their environment! 

Will You share their story and help us fight for them and their neighbors?

help us by donating here https://www.crowdrise.com/CoalAshFightagainstDukeenergy/fundraiser/blueridgeenvironment" target="_blank">https://www.crowdrise.com/CoalAshFightagainstDukeenergy/fundraiser/blueridgeenvironment

WWI Soldier's family Gravesite Visited often

Posted on May 26, 2015 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (1)

MEMORIAL DAY , a time to remember ....

We have written before about the family gravesite of an WWI African American soldier McKinley Johnson here at our blog.

I received an email from someone that lives at the TARGET area for the Dumping of 8Million Tons of #coalash .

David Holland a Vet has spoke out many times against this dump already . He had told me back sometime ago how he too knew of the gravesite and he has visited often living around there . Even done some research on his own. Just this week he looked back through his photos and found this picture , sent the picture and a story to go with it .


FROM DAVID : McKinley Johnson’s military grave marker. Fall – 2013

Not so long ago, in the fall of the year, maybe 3-4 years ago, I saw a story about a man on the TV. For some reason, because of the man he is, I guess, this man placed a wreath in Arlington National Cemetery. It may have been for a son, I don’t know. After that, this man decided to place more wreaths upon many more of our Heroes’ graves. As I understood it, this man finally decided that if he could, (which he can’t) he would place a wreath upon every one of our soldier’s graves throughout our nation, from all time periods. It was amazing and inspiring to say the least. I watched the people who came out to help this man place the wreaths, many of which were donated, on the graves. It was such a big job, the size and layout of Arlington is overwhelming! Well, when it was done, it was sure a sight to see. Those wreaths just capitalized the graves that capitalize our beloved Heroes that lie beneath. It brought back humanity, in a sense, to that formation of cold stone markers. That man, with his somewhat sad, wonderful act, inspired me deeply. And I made a vow to help him out. I knew of one soldier that this gentleman wouldn’t be able to get to. I wanted Mr. Johnson to be a part of these brethren too, and perhaps also for self-reason. Anyhow, may God bless this man, this country, and McKinley Johnson!

DS Holland 05/22/15


So it turns out Mr. Johnson has many caretaker in the past!

Will you help us fight for his family resting place ?

Go to here to donate to the folks fighting www.crowdrise.com/coalashfightagainstdukeenergy

Make a donation in honor of Mr. Johnson and his family . 

Look around here too for the other stories about the Johnson Family. 

Emanuel Hyde III tells Johnson Family story

Posted on February 22, 2015 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (1)

My name is Emanuel Hyde III. I am the great-great grandson of. Israel and Maggie Palmer Johnson. Before Stacy Mcbryde came forth with her discovery of the graveyard, I have spent countless hours researching my lineage. While doing an interview with an older family member, I was told that Zion Hill cemetery where my family was buried was located in the woods near the brickyard and the railroad tracks.

My ancestors moved to Sanford which was at the time apart of Chatham County in the mid 1870s. Israel was a former slave previously residing in Wake County, NC. He was a farmer for years in the Osgood area. Israel also raised and sold livestock. According to archival information, Israel Johnson helped buried several family members in the Osgood community and surrounding areas. My great-great grandmother Maggie Johnson lived with family members until her death. She was also buried st Zion Hill Church cemetery.

Mckinley Johnson was the son of Israel and Maggie Johnson. After recieving honorable dischatge during World War 1 Mckinley lived in Delaware and Michigan. It is said by family members that he would ocassionally return home to visit relatives. On August 31, 1932 Mckinley passed away of Tuberculosis which was a common illness during that time. Tuberculossis, swept across the nation killing countless of people because of the lack of treatment. Mckinley's body was shipped by train to Osgood, where his funeral was held at Zion Hill Church cemetery and he was interred in the church cemetery. Thankfully, the stone that Mckinley's brother Gallowax erected at his grave still stands today. Mckinley sister Delia Womack and her husband Matthew Womack are among the others that are buried in the cemetery known and unknown.

Any other research concerning the Johnson family will be available in my upcoming book. The release date will be announced soon.

Today the Johnson family extends across the globe and it has bern my effort to preserve my family legacy for generations to come. This is a brief sketch of a people who lived, loved, labored and suffered injustice. They knew what it was to be slaved and free. Zion Hill Church was a church they helped built from the ground.

It was where they worshipped God, would sing hymns , recieved education and its cemetery is where the bones of my ancestors rest. The church was used for prayer meetings and as a school house for blacks during the 1930s and 1940s.

The community of Osgood is now and have been the home of my relatives and other African American family for many years. It is my sincere hope and prayer that it remains free from the tons of coal ash that Duke plans to dump and store near the cemetery and the Osgood community.

Thanks again to Stacy Mcbryde and her family for finding, attending and caretaking my ancestors graves.Also, special thanks to Terica Luxton, Claire Pickett and all of the staff of Environmentalee for all you have done and all u will do. Last but not least, Mr. Ervin Foxx and the NAACP and all those who has helped to preserve the cemetery and the Osgood community. On behalf of the Johnson family we say Thank you.

Gravesite Committee Feb. Update

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Revised 2/18 / 2015 , 11PM

 corrected mistakes of the list of people that we know are buried there . 

November 2014 , Duke Energy and Charah Inc announced , they have plans of Dumping Millions of Tons of Coal Ash in Lee and Chatham county brickyards .

The Lee County storage site sits on 410 acres of land near the intersection of Post Office Road and Colon Road that Charah, a Kentucky-based power plant support services company working with Duke Energy on the coal ash transport, bought from the General Shale brick company. 

For the record "This Land is On top of our Watershed ." 

Alot has happened since we first heard about this plan. At the 1st coal ash dumping protest at the BOC meeting on November 17th . Many residents (nearly 100) showed up in protest of this stupid idea of dumping coal ash in our community . 

We learned about the gravesite from Stacy McBryde who knew of this site for many years growing up there off Post Office rd . We have since worked with Stacy to 1st visit the site and take pictures... worked to find info... and the now known Family members of the WWI African American Soldier . We have posted 3 stories on this so far. 

On Feb 9th our last EnvironmentaLEE anti-coal ash meeting held at Mt Calvary Baptist Church on Colon Rd. . We are proud that we organized a new committee , the 'Osgood Gravesite Committee'

Director Claire Pickett has gotten right to work with the others in the group . She contacted family members in and out of state to help organize information .

This committee has quickly went to work and has this report for you already , With more to follow soon ....

If you have any information to add to this after reading it and the other stories PLEASE write to us . Just go to our contact page . 

Here is the report ...

Government and military artifacts have revealed more details about McKinley Johnson, the World War I veteran whose headstone still stands tall in the early 20th-Century Zion Hill Christian Cemetery in Sanford. The cemetery was associated with the now-defunct Zion Hill Christian Church in the community of Osgood, NC, but now the land is owned by the ash disposal company Charah, and is planned to be used as a coal ash dump as part of Duke Energy's coal ash distribution plan.

To continue with the story begun in three previous blog postings : 





Mr. McKinley Johnson was born on April 27, 1896 in Osgood, North Carolina, a small community near what is now Colon Road in Sanford.  Because Osgood was actually in Chatham County till Lee County was created in 1907, technically McKinley was born a Chatham County resident as well! 

McKinley's Draft Registration Card, dated June 5, 1917, described him as a tall, slender 21-year old man, and showed that he worked at the Delaware Fiber Mill in Wilmington, Delaware.

On July 31, 1918, he joined the U.S. Armed Forces, and eventually also spent time in Ohio.

His military record shows that he initially served in the 152nd Depot Brigade, and then in the 811 Pioneer Infantry until he was honorably discharged on July 31, 1919.

The 1920 Census shows him living in a boarding house in Wilmington, and working in industry "Morroco." (Delaware was a leader at the time in producing morocco leather products.)

It is not clear at what point he returned home to Sanford where his parents lived.

His father, Israel, died in 1923, before McKinley's death in 1932.

His mother, Maggie, who was originally from Chatham County, lived until 1946.

The deed showing the Zion Hill Christian Church's purchase of the land in 1919 has been identified, and more research is underway about others who are buried at Zion Hill Cemetery.

The following  persons are known to be buried at the site: 


McKinley Johnson (soldier ) 

Israel Johnson ( father )  

Maggie Johnson (mother) 

Delia Womack (sister to McKinley Johnson)

Matthew Womack (husband of Delia ) 

also recently added to our list 

(1). Victoriia Mcleod 1869-July 9, 1928

2). Baby Alex Johnson son of Mckinley brother Alex Johnson. born 4-9-1917 died 4-12-1917

(3) Baby Johnson son of Jonah Johnson (Mckinleys brother) born and died Jan 25, 1924

4. Sim Shaw 1861-Jan 4, 1926

5. Rosana Shaw June 1899- July 12, 1917 age 18.

6. Almeida Simmons born May 22, 1931 died Nov.12, 1931

Again if you have any leads on this gravesite , please contact us . You can find us on Facebook too. 

Google snip of grave area and nearest rd Hawkinberry Ln





Fracking and local loss of control

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (1)

This is a good example of how to be involved with your local BOC , City officials etc . Thanks Keely for sharing with us ... 


I just want to say thank you for all the work you’re doing with coal ash for our county, but around the corner is the fracking industry. With the price of natural gas exploration unprofitable at todays’ prices Lee county might still see a permit from an LLC company.

Fracking has been in the national news everyday:

1/21/15 Seismological Society of America that directly links earthquakes in Ohio to fracking - not due to underground injection of wastewater but the hydraulic fracturing itself.


1/20/15 Kansas officials link earthquakes to fracking-related process http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/20/kansas-earthquakes-disposal-fracking-waste-water/


If permits are approved by DENR in two months, I think Lee county should consider what King George County has done in VA with zoning . See article below:


“Jack Green, the county’s director of community development, said the special-exception process was the most feasible choice. However, planners unanimously supported a prohibition of drilling, saying it “poses risks to the county’s rural character and environment that would outweigh any potential benefit.” Those potential risks include polluting water, noise and visual disruption, additional traffic and damage to roads”

“The supervisors instructed Green and his staff to draw up the proposed special-exception permit for oil and gas drilling within 90 days. It will include additional standards, such as: a

1.detailed site layout;

2.a narrative that describes impacts to neighbors;

3.emergency preparedness plan;

4.survey of all groundwater wells in the vicinity of drilling;

5.environmental data after drilling; and

6.consider lights,


8.disposal of waste,

9. hours of operation and

10.transportation of resources.

I am very familiar with the rules being pushed thru by the MEC, and their omission of the writing of rules on split estates, noise, lights, air quality, air compressor stations. Don’t rely on the state to protect our county residents who will be most harmed than any other county, except for maybe Chatham.

Thank you for your consideration.

Keely Wood

Lee County Resident