A 22-year-old Rich Square man was served arrest warrants last week for several breaking and enterings in Halifax County, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Detective Roy Rooks served the warrants to the man, Jesse Pugh, 22, while Pugh was incarcerated in the county jail.
Rooks charged Pugh with three counts of felony breaking and entering, two counts of larceny after breaking and entering, three counts of felony conspiracy, one count of felony larceny and two counts of injury to real property.
An investigation by Rooks, Detective Doug Pilgreen and Detective Jonathan Merritt revealed Pugh was involved in numerous breaking, entering and larcenies throughout the county.
The co-defendant in these cases, King Whitaker, 23, also of Rich Square, has already been arrested. Pugh was given a $50,000 secured bond and has a court date of Aug. 26.
From school system press release on its website
Geraldine Middleton, superintendent of Halifax County Schools, submitted her resignation to the Board of Education at Monday night’s meeting.
Middleton became superintendent in July 2007. She was immediately faced with a financial crisis from the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years. This year, she has faced a state takeover due to low standardized test scores for the past five years.
“It is both with resolve and anticipation that I submit my resignation effective September 18, 2009,” Middleton said. “I have accepted an opportunity to further my current career goals and
achieve growth within a new adventure.”
Middleton said she has accepted a position as Chief Area Officer with the Chicago Public
Chicago Public Schools is the third largest school district in the United States with 408,000
students in 666 schools. Middleton said Chief Area Officer is the equivalent of being
superintendent to 30 to 40 schools within that huge district.
In a prepared statement, Middleton told the board and audience, “Two years ago, with a
vision, a dream, and mountains of faith, I accepted the job as superintendent of Halifax County
Schools. In this capacity, I served the children and the community tirelessly. I was vigilant in my
attempts to raise test scores, create positive learning environments, implement new programs and
create the financial stability of the district.
“Many times I was faced with difficult decisions and had to perform what seemed, the
impossible,” she continued. “Difficult decisions are not always popular; however, if they are
made in the best interest of children, they become challenges you cannot, should not and must
“I will remain committed to cost effectiveness, innovative programs geared to 21st century
learning, research-based professional growth and development – all the while dedicated to
helping children overcome obstacles and reaching higher levels of achievement. In order to
grow, we will always have to ‘navigate the winds of change.’
“To the children who attend Halifax County Schools,” said Middleton, “I continue to wish
that you will grow educationally and always strive to be excellent in all your endeavors. You are
the future leaders. As you ‘navigate the winds of change,’ keep in mind that if you are prepared
intellectually, there is no limit on what you can be.
“To the parents of the children who attend Halifax County Schools,” she continued, “I
challenge you to ensure that your children receive a quality education daily. By attending parent-
teacher conferences, PTA meetings, volunteering and by being an active participant in the
educational process, you can help to facilitate a new vision and a bright future for your child.
“Underscored in this challenge is that you not just become active in times of crisis incited by
politicians,” Middleton continued, “but instead demonstrate responsible actions throughout your
child’s school years.
“To the teachers,” Middleton said, “I implore you to take advantage of the challenge to
educate all children and to fully embrace change because it is incapable of being avoided.
Always bring new vitality to the classroom and fresh approaches to teaching. Our children must
never be the losers in an educational decision, especially if those decisions benefit someone’s
political career and personal ambition.
“To the community,” she continued, “I encourage you to embrace the necessary changes
related to declining enrollment, budget cuts, and low student achievement as an opportunity to
use wisdom versus status quo, excellence versus mediocrity, strength and fortification versus
what is politically expedient for someone else and reason versus inappropriate tactics.
‘It has been my genuine pleasure to work for Halifax County Schools,” Middleton concluded.
“I have enjoyed working with the fine staff of professional colleagues and will miss my
association with them. I will keep Halifax County Schools in my prayers.”
An arrest was made following a Friday assault which apparently started over the victim not liking what his wife cooked for him.
Lt. Bobby Martin of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Lt. Stevie Salmon responded to an assault call in the 5000 block of Justice Branch Road in Enfield.
EMS was already on scene treating the victim, James Lewis, 85, for head injuries. The man’s wife, Rosie, 71, was standing outside with EMS as they were treating the victim.
Martin said Salmon learned there was an argument earlier in the morning, which is believed to have started over breakfast, when the victim did not like what was cooked for him.
Mrs. Lewis cooked the victim another meal. While this was going on another argument took place and escalated when Mr. Lewis picked up his cane and drew back in an attempt to strike Mrs. Lewis.
Mrs. Lewis picked up an iron frying pan and hit her husband on the head several times, knocking him to the floor and causing a head injury.
The victim was carried to Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids where he received 50 stitches.
The last check of the victim was that he was doing well. Mrs. Lewis was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and was placed in the Halifax County Jail under no bond under state domestic violence laws. Her court date is Aug. 26.
A Littleton area man was arrested yesterday in a Sunday pistol whipping, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning.
Lt. Bobby Martin said in a news release Roanoke Rapids Police notified the sheriff’s office they located Kendrell Robinson, 21.
Robinson was wanted in an assault on Justice Branch Road in Littleton where he allegedly struck the victim several times with a handgun causing severe damage to the victim’s head and face.
Detective Rich Somogyi investigated the case and was able to secure warrants on Robinson, who was jailed on $100,000 bond.
Robinson was charged with two counts of felony conspiracy, assault inflicting serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, two counts of communicating threats, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and larceny of a firearm.
The victim is recovering well, Martin said.
A Roanoke Rapids man was arrested last night as he was fleeing from a house he allegedly broke into, Police Chief Jeff Hinton said this morning.
Around 8:30 last night, police received a tip someone broke into a house at Third and Washington Street.
Hinton said police were able to catch Kevin Shorter Jr., 24, as he was running from the house.
Shorter was charged with felonious breaking and entering, felony larceny and possession of stolen goods. Bond was $7,000.
The Roanoke Avenue Business Alliance is busy as it waits to hear word on the city’s possible acceptance into the Main Street program, the organization’s president, Kim Simpson, told The Spin last night.
Last night was the alliance’s first roast where local businessman Phil Hux was on the hot seat. The roast, held at Timeless Tea, was packed and the next one will be at david’s Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
On Monday, one of the most crucial steps in the city’s possible inclusion in the Main Street program will be held as officials from the program come to Roanoke Rapids to visit the city, conduct interviews and go on a tour of the city, Simpson said.
It is part of the site selection process and will help determine what era best fits the Avenue, whether the accoutrements should from the 1920s or 1930s or some other decade, Simpson explained. “It’s very crucial because the report will be turned into the governor so she can make a decision,” Simpson said.
A decision on whether the city will be accepted into the Main Street program is expected by the middle of October.
Inclusion in the North Carolina Main Street Program could help improve the business district through local and business participation, volunteer efforts, grant and state funding.
Meanwhile, the alliance will hold its regular monthly meeting Saturday at the Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall on Jackson Street at 9 a.m. The meetings provide an overview on alliance activities and the public is invited to attend.
Paul Sabiston is here. Pete Connet is leaving.
Sabiston, the new Roanoke Rapids city manager started today, meeting employees, getting briefed by Connet, the interim city manager who will leave Thursday.
“Pete is updating me on various projects and issues,” Sabiston said today at city hall. “I’ve talked to the mayor. I’ve met with all the department heads.”
The new city manager also plans to meet with city council members before the panel’s next meeting, he said.
There are also routine matters he must take care of, learning city policies and procedures, development standards and codes. “We’re still going through things to determine the different projects and day-to-day operations,” the former town administrator of Shallotte said.
Connet said he has been answering questions and briefing Sabiston on issues such as the Brandy Creek community. Several matters like an odor in the community have been taken care of, he said.
Sabiston comes to the city as its fund balance improves, an improvement coming from actions taken by city council earlier in the year to keep it from falling below the 8 percent threshold required by the N.C. League of Municipalities. “It shows the staff and city council did the right thing,” he said. “We’ve got a good budget.”
Measures taken by council when the city learned in February it faced a $664,000 shortfall mean when it closed the books at the end of June, its fund balance increased 8.9 percent for a total of 17.2 percent. That represents a $1.9 million unreserved fund balance. Fund revenues for the year are expected to increase by more than $900,000.
Sabiston is also hopeful the budget situation will improve even more and expects the city’s audit, which is completed, to be a good one.
He said it is important to remember the good news about the fund balance doesn’t mean the city is in a position to do extra spending. “Hopefully it will get better. I think the finances are heading in the right direction.”
One of the first things Sabiston must do as new city manager is select a new planning director. “We’ve got some applications on file.”
Sabiston wants someone who will be able to run the entire department. “We’re still too small to have someone to sit in a cubby hole,” he said.
The welcome he has received thus far has been warm, he said. “I’ve got a lot of phone calls from people I don’t know telling me they’re glad I’m here. The family has enjoyed it.”
For Connet, it may be time to relax, although the league has already contacted him about another interim job, he said.
He leaves Roanoke Rapids feeling positive about the city. “Roanoke Rapids has a lot to offer,” he said. “There are still some bumps in the road.”
He believes, however, the Carolina Crossroads project will take off. “There’s a lot of positive things happening in the city. The national and state economy has hit all cities and counties across North Carolina.”
Witnesses made at least two attempts to get an Enfield woman off the tracks before she was hit and killed by a southbound Amtrak train engine Saturday morning, police tell The Spin.
Enfield Police Detective Randy White said Sherry Huntonn, 40, was standing up when the passenger train struck her.
Huntonn was allegedly drinking with other people when the people she was with heard the train coming and warned her to get up.
Friends assisted her but Huntonn sat back down on the tracks as the train continued to approach. As she got up to get out of the way she was struck and killed instantly, White said today.
Alcohol was found at the scene and an autopsy was being performed to determine her blood alcohol content, White said.
Huntonn, who is originally from New Hampshire, moved from place to place in Enfield, White said.
Family was expected to come to Enfield to claim the body.
The Spin first reported Saturday the collision occurred around 1 a.m. when the woman was sitting on the southbound tracks.
The engine pulling the Amtrak cars to Rocky Mount was probably going between 50 to 65 mph when the woman was struck, White told The Spin Saturday.
The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office reports a drug bust Friday morning in the Lincoln Heights community.
Lt. George Evans said in press release around 2:24 a.m. Deputy. W.C. Murphy spotted a vehicle traveling over the posted speed limit on Branch Avenue in Roanoke Rapids.
He stopped it at Key Street. Antoine Boyd exited the vehicle and ran on foot. Murphy saw Boyd drop a dollar bill on the ground.
After a short foot chase Murphy took him in custody. Inside the dollar was a small amount of powder cocaine.
Boyd was charged with resisting a public officer and possession of cocaine. He received a $1,000 bond and has a Sept. 14 court date.
The Roanoke Rapids Police Department reported the following:
• On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the downtown Food Lion, a 50-year-old woman was accosted in the parking lot and robbed, Chief Jeff Hinton said.
A man armed with a knife and a second person with him took the victim’s purse and fled on foot.
While searching the area, a witness told police the two fled to 134 Hamilton St. Police arrested Phillip Bernard Brown, 35, of 134 Hamilton St., for robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of stolen property. He was jailed on $25,000 bond and has a Sept. 30 court date.
Also arrested was Ian Barkley Coles, 17, of 134 Hamilton St. He was charged with aid and abet robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of stolen property. He was jailed on $10,000 bond.
• Also on Saturday police received a 3 a.m. call to the 500 block of Hamilton Street. Someone went in while the people were sleeping and left a pair of sneakers and cap in the inside. Nothing was taken. The case remains under investigation.
A second person has been charged in a November, 2007, larceny on Piney Grove Church Road in Littleton, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.
A riding lawnmower and a four-wheeler were stolen from the property.
Detective Tyree Davis said in a press release the first arrest in the case was made in July when Solomon “Wilson” Thomas Johnston was charged.
Today, James “Lou” Edward Hall Jr., 22, of Roanoke Rapids, was charged.
Davis charged Hall with one count of felony larceny of a motor vehicle and one count of misdemeanor larceny. He was given a $5,000 bond and his court date is set for Sept. 23. The riding lawnmower was recovered.
A Scotland Neck area woman was charged this morning in a domestic assault.
Detective Rich Somogyi of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Deputy Buford White responded to an assault in the Scotland Neck area of Halifax County.
When Deputy White arrived he found the residents fighting in the house. The victim was bleeding from the head and the arm.
Wilma Crandall was holding an axe handle. Halifax County EMS transported the victim to Our Community Hospital in Scotland Neck where he was treated for his wounds.
Deputy White took Crandall into custody and she was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury. Crandall was placed into the Halifax County Jail under no bond with a court date of Sept. 9.
A 40-year-old Enfield woman was hit and killed by an Amtrak train engine, Enfield police tell The Spin this morning.
The collision occurred around 1 a.m. today, Chief Jack Smith said.
Detective Randy White said Sherry Huntonn was sitting on the edge of the southbound tracks when the engine approached. Why she was sitting on the tracks remains unclear but White said it does appear she tried get out of the way before she was struck and killed instantly.
White said alcohol use may be a factor. The engine pulling the Amtrak cars was probably going between 50 to 65 mph when the woman was struck, White said.
Huntonn is originally from New Hampshire but was living in the area. She had no family living in Enfield.
White said the case remains under investigation.