We Are Improving!

We hope that you'll find our new look appealing and the site easier to navigate than before. Please pardon any 404's that you may see, we're trying to tidy those up!  Should you find yourself on a 404 page please use the search feature in the navigation bar.  

Saturday, 01 August 2009 15:09

Grease fire started Gaston blaze

A grease fire destroyed a house on Stone Street in Gaston Friday when a deep fryer flared up, the town’s volunteer fire department said.

The fire left Phillip Amyx and his wife homeless, Ed Porter Sr., deputy fire chief, said this morning.

The Red Cross was notified and Porter said it was his understanding Amyx was making arrangements with family members for a place to stay. The Red Cross was notified.

Porter said the deep fryer apparently flared up and Amyx left the house.

Firefighters from Gaston were assisted by those from Garysburg and Roanoke Rapids. Three firefighters were treated at Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids for heat exhaustion and one sustained a minor injury. All firefighters were OK, Porter said.

Saturday, 01 August 2009 15:08

City's fund balance gets another boost

The city’s fund balance got another boost Friday as KapStone paid its 07-08 taxes, officials confirmed.

The company paid $243,434.25, Finance Director MeLinda Hite said. Of that money, approximately $45,000 will go to the city school system while the remainder will go to the fund balance, she said.

Hite said the money should put the city’s fund balance at more than $2 million.

“This has been one of the council’s main agendas to build up the fund balance,” Mayor D.N. Beale said, “And we are continuing to do that. I spent yesterday talking to people in Raleigh (the Local Government Commission) and they said they are pleased, very much pleased, with the way we’re building the fund balance. Council is going to continue to work hard on that.”

News KapStone paid its 07-08 tax bill comes following an announcement during Tuesday’s city council meeting the fund balance has improved following drastic measures late last fiscal year to keep its savings account from dropping below an 8 percent threshold.

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.

The news does not mean the city can go on a spending spree because the Local Government Commission likes to see the percentage for city’s Roanoke Rapids size at 30 percent or more.

There are also no guarantees the state, to fix its budget woes, won’t take money from cities, officials said Tuesday.

Two things state legislators are eyeing are ABC revenues and eliminating privilege license fees, which would mean a total loss of $150,000 to the city. There have been indications the privilege license fees will go back to the state.

The news also doesn’t mean any positions cut to make up for the shortfall can be refilled.

The city cut a public works sanitation worker, two street worker I positions, property maintenance worker I position and a preventive maintenance specialist. An administrative assistant I position was made a part-time position.

Cuts were also made within the Planning Department. The city laid off a planner, an administrative assistant II, a part-time administrative assistant I and a code enforcement officer.

An administrative assistant was let go within city administration and part-time positions throughout the city were cut to balance the shortfall.

The city also enacted furloughs for all employees to deal with the shortfall.

Saturday, 01 August 2009 15:04

Funeral arrangements set for Dylan Moore

Funeral arrangements have been set for Dylan Moore, according to Wrenn Clarke & Hagan Funeral Service.

Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home on Fifth Street in Roanoke Rapids and funeral services will be held Monday at 3 p.m. at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre. Burial will follow at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Gaston.

The Gaston Volunteer Fire Department was returning to the scene today to determine what caused a fire which destroyed a house on Stone Street Friday.

Deputy Chief Ed Porter Sr. told The Spin this morning no one was at home when fire broke out shortly before 2 p.m.

Three firefighters were taken to Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids where they were treated and later released for heat exhaustion. There was one from Garysburg, Lester Greenwood, and two from Gaston, Jay Barnes and Brian Powers. Several other firefighters were treated at the scene and one firefighter, Michelle Otten, received a minor injury, Porter said.

“It was the turnout gear and the extreme heat,” Porter said. “It wasn’t so much the heat from the fire as it was the humidity and heat.”

Firefighters spent most of the afternoon battling the blaze, finally clearing around 5:30 p.m. More than 20 firefighters from Gaston, Garysburg and Roanoke Rapids fought the fire.

When firefighters arrived flames were coming out the windows. It appears the fire started in the back of the house.

The initial dispatch indicated someone was in the house. The man who lives there with his wife, Phillip Amyx, was not at home. His wife is out of town. Porter said firefighters believe the family did lose two small dogs in the fire.

While no monetary damage estimate was immediately available, Porter said the house was a total loss. The house next to it sustained radiation damage.

Porter said nothing stood out on what might have caused the fire.

Friday, 31 July 2009 15:02

Fire guts house in Gaston

Fire has gutted a house on Stone Street in Gaston. Firefighters were searching the house to determine whether anyone was in there with help from the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department, which brought a thermal imaging camera.

Garysburg Volunteer firefighter Lester Greenwood was overcome by heat and was treated at the scene.

It is not clear what caused the fire.

Friday, 31 July 2009 15:01

Roanoke Rapids police roundup

The Roanoke Rapids Police Department reported the following on Wednesday:

Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:01

Woman charged with drug theft

A Roanoke Rapids woman was charged yesterday for allegedly stealing Xanax from the drug store where she used to work.

Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Jeff Hinton said Lindsey Godsey, 25, a former employee of CVS, was charged with possession of stolen property, embezzlement of a controlled substance by a registrant, felony possession of schedule IV and larceny by employee.

She was released from custody on $10,000 bond.

Hinton said the arrest stems from several months of investigation and the matter remains under investigation.

Thursday, 30 July 2009 14:59

Support for Dylan Moore day gains ground

Anthony Ray Finney has always had a soft spot for children. That’s why when he heard the news Dylan Moore died over the weekend he wanted to do something.

He simply started a group page on Facebook, a social networking Web site, called RoRap Citizens in Favor of a Dylan Moore Day.

Since Finney first announced the group on Monday, its membership has swelled to 656 members as of this morning.

“I knew the support would be there, but it is always amazing to watch people come together for a common goal or purpose,” he said in e-mail correspondence with The Spin. “Especially one like this. People adored Dylan and they admired his strength and his courage. So it wasn't surprising, in a way, to see the numbers on the Facebook page skyrocket off from hour one.”

It was pictures of the young Moore on collection jars around town which inspired Finney, an ex-Marine, who was dealing with the loss of his grandmother. “He was battling for his life, and he was smiling,” he said.  “I realized then that I had quit living and started surviving. I walked with my head down, hoping no one would take notice, and praying I didn't have to speak to anyone. I turned the TV up when it started thundering so I could watch my show. I ate my food, or paid for my gas, and I left without a simple thank you to those who had served me.”

Said Finney: “I vowed to change that as the days went by. Now I face those I see in public with a smile and a hello. I cannot go into the store I stop in regularly without joking with the associates behind the counter, and I just spent a little time the other night on the porch watching the rainstorms passing by. And all because while I was so devastated by the way my life had gone, a little cowboy by the name of Dylan Moore was fighting for his very life with the biggest smile on his face.”

When Finney learned Dylan died over the weekend from a rare blood disease he wanted to do something. “It pains me to see or hear of a child in pain of any kind. Even when my own children are sick it upsets me that I cannot take the sickness on myself so that they can be healthy and run and play.

“But I cannot imagine the pain and heartache the Moores had to endure. To honor Dylan is to forever remind him and his family and friends that his courage wasn't the norm, but it is the example of extraordinary. It is honoring the sacrifice that even his family had to make and the courage they had to have just to make it through this.”

Finney has spoken to the city and was informed the group only has to produce some information about Dylan and his life and his struggle and present it to the mayor, “The Mayor has the power and authority to sign a proclamation granting the City of Roanoke Rapids, and Dylan Moore and his family an annual day of recognition. I would like to think that they would not hesitate to sign this into existence, but I am not aware of how politics and government work completely.”

Mayor Drewery Beale told The Spin this morning he had no problem doing that and would put the matter on council’s August agenda.

Finney is waiting to talk to Dylan’s family before continuing the effort. “I haven't had a chance to meet with them or speak to them directly. I do not want this to be something to remind them of the loss, but I want it to be something that they too can have to remember Dylan by. A way for them to see how Dylan affected those around him. I am also still trying to get some information on Dylan and his life since his diagnosis with Fanconi Anemia”

Finney said he would love to hear the stories from others about how the boy influenced and inspired them. “I would also like to hear stories from those that were with him and his family through these times. This is information I think could really move the hearts of our local government to grant this day.”

For Finney, Dylan’s story is real. “So many times in life we are taught it is always about winning. Being the best you can be, and that is acceptable as long as your best makes you number one,” he said. “Dylan's life wasn't about winning or losing. His is the long lost story of living each day as if it were your last. He lived, he loved, he laughed, and he did so with no thought of what tomorrow may hold because he was never promised a tomorrow.

“And none of us are. But we forget that as adults caught in our daily routine. We forget to look up at those around us and smile; never knowing if our smile could change their whole day for the better. The way Dylan’s pictures, and his story has done for so many. I have yet to see a picture of him not smiling from ear to ear. It’s amazing. I frown when I have to work longer than I planned. He smiled through a disease that was threatening his life.”

Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:57

Four charged in weekend thefts

Four people, including one previously reported in The Spin, were arrested in three thefts over the weekend, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

On July 25, Deputy Chris High and Detective Tyree Davis investigated a report of a breaking and entering and larceny of several firearms in the Coyote Drive area of Enfield. The suspects were found at the location of the incident claiming to have heard it was broken into  before it was ever reported to law enforcement.

Through further investigation by Deputy High and Detective Davis, Eric Lynch, 43, and Charles Carter, both of the Enfield area, were arrested and charged with one count of  second-degree burglary and larceny of a firearm.

Both men were held in the Halifax County Jail on $4,000 secured bonds with Aug. 4 court dates.

Also included in the roundup was a crime which The Spin first reported yesterday where a 31-year-old Roanoke Rapids man was charged Sunday in a breaking, entering and larceny in the Colonial Drive area of Roanoke Rapids.

Deputy Joe Sealey charged James Michael Doughten with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, two counts of possession of stolen goods, larceny of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and injury to real property,

Doughten was jailed on $25,000 bond and has a Sept. 30 court date.

This case was solved because of neighbors looking out for one another, the sheriff’s office said yesterday.

In another report the sheriff’s office said in the early morning hours of July 25,  Deputy G.H. Teal responded to a call on N.C. Highway 481 where the victim reported he was robbed.

Teal determined an undisclosed amount of money was taken from the victim’s pocket by force, damaging the pants pocket.

After further investigation, Deputy Teal obtained warrants and Deputy B. C. Griffin later charged Angela Adkins Mitchell with one count of common law robbery, one count of simple assault and one count of injury to real property. She was held in the Halifax County Jail under a $500 secured bond with a Sept. 9 court date.

“The swift and determined investigation of Deputies Sealey, High, Griffin and Teal led to all the offenders being taken into custody quickly and some of the property being returned to the owners,” Detective Jonathan Merritt said in a press release.