News from Roanoke Rapids, Weldon and Halifax County

News from Roanoke Rapids, Weldon and Halifax County (7354)

The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue — Edward R Murrow

Thursday, 17 September 2009 08:57

Search for runaway continues

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office continues to search for a runaway girl, Lt. Bobby Martin said this morning. Jessica Kathleen Driver was last seen Monday at approximately 2:25 p.m. running away from the Halifax County Courthouse. Martin said the sheriff’s office has sent out news releases, missing person notices and contacted law enforcement agencies. The sheriff’s office has no information that someone might have picked her up. Jessica is 5-feet, 6-inches to 5-feet, 7-inches tall and weighs between 112 to 115 pounds. She has brown eyes, a slim build and has long, brown hair below the shoulders. She was last seen wearing a purple shirt, blue shorts with “Duke” written on it and white tennis shoes. She has family in the Roanoke Rapids and Halifax area and in the Louisa, Va., area. Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8521 or Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444
On Monday opportunity comes knocking — literally. That’s when public works and the police department begin knocking on doors in the city’s Opportunity Clean Sweep campaign to tell people about violations and give them a chance to remove abandoned vehicles; clean up trash, junk and debris and clear noxious vegetation and other non-vegetation code enforcement issues such as dilapidated fencing and storage buildings. “It’s been very positive,” Public Works Director Richard Parnell said Wednesday while taking The Spin on a tour to show the news website examples of what the city hopes to get people to voluntarily clean up without facing fines. “A lot of people have called in about pickups and how to get on the list. Several people have said, ‘I want to thank you.’” On Monday public works and the police department go door-to-door throughout the city to let people know they have violations, Parnell said. “We’re here to inform them this is a violation and we’re here to assist them.” If they return and find the problems aren’t taken care of then they will face warning tickets or fines, Parnell said. Opportunity Clean Sweep is an idea by City Manager Paul Sabiston and was endorsed by city council at its Sept. 8 meeting. Since then, public works and the police department have been canvassing the city making lists of violations and the two biggest things the departments have seen are dilapidated storage buildings and fencing. The initiative has already been successful, Parnell said, commenting on a landlord in the 200 block of Monroe Street who had their tenants remove six vehicles from the yard. There is plenty more work to do, Parnell said. During the tour there was a hot tub sitting in the yard, one yard with four boats, places with debris scattered in the yard, a refrigerator propped up against the house and wildly growing vegetation encroaching on the city’s back alleys. While Opportunity Clean Sweep officially ends Oct. 18, Parnell said the effort will most likely extend beyond that. “We’ve got our hands full,” he said, stating earlier in the tour, “I know we’re in for a long process.” Sabiston has been pleased with the early efforts in the initiative, he said in an email earlier this week. “The activity by police and public works has been very high since the end of last week. Initially, it seems like the response by the residents that have received a visit from the police department or code enforcement has been very quick to resolve the problem. It will take some time to cover on foot and car the total area that needs to be covered.” Code enforcement can explain details of the program to the public Tuesday through Thursday and can be reached at 252-533-2844. Public works can also address questions on matters such as the grass cutting and can be reached by calling 252-533-2846.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 08:53

Man wanted in fatal crash caught

Jonathan Brown is in jail on a $75,750 bond, charged in the fatal Aug. 29 wreck in which his brother was killed. Sgt. Will Shaw of the Weldon Police Department said Brown, 21, was picked up by the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office late Wednesday afternoon at the courthouse. Officers had been looking for Brown when after his initial arrest he was released on his written promise to appear because of a medical condition sustained in the crash. Nearly two weeks ago more charges were filed against Brown, whose brother, 19-year-old Jeremy Lemuel Harvey of Halifax, was killed. Harvey was buried Sept. 8. Brown was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony assault, fail to obey police and firemen, damage to property, resist, delay and obstruct, failure to carry drivers license, failure to stop at stop sign, speeding 65 mph in a 25 mph zone, unsafe speed, failure to decrease speed to avoid an accident and driving on sidewalk. The death by motor vehicle charge reflects Brown, of Weldon, was allegedly impaired at the time his brother was killed, while the assault charge reflects he was allegedly impaired when a passenger, Willie Ray Pittman, was injured in the crash. Resist, delay and obstruct and failure to obey emergency personnel charges reflect Brown ignored their warnings to sit down and kept trying to pick up and shake his brother. Brown already faces charges of DWI, careless and reckless driving, driving while license revoked and driving left of center. Harvey was ejected from the vehicle following the crash, which occurred around 10:27 p.m. at the intersection of Elm and Sixth streets in town. When officers arrived Brown was holding his brother in his arms and crying, apologizing for what he allegedly did. The crash occurred when Brown, along with Harvey and Pittman, were coming back from the county. Brown was allegedly driving the vehicle approximately 65 mph in a 25 mph zone when the vehicle crossed the center line, struck a utility pole with a transformer on it, splitting the pole, and then knocking down a stop sign. The crash knocked power out for a period of time. The vehicle rolled over once, ejecting Harvey and then landed upright. Witnesses told police the engine compartment began smoking and it became engulfed in flames as officers arrived. Brown and Pittman got out of the car safely but Pittman sustained a broken arm, collar bone and had bones broken in his chest.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 08:51

Transfer station proposal could include recycling

A proposed solid waste transfer station in Roanoke Rapids could come with a recycling package, city Public Works Director Richard Parnell told The Spin today. His comments came after the website asked about the state’s plastic bottle ban and how that could impact the proposed project. The Greensboro News & Record reported on Oct. 1 it will be illegal for plastic bottles to find their way into North Carolina landfills. The paper reported in theory, that ban will help more of the 288 million pounds of soda containers, milk jugs and detergent bottles Tar Heels toss out every year find their way to recycling centers. North Carolinians throw away roughly four of every five bottles. Because of the upcoming ban, Parnell said the city wants to explore the possibility of adding a drop-off recycling center to the transfer station proposal. “Richard will factor that (the ban) into the weight estimates,” City Manager Paul Sabiston said in an email correspondence with The Spin. “He may have to determine its impact after a few months of real experience following the start of that rule.” Parnell said he will be going through and revising numbers originally given city council and administrative staff on the proposed transfer station. “The numbers we gave them were for last year,” he said. “We also need to talk about financing options.” If the transfer station is built, Parnell said it would most likely require one fulltime and one parttime employee. The original proposal was made using existing personnel and equipment. “We’ve got to look at the logistics,” he said. City council has agreed to begin exploring possibilities of a transfer station to bring in more revenue, a measure that could possibly bring in anywhere from $80,000 to $130,000 a year. It could also have the potential to reduce the city’s annual solid waste fee, which is currently $188 a year. Getting to construction of one, however, is probably something which will take three to four months of study and possibly six months before a decision is made. Estimated cost of construction is $750,000 and the city would consider building close to its maintenance yard on Hinson Street. Before any decision is made the city needs to determine preliminary engineering and permitting costs, total engineering costs and estimated construction costs. It also needs to determine projected expenses and revenues as well as consider any legal issues with its operation and explore financing options.
A man wanted for indecent liberties with a child was caught Tuesday hiding in a closet, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. Detective Roy Rooks said in a press release Deputies J. Sealey and T. Clark went to 119 Ward Drive in Roanoke Rapids trying to locate Grady Jefferson Jr . Jefferson, 41, was wanted for indecent liberties with a minor following a recent investigation by Rooks. Sealey and Clark located Jefferson hiding in a closet. He was taken in custody and placed in jail under a $100,000 bond. Jefferson was convicted in 1998 with attempted taking indecent liberties with minor.
Thursday, 10 September 2009 08:47

Sheriff's office looking for runaway

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the run away of a 16-year-old. Detective Doug Pilgreen said Jessica Kathleen Driver was last seen Monday at approximately 2:25 p.m. running away from the Halifax County Courthouse. Jessica is 5-feet, 6-inches to 5-feet, 7-inches tall and weighs between 112 to 115 pounds. She has brown eyes, a slim build and has long, brown hair below the shoulders. She was last seen wearing a purple shirt, blue shorts with “Duke” written on it and white tennis shoes. She has family in the Roanoke Rapids and Halifax area and in the Louisa, Va., area. Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8521 or Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.
The man wanted in an Aug. 29 fatal car crash appears to be “running and hiding” the Weldon Police Department said this morning. “I don’t know if he is fleeing,” Sgt. Will Shaw said, but officers have been looking for Jonathan James Brown, 21, since more charges were lodged against him two weeks ago.
Monday, 09 August 2010 23:12

Investigators: Child died accidentally

A four-year-old girl who died this evening was accidentally shot by another child when the gun discharged while they were playing with the weapon.
The gun, however, found by two family members Monday night, was improperly stored in a closet within easy reach, according to Major Bruce Temple of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.
Monday, 09 August 2010 22:53

Weldon board approves STEP plan

Weldon town board members tonight approved North Carolin Small Town Economic Prosperity plan presented by Halifax County Economic Development Director Cathy Scott.
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