Lance Martin

Lance Martin

Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:55

Two charged in domestic case

Two people were arrested following a domestic dispute yesterday in the Deer Run subdivision in Roanoke Rapids, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Bobby Martin said in a news release deputies Chris High and Emerson Carroll were dispatched to an assault call.

When the deputies arrived they found Travis Johnson, 35, and Samantha James, 25, in the yard. According to the investigation by the deputies, an argument between James and Johnson ended in a physical assault by both parties.

The deputies noticed scratches on the faces of both individuals and a vehicle owned by Johnson had been damaged by the tires being cut.

Martin said James and Johnson both admitted they assaulted and caused injuries to each other.

Carroll arrested Johnson and charged him with assault on a female.

Johnson was placed in the Halifax County Jail under no bond due to state domestic violence laws.

High charged James with assault and injury to personal property. James also was placed in the Halifax County Jail under no bond due to the domestic violence law.

The injuries the two received from each other were minor and medical attention was not needed. 

Court dates were not available at release time.

Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:54

Pistol whipping probe leads to more arrests

More arrests have been made from the investigation of a Sunday pistol whipping, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Detective Rich Somogyi said in a news release during the investigation, detectives determined the firearm used in the assault was stolen from a house in Littleton. 

Investigators linked the firearm to an armed robbery of two citizens in the Littleton community.

An officer from the Littleton Police Department was investigating the larceny of the firearm at the time of the investigation of the assault.

Officer Dwayne Daniels from the Roanoke Rapids Police Department located Kendrell Robinson and turned him over to Cpl. Chris Scott of the sheriff’s office.

Somogyi charged Kendrell Robinson, 21, of Roanoke Rapids, with assault inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, felon in possession of a firearm and felony conspiracy.

Littleton Police Chief Mike Suggs charged Robinson with felony conspiracy, robbery with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of communicating threats and larceny of a firearm.

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.

Meanwhile, further investigation led Lt. Bobby Martin to serve outstanding warrants on Crashawn Montay Vincent for his involvement in the crime spree. 

Somogyi charged Vincent, 23, of Littleton, with first-degree burglary, felony conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious injury.

Suggs charged Vincent with felony conspiracy and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Vincent was secured in the Halifax County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Somogyi said the matter is still under investigation and more charges are pending. “This is a good example of local officers working together to fight crime throughout the Littleton area of Halifax County,” he said in the news release.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:53

Tea time: Locals attending national Tea Party

This is not about healthcare. This is about government intrusion. Not just perceived intrusion by the current White House administration, but the former administration, says local Tea Party organizer Pat Croisetiere.

That’s why Croisetiere has organized a Sept. 12 bus trip to Washington to join what is expected to be as many as a million other people who are fed up with everything from bailouts to cap and trade.

Croisetiere organized the Roanoke Valley Tea Party earlier this year and the attendance astounded her. “I expected 50 people,” she told The Spin yesterday. At its peak there were 400 people there and then when Croisetiere looked at the sign-in sheets there were people who signed in as couples, meaning attendance was more like 450 to 460.

“That was with two weeks planning,” said Bobby Norwood, who also plans to attend the September event.

Because of the success of the local Tea Party, Croisetiere believes it’s time to join others who have had enough of big government. A bus with a 55-person capacity is leaving early that morning and there are still a few spots available, she said.

“There’s no one issue,” Croisetiere said. “It’s big government. It’s the culmination of years of cram it down your throat politicians.”

This is neither a right or left wing movement, Croisetiere said, explaining people who were once cast in either ideology have joined the Tea Party movement.

Norwood knows firsthand what government run healthcare is like. He is a veteran who would have to wait two to four weeks to get a doctor’s appointment for a simple health problem. “In my opinion they’re not doing our will,” he said of the government. “They’re doing their will.”

Cap and trade is another issue to which the group is opposed, Croisetiere said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cap and trade is an environmental policy tool that delivers results with a mandatory cap on emissions while providing sources flexibility in how they comply. Successful cap and trade programs reward innovation, efficiency, and early action and provide strict environmental accountability without inhibiting economic growth, the agency says on its website.

To Croisetiere, it is more government interference which has the possibility of the government telling people what light bulbs to buy, setting emissions ratings for air conditioners and other appliances. “We’ve always had recycling,” she said. “The thing is it is your choice, it was not being forced upon us.”

Under cap and trade, people won’t be able to sell a house “until the government approves it being green enough,” she said.

If people don’t get involved, Croisetiere said, there is the chance they will be paying for government programs for decades to come. When her daughter asked her why she was getting involved she said she told her, “I’m doing it for you and my grandchildren. Who’s going to pay back trillions of dollars? Your grandchildren and my grandchildren.”

Croisetiere said people in the Tea Party movement are not trying to reach Obama or McCain supporters, but the 100 million people who didn’t vote. “We’re trying to let them know what their vote does mean.”

Currently 45 people have signed up for the trip and the bus holds 55. For more information email Croisetiere at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log onto the group’s website at www.roanokevalleypatriots.com. The group can also be found on the social networking website Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Roanoke-Valley-Patriots/117041191732.

Despite being late with the August theater lease payment, the city has taken no position on whether that means the $1 million discount Lafayette Gatling will get for making timely payments at the end of the agreement will be applied.

“The lease is strong,” City Manager Paul Sabiston told The Spin this afternoon. “We don’t waive our rights.”

Sabiston in an email yesterday said the Gatlings and L&M Hospitality RR indicated the entire monthly payment of $250,000 was wired to the city. The payments were broken into three wires, Sabiston said.

Sabiston agreed the city walks a fine line between scaring the Gatlings off by enforcing the terms of the contract and protecting the integrity of the document which allowed the Chicago businessman to buy the theater. “We’re glad to get the money,” he said.

Sabiston noted in the email the Gatlings just returned to Chicago this week after spending the weekend in Roanoke Rapids for the recent concert.

Gatling signed papers in March to buy the theater from the city. Timely payments mean Gatling will get a $1 million discount off the $12 million price of the venue.

The city will still have to pay the remaining amount due on the $21.5 million bond package used to finance the theater’s construction, opening and infrastructure needs.

According to the contract, rent payments are considered delinquent if received after the 10th day of any given month. Tenant shall pay the landlord interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum — or such lesser amount as may be the maximum amount permitted by law — on all overdue payments of rent from the due date thereof until payment. Notwithstanding this foregoing, tenant shall not be considered delinquent until after the expiration of five business days following written notice from the landlord.

Sabiston said in the email, not including the August payment of $250,000, L&M Hospitality has paid more than $678,000 since entering the lease and purchase agreements. “The July and August payments alone are $250,000 per month,” he said. “These lease payments are used by the city to repay the debt for the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.”

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:51

Man drawing back cane doesn't mean assault

An elderly man’s act of raring back his cane at his wife did not constitute assault, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.

His wife’s actions, allegedly hitting him in the head with a cast iron frying pan and leaving him with 50 stitches, outweighed her husband’s actions, Lt. Bobby Martin said.

Because of these factors, 85-year-old James Lewis of Enfield, was not charged.

His wife, Rosie, 71, who was released from jail yesterday, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Martin explained to The Spin just because the man drew back his cane it doesn’t mean assault. Assault means someone was struck. Had the man swung and missed that would mean attempted assault.

It was possible, however, Mrs. Lewis did feel threatened by the act, Martin said. “She went beyond that,” he said. “She took it up another level.”

Martin said in domestic situations, officers look for certain signs, signs of a struggle, signs of injury to both parties. The only evidence was Mr. Lewis was struck, he said.

Had the man swung at her, Martin said, “We would have probably had two people in jail. It was an unfortunate situation, especially dealing with the elderly. The law is the law and we have to go by it.”

The situation stemmed from an argument over breakfast last Friday at the couple’s house in the 5000 block of Justice Branch Road.

Martin said yesterday Lt. Stevie 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.

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.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:49

Middleton resigns as Halifax school head

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

School System. 

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

not ignore.

“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.”

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:48

Arrest made in frying pan assault

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.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:47

Man arrested in pistol whipping

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.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:45

Man caught fleeing break-in scene

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.

Page 989 of 998

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