Images Roanoke Valley, NC: 2010
Roanoke Rapids, Halifax, Enfield, Hobgood, Hollister, Littleton, Weldon and Scotland Neck are in the northeastern section of the state, close to the Virginia border. This is a fisherman's paradise, with incredible opportunities for reeling in a catch. Those who enjoy live entertainment, will enjoy Carolina Crossroads – state-of-the-art theater and outdoor concert venue. Historic Halifax, which was the site of the Fourth Provincial Congress - adoption of the Halifax Resolves, has an interesting array of historic buildings, but the county's biggest claim to fame is Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, which has the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered waterfowl.
2010 | imagesroanokevalley.com ® What’s Online Take a video tour of Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park. Roanoke Valley, north carolina hungry FOR MORE Peanut industry grows wild ahead of the class High schoolers earn college credits Go Fish Here’s the line on great waterways sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce Roanoke Rapids And you were expecting just a hotel room? • Complimentary On The House™ breakfast • Complimentary high-speed Internet • Hilton HHonors® loyalty program • Spacious lobby area with fireplace and cozy seating • 32” high-definition LCD flat-screen TV, microwave, hair dryer, refrigerator, coffee maker, two phones and iron with board in every room • Large work desk with data port, phone and voice mail • All rooms and suites have two queen or king beds • Business center • Fitness center on-site • Outdoor pool • Free local calls and no surcharge for using a calling card • Meeting rooms • Suite Shop for 24-hour snacks and refreshments I-95 at Exit 173 • 85 Hampton Blvd. Roanoke Rapids, NC Managed by First Carolina Management Inc. (252) 537-7555 www.roanokerapids.hamptoninn.com Stop Dreaming … Start Living. Nestled in front of a fireplace, family stories of days past and days to come, your home becomes the setting for dreams that will be treasured for a lifetime. With one of the broadest ranges of listings in the Roanoke Valley and the expertise of a Heaton Real Estate agent by your side, we can help you make your dream a reality. Stop dreaming and start living. Call us today. HeatonRealEstate Our Dedication and Expertise Will Move You. 307 Long Circle Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 (252) 537-9873 firstname.lastname@example.org www.heatonrealestate.com Residential • Commercial • Resort • Land imagesroanokevalley.com ® The definitive relocation resource What’s Online Roanoke Valley, North Carolina Project Manager Courtney Seiter Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinators Jennifer Graves, Erica Hines Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Copy Editors Lisa Battles, Joyce Caruthers, Jill Wyatt Contributing writers Carol CowAn, Laura Hill, Melanie Hill, Jessica Mozo, Kathryn Royster, Betsy Williams Media Technology Director Christina Carden Senior Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Jessica Manner, Janine Maryland, Kris Sexton, Candice Sweet, Vikki Williams Media Technology Analysts Chandra Bradshaw, Yamel Hall, Alison Hunter, Marcus Snyder Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier Web Content Managers John Hood, Kim Madlom Web Design Director Franco Scaramuzza Web Designer Leigh Guarin Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Marcia MillAr, Patricia Moisan I.T. Director Yancey Bond I.T. Service Technician Ryan Sweeney picture perfect We’ve added even more of our prize-winning photography to the online gallery. To see these photos, click on Photo Gallery. Regional Sales Manager Charles Sweeney Sales Support/Community, Business, Custom Rachael Goldsberry Senior Accountant Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator Diana Guzman Office Manager/Accounts Receivable Coordinator Shelly Miller executive Integrated Media Manager Suzi McGruder Sales Support Manager Cindy Hall relocation Considering a move to this community? We can help. Use our Relocation Tools to discover tips, including how to make your move green, advice about moving pets and help with booking movers. Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter, Carla Thurman Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner V.P./Content Development Teree Caruthers V.P./Custom Publishing Kim Newsom V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P. Sales Charles Fitzgibbon, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Videos Controller Chris Dudley Content Director/Travel Publications Susan Chappell In our Interactive section, watch quick videos by our editors and photographers featuring people, places and events. Content Director/Business Publications Bill McMeekin Marketing Creative Director Keith Harris Distribution Director Gary Smith Recruiting/Training Director Suzy Simpson Executive Secretary Kristy Duncan Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop facts & stats Go online to learn even more about: • Schools • Health care Local Flavor • Utilities From the simple to the sublime, the delicious offerings here are guaranteed to satisfy every appetite. • Parks • Taxes About this magazine Images gives readers a taste of what makes Roanoke Valley tick – from business and education to sports, health care and the arts. “Find the good – and praise it.” – Alex Haley (1921-1992), Journal Communications co-founder Images Roanoke Valley is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more information, contact: Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce 260 Premier Blvd. • Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 Phone: (252) 537-3513 • Fax: (252) 535-5767 www.rvchamber.com Visit images Roanoke Valley online at imagesroanokevalley.com ©Copyright 2010 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Magazine Publishers of America Member Custom Publishing Council Member Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce 2 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m 2010 edition | volume 7 ® Roanoke Valley, North Carolina co nte nt s F e at u r e s Roanoke Valley BUSINESS 8 wildlife on display 26 Run of the Mill Waterfowl park is the largest in the world. This century-old company’s success is anything but ordinary. 12 A Question of Honor 30 Biz Briefs The Dallas Jones Veterans Museum gives voice to history. 32 Chamber Report 16 go Fish Roanoke Valley’s lakes and rivers offer “see it to believe it” fishing. 20 hungry for more Peanut distributors are proud to call the valley home. 38 ahead of the class Roanoke Valley Early College sets the bar for middle colleges. 33 Economic Profile d e pa r tm e nt s 6 Almanac: a colorful sampling of Roanoke Valley’s culture 34 Image Gallery 43 Health & Wellness 45 Sports & Recreation 47 Community Profile: facts, stats and important numbers to know 40 Working in Broad Strokes Arts Council provides creative opportunities for all ages. on the cover Photo by Todd Bennett A fisherman tries his luck on the Roanoke River All or part of this magazine is printed on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste. Please recycle this magazine R oa n o k e Va l l e y 3 For Cotton Pickin’ Sake The sleepy little town of Hobgood, population 375, becomes quite lively on the second Saturday in October. That’s when it celebrates the Hobgood Cotton Festival. The community recognizes the area’s largest cash crop with a day of activities, including morning visits to the town museum and an arts-and-crafts fair, then lunch at the fire department. The afternoon features cotton trailer rides along with live bands playing gospel, bluegrass, country and rock. There is also a horseshoe tournament, as well as bingo playing. The 2010 Hobgood Cotton Festival will take place Oct. 9. Fast Facts n Paper is the major manufactured product in the Valley, along with molded plastics, wood products and fabricated metal. n Roanoke Rapids Lake Park is a 17-acre recreation destination at the western terminus of the Roanoke Canal Trail. n Often called North Carolina’s “cradle of history,” Historic Halifax is the birthplace of the Halifax Resolves, a precursor to the Declaration of Independence. Their World’s a Stage Breaking a leg is a good thing at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre, as well as at Lakeland Theatre Company in Littleton. The Roanoke Rapids Theatre is one of North Carolina’s newest entertainment venues. Lakeland has been showcasing plays and concerts for several decades and has undergone renovations. Each site also offers occasional acting classes and theatrical workshops. Lakeland Theatre has 326 seats and even features an 11-piece orchestra pit. That pit was first used in 2005 for the Broadway musical 1776. Plays staged over the years at Lakeland include Charlotte’s Web and Showboat. n Weldon is known as the Rockfish Capital of the World because of the large population of fish that make their spawning run from saltwater to the Roanoke River. n Halifax County offers unlimited access to world markets via interstate highway, rail, air and major seaports. 6 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Almanac Everyone’s Milling Around Shoppers looking for unusual items can rejoice. A shopping destination called Riverside Mill is located inside a historic cotton mill on the banks of the Roanoke River. Inside, the mill has space for 100 antique dealers who sell estate jewelry, silver, furniture and collectibles. Also on site is an art gallery with pottery, glass, metal, wood and paintings, with a strong emphasis on North Carolina artists. In addition, seasonal produce and regional foods are for sale, including peanuts, hams, jams, jellies and wine. Riverside Mill is in Weldon, off Interstate 95 at exit 173. Fasten Your Seat Belts Vrrrooom: The North Carolina Center for Automotive Research opened in January 2010. The NCCAR is a 630-acre campus in Northampton County devoted to product research, testing and development of the automotive industry. All facilities can be leased by engineering and academic clients on a daily, weekly or longer-term basis. Also available is a 3.7-mile ride-and-handling course designed to be world standard. The center is located off I-95 near Garysburg. Roanoke Valley At A Glance Population (2008 Estimate) Halifax County: 54,983, Northampton County: 20,487, Roanoke Rapids: 16,403, Enfield: 2,348, Scotland Neck: 2,170, Weldon: 1,669, Littleton: 646, Hobgood: 378, Halifax: 328 VIRGINIA 301 Lake Gaston Gaston Roanoke Canal Museum Roanoke Rapids 158 1404 Location The Roanoke Valley is in northeastern North Carolina, eight miles south of the Virginia border and 150 miles west of the Atlantic Coast. For More Information Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce 260 Premier Blvd., P.O. Box 519 Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 Phone: (252) 537-3513, Fax: (252) 535-5767 www.rvchamber.com Weldon 903 48 Halifax 561 1501 Historic N O R T H A M P TO N Halifax CO U N T Y 305 258 301 561 561 Medoc Mountain State Park Hollister H A L I FAX CO U N T Y 1214 43 48 158 1216 1206 1002 481 1001 35 158 125 95 Halifax County Airport 4 186 305 Littleton Beginnings The Roanoke Valley encompasses Halifax County – formed in 1758 and named for the Earl of Halifax – and portions of Northampton County – formed in 1743 and also named for an English earl. Roanoke Valley 1008 308 Tillery 481 Enfield 125 258 Sylvan Heights Scotland Neck 903 125 Hobgood 97 122 What’s Online Take a virtual tour of Roanoke Valley, courtesy of our award-winning photographers, at imagesroanokevalley.com. R oa n o k e Va l l e y 7 An Avian Paradise Waterfowl park is the largest in the world What’s Online Take a tour and see what Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park has to offer at imagesroanokevalley.com. Story By Kevin Litwin | Photography By Todd Bennett I s that a kookaburra? And is that a pygmy goose standing next to a pink-eared duck? More than 2,500 endangered birds from around the world live at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck. The 18-acre avian breeding preserve was established as a sanctuary in 1989, and officials decided to open it to the public in 2006. About 25,000 visitors a year tour the park, which has become the largest breeding waterfowl complex in the world. It is also an impressive tourist attraction for the town of Scotland Neck. The Sylvan Heights refuge was originally founded by Mike Lubbock, who was already a successful and renowned ornithologist in England when he moved to the United States in the late 1980s. Along with his wife, Ali, their mission was to save birds from around the world whose numbers were dwindling due to habitat destruction linked to construction developments. “Also, natural disasters like the tsunamis in recent years have also caused serious habitat destruction, so we recently took in 60 whitewinged wood ducks that are native to Asia,” says Brent Lubbock, Sylvan Heights marketing director and the son of Mike and Ali. “We also saved 70 Lesser Flamingos from Africa in 2008, and a baby Lesser Flamingo chick hatched at our preserve in 2009. The Lessers are one of the smallest and rarest breeds of flamingo, so we can accommodate quite a few of them at our park. We also have five Chilean flamingos on site.” In 2009, Sylvan Heights added an attraction called Bird’s Nest, an accessible treehouse where visitors can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the water Right: A pair of mandarins at the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck. The park features more than a thousand birds from six continents on display to the general public. 8 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m R oa n o k e Va l l e y 9 10 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m park’s wetlands. Besides birds, the onlookers might also see various kinds of insects, reptiles, amphibians, beavers and deer. “It offers such a scenic venue that two weeks after it opened in September 2009, a couple booked the Tree House for their wedding,” Lubbock says. “I should mention that another new and popular exhibit at Sylvan Heights that also opened in 2009 inside an aviary building is called the Trumpeters. They are small, black birds with purple chests named for their ‘whoomp, whoomp’ sound.” Lubbock says the waterfowl park offers several educational programs for students on subjects such as ornithology, wetlands and ecology, as well as specific biological work going on at the park. When it first opened for visitors in 2006, a total of 850 students visited Sylvan Heights compared to the 6,000 students who passed through its gates in 2009. “We charge admission because we go through 1.5 tons of feed every month – we aren’t subsidized by anyone,” Lubbock says. “Admission is $5 for students and children, and $7 for adults. We also offer memberships and have 700 members to date.” Sylvan Heights is open TuesdaySunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. “We are focused primarily on waterfowl but also have birds such as parrots, eagles and macaws,” Lubbock says. “We have aviaries filled with birds on the grounds, as well as throughout our 18-acre wilderness. This is an interesting place for nature enthusiasts and curiosity seekers.” Left: A group takes in the view from the Bird’s Nest Treehouse exhibit at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck. Far left: A scarlet ibis at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park R oa n o k e Va l l e y 11 12 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m A Question of Honor The Dallas Jones Veterans Museum gives voice to history Story By Kathryn Royster Photography By Todd Bennett D allas Jones has served with distinction at Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal. But, by his account, his story is just one of many that deserve to be heard. “Being a Pearl Harbor survivor, I’ve never had a shortage of people wanting to talk to me, but my concern is for every veteran to have a chance to tell his story,” he says. Now, that dream has become a reality. Opened in 2008, the Dallas Jones Veterans Museum at Becker Village Mall uses photos and artifacts to tell the stories of veterans from Civil War times to the present day. “Mr. Jones has been wanting to open a veterans center for many years,” says Ellen Heaton of Heaton Real Estate, which owns the Becker Village Mall and donated the museum space. “He’s a very quiet but determined man, and he worked so hard to make this dream come true to honor veterans.” The museum’s first exhibit was a photo wall that initially housed fewer than 50 portraits of veterans; now, about 1,000 images fill the space. “After a couple of weeks, it just exploded. People would see newspaper articles, hear a radio spot or go in to visit, and they were so touched, they wanted to contribute,” Heaton says. Thanks to those contributions, the museum has built a collection of artifacts from every branch of the military. The local American Legion donated a complete set of service flags, and members of the community have brought in uniforms, spy equipment and other memorabilia. “We’ve even got a wooden leg from Memorabilia on display at Dallas Jones Veterans Museum at Becker Village Mall in Roanoke Rapids R oa n o k e Va l l e y 13 the Civil War,” Jones says. Heaton estimates that 50 to 60 people, including numerous school groups, visit the museum each week. The museum’s library and its special exhibits on Purple Heart recipients, Navajo Code Talkers and the Tuskegee Airmen are among the most popular attractions. The museum has also become a gathering place for local veterans, and a videographer for the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project comes once a month to interview them. “This is first-person history, different from what you’ll see in New York or even at the Quantico Marine base,” Jones says. “Those museums have a lot of information about how the big shots ran the wars, but this is our own thing. We have details about what each person did.” In keeping with that focus, the museum hosts special events designed to honor rank-and-file soldiers and their sacrifices. Monthly flag ceremonies highlight individual veterans from the photo wall, and events on Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day have drawn hundreds of participants. The museum also partners with Wreaths Across America, a national program that provides wreaths for veterans’ graves. “All this tells visitors that there were many people from this area that served their country proudly. It reminds visitors that these people should be honored,” Heaton says. And that’s just the impact Jones wants the museum to have. “I like that we’re honoring veterans of all wars and that the local veterans who weren’t honored before are now being honored,” he says. “Everyone who comes in here says it’s a wonderful thing, and that’s really heartwarming to me.” Below: Dallas Jones Veterans Museum in Roanoke Rapids honors people from Halifax County or those who have ties to the community. Right: Eugene Bryant, left, and Dallas Jones in the museum that bears Jones’ name 14 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m R oa n o k e Va l l e y 15 A Fish Story 16 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Roanoke Valley’s lakes and rivers offer ‘see it to believe it’ fishing Story By Betsy Williams F or world-class fishing, it just doesn’t get any better than the waters found in the Roanoke Valley. Whether they swim in the shoals of the Roanoke River or the lakes of Roanoke Rapids, Gaston or Kerr, the fish are large, plentiful and lively, adding up to a fisherman’s dream. Thousands of fish make spawn runs in the river, starting with the hickory shad in March. “These hickory shad come all the way up to the dam to spawn,” says Bobby Phillips, owner of Carolina Sportsman Guide Services, which provides guided fishing tours. “You can catch 50 to 60 an hour. It doesn’t take a lot of experience, but this acrobatic fish is fun to catch.” The striped bass, also known as rockfish, follow the hickory shad, and they create quite the fish story. It isn’t unusual for striped bass to run in schools more than six miles long, with several specimen weighing between 20 and 30 pounds, Phillips says. “If you’ve ever been on a boat on the Roanoke River and caught 250 fish that weigh at least 10 pounds, it will spoil a man,” he says. “Trust me.” For his time, he goes after the walleye. “I enjoy catching Chad Thomas, coastal fisheries research coordinator for the NCWRC, hauls in quite a catch. R oa n o k e Va l l e y 17 “We have everything – white and yellow perch, bream, striped bass – just about any freshwater fish you can think of.” fish that require a lot of skill level,” Phillips says. “The walleye are plentiful here but very hard to catch. Catfish are also very plentiful, and they’re easy to catch. We have everything – white and yellow perch, bream, striped bass – just about any freshwater fish you can think of.” “I tease my family and friends and tell them to send my mail to Weldon during rockfish season,” says Rick Goines, author of the “Tight Lines” fishing column. “Honestly, I do spend a lot of time in Weldon during April and May.” In addition to Roanoke River, Lake Gaston’s 20,000 acres and 350 miles of shoreline offer pristine waters, with Roanoke Rapids Lake offering an additional 4,600 acres of surface water. Bobby Colston, owner of Colston’s Tackle Box, has earned his reputation as a fishing and hunting authority in the region. After almost 32 years in business, he knows when the fish are biting and when they aren’t. “I’m closed on Tuesdays, and I usually go fishing,” he says. “But I also talk to a lot of fishermen. I know the questions to ask, and I find out information my customers will appreciate.” Colston, a bricklayer by trade until a scaffolding accident three decades ago, now uses his considerable mechanical skills to repair hunting and fishing equipment, offering plenty of fishing advice. He says it’s never an off-season when it comes to enjoying the area’s multitude of recreational offerings. “I’m busy year-round,” he says. “Hunting season runs from September until the end of February, then the shad run up the river in March, then the rockfish come. By the time they leave, the lake fishing picks up, bow hunters start practicing in August, and then it starts all over again.” Above: Anglers casting their lines in local waterways come away with plenty of fish – and fish tales. 18 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Recreation Mecca The Roanoke Valley offers ‘active Recreation’ throughout the year L ocated adjacent to Interstate 95 and equidistant from Raleigh and Richmond, Va., the Roanoke Valley is in a prime spot to attract visitors. The many attractions and plentiful hotel rooms help the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau put this area on the map as a great location for active recreation. “Sports tourism is a growing sector of the visitor market,” says Lori Medlin, president/CEO of the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have tremendous natural resources and an amazing community that knows how to roll out the red carpet and come through with volunteers. Sports enthusiasts that know our reputation flock to our events!” The Visitors Bureau sponsors events for both residents and visitors to be physically active. Whether you are more interested in a leisurely hike or a smooth water canoe trip, or if you prefer more challenging activities like 5k races, marathons, sprint triathlons or one-mile swims, Halifax County is the place for you. Active recreation events are spread throughout each season of the year, and when there are no events scheduled, active recreation opportunities can be found at many of our attractions – hiking on the Roanoke Canal Trail or at Medoc Mountain State Park, paddling a canoe or kayak on the Roanoke River or Little Fishing Creek, swimming in Roanoke Rapids Lake or Lake Gaston, playing Frisbee golf at Roanoke Rapids Lake Park, wakeboarding or wakesurfing at Lake Gaston and so much more. To celebrate Halifax County’s many active recreation events, the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau presents the Heart Healthy Halifax program. Anyone who participates in three of the active recreation events during 2010 in Halifax County (participation must be verifiable by event coordinators) will receive a Heart Healthy Halifax T-shirt. Active events begin in March with the Roanoke Canal HalfMarathon & 8k, followed by the Tri Roanoke Valley Sprint Triathlon. In May, things keep rolling with the Country Roads Bike Tour. And by August, events cool off with The Crossing at Lake Gaston. October brings the Halifax Harvest Days 5k, the Roanoke River Ramble and the Medoc Mountain Trail Races. For more information on these events and the area, visit www.visithalifax.com. Marathons, triathlons and 5k races draw weekend warriors to Halifax County throughout the year. R oa n o k e Va l l e y 19 Nutty Ideas Peanut distributors are proud to call the valley home Whatâ€™s Onlineâ€Š Find out more about Roanoke Valley online at imagesroanokevalley.com. 20 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Story By Melanie Hill I n historic Enfield, A&B Milling Co. has been shelling out their popular Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts for more than 50 years. Once the world’s largest raw peanut market, Enfield also is host to an annual peanut festival. Each October, families gather for good food, arts and crafts, entertainment, music, street dancing and, above all, peanuts. Manager Bob Allsbrook says each batch of Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts is identically roasted to ensure consistency in taste, using only the highest grade of Virginia-style peanuts. Country-style gourmet peanuts are hands-down customer favorites, Allsbrook says. The jumbo peanuts are water-blanched, roasted in corn oil and lightly salted. Other Web and mailorder items include raw shelled, chocolate-covered, honey-roasted and roasted redskin peanuts, as well as cashews and other chocolate products. The Roanoke Valley is a leader in the nation’s peanut industry, boosting the local economy and making the salty, crunchy snack much more than a memorable ballpark favorite. “We know taste is subjective, R oa n o k e Va l l e y 21 22 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m but you do have a lot of people who say the sandy-type soil in the North Carolina/Virginia area gives peanuts a better flavor,” says Lindsey Vincent, owner of The Good Earth Peanut Co. in Skippers, Va. “The type of seed used here also makes for larger kernels and shells than others.” Location and the knowledge of local farmers play a huge part in the success of Severn Peanut Co. “We feel that we get a high-quality peanut in North Carolina,” says R.P. Watson, vice president of operations. “If we can grow it in North Carolina, it saves a lot of money on freight.” Hampton Farms, a subsidiary of Severn Peanut Co., roasts, packs and markets finished peanut products directly to customers and has four production facilities: one in Severn, one in Edenton, one in Springfield, Mass., and one in Portales, N.M. The two North Carolina facilities are in the heart of what is known as the “V/C (Virginia-Carolina) Peanut Belt.” In Roxobel, peanut farmers Joey and Danielle Baker oversee Bakers’ Southern Tradition Peanuts every step of the way. Danielle Baker says the company has become known for its blister-fried and Carolina Cajun peanuts, hand-dipped chocolatecovered peanuts and unique treats, including Baker’s latest offering – Better Bites. The candy creation consists of chopped peanuts rolled in creamy caramel dipped in milk chocolate. “The fact that we grow our own peanuts really sets us apart from other products, and we are very picky about the peanuts that we use,” Baker says. The peanuts from Down East Peanuts in Scotland Neck also are grown locally. Graham Whitehead Jr. pursued his dream and founded the company in 1997. The third-generation peanut Bottom left: The Peanut Festival is held in Enfield every October. farmer grows the nuts on his farm. Down East’s secret cooking technique produces the very best “peanut-tasting” peanut on the market today, Whitehead says. While all the companies have received national attention and ship daily to customers throughout the United States, the owners agree that local support has been imperative to their continued success. “I always wanted to do something that utilized the strengths of our part of the country,” Vincent says. “People are proud to have a product made right here in their own community.” Halifax-Warren Smart Start Building Brighter Futures for Our Children Halifax-Warren Smart Start is an awardwinning community non-profit that provides child care, family support, and health services for children ages 0-5 and their families in order to ensure every child reaches his or her full potential and enters kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Our services include pre-kindergarten parent education and training, teacher training, technical assistance for child care programs, child care and other referrals, and health support services. Choosing the right child care for your young child is an important responsibility. Finding what best meets your needs and those of your child requires some research. The Child Care Resource and Referral Program is a free service offered by Halifax-Warren Smart Start. We can assist you in finding child care for your child, from birth through school-age. Halifax-Warren Child Care Resource and Referral Line: (888) 285-0849. Halifax-Warren Smart Start Partnership for Children Inc. 1139 Roanoke Ave. • P.O. Box 339 Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 (252) 537-5621 tel (252) 537-9732 fax E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hwss.org R oa n o k e Va l l e y 23 The Roanoke Valley VIRGINIA Roanoke Rapids 301 Lake Gaston The Roanoke Canal Museum tells the story of transportation on the Roanoke River. Gaston Roanoke Canal Museum Roanoke Rapids 158 1404 Littleton Weldon 903 125 95 Halifax County Airport 4 48 Halifax 561 Historic Halifax NO CO 301 561 56 Medoc Mountain State Park Hollister Littleton Lake Gaston offers a wide variety of water activities and the entertainment of Lakeland Theatre. H A L I FAX CO UNTY 1214 43 48 1216 1206 481 1002 481 1001 Enfield S Roanoke Valley Enfield Aunt Rubyâ€™s Peanuts are processed at A&B Milling Co., and an annual Peanut Festival celebrates the crop. Hollister One of the largest powwows on the East Coast is held each April. 24 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Cotton Festival is Hobgood The a popular fall event. Weldon s 186 The Roanoke River is popular with kayakers, canoeists and anglers. 158 305 35 158 1501 OR T H A M P TO N OU N T Y 305 258 61 Y The Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park is home to about 170 species of birds, including more than half of the world’s known species of ducks, geese and swans. 1008 308 Tillery Halifax 258 125 Sylvan Heights Scotland Neck The precursor to the Declaration of Independence, the Halifax Resolves was adopted in this historic town on April 12, 1776. Scotland Neck 903 125 Hobgood 97 122 Tillery The site tells the story of a 1930s Resettlement Community, a part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Transplanted into an existing community, settlers were given the opportunity to purchase 40 acres and a mule. Tours are available from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, but other tour times can be arranged by appointment. R oa n o k e Va l l e y 25 26 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Business Run of the Mill This century-old company’s success is anything but ordinary Story By Jessica Mozo T he last time you bought a bag of flour or charcoal, chances are you were supporting the business efforts of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. in Roanoke Rapids. KapStone operates a paper mill that has been thriving for more than 100 years and spans 1,800 acres. The mill produces multiwall kraft paper used to make bags for products such as cement, flour, charcoal, fertilizer and pet food. It also produces linerboard used in the manufacturing of cardboard boxes. “The mill started operations in 1907 and, at that time, it was producing 18 tons of unbleached kraft paper a day,��� says Anitra Collins, vice president of mill operations. “Today, we make 1,150 tons of unbleached kraft paper a day. We sell the paper and linerboard to converters all over the world, and they make it into bags and boxes.” KapStone’s product line is virtually the same as it was a century ago, though the mill’s processes have seen a lot of changes. “The mill has been modernized over the years, and there have been many equipment upgrades,” Collins says. “We’ve also expanded our capacity, and we now employ about 500 people.” KapStone Paper and R oa n o k e Va l l e y 27 Packaging Corp. is headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., and owns another large paper mill in Charleston, S.C. Collins says the key to the company’s longevity has been the teamwork of its employees, the superior quality of its products and excellent customer service. “The teamwork of our employees has allowed us to be innovative, to stay competitive and to meet our customers’ needs,” she says. “We’re known for quality and service, both of which are critical for success.” The mill has one of the largest workforces in the area and is dedicated to helping its employees succeed. “We start each day with a production meeting to determine what needs to be accomplished, and we put a lot of focus on safety,” Collins says. Another secret to KapStone’s success is advocacy from the Roanoke Rapids community. “The community has been very supportive of our efforts, and they’ve helped us remain a viable part of the “Today, we make 1,150 tons of unbleached kraft paper a day. We sell the paper and linerboard to converters all over the world, and they make it into bags and boxes.” 28 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Business community,” Collins says. “We have a community advisory council with a diverse group of 10 to 15 volunteers from local government, the school system, the mill’s neighbors and people from other industries. “We continually ask them for feedback on how to improve the mill’s impact on the community,” she adds. “And when we’re applying for new environmental permits, community members come to public hearings and talk about the mill’s impact on the community.” KapStone, in turn, shows its support for the Roanoke Valley by providing jobs and tax revenue and contributing to local charities. “It’s amazing to consider the number of people we employ and all the local services we utilize,” Collins says. “There’s a rule of thumb that says for every one job in a paper mill, another five jobs are created elsewhere.” In 2008, the mill gave approximately $140,000 back to the community for charitable causes and community relations efforts. Relay for Life, Hannah’s Place domestic violence shelter, Boys and Girls Clubs of Halifax County, the Halifax County Community College Foundation, Roanoke Valley Junior Miss, the Union Mission homeless shelter and Angel’s Closet are just a fraction of the local causes KapStone benefits. “It’s really a great place to work. I love the workforce because they’re passionate about what they do,” Collins says. “It’s a tough industry to succeed in, but we’ve been quite successful. And that makes coming to work enjoyable.” Left: KapStone Paper has been in operation for more than 100 years. Electric Cooperatives … Paving the way to a brighter Roanoke Valley POTENTIAL LOANS: NCEMC Business Development Loan Fund • Up to $400,000 FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE PROGRAMS, CONTACT: • 7 years, 0% interest USDA Rural Economic Development Loan • Up to $450,000 • 10 years, 0% interest Marshall Cherry Roanoke Electric Cooperative Post Office Drawer 1326 518 NC 561 West Ahoskie, NC 27910 (252) 209-2236 www.roanokeelectric.com ADDITIONAL SERVICES: • Assistance with site and building identification • Energy audit services • Assistance with market research • Flexibility in rate design • Power quality services • Loan and grant assistance • Demographic analysis Brady Martin Halifax Electric Membership Corporation 208 W. Whitfield St. Enfield, NC 27823 (252) 445-5111 www.halifaxemc.com Touchstone Energy® R oa n o k e Va l l e y 29 Business Biz Briefs Businesses – both large and small – that help define roanoke valley’s economic climate Scorecard Business At A Glance $565.1M Retail sales $7,487 Retail sales per capita $64.8M Accommodations and food services sales 3,984 Total number of firms WatersView Restaurant Biz: restaurant Buzz: Watersview Restaurant in Littleton offers just what you’d expect – a water view. Situated on the shore of Lake Gaston, the restaurant serves steak, seafood, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, salads and soft-serve ice cream. The eatery is located on Eaton Ferry Road and serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. (252) 586-2814 30 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m From grills to hot water heaters. Fireplaces to forklifts. Stretching from the San Fernando Valley to the Roanoke Valley and beyond. AmeriGas is America’s #1 choice for propane. Lake Gaston Water Sports Biz: retail store Buzz: This store sells everything for those who love the water. Boats, kayaks, canoes, wakeboards, surfboards, kneeboards, tubes, vests and other accessories are available at locations in North Carolina and nearby Virginia. Lake Gaston Water Sports also rents equipment for a day on the lake. www.lakegastonwatersports.com Twin Magnolias Bed & Breakfast Biz: Bed and breakfast Buzz: Located in Roanoke Rapids’ historic district, Twin Magnolias is three blocks from the scenic Roanoke River. It was originally built as a millhouse at the turn of the century. Guests can enjoy a hot breakfast as well as the many collectibles and photographs that decorate the two-room inn. www.angelfire.com/biz/ twinmagnolias Lakeview Log Homes Inc. Biz: log home builder Buzz: Lakeview Log Homes is known for its beautiful residences built from Tidewater red cypress or Eastern white pine. The company offers full log home packages with a gallery of more than 40 designs, or the firm can design a floor plan to meet a customer’s specific needs. Lakeview also sells log rails and even log beds. www.lakeviewloghomes.com Timeless Tea Biz: tea house restaurant Buzz: Roanoke Valley offers an ideal spot to enjoy a spot of tea. Timeless Tea in Roanoke Rapids offers customers a variety of tea choices‚ along with English sandwiches‚ scones‚ crumpets and other British-style treats. There are also early dinner specials on weekends. www.timelessteanc.com Flexible Payment Options • Delivery Scheduling Choices • 24/7 Emergency Response Call (252) 536-3913 Arrange your first or next delivery. Lock in low summer price (mention promo code “Roanoke”). And, ask about the super deal you can get on tankless hot water heaters. Limited time offer. We’ll be seeing you soon. www.amerigas.com since 1941 Ralph’s BaRBeque • Lunch and Dinner Buffet Seven Days a Week • Barbecued Pork, Chicken and Seafood • Take-out Orders • Locally Owned and Operated RestauRant houRs: 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Daily Buffet houRs weekdays 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. • 5 p.m.-Close All Day on Saturday and Sunday Dailayls! Speci (252) 536-2102 Between Weldon and Roanoke Rapids Two Blocks East of I-95 and Exit 173 in Weldon, NC R oa n o k e Va l l e y 31 Business | Chamber Report Looking to the Future New Jobs On The Horizon in Halifax County J ust off Interstate 95 at the Halifax Industrial Center, there’s evidence of major construction under way. Reser’s Fine Foods, a manufacturer of prepared salads, dips, side dishes, Mexican and other specialty foods, is constructing its “East Coast Headquarters” project. The Oregonbased company is undertaking a three-phase expansion that will create 500 new jobs and more than $60 million in new investment over the next five years. The project was the vision of the late Al Reser, the company’s CEO who died in April 2010. “Al Reser challenged us to overcome several obstacles to make this project happen, and we took the challenge seriously,” says Cathy Scott of the Halifax Development Commission. We Help Those with Active Lifestyles, STAY ACTIVE A dedicated team providing complete orthopaedic care in Roanoke Valley … NortherN CaroliNa orthopaediCs, pllc At Northern Carolina Orthopaedics, we bring together specialists in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Joint Replacement and Physical Therapy Convenient hours offered Monday-Friday We accept most health insurances 171 Hwy. 125 Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 (252) 537-5631 • Toll-free: (888) 406-4656 www.ncarortho.com 32 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m “Our board of commissioners was very aggressive in pursuing this opportunity.” North Carolina, through the Governor’s One North Carolina Fund, provided a $1 million incentive grant for the project, which was matched by Halifax County. Gov. Bev Perdue flew to Halifax County in January to personally announce the project alongside Reser’s and Halifax County officials. “This announcement is a testament to our efforts to create a business climate that fosters growth and expansion,” says Frank Avent, chairman of the Development Commission. “We focus our efforts not only on the recruitment of new companies, but providing the tools and resources needed to grow our existing companies.” Halifax County’s location and abundant water and sewer resources are tremendous assets to support business and industry. With the new 700-acre Halifax Corporate Park under development adjacent to the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport, Halifax County will be a competitive location for business and industry. “We are positioning ourselves for growth for years to come,” Scott says. Business | Economic Profile Roanoke Valley Business climate Paper is a major manufacturing product, along with molded plastics, wood products and fabricated metal. With its strong agricultural sector, the area also is one of the state’s leading producers of cotton and peanuts. Northampton County (252) 534-2501 Northampton County Ambulance (252) 534-6811 Northampton County Sheriff (252) 534-2611 Real estate Halifax County $84,000 Median Home Sales Price Northampton County $82,250 taxes 6.75% Sales Tax Rate Information provided by: Median Home Sales Price employment Halifax County Construction Jobs, 917 Retail Trade Jobs, 5,546 Public Administration Jobs 1,955 Caring for those who need us, one family at a time Northampton County Construction Jobs, 249 Retail Trade Jobs, 543 Public Administration Jobs 429 government offices Pre-arrangement Planning Bereavement Program Caskets • monuments • vaults Halifax Northampton Regional Airport (252) 583-3492 Halifax County (252) 583-1131 Halifax Sheriff’s Department (252) 583-8201 Cremation urns • keePsakes T he friendly staff at hockaday funeral home now offers after-death care for your pet in the most caring and professional manner. We understand that a dignified farewell to a loved pet can help ease the grief you are feeling. 507 Hw y. 158 W. roanoke rapids nC 27870 (252) 537-6144 w w w.hockaday fs.com R oa n o k e Va l l e y 33 Image Gallery Whatâ€™s Onlineâ€Š Visit imagesroanokevalley.com to see more award-winning photography highlighting the places and people in Roanoke Valley. 34 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Staff Photo Sunset at Roanoke Rapids Lake Park R oa n o k e Va l l e y 35 Todd Bennett Image Gallery Old Halifax Courthouse 36 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Left: Visitors play with a goose at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park. Right: A young re-enactor at Historic Halifax R oa n o k e Va l l e y 37 Education Making the Grade Roanoke Valley Early College Sets the Bar for Middle Colleges R Principal Monica Smith-Woofter, Ph.D. “They know students will be leaving here with two years of college credit at no tuition cost.” Situated on the campus of Halifax Community College in Weldon, RVEC is one of two high schools in the Weldon City School district. While students benefit from RVEC’s unique academic offerings, Smith-Woofter says the business community benefits as well. “The school was the result of a business education partnership through the chamber,” Smith-Woofter says. “The chamber recognized the need for employees with the skills necessary to thrive in local industries – and the need to attract new ones – and wanted to offer them a pool of qualified people to hire from. We also recognized that we have a great community college able to provide students with the education they need to stay with us and work as opposed to moving to a different area.” Following a stringent application process, the school welcomed 65 students its first year and anticipates Todd Bennett oanoke Valley Early College is anything but ordinary. The visionary school opened its doors in 2009 to become the state’s only middle college to welcome seventh- and eighth-grade students. RVEC challenges students with a rigorous five- to six-year program that puts them on a path toward their high school diploma, an associate’s degree and/or two years of transferable credits to a four-year college or university. “Families are recognizing what a great opportunity this is,” says RVEC 38 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Pharmacy • Bakery • Photo Lab • Portrait Studio • Jewelry • Tire/Lube Express the addition of 60 more in 2010, graduating its first class by 2015. Smith-Woofter says the program is intended to target a specific student population – students must be a firstgeneration college student, from low socioeconomic status, or historically underrepresented among the collegegoing population. “We had a charge to recruit those students, but didn’t want to be exclusive to any population,” Smith-Woofter says. “We decided to target 90 percent under that criteria, but also included 10 percent who did not fall into it.” The school stands out in other ways as well. A small teacher/student ratio helps build relationships and helps students navigate demanding high school and college course loads. Each student is assigned his or her own laptop at the beginning of the year, which aids high-tech instruction. Another key difference at RVEC is the level of parental involvement required. Parents and staff meet once a month, with progress reports issued every three weeks. While the middle college is still in its infancy, Smith-Woofter says the results have been tremendous, with positive partnerships established between the early college, community, city and school district. “We’re all on the same page,” SmithWoofter says, “and we have all worked hard to make sure this is successful and to continue its success.” – Melanie Hill 251 Premier Blvd. • Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 (252) 535-3151 • Fax: (252) 535-2297 • www.walmart.com Today’s Tomorrow’s Future! Weldon City Schools: Committed to the Success of All Students Moving forward in partnership with the Weldon community Students work on a project in a language arts class in the Roanoke Valley Early College program. (252) 536-4821 www.weldoncityschools.k12.nc.us R oa n o k e Va l l e y 39 Arts & Culture Working in Broad Strokes Arts Council provides creative opportunities for all ages I n the Roanoke Valley, cool waters and warm sunsets blend effortlessly on a canvas of rolling farmland, attracting and inspiring artists of all genres. Leading the way in nurturing and promoting the arts is the 300-member Halifax County Arts Council. Through classes, community events and educational initiatives, the HCAC offers something for all ages and interests. From yoga and music to drawing and stained glass, year-round classes can be found throughout the community and at the Halifax County Arts Council Gallery. Located on Roanoke Avenue in Roanoke Rapids, the facility provides ample meeting space for classes and other HCAC functions and showcases original work by some of the region’s most gifted artists. Fred Gasko, president of the Halifax County Arts Council, says the storefront provides an ideal outlet for serving and promoting the region’s growing arts community. “In the gallery, visitors can experience the works of local and area artisans, from paintings and photography to pottery and fine arts and crafts,” Fromal says. “The gallery also provides yet another quaint and beautiful shop to visit in the downtown area. Hopes are high that many more businesses will follow suit in restoring the charm and charisma of the downtown area as we move towards an exciting future with the revitalization project.” From the performing arts to family events, the Halifax County Arts Council hosts classes and events for all ages. 40 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Your Child’s Success is Our Mission. The Council’s signature community event – a “sip and see” honoring a different local artist each month – is also held in the gallery. In addition, the Council hosts a Holiday Homemade Christmas Bazaar at Roanoke Rapids’ Becker Village Mall the first Saturday of December. The popular event features dozens of artists and crafters from across North Carolina and Virginia. While the holiday bazaar serves as the Council’s largest fundraiser, the HCAC is funded primarily through grant money from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arrangement allows the HCAC to support local cultural arts projects such as its Cultural Arts Meeting Place, or CAMP. The weeklong day camp, held at Halifax Community College, includes a variety of cultural craft and fine art projects that have included Aboriginal masks, Chinese brush painting and Japanese printmaking. The popular summer program is just one way the Council strives to inspire and encourage up-and-coming artists. “We believe in the necessity of preserving our rich cultural heritage,” Fromal says. “In supporting the arts, we are able to not only preserve the past but build strong cultural foundations for the future.” – Melanie Hill What’s Online Discover more about the creative climate of Roanoke Valley, including arts, events and cultural attractions, in the culture section at imagesroanokevalley.com. • Five-star Pre-K center • Advanced placement and college courses offered • Rigorous, relevant curriculum • Championship sports teams • Academic and enriching extra-curricular opportunities Roanoke Rapids Graded School District 536 Hamilton St. • RoanokeRapids, NC 27870 (252) 519-7100 • www.rrgsd.org Serving Bertie, Halifax, Hertford and Northhampton Counties. CPTA is here to serve your transportation needs. Give us a call Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since 1977, CPTA has provided transportation needs for any person in the four-county area who is in need of a ride, whether it be to local community colleges, shopping centers, medical offices, senior centers, day cares, human service agencies, etc. For rates or to schedule transportation, please call: (252) 539-2022 Hearing Impaired, call: (800) 735-2962 CHOANOKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY Rich Square, NC For more information about CPTA, please visit our Web site: www.choanokepta.org R oa n o k e Va l l e y 41 Health & Wellness Healing From the Heart HRMC brings specialized services and cardiac care to Roanoke Valley F or more than 30 years, Halifax Regional Medical Center has been at the heart of health care in Roanoke Valley. Today, the 206-bed, full-service medical center offers patients specialized care in a state-of-the-art facility. “We’re well-defined by a very qualified nursing and medical staff,” says Will Mahone, president of HRMC. “With few exceptions, all physicians are double- or triple-board certified in their respective fields. They also have a real understanding of our patients and the differences between community hospital patients and more urban patients.” The Roanoke Rapids hospital’s 60-member medical staff represents more than 20 specialties, ranging from internal medicine and nephrology to orthopedics and oncology. The hospital also offers extensive women’s health services and provides hospitalist care from physicians who focus solely on inpatient care. But perhaps the loudest buzz around HRMC these days surrounds the opening of The Cardiac & Vascular Center. Located on the first floor of HRMC, the center provides stateof-the-art treatment for peripheral and diagnostic cardiac disease. For patients experiencing chest or leg pain, convenient access to cardiac catheterization and angioplasty is priceless. “I don’t believe we should offer any less care than patients would receive in Raleigh or Charlotte,” Mahone says. “It should be the primary role of a regional medical center to diagnose problems so patients don’t have to travel to tertiary-care facilities.” Staffed by six interventional cardiologists from Raleigh Cardiology Associates, the center has been well received by patients and physicians alike. “The center helps meet our mission of providing local access to health care with the highest quality of physicians and equipment,” Mahone says. “We’ve actually received several comments from physicians themselves that our equipment and facility are higher quality than those used elsewhere in the Triangle.” Since opening The Cardiac & Vascular Center, the hospital has made great strides in educating the community on heart health, Mahone says. Resources such as HRMC’s Halifax HealthLink at Becker Village Mall give members access to valuable medical information, exercise classes, educational seminars and support groups. “Our goal is to focus on patients first and to improve the health of our entire community,” Mahone says. – Melanie Hill R oa n o k e Va l l e y 43 visit our Paging busy people. Let us handle your print and copy jobs. • Full-color digital printing and copying • Binding, laminating and collating • Flyers, newsletters, brochures, manuals and more • E-mail us your files or bring them in • UPS® shipping to over 215 countries and territories Stop in and ask for details. advertisers AmeriGas Propane www.amerigas.com Choanoke Public Transportation www.choanokepta.org Daughtridge Gas www.daughtridgeenergy.com Dominion Resources Services www.dom.com Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau www.visithalifax.com Halifax County Economic Development Commission www.halifaxdevelopment.com Halifax County Schools www.halifax.k12.nc.us Halifax Regional Medical Center www.halifaxregional.us The UPS Store 287 Premier Blvd. Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870 (252) 535-3155 email@example.com www.theupsstorelocal.com/4729 Halifax-Warren Smart Start www.hwss.org Hampton Inn www.hamptoninn.com Heaton Real Estate www.heatonrealestate.com Hockaday Funeral & Cremation Service www.hockadayfs.com StonehouSe timber Lodge inc. KapStone www.kapstonepaper.com Mid-Atlantic Eye Physicians www.midatlanticeye.net Northern Carolina Orthopedics www.ncarortho.com Ralph’s Barbecue Inc. www.ralphsbbq.com Reser’s Fine Foods Inc. www.resers.com Roanoke Electric Cooperative www.roanokeelectric.com Fully equipped: log cabin rentals, mobile home rentals, waterfront home rentals, premier tritoons and pontoons, fishing and ski boats. We sell fishing and hunting licenses and handle boat registrations. bAit & tAcKLe ShoP • reLAXing AtmoSPhere beAch AreA & decKS • gAS docKS boAt LAnding & SLiPS 154 Stonehouse Lodge Dr. • Littleton, NC 27850 Office: (252) 586-3012 • Toll-free: (877) 846-2379 www.lakegastonfun.com 44 i m ag e s r oa n o k e va l l e y. c o m Roanoke Rapids Graded Schools www.rrgsd.org Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District www.rrsd.org Stonehouse Timber Lodge www.lakegastonfun.com The UPS Store www.theupsstorelocal.com/4729 Town of Enfield www.enfieldnc.org Wal-Mart www.walmart.com Weldon City Schools http://district.weldoncityschools.org/ home.aspx Sports & Recreation Happy Trails at Medoc Volunteers rein in old lumber land for bridle paths F or years, park ranger Ed Wilkerson pondered a frustrating contra diction: How can a park founded as a bridle trail park have no place for horses? No deep mystery was involved in Medoc Mountain State Park’s missing bridle paths. As the demand for hiking trails grew with the park’s popularity, building bridle paths took a back seat, eventually becoming nearly impossible to develop around existing trails. Fortunately for the area’s equine community, a happy turn of events in 2007 solved his conundrum. “When I first came to Medoc originally, I was eyeballing potential solutions to our bridle trail problem, but there just weren’t any,” says Wilkerson, one of the park rangers in charge of the leafy green park in the Hollister area of Halifax County. “When the parks department acquired an additional 1,500 acres in 2007, that was our opportunity to put new trails on the new property.” A trail rider himself, Wilkerson was thrilled at the chance to enhance the park with bridle trails, but realized that designing, building and maintaining the trails cut through old timber land would require more than just his efforts. “We had to start from scratch, in terms of correcting problems on the property, such as drainage and erosion issues. I spoke to a friend in the highway department. He put me in touch with Deck McCain and a trail riders’ group called Cowboys for Christ. I told him I needed a volunteer trail group. They jumped at the chance to have a place to call their own.” The Twin Counties chapter of the group, and other trail riders, spent the next two years working with Wilkerson. Wilkerson designed 11 miles of looping bridle paths, following old lumber roads. For two years, volunteers dug up stumps, filled dangerous holes, removed rocks, cut back brush, marked trails and painted. In October 2009, the Bellamy’s Mill new bridle trails officially opened – to great response from the public. “As trail riding goes, there is less and less property available to riders because of trespassing issues and hunting,” says Wilkerson. “Before, many local riders had to go to the Uwharrie National Forest – a long drive. Now we can offer something to the six or seven counties right around us.” Wilkerson’s dedicated volunteers carefully maintain the park’s trails, which are open from 8 a.m. until an hour before sundown year-round. Though there are rocks on the trail, Wilkerson says unshod mounts that wear trail boots have had no difficulty with the paths, which are particularly well-suited to riders and horses that have not had long experience with trail riding. – Laura Hill Fishing Creek Enfield Peanut Festival Oldest Town in Halifax County Affordable housing • Full-service town with reasonable utility rates Easy access to I-95, beaches, mountains, lakes, hunting, fishing & golf Home of the annual Enfield Peanut Festival Member of Tree City USA • Excellent retirement community For more information, contact us at (252) 445-3146 or visit our Web site at www.enfieldnc.org R oa n o k e Va l l e y 45 Community Profile Roanoke Valley Snapshot Historic Halifax is the site of the Fourth Provincial Congress’ adoption of the “Halifax Resolves.” It was after this, in April of 1776, that North Carolina became the first colony to officially step toward declaring independence from England. Northampton County 48.74 Max Jan Temp 27.45 Min Jan Temp population Roanoke Valley 75,470 88.96 Max July Temp 67.27 Min July Temp medical services Halifax Regional Medical Ctr. (252) 535-8011 Our Community Hospital (252) 826-4144 Halifax Healthlink (252) 535-4334 Total Population climate Halifax County 49.50 Max Jan Temp 27.51 Min Jan Temp 89.50 Max July Temp 67.0 Min July Temp This section is sponsored by Roanoke Rapids sanitaRy distRict “Delivering Safe Drinking Water While Providing for Environmental Water Quality for Over 75 Years” 1000 Jackson st. • p.o. Box 308 Roanoke Rapids, nc 27870 (252) 537-9137 • Fax: (252) 537-3064 www.rrsd.org R oa n o k e Va l l e y 47 Ad Index 31 AmeriGas Propane 41 Choanoke Public Transportation 23 Halifax-Warren Smart Start C2 Hampton Inn 48 Daughtridge Gas 1 Heaton Real Estate 48 Dominion Resources Services 33 Hockaday Funeral & Cremation Service C3 Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau C4 KapStone 43 Mid-Atlantic Eye Physicians 32 Northern Carolina Orthopedics 31 Ralphâ€™s Barbecue Inc. 46 Reserâ€™s Fine Foods Inc. 4 Halifax County Economic Development Commission 48 Halifax County Schools 42 Halifax Regional Medical Center Ad Index (cont.) 29 Roanoke Electric Cooperative 41 Roanoke Rapids Graded Schools 47 Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District 44 Stonehouse Timber Lodge 44 The UPS Store 45 Town of Enfield 39 Wal-Mart 39 Weldon City Schools