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2 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


Education

5 Halifax County Fast Facts 7 Halifax Town Fast Facts 8 Northampton County Fast Facts 10 Northampton Town Fast Facts

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inside 15 Discover Living 18 Discover Parks 20 Top Things To See

Living

22 Discover Halifax County

15

30 Discover Northampton County

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The Daily Herald 916 Roanoke Ave., Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 P.O. Box 520, Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-537-2505 www.RRDailyHerald.com

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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 3


the roanoke valley A Guide to Roanoke Valley Living By Kris Smith

S

mall-town living is Americana personified — baseball, apple pie and a cold soda pop on a hot summer day, or any day really. Small towns are defined in many ways and share similar characteristics, including front porch swings, a sliced “may-toe” sandwich with Duke’s mayo, the countryside, sweet tea, farmland, homemade preserves, late-afternoon ball games, Friday night football, church on Sunday mornings with supper after, freshly laundered clothes hangin’ on the line out back blowin’ in the breeze, giving and getting a friendly wave while driving anywhere, and the attributes are endless. The way of life here in the Roanoke Valley is no different. Whether families take to the Roanoke River in Weldon, in Halifax County, or Lake Gaston in Henrico, in Northampton County, the thirst for water activities of various likes can be quenched year round — including fishing tournaments and O’Sail’s annual event The Crossing. One might even find a special rubber ducky with a lucky number for a prize, while helping the cause for local businesses through the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Ducky Derby. If it’s land visitors or residents love — walk, run or bike the Roanoke Canal Trail. Small-town qualities are comforting places to not only read about or observe, but also to be a part of, taking in the close-knit community concept first hand. There are many small towns sprinkled throughout the Roanoke Valley. Each with its own personality. But above all, what counts most is the people who make Halifax and Northampton counties a special place to visit, live and experience. The people who live in the Valley’s small towns gather for school, festivals, church, fundraisers, celebrations and to help a neighbor in need ease hard times. One of the area’s greatest resources is its residents. Find out what local people have to say about where they live, what makes them most proud and what they miss most when they’re away. From the towns of Halifax and Northampton counties, other resources include health care, education, nature and parks, history, festivals, places and happenings. Connect some stepping stones to take you to the smalltown Americana right here at home, take the time to Discover the Roanoke Valley.

4 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


Halifax County Fast Facts REGISTER TO VOTE Board of Elections Historic Halifax County Courthouse 10 N. King St. in Halifax 252-583-4391

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

WHERE TO VOTE halifaxnc.com/boardofelections. com

AMVETS Post 101 252-535-0336

Halifax County Library System 33 S. Granville St. in Halifax 252-583-3631 GETTING ON THE ROAD Driver’s license offices 26 Three Bridges Road in Roanoke Rapids 252-536-4046 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Mobile unit at the Scotland Neck Municipal Complex 1310 Main St.in Scotland Neck 252-826-3152 First Monday of month except September 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vehicle, license plate offices 1720 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway in Roanoke Rapids 252-537-6357

CIVIC GROUPS American Legion Shaw-May Post 38 252-537-0161

Angel’s Closet 252-326-3236 Boys & Girls Clubs of Halifax County 252-537-8092 Calling Angels 252-535-2508 Chums 252-589-1133 Fraternal Order of Eagles 252-537-8663

TAX RATES $0.68 per $100

Lake Gaston Association 252-586-6577 Lake Gaston Ladies Club president@lakegastonlc.org

252-532-2360

Lions clubs Davie 252-537-1477 Gaston 252-537-3881 Halifax 252-583-4901 Lake Gaston 252-586-9866 Littleton 252-586-6198 Roanoke Rapids 252-535-3497

United Way 252-537-3744

Masonic Lodges Enfield #447, 252-445-3386 Royal Hart (Littleton) #497 252-536-1327 Royal White Hart (Halifax) #2 252-536-4669 Scotland Neck #689 252-826-4564 Widow’s Son (Roanoke Rapids) #519 252-537-4861

Halifax County Arts Council 252-532-2571

Habitat for Humanity 252-537-2556

Organization to Support the Arts, Infrastructure & Learning on Lake Gaston (O’Sail) osail.org

Halifax County NAACP 252-535-2284

Pilot Club of Roanoke Valley 252-537-2822

Hannah’s Closet 252-514-1127 Hannah’s Place Shelter 252-541-2037

Rotary Club of Roanoke Rapids 252-537-4188 Twin City Rifle Club

Union Mission 252-537-3372

HALIFAX COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Vernon Bryant, At-Large; Rachel Hux, District 3; Carolyn Johnson, District 1; J. Rives Manning Jr., vice chairman; James Pierce, chairman; and Marcelle Smith

VFW Post 3702 252-410-0142 ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

COUNTY NUMBERS Animal Control 252-583-6651

Halifax State Historic Site 252-583-7191

Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce 252-537-3513

Lakeland Theatre Company 252-586-3124

Farm Bureau 252-535-3000

Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail 252-537-2769

Health Department 252-535-5021

Roanoke Cinema 252-537-6302

Sheriff’s Office 252-583-8201

The Royal Place Theatre 252-536-5577

Halifax Regional 252-535-8011

Sylvan Heights Bird Park 252-826-3186

Register of Deeds 252-583-2101

POPULATION 2011 Estimates: 54,173

Veterans Services 252-583-1688

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415 Wallace Fork Rd Roanoke Rapids , NC XNLV98841

252.538.9776

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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 5


Halifax Town Fast Facts ENFIELD Founded 1740 Old name: Huckleberry Swamp History: Though the oldest town in the county, Enfield didn’t see a spark until 1759, when townspeople rioted against British fees that had been collected. Rioters were jailed, but other residents broke into the jail and freed their compatriots. Tax rate: $0.70 (per $100) Mayor: Barbara Simmons Commissioners: Gloria Caudle, Earl Harvey, Kent Holmes, Tracey Joyner & Bud A. Whitaker Town 252-445-3146 Police department 252-445-5122 Fire department 252-445-4161 Public Works 252-445-5181 Parks & Recreation 252-904-6176 Enfield Memorial Library 252-445-5203 HALIFAX Founded 1760 History: Early Halifax served as a river port and the county seat. North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress adopted the “Halifax Resolves” in April 1776, when the colony became the first to strike out against England. Tax rate: $0.655 Mayor: John White Town commissioners: Barbara Jean Daniels, Chuck Peoples, Cliff Bass, Lee Ross & Lee Clements Town 252-583-6571 Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport (IXA) 252-583-3492 Halifax County Library 252-583-3631 Post office 252-583-3621 HOBGOOD Incorporated 1891 History: The town started as a rail depot for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. Tax rate: $0.57 Mayor: Dannie Flanary

Commissioners: Sharon Hackney, Sam Johnson, Hyman S. Leggett Jr., Julian Padgette & Robert Sykes Town 252-826-4573 Post office 252-826-4759 HOLLISTER Unincorporated History: The Saponi Indians, meaning “red earth people,” were first documented in the region in the mid-to late-1600s. Tribal population declined through American colonial times, but stayed in the area and concentrated in southern Halifax County near the time of the Revolutionary War. Formal reorganization was in 1953, and the state officially recognized the Haliwa-Saponi tribe, a blend of the names for Halifax and Warren counties, in 1965. Haliwa-Saponi Chief: Ron Richardson Tribe 252-586-4017 Medoc Mountain State Park 252-586-6588 LITTLETON Incorporated 1877 History: The town was named for the Little family, who inherited property from the prominent family in the area, the Person family. Person’s Ordinary, a stagecoach stop and tavern run by William Little, served as the core of the early town that eventually included a school and a horse track. Little also served as the town’s first postmaster in 1820. Tax rate: $0.65 Mayor: Nada Diana Bobbitt Commissioners: Clare Debnam, Heidi Hogan, Jimmy Kearney, Terry Newsom & Gerleen Pitchford Town 252-586-2709 Police department 252-586-3413 Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce 252-586-5711 Lakeland Theatre Company 252-586-3124 W.C. “Billy” Jones Jr. Memorial Library 252-586-3608 ROANOKE RAPIDS Incorporated 1897 History: The town began as two communities — Old Town and New Town. Old Town housed workers for the paper mill and

merged with New Town to become Roanoke Rapids. In 1931, the city added Rosemary, a town that grew up around a textile plant named for the founders’ wives, Rose and Mary. Tax rate: $0.624 Mayor: Emery Doughtie City Council: Ernest Bobbit, District 1; Suetta Scarbrough, District 1; Carol Cowen, District 2; Greg Lawson, District 2; Carl Ferebee, District 3 Town 252-533-2800 Police department 252-533-2810 Fire department 252-533-2880 Public Works 252-533-2846 Parks & Recreation 252-533-2847 Roanoke Rapids Public Library 252-533-2890 Post office 252-537-6031

The Daily Herald newspaper Lake the Magazine Roanoke Valley Woman magazine 252-537-2505 SCOTLAND NECK Incorporated 1867 Old name: Morstuck History: Settled originally by a group of Scottish colonists, the area was a small cluster of communities. John Hyman used the name for the modern installment of the area, and the name reflects the spot in the “neck” of the Roanoke River.

WELDON Founded 1745 Old names: Weldon Place, Weldon Orchard, Weldon Landing History: Before the Roanoke River Canal was built in 1823, Weldon served as an important navigational point on the river. The Confederacy established several training camps in the area during the Civil War. Tax rate: $0.66 Mayor: Julia Meacham

Tax rate: $0.68

Commissioners: Susie Adams, Walter Clark, Stanley Edwards, Susan Smith & Kimberly Robinson

Mayor: Leonard Bunting Mayor Pro-Tem: Charlie Shields

Town 252-536-4836

Commissioners: Forrest Bradley Jr., Bryan Dobson, James Gunnells, Raymond Watson

Police department 252-536-3136

Town 252-826-3152

Fire department Station 1: 252-536-4655 Station 2: 252-536-4293

Police department 252-826-4112

Public Works 252-536-3478

Scotland Neck Memorial Library 252-826-5578

Weldon Memorial Library 252-536-3837 Post office 252-536-4300

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 7


Northampton County Fast Facts REGISTER TO VOTE Board of Elections P.O. Box 603 Jackson 252-534-5681 WHERE TO VOTE For polling locations, call the Board of Elections. 252-534-5681

Masonic Lodges Delta Lodge #436 Seaboard, 252-536-2558 Pendleton, 252-585-1597

COUNTY NUMBERS Animal Control 252-534-5841 ext. 678

Rich Square Community Club 252-539-2872 or 252-539-4266

Northampton County Chamber of Commerce 252-534-1383

Rich Square Garden Club 252-539-2512

Northampton Memorial Library 207 W. Jefferson St. in Jackson 252-534-3571

Ruritan Clubs Severn-Pendleton 252-585-0970

GETTING ON THE ROAD Driver’s license offices Mobile unit at the Northampton County Health Department 9495 Highway 305 in Jackson 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Second Monday of month, except November

Seaboard Youth Empowerment Club 252-858-0280

CIVIC GROUPS Garysburg Senior Citizens Club 252-536-4784

POPULATION 22,086

Gregory B. Davis Foundation 252-536-3799 Jackson Women’s Club 252-536-3152 Lions clubs Jackson 252-589-1001 Seaboard 252-589-2005

Woodland Men’s Club 252-578-9260

TAX RATES $0.92 per $100 NORTHAMPTON COUNTY Board of Commissioners: Joseph Barrett, District 1; Chester Deloatch, District 3, Robert V. Carter, chairman, District 4; Fannie Greene, District 5; Virginia D. Spruill, vice chairwoman.

8 | Discover The Roanoke Valley

Health department 252-534-5841

Sheriff’s office 252-534-7101

Public Works 252-534-6341

U.S. Coast Guard 252-535-3335

Register of Deeds 252-534-2511

Veterans services 252-534-2621


Discover The Roanoke Valley | 9


Northampton Town Fast Facts CONWAY Incorporated 1913 Old name: Martin Crossroads History: John Martin purchased the land that bore his name in 1742, but the area wasn’t settled until the early-to-mid 1800s. When the railroad came to town in 1888, the town was renamed for a relative of a railroad company official. Tax rate: $0.44 (per $100)

Garysburgh

Old name: Camp Store

History: The town started as a post office and Roderick Gary, from the town of Halifax, lent his name to it in 1838. Townspeople abandoned the original site in the 1840s and moved to the present location. Gary donated land across from the hotel he ran to start a Methodist church. In 1892, the town changed its name to the current spelling.

History: The town was named after Judge William J. Gaston, a member of the state and U.S. Congress. The Raleigh-Gaston Railroad, finished in 1840, ended in the first site of the town. However in the 1950s, the town moved because the old site was situated on land that became Roanoke Rapids Lake.

Tax rate: $0.60

Mayor: Brian Bolton Commissioners: Alan C. Harris, B. Lance Jenkins, James T. Jilcott, Willie G. Simmons & Gail C. Wade Town 252-585-0488 Police department 252-585-1155 Volunteer fire department 252-585-0488 Post office 252-585-1571 GARYSBURG Founded Between 1818 & 1825 Old names: Peeples Town, Tavern,

Mayor: Roy Bell Mayor Pro-Tem: Lola Ausby Commissioners: Woodrow Harding Jr., James Mayo, Darryl Whittle & Chemeka Williams

Tax rate: $0.50 Mayor: Jason Moore Commissioners: Donald Conner, Jerry Dickerson & Deborah James Town 252-537-1046

JACKSON Founded 1741

Northampton County Museum 252-534-2911

Old name: Northampton Courthouse

Post office 252-534-3841

History: The town originated with the creation of the county and served as the site of the courthouse. Although the name changed to honor then-Gen. Andrew Jackson in 1826, the town was better known for its horse breeding. Building on the present courthouse, the third iteration of that municipal building began in 1858.

LASKER Founded 1895

Tax rate: $0.55 Mayor: J. William Gossip Mayor Pro-Tem: Stevie Harrell

Town 252-536-2167

Police department 252-535-9162

Police department 252-536-2167

Fire department 252-537-6551

Commissioners: Karin Clements, Mary Ann Crawley, William R. Futrell Jr. & Jason S. Morris

Fire department 252-536-0400

Rescue 252-535-2173

Town 252-534-3811

Post office 252-536-4912

County Health Satellite Clinic 252-537-3153

Police/Fire/Rescue 252-575-0205

GASTON Established 1949

Post office 252-537-2013

Northampton Memorial Library 252-534-3571

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10 | Discover The Roanoke Valley

XNLV99195

195 Old FarmRoanoke Road | Rapids, Roanoke NCRapids, 27870 NC 27870 252-537-1728 252-537-1728

History: A saw mill on a railroad spur sparked growth in this town, and by the early 1900s it was one of the largest towns in the county. However, the lively stable and large businesses slowly shuttered through the years as the railroad left and no major highways connected into the town. Tax rate: $0.25 Mayor: Dick Collier Commissioners: Robin Gibson, Charles Daughtry & Charlie Mallory Town 252-539-4014 RICH SQUARE Incorporated 1883 History: Quakers settled the land in the early-to-mid 1700s. The town’s first meeting house was built in 1759, and the first Quaker


school opened around the turn of the 19th century. Union School emerged as one of the first in the county. Founders incorporated the original tract of fertile land with boundaries of one square mile, hence the name. Tax rate: $0.65

Commissioners: William Gallimore, Reid Harris, Danny Hines & David Wentzy Town 252-589-5061 Police department 252-589-1111

Mayor: Doris Risper City board members: Linwood Bryant, Charles Eason, Raymond Joyner & Reginald White Town 252-539-2315

Volunteer fire department 252-589-7301 Post office 252-589-5961 SEVERN Incorporated 1919

Fire department 252-539-4111 Rich Square Health Care Center 252-539-4161 SEABOARD Chartered 1877 Old name: Concord History: Records indicate Seaboard existed as early as 1751, but the name was changed to reflect a local rail line, Seaboard Road. Residents relied on circuit educators to teach children and bring news, but by 1880 locals had established the Seaboard Institution, a one-room schoolhouse. Tax rate: $0.50

Mayor: Bobie Moss

History: The town was likely named after Severn Airs, an engineer on the railroad when it first came through, which now operates as the North Carolina and Virginia Railroad. Today, twice as many people work in the town as live in it because of the peanut industry. Locals founded the Severn Peanut Company in the 1940s. Tax rate: $0.39 Mayor: George McGee Commissioners: Frank Ferguson, Troy Holloman, Ellie Martin, Rita McKeown & Parker Watson

Town 252-585-0144

WOODLAND

Rich Square, and a Friends Meeting House still stands in Woodland. Wood provided a major industry for the town that once hosted three lumber mills, a basket factory and three casket factories. The casket niche first formed when a barber in nearby unincorporated George built the boxes when he wasn’t cutting hair.

Founded 1883

Tax rate: $0.645

History: Quakers migrated from

Mayor: James Ellis Garris

Fire department 252-585-0110 Rescue 252-585-0026

Commissioners: David Cooper, Jean Barnes, Joe Lassiter & Margaret Burgwyn Town 252-587-7161 Police department 252-587-7161 Volunteer fire department 252-587-6831 Post office 252-587-5711

We’re the same great facility - with a fresh, new name! Roanoke Rapids Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center (formerly a Kindred Healthcare facility) is providing the same great care with the same friendly faces. We were recently purchased by a new company, and we have some exciting changes coming our way. Come check us out!

305 14th Street Roanoke Rapids. NC 27870 (252) 537-6181 www.gcroanokerapids.com Contact our Centralized Admissions Team for more information

Phone: 855-66ADMIT (23648) or Fax: 855-77ADMIT (24643) XNLV98851

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 11


T

he 2012-13 school year was a busy one for area traditional, charter, private schools and colleges in the Roanoke Valley. More than four years ago, The Centre at Halifax Community College was $80,000 in debt. College officials looked at scheduled programming, which was not making enough money. Eliminating it, along with other measures, cleared up the debt. At the end of the year, The Centre had more than $5,000 in surplus. The people of Halifax County learned in June 2013 where commissioners stood on merging the county’s three public school districts — Halifax County Schools, Roanoke Rapids Graded School District and Weldon City Schools. Halifax County Commissioner Vice Chair Rives Manning made a motion to merge the three school districts into one, then voted against his own motion. The vote split the board down the middle, 3-3, meaning the motion was denied. The board of education for Northampton County Schools looked at many ways to combat decreasing student enrollment. Board members voted and later rescinded a motion to have two locations for Northampton County High School. District officials are working on an early college along with revamping its Academically and Gifted Program. The Roanoke Rapids school district Maintenance Department has briefly gone into the construction business.

To help keep the cost low and meet a time line for opening next school year, an eight-member crew is providing needed renovations to the Roanoke Rapids High School Armory. The renovations will allow student access to classroom areas and the gymnasium, with no access to lower-level storage areas. Weldon City Schools used a grant from the Cal Ripken Foundation to allow more than 100 Roanoke Valley youth play softball during the summer. For six weeks, from June 26 to Aug. 10, youth ages 9 to 16 will play softball Tuesdays and Thursdays at Weldon High School Baseball field as part of the Cal Ripken Sr. ”Badges for Baseball” program. With technology playing a critical role in education, Northampton County Schools and KIPP Gaston College Preparatory teachers will use a two-year, $600,000 Golden LEAF grant to better prepare them to teach students. Thirty-six educators, representing a variety of disciplines from math and science to English and Spanish, will use grant money to engage students in modern classrooms by using various technology from Smart Boards, iPads and websites. Grant funds will be used to purchase technology at both high schools and offer professional development for it. Each school will be responsible for having an instructional technology facilitator, which must be paid for by the school district and KIPP.

EDUCATION

By Jacqueline Hough

12 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


Enfield NC 27823 252-445-5455

Education in the Roanoke Valley at a glance: PUBLIC 15 elementary schools 7 middle schools 6 high schools 1 early college 1 charter school 1 alternative school 11,270 enrollment in 2012-13 PRIVATE 4 private schools COLLEGES Halifax Community College 7,147 curriculum & continuing education students in 2012-13 Associate degrees Diplomas Certificates Transfer program Continuing education classes Eastern Carolina Christian College & Seminary Associate of Arts in Theology Bachelor of Theology Masters of Divinity HALIFAX COUNTY SCHOOLS Superintendent Dr. Elease Frederick Central Office 9525 Highway 301 Halifax NC 27839 252-583-5111 ELEMENTARY Aurelian Springs Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Dwayne Jordan 10536 Highway 48 Littleton NC 27850 252-586-4944 Dawson Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Amiee Richardson 6878 Old 125 Road Scotland Neck NC 27874 252-826-4905 Everetts Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Mark Barfield 458 Everetts School Road Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-537-5484 Hollister Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Melissa Richardson 37432 Highway 561 Hollister NC 27844 252-586-4344 Inborden Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Masa Kinsey-Shipp 13587 Highway 481

Pittman Elementary (PreK-5) Principal Jacqueline Williams 25041 Highway 561 Enfield NC 27823 252-445-5268 Scotland Neck Primary (PreK-3) Principal Ghristina Williams 901 Junior High School Road Scotland Neck NC 27874 252-826-4413 MIDDLE SCHOOL Enfield Middle (6-8) Principal Gary Cox 13723 Highway 481 Enfield NC 27823 252-445-5455 William R. Davie Middle (6-8) Principal Victor Fenner 4391 Highway 158 Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-0300 HIGH SCHOOLS Northwest Halifax High School Principal Dr. Marvin Bradley 8492 Highway 48 Littleton NC 27850 252-586-4125 Southeast Halifax High School Principal Martha Davis 16683 Highway 125 Halifax NC 27839 252-445-2027 Northampton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy Central Office 701 N. Church St. Jackson NC 27845 252-534-1371 ELEMENTARY Central Elementary School (PreK-4) Principal Betty Liverman 9742 N.C. Highway 305 Jackson NC 27845 252-534-3381 Gaston Elementary School (1-4) Interim Principal Lindell Palmer 400 Broughton St. Gaston NC 27832 252-537-2520 Squire Elementary School (PreK-K) Principal Martha Paige 4671 N.C. 46 Highway West Gaston NC 27832 252-537-2877 Willis Hare Elementary School (PreK-4) Principal Wanda Briggs-Trevino 479 Willis Hare Road Pendleton NC 27862 252-585-1900 MIDDLE SCHOOL Conway Middle School (5-8) Principal Oliver Holley 400 East Main St. Conway NC 27845 252-585-0312 Gaston Middle School (5-8) Principal Barbara Stephenson 152 Hurricane Drive Gaston NC 27832 252-537-1910

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 13


HIGH SCHOOL Northampton County High School Principal Felisha Whitaker 750 NCHS-E Road Conway NC 27820 252-585-0627 ROANOKE RAPIDS GRADED SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent Dr. Dennis Sawyer Central Office 536 Hamilton St. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7100 ALTERNATIVE Principal Tammie Williams Akers Alternative Center/Armory 800 Hamilton St. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 PRE-KINDERGARTEN Principal Clara Hearne Early Childhood Center Principal Debbie Harrell 731 Cedar St. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7700 ELEMENTARY Belmont Elementary School (K-5) Principal Kelvin Edwards Sr. 1517 Bolling Road Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7500 Manning Elementary School (K-5) Principal Mike Ferguson

1102 Barrett St. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7400 MIDDLE SCHOOL Chaloner Middle School (6-8) Principal Thomas Davis 2100 Virginia Ave. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7600 HIGH SCHOOL Roanoke Rapids High School Principal Tammie Williams 800 Hamilton St. Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-519-7200 Weldon City Schools Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III Central Office 301 Mulberry St. Weldon NC 27890 252-536-4821 ELEMENTARY Weldon Elementary School (PreK-4) Principal Julian Plummer 805 Washington Ave. Weldon NC 27890 252-536-4815 MIDDLE SCHOOL Weldon Middle School (5-8) Principal Cynthia Byrd 4489 Highway 301 Halifax NC 27839 252-536-2571

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HIGH SCHOOL Roanoke Valley Early College Principal Chris Butler Halifax Community College Building 600 200 College Drive Weldon NC 252-536-6382 Weldon High School (9-12) Principal Michelle Burton 415 County Road Weldon NC 27890-1753 252-536-4829 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Cornerstone Christian School (K-12) Principal Charlene Norris 90 Wood Store Road Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-535-3007 Halifax Academy (PreK-12) 1400 Three Bridges Road Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-537-8527 Hobgood Academy (K-12) Headmaster William H. Whitehurst 201 South Beech Street Hobgood NC 27843 252-826-4116 Northeast Academy (K-12) Headmaster Russell Leake

210 Lasker Golf Course Road Lasker NC 27845 252-539-2461

School Leader Kevika Amar

CHARTER KIPP Gaston College Preparatory Executive Director Tammi Sutton 320 Pleasant Hill Road Gaston NC 27832 252-308-6932

Eastern Carolina Christian College and Seminary President Dr. Charles E. McCollum Sr. 1015 Highway 48 South Roanoke Rapids NC 27870 252-535-4442

KIPP Primary (K) School Leader Emily Cooke KIPP Middle School (5-8) School Leader Michelle Stallings KIPP Pride High (9-12)

Halifax Community College President Dr. Ervin Griffin Sr. 200 College Drive Weldon NC 27890 252-536-4221

COLLEGES


Littleton/Lake Gaston Festival August, Littleton Dream Acres Music Festival September, Pleasant Hill

LIVING

Ducky Derby September, Weldon

By Roger Bell

T

he Roanoke Valley has no shortage of festivals and events serving a variety of interests for area residents and visitors. Whether you’re interested in hearing the sounds of local music or you’re fascinated by Native American culture, there’s a festival for you. Seasonal festivities abound throughout the Valley, including Christmas parades throughout December in Halifax and Northampton counties. From agriculture to history to commerce to just outright fun, there’s a festival for nearly every taste and style in the Roanoke Valley.

FESTIVALS

Dylan Moore Day Festival September, Halifax

June, Roanoke Rapids

Hobgood Cotton Festival October, Hobgood Halifax Harvest Days October, Halifax KIPP Fall Festival October, Gaston Halifax Academy Fall Festival October, Roanoke Rapids Fall for the Arts October, Littleton

Tillery Cultural Awareness Festival March, Tillery

Hobgood Grill-Off June, Hobgood

Sylvan Heights Chili Festival March, Scotland Neck

Weldon Independence Day fireworks July, Weldon

Stop Hunger Now April, Littleton United Methodist Church

Halifax fireworks July, Halifax

Sylvan Heights Anniversary October, Scotland Neck

Fridays in the Park Concert Series April through July, Roanoke Rapids

Lake Gaston fireworks July, Pea Hill Creek

Enfield Christmas Parade November, Enfield

Jackson Christmas parade December, Jackson

Haliwa-Saponi Powwow April, Hollister

Fourth of July Parade July, Littleton

March of Patriots November, Roanoke Rapids

Garysburg Christmas parade December, Garysburg

Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce Battle of the Barbecue May, Littleton

Lake Gaston Boat Parade July, Lake Gaston

Roanoke Rapids Christmas Parade December, Roanoke Rapids

Rich Square Christmas parade December, Rich Square

Northampton County fireworks July, Jackson

Scotland Neck Christmas Parade December, Scotland Neck

Conway Christmas parade December, Conway

The Crossing August, Morningstar Marina

Twelve Birds of Christmas December, Scotland Neck

Seaboard Christmas parade December, Seaboard

Art Plunge August, Littleton

Littleton Christmas Parade December, Littleton

Christmas at Halifax December, Halifax

Crepe Myrtle Festival August, Scotland Neck

Jackson tree lighting December, Jackson

Fall for Enfield December, Enfield

Wings and Wheels Fly-in May, Roanoke Rapids Scotland Neck Communitywide Yard Sale May, Scotland Neck Scotland Neck Bike Tour May, Scotland Neck

XNLV99408

Mid-Atlantic Disc Dog Competition

Weldon Day October, Weldon

Quality | Affordable | Service www.haroldmasseyfuneralhome.com Roanoke Rapids Enfield 537-3574 445-3116

Jackson 537-3574

Aulander 345-1818

Harold & Rose Massey

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 15


T

hree of the larger medical organizations in the Roanoke Valley are Halifax Regional in Roanoke Rapids, Our Community Hospital in Scotland Neck and Rural Health Group, which serves a sixcounty region including Halifax and Northampton counties. While large hospitals work to specialize in fields and cater to large numbers of patients, in small communities across the nation there are health care units specializing in people.

16 | Discover The Roanoke Valley

Health Care

By Stephen Hemelt

Tom Majure, Scotland Neck’s Our Community Hospital/Bryan Long Term Care CEO, said his facility is a critical-access hospital. The 20-bed hospital with 60-bed long-term care and 20-assisted living units combines community health

care with services for the aging. The facility also offers physical, occupational and speech therapy through the Allison-Shearin Outpatient Rehab and Wellness Center. Majure said this setup is advantageous.


“It’s a way to keep health care in small, rural communities that would probably be closed,” Majure said. “It’s a place for people who have difficulty going out of town for health care. We serve a lot of poor and elderly. There are people who wouldn’t get health care if not here.” Halifax Regional has moved into its 101st year of service to the area and is coming off a $6.5 million modernization and expansion of outpatient services. Medicare data ranked the hospital’s Joint Care Center with Dr. Rich Holm the best in the state. “I have met patients who came from five hours away in western Virginia and North Carolina because of Dr. Holm’s positive reputation,” Halifax Regional President/CEO Will Mahone said. Another first was the opening of the hospital’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy service. Science has proven when there is an illness or wound from an accident or surgery, blood circulation is affected and oxygen cannot flow to the affected areas. The body heals better when pressurized oxygen is applied. This gets oxygen to the areas that need it. At Rural Health Group, primary care to dentistry to diabetes screenings centering on testing for retinopathy are options for every patient. “There are a lot of people in this area who suffer from diabetes,” Rural Health Group CEO Brian Harris said. “The No. 1 cause of vision loss is retinopathy caused by diabetes, so we’re pleased to be able to offer screening for that.” There are dozens of general practice doctor’s offices and specialty locations in Halifax and Northampton counties. One special place is the Tillery People’s Clinic, which has been in existence since 1987. A small-town feel and patients treated as people and not numbers is what makes medical care in the Roanoke Valley special. The large and talented base of professionals provide big city treatments with smalltown hospitality.

Roanoke Valley health facilities ... Halifax Regional

250 Smith Church Road • Roanoke Rapids 252-535-8011 www.halifaxregional.us

Our Community Hospital and

The Allison-Shearin Outpatient Rehab and Wellness Center 921 Junior High School Road • Scotland Neck 252-826-4144 www.och-bltc.org

Rural Health Group

Administrative Office 2064 N.C. Highway 125 • Roanoke Rapids 252-536-5440 www.rhgnc.org

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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 17


By Roger Bell

Parks

W

hether you’re interested in camping, hiking, fishing, having a picnic or just lounging in the outdoors, there’s a park in the Roanoke Valley waiting for you. If it’s the state-run splendor of Medoc Mountain or the simplicity of Friendship Park, lovers of sun and landscape can find what they’re looking for with a short drive, or walk, to a park. If it’s a picnic, a historical tour, bird watching or some other fun or educational outdoor activity, there’s a park somewhere in the Roanoke Valley for you. With new parks this year in Enfield and Littleton, the options are even more appealing than in years past.

HALIFAX COUNTY ENFIELD Meier Oakview Park Bell Street 252-445-3146 Community Park 630 South McDaniel St. 252-445-3146 HOBGOOD Friendship Park Commerce Street 252-826-4573 HOLLISTER Medoc Mountain State Park 1541 Medoc Mountain Road 252-586-6588

LITTLETON John 3:16 Center KABOOM Park U.S. Highway 158 252-586-1800 ROANOKE RAPIDS Roanoke Rapids Parks & Recreation 6th Street 252-533-2847

Ledgerwood Field West 11th & Vance streets Long Park 400 block of East 4th & 5th streets Smith Park 600 block of 4th & 5th streets

Chockoyotte Park, Chockoyotte Street

Melody Park Cedar Street

Emry Park West 9th & Cleveland streets

Southgate Park Charles Circle

Rochelle Park 5th & Vance streets

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Tinsley Park Intersection of Arbutus & East 6th Street

Wheeler Park Shell & Oak streets

1829 Lees Meadow Road 252-826-3186

Eddie George Park Virginia Avenue

WELDON River Falls Park U.S. Hwy 301 252-536-4836

C.W. Davis Park Cedar Street Martin Luther King Jr. Park Wyche Street & Virginia Avenue Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail 15 Jackson St. Extension SCOTLAND NECK Sylvan Heights Bird Park

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY GASTON Dwight Hall Recreation Park Baird Street 252-537-1046 WOODLAND Woodland Park U.S. Highway 258 West 252-587-7161


ton/Lake Gaston Festival, the Haliwa-Saponi PowWow, Second Saturdays at Becker Village Mall, the Hobgood Cotton Festival, Tillery Cultural Awareness Festival, Fourth of July celebrations all incorporate music — many times encouraging local talent participation. Gospel concerts ranging from local churches on homecoming Sunday to praise and worship events hosting hundreds of youth can be found any time of year. Local restaurants and clubs have incorporated the local music flavor into their menu, and are enjoying the benefits. Live music seems to make people hungry and these establishments are seeing improved weekend crowds. AttheMic.com — a website owned by Andy Whitby, it is devoted to promoting local venues — is finding more and more local artists and events to promote. “What draws people to the area is the number of places having entertainment,” Whitby said. “The music industry in the Roanoke Valley is healthy. On a weekly basis, there are at least four to five venues with live music. Some weeks are busier than others, but most venues are pleased with the crowds they are getting.”

Live Music

R

By Della Rose

anging from Americana, Native American, country and western, bluegrass, beach music and rock ‘n’ roll to the intensely soulful gospel, praise and worship genre, the Roanoke Valley is home to a rich variety of music styles. While local music blossomed from church choirs and community events, The Royal Palace Theatre is helping grow the hometown music industry featuring local artists like The Hobgood Players in a varietyshow venue along with Conoho Creek and Eyes of Emiline including other great concerts and shows. The Roanoke Valley is home to its own professional music production services, many local disc jockeys and scores of professional and semiprofessional singers and musicians. Local beach music greats Steve Owens and Summertime recently took the Carolina Beach Music Award (Cammy) for Favorite New Artist of the Year. Jay Jenkins, of Shaggin on the Beach, and DJ Ray Ray also took home Cammys. Successful events including Fridays in the Park, Ducky Derby, Little-

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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 19


top things to see around the roanoke valley

Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail

Ducky Derby

by Stephen Hemelt

T

he city of Roanoke Rapids recently rededicated efforts to the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail to attract visitors. “I think (the museum) is a valuable asset the city has,” said Jeff Watson, new Museum manager and Roanoke Rapids Public Library System head librarian. The museum, along the Roanoke Canal Trail at 15 Jackson St. Extension, is the subject of a renewed push by City Manager Joseph Scherer to bring attention to the facility and get more people interested in visiting the Museum. Scherer, Watson and Museum leader Rodney Pierce, pictured, said the facility is reaching out to school systems throughout the Roanoke Valley and beyond. Pierce, formerly the city’s administrative assistant, was moved to the Museum and the Parks and Recreation Department to help with this effort. Promotional efforts have already begun with Pierce working closely with the Friends of the Canal, the Canal Museum Advisory Board and the Roanoke Canal Commission to step up efforts to draw attention to the facility. Watson added the Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau will be a valuable partner in this push. “We want to see residents of Roanoke Rapids using the Museum,” said Watson, who sees a natural relationship between the library and the Museum. “And we want others to utilize it as they pass through.” In 1976, the remnants of the canal were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the trail follows the canal’s original tow path for 7.2 miles between Roanoke Rapids Lake and Weldon. The Museum holds many exhibits about the history of the Roanoke River Valley, the engineering feats of the canal and its later use as a source of hydroelectric power. The western trail head is at Roanoke Lake Day Use Park and the eastern trail head is at River Falls Park in Weldon.

20 | Discover The Roanoke Valley

by Stephen Hemelt

T

he annual event is held in September at River Falls Park in Weldon. Highlights include all-day live entertainment, games, prizes, great food and crafts. More than 10,000 people attended 2012’s Ducky Derby, organizers said, adding about 3,500 rubber racing ducks were sold for the fundraising race, making the whole event hugely successful for the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce. Chamber CEO/President Allen Purser credited (former) coordinator Sonya Smith for an excellent job bringing the Derby together in 2012, also thanking sponsors, volunteers and all those who came out in support of the free festival that offered plenty of children’s rides and inflatables and family time. The main highlight of the event was the rubber duck race, where supporters bought a single rubber duck for $5, “six-quack” for $25 or 25 ducks for $100. More than 3,500 ducks were sold. Proceeds from the event sponsor Chamber programs, seminars, business showcases, Leadership Roanoke Valley, Business After Hours and other opportunities that benefit area businesses and economic development. In the end, it was Chris Prosser, visiting from New Jersey, who had the lucky ducky in 2012. “This is a good crowd and everybody’s having a good time,” Smith said. With 40 or more vendors each year, organizers promise something for everyone. Smith was grateful to everyone who helped make the event special, especially the folks at Abrams Ice Cream. Kelsey Livesay, of Roanoke Rapids, brought her son Tristin Harris out for his first Ducky Derby in 2012. Tristin, who was almost 1, seemed to take things in stride with his duck-billed cap, but he held a particular interest in his mom’s shaved ice. “I’ve been out here a few times,” Livesay said. “I like to see what’s going on and get funnel cakes.”


top things to see around the roanoke valley

Disc Dog action

The Crossing

by Stephen Hemelt

T

he Skyhoundz Disc Dog World Championship series has made Roanoke Rapids a stop the past four years, and city Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said 2013’s event was the largest held in terms of spectator participation. The event takes place in June at T.J. Davis Recreation Center and brings a crowd, with the RV park near Carolina Crossroads always reporting a strong turnout. The drawing card is the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship and DiscDogathon World Qualifier. Admission is free. Contestants and their canine teammates earn points for tricks ranging from simple throws to unbelievable acrobatics. The event welcomes mixed-breed and purebred dogs. Many of the canine athletes were rescued from animal shelters. Novice and veteran canine disc enthusiasts are encouraged to compete. All competitors receive an official flying disc, and the top teams receive an invite to Skyhoundz World Championships. “Mad Dog Club members and other competitors love coming to Roanoke Rapids,” said Ray Lowman, event coordinator. “No. 1, the RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads is top of the line, and the owners treat us with top-quality care. We enjoy the restaurants we have been to and have been very much welcomed by the staff. “The Roanoke Rapids Parks and Recreation Department has gone way out of the way to make the grounds safe and welcoming for the participants and the crowd that has come for years to watch the fur fly.” Hyperflite Flying Discs sponsors the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series, which features more than 100 local-level competitions, nine U.S. Qualifiers, five International Qualifiers, a European Championship and the World Championship.

by Stephen Hemelt

A

dventurists from across the country converge on Lake Gaston on the second Saturday every August for a morning that could be one of the most exciting events in the Roanoke Valley — The Crossing. 2013 marks the ninth year of the event, which traditionally starts at 9 a.m. with swimmers, kayakers, canoeists, walkers, runners and fun lovers all participating to raise money to support the Lake Gaston community. The Crossing is a charitable fundraising event for the young and young at heart. Swimmers and non-powered vessels traverse the one-mile open water span adjacent to Eaton’s Ferry Bridge, starting at Morningstar Marina and ending at WatersView Restaurant. The Crossing also includes a bridge walk. Participants walk across Eaton’s Ferry Bridge from Morningstar Marina to WatersView. Event founder Kathy Dikeman said a new record was set for timed swimmers in 2012. The first swimmer out of the water was 16-year-old Brett Barden at 19 minutes, 51 seconds. This was his second participation in The Crossing. The record-breaking numbers that year also included 361 participants and more than 100 volunteers. The Crossing is O’Sail’s largest fundraiser for the year and provides money for grants to nonprofit organizations that benefit the lake. Some of the grants have gone to local schools and volunteer fire departments. One of O’Sail’s crowning projects, “Ferry Tales” — the first book ever written about Lake Gaston — was created and published through a grant from O’Sail to students at Warren New Tech High School. “We hope people will continue to say we need money for these things,” Dikeman said.

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 21


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22 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


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ENFIELD Lenné Ward was born and raised in Enfield and graduated from Enfield High School. She said she couldn’t wait to leave. She went to Washington, D.C., and worked in the federal government for 30 years, then moved to New York. Ward said being able to live, work and mingle with such a diverse group of people was important to her. It expanded her knowledge of the world and with all the nationalities, there was no color. Sept. 11, 2001, Ward was working at the World Trade Center. She was late for work that day. When she emerged from the subway, she saw the buildings on fire. “My world changed that day,” she said, adding that’s when it hit her she wanted to come home. She is fulfilling her purpose now. “That’s my purpose in life,” she said. “To be here. To teach the young. To make it easier for the old to live the rest of their lives. To turn Enfield back to a place where I grew up and to be proud of (my) home.” The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown is ... it is historic. It’s one of the oldest towns in Halifax County. It has quiet neighborhoods and it’s a nice place to set on the front porch — everyone has a front porch — and talk to your neighbors. I live here because ... I love it! I love it. Of any place I could choose to live — Washington, D.C., New York or Enfield — I chose to come back to Enfield. I was at the point in my life where you have been blessed and you have to start giving back all the things you learned in other places. It was time to start helping. Time to start by being part of the solution. My family is here. My roots are here.

HALIFAX Chuck Peoples started off life in Halifax working for the Nature Conservancy. His first position there was Roanoke River Program Director. Now Peoples covers all of northeastern North Carolina. He moved to Halifax in 1999. He started doing work with a citizens group to help revitalize the town. He helped plan and implement various occasions, including fairs and projects to help make the community a better place. “It seemed like politics was the next step,” he said. That’s how he got his beginnings in local politics. Peoples is in his fourth term as a city commissioner. Peoples loves the history behind Halifax and the pride it brings to the community. What is the first thing a visitor should know about your hometown ... “The history of the Halifax Resolves, the fact the leaders of North Carolina gathered here to declare our independence from England.” (Halifax is known as a colonial town that played an integral part in the history of the United State’s fight for freedom from England.) For Peoples, it’s something all visitors should know about the town. The town also has history in transportation and commerce because of its location on the Roanoke River. I live here because ... “We settled here because of the unique history of the place ... and the environment around us. There are a lot of nice people around here.” What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... When Peoples 24 | Discover The Roanoke Valley

What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... The friendliness. People speaking to each other regardless of the fact they may see you 10 times a day. People waving at you when you pass by. They check on you if they haven’t seen you in a couple of days. I just love that everybody makes everyone feel so important. I’m most proud of my hometown because ... family, because that’s what it takes. Family helping each other and extended family and it just spreads. This place is familyoriented.

travels he has to go to more metro areas like Raleigh or Durham, so he misses the quietness of the town. “And how noncongested Halifax is,” he said. “The streets of town don’t usually get congested, unless it’s around 5 or 5:30 p.m., when workers leave for the day,” he said. I’m proud of my hometown because ... “The sense of community and character here.” He said the townspeople pitch in whenever needed and help one another, and they care for themselves. He said he often sees residents out taking care of their yards. He said there is a sense of pride that comes along with living in Halifax. “When you drive into town, you look around and see people take pride in their yards and their houses, and the general appearance of the town. It’s just a real nice sense of community here.”


LITTLETON Littleton Town Commissioner Heidi Hogan is originally from a small town, after several years of living in Fairfax, Va., teaching school and being exposed to the fast pace of big-city living — she and her husband returned to small-town living more than 20 years ago to live in “the little town with the big heart.” The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown is ... “There is more to offer than first meets the eye,” Hogan said. “We have Lakeland Theater, we have places to sit down and have a really nice meal. We have a local grocery store and its meat department in particular draws people from across a wide area.” I live here because ... “I love my house,” Hogan said. “And my husband and I have wonderful friends here. Our house was a project we took on 20 years ago. When you work on something that long, you put a lot of love into it. But I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... “I miss the ‘small town-ness’ of it,” Hogan said. “When I’m away, I miss the fact I do all my errands without going through a single traffic light. I’ve lived in big cities, and I like living in a small town.” I’m proud of my hometown because ... “I have a deep personal answer to that,” Hogan said. “I’m proud of the way the people of the town of Littleton stepped up and came forward when we were in danger of losing our library. People came forward with contributions and offers to do what needed to be done. People gave from the heart. I am really proud of the people in the town who did that.”

Discover The Roanoke Valley | 25


ROANOKE RAPIDS Mark Snead, of Roanoke Rapids, graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School and attended N.C. State University. He teaches at Roanoke Rapids High School and also coaches the Yellow Jackets baseball team. The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown is ... how neighborly our town is. Over the years Roanoke Rapids has been through its share of ups and downs, but one thing has not changed and that is how much the people of this town are there for each other. In down times, we are there to help in any way we can. In good times, we are there to help spread the good word and celebrate. It is nice to live in a place where you know you have good people as your neighbors. I live here because ... My family is and always has been a very important part of my life. My parents are RRHS alumni and have lived and worked here since their high school days. My brother moved back to Roanoke Rapids to work after college, as well. So after I graduated from N.C. State, I decided to move back to Roanoke Rapids to be near my family. And moving back here led me to meet my beautiful wife and start a family of our own. Now that I am married and have two wonderful kids, I realize more than ever Roanoke Rapids is a great place to raise children and have a family of my own. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... just being at home. It is nice to go visit other places, but there is no place like home. I like being surrounded by family and friends. I like Sunday dinners with my family.

I enjoy going outside to play with my children, talk to my neighbors or watch the neighborhood kids play together. I really miss the simple pleasures while I am away. I’m proud of my hometown because ... of our hometown spirit. For the most part, the people of Roanoke Rapids put God first and family second in their lives. This leads to a town that is able to take the good and bad times in stride and keep moving forward. We are able to rally behind one another and take pride in our community. We have faith that all things are possible through God. That is why I am proud to call Roanoke Rapids my hometown.

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26 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


SCOTLAND NECK Founder and director of the Scotland Neck Education and Recreation Foundation (SNERF), Mildred Moore was born and raised in Scotland Neck, and graduated from Brawley High School in the 1950s. She moved to Washington, D.C., and spent most of her life there, helping others. After 30 years, she and her husband Archie returned to Scotland Neck. In 1996 she began SNERF. Moore has received numerous community service awards, most recently named the Roanoke Valley’s Unsung Hero for her work with SNERF, serving a hot meal, educational programs and lots of love to second generations of area youth. What is the first thing a visitor should know about my hometown? people park in the middle of the street. Scotland Neck has an exceptionally wide main street with parking spaces marked off in the center of the road. Moore said that’s a good thing. It’s unique, it adds character to the town and most other towns don’t have that feature. I live here because ... of the fresh air and the peacefulness. She said there’s not a lot of hustle and bustle, and if one is looking for relaxation, Scotland Neck is the place to be. What I miss most about my hometown when I am away is ... her family — her husband and one of her daughters that lives in town and her “babies,” her children at SNERF. I’m most proud of my hometown because ... Sylvan Heights Bird Park. She said because of Sylvan Heights, Scotland Neck has something for visi-

tors they won’t find anywhere else. Looking at rare birds from other countries and other places, it’s a great asset. It’s rare to find something like that in a small town like this. Anyone touring would like to come back and visit again.

Weldon City Schools

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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 27


WELDON Stanley Edwards is a native of Madison. He graduated high school at Charles Drew High in Madison and went on to Livingstone College in Salisbury, where he earned a bachelor’s with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He went on to earn a mater’s at A&T State University with a major in biology and a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University with a major in school administration and supervision. He and his family came to Halifax County where he taught sciences at Chaloner High School after he taught three years in Amelia County, Va. He remained the Halifax County Schools until retirement, serving as teacher, principal, director of Support Services and assistant superintendent. He is married to the former Bertha Kornegay, of Goldsboro, and they are the parents of three adult children: Mark, Valeria and DeVaughn, who all graduated from Weldon City Schools. He has served on the following boards in this county: Halifax County Department of Social Services, Weldon City Schools, Deacon Board of First Baptist Church in Weldon; Board of Directors for the Weldon-Halifax Community Center Inc., Board of Directors for Weldon Day Care, Board of Directors for the Union Mission and now serves as a commissioner for the town of Weldon and on the Board of Trustees for Halifax Community College. He currently serves on the Executive Board of North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees and the National Board of Directors of the Association of Community College Trustees. Edwards’ hobbies are fishing, bowling, playing the card games bid whist and pinochle, and traveling. The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown is ... it has the distinction of being the Rockfish Capital of the World and is duly registered as such in the national registry. I live here because ... several reasons, one is because of the people who are extremely friendly, pleasant and cordial. The whole town seems as one big family. It has sort of an easy-going environment where there is little community stress and discord. Also, it is small to the point everyone knows

each other by name. Seldom does one run into another resident of Weldon and does not know who the person is. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... hanging out with the older generation of pals. I miss the bowling, the card playing and just the friendship we share. When I am away I also miss the religious endeavors of which I participate, which are the Bible study at Caledonia Correctional on Monday nights, the men’s Sunday school class and the Wednesday Bible study with some of the seniors of my church. I’m proud of my hometown because ... the overwhelming concern for the welfare of others the residents have. Any time there is a need, the community rises to the occasion to help and my feelings are that helping those in need is one of the greatest attributes one can have.


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Discover The Roanoke Valley | 29


Northampton County

30 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


CONWAY Roslyn Gay was born and raised in Conway. She moved away for awhile but always knew she would return home. Gay has been part-time town clerk for Conway since January of 2012. What is the first thing a visitor should know about my hometown? Even though things have changed in the past 10-20 years, we are still a closeknit and supportive community. I live here because ... My family is here. I was raised here and it’s home. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... The lack of traffic and the quiet. I miss the quietness. I’m proud of my hometown because ... We pull off the Conway Centennial Celebration. The town and area pulled together to make it a success.

GASTON The Lord called Pastor and Mrs. Wesley K. Agee to Gaston just over eight years ago to Grace Baptist Church. Pastor Agee received two undergraduate degrees at Ambassador Baptist College (Pastoral Studies and Theology). He was ordained by Chamblissburg Baptist Church in Moneta, Va., shortly after graduation. Prior to that Wesley and Sherry lived in southwest Virginia. They were childhood sweethearts who met on the bus. In December 2013, they will celebrate 30 years of marriage. Pastor Agee yielded to the ministry when he was about 35 years old. What is the first thing I tell people about my hometown is ... How incredible the Lord is for leading me here. Gaston and Roanoke Rapids and our surrounding areas are full of wonderful people. We all have our problems and our struggles, but there is a spirit of ‘neighborness’ here. There is still a hometown quality. Of course, I usually tell everyone as well about the area fishing (though I haven’t fished in years) and about the lake. I also tell them how good our church has been to Sherry and me. Our church is home. Although, we have two children and four grandchildren (with another one on the way), we also have a family here that loves us as well (and we love them). I live here because ... I can’t live anywhere else! God has called me here to pastor the wonderful people of Grace Baptist Church. To be obedient to my Lord, I must live here and serve Him. But the Lord has allowed me to serve Him with gladness and thanksgiving. When I was a candidate for the pastorate of Grace Baptist Church several years ago, some of the members said, ‘It’s as if you have always been here.’ God is so good and He has given me a wonderful group of people. My wife and I knew this was where we belonged and since moving here, we have never regretted it. The Lord has put a song in our hearts, and knit our souls together with the members of Grace Baptist Church. What do you miss about your hometown when you’re away ... Every time my wife and I go away on vacation, it is as if part of us has been left behind. We miss our church family most. Our hearts yearn to be back with

them. We are always excited to return to Gaston, and are always greeted with warm smiles and hugs. Honestly, I could leave and never miss I-95 or any of the buildings or businesses. Every community has roads, buildings and businesses. But my heart would grieve because I would miss our church family. What makes you most proud of your hometown ... I am most proud of the fact Gaston is on God’s map! God wants all who are in Gaston to be saved and He is willing to save all! Most of the people in Gaston are nice, hardworking people and that makes me proud. Most are still willing to help a neighbor in need and that also makes me proud. But I am most proud of the fact that most will still let you talk to them about the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ — that makes me most proud! It is wonderful to live in a community that (for the most part) still honors and reverences God — thank God for small town America. Thank God for Gaston.

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Garysburg Lola Ausby, Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Garysburg, has lived in the town all her life except for four years at Shaw University, where she studied biology. By her own estimation, Ausby has served on the town’s board of commissioners for 29 years, and said she always wanted to stay in Garysburg and help the community. She works for Dominion North Carolina Power. The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown is ... It’s a small, friendly town with positive family values. I live here because ... I take ownership in this town. I’ve always wanted to make Garysburg a better place to live. What I miss most about my hometown when I am away is ... My family. My mother, my brothers, my church family and my volunteer fire department family. I am proud of my hometown because ... of the improvements that have enhanced the living for the citizens of Garysburg. One thing, we have a Dollar General now, that is our Walmart. We built a new Town Hall, a new fire station, we have all the roads paved within the town limits. We also have improved the street lighting and hope to be able to make more improvements in the future.

JACKSON Joe Ella Brown is the athletic director and girls jayvee and varsity basketball and softball coach at Northeast Academy in Lasker. The first thing a visitor should know about my hometown ... how friendly and helpful everyone is. People in Jackson are willing to help with anything. I live here because ... I have always loved the small-town atmosphere. I lived in Raleigh for a while, and it was fine, but after a while it was time to come home. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... the friendly faces. Whether I am going to the grocery store or getting gas, I like being able to see friendly faces. Even when I am driving to work in the morning, I meet the same people on the road everyday and wave, it becomes routine and if I don’t see them, I wonder if something is wrong. I’m proud of my hometown because ... it is constantly trying to improve. Jackson is always trying to make itself a better place to live and raise a family.

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LASKER K athy B ryant was born in Ahoskie and grew up in Woodland. She moved to Lasker two and half years ago with her husband and two children. She has worked as a bookkeeper for C.G. Hall since she got out of high school. She still works for his son, William Hall, who operates the Napa store in Murfreesboro one day a week. She now works as a bookkeeper for Gene Bennett, who operates Bennett Brothers Partnership in Rich Square. The first thing I tell a visitor about my hometown is ... it’s a small town with friendly people and everyone looks out for one another. I live here because ... I love the country. I know everyone on my road and we look out for each other and help each other out. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away ... The peace and quiet of the country. Going out in my yard and hearing the chickens and looking across the field and seeing the deer grazing in the soybean fields and most of all the view of the sunsets from my porch. I’m proud of my hometown because ... My roots are here. My grandmother owned the land we are on now and that is special to me.

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SEABOARD Johnnie Lassiter has lived all his life in Seaboard except when he left to go to college. Lassiter is the co-owner of Broadnax Diner with wife Carolyn. In addition to running the long-time eatery, Lassiter is fire chief of Seaboard Volunteer Fire Department and a member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. What is the first thing a visitor should know about your hometown ... It is a small community where just about everyone knows one another. Lassiter said 75 percent of the people in the town have roots there because they either grew up there or have relatives located there. I live here because ... I love the atmosphere and don’t like big city living. Lassiter admits to liking space and being able to hear himself think. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... I miss the people and our daily customers. With a family atmospher, he said, any topic can be discussed. It’s always good to go on vacation but always good to come back. I’m proud of my hometown because ... there are a lot of good people who have grown up here and gone onto bigger things. He noted some left to become mayors of bigger cities and others made it into the entertainment industry. It’s a pretty well-rounded town.

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Rich Square The Rev. Dr. Yvonne Gatling lives in Rich Square and is the owner of A.J. Kiddie Lane Day Care Center in Rich Square. The Rev. Gatling has been in the day care business for more than 20 years. The first thing a visitor should know my hometown is ... it is a friendly place to visit. The people are friendly here. I like my neighbors and it is a quiet place. I live here because ... this is where I was born. I have been here all my life. All my roots are right here. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... my church and my family. I really miss my children and grandchildren. I’m proud of my hometown because ... I just love Rich Square. It is a small town and it is good to have a business here because I am very well supported.

SEVERN Marshall “M.E.” Lassiter had a few opportunities to pack up and leave Severn, but he never did. He first came to Severn in 1966 with Seaborn Airline Railroad. He said the town and the people kept him here and helped him become town manager, a position he’s held since 1983. Before becoming town manager he held various positions, including being a police officer and working for the water and sewer department. Lassiter said as town manager he works to make sure the town prospers, and as long as it does, he has job security. What is the first thing a visitor should know about your hometown ... “It’s a little town with a big heart,” is the town motto. The residents of Severn take that motto seriously and help each other out if there is ever a demand for it. Lassiter said most recently the town has banded together to help a resident who was diagnosed with cancer. We’ve helped a number of people. The people here are good people. We have good relationships with our industry here. Severn Peanut Company and Hampton Farms products are all over the town, and it’s a point of pride for the residents. The companies bring a lot to the community in the form of jobs and commerce. I live here because ... I want to. I determined a long time ago Severn was the place where I wanted to stay and live. He said at points in his life he had some “golden opportunities” to leave, and even though he was close to leaving once, he never did. When he originally came to

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Severn in 1966, he only anticipated staying for three months. He’s not sorry that he’s stayed. This is where I wanted to be. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... “My friends here, the people in the town, the ongoing affairs of the town, right on down to the water system and the sewer system. There is rarely a time when I don’t think about something that could be done, should be done, needs to be done or hasn’t been done to the town.” I’m proud of my hometown because ... We’re open to people of various likes and dislikes. He also said the community is blessed to have a good group of Mennonites who live in and around Severn. Again, we really have good people.


Woodland Woodland is the only place for Robbie Collier. He’s lived in the town all 46 years of his life, and barely leaves, but that’s how he likes it. Collier is the public works director in town and has been part of the volunteer fire department for 28 years. In December he became the chief. His father was a firefighter before him, and that is how Collier became involved. Before he was chief, he served as assistant chief and other positions throughout the ranks. He is also the Chairman of Deacons at Potecasi Baptist Church. Collier jokes he has his “hands full” in the town. What is the first think a visitor should know about your hometown ... Woodland is a quiet, little town. It’s a town that a lot of people come to retire (to). I live here because ... I love it here. This is my home. Woodland is where he was born and raised, and he hopes to stay in Woodland. What I miss most about my hometown when I’m away is ... Collier said he doesn’t make many extended trips out of Woodland. The longest he’s been away was a week, and that was three years ago. He and his wife went to the Bahamas to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. It’s was nice to get back home and enjoy the peace and quiet. I’m proud of my hometown because ... The small town community. When an emergency happens in town, whether it be a natural disaster or a fire, Collier said the town pulls together. Everybody helps everybody, he said. He also sees it on a daily basis, but it’s visible the most when the town is in need.

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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS AAA..................................................................................26 Ace Hardware of Lake Gaston...........................................23 Barfield Chiropractic..........................................................17 Bayberry Inn......................................................................35 Carolina Restaurant..............................................................6 Communtiy Home Care & Hospice...................................10 Cornerstone Christian Academy.........................................39 CPTA.................................................................................15 Daughtridge Gas...............................................................19 david’s Restaurant................................................................6 Edward Jones.....................................................................10 Halifax Academy................................................................11 Halifax County Smart Start.................................................37 Halifax Regional................................................................40 Hampton Inn.....................................................................17 It’s All About You...............................................................26 Jermonico’s..........................................................................6 Liberty Commons.................................................................8 Logan’s Roadhouse..............................................................6 Massey Funeral Home.......................................................15 Nature’s Manna..................................................................33 Northeast Academy............................................................29 Northampton County Tourism............................................25 Ocar’s Restaurant.................................................................6 Pino’s/Carini’s Italian Resturant............................................6 Pierce’s Plumbing...............................................................33 Piggly Wiggly Gaston.........................................................35 Ralph’s Barbcue...................................................................6 Reinco/Becker Self-Storage................................................29 Riverside Mills...................................................................26 Roanoke Electric Cooperative............................................38 Roanoke Rapids Health Care & Rehab...............................11 Roanoke Rapids Graded School District............................19 Roanoke Valley Motorsports...............................................13 Ruby Tuesday.......................................................................6 RV @ Carolina Crossroads....................................................5 San Jose...............................................................................6 Shell Furniture.....................................................................8 Spruce Creek Land and Timber ...........................................9 Steve’s Tire.........................................................................29 Stonehouse Timberlodge....................................................14 Today’s Electronics...............................................................8 Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.......................................2 Waste Industries.................................................................10 Weldon City Schools..........................................................27 Wildwood Nursery.............................................................29 Wrenn, Clarke & Hagan....................................................26 51 Sycamore........................................................................6 38 | Discover The Roanoke Valley


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