There…I feel much better now

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006

So much to say; so little space in which to do so.

I’ve got a load on my mind to say this week, so please bear with me as I navigate through my feelings.

Here goes….

I was a victim of highway robbery on Tuesday afternoon. I pulled my pick-em’up truck to the gas pump and then went inside to fork over $40.25 for 15.5 gallons.

Honestly, I wish one of the big wigs within what is the monster known as the oil industry would come to decision to place a fixed price on petro.

But we all know that’s impossible, given the fact that crude oil worldwide rides a roller-coaster market. However, I wish for just once, they would stop with the same old reasons why gas prices rise (not fall) so suddenly…..&uot;we have a refinery off-line; we are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina; or (what has to be my all-time favorite lame excuse) we’re re-tooling our plants to blend summer gas.&uot;

Would someone please tell me what the heck is &uot;summer gas.&uot; Does it cost more than &uot;winter gas?&uot; Is that price predicated on the fact that people tend to travel more in the summer than winter? Thusly, oil companies can rake in a few more billion dollars based upon our traveling habits.

I couldn’t live with myself if I failed to give a shout-out this week to the men’s basketball team at Chowan College.

Head coach Jim Tribbett and his Braves made the long trip last week to Indiana where they were one of only eight teams from across the United States to compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association Tournament.

In the Thursday-Friday-Saturday format, the Braves suffered only one setback – a razor-close 77-74 decision against the host school (Oakland City University) – en route to a third-place finish.

Their performance on the national stage was a win-win situation for Chowan. Those young men and their coaches represented the college in fine fashion, hopefully winning the hearts of a few young fans in the stands to the point they may consider Murfreesboro as their college destination.

The Braves were sizzling hot during the 2006 portion of their schedule, winning 16 games in 19 attempts. Cap that with a third-place finish in a national tournament and one can easily see the momentum gained for the 2006-07 season.

While on the subject of college hoops, NC State fans are asking is this Herb Sendek’s final season in the lead chair on the Wolfpack bench.

Herb, you do a good job coaching the talent level in which you feel comfortable recruiting. However, this is NC State University, the home of David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Derrick Whittenburg and perhaps the greatest guard tandem of all time, &uot;Fire and Ice&uot; –

Chris Corchianni and Rodney Monroe.

Herb, your offense is boring. If the three-ball isn’t falling, then the Princeton motion stuff doesn’t work. If the ‘Pack digs a hole, there’s no one player – say like Duke’s J.J. Redick, UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough or UVA’s Sean Singletary – that is capable of putting the team on his back and leading a charge.

Coach Sendek is more comfortable recruiting role players. But yet this is the ACC. Sure, there is a need for role players, but there is a bigger need for one or more blue-chippers on each team just to keep pace with Duke, Carolina and now Boston College.

Herb, you need to either pick up the pace on the recruiting trail or please take your game somewhere else.

Finally, I’ll wade into the shooting death of a Murfreesboro man by two Hertford County law enforcement officers on Saturday.

Questions are swirling on whether the officers exceeded the level of force necessary to bring this particular incident under control.

If the victim was my brother or close family member, I’d perhaps be asking the same questions the Britts’ are posing at this moment. It’s human nature to come to the defense of a loved one.

The only information this newspaper has gained to this point has come from law enforcement officials. In our past dealings with lawmen from throughout our coverage area, we have no reason to believe what they have shared with us over the years is not the truth.

What we know is what we have shared with our readers….the victim, prior to being shot at four times, was subjected to pepper spray and a tazer in an effort to bring him under control after he first struck MPD Officer Larry Newsome in the arm with a pipe.

Later, the victim allegedly charged at Officer Newsome and HCSO Deputy Jessie Fennell with a razor knife. The two lawmen attempted to back away, but the suspect kept coming, getting as close as 1-2 feet of Officer Newsome before he opened fire.

It isn’t usual for a law enforcement officer to draw his weapon in the line of duty. What’s rare, especially in our area, is for that officer to find him or herself in a position where they are forced to pull the trigger.

One man’s life tragically ended on Saturday when those shots rang out in the Centura Bank parking lot. Was that loss of life necessary or were the officers put in a position where their only recourse was to fire more than one shot in an effort to defend themselves?

Those are answers best left to the experts to decide. Let’s not pass final judgment until the SBI completes its investigation.