Two issues – lots of questions

Published 8:22 pm Monday, October 20, 2014

Two things to address this week – both of which I feel are of equal importance.

While at work on Saturday (with the TV on in my office, keeping me company; it watches me rather than vice-versa), I learned from WAVY TV 10 that a woman’s body was discovered in a shallow grave in a rural area of Albemarle County, south of Charlottesville, VA.

While it’s too early to tell, as there is a need to conduct forensic tests as part of an autopsy, the speculation is that the body is that of Hannah Graham, a University of Virginia sophomore who went missing on Sept. 13. A suspect in that case, Jesse L. Matthew Jr., was arrested in Texas on Sept. 24. He stands charged with abduction and intent to defile Hannah Graham, but he’s not talking.

During Saturday’s press conference concerning the discovery of the body, one law enforcement official said that hundreds of individuals – to include lawmen and volunteers – have spent thousands of hours searching the Graham since her disappearance.

I couldn’t help to think of the cases of two NorthamptonCounty men who have each been missing for over two years. Daniel McCoy Moses went missing from his home in the Rehoboth community on June 16, 2011. It’s been two years (Oct. 18, 2012) since anyone has seen Shawn Cornelius Alston, last reported walking along a path towards his home in the Garysburg area.

Sure, there has been an effort by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina SBI to find Moses and Alston. Earlier this year, a team of specially-trained dogs searched a wooded area near Moses’ home. That search turned up empty.

On the day of that search, the dogs and their handlers were supposed to head to Garysburg to search for Alston. However, the landowner refused to allow that effort to proceed.

This is just my opinion, but as a landowner I would permit such a search, making every effort to help a grieving family find some closure. Not allowing such a search raises a big, red flag….again, my opinion.

I’m puzzled over why the same effort as noted in the quest to find Miss Graham (hundreds of searchers; thousands of hours) is seemingly absent to locate Mr. Moses and Mr. Alston? That’s not to say that the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and SBI are not doing their jobs. In the case of the former, it’s a small department without the resources to tap into, like in an area as large as Charlottesville, VA.

However, there are two families here that suffer daily as they wait for the phone to ring. For one, it’s been a three-plus year wait; the other for two years. Why haven’t additional resources been added to these two local searches? What about using the judicial system to gain a search warrant for the property where the landowner is balking?

In issue number two, all I want to do is simply ask our U.S. Senator Kay Hagan about the $250,644 in federal stimulus funds (aka, taxpayer money) received by JDC Manufacturing, a company co-owned by her husband, Chip, and his two brothers. The money was used to upgrade light fixtures and gas furnaces and to install rooftop solar panels at a 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville, owned by the Hagans. Upon completion, those upgrades could reportedly save $100,000 in annual energy costs of that building.

According to published reports, the building is occupied by Plastic Revolutions, a recycling company. Published reports also noted that a contract to perform the work on the building was awarded to Green State Power. Public records obtained by The Carolina Journal point to the fact that Green State Power was founded in August of 2010, just seven weeks before JDC Manufacturing received the federal funds.

What’s even more intriguing is that Green State Power is owned by Chip Hagan and his son, Charles T. Hagan IV.

So, let me see if I can get this straight – JDC Manufacturing (owned by the Hagans) receives federal stimulus money that was paid to Green State Power (owned by the Hagans) to perform work at a building (owned by the Hagans) to cut the energy costs, to the tune of $100,000 per year, of a recycling business (owned by the Hagans).

Talk about having your cake, and eating it too.

Senator Hagan…is this all true or is it a right-wing conspiracy to steal away your Senate seat?

Your answer will decide my vote.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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