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2014 Rewind: February

They are known as America’s Greatest Generation.

Apparently, France thinks so as well.

In a ceremony conducted in Raleigh on Feb. 20 in the old House Chambers of the historic North Carolina State Capitol, French Consul General Denis Barbet presented 14 North Carolinians with the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration awarded by that country.

Those men – a few barely able to walk due to physical ailments – all helped to liberate France from the clutches of Hitler’s Germany during World War II. Three of the 14 honorees hail from the Roanoke-Chowan area – Joseph (Joe) Dickerson and Richard (Dick) Hammel, both of Murfreesboro, and Carl Russell Britt of Milwaukee.

Dickerson was injured four times in combat (and received four Purple Hearts) while serving with Company E of the Army’s 116th Infantry during World War II. He was among the first wave to storm Omaha Beach during the famed Battle of Normandy (D-Day), and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Hammel was also part of D-Day, but rather than storming the beach, he dropped in as a member of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Britt was a Sergeant with the 274th Infantry Regiment, 70th Division during World War II where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge as well as other battles. After the war, Britt graduated from East Carolina Teacher’s College (now East Carolina University) and launched what turned out to be a 42-year career in education as a history teacher and later as an administrator.

Privott resigns

Scott Privott resigned Feb. 5 as head football coach at Hertford County High School.

Privott leaves with the distinction of having played and coached at his alma mater. He starred for three years as a defensive tackle under the late legend, Coach Daryl Allen.

A severe knee injury in high school prevented Privott from playing in college at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, where he received his degree and then returned home in 1991 to teach.

One year later, Privott joined the coaching ranks, first as assistant junior varsity football coach in 1992. Three years later, then-head coach of the Bears, Carl Brock, promoted him to the varsity, where he coached the defensive line, beginning in ’95.

In 2003, Privott returned to the Bears’ junior varsity as head coach, a position he held until being promoted to varsity assistant in 2005.

Privott took over as Bears head coach in 2009 after serving four years as an assistant.

Arrests made for

staging accidents

An alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a series of staged auto accidents in Bertie and Hertford counties has netted nine arrests.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced the arrests of Erika Hoggard, 24, of Ahoskie; Shemelle Hymn, 19, of Windsor; Tammy Denise Miller, 46, of Colerain; Ashley Anastasia Perry, 27, of Ahoskie; Fred Ledel Riddick, 43, of Colerain; Sharonda Sessoms, 25, of Aulander; Travis O’Neil Basnight, 28, of Colerain; Stephanie Privott, 33, of Winton; and Tinesha Ronica Winston, 22, of Colerain.

The charges include attempting to obtain property by false pretense, insurance fraud, and filing a false police report.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that over the course of several years, the defendants conspired to defraud several insurance companies of thousands of dollars by submitting fraudulent documentation in support of insurance claims for property damage and injuries caused by more than 30 staged accidents in Bertie and Hertford counties.