Newsmakers from 20 years ago

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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With all due respect to The Beatles….“It was 20 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.”

While at work over the past weekend, part of my chores included a search of a news story we published about a particular crime. I had promised a local citizen I would try to find what he was looking for, but to no avail. He couldn’t remember an exact date, only saying it was either in 2000, 2001 or 02.

During my search, I stumbled across a few interesting stories we published 20 years ago. For this week’s column, I thought I’d share a few articles published in the News-Herald during February 2000.

Hunter asks that high-powered hunting be banned (by Annette Pierce). Some people in Bertie County want to ban center-fired rifle hunting in the county.

Billy Johnson of Windsor was at a [Commissioners] meeting with a contingency of about ten men, and he told the board that he would like to see center-fired rifle use banned in the county.

He said he had contacted Rep. Gene Rogers, who advised him that it would be advisable to have an elected body to support the issue if the bill goes through legislation, and Johnson said that was why he was before the board.

Center-fired rifles include .30-06, .308, .30-30 and .223 rifles, which fire bullets at higher velocities than some other hunting guns. Johnson explained that “anything bigger than a .22” is center-fired.

Chairman Jasper Bazemore told Johnson that the board would discuss his request and take it under advisement.

G-P announces temporary layoffs (by Lucy Wallace). Officials at the Ahoskie Georgia-Pacific Chip ‘N Saw plant announced employee layoffs, a delayed consequence due to a January fire at the facility. Since the Jan. 26 fire destroyed a key piece of equipment at the facility, the possibility of laying off some of the 82 hourly employees had been discussed.

The temporary layoff will last until the last week of April or the first week of May and all of those employees affected will be eligible for unemployment compensation.

Approximately 70 employees are included in the layoff.

The lumber, the building and the equipment losses total an estimated $2.2 million said Wilkerson.

Pot roast recipe is a winner and a mystery (by Lucy Wallace). Carolyn Northcott, longtime Roanoke-Chowan Hospital switchboard operator, said this week that she recently received a check in the mail made out to her mother, Mildred Joyner.

Joyner is a resident of Guardian Care Nursing Home and is 87 years old. She has been living at Guardian Care for over three years.

Included with the check, dated Jan. 18, 2000, was a letter from the food editor of the well-known magazine Southern Living.

According to the letter, Joyner was being compensated for a pot roast with vegetables recipe that was published in the January 2000 edition of Southern Living.

What remains so mysterious is that Joyner doesn’t remember when she submitted the recipe, but her daughter said it would have to have been at least three years or more – before her mother became a resident at Guardian Care.

“We can’t figure out how many years (ago) she sent this recipe in before it was published, but we know it was before Nov. 1, 1996,” said Northcott.

Northcott said she told her mother she was a star now – a celebrity, “because Southern Living is read all over the world.”

Rescuers save fisherman from watery death (by Lance Martin). A 57-year-old Jackson man was pulled from the waters of Vaughan’s Creek Sunday night after he got entangled in fishing net, Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent said.

Jerry Moody was found around 9:50 p.m. afloat in the water wearing a life jacket.

Vincent said Moody was able to speak when Murfreesboro Volunteer Rescue Squad members first found him about a mile and a half from where he put the boat in off the Princeton Farm Road between Pendleton and Murfreesboro.

When they pulled him out of the water he began to have seizures and apparently hypothermia began to set in, Vincent said. The water temperature was said to be between 30 to 40 degrees.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him 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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