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Complaint filed over county 911 charges dispute

A complaint and motion recently filed in Halifax County Superior Court by the City of Roanoke Rapids allege the county must provide 911 dispatching services to municipal emergency responders at no charge.

“I don’t like to comment on pending litigation, but I don’t want anyone to think that the City and the County are fighting with one another, or that this is indicative of some broader rift between the two governmental entities,” City Attorney Geoffrey Davis of Roanoke Rapids said on Friday. “We simply have a dispute regarding the law applicable to the 911 Center situation, and it’s come to the point where the City feels it needs a third party to make the decision for us. That’s what the courts and the Declaratory Judgment Act are for, after all.”

County Attorney Glynn Rollins responded to The Herald on Friday, “It is our policy to not discuss pending litigation. We will be responding to the complaint and the motion for injunctive relief in due course. Those responsive pleadings, when filed, will be public record.”

According to the court document submitted May 3, the city made several attempts to negotiate with the county to find an alternative resolution to the situation. The document further reads that the county “rejected” the attempts which was formally sent on Feb. 23, from Rollins.

The letter from Rollins in the court document reads, “The Halifax County Board of Commissioners met in closed session on Monday evening, Feb. 21, 2022, to discuss certain proposals made by Councilman Ferebee on behalf of the City of Roanoke Rapids with regard to funding from the city to defray a portion of the costs of personnel for the public safety answering point (PSAP) operated by Halifax County. After much discussion and deliberation, I have been directed to advise you that the county rejects any changes to the interlocal agreement that the county and the other participating municipalities have already adopted. The county is willing to have the city enter into the same interlocal agreement but with an effective date of July 1, 2022 (not retroactive to July 1, 2021).”

The city further stated in the court document that the county’s counsel noted if the City of Roanoke Rapids continued to refuse to accept the proposed agreement the county will “invoice and expect reimbursement” for the costs related to municipal dispatching.

The court document further reads that on April 7, Halifax County Manager Dia Denton sent a letter on behalf of the county with an invoice to the City of Roanoke Rapids of $406,863.00 for 911 service for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year.

Brooke to represent in '1776' performance
  • Updated

After a long wait, the all-female revival of the musical “1776” is premiering this month, featuring Hollister native singer and songwriter Brooke Simpson as Roger Sherman.

According to the American Repertory Theater website, the musical will show on Tuesday at the Loeb Drama Center at Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The performance depicts John Adams attempting to convince the Continental Congress to move forward for American independence with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Simpson has been a superstar in Halifax County with her rise to fame by participating in The Voice and America’s Got Talent. With the community and the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe cheering her on, her closest supporters — her family — have been there on the journey with her.

“I am extremely proud to be able to witness this moment in Brooke’s life,” her mother, Jimille Mills, said on Friday. “She is an extremely hard worker, and to see it pay off is so rewarding. I know this is a bit out of her element, being she will not only be singing but also acting. As far as the all-female cast, I am anxious to see how this will all play out in portraying male characters in the ‘1776’ musical. It makes it even more intriguing and exciting as we wait to see her perform in two weeks.”

Mills said she has not been able to speak with her personally as much as she would like, but Simpson’s rehearsals are very demanding.

“There were times Brooke spoke of being extremely stressed, but it was only because she does everything with the spirit of excellence,” she said. “Once she learned her parts, she was back on cloud nine. She is extremely excited and is loving every moment of this opportunity. The hardest thing is missing her husband and her dogs. They are not able to be there with her being he is creative arts pastor for a church back near LA.”

Mills said her daughter is the only indigenous/Native American actor in the “1776” performance and is representing all of her tribe.

“Her Tribe is very proud of her and very supportive,” she said. “Someone is already making plans to charter a bus to take a group out once the show comes to New York. Right now, the show is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from now until the end of July. She would get August off and starting September, they will begin shows in New York going through the spring of 2023.”

For ticket information, visit