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Funeral director faces fraud charge over missing body

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ROCKINGHAM — Fifteen months after Debbie Bibee paid to have her mother cremated, state regulators still don’t know what became of the woman’s body.Now the funeral director hired to perform the cremation in May 2013 is facing a fraud charge in Richmond County.Sheriff’s deputies in Franklin County arrested 46-year-old Larry Wayne Russell last Friday on a Rockingham Police Department warrant charging Russell with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.Russell owned and operated the Russell-Marks Funeral Home in Rockingham, which the N.C. Board of Funeral Services shut down in August 2013 after investigating a series of complaints alleging bodies were mishandled and death certificates were not filed.


Swett sweeps Richmond in tennis

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior girls tennis team will get one more chance to break into the winning column before wrapping up its regular season.Richmond dropped to 0-10 overall and 0-9 in Southeastern Conference play after being swept by Purnell Swett Wednesday afternoon. The contest was suspended from Sept. 23 when rain showers hit the area. The Rams are 7-5 on the season and 6-3 in conference.“They were a little more sluggish today,” Richmond coach...

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Richmond Pines still in limbo

ROCKINGHAM — Despite a self-imposed deadline of Sept. 30, Anna and Burl Rose are still keeping Richmond Pines Golf Course open at this time.The question is: For how much longer?“We are taking it day by day,” Anna Rose said. “We are going to turn the carts in. We can get more if we want, but we’re not going do that until we know something. We’re kind of in limbo.”The Roses have been leasing the property from Craig McNei...

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Car plows into business

ELLERBE — A pet grooming business is in shambles after state troopers say an inattentive driver plowed through it Wednesday afternoon.Jared Austin Haywood, 31, of Jackson Springs, wasn’t paying attention when he hit the curb and drove his 1995 Ford Mustang into Sissy’s Dog Grooming on the corner of Ledbetter Road and Main Street, according to Trooper T.R. Grooms with the N.C. Highway Patrol.Grooms said Haywood was going between 60 and 70 miles per hour ...

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Scholars: Tent city on sacred ground

ROCKINGHAM — There’s an old saying that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”The Place of Grace, a homeless ministry of New Life Church east of Rockingham, established a safe haven for the homeless on Sept. 6 with more than 100 representatives from agencies specializing in services for the elderly, homeless and veterans and people from the community eager to help. County commissioners Thad Ussery and Ben Moss came out in a show of support at the potluc...

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Man accused of knife assault

ROCKINGHAM — A man was arrested Tuesday after police say he attacked another man with a knife.According to a magistrate’s order, Horace Jamar Green, 28, of 1038 Pineridge Drive, Rockingham, assaulted Reginald Gadson with a knife Tuesday, “inflicting serious injury.”Green was charged with a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and jailed under a $10,000 secured bond.Green was still in the Richmond County...

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Sewer system grant hinges on tax collection

HOFFMAN — Maggie Bethea came on board as the town clerk in February with a full plate.The northern Richmond County town is aiming to boost its tax collection rate to apply for a grant to put in a sewer system.Funding for phase one of the project — in the form of a $3 million Community Development Block Grant — was approved in May, but in order to qualify for phase two funding, the town must have a collection rate of 95 percent.Bethea said cur...

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Music, arts fest celebrates Hamlet native John Coltrane

HAMLET — Those interested in music and history of Richmond County can lend an ear this weekend for the sixth annual John Coltrane Music Edu-Tainment Festival.The festival honoring the late jazz legend will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at Wayman Chapel Faith Center, a general, multi-use facility located at 451 Osborne Road in Hamlet off Airport Road.Organizer and Hamlet native G.A. Morrison said this year’s event will be a two-day celebration, however,...

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First-year principal relishes leadership role

ROCKINGHAM — When Principal Jamie Greene accepted a position at East Rockingham Elementary School in January 2014, she knew she’d made the right decision.Though this year is her first as a principal, Greene is no stranger to the classroom.“Coming from a family where my mother was an educator, I knew the importance of school and education as I was growing up,” she said, naming at least three family members who were employed within the educational s...

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Morehead-Cain Scholarship finalists named

Five Richmond Senior High School students have earned interviews to advance in the University of North Carolina’s Morehead-Cain Scholarship application process. They are Trey McInnis, Katie Satterfield, Sarah Maske, Molly Russell and John Pittman.The Morehead-Cain was established in 1945 and modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. The Morehead-Cain is the oldest, most prestigious merit scholarship program in the United States.

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Park Scholarship finalists announced

Two students have been selected to represent Richmond Senior High School for North Carolina State’s Park Scholarship.Trey McInnis and John Pittman will advance to the next level of competition for the scholarship award.The Park Scholarship is one of the most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarships in the nation. The four-year award is valued at about $75,000 for North Carolina residents.A stipend for the purchase of a personal computer is also provi...

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Retired letter carrier celebrates 90th birthday

George LeVander Jr. celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 21 in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church in Rockingham. His wife, Julina LeVander, and daughter, Martha Anderson, hosted the birthday party.Light refreshments were provided for 112 family members and friends who attended, many from out of town.George retired from the U.S. Postal Service with 30-plus years as a letter carrier in the Rockingham Post Office. His last 23 and a half years were mad...

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Highland Games to showcase Scottish heritage

LAURINBURG — Derek Noble of Raleigh was born and raised in Ceres, a tiny village in Fife, Scotland, where the oldest continuous Highland games began in 1314, only nine years after Scots hero William Wallace was executed in London.On Saturday, across a vast ocean and many centuries, on the grounds of Scotland County’s historic John Blue house, a progeny of that time and place, Noble’s 13-year-old daughter, Waverly, will help uphold ancient traditions held so dear b...

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Richmond Memorial plans wellness screening fair

ROCKINGHAM — Between the years 1976 and 2007, influenza-related deaths in the United States ranged from an estimated low of 3,000 to an estimated high of 49,000.About 90 percent of these deaths occurred in people age 65 and over and many could have been prevented.On Saturday, Oct. 11, during the 32nd annual Wellness Screening Day hosted by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, adult residents of the Richmond County community (those 18 years of age and older) will...

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Senate race more interesting in fiction

While you are watching U.S. Senate campaign television ads, occasionally interrupted by brief segments of programming, do you ever wonder what goes on inside the candidates’ campaign organizations?For instance, what if you could take on the role as the top aide to an incumbent North Carolina U.S. senator running for re-election against a top state official who has a full war chest of campaign funds? Interesting? Challenging?

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LETTER: Obama, Holder advance creeping socialism

To the editor:If a person is killed because he or she has a Christian belief or a group of soldiers who are disarmed are killed, Obama and his crew do not think that is terror. Also, he would never call it racism or a hate crime (unless, of course, the perpetrator happens to be white).I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Obama and Eric Holder both have declared war on the white race. They are intent on bringing America down, getting A...

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LETTER: Why should county tax pay for city rec complex?

To the editor:I have seen signs up in and around Rockingham for a new tax. The signs say that this will bring growth and employment to the county.1. How long does this tax last for, and is this for the whole county or just for Rockingham?2. If this is for the whole county, will they build a park in all the towns in the county, or just in Rockingham for the people in this town?3. If it is just for Rockingham and not for the whole cou...

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Pinecrest wins SEC match

ROCKINGHAM — Pinecrest found itself once again atop the conference leaderboard.The Patriots posted the best team score for the third time in four Southeastern Conference matches Tuesday afternoon at Richmond Pines.Pinecrest had a 342, besting Richmond by 28 shots. Purnell Swett was third at 390 just edging Hoke by six strokes. Scotland was fifth at 413 and Lumberton had a team score of 441.Cassie McFayden led the way for the Raiders, firing an 88. Cassie...

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