The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


October 25, 2012

ECC sales tax will strengthen public safety

TARBORO — The Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero is quoted as saying, “The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”

On Nov. 6, Edgecombe County residents will cast their vote on the quarter-cent sales tax referendum. That vote could help Edgecombe Community College better train the heroes of Law Enforcement, Firefighting, 911 Communications, Emergency Management, and Emergency Medical Services who make up our county’s public safety system.

Our society is always growing, changing, and presenting new challenges for our county and our citizens. When the challenges we face involve crime, fire, hazardous materials, medical emergencies, disaster response, and other issues of public safety, it is important  we be proactive in training responders to meet the worst case scenarios.

It doesn’t end there. It is equally as important to continuously refresh their knowledge and skills with new techniques as they emerge.

Both campuses of Edgecombe Community College as well as local fire departments are currently used to provide training for our emergency responders. This is necessary but still leaves so many needs unmet.

Emergency classes are complex and often require expanded space and specialty equipment. Our classes now move from room to room as space allows; occasionally there are no classrooms available.

Dedicated space also is needed to place specialty equipment and simulation labs that cannot be moved in and out of traditional storage spaces. The proposed 24,000-square-foot Workforce Training Center on the Tarboro campus will feature training rooms specialized to meet the EMT, paramedic, firefighter, technical rescue, and law enforcement training needs that cannot be met due to our current space limitations.

We all suffer as a result of the sluggish economy and look forward to the return of better times. At the college we see the strain on the faces of some of our students and we hear the stories of how education is helping them overcome their obstacles. I can’t begin to describe the joy I find in helping someone who is unemployed or underemployed to complete a program and enter a new profession with newfound pride and stability.

Many unemployed, underemployed, and displaced workers seek out new career opportunities that are personally rewarding but also have that feeling of stability not previously enjoyed in the private sector. Some of these students search for emergency services jobs that are always in demand.

Imagine giving back to your community as you earn a living!

The revenue from the quarter-cent sales tax would provide the funds needed to move forward with the planning, design, and construction of the new Workforce Training Center without an increase in property taxes.

Our goal at the college is to provide programs and job training to promote economic recovery for all Edgecombe County citizens. In the Public Safety Programs area we also work to keep our county’s citizens safe and healthy. These missions will never change. Now your college needs your support so we can continue to train our local heroes. Please say “YES” to Edgecombe Community College.

Lee Darnell, MBA, NREMT-P


Public Safety Programs

Edgecombe Community College

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  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014


    On July 28, 911 was called because my husband had a bad headache. I was transferred to communications in Edgecombe County, where I spoke to a female operator. I informed her I needed Rescue because my husband had a bad headache and gave her our address and telephone number.

    September 26, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Sheriff Knight’s “guys” may have worked hard on the case concerning Melvin Ray Fox, but did they really? Probably not for the sheriff, but for someone else behind the scenes. Not condoning Mr. Fox for his crime, because he should be punished, but not necessarily in the manner of leaving behind his wife as well as his 3-, 5- 7- and 13-year-old children.

    September 10, 2013


    Concerning the Tarboro High 2013 Vikings football team: They have heart and desire. That was shown Friday night versus Washington. Just like last year’s state championship game, we got behind against a very good team. The Vikings didn’t quit even though they had several injuries throughout the game.  Right up to the last minute we had a chance  but, things didn’t go our way.

    September 5, 2013


    To the Editor:
    It appears Mr. (Garland) Shepheard is shaking up things in our fair city according to a recent Daily Southerner article. Hurrah for him. This citizen, for one, believes the status quo needs a little shake up.
    I don’t know if Mr. Shepheard is disrespectful with his words and/or
    actions at council meetings or not. I don’t attend them any longer. It isn’t that I don’t care that some residents may suggest.

    September 4, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Having just recently read the front page article in The Daily Southerner regarding Councilman Shepheard’s issues with the Tarboro town manager, I was left with more questions than answers.
    The article states that  Mr. Shepheard’s reasons for not voting in favor of extending the town manager’s contract had to do with “deplorable conditions of three town facilities, Thornton’s hiring practices and giving the council what he said was false information.” That’s it.  That’s all the information we were given.

    September 2, 2013


    To the Editor:
    So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.? I have never heard of you. I have tried to find your voter registration on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and I can't find it.
    Somebody said that you have an impressive resume. I say and ?
    But what I find interesting is the following. Mr. Dennie the current Sheriff is the following: "The sheriff of any county should be a person who has a personal interest in the citizens that work live and visit their county,"

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am glad that opinions are being expressed regarding my actions at the Town Council meetings,  both by Mr. Walker and Mr. Wooten.
    It is my intention to expose the concerns expressed to me by the taxpayers of Tarboro, and when I find something that causes Tarboro not to be the Town we can all be proud of, I will speak up. I was told by people in Ward 8 when I ran for this office not to be like the rest of the Council and I expressed that to the members. The problems that exist in Tarboro should not have to be aired in public or at the Town Council Meetings and there should not be any discord.

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am writing out of concern about disc golf. We as a town need to consider projects that have been given to (parks and recreation director) Cheryl Gay before this disc golf came along — like a walking trail at Clark Park, repairing the bathrooms, making sure the playground equipment is up-to-date and finding out what happen to the lights on the baseball field before we find money for disc golf. The town needs to consider what we been discussing in these last couple of meetings about recreation. I would love to see the Clark Park baseball field turned into a kickball field, which is a sport that everybody knows how to play, before you consider disc golf.
    Greg Higgs,

    August 15, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Monday night at the Town Council meeting (Aug. 12, 2013), I witnessed some the most disruptive,vitriolic and asinine behavior that I’ve ever seen, in the person of (Ward 8) councilman Garland Shepheard.  For several months, his behavior has grown progressively worse and it seems to embolden him to waste my time, the time of the other council members and the time of other citizens who care enough about Tarboro to attend council meetings.

    August 15, 2013

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