AHOSKIE – They giggled, knocked over a few orange cones, and returned to class.
Hopefully, they got the message…not in the form of a text.
Last week, the Ahoskie office of the North Carolina Highway Patrol conducted a campaign at Roanoke-Chowan Community College aimed at encouraging young people about the dangers of distracted driving.
NCHP First Sgt. Mike Warren and Trooper K.R. Genao conducted the campaign, one that involved college and Early College High School students.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to come here and share with these young people about the dangers associated with distracted driving,” said Warren. “This program is near and dear to my heart. In my job I see way too many young lives lost in accidents, whether it’s due to speeding, drinking or distracted driving.”
Warren said the program is “fun” but at the same time is designed to drive home one major point of emphasis.
“Yea, we laughed; we had fun together, but the name of the game is that we learned something very important and we did it together,” Warren said. “This is serious business; we at the Highway Patrol take our jobs very seriously, and among our duties is to protect you, those who drive on our local roads. And we use programs such as the one here today to protect you.
“Think about what you just did….knocking over those cones while operating a golf cart at a low speed,” Warren continued. “Now think about operating a normal vehicle at normal speed while attempting to send or receive a text message. You can’t do it; no one is capable of doing it without placing themselves or other motorists at great risk. Heaven forbid that we see your face at an accident scene.”
Genao served as the “in-cart” observer – riding as a passenger with each student as they attempted to maneuver the cones.
“We’ve had 13 fatalities on our local roads this year, one was an infant,” Genao noted. “I do not want to see any of you become our fourteenth. After going through this course today (which also included classroom work), you know what to do; you know what not to do.”
Genao said that no matter the level of driving experience, no one will ever master the art of texting and driving without causing a risk.
“You can’t do it….you may say well I’ve done it and didn’t cause an accident,” she said. “You perhaps didn’t realize just how close you were to the center line or the shoulder of the road. What about the next time…when you become distracted and cross the center line, injuring or killing yourself or another motorist. Don’t let there be a next time….remember what you learned here today.”
Drivers in virtually all age groups are texting while driving, experts say, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent figures show that 3,331 people have been killed in wrecks involving a distracted driver.
In North Carolina, the law that made texting or checking email while driving illegal was passed in 2009. The penalty is a citation, a $100 fine and court costs of up to $130. However, drivers seemingly still engage in texting while driving as the number of citations for breaking that law, while operating a personal vehicle, has been on the rise in recent years. Statewide, 1,925 such citations were issued in 2012. That number grew to 2,609 last year.
An expansion of the law in December 2012 led to 1,080 additional citations against drivers of commercial vehicles. There also was a 50 percent increase in citations against school-bus drivers, from 18 to 27.
Texting while driving is also deadly. Earlier this month, 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford was driving on Interstate 85 Business in High Point. Police said she was replying to a text at the time of the crash. Her last text was posted at 8:33 a.m. A minute later, the accident report showed that Sanford’s car veered into the path of oncoming traffic and plowed into a heavy-duty truck, killing her, according to an article published in the Greensboro News & Record.
Warren also reminded teen drivers that it’s against the law in North Carolina for drivers under the age of 18 to use a mobile phone or any technology associated with a mobile telephone while a vehicle is in motion. That includes making a call on a cell phone.
Exceptions to that law include talking to an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician’s office, or health clinic; a public or privately owned ambulance company or service; a fire department; a law enforcement agency or the operator’s parent, legal guardian or spouse.
If a minor is caught using a mobile communication device while driving, they will receive a $25 fine. In addition to mobile phones, the law also stipulates the use of “other technology” that provides access to digital media such as a digital camera, email, music, the Internet or games. No driver license points, insurance surcharge or court costs are assessed as a result of a violation of this law.
This law became effective Dec. 1, 2007
ROANOKE-CHOWAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S BASIC SKILLS PROGRAM TO GIVE FREE GED PRACTICE TESTS FOR LIMITED TIME
See for Free program helps students pass the GED test
WHO/WHAT: From September 22 – October 3, 2014, Roanoke-Chowan Community College’s Basic Skills Program is giving away free GED practice tests to all students who come into the center. Students who take GED Ready can see for free:
- If they’re ready to pass the GED test
- The skills they need to work on to pass the test
- A personalized study plan detailing pages and chapters to study in their favorite study books
Students can also learn about classes and other resources to help them prepare for the GED test. To learn more or to schedule a free GED Ready practice test, contact Hayward Humphrey at 252-862-1258.
September 22 – October 3, 2014
Roanoke-Chowan Community College’s Basic Skills Program
109 Community College Road,
Ahoskie, NC 27910
To schedule media interviews or to speak with either a Roanoke-Chowan Community College Basic Skills representative or GED Testing Service representative, please contact:
Michele Meischeid, Dean of Basic Skills
Roanoke-Chowan Community College,
109 Community College Rd.,
Ahoskie, NC 27910
C.T. Turner | Senior Director
GED Testing Service
202-471-2228 | PublicAffairs@GEDtestingservice.com
About GED Testing Service: The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 19 million graduates since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma.
About Roanoke-Chowan Community College’s Basic Skills Program: The R-CCC’s Basic Skills Program has provided educational services to the area citizens for over 30 years. Former R-CCC Basic Skills students have gone on to enroll at R-CCC and other colleges to continue their education; to pursue higher paying positions with their current employer; to find higher paying positions with new employers; and to increase their skills to become more involved with their families and communities. The Basic Skills Program motto is, “The more you know, the further you’ll go, and the brighter your future will be!”
R-CCC Board of Trustees welcomes new members
Ahoskie, N.C. — The Roanoke-Chowan Community College Board of Trustees welcomed a new member into its ranks at its monthly meeting on August 26. Julie Terry was sworn in by Magistrate Deborah Morrison. Governor Pat McCrory appointed Terry to replace James Eure after his term had expired. She resides in Bertie County and works as a counselor at Bearfield Primary School in Ahoskie. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and is a member of the North Carolina School Counselor Association and the American School Counselor Association. Terry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Intermediate Education and a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from East Carolina University. She is a member of Powellsville Baptist Church.
Also new to the Board is student Trustee, SGA President Randy Artis. He is a second-year Associate in Arts student who plans to transfer to East Carolina University where he will major in History. He is also a member of B.O.S.S., the male mentoring program. His overall goal is to be a high school history teacher, and eventually obtain a Doctorate in Education and become an administrator in a public school system.
Also sworn in were returning Board members Ronald Gatling and Carl White, who have served on the R-CCC Board for 10 and 20 years, respectively.
On behalf of the Board, Chairperson Wendy Ruffin-Barnes and Dr. Michael Elam presented James Eure with a pewter cup engraved with his years of service. As a token of gratitude, he was also presented with his photograph that has hung in the R-CCC Board Room throughout his six-year tenure as a Trustee.
Also, during the meeting, the R-CCC Board of Trustees elected a new Chairperson, Andre Lassiter, and re-elected Ronald Gatling as its Vice-Chair. The R-CCC Board and Dr. Michael Elam expressed words of gratitude to Wendy Ruffin-Barnes for six years of dedicated service to the R-CCC Board of Trustees as its chairperson. Mrs. Ruffin-Barnes will continue to serve her term as a Trustee.
R-CCC President, Dr. Michael Elam, said, “Since I arrived more than a year ago, and have worked with Mrs. Ruffin-Barnes, I have been impressed with the dedication and commitment of Mrs. Ruffin-Barnes and all of the Board of Trustees. I am looking forward to working with Mr. Lassiter to further refine and achieve our goals and commitment to providing world-class education and workforce training to our community. The reappointment of Trustees Gatling and White offer us continuity that is important for maintaining the momentum established in this previous year. Mr. Eure has provided outstanding service and leadership over the past six years. He will be missed on the Board of Trustees; however, we are elated that he has pledged his continued commitment to the College by his service to the R-CCC Foundation. With regard to our newly appointed Trustees, their contributions to Board discussions will be extremely valuable. I look forward to working with our entire Board to create pathways of success for our students.”
AHOSKIE – A giant art mural covering an entire wall in the Student Center at Roanoke-Chowan Community College, (R-CCC) ,was unveiled Monday as part of the opening of the fall semester and everyone from the painters to the president hope this is just the beginning.
“We hope we can paint one per semester,” said college Fine Arts Department chairman Jim Messer, who was also one of the painters.
The mural is the first of a collective involving RCCC, the Hertford County Arts Council, the Ahoskie Historic Preservation Commission, the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, and the Chowan Discovery Group.
“We’re hoping to use art as a force for economic development,” said Discovery Group director Marvin Jones, a Cofield native and entrepreneur in Washington, DC. “We also think it will add to the cultural enhancement of tourism in our area.”
Earlier, Jones appeared with Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce director Amy Braswell before the Town Council promoting what they’ve called the Ahoskie Mural Project, a series of paintings depicting the area’s history.
“Because of the delicateness of some of the walls we would use to display the artwork, we hope with some of the future murals to paint them on canvas panels and then mount them on the walls,” Jones said.
The RCCC mural shows off the various curriculums offered at the college leading up to its many degree programs. It was begun in June and finished earlier this month with just two painters: Messer and Marvin Ryan, a welding instructor at the college and one of Messer’s art students.
“We wanted to do one here at the college to show off the art talent that we have here in the local community,” Messer related. “We chose something technically easy since we were both teaching for the summer and there were only the two of us working on the project.”
“This mural is just the pilot project,” Jones contends. “We feel this artwork allows the community to see that locals can do murals and when completed that they represent something wonderful. It may be several years before they catch on, but they let folks know about the great art talent we have right here in Hertford County.”
RCCC president Dr. Michael Elam, on hand for the unveiling, said he granted permission early on for the project; and is hopeful the ones that are proposed for other sites in the county will attract business, industry, as well as tourism.
“We picked the Student Center here because so many students utilize the facility for everything from our cafeteria, campus safety office, to the student lounge,” said Elam. “It’s also strategically located where it will be well exposed facing the courtyard where everyone who passes by can see this wonderful display.”
Though RCCC programs from nursing to paramedic training to law enforcement are displayed on the wall, Elam says this mural is still a ‘work in progress’.
“It represents 99 percent of the courses we offer at the school,” he said. “As we expand and grow here at the college we want to show them all.”
Elam considers the mural as a giant promotion for the college.
“It shows how we impact the community through learning,” he expanded. “It illustrates the directions that can be taken and what our students can engage in.”
Jones hopes that other murals, including two smaller ones that have been completed: one honoring native son Robert L. Vann on Academy Street and another in Harrellsville, will turn Hertford County into a “mural mecca”. He has found several local businesses that have pledged support for future paintings.
“I especially want to thank Jamie Johnson of ACE Hardware, Lewis and Gayle Mizelle of Mizelle’s Discount Drugs, and Brenda Velasquez of Mug Shotz coffee shop,” Jones said.
The Chowan Discovery Group wrote the original proposal for the murals and will oversee the Mural Project’s budget, maintenance, and themes.
“We have great possibilities here in creating something new and varied,” Jones emphasized. “This is something we can build on that adds to Ahoskie’s downtown.”
There will be an Open House & Early Registration for students, Wednesday, August 13, 2014 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.located in the Student Services Building, Multipurpose Room. This Open house will contain activities such as: Campus Tours Tutoring Assistance Financial Assistance Academic Resources for the plus 50 age group One on One meeting with Admissions Counselors Door Prizes and much more.
WebAdvisor is a secure web interface that allows guests, students, and Roanoke-Chowan Community College (R-CCC) employees access to information on a shared integrated database. Students can view information including, but not limited to, grades and class schedules, transcripts, financial aid, view the master course schedule, and search for courses. For faculty, this information includes class schedules, advisees, class rosters, entering of grades, and other related information. Access to confidential information in WebAdvisor is restricted to R-CCC students, faculty, and staff through individual passwords.
Click on the link below for direct access to search for courses and view the master schedule.