Category Archives: Stonewall

Man behind bars after nearly killing local deputy in chase

LAUGHINGHOUSE, Craig Aaron W/M, D.O.B. 06/29/1983

LAUGHINGHOUSE, Craig Aaron W/M, D.O.B. 06/29/1983

Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office

At approximately 8:00 p.m. deputies of the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which Craig Aaron LAUGHINGHOUSE was the passenger. LAUGHINGHOUSE, 33 of Grantsboro, NC was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on outstanding warrants for his arrest. During the course of the traffic stop the driver got out of the vehicle. As LAUGHINGHOUSE being taken into custody he pulled away from deputies and ran back to the vehicle and jumped into the driver’s seat. One deputy gave chase and was entering the passenger side of the vehicle in an attempt to stop LAUGHINGHOUSE when LAUGHINGHOUSE placed the vehicle into reverse and attempted to run over the deputy. The deputy then jumped inside the vehicle to avoid being hit and LAUGHINGHOUSE fled with the deputy inside the vehicle. LAUGHINGHOUSE fled east on NC 55 for approximately 2 miles before losing control of the vehicle and striking a utility pole. LAUGHINGHOUSE was taken into custody by the second deputy who was pursuing.

The deputy who remained inside the vehicle had to be cut from the vehicle by fire department personnel and was transported by EMS to Carolina East Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries and released. LAUGHINGHOUSE was also transported to Carolina East Medical Center where he was treated and released into the custody of the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office.

LAUGHINGHOUSE was transported to the Pamlico County Detention Center where he was charged with one count of Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and one count of Assault With a Deadly Weapon With Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury. LAUGHINGHOUSE was served with the outstanding warrants for Habitual Felony Larceny and Habitual Felon. LAUGHINGHOUSE was committed to the Pamlico County Detention Center and will have a first appearance in Pamlico County District Court on Friday November 18, 2016. Bond information is not available at this time and will be made available as soon as possible.

Medical veteran pursues leadership training

2-NEWS-inside-Charlene-MorrisSTONEWALL — Charlene M. Morris, PA-C, recently attended the Leadership College sponsored by the NC Medical Society in Raleigh. This initiative was developed to identify and train future leaders in medicine. Participants are nominated or selected by application.

Morris, a certified Physician Assistant, was nominated by a former Medical Society president, and she was the only P.A. to attend.

Morris is the immediate past president of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, and is a Family Medicine PA at the Pamlico Medical Center in Bayboro. She has been practicing for 34 years and has been involved with her profession and the community in many different leadership roles.

Basketball season continues with Pamlico County Athletic Club

Special to the County Compass

STONEWALL – Hoopsters who comprise the local Athletic Club often practice in the gymnasium of Pamlico County Middle School. Wednesday evening three squads posed for photos. At left, youngsters age 6 thru 8 comprise the team sponsored by Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. The center photo is the ‘14 & Under’ squad who take to the court on behalf of Beasley Bail Bonds. And, at right, Grantsboro Piggly Wiggly sponsors the ‘16 and Under’ team. Not shown are teams sponsored by Garland Fulcher Seafood and Big M Equipment. For more information about the popular Club, call Athletic Director Maurice King at (910) 330-5179.






Club offers basketball for five local squads

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

STONEWALL – Ranging in age from 6 to 8, the youngest basketball squad in the Pamlico County Athletic Club, sponsored by Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, hit the court at Pamlico Middle School late Wednesday afternoon for a brisk workout. This past weekend the older squads traveled to Kinston to participate in a ‘Beat the Streets’ tournament. Even though the club has not had many practices due to gym availability, the teams performed well. Participating in the tournament were: Garland Fulcher Seafood 5th and 6th grade boys; Canes 7th and 8th grade boys; and, Piggly Wiggly 9th and 10th grade boys. This Saturday, the PC Express 11th and 12th grade boys travel to Greenville. The next big tournament will be Saturday, April 19, for the Annual Easter Tournament in Kinston. “We would welcome other businesses as sponsors,” said Athletic Director Maurice King, “and anyone who would like to make a donation, or to assist with our travel needs, should call me at (910) 330-5179.”

Not your mother’s wrestling team!

Back row, from left, Coach Kevin Knox, Blake Daniels, Thomas Loomis, Zeke Huffman, and Mathew Buck. Front row, from left: Nathan Toler, Samantha Edmonds, Kandice Stembridge, and Colby Bennard.

Back row, from left, Coach Kevin Knox, Blake Daniels, Thomas Loomis, Zeke Huffman, and Mathew Buck. Front row, from left: Nathan Toler, Samantha Edmonds, Kandice Stembridge, and Colby Bennard.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

STONEWALL – Certainly a tough-looking bunch of guys out there near the mat. But wait! Can this be real? Monday afternoon, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. Pamlico County Middle School hosts a wrestling match in the gymnasium. We recommend you attend. We need as many folks as possible to corroborate a changing state of affairs in this ancient sport. Perhaps you, too, will spot a couple of strange new participants. In fact, please bring a camera. We still can’t believe our eyes!

Four teams clash in First Annual Bojangles’ Classic

Special to the County Compass

STONEWALL – From top, Pamlico Express, New Bern Tar Heels, Aurora, and New Bern Thunder (not shown) participated in a first-ever basketball competition held Saturday morning, October 19, at Pamlico County Middle School. The winning squad, New Bern Tar Heels defeated Aurora 60 to 44, in the championship game before a crowd of more than 100. Maurice King, who spearheaded the event, declared the Classic a success and vowed to continue fundraising efforts to establish a Boys & Girls Club in the area. “I want to thank Bojangles’, Mr. Billy Flockhart of Piggly Wiggly in Grantsboro, Hardee’s, Beasley Bail Bondsman, and Pamlico County Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr. for their support,” said King. “This event, which we hope to continue, would not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors.” King, kneeling in the photo above, is seen with some of his staff, including referees for the Basketball Classic.





Teacher gets check !


From left, adviser Jennifer Alcock, teacher Maureen Prendergast, and high school senior Emma Wheeler are all smiles, just seconds after Wheeler surprised the veteran teacher with a check for $500.

From left, adviser Jennifer Alcock, teacher Maureen Prendergast, and high school senior Emma Wheeler are all smiles, just seconds after Wheeler surprised the veteran teacher with a check for $500.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

STONEWALL – Middle School teacher Maureen Prendergast gave a shriek of delight last week when Emma Wheeler, one of several students with the Pamlico Youth in Philanthropy project, walked unannounced into the teacher’s classroom on a mission: To present Prendergast with a check for $500, money for some of the teacher’s travel expenses this summer to participate in the ‘Lunar Workshop of Educators’ at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Prendergast is one of 50 educators throughout the nation selected for the workshop. Although her tuition is paid by scholarship, she needed funds for travel, meals, and lodging. .

Youth in Philanthropy is a project of the Leadership Information for Tomorrow (LIFT) program, sponsored by the Hodges Education Foundation at Pamlico County High School. The goal is to give LIFT students, like Wheeler and others, a hands-on experience learning about nonprofit organizations, grant-making, and charitable giving within the community.

LIFT students at Pamlico County High School participated in the five-month program by discussing community strengths and needs, selecting a focus for their grant-making (which was education and/or health), raising funds through which to make grants, creating and soliciting grant proposals, and making decisions on which grant proposals to fund.

Students were able to secure a matching grant with the funds they raised themselves from Frank and Jennifer Roe, businesspeople and philanthropists in the Oriental community. This allowed them to compile a total of $1,700 to be awarded.

In addition to the $500 appropriated for Prendergast’s travel expense, Youth in Philanthropy also funded:

  • HeartWorks Out of School Time Recreational Activities – submitted by HeartWorks for play equipment for their afterschool programs. Grant award: $300.65
  • Math is Fun Project – submitted by Ms. Sheri Hale, 4th grade teacher at Fred A. Anderson Elementary School for Saxon Math Learning Wrap-ups. Grant award: $250
  • Giving Learners the Write Stuff to Excel in Communication – submitted by Ms. Kathy Fitzgerald, AIG Teacher for Pamlico Schools to purchase vocabulary games and resources. Grant award: $255
  • Reading Relevancy – submitted by Ms. Elizabeth Harwick, 4th grade teacher at Fred A. Anderson Elementary School for magazine subscriptions to supplement fun reading in the classroom. Grant award: $179.75
  • A Closer Look – submitted by Ms. Kathy Fitzgerald, AIG Teacher for Pamlico Schools to purchase a forensic detective toolkit and digital microscope for projects related to detective work by students. Grant award: $133

Officials want more security for Middle School


Special to the County Compass

STONEWALL – An outdoor walkway makes Pamlico County Middle School vulnerable, according to Superintendent Wanda Dawson and Finance Officer Steve Curtis, who asked the County Commissioners Monday night for $213,590 to enclose the high traffic corridor.

To accommodate a large crowd of faculty and administrators, elected officials moved the meeting to the Bayboro courtroom. The occasion was the school system’s annual budget request, covering proposed capital expenditures and funds for so-called ‘current expenses.’

“Students have to go outside an awful lot at the middle school to get from one building to another,” said Curtis, explaining concerns that administrators have in the wake of December’s shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Of 24 requested capital projects — totaling more than $700,000 — school officials assigned the second highest priority to enclosing the middle school walkway, behind more modest ‘buzz-in’ locking devices for the front doors on each of the four school campuses.

Tuesday morning, in a scheduled budget workshop, the county commissioners approved much less for capital improvements than school officials requested, citing tight finances and a desire to hold the ad valorem tax rate steady for the coming fiscal year.

“Once we send them (schools) the money, they can spend it whatever way they want,” said Commissioner Carl Ollison.

After the unanimous vote, Commission Chairwoman Ann Holton said she hoped the approved figure would be adequate.

“They can do a lot with $200,000,” she said. “And, again, we have no say over how this money is spent once it is approved.”

Child’s parents irate over dress code penalty


E-mail address set up to receive complaints

Dress Code policy requires a belt but note the shirttail, which should be ‘tucked in’ all the way around.

Dress Code policy requires a belt but note the shirttail, which should be ‘tucked in’ all the way around.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

STONEWALL – Seventh-grader Danielle O’Neal got ‘bounced’ last week – local education speak for a violation of the Pamlico Middle School dress code.

However, the penalty last Friday was not the customary verbal reprimand or admonishment. Rather, the Honor Roll student was dispatched to a classroom known as ‘Choice’ where she was instructed to transcribe every iota of a seven-page typewritten document, officially labeled the “Pamlico County Schools Dress Code Policy.”

Everyone agrees that Danielle has not been cited previously during the current school year, although she did have one infraction last year as a sixth-grader.

In a brief interview Wednesday afternoon, Principal Lisa Jackson confirmed the incident. Jackson said she personally spotted O’Neal in a school hallway, shortly after announcements had been made “that we’re now in the sixth week of school and we won’t be giving any more warnings.”

The nature of this year’s infraction is that O’Neal’s shirttail was un-tucked. And, the 12-year-old had the misfortune of being spotted on the heels of that major administrative proclamation.

“Her shirttail was a good four or five inches below her sweater all the way around,” said Jackson, adding “she’s a good kid, but my job is to make sure students follow our school’s Code of Conduct, which includes the dress code adopted by the Board of Education.”

Danielle’s parents, Michelle and James O’Neal, see things differently. They believe the dress code needs a major overhaul. One paragraph in particular rankles James:

A student in violation of the school dress code may be subject to various measures. For initial or minor violations, simply notifying the student of the violation and immediately correcting the problem may be sufficient. Violations also may result in the imposition of discipline, particularly for repeated or blatant violations that demonstrate a conscious decision not to adhere to the school dress code requirements.

“I am actually in favor of a dress code for students,” said the father, “but right now, no one has to explain what constitutes a minor or a major violation. It puts that decision into one person’s (teacher or administrator) hands. They’re taking these good kids and slamming them unnecessarily.”

O’Neal also pointed out that his daughter is a good student, “but this year she’s having a little trouble with Social Studies. And, they made her leave the Social Studies class to write the dress code. That tells me they are neglecting a student’s education by putting more emphasis on other things.”

The O’Neals want to hear from other parents, who may have grievances about enforcement of the dress code at either the middle school or the high school. To this end, Michelle O’Neal, Danielle’s mother, recently set up a separate e-mail account, which is

The O’Neals have promised to share with this newspaper any correspondence they may receive.