Condolences Goes Out To The Family of Former Senator, Congressman Frank W. Ballance Warren County

Ballance served as a Senator and Congressman in Edgecombe County 1st Congressional District.

From the page of GK Butterfield

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Frank W. Ballance, Jr. As an African American attorney, Frank opened the doors that younger lawyers now walk. In fact, Frank and his law partner, T. T. Clayton, gave me my first job out of law school in 1974. Their law office served as a training ground for many young lawyers during that time.

Frank was a voice for everyday North Carolinians, working tirelessly to elevate issues impacting our communities. Frank understood the longtime connection eastern North Carolinians have to agriculture, manufacturing, and the Down East spirit. Frank was a giant of a man and I am honored to have called him a friend.

Like many in our state, I deeply mourn Frank’s passing. He will be missed but never forgotten.

My sympathies and prayers are with the Ballance family and our entire community during this difficult time.

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Rocky Mount NC – Let Me Set The Record Straight About Keith Harris Retired Fire Chief

Let me set the record straight, I don’t know Keith Harris. I mentioned his name in my post on my blog because I was told that Chief Keith Harris Retired didn’t live in Rocky Mount when he was the fire chief and that he only had a 2 year degree. When I was told the 1st time a couple of weeks before I heard it again, I didn’t say anything. But, after hearing it again and again and especially being in a community meeting, I responded I had heard that before and now I am going to write about it. I did.

I don’t question the many accomplishments that Chief Harris mentioned on his social media site when he called me out. I wasn’t mad then and ain’t mad now because I don’t know him and he don’t know me. I didn’t say anything negative about him then and still have nothing negative to say about him.

I only mentioned Chief Harris because there had been some disgruntled folk on several social media sites and the Rocky Mount Telegram talking about black folk were not qualified and didn’t live in the city limits. I said it was okay when white folk were in the same situation and there was no outcry.

Now, actually I admire the hell out of Chief Harris because I love his tenacity of speaking out on what he believe in. Don’t get it twisted that I am agreeing with what he is saying.

I have been trying to get retired black folk to speak out however their asses are scared although their income will not be in jeopardy.

I commend Chief Harris on his stand although I think he is going about his mission the wrong way. But, if he like what he is doing, I love it.

Now there you have it. I am going to wait to see how the ignants twist this.

Rocky Mount NC: The Ignant Special C’s Say I Have An Ego

deros Feb 20, 2019 at 5:45 PM

Mr. Dancy was just stroking his ego as usual and those who responded to him did exactly as he wished, you took the bait while bottom fishing.

The Gate Keeper’s response: No ego here. Why do I need an ego? I have nothing to gain nor anything to lose. I am just speaking truth to power because I do my homework. I attend the meetings and just responding to the acts as presented. They have got to respond to me because to do otherwise would defeat their purpose of being. Of being ignant to the facts while trying to discredit folk when they have nothing to go on but disgruntled employees and disgruntled community folk. Just sad! If they would provided some facts maybe I could agree with them but until now they have provided nothing but a bunch of mess that is driven by a jackleg reporter who that need to stick with doing security. Well ya’ll don’t want to hear these trues. They always take the bait, they have no choice I am a Professional.

Letter to the Editor: Who is benefitting? – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Gate Keeper’s response: Ab so damn lute ly!

Political malfeasance, bribery and corruption, misuse of public office and sexual misconduct are the expected behavior of those in power ranging from the very top position of the presidency to the lowest city official.

When the recent spate of accusations and vitriolic attacks on members of our City Council appeared, spearheaded by the Rocky Mount Telegram, I asked myself the questions

“Why now?” and “Who Benefits?”

It is clear that color lines are now being drawn on both sides, making this a potentially dangerous situation. Racial conflicts have never benefited either party; they fan the flames of greater distrust and disunity that can simmer for many years. However, there has always been some third entity which gets away with the final prize. For me, this brings to mind the racial divisions and wars fanned by colonialists, who then swooped in to gather the rewards as the disunity weakened overall resistance. (Read more)

Council reviews budget priorities, boards and commissions

Rocky Mount, N.C.- The Rocky Mount City Council was tasked with listing their top budget priorities during its 2019 retreat. 

Budget and Evaluation Manager Kenneth Hunter asked the council for information as staff prepares for fiscal year 2020. 

Priorities include new elevators in City Hall, which are often under repair. The Beech Branch Outfall infrastructure project and implementation of the pay and classification study were also included. Other priorities listed are additional funds for neighborhood associations for signage and to host events for the purposes of beautification and community engagement. Currently, these groups receive about $500 annually.

Council would also like to see an expansion of the city’s downtown development toolbox, adding to already utilized grants such as the Downtown Business Assistance Program and Downtown Development Incentive Grant assisting with rehabilitation and redevelopment costs. A proposed Façade Grant to get vacant buildings improved quickly is something members would like implemented before the FY 2020 budget. At $5,000, the face of downtown buildings may be improved with new windows, doors, fresh painting, etc. 

A roof grant low-interest loan program will also be considered.

Council suggested strengthening the city’s government access channel by getting the resources needed to videotape council meetings.

Other ideas include enhanced security for council meetings and at City Hall, improvements to Munis – the financial management system that handles procurement, payroll and more. Councilmembers also mentioned matching the county funding level for United Community Ministries. Councilmember Tom Rogers indicated that the city’s effort won’t eradicate homelessness, but the council can work on improving it. 

City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney acknowledged that staff will strive to implement some of the priorities, but all may not be accomplished.

“We would take the list of priorities and cost them out, working what we can into the budget,” Small-Toney said. 

Assistant City Manager Chris Beschler also provided an update on the city’s One Stop Shop. The One Stop Shop, expected to be launched using a phased approach, will make it easier for the establishment of businesses in the community. 

Permits are on the rise and so are the number of inspections completed. 

“We anticipate that permits will grow even more with redevelopment of the downtown area,”  Beschler said. 

Currently, the permitting and inspections process is manual. With the One Stop Shop, technology will be a key component, making it easy for developers to send plans electronically, pay fees online and more. The experience will also require some improvements on the first floor of City Hall, where the One Stop Shop will be housed. 

On the final day of the retreat, City Clerk Pam Casey presented information on Boards and Commissions. Council spoke on establishing a Workforce Housing Advisory Commission. A previous resolution presented to council will be revised slightly and added to the Monday, Feb. 25 council agenda for approval. 

Council did discuss the structure of the commission, which will include 13 members. The membership would be comprised of a representative from each ward and the mayor, two faith based representatives, a housing developer, a representative from the business community and from the housing authority. 

Members reviewed information and names for appointment to the city’s various boards and commissions, such as the Animal Care Control and Advisory Board, Central City Revitalization Panel, Historic Preservation Commission and more. 


A Confederate flag will be raised where Silent Sam once stood at UNC, group says – The Herald Sun

The Gate Keeper’s response: Wow! This is going to be interesting to see how this unfold.


Silent Sam is gone from UNC-Chapel Hill, but protests are planned for Saturday afternoon where the Confederate statue once stood on campus.

A group called Heirs to the Confederacy said on Facebook it will raise a Confederate flag where the controversial statue perched on its pedestal for more than a century until protesters tore it down in August. The protest is set to begin at noon, and the group said it will raise Confederate flags elsewhere on campus and throughout Chapel Hill.

Two other groups, Take Action Chapel Hill and Defend UNC, created a Facebook event called “Racists out of UNC: Rally, Pledge Drive, Re-contextualization.”

UNC-Chapel Hill issued a statement Friday saying officials know about the dueling protests. (Read more)