2006 #110; the newsmakers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

Staff Report

During the next four days, the News-Herald will recap some of the top stories, the newsmakers, of 2006. Today, we look back at the first quarter, January through March.

The date is the day the story appeared in the newspaper.


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3 n W. Richard Savage III was named to fill the judgeship vacancy created by the death of General District Court Judge Blair Harry in August 2005.

5 n City officials announced the rehiring of Elizabeth McCoury as an assistant to the city manager. McCoury, who previously served as downtown development coordinator, returned after leaving for a job in Roanoke city government.

James Martin and Heather Frango, parents of Jonathan Martin, 2, who died when he was attacked by one or both of the family’s dogs in October 2005, entered not guilty pleas in Suffolk Circuit Court.

8 n After 66 years, Randolph Copeland decided to retire. Copeland was a watch repairman who worked at area jewelry stores, most recently Barr Brothers.

10 n Marcus Vick, younger brother of Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick, was charged with brandishing a firearm at a North Suffolk fast-food restaurant.

11 n The United States Postal Service announced that first-class stamps increased from $.37 to $.39.

12 n Joe and Shelley Barlow were named Farm Family of the Year by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Division Board of Directors and the Agribusiness Committee.

Marcus Vick’s court date was set for March 13.

14 n The Main Street Jazz Restaurant held its grand opening.

17 n The Suffolk News-Herald launched its new, redesigned publication.

19 n Police investigated the city’s first homicide. Deshawn O. Parker, 17, was shot and killed along 10th Street.

20 n Police announced they were searching for a 15-year-old, Brandon Artis, wanted in the shooting death of Deshawn Parker. A second person, a 17-year-old, was also wanted.

A New York City police officer, hiking in the Dismal Swamp, is rescued by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

22 n A 17-year-old wanted in the shooting death of Deshawn Parker turned himself into police.

24 n Brandon Artis, 15, wanted in the shooting death of Deshawn Parker, turned himself in to police.

26 n L. Earl Hundley, known to many as “Mr. WLPM,” died at 84. Hundley was a regular on local radio stations for more than 50 years.

Jan. 31 n Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant opened its doors on Godwin Boulevard.


3 — James Dean Henderson, 19, pleaded guilty to arson for setting fire to St. Mary’s Catholic Church to cover up a burglary. He also pleaded guilty to a merged count of statutory burglary and larceny from the fall 2005 event. The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage to the building and its contents.

5 n Nancy Webb was named the recipient of the Athena Award, given each year by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Division. She is the 19th winner of the honor, which recognizes leadership and community service.

12 — Mason Curtis Williams, Boy Scout

Troop 1, earned his Eagle rank.

14 —

Cedar Hill Cemetery and the former Joel E. Harrell and Son, Co., pork-processing facility were both named to the National Register of Historic Places.

17 —

City officials announced a plan to sell the former Obici Hospital site. A developer wanted to build a $50 million project on the property.

23 —

Brandon Artis was indicted by a Suffolk grand jury in the shooting death of Deshawn Parker. He was indicted on first-degree murder, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and other charges.

26 n After seven decades of business in Suffolk, Barr Brothers Jewelers closed their doors.

28 n Police believe a woman who called for assistance and told them she had been shot may have suffered a self-inflicted wound in an effort to abort her nearly full-term baby. The father of Tammy Skinner, 22, said police confirmed that information with him. The incident occurred Feb. 23.


1 n Police charged Tammy Skinner, the woman who they say shot herself in the stomach to abort her nearly full-term baby, with illegally inducing an abortion, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and filing a false police report.

2 n Police announced they were dropping a firearm charge against Tammy Skinner, the woman involved in what authorities say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting killed the woman’s unborn baby.

3 n Robert S. Brewbaker Jr., was named 5th District Juvenile judge.

4 n A 13-year-old John F. Kennedy Middle School sixth-grader was found with a knife on school property. The girl was released into her father’s custody.

7 n Former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy coach Kenneth W. Crowder received a 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty of attempting indecent liberties with a minor and using a communication device for procuring minors for obscene materials.

12 –

After several months, a portion of East Washington Street, being renovated as part of the city’s Fairgrounds Project, reopened to vehicular traffic.

15 n Mayor Bobby Ralph announced he wasn’t sure if he was ready or willing to sign a proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History Month.

16 n At a city council meeting, City Real Estate Assessor Maria Kattmann unveiled the 2007 assessments of property, which showed average residential assessments going up 28.5 percent. That was up from an average 16 percent in 2005 and 10 percent the year prior.

The Peanut Gallery, downtown’s newest restaurant, opened on West Washington Street, the former site of Art’s Kitchen. The latter moved to the home of the former Dining Room on Pinner Street.

Whitney G. Saunders was named the Suffolk Rotary Club’s Suffolk First Citizen for 2006.

17 n Jerome K. Crawford, a seventh-grade teacher at Forest Glen Middle School, was arrested in Norfolk and charged with attempting to initiate sexual contact with a minor.

Four CSX rail cars derailed in downtown, forcing the evacuation of at least one family for 12 hours. Railroad officials reported one of the cars carried liquid sodium hydroxide, a corrosive chemical used to make drain cleaners and manufacture paper. Local fire officials said none of the chemical leaked from the car.

19 n State officials announced that Dexter Lee Vinson, convicted in 1999 for the murder of his former girlfriend would be executed in late April.

Nathan Keen Lyons, of Boy Scout Troop 1, earned his Eagle rank.

City Council members announced they are considering a cut in the city’s tax rate to make up for the high residential-real-estate assessments released earlier in the month.

23 n Mayor Bobby Ralph announced he would not sign an proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History Month.

Mayor Bobby Ralph asked the city manager to submit two proposed annual budgets, one with the city manager’s recommend amounts and a second reflecting a $.15 cut in the tax rate.