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  • 02/27/17--16:45: Just wanted to say thank you
  • The last group photo with all my Dad, my boys and my four grandkids taken May 2015.

    I just wanted to let all on my RRspin Sports readers, followers and supporters on what's been going on with me for the past two months.

    Some close may know, but not everyone knows the full picture. I have done my best to still fill the Roanoke Valley in on the LOCAL SPORTS information under the circumstances I faced.

    On December 19, 2016 my life changed with a phone call. I had been at work since 7:30 AM at Caledonia Prison when at 8:30 AM I received a phone call from a friend. He stated, "Randy your Dad was found in his yard in Emporia and was headed to ER by rescue, that's all I know". I rushed to Emporia to find my dad laying lifeless hooked to all kinds of machines with the skin tone of purple. Dad had been found laying face down in his driveway on a very cold rainy morning and no one really knows how long he had laid there, but he was alive.  Over 7 hours of heated IV solution and air heated blankets and still no body temperature, but he was alive.

    The worst thing I had ever had to face was seeing my Dad lay there and nothing I could do, but Pray and that I did. My next few weeks I put both the Prison and RRspin Sports job on hold. I only had one Dad, Christmas eve and Christmas day passed in ICU. After one week in ICU and one week in a regular room, Dad was alert and well enough to go. Home is where he wanted to be and that's where he went, only to have 24/7 watchful care. I did return to work during the day and return to Emporia nightly to check on him and say hey and just be there for him and me. I did continued the best that I could with all the help from coaches to get game info posted, but I wasn't seen out and about like I had been or felt I should have been. 

    We made it to my 50th birthday February 15th and celebrated it together with family by his bedside. Me and my sister even tried to take a photo and asked him to smile. He had the biggest smile on his face as if he was so happy to have his picture with us, well my aunt wasn't ready with the camera and he tired quickly, so the one smile was missed, but not by our eyes. but we did get a photo and I had no idea it would be my last photo with him.

    At 7:15 AM on my way to work, I got the worst ever phone call. At 7:13 AM, my dad Kennon "Mutt" Randolph Wrenn Sr. had passed.  His funeral was February 19th, 2017. Two months to the day since he was found face down in his driveway. I had two months more than maybe I should have gotten with him, but I cherish every moment I spent with him at the hospital and by his bed, listening to his stories, his "aw boy" over and over and that he had a car to sell later that day as he did for Sadler Motors for over forty years. I even found out some of his old hangout with the guys and a few things maybe he should not have told me, but it was time I love to this moment.

    So now that a week has passed and the grieving is still going on, I am going to do my best for the kids in the Valley to hit the fields again full speed. I want to thank each and everyone of you that did know and called, text or just sent your condolences, I THANK YOU. everyone of them did and do still help. I do have comfort knowing that he is not hurting anymore and is at peace and home with his Dad Horace and Mom Mae.

    Please understand I didn't just stopping coming to games, I just chose time with my Father before he was called home.

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    Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrated 50 years with the Valley

    The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrated 50 years in the music business tour with a stop in the Roanoke Valley Saturday night.

    BarnBurner Promotions presented the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Saturday night at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre with Northampton County's based Willie Peebles Band as the opening act.

    What a great show put on by both bands to the 1,000 music fans.

    BarnBurner announce two show dates with tickets on sale soon. 38 Special will be at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre June 2, 2017 and Jamey Johnson will be at the Theatre July 21, 2017.

    Concert photos by Randy Wrenn


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  • 03/24/17--05:24: Pender Lee Smith, Jr.
  • Pender Lee Smith, Jr., 84, of Emporia, Virginia died on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

    Pender was born on April 2, 1932 in the Brink area of Greensville County and was a life-long resident. Farming was in his blood, and never was he happier than when he was on a tractor or combine on his farm. He was also a partner in PL Smith and Sons Peanut Warehouse. Pender was loved by many and had friends near and far. He had a winning smile and never met a stranger. Pender had a warm laugh and quick wit. He… loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman, hunter, bird watcher, gardener, and loved to do woodwork in his shop on the farm. Pender was married to the love of his life, Jo Anne Hancock for 62 years. Together Pender and Jo could be found spending time with friends and family; often going out to eat, dancing, or just visiting. Pender was active in church, civic, and community organizations. He was a Christian and was a member of the Forest Hill Baptist Church. There he served as a Trustee, deacon, and was on numerous committees over his 60 year membership. Pender was a charter member of the Brink Ruritan Club where he was a past president and secretary. Pender was on the Greensville County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and served as treasurer.

    He was also a member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Peanut Advisory Committee. For many years Pender served on the Greensville County Farm Committee. Pender was preceded in death by his parents, Pender Lee Smith and Virginia Harrell Smith, and his beloved son, David Smith. He is survived by his wife, Jo Anne Hancock Smith; sister, Alice Smith Bivins (Billy Joe); brother, Alfred Smith (Christine), sisters-in-law, Alma Lanier of Roanoke Rapids and Hazel Welch of Pinehurst; special niece, Angela Fanney (Rick) of Smithfield; and many other much loved nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

    A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Forest Hill Baptist Church, Skippers, VA. at 2:00 pm followed by interment in the church cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the cemetery fund at Forest Hill Baptist Church, c/o Michael Ferguson, 5070 Brink Road, Emporia, VA 23847. Condolences may be sent to

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    MRAC Righteous Brothers concert photo gallery

    Bill Medley, half of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo The Righteous Brothers topped the charts in four decades. Bobby Hatfield, the other half of The Righteous Brothers passed away in 2003.

    Bill Medley joined forces with one of the most versatile vocalists in America, Bucky Heard, to bring The Righteous Brothers back to the stage.

    Presently, they’ve been performing at Harrah’s in Vegas since December.  Their concert experience features #1 hits including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Soul & Inspiration,” “Unchained Melody,” “Rock and Roll Heaven,” Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme “The Time of My Life,” and much, much more!

    This past Saturday's sold out Righteous Brothers show was the third concert of the 2017 39th Anniversary season of the Meherrin River Arts Council concert series.

    Concert photos by Randy Wrenn



    The 2017 MRAC season concludes April 29th with the music group Lonestar.

    For more than 20 years Lonestar has logged countless miles touring throughout the world, released several Platinum-selling albums, earned ACM and CMA awards, and inspired rave reviews as far away as London, where The Guardian proclaimed them exemplars of “country’s greatest strength: picture-painting, story-based, tear-your-heart-out lyrics that are the most direct and lucid in popular music.” 

    Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals Lonestar has charted more than 20 singles on Hot Country Songs, including 9 that reached #1: "No News," "Come Cryin' to Me," "Amazed," "Smile," "What About Now," "Tell Her,” "I'm Already There," "My Front Porch Looking In," and "Mr. Mom." "Amazed" also charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first country song to do so since "Islands in the Stream" in 1983


    Ticket Information: (434) 634-6001 or

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    Team SXF headed to Charlotte Sprint Spartan race

    The newly opened Spartan XFIT gym has 17 of its members, most of whom are new to Spartan, off to the races this Saturday and it's not just a marathon — it's a physical and mental race.

    Team SXF, which stands for local gym Spartan XFIT, will compete alongside 3,000 to 5,000 competitors in the single runner style event on a obstacle course up to five miles long with up to 15 to 20 obstacles to maneuver through.

    Even though this is a single style race, the SXF team will stay together and help each other make it through until the end.

    Gym owner Tracy Story stated, "I was just not happy with the results and strengths I had in other styles of training, so I explored other options and found what we call Extreme Training which is Spartan extreme. We at Spartan XFIT scale our workouts to fit each member to fit their limit they can do and help achieve their goals set."

    Story ran four Spartan events last year and already ran one event this year.

    Tracy Dahlem, a newcomer to Spartan, will run her first event. "I have been in fitness for a long time, but I got into Spartan because I was just looking for something different. I have seen more and quicker results in the past two months than I ever have before. This is something new and with me being kind of an adrenaline junkie I am ready to see what this is going  to bring.”

    Newcomer Holly Britton, said began working out two months ago. "I love challenges and I wasn't going to let these people do this event without me there. I am nervous and never have tried anything like this before, but willing to try it."

    Story said, "Britton has never trained and she just deadlifted 145 pounds and she doesn't  weigh near that much. That is tremendous in training in just two months."

    Dahlem said, "Story and his staff are here to train us in proper form and doing it the right way. Spartan XFIT is about family and friendship and not  leaving anyone behind. There is no head trainer, we train each other as a family and progress together."

    Story stated, "Everybody is preparing for this race with a lot of unknowns to them, because they have not run this style of race before. I believe just like it did for me, once they run and complete this first race they will get hooked. My ultimate goal in a 12-month period for Tracy, Holly and anyone else who is running this with us is a trifecta. Which is if you complete a Sprint (Up to 5 miles), super (8-10) miles  and a beast 12-15 miles event in a 12-month period you receive a trifecta. It is a group and family atmosphere and is about becoming a better person and showing others courage and positive enforcement that they can do anything you put your mind to it."

    Everyone has been practicing a lot of course obstacles, such as the wall climb, rope climb, carrying weights, army crawl. Story has a small course set up at his house and they have ran it several times preparing for this upcoming event.

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  • 05/02/17--04:45: Meggan Lee Callahan
  • Meggan Lee Callahan

    Meggan Lee Callahan, 29, a Sergeant with the NC Department of Public Safety, Division of Prisons, was killed in the line of duty, on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor, NC. 

    Sgt. Callahan was born on May 23, 1987, in South County, Rhode Island, had worked with the Department of Corrections since 2012, and was promoted to Sergeant in February, 2016. She was a member of St. Anne Catholic Church.

    Preceded in death by her grandfathers, Thomas Gilbert and Francis Callahan, and an aunt, Elizabeth Hall, she is survived by her parents, John Joseph and Wendy Lynn Gilbert Callahan; two sisters, Carissa Elizabeth Marie Callahan and Amanda Elizabeth Callahan, and her nephew, Zacary Orion Cochran, all of Edenton. Also surviving are her fiancé, Kristin Vogel of Wilmington, NC; her maternal grandmother, Nancy J. Hanrahan of Worcester, MA; paternal grandparents, Elizabeth J. Callahan and Thomas Jakobsen of Cape May Courthouse, NJ; and many aunts, uncles, and extended family who loved her dearly.

    A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, May 4th, at noon in the Family Life Center of the Edenton United Methodist Church, and will be officiated by Father Mike Kerin, Father Carlos Arce, and Monsignor Douglas Reed. Full Law Enforcement Honors will be accorded at the service.

    Friends may join the family Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, and other times at the home of her parents, 122 Chickasaw Trail, Arrowhead Beach, Edenton.

    In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bertie Correctional Institution Plane Pull for Special Olympics, P.O. Box 129, Windsor, NC 27983; or to NAMI Albemarle, (National Alliance on Mental Illness), P.O. Box 93, Edenton, NC 27932.

    As the family and friends of Sgt. Meggan Callahan mourn her tragic death, a special State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) account has been set up to help support her family as they honor her memory.

    Donations may be made to the special account at any SECU location. The account is in the names of Sgt. Callahan’s parents as shown below.

    Sgt. Meggan Callahan Memorial Account

    John Joe and Wendy Lynn Callahan

    Any State Employee’ Credit Union branch

    Note: If an SECU representative is unable to locate the special account, it originated at the SECU branch in Edenton.


    Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, is assisting the family with arrangements.

    Online condolences may be made by visiting

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  • 05/05/17--14:23: Dorothy Gray Moore “Dot”
  • Dorothy Gray Moore “Dot”

    Dorothy Gray Moore “Dot” passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. 

    She was born September 3, 1933 in Littleton, NC, daughter of the late Thomas Gray and Lora Shearin Gray. Dot was preceded in death by brother Roy Gray and sister Lora Ann Gray Moore. Dot was a fun loving person. She loved basketball, softball, and dancing. She always was joking around. Dot came to Raleigh in 1952, first working for Nationwide Insurance. She retired after 40 years at The Carolina Country Club in 2004. She loved the members at the Club. She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church.
    She leaves behind twin daughters, Brenda Lee Moore Whitley and husband Rob, and Glenda Dee Moore Buckley; grandsons Ryan Thomas Whitley, Landon Tyler Buckley, and Nicholas J. Buckley. Also surviving are sister Elizabeth and husband Richard of Littleton; sister Myrtle and husband Mickey; and brother Howard and wife Judy of Roanoke Rapids; and several nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Dot’s life will be Wednesday, May 10, at 3:00 PM, at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Rd., Raleigh, NC. Burial will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park.
    “I have had a full life and a good one. I have lived and loved and “I did it my way!”
    We love you so much Mom, Brenda Lee and Glenda Dee. Rest in Peace


    3:00 pm
    Bryan-Lee Funeral Chapel
    831 Wake Forest Road Raleigh, NC
    Burial follows at Raleigh Memorial Park

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  • 05/07/17--15:49: William Cole Robbins
  • William Cole Robbins

    William Cole Robbins, age 20, of Rich Square, died tragically on May 6, 2017.

    He was born on March 25, 1997 to William Thomas “Tommy” and Deneen Nottingham Robbins of Rich Square, NC.

    Cole enjoyed his friends, was an avid sportsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, welding, taking care of his cows, and being outdoors. He was an active member of Rich Square Volunteer Fire Department and loved helping and talking to people. Cole played football, baseball, and was a member of the shooting team at Northeast Academy. He was currently in the Welding Program at Halifax Community College.

    He is preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Jean Robbins and grandfather, Robert E. Robbins.

    Cole is survived by his parents, sister, Katie Robbins, brother, Clay Robbins all of the home; maternal great grandmother, Emma Nottingham of Durbin, WV, and maternal grandparents, William and Ingrid Nottingham of Ahoskie, NC.

    A visitation will be held Monday, May 8, 2017 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Rich Square, NC.

    Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Rich Square Baptist Church of Rich Square, NC, with the Rev. Bob Rogers officiating.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to the Rich Square Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 958, Rich Square, NC 27869 or online by clicking here

    Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Rich Square is handling the arrangements for the Robbins family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting


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    Myrick School of Dance 2017 Tapping Toes photo gallery

    Photos by Randy Wrenn of Myrick's School of Dance recital Tapping Toes 2017.



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  • 05/12/17--09:10: Jackets baseball postponed
  • Jackets baseball postponed

    Because of the continuing inclement weather , East Duplin @ R Rapids 2nd round NCHSAA baseball game scheduled for tonight has been postponed until Tomorrow night , 5/13 @ 6:00 .

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    Move Your Feet 2017 photo gallery

    Given's Dance Studio in Roanoke Rapids held it's 2017 Move you Feet dance recital Saturday evening at The Center in Weldon.

    Photos by Randy Wrenn


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    Colton James

    The City of Roanoke Rapids and Halifax County tourism presented the 1st Annual 'Tribute to the Armed Forces' Country Jam featuring Colton James this past Saturday night at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

    Opening the show was Mikele Buck, then the Moonshine Band and Colton James closed the show.

    Proceeds from the show went to benefit Harvest4Heroes & Land4Heroes that includes building a 15,000 square foot retreat for wounded veterans and first responders in 3 locations around the U.S.

    Photos by Randy Wrenn


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  • 06/01/17--17:06: Mrs. Paula Kay Moore Laney
  • Mrs. Paula Kay Moore Laney

    Mrs. Paula Moore Laney,

    Lancaster, SC Mrs. Paula Kay Moore Laney, age 47, entered into rest on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Funeral Services will be 3:00 PM Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Taxahaw Baptist Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Friday, June 2, 2017 at Taxahaw Baptist Church, 1734 Overbrook Road, Kershaw, SC.

    Mrs. Laney was born May 15, 1970 in Roanoke Rapids, NC a daughter of the late C.T. Moore and Sue Ingram. She was a former employee of Springs Industries and the Golden Nugget. A member of Charlesboro Baptist Church, Paula enjoyed gardening, working with crafts, and going to the beach. She enjoyed spending time with her family, and her favorite holiday was Halloween.

    Survivors include her husband of 30 years, Michael Laney of the home; son, Michael Andrew (Miranda Catoe) Laney; daughter, Heather (Aza) Jaimez both of Lancaster, SC; 4 grandchildren, Michael, Ethan, Jonathan, and Jacob Jaimez; 2 sisters, Brenda Borre and Evelyn Smiley of Roanoke Rapids, NC

    Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105

    Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home of Chesterfield, SC
    ( is serving the Laney Family

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    38 Special concert photo gallery

    Photos from Friday nights BarnBurner Promotions 38 Special concert at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

    Photos by Randy Wrenn can be seen at:

    Short video of 38 Special raising the Roof at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre:

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    44th Virginia Pork Festival photo gallery

    Photos by Randy Wrenn from the 44th Virginia Pork Festival Wednesday 14, 2017 in Emporia.


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    Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark and his All-star Band featuring Special Guest Anita King and Jamar Dukes

    Robert Smoot of BRENCORE Entertainment presented "A Night of Blues" at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre this past Saturday night.

    Performers Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark and his All-star Band featuring Special Guest Jamar Dukes and Anita King entertained the crowd for two hours.

    A couple of video clips from Saturday nights show can be seen at: and


    Show photos by Randy Wrenn



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  • 06/26/17--20:12: Bertha Mae McCoy Whittle
  • Bertha Mae McCoy Whittle

    “Ida, I’ve been washed in the blood.” Soon after saying these words, Mrs. Bertha Mae McCoy Whittle was called home peacefully from labor to reward at 12:45 A.M. on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

    She was blessed by God to spend 102 years, 7 months, and 16 days, equaling 5,354 weeks, 37,484 days, 899,616 hours, and 53,976 minutes on this earth. She was born on November 9, 1914, in Halifax County, North Carolina, and was preceded in death by her mother, Emma McCoy.

    During her youth, Mrs. Bertha accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and joined the Simmons Grove Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. She worked diligently in her church, was faithful in attending Sunday school, Bible study, prayer meetings, and Sunday worship services. She served as an Usher, member and President of the Gospel Chorus,  Missionary Circle, Pastor’s Aid Club, Nurse’s aide, advisor to the Junior Missionaries, secretary of the Prayer Band Union, and for a time, was dutiful as the church custodian. On many Sunday mornings, she would pick up the young people for Sunday school and church. This required her to make sometimes two or three trips, but she never hesitated to share the goodness of the Lord with the young and old.  Mrs. Bertha truly loved Simmons Grove and was the oldest living member until her demise.

    Mrs. Bertha obtained her formal education in the Halifax County Public School System and later attended Halifax Community College to pursue her General Equivalency Diploma (GED). She was employed at the former Halifax Memorial Hospital in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and retired after approximately nineteen years of dedicated service.

    Mrs. Bertha enjoyed being active in the community as a loyal member of the Widow’s Club, past President of the Senior Citizen’s Club, (Jo Story), and the Precious Jewel Chapter #607 Order of Eastern Star, P.H.A.

    Mrs. Bertha was united in Holy Matrimony to Pearlie Whittle, Sr., who preceded her in death. She was a loving wife and mother who raised seven sons and three daughters, and was always hands-on with her grandchildren who visited.

    In addition to her mother and husband, she was preceded in death by two sons, William Thomas Whittle and Waverly Conelly Whittle.

    Loving memories of her life and the legacy of her love will forever remain with her three daughters, Ida Mae Whittle of the home, Carolyn Mayo of Greensboro, NC, and Kathy Whittle- Davis and husband, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Davis of Martinsville, VA; her five sons, Paul Morris Whittle of Roanoke Rapids, NC, Pearlie “Bo” Whittle and wife, Joyce Whittle of Queens, NY,

    Henry Whittle and wife, Martha Whittle and Larry Donnell Whittle all  Roanoke Rapids, NC, and Daryl Wayne Whittle and wife, Anna Whittle of Garysburg, NC; her precious grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who affectionately called her, “Nana”, “Mawma”, and “Grandma”, and will treasure her life, joy, and love as treasures in their hearts forever more. Other survivors include numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and dear friends who will all miss her earthly presence and share the wisdom she imparted to infuse their lives during their Christian walk.

    Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Simmons Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The Pastor, Rev. Nehemiah Smith, Jr., will officiate, and burial will follow in the Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The family will receive friends at Robinson funeral home on Hwy 158 in Littleton from 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, and the body will repose at the church for one hour prior to the funeral time.

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