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County board honors deputy for bike donation

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Nash County commissioners unanimously voted to re-elect Robbie Davis as chairman and Wayne Outlaw as vice chairman on Monday.

There was no apparent competition or dissension in giving the two Republicans another one-year term, which followed the formal swearing in of newly re-elected commissioners Fred Belfield, Mary Wells, Davis and Outlaw by Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner.

The formalities were followed by special recognition of Sgt. Scott Bass of the Nash County Sheriff’s office for several acts of compassion and bravery, one of which earned Bass a segment on the Steve Harvey show.

Bass was cited for three separate incidents of preventing suicides through his empathy and communication skills, but it was his kindness to a Rocky Mount resident that earned him a spot on “Steve,” a clip of which was played for commissioners.

Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said that Bass, while on patrol, would often see a woman walking six miles from Rocky Mount to her job at a restaurant in Nashville, sometimes in the rain. He offered her a ride and Bass and Jalesya Corbett became friends. He began giving her rides regularly and, when necessary, asking other deputies to give her rides.

He then convinced Walmart to donate a bicycle so Corbett could ride to walk, shaving a two-hour walk each way to a half-hour ride, Medina said. He said Bass admired the woman’s work ethic and “wanted to somehow lessen her burden of that 12-mile round-trip walk.”

In the clip played for commissioners, Corbett and Bass are interviewed together by Harvey, who then presented Corbett with a $5,000 gift and a new car, provided by Harvey through a Rocky Mount dealership.

“By sharing his story on such a platform, Sgt. Bass was able to help bridge the gap between communities and the law enforcement officers that serve them,” Medina said. “His actions cannot be measured on a scale, but can be felt nationwide due to the positive ripple effect they will have for all law enforcement officers, especially those of us in Nash County.”

In other business Monday, the board approved changes in the county’s zoning ordinances that would ease rules for temporary major construction campgrounds or RV parks and exempt driveways and roads in public parks owned or operated by local governments from the standard paving requirements.

The board extended permits for two solar facilities on Frazier Road near Spring Hope for another six months, blaming delays in construction on the slowness of Duke Energy approvals.

Commissioners also gave formal approval to the interlocal cooperation agreements with Middlesex related to the Middlesex Corporate Centre grant project, allowing the county to integrate several grants for water and sewer lines and a water tank construction into one smooth construction project.

In the middle of the meeting, the board held a half-hour recess to hold a reception honoring outgoing Commissioner Lisa Barnes, who was elected last month to the General Assembly.