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Halifax County supervisors to pay tribute to judge

Halifax County Supervisors will adopt and present a resolution honoring Judge Irvin D. Sugg Sr. to his family Tuesday night during their regular monthly meeting which gets under way at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

Sugg died July 9 at his home in Hampton. He was 93.

He was the first African-American judge to preside in Halifax County.

The general district court judge retired from the bench on Feb. 28, 1998  after serving in the 10th Judicial District for 13 years.

Prior to 1985 when he accepted an appointment by Gov. Charles Robb to fill the general district court judgeship that opened with the retirement of Judge Robert Vaughan, Sugg served as a substitute district judge and a city judge in Halifax County and South Boston.

Sugg had been a lawyer in private practice in South Boston for 32 years before accepting the general district court judgeship.

He passed the Virginia State Bar exam early during his second year of law school and became a member of the Virginia Bar Association.

In 1953, he opened his own law practice in South Boston, where he practiced successfully for 32 years.

Sugg was the first black lawyer to practice law continuously in Halifax County. He was appointed commissioner in chancery by the circuit court.
In 1975, he was appointed by the City of South Boston as substitute city court judge.

In 1978, he was appointed substitute general district judge for the 10th Judicial District. He served as substitute judge for both of these jurisdictions until 1985.

In 1985, Sugg reached an historic milestone, when he was appointed by Governor Charles Robb as general district judge for the 10th Judicial District for a six-year term, becoming the first black judge of this district which includes Halifax and Mecklenburg Counties.

In April 1991, he won a precedent-setting court case against the state of Virginia allowing him to work past the mandatory retirement age and serve another six-year term.

Judge Sugg retired from the bench on Feb. 28, 1998.

Family members include his wife of 68 years, Bernice Humphrey Sugg; their five children, Norma Jean Whitted (George), Judith Sugg Scott, Irvin Douglas Sugg Jr. (Frances), Shirley Denise Scott (Jon) and Bryant Lee Sugg (Lynn); 14 grandchildren, Cassandra, David, Angela, Carmen, Wendy, Nichole, Michelle, Michael, William, Jocelyn, Jaielle, Jon, Leigh and Dennis; and 15 great-grandchildren: Chanel, Alexis, Ciara, Zachary, Zoe, Jason, Dennis, Chloe, David, Ella, Alexandra, Julian, Jordan, Trevor and Rachel.

Following the presentation to the Sugg family, supervisors are expected to hold three public hearings Tuesday.

The first hearing is on a notice of intent to apply for $200,000 in funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a portable stage and lighting system that can be used to support outdoor events throughout the county for both public and private tourism events.

According to the resolution supervisors are expected to adopt Tuesday, the county plans to seek matching funds from the Virginia Tobacco Commission to support this initiative.

The second hearing is on an ordinance that will allow the county to assess a $25 recordation fee for the continued maintenance of offices equipped to receive and distribute appropriate probate filings.

The ordinance, if adopted, will impose a $25 fee on every recordation of a list of heirs and on affidavits relating to the real estate of an intestate decedent. It also directs the circuit court clerk to collect the fee and deposit it into the county treasury for the board of supervisors to appropriate.

The third hearing Tuesday evening is on an ordinance that adds a $50 zoning permit fee on every application for a zoning permit to be collected by the treasurer for appropriation by the board of supervisors.

In other county business Tuesday night, supervisors are expected to take the following actions:

• Hear an update from Mickey Sims on the Buggs Island Telephone Broadband Initiative;

• Listen to Virginia Department of Transportation Highway Residency Administrator Joe Barkley give his monthly status update;

• Approve a Master Agreement to receive a grant to undertake a runway apron rehabilitation project and for upgrading and relocation of a rotating beacon at the William M. Tuck Airport;

• Affirm its consent to allow two-tenths of a mile of Christy Circle (State Route 862) to be discontinued as requested by the Sappony Indian Tribe along with the addition of a turnaround at its terminus that will remain the responsibility of the applicant;

• Hear a status report from County Administrator George Nester on an energy performance contract now that the county has been notified it will be allotted $400,000 in state funding to improve energy efficiency at the Mary Bethune Office Complex involving addition of insulation, insulating windows, and addition of a solar panel to help offset part of peak energy use at the facility; Final and formal proposals for the work are due Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. in the county administrator’s office, Nester said.

• Receive an update from the county administrator on approval to extend sanitary sewer from the fairgrounds to the Halifax County solid waste transfer station because the existing septic tank and drain field is damaged and not functioning properly; The staff’s goal is to see if the project can be bid and installed and made operational by Friday, Oct. 1, in time to serve the 100th anniversary of the Halifax County Fair, according to Nester.

• Authorize the county administrator to accept $50,000 in grant funding to assist in updating the county’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance;

• Determine a price for the sale of the surplus school property in Virgilina once a boundary survey is completed;

• Receive updates from County Attorney Jeremy Carroll for ordinance changes for animal control and on the Four Forks convenience center site located in Nathalie;

• Set a public hearing for Oct. 4 on a land use application from W. A. Stevens DBA, TA Business Center, for an Internet gaming cage to be located at 3401 Old Halifax Road, Suite G & H on the north side of Old Halifax Road at its intersection with Dan River Church Road;

• Entertain committee reports;

• Make appointments to fill two vacancies on the Southside Regional Juvenile Group Home Commission effect Jan. 1, 2010 created by the resignation of Maurice Riddle and death of former ED-1 Supervisor R. E. Abbott and to fill a vacancy on the Southside Community Services Board to fill the unexpired term of Betty Jones which ends June 30, 2011;

• Hear citizens comments; and

At the conclusion of Tuesday night’s meeting, supervisors are scheduled to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss the acquisition or disposition of property; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; investment of public funds; consult with legal council; and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.