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Voluntary Dismissal With Leave in Franklin Co. Murder Case

— courtesy of The Office of DA Mike Waters

Louisburg, NC – On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood presided over an administrative session of Franklin County Criminal Superior Court which was set by the District Attorney’s Office specifically to address the pending murder cases in Franklin County. The State of North Carolina vs. Oliver M. Funes Machada was among the cases heard before the Court. Prior to today, the Defendant was committed to Central Regional Hospital to evaluate his capacity to proceed in the criminal case against him. The Court sought guidance regarding his ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against him, and his ability to assist in his defense. The Court, after reviewing the report prepared by mental health professionals at Central Regional Hospital, determined that the Defendant did not have the capacity to proceed. Therefore, the State of North Carolina will take a voluntary dismissal with leave in this case. Oliver M. Funes Machada will be committed to Central Regional Hospital for mental health treatment and further evaluation. Should the Defendant’s capacity
to proceed be restored, he would be returned to the custody of Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead, and the District Attorney’s Office will reinstate the charges against the Mr. Machada.

Franklin County Man charged with Second Degree Murder

On Thursday, September 21st the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit arrested Ricky Barlow Weese Jr., a Franklin County Resident. Ricky Barlow Weese Jr. was charged with the following: Second Degree Murder and Felony Child Abuse-Inflicting Serious Physical Injury.

This incident is alleged to have occurred on March 11th involving the death of an eight (8) week old infant.

Mr. Weese is currently being held in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $500,000 secure bond.

Ricky Barlow Weese Jr.

964 Hicks Road

Youngsville, NC 27596

DOB: 11-02-1983

This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time. If anyone should have any additional information pertaining to this investigation, please call Detective Garrett at 919-340-4311.

Terry M. Wright

Chief of Staff

 

Franklin County and Maria Parham Health Reach Lease Agreement for Franklin Medical Center

Louisburg, NC (September 18, 2017) – The Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Maria Parham Health, which is part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, today announced that they have agreed to move forward with a lease agreement for Maria Parham to reopen Franklin Medical Center in Louisburg. This agreement is a significant milestone in efforts to bring vital healthcare services back to Franklin County and surrounding communities following the closure of the hospital in 2015.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Maria Parham and very pleased that initiatives to bring healthcare back to Franklin County can move ahead,” said C. Boyd Sturges, III, Franklin County’s Attorney and member of the Louisburg Town Council.

According to Franklin County Commissioner and Chairman of the Commissioner’s Hospital Committee Sidney E. Dunston, this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time. He shared, “This community has been without access to local care for too long. Maria Parham has exciting plans for the Franklin Medical Center site, and we look forward to working with its team to relaunch crucial medical services here and advance efforts to ensure the health of everyone who lives in this region.”

In 2016, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners reviewed potential strategic partners interested in taking over services at the shuttered Franklin Medical Center. In October, the board unanimously voted to accept a proposal from Duke LifePoint that involved operating Franklin Medical Center as part of Duke LifePoint’s Henderson hospital, Maria Parham Health, and turning the Franklin County facility into a freestanding emergency department with 24/7 emergency care, diagnostic services and behavioral health services.

“We are pleased by the bi-partisan cooperation of this endeavor,” commented N.C. Senator Chad Barefoot. “The entire Franklin County family and Town of Louisburg, as well as our colleagues at Maria Parham and Duke LifePoint, have worked together to make this possible.”

With the signed lease agreement, Maria Parham will begin the process to reopen Franklin Medical Center as a freestanding emergency department that is part of the hospital, and re-establish the behavioral health unit, subject to receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals. This project is supported by $10.1 million in funding from the state’s Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund grant, as well as an additional $750,000 state grant for job creation. We also continue to work with the state, Golden Leaf Foundation and other charitable and governmental entities for additional funding.

“Our team is excited to become part of the Franklin County community and partner with the people here to bring needed quality care close to home as well as encourage new job growth and economic development,” said Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health. “We will begin by re-launching emergency services so those in need of immediate care do not have to risk traveling long distances.
Then, we will focus on better serving the behavioral health needs in the community, which we know is needed.”

It is expected that the Franklin emergency department will open in mid to late 2018, following needed renovations and hiring of staff. The next phases of the project will involve re-establishing and expanding behavioral health services in the community, including re-opening the hospital’s 13-bed geriatric behavioral health unit and expanding the number of available beds and services to include inpatient adult behavioral health. This is expected to be completed by late 2018. According to the most recent community health needs assessment and current population statistics, this is a crucial area of need in Franklin and surrounding counties.

“Teamwork and cooperation helped this project move forward,” stated Louisburg Mayor, Karl Pernell. “The renovations of the facility will provide all of us with a first-class emergency department as well as behavioral health beds.”

In addition to developments planned by Maria Parham Health at the Franklin Medical Center site, Duke Primary Care has plans to establish a primary care practice in Louisburg and Duke Raleigh Hospital has plans to establish an ambulatory surgery center in Youngsville.

Re-establishing healthcare services at Franklin Medical Center is expected to bring a minimum of 65 new jobs to Franklin County in the coming years.

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About Franklin County

Fitch Ratings upgraded Franklin County December 19, 2016 from ‘AA’ to ‘AA+’ on its outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds. The Fitch credit rating system has 10 levels of credit ranking. The ‘AA+’ rating is only one level from the top of its credit rating system. The upgrade reflects the county’s stable economic base. The higher rating (AA+) will ultimately translate to lower interest rates on any new debt the County incurs when compared to the lower (AA) ranking. Better ratings mean lower interest costs for taxpayers. The full press release can be found at: https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1016735.

For additional information, please contact Angela L. Harris, Franklin County Manager, at (919) 496-5994.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

About Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health, a Duke LifePoint hospital, is a regional hospital in Henderson, North Carolina, serving the people of north central North Carolina and Southside Virginia. As a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, Maria Parham offers a combination of Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care, and LifePoint Health’s extensive resources, knowledge and experience in operating community hospitals. Maria Parham offers a wide range of services and the latest technology to meet the healthcare needs of the community. It is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and CMS. For more information about Maria Parham Health, please call (252) 4384143 or visit mariaparham.com.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and health care providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving health care delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper. www.dukelifepointhealthcare.com

Triangle North Franklin Business Park Welcomes Cedar Peaks Enterprises Franklin County’s Shell Building May be Occupied by Mid 2018

Cedar Peaks Enterprises has purchased the shell building built by Wake Electric at 481 Airport Road at Triangle North Franklin Business Park joining the Alliance tobacco receiving station as the second tenant at the Park.

Cedar Peaks Enterprises is a licensed General Contractor in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, owned and operated by David Rifenburg and Brian Birdsall of Wake Forest. The company was founded in 2013. “We began with only 15 full-time employees and have now grown to over 90 and still counting,” commented David Rifenburg.

The company’s main focus is airport related asphalt paving and airfield lighting/electrical projects. Cedar Peaks also does asphalt production, excavation and grading as well as subbase installation and utilities.

“Franklin County has been experiencing population and industrial growth making it a perfect site for a growing business,” Mr. Rifenburg continued. “As an added bonus, we get to have the address: 481 Airport Road, which fits perfectly with our business since it is geared to airports.”

Cedar Peaks will begin the up fit of the shell building, customizing the space to meet their needs. Initially the building will house eight full-time administrative employees and serve as the meeting point for field workers and superintendents. “We will begin construction right away,” commented Mr. Rifenburg, “with a goal of being in the building by mid 2018.”

“We welcome Cedar Peaks to the Franklin County business community and are pleased they selected Triangle North Franklin for their Headquarters’ location,” commented Franklin County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Cedric Jones. “It is an ideal location situated adjacent to Triangle North Executive Airport.”

“We are excited to welcome Cedar Peaks Enterprises to the Triangle North Franklin Business Park,” said David Smith, Chairman of the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation, which owns and develops Triangle North’s business parks. “As we work together regionally to bring new jobs and economic growth, private sector commitments such as this show confidence in the region and our ability to meet their workforce needs. We appreciate the company’s decision to locate in Triangle North Franklin.”

Triangle North is a network of four tax-advantaged business parks located in the four north-central North Carolina counties of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren. Triangle North was created by the four county governments with funding and assistance from a variety of local, regional, state and federal organizations.

“Cedar Peaks has demonstrated expertise in their field having done work at Raleigh-Durham International, Charlotte Douglas International, Richmond International, Greensboro International as well as at the Triangle North Executive Airport and many other regional and local airports throughout the region,” added Economic Development Commission Chairman Matthew Winslow.

For additional information, please contact Richie Duncan, Franklin County Economic Development Director, at (919) 554-1863.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

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About Franklin County Fitch Ratings upgraded Franklin County December 19, 2016 from ‘AA’ to ‘AA+’ on its outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds. The Fitch credit rating system has 10 levels of credit ranking. The ‘AA+’ rating is only one level from the top of its credit rating system. The upgrade reflects the county’s stable economic base. The higher rating (AA+) will ultimately translate to lower interest rates on any new debt the County incurs when compared to the lower (AA) ranking. Better ratings mean lower interest costs for taxpayers. The full press release can be found at: https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1016735.

Louisburg man Sentenced for Several Firearm Offenses

GREENVILLE – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, John Stuart Bruce, announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced DAVID EARL GILL, JR., 26, of Louisburg, North Carolina, to 216 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $4,477.07 in restitution.

On May 12, 2017, GILL pled guilty to carjacking and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Additionally GILL plead guilty to possession of a stolen firearm in the Northern District of Georgia.

According to the Indictment and information in the public records, on July 31, 2015, GILL and his codefendant Kyara Nicole Jones, forced entry into a residence in Louisburg, North Carolina. GILL was armed with a sawed off shotgun and forced the homeowner into a closet and barricaded the door with furniture and took the two homeowner’s vehicle. Jones previously pled guilty for her role on January 12, 2017 and will be sentenced later this year.

On August 5, 2015, GILL pawned a shotgun that was reported stolen from Rockingham County at a store in McDonough, Georgia. The next day, law enforcement officers in McIntosh arrested GILL when they located him driving the stolen vehicle from Louisburg, North Carolina.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, the McIntosh, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, and the Henry County, Georgia, Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Jackson prosecuted the case for the Eastern District of North Carolina and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Hobson prosecuted the case for the Northern District of Georgia.

Reports of Phone-Scam Targeting Local Seniors using Franklin County Home Heath Agency’s Phone-Number

Franklin County, August 25, 2017: The Franklin County Health Department has learned that over the past few weeks several calls have been placed to area seniors which appear to be coming from the Franklin County Health Department’s Home Health Agency. For those with Caller-ID, the call will appear to be coming from our Home Health Agency’s phone number and will indicate “County of Franklin” as the name of the caller. Once answered the caller begins to discuss credit card offers that seem “too good to be true” and then asks for personal financial information.

Please note the Franklin County Health Department does NOT call regarding credit card or any other financial offers. Families and Caretakers are encouraged to speak with their seniors about any unusual calls they may be receiving and are strongly encouraged to call local law enforcement to report any suspicious calling activities.

The Franklin County Health Department and Information Technology Department will continue to work with local law enforcement and alert the community about this phone-scam activity targeting seniors.

For additional information, please contact Scott LaVigne, Franklin County Health Director, at (919) 496-2533.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

State Highway Patrol Promotes Back To School Safety

RALEIGH – In anticipation of the upcoming school year, the State Highway Patrol is focusing on safety in and around school zones.  Motorists should be aware of an increase in school traffic and familiarize themselves with local school bus stop locations.  Teen drivers will also increase as some will be driving to and from school for the first time.  Drivers should also expect an increase in pedestrian traffic in and around school zones.

“Ensuring the safety of students as they travel to and from school is a responsibility shared by everyone”, said Col. Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol.  “Our mission is to educate the motoring public on safe driving behaviors before, during and after school.”

Troopers statewide will monitor school bus routes, attempting to ensure motorists comply with stopping for school buses as they pick up and release students. 

According to state law, motorists are required to stop when a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers.  The driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped.

Officials also encourage students to ensure all traffic has stopped before entering the roadway when boarding or exiting their respective school bus. 

In an attempt to increase safety and awareness, SHP is using social media to highlight a “Back to School” PSA, which can be viewed by vising the Patrol’s Facebook page.  A digital copy of the PSA is available upon request. 

Boys and Girls Club Set for 2017-2018 School Year

Vance 

As the summer program comes to an end, members are preparing to return to school and the Club staff are preparing for the start of the after-school program. The GREATEST staff and volunteers in Boys & Girls Club will take two weeks to clean, and re-energize for the 2017-2018 school year.  

Walmart Distribution volunteers will return to the Club to freshen up the walls and floors. Ms. Evelyn will be traveling to Atlanta, GA for the Unit Directors Academy. This Academy will help the Vance County staff build and sustain a high- quality Club experience for all Members. Vance unit will also be accepting applications for new team members and school aged members ages 5-18.

Granville

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL! We have had a great summer, but the Granville Unit is so excited to have an even better school year. Our staff is excited to engage with our club members on so may different levels!

Power hour will continue to be a driving force at our club, but we are focusing on exposing our youth to new activities and tasks. We are planning on having a strong focus in STEM, leadership, & creatvity. BGCNCNC cannot wait to see our youth learn & grow throughout the school!

Warren

We are looking forward to an exciting school year in Warren County.  Three of our schools are back in session and our club members are very excited about the new opportunities that will be available to them this school year.  Our last site will open at the end of this month, and we are extremely eager to meet those club members as well.

We have partnered with the school administration and staff members at each of our sites, to ensure that our students experience great academic success this school year.   We  are looking to also partner with the local high schools and community colleges to get volunteers to help out at our sites to ensure that our club members have a great club experience.  We want each club member to truly believe that “Great Futures Start Here”

Featured here our most recent visitor Lieutenant Corey Adams City of Henderson Fire Department Division of Fire Prevention.

Franklin

The Franklin Unit is excited for the first day of school, 2017!! The staff is very busy at the club working on new bulletin boards, rearranging classrooms, planning a fun and engaging schedule, and cleaning up the club!! As the age old saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” we are fully committed to being a part of that village in Franklin County to mentor and support the children of the community we serve. While it may not be what the children want to hear, this 2017-2018 school year the Franklin Unit will be focusing on…drum roll please….homework! Yes, homework. Part of the mission of The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is to enable all young people to reach their full potential. Homework is a tool that we can use to bridge the gap between school, families, and their community.  

We’re so eager to get this year started because we will be partnering with AmeriCorps to bring a full time LiteracyCorps member to the Boys & Girls Club in Franklin County for the next 12-13 months. This member’s full focus will be on improving literacy in the youth we serve at The Boys & Girls Club! Our staff will also benefit through the relationship they build with this member by learning new and exciting ways to implement fun and engaging programming that includes an underlying academic piece. We are ready to tackle this school year and continue to grow and mentor great futures for the youth of Franklin County!

Halifax

As summer winds down and the clean up begins, we are looking forward to the exciting new school year. The staff is gearing up to make the 2017-2018 school year one of the best ever! We have been collecting back to school supplies for our annual book bag give away, that is shaping up to be a big event!

We are setting up and planning some new and exciting programs and lining up some new and engaging speakers to start the school year off right! We are looking forward to seeing all our returning members, as well as meeting all our NEW members. See you on August 28th! Let the FUN begin!

Approval of STIP Keeps Franklin County on the Move

Franklin County, August 17, 2017: Franklin County will see the benefit of a number of projects now that the North Carolina Board of Transportation has approved the 10-year (2018-2027) State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

Funding will assist with several transformational projects including the NCDOT Division of Aviation allocation of $10,890,000 to Triangle North Executive Airport (TNEA) and the widening of US 401 to a four-lane highway.

“The support from NCDOT and NCDOT Division of Aviation for Franklin County provides us with the resources to take significant steps forward for our businesses and citizens,” stated Franklin County Board Chairman Cedric K. Jones.

“The allocation to Triangle North Executive Airport will allow us to create more buildable space for additional hangars as well as be able to extend the runway and take larger aircraft to carry passengers and freight,” commented Steve Merritt, Triangle North Executive Airport Manager. The county will be required to provide some matching funds bringing the total value of this allocation plus the match to $12,200,000.

Triangle North Executive Airport has 60 jobs and the impact of this expansion is projected to grow that number to 120 for both direct and indirect jobs. TNEA houses 131 planes currently with an annual economic impact of $23,000,000.

The approved funding for widening US 401 now provides this corridor not only with improved safety, but also more direct access to multiple transportation routes important for attracting and retaining businesses. This project has been identified as Section C of US 401 and has long been a request by the citizens of Louisburg and Franklin County.

Additional commitment by NCDOT to now take US 401 widening all the way into Louisburg, named Section D of US 401, will transform access for this area of Franklin County. “With the ongoing growth of Franklin County, it is important that we plan for safe, effective transportation,” stated County Manager Angela L. Harris. “The widening of US 401 has been a project that has been important to us for many, many years and we are delighted to see it moving forward.”
Contact: Richie Duncan Economic Development Director Phone: (919) 554-1863 Fax: (919) 554-1781
228 Park Avenue Youngsville, NC 27596 www.franklincountync.us FRANKLIN COUNTY

“When completed, the US 401 expansion will provide Franklin County with another four-lane north-south thoroughfare, giving the county and region the infrastructure it needs for growth,” said Economic Development Director Richie Duncan.

In addition to these projects, several others were included in the 10-year plan including:

 US 401-39 (Bickett Blvd), NC 56/581 (Nash Street) to SR 1229 (Main Street) widening to multi-lanes  Intersection improvement from Holden Road at US 1Alt, NC 96  Access management from East Nash St to Burke Blvd to replace 5 lane facility with 4 lane facility including planted median, sidewalks and bike lane  US 98, NC 98 – upgrade existing at grade intersection to interchange  From Main St to Camille Circle at Luddy Park construct shared use path, crosswalks

For additional information, please contact Richie Duncan, Franklin County Economic Development Director, at (919) 554-1863.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

Franklin County Names Public Utilities Director

Franklin County, August 8, 2017: Franklin County has selected Christopher Doherty to serve as Public Utilities Director effective August 21, 2017. Mr. Doherty has served as Superintendent for the South Florida Water Management District from May 2012 until March 2017. Prior to working for South Florida Water Management District, Mr. Doherty served as Public Works/Utilities Superintendent for the City of North Lauderdale where he supervised the daily operations of the Public Works Department. In addition, Mr. Doherty has several years of experience as a Public Works Director for the City of Clinton, North Carolina.

Mr. Doherty earned an Associates of Arts – Civil Engineering from Broward Community College and a Bachelor of Science, Professional Management/Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He is certified in Florida as a Stormwater Management Inspector, holds a C Distribution certification in North Carolina as well as an OSHA 30 certification. His professional memberships include the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), SWANA Certified as MSW Collection Manager, American Water Works Association and FL Chapter, American Public Works Association and FL Chapter, Rural Water Association, National Fire Protection Association and American Society of Civil Engineers.

County Manager Angela L. Harris said, “It is with great optimism that I welcome Mr. Doherty to our team. He will play an important role as we update our Capital Improvements Plan for Public Utilities and plan for future growth. We are also thankful for the service of Mike Bailes who is currently serving as interim director.”

For additional information, please contact Angela L. Harris, Franklin County Manager, at (919) 4965994.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.