Franklin County DSS Gets $2,500 From Food Lion To Address Food Insecurity

– Information courtesy of Franklin County Public Information Officer James Hicks

Franklin County Department of Social Services has received a $2,500 gift from the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to address food insecurity needs across the county.

“We are excited to receive the funds provided by the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation as it will enrich our efforts to address food insecurity in our county,” said Franklin County Director of Social Services Andrew Payne.

The county’s Care and Share Center staff and volunteers provide nutritious food items to county residents in need of emergency assistance. The Care and Share Center, located at

at 110 Industrial Drive in Louisburg, is open to the public on Wednesday mornings.

The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Salisbury-based grocery store.  Established in 2001, the foundation provides financial support for programs and organizations dedicated to feeding local neighbors in the communities it serves. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $18.1 million in grants.



NCDOT Awards $3.5 Million Contract For Road Improvements in Franklin County; Work Begins Spring 2024

More than 21 miles of local roadway will be updated across Franklin County beginning next spring.

The N.C. Department of Transportation recently awarded the work to Carolina Sunrock LLC of Raleigh. The $3.5 million contract includes milling, resurfacing and reconstructing shoulders along portions of seven roads. Work should start in March 2024 and will be completed in October 2025.

The following roads are included in the project:

  • C. 96 from U.S.1 to the Granville County Line
  • S. 1 Alternate North/South Main Street from just east of U.S.1 to south of N.C. 56
  • Ronald Tharrington Road from N.C.56 to Seven Paths Road
  • Allen Road from N.C. 561 to Leonard Road
  • Tarboro Road/East Main Street from U.S. 401 to Youngsville
  • East Jewett Avenue/Baptist Church Road from Sledge Road to N.C. 39
  • East Main Street in downtown Youngsville

The Local Skinny! Franklin County Releases Historic Architecture Book

The much-awaited Franklin County architectural history book has been published and is ready for purchase, just in time for Christmas.

The books are $60 and feature more than 400 photos and list 800 properties of interest throughout the county.

There will be a special book release party at the Louisburg Senior Center, 279 S. Bickett Blvd.,  on Monday, Dec. 4 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Books will be on sale at the event, and also will be available for sale at the various library branches in the county, said WIZS’s own Bill Harris, who also serves as chair of the Franklin County Historical Preservation Commission.

The book is the result of a comprehensive survey conducted before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed the process of completing the book.

The previous survey undertaken by the state preservation office was completed in the 1970’s, but didn’t result in a book, he said.

Now, half a century later, this most recent survey includes properties that would not have been considered historically significant back in the 1970’s, Harris explained.

There also was an effort to focus on the southern part of Louisburg, which had not been thoroughly considered in the previous survey, he noted.

The book’s main editor is J. Daniel Pizzone, but there were numerous others who contributed to the completion of the book, Harris said. It was published in Oxford by BW&A Books.

Copies of the book are available now at the following locations:


  • Central Library, 906 North Main St., Louisburg
  • Bunn Branch Library, 610 Main St., Bunn
  • Franklinton Branch Library 9 West Mason St., Franklinton
  • Youngsville Branch Library, 218 US-1A Hwy. South, Youngsville
  • Franklin County Planning & Inspections Department, 127 S. Bickett Blvd., Louisburg




NC Forest Service

Veterans Can Get Seedlings At Discount From N.C. Forest Service

The N.C. Forest Service is offering a 20 percent discount on tree seedling orders placed by active, honorably discharged or retired military personnel during the month of November. Beginning Nov. 13, the discount applies to the first $500 of all new orders, up to a $100 discount.

“Many forestland owners in this state are veterans and current military members who choose country before self to the benefit of us all,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am proud to offer a discount that not only shows appreciation for their brave service but that also assists them with keeping forests healthy, another act that provides us all with numerous benefits.”

To be eligible, veterans must show a valid military ID, Department of Defense Form 214/215 or National Guard Bureau Form 22/22A is acceptable. Standard shipping rates still apply. Tree seedlings may be ordered by calling 1-888-NCTREES or by visiting

The N.C. Forest Service Nursery and Tree Improvement program ensures that residents of North Carolina have access to the best native trees and genetics available for use on their land. Current available inventory includes southern yellow pines, native oaks and hardwoods, native understory grasses and Christmas tree species. For a complete list of available species and pricing, visit

China Company Set To Make Hemp Food Products In Louisburg

-information courtesy of Franklin County Public Information Officer James F. Hicks III


Franklin County is the site for a new plant that will produce hemp food products, representing a $10 million investment and the creation of dozens of jobs.

China-based Q-power Inc. is in the final phase before it begins operation at 3959 NC-39 S in Louisburg, according to a press release from Franklin County Public Information Officer James F. Hicks III. The plan is to begin production before the end of the year. The project, initiated in 2018, was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Company Chairwoman Zhiyi Zhang led a tour of the facility Thursday. The company is investing in this new plant in Louisburg to produce hemp food locally.

“I am excited about Q-power opening its operations here in the county,” said Franklin County Manager Kim Denton.  “Franklin County continues to grow and is well positioned for companies like Q-power to thrive.”

Q-power has been in business for more than 20 years and is an industry leader in hemp food production, including hemp seed, oil and protein.

“Q-power is committed to investing and exploring the market in the United States to meet our American customers’ needs,” said Zhiyi Zhang, Chairwoman at Q-power. “We are excited about opening this plant in Franklin County.”



VGCC To Offer Students Access To Virtual Textbooks, Course Materials Beginning Spring 2024

-information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel

Vance-Granville Community College is making course materials more affordable and accessible for students. November 3 the college announced the launch of the new VGCC Textbook+ initiative, which lowers the cost of learning materials through a partnership with textbook publisher Cengage. Beginning in the spring 2024 semester, students will be able to access digital Cengage course materials through the Moodle platform starting on the first day of class.

“With textbook prices rising every year, VGCC wants to help students with the cost as much as possible,” said Dr. Kim Sepich, vice president of Learning, Student Engagement & Success at Vance-Granville. “We want our students to have what they need as quickly and as economically as possible, and VGCC Textbook+ makes this happen.”

VGCC’s Textbook+ initiative provides Cengage Unlimited Institutional subscriptions to students, which allows first-day access to a virtual library of thousands of e-books, online learning platforms and study materials covering hundreds of college-level subject areas in one place at a single price. Vance-Granville is helping its students save hundreds of dollars per semester on textbooks and course materials with the addition of the Cengage Unlimited Institutional program.

“Cengage has made a significant commitment to lowering course materials costs for students,” said Edwin Robles, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Higher Education and Canada at Cengage. “Vance-Granville Community College shares this commitment. Working together, we will support VGCC students by making education more affordable and accessible for all.”

Since its August 2018 launch, Cengage Unlimited has helped more than 5.2 million students save nearly $630 million on the cost of course materials, with $230 million of that savings coming directly from institutional partnerships. For more information on institutional partnerships for Cengage Unlimited, visit



Franklin Animal Shelter Expands Adoption Hours, Adds Part-Time Staff

In a response to community interest and concerns, Franklin County Animal Services is implementing several changes at the county’s animal shelter, including more adoption hours for the public to come to see the available dogs and cats who need homes.

The new hours begin Saturday, Nov. 4, according to information from Franklin County Public Information Officer James Hicks.

The extended hours will be Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 noon to 4 p.m., and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be no adoption hours on Thursdays and Sundays.

The Franklin County board of commissioners have approved pay raises for animal services staff and two new part-time shelter attendant positions. Additional pet introduction areas are also being designed for installation at the shelter, Hicks stated.

Animal Services staff also will resume posting animal photos to Facebook Albums located on the Franklin County Animal Shelter Facebook page. Other updates have been made recently to the Animal Services page on the Franklin County website ( to allow for viewing and sorting available animals, associated fees, programs and resources, along with how to become a rescue partner.

During public adoption hours, the public can view the dogs and cats available for adoption. Approved animal rescue partners can work with shelter staff to visit and view animals by appointment during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at other times as specifically deemed necessary.

Changes were announced at the Oct. 30 Animal Services Advisory Board meeting in addition to a presentation about the volunteer programs at the Animal Shelter.  Those interested in helping the animal shelter can participate in the Kitten Foster Team or donate to the Pet Pantry – which provides food and supplies to those who cannot afford it. Start dates for additional volunteer programs including a Community Outreach Team, Dog team, Cat team and a trap-neuter-vaccinate-release program will be announced as resources are identified.

Find the Oct. 30 presentation at 103023 Advisory Board Presentation.pdf (

State Retirees Get One-Time Bump In This Month’s Check

Retired state employees may have noticed a slight bump in their retirement checks that hit their bank accounts today. It’s not an error; rather, it’s a one-time supplement to benefit recipients who retired on or before Oct. 1, 2023, and who are members of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, Consolidated Judicial Retirement System and the Legislative Retirement System.

For most retired state employees and teachers, the Oct. 25 payment includes an additional 4 percent of their annual benefit – that amounts to $40 for a $1,000 retirement check.

These funds did not come from the Plan itself, N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell said in a press statement. The money was appropriated by the General Assembly as a part of the budget passed earlier this month. The one-time payments will not reduce the funded ratio of the State System, Folwell noted.

This one-time supplement does not apply to benefit recipients of the Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System, where a benefit increase may be granted by the LGERS Board of Trustees within certain statutory limitations.

The Local Skinny! Oakwood Cemetery To Host ‘Sip And Stroll With Souls’

The second annual “Sip and Stroll With Souls” in Louisburg’s historic Oakwood Cemetery promises to shed some light on some of the dearly departed who find their eternal rest there.

Dorothy Cooper is one of the event organizers, and she told WIZS’s Bill Harris on Tuesday’s segment of The Local Skinny! that the Oct. 29 tour is shaping up to be another success.

There’s an online registration on the Louisburg Historic District’s website, Cooper said. Find the link here: and click on Events/Tickets.

A $10 donation per person helps the group with its ongoing efforts to clean, restore and repair gravestones in the cemetery, one of two owned by the Town of Louisburg.

From 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to visit a dozen or so different gravesites, with docents on hand to provide some history on the person buried there.

In some cases, the docent is a relative of the deceased; expect to see some docents in period dress and others with family portraits on display.

“We had a really great time last year,” Cooper said, adding that a good number of participants were from outside Franklin County. She said it’s always interesting to uncover new family connections and learn more about distant relatives.

“Some people are find out about family that they didn’t know before,” she said.




Online 911 Telecommunicator Program A New Option For VGCC Students


Information courtesy of VGCC Public Information Officer Courtney Cissel


Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) has teamed up with Richmond Community College to offer a new 911 telecommunications program to residents of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties.

The two community colleges recently signed an agreement which allows VGCC students to enroll in RichmondCC’s online associate degree program in 911 Communications & Operations. VGCC students will complete a majority of the core courses and the work-based learning portion of the program through RichmondCC while completing other general education requirements at VGCC.

“VGCC is pleased to partner with Richmond Community College to offer the 911 operator degree. Collaborations like these allow us to offer needed training and credentials to our community while being fiscally responsible,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais.

The online degree program provides a pathway for individuals who are interested in starting a career in this field, as well as providing skills enhancement for those already working as 911 telecommunicators.

The college curriculum program was developed when the NC 911 Board reached out to RichmondCC about a need for standardization in training 911 telecommunicators, plus a need to help elevate this career field. The college worked closely with the NC 911 Board and the NC Department of Information Technology to construct the online program.

“We appreciate Vance-Granville coming on board in this collaborative career training partnership to give 911 telecommunicators, who are true public servants, better educational opportunities and career growth,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “We look forward to working with our neighbors in the Piedmont.”

Unique in the state of North Carolina, RichmondCC’s 911 Communications & Operations program welcomed its first class of students during the fall 2023 semester.


RichmondCC has been reaching out to other community colleges in the state to make the 911 telecommunications program and its resources available to more students. VGCC is the fourth NC community college to create such a partnership with RichmondCC; Bladen Community College, Gaston College, and Stanly Community College will also be extending the program to their students.

Richmond County is located near the South Carolina border; RichmondCC’s main campus is located in Hamlet, located roughly between Fayetteville and Charlotte.

For more information about the online 911 Communications & Operations associate degree, call RichmondCC at 910.410.1700. For more information about VGCC, visit