Time to Unwind Concert

McGregor Hall to Livestream ‘Time to Unwind’ Concert July 16

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-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center will present “Time to Unwind,” a musical concert featuring Greg Milton & Friends via Facebook on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

During this evening of music, the journey will consist of some spirituals, hymns, jazz standards, R&B classics, Gospel and much more. This concert will feature the amazing talent of Blakely Bates, Dr. Aliza McLean, Karen Leigh Allen, Stella Jones, and Alice Sallins, along with many more.

Tune in on the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center Facebook page on July 16 for this concert that is open to the public!

If you are able to give, a donation link will be provided to continue supporting the arts in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

VGCC Truck Driver Training

VGCC’s New Truck Driver Training Program Graduates First Class


-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

The new Truck Driver Training, or CDL, program at Vance-Granville Community College began in February, had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then later resumed before finally concluding this month. Through all the ups and downs, VGCC officials say that the students in this first class have shown great perseverance and determination.

Jeff Bullock, of Henderson, is just one of many examples of the dedicated students in this class. Bullock, who works as a third shift engineer, earned a 4.0 grade point average and had perfect attendance. “Our highly experienced instructors provided excellent training and information inside and outside the classroom,” said Bullock. “Instructors stressed the importance of how to safely operate tractor-trailers and pay attention to detail during on-the-road training. We had access to recruiters from numerous trucking companies giving us potential job options as well as insight into the trucking industry.”

Students (pictured above) in the first class of VGCC’s new Trucker Driver Training program have completed their DOT exams, making them eligible for their “Class A” Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL-A) and fully employable as truck drivers. (VGCC photo)

Jim Womack, lead instructor for the Truck Driver Training program, said of Bullock, “I’m very proud of Jeff. He was an outstanding student that was never absent and never late for class.”

Student Michael Haskins, of Oxford, is another positive example from the class, who also earned a 4.0 grade point average and had perfect attendance. Instructor Womack noted, “Michael is a great guy and was a big help to the entire class. He was always the first student to offer his assistance to other students.”

Haskins’ philosophy was simple: “No man left behind.” As a result of the challenges caused by COVID-19, Haskins was “willing and determined to do whatever he could do to make sure every student was successful by passing the class and getting their CDL-A license.” He described the class as a “career-changing and exciting experience.” 

Student Kaylin Riley, of Creedmoor, faced challenges that he had to overcome. Womack said that he noticed “Kaylin buckling down and getting really serious about improving his driving skills and techniques – which paid off for him because he successfully completed the course and will be getting his CDL-A Driver License.”

Dawn Tucker, Dean of Continuing Education and College & Career Readiness said “Providing these young men and women the training necessary to start a new and rewarding career gives the college GREAT joy and pride! Their ability to persevere, in the midst of a pandemic, and their commitment to successfully completing all the requirements of the program, are clear indications that the best, for them, is yet to come.”

The program includes a combination of classroom instruction, range driving and road driving. With the end of training on June 25, 2020, students have successfully completed their DOT exams, making them eligible for their “Class A” Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL-A) and fully employable as truck drivers.   

VGCC is scheduled to offer another nine-week class starting in August, with a mandatory orientation on July 29. 

The program, offered in collaboration with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), is considered essential to meeting the needs of many companies who need drivers to move goods across the country. Local employers have shown strong support for VGCC’s program and have spoken to students about job opportunities. 

To enroll in the program, students must be at least 18 years old, have a valid North Carolina driver’s license, and be able to read and speak English well enough to take instructions from highway signs, to converse with officials, and to complete the required reports.

For more information on the Truck Driver Training Program, please visit www.vgcc.edu/cdl/ or contact Kyle Burwell, Director of Occupational Extension, at 252-738-3276 or burwellk@vgcc.edu.

Jeff Bullock, of Henderson, is just one of many examples of the dedicated students in VGCC’s Trucker Driver Training class. Bullock, who works as a third shift engineer, earned a 4.0 grade point average and had perfect attendance. (VGCC photo)

Student Michael Haskins, of Oxford, is another positive example from the Truck Driver class, who also earned a 4.0 grade point average and had perfect attendance. (VGCC photo)

Student Kaylin Riley, of Creedmoor, successfully completed VGCC’s Truck Driver Training course and is now eligible for his CDL-A Driver License. (VGCC photo)


NCDHHS Expands County Data; Reports COVID-19 Clusters at Schools, Child Care Settings

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-Press Release, NCDHHS

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has expanded the COVID-19 Dashboard to include expanded county data on trends, demographics and testing. The updated dashboard also includes a new report on COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings.

The interactive NC COVID-19 Dashboard now includes county trends over time in cases and deaths, as well as demographic information on cases and deaths by race, ethnicity, sex and age. It also displays one of the key statewide metrics by county– percent of tests that are positive. Together, these data provide a more in-depth picture of COVID-19 at the county level.

Previously, testing data by county was not available because a large proportion of negative tests were reported manually and did not include county information. With more tests now being reported electronically with county data, there is now sufficient data to reliably share the percent positive by county. The dashboard will also display the number of tests that are reported electronically in each county.

There are limitations to the data. About a quarter of recent tests reported to North Carolina are not reported electronically, and some counties may be more likely to use a lab that reports electronically.

In addition to the expanded county data, the Department now provides a biweekly report on COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings. A cluster is defined as both a minimum of five cases in the same facility within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiological linkage between cases.

The report includes the facility type (school or child care), county and the number of cases and deaths among staff and children. This information will be part of the Outbreaks and Clusters section of the Dashboard, which also includes cases and deaths at long-term care facilities, other congregate care settings. The first report of clusters in child care and school settings will be available later today.

NCDHHS will continue to assess and provide additional data as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and more information becomes available. The dashboard can be accessed online at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.

For more information about North Carolina’s response to COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19.

William Ryan Brown

Franklin Co. Sheriff’s Office Arrests Youngsville Man on Multiple Drug Charges

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group arrested Franklin County resident William Ryan Brown on June 22, 2020, on a variety of drug charges.

The investigation began when the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit received information and complaints from multiple sources alleging that Mr. Brown was involved in illegal drug activity in and around Franklin County. During the investigation, probable cause was established and a search warrant was executed at Mr. Brown’s residence, located at 102 Bridle Trail, Youngsville, NC.

As a result of the search warrant, 822 bindles of heroin, 33 grams of Methamphetamine, multiple firearms, various pills and drug paraphernalia were seized. The street value of the heroin seized is estimated to be $20,550 and the street value of the Methamphetamine seized is estimated to be $9,600.

Mr. Brown was charged with Trafficking Heroin by Possession, Trafficking Methamphetamine by Possession, Possess With Intent to Sell and Deliver Heroin, Sell Heroin, Possess With Intent to Sell and Deliver a Schedule III Controlled Substance, Possess With Intent to Sell and Deliver a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, Possession of THC Isolates and Maintaining a Dwelling for the Purpose of Storing Controlled Substances.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group was assisted in this investigation by US Marshals and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Sheriff Kent Winstead stated, “These investigations are vital to disrupting illegal drug trafficking in our county. We are appreciative of the cooperation with our federal partners and the information provided by our citizens that aided us in this investigation.”

Mr. Brown is currently being held in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $300,000 secured bond.

William Ryan Brown (32)
102 Bridle Trail, Youngsville, NC
Youngsville, NC 27596

If you have information regarding this case or if you would like to report drug activity in your community, please contact Sgt. Ken Pike at (919) 496-2186.

Franklin County Logo

Franklin County Offers New Fraud Detection Alert System

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-Press Release, Franklin County Government

Franklin County’s Register of Deeds Office now offers a new system to help citizens better combat fraudulent activity. Register of Deeds Brandi S. Brinson recently introduced the Fraud Detection Notification service to alert citizens when documents are recorded in the office matching their names. 

Citizens can sign up for this free monitoring service in just moments with ease by providing your name, email address and up to five names you wish to monitor for document filings.

Once registration is complete, the system will send alerts via email when any documents, such as powers of attorney or deeds, are filed with the Register of Deeds Office. In order to register for this free service, visit www.franklincountync.us/services/register-of-deeds and click on “Fraud Detection Notification.” 

For more information about the Fraud Detection Notification system, contact Brandi S. Brinson at (919) 496-3500.

Town of Louisburg Logo

Town of Louisburg to Hold Emergency Meeting on Confederate Monument

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-Information courtesy the Town of Louisburg

A Louisburg Town Council emergency meeting will be held Monday, June 22, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. online via Zoom for discussion on the Louisburg Confederate Monument.

If you have questions regarding this meeting, please contact Town Hall at (919) 496-3406 or visit the Town of Louisburg website www.townoflouisburg.org.

Zoom Meeting link: https://buff.ly/2V5Ox5k  Webinar ID: 835 1370 9458

Franklin County Logo

Franklin Co. Manager Announces New Structure for Office of Emergency Services

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-Press Release, Franklin County Government

The Franklin County Office of Emergency Services is committed to its mission of providing for the public’s safety in our County. County Manager Angela L. Harris recently announced plans to restructure the department to ensure accomplishing the department’s mission remains uninterrupted in the face of the growth that has occurred in Franklin County. 

The department will be headed by an Emergency Services Director who will be responsible for a number of duties including the County’s Emergency Management responsibilities and will supervise an Emergency Medical Services Director. The Emergency Medical Services Director will be responsible for direct supervision of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff and manage EMS quality assurance and training requirements.

A Logistics Technician position and an Administrative Support Specialist III position will continue to report to the Emergency Services Director and assist with all departmental functions.

A Franklin County Fire Marshal position has been requested as part of the FY 2021 budget to become part of the Department beginning in January 2021. The Franklin County Fire Marshal will be responsible for conducting investigations, coordinating with other agencies and performing periodic inspections in occupied facilities as required by applicable State law. 

“The COVID-19 Crisis continues to illustrate the excellent job being done by Franklin County’s Emergency Services employees,” Harris said. “Ensuring departmental leadership is in place to meet the needs of our county’s growing population will ensure continued delivery of excellent services.” 

Postings for the positions of Emergency Services Director and Emergency Medical Services Director can be found on the Franklin County website at www.franklincountync.us.

NC Governor Logo

Local Health Departments to Receive Combined $1+ Million in COVID-19 Funding

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-Press Release, Office of Governor Roy Cooper

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $35 million in federal funding to local health departments to support the COVID-19 response. Per federal guidelines, counties will be able to use these funds to support COVID-19 staffing, infection controls, testing and tracing, IT infrastructure and data sharing and visualization.

“Our local health departments are critical partners with the state as we fight this virus, and this funding will help them continue and expand their important work,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

“Since the start of the pandemic, our local health departments have been working around the clock to protect their communities and slow the spread of the virus. These funds continue to support their ability to address the overwhelming demands they are facing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.

North Carolina’s local health departments are on the frontlines supporting people in getting tested for COVID-19 and knowing if they have been exposed. Testing and contact tracing are core public health activities and key components of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19. These responsibilities are in addition to their ongoing work to promote health and prevent disease.

Local health departments will receive a base allocation of $90,000 per county with additional funding based on population size and their cumulative positive COVID-19 caseload. Some local health departments represent multiple counties. CLICK HERE to see how much each health department will receive.

Local health district allocations include:

Granville-Vance (two counties) – $650,568

Franklin – $242,158

Warren – $149,803

This one-time, non-recurring funding is part of NCDHHS’ cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC), which awards annual funding to state, local and territorial health departments to support vector-borne disease surveillance and response. The coverage period runs from the beginning of the 2020 calendar year through the end of FY 2021-22.

Visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov to learn more about testing and contact tracing in North Carolina. For more information about the state’s response to COVID-19, go to nc.gov/covid19.

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health CEO Thanks Community, Encourages Continued Support

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Op-Ed: Thank You Vance and Franklin Counties – Bert Beard CEO, Maria Parham Health

For the past several months, Maria Parham Health (MPH) has been facing the impact of COVID-19 with our community. We have built upon our robust emergency operations plan that we have in place year-round by updating policies, implementing new protocol, educating our staff, and working with our community partners in ways we never have before. But in all this preparation, MPH has never been alone.

Today, I write to share my appreciation for our community. Thank you to the countless individuals and organizations who have generously donated critically important supplies and resources and offered inspiring words of encouragement to our team. In this crisis, the true meaning of community has never been more apparent or appreciated. Patients, board members, staff, community providers, our sister facilities – all segments of the communities we serve and partner with have shown their support during this pandemic

Community members have brought in surgical masks and N95 respirators to add to the resources we are working to preserve. Local restaurants and businesses have sent food to treat our folks as they work. Many people have donated homemade cloth masks to our hospital and local EMS – an incredible labor of love. Posted signage, sidewalk chalk messages and decorated rocks cheer on our heroes and have infused our campuses with pride. And these are just a few of the many examples that exist.

The outpouring of love and encouragement from our community has been overwhelming, and it makes us so proud to call Vance and Franklin Counties our home and to serve the northern triangle. MPH stands ready to serve you – our neighbors, family and friends. Please continue to keep our community safe and prevent further spread of this disease:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • If you must go out in public, wear masks to protect those around you.

To learn more about Maria Parham Health’s COVID-19 preparedness and what you can do to help stay well, visit Mariaparham.com.

Franklin County Schools

Franklin Co. Schools Offering Free Summer Meal Service

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-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

Franklin County Schools is offering a free summer meal service for students on Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Meals will be available for curbside pick up at Bunn High School, Franklinton Elementary School, Laurel Mill Elementary School, Louisburg High School and Youngsville Elementary School.

Breakfast and lunch for three days will be included at each pickup; please bring a large bag or box for meals.

FCS is now offering curbside pre-order for pick up on Mondays and Thursdays. Please contact the FCS Child Nutrition Services staff for more details (click here).

For more information, visit www.fcschools.net or https://www.fcschools.net/domain/1376.