SBI Develops New Hand-held Fingerprint Technology

— courtesy NC SBI and North Carolina Department of Public Safety

The State Bureau of Investigation has deployed a mobile fingerprint scanning application for local and state law enforcement officers that instantly searches state and national databases for a positive identification.

The process is simple. A suspect places his or her finger on a small portable device, about the size of a smartphone and the fingerprints become digitized and sent to the SBI’s Statewide Automated Fingerprint Identification System and to the FBI for a search of their databases for any matches.

The Rapid ID System allows law enforcement officers to capture fingerprints remotely using the mobile fingerprint scanner. An officer quickly receives the results of a search on the hand-held device. If a fingerprint match is made, the device provides a person’s name, photo (if available) and other relevant information allowing for a quick assessment of a potential threat level.

“All of this happens in seconds,” said Wyatt Pettengill, SBI’s special agent in charge of the Criminal Information and Identification section. “Once the fingerprint image is received at the SBI, the image is compared against the SBI’s entire biometric database and sent to the FBI for a search of the Repository of Individuals of Special Concern, a combination of many different FBI databases that house sensitive law enforcement information.”

Officers who participated in SBI’s pilot program saw how valuable the technology is in correctly identifying individuals who had given them fictitious information or who had outstanding warrants in North Carolina.

A national fingerprint search through the Rapid ID System also provides officers access to outstanding warrants in other states, national sex offender registry subjects and known or suspected terrorists. Several states are already using this remote identification technology and are experiencing great success, according to Pettengill.

“The SBI tries to provide its law enforcement partners with the most current, cutting edge technology in the effort to apprehend criminals and make North Carolina safer,” said Pettengill. “It’s an amazing investigative and officer safety tool.”


New Human Services club formed at VGCC

— courtesy VGCC

The newest club for students at Vance-Granville Community College focuses on the Human Services Technology (HST) field. The college offers three Human Services degrees – a General HST track, a Substance Abuse track, and a Gerontology track – although interested students in any major are welcome to join the new club.

The HST Club held its first organizational meeting in November at VGCC’s South Campus, the home of the HST program. VGCC Human Services instructor Sharon O’Geary conducted the meeting and said she hopes that the new venture will increase the program’s visibility on campus. “Human Services students are passionate about helping people,” O’Geary observed. “We hope that this club can participate in a variety of special service projects that relate to our field and hold fundraisers that help our community. At the same time, we may be able to represent VGCC, attend conferences and help students obtain jobs in this field through networking.”

Seated, from left: Human Services Technology Club faculty advisor Sharon O’Geary, club Vice President Melissa Jackson, Secretary Caitlyn Rudd and President Pamela Campbell; standing, from left: Student Government Association (SGA) representative Feliciana Hernandez and Treasurer Sonya Barnes.

Students at the meeting elected the first officers to lead the HST Club. They included President Pamela Campbell of Littleton, a Gerontology major; Vice President Melissa Jackson of Oxford, a Substance Abuse major; Secretary Caitlyn Rudd of Franklinton, a Gerontology major; Treasurer Sonya Barnes of Henderson, who is completing both the General and Gerontology tracks; and Student Government Association (SGA) representative Feliciana Hernandez of Henderson, a Substance Abuse major.

The HST curriculum program prepares students for entry-level positions in institutions and agencies which provide social, community, and educational services. VGCC’s program is nationally accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE).

For more information on joining the HST Club, contact Sharon O’Geary at 252-738-3529 or


(VGCC is an advertising client of WIZS.)

BEEF Marketing and Herd Health Meeting Dec. 19

— courtesy NC Cooperative Extension

Warren County / BEEF and Herd Meeting

December 19, 2017 | 6:00 pm
Franklin County Cooperative Extension Center

Area cattle producers are invited to participate in a Beef Cattle Marketing Trends and Updates program, along with a Basic Herd Health Program, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in the Annex meeting room at the Cooperative Extension Center in Louisburg. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by the educational and informative programs. Will Hargett, of East Carolina Stockyards, is sponsoring the meal and will also be speaking on marketing trends and how to get the most from your calves in 2018. In addition, Dr. Harrison Dudley, NCSU Extension Veterinarian, will speak on herd health updates. To participate in the evening’s meal and program, call the Franklin County Cooperative Extension office at 919-496-3344 before Friday, Dec.15, or email This program is open to area cattle producers.

$300,000 Gift Will Help Girl Scouts; Camp Graham

The gift is about a commitment made a long time ago to make the world a better place, and it’s that same commitment that Girl Scouts instilled in Margaret Pickard Sirvis, according to her daughter Barb Sirvis.

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines (GS-NCCP) recently notified WIZS News that a $300,000 gift from the Margaret Pickard Sirvis Fund will go towards revitalizing Camp Graham, just north of Henderson.  Be sure to click here for Camp Graham details.

A lifelong Girl Scout and advocate for women, Margaret Pickard Sirvis, or “Peggy” as she was known by her Girl Scout friends, passed away on April 8, 2017 at 93 years old.  Peggy’s daughter Barb worked with GS–NCCP staff to create a legacy gift to support improvements to Peggy’s beloved Camp Graham.

Information provided by GS–NCCP indicates the $300,000 gift will go towards much needed facilities renovations that will enable Camp Graham to continue providing valuable outdoor leadership opportunities to girls across North Carolina, just as it had for Peggy 80+ years earlier. Renovations will include things like a new HVAC, a full-enclosed bathhouse, updates to cabin units, and much more.

Barb Sirvis told WIZS News in a phone interview that her mother Peggy was very clear she wanted to make sure the Girl Scouts received a generous gift at her death, so the $300,000 came from Peggy’s estate.  Barb said Girl Scouts had always been very important to her mother Peggy, as she was in scouting some 75 years.

“She loved camp,” Bard said.  “She wanted to make sure her gift would continue to provide camp opportunities for Girl Scouts today and into the future.”

When asked how Camp Graham was chosen, Barb said, “My mother was born and raised in Chapel Hill, and she went to camp as a girl at a camp that no longer exists, but she did go to Girl Scout camp as a girl, and she also watched the power of Girl Scouting to shape my life and the camp experience and the life-long friendships that I made at camp.  Then, when she moved back to North Carolina in 2006, a local Girl Scout friend took us to an event with Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines, and there (Peggy) had a chance to talk to some of the staff about her interests, and they were doing a new project at Camp Graham building tree houses.  She said she wanted to see them, and she went to camp, and she fell in love with Camp Graham.”

Peggy told her daughter Barb she wanted to spend some money on this council, that she wanted to leave money to make sure the camp stays here for girls in the future.

It turns out that Peggy was very quiet about her ability to leave a gift like this for Girl Scouts, so by all accounts it had a wow effect, just by the amount alone of $300,000 if nothing else.

It’s the personal side that tells the rest of the story.

Barb Sirvis said, “She and my dad met in 1944 and were married in 1945.  They each had a dream.  His dream was to be an entrepreneur, and her dream was to make the world a better place.  They brought those two dreams together.  He eventually started his own business, and she was the home and corporate treasurer.  They managed wisely and lived modestly their whole life.”

As far as how the money will be used, GS–NCCP went to Barb with a proposal with several options in it.  Barb said the renovations and improvements mentioned “were the ones that spoke to me.”  She said these priorities were on the top of their list, and “I thought they would be on the top of my mom’s list.”

VGCC enrolling students for spring semester

— courtesy VGCC

Area residents have until Jan. 4, 2018, to complete the process of registering for the spring 2018 semester at Vance-Granville Community College, but college officials urge prospective students to register before the holidays.

The semester begins on Jan. 8, with classes offered on schedules of 16, 12 and 8 weeks. Course schedules are available online at

For new students, the process of enrollment begins with completing an application for admission at along with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Then, students will request their official high school transcripts, and in some cases, their transcripts from other colleges they have attended. Next, they should meet with an academic/career coach and schedule a placement test, unless it is waived. Finally, students complete an orientation session, either online or in the traditional face-to-face format.

One relatively new resource for students residing in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties is the VanGuarantee scholarship program. The VanGuarantee is designed to cover tuition, student fees and/or textbooks for eligible students whose financial needs are unmet by federal financial aid and other means of support. For more information on all the various types of financial aid, contact the VGCC Financial Aid Office at or (252) 738-3280.

The college offers classes at four campuses and online, including six degree programs that are offered completely online: Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist and Supply Chain Management.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County (about midway between Henderson and Oxford) at the intersection with Interstate 85 (Exit 209).

The Franklin County Campus is located just west of Louisburg on N.C. 56.

South Campus is on N.C. 56 between Creedmoor and Butner.

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.


(VGCC is an advertising client of WIZS.)

National Weather Service

Winter Weather Advisory Dec. 9-10

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area from 10 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday.  Areas include Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin Counties plus much of the remainder of the area like Person, Durham, Orange, Wake Counties and beyond.

The concern is about refreezing of residual snow, slush, and water as skies clear late in the evening. Areas bridges, overpasses, parking lots, and side walks will be most prone for icing.

Original winter storm warnings and advisories have been cancelled.

For the full forecast, click here.

Additional Information:

See the latest briefing by clicking here.


H-V Emergency Operations

Snow Friday?

The National Weather Service says a little light snow is possible Friday night.

Click here for the latest briefing.

Light accumulations less than an inch, mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, should have minimal impact. Greatest amounts in the I-85 corridor from Burlington northeast.

Travel is not likely to be impacted, however some slick spots on bridges and elevated roadways are possible.

Light accumulations of less than an inch are possible, mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces west of U.S. Route 1. The greatest
amounts will be in the I-85 corridor from Burlington northeast.

As always, Vance County Emergency Management Director Brian Short will keep us up to date.  He said, “They are continuing to forecast some light snow for our area tomorrow evening. No significant accumulations or impacts are expected.”

Franklin County Logo

Franklin County Announces Expansion of Atlantic Packaging

— Press Release

Franklin County welcomes the expansion of Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc. (Atlantic Packaging) at 165 Weathers Street in Youngsville. Atlantic Packaging is one of the most technically advanced packaging resource in North America, with capabilities in manufacturing, distribution, consulting and technical service.

Atlantic Packaging is expanding its 45,008-square foot warehouse and logistical operation with plans to construct a new 33,000 square foot facility off U.S. Highway 1. This $1.65 million expansion will increase its logistical capacity with new space for distribution.

The company is one of Franklin County’s largest logistical employers with 38 full-time employees. This expansion will create at least four new jobs with an average hourly wage of $17.53 plus benefits.

“Franklin County continues to offer an attractive location for logistical companies with our proximity to main distribution routes,” stated Richie Duncan, Director of Franklin County Economic Development. “Atlantic Packaging’s continued investment further demonstrates our strength in meeting the demands of industry within the Research Triangle region.”

Atlantic Packaging’s Youngsville facility opened in 2008 and serves the east coast United States by providing packaged product solutions for the pharmaceutical, automotive, food, cosmetics and various other industries. Youngsville’s operation is one of Atlantic Packaging’s 20 locations across the United States, Dominican Republic and Honduras.

“We are excited to continue to grow our industrial packaging presence at our Youngsville location in Franklin County,” said Steve Rafferty, Vice President and General Manager of Atlantic Packaging. “Market demand for our products is creating this expansion opportunity for our location to better serve our key industrial markets. We extend our appreciation to Franklin County for their support for our operation.”

Atlantic Packaging’s expansion will be facilitated by a local Franklin County cash grant incentive of $49,500 paid over a four-year period after taxes are paid and requirements are fulfilled.

“Great things are continuing to happen in Franklin County,” said Cedric Jones, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “We are excited Atlantic Packaging is continuing to grow their presence here with jobs and tax base for our citizens and county.”

About Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc:

Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc. was founded over 70 years ago and has evolved as the market leader in industrial packaging and in customized converted products, always guided by our customers’ needs. Visit for more information.

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

DA to Settle Compliance Issues Only Outside of Court

— courtesy of District Attorney Mike Waters

Information is also available on District Attorney – 9th Prosecutorial District Facebook Page

Beginning December 1, 2017, the District Attorney’s Office will begin addressing compliance issues only outside of Court. On Thursday afternoons, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, in each of the four counties, you may bring proof of compliance for the following offenses, and your case will be disposed of outside of Court.

No operator’s license
Failure to carry a valid driver’s license
Expired operator’s license
Expired/no inspection
DR/allow registration plate not display
Drive/allow MV no registration
Canceled/revoked/suspended certificate/tag
Expired registration card/tag

***This time is for the review of compliance dismissals only and not for the negotiation of contested infractions and criminal charges***

Franklin County Logo

New Solid Waste Director Selected in Franklin

— courtesy Franklin County

Brian Haynesworth will join the team in January, 2018

Franklin County, November 30, 2017: Franklin County Manager Angela L. Harris has named Brian Haynesworth Solid Waste Director. Mr. Haynesworth will assume the position January 2, 2018 following the retirement of current director John Faulkner. Mr. Faulkner retires today after 30 years of service in Franklin, 25 years as director.

Mr. Haynesworth has served as Solid Waste Program Manager for Durham County since 2007. In that role, he oversees solid waste and recycling collection programs that include recycling collection of 14,000 households and four solid waste and recycling convenient sites that receive over 250,000 visitors a year. He has managed litter control and investigation programs and county surplus property management as well. Mr. Haynesworth has also worked with the City of Durham as a Waste Reduction Coordinator and Environmental Specialist with the State of North Carolina.

Brian Haynesworth – Franklin County Photo

Mr. Haynesworth holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from Lincoln University and has pursued advanced studies in Public Health from the University of Tennessee. Additional certifications and training include SWANA Manager of Landfill Operations (NC), Carolina Recycling Association Annual Conference, FEMA-National Incident Management System and Certified Transfer Station Operator.

Mr. Haynesworth and his family currently reside in the Wake Forest area.

“We welcome Brian Haynesworth to our leadership team,” commented Mrs. Harris. “In his role as director, Brian will work in partnership with staff and the community to promote recycling, litter prevention, waste reduction and environmental stewardship.”

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.