Candidates For Sheriff Determined In May 17 Primary

Robert Fountain and Vance Johnson will face off in the race for Granville County Sheriff in November, each coming out on top in their respective races in the May 17 primary elections.

According to the N.C. Board of Elections, 8,325 voters cast ballots in Granville County for the primary, from a total 39,851 registered voters in the county.

Fountain, a Democrat, beat Democratic challengers Ronald Smith Sr. and Keith Daniel. Fountain had 2,847 votes for 65.75 percent of the vote, versus Smith’s 761 votes and Daniel’s 722 votes.

In the Republican primary, Johnson beat challengers Robert Morris and Clinton Owens. Johnson got 2,192 votes for 58.91 percent of the vote compared to Morris’s  1,340 votes –  just over 36 percent and Owens’s – 189 votes for just more than 5 percent of the vote.

Fountain and Johnson will face each other in the November 2022 election.

Two seats on the Granville Board of Education were decided in the Tuesday primary:

Incumbent David Richardson beat challenger Taylor Frederick to keep his District 7 seat. Richardson got 484 votes for 52.72 percent and Frederick garnered 420 votes, or 45.75 percent of the votes cast.

In District 5, Danielle Hayes narrowly defeated Samantha Harris 652 to 608. Hayes goes 52.42 percent of the vote compared to Harris’s 47.95 percent.

Granville County Middle School Get $5K Grant To Boost Library Collection


– information courtesy of Granville County Public Schools

Butner-Stem Middle School is one of 300 schools in 44 states across the country to receive a $5,000 grant through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. The foundation has awarded $1.5 million in library grants this year,

Many of the libraries will use the funds to update and diversify their collections, according to information from Granville County Public Schools Public Information Officer Dr. Stan Winborne.

The foundation supports school libraries with the greatest needs with the goal of encouraging all students to develop a love of reading and learning. Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded more than $19.5 million to more than 3,300 schools across the country.

BSMS Principal Ashley Clark is very proud of Media Center Coordinator Cathy Littleton’s dedication to expand the library collection at Butner-Stem Middle School and is excited about the new books that will be in the hands of students in the coming months, Winborne said.

Grant applications for the 2022-2023 school year will open in late 2022. Visit to learn more.

The former First Lady recently shared her 2022 summer reading list, which includes recommendations for young readers through middle schoolers. Selections feature books on adventure, humor and discovery.

“The books on this year’s summer reading list were selected to encourage children to keep reading over their summer break,” Bush stated. “Local libraries are a wonderful resource for our communities, and I hope children and parents will visit their local library to borrow each of the featured titles.”

One of the 2022 Summer Reading List books was written by Giovanna McBride, the daughter of Mrs. Bush’s former chief of Staff, Anita McBride. Gigi at the White House was published by The White House Historical Association and follows a young Giovanna as she tours the White House. Inspired by the Laura Bush Foundation, Anita McBride and her husband Tim McBride have donated copies of Gigi at the White House! to every elementary school that has received a grant since 2002.

The George W. Bush Institute’s Education and Opportunity work, which houses the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, is generously supported by The Allstate Foundation. The Laura Bush Foundation is managed as a restricted fund at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  More information can be found at The Laura Bush Foundation is managed as a restricted fund at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  More information can be found at



Granville Board of Education Set To Meet May 20 To Discuss Drawing Down Lottery Funds

-Information courtesy of Dr. Stan Winborne, public information officer for Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Board of Education will meet for a special called meeting on Friday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. to review and approve an application  for Granville County to draw down North Carolina Education Lottery funds.  This meeting will be conducted electronically, with members of the public invited to view the live stream. To join the live stream meeting, please use the following link:


Town Talk: First Fruits Farms Balloon Festival

Jason Brown’s faith has led him to do some interesting things since he retired from his NFL football career and he and his family have used their farm in Franklin County to do everything from growing and giving away produce to transforming an old dairy barn into a wedding venue.

And on Memorial Day weekend, visitors will have a chance to cast their eyes to the skies for the second annual Memorial Balloon Festival at First Fruits Farm.

The Vance County native said there could be as many as 35,000 to 40,000 people in attendance during the four-day event, which kicks off on Friday, May 27 and ends on May 30. He spoke with John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk about what’s in store at the farm, located at 2805 E. River Rd. in Louisburg.

The festival is a way to honor veterans and those who served in the military, and Brown said the event has special meaning for him. His brother, Lunsford, was killed while deployed to Iraq in 2003. And again this year, Brown said there will be a Gold Star reception for families like his who have lost a loved one. More than 100 Gold Star families attended last year’s event. “There is comfort and strength” for the families to be together, “to share love and their experience with one another,” Brown said.

Visit to purchase tickets and see a complete schedule of events for the weekend festival. There will be fireworks displays, balloon rides and tethered balloon rides and family fun for everyone.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the community together at a time when there’s so much divisiveness,” he said. The festival will provide a time for fellowship, as well as food and some good entertainment. Brown said some folks spend more than one day at the festival so they can take their time and soak in all the activities and performances.

Brown said God pointed him to farming and agriculture, something he said his time on the football field didn’t exactly prepare him for. “As long as there’s faith – that’s what’s most important.”

It’s a long way – literally and figuratively – from the football fields of the NFL to the sweet potato fields of Franklin County, but Brown said God continued to order his steps to make his dream a reality.

That reality has become a hybrid of sorts – growing produce that he gives away with the help of hundreds of volunteers each season. He said “some of the most awesome people give up a Saturday morning” to dig, collect and distribute the hundreds of thousands of pounds of sweet potatoes that provide a healthy food to those in need. “They truly are the salt of the earth,” he added.

Volunteers are vital during harvest time, and Brown said there’s room for additional volunteers to help at the balloon festival, too. Visit the webpage to learn how to register, but Brown said in exchange for four hours of service, volunteers will get free admission and parking to the festival. And a cool t-shirt.

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National Police Week Observed May 11-17

In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley recognized the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers at the local, state and national levels. The annual observance began May 11 and continues through Tuesday, May 17.

“In taking an oath to preserve and protect, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily to keep our communities safe,” Easley said in a press statement released earlier this week. “We recognize and appreciate their sacrifice and commitment every day. This week, we take the opportunity, across the country, to honor those law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. We also express our deepest respect and admiration for the families of these fallen heroes.”

Based on information from the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021.  Of that number, 319 succumbed to COVID-19.  Nine officers have died in the line of duty in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed gratitude to the law enforcement community. “This week, we gather to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in service to our country,” Garland said.

“We remember the courage with which they worked and lived. And we recommit ourselves to the mission to which they dedicated their lives. On behalf of a grateful Justice Department and a grateful nation, I extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the entire law enforcement community.”

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices.  Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.

The names of the 619 fallen officers added this year to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read tonight (Friday, May 13) during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C., starting at 8 p.m. Those who wish to view the vigil live online can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at


Online Meeting May 19 To Talk About Business Recovery Grants

The N.C. Department of Revenue has scheduled an online information session next week to help businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic apply for Business Recovery Grant money.

The session will be held Thursday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to noon and is open to anyone interested in learning more about the grant’s Phase 2, according to Sheri Jones, VGCC Small Business Center Director. “The state is eager to distribute these funds to eligible businesses so I would encourage anyone who was in business during the pandemic to take a look at the criteria and apply – it is much broader and covers more business types in this phase, Jones said.

The deadline to apply is June 1.
To register for Thursday’s online session, go to:  NC DOR Business Recovery Grant – Program Overview & Common FAQs
The N.C. General Assembly passed the legislation and Gov. Roy Cooper signed it into law in March. The BRG issues awards of up to $500,000 to eligible North Carolina businesses that suffered substantial economic loss during the pandemic.
Two types of grants are available through the program:

  • A hospitality grant is available to an eligible arts, entertainment or recreation business,
    as well as an eligible accommodation or food service business such as a hotel, restaurant or bar (NAICS code 71 and 72).
  • A reimbursement grant is available to an eligible business not classified in NAICS Code
    71 and 72.

For Phase 2, the law was changed to make more businesses eligible for a grant. A business that received other COVID-19 relief may now be eligible for a grant in Phase 2.
Visit for more information and to apply.

Mail Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Event May 14

Postal carriers deliver all sorts of mail to boxes near and far every day. But there’s a special-delivery postcard that found its way into area mailboxes recently to promote the “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign, which takes place the second Saturday in May.

That day is THIS Saturday, May 14.

The request is simple: Leave healthy, non-perishable food items by your mailbox and the person who delivers your mail will pick up your donation.

Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers, along with various national partners, has worked to collect food items that are donated to local food pantries.

Visit to learn more.

Country Snacks Mfg. Named Vance Co. Small Business Of The Year

Country Snacks Manufacturing was named Vance County Small Business of the Year Wednesday by the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.

The business, founded in 2000 by Dwight Frazier and now run by daughter Angie Jacobs, makes a variety of snacks like pork rinds and pork skins in bags with the familiar Carolina Country Snack logo.

In presenting the award, Ronald Bennett, chairperson of the Henderson-Vance Chamber, told the group of about 40 that the company started out with a few employees and has grown to about 35. A partnership with Wise Foods has meant the crunchy snack foods have a much wider distribution now. “And it all started right here in Henderson,” Bennett said.

Upon accepting the award, Jacobs said she is proud to live in Henderson. “We love where we live,” she said. “We’re very thankful for this award and we appreciate it.”

Three other Chambers were represented at Wednesday’s event and announced their Small Business winners as well. The luncheon was held at Henderson Country Club.

Granville County Chamber Executive Director Lauren Roberson awarded Randall Huff of Huff Consulting LLC the Small Business of the Year for Granville County. In accepting the award, Huff said his business’s open house was in August 2021, and the reception from the community was a welcoming one.

“We’re in the right place to be able to help people in the right way,” he said. “We look forward to being a pillar in the community for a long time.”

In Franklin County, the Small Business of the Year went to Cook Shack Catering LLC and REMAX Premier Realty is the winner in Person County.

Representatives of the N.C. Rural Center were the guest speakers at the awards luncheon. Miles Kirksey and Tori Keeton shared updates about the role small businesses play in the economy and what that means for rural areas.

Kirksey said Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties have seen the most growth in new small businesses in 2020-21: Vance County has seen a 110 percent growth in new businesses, with Warren coming in at 91 percent, followed by Granville with 89 percent, Person with 86 percent and Franklin with 80 percent.

“I’m excited to see the growth of these five counties,” Kirksey said, adding that the more rural counties should be mindful of the benefits they can offer.

“Rural is not just a place,” Kirksey said. “It’s a way of life.”


VGCC Postpones Graduation

After careful consideration, the VGCC Executive Team has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2022 Commencement Ceremony until Sunday, May 15th, 2022 at 4:00pm. The primary rationale for this change was based on the high probability of multiple thunderstorms forecasted for Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. While the College does have a large indoor space in The Civic Center, the capacity is too small to allow a full graduation. Vance Granville would have to severely limit the number of guests each graduate could bring, even at maximum capacity. The decision also took into account the lingering Covid concerns associated with large indoor gatherings as Covid cases are once again on the rise. The decision to reschedule the commencement ceremony was made out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, family members, faculty and staff.

Upcoming Blood Drives Scheduled; Make An Appointment To Give

-information courtesy of the American Red Cross Eastern North Carolina

 The school year is almost over, and it’s about time for afternoons at the pool and family road trips. While summer means fun for many of us, it’s business as usual in hospitals across the country. The need for blood doesn’t take a break, and it’s critical that donors take time to give blood or platelets to ensure a strong blood supply in the coming months.

In thanks for helping boost the blood supply, all who come to give through May 19, 2022, will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice and will also be automatically entered to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps eight. Details are available at Those who come to give May 20-31 will receive an exclusive 20-ounce Red Cross aluminum water bottle and customizable sticker set, while supplies last, according to Cally Edwards, regional communications director for the Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina.

Upcoming blood drive schedule by county:



5/18/2022: 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Maria Parham Medical Center, 566 Ruin Creek Rd.

5/19/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Raleigh Road Baptist Church, 3892 Raleigh Rd.



5/27/2022: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Creedmoor United Methodist Church, 214 Park Ave.



5/20/2022: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Macon Baptist Church, 159 Church St.

How to donate blood

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.