Anonymously Donated Livestock Trailer to Benefit Animal Control

-Information and photo courtesy the Granville Co. Government Facebook page

An anonymous donation to the Humane Society of Granville County has paved the way for the purchase of a livestock trailer to be used by Granville County Animal Control.

The 16-foot trailer will allow animal control officers to better handle the collection and transport of loose livestock, live animal rescue and large animal cruelty cases.

For more information about the services provided by Granville County Animal Management, visit www.granvillecounty.org.

An anonymous donation to the Humane Society of Granville County has paved the way for the purchase of a livestock trailer to be used by Granville County Animal Control. The 16-foot trailer will allow animal control officers to better handle the collection and transport of loose livestock, live animal rescue and large animal cruelty cases. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

NC Drivers May Soon Face Stricter Restrictions on Cell Phone Use

State lawmakers are working on getting a bill passed that would ban NC drivers from talking on their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

HB 144 proposes fines for first offenses of talking on the phone while driving. Subsequent convictions would result in fines and insurance points.

Exceptions would allow drivers to talk on cell phones while parked. Drivers 18 and older would also be able to use a mounted cell phone if the call could be placed and ended with a single button.

Drivers who experience emergency situations and emergency responders are exempt under the proposed bill.

The bill needs the approval of the House, Senate and NC governor to officially become law.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website, North Carolina currently bans texting while driving for all drivers and talking while driving for those younger than 18 and all school bus drivers.

In last week’s Town Talk interview with North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey, the topic of HB 144 was briefly discussed.

“Distracted driving is the leading cause of deadly accidents today,” said Causey. “Texting and talking while driving have killed so many people needlessly.”

Causey believes the bill, which has been brought up several times in past years, will pass this go around thanks to “broad bipartisan support.”

“The time is now right with the number of deadly accidents and the pressure it’s putting on raising auto insurance rates. It’s a common sense safety move that would also help hold down insurance rates.”

Granville Board of Education to Hear Updates on School System Finances

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will meet Monday, March 25, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. at the Granville County Public Schools Central Office, 101 Delacroix Street, Oxford, North Carolina for the purpose of receiving a presentation and updates from staff on School System finances.

The Board will also enter closed session pursuant to General Statutes 143-318.11(a)(1), (a)(3) and (a)(6) to prevent the disclosure of confidential personnel files under G.S. 115C-321, to consider matters relating to employee performance, and to consult with the Board’s attorney in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege.

The next regular scheduled Board meeting is Monday, April 1, 2019, at 6 p.m.

Granville Co. Senior Services Invites Ages 50+ to ‘Get Walking’

-Information courtesy Granville County Government’s Facebook page

If you’re age 50-plus, Granville County Senior Services invites you to participate in a “Get Walking” class, a part of the “Fit Past Fifty” exercise program. This class features an easy stroll around Granville Athletic Park while mixing in easy-to-perform exercises and stretches.

“Get Walking” meets at the park each Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. (There is no class if raining.)

Contact Justin Waller, Fitness Program Coordinator, at (919) 693-1930 for more information.

Granville Chamber Announces 2019 ‘Alive After Five’ Dates

— Information courtesy Granville County Chamber of Commerce | Ginnie Currin, Executive Director ~ 919-693-6125 ~ [email protected]

The Board of Directors of the Granville County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce information for our three 2019 events.

Beginning Thursday, May 23 in downtown Oxford’s parking lot between Main and Gilliam Streets, the first Alive After Five will feature “THE EMBERS” Band.

On Thursday, August 15, “THE ATTRACTIONS” Band will be entertainers for the second concert in Creedmoor in the VanNess Chevrolet parking lot, 107 West Lyon Street, Creedmoor.

Completing the season will be “Jim Quick and Coastline Band” in Oxford on Thursday, September 12.

This is the sixteenth year that the Chamber has organized Alive After Five events for the public. All events are held from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The continued sponsorships of local businesses and industries enable the Chamber to provide these community-oriented gatherings. Businesses who are interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact the Chamber for sponsorship details.

Also, each event requires approximately 60 volunteers, who receive a complimentary volunteer t-shirt. Anyone interested in sponsoring and/or volunteering should contact either of the Chamber’s offices at 919.528.4994 or 919.693.6125.

Larceny of Chainsaws, TV on Granville Co. Crime Stoppers’ Radar

-Information courtesy Granville Co. Crime Stoppers

Approximately 2 – 4 weeks prior to February 24, 2019, an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence located off Range Road, Rougemont, NC and criminally removed one (1) Husqvarna 350 chainsaw, (1) Husqvarna 231 chainsaw, (1) Husqvarna 150 backpack leaf blower (with an uppercase (S) painted on it in Black) and (1) Stihl MS 441 M chainsaw from a storage shed.

On March 3, 2019, an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon the private property of a residence located off Lewis Jones Road, Oxford, NC and criminally removed a TCL Roku 55 inch flat-screen smart television.

If you have information concerning these incidents, please contact the Granville County Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213 or call Crime Stoppers 919-693-3100.

THE GRANVILLE COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF A REWARD OF UP TO $1,000.00 FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST/INDICTMENT(S) OF PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE CRIMES.  IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING THESE CRIMES OR ANY OTHER SERIOUS CRIME(S) IN GRANVILLE COUNTY,  YOU ARE ASKED TO CALL THE GRANVILLE COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS IN OXFORD, NC AT 919-693-3100.

In-Review: Granville Co. Commissioners’ Annual Two-Day Retreat (Part Two)

-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Granville County Board of Commissioners met in February for its annual retreat. Held at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, the work session provided an opportunity for Commissioners to hear updates on developments pertaining to the county’s five-year strategic plan.

Economic Development

Since 2017, approximately 20 new businesses have opened in the county including RiceWrap Foods, according to Economic Development Director Harry Mills, who added that opportunities are also being created by expansions at Revlon, Shalag and Altec.

Mills noted that the county’s re-designation as a Tier II county would be a factor in future grant eligibility.  The N.C. Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties using factors of unemployment rate, household income, population growth and adjusted property tax base, assigning each county a tier designation. Granville County was ranked among Tier III counties last year which included Orange, Wake and Durham counties. During the grant application process, priority is often given to Tier I and Tier II counties, Mills reminded.

County Commissioners prepare to hear comments from community leaders at the Granville County Retreat, held Feb. 21 and 22, 2019. (Photo courtesy Granv. Co. Govt.)

Tourism

Granville County’s new tourism campaign was presented by Tourism Director Angela Allen and by Corey Hughes of the Hughes Marketing Group, who has been contracted to help develop a marketing plan. Using a survey of residents and visitors as a guide, it was determined that the area’s relaxed and hospitable lifestyle are an unexpected advantage, leading to a campaign centered around the area’s open spaces, welcoming people and close proximity to larger communities. With a tagline of “Uniquely Carolina,” the new campaign includes a promotion focused on gathering places and “hometown” living.

Human Resources

HR Directors Wendy Pennington and Justin Ayscue provided information pertaining to employee turnover in Granville County Government, which has seen a steady decline since FY 2014/2015. In the past few years, a 401K match has been implemented, as well as changes to employee benefits such as a 401K match, an enhanced wellness program and other upgrades. A recommendation was made to implement an employee longevity pay plan to help increase retention. It was also noted that an option to apply for employment online has dramatically increased the number of applications received for vacant positions.

Social Services

Social Services Director Lou Bechtel presented information on upcoming challenges, citing a need for an “on call” staff member for after-hours assistance and anticipated staff additions if Medicaid expansion is approved by the General Assembly. Staff members recently completed NC Fast training and will be “prepared to meet the challenge” of this new program, Bechtel said. Additional technology was requested to initiate the NC Fast mobile applications that will help serve residents with their immediate needs.

Comm. Edgar Smoak facilitates a public safety round table discussion with staff of Granville County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo courtesy Granv. Co. Govt.)

Senior Services

Granville County Senior Centers (3) have served almost 12,000 congregate meals from July 2018 to January 2019, Senior Services Director Kathy May reported, in addition to approximately 7,000 meals to homebound residents. Transportation, which includes a fixed bus route, medical transport, etc., are also provided and are funded through various grant sources, with total one-way trips numbering more than 16,000 last year.

Through the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), 743 Medicare recipients were provided assistance over the past year. Those choosing the option to change their Medicare Part D plans during open enrollment had a total combined savings of $458,387.

The Creative Lifelong Learning program, offered through the Senior Center in Oxford, has “exceeded all expectations,” May said, with charter membership numbering 250+. More than two dozen classes have been scheduled during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Sheriff’s Office

A summary report for 2018, provided by Sheriff Brin Wilkins, showed a total of approximately 8,000 incidents and arrests through the Sheriff’s Office alone. Across the county, more than 54,000 emergency calls were dispatched last year from the Sheriff’s Office, the county’s five municipalities, Highway Patrol, local fire departments, Granville EMS, Animal Control and other agencies.

Trent Brummitt, Manager of the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, reported that from July 2018 to January 2019, more than 36,000 calls for service had been made. As the county’s population grows, calls to the 9-1-1 Center have seen a steady increase, Brummitt noted, with the highest number of calls received in 2016. This was the year that the Oxford Police Department consolidated its dispatch services with the county’s 9-1-1 Center. Now at its most optimum level, staffing for this department has numbered 18 employees since 2011.

A report from the Detention Center by Sgt. Edward Cash focused on mental health issues which impact Granville County inmates. Through a new telemedicine program, inmates can be evaluated on site and offered treatment and follow up, eliminating the need for transport to other facilities. Since September, the program’s professional psychiatrist has identified 25 inmates who were suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and other issues.

Administration

Finance Director Steve McNally provided a summarized review of the county’s financial status, noting that property taxes collected to date ($36.7 million) are at 89 percent of total budget and one percent higher than at this time last year. Property taxes make up 65 percent of the county’s general fund, McNally reported, adding that Granville County’s revenues and expenditures are “in line” with budget expectations as of Jan. 31, 2019.

The preliminary budget is to be submitted to Commissioners by May 6, according to County Manager Michael Felts, with the budget to be finalized in June. Felts also provided a progress report of projects underway and under review, which includes digital policy updates, a focus on strengthening partnerships, continued economic development, school renovations and financing, advancements in broadband and other priorities.

Granville County is now in the final year of the current five-year strategic plan and will be working with staff in October and November 2019 to develop a new five-year plan for the Board’s consideration during next year’s retreat.

Additional reports

The Board of Education and mayors of all five municipalities were on hand to provide respective reports. Elected officials Senator Mike Woodard, Rep. Larry Yarborough and Rep. Terry Garrison were also in attendance to address the 2019/2020 Legislative Goals as they impact Granville County. “What we should always keep in mind,” County Manager Felts concluded, “is where we are, where we are going and what we need to get there. It is important that we are all going in the same direction.”

(To view Granville County’s five-year strategic plan, visit www.granvillecounty.org)

Oxford’s Public Works Committee to Meet Tues., March 19

Press Release, City of Oxford

The Public Works, Water, & Infrastructure Committee for the Oxford Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m.

The meeting will be held in the First Floor Training Room, City Hall, 300 Williamsboro Street in Oxford. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss painting the new water tank and the resurfacing project.

All those interested are invited to attend.

Granville Co. Sheriff’s Office Approves Transfer of Vehicle to VGCC

-Information and photo courtesy the Granville County Government’s Facebook page

Granville County Commissioners approved the transfer of a 2012 Dodge Charger from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office to Vance-Granville Community College’s policing staff at their December 3, 2018 meeting. The vehicle was one of two that had been declared surplus and would have been scheduled for online sale.

This donation is the result of a partnership with VGCC to help meet the needs of our community and our students.

Pictured: Sheriff Brin Wilkins (left) and Sean Newton (right) of Vance-Granville Community College at this week’s vehicle transfer. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

 

 

 

Crime Stoppers Needs Help Identifying Suspect in Copper Theft

-Information and photo courtesy Granville Co. Crime Stoppers

Sometime between Monday, February 11 and Sunday, March 3, 2019, an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon the private property of a residence located off Cornwall Road, Oxford, NC and criminally removed copper from an air conditioner.

If you have information concerning this incident, please contact the Granville County Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213 or call Crime Stoppers 919-693-3100.

THE GRANVILLE COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF A REWARD OF UP TO $1,000.00 FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST/INDICTMENT(S) OF PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CRIME. 

IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS CRIME OR ANY OTHER SERIOUS CRIME(S) IN GRANVILLE COUNTY,  YOU ARE ASKED TO CALL THE GRANVILLE COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS IN OXFORD, NC AT 919-693-3100.

Granville County Crime Stoppers is looking for information on the unknown suspect (pictured here) who went upon the private property of a residence located off Cornwall Road, Oxford, NC and criminally removed copper from an air conditioner sometime between Feb. 11 and March 3, 2019. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Crime Stoppers)