Vendors: Sign Up Now For Mar. 4 Wedding & Events Expo In Granville County

Planning a big event in 2023? Whether it’s a wedding or other special occasion, the Granville Wedding & Events Expo may be just the thing to get your planning off to a great start.

Vendors are invited to join in the fun event, which is set for Mar. 4, 2023, according to Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen.

The daylong expo will be held at the Granville Convention & Expo Center, and it’s the place to learn more about wedding venues, vendors and other resources available to pull off a perfectly planned event, Allen said.

Vendors interested in participating in the expo should register before Jan. 13 by visiting:  https://surveyheart.com/form/6318838d543b010b1328e9d8.

Space is limited, with first priority being given to Granville-based vendors. After Jan. 13, vendors outside of Granville County will be able to sign up to participate, depending on space limitations and availability. All vendors will need to reserve space by Feb. 10, 2023.

Sponsorships for the expo are also available, as well as opportunities to distribute items to participants in “VIP bags” that will be given out at the event.

For more information about the expo, contact Allen at 919.693.6125 or by email at angela.allen@granvillecounty.org.

Chamber Accepting Nominations For John Penn Citizen Of The Year Award Through Feb. 14

Nominations are now being accepted for the annual John Penn Citizen of the Year award, according to information from the Granville County Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber will take nominations through Tuesday, Feb. 14 and the honor will be awarded at the Chamber’s annual banquet on Mar. 6.

Nominees must be residents of Granville County and the nomination form should list contributions and accomplishments, as well as evidence of the person’s impact on Granville County.

Find the nomination form here: 2022 JOHN PENN CITIZEN OF THE YEAR NOMINATION FORM.

This award is named for Granville County’s first and perhaps most outstanding citizen, John Penn, who was one of North Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Submit completed forms to the Chamber office, P.O. Box 820, Oxford, NC 27565.

Swearing-In Ceremony For N.C. Senator-Elect Bode Jan. 7 In Oxford

Senator-elect Mary Wills Bode will be sworn in at a ceremony this weekend in Oxford.

Bode was elected to the N.C. State Senate’s newly formed District 18 in the November midterm elections.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023 outside the Granville County Courthouse.

Granville County and a small portion on northern Wake County comprise District 18, which  was formed by the General Assembly during redistricting following the 2020 Census.

VGCC Logo

VGCC’s Aviation Program Cleared For Takeoff With FAA Initiative

Vance-Granville Community College has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration to participate in a collegiate training initiative for unmanned aircraft systems – also known as drones.

The college’s aviation program will participate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative program, or the UAS-CTI.

“I’m happy for VGCC to have been recognized by the FAA as UAS-CTI partner,” says James Brown Jr., customized training irector at VGCC’s South Campus in Creedmoor. “First and foremost, it means that the FAA thinks we’re doing the right things to promote safe and responsible drone piloting. North Carolina was ‘First in Flight’ and remains on the leading edge of drone technology.”

The FAA program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones. In order to qualify, schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety and federal policies concerning UAS.

If you ask Brown, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the future of UAS programming at VGCC.

“This is a big step that will see VGCC expand its offerings in the unmanned aviation space, including entrepreneurialism, youth summer camps, extracurricular activities, university partnerships and the expansion of UAV technology for consumer, industrial and agricultural use. This partnership with the FAA will ensure that VGCC stays aligned with the UAS industry going forward.”

Vance-Granville’s aviation program currently consists of unmanned flight programs available to both hobbyists and commercial drone pilots. Hands-on flight training takes place at various VGCC campus locations based on demand. To learn more, view the class schedule or register, visit https://www.vgcc.edu/coned/aviation/

U.S. Attorney’s Office Reports More Than $16 Million In Civil, Criminal Collections In 2022

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has collected more than $16 million in criminal and civil actions over the course of 2022.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said, “We are committed to using every tool available to aggressively collect restitution for victims, criminal fines, and recover taxpayer dollars lost to fraud and owed to government agencies.”

A press statement from Easley’s office broke down the $16,323,043.41 in criminal and civil actions as follows: $12,196,251.65 collected in criminal actions and $4,126,791.76 collected in civil actions

Some significant collections included: In August 2022, the Eastern District of North Carolina collected over $360,000 from Yousef Kaid.  Although not the District’s largest monthly collection total, it was the result of significant enforcement action, netted a substantial sum for the victims of Kaid’s crimes, and epitomizes the office’s dogged pursuit of criminal monetary penalties. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/pr/nine-arrested-conspiracy-traffic-contraband-cigarettes

In January and June 2022, the Eastern District of North Carolina collected a total of $1.5 million from Margaret Gibson.  Those payments were the result of a settlement agreement resolving False Claims Act allegations against her. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/pr/north-carolina-durable-medical-equipment-corporation-sentenced-10-million-healthcare

Additionally, the Eastern District of North Carolina worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $25,900.61 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $25,300.61 was collected in criminal actions and $600 was collected in civil actions.

The U.S. attorneys’ offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

Additionally, the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of North Carolina, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $16,891,175 in asset forfeiture actions in 2022. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

“We are proud of the men and women in our office who have worked so hard to ensure justice through their collection efforts.  They are to be congratulated for their tremendously successful efforts.”

SportsTalk: Granville Volleyball Club Contributes To Athletes’ Success

In 2014 Fred Collier had two daughters playing volleyball and wanted to see them get better and that’s when the idea came along to form the Granville Volleyball Club.  Eight years later his two daughters help coach girls 15 through 18 for the club which currently has three teams.  The club typically plays during the winter months after the high school season ends.  “Sometimes the season can stretch into July,” Collier said on Thursday’s SportsTalk with George Hoyle and Bill Harris.

Collier has had as many as eight teams but things like the pandemic have had impacts on the volleyball club. Collier says the club is ideal for players who are really committed. “We hold tryouts and recruit to get players,” Collier said.  The competition is at a higher level than what most of the girls who participate would see at the high school level which helps them improve and makes them better players for their respective high school teams.  Girls from Vance, Granville and Franklin County as well as into Virginia are currently playing for the club. Tournament play is just about to begin, and if you have a young lady interested in becoming a member, then contact the Granville Volleyball Club through their Facebook page or through Instagram.

CLICK PLAY!

 

KARTS In Line For Grant Money To Help Expand, Improve Services

The Kerr Area Regional Transit system is scheduled to get part of more than $10 million in federal grant money that is being awarded across the state to help expand on-demand services for those who need help with transportation.

State transportation officials say the federal grant award –  $10.4 million in total – will be used in up to 11 communities across the state and has the potential to benefit thousands of individuals.

“More than one million people in North Carolina live in a household without a car or have other barriers limiting their access to reliable transportation,” said Ryan Brumfield, director of the Division of Integrated Mobility, a unit in the N.C. Department of Transportation. “By expanding on-demand transit services, we take an important step to remove barriers for these individuals. Having a more robust network of multimodal services will connect people to the jobs, educational opportunities, appointments and shopping they need for their daily lives.”

KARTS operates in Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties. Call to make a trip requests Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

KARTS vehicles also transport passengers to major medical facilities nearby, including Wake Forest, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill during the week. Service requests for the following day are taken until 1 p.m. or as capacity allows.

Passengers can arrange to use the rural, public transportation service to go shopping, to get to work, keep medical appointments and more. Visit http://www.kartsnc.com/ to learn more or phone 252.438.2573.

The award comes to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rural Surface Transportation Grant, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

In addition to KARTs, Tar River Transit and Wave Transit in Wilmington also will get a cut of the money. Money will be distributed to similar type services in Alamance, McDowell, Johnston, Randolph and Rockingham counties, as well as in the towns of Sanford, Salisbury and Wilson.

The funding will pay for advanced transit scheduling software deployment and, in some communities, third-party contracts for vehicles and drivers to support the new on-demand services.

The Integrated Mobility Division applied for the funds to expand on-demand transit, in part, because of the success of prior on-demand transit deployments in North Carolina, including the Wilson RIDE service. That service has garnered national attention for its success and positive impacts.

CLICK PLAY!

 

Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen Recognized For “Outside The Box” Thinking

Just name the event: whether it’s strawberry picking around Mother’s Day, a drive-through Christmas lights display, the annual hot sauce festival or a kiln-opening at a local art gallery/artist’s workshop, Angela Allen can tell you about it.

All about it.

On paper, it’s Allen’s job to know about such events – she’s the Granville County’s Tourism Development Authority, after all.

But Allen takes that knowledge and kicks it up a few notches, which has earned her recognition during a tourism and local marketing conference held recently in Asheville.

“Angela has brought a big heart, lots of laughter, and so much courage and excitement into every room, virtual or in-person, over the last two years,” said Sarah Benoit, one of the founders and organizers of the DIY Tourism and Marketing Conference.

Allen was recognized for her work promoting Granville County as a tourism destination and her use of innovative community building to create a tangible impact in how current and future visitors view the county and what it has to offer.

Benoit said Allen’s “positive energy, intention to build community, and ability to think outside the box during times of change” help her stand out among tourism officials.

“We are truly grateful she is part of our extended community and deeply appreciate how she shares ideas and uplifts everyone around her,” Benoit added.

The DIY Tourism and Local Marketing Conference is held annually in Asheville and led by co-founders Benoit, Chris Cavanaugh and Justin Belleme. This year the conference organizers decided to recognize three tourism organizations for their work and impact in the communities they serve across the southeast region.

Allen shared the spotlight with Jessica Icenhour Roberts with Mt. Airy Tourism Development Authority and Tami Reist and Angie Pierce from the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association.

For more information about the DIY Tourism and Local Marketing Conference, please visit their website:  https://diytourismmarketing.com/.

Visit the Tourism Development Authority website for more information about events taking place across the county: www.visitgranvillenc.com.

Careers In Conservation Scholarship Application Open Through Feb. 1

College students interested in natural resource management can apply for scholarships through the N.C. Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation

Applications to the Careers in Conservation Scholarship Program can be made until Feb. 1, 2023, it’s open to students currently studying or who plan to seek a degree in natural resource management or closely related field of study at a college, university or community college, according to information from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood.

The program’s goal is to increase the number of qualified people committed  to working in the field of natural resource management, thereby supporting the mission of soil and water conservation districts. Recipients will receive $1,000 per school year and must reapply each year for consideration.

This past year, two Granville County residents, Austin Carroll and Susan Huff, received scholarships from the foundation. Both are currently enrolled at N.C. State University. Huff is pursuing a degree in Poultry Science and Carroll is in the Crops and Soil Science program.

Scholarship awards will be announced in April 2023.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of recommendation from their Soil and Water Conservation District Board or staff members. For more information, please contact the Granville County Soil and Water office at 919.693.4603.

Apply here: https://ncsoilwater.org/programs/careers-in-conservation scholarship-program/.

U.S. Department of Justice

Law Enforcement Officers Training Teaches How To De-Escalate, Defuse Situations For Safety

The ongoing training that law enforcement officers participate in helps them evaluate situations and when they should use strategies that will reduce the need for force and to keep a situation from getting out of hand. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the N.C. Justice Academy have provided day-long de-escalation, use of force and community engagement training to more than 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers in the Eastern District of North Carolina between May and October.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley said the training is part of his office’s Civil Rights Initiative. The training “gives law enforcement the tools, tactics and best practices to defuse and de-escalate situations by mitigating the need for or use of force,” Easley said in press statement.

These de-escalation techniques can help to reduce injuries and preserve the safety of law enforcement officers and the public, Easley said.

“In addition to providing training for dealing with ‘in the moment’ situations, the agenda also focused on the benefits of ongoing community engagement by law enforcement to build long-term, sustainable community trust. Taking the time to listen, learn and gain perspective creates a basis for developing collaborative solutions that make our communities safer,” he said.

 Training sessions were offered in Raleigh, Greenville, Castle Hayne, Ahoskie and Fayetteville and  included sessions on addressing use of force incidents, a review of civil rights laws and hate crimes, and best practices in community policing. The community engagement section was led by N.C. Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe.

The training is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Civil Rights Initiative which includes community outreach and engagement designed to increase awareness of existing civil rights protections and how to spot and avoid civil rights violations.