Granville Residents Asked To Weigh In On Ways To Combat Opioid Crisis

The Granville County Opioid Advisory Committee wants to hear from county residents to help determine strategies to combat the opioid crisis locally.

As a participant in litigation against large manufacturers and distributors of opioids, Granville County is getting funding from the multi-billion dollar settlement agreement.

“Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey that will help us fight the opioid epidemic here in Granville County,” said County Commissioner Jimmy Gooch, who chairs the advisory committee. “As a county government, we have an obligation to utilize these funds to help as many of our residents as possible while also being careful stewards of the funds we receive. Gaining a better understanding of how our community would like the county to prioritize our spending is a critical first step to improving how the opioid crisis is addressed in Granville County. This epidemic has affected so many people right here in our community and we are committed to helping those who have been, or will be, affected by this issue.”

The Opioid Advisory Committee was established in 2018 by the Granville County Board of Commissioners to engage in shared leadership and collective action to advance a comprehensive response to opioid and other drug use, according to a press statement issued by Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood. The committee includes representatives and stakeholders from within Granville County government as well as the Granville-Vance Public Health Department, Granville Health System, Vaya Health, law enforcement,  local pharmacy owners, behavioral health professionals, affected families, and other concerned citizens.

As a recipient of the National Opioid Settlement funds, Granville County signed onto the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which specifies specific strategies and allowed uses for the funds. These strategies have been tested and proven to help treat and prevent opioid addiction. Until public input is gathered via a survey, public meetings and other strategic planning steps that involve Granville County residents, healthcare providers and other stakeholders, the county is prohibited from using any of the settlement funding.

Take the short online survey here: www.granvillecounty.org/opioidsurvey. For more information about the National Opioid Settlements, visit the “More Powerful NC” website:

Granville Residents Safely Dispose Of 31,000 Pounds Of Recyclables, Hazardous Materials During November Clean-Out Event

The final tally is in and Granville County residents brought more than 16 tons of recyclable materials to the November 19 recycling and hazardous waste disposal event.

Teresa Baker, recycling and sustainability coordinator for Granville County and Granville County Public Schools, said that by the end of the event, more than 31,000 pounds of everything from paint to paper made its way to proper disposal at the Granville County Convention and Expo Center on Highway 15 just south of Oxford.

Here’s a breakdown from the Fall Clean-out event:

  • Veolia Environmental Services – 7,340 pounds of paint included in a total of 13,400 pounds of hazardous household waste
  • Department of Agriculture Pesticides Division – 1,110 pounds of pesticides
  • Green for Life (GFL) – 2,700 pounds of scrap metal
  • Shred Ace – 7,820 pounds of shredded paper
  • Granville County Sheriff’s Office – 154.3 pounds of medications and medical waste
  • METech Recycling – 4,334 pounds of electronics
  • Interstate Batteries – 817 pounds of various batteries
  • RMR Book Recycling – 860 pounds

In addition, residents dropped off donations for the Granville Humane Society, including 6 large bags of towels, sheets, toys, leashes and collars and 40 pounds of kibble, 16 cans of wet pet food, medical supplies and one crate.

Learn more about the county’s Environmental Services at  https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/solidwaste/.

Granville County Public Schools

Southern End Elementary Schools Could Shrink From 5 to 4 In Granville County

The topic of school consolidation once again is circulating in Granville County, and the school board voted Monday to reconsider closing an elementary school in the southern end of the county and make it a middle school.

During a work session to discuss the matter of closing and consolidation, the Granville County Board of Education voted unanimously to move forward with making Creedmoor Elementary the new home of G.C. Hawley Middle School.

The updated study will be presented to the board at its Jan. 9, 2023 meeting, according to information from GCPS Public Information Officer Stan Winborne and a public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2023 at 6 p.m.at South Granville High School, 701 North Crescent Drive, Creedmoor.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive comments from the public regarding the proposed closure and relocation of the Creedmoor schools.

Members of the public wishing to comment on the proposed consolidation may sign up beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Each speaker who has signed up prior to 6 p.m. will be given the opportunity to address the board on this topic for up to three minutes.

View the hearing via livestream here:  https://live.myvrspot.com/st?cid=MDhkZj.

If the plan goes through, the attendance zones of five elementary schools in the Butner/Creedmoor/Wilton area would be redrawn to redistribute the students currently in the Creedmoor Elementary zone.

Portions of the current Hawley Middle School campus, including athletic facilities, would still be used by students and staff, Winborne noted.

New school board member Dr. Taylor Frederick made a motion to study additional middle school redistricting, K-6 schools and K-8 options in the future to be presented by staff no later than June 2023.

Additional information may be found at BoardDocs, at this link, https://www.boarddocs.com/nc/gcsd/Board.nsfto,

 

 

IRS Reminder: Dec. 31 Deadline For Certain Taxpayers Who Deferred In 2020

If you’re an employer or self-employed and you chose to defer paying part of your 2020 Social Security tax liability, you have until the end of the month to make your second annual installment of the deferred amount, the Internal Revenue Service reminds.

As part of the COVID relief provided during 2020, employers could choose to put off paying the employer’s share of their Social Security tax liability, which is 6.2 percent of wages. Self-employed individuals also could choose to defer a similar amount of their self-employment tax. Generally, half of that deferral was due on Dec. 31, 2021. The other half is due on Dec. 31, 2022.

Earlier this fall, the IRS sent reminder notices to affected employers and self-employed individuals. The agency noted, however, that those affected are still required to make the payment on time, even if they did not receive a notice.

Employers and individuals have several options for making this payment. Deferral payments can made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), Direct Pay, by debit card, credit card or digital wallet, or with a check or money order. No matter which payment option is chosen, it must be made separately from other tax payments and deposits. This will ensure that it is credited properly and will help avoid follow-up bills or notices.

Employers and individuals can make the deferral payments through enrollment in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a free service available from the Treasury Department. On the Tax Type Selection screen, choose Deferred Social Security Tax and then change the date to the applicable tax period (the calendar quarter in 2020 for which tax was deferred). Visit EFTPS.gov, or call 800-555-4477 or 800-733-4829 for details.

Alternatively, self-employed individual taxpayers can choose Direct Pay to pay directly from a checking or savings account. This service is available free only on IRS.gov/payments/direct-pay. Select the “Balance Due” reason for payment and apply the payment to the 2020 tax year where the payment was deferred. Direct Pay is not available to pay employment taxes.

If paying with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet, select “installment agreement.” Apply the payment to the 2020 tax year where the payment was deferred. Note that the IRS does not charge a fee for this service, but the authorized third-party payment processors do. Visit IRS.gov/Payments for details.

Make any check or money order payable to United States Treasury, not IRS. For more information on where to mail payments see Instructions for Form 941.

SportsTalk: Adcock Hopes To Move Up In Mariners’ Organization

There’s that old baseball saying about a swing and a miss.  One has to wonder if that phrase hasn’t gone through Oxford native Ty Adcock’s mind once or twice.  Adcock is about to begin his fourth year in the Seattle Mariners organization and hopes this year sees him transition from the minors to the parent organization.  It’s been a tough road for Adcock so far.

After graduating from South Granville High School, Adcock spent four years playing for Elon College.  He started as a catcher but by his junior year was pitching and his college coaches saw that he had what it took to go further pitching and promoted him to closer in his senior season.  He soon caught the attention of Major League Baseball scouts and was drafted by the Mariners.

Things were looking good for Adcock but injuries and Covid has played a factor in his career. “I was hurt in my freshman year at Elon. I had a back injury,” Adcock explained.  He had fractured his L5 vertebra and then in his senior year shoulder issues appeared.  The Mariners felt it best to have him rehab all of 2019 so he didn’t throw at all.  In 2020 Covid came along and wiped out the entire season.

In 2021 baseball returned and so did Adcock, but not for long. “I was facing my 6th batter of the preseason when I tore my UCL ligament in my elbow,” Adcock said.  This meant that Adcock would have to undergo Tommy John Surgery.  After 17 months of rehab, Adcock is ready to get back to work.  He spent the autumn playing in the Arizona Fall League and is ready to start spring training in February.  “I’m 25 and that’s not old but, in baseball I know the clock is ticking,” Adcock stated. “I’ve got to make some big strides in 2023. I have to make a name for myself.  I’ve really got to show the organization what I’ve got,” Adcock added.

Perhaps, with a little luck, the phrase a swing and a miss will be applied to the batters that Adcock is facing instead of himself.

 

Lessons & Carols Service At Historic St. John’s Episcopal Church Sunday At 5 PM

The historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamsboro is the site for a traditional service of Lessons and Carols this Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m.

The community is invited to the service, which is fashioned in the style of King’s College in Cambridge, England.

St. John’s is the oldest frame church in North Carolina, and celebrates its 250th year in 2023.

In the days before the American Revolution, Williamsboro held a prominent position in the state. At one time, it was considered the prime location for a university – which ultimately was founded in Chapel Hill.

Early members of the church included John Penn, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Although not considered an active parish, St. John’s is maintained and supported by the Diocese of North Carolina and a dedicated committee made up largely of parishioners of The Church of the Holy Innocents in Henderson and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Oxford.

These churches, as well as the former St. John’s in Henderson and St. Cyprian’s, Oxford, are offshoots of the church in Williamsboro.

The service of Lessons & Carols is one of several held at the church each year, including a Homecoming service in October and an Easter service.

You can follow St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamsboro on Facebook. (facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070992423730)

Granville County Residents: Access FCC Map To Confirm Broadband Data

Granville County residents can help improve broadband internet access by confirming existing information that will be used to determine federal and state grant funding to expand broadband access throughout the county.

Residents can visit broadbandmap.fcc.gov to confirm data  collected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its new National Broadband Map, according to information from Terry Hobgood, the county’s public information officer.

This map displays where internet services are and are not available across the country, as  reported by internet service providers. The map allows consumers to easily dispute information shown on the map which they believe was not accurately reported by the providers.

“Granville County is constantly searching for funding and partnerships that can expand broadband access in the unserved or underserved parts of our county,” said Assistant County Manager Korena Weichel. “Accurate data is the first step to improved access.

Residents can help the FCC improve the map by submitting a “challenge” to one of the following points:

  • Availability challenges: If the information about the internet services available at your home or business is incorrect, you can dispute it by clicking on the “Availability Challenge” link on the map and submit the  form.
  • Mobile challenges: If the map of mobile coverage submitted by your provider seems incorrect, you can  dispute that by taking speed tests on your mobile phone with the FCC Speed Test App, available for both  Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samknows.fcc&hl=en) and iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fcc-speed-test/id794322383?mt=8).
  • Location challenges: If the information about the location point of your home or business seems to be incorrect, you can submit a “Location Challenge” to correct the information on the location by utilizing  the link on the map.

Data from these maps will be used when making award decisions for broadband infrastructure grants, Weichel said. Internet service providers also will consult these maps to determine where they may be able to access new customers and determine when and where to install new infrastructure needed to improve access.

“Even though regulatory laws in  North Carolina prohibit county and city governments from owning or operating internet infrastructure, we are committed to partnering with internet service providers that are willing to make the necessary investments that  will bridge the digital divide and expand access to broadband internet in rural Granville County,” Weichel said.

TownTalk: Fundraiser Will Benefit J.F. Webb Athletics

A pile of bricks has sat outside the J.F. Webb High School gym for the last couple of years, but they’ll soon serve their purpose, according to Webb Booster Club member Caroline Burnette.

That pile of bricks is becoming the foundation for a fundraiser that had been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burnette spoke recently on TownTalk to explain the project, which involves the purchase of engraved bricks.

The booster club is raising money for the school’s athletic teams and Burnette encourages Webb alumni, businesses and others in the community to be a part of the project.

Visit polarengraving.com/jfwebb to learn more or contact the booster club at jfwebbboosterclub@gmail.com.

Webb’s masonry students are going to install the donated red bricks outside the gymnasium. As the gray-colored bricks are purchased and engraved, a red brick will be taken up and replaced with the engraved brick, Burnette said.

“We can sell as many as we want,” she said, adding that once the first space is full, the plan is to move to areas near the football field and the baseball field on campus.

“This is a lasting opportunity – it’s going to be there for a really long time,” she said.

There are three price levels, depending on the size of brick purchased, she explained.

A 4 x 8 brick is $100, an 8 x 8 brick is $150 and the largest size brick is $225. In addition to having names engraved, there are hundreds of different images to choose from as well.

Burnette said some of the school’s sports teams are in dire need of new equipment and uniforms and this fundraiser will help to address some of those needs.

“It’s time to really support our kids,” Burnette said. “Please support our students at J.F. Webb.”

CLICK PLAY!

 

Former Granville Sheriff Gets 18-Month Sentence For Falsifying Training Records

Former Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was convicted late last week by a Wake County jury on multiple counts of obstruction of justice and obtaining property by false pretenses.

The jury found Wilkins guilty of falsifying in-service training and firearms records necessary to maintain law enforcement certification for himself and other certain deputies under his command, according to information from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood. The court sentenced Wilkins to a minimum of 18 months in prison followed by two years’ probation. He was immediately taken into custody.

Wilkin, originally indicted in September 2019, faces additional criminal charges, including two counts of felony obstruction of justice charges arising from allegations that Wilkins withheld knowledge of a credible threat to kill a former deputy and that he failed to make reasonable and professional efforts to protect the deputy. Two felony and two misdemeanor charges relating to allegations that Wilkins failed to discharge the duties of his office are also pending.

Following Wilkins’ original indictment on Sept. 16, 2019, Granville County Attorney Jim Wrenn brought an action to remove Wilkins as sheriff of Granville County. On Sept. 23, 2019, Wilkins agreed to a consent order suspending his service as sheriff pending resolution of the criminal charges. Following Wilkins’ suspension as sheriff, the Granville County board of commissioners authorized Wrenn to lead an internal investigation.

Details of the above-referenced internal investigations can be found on the Granville County website at this link: https://www.granvillecounty.org/government/county-commissioners/special-investigation-reports/.

Russ May Named Chair Of Granville Commissioners

Russ May has been named chair of the Granville County Board of Commissioners. Tim Karan was installed as vice-chair and newly elected District 2 commissioner Rob Williford was sworn in as the newest member of the county board during its December meeting on Monday.

May represents District 5 and Karan represents District 6; in addition, District 7 commissioner Jimmy Gooch was sworn in for his first full term on the board.

Each December, the board votes to appoint a new chair and vice-Chair to serve for one year. Cr May, who was first elected in 2020, was named vice-chair last year. This is Karan’s second turn as vice-chair, having held it previously in 2014-15. Karan chaired the board in 2016-17, having been first elected in 2010. This is his fourth term in office.

Gooch was originally appointed in October 2020 to fulfill the unexpired term of Edgar Smoak, who died in September 2020.

Karan and Gooch were sworn in by commissioner Tony Cozart and were joined on stage by their wives Liz and Wendy, respectively. Williford was sworn in by NC 9th District Court Judge Katherine Burnette and was joined on stage by his wife Lori.

Williford won his District 2 seat in November, taking the place of David Smith who retired from his nearly 50-year career in public service. Smith served three terms as a commissioner. He was sheriff in Granville County from 1998 to 2009, but spent close to four decades in various roles in the Granville County sheriff’s office.

The Granville County Board of Commissioners typically meet on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Granville County Convention and Expo Center, located  at 4185 US Highway 15 South, Oxford.

For more information, visit https://www.granvillecounty.org/government/county commissioners/.