Franklin County Sheriff and ALE Target Alcohol, Gambling, Drug Activity

— courtesy NC SBI and North Carolina Department of Public Safety

LOUISBURG – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Alcohol Law Enforcement arrested eight people on drug, alcohol and gambling charges in two Franklin County locations Dec. 15.

Operation Clean Sweep, a three-month undercover investigation, began after the agencies received complaints alleging illegal activities occurring at an illegal video poker establishment in Castalia (near Louisburg) and at Flat Top Bar in Bunn. The Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Team and ALE coordinated their efforts to address these illegal activities.

During the first phase of the joint operation, agents discovered illegal video poker machines at 5344 Highway 56 East, Castalia. Undercover agents playing these machines received illegal cash payouts on multiple occasions. Eight video gaming machines and $2,700 were seized. The investigation is on-going and charges are pending.

An investigation was then conducted at Flat Top Bar where agents made multiple purchases of cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills from numerous individuals. Undercover agents also detected multiple illegal sales and use of controlled substances, underage possession of alcohol and other illegal drug and alcohol activities on the premises.

“This is a great example of what teamwork between state and local law enforcement can produce,” said Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead. “We are committed to addressing illegal activity throughout our county and will continue these partnerships to make our communities safer.”

Terrance Merriweather, head of ALE, said, “ALE’s goal is to address illegal activity occurring at ABC outlets, both legal and illegal. Problem locations such as these plague our communities and ALE agents will continue to do their part to address these illegal activities throughout North Carolina.”

During the operation, the following individuals were arrested on 38 total counts:

Zachary Wade Smith, 24, of Zebulon
Possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine (5 counts)
Sell/deliver cocaine (5 counts)
Conspire to sell/deliver cocaine (2 counts)
Possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana (3 counts)
Sell/deliver marijuana (3 counts)
Give malt beverage to underage
Give spirituous liquor to underage
Transport open spirituous liquor in passenger area of a vehicle
Smith was placed on a $360,000 bond

Alyssa Wells, 20, of Lousiburg
Underage possession of alcoholic beverage (2 counts)

Ethan Dale Sims, 26, of Zebulon
Conspire to sell/deliver cocaine
Maintain a vehicle to keep/sell drugs
Possession drug paraphernalia
$40,000 bond

Lindon Otis Porter, Jr., 29, of Youngsville
Maintain a vehicle to keep drugs (3 counts)
Possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine (3 counts)
Conspire to sell/deliver cocaine (2 counts)
Sell/deliver cocaine (2 counts)
Drive while license revoked
$181,000 bond

Tabitha Faulkner, 30 of Youngsville
Possession of cocaine
Possession of drug paraphernalia
$10,000 bond

Warrants have been issued and the following individuals are wanted on charges:

Logan John Smith, 24, of Youngsville
Possession with intent to sell/deliver schedule IV
Sell/deliver schedule IV
Conspire to Sell/deliver schedule IV

David Steele Richardson, 24, of Zebulon
Possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine
Sell/deliver cocaine
Conspire to sell/deliver cocaine

Dexter Deangelo Perry, 21, of Louisburg
Conspire to sell/deliver schedule IV

ALE’s 109 specially-trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action for any criminal offense. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws and state lottery laws. ALE is a branch of the State Bureau of Investigation.


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.

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.

Voluntary Dismissal With Leave in Franklin Co. Murder Case

— courtesy of The Office of DA Mike Waters

Louisburg, NC – On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood presided over an administrative session of Franklin County Criminal Superior Court which was set by the District Attorney’s Office specifically to address the pending murder cases in Franklin County. The State of North Carolina vs. Oliver M. Funes Machada was among the cases heard before the Court. Prior to today, the Defendant was committed to Central Regional Hospital to evaluate his capacity to proceed in the criminal case against him. The Court sought guidance regarding his ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against him, and his ability to assist in his defense. The Court, after reviewing the report prepared by mental health professionals at Central Regional Hospital, determined that the Defendant did not have the capacity to proceed. Therefore, the State of North Carolina will take a voluntary dismissal with leave in this case. Oliver M. Funes Machada will be committed to Central Regional Hospital for mental health treatment and further evaluation. Should the Defendant’s capacity
to proceed be restored, he would be returned to the custody of Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead, and the District Attorney’s Office will reinstate the charges against the Mr. Machada.

Franklin County Man charged with Second Degree Murder

On Thursday, September 21st the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit arrested Ricky Barlow Weese Jr., a Franklin County Resident. Ricky Barlow Weese Jr. was charged with the following: Second Degree Murder and Felony Child Abuse-Inflicting Serious Physical Injury.

This incident is alleged to have occurred on March 11th involving the death of an eight (8) week old infant.

Mr. Weese is currently being held in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $500,000 secure bond.

Ricky Barlow Weese Jr.

964 Hicks Road

Youngsville, NC 27596

DOB: 11-02-1983

This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time. If anyone should have any additional information pertaining to this investigation, please call Detective Garrett at 919-340-4311.

Terry M. Wright

Chief of Staff


Franklin County and Maria Parham Health Reach Lease Agreement for Franklin Medical Center

Louisburg, NC (September 18, 2017) – The Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Maria Parham Health, which is part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, today announced that they have agreed to move forward with a lease agreement for Maria Parham to reopen Franklin Medical Center in Louisburg. This agreement is a significant milestone in efforts to bring vital healthcare services back to Franklin County and surrounding communities following the closure of the hospital in 2015.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Maria Parham and very pleased that initiatives to bring healthcare back to Franklin County can move ahead,” said C. Boyd Sturges, III, Franklin County’s Attorney and member of the Louisburg Town Council.

According to Franklin County Commissioner and Chairman of the Commissioner’s Hospital Committee Sidney E. Dunston, this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time. He shared, “This community has been without access to local care for too long. Maria Parham has exciting plans for the Franklin Medical Center site, and we look forward to working with its team to relaunch crucial medical services here and advance efforts to ensure the health of everyone who lives in this region.”

In 2016, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners reviewed potential strategic partners interested in taking over services at the shuttered Franklin Medical Center. In October, the board unanimously voted to accept a proposal from Duke LifePoint that involved operating Franklin Medical Center as part of Duke LifePoint’s Henderson hospital, Maria Parham Health, and turning the Franklin County facility into a freestanding emergency department with 24/7 emergency care, diagnostic services and behavioral health services.

“We are pleased by the bi-partisan cooperation of this endeavor,” commented N.C. Senator Chad Barefoot. “The entire Franklin County family and Town of Louisburg, as well as our colleagues at Maria Parham and Duke LifePoint, have worked together to make this possible.”

With the signed lease agreement, Maria Parham will begin the process to reopen Franklin Medical Center as a freestanding emergency department that is part of the hospital, and re-establish the behavioral health unit, subject to receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals. This project is supported by $10.1 million in funding from the state’s Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund grant, as well as an additional $750,000 state grant for job creation. We also continue to work with the state, Golden Leaf Foundation and other charitable and governmental entities for additional funding.

“Our team is excited to become part of the Franklin County community and partner with the people here to bring needed quality care close to home as well as encourage new job growth and economic development,” said Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health. “We will begin by re-launching emergency services so those in need of immediate care do not have to risk traveling long distances.
Then, we will focus on better serving the behavioral health needs in the community, which we know is needed.”

It is expected that the Franklin emergency department will open in mid to late 2018, following needed renovations and hiring of staff. The next phases of the project will involve re-establishing and expanding behavioral health services in the community, including re-opening the hospital’s 13-bed geriatric behavioral health unit and expanding the number of available beds and services to include inpatient adult behavioral health. This is expected to be completed by late 2018. According to the most recent community health needs assessment and current population statistics, this is a crucial area of need in Franklin and surrounding counties.

“Teamwork and cooperation helped this project move forward,” stated Louisburg Mayor, Karl Pernell. “The renovations of the facility will provide all of us with a first-class emergency department as well as behavioral health beds.”

In addition to developments planned by Maria Parham Health at the Franklin Medical Center site, Duke Primary Care has plans to establish a primary care practice in Louisburg and Duke Raleigh Hospital has plans to establish an ambulatory surgery center in Youngsville.

Re-establishing healthcare services at Franklin Medical Center is expected to bring a minimum of 65 new jobs to Franklin County in the coming years.

# # #

About Franklin County

Fitch Ratings upgraded Franklin County December 19, 2016 from ‘AA’ to ‘AA+’ on its outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds. The Fitch credit rating system has 10 levels of credit ranking. The ‘AA+’ rating is only one level from the top of its credit rating system. The upgrade reflects the county’s stable economic base. The higher rating (AA+) will ultimately translate to lower interest rates on any new debt the County incurs when compared to the lower (AA) ranking. Better ratings mean lower interest costs for taxpayers. The full press release can be found at:

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.

About Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health, a Duke LifePoint hospital, is a regional hospital in Henderson, North Carolina, serving the people of north central North Carolina and Southside Virginia. As a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, Maria Parham offers a combination of Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care, and LifePoint Health’s extensive resources, knowledge and experience in operating community hospitals. Maria Parham offers a wide range of services and the latest technology to meet the healthcare needs of the community. It is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and CMS. For more information about Maria Parham Health, please call (252) 4384143 or visit

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and health care providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving health care delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.

Triangle North Franklin Business Park Welcomes Cedar Peaks Enterprises Franklin County’s Shell Building May be Occupied by Mid 2018

Cedar Peaks Enterprises has purchased the shell building built by Wake Electric at 481 Airport Road at Triangle North Franklin Business Park joining the Alliance tobacco receiving station as the second tenant at the Park.

Cedar Peaks Enterprises is a licensed General Contractor in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, owned and operated by David Rifenburg and Brian Birdsall of Wake Forest. The company was founded in 2013. “We began with only 15 full-time employees and have now grown to over 90 and still counting,” commented David Rifenburg.

The company’s main focus is airport related asphalt paving and airfield lighting/electrical projects. Cedar Peaks also does asphalt production, excavation and grading as well as subbase installation and utilities.

“Franklin County has been experiencing population and industrial growth making it a perfect site for a growing business,” Mr. Rifenburg continued. “As an added bonus, we get to have the address: 481 Airport Road, which fits perfectly with our business since it is geared to airports.”

Cedar Peaks will begin the up fit of the shell building, customizing the space to meet their needs. Initially the building will house eight full-time administrative employees and serve as the meeting point for field workers and superintendents. “We will begin construction right away,” commented Mr. Rifenburg, “with a goal of being in the building by mid 2018.”

“We welcome Cedar Peaks to the Franklin County business community and are pleased they selected Triangle North Franklin for their Headquarters’ location,” commented Franklin County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Cedric Jones. “It is an ideal location situated adjacent to Triangle North Executive Airport.”

“We are excited to welcome Cedar Peaks Enterprises to the Triangle North Franklin Business Park,” said David Smith, Chairman of the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation, which owns and develops Triangle North’s business parks. “As we work together regionally to bring new jobs and economic growth, private sector commitments such as this show confidence in the region and our ability to meet their workforce needs. We appreciate the company’s decision to locate in Triangle North Franklin.”

Triangle North is a network of four tax-advantaged business parks located in the four north-central North Carolina counties of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren. Triangle North was created by the four county governments with funding and assistance from a variety of local, regional, state and federal organizations.

“Cedar Peaks has demonstrated expertise in their field having done work at Raleigh-Durham International, Charlotte Douglas International, Richmond International, Greensboro International as well as at the Triangle North Executive Airport and many other regional and local airports throughout the region,” added Economic Development Commission Chairman Matthew Winslow.

For additional information, please contact Richie Duncan, Franklin County Economic Development Director, at (919) 554-1863.

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


About Franklin County Fitch Ratings upgraded Franklin County December 19, 2016 from ‘AA’ to ‘AA+’ on its outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds. The Fitch credit rating system has 10 levels of credit ranking. The ‘AA+’ rating is only one level from the top of its credit rating system. The upgrade reflects the county’s stable economic base. The higher rating (AA+) will ultimately translate to lower interest rates on any new debt the County incurs when compared to the lower (AA) ranking. Better ratings mean lower interest costs for taxpayers. The full press release can be found at:

Louisburg man Sentenced for Several Firearm Offenses

GREENVILLE – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, John Stuart Bruce, announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced DAVID EARL GILL, JR., 26, of Louisburg, North Carolina, to 216 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $4,477.07 in restitution.

On May 12, 2017, GILL pled guilty to carjacking and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Additionally GILL plead guilty to possession of a stolen firearm in the Northern District of Georgia.

According to the Indictment and information in the public records, on July 31, 2015, GILL and his codefendant Kyara Nicole Jones, forced entry into a residence in Louisburg, North Carolina. GILL was armed with a sawed off shotgun and forced the homeowner into a closet and barricaded the door with furniture and took the two homeowner’s vehicle. Jones previously pled guilty for her role on January 12, 2017 and will be sentenced later this year.

On August 5, 2015, GILL pawned a shotgun that was reported stolen from Rockingham County at a store in McDonough, Georgia. The next day, law enforcement officers in McIntosh arrested GILL when they located him driving the stolen vehicle from Louisburg, North Carolina.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, the McIntosh, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, and the Henry County, Georgia, Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Jackson prosecuted the case for the Eastern District of North Carolina and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Hobson prosecuted the case for the Northern District of Georgia.

Reports of Phone-Scam Targeting Local Seniors using Franklin County Home Heath Agency’s Phone-Number

Franklin County, August 25, 2017: The Franklin County Health Department has learned that over the past few weeks several calls have been placed to area seniors which appear to be coming from the Franklin County Health Department’s Home Health Agency. For those with Caller-ID, the call will appear to be coming from our Home Health Agency’s phone number and will indicate “County of Franklin” as the name of the caller. Once answered the caller begins to discuss credit card offers that seem “too good to be true” and then asks for personal financial information.

Please note the Franklin County Health Department does NOT call regarding credit card or any other financial offers. Families and Caretakers are encouraged to speak with their seniors about any unusual calls they may be receiving and are strongly encouraged to call local law enforcement to report any suspicious calling activities.

The Franklin County Health Department and Information Technology Department will continue to work with local law enforcement and alert the community about this phone-scam activity targeting seniors.

For additional information, please contact Scott LaVigne, Franklin County Health Director, at (919) 496-2533.

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

State Highway Patrol Promotes Back To School Safety

RALEIGH – In anticipation of the upcoming school year, the State Highway Patrol is focusing on safety in and around school zones.  Motorists should be aware of an increase in school traffic and familiarize themselves with local school bus stop locations.  Teen drivers will also increase as some will be driving to and from school for the first time.  Drivers should also expect an increase in pedestrian traffic in and around school zones.

“Ensuring the safety of students as they travel to and from school is a responsibility shared by everyone”, said Col. Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol.  “Our mission is to educate the motoring public on safe driving behaviors before, during and after school.”

Troopers statewide will monitor school bus routes, attempting to ensure motorists comply with stopping for school buses as they pick up and release students. 

According to state law, motorists are required to stop when a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers.  The driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped.

Officials also encourage students to ensure all traffic has stopped before entering the roadway when boarding or exiting their respective school bus. 

In an attempt to increase safety and awareness, SHP is using social media to highlight a “Back to School” PSA, which can be viewed by vising the Patrol’s Facebook page.  A digital copy of the PSA is available upon request.