Posts

Granville One-Stop Early Voting

Granville County Early Voting Dates, Times, Locations

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Information courtesy Granville County Government

Early voting begins Thursday, October 15 and ends Saturday, October 31, 2020.

Granville County Early Voting sites include:

  • Oxford Public Works Meeting Room (in lieu of Board of Elections) – 127 Penn Ave., Oxford
  • South Branch Library Multipurpose Room – 1550 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor
  • Tar River Elementary School Gymnasium – 2642 Philo White Road, Franklinton

Early voting will not be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library this year.

One-Stop Early Voting Schedule for the November 3, 2020 General Election

  • Thursday, October 15, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 16, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 17, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, October 19, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 23, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, October 26, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 30, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 31, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Granville ISO Ratings

Granville Fire Departments Report Improved Inspection Ratings

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County volunteer fire departments have been working for the past several months to complete requirements for lower insurance rates for local residents and businesses.

At the October 5 meeting of the Granville County Board of Commissioners, Emergency Services Director Jason Reavis provided details of the training, equipment, maintenance, staffing levels, water supply, inspections and communications that were evaluated during recent inspections by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

Ratings were released by N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey in a September 23 presentation at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center.

N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is pictured with chiefs of Granville County volunteer fire departments during a Sept. 23 presentation. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt)

The Insurance Services Office rates fire departments on a scale from 1 to 10 to determine how well-protected a community is by the district’s fire department, with 1 being the highest score. These ratings, which stay in effect for a five-year period, are provided to homeowners insurance companies to determine insurance premiums in fire districts across the state.

The assessment takes into consideration the readiness of the fire department itself, available water sources for water protection, and communication capabilities. Since communities with well-prepared and well-equipped fire departments are at less risk of extensive property damage, low ISO scores can result in lower insurance rates for homes and businesses.

“These new ratings may result in thousands of dollars in savings on Granville County insurance premiums to Granville County homeowners and businesses,” Causey said during his presentation.

Granville County’s volunteer firefighters have been preparing for the recent ISO assessments for over a year, culminating in drills that took place during the summer.

In June, volunteer fire departments in Antioch, Berea, Brassfield, Bullock, Corinth, Cornwall, Providence, Stem and Stovall, as well as Granville Rural Fire Department, began training with a timed tanker shuttle, using both a static water source (pond) and a pressurized water source (fire hydrant). Approximately 29 tankers and fire trucks from across the county and from neighboring vicinities participated, with inspectors from the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s Office conducting the drills.

Inspections followed at each fire department, with scene set-ups and all paperwork completed in mid-July.

“Most of our fire departments are staffed by volunteers,” said Granville County Fire Marshal Ken Reeves. “These dedicated firefighters have worked day and night – between their full-time jobs and their volunteer service –  in an attempt to get  insurance scores lowered in their communities. The result of their hard work is something we all should be proud of.”

Finals scores for each participating department are as follows:

Antioch:                   6 (previous score of 9)

Berea:                     6 (previous score of 9)

Brassfield:               6 (previous score of 9)

Bullock:                   5 (previous score of 9)

Corinth:                   5 (previous score of 9)

Cornwall:                 6 (previous score of 9)

Granville Rural:       5 (previous score of 9)

Providence:             4 (previous score of 9)

Stem:                       5 (previous score of 4 in town limits, 9 outside)

Stovall:                     5 (previous score of 9)

There are 14 fire departments in Granville County, with 10 being part of the recent ISO assessments. The Creedmoor Fire Department (also volunteer-based), as well as the City of Oxford and the Town of Butner (paid municipal departments), were not included in these inspections, but are set to be evaluated soon. The Virgilina Fire Department is rated by the State of Virginia.

During his presentation to the County Board of Commissioners, Reavis also expressed appreciation to 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Director Trent Brummitt, Byron Currin of Soil and Water Conservation, the County’s Addressing Coordinator Sandy Woody, and Fire Marshal Ken Reeves for their work during the ISO inspections.

For more information about fire departments/districts in Granville County, contact Fire Marshal Reeves by phone at (919) 603-1310 or by email at ken.reeves@granvillecounty.org.

Granville County Animal Shelter

New Animal Shelter to Open This Month; Tours Available to Public

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Granville County Animal Shelter will move to its new location at 515 New Commerce Drive in Oxford the week of October 19 through October 23, 2020. The newly-constructed facility has now passed all inspections and is ready for move-in.

Granville County Animal Management Director Matt Katz has announced that all operations, except for emergency calls regarding animal concerns and welfare, will be suspended for several days during the transition.

Granville County Animal Shelter

The Granville County Animal Shelter will move to its new location at 515 New Commerce Drive in Oxford during the week of October 19 to October 23, 2020. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt)

The Animal Shelter will be moving from the site of a former state prison, located at 5650 Cornwall Road in Oxford, where it operates from several separate buildings. The new facility will allow operations for the Animal Shelter and Animal Control to be located under one roof and doubles its current size from 3,800 to 8,500 square feet.

Additional kennel space will provide housing for 40 to 60 dogs and 40 to 60 cats. The goal is to increase adoptions and to decrease the number of animals euthanized due to space limitations.

“We are pleased to finally have this project completed,” said Granville County Board of Commissioners Chair David T. Smith. “It has been needed for a long time and will serve Granville County residents for many years to come.”

The public is invited for Open House tours the week prior to the move. Dates and times, which will be limited to ten participants per group, will be as follows:

* Saturday, October 10: 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

* Monday, October 12: 3 until 7 p.m.

* Tuesday, October 13: 3 until 7 p.m.

To tour the new facility, please contact the Shelter at (919) 693-6749 to schedule one of the above dates and times, or come by any time during these time slots to be fit into the rotation.

An aerial view of the new Granville County Animal Shelter. (Photo courtesy Bordeaux Construction)

Granville County Tourism

Granville Visitors Spend More Than $54 Million in 2019

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

In data shared from a recent statewide study, the economic impact of visitor spending in 2019 has been reported, with Granville County expenditures showing an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year. According to the annual study by Visit North Carolina, a part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, visitor spending in Granville during 2019 totaled $54.79 million, compared with $52.44 million reported in 2018.

Granville County Tourism Development Director Angela Allen attributes the county-wide growth in tourism and visitor spending to a growing local economy – such as the opening of new restaurants and gathering places – as well as the wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

“As more and more people are discovering our welcoming atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle, we are quickly becoming a choice destination,” Allen remarked. “Our new marketing campaign bears this out. We are ‘Uniquely Carolina.’”

North Carolina currently ranks number 6 in the country for overnight visitation. Will Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina, credits the state’s natural beauty and authenticity for this ranking. The 2019 study indicates that visitors spent more than $73 million per day across the state in 2019, setting a new record as more than $26.7 billion in expenditures was reported. This total represents an increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.

“The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor for economic development,” Tuttell remarked. “The money that is spent here by our visitors benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Visitor spending in Granville County has seen a steady increase over the past decade. Approximately $37 million reported in 2010, with $40.89 million in 2011, $42.97 million in 2012, $44.43 million in 2013, $44.26 million in 2014, $45.69 million in 2015, $47.11 in 2016 and $49.51 in 2017.

The COVID-19 pandemic and an emphasis on “staying home” during 2020 have presented its own set of challenges for tourism in the coming year. Allen offers a reminder that Granville County continues to offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities, as well as locally-owned shopping and dining experiences, that keep our area in the forefront.

“Granville County already features many of the outdoor activities and natural surroundings visitors are looking for,” she reminds. “There are five lakes to choose from for fishing, kayaking and outdoor fun, as well as hiking and biking trails, open areas, play spaces and so much more. And there are ample opportunities for shopping, dining and supporting our local businesses. We’re working hard to spread the word that Granville continues to be a ‘unique,’ choice destination for visitors.”

To learn more about tourism in Granville County, log onto www.visitgranvillenc.com, or contact Tourism Director Angela Allen by phone at (919) 693-6125 or by email at angela.allen@granvillecounty.org. Statewide county statistics from the  Visit North Carolina study are available through their website at https://partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies.

Edgar Smoak

Flags Lowered in Honor of Granville Commissioner Edgar Smoak

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County Government will lower flags to half-staff until September 15 at all facilities in honor of Commissioner Edgar Smoak, who passed away on September 11, 2020.

Smoak, who represented Granville County’s District 7, was sworn into office in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He had served in several key positions, which included the Area Mental Health Board, the Audit Review Committee and the Board of Equalization and Review.

He also represented the County on Granville Health System’s Board of Trustees, as well as serving as Liaison for Public Safety, the Soil and Water Board, South Granville Water and Sewer Authority (SGWASA) and for Water/Sewer Matters. In addition, he was instrumental in forming Granville County’s Opioid Advisory Committee, for which he served as Chair.

Smoak was retired from the U.S. Military (National Guard). His most recent term of office would have expired in 2022.

Granville County Commissioner Edgar Smoak passed away on September 11, 2020. Smoak, who represented Granville County’s District 7, was sworn into office in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. (Photo courtesy Granville County Govt.)

Granville Co Sheriff

Sheriff Noblin Offers Tips for Safe Labor Day Holiday

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

With the approach of the Labor Day weekend, Granville County Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr. asks all residents to join him in making this Labor Day holiday a safe one.

Traditionally during the Labor Day holiday, our highways experience one of the highest traffic flows of the year as families travel for the three-day weekend. The Sheriff reminds everyone to follow these safe driving tips when on the road:

  • Always shift attention every few seconds, constantly scanning the road ahead and behind. Never stare blankly ahead or fix your gaze on one point on the road.
  • When passing a vehicle, always glance at the ground beside the front wheel of the car you intend to pass. That way, you will know instantly if the car is about to veer, giving you an extra few seconds to respond.
  • Also when passing, pull out into the opposite lane of traffic while you are still well behind the car in front. This should give you some time and space to build up speed, and will enable you to pull back into your own lane, should the need arise.
  • Never cut abruptly out of your lane into the opposite lane. Always signal your intentions with your brake lights, turn signals, horn and/or headlights so that other drivers will see you well before you change course.
  • Always “aim high” in steering, glancing frequently at points well ahead. Not only will this help in steering, but will also help check the position of vehicles in front, as well as oncoming traffic.
  • Never follow too close. Remember that, as speed increases, it takes substantially longer to stop. Also, remember that it’s good to have an extra cushion of space in front if you are being tailgated, on a slippery road, or in low visibility conditions.

“I would like to remind all drivers to also practice the ‘Golden Rule’ when driving,” Sheriff Noblin said. “Be courteous and tolerant of other drivers. Let’s make this Labor Day weekend a safe one on our roads.”

The Granville County Sheriff’s Office is now open in their new location at 525 New Commerce Drive in Oxford, in the newly-constructed Law Enforcement Center. For any questions or for more information, their phone number remains the same at (919) 693-3213, or you can send emails to granville.sheriff@granvillecounty.org.

Granville 275 Years

Granville to Celebrate 275th Anniversary With Commemorative Book

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County will soon be marking a celebratory milestone, as the 275th anniversary of the area’s founding will be observed in mid-2021. Local author Lewis Bowling has been contracted by Granville County Government and the County’s 275th Anniversary Committee to create a comprehensive collector-style book focusing on the history and development of the county.

The book will soon be available for pre-sale to the public.

Granville County was formed in 1746 – thirty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence – and was named in honor of the second Earl of Granville, Lord John Carteret. King George II had given most of the land that is present-day Granville County to Carteret as part of the Granville Grant in the 1660s. The first settlers here were attracted to the area by the availability of land at a fair price. An early trading path helped make Granville one of the gateways to the unsettled areas south of Virginia.

Bowling’s book will follow the development of Granville County from its early history to the present day, with a narrative accompanied by photos that have yet to be seen by the public.

“I have been gathering new material for most of the summer,” Bowling said, “and have had a good response from folks who have been willing to share their photos with me. I appreciate the community’s help and support.”

Additional photos and information, Bowling explains, have come from the Masonic Home for Children, the Central Children’s Home, the North Carolina Room of the Richard H. Thornton Library, and the archives of the Oxford Public Ledger.

Bowling has already published several books that feature the history of the area, including commemorative books for the City of Oxford’s bicentennial and for Camp Butner’s 75th anniversary, celebrated in 2016 and in 2017.

“There is so much history here,” Bowling said of Granville County. “Even with all my research, I have not even come close to covering all of it.”

The 275th Anniversary Committee was established by Granville County Government to plan for this milestone observance. Representatives of all five municipalities, along with county officials, staff members and volunteers, comprise the committee, which has grown in number as plans are being made.

Chairing the committee is Commissioner Sue Hinman, with Comm. David Smith serving as Vice-Chair. Other committee members include Helen Amis (Oxford), Janet Parrott (Stovall), Dave Pavlus (Stem), Emily Champion (Butner), Toni Ann Wheeler (Creedmoor), Comm. Zelodis Jay (Oak Hill Community), Angela Allen (Granville County Tourism Director) and Mark Pace (Granville County Library System), as well as Patrice Wilkerson and Lynn Allred (Granville County Administration).

Those who reserve copies of the book in advance can save $5 off the book’s retail price, which will be set at less than $50.

“In all of our 275 years, there has not been a comprehensive book written about Granville County that could serve as a stand-alone work like this,” said committee member and North Carolina Room Specialist Mark Pace.

An easily-identifiable design to designate 2021 as the 275th anniversary of Granville County has also been adopted to help promote this observance. Additional details will soon be announced, as well as plans for next year’s celebration.

The 275th Anniversary Committee continues to meet monthly, with the next meeting scheduled at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17. For more information about this commemorative book, contact Mark Pace at the Richard H. Thornton Library at (919) 693-1121.

To learn more about the work of the planning committee, please contact Commissioner Sue Hinman at (919) 691-1183 or at sue.hinman@granvillecounty.org.

GAP Quilt Square

Granville Athletic Park Site of Newest Addition to Regional Quilt Trail

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

With the installation of a quilt block on a historic tobacco barn, the Granville Athletic Park (GAP) is now included on the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers.

The block was installed this past Saturday by the Franklin County Arts Council, connecting the GAP and Granville County to a heritage trail that meanders through eastern North Carolina. A description of the block and a brief history of the park will now be included on a travel guide that takes visitors on a cultural journey from one block to the next, county by county.

“Quilt blocks blend history, culture and community, and help tell the stories of the sites where they hang,” says Franklin Arts Council Director Ellen Queen. “Each block has been carefully designed or chosen to trigger the story of the family home, business or historical site where it resides.”

Pictured with the new quilt block at Granville Athletic Park are Michael Felts, County Manager; Angela Allen, Granville Tourism Development Authority Director; Sue Hinman, County Commissioner; Ellen Queen, Director, Franklin Arts Council; and Zelodis Jay, Granville County Commissioner. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

The trail includes Franklin, Vance, Warren, Wake, Nash, Martin, Pitt and Granville Counties. This is Granville’s second block to be included on the trail. One has also been installed at a private residence in Oxford but is not available for public viewing.

The barn quilt featured at the Granville Athletic Park is easily visible from the main parking lot and walking trail, with a design that reflects the community’s efforts to preserve the property where the block now hangs.

In 1989, the state of North Carolina had joined a multi-state compact with a goal of building five hazardous waste incinerators for private company ThermalKEM. The following year, a list of 18 potential locations had been narrowed to two, with one being in Granville County.

When concerned citizens learned of the state’s intentions, they took action. Oxford attorney John Pike secured a loan from Adams Tobacco Company to purchase the 48-acre Ellok Jones farm, a tract of land in the middle of the proposed 580-acre incinerator site off Belltown Road.

“Barrister’s Block” has been added to the Quilt Trail of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers and can be seen on the barn along the GAP’s walking path. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

Pike then sold $5 ownership shares to thousands of local residents as well as to shareholders around the world. Future negotiations with approximately 8,000 property owners, some living as far away as the Soviet Union and South America – in addition to public protests and the possibility of multiple lawsuits – resulted in the eventual elimination of Granville County as a possible site.

On May 21, 2004, the acreage once proposed as the location for a hazardous waste incinerator was dedicated as the Granville Athletic Park and Jonesland Environmental Preserve. Encompassing 69 acres, today’s GAP is the largest recreational park in the county and provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities for residents and for visitors.

The fitting “Barrister’s Block” quilt design is a tribute to the successful community campaign to preserve the land on Belltown Road. As the role of a “barrister” is to serve as a courtroom advocate, Attorney John Pike – with the support of Granville County citizens – was an advocate for preserving the land. The red and white colors of the quilt block are a nod to the Granville County flag.

This project was partially funded through a mini-grant provided through the Granville Tourism Development Authority.

“The Quilt Trails are a great way for visitors to find Granville County,” said Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen, “and, once they are here, they can explore local restaurants, shops, galleries and more. We’re proud to be a part of this heritage trail and to be able to tell the background story of this part of our county.”

To learn more about the Quilt Trail of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers, which is the only trail of its kind in the eastern part of the state, please visit granvillecounty.org for a link to the Franklin Arts Council’s online trail guide and to their website.

Census 2020

Census Workers Begin Door-to-Door Visits at Non-Responsive Households

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

On August 11, the U.S. Census Bureau began follow-ups with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.

In Granville County, 63.7 percent of residents have participated as of August 10, which is above the North Carolina response rate of 59.4 and the national reported participation of 63.4 percent; however, more than four in every ten households across the state have not yet returned their Census surveys, according to state reports. This represents more than four million North Carolinians not captured in the population count, which equates to a potential funding loss of more than $7 billion.

In most cases, Census takers will make up to six attempts at each housing unit address. This includes leaving notification of the attempted visit at the door, with a reminder about self-response options. Census workers may also try to conduct interviews over the phone.

All Census takers have completed training on social distancing and safety protocols and will follow local public health guidelines. They will be required to wear face masks and will have easily-recognizable identification badges that include a photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

Household members encountered by Census staff are asked to maintain social distances during interviews and to practice the CDC’s health recommendations as much as possible, including the use of hand sanitizer. For safety reasons, Census takers will not enter homes and will conduct interviews outside whenever possible or practical.

During this follow-up phase, all residents can still self-respond online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mailing their completed questionnaires. There will be no need for in-person visits for those who respond unless the responses are incomplete.

Field data collection will end on September 30. Self-response options will also close on that date.

A county-focused report from the NC Counts Coalition ranks Granville County as number 14 out of 100 North Carolina counties in terms of response rates and shows that 45.8 percent of Granville households have responded to the Census online between March 12 and August 2, with 17.4 percent participating by phone or by mail.

The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and takes place every 10 years. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and to inform how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next ten years.

Historically, Granville County’s self-response rates have been 60 percent in 1990; 64 percent in 2000; and 65.7 percent in 2010. This is the first year that responses have been accepted online.

For more information, please visit www.2020census.gov.

Granville County Law Enforcement Center

Dedication of Granville County Law Enforcement Center Postponed

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Ribbon Cutting and Open House for the Granville County Law Enforcement Center, originally scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2020, has been postponed, due to the expanded Phase Two restrictions set in North Carolina this week.

The decision to postpone was made on Friday, August 7, after considering the continued health guidelines that were required to be observed.

“This was a difficult decision to make,” said Board of Commissioners Chair and former Sheriff David T. Smith, “but we want to ensure the health and safety of everyone who had expressed interest in attending.”

A rescheduled date will soon be announced.