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Bert Beard, Maria Parham CEO, Talks Growth & Expansion

Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health, was on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss his role at the hospital and to provide updates on recent expansions at both the Henderson and Louisburg locations.

Maria Parham CEO

“My job, most simply put, is to take care of the people who take care of our patients,” said Beard. In other words, Beard listens to and addresses the needs and concerns of Maria Parham employees, a dedicated group he refers to as the frontline of the organization.

To better understand these needs, Beard calls for a “morning huddle” involving the hospital leadership team each weekday morning at 9 a.m. “We kick off the meeting with three positive things going on in the hospital or with team members, then we talk about things happening in the hospital – safety issues, things we need to anticipate throughout the day and things that we need to disseminate to our caregivers.”

With a five-county coverage area from the Virginia border to south of Louisburg, Beard said operating a hospital, in many ways, is akin to running a town with its own unique advantages and challenges.

“A hospital is like a small city in terms of people coming and going every day,” Beard explained. “It’s a high-stress environment. People are coming here with health issues; they’re scared and their family members are scared. It is our job to not only take care of the patient with the diagnosis but also take care of families and help put them at ease.”

MPH Growth and Expansion

One of the main areas of focus for Beard, and many of the Maria Parham staff, over the past year has been getting the Maria Parham Franklin facility in Louisburg up and running.

Since its grand opening in October 2018, the Franklin facility has seen more emergency room patients than originally projected and expanded outpatient services with the addition of a multispecialty clinic and medical office building located next to the hospital.

Beard also reported that ground was recently broken on the construction of a 20-bed psychiatric unit to open in early 2020.

At the main Maria Parham facility in Henderson, hospital leaders are currently submitting a proposal to build a new catheterization laboratory to further expand the cardiovascular services offered through the hospital’s partnership with Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

A regional human resource center has also been added across the street that will serve all of LifePoint and add jobs to the community, according to Beard.

Maria Parham’s cancer treatment program is yet another bragging point for the hospital. “Our cancer program here has been a feather in our cap for nearly 20 years,” said Beard. “We have Duke providers, and we use Duke protocols and Duke research. Anything you can get done in Durham or Raleigh, you can get done here – radiation oncology and medical oncology.”

When looking at how much Maria Parham has to offer, including the convenience of quality care close to home, Beard said the community is fortunate to have access to “excellent services, especially general surgery and cardiology – the core to a community hospital.”

From his unique perspective as CEO, Beard is able to see the way all of the parts and pieces come together to make up the bigger picture. “I love what I do. There isn’t a single job in this hospital that isn’t critically important.”

To hear the Town Talk interview with Bert Beard in its entirety, click here.

Successful Small Farms Conference to Feature Seed Exchange, Informational Sessions

-Information courtesy NC Cooperative Extension

The popular regional Successful Small Farms Opportunities conference will be held at the Louisburg College campus in Louisburg on Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Topics include the new farm bill and how it affects small farmers; blueberry production and marketing; high-tunnel greenhouses; Industrial Hemp: regulations and growers panel; agritourism opportunities on your farm and farm liability, small farm enterprise budgets; developing a farm commercial kitchen and more.

In addition, there will be a free seed exchange again this year for participants. There will be a small fee to participate in the conference.

To register for the conference and for more information, please call the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office at 919-496-3344 or email [email protected] for program details.

Visit our website, https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/ for additional information.

U.S. Navy Band to Perform at Louisburg College

-Press Release, Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach

America’s Navy is coming to Louisburg, North Carolina, one of 19 cities in four states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band during its 2018 tour — one of the signature outreach programs of the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. Navy Band Commodores jazz ensemble performance is scheduled for October 25, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. at Louisburg College’s Seby B. Jones Performing Arts Center.

(Photo Credit: Navy Office of Community Outreach)

Jazz is America’s music and the Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, has been performing the very best of big band jazz for the Navy and the nation for almost 50 years. They have appeared on TV shows, played nearly all major jazz festivals and toured across the United States and abroad. This vibrant, dynamic group is constantly striving for musical excellence and the pursuit of new and exciting ways to communicate with their audiences.

One of the U.S. Navy Band’s primary responsibilities involves touring the country. All of the band’s primary performing ensembles embark each year on concert tours throughout specified regions of the country, allowing the band to reach audiences in areas of the country that do not have opportunities to see the Navy’s premier musical ensembles on a regular basis. The concerts are family-friendly events, entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.

All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public.

Drug Activity Complaints Lead to Arrest of Franklin Co. Man

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Terry M. Wright – Chief of Staff

On September 19, 2018, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit and Community Action Team arrested Franklin County resident, Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr. for multiple drug offenses.

This investigation was the result of citizen complaints alleging that Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr. was involved in illegal drug activity throughout Franklin and surrounding counties. As a result of these complaints, Narcotics Detectives initiated an investigation and was able to validate the information provided.

During the investigation, multiple purchases of Controlled Substances were made from Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr.

Sheriff Kent Winstead stated, “The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is committed to aggressively pursuing illegal drug activity and we will continue to make these investigations a priority. The citizens of our county continue to be proactive in providing information that is useful to our investigators and their tips are paying off.”

On September 19, 2018, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit and Community Action Team arrested Franklin County resident, Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr. for multiple drug offenses. This investigation was the result of citizen complaints alleging that Kemmerzell, Jr. was involved in illegal drug activity throughout Franklin and surrounding counties.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit was assisted in this investigation by the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch of the State Bureau of Investigation.

Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr.

52 Wilson Fuller Road

Louisburg, NC 27549

DOB: 03/09/1988

Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr. was charged with the following: Possess with the Intent to Sell and Deliver Heroin (2 Counts), Sell and Deliver Heroin (2 Counts), Maintain a Vehicle for the purpose of Selling Controlled Substances (2 Counts), Possession of a Schedule Ill Controlled Substance.

Mark Thomas Kemmerzell, Jr. is currently in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond.

For more information regarding this investigation, or to provide information regarding drug activity in your community, please contact Sgt. Ken Pike at (919) 340-3432.

Tar River Below Flood Levels; No Road Closures in Franklin Co.

-Information and chart courtesy Kristen G. King, Clerk to the Board, County of Franklin

According to Franklin County Emergency Services Director Jeff Lewis, there are no reports of road closures in Franklin County due to flooding at this time.

As of 9 a.m. Thursday morning, the Tar River in Louisburg was below minor flood levels.

Forecast for Tar River in Louisburg Changes; Minor Flood Stage Reached

-Information courtesy Kristen G. King, Clerk to the Board, County of Franklin

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 19 at 9:30 a.m.

The latest forecast indicates that the Tar River in Louisburg will peak at 21.1 ft tonight, Wednesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. Minor flood stage for the Tar River in Louisburg is 20.0 ft. Moderate flood stage is 22 ft.

US-1 River Basin Near Franklin/Vance Co. Line Flooded; Tar River Rising

-Information courtesy Kristen G. King, Clerk to the Board, County of Franklin

Emergency Services Director Jeff Lewis has issued the information below following a recent update on roadways from the North Carolina Department of Transportation:

  • There is approximately two feet of water flowing over the one-lane bridge on Green Hill Road near the Franklin/Granville County line.
  • The US-1 river basin is flooded near the Franklin/Vance County line.
  • The Tar River is approximately five to six feet below flood stage in Louisburg and continues to rise.

Citizens are encouraged to move any property you may have located in an early flood-prone area. Emergency Management will continue to monitor the river gauge located in Louisburg.

Sneed, Louisburg Resident, Arrested on Nine Felony Drug Charges

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Terry M. Wright – Chief of Staff

On August 28, 2018, The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Daniel Lee Sneed Jr. of 413 Ridley Street, Louisburg, NC on nine (9) felony drug charges.

This investigation was the result of citizen complaints alleging that Mr. Sneed was involved in illegal drug activity within Franklin County. As a result of these complaints, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit verified the information and coordinated an enforcement strategy with the Louisburg Police Department which ultimately led to Mr. Sneed’s arrest.

On August 28, 2018, The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Daniel Lee Sneed Jr. of 413 Ridley Street, Louisburg, NC on nine (9) felony drug charges.

In addition to the arrest of Mr. Sneed, a search warrant was conducted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Louisburg Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were located during the search.

Sheriff Kent Winstead stated, “When alert and concerned citizens see what they believe to be drug activity in their neighborhood and they contact our office with the information, we will respond. This is another example of how partnering with our police departments within the county is making our citizens safer.”

Louisburg Police Chief Jason Abbot stated, “Our partnership with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is vital to the success of our drug initiative. Sheriff Winstead and I are committed to working together for safer communities”.

Daniel Lee Sneed Jr. was placed in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond.

Daniel Lee Sneed Jr. 09/16/1989

Possess with Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine (3 Counts) Sell Cocaine (3 Counts) Maintain a Dwelling place for the purpose of Selling Cocaine (3 Counts)

For more information regarding this arrest or to provide information to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit, please contact Sgt. Ken Pike at 919-496-2186.

New Hope Christian Church Site of Latest Breaking & Entering of Place of Worship

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Terry M. Wright – Chief of Staff

On August 24, 2018, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit issued warrants for the arrest of Austin Patrick Wells and Timothy Hunter Duke both Franklin County residents. Austin Patrick Wells and Timothy Hunter Duke were charged with the following: one (1) count of Felony Break and Enter Place of Worship and one (1) count of Larceny after Breaking and Entering. The alleged incident stemmed from a Breaking and Entering and Larceny at New Hope Christian Church, 2779 NC 98 Hwy W. Louisburg, NC. Both subjects are currently being held in the Franklin County Detention Center.

Timothy Hunter Duke 205 Pine Ridge RD Louisburg, NC 27549 DOB: 12-26-1996

Austin Patrick Wells 2620 Hwy 98 Louisburg, NC 27549 DOB: 10-16-2000

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 W. Daniels at 919-340-4343.

Austin Patrick Wells

Timothy Hunter Duke

Upchurch Charged With Two Counts of Assault With a Deadly Weapon

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Terry M. Wright – Chief of Staff

On August 17, 2018, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit arrested Danny Clark Upchurch, a Franklin County resident. Danny Clark Upchurch was charged with two (2) counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury.

This incident is alleged to have occurred on August 5, 2018, at a residence on Ronald Tharrington Road, Louisburg, N.C. 27549.

Danny Clark Upchurch was given an $80,000 bond.

Danny Clark Upchurch – 40 River Forest Lane ~ Kittrell, N.C. 27544

On August 17, 2018, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit arrested Danny Clark Upchurch, a Franklin County resident. Upchurch was charged with two (2) counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury.