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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.

Franklin County Logo

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.

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.

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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: https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1016735.

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 mariaparham.com.

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. www.dukelifepointhealthcare.com

Franklin County Logo

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.

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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: https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1016735.

Franklin County Sheriff

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.

Five VGCC Students Participate in Signing Ceremony for Apprenticeship Program

Five students from Vance-Granville Community College were among a dozen who committed to participate in the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP) at a signing ceremony in Wake Forest on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The students are now apprentices with eight industries in Granville, Franklin and Wake counties as they finish high school and earn their associate’s degrees at either VGCC or Wake Technical Community College. VGCC students Baylor Chapple and Sebastian Hughes, both of Louisburg, will be working at CaptiveAire in Youngsville, Xavier Durham of Warrenton with Dill Air Controls Products LLC in Oxford, and Zach Willey of Raleigh and Micah Peters of Youngsville with Revlon Inc. of Oxford.

Working through Wake Tech, the signees and the other companies were: Spencer Downing, Accu-Fab Inc. of Raleigh; Ben Elkins and Rhett Keaton, Bühler Aeroglide Corp. of Cary; Daniel Benson, Schmalz Inc. of Raleigh; Brennan Burns and Reily Rhoades, Schunk Intec Inc. of Morrisville; and Nathaniel “Nate” Corl, Superior Tooling of Wake Forest.

Parents of the apprentices and employers from the participating industries joined the students on stage for the signing ceremony as each made a commitment to follow the program. 

“We are grateful to NCTAP for providing the leadership to foster the collaboration between public and private partners that makes this effort successful,” VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams shared with the students, their parents, industry representatives and guests at the dinner and ceremony in the Wake Forest Renaissance Center.

“Apprenticeship is a proven strategy to close the skills gap and meet the workforce needs of industries while at the same time making education more affordable for promising young students,” Dr. Williams added. “To our apprentices, the benefits of this wonderful program are nothing short of life-changing, and that’s why we are so excited to be an educational partner for NCTAP.”

“To our new apprentices, I want to extend congratulations and a warm Vanguard welcome, on behalf of Vance-Granville,” Dr. Williams added. “You are truly ‘Vanguards,’ because you are leaders and pioneers, and you will lead the way for many more apprentices in the future. You will also develop into leaders for your industries.”

NCTAP is a partnership that seeks to provide new opportunities for local students and to prepare a skilled workforce. Typically starting in the junior year of high school, NCTAP is a four-year program that leads to a student obtaining an associate degree at the community college and paid, on-the-job training at the participating employer. Eligible students’ tuition is covered by a waiver from the state of North Carolina. After they graduate from high school, students in the program will be employed full-time by the company.

“Apprenticeships are not exactly what people think they are,” said Marc Bertoncino of Bühler Aeroglide, chairman of NCTAP and master of ceremonies for the event. “This is a very beneficial program for the companies. This is a very beneficial program for young people starting their careers.”

Dr. Stephen Scott, president of Wake Tech, cited the importance of apprenticeships, internships and cooperative education in “bridging the skills gap,” adding, “Parents, we want to tell you that your kids are going to have a job for the next couple of years. They are going to graduate from either Wake Tech or Vance-Granville Community College. And they will have a good paying job and zero debt when they come out (of college). They will have the opportunity to further their education even beyond where this program takes them. So that is a win-win for everyone in this room.”

Bertoncino praised N.C. Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, for his help in getting legislation changed to boost the apprenticeship program. Whereas companies previously had to pay the state to have an apprentice, Barefoot helped enact legislation that now has the state providing reimbursement for tuition.

“There are apprenticeship programs across the state of North Carolina, but this particular group (NCTAP) has played a really important part in where apprenticeships are today,” Barefoot said. “This continued growth and expansion reaching into new communities will ensure that NCTAP remains the model apprenticeship program for the State of North Carolina.” He added, “Apprenticeships are the key to a successful future for the manufacturing industry of our state.”

Also speaking were Kathryn Castelloes, apprenticeship director for the N.C. Department of Commerce, and Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones. Robbie Earnhardt, owner of Wake Forest-based Superior Tooling and former chairman of the apprenticeship program, was recognized by Bertoncino for his vision, leadership and passion in guiding and promoting NCTAP. In attendance also were representatives of the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC.

Representing VGCC’s NCTAP participating industries were Chris Clough and Cindy Walsh of CaptiveAire, Stephen Tsotsoros and Vanessia Alvarado of Dill Air Controls, Sean Anderson and Pat McKinney of Revlon, and Shaler Chewning of Glen Raven in Norlina. The latest industry to join NCTAP, Glen Raven will be taking its first interns in the coming year. Also present from the VGCC TechHire program were Ken Wilson, project manager, and Tiffani Polk, academic and career coach.

All schools participating in NCTAP can send students to the educational partner institution that best meets the needs of the industrial partner, Wilson said.