DNA Analysis Subject of Upcoming Thornton Library Program

-Press Release, Granville County Government

On March 30, genealogist Shannon Christmas is scheduled for a discussion of DNA testing and how it relates to family genealogy. The 2 p.m. program will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford.

Christmas is experienced in the field of genealogy, specializing in Colonial America as well as African-American ancestry in Virginia and the Carolinas. He has a special interest in “harnessing the power” of DNA to verify and extend ancestral lineage.

“African-American genealogy remains a challenging jigsaw puzzle where half of the pieces seem irrevocably lost,” Christmas has written in a blog about family history. “Advances in genetics and internet technology have unearthed some of the long-buried pieces of our especially fractured history.”

On March 30, genealogist Shannon Christmas is scheduled for a discussion of DNA testing and how it relates to family genealogy. The 2 p.m. program will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

Christmas has used DNA analysis along with traditional genealogical methods to trace his own family tree. His research has led him to a Warren County plantation, where DNA was used to verify bloodlines and connect him with relatives he never knew. The genealogist also has ties to the Yancey family of Granville County.

Today Christmas provides information to others through videos and programs to assist in family research projects. He currently serves as a 23andMe Ancestry Ambassador and is administrator of the Captain Thomas Graves of Jamestown Autosomal DNA project.

He is also co-administrator of the Hemings-Jefferson-Wayles-Eppes DNA project and a blogger of “Through the Trees,” a guide to tools and technology that aid in genealogical research.

His presentation, “Family History Now: How to Master DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy,” is free and open to the public. Those in attendance can register for a free DNA kit in a drawing that will be held during the program.

For more information, contact Ashley Wilson, Adult Services Librarian or Mark Pace, North Carolina Room Specialist at 919-693-1121. The Richard H. Thornton Library is one of four branches of the Granville County Library System and is located at 210 Main Street in Oxford.

Oxford Preparatory School Announces 3rd Quarter Honor Roll for 6th Grade

-Information courtesy Oxford Preparatory School

The third quarter for Oxford Preparatory School ended on Thursday, March 7, 2019. OPS is pleased to announce that the following 6th-grade students mastered their academic content with excellence and, as a result, have been named to either the A or A/B Honor Roll.

6th Grade A Honor Roll

James Allred, Cadence Hoyle, Elizabeth Jones, Jacquelin Jose, Brandy Ray, Marleigh Swanner, Hannah Twisdale and Hunter Woodlief.

6th Grade A/B Honor Roll

Andrew Adcox, Mary Bailey, Elizabeth Baker, Ayla Batchelor, Emily Dail, Davis Faulkner, Luke Harris, Gage Hobgood, Jetta Mangum, Ma’Kayla Neal, Sean Osborne, Ellie Stock, Caleb Watkins, Trevor Weary, Kennedy Wilkerson, Emily Wilkinson and Macie Wilkinson.

Oxford’s Personnel Committee to Discuss Health Insurance Renewal

-Information courtesy Cynthia Bowen, City Clerk, City of Oxford

The Personnel Committee for the Oxford Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held in the 1st Floor Training Room of City Hall, 300 Williamsboro Street in Oxford.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss health insurance renewal.

All those interested are invited to attend.

Granville Board of Commissioners to Meet Mon., March 18

-Information courtesy Debra A. Weary, Clerk to the Board, Granville County

The Granville County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday, March 18, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Granville Expo and Convention Center, 4185 US Highway 15 South, Oxford.

Agenda items include:

Consent Agenda

1. Contingency Summary

2. Minutes

3. Public Assistance for Tropical Storm Michael

Recognitions and Presentations

4. Recognition of Service – Yvette Davis

5. ABC Update

Public Comments

6. Public Comments

Tax Matters

7. Tax Discount Discussion

Solid Waste Matters

8. Leachate Hauling Agreement

9. Granville Employee NCDOT Spring Litter Sweep


10. Senior Services Advisory Committee

11. Animal Control Advisory Committee

12. Granville County Veterans Affairs Committee

13. Granville County Library System Board of Trustees

14. Granville County ABC Board

County Manager’s Report

15. Social Services Medicaid Project Update

16. NCHIP Health Plan Option

17. Health Department Facility Needs and Site Options

County Attorney’s Report

18. RFQ for Engineering Services in Triangle North Granville

19. County Attorney’s Report

Presentations by County Board Members

20. Presentations by County Board Members

Any Other Matters

21. Any Other Matters

Closed Session

22. Closed Session as allowed by G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) – Attorney-Client Matter

23. Closed Session as allowed by G.S. 143-318.11(a)(4) – Economic Development

24. Closed Session as allowed by G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5) – Property Acquisition

For current and previous Granville Co. Board of Commissioner meeting agendas and minutes, click here

Chase an Ambulance & Catch a Food Truck in Downtown Oxford

The Granville Ambulance Chase & Food Truck Rodeo has something for everyone – from serious runners to families looking for a day of healthy fun. Proceeds to benefit the Granville Health System Foundation. 

Date: Saturday, March 16, 2019

Place: Historic Downtown Oxford

Race Start Times:

10K Ambulance Chase – 4 p.m.
5K Ambulance Chase – 4:20 p.m.
5K Fun Run – 4:25 p.m.
1- Mile Family Walk – 5 p.m.
100- Yard Kids’ Dash – 5:30 p.m.

The Food Truck Rodeo will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.

LIVE MUSIC provided by the band “Big Love” at the Food Truck Rodeo from 5 – 7 p.m.

NEW in 2019: COSTUME CONTEST! Awards will be given for the best individual and group costume categories.

Registration and Packet Pickup:

  • Early Packet Pickup for Preregistered Runners – Friday, March 15 from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. at Tobacco Wood Brewing Co., 117 Wall Street, Oxford.
  • Race Day Registration and Packet Pick Up – Saturday, March 16 beginning at 2:30 p.m. at The Hub, 100 Main Street, Oxford.

For more information or to sign up, visit The Granville Ambulance Chase & Food Truck Rodeo website by clicking here

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Granville Chamber Announces 2019 ‘Alive After Five’ Dates

— Information courtesy Granville County Chamber of Commerce | Ginnie Currin, Executive Director ~ 919-693-6125 ~ [email protected]

The Board of Directors of the Granville County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce information for our three 2019 events.

Beginning Thursday, May 23 in downtown Oxford’s parking lot between Main and Gilliam Streets, the first Alive After Five will feature “THE EMBERS” Band.

On Thursday, August 15, “THE ATTRACTIONS” Band will be entertainers for the second concert in Creedmoor in the VanNess Chevrolet parking lot, 107 West Lyon Street, Creedmoor.

Completing the season will be “Jim Quick and Coastline Band” in Oxford on Thursday, September 12.

This is the sixteenth year that the Chamber has organized Alive After Five events for the public. All events are held from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The continued sponsorships of local businesses and industries enable the Chamber to provide these community-oriented gatherings. Businesses who are interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact the Chamber for sponsorship details.

Also, each event requires approximately 60 volunteers, who receive a complimentary volunteer t-shirt. Anyone interested in sponsoring and/or volunteering should contact either of the Chamber’s offices at 919.528.4994 or 919.693.6125.

Larceny of Chainsaws, TV on Granville Co. Crime Stoppers’ Radar

-Information courtesy Granville Co. Crime Stoppers

Approximately 2 – 4 weeks prior to February 24, 2019, an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon private property of a residence located off Range Road, Rougemont, NC and criminally removed one (1) Husqvarna 350 chainsaw, (1) Husqvarna 231 chainsaw, (1) Husqvarna 150 backpack leaf blower (with an uppercase (S) painted on it in Black) and (1) Stihl MS 441 M chainsaw from a storage shed.

On March 3, 2019, an unknown person or persons unlawfully went upon the private property of a residence located off Lewis Jones Road, Oxford, NC and criminally removed a TCL Roku 55 inch flat-screen smart television.

If you have information concerning these incidents, please contact the Granville County Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213 or call Crime Stoppers 919-693-3100.


In-Review: Granville Co. Commissioners’ Annual Two-Day Retreat (Part Two)

-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Granville County Board of Commissioners met in February for its annual retreat. Held at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, the work session provided an opportunity for Commissioners to hear updates on developments pertaining to the county’s five-year strategic plan.

Economic Development

Since 2017, approximately 20 new businesses have opened in the county including RiceWrap Foods, according to Economic Development Director Harry Mills, who added that opportunities are also being created by expansions at Revlon, Shalag and Altec.

Mills noted that the county’s re-designation as a Tier II county would be a factor in future grant eligibility.  The N.C. Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties using factors of unemployment rate, household income, population growth and adjusted property tax base, assigning each county a tier designation. Granville County was ranked among Tier III counties last year which included Orange, Wake and Durham counties. During the grant application process, priority is often given to Tier I and Tier II counties, Mills reminded.

County Commissioners prepare to hear comments from community leaders at the Granville County Retreat, held Feb. 21 and 22, 2019. (Photo courtesy Granv. Co. Govt.)


Granville County’s new tourism campaign was presented by Tourism Director Angela Allen and by Corey Hughes of the Hughes Marketing Group, who has been contracted to help develop a marketing plan. Using a survey of residents and visitors as a guide, it was determined that the area’s relaxed and hospitable lifestyle are an unexpected advantage, leading to a campaign centered around the area’s open spaces, welcoming people and close proximity to larger communities. With a tagline of “Uniquely Carolina,” the new campaign includes a promotion focused on gathering places and “hometown” living.

Human Resources

HR Directors Wendy Pennington and Justin Ayscue provided information pertaining to employee turnover in Granville County Government, which has seen a steady decline since FY 2014/2015. In the past few years, a 401K match has been implemented, as well as changes to employee benefits such as a 401K match, an enhanced wellness program and other upgrades. A recommendation was made to implement an employee longevity pay plan to help increase retention. It was also noted that an option to apply for employment online has dramatically increased the number of applications received for vacant positions.

Social Services

Social Services Director Lou Bechtel presented information on upcoming challenges, citing a need for an “on call” staff member for after-hours assistance and anticipated staff additions if Medicaid expansion is approved by the General Assembly. Staff members recently completed NC Fast training and will be “prepared to meet the challenge” of this new program, Bechtel said. Additional technology was requested to initiate the NC Fast mobile applications that will help serve residents with their immediate needs.

Comm. Edgar Smoak facilitates a public safety round table discussion with staff of Granville County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo courtesy Granv. Co. Govt.)

Senior Services

Granville County Senior Centers (3) have served almost 12,000 congregate meals from July 2018 to January 2019, Senior Services Director Kathy May reported, in addition to approximately 7,000 meals to homebound residents. Transportation, which includes a fixed bus route, medical transport, etc., are also provided and are funded through various grant sources, with total one-way trips numbering more than 16,000 last year.

Through the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), 743 Medicare recipients were provided assistance over the past year. Those choosing the option to change their Medicare Part D plans during open enrollment had a total combined savings of $458,387.

The Creative Lifelong Learning program, offered through the Senior Center in Oxford, has “exceeded all expectations,” May said, with charter membership numbering 250+. More than two dozen classes have been scheduled during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Sheriff’s Office

A summary report for 2018, provided by Sheriff Brin Wilkins, showed a total of approximately 8,000 incidents and arrests through the Sheriff’s Office alone. Across the county, more than 54,000 emergency calls were dispatched last year from the Sheriff’s Office, the county’s five municipalities, Highway Patrol, local fire departments, Granville EMS, Animal Control and other agencies.

Trent Brummitt, Manager of the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, reported that from July 2018 to January 2019, more than 36,000 calls for service had been made. As the county’s population grows, calls to the 9-1-1 Center have seen a steady increase, Brummitt noted, with the highest number of calls received in 2016. This was the year that the Oxford Police Department consolidated its dispatch services with the county’s 9-1-1 Center. Now at its most optimum level, staffing for this department has numbered 18 employees since 2011.

A report from the Detention Center by Sgt. Edward Cash focused on mental health issues which impact Granville County inmates. Through a new telemedicine program, inmates can be evaluated on site and offered treatment and follow up, eliminating the need for transport to other facilities. Since September, the program’s professional psychiatrist has identified 25 inmates who were suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and other issues.


Finance Director Steve McNally provided a summarized review of the county’s financial status, noting that property taxes collected to date ($36.7 million) are at 89 percent of total budget and one percent higher than at this time last year. Property taxes make up 65 percent of the county’s general fund, McNally reported, adding that Granville County’s revenues and expenditures are “in line” with budget expectations as of Jan. 31, 2019.

The preliminary budget is to be submitted to Commissioners by May 6, according to County Manager Michael Felts, with the budget to be finalized in June. Felts also provided a progress report of projects underway and under review, which includes digital policy updates, a focus on strengthening partnerships, continued economic development, school renovations and financing, advancements in broadband and other priorities.

Granville County is now in the final year of the current five-year strategic plan and will be working with staff in October and November 2019 to develop a new five-year plan for the Board’s consideration during next year’s retreat.

Additional reports

The Board of Education and mayors of all five municipalities were on hand to provide respective reports. Elected officials Senator Mike Woodard, Rep. Larry Yarborough and Rep. Terry Garrison were also in attendance to address the 2019/2020 Legislative Goals as they impact Granville County. “What we should always keep in mind,” County Manager Felts concluded, “is where we are, where we are going and what we need to get there. It is important that we are all going in the same direction.”

(To view Granville County’s five-year strategic plan, visit

Oxford’s Public Works Committee to Meet Tues., March 19

Press Release, City of Oxford

The Public Works, Water, & Infrastructure Committee for the Oxford Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m.

The meeting will be held in the First Floor Training Room, City Hall, 300 Williamsboro Street in Oxford. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss painting the new water tank and the resurfacing project.

All those interested are invited to attend.

Zoning Amendments Continue to Make Oxford Board of Commissioners’ Agenda

-Information courtesy Cynthia Bowen, City Clerk, City of Oxford

The City of Oxford Board of Commissioners will hold their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Board Room, City Hall.

Agenda items include:

Chris and Amanda Welsh from FLY HNZ, new management at the Oxford Henderson Airport – update on the plans for the airport.

Public Hearing to receive citizen input on amending the zoning ordinance to include the definition of a craft distillery and amending the table of permitted uses to allow a craft distillery in the B-1 zoning district.

Public Hearing to receive citizen input on a rezoning request from Eddie Caudle to rezone 8 acres of land from RA to B2.

Consider rewarding the 2019 Concessionaire Contract for Oxford Park Athletic Complex to Farmer John’s Ice Cream, Robert Glover.

Consider Accepting Certificate of Sufficiency for Petition of Voluntary, Contiguous, Annexation for 3 + acres of land adjacent to the Hardees property located on Industry Drive and consider adopting a resolution calling for an annexation public hearing to be held in conjunction with the April 9, Regular Session if the Board desires to move forward with annexation.

Consider appointing George Summers to the Planning Board.

Consider adopting a Resolution for 2017 Local Water Supply Plan.

Consider approving a Budget Amendment for WWTP Headworks Repairs.

Please click here for the full agenda for the City of Oxford Board of Commissioners’ March 12, 2019, meeting.