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Granville Co. Library System to Forgive Library Fees, Fines

-Information courtesy the Granville County Government’s Facebook page

The Granville County Library System recently announced that it is forgiving all unpaid library fees accrued prior to January 1, 2018, and all library fines accrued prior to January 1, 2019. No refunds will be given for fees or fines previously paid.

Calling the initiative “New Director, New Year,” the system will also grant amnesty on all missing items that are returned.

This forgiveness policy applies to all four branches served by the system including the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, South Branch Library in Creedmoor, Stovall Branch Library in Stovall and Berea Branch Library in Oxford.

For more information on the four branches, including locations and hours of operation, please click here.

Former WRAL-TV Anchor Bill Leslie to Speak at Annual Granville Co. Chamber Banquet

— Information and photo courtesy Granville County Chamber of Commerce | Ginnie Currin, Executive Director ~ 919-693-6125 ~ [email protected]ville-chamber.com

In celebration of 77 years, the Granville County Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors announces that the annual banquet will be held Monday evening, January 28, 2019.

Banquet sponsors are BB&T, CERTAINTEED, DUKE ENERGY; GRANVILLE HEALTH SYSTEM, HICKS AND WRENN, LLP, THE SCHOOL OF GRAPHIC ARTS and VANNESS CHEVROLET.   

The evening’s presenter is well-known, retired, WRAL-TV anchor desk personality, Bill Leslie.  Bill Leslie is an award-winning journalist and internationally acclaimed musician and composer. He retired from the anchor desk in 2018 after 34 years at WRAL-TV.

Retired WRAL-TV anchor and accomplished musician, Bill Leslie, will serve as the presenter at the 2019 Granville County Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Bill has won more than 70 major news awards including two Peabody Awards, considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting, along with five Emmys. As a veteran anchorman and environmental reporter for WRAL Television in Raleigh, Bill produced more than a dozen award-winning documentaries.

Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma called Leslie ‘one of the greats in modern Celtic music.’  All eight of the CD’s produced by Bill have hit at or near the top of the world music charts. Leslie, who plays guitar, piano and Celtic whistle was named ‘Best New Artist’ worldwide by the NAR in 2005. He currently plays with a Raleigh based Celtic/Folk ensemble.

Bill’s orchestral composition Tall Ships was named the official song of the 2006 America Parade of Sail. His music has been performed by the North Carolina Symphony and the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bill is also a popular storyteller and author of a book featuring his father’s watercolors of Western North Carolina.

The evening will once again include the presentation of the Chamber’s most prestigious award, the John Penn Citizen of the Year Award, recognizing outstanding community service.

A buffet dinner will be provided. Tickets are $40 each. Corporate tables of eight, with reserved seating, are available for $300.  Corporate tables of 10, reserved seating, are available for $380. Reservations are required prior to the event. Checks or credit card payments are accepted by contacting one of the Chamber’s offices – 919.693.6125/Wanda, [email protected] or 919.528.4994/Toni Anne, [email protected].

With Calls Increasing, Granville Co. Offers Tips on Determining 9-1-1 Emergencies

-Press Release, County of Granville

Call volume at the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center has seen a steady yearly increase, with almost 43,500 9-1-1 calls received in 2018 and an increase of about 3,000 calls for service from the previous year. Most residents know to contact 9-1-1 in an emergency, but how can those who may need help determine what an “emergency” is?

An “emergency” is any situation that requires immediate assistance from law enforcement, the fire department or an ambulance. Examples include medical emergencies such as a heart attack or stroke, house fires, incidents of domestic violence, being involved in/witnessing a car crash or being the victim of/witnessing a crime, such as a burglary or theft. The general rule is to dial 9-1-1 any time there is a threat to life or property  – but if ever in doubt, residents should go ahead and call the 9-1-1 Center.

“When dealing with an emergency, every second counts,” Trent Brummitt, 911 Center Manager of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, explains. “If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 telecommunicator determine if you actually need emergency assistance.”

When calling 9-1-1, some tips to ensure that callers receive the best possible assistance during an emergency include:

  1. Stay calm and listen carefully to the questions the 9-1-1 telecommunicator is asking. Staying calm in an emergency is one of the most difficult, yet most important, things that can be done. The questions being asked, no matter how relevant they may seem, are important in helping get first responders to the scene as prepared and as quickly as possible.
  2. Answer all questions being asked. By doing so, the telecommunicator can better understand the actual situation, so that the appropriate emergency responders can be dispatched.
  3. Know the location of the emergency. This is especially important if calling from a cell phone because the telecommunicator who takes the call might not be able to pinpoint exactly where the call is coming from. If the exact address is unknown, look for any nearby landmarks, buildings or signage.
  4. Follow instructions. The telecommunicator on the other end of the line is trained to keep callers safe while help is on the way, such as providing instructions to administer basic first aid. Be sure to follow these instructions step by step until responders arrive.
  5. Stay on the line. Even if calling 9-1-1 by mistake, never hang up the phone until instructed to do so. Stay on the line until you can either answer all questions or inform the telecommunicator that you called by accident and that there is actually no emergency. This saves valuable time in having to call back to confirm there is no emergency, or possibly sending members of law enforcement with lights and sirens to investigate further.

Following these tips can help save a life, Brummitt reminds.

“Telecommunicators go through extensive call-taking training, as well as regular continuing education,” he notes. “They have a list of questions to ask, but each plays an important role in the type of help you receive and how much. For example, a telecommunicator may send first responders from the local fire department, as well as an ambulance, for a possible heart attack. Or he/she may send three fire departments and an ambulance to reports of a house fire.”

Posting your home address clearly and prominently at your entrance and on your home is also helpful in ensuring that emergency responders have the correct location. Using something reflective or illuminated so that it can be seen in the evening, as well as during the day, will also be of assistance during an emergency situation.

For situations that are non-emergency in nature, good judgement and common sense can go a long way. Examples of when NOT to call 9-1-1 would be to report a power outage or burst water pipe, to request information about road conditions, for help with minor first aid issues, etc.  For situations such as these, a separate line is available by calling 919-690-0444. This call will connect you directly with the “non-emergency” line of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center.

“It is important to remember that obvious non-emergency calls can take away valuable time and resources from those who need help right away,” Brummitt further explains. “We strive to serve the citizens, visitors and responders in the most effective way we know how. But if ever in doubt, please err on the side of caution and call –or text – 911 for help.”

To learn more about what do to in case of an emergency, visit www.nena.org or www.911.org. To learn more about the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center, visit www.granvillecounty.org.

Oxford Preparatory School Chooses 2019 Homecoming Court

-Information courtesy Victoria Bradsher, School Director, Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School (OPS) recently crowned a new homecoming king and queen from amongst representatives of the senior class.

OPS Senior Homecoming court representatives included Camden Ross, daughter of Marc and Jackie Ross from Kittrell; Quincey Burreal, son of Yolanda Burreal also of Kittrell; MacKenzie Pendergrass, daughter of Amanda and Zack Burnette of Henderson; and Luke Overby, son of Tony and Angie Overby from Oxford.

OPS Interact Club President Avery Thomas and Vice-President Ey’Mania Alston crowned the king and queen who are chosen by the entire Griffin student body from the senior class representatives.

For the 2018/2019 school year, OPS Homecoming King is Quincey Burreal. Quincey is a senior who has been accepted to North Carolina Central University and plans to major in Business Administration.

Griffin Homecoming Queen for 2018/2019 is MacKenzie Pendergrass. MacKenzie is a senior who has been accepted to East Carolina University and plans on majoring in Nursing.

Other homecoming court representatives include:

11th-grade

Bryanna Kingsberry from Henderson, granddaughter of Dave and Lynn Nyquist and Ian Simmons, son of DeMarcus and Candace Simmons, also from Henderson.

10th-grade

Emily Faucette, daughter of Alan and Melissa Faucette of Oxford. She is escorted by Codie Johnson, son of Steve and Maggie Johnson of Oxford.

9th-grade

Zoe Holland, daughter of Tracy and Christopher Holland of Oxford and Jackson Edwards, son of Buck and Tina Edwards from Henderson.

8th-grade 

Dasana Williams, daughter of Craig and Tammy Williams of Oxford and Elijah Griffin, son of Christina Griffin and Grandson of Floyd and Joane Griffin of Oxford.

7th-grade

Peyton Purnell, daughter of Leah Williamson and Jonathon Purnell of Oxford and Jonathan Gouldman, son of Shannon Currin of Henderson.

Oxford Preparatory School Seniors Quincey Burreal and MacKenzie Pendergrass were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively, for the 2018/2019 school year. (Photo Credit: OPS)

The Oxford Preparatory School 2018/2019 Homecoming court represents grades 7th – 12th. (Photo Credit: OPS)

 

 

 

 

 

City of Oxford Board of Commissioners to Hold Regular Meeting Jan. 15

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

The City of Oxford Board of Commissioners will hold their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 15, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Board Room, City Hall.

Agenda items include:

Delegations by Walter Hurst, Executive Director of Families Living Violence Free.

Consider annual review and signing of the Code of Ethics for the Board of Commissioners.

Consider the issue regarding insurance benefits for retired elected officials.

Resolution for $1,500,000 in additional funding for the 2017 Water Line Replacement Project.

Consider adopting the revised 2016 Capital Improvement Plan.

Consider approving a Change Order for Park Construction 2017 Water Main Replacement Project.

Consider authorizing the City Manager to sign a task order for the Construction Phase Engineering Services for the 2017 Sewer State Reserve Project.

Consider allowing electronic advertisement for bidding.

Request the Board of Commissioners approves the updated City of Oxford Water Shortage Policy.

New Horizons Baptist to Hold Brunswick Stew Sale

-Information courtesy Pastor Cam Ford, New Horizons Baptist Church

New Horizons Baptist Church in Oxford will be having a Brunswick Stew Sale on Saturday, February 2. Quarts are $8 apiece, and you’ll be able to pick these up from the Granville County Shrine Club located at 706 Roxboro Rd. in Oxford from 9 until 11 a.m. that morning.

Please call Pastor Cam Ford for your advance orders at (919) 690-5287.

Joe Toler Elementary to Close This Year; Mary Potter Middle to Follow

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 7, 2019, the Granville County Board of Education approved a motion to close Joe Toler Oak Hill Elementary School at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. This vote passed with a 5-2 vote. At this same meeting, the Board also approved a motion to assign the students who currently attend Mary Potter Middle School to Northern Granville Middle School effective with the 2019-2020 school year. This vote passed with a 5-2 vote.

The Board then approved another motion that Mary Potter Middle School campus would remain an educational facility and data be provided to the Board of Education, by the Superintendent, of all cost options for the location of additional programs and for the Central Office to be housed on the Mary Potter Middle School campus. This vote passed 6-1.

In accordance with these decisions, district staff will begin the process of creating implementation and transition plans. Teams from each school will assist in providing input in determining new attendance zones, staff assignments, academic programs, and parent communications. In addition, staff will begin the process of gathering information for the Board related to the future potential uses of the Mary Potter Middle School facility so it may remain a vibrant part of the community.

For more than a year, board members have been addressing the issue of school reorganization in our district. The state of North Carolina provides essential funding for school districts based on the average daily membership (ADM) of students. With the increase in charter school choices in our region, the enrollment of the school district has decreased over the past several years.  This has caused significant decreases in funding for the school district. At the same time, the number of school buildings has remained the same, with the facility usage percentages dramatically falling at some schools in particular.

To address this problem, the district has relied on fund balance (the district savings account) over the past four years to cover the budget deficit. This year alone, the district is projected to spend nearly one million dollars more than it is funded. Future projections indicate the district could soon face serious financial problems absent action being taken. School reorganization will save the district significant funds by making more efficient use of our facilities and staffing and will also decrease overall operational expenses. It will also prevent additional deep cuts from our academic programs and personnel who serve our students.

In considering these closures, the Board directed a series of studies and held public hearings to gather information and hear from multiple stakeholders. It is estimated that the closure of these two schools could result in savings for the district of more than $778,000 dollars each year beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, in October of 2018, the Board approved the merger of JF Webb School of Health & Life Sciences with the JF Webb High School beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. It is estimated that this merger will save the district more than $40,000 dollars per year moving forward.

The Board of Education plans to continue its work with efforts to save money and improve academic opportunities for all students.  They will continue to address school reorganization in the coming months and will explore a variety of other options. One study that has already been authorized is the evaluation of the efficient use of facilities related to GC Hawley Middle School and the surrounding elementary schools. Additional considerations may be made as well.

As the board continues to work through these difficult decisions, the administration will still be laser-focused on providing the very best possible opportunities for the students of Granville County.

Oxford Preparatory School’s 6th Graders Make First Semester Honor Roll

-Information courtesy Victoria Bradsher, School Director, Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School’s 6th-grade Griffins continue to excel. The first semester for the 2018-19 school year ended on December 19 and a number of students demonstrated high achievement levels. We are proud to announce the first semester A and A/B Honor Rolls for 6th-grade students.

Students on the A (Directors’ List) and A/B Honor for the semester will participate in an honors recognition ceremony on January 31.

6th Grade – 1st Semester A Honor Roll – Directors’ List

James Boone Allred

Elizabeth Jones

Jacquelin Jose

Marleigh Swanner

Hannah Twisdale

Caleb Watkins

Kennedy Wilkerson

Hunter Wade Woodlief

6th Grade – 1st Semester A/B Honor Roll

Andrew Jordan Adcox

Mary Virginia Bailey

Elizabeth Diane Baker

Ayla Kristine Batchelor

William Christopher Brooks

Emily C. Dail

Starling Davis Faulkner

Kaylee Brianna Gill

Cadence Hoyle

Holden Jones

Jetta Mangum

Sean Osborne

Violet Perry

Brandy Ray

Makala Roberson

Ellie Stock

Pearla Tabor

Sawyer Vaughan

Trevor Weary

Emily Grace Wilkinson

Macie Rae Wilkinson

Grant Cycle Begins for Granville County Tourism Development

-Press Release, County of Granville

The Granville County Tourism Development Authority (GCTDA) is now accepting applications for the upcoming fiscal year. The 2019-2020 grant application period runs from Jan. 1, 2019 through April 1, 2020.

The primary purpose of the Granville Tourism Development Authority (GTDA) Mini-Grant Program is to stimulate and assist Granville County organizations and agencies in the enhancement, promotion and marketing of tourism and culturally-related events that create a known economic impact from visitor spending. This program is designed to establish activities and events which can eventually grow and thrive without direct funding from this grant program. Funding from the GTDA Mini-Grant should be considered as a supplemental resource only.

Primary consideration will be given to projects/programs with demonstrated/defined potential for positive economic impact to projects that promote travel and the GTDA’s mission of promoting the area as a destination and increase occupancy rates in Granville County through day and weekend visits.  Events planned for off-peak times may receive higher priority and first consideration by the GTDA.

Applicants eligible for grant funding must be a Granville County-based community group, non-profit organization, county municipalities or recognized community within the county lines. For-profit groups cannot apply for grant funds unless the event’s proceeds will go to a community supported event (i.e. fundraiser).

Total funding of any event, project, or program will not be greater than 25 percent of the total project budget and will not exceed $5,000. Included with the request may be a one-time artist/entertainment allowance up to $1,000. If this allowance is granted, the GTDA expects the artist/entertainment source to publicize the event and to include the Tourism Development Authority in all advertisements.

Applications are available through http://www.granvillecounty.org/visitors/or through the Granville County Tourism Development office in Oxford. All applications should be submitted by email to [email protected], or in person/by mail to the Granville County Tourism Development office (124 Hillsboro Street, P.O. Box 820, Oxford NC, 27565) by April 1, 2019, at 5 p.m. The Tourism office is located inside the Granville Chamber of Commerce office in Downtown Oxford.

Grant information sessions will be held throughout the cycle. Visit http://www.granvillecounty.org/visitors/ or contact the Granville County Tourism Office at 919-693-5125 for more details about these sessions.

To learn more about this grant, contact Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen by phone at 919-693-6125 or by email at [email protected]

Granville County Library System Kicks Off New Year

-Press Release, Granville County Library System

The Granville County Library System has plans to start off the new year with many new programs, services and events as several popular offerings continue.

Starting Jan. 10, a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program will be offered at the Richard H. Thornton Library on Thursday afternoons. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to participate in this weekly session, which will be held at 4 p.m. To learn more, contact Children’s Librarian Amy Carlson at 919-693-1121, ext. 212.

Every other Thursday from 6 until 8 p.m, “Game Night” is held at the Thornton branch. These fun-filled evenings, which include board games, cards and other friendly competitions, were introduced on Dec. 27, with the next “game night” scheduled for Jan. 10.

Computer workshops also continue at the Thornton Library in Oxford and at the South Branch. An introduction to computers is included, as well as email set-up and information on social media platforms. Sessions are conducted at the South Branch in Creedmoor every Wednesday from 2 until 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 until 11 a.m. at the Richard H. Thornton branch. Contact Adult Services Librarian Ashley Wilson at 919-693-1121, ext. 203 for details.

On Sunday, Jan. 13, a book signing by author Bill Massey will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library. Massey’s new book, “I Learned More Than Them” will be discussed as the author describes his experiences as a middle school teacher in the Granville County Public School system. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to teachers to fund field trips for their students.

On Jan. 15 at 11 a.m., library patrons can enjoy a “potluck lunch” at the Thornton Library in Oxford. Bring a plate, silverware and a dish to share as “Lunch with the Librarians” is served, along with an opportunity to find out more about what is available at the local public library.

“Pop Up” libraries are offered every Wednesday at the Granville County Senior Center. From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Granville County Library brings movies, books and audio books to the Center, which is located at 107 Lanier Street in Oxford.

Storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers continue at several library branches. The Stovall library has story time on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and children can enjoy stories at the Berea site on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. The Children’s Library at the Thornton branch in Oxford hosts story time at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. January themes include “Hats for Everyone” on Jan. 9; “Nursery Rhymes” on Jan. 16; “Snowmen” on Jan. 23 and “ABC, 1-2-3” on Jan. 30.

At the South Branch in Creedmoor, a “Teen Book Club” meets at 3:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Teens can come talk about what they are currently reading, swap recommendations with friends and enjoy snacks. An “arts and crafts” time is also offered for teens every third Monday of the month at the South Branch. Call 919-528-1752 for details.

Meetings of the LEGO Club will continue in the new year for any interested participants. The club meets at the South Branch in Creedmoor on the second and fourth Monday of each month and at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Meeting are held at 3:30 p.m. at both locations.

There are four branches of the Granville County Library System, with sites in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea. To find out more about what the library closest to you has to offer, visit the new website recently launched by the library system at https://granville.lib.nc.us/.