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County Commissioners schedule two-day retreat

The Granville County Board of Commissioners will hold their annual retreat on Thursday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the Granville Expo and Convention Center in Oxford. Thursday’s meeting begins at 4:30 p.m.; Friday’s session begins at 8:15 a.m.

Board discussion will focus on the following objectives:

Strategic Plan Objective #1: through economic development activities and efforts, increase the county-wide tax base by approximately $80 million annually.

Strategic Plan Objective #2: improve inter-local government relationships through partnerships and shared services.

Strategic Plan Objective #3: educate the community to improve public awareness of local government issues, activities, benefits and opportunities.

Strategic Plan Objective #4: reduce the County’s annual personnel turnover rate due to resignations and terminations to 6% or less by 2020.

Strategic Plan Objective #5: improve employee recognition and boost morale through the implementation of an Awards and Recognition Program (A&R).

Strategic Plan Objective #6improve and increase the number of volunteer programs, sites and opportunities within the County Government.

Strategic Plan Objective #7identify public safety requirements and improve communication of services with the public.

 

View the Retreat agenda here.

Tourism Director awarded training scholarship

Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen will be attending the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College in May. The session will cover a broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry.

 

Allen has been named recipient of a full scholarship through the Miles Partnership, a worldwide marketing services team which helps promote travel experiences, to attend this session. A selection committee comprised of industry professionals recently notified Allen that she had been chosen for this scholarship, which will cover tuition and accommodations.

 

“The scholarship selection committee recognizes your hard work and dedication to the tourism industry in North Carolina,” Allen’s award notification reads. “We are pleased to offer you this scholarship in support of your continued success.”

 

This is the second time Allen has received this scholarship from the Miles Partnership. The 2017 “Rising Star” of the North Carolina Tourism Industry Association plans to continue gaining leadership and marketing skills at this upcoming training session, which will be held on the campus of the University of North Georgia from May 12 through May 17.

 

 

Granville County telecommunicator is featured

Sharon Johnson of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center was singled out for the N.C. NENA (National Emergency Number Association) professional newsletter in February.

 

Here are excerpts from her employee spotlight page, “From the Frontline:”

 

Sharon Johnson was hired by Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications in July 2017. Along with call intake, Sharon is certified to work in EMS, Fire, Rescue, Sheriff’s Office and Police Dispatch. Her favorite discipline to work is Sheriff’s Dispatch. She loves this discipline due to the call volume and potential complexity of calls.

 

“It draws from every skill set you have,” she said.

 

Sharon has worked day and night shift. She likes the tempo of day shift, best. She enjoys the increased call volume and diversity of needs. What she enjoyed best on night shift was the focus on priority calls. “On night shift,” she says, “you really have to rely more on you skills and training, as well as on your co-workers.”

 

Sharon knows that all Emergency Services Personnel must work holidays. Her favorite holiday to work is Christmas. When asked why she prefers to work Christmas over any other holiday, Sharon says, “The citizens needing our assistance on Christmas really see to understand the sacrifice we are making and are extremely appreciative of the services provided to them.

 

In describing her agency, Sharon says that the Granville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center offers a close-knit family type of atmosphere, making it a “great place to work,” and that everyone has the same common goal, which is to “provide residents and responders of Granville County with the upmost in professional and dedicated services available.”

 

(From North Carolina NENA 9-1-1 newsletter, Feb. 11, 2019)

 

 

Recycling bins are new addition to Granville Athletic Park

The addition of thirty (30) recycle containers to the Granville Athletic Park (GAP) in Oxford will help keep the area clean and educate the public about the importance of recycling.

 

The bins were funded through a grant from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and are being paired with existing outdoor trash containers. With a recycling message on each bin, the goal is to provide collection sites for plastic water bottles and aluminum cans for visitor use at the GAP, which is one of the largest public spaces in Granville County. The GAP is currently used by thousands of walking enthusiasts, high school sports leagues, traveling sports teams, day cares (playground equipment) and families who meet for local gatherings, competitions and for exercise.

 

“That’s thousands upon thousands of bottles and cans that have gone to one of two places at the GAP – in the trash can or on the ground,” says Granville County Recycling Coordinator Teresa Baker. “We hope that these new containers will prompt park visitors to choose recycling over garbage disposal, and will remind them to keep our park ‘green and clean.’”

 

Before the installation of the new containers, the GAP had only two outdoor athletic bins that housed six 96-gallon recycle carts. Located near the baseball tournament fields, these bins filled up quickly in just one weekend – and even more often during tournament season. It is expected that the addition of thirty more containers throughout the 69-acre site will positively impact waste collection. Baker notes that a tracking system will be put into place to monitor the waste stream and that an increase in tonnage recovered by Waste Industries is expected, decreasing input in the local landfill, as well as the associated costs that come with solid waste disposal.

 

Over the last seven years, a renewed effort has been made to address the litter issue in Granville County. According to Baker, progress has been made as there has been a push to increase the county’s recycling yield. Granville County has grown from having one of the lowest collection rates in the state to being among the top 30 counties with high recycling yields in North Carolina.

 

As the GAP works towards an eleven-acre expansion, recycling efforts will become even more significant as a targeted recycling program will carry over into the newest phase.

 

“The county must be a leader in recycling to encourage residents to be better environmental stewards,” Baker adds.  “We want to remind park visitors to keep their trash off the ground and to put it in an appropriate location.”

 

These new recycling containers have a life cycle of 8 to 10 years and are placed in high-traffic locations throughout Granville Athletic Park. To learn more about recycling efforts in Granville County, contact Baker at (919) 725-1417.

 

Pictured is Granville County’s Recycling Coordinator Teresa Baker with one of the new bins at Granville Athletic Park.

Two new employees join Granville County team

 

Granville County Government welcomes two new staff members:

 

Justin Ayscue of Oxford has been re-hired as Director of Human Resources for Granville County Government.

 

Ayscue comes to county administration with more than 20 years’ experience in human resources/management, and was previously employed as HR Director for Granville County from November of 2008 to May of 2014. For the past four years, he has served as Human Resources Director for the City of Oxford.

 

As Granville County Government’s HR Director, Ayscue will be responsible for all aspects of personnel management, ensuring the County is in compliance with all applicable Federal and State labor laws. In addition, he will administer all County-sponsored employee benefits for a workforce of more than 300 staff members, will oversee Worker’s Compensation and act as the primary source of information pertaining to payroll deductions, retirement, disability, etc.  for employees and retirees. He will also be responsible for setting and allocating the county’s HR budget and for annual reports to the Department of Labor and reports to OSHA.

 

Prior to working in city and county government, Ayscue served as HR Director for Handcrafted Homes, LLC of Henderson and in supervisory roles for the Employment Security Commission in Vance, Franklin and Warren Counties.

 

A graduate of N.C. State University, Ayscue holds a degree in Business Management – with concentrations in Human Resource Management and Finance – and completed training in a two-year Certified Public Manager Program at the N.C. Office of State Personnel in Raleigh in 2006. He also holds certifications as “SPHR” (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and “SHRM-SCP” (Society for Human Resources Management, Senior Certified Professional).

 

He and his wife Amy have two children, ages 15 and 18, and attend Central Baptist Church in Henderson.

 

The Granville County Library System welcomes Andrew Maloney as branch manager of the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford.

 

Maloney comes to Granville County from the Boston Public Library in Boston, MA, where he served in several capacities ranging from Fine Arts Archivist and Music Specialist to Readers’ Services Librarian. He brings with him knowledge and experience in cultural research, program development, collections management and library technology, and has plans to use these skills to continue and further enhance the programming already in place.

 

“I hope to expand on what is already being offered by possibly adding more music and movie events and a greater outreach,” Maloney said. “There are so many ways that the library can partner with the community and help people connect, and I am looking forward to exploring those opportunities.”

 

Maloney also credits the library’s Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Library for their enthusiastic support of the Thornton Library.

 

A new resident of Durham, Maloney is a 2012 graduate of the University of Connecticut, majoring in English and Political Science. He received his Master’s degree in Library and information Science at Simmons College Graduate School and earned his North Carolina Public Librarian Certification in 2018.

 

Will Robinson will continue to serve as Director for all four branches of the Granville County Library System, which are located in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea. Both Maloney and Robinson can be reached at 919-693-1121. For more information about the Granville County public libraries, visit https://granville.lib.nc.us/.

 

Both Ayscue and Maloney began work in their new roles on Feb. 1.

 

Welcome, Justin and Andrew!

 

 

 

 

Genealogical program to be presented at Thornton Library

What started as two separate genealogical research projects – one by a woman of primarily African ancestry and one by a man of European descent – eventually intersected when a DNA match connected the two, leading them back to Granville County.

 

The story of the ancestral search of Pamela Williams of Virginia and James Wilson of South Carolina has been presented in educational programs at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and twice at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation of Williamsburg, VA. On Saturday, Feb. 23, the story will come “home” to Granville County during a program in celebration of Black History Month.

 

“Two Races, One Family” will be presented at 1:30 p.m. at the Richard H. Thornton Library as Ms. Williams describes the journey that led to finding her ancestor “Henry,” a Granville County slave prior to the Civil War. What she had not counted on, however, was finding a modern-day relative, James Wilson, who had also been researching his own family tree. Through online genealogical research, as well as through centuries-old documents and court records, both Williams and Wilson followed leads to an 1842 court case involving the intestate estate of Robert Burton Wilson (James’ 4th great-grandfather) which listed 28 slaves. One of these slaves was Williams’ second great-grandfather “Henry,” along with his mother “Hanah,” who would have been Williams’ third great-grandmother.

 

Through DNA testing in 2016, it was determined that Williams and Wilson had a common paternal ancestor, which made them distant cousins.

 

The February 23 presentation at the Thornton Library will include the story of Williams’ and Wilson’s personal ancestral journeys, focusing on Williams’ traditional and online genealogy research, Wilson’s ancestry research and family tree development, and the DNA testing that brought the two researchers together. The presentation will also bring to light cultural norms of the period and an insight into the slave/master relationships of tobacco plantations during the Colonial/Antebellum era.

 

A retired Probate Specialist from the Spotsylvania Circuit Court (VA), Pamela Williams – a native of Granville County and a 1977 graduate of J.F. Webb High School – is a paralegal employed with Herndon Law, P.C.  in Glen Allen, VA. She has 20 years’ experience in ancestry research and preservation and has spoken at numerous conferences on genealogy and the importance of court records and historical documents in researching ancestral heritage.

 

James Wilson, who began his genealogical research as a hobby, is Chief Performance Officer for a North Carolina 100 company. He grew up on a plot of land that was once owned by his 5th great-grandfather John Wilson, who was one of the early European settlers in Granville County in the 1760’s. Today, James lives in Greenville, SC.

 

Wilson’s daughter, Dr. Jamie Wilson, provided the cultural context of the research conducted by both Williams and her father. Dr. Wilson holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History and is an adjunct professor of history at the University of South Carolina. She is considered an expert on antebellum slavery.

 

“Every journey in life leaves a trail,” Williams said of her experience. “Follow the trails and they will lead to the paths of your ancestors.”

 

The “Two Races, One Family” presentation is open to the public and all interested in learning more about genealogy, the use of historical archives, Colonial plantations, slavery laws in Granville County and how the lives of these two researchers eventually intersected are invited to attend. For further information about this program, contact the Richard H. Thornton Library at 919-693-1121.

 

 

Senior Centers celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and Granville County Senior Services has scheduled several events in celebration of the month-long observance.

 

The Granville County Senior Center in Oxford will host a program at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Jean Lawson of Stovall will share various aspects of black culture through Negro spirituals, poetry written in dialect and special readings.

 

The North Granville Senior Center in Stovall will hold their observance on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and  on Wednesday, Feb. 20 as Sallyann Hobson presents “A Tale of Two Murders -Finding History in Old Court Records.” These presentations will focus on two murder cases that took place in 1894 and 1895 – both involving Mr. Solomon Marable – and will be shared sequentially. The murders of two women, Ida Marrow in Stovall and Lucy Jane Pollard in Lunenburg County, VA were highly publicized and are the subject of continued interest today. Ms. Hobson’s exploration into these murder trials have allowed her to uncover interesting clues noted in the 125-year old court records as well as further insights into the realities of African-American life just before the turn of the century. Both programs will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the Feb. 13 presentation focusing on the Granville County case and the Feb. 20 program centering around the Lunenburg County, VA murder. 

 

The South Granville Senior Center in Creedmoor will present “Senior Center Feud,” a fun and entertaining take on the popular game show “Family Feud” at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 15. 

 

On Monday, Feb. 25, students from Christian Faith Center Academy will be “Stepping Through History” with songs, poetry, biographies and more at the Senior Center in Oxford. Students in kindergarten through seventh grade will also share their research of famous African-Americans and black culture. This presentation is scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

 

The Granville County Senior Center in Oxford is located at 107 Lanier Street; the South Granville Senior Center is located at 614 NC 56 Highway; and the North Granville Senior Center is located at 118 Highway 15 in Stovall. Call 919-693-1930 (Oxford)’ 919-528-0148 (Creedmoor) or 919-693-3383 (Stovall) for more information about these events.

 

 

Animal Shelter announces change in schedule

A change in operating hours has been announced by the Granville County Animal Shelter.

 

Every third  Wednesday of each month ONLY, the Shelter will be closed to the public for staff development and training. Animal Control officers will still be on call during these hours.

 

Hours of operation for the rest of the month will remain unchanged, as the Shelter is open from noon until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

 

The Granville County Animal Shelter is located at 5650 Cornwall Road in Oxford. For questions, please contact the Shelter at 919-693-6749.

 

 

 

Economic expert takes tour of Triangle North Granville

A visit our area and a tour of Triangle North Granville was recently made by Economic Advisor Gary Marx, who has more than 30 years’ experience in economic development and site selection.

 

Triangle North Granville, located in Oxford, is a development-ready industrial park that is part of the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina. Covering more than 500 acres, Triangle North Granville consists of building locations that can be adjusted to meet the needs of companies wishing to build/relocate in close proximity to the RTP.

 

The local visit was part of a larger tour of the Triangle Region arranged by the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. Marx, a principal with BlueCap Economic Advisors, has vast experience in economic development, which includes corporate relocation, incentive negotiation and government relations. While serving with the state of New Jersey’s Commerce Department, Marx was responsible for attracting more than 100 companies to New Jersey during a four-year period, creating more than 26,000 new jobs.

 

Participating in the visit and tour were Commissioners Tim Karan and David Smith, along with Economic Development Director Harry Mills.

 

Thornton Library to host free concert

Today’s Granville County Library System provides more than just books and informational resources, serving as a local cultural center with programs scheduled for all ages and backgrounds. On Feb. 21, the Richard H. Thornton branch will welcome Buck Meek – a musician influenced by blues, jazz and western swing – as well as Twain, a longtime artist in folk music circles.

 

With musical roots in the Texas countryside, Buck Meek was taught to play the guitar by his mother, who showed him chords on an acoustic guitar when he was only six years old.  His first “gig” was booked as a teenager playing rhythm for a local band, and his love of music continued to grow.

 

Meek would later move to New York, where he met and formed a strong friendship with singer/songwriter Adrianne Lenker. The two became a duo and made recordings together while playing their songs at various events and venues as they developed a grass roots following. Their partnership gradually grew into a band called “Big Thief” which included Lenker, Meek and Max Oleartchic on bass. Together they would play shows and make new recordings with their engineer, James Krivchenia, who later became the band’s drummer. Their collaborative work became a collection of songs called “Masterpiece” in 2016.  “Capacity” was recorded in 2017 as the band set out on a North American tour, performing all over the country.

 

Meek went on to record a self-titled solo album – recently released – and has scheduled tour dates from California and Oregon on the west coast to Maryland and North Carolina on the eastern seaboard. North Carolina stops include Durham and Asheville, where concert tickets can be reserved in the $10 to $12 range.

 

Opening for Meek is “Twain.” Mat Davidson, a singer/songwriter in his own right and member of a multi-instrumental band, is a native of Franklin County, VA. Davidson has a long history in folk music circles and served as opening act for “Big Thief” on several occasions. He has performed with groups “Low Anthem” and “Spirit Family Reunion” as well as recording several self-released albums.

 

Taking a break from their concert tour, Buck Meek and Twain will perform their music at the Thornton Library, 210 Main Street in Oxford, from 6 until 8 p.m. on Feb. 21. This concert is free and open to the public.

 

For more information, contact Adult Services Librarian Ashley Wilson at 919-693-1121. Visit https://granville.lib.nc.us to learn more about the programs and services offered by the Granville County Library System.

 

Pictured are Buck Meek (left) and “Twain” (right).

 

 

     

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