As the year 2020 arrives, Granville County’s “senior” residents should look for changes that will affect them as the year unfolds. Senior Services Director Kathy May offers a reminder that seniors should expect changes to social security, and Medicare that will make an impact on their finances and their healthcare. Changes to be expected are listed below:
Social Security recipients will be receiving a 1.6 percent cost of living raise;
The deductible for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) will increase to $1.408 per benefit period. This deductible will not be of impact unless admitted for an in-patient hospitalization. For those who have a private supplement to go with their Medicare, the supplement should cover this dedictible, should they be admitted as an in-patient. The premium for Part A continues to be $0 for those who have more than 40 quarters (10 years) of Medicare-covered employment;
The deductible for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will increase to $198 per year. In addition, the premium for Part B is increasing to $144.60 per month. (The premium will be higher for individuals who have high incomes.) For most people, this premium is deducted directly from their Social Security check;
Supplement plans (private plans that can be purchased to fill the gaps in Medicare) are standardized in North Carolina, and are lettered A through N. Plan F, which has been the most popular plan for more than 20 years, can no longer be purchased after Jan. 1 for those who are new to Medicare. Those already on Plan F can keep it if they would like to do so. It covers the Medicare Part B deductible ($198 each year) as well as 20 percent of everything else that Medicare approves. It is recommended that those with questions or concerns should contact their insurance carrier;
Medicare Advantage open enrollment period is Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year. During this time frame, it is possible to switch Medicare Advantage plans (known as Medicare Part C). These plans are specific to the county of residence, so it is recommended to call doctors and local hospitals tp ensure acceptance of the plan being considered.
Granville County Senior Services helps inform, prepare and offer assistance to our seniors. For questions about these changes, as well as other concerns, please contact your local Senior Center in Oxford (919-693-1930), Creedmoor (919-528-0848) or Stovall (919-693-3383).
The AgVentures program is currently accepting applications from farmers to help them implement new and innovative project ideas that will help increase farm profitability and diversify farm operations. Granville County farmers are eligible to apply for these funds. Grant awards can be made up to $8,000, with funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Grant ideas that help current or former tobacco growers to diversify their operations or establish new enterprises will help this program continue into the future.
For more information on the AgVentures grant program, please visit agventures.ces.ncsu.edu. A sample application form is provided that can be used to gather necessary information. The link to the online application can be found there. A workshop presentation for applicants to review – before completing the application – is also available.
The application deadline is Jan. 14, 2020. Contact the Granville County NC Cooperative Extension Center at 919-603-1350 for more information or for assistance with the application.
Residents of Granville County, please watch your mail for the 2020 listing forms. You should list any of the following items owned as of January 1, 2020:
- All new construction and improvements made to real property during 2019;
- Unregistered vehicles (Registered or licensed vehicles should not be listed);
- Business personal property including IRP, multi-year or permanently tagged vehicles/trailers; and
- Non-household personal property (ex. Boats and motors, jet skis, air planes).
The listing period is during the month of January. Failing to list during this period will result in a 10 percent late listing penalty of the tax levied. All listings, including those submitted by mail, should be received in the Tax Department or postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service within the listing period.
Application deadlines for exemptions:
Elderly, Disabled and Circuit Breaker, January 1 – June 1, 2020
Present Use Value deferments and all other exemptions, January 1 – January 31, 2020
Applications may be obtained from the Tax Department.
The Granville County Tax Department staff will be available for assistance during the listing period, Monday through Wed and Friday 8:30a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday 9:30a.m.-5p.m. at 141 Williamsboro St. Oxford, NC 27565.
This is the 27th day of December 2019
Tax Administrator, Granville County
Granville County’s Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services Unit, hosted a Christmas party on Dec. 13 for adult wards and other residents of Family and Adult Care homes. The event was held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, where guests of honor enjoyed a meal, Christmas carols, fellowship and gift-giving. Gifts that were exchanged were donated by agency employees, community sponsors and local businesses.
The Granville County Department of Social Services is located at 410 West Spring Street in Oxford. For information about services provided, please visit https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/social-services/ or call 919-693-1511.
In observance of the 35th year of the Grassy Creek Christmas Parade, held annually in the northern area of Granville County, Granville County Commissioners issued a proclamation in an opening ceremony held on Saturday, Dec. 14. What started as a small, rural parade has since grown to become a unique and creative community-wide event that is highly anticipated each year.
The proclamation, read by Board of Commissioners Chairman David Smith alongside fellow Commissioners and special guests, marked the history of the event and its significance to the community. This year’s parade was bittersweet as a fire destroyed local landmark Weary’s Supply just days before the event. The store had been an integral part of the parade since its inception.
Commissioners extended “sincere congratulations” as it honored the Grassy Creek Community on the anniversary of the 35th annual Christmas parade.
(See proclamation below)
The Granville County Sheriff’s Office reports incidents of fraud, as residents – especially senior citizens – are being targeted during the holiday season. Detective Lieutenant Bob Critcher advises all residents to be cautious of phone calls that ask for money or the purchase of “green dot” cards. Some callers are also identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are requesting payments over the phone. Detective Critcher offers a reminder that the IRS does not ask for payments by phone, and to also be careful of those selling items online, as not all sellers are legitimate.
If anyone has any concerns or questions about a phone call in which money is requested, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 919-693-3213.
Employees of Granville County Government were recognized for milestone years of service at an appreciation breakfast held earlier this month. Earning recognitions were staff members with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 year-careers, representing many departments and agencies under the Granville County Government “umbrella.”
35 years: Warren Daniel, Granville County Soil and Water District
30 years: Dale Evans, Inspections Department
25 years: Luanne Cox, Department of Social Services
Angela Wright, Granville County Senior Services
Chris Smoot, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
20 years: Sharon Ellis, Granville County Library System
Sharon Jones, Granville County Tax Office
Amy Humphries, Granville County Library System
Lowell Wilkins, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Emma Green, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Timothy McCall, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Tara Short, Department of Social Services
Laura Thomas, Department of Social Services
Benji Laws, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
15 years: Angela Balmer, Register of Deeds Office
Charissa Puryear, Granville County Cooperative Extension
Stacy Adams, Department of Social Services
Sherry Stainback, Department of Social Services
Robin Edwards, Granville County Emergency Services
Willie Richards, Environmental Programs
Nicole Duke, Department of Social Services
10 years: Debra Weary, Administration
Justin Jorgensen, Planning Department
Raymond Allen, Parks and Grounds Department
Brad O’Briant, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Daniel Tillotson, Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Chris Brame, Information Technology
Kimberly Hargrove, Department of Social Services
Stacy Hicks, Emergency Communications
5 years: Jontrell Bullock, Granville County Detention Center
Danya Rumple, Granville County Animal Management
Beverly Ferrell, Department of Social Services
Elliott Carver, Granville County Sheriiff’s Office
Matthew Katz, Granville County Animal Management
Trent Brummitt, Emergency Communications
Jennifer Griffin, Granville County Tax Office
“Each of these employees demonstrates dedication to the job every day,” said Board of Commissioners Chair David Smith in his welcoming remarks. “Their hard work makes a difference in our county, our region and our state, and we thank them for all they do for the many residents who live here.”
The annual breakfast was held on Dec. 5 in the fellowship hall of Oxford United Methodist Church. On behalf of the Board and County Manager Michael Felts, Chairman Smith also thanked volunteers of the church who served the meal and helped organize the event.
With only a few shopping days until Christmas, Granville County Sheriff’s Office offers a reminder for residents to stay safe while completing their holiday shopping lists. This time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of the larger crowds and extended store hours. Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd encourages everyone to practice these safety tips:
- A single shopper is the best target for theft. Always shop with a friend or relative;
- When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return;
- Shop during daylight hours. If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area;
- Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry;
- If carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket rather than in a purse of wallet. This makes it much more difficult for a pick-pocket to remove;
- Store car keys in a pants or jacket pocket. That way, if your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive home.
- Have car keys in your hand so that you can avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of being inside your vehicle;
- Pay careful attention to your surroundings and avoid overloading yourself with packages;
- When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat. Be aware of any strangers approaching you for any reason;
- If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone – for any reason – find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.
During this time of year, busy holiday shoppers are often more vulnerable than during the rest of the year. Shop smart and be safe while completing your Christmas lists.
Granville County is bringing in the holiday season! Mark your calendars for these upcoming holiday events:
A Gift Wrapping and Cookie Swap will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford on Saturday, Dec. 7. Hours are from noon until 5 p.m. While wrapping gifts and enjoying hot chocolate, participants will sample cookies and share cookie recipes. All gift wrapping supplies will be provided. For more details, contact Adult Services Librarian Stefani Perry at 919-693-1121.
The “Young At Heart Chorus” will present a Holiday Sing-A-Long on Monday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. at the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford. This singing group, formed through the Creative Lifelong Learning Program of Granville County Senior Services, will include holiday favorites and special treats. Call Marilyn Howard at 919-693-1930 for more information.
Learn how to make holiday candles and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your Granville County public library. The Library System’s “Crafternoon” series continues with a workshop at the Stovall Library on Dec. 9 (2 p.m.), the South Branch in Creedmoor on Dec. 11 (6:30 p.m.) and the Berea Library on Dec. 19 (5:30 p.m.) Registration is required to reserve materials for this event. For details, contact Stefani Perry at 919-693-1121.
Want to make your own personalized Christmas gift? Join the Granville County Library System for these fun Cricut workshops. Bring your own coffee mugs, plates or other items you would like to have personalized to the Stovall Library (Dec. 11), the Berea Library (Dec. 12), or the South Branch in Creedmoor (Dec. 18). All workshops will be held at 2 p.m. and supplies will be provided. The event is for ages 18 and up. Call Stefani Perry at 919-693-1121.
A Barn Quilt Painting Class will be held on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford. Scheduled through the Creative Lifelong Learning program, the class offers an opportunity to learn more about quilt designs as participants create their own painting for themselves or for a holiday gift. Nancy Peele will serve as instructor for this class. Register by calling Marilyn Howard at 919-693-1930.
Make a wooden snowman with “Crafts for Every Season,” offered through the Creative Lifelong Learning program of Granville County Senior Services. This hands-on workshop will be held on Dec. 13 from 9:30 until 11 a.m. at the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford. Instructor is Christine Luscavich. Call Marilyn Howard at 919-693-1930 to register.
Have your pets’ photos made with Santa and enjoy refreshments as the Animal Shelter hosts its annual holiday event. Santa will be available on Dec. 14 beginning at 11 a.m. at Coldwell Banker Advantage, 2555-A Capital Drive in Creedmoor. For details, contact the Granville County Animal Shelter at 919-693-6749.
Create your own hand-crafted holiday chocolates at the Thornton Library on Dec. 14. Beginning at 2 p.m., make (and sample) peppermint chocolate candies. (Must be 18 years of age and older to participate.) Contact Stefani Perry, Adult Services Librarian, at 919-693-1121.
Santa and his elves will be turning the South Branch Library in Creedmoor into a winter wonderland from 4 until 6 p.m. on Dec. 18. Bring your kids for pictures, greetings and special Christmas wishes. Or enjoy Stories with Santa at the Thornton Library in Oxford at 5 p.m.– while making a fun holiday craft—on the same day! Visit www.https://granville.lib.nc.us to learn more!
It’s Movie Night at the Thornton Library in Oxford on Dec. 20. Bring your entire family to enjoy “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 6 p.m. The movie experience will be made complete with popcorn for everyone! Call the library at 919-693-1121 for details.
Enjoy holiday music as the South Branch Library hosts a Christmas Piano Student Recital on Dec. 21. Performances begin at 3 p.m., refreshments will be served. To learn more about this event, call Penelope Mason, Branch Manager, at 919-528-1752.
Local author and historian Lewis Bowling will host a “meet and greet” and book signing at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. The event will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford and will introduce Bowling’s book, “Sam Ragan: North Carolina’s Literary Godfather.”
Sam Ragan, also known as the “Berea Bard,” was born to a tobacco farming family in Berea, NC and began writing poetry in grade school. The son of William Samuel Ragan and Emma Clare (Long) Ragan, he would later embark on a career in journalism, where he fine-tuned his writing skills. Except for three years’ service in the U.S. Army, Ragan dedicated his life to the newspaper industry and the written word. His career, which spanned several decades, included work at The San Antonio Evening News in Texas, the Raleigh News and Observer – where he served as state editor, and then executive/managing editor – and The Pilot in Southern Pines, which he purchased in 1968. His column, “Southern Accent” was the oldest and longest-running column in the United States, and was read in 43 states and in 24 foreign countries.
Ragan’s works also include six collections of verse and four non-fiction books. In 1982, Governor Jim Hunt appointed the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame recipient as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate. Other honors include the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts and two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize, as well as many other achievements.
Lewis Bowling’s book, which will be discussed at the Dec. 8 event, describes why Ragan “justly deserves the title of ‘North Carolina’s Literary Godfather.’” An author with accomplishments of his own, Bowling has penned six books on Granville County history – including a book commemorating the 200th anniversary of the City of Oxford – and three books pertaining to sports. Also raised on a tobacco farm in rural Granville County, Bowling has a passion for writing and is a regular contributor to local newspapers with his history column “Looking Back,” which has been published in the Oxford Public Ledger and the Butner Creedmoor News. He now resides in Durham, where he teaches and continues to write.
On Sunday, Bowling invites the public to hear more about the life and accomplishments of Granville County’s own Sam Ragan. For more details, contact the Thornton Library at 919-693-1121.
The Richard H. Thornton Library is located at 210 Main Street in Oxford and is one of four branches of the Granville County Library System. To learn more about upcoming events in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea, please visit https://granville.lib.nc.us.