Archive for July, 2020

Genealogy books donated to Richard H. Thornton Library

Allen Dew of Granville County, along with the Granville County Genealogical Society, recently donated more than 350 books to the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford. The books, which are no longer in print, will be added to an extensive collection in the North Carolina Room, a section of the library devoted to state and local history that is well-known for its genealogical records.


Dew had learned of the closure of an out-of-state private library and inquired about the fate of the books that were housed there. With no local interest, Dew was told the books would be discarded. After asking if he could have them, dozens of boxes were later delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Upon arrival, however, Dew noted that the books had been disassembled, with the spines detached. With donation of the books as his intent, Dew was able to negotiate a fair price with a professional rebinding company to restore the books to library standards. 


Despite delays resulting from COVID-19 and the temporary closure of the bindery, the book rebinding project was completed, with the books being donated to the library on July 28. Dew estimates the value of each book to be approximately $25 each, with a total cost of more than $8,750, had the books not been acquired through a donation.


“The subject matter in these books covers historical records for Granville County and dozens of other counties surrounding Granville,” Dew said. “Genealogy and history researchers may now search for their ancestors in these books, which are not available in other libraries or on the internet.”


Dew estimates that more than 1,000 books have been donated to the Richard H. Thornton Library in the past three years, due to finds through private collections and library closures.


The collection will be made available to the public in coming weeks. The Granville County Library System is now operating on a limited schedule, Monday through Friday. Contact the Library at 919-693-1121 for hours and for patron guidelines. 









Granville County Law Enforcement Center readies to open

With the completion of construction work at Granville County’s new Law Enforcement Center, finishing details are now being addressed for the move-in of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and for the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center, which will soon follow.


The project has been ten years in the making, after a space needs study determined the existing 4,900-square-foot facility was no longer adequate. After consideration of several possible sites, the county closed on 35 acres on New Commerce Drive in Oxford in August of 2017. Situated just off I-85, the location is easily accessible from Butner, Creedmoor and Oxford and is a short drive from the Granville County Courthouse.


The new Law Enforcement Center will enable the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Communications Center and Detention Center to operate under one roof. Plans are for the Detention Center to be transitioned into the new facility in the fall and to be fully operational by the end of the year.


For economies of scale, the Board had also approved the construction of a new animal shelter on the same site, which is also in the final stages of completion. This new facility will include additional kennel space, areas for public interaction with adoptable animals, and administrative offices for Animal Shelter staff and Animal Control. The existing Shelter is located on the site of a former state prison at 5650 Cornwall Road in Oxford, with no room for expansion.


For the design of both projects, the focus was on functionality and security, with a plan to meet the county’s needs for the next 35+ years. Moseley Architects and Bordeaux Construction were awarded contracts for the design and construction of both projects. A ground-breaking ceremony was held in March of 2019 to officially kick off work on the 88,000 square-foot law enforcement center and the 8,500-square-foot animal shelter.


Granville County’s Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr. will be hosting an Open House and Ribbon Cutting for the new Law Enforcement Center on Aug. 10 from 2 until 4 p.m., with a program scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend and to take a tour of the facility. An Open House for the Animal Shelter will be held at a later date.


The Granville County Law Enforcement Center is located in Oxford at 525 New Commerce Drive.


(Aerial photo courtesy of Bordeaux Construction)



Granville County Sheriff advises to be aware of COVID-19 scams

Granville County Sheriff Charles Noblin, Jr. advises that scammers have been “pulling out all the stops” to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic, using illegal robocalls, phony websites, bogus emails and other forms of communication. In the Summer 2020 Newsletter from the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, Sheriff Noblin offers a warning to be aware and to look to trusted sources of information to stay safe and avoid being a victim.


According to the North Carolina Department of Justice (NCDOJ), there have been reports of scammers knocking on doors trying to peddle fake cures and test kits, as well as cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. At the same time, price gougers have been driving up prices on necessities like toilet paper, food products, gasoline, disinfectants and hand sanitizer.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the release of economic relief payments offer scammers yet another opportunity to trick citizens out of their money and personal information. Social Security beneficiaries have reported receiving calls from scammers claiming to be from the United States Treasury Department, the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service, who try to convince them to give out confidential information such as their bank account number, Social Security information or government benefits debit card number.


According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are ways for consumers to avoid falling victim to coronavirus-related scams:


  • 1. Do not respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. The Internal Revenue Service will not contact you by telephone, email, text message or social media;
  • 2. Ignore online offers for vaccinations, since there are no products proven to prevent or cure the coronavirus at this time;
  • 3. Be wary of ads for test kits;
  • 4. Hang up on robocalls;
  • 5. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization, and report any concerns;
  • 6. Do your homework when making donations. Never make a contribution by cash, in gift cards or through wiring money.

To file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. 


(Pictured below is Granville County Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr.)



Proclamation issued in honor of Granville Commissioner

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Commissioner Owen Roberts, who lost his battle with cancer on July 21, Chairman David T. Smith of the Granville County Board of Commissioners has issued a proclamation ordering flags of the United States, North Carolina and Granville County to be flown at half-staff at all County buildings and grounds.


Representing District 5, Comm. Roberts was sworn into office in December of 2016 and served on several committees, which included the Board of Equalization and Review, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and the Upper Neuse River Basin Committee. He also served as Planning Board Liaison, Solid Waste Liaison and Liaison to the Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as being an Ex-Officio member of the Granville Health System Board of Trustees.


Flags are to be flown at half-staff until Comm. Roberts’ interment. Funeral services were pending at the time of this proclamation.








Granville moves up rankings in state Census response

In a Census briefing held on June 23, Granville County had moved up on a listing of state response rankings, in large part due to a countywide mailing that reached more than 26,000 households. The local appeal, in the form of a letter signed by Granville County Addressing/GIS Manager Sandy Woody and approved by the Board of Commissioners at their June 1 meeting, was intended to boost participation in the 2020 Census.


As a result of this effort, the mailing was singled out by the North Carolina State Data Center and the N.C. Counts Coalition as being instrumental in helping move the county from #21 into the #16 spot in a ranking of statewide participation.


“Granville County wanted to be proactive,” it was said in the briefing. “Locals know their communities and how to reach them, and local folks respond to people they know.”


There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census – by mail, by phone, and (for the first time ever) online, with responses being accepted in thirteen languages. By mid-June, more than 90 million U.S. households had responded (61.4 percent). Almost 80 percent of those responses were made through online participation, with 1.3 percent responding by phone and 18.7 percent responding through paper questionnaires.


As of July 14, the 2020 Census response rate in Granville County was 62.3 percent, compared to North Carolina’s rate of 58.3 percent. Locally, the Town of Stem continues to lead the way with 69.9 percent of residents participating, followed by the City of Creedmoor, the City of Oxford, the Town of Butner and the Town of Stovall.


Mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted every ten years, the Census is used to determine how billions of dollars in federal and state funding is distributed. Appropriations for roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and many other community needs are determined by population, which is reflected through Census data.


“We all know how important this is for federal and state dollars, as we’re seeing this through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Board of Commissioners Chair David T. Smith. “Let’s all do our part to make Granville County count.”


Self responses will be collected through Oct. 31 and Census workers will begin visiting households beginning Aug. 11. Please note that households that receive mail through a Post Office box should provide their street address (not their PO box number) when responding to ensure that their response is associated with a physical location where they live, not where they receive mail.



To respond by phone, call 844-330-2020. Online responses can be made through To learn more about Census 2020, please visit

Special meeting notice, Board of Commissioners

Please take notice that the Granville County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.  


In order to adhere to the COVID-19 restrictions, members of the Board will participate via simultaneous communication. Members of the public may only attend via simultaneous communication using call-in information. The public dial-in information is below:


Public Dial-in Information


Passcode is 583341


The Board anticipates going into closed session pursuant to G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3), (5) and (a)(6).



Debra A. Weary, Clerk

Granville County Board of Commissioners




Granville County Library System to ease restrictions

The Granville County Library System will ease restrictions to the public beginning July 21. The re-opening will be accompanied by procedures put into place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, which include:


  • The number of patrons in each library branch will be limited to support social distancing guidelines. Each patron should limit the number of people brought in with them;
  • Library patrons may browse the shelves or pick up holds Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Richard H. Thornton and South Branch Libraries. (Contact Stovall and Berea branches for their hours);
  • An emphasis will be placed on mobile printing and the quick selection of materials;
  • Face coverings over the nose and mouth will be required;
  • Computer usage will be limited to 30 minutes a day with limited, remote assistance;
  • Curbside pick-up will continue;
  • Designated areas will be closed off, such as the Children’s area; and
  • Some materials will be restricted, including magazines, newspapers, Legos, and puzzles.

To follow public health requirements, hand sanitizer will be available and high-touch public areas will be cleaned frequently. Protective barriers at circulation and information desks have also been installed. 


Areas that will remain closed to the public include:

  • the Children’s Library at the Thornton Library in Oxford;
  • the Picture Book section at the South Branch Library;
  • tables; and
  • meeting rooms.

Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services – WEAR a cloth face covering; WAIT in line at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Library visits should be postponed if experiencing symptoms of illness.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all four branches of the Granville County Library System (in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea) have been closed to the public since March 21 for safety precautions. “Virtual programming,” curbside service and other precautionary measures have been in place since that time.




Keep up-to-date by visiting the Granville County Government website at or following the library system’s social media page.

Granville 4-H members participate in District Activity Day

Three Granville County 4-H members presented at the North Central District 4-H District Activity Day. Participating members and the categories they competed in include:


Samuel Dickerson – Public Speaking
Abby Holsomback- Horse Presentations
Ella Holsomback – Presentations


Samuel Dickerson had placed “gold” on the county level before moving on to the district competition. Abby and Ella Holsomback won “gold” in their respective age divisions/categories for the district and will now advance to state level competition.


The 2020 4-H District Activity Day was conducted virtually due to the ongoing COVID19 impacts. Instead of competing in person in front of judges, competitors were asked to record a “one-cut” video of their presentation or demonstration, then upload it to a registration form with the help of their 4-H agent. Members were required to be featured on-screen at all times. Judges viewed presentations remotely and scored presenters on several criteria, including – but not limited to – voice, confidence and knowledge on subject matter, and professional appearance.


Abby and Ella will re-record their presentations incorporating the suggestions given by the district level judges. The new recordings will be submitted for judging at the state level at NC 4-H presentations competition.


An annual event, District Activity Day gives 4-H members an opportunity to practice public speaking skills while developing essential life skills for future success in their personal and professional lives.  


The North Carolina 4-H Congress will also be conducted virtually this year, and the same format will apply.


To learn more about opportunities available through Granville County 4-H, please contact Agent Lina Lue Howe at 919-603-1350 or at

Granville County Government welcomes addition to team

Granville County Government announces that Korena Weichel will be joining the administrative team as Assistant County Manager. Weichel brings 20+ years of managerial experience and 12 years’ experience in local government to her new role as she has most recently served as City Manager for the City of Creedmoor (beginning as Interim Manager in 2018) and Assistant City Manager (since 2013). Weichel also held the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Creedmoor for five years, as well as having prior experience in financial reporting, human resources and marketing.


“I have enjoyed serving the citizens of the Creedmoor community and appreciate the opportunity to work alongside such a dedicated staff to accomplish many goals and initiatives over the past twelve years,” Weichel says. “I am pleased to continue working in Granville County, and I am looking forward to supporting all our municipalities at the county level.”


As Assistant County Manager, Weichel will work with the County Manager in researching policy recommendations and long-range approaches for program services implemented by the county, and will serve as project manager for multi-department projects and as liaison for interdepartmental contacts. In addition to other duties, Weichel will assist the County Manager with the planning and development of programs, as directed by the Board of Commissioners, as well as negotiating contracts, monitoring the budget and submitting proposals and reports.


A fall graduate of UNC Pembroke with a degree in Public and Non-Profit Administration, Weichel holds an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Vance-Granville Community College. She has also completed programs of governmental studies from the UNC School of Government, including Municipal and County Administration and Public Executive Leadership Academy, and presently serves on the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ (NCLM) Human Resources Advisory Committee and the N.C. City and County Manager’s Association’s (NCCCMA) Planning Committee.


Weichel is married and has one son, who also serves in local government as Finance Director for the Town of Valdese, NC (Burke County).


She begins work with Granville County Government on Aug. 17.









Warning issued for methanol-based hand sanitizers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory for consumers regarding methanol-based hand sanitizers. According to the CDC Health Alert Network, hand sanitizers manufactured by a company based in Mexico could include methanol, also called “wood alcohol,” an ingredient that can be toxic if absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening if ingested.


Hand washing and hygiene are an important part of the COVID-19 response and is used to help prevent community spread. Commercially available products usually contain either ethanol or isopropanol; however, some products have been found to contain a significant amount of methanol. Clinical effects of methanol poisoning include headaches, blurred vision, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of coordination or decreased alertness. If untreated, methanol poisoning can result in blindness or be fatal.


If experiencing any of the above symptoms from repeated use of methanol-based hand sanitizer, those affected should seek immediate medical attention or contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for medical advice. Remember that these products are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health issues. Only use alcohol-based hand sanitizers (or rubs) for their intended purpose – to clean hands. Keep out of the reach of children and supervise the use of these products.


The FDA has been working with manufacturers and distributors of methanol-based hand sanitizers on a voluntary recall and advises consumers to not use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico. It is futher recommended that these products be disposed of immediately. Products manufactured by this company include “All Clean” hand sanitizer,” “Esk Biochem” hand sanitizer, “CleanCare No Germ Advanced” hand sanitizer, “Lavar 70 Gel” hand sanitizer, “The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel” hand sanitizer, “CleanCare NoGerm Advanced” hand sanitizer, and “Saniderm Advanced” hand sanitizer.


The FDA offers a reminder to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.


Those who would like more information on the recall should check their hand sanitizer products against the “FDA’s Testing and Manufacturer’s Recall List” on the FDA website at

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