Archive for August, 2020

Commissioners urge Census participation in our county

To all Granville County residents:


The 2020 Census is here, and Census takers have been going door to door in our area since Aug. 11 to ensure that every household is counted in this once-a-decade population count.


Granville County currently ranks number twelve of all 100 counties in our state for response rates. While that is something to be proud of, we would like to do better, so that we are fairly represented when federal funding decisions are made that impact healthcare, education, transportation, community services and other critical needs for the next 20 years.


Across the entire state, North Carolina is currently undercounted in the 2020 Census, which equates to a loss of approximately $74 billion in federal funding. If you have already responded to the 2020 Census, we thank you for your participation. If you have not yet responded, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible, as the deadline is quickly approaching. Surveys have been made available online, by phone or by mail – and it only takes about 10 minutes to complete.


To respond online, please visit Responses by phone are taken by calling 844-330-2020 (English) and 844-468-2020 (Spanish). You can also send in printed questionnaires that were mailed out or brought to your door earlier this year. The participation deadline – whichever response option you choose – is Sept. 30. All information is confidential.


Responding to the Census is convenient, it’s quick, it’s safe and it’s important. We urge all residents to participate, and to make Granville County count!



Granville County Board of Commissioners


David T. Smith, Chair, District Two

Sue Hinman, Vice-Chair, District Three

Zelodis Jay, District One

Tony Cozart, District Four

Timothy Karan, District 6

Edgar Smoak, District 7






Partnership leads to successful drug seizures

Members of the Community Resource Team, which consists of deputies from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, recently conducted vehicle stops on I-85, in the vicinity of Butner, for traffic violations. During these traffic stops, probable cause was obtained to conduct a search of the vehicles.


In total, approximately 160 pounds of marijuana were located and seized. These traffic stops were made on July 30, Aug. 19 and Aug. 20.


“We are grateful for this partnership with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office,” said Granville County Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr. “With their assistance, we were able to get these drugs off our streets.”


The Granville County Sheriff’s Office is now open in their new location at 525 New Commerce Drive in Oxford. Their phone number remains the same at 919-693-3213.







Bowling to create book celebrating county milestone

Granville County will be soon be marking a celebratory milestone, as the 275th anniversary of the area’s founding will be observed in mid-2021. Local author Lewis Bowling has been contracted by Granville County Government and the county’s 275th Anniversary Committee to create a comprehensive collector-style book focusing on the history and development of the county.


The book will soon be available for pre-sale to the public.


Granville County was formed in 1746 – thirty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence – and was named in honor of the second Earl of Granville, Lord John Carteret. King George II had given most of the land that is present-day Granville County to Carteret as part of the Granville Grant in the 1660s. The first settlers here were attracted to the area by the availability of land at a fair price. An early trading path helped make Granville one of the gateways to the unsettled areas south of Virginia.


Bowling’s book will follow the development of Granville County from its early history to present day, with a narrative accompanied by photos that have yet to be seen by the public.


“I have been gathering new material for most of the summer,” Bowling said, “and have had a good response from folks who have been willing to share their photos with me. I appreciate the community’s help and support.”


Additional photos and information, Bowling explains, have come from the Masonic Home for Children, the Central Children’s Home, the North Carolina Room of the Richard H. Thornton Library, and the archives of the Oxford Public Ledger.


Bowling has already published several books that feature the history of the area, including commemorative books for the City of Oxford’s bicentennial and for Camp Butner’s 75th anniversary, celebrated in 2016 and in 2017.


“There is so much history here,” Bowling said of Granville County. “Even with all my research, I have not even come close to covering all of it.”


The 275th Anniversary Committee was established by Granville County Government to plan for this milestone observance. Representatives of all five municipalities, along with county officials, staff members and volunteers, comprise the committee, which has grown in number as plans are being made. Chairing the committee is Commissioner Sue Hinman, with Comm. David Smith serving as Vice-Chair. Other committee members include Helen Amis (Oxford), Janet Parrott (Stovall), Dave Pavlus (Stem), Emily Champion (Butner), Toni Ann Wheeler (Creedmoor), Comm. Zelodis Jay (Oak Hill Community), Angela Allen (Granville County Tourism Director) and Mark Pace (Granville County Library System), as well as Patrice Wilkerson and Lynn Allred (Granville County Administration).


Those who reserve copies of the book in advance can save $5.00 off the book’s retail price, which will be set at less than $50.


“In all of our 275 years, there has not been a comprehensive book written about Granville County that could serve as a stand-alone work like this,” said committee member and North Carolina Room Specialist Mark Pace.


An easily-identifiable design to designate 2021 as the 275th anniversary of Granville County has also been adopted to help promote this observance. Additional details will soon be announced, as well as plans for next year’s celebration.


The 275th Anniversary Committee continues to meet monthly, with the next meeting scheduled at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17. For more information about this commemorative book, contact Mark Pace at the Richard H. Thornton Library at 919-693-1121. To learn more about the work of the planning committee, please contact Commissioner Sue Hinman at 919-691-1183 or at






Have you received unsolicited seeds from China?

A few weeks ago, people across the country and in Granville County received seed packets that they never ordered. Those seeds were from China, and there has been great concern that the seeds contain invasive species. People were, and still are, asked to not plant those seeds. Instead, the UDSA and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) requests notification for pickup by NCDA&CS personnel.


The process for submitting unsolicited seeds to NCDA&CS has changed a bit. People are still asked to go online to report receipt of these seeds at or to call 1-800-206-9333.


Once the NCDA&CS has been notified, the seed packets should be dropped off at a local county NC Cooperative Extension Centers. Granville County NC Cooperative Extension is located at 125 Oxford Loop Road, Oxford, NC, 27565. NCDA&CS personnel will pick up the seed packets from there.



For questions, please call the Granville County NC Cooperative Extension Center at (919) 603-1350.

Granville included on Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers

With the installation of a quilt block on a historic tobacco barn, the Granville Athletic Park (GAP) is now included on the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers. The block was installed this past Saturday by the Franklin County Arts Council, connecting the GAP and Granville County to a heritage trail that meanders through eastern North Carolina. A description of the block and a brief history of the park will now be included on a travel guide that takes visitors on a cultural journey from one block to the next, county by county.


“Quilt blocks blend history, culture and community, and help tell the stories of the sites where they hang,” says Franklin Arts Council Director Ellen Queen. “Each block has been carefully designed or chosen to trigger the story of the family home, business or historical site where it resides.”


The trail includes Franklin, Vance, Warren, Wake, Nash, Martin, Pitt and Granville Counties. This is Granville’s second block to be included on the trail. One has also been installed at a private residence in Oxford, but is not available for public viewing.


The barn quilt featured at the Granville Athletic Park is easily visible from the main parking lot and walking trail, with a design that reflects the community’s efforts to preserve the property where the block now hangs.


In 1989, the state of North Carolina had joined a multi-state compact with a goal of building five hazardous waste incinerators for private company ThermalKEM. The following year, a list of 18 potential locations had been narrowed to two, with one being in Granville County.


When concerned citizens learned of the state’s intentions, they took action. Oxford attorney John Pike secured a loan from Adams Tobacco Company to purchase the 48-acre Ellok Jones farm, a tract of land in the middle of the proposed 580-acre incinerator site off Belltown Road. Pike then sold $5 ownership shares to thousands of local residents as well as to shareholders around the world. Future negotiations with approximately 8,000 property owners, some living as far away as the Soviet Union and South America – in addition to public protests and the possibility of multiple lawsuits – resulted in the eventual elimination of Granville County as a possible site.


On May 21, 2004, the acreage once proposed as the location for a hazardous waste incinerator was dedicated as the Granville Athletic Park and Jonesland Environmental Preserve. Encompassing 69 acres, today’s GAP is the largest recreational park in the county and provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities for residents and for visitors.


The fitting “Barrister’s Block” quilt design is a tribute to the successful community campaign to preserve the land on Belltown Road. As the role of a “barrister” is to serve as a courtroom advocate, Attorney John Pike – with the support of Granville County citizens – was an advocate for preserving the land. The red and white colors of the quilt block are a nod to the Granville County flag.


This project was partially funded through a mini-grant provided through the Granville Tourism Development Authority.


“The Quilt Trails are a great way for visitors to find Granville County,” said Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen, “and, once they are here, they can explore local restaurants, shops, galleries and more. We’re proud to be a part of this heritage trail and to be able to tell the background story of this part of our county.”


To learn more about the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers, which is the only trail of its kind in the eastern part of the state, please click here:


To visit the Franklin Arts Council website, please visit













Mills appointed to Compliance Commission for Accountability

Granville County Economic Development Director Harry Mills has been appointed to the State Board of Education’s Compliance Commission for Accountability. This Commission, which includes principals, teachers and central office staffs, as well as members of district school boards and the community, is charged with advising the State Board of Education – through the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) – on testing and other issues related to school accountability and improvement.


Issues the Commission is tasked with addressing include proposed changes to the state’s accountability program; the testing code of ethics; test security and administration; auditing procedures that ensure the integrity of testing and accountability programs; and other related issues.


Through his role as Economic Development Director, Mills currently works in partnership with Vance-Granville Community College and with Granville County Public Schools’ Career Technical Education (CTE) program to help prepare students for the work force.



The Compliance Commission for Accountability meets annually (at least) and the term of the appointment is four years. Mills’ appointment extends from Aug. 6, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2023.

Public Notice: possible quorum of Commissioners present

Public notice: a quorum of the Granville County Board of Commissioners may be present at a walk-through of the Veterans Life Center in Butner at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. No action will be taken.


For more information, please contact the County Manager’s Office at 919-693-5240.


-Debra A. Weary


Clerk to the Board

Sheriff offers tips for safe Labor Day holiday

With the approach of the Labor Day weekend, Granville County Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr. asks all residents to join him in making this Labor Day holiday a safe one.


Traditionally during the Labor Day holiday, our highways experience one of the highest traffic flows of the year as families travel for the three-day weekend. The Sheriff reminds everyone to follow these safe driving tips when on the road:


  • Always shift attention every few seconds, constantly scanning the road ahead and behind. Never stare blankly ahead or fix your gaze on one point on the road.
  • When passing a vehicle, always glance at the ground beside the front wheel of the car you intend to pass. That way, you will know instantly if the car is about to veer, giving you an extra few seconds to respond.
  • Also when passing, pull out into the opposite lane of traffic while you are still well behind the car in front. This should give you some time and space to build up speed, and will enable you to pull back into your own lane, should the need arise.
  • Never cut abruptly out of your lane into the opposite lane. Always signal your intentions with your brake lights, turn signals, horn and/or headlights so that other drivers will see you well before you change course.
  • Always “aim high” in steering, glancing frequently at points well ahead. Not only will this help in steering, but will also help check the position of vehicles in front, as well as oncoming traffic.
  • Never follow too close. Remember that, as speed increases, it takes substantially longer to stop. Also, remember that it’s good to have an extra cushion of space in front if you are being tailgated, on a slippery road, or in low visibility conditions.

“I would like to remind all drivers to also practice the ‘Golden Rule’ when driving,” Sheriff Noblin said. “Be courteous and tolerant of other drivers. Let’s make this Labor Day weekend a safe one on our roads.”


The Granville County Sheriff’s Office is now open in their new location at 525 New Commerce Drive in Oxford, in the newly-constructed Law Enforcement Center. For any questions or for more information, their phone number remains the same at 919-693-3213, or you can send emails to


(Pictured is Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr.)


Online seminars scheduled for wildlife management

North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a series of free on-line seminars on the topic of wildlife management. This will be a six-week series scheduled at 1 p.m. each Friday from Sept. 4 through Oct. 9.


Wildlife on your land can offer various benefits, but also has the potential to create significant problems. Maximizing benefits while minimizing problems is simply a matter of implementing the right management practices. In this free on-line seminar series, representatives from various agencies will review the practices that help landowners meet their goals. Topics and presenters include:


  • Sept. 4 Fallow Vegetation and Native Plantings: Managing habitat for Wildlife and Pollinators. Presenter is John Isenhour, NC Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Sept. 11Invasive Plant Control and Forest Management to Benefit Wildlife. Presenter is John Isenhour, NC Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Sept. 18Hunting Leases and Trespass Laws. Presenter is Andrew Brannan, NC State Extension
  • Sept. 25Coyote and Vulture Depredation Issues. Presenter is Jonathan Carreto, USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services
  • Oct. 2Beaver Management and Control. Presenter is Jonathan Carreto, USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services
  • Oct. 9Reducing Crop Damage From Deer. Presenters are Greg Batts and Jason Allen, NC Wildlife Resource Commission

To register for the series of seminars, visit and register via EventBrite. Links to the seminars will be emailed to registrants.


Complete details can be found at Details are also available by calling the NC Cooperative Extension County Center in your area. Those phone numbers are:


Granville County – 919-603-1350

Franklin County – 919-496-3344

Person County – 336-599-1195

Vance County – 252-438-8188

Warren County – 252-257-3640

One-year recycling totals reported for county

Totals are in for recycled materials collected during the previous year. Through combined efforts of Granville County Government and Granville County Public Schools, Recycling/Sustainability Coordinator Teresa Baker reports the following:

* Cardboard/Corrugated Cardboard: 245,730 pounds through Waste Industries/GFL
* Shredded paper: 19,865 pounds through Shred Ace
* Electronics: 41,052 pounds
* Scrap metal: 40,165 pounds through Mike’s Auto Salvage
* Hazardous household materials: 13,235 pounds through Veolia
* Books and paper-related materials: 13,265 pounds through RMR
* Pesticides: 868 pounds through the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Division
* Clothing: 41,400 pounds through Friendship Clothing
* Medications, sharps, ammunition: 514 pounds through the Granville County Sheriff’s Office
* Batteries: 440 pounds through Interstate Batteries
* Polystyrene: App. 12,000 pieces through Dart Containers
* Pallets: 1,000 pounds through Pallet One


These totals reflect collections during the 2019 Fall Recycle Event, the 2020 Spring Recycle Event and collection boxes located throughout Granville County Public Schools.




The Fall Recycle and Collection Event for 2020, which will include collection of hazardous household waste, is scheduled for Nov. 21. Details will be coming soon. Contact Baker at 919-725-1417 or at for more information.

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