The U.S Census Bureau has launched its public education and outreach campaign to reach 99 percent of U.S. households and to communicate the importance of responding to the U.S. Census. The “Shape Your Future, Start Here” campaign has been unveiled to demonstrate that responding to the census is easy, safe and important.
Granville County can expect to be included in this massive effort to encourage participation. The campaign is designed to first reach multicultural and historically undercounted audiences (going on now) and will begin reaching general audiences in mid-February. This awareness/education phase continues through March 12 and will be followed by a motivation/participation phase (March 13 – May 20) and a reminder/follow-up phase (May 13 – June 28).
The U.S. Constitution requires that a census of the population be taken every ten years to count everyone who lives in the U.S. as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and to inform how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to states and local communities for critical public services and infrastructure. This includes planning/funding for health clinics, schools, roads and emergency services.
Census workers are still being recruited for this nationwide effort. Applicants should be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, as well as having a valid Social Security number and email address. Potential employees must also pass a criminal background check and have access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license, unless public transportation is readily available. To complete the training process, those hired should also have access to an internet-connected computer. Census takers will be assigned to work in their own communities.
Households can respond to the census as early as mid-March and can submit responses online, by phone or by mail in 13 languages. This is the first year that online responses are being made available.
To learn more about the 2020 census, visit www.census.gov. To apply to be a Census Taker or to learn more about specific application requirements, visit www.census.gov/jobs.
NC Cooperative Extension, Granville County Center, has scheduled two Coggin’s Clinics for horse owners. Horses that are taken off the farm to events such horse shows or trail rides, or even for pleasure riding off the farm, should be tested for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The Coggins Clinics offer this test at a reduced rate for horse owners. Testing in February will allow time for horse owners to get their negative test results back before the season for trail rides and horse shows begins.
Dates and times for the clinics are:
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, 1 to 4 p.m.
Both clinics will be held at Southern States Cooperative, located at 607 Hillsboro Street in Oxford. Those interested should turn into the west end of the store parking lot, cross the railroad tracks and proceed to the bulk storage area, where they will see the clinic set up and a circular drive which will make it easy to get in and out.
Call the Granville County Cooperative Extension Center at 919-603-1350 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for horses to be tested. Vaccinations for East/West Equine Encephalitis, Flu/Rhinovirus, Rabies, West Nile Virus and other diseases are also available for a fee. Horse owners should consult with a veterinarian for recommended vaccinations.
For questions or directions to the clinics, contact the Granville County NC Cooperative Extension Center at 919-603-1350.
Byron Currin is the newly-hired Natural Resources Conservationist for Granville County’s Soil and Water District. A native of the area, Currin has prior experience from the Vance County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he worked for the past seven years.
Currin hold certifications from the N.C. Forest Service, as well as completing training in cropland conservation planning, watering facilities/piping, pasture planning, herbicide application, customer service and other trainings that have helped prepare him for this role.
A 2006 graduate of J.F. Webb High School, Currin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. He has also completed training with the UNC School of Government for Soil and Water Conservation Supervisors.
He officially began work with Granville County Government in October of 2019, where he shadowed Soil and Water Conservation District Director Warren Daniel, who recently retired after a 35-year career. Currin’s office is located at 518 Lewis Street in Oxford, where he can be reached at 919-693-4603 (ext. 3) or at email@example.com.
Granville County Government announces that Jason Reavis has been hired as Director of Granville County Emergency Services.
Reavis has more than 20 years’ experience in the emergency services field, with his most recent position being Assistant Director of Emergency Operations in Vance County. In that role, he helped supervise all functions associated with Emergency Management and 911, including emergency planning, response, recovery and mitigation. Along with planning and executing numerous exercises in preparation for natural and manmade disasters, Reavis has helped build and strengthen relationships with area governments, departments and agencies to manage effective planning and implementation of emergency response strategies.
The new Emergency Services Director, who is stepping in after the Dec. 31 retirement of former Emergency Services Director Doug Logan, is a certified N.C. Executive Emergency Manager, an International Emergency Medical Dispatcher, and an International Emergency Fire Dispatcher, among many other distinctions. Various supervisory and instructional roles in his extensive career have helped prepare him to fill the position of Emergency Services Director, as well as experience as a paramedic and volunteer firefighter.
At the Fall Conference of the North Carolina Emergency Management Association, Reavis was recognized with the 2019 Vance E. Kee Award, which is presented annually to the local emergency management staff person who has demonstrated outstanding achievement through promoting emergency management among other county and state agencies and elected officials.
A graduate of Vance-Granville Community College, Reavis holds an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration. He is married and has five children.
His first day of work was Dec. 1, 2019.
During the last two meetings of the Granville County Board of Commissioners, six retiring Granville County employees have been recognized for their many years of dedicated service. Combined, the careers of these retirees total more than 150 years.
These employees include Warren Daniel of Granville County’s Soil and Water Conservation District (35 years), Willie Richards of Environmental Programs (14.5 years), Doug Logan of Granville County Emergency Services (30.5 years), Francine Hart of Cooperative Extension (26.5 years), Donnie Boyd of Granville County Emergency Services (28.5 years) and Rebecca Baskerville of the Granville County Detention Center (15 years). These key employees, who represent 150 years of total service to our residents, were recognized at the Dec. 2 and Jan. 6 meetings of the County’s Board Commissioners, and thanked for a job well done.
We add our thanks and wish them well in their retirement!
The N.C. Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation announces that applications are now being accepted for the Careers in Conservation Scholarship Program. Scholarship recipients will be students who have firm plans to pursue a college degree in natural resource management and are committed to supporting the mission of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Up to $5,000 is available per student per school year, renewable at the discretion of the Scholarship Selection Committee.
Online applications are available to students who have declared a major in agronomy, agricultural engineering, agriculture sustainability, agriculture education, animal science, forestry, natural resource conservation/management, plant science, soil science, water management, water quality, wildlife management or other closely related degree programs. The goal of the Foundation is to increase the number of professionals entering the field who are committed to working in soil and water conservation.
Applicants must be a resident of North Carolina and must have achieved academic excellence in their high school or in their undergraduate studies.
The Foundation is accepting online applications through Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. An application form is available at https://forms.gle/qdpDXVPEVLb6ryCJ8.
Those interested in learning more about this scholarship opportunity are asked to contact Michelle Lovejoy, Executive Director of the N.C. Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, at 919-510-4599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants may also visit ncsoilwater.org for additional information.
(The following are excerpts from a joint statement between the Granville County Board of Commissioners and the Granville County Sheriff’s Office, issued by County Attorney Jim Wrenn on Jan. 6, 2020)
The Granville County Board of Commissioners has appointed Charles R. Noblin, Jr. sheriff to fulfill the unexpired term of Brindell B. Wilkins, Jr.
Mr. Noblin is an eighteen-year veteran of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently the sergeant in charge of the Civil Division. His appointment as sheriff gives him full authority over the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.
The Commissioners give Mr. Noblin their full support to make any changes reasonably necessary for the effective organization of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office, including taking steps to reconstitute a drug investigations unit. The Commissioners pledge the support needed to ensure the Granville County Sheriff’s Office can provide professional law enforcement, detention, court security, school security, and civil process services in a fair and impartial manner that protects and preserves the Constitutional Rights of the people it serves.
The Granville County Board of Commissioners want to thank Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd for his leadership in fulfilling the duties of the office of the sheriff. The decision to name Mr. Noblin was taken in consultation with Mr. Boyd. Mr. Boyd is eligible to retire in early 2021. While he has not made a decision to retire at this time, he believes that the men and women of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office deserve an assurance of continuity for the balance of Mr. Wilkins’ unexpired term which ends in December 2022.
Mr. Noblin intends to swear Mr. Boyd in as his chief deputy.
The Granville County Board of Commissioners looks forward to and expect to continue and enhance cooperation between the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and its state and federal prosecutorial and law enforcement partners. The various law enforcement agencies can only operate effectively where there is open communication and respect between those offices that focuses on the safety, security, and rights of the people served.
Mr. Noblin will take the oath of office in the Superior Courtroom of the Granville County Courthouse on Jan. 8, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.
Seniors with a New Year’s resolution to improve overall health and fight against the progression of Parkinson’s disease are being offered a conditioning program that increases flexibility, as well as improving agility, speed, muscular endurance, hand-eye coordination and core strength. “Rock Steady Boxing” (RSB) was introduced to the area in late summer, with the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford becoming one of 852 affiliates of the nationwide program. Approximately 15 participants are already enrolled in RSB sessions at the Senior Center each week, says Senior Services’ Fitness Program Coordinator Justin Waller, who facilitates the weekly sessions – and more are welcome to attend.
Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that can cause deterioration of motor and sensory skills – impacting balance, movement and speech. According to “Parkinson’s News Today,” a news and information website, vigorous exercise such as running, riding a bicycle – or even boxing – is key to disease prevention. For the more than 60,000 patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, exercise such as the regimen provided through the Rock Steady Boxing method, studies show, can ward off changes in the brain caused by aging while increasing oxygen delivery.
Every Monday at 1:30 p.m., participating seniors learn boxing basics as Waller facilitates these non-contact fitness sessions to help seniors improve daily activities and “fight back” against the disease.
“Granville County Senior Services became a RSB affiliate in 2019 after Justin traveled to Colorado to attend the Affiliate Training Camp program,” explains Kathy May, Senior Services Director. “This specialized training included hands-on classes for Justin to learn to conduct a class and scale for every ability level.”
May adds that Waller was already “ahead of the game” when he attended the training camp, since he has an undergraduate degree in exercise science from UNC Chapel Hill, as well as a master’s degree in exercise physiology from UNC-Greensboro. He also has years of experience in the field of exercise and nutrition.
Rock Steady Boxing’s goal is to educate as many people as possible about the benefits of intense exercise, and to establish safe and welcoming programs in every community. Through RSB training, Granville County has joined ongoing nationwide efforts to meet fitness levels at all stages – from preventative measures to those who have been living with symptoms for decades – as well as developing a sense of unity in the fight against the disease.
To learn more about the Rock Steady Boxing program offered by Granville County Senior Services – or to register – please call the Senior Center, located at 107 Lanier Street in Oxford, at 919-693-1930.
A new 4-H agent has been hired for N.C. Cooperative Extension, Granville County. Lina Lue Howe begins work on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, coming to the Granville County Center with previous experience as a 4-H Agent in Vance County.
“We are very happy that Lina is joining the Granville County team,” says Paul Westfall, County Extension Director for Granville County Extension. “She brings experience and passion for 4-H to Granville County, plus she is a Granville County resident. We are looking forward to her work with 4-H members and leaders in her home county.”
Ms. Howe’s primary duties will be to manage and lead the 4-H program in Granville County, including recruiting and working with 4-H leaders, establishing and maintaining community 4-H Clubs, conducting school enrichment programs such as 4-H Embryology, and planning and conducting 4-H Summer Fun programs for youth.
Ms. Howe was active in Granville County 4-H as a member and graduated from the J.F. Webb School of Health and Life Sciences. She went on to study Agriculture Extension Education with a minor in Animal Science at N.C. State University, earning her Bachelor’s degree in May, 2018. She served as a 4-H Intern in Wilson County while at N.C. State.
A “Meet and Greet” is planned for Friday, Jan. 3 from 3 until 5 p.m. 4-H leaders and members, community leaders and the public are invited to stop by the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center, located at 125 Oxford Loop Road, to welcome Ms. Howe to her new position.
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).