Three people were air lifted to WakeMed following a head-on collision Monday on U.S. 401 at the Cedar Creek Bridge outside of Louisburg. Rescue workers from the county emergency services, Louisburg Fire Department and Gold Sand Fire Department worked steadily to free driver Mildred Lucas, 72, of Rocky Ford from the 1998 Chevy she was driving, above, having to cut through and drill into the vehicle. State Highway Patrol Trooper P.L. Clayton said Lucas was driving north on the two-lane highway when she crossed the center line at about 12:45 p.m. Lucas drove into the path of a 2002 Toyota Camry, driven by Richard Bowers, 56, of Gap Loop Road, Louisburg.
The scene of a head-on collision Monday on U.S. 401 at the Cedar Creek Bridge outside of Louisburg.
Residents and business leaders who make up a 401 Steering Committee will gather for their initial meeting next week.
This past fall, the county’s Economic Development Commission appointed 26 people to the 401 group with a broad goal of touching upon economic development projects.
Their primary goal is to get U.S. 401 widened from Wake County through Louisburg.
Franklin County had its share of big news during 2008, from the continuing efforts of Health Management Associates to relocate Franklin Regional Medical Center from Louisburg to Youngsville to a $53-million school bond passing, primarily for a new high school in Franklinton.
Here is a listing of 10 of the top stories for 2008 — news that has shaped and continues to mold lives here.
The state’s first case of the flu was reported just before Christmas and state and local health officials want people to take the necessary measures to avoid ringing in the new year with illness.
On Dec. 18, the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health confirmed that a 38-year-old Wake County woman contracted influenza.
She was reportedly recovering at her home. Since that time, a total of three cases have been reported in the state.
LOUISBURG - George Ranson Long, 72, died Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008 at the VA Hospital in Durham. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. today (Wednesday, Dec. 31) in the chapel of Bright Funeral Home in Wake Forest.
WAKE FOREST - Pauline Shearon Ranes, 86, died Saturday morning, Dec. 27, 2008 at Hillside Nursing Center. A memorial service honoring her life was conducted Tuesday, Dec. 30, at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Franklinton, with the Rev. Carl Hunter officiating.
NASHVILLE - James Bernice High, 83, died Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 at Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount. A wake will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 2, at Johnson Chapel in Nashville. A Masonic funeral will follow on Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount.
ZEBULON – Alice Privette Tant, 73, died Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008. Graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 1, at Pine Ridge Baptist Church cemetery.
WARRENTON - Sgt. William Mack “Jack” Davis, 61, died Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 in the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Durham.
MATTHEWS - Stuart D. Coward, 86, died Christmas night, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, at Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2723 Clark Ave., Raleigh. Visitation with the family will be at 1 p.m. prior to the service.
LOUISBURG - Reginald David Bays, 47, died at home on Monday, Dec. 22, 2008. A memorial service was conducted Sunday, Dec. 28, at Maple Springs Baptist Church, Louisburg.
HENDERSON - Albert Ralph Barnard, 74, died Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008 at Wake Medical Center. A memorial service will be conducted at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday, Dec. 31) at Lancaster Funeral and Cremation Services in Louisburg, with the Rev. Frank Adams officiating.
LOUISBURG - Funeral services for Robert Glenn Lassiter, 55, who died Friday, Dec. 26, 2008, were conducted Monday, Dec. 29, at Shady Grove Baptist Church, with the Rev. John A. Hopkins officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
LOUISBURG - Funeral services for Annie “Sis” Alston, 68, who died Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008, will be conducted at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday, Dec. 31) at Ambassadors for Christ Ministries, with the Rev. Barbara McKnight officiating. Burial will follow in the Mary Helen Jones cemetery.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Francis I. Tully, 82, died Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 of complications from pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
RALEIGH - John Walter Vassey, M. D., died at home on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection was Tuesday, Dec. 30, at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Raleigh. Burial was at Montlawn Memorial Park following the service.
BUNN – Betty Pearce Kearney, 72, of Bunn, died Monday afternoon.
FRANKLINTON - Daytime proved to be the right time for the Knightdale Lady Knights during a rare Saturday afternoon girls basketball showdown last Saturday at Franklinton.
The contest, which was designed to give the clubs’ a dose of holiday action -- since neither was entered in a tournament -- was controlled by the visitors from Wake County.
LOUISBURG -- For four years, Noel Mueller quickly pounced on overmatched opponents during a prolific career that would make him the all-time winningest wrestler.
But Mueller is playing a different game these days as a freshman at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.
The waiting game.
Once known for his tendency to defeat opponents in literally seconds, Mueller is now spending an entire year learning how to compete on the next level at UNC-P.
Louisburg got a rematch with West Johnston in Tuesday’s championship game of the Johnston County Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament, which was being held this year at Smithfield-Selma High School.
Last season, those clubs met in the finale, with West Johnston -- then the host -- coming away with a victory.
LHS had a chance at redemption this time around. Results were unavailable at press time, but look for a story in Saturday’s edition of The Franklin Times.
BUNN -- For only the second time in school history, the Bunn Wildcats have had a player selected to The Associated Press All-State Football Team.
BHS senior center Ty Howle earned a spot on the offensive line during the voting, which is done by 20 sportswriters from across the state.
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- It won’t take long for Franklin County’s winter sports teams to resume their schedules after the Christmas Break.
Here’s a look at each club and when their respective ledgers are slated to resume:
Fran Haley, Jackie Eldridge, Jonette Arnold and Lisa Barham, pictured above, graduated from East Carolina University on Dec. 12 with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. The four ladies are Franklin County employees at Bunn and Royal Elementary.
FRANKLINTON — A speeding investigation led police to make a drug arrest.
According to a report by Officer M.F. Gray II, he was patrolling on the afternoon of Dec. 16 when he witnessed a 1998 Chrysler Sebring doing 58 mph in a 45 mph zone.
When he pulled the car over at Winston and Pearce streets, a search recovered 29 bags of marijuana totalling more than 48 grams.
BUNN — A grandmother and her granddaughter escaped harm as they fled a burning house just days before Christmas.
Thanks to family, friends and social service organizations, they still had a merry Christmas.
And thanks to homeowners’ insurance, Betsy Allen is looking at bringing in a New Year in a new home.
Gov. Mike Easley this week reminded motorists to use caution on the roads and not drink and drive as they celebrate the start of a new year.
State and local law enforcement officers will be out in force during the holiday as part of the “Booze It & Lose It” campaign.
Milton Smith gets an annual holiday visit from children at Kid’s Corner Daycare in Louisburg. The daycare center is right behind Smith’s home, where he has lived for more than 50 years. The children bring gift bags and sing Christmas songs.
The SPCA of Franklin County has received two grants from The PEDIGREE Foundation ($1,740) and Petco ($500).
The grant money will be used to fund the SNIP program, which allows low-income pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and/or dogs for $20-$35. The SPCA of Franklin County is also hoping to use some of the funds to start their Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral or outdoor cats.