Although trying to predict the final version of the still-evolving North Carolina budget and especially its effect on education is a little like trying to grab a handful of smoke, Franklin County school officials are bracing for what could be a nearly $6 million hit.
Figures compiled late Thursday -- and based on the latest version of the NC House budget -- show at least a $4.3 million cut in funds coupled with the already-mandated loss of about $1 million in lottery proceeds and about $500,000 in funds based on Average Daily Membership.
“That’s it, guys! It’s 3 p.m.”
As architect Jon D. Long uttered those words and pulled the door closed behind him, a roomful of people representing 15 bidders quieted almost immediately and Long began the pain-staking process of opening bids for the long-proposed Franklinton High School.
When the dust settled, contractor J.S. Clark emerged as the apparent low bidder with a base bid of $24,525,000 for the 214,277 square foot school that officials estimated a few months ago would cost in the neighborhood of $34.5 million.
Franklin County is missing a link into the investigation of the deceased.
Dr. J.B. Perdue resigned his position as the county’s medical examiner in September and the Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill has yet to tab a replacement.
Perdue left the position after 37 years of service.
“I enjoyed the work,” Perdue said. “I did my job as the state required and I did it to 110 percent of my ability.”
Now, the state is looking for someone to fill in and the medical community and law enforcement are coping without a medical examiner.
Staff of a state financial entity told commissioners, staff and law enforcement on Thursday that expanding the jail by 300-plus beds was a bit more than the county could swallow.
Staff with the Local Government Commission (LGC) suggested that a smaller expansion might be more palatable.
County Manager Angela Harris, Finance Director Chuck Murray, Sheriff Pat Green, Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell, Commission Chairman Robert Lee Swanson, Commissioners Don Lancaster and Sidney Dunston, and consultants who performed a jail population study met with LGC staff on Thursday to get a gauge on whether the LGC would support a jail expansion that could cost the county $36 million.
The Franklin County Board of Health hired a new director perhaps with a northeastern accent, but feels right at home in North Carolina.
Dr. Christopher M. Szwagiel, a Rochester, New York native, will officially begin his duties as Franklin County’s health director on July 1.
He was chosen from a pool of 13 applicants.
“We’re hoping to carry forward with programs we have been providing and to have a forward thinker in these difficult budgetary times,” said Board Chairwoman and hiring committee member Dr. Elyse Goldman.
Franklin County Health Services is open for business in Louisburg, serving uninsured and underinsured residents in the heart of the county.
After a delayed start, Wake Health Services first opened its clinic on a temporary basis in Dr. Donald Woodburn’s office in Franklinton a year ago.
The group’s plan was always to move to Louisburg and began operations at its 111 S. Church Street location on June 1.
Louisburg College sports fan Beau Mitchell
Who wouldn’t want to save $10 million?
Especially on something you were planning to buy anyway?
Now, the question gets tougher -- how do you pay for it?
That’s the dilemma facing the Franklin County commissioners following the opening of bids for the new Franklinton High School Wednesday afternoon.
Back in the Saddle Again. I was kicked out of WakeMed for the second time in as many weeks this past Thursday, and hopefully I’ll get to stay home for more than 18 hours, give or take an hour or so, as was the case last week.
A possible circulatory problem was put on hold last week while attending to a possible infection.
But the circulatory problem wouldn’t wait.
At any rate, I’m thankful to be here and there’s probably a number of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff glad I’m here too!
Somewhere in the budget crunch that has hit North Carolina is the blueprint for a better tomorrow, although we suspect it’ll be overlooked in the chaos of the day.
If the budget changes being considered, and those which have been implemented, teach us anything it ought to be how vulnerable we are to the whims of elected officials and bureaucrats in Raleigh and beyond.
Let me give you a simple case in point: The North Carolina Education Lottery.
This is a letter to let the parents and citizens of Franklin County know what fine children we have.
It was my honor and privilege to chaperone the Louisburg High School Band on their recent trip to New York City. We had three buses carrying 110+ teenagers and 20+ chaperones. I admit I was a little hesitant to turn these teenagers loose for two to three hours—to be on their own in New York City. However, all acted very responsibly—looking out for each other, returning to the meeting place/bus on time, and listening to instructions from teachers and guides. Whatever we asked of them, they did their very best to comply—without complaining or whining.
The recession is forcing us to prioritize choices in how and where we spend our money. Evidence indicates we are saving more, paying off credit cards and making better decisions more in keeping with our present incomes. Even as we might experience some pain, many agree there are valuable lessons we need to relearn which will be good for us in the future.
RALEIGH – About the dueling protests held recently in Raleigh on the subject of North Carolina taxes and spending, one can observe some similarities.
Both events occurred at the Legislative Building. Both focused media and public attention on the yawning budget gap the North Carolina General Assembly will have to close for the fiscal year that begins July 1. And both featured impassioned speeches about the budget.
YOUNGSVILLE - Alice Jeanette Dickerson Weatherford, 76, died Monday, June 1, 2009. Funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. today (Saturday, June 6) at Youngsville Baptist Church with the Rev. Charles Stratton officiating. Burial will follow in the Raleigh National Cemetery.
ZEBULON - Christopher Lee Johnson, 22, died Monday, June 1, 2009. A celebration of life service was held Friday, June 5, at Hephzibah Baptist Church. Burial followed in Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, Zebulon.
LOUISBURG - Norman N. “Nick” Nicholson, 81, died Monday, June 1, 2009. Graveside services were conducted Friday, June 5, at Old Wood Baptist Church cemetery.
YOUNGSVILLE - Jo-Ann May Pundy Luckwaldt, 75, formerly of Youngsville, died Sunday, May 31, 2009. A memorial service was conducted Friday, June 5, at Hope Lutheran Church.
FRANKLINTON - James William “Bill” Garrett, 86, died Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at Wake Med. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. today (Saturday, June 6) at Perry’s Chapel Baptist Church, with the Rev. Clyde Waiden officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery.
FRANKLINTON- Marvin Hicks, 54, died Sunday, May 31, 2009. Arrangements by Cutchins Funeral Home, Franklinton.
LOUISBURG - Sue Hayes Ward, 79, died June 5, 2009. She was the daughter of Hugh Jones and Clafton Mundy Hayes and was born in Louisburg on May 26, 1930. She graduated from Mills High School in Louisburg as Co-Valedictorian of her class in 1948. She was also outstanding in basketball and received the Franklin County award for “Most Outstanding Player of the Year”.
BARTON SIGNEE. Franklinton’s Sandy Dickerson (front, right) signs a letter-of-intent to continue her cross country career at Barton College. (Times photo by Geoff Neville)
FRANKLINTON -- It’s about 48 miles from Sandy Dickerson’s house in Franklinton to her future home in Wilson.
Or, in Dickerson’s running terms, between two or three days of distance work.
Dickerson, a tri-sport athlete at FHS, has signed a letter-of intent to join the cross country program at Barton College in Wilson.
To be ready for the fall season, Dickerson has already started intense training, including 20-mile days that feature 10-mile runs in the morning -- and another one later in the day.
LOUISBURG -- Add another piece of hardware to the already-full trophy case inside Mamour Camara’s home.
This one, however, might be the most prestigious one of all.
Camara, Louisburg High School’s senior wrestling standout, has been presented with the James Johnson Award.
The honor is presented annually by The Takedown Report Director Martin Fleming to salute the Best Scholastic Wrestler in Eastern North Carolina.
HURDLE CLEARED AT FHS. Franklinton’s Davaris Hardy was the Northern Carolina Conference 110 Hurdles Champion this season. (Submitted photo by Jason Cox)
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- After leading their respective clubs to league championships, Franklinton’s Trent Sanders and Bunn’s David Howle have been saluted as the Northern Carolina Conference Track and Field Coaches of the Year.
Sanders guided his Red Rams to the NCC boys championship to go with an undefeated record in the regular season.
Howle’s Ladycats also went unbeaten in regular season action before claiming a conference crown.
Bunn also had an individual Class 2-A state champion in the 200, as freshman Marissa Bellamy sprinted away to the title last month at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.
TV or not TV.
That seems to be my eternal question.
Admittedly, we don’t watch much television at my house, aside from the DVD collections we own of some old 1970s sitcoms.
They usually hit the spot before we nod off every night.
And of course, there’s my obsession with the National Hockey League. Somehow, my marriage has endured the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring.
The viewing is on a 19-inch set that certainly isn’t a testament to the modern technological era. My guess is that my wife has owned it for quite some time.
LHS SOFTBALL OFFENSIVE AWARD. Louisburg High School senior Alicia Pearce claimed the Softball Offensive Award during last Thursday night’s LHS Athletic Awards Ceremony. (Times photo by Geoff Neville)
LOUISBURG -- Listed are the individual honorees from last Thursday’s Louisburg High School Athletic Awards Ceremony, which was held at the LHS Auditorium:
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. -- Through three rounds, the Louisburg College Hurricanes stood in fifth place at the annual National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Men’s National Golf Championship.
The event is being held at the Chautauqua Golf Club in Western New York.
LC had compiled 913 team strokes, leaving the Hurricanes 38 shots behind leader Monroe Community College (875) heading into Friday’s final round of the four-day tournament.
ELM CITY -- Franklin County was once again represented by a slew of strong finishers during last Saturday’s action at County Line Raceway.
Headlining the list was Franklinton’s Cody Keith, who earned another first-place effort in the Cadet (Youth) Division.
Here is a complete list of Franklin County’s finishers last Saturday:
WAITING FOR INSTRUCTIONS. While standing on first base after getting a single, Dalton Moser listens to instructions from coach Robert Fagan for the Sun Devils during Thursday’s action in the Louisburg Recreation Department T-Ball League.
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- Dates have been finalized for this summer’s Dixie Youth Baseball and Softball Tournaments, both of the district and state levels.
Local winners in each classification will advance to state play.
Listed is the schedule for the summer D-Y action:
LOUISBURG -- The annual Safe Space Inc. Golf Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 7 at Green Hill Country Club in Louisburg.
Registration and lunch will be at noon, with tee-off set for 12:30 p.m.
Cost is $60 per golfer, which includes greens fee, cart, lunch and gift bag.
The rain date will be Aug. 14.
All proceeds will benefit Safe Space Inc.
ZEBULON -- The Carolina Mudcats (30-24) completed a five game sweep of the Tennessee Smokies (21-34) with a 12-3 win in a rain-shortened, Class AA Southern League baseball game at Five County Stadium Thursday night.
The Mudcats have now won eight straight games, good for the fourth-best winning streak in franchise history, and moving the Mudcats to within one game of the Northern Division leading Huntsville Stars.
The Mudcats scored twelve runs on 16 hits and had a runner in scoring position when the game was called.
On Friday evening, May 29, the Louisburg High School Band celebrated the completion of another year of superb music education and performance. We have one of the largest band programs in the state at one of the smaller schools with an unbelievable percentage of students participating.
Louisburg Band Director Brian D. Miller was welcomed to the stage by Craig Eller, professor of English at Louisburg College and the host for the evening. This is Brian Miller’s 14th year as band director at LHS, and we are lucky to have him.
Eldora Perry and Shirley Dement lunch together during Congregate Nutrition 2009.
Congregate nutrition services promote the health and well being of older adults through the provision of a nutritious meal five days each week in a group setting. Each of the Senior Centers serves a hot meal each weekday Monday through Friday at 11:30am. Each meal served assures a minimum of one-third of the daily recommended Dietary Allowances. Adults enjoy good fellowship and good nutrition as a result of this service.
During a typical day, your blood pressure goes up and down, and that's healthy. For about 65 million Americans, however, blood pressure remains high over time. Are you one of them?
When you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work too hard. That can lead to heart disease and stroke. You're also at greater risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, one recent study suggests that you're three times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have high blood pressure.
The Medicare Prescription Drug program gives you a choice of prescription plans that offer various types of coverage.
You may be able to get extra help to pay for the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug program. However, you must be enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan to get this extra help.
What Is This Application?
How big is the problem of seniors falling?
- More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States.
- Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma (DC 2006).
Left ot right, Gladys Aycock, Ada Pitt, Mattie Woodard and Wendy Watkins find some shade during Senior Fun Day.
Turning 65 is a lot like turning 16. When you turned 16, you didn’t just automatically get your driver’s license; instead you had to take an exam and prove that you were a safe driver. There was a specific order and procedure for getting your driver’s license, and the same is true for enrolling in Medicare for the first time when you turn 65.
Much like you anticipated turning 16 and getting your driver’s license, you must anticipate and plan for becoming a Medicare beneficiary. Don’t wait until you’re 65 to start thinking about your Medicare choices. Start now and let the Department of Insurance’s SHIIP (Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program) help you.
Director of Aging Roxanne Bragg-Cash, Congressman Bob Etheridge and Christy Southall pose at the Louisburg Senior Center. (Photo submitted)
The following awards, scholarships and honors were presented Friday, May 29, at Louisburg High School.
On May 22, the Smart Start Awards ceremony was conducted, sponsored by Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnership, the local Smart Start agency. Carolyn Paylor is executive director of the organization.
Centerville Learning Center LLC received the Child Care Provider of the Year Award for a child care center, Five Star Center Award, and an award for the Franklin County More At Four Program.
The following votes were some taken in the General Assembly, week ended June 6, by state Rep. Lucy Allen and State Senator Doug Berger.