In a move that surprised virtually no one, it was announced Friday morning that the HON office furniture manufacturing plant in Louisburg will be closing.
The closure will cost about 93 local jobs and comes as the result of a year-long review, explained Gary Carlson, vice president of HNI, the company that owns HON and six other companies.
Carlson said the closing will happen by the end of the year but until then the plant will continue to operate.
TEAMWORK. Fire and rescue crews pulled together to get the driver of this wrecked vehicle out of a creek on Vaiden Road on Wednesday. The driver, Jakeia Person, was taken to WakeMed.
A northern Franklin County woman was airlifted to WakeMed on Thursday morning following a wreck that nearly submerged her vehicle.
According to Trooper T.W. Allen, who was working his second submerged car wreck within a week — said Jakeia Person, 17, lost control of the 2008 Chevy sedan she was driving and slid down an embankment.
The driver’s side of the vehicle struck a tree and the rear of the car came to rest in a creek on Vaiden Road at about 9:30 a.m.
“The tires on the vehicle were slick,” Allen said.
A case that pitted the governor against the voters of North Carolina had a Franklin County resident at its center.
Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled in Wake County Superior Court on Friday that Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson should be in charge of overseeing public education in the state.
In January, Gov. Beverly Perdue tabbed Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Bill Harrison to dual roles of chairman of the educational board and CEO of the public school system.
Local, state and educational leaders met this week, hoping they can save a program designed to save at-risk students.
The North Carolina New Schools Project works for innovation in secondary schools across the state with a goal of readying every high school graduate for college and society.
A key effort is the Learn and Earn Early College High Schools: a program designed to have students graduate with a high school diploma and two years of transferable college credits or an associate’s degree.
The program in Franklin County would focus on at-risk students.
Louisburg will have its first contested races since 2003 for the mayor’s seat and Town Council positions.
By Friday’s noon deadline, enough candidates filed for election to force races in Louisburg, Youngsville, Bunn and Wake Forest.
In Louisburg, two people filed for the mayor’s seat, and six people have filed for the three available Town Council slots.
In Youngsville, four people have filed for the three available commissioner seats.
In Bunn, three candidates have filed for two available seats on the town board.
It’s becoming way too common, almost expected.
The announcement in this edition that the HON plant in Louisburg is closing is just another in a long line of plant closings in Franklin County that stretch over the last several years.
To name just a few, there was Flextronics, Boston Gear, Joyner Manufacturing. . .the list goes on and on.
The loss of jobs is a significant economic tragedy for those directly and indirectly involved.
Every job involves a family, perhaps multiple families.
You’ve probably heard the old warnings about not watching either sausage or laws being made.
Allow me to add a third warning: Don’t watch as our local officials try to pick a contractor for a school construction project!
It was messy, time-consuming, emotional and downright painful, but -- apparently -- we have a contractor for the long-awaited new Franklinton High School.
In all the years I’ve been fascinated by watching local government in action, I can’t recall a situation where something so simple became so complicated -- and where we taxpayers ended up saving so much money on a project we needed!
GOOD MORNING: Not surprisingly, Gov. Beverly Perdue’s approval rating continues to plummet with only 25 percent of voters approving the job she’s doing in light of her proposed tax increases.
And incidentally, her biggest drop has been among her fellow Democrats — down from 66 percent approval in March to 38 percent now.
OPEN RECORDS ESCAPE HATCH: At first glance, it appeared that state lawmakers bowed to the will of the public in making it easier for citizens to obtain public records.
I received another one of those wonderful e-mail legislative updates from Sen. Berger’s office Tuesday of this week, alerting me of how hard the legislature is working to resolve our state’s budget crisis, and how wonderful it will be to attend an impending Town Hall Meeting to extol the virtues of President Obama’s proposed roll out of some version of a national health care plan.
This is always a slow news period, so we weren’t surprised to read evaluations of Governor Perdue’s first six months in office. Having observed eight governors we feel qualified to join the water-cooler conversation.
Bev Perdue took office at perhaps the worst time of any governor in our history since the Great Depression. The recession actually started in December 2007, long before Perdue took office. Our budget problems were not her creation and the 25 percent favorable approval rating in a recent survey is patently unfair and mostly an expression of frustrations about more than Perdue.
STATESVILLE - Janis Mary McManus Ernst, 53, formerly of Louisburg, died Tuesday, July 14, 2009, at Iredell Memorial Hospital. A service of remembrance celebrating her life will be held at 2 p.m. today (Saturday, July 18) in the Westmoreland Chapel of Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home.
ZEBULON - Jason Herbert Ramsey, 70, died Tuesday, July 14, 2009. Funeral services were conducted Friday, July 17, in the Strickland Funeral Home chapel, Wendell, with burial following in Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, Zebulon.
KITTRELL - Stella Talbert Young, 99, died Thursday, July 16, 2009 at Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. today (Saturday, July 18) at Plank Chapel United Methodist Church by the Rev. Carol Dean. Burial will follow in Sunset Gardens.
SIGNING WITH VGCC. Louisburg High School basketball star Rasool Kearney (front, left) inks a letter-of-intent to continue his hoops career at Vance-Granville Community College.
LOUISBURG -- Legitimacy is the main hurdle for any new college basketball program to overcome.
For Vance-Granville Community College head men’s hoops coach Avery Wilson, that’s been the most difficult aspect of his job since the school began the sport two years ago.
But obstacles continue to be cleared by Wilson and his staff.
Just about every day.
Wilson’s ballyhooed incoming recruiting class continues to receive key pieces, as Louisburg High School standout Rasool Kearney recently inked a letter-of-intent to join the Vanguards.
LOUISBURG -- John Meeks got a bit of a helping hand in his quest to sign Wilson Fike standout Jeremy Atkinson.
From just across the hallway from Meeks’ men’s basketball office at Louisburg College, no less.
Atkinson’s mother, Teresa, was a member of two of the earliest LC women’s hoops teams guided by legend Mike Holloman, who also serves as the school’s athletic director.
Teresa Atkinson played under Holloman from 1987-89 and helped lead the Lady Hurricanes to a pair of appearances at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament.
For Chris Lee, one of the most intriguing aspects of inheriting the Louisburg High School football coaching position is that a winning tradition is already in place.
Given his pedigree at always-successful Rocky Mount High, it was almost a necessity before Lee, a long-time assistant, opted to take charge of a program.
Problem is, most off-season job offerings are usually with downtrodden programs that are inevitably in a constant state of rebuilding.
(Front, l to r) Raymond Dunn, L.C. Hester and Christian Masone have announced their intentions to return to Vance-Granville Community College next season. Also pictured are (back, l to r) V-GCC assistant coach Adrian Wilkerson and V-GCC head coach Avery Wilson.
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- Josh Woodburn offered the match’s most exciting offensive moment during last Saturday’s Clash of the Carolinas boys soccer showdown in Charleston, S.C.
Unfortunately for Woodburn and his North Carolina teammates, his potential game-winning goal in the 78th minute didn’t count due to an offsides infraction.
“It was a very, very tough call to make,’’ said Deran Coe, who coached Woodburn at Franklinton. “There were so many people in the box -- it was questionable.’’
Chessey Foster competes in the backstroke event for the Town and Country Stingrays during Thursday’s road meet against the Broadlands Barracudas in North Raleigh. For meet results, see this coming Wednesday’s edition of The Franklin Times.
ZEBULON -- The Carolina Mudcats fell 10-6 to the Chattanooga Lookouts in a homer-filled contest Thursday night at Five County Stadium, dealing the Mudcats their third straight defeat in Class AA Southern League baseball action.
Chattanooga starter Jesus Castillo delivered a quality start for the Lookouts, yielding only one run over seven innings. Mudcat hitters managed only four hits and a walk against Castillo (W, 5-7).
Juan Francisco put the Mudcats on the board in the 7th, belting a solo-homer over the right field wall.
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FLA. -- The father-daughter tandem of Taylor and Bo Ritchie of Youngsville took first place in the Adult Co-Ed B Division at the First Coast Beach Volleyball Series.
The event was held July 11-12 at Jacksonville Beach. Taylor, 15, will be a sophomore spiker this coming season at Franklinton High School.
The Ritchie team finished pool play in the B Division undefeated and won the championship in the third game of the finals; -- winning 21-14, 20-22, 15-8 over David Lavergne and Wendy Collins of Gainesville, Fla.
RALEIGH -- The Carolina Hurricanes will open their National Hockey League 2009-10 regular season schedule on Oct. 2 with a home contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 82-game campaign will run through April 14, 2010, with a break from Feb. 15-28 for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Hurricanes will also have their annual New Year’s Eve Celebration on Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. versus the New York Rangers.
The local Pink Wave contingent took third place in the U-8 Division of the 2009 Kick It 3-on-3 Soccer Tournament, which was held recently in Statesville. The club closed out the tourney with a 5-4 overtime decision last Sunday over the Weddington Crew. Pictured with bronze medals are (l to r) Hayley Boyles, Hannah Ziegler, McKenzie Davis, Paige Morrison, Kennedy Capps, Sierra Lowery and Head Coach Craig Sharpe.
LOUISBURG -- The Louisburg Parks and Recreation Department is conducting Fall Baseball, Softball and Soccer signups.
Louisburg’s programs will compete in the East Wake Fall Ball League.
The registration deadline is Aug. 7 for baseball/softball and Sept. 5 for soccer.
Cost is $25 for Town of Louisburg residents or $65 for non-residents.
Louisburg Parks and Rec Fall Ball games will not conflict with Louisburg Parks and Rec Fall Soccer matches.
The most interesting people I have known in my life are those who have a deep love for animals. Animals can literally get to the heart of matters in their own way. The interaction benefits both the people and the animals in many ways, giving satisfying rewards, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
I believe that every living creature has a purpose in life. Let’s face it; if you have had a bad day, a pet can cure it in no time. The bottom line is that animals and people do need each other. The use of animals for therapy has been very successful. Animals have even been used in reading programs where children read to animals to enhance their reading and learning abilities.
Siglenda Scarpa displays her pottery at the Goathouse and Gardens in Pittsboro.
A case alleging that the town of Youngsville, its police department and one of its officers is responsible for a savage beating will be put to the test next month.
An August 10 hearing has been set in Franklin County Civil Superior Court where a judge will be asked to dismiss Stephen Williamston’s case, alleging that Youngsville Officer Stephen Puryear used excessive force during a Sept. 6, 2006 arrest.
According to the lawsuit, Puryear stopped Williamston in front of the suspect’s Highview Drive home, drew his gun and knocked Williamston to the ground.
Police are looking for suspects who stole more than $24,000 worth of equipment from Embarq.
According to a report by Dep. M.F. Gray II, he responded to the Youngsville company’s Park Avenue address just before 8 a.m. on July 14 after staff reported a break-in that happened the night before.
According to Gray’s report, someone cut the fence in the rear of the property.
According to Embarq employee Larry Liles, six generators were stolen, along with some hand tools.