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DURHAM -- Bunn High School's 2016 softball season featured its usual collection of success -- along with an unexpected passing of the torch for coming campaigns.
Before Bunn began its schedule, veteran coach Melanie Lovin knew she had plenty of top-level talent, led by senior standouts Erica Davis, Charlotte Murphy and Stephanie Williams.
But what worried Lovin was the depth of her group, especially when starting third baseman Alli Davis was lost for the season with an injury.
LOUISBURG -- When the mother of Devon Whaley's one-year-old daughter sought a domestic violence protective order against him in September, she described him as a psychopathic, ticking time bomb.
According to authorities, Whaley exploded in anger the evening of May 20 when he kicked in the door to Desiree Hopkins' Hampton Lane home and shot her twice, once in the stomach and once in the leg.
DURHAM -- Wake, Durham and Orange counties serve as the hub for the Research Triangle Region, but their successes reverberate along the spokes that connect the 10 other counties to the region.
Last week, community and business leaders gathered at the Sheraton Imperial for the 2016 State of the Research Triangle Region address, expressing how that hub and spokes have formed an economic development wheel that has rolled along, relying upon adaptability, innovation and collaboration to push it along.
Capt. Missy Johnson (right) shows two of her recent "lunch and learn" students, Tia Ragland (left) of Vance Granville Community College and Jessica Cochran, an agent with Franklin County Farm Bureau, the finer points of performing CPR. Johnson, who is chief compliance officer with Franklin County Emergency Services, teaches CPR classes as part of her duties and is available, by appointment, to visit local businesses and industries to offer this potentially life-saving training.
LOUISBURG -- Attorneys for residents claiming an assisted living facility maintained deplorable care say a judge will order operators to bolster staff levels.
Attorneys filed a class action lawsuit in Franklin County Civil Superior Court in April, alleging that staffing levels at Franklin Manor Assisted Living Center in Youngsville violate general statutes regarding such facilities.
The suit alleges that Cleveland, Ohio-based Saber Healthcare Group -- operator of the Youngsville site and two others named in the lawsuit -- understaffed the Youngsville facility to the point that some residents went without care, and many sustained falls that required hospital stays.
Anyone who has knowledge of historic buildings in Franklin County is invited to attend a meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, in Benson Chapel on the campus of Louisburg College.
Dr. Jeroen van den Hurk, who in 2015 undertook the first phase of a reconnaissance survey of the county's historic buildings, will show images of the structures he identified during the survey, including houses, outbuildings, churches, schools and stores.
Strawberry contest winners Charlie Bass, Helen Wilson, Teenie Wilder and Ayden Wyatt
Mrs. Sue Anthony was the lucky winner of the $1,000 grand prize during the 14th annual reverse raffle fundraiser held recently by Safe Space, Inc. Shown here are (from the left) Rev. Dick Graves, master of ceremony; Jim Grove, board chair; Anthony and Monica Kearney, executive director. Mrs. Anthony and her husband immediately donated their winning back to Safe Space to support domestic violence and sexual assault services! The event raised nearly $16,000 to help Safe Space which serves local victims of domestic violence and their children by providing shelter, advocacy counseling, sexual assault advocacy and community education.
Wake Electric recently awarded 19 college scholarships equaling a total of $24,500 for the 2016 year.
The Fred M. Alford Memorial Scholarship ($2,000) was awarded to Hannah Jordan, Wake Forest High School.
The Touchstone Energy Scholarship winners are:
HENDERSON -- Vance-Granville Community College has announced that 124 students earned President's List and 156 students earned Dean's List academic honors for the fall 2015 semester that ended in December.
The President's List recognizes students who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) while carrying a "full load" (of at least 12 credit hours) in 100-level or higher curriculum courses.
LOUISBURG -- Two residents who have been known to feed the body and spirit of residents in Franklin County were recognized for their giving nature by local agents of the State Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.
The group's county coordinator, Cooperative Extension Director Charles Mitchell, presented Phyllis Perry and Kathy Harrelson with the certificates last week.
"It's an award presented to the state's most dedicated volunteers," Mitchell said. "They fit the bill."
Franklin County Clerk of Court Patricia Burnette Chastain, front, center, and her staff will take part in Red Nose Day celebrations today [Thursday]. Red Nose Day is a nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit children's charities around the world. Red noses can be purchased at any Walgreens location for a dollar. Money raised will be distributed to 11 pre-selected, poverty-fighting charities. Over the past 25 years, Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion, globally. Staff at the clerks office will be wearing their noses to recognize the effort and raise awareness.
RALEIGH -- The State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be careful as they enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.
The holiday officially kicks off the summer vacation season in North Carolina.
Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 263 fatal collisions and over 9,047 injury collisions during the summer months.
"As Memorial Day approaches, traffic will increase throughout North Carolina. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend," said Colonel Bill Grey, Highway Patrol commander.
BUNN -- Police arrested three teens and are looking for another that they allege broke into two town businesses.
Some time between the evening hours of May 19 and the early morning hours of May 20, authorities allege three 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old broke into the Mi Fiesta Cafe and Sisters Cafe, both in the 600 block of Main Street.
Bunn police officers arrested Roberto Cantera of Main Street and Averie K. Evans, of Seven Paths Road, both 16, and a 15-year-old.
LOUISBURG -- A former Franklin County school system employee pled guilty to embezzling funds from a statewide school association.
If he complies with probation, Joe Baisley won't do any jail time.
Franklinton authorities arrested Joe Baisley in December 2014 after member of the Franklin County Arts Council allege Baisley embezzled more than $6,700 from the organization.
FRANKLINTON -- In the weeks since Franklinton brought back its recreation program, they had one setback -- someone stole a pitchers mound from the field.
That setback was short lived, though, as a resident stepped forward to replace the equipment.
"I must say God is good and when you are trying to do the right thing, he provides," said Police Chief John Green, who brought attention to the theft last week.
Green, Sgt. Drew Bishop and Commissioner Brad Kearney have been key in reviving the town's parks and recreation program.
Amanda Lynne Dillon and Wesley Ryan Tharrington, both of Louisburg, announce their approaching marriage. Amanda is the daughter of the late Annette Tharrington Smith. Her father and stepmother are T.J. and Mary Ann Dillon of Fuquay. Wesley is the son of Dean and Debra Tharrington of Louisburg.
The wedding will take place at Mountain Grove Baptist Church, Louisburg, on June 18 at 2 p.m.
Jeanette Pender of Youngsville, the daughter of the late Frank and Lucy Pender, and Connie L. Powell of Holly Springs, the son of the late Mero and Mary Powell, announce their upcoming wedding. The couple will be married on Saturday, July 30, at 1 p.m. at Kinches Chapel Christian Church, 1055 Gordon Moore Road, Franklinton.
Monica Alston of Youngsville and Herbert Carthens Jr. of Henderson announce the approaching marriage of their daughter, Candice Alston, to Tyrone Battle Jr., son of Tyrone and Rachel Battle of Nashville. The wedding will be held Saturday, June 18, at 2 p.m. at Gospel Unlimited Church of Christ Disciples, Inc., 330 NC Hwy. 58, Castalia.
LOUISBURG -- Louisburg College announced its Dean's List and Honor's List for the spring.
To be named to the Dean's List, a student must have completed at least 12 or more hours of college credit in a given semester and have a semester grade point average between 3.50 and 4.00.
The following, local students, made the list:
Honest, I checked. Double-checked even.
Next Monday is Memorial Day, 2016, despite the fact that it doesn't seem possible the end of May is so near.
But Memorial Day is next Monday, the 30th, so please take a moment to reflect on what the day means and the sacrifices that have been made so that we can spend a little time with family and hunched over a grill getting those burgers and dogs just right!
We may have been wrong!
As painful as it is to admit in public, we may have been wrong earlier this year, although not publicly so.
Just as the National Weather Service offers hurricane season forecasts about the number and severity of storms, we keep a close eye on building "storms" that roll through here every year about this time.
What kid hasn't muttered this under their breath: "Man, I can't wait til I'm grown and get out on my own so no one can tell me what to do!"
That muttered phrase -- you muttered it because, if you said it out loud in my house growing up, it might be the last thing you remember saying for a week -- was often met with a kid's idea of freedom.
Sleeping as late as you want. Eating what you want. And playing video games all day.
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