Bowing to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union -- backed up by years of federal court cases and rulings in the U.S. Supreme Court -- the Franklin County Board of Education agreed this week to ban prayers from school functions, including upcoming high school graduation services.
The decision was made Tuesday evening at the end of a 90-minute special meeting, much of which was spent huddled in a secret session with the board’s attorney, Boyd Sturges.
Franklin County staff will present commissioners and the public with a budget proposal that would give employees a raise and raises spending overall, but keeps the tax rate at revenue neutral.
The county’s budgets in 2009-10 and 2011-12 included furloughs, decreasing employee pay by 3.4 percent, according to staff.
Faced with getting perhaps a quarter of the new money they requested from Franklin County, local school officials are pinning their hopes on a proposed state budget to avoid more personnel cuts locally.
The proposed budget that Franklin County schools presented to the county commissioners more than a month ago requested a funding increase of about $1.9 million, pretty much evenly split between current expense (operating) fund and capital expenses for maintenance and repair.
In the face of budget uncertainties, but the certainty of a new North Carolina governor, perhaps with new policies, in a few months, highway construction projects are uncertain.
With that in mind, State Sen. Doug Berger of Youngsville, who represents Franklin County, is attempting to keep funding in place for Section C of the U.S. 401 widening project in the county.
Damian Evans being transported back to jail
The final two suspects alleged to have played an active role in a home invasion murder were sentenced this week.
One of the suspects, Damien Crudup, made a grander show of trying to stay out of jail, though.
In the end, Superior Court Judge Carl Fox sentenced Crudup to between 64 and 86 months in jail and Damian Evans to between 59 and 80 months in jail for their roles in the March 16, 2010 death of Anthony Perry.
County emergency medical crews responded to a wreck involving a motorcycle on U.S. 401 at about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The pulled the unidentified rider from a ditch on the side of the road and transported him to the hospital. Trooper C.I. Hundley investigated the crash, which did not prove to be life-threatening. The details of his report, including the rider’s name, were not available before press time.
Isabella Anne Lewis, 2.5 years
GOOD MORNING: There’s an old saying to the effect that trouble comes in bunches like bananas, no fault of the bananas, however.
Such has been the case at my house recently. It all began Sunday when I lost my balance on the steps between the den and main part of our home out on Terrell Lane and fell.
Recently, our beloved Franklin County commissioners were debating whether they should make the final payment for the re-valuation project that has been done over the past year or so.
That misses the point.
Discussing whether they should make the final payment — bringing taxpayer costs to nearly three-quarters of a million hard-earned dollars — is easy. The answer is NO!
Perhaps the ire being expressed by voters in North Carolina is being heard in Raleigh.
We know for sure it has been heard in the North Carolina House where a proposed budget passed this week that would provide significant assistance to the state’s beleaguered public schools.
At the time this was being written, the Senate had not taken up the issue, so it may be a bit premature to celebrate.
I was disappointed to learn from a WRAL-TV 5 online news story that once again no money, that I am aware of, is being allocated to widen Highway 401 to four lanes in our county. As usual, elsewhere in the state, pet road projects are proceeding while we still suffer the consequences of unusually high traffic accidents and fatalities on 401’s two-lane highway.
In response to the Franklin County school board’s decision to ban prayer at graduation: I had so much outrage and disgust over this issue, and was going to write a long letter demonstrating such opinions, but I changed my mind.
LOUISBURG - Funeral services for Beatrice Livingston Whitley, 73, who died Wednesday, May 23, 2012, will be held at noon Saturday, June 2, at Richardson Funeral Home in Louisburg. Burial will follow in the Perry’s Church cemetery.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Funeral services for Annie Lee Powell, 73, who died Saturday, May 26, 2012, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at Richardson Funeral Home in Louisburg, with the Rev. Douglas Harris officiating. Burial will follow in the Haywood Baptist Church cemetery.
FRANKLINTON - Myrtle Elizabeth McNeil Nall, 91, died Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at Franklin Regional Medical Center. Funeral services were held Friday morning, June 1, at Good Hope Baptist Church. Burial followed in the church cemetery.
ZEBULON - Joseph Carl Wilson, 37, died Saturday, May 26, 2012. Funeral services were held Thursday, May 31, at Massey Funeral Home. Burial followed in the Richardson family cemetery.
FRANKLINTON—Tashawn M. Harris, infant, died Sunday, May 27, 2012. Arrangements by Cutchins Funeral Home, Franklinton.
FRANKLINTON—James Clyde “Mac” McDonald, 63, died Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Richmond, Va. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at Fairview Cemetery in Franklinton, with the Rev. Clyde Waiden presiding.
BUNN — In loving memory of Betty Vollmer, 69, of Bunn, who died peacefully Thursday morning, surrounded by her family.
THE TOP RED RAMS. (L to R) Senior stalwarts Reggie Williams and Krika Bell were saluted as Franklinton High School’s Athletes of the Year during Wednesday’s 2011-12 FHS Athletic Awards Ceremony at the school gymnasium.
FRANKLINTON -- The 2011-12 calendar year proved to be a season of firsts for Franklinton High School -- including the athletic program.
FHS moved to a new campus last fall and, though not all of the school’s facilities were ready, the Red Rams were able to host tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball and baseball games on campus.
BUNN -- The Bunn Ladycats will look to continue their Northern Carolina Conference dominance on the volleyball court this fall in what will be the final NCC spike campaign under its current configuration.
The 2012-13 school year will be the last in the current four-year alignment by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
BUNN -- Bunn High School’s 2011-12 calendar athletics season was indeed one to celebrate -- from both an individual and team perspective.
Bunn claimed eight Northern Carolina Conference regular season championships -- and three more tourney crowns -- as part of its amazing run this year.
Bunn High School rising senior Johnathan Alston will have his pick of preferred college football destinations -- and all of them look to be prime-time.
University of North Carolina assistant Gunter Brewer was on the BHS campus recently to watch Alston compete in team drills.
WAKE FOREST -- Members of the Wake Forest United 93 had not only a chance to win a state title -- but also the opportunity for redemption.
United 93 succeeded on both counts during the May 16 finals of the Challenge Level Under -18 State Soccer Cup.
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- The Triangle Tar Heels Youth Basketball Organization will conduct a summer league from July 21-August 26.
Games will be played on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in Wake Forest and Youngsville.
Boys grades 4-under and girls grades 5-11 are welcome to participate. Cost is $65 per person.
Registration deadline is July 18.
THE GREATEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF ALL. Landon Pearce had a unique request for his seventh birthday party. Landon decided to have his birthday guests donate to The Miracle League of Franklin County in lieu of presents. Last Saturday, he presented a check for $150 to Donna Wade, Executive Director. Landon is the son of Todd and Jeannine Pearce and is a first-grade student at Bunn Elementary School.
RALEIGH -- North Carolina State University’s Carlos Rodon has landed on the Louisville Slugger All-American first team and Chris Diaz earned a second team mention, announced Thursday by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
Rodon becomes the sixth first team All-American in NC State history, the first Wolfpack freshman ever to pull the feat.
Among Bunn’s boys award recipients from Tuesday’s Athletic Awards Ceremony were (back, l to r) Demetrius Jones, J.D. Shirley, Troy Gupton, Hamilton Brantley, Christian Sledge, Nick Cole, William Hall, Kevin Strassburger and Clifton White; (middle, l to r) Jeff Eaton, Ashton Avery, Jordan Denton, Freeman Jones, Jacob Adams, Tyler Latta, Marco Perez and William Lewis; (front, l to r) Tarik Cohen, Jaymes Kingsberry, Deshawn High, Johnathan Alston, Montrel Cooke, J’Wan Lewis and Calvin Brodie.
Among Bunn’s girls award recipients from Tuesday’s Athletic Awards Ceremony were (back, l to r) Marisa Bellamy, Lucy Moss, Alexis Horde, The Levinson Twins (Erica and Lauren), Kwinlyn Tyler, Tainasha Vines, Keella Gallatin and Brianna Gatson; (front, l to r) Patricia Bell, Parker Brantley, Aimee Snders, Lucy Perez, Jaden Richards, Whitney Bunn and Chepirah Neal.
(L to R) Brianna Gatson and Jacob Adams were the Sportsmanship Award recipients during Tuesday night’s Bunn High School Athleic Awards Ceremony.
In addition to honors from their individual sports, (l to r) Alexis Horde and Kwinlyn Tyler took home scholarship awards from Tuesday’s Bunn Athletic Awards Ceremony.
GREENSBORO -- Rosters have been finalized for the annual North Carolina Coaches Association East-West Girls Basketball All-Star Game.
The contest will be played July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. A boys matchup will follow.
Tickets will be available at the gate.
ZEBULON -- The Carolina Mudcats capitalized on timely hits and five Wilmington errors in a 5-3 win in front of 1,137 on Wednesday night at Five County Stadium in a Class A Carolina League baseball event.
Francisco Jimenez (5-2) picked up the win as Carolina improved to 24-27 on the year. Jimenez dealt six innings, holding the Blue Rocks (24-27) to one run despite seven hits. The southpaw issued one walk and struck out four.
CHAMPS. Sweet Tee’s Average Joes won the 2012 Franklin County Parks and Recreation Department Adult Dodgeball League. Pictured are (back, l to r) Zeek Garcia, David Pearce, Scotty Tharrington and Dillon Joyner; (front, l to r) Trey Griffor, Eric Gupton and Brian Holmes.
(L to R) Jared Fuller and Megan Cruise were saluted as four-year varsity letterwinners during Wednesday’s Franklinton High School Athletic Awards Ceremony.
Dylan Moss earned a scholarship during Wednesday’s Franklinton High School Athletic Awards Ceremony. Moss will attend North Carolina State University in Raleigh beginning this fall.
Jessica Harris earned plenty of awards at Wednesday’s Franklinton High School Athletic Awards Ceremony at the FHS Gymnasium.
Alice Marie Wise and Larry Donnall Smith of Youngsville announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Laura Shonnall Smith to Brandon Crudup of Youngsville. The groom-elect is the son of Larry Crudup of Youngsville and the late Emma Jean Crudup. The wedding will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2 at Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Youngsville.
County staff is slated to present commissioners on Monday night with an update on the prospects of acquiring Youngsville’s utility system.
County Manager Angela Harris and Youngsville Mayor Sam Hardwick have discussed the proposal offline for more than a year.
Franklin County sheriff’s deputies had to use a taser and help from two good samaritans to arrest a man on drug and assault charges.
According to a report by Dep. Joel Anderson, he responded to a call about suspicious activity at Pope’s Chapel United Church of Christ on Pocomoke Road the afternoon of May 25.