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Sheriff's Dept. Urges Holiday Travelers to 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

635903350315316718-594807173 Drunk-DrivingFRANKLIN CO. - While the holiday season is a great time to eat, drink, and be merry, celebrating the holidays with alcohol can also lead to an increased number of impaired drivers travelling on our roadways. To help keep roads safe for holiday travelers, state and local law enforcement will be looking for drunk drivers during a special Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization from December 16, 2016, to January 1,2017.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, and 29 percent (10,265) of those fatalities occurred in a crash where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In just the month of December that year, 840 people lost their lives as a result of drunk-driving- related crashes.

Nationally, from 2011 to 2015, a total of 14,034 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the month of December, and 28 percent (3,983) died in a crash that involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. Many of these tragedies could have been avoided if the impaired driver had simply not gotten behind the wheel. But during the holiday season, too many people take to the roads after consuming alcohol, putting themselves, their passengers and others on the road at risk of a getting in traffic crash, incurring serious injury, or worse—death.

That’s why law enforcement will be stepping up patrols and looking for drunk drivers. Anyone who gets caught driving while impaired faces significant legal and financial consequences.

With a DUI, you face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, and higher insurance rates, along with dozens of other expenses, including attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. Also, there’s the humiliation and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.

If you are celebrating the holidays with alcohol, plan for a sober ride home ahead of time and never risk driving after drinking. Even refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions has consequences, including the immediate loss of your driver’s license and the impoundment of your vehicle. If you think you won’t pass a breath test, you don’t belong behind the wheel.

Travelers should follow these trips to stay safe on the road this holiday season:

● If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.

● If you become intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. Try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or friend and identify their location so they can be picked up.

● If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a sober ride.

● If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.

Enjoy the festivities, but never drive while impaired. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this holiday season. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

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YMCA Collects Food, Toys for Area Children

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ymcafoodROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Family YMCA ran both a toy and food drive this holiday season. Both drives were done to benefit Franklin County’s children and began in late November.

The Y had an “angel tree” in the lobby with ornaments that featured children of different ages and genders. YMCA members would take an ornament and bring back a gift appropriate for the age and gender. Everything from bicycles to clothes to remote control cars were brought back as part of the drive. The gifts will brighten Christmas for 75 children in Franklin County as a part of We Care Franklin County’s annual toy drive.

The Y also ran a food drive among its childcare programs, membership, fitness and swim team. The food brought in was for the school systems “back pack food program” which feeds children in the area on weekends and holidays. The single largest donation came in from the YMCA after school program at Dudley Elementary. Students in the after school program brought in over 1,000 individual items. Another large donation came from Maddox and Noah Conley who are participants on the Y’s swim team. Through the program the Y packed 200 bags with 7 days’ worth of food to go home with area children.

“It was amazing when we got all the food together and started packing it into bags for the kids. It was really heartwarming to be able to see how much Y staff, members and participants cared about their neighbors,” says Jamie Stump Child Care Coordinator with the YMCA.

The Y’s nonprofit mission of building a stronger more connected community is most often fulfilled through its child care programs, outreach programs to military and law enforcement and senior wellness programs. However, the Y runs several food drives, clothing drives and blood drives with area agencies throughout the year.

“The Y really is like a center of the community. That is why we work so hard to stay engaged and help hard working families in Franklin County,” says Stump.

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Ferrum's Lee Named All-Region by D3football.com

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ferrumactionFERRUM - Ferrum College defensive lineman Montel Lee has been named to the 2016 D3football.com All-Region Team as a second team pick in the South Region. This is his second such honor, including a second team South Region honor in 2014. Lee closed out his junior year with 31 total tackles, including 21 solo and 16.5 for loss. He led the Panthers and the USA South in sacks this season with 10, for a net loss of 83 yards. He also had two fumble recoveries, a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup.

Lee was named the 2016 USA South Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-Conference selection. It was his second major USA South award, including his Defensive Rookie of the Year honor in 2014. Lee has been named to the All-Conference first team three straight years, and is on pace become only the second player in school history to earn four such honors. Lee's 10 sacks led the USA South this season. He set school records for career sacks (27) and single game sacks (4 vs. Hampden-Sydney Sept. 17), was named USA South Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19, and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week Sept. 20.

Ferrum closed out the 2016 season with a 6-4 overall record, including a 4-3 mark in the USA South, under first-year Head Coach Rob Grande.