YMCA Swim Program Gets Support from American National Bank

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

AmericanNationalROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that American National bank has continued its support of Y-Splash, the Y’s second grade swim program. All public school second graders are taught essential lifesaving swim skills over the course of the two week class. The program is vital because it gives all children a chance to develop swim skills, instills a love of swimming in young people, and teaches best practices for safety around water.

“The program costs over $30,000 annually to implement so it is essential for community minded businesses and individuals to provide support. It’s a great example of Franklin County coming together to support our kids,” says Aquatics Director Kameron Kitts. 

Y-Splash is going into its fifth year this fall and has taught over 2,000 students since beginning.

Instruction in the program centers on teaching basic water safety and swim skills. The goal is to teach all children enrolled to be able to prevent water emergencies and how to save themselves if they do occur. However, for children who already know how to swim, they learn to perfect their technique and develop knowledge of Olympic swimming strokes. So the program meets swimmers at their level.

“As far as I’m concerned if we can save one child, it’s worth it,” says Todd Hammock, Market President with American National Bank.

Classes start on August 13th and anyone who wants to support the program can contact Kameron Kitts at the Franklin County Family YMCA at 540-489-9622 or visit the Y’s website.


Boil Water Advisory No Longer In Effect

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

boil-advisoryliftedROCKY MOUNT - The Town of Rocky Mount has lifted its boil water notice for water customers on West College, Hatcher, Dent, Cedar, Oak, Spring, Brown, Luke, Buckner and Wilson Streets.

The boil water notice was issued Friday after a significant water line break in the area caused a section of pipe to be replaced. When pipe is replaced on a water line, the Virginia Department of Health requires two days of bacteriological testing before consumption to ensure the water is safe todrink, and the testing laboratory is not open on weekends.

“All bacteriological tests have come back clean, the Town has received the approval from the Virginia Department of Health and we are pleased to be able to lift the boil water notice,” said interim Water Plant Superintendent Dallas Bailey. “Customers can safely drink the water and use it for all household purposes.”

The Town notified all residents affected with flyers hand delivered to each door, through the Town’s social media outlets, and through the Franklin County’s CodeRED Reverse 911 system. Residents who did not receive a call from the system but would like to be notified of future emergencies can sign up on the Franklin County Public Safety website at

“We have made every effort to reach out to our affected customers and we are grateful for the cooperation we received,” said Assistant Town Manager Matthew Hankins. “We want to be able to reach our customers in multiple ways during emergencies, so we encourage you to sign up for the Town’s social media sites and the CodeRED system.”

Customers impacted by the boil water notice will receive a bill credit of 25 percent on their next water bill.

“We regret the inconvenience these customers experienced and want to make it right,” said Town Manager James Ervin. “I want to thank our customers for their patience and our staff for their hard work over the past five days to make sure we dealt with the problem as quickly as the testing procedure would allow.”

The Town has contracted with its paver to repair the street torn up by the water line break next week, so residents should be mindful of paving activity on West College between Dent and Cedar Streets.


Family Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty to $5 Million in Tax Fraud

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

familypharmacyCOLLINSVILLE - The owner of a local pharmacy with a location in Rocky Mount pleaded guilty Thursday for not paying employment taxes, court records show.

Jerry R. Harper, Jr. 61, owned and operated Family Discount Pharmacy, Inc. (FDP) in Stanleytown with locations in Stuart, Rocky Mount, Chatham, and Brosville, VA. 

The U.S. Department of Taxation says Harper withheld $5 million in employee taxes from 1998 to 2014, but did not pay the money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Instead, Harper admitted he used the money to pay personal expenses including over $1 million wired to his personal bank account, $500,000 in stock market investments, and $100,000 on his son's pharmacy school tuition. 

Harper also purchased $370,000 of property in Virginia and North Carolina. He also used the money to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a jet ski, according to a press release.

Harper will be sentenced October 26, 2018 and could face up to 10 years in prison, supervised release, restitution and financial penalties.