City of Franklin year in review

Published 11:54 am Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lawsuit claims 25 police are under-compensated

In October, Twenty-five members of the Franklin Police Department filed individual lawsuits, which are being tried as one complaint, against the City of Franklin. The compensation from this complaint is over $5 million, including punitive damages.

These plaintiffs said in the contract that they signed with the City upon being hired, states that any time worked over 171 hours per each 28-day cycle is considered overtime. All 25 of them agree that since 2002, the City has been paying them the 160 hours each 28-day cycle and any overtime they worked past 171 hours. However, they claim the City has allegedly not been paying them the 11-hour window from 160 hours to 171 hours for each 28-day cycle that they may have worked.

The City is and was not at liberty to discuss pending litigation and personnel matters as referenced in the lawsuit as this is still an open case.

Preliminary SOL scores show continued improvement

In August, the Virginia Department of Education announced that the scores on the Standards of Learning tests had improved significantly since the year before.

Franklin High School remained fully accredited for the second-consecutive year. Students’ scores improved as much as 7 percent in subjects such as science (81 to 88) and 3 percent in English (79) and mathematics (71). History and social sciences remained the same at 85 percent.

Joseph P. King Jr. Middle School missed full accreditation by just 1 percent in English, a significant improvement from the previous year’s results in the 64th percentile. History and social science jumped from 67 percent to 95 percent.

S.P. Morton Elementary School improved across the board, but was only accredited in history and social science, where 94 percent of students, compared to the previous year when only 85 percent passed. The pass rate from science went from 30 percent to 64 percent, and both mathematics and English rose from 38 percent to 65 and 69 percent.

Franklin YMCA celebrates 60 years

The James L. Camp Jr. YMCA celebrated being open 60 years this fall, with a celebration being held at the PDCCC Regional Workforce Development Center on Saturday, Oct. 17.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, 1955, 40 individuals gathered at the Town Hall Court Room for the publicized purpose of discussion and decision on the formation of the YMCA in Franklin. J.L. Camp Jr. stated to the assembly his reasons for proposing the formation on the Franklin YMCA. He believed that a religious and moral atmosphere in our play and pledged his support to the YMCA organization if conducted along those lines.

The Franklin YMCA, 60 years later, still focuses on these core values.

Franklin superintendent alters grading scale

At the September Franklin City School Board meeting, the 10-point grading scale that was voted on for implementation into the school system in February was discussed. It was brought to the attention of the school board that Superintendent Dr. Willie Bell had retroactively gone through and changed the grades of the students to now meet the new grading scale. Meaning that students had their grades changed starting with freshman year, even the rising seniors, making every student have a higher grade point average.

Several school board members questioned how Bell could do this — as this was not what they had voted on.

Bell replied that nothing in the policy denies the superintendent of doing a retroactive change. He also added that the board doesn’t have to approve a retroactive change because it is an operational change. The policy change is the 10-point grading scale.

Community strongly supports Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday brought more business to many local shops than it has in several years. Many businesses relayed that they were busy all day long and it was the best sale day they had of the year. The Tidewater News, Real Country 101.7 and Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc., promoted and raised awareness to the importance of shopping local.