Pick One Or More Area Fireworks Displays This Weekend

If you plan your holiday weekend right, and don’t mind spending a little money for gas, there are several fireworks displays planned in the area that are sure to light up the night sky and dazzle onlookers.

• The Henderson-Vance Recreation & Parks Department is hosting its annual event on Friday evening at Fox Pond Park. The park will close at 7 p.m. and no parking will be allowed at the park, but a free shuttle service will pick up visitors at Aycock Rec Center beginning at 5 p.m. and will continue until about 8:45 p.m. There will be food vendors on site at the park and the fireworks show is set to begin about 9 p.m. Visit https://www.kerrlake-nc.com/event-details.php?event=268 to learn more.

• Lake Holt in Creedmoor is the site of Granville County’s fireworks show on Friday, July 1. The lake entrance is located at 1100 Lake Holt Rd. off Old Hwy. 75 in Butner. Gates open at 6 p.m. for the event, and parking and security is provided by officers of the Creedmoor Police Dept, Butner Public Safety, the Oxford Police Dept., the Granville County Sheriff’s Dept., Creedmoor Fire Dept., Stem Fire Dept. and the Junior Volunteer Fire Dept. Make sure you’re through the gates no later than 8:45 p.m., because no one will be allowed to enter after that time. The show will begin once it’s dark. Visit https://www.cityofcreedmoor.org/departments/recreation/events/fourth-of-july-picnic-fireworks to learn more.

• Then, on Saturday, July 2, head on out to Satterwhite Point to watch the fireworks display sponsored by Vance County Tourism. Director Pam Hester said the event will feature food, live music and other vendors from 4 p.m. until dark, with fireworks beginning around 9:15 p.m. Reminder: alcohol is not permitted at state parks – including Satterwhite Point – and there is a $7 park entrance gate fee. Visit http://www.kerrlake-nc.com/event-details.php?event=267 to learn more.

• If you’re closer to Cokesbury than Satterwhite Point on Saturday, you can check out what Cokesbury Volunteer Fire Department has to offer. Chief Adam Pegram said gates open at 6 p.m. There will be food vendors on site and the fireworks will begin around dark.

• Unfortunately, the fireworks show scheduled for Franklin County was cancelled for this year following a recent fatal fire at a Lenoir County warehouse where the fireworks that were to be used in Franklin County had been stored. In addition to the fatality, several firefighters were injured in the June 11 blaze. There was not enough time to find replacement fireworks, so Franklin County officials cancelled the event.

Franklin County Cancels Independence Day Fireworks Event

– press release – 

Louisburg, N.C. – Because of unforeseen events, Franklin County is issuing the below statement in regard to the annual Independence Day fireworks:

“Franklin County is saddened by the loss of life from the fire in Lenoir County last week which resulted in several injuries to firefighters fighting a fire which also included the detonation of commercial-grade fireworks in a storage container.

As a result of the destruction of the fireworks – which would have been used in this year’s celebration – and the lack of time to find replacements, the county will have to cancel this year’s Independence Day fireworks and accompanying festivities.”

Please visit our website – www.franklincountync.gov – for further updates and the opportunity to sign up for email updates.

Maria Parham Now Communicates ER Wait Times

If you had needed to travel to the emergency room of Maria Parham Health on Friday night at 7:30, your estimated wait time would have been in the single digits as evidenced by the screen grab of mariaparham.com you clicked on for this article.

Minutes matter when it comes to saving lives, and those minutes often matter to prospective patients who may need any form of care.  “How long will I have to wait?” You’ve said or thought those words before.

Maria Parham Health not only wants you to know about receiving high quality emergency care 24/7, but the local regional medical center now seeks to better inform about average emergency department (ED) wait times.

On its web site and in an information release sent to WIZS, how the time is calculated and what to expect are spelled out.

How it’s calculated

“When you see a time, such as 14 minutes, displayed on our website or on the billboard, it is important to understand that this is a four-hour rolling average. Each person who enters our Emergency Department is tracked through a computerized system. The person’s registration time in the ED and “greet time”, which is the time when the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional, are used to calculate the average wait times. The computerized system automatically averages the most recent four-hour time period, which is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day.”

What to expect

“The average wait time is accurate, reliable and regularly updated. However, due to the natural flux in patient volume, it is possible for a person to experience a shorter, or longer, wait time in our Emergency Department than what is displayed on the signage. Furthermore, patients are prioritized based on severity of the complaint or reason for the visit. This is why we use the four-hour rolling average; it minimizes variance by factoring in the natural ebb and flow of emergency departments. At Maria Parham Health, our priority is to deliver quality care close to home for the people in our communities. We hope you find this new information helpful should you find yourself in the middle of a medical emergency.”

(Maria Parham is an advertising client of WIZS. This is not a paid ad.)

Raleigh to Richmond Corridor Grant

— information courtesy of NCDOT and NCDOT Now —

The Federal Railroad Administration announced during the week of May 30th more than $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grants. Of this, nearly $58 million will go to the development of the Raleigh to Richmond corridor.

The grant will support surveys and preliminary engineering for the corridor.

This grant, the largest awarded in this funding cycle, will improve transportation access for underserved and rural communities while shortening travel times between the two cities.

“We want to make sure that we can get people from one place to the next,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “To their jobs, to their schools, to their healthcare. And we know as we move into this clean energy economy, as we fight climate change every single day, that passenger rail is going to be key in getting us from one place to the next.”

NC Forest Service

Forestry Field Day June 24 In Oxford

-information courtesy of Vance County Cooperative Extension

A Forestry Field Day is scheduled for Friday, June 24 to help area landowners with best practice strategies to enhance their woodland resources. Participants will learn first-hand about the possible benefits of forest management techniques of herbicide application and prescribed fires.

This free event will begin at 2 p.m. at the N.C. Forest Service office in Granville County, located at 911 Hillsboro St, Oxford.

From there, the group will proceed to two different field sites that show the results of the respective practices. Transportation to the field sites will be available, or participants may travel in personal vehicles.

The sponsors of the Field Day are the N.C. Forest Service office for Granville County, along with the N.C. Cooperative Extension County Centers in Granville and Vance counties.

Registration is required.

For more information, visit http://go.ncsu.edu/manageyourwoods or call 252.438.8188 or 919.603.1350.

Town Talk: First Fruits Farms Balloon Festival

Jason Brown’s faith has led him to do some interesting things since he retired from his NFL football career and he and his family have used their farm in Franklin County to do everything from growing and giving away produce to transforming an old dairy barn into a wedding venue.

And on Memorial Day weekend, visitors will have a chance to cast their eyes to the skies for the second annual Memorial Balloon Festival at First Fruits Farm.

The Vance County native said there could be as many as 35,000 to 40,000 people in attendance during the four-day event, which kicks off on Friday, May 27 and ends on May 30. He spoke with John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk about what’s in store at the farm, located at 2805 E. River Rd. in Louisburg.

The festival is a way to honor veterans and those who served in the military, and Brown said the event has special meaning for him. His brother, Lunsford, was killed while deployed to Iraq in 2003. And again this year, Brown said there will be a Gold Star reception for families like his who have lost a loved one. More than 100 Gold Star families attended last year’s event. “There is comfort and strength” for the families to be together, “to share love and their experience with one another,” Brown said.

Visit https://ncmemorialballoonfest.com/the-venue/ to purchase tickets and see a complete schedule of events for the weekend festival. There will be fireworks displays, balloon rides and tethered balloon rides and family fun for everyone.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the community together at a time when there’s so much divisiveness,” he said. The festival will provide a time for fellowship, as well as food and some good entertainment. Brown said some folks spend more than one day at the festival so they can take their time and soak in all the activities and performances.

Brown said God pointed him to farming and agriculture, something he said his time on the football field didn’t exactly prepare him for. “As long as there’s faith – that’s what’s most important.”

It’s a long way – literally and figuratively – from the football fields of the NFL to the sweet potato fields of Franklin County, but Brown said God continued to order his steps to make his dream a reality.

That reality has become a hybrid of sorts – growing produce that he gives away with the help of hundreds of volunteers each season. He said “some of the most awesome people give up a Saturday morning” to dig, collect and distribute the hundreds of thousands of pounds of sweet potatoes that provide a healthy food to those in need. “They truly are the salt of the earth,” he added.

Volunteers are vital during harvest time, and Brown said there’s room for additional volunteers to help at the balloon festival, too. Visit the webpage to learn how to register, but Brown said in exchange for four hours of service, volunteers will get free admission and parking to the festival. And a cool t-shirt.

Click Play


Mail Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Event May 14

Postal carriers deliver all sorts of mail to boxes near and far every day. But there’s a special-delivery postcard that found its way into area mailboxes recently to promote the “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign, which takes place the second Saturday in May.

That day is THIS Saturday, May 14.

The request is simple: Leave healthy, non-perishable food items by your mailbox and the person who delivers your mail will pick up your donation.

Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers, along with various national partners, has worked to collect food items that are donated to local food pantries.

Visit www.stampouthungerfooddrive.us to learn more.

TownTalk: Step Back In Time Event To Be Held At Hudson Manor

Looking for a fun family activity this weekend? The Hudson Manor in Franklin County is the site for a daylong event called Step Back in Time that has something for everyone – but especially for local history enthusiasts.

The stately home, with its sprawling grounds, has been a wedding venue for the past 18 years, and owner/operator Melissa Cogliati said she’s ready for Saturday’s activities, rain or shine. The hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and there will be food trucks, workshops and demonstrations throughout the day, live music, folklorists and much more.

Cogliati is working with the Franklin County Historic Preservation Commission to host the event, which was organized to raise money to publish a book on the county’s historic architecture.

“It seems now the weather will hold out at least until the afternoon,” Cogliati said. Vendors, musicians, and others will be located in the home’s large ballroom and protected from the elements, she noted.

She spoke with Bill Harris, who chairs the historic preservation commission, and local historian Mark Pace on Thursday’s tri-weekly history program on Town Talk.

“Rain or shine, it’s going on,” Harris said. “There are a lot of things going on.”

An architectural survey has been completed, and the commission hopes to raise the necessary funds to publish the book, which would contain information about the local architecture as well as more than 800 photos.

This ambitious project would be the first of its kind in more than 40 years, Harris said. The project lost a little momentum – and associated funding – during the pandemic and the Saturday event hopes to make up the gap in funding.

Cogliati said Hudson Manor, located at 908 Moulton Rd., Louisburg, is included in the architectural survey, and she said Step Back in Time will provide entertainment for the whole family while raising money for a good cause. She works with the county’s planning advisory board and the local tourism development authority and said she is happy to provide a spot where “we can meet our neighbors and have a little community spirit.”

Visit www.thehudsonmanor.com to learn more.



NC Dept of Agriculture

Horse Owners: Protect Your Animals From Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Information courtesy of the N.C. Department of Agriculture

N.C. Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging equine owners to have their animals vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis and West Nile Virus.

“Mosquito-breeding season in North Carolina lasts from spring until the first frost and horses are at risk if not properly vaccinated,” Troxler said in a press statement issued Tuesday, May 3. “EEE is fatal 90 percent of the time in horses and WNV has a fatality rate of 30 percent,” he said. However, both diseases are preventable by vaccination.

Last year, there were three recorded cases of EEE and two cases of WNV.

State Veterinarian Dr. Mike Martin recommends that equine owners talk to their veterinarians about an effective vaccination protocol to protect horses from mosquito-borne diseases. The combination vaccination initially requires multiple injections for horses, mules and donkeys that have no prior vaccination history.

Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days, so removing any source of standing water can reduce the chance of exposing animals to WNV or EEE. Keeping horses in stalls at night, using insect screens and fans, and turning off lights after dusk can also help reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Insect repellents can be effective if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Symptoms of EEE include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for symptoms to appear.

Symptoms of WNV include fever, weakness or paralysis of hind limbs, impaired vision, head pressing, seizures and aimless wandering.

People, horses and birds can become infected from a bite by a mosquito carrying the diseases, but there is no evidence that horses can transmit the viruses to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.

“It’s also a great time to make sure your animal is current on its rabies vaccination,” Troxler said. “In 2021, seven cases of livestock infected with rabies was reported to our Veterinary Division. Since January we have already had four positive cases in livestock. Most of the cases have been in cows but all livestock are naturally curious animals, which puts them at risk for a bite if a rabid animal gets through their fence line.”

The Local Skinny! ‘Step Back In Time’ Event Planned For May 14



The Franklin County Historic Preservation Commission invites you to “Step Back in Time” at the historic Hudson Manor in Louisburg on Saturday, May 14 for a day filled with activities, food trucks and fun for the entire family – all for a good cause.

Hudson Manor owner Melissa Cogliati is teaming up with the county historic preservation commission to raise money to publish a book documenting the historic architecture of Franklin County, according to commission Chair Bill Harris. Harris, usually the person asking the questions as he interviews guests on WIZS, was the person providing the information on Tuesday’s The Local Skinny! segment with John C. Rose.

“We hope it’s going to be a great event,” Harris said, adding that there is a lot of excitement gathering in the area as the date approaches.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Harris said, and will give folks a chance to see a variety of antique tractors and other vehicles – including “Maude,” a lovingly restored antique fire truck that served Louisburg for many years.

Bring a lawn chair to relax in while you enjoy traditional bluegrass music performed by Shannon Baker and Sometime Soon and the Birdsong Bluegrass Band; The Baldwin Storytellers also will be on hand to weave stories of years gone by.

A tractor-powered grist mill will be on hand for demonstrations, as well as various artisans and craftspeople who will share everything from doll making to wool spinning. Local historian and historical reenactor Mark Pace will be present as John Penn, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Members of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe will demonstrate native dances and there will be a silent auction of antique items as well, Harris said. And Tim Fisher of Franklin County’s Portis Gold Mine will have a panning sluice on the grounds for those who may wish to try their hand at panning for gold.

The organizers have worked hard to create a day filled with interesting activities and Harris said the ultimate goal is to get the book published. In 2017, Franklin County underwent a census of sorts to document the historic architecture throughout the county. Harris said the culmination of this inventory is the publication of the book, which will be chock full of information, photos and more to chronicle the county’s history.

And the book also will include the names of anyone who makes a donation of $100 or more.

Public libraries in Louisburg and Oxford have informational brochures about the work of the commission, and also will be available at Hudson Manor on May 14.

Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact Melissa Cogliati at 919.219.9139.

Hudson Manor is located at 908 Moulton Rd., Louisburg. To learn more about the venue and the event, visit https://www.thehudsonmanor.com/special-events.