Kittrell Resident Arrested on Felony Drug, Weapon Charges

-Press Release, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

On May 16, 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Franklin County resident, Kwarshon Rakim White of 1090 Walter Grissom Road, Kittrell, NC, on felony drug and weapon charges. The arrest was the result of citizen complaints and information provided to the Sheriff’s Office which alleged White was involved in illegal drug sells in Franklin County.

On May 16, 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Franklin County resident, Kwarshon Rakim White of 1090 Walter Grissom Road, Kittrell, NC, on felony drug and weapon charges. (Photo courtesy FCSO)

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit opened an investigation into White’s activities and was able to validate the information provided. The investigation concluded with a vehicle stop and the arrest of Kwarshon Rakim White on Walter Grissom Road, Kittrell, NC. Detectives seized 90 bindles of Heroin, Marijuana, one 9mm handgun, US Currency and a 2002 Lexus LS430 vehicle during the arrest.

Sheriff Kent Winstead stated, “The citizens of Franklin County continue to be proactive and observant in their neighborhoods and once again, their assistance has proven to be important to the success of our mission. We will continue to aggressively pursue those who choose to poison our communities with these illegal drugs.”

Kwarshon Rakim White was placed in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $200,000 secured bond.

Kwarshon Rakim White DOB: 02/27/1991

1090 Walter Grissom Road Kittrell, NC 27544

Kwarshon Rakim White was charged with: four (4) counts of Possess with intent to sell and deliver a Controlled Substance, three (3) counts of sell and Deliver a Schedule I Controlled Substance (Heroin), four (4) counts of Maintain a vehicle for the purpose of storing/selling a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a firearm by a felon.

For more information concerning this investigation or to report drug activity in your neighborhood, please contact Sgt. Ken Pike at (919) 496-2186.

Terry M. Wright Chief of Staff

Community Workforce Solutions Helps Disabled Find Employment, Independence

Sandra Waverly, job coach with Community Workforce Solutions, Inc. (CWS) in Henderson, was the guest of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

Founded in 1964, CWS is a private non-profit organization located at 602 S. Garnett Street in downtown Henderson. Formerly known as Raleigh Vocational Center, Inc., the organization changed its name to Community Workforce Solutions in 2007.

“The building doesn’t look the way it did back then, but a lot of people like to come by and tour the place. Some say they worked there 50 years ago and want to see the building,” said Waverly.

In 2004, three years prior to its name change, the organization assumed operation of INCO.

“For over 50 years, Community Workforce Solutions has been serving the community by providing training and placement services to adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment,” Waverly said.

By partnering with community organizations and employers in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, Waverly said CWS assumes the dual role of supporting the individual and the business that hires them.

“When you hire the individual, you hire us as well. We support them with whatever they need to get the job done. It’s a win-win for the employer because they are getting a quality employee and a support staff.”

Waverly estimated that the organization currently partners with 50-60 local businesses and has 60-70 former employees on an active, long-term list that is monitored twice monthly by a long-term coach.

While employee pay begins at minimum wage, Waverly reported that several workers now receive $12 – $15 an hour, with all paychecks going directly to the individual.

To assist with the payment of wages and the training mechanism, CWS operates a thrift store, also at the 602 S. Garnett St. address.

“We offer clothes ranging from .75 cents to $7, household items and more, and we always need donations,” said Waverly. “We will help you unload it and give you a tax form if needed.”

Brunch and Learn Event

CWS is sponsoring a “Brunch & Learn” event this Friday, May 17, 2019, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at their Garnett St. location.

According to Waverly, the purpose of the event is to educate attendees on the services CWS offers and to connect employers with community partners. All local employers are encouraged to attend.

For more information on the brunch event, contact Rahesha Medina at (252) 572-8322 or [email protected].

To listen to the Town Talk interview with Sandra Waverly in its entirety, click here.

VGCC Honors Radiography Graduates at Pinning Ceremony 

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Twenty-two new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 6 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.

The Radiography Class of 2019 included Frantz Alexis, Jr., of Chapel Hill; Shanice D. Alleyne, Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Kristen Bowman, Starsha M. Hargrove and Dwayne Huneycutt, all of Creedmoor; Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton; Samantha Pierce and Paige Snider, both of Garner; Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson; Angela Basili of Hillsborough; Shayla A. Cash and Dulce Santillan, both of Louisburg; Megan Irene Proctor of Macon; Crystal Sorrell and Megan Whitman, both of Oxford; Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal, Celeste Evans and Treva Gordan, all of Roxboro; and Marina Rombout of Stem.

Above: members of the 2019 Radiography graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their pins May 6 included, on the front row, from left: Marina Rombout, Megan Whitman, Angela Basili, Shanice Alleyne, Shayla Cash, Treva Gordan and Brooklyn Rooker; second row, from left: Ashley Ward, Paige Snider, Samantha Pierce, Dulce Santillan, Crystal Sorrell and Rubi Coyote; third row, from left: Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Dwayne Huneycutt, Allison Wiggins and Kristen Bowman; back row, from left: Megan Proctor, Starsha Hargrove, Frantz Alexis and Celeste Evans. (VGCC Photo)

Angela M. Thomas, the Dean of Health Sciences/ Interim Program Head for Radiography, presided over the ceremony. She encouraged students to “love what you do or you will not give it your best; enhance your passion for giving and dream bigger than Disney World.” The ceremony featured live entertainment by Detroit Yancey, an Oxford native, who sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Lewis Daughtry, Jr., one of the instructors for the program. He advised the students, “Do not think future opportunities are going to stop and wait for you. You must be ready.”

Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal gave an address in response on behalf of her classmates. A Dean’s List student and Phi Theta Kappa inductee, she has served as one of her program’s representatives in the VGCC Student Government Association.

“Remember, do not bury your failures, let them inspire you,” Baizabal told her fellow students.

Lindsay Hinkle from the VA Medical Center in Durham was chosen by the graduating students to receive the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Certificate of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The students voted for Tabitha Owens from EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while the Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to the EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham.

Receiving the JRCERT Certificate of Excellence for Students was Megan Whitman, who also received the VGCC Radiography Academic Award. In a first-ever tie, the VGCC Radiography Clinical Excellence Award was presented to two students, Megan Proctor and Brooklyn Rooker.

Instructor Anthony Twisdale shared the history of the Radiographer’s Pin before he and Angela Thomas awarded the pins to each graduate. Thomas led the graduates in reciting the Radiographer’s Pledge as the ceremonies concluded.

Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers to Perform at McGregor Hall – June 9

-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

The McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center will feature The Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers on Sunday, June 9, 2019. Show starts at 2 p.m.

A Part of the Music at McGregor Series

The Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers, founded in 1998 by Joel F. Reed, promote choral artistry by modeling the highest quality choral standard and performing a breadth of literature, including music from the southern Appalachian region.

The McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center will feature The Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers on Sunday, June 9, 2019. Show starts at 2 p.m. Photo courtesy the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center.

The Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers are currently 25 singers who rehearse monthly in preparation for the ensemble’s performances. Many of the members are professional musicians, working in public and private schools, colleges and churches. Others are professionals from the business and medical communities who reside in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and are, for the most part, alumni and retired faculty of Mars Hill University.

The ensemble has performed regularly in the North and South Carolina areas including conferences of North Carolina American Choral Directors Association and National Association for Music Education.

Tickets may be purchased by:

DROP IN: 201 Breckenridge Street, Henderson, N.C. Monday – Friday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

CALL: (252) 598-0662 (M-F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.)

CLICK HERE:  (Use the eTix official site, online fees apply)

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan

-Information courtesy Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations


All week long, the National Weather Service has issued informative messages to help you prepare for the hurricane season. Today’s topic, the final in the series for this year’s hurricane preparedness week, is complete your written hurricane plan.

The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins – when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a hurricane warning is issued. Those supplies that you need will probably be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line.

Being prepared, before a hurricane threatens, makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.

Here are some things to know about completing a written hurricane plan:

• Writing down your plan will ensure you don’t make mistakes when faced with an emergency.

• Document all of your valuables and possessions with a camera or video camera well before the storm.

• Gather all vital documents, like passports and medical records, and put them somewhere that you can quickly access.

• Make planning and preparedness a family affair to ensure everyone knows what to do.

• Don’t forget to include your pets in your plan.

• Every plan should include gathering non-perishable emergency supplies and assembling a disaster supply kit.

• Share your plan with others in your family, and have an out-of-state friend as a family contact who knows your plan and where you will go during a disaster, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

To make developing your family emergency plan easy, be sure to download a free template that is available online at

For more information about hurricane preparedness, please visit the following web sites:

New VGCC President to Address Graduates as College Celebrates 50 Years

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Desmarais follows in the footsteps of the school’s first president, Dr. Donald Mohorn, who was the commencement speaker at the first such ceremony, back in 1970.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. (VGCC Photo)

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker.

Nearly 500 students are scheduled to be honored during ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the lake on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. For those unable to attend the event in person, VGCC will broadcast a live video feed from the ceremony online on its YouTube channel (

The VGCC Board of Trustees selected Dr. Desmarais to become the college president in December 2018, while she was serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College.

Once a student at Forsyth Tech, Desmarais became an adjunct instructor at the community college from 1996 to 1999 while also working in the private sector. She joined Forsyth Tech full-time in 2002 and served in a variety of academic and administrative roles over the next 16 years.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais earned her doctorate of philosophy in instructional design and technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 2015 after getting her master’s of science in information technology management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2003. She earned a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Mars Hill College in 1992.

She was also among fewer than 40 aspiring and emerging community college presidents nationwide who were chosen for the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence in 2017-2018.

De Leon is graduating from VGCC with a degree in Criminal Justice Technology. A graduate of Norlina Christian School, he has earned Dean’s List and President’s List honors at the college and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

De Leon plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, where he will complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His long-term plan is to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology and become a college professor.

Students serving as graduation marshals will be Caroline Williamson of Bullock; Ebony Cotton of Franklinton; Hannah Edwards, Evin Swilley, April Zuniga-Trejo and Leslie Zuniga-Trejo, all of Henderson; Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg; Miranda Brown of Oxford; Rana Alashmali of Timberlake; and Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest.


April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Caroline Williamson of Bullock

Ebony Cotton of Franklinton

Evin Swilley of Henderson

Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg

Hannah Edwards of Henderson

Leslie Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Miranda Brown of Oxford

Rana Alashmali – Timberlake

Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest

It’s North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week. Are You Ready?

-Information courtesy Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 of each year and ends on November 30. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms. The National Hurricane Center issues watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.

May 5 through May 11, 2019, is Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina, as well as nationally. The Vance County Office of Emergency Operations wants to make sure that you and your family are prepared for whatever this season brings our way.

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be slightly below average due to a relatively high likelihood of a weak El Nino coupled with slightly lower sea surface temperatures, according to a report released by Colorado State University. Their predictions for this season include 13 named storms, with 5 becoming hurricanes and 2 expected to become major hurricanes of category 3 status or higher.

Forecasters at North Carolina State University are forecasting a near average season with similar expectations and a range of 13 to 16 names storms.

“The time to prepare is now, well out in front of hurricane season,” said Brian K. Short, Director of Emergency Operations for Vance County. Keep in mind that it only takes one storm to cause significant impact. Communities and individuals are expected to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) following the impact of a hurricane. “If the impact is severe enough, it could potentially take outside help that long to get here,” Short said. “By taking the time to gather up a few basic necessities now, you will enable your family to weather the storm and the aftermath until help can arrive.”

In the event that a storm should threaten our area, the Vance County Emergency Operations staff will use all available means to get important information out and will keep the public informed of our preparedness activities. Like us on Facebook to stay up to date on severe weather and coordination activities.

Smartphone users can also download a free app from This app provides a great deal of information regarding storm preparedness as well as current road conditions, local weather, power outages and storm shelters that are open just to name a few. Follow the link below to get this free app.

For more information about how you and your family can prepare for severe weather, including hurricanes, visit our website at:

While you’re there, be sure to visit our community alert and notification section to sign up for CODE RED, our emergency alert system. NOTE: if you have a landline phone you are most likely already in the CODE RED system. Please add your cell phone if you would like to receive real-time local alerts on your mobile phone or device.

You may also visit Vance County Emergency Operations on Facebook or call our office at 252-438-8264 for more information.

The 2019 tropical storm names for the Atlantic region include Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastian, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Recommended Family Preparedness Items

The best time to assemble a three-day emergency supply kit is well before you will ever need it. Most people already have these items around the house and it is a matter of assembling them now before an evacuation or State of Emergency order is issued. Stocking up now on emergency supplies can add to your family’s safety and comfort during and after a disaster. Store enough supplies for at least three days, preferably seven days, in one place.

Start with an easy to carry, watertight container – a large plastic trash can will do, or line a sturdy cardboard box with a couple of trash bags. Next, gather up the following items and place them in your kit:


 Water – 1 gallon per person per day (a week’s supply of water is preferable)

 Water purification kit or bleach

 First aid kit and first aid book

 Pre-cooked, non-perishable foods, such as canned meats, granola bars, instant soup & cereals, etc.

 Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, soap, baby powder, clothing, blankets, baby wipes, disposable diapers, canned food and juices

 Non-electric can opener

 Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel

 Blanket or sleeping bag per person

 Portable radio or portable TV and extra batteries

 Flashlight and extra batteries

 Essential medications

 Extra pair of eyeglasses

 Extra house and car keys

 Fire extinguisher – ABC-type

 Food, water, leash and carrier for pets

 Cash and change

 Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes

Sanitation Supplies

 Large plastic trash bags for waste, tarps and rain ponchos

 Large trash cans

 Bar soap, shampoo and liquid detergent

 Toothpaste and toothbrushes

 Feminine hygiene supplies

 Toilet paper

 Household bleach

 Rubber gloves

 Don’t forget your pets when getting prepared!!!

Public Meetings to Gather Citizens’ Input on Future of Franklin Co.

-Information courtesy Franklin County Government

“Frankly Speaking,” a series of community meetings about the future of Franklin County will be held May 28-30, 2019.

Franklin County is just beginning the process of creating a new Comprehensive Development Plan to guide leaders’ decisions about future growth, particularly new development and related investments in infrastructure and services. The public is invited to attend one of the following meetings to share ideas and concerns:

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 6-8 p.m. – Vance-Granville Community College’s Franklin Campus – 8100 NC-56, Louisburg.
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 6-8 p.m. – Community Center – 115 E. Main St, Youngsville.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6-8 p.m. – Red Bud Baptist Church – 832 NC 58 Hwy, Castalia.

With questions, please call (919) 496-2909 or email [email protected] For more information, and to take a survey related to the Comprehensive Development Plan, visit

Franklin Co. Public Input Survey Results to Aid in Development Plan

-Information courtesy the County of Franklin

ATTENTION: This is your opportunity to help shape the future of Franklin County. The County is working to complete a Comprehensive Development Plan in order to guide future growth and development over the next twenty years. Please fill out this online survey and give us your opinions about community character, land use, growth management, transportation, local economy, resource conservation and the overall vision for the future of Franklin County.

The Comprehensive Development Plan will cover the entire jurisdiction of Franklin County outside of the municipal limits. All responses are confidential. Please complete surveys no later than Friday, May 24, 2019.

Thank you for your time and participation. Please call the Planning Department at (919) 496-2909 if you have any questions while answering the survey.

We welcome any additional comments or thoughts that are raised by any of the questions in the survey. If you would like to add additional narrative, please feel free to do so in the space provided at the end of the survey.

Online survey link:

Franklin Co. Schools Closed for Students Wed., May 1

-Information courtesy Franklin County Schools

On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, educators from across the state will be participating in a rally at the General Assembly in support of improvement of classroom opportunities for students and improved working conditions for teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other staff who play a critical role in supporting our schools.

We have been actively monitoring the number of anticipated teacher and support staff absences on this date, and have reached a point at which scheduled absences of teachers and support staff will not allow us to safely and effectively operate that day. Therefore, all schools are closed on Wednesday, May 1 for Franklin County School students. We have met the requirement for accumulated instructional hours and will not need to make this day up for students.

May 1 will be an optional teacher workday for staff. Central Office will remain open. All school activities on May 1 are canceled.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause and appreciate your understanding.