VGCC President honors Cosmetology department

VGCC Cosmetology — press release

The president of Vance-Granville Community College, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, recently recognized a group of faculty members for excellence by awarding the “Vanguard Cup” to the college’s Cosmetology department.

The department became the third recipient of the cup, an honor created by Dr. Williams to recognize “exceptional team performance toward the college mission, vision and strategic plan.”

In this case, the president lauded the Cosmetology faculty for their outstanding work on promoting student success on the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners licensure exam.

“In order to help students achieve professional success, the Cosmetology department set a goal of having 90% of its students pass the state board exam,” Dr. Williams noted. “With clear strategies to accomplish this, they initiated faculty professional development to better prepare students, training videos for students, online modules for student preparation, and a mock state exam review. As a result, this past year, the department exceeded the original goal and achieved a 100% passing rate across all four VGCC campuses.”

Members of the VGCC Cosmetology faculty pose with the “Vanguard Cup.” They include, from left, instructor Wallace Evans, Warren Campus coordinator/instructor Magnolia Terry, program head/instructor Tomeka Moss and Franklin Campus coordinator/instructor Tammy Johnson-Dudding. Other instructors for the program include Vivian Smith, Rhonda Gibbs, Linda Foster, Dorothy Godfrey, Nancy Jackson, Emily Coburn and Salina Alston. (VGCC photo)

The president added, “The Cosmetology faculty are to be commended for their creativity and their commitment. The education, inspiration and support that they provide empowers students to start rewarding careers.”

“We have an exceptionally dedicated team of instructors in the VGCC Cosmetology department who work really hard to ensure our students’ success,” said Program Head Tomeka Moss, who is also a graduate of the program. “Our program’s success is without a doubt a team effort, of which I am extremely proud.”

VGCC offers diploma and certificate programs in Cosmetology, along with a Cosmetology Instructor certificate program. These curriculum programs provide competency-based knowledge, scientific/artistic principles and hands-on fundamentals associated with the cosmetology industry. Students develop their skills in a simulated salon environment at each VGCC campus, located in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties. For more information, contact Tomeka Moss at (252) 738-3357.


Infinite Possibilities, Inc. Offers Support/Advocacy for Victims of Abuse

By: Kelly Bondurant, Freelance Writer/Editor for Hire

Infinite Possibilities, Inc, an advocacy group for victims of abuse, was recently on air to discuss the organization’s services and to announce upcoming events.

Founded in 2009 by CEO Kanika Turrentine, the agency provides advocacy, acts as a resource center and provides a safe haven for those who have been abused sexually or have experienced domestic violence.

The agency also provides legal advocacy by pairing court advocates with victims and working with legal aid to provide free legal representation. Hospital advocacy for victims of sexual abuse, counseling for all victims and assistance finding safe living arrangements are also provided.

With a staff of eight, Infinite Possibilities, Inc. serves victims in the five-county area, including Vance, Franklin, Warren, Granville and Halifax counties.

The agency may be reached by calling their 24-hour crisis line or in person at one of their office locations. In Vance County, the agency is located inside the Vance County Courthouse.

In fact, according to Turrentine, if a victim comes to the courthouse to file civil paperwork against their abuser, they will automatically be connected with an Infinite Possibilities, Inc. advocate.

Turrentine stresses that everything that is discussed is confidential and that staff will perform a danger assessment with the victim to determine what other agencies and departments may need to intervene.

Despite the stigma that victims of domestic and sexual violence are predominantly female, Turrentine reported that there are a fair number of male victims as well. “Domestic and sexual abuse is about power and control,” said Turrentine. “There are individuals of both genders who want to exhibit power and control over another person.”

Turrentine conservatively estimates that the agency helps 1,000 victims each year; however, this represents just a small number of those who experience abuse. “There are those who take the step and make the call, but then there are so many more who are suffering behind closed doors,” Turrentine said.

The agency measures the success of those they help by celebrating even the smallest of victories. “That step of someone actually calling the crisis line when they may have been in an abusive situation for 30 years – that’s success,” said Turrentine.

Other success stories are seen in victims who are able to find safe housing, secure employment, keep their children safe from harm and give back to their community.

“Infinite Possibilities, Inc. is just that,” Turrentine said. “There are no limits to the number of things you can accomplish when you have the right support system, the right knowledge and the right foundation.”

In honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness month, Infinite Possibilities, Inc. is hosting several events, including:

  • A sexual assault awareness presentation from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, April 23 at the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library in Henderson and on Wednesday, April 25 at the Warren County Memorial Library. Participants may walk-through to receive information, meet advocates and ask questions. Both presentations will feature a Silent Witness Exhibit to honor the lives of those lost to abuse. The exhibit will include life-size wooden silhouettes of victims with name plaques.
  • Infinite Possibilities, Inc. encourages the community to participate in Denim Day on Wednesday, April 25. This is a nationally recognized day for all community members to make a social statement by wearing jeans as a means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault and sexual assault victims.

To learn more about Infinite Possibilities, Inc., please visit their website at or call (252) 431-1926.

Shepherd Youth Ranch Provides Equine Therapy to Local Children

By: Kelly Bondurant, Freelance Writer/Editor for Hire

Shepherd Youth Ranch, located in Creedmoor, NC, pairs rescue horses that have experienced abuse and neglect with children who have also experienced trauma.

Founded by Ashely Boswell in 2004, the program relocated from just outside of Charlotte, NC to Creedmoor seven years ago to provide local youth with equine-assisted learning and psychotherapy. The ranch currently serves a 12 county area with Vance, Granville, Franklin and Wake being their most heavily served population.

Trained horse counselors work with children and their families; however, Boswell believes it is the horses themselves who do the counseling. “Our horses have a great impact on these children’s lives,” said Boswell. “They are prey animals and can really read the nonverbal cues of people and know what’s going on.”

Since the therapy involves animals, Boswell believes this helps create a non-threatening environment that allows the children to open up and express their thoughts and frustrations.

Boswell has found that most of the participants two biggest fears are the fear of abandonment and the fear of rejection. “Many of the children have been abandoned by one or both parents,” Boswell said. “Also, many of the children have a fear of bullying and being rejected.”

At first, some of the children are intimidated by the sheer size of the horses. Boswell believes that overcoming this initial fear helps build life skills, “When a child can accomplish something in spite of that fear [of horses] they can then take the skills they learned with the horse out into the world and overcome other fears.”

Participants begin with Trail 2 Success, the foundation program of the ranch. This is a 24-week intensive equine-assisted learning program. Children attend weekly sessions while their parents attend monthly multi-family sessions.

After completing the Trail 2 Success program, children can enter the Shepherd Academy program to continue their work with the horses. “Children can participate in the Shepherd Academy program for as long as they want,” said Boswell. “The goal is that they will become interns and volunteer and serve other programs as mentors for other children.”

Both the Trail 2 Success and the Shepherd Academy programs are available for children ages 7-17. The ranch also provides a therapeutic riding program for children ages 4-17 with autism.

Many of the ranch’s horses have been with the program since it was first founded. According to Boswell, the majority of the horses are from abusive situations and were purchased directly by the ranch or were rescued by more official means.

Boswell explained that while the program began with mostly court-ordered participants, the word has spread about the ranch’s services and many children are now there of their own accord.

These children are often referred by school counselors, mental health professionals, youth organizations, court counselors, teachers and parents.

One of the most satisfying outcomes of the program, according to Boswell, is the positive effect the equine therapy has on the participants’ self-esteem and suspension rates, “During and after graduating from our program, there is a 95 percent decrease in both in and out of school suspension rates and a 99 percent decrease in recidivism.”

Boswell reports that only one child has gone back into the court system after completing the program in the 14 years it has been in operation.

In summing up the overall mission of the ranch Boswell stated that “we believe through God’s creation itself, the horse, that we can reach the unreachable.”

For more information on Shepherd Youth Ranch including their mission and volunteer opportunities, please call (919) 480-1535 or visit their website at

Local Chambers Present Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon 4-25-18


Allison S. Capps, Assistant District Attorney, 9th Prosecutorial District, Guest Presenter

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce, together with Franklin, Warren and Vance Chambers, are, once again, sponsoring the annual Administrative Professionals Luncheon.

This year’s event is being held Wednesday, April 25 at noon, at Thorndale Oaks, 105 West Quail Ridge Road in Oxford. Business owners and administrators are encouraged to treat their administrative professionals to lunch, networking and a very interesting presentation by Allison S. Capps, Assistant District Attorney/9th Prosecutorial District, in observance of Administrative Professionals’ Day. The luncheon is an open invitation.

Allison Siler Capps grew up in Belmont, NC. She attended Peace College, receiving her B.A. in Psychology. Following Peace, she attended the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, from which she received her law degree.

She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in the 2nd Prosecutorial District, working for just over a year. She returned to the 9th District, (Granville, Vance, Franklin and Warren counties) where she had interned while in law school.

“As a member of the DA’s office, she has tried over 20 jury trials, ranging from DWIs to First Degree Murders and everything in between.” She has received numerous awards from Crime Stoppers, NC Gang Investigators Assoc., etc.

Mrs. Capps is an active member of Delrayno Baptist Church, President of the Board of Directors for the Granville Education Foundation, participates in Girls on the Run Program and in the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. She resides in Oxford with her husband, Jason, and their son, Luke.

Lunch reservations are required ~ $20/person by April 19th to either of the Chamber’s offices – 919.693.6125, [email protected] or 919.528.4994, [email protected]

District 9 Guardian Ad Litem Will Be Hosting A Showing of the Film Entitled “Resilence”

Be sure to listen to WIZS at 11 a.m. for Town Talk on Tuesday, April 3 as our guest Melanie Griggs will be live on the show with important information about Guardian Ad Litem in the four county area.

The following information was distributed by the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.

What: Film Screening and Discussion

When: Friday, April 6, 2018, 1:45 p.m. until 4 p.m. – film starts at 2 p.m.

Where: Farm Bureau Room, Leslie Perry Library, Henderson, NC

RSVP: Melanie Griggs, (252) 430-5121 or [email protected] by March 30, 2018

The child may not remember, but the body remembers. Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. As the new documentary Resilience reveals, toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune. Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress—and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose.

F-V-W Accepting Children for 2018-2019 Program Year

— submitted by Felicia C. Gregory, Interim CEO F-V-W

The Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, Inc., Head Start is accepting children for the 2018-2019 Program Year for Franklin, Vance, Warren and Granville Counties. Children must be 3 years of age as of August 31, 2018. Parents of children with mental, physical or emotional impairments are encouraged to apply. The program will make special provisions to serve children with special needs. These provisions include, but are not limited to, adaptive equipment and transportation. For more information, please contact: Beth Darnell at (252) 492-4196.


— press release

Raleigh, N.C.—The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) in collaboration with the Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will host public meetings on April 12, 2018 in Wake County and April 16, 2018 in Durham County.

The N.C. 98 Corridor Study is 27-miles long, extending from U.S. 70 in Durham County through Wake County to U.S. 401 in Franklin County, North Carolina. This project is evaluating safety, congestion, planned and existing roads, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and transit use along N.C. 98.

The April 2018 public meetings will be held in an “open house” format; there will not be a formal presentation. Attendees may come any time between the hours listed below to view the conceptual designs and ask questions.

Wake County Location:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

5:00—7:00 p.m.

Wake Forest College Birthplace

450 N Main Street

Wake Forest, NC 27587

Durham County Location:

Monday, April 16, 2018

5:00—7:00 p.m.

Durham East Regional Library

211 Lick Creek Lane

Durham, NC 27703

For more information about the project visit, In addition to the meetings, citizens may provide feedback via the “Contact Us” page. Interested citizens may follow CAMPO and DCHC on Facebook and Twitter. Social media links are available on the project website.

Persons who speak Spanish and do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 704-342-5419.

Aquellas personas que hablan español y no hablan inglés, o tienen limitaciones para leer, hablar o entender inglés, podrían recibir servicios de interpretación si los solicitan antes de la reunión llamando al 704-342-5419.


Be careful when burning debris in spring

— courtesy NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services


Be careful when burning debris in spring
Wildfire risk typically higher through May; burning debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires

RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service is urging residents across the state to think safety and exercise caution during the spring fire season, which typically lasts from March to May.

“Burning debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “If you’re thinking about burning debris, contact your county forest ranger first. The ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help maximize safety for people, property and the forest.”

During the spring fire season, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. There are many factors to consider before doing any burning. Following are tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

  • Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris, such as leaves and grass, may be more valuable if composted.
  • Check with your county fire marshal’s office for local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours; others forbid it entirely.
  • Make sure you have an approved burning permit, which can be obtained at any NCFS office, county-approved burning permit agent, or online at
  • Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
  • Only burn natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal. Trash should be hauled away to a convenience center.
  • Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
  • If you must burn, be prepared. Clear a perimeter around the burn area of flammable materials.
  • Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed burning.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out. In North Carolina, human carelessness leads to more wildfires than any other cause.
  • These same tips hold true for campfires and barbeques, too. Douse burning charcoal briquettes or campfire thoroughly with water. When the coals are soaked, stir them and soak them again. Be sure they are out cold and carefully feel to be sure they are extinguished. Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area.
  • Burning agricultural residue and forestland litter: In addition to the guidelines above, a fire line should be plowed around the area to be burned. Large fields should be separated into small plots for burning one at a time. Before doing any burning in a wooded area, contact your county ranger, who will weigh all factors, explain them and offer technical advice.

For more information on ways you can prevent wildfires and loss of property, visit

NC DIT Cybersecurity Pilot Program for Veterans a Success in First Run

— press release from NC DIT

Cybersecurity Pilot Program for Veterans a Success in First Run
Apprenticeships help connect disabled vets with a new career

Raleigh, N.C. – Disabled veterans are getting access to skills and experience in the growing field of cybersecurity thanks to a unique partnership between state government, the tech sector and community colleges.

The Disabled Veterans Cybersecurity Apprenticeship program is a collaboration between the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and other state agencies; ISG, a Raleigh-based IT firm specializing in cybersecurity; and educational organizations in the state, including Wake Technical Community College and other community colleges. Only disabled veterans who are honorably discharged from service qualify to participate.

More than 200,000 members of the US military return to civilian life each year with 20,000 of them in North Carolina alone. Getting used to civilian life after a career in the military can prove difficult, especially for those who sustained service-related disabilities. The pilot program gives soldiers a new way to serve their country.

Five apprentices work eight-hour days Monday through Thursday, guided by mentors in their work. On Friday, the apprentices meet for training at ISG in Raleigh. They receive regular salary and benefits, and by the time they graduate from the program in October, they will be eligible to take the examination for and obtain a CISSP – Certified Information System Security Professional Associate certification. The two-year, $500,000 pilot program is in its second year.

“When I was selected for this program, it said to me, ‘Thank you for your service’ on a whole different level. It didn’t just thank me for my service, it thanked my family for the sacrifice that they made…. I really feel like the state is giving back. This is the thanks for my service, and now I am able to take care of my family,” said Vicky Steward, a retired first sergeant in the U.S. Army. Steward was injured almost 22 years ago in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

ISG has a job placement program in place to ensure that all of the participants are employed after they complete their training, said Maria Thompson, DIT’s chief risk officer. Employers will gain well-trained, reliable, and dedicated workers in cybersecurity, a field that does not yet have enough qualified workers, and veterans receive training and expertise in a rising and lucrative IT field. Veterans are comfortable with changing environments and learning new things, Thompson said. They have been trained to protect, they have already proven themselves able to work hard with high integrity, and they are adept at working on teams.

“All of those things are things that you need in cybersecurity,” says Tony Marshall, ISG’s president and chief executive officer.

DIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Eric Boyette said he and the department will work to bring more veterans into the program. The department intends to ask the General Assembly in the coming legislative session for support to double the size of the next apprentice class.

“It’s great to be able to offer these positions to these individuals, and watch them grow, watch them succeed, watch them teach others, watch them learn, and just be able to be supportive,” Boyette said. “This initiative really needs to grow … and we are going to figure out ways to make it grow.”

For an inside look at the program and to hear from participants, visit:


Registration opens for Tour de Vance cycling event



Registration opens for Tour de Vance cycling event

Registration is now underway for the Sixth Annual Tour de Vance Bike Ride scheduled for Saturday, April 28. The ride has been growing steadily since its inception, drawing families and first-timers in addition to the most seasoned of cyclists for four separate cycling events.

For the first time, proceeds from the ride will benefit the Endowment Fund at Vance-Granville Community College, with donations supporting scholarships for students enrolled in Health Sciences programs at the college.

Several different options are available for cyclists. The 10-mile route is ideal for youth, families and beginners. A 20-mile course suits riders ready for a bit more distance. Experienced cyclists can choose a 31-mile “Forest and Farmland” circle route through the country or a 62-mile “Kerr Lake Look” that adds to that 31-mile circle route an out-and-back spur to the lake past the Nutbush Creek State Recreation Area.

The rides will start and finish at VGCC’s Main Campus, located off Interstate 85 and Poplar Creek Road at 200 Community College Road in Henderson.

“This event has become a hit not just with locals but also with cyclists from the surrounding area who enjoy an organized event that is challenging but also takes them on a view of the beautiful countryside in our area,” said Wendy Meyer-Goodwin, who has been working as event organizer since the Tour de Vance began. “Last year, we had our largest number of participants ever.”

All riders can register through the Vance-Granville Community College website at Online registration will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 27. On-site registration will be an option at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

The 10-mile ride will cost $10 for each rider. The 20-mile ride will cost $20 for those who register by Feb. 28, increasing to $25 thereafter. The 31-mile and 62-mile (or “metric century”) rides will cost $30 for those who register by Feb. 28, increasing to $40 thereafter.

“Vance-Granville’s Endowment Fund is honored to be associated with an event that has become such a success,” said Eddie Ferguson, director of the VGCC Endowment Fund. “This bike ride promotes the importance of exercise and good health. We are pleased to use these proceeds to help our students enrolled in the many Health Sciences programs at VGCC.”

VGCC offers curriculum programs including Associate Degree Nursing, Radiography, Practical Nursing, Histotechnology, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technology.

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on April 28. The 62-mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., the 31-mile ride at 9:30, the 20-mile ride at 10 a.m., and the 10-mile ride at 10:30 a.m. Law enforcement will accompany riders on the 10-mile route.

“This year, we are making changes to create a more fun and festive finish line,” Meyer-Goodwin added. “Instead of riders beginning at approximately the same time, we are staggering the start times to have more riders ending near the same time, in a congratulatory party of smiles, relief and story-swapping.”

Lunch will be provided.

Participating sponsors include Maria Parham Health, Carolina GI Associates PC, OmniPoint General Surgery, Nunnery-Freeman Barbecue, Spoke Cycles and Henderson Fruit & Produce.

For more information, contact Wendy Meyer-Goodwin at [email protected].