Winter Weather Advisory Dec. 9-10

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area from 10 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday.  Areas include Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin Counties plus much of the remainder of the area like Person, Durham, Orange, Wake Counties and beyond.

The concern is about refreezing of residual snow, slush, and water as skies clear late in the evening. Areas bridges, overpasses, parking lots, and side walks will be most prone for icing.

Original winter storm warnings and advisories have been cancelled.

For the full forecast, click here.

Additional Information:

See the latest briefing by clicking here.


Snow Friday?

The National Weather Service says a little light snow is possible Friday night.

Click here for the latest briefing.

Light accumulations less than an inch, mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, should have minimal impact. Greatest amounts in the I-85 corridor from Burlington northeast.

Travel is not likely to be impacted, however some slick spots on bridges and elevated roadways are possible.

Light accumulations of less than an inch are possible, mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces west of U.S. Route 1. The greatest
amounts will be in the I-85 corridor from Burlington northeast.

As always, Vance County Emergency Management Director Brian Short will keep us up to date.  He said, “They are continuing to forecast some light snow for our area tomorrow evening. No significant accumulations or impacts are expected.”

Franklin County Announces Expansion of Atlantic Packaging

— Press Release

Franklin County welcomes the expansion of Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc. (Atlantic Packaging) at 165 Weathers Street in Youngsville. Atlantic Packaging is one of the most technically advanced packaging resource in North America, with capabilities in manufacturing, distribution, consulting and technical service.

Atlantic Packaging is expanding its 45,008-square foot warehouse and logistical operation with plans to construct a new 33,000 square foot facility off U.S. Highway 1. This $1.65 million expansion will increase its logistical capacity with new space for distribution.

The company is one of Franklin County’s largest logistical employers with 38 full-time employees. This expansion will create at least four new jobs with an average hourly wage of $17.53 plus benefits.

“Franklin County continues to offer an attractive location for logistical companies with our proximity to main distribution routes,” stated Richie Duncan, Director of Franklin County Economic Development. “Atlantic Packaging’s continued investment further demonstrates our strength in meeting the demands of industry within the Research Triangle region.”

Atlantic Packaging’s Youngsville facility opened in 2008 and serves the east coast United States by providing packaged product solutions for the pharmaceutical, automotive, food, cosmetics and various other industries. Youngsville’s operation is one of Atlantic Packaging’s 20 locations across the United States, Dominican Republic and Honduras.

“We are excited to continue to grow our industrial packaging presence at our Youngsville location in Franklin County,” said Steve Rafferty, Vice President and General Manager of Atlantic Packaging. “Market demand for our products is creating this expansion opportunity for our location to better serve our key industrial markets. We extend our appreciation to Franklin County for their support for our operation.”

Atlantic Packaging’s expansion will be facilitated by a local Franklin County cash grant incentive of $49,500 paid over a four-year period after taxes are paid and requirements are fulfilled.

“Great things are continuing to happen in Franklin County,” said Cedric Jones, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “We are excited Atlantic Packaging is continuing to grow their presence here with jobs and tax base for our citizens and county.”

About Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc:

Atlantic Corporation of Wilmington Inc. was founded over 70 years ago and has evolved as the market leader in industrial packaging and in customized converted products, always guided by our customers’ needs. Visit for more information.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

DA to Settle Compliance Issues Only Outside of Court

— courtesy of District Attorney Mike Waters

Information is also available on District Attorney – 9th Prosecutorial District Facebook Page

Beginning December 1, 2017, the District Attorney’s Office will begin addressing compliance issues only outside of Court. On Thursday afternoons, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, in each of the four counties, you may bring proof of compliance for the following offenses, and your case will be disposed of outside of Court.

No operator’s license
Failure to carry a valid driver’s license
Expired operator’s license
Expired/no inspection
DR/allow registration plate not display
Drive/allow MV no registration
Canceled/revoked/suspended certificate/tag
Expired registration card/tag

***This time is for the review of compliance dismissals only and not for the negotiation of contested infractions and criminal charges***

New Solid Waste Director Selected in Franklin

— courtesy Franklin County

Brian Haynesworth will join the team in January, 2018

Franklin County, November 30, 2017: Franklin County Manager Angela L. Harris has named Brian Haynesworth Solid Waste Director. Mr. Haynesworth will assume the position January 2, 2018 following the retirement of current director John Faulkner. Mr. Faulkner retires today after 30 years of service in Franklin, 25 years as director.

Mr. Haynesworth has served as Solid Waste Program Manager for Durham County since 2007. In that role, he oversees solid waste and recycling collection programs that include recycling collection of 14,000 households and four solid waste and recycling convenient sites that receive over 250,000 visitors a year. He has managed litter control and investigation programs and county surplus property management as well. Mr. Haynesworth has also worked with the City of Durham as a Waste Reduction Coordinator and Environmental Specialist with the State of North Carolina.

Brian Haynesworth – Franklin County Photo

Mr. Haynesworth holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from Lincoln University and has pursued advanced studies in Public Health from the University of Tennessee. Additional certifications and training include SWANA Manager of Landfill Operations (NC), Carolina Recycling Association Annual Conference, FEMA-National Incident Management System and Certified Transfer Station Operator.

Mr. Haynesworth and his family currently reside in the Wake Forest area.

“We welcome Brian Haynesworth to our leadership team,” commented Mrs. Harris. “In his role as director, Brian will work in partnership with staff and the community to promote recycling, litter prevention, waste reduction and environmental stewardship.”

For additional information, please contact Angela L. Harris, Franklin County Manager, at (919) 496-5994.

Franklin County Government is committed to effective and innovative public services for all Franklin County citizens and businesses.

Henderson’s McGregor Hall Transforms Into A Winter Wonderland

— courtesy

Meet Santa & His High-Kicking Friends On December 5th For A ‘Branson-Styled’ Holiday Showcase

HENDERSON, N.C. — Get in the spirit of the holidays on Tuesday, Dec. 5, as the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center transforms into the North Pole to present CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND, a holiday spectacular.

On tour from its year-round performances at The King’s Castle Theater in Branson, Mo., CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND features a highly acclaimed song and dance troupe produced by Spirit Productions and David King of the mega-hit-musical Spirit of the Dance.

Doors will open for this family-family event at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

For this one-night-only show, the production will bring its full cast, sets and scenery to McGregor Hall’s stage. This includes 24 singers and dancers who will present more than 1,000 glittering costumes and more than a dozen holiday tunes.

Guest will enjoy more than a dozen holiday songs, including all the favorites from “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland” to “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

“This is the type of high-quality, grand-scale production that McGregor Hall was built for,” said Mark Hopper, Vice President of the McGregor Hall Board of Directors.

“CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND is quite simply one of the most delightful and enchanting shows coming to this region during the holidays,” Hopper added. “From the glittering costumes, a dazzling cast and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the Mason-Dixon Line, your entire family can start Christmas in style as Santa and his merry helpers take you on an unforgettable nostalgic journey.”

Hopper also advised that seats are limited, suggesting that patrons purchase tickets in advance as the theater is expected to sell out.

Tickets are on sale for $35 or $30 plus sales tax. Group and student rates are available.

Tickets can be purchased directly at the McGregor Hall Box office, which is open Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Box Office is located at 201 Breckenridge Street in downtown Henderson. The Box Office can also be reached by phone by calling (252) 598-0662. Tickets can also be purchased online at by using the secure and trusted purchasing platform, eTix. Online fees apply.


(McGregor Hall is an advertising client of WIZS.)

Former VGCC president Ben Currin retires from endowment board

— courtesy VGCC

Dr. Ben F. Currin recently retired from the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund Board of Directors. That marked the culmination of Currin’s formal association with VGCC, which lasted for a total of 36 years — 18 as president of the college and 18 more on the endowment board after his retirement as president.

Currin, who now lives in Raleigh, became the third president of VGCC in 1981. ​Under Currin’s leadership, VGCC grew from one campus to four, with a total of almost $18 million worth of new construction at all campuses. During his tenure, VGCC reactivated the college’s Endowment Fund, which grew from $12,000 in 1982 to $5 million at the time of his retirement and provided scholarships for numerous students. In 1985, he started the annual VGCC Endowment Fund Golf Tournament, which has raised more than $862,000 to date. A VGCC scholarship, the Dr. Ben Currin Presidential Merit Award, was endowed in his honor upon his retirement through contributions from the college faculty and staff.

From left, VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams and Dr. Ben Currin, the college’s former president, holding a plaque honoring him for his service to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund. (VGCC photo)

​A native of Granville County and a graduate of Oxford High School, Currin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959. He earned his master’s degree in education in 1962 and his advanced graduate certificate in professional education in 1963, both from UNC. He received his doctorate in education from UNC in 1970 in education administration with a minor in political science.

​Currin assumed the VGCC presidency after having served as a teacher, coach and public school administrator, including 11 years as superintendent of Rocky Mount City Schools. While in Rocky Mount, he also taught graduate courses at East Carolina University as an adjunct professor.

​Currin earned high esteem from his peers in higher education. A University of Texas study in 1988-89 named him one of the “best of the best” among community college presidents across the nation, and he was given a National Leadership Award at the Leadership 2000 conference in San Francisco. He was also one of 75 participants chosen nationwide to participate in the Management of Lifelong Education Institute at Harvard University. ​Currin received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Gov. Beverly Perdue. In 2016, Currin received the highest honor that can be bestowed by the State Board of Community Colleges, the I.E. Ready Award.

The board of directors oversees the Endowment Fund Corporation, a nonprofit organization established in 1976 to seek and receive scholarship funds and other contributions for the college. Current board members include Robert L. Hubbard (the vice-chair), Rev. Dr. Richard M. Henderson (secretary), Julius Banzet, III, Sarah Baskerville, Rep. James W. Crawford, Jr., Tanya Evans, Clay Frazier, L. Opie Frazier, Jr., Ronnie Goswick, Katharine Macon Horner, Darryl Moss, Donald C. Seifert, Sr., Marshall Tanner, Josh Towne and Todd Wemyss. As president of VGCC, Dr. Stelfanie Williams chairs the board, and Danny Wright, chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees, serves on the board ex-officio.

Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 9,100 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.


(VGCC is an advertising client of WIZS.)

Former Franklin Medical Center Gets New Name

— courtesy Maria Parham Health

Former Franklin Medical Center Gets New Name: Maria Parham Franklin

Unveiling of new brand signals progress in restoring healthcare services to Franklin County

Louisburg, NC – Maria Parham Health, part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, unveiled a new name for the former Franklin Medical Center: Maria Parham Franklin. The new name was presented to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Louisburg Town Council on November 20. This development marks an important milestone in efforts to bring essential healthcare back to Franklin County following the closure of the Louisburg hospital in 2015. Plans are in place to open a freestanding emergency department with 24/7 emergency care in mid-2018.

“Establishing the Maria Parham Franklin name symbolizes important progress in returning healthcare to our county,” said Sidney Dunston, Vice-Chair, Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “This is a clear sign of forward momentum for our community that will allow us to move beyond the closure of Franklin Medical Center and look toward a new, brighter future. We’re excited to be working with the Maria Parham and Duke LifePoint teams to get this facility back up and running, so that the people in our region will have access to the care they need and deserve.”

In 2016, the board of commissioners reviewed potential strategic partners interested in taking over services at the closed Franklin Medical Center. It unanimously voted to accept a proposal from Duke LifePoint to operate Franklin Medical Center as part of Duke LifePoint’s Henderson hospital, Maria Parham Health, and turn the Franklin County facility into a freestanding emergency department with 24/7 emergency care, diagnostic services and behavioral health services.

In 2017, a lease agreement was reached and Duke LifePoint began seeking state approvals to reopen the hospital’s emergency department as a freestanding emergency center. It also is working to secure state funds to further the development of additional behavioral health beds and services.

“We’re delighted to introduce the Maria Parham Franklin name to Louisburg and Franklin County,” said Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health. “Over the next few months, everyone will begin to see changes at the hospital site. By mid-2018, we expect needed renovations and hires to be complete so the first phase of the new emergency room can open to the public. We look forward to working with local officials to rebuild healthcare services in this region and ensure the health and wellbeing of people here.”

Maria Parham Franklin is expected to bring as many as 65 new jobs to Franklin County in the next three years, contributing to economic development and job growth in the region.

# # #

(Maria Parham Health is an advertising client of WIZS.)

VanGuarantee Continues to Shine in National Spotlight

— courtesy VGCC

The Vance-Granville Community College Board of Trustees celebrated news from President Dr. Stelfanie Williams that the college’s VanGuarantee scholarship continues to gain national attention. The announcement was made on Nov. 20 at the board’s bi-monthly meeting on the Main Campus.

The trustees also welcomed two new board members and heard the results of a campus-wide campaign to raise money for the VGCC Endowment Fund.

In her report to the Board of Trustees, Dr. Williams said the “Community College Daily,” a publication of the American Association of Community Colleges, shared in October an annual report on the College Promise Campaign, described by the association as a movement focusing on providing a free community college education to qualified students.

In the past 12 months, the AACC said, more than 50 new programs were announced similar to VGCC’s VanGuarantee. “New College Promise programs are evolving at a rapid pace because communities and states recognize that a high school education is insufficient to secure a good job and a decent quality of life in today’s economy,” the report said, adding that there are now more than 200 such programs across 41 states.

The VanGuarantee benefitted 47 Vance-Granville students during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to VGCC’s Financial Aid Office. A total of $50,514 was disbursed to help those students.

Designed to help eliminate any financial barriers standing between students and their academic goals, the VanGuarantee was announced in March 2016, with the first scholarships awarded in the Fall 2016 semester. The innovative scholarship program was made possible by a $1.6 million bequest to the college from the estate of Wilbert A. Edwards, a Vance County native, who was living in Oxford at the time of his death. Edwards’ gift, announced in 2015, is the second largest in the history of VGCC.

The AACC said the annual report highlighted the efforts to create College Promise programs in rural areas of the nation, “which on average have fewer students attaining college credentials than students in cities,” citing specifically the program at Vance-Granville.

“More than half of the nation’s 1,400 community colleges in the United States are located in rural areas, and they serve a third of the nation’s community college population,” the College Promise Campaign annual report for 2017 says. “Some … like Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina have the responsibility to serve a broad geographic area for their local populations. The aim of these rural programs is to help more students enter and complete a community college education within their region through shared education, business and philanthropic partnerships that identify sustainable financial resources for the College Promise.”

New Trustees

Xavier Wortham of Oxford, left, is sworn in as a newly appointed member of the VGCC Board of Trustees by Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Carolyn J. Thompson at the board’s meeting on Nov. 20. Wortham has been appointed to a four-year term by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. (VGCC photo)

The Board of Trustees welcomed Xavier Wortham of Oxford as a newly appointed trustee at the meeting. Wortham, who works as executive director of the Oxford Housing Authority in Granville County, was sworn in by District Court Judge Carolyn J. Thompson, who serves District 9.

Appointed for a four-year term on the board by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper, Wortham replaces Michele Burgess of Henderson, who had served since September 2013.

Also joining the board for a one-year term was Sophie Taylor, who was recently elected president of the VGCC Student Government Association. Taylor, who is a student at Franklin County Early College High School, will serve as a Student Trustee, representing the interests of her fellow VGCC students at all meetings of the trustees.

Faculty-Staff Drive for Scholarships

The co-chairs of the annual faculty and staff drive for the VGCC Endowment Fund announced to the Trustees that $21,036 was raised this fall from among employees on Vance-Granville’s four campuses to support the mission of the college and students through scholarships.

VGCC Board of Trustees Chair Danny W. Wright celebrates the announcement of $21,036 raised in the Faculty-Staff Drive for the VGCC Endowment Fund this fall. Co-chairs of the campaign were Andrew Beal, public information officer for the college; Willie Mae Foster-Hill, receptionist at Main Campus; and Jeremy Lambert, assistant director of financial aid. Kay Currin, VGCC Endowment specialist, made the presentation to the trustees at their Nov. 20 meeting. Shown from left are Wright, Beal, Foster-Hill and Currin. Lambert was unavailable. (VGCC photo)

The drive co-chairs were Andrew Beal, public information officer; Willie Mae Foster-Hill, Main Campus receptionist; and Jeremy Lambert, assistant director of financial aid.

VGCC awarded 306 scholarships, including several funded by faculty and staff contributions, at its annual awards dinner this October.

Capital Projects

Trustee Donald C. Seifert, Sr., chair of the board’s Building Committee, and Steve Graham, VGCC’s vice president of finance and operations, gave updates on several capital projects.

A final report on the assessment of needed exterior masonry repairs to buildings on the Main Campus is expected soon. Some county funds and additional monies from the Connect NC Bond will be used to restore, structurally repair and waterproof campus-wide building masonry rooflines, walls and bridges.

A report is expected in January on options to replace existing deteriorated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and to replace obsolete fire alarm systems on the Main Campus, using funds from the Bond.

A portion of the renovations to the Welding Lab at the VGCC Franklin County Campus is expected to be completed in December, with the remaining work being done during the Summer Term next year. State Bond funds are being used to add eight welding booths to the existing lab at the campus near Louisburg and to add a demonstration area in an adjacent classroom.

Other Action

In other action:

• Trustee Abdul Rasheed, chair of the Budget Committee, presented a motion, that was approved, to write off $1,021.84 in uncollectable student accounts under $50 from the college’s financial accounting records and no longer recognize them as collectible receivables for financial reporting purposes.

• Graham, reporting for the board’s Investment Committee, noted the college’s investments have grown by 9.3 percent since the beginning of the calendar year.

• An informational report on new employees, retirements, resignations and changes in positions was provided by Trustee Sara Wester, chair of the board’s Personnel Committee.

• In her report to the board, Dr. Williams highlighted recent accomplishments and opportunities at the college. She noted the Vance-Granville Community Band concert will be held on Monday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in downtown Henderson.

Presiding over the meeting was Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright.

The Board of Trustees will hold its next regular meeting on Jan. 22 at the Main Campus. Normally held on the third Monday of the month, the meeting in January is being moved to the fourth Monday because of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday.


(VGCC is an advertising client of WIZS.)

Franklin Correctional Employee Charged With Smuggling Contraband To Inmate

— Courtesy Office of the Sheriff Franklin County

On October 19, 2017, a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit was dispatched to Franklin Correctional in Bunn, reference a report of an employee smuggling contraband in to an inmate.

The case was assigned to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit and a criminal investigation was initiated. As a result of that investigation, Jaqueline Fields of Neal Lane in Henderson was arrested and charged with the following: one (1) count of Providing Phone/Electronic Device to Inmate.

Jaqueline Fields was released on a written promise to appear.

This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time. If anyone should have any additional information pertaining to this investigation, please call Detective A.R. Roberts at 919-340-4312.