Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen Completes 3-Year Program To Be ‘Travel Marketing Professional’

Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen has completed a three-year program to become officially designated as a travel marketing professional from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College.

Allen was among about 60 other tourism professionals recognized for completion of the program recently at the STS Connections Conference in Spartanburg, SC.

Allen has been in her role as tourism director since April 2015. She is responsible for administrative and marketing work in the promotion of travel and tourism in the county. In 2017, Allen was named a “Rising Star” in the tourism industry when she received Visit NC’s Destination Marketing Award for bringing statewide attention to the county she serves, according to a press release from county public information officer Lynn Allred.

(Left to right) Angie Zok of the Miles Partnership; Monica Smith, President and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society; Granville County Tourism Director Angela Allen; and Berkeley Young, Provost, Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College.

From seasonal attractions like strawberry picking and Haunt Farms to annual events like the Hot Sauce Contest and Brides on Wheels, Allen is ready to provide information about events and destinations in Granville County.

The STS Marketing College Program provides tools and working knowledge to travel and tourism professionals that can be used to promote destinations, attractions and events. Topics covered in the training include online marketing strategies, effective print publications, research strategies, community engagement, economic impact and budgeting.

As a newly minted travel marketing professional, Allen joins a network of more than 1,200 colleagues from 13 states and the District of Columbia who have completed the program, which was established in 1992.

To learn more about Granville County tourism, visit

Hilltop Lumber Recognized

The lumber and other products sold at Hilltop Lumber for the past 60 years are no doubt found in homes and other building across Granville County – and beyond. Waverly Critcher opened Hilltop in 1961, and the Granville County Chamber of Commerce sent a shout-out to the family-owned business to celebrate its presence in the community for six decades. Critcher’s daughter, Audrey, her husband Mike Duke and their four sons continue the tradition of quality customer service that Audrey’s father considered his number one priority.

Hilltop Lumber was recognized as the Chamber’s Business Spotlight of the Week.

Oxford, NC’s Roundabout

The much-anticipated roundabout in downtown Oxford is set to officially open Friday morning, following a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m.

State crews began the project in early June, and it has been the topic of some discussion – pro and con – during the construction phase.

The roundabout replaces a two-way stop at the intersection of Main and Spring streets in downtown Oxford. Original cost projections put the construction at about $200,000 over a period of eight weeks’ time. The project did take longer than expected to complete.

Roundabouts have cropped up recently in towns and in more rural areas. State DOT officials produced a video showing how roundabouts work and how they improve overall safety. More details can also be found by visiting the department’s roundabout webpage.

Finishing Touches – A roundabout traffic sign about to be added to Oxford’s roundabout

Granville Residents Can Voice Opinions On School Closure, Consolidation at Oct. 18 Public Hearing

The Granville County Board of Education will hold a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. in the gym at Tar River Elementary School. The purpose of the hearing is to receive comments regarding the idea of transforming the elementary school into a middle school.

Tar River Elementary is located at 2642 Philo White Road, Franklinton, just off Hwy 96 near the Wilton community. Members of the public who wish to speak before the school board on the idea of moving students from G.C. Hawley Middle School to the Tar River campus may sign up beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to information from district public information officer and associate superintendent for curriculum & instruction and student services Dr. Stan Winborne. In a press statement, Winborne said each speaker who has signed up before 6:30 p.m. will be given the opportunity to address the board on this topic for up to three minutes.

The hearing will be livestreamed at

Everyone is required to wear face masks and cooperate with social distancing protocols. Persons without face coverings will not be permitted inside the building, and anyone who chooses not to comply will be asked to leave the property. In addition, seating is limited.

Before the public hearing, the board of education will hold a work session to discuss school improvement plans. The work session will begin at 4 p.m. The work session will begin following a closed session, during which there will be a discussion of personnel and attorney/client privilege. The closed session will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The same requirements regarding face coverings and social distance protocols are in effect for the 4 p.m. work session, too, Winborne stated.


Butner’s Polk Correctional Facility Gets New Name – Now Granville Correctional Institution

The former Polk Correctional Institution in Butner has been officially re-named Granville Correctional Institution on Monday, Oct. 4. Warden Johnny Hawkins cut the ribbon to mark the occasion, which was held at Gazebo Park in Butner. Representatives of the Granville County Chamber of Commerce were on hand with other officials to witness the name change ceremony.

The Butner facility opened in 1997 to replace the Polk Youth Center in Raleigh. Originally designed to house youthful offenders between the ages of 18 and 21, it evolved to become a detention facility for those between 19 and 25.


Granville School Board Approves Weekly COVID-19 Screening For All Unvaccinated Staff

The Granville County Board of Education approved at its meeting Monday night the weekly COVID-19 screening for all staff who are non-vaccinated or who choose not to report their vaccination status.

The testing likely will begin in December, according to Dr. Stan Winborne, GCPS public information officer and associate superintendent of curriculum & instruction and student services.
Winborne told WIZS News Tuesday that details will be shared as logistics are worked out with Mako, the third-party testing company.

The board also voted to approve the current mask guidelines for students and staff. Masks are required for all students while indoors, but they may be removed when outdoors, as long as the students maintain social distancing. Students who congregate outside and are closer than six feet to one another must continue to observe mask guidelines.

A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18, as part of the continuing discussion on school consolidation and possible school closure. Details will be made available about the public hearing soon, Winborne said.

Mark Pace

The Local Skinny! The History Of Old Granville Co. To Be Presented At Oxford Senior Center

If you’ve ever been curious about the history of our area then an upcoming four part series will be a great opportunity to learn. Local historian Mark Pace of the North Carolina Room, Thornton Library in Oxford will be going in depth on the area’s history from pre-historic times to the present. The series will be held on Thursday’s from 10 until 11:30 on the mornings of Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the Senior Center in Oxford. The cost is only $15 for the entire series.

Old Granville County, as historians refer to the area, encompasses present day Granville, Vance, Warren and Franklin Counties. Franklin and Warren were split off in 1764 as Bute County which was divided in 1779 into Warren and Franklin Counties. In 1881 parts of Warren, Franklin and Granville were used to make Vance County.

The Four Part series will detail these changes. Part 1 will focus on the pre-historic era through the American Revolution. Part 2 will cover from the end of the Revolution through the Civil War. Part 3 will pick up at the end of the Civil War and continue through the Great Depression and part 4 will cover from the end of the Depression until today.

Pace said the 90 minute length will allow him to go deeper into the history of Old Granville County than most programs do.

The programs are open to the public and are part of the Senior Center’s Lifelong Learning Program. For more information and to sign up for this and other offerings contact the Senior Center at 919-693-1930.


— submitted by Erin Carter, domestic violence and sexual assault victim’s advocate with Infinite Possibilities

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Every year, Infinite Possibilities, Inc. remains committed to raising awareness, urging leaders, communities, and individuals to use their voice to speak up and out against Domestic Violence. In honor of victims and survivors, we pause and stand in solidarity against domestic violence until change is evident. Domestic violence increased around the world during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic violence is still happening and is a pervasive and life-threatening crime affecting millions of individuals across our nation regardless of age, socioeconomic status, race, religion, and education.

This DVAM 2021,it is important that we are still doing our part to bring about change in our world to stop intimate partner violence. What is one thing that you can contribute to help end Domestic Violence? It will take collective unification to see change. Let’s all do our part to bring awareness to this worthy cause.

This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence. If you would like to participate, wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Day, also known as #PurpleThursday, will be observed Thursday, October 21, 2021. Use wearing purple as a conversation starter and share why ending domestic violence is important to you. You can also use the hashtags #DVAM21 and #Every1KnowsSome1 when utilizing social media platforms.

Join us in making a difference not only this month, but every day. Infinite Possibilities, Inc. will provide follow-up outlining an upcoming event to safely engage advocates, partners, and the public to help bring awareness during DVAM2021. Remember, Domestic Violence not only severely impacts victims, but the entire community. Domestic Violence Awareness is NOW! It is my hope that you will forward this and other important information received regarding DVAM 2021 to colleagues, friends and family as well.

(This is not a paid ad.)

‘Citizens Academy’ Graduates First Class In Ceremony On Sept. 30

The inaugural “Citizens Academy” of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office concluded Thursday with a graduation ceremony for 13 participants.

The program is open to residents age 21 or older and is designed to build a bridge between law enforcement and local citizens through a series of classroom presentations and community involvement.

Participants gathered on Tuesday evenings at the Law Enforcement Centre training room to learn about current law enforcement issues, patrol procedures and crime prevention.

Sheriff Charles R. Noblin, Jr. congratulated the group on successful completion of the class.
“The partnerships we are building between our staff, the community and our residents all contributed to the success of the Citizens Academy program,” Noblin stated in a press release.

The first class of graduates includes Sue Hinman, Garnet Drakiotes, Billy Mickle, Teresia Blackwell, Kimberly Adcock, Robert Blancato, Faicia Elliott, Linda Clough, Annette Myers. Donna Mickle, Renata Thornton, Erica Harris and James Eden.

To learn more, contact the sheriff’s office at 919.693.3213.

North Carolina’s August County and Area Employment Figures Released

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 93 North Carolina counties in August and increased in two. Five remained unchanged.

Vance County came in 98th out of 100 counties, being third worst, and Warren County was just behind at 97th.

Granville County was 16th best with Chatham at the top spot and Orange, Wake and Durham in this immediate area higher in the list as well.

Franklin County was listed in North Carolina Department of Commerce information at 51st.

Vance improved 0.3% from July to August. Granville improved 0.1% in the same period. Franklin was 0.2% percent better, and Warren was unchanged.

Vance is suffering from a 7.4% unemployment rate as it’s shown in the commerce documents because, of a workforce of 16,668, there are 1,229 without work.

Warren – 468 of the eligible 6,645 labor force are without a job.

Granville – 1,128 of 29,922 have no job.

Franklin – 1,409 of 32,183 are unemployed.

The August not seasonally adjusted statewide came in at 4.4 percent.