Memorial Day Event To Honor Fallen Heroes In Service To Their Country

The Memorial Day holiday is a welcome day off for many, shortening the week by a day for many workers and schoolchildren. On this Memorial Day, May 31, Kindred Hospice in Oxford is offering a way for area residents to honor those whose lives have been lost in service to their country.

The public is invited to submit applications to have names included on the “Walk of Remembrance” that will be open all day on May 31 at Hix Recreation Complex in Oxford. Remembrance signs with the names of those being remembered will be posted along the walking trail at the recreational complex, located at 313 E. Spring St., Oxford. The deadline to submit “Fallen Hero” applications is Friday, May 28, said Britany Wilson of Kindred Hospice.

The Fallen Hero stories are a way to honor and remember the sacrifice of fallen military, fire, EMS and law enforcement members, she said.

Wilson said the Walk of Remembrance is for any veteran who has died, not just those who died in active duty.

Applications are available at the Kindred Hospice office, located at 136 Roxboro Rd. The office is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Wilson at 919.609.3403 to learn more.

Completed applications may be delivered to the Kindred Hospice office, or submitted by email to or mail to:

Britany Wilson

Attn: Fallen Hero Story

P.O. Box 70

Oxford, NC 27565

GCPS Considers School Closings at May 17 Work Session

The fate of a couple of school campuses may become clearer during a work session of the Granville County Board of Education next week.

The work session will be held Monday, May 17 at 4:30 p.m. at the Mary Potter Center of Education. The purpose of the meeting is to hear a first draft of staff presentations on studies regarding the reorganization of schools, according to Dr. Stan Winborne, assistant superintendent of operations & human resources and public information officer for GCPS. Members of the public are invited to view via livestream. Join at

The school board is considering several different options that include closing schools and consolidating campuses in the southern end of the county. Wilton Elementary and Creedmoor Elementary are being looked at for possible closure. Also being studied is closing Granville Central High School in Stem and repurposing the campus to house either South Granville High School or G.C. Hawley Middle School.

Seating at the work session is limited for those who attend, and all participants will be required to wear face coverings, undergo health screenings before entering the building, and follow social distancing protocols.

Mary Potter Center of Education is located at 200 Taylor St., Oxford, NC.

GAP Phase III Complete; 11 More Acres For Tennis, Volleyball, Other Activities

Granville Athletic Park’s Phase III is finished and now open to the public, adding tennis courts, open green space, sand volleyball pits and more to the GAP’s existing ball fields, walking trails and splash park.

“We are extremely excited about this expansion,” said Granville County Board of Commissioners Chair Sue Hinman. “As we are able to get outside more and enjoy the many recreational opportunities across the county, we invite our residents and visitors to come out enjoy the new tennis courts, playground equipment and other features, as well as all the other amenities already available at the GAP,” she said.

The newest section of the park uses 11 additional acres of land the county bought in 2013, bringing to 80 the total number of acres that comprise the park.

In addition to the tennis courts, green space and volleyball pits, there is an easily accessible and inclusive playground, a fitness station, a picnic shelter and designated areas for cornhole boards. There are plans to add nine holes of disc golf as well, according to a statement from county public information officer Lynn Allred.

The goal of this project is to encourage healthy activity and to provide a safe, appealing and functional outdoor environment for residents and visitors to the area, according to Allred.

Expected use of the tennis courts includes scheduled tournament play for athletic associations and tennis clubs, as well as access for practice and casual community enjoyment. Groups, teams and individuals can now reserve one of the six tennis courts and be put on the GAP’s calendar for specific dates and times. Call 919.693.5240 to learn more or to reserve a court.

Planners used results from a 2015 countywide recreation survey to choose how to outfit the addition. The creation and construction comes from grant funding from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF, $300,000), the National Parks Service Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF, $250,000), the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA, $50,000) and the U.S. Tennis Association’s USTA Southern ($20,000).

County leaders will have a ribbon cutting to officially dedicate the Phase III addition to the GAP is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony, which will be held in conjunction with Granville County’s 275th anniversary celebration at the park’s sheltered sports pavilion area and amphitheater.

Granville Athletic Park is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford. Visit to learn more.


“Quittin’ Time” On Thursday Afternoons in Downtown Oxford

Looking for something a little different to do after work on Thursdays in May and June? Check out Oxford’s “Quittin’ Time” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a time to wind down, stroll through downtown and sample small-plate fare and libations from a variety of restaurants.

Participating downtown establishments are Uptown 101, Milano’s, Oasis, Harvest, The Orpheum, The Hub, Tobacco Wood Brewing Company and Strong Arm Baking and Kitchen.

Oxford’s Downtown Economic Development Corporation is a sponsor of the event, said director Mary Yount. “But this was the ‘brainchild’ of Julia Blaine of Strong Arm Baking and Kitchen,” Yount told WIZS News.

The idea is to visit the participating restaurants, have a taste of food and a beverage, then move along to the next location.

“We wanted to bring an event to downtown Oxford that encouraged walking around, spending time in the downtown area, dining outside and visiting all restaurants to offer support as we come back to full life after a year of COVID,” Blaine told WIZS News.

Restaurants have fun creating a different dish every week, she said, offering a style of food they don’t often cook. “It lets chefs get creative without a huge investment,” she noted.  Diners can expect prices between $4-$6 per small plate, with rotating offerings each week.

Blaine said she lived in Spain for three years and that inspired the Quittin’ Time idea.

She described the Spanish custom of tapeo (a combination of tapa – appetizer or snack and paseo – a leisurely walk) as a time when diners trade a big dinner for “a relaxed amble through the streets, snacking and drinking and enjoying their town and community.” Traditionally, lunch is the largest meal of the day and dinner is usually light.

“I loved this part of Spanish culture,” Blaine said. “It is perfect for our current needs of wanting to dine outside, reminding the community about the restaurants in our area, and encouraging folks to spend more time in their downtown – the heart of their town.”

Quittin’ Time continues each Thursday through June 24 in downtown Oxford.

Oxford Preparatory School Inducts 12 Into Order of the Griffins

Oxford Preparatory School inducted 12 new members into its Order of the Griffins society on Monday, May 10.

Membership is based on a student’s academic performance and their demonstration of meeting the school’s mission of commitment to service, appreciation of the arts and call to leadership, according to Upper School Director Victoria Bradsher.

Rising 7th graders are eligible for membership, Bradsher said.

The new members of the Order of the Griffin will lead the processional for commencement for the year 2020-2021 and will serve as Griffin ambassadors in the coming year – greeting guests at the school, helping with awards ceremonies and serving as a guide for visiting students and their families.

Congratulations to the following students and newest members of the Order of the Griffins:

Tanner Abbott

Grace Allred

Sage Beck

Olivia Burrows

Lauren Carroll

Michael Cox

Carsten Doby

Lilly Hicks

Lily Juntunen

Kaylee Overby

Madelyn Reese

Olivia Smith

Timberlake Wins Art Contest With Tree Theme To Spotlight Arbor Day

An artist with ties to the area has won a juried art contest in Chase City, VA, held in conjunction with Arbor Day.

Frank Timberlake’s “Persimmon Tree Branch” took top honors in the adult division of the art contest, held at MacCallum More Museum & Gardens to spotlight community support for trees and the town’s arbor canopy.

The subject of the winning submission is located just a few miles from the museum, Timberlake said Monday. “Persimmon Tree Branch is a small stream with looming tall trees,” he said in a written statement to WIZS News. The winning artwork features vibrant orange and yellow foliage covering the branches of a tree alongside a narrow creek, with fallen leaves dotting its surface.

The contest’s theme was “Arbor Day is Every Day in Chase City.” Artists submitted works in various media, from paintings to sculpture, all of which exemplified the importance and beauty of trees.

Timberlake is originally from Stovall and Grassy Creek in northern Granville County and operates Shutter Art Gallery in Zebulon. Visit to learn more.

Although the final product looks like a painting it’s actually a photograph, thanks to a process he created called PhoArt. Timberlake begins with a high-resolution photograph, which is digitally manipulated into colorful prints using proprietary software. Each finished print is put on museum-quality canvas and comes on a gallery-wrapped frame.

Timberlake explained that, after struggling with not being able to paint pinpoint realism, he spent several years developing the special process. “Once I did, I asked myself, ‘What am I going to do with this?’” A few months later, the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens offered him a two-month, one-man art exhibit. It opened in January 2017 and Timberlake said he created nine special prints just for that exhibit.  “There’s no question that ‘Persimmon Tree Branch’ is the crown jewel of my Mecklenburg art prints,” he said.  “To return here and to have this work so honored is extremely satisfying.”

There are more than 100 works from a variety of locations and settings viewable on the website, including the contest winner. Timberlake said the limited-edition prints – signed and numbered – can be made in a variety of sizes, from small 8 x 11 canvases to 40-inch x 60-inch canvases.

Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker, III Recognizes Police Week 2021

In honor of National Police Week, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina G. Norman Acker, III recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement. This year, the week is observed Sunday, May 9 through Saturday, May 15, 2021.

“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Attorney General Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude.”

“During Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe,” said Acting United States Attorney Acker.  “I want to acknowledge the work performed by federal, state, and local law enforcement, who often face uncertain and dangerous situations without question and without expectation of thanks.  We want them to know they have our unwavering support and appreciation.”

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices.  Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.

Each year, during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty, and commitment to keeping our communities safe. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities that they have sworn to serve.

During the Roll Call of Heroes, a ceremony coordinated by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), more than 300 officers will be honored.  Based on data submitted to and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), of the law enforcement officers who died nationwide in the line of duty in 2020, nearly 60 percent succumbed to COVID-19. Here in the Eastern District of North Carolina, two officers died in the line of duty.

Additionally, according to statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 46 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts and 47 died in accidents in 2020.  LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website.

The names of the 394 fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read on Thursday, May 13, 2021, during a Virtual Candlelight Vigil, which will be livestreamed to the public at 8:00 pm EDT. The Police Week in-person public events, originally scheduled for May, have been rescheduled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns to October 13-17, 2021. An in-person Candlelight Vigil event is scheduled for October 14, 2021.

Those who wish to view the Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2021, can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at The FOP’s Roll Call of Heroes can be viewed at To view the schedule of virtual Police Week events in May, please view NLEOMF’s Police Week Flyer.

To learn more about National Police Week in-person events scheduled for October, please visit


GCPS Announces Teacher, Principal of the Year

The Granville County Board of Education announced winners of the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year at its May meeting. Samala Dawson-Robinson, a teacher at G.C. Hawley Middle School in Creedmoor, and Courtney Currin, principal at Tar River Elementary are this year’s honorees.

GCPS Human Resources Director Jamar Perry announced the winners during a virtual presentation. Each school puts forth the name of one teacher to vie for the honor of teacher of the year. District principals nominate their colleagues to be considered for the award.

Dawson-Robinson, a Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher, received a trophy and flowers from Superintendent Dr. Alisa McLean the day after the announcement, in addition to $1,000 from the Granville Ed Foundation. Two runners-up each receive a trophy, as well as a $500 check from the Granville Ed Foundation.

McLean commended Dawson-Robinson for her accomplishments. “We are sure that Samala Dawson-Robinson will be a shining star among the others recognized across the country for this top honor.  We are proud of her and all she represents,” McLean stated.

Board Chair David Richardson  “I am so proud of all of these teachers and the dedication and love they have for their students.  I know that Ms. Dawson-Robinson will represent our district well in this coming year as a true ambassador for our county and the profession itself.”

Currin has been a principal since 2015. She graduated from the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program at Meredith College in 2004 and taught English for eight years at J.F. Webb High School and got a master’s degree in school administration in 2012. She was an assistant principal at Northern Granville Middle School before being named principal at Butner-Stem Elementary in 2015. At Tar River, she is leading the school’s transition to project-based learning in a competency-based education framework.

School districts from across the state choose a principal of the year (POY). District winners compete for state-level honors, and the state winner goes on to the national competition.

McLean congratulated Currin for being selected. “We are proud of you and thank you for your service to our students and leadership at Tar River Elementary School,” she said.

The Local Skinny! Annual Spring Cleanout Granville


The Annual Spring Clean Out is scheduled for 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 15 at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center. This event provides an opportunity for residents to recycle and/or properly dispose of unwanted household items during spring cleaning.

On-site vendors will be accepting scrap metal, electronics, batteries of all types, polystyrene/styrofoam, outdated prescriptions, books, paper documents for shredding, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, flares, ammunition and other items. New to the spring event is the collection of paint and household chemicals, which has typically been accepted at fall recycle/collection events only.

“This event provides an opportunity for everyone to properly dispose of and potentially recycle waste in our county,” said Granville County’s Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator Teresa Baker. “We have had much interest in the past, and participation continues to build each year. We invite everyone to come out and bring their recyclables and waste materials on May 15 as we work together to protect our environment.”

Last year’s county-wide event resulted in the collection of more than 5,000 pounds of shredded paper, 4,500+ pounds of electronics and televisions, 800 pounds of hardback books, 185 pounds of medication/sharps, almost 1,000 pounds of scrap metal and an entire pallet of batteries.

The 2021 event will include a convenient drive-through collection service, so that participants can remain in the safety of their own vehicles. The Humane Society of Granville County will also be available to collect dog and cat food, crates, dog houses, leashes, collars, towels and flea/tick prevention.

As in previous years, a follow-up event is also being planned for the Fall of 2021 at the same location.

For more information, please contact Granville County’s Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator Teresa Baker at 919-725-1417 or at

Granville Board of Education To Consider School Closures, Announces Principal Changes

The Granville County Board of Education is a step closer to determining whether to close one or more school campuses in the southern end of the county as it continues to define its school reorganization plan. During its May 3 meeting, the board voted unanimously to begin a study to close Granville Central High School and repurpose the campus.

Dr. Stan Winborne, district public information officer and assistant superintendent of operations & human resources, said in a press release that the campus, located off Sanders Road in Stem could possibly be used to house students from G.C. Hawley Middle School or South Granville High School.

In other action at the meeting on Monday, the board announced some district leadership changes. Lisa Tusa, currently principal at South Granville High School in Creedmoor, will become the new principal at Northern Granville Middle School in Oxford. She replaces Dr. Brenda Williamson, who will take over as principal at C.G. Credle Elementary in Oxford. Sherrie Burns, current principal at Credle, recently announced her resignation for the upcoming school year.

Tusa has been principal at SGHS for 13 of the 22 years she has been an educator. Williamson was principal at Mary Potter Middle School in Oxford and moved to NGM when the two campuses merged a few years ago.

The board also voted to direct district staff to review and update the possible closing of two elementary schools – Wilton and Creedmoor – those studies were paused back in the fall pending additional input from a strategic task force.

Board Chair David Richardson formed the task force, which presented findings to the board in April. “Their findings were presented to the board in April, which helped inform the Board’s current course of action,” Winborne stated.

Next steps of the school reorganizations may be determined at an upcoming board work session on May 17. “The goal of the is to finalize any possible reorganization decisions prior to July 1, 2021,” according to Winborne, but the actual closing or mergers likely would take effect for the 2022-23 school year.