TownTalk: Granville County Preparing For Vikings, The Scots And More

It’s spring, and activities are popping up all over Granville County and Tourism Authority Director Angela Allen gave a rundown of several upcoming events and attractions that are sure to tickle your fancy.

This Saturday, Apr. 20, visit downtown Oxford between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. for the Oxford on Main Art and Wine Festival. Sponsored by The Hub on Main, this free event brings together craft vendors, kids’ activities, live music and more to Main Street, Allen said during Wednesday’s segment of TownTalk.

Purchase a $40 tasting ticket to sample more than 30 different wines. Visit the Hub on Main Facebook page or Instagram to find the Eventbrite link to purchase tickets.

“Even if you’re not a wine drinker, there’s still plenty to enjoy,” Allen said.

Then on Saturday, Apr. 27, there are a couple of big events happening in the Oxford area: One is the Central Carolina Highland Games and the other is the Granville Gardeners’ Expo.

Proceeds from the Highland Games benefits Central Children’s Home, which is where the games will be held. Attendees can watch traditional Scottish competitions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy some traditional Scottish cuisine as well.

If plants and gardening are more your jam, head over to the Granville County Convention & Expo Center between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to a huge variety of flowering plants, herbs and more, the Expo – free to attend – features a variety of workshops and speakers on gardening to take part in There will be food trucks on site as well.

Other upcoming events include:

  • April 30 – The Arts in Bloom gala opens at the History Museum in Oxford and features works by school-aged artists from across the county. A collaboration between the museum and the Granville Education Foundation, the public is invited to a reception to open the show from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Proceeds from a silent auction will be used to further enrich art opportunities for students in Granville County schools, Allen said. The artwork will be on display until May 2 and the public is invited to stop by and view the students’ creations. Also visit the GEF Facebook page for a sneak peek at some of the artwork that will be on display during the Arts in Bloom gala.
  • May 3-5 – The Viking Experience will host its first event at its new property in northern Granville County. Visit to purchase tickets and find out all the details for rustic camping opportunities, as well as different activities available to immerse yourself in the Viking life – including Saturday dinner around a campfire that will include music, dancing and skits.
  • May 2 – Quittin’ Time begins in downtown Oxford and continues on Thursdays in May and June. “It’s one of our favorites here in downtown Oxford for spring,” Allen said. A number of area restaurants will be preparing specialty small plate meals and cocktails, and patrons can move from one spot to another to sample the fare offered each week and enjoy live music. Visit the Downtown Oxford Restaurant Initiation – DORI – Facebook page to learn more about Quittin’ Time and other food-themed events in the works.




Granville County Soil And Water Sponsoring Scholarships To Conservation Workshop At N.C. State

-information courtesy of Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood

Granville County Soil and Water Office will sponsor two Granville County high schools students to attend the annual conservation workshop at N.C. State University scheduled for June 16-21.

The Resource Conservation Workshop is a weeklong program that involves study and hands-on participation in a wide range of conservation topics, according to information from Granville County Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood. The students will stay in campus dorms under the guidance of live-in counselors during their week’s stay.

Rising high school juniors and seniors who live in Granville County are eligible to apply for the program, which will provide real life experiences learning how to manage natural resources in today’s global environment. Find a sample agenda here: 

“Having served as a counselor at this workshop for several years, I believe that it’s a great opportunity for students to experience a taste of college life while expanding interest and passion for degrees in conservation  like environmental science, agriculture, or natural resources,” said Byron Currin, Granville County ‘s Natural Resource Conservationist. “I think it’s a great way to build connections, add a great experience to your resume, and even earn a college scholarship. I can’t speak highly enough of this program and its importance to furthering the aims of Granville County and North Carolina natural resource conservation.”

The application can be found at Completed applications should be sent via email to or may be dropped off at the Soil and Water Office, 518 Lewis Street, Oxford.

Applications are due by Monday, May 13 and will be reviewed by the Soil and Water District Board of Supervisors at their May meeting.

There’s an informational video about the workshop from the Durham County Soil and Water Office at

Granville County Hazardous Household Material Collection Event Saturday, May 18

Granville County residents can start collecting all those half-used jugs of household chemicals, paint and other materials that may be stored on garage shelves and storage sheds in preparation for the Saturday, May 18 household hazardous waste collection event.

Load up all those unwanted items and come out to the Granville County Convention and Expo Center, 4185 US Hwy. 15 in Oxford between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.

The event is open to Granville County residents only – no business or commercial waste will be accepted.

For more information and a list of accepted items and prohibited items visit or call 919.691.0928 or email

Following is a list of acceptable items to drop off at the collection event:

  • mercury
  • adhesives
  • lawn care products
  • paint product (10 gal limit/vehicle)
  • aerosols
  • flammable substances
  • fluorescent light bulbs
  • household cleaning supplies
  • batteries
  • photo chemicals
  • swimming pool chemicals
  • confidential documents (3 bag maximum)
  • pesticides/herbicides
  • prescription drugs
  • ammunition

Learn About Child Care Options, Challenges At Upcoming Forums

N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon is hosting forums to discuss the topic of child care in the area – choices, challenges and access to licensed child care facilities for working families. Featured speaker at the forums is Ariel Ford, director of Child Development and Early Education at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The first forum will be held Tuesday, Apr. 30 at Perry Memorial Library in Henderson; the second forum will be held Thursday, May 23 at The Grand at Oxford Days Inn & Suites, 913 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave., Oxford.

The public is invited to attend the forum at 6 p.m.; there will be a session earlier – 1 p.m. – for individuals interested in opening a child care site. According to information from Sossamon’s office, North Carolina is considered a child care “desert” when it comes to infant/toddler care, with a statewide average of five families with babies competing for every available slot in licensed child care facilities.

The events seek to raise awareness to the child care crisis in the state and the need for more child care opportunities in North Carolina which support children’s healthy development and learning, allow parents to work and keep businesses running.

Last year, 278 child care facilities closed across the state and the demand for child care far surpasses the supply. A recent survey of North Carolina child care programs from the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows 60 percent of facilities are reporting a staffing shortage and 55 percent are under-enrolled due to the lack of staff. Rural counties in North Carolina are disproportionately impacted.

The child care forums are hosted by Representative Frank Sossamon. NCDHHS. Smart Start, Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, Granville County Chamber of Commerce, Childcare Services Association, local child care centers and others participating.


TownTalk: VGCC Hosts Career Fair April 25

With Vance-Granville Community College’s graduate career fair and mixer just over a week away, Director of Career Services Dr. Krystal Foxx said she hopes the VGCC Civic Center will be filled with people from all across the community who want to mix and mingle with area employers to learn about jobs.

It’s not just for current students and graduates, Foxx explained – the Thursday, Apr. 25 event is open to anyone in the community who’s looking for a job, or a different job.

During the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., participants can visit with 46 employers from across the region to learn about job openings. There will be on-the-spot interviews available, too, she said, so come prepared.

“We have quite a few employers coming that are looking for individuals in the applied tech program, in health care, business and government,” Foxx said on Wednesday’s TownTalk.

“We’re excited about the opportunity and looking forward to hosting on the 25th.

Preregister online at and then select the Career Fairs option on the right side of the page; the first 100 people who sign up AND attend will get a special treat from Chick-fil-A, she said.

It’s more than just a job fair, Foxx noted. It’s a chance “to learn more about the richness of the companies in the community and how they can continue to be productive citizens and give back to the community through the professions and the work they do,” she said.

The college’s career services department guides students in areas such as preparing resumes, effective interviews and job search strategies, she said.

“Our college is putting career selection at the forefront,” she said. A career fair “solidifies that we are there to support their career endeavors.”

The page also has a list of employers who will be at the fair.

“We know that there is a demand for job opportunities right now,” Foxx said. “We really want everyone to take advantage of that…we want our local employers to feel supported and to be able to recruit from the local community.”

To learn more, phone 252.738.3466 or email



“HERricane” Program Highlights Careers In Emergency Management For Young Women

North Carolina Emergency Management is partnering with several area counties to host the second emergency management experience for young women interested in learning about career in emergency management.

The deadline to apply for “HERricane” is April 19, and is open to any female student in grades 9-12 in the state. The students selected to participate in the program will learn about disaster response and public safety through field trips, training and disaster simulation exercises.

“Last year’s HERricane experience was such a success so we’re really excited to host this year’s event to encourage young women to consider careers in emergency management and public safety,” said Katie Webster, NCEM assistant director of planning. “Across the spectrum of emergency management and public safety personnel, there is a broad spectrum of women who thrive in their careers, and we want to empower the young women who attend HERricane to be the leaders of tomorrow in these fields.”

The event will take place from August 5-9 from 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. and will be hosted at the N.C. State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. NCEM intends to select up to 24 students to participate in the 2024 program. There is no cost for students to participate and NCEM will provide breakfast snacks and lunch for participants.

Participants will:

  • Learn about key emergency management and public safety jobs
  • Explore careers through field trips within Durham, Wake and Orange counties
  • Participate in a career fair and networking event

Visit to learn more and to download the application or email to learn more.

2024 Alive After Five! Kicks Off April 25 In Oxford

The 2024 Alive After Five! concert season kicks off Thursday, Apr. 25 with Brake Tyme Band in the Littlejohn parking lot from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Granville County Chamber of Commerce, along with other local sponsors including Duke Energy, brings the annual free entertainment event to towns across Granville County for all to enjoy.

Beverage tickets will be available for purchase at check-in tables the day of the event.

Visit the Chamber’s website,, or follow on Facebook or Instagram – Granville County Chamber – to stay updated with all the details, including a list event sponsors and contributors.

Sponsorships are still available, so contact Chamber Executive Director Cynthia Ratliff at if you or your business would like to be added to the list.

Come early, visit our local downtown businesses, bring a chair, listen to this incredible music, dance, and enjoy visiting with friends.


New Granville Finance Director Begins April 15

Granville County has announced that Jennifer Baird will become the county’s finance director and she will begin her new job on April 15.

Baird joins Granville County after three years as senior fiscal analyst and accounting operations supervisor for the city of Durham. With 19 years of state and local government finance experience, Baird will lead operations in the county’s finance office as Steve McNally transitions to his retirement in the coming months, according to a press statement from Public Information Officer Terry Hobgood.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as Granville County’s next Finance Director,” said Baird. “I look forward to working with county administration, our board of commissioners, and staff from all county departments to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly, and the county’s finances are protected.  Granville County has a sterling reputation of financial management, and I am proud to join and continue that legacy.”

During her time in Durham, Baird helped develop the personnel and operating budget  for the Water and Sewer Fund and managed all operations of the city’s Utility Finance Department. Prior to her time in Durham, Baird served as Business Officer II, Assistant Finance Manager and other accounting and finance positions for the State of North Carolina departments of Health and Human Services, Public Instruction and Agriculture and Consumer Services.

She was responsible for preparing state budget requests and certifications for various grant programs and managed accounts payable operations for the statewide Child Nutrition grant. She also served as the Chief Finance Officer for Granville-Vance Public Health for two years in between her time with the state and the city of Durham. Baird began her career as a family preservation Caseworker for Person County Cooperative Extension before moving into accounting.

A Person County native, Baird graduated from Person High School in Roxboro and holds degrees in Accounting and Human Services from Vance-Granville Community College and Piedmont Community College. She is also completing the North Carolina Finance Officer Certification Course at the School of Government at UNC. Baird and her family moved to Granville County in 1993 and reside n the Berea community.

NCDMV Employs Online Tools To Tackle Customer No-Shows

– Information courtesy of NCDMV

To combat folks not showing up for their scheduled appointments at driver license offices, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is now requiring new appointments to be confirmed.

In the month of February, 33.5 percent of appointments were no-shows, according to NCDMV officials.

“This confirmation process is necessary to address the high no-show rate for appointments we have been experiencing in our driver license offices,” said DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

Now, when appointments are reserved online at, customers will receive a text message and email with a confirmation link and they will need to confirm their appointment by clicking either link within 15 minutes, or the appointment will be canceled. Upon confirming their appointment, customers will receive a text and email notification letting them know the appointment was successfully confirmed.

Four days before the appointment, customers will receive a reminder text and email with a confirmation link. Within 24 hours, customers will need to again confirm their appointment. Once confirmed, another email and text will be generated confirming the appointment.

For appointments booked less than four days out, the second confirmation link will not be sent.

“Folks are used to having to confirm their medical and other appointments in this way,”  Goodwin said, “so we’re applying this standard from the private sector to our business model and expecting good results and increased appointment availability.”

A handful of self-service kiosks have opened up in grocery stores in Raleigh, Charlotte and Fayetteville that allows for a variety of DMV transactions. There are additional online tools Walk-In Wait Time Tool and Q-Anywhere to cut down on customers’ wait time in DMV offices.

Sam Perry Memorial Scholarship Applications Available Now

The Granville Health System Foundation is accepting applications for the 2024 Sam Perry Memorial Scholarship, which awards $1,000 to a Granville County resident who wants to pursue a career in health care.

Now in its 14th year, the scholarship is named for a physician’s assistant who had a long career with Granville Health System.

The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. on April 30. Here’s the application packet link. Visit to learn more.

The winner will be announced by the end of May 2024, according to information from Lauren Roberson, Granville Health System’s Marketing & Foundation director. This is a one-time scholarship, but individuals may reapply for as many years as they are in school.

Students who have been accepted into a two-year or four-year Allied Health Program at an accredited school with the intention to pursue a career in the healthcare field are encouraged to apply for the scholarship. Programs eligible for this scholarship include clinical laboratory sciences, physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiological science, pharmacy, RN, BSN, ADN, LPN, dentistry and related careers, physician assistant and nurse practitioner.